Stephen King always was the Master of Horror. Most of his books have translated to films, and television min series. In the 80’s he had a nice run of film adaptations. Films like Firestarter, Christine, Salem’s Lot and more were all horror classics. One film however really stood out. The 1983 Dead Zone film, adapted from the novel of the same name and directed by David Cronenberg and starring Christopher Walken in an Oscar worthy performance. The popularity of both of these lead to a television series, and a remake is even being considered now. It’s a complex story that is just fantastic to watch. Its Kings best book in my opinion, and its definitely one of the best film adaptations to date.
Walken stars as Johnny Smith, a schoolteacher who, in the beginning is on a date with his girlfriend Sarah. He drops her off at her home, but on his way back to his house he crashes his car during a thunderstorm and falls into a deep coma. He does awaken but its five years after the fact. He sadly learns that Sarah is now married with a family. If that was not hard enough for Johnny to cope with he develops a strange power. When he touches someone’s hand he can see into their future. He warns a nurse that her house is on fire with her child trapped inside. He sees that his Doctor, Sam Weizak’s mother, long thought dead is actually still alive. As that’s a pretty amazing talent it doesn’t take long for word to spread about Johnny’s newly acquired gift. In fact the local sheriff asks Johnny to use his powers to help him find the Castle Rock serial killer who has been stalking the town.
I wont spoil the serial killer storyline if you have not seen the film but it leads to Johnny leaving town to try and lead a more reclusive lifestyle as a private tutor. After using his gift to save the life of a child he is teaching he realizes his gift has a “Dead Zone” meaning there is a part of the future that you can alter. This comes in handy when Johnny meets a campaigning senator named Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen in a fantastic role) and when shaking his hand at a rally sees that he will be elected president in the future and stars a nuclear war. Its then that Johnny knows he can use his Dead Zone to try and prevent that from happening.
The film is about as suspenseful as you can get. From the opening to the ending Christopher Walken shines. He expresses anger, frustration, and heartbreak so perfectly. Its one of his best performances to date. To say the film is 100 percent his is an understatement. He really makes the character of Johnny Smith not only a character you care about, but one that you come to believe in as well. Cronenberg did a marvelous job in directing the film. He did trim out a good chunk of the book for run time but everything flows perfectly. In fact the film adaptation I believe to be better than the book itself. With tight directing, a great screenplay and a fantastic score combined with the performance by Walken this film became a hit. In fact its also a highly regarded film by critics as well, and believe me when I say not a lot of 80’s films were. In fact Siskel and Ebert both praised the film especially Walken’s performance.
A bonified classic to say the least its only fitting that Scream Factory give this the collector treatment it deserves. From the amazing transfer that is breathtaking to say the least. All the dark shots and night scenes are perfect. No blue tint, just a crisp clear picture. The audio is amazing as well. Crisp and clear. I mentioned the score being well done, and I can say when Johnny and Sheriff Bannerman are going after the killer the sound from my speakers really made the scene even more tense. It really does bring this to life in your living room. And as its from Scream Factory you know it’s loaded with special features.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
In 2005 a little horror movie called A House of Wax was released in theaters. Grossing 70 million dollars against a 40 million dollar budget proved it to be a moderate success. It was a remake of the 1953 film also entitled House of Wax. One of the stars was Paris Hilton. Sadly the majority of the promotion featured only Paris, and by that I mean it was mostly like “Hey a horror movie with Paris Hilton” No real emphasis was even put on the plot, or anything other than the fact that Paris Hilton was popular at the time, and she was in this film. Over time the film became much more than that. It generated a very large cult following. Heck on of the stars is Jared Padalecki, before his Supernatural run. It’s a very good horror film, and now Scream Factory is releasing it in a special collector’s edition.
House of Wax is a hybrid of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and of course the original House of Wax, that is, in my opinion. The film features a group of friends, Carly, Nick, Wade, Blake, Dalton, and Paige. There all driving out to a big football game when they reach a small town and decide to camp out for the night. During the night someone comes in and sabotages the belt on one their cars. They also discover a pit filled with dead animals. Carly and Wade meet a stranger named Lester who offers to take them into the little town up ahead called Ambrose to fix their car, while the others head off to watch the football game, assuming the other two will just meet them there.
