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Showing posts with label Movie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movie. Show all posts

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Movie Review Star Wars VIII The Last Jedi

Movie Review - Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi - youtube.com
The Last Jedi

From the ashes of the Empire has arisen another threat to the galaxy’s freedom: the ruthless First Order. Fortunately, new heroes have emerged to take up arms and perhaps lay down their lives for the cause. Rey, the orphan strong in the Force Finn, the Ex-Stormtrooper who stands against his former masters and Poe Dameron, the fearless X-wing pilot, have been drawn together to fight side-by-side with General Leia Organa and the Resistance. 
But the First Order’s Supreme Leader Snoke and his merciless enforcer Kylo Ren are adversaries with superior numbers and devastating firepower at their command. Against this enemy, the champions of light may finally be facing their extinction. Their only hope rests with a lost legend: Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.

Where the action of Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended, Star Wars: The Last Jedi begins, as the battle between light and dark climbs to astonishing new heights.


Both directors of the new trilogy are huge Star Wars fans, each with a different mission as filmmakers within the series and each with their own sense of style and vision. Compared to Abrams, whose job it was to create new and likeable characters while thrusting them into a fun and familiar Star Wars setting (a job well done IMO), Johnson's job was to continue the arcs of those characters while somehow subverting expectations. I can't speak for other fans, but I had a strong personal need for the saga to expand on its ongoing narratives, themes and character dimensions in ways that were simultaneously new, familiar, interesting and unpredictable. I didn't want just another Empire the way we kinda got just another New Hope. I knew that to do that Johnson would need to take some risks, and as it turns out he took a lot of them with varying degrees of success. Not everything lands how it should've, but all the A-plot stuff with Kylo, Rey, Luke and Leia worked great for me initially and in retrospect.

Without going into too much detail, VIII suffered mostly from one or two of its subplots, namely that of Finn, Rose and DJ. In spite of their subplot's flaws, perhaps the biggest payoff was one in which DJ helps Finn and Rose to understand that war is far more grey and nuanced than they previously realized, and that the concepts of good and evil are maybe a bit more relative than they'd like to think. This is a concept that is echoed in various ways throughout the movie's various arcs, and its a theme I personally adore, but I wish Finn and Rose had come across it in a more fun and concise way.

One of the most common complaints I've seen of this film has to do with it's attempts at humor. Admittedly, I was caught off guard by it near the beginning, but I quickly and effortlessly found myself enjoying it, and did so for the most part for the rest of the film. I'm not sure I understand why the humor didn't land for so many people, at least not beyond the fact that humor is a very subjective construct. The humor of the prequels suffered greatly because it was so infantile and kid-centric. I think people forget how much humor there was in the original trilogy, but it seems to me that the new trilogy hasn't forgotten, nor has it failed to understand what made that humor more successful. The humor simply needs to appeal to the widest possible audience, young lings and old lings alike. Was some of the humor too “meta” in this film? Who knows. One could easily argue yes or no, but I personally didn't think the humor was specific enough to be truly bad in a meta sense. Overall it seemed fine, and a lot of it got genuine laughs out of me.

I have enormous difficulty taking seriously the opinions of those who say flat out that Episode VIII “sucks” or even of those who somehow loved it unconditionally, although there seem to be far fewer of those in the latter category. Either way, let's not kid ourselves into thinking there has ever been a perfect SW film (although Empire was objectively maybe the closest we'll ever get to one). Empire took plenty of risks that in hindsight paid off beautifully, and I feel quite comfortable saying the same of VIII. As far as risks go, the difference between the two films is that VIII takes maybe one or two too many. Its possible that a few more months in the writer's room probably could have fixed all or most of the film's biggest missteps, but as a realist I understand time isn't always as abundant as we'd like it to be. In the end, The Last Jedi is what it is, and it would have been folly to ever think it could have pleased everyone.

I could follow suit with so many of the Internet's talking heads by nitpicking this film to death, but doing that seems unnecessary and beside the point of cinema. It might be a cynical view, but I think a lot of people kinda enjoy dissecting all the “bad” parts of movies more than losing themselves in all the “good” parts. I simply can't find it within myself to cut off this film's face to spite it's nose like so many people have. When considering the poignantly grey themes of The Last Jedi, doesn't it make more sense to embrace a more “grey” approach to how we experience films? To reference a specific quote from VIII, if darkness rises, shouldn't the light rise to meet it?

With all it's jaw-dropping spectacles, touching character moments and fresh thought-provoking themes, its the sum of Episode VIII's parts that, for me, make it an enjoyable cinematic experience. I have no quibbles about recommending this episode of Star Wars, but I'd try to ignore the Internet's echo chambers.
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Star Wars VIII : The Last Jedi

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Movie Review Wonder Woman

Movie Review - Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman - Amazon.com
Wonder Woman

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.


