Marvel does it again?

May 6th, 2011

Short answer is… YES!

Once again Marvel rolls out a summer comic sensation. Of all the recant titles being cranked out by Marvel, Thor was the one I was most hesitant about. How were they going to adapt the norse god into a universe so grounded into reality. Well, not only did they, but they did so in the best way possible. Preserving the element of Magic by blending magic and science, they have gone on to expand the potential for the entire marvel world with a whole new angle.

OK, Marvel fanboy gush over, time to focus on the meat and potatoes of the film itself. Visually it has a whole new look compared to the other marvel films. Brought to it by Kenneth Branagh, who previously was known mostly for his drama work such as ’96s Hamlet, his first real outing into the action comic genera shows much potential. I was suppressed at the heavy use of dutch angles, myself.

The film’s leads are split with me. Chris Hemsworth, hot on the heels of playing James T. Kirk’s father in the 2009 Star Trek Reboot, is simply Thor. Every moment that he is on the screen that is what/who he is. He so owns the character that you can’t even think of someone else playing him.

However, the female lead, played by Natalie Portman, was a little overshadowed. She suffers of late from playing Portman, rather than playing a character. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t bad. I just felt that she didn’t bring the character so much as herself, to the role.

I have to say all of the supporting actors were great from the secondary characters to the background people, what we get. Clark Gregg is always enjoyable as S.H.I.E.L.D. Senior Agent Coulson. Kat Dennings totally owned the part of the nerdy sidekick. Anthony Hopkins was awesome as Odin… But really, is Anthony Hopkins ever not awesome?

All in all, a highly enjoyable film I recommend going to see. Avoid the 3D showings. This is a conversion film (not shot natively in 3D), and it brings nothing to the table. It’s an added price for little to no benefit, stick with 2D on this one.

Other than that I can only say that it further enhances my love for the Marvel world of films and raises hope for their next project, Captain America: The first Avenger.

I leave you with the Thor Trailer.

Zack Snyder’s Feminist Street Fight With Geeks, Gamers, and Nerds.

April 2nd, 2011

Sucker Punch: is a common street fighting technique. Experts may feign fear or friendliness to put their opponent off guard or approach him from the side or rear to deliver a surprise blow.

That is exactly what Snyder threw when he made this film, even with the MPAA and Warner Brothers getting in the way, and I can’t wait till we can see his unfiltered directors cut see light of day on DVD/Bluray. Anyway, Snyder has thrown out all normal and even most abnormal narrative structures in a genius (and perhaps misguided?) attempt to turn the the mirror upon the male members of the genre community, specifically the group comprised of Geeks, Gamers, and Nerds. What we end up with is a three tiered structure that thrives in it’s obscurity, and revels in it’s disorientating effect to hide it’s real purpose but which utterly fails as a general audience movie overall because of it. Perhaps if it had been a small budget Avant-garde independent film, or a series of short films, instead of a deep and deeply troubled story in a pop genre action wrapper.

Though many will get lost in it’s intertwined levels of harsh reality, coping illusion, and pure flights of fantasy. More will be confused by the lack of the traditional narrative. Even more will think it’s chauvinist and sexist because the fail to grasp the irony in the girls overtly sexual image. I must insist that people see this movie and keep an open mind. Don’t be quick to snap judgment, try and forgive the film for it’s flaws. If you can’t see the deeper messages and social commentary, you can still enjoy one hell of a good looking movie.

Snyder brings his unique and beautiful visual style into this movie full stream, presenting one of the best visual experiences of the modern era. At least in this reviewers not so humble opinion. His use of colors, or the lack there of, lighting, variable film speed, and unique shot composition, all blend together into an almost living graphic novel.

And, if for nothing else, we should support this film to show Hollywood that we want and are willing to see movies which are new, original, and different. Above and beyond the typical lineup of of sequels, remakes, and cookie cutter flotsam.

Faster… no real need to rush to see this one.

March 29th, 2011

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson marks his return to hard core action with this high octane attempted homage to 70’s gritty action movies.

His last attempt into this field was the highly enjoyable, and recommended Doom, but he suffered a long stint in poor performing comedies and cringe worthy family fair like the tooth fairy before he found his way back into the field most suited for him. Sad thing is that he did not pick the best vehicle for his return.

