Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Safe Haven (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

Erin- ah, it feels weird calling her that, let's go back to Katie- moves in with Alex as they settle down for their impromptu family life, Josh now onboard with Katie being in his life. Awww, touching! Boozy McAsshole rolls into town, stopping at Alex's store to buy some water where he asks Lexie if she's seen Katie. She says no, as she's instantly suspicious of the drunken piece of shit like anyone would be. Kevin leaves, and Lexie never thinks to mention any of this to her father. I mean, why would she? It's not like some scumbag asking about her mommy-to-be is worth bringing up, right?

We cut to the town's Fourth of July parade as Kevin loads up on vodka and brings his gun along as he continues his search, grabbing every blonde woman in sight. At this point, wouldn't SOMEONE call the cops? He's not exactly being inconspicuous here, especially in a tiny town where everyone knows everyone else. He finally finds Katie dancing with Alex and the kids, but doesn't act. We get a glimpse of Jo watching him, looking concerned. Out of all the people, Jo's the only one who notices this guy? What is Jo's deal anyway? Up til now, she's just been this really bland character who pops up to give Katie advice and then vanishes for large stretches of time.

A Ghoul Versus Safe Haven (Part 1)

"Who wants to watch a Nicholas Sparks movie about two pretty young white people overcoming the odds to fall in love while dealing with tragedies?  No, not the Notebook.  There's cancer in this one!  No, not A Walk To Remember.  No, not The Last Song.  No, not Dear John.  It's Safe Haven, okay?!  We're watching Safe Haven!"

I've been doing this movie review thing for around five months now, and I'm beginning to notice some trends among the awesome people who read by borderline incoherent ramblings. BY FAR my most popular reviews have been the ones of Young Adult Movies, but another review has surprisingly got me a good amount of feedback: Walk Of Shame.

That's rather out of place in my usual reviews about supernatural love triangles, video game movies, and films about CGI nonsense, so I thought I'd try it again. Today we're going to be taking a look at 2013's Safe Haven. Yes, Safe Haven, a NICHOLAS SPARKS movie.

Sadly I'm something of an expert on Sparks' movies. You see, back when I was still alive I used to actually go on dates so I've been subjected to almost all of them yet I find them FASCINATING. Almost all follow the exact same formula, because just like Michael Bay, Nicholas Sparks knows his audience to a capital boldfaced T.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Ghoul Versus The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

Meanwhile, Harry strolls right into Ravencroft because I guess being fired from Oscorp has no effect on his security clearance on any of the other buildings they control. To their credit one guard does try to stop him, but Harry just kicks his ass and knocks him out with his own taser. He sneaks into Max's cell, making a deal with him: he'll free him in exchange for Max getting him into Oscorp.

Security rushes into the room, starting to drag Harry away when Max transforms into pure electricity and kills all of them. He shifts back into his physical body, somehow also forming shorts and a small power meter on the side of his head. Don't... don't ask. Don't expect ANYTHING to make any sense in this movie anymore.  Exiting the subway, Peter receives a voice mail from Gwen that she got accepted to Oxford and is leaving for England right away. Harry and Max kill their way into Oscorp tower, Max now able to form an entire bodysuit out of electricity. I don't think Kurtzman and Orci know how electricity works, I'm just saying.

A Ghoul Versus The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Part 1)

Previously on The Amazing Spider-Man...

One of the most underwhelming Spider-Man origin stories EVER was unleashed upon the world, as the entire film went through the motions of the story without really putting work into any of it. No, that's not quite accurate as they put a lot of work into making his origin as overly complex as possible. He wasn't just bitten by a radioactive spider, now it's a genetically engineered spider his dad helped create as part of a human/animal cross-genetics program and you know what, I don't even care. It was WEAKSAUCE.

It wasn't all bad though, as it at least had some very good acting and a very strong female lead that wasn't just some generic badass like we usually get in these kind of movies. Writer James Vanderbilt kept his past tendencies in check and delivered a pretty coherent tale outside of how Peter got his powers, which was a very nice breath of fresh air.

HOWEVER, in this day and age of bloated films was ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE to Fox. They let Vanderbilt write the sequel but his script must have been too simple so they brought in Hollywood's Golden Boys Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to rewrite it and make it up to par for today's Hollywood.  You remember them, don't you? With them behind the helm, this ought to be interesting.  And by interesting I mean painful.  Fire up some Hans Zimmer dubstep (!) and get ready for A Ghoul Versus The Amazing Spider-Man 2!

