Friday, September 30, 2011

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night - 2 out of 5

Since everything werewolf, vampire and zombie is absorbed by the masses of our society, any mediocre property that contains one, some or all of those elements, it gets bought up, phoned in and sold to the people who find themselves acting like the creatures in these films. The majority of the time, these products don't take their stories or even the actual making of process seriously and what we get is...well, lame. See Twilight or nearly every piece of zombie fiction ever made for reference--Night of the Living Dead, The Walking Dead and other zombie-filled media up to those standards don't count. So, is it really a surprise that this Italian comic book was made into a movie? Not really because those Italians love their zombie movies--by the way, their zombie movies are some of those poorly made ones that are made only for gore sake and they put little emphasis on story or character. Actually, they put no emphasis on the gore either because it always looks fake. Go figure.

"The doctor makes me wear these."

So, with little to do with the comic book, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is about a private investigator who, unbeknownst to the general public, protects the living dead from not only being discovered by the living but possibly getting killed by them as well. Located in the bayou of New Orleans, Dylan stumbles upon a murder of a man who kills the undead and then, stumbling some more, finds a plot to unleash the most powerful undead creature to ever walk the planet. Dylan does a lot of stumbling, his equilibrium is off I think.

But Dylan Dog's equilibrium isn't the only thing off. In fact, the whole movie is off.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is basically a sloppy mess. The story, in the hands of more competent writers and a director, could have been witty, charming and entertaining but what we get is a steaming pile of mush that is further muddled by absolutely piss poor editing that has the bad habit of throwing the viewer violently from scene to scene with bad narration to try and ease the shock. Further insult is lashed upon the audience as Brandon Routh, the man who nearly killed Superman, stars as Dylan and his performance mirrors that of someone who just woke up from a NyQuil coma. And I won't even get into the bad one-liners he spouts off during the entire film--but that's more of the writer's fault than anything.

When Glamor Shots goes Goth.

Things only get worse in the cast as professional wrestler Kurt Angle plays a werewolf. Now, I appreciate what pro wrestlers do in the ring, there is some real athletic prowess going on there but when it comes to acting, not many of them have what it takes. Seeing a pro wrestler in a movie is parallel to a musician trying to do the same thing--you know they are out of their element and you wish they didn't try to branch out.

Believe it or not, Dylan is punching a werewolf. To further suspend disbelief, that werewolf is pro wrestler Kurt Angle. Apparently when you change to a beast of the night, you lose muscle mass.

Finally, it seems the filmmakers felt this movie needed their own Jar Jar Binks and it came in the form of Dylan's assistant--who unfortunately turns into a zombie. Not only did Dog's best friend become a member of the undead, it seems that such a transition means one becomes an annoying ass who never shuts up. The only real light in the shadowy cast filled with a dreadful lack of talent is a small part played by Peter Stormare. His short scene was the only time real acting is seen and its presence only acts as evidence for how bad the movie is the rest of the time.

Peter Stormare's very short scene is the only good thing about this film.

Dylan Dog is filled with potential and could have been a truly funny and entertaining little film. However, an over abundance of bad acting, amateurish editing and makeup effects that look like they were obsolete in the early 90s, only goes to produce a sloppy, poorly put together movie that feels more like a waste of money--a waste of cash even if you illegally download it.

Shadows & Lies

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Shadows & Lies - 1 out of 5

Shadows & Lies is about...well, I think it's about trying to cure insomnia because if you suffer from it, this movie will easily give you the eight hours of sleepy time you so desperately crave. This movie is boring. In fact, I think I may have to capitalize it for emphasis. This movie is BORING.

Even James Franco seems bored by this film...and he's in it!

The film is about a man (played by James Franco) who returns to New York after being in exile in order to save the woman he loves. This would be a great story if the film actually decided to do something with it. Instead the director felt boring, static shots of people either mumbling out their dialogue or not speaking entirely would somehow convince the audience that something is going on. I can only hope that Franco, a man who's proven his talent beyond the time he was acting circles around Tobey Maguire in all three Spider-Man films, owed someone a favor for being in this substantial waste of time--that is unless you are a fan of watching Franco walk and eat because that is literally 75% of the movie. Then another 20% is long pauses and silence and the final 5% is the movie trying to work in some plot and story.

The film's stars are also perplexed by this film's existence.

