Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dracula Untold (Fantasy 2014)

You know for a Dracula movie this one wasn't half bad. It was a tad too rushed and it didn't have any real development, but for an action-like flick it really wasn't horrible.

I've seen many-a-Dracula films in my day and none of them can hold a candle to Bram Stoker's....but this movie was one of the better ones, all things considered. It seemed like a short movie though so keep that in mind before you start spending any money.
Rating - B

The Lost Starship by Vaughn Heppner (Book 2014)

So this book was my monthly Prime rental pick. It had a decent enough story, but I plain old didn't like the main character, so thus it's hard to give it anything more.

The story followed around a futuristic spook as he went around recruiting military and scientific folk on a mission to save the world. Humanity is getting attacked by advanced, genetically modified humans, so one last ditch plan that the military has boiled up is to go far out into deep space to try to find a derelict alien space ship and get it back to Earth.

The setting, for the most part, is a smaller spaceship and a few planet locales. This would usually equate into an OK sci-fi story, but unfortunately all of the characters felt like cardboard cutouts...no real personalities at all. The main character went back and forth between being a stern, spec-ops type of a leader to a common chode macking on the ladies. Who wants to read about a chode?

Yeah I think the premise of the story was good but the author spent way too much time on the backstory of the uninteresting characters and too little time on the background of the creators of the lost starship. Like with many books, there was too much information at the beginning and it didn't leave enough for the ending.

The book wasn't a complete waste of time though. While reading it some parts were very engrossing while others were just lame or went by way too quick. There just wasn't enough development in the characters or story to make it a memorable read. The author's writing was decent with regards to sentence structure and grammar, but there wasn't any pull that convinced me to read more other than just wanting to finish the story.
Rating - Mid

Monday, December 22, 2014

This Is 40 (Comedy 2012)

This movie didn't get a lot of good reviews, but I actually liked it. I'm neither 40 nor do I have any kids, but I felt like I could relate. A lot of things change when you get into your 30s and nobody has made a movie within that age stratum, so this is the closest you get.

The movie deals with "life" in that stuff happens to you when you get old, and you just deal with it all, but deep inside you're still a 25 year old who is just winging it and hoping for the best. I thought that the two main characters, Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd, did a great job in portraying an average couple with average issues and insecurities. Their lifestyle was a bit unsustainable, but it is a movie...

The film had a good number of humorous parts and an equal number of stupid and unnecessary scenes, but the good outweighed the bad overall. Again, if you're 18 and watching this, I doubt any of it will resonate with you, but if you're in that middle area of 30+ to probably 43, then yeah it'll make a whole lot more sense.
Rating - B

22 Jump Street (Comedy 2014)

The first iteration of the series had some funny laughs, so I only assumed that they would've pulled it off again with round 2; I was wrong. Although this movie did have a few funny moments, it was overall way too unbelievable. And yes I know...how could a film like this be realistic at all, but we're talking Ace Ventura unbelievable with a side of The Naked Gun.

I think there's always a limit with silly comedies where the plot is such hogwash and the characters just don't match up such that the whole thing turns into a ultra corny mess...and this is what happened here.

So I'll give it some props because some parts of the film were funny, but a lot of the jokes were predictable and in some scenes everyone was trying too hard because they knew the movie sucked.
Rating - C

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Drama 2014)

At first I didn't really want to see this movie because I thought that the whole thing was given away in the trailers. I was partially correct on that front, but the writers did integrate enough story with Caesar to keep it going.

In a nutshell the movie goes over what happened after the apes and humans meet again after a decade or so of living apart and after the ape civilization has flourished in the forest.

I didn't like the story all that much but it did work. The CG was great as per usual and the action was somewhat over the top. I didn't see one ape reload their assault rifles though...no extra mags, pouches, nothin... So yeah there was definitely a lack of realism there but oh well.

The movie was better than your average flick, so I'll give it that, but I didn't quite feel it overall. Perhaps the downfall of humanity is not a feel-good thing to watch.
Rating - B

Friday, December 12, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Action 2014)

Whoever thought this was a good idea just needs to lose their job. This movie was fucking horrible. Absolutely horrible. The Secret of the Ooze was more memorable than this garbage and that's stretching by a LOT.

Yeah just like how shitty the last Transformers was, pretty much lays out the foundation of why this movie sucked as well. Way too many special effects, no story, forgettable characters, and terrible plot.

The writer butchered the storyline of the old school cartoon version and then made these new turtles into a whole different breed that are all roid'ed up. The way they talk is different too and that just adds to the weirdness.