The town is actually almost abandoned. To kill time while waiting Carly and Wade head over to the towns main attraction. Trudy’s House of Wax. Not only is this place a wax museum but the house itself is also made of wax. The problem her is that Bo, the man who tells them he can get them a new belt is psychotic and he and his brother grab the couple, they glue Carly’s lip with wax and dip Wade’s entire body in wax. Turns out the brothers are actually separated conjoined twins. Bo looks semi normal where as Vincent wears a wax mask to cover the marks left from the surgery used to separate them.
As this is going on the others realize that Wade and Carly are not coming and decide to head back to the town to find them. When they arrive they do have to battle it out with the two evil brothers as it turns out, and no this really is not a spoiler, the wax figures are actually people dipped in wax and used as more realistic models. Turns out Bo and Vincent have been doing this to strangers for quiet some time.
Great special effect and tons of gore really make this a winner with the horror crowd. The story is actually very good and it’s leaps and bounds more intense than the original. I said how the majority of the advertising was to highlight Paris Hilton, and I must say she did a fantastic job as Paige Edwards, one of Carly’s friends. In fact the entire cast from Chad Michael Murray, Elisha Cuthbert, and of course Jared Padalecki all do fantastic. The chemistry between the group is fantastic, and the frantic pace keeps the film moving along at a great speed. Bloody, violent, you name it, it’s a great film.
The fine folks at Scream Factory have done an amazing job on this transfer. The film looks and sounds fantastic. The video is crisp and clear, all of the dark scenes, to which there are man all look fantastic. The audio transfer is superb as well, and it sounds like you are being chased in your own living room when watching. The score in this film is quiet good as well, and this transfer really shows it off. As its Scream Factory its also loaded with special features.
NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive
NEW Die, My Darling – An Interview With Actress Paris Hilton
NEW The Tale Of Blake And Paige – An Interview With Actor Robert Ri’chard
NEW Organ Grinder – An Interview With Composer John Ottman
NEW To Me, They Live And Breathe – An Interview With Makeup Effects Artist Jason Baird
B-Roll And Bloopers Video Cast Commentary
From Location: Joel Silver Reveals The House Of Wax
Wax On: The Design Of House Of Wax
The House Built On Wax: The Visual Effects Of House Of Wax
Alternate Opening: Jennifer Killed
Vintage Interviews With Cast And Crew From The Electronic Press Kit
Like I said this is a great movie, and Scream Factory has once again done a marvelous job with everything included. It’s a must for fans and collectors alike. Pick this one up right away.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
DC Animated movies are the best out there. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it. No studio does it better. On top of the that they have some of the greatest source material in comic book history to draw from. Throw that into the mix with their outstanding voice cast and great animation and you get a winner every time. Batman, the worlds greatest comic book character in my opinion benefits the best from these as he has such a great backlog of stories. This newest offering is a Batman one, it’s the Long Halloween. Long Halloween is a very deep and complex mystery , so its being done in two parts. This review is for Part one which releases today (6/22/21)
Batman the Long Halloween takes place on Halloween, and other holidays for that matter. It takes place during the beginning part of Batman’s career. That is not overly emphasized in the film which is not good as you see Batman still “Learning” his detective craft. I find it very interictal to the plot as he even references at one point he needs to be a better detective. That aside the film opens on Halloween, hence the title. Batman is working with not only Jim Gordon but also Harvey Dent who is the DA. This is before Harvey becomes Two-Face. In fact this takes place not long after Batman Year One, another amazing comic and animated Film. When the film opens we learn Gotham is in the middle of a mob war between the Falcone family and the Maroni family. Johnny Viti is planning on testifying against Carmine Falcone much to the delight of Harvey Dent as he is looking for anyway to bring him down. When Johnny gets into his bath a mysterious figure opens the door with a baby pacifier on a gun as a makeshift silencer. He shoot him dead and leaves a jack o lantern next to the body.
