Monday, May 27, 2013

Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan - A Retrospective


Walter Koenig as Chekov.
Public Domain Image.
Had to get that out of my system.  I been rewatching the whole Startrek Series in canon Timeline and I got to "Wrath of Khan" last night. Probably one more painful points in the series for me.

Growing up, I was a lot like Spock. I had a hard time fitting in and I was rather logical. (Still am today,  I can just compensate better.) So watching Spock die was as about the same as watching Optimus Prime die.

"Wrath of Khan" wraps up the eugenics wars time arc and the crew of the Botany Bay. Kirk leaves Khan and his crew on  Ceti Alpha V. Well there was a problem, Ceti Alpha V turned into a hellscape desert planet.

My only problem with the movie is how they use this fact in the movie.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

FACE OFF: Unicorn City

Directed by: Bryan Lefler
Starring: Full cast list at IMDB.
Official movie website | Trailer 
(Trailer embedded at end of blog post as well)

Critic: Jason

As a former LARPer (Live Action Role Player),  I have been a Feralkin Paladin, a Centurion Guard, Pixie Sage and an insane chef who almost killed the whole town. I have even been on staff at a game before. So "Unicorn City" was a bit strange for me because I spotted things that would never happen at a LARP. There were real weapons, unpadded weapons, using a car as a prop. Plus, just a lot of modern things in a fantasy setting like the badminton game.

I couldn't really suggest this movie unless you role play in some manor. If you don't, then all this movie will have for you is laughing at socially awkward nerds. You're better off watching another movie. Even for me, being part of the 'off culture,' it was a rough movie to watch. I just didn't like it too much. I couldn't find a reason to like the characters. Heck, I didn't realize until the credits that half of the characters had names.

The Game Itself

Yes, I know the game was made over night but wow there was a lack of effort. LARPs can take a year of writing and testing before they can even make it to a beta test. The movie just shows a lack of research. It would be like having a World War II movie and swapping Hitler with Charlie Chaplin. They look the same but to think of them as such really shows a lack of knowledge on the subject.

Voss Himself

What is my reason for being behind this guy? Why should I want him to succeed? He is a jerk to his friends, he can't see that Marsha has a thing for him, and just a one note stereotype. The movie tries to make his brother look like the mean one, but if your no-prospect brother was sleeping in a closet in your place without paying rent all the time, wouldn't you be angry? There is no character development.  He might as well be scenery.

Just avoid this movie. Watch "Krod Mandoon," "The Guild," or hell, go out to an actual LARP. (Do this at your own risk though. Those people can be a little wacko, right Tara?)  I don't care if you get Netflix for free, don't bother with this one; it isn't worth your time.

Defender: Tara

All I knew about this movie before I started watching it was that it involved LARPing. While I wouldn't say the movie depicted LARPing as I'm at all used to it, I did enjoy it as a charming, lighthearted love story. I think Jason took the movie a bit too seriously (which is weird...because he's Jason). I didn't take this movie as making fun of LARPers at all.

Gamer Jokes

Knowing the potential this movie had for possibly ridiculing LARPers, I was suspicious of it. These kinds of movies really have to display some geek knowledge for me to become fully invested. This movie succeeded - especially considering they played "Dawn of Days" (instead of "Dungeons & Dragons") and Voss wants to work at Warlocks of the Beach (instead of Wizards of the Coast). The quirks were genuine and that helped me ease into the movie.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Examining Franchise Movies and Sequels

Do you remember that time in "Back to the Future II" when Marty McFly travels to 2015 and finds that there are still future incarnations of "Jaws" movies playing in the theater? It was a good joke - and a funny one, mainly because it's true.

Many franchises extend for multiple sequels. Examples include "Indiana Jones" (and its sad attempt at a comeback years later), "Police Academy" (there are seven), and "Pink Panther" (with ten). There seems to be a difference between movies like this and the epic, universe-encompassing franchises such as "Star Wars," "Star Trek," and "Lord of the Rings." However, some movies have made me think about the legitimacy of sequels. Do they exist to tell a story - or just to get more money out of the audience?

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Transmorphers

This was made to cash in on Transformers. In fact they released a prequel: "Transmophers: Fall of Man" a week before "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"  Fun fact  Revenge of the Fallen is one of Tara's favorite movies, seriously open another tab and google "Tara Clapper Revenge of the Fallen."  I'll wait.  Yup she loves it that much.

Class Reunion

In Febuary, I watched a movie called "Bram Stokers: Draucla's Curse" that was so bad I still have nightmares about it. Well, this movie has ninety some odd percent of the same actors. A year later and some of them must have taken acting lessons because this time it wasn't horrible. It was just bad bordering of passable. They also removed the hangers from the costumes this time.

CGI On The Other Hand...

Is super over-the-top bad. Just god awful. I don't know who made them, but they need to go back to school...for a different profession. The robots just looked funny. They should have made less and had better models. Also, they could have opened a text book and saw how physics worked. If robots crashed into to earth like that, there wouldn't be an earth to save.

Final Verdict

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ironclad: Historically "Accurate"

The movie works like this: King James III signs the Magna Carta under duress from the Knights Templar. Wanting his power back, King James must lay siege to the rebels at Rochester Castle.

As an Action Movie...

The combat is actually fairly historically accurate. I was very happy when James Purefoy didn't use his sword one handed like some ninja. Those things were heavy. In fact, you could shatter your wrist if you didn't use it right. A lot of the maneuvers that were used were historically accurate for crusaders in the opening scenes.  Everything was well-paced and could easily be a date night movie.

As a Historically Accurate Retelling of the Siege of Rochester...

I don't want to ruin the ending for you, so I will just say this. It is UTTERLY WRONG. FDR: American Badass was more historically accurate than this movie.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Quest for Movie Fandom Culture

The culture of a movie fandom is unique to each movie, and hard to explain to someone who hasn't ever been a devout fan of anything related to entertainment. That said, I find it no different than a fan's devotion to a favorite musician or author - the only difference is it's another art form; another genre.

Being moderately interested in a movie franchise is the real interesting part. Obsessed fans wonder 'how can you not KNOW that?' and non-fans wonder exactly what the fuss is all about. When you first become interested in a fandom, it might seem really elite, and some fandoms are known for being elite. It's just like a part of joining any other club or interest group.