RIP Robin Williams (1951 – 2014) (63)
The dreams to come are all yours…
I’ve been getting this questions from other people who like to do reviews so I figured I would go ahead and answer it here. The reason why I no longer do scale reviews (1-5 out of 5 Stars) is two-fold:
1) We live in a 30 second soundbite world where people want info in 20 seconds or less. The Star Scale reviews are great for those attention deficit folks but really, what does it tell them? On top of that, why am I even bothering to write a review if it is more likely that the person looking will check out the Star Rating and then keep on moving?
2) My review is my own subjective perception. You may agree with it or you may think it is shit but at least if you read the review you can make a more informed opinion and decide to take the jump or not. If I give you that Star Scale, you are getting what amounts to an ambiguous result. We all know that one star sucks and 5 stars is awesome but what about all of those 2,3, and 4 stars? What do those really mean? A person’s subjective perception, in my opinion, needs and explanation and not a scale. And if you take the time to read the review then you don’t need that scale anyway because you can make your informed opinion from the information you just read.
In the original iteration of this blog, before I wiped out every post and started over, I used the Star Scale and then even had a legend at the bottom of each review to show what each Star stood for. Alas… I feel I would rather a person break with the 20 second attention span and actually read the words I write or not read them at all when it comes to giving my reviews. I just don’t feel that a person can make an informed decision based on however many stars are being thrown at them.
So that’s the reason I don’t write scale reviews and whether you agree with this or not, it’s just me being honest to my own writing.
Oy Vey… Well… I didn’t not like the movie. However, it didn’t really do anything for me either. Full Disclosure: The TMNT that I identify with is the original black and white comic which dealt with adult themes and was violent. That will always be what TMNT should be in my mind. I did watch the cartoon as a kid and I know that kids are the target audience, especially since Nickelodeon bought out the Turtle rights from Eastman and Laird. Still, it feels like a big let down. The animated TMNT movie from 2007 was way better than this version. At least in that, the Turtles were given some depth and actually looked like the TMNT’s rather than Shrek. This new movie ditches character depth and an innovative plot for bad dialogue and a plot that was stolen straight out of The Amazing Spider-man. On top of that, there are two actions sequences that take an impossibly long time to complete… 1) the never ending mountain slide and 2) A fall at the end where Raphael is baring his heart and it just takes way too long to even be believable…
As others have said, about the only stand out thing is that of Megan Fox’s April O’Neil. Fox actually rises up above the bad script and dialogue to make the movie watchable and not a complete disaster. I think the Fox critiquing from the critics should probably end now. The voice’s of the Turtles were fine though Michelangelo was probably the standout since he was the only Turtle given any real definable personality while the rest were just shallow images of the personalities we know them to have. Splinter was just weird. His voice didn’t fit and his anger and use of his tail just seemed out of character. The Shredder was joke. Swiss Army Shredder maybe, but a complete joke. His CG movement was really bad too. And then you have the unneeded alternate origin story that was really lame. As in everything from the April connection to learning ninjitsu from a book. I have no idea why they changed the origin to something that doesn’t enhance the dynamic in any way???
The Turtles size was hard to watch throughout the entire movie. These guys are giants and it doesn’t look right at all. Then there is the fact that they are somehow mysteriously bulletproof too??? What??? This version of the Turtles isn’t even the cartoon version. It’s just off and stilted. No wonder Laird wanted nothing to do with this. Eastman has been a sellout for quite awhile so his involvement is not surprising. Laird probably is getting headaches from the bastardization the Turtles have had done to them over the years.
After saying all that, it is a kids action movie with humor that falls flat and not a lot for hardcore Turtle fans of the original comic to hold on too. Fans of the soft cartoon may like it but even then, fans of the TMNT animated movie will probably find is flat too. When the animated movie has more depth than the live action movie, you know something is really wrong. Catch it on Netflix or rent it from your choice of streaming site later unless you are “hardcore” when it comes too the cartoon.
As always Soundgarden put on an excellent show. This was my 4th time seeing them (5th time seeing Chris Cornell if you count his solo show with the number of times I’ve seen Soundgarden) and they did not disappoint at all. Cornell sounded top notch and in awesome banshee form, Kim Thayil’s guitars were crystal clear and ear piercing, Ben Shepherd was twirling his bass and putting on the best show that any bassist in the music industry can, and standing in for Matt Cameron (on tour with his side band, you may have heard of them… Pearl Jam) was Matt Chamberlain who never missed a beat. They played hits from Superunknown while also peppering in many classic BadMotorFinger tracks and even some stuff from WAY back… closing the show with Behind the Wheel. They also played a track from their new album King Animal. Total running time for both co-headliners was 1 hour 20 minutes so this wasn’t the marathon show that Soundgarden played just last year here at the Tabernacle but it was awesome nonetheless.
