They Call Us Monsters – Who Creates the Dragons Brave Knights must Slay?

 

December 6, 2016, They Call Us Monsters, Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films

In a world where children grow up sleeping on the floor, numerous families crammed into a two-bedroom apartment, barely receiving enough sustenance to stay alive, these kids begin life with nothing but survival instincts. Fathers in prison. Mothers staying home to care for their children. The kids needing to find monies for their families. Their parents grew up in identical conditions before them and know nothing of survival in an “acceptable” way because they have NEVER been given instruction. We need to remember that what we know is due to years of instruction, they are not innate abilities we understand when we are born–we have been taught.

Watch the movie WITH your kids, pausing for periodic discussions, and remember that kids often have no sense of the future — only their immediate desires. Parents must teach them about consequences and the way the law works. It’s much more than “don’t get caught,” it’s about not doing it in the first place. There will be repercussions for every decision, and some of those consequences alter lives of other innocent people who happen to be at the right place at the wrong time.

Admittedly, as a writer myself, I was pleased to see the opportunity for these young men to create a substantial work from within the walls of a prison. Their ideas were phenomenal and their hard work toward something of context is unparalleled. At first, I appreciated the semi-counseling of the first meeting from the filmmaker. As the film progressed, I was disappointed to realize his purpose for tackling this project appeared not to do with the boys as much as granting himself credit. He began adding lines to situations he knows nothing about. It always irritates me to see writers embarking on unfamiliar subjects without bothering to research. He went there for a purpose and should have followed through the first time. Thank goodness, he backed off and allowed them free reign. The actors portraying the story? They were great. So were the camera crew and writers of the score.

One other frustrating item was the subtitles. When words are inaudible or in another language, for the audience to comprehend what is taking place, the story must be readable. Aside from these minor things, the idea behind allowing the public in to view the thinking of these young men was good. Still — what of the victims? And what can we do as a society to mold the future with the present so messed up?

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Sh, keep it to yourself!

Ain’t that the truth? Perhaps only dead men should be seeing this movie so they won’t tell anyone about it. None of the original players are involved from the score (film’s music) to the casting directors, 90% of the people holding this treasure of a film have folded. And the one-liners are real stinkers for the most part. Even the seasoned actors can’t arouse a giggle on some of them. That’s saying something, or is it?

The original crew is all but gone except for Jack Sparrow and his first mate, Gibbs. Sure, there are small appearances by Elizabeth Swann and William Turner, but the story’s plot is thin, predictable, and unless you see it in 3-D for the “Aw!” feeling, it could be a waste of over two hours of your valuable and irretrievable time. If it’s the sword fighting you’re interested in, watch the videos you already own.

The special fx aren’t too bad, but there are a few places throughout the film where they aren’t lined up correctly and it sort of jumps a bit. For example, the tower has a flame burning in it while the camera rotates around the opening. If you watch the turning flame, you’ll see. And there are little things throughout. The filmmakers appear to be skimping on the production. If you are brave enough to see it, please leave a comment displaying what you liked about it. But again, see it in 3-D. The vision of the antagonists’ hair which appears to be floating in water and waving throughout the production is pretty cool.

Then again, if you’re a teen and wanting a film to make-out to, this may be the “blockbuster” you’ve been waiting for. The main characters making their debut were Brenton Thwaites as Henry Turner, the offspring of Elizabeth and Will Turner, and Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth. Honestly, it’s unimaginable where they managed to get these two actors unless they have relatives in show business. Brenton was a bit stale, but he’ll come around to be a hit eventually. Kaya’s acting was nothing short of a kid reading a comic book. so she’s probably lucky she has the breasts to draw the audience’s attention.

I have to say I was a bit disappointed because I thought they would reveal the way Will Turner managed to get the gold coin around his neck from his father, as displayed in the first movie. Many times when there are several movies tied together, they’ll loop around and attach. Sadly, this series had none of that. They did, however, cast an interesting group for some of the scenes hoping to arouse curiosity if nothing else. They even managed to book Paul McCartney as a last-ditch savior. Let’s hope they can leave the blockbuster movies where they are without creating any more stink for them, eh?

On a rating of 10 possible stars, this film produces only a mediocre 5, which is extremely disappointing for any Jerry Bruckheimer movie.

Cast

 

Alien: Covenant in D-Box Mode!