The storyline in a nutshell: Diana leaves her paradise Island of Themiscyra that is magically hidden from the rest of the world to fight alongside men in a war to end all wars.

Wonder Woman is a movie that everyone can comprehend and accept, which is not brooding and polarizing like other DC movies. Unlike many comic book movies that make the main character one dimensional, I have never seen so many profound aspects in a fictitious superhero movie before. It is a movie beyond woman equality, history, war, ethics and even religion. It’s about honor, duty, good, evil, love and doing what is right.

Wonder Woman is a good mix of action helped by the back drop of The Great War/World War I. It is not just plain adventure but has a narrative focused on the increasingly treacherous world with diminishing tolerance and morality. While I don't consider it good to compare, it was inevitable to see similarities with Captain America: The First Avenger.
This doesn’t just create a good visual. After a three-movie streak of stinkers from DC studios, this moment demonstrates what makes superheroes, something Zack Snyder apparently doesn’t appreciate. Heroes represent, not the recourses we’re willing to live with, as with Snyder's Superman, but the aspirations we pursue, the better angels we hope to achieve. We all hope, faced with the nihilism of the Great War, that we’d overcome bureaucratic inertia and face our enemies head-on.

In some ways, this Wonder Woman, directed by relative novice Patty Jenkins, accords with DC’s recent cinematic outings. Diana’s heroism doesn’t stoop to fighting crime, a reflection of cultural changes since the character debuted in 1941. Ordinary criminals, even organized crime, seem remarkably small beer in today’s world. Crime today is often either penny-ante, like common burglars, or too diffuse to punch, like drug cartels. Like the Snyder-helmed movies, this superhero confronts more systemic problems.

But Snyder misses the point, which Jenkins hits. Where Snyder’s superheroes battle alien invaders, like Superman, or pummel the living daylights out of each other, Wonder Woman faces humanity’s greatest weaknesses. The Great War, one of humanity’s lowest moments, represents a break from war’s previous myths of honor. Rather than marching into battle gloriously, Great War soldiers hunkered in trenches for months, soaked and gangrenous, seldom bathing, eating tinned rations out of their own helmets.

This shift manifests in two ways. First, though Diana speaks eloquently about her desire to stop Ares, the war-god she believes is masquerading as a German general, this story is driven by something more down-to-earth. General Ludendorff’s research battalion has created an unusually powerful form of mustard gas. The very real-world Ludendorff, who popularized the expression “Total War,” here successfully crafts a means to destroy soldiers and civilians alike. He represents humanity’s worst warlike sentiments.

Second, this Wonder Woman doesn’t wear a stars-and-stripes uniform. Comic book writer William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman as an essentially female version of Superman’s American values, an expression externalized in her clothing. This theme carried over into Lynda Carter’s TV performance. But this Wonder Woman stays strictly in Europe, fights for high-minded Allied values rather than one country, and apparently retires to curatorship at the Louvre. Her values are unyoked to any specific nation.

Recall, Zack Snyder’s Superman learned from his human father to distrust humankind, and became superheroic only when threatened by Kryptonian war criminals. Diana, conversely, learned to fight for high-minded principles—which she learned through myths which, she eventually discovers, are true without being factual. Snyder’s Superman, in fighting General Zod, showed remarkable disregard for bystanders, his film’s most-repeated criticism. But Diana charges into battle specifically to liberate occupied civilians. The pointed contrast probably isn’t accidental.

Unfortunately, Diana learns, war isn’t about individual battles. She liberates a shell-pocked Belgian village, and celebrates by dancing with Steve Trevor in the streets. But General Ludendorff retaliates by testing his extra-powerful chemical weapons on that village. No matter what piteous stories she hears about displaced, starving individuals, ultimately, her enemy isn’t any particular soldier. It’s a system that rewards anyone willing to stoop lower than everyone else, kill more noncombatants, win at any cost.

In a tradition somewhat established by the superhero genre, Diana culminates the movie with a half-fight, half-conversation with her antagonist. Ares offers Diana the opportunity to restore Earth’s pre-lapsarian paradise state by simply scourging the planet of humanity. (Though Greek in language, this movie’s mythology reflects its audience’s Judeo-Christian moral expectations.) Diana responds by… well, spoilers. Rather, let’s say she simply resolves that fighting the corrupt system is finally worthwhile, even knowing she cannot win.

Wonder Woman’s moral mythology resonates with audiences, as Superman’s doesn’t, at least in the Snyderverse, because she expresses hope. Watching Diana, we realize it’s easy to become Ludendorff, wanting to not just beat but obliterate our opponents. Yet we desire to emulate Diana, standing fast against human entropy and embodying our best virtues. Diana is a demigod, we eventually learn, and like all good messiahs, she doesn’t just rule humanity, she models humanity’s truest potential.


