and the City of 1000 Planets. The tale starts in the 21st
Century with the International Space Station. The opening
continues through to the 28th Century and the space station has grown so
large with beings from all over the galaxy sharing their knowledge and
culture protected from danger by humanoids. The station had
grown so large it had to be pushed away from Earth's gravity in order to
survive. Cut to a planet of beings who embrace paradise and the
idyllic life being destroyed by a battle outside their atmosphere.
The planet is destroyed, careers are made, lies are told, two
peacekeepers are tasked with protecting a priceless artifact, then
things get really interesting. Heavy on the CGI, beautifully
filmed, interesting characters, fairly derivative narrative.
Worth watching once, it is Luc Besson directed after all.
NETFLIX - Punisher. Excellent, brutal and a bit repetitive 13
episode series following Frank Castle AKA Punisher in his quest for
vengeance against the people who murdered his family, his incarceration
and supposed death, his teaming with Micro, a former CIA IT guy who was
supposedly killed a year prior, who has proof of American wrong doing in
Kandahar of which Frank was a part, Frank's former soldier brothers who
have been committing crimes under the guise of private security and
cover of the CIA. Tangled webs are woven to bring the season to a
reasonable close. No real need to continue. Punisher finally
gets the filmic treatment he has needed.
All monkey thumbs up.
AMAZON - LORE. 6 simple tales explaining the things that
frightened us through the ages. Interesting casting of one known actor
to lead the tales. Everything has a basis in fact.
1. They Made a Tonic-Campbell Scott as a man who loses his entire family
to consumption in a bizarre tale of making sure the dead are dead and
not people buried alive. Saved by the Bell.
2. Echoes -Colm Feore as the father of modern lobotomy. What an
altruistic creep. The close up and personal needle in the eye is
3. Black Stockings - John Byner whose daughter is accused of being a
fairy changeling by her disgruntled husband because she earns more money
than he and has decided to wear black stockings.
4. Passing Notes - Robert Patrick as a man of logic, haunted by notes
dropping from his ceiling foretelling death and destruction to his
family until it all comes true.
5. Beast Within - Adam Goldberg in an origin story for Little Red Riding
Hood. Missing children end up being dismembered. One little girl
has dreams about it and the beast perpetrator. Turns out it's not
an animal afterall.
7. Unboxed - Kristin Bauer
van Straten is the mother of a lonely odd child. He is given a
creepy cloth doll to make up for his lack of friends. Thus begins
the urban legend of creepy dolls performing awful acts against humanity.
Hope they produce more episodes.
NETFLIX: Alias Grace. Oh Canada. A young Irish woman
fresh off the boat is thrown out by her father, taken in by a
house-maid, given a job, clothes and a pittance. Grace is then
bartered to the home of a known rapscallion (played beautifully by our
Canadian favorite Paul Gross) by his overly creepy housekeeper/lover.
Murder ensues and Grace's story is played out in her recollections to an
alienist who is trying to get her released from prison at the behest of
a group of wealthy patrons who think she got a raw deal. Did she
or didn't she. The feeling you are left with is Grace is a
manipulative bitch who did not deserve freedom at the hands of a man who
condemned her in the first place. Dark, rich, creepy and very well
done. A must see.
Undercover Grandpa. Wow. James Caan and his own cast
of dependable expendables come out of retirement to save his grandson's
girlfriend from bad spies. Each geezer brings his own set of
skills though somewhat rusty on an adventure of a lifetime. Kind
of special and kind of painful to watch.
Atomic Blonde. Could have/should
have been kick-ass. Instead this was a lame melange of
Salt/Wanted/Lara Croft/ (anyone sensing a theme here?) It's 1989
just before the Berlin Wall comes down. Theron is said Atomic
Blonde thrust into a spy vs spy caper between East and West not knowing
who to trust/thrust//lust or just kill in this at time lame/stale/sorry
excuse for an action/spy movie. There are a few scenes of action
and some recognizable faces that take the sting out of the extraordinary
badness of it all. Was really hoping for something fun and all TA
got was rehash. So sad.
1922. Based on a Steven King novella, 1922 is a derivative
tale of a man doing a bad thing and being tormented for it the rest of
his life. Terrible performances by Thomas Jane and Molly Parker
make this nearly unwatchable. For some unknown reason the movie
people thought it would be good for Jane to use a nearly unintelligible
way of speaking. Man murders his wife with the help of his son
because he covets her acres of farm land and she won't give them to him.
Then he kills a cow to cover up the murder, then his son knocks up his
teenage girlfriend, they go on lam as the Kissing bandits and die
horrible frozen deaths after a robbery gone wrong. Man then goes
to a hotel in town to write his confession and rats and the spirits of
his dead family come to kill him. The end. Nothing new,
nothing inventive, nothing creepy. Basically nothing.
Megan Leavey. Megan has a shitty life and joins the
Marines to escape. She becomes a bomb dog handler and is sent to
IRAQ to look for IEDs. After serving with distinction she is sent
home and is discharged after an explosion, her dog is deployed to
Afghanistan. The movie is a chronicle of her legal battle to be
allowed to adopt him after he is retired. Based on her true story.
A jobless war veteran takes a security guard job at a shopping mall to
get himself back into civilian life after a rough patch where he had to
leave his wife and child in an attempt to get over his war experiences.
The guards are all doofuses and effect a knowledge of tactics.
Enter a scared little girl. Enter an evil man and his henchmen who
will do anything to kill her. Child gets into mall. Security
guards want to help her. Bad guys offer guards money to let them
kill her. Not going to happen on his watch. Organizing the
guards into a makeshift team they proceed to barricade the mall.
Bad guys blow the crap out of everything. Vet kills them all with
some help from the guards and the kid. Entertaining.
The TICK. This Amazon version of my beloved blue dim
superhero is wonderful. The Tick is a goof with a big heart.
Too much Arthur though. He's mostly annoying. 6 episodes
give us a taste of justice the Tick way. Looking forward to season
MURDERLAND. A dead prostitute, her young daughter, the cop on the
scene, years of mental issues, bad decisions, broken dreams. On
the eve of her wedding the now grown daughter runs back to the cop to
find out how her mother died. A huge conspiracy unravels until the
bittersweet end. Well done.
ARROWHEAD. Interesting Aussie film about the Earth
divided into two factions and tearing itself apart. A prisoner of war is
given an opportunity to gain his freedom by performing a rescue mission
on a far off moon. After crash landing and being eaten by a bug
then transformed into a crazy hybrid, Kye continues his mission to
rescue the girl and get back to Earth. Now he has the power to
kill the bad guys as a killer bug-man. Loads of fun.
Rocky Handsome. A lonely pawnbroker with a dark
and noble past does what he can to save the next door drug addict mom's
young daughter when drug thugs kidnap her. He kills many thugs
until he gets the girl back, then gives himself up to police for his
wrong doings. He asks the shop keeper to watch over here until he
can come back from prison. Lots of action and bloodshed.
Force 2. A good cop with a dark and noble past and a RAW agent
must work together to discover the mole within RAW that is killing their
agents in China without provoking a major international incident. Action
and bloodshed ensue when the cop follows his gut while waiting for the
RAW agent to follow her protocols.
Asoka. Story of a prince who wants to rule his country with
only his corrupt brothers at his side. The good brother goes out
into the world and pretends to be an average guy, meets a girl (who
happens to be a princess in exile with her little brother the new king
of their country), dancing and singing ensues. He is called home
by his queen mother, his brother's plot to kill him, he becomes a
monster on the battlefield after killing his brothers, ascends the
throne and goes to conquer the kingdom of the girl he loved. Though he
doesn't know it. When death comes for the boy king Asoka becomes a
man of faith and writes immutable laws of behavior that have stood the
test of time.
Bodyguard. A silly trifle that starts with a young boy
reading a journal written by his mother about a rich man who kills the
son of a gangster and must hire a bodyguard to protect his spoiled
daughter at college. The daughter makes fun of the guard and plots
to make his life miserable by pretending to be someone else on the phone
who says she loves him. Action, singing, dancing and wackiness
ensues when she falls in love with him for real and he falls in love
with the made up girl. After the singing and dancing several
attempts are made on her life but the bodyguard thwarts them at every
turn. In a final fight with the bad guys the girl's father accuses
him of wanting to elope with his daughter and the bodyguard says that
he's meeting his love at the train station. The daughter has sent
her best friend there to meet him so her father won't kill him. Of
course the friend lies, marries him and gives him the son reading the
journal. In the end a bittersweet happy ending.
Singham. A small town police officer well-loved and
respected by his village with a theme song all his own, is transferred
to the big city after a confrontation with a gangster brought to town
for a bail hearing. Singham finds himself at first alone fighting
corruption, then with the help of his men and the woman who loves him,
he crushes the criminals, saves the town and gets the girl.
Singing and dancing happens between police work and chasing bad-guys.
Highly entertaining> Watch out for the lion paw swat. It's a knock
Baabul. A full Hindi movie that could have been made at the
Hallmark Channel. A real tear jerker. A son returns home after
many years away and goes to work for his Father. When golfing he
meets a lovely artist and does what he can to win her over. Lots
of customs are adhered to. They fall in love, get married, have a
kid then in a freak accident he is killed crossing a street. the
father-in-law feels so bad for his daughter0in-law that he brings home
her childhood friend who has coincidentally loved her all his life and
convinces them that it is in everyone's interests that they ignore Hindi
custom and marry. Lots of singing and dancing.
Madras Cafe. A soldier with a dark and noble past recounts his
days in Sri Lanka trying to kill a rebel leader and save the prime
minister from assassination. The movie follows his efforts, the
backstabbing bureaucracy he must contend with every day and the reporter
who helps uncover the conspiracy of traitors. Lots of action and
Bahubali 1: the beginning. A dramatic beginning...older
woman of obvious import is fleeing some enemy with a swaddled baby.
In a dramatic plea to God she drowns in a river while saving the baby
who is then saved by villagers of some import. The baby grows into
super-stud-hood and does whatever he can to make his mother's life
easier. Tradition has it that if you climb the water mountain
you'll find a magical place. Fantasy, love, music, dancing,
fights, flashbacks, family history and epic battle abound in this Hindi
production of a young man's journey toward destiny. Bahubali 2
the Continuation. Mehendra Bahubali learns who he is and who
is father was and who his mother is and that she must be rescued.
Epic battles, wind-blown hair, shooting arrows together, singing and
dancing, familial obligations, and the ultimate defeat of the evil
doers. This is Hindi movie making on an epic scale. Freaking
Rudhramadevi Warrior Queen. Born to the king a girl, raised
as a boy to be Prince, then ultimately king of the greatest kingdom in
India. Epic battles, singing, dancing, love stories, bad guys,
bandits, rival kings, court intrigue to dethrone him/her. Family
squabbles. Ultimate sacrifice to save the kingdom.
The Hollow Point. Small towns along the US Mexico border
are caught in a battle between Anglo law enforcement and the Mexican
drug cartels. Los Reyes in one such town where poor folk buy up
ammo and sell it across the border to make a living. The
no-nonsense sheriff stops one such fellow and all hell breaks loose.
The old guy is out on suspension pending trial and a home town boy comes
back to take his place. "I thought you were dead...asshole" are a
recurring theme when townsfolk see that he is back and in uniform as the
new sheriff. During the investigation a Mexican hitman with a list
of people to kill is discovered, the new sheriff loses his hand to a
machete, the new sheriff's ex-girlfriend is mixed up with all the
players and is on the list. Wackiness ensues as they all try to
find out what's going on and survive. Entertaining.
John Wick Chapter 2.
What won't this assassin
do for love? This is the best Valentine anyone ever gave Team
Apeonaut. True, we said that about Dead Pool last year, but this
time we mean it. No, we really mean it. John Wick is a guy who
un-retired himself to avenge the death of the puppy his dead wife sent
him and to get the guy who stole his car. He doesn't get his car
back until Chapter 2. And not just any car. The car holds in
its glove box as it turns out a lovely card from his now dead wife and
photo of her with him in happier times. How Hallmark is
that!!! Did Team Apeonaut mention the crazy hyper-action sequences
that went with getting his car back? Peace at last. Or is
it. A marker held against Wick is called in. Wick doesn't
want to pay it. All hell breaks loose and Wick is forced to do a
job he doesn't want and then pile up the bodies so high the Spartan 300
would be proud of him. Wick literally punches people to death with
bullets. Freaking awesome! We get a little more humor in
this movie with the scene with the Weapons sommelier and the tactical
tailor that give Wick some of his best accessories and let us not forget
the scene back in New York where the Bowery King gives Wick a beautiful
1911 .45 hand gun with only 7 rounds. Seven rounds. Really.
I think the movie death count trackers had a difficult time counting the
bodies in this whack-fest. What joyous fun. The viewer gets
insights into the criminal organization that Wick was once a part and
how intricate and well connected that organization is. So many
questions answered and so many more asked. W2 leaves the door wide
wide open for Wick 3 Loves Labors Lost or some such. We can't
wait!!! All monkey thumbs up enthusiastically. We're glad
you're back Mr. Wick. As always it is a pleasure.
Paradox Season 1. Manchester police deal with a
series of crimes that haven't happened yet. A
scientist is receiving images from a wormhole or elsewhere
of future crimes/disasters/events that go so wrong and gets
the police involved to interpret the images and solve the
issues. Of course everyone they save/solve leads to
some as yet undisclosed butterfly effect. Not sure why
all these serialized police shows need some lead officer to
be damaged in some way so that they must overcome some issue
in order to move on. The lead in this one starts to
have a god-complex while trying to solve the mysterious
happenings that are coinciding with sunspot activities.
Very similar to Frequency.
Marcella Season 1. A woman cop takes 12 years off the
force to keep her family together. Her husband leaves
her anyway for a younger, blonder model. She is
reinstated at the police in time to investigate a series of
brutal murders that are very similar to the ones she left
behind. Every major character is then snared in each
other's bullshit and the whole season comes crashing down on
Marcella, who in reality is a pretty lousy cop.
Deep Water Season 1. Bondi Beach, Australia.
Tori comes home to be a cop in her own backyard. In
between heinous crimes, she discovers a tie between gay
murders now and 20 years ago. No one believes her
until a disgraced cop obsessed with the old murders shows
her evidence from those cases that links the same players to
the present killings. Entertaining show.
JO. this is a weird entry into foreign
police procedurals. Jo is an old volatile heart
problem plagued police lieutenant in the elite violent crime
squad of the Paris police. The show is in English, odd
in itself as the French only want French spoken or written.
The mix of actors is peculiar as well; Jill Hennessey, Sam
Waterston, Jean Reno, Miryam D'Abo, to name a few. So
many familiar faces such a mediocre show. The police
investigate violent crimes while Jo tries to reconnect with
Witnesses season 2. The French police in this
season try to discover the connection between a woman who
returns after 3 years with no memory of her family and who
has just given birth to a missing baby and a creepy
orphanage, a creepy guy who wanted the orphans to live their
potentials without rules, several missing women who have
babies that are taken from their dead bodies. The
babies grow up in a cult stealing, killing, existing.
The police in this drama are mediocre at best. The
lead cop is troubled, divorced and pretty stupid for a lead
cop. No happy endings.
The Island. Bizarre Russian movie that begins
near the end of WWII when German U-Boat sailors force a
Russian coal-tending seaman kill his captain. 30 years
pass and the Russian is old, bent and still shoveling coal
from a wrecked boat to heat his cabin on the island across
the inlet. He works in a small community of monks out
in the frozen wastes of Russia. Villagers think he can
heal the sick, exorcise demons and foretell the future.
The movie has no subtitles so you have to get the gist of
insanity by everyone's actions. Totally crazy and
awesomely beautiful in its desolation and desperation.
Jericho of Scotland Yard. 1950's London.
People are living it up post-war with loose morals,
interracial couplings, cover-ups, gang violence and in the
middle is Jericho, an upstanding, no-nonsense inspector who
busts heads first and asks questions later. What
drives him? Possibly the fact that his father was
murdered by a shady business man and everyone knows it but
they can't prove it.
Renegade. At least actors get paychecks with
movies like these. Eclectic cast of actors come together to
be taught the mystic arts by Native Americans, own large
ranches worked by Mexicans, be an evil German treasure
hunter who will stop at nothing to get the prize, be a
whacked gunslinger who wants to steal the native's
shamanistic spells so he can rule the world, be a wild child
sent to live with a cruel uncle, who then has his first love
(a whore) killed by the whacked gunslinger, or so he thinks.
This movie is so off-kilter and poorly acted that it is
interesting to see what happens.
Autumn Blood. Weird ass nearly devoid of dialogue
foreign film about a family living on a hill far from town
gets torn apart when the mayor murders the father, the young
son grows up mute after witnessing it, the mother and kids
live on subsistence until the mother dies so the daughter
collects the checks starting in motion a chain reaction of
raping and violence that shatters their innocent lives on
the hill. A social worker comes to investigate and
finds all manner of creepy human scum roaming around.
Maybe 10 words are utters in 90 minutes. Had it been
more compelling it might have been excellent.
Lucid Dreams. An investigative reporter loses
his kid at the amusement park. He uses new science
called Lucid Dreams to relive the moment and remember things
he might not have remembered. Turns out the kid has
been missing three years. The police are no help.
The reporter has the candy man, the doctor, a cripple and
all sorts of people dream to help him find his son.
Nice twist at the end.
War on Everyone. Two crooked cops blazing
through life ripping off lowlifes, lining their own pockets
with ill gotten gains. No real point to it. One
cop tries to be the thinker, the other is the muscle.
Wackiness ensues. And a black man goes to Iceland.
Devil's Violinist. The story of how
Paganini became the greatest violinist of all time.
Was a deal with the devil involved? The guy was a jerk
(as rock stars are normally perceived), women threw
themselves at him yet the one he wants refuses. Very
smart. The stunt violinist is amazing but for the most
part the moving is boring.
LOGAN. A heartwarming swan song for our favorite mutant.
It's 2029 and all the mutants have been destroyed (or have they Dr.
Rice?). Logan is caretaking a demented Charles Xavier with the
help of mutant hunter Caliban in Mexico. The Reavers find them and
all hell breaks loose. Laura (Mutant X-23) is the real
target and Logan reluctantly does what he can to save her from the
really bad men. Lots of head skewering and limb slicing ensue.
Maybe loosely based on the Old Man Logan comic series, Wolverine
is older than he has ever been and feeling his age. He doesn't
heal, his blades get stuck as they are ejecting through his flesh, and
he's crankier than usual. Some nice touches...original X-Men
comics show up prominently, trade-mark Logan mutton chops are trimmed
into Logan's scraggly facial hair by the New Mutants, the movie Shane is
watched as a set up for a final moving epilogue. Overall this is a
much better movie than the previous Wolverine movies. A little
long, but tells a story without revealing too much. Are all the
timelines culminating in this movie. One can only hope.
SPLIT. Could have been so much better, but 3 weak
actresses as victims, Betty Buckley as a whiny therapist and
slow direction make it mostly a drudge to watch. McAvoy is compelling in his portrayal of some personalities
and caricature of others. This is too bad because he
might have been compelling. Quite frankly the best
part of the movie is the post credit scene with dumb chicks
talking about the other serial killer with a crazy name and
Bruce Willis pipes up...Mr. Glass
Stakeland II. Several years after Martin goes
to New Eden to start a life and family and Mister has
wandered off, the unthinkable happens. A new Vamp
leader reactivates the hordes and in true Outlaw Josey Wales
style heads out for revenge falling prey to humans who want
to eat him in stew or see him fight catch matches against
vamps. Lame...DON"T trust anyone in the apocalypse.
Mister is found and he is found wanting. Turns out
Mister has a past with the new Vamp leader too. They all
come together in a final battle where the Vamps nearly win
and the last humans must flee to safety. So unsatisfactory.
Ah well, it was a decent effort.
Train to Busan. Korea's first
foray into the zombie genre. And what a fun train ride
it is! A fast acting something contaminates the entire
country turning the people into snarling, drooling,
ravenous, flesh eating zombies. A divorced,
self-centered investment banker is at the center of the tale
as he tries to get his shitty little whiny ass daughter to
her mother and the safety of Busan. Things go from bad
to worse and everyone dies except the whiny kid and the
pregnant lady. Lots of gore, tense moments and human
nature crash into a satisfying addition to the zombie
All monkey thumbs up
Hacksaw Ridge. Mel Gibson is one
hell of a great director. This fine movie based on
Medal of Honor winner Desmond Doss's WWII actions on the
island of Okinawa is something vivid, thoughtful, brutal and
wonderful without being preachy. We start with a
little background on Desmond and his family, the nurse he
meets that will become his wife, his trials in boot camp to
become a combat medic to serve his country the best way he
knows how, and then centers squarely on Hacksaw Ridge where
he bravely saved at least 75 soldiers from certain death.
Breathtakingly filmed battle sequences will have you on the
edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next.
Mr. Doss was one amazing man serving his country with honor,
faith, dignity and bravery. All monkey thumbs up.
this movie is a keeper. The oddity of having a mostly
Australian and British leading cast is underscored by their
fine performances. All monkey thumbs up.
Based (very loosely) on the video game. For all practical and
cinematic purposes, Prince of Persia was better than this crappy movie
even with all it's faults. Thought these guys were descended from
Italian renaissance Assassins. In the movie they are from
Torquemada's Spain in 1492...no one expects the Spanish Inquisition...spoiler alert...Columbus is involved. The
movie's weakest links are the modern day scenes where the modern day
scientific Templars are trying to regress Assassin antecedents into
reliving the actions and memories of their forefathers through DNA
manipulation while attached to a machine called Animus. Really.
What a dumb name. The Templars want to control the world by
removing violent tendencies from mankind by using the piece of Eden
hidden from them in the 15th century by Assassins. The best parts of the
movie are the 1492 scenes and 15th century parkour that happens.
In the video game maybe, but realistically, no. Fassbender is the
most believable at his character, Irons, Cottilard and Rampling are
nearly somnambulant in their performances. It was nice to see
Brendan Gleeson for a minute. Lots of action, not much sense.
Wait for cable. OR better yet, just play the games.
SHERLOCK season 4. Not dreadful, but certainly lacking the
likeable and fun formula of season 1. Sherlock discovers he has a
sister that is more maniacal the Moriarty ever could have imagined.
A series of events are set into motion and Sherlock is brought back from
exile to solve them. Many insights into the Holmes family dynamic.
ARRIVAL. how is this even being considered for any type of
awards? Tedious, drawn out and absolutely boring. If they
gave awards for those categories, maybe. A life flashes before
one's eyes. The world is on the bring of self-destruction.
Aliens planning ahead, no really far ahead visit Earth to get help to
save them in 3000 years! 3000! Is this some nod to
Battlefield Earth? A linguist and a scientist get drafted by the
military to communicate with aliens in an oddly shaped spacecraft
hovering over a field. The linguist seems to not be coping well
with the death of her daughter and we see the aliens filling her mind
with images of things that have happened, may happen and might not
happen. The only interesting thing is the smoky language of the
aliens that look like Cousin Thing on steroids. Lame.
DEVIL'S PASS. Present day film students head to the
Russian Ural mountains to film a documentary while following in the 1959
doomed footsteps of the real life Dyatlov party of 9 experienced hikers
who are still to this day the biggest unsolved disappearance mystery.
The students are whiny and irritating and as they progress along the
trail, the weather turns against them, mysterious footprints appear in
the snow and a severed human tongue appears in the radio communication
tower they stumble upon. They accidently find a bunker door in the
side of the mountain that locks from the outside, during an avalanche
one student gets a compound fracture and is then shot in the head by
Russian soldiers. A couple of other students disappear. They
find high levels of radiation and inside the bunker they find disturbing
things such as a torture lab, papers that explain some of the missing
people, pictures of the USS Eldridge which then leads to the inevitable
discussion of the Philadelphia Experiment, weird looking humanoids flash
in and out of the time space continuum and the 2 remaining students
think that by going through the wormhole in the bunker will be better
than being eaten alive, trapped alive or shot to death. Not a
great idea. They mutate upon being found outside the bunker and
are taken back outside and hung up on meat hooks. The real 1959
hikers probably did not get sucked into a wormhole. Read the book
Dead Mountain by Donnie Eicher. Far superior to this movie.
NEON DEMON: holy crap what a WTF kind of movie.
This is classified as a horror movie. The horror is how it could
mesmerize the viewer into watching it until the end when the true horror
appears. This director's Valhalla Rising was a total WTF
movie too, but it began with a bang and continued through to its blood
soaked and demented ending and riveted the voyeur...viewer. Neon
Demon is about a 16 year old runaway who wants to be a model while living in a skeezey motel run by Keanu Reeves in an extremely unflattering role.
The movie is about our obsession with "beauty" natural and otherwise and
what we will do to own it. The kid supposedly has what everyone in
the business wants...looks, innocence, raw talent. The kid then
she desires when a top photographer paints her in gold and shoots provocative
photos of her, then she gets the coveted closing spot in a popular
clothier's show. She ends up with a mountain lion in her
apartment, the young man who wanted to help her is tossed aside, the
make-up artist claiming to be her friend isn't. This movie has
everything, necrophelia, cannibalism, haute couture, psychotic visions
and hallucinations. Something for everyone!
The "horror" at the end is cliched and rather comical and in the end the
viewer might be thinking why didn't I turn off the TV? I know Team
Apeonaut did. One always hopes it will get better.
Molly Moon and the
Incredible Book of Hypnotism. Precocious orphans, mean
housemothers, bank robbers, runaways, a book that teaches you to
hypnotize people into doing anything you desire. Molly Moon wants
more out of life and runs away from her orphanage to London where she
thinks she can make her fortune and get everything her heart desires by
hypnotizing the people around her. Making friends and enemies
along the way Molly and her dog realize in the end there's no place like
THE CHEF, THE ACTOR AND THE SCOUNDREL. During the
second Sino-Japanese War, Japan uses Cholera against the Chinese.
4 Chinese students/government operatives make an elaborate plan to get
the cure for this particular strain to save their people. Using
the ancient art of Chinese Opera they capture a Japanese scientist and
attempt to rendition the cure out of him. This is a crazy martial
arts filled black comedy of sorts as the operatives get more desperate
to get the cure. Sleight of hand, play-acting, high drama and the
drive to save their people allow these players to triumph.
SKIPTRACE: Wow. Another Jackie
Chan-miscellaneous buddy movie. This time the buddy is Johnny
Knoxville. Directed by Renny Harlin a seriously hit and miss director.
This is a definite "miss". Chinese cop needs to avenge his
partner's murder becoming obsessed with a Chinese business man whom he
thinks is the bad guy. American jerk on the run from Russians
meets a Chinese girl with proof as to who the bad guy is.
Wackiness ensues when East meets West running across the Gobi Desert.
The best part of the movie is their encounter with Mongolians.
That part could be a travelogue. Over all it is a trite and tired
old story with too much staging and choreography that look exactly like
that. So sad.
SHETLAND SEASON 3: an altercation on the ferry, a missing
person report and uncooperative witnesses lead the Shetland police force
into the world of witness protection, the Irish mob, the Russian mob,
drug traders and political cover-ups. Things don't go well for
anyone in this series. It is still beautifully filmed and well
acted. Very entertaining.
