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I rarely watch trailers or anything anymore on upcoming films due to
the fact I watch very little television these days and I find a lot of
trailers give away too many things so I was not sure what to expect
from the second Guardians film. I really enjoyed the first film and I
am happy to report that I really enjoyed the second film too. In fact,
I would have to say I enjoyed this one just a bit more than the first
film due to the fact that the first film was more of an origin tale,
while this one the Guardians were together right from the get go. I
enjoy seeing them do their thing as every member is unique and amusing
in their own way. The actors and actresses also do a phenomenal job of
portraying the makeshift team of outlaws/superheroes. The villain of
the piece is cool too when you take into account of what he truly is, I
will not go into any detail here, but any Marvel fan would know what he
is called in the comics.
The story has the Guardians at the beginning of the film protecting some sort of energy devices from some sort of interstellar creature as baby Groot dances through the opening credits. After the team fights off the foe they proceed to collect their payment from a race of very pretentious gold people in the form of Gamora's sister Nebula who has quite a bounty on her head. Well, Rocket proceeds to insult the gold people and also steals the very batteries they were hired to protect. After a space battle that ends with the Guardians crashing on a planet, they encounter a man claiming to be Starlord's father. Starlord, Gamora and Drax accompany this man and his companion Mantis to Ego's (Starlord's dad) planet where this man tries to be Starlord's dad, while Rocket and Groot watch over Nebula. Unfortunately, soon an old friend comes to find the Guardians in the form of Yondu and his band of pirates. There is also something strange about Starlord's dad that Gamora does not trust.
Really good film, like I said what makes it so good is the characters and the actors and actresses portraying them. There really is not a weak link among them. I could not even tell you my favorite as they all bring their 'A' game to the table. I enjoyed the expanded roles of Nebula and Yondu and I like how Gamora and Nebula are so awesome at fighting and are trying to kill each other, but in the end they are almost like typical sisters! I like the wisecracking Rocket who kind of got them all in the mess by stealing the batteries and Drax and his strange oblivious ways is always good for a laugh. Kurt Russel does a good job as Starlord's dad too. I had heard Sylvester Stallone was in the film, but his part was a bit minuscule, I am thinking that maybe it will be expanded in the next film.
So, yes, I enjoyed this film immensely. Like the first movie there is just a good mixture of heart, action and humor to appeal to me. Took me awhile to finally see it too, mainly due to the fact my fiancé really wanted to see it, but she passed away so it also made me sad as well. She would have enjoyed it too, I know as she would have absolutely loved Baby Groot. If you do see it, be prepared for not one, not two, not three, not four but five scenes during and after the credits.
Saw this film as an episode of the cult television riffing show,
Mystery Science Theater 3000. Most likely I would have never seen the
film without them and in the end I did not think this film was all that
terrible, but still rather bad. The film does a fairly good job of
making one stay tuned to see how things were going to end up and the
guy who owned the bar and his brother-in-law were kind of entertaining
in their way too, but for the most part you have to watch a completely
dummy doing everything he can to win over a girl who is clearly using
him. He is supposed to be so smart, but lets her play him for a
complete fool. The ending is pretty much a bummer, but that really did
not come as a surprise to me.
The story has a guy that is in line to get recommended for a scholarship who really knows his Shakespeare about to get a beating by the dolt of the school before his girl bails him out and then accepts his offer for a date. She goes on another date and of course she would really appreciate it if Marvin (the super chump)can write her paper too. He does, they get caught and Marvin cracks under the pressure and the girl lets him know she was using him, but that does not stop him from planning a heist of one million dollars which he stupidly tells her about and she informs the dolt and then everything gets messed up and people end up getting shot left and right!
This made for a very funny episode of MST3K. The film was short and was preceded by a short that took up an entire section of the show, which leaves me to believe they cut a good deal out of this one as it had a running time of an hour and 10 minutes so there were probably a few things left out like who those two guys were that showed up at the end with the guns. My favorite part was when Servo kept making ferry jokes and Mike just picks him and tosses him.
