Rod-Tino Tuesday: Death Proof

Hello everyone!  It’s Tuesday and it’s time to watch a movie from either director Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez.  This week, we are watching a movie by Quentin Tarantino.  It is 2007s Death Proof.  The first time I watched this movie, I was in Iraq on my first deployment.  I think this is why I have such vivid memories of this movie.  My dear friend and I went to the restaurant the ladies talk about, Guerro’s in Austin, Texas (by the way, she has a blog of her own.  Click here to go to it).  Like From Dusk til Dawn, I can spend forever talking about this movie.  Let’s get to it!

The little things

Death-Proof

I have seen this movie a billion times.  But, because I’m writing about it, I observed some new and interesting things.  For instance, there are many parallels between the part of the movie that takes place in Austin, and the other half in Lebanon, Tennessee.  At the top of each segment, there’s conversation about dating and relationships.  Jungle Julia (Sydney Poitier) is discussing her relationship with Chris Simonson, and Arlene aka Butterfly (Vanessa Ferlito) talks about an encounter the night before.  In the Lebanon crew, Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) talks about her romantic encounter with some guy that looks like The Rock, while Abernathy (Rosario Dawson) discusses her relationship (or lack thereof) with the director of the movie where the Lebanon crew works.

Death-Proof

Another little thing is tiny and I missed it until recently.  Both Arlene and Abernathy had a bad feeling about the creepy Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell).  They see his car and appear unsettled by it.  They also blow this feeling off, much to the detriment of Arlene.

Death-Proof

There’s also the song “Baby It’s You” by Smith.  We hear it when Arlene is outside of Guerro’s.  We hear it again while Lee is singing it on her iPod in Lebanon.  Tarantino has an amazing eye for detail.

Stuntman Mike isn’t the only creep

Death-Proof

Is it just me or are the guys in this movie awful?  We begin with Stuntman Mike, who is a serial killer that licks his finger and puts it on women’s feet (you nasty!).  Then there are those two bros in the Austin bar that are trying to get the girls liquored up so they can get laid.  Calm down horndogs!  The Austin ranger Earl McGraw (Micahel Parks) could care less that he is letting a killer drive around.  We saw him in From Dusk til Dawn.  We will see him again a couple of times in different movies.

One of my favorite scenes in any movie

Death-Proof

What solidified this movie as awesome in my book is when Stuntman Mike kills the Austin girls.  We get to see each individual girl’s death (by the way, watching Shanna Banana (Jordan Ladd) flying through the windshield shows why you should wear your seatbelt).  This was my first time seeing a scene in this fashion.  It was gruesome and completely unforgettable.

Overall

Death-Proof

With its strange editing, a classic soundtrack, and an old-school feel, Death Proof is a clear homage to grindhouse films.  This is one of many Tarantino films that shows conversations that anyone could have, but the audience isn’t bored by it.  The movie takes me back to a time when I was partying in Austin and having fun girly conversations.  Luckily, I survived those times without running into a serial killer.

Wrapping it up

Well, that’s it for Death Proof.  Next week, we return to films directed by Robert Rodriguez.  The random number generator has decided on movie number five.  So, next Rod-Tino Tuesday’s feature is The Faculty.  Until then, be sure to join me on Anime Thursday, where we will return to Angels of Death.  Also, we will watch episode four of Firefly on Serenity Sunday.

“Chartreuse.  The only liquor so good they named a color after it!”- Warren (Quentin Tarantino)

Serenity Sunday: Firefly Episode 3- Bushwhacked

Hi everybody!  I hope you find serenity this Sunday.  Today, we will discuss episode three of Firefly entitled “Bushwhacked”.  They should call it “You Don’t Know What You’re Talking About”.  I’ll explain this a little later.  In this episode, we gain a better understanding of the menacing and terrifying Reavers.   Let’s join our friends back on Serenity, where they are enjoying a little downtime.  If you need to familiarize yourself with the characters, I encourage you to read my discussion of episode one.

 Ghost ship

Firefly-episode-3

At the top of episode three, we find the crew playing a ball game.  At first, I thought it was a version of basketball.  But, it looks more like the ancient Mesoamerican game which also contains a ball and hoop, but no one knows the rules.  During the game, the alarm sounds which alerts the crew that they are approaching another ship.  As Wash investigates the signal, a body hits the front of the Serenity.  The body is from a cargo ship modified to carry settlers.  Mal decides it’s time for him, queen Zoe, and Jayne to investigate.  Upon boarding the ship, they find that it’s abandoned.  It appears as if everyone on the ship left in a hurry.