Batman is the first to notice the jack o lantern as Harvey is more preoccupied with the death of his star witness against Falcone. While Batman agrees to help focusing on taking Falcone down he is met by Catwoman who shows him where the family hides their unlaundered money. He is joined by Harvey who flips a coin, something he will be known for when he becomes Two Face and they decide to burn it. Shortly after Harvey returns home and his house is blown up. The film cuts to thanksgiving where the Holiday Killer has struck again as he murders members of a rival Triad gang. At Christmas time he claims yet another victim in the form of Falcone’s muscle. As this is going on The Joker has escaped from Arkham and plans on spreading poison gas on New Year’s Eve bringing suspect he may be the Holiday Killer. That is proven false. Sorry its really not a spoiler if you watch. As the film ends we are left to wonder who the holiday killer is, and if Batman can figure it out before he strikes again.
This is such an amazing story and so important to the Batman legacy. Joker and Catwoman are introduced, but the main focus is on Batman battling gangsters, which is something he did very early on before he acquired a huge gallery of supervillains. Harvey Dent has not yet become Two Face and a lot of the story deals with his personal life and how much pressure it put on the relationship with his wife. In turn we see the same for Jim Gordon and how he has to leave his kids on Halloween to answer the call dealing with the killings. We see his wife has adjusted to it, but not the kids. We even focus on Bruce Wayne who is unable to have a relationship with Selena Kyle due to his double life. Yes, she does know he’s Batman, but its never made clear if he knows she is really Catwoman. We also learn a lot that Falcone was in business with Bruce Wayne’s late father as he helped him open one of Thomas’s first clinics. Because of that we also delve into the relationship Bruce has with Falcone when he is not Batman.
This is such a fantastic story. And its done so well. Jensen Ackles does an amazing job as the voice of Bruce Wayne/Batman. I like that they used a different voice actor as this is a version of Batman in his early years. Josh Duhamel is fantastic as Harvey Dent showing a large range of emotions in the part, and planting subtle seeds for when he becomes Two Face. The animation is state of the art and really gives this a gritty almost Noire look and feel. As I said this is Part One, so first of all, stay after the credits, and don’t be sad when you don’t learn the identity of the killer. That will happen in august when part two come out. Sure you can read the comic now, but if you haven’t please wait and read it after watching part two.
Warner Brothers has done their usual amazing job in terms of picture and sound. The film looks so good and polished. Its almost three dimensional the animation is so fluent. The audio bellows out of your speakers and during the action scenes you almost feel Batman fighting in your living room. Its loaded with extras and the cover art is gorgeous. I’m upset it didn’t come with a poster. They did send me an awesome Holliday Killer Calendar and candy though.
This is a must watch cartoon for fans of the animated films, and Batman fans in general. Heck even if your neither of those but a fan of detective novels you should check this one out. I highly recommend picking it up today.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
The following 4K was provided to me by Warner Brother for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
To say that the pandemic messed with the movie world is an understatement. Delays of over a year happened to countless blockbusters. Films we waiting for in 2020 we are still waiting for to this day. But overtime as things started to improve and theaters opened back up a few bigger releases began filtering out. HBO Max had the amazing deal to release the films simultaneously which was a Godsend to people who did not want to venture out. The first of all these blockbusters to come out both here in the states and internationally was Godzilla vs Kong. If you didn’t catch it at home or at the box office you now have your chance to own it on 4K which is the way it needs to be seen, as it is absolutely stunning.
Godzilla vs Kong takes place five years after the events of Godzilla King of the Monsters. With Godzilla established as the king of all the titans everything seems quiet. The Monarch facility has encased Skull Island under a giant dome to keep Kong contained. Kong needless to say is not thrilled but he has a friend in Jai, the daughter of Kong’s Monarch keeper. They communicate via sign language. Outside, in the rest of the world we meet Bernie Hays, he host a podcast talking about the conspiracy theories of the giant titans and the monarch corporation itself. He’s convinced that something evil is happening at one of there stations so he sneaks in to broadcast a live stream form there when Godzilla suddenly attacks. While he is in there he finds a giant robotic head. Turns out (yes I’m skipping ahead) that it’s the constructed Mechagodzilla robot that Monarch is building. Its linked to the brain of the now dead King Ghidorah which is what’s causing Godzilla to attack when it is powered on. Unfortunately for the evil creators they don’t have an ample power source to bring the robot to its full capacity. However they do discover that there is a source of power in the Hollow Earth which is where all of the Titans have originated from. They convince Nathan Lind to take Kong to help them find the source of this power to bring Mechagodzilla to life.