So this film was not horrible as I was totally curious to see how things were going to end up for Marvin. There was a surprise as far as his father, but I thought it was going to end tragic as far as him and his love interest were concerned. I felt bad for the two gentlemen who Marvin got to pull the heist with him though as they got a bit more than they bargained for mainly due to Marvin. Not only did the guy blab to his love interest about the heist and all the details, he also insisted they leave at a set time instead of going early which ended up being another huge mistake. Be quiet, leave early and then show up at the love of your life in a new car and a smile and say, "Get on in" instead.
This film features the Italian hero Maciste who is an adventurer super
strong type a bit like the Greek Hercules. So much so that a few of
Maciste's adventures (there were a lot of them back in the 60's) were
repackaged as Hercules films here in the United States. This was the
case with the 1964 Maciste film that is more well known as, Hercules
Against the Moon Men. This one was given the title, Colossus and the
Headhunters, which was a bit strange seeing as how during the duration
of the film the hero was never referred to as Colossus, but rather the
Italian name Maciste. My guess they did not go with giving the name
Hercules to the film due to the hero not sporting a beard like would be
the case with the Moon Men film. Heck, in that one the actor playing
Maciste would be the man who was Steve Reeves' stuntman in the first
two Hercules films. So these two characters kind of cross together in
many ways. This film was one of two Maciste films featured on Mystery
Science Theater 3000 along with Moon Men while Hercules would be riffed
a total of three times, though they did tend to make it out like the
Moon Men one was a Hercules film too. This film is not as good as the
Moon Men film as that one may have featured an overly long sandstorm
sequence, but at least it had some good traps and a few monsters within
it. This one for the most part is a bit of a yawn after what was kind
of an explosive way to start a movie!
The story has an island having a volcanic eruption. When I was watching this I thought the people were cavemen or something, but then a guy who seemed more Spartan showed up and then a big muscle dude comes along and gets as many people as he can on his raft so that the people can escape this explosive onslaught as the volcano claims the island. At this point I suspected it was another Maciste film and when I checked online I would learn my instincts were correct. After the eruption which seems almost as if there needed some sort of backstory but there is none the people float around until they reach land where they are promptly captured and Maciste wounded. Turns out their captors are not the bad guys and we learn of this tribe of headhunters who helped this one man overthrow this queen and her people and they soon capture her and the king may be alive and a lot of stuff is thrown in before a rather boring mob scene climax that is not as cool as the opening volcanic eruption.
This made for a rather funny episode of MST3K. Joel did the previous films featuring Hercules and Maciste, but Mike is the one that was burdened with it this time. This one is the worst of the films as the Hercules films were actually well done and even the Moon one had its moments. This one was just watching Maciste walking through brush through much of the film. They kept referring to him as Ma-cheese-steak as that is what it sounded like his name was. There are also funny moments during the end as the 'wedding' ceremony breaks down into an all out fight.
So, this film was not all that good after the volcano scene which basically started the film off with a bang! Granted, it was a bang that really needed a bit of story behind it and I am wondering if the previous Maciste film ended with him discovering the island and the volcano about to erupt or something. I do know there were a lot of Maciste films back in the 60's; however, I am not as sure if they followed each other as closely as the Hercules films as those films picked up after each other. If the Moon one is the next film then the answer to whether the Maciste films pick up after each other is a resounding 'no'.
I caught this film as an episode of the cult riffing show, Mystery
Science Theater 3000. From the looks of it, though it was certainly not
a huge success at the box office, it did manage to turn a tidy little
profit. The film is clearly trying to get people on board with the idea
of spending money on the military through taxes, having a draft and
having factories make military equipment. These days, of course, the
military has no problems getting stuff manufactured as there is profit
in it and spending remains high, the draft is still no longer around,
but who knows what the future may hold. There are areas of the film
that do a somewhat decent job of depicting events going on, but for the
most part what you are watching are people in a bar, stock footage of
World War II and a bunch of newscasts on the television.
The story has people in a bar in New York and they are all kind of apathetic towards more military spending and stuff of this nature. When a strange man talks about how things could go badly all of a sudden an invasion begins. A mysterious force attacks Alaska and it is communist so of course it is kind of implied that it is Russia. Troopers are diving out of planes, A-bombs are dropped and cities taken over and decimated. Granted, you do not really get to see any of this. A man from San Francisco who scoffed earlier about making tanks in his tractor plants rushes back home with a guy from Texas in tow so that he can fire up his plants to make the tanks the military needs. The guy from Texas and a cab driver then make their way to wherever he lives and end up being caught up in the destruction of Boulder dam. Then a politician is on capital hill begins pleading for more resources when before he wanted to cut military spending and a newsman and woman have a bit of a romance before New York is attacked and soon we get an ending that is pretty lame.
