Some mini reviews – DVD rentals

Recently I watched both The Hangover Part 2, and World War Z. So, I decided to try to put some more content out there by posting some more mini reviews.

the-hangover-part-2-movie-poster-01

The Hangover Part 2

So for comedies, very few times will a sequel be very good. They tend to suffer from what many call “Sequel-itis”, where the movie is just there to cash in on the fame of the previous movie. As such, this movie has that same issue. The Hangover was meant to shock and awe with its humor, and show us things that we wouldn’t have seen in most comedies. To push the envelope of people’s expectations, as it were. This one retraces those steps, very delicately, following the same formula set up by the first one, just with different circumstances.

The only funny parts I found were in the stupidity shown by the characters in their “logic” of the situations they’re in. A lot of the humor has been lost because its recycled from the previous movie, so it’s not a huge shock. It does have other plotlines in the movie, but they’re just there, not given any depth and the twists are expected and predictable. All-in-all, if you’re just into these movies to have a cheap thrill, you may enjoy it, but overall it’s just another sequel to a movie that was better.

World War Z poster

World War Z

I was surprised at this movie. I’ve heard the issues this movie had during development, between Brad Pitt and the director having disagreements over the direction of the movie. (Warning, here is where the *spoilers* begin). While it is supposed to be based on the book by the same name, the author has come out and said the movie has nothing to do with the book other than a couple of characters and the title. As from what I’ve heard, since I have not read the book yet. Is that the book is set years after the main event which was the zombie apocalypse. This movie, is set within I guess you would call the same “universe” but does not use a lot from the book.

The movie chronicles the events involving Brad Pitt’s character, where he is a family man whom has retired from his previous job with the UN. He would be sent out to try to figure out what caused an event and find a way to stop it from getting out of control. In this movie, he’s doing that, but with a viral/bacterial plague that is infecting the population of the earth, and nothing so far has been able to stop it. The only thing governments and people have been able to do, is save as many as they can, and barricade themselves in isolated areas to keep as many alive as possible. Brad Pitt’s character goes around to figure out how the disease began, how fast it moves through the body, and find any means of stopping the infection from spreading.

Many people hear different things about the origin of the plague/disease, some think it’s from Korea, some think it’s from India, but in the end no one truly knows where it came from and how it evolved to create the Undead/Zombie epidemic it became. The movie is great, Brad Pitt gives a solid performance as Gerry Lane. The movie keeps us informed, but doesn’t point out the obvious all the time. It is an enjoyable flick that anyone can watch, as long as they’re not squeamish. I liked the movie, I thought it was an enjoyable experience. At least from an outsider’s point of view for the lore of the book. It has elements of Contagion mixed with 28 Days Later, with a little bit of Left 4 Dead in the mix. I’d definitely say give it a rental at least.

I’ll try to have some more posts up, to give my blog some continuity soon. I’ll put some news up soon, regarding thoughts on next-gen properties for games, and the evolution of the industry.

Riddick

Sorry its been so long, without work or money, its hard for me to go see movies. This time my friend Rob asked if I could drive and he would pay for my ticket, and as usual, Brent was along with us. Although before hand, I had to have Brent watch the previous 2 movies and animated short, to help understand the character. So on with the review. Warning there will be some spoilers, but minor.

Riddick-Poster-HR

Riddick as a character, for those who know is just meant to technically be a villain of sorts, so despite how we all can relate to him on some level, he’s not the hero. Even though in the second movie they made him an anti-hero. The thing is about even anti heroes, is that they don’t cross lines, even though Riddick does have a fine line, its way past the point of hero or anti-hero. Heroes and Anti-heroes will not betray their own character to suit the needs of others. Riddick however will do so, and it shows, as a result of Chronicles.

This movie, brings him back to his roots of being a methodical killer. It gives the character -to put it bluntly- balls again. As in Chronicles, it is a PG-13 movie, and it shows. Where as this movie, is an R Rated movie, giving Vin Diesel to roll with the humor and the vulgarity of the character. This movie is by no means perfect, but it’s definitely an improvement over the previous film.

The writing while having really good moments with Riddick, kind of falls short in others. The movie does a good job of reeling the weird moments in by infusing the scenes with some suspense, even though it is minor. Granted, some will call it a re-hash of pitch black, with some of the lines used previously, and tying to it with one of the characters, Johns. In Pitch Black, we have the role played by Cole Hauser, a drawn out, morphine addict, hell-bent on cutting everyone loose to save his own ass.

In this one, it is his character’s father. Who has made it his personal vendetta to find Riddick alive, despite the current bounty on his head. Johns is after one thing: information as to what happened to his son during the events of Pitch Black. Of course, since the events of Chronicles, there is only 1 remaining survivor to that time. This is one of the many sub-plots to the story. The primary one being Riddick’s fall from on high with the Necromongers, to remolding himself back into the Killer we all know him to be.

Now when I say people will call it a re-hash of Pitch Black, well it can be construed that way, especially with the primary threat to everyone in the movie. Riddick does draw Parallels to Pitch Black in the sense that the primary threat is a bunch of aliens native to the planet that hide in water, within the shade. At first, the alien monsters are few, as Riddick has to pass a group of them in order to reach the more fertile part of the planet to find resources, like food and shelter.

The real calamity is the gathering storm behind him, much like in Pitch Black, we have the two planets forming a chain, blocking out both suns from the planet surface, allowing the bat-like creatures to come out and attack anyone bleeding or making noise. This one, the creatures hide in water when alone, and when you’re close enough, the tail rises out, like a hydra’s head. It waits for an opening and lashes out, grabs its prey and depending on the size of the creature, will either paralyze or kill the prey. When in packs, they all attack, using strength in numbers. The main “horde” as it were shows up when the storm comes, blocking out the sun, and making the ground wet. Until then, they sleep under the surface of the ground.

For acting mentions, we have Katee Sackhoff basically playing Starbuck, but call Dahl. Dave Bautista, being Dave Bautista with a gun. Then we have the actor who played Johnny Tapia from Bad Boys 2, as the not-so-bright boss of the first group of Mercs, involving Dave Bautista. While Starbuck and the rest of the almost police-esque merc team are under Johns’ command. The movie is enjoyable overall, and will appeal to fans of Pitch Black, but may not necessarily appease fans of Chronicles. I am among the Pitch Black crowd, where the whole necromonger plot doesn’t fit with Riddick as a character.

Note: Also, Karl Urban is in this movie. (This comment out of place much? Kind of like his cameo, only 30 seconds and we never see him again afterward).

On a side note, we do see nudity, which is more of a plus, rather than a necessity. One of which is Katee Sackhoff’s boob, as it’s from the side. The movie’s humor is mainly good with Riddick, since its Diesel playing most of the characters he’s played over the years. I like this one, despite its parallels with Pitch Black, as it brings the character back to what we know him best for, rather than what Chronicles made him into. I’d recommend the movie to anyone who is a fan. I won’t say much more on the movie, except that the special effects are good, and the witty banter of Riddick is hilarious. It’s not a 3D movie, so you don’t have to worry about that extra fluff. It doesn’t feel too short at just under 2 hours, it’s a healthy length for a movie.

I’ll be writing a small mini review for The Hangover Part 2, as I saw that this week. I’ll also be writing some notes about future endeavors.