This is by far the best DC to be made since The Dark Knight. Although I remain loyal to Marvel, I am pleased with DC success with Wonder Woman as it is one of the most well rounded, entertaining superhero movies to date.
 
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Wonder Woman

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Movie Review Beauty And The Beast

Movie Review - Beauty And The Beast

Beauty And The Beast - Amazon.com
Beauty And The Beast

The story and characters you know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney's animated classic BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told.


I have loved the story of Beauty and the Beast for years. I loved the Disney animated version. It was charming and sweet. This one has many of the same qualities but it was very hard to get past Emma Watson's singing.

Remakes can be risky, but Disney delivers again in this excellent live action remake of their classic animated musical "Beauty and the Beast". The story will be familiar to fans of the earlier movie, but the delivery of the new movie is so good that the suspense will have viewers hanging on the edge of their seats for an emotional ending. The music is as good as the original, and the CGI effects of the Beast's castle and its lively household are generally seamless.

The settings recalled the real darkness of the original French fairy tale. The prince is a prisoner of his own arrogance, selfishness and anger, and the intricacies of the Beast's cursed castle show that so well, metaphorically: everything is entangled and entwined with sharp, brittle branches and dark, dark, dark. The scenes where Belle and he begin to interact to get to know each other become well-lit and brighter, as if the Beast is slowly letting go of his own destructive tendencies. 

The mob scene is truly horrifying, as I could feel the hatred that Gaston is whipping up, and the villagers so quickly fall for. The obvious "lessons" are here as well: appearances are not all there is to a person as well as (sorry, Lloyd Weber fans) love changes everything.

The acting cast is first rate. Emma Watson is her own spunky but very appealing Belle. Dan Stevens carries off the difficult role of the Beast, with a soft heart under a beastly exterior. Kevin Kline is adorable and funny as Belle's father, a man with a secret. The voice actors for the enchanted household staff are indeed a distinguished bunch, including Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, and Stanley Tucci, among others. Luke Evans as Gaston and Joseph Gad as Le Fou are their own entertaining subplot. The scenes in the forest with the wolves may be too intense for very small children. Highly recommended.
 
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Beauty And The Beast

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Movie Review IT

Movie Review - IT

IT - Amazon.com
IT
The horror thriller “IT,” directed by Andrés Muschietti (“Mama”), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids is faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.


I have never been a huge Stephen King fan, or a even a consumer of horror films. But, when I heard that a new movie was coming out based on the book by Stephen King, I decided to read the book itself. I found that I really enjoyed it and got into the story to the point that it was hard to put down! At over 1,000 pages, it took me a couple of weeks to finish it. I rarely go to the theater to see a movie anymore, but wait until the movie is available to stream before I watch it. 
I watched it a couple of days ago and I am very pleased with the adaptation. Of course due to the length of the book, not everything can be put into a movie like this, thus some things are missing like the Losers Club House in the Barrens, and the dam that Ben helped the kids rebuild after the bullies destroyed the first one, and the incident with Stan Uris at the Standpipe where the door opens, he enters and Stan hears voices claiming that they were "The Dead Ones", the children that had drowned there, etc. 
But these are less important parts of the story compared to the more powerful horror of confronting IT. Most of the scenes in the movie were as I had visualized them myself while reading the book. All in all I really enjoyed this movie and will likely watch it again very soon as there is so much detail. This version of IT definitely deserves a five star rating from me.

IT is a supernatural horror is almost always cheesy by definition but usually acceptable when rooted in something we can relate to, like going crazy in isolation (The Shining) or what happens when we dream (Nightmare on Elm Street). 'It' doesn't have the same element for us to relate to and is initially off-putting by the barely connected series of gory vignettes that strike individual characters one by one for the first 50 minutes. 
These set pieces, while random and nonsensical, are however generally well done enough to keep our interest - in addition to our interest being held by the underlying mystery provided by master story teller Stephen King. Indeed, what ultimately wins us over is the way in which this remake is done. 
The recreation of the period, the casting, the thoughtful background (and foreground) details and just the way the story moves - this is the kind of homage to 1980s movies that Netflix's 'Stranger Things' wish it was. Somehow ST gets a lot of accolades but 'It' shows you how you to reference Gremlins, Spielberg, Freddy Krueger et al while also telling a thumping good yarn of your own. Stick with 'It' through the first half ... There's a reason why this is the highest grossing horror movie of all time (dethroning 'The Exorcist' which was #1 with inflation-adjusted numbers).
Depending on your horror/thriller movie expectations, I give this a definite thumbs up!! And I have never liked clowns so it gets my senses on edge instantly!
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IT

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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Movie Review Fifty Shades Freed

Movie Review - Fifty Shades Freed

Fifty Shades Freed - The Aisle Seat
Fifty Shades Freed

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Freed, the climactic chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon. Bringing to a shocking conclusion events set in motion in 2015 and 2017’s blockbuster films that grossed almost $950 million globally, the film arrives for Valentine’s Day 2018. Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.