Swept Under. Crime
scene cleaner, rookie homicide detective, serial killer, what happens
when their worlds collide. A mostly harmless movie. When the
"twist" becomes evident you just wonder how everyone can be so stupid.
Pleasant cast with an ending that is to be as expected. Half a
monkey thumb up and some poop.
Serial killer in London is tricked and trapped by the police using the
American friend of a slain woman as bait. Mistaken identity,
murder frame-ups, madcap love interest, interesting casting. An
old-timers noir gem. Quite entertaining.
The Wailing. Oh those wacky Koreans!
What is the nature of the devil? In Korea it is evidently a
Japanese man with designs on all the sinners in Korea. Weird weird
movie. A lazy cop investigates peculiar happenings in and around
his small village. Aggressive illness seems to be taking over the
population and causing people to go insane and kill their entire
families. When the cop's daughter turns ill, the mother insists on
a shaman. Then things get really out of hand. Fresh and
violent this movie makes you ponder the nature of evil, environment, who
to trust and the meaning of family.
Hollywood are you truly
this stupid? This movie was not magnificent by any stretch of the
imagination. If a brain aneurism could leak out of one's nose,
Team Apeonaut would have died in excruciating agony the moment the
theater darkened and the movie began. Team Apeonaut waited 14
whole days before writing this review. Some of the delay was in
hoping retrospection would help with the review process, some of the
delay was because the movie truly sucked ass through a straw and what
fun is that? Nothing can possibly redeem this movie. Using the idiocracy checklist let's point out some of
the lowlights of this movie: impossibly diverse cast, incredibly
lame dialogue, cartoonish bad guy, no characters to enjoy, stupid,
stupid and more stupid. Saying this movie is a stench in the
nostrils of movie goers everywhere is being kind. Bad Hollywood
Bad! Save your money and your brain. Just say no.
The Secret Life of Pets.
Cute but overly long tale of a rescued terrier named Max
devoted to his human who then brings home a large, rude,
loud rescue mutt named Duke. What ensues is a
convoluted tale of Max and Duke getting loose from their
dog-walker, getting attacked by alley cats, getting tossed
into the sewer with the sewer pets (the unloved, unwanted,
disposable pets) and their fight for survival on the streets
until they can get back home to their human all in one day.
They meet many characters, get advice, both good and bad
from friends and see things that cannot be unseen. A
few scenes involving Chloe the cat and Snowball the evil
fluffy bunny are laugh out loud funny, but the movie on the
whole is neither sweet, nor truly funny. It certainly
doesn't give us any insight at length as to what our pets do
at home alone all day. Bargain hour.
Angry Birds. Leave it as a game. Mean
spirited, not funny, not even cute. Not worth watching.
Traded. Wow, the Westerns are sure making a
comeback on the VOD trail. It's nice to see Michael Pare working.
This movie is so bad however it is not really worth seeing.
Former gunfighter and his ex-whore wife are raising their kids on a
lonely homestead. An accident starts a chain of events that brings
out every cliche ever invented for the tale of revenge, retribution,
redemption. Bar tender who's had enough with the way his town is
run, whore-former love interest of ex-gunfighter does her part to help
him rescue his kidnapped daughter who was traded for a big brass bell,
final showdown with everyone getting shot, innocent townsfolk who try to
help are killed violently. This movie has something for everyone.
Was it directed by Uwe Boll...sadly no.
Mechanic Resurrection. Jason Statham what
the hell were you thinking? What a horribly acted, directed,
scripted, CGI'd movie. The best scenes are the pool death, Statham
high diving out of the prison. The most ludicrous is jumping off
the top of a sky tram gondola onto the top of a parasail conveniently
flying by. Statham removing his shirt more than once makes up for
quite a few inadequacies. Terrible movie.
In a Valley of Violence. Not the most
ridiculous movie ever made, but close. This is a mix of Open
Range, Outlaw Josey Wales, John Wick, Rambo and a few others mooshed
together with total disregard for credulity or originality. A
drifter and his dog run afoul of a small town demagogue and his
callously stupid son and his buddies. There is a young woman,
scared townsfolk, the dog is murdered, revenge, redemption. This movie
has EVERYTHING! Ethan Hawke must have wanted to redeem himself
after his Magnificent Seven death. Travolta never removed his
hat...having a bad hair day are we? The credits are better than
the movie, though one scene where Drifter shoots at bad guys through the
body of another bad guy is rather entertaining.
Dough. A sweet, easy to watch story of
cultural and religious tolerance. An elderly Jewish baker on the
verge of losing everything hires a young African Muslim boy as his
apprentice. Wackiness ensues when the boy sells pot through the
bakery then one day accidently drops pot into the dough hence setting up
the double entendre as the bakery makes more dough than it has in a
really long time with the sales of pot dough. A series of events
dealing with the owner of a retail chain that wants to take over the
neighborhood teams the Jew and the Muslim together to solve a problem
and save the bakery. It's all rather simple, silly and fairly
unbelievable, but it makes a nice moral tale of tolerating each other's
True Memoirs of an International Assassin. A mostly
harmless tale of an everyday Joe wanting to become a published author.
Pressured into self-publishing online Sam soon finds himself under fire,
kidnapped by rebels, gangsters and Venezuela's president who all believe
he is an assassin believed to have been killed years before.
Wackiness ensues in a series of impossible events that lead to the
deaths of the rebel leader, the gangster boss and the President.
Not great cinema by any stretch of the imagination, but easy to watch if
there is nothing else on to watch.
KillZone 2. An undercover cop thrown
in jail works with one of his guards to get himself out of jail and to
stop a trafficker of human organs. Coincidentally the guard's
daughter needs a bone marrow transplant and the undercover cop is the
only match in Southeast Asia. Lots of martial arts and Tony Jaa
doing what he does best, kicking people in the head with his knees muay
thai style. Not a great movie as things happen all too
coincidentally, but it is fun.
Jane Got A Gun.
Slowly paced almost to the point of
catatonia but if you can stick with it, you find out why one man's wife
looks to her former fiancee for help when said husband comes home
riddled with bullets...in his back. As the preparation for battle
begins the tale unfolds as to how and why Jane finds herself in the
current predicament. Homemade roadside explosives are a rather
desperate and innovative way to reduce the number of attackers.
Lonely scenery, decent horsemanship, passable dialects and a solid cast
of known actors make it worthwhile taking the slow coach to the west.
Star Trek Beyond.
Team Apeonaut gives Simon Pegg, co-writer an A for effort in trying to
insert some OST history and some Galaxy Quest sized humor into a story
that is both familiar and tiresome. Doesn't anyone realize they
are just remaking the movies from the 80s with a few twists? Pretty good
special effects right up to the motorcycle diversion. So bad CGI,
so bad. We start with a pointless peace talks meeting with Kirk
and some tiny angry aliens then we segue into Kirk's whining narration
about how tedious it is in space and they all need a break. Enter
a giant space station at the edge of the universe, some short-lived R&R
and the rush to saving a crew captured by nasty "aliens" in the
Nebula...uncharted of course. Then double crosses, disaster, death
and danger rear their collective asses and the crew of the Enterprise
faces its demise along with the Enterprise. Fortunately the core
group comes up with a clever and deviously OST plot to foil the baddies.
Bones has some of the best lines during the entire adventure.
Worth seeing for the picture in Spock Prime's possessions of the OST
crew from The Wrath of Khan incident. Well played JJ, well played.
Glitch Season 1-NETFLIX...entertaining 6 part
Australian series about 6 people who dig their way out of their
respective graves in the small town of Yoorana. They are not
zombies. They are alive. The series is about how they cope
with coming back to life, why they have amnesia, how do they fit into
the lives of their loved ones after various years dead. One is the
first mayor of Yoorana dead over 100 years, one is a murder victim,
cancer victim, an Italian POW, Gay Galipoli vet, overly religious wife
and mother who killed her kid in the same accident that killed her, John
Doe whose death mask is in the museum. The doctor who is keeping
an eye on them is a little off herself. The constable who was a
first responder learns his wife is back much to the chagrin of his
pregnant second wife. And there is a force field around the town
that kills the risen if they try to pass through. All in all it is
a thoughtful little show with good acting. Maybe a season 2 in the
Swiss Army Man. A truly original story
played out by 2 pretty good young actors. Farts are always funny
and now we know they can be life savers. A shipwrecked man decides
to kill himself. As he is hanging he sees a corpse wash ashore.
What ensues is a whacky journey into insanity or miracles. Hank
discovers that Manny's farts can jet propel them back to the mainland.
Riding him like a jet ski gets him to a deserted beach bordered by a
dense forest. The long trek through the forest carrying the
talking corpse turns out to be cathartic for Hank in that he talks about
his disinterested parents, masturbation, and confides that the girl he
loves is a stranger on a bus that he snuck taking pictures. The
winding journey from living in the forest off the trash of America to
ending up in the backyard of the girl he loves who happens to be married
with child and totally freaked out by Hank's apparent lunacy. But
when Manny farts his way off shore and out to sea, Hank doesn't seem so
crazy after all. Weird on so many levels.
Marauders. What could be a brutal
heist perpetrated by a shady bank owner and his high paying clients
turns out to be a simple tale of bloody revenge for the murder of a
soldier and the betrayal of his unit. Anyone viewing security
footage at the banks should have been able to tell the robbers were
military trained. It wouldn't take much to come up with a list of
suspects especially when prints and DNA keep turning up as those of a
dead man. The FBI takes charge of the case and during the
investigation good people go rogue (case in point---throw in a terminal
cancer wife that you can't afford to care for), bad people get worse and
those caught in the middle just keep blazing away. Bruce Willis
phones in his performance and looks as though he is reading his dialogue
from cue cards, Chris Maloni shouts his way through every scene.
What could have been a simple tale of bloody retribution turns into a
mediocre tale of aging actors getting paychecks. Boo.
Siege at Jadotville - NETFLIX: Based on a
true story. The UN's virgin army is sent to South Africa in 1961
to maintain the peace when a rebel general starts a coup and wants to
start his own country. The UN sends in the Irish, 150 strong to
keep control of a way station out in the middle of nowhere. The
rebel general hires Belgian and French legionnaires to crush the UN. To
their surprise the Irish hold out for 5 days before surrendering
and not a single Irish soldier died. Due to the machinations of one
political officer in the UN a bad situation was made worse and the
soldiers were branded cowards until 2005 when the Irish government
reviewed the battle and cleared everyone of misconduct and awarded the
unit a Presidential Citation. Up the Irish. 150 men fighting
upward of 5000 men for 5 days kicked major butt. Excellent movie.
Well acted by 50 shades of gray Jamie Dornan. Who knew. All
monkey thumbs up.
Luke Cage season 1 NETFLIX: Mediocre "don't
want to be a superhero" show. Perpetuating stereotypes and
everything bad about everyone Luke Cage offers up murder, lying,
treachery, ambition and backstabbing as life choices. About
4 episodes too long LC is at times boring, weak and repetitive.
each episode has a couple of moments that are worth the effort but
overall it's a bore. Meh---
Blue Ruin. The movie opens with a vagrant
and ends in a bloodbath. Dwight, estranged from his family after
disappearing after high school, must go home to exact some type of
bloody revenge on the family that wronged his family. Thinking he
is some type of amateur assassin Dwight starts down the long bloody road
by knifing to death the recent parolee Dwight thinks is responsible for
all his past family woes. A knife through the eye and into the
brain can ruin a convict's whole day and so can losing your car keys
next to the body. That and your own car brings the evil family to
his sister's house and arrows start to fly. Removing a deeply
embedded arrow isn't as easy as the westerns make it out to be.
Then Dwight gets an old High School ROTC buddy to help him kill another
and then the bloodletting really begins when Dwight sets up an ambush at
the family's house. An unrecognizable Eve Plumb (Jan Brady) is the
evil sister eagerly promoting murder of Dwight and his family. You
have to let this movie proceed at its own pace. The suspense
builds with every poorly thought out plan of Dwight's until the end.
Suicide. So it turns out the Israeli film
industry is just as twisted as America's. A man who owns a video
store cannot repay a ruthless "loan-shark" who plucked out the eye of
his own son with a spoon for being late on a payment. If you can't
repay your loan you must kill yourself or the shark kills people you
love. The story goes round and round with the police investigating
an apparent murder, the man's wife telling everyone she wants a divorce
so the debt doesn't fall on her. Her mother telling her she can
have all the money she wants if she gets divorced from the loser.
A convoluted Jewish court of divorce puts everyone in a position of
strength then things get really crazy when the loan-shark's lawyer gets
the wife involved in a plot to kill the loan-shark. Twisted,
dirty, mean and greedy.
Lost River. Holy shit. This is
one weird and pointless film. Some wonderfully peculiar set pieces
almost make it worth sitting through. The mother of two children
finds herself in the position of losing her home. Lost River is a
depressed and depressing town filled with denizens swimming in their own
depraved, deprived and indifferent circles. The mother is offered
a job in a club for freaks who want to watch performers getting stabbed,
or peeling off their own faces and locking the performers in plastic
shells to keep them safe from the really special clientele who want to
say or do anything in the presence of a woman...like creepy dance guy.
Her oldest son steals copper from the inside of abandoned buildings to
sell for his own ragged purposes. Bully, the town bully threatens
to cut off his head but instead cuts the head off the son's girlfriend's
pet rat. Boo. The girlfriend begs the son to find a way to
end the curse of Lost River and he does so by cutting off the concrete
head of the town's dinosaur and hurling it through Bully's windshield.
There is so much more that makes no sense but tries to be important in
its senselessness. Don't think Team Apeonaut would recommend this
The Doctor Blake Mysteries.
1950s Australia. Doctor Blake returns home to take over his
father's long time practice. He works as the Police Surgeon going
out solving murders and mayhem all the while drinking hard, being alone
and searching for his lost Chinese wife and daughter. He is the
Quincy of the simpler days. Humorous and at times gruesome DBM is
entertaining in a procedural kind of way. Simmering tensions and
unrequited feelings of course underlie all the stories.
Weiner Dog. Unpleasant movie about 4
separate families that take the Weiner dog into their lives and how
Weiner dog effects them. This is supposed to be a dark comedy and
there is nothing comedic about it and the people are all so unlikeable
that you feel sorry for the dog. This could have been a fun
and interesting movie...but alas it is not. Not recommended.
The Man in the Wall. Another Israeli movie that is sick and
twisted. A man takes his dog for a walk one night and disappears
the dog does not. The wife calls the police and inexplicably lies
about their family bliss. The police don't take her seriously.
Then friends come over, they eat and drink. Then a friend of the
husband comes over and demands they look for him. His father shows
up wanting to be repaid the money his son borrowed. She has her current
lover come over. No one's actions are of those worrying about a
missing man. While the wife is listening to some of the husband's
audio files she hears familiar sounds of her lovemaking. The man
shows up acting like nothing has happened until he shows her the bugs he
has placed around the apartment because he gets bored and wants to know
what she does during the day just to liven up his own dull existence.
She says she's leaving him. He takes pills, she saves him and end
sup staying while he recovers and takes the dog for another walk.
Pointless, petty people.
Keanu. What a hoot. Hate to say it but
Team Apeonaut laughed through the whole movie. What's not to like
about two easy going likable guys who get caught up in thug life to
rescue a cute little kitten. Much wackiness ensues as the duo try
to fit in and scam their way into the gang that stole the kitty.
At one point the kitty named Keanu speaks with Keanu Reeves' voice.
Too funny. Using George Michael music to start conversations about
stepping up and being real men was almost too much to handle. The
kitty is cute too. With a great beginning ripped from the pages of
any good action movie this story cascades from one cliche to the next
with great comedic effect.
Scenic Route. Two buddies on a road trip
have car trouble. What ensues is a brutal reevaluation of their
friendship and their lives. It does not go well. The main
characters are at times whiny, truthful, liars, pathetic, heroic and
sad. After arguing about the best way to survive and drinking
radiator water their psychosis grows and they beat the crap out of each
other. Do they both survive? Does one die out in the middle
of nowhere from blunt force trauma? Believable performances
enhance this two-man show. Lesson learned: don't take the
Get Hard. Tried not to laugh at this
horrible movie but sometimes Team Apeonaut just can't help it. A
white financier is sentenced to prison for fraud. He enlists a
young black man he thinks would know about prison life to train him.
Wackiness ensues as they figure out near the end what actually happened
and who is guilty. More wackiness ensues.
Mojin (Ghouls). This wacky movie
about relic hunters has about 20 movies at once going on from Tomb
Raider, Indiana Jones, Goonies, and National Treasure to name a few.
The big budget effects and set pieces are pretty awesome visually.
The dialogue is run of the mill silly adventure-speak. Overall the
movie is a wacky story of grave-robbing adventurers who get sucked into
one last adventure to discover how and why a former lover died 20 years
ago. Has it's fair share of WTF moments but is overall watchable
in a MST3K kind of way.
The Last Heist. This is a fun little movie
out of left field shot on a shoestring in a rundown location giving it a
simple homemade feel. A bank is closing. A couple of people
are in making their last withdrawals. In walks Bernard with his
battered briefcase asking to go to the safety deposit area to collect
his belongings. In walks a gang of bank robbers, one of whom turns
out to be the brother of a bank employee. Cue family dynamics.
Hostages are taken. Then one by one everyone starts dying at the
hands of Bernard, a wanted serial killer who slices up his victims then
scoops out their eyes for keepsakes. The police arrive, the the
DOD arrives because they know the "perps". Wackiness ensues as
Bernard takes everyone's windows to the soul and the money.
Hyena Road. Written, directed
by and starring our favorite Canadian Paul Gross, Hyena Road follows 3
stories of Canada's involvement in Afghanistan. Story 1...a sniper
and his crew. Story 2...military intelligence trying to win hearts and
minds spreading US dollars, Story 3...the Lion of the desert comes in
from exile and attempts to regain his power. The stories
intersect, get tangled up in culture clashes and end violently. A
loving tribute to Canada's involvement in a war that can never be won by
any single side. All monkey thumbs up.
Kilo Two Bravo. based on a true story.
Private Ryan's D-Day landing has nothing on this concise tale of how
FUBAR'd you can get in war time even when you are not actively engaged
in combat. A British outpost in Afghanistan sends 3 lads to break
up Taliban activity near the Kajaki Dam. The radios don't work,
the lads just bound off to do their business when they come to a dry
river bed and one gets blown up by a land mine. The other two
staunch his free flowing blood and stabilize him. One guy runs for
help. More lads show up. More blow up. They realize
too late that the entire river bed is salted with Russian landmines from
their occupation 25 years earlier. What ensues is disaster heaped
upon disaster and Murphy's Law rewrites itself as an immutable fact of
life. After 8 hours the first rescue chopper shows up and is the
wrong kind for their situation. It also inadvertently sets off
more landmines maiming several other members of the unit. The
movie focuses on the bond between soldiers, the inability for leadership
to get things right, the sad fact that all the soldiers have to carry
one shot of morphine and one tourniquet in their kit. The make-up
is outstandingly grotesque as each soldier has limbs blown off and one
poor fellow has a whole chunk of his torso blown away. Waiting for
rescue is bad enough but waiting while your life seeps out a gaping hole
where a limb used to be is eternity. Such a pointless way to be
injured in wartime. All monkey thumbs up.
Stranger Things. Highly entertaining Netflix
series with some recognizable stars, an awesome 80s vibe and pop culture
to spare. Kids on bikes, evil government scientists experimenting
on young stolen children, black helicopters, surveillance vans disguised
as the power company, oblivious parents, sensory deprivation tanks,
eggos, dimension hopping creatures attracted by blood, mysterious
inter-dimensional dead zones, walkie talkies. Everyone does exactly
what you would expect them to do in a situation like this because we
have seen every single iteration of the plot over the last 30 years.
Still this is a marvelous series and a quick binge watch. Highly
enjoyable. Lots of mayhem, death, angst, puppy-love and paranoia.
Open Grave. You know you die in
Eastern Europe!!! Just say no. The opening is rather fun as
a man awakens at the bottom of a pit filled with rotting corpses.
As he awakens his bones pop from stiffness and he has no memory of
anything. He is rescued but the behavior of the rescuers is far
from sweetness and light and the man has to decide if they are the
killers or he is. The rest of the story is getting their memories
back, remembering what they were all doing there in the secluded house,
not dying at the hands of angry, hungry people aimlessly wandering the
perimeter. Good thing he finds a video camera explaining
everything, BAM...too late to do anything the military arrives to kill
everyone. Back into the pit. A few striking visuals.
Mostly an interesting original story. One recognizable actor to
lend gravitas. Worth a peek.
Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death. This sequel
takes place in WWII and a bunch of orphaned British kids are taken to
the house on Eel Island and unfortunately awaken the murderous Woman in
Black. There is no real point to the children being taken there
and they start dying one by one. There are no real stars in the
movie to make it worthwhile watching and the movie is not even a gem in
the rough to make you interested in why things are happening the way
they are. Everything ends up in the watery grave by the side of
the road where the WIB's kid died so many years ago. What is the
point really. Plodding, boring and we don't even get a recap for
the new generation as to why the place is haunted..
The Wave. Oh Norway...you so
funny! A geologist/hydrologist quitting his old job in a sleepy
little lakeside town sees dangerous tsunami portents in the rapidly
disappearing ground water and sensor disruption on the side of a
mountain being monitored for activity. If it falls into the lake
below the 80 foot wave will destroy everything in its path, everything
that is except the guy's family who he saves against all odds.
Only a 10 minute warning and people with their hand on the tsunami
button act like they are launching nuclear missiles.
Convergence. Heaven and Hell meet in a
creepy hospital after an explosion. A cop, who takes awhile to
understand that he is dead tries to take down a messenger of evil who
who thinks he's doing God's work by killing people from both sides of
the temporal plain. Ghost-hunters are checking into strange things
going on in the abandoned hospital and coincidentally one of the hunters
is the grown up version of a little girl saved by the cop years before.
She helps him vanquish evil.
TMNT Out of the Shadows.
Silly fun for a sequel and yet following
the same tired pattern of angst, arguments and ennui. OOTS finds
the TMNTs getting back to their normal routines of pizza eating, martial
arts practicing, sports watching, protecting the city good guy stuff.
Enter Shredder's escape from police custody with the help of scientist
Baxter Stockman (it doesn't end well for him) via a teleportation device
that takes Shredder to Commander Krang's (evil brain in a robot body)
dimension. Deals are made to open a rift in the space time
continuum so Krang and Shredder can control the Earth. TMNTs with
the help of April O'Neill, Casey Jones and of course Vern Fenwick, save
the day and the planet. YAY Turtles! There is no "I" in
TEAM...except in the "A hole" if you use the correct font.
Hardcore Henry. Ah Russia. You so
funny! Though the trick has been
used to great effect in Robocop, Doom, Blair Witch Project, Manic and
Cloverfield to name a few first person POV movies Hardcore Henry takes
the trick to new and bloody heights. What a hoot. Totally
enjoyable in a manic, bloody and surprisingly humorous way. Henry,
our mute protagonist begins the movie by gaining new prosthetic limbs,
losing his scientist wife and chasing lots of bad guys. Throw in
comic relief Jimmy, some AK47s, a Russian tank or two, an homage to the
Magnificent Seven and some camera work so frenetic one might be tempted
to hurl. Bravo Russia. The big reveal is well worth the
build-up. Small budget with big results. Go Go-Pro!
All monkey thumbs up. And with Timur Bekimbatov (The Fall, Abraham
Lincoln Vampire Hunter) producing how can you go wrong!
Death Race 2 & 3. Prequel and
prequel-sequel to Jason Statham's Death Race made 7 years
prior. Carl Lucas is a bad man but he prided himself
during his long criminal career not to have used a gun.
A bank robbery gone wrong finds him killing a guard.
He is sent to prison where he fights and drives to stay
alive. Prisons are run by corporations so anything
goes. This is the tale of the invention of
Frankenstein and the Death Race. Win 5 races and get
set free. Frankenstein wins 4 then is badly burned.
Then the crew is transported to the Kalahari desert for
Death Race Inferno. During an elaborate bait and
switch Frankenstein, his navigator and his pit boss escape
the prison system to live a happy happy joy joy life in a
non-extradition country. Thumbs akimbo
Southpaw. Love , loss and
redemption. All come with a heavy price. After
losing everything he held important the former light
heavyweight champ trains with a former fighter to show the
courts he wants his daughter returned to him and he can be a
good father. Of course we have a training montage and
the fight goes 12 rounds and the ultimate sacrifices pay
off. Yay. JG gives an amazing performance.
Pandemic. Another in a
long line of virulent disease that cause zombies movies.
The world is destroyed. One compound in Los Angeles
finds that level 1 zombies can be cured. Levels 2-5
must be destroyed. A doctor is sent out with a team to
rescue clean survivors. What is really going on is
that everyone is looking for family members thought lost.
Things go horribly awry. Too much whining and a lack
of clear vision as to what the objective is. Survival
of the fittest or eradication of the zombie hordes. Meh.
Terminus. Nice idea but
another WTF movie. War is raging in Iran. Young
veterans are coming home with more amputations than usual.
The world is close to nuclear winter. The government
is after some extraterrestrial thingy that may be the answer
to everything. A widower after losing his job
crashes his car on the side of a lonely road. Something
happens. The government has been tracking things from
space with rumors of being able to heal people. The
thing heals the widower who then proceeds to heal a Vet and
save his daughter from the end of the world. Slowly
paced with a pinch of farfetched the movie's ending with
worldwide nuclear destruction awakening the Vet and the
widower's daughter many years later to a destroyed planet.
Meh. Could have been worse.
10 Cloverfield Lane. Oh
conspiracy theories, you so funny. Everyone thinks you
are a sequel to Cloverfield, a movie with much potential but
little follow through. Here a pathetic young woman
runs away from her boyfriend. After gassing up her car
she crashes on a dark and stormy road only to wake up in a
cinderblock room chained to a wall. She wonders...WTF?
What unfolds is something akin to a cat and mouse thriller.
Did the man who claims he saved her from the wreck really do
it on purpose for his own twisted reasons? Was there
really a chemical attack rendering the Earth uninhabitable?
Who is the hapless dipshit down there with them? What does
she have to do to get out of her predicament? Why make
a homemade NBC suit out of the ducky shower curtain and trip
the man into the vat of acid he so handily has available.
The "twisty reveal" is a total let down as the girl is so
unremarkable and unbelievable in her disbelief you want to
smack her. Why is she so resourceful now? You
are a cheater Mr. Abrams. Shame on you for such
tidy tale of a young orphan girl taken to the cemetery to
visit her parents' graves. A funeral service across
the property ends in 3 deaths by contract killer. The
girl has been taking pictures. Uh oh! Unwittingly the
guy who drove the girl to the cemetery happens upon the
killer without his mask while he's burying the 3 stiffs and
is killed also. The girl on her own runs for her life
to a nearby house that looks deserted but is inhabited by an
alcoholic suicidal Veteran who was indirectly for the death
of his own son and his wife's leaving him. Killer
engages them both at the house and what ensues is a verbal
joust with intermittent gunplay. It takes awhile for
the Vet to get on his game to save the day. Brutal and
profane. Worth a peak.
A Young Doctor's Notebook.
What a fun episodic series set in Mother Russia 1917-1934.