So, unless you feel the need to see Franco walk down some poorly lit sidewalk or enjoy a burger at some random restaurant in a movie that makes student films look polished and high budget, there really is no reason to watch this movie.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ironclad

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Ironclad - 2 out of 5

Ironclad surrounds the true life events of King John attacking Rochester Castle after the King signed the Magna Carta and ultimately went against his word and tried to reclaim his land. However, a few Templar Knights held off the King and his army. Sounds awesome, right? Well, it is. Except the film version of these historic events weren't so full of awe.

"Wait a second...is that man not wearing any pants?"

This disappointed me because there were two very large reasons I wanted to enjoy this film. Number 1) Right after being a ninja, pirate and a cowboy, I want to be a knight. Granted, above all others, I want to be a Jedi Knight but I'll take up jousting and save busty maidens from their towers while wearing chainmail. Secondly, this movie has a terrific cast. I mean Paul "Freaking" Giamatti plays King John! How could this movie fail?

This is the film's bad guy and he is FABULOUS!!!

Well, first and foremost, the characters all lack any real depth. Aside from stars like Giamatti, Brian
Cox, Jason Flemyng and Charles Dance (who were all great in the movie, by the way) no one really had a character and, for the life of me, I can't remember most of them even having names. The true focus of this film was the battle scenes and the true focus of those was gore and blood. I mean it's cool seeing a dude's head pop open like a ripe melon but if I can't even recall the name of the man wielding the weapon that split the faceless bad guy's lid, what's the point?

Is that Gareth from The Office or Legolas' odder brother?

There's nothing special about Ironclad. Sure there's some blood and guts but the battles are sloppy and look like they were choreographed by middle school kids messing around with their parent's camcorders. And yes, there are some great actors in this movie but with a slow moving story and lifeless plot, their talent is completely wasted. Even getting to look at the incredibly sexy Kate Mara for two hours in a fair maiden's outfight isn't enough to give this movie a shot. In fact, if it wasn't for the good actors and the fact that the set dressings are actually pretty decent and look the era, I probably would have given this a more deserving 1 out of 5.

The movie wanted a Hugh Jackman type but couldn't afford the Hugh Jackman price tag. So they got this guy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

TrollHunter

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

TrollHunter - 4 out of 5

Ever since The Blair Witch Project earned it's weight in gold times a thousand at the box office, found footage films have become all the rage. Now, I'll admit, I enjoyed The Blair Witch Project because they marketed that film like a boss and it was something that wasn't seen at the time. However, since then, we've seen people taking that formula but forgetting that you need to have some semblance of an entertaining story and good actors to accompany your shaking video camera. Cloverfield, I felt, was pretty entertaining but for the most part, most of these found footage films aren't worth finding in the first place. George Romero tried it with Diary of the Dead and it made me wonder if he's gone senile as it single-handily made his previous epic works look like he made them that way by accident. Then we had to suffer from the very non-frightening Paranormal Activity and it's downright pitiful sequel, cleverly named, Paranormal Activity 2. I guess the motto for that one was, "Hey, the first one sucked but people paid money to see it, so why not see if they'll do it again." However, leave it to the Norwegians to take our already stale formula and revamp it with TrollHunter.

Ah, trolls! Who knew TrollHunter would have trolls?!? Why can't it just have goblins like Troll 2.

The film starts off reeking of found footage cliches as text pops up claiming that the following film was delivered by an unknown sender. What we see is some college students out filming what they originally believe to be a poacher out to kill bears but what they discover is entirely something different. The man is actually someone who hunts the once believed to be works of childrens' fiction; Trolls. I guess you can call him a Troll Hunter! Hey, that's where the title comes from! The students then decide to follow him as he tries to figure out what is happening to the local troll population as they start to exhibit erratic and unpredictable behavior.

If you guessed that this is the man who hunts trolls, you are wrong. He's a clown at kids' birthday parties.

I really dug this movie and was even more excited by the fact that it lived up to the expectations I had for it from the trailer. Despite it's absolutely fantastic story, they were able to keep the film grounded (something a lot of found footage films aren't capable of doing) and actually made the trolls believable and real. Even more interesting about it is how they incorporated all the real folklore of trolls and added it to science in order to create a new mythology around the beasts. They even included the good old, "Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman," into the mix. In fact, the way they included that was really cool--Trolls can actually smell if you're a Christian or not. Good thing I'm an atheist. I guess I can take up troll hunting!

Yeah, you won't be smiling when you find out where you're getting stuck with that thing.