This made for an okay episode of MST3K. When I first read the title of the film for this one I had thought they riffed the Chuck Norris film of the same name, but it turned out to be another film pretty much like Rocket Attack U.S.A. It had its moments, but most of the moments came during the last section of the show. Just a bunch of stock footage jokes for the most part. It was just an okay episode as nothing was really all that laugh out loud funny. I think it would have been a much funnier episode had they done the Chuck Norris film instead.
So this film had some parts in it that were okay as the film plays out a bit like the much later film Red Dawn. There are scenes they do a pretty good job with, but most of the time the action that is taking place is that of stock footage of World War II. Even the aftermath footage of 'New York' in the film is that of London after the blitz. The film is obviously trying to rev up the red scare that was prevalent back when this film was made and it ended up profiting off people's fears and may have drummed up some business for the military too. However, add Chuck Norris to the equation and the tides turn and we win easily as seen in his film of the same name!
When I grew up, I loved me some Transformers; specifically, the 1980's
incarnation. I watched the cartoon religiously after school, I had lots
of Transformers toys and I saw the Transformers movie three times at
the theater. When I saw the trailer for this game, I was immediately on
board as it had the look of the cartoon I loved so as a child. That
being said I never got around to buying it as it seemed to hover around
so I was just going to wait for the price to plummet as most games tend
to do. Well, I ended up getting it free due to my Playstation plus
membership and I am glad I waited it out because I honestly would have
hated to have payed full price for this game. Do not get me wrong, it
looks incredible and the game play is fun, but it is really kind of on
the short side. I think I managed to get through the story mode in four
or maybe five hours tops. Basically, had this game been released back
in the day it would have been somewhat forgivable; however, in this day
and age where games can run over 100 hours, a four hour game is not
really acceptable...at least not a full priced game. I am sure others
may get more enjoyment out of the other mode in the game, but I play
alone and do not really do much as far as online stuff so I felt a bit
sad that it ended so quickly. That being said, I still enjoyed it for
what it was as it did pass the time nicely and keep my mind off things
and since I got it for free I will not be too harsh.
The story has some sort of invasion going on as Insecticons are overrunning a city! The Decepticons try to capitalize on this invasion to unearth a new power source so that they may rebuild Cybertron, but the cost of doing this will be Earth's destruction! The Autobots led by Optimus Prime must fight the Decepticons and get the power source off the planet before it goes critical, but it will not be easy as Megatron sends wave after wave of Decepticons after Prime and the Autobots to stop them from interfering with his nefarious plans!
The story mode of this game features driving around or walking to spots and then fighting Decepticons. I am guessing the other mode of play is more like a fighter game. You get various Autobots to choose from as you have Optimus Prime, Bumble Bee, Wheeljack, Grimlock and Sideswipe who was my personal favorite in the game. They all do different things and the combat is fun. I thought the weapons system though was a bit overly complicated as I would have just had them level up their weapons rather than having several different types of weapons for use. Just seems silly considering how short the game is to have the whole customize feature.
So, a good game and an interesting story in this one, but it is on the short side as far as the main story goes. It left open the possibility of a sequel, but I am not sure that will ever come to fruition as I do not think this was a particularly good seller. Seriously, how many young people want to play a Transformers game that is basically set in the style of the 80's cartoon? Though for reasons unknown they made Megatron turn into a tank instead of his gun self which was baffling especially since they had no problem letting Shockwave remain a gun. I enjoyed the number of Decepticons in this one as you see a lot of them from the show, but there really is not all that many Autobots. I was expecting them to show up perhaps in cameo type appearances, but no one does till the end where a sequel is hinted at. Still, it was a fun game, while it lasted anyways.