The 1917 young doctor is assigned to a podunk hospital for
two years in the middle of nowhere Russia where it snows all
the time. He's young, short, inexperienced, recently
graduated from Moscow University with 5 stars, treats
everyone with a mild disdain and can't get a sharp bone saw
to save his soul. Much of the humor comes from the
situations in which the young doctor finds himself regarding
his knowledge of medical practices, sex, drug use,
addiction. Amputations, syphilis, chain smoking,
chamber pots and old equipment are the order of the day.
The young doctor is mentored by his old doctor self.
The 1934 old doctor himself being in trouble with the police
for writing morphine prescriptions for dead people and using
the drug himself. Throughout the 2 year rotation the
young doctor learns nothing about compassion or humanity
falling deeper and deeper under Morphine's siren song.
Old doctor is arrested and imprisoned until rehabilitation
when he embarks on a real journey to apologize for some of
his wrongs. Fast and easy to watch. Well acted and
written. Great characters.
Pointless and non-sensical. 4 high school boys entice
blond women into the woods in order to hunt and kill them
for sport. Veronica is trained by a mysterious older
man to kill these boys. The training montage is lame and
weak. Abigail Breslin is impossible to believe as an
assassin in training. The action scenes and
fighting choreography is weak and embarrassing. The
only positive thing according to the plot is that Veronica
revenges herself on all 4 boys for the countless dead women
in the woods. RuuRogh.
Woman in Gold. A tale of love,
loss, right and wrong and standing up for those long dead
who cannot stand up for themselves. Maria flees to
America during WWII. Her family is killed by NAZIs and
her home looted. Tales of the past and present are
comingled in her legal battles with Austria for the return
of a portrait of her aunt as well as other valuable family
portraits illegally taken by NAZIs and displayed for years
in one of Austria's premier galleries without consideration
of proper ownership or due process. Well played.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.
A self-centered high school boy and his friend spend their
time making movie parodies. Boy's mother forces him to
befriend a girl he knew in Jewish school when she is
diagnosed with cancer. What ensues is a tale of
bonding, anguish, humor and death as told by the narrator
(boy). Worth a peak.
Hollywood...1950s...Commies have infiltrated all walks of
life. The head of the studio tries to keep everyone on
an even keel, keep production rolling, solve problems.
Circus ringmaster if you will. During filming of his
prestige religious epic picture, the star is kidnapped for
$100000 ransom. At the suggestion of the singing
cowboy, the ringmaster looks at the extras on set until he
tracks down the idiots that did the deed. Several stories weave in and
out until the problem is solved in a very humorous way and
everything goes back to normal at the studio. Many
sacred Hollywood cows are BBQd with gusto and a nice
supporting cast of seldom seen actors is put to effective
use. There are several laugh out loud scenes, a few
slapstick scenes, some synchronized swimming scenes and some
tap dancing in a diner scene. Pretty darn funny.
Worth a bargain hour ticket.
Goosebumps. Never having
read any of the books Team Apeonaut did not know what to
expect. The premise is pretty sweet. R.L. Stine
writes his darkest, meanest characters on a magic typewriter
putting the pages into separate locked books so they
don't hurt anyone. A few books are accidentally opened
releasing the beasties, then a crabby ventriloquist dummy is
released and steals the rest of the books in order to open
them, release the monsters, destroy the city and set up
their own little world. Bad Dummy! Stine and
some high school kids reluctantly join forces to defeat the
monsters and set the town back to normal. The movie is
a bit of a downer though as none of the characters are
really likeable. There is no room to build up sympathy
or understanding for their behavior. IF you can get
past that flaw, it's mostly a fun movie.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.
Highly enjoyable take on yet another zombie apocalypse.
You know it will be silly fun from the opening credits when
Paramount studios logo is morphed into a scout merit patch.
Then a dopey janitor mopping the floor in a scientist's lab
releases a zombie. Cue zombie apocalypse beginning.
The janitor goes down, the scientist goes down, a white tail
deer goes down, the Scout Leader goes down and it gets
sillier from there. The scout recruitment drive is
again unsuccessful leading two of the three scouts wanting
to quite after the last camp out. Zombies and
friendship however, bond them together stronger than ever to
save each other and their town. They also get help
from a stripper. Monkey thumbs up in a prepared,
helpful and courteous manner. To those who pay
attention, you might notice the Pavunga patch on Ben's khaki
shirt. Funny to those of you who know.
PPZ. Ah love.
What is love if not a struggle to say and show how you truly feel to the
object of your affection? Throw in some station in life pride,
some haughty attitude prejudice and a countryside swarming with brain
eating zombies and you have the makings of an epic love story.
Jane Austen's classic story is spiced up a bit with the added bodice
ripping excitement of the zombie apocalypse. Liz Bennett and Mr.
Darcy meet at cross purposes and beat the crap out of each other.
Not exactly what Miss Austen had in mind. Darcy goes for a swim in
the pond, white shirt and all (actually very funny). After many
verbal duels and zombie clashes the two realize they are
each other's "love of my life" partner. The movie was
a great adaptation of Graham Seth-Green's mash-up with the classic.
Quite enjoyable. Nice use of pop-up books and travel by map too.
All thumbs up.
Keeping Room. Set
in the Civil War. Could have been much better.
Dramatic and well acted, but so plodding that the thread of
the story is lost in the dismal slowness. Southern
deserters go on a raping and killing spree. They end
up at the run down farm inhabited by 2 sisters and their
black servant. The girls don't have a mind to be raped
and killed so in true "Beguiled" fashion they trick, trap
and kill the marauders, bury them in the back yard and
escape advancing forces by dressing as men and walking away.
Could have been so dramatic.
Rogue. Giant Australian croc
feasts on a boatload of tourists. Tourists display
proudly how stupid they can be and only the strong survive.
Croc looks real. The dog does not survive, instead
giving his life for his mistress. Good dog. Bad
Let's Be Cops. Actually better
than Team Apeonaut thought it would be. A chance
encounter with police uniforms leads to friends to pretend
they are police officers. Things get convoluted when
drug dealers, crooked cops, frightened shop keepers and love
interests collide in a wild yet fairly reasonable fashion.
Funny, intense and implausible but loads of fun. Who
The Captive. Child
fetishists/pornographers kidnap a young girl from the
backseat of her father's truck when he stops for pie after
ice skating practice. For 8 years the police have
treated the father as a suspect and the strain of that and
the belief by the mother that it was the father's fault have
caused depression, failed jobs and mistrust. A series
of events and actions taken by the anti child porn division
lead everyone to the possible location of the bad people.
Heroic, desperate actions by the father lead to the release
of his now grown daughter, the deaths of the perps and the
reunion with his wife. Well done and understated.
A Walk in the Woods. Based on
the true story by Bill Bryson, successful author, who after
10 years abroad thinks it's time to reconnect with his
homeland. He decides to walk the Appalachian Trail.
His wife won't let him go alone. An old friend from
his hometown in Iowa on the run from some old bench warrants
agrees to go with him. What ensues is life. A
sweet tale of 2 old men trying to walk the entire trail.
Adventures and misadventures cause them to quit halfway and
3 months into the trail but life lessons and all kinds of
weather forge a bond with each other and Mother Nature that
result in an anecdotal tale for the ages. Entertaining
though at times hard to watch as Redford and Nolte dodder
onward to glory.
Run Boy Run. True story of a
Jewish Polish boy from the Warsaw Ghetto told to run by his
father and do whatever he must to survive the Nazi invasion
and subsequent annihilation of the Jews. Many people
on the boy's journey help him hide, work for food and work
for a place to sleep. He endures many trials during
the 3 years he moves across Europe. At the war's end
he is tracked down by the Jewish Orphan group and offered
the opportunity to go to Israel and help keep the people
alive. The end of the movie is the boy, now an old man
with many grandchildren living and thriving in the Jewish
homeland. Moving and brutal.
Hinterland Season 2. Tom Mathias
and team solve more murders in Wales. Tom's wife
visits and tells him she is moving to Canada and wants a
divorce. Bad people do bad things to each other.
Naive people do bad things and get themselves screwed over
even more. Bleak, depressing and absolutely gorgeous.
Everyone should take a trip to Wales. Well written,
acted and directed. The actors are all world weary
looking and grasping at straws to keep their heads above
water. Politics, mysteries and back room deals make
for fine drama.
Happy Valley Season 2. This is
not a Happy Valley. 18 months after the events of
season 1 Catherine is again at odds with her bosses and must
prove that she is not the serial killer of prostitutes.
Tommy Lee gets a groupie who makes things creepy for
Catherine and Tommy Lee's 10 year old son, her grandson.
Catherine's son gets divorced, her alcoholic sister falls of
the wagon spectacularly and the mob traffics foreign women
causing Catherine to lose her grip on control. Well
written and acted.
Bosch Season 2. Harry is off
suspension and back in fighting shape. His ex and his
daughter move in with him when 2 cases collide violently and
they need protection. The police chief's son is
working under cover then dies massively. Politicians
stab each other and everyone else in the back and Harry's
name is finally cleared in an escaped criminal case from
season 1. Well acted. Team Apeonaut loves Titus.
Harry also discovers the identity of his mother's murderer.
Whitechapel Season 4.
The team deals with cannibals, OCD, new babies, and more
murders than they can shake a stick at. But they
manage to solve the bulk of the mystery and bring the group
even closer together. Louise Iver...come on fellas...Lucifer
causes trouble around the station and many people die.
HALO the Fall of Reach. The
animation is a little creepy but the story is spot on to the
graphic novel. This is a tale of the directive to
kidnap special children, enhance them physically and
mentally, develop their own natural abilities, give them
Mjolner technology armored exoskeletons and send them into
the universe to fight the Covenant and the Flood.
Primarily the story revolves around John, Spartan 117 and
his transformation into Master Chief. All in all a
great tale of what man must do to survive.
All monkey thumbs up.
Crimson Peak. An old
chestnut of a tale to be sure about a Victorian girl who
wants to be more than a wife pushed by circumstances into a
creepy marriage in a far off land. Lovingly
filmed and directed the exquisitely nice set pieces, CGI and
practical effects propel the story relying on the
imagination of the viewer to drive the terror and the
haunting quality of the story. Nice performances by known
actors make the somewhat shallow characterizations seem
believable. The most striking character of the movie is the
house. Rotting with the decay of depravity and
deviance the house breaths with the ill winds blowing
through is rotted walls and open roof. Sitting alone
in the middle of a large tract of land the house may be a
metaphor for the curses visited upon the Sharpe family.
The blood red landscaping around the house is a telling
portent of bad things. The movie evokes Dragonwyck,
The Haunting, Rebecca and several other great old Hollywood
movies. One cool scene is brother and sister fighting
and sister stabs brother in the cheek under his left eye
with a kitchen knife. The look of surprise,
disappointment and forgiveness on brother's face is
touching. Overall, if Team Apeonaut were the new
bride, we'd run screaming off into the night to get away the
moment we saw the house. A good Halloween movie.
Bone Tomahawk. Cool trailer.
Cool movie title. Cool instrument of death and
destruction. How many times is the word troglodyte
used in everyday conversation? Great cast makes for
interesting characters. Sean Young is nearly
unrecognizable in her cameo as the mayor's wife. Zhan McClarnon
(Mathias from Longmire) has a miniscule yet informative role
when asked to explain the strange happening in town.
Kurt Russell is well, Kurt Russell. His role as the
sheriff is steadfast and true. His facial hair tells its own
tale. A woman, a deputy and a
drifter are abducted in the middle of the night. 4 men
ride out on an impossible quest and for different reasons.
Things go so horribly awry it makes you wonder why they
don't tuck tail and run home. Visceral, creepy and
erudite this movie has something for everyone. It's
almost innovative with elements of been there and done that
in a movie before but not exactly. Well worth watching
for the dialogue, acting and interactions of the characters.
All monkey thumbs up
Sword of Destiny. No heart. No story.
No Chinese. No music. A horrible disappointment to say the least.
18 years after the events of CTHD, the teacher visits old friends for a
funeral and the Sword of Destiny is once again much sought after.
Bad dialogue, bad martial arts and bad make-up ensue. Jason Scott
Lee looks terrible and much of the cast is not Chinese making the feel
of the movie all wrong. So sad that a wonderful idea was made as
crap. Thumbs down Apeonauts. Don't even bother.
Victor Frankenstein. The story we all
know and love told from Igor's point of view. Igor is a circus
hunchback brutalized and humiliated every moment of his existence.
Victor saves him one day, drains the abscess on his back, puts him in a
back brace and calls him Igor. Turns out Igor is brilliant and
helps Victor create his first and second live experiments. Things
go horribly awry for Victor. Igor finds love and Victor flees to
create another day. A zealot police officer chases them both in
hopes of proving Victor is the culprit behind dead animal body parts
going missing. Quite lively and entertaining. Probably James
McAvoy's best role to date. All thumbs up.
Yakuza Apocalypse. Gangsters, vampires,
gangster vampires, vampire gangsters. A young hoodlum avenges his
master's murder by becoming the thing everyone fears most. A
Yakuza vampire out to kill everyone. Crazy mix of martial arts,
gunplay, gang violence. Entertaining.
The Judge. Old judge is accused of
murder after the victim's blood is found on his car. His estranged
son comes home to find out what happened, to reconnect with his
estranged family and to defend his unyielding father. Powerful
performances make this a good film to watch.
The Last Survivors. Oregon
never looked so parched. Water has ceased falling from the sky.
The last well at a camp for wayward children has just dried up.
The last 3 inhabitants have to decide whether to stay and try to
survive, be killed by the water baron or escape. Intense fighting
occurs and one young woman has to find the strength to fight the water
baron and his clan in order to save her younger brother and a friend.
Death and mayhem run rampant in these apocalyptic times and it's kill or
be killed. Intense and well acted.
Minority Report the Series. Mostly fun to
watch. Well written, decent acting. A few plot devices get
old after the first 12 times they are used, but it is watchable and
follows the idea of the movie pretty well. Pre-crime detection at
The Intern. Team Apeonaut did not go to the
theater to see this. Though it gave humorous trailer, Anne
Hathaway is strident at best and cloying at worst and pretty much
convinced TA to not see the movie. The Intern is surprisingly
heartwarming and highly entertaining. DeNiro gives a subdued and
hilarious performance as the senior Intern. Harried executive is
given an Intern to lighten her work load. Turns out the Intern has
a butt-load of life and work experience and ends up helping everyone in
the company. Lighthearted, sensitive and totally feel-good movie.
Lots of cliches but that's ok it's fairly satisfying. Two monkey
Lady SnowBlood. 1973 was a very
good year for over the top red paint used as spurting arterial blood.
Born of rape in a women's prison, SnowBlood is trained and raised as a
demon of vengeance. She sets out to take revenge on everyone no
matter how insignificant to her mother's circumstance. This leads
to becoming an assassin for hire. Many people die and yet nothing gets
resolved. Mayhem, plague, corrupt politicians, poor rabble and
blood spurts mingle and blur the lines between living and living hard.
Fun. All monkey thumbs up.
Blunt Force Trauma. The world of underground
dueling. Pistols of any type and bulletproof vests. Every
country has its version of the game. Big money is to be had if you
win. Reasons to live or to die. Revenge, money, who is the
best. John wants to feel something. Colt wants revenge for
her brother's death at the hands of an unscrupulous duelist. They
meet up/team up after a match and start a journey to gain these things.
They are sort of in love. He wants a match with the "best" ever
who has nothing to lose. (Mickey Rourke in a small role is so ugly
and disfigured he looks like he duels in real life...eeewwww). This is
actually a very quiet and subtle movie with soul. Powerful
performances and a well written story make this quite enjoyable.
Ex Machina. Oh AI you so funny. If you are a
programmer and work for a wealthy recluse genius
and are told you've won a contest so you get to meet said
recluse...don't believe it. It's a set up. If the helicopter taking you to meet
your boss flies over miles and miles of empty landscape, drops you off
in the middle of a field and says he can't go any further, get back in
the helicopter and fly away. If your boss is a freak and a drunk,
run away. If he wants you to test his AI girl Run Away. If
the AI girl is too good to be true. Run Away. If you start putting
the pieces together and don't know who to trust, human or machine, Run
Away! You are already screwed and there is nothing you can do as
things end badly for your boss and for you and the AI girl merrily flies
away in your helicopter. Pointless, yet hard to turn off.
Creepy yet scientifically plausible. Meh...
Everly. the RAID Redemption
with boobs. Everly is held captive by Japanese Yakuza guys for
four years, abused in every conceivable fashion. One day her
opportunity arises and she kills many of her captors in a crazy rampage.
She must kill even more when her mother and daughter show up. A
building full of hookers servicing mob guys is just one of many
obstacles Everly must endure and surpass to free herself and get to her
family. Mayhem ensues, grenades blow up many things. Everly
finds a couple of allies with a heavy dose of betrayal and viciousness.
Many people die, many grievous wounds are sustained. Is there a
silver lining to all this brutality? Not really. Mostly
enjoyable. Probably one of Salma Hayek's most entertaining roles
Seventh Son. STINKER! Jeff Bridges' character
is unintelligible but what Team Apeonaut can tell is he is the 7th son
and tasked with keeping the countryside safe from witches and other bad
things. He needs help so he kidnaps and trains a farmer's 7th son
of a 7th son to help him recapture Mother Malkin (bad witch) intent on
ruling the world with dark magic. The apprentice is useless until
the very end. Passable effects and costuming. Mediocre acting from
a cast of mostly decent actors. Soft storytelling underlies what
could have been a fun adventure into the world of witches, demons and
dragons. Meh. Monkey thumbs down.
Transporter Refueled. Oh man.
Why. At least this was created by the Originator. Besson
knows best. This Transporter is Frank Jr., a former special ops
guy. The Punisher is Frank Sr., not a spy but a man who sold Evian
for a living. Bad guys and hookers make their lives miserable.
One hooker with an elaborate scheme to set some of her sister hookers
free from the creep they were stolen by or sold to gets Frank and his
Father involved. Through a series of stupid happenstances, the
Transporter chases, fights and loves his would be tormentors. It
all makes a perfect kind of sense in the universe of let's remake
everything for no good reason. You can tell this new transporter
did not do any of his driving and his fighting skills are sub-par.
Well played science
well played. Astronauts are exploring Mars. Big storm hits
so the crew is forced to evacuate before their space ship tips over.
One astronaut is blown away from the rest by huge winds. Feared
dead they all leave for home. Astro is declared dead back home.
Crew kept in the dark. Astro is alive, makes it back to hab,
contemplates his lot and grows potatoes and a creepy beard. Then
by retrieving Rover (who still works after a battery charge after 18
years) Astro communicates with home and all types of scientific and
bureaucratic hoops are jumped through. Astro blows up hab so any
rescue must be accelerated from 4 years to several months.
Original crew slingshots around the Earth and heads back to Mars and in
a crazy, neat and tidy plot rescue said Astro so he can become a teacher
at NASA. Damon holds the screen just as well as Castaway Tom
Hanks, Moon Sam Rockwell, though he does have more people in the cast.
The drama unfolding at NASA regarding a "rescue" was well acted, for we
all know NASA has no plans to rescue anyone in space. But our good
friends the Red Chinese help us save the day. Highly entertaining
dialogue. Well photographed. Some things you just have to
let be for the sake of the plot and story. All monkey thumbs up.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
the Cold War is about to heat up.
An American and a Soviet loosely team up to deter a worldwide nuclear
threat. Team Apeonaut grew up on the original series and the 60s
were a loooooooong freaking time ago and not many people today have any
frame of reference for the time period. The movie is slick and if
you let the lead actors just breeze along the movie is light, fluffy and
mostly harmless. After mulling it over for a few hours it is truly
fun and does capture the essence of the original show and the time
period. Light on plot points, steady direction, decent acting it's
worth a peak on a hot summer day if you need air conditioning.
The Man in the High Castle. (Amazon
series). America lost WWII. Germany and Japan rule the
world and the USA is divided between the two. A neutral zone
exists as a safety buffer between NAZIs and Japanese. Operatives
and the resistance on both sides spend their lives trying to get these
mysterious "films" into the hands of the man in the High Castle.
The films show the world as it might have been (USA wins WWII). 10
episodes cover main action in New York, NAZI operative posing as a
resistance operator and his SS handler and San Francisco where a
Japanese trade minister helps the half sister of a dead resistance
operative find out more about her world. The effects are very well
done. The feel of 60s America under the jackboot of NAZI Germany
is pretty realistic feeling. The main actress is annoying as hell
and some of the characters seem to be obliviously stupid where common
sense is important but overall the quality of writing, acting and
cinematography are quite good. Enjoyable and comes to a seemingly
satisfactory conclusion if it isn't renewed. Thumbs up.
Danger 5...season 1-2. Australian wackiness
designed to explode your brain. Season 1 covers Danger 5 during
WWII. Season 2 moves us into the big-haired 80s. The mission
of Danger 5 has not changed over time however...kill Hitler. NAZI
dinosaurs roam the Earth. Everyone speaks their native language
and is understood as if they are speaking the same language.
Hitler gets involved in all types of zany scenarios. People with animal
mask heads...Eagle, shark, tiger. Angry prawns with guns disrupt a
dinner party. An odd mix of Thunderbirds sensibility, Land of the
Prisoner, Danger Man, Kung Fury, Dragnet, Clutch Cargo, Johnny Quest and
Lancelot Link. So many genres are smooshed together that when you
can stop laughing you actually see how smart it is. The sets are
cheesey, the effects are dolls, models, out of scale miniatures.
All monkey thumbs up.
Best way to handle Danger 5...BINGE IT BABY!
IZombie. Med Student gets
scratched at a boat party and turns into a zombie. However she has
retained most of humanity and drops out of med school to get a job with
the coroner so she gets a supply of dead brains. These brains give
her flashes of insight into the cause of death and she helps the police
solve crimes with he "inside" information. Fun, entertaining and
well written. Maybe there will be a season 2
The Lazarus Effect. Scientists perform
experiments on dogs that have not been sanctioned by their fund source.
During one experiment a doctor is killed in an accident so her boyfriend
performs the experiment on her and unleashes an unholy terror. The
doctor goes into a recurring dream of a family burned to death in an
apartment building...spoiler...as a child she killed her family and set
them ablaze. She brings the devil back a live people plane of
existence and all hell breaks loose. A little bit Flatliners, Pet
Semetery, any other open a portal to the other side and bring back evil
movie. Derivative and boring.
Let us Prey. Oh those
wacky Scots. Demented and sick they are. This tale of
sinners meeting their just fates on a lonely, empty night in a backwater
town that seems oddly devoid of people yet has a million crows flapping
around. A perverted teacher, a drunkard hit and run driver, a
lunatic doctor, a police sergeant off his religious nut all converge at
the behest of a mysterious stranger (not unlike Limoge in Storm of the
Century) to display their baser traits and pay for their sins. A
rookie cop on her fist night becomes witness to some very strange goings
on. Could be her connection to the fellow in cell 6 because of her
past filled with brutality and vengeance. Together they make a
great pair. Fun.
Cooties. A comedic send up of all things
viral. A substitute teacher arrives at school just in time for an
epidemic of epic proportions. The includes the wimpish, the
jockish, the cuteish, the gayish. the overly smartish, the really
annoyingish and the fatish. Insider jokes from who's the smallest to fit
in the air ducts, no you're not a Hobbit, to a kid on a tricycle like
the SAW puppet add subtle yet over the top humor. The kids are infected
with cooties through the chicken nuggets they get served at school.
Fighting and scratching lead to mayhem and carnage as the kids eat
everyone in authority. Heads are used in tetherball, arms and legs
are piled like cordwood. The science teacher through rigorous and
hilarious examination discerns that the virus is only mutated in those
who have not yet hit puberty. Madcap antics and close calls keep
the teachers on their toes and the cooties at bay. Entertaining.
One monkey thumb up.
Oh boy. Sure,
it's making a fortune for the movie studio. Sure, it has some fun
Easter Eggs from all previous JP movies. Sure, Chris Pratt is a
fine hero/good guy/action figure. Sure, Bryce Dallas Howard is one
of the worst actresses on the planet, but she gets kudos for making it
through the entire movie wearing insensible shoes and a white suit.
Sure, the dinos are cool. Sure, some of the cinematography is
beautiful. Overall the movie is a pale echo of JP the original.
Too long and too stupid for words. Velociraptors bonding with the
hero, Velociraptor, T-Rex and giant Crocosaurus working together to
vanquish Indominous Rex. Still, it was fun to see 21000+ tourists
get attacked by pterodactyls, some with T-Rex heads, and the I-Rex.
How is it possible that it made so much money???
Big Game. During this season of
disappointing remakes, sequels, and reimaginings, this movie has it all
and then some tongue in cheek. It has some great speeches narrated
in the beautiful wilderness with heartfelt The opening scene
sets the entire stage. Man shaving touches the scar on his chest.
Air Force one gets blown out of the sky. President escapes in pod
and crashes in a dense Finland forest. On the ground 13 year old
Oskari is about to uphold tradition by going into the woods, killing
some type of game and returning to the village a "man". He
witnesses the crash and comes across the pod. Fortunately for the
President, Oskari speaks English. He leads the President to
safety while bad guys are in hot pursuit. Meanwhile back at the
Pentagon, the oldest living CIA agent EVER tries to help recover the
President all the while furthering his own agenda which becomes
painfully clear. Welcome to Finland! Lots of fun, action,
drama and jingoism. hail to the Chief. All monkey thumbs up!
Survivor. Oh what to say about Survivor?! Three Days of the
Condor rehash? Bourne Identity mish-mash?
To be fair Brosnan is fun as the
terrorist/assassin/shitheel. Milla is fun portraying a top government agent
(minus Resident Evil abilities). Robert Forster is a tasty
turncoat and it's nice that finally Dylan McDermott is a good guy.
Giving away too much? Traitors at the State Department allow
people of questionable backgrounds into the US. A huge bomb is
then set to explode on New Year's Eve in times Square killing millions.
Agent vs. assassin as the clock ticks down to the inevitable show down.
Who will triumph, the agent framed for murder and treachery or the
assassin who framed her? Run run, bang bang, highly improbable but
very possible. Good enough for passing the afternoon.
Dragon Blade. Oh my fellow Apeonauts.
What can one say about this movie? Runaway Romans in China trying
to escape a royal usurper. A Chinese protector wanting everyone to
get along and make the Silk Road a great place to live and trade.
An evil empire usurper wants to kill everyone involved and have the Silk
Road to himself and Rome. Maybe this looked good on paper when
Jackie Chan decided to produce it. Chan himself looked mostly
comfortable in costume and doing stunts. John Cusack is aging
horribly and looked mostly uncomfortable in his Roman garb. Adrian
Brody...holy crap...an Oscar winner. Bad acting, direction,
stunts, sub-standard plot even by Team Apeonaut standards. Just
say no to making movies for a paycheck. Live on your other movie
residuals guys. Pheeeww stinker.
St. Vincent. A disenchanted war vet, a street walker, a
discombobulated ex-wife, a divorce case and a precocious 12 year old at
the heart of the story make up a fine movie about the boy and the man
his mom chooses as his babysitter. Everyone grows emotionally and
learns something about life. Entertaining and heart wrenching.
Worth a peek. Bill Murray is great, the kid precocious and MM
isn't too annoying.