Also, unlike found footage films like Paranormal Activity, this movie actually contained some really convincing actors and, also unlike other found footage films, I never found myself wondering why certain scenes remained in the film. Throughout the boring beginning of Paranormal Activity (not to be confused with the boring middle or really boring end) I kept asking myself, "Why would the authorities keep the footage of the two unlikeable people arguing over stupid stuff like they're annoying relationship, in the film? There's no need for it." But in TrollHunter, I never found myself with this question because every scene is important to what's going on, whether it be the crew learning lessons from the wise old hunter or everyone being knee-deep in troll shit as all hell breaks loose.

The last time I saw a troll in nightvision, I was watching Paris Hilton's sex tape.

TrollHunter is one of those films that does what it promises and does it well. Sure the special effects aren't up to par with most of the big budget Hollywood effects movies but they're not completely terrible either. The trolls look real enough and I found myself so engrossed in the film's story that it was easily to lose myself and see the trolls as an actual part of the film's environments. The film ends up becoming a real-life fairytale that ends up becoming too real. It would almost become whimsical if it wasn't for the real danger that those giant trolls could make you their midnight snack.

Paul

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Paul - 4 out of 5

Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, the duo that starred in Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, decided to shed the comedy of the British Isle and Americanize in their latest film and it comes in the form of Paul--which both stars wrote as well. Two hardcore nerds (which, without saying, I can easily relate to) just left Comic Con and are off to see all the U.F.O. hot spots in America's Southwest. While doing so, they come across a live little green (or in this case, gray) man and the two geeks suddenly find themselves helping the little guy escape the clutches of the U.S. government who, for a time, shared an alliance with but it seems his usefulness has run out.

Wherever they are, it's my idea of paradise.

I was quite pleased with Paul and it continues to show that the tag team of Pegg and Frost has what it takes to make a great film that is, at times, heartwarming and funny--but don't worry, when the film pulls on your heartstrings, it's quick to throw in a joke so it doesn't get too sappy. However, the film is not nearly as funny as the previous works of Pegg and Frost. Like their other films, the need to reference other geek material takes precedence over the actual placement of jokes. But this is something that plagued the two men their entire career--it's the one reason I could never get into the television show they starred on the BBC; Spaced. Just because you throw in a reference to Star Wars (or even Battlestar Galactica in this movie) doesn't mean the reference you're doing is actually something to laugh at. It just makes geeks like me go, "Ahhh...nice."

Is Bill Hader looking at Truglio's package? And what's with Truglio's look on his face?

And this movie contains a lot of references. Aside from the usual stock of Star Wars, Star Trek and, since Sigourney Weaver is in the film, you had to have the famous line from Aliens, "Get away from her, you bitch!" Also, because this movie is about spacemen, you need references to Spielberg's classics Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. However, like I said, with all the geek and movie references, Frost and Pegg felt that these would take the place of jokes--and the jokes they do include are barely able to get me to register anything more than a slight chuckle. I know that sounds like I ripping the movie apart but the reality is I really enjoyed this film. Sure I didn't really laugh like a madman or really much at all but the story is entertaining enough that the slight chuckles the movie gave me was enough to keep me satisfied the entire run.

An alien in a comic book shop? I take it back, this is my version of paradise!!!

This fact becomes quite meaningful--especially when you consider that I am not, in any way, a Seth Rogen fan. I've never found the man to be very funny and the one character that he plays in every movie isn't entertaining enough for me to really give a shit about the actor. So, going into this film, I expected the alien, Paul (who Seth provides the voice for) to be a pot smoking worthless prick that, for some unknown reason, is loved by all characters that surround him. And, to be honest, that's exactly what Paul was but there was some magic about the alien.

Sigourney Weaver in a classy dress and a big gun? Why do I find that arousing?

Believe it or not, Rogen's voice acting was really good and the fantastic computer effects that brought Paul to life were very, VERY good. Basically, the computer took the one thing Seth could never master--physical acting. So, the combination of convincing CG and great line readings by Rogen made for an enjoyable character--even though at its heart, the skinny alien is still the same character Rogen plays in every freakin' movie.

Seriously, the CG on Paul was great!

Now, I think I can pass over the fact that Nick Frost and Simon Pegg were great, I knew that going in. I think I can also glance over the fact that they were backed up by some fantastic and funny talent in the form of Bill Hader, Joe Lo Truglio, John Carroll Lynch, Kristen Wiig and Jane Lynch. But special mention has to be given to Jason Bateman who was amazing as the "man in black" hunting down Paul. His performance was spectacular!