The sedate Kong and decide to travel be carrier to Antarctica where the opening to the hollow earth is located. Godzilla senses Kong and immediately attacks the ship beating Kong badly. He leaves when the power to the ships are cut and he believes they have all died. Kong does successfully locate the power source and yes he does battle Godzilla again in Hong Kong. Now I don’t think I am spoiling anything at this point to say that they then must battle Mechagodzilla.
This is a giant monster movie done right. Tons and tons of action. The battles between Kong and Godzilla are amazing. I especially love how Kong uses professional wrestling moves during the battle. The humans are there only as props to move the plot along. Kong and Godzilla are the stars of this film, as well they should be. The special effects are simply amazing. I can’t stress how real this all looks and feels for that matter. The battles between the two are fantastic, and the final three way battle is simply amazing to watch. This is so different than the original Godzilla vs Kong, as these to have epic confrontations.
As I said Warner Brothers has released this on 4K and it is beautiful. You can see all the little hairs on Kong flow and move with the wind. You can feel every blow the two throw at each other during the battles through your surround sound. This is an epic film, and although it looks amazing on a big screen during the movie theater experience, this print is the cleanest out there. It really does look and feel like the action is happening in your house. On top of that it has been loaded with special features.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray was provide to me by Warner Brothers to review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
15 Years, that’s a long time for anything in life let alone an episodic television show about two brothers hunting demons. But that’s what Supernatural was, and that’s how long it continued. Supernatural, the story of Sam and Dean Winchester, two brothers trained by their father to hunt various demons and monsters throughout the country. The battled vampires, zombies, werewolves, even Satan and God himself. Crossovers with Scooby Doo, and countless homages to the Universal Monsters. This show created its own universe like no show in history has done, nor will probably ever do. From the Bible, to Dr Frankenstein, all the way to Cupid all of this was incorporated over the years. We watched Dean die, go to hell, come back to life and help the archangels battle lucifer. We have seen the brothers battle Crowley the King of Hell, fight through Purgatory, and even learn they have been the paws of God the entire time. How do you bring this to a fitting conclusion? Well I wont give that a way but trust me it works.
Season 15 picks up right after the events of the following season the Winchesters are thrown right into a battle with zombies, including some undead serial killers. See when Chuck opened the doors of hell causing the great rapture he released over a billion lost souls unto the earth. Sam and Dead team up with Rowena to try and reverse things. They do manage to wrap this up in the first few episodes but we soon learn that Castiel is growing weaker as is God. Dean, who never wants to stop fighting is able to convince the others that they would be able to stop God, as they have learned that he has a dark “Ending” for them in mind. Having been protected by God all these years it difficult for the brothers this season as they no longer have the good fortune on their side. There is actually an episode that covers this. In fact even though this season wraps of 15 years’ worth of storylines it still continues with many different “Monsters of the Week”
The Winchesters team with Jack, Adam, their mother, people of other earths and more in an attempt to defeat God and bring peace to Heaven and Earth. I wont give it away if you’ve not seen it, but the show does manage to do what most series cannot. They tie up all the lose ends. In fact the wrap the entire storyline, that has continued for the last 15 years before the final episode. That is something I really enjoyed as it gave the final much more depth and meaning. Yes you do get a conclusion, that will not only make you happy, but if you have been watching will make you shed a tear as well.
All good things must come to an end and Warner Brothers has done a wonderful job on this 15th and last season Blu-ray. The video quality is amazing. I watched the show as it aired in HD but this is the way to go. Crisp, bright, no blue tint in the dark scenes. Just perfect. The audio is fantastic as well. Everything comes to life as it bellows from your speakers. This is a fantastic release with amazing cover art as well. Its even loaded with special features as well and they are great. In fact its so loaded it come son a special bonus disc.