This film, while visually stunning and thoroughly gritty, is incoherent and suffers from a pieced together feel. It makes this reviewer wonder if much of the important story elements were either lost to the editing room floor or failed to be filmed to begin with. This is a fate of many a modern action movie, and clearly demonstrates a problem within the industry. Flash over substance. Story sacrificed for run-time. It also suffers from an overly simplistic twist given away far too early in the film, and a totally tacked on deranged British hired killer. In fact, that whole subplot could have been excised in favor of a more dense main plot.

That being said, The Rock’s performance was amazing as the brother out for revenge on those who killed his brother. This film is worth a go just for this. Well, that and he uses a Big Ass Revolver to rain down his justice, a Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull. Not a gun you see in movies every day.

Overall, I will say that this film is worth a watch. However it may be a better option to wait for it’s turn on cable, then to spend the money on a rental. It suffers from too many negatives to justify the expense. Be sure to check out the red band trailer below.

No one’s posting anything!

February 22nd, 2011

So I saw Unknown on Friday. I was pretty not impressed until about 3/4 through when all the sudden it got awesome. I may have just been really tired though because my friend I saw it with thought it was really awesome all the way through.

It starts from the get go as this giant mystery with very little time to get to know the characters beforehand which originally was why I wasn’t loving it. I didn’t care very much whether or not the guy’s wife remembered him. Who is he? Who gives a crap? Then as the story unfolded and we found our way to the twist at the end I discovered that it was very important that we didn’t know the characters well and I forgave them.

I probably wouldn’t have paid to see this movie but my friend works at the theater so I got in free. Overall it was a pretty good movie that I just didn’t love very much.

Quick recommendation

February 3rd, 2011

Red, from director Robert Schwentke (Flightplan, Time Travelers Wife) is a must see, staring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, and Mary-Louise Parker. Highly entertaining and enjoyable movie, for pretty much everyone. Dome content may be a little strong for the younger kids, but anyone over the age of 12 should be fine.

The story is simple, a team of now retired CIA assets are forced to use their skills when powers that be classify them as R.E.D. or Retired Extremely Dangerous. For a film of this type is was very well put together, never going so far fun as to lose it’s edge. A common mistake made in the action-comedy genera this day and age.

My only negative is that the twist was a little easy for me to spot. However, when I commented as such with my viewing party, it was pointed out that it is a usual problem for me. Your mileage with this will no doubt vary, and it did nothing to lessen my enjoyment for this movie.

Good news is that this movie was successful enough that it had a sequel green lit already. If it hold up to anything like the quality we got out of this first one, we have one good movie lined up for the future.

It’s all quiet up in here.

January 27th, 2011

So it’s been like a week since anyone posted anything and I just wanted to let everyone know that we’re still alive and still working on this. We’re just kind of busy with the closing of the store and all the snowstorms and such.

So a real quick rundown:


If you exist:
Seriously, this movie is excellent and I haven’t talked to anyone who saw it who didn’t think it was incredibly enjoyable.

If you’re a Beatles fan:
Nowhere Boy
It’s a pretty interesting look at the early life of John Lennon.

If you, like me, totally love movies that are so bad they’re good:
Season of the Witch
This movie had very few actual redeeming qualities except that it was so much fun to make fun of. Imagine taking a buddy cop movie starring Nic Cage and Hellboy and setting it in the 1300s and not changing any of the dialogue. It’s pretty much that.

Don’t see
This movie wasn’t horrible it just wasn’t really all that good but definitely not bad enough to make it good again.

So this is the bad-good spectrum:

This is the bad-good spectrum with the movies from this post inserted into it.

Hi, My name is Katie and I watched “Buried”

January 19th, 2011

Hi everyone! So, my name is Katie, and ironically I too work at Blockbuster. Actually, maybe it’s not so ironic. Anyway… For the most part I’ll give every movie out there a chance, but I usually prefer Horror movies. Also, I should probably apologize to everyone in advance: I’m sorry if some of my sarcasm shines through in these reviews, but I will try to keep it under control!

I’m going to try to keep this review short, because this is definetly one of those movies that is fairly easy to spoil…

So, the basic plot of Buried is this: Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an American truck driver. During a job in Iraq, Paul and a convoy of other drivers are attacked by a group of Iraqis. Paul is taken hostage and soon wakes up underground, buried in a coffin with nothing but a lighter, a knife, a pencil and a cell phone. As soon as Paul discovers the Blackberry in his coffin, he tries to call the emergency phone number his employer had given to him incase a situation like this should happen. Unfortunately, the number was taken from his wallet by his kidnappers (No surprise). So he attempts to contact his family, his employer, as well as the FBI in hopes that someone will be able to locate and save him in time before his oxygen runs out.

