Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Schedule Conflicts

Sorry to disappoint, but I do not have a review for you today.

Due to various prior / ongoing / more important life engagements (i.e., a busy day job and a second baby due in May), I am going to have to change this blog's update schedule from weekly to basically "whenever the hell I feel like it."  Hopefully I'll still get in at least one review a month, but we'll see.

In the meantime, I will be continuing all of my other regularly-scheduled updates on my main blog, so please check it out to see what I've been watching recently.  Thanks for reading so far!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Invisible Mom II

What I Knew Ahead of Time / What I Was Expecting

Invisible Mom II.  Sounds pretty stupid.

There's a Hollywood truism about putting the word "mom" in your movie title.  Supposedly you're not supposed to do it because "mom" sounds boring and totally uncool, man.  I think it's for the same reason you don't put "dad" in your title... it just sounds like a bad family movie.

"Invisible" actually makes it sound worse, surprisingly. On a metaphorical level, it implies a Lifetime original movie about a mother who is taken for granted so badly she is "invisible" to the world.  But since there's a Part II, it seems much more likely to be literal... which implies a "wacky" comedy.

Wacky shitty family comedy?  Oh, no.  That can't be good.

I'm guessing Invisible Mom got her invisible powers in the first one and stopped some crimes or something, and the sequel is about another mom who unexpectedly turned invisible.  Possibly she's going to be Invisible Mom's nemesis.  Regardless, I'm sure we're all going to learn a lesson in the end.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Battle for the Planet of the Apes

What I Knew Going In / What I Was Expecting

I've got practically no experience with the Planet of the Apes franchise.  I've only ever the Tim Burton version from 2001 and I barely remember anything about it besides the special effects being pretty good and the human actors being universally terrible.

I know the basic gist of it.  Well, I mean, yeah... it's in the title, sure.  But even beyond that, I get the basic point.  Apes became super intelligent once upon a time, rose up against humans, there was some kind of war, and then apes became the dominant species.  Later Charlton Heston somehow showed up in the future and I guess started leading a human rebellion of some sort.

That really just seems like a one-and-done premise.  I understand that the most recent movies in the franchise are prequels.  (Or maybe reboots implemented as prequels?)  That kinda makes sense... you see how the apes first became smart and how they took over.  But how do you get the half dozen movies (or however many there were) after Heston figures out he's on an Ape Planet?

It seems like it probably either gets really boring or really melodramatic.  Like in Part II, he joins a human resistance group and tries to fight against the ape army, and then in Part III he continues to fight them... but if they haven't won that war within a trilogy, who the hell could possibly care about Part IV?  What are you doing by then?  Developing new anti-ape technologies?  Do you just start focusing on in-fighting between your human rebels?  Is there some shitty love triangle?  Do they broker a peace treaty in Part III, and then Part IV is a gritty reboot where the treaty is ripped up and a new villain ape takes power?

My expectations are low.  I've done just enough research (i.e., read the words "final installment" in a plot summary and closed Firefox) to know that Battle for the Planet of the Apes is the last of the original run of movies.  Since it has "battle" in the title, I assume that whatever conflicts or alliances were seeded in the past movies will finally pay off now.

PS - I'm not a fan of primates.  Some people think monkeys and the like are inherently funny. I don't subscribe to that theory.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hobgoblins 2

What I Knew Going In / What I Was Expecting

I'd never heard of Hobgoblins before today.  I know that the sequel's not the same thing as Troll 2, and that's about it.

Hobgoblins is probably a Gremlins knock-off involving a kid who stumbles onto a bunch of tiny creatures.  Whether they have cute names and distinguishable characteristics is another story.  The plot summary for the sequel (normally I try to avoid those for this blog, but I inadvertently read part of it) mentions that it takes place 25 years later, so I'm going to guess it's about what that kid's life is like now that s/he is grown up.

I'm also going to guess that it's probably a Fake Bad Movie, which will suck.  Sadly, another plot keyword that jumped out at me was "camp."  You don't get to call your own movie "campy."  That's something other people label you with after they decide they like your energy.  Presenting yourself that way is usually a sign of desperation.

