THOR RAGNAROK

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Birthday to Lucy Lawless (XENA, Warrior Princess)

I share a birthday month with some cool people. None more so than Xena herself. Happy Birthday to Lucy Lawless, the New Zealand actress best known as Xena, Warrior Princess.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

SUCKER PUNCH is a visual stunner...

From director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead) comes this innovative new film that blurs reality with fantasy. Set in the 50's, a young girl is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather after the accidental death of her younger sister. Her name is Baby Doll (played by Emily Browning) and once there at the asylum, awaiting a lobotomy, she escapes into a fantasy world of her imagination, where she and four other girls plot their escape. Baby Doll also changes up how she views the asylum as a brothel (kinda weird, but just go with it). And her fantasy sequences correspond with her dancing that totally captivates everyone, mainly the male contingent. The fantasy sequences are imaginative and exciting and there are four of them. The first one involves Baby Doll meeting her guide/mentor (played by Scott Glenn) and then her furious battle with three giant samurai warriors. The other girls get involved with the sequences following this one. The girls are Sweet Pea (Cornish), her sister Rocket (Jena Malone); Amber (Jamie Chung) and Blondie (played well against type by Vanessa Hudgens). The sequences get more elaborate as the movie goes along. I loved the second one the most as our girls are in a Nazi occupied country battling re-animated Nazis that are powered by steam. The girls have to retrieve a map and it's a thrilling 20 minute sequence that is heavy on guns and fisticuffs. The next fantasy sequence has our girls battling orc like creatures and a terrifying fire-breathing dragon. It's cool seeing Blondie cut loose with a 50 caliber machine gun while Amber pilots their plane. The last fantasy is ok but kinda iffy as the girls have to stop a runaway train loaded with a bomb and guarded by killer robots.
Sweet Pea and Rocket, locked and loaded

I like how the fantasy worlds lead to repercussions in the real world as one mistake can cost someone dearly. I won't go into details because I don't want to spoil the outcome but Sucker Punch is definitely the right title, and not in the way you all might think. As far as the cast is concerned, all the girls were good with the exception of Browing as Baby Doll. She reminded me of Neo (Keanu Reeves) from the Matrix films. You know how Neo was the central character in The Matrix, but was the least compelling. Same thing here as Baby Doll has this vacant blank look for most of the movie that you really can't get past. I know she has been through a lot but so has the other girls. Abbie Cornish is awesome! I thought from the moment she appeared in the film, the movie really took off. She handles the dramatic scenes the best out of the girls and kicks ass like a professional. Hudgens was a surprise with her tough talk and bad demeanor. She is a long way from High School Musical. Jamie Chung is pretty good as Amber as she gets to do some crazy pilot stuff a few times. And Jena Malone is solid as Rocket, kind of quiet but also compassionate and a true friend.
Baby Doll leading the girls into battle against some Nazis

Sweet Pea about to wreck some shit!

Baby Doll going all samurai

All in all, Sucker Punch is one of the best looking movies I have ever seen. But it is not Snyder's best film. That still remains Dawn of the Dead. But he is definitely willing to push the envelope in terms of cinema magic. I think Sucker Punch will be the type of movie where people will either love it or hate it, there is no in between. Well I loved it.
B

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES is awesome!

Once again hostile aliens attack Earth. This time for our water. And while it is a worldwide strike on the major cities, this film focuses on one city in particular: Los Angeles. And one squad of marines go behind battle lines to rescue some civilians, led by a green lietenuant (played by Ramon Rodriguez). He is supported by the tough Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz (played by Aaron Eckhart). The film opens up with the aliens opening salvo which catches everyone by surprise. They are mistaken for a cluster of meteors. Soon all out war is on and the screen is filled with non-stop action as our marines, who are outgunned and outmanned give it all they have. Michelle Rodriguez filters in about 30 minutes in as an Air Force tech officer who has a theory on how to take out the main alien control center. Battle: Los Angeles is one rock 'em, sock'em action film that doesn't take 3 hours to get going and tell it's story.
Battle: Los Angeles
It's immediately in your face and along the way fills in the aliens agenda as the movie goes along. These handful of marines who each have their own personality lock and load and kick major ass. While they lose quite a few members, and face impossible odds, they never give up. The visual effects are effective and the aliens are encased in metal covering their bodies with their weapons actually attached to their arms. The pacing is good as the film logs in just under 2 hours. A good way to describe this film would be a mix of District 9, Blackhawk Down and the video game Call Of Duty. There is so much ordance being fired, that you find yourself thinking this is war. Humans against aliens. And it doesn't look good for the home team. But we bring that never say die attitude in full effect. BOOM BOOM! I enjoyed it immensely.
B

Saturday, March 5, 2011

80's Flashback: JUST ONE OF THE GUYS (1985)

One of the better of the 80's teen flicks. A girl named Terry Griffith (played by Joyce Hyser) who is a very talented writer on her high school newspaper gets miffed when her latest story is passed over in favor of some questionable articles written by other writers. Male writers. Terry thinks it's all sexism and to prove her point she masquerades as a boy and attends a rival high school to get her story published there.












Terry before her makeover....













Terry after her makeover.....

 Of course things don't go as smoothly as she had planned. For one she has to deal with the school's resident asshole Greg Tolan (played by that master of douchebaggery William Zabka, forever remembered as Johnny from the original Karate Kid movie). Zabka is every much the asshole in this one as well. As a matter of fact, he takes it to an all new level as he constantly torments the weaker students. He pretty much uses them as his own personal weights to keep fit. When Terry and him meet, it's instant animosity.

Douchebag Greg Tolan messing with Rick

Terry also hangs out with Rick (played by Clayton Rohner) a shy guy who is into James Brown. She eventually brings him out of his shell to become more outgoing. Trouble is, she ends up falling for him. Which creates trouble between her and boyfriend Kevin. Terry also has to deal with the unwanted advances of hot to trot Sandy (played by Sherilyn Fenn in one of her first major roles before her Twin Peaks stardom). Also actress Deborah Goodrich is great as Deborah, the girl Rick has been crushing on. Problem is that she happens to be Greg's girlfriend.

Rick just hanging out

And lets not forget Terry's younger brother Buddy (played by Billy Jacoby) who is constantly horny. His room is covered with playboy bunnies centerfolds and looks like a shrine. Buddy gets the majority of the best lines, which are plentiful in this very funny movie.

Terry having a bad morning and Buddy loving every minute of it

I watched the heck out of this film doing my high school days and loved every minute of it. And surprisingly it holds up very well today. Great music and a good selection of songs. A terrific cast having a good time. It all works perfectly.

Tension between Rick and Greg as Rick takes Greg's ex Deborah to the prom

I just watched it the other week and I was laughing pretty much the hold time. Just One Of The Guys is one cool movie. One of the best of the 80's high school flicks.
B+


Terry: "You know, sometimes I just wish I was a guy." Buddy: "No you don't! The male body needs sex at all times! It's a living hell!"