Fifty Shades Freed is the conclusion of the Fifty Shades trilogy that delivers what the fans love and want so much: lots of steamy sex scenes, the story being pretty faithful to the original source and good performances by Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson and the rest of the cast.

The movie shows us the life of Ana and Christian after getting married. Will steamy sex be enough for them to live happily ever after? The couple is put through tests like people from the past determined to ruin their happiness, Ana's adjustment to Christian's fortune, unexpected pregnancies and Ana dealing with being now a Grey. I gotta say the movie is enjoyable, as it includes the key parts of the book on the movie, but some other parts feel rushed and superficial. Some of the important characters are barely on two or three scenes with one or two lines, and it feels like they spend so much minutes on sex rather on creating a more deep and meaningful ending to the series, but let's also consider that this is the shortest Fifty Shades film.

I still believe this is a good conclusion to the series, as it delivers romantic (and of course sexy) moments that are memorable and amazing and that will make you miss Ana and Christian as soon as you leave the movie theater. Even if this is not your "award winning" kind of movie, I will always remember this movie series as your non-so typical love story and good entertainment! Die-hard fans and regular moviegoers will be pleased. Don't listen to professional reviews. If you enjoyed the past movies, you will enjoy FSF too. Worth the pre-order.
 
I loved this last movie. It was done so much better than the other two. I know people are complaining that everything wasn’t in the movie. It’s very difficult to tell a whole book in 2 hours. All of the best moments in the book were there. I loved the end. I’m just sorry that their love story is over. You will love this last movie it has a little bit of everything for everyone.
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Fifty Shades Freed

 DVD Fifty Shades Freed

Monday, February 19, 2018

Movie Review Arrival

Movie Review - Arrival


When mysterious spacecraft land across the globe, expert translator Louise Banks is sent to decipher their intent. As tensions mount, Banks discovers the aliens' true purpose and, to avert global war, takes a chance that could threaten humanity.


This is a divisive film. You will love it or hate it, but you will have an opinion. Why are there such strong feelings? I think it results from the way the film was marketed. Critics came out raving about a new Sci-Fi film and called it wildly unpredictable. The public's interest was piqued. After all, it stars Jeremy Renner so it must be a Sci-Fi action movie, right? Maybe it's like a good Independence Day. Wrong! There is only one explosion in this film and I don't think there was a single gun fired. Whoa! What a letdown, right? No.

This is not a Sci-Fi action film. This is Sci-Fi in the same vein as Contact, Solaris, and 2001. Actually, it is very similar to 2001 in many ways and themes. If you thought 2001 was boring, you will hate this film. This is not a film about aliens. This is a film about how we react to adversity and uncertainty. You may have heard that this is a film about time travel. It's not. No one "travels" through time. This film is about supposing that time is relative (which we know it is) and perhaps even malleable if you understand it well enough. The key to understanding time in this film is language. One aspect I think the film got wrong is contrasting science and language. Science is a language. Science is a way to explain the phenomena around you in formulas that can be shared and duplicated with others i.e., a language. They are not adversarial, but the same.

One thing that surprised me greatly was the portrayal of the military. I think this is probably the truest representation of how military personnel would react. These aren't mindless soldiers. They are thinking human beings with human emotions thrust into a situation of unbelievable significance. Some handle it with fear and trepidation while others approach it with care and concern. If we are ever visited by an alien race, the event will transcend the military. It will transcend the government and even nations. The government does not own or have a right to police our access to foreign visitors. This film portrays very well the moral dilemmas between duty and human emotion.

Are there some problems with the film? Undoubtedly it could have added more steps of suspense along the way--just a few morsels to keep the suspense building even more. I think that would have eliminated some of the "boring" complaints. I also think Jeremy Renner did not belong in the film. He is an excellent actor and it's not like he doesn't act his role well, it's just that he brings too much "Jeremy Renner" baggage to the role for me to accept him completely. Amy Adams was perfect for this role, however.

You absolutely should watch this film if you like thinking about it afterwards. Nothing is spoon-fed to you in this film and you will NOT receive all the answers. Much is left open to your interpretation. It will leave you guessing to the very end. What would you do in the same situation?

