29 August 2011

Black Dynamite (2009)

This movie was brought to my attention by two sources.  CLaP and the boys at Here Goes Nothing.

Boy am I glad I watched this.

This movie is over the top in all the right ways.

One of the best sequences is when Dynamite and his crew figure out what The Man is doing to them.  It was... epic.

I'm going to cut this short.  I run the risk of the descending into a quote fest; and those type of reviews are no fun.

Short version:  If you like over the top action and comedy, Black Dynamite delivers.

27 August 2011

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

While The Wrath of Kahn may be the best of the TOS movies, The Undiscovered Country gives it a run for its money.

Lets start our review by looking at the poster to the left.  Seriously bad ass.  You've got the Enterprise being attacked, and General Chang (none other that Christopher Plummer!) looking all menacing in the background.

As the movie opens, the theme over the credits is my favorite of the TOS movies.  Dark and moody, it sets the tone of the film.  The music comes to an end timed perfectly with the explosion of the Klingon moon Praxis.  This starts the set up for the remainder of the movie.

So the USS Excelsior (NCC-200), under the command of one Hikaru Sulu gets tossed around by the shock wave caused by the explosion of Praxis.  If you look closely, you can see Tuvok (from Voyager) in the background.  Not really, he's not added in until that scene from Voyager.  Oh, and hey kids!  Its Yeomen Rand, now a Commander and Comms officer on the Excelsior.

We then cut to the rest of the crew getting briefed by Spock on how only Nixon could go to China and that the Klingon Empire has only 50 Earth years of life left.  So, Kirk and company are off to escort the Kligon Chancellor Gorkon to Earth for negotiations for peace.

So, what do you do when you host a Klingon diplomat?  Break out the Romulan ale of course!  Quote Shakespere and Hitler, and you've got a HELL of a dinner party.

Then it goes to shit.  It looks as if the Enterprise fired on the Chancellor's ship, beamed two crewmen aboard and killed the Chancellor.  And, Kirk and McCoy are blamed, and sent to the Klingon prison planet to die.

Never fear, they meet up with a changeling (not the same race as Odo from what I can tell), escape and make it to (and fans already know where) Kitohmer!  Evil plan concocted by members of Kligon Command and Starfleet officers to prevent peace is thwarted by Kirk and company.  We all live happily ever after.

Few notes.
Apparently, Worf had a ancestor who was an attorney and also named Worf
The Chancelor's party arriving on the Enterprise, really well done
Music, still bad ass and well done throughout.

While again, this may not be the best movie, it is certainly my favorite of the TOS movies.  Tension, action and rel life overtones are abundant and make this an enjoyable ride; a fitting send off to the crew of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A.

25 August 2011

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)

What does God need with a starship?  No, really, what does He need with one?  Well, Shatner decided that we needed to find out.

But I'm getting a head of myself.

Star Trek V is probably the least liked Star Trek film known to man.  Let's review some of its.... finer points.

-Spock has a half brother
-We look for God
-Planet of Galactic Peace
-Spock's half brother

Ok, so not terrible.  Well, if you remove the main plot (Spock's brother Sybok wants to find God) its a great movie.  We see the crew enjoying some shore leave, the Enterprise in less than working condition.  A jaunt through the galaxy.  Oh, and Klingons.  Because we can't have a Star Trek movie without Klingons in some form or another.

Sigh.  I dunno.  This is another case of I liked the movie better when I was younger.  I can see the flaws in it from a mile away.  Its a weak point in the series to be sure.  But a fun watch for kicks.

17 August 2011

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Whales.  Fourth Star Trek movie and they go to whales.  Not the worse choice.  They could have searched for God. (see Star Trek V)

Really, not that bad of a film.  Final part of the 'Spock' Trilogy sees the crew deciding to return to Earth and face the whale music for their actions.

So, on their way home a probe of unknown origin starts seriously messing with the Earth.  Sapping power, kicking up storms, looks like Earth is seriously screwed.

Have no fear!  Kirk and company shows up just in time, and with their stolen Klingon Bird of Prey figure out that the transmission coming from said probe is a whale song.  Shit!  We killed off all the whales.  Time for time travel.

So, in our seriously rickity ship, we hit warp holy crap and go back to 1986 (hint: the movie was made in 1986.  Coincidence?)  So we find the whales, placed for our collection at the Oceanic Institute.  There now follows some comedic hi-jinks.  Your pretty standard stuff... Russian Chekov looking for the nuclear wessels.  Cultural misunderstandings.  Using a mouse to talk to the computer.

So, we get the whales into the Klingon ship and back to the present.  Whales make it into the ocean and Earth is saved.

Kirk is yelled at, and by yelled at I mean demoted and given back the job he so desperately wants... commanding a starship.  So, lesson here... be enough of a bad ass, screw up, you still get to do what you want.  The future is going to be AWESOME!

A decent movie, used to be one of my favorites, but I think my opinion of it has dropped a bit.  Has its issues, sure.  Still very watchable.  I  like it.  Another one of my favorite things that I can't wait to show my son.

14 August 2011

Five films that were never (thankfully?) made...

Wired's 5 Films left on cutting room floor

And here we have another list of things on the Internet, and I shall comment on them.  This time its movies that were never made.

Lets start with...