There is only so much of MM's whiny self loathing character you can
take. She is a CIA analyst in love with her spy played by Jude
Law. Law looks like he had Meg Ryan's lips attached. Creepy.
A nuke is on sale by bad guys. The CIA needs to stop the sale.
The bad guys know who all the spies are so in goes MM to save the day.
Run of the mill plot, directing, acting and gimmicks. The best
part of the movie is a surprisingly funny Jason Statham performance.
Whenever he shows up he is portraying Jason Statham triple strength.
Over-sized driving cap, blue slippers, turtle neck that is 3 times the
normal height and his vocabulary is three times as profane. Not
much to recommend this drivel. Team Apeonaut will admit to having
laughed a few times.
Dimensions. Time travel for good reasons and
not for greed or other gain? Possibly. 3 childhood friends
in 1920's England have their relationship come to a screeching halt one
sunny afternoon when after a day of playing a childish display of temper
leads to death. Before the accident an old man shows up at the
picnic and tells the children about string theory, dimensional travel
and the probability of all things existing at once on the same plane.
The next 10 years of the story covers the period of the 2 remaining
friends building a time travel machine so they can go back and save
their friend. the idea of threads and loops and seeing the past on
a machine made up of an old piano and some dresser drawers is ingenious.
After many setbacks the ending gives us a reasonable and logical ending
on a sunny day at a picnic where 3 childhood friends play innocently.
Infini. Bloodbath...thy name is
slipstream travel to another planet. Think Stargate without the
gate...an incident occurs on a distant mining colony in the farthest
reaches of the galaxy. An incident happens at a military base
sending a recruit to the mining colony. How much time has really
passed? A search and rescue team is sent to the mining colony to
rescue anyone alive and uninfected. In a twisted "Event
Horizon/Valhalla Rising" kind of way the team cracks up and the survivor
seems to have bizarre powers of controlling the infection on the planet.
Cue the creepiest X-Files music. When everyone makes it back to
base alive there are tense moments when no one knows if they are
infected or not...
Frequencies. Everyone is a genius. Everyone has a different
frequency. Like frequencies recognize each other and can live in
harmony. If people of different frequencies come into proximity of
each other bizarre and unlucky things happen. Should you try to
change your frequency to be with the one you love? What would
happen if you did? Would the government get involved and screw up
everything? Doe sit even matter. this story takes place over
a series of years as two young children meet, cause havoc and grow into
adulthood causing havoc when they meet. Until one day...
All very psychological. Monkey thumbs up.
Mad Max Furry Road.
Of all the
pointless remakes out there, this one takes most of the cake. What
was the point? Paycheck? Special effects? Practical
effects? It sure wasn't acting, story or directing.
Miller took elements from the original Mad Max trilogy and mashed them
into a barely palatable plate of pablum. The best part of the
movie is Immorten Joe's guitar player. He rides suspended on giant
rubber bands in front of several large speakers playing a double-necked
guitar that shoots flames. Riding on the back of the speaker car
are 4 drummers banging the hell out of large taiko-type drums.
Doom metal on steroids. Pretty funny! The rest of the movie
is Max pretending to be helpful, women escaping a hellish existence,
desert chases, you can't go home again, sand storms, and oh gee can't we
begin again in this old destroyed world. Blah!!! No monkey
Legend of Longwood. A family returns to
Ireland after a serious family accident. The daughter starts
having visions of the infamous Black Knight. There are some
suspicious deaths, real estate shenanigans and a family curse to break.
Sweet family tale. enjoyable to watch.
My Old Lady. A guy travels to France
to claim his inheritance after his father's death. Turns out the
house comes with his father's ancient paramour and her almost equally
ancient daughter. One would think with a cast of this caliber, the
movie would be a wonderful journey of discovery, family ties,
wonderment. Instead it's an alcohol fueled argument about life,
love and family ties. Disturbing and gross. Not recommended.
Kill Me Three Times. Silly murder for hire
tale of a husband wanting to kill his wife. A sister wanting to killer
her sister-in-law, loads of money, ownership of a hotel, an exploding
car, and three points of view. The hitman is rather ineffectual
and ends up with garden stake through his torso. Minimal thought
was put into this movie but it's harmless entertainment with a pleasing
The Pirates. Pirates and seafaring Bandits
(isn't that the same thing?) chase after the great whale that ate the
royal seal (governmental, not fur). Lots of backstabbing, intrigue
and crazy Asian martial arts. Great shipwrecks too. Most
dramatic was the harpooning of the mother whale and the shot from below
when her baby swims to be with her. Actually rather sad.
Easy to watch.
Child 44. Child murderer in Stalin's Soviet
Union. No murderer's in paradise so he says. This movie
based on a best selling book is oddly deja vu-like and very similar in
nature to Citizen X. Tom Hardy is yet another character who is
nearly unintelligable as the war hero turned secret police officer
tasked with finding traitors to execute. As Soviet rule would have
it, he is supposed to denounce his wife, refuses and they are sent to a
collective way up the rail line. Turns out the killer lives near
the collective. All hell breaks loose and many people die horribly
painful deaths. One positive factor is the wife is one hell of a
scrappy Soviet woman gouging eyes, stabbing necks, punching and all
manner of violence in her efforts to survive. It was quite a ride and in
the end, he is reinstated in Moscow in a higher position. the end.
Outcasts...season 1 (no more
seasons). A community of Earth evacuees on the far off planet
Carpathia (named for the ship that rescued Titanic survivors) eagerly
waits for supplies and new people from Earth. 10 years later a
ship appears with the last humans as Earth has pretty much destroyed
itself. The community deals with clones, low reproduction rates,
white-outs, rebels, fanatics and all manner of security issues, plus a
planet that doesn't even want them there. Rather enjoyable in a
moderately soap opera fashion.
Love. Can man survive eternity without
love and connection to other humans? This is a bizarre and quirky
tale with an aftertaste of 2001 and Moon thrown in for good measure.
The movie begins in the Civil War with a Union soldier sent out to
examine an object of unknown origin. Fast forward to 2049 and a
lone astronaut is sent to the International Space Station to prep it for
one last mission but before the new crew arrives, Earth has ceased to
exist. What follows is the long tortuous disintegration of the the man
all alone in the universe. He spends 6 years puttering around the
station alternately exercising, covering himself in tattoos, covering
the portholes with odd drawings. Without any communication or
connection to other living beings his mind goes and when he discovers
the journal of the Civil War soldier hidden on the ship he discovers all
is not as it seems. At the end aliens let him know he is the last
man standing and all his memories are like a giant quilt they are making
to acknowledge human existence. Pretty freaking weird in a can't
quite turn it off kind of way.
Giver. Possibly the first YA dystopian story written and the
last to be given cinematic treatment. Earth has been ruined and a
circle of surviving humanity has bleached out all the color and memory
from life. No war, no disease, no famine, no strife, no love, no
jealously, no last names, no passion. At the end of the school
year the older children are given jobs and must forget their childhoods.
Jonas is to be the Receiver of Memories. Memories of the past of
how life on Earth used to be. Inquisitive and full of more courage
than he thought possible, Jonas kidnaps his baby brother unit and heads
toward the edge of the community with the hope of releasing the memories
of the planet so his people will know what it is to really live.
Parallels. Not a bad concept in jumping from
one Earth to another in multiple universes. The earths are all
basically following the same time construct, but events, such as nuclear
holocaust, death of family member and various other things make each
Earth a little more special. The only thing exactly the same on
every Earth is the "Building". What is the Building?
Estranged siblings and a geeky friend follow instructions to meet the
father at the Building. Upon entering lights and sirens go off and upon
exiting they are on Nuked Earth. As the story unfolds things may
or may not be what they seem concerning the father. A guy from
Nuked Earth follows them into the building and ends up summoning the
father with his building zapping machine. There is also a ditzy
Asian chick that mysteriously shows up and gives them bits of
information useful to their journey. A bit like Sliders.
Entertaining and leaves you with a cliffhanger ending. Some say it
is a TV series...who's to say. recommended with one monkey thumb
Monsters: Dark Continent. You'd think the
movie was based in Africa with that title. 10 years after Monsters
the infected zones cover the planet. American soldiers in
Iraqistan are fighting natives and monsters. This movie is truly
pointless in that the storyline of 4 friends joining the Army to save
the planet and 3 of them are killed during the first mission. The
Sergeant leading them goes a little off the deep end. The wimpiest
friend must stick with the Sergeant or die in the desert wastelands.
The mission must be accomplished but that becomes impossible when after
being captured by natives the Sergeant goes off his nut and the wimp has
to kill him. The best part of this messy movie is the END SCENE
when the GINORMOUS monster bursts forth from Mother Earth's guts.
the wimp escaping on a helicopter screams in vain. Very
disappointing as a whole and so not as fun or good as Monsters. No
monkey thumbs up.
Zero Theorem. A bizarre tale of a man
living a solitary life in a run down church wanting to find the meaning
to his life and his employer, Management, wants him to hack Zero Theorem
to prove life means nothing. Too much naked Christophe Waltz.
Director Terry Gilliam hammers incessantly home the point of people
being too attached to their smart phones, tablets, computers. When you
have shills trying to get you to go to the Church of Batman the
Redeemer, you know you're in trouble. In the end Q is happy
on his own in his own skin. Creepy in its own way. Don't
think Team Apeonaut would recommend this movie.
The Salvation. Wow.
Pointless and stark in a beautifully sepia-toned way.
A Dutchman living in America for 7 years greets is long
absent wife and son. On the stagecoach ride to their
homestead the man is kicked out of the coach, his son is shot
in the head and tossed from the coach, his wife is
raped and murdered in the coach. He kills the
perpetrators thus beginning a trail of bloodshed through two
towns by the brother of the rapist who kills townsfolk until
the Dutchman is turned in. Then the real mayhem
begins. Everyone kills everyone else. The bad
brother's henchmen are all killed until finally in the last
showdown the bad brother, the Dutchman and the wife of the
now dead rapist meet in a trifecta of bullets. Was the
Dutchman her salvation, was she his...hard to say.
Pretty good movie.
Still Life. John May works for the
government finding friends or relatives of people who die alone and
getting them to attend the funeral. He's a man who likes his job,
is good at his job and is happy in his own lonely skin. Tuna and
toast for dinner every night and a photo album of dead people who he
failed to find kin. His last assignment before he is fired is to
find anyone that knows Billy Stoke. What he finds is an adventure
that takes him far out of his comfort zone. The end of the movie
is a revelation in movie endings. Wonderful and highly recommended with
all opposable monkey thumbs up. Eddie Marsan is the king of
SpongeBob the Movie...Sponge Out of Water.
The first SpongeBob was cute. This movie not so much. The
recipe to Krabby Patties is stolen and Bob and Plankton have to work
together as a team to get it back before chaos ruins Bikini Bottom.
Burger Pirate has stolen it and tries to make his fortune.
SpongeBob and friends go on an epic adventure on land to set things
right. It just didn't have the innocence of the first movie.
Man with the Iron Fists 2. Truly, the first
one was pretty awful. This one was worse. Thaddeus is
wounded and floats down the river for days until he comes to a mining
village ruled by evil Master Ho. The miners are mistreated, the
women are murdered and the mayor does nothing. Of course there are
rabble rousers among the miners and the village leader has a dark past
of his own. After Thaddeus heals from his wounds and starts
working in the blacksmith's shop all hell breaks loose toward the final
conclusion when the mayor turns out to be the even eviler Lord Pi who
wanted to devour the chi fountain at the monastery. Careful what
you wish for.
Project Almanac. Oh temporal distortion you
so funny. A teenager trying to get a scholarship to MIT discovers his
older self in a video from his 7th birthday party. Through a
series of experiments with his core group of childhood friends, his
sister and a girl he likes, they travel through time passing chemistry
exams, visiting Lalapalooza, getting the best of bullies, win the
lottery, get mom a job then everything turns to shit when Dave doesn't
follow his own rules and messes up the fun. Now he has to follow
the crossed timelines to set things right. Problem is if you
correct one thing something else gets changed until you go back to the
very beginning, if you haven't been there already. Not bad as time travel
movies go. They use the best time travel ideas from Time Cop, Time
Tunnel, Time Bandits, Time after Time. A little too "teenage" but watchable.
Murder on the Home Front. A fun little
British one off during the Blitz 1940 London. During the Raids and
blackouts people do their worst. The Medical Examiner and his
pluckey reporter cum medical assistant try to solve a series of brutal
prostitute murders that occur in a certain district during air raids.
An innocent man is arrested. Prejudices are exposed and the
Government sets into motion a cover up.
Loads of fun.
No Tears for the Dead. A South Korean
abandoned in Michigan as a small boy is raised by the Mob and becomes a
deadly assassin. After fulfilling a hit but inadvertently killing
a small girl he is sent to Korea to kill the girl's mother to keep her
from going to the police with evidence of theft on a grand scale by a
"respected" business man. She learns that her husband too, was
corrupt and was the target of a hit. The assassin tries to tell
her the tormenting truth about her daughter's death instead opting to
make it seem someone else did. Lots of blood, death, violence and
mayhem. Loads of fun.
Top of the Lake. Wow, even in
the beautiful, idyllic small town of Laketop, New Zealand there are
bloody and perverted secrets. A modern story played out in 7
episodes with oddly rampant male abusiveness, child rape, family loss,
economic hard times and just some downright bizarre family trees and the
fruits and nuts that inhabit them. A female officer from Sydney
child protective services, who was raped at 15 in Laketop and forced to
give up her child tries to get to the bottom of some truly convoluted
goings on regarding a missing and very pregnant 12 year old. Holly
Hunter in one of the most pointless and and bizarre monosyllabic rolls
ever foisted on an Oscar winner is a nut job living in shipping
containers near a lake with a gaggle of freakazoid useless women from
all walks of life. There are no happy endings in this beautifully
filmed and well acted passion play or Greek tragedy...however you choose
to interpret it.
If I Stay. Car accident leads a
Juilliard applicant trapped between worlds into reevaluating her life.
As she goes back into her past and then relives the most recent events
in her life. Maudlin tale with a predictable ending that is really
less than satisfying.
Railway Man. A rather well done based on a
true story of a Burma train war vet unable to move on with his life,
until his loving wife sets in motion a series of events that causes him
to relive his internment and torture at the hands of the Japanese.
Vividly seen in flashbacks Eric's travails lead him on a path of
redemption and possibly forgiveness. Would have been a great movie
if they has cast someone other than Nicole Kidman as the long suffering
wife. Monkey thumbs up for this thoughtful and reverent piece.
Vampire Academy. A YA movie about teenagers,
crushes, bad grades, living dead creatures, psi-wolves and cliques that
doesn't suck!? Wait, what? It's vampires, again. This
one is dare we say different? Rose, a dhampir Guardian of the last
princess of the royal bloodline...see what we did there...and her
princess Lissa are involved in an horrific car accident that claims the
lives of Lissa's parents and causes Lissa to use her magic powers to
save Rose's life. Then all hell breaks loose at the VA when rumors
fly, the Queen of the good vampires intervenes and a cruel plot
surfaces. For whatever reason, TA enjoyed the movie and the
ending. Go figure.
American Sniper. A well
directed Hollywood vision of Chris Kyle's memoir about his
time in Iraq in the early years of the war right after 9/11.
Eastwood directed a thoughtful piece that touched on the
highlights. Cooper gave a heck of a performance as a
man who wanted to be a cowboy and ended up a maverick.
It's not really a "war" movie but a look into the life of a
patriot and what he and his family went through. Told
with humor, brutality and consideration this is an important
movie to see. Things that came out after his death and
rumors of his overstating certain things notwithstanding,
the man was good at his craft, did it well, and saved a lot
of American lives in the process. He was a man of
valor and should be valued as a hero. All patriotic
monkey appendages up! Many people say negative things
about Eastwood's direction and Kyle's sugar coating and
trumpet blowing of his own accomplishments as depicted in
his memoir. He's not the first patriot to be crucified
by people who don't get anything. The man did a job
and was good at it. Get over it. It was during a
time of war regardless of what anyone thinks about that war.
Various redundant men
released from their various jobs after many years of service. One
man in particular is given the opportunity of a lifetime if he can pull
it off using the various skills of these other men, some his friends,
other former co-workers and others known by community reputations.
They get a rich business man to buy a rusting hulk of a Russian Foxtrot
class submarine for them and then venture into the depths of the Black
Sea in search of sunken NAZI gold. 4.5 tons to be exact sitting on
a ridge 90 meters from the surface on a convenient ridge in a
beautifully preserved U Boat. As Robinson is selecting the men to
go along you find out through some minor exposition that one is a
psycho, one's sickly, one's a kid, half are Russian and half are UK.
Always remember NOT to recruit men who are worse off than you are as
they will get greedy, stupid or both.
You know something is hinky from the get go but you let it slide because
overall this is a nice little drama enacted within the confines of an
aging Russian Foxtrot submarine. The men start agitating each
other, deaths occur, some accidental some purposeful. Some men
don't even realize they are the one's causing the tension and blames
everyone else. Would have been better to have a totally bleak
ending, but sometimes redemption is valid and brings things to a
satisfactory close. Submerged monkey thumbs up.
Kingsman The Secret Service. A clever
little spy movie with tried and true gimmicks and an annoying villain
(very much like Silva in Skyfall) . A very used looking Mark
Hamill plays a professor worried about Mother Earth and the damage
people are doing to her. Enter colorful villain Valentine with a
plan to control the world by killing everyone not of value to him.
Thus begins the training montage of an dead agent's son into the world
of the Kingsmen. A super secret intelligence agency outside the
grasp of politicians, governments or other bureaucratic red tape,
Kingsmen do what no one else can and pass along the intelligence.
Michael Caine, Mark Strong and Colin Firth are the main Kingsmen.
Colin Firth is exquisite as the gentlemanly spy-mentor and has one great
scene of dementedly delightful mayhem. Choreographed like a lovely
dance of death he dispatches the citizenry with elegant aplomb.
What a hoot. All in all the movie is a bit scattered in scope but
teaches us that one can be a gentleman regardless of one's birth
circumstances. Manners maketh man. A happy silly scene when the
chosen group of people have their heads blow off in a cloud of special
effects sparkles and brain matter is almost over the top but not quite!
Let the movie just unwind and be fun. All monkey thumbs up.
Tusk. Not your typical serial killer movie. The tale of an
obnoxious internet blogger out for a new, disgusting, stupid or banal
story to make fun of on his show. On his trip to Canada to
interview and make fun of the viral video sensation samurai kid who cut
off his own leg. The kid dies of his injuries leaving Wally to
find another story. While having a piss in a local bar Wally happens
upon a letter on a bulletin board that reads like the best story he could ever come across.
Traveling deep into the woods he finds a huge old mansion perched on a
cliff overlooking the ocean. Wackiness ensues. An old man in
a wheelchair welcomes him in and serves him tea. The tea of course
is drugged and Wally wakes up sans legs and into a nightmare he could
never have imagined. A nightmare involving surgery and walruses.
Ultimately this is a movie of revenge and redemption and some crazy-ass
shit you never see coming. Plus it has Johnny Depp in some of the
worst make-up speaking with the worst ever French-Canadian accent.
You don't see the ending coming either. What a nice surprise!
Well worth watching!!!
Rover. The movie isn't even remotely about what you
might assume. When you know then ending you'll understand how
simply beautiful the title is and how it pertains to humanity.
It's 10 years after the end in Australia. A man trying to survive
has his car stolen. He chases after the thieves and asks for his
car. They refuse thus beginning a crazy chase of murder, mayhem,
gratuitous violence, truth, sadness, remorse, and more pointless,
relentless death. Well acted with some surprisingly good
performances from people one wouldn't think could act. Worth the
time spent sitting through it.
The Code. A 6 episode arc about a journalist and
his hacker/savant-like brother who come across a government cover-up.
Two kids are injured/killed in a collision with a truck carrying
poisonous gas. It's made to look like a simple traffic accident.
The toxins seep into the water supply in a small town. People are
murdered for the code that explains everything that is
happening...Australia can make their own Uranium. The hacker
brother finds the key to decrypting the code while the journalist
brother uses insider info to try to entrap the government stooge.
Pretty well done thriller with good old Lucy Lawless as a small town
teacher. Frumpy Zena. Pretty good show. Worth checking
Wolf Cop. The name says it all and more. A
drunken Deputy Sheriff is turned into a werewolf by a cult of lizard men
from another planet. Embracing his inner wolf and with the help of
a friend (who turns out to not be) Wolf Cop solves the mystery of
several missing people during a solar eclipse 25 years earlier and gets
the girl. All in all, just as bad as any SYFY Channel movie and
highly satisfactory in the cheese department. Wolf Cop also does a
great job of pimpin' his police ride.
The Vertical Ray of the Sun. A touching film
about a middle-class family in classless Viet Nam. This is a tale
of 3 sisters and their corresponding relationships. One sister
thinks she is happily married, pregnant and her husband, though tempted
to stray sticks with her. One sister is married to a man with
another wife and child in town and by agreeing to stay with him pretends
she is happy. The youngest sister, who is in love with her brother
(eewww) just flits through life while doing her morning calisthenics.
Everyone has affairs as a coping mechanism. Bad acting, bad dialogue and
fairly bad directing highlight this movie. The only thing that
makes the movie tolerable is the lush and lovely cinematography.
Viet Nam is a beautiful country with lush jungles, beautiful downpours
and jagged rock islands where they visit for a holiday. The movie
is best watched with the sound muted and some of your own sweeping music
playing in the background. Otherwise, it is barely tolerable.
Catch Hell. RP co-wrote, directed and
starred in this interesting bit of Hollywood mockery. RP is a
washed up actor. His twitter account is hacked, he is kidnapped,
tortured, molested and threatened with blackmail as all of this
chicanery was filmed. Oh, there is a hungry hungry alligator too.
Some creepy twists and a career resurgence are the end game. Well
acted. Gritty and pathetic. Ironic and funny in a
Deliverance kind of way. Oh Hollywood, you so funny.
Into the Woods.
Fairy tale mash
ups, spontaneous singing, likable cast, several deaths, and premeditated
murder. All in a day's storytelling! Yeah Disney, murder and
Wonderful cast and a great version of "Agony" performed by Chris Pine
channeling William Shatner (not even kidding) at his best. Holy
crap it is funny. In the end family is what you make of it.
Monkey thumbs up.
RELEASED JULY 2017
RELEASED DECEMBER 2016
Released November 2016
Released October 2016
RELEASED SEPTEMBER 2016
RELEASED AUGUST 2016
RELEASED APRIL 2016
Released MARCH 2016
Released JANUARY 2016
Free Fire. A pointless 70s era gun running caper gone
extremely and horribly wrong. Eclectic recognizable cast without
any real stand-out performances show up in an abandoned warehouse to buy
and sell weapons. A comment is made, a gunshot rings out and all
hell breaks loose as a bazillion bullets zing through the air hitting
but not killing their intended targets. The movie is 90 minutes of
gunfight without purpose. The dialogue is supposed to be witty and
gritty yet mostly comes up short. The trailer for this disaster is so
The Wall. A two-man sniper recon team is out in the
blazing Iraqi desert 20 plus hours reviewing a scene of death at a
pipeline station. Against his spotter's better judgment, the
sniper heads down to the scene for a closer look. He gets close
and is shot by the sniper they have been hunting. The spotter
heads down and is shot in the water bottle, radio antennae and knee.
Really small moving targets for an exceptionally good sniper. The
rest of the story revolves around the two men trading shots and stories.
What the spotter doesn't get until it is way too late and his rescuers
are on the way is that the sniper has been there for days killing
everyone who has come to the rescue. Kill the oil workers, call
contractors, kill them, call the military, kill them call more military,
and so on. This is cat and mouse played so well depending on which
side of the wall you are on determines if you are cat or mouse.
War is hell and only won by the ones who live there.
Baadshaho. A classic tale of love, treachery, governmental
injustice, highway robbery set during the 70's Emergency in India when
the government dissolves the privy purse of its princely states. A
Maharani convinces her bodyguard to steal it before her government rival
can in order to safeguard it for the people. Her bodyguard knows
first hand of her distaste for the people after an incident at a dirt
farm. Wackiness ensues as tables are turned and the gold ends up in the
people's hands and not the Maharani's. Rip-roaring Indian
adventure filled with every tried and true "Hollywood" style action and
Dark Tower. Better than anticipated telling of
Stephen King's epic tale of Roland and the Dark Man. The last
gunslinger joins with a kid from Earth in a classic tale of good versus
evil to stop the Man in Black from destroying the Dark Tower, thus
destroying the universe itself. Nice nods to Children of the Corn,
1919, 1408, The Shining, Dr. Sleep, Christine, Firestarter, Cujo, Silver
Bullet, Pennywise the Clown, there is a photo of the Overlook Hotel, the
gunslinger shoots with a gun forged from Excalibur. Nice visuals,
a pleasing cast. One monkey thumb up.
Black Butterfly. A so-so tale set in a small mountain
town. A nearly washed-up writer is given a deadline to come up
with something new. He uses a dirty old typewriter to create his
tales. He drinks too much. Then the story gets interesting
when he invites a brusque drifter into his home after an altercation in
town. What ensues is murderous intent, unexpected violence and a
whole lot of confusion. Oh wait...is this Dark Window or The Dark
Half? Keep on typing, just keep on typing.
Wonder Woman. Team Apeonaut isn't quite sure what all the
fuss is about. Sure, a strong female character is always nice to
have in a movie. Action, humor, fish out of water storylines are
good too. This movie seems to have it all when Diana, princess of
the Amazons rescues an American pilot and goes back to Europe with him
to help in the battle against an evil entity who is keeping the war
bloody. The movie lacks any version of a soul, there is little or
no wit, the "banter" seems stilted and Diana is really full of herself
thinking she's the only one who can save the world from evil. The
best part of the movie is when Steve Trevor gives his own life to save
the planet. Bombastic and boring this movie is an enigma in that
it earned so much money and accolades and is yet so derivative.
Where are you when we need you Lynda Carter?
Baby Driver. Hellaciously enjoyable movie about Baby, a
driver of getaway cars in the employ of an oddly powerful man who keeps
90% of Baby's share. As the movie progresses we learn most of
Baby's backstory and how he came to work for the bad guy. Filled
with great music, fast driving and the desire to do the right thing this
love story with a hint of tinnitus is marvelous fun. Monkey thumbs up.
The Hitman's Bodyguard. Entertaining bit of
action fluff that is worth watching. A tidy if
predictable mix of Lethal Weapon, Two Guns, 48 Hours, Last
Boy Scout, Bulletproof, Loaded Weapon 1 to name a few.
A Triple A rated protection operative loses a high value
client and loses his job, rating, confidence. He is
given one last shot at redemption by former flame and
Interpol agent who wants him to protect an international
hitman and get him to the Hague in time to give proof
against a very bad president. Through a series of
mishaps they bond and grow on their journey to do the right
thing for whatever reason. Some genuine laugh out loud
funny moments. Some tiring Samuel L Jackson schtick.
Overall, a fun couple of hours at the movies.
Spiderman: Homecoming. Sweet but overly nerdy, this version
of Peter Parker is by far the most likeable of the last 7 iterations.