20 minutes later the stage was set for Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) to take the stage. With the lights completely up, Reznor just walks out and hits a couple of buttons on his stand and the music starts. He’s soon joined by 3 band mates for what can only be called the greatest Cyberpunk lighting show to ever be put on live display. And I would no longer call Nine Inch Nails “industrial”. They have transcended that categorization. I would actually call them pure Cyberpunk tech. From the heavy beats to the screen lighting tech, you feel like you are in the future. This was my 3rd time seeing Nine Inch Nails, though I have not seen them live since back in the 90’s so it was a completely new experience with reworked songs and a less depressing stage demeanor to boot. All in all, it was awesome!!!
We were in the 13th row and dead center for this show. While the seats were just under $120.00 it was worth every penny. If you like these two bands then you should definitely check this show out if they are coming to your city. A side note… The times they go on stage are very prompt so you can pretty much count on those times to a “T”. That’s a good thing because the opening band, The Dillinger Escape Plan… is horrible… You can’t understand anything the lead singer is saying and the music lacks any melody or hook. So while they are on stage, you can be buying a shirt or some other swag and not wasting your time on them.
If you want to see more of the pics I took and even some that G+ did an Autoawesome on, check out my post for them on G+ which you can find through my “About” page.
Just Google it
I’ll stick with Google. In other words, Android, Chrome OS, Chromebooks, and such… All my media (Movies, Books, Music) are in Google services and frankly, they just work perfectly and Chromecast is the all time easiest way to use some of them on the big screen. You just can’t beat it. I may still get an Xbox One later but I’ll hold off on any Surface or WP. The fact is, if I sit down with a Surface or WP there is just not that much it can do for me without my media… And the options for switching kind of suck.
Ebola Down the Road
Emory is taking in 2 Ebola patients here in Atlanta. Emory is just down the road from me. Emory is breaking the first rule of keeping a quarantine zone. Not smart at all. Of course the CDC (also down the road a couple of miles in the other direction from me) is demonizing anyone who is speaking out against this. This from an organization that forgot they had anthrax in a filing cabinet sitting in an ordinary hallway… Yeah, CDC… You’ve lost a lot of credibility where safety is concerned.
Writing Control Freak
I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m a writing control freak. In other words, it is hard to write something for someone else and then send it out into the wild. When I write something, I generally have an idea of what visuals I want to place with the words and that is one of the reasons that having a blog is a great thing. I can put whatever pictures I want with the words, or I can omit the visuals altogether as I will on this post. Though, when you send out your writing to someone else, the editor gets final say on what is going to be displayed with your words. I can’t think of single time where I have submitted something only to see pictures that kind of surprised me in that they were not what I was thinking about at all. My first thought is that my words were not clear but then on rereading, I don’t find that to be the case at all. Turns out, people just see things differently. So I’ll end up promoting the article by dropping a disclaimer that only the words are mine and all visual interpretation is that of the editor. The editors and site owners I have submitted material too are all great, friendly, and upstanding individuals. So the problem of letting go of the words is mine and mine alone. I’m not sure how one overcomes the selfishness of words? I do know that there are certain formulas for articles I cannot conform too based on the words being secondary. This is fucked up…. really, it is… “Just write it, send it, and put it out there.” Theoretically THAT should be how simple it is…. but it’s not. AAAHHHGGGG… Seriously… The other side to the coin is DEADLINES. I love to write until I set a deadline or quantifiable number. When something like that is set then my motivation to write becomes a chore. The words don’t flow like they should and it becomes frustrating.
12 Steps and a Coke
I want a Coca-cola. I feel it deep down in every cellular component of my being. I have not had a Coke in 2 years. Once I start drinking that fine elixir it is almost impossible to stop. So when I do stop It means something. But then like clockwork… right around the 2 year mark the craving returns. I even dreamed about the taste of the damn stuff. Alcohol? bah… Smoking? Never understood the idea behind it, Coca-cola…. now there was an addiction that felt good. I have the most mundane addiction in the world yet it I get to struggle with it like some hardcore junkie struggles with stuff that could kill them…. It makes no sense.
