DVD Rentals – a Hit, a Falter and a Premature Ejaculation

Recently I rented some movies to catch up on some movies from 2011. One was pretty good, one was using dated humor and one was just a complete mess of someone’s wet dream. I speak of Killer Elite, Johnny English: Reborn and Green Lantern. These movies happened to be at my local corner store, so I figure with some extra time on my hands, I’d watch them.

Johnny English: Reborn, Killer Elite and Green Lantern

Posters for Johnny English Reborn, Killer Elite and Green Lantern

The Hit: Killer Elite

Being a story based on a true story written by Ranulph Fiennes, Killer Elite is a hard-boiled, action flick with 3 big stars and some medium stars. Big stars: Robert DeNiro, Jason Statham and Clive Owen. Medium Stars (At least those that I recognised from other works): Yvonne Strahovski (From the hit series Chuck), and Dominic Purcell (Drake, from Blade: Trinity). The movie being based on a true story gives it a certain realism that movies sometimes don’t have. Also being set in the 1980’s yet not overly feeling like it is, makes it something available to most people above 15. With a slew of gritty, white-knuckled hard action sequences, involving both Statham and Owen, you’re definitely left on the edge of your seat sometimes, and the way the movie is executed, it keeps you interested and invested in the characters portrayed on-screen. At first, when reading the text in the beginning, you think it’s actually of today, but really its the 1980’s. The timing in which the movie came out is perfect, as it is about A) Politics, B) Oil and C) Covert Operations within the middle east, and Europe. I enjoyed myself when watching this movie, as I tend to be with these actors in most of their roles, but the movie while not overly complicated, and the story has elements that have been done before, still makes you want to keep involved in the progression of it. This is definitely a watch, for action movie fans, and fans of the actors.

The Falter: Johnny English: Reborn

Rowan Atkinson returns to the big screen in the sequel to his successful, Spoof on Spy movies. With a good mix of cast members, including the TV famous Gillian Anderson (Scully in The X-Files), Dominic West (300), Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day, Doom), and Richard Schiff (The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Se7en, West Wing). While the acting cast is good at being the characters on-screen, however the main element to the movie, which is comedy is a little dated. While I do enjoy Atkinson’s work with the Mr. Bean series and other projects he’s been in, his comedy in this movie, just isn’t funny. Very few times I enjoyed certain sequences of humor, as he tries to embrace the 21st century form of in your face graphic comedy, with a couple of sequences where English is towing a rock with his genitals. This movie has some good action sequences, and some good use of special effects, it’s just the core element of being funny, isn’t as well executed as previously in the first film and in other movies. The plot is good, the follow-through of it is well done, my beef is just with its comedy. Some parts of the movie are predictable, like English’s abilities to overcome physical pain. As anyone who is perceptive, can see the setup for it in the beginning of the movie, and any movie involving ancient mysticism from Tibet. I enjoyed the actors in this movie, the action sequences and the rapport and camaraderie between actors displayed, it’s just the core component of the movie, which is to be funny, is sadly missed. If you enjoy a simple, popcorn flick with a team of actors such as this, its worth at least a rental.

The Premature Ejaculation: Green Lantern (Oh The Misery!)

(Warning some Spoilers may occur)

Being an avid comic book fan, movie buff and superhero fan, I knew the movie wasn’t going to be a hit with my fellow brethren of comic book fans, as Ryan Reynolds was playing the main character, while I enjoy his work in comedies and as the more humorous version of Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity, in this movie, he wasn’t the best, but he wasn’t the worst. He’s trying to stake a claim into the comic realm, and while he has the body and the will to be a superhero, if we left the comedy and the character defects of both him and Hal Jordan out, then we’d have something a little better. While I’m not much of a fan of Hal as a Green Lantern (More of a Jon Stewart GL Fan), due to his story being so overdone and over the top of being cocky and hapless fool, this movie almost seem as if were a satirical look into Jordan’s life, as its poor execution of the character is just appalling. The CGI in the movie is so over used, that it feels worse than Sky Captain and The World Of Tomorrow. In a movie where energy is the source of a superhero’s power, do we really need to see every sinew of Ryan Reynold’s body in CG? The CGI was fine for the role of the primary villain who is nothing but a giant cloud of death, destruction and mayhem, but the Green Lantern’s look like a mess of some kids show. The secondary villain was ok, the practical effects and make up turn the actor into a decent representation of the comic book equivalent. The story is overwhelmed by its special effects, and the lack of proper character development. Blake Lively’s character is trying to be a strong, female type with her being a test pilot and a business woman, but its lost in the whole “Look at me, I’m Ryan Reynolds, watch me woo my co-star and be the Green Lantern!” She just seems like another damsel in distress, that should have been a lot more.