Amped up by his appearance in Avengers: Civil War, Spiderman wants to do
more, be more, be an Avenger. His life conspires against him to
keep him a friendly neighborhood spiderman and when Tony Stark tells him
he's not an Avenger and not a superhero until he can learn to be one
without his suit, Pete has to learn some hard lessons when dealing with
family and friends. Nice effects, a little too much teen whining,
but enjoyable nonetheless. Nice to see Michael Keaton relish the
role of a bad guy.
Wind River. A death on the reservation brings in the
FBI. The FBI in the form of a young, inexperienced lady agent who
asks for help from the fish and game hunter, the epitome of Cowboy.
Together they investigate the trail of death to the ultimate
perpetrators. Things go badly for the bad guys. No real
happy ending, but justice was served. Bargain Hour. Love
Jeremy Renner. Wish he could get real movies.
Mindhunter Season 1. A chronicle of the FBI's
development of the Behavioral Science Unit in the 1970s.
The series follows two agents, one old and one new and their
efforts to interview some of the serial killers in custody
to find out why they did what they did in an effort to build
a profile database to recognize serial killers in the
future. Along the way they use some of these insights to
help solve some heinous crimes in the vicinity of the
prisons they visit. Well acted, written and directed.
Fascinating tale of how things might have developed at the
Bureau. Easy to binge watch.
Bbuddah Haaga Terra Baap. This is one AWESOME
Hindi movie. An aging hitman comes home to Mumbai to
do one last job. Kill the ACP at the behest of an evil
gangster. Through a comedy of errors and love
triangles we find out the ACP is the hitman's son.
After the gangsters shoot his boy, the hitman turns on the
geezer mojo and wipes them all out. Some of the best
musical numbers seen so far. Nicely done and highly
HUNTER'S PRAYER. A junkie assassin is given one
job. Kill a girl whose family was rubbed out by
another assassin at the behest of a crooked banker and an
even more crooked FBI agent. Wackiness ensues. The
junkie kicks the habit in order to save the girl and get her
to her remaining family and so he can go home to his family.
Deaths, shootouts and danger run rampant. Not bad, but
THE BAD BATCH. What a big WTF movie.
America has gone through big changes. There is a zone
marked off with a chain link fence and a big sign...once
through the gate you get no help from the government.
The outland is divided into cannibals and drug dealers.
the girl ends up with the cannibals and they eat her arm and
leg. She escapes on a surfboard and his picked up by a
shopping cart nomad who delivers her to the drug dealers
whose cult-like leader calls them the bad batch. She
gets an artificial leg and decides to wander off for
vengeance against the cannibals. Through a series of
unfortunate events she kills a woman, gets a cannibal kid
who is then kidnapped by the cult leader and fed spaghetti.
The girl winds up leaving the drug dealers with the kid and
her bunny and meets up with the cannibal father figure.
They eat the bunny for lunch in the middle of nowhere.
WTF??? One of Keanu Reeves' most unpleasant roles to
Manhunt in the Jungle. Based on George
Dyatt's book about his treks through the Amazon in search of
Percy Fawcett...See Lost City of Z. This documentary
style black and white mess of a movie is far more
entertaining and realistic than the new movie based on
Fawcett's search for Z. Dyatt even presumably came upon the
last tribesmen to see Fawcett alive.
THE LOST CITY OF Z. Based on the true story of
The Lost City of Z British explorer Percy Fawcett, who
journeys into the Amazon in the 1920s and discovers evidence
of a previously unknown, advanced civilization. Ridiculed by
the scientific establishment who at the time regard
indigenous populations as "savages," Fawcett - supported by
his devoted wife, son and aide de camp returns time and
again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case,
culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925. His
wife waited for word of him until her death in 1953.
His last journey he took his oldest son and the two of them
were possibly captured and brainwashed by the indigenous
peoples. On the river during the first journey they
are confused by fish they cannot catch until they are
attacked by natives and fall overboard...oops piranha!
Could have been an amazing adventure movie and yet it was so
tedious and boring it was criminal.
Midnight Special. An unearthly child is
worshipped by a cult, feared by the government and loved by
a father who will do anything to rescue him. The story
follows the father on the run trying to save his son and the
danger that he poses to everyone on Earth. The wild
chase leads them to an otherworldly gateway that takes the
kid back to the stars. Well acted and poignant this is
a must see.
A Monster Calls. A young boy bullied and pitied
at school with a single sick mother and a grandma who hates
him calls on the tree monster to solve his problems. A
series of events force the boy to admit he's angry at his
mom for dying and he hates the fact he won't stand up
against the bullies at school. The tree monster wants
only the truth in order to help the boy. A little
bombastic but well acted.
Central Intelligence. Not so much. Tries
too hard when it didn't need to. Hart and Johnson are
naturally funny. This movie showed that a bad script
can ruin everything. Former classmates meet after
several years apart and very different career paths.
Wackiness ensues. Red herrings and madcap plans to
flush a mole/traitor out of the CIA propel the action and
comedy in this movie. Best part of movie is their high
school bully nemesis telling them he's a Scientologist now
and has been Thetan free since 2003.
Alien: Covenant: HOW did this piece of shite get made?
This movie makes even the worst Alien sequels look like Shakespeare.
Within 5 minutes of the opening credits, Team Apeonaut wanted the entire
crew of the Covenant to die horribly painful explosive decompression
deaths. Movies that try to recreate the genius of their
progenitors should not be allowed, ever into the cinematic pantheon.
The crew is awakened early. Of course something goes wrong with
the cryotube of the captain. TA thinks it's called cryotube
because everyone cries when it fails. A new captain rises to the
occasion (Dr. Manhattan of the Watchmen). No one really wants to
follow him because he is a man of faith. No one follows orders,
instructions or suggestions. They go to a planet that seems too
good to be true and it is sending out a John Denver song invitation to
entice any passing ship to investigate. Oh no! Don't go down
there it's a trap. Alien spores contaminate those who step on the
pods. People get contaminated and explode with Xenomorphs.
And not a moment too soon. A couple of questions from the wretched
Prometheus movie are answered when we meet artificial human David.
The fact that this abomination invoked that abomination is in fact
abominable. The shit that David pulls is straight from the pages
of the android gone bad playbook. Only when it's way too late does
a survivor realize the trouble they are really in and tries to use
reason to get out of a death and death situation. Reason never
works people! Not here and certainly not in SPACE!!! Do not
watch this movie.
The Living and the Dead Season 1. Amusing
trifle about a psychiatrist and his independent wife
returning to his family farm in an isolated community in
England during the 1800s. His family farm isn't doing
too well and during the process of improving and modernizing
ghosts and bad energies start to materialize bringing with
them bad things from the family's past. Then the
trippy stuff starts when a descendent from the future
appears trying to warn of bad things after having read a
journal left behind by her grandmother. Trippier still
is the season finale when a dinner party from the future
uses a Ouija board to summon the doctor and ask him why he
killed his wife. The child possession scenes are truly
creepy as is that time period out on the farm.
Death Note. Live action compressed version of
the Anime of the same name. Lots of whining and teen
angst. A high schooler finds an old notebook on a
strangely windy day. It's title is ominously Death
Note. After talking to the demon who fulfills the
notes the kid murders a couple of people. He then
tells his girlfriend who turns out to be a shitty girlfriend
and screws up his Death Note plans. A convoluted end
game kills her, puts him in the clear and keeps the demon in
apples. Willem DaFoe's voice is very compelling as the
demon. Fun, but not for purists who are already
decrying the production.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. a
bombastic bit of fluff filled with family squabbles, daring rescues,
explosions, dancing, Baby Groot, explanations and revelations, new
friends and old enemies and some interesting guest stars. Who knew
there was a gold Ben Browder or a greenish Michelle Yeoh.
Interesting casting. A few genuine laughs, genuine tears and some
great inside jokes pull it all together. 30 minutes too long.
Too much yelling. Too much CGI. Star Lord's familial
questions are finally answered with the appearance of his long lost
father. Will Peter Quill succumb to the lure of absolute power?
Will his friends survive? Bargain hour
The Mummy. Dark Universe did a terrible job at
marketing their new idea for revitalizing the classic
monsters. All the monsters have had face-lifts over
the years both good and ill-conceived. This version of
the Mummy falls into the grey area in-between. Uneven
parts humor, action, diatribe and exposition the Mummy wants
to be something it can never be though it really wants to
be. A digital version of the serials from Hollywood's
heydays. The script is dumbed down to the nth degree, there
are no surprises, there is no horror and in a few cases
there is some really bad acting. Nice homage to the
first monster incarnations: the Monster's brain, the
Creature's clawed hand, Dracula's skull and fangs.
Nice touches that should have been played upon. People
don't just go to be entertained anymore. They need
everything spoon-fed in tiny bites. Not a great movie by any
stretch of the imagination, but it's not all bad either.
Land of Mine. World War II has ended.
Denmark's beaches are filled with over 2 million German
landmines. How do the Danish remove them all, use
German POWs of course. This story focuses on one
Danish Sergeant's group of teenaged German POWS, so totally
against the Geneva Conventions. He trains them to
diffuse the mines, he takes them to their patch of beach and
tells the 14 lads that if they remove 45,000 from their
patch in 3 months they can go home. That is of course,
a lie though the sergeant doesn't know it at the time.
The story shows the inhuman treatment of the POWs, the long
hours of bomb disposal, no food, no understanding of what
happened. After being betrayed by his own commander,
the Danish Sergeant rescues the remaining bomb boys in his
unit from another tour on the beaches and sets them free to
run back to Germany. Well done and worth watching.
All monkey thumbs up.
Life. Oh Martian life, you so funny. The
International Space Station picks up a probe from Mars.
They bring it inside and put it in the lab. They
perform tests on it. Oh shit, now it wants to survive
and starts killing people and gets smart enough to get to
Earth. Oh no, what do the astronauts do to prevent
this from happening? Not much. The twist at the
end isn't much of one as you can see it happen before we
enter earth's atmosphere. The alien named Calvin by
school children back home is quite a lovely creature.
He starts out as a slimey tapeworm thing then morphs into a
beautiful translucent butterfly thingy with a reptile-like
head who wants nothing but oxygen and food. Poor
Ryan Reynolds dies again early on in a movie. Meh.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. This is
total Guy Ritchie movie-making through and through.
Witty repartee, fast-slow-mo action, great cast of actors,
creepy crawlies, great visuals, kick-ass soundtrack, eye
candy, brothers-in arms, fight for right with might.
Great fun. Cute cameo by Beckham with his face burned
up as the captain of the Blacklegs, Guy Ritchie as the barn
owner who doesn't want to be hanged for harboring the
resistance and poor Eric Bana now destined to be the new
Sean Bean of filmdom dying very early on. This is a great
version of the Arthurian legend focusing more on the sword
and what it means to the Pendragon family. Quite
enjoyable. All monkey thumbs up. Worth seeing a
couple of times. Interesting that "they" are calling
it the first bomb of summer. So rude. True, it's
not a great movie, but it is entertaining and as Maximus
said "are we not entertained?" Yes, yes we are.
Fortitude Season 2. Picking up full speed after the
end of season 1 Fortitude still has a horribly violent and
secretive underbelly. Even the smallest, remotest,
safest places are filled with greedy unscrupulous people.
This season deals with fundamental DNA changes in humans,
cannibalism, outright murder, alcoholism, native rituals and
Shamanism and self castration reanimation, demons and home
brewed mind enhancers. This series has it all in a
place so cold and remote it makes you wonder how anyone
survives at all. Quite entertaining.
KONG: SKULL ISLAND. Well monkey
boys this was sort of fun. 1973, Viet Nam war has ended. An
air cav unit led by the irascible Samuel L. Jackson, is assigned
one more mission. Go to Skull Island with the leader of Monarch
(cue do do dooo music), get proof of the existence of large, thought to
be extinct creatures and let the world know. Add a former British
SAS operative/tracker, a liberal-feminist war photojournalist, some
geeky scientists and some soldiers who just want to go home, a fleet of
helicopters full of heavy ordnance, island natives living in peace and
harmony with nature and Kong and conveniently a WWII pilot who
crash-landed 28 years prior and who knows the ins and outs of the
island's inhabitants. The movie does have its obligatory pretty
girl touches the giant monkey scene, giant monkey battles dinosaur
scene, survivors get off the island by the skin of their teeth scene.
The visuals are well done, Kong is lovely and of course Sammy J. tells
us to "hold onto your butts." This is also a crucial movie to
introduce the Godzilla vs. Kong part of the franchise.
Boss Baby. Cute tale of what happens when a baby isn't suited for
"family" but sent as an observer to find out why people want more
puppies than babies. Hapless parents and their only son let the
black suited baby into their home and the wackiness ensues. Alec
Baldwin is the perfect voice for the baby. The sight gags and
inside jokes are dead-on and laugh out loud funny. Wizzie the
alarm clock in particular giving his best Gandalf advice to the boy
with the vivid imagination and penchant for over active story telling.
In the end all is sweet and happy. Worth a bargain hour viewing.
Sea of Trees. A man tormented by guilt after his wife dies,
travels to Japan to go to the suicide forest below Mount Fuji. He
meets a Japanese man who has slit his wrists but wants to go back to his
family. After a tedious journey and numerous boring flashbacks,
the man finds a tent with some supplies including a walkie-talkie.
He finally gets a signal to Japanese park rangers who get him to a
hospital. The doctors tell him there was no one out there with
him. He goes back to America with a new lease on life and a better
outlook. The Forest (horror movie) was better
The Lava Field. An Icelandic police procedural.
Troubled cops try to solve the murder of a wealthy and powerful business
man. What they find is a convoluted crime network with ties to
Germany and some very smart criminals. Our lead cop is again
troubled, divorced, his kid is a twit and he lets his attitude get
everyone in trouble. Beautiful scenery make up for any plot
Endeavour season 3. Morse is on suspension and off the
force following the shooting of Thursday and his imprisonment for the
deed. Living in a hut owned by an Oxford mate Morse falls in with
a crowd of rich young people without direction. While the police
are solving other crimes and Morse helps from the sidelines things go
from bad to worse with Thursday health-wise and family-wise. Morse
Movie adaptation of the Steven King novel horribly acted by John Cusack
and Sam Jackson. Cell phone transmissions start killing people and
turning them into raging monsters that kill during the day and sleep at
night. So much scenery is chewed up and spit out the thread of the story
is lost in a sea of bad acting. Not even sure how this movie got
Lego Batman Movie. Not as good as the Lego Movie, but
entertaining with lots of in-jokes. Batman thinks he can go it
alone to fight villains but in reality he needs Robin. Alfred, BatGirl
and all the other lesser villains to capture the big villains.
Lots of action, silliness and moral fiber.
CHIPS. so awful it's funny to watch. A few belly
laughs make it all worth while. Dax Shephard caught the essence of
the cheesey show on which the film is based. Bad cops are stealing
tons of money. Good cops go undercover to capture them.
Nicely done tale of a Dutch Farmer who emigrates to New
Zealand at the end of the Boer War. Trying to start a new life for
himself he gets sucked into the hunt for a Maori (falsely) accused of
murder by a racist Sergeant. Lushly filmed in the bush and
mountains of New Zealand this "buddy" movie follows the growing
understanding and link between the two men both trying to outwit the
other through the wilderness. The ending is satisfying when it
comes in a Quigley Down Under kind of way. Well acted, filmed and
Sully. Short and to the point, nicely acted and dramatic.
Sully takes over piloting and lands a stricken passenger jet in the
middle of the Hudson River. During the inquest he proves that
pilot training is not enough to prepare people for the totally
unexpected loss of 2 engines. Because there were a ton on
images taken of the event, the reenactment is very realistic.
Bokeh. A total love letter to Iceland. Filmed all
over the country beautifully. An American couple vacations in
Iceland going on all the tourist trips, enjoying themselves.
Waking up one morning after a mountain hike with other tourists they
come to the realization that for some twist of fate they are the last
two people on Earth. After a few days of raiding the grocery
store, moving into a beautiful house, traveling the countryside we
discover that she is a total whining bitch and the poor guy would be
better off disappeared himself or killing her. Interesting take on
life after an apocalypse. Quite enjoyable except for the whining
Deepwater Horizon. Movie covering the disaster in Louisiana
and its aftermath. Filled with action, explosions, dramatic acting,
finger pointing, lawsuits, yelling, tears, and heroics. Worth
watching on tv.
Abattoir. Silly little
story about the Devil collecting the rooms where bad things happen to
build his own bloody abattoir in the southern woods of New English, the
town that sold its soul for safety. A reporter goes to the woods
after her family is brutally murdered and the murder room disappears
from the house in which they were killed. She's a bit of a whiner
and ends up killing her former boyfriend who was only trying to help
her. As bad luck would have it, her very own mother promised her
to the Devil. Meh...not on the Hallmark Channel anymore are we?
Dead West. Serial killer on the rocky road
to finding true love. Killer with a twisted and strict moral code
goes cross country in search of the perfect girl. Along the way he
murders several that aren't up to snuff. He also slays a father
who berates his little daughter and the brother of a murder victim who
has chased him across country to get revenge. That doesn't go so
well for him. Having found a hooker who wants to go straight and
open her own beauty salon he thinks she might be the one until in a
twist she isn't. Ah well.
Shimmer Lake. A quirky little tale of greed,
thievery, redemption, retribution with a likable cast of characters and
a familiar plot of telling the tale backward to get to the horrible
beginning that started the ball rolling to its bloody conclusion.
A little gem of cinematic silliness. Worth watching if you can
Aftermath. A thoughtful tale of guilt, sorrow, loss, and
revenge based loosely on an actual tragedy. Air traffic controller
doing too many things at once and doing them poorly inadvertently causes
two planes to crash killing over 200 people. Among the victims,
the wife and daughter of a man who only wants the airline to apologize,
not the money linked to the lawsuit that ensues by the victims'
families. As the years go by and people forget about the tragedy,
the man finds the controller now living in a new city under an assumed
name and confronts him. The controller handles it badly and the
man loses control and kills the controller. Good cast and acting
makes this a powerful story. Worth watching.
The Great Wall. What's all the fuss?
Westerners traveled to China for gunpowder. That's
what they did in those days. This is a movie of
travelers who happen to kill a mythical beast and then get
caught up in the war between man and beast at an outpost on
the Great Wall. Was there such an outcry with 47 Ronin
or Last Samurai? Ok, maybe a little. The movie
was co-written by Max Brooks (World War Z and Mel Brooks'
son) which I think explains the feel of the characters.
The soldiers stationed at the wall are color coded according
to their jobs which makes for great pageantry. Lot's
of action and innovative fire power is directed towards
nasty mythical beasts created by a meteor strike and
controlled by a queen beast. The story elements are
not dissimilar to other Chinese-based period pieces.
There is no denying that the plot is ludicrous or that
everyone is too pretty or that the guy who has been
imprisoned at the garrison for 25 years will cheat the two travelers. Even the queen beast has a lovely
scroll-work forehead. If you just let it go, the
cinematography and effects are lovely to watch. The
story...eh...it's entertaining in a not awful way.
Evil 5 Final Chapter. Is it or isn't it? Alice survives
and hits the open road again because it is what she does...loosely
hinting at the fact that this is not the final chapter. DC has
been destroyed. Alice alone fights hordes of undead and the
Umbrella Corp to get to the last bastion of human endeavor and find a
cure for the T virus. Everyone's hair and make-up is too perfect
in this movie for all the dirt, blood and world-weariness they should be
wearing. Alice has 48 hours to save the last 400 humans on the
planet from annihilation and of course telling everyone we have to hurry
about 90 times waits until the last 57 seconds to drop the vial of cure
so the air can waft it away to the far corners of the earth in a couple
of years to kill the infected and save the humans. Really!
57 seconds. Lots of zombie killing action, but nothing new.
Mostly a rehash of the previous 4 movies that gathers everyone for the
final act where it all began, Raccoon City. Meh.
The Red Turtle. A beautiful tale of survival, loneliness,
hope, love, humor, disaster, renewal all told without words. A
shipwrecked man lands on an Eden-like island with no hope of rescue.
Several times he builds a raft in an effort to escape only to be stopped
by a giant red turtle. The story unfolds in an unexpected way and
in the end the lovely tale ends with the man dying of old age having had
a full and unexpectedly rich life. Worth seeing.
Underworld: Blood Wars. Stinky thy name is Selene and
your lame movie. Underworld was fun and invigorating in the
Vampire genre. This 4th entry is boring. Selene has lost are her
fighting skills and seems to have turned into an idiot. The
effects are bad, the acting is worse. Charles Dance however, does get
around in the monster world quite a bit. Good for him. Don't
bother with this tripe.
Oh Russia! You so funny. Sniffer, a 2 season police
procedural about a guy with an acute sense of smell that helps police
catch criminals and solve crimes by smelling the crime scenes and the
suspects. So very Russian it's almost a parody. They are
advanced, yet some things are still in the Cold War. The Sniffer
has a bitch of an ex-wife that is so unlikeable you cheer when she dies.
His son is a twit. His best friend the Colonel of police sometimes
does not know what to do with him but sticks by him nonetheless.
Quite enjoyable. With scenes of a dog licking the open, bloody
neck hole of a decapitation victim, how can you go wrong!
SING. A crazy theater loving koala tries to
save his old theater by hosting a reality talent contest.
Auditions are held and a wide variety of singing animals are chosen to
participate. There are laughs, cries, inside jokes and some very
funny visuals. Things go pear-shaped, the theater is destroyed,
the koala falls into a funk. Then the talent cleans up the rubble, and
sings for nothing. The show is a hit, the theater is reborn and
everyone wins. Cute. The voice talent is amazing.
Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies. 3 hapless,
jerky snow-boarders in the Alps are left behind after a prank gone wrong
and end up at an all-night party. An entrepreneur releases bad
stuff that creates zombies and mutant killer animals. What ensues
is total wacky mayhem and some totally gross zombie and human
eviscerations. And let's not forget the crazy German woman with
WWII weaponry in her basement with which to fight the zombies. And
let's not forget the dancing under the disco moon while the room of
zombies sways mindlessly to the music. Total classic.
Passengers. Oh tedious. What could
have been an interesting space opera about man's last attempt to save
humanity turned into a plodding, tiring, boring journey into things not
going according to plan in a major way. Awakened way too early in
the journey, a mechanic goes about living the high life until after a
year or more he is so lonely he awakens a young woman who loves him then
hates him then loves him after he saves the space ship. The two
best things about the movie are the anti-gravity swimming pool bubble
and the end when the ship is overgrown with plants.
DR. STRANGE. Visually stunning, intellectually
dumbing. A good and varied cast play the roles given to them as
well as can be expected. The movie is so effects heavy the actors
haven't anything to do but react to green screen mayhem. Strange's
cape is cool. The library of ancient texts is cool and Strange's
ability to open portals to grab books is fun. The idea of
utilizing the metaphysical world to travel through the space time
continuum to keep an eye on magical happenings is awesome. The
dialogue is terrible, trite and tepid. Bad guys want to control
the world and give it to the ultimate evil so they can become immortal.
Good guys with emotional conflicts have to put differences aside to save
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Slow moving tale of a
tormented lonely man having to go home to deal with his 16 year
old nephew after his brother dies of heart failure. Old
animosities, loves and hates resurface in town. Full of flashbacks
to fill in and flesh out character development is lazy storytelling and
rather tiresome. Nothing likable about this movie. The only
smart thing is that the man is smart enough in the end to know he should
not be the nephew's guardian.
Rogue One...a Star Wars story. Wow. It
only took 39 years to come up with a Star Wars story that may become
nearly as iconic as Chapter IV a New Hope. The biggest thing this
story had going for it is that it really has nothing to do with the
storylines of the SW Empire. It is a side mission if you will.
It is a fleshing out of the rebel tale to steal the plans to the Death
Star (mentioned briefly in New Hope) and get the information on how to
destroy it before it can destroy the galaxy into Alliance hands.
Some nice nods to New Hope are inserted randomly making this feel like
it is a true precursor to that adventure. While we'll never care
about these characters like Luke, Han and Leia are cared for, we can
enjoy the the sense of vague familiarity with the characters and their
roles played in setting the stage for the Rebellion to put up one hell
of a fight against Imperial rule. Some blending in and fleshing out the
tale with archival footage from Episode IV gives it a depth it might not
otherwise have. CGI Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher are slightly
off-putting but all in all the effect of their involvement is worth it
to the storyline. As usual the CGI space ships in battle are
pretty good. Overall far better than expected. A monkey
Shin Godzilla. So, our Godzilla (2014) is
ridiculed for being American fat. This Godzilla is shaped just as
weird with tiny T-Rex arms. The best part is TOHO Studios used the
normally accepted Godzilla roar and awesome theme music from the 60's
movies. The Japanese in this movie are so earnest in their
acquiescence to their culture of being polite, having a committee to
decide anything and everything and their efficiency that by the end of
the tail, they are willing to let the USA use a nuclear bomb on Tokyo to
rid themselves of the beast. The only reason they are willing to
do that, their government cannot make a fast decision. In Team
Apeonaut's opinion most of the movie is gently deriding the Japanese on
how slowly they accomplish anything and how quick the USA is to bomb
stuff. It's a rather humorous view of the USA through Godzilla
eyes. And speaking of eyes, they made G's eyes look like tiny
plastic doll eyes. WTH??? A coalition is built between the
Japanese and the French to use science to defeat the peril. The
USA uses "post-war" pressure to get the Japanese to bomb the beast,
Russia and China want G captured and studied so it can be weaponized.
Silly translation in the subtitles make this movie even more ludicrous.
Team Apeonaut will agree however, that this G is pretty awesome in its
self-protection abilities. Lighting up its dorsal fins and
shooting out hundreds of laser beams to destroy incoming cruise missile
and drone strikes and cut buildings in half is pretty amazing. G
can also shot atomic power out the end of its grossly bulbous tail.
All in all, this version was more jokey, hokey than any previous TOHO
version. The theater was packed, the audience was hushed and at
the end no one cheered. It was however another epic to add to the
Godzilla pantheon. Monkey thumbs up.
The Witch, a New England folktale. If
ever there was a story to prove the existence of witches in 1620
colonial America, this is the movie to do it. Naturally lit during
the filming, no Hollywood trickery, dirty and atmospheric the story
follows a family of 7 that leaves the safety and comfort of the
"Plantation" to believe and live the Gospels of Christ on their own
terms...isn't that why they left England in the first place? First
the baby goes missing, then the crops wilt and die, then the son has
inappropriate feelings for his sister, then the twins start talking to
Black William the Billy Goat Gruff of the livestock (a perfectly cast
goat with curled horns and a long goatee), then the goats give blood
instead of milk, then the mother lets a crow peck at her milk heavy
breasts, then the son is attacked in the woods by a woman in a red
hooded cloak and returns to the farm days later naked, delirious and
speaking to God and spitting up apples before he dies a gruesome death,
the twins just disappear from the barn where the father locks them up,
Black William kills the father by butting him intot he wood pile which
falls upon him and crushes him, mother goes crazy and tries to kill her
daughter who kills mother with a handy tanning blade, Black William
assumes human form, tells her to strip and follow him into the woods to
join the rest of the coven. All very believable and ultimately
creepy. All monkey thumbs up.