Reaver remains

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As the crew continues to investigate, Mal and Zoe find some valuable cargo.  River, who has meandered onto the ghost ship after hearing “voices”, finds something else.  River points to the ceiling.  Mal and Zoe cast their eyes upon the object of River’s curiosity.   It is the settlers.  They are dead, mutilated, and swinging from the rafters.  Mal instantly knows why. He is looking at the work of the Reavers.  Meanwhile, Jayne is investigating the galley, when he is attacked by a traumatized survivor.  At this time Mal, Zoe, Simon, Jayne, River, and Kaylee are on the ghost ship.  Mal decides it’s time for all of them to regroup on the Serenity, where they lock the survivor in the infirmary.

firefly-episode-3

Mal briefs everyone about the ghost ship and the survivor.  He explains that the survivor’s experience watching the reavers skin those people is so horrific, he might as well be dead.  Shepard begins his speech of how the Reavers used to be people and that they lost their way because they are far removed from society.  Here’s the problem with this conversation: how the heck does he know?  He doesn’t know what the fringes of civilization or Reavers are about.  He just recently left Persephone.  But, I guess I should let it slide because he is speaking from a preacher’s perspective.

Alliance

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Speaking of know-it-alls, here comes an Alliance patrol ship.  They basically “pull-over” Serenity because there is a BOLO out for Simon and River, last seen on a Firefly-class ship.  Mal instructs Jayne to put the cargo in plain sight, and he instructs Simon to get his sister.  Simon begins to protest, saying that Mal is going to use the siblings for a bargaining chip.  Again, what are you talking about?  Why would he risk more trouble by ratting you out?  Jeez!!!

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The Alliance commander boards the ship looking for the fugitives.  River and Simon are in space suits, hiding on the outside of the ship.  The Alliance forces find the survivor, and he is messed up!!!  His face is mutilated and he looks absolutely crazy.  The commander orders the troops to take “yuck-face” back to the Alliance ship, along with the crew that he is placing under arrest.

Interrogation

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This part was kind of funny, except for Inara and Shepard.  We did not need to see their interrogations.  Zoe is telling the commander to mind his beeswax when he asks about her marriage.  Wash can’t shut-up about Zoe.  Jayne isn’t saying a word.  Kaylee is explaining to the commander that Serenity isn’t trash.  The commander is trying to get Mal worked up about the war.  He also accuses the crew of murdering the people on the settlers’ ship. He dismisses the talk of Reavers.  This is his first fringe of the system patrol.  He doesn’t even know what a reaver looks like.

You never go full Reaver

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While the commander is trying to throw his rank around and intimidate people, the survivor has become a Reaver.  This is what Mal was trying to tell Shepard and the commander!  When someone survives a Reaver attack, they devolve and become a reaver.  The survivor makes his way to Serenity, hunting for a victim.  By now, River and Simon are back on the ship.  River is trying to warn Simon about the Reaver on board.  But Simon thinks she is merely having an episode.  Simon needs to stop babying River and start LISTENING TO HER!!! She was right about the dead people on the ship, and she sensed the danger of the Reaver.  You say she is gifted, but you chalk it up to trauma.  Ugh!  But, this may be me projecting my knowledge of future episodes onto this scene.

firefly-episode-3

The commander and Mal return to the ship, where Simon and River are nearly discovered.  But the Reaver pops out and attacks the commander before this can happen.  Mal kills the Reaver.  The commander releases the crew, confiscates the cargo, and destroys the settler ship.

Overall

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I think if the show continued, we would have seen more reaver activity.  Maybe one of the crew winds up on a Reaver ship. Maybe someone becomes a reaver.  There are many possibilities.  This was another awesome episode.  I love how this show does not give you one conflict per episode, but mounting conflict.

Wrapping it up

Wow!  This is why I decided to give each episode individual attention.  Next Sunday is episode four, “Shindig”.  This is another great episode.  Until then, be sure to join me for Rod-Tino Tuesday and Death Proof.  Next Thursday, we dive back into Angels of Death.  Have a great week!

Rod-Tino Tuesday: From Dusk Till Dawn

Hi everybody!  Welcome to our first Rod-Tino Tuesday, where we watch a movie directed by either Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez.  If you want a list of the movies, check out my preparation post from Sunday.  First on deck is 1996’s From Dusk Till Dawn, directed by Robert Rodriguez.  I can spend an entire week talking about this movie.  Let’s not waste time.  Here’s a little background.

Making it to Dawn

From-dusk-till-dawn

Theif Seth Gecko (George Clooney ) has escaped from prison with the help of his psychopathic brother Richard Gecko (Quentin Tarantino).  The plan is to escape to Mexico.  To accomplish this difficult task, Seth and Richie kidnap faithless pastor Jacob (Harvey Keitel), and his kids Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu).  They all pile into Jacob’s RV and make it to Mexico.  Jacob, Kate, and Scott must remain with the Gecko brothers until the brothers meet with their contact Carlos (Cheech Marin).  The rendezvous point happens to be a rowdy bar called the Titty Twister.   What they soon learn is that the bar’s dancers, staff, and the band are all vampires.  Now the brothers and the family along with biker Sex Machine (Tom Savini) and Vietnam veteran Frost (Fred Williamson) have to survive this hellish bar.