This was definitely a no-go. Good thing it ate shit last summer.
Rating - F

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Update: LG Google Nexus 5


So after a year of ownership I have upgraded phones and have sold off my Nexus 5 Google Phone. The positives of the experience were that the Qi wireless charging was badass; all new phones should integrate this feature. In addition to this, the phone software was great with Android's frequent OTA updates. Never had any problems with any of the software. There was only one negative and that was the fact that if you held the phone horizontally, the mic would barely work. After reading through various forums it turns out that this was a common occurrence with this model and thus it becomes a hardware issue. I friggin' hate those because it's an unsolvable problem unless you upgrade.

I probably would've stayed with this phone until the OS updates stopped, much like I did with the Galaxy Nexus, but I discovered the OnePlus One Phone and figured that I could upgrade while only spending $120 and a bit of time to handle the sale of the old phone. Review incoming for that...

The Maze Runner (Action Drama 2014)

This movie was superficial. As expected of course, but I thought I would give it a try. Yeah this one is totally for teenagers. The plot is straightforward, the drama and special effects were in line with expectations, and it was kinda dull for all the "action" it tried to exude.

The movie was released around the same time that Divergent film was released as well and that one looked like it was totally meant for a younger demographic. I have ceased wasting my time on that jazz for obvious reasons...no gain at all, even entertainment. So yeah this one is not worth a rent unless you're between the ages of 12 to 20.
Rating - C

Monday, December 08, 2014

Snowpiercer (Sci-Fi Action 2013)

This was a different type of Sci-Fi movie. The world has frozen over and the only peeps who are still alive are on a train that continuously goes around the world. Each section of the train represents a different social class and they each have a part to play in making the microcosm of society on the train work.

On the surface the movie may have seemed like some brainless action flick, but I'm pretty sure it was supposed to call attention to how societal changes occur. In this film the people in the back of the train, the poor peeps and low class, get fed up with taking shit and rebel, thus killing off the equivalent of law enforcement and military, but leaving the other people alone like the workers, professionals, tech peeps, and the like. In the end it tries to show that the rebelling low class will usurp the ruling class and take over as the new ruling class, but in order for the train to continue functioning, they still need low class people. This is similar to what happened in Communist countries like Russia (USSR) and China.

Anyhoo, the movie was different, but there were many parts of it that were silly and B-quality. I don't think it's worth a watch if you have anything better on the list.
Rating - C

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Chef (Drama 2014)

Not sure why IMDB calls this move a comedy because it really wasn't even though it was very lighthearted in its delivery.

I liked this movie. It would be perfect to watch on an airplane...nothing too extreme and fairly mellow. It was about this chef who wasn't allowed to cook what he wanted to at a restaurant so he ended up quitting and setting up a food truck. I've eaten at a few food trucks in my day and none of them have been special at all, so I was more interested in somehow virtually tasting this guy's Cubanos Sandwiches through the screen. Haha, now I'm kinda hungry. Anyhoo pretty good movie about food and this dude discovering what really matters in his life.
Rating - B

Friday, December 05, 2014

Autómata (Sci-Fi 2014)

Whoa, I think I was just snukered by the trailer...this was actually a low-budget robot movie. Do you know what Antonio Banderas has been doing with his career? Volunteering to star in dog shit like this to make ends meet.

Yeah this movie was pretty friggin' bad. It was supposed to be about robots gaining self-awareness and breaking through some barrier with programming protocols, but they tried to do it with absolutely no story. I mean I Robot was an enjoyable film, but they actually put effort into trying to make a damn movie. This one was a college film school attempt at best. Don't these losers know that a movie isn't about spending your whole budget on one car chase scene? You can totally make it work with good dialog and not crappy acting.

The failed to make a believable backstory, they only had one real character, and they replicated a bunch of futuristic stuff from the aforementioned I Robot, A.I., and Judge Dredd. Super lame. And to top everything off, Mr. Antonio's English is getting worse and worse...I could barely understand him at all. He should've just done it in Spanish and had subtitles. What a waste of a few hours.
Rating - D

Monday, December 01, 2014

It's a Disaster (Dark Comedy 2012)

So this is one of those dark comedies where the characters are fucking crazy and the situations they put themselves into are screwy as well. I personally don't like these types of films, but I didn't know what I was getting into when I first loaded it up via Amazon Prime.

The movie followed around a groups of friends as they got together for a couple's brunch. Everyone was a nutter in their own way and this just got expounded upon as the story went on. I will admit that the beginning was awkward and sorta funny as different characters reacted differently to a friend's new date. It's what happens when you have a close group of friends who already know each other and then you insert a newbie. I remember being in that situation once in my life...fairly uncomfortable.

Anyway, after a certain disaster strikes the city, the peeps are stuck in the house and that's where the whole film falls apart. All the characters devolve into idiots as their personalities aren't even eccentric anymore as they become just plain stupid. The way ending was horribly bad as they brought in some religious BS to top off the cake. I didn't like this movie at all and I really didn't see the purpose of it.
Rating - D