Saturday, July 26, 2014

And None of This is Canon, so Just Relax

I am watching Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars and am going to try and write up my reactions as I watch it.

The opening scroll ended with 'And None of This is Canon, so Just Relax', which was perfect.

Perry gets to be the one to snag the Death Star Plans, which were conveniently all on one CD.

They are doing a good job of making references to everything Tatoonie related in the opening song.

I think Vader is abusing his power by having Storm Trooper get his socks for him.

Apparently the Death Star was based off a handheld nut cracker.

So this story is happening as the movie plays out around it, not a retelling of the story.

'Mos Eisley Spaceport, now 14% more scum & villainy.'

Yep, a 'Who shot first' joke got in there. It was Han, and we all know it.

For some reason the value of a time share on Alderaan suddenly dropped to nothing.

'May the Force be with you, and all that stuff.'

'Darth Vader can kiss my Bantha.'

So we have confirmation that Vader actually does have asthma.

Now this is going to be a cool lightsbaer duel. Brother vs brother.

We need action figures for these new Star Wars characters. That would be awesome.

Now we know who got Han to join the battle.

Knowing who designed the Death Star, the exhaust port idea actually makes sense now.

This is one of those episodes that you want to watch the end credits.

There was a lot of interesting stuff happening off camera. So now we have another piece of the whole story.

I have no idea why this is not canon and the prequels are.

Hopefully they will do two more of these to finish up the original trilogy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Don't Think That Phrase Means What They Think It Means

Just saw a commercial for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that said "You've never seen heroes like this". Considering that this is like the millionth reboot of the TMNT, I really think they might not fully understand that term. I will be overly surprised and impressed if they really pull off giving us something that we really have not seen before, that also gives something of value to the TMNT legacy.

This is one of the most unneeded movies we've been given. The current TMNT cartoon is doing just fine and has been introducing us to some really interesting and unique concepts for the TMNT legacy. The latest cartoon has taken all the best aspects of the past TMNT and worked them together in an on going narrative that draws you in. It is a new storyline that does a great job of effectively paying tribute to where it came from. And it works.

So far for the new movie I have seen nothing that makes me think they are going to do the same.

We have the turtles, which outside of costumes that make no sense (Mikey wears a sweatshirt around his waist, which could never fit him and only could serve to get in his way), seem to add nothing to the characters.

We've been shown a Shredder that looks more like a really bad joke than a powerful warrior. Sorry, but having a ton of blades attached to your hand makes no sense at all for a fight. And it does not look as cool as I think the creative team behind it thought it would.

April seems almost useless from what the commercials have given us, but we really have no idea if they are going to take the character in a new direction. The present cartoon has done a great job with reinventing that character, but the movie appears to be taking her backwards to what we have already seen.

Of course one thing the commercials have hinted at that I really think is a huge mistakes, is that we have been given the suggestion that the government or someone actually created the turtles on purpose as some kind of weapons. Not sure of any level of logic to that in any reality. That is one commercial that makes me cringe. A big part of what makes TMNT so intriguing is that it seems ridiculous to have turtles as warriors, so the main concept only works at it being an accident. There are a million animals that someone would use before even considering turtle is they were trying for hybrid warriors.

I am at the point where I am hoping to see Michael Bay movies fail. After seeing three of the four Transformers movies, it became clear to me that he has no idea what Transformers should be all about. Yet even as they spiral downwards at every turn, somehow they keep making money. I've no desire to see the fourth one until it goes to DVD and I can rent it. And that will mostly be out of curiosity than actual hope it will be enjoyable. That is how I feel about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well. I so wish the fans of these franchises would vote with their money and make it clear we deserve something better than Micheal Bay and his poor standards of film making. Explosions and special effects are fine tools, but when there is no story to back them up, it becomes pure junk.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How Can This Kind of Junk Still Get Made

There is a movie coming out simply titled Lucy. It stars Scarlett Johansson as a woman who ends up exposed to some chemical that amplifies her mind and ends up giving her all manner of abilities.

The first trailer I saw for the movie started off looking intriguing. It had action and suspense and of course watching Scarlett Johansson is always enjoyable. Then they ruin it by putting in what is happening to her mind. They use the outdated, overly proven inaccurate idea that people only use 10% of their brain. The trailers keep telling us how much of her brain she is using at different times to gain the various abilities and how we have no idea what will happen once she reaches 100%.

