Tag Archives: Movie Review

The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer

So the big news in Hollywood yesterday is the release of the first trailer for the great Wes Anderson’s new film The Grand Budapest Hotel, as with all of his films, I consider it  a must see whether it turns out to be good or not. Check out the trailer here.

Thoughts? Once again Wes makes use of his usual suspects but goes on to add Ralph Fiennes and Jude Law. At some point does he risk over-saturation?

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Will The Big Three Be Any Good?

Mark_Hamill_2010So it’s been officially announced that Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and the greatness of Harrison Ford will all have roles in the new Star Wars movies.  Whether it is cameos or something substantial no one knows. Man I don’t know about this one. It’s cool to see them reunited but they have aged so much. Mark Hamill in particular doesn’t look so good. Do we want to risk seeing our favorite childhood characters potentially suck it up now? I mean I hated the last Indiana Jones movie, not that Harrison Ford was bad in it, just that I hated seeing one of my favorite characters get dragged through a bad movie.  I think the thing that will make it or break it, besides the script, will be J.J. Abrams. In this case I think we will have to pull a page out of The Avengers motto of “In Joss we trust” and say “In J.J. we trust.” Whatever the case, they can’t be worse than Episodes I-III, right?

Seen better days, Mark?

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What Will S.H.I.E.L.D. Yield?

Agents-of-SHIELD-Cast-571x399So if you are into nerd culture at all you have watched the trailer for FOX’s new show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which is a pain to type) produced by the great Joss Whedon. If you haven’t seen or heard about it then check your geek cred but here is the link.

First thought is that this show has a lot of potential to be really amazing. It’s more true to the original S.H.I.E.L.D. in that it isn’t using the hero’s from The Avengers but rather a new team that may or may not have super powers.  Most importantly they are bringing back the affable, mild mannered Agent Coulson to give the show a boost of recognizability. So I have high hopes for this show.

Okay in a nice momentary and embarrassing lapse of nerd cred, I for some reason thought this was on FOX. Hey I’m not to proud to admit a screw up (if I was I would be lying all the time!) Right-o then, it’s on Disney owned ABC, which means it should be good.

 

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A Female Expendables?

The Female Expendables- With the success of the Expendables 1 and 2, plans for a female version of this movie are in the works. Gina Carano has been dubbed the lead actress but there are plenty of others to fill in. Here is my list of possibilities.

Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriquez, Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton, Michelle Yeah and our favorite whipping girl, Summer Glau.

This has inspired us to come up with our own ideas for movie featuring different Hollywood stars.

The Dependables

Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Robert Redford and Mr.T (he just turned 60.). Honorable mentions: Kevin Costner but he is 57.

The Expandables

John Goodman, Kevin James, Tom Arnold, Wayne Knight and Rosanne Bar and Kirstie Alley.

Honorable Mentions:  Philip Seymour Hoffman, Oprah Winfrey

The Exhumeables

John Wayne, Paul Newman, Rock Hudson, River Phoenix, Bruce Lee and Alec Guiness.

Honorable Mentions: Any other dead celebrity.

The Predictables

Katherine Heigl, Meg Ryan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Bradley Cooper, Adam Sandler, Mathew McConaughey, Hugh Grant.

Honorable Mentions: Gerard Butler, Julia Roberts,

There you go gang. Anymore suggestions feel free to add them.

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Darth Mickey?

Just when you thought the Star Wars title couldn’t get any more over marketed or dragged through the mud than it already is, leave it to George Lucas to find a way. George Lucas is selling Lucasfilm to Disney for 4 billion dollars. We repeat, Lucasfilm is being sold to Disney for 4 billion dollars. It gets worse.  Of course Disney will come out with a whole slew of TV shows, toys and theme park rides around the Star Wars name but what is worse is that they are hoping to release a new Star Wars feature film every two or three years. That’s right, one of the most highly esteemed and famous movies franchise of our youth is being turned into an endless series of films playing off its name. Is this going to be like the James Bond series? Just crank out a movie every two or three years? We hope not. It does leave us asking such questions like: Will Mickey join the dark side? Is Minnie secretly his sister? Will Jar Jar have his own ride at Disney? If you don’t believe me here is the link.

