Review – Friday night I went out to see Deadpool. After the travesty that was X-Men Origins, Fox finally made good on the property. Kudos to them for sticking with the the R rating, not every movie has to be toned down to milk the box office sweet spot, sometimes it pays off to just make a good movie true to the source material. (As a Rob Liefield fan-boy, yes I can say that with a straight-face his run on New Mutants and X-Force were some of my favorite books ... granted the character really came into his own in later books)Read More
Review – Over the weekend I was able to get out and see Dredd 3D. I have to say I was impressed, this movie was nothing like the laughable 1995 Stalone movie. Instead it felt just like the 2000 AD comics I remember as a kid, super violent and bloody. (I ususually hate 3D movies but this one used the blood splatter and slow-mo bullet shots to such great effect I didn't feel ripped off after dropping $13 on a ticket and another $6 for a drink.
For those who don't know the background, Judge Dredd takes place in Mega City One, a vaste walled in metropolis consisting of most of the eastern seaboard. Within the walled city are huge mega towers that house upwards of 750,000 people each, these jut out of the runned down and ruined expanses of the old city. Outside the walls is a irradiated wasteland. The original character was created in the late 70's so the idea of a nuclear holocaust was very much top of mind for many readers. Judge Dredd is also the inspiration for Necromunda and the Adeptus Arbites.
Dredd 3D has a simple plot lawmen go in for a bust, shit hits the fan, good guys win. Much like any gritty crime movie they all follow the same forumla. Which is really what Dredd is all about, no super crazy plots to destroy the world, takeover or what not, just a bad ass cop doing his job.
The visuals of this film are stunning, it's everything I imagine a near future dystopian society to be. No ground breaking hover cars or other craziness just people grinding away at their miserable daily lives.
After seeing this I'm seriously considering the Kickstarter from Mongoose or at the very least digging out some Necromunda figures to play some games.
Last night I finally got around to watching The Woman in Black. This made its way to the top of my Netflix que and sat around for almost a week before I had time to watch the film. I had high hopes as it's a Hammer Film and I typically like their films.
The setting is really great and provided me with some ideas to use in future Malifaux terrain projects. I really like the idea of a mansion out on a road that is under water for a good portion of the day. The overgrown cemetaries and buildings are full of character and interesting shapes.
I found the creepy dolls and toys in the nursery particularly interesting and might use something similar in a Nightmare based terrain set.
The story was a decent ghost story with a few interesting twists. The pacing was a bit slow in parts and if you weren't paying close attention some visual cues get missed and the story will feel disjointed. (Which i think is intentional)
Overall The Woman in Black is worth a watch if you like period films or a good ghost story without a ton of gore. I don't feel compelled to own this or watch it again, however if it happens to be on TV when I'm painting I might leave it on.
Amazing visuals, a great soundtrack tons of action ... what more could you want? Well, the whole movie seems forced and it really seems like large pieces are missing from the film. I imagine this was to get a PG-13 rating as the film pushes the boundaries and rather than modifying the script it seems as though things were just dropped wholesale.
A few portions of the film have awkward scenes that abruptly end, almost mid sentence. I'm not sure if this was intentional or just a hack-job to get the rating the studio wanted. But it makes the movie seem almost unfinished. The basic story is fun and feels like a comic book (which it never was) although the whole "reads like a video game" thing that other critics complain about doesn't bother me. The disjointed nature of the abrupt cuts is more problematic.
If you can get past the flaws this is a really fun movie. The visuals are amazing and the soundtrack really adds to the action scenes. The story is slightly weak, and I think the film within a film within a film thing is getting old and lame. But if you're just looking for a fun film filled with eye candy this is just what the doctor ordered. If you're looking for any depth well maybe a lobotomy is in order.
Over the weekend I watch the 2008 horror/comedy I Sell the Dead. This entertaining film stars Dominic Monaghan as Arthur Blake and Ron Pearlman as Father Duffy. The film follows the trials and tribulations of a pair of graverobbers who discover digging up the undead is more profitable than selling regular corpse to the scientists of the day. Set in Victorian Era (London I'd assume) this is a really well done period piece.
