Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pro-Wrestlers Versus Zombies

If you are a fan of pro wrestling, you might like this film. The intent of this film appears to be to place pro wresters into a storyline where they must use wrestling and fighting moves against opponents who are zombies. The fight is not one-sided as wrestlers do die. There is a lot of blood and gore that verges more on the silly. There is very little suspense as this is mostly excuses to present lots of fighting action.

There is a semblance of a plot regarding revenge from a wrestling match death. The characters are not well defined. There are few character arcs as there barely any characters. There is little dialogue and what dialogue that exists is simplistic and surprisingly often repetitious and unnecessary. The movie appears to serve a basis to show wrestling stunts, biting zombies, and bleeding victims.

Among the positive aspects are that Roddy Pipper can act. He develops a character that can draw audience support. Carmera Bartolotta shows promise that might serve well in a political setting. This is a film that may be enjoyed by pro-wrestling fans or fans of extremely bloody, although obviously fake, violence.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Chopping Mall

“Chopping Mall” is a standard movie designed for teenage date nights to scare partners into each other’s arms. It is a simple plot: robots designed for mall security turn into hard-to-destruct killer robots. Their main targets are teenager mall employees partying after hours. There is a little blood and not much gore. Frights come from running from danger, spiders, and snakes. It is designed for teens and not for audiences that prefer “gross out” horror. Teenagers will identify with the teenagers versus machines theme.

As has been noted in similar films, teens in such horror movies generally die in order of their promiscuity. A slight difference is a female, loving but generally chaste, leading character has a significant role in fighting the robots. This is a film for a specific audience. Those who like teenage horror films that are frightening yet not too disturbing, this is a film for fans of that genre.

American Hustle

“American Hustle” is the total package, a superb script with terrific acting and presumably very skilled direction. This script creates characters that grab our interest and through the story and the mannerisms of the actors, we see the directions the characters and stories are heading. This is a highly visual movie as one wishes to study the expressions of the characters and listen closely to their dialogue to determine when something said is the truth or when it is a con.

Some people did not like the film as they found it hard to follow. It does require some attention but it is not overly complex. Of course, the mystery as to who is being conned and how is exactly the point of the movie. It ends well with an amazing con. The person conned has been shown previously in a negative light so viewers have little sympathy for the conned. One can feel sympathy that is well developed for one of the victims. Some may quarrel over the morality of the con, and some may argue that the con needed some luck as in real life it might not have worked, yet that is the edginess of the movie which draws our attention.

Monday, March 24, 2014

G.I. Joe - Retaliation

Fans of military action movies should love this. Although, this is more over the top fiction, with masked heroes and villains and am antagonist who can change his facial structure. It is not realistic military battles. There are lots of fights, explosions, the destruction of a major city, and a unique but totally unrealistic (which makes it intriguing) mountainside battle.

The plot is something more fitting comic books than real war movies. Some viewers have their preferences. What was confusing to me, as one who was not familiar with previous background on the characters and their pasts, was new characters would emerge with little indication what their role is to the plot or even whether they are on the side of the protagonist or the antagonist. In time, one could figure it out, yet the introductions of some characters could have been handled more clearly,

So those who wish to sit back and see action, guns firing, martial arts, and military battles, this is a well done movie for this genre.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life

This is a wonderful satiric film aimed at lambasting both Franz Kafka and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” While the action plods along with eccentric characters moving towards uncertain and confusing directions, all ties in well at the end with a nice arc. This may not be one of the most popular Christmas specials that will be watched year after year, it definitely is one worth a view and a revisit when one wishes Yuletide satire as well as Christmas joy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hunger Games - Catching Fire

This is an excellent production yet it is deliberately flawed, which may anger some viewers. First, it is highly recommended that one see the previous “Hunger Games” movie. There are key references made throughout this movie that are necessary to understand what occurs in this movie that one learned from the first movie. These observations are not always obvious to anyone who has not seen the prior movie.

This movie does not conclude with a story ending. It concludes by letting the viewer know that the story continues into a future movie. Thus, the viewer may feel disappointed and cheated into not learning how several storylines end when the movie concludes.

The production value is great. If one has seen and loved the prior “Hunger Games”, one will most likely enjoy seeing a progression of new adventures with these characters. The concept of a game where people hunt to kill each other is abhorrent and at least this movie, while showing such games, presents this as wrong. There has to be some suspension of belief to accept that this is a society where the continuation or possible collapse of a totalitarian government depends upon these human hunting games. It is also not fully explained how these games could be what could spark a revolution. Yet accepting this does allow one to appreciate the intrigues and double actions of characters.

The script is good, The lead character is required to do much soul searching that is interesting to watch. The special effects are excellent. The acting is top notch. The movie, though, leaves audiences wanting more, which is what the studio wants, but does not make for a good overall movie that fails to stand on its own.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

This Means War

This is a romantic drama with a comedic situation. Two best friends who work together at the CIA compete for the same woman. She is unaware they know each other. The jealous friends use high tech spying techniques to spy on each other’s dates. One has to suspend belief as we hope our intelligence efforts as not so misused. There is a spy drama interspersed yet is mostly peripheral to the main story except to play a role in resolving a key dilemma.

This movie offers a difference from most other romantic comedies in that there is no apparent leading male character among the two to root for. Chelsea Handler presents the comedic moments as the friend and advisor to the lead female portrayed by Reese Witherspoon. When just as all hope appears lost for our three main characters, duty calls and the story moves to happy resolutions that may not have been immediately apparent earlier on.