Star-Lord and Rocket

Thursday, January 17, 2013

DJANGO UNCHAINED (2012)



Just saw Django Unchained, the newest film from Quentin Tarantino. And for the most part it is a pretty good film, damn near his best. I didn't want to write just another review as most everyone who has seen it has written some very well thought out reviews. I just wanted to point out the things I liked and the things I didn't. First the rating I give Django is a solid.....
  B+
King and Django..two men on a mission

Things I liked:

1.) The cast: top notch. One of the strongest casts in a Tarantino film since Pulp Fiction. From Jamie Foxx as the titular hero Django, who is soft spoken but one bad ass character. He wields guns like Uma Thurman wielded swords in the Kill Bill films. Christoph Waltz is excellent as Dr. King Schultz, a German dentist cum bounty hunter who frees Django, and enlists his help to track down some wanted men. Leonardo DiCaprio is perfectly villainous as Calvin Candie, the plantation owner who holds Django's wife as one his slaves. Samuel L. Jackson is unbelievably evil as Stephen, Calvin's house slave who really is more than meets the eye. Kerry Washington as Django's wife, Broomhilda, is ravishing and low-keyed hut effective in the quieter moments. Don Johnson as Big Daddy, another plantation owner who seeks payback on Django and Schultz who have crossed his path.  

2.) The music score: the songs were pretty cool but I actually enjoyed the music score itself even more. At times sweeping, at times epic, at times humorous...it all comes together for a perfect music score.


Django meets Calvin Candie

3.) The opening sequence: which sets the tone of the film as King tries to parlay Django's freedom from the Speck brothers which begins quite humorous but then turns very violent.

4.) The scene at Big Daddy's plantation and then the subsequent posse scene which is hilarious.

5.) The arrival of Django and Schultz as Calvin's place, Candyland. It's here where we get to meet Samuel L. Jackson's character, who takes an immediate dislike to Django.


Calvin gives a lesson to his guests

6.) The dinner conversation scene with the leads all charming and nice until....they are not.

7.) The explosive shoot-out where Django's just goes ballistic at Candyland.

8.) The finale


Stephen questions Broomhilda

Things I didn't like:

1.) Kinda long...at 2 hours and 45 minutes. Could have been trimmed by 20 minutes but that's a minor quibble.

2.) The ruse by Schultz and Django kind of leads to a big kind of head scratching moment when Calvin wants one more thing from Schultz before the deal is done..but I can kind of understand Schultz's reasons. You have to see the film to understand the moment I am talking about. Once again a minor quibble.

3.) Some scenes are really, really graphic. Like a man getting torn limb from limb by dogs. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Does it go overboard? Depends on your taste.  But at least is buffered by Tarantino's witty dialogue and usual banter. Be warned the language is very harsh as well. But it does fit the time period for the most part.

That's about it as far as dislikes...so as you can see more likes than dislikes. Hence my rating of B+.



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Getting hooked on LOST GIRL


I recently started watching this cool show called Lost Girl on SyFy channel last year and immediately fell in love with it. The series just had it's third season premiere last night and it's better than ever. It's about the intriguing and unbelievably sexy Bo, a succubus who feeds on the energy of humans. But she refuses to give in to those dark desires and instead help people by becoming a private investigator who specializes in those weird cases. Bo is played by the wonderfully named Anna Silk, and just exudes so much sexual energy, you can just feel it. I mean she is a succubus after all. Her friend Kenzi (played by the also wonderfully named Ksenia Solo) acts as her conscience and also provides a lot of humor. Now I'm still trying to get up to speed on this show as I have seen most of season 1 and a few episodes of season 2 but I still don't know all the characters and the over-reaching storyline as of yet. But it is certainly fun doing so. If you haven't been watching Lost Girl, I suggest you give it a try. It airs on SyFy every Monday night at 10 pm EST with Season 3 now just underway.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

All My Favorite Things Of Star Trek

I've been watching a lot of Star Trek of late and decided to list my favorite things of all the series and movies. I broke them down into sections with a top 5 in each. So here we go. This may change after the upcoming new Trek film, Into Darkness later this summer. As you can see, I have much love for the original crew and series. But I think each series has something great about them as well.

MOVIES

1. THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982) - Still the best representation of Star Trek. Everything clicks: the characters, the effects, the story, the villian (a magnificient Ricardo Montablan) and it all comes together wonderfully.

2. STAR TREK (2009) - The franchise is rebooted for today's audiences by JJ Abrams and he does a fantastic job. Terrific effects and a young new cast acquit themselves nicely.

3. FIRST CONTACT (1996) - The Next Generation's second movie and the first where they really get to shine. You mix in time travel with the Borg and you've got an instant classic. Patrick Stewart is awesome as he gets to let loose with some action scenes and some exciting acting as well.