Epic Scenes

To pick a favorite scene in this movie is difficult.  I will not even try.  I will just tell you about some of my favorite moments.

The Gas Station

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What’s brilliant about the opening scene is that you do not really know what is going on.  You see the Texas Ranger (Michael Parks) and cashier Pete (John Hawkes) having a casual and offensive conversation.  It is surprising to see the Gecko brothers pop-up.  A casual encounter is instantly turned into a tense and exciting moment.

Gloria

from-dusk-till-dawn

The scene where Seth walks into the hotel room to find that Richie has assaulted and killed their hostage Gloria is an important scene.  First, Seth and the audience begins to understand the depths of Richie’s depravity.  He is sadistic.  This works against him in a scene I will discuss in a moment.  Second, the audience becomes aware that they are not dealing with warm and cuddly criminals.  We are not about to embark on some Robin Hood, Jack Sparrow adventure.  It is simply not that type of party.

Santanico Pandemonium

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The scene where Satanico Pandemonium (Queen Selma Hayek) does her sexy snake/table dance, something very interesting occurs besides the dance.  During her performance, she spots Richie sitting in the audience.  One can deduce from subsequent scenes that Satanico is the head vampire, which means she’s probably the oldest.   I think she sees Richie’s depravity.  She recognizes his foot fetish and knows she can use that to seduce him (go back and watch the movie.  Richie has a foot fetish).

Overall

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These are just a couple of scenes in a move riddled with awesome movies.  There’s Sex Machine’s sex machine.  There’s also Cheech Marin’s performance as that disgusting vampire.  But what really stands out is George Clooney’s performance.  This is by far my favorite Clooney role.  His Seth Gecko is something that the television show could not capture.  Also, the vampires are not these pretty Twilight-esque creatures.  They are ugly, ravenous, and brutal.

Wrapping it up

Well, there you have it!  Next week, we watch a movie by director Quentin Tarantino.  The random number generator has picked movie number seven on my Tarantino list.  That means that next week’s movie is Death Proof.  I have some interesting real-life memories of the movie.  I cannot wait to share them with you.  Until then, be sure to join me for anime Thursday, where we will discuss Planet With.  It was supposed to be ISLAND, but I had to take it off the watchlist for being super boring.  Don’t forget about Serenity Sunday and episode 3  of Firefly.

“Alright ramblers, let’s get rambling”- Seth Gecko.

Rod-Tino Tuesday Preparation!

Hello everyone!  Well, MC Tuesday is going on hiatus until the next major MCU movie.  MC Tuesday is fun, but I do not feel the need to talk it into the ground.  I want to explore other interests.  I’m nerdy about so many things, why limit myself?  So after pondering over a few ideas, I decided to discuss two of my favorite writers/directors/producers.  So ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Rod-Tino Tuesdays.

What’s Rod-Tino Tuesday?

Quentin-Tarantino

I’m glad you asked.  Every Tuesday, I will discuss a movie directed by Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez.  They have written and produced many films that will not be on this list.  The director duty made it easier for me to narrow down a list of movies.  So, each week, I will alternate between the directors, discussing their movies.  I will list the movies later in this post.  Instead of going in chronological order, I will choose a movie using a random number generator.

Grindhouse Homage

Pink-Flamingos

Tarantino and Rodriguez often put a modern spin on movies from the Grindhouse era.  If you do not know, Grindhouse movies are movies that are exploitative in nature.  They were extremely popular in the 1970s and get their name for the grindhouse theatres, converted burlesque establishments where the movies were featured.  These movies are usually considered “offensive”.  They are overly sexualized and violent movies.  Some examples from that era include Night of the Living Dead, I Spit on Your Grave, Blacula, and Pink Flamingos.

Why these two?

Robert-Rodriguez

I often sing the praises of JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon.  But it’s Tarantino and Rodriguez who are responsible for many of my favorite movies.  They have taken the spirit and look of Grindhouse and brought it to a modern audience who may have never seen Coffy or the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The way they shoot, direct, and edit the movies gives them a gritty, unapologetic feel (although, Tarantino goes too far in some of his later work.  I will explain that when we watch those films).

The List

Below is the list of movies I will watch.  Shorts, TV movies, television episodes, documentaries, and kiddy movies are not included (Rodriguez directed the Spy Kids movies and Sharkboy and Lava Girl).  What’s left is below:

Rodriguez

  1. El Mariachi
  2. Desperado
  3. Four Rooms-The Misbehaviors
  4. From Dusk til Dawn
  5. The Faculty
  6. Once Upon a Time in Mexico
  7. Sin City
  8. Planet Terror
  9. Machete
  10. Machete Kills
  11. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Tarantino

  1. Reservoir Dogs
  2. Pulp Fiction
  3. Four Rooms-The Man From Hollywood
  4. Jackie Brown
  5. Kill Bill vol. 1
  6. Kill Bill vol. 2
  7. Death Proof
  8. Inglorious Bastards
  9. Django Unchained
  10. The Hateful Eight

Four Rooms is on the list twice because of they both directed a segment.  I almost eliminated it from the list, but the segments are so good that I’m keeping them.

