Archive for the Movie Reviews – 2010s Category

Ant-Man (2015)

Posted in Movie Reviews - 2010s, Movies with tags , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2015 by They call me "Mephy"

Blogger’s note: This is a rewrite of a review. I unfortunately lost my review due to not submitting it whilst writing…whoops.

It seems like Hollywood has been busy milking the cash cow franchises for the big screen(s) as of late, and Disney comes to mind, seeing as they’ve bought assets from Marvel Comics and holds rights to Star Wars, for better or for worse. Only time will tell if The Force Awakens will be as solid as we’re all expecting it to be. But at least we’ll be safe from the re-re-release/remastered CGI distractions…right? But I digress. Well long story short: the movie I had intended to see (I forgot which one it was) was apparently already off the theater listings, and we were already running late according to the screening schedules, so we settled for this one.

Superhero films seems to be having a good run this decade as well, and they’re definitely doing something right because the audiences keep coming back, unlike what would have done for the many superhero box office bombs of circa 1990’s and early 2000’s.

Ant-Man (2015)

Tagline: “Heroes don’t get any bigger.”

Ant-Man-Poster_1200_1777_81_s

Plot summary

The film is centered around Scott Lang (the second Ant-Man), a former electric engineer being paroled from prison, and struggling to be re-accepted into society due to a burglary incident he was imprisoned for. Barred from seeing his daughter by his ex-wife, he is coerced (by Luis) into doing one more housebreaking job in order to find valuables that could help him pay for child support, he unknowingly breaks into Dr. Hank Pym (the first Ant-Man)’s home and breaks into his vault to find a would-be “ordinary motorcycle suit”; this turns out to be a huge understatement. Little did he know that Pym had orchestrated this eventful meeting with Lang to carry the mantle for becoming the next Ant-Man.

Review:

The film’s strongest point appears to be its humorous quipping and adequate story development. The humor mainly comes from Lang’s discovery of his new found powers of size-alteration (and the mishaps of being ant-sized), as well as his learning to communicate with ants. The Luis character especially stands out as a supporting character, as the protagonist’s friend who manages to smile despite everything he’s been through, and is the one usually making cheeky remarks, or getting sidetracked in his own yarns (of stories). The film wastes less time on expositions and more time on fast-paced action scenes; the characters actually do something, instead of sitting around and talking about that something, which I felt was a good approach by the film, but can be dazzling to keep up with as well.

ant-man-poster-full-marvel

Left: One of the promotion movie posters, with Paul Rudd. Right: A promotional art from the Ant-Man comics, featuring the same character.

However, with humor being its strongest points, one feels that there can also be a little too much humor within the film. At certain times, a heroic battle between hero and villain is normally played out, only to have its mood whip-lashed by sudden shots of the ant-sized battle taking place, which can be cleverly humorous, but it can also be irksome when it happens during a moment when two characters are having a moment. The film also treats the viewers as though they have already watched the other Marvel films of different franchises, and therefore does not elaborate on who The Avengers or Hydra (from Captain America) are. This can be problematic for newcomers of the Marvel franchise, as they would have to assume what’s what on their own. This could be easily remedied by watching the other films or even picking up the comic books, but the film should act as a standalone, while also avoiding too much run-time of characters talking (also could be remedied by flashback segments).

Verdict

Recommended – This film is a decent popcorn superhero flick, and provides the right amount of characterization for Ant-Man (the successor, that is) and what makes him one of the key members of The Avengers. The perky tone and fast-paced action makes for an entertaining group watch.

Kung Fury (2015)

Posted in Movie Reviews - 2010s, Movies with tags , , , , , , , on June 9, 2015 by They call me "Mephy"

Blogger’s note: First of all, I’d like to apologize to my followers for the unannounced long hiatus from my review blog. Life can be quite a snag with ambitions and hobbies. Anyways, moving on…our first review of the summer of 2015.

Blogger’s note #2: This review is not a “preview review” as the previous ones I’ve (by the way, we are dropping that “blogger” moniker verbal tic) done. It is advisable to watch the film beforehand.

Special thanks to Jon from TastyTufts for proofreading!

 

To view the full movie (free of charge, and brought to you by Laser Unicorns), head to the following link here!

 

Kung Fury (2015)

Tagline: “It takes a cop from the future to defeat an enemy from the past.”

