Saturday, May 26, 2012


I'm always a little leery when the beginning credits of a movie mention Hasbro. I can understand making a movie based on a video game, but regular games and toys? It's only a matter of time until we see Chutes and Ladders on the big screen. I know I say "I wasn't expecting much" far too often on my reviews, but that was the case here again.

Flying Droidekas
Battleship is about an international navy competition that takes place in Hawaii. During routine exercises, they come across alien space ships in the ocean that end up attacking them and destroying much of their fleet. The lead character is an undisciplined slacker who finally has an opportunity to develop his leadership skills and save the world from destruction.

There are many inconsistencies, plot holes, and other problems with this movie that leave you scratching your head. Aliens ships the size of sky scrapers splashing in and out of the water 100 yards away from a small boat don't even make waves enough to rock the boat?

The scene I had the hardest time with was when a handful of surviving sailors decide to take the USS Missouri out to sea to continue fighting the aliens. I have the greatest respect for WW2 vets, but it made my stomach turn when there just happened to be several old veterans hanging out at the ship who were familiar with the vessel and ready to take it into battle.

In a short video montage accompanied by AC/DC's Thunder, a dozen soldiers quickly fix up and take the 70 year old decommissioned ship out to battle against superior alien technology that previously took out their modern fleet. It kind of reminded me of when Aragorn recruited the green ghost guys to defeat Sauron in Return of The King. I would not have been surprised if they also teamed up with the Black Pearl to help them fight against the alien invaders.

I give Battleship 6.1 stars for the following reasons:

1) They did a great job of product placement.
2) I no longer feel the need to see the newest Transformers movie anymore.
3) This movie teaches us that the elderly and handicapped can still save the day.

Young boys will probably still like Battleship, since it's a mixture of Top Gun, Battle Los Angeles, and Transformers and has great special effects. Maybe I'm just getting too old.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Biggest Money Making Movies

I enjoy following box office stats and am looking forward to seeing if The Avengers will be able to overtake Avatar as the biggest money maker in movie history.

As I've compared movies, I've noticed that of the 250 biggest money makers, most of them have been released in the last 20 years. I'm sure part of this is due to inflation, but I think another factor is a result of how many movies are released these days. Below I list the top 5 domestic money earners by decade.

The Avengers $552,700 (and climbing)
Toy Story 3
The Hunger Games
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Transformers-Dark of the Moon

14% of the top 100 highest grossing films have come out in the last 2 years

Avatar $760,505,847
The Dark Knight
Shrek 2
Pirates- Dead Man's Chest
Transformers- Revenge of the Fallen

60% of the top 100 highest grossing films came out between 2000-2010

Titanic $600,779,824
The Phantom Menace
Jurrasic Park
Forrest Gump
The Lion King

16% of the top 100 highest grossing films came out between 1990-2000

ET $434,949,459
Return of the Jedi
The Empire Strikes Back
Raiders of the Lost Ark

8% of the top 100 highest grossing films came out between 1980-1990

Star Wars $431,065,444
The Excorcist
The Sting

2% of the top 100 highest grossing films came out between 1970-1980

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Three Stooges

I recently took my younger kids to see the Three Stooges. They were not disappointed.... but they are little kids and don't know better.

I wasn't expecting much from this movie, however, I was pleasantly surprised that the three lead actors were able to portray the original 3 Stooges as well as they did. That being said, this movie probably would have been better as a short video tribute paying homage to the original characters as opposed to an entire movie.

This film was directed by Bobby and Peter Farley who's prior films include There's Something about Mary, Hall Pass, Shallow Hal, and Dumb and Dumber. I was impressed that they geared this movie more towards kids and toned it down to a PG rating. There is still some crude humor in it, but I'm sure it's not nearly as offensive as some of their other work.

If you like slapstick comedy and physical gags or if you are a fan of the original, then you may find this entertaining, but it is not nearly as good as I had hoped. I give The Three Stooges 5.8 stars.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Avengers

This week I was in the video store and was very surprised to see that The Avengers was already out on video. I don't understand what all the hype has been about lately. I thought it sucked. I expected more with a cast of Sean Connery, Ralph Fiennes, and Uma Thurman, but I was really let down. I also didn't recognize Robert Downey Jr. in it. He must have just had a cameo.

Now that my comedy routine is over, I will give you my official review of The Avengers (2012 release). I thought it was well done considering the subject matter. I wasn't expecting this movie to be as good as it was since I felt it was such a big task to bring all these characters together successfully in a good movie.

What's there really to say about The Avengers? Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, the Black Widow, and Hawkeye all join forces under the leadership of Nick Fury to fight against Loki as he attempts to invade earth with an army of aliens once he is empowered with that blue cube thingy that was in the Captain America movie. No, I can't remember the name of it and I'm too lazy to check on IMDB to find out what it's called.

Joss Whedon did a good job of keeping the background of each character consistent with the prior movies they were featured in. The special effects were great and there was plenty of action and even some humor. I never thought seeing Hulk smash a person like a rag doll could be so funny. This was also by far the best portrayal of Bruce Banner compared to any prior Hulk movie.

I thought it was strange that there was not a more equitable gender balance when it comes to the superhero ratio. Just one lone woman among all that testosterone? I would expect at least two or three women in a day of affirmative action. At least X-Men got that part right.

I give The Avengers 8.4 stars. It's over the top, but it was good and lived up to the hype.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Lockout is a futuristic, sci-fi, action movie about an innocent man who is sent to a prison in space. During this time the President's daughter is visiting the facility when a prison break occurs and she is taken hostage. The main character is then recruited to help rescue her. It's kind of an updated version of Escape to New York. I don't think Lockout had much of an advertising budget because it sure had a quiet release.

The biggest thing that stuck out for me in this movie was Guy Pearce. I have liked him in prior movies and roles, but he is sort of an enigma here. He has the cocky smack talk of Bruce Willis, the gravel voice of Vin Diesel, and the body of Mark Wahlberg. I kept asking myself "Is this really Guy Pierce?"

I saw Luc Besson's name was attached to this movie so I planned on suspending my sense of reality, but it still was pretty far fetched. It violated my cardinal rule about wounds healing themselves. In the opening scene, Snow is repeatedly punched in the face by interrogators, but there is no swelling on his face afterwards. The vice president's daughter is shot in the leg, but after wrapping a cloth around her leg, she is as good as new and stops limping for the rest of the movie.

The escaped prisoners in this movie are all homicidal maniacs and the really bad ones have thick Scottish accents. There are tons of loop holes and unanswered questions in this movie. It kind of reminded me of a movie based on a video game. Maybe it was. I'm also not a Maggie Grace fan so I had a hard time caring for her character.

I give Lockout 6.5 stars. It started out really good, but lost some of it's potential as it went on. Even so,  I still liked some aspects of it and it was some mindless fun, but you should probably wait for it to come out on video.
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