I really enjoyed Buried, actually. The first thing I’d like to say, is that I applaud the director (Rodrigo Cortés) for the camera work in this. You sometimes do forget (well, I did) that you’re supposed to be stuck inside of a coffin-sized box for an hour and a half because of the way it was filmed.

I loved the simplicity of the movie though, and surprisingly I never felt bored with it. Considering it is 95 minutes long, and the entire film does take place inside of a dark coffin, the plot managed to keep my interest. I think part of that is the fact that you can’t help but try to put yourself in Paul’s position. How would you react to being in that same situation? Yes, it’s slightly depressing, but it’s interesting to consider!

Also, I’m sure it can’t be easy to be the only actor in a film with so little space and/or props to work with, but Ryan Reynolds did a good job of carrying the movie.

Yes, it has it’s flaws. It does have one or two “No! What are you thinking? That’s a terrible idea!!” moments (such as the fact that he decides to keep his lighter lit through 85% of the film, because otherwise it just feels “so dark”. It’s not like he needs to try to conserve oxygen or anything, right?), but all in all I thought Buried was decent. It’s very simple, but well done. It definetly isn’t for everyone, but if the plot interests you at all, and you don’t mind dark indie thrillers, you might also enjoy this. Just don’t go into it expecting something “inspirational”, and you’ll be fine.

Happy movie watching!

Bob’s Green Hornet Review

January 16th, 2011

Hey everyone, Bob here. I guess I should start with an introduction. I’m the night guy at Blockbuster and if you’ve been there in the last five years, you probably know me. I’ll pretty much watch every type of movie as long as it doesn’t have a couple standing back to back on the cover or a woman with the face of a horse in it. Actually, while I’m on the subject, I’m also going to rule out flicks starring women who have already gone through menopause and act in a sassy manner as this is just intended to nauseate the viewer (in my opinion.)

I just got back from seeing “The Green Hornet” and was (surprisingly) not disappointed. If you’re not familiar with the character, Seth Rogen (every Judd Apatow movie ever) plays Britt Reid, the playboy son of James Reid presumably the last unbiased news reporter and the owner of The Daily Sentinel. After his father dies unexpectedly, Britt decides to honor his family name by taking up arms against the criminals running the streets of Los Angeles. Of course, all super heroes without powers need a sidekick and Britt is no exception.

He quickly gains the assistance of his father’s old mechanic Kato (Jay Chou), who just happens to be an expert in martial arts and weapon creation. Anyway, so Britt and Kato take to the streets. Britt dons the moniker of The Green Hornet and Kato assists as his nameless sidekick. The Green Hornet differentiates himself as a hero in one very different way, he wishes to be seen as a villain. This allows for him to infiltrate the underworld and destroy it from the inside. The main villain in this world is Chudnovsky played by Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds.) Waltz manages to toe the line between extremely over the top and downright scary quite well, especially considering the fact that later in the movie he starts to refer to himself as Bloodnovsky.

Despite the fact that Hornet is a superhero movie and was marketed as a family film, the first 10 minutes will clearly show that it is a strong PG-13. In this reviewer’s opinion, there is quite an overuse of foul language. Obviously any movie starring Seth Rogen is going to have some semblance of comedy in it and this one is no exception. The problem lies in the fact that most of the comedy boils down to sex jokes and euphemisms. However, I was happy with the fact that unlike other superhero movies, Hornet allows itself to show that there are repercussions to what the heroes actually do. Most heroes tend to live in some fantasy world where the villain knows who they are and they the villains, but nothing seems to happen. In the Hornet’s world, however, which is one of violence, the filmmakers were not afraid to show that people do tend to die when violent things happen. Once again I do not recommend this one to families looking to bring the smaller kids out for a nice weekend movie.

Despite some of it’s faults, “The Green Hornet” succeeds in being a fun, albeit over the top, action comedy. Chou does a great job of filling Bruce Lee’s shoes as the butt-kicking sidekick and Seth Rogen was convincing while beating the crap out of people, though Kato does most of the work. The only other shortcomings were some ridiculous stunts that didn’t make sense, I’m looking at you setting off missiles while buried underground. In summation, “The Green Hornet” is a fun little hero flick, just make sure you leave the young ones at home.