Up First

From-dusk-til-dawn

We are starting out with a bang!  The first movie is 1996’s From Dusk til Dawn.  Though Tarantino has a hand in writing the movie (not to mention he’s a co-star), it is directed by Robert Rodriguez.  I cannot wait!

Wrapping it up

Well, I hope you’re ready for Rod-Tino Tuesday!  I’m excited to re-live every moment of these movies.  I hope you will join me on this journey.  It’s going to be a fun ride!

Hello everyone!  Well, MC Tuesday is going on hiatus until the next major MCU movie.  MC Tuesday is fun, but I do not feel the need to talk it into the ground.  I want to explore other interests.  I’m nerdy about so many things, why limit myself?  So after pondering over a few ideas, I decided to discuss two of my favorite writers/directors/producers.  So ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Rod-Tino Tuesdays.

What’s Rod-Tino Tuesday?

Quentin-Tarantino

I’m glad you asked.  Every Tuesday, I will discuss a movie directed by Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez.  They have written and produced many films that will not be on this list.  The director duty made it easier for me to narrow down a list of movies.  So, each week, I will alternate between the directors, discussing their movies.  I will list the movies later in this post.  Instead of going in chronological order, I will choose a movie using a random number generator.

Grindhouse Homage

Pink-Flamingos

Tarantino and Rodriguez often put a modern spin on movies from the Grindhouse era.  If you do not know, Grindhouse movies are movies that are exploitative in nature.  They were extremely popular in the 1970s and get their name for the grindhouse theatres, converted burlesque establishments where the movies were featured.  These movies are usually considered “offensive”.  They are overly sexualized and violent movies.  Some examples from that era include Night of the Living Dead, I Spit on Your Grave, Blacula, and Pink Flamingos.

Why these two?

Robert-Rodriguez

I often sing the praises of JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon.  But it’s Tarantino and Rodriguez who are responsible for many of my favorite movies.  They have taken the spirit and look of Grindhouse and brought it to a modern audience who may have never seen Coffy or the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The way they shoot, direct, and edit the movies gives them a gritty, unapologetic feel (although, Tarantino goes too far in some of his later work.  I will explain that when we watch those films).

The List

Below is the list of movies I will watch.  Shorts, TV movies, television episodes, documentaries, and kiddy movies are not included (Rodriguez directed the Spy Kids movies and Sharkboy and Lava Girl).  What’s left is below:

Rodriguez

  1. El Mariachi
  2. Desperado
  3. Four Rooms-The Misbehaviors
  4. From Dusk til Dawn
  5. The Faculty
  6. Once Upon a Time in Mexico
  7. Sin City
  8. Planet Terror
  9. Machete
  10. Machete Kills
  11. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Tarantino

  1. Reservoir Dogs
  2. Pulp Fiction
  3. Four Rooms-The Man From Hollywood
  4. Jackie Brown
  5. Kill Bill vol. 1
  6. Kill Bill vol. 2
  7. Death Proof
  8. Inglorious Bastards
  9. Django Unchained
  10. The Hateful Eight

Four Rooms is on the list twice because of they both directed a segment.  I almost eliminated it from the list, but the segments are so good that I’m keeping them.

Up First

From-dusk-til-dawn

We are starting out with a bang!  The first movie is 1996’s From Dusk til Dawn.  Though Tarantino has a hand in writing the movie (not to mention he’s a co-star), it is directed by Robert Rodriguez.  I cannot wait!

Wrapping it up

Well, I hope you’re ready for Rod-Tino Tuesday!  I’m excited to re-live every moment of these movies.  I hope you will join me on this journey.  It’s going to be a fun ride!

Serenity Sunday: Firefly Episode 2-The Train Job

Hello everyone!  I hope you are finding serenity in your life this Sunday.  Today, we are talking about episode 2 of Firefly, “The Train Job”.  I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this episode.  If you need a refresher on who is who, please read my post on the first episode, where I introduce you to the gang.  I’m writing this assuming you know all of our main characters.  Okay, let’s get into episode 2.