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Ghoul Versus The Amazing Spider-Man (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

Before they can throw down Peter gets called away to save a kid from falling to his death, allowing Connors to escape. The next day Captain Stacy holds a press conference to announce he's issued an arrested warrant for Spider-Man, as he was the only person at the scene that was identified. Uh-huh, in this era of people being glued to their smart phones NO ONE got a single picture of Connors as the Lizard? If you're going to update Spider-Man's origin to be more modern, you really have to account for things like this as well. Come to think of it, where is J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle at this point in the story?

Peter goes to talk to Connors about the giant reptilian creature he encountered the night before, and this scene is hilarious in that Connors does everything in his power to make it obvious that HE'S the Lizard. Peter, who actually is quite competent in this movie, immediately picks up on this and goes to Captain Stacy to report it. Naturally though Stacy doesn't believe a word of it, but his interest is at least a little piqued to have his men research Connors a bit further. This JUST MIGHT BE the most positive portrayal of a pseudo-antagonist police officer I've ever seen in a superhero movie.

Heading back to school, Peter notices a bunch of small lizards crawling into the sewers... for some reason. Is the Lizard spawning little sidekicks or does New York have a lizard infestation they're not telling us about? He suits up and follows them, getting jumped by the Lizard where the film makes the VERY unfortunate decision of having the villain freaking TALK.

A Ghoul Versus The Amazing Spider-Man (Part 1)

It is WAY past time for a Spider-Man reboot, after all it's been FIVE YEARS!”

Hollywood is going through a weird phase right now: they're handing over a huge percentage of their summer blockbuster movies to Indie Darlings. You currently have James Gunn, creator of legendary films such as Tromeo And Juliet, currently ruling the box office with his smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy. Christopher Nolan, Joss Whedon, and Jon Favreau are among the names who started off with tiny independent films now making movies that bring in BILLIONS.

Hoping to capture some of this magic in their own bottle, Sony Pictures hired Marc Webb to helm their Spider-Man reboot. Webb is another Indie Darling well know for his Little Film That Could, the much beloved (even by myself) 500 Days of Summer, so that means we're at the least assured a film that will have some strong characterization in it. That was definitely something that was lacking from the original Spider-Man trilogy, so that's a lot of elements already in place for a good film.

But enough with the positives, let's get to the negatives! The worst glaring one here is the primary writer of this movie, one James Vanderbilt. He is a writer who LOVES his convoluted and overly complex films, especially my personal favourite Basic which is basically Screenwriting 101 for how NOT to do a movie. He is a dangerous writer to be crafting such a simple story, as I seriously doubt he'll be able to keep his tropes in check.  Let's mix all those elements together and see how the latest Hollywood superhero reboot turned out, strap on your web-slingers and get ready for A Ghoul Versus The Amazing Spider-Man!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Hitman (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

In FULL SIGHT of a few old men sitting outside the gas station, 47 opens the trunk and lets Nika out. She's really still traveling in the trunk? She's naturally very mad at him for this, but he says it's okay because he brought her breakfast. He then roughly grabs her, drags her to the passenger seat, and THROWS the food at her. As he walks back to the driver side, he makes eye contact with one of the old men and gives a “Geez, what's HER major malfunction?” look. The old man chuckles because abusing women is downright hilarious in this batshit insane universe that is Hitman.

47 warns Nika that her interference back at the station can't be allowed to happen again, in what is easily some of the worst line readings ever from a major Hollywood movie not involving a child. The video games have better acting than this.

Nika looks down and sees he's magically produced a gun from the same inventory he had those blades earlier. She instantly cowers, apologising to the psycho as I vomit. She says if he's looking for a reason not to kill her, she doesn't have one. She's not a whore by choice it turns out as Belicoff owns her, having bought her for $300 American, which admittedly is a bargain. When I tried to buy a terrible actress, the best deal I could find was Tara Reid for $700.

A Ghoul Versus Hitman (Part 1)

"Can we hire Agent 47 to take out this movie?"

Hitman is a video game franchise that stars the violently creative Agent 47 as he stealthily kills his way across the world in a variety of exotic locales. It is a stealth game series that is highly praised for its innovative open game play that encourages you to experiment, and is highly derided for its utter lack of taste. Games have featured latex S & M bondage nuns, while advertisements for these games have featured murdered women in lingerie. There's... there's some issues going on here and they are NOT pretty.