Dammit Fox, bring back Arrested Development!!!

Finally, one thing really surprised me about Paul and that was the heavy atheist tones the film took. Not only do I find this interesting because I, myself, am a proud and vocal atheist but it's rare that you see a film that will openly acknowledge atheism without casting it into an evil light. Pegg himself is an open atheist but claims the reason for these themes was to get the militant Christian character played by Kristen Wiig to swear like a sailor on a bender. But in my opinion, it's hard to not do a film that contains an alien and not bring up the discussion of God.

Frost and Pegg, movies' version of PB& J, they just go together.

As fellow atheist Carl Sagan showed us in his book Contact, the idea of meeting with another lifeform from another planet could have devastating impacts on the believes and ideas of the faithful on this planet. People are raised and taught that their God made them in his image, so it's no surprise that a little green guy with big black eyes and an even bigger head could shake the foundation of those teachings--and that's what Paul does to the character Wiig plays. So, even though Pegg did this all in a very round about way to get a Christian to swear and bring in some laughs from the offensive nature of it all, he and Frost were making some very interesting commentary about life on other planets and Judeo-Christian religions. One would think this film could actually spark some real discussions and open debate among the believers and non-believers but if you read Christian reviews of this film (and I highly suggest you do because they are hilarious) it's clear that's not going to happen.

Even though I didn't laugh much at Paul, the story is just fun and pretty damn cool. I've always been fascinated with the idea that life exists elsewhere in the billions of billions of galaxies that reside out there, so getting to see two guys who I already relate to hang out with an alien from one of those billions of galaxies speaks to the kid in me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Perfect Host

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Perfect Host - 4 out of 5

This is one of those films that is difficult to explain what it's truly about without the danger of giving any of the twists and specific plot details away but here I go...

The Perfect Host is about a bank robber who's on the run from the fuzz and decides to take refuge in the home of a classy guy about to give a dinner party. However, our criminal friend quickly discovers that not all is as it seems in this man's home.

Not enough? Watch the trailer. Here it is...



When I first saw this trailer, my first gut reaction was, "YES! YES! I MUST SEE THIS MOVIE!!!" My reaction was in all caps because I was literally screaming that sentence as I typed it, not because I'm an amateur with a keyboard and likes to type things in all caps like 90% of Facebook users. So, basically, I was excited for this one because Number One) I love totally messed up films and Number Two) I love dark comedies and this one combined both of those. However, before I sat down to watch this one, my high expectations were dashed when I went to Rotten Tomatoes. It scored only a 36%. I was heartbroken because most of the time, my thoughts about films are pretty close to the percentage on the Tomatometer but this time, I didn't agree with it.

Those aren't small cups. Those people are giants.

When the credits rolled, I was very pleased with the insanity that was The Perfect Host. The movie is very amusing and, for the most part, very well put together by young director, Nick Tomnay (who also wrote the film and made the short which the film was based on). The only real problems that come from the movie is the fact that Tomnay has a bad habit of destroying momentum with poor editing. Great sequences involving our host, Warwick, and his guest, John can quickly be lost to the viewer as we are haphazardly thrown into another sequence involving either a flashback John is having or the police investigating the bank robbery.

At first, these scenes started to vex me because I felt they actually were hindering the story and I wanted the entire film to take place and stay put in the home of fascinating Warwick. However, these scenes ultimately play a giant role in the film's ending twists--but it just goes to show how poorly they were tossed into the equation as they end up hurting the film's pacing.

"No please, help yourself to my plate."

Now, did you catch what I threw in that last paragraph? I mentioned the film has twists at the end. That's right, plural. More than one. In fact, an entire barrage of twists come sailing towards the viewer in the final moments of the movie. To the point, it actually becomes too many. When you start averaging one every five minutes, even M. Night Shymalan is saying, "Pull it back a little, would ya?" The twists, although they do converge to make a great ending, become a little grating and made me wish for a little simplicity.

"This is my pokin' stick."

Finally, the movie is harmed by the presence of the actor portraying our bank robbing victim of John. Clayne Crawford (don't worry, I haven't heard of him either) plays the torture toy of Warwick but Crawford's screen presence is flat at best. He never really brings much character to John. Even though the film's story tries really hard for you to like him and feel sorry for him, Crawford's terrible performance makes you do the opposite and dislike him to a high degree. I actually found myself wanting the psychopath of Warwick to be the film's hero--in a villain sense of the word. Basically, I wanted evil to win because of bad casting.