Unification Day

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Mal, Jayne, and Queen Zoe (she’s not an actual queen, just one in my eyes) are sitting in a bar on some planet.  This patrons of the bar are in celebration mode because it is Unification Day, the day when the Alliance defeated the independent forces.  We learned in the first episode that Mal and Zoe fought with the independent forces against the Alliance.  Mal takes exception to one of the bar patrons toasting to the Alliance.  He provokes the man and a bar fight ensues.  Wash flies in to save the day.  The bar fight was Mal’s secondary objective in visiting the bar.  The primary objective is to pick up some work.  He succeeds in getting one heck of a job.

The Train

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Mal receives a task from this dangerous black market dealer called Niska.  He wants the Serenity crew to steal Alliance supplies from a train on the way to the outpost Paradiso.  The plan is simple, Zoe and Mal will ride the train, preparing the cargo for transport onto Serenity.  Jayne will be lowered onto the train from the ship, where he will latch the cargo onto a line that will hoist the box into the cargo hold of Serenity (did I say the plan was simple?).

Problems Galore

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There are a few small problems with the execution of the plan.  Unbeknownst to Mal, the train is crawling with Alliance soldiers.  They manage to steal the cargo, but not without causing a ruckus on the train.  Jayne is able to escape with the cargo, but Mal and Zoe are stuck on the train to Paradiso.  Once they arrive in the town, all the passengers are sequestered, including Mal and Zoe.  The sheriff is trying to determine who stole the cargo.  This is when Mal learns that the box contained medicine the sick and dying of people of Paradiso needed.   Inara manages to use her companion status to free Zoe and Mal.  Mal decides to return the stolen property to Paradiso.  Before he can do this, Niska’s henchmen show to claim the cargo and kill the crew for not making it to the rendezvous.

The Best Scene Ever!

After a bit of a skirmish, the crew comes out on top.  The medicine is given to the sheriff.  Mal tries to return the money to the lead henchman, vowing to stay out of Niska’s way from now on.  The henchman proceeds to make threats, saying he is going to kill the crew.  Mal says “too bad” and kicks the guy into the suction created by the turbines of the Serenity.  The guy gets SUCKED INTO THE TURBINES!!!!  Mal then makes the same offer of staying out of Niska’s way to the next henchman.  Of course, the henchman agrees.  The first time I saw the kick, I laughed, screamed, and applauded at the same time.  What a delightfully surprising and completely gangsta way of ridding the crew of an enemy.

Blue hands

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The episode concludes with Mal and Simon discussing River’s condition, while River mumbles “two by two, hands of blue” in another room.  The next scene shows two guys that look like Mr. Smith from The Matrix talking to a commander about the appearance of the Serenity crew on Paradiso.  They were wearing blue, latex gloves.  This looks like a set-up to episodes that were supposed to happen in later seasons, where the crew would encounter and fight Team Blue Gloves.

Wrapping it up

This episode is like a movie.  There is so much going on and all of it is entertaining.  Episode two made me a fan of the show.  It is a well written and well-executed episode that deserves a watch, even if you do not watch the other episodes (but you should watch all of them).

That’s it for episode 2 of Firefly.  Be sure to join me this Tuesday for our first Rod-Tino Tuesday, where we will be watching From Dusk til Dawn, directed by Robert Rodriguez.  Later today, I will post the particulars of Rod-Tino Tuesday in a separate post.  I will see you next Sunday for episode 3, “Bushwhacked”.  This one’s a little creepy.  I will see you then!

Marvel Cinematic Tuesday: Ant-Man and The Wasp

Marvel-logo

Hi everybody!  Welcome to MC Tuesday, where we watch a movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Today’s movie is Ant-Man and The Wasp.  This movie had some obstacles.  The first Ant-Man was not a good movie.  Second, there was not a lot of buzz around this movie.  This ties into the third issue.  Ant-Man and The Wasp follow two epic movies in the MCU, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.  So, this movie was fighting an uphill battle from the beginning.  The movie is directed by Peyton Reed, the same director than the first movie.  Let’s get into it.  Spoilers guys!!!

I have popcorn, that’s all the corn I need.

Marvel-Ant-Man-The-Wasp

Here we go again.  From the beginning of the movie, we deal with a bunch of corny jokes.  This movie relies heavily on Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) and Luis (Michael Pena) for humor.  But, the movie lacks a good story.  Between the “laughs”, there is a boring story about Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Pym (Michael Douglas) trying to rescue Hope’s mother Janet (Michelle Pfieffer) from Shrunken World (that’s not what they call it.  I just can’t remember the science words).

The villains

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Weak, very weak.  I did not expect bad guys of Thanos proportions, but these villains kind of fade into the background.  If memory serves, the villain in the first Ant-Man was also a dud.  Instead of adding two mediocre villains, they should have focused on one strong villain.  First, we have Sonny Burch (Walter Goggins).  He’s a lot like the villain in the first movie.  He’s some sort of black market technology dealer or something.  His involvement in the movie seems pointless.  If anything, it is a distraction.  Next, we have Ava a.k.a. Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) with assistance from Dr. Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne).  They tried to cram so much junk into this movie, that her character development felt rushed.