· Supernatural: The End of the Road (New)
· Supernatural: Family Don’t End in Blood (New)
· Gag Reel (New)
· Deleted Scenes (New)
· Supernatural: 2019 Comic-Con Panel
· Winning Baby: A Supernatural Giveaway
· Winchester Mythology: Midwestern Heroes
· Supernatural: The Long Road Home – Special Retrospective Episode
A fantastic show that I have spent the last 15 years enjoying. Naturally I will miss it, but I am glad to say that it went out the way it needed to. Tying up 15 years’ worth of lose ends is never easy, but they did it. There will never be a show like this again. Pick this up an relieve it all again and enjoy all the extras.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
When I was a little kid, and before you laugh I mean like 3 I went to the Drive-In to see the King Kong remake, in 1976 that is. I know this because my uncle like to tell this story. I wanted to see Kong really bad. Like I guess I talked about it for days on end. I was excited and impatient waiting for him to show up, then when the gates began rumbling before he popped up for the first time I got freaked out and hid under a blanket the rest of the film. Yeah really funny I know. Anyway I clearly overcame that fear and have seen the film actually quiet a few times in my life since then.
For those unaware in 1976 Dino De Laurentiis decided to remake the original 1933 King Kong movie. He wanted his film to be a bit more lighthearted, and even a bit different in plot to the original picture. He knew it had to be set in present day and the final act would take place on the World Trade Center. He dropped the other dinosaur monsters on the island as he wanted all the focus on Kong, although he did leave in the giant snake for a pretty cool fight scene. He hired Rick Baker to design the ape costume, he had a 40ft mechanical Kong made but it was to hard to film with it. He assembled a very huge cast as well. Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, Charles Grodin, Ed Lautner and many more. The film was very successful making over 90 million on a budget of 24 million, plus it made television history for a few reasons, but I’ll get to that later.
This version of Kong is set during the national energy crisis. Fred Wilson (Grodin) runs Petrox Oil. He finds an island off the Indian Ocean that he believes, with the help of some cool infrared scanning that the island may have a ton of oil. The island is hidden from most maps by a giant cloud. He decides to get a team together to go to the island and find, hopefully a huge oil reserve. However a paleontologist named Jack Prescott (Bridges) comes on the ship and warns them of going to the island as others have gone and never returned. He claims a giant beast stops all comers to the island. As this is going on they come across a woman named Dawn (Lange) floating on a raft. They rescue her she goes with them to the island.
The Islanders are a very primitive tribe who have built a giant wall. The wall is to keep their God, an ape named Kong away. They grab Dawn and plan to sacrifice her to Kong. They have her tied up but when Kong finally arrives he grabs her but he falls in love with her. He takes her back to where he resides on the island and us nothing but nice to her. He even saves her from a giant snake. Prescott and the others from the ship head out to recuse her and manage to create a giant pit filled with gas to knock Kong Out. As the island is a bust oil wise Wilson decides to take Kong back to the states and make him a mascot for his company. That’s a bad idea as you know the rest. Kong breaks free grabs Dawn, and heads to the World Trade Center for one of the most famous endings in film history.
This is a great film I personally enjoyed it more than the 2005 remake. Sure that one was more faithful to the original in certain ways but this bad boy from 1976 was a great film. Its also was a massive hit on television. NBC acquired the right to air the film, and split it up over 2 nights. I remember watching it back then on TV. Now as the film was about 2hrs and 15min it certainly needed to be longer for TV, especially to air over two night with commercial breaks. Luckily there were plenty of additional scenes filmed. So the film that aired on tv was actually the extended cut that clocked in close to three hours. A few scenes of violence and some sexual inuendo was edited out. When the film was finally released on VHS and even DVD it was always the theatrical cut. But now the fine folks at Scream Factory are making fans dreams come true.
Fully remastered with an amazing score Scream Factory has outdone themselves with this print. The colors are amazing. Everything looks fantastic. None of the dark scenes have that horrible blue tint which can easily ruin a transfer. Everything is crisp and clear. It looks better than lots of things filmed today. The audio is amazing. You can really feel Kong coming through the gates through your surround sound as everything bellows. The score sounds fantastic as well. And yes not only do you get the remastered theatrical cut but you also get the amazing TV cut as well on this fantastic two disc set. And that isn’t all as Scream Factory has loaded this with special features.