One of my favorite aspects of the film is how they handled transitions. Most of the movie is told through flashback, and as a sequence ends the scene is frozen and transformed into a comic book style drawing. This give a nice pulp feel to the film and reminds me a bit of the Tales From the Crypt movies and tv shows.
The film stands up well on its own but I really like it as it gave a feeling as what the Ressurectionists in Malifaux are like. Graverobbers and men of science working outside of society to further their own ends. I'd recommend this film to anyone that enjoys Malifaux as it provides a nice look into the time period.
The other night I had the pleasure of watching Doghouse on DVD. This is a really fun movie, basically Dawn of the Dead meets Very Bad Things and The Hangover. It's a British independent film so that needs to be taken into consideration when reviewing the film. The special effects were pretty standard, however the costumes and character of each of the zombie/mutants or "zombirds" as referred to in the film were really memorable.
The plot finds a group of guys going off for a weekend of fun to cheer up their buddy who's getting divorced. As it opens each of the character's significant others is shown pissed off and screaming at them as they leave the house, hence the title of the film.
When they arrive at the dead end village in the middle of nowhere, things seem to be amiss. From their hilarity ensues and the movie doesn't really let up. Even the cliche end where the main character finds himself is funny.
I'd highly recommend this to any fans of horror or british dark comedy. Not quite Shawn of the Dead, but pretty close.
Last night I went to see True Grit, and I have to say this is an amazing movie. I wasn't aware prior to seeing it that it was a remake of a 1969 John Wayne movie, but I'll be bumping that up to the top of my Netflix que to see how they compare.
The visuals are everything you'd want in a western wide open spaces as well as suitably gritty interior locations. For Malifaux players I'm sure you can glean some inspiration for scenery and terrain from this film. I particularly liked the use of snow in several of the scenes. It adds to the mood of the film without blanketing it in a frozen wasteland.
The dialogue is period accurate yet still feels witty and clever. Most period films either feel forced or will update the dialog to be current. Jeff Bridges does an excellent job in the role of Rooster Cogburn, adding just a touch of comedy to the hard drinking marshall's persona. His co-star Hailee Steinfeld is also great in the role of Mattie Ross. The chemistry between the two is classic.
I highly recommend checking this film out, it's a nice break from the overproduced all CGI productions that have been flooding theaters as of late. The film is relatively kid-freindly as well, so long as slightly graphic corpses don't cause your kids to have nightmares.
Went to see Jonah Hex on Thursday with my wife. Overall I thought it was a fun movie. I know the critics panned it terribly, and Megan Fox's "acting" took the brunt of the criticism. Thankfully her speaking rolls were pretty limited. Besides, she plays a southern prostitute with a thing for scarred veterans, for that she did a good job. Josh Brolin did a great job, if this does well we might see a revival of Clint Eastwood style westerns. I haven't read any of the Jonah Hex books, but this movie did peak my interest.
It's odd that this fell in DC's Vertigo line, yet this movie was PG-13. It seems like an R-rated version would have been better for the dark character.
Summer movies tend to be mindless affairs. This is no exception. The plot is the same as Wild Wild West and countless other pulp comics/fiction. Confederate general tries to destroy Washington with a super weapon, foiled by hero, hero is offered position as "national" sheriff. Not really a spoiler since its the predictable nature of this type of film.
The costumes, sets and cinematography were impressive. Visually this movie was inspiring and I might start some new terrain projects based on some of the sets. There was plenty of steampunk influence, crazy inventions, Eli Whitney as America's first arms developer was a nice touch.
The animation sequence in the opening was interesting but the style was to clean and Flash-like. It didn't fit with the style of the rest of the film. It was a good (cheap) way to tell the back story but should have been done in a rougher style animation to fit with the gritty feel of the rest of the film.
I'd recommend this as a matinee or twilight showing to watch. It's so short paying full price for a ticket seems like a bit of a rip-off.
Over the weekend I went to see the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Like the other remakes of classic horror movies (Friday the 13th, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) this is a much grittier, darker feeling movie: Freddy looks like a burn victim, they delve deeper into the fact he was a child molester, the gore feels more real. Overall it is a much scarier film than the original. The movie does lack the typical '80s T&A, drug use and fun. I don't think it hurts the film and in fact probably gives it a bit more credibility for what it is.
If you're a fan of the original I recommend this one.