There were points I was actually convinced that John was a cardboard cutout.

Which brings me to the film's greatest aspect...Warwick, played amazingly by David Hyde Pierce.

Had someone, anyone else been cast, this movie would not have worked. Pierce brings the character of Warwick to life and makes it look effortless. Pierce is so good in this role, you quickly forget you are watching the man who played Fraiser's brother for over 10 years.

I'm pretty sure this dance will take off.

Combining with Pierce's hypnotic performance is some elements that really make the film work and makes it easy to forget the parts that don't. The story for one is pretty damn cool and some of the twists (even though there are too many) end up coming together for a great ending. Finally, it's pretty obvious from the film's trailer (remember, I don't want to spoil anything) that Warwick is bat shit insane but the way Tomnay visualizes the man's insanity is just plain awesome! Seeing the way Warwick's conscience is handled makes Jiminy Cricket look like an annoying bug that's cruising for some face time with the sole of a large boot.

So, The Perfect Host isn't a perfect f'ed up movie or the best example of a dark comedy. The funny moments tend to disappear as the film progresses and the insanity of it all takes a hike as the plot twists take over the movie. However, the parts that work are enough to warrant a viewing. Especially, David Hyde Pierce!

Modern Family Season 2

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Modern Family Season 2 - 5 out of 5

I'm not the biggest fan of comedies on broadcast television. I've always found the majority of them to be nothing but rehashed stories about married couples filled with cliche jokes and laugh tracks so the audience doesn't forget to laugh. No network has been guiltier of this atrocity and lack of originality than CBS. However, on occasions, like that 1 dentist out of 5, there is a surprise out there. A show comes along that completely breaks away from the norm and brings to broadcast television something unique or twists an old idea and makes it fresh. Arrested Development was something unseen on T.V. before but since it lacked a laugh track or tiresome reoccurring jokes of people falling down (like J.D. on Scrubs), the show was deemed too foreign for the Soccer Moms and Nascar Dads and was cancelled--I will never forgive you Fox for doing that. But sometimes these rare shows become accepted because all the right people find it and keep it on the air and Modern Family is a prime example of this.

Modern Family takes the tired old premise of a sitcom involving the nuclear family and turns it on its head. Rather than focus on the wacky adventures of the Mom and Dad with their 3.5 kids, the show focuses on three separate families all related together. You have the elder, played by Al Bundy himself; Ed O'Neill. He stars as Jay Pritchett who was able to get his hands on a young, extremely sexy trophy wife played by Sofia Vergara who has a son (Manny) from a previous marriage. Jay has two children: His daughter, Claire Dunphy who has three kids with her husband Phil and his son, Mitchell, who has an adopted daughter with his life partner, Cam.

The show is centered around these three families as they go through their normal activities--of course, funny stuff happens because it nothing funny was happening on this comedy, it would probably be on CBS and running after Two and a Half Men. Without being able to find a more suitable word, this show is practically perfect. Every character has the unique combination of being both adorable and hilarious. Every character is charming, loveable and capable of delivering true, honest laughter from me in every episode. Not a disingenuous "LOL" that is often delivered in text form. Seriously, I've actually laughed myself exhausted on episodes.

That's Mitchell's serious face. Fear it.

This show literally has everything. Not only is the writing fantastic and is presented in a
"mockumentary" style format complete with confessionals from the characters and stealing glances at the camera that puts every character in The Office to shame but every actor on the show carriers their weight perfectly. This show, in my opinion, has no weak links in the chain. Sure Sofia Vergara is incredibly hot to the point it almost seems impossible but she's hysterical. And we already know Ed O'Neill is a funny guy because he made us laugh for 10 years as Al Bundy. Even the children on there bringing the funny--which is rare because to find a child actor who can both act and be funny is something that can only be parallel to finding a unicorn. Yes, at times Manny creeps me out because he too convincingly pull off the child trying too hard to be an adult but that's what makes him great in his role.

But, the real winner of this show and my favorite character has to be Phil Dunphy, played by Ty Burrell. Not only is he one of the funniest characters on the show, I see a lot of myself in him. His socially awkward presence combined with his nerdy attitude and deep down belief that he is the "cool dad" has completely sold me that he is exactly how I am going to be as a father. The guy who thinks he's "hip" and "down" and speaks the kids "lingo" but in reality, doesn't get it. Hell, I'm not even a father now and I'm pretty sure I don't get it.