DISC ONE: THEATRICAL CUT (2.35:1)
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
The following 4K was provided to me by Warner Brothers to review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
DC Animated films are the best animated films. I put them over any animated film in every way. In lots of cases I put them over most of the live action superhero films as well, although that’s not always fair as you can do more in the animated world. Anyway The DC Animated Universe came to an end with Justice League Dark: Apokolips War last year. Not to say they stopped making animated films, they simply wrapped up the ongoing story that they had been building for a few years. With that behind them it was time to move on to a new animated film. This one being Justice Society: World War II. Its one of their original stories, and hopefully a jumping off point to build a new continuity between films. Using the Flash once again as the anchor this one deals with a parallel world not unlike our own.
In the present day The Flash, as his alter ego Barry Allen is having a quiet picnic in the park with his wife Iris, They get interrupted when Superman and Brainiac start fighting through the park. Barry puts on his Flash outfit to help after Braniac shoots a bullet made of Kryptonite at Superman. Flash speeds to stop it at such a fast pace he enters the speed force and ends up in the 40’s on a parallel earth during World War II. He arrives during a battle between the Nazi’s and the Justice Society. Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Hourman, Black Canary, and Flash (The Jay Garrick Flash). Barry helps them in the battle and is invited back to their headquarters by Steve Trevor, who assembled the team with the help of President Roosevelt.
Barry Allen, the Flash from our world. Agrees to help the team break into a Nazi prison fortress to rescue a man named “The Code Breaker” The team needs him to break a code so to speak. Steve Trevor was able to get his hands on a Nazi message but it was in code. They arrive with a man named “Shakespeare” who turns out to be Clark Kent. We learn this when guard fire at them and the bullets simply bounce off Clark. The Code Breaker” turns out to be Dr Fate who uses his powers to decipher the message. It turns out the Nazis are working with the Atlantean’s in the Bermuda Triangle. Aquaman is under the control of a man named The Advisor (Psycho Pirate in our world). See Advisor has a master plan of the Nazi’s with the help of Aquaman’s army to take over the world. After that he plans on having the Atlantis army destroy them and take over the world himself. That is unless the Flash and The Justice Society can stop them, and Flash can return to his world.
This is a fantastic cartoon. I always love when DC explores parallel earths, or goes back in time. The Justice Society, not to be confused with the Justice League always has been a favorite of mine so I’m always excited to see stories with them in it. The addition of Aquaman, Dr Fate, Psycho Pirate, and the teaming of Jay Garrick and Barry Allen was fantastic. Having Clark Kent’s parents die when he was three years old thus changing the way he is presented now was also a great touch. But one of the things that us comic book nuts will no doubt be excited about is the introduction of the Speed Force.
See Barry and Jay Garrick are not as fast when they are together. In fact when next to each other they become weaker and slow down. Jay explains to Barry this is because of the Speed Force, where all speedsters draw their ability from. Its like how light makes Superman Stronger, the Speed Force gives Speedsters like them their powers and energy. However as two of them exist in one world the Speed Force is having to split the energy. Flash learns through this force that the energy can be harness to not only travel to time, but travel to parallel worlds by channeling enough energy to rip through time. Its also through Dr Fate that the Flash learns about the Multiverse, information and inspiration the Flash uses when he comes back to our world. Not to spoil anything but this could, and should lead to a new beginning showing the forming of our Justice League, setting up a wealth of new adventures to continue and play out over time.
The voice cast is excellent as always, with a lot of new voice actors portraying the parts. The animation is spot on as well. And I cannot praise the transfer to 4K enough. This is amazing to watch. Its bright and colorful and almost looks like your watching something in 3D its so vibrant. The sound is amazing as well, bellowing out of your surround sound. You can almost feel the Flash running, and see the bullets flying past you in battle as it thunders so loud. This is the way to watch this film. Sure streaming in convenient, but the 4K print is the way to go. This is the best looking of the DC Cartoons so far.