If you thought 2001 was a masterpiece (it was) then you will love this film in much the same way. If you thought Independence Day was a masterpiece, don't waste your time watching this.
Having purchase the Blu-ray, I can now speak to it separately from the film. The picture is stunning and one of the best films I have seen. The colors are slightly muted, but I'm sure it's intentional. I just don't remember it being overly dark in the theater.

There are over 80 minutes of extras, although I am slightly apprehensive about watching them. They basically explain the whole point of the film which I feel is better left to your own interpretation. Those who don't like the film won't ever get a chance to see what it was about since they surely won't buy this, but the answers are there if you want them.
 
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Arrival

  • Genres : Science Fiction, Drama, Thriller, Mystery
  • Director : Denis Villeneuve
  • Starring  : Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner
  • Supporting actors  : Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark O'Brien, Tzi Ma, Abigail Pniowsky, Julia Scarlett Dan, Jadyn Malone, Frank Schorpion, Lucas Chartier-Dessert, Christian Jadah, Lucy Van Oldenbarneveld, Andrew Shaver, Pat Kiely, Sonia Vigneault, Mark Camacho, Sabrina Reeves, Julian Casey, Tony Robinow
  • Studio : Paramount Pictures
  • Format : Prime Video (Streaming Online Video)
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Movie Review Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Movie Review - Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back - Amazon.ca

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back


When Army Major Susan Turner is framed for treason, Jack Reacher discovers she's the target of a massive government conspiracy. Together, they will risk everything to take down a powerful organization that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets.


A pretty good movie though not accurate to the books. However, author Lee Childs has given his approval. I have not read many of Mr. Childs' books, but my memory is that they have better and more believable plots. In this movie, Reacher is a highly decorated near legend but he has no "old boy or girl" network to call upon in times of trouble? Instead, he asks for help from a relatively new and low ranking NCO with whom he renewed his acquaintance by chance.

The military aspects of the movie do not seem correct. When I was a military police investigator in the Mississippi National Guard, military policemen (women too) were enlisted personnel. CID were NCO'S and warrant officers. Commissioned officers commanded, lead and supervised. They did not perform police duties. They certainly did not escort and guard prisoners. I streamed this movie via Amazon Prime.
This film finds Reacher with something more to protect than the first one. Plenty of action and pay back. The addition of a resourceful, smart teenage girl adds a welcome new dynamic to Reacher's world. This film delivers what fans would expect with a bit of a surprise. This ends up being something of a buddy movie as Jack helps his friend clear her name from some very nasty rouge elements. Recommended for fans of the series.
 
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Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

  • Genres : Thriller, Adventure, Action, Mystery
  • Director : Edward Zwick
  • Starring  : Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders
  • Supporting actors  : Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh, Patrick Heusinger, Holt McCallany, Robert Knepper, Judd Lormand, Christopher Berry, Hunter Burke, Jason Douglas, Lizeth Hutchings, Marisela Zumbado, Alexandra Lucchesi, Madalyn Horcher, Robert Catrini, Anthony Molinari, Theo Kypri, Talbott Lin, M. Serrano
  • Studio  : Paramount Pictures
  • Format : Prime Video (Streaming Online Video)
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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Movie Review Doctor Who: The Complete Specials

Movie Review - Doctor Who: The Complete Specials  

(The Next Doctor / Planet of the Dead / The Waters of Mars / The End of Time Parts 1 and 2) 


Special features
  •     Disc 1: The Next Doctor
  •     Disc 2: Planet of the Dead
  •     Disc 3: The Waters of Mars
  •     Discs 4-5: The End of Time, Parts One and Two
  •     Doctor Who Confidential
  •     Doctor Who at the Proms
  •     Deleted scenes with introduction from Russell T. Davies
  •     David Tennant Video Diaries: The Final Days
  •     Doctor Who BBC Christmas idents
  •     Audio commentaries
  •     Doctor Who at Comic-Con