Phil is my hero.

The show also earns points for further breaking away from the norm by offer up a family that is quickly becoming more commonplace. And that is the gay couple showcased with Mitchell and Cam. Like every other character on the show, Mitchell (played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (played by Eric Stonestreet) are absolutely hysterical but getting to see an openly gay couple struggling to raise an adopted daughter is quite refreshing and pretty cool to see because it shows how our society is making strides (albeit slowly) towards acceptance of alternative lifestyles. Sure the show is a comedy but all comedy is commentary on our real life and yes, the couple has received some criticism from the gay community because the two men are never shown being affectionate towards each other in the form of public displays of affection but that aside, just getting to see a homosexual couple represented on a sitcom is better than watching whatever latest sitcom about the blue-collar husband making lame Viagra jokes to his stay at home wife while walking back and forth from the living room to the kitchen that is always separated by a swinging door.

Did someone say Flash Mob? No? Well, never mind then.

From my own observation from the show, the lack of physical affection (particular when it comes to kissing between the two) is never something I really paid attention to because when I see Mitch and Cam together, the actors who portray them are so good and so understand the characters that it seems, at least to me, that they have been together long enough that they are comfortable with each other and are at that point in their relationship where they have finally settled on what highway they want to be on and are ready for the long haul. In fact, it wasn't until the Facebook campaign started to get the two characters to smooch on screen is when I realized that I never saw them kiss on the show. Ferguson and Stonestreet are so convincing as a gay couple living together that, until that point, I actually believed that I had seen them kiss on the show.

Quite possibly the greatest moment of the season: The Dunphy kids walking in on Claire and Phil having sex.

Season 2 continued the fast pace comedy and warmth that the first season brought to the airwaves and not only was the show a breath of fresh air in the dry wasteland of televised comedies, the fact it was able to keep the level it had upon its release is something of a rarity as well. It's this level of quality that makes it no surprise that it swept the Emmy Awards this year. I can't wait for the next season--if only to take some notes on what Phil is doing so I can be prepared when I become a father.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 6 - 5 out of 5

Hitting their sixth season, the gang from Philly seems to have resurrected themselves from the slump they seemed to be showing in Season 5. Personally, I still enjoyed that season but if you were to listen to the commentators on the internet, you would think the show went the way of Lost. But when a show enters into these years, it's hard to keep a epic level going, but in my opinion, Sunny keeps doing it.

"We're lawyers." That line is from this episode. To understand how this line fits with this scene, please watchit. I'll take my check for this endorsement now.

The show is a little difficult to review because you either love It's Always Sunny or you dislike it. Some might argue that one wouldn't like it because they don't get it but that's not the truth. The show isn't a string of wit and wordplay but instead, the only word I can describe this show is alcohol-fueled insanity. The show is about a group of 5 people who own a bar in Philadelphia who get into trouble in their everyday lives. It isn't about getting it or not. If you don't like it, it's because the humor doesn't speak to you, simple as that. Some people like fruit on the bottom yogurt and some like plain. And some people eat yogurt on the go with gogurts and those people are insane.


Mac and Charlie: White Trash. Yeah, that's the actual title of this episode.


While not as offensive as the days when Sweet Dee and Dennis were trying to get addicted to
crack in order to live on welfare, the show seems to have taken a more ridiculous turn and decided to be a little more fantastic as it takes on stories about Dee getting pregnant, Dennis getting married and almost immediately getting divorce (which works in with Charlie and Frank deciding to have a gay marriage), and the gang decides to buy a boat. While these stories may not have the shock value of some of their earlier episodes that focused on such things as Charlie being molested by his Uncle or the gang finding a dumpster baby, they are still hilarious. But don't worry your pretty little heart because some of the shock is still there--like when Charlie and Dennis meet a truck driver who is very, VERY interested in getting into a three way with the guys.

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If I were forced at gunpoint to find fault in this season, it would be that on some occasions episodes would contain B-stories to add emphasis to or pad out the main story that either felt too weak, never really receiving an appropriate amount of attention or full closure. For example, Charlie becomes a janitor at the local high school and meets a Juggalo (for those who are fortunate enough to not know what a Juggalo is, they are the very misogynistic, and more than a few of them, very crazed fans of the immensely untalented rap duo; the Insane Clown Posse). Having this dynamic promised hilarity as it opened up ICP to tons of deprecating jokes on the psychopathic clowns but nothing really came of it. The storyline just kind of putted out of existence--something I've hoped for with the Insane Clown Posse's career for years.

