G.I.Joe – Retaliation (Review)

G.I. Joe - Retaliation Review

First thought of the movie, and the most prevailing one throughout it for me:

Why in the hell did they kill off Channing Tatum within the first 10 minutes of the film? Now that was one big disappointment, considering that another character (Flint) would not have been missed at all, while Channing’s character Duke was likable, played well and funny – not to mention he is nice to look at. Well I do watch action movies for a few reasons, deeply developed dialogue about important and thought provoking subjects is not one of them. I want to see mind-blowing action, brought by strong men and women who look good delivering the many high powered scenes, and the few lines that move the story along. Channing added provided just that – for the few minutes he was on screen.

Channing Tatum with Dwayne Johnson

The main segment of the movie, was spent going after the person reasonable for Duke’s death, and the real reason someone wanted ALL G.I.Joe’s eliminated. Fast paced, the story moves along rather quickly, many explosions and fighting scenes included, the most memorable one being a chasing/fighting scene on the side of a mountain range, reminiscent of Chinese  action movies.

Overall the film delivered what it promised, a action packed entertaining ride.

Highlights: Bruce Willis’ characters home filled with a well hidden  arsenal (look what I found behind the soup, it’s a machine gun!), and the short but sweet cameo of James Carville, playing himself.

Down-side: Bruce Willis performance which was flat, and his attempt at proving tension between him and the female member of the team was annoying at best.

G.I.Joe is available on iTunes, via Amazon and currently to stream on Netflix.

 

Serena – A Short Film (Review)

I love artfully done short films, may they be a documentary, a extended music video turned into a short film, or a story. Wigs has brought forth a few short films on their channel (available to stream on their channel as well as their YouTube Channel). “Serena” is one of these creations, masterfully done, staring Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club) and Alfred Molina (Not Without My Daughter).

Centering around a very confined space – the confessional of a Catholic Church, both manage to capture the essence and power of a tender story, a woman falling for the “wrong” man, the man on the other side of the confessional, turning the setting almost romantic. This short film, and the expressive performances, are a real gem.  Watch it for yourself:

I truly think that the casting for this project was precise, and could not have been better, with Alfred Molina using his close-ups to portray an deeply convincing Priest.

I invite you to explore more of the short stories and documentaries, as well as ground-breaking series that Wigs has to offer.

X Is For X-Men: Days of Future Past – News

The release of X-Men: Days of Future Past is drawing closer (May, 23rd 2014), but not while already drawing some unwilling attention, not because of bad reviews, but because  of Director Bryan Singer’s announcement, that he will not be attending any of the premier festivities due to the abuse allegations against him. While I will not comment here on the case, I do consider this a fair and wise move, as it will take away the attention from him, and refocuses it on the film.

One of the pictures from the movie does bring us some mystery – Quicksilver is holding a young girl on his lap, and even though Brian Singer has denounced the possibilities of Quicksilver’s sister Scarlet Witch making an appearance, it does make us fans wonder, who then this little princess is, if not her.

See for yourself:

X-Men-Quicksilver-and-sister-570x294

 

I for my part will look forward to this installation of one of my favorite Marvel characters, with the high hopes to be just as entertained as I was with the previous creations of this franchise.

Are you looking forward to this installation of the X-Men? Which of the Marvel franchises is your favorite?

On a side note: Bryan Singer also credited as the producer of a very interesting drama, I just recently wrote about, and which premiered last week: The Black Box 

 

W Is For What Now?

The weird, wackiness of the A to Z Challenge is almost over, so it is time to contemplate what to write about in the wake of it, and most importantly how much.

With my head always in the midst of some kind of art form, may it be a really good book, or a movie I can hardly wait to share, there will be plenty to write about.

So when it is over, and it is over soon, I have planned for you the following:

 

A book review of “The Hero” by Robin Carr

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A more thorough dissection of the documentary: “The Artifact”

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Flash Fiction – I will again participate in the Friday Flash Fiction, so watch out for new, exiting really short stories

A look at Joss Whedon’s “In Your Eyes”, which is currently available on Vimeo, a rather unconventional release, but we should expect the unconventional from Joss by now.

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and I will be talking about a few projects that others are working on, but I am happy to support in any way I can, especially because they deal with some important issues, such as bullying.

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What have you planned to write about, once the challenge has been completed?

Have a wonderful week!

S Is For Starstruck

While I admire many people in the creative arts, there are only two at the moment in who’s presence I would turn into a starstruck fan girl, should I ever had the good fortune to meet them. Mainly because I admire them further then just the creative endevour of their many accomplishments, but also as people, with a depth, and character qualities that I think of as high in value.