Santa Clarita Diet. Just go with it. It's funny if
you watch all the way through. These folks deal with family
drama/trauma far better than most evening soaps. The Hammonds a
regular family living the life in Santa Clarita. One day the wife
vomits horrendously on the job and finds herself feeling full of vim and
vigor and the need to eat fresh human flesh. How does that family
deal with this change? They try to act normally of course.
The nerd next door with a crush on the Hammond daughter has the info
regarding the undead they need so he becomes the go-to guy regarding
possible treatments. It's a silly ride into the realm of living
with zombies. Attractive sweet cast and easy-going acting make it
fun to watch. Will they resolve the flesh fetish in season 2?
Jack Reacher, Never Go Back.
Too much Jack and not enough Reacher in
this second go-round. The action centers on a conspiracy
surrounding the new commander of Reacher's old post and the deaths of
two of her investigators in Afghanistan. A government contractor
is at the core doing nefarious things and cheating the system.
Reacher's involvement gets him accused of murder and paternity.
Cute Lee Child cameo as a TSA agent. Cobie Smulders would make a
better Wonder Woman. Too much action and too many fight scenes
center around her and Reacher's reactions to her. The inclusion of
a "daughter" is a lame gimmick to pull Reacher out of his comfort zone.
Overall it wanted to be a good movie but was lazy and tired filmmaking
at best. Maybe next time. Bargain hour.
In Order of Disappearance. Gotta
love those Norwegians! This is a simple tale of familial
relationships and what fathers will do for their sons. It's also
about a quiet, polite, hard working snowplow operator who sets in motion
a crazy chain of events that creates the premise of the movie.
Those who die are shown on screen with their religious affiliation and
their name in the order in which they die. The tale follows 3
families, a Norwegian crime lord, a Serb crime lord and the snowplow
man. Sons die, retribution is sought and snowplow man is pretty
effective at tracking and killing the men he thinks are responsible for
his son's death. Most effective use of a snowplow as weapon in any
movie ever!!! The movie builds to a satisfying climax after
a close quarters gun battle. The method of body disposal is quite
ingenious and quite logical. The police are many steps behind.
When a Japanese hitman is hired you know things will go pear-shaped.
Wonderfully entertaining and original. All monkey thumbs up.
This movie is a keeper!
Ratchet & Clank.
A critter with big ears dreams of being a Ranger so he can
be a hero. Bad guys are going around the galaxy
destroying planets for no good reason other than they can.
Ratchet gets into the Rangers by default as the top Ranger
goes over to the bad guys leaving a space open that needs to
be filled. Wackiness ensues, Everyone tries to hard to
be a hero until they realize just the trying is the
important thing...it's not how big but how important.
The animation is more than a little off-putting and the
story is fairly juvenile even for a cartoon. Meh.
Funny though, Sylvester Stallone is the voice of the
enforcer robot who dies a horribly rusty death.
THE REZORT. A global zombie virus nearly
decimates the world again. The remaining humans round
up the zombies they find, put them on an island where anyone
with the price of admission can go and kill them in any
fashion they choose. Think Jurassic Park and The Most
Dangerous Game all rolled into one. Needless to say
things go poorly. The zombies get loose, people die
and the park is destroyed by the brimstone protocol.
Only one person survives to expose the horrible travesty
that was the Rezort. (the zombies were made from
refugees to keep down the refugee population and keep the
zombie resort in business) Hmmm.
ASSASSINATION: Japanese controlled Korea 1930s.
Korean rebels plan to retake their homeland by assassinating
the two highest ranking Japanese in the country. A spy
in their midst betrays their plans at every turn until a
chance encounter at a department store turns the tide in the
rebels favor, as long as everyone keeps to the plan and
fights to the death. Well acted, beautifully filmed,
filled with lots of great characters.
THE ACCOUNTANT: fun little movie about a math savant
who un-cooks the books for major players in the world of
criminal endeavors. He is also a trained killer with a
moral code of sorts. As the story unfolds we discover
the Accountant's back story regarding his Army Psy-ops total
jerk father, his quiet but supportive brother, his training,
his coping mechanisms for his autistic tendencies, his math
brilliance, how he learns to interact with people and why
the Treasury Department is interested in his operations.
This fun cat and mouse story brings everyone full circle
with blunt force and as the Accountant would write, WOW.
Not a great movie, but entertaining in its choreographed
violence. Ben Affleck has moments.
The Battle for
Sevastopol. This movie chronicles the life
of the Soviet-Ukraine sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko with 309
confirmed kills during the German invasion of her homeland
during WWII. It begins with her being accepted to
University, going to shooting school then being sent to the
Front to fight the Germans. She falls in love twice
with her superior officers, both of whom die, the doctor who
grows to love her and helps her evacuate as the city falls
turns out to be Russian Jew who probably did not fare well
himself. The tale is told by Eleanor Roosevelt who had
the privilege of meeting Lyudmila in America in 1942 when
Stalin tried to get the USA involved in a second Front and
then 15 years later during Eleanor's trip to Moscow.
Pavlichenko toured the US rallying supporters for the second
front. The back story is told vividly
through her reticle.
Touch of Zen. This is a
crazy 1971 movie about a royal woman fighter hiding away in
a haunted military fort far from the treachery that killed
her family. Enter a Letter & Couplet writer without
prospects who still lives with his mother. His mother
obviously wants him to take the civil service exam, get a
wife, produce and heir and support her so she can stop
working. He then gets tangled up in the plot to kill
the woman in the fort, so after a night together she
disappears, he chases after her to save her as best he can,
as bad guys surround them on all sides. Monks present
the writer with a baby and a letter telling this is his heir
now run away. The monks, the woman and her faithful
general fight bad guys to the death of everyone. The
Abbot is surprisingly stabbed, bleeds golden blood, climbs
up to sit on a hilltop and with the sun behind looks like
Buddha pointing the way to a secret sacred temple. The
woman tries to get to it, last scene, writer and baby
sitting in the woods out of breath presumably from running
away. Oh 70s, you were crazy in any country.
Suicide Squad. Everyone knew
this would disappoint and it lived up to the depth of its
failure. The scum of the earth are recruited to save
America from all types of bad things. Their first
assignment stop the Enchantress from destroying the world.
We are given small bits of information on each of the
members of the suicide squad and why they are chosen for
this endeavor. We see that their boss is a
manipulative bitch, their military leader is lovesick and
torn in his duties and the team is varied in their reasons
for agreeing to do the job. Mostly special effects and
very little story. The Joker is creepy for creepy sake with
nothing to redeem him. Everyone else claims nature or
nurture issues. No thumbs, lots of poop
Spectre. Aren't we
done with this guy yet? Sort of a prequel-reimagining
of how Blofeld got his bad eye, scar and cat and how he
engineered every bad thing that ever happen to James Bond.
Bad writing, bad directing and just a bad taste in the
cinematic taste buds. Ralph Fiennes was the best part.
MI6 is being moved to a new high-tech facility. The
old building will be demolished. The OO program is
being retired and everyone is being sent to new departments.
Bond has gone off on his own to find some bad guy or other
and causes destruction and disgrace for the British empire.
Then things go badly and because the movie is so bad you
know exactly who the bad guy is and what his motivation is
without being told. Never again. James used to
be a hero. Daniel Craig makes him less so. No
monkey thumbs up and a lot of poop.
Jason Bourne. What
do you do when you find out your life is based on a lie and you've been
trying to atone for your own perceived misdeeds? Walk really fast
and with dogged determined and speak very few words. Globe
trotting former asset Jason Bourne is on the move again...literally.
The movie is really more about movement than any plot point.
Bourne is like a shark...must keep moving to survive the deadly waters
of mean superiors. Bourne remembers his dad in this outing with
the help of Nicky Parsons in a totally unglamorous roll. One
puzzling thing is how could smart people like Bourne and Parsons not
know they are being traced, tracked and surveilled? And why are
they so surprised when they end up dead or hurt? These are
supposed to be top professionals. Vincent Cassalls has arguably
one of the longest rolls of his career outside of Brotherhood of the
Wolf and Eastern Promises. Tommy Lee Jones should use cucumbers at
night on those eye-bags. Eeeww. Mostly this is yet another
movie culled from pieces of other movies including the Bourne series.
Team Apeonaut likes Jason Bourne. Now it's time to get back to the
business of patriotic killing for Uncle Sam. Let's not wait
another 9 years.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar
Children. Peculiar children have abilities far
beyond those of mere mortals. Strength, invisibility,
ability to revive the dead, can start fires with bare hands
just to name a few. Miss Peregrine's children are
stuck in a 1942 time loop to keep them safe from creatures
that want to kill them and their kind. A young boy
travels to meet them at his dying grandfather's request and
his grand adventure begins. The boy has to do what he
can to save the peculiars. The book was probably
better than the movie but the movie does have some striking
visual set pieces. One monkey thumb up.
Monster Hunter. What can a casual
viewer really say about this movie? Ancient
monsters rule the world. Humans just have a small
kingdom in which to live. Greedy humans want more.
Nice monsters wear human skins to blend in and make homes in
the human world. Pregnant monster queen fleeing for
her life gives her unborn baby to a human loser to birth and
care for. Things don't work out as planned.
Monster hunters want the baby monster king to serve up for
dinner at the wealthy businessman's feast. The human baby
daddy and his monster hunter girlfriend try to even things
out and send the monsters to their new home and keep humans
from trying to eat them. Cultures and parenting styles
clash and more than wackiness ensues. Can't believe
that Team Apeonaut watched this in its entirety.
Spectral. What can one really say? A Russian
experiment to create the perfect soldier goes awry.
American troops clearing a town of rebels is slaughtered by
invisible somethings. An American scientist is brought
in to explain the unexplainable. More people die.
Turns out the "spectrals" are generated by a machine thought
to have been shut down long ago but left running and
generating killing ghosts from the bodies inside the machine
for years. The ghosts are pissed too. Iron
filings can keep them trapped inside certain designated
areas for easier dispersal. How did this movie get
made? It could have shown on the SYFY Channel as it
was made in Bulgaria.
13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
What a frightening movie. Those men were thrown to the
wolves while our government watched in safety from afar and
did nothing. Realistic, brutal and harrowing this
movie shows how screwed up our Muslim policies are.
Those few soldiers deal with overwhelming forces and can
never truly tell who is on their side. Scary.
Everyone should be required to watch this movie. The
reasons behind so many issues in the Middle East become very
clear. All monkey thumbs up.
Department Q: Absent One, Keeper of Lost
Causes, Matter of Faith. A wonderful series of
Norwegian movies about a morose Norwegian cop and his Muslim
partner opening 20 year old cold cases and as it turns out
solving them to bring justice to the victims and the
verdicts against the guilty. A violent series of
murders at a private school, a politician's supposed suicide
turns out to be a vicious case of kidnapping and revenge, a
serial killer of zealously religious children are all
investigated to successful conclusions though at great
personal loss for both officers. Excellent procedural
storytelling. These actors have all worked together in
other projects; Child 44, The Last King to name a couple.
All monkey thumbs up.
The Last King. A rip-roaring action tale of the
Norwegian's last king to rule the country in the 13th
century. The Danes (Baglers) want to take over the
country with the help of the brother of the next in line to
the throne after he has killed the sitting king. Dirty
tricks, betrayal, threats, incest, illegitimate baby Hakon
Hakkonson born to the king's wench, snow ponies, wild chases
across the frozen wastelands, and skiing like you've never
seen it all to protect the baby and get him to the capitol
and on the throne. Quite a tale of duty and honor for
the men who gave their lives to save the last king.
Monkey thumbs up.
The Lost Bladesman. Another tale
of China in the year 200 at the destruction of the Han
Dynasty. A story of honor, unrequited love, betrayal, and
martial arts. Lots of action, beautiful war
choreography, beautiful costumes, better than average
subtitles. Familiar characters from other movies told
from a different point of view. Interesting and
Mediocre retelling of Mr. Kipling's tale of young boy
brought up by wolves and befriended by animals in the
jungle. The kid was too modern. The CGI was
mediocre on all the animals except Kaa, Bagheera and King
Louiee. The voice casting was ok but mostly
uninspired and the look of the other animals was a little
off. Not even worth watching.
Confession of Murder. A serial
killer evades the police and disappears. The families
of the murder victims join forces to kill the killer after
he publishes a book covering his crimes once the statute of
limitations on those murders expires. The cop who lost the
murderer has become an embarrassment to the force and falls
apart. While the murderer goes on his book tour and
sells millions of books the cop and the families hatch an
intricate scheme to bring down the killer. It's rather
ingenious and original and a breath of fresh air how they do
it. Monkey thumbs up.
Kubo and the Two Strings. What a
lovely experience. This was the most enjoyable movie
to watch. It is visually stunning, magical, funny,
exciting and sad all at the same time. The story's
premise is simple; a baby and his mother find themselves
washed ashore on the lonely side of an island after a
harrowing escape from her nasty family and the death of her
husband. Time passes the boy grows up, tells tall
tales with his magical origami figures, then has to go on an
adventure with a talking macaque and a samurai beetle to
find the armor that will set them all free...though he
doesn't know that at the time. The movie is just so
full of wonder any other descriptions would be spoiler
alerts or pointless. Highly recommended for everyone
to see. All monkey thumbs up.
Hell or High Water. What a
pleasure to behold. This is a simple story that jumps
right in to the deep end without having to waste time
building character. You know from the start the two
brothers' relationship. You recognize the Texas
Ranger's relationship with his Ranger partner. There
is a typical ex-wife and a flirty diner waitress. You
know everyone's story without having it pounded into your
face for the first 30 minutes. The story begins where
it does and ends as it must. Brother's rob particular
bank branches to get enough money to save the farm and right
a wrong done to their mother as she is dying. The movie is fast paced,
deeply felt and understandable under the circumstances of
the story. It has humor, love, loss and cleaverness.
All monkey thumbs up and then some.
The Tiger. In the
Kingdom of Korea during the last Japanese Occupation the
Japanese general wants all the tigers killed and the best
pelts brought to him to take back to Japan. The
Japanese enlist the most experienced Korean hunters.
As the story unfolds forwards and backwards we see how the
lives of the hunters and the tigers have intersected over
the years. The tiger after losing his mate and cubs to
the hunters working for the Japanese goes on a killing spree
to avenge them. Tiger outwits them all at every turn.
Old hunter who knows tiger's true identity goes after him in
the ultimate predator-prey showdown. Well acted.
Filthy. Beautifully filmed. CGI tiger not bad either.
Far better than Gladiator's tiger with a much bigger budget.
The movie is cold, brutal and animalistic. Well worth
Kung Fu Killer. A
police kung fu trainer in jail for manslaughter is released
into police custody to help them track the killer of all the
kung fu masters in town. The trainer knows who it is
and must use all his skill and wits to catch the guy before
he can kill again. Things don't always go as planned
when egos are involved. Entertaining.
Ding, a former Chinese Security Board officer retires to a
small town on the China/Russia/North Korea border to live
out his days with dementia in peace. He befriends and
is befriended by a school girl named Cherry whose father is
a small time crook in trouble with some seriously bad
gangsters. Ding has to dig deep into very long term
memories to remember his skills in order to save the life of
the girl after her father is killed and the house is blown
up. Things get crazy. Why is it the small towns
can be a mix of 3 countries and everyone gets along?
dwarves, elves, Mages and Orcs, oh my. One world
enjoys peaceful coexistence of inhabitants, one world is
destroying itself so its inhabitants go through a portal of
evil power to conquer the peaceful world. The Mage
charged with protecting his planet falls under the spell of
the evil portal thus helping the Orcs to come and play. A
diligent knight, a thoughtful king, a Mage in training, an
Orc woman hybrid and an Orc chieftain join forces to combat
the evil portal, the evil Mage and the invading Orc hordes.
Things go badly and vital characters die horrible deaths,
just as they would in the game. Evil is not dead, just
waiting for the sequel. Not terrible, not great.
An easy way to pass a couple of cinematic hours.
Trust. Baddish cop, nut-job cop. Nonsensical
tale of an older cop drawing a younger cop into a plan to
steal whatever is in a building used by shady criminal
types. Pertinent questions: does the older cop
know what's really in the building, does he enjoy randomly
killing people he deals with? Is he really a psycho?
The two cops strike a deal, plan a plan, rob a drug dealer
for money to pay for the industrial drill from Germany they
need to drill into the apartment below that contains
whatever loot they think is in there. The baddish cop
has second thoughts after seeing the vault is not filled
with cash and after a shootout with the older cop puts
everything back like he found it. The younger cop then
tries to make his escape with the young woman from the
apartment but meets a bad end at the hands of her cohorts.
Could have been a great heist flick but was nothing more
than bad acting and paycheck collecting by Nicolas Cage and
confusion on Elijah Wood's most grown-up role to date.
Blood Father. Mel Gibson is one bad ass.
The story of an ex-con addict, his sponsor, the crappy dirt town they
live in and the ex-con's wayward runaway daughter. The movie jumps
right into the shit-storm of murder, drug cartels, assassins,
back-stabbers, getting what is yours and family. The characters
are vividly portrayed without having to have an hour of expository back
story. You know right away who is who. Gibson gives a rock
solid performance as Link the tattoo guy without being an older, hairier
"Martin Riggs" caricature. Highly enjoyable. When things go
wrong, they go really wrong. Monkey thumbs way up.
The Legend of Tarzan. Tarzan is a character
whose story can be told and retold and has been since 1918 to varying
degrees of success. It's now 2016 and the world is so afraid of
being seen as unsympathetic that much of history is rewritten to appease
even the smallest complainant to injustices real or imagined.
Edger Rice Burroughs wrote a classic adventure tale of the son of an
English lord being raised by apes after the untimely and unfortunate
deaths of his parents during a period of time with which he was
familiar. It's his story. ERB didn't stop to think what
future generations of idiots would be born and not be able to enjoy a
story for the story's sake. Just because it covers slavery and
inhumanity doesn't mean those things never happened. It's his
story. It doesn't have to be sanitized for today's bleeding heart
idiots. In this version Tarzan and Jane live a quiet life in
England in Greystoke Manor until an invitation is received to go back to
Africa to endorse the good works of good King Leopold of Belgium
(nefarious undertones apply here). Oh and take along an American
investigator who happens to be black and works for the President and did
all kinds of inhumane things to Mexicans and Indians after the Civil War
just to balance things out. What ensues is a sadly updated tale
told too much in 21st Century vernacular. There are obligatory
flashbacks to explain why Tarzan is Tarzan. The natives of the
Congo are either the happy friendly, colorfully dressed type or the mean
and nasty painted type. The American Jane is so spunky and
precocious you know in 1890 she would have been locked away in the
family's attic if she wasn't married to Tarzan. Good thing she was
raised in Africa in the wilds so she can be spunky. Tarzan is
lovely to look at but hollow inside. Too bad. It could have
been great. Odd thing, the audience clapped at the end.
Shows how far moviegoers have fallen.
Black Road. Fairly lame movie
about a former soldier (Tim Daly's son Sam) with a plug n play cyborg unit in his
brain. After the wars he hires himself out as a body
guard of sorts protecting and sleeping with the wife of a
gazillionaire. During the search for a ton of the
gazillionaire's ill-gotten gains things go badly, people die
and the hero is pointless. Nice premise overwhelmed by
mediocrity and bad directing. Meh -----
Painkillers. Mercenaries for the
government travel the globe in search of alien power
sources. This is the story of one such unit of mercs in
Afghanistan who find a source in a Taliban cave. There
is trouble in the cave, they wake up in a hospital with
collective amnesia, they are drugged, psychoanalyzed and
tortured because no one can remember where the power source
is. The mercs begin committing suicide. Things
go badly. Authority and secret agendas are questioned.
Memories are restored and the powers that be start the cycle
over again. Meh ++
The Good Neighbor. Not so much.
Things aren't always as they seem on the outside once you
have cameras planted on the inside. Mix a grumpy old
widower with frizzy hair and rheumy eyes with the kid whose
abusive father the geezer helped put away and a tech savy
friend and you have the potential for Rear Window meets
Disturbia meets Eye in the Sky high tech surveillance.
The teenagers decide to "experiment" on the geezer to see if
he changes his perception if they remotely "haunt" him with
high tech gadgets. Installing cameras and gizmos
inside and outside the house the boys film every aspect of
the effect of their pranks on the old man. Without
context the effects seem to be making a psycho even creepier
and the boys think they are doing something cool. When
the old guy spends his nights in the basement, teen
curiosity about the locked door gets the better of them.
Then boys really get themselves in deep when crazy shit hits
the fan. James Caan says about 20 words but looks and
acts like a creepy old psycho very realistically.
Nice Guys. Silly bit of fluff
movie. An enforcer and a PI start out looking into the
"suicide" of a porn star and end up tracking down a
senator's wayward daughter who wants to blow the lid on
corruption between government and big business. Set in
1977 this movie has it all. Witty repartee and silly
action/violence fill the awkwardness of the plot holes.
Fun buddy movie that tries too hard in places and not hard
enough in others. Worth a VOD charge.
Captain America: Civil War. TRULY
BAD MOVIE WITH VERY LITTLE GOING FOR IT. Too mean, too
loud, too political, too un-fun. This
an election year makes this movie even more humorous than
one might expect. It turns out to be a slugfest
Trump and Clinton 2! Marvel, you so funny. Cap is
Trump and Iron Man is Clinton 2. The parallels in
ideologies are so similar that you have to be a moron not to
see them. 30 minutes too long and highly bombastic CACW is the tale of right when wrong and vice versa.
Tony doesn't trust Cap's gut regarding Cap's pal Bucky, AKA
the Winter Soldier. A massive disagreement ensues when
people die seemingly at the hands of the Winter Soldier.
Everyone blames everyone else for the problems in the world
and the Avengers tear themselves apart from the inside
choosing sides in a war no one can win until they can.
Antman and the rebooted Spiderman (more accurately Spider-tween)
have fun roles. Col. Rhodes gets to fly around as
Warhammer. Black Panther is actually pretty good.
Scarlet Witch is so-so. The best dialogue and
confrontations are between Cap and Tony but they are few and
far between. Lots of pent up anger. The movie
lacks heart and true motivation. The effects are pretty
decent and admittedly Ironman's new suit gadgets are
awesome. Stan Lee's cameo is priceless this time.
Thumbs up. We still have one more superhero slugfest
to endure with X-Men Apocalypse. Come on superheroes.
We need superheroes. But if we can't have them, Team Apeonaut will take Deadpool everytime.
The Lobster. A big round of WTF
for this movie. In the near future people that are
single are sent to a hotel and given 45 days to find a mate
or they are turned into an animal. They can extend
their days by hunting and tranking "loners" in the woods and
taking them back to the hotel. As the movie progresses
people lie to survive, run away and murder. The
political factions of the "loners" plot to take over the
hotel and overthrow the unjust society. They allow
people with similarities become couples. This cause big
problems and some creative problem solving. As the
animals are seen more and more often in the background one
thing becomes certain...it may be easier to become an animal
than to survive the system. Weird.
London Has Fallen.
Paycheck movie. So bad. Once again the USA has
done something to piss of someone with an agenda.
Revenge is a dish best served with turncoats and high
explosives. Agent Banning has to once again save the
President while the world watches and prove to everyone he
is the baddest badass in town. Ridiculous. Some
good special effects and the weapons usage is believable.
Plotline not so much.
Shotgun Stories. The tale of two
sets of half-brothers. The dirt poor ill-educated set
and the more affluent set. Both sets have differing
ideas about their newly deceased father. An insult is
laid and the brothers feud until one of each set is dead.
What happens next is a tale of biblical eye for an eye until
one brother deemed cowardly has the guts to stop the feud.
Fortitude season 1.
an island at the top of the world, cut off from the mainland
free from the cares of big cities. Idyllic.
Cold. Bracing. Beautiful. A Foreign Legion
of inhabitants from all walks of life all running and hiding
from something. But it's a good place to live.
Nothing ever bad happens in Fortitude. As the mines
close a new venture starts to keep the island viable.
A prehistoric find is made. Violence this little speck
of humanity has never known happens, then happens again and
again and again. High powered investigator is brought
in, scientists try to figure out if some pathogen is
spreading around. Murder, mayhem, obsession, jealousy
and love swirl around asking more questions than they
answer. Cold and brutal this is a fun show, but it's
now wonder it was canceled. How do you sustain it?
Shetland Season 1-2. Like the
Welsh series Hinterland this police drama based on the
bleakly beautiful Scottish island of Shetland follows the
lives a police detective and his team dealing with murder,
mayhem, old family secrets, island traditions and spotty
cell coverage. Everyone is a suspect and no one ever tells
the truth. You'll want a heavy coat to wear while
watching. Beautiful scenery makes one want to visit.
Our Vines have Tender Grapes.
Not even sure how or why Team Apeonaut found and watched
this gem. It was wonderful to see Edward G. playing a
loving and tender father figure. O'Brien is sugar
overload cute and annoying as usual. This is just a simple
story of farmers with next to nothing helping each other in
times of need. Quite lovely actually considering the
way things are now cinematically and realistically.
All monkey thumbs up.
San Andreas. This should have
been a SYFY Channel movie. Soooooooooooooooooo bad.
Nothing about the science of earthquakes, the interaction of
family, dialogue and acting made any sense. The Rock
is supposed to make bad movies tolerable. Missed it by
that much. Separated parents join forces to drive, fly
and boat to San Fransico to rescue their only remaining
child after the "big one" hits California.
Implausible, illogical, idiotic. The movie stunk on
ice. Where's that grapefruit spoon? My eyes need
gouging out now.
The American Side.
They say there are 3 sides to everything...right side, wrong
side and the American Side. This could have been a fun
little mystery involving Niagara Falls, Nikola Tesla, shady
PIs, murderous rich guys and femme fatales. The idea
that Tesla invented a teleportation device and broke his
drawings in half so no one ideology could benefit from it,
the loss of the halves, the discovery of the halves, the
race to complete the drawing and have the infinite power of
a Tesla invention in your hands. As in all mysteries
someone is suicides, the PI tries to find out why, he is
lied to by a woman he fancies, her brother is a killer, a
couple of offbeat scientists want him to find the Tesla
papers, the US government does what it does best and a
foreign national has all the puzzle pieces. In the end
the PI is shot and has to do the noble thing to safeguard
the world. Heck of a cast...Robert Vaughn, all 90
years old of him, Robert Forster, Matthew Broderick, Harris
Yulin, all 2oo years of him. Crazy. The
cinematography at the falls is gorgeous. Make the
Apeonauts want to go.
Shannara Chronicles. MTV
did a passable stab at creating a fun alternate world story.
A little to much in the vernacular for a story taking place
3000 years after the nuclear destruction of man and the rise
of Elves, gnomes, trolls etc. An elf tree is dying. An
elf princess is the only one that can save it. A Druid
sends the last son of Shannara (powerful halfling that can
wield the elfstones to destroy demons) to act as her
guardian. Demons start causing terror and taking over
souls. Someone's going to have to use magic to halt the
demon hord from taking over the world. Production
values are so-so. The acting is not dreadful. A
couple of well-known character actors have important roles.
The kids are too 21st Century to be believable. And
how can the rusting hulk of an old truck and a swing-set
still stand after 3000 years? Hmmm? Entertaining.