There actually is an overall narrative to the series, but I've never seen it because most of the games involved me screaming “That's bullshit! There is no way he saw me!” five hundred times and giving up. Thus I have no idea how loyal the film is to game but if it's anything like, oh say 100% of all video game to movie adaptions, I'm going to say not at all.  The film of the game came out in 2007, directed by Xavier Gens, who gave us the insane gorefest Frontier(s). From what I've been able to gather, he was fired after submitting his cut of the movie and someone else was brought it in to make it more acceptable. Reshoots followed, rarely a good sign in the industry.

It was written by Skip Woods, who has a Shakespearean resume of such epics as Swordfish, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the A-Team, and A Good Day to Die Hard.  With a lover of gore over story and a guy who loves senseless action over story behind the reins of this, we're in for a lot of fun! Grab your favourite murder weapon and strap in for A Ghoul Versus Hitman.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Man Of Steel (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

Back in the present, Clark goes to church for advice because I guess Jor-El's off filming Noah or something and is too busy to talk. He tells the priest that he's the one Zod wants but doesn't know what to do about it. The priest asks what his feelings tell him, Clark replying Zod can't be trusted but he's not sure the people of Earth can either. Clark goes to leave, the priest telling him sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first and that trust will come later. Most of this scene has Clark's face framed against a giant image of Jesus because this movie sucks. Subtlety, thy name sure as Hell isn't Zack Snyder.

Clark meets with the military, telling them he'll surrender if they free Lois. He is handcuffed and taken into custody in one of the movie's more famous scenes that aren't unintentionally comical. He meets with Lois in an interrogation room, their conversation interrupted by Fake Dr. Hamilton who wants to yammer on about stuff. Through their dialogue, we learn Clark is 33. You know who else was 33? Jesus! I wonder if this film's trying to tell us something...

A Ghoul Versus Man Of Steel (Part 1)

"If you think about it, this movie is about a boy who grows up to be a mass murderer after being raised by two of the worst fathers in recorded history..."

Superman Returns was released in 2006, a year after Warner Brothers released Batman Begins to critical acclaim and financial success, hoping Superman would be their next big franchise to compete in the rapidly expanding comic book movie genre.  The film, while successful, wasn't the breakaway hit they hoped for and the franchise was shelved for several years. In 2010 it was announced director Christopher Nolan and writer David S. Goyer, two of the main brains behind the now monstrously huge Batman franchise, had been hired to produce and write the film respectively.

Extremely polarizing director Zack Snyder, most famous for the two hour slow motion fight scene called 300, was hired to direct. Snyder was no stranger to comic book adaptions, in 2009 having made the also very polarizing film Watchmen which I once read described as “loved by fans because it was like the book and hated by fans because it was like the book”.  Fans feared the combination of these talents would lead to a dark take on Superman, a hero who is usually not in such stories. These fears were compounded by earlier teaser trailers, which made the movie to look every bit as dark as people suspected it would be. How did it turn out? Let's find out with A Ghoul Versus The Man of Steel.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Prometheus (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1!

David investigates the new room, which is large and circular. With his magic ability to always push the right sequence of buttons, he triggers another holographic display of the aliens using the room, including one... playing a flute... to activate machinery. Okay? A 3D map of the universe pops up, Earth featured prominently in the hologram. I'm not a fan of the whole 3D thing in movies, but I bet this scene was amazing in the theater.  Though I do question how he's able to HOLD THE HOLOGRAMS in his hands.

After the hologram fades, he finds a cryo chamber with an alien inside. He can hear a giant heartbeat, which I'll buy since I'm sure he has enhanced hearing.  Asshole 2.0's skin is starting to go veiny and crack like Dr. Brooklyn's did, which must mean Engineers and humans fall apart while worms mutate. Got it. Since it's been established Engineers and humans have identical DNA (sigh...), I'll buy that too. The team arrives at the Prometheus, but entry is barred by Vickers armed with a flamethrower who forbids Asshole 2.0 to come on board Probably should have done that at the beginning of the mission Charlize.

I almost want to applaud Vickers for showing an ounce of a brain cell by barring Asshole 2.0 from entering the ship because he's sick, but then why is she letting everyone else on board? They were all with him, helmets wisely off, inside the dome. They could all easily be in the early stages of infection like he was. But rational thinking is not something our "heroes" like to engage in.  Asshole 2.0 slightly redeems himself by telling Shaw he loves her and tells Vickers to torch him. She obliges and burns his ass to death, and I now have another new favourite character!