The Nightmare of Edgar Allen Poe - who was slated to play Poe?  None other than Michael Jackson.  That WTF look you have?  Yup, same one I got.

At the Mountains of Madness - I have no comment, as I am not familiar with the source material

Genghis Kahn - Starring Steven Segal.  I'd watch this, if only because of Segal.  I wish this was made

Redezvouxs with Rama - Again, not familiar with source, but the casting attached. David Fincher to direct, Morgan Freeman involvement.  I'd have to like to have seen this.

Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian - Like you need to ask, I would have been first in line for this. 

So, what are the thoughts of the gathered masses?

13 August 2011

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

The third film starring the Classic Trek crew, The Search for Spock sees Kirk and company returning to the Genesis planet created at the end of Wrath of Kahn.  Their mission?  Rescued the re-born Spock.  See, we need Spock's body to get Spock's mind out of McCoy.

Its a Vulcan thing.  Which Sarek (Spock's dad) thought that Kirk should have known about.  (Hint: Kirk didn't).  So after being guilted into going back to the Genesis planet, and Starfleet saying 'Hell no!'  Kirk, does the next logical thing.

Steals the Enterprise.  I mean, really, that's what any rational starship commander would do.

So we get to the Genesis plant, only to discover that the Klingons are already there, along with Savvik and Kirk's son.  Christopher Lloyd plays a cold bastard of a Klingon.  I mean, really Klingons are pretty ruthless, but Kruge (Lloyd) kills an underling who accidentally blows up the USS Grissom.  Hardcore, right? 

Anywho... Kirk is forced to surrender, tricks Klingons onto the Enterpise, which he (Kirk) rigged to go boom.  And boom does it go.  So, we rescue everybody (except Kirk's son who dies (see Star Trek 6)), get to Vulcan (in the stolen Klingon Bird of Prey), put Spock's brain back where it belongs, and we all go about our merry little lives, until we return to Earth in Star Trek IV.

Another case of better than I remember, Star Trek III was a strong follow up to Star Trek II.  Upcoming though we have Star Trek IV and V.  A mixed bag if there ever was one.

07 August 2011

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (1982)

This was probably my first Star Trek movie, and as such is probably one my favorites.

It is hard to find anything wrong with this movie.  Ok, except for the fact that Kahn did not ever meet Chekov, but that's a moot point.  Really, if that is the one issue I have with the movie, than I need to get over it.

Everything is perfect with this movie.  Casting (well duh). Ricardo Montablan was bad ass as Kahn.  Of course he was also bad ass playing him in the Original Series.  This movie also introduces the hands down best uniforms in the entire Star Trek canon.

As far as the story, etc, this is one of the best written and shot movies I can think of.  Its not just a Star Trek movie, but a movie that can be enjoyed by any fan of sci-fi.  While having viewed the episode of TOS 'Space Seed' can help with some stuff, its not required viewing.

At the risk of starting to repeat myself, I'll just end this review with this quote from the movie:

'The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few.'

04 August 2011

Bag of Bones - The TV Special?

So somehow, this one passed me by.  One of my favorite Stephen King books, Bag of Bones, is apparantly being made into a TV miniseries.  I first heard of this when I was perusing the Twitter feed of Ro_Karen, who in turn had re-tweeted a picture of Annabeth Gish that she (Gish) had taken from the shooting location of Bag of Bones.

Follow all that?

While I am excited by the fact that this fine book will be filmed, I'm (at the moment) less than excited about two factors.

1 - TV Miniseries.  Green Mile proved that a long form King based screenplay works.  So why regulate this to the TV?  It would work great on the big screen.

2 - Pierce Brosnan.  I'm not sure he's the best choice.  When I read the book, I get the feel that the main character, Mike Noonan is in his late 30s, maybe early 40s.  Mr. Brosnan is close to 60.  This may work; but I feel that the age of the main character is important to the story.

I guess the one upshot is that it will be on A&E.  So, not broadcast, but not premium either.  I guess I would like to see on King book get the full premium cable or film treatment.  While not as intense as The Stand or IT, Bag of Bones still deserves a shot at the big screen.

Either way, I'll be watching it.

Stephen King - Bag of Bones TV page

01 August 2011

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

I first heard of Brandon Sanderson when he was tapped to completed the Wheel of Time after Robert Jordan passed.  At first, I was going to avoid Mr. Sanderson's own works until after he completed Wheel of Time.

I'm glad I decided to not wait that long.

Warbreaker, being a fantasy novel does employ a system of magic.  In this case, its called BioChromatic Breath.  As in, to make an object do your bidding you breathe into it.  Ya, it is a bit more complex than that, but that's the general idea.

Breath's can be bought, sold, and given to others.  The more you have, the stronger you are and the more you can do.  Careful though, as you can run out.

So, overall I really enjoyed this book.  Had some pretty neat twists, and the various uses of the BioChromatic breath was interesting.  It took me a bit to get into, but once the pace picked up, the book took off.  Its a standalone book, and the ending is an ending.  Its not ambiguous or vague.

I have yet to read any of Mr. Sanderson's works, but  this is an author whose works I will continue to read.

Black Death (2010)

Sean Bean notwithstanding, this movie was boring.  Interesting premise...knights try and track the source of the Black Death (I think)  Sean Bean plays Sean Bean.  Movie ended.

Sadly, that's all I got.  Not a good movie.  Not even decent background noise.