I saw this film featured on the hit riffing show, Mystery Science
Theater 3000. From the looks of it, the film did manage to turn a bit
of a profit back in the day as it cost like 200,000 to make and netted
over one million dollars. Nothing like today, but back then it was
probably considered a rather good success. The film certainly has its
moments; unfortunately, most of the moments occur during the last
portion of the film. Most of the film is just kind of boring as there
are lots of explaining scenes, scenes where people are drinking, scenes
where alliances are made and did I mention drinking? So, while the last
ten or so minutes of the film are pretty decent, the film as a whole is
a bit of a bore. The film features monsters which look to be a mixture
of puppets for close up scenes and dogs wearing very bad looking
costumes in scenes where the monsters are shown to be running after
their prey. Of course, as bad as it looks, you are not going to be
seeing much of the monsters in this one anyways for most of the film,
but you are going to see a lot of the bar in it.
The story has a guy and his assistant delivering supplies to an island. Too bad, there is a storm coming so they have to prepare their boat for the oncoming hurricane. For reasons unknown, everyone on the island is rather jumpy. A few drinks later and it is let out that the experiments that the group has been doing on the island have escaped and now run amok! What are they? As the title says, killer shrews! They are giant sized shrews and they are very hungry! The source of food on the island is dwindling so now these monsters turn their attentions on the group of people stranded within a house.
This made for an okay episode of MST3K. The film does start out kind of slowly though, so there is a lot of riffs about the amount of alcohol the main characters consume. There are some good jokes to be had though as they make the best of the slow start. This film is just another in a long line of films they riffed about giant animals going on the attack.
So the film is not that good for the most part, but it does feature some decent content. I liked how they finally figured a way to get away from the giant shrews by using the drums. This made me think of another film where something similar was done. It was set in Africa and it had lions going crazy, though they were not mutants or anything. The family made some sort of thing to walk through the lions and get to their cars. I think giving the shrews poisonous bites was a bit overkill as they already had numbers so making them venomous was a bit much. It made their escape less believable as it look like the shrews should have easily gotten a head under the makeshift device and bite at least one of them! Still, it was the best scene in a movie where the action sequences was few and far between.
This film comes to us via Mexico and features a bit of a different take
on Santa Claus. I saw this film as an episode of Mystery Science
Theater 3000, as I am sure a good many people did. I do not recall ever
seeing this one as a child, and that is probably a good thing as it is
bizarre to the max! Santa looks pretty much as one would expect;
however, he acts in an almost insane way, his flying fortress that he
apparently shares with Merlin the magician has all the most advanced
spying technology imaginable and instead of elves this Santa uses
children to work in his toy making factory! His reindeer are strange
maniacally laughing automatons that will turn to dust if exposed to the
sun! That does not even make sense! Santa's biggest nemesis is Pitch, a
demon who resides in hell! So, yes, this is quite the different take on
Santa with only Santa's look being what one would expect. The movie
does look good as the quality and the effects are pretty good
especially considering it came out in 1959, but it is just so off the
wall and some of the things it depicts will make you wonder how did
Santa deliver presents to all the good children in the world as
apparently there were only three bad ones.
The story starts us off by showing Santa's fortress in the sky as kids from all over the world must make toys for the rest of the world. Not sure how these children became slave labor and it seems an odd choice that they are kids and not elves. They could have given them pointy ears and passed them off as elves, but no, they are children from around the world. Then we meet a girl who wishes to have a doll, a boy who just wants his parents by his side and three bad children that want nothing more than to serve Satan and bring Santa Claus down! We also meet Pitch who does a rather good job in stopping Santa in certain areas, the four houses we see Santa deliver presents to, takes forever! It takes him so long that you wonder how he did get through the entire world!
This made for a rather good episode of MST3K because of the sheer weirdness of the whole film! The strange lipped machine that talked, the crazy looking reindeer and the fact Santa was battling the devil left the gang on the satellite of love with plenty of things to riff! I believe this one was even more bizarre than a previous Christmas film that was riffed on the show, "Santa Conquers the Martians" and that is quite a feat because that one was rather bizarre too.
So, the film looks good for the time it was made and there are a couple of good scenes within as the scene with Santa making the parents remember their son is somewhat touching. However, the sheer oddness and the lame humor take this film down a few pegs. If I were a child watching this I would literally be worried every Christmas because Santa does make such slow progress in the homes that are shown.