Here's the sad thing: Charlie, in all his lack of understanding and wisdom, is still problem smarter than ICP and knows that fucking magnets don't work through miracles.

Furthermore, if the gunman who, for some unknown reason, decided I had to come up with another fault, it would be the fact that there were some great cameos from some fantastic actors who didn't get enough screen time. Like Celebrity Rehab alumni Tom Sizemore playing the role of a perverted trucker or one of the kids in the hall himself; Dave Foley, playing a school principal. Each of these men did absolutely great in their respective roles and were very, VERY funny but their time in each episode was too short.

Frank as Spider-Man would probably make a far superior Spider-Man 3.

So, I'm sorry Mr. Mysterious Gunman-who's-motives-for-holding-a-gun-to-my-head-are-unknown-and-you're-making-me-come-up-with-faults-for-this-show-for-some-reason, those are the only real complaints I found. But that's me...please don't shoot me.

There's no reason to include this picture other than the fact Dennis is dressed as Luigi.

At its heart, all the show's fundamentals are here. Charlie is still dirty and possibly mentally retarded, Mac's overconfidence outweigh his actual ability, Dee is still bird-like in her appearance, Dennis is still a man-whore and Frank is...well, Frank. In the end, the show is still very funny and entertaining (if you enjoy it) and while this season may not have been as shocking as the season of old, it's still really awesome. In fact, the episode that contains the gang making Lethal Weapon 5 is enough to warrant watching this season!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Blu-Ray)

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Blu-Ray) - 5 out of 5

Aside from the disclaimer I place at the top of my reviews in an effort to promote open, honest and
respectful discussion of films that I am reviewing and to thwart the mindless and humorless zombies that plague message boards and comment sections of YouTube, I feel I need to add another one and admit, with full disclosure, that this review will be incredibly bias. In all reality, all reviews are bias--I would never write a bad review of a movie I enjoyed or vice versa but truth be told, I am a huge, HUGE Star Wars fan.


I try and I try but I can never get my girlfriend to dress like this.

I was nothing more than a growing embryo when my mother saw The Empire Strikes Back in the theater and when I was released unto the world, my parents sat me down to watch the adventures of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca and Princess Leia in a galaxy far, far away. The first movie I ever saw was A New Hope and the first one I got to experience in a theater was Return of the Jedi. I've read and own ever Star Wars novel, comic book and graphic novel (there's over 200). I've played every video game--good and bad and there's been a lot of bad ones. I own Star Wars bobble heads, I have a small weapons cache of lightsabers and blasters. Star Wars Potato Heads rest upon a shelf made only for them and toys from Burger King and McDonalds adore my walls. Framed posters are plastered all around me and a small army of action figures dot the entire place. Statues of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi during their epic battle on the volcanic planet of Mustafar are the centerpiece of my dining room table. Helmets of Boba Fett and Darth Vader can be found lying on the floor and a huge Lego Star Destroyer can be seen perched on top of my T.V. An entire flotilla of ships including an X-wing, the Millennium Falcon, Slave I, and Cad Bane's Xandu Blood are flying high, suspending from the ceiling. I wear Star Wars T-shirts and my body contains 6 tattoos, all of them symbols of such organizations as the Mandalorians to the Jedi and Sith. So much am I in love with Star Wars, I even write my own fan fiction that depicts myself in the universe I've wanted to exist in since I was but a youngling. And, despite all of this, I have actually known the touch of a woman. Shocking, eh?

"Yes, I am your father...and now I shall teach you how to talk to girls."

So, needless to say that because of my obsession, every time Star Wars is unleashed in a new format, it's a guarantee that I will be purchasing it. I own it on VHS (both theatrical version and the special edition), I own every variation it came out as on DVD and now Lucas decided to grace us with a High Definition version on Blu-Ray and, here's my bias, it is un-kriffing-believable. (Editor's note: the word "kriffing" is a swear word in the Star Wars universe. That's right, I'm so obsessed that I actually use swear words from it.)

I took an apprentice once in hopes we would battle on a volcanic planet. Sadly, it never happened. Instead we fought on an ice planet. It's not the same.