Needless to say, I'm not hopeful for this one.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Graffiti Bridge

What I Knew Going In / What I Was Expecting

I'll be perfectly honest - I'm not even sure if Graffiti Bridge counts as a sequel.  I heard somewhere that it's basically Purple Rain 2, but then I heard elsewhere that it's just a spiritual sequel, like Fierce Creatures to A Fish Called Wanda.

Nevertheless, I think it satisfies the spirit of this blog.  The fact is, I know practically nothing about Prince, either musically or cinematically.  My total knowledge is as follows:

1) He sang that "When Doves Cry" song, of which I think I've only heard remakes.

2) He changed his name to a symbol for awhile and then either changed it back or just accepted that nobody was ever going to actually call him anything other than "Prince."

3) He might be short?

4) Some people find him sexy.

5) He made Purple Rain, which may or may not be a comedy.

6) Some people don't find him sexy.

I'm going to guess that Purple Rain is a movie about an aspiring musician who struggles with racism, adversity, and his own failures as a boyfriend / husband.  And if Graffiti Bridge is a direct sequel, then I'll say it's about said musician returning to his hometown to reconnect with his roots after success jades him and leads him to an accidental drug overdose.  While traveling his hometown streets, he stirs up bad memories and comes to remember what drives his inner artist in the first place.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Bloodfist VIII: Hard Way Out

What I Knew Going In / What I Was Expecting

This is another Bounty Hunters 2 situation for me.  I'd never heard of the Bloodfist series before I decided to watch this one, but "Bloodfist" doesn't really leave too much for the imagination.  It's going to be violent, and it goddamn better well have some punching.

The fact that there are eight of them is simultaneously surprising and totally expected.  My guess?  Probably some martial arts series.  I just hope it's not about a bunch of tournaments. That's only fun like once, maybe twice, and then it just starts to get sad.

I'm going to guess that Bloodfist is a kung fu master who has pledged himself to an eternal quest for inner peace, so he wanders the globe trying to find the perfect spot to meditate.  But wouldn't you just know it, every time he stops somewhere to try and attain zen, some assholes start harassing innocents and he's forced into violence.  The first seven adventures were fun, but now he's sick of it and decides to train somebody else to do the dirty work.  But the training's tough, so it'll be a... hard way out.

On a separate note, I appreciate that they put the number in the title.  I would've never known how late I was getting here otherwise.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Furious 7

What I Knew Going In / What I Was Expecting

I've absorbed plenty of pieces of the Fast and the Furious franchise over the last fifteen years without ever actually watching any of it besides the occasional trailer here or there.  The praise I sometimes hear strikes me like Bigfoot sightings. "A good Fast and the Furious movie?  Yeah, right, buddy.  I'll believe it when I see it."  Supposedly they exist, but I'm still under the impression that this is a crappy franchise.

It's especially strange for me because I know there's got to be kids out there who are currently growing up with the understanding that this is a great series - classic, even.  When the hell did that happen?

So I'm pretty much just really confused about the whole thing.  Is it a good series? A bad series? Is there a rule, like the even ones suck and the odd ones are good?  Is it more like the first four suck and the last three are good?  What order do they go in?  And I don't just mean the confusing titles - though they're not helping - I mean the sequence of events.  Some of these are prequels, right?  Which ones?  Where does Furious 7 fall?  Is it actually the first adventure?

The only things I ever knew were: 1) Paul Walker was (is?) an undercover cop who tried to infiltrate a gang of racers led by Vin Diesel, 2) There were (are?) lots of car porn shots, and 3) The action scenes and plot are batshit insane.

So here's my guess.  The military has developed a new James Bond styled super car that's fitted with miniature nuclear devices, but it was stolen by a cover team of North Korean operatives who are threatening to deploy it in the middle of England for some reason. The Rock is an Interpol agent who used to date Michelle Rodriguez, who is Vin Diesel's sister somehow, and through that connection knows that Vin Diesel is the best car thief ever, so he secretly pays Vin Diesel to steal the James Bond car.  But Paul Walker is there because he's been fired from his job for being a shitty cop, so he's trying to help out, and it turns out The Rock hates him because Michelle Rodriguez dumped The Rock to date Paul Walker.  They end up having a lot of infighting and have to get over it in order to steal the car and save the day.  And since Paul Walker died somewhere in the middle of filming, his threads are never tied up.  There might also be a helicopter.