It’s not all bad

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Some of the action in this movie is pretty good.  The car chase scene is pretty exciting.  It injects some energy into a drab movie.  Also, The Wasp’s first fight scene was pretty cool.  The movie could have used some more action and less cheeseball humor.

The Stingers

There are two stingers in this movie.  The second stinger is just a cute little moment with an ant.  The first stinger connects the movie to the rest of the MCU.  I think this scene will be important in Captain Marvel as well, but that’s just a theory.

Overall

Marvel-Ant-Man-The-Wasp

This could have been a Netflix original.  I thought Ant-Man and The Wasp was just a box that needed to be checked on my checklist.  But it looks like Marvel Studios shared the same sentiment.  I hope this is the last Ant-Man movie until they are ready to take it seriously.  They need to balance the humor, action, and dramatic parts of the film.  Do not give us corny humor, some action, and dramatic scenes that fall flat.

Wrapping It Up

Well, that’s it for Ant-Man and The Wasp (thank goodness).  This will be the last MC Tuesday until the next major MCU movie.  Next Tuesday will be the start of Rod-Tino Tuesdays.  We will watch a random movie from directors Quintin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.  I will alternate between directors each week.  The first movie will be announced Sunday.  Until then, I will see you on Thursday for my review of Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion.  Serenity Sunday will consist of episode two of Firefly.  I will see you later!

Serenity Sunday: Firefly Episode 1-Serenity

Hi Everybody!  Welcome to Serenity Sundays where we watch an episode of Firefly.  I was originally going to do two episodes per week.  But, after re-watching the first episode, I realized that every episode deserves its own post.  Firefly is a sci-fi /western show that ran on Fox between 2002 and 2003.  Fox canceled the show after one season due to low ratings.  But, how can such a wonderful show get low ratings?  I looked back at the top-rated shows at that time.  Everything was reality competitions shows, procedural dramas, and sitcoms.  The powers that be probably decided to squeeze in another day of American Idol in the week.

Firefly-episode-1-Mal

The problem is that Firefly was ahead of its time.  It may have done better now in the time of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones.  Today, the Joss Whedon show is a cult classic with 14 episodes and a movie.  Enough history, let’s get into the first episode.

Welcome Aboard

Firefly-Episode-1

The first episode introduces us to the crew and passengers of the Serenity, a Firefly-class cargo ship.  The captain of the ship is Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), a former soldier who quit the game after the Rebels lost to the Alliance.  His second in command is the loyal and fierce Zoe (played by queen Gina Torres).  Zoe is married to the ship’s pilot Wash (Alan Tudyk).  I love that Mal and Zoe are platonic and Zoe is married to the nerd.  The ship’s mechanic Kaylee keeps the Serenity flying.  She kind of annoys me because she talks like a baby.  I guess she is supposed to project some sort of innocence.  She could’ve done that without the baby talk.

Firefly-Episode-1-Inara

Jayne (Adam Baldwin) is the brutish, greedy, mean guy that is the muscle of the group.  Of course, he’s my favorite character.  The beautiful Inara (Morena Baccarin) rents one of the shuttles to carry on her duties as a companion (an escort).  Her job is considered prestigious, so she brings some credibility to the Serenity.

Passengers for Pay

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Six years after the war, Mal and his crew are illegal salvagers.  They come upon a wrecked ship that has cargo that belongs to the Alliance.  They salvage the cargo and take it to Persephone to sell.  This is where they run into the rest of our characters.  Shepard Book (Ron Glass) left the abbey to see what the world has to offer.  Mal has no time for the Shepard and his religion.  He makes that abundantly clear.  Dobson’s just a dude…a dude with a secret.  Simon (Sean Maher) is a doctor who is carrying a large crate.  I will return to this crate in a moment.  The passengers board the Firefly, bringing a bunch of trouble.

Deception on the Serenity

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Mal is having the worst week ever.  First, he is almost busted by the Alliance while salvaging the loot.  Then, he learns that Dobson is Alliance and has alerted his buddies as to the Serenity’s location.  Mal learns that Dobson is not after the crew, but after Simon.  It turns out the crate contains Simon’s sister River (Summer Glau) who is in some sort of cryogenic sleep.  Simon escaped with her when he learned that they were doing experiments on her.  On Whitehall, Mal is almost killed by Patience, the woman who is making a deal with Mal for the cargo.  Once he’s out of that pickle, he is alerted that Reavers followed them to Whitehall.  Reavers are savage humans that will rape, kill, and skin the crew if the Serenity is captured.  Thanks to Wash’s piloting, they are able to escape the Reavers.