This stunning collection of Doctor Who specials The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars and The End of Time, Part One & Two is a must own for all Doctor Who fans. The four imaginative, action-packed specials are the farewell to star David Tennant, and Russell T Davies, the mastermind behind the rebirth of the modern DoctorWho. The specials culminate in the dramatic regeneration of the Doctor, giving fans their first glimpse of the eleveDoctor, played by Matt Smith. The specials are packed with a terrific lineup of guest stars includingMichelle Ryan (Bionic Woman), David Morrissey (State of Play, Sense and Sensibility), Lindsay Duncan (Alice in Wonderland (2010), Rome, Under the Tuscan Sun) and many more that we can t reveal just yet!
I've been a Doctor Who fan since I encountered it as a kid in the 80's, and I have been overall very impressed and pleased with Doctor # 10! The specials are great to see in HD! I had seen them before in poor streaming web quality. Waters of Mars had a great spooky atmosphere, and I think is the strongest of the specials. The End of Time - well, my problem is I can't stand the new regenerated Master. He's too campy, and seems to be trying too hard to be an unhinged Joker. The Master is the dark version of the Doctor, cunning, cold, manipulative, foreboding and charming. This Master is none of those things. Plus the lightning bolt throwing? Thankfully "The Next Doctor" is great fun, "Planet of the Dead" is interesting and enjoyable, "The Waters of Mars" is awesome, and the End of Time is mixed.
What more can I say about the 10th Doctor's Specials that hasn't already been said. They're great. The problem I have and this has been a major problem with all of my Doctor Who Blu-ray sets (and I own every Blu-ray for modern Doctor Who available) is that the audio tracks are really screwed up when played through my Onkyo receiver.

It's obviously a codec issue but what happens is that the DTS HD HR (not tobe confused with the lossless MA) audio randomly drops in and out on and either completely disappears or you can only hear certain channels. Although I had the random dropout issues on my other DW sets, the solution to that was to simply to change the audio output on the PS3 from bitsream to linear PCM. This results in no change in audio quality with the only difference really being that the display on the receiver shows "Multichannel" instead of "DTS HD HR."

With this set, however, that doesn't work and the discs become impossible to enjoy. I have done all of my updates and I have tried connecting different Blu-ray players to the receiver with no change and I must not that out of the 400 Blu-ray titles I own, the DW titles are the only ones I've ever had a problem with.
 
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Doctor Who : The Complete Specials
  • Gendre : Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure, Mystery, Kids & Family
  • Actors : David Tennant, David Morrissey, Michelle Ryan, Lindsay Duncan, Bernard Cribbins
  • Format : AC-3, Blu-ray, Box set, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language : English (DTS-HD High Res Audio)
  • Subtitles : English
  • Region : All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio : 1.78:1
  • Number of discs : 5
  • Studio : BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date : February 2, 2010
  • Run Time : 311 minutes
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Movie Review Outlander Seasons 5

Movie Review - Outlander Seasons 5

Outlander Season 5 - Den of Geek

Outlander Seasons 5 Serials :
  1. Sassenach
  2. Castle Leoch
  3. The Way Out
  4. The Gathering
  5. Rent
  6. The Garrison Commander
  7. The Wedding
  8. Both Sides Now

While on a second honeymoon with her husband, British combat nurse Claire Randall is transported back in time to 1743 Scotland. Accused of being a spy, she is catapulted into danger and finds herself torn between two men in vastly different times. Diana Gabaldon's best-selling book series is stunningly realized by Executive Producer Ronald D. Moore in Season One's first eight episodes.
I realize most buying this will already be fans of the books/show and have seen the episodes but for any newbies who saw this as a suggested purchase and want to know more, here's what I can tell you. (I've watched the entire show so far and am reading the first book).

First off, ignore the part of the description that says "epic travel through time." This is not a time-travel or science fiction story. It's about Claire Randall, a combat nurse in the 1940s who goes to Scotland after the second world war to reconnect with her husband (Frank)/have a second honeymoon. Not realizing the place they're travelling to is a place for some pagan/druid activity, Claire accidentally time-travels through some standing stones after watching a druid ritual and ends up in 1700s Scotland. From there it turns into an adventure/historical fiction story when Claire runs into and is kidnapped of sorts by some Scottish Highlanders who don't know what to make of an Englishwoman running around in that area. She's taken back to their clan's Scottish castle and not knowing how to escape and go back to her own time or what to do next, has to cope with living in an era where there's a lot of Scottish clan politics (and clashing with the English soldiers who occupy the Scottish territories). At the same time she has to be very careful to hide the secret of who she really is and where she really came from, not easy to do because Claire is very much an independent, stubborn, forthright person and harder still when she is "hired" to be the healer of the Mackenzie clan (the clan of the castle/property she's taken to). It doesn't help that she attracts the attention of an English garrison commander - a brutal, sociopathic, sadistic English captain who is none other than her husband's ancestor. And it really doesn't help that she might be developing smooshy feelings for one of the very, very handsome soldiers at Castle Leoch. (Why can't I fall through standing stones and meet some gorgeous guys in kilts? Surely Houston must have some standing stones somewhere?)