Introduction to Leslie and review: Alpha & Omega

January 12th, 2011

Hello there! So my name is Leslie. If you come to Blockbuster between 9 and 5 you probably know me. I like chick flicks and kids’ movies which makes me kind of in charge of those things on this website full of manly men like Bob and Ted. I do have pretty high standards with kids’ movies, I don’t have any actual kids around me so I base my opinions on how much I personally enjoy them, if I do kind of dislike a kids’ movie please keep in mind that I’m describing the movie as it applied to me and that if you’re looking for a movie for children they’ll most likely enjoy it just fine.

I don’t think I’m gonna copy Ted’s review format, mostly because I started writing this review before he posted his and I didn’t feel like going back and changing it.

So here’s my first attempt at a review for Alpha & Omega.


So this first thing I almost shouldn’t bother telling you because you’ll notice the second the movie begins. This movie was meant to be in 3D. It’s chock full of gimmicky “OH MY GOD THINGS ARE FLYING AT MY FACE!” moments. Or they are if you have a 3D tv and get the 3D version. In the 2D version they’re really just obnoxious and distracting.

So the story is about two wolves Kate (Hayden Panettiere) and Humphrey (Justin Long) from the same pack but separated by rank, she is an Alpha wolf and he is an Omega wolf. It is never explained how the ranks are chosen except that Alphas are not allowed to, how did they put it? “Howl” with Omegas. But two Alphas can…howl and the resulting child can be an Omega. Really it makes no sense but whatever.

Speaking of howling, they actually do. A lot. But it’s not like regular wolf howling, oh no, it’s much better . They sing. It comes completely out of nowhere and doesn’t fit with the feel of the plot at all. I honestly cannot imagine why they thought it worked in the movie.

So anyway Kate is promised to marry the son of the rival pack leader to make peace between the packs and prevent war and Humphrey is destined to be the comic relief of the pack forever. They’re both completely ok with this plan until, SHOCK OF SHOCKS! something goes horribly awry. They are kidnapped by nature preservationists and taken from their home valley in Canada to a nature reserve in Idaho to “repopulate”. There they meet two French-Canadian ducks, well I think one of them is supposed to be a goose, honestly it’s not very clear, who love to play golf and know the way back to the valley.

Really the movie should end there but it wouldn’t be a very good story, not that it really is anyway, so of course the two wolves fall victim to their own stupidity and go through ridiculous trials that could easily be avoided if they would think for half a second.

Now I realize I’m being rather harsh but I have always believed that a movie made for children can be enjoyable for adults without being too adult for children. This movie is completely unsure if it wants to be for children or adults and it kind of fails on both levels. Children will probably enjoy it but I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone over the age of 9 or so. It’s just not very well put together.

So if you are a child, have children, or like awkward animation, random wolf singing, and Hayden Panettiere’s voice, definitely check this out.

Otherwise you can probably skip it.

Tuesday 1/11/11 – The social Network

January 11th, 2011

See it… I say that everyone should see this one. It was really an excellent film.

Avoid it… If dialogue heavy storytelling or the dark, neo-noir style of Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, Benjamin Button) fails to agree with you.

I have to say, I really enjoyed this movie. Stunning imagery and skilled editing bring a look to the film, a crispness and structure that was so clean as to almost be a little unnerving. An amazing script from Aaron Sorkin (A Few Good Men, The West Wing). It was full of his high intelligence, almost machine gun firing dialogue, but also carried dry sadness and dark wit with it. The perfect blend given the movies characterization of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg as a brilliant but tragically socially detached student at Harvard who’s desire to, and failure to, be a part of an exclusive club drives him to use his tremendous skills to create one within the world wide web.  All of this is topped off with a chilling score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross to create one hell of a story.

It’s amazing to realize that when these events were going down, when these guys were battling it out in court over ownership, Intellectual Property, and other legal issues, that these were all guys who were under the age of 21. It is amazing just how far we have come in this world.

Little factoid, during the film it’s mentioned that the creation of facebook made Zuckerberg the biggest thing on the campus of Harvard that included a movie star. This star, while unnamed within the confines of the film was actually one Natalie Portman, who was enrolled in the school at the time all of this was going down. She actually provided script writer Sorkin with information about what was going on at the time on campus, including details which had not previously been published publicly before.

For readers in the Northern NJ area, there is still a chance to see this one on the big screen. At least for the rest of this week the Kinnelon Mall Theater will be showing the movie at 7:20pm. I know I’m definitely going to attempt to go see it before it leaves. This film is begging for you to see it in the Theater, even if you have to brave another dreaded winter storm to do so.


The Social Network Trailer

Official Movie Site