4. THE VOYAGE HOME (1986) - After bringing Spock back to life in the previous entry, the crew are headed back to Earth but get waylaid by this destructive probe and must travel back in time to present day Earth to save the day. This is the Trek film that everyone can enjoy thanks to the emphasis on story and not too much techno babble. Lots of hunor as well.

5. THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (1991) - The final voyage for the original series crew and it's a great send-off. It's more of a mystery/drama than an all out action spectacle but it still works. Great job guys.



TV SERIES


1. STAR TREK - ORIGINAL SERIES
2. NEXT GENERATION
3. DEEP SPACE NINE
4. VOYAGER
5. ENTERPRISE

CAPTAINS


1. JAMES T. KIRK
2. JEAN-LUC PICARD
3. KATHRYN JANEWAY
4. BENJAMIN SISKO
5. JONATHAN ARCHER

VULCANS


1. SPOCK
2. T'POL
3. TUVOK
4. SAREK
5. SAAVIK

DOCTORS


1. MCCOY
2. THE DOCTOR
3. BEVERLY CRUSHER
4. BASHIR
5. PHLOX
 
VILLIANS
 

1. KHAN
2. THE BORG
3. Q
4. THE DOMINION
5. KLINGONS

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My first Blade Runner experience...many years ago


A lot of my readers know that Blade Runner is one of my favorite films of all time. I wanted to share this little story about the first time I saw it. I was 13 and it was September 1983. My family had just recently got HBO. And that was THE channel back then. To be able to see movies that had just played at the theaters a year ago was cool as can be. The only catch was we only had it for the main large color TV in our living room. Which made it difficult to see certain movies at certain times and days or nights. Well Blade Runner premiered on a Saturday night at 8pm. Now I don't remember why I couldn't watch it then but I missed it. So I was quite upset. I was in 8th grade at the time and when I went to school that following Monday that was like the only topic for that day. From the time I got on the bus to the time I got to homeroom, that's all everybody was talking about. Did ya see it? Man that movie was awesome. Harrison Ford. The flying cars. The replicants. All day long I had to listen to that. Even my teachers were talking about it. It wasn't until Wednesday that HBO would re-air it and I would get a chance to watch it. At 11 pm that night. My mom kept saying you're gonna be sleepy tomorrow if you stay up to watch that movie. And I was like I'm not missing it again. So I stayed up to watch it and enjoyed it big time. So when I went to school the next day to finally talk about it with everyone else, suddenly it was old news and everyone had moved on to another movie or big thing. I was like..damn. Still Blade Runner is an awesome movie and I just wanted to share this story with everyone.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

WOMEN WHO KICK ASS - MILLA JOVOVICH




For my second selection in my ongoing new series of actresses who specialize in roles where they get to show their male counterparts that they can be just as hardcore as them, I choose Milla Jovovich. After kicking ass in five, so far, Resident Evil films, Milla definitely deserves to be in the conversation. But let's wind the clock back a bit to see where this beauty from the Ukraine got her start. After appearing in a lot of small parts in the late 80's and early 90's, I first took notice of her in the high school slacker movie Dazed and Confused as the quiet stoner Michelle. No action to speak of but this film would be a stepping stone for her next role. The 1997 sci-fi starrer The Fifth Element, directed by Luc Besson and starring Bruce Willis. Milla was cast as Leeloo, the fifth element, that is Earth's only hope against an impending evil. The fact that she is child like kind of throws you off as she quickly learns kung fu to become a lethal weapon. Milla would wind up marrying Besson after wrapping this film but it lasted only two years. Their pairing did produce one hell of a joy ride of a movie.


As Leeloo...getting the drop on someone

They would return for The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc in 1999 before their union dissolved and it was another showcase for Milla to flex her action muscles with scenes of sword fighting, and horse riding. 

Ready to kill some zombies

But it wasn't until the first Resident Evil bowed in 2002 that Milla's action credentials were solidified. As Alice, the heroine, she gets to kick much ass. Not so much in her initial offering but as the sequels came, she became more and more stronger and efficient at taking out zombies. The first Evil racked up $100 million worldwide at the box-office so a sequel was quickly green lit. For the sequel Alice was imbued with super strength and agility as she was given the T-rex virus and her body bonded with it but did not turn her into a raving zombie. She became a one woman wrecking crew. There have been a total of five Resident Evil movies now, counting the recently released Retribution, which saw the theatrical grosses swell to $230 million worldwide. Safe bet there will be a sixth movie with Milla returning once again.

Definitely armed for battle

Oh and in between killing zombies Milla got to engage in some derring do as Milady de Winter in the 2011 Three Musketeers remake. She was by far the best thing in this insipid film. Milla Jovovich..a woman who can kick ass!

 After five movies, Alice knows the drill