 

 

A cop from the future (well, Miami in 1985) must travel back in time to battle an evil from the past: Adolf Hitler. Written and directed by (as well as starring) David Sandberg, Kung Fury is best described as an explosive mash-up of kung-fu, dinosaurs, explosions and neon lights.

Cast:

David Sandberg, Jorma Taccone, Steve Chew, Leopold Nilsson, Andreas Cahling, Per-Henrik Arvidius, Erik Hörnqvist, Frank Sanderson, Eleni Young, Helene Ahlson, Yasmina Suhonen, Magnus Betnér, Björn Gustafsson, Eos Karlsson, David Hasselhoff

 

Plot Summary – SPOILER WARNING (Highlight to read)

Miami 1985: Kung Fury (David Sandberg), a cop who gained knowledge to the secrets of martial-arts after a freak accident, becomes a vigilante cop who fights crime with the power of kung-fu. After Chief McNickles (Per-Henrik Arvidius) enforces Triceracops, as a new partner for Kung Fury, the now-renegade cop refuses to take his partner under his wing and turns over his badge. Shortly after, a time-traveling Adolf Hitler (Jorma Taccone, of Lonely Island fame) attacks the police precinct, killing the Chief in the process. With the help of Hackerman (Leopold Nilsson), Kung Fury goes on his biggest mission to uphold the low against Kung Führer, the most dangerous criminal he’s ever faced yet.

 

Plot summary – without spoilers

Kung Fury (played by David Sandberg), a cop who gained knowledge to the secrets of martial-arts after a freak accident, must now face his greatest challenge yet. Joined by a band of new acquaintances, he must stop the Kung Führer (Jorma Taccone, of Lonely Island fame) from his evil plans and uphold the law.

 

Review:

Now, how do I express this…? Kung Fury is the type of homage movie that is intentionally overloaded from top to bottom with shout-outs, and goes lengths to make itself as authentic as it source materials; it is an overly-affectionate parody of the 80’s action flick and martial arts film genre which has took on a life of its own. Watching this movie, there was no shortage of references to video games (Mortal Kombat and Wolfenstein 3D, among others) and overused movie plot devices of the time (played for laughs, of course). Throughout the film, mullets, Ray-Bans, sports cars – notably the DeLorean DMC-12 – make an appearance, as well as the ZX Spectrum and the infamous Nintendo Power Glove (it’s so bad). Kudos to the details that matter, from props, scenery and beyond: the establishing shots of Miami probably even stock footages (or as the crew has stated, replicated in CGI onto green screens). Moreso, the film itself uses filters that transform its cinematography into an old VHS: think fuzzy pictures quality, and bad video tracking. You could even say it’s parodying its B-movie status.

Kung Fury came about with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, which nowadays is relied on by plenty of independent filmmakers for funds. Whilst not all of these are successful, to call Kung Fury a success is an understatement – the hype surrounding it since the trailer came out paid off, much to the delight of the Internet. Now for you folks out there who are confused as to why this is a big deal: Kickstarters are often an ‘iffy’ deal for backers, the folks who ‘back’ projects, as it’s never a guarantee that the final work will live up to the previews or that it would be abandoned mid-way or worse, a scam. This film, however, has proven to be quite the contrary. It’s even spawned it’s own Streets of Rage-esque video game, although one could say it’s also reminiscent of Bad Dudes and other titles of the SNES/NES era of beat ’em up game genre.

 

 

Before its official Ustream premiere on the 28th of May, the timeline of Kung Fury first appeared on the radar back in 2013, when a trailer and Kickstarter was started. The project successfully raised $630,020 USD with 17,713 backers on January 25, 2014, and from the looks of the Kickstarter descriptions, it does not seem like the Laser Unicorns crew has plans to stop at a 31-minutes film either.

At the time of this writing, the number of views on the Kung Fury trailer had soared up to 11 million; the Hasselhoff music video at 13 million; and the movie itself at 12 million. These views are climbing rapidly as the Internet spreads it by word-of-mouth.

 

Verdict:

The awkward antics combined with the bad one-liners in the right (or rather, rightly wrong) places is really what makes the film so good at what it does. And even if you don’t get the visual references, the over-the-top action scenes and outrageous plot makes up for it in many ways.

I particularly like this film for personal reasons as I am avid retro culture enthusiast. Inclinations aside, I still highly recommend this film for (a short) movie night – so gather some buddies and grab the popcorn!

 

And now I sign y’all off, with The Hoff!

 

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