Getting to see the stories that I am capable of reciting verbatim (and once again, I reinforce that I am not a virgin) in glorious High Definition quality and sound that will nearly make an sound geek
cream in their shorts, is almost the equivalent of seeing the films for the first time again. With this beautiful picture and sound, I found myself getting goosebumps all over again when I heard Vader utter those immortal words revealing that he was, indeed, Luke Skywalker's father or Han Solo replying to Leia that she loves him with "I know" or hearing the heartbreak in Obi-Wan's voice over Anakin's failure in turning away from the dark side. While I was never in danger of growing tired of Star Wars, this Blu-Ray collection has added further cement to a very strong concrete foundation of love I have with the works. At this point, George Lucas can rob me at gunpoint, take my wallet and pistol whip me within an inch of my life and my love of Star Wars will not die.

Bad-ass is spelled J-E-D-I.

The collection also offers up great special features that more than provide their money's worth. In depth making of features, a documentary on the costume/charity club of the 501st (who has since been canonized and placed within Episode III), detail viewings of concept art and models, and finally, the thrill of it all, deleted scenes from not only the prequels but from the original trilogy itself. Even in the solitude of my living room, I couldn't control myself and let out a scream of excitement to see this one...



Nine discs in total, the collection is more than enough for a Star Wars geek to lose themselves and forgot little things like eating, sleeping and the fact that I have a girlfriend and I haven't heard from her since I bought this set. If there is one thing that can be wrong with this collection is the fact that George Lucas, the man who is never EVER satisfied with his films, has once again made some alterations to the movies. However, I personally don't find this that bad.

Chewie's come-hither look is a little creepy.

George Lucas has come under fire repeatedly for adding and changing the films since they were
first released in theaters (remember, the title A New Hope was added before The Empire Strikes Back came out) and the loudest voices out there (a.k.a people like YouTube commenters) have called for the man's head for altering such things as eliminating Han shooting first. Unlike these people, I have defended Lucas and his impossible quest for perfection in the films. Anyone who's ever created something--anything--knows that you are never truly satisfied with the end product and nagging doubt and "what-if's" spike in the back of your head. Lucas, unlike many others out there, just has the money, and his product has the demand, that he actually has the ability to go back, make alterations and then re-release it onto a hungry public (people like me) who will buy it up again. The saddest thing I've found about this whole ordeal is the fact that the people who bitch and complain about the new blinking Ewoks or the CGI Jabba the Hutt put into A New Hope is that even with all the hot air they are spewing about how they hate Lucas, they are the same guys I line up with at midnight to buy the latest edition.

In the Special Features, Hayden Christensen talks about his acting classes. You should probably return the money you paid for those classes.

The reality is I will always defend George Lucas. For one, I respect the guy because he made a movie that not only became a world-wide icon, it was done so without the faith of the production and
distribution companies. Lucas is also the man who has, over and over again, been at the forefront of movie making. Lucas was the first to film an entire movie digitally. He was the first to create many of the special effects that have become common place and, if it wasn't for Lucas and his inspiration on the world of movies, we wouldn't have guys like Peter Jackson making The Lord of the Rings. Hell, Lucas is the man who started Pixar and if it wasn't for that, we wouldn't have Toy Story or Wall-E...and he did all this on his own, financing his own way. The man created an empire out of...well, a Galactic Empire and has continued to feed it back to us with advancement in filmmaking and entertainment. So, George, I say change the movies if you want because you made the movies for you and your family--you've admitted that--so, don't listen to some angry nerd who wets himself because you were unhappy with the look of Luke's speeder as it shot into Mos Eisley because at the end of the day, that guy--urine soaked pants and all--will still waddle his way into Wal-mart to buy your latest release of your greatest creation.

If I was forced to come up with a single complaint that bothered me about this collection that I can
only describe as an "orgasm in Blu-Ray form" is the fact we didn't get an apology from Lucas for creating Jar Jar Binks. Of course, I'm joking because Lucas more than made up for the creation of that buffoon by actually giving us Star Wars fans license to hate him as he made the Gungan instrumental in allowing Chancellor Palpatine to get the power he needed to take over the galaxy.

At the end of it all, seeing Star Wars in crisp and very clean High Definition is something of beauty. Even in this new format and after 30 plus years, it proves that the story is timeless and a transition to Blu-Ray is needed to continue showing this series to the generations to come. The only reason I want to have kids is so I can name them Luke and Leia and share my love of Star Wars with them.