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 7.17.15 PMCan we ever get enough Alien? The answer is a resounding “NO!” with all the technologies coming about such as D-Box. I have to admit, paying twice as much for a theater ticket was a bit of a letdown, but I figured it was worth a shot. The question remains, “Was it worth it?”

The typical Alien movies follow a specific formula of those venturing into the unknown and locating exactly that. This sequel is no different. I can’t give away the ending except to say it was predictable for anyone with any type of film attending experience.

The added shock of the D-Box perked up the effects a bit though. At first, shifting from side to side was a bit blasé, but during the startling portions, the movie became more of a carnival ride. The surprising jerking motion will be exceptional during horror shows. Was it worth the extra $? I agree with Jon. The awesomely cool part is that the seat literally adjusts to the weight of the person seated. How do I know this is true? I started off sitting between my son and his friend until Cameron decided he wanted to reach the popcorn himself, rather than suffer through having momma bird feed him by the handfuls. Jarom was the official popcorn holder. However, when we switched seats, I felt my seat lower to the added weight. Yes, I’m about 60 lbs. heavier than my son. I had to readjust the high-impact setting because everything reset. Then I was off vibrating and jerking back and forth as usual. And don’t think you can get into the theater with normal seats and switch out — it doesn’t work.

However, when we switched seats, I felt my seat lower to the added weight. Yes, I’m about 60 lbs. heavier than my son. I had to readjust the high-impact setting because everything reset. Then I was off vibrating and jerking back and forth as usual. And don’t think you can get into the theater with normal seats assigned and switch out — it doesn’t work. One of the aspects a bit unnerving is that the point-of-view of the chair shifting switched from one character or scene to another. At one point in the movie, the scenes were flipping from the starship to the ground and back again — one rumbling and the other still. My innards eventually became confused with where I was going and made me a tiny bit nauseous.

As far as the film goes, there is one portion where there was an uncomfortable hush that fell over the crowd until one person burst into laughter followed by the entire theater. Only those with perverted minds will pick up on the alternate humor. Since I was with my teen son, I did my best not to participate. Unfortunately, he picked up on it regardless. I suppose that’s why it’s rated R. And there are a couple of pretty big names for a second including James Franco and Guy Pearce who followed suit.

Katherine Waterston and Michael Fassbender, along with Billy Crudup and Danny McBride had some awesome chemistry. Not as good as a couple of others who didn’t start off in a relationship though… nudge, nudge. Then again, Michael didn’t really have that option in this film.

There were a couple of flaws in the storyline such as where David managed to create the bottles for his experiments on this new planet. And other issues I can’t reveal without giving the context of the film away, but they’re quite obvious for those who think for themselves. Just take it with a grain of salt and be entertained.

My rating on this Ridley Scott wonder would be a 7-star score without the additional $8 for the seat upgrade, which puts it at a 7.5. Make sure to set your seat at the high vibration rate unless you get motion sickness. After a 2-hour movie, that could be a bit much for the sensitive stomach. Otherwise, it’s totally worth the extra perk!

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 7.28.43 PM

 

 

 

 

Who Looks into a Black Mirror?

 

When I was a kid, and even through adulthood, I wasn’t really a fan of films depicting the bad guy chasing people around and killing them. To me, those were all the same movie with different background settings with minor adjustments of tools. What I loved were movies that made me think, “Could that really happen?” After all, if it could, what were the chances of it happening to me? For that, I was a huge fan of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. Sci-fi is for the mentally streaming folks, I guess.

Later on, although the concepts were still there, the effects of the old monochrome stories lost some of their pizzazz. Have no fear; Netflix is here to remedy that small discrepancy with a Britsh show entitled Black Mirror. The title alone makes a person consider what maniacal thinking is behind it.

Though the subject matter is more open and modernized with shows containing lesbians and young boys “entertaining themselves,” there are not graphic visuals. And the main focus isn’t sex, but if we’re going to talk modern, let’s face it, there’s going to be some mention of it. But the point of what you don’t know is made clearly. And just as at the end of the aforementioned movies where the viewer would lift his brows at the end and say, “Ah, I get it!” This show does that as well.

If you are someone who enjoys messing with your own brain with little mind games to keep you sharp, get that mental exercise! Here’s one of my favorites’ synopsis: “An American traveler short on cash signs up to test a revolutionary new gaming system, but soon can’t tell where the hoot game ends and reality begins.” It could happen!