One of these people is probably not surprisingly Joss Whedon. As a creative artist, he has accomplished much, sometimes despite of what others might have thought. Perserverance has brought forth some of the most highly acclaimed television shows and movies. But beyond that, he has shown a care for others, specifically for women’s equality causes, which has earned him my admiration. Let me share as an example his “Equality Now” speech with you:

 

The second person I want to write about is Jared Leto. While his music through Thirty Seconds of Mars is widely acclaimed, and I am surely a fan of his songs as well as his acting skills, it is his thoughtfulness for his family and his dedication to both venues he chooses to express himself in, that inspires me the most. His documentary “Artifact” showing a deeper look into the music industry and how artists struggle to get fairly compensated for their art – fighting at times both ends, the labels who are obviously into making profit, and those who illegally download and share the hard work of the artists.

Here is the trailer:

It is currently available through itunes and Amazon, watch it, even more so if you are thinking about working with or in the music industry.

 

 

 

P Is For Pieces

Picking up the pieces of the few things I have encountered through the week, starting with the letter P

1. Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim Review

The movie started promising, I was pretty exited about the visual effects and the intro part of the movie – the world coming together to safe itself. What a wonderful concept. And then it fell apart for me. Love the three main characters of the movie – the experienced warrior Raleigh Becket, who lost his brother in battle, the  man in charge, Stacker Pentecost played by Idris Elba, and the inexperienced but enthusiastic rookie Mako Mori, played by Rinko Kikuchi.

The rest of the cast was less then impressive, giving the movie an old school over the top cartoonish feel, and not in a good way. I got bored half way through, not caring much about the fate of anyone else but the above mentioned three, which let me to pause the movie often, and get back to it later.  I hope the rumors of the creation of a possible part 2 are wrong. There are many beautifully crafted screenplays out there, that would do better with the studios time and money.

2. Person of Interest

Person of Interest - Review

The show I go to when there is nothing better on Television and I am bored. It has enough action scenes to keep the individual episodes interesting, and the thread that holds the entire thing together is unique enough to wonder about what what could happen next. But the individuals rescued and or hunted each week are predictable to the point of painful, their reactions rarely arising because of who they are, rather following a certain non-cooperation, no matter how rational a different responds would be. Too much formula, too predictable to be my favorite, but if I had a choice to watch this show and one of the really horrible comedies on TV right now (with the exception of Big Bang Theory), I would tackle Person of Interest.

3. Predictable Books

A few books that are currently on my reading list to be reviewed, have been stricken off it before I got to the half way point. There are two predictable points that usually are signs that the book is going to go bad right from the start

  • First person – unless you are really, really good at it (Megan Hart’s “Beneath The Veil” is one example of a masterful story told in first person), it usually falls flat. It is a lot more difficult to create a story from this point of few, so I urge authors to reconsider the use of it – and I beg you, do not follow the “50 Shades of Grey” idea of first person, present tense – that is just wrong.
  • Taking too long to get to the meat of the story – I have usually 5 books every week to read, that does not include homeschool lessons, short stories, blog posts and editing my own junk, so if a book does not hook me in the first few pages, I toss it. I am sorry, that makes me a bad reviewer in some peoples eyes, but I just don’t have the time for boring.

Now, I am going to try to find some peace and quiet, despite the fact that it is Friday, which means is Lawn Crew day in our condo complex – my dog usually barks most of the morning till late afternoon, at the intruders, who trim our small garden space, and rake the many leaves our oak tree filled grounds bring forth on a regular basis.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

L Is For The Lone Ranger

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I was reluctant to watch this movie, because of its lack of box office success (175 million gross) and mediocre press, and the controversy that followed, with the producer, Jerry Brockheimer, the co-lead actor, Armie Hammer, and the director Gore Verbinski accusing critiques of writing bad reviews before the movie was released to be critiqued.

But I always enjoyed Johnny Depp’s performances, so I thought we would sit together as a family and give it a try. Here are my thoughts:

I thoroughly enjoyed this Disney movie, and so did my husband and teenage daughter. While it was not a blockbuster at the likes of Marvel creations, it was funny, with several laugh out loud moments, most of them involving either the banter between the two main characters, or parts including the white horse, that plays a rather large role in this film.

Granted, it is not a movie to watch over and over again, but it is charming, the plot engaging and there are no boring moments throughout the entire running time. It is also a movie one can watch with the entire family, without it being so lacking of action, that older children would have problems enjoying the story. There are not very many bad things I can say about this film, with the exception that Armie Hammers acting felt on a few occasions a little flat and that the main villain was somewhat predictable.

If you have not seen it, it is worth renting. Currently it is also available on HBO.

Here is a peak at the movie via it’s trailer: