Monthly Archives: February 2017

Cinema Dispatch: Gold

goldcd0Gold and all the images you see in this review are owned by TWC-Dimension

Directed by Stephen Gaghan

It’s getting a bit late in the year, but I guess we’ve still got a few more Oscar holdovers that need to recoup a few bucks from the general public; especially for ones like this that clearly didn’t get the recognition it  was hoping for.  Still, the big award shows don’t always know what the hell they’re doing (*cough* The King’s Speech *cough*), and it’s not like any of MY favorite films of 2016 got nominated for an Oscar, so maybe this one will turn out be to be a gem that no one else was able to recognize!  Can Matthew McConaughey pull off yet another great performance in a movie about yet another eccentric oddball, or will this be forgotten like most of his pre-McConaissance work once he realized he was ACTUALLY good at acting?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the misadventures of Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) who’s a down on his luck prospector; barely managing to make ends meet after inheriting a successful mining company from his father.  With his girlfriend by his side (Bryce Dallas Howard), he manages to keep from succumbing to total self-destruction, but his drinking isn’t helping the situation all that much and he needs ONE big score in order to get his company out of the red and his life out of the dumps.  His big harebrained scheme is to get a SIMILARLY down on his luck geologist named Michael Acosta (Édgar Ramírez) to help him find a gold mine in the heart of Indonesia.  It’s rough going at first, so much so that Kenny becomes deathly ill during the expedition, but he manages to pull through and they ACTUALLY find a gold mine!  From there, Kenny has to deal with the avalanche of wealth that has landed right at his doorstop, the people who will try to take advantage of him, and of course those who want to put him out of business altogether.  Can this schlubby guy with a TERRIBLE haircut manage to hack it in a world of millionaires and true professionals?  How can this one dude fend off the biggest mining companies in the world and even the Indonesian government who are looking for ANY opportunity to snatch his gold mine out from under him?  Seriously, what’s with that hair!?  Either get the hair plugs or shave the damn thing off!

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“Would you fuck me?  Well I probably would, but I’d need a few more of these first.”

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Super Recaps: Riverdale Chapter 3 (Body Double)

Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW

Episode directed by Lee Toland Krieger

We’re back with another episode of The Way Too Young and the Restless!  When we last left things, Cheryl was FINALLY getting arrested for being the most OBVIOUSLY SUSPICIOUS PERON IMAGINABLE, but chances are that those charges aren’t gonna stick considering we’re only on the third chapter.  What mysteries will be uncovered once Cheryl tells us what REALLY happened on the Fourth of July?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with a recap of what happened at the end of the last episode which, as stated above, was Cheryl Blossom FINALLY being dragged away in handcuffs.  Why?  Well I could probably give you a laundry list of reasons, but SPECIFICALLY she’s being hauled in for questioning because her story about what happened to Jason on the Fourth of July has a few holes in it.  Namely ONE hole that ended up in Jason’s head!  Sheriff Keller (Kevin Keller’s dad played by Martin Cummins) begins to question her in Principal Weatherbee’s office, and we find out what REALLY happened that day, or at least the CURRENT version of the truth before the next big revelation upends everything we learn here.  Jason wanted to run away from home and fake his death.  He and Cheryl took the boat ACROSS the river and I guess Jason just wandered off into the woods with no bags and presumably very little cash (a dead man wouldn’t be using a credit card and a big withdrawal right before he disappeared would have been suspicious) while Cheryl waited around for someone to find her so she can tell the story about Jason drowning.  How she knew that Dilton and his scout troop (I’m pretty sure he wasn’t a scout leader in the books, but whatever) would JUST SO HAPPEN to pass by is still a mystery, but maybe that’s the NEXT big revelation.  While the two of them were sharing their tearful goodbye, they heard the gunshot.  You know; the one that Archie and Miss Grundy heard?  Yeah, they heard it too which means that we now know two places were the gun COULDN’T have been fired from.  Now that’s a decent chunk of information to build off of and presumably this take Cheryl off the hook for the murder.  Why the sheriff didn’t ask Cheryl WHY Jason wanted to run away is beyond me, but whatever.  We’ve still got a whole season of shows to fill up, so we can’t be giving away all the surprises NOW!

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“That whole thing where I said I was guilty?  Yeah… not really what I meant.  Still made for a good cliffhanger though, right?”

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Cinema Dispatch: John Wick: Chapter 2

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John Wick: Chapter 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment

Directed by Chad Stahelski

WOO!!!  JOHN WICK IS BACK!!  Now I wasn’t as over the moon as some people were with that first movie (), but I am never the less EXTREMELY excited to see what Keanu Reeves has up his sleeve in the sequel!  True, sequels to unexpected hits are almost universally terrible (*cough* Highlander 2, The Hangover 2, Taken 2 *cough*), but there’s not a whole lot of ways to screw up a formula like this; especially when what made it work the first time around was well choreographed and expertly shot action scenes; two things that Keanu Reeves and the returning director seem to prize above all else.  Can this manage to be as exceptional as the man himself and ACTUALLY be a good sequel, or has the air gone out of this series the same way the Matrix did when we got ITS sequels?  Let’s find out!!