I can understand why this is the last of the films, but I have to
wonder how five of these things got made. I am guessing that the other
films were a bit better as even the Dracula films that Lee starred in
started to go down in quality as the series progressed, but even so,
none of them were as badly done as this film was. I have never seen any
of the other Fu Manchu films so I really cannot say for sure if the
quality in them is any better. The whole premise of the films just does
not seem very good as they are all focused on the villain rather than
the hero. It is like if in the James Bond films had the exact same
enemy every time and Bond was more behind the scenes and did not really
do much. The action is nearly nonexistent and the same can be said for
the plot too. There are also periods when the color of the film will
change and then there are a couple of scenes that looks as if they are
from other movies included here as well. Just a huge mess of a film,
then again, it is the fifth film of the series. Back in the day,
sequels generally garnered less money than their predecessors so the
budget would continually get cut so that may explain some of it, but
not the totality of it!
The story shows Fu Manchu sinking a boat with some new process that creates ice in the water; wow, that is so new and innovative. The boat he sinks seems to be a part of a different film. It is in this scene that one of his henchmen tries to stop Manchu by refusing to pull a lever. The diabolical Fu Manchu has servants who will die for him by letting a doctor remove their heart, but a lever is too much! Soon he takes over a castle and Nayland Smith is off to Istanbul to stop the evil madman! I guess James Bond is way too busy stopping way more nefarious villains so the more bureaucratic Nayland Smith is sent instead because you do not really need anyone with the skill set of Bond to take out this villain! Doctors are kidnapped and a dam that also seems like it is in another film is collapsed before we reach the awesome conclusion where no one really does all that much to stop Fu Manchu's plans.
This made for a rather good episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 which is how I saw the movie. When I got the set of DVDs containing this episode I thought this may have been one of those films that was borderline good that they have done over the years. Seeing Christopher Lee was the star is one of the main reasons. I generally love seeing him in anything; however, this film was really bad. I only give it a two because of Lee. The jokes are aplenty, but I do believe they exaggerated how bad this film was. It was not worse than Monster-a Go Go or quite a few others they have done. Just kind of a poorly edited film that liked to change color schemes a bit too much.
So this is not really a good film, and it did mark the final film of the Christopher Lee Fu Manchu films. Lee is a fine actor, but he is also one of those actors of a bygone era where they actually felt that acting was a job so they appeared in as many movies as possible. Today there are stars that will appear in a film and not do so again for multiple years. I cannot speak for the other films, but if this is as low as they got I somehow doubt the other films are Oscar worthy.
I have played nearly every installment of the Final Fantasy series. It
was one of my favorite series of role playing games, that is until they
decided to go online and then release games that just did not seem all
that much like a Final Fantasy game. The last one I really enjoyed a
lot was the tenth edition, I even liked its sequel; however, I never
did play the eleventh game due to it being exclusively an online game.
Then the twelfth game came out and I was rather disappointed as it
still ranks as my least favorite. Granted, I am wanting to play it
again to see if I may have misjudged it and ranked it poorly unfairly.
Then came part thirteen and it was pretty, fast paced and devoid of a
lot of things that make a role playing game, a role playing game. I
also played through XIII-2 and it had more elements of a role playing
game, but the story was just so congested in it. Then there was XIII:
Lightening Returns which collapsed more story on top of what was
already congested and made the game a timed game and I was unable to
complete it due to this as it annoyed me. Did not play the fourteenth
game due to it being another online one, I really wish these were not
part of the main series and just called Final Fantasy Online. The last
one I played is Final Fantasy-Type 0 which had great characters and fun
combat, but the story was just a bit too hard to follow. Now there is
this one which is by far my favorite since the tenth game. Sure, it is
not turn based like the old days which I prefer, but at least the
combat is action based and not that strange combination which is not
really turn, but not really action either. The type usually found in
online role playing games, the twelfth game was like this. No, in this
one the combat is quick and you have a nice open world to explore for
the most part. My main complaint about it, is that like Type-0 the
story is not easy to follow. It is easier than Type-0 as it has a well
defined villain, but a lot of stuff takes place off screen or you have
to watch a movie or download a DLC to get everything. I just feel a
game's story should be confined to the main game and you should not be
required to purchase more stuff to get the full picture. Other than
this it is a very fun, albeit depressing game.