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The Walking Dead, Running With Ratings

zombiesSo Walking Dead premiered Sunday night to a record setting 10.9 million viewers for basic cable. I have been really hot and cold on this show. Season one was pretty good while the first part of season 2 bored me to tears. Season 2.5 was okay and saved itself in the end with Shane finally getting killed. So going into season three I didn’t know what to expect. I will say that the plot lines of the prison and the girl Michonne are two of my favorites so I had some hope in me. After watching it here is what I have to say.

It.Was.Awesome. I loved it. It was almost 60 minutes of action packed zombie slaying.  It was what I had been waiting for. Now I know not every episode can be this action packed but it did look the director just went and had fun with. If they follow anything close to the graphic novels there should be enough drama in the next few weeks to keep us glued. It gets a little crazy. It was nice to Rick finally grow a pair and Carl didn’t get on my nerves like he normally does. Regardless of what may come in the next weeks it is nice to know they are off to a solid start.

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You Only Loop Once

*Spoiler Free*
I’m a little late but here is my non-spoiler, mini-review of time-bending sci-fi thriller Looper starring those obscure actors- the Third Rock from the Sun kid and that balding detective from the Moonlighting series. How to describe this movie? Imagine if Back to the Future had a kid with The Terminator and it was raised by 12 Monkeys– viol-a, you’d have Looper. Oh, and Looper’s annoying cousin was The Butterfly Effect. First thing I have to ask is, how did this movie get made?! Created by several small production companies on a measily budget of $30 mil, it’s like Looper stood up against the movie gods and did their best John McClane- “yippee kai yay mother trucker!”. It’s original, thought-provoking, and daring, a refreshing change after recently watching the reboot of Total Recall. Looper is definitely this year’s Inception. Stealing a page from Nolan’s playbook, Rian Johnson tells a intricate, multi-layered story that challenges the viewer to keep pace. However, it’s far from a perfect. The SlashFilm reviewers said it best that Looper is like a ‘house of cards’ that is about to fall at any moment. Let’s face it, we are expected to accept a world where it’s easier to send someone back in time then to just eliminate a body…yea right. But to my surprise, Johnson pulls off this mind-bending and time-bending adventure in a way that is fresh and fun but also thematic and weighty. The biggest revelation is that Looper is not really about time travel so much as it’s more about breaking the cycle of violence and fighting the demons of selfishness. Looper also makes you unsure of who to root for as desperate characters take desperate actions. On top of all that, Looper goes from gritty, futuristic dystopia to a slow paced western and ends somewhere in the Anime genre- simply crazy. Conventionally, this shouldn’t work, but somehow it does. Oh about the actors, Joseph Gordon-Levitt can do pretty much anything and Bruce Willis is the new Chuck Norris..blah, blah, blah. I definitely give his high recommendations and like a Looper paradox, I encourage you to see it multiple times.
Now excuse me, I KNOW I have seen my older version of myself recently. I need to go kill him.
I give Looper a 4.5 Babbles out of 5.

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Is Looper, Super?

Looper poster, movies

So by now you have probably heard a lot about the movie Looper. In short: Go.See.This. Movie. No spoilers here so I can’t say too much but here is the basic idea. Loopers are mob hitman who have people from the future sent back in time for them to execute them. In the future science and police technology is so good it almost impossible to hide bodies, so they send them back in time where there is no evidence of their existence.

Loopers get paid in silver bars. Loopers also know their days are numbered and eventually a future version of them will be sent back for them to kill. This is called closing the loop.  Don’t feel too bad for them though, they get a huge payday to live the rest of their lives as kings. It could be they have twenty, thirty or five year left, but they are going to enjoy it, until something goes wrong.

Suddenly loops are being closed at an alarming rate. Turns out a future mob boss is killing off all the loopers. So one day, the absurdly talented Joseph Gordon-Levitt is sent a hit to kill. It turns out it his future self, played by Bruce Willis. He hesitates a moment and Willis escapes and the rest of the game Gordon-Levitt is trying to find him and stop him.

That is the most I can tell you without spoilers. Willis is on a mission that turns out to be a lot darker then you would expect.  It is also a plot that you would never guess at either.  There were a few moments I thought the movie was about to become to slow but it never reaches that point. It always picks back up at just the right time.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is amazing imitating Bruce Willis. He has down that reserved, deliberate, smug, tough guy act that Willis is so well known for. There is one seen with Gordon-Levitt wearing an A-frame T-shirt that looks right out Die Hard. He was brilliant. There are a couple potentially violent and disturbing scenes. If you are squeamish you might want to look away.