This is a fun, action packed adventure that fans of the comics, as well as new fans will love. It explores the old stories and the current mythology perfectly in a way it will captivate older viewers as well as bring in lots of new ones. It’s a fun story that looks amazing. I highly recommend picking this one up right away.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
The following Blu-ray was provided to my by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
The DC Cinematic universe has had its share of problems. A lot of them are based on the fact they don’t have much continuity. Others are because they are simply all over the place. One film is made for families, the next is a hard R, there’s no rhyme or reason to the mapping to them. However when Wonder Woman hit in 2017 audience reaction changed. People fell in love with the Patty Jenkins film and critics and fans alike called it DC’s best film to date (I disagree w2ith that). It was a no brainer that a sequel would be coming and people around the world waited. Unfortunately the pandemic hit so we waited a little longer. Then longer again. Then in the smartest move I have seen WB announced that their new releases would stream on HBO Max the day of the theatrical release. It was fantastic. No more waiting till God Knows when to see a film. I mean a few I have been waiting for are almost 2 years delayed at this point. HBO Max garnered tons of new subscribers as Wonder Woman 1984 was going to be the first blockbuster to hit the service.
Wonder Woman 1984 takes place in 1984 of course. Gal Gadot returns as Wonder Woman and Patty Jenkins returns to the directors chair. This time we find Wonder Woman aka Diana Prince working at the Smithsonian where she pines for her lost love Steve Trevor while being envied by a new shy co worker named Barbara Minerva. Wonder Woman comes in hot stopping a robbery at said museum. The bad guys were trying to steal a Dreamstone. It’s a real ugly crystal with a inscription caved into it. Diana and her Barbara are asked to identify the stolen items and they both essential are granted one wish. Barbara wants to be like Diana. Not knowing that Diana is Wonder Woman she is given super powers. Diana wishes that Steve wasn’t dead, so he gets brought back to life in another person’s body.
Now while this is going on an evil businessman named Max Lorenzano manages to steal the stone from Barbara. He wants to absorb its powers so he can grant himself wishes, and he wants to become rich and powerful. He actually has the best plan for the item, and it works. Problem is the stone was made by Dolos, the “Duke of Deception” and every time you use the stone bad things will happen to you. Max begins to grow old, bet he has a plan because he’s the smartest character in this film. He will grant wishes to steal life force from people to get back to normal. Barbara begins transforming in a cheetah human hybrid for some reason, but she keeps the super powers. Wonder Woman is slowly losing her powers however and gets a nice beatdown from Barbara, who is now working with Max in the process. Luckily new Steve tells her to wish him back to being dead so she can regain her powers and save the world.
I wont lie, this film is a mess. Its colorful, which I believe was one of the high marks for the first film, and the acting is good, it’s just not a very exciting film. The set pieces look good, and it has that 80’s vibe that’s so popular these days but the lack of action really hurts it. It has a good opening, middle, and end, but with close to a 2 hour and 30 minute runtime there is just to much dead time in between. Kristen Wiig is the high point as Cheetah. I would have loved to have seen more of her, or at least been given more insight into her backstory. Gal Godot does a fine job again as Wonder Woman, and the two action sequences the two ladies have against one another are both great. The story of bringing Chris Pine back as Steve Trevor was flat in my opinion. I see from a storytelling standpoint why it was done, it just didn’t work for me, and that could be because I was an avid reader of the original run of comics.
If you didn’t not go to the few theaters that are open, and you missed its run on HBO Max you now have a chance to pick it up on Blu-ray from Warner Brothers. I watched it streaming, and again on Blu-ray and I must say this Blu-ray is gorgeous. The film may lack action, but its visuals are outstanding. This is a true comic book film. The special effects are mind blowing. Everything comes to life in terms of the picture and the sound. You can hear Wonder Woman’s Lasso whipping around in your surround sound. This is a visually stunning film, that makes for an amazing disc.
Not as exciting as the first, but die hard fans will enjoy it. Like I said, great acting and effects, just not enough action for the run time. I =f you’re a superhero fans its definitely something to watch, I just found it to be inferior to the first film. Hopefully part 3 which has already been greenlit will pick it back up.
Overall 2.5 out of 5 Stars!
Monster Hunter is a science fiction action film directed by Paul W.S Anderson, loosely based on the Monster Hunter series of video games. The plot sees a group of soldiers be transported to a world unlike our own, with the major difference being cat people and giant monsters.
So before we get into this review I just want to say I have not really played A Monster Hunter game before so I can’t say how faithful this film is or isn’t to the games. I can say that some of the elements that I have heard people talk about seem to bleed over.