Ugh, while the movie is better than I thought it would be, it’s still just a mess and very convoluted. It works on kids, but when your primary creative team are comic book writers, they went a little nuts and in doing so, lost their following. The only parts of the movie I enjoyed was the destruction of the main villain, the back story of the history of the Lantern Core, which appeals to the comic book fans. Also, The only character I enjoyed, which you’re not supposed to enjoy in a movie about The Green Lantern, is Sinestro. I suppose this is attributed to the fabulous actor portraying the role, Mark Strong. His performance at least to me, overshadowed Ryan Reynolds, whenever he was on-screen. I enjoyed the fact he could beat down Jordan in the training session. I just wish they had more of that, and have him saying “Stop being so damn cocky, you little shit!” But, I digress, although I enjoy is moment where he decides to become the villain in the next movie, by putting the fear ring on. The only downside to this moment is, in the sequel, and oh god yes there will be one, ugh. Is that the whole movie is centered around Sinestro trying to resist the urge to put on the ring, and yet during the credits of the first movie, we see Sinestro do so, so what the f*** is the point of the second one? Probably more money in WB’s pocket like this one was, a giant cash cow, much like The Lorax. Unless you’re under the age of 10, don’t see this movie, it’s not worth it.

Well, Still no Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance, but I’ll try my best to get a chance to see it. Have a good one people, and try to avoid that last one, if you respect your comic book superheroes.

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Some News, and Some Views.

I must warn you, the blog post you are about to read, may involve profanity, and rage. As a lot of things we recently fought, and won against, are making a comeback.

Tonight, I was reading some news, that Stephen Fry had posted on Twitter. It came from the website of Techdirt, it documented an account of PayPal being forced to be the morality police with Smashwords, an e-book distributor. Here is a link to that article:

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120301/17363217939/paypal-pressured-to-play-morality-cop-forces-smashwords-to-censor-authors.shtml

The reason I’m writing to you of this, is because I am a true believer of Freedom Of Speech, the ability to say, write or publish anything you want, without the fear of recourse from someone else. I suggest you read the article at the link above, to understand what I’m going on about. As Techdirt mentioned, recently we had a bout with SOPA/PIPA bills in the US. I myself am not apart of the US, and have been dealing with similar Bills in Canada. I was truly glad that the bills were stopped, as soon as President Obama said, that he doesn’t support such a bill as those two. Here we are again, some moralists telling Authors they can’t publish and sell works to their customers because of flagged material, any sort of erotica is frowned upon. They are punishing authors because they don’t want to realize that the biggest sex organ on a species such as the human race is the brain, and that if we weren’t hardwired to procreate, we wouldn’t need erotica.

This is why the general public needs to educate themselves, to be smarter about what’s going on around them. In order for SOPA/PIPA to have been stopped, people had to rise up and take charge to save their internet. The same had to be done for us Canadians to take control and stop a major company from raping us on internet charges for downloads. They tried to implement Usage Based Billing, and force third-party providers renting their lines to put caps in place, which previously either had large caps in place, or no cap at all. The caps were a measly 30 GBs per month, now for the general browser, and light usage, for those who constantly work, it doesn’t sound so bad for them, if they’re at the office, but for small business owners, who rely on these smaller companies, it’s not enough, being charged a puntload on internet costs could make them go belly up. So people stood up for that cause, and had it stopped, and in both instances, we had to get the current leaders in power to back us up. For the US, Obama stated he wanted no part of the SOPA/PIPA bills, and for us Canadians, it was Harper who said “Change it or we’ll do it for you, to our Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission, who is made up of a good portion of previous and current executives from the major companies Bell and Rogers.

In order for free speech to survive, and people to not be stifled by others, people need to learn that freedom of speech is a right of everyone, and that censorship is not acceptable to everyone. I can understand if someone wants to prevent their child to buy something that isn’t meant for them, say a porno mag, or a Mature rated video game, this is why we have rating systems to help educate parents on what’s good for their kid, not being soccer moms and telling someone else to do their job. Personally, I’d rather see a parent take the time and educate themselves and trust in their judgement to find what’s best for their kid, rather than complaining to a company because they allowed someone to make the product anyway. If the product is rated for someone like an Adult, why would you give it to a kid in the first place? I find this sort of extremist soccer mom mentality irritating and annoying, these people just need to think before speaking, and do some research, like the rest of us, and then worry about making an argument or not. Itchy trigger fingers are what get people in trouble, as there is always someone available to correct the mistake, and make the other person look like a fool. Instead of being sucked into that type of situation, take the time, and do some research, and find out more about what you are so pissed about with a product, before going ballistic.