Complex Characters

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What makes this show interesting is that the characters are not one dimensional.  On the one hand, Mal is a tough guy that has no problems shooting Dobson in the face.  On the other hand, he is generous enough to spare Simon and River and invite them to stay on the ship.  Jayne is a d-bag but was ready to kill Dobson when he accidentally shot Kaylee.  Zoe is tough as nails but is madly in love with nerdy Wash.  I could go on about the characters, but I think you get the point.  It’s the complexity of the characters that peaked my interest.  But, it’s the second episode that made me a fan.

Wrapping it Up

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Well, that’s it for episode one of Firefly.  Next week, I will tell you about the epic scene that made me a fan.  If you like the show, you probably know what I’m talking about.  Until then, be sure to join me for MC Tuesday and Ant-Man and Wasp.

Marvel Cinematic Tuesday: The Punisher

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Hi everybody!  Welcome to MC Tuesday, where we watch a movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Before we get into the today’s movie, I wanted to apologize for missing Sunday.  It was the last day of school and I had some assignments to finish.  This past weekend was exhausting.  I used Monday to decompress and recharge the batteries.  But Serenity Sunday will convene this Sunday with episodes 1 and 2 of Firefly.  Now let’s get back to the movie.  Today’s Marvel movie is 2004’s The Punisher.  This is my first time watching this movie, that is directed by Jonathan Hensleigh.  Let me refresh your memory.

Furious Frank The Punisher

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Frank West (Thomas Jane) works undercover for the FBI.  In a big undercover sting involving Frank, Howard Saint’s (John Travolta) son is killed.  Howard is a criminal businessman (mobster is a reach) that launders money.  Howard Saint wants revenge, so he wants to kill Frank.  Howard’s wife Livia (Laura Harring) wants the whole family dead as retribution for her son.  So a crew led by Howard’s longtime right-hand man  Quentin Glass (Will Patton) and Howard’s living son tight shirt John (James Carpinello) heads to Peurto Rico and kills Frank’s entire family at the family reunion.  They try to kill Frank but, Frank survives and the carnage begins.

Rampage of Archer Proportions

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Did you see that episode of Archer when he kills a bunch of people that are members of a counterfeit cancer medicine ring?  Take that episode and add cunning and calculation.  This is what happens in The Punisher.  I thought the Bride from Kill Bill was nothing to mess with.  I think Frank West outdoes her.  Not only does he kill a bunch of people, he sets it up so Howard kills Howard’s wife and his BFF Quintin.  NOW THAT’S JUSTICE.  He destroyed Frank by making Frank self-destruct.  In one of the crazier scenes, Frank thinks his wife is cheating with Quintin (who is gay).  So instead of just shooting her, he throws her onto some train tracks where she is HIT BY A TRAIN!!!

The Writing or The Acting?

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The action in this movie is awesome.  But, when the actors have to deliver a line, it sounds corny.  I do not know if it’s bad acting or bad writing.  Hensleigh is a writer on the movie along with Michael France.  France also penned Cliffhanger, Fantastic 4, and GoldenEye.  I do not remember the dialogue in those movies setting the world on fire so I’m thinking the writing is the problem.  Luckily, we do not have many conversations in this movie.

Overall

At the end of the day, the movie isn’t bad.  Unlike Elektra, Daredevil, and even Blade 2, The Punisher feels a little more energized.  Perhaps it’s because it is set in Tampa and there’s constant action.  It’s like Hensleigh understands that this isn’t an Oscar bid, but an antihero movie.  It doesn’t feel heavy and steeped in melodrama.

Wrapping it up and Announcements

Well, that’s it for The Punisher! Next time, we will talk Ant-Man and Wasp.  This will be the last MC Tuesday until Captain Marvel.  Instead of digging for more Marvel content, I decided to take Tuesdays in a new direction.

At first, I thought about covering DC movies.  But, there are too many movies that I do not like.  That is just too painful an experience.  So instead of forcing myself to watch DC, I want to talk about two significant directors in my moviegoing experience.  So, in two weeks we will begin our look at the works of Robert Rodrigues and Quintin Tarantino.  I will alternate between the directors’ movies that will be selected at random.  This will be a perfect companion with Serenity Sundays.

Alright, gang!  I will see you this anime Thursday for Angels of Death.

 

Marvel Cinematic Tuesday: Blade Trinity

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Hi everybody!  Welcome to MC Tuesday, where we watch a movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  We have arrived at the best movie from the “pre-MCU” MCU.  It’s 2004’s Blade Trinity starring Wesely Snipes!  This movie finally gets something right that its predecessors could not quite get together.  I will come back to this in a moment.  The director for this one is David Goyer.  This guy has an interesting resume.  This is one of his earlier credits as a director.  He is the writer of Blade 2 and Batman v. Superman.  But, he has decent video game writing credits including Injustice: Gods Among Us and Call of Duty: Black Ops.  But enough about the director, let’s get into Blade Trinity.  We’re going to start with the negative and wrap it up with the positive.  Let’s do it!