Paul W.S Anderson gets a lot of very unnecessary hate as a director, I really don’t get it, with the exception of Pompeii, and the final Resident Evil film I have enjoyed everything he has done, and this is no different. Very much like Zack Snyder or Michael Bay, Anderson’s focus is on the visuals rather than the plot and as long as you understand that going in and check your expectations you are usually in for an entertaining time.
I think the best part of this film is the action scenes, both in terms of fighting the giant monsters (that actually look pretty good), and also in terms of the hand to hand fight scenes: in particularly I think the fight scene between Mila Jovovich’s Artemis and Tony Jaa’s Hunter is truly well done and the action feels very connective and visceral; I tip my hat to the choreographer.
Overall, an entertaining time with some nice visuals and fight choreography, is it going to be the best film you have ever seen? No. Though there are worse ways to spend an hour and forty-five minutes.
The fight scenes
Faithful to certain elements of the games
A little bland at times
The story is very meh
Reviewed by Luke
lukebarnes1886 Film Review, Science Fiction, Action
The following Blu-ray was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
When I first found out Doom Patrol was getting its own show I was shocked. How could such a weird, and lets be honest, not very good comic get greenlit for a television show? On top of that it was going to the new DC Service, which was not setting the world on fire either. But I have to say that all changed a few minutes into their first show, Titans. Titans was amazing, and we get introduced to the Doom Patrol in the first season. This of course was the set up for their own show which turned out to be amazing. HBO was quick to snatch it up, eventually picking up Titans as well. Now Doom Patrol Season 1 was fantastic, one of the best superhero shows on the air, and I’m glad to say Season 2 does not disappoint.
Season 2 starts off right after the events of season one with Cliff, Cyborg, Rita, Dorothy, and Caulder all still shrunk and livening in Cliffs racetrack. Unable to restore them Larry is unsure what to do. So Caulder reaches out to Willoughby Kipling for help. Kipling tells him he can restore everyone but it will cost him his talisman of immortality. Caulder agrees and the team is restored to their normal sizes. While this is all ongoing the group is now forced to find a way to restore Caulders immortality as he is no longer in possession of the talisman. One top of that they have to deal with Dorothy, who does not have control of her powers. In fact there is something evil inside her trying to get out.
The season ventures off into time travel, disco parties, fighting pain demons, the usual stuff you have come to expect from Doom Patrol. What this season does the most, is focus on the characters themselves. Cliff, still my favorite drops more “F” bombs than any character in movie and or tv land. He is trying to search out his daughter, who is still alive. He does manage to find her, but things don’t really go his way. Cyborg is questioning, and hating parts of his life for being, well, part human, part cyborg. He finds solace when he meets a disabled war vet named Roni. Everyone is loaded down with not only their emotional baggage, but the fact they still all feel betrayed Niles, who as it turns out was not only responsible for creating the Doom Patrol, but for orchestrating the events that all lead to them needing their alterations. Also they have to stop a bad guy named Candlemaker and all of Dorothy’s imaginary friends from destroying the world.
To say this is a weird show is an understatement. Its may be the strangest thing I have ever watched, and I love every second of it. Everything in insanity to the 11th degree. And I cannot praise Brendan Fraser enough. His voice work as Cliff is the highlight of this show. In fact it may be the highlight of my television enjoyment in general. Hilariously filthy, Cliff spews such a string of profanity you have to crack up every time he is on screen. He’s the star of this show, and I would not be shocked if he didn’t start to appear in more DC Shows thanks to the entire multiverse. I like to think of Doom Patrol as the weirder, more vulgar, and more emotional version of Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy.
Streaming now on its new home HBO Doom Patrol is binge worthy greatness even if you are not a super hero fan. If you don’t have HBO you can now own the second (as well as the first) season on Blu-ray from the fine folks at Warner Brothers. All 9 episodes are here and they look amazing. The Blu-ray is terms of video and audio is second to none. Everything comes to life not only visually, but from your speakers as well. In my opinion this is the best way to watch the show.
Top to bottom a fantastic show that you need to be watching. It may very well be the best show on television. Pick it up today.
Overall 4 out of 5 stars!