From showrunner/executive producer Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica), the show is beautifully executed and very faithfully adapted. Much of it so far is right out of the book. Of course this doesn't mean it's exactly to the letter how it'll be in the book because television doesn't work that way but it's very closely done (author Diana Gabaldon is a close consultant on the show and has a fun cameo in episode 4 "The Gathering.") Here's my opinion on the show for what it's worth: I actually like it better than the book. I'm really enjoying the book but watching the show, I can tell the show makes some slight tweaks here and there (scenes added, certain lines in the book given to other characters, etc.) that make the storytelling smoother and an easier transition to tv. It's like if the book is a pretty wooden carving, the show is the same carving, but sanded and oiled. There are so many parts in the books where it just wouldn't work to have the show film them as is. The show also softens some of the characters (including Jamie and Claire), so while it stays true to the essence of their characters, they're also made easier to like and relate to.

The actors, costumes, sets, music, etc., everything is breathtakingly realistic and very well produced; unlike so many American period shows, the characters look and act like real people. The costumes (done by Moore's wife costume designer Terry Dresbach) actually look like period clothes and not like they were picked up from the 1700s Scotland Gap like they would in any other show. It's a very expensive production so their attention to detail is amazing and really pulls you into the new world Claire is thrown into (with some occasional flashbacks to the 1940s lives of Claire and Frank). One warning: the Highlanders' accents are sometimes hard to understand and the Gaelic (native Scottish language of that time period) is not subtitled, but if you pay close attention, it doesn't need to be and you can understand the context of what they're saying.

I've seen a lot of comparisons to Game of Thrones. This is nothing like Game of Thrones which is high-concept fantasy. I haven't read the rest of the books yet but from what I've heard, Outlander's books (and the show) are really more historical fiction and not fantasy. Some people complain it's slow at times but it's never boring or unengaging. The first few episodes have to have some quieter moments to set up all the characters, storylines and conflicts. The only negative thing I have to say - not really negative so much as a warning - is it is extremely gritty and graphic. This is made for the Starz network, the same network that had The White Queen, Spartacus and Black Sails. If graphic sex scenes and very graphic blood and gore and draconian punishments are not for you, neither is this show. It's not family friendly, absolutely not for kids or the squeamish and there are some rather disturbing scenes in just the first few episodes, so be mindful who you watch it with. Much as I love the show, there are scenes of it I simply won't watch again - I'll either skip them or mute and leave the room.

Diana Gabaldon has told the story many times of the failures in making this into a project for the screen before and she agrees - and so do the books' fans - they really couldn't have seen a better job done with this than Ron Moore has done. I highly recommend this (with the above caveats in mind) if you liked the books or like this kind of show in general.
 
http://amzn.to/2BAInRG

Outlander

  • Genres : Fantasy, Drama, Romance
  • Director : Metin Hüseyin, Anna Foerster, Brian Kelly, Mike Barker, Philip John, Brendan Maher, John Dahl, Richard Clark, Douglas Mackinnon, Norma Bailey, Charlotte Brändström, Jennifer Getzinger, David Moore, Matthew B. Roberts, Julian Holmes
  • Starring  : Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan
  • Supporting actors  : Duncan Lacroix, Tobias Menzies, Grant O'Rourke, Graham McTavish, Stephen Walters, Romann Berrux, Andrew Gower, Lotte Verbeek, Laura Donnelly, Steven Cree, Bill Paterson, Keith Fleming, James Allenby-Kirk, Nell Hudson, Finn Den Hertog, Gary Lewis, César Domboy, Gary Young
  • Season year : 2014
  • Network : Starz
  • Producers : Toni Graphia, Toni Graphia, Matthew B. Roberts, Matthew B. Roberts, Matthew B. Roberts, Elicia Bessette, David Brown, Ronald D. Moore, Maril Davis, Maril Davis, Anne Kenney, Anne Kenney, Ira Steven Behr, Ira Steven Behr, Michael O'Halloran, Paulo De Oliveira, Karen Campbell, Shannon Goss, Ben McGinnis, Michael Wilson
  • Format : Prime Video (Streaming Online Video)
http://amzn.to/2BwHn17

Movie Review Doctor Who Seasons 11

Movie Review - Doctor Who

Rotten Tomatoes

Doctor Who Seasons 11 Serials :
  1. The Pilot
  2. Rose
  3. The Unquiet Dead
  4. Aliens of London
  5. World War Three
  6. Dalek
  7. The Long Game
  8. Father's Day

Christopher Eccleston's Doctor is wise and funny, cheeky and brave. A loner, his detached logic gives him a vital edge when the world's in danger. But when it comes to relationships, he can be found wanting. That's why he needs Rose. From the moment they meet, the Doctor and Rose are soulmates. With nothing to hold Rose back (neither her overbearing mum nor her hapless boyfriend), she chooses the Doctor and his promise of fantastic adventures across the universe.