The Returned. Fun little
single season cancelled show about dead people returning to
their home town or the town where they died and basically
destroying the lives of their loved ones one more time.
Black water rises up through the drains so you know
immediately that something is rotten at the core of the
town. Some of the Returned are changed for the better,
some not so much. The question remains how would you
handle a return of someone near and dear to you?
Rebirth. A Tony Robbins approach
to self improvement only with violence, seduction,
psychoanalysis and the total ruination of one's life if you
don't play along. Really pointless and an overly drawn
out infomercial for getting out of your rut in life and
becoming wealthier, happier and more connected with life by
going through the Rebirth program. Not worth it.
Dark Web. The Most Dangerous
Game played out for the internet in the wilds of Eastern
Europe. Millionaires pay for the privilege of hunting
and killing innocent farm girls. Horrible script,
horrible acting, horrible costumes, horrible directing,
dubbing and sets make this a total waste of space. To
make matters worse, Danny Glover has a cameo as the US
distributor for the snuff films. Need a paycheck that
badly Mr. Glover?
Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Bombastic, too long, too angry, too ridiculous, too fat.
Some parts try to be a melding of Batman's past, present and
future and have reasonable results. Superman throws in
elements of some of his past movies. Mash everything
together and you have a jumbled leaden filmic crap with the
lamest "ah ahhhhh moment" when Bruce finds out that
Superman's mother's name is Martha too. Really, it took the
entire movie to figure that out?! Wonder Woman is ok
and at least she has a costume befitting her nature.
Is that Chris Pine in her war photo? Hmmm.
Bargain hour at best. Lex Luther is an annoying little
twit. Oh DC, why are you trying so hard to beat
Marvel? Just let your characters be themselves.1
monkey thumb held up reluctantly.
Criminal. If you want a brutal, violent, angry,
confused and above all a sweet love story reminiscent of Flowers for
Algernon Criminal is the movie for you! Billy Pope, super CIA
agent is killed before he can tell his superiors where a hacker is.
Quaker, the CIA chief recruits mad-scientist Dr.Franks to suck out the
agents memories and plop them into Jericho's dysfunctional mind.
YAY! Mix in Pope's wife and cute daughter and this movie spells
Dys-FUN-ctional! Nice performances, decent story and direction.
Some scenery chewing by the CIA and the Spanish anarchist bad-guy but
loads of brutish behavior and non-sensical banter. All monkey
thumbs up! Don't even think about Face-Off, Transcendence, Matrix,
and even the barf-a-rama known as Avatar. This movie has some
soul, heart and humor.
Limitless season 1. Fun continuation of a so-so movie. The
hero is a loser who has failed at everything and is a big disappointment
to his parents. He takes an illegal drug and turns his brain into
an amazing problem solving machine. He works for the FBI to solve
unsolvable cases. Entertaining. Monkey thumbs up.
Remember. An interesting tale
of long awaited justice and retribution. Two old guys in a
retirement home discover the identity of former SS camp staff from
Auschwitz and their whereabouts across the US. Zev, in the ongoing
stages of dementia is given a list by his friend and goes on a mission
of retribution for the "death of his family". An often times
painful to watch movie, the story is riveting nonetheless. There
are some tense moments when the main character forgets his wife is dead,
or where he is and nearly loses everything when a waitress spills coffee
on his notes. The build up to the end is well done with only a few
hints given along the way as to what is really going on. Landau
and Plummer are excellent as always. Dean Norris has a small yet
pivotal role and attacks it with zeal. Worth watching
Coriolanus. Shakespeare's play about a Roman
soldier victorious and brutal against his country's enemies but betrayed
and cast aside by his own government when the battle is won.
Betrayed even by his own mother he defects to the enemy and wages brutal
and effective battle against his former countrymen. After all is
said and done he is murdered by his new country. Well acted, well
directed and set in a future time so the Shakespearian-speak is kind of
We Are What We Are. Creepy
little story of dark family secrets and what happens when the family
falls apart. From mother's opening death to the inevitable
discovery that something is wrong with the children everyone involved
spirals further into the abyss as the tale unfolds. Townspeople go
missing. A torrential rain hits the region, bones and teeth start
washing up on the banks of the flooding river. Lots of people die.
The signs are all there but no one figures it out until it is too late
to save anyone. Bon appetite! One fun tidbit: the young
Deputy Sheriff looks so much like Kurt Russell you have to watch the end
credits to find out why and sure enough it's Wyatt Russell (son) all
The Dependables. Retired military 70
something grandparents head to Afghanistan to rescue their respective
grandsons who have been captured by a drug lord and are being left to
their own devices by the US government because a greedy Army officer has
dealings with the drug lord. Wackiness ensues. Surprising
some of these actors are still alive and many are unrecognizable.
Still it's nice to see them limping around and shooting high powered
weaponry. Their military tactics are a bit rusty but they prevail
in the end.
Zootopia. Funny and sweet story
of bunny Judy Hopps who wants to be a cop in the homogenous city of
Zootopia. Starting as a meter maid she proves herself to be a good
cop when she breaks up a plot to turn all predator mammals into ravenous
killing machines. She befriends a fox and wins the appreciation of
her fellow officers. Well worth watching just for its furry
What We Do In The Shadows. Outrageous
mockumentary that follows three old vampires through their nightly lives
in Wellington, New Zealand. They deal with mundane things like
paying the rent, sunlight emergencies and wardrobe challenges to
bringing a human friend to a masked vampire party and causing a ruckus,
chance meetings with a pack of werewolves who then come to the house for
a beer party and reunions with former girlfriends that raise some
eyebrows. Thumbs up.
Aquarius Season 1. Manson family building (pre-murders)
and musical career, The Young
Republicans, Nixon, Viet Nam, LAPD, Black Panthers, LSD, 60s era
deviants, free love, communes, strip clubs, mobsters, sexism, music and
keeping up appearances. This show has it all. Times they
have not changed one iota except people are meaner in the 21st century.
Well written and acted each episode is part real flashback to a bygone
era and part fictionalized history lesson. Well played and
He Never Died. Jack
is an antisocial fellow preferring to spend his days eating, watching
TV, sleeping and playing bingo at the local senior center. A waitress at
the cafe tries to bring him out of his shell. Then the unexpected
happens, his 19 year old daughter by a woman he hates shows up and chaos
erupts. In one scene we notice 2 long vertical scars on Jack's
back between his shoulder blades...that adds a valuable clue to his
identity. He has a trunk at the foot of his bed filled with cash
and artifacts from bygone eras. He says if he needs cash he just
sells something. Many people die after run-ins with Jack.
During a botched up revenge plot against Jack, Jack's daughter is
kidnapped. The waitress is roped into helping Jack save her.
The waitress learns many unbelievable things about Jack, most important
of which is that he doesn't die after being shot in the head and he then
uses pliers to dig out the slug. otherwise he gets migraines.
This is an enjoyable little film out of left field. Henry Rollins
is great as the dead-pan Jack. When asked how old he is Jack says
"I don't know but I'm in the bible if that helps." During the
climax of rescuing his daughter, Jack talks to a man in a black hat and
tells him he killed all those thousands in Wallachia because he wanted
to. And Abel wasn't that special and deserved to die. So, is
Jack a vampire? A fallen angel? A demon? For you
to decide dear movie-goer. But this is a ride worth riding to find
Dark Was the Night. Nice premise for a
horror movie, but a little too slow burning plot and a quickly thrown
together (could have been great) ending bogs it down. We start in
a logging camp. People are mysteriously turned into blood splats
and severed body parts by something, someone, some entity--Jersey Devil,
Sasquatch...whatever. Animals go missing in the next town, crazy
not to be believed cloven hoof prints are seen all over town, people die
in vicious attacks and bloody bodies are found in the trees. Law
enforcement is slow to act until they have to react to the danger.
What feels like a flaw in the plot is the sheriff brooding over the
death of his young son and feeling useless to protect the rest of his
family and to blame for the accident. TA might suppose the
screenwriter was trying to round out the movie with substance which
would make the sheriff's heroic transformation at the end of the movie
understandable and believable. The last shot of the movie makes the
tribulations seem worth plodding through. It is definitely a "No
Way Out" kind of twist. Passable Apeonaut entertainment.
Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal. Produced by
some big named movie companies this could very well be the biggest WTF
Asian mythology movie ever.
The story revolves around Zhong Kui, a demon slayer with tragic past and
his love interest the Snow Girl. Heaven and Hell want the Dark
Crystal which acts as a portal of sorts sucking out people's souls and
sending them into the great beyond. Throw in some betrayal
from all parties good and bad, some magic tricks, crazy CGI effects, and
a mish-mash of Chinese, Japanese and Korean esoterica and you have this
movie that does not have a happy ending, everyone dies but looks
glorious doing it. Monkey thumbs have no idea which way to point
for this movie
The Finest Hours. If you can
get through the first twenty minutes of character building or lack
thereof what follows is an exciting, gripping and death defying tale of
everyday men becoming heroes of the greatest magnitude. Just doing
their job and beating the odds. An amazing true story. 1952,
really bad storm hits the East Coast. Two tankers break apart in
rough seas. The Coast Guard is sent out. The movie focuses
on one of the two groups. The Tanker crew trying to survive on the
aft half of their tanker. Fortunately they have the engine room
and a man who knows what he's doing though no one likes him. The
Coast Guard rescuers are lead by a Chief no one has any confidence in
with some dire back story that makes him appear weak. What follows
is a rip-roaring soaking wet unbelievable tail of men's men. The
effects are great and the actors look sufficiently cold, worried to
death and tired. Very well done and uplifting. All monkey
The Revenant. (Returned
from the dead or long journey). This is the true tale (by
Hollywood standards) of one of the American frontier's most intrepid
explorer/scout/trapper/hunter Hugh glass. The story has two
important parts that converge into a somewhat less than satisfactory
ending. The gang is out fur trapping when set upon by Native
Americans who think they are the group that stole the Chief's daughter.
A firefight erupts, several men get away downriver by boat where Glass
suggest they ditch the boat and go over the mountains to get back to the
fort alive. Then things get ugly. After Glass is mauled
nearly to death by a Grizzly the group argues about what to do.
With the promise of money if 2 stay with Glass until he dies and give
him a proper burial the group splits up. John Fitzgerald, a
whiner, from the get-go decides to kill Glass's son and Glass so he can
be on his way and collect his money with the lie that Glass was properly
buried. A young Jim Bridger has reluctantly gone along with the
story. Fortunately he grew out of that and became an American
legend himself. Glass survives many tribulations while making his
way back to the fort to seek his revenge. Revenge and the
Captain's sewing skills after the mauling are really what kept Glass
alive during the grueling 100 mile or so crawl he made. Any
thought of revenge was completely wiped from his mind though in the
movie he and Fitz have a mighty battle at the end. You can have
your revenge but that won't bring your boy back. The movie is
gritty, the actors dirty and cold looking, eating raw buffalo entrails
and sleeping inside a horse carcass don't look like much fun, but if you
want to live, you'll do anything. Well worth seeing. Very
existential like Valhalla Rising but without the bloodlust.
All monkey thumbs up. The digital bear mauling is pretty
impressive. Far better than the digital tiger in Gladiator.
DeadPool. Best Valentine movie ever
made. That's saying something since My Bloody Valentine
(original...not remake) is Team Apeonaut's all time favorite. Ryan
Reynolds hits it out of the park with his R-rated comic character
slamming everyone from his own Wade Wilson portrayal in Wolverine to his
own Green Lantern and all comic book movies in between. Maybe
because he's Canadian and the movie was made in Canada and Reynolds
produced it was the key to its raunchy success. From the "way we'd
like to see credits rolling" opening credits to the closing surprise
after the credits...way after the credits, this movie has everything and
the kitchen sink. Action, adventure, narration, love interest,
decapitations, amputations, blood galore, horror, bad guys with mean
attitudes, good guys with sanctimonious attitudes, redemption,
vindication, vengeance, you name it, this movie has it in aces. Ragging
on the X-Men, Xavier's school, Hugh Jackman, McAvoy vs Stewart, jerking
off, and a smoking hot movie soundtrack keep you rolling in the aisles
as Deadpool tries to exact revenge, get his old life back and save his
girlfriend and ultimately be a hero. Oh Canada! All
monkey thumbs up. Worth IMAX 3D prices. Go see it.
You'll be glad you did.
Pawn Sacrifice. Mental illness and chess go
hand in hand as this movie follows Bobby Fisher's early chess wins that
lead him to the ultimate match with world champion Boris Spasky in
Iceland and his inevitable fall into despair and mental illness.
Not unlike Brian Wilson of the Beach Boy's sad tale of mental decline
and the need for proper medication, Bobby is handled by a manager and a
priest albeit on a more friendly level but the experience leaves Bobby
undiagnosed and failing mentally. Powerful and depressing movie.
Beyond the Reach. Rather pointless tale of a
big game hunter bribing the sheriff of a small town to hire the local
guide to take the hunter into the wilds so he can shoot a male ram.
The hunter has a crazy one-of-a-kind Mercedes 4 wheel drive complete
with microwave oven and espresso machine and a special rifle big enough
to kill two elephants standing side by side. After a short get-to
know-each-other period, the hunter shoots an old prospector, then sets
out to frame the guide. Things go from bad to worse until the
bitter end. Beautiful scenery filmed near Shiprock, New Mexico.
1 monkey thumb up for the sheer stupidity and lack of morals held by
Bizarre tale of one little girl's journey into the nightmare world of
dreams, the deformed creature named INK who has kidnapped her, a
beautiful young woman who tags along and tries to redeem INK before it's
too late, the warriors out trying to save the little girl from INK and
his masters and INK himself who is a tormented soul who ultimately lets
love save him and the little girl. Interesting and fun once you
get past the first 20 minutes.
Regression. Small town America in the grips
of widespread Satanic Cult worship and all bad things pertaining thereto
and the police officer embroiled in the case who figures out it's all
mass hysteria. Fairly well acted and more than a little creepy.
Star Wars the Force Awakens.
Dear Fellow Apeonauts, it's been over a week since we've
seen SWTFA. What can one say? The first trailer
spoke volumes and it went from there. If you know
nothing of Star Wars (having lived under a rock all your
life) the movie is a frolicking space opera complete with
big space ships, blasters, running and fleeing for your
life, bad guys, although they are weak in comparison to
Darth Vader and his Imperial Storm troopers, fairly lame
dialogue, fairly mediocre acting and more than passable
directing. The special effects are probably what saved
the movie as they have the look and feel of our beloved Star
Wars Chapter 4 A New Hope. Some visuals are stunning,
like the crashed star destroyers on Jacoo. If however,
dear Apeonauts you know a little something about Star Wars
you will recognize The Force Awakens for what it really is.
A second-rate remake/reimagining of A New Hope for the new
millenials. So darn sad and so not worth the effort.
Still and all a couple of lines of dialogue between Han and
Leia are entertaining as are lines between Han and Chewie.
Not really much to write home about.
Exposed. A rather pointless bad cop partner
murdered, meh partner needs to find out what happened. Throw in a
young Latina who has visions of bizarre floating people, her soldier
boyfriend who gets conveniently killed on duty the same day his beloved
dog is run over by a truck at home, a felon relative who never has gone
straight, an immaculate conception that turns out to be caused by
traumatic rape and familial abuse. What you have is a movie that
you have to watch to the end in the hope that something happens.
Not much does. Painful Keanu performance and what's up with Mira
Sorvino? No wonder there was no theatrical release. Come on
John Wick 2!!!
love & mercy. The story of
Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame and his descent into madness from the
60's-80's beautifully portrayed by Paul Dano as a kid and John Cusack as
a post-middle aged man. If any of this movie is true Brian got
reamed by everyone and no one knew what to do to help him.
Un-medicated. Over-medicated. Medicated for the wrong
illness. What a mess. He is fortunate he had a few people
love him that got him the proper treatment so he could survive and
flourish. All monkey thumbs up.
PeeWee's Big Holiday. Have to admit
this one had some laugh out loud seconds. Over all it is a PeeWee
movie complete with silliness, oddities and PeeWee. The basic idea
is PeeWee has never gone on vacation and never left his town. IN
comes Joe (playing himself) and invites him to his birthday party in New
York City. Thus begins the road trip of a lifetime ultimately
leading PeeWee to the bottom of a well in Central Park and missing Joe's
party. Overall TA thinks it was sweet.
Memories of the Sword. Medieval Korea.
treachery, betrayal, murder and revenge. Crazy costumes, crazy
martial arts and revenge. 4 warriors help their king get what he
wants. One warrior betrays all to get what he wants.
Surviving baby is brought up to kill the warrior but a twist of fate and
love kills everyone. Full of action.
Cop Car. Oh Kevin Bacon, you so funny.
2 kids find a police car out in the woods. They steal it and go
for a joy ride. Poor impulse control boys. The guy locked in
the trunk who is supposed to be dead, isn't and causes more trouble for
the boys. To top it off the sheriff who parked his car in the
woods knows about the body because he put it there comes after the kids.
After a crazy shoot-out things end badly for everyone including the
bystander who thought she could help the boys. Boot to the head.
Heart of the Sea...Size definitely matters Moby
Dick. This is the true story of the whaler Essex and how its tale
effected Herman Melville and his writing of his American epic. The
story opens with Melville visiting the home of one of the last survivors
of the Essex whaling tragedy in 1850. The survivor is tormented by the
events that transpired during his first whaling job at the tender age of
14 on the newly refurbished whaler Essex with an inexperienced Captain
and a first mate angry at being assigned to babysit said Captain instead
of being given a captaincy of his own. The rag-tag crew of felons,
old salts and whale oil company men are nearly killed during their first
months out at sea when their captain sends them full sail into a squall
that nearly tears apart the ship. The first mate tells the captain
he is wrong and tries to save the ship. The captain wants to
return to Nantucket for repairs and wants to charge the first mate with
reckless endangerment. Things go downhill from there. An
uneasy truce is struck, very few whales are killed and the lure of
rumors of a magical feeding ground in the Pacific keeps the Essex at
sea. What transpires is the stuff of legends. A pod of 100s
of Sperm whales is sighted, chased and no sooner are the boats away than
the white whale as large as an island stoves in the bow of the Essex
sending her to the bottom. What few men survive on the open ocean
in three small boats for nearly 100 days is truly the stuff of legends.
These men were men's men. Resorting to cannibalism to survive some
of the men make it home. The captain and the first mate are told
by the Company to lie about the whale because they don't want to pay
insurance to the men who sail on whalers. The first mate leaves
and becomes a merchant captain. The Captain grounds another ship
and quits the business. The other men tried to live their lives
knowing what really happened. The book is excellent and Ron Howard
did a wonderful job directing the movie based upon the book. Chris
Hemsworth isn't really much of an actor, but in his mate's attire he
would be a worthy successor to playing Fletcher Christian or any of
Errol's best swashbucklers. He really should not be allowed to try
accents. We would forgive him if he just spoke with his native
Australian. The whale is a wonder of modern technology and is
beautiful in its horrific nature but some of the harpoon chases are as
bad as the set pieces from the 50's and 60s. Too bad.
Forsaken. A tried and true
story of estrangement, vengeance, redemption, loves lost, promises kept
and evil doers dispatched with alacrity. Nicely portrayed
characters by the Sutherlands with the help of a strong supporting cast.
Filmed at the Open Range town in Canada the movie has a nice gritty feel
with touches of civilization. You know how it will end, but it's a
nice journey getting there. Thumbs up for a good western.
There can be honor among gunfighters. Even if they were on
opposite sides of the Civil War.
Age of Adeline. At the turn of the century
29 year old Adeline is electrocuted and her cells stop aging. Like
the Highlander she lives as one person, setting up bank accounts then at
a certain time makes her new identity the signatory. Realizing
that if caught people would want to study h ere she leaves a solitary
life with the exception of her daughter who is now old enough to be her
grandmother. At one point after meeting a former lover she
realizes that she can now stop running and after another freak accident
begins to age again. Everything happens for a reason. Extra nice
The Last Witch Hunter. Dark Ages family man
is cursed with immortality after killing an evil witch bent on taking
over the world with her coven. In the present day world the Hunter
watches over a fragile peace between witches and m an. Dark
portents worry everyone and when his guardian is killed a new guardian
is assigned and things go all wonky. Not bad. Vin always
seems to have fun. Good for him. Thumbs up and rumors of LWH
2 are already floating around.
Gone Girl. Psycho woman frames her husband
for her murder then kills and frames an ex boyfriend for her kidnapping
and rape. Distasteful movie, distasteful script and none of the
characters have any redeeming qualities. No one is likeable and
while watching the movie you really want everyone to die horribly.
Minions. A prequel for the Despicable
movies. The Minions as always are cute, funny and sweet. The
evil leader they must follow is pointless and shallow even for a Minion
movie. They are recruited by Scarlett Overkill to steal the Queen
of England's crown. After a few botched attempts, Minions realize
that this is not the way to go and end up saving the day and meeting
young Gru to boot. There are a few hilarious scenes and though the
Minions speak gibberish the movie is easily followed and their emotions
tell the story anyway. Bob is the best and he is so cute when
Scarlet takes away his stuffed teddy, Tim. He whines so sadly.
The movie is full of villains, yeti and British. Quite
Imitation Game. WWII is in full swing.
The Brits are taking it in the shorts. The folks at Bletchley work
feverishly to break Enigma. Couples are formed, secrets are kept,
puzzles are solved and the war is won eventually because of the efforts
of the code breakers. The story is told by Alan Turing (the lead
code breaker) after his arrest for lewd acts punishable by law in
Britain. The tale he tells is fascinating yet still gets him
chemically castrated by the judicial system. The hero of his
country during its darkest hours struggles with demons inner and outer.
And it just dawned on TA that this is the guy the Turing test is named
after regarding the intelligence of machines. One monkey thumb up.
The Hundred Foot Journey. The owner of an
old French restaurant with one Michelin star that is over 30 years old
begrudges the Indian restaurant that opens across the street from her.
Cultures clash, menus explode with flavor and the French lady offers to
train the Indian lad in the ways of being a great chef. So great
he earns her restaurant its second Michelin star. He moves to
Paris and works for a chic, fusion restaurant where he becomes unhappy
and jaded with the accolades. He moves back to the village and
teams up with his girlfriend and the French lady to earn the third star
at her restaurant. Win Win. Sweet, funny and moral.
Enjoyable to watch. Several monkey thumbs up.
Orphan Black the Series. Well written and
cohesive storyline about illicit cloning programs, the existence of
several clones who meet up and join forces to find out what the hell is
going on and why there are so many of them. Good guys, cult
figures, bad guys, turn coats, monitors for the clones and people who
out of the necessity for survival have to trust each other. Some
stuff gets old after awhile, but the red herrings and turncoats liven
things up nicely. TA doesn't think the orphan actress is all that,
but the overall cast helps make it a tight knit group all trying to get
The Machine. The need for super soldiers
once again pits man against machine. An altruistic scientist
trying to find a cure for his sick daughter develops artificial limbs
for wounded soldiers for the government and needs a high tech brain to
control them. He holds a contest to find the scientist who can come up
with the AI that acts like people and not computer. Things go
well, then go so wrong so fast. The winner is killed and given her
own AI brain and is trained to be a killing machine. Turns out she
loves the scientist and tries to protect him and his dying daughter.
Things go so wrong. No happy ending here and all the vets with
implants are turned off essentially killing them and the base is closed
down. Never trust a machine.
Ridiculous 6. God AWFUL. Even if you
could call this movie a farce in the loosest meaning of the word this
movie still sucks. If there had been anything remotely funny about
anything then maybe the absolute poor taste of the movie could be
forgiven. It was so bad it wasn't even stupid bad. A white
raised by natives finds out he has 5 half brothers and they go off on an
adventure to save their thieving, philandering, absentee father.
Wackiness ensues and it is dusgusting. Such an eclectic cast would
mean some talent would be brought to the table. Not so Apeonauts.
Not so. Avoid at all costs. This movie makes A Million Ways
to Die in the West look like Lawrence of Arabia.
Moose The Movie UPDATE: As hoped Moose the Movie
on DVD was received from the frozen North for Christmas. YAY!
Now the Apeonauts may watch it over and over and over ad infinitum ad
MOOSE The Movie.
UAA Wendy Williamson Auditorium, Anchorage, Alaska ~ 6pm, May 14, 2015
The Herbivore your mother warned you about!
A movie made in Alaska, by Alaskans, starring Alaskans! How many
movies can lay claim to this distinction? Exactly ONE! MOOSE
The Movie is a fast-paced ride through dementia at break neck speeds to
an ending no one, with the possible exception of Alaskans, saw coming!
When your young Costco ID checker tells you to go see MOOSE The Movie,
RUN! don't walk to the nearest theater you can find it playing,
even if it is 100 miles away or more! The production values are
great! In many instances far better than any SYFY Channel Original
movie! The cinematography rivals anything presented by that Thin
Red Line director. The Mat-Su area is gorgeous and the inhabitants
gamey, I mean down right game for anything thrown at them! The
story is simple, yet effective. It opens with a stunning graphic
novel approach and indigenous sounding voice over telling the tale of an
evil beast - half man, half moose terrorizing the local villagers
killing everyone in sight! After many failures the native leader
manages to send MOOSE to the underworld using an intricately carved
totem pole, thus saving the remainder of his tribe. Years later
two stupid paint-ballers playing in the woods ruin everything for
everyone as MOOSE is revived and continues his murderous rampage.
Enter the new Park Ranger for Gangrene Gulch, AK., just in time to
investigate the gruesome deaths. More and more people die, toilet
plungers appear from nowhere, food is served by puppet Alphonse, and
more than one person appears to be crazy in the crazy mixed up world of
Gangrene Gulch, AK. Laugh out loud funny was the goal and it was
certainly achieved. Some not so subtle sight gags run amok and
will be much better appreciated when the DVD is released as they pass
rather quickly. If the viewer is on their toes they will catch
most of them. This movie pokes fun at the business of poking fun
of genres and does it so expertly the soft acting skills of the cast is
often times appreciated for its in your face simplicity. All
opposable monkey thumbs up and eagerly awaiting the DVD release.
PAN. Origin story. Visually
stunning. Emotionally empty. More than slightly off-putting.
Odd choice of songs to sing. Odd choice in dressing Blackbeard
like Bette Midler. All in all the entire movie was a peculiar
experience not to be endured again. Team Apeonaut will admit to a
certain appreciation for flying pirate ships however.
Sherlock is 93 living in self-imposed exile, keeping bees
and suffering through the stages of dementia. The 10 year
old son of his housekeeper manages to keep him on his toes
and keeps his brain active enough so Holmes can finish
writing the true account of the Lady in Grey. An
account the Watson embellished in his published story.
This story is of Holmes's last case. A case he failed to
resolve successfully. Dramatic, lively and well acted,
this movie is a must see for any fan of well-told stories.
All monkey thumbs up.
Mission Impossible Rogue Nation. PERFECT
SUMMER POPCORN MOVIE. By far probably the best
storyline in the series, though Ghost Protocol was pretty
darn fun. Great stunts, random silliness, thrills and
spills fill the screen with wanton joy. Ethan and his
IMF team are tracking the illusive Syndicate so they can
bring it down. McGuffins, Double McGuffins and red
herrings flit around like hummingbirds looking for the next
sweet drink. Who is playing who, who will survive, who will
be the next IMF Secretary? Loads of fun. The
movie harkens back to the twists, turns and implausibility
of the TV series. Nice treat if you pay attention.