The movie picks up RIGHT where the last one left off, namely with John Wick (Keanu Reeves) finishing off what remains of the Russian mob (his injuries have healed rather nicely considering how close he was to dying at the end of the last film) and getting his car back.  Of course, because of how much noise he made doing so, he gets a visit from a former associate who wants him to do a favor despite his insistence that he’s FINALLY going to retire.  This turns out to be a VERY bad move as the associate Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) then blows up his fucking house because of this.  Doesn’t kill the dog though!  No, he makes to the end!  Anyway, apparently Santino has a Marker with John which supposedly makes all of this make sense (spoiler alert: it doesn’t) as a Marker is essentially a blood oath where one party owes the other a one-time request that they MUST do or else… I don’t know, they die?  I mean, good luck finding someone to kill John Wick!  Hell, if that was even an option, why don’t you send THAT person to do the job for you!?  Well no one was asking for my opinion when they were writing this, so John takes the job, executes his target, and THAT’S when things go to hell as the target’s bodyguard Cassian (Common) was  an old friend but now a SWORN MORTAL ENEMY, and Santino betrays John and tries to have him killed.  I totally didn’t see that coming, especially when HIS bodyguard Ares is played by Ruby Rose and was giving John dirty looks throughout the first act (angry dirty; not sexy dirty).  So now he’s got Cassian on his ass, Santino trying to kill him, and oh yeah A SHIT TON OF OTHER ASSASSINS as Santino has ALSO put a hit on him just for good measure.  Will John be able to kill his way to Santino and finally get his retirement once and for all?  Well… PROBABLY considering how good he is at head shots, but does Santino plan to keep John JUST out of arm’s reach?  Who can John trust now that there’s a huge bounty on his head and hit men are coming out the wood work for his very valuable head?   How many suits does this guy go through on a daily basis!?

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Trick question.  Anything John touches is automatically bulletproof.

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Cinema Dispatch: Rings

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Rings and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by F Javier Gutiérrez

What in the hell took them so long with this!?  Not only is this coming out over a decade since the last one, this one has been pushed back at least three times from its initial release date in November 2015 which is only a few months shy of Monster Trucks’s unimaginably long delay, and we all know how THAT turned out!  Then again, no one was stupid enough to mortgage their studio on THIS film, but I’m not all that optimistic either way.  There’s a hell of a lot going against this movie even before it was pushed back several times, so unless we’ve got the next  Fede Álvarez helming the damn thing, I don’t think there’s much hope of this being even halfway decent; otherwise they wouldn’t have waited until February to dump it on theaters.  All that said, you never know!  Hell, even Monster Trucks managed to be a LITTLE bit of fun, and it’s not like the first film was a sure thing either being a remake of a well-known Japanese horror film!  Maybe there’s something to this that the studios just didn’t see!  Yeah… that’s a bit of a long shot, BUT let’s find out anyway!

So if you’ve seen the trailers, it turns out they don’t actually tell you ANYTHING about the plot of the movie as they basically consist of the cold opening and the last five minutes.  What’s REALLY going on here is that Julia (Matilda Lutz) is a woman dating some dude who went off to college named Holt (Alex Roe) and she ends up worrying about him after he stops taking her calls.  Now in the REAL world this would mean that he’s found some campus squeeze, but instead she finds out that the Biology professor named Gabriel (Johnny Galecki) has him and a WHOLE bunch of other students working on some sort of study into a magic video tape that kills whoever watched it after seven days.  That is, unless the person makes a copy of the video and has someone else watch it, in which case the seven day curse resets and is put on the next person.  It’s not clear exactly what Gabriel’s end goal is here, but shit goes to hell when one of the students dies from Samara’s wrath (the ghost from the other Ring films) and it leaves Holt hanging who need someone to watch his copy soon.  Julia volunteers herself as tribute, but something goes wrong as the video is different, she can’t make a copy herself, and she gets some weird scar on her hand that no one else has gotten.  Clearly Samara is changing the rules on them, so the only way to stop her once and for all is to solve the mystery of what happened to her and why she’s so damn pissed!  No, not the mystery from the FIRST film!  This is a whole NEW mystery about her past that no one bothered to mention until now!  Can Julia and Holt figure out… whatever it is they need to figure out, before it’s too late?  Did Gabriel learn anything USEFUL by messing with the ghost for this long?  So can she just come through ANY screen now; even ones that aren’t TVs?  I wonder what would happen if she haunted a 3DS…

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“These fifty inch TVs are really nice!  So much roomier!”