That’s the Update Wrap…
If you remember my original review for The Amazing Spider-man 2 during opening weekend you will recall that I was less than pleased. I had a bone to pick. So many things just didn’t add up in the movie and it just wasn’t working for me. Well… I rewatched it tonight and I’m ripping that old review up and moving this movie to its rightful place as my second favorite Spider-man movie after the original Amazing Spider-man. That’s right, it’s going from worst to second. So what happened?
Honestly… I think I was swayed by all the reviews I had read and that’s a shame. I think maybe I should steer clear of other peoples reviews from now on. So let’s hit up the chronological order of issues from my original review and take them one by one.
1) The plot was way too scattered. There just wasn’t a “main story-line” outside of the Peter/Gwen love story.
The plot does have a lot going on but what I took for scattered was actually pretty impressive narrative from all angles that revolved around the Peter and Gwen love story which would come to an end.
2) Electro should have been completely cut from the movie. From the lame way he got his powers to him being a captive to a bad acting doctor for most of the movie, to his only motive to get back at Spider-man… because Spidey didn’t remember him… lame… Jamie Foxx basically copied Jim Cary’s Riddler in Batman Forever. From persona to villain it felt like a replay of Batman Forever.
The character of Electro was a means to an end. He was also the key to Harry finding out that the Special Projects section was still doing human experimentation. Harry wanted Spidey’s blood and Electro wanted to kill Spider-man. The reason Electro was mad at Spidey is still on shaky ground but all in all it worked. The way Electro got his powers? That still should have been altered but I digress…
3) Instead, they could have focused on why the Norman was dying, how that effects Harry, flesh out a motivation for Harry to suit up and even use the glider.
They did. I’m not sure why I did pay more attention to this the first time around. As far as the Glider, Harry did read over the Special Projects files and the suit did have a healing component to it. Maybe I missed when that was flashed on screen, I don’t know…
4) The colliding planes during the power outage. WHY??? This was a completely worthless waste of time. Spidey didn’t know the planes were going to collide, he did not know that he had such and such minutes to get the power back on. It was completely outside the story and only used to add urgency for the audience. But it didn’t work. It just took away from the story. Not to mention… Air towers would have generators that would kick on if the power went out.
It actually did work… I forgot… This is a Spider-man story and New Yorkers… Everyday Joe’s are heroes everyday of their lives. This scene was pointing to the every man’s pressures and stresses and what they do to overcome them in their darkest time.
5) Spider-man is witty NOT campy. Wearing the suit while being sick in the robbery scene and wearing the fire hat while spraying water on Electro was pure camp.
Actually it wasn’t… This was pointed out to me long before the tonight’s rewatch though. There are comic’s panel to prove me wrong here.
6) The doctor at Raven Croft was almost too much. CAMP in the extreme.
He was camp… but “too much”… He really wasn’t in it too much. Seriously, those reviews I read before hand really did a number on me.
7) Electro “playing music” with the power station… What? Why?
He did, but it really didn’t bug me this time.
8) The Green Goblin fight was over too soon.
I didn’t feel that way this time either. As a matter of fact… We knew what was coming and that was more important than the actual fight scene.
9) The suit, while finally being correct, didn’t always look red in the CGI scenes. The red sometimes look almost a purple… it was weird.
This one must have been something in the theater presentation of the one I went too because it looked just fine and colored perfectly in the stream tonight.
10) The secret train station and the campy way you accessed it.
Comic book camp but hey… It’s all good…
The things I mentioned in the prior review that worked continue to work and I find myself having an awesome time while watching it. Also, the score was amazing this time around. I don’t think I noticed it the first time I saw it but the main theme is really heroic and I liked it a lot.
So sorry Spider-man 3…. but back to the bottom for you. And with this, the rebooted Spider-man is once again my favorite version. The lesson here, stay away from the reviews and just go and enjoy the movie without other peoples pre-conceived banter!!! I was wrong. I can admit it.
The Guardians of the Galaxy is without a doubt the BEST movie this summer. It’s a non-stop blast of action and hilarity. Rocket steals the show but everyone in the cast is top notch. From Star Lord to that last glimpse of Howard the Duck, I enjoyed every minute of this movie. Put it this way, if the next Star Wars was coming out on the same day as the next Guardians of the Galaxy, I would be buying the ticket to Guardians of the Galaxy. We have a new space opera and Marvel Studios knocked it out of the ballpark with this one. For me it actually knocks Captain America 2 out of the top spot for Marvel Studios movies, and generally I have not been thrilled with Marvel Studios. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
This is actually the first movie this summer that I would like to go back and see again. So make time and see Guardians of the Galaxy!!!
*As with all the movies I see, it was in standard 2D, I will not waste money on 3D.