One problem with time travel movies is that there are inevitably some crazy inconsistencies or probabilities that would pop up. Mind boggling possibilities that leave you thinking, “yes, but what about this or that alternate reality.” Looper does a good job of closing these loops. The time travel isn’t so out there that you lose track of the movie and for the most part the lines or reality make sense.

It is definitely one of the top movies of the year. I give it 4.5 Babbles.

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The SDCC Creators Connect.

One of the things I love most about comic-con is the insane amount of creativity that can be found there.  Amidst all of the glam and sexiness of Hall H and Ballroom 20 it can be easy to forget some of the smaller panels yet some of those are the most fun. In particular I went to one called the creators connect and it was really cool.  Basically it works like speed dating but it matches writers with artist. You sit in front of an artist who has their portfolio out while you talk about your writing projects. Ever five minutes you rotate to another artist. If you like what you see then you get their contact info and hopefully you can collaborate on a project together.

I will say as a writer it was really fun just to connect with other creative types and share ideas and experiences. Weirdly enough, the writers way outnumbered the artist. While I have gone to Comic-con for the last 6 years, this is the first time I went to the connect. In fact, I didn’t even know about it until Wondercon. They had to connects, one on Thursday and one on Friday. I would highly recommend them and I was tempted to try and go to both.

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Countdown to SDCC: T-Minues 5 Days – Have a Personal Quest

Here is something you can do to make Comic-Con more fun (not that it needs to be more fun) but come up with a personal quest. Something extra special you want to get out of Comic-Con. Here are a few ideas.

–          Meet a childhood C list TV celebrity. There are tons of them from shows like Buck Rodgers, the original Battle Star Galactica, The Incredible Hulk and many, many more.  You might have to pay for an autograph or picture, but it is cool to meet them.

–          Find your favorite nerd toy from your childhood and if you don’t still have it, buy it. Although I still have them, for me this would be the Millennium Falcon or Jetfire. We aren’t talking the pristine, still in the box original, just an affordable used one.

–          Or alternately, find the one toy you always wanted but never got. In my case, it would be the AT-AT.

–          If you go to Comic-Con or other conventions a lot, find something to collect at each one. By a unique coffee mug each year, some fun pins or buttons or even a cool shirt. Maybe buy one part of Voltron each time.  For me, I am going to look for iron-on patches for my courier bag. One for each year I have been.

 

 

A little creativity and a personal touch can add a fun and unique flair to your SDCC experience. In light of that, here is my main quest. When I was a kid, my favorite toys were my G.I. Joes, so naturally when I saw the G.I. Joe comic book from Marvel I had to buy it. It was the first comic book I ever remember buying and I was completely hooked. It was my gateway drug to comics. Like Scrooge McDucks “Number one Dollar” I like to call this my “Number One Comic.” Reading the G.I. Joe’s ignited my imagination, I would stay up late at night for hours reading them. It turned me on to the idea of writing. It wasn’t before long that I started into Wolverine, X-Men and a few random others.

So I will hunt down my “Number One Comic” and buy it. I don’t remember the issue, just that it had Zartan on the front. It gets better though. I found out that the writer of the series, Larry Hama, is going to be at SDCC giving autographs! I would love to meet him, get his autograph and tell how much his work inspired me.

So there you have it. Nothing fancy like going on a date with Olivia Munn or getting HBO’s exclusive after hours Game of Throne party, just something fun, realistic and sentimental. COBRA!

 

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Countdown to SDCC: T- Minus 8 Days…An interview with a Stormtrooper

We see them at conventions every year. The few, the proud, the Emperor’s finest, they are the 501st Legion, they are Vader’s Fist.  This is a serious group as and they sport some amazing costumes.  Well organized and dedicated, a quick read of their web site reveals that they are 5,814 members strong with a staggering 9,453 costumes. I have to confess, I have always been secretly a little jealous of these guys, although if I did buy a costume, it would probably be through the C.O.B.R.A. Night Watch instead.  For the record, with the exception of Antarctica, they are represented on every continent. (I guess they don’t have enough snow troopers for the South Pole.) Each continent is broken up into regional garrisons and so it was that Scott Allen, commander of the Southern California Garrison agreed to answer a few questions for us, as well as give us a few tips if you are thinking of dressing up for Comic-Con.