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The NekoCon Diaries 2016: VOCAMERICA

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The biggest event at NekoCon this year (even more so than Mike McFarland!) has to have been the VOCAMERICA concert; the first (relatively) major Vocaloid concert made entirely by Western producers.  Sure, we’ve had Miku Expo here in the US for a few years now, but that was part of a bigger worldwide tour and frankly there are so few shows they have in the US that it’s almost impossible for most Vocaloid fans to go without a WHOLE lot of cash to drop on it.  VOCAMERICA is still small so the accessibility issue is still there, but if this gets enough momentum going, it could be the start of something that may never eclipse Hatsune Miku in terms of popularity but can be enjoyed by more fans of the genre; especially those outside of major cities.  Some of you may be wondering, just what IS a Vocaloid and who is this Hatsune Miku person?  Okay, if you’re reading this to begin with, you PROBABLY aren’t asking those questions, but let’s answer them anyway!

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Super Recaps: Riverdale Chapter 2 (A Touch of Evil)

Riverdale and all the images you see in this recap are owned Warner Bros Television Distribution and The CW

Episode directed by Lee Toland Krieger

We’re back with another episode of Riverdale: The Next Generation!  Now the first episode didn’t give me a WHOLE lot of hope that this is gonna resemble the original comics in the least, and adding some questionable subplots and story decision on top of that only lessened my enthusiasm.  Still, Betty and Veronica are great and Cheryl is fun if completely over the top and goofy, so there are definitely some things to like about it and room to grow as the series goes along.  Does this episode build off of what was good in the first one, or are we already getting the best that this series can offer?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Jughead Marlowe as he narrates to us the events of the last episode with that same pulpy film noir style that continues unabated from the last episode.  Raymond Chandler, this guy is not, BUT it at least adds SOMETHING to the standard PREVIOUSLY ON recap that you see in front of shows like this and we also get a few details on what has happened since last time.  What DID happen last time anyway?  Well it turns out that the body of Cheryl Blossom’s brother Jason finally washed up on shore but it has a bullet hole right between the eyes which points to MURDER instead of merely an accident which is what Cheryl has been telling the police this whole time (the boat tipped over and he drowned) so I’m sure they’ll be wanting another chat with her sometime soon.  Of course, there’ still one piece of the puzzle that the cops aren’t aware of yet and that’s the secret Archie is hiding from everyone.  On The Fourth of July which is the day that Jason went missing, he was at the river where Cheryl and Jason were, and while he didn’t SEE anything, he definitely heard a gunshot.  However, he hasn’t told anyone yet because he was with his WAY older music teacher Miss Grundy (you can read my recap of episode one if you want my thoughts on THAT situation) and she’s convinced him that he can’t go the police.  Of course, finding out that Jason bid farewell to this cruel world with the help of Smith & Wesson isn’t making it any easier to keep this secret from eating away at his hunky insides.

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“All this deception is making my abs sad…”

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Cinema Dispatch: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and all the images you see in this review are owned by Screen Gems

Directed by Paul WS Anderson

It has been quite a ride, hasn’t it?  I’ve always been a fan of Paul WS Anderson and his work, especially considering that he’s the only director other than Uwe Bowl who’s attempted to make more than one video game movie and is the one who ACTUALLY made it work.  People STILL say that we don’t have any good video game movies, but what they really mean is that there hasn’t been one that’s been critically acclaimed, and even THAT criterion is rather nebulous.  So what if Resident Evil or Mortal Kombat didn’t win Oscars?  Neither did Taxi Driver or Dr Strangelove!  It truly is the end of an era though considering how few franchises from the early years of the new millennium are still around, recent revivals like xXx non-withstanding, and there really isn’t anything like it to take its place now that it’s over.  Hell, this series DARED to be different from the source material which I can’t imagine ANY film getting away with now considering everything is about franchise management nowadays!  It’s kind of a sad day to see this series go, though it will be doubly so if this final chapter turns out to be a poor note to end things on.  Does Mr. Anderson manage to give us one hell of a sendoff to this beloved series, or has this franchise finally run out of steam right as it was about to reach the finish line?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins with the world having ended for at least the second time and Alice (Milla Jovovich)  is all alone in the wastelands of what the world once was.  Of course, being the savior of all humanity that she is, someone eventually comes a-knocking for her to be the big hero once again.  This time, it’s… THE RED QUEEN!?  Yes!  The AI from the other films (played this time by Ever Gabo Anderson) that has been trying to kill her apparently wants to help her because Wesker (oh, spoiler alert: Wesker’s a bad guy again and is still played by Shawn Roberts) is just forty eight hours away from wiping out ALL of humanity and Alice has to stop him before then!  How?  Well apparently Umbrella developed an antidote for the T-Virus that no one bothered to mention up to this point and if she can release it into the world in time, all the zombies will die and humanity will be saved!  Of course, the antidote (along with Wesker) is all the way back in Raccoon City so she has to travel back there, go back to the secret underground Umbrella base, and punch as many zombies as possible in the process!  Can Alice save the world one last time before it’s too late, by which I mean the Resident Evil film rights expire?  What exactly brought upon this change of heart from the Red Queen, and could this all be one giant trap to finally destroy her one true enemy?  So wait, did she get her powers back or is she still human Alice?

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Practical?  Not really.   Awesome?  ABSOLUTELY!

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