Reviews :

I truly believe Doctor Who wouldn't have become the global phenomenon it is today without the 2005 relaunch of the series. Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor is wise and funny, cheeky and brave. And his companion, Rose, was the down to Earth, average teenager the whole audience could relate to. As they travel together through time, encountering new adversaries, the Doctor shows her things beyond imagination. Some of my favorite stories from this season included "The End of the World" (where the Doctor shows Rose the eventual fate of the planet Earth); "Dalek" (the bitter sweet, but still chilling return of the most famous enemies of the show); and "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances" (a gripping and scary two parter set in WWII, featuring zombie kids in gas masks, and the first apperance of heroic heart throb, Captain Jack Harkness). And it all leads up to an exciting two part season finale with a showdown with the Daleks, and a tearful changing of the guard, in which the Doctor regenerates into his Tenth form.

It's a shame the Ninth Doctor only lasted a season, because he was pretty good, and this series was pivital in not only reintroducing the classic series to the modern era, but also laying the ground work for all the important elements that would make the modern era of Who the success that it is today. And the discs are all jam packed with interesting special features, including behind the scenes info about the making of the show, and interviews with the cast members.
Eccleston only played The Doctor for this single season; he did not renew his contract. But his work here sets the ground work for every Dr. Who episode created since. Gone is the absent-minded professor type of the first eight Doctors. Eccleston's Doctor is thoughtful, direct, and action-focused. This is a Time Lord with a plan who doesn't hesitate to do whatever needs to be done and has both the knowledge and experience to solve problems that would confuse others.

He is also a haunted man, regenerating out of the War Doctor (see "Day of the Doctor" from the 50th anniversary specials), the sole survivor of the Great Time War, his conscience thick with the horrors of that war and his role in it, a conscience that makes him more determined than ever to help others -- starting with Rose Tyler in the first episode, "Rose."
 
http://amzn.to/2BAInRG

Doctor Who

  • Genres : Science Fiction, Drama, Adventure, Mystery, Kids & Family
  • Director : Graeme Harper, Euros Lyn, Douglas Mackinnon, James Strong, Rachel Talalay, Charlie Palmer, James Hawes, Joe Ahearne, Toby Haynes, Nick Hurran, Saul Metzstein, Hettie Macdonald, Richard Clark, Julian Simpson, Daniel Nettheim, Edward Bazalgette, Keith Boak, Colin Teague, Adam Smith, Paul Wilmshurst
  • Starring  : Matt Smith, David Tennant 
  • Supporting actors  : Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Nicholas Briggs, Karen Gillan, Billie Piper, Paul Kasey, Arthur Darvill, Ruari Mears, Freema Agyeman, Barnaby Edwards, Catherine Tate, Alex Kingston, Matt Lucas, Camille Coduri, Noel Clarke, Michelle Gomez, Pearl Mackie, Nicholas Pegg 
  • Season year : 2005
  • Network : BBC America 
  • Producers : Steven Moffat, Steven Moffat, Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner, Phil Collinson, Phil Collinson, Brian Minchin, Piers Wenger, Denise Paul, Denise Paul, Denise Paul, Marcus Wilson, Marcus Wilson, Beth Willis, Diana Barton, Helen Vallis, Peter Bennett, Tracie Simpson, Tracie Simpson, Caroline Skinner
  • Format : Prime Video (Streaming Online Video)
http://amzn.to/2BwHn17

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Movie Review The Walking Dead Seasons 8

Movie Review - The Walking Dead Seasons 8

Dvdcover.com

The Walking Dead Seasons 8 Serials :
  1. Mercy
  2. The Damned
  3. Monsters
  4. Some Guy
  5. The Big Scary U
  6. The King, the Widow, and Rick
  7. Time for After
  8. How It's Gotta Be

Rick and his survivors bring "All Out War" to Negan and his forces. The lines are drawn as they launch into a kinetic, action- packed battle for the promise of a brighter future.
I've loved TWD from the first episode to the latest episode. I'm not always happy the way some episodes have been, but over all I still love the show. Is Michonne gone for good. I really miss her, and I hope no more of Rick's people are killed. I'm sick of Negan. He can go ASAP. It's the only show I've been loyal to in a long time. Please keep it on for a few more seasons. Most of the tv series these days is a bunch of silly crap.
I love this show but the action scenes absolutely kill me. Mostly the gun fights and the extreme lack of knowledge when it comes to how guns function and their effectiveness. Somehow they can shoot zombies in the head every time like I would imagine Jerry Miculek would. But somehow when facing other humans the show turns into the A-team. Even with fully automatic weapons the shooters trace outlines around their opponents.
 
http://amzn.to/2BAInRG

The Walking Dead Seasons 8

Genres  : Drama, Mystery, Horror
Network : Lionsgate
Format  : Prime Video (streaming online video)

http://amzn.to/2BwHn17

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