They have Morgan Freeman be the one to give us the lines about using the various percents of her brain. His voice does make anything he says sound more official and authoritative, but that doesn't mean it is not junk.

This is a simple unscientific concept that has been shown time and time again to be straight out wrong, based off a misunderstanding of an actual scientific idea of not using our minds to their full potential. This is nothing new though, and anyone who wishes to deal with such a concept only needs to spend a minute on-line to learn the actual facts and not make everyone involved in the film look like total idiots.

This is a movie that I do not think I could shut off my annoyance at bad science in order to enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The movie has been out for a while, but I just got to see it about a week ago. Due to being a huge fan of Spider-Man, he rates as my favorite super hero, I had to see it and I am not going to hold back on my opinions of it.

To start with I never saw the point of rebooting the franchise. I always felt after the screw up that was Spider-Man 3, they should have followed through with new casting, but kept the storyline itself going. I have no doubt at all this would have been a better choice for the studio. There was little in the first Amazing Spider-Man (ASM) that actually would not have worked as being a forth part to the story. In fact without having to retell the origin, they might have been able to work more with the plot. With ASM 2, we very much see that this would have been the better way to go.

One thing that both the ASM movies have done is not understood that Peter Parker is a different person when he puts that mask on. Peter on his own is not really cocky or smart mouthed. That is the persona he is able to be as Spider-Man. Yet in the ASM movies, Peter is way too cocky and smart assed in his street clothes. He is not awkward in the least. We see this early on in ASM2, when Peter very unneededly gets frisky with Gwen at the graduation ceremony in front of everyone. It was overly out of character for Peter Parker, yet there are many such scenes in the ASM movies.

I have no real complaints regarding Gwen Stacy. They did drastically change the character for the ASM movies, but for whatever reason it actually works. If anything she might be the best job they did with any character in the movies.

They fully, undeniably ruined the character of Harry Osborn on an unforgivable level that ruins any future stories with the character. I persoanlly feel they did this on purpose in an attempt to make it clear they are not taking anything from the SM trilogy. But the SM movies got Harry right and they should have looked at that to learn how that character should be done.

In ASM2 Harry is as dislikable as it gets. There is nothing in the way of actual friendship between Harry and Peter. They knew each other years ago, but have not been in contact for way long, so there is no real connection between them in ASM2. They are practically strangers. And the ONLY thing Harry cares about is himself. He does not have the conflict of being torn between living up to his father's ideals and finding himself. This is the main driving point in the character of Harry Osborn, yet it is 100% not in the movie. His father dies and he is told he is going to have the same genetic disease, which will kill him and some point in the future. That is the only driving force for his character to do all that he does. He is a selfish, egotistical a-hole. You don't like him and you very much do not feel sympathetic towards him. I am fully puzzled as to where the choice to ruin that character came from.

The character of Electro didn't work either, but that does not bother me as much. Electro is not an important character in the least. The story didn't make him anything significant. He was just the chosen badguy they wanted to use, but unlike what we have seen before with Doc Oct in SM2, they did not make him interesting.

I also had huge problems with the opening of the movie. It did nothing for the story. And when we finally find out what Peter's father fought so hard to transmit before he died, it is a huge let down. It really was nothing important, undeserving of such a build up.

I won't go into Peter's father's secret work station and just how ridiculous it was. It is another aspect that was 100% not needed. Too many wastes of plots that actually did not tell anything close to a intriguing story.

My understanding is that ASM2 is a build up for a Sinister Six movie, which is in itself a huge mistake, but does explain why much of the movie seems forced. It is not supposed to be its own movie, but the beginning of a different movie. That clearly plays a huge role in ruining the movie.

I have no doubt the franchise will keep going, as it is making enough money. Regretfully they have already jumped the shark, but they are not about to admit this mistake because they already have made it clear they are looking for a long term storyline without worrying about making sure each movie is worth watching.

I would say that ASM2 is the worst of the spider-man movies so far. SM3 was actually better, despite its flaws. I am disappointed because Spider-man is such a great character and deserves better treatment. we say what could be done with SM1 and 2 and even SM3 had a lot that worked well. the ASM movies just lack the soul of what Spider-man needs to be.

Now to finish up, I will admit that most likely I will go and see any future Spider-Man movies in the theater. Chances are I will wait until they hit the discount theaters though. I am not as enthusiastic about them as I am the Marvel Studio movies.