Q. First of all, tell us a little about the 501st for those who may not be familiar with it.

A. Well our mission statement says it best, so here it is, “…The Legion is an all volunteer

organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together Star

Wars costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The

Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing

of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars related

events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed

charity and volunteer work…”

Q. Did the empire coerce you into joining or did you volunteer (what got you into it)?

A. I actually volunteered. Once I found out about the 501st and all of the good

charity work that they do I decided that I wanted to become a member of the

Legion to help promote Star Wars costuming as well as get involved with the

charity fund raising and other charity related work.

Q. What costume(s) do you wear?

A. My main costume is Darth Vader from the Empire strikes back. However I also

wear a storm trooper, clone trooper and my latest costume is now an Imperial

knight from the expanded universe comics, though that’s technically a good guy.

Q. How did you rise through the ranks to become an officer?

A. There’s a certain amount of time, dedication, and perseverance that is required to

become an officer with in the 501st Legion. Each Garrison and the entire legion

have annual elections for officers. I made myself available to become the charity

representative to my garrison to start with, and then I was assigned the position

of charity representative for the entire Legion in 2010, a position I still maintain,

and finally this last year I was elected as the Commanding Officer of the Southern

California Garrison. It actually requires a lot of time for something that’s really a

‘hobby’, but when I see all of the good that we do in the Legion, I’m proud to be

an officer.

Q. Do you all have clone identities, like TK-421 etc?

A.Yes we do! As part of membership in the 501st, you have to choose (or be

assigned) a 4 digit TKID. ‘TK’ is the official designation for Storm Trooper, which

is how the 501st was officially started, as a costuming group of just storm

troopers costumes.

Q. I always see Boba Fett’s and bounty hunters with the 501st at Comic Con. Does the 501st

allow them in or are they a rogue element? Also, what about the slave Leia’s we see?

A. Technically Boba Fett and Jango Fett are the only two ‘Madalorians’ that can be

approved into the 501st. We also have members that have completed some of

the other Bounty Hunter costumes such as Boussh (princess Leia’s bounty hunter

disguise). Basically, if it’s in the six episodes of Star Wars and it’s a bad guy, then

it can be approved.  I think the slave Leia’s are the Rogue element, they seem to be popping up, or is

it popping out, everywhere.

Q. Lord Vader comes to you and says you can have any rank or role in the empire. What

would you pick (What would be your dream costume?)

A. Well it’s certainly not going to be death Star gunner. Did you see that giant green

planet destroying beam fly past those guys within just a couple feet? They don’t

even have handrails to hang on to! That job is like a death wish. I’m thinking

Grand Moff… But only if I get my own death star!

Q. Tell me a little about the 501st charity work.

A. Of all the things the 501st Legion does, the thing I like the most is the fact that we

support so many charities. Over the past 12 or so years we have gained a

reputation to be quite the fundraising and charity machine. We assist more than

100 different charities worldwide on an annual basis by fundraising and appearing at

events for various causes. It’s one thing to see children and adults smile

because they get to visit and see their favorite Star Wars characters, it’s another

thing entirely to see those same smiles on children that are either suffering from a

terminal illness or some other disease.

Q.  Lastly, I am sure costuming at Comic Con has its challenges. Any tips for those who

might be new to it?

A. The San Diego Comic Con is unlike anything else you may ever do. First of all

make sure to have fun! There will be hundreds of people all wanting to take

pictures with you in your costume and you can’t possibly please everyone, so

don’t feel bad if you’re tired and just can take another photo.

b. Be sure to take breaks as often as necessary, be sure to drink plenty of water

during the day to keep yourself hydrated. And if you see a celebrity that you’ve

been waiting forever to meet, don’t be afraid to ask them for a photo with you in

your costume. The worst they might say is “No”. Just be respectful and have a

great time!

 

You can find the Southern California Garrison here and the 501st here.  Also check out there great charity work.

Scott will at he 501st table for much of Comic-Con and most likely sporting the Vader this year.

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Countdown to SDCC: T-Minus 13 Days (Cosplayers needed)

Hey dear Babblers,  I would love to do an article on a guide to cosplay at SDCC. If anybody would want to do a Q&A with us let me know! Thanks!

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