A Ghoul Versus Prometheus (Part 1)

"Remember how awesome Alien and Aliens were?  Let's try to recapture that magic with a prequel... that isn't really a prequel but maybe it is.  Hey, where are you going?"

The Aliens franchise has flourished for over three decades across all forms of media despite multiple attempts by Fox Studios to kill it dead with some of the worst movies ever made.  If Alien 3 was an assassination of the series, then Alien Resurrection was a gangland-style execution.

This is largely in part to how damn near perfect the first two movies were as their influence is up there with Star Wars in not just movie lore, but the sci-fi genre as a whole.  Seriously, can you imagine what "lone monster picking off people one by one" stories would be like without Alien? And if not for Aliens, we wouldn't have the term "space marine" and in turn almost no video games to play whatsoever. Although maybe that last one wouldn't be a bad thing, but still...

When Visionary Director Ridley Scott (TM) announced he was making a new movie in the franchise he helped create, the excitement level was through the roof. When it was rumoured to be a Prequel, the excitement level fell. But it's the man who made Blade Runner, he gets a free pass right? People remained cautiously optimistic, which is a dangerous feeling to have in today's Hollywood.  The movie ended up being a box office success, but to say it was one of the more polarizing movie in recent times is something one would call an UNDERSTATEMENT.  Why is this?  That's the intergalactic mystery I'm here to uncover today, so strap on your space suits... and then immediately talk them off because it's time for A Ghoul Versus Prometheus.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 5: This Little Piggy

Previously on Dexter...

Deb failed the ever-loving HELL out of her Fast And The Furious audition as she tried to kill herself and Dex. Vogel continued to be the most sociopathic psychologist this side of Hannibal Lecter. Quinn... did Quinn things. A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 5: This Little Piggy!

We open with probably the most ludicrous shot in Dexter's history: Dex and Deb awkwardly sitting in front of Vogel like two misbehaving children as she tries to counsel them. Just think about this: you have Vogel, the world's most worthless profiler who helped guide Dex to become a serial killer trying to solve the problems of the siblings. In the other chairs, you have the serial killer himself who was just almost killed by his sister who is fast racking up a respectable body count of her own.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 4: Scar Tissue

 Previously on Dexter...

An episode that probably should have been about Dexter stalking and killing a cannibal is instead about, uh... Deb drinking a lot. And then drinking even more.

Sigh, again? Alright Miss Lohan, you know the drill- OH GEEZ, my bad! I thought you were someone else!”

Almost a third in the season and... yeah. We're still waiting for someone to do something besides drink. I give you A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 4: Scar Tissue!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 3: What's Eating Dexter Morgan?

Previously on Dexter...

Deb killed El Sapo and then maybe threatened to kill Dex. That's pretty much it.

Oh, it also featured the forty-third scene we've gotten of Deb telling Dexter to stay away from her!

Thus far this season isn't even treading water, it's instead beginning to drown in it. It HAS to get better soon, so cross your fingers things start picking up as A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 3: What's Eating Dexter Morgan?

A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 2: Every Silver Lining

Previously on Dexter...

The theme of the season is EVERYONE has become a hot mess. Deb has understandably gone off the deep end after killing LaGuerta, Dex is losing himself after Deb shuts him out of her life, and Jamie has made the worst possible decision by beginning to date Quinn.

You're not going to screw my life up are you, Joey?”
Nah baby, just because I've done that to my last twenty girlfriends THIS time's gonna be different!”

With the debut of a new serial killer in Miami who has a fetish for cutting out part of his victim's brains, legendary profiler Dr. Evelyn Vogel rolls into town to help catch him. She shocks Dex with the casual revelation he knows all about the Code of Harry.

Not the followup I was hoping for after the shocking ending to Season 7, but hopefully things start gaining steam from here. Get ready to match wits with the Cortex Killer as it's time for A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 2: Every Silver Lining...

Friday, August 1, 2014

A Ghoul Versus Dexter's Final Season Episode 1: A Beautiful Day

Previously on Dexter...”

You ever notice the “Previously On” videos on Dexter get progressively longer and longer through the seasons until they're like HALF the freaking episode?

Welcome! Today on A Ghoul Versus... we're going to be doing something different: reviewing an entire season on a television series. The series taking the stage is Showtime's Dexter, the critically acclaimed saga of the world's most charismatic serial killer who only targets other serial killers.

It's actually a lot funnier than it sounds.