Acting!!!

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What’s so bad and also kind of great about Blade Trinity is the overacting.  These people are acting so hard it is hilarious.  Danica Talos (Parker Posey) is doing the absolute most.  There’s a lot of yelling and face.  Oh, the face!  Those angry faces are amazingly bad.  I did not know if I was watching Blade Trinity or a high school production of Othello. The techno music heightened the drama, which makes the overacting more apparent.  But there is a saving grace in this movie and the “pre-MCU” MCU franchise.

Blade Trinity’s superstar!

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Ryan Reynolds.  I am a big fan of Ryan Reynolds.  And it’s not just the awesome Deadpool movies.  I like him in the rom-com and other action movies as well (except Green Lantern.  Yuck!).  He is the only one in the movie that wasn’t acting like his life depended on it.  But more importantly, he is our comic relief.  Finally, the creators realize that this they need some humor.  After four movies of heavy content, we get some humor (I just realized that I skipped The Punisher).  Maybe when Disney took over the MCU, they saw the need for a balance between the heavy subject matter, the action, and the humor.

The Past, The Present, and the Future

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I have to say, this was fun.  The early 2000s MCU is a crazy world, full of drama, dark lighting, and bad writing.  Fast-forward a few years, and we will begin the MCU we know today with The Incredible Hulk.  From there, the MCU will make movies that will fuel Marvel fandom for years, all the way to the traumatic Infinity War.  In the future, I would like to see a reimagining of Daredevil, Elektra, and Blade.  I know Daredevil is on Netflix and Blade had a series and cartoons, but I would like to see it on the big screen again, with new writers and directors breathing life into the characters.  Heck, if they can make another Shaq Fu, they can remake these movies.

Wrapping it Up

Well, that’s it, you guys!  Next Tuesday, I may squeeze in The Punisher.  It depends on when I see Ant-Man and Wasp.  Until then, join me Thursday, where I will let you know my summer anime watch list.  It’s only three anime, but that doesn’t mean I will not bring you my thoughts on others.  This is my last week of school for about five weeks.  I’m thinking about squeezing in a Sunday Drama to pass the time.  Just keep your eyes on Couch Crusin and social media.  I will attend my local anime con next weekend.  I will let you know how it goes!

 

Marvel Cinematic Tuesday: Blade 2

 

Marvel-logoHi everybody!  Welcome to MC Tuesday, where we watch a movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Today, we are watching the Chronicles of Riddick of Blade Movies, 2002’s Blade 2: Blood Hunt.  I did not even know this movie has a subtitle.  I always thought it was just Blade 2.  This movie is weird.  Maybe it is because it is directed by Guillermo del Toro, director of The Strain.  Or perhaps it’s just a terrible movie.  Let’s flesh this mess out together, shall we?  No sandwich this time, we’re just going to talk this through.

The Actors of Blade 2

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Blade 2 should not suck.  We have some real talent permeating this flick.  Of course, we have our hero Wesley Snipes, reprising his role as the daywalker Blade.  We are introduced to the tech-savvy yet traitorous Scud played by Boondock Saints/The Walking Dead phenom Norman Reedus.  The amazing Ron Pearlman plays the hater, yet still cool Reinhardt.

The Script???

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Let me back up for a moment and explain what this movie is about.  So, the secret vampire council (or whatever) has a huge threat.  There are a strain (like the show) of vampires that are immune to everything but UV light.  Unlike regular vamps, they feast on the blood of both humans and vampires alike.  This new crew is lead by Nomak, played by Luke Goss (I don’t know his work other than this movie).  He is experiencing daddy issues and that’s why he’s super angry.  At any rate, the vampire council elicits the help of Blade to rid the world of Nomak.  So, they call a truce for the sake of human and vampire kind.

In the end, Blade wins.  Who cares?  No one.

So Heavy

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Of course Blade 2: Bloodhunt suffers from the same problem as the rest of the pre-MCU Marvel universe.  This movie is too freaking serious.  This movie is beef stew heavy.   Between the fight scenes are forgettable moments.  I cannot recall one moment from this movie.  If they would have injected a little more humor into this bland beef stew, they could have given it some much-needed flavor.

Overall

If I was not trying to stay true to the schedule, I would have skipped this one.  You have some good actors with a really boring script.  The fight scenes are okay, but it is not enough to redeem this boring movie.   Yikes!  This pre-MCU is a dark time, a dark time indeed.

Wrapping it Up

Well, that’s it for Blade 2!  Next week, we wrap up our flashback with Blade 3.  I have a pretty specific reason for liking that movie, but I will discuss this next Tuesday.   Until then, I have two anime to finish for the spring season.  I will finish them tomorrow and give you my spring season wrap-up later this week.  I plan on watching and talking about Ant-Man and Wasp later this month.  I will see you later!!!

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