Playtest

Aw, this little gopher is so adorable — what could possibly go wrong?

Written by Charles Brooker, a 46-year-old English satirist who definitely knows what he’s doing by sharing his twisted visions!

On a scale of 1 – 10 stars, this one gets an 8.

Going in Style is a Stylish Riot

When Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin team up for a comedy, hold onto your britches, because you’re going to need a grownup diaper by the time this is over!

As a little kid, I always thought grownups were proper and their sense of humor fades, but that isn’t right at all. When Zach Braff took on this film, he knew the casting director did the job right. There is no better choice for a cast for a film of this magnitude.

A trio of men who had been friends forever grow sick and tired of taking it up the rear by the big companies who sucked the life out of them in the first place – from the company they worked at forever to the banks. They must decide to take it lying down or climb up on the mechanical bull for one final ride, and you know what they choose. It’s that ride that lets you know not to let your guard down with grandma and grandpa – you never know what they’ll do next. Rob a bank? Perhaps.

Until you see the movie, catch a glimpse of what makes it so damned funny.

 

In my book of 10 stars — this film gets a fairly secure 8.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Conquers More

When Guardians of the Galaxy 2 came out, the ticket booths were ready and the fans couldn’t wait for the twisted and comical behavior of this cast of characters. The theaters were packed, and the laughter was contagious right through to the end of the credits.

Star-Lord, or as his friends call him Peter Quill, conquered the battles of the past. He has no idea the biggest and baddest battle of them all is just over the horizon–his testosterone-driven father, Ego. While Ego is pleased with Peter and his undiscovered attributes, he hasn’t finished showing him all the glories that come from his genes. (Not jeans.) And as the story comes around full-circle, many other mysteries come to light. Will Peter ever declare his love for Gamora, or will her sister rue the day? Will Drax fall for someone even more simple-minded than himself, or is finding someone that dense possible? Will Rocket lose his patience with Baby Groot and turn those baby blues gray?

The best news is that no matter who dies, falls in love, or goes head to head against the dreaded Taserface, this isn’t the last story. Oh no! But not all of the characters will continue. So if you’re into this roll-in-your-seat laughter and you liked the last Guardians of the Galaxy, you don’t want to miss this one.

Directed by: James Gunn

Written by: James Gunn, and Marvel writers, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Core actors:

Chris Pratt Peter Quill / Star-Lord
Zoe Saldana Gamora
Dave Bautista Drax
Vin Diesel Baby Groot (voice)
Bradley Cooper Rocket (voice)
Michael Rooker Yondu
Karen Gillan Nebula
Pom Klementieff Mantis
Sylvester Stallone Stakar Ogord
Kurt Russell Ego
Elizabeth Debicki Ayesha
Chris Sullivan Taserface

On our scale, this film rates a solid 9

The Secret Life of Pets is Revealed

Universal Studio did some amazing things with this film’s animation. Some of the attitudes and activities these pets do can easily be imagined as happening in one of the homes of the writers. Hopefully not the dachshund with the mixer, but to each his own.

If your little ones love pets as much as my 9-year-old date, the plot doesn’t matter much. In this case, that’s a good thing. Momma’s stockings have a lot more to hide than the happenings of this show. That hardly seems to matter because, throughout the entire show, people were cracking up. We got to see animals wiggling their derrieres at us throughout the show and urinating. I guess nowadays that’s funny to see as if it hasn’t been happening all along, but the kids seemed to enjoy it.

Speaking of letting a little liquid loose, if you are a big laugher who drinks a lot of soda, make sure to use the facilities before entering if you’re wearing drawstring pants. The consequences can be devastating if the strings tangle into a knot. Not that this happened, but I will no longer wear pull string pants to a theater.

The kids seemed to enjoy this, as did the guffaws of a few adults. However, the little ones were so hammered with advertising they were almost finished before the actual movie started. It’s best when you have little tykes if you have reserved seating, to wait about 5 minutes after starting time to prevent the wiggles from breaking out. A few started getting restless and even crying a bit more than halfway through. Thank goodness their parents removed them politely from the theater. Also, make sure to hand around partially through the credits. One of the cutest parts of the movie is seeing the pups dressed in costumes.