The story is a bit complicated when looked at as a whole; however, the main portion is about a prince and his three friends traveling the world in order for the prince to reclaim his thrown by gaining the powers of the former kings and the summons. The characters are what makes this one so fun as they are just a group of friends and they have funny conversations and remarks during the adventure. Your group travels everywhere in search of the power to expel the empire from the city of Insomnia; however, there is something far more sinister than a mere invasion as the days are getting shorter and during the night powerful creatures known as daemons appear to terrorize the populace. Soon Prince Noctis heads to a city where he was to be married and at this point the game does get rather depressing.
The game play features combat that is action based. During the game you only control Prince Noctis, but despite this it is still rather fun. The summons in this game are awesome as they usually wipe everything out! The first portion of the game is an open world where you travel here and there in search of the King's tombs and do other things such as side quests to gain experience. This one also does things a bit differently as you do not get experience upon defeating the enemies, but rather when you either camp or stay at a hotel or rest stop. You generally get more experience for staying at a hotel or rest stop; however, you can eat a meal when camping that provides buffs to your party. The game becomes a bit more straight forward though when you go to the city of Altissa which looks like Venice. After this the game's mood darkens significantly, but there is a rather cool portion of the game that features a train. Always enjoy trains in role playing games.
So, this game was my personal favorite Final Fantasy since the tenth game. I would have ranked it higher, but the story was a bit hard to follow at times due to the incessant need these days of games to have DLC packs and such. I also wish the tone of the game did not darken so much after the group left for Altissa as my life is at the lowest point imaginable and it really just caused me to feel worse. I was also disappointed that you are pretty much done with the open world once you leave for Altissa as I was thinking you would get more time to finish quests and such. I think you can go back in time or something and do it, but I just did not think that fit so I just went straight ahead. The game took me just over 60 hours to complete making it a relatively short game by today's standards and I completed a lot of side quests too so if you play straight through I imagine you could probably finish the game between 40 and 50 hours. So not as great as the Final Fantasy games back in the day, but better than all the recent ones.
I saw this film as part of an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
It is a film that features a lot of stars one would recognize from back
in the day and the plot is rather ambitious; however, the main problem
with the film is the overly long scene of the group of men climbing a
mountain. This film is a film that was produced by James Lippert and
his films do tend to have an excessive amount of padding within it and
this one is no exception. Besides the overly long rock climbing in the
film, there is also an abundance of scenes where the group of men
decide to take a break every few minutes it seems. You basically get an
action scene that lasts like two minutes and then are treated to
watching the guys sit around and eat food by the campfire.
The story has a rocket that is launched and it flies for a bit and then proceeds to go down. A group of six men are charged with flying after said rocket and finding it to get something or another out of it. They are able to track it to an island before their plane crashes. A native girl on the island takes them to the forbidden mountain and they proceed to climb it for the longest time. How they are climbing this mountain is anyone's guess seeing as how they are not really prepared to go mountain climbing wearing their normal shows and only having like one rope to head up. Well, they finally manage to make it up the mountain, but by this time over half the movie is over and they are in some sort of lost land. It is not a continent as it is not nearly big enough to be a continent. This portion of the film is supposed to be tinted green, but a lot of the made for television versions of this film did not include this feature. The men must go through this strange jungle with its creatures from another time to find the rocket before once again heading back down the mountain.
This made for a rather good episode of MST3K, as I loved the portion of the film where Joel begins to lose it as the film kept stalling at the mountain climbing sequence. That segment of the movie was probably the longest portion of the film and then add to it the trip back down and you spend most of the film watching guys go up and down. I am guessing most of the movie is intact for the episode as it is only an hour and 23 minutes long, so perhaps five or ten minutes were cut from the actual film.
So this film could have been good. The plot was ambitious, but when watching the film you can tell that most of the scenes featuring the dinosaurs are short while scenes of people climbing and walking are long. I do not see the reason behind including so much padding as they could have easily cut ten or so minutes out and still had enough for a feature presentation. Back in the day it was not totally out of the question for a film to run just over or under an hour. A film that could have been okay for the time, but just a bit too much padding.
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