The graphics were excellent, the voices were great, but the plot was thin. Again, tiny kids loved it for a little while, but seeing as how most of them can’t type, you’ll have an adult’s opinion to work with today.

On the scale rating this movie, it deserves no less than a 6.5. Then again, if you’ve seen it, leave us your feedback on what you thought of the show.

Finding Dory is Excruciatingly Enjoyable

We all remember little Nemo who barely escaped the nest as blue collar escargot, but the friends he made along the way have their own stories, too. Dory was a favorite with her happy-go-lucky attitude that caused everyone to smile. This film is a little different because viewing the story from her point of view sheds a new and saddening light on the subject. That isn’t to say the ending doesn’t do the plot just good. It certainly does.

Ellen DeGeneres breathes life into this blue tang fish without giving it mouth-to-mouth and has the audience laughing and pondering at the same time. This film is both entertaining and educational at the same time, which is great for kids to secretly learn while having fun. Filled with humor, anecdotes, and lessons about taking one step at a time, or is it swimming one swoosh at a time? Anyway, the importance of not giving up.

Of course, she meets all types of ocean life throughout her journey, but the friends she makes now help her to find her long lost friend of a lifetime, Nemo. This is a must-see for parents taking their kids for a night of family fun, or a single parent to bond with a child. And, of course, as with all Disney movies of late, your job is to seek which character joyously exclaims, “This is amazing!”

This film easily ranks up there with Finding Nemo, which is rare for a second film to do so well. Pixar and Disney have managed to deliver a powerful blow yet again with this one.

We rate this a strong 8 out of 10 stars and encourage you to at least see it if not buy it.

If you dare to take a peek, make sure and post your own review alongside this one! People deserve to hear your opinion, right?

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The problem with serial movies is the writers become lazy and figure they’ve won the audience, and even if the sequel stinks, they’ll get their fans’ invested dollars. Sort of like, “If you build it, they will come,” because the ratings are already there. That’s why there are so many sequels to begin with when making movies and remakes. Fortunately for the fans of Avengers, this film was written with high tenaciousness. The audience will revel and cheer while sitting back and observing what happens when Joss Whedon does his magic.

In order to simplify the 2 hour and 21 minute feature by revealing the best part, let me start by saying the whole movie was fairly kick ass. In fact I didn’t even know until the credits at the end that James Spader is Ultron, and boy did he nail it! The usual suspects punch their way across the screen with characters Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Their interviews always lead the viewer inside to the personalities of the actors, which is always fascinating when revealing their characters strengths and weaknesses.

This PG-13 movie’s rating boasts high due to the astounding special effects created using CGI by their artists. With a 220 million dollar budget, this film made over $200 million it’s first weekend, but with the last movie grossing over $1.5 billion, this won’t leave any workers of this project in the bread line.

With this film performing so well at the box office, either we can anticipate an even better film from Joss Whedon with Avengers, or waiting for the next and greater work of him could be anything – perhaps a movie about a young displaced school girl making the most of an unfamiliar situation? Who knows? One thing we all know is that it’s bound to be a blockbuster.

Joss Whedon is the sails beneath artist Stan Lee's wings.

Joss Whedon is the sails beneath artist Stan Lee’s wings.

On the Ten-Star Review, this movie receives a 9!

The only reason this work doesn’t receive a 10 is we want some space for improvement on the next venture.

“Monster House” gives Monster dreams

This movie has some super cast members including Steve Buscemi as the teen in this (2006) middle school thriller. Kevin James, Nick Cannon, Fred Willard and Catherine O’Hara, are also thrown in, just to name a few of the fantastic cast.

A boy spies on the house across the street, owned by a crabby old widower, making notes about the mysterious disappearances of the neighborhood toys. Never mind there aren’t any leaves on the lawn and it’s fall. In fact, Halloween is in one day and DJ’s parents are gone for the weekend, leaving him with a not-so-choice sitter, Zee.

DJ sets off with his friend Chowder on their own adventure when a gorgeous and intelligent girl selling candy comes to call and soon gets roped in to the fun. The question is, when this house is done, will there be anyone left in the neighborhood to tell the ending of the story?

This house is a hard 7 on the Ten Star Chart, but the suggestion to play this movie for elementary kids is not a good one. If you enjoy your child using the restroom alone, this movie is not for them as the impression of a dead woman is utilized, as well as extremely great graphics.