Cruise in top form showing off why he is a billion dollar
star in the cinematic heavens. You may be old school
and not like the fact that Mr. Phelps was portrayed as a
turncoat in the first movie, but the movie series has grown
up, away and out of that mentality. All monkey thumbs
up. And thumbs up of monkey friends. To be enjoyed and
savored again and again.
Hitman Agent 47. Team Apeonuat
still enjoys Timothy Olyphant's version, but this incarnation celebrates
its video game origins with chaotic abandon and gory, giddy glee.
Rupert is pretty convincing as Agent 47. The action is acceptable,
though you know Rupert didn't do much live action action. 47 meets
his sister and they join forces to save their father who invented the
Agent program in the first place. Violence happens! Lots of
fun! Monkey thumbs up
Ant-Man. A pleasANT surprise.
Good story beginning, middle and end, all in logical fashion. Paul
Rudd is pleasing and well suited to be Ant-Man. Digital young
Michael Douglas is a little creepy giving off a bit of that Clutch Cargo
vibe. (google that if you don't get the reference kiddies).
Poor Martin Donovan is a bad guy once again. Part family drama,
part history lesson to bring the uninitiated up to speed regarding
Ant-Man's pedigree, part launch pad for more Marvel Universe mash-ups.
Good action sequences, nice training montage with the ants, fun
dialogue. Worth a bargain hour. Monkey thumbs up
What If. Comedy of errors in the
life of a habitual relationship loser. He befriends a
cute, extroverted girl who is engaged to a nice guy who goes
to Europe for work. During the course of the movie
they hang out, have fun and he thinks he is in love with
her. In the meantime his friend gets engaged and
offers him terrible advice. The movie tries to hard to
be "cute, hip and current". Hardly worth the effort.
Winter's Tale. A tale of early
New York and the struggle between the dark and the light
with Demons running ever crooked venture in town. The
light in this case is a beautiful winged horse who helps a
thief enrich the life of a dying young woman who then
through the power of her love allows the thief to live more
than 100 years so he can save a dying girl in need of a
miracle. Demons are still after him, but in this sweet
case light triumphs and the girls lives and the thief is
allowed to go to heaven and become a a bit of starlight and
be with his love. Quite enjoyable.
Shanghai. A movie about WWII
spies; American, Chinese and Japanese all converging in
Shanghai before the invasion by the Japanese. The American
spy is in town to find out what happened to his best friend
who was gunned down in the seedy streets of Shanghai.
Turns out the missing love of the Japanese spy was last seen
with the best friend. A Chinese mob boss and his
Japanese wife mix up the plot with mixed loyalties, bad love
and a plot to kill the American after the missing girl is
found dead in a warehouse. Ambushes happen and the
American spy and the Japanese wife escape only to return
years later to be freedom fighters. Helluva cast.
Don't think this movie was released anywhere. Mostly
Zombeavers. Suck a bag
of Dicks!!! We're looking for beavers. Well
hell, ain't we all? How does one describe a movie
produced by some of today's most successful and prolific
producers? It mostly defies description. From
the opening scene in which a mysterious toxic goo is dropped
into the river and transforms those paddle-tailed critters
into ZOMBEAVERS. One by one the 3 women and 3 men
staying at the cabin are scratched, bitten, eaten by
ZOMBEAVERS. Even the dog is sacrificed at the lake in
a vain attempt to escape aquatic mammal zombeaverfication.
Every horror movie nugget is mined for laughs and groans.
The neighbors and the Hunter are all zombeaverized and in
the end the sole survivor is killed by the two idiots who
caused the problem in the first place. The
circle of life...half-life...dead-life. The best part
of the movie...the theme song. Classy! All
opposable monkey thumbs up. Good for a laugh or
BEN KINGSLEY TRIFECTA or what?!?!?!?!?!?
Robot Overlords. How prophetic
the production company named Wasted Talent Films helped
produce this horrible bit of digital refuse. Boasting
an Oscar winner and an Emmy winner Robot Overlords comes
across as having been made at Asylum Studios for the SYFY
Channel. Big WTF people!!! It's worse than 3
Headed Shark Attack starring Danny Trejo. Robots from
space (cool) have invaded earth and enslaved mankind for
scientific research (not cool). They promise to leave
in peace when finished. (Liars!) Ben Kingsley (truly
horrible acting) is a collaborator (bad) Gillian Anderson
(using a wretched excuse of an English accent) is the object
of his affection so she and her family are under his
protection. Of course kids will be kids and figuring a
means to evade the robots outside the kids go in search of
the missing father. Later as the plot develops
(really) and the story gets ridiculous when the kid turns
out to have some control over the robots. Wow!
And in a quick conclusion to a 3 year invasion the kid wipes
out the entire Robot Overlord network in space.! YAY!
No wonder this crap was only in the theaters 1 day.
Another movie with Oscar Winners this time it's Ben
Kingsley and Michael Caine. In a rather nice but
familiar twist has the lunatics truly running the asylum.
A new doctor arrives to finish his training under a great
mental doctor. Turns out things aren't as they seem in
the asylum as is soon borne out when banging heard from deep
in the bowels of the asylum turns out to be the real medical
professionals and staff locked in basement cells. How
does the new doctor handle things when he is obviously
confused and obviously smitten with one of the patients?
Dr. Lamb (Kingsley--chewing the scenery) has unorthodox
procedures for treating mental illness and wants the new
doctor to participate as things get crazier and crazier.
The dawn of a new century blazes brightly as all things
become clear when the inmates are no longer in charge and
sanity rules the day? Fun and entertaining to watch
The Physician. Finally a Ben
Kingsley movie that is thoughtful and well produced. A
young boy orphaned in the Middle Ages tags along with a
Barber (the doctor of his day) and learns the trade of snake
oil, trickery, storytelling and healing. When the
Barber has his cataracts removed by a Jewish healer the boy
learns of Ishfahan in the Middle East where enlightened Jews
and Arabs learn the true art of Medicine and Healing.
In an attempt to hide his Christian faith the boy
self-circumcises and makes the long dangerous journey to the
famous university. He learns many things and becomes a
great healer until religious fanatics plot the overthrow of
the enlightened facility and threaten to drive out the Jews.
No, we can't get along. The boy tries to do the right
things but ends up impregnating a rich Jew's wife and brings
down the whole university by dissecting a cadaver in the ice
cave to learn its secrets of life and death and illustrating
such. Epic battle ensues and the boy and his lover and
child make it back to London where the Barber still alive
hears of their wonderful hospital and plans a visit.
Lovely scenery, good storytelling and decent acting make
this movie easy to watch.
Kung Fury. Oh Faux 80's
you so funny! What can one really say about Kung
Fury....the cop from the future who goes back to the past to
kill the worst criminal ever in one of the most epic time
hacking movies ever!!! If you thought the full length
Wolfcop stunk on ice, Kung Fury is mullets ahead of head and
shoulders. A perfect parody of everything 80s...hair,
cloths, colors, acting skill, and ACTION. Oh, the
action! A true gem. Kung Fury starts life as an
ordinary policeman. After his partner is sliced in
half by a kung fu master, Fury is struck by lightening and
bitten by a cobra simultaneously and as if by magic learns
he is The Chosen One. The best Kung Fu martial artist.
With the help of a computer hacking co-worker, Fury heads
back to the past to kill Kung Fuhrer and stop all the bad in
the world. Fury travels too far and ends up with porn
movie reject Viking women and Thor. There is so much
to describe that happens in this 31 minute youtube wonder.
You must see it for yourself to believe it. So bad
it's good? Probably not remotely possible. So
bad it's bad....until the end credits and the Hoff sings
Survivor and rocks the pants off Broomhilde's T-Rex.
watch it. your brain will explode.
Really fellas, really? So freaking bad. We mean
BAD! A peculiarly thought out interpretation of 47 Ronin set
in medieval times. A lord is insulted by the requests
of his uppers. The lord's retainer is forced to kill
him at the emperor's request. The lord's men are
disavowed and set free to become business men, paupers,
rogues. The retainer sets about being the best
drunkard and lecher he can be...but wait...is it all a plot
to get back into the now fortified castle to kill the
emperor's minion and avenge their lord. The drunken
retainer was just fooling. Holy shit this was BAD!!!
Did Morgan and Clive really need paychecks that badly?
Was this directed by Uwe Boll? BRAIN HURT...EXPLODE
NOW. Monkey thumbs down down down. At least
there was no Ray Liotta in gold lamee tighties.
What can one really say about this? It's awful.
Check. Filled with some of the worst acting from B
actors and award winners alike. Check. At times
interesting visuals and effects. Check. At times awful and
cheesey effects. Check. A young woman is
determined to be the total reincarnation of an alien family
that harvests planets for resources. Turns out she's a
whiny, weak unremarkable woman who cleans toilets. Oh
well, give the Wachowski siblings credit for trying.
A harmless bit of fluff about people who dream of a better
world recruited by a precocious robot girl and being
sent to the future through It's a Small World at Disneyland.
Some fun action with people wearing jet packs zipping around
futuristic monorails and tall spacey buildings. The
movie gets a little preachy in the "can't we do more to save
the planet" arena, but overall it's well acted, fun, funny
and adventuresome. One monkey thumb up.
Wild Card. Body guard with a gambling problem
gets on the wrong side of the mob in Vegas and has to go all in to save
himself. Probably one of the worst Jason movies. Even worse
than Parker with JLO. Eeeww. The movie's only redeeming feature is
his fight to the death against 6 mobsters armed only with a butter
These Final Hours. This is a
wonderfully made "the world is ending and we are all just selfish
assholes" movie. The movie opens with a guy
and his girl, a lonely cabin on the beach and 12 hours until the
absolute end of the world. We never know if it is nuclear or the
sun but it is definitely happening. The guy leaves his girl to go
to a friend's end of the world party. Along the way he saves a little
girl from creepy guys and on the journey to the party and then
ultimately finding the girl's father the guy realizes he needs to get
back to his girl before the end. Well written, realistic and
graphic. Quite enjoyable for an apocalypse.
Battery. Quite possibly the BEST zombie plague/end of humanity
movie in recent memory since the zombie hordes had their cinematic
resurgence. This movie is about as homemade as you can
get...written, directed, starring and financed by all the same people,
family members, small businesses around Kent, Connecticut. Great
story. Some unknown event has happened that has populated the
world with the undead. Two baseball players with very different
ideas of survival are wandering aimlessly along New England. One
is embracing the feral lifestyle. One wants a bed, cooked food and
a girlfriend. Jerking off to the large breasted zombie chick is
rather humorous. The sheer joy in brushing one's teeth with real
toothpaste is a delight. After awhile things do not go well, especially after they make
radio contact with a compound of survivors. Differences of opinion
lead to trouble and trouble leads to death and quite possibly the best
zombie movie ending in a good long while. This movie does its best
when depicting how the world would really be at the end. Very
nice. All monkey thumbs up.
Wyrmwood; Road of the Dead. another
name would be zombie whisperer. Oh those wacky Aussies!
Zombies down under are fast at night and slow during the day.
Zombies give off "deathane" a noxious, combustible fume that can be
harnessed to run cars. Zombie blood is flammable as well.
Whatever caused the zombies renders all petroleum fueled engines
inoperative. A family man must kill his wife and child after they
are zombified during a home invasion gone wrong. The man then goes
searching for his sister who has been kidnapped by the military and is
experimented on by a crazy doctor. Turns out people with a certain
blood type are not effected by the zombie plague. She is injected
with zombie goo resulting in mental control over zombies even across
great distances and to great effect in saving her brother. A fun
interpretation of what happens when the zombie plague occurs.
exuberant monkey thumbs up.
The Water Diviner. Directed by and starring
Russell Crowe, the Water Diviner is a tail of one father's determination
to bring his 3 soldier sons home from Gallipoli. Crowe looking
totally at peace with himself gives a riveting performance of the father
who has lost everything thrown into a culture so different from his own
that at times he does the wrong thing thinking he is doing good.
The British military does not care or want to help him and his only
assistance comes from the Turkish general who was in charge at Gallipoli
during that fateful battle. Beautifully filmed and directed the
tale sweeps from battle field to political field to hopefulness and
faith seamlessly. Lovely storytelling and even the ending is rich
and rewarding. Highly recommended. All monkey thumbs up.
One interesting note...The actor who played Dewey Crowe on Justified
plays a smarmy Irish priest down under.
Penguins of Madagascar. A poor attempt to
cash in on the coolness of the Penguins by making this their "origins"
story. A few moments of fun but mostly derivative tale of escape,
revenge and cuteness.
Alien Outpost. A tasty Jihadi/Alien vs US
soldiers movie. A "documentary" about a devastating alien invasion
of Earth. After years of defeat, Outpost 37 is one of the last
standing and manned defense zones in the Middle East. Not only do
the soldiers have to battle Jihadis but bipedal alien "Heavies" that are
able to control dead people, Jihadis and Friendlies alike with an
implant in the modula oblongata. The soldiers of Outpost 37 are
being interviewed by the "documentary" crew about events that brought
the enemy occupation to an end, mostly. Once Outpost 37 figures
out what is going on, they go on the offensive, losing many fine men. In
an explosive climax they bring down an alien communication tower.
Funny, they also bring down their own space defenses allowing alien
weapons caches to fall to Earth to rearm the Heavies remaining on the
planet. Far superior to Monsters: Dark Continent. Well acted and fast
paced. Almost as good or better than most Hollywood sci-fi out
there these days. A monkey thumb up.
The Barber. A serial killer
arrested and released starts a new life in a small town. The grown
son of the suicide cop who arrested but failed to keep incarcerated the
serial killer, finds the guy in Morraine (end) and begins a lame plan to
trick him and catch him. The killer figures it out and bitch slaps
him back to reality. After a series of bad choices, the serial
killer finally gets his just desserts and they are best served cold.
Scott Glenn is extremely creepy and convincing as the killer.
Boxtrolls. Creepy animation makes
this tale nearly unwatchable. A baby seemingly stolen by monstrous
boxtrolls. As the story unfolds the creepy daughter of the town
mayor uncovers the truth and the evil doers are exposed and disposed of.
The boxtrolls are kind of cute in a mutated minions way but overall the
story is to creepy.
The Cobbler. A morose schlub plods through
life working in his family cobble shop. One day when his high tech
stitcher breaks down he uses the old single head stitcher down in the
basement. That's when the magic happens. If the cobbler
wears any shoe fixed on that stitcher, he becomes that person, black,
white , man woman, in-between, dead anyone. After a few adventures
trying to do good, a little bad and a few things in between, the Cobbler
discovers the real reason behind the magic and has his father returned
to him after 30 plus years. A pretty good movie with a
surprisingly good cast. A little drama, a little comedy, a little
heartbreak. Nice. Some monkey thumbs up.
THIS is bar far one
of the best time travel/paradox/meet yourself/be yourself movies ever
made. Based on Heinlein's short story All You Zombies the movie
follows a temporal Agent who has spent a lifetime time traveling to
ensure his own existence. When a bartender asks a "guy" at the bar
his story and the reveals are let free, a wonderful "I am my own
grandfather" tale is spun. Well acted, directed and filmed there
are only a few instances of being able to see behind the curtain but the
progresses so well that they can be ignored. For all those time
travel nay-sayers, you might be impressed with this simple, yet elegant
tale. Past, present and future monkey thumbs up.
Bad Asses on the Bayou. The third in a
series of geriatric bad assery movies starring Danny Trejo and Danny
Glover. Humorous on the surface while taking advantage of the
Expendables limelight, our old fart asses head to Louisiana to rescue a
friend from kidnappers. Pretty ludicrous. There are a couple
of moments that are truly funny and or bad ass. Mostly these dudes
need more naps. Entertaining.
The Four. The Divine Constabulary must
prevent corrupt officials from using counterfeit dies to flood the
economy with bad money. Spies, infiltrators, werewolves, zombies,
magic, the undead, crazy wuxia and a story line that makes crazy Ivan's
every half hour make this movie nearly incomprehensible. Kinetic energy
that peters out quickly and several characters are too whiny to like.
Paddington. What horrible preconceived notion kept Team Apeonaut from
seeing this bright-eyed and full of wonderment movie? Nicole
Kidman. So dear Crappers, TA sat down and watched Paddington with
that wide-eyed wonder and mostly ignored NK who has a mostly
inconsequential role, Cruella DeVil as it were who is thankfully only in
a few short scenes. One of which is ironically funny when she
comes through the skylight a la "Mission Impossible". Back to the
bear...after their forest home is destroyed in an earthquake and
with the urging of his Aunt, Paddington goes to London to find a good
home. No one really looks at him twice...a talking bear...except
one family trying too hard to remember what it was like to have fun.
As they try to get him into the hands of the proper authorities,
Paddington shows them life is full of wonder. Sweet, funny and a
well done mix of live action and CGI Paddington lets you remember that
favorite old story book with fondness. All opposable monkey thumbs
The Divine Move. The ultimate revenge movie
that's been done many times and many ways before. This one has a
little twist in that is is Korean, centers around the game of GO and
involves gamblers, tricksters, masters, martial arts, prison, mystery,
and a happy ending though everyone should be dead. An innocent is
framed for the murder of his brother by a ruthless gambler. During
his captivity Tae Sok learns to master GO from a mysterious master in
the next cell. He is taught to fight by a criminal master.
Upon his release he sets in motion a convoluted and grand plan to exact
revenge upon the group of men that killed and robbed his brother.
Kind of fun in a Korean kind of way.
Hector and the Search for Happiness. Hector
the psychiatrist leads a well ordered and tidy life with his girlfriend.
He has a crisis and heads to China, Tibet, Africa and parts unknown in
Los Angeles and has adventures that surely change his life for the
better. Fairly pointless drivel about being happy in your own skin
and loving the one you're with, but there are moments of brilliance.
Worth a peek. Nice performances.
Horns. An interesting little character study
of a young man accused of murdering the woman he loves. He wakes
up one morning with devil horns that no one seems surprised to see.
When people begin to tell him their deep dark secrets he realizes he can
find out who really murdered his sweetheart. After many twists,
turns and red herrings in the story the true killer emerges
and quite frankly, all hell breaks loose. Fun.
Wolves. A goofy werewolf movie about an
orphan werewolf who inadvertently finds his way home and must fight to
the death his biological father for control of the wolves in the town of
Lupine Falls. Silly. Mostly SYFY Channel silliness and
quality. But it has Stephen McHattie and TA likes him.
Dad Arnold must protect his zombie daughter from authorities.
A plague has afflicted 3/4 of the population. Those that show
signs of brain eating are put down in official camps. Arnold wants
his daughter to go by his own hands. Law officers want to take her
to the camp. Arnold fights them off for months. When she
passes up the opportunity to eat his brains and toss herself off the
roof he knows how special she is. Oh Maggie. Arnold did
actually have to act in this movie. It was actually pretty good.
one and a half monkey thumbs up.
After. A man and a woman meet on a bus.
She wants to be left alone, he is an artist. They grew up in the
same small town, but never knew each other. She then wakes up with
hairy armpits thus beginning a journey into nightmares, dreams, charcoal
drawings that attack and drag you to the edge of hell and the journey
back to life from months long comas. They must stick together in
order to survive the darkness at the edge of their brains. His
drawings are the key to everything. Not bad.
Outcast. Oh Boy. What
drivel. Amazing movies can get made of this caliber with
Oscar winners in such minor roles. One would think it
was directed by Uwe Bol! Two Knights Templar disenchanted
with their holy mission in Baghdad head East to forget their
troubles. One becomes the White Ghost, a bandit who
for years has been a thorn in the side of authority.
The other is an opium head trying to keep his demons at bay.
The daughter and youngest son of a benevolent Eastern ruler
are sent on the run as the king's health deteriorates and he
realizes his oldest son is a psychopath bent on war and
destruction. The chase begins. Opium Head
reluctantly saves them and helps them get to the White Ghost
with the new king's (bad prince) black guard in hot pursuit.
Treachery and bad dialogue "you have more flies buzzing
around you than a goat's farting asshole" run rampant.
One this movie does, or maybe it's two is show that Hayden
Christensen has almost shed the horrible Star Wars Anikin
Skywalker portrayal, though he did trade in a space princess
for a Chinese one and Nic Cage's long warrior hair was just
this side of being the best hair he's had in many a bad
The Homesman. A bleak tale to be sure,
co-written and directed by Tommy Lee Jones. Three frontier women
after having suffered privations most foul -- death of children by
disease, rape by spouse, murder of baby -- go utterly insane.
Their husbands totally incapable of caring for them properly pay to have
the women transported to Idaho where a preacher's wife will tend the
women until their families can retrieve them and bring them home for
proper care. Spinster Mary Bee Cuddy, a better man than most,
volunteers to take the women on the journey. Along the way she
comes upon Mr. Briggs tied to his horse with a rope around his neck.
Upon his promise to help her she cuts him down and they begin an arduous
journey into hell. The women are intractable, clawing, screeching,
yowling. Briggs is grumpy. Cuddy is lonely and tired.
No one has a good time in the old West. Hardships and
relationships often times don't mix.
Boyhood. The twelve year journey of a boy
from childhood to college and his relationships with his divorced
parents and their new families. Pretty pointless movie idea but
gripping and hard to stop watching. The gimmick of using the same
actors through the years is quite clever. Worth the time to watch.
I'll Follow You Down. If it wasn't for Gillian
Anderson's pretentious self-righteous acting, this would have been
a great movie. 25 years earlier a man leaves his family on a
"business" trip. He never returns home. The boy grows up to
be a loner, the mother a depressed teacher. 25 years later the
boy's grandfather receives a large package and discovers what might be a
time machine built around Einstein's theories. The boy, who is a
certifiable genius helps gramps figure out how to make it work and
see if they can bring the boy's father back. The mother kills
herself, the girlfriend is pregnant, the grandfather despondent.
What is a boy to do? He goes back in time to...no spoilers here.
It's very well done and worth watching.
Whiplash. A musical prodigy wants to be the best
drummer ever, of all time, in the world. He is enrolled in a good
music school and tries out for a maniacal, fanatical teacher.
Dramatic, intense, sad, destructive and beautifully acted.
Should be seen.
X-Men Days of Future Past. Pointless waste of
talent, film and money. Wolverine is sent back through time to
prevent Magneto from building the Sentinals that wipe out mutant kind.
Old and new team up to save everyone. Can Wolverine do it?
Is he strong enough? Are we strong enough? No, we are not.
Makes us weak and sick sitting through this drivel.
Skeleton Twins. The adult children of a suicide
father try to make sense of their small dysfunctional lives. The
brother comes home after many years after a suicide attempt of his own.
Reconnecting with his sister who is in a loving marriage but can't seem
to be faithful to her husband. She also attempts suicide so the
bother and sister pack up and head to LA to start over. Poignant
and well acted. Not what is expected. Worth watching
Taken 3. Better than Taken 2. Boasting
a great Porsche vs private jet stunt Taken 3 revisits some old
chestnuts. this time to drive home the point that this is the last
installment, Lenore is killed, Bryan is framed and the current husband
wants to get away with millions in insurance money. So
predictable. The Bryan escape from the police stunt is pretty
good. The moment you see the current husband you just know he's
the bad guy. That's too bad. It should have been more of a
surprise. The daughter was on again off again annoying and Forest
Whitaker reprised his roll as lead investigator from Ahnold's movie Last
Stand. Overall it was fun and active.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Too
much movie plays before it gets even remotely interesting.
The premise is a sad sack negative cutter for Life Magazine
lives his entire life for going to work, choosing the
negative for the cover of the next issue and going home.
He does this for 16 years. To make humdrum more
likable he daydreams about the adventures intimated by the
negatives. Then the digital age happens and the
magazine downsizes. Walter has lost a valuable
negative from a reclusive adventure photographer and goes on
his own adventure to find him and get the location of the
negative. The last 20 minutes of the movie are
enjoyable to watch as Walter goes from jumping out of a
helicopter into the ocean to outrunning an exploding volcano
to hiking the Himalayas to find the photographer filming
snow leopards. If you can make it to the end it's a
nice journey to the final cover of the final print magazine.
Kings of Summer. Two
boys fed up with their meddling, seemingly domineering and
parental units run away to the woods, build a house, live
off the land (and Boston Market), have a deranged and
oddball character come live with them, meet a girl who
creates a rift among friends, get the police involved,
confuse their parents. Things don't end well. Ah
teen angst...you so funny. Trailer looked good.
Movie not so much.
Only Lovers Left Alive. Adam and
Eve, two vampire lovers who come together periodically over
the centuries have differing views of humanity and how it
has changed over history. Eve has an uncontrollable
younger vampire sister who always throws their world into a
tailspin with her erratic behavior. Adam is artistic
and fatalistic. Eve is a free spirit who is a
complement to Adam. Adam lives in Detroit, a desolate
and decayed city. Dreamy and beautifully filmed at
night the film is cold yet warm. The gift of the
mandolin in Tangiers is especially poignant. Worth the
time to sit through it.
Outlander Season 1. Bodice
ripper with a heroine that is too wishy washy, too whiney
and too annoying. Otherwise not a bad adaptation of
Divergent. Another in a long
line of YA books to screen adventures in dystopian Earth.
People divided into four classes try to live peacefully, or
at least with the absence of war. The ruling class
wants to destroy the helpful class of people and the
Divergents (people that don't conform) try to save the
system. Too whiny, too wimpy, too annoying. The
training montages and dialogue are trite and unbelievable.
Draft Day. The
Cleveland Browns get a whole new team, the team the GM wants
on Draft Day thanks to their General Manager all the while
dealing with a full plate of family disaster/team
disaster/personal disaster. A pleasing Kevin Costner
outing with a fine last minute negotiations for the players
they want with the other team's GMs. All in all good
cast of actors making an entertaining movie.
Night at the Museum Secret of the
Tomb. The magic in the museum is about to run out.
Larry and company travel to the British Museum to talk to Ak's Pharaoh father to learn the secret of the tablet that
glows and restore the magic. Silliness ensues with the
usual forced feeling. Though it is sad to see Robin
Williams and Mickey Rooney in their last roles on film, the
saddest scene is Dexter's near death scene and the goodbye
scene between Larry and Dexter when the magic is left in
England. Not great, not horrid but it should be the
end of the series in a tidy and pleasant way.
John Wick. WHAM! BAM! THANK
YOU! MA'AM! Beautiful ballet of bloodshed, bullets and bombastic
brutality. What great fun this movie is! Keanu Reeves is pitch
perfect as a retired hitman out for personal revenge. The revenge
of a "my dead wife sent me a cute puppy to keep me company after
her death and the puppy is killed by thugs". Having been retired
many years to enjoy a quiet peaceful life, John Wick comes back with a
vengeance for vengeance. This time it's personal. Having his
former stunt double and professional stuntman for the director was a
stroke of genius as this movie is compact in dialogue and extraneous
movement. It is explosive in realistic and believable action.
Punches hurt, knife wounds are bloody and painful, and gunshots...oh
that digital blood sprays so good. In the business of contract
killers there are rules to follow. When the rules are broken bad
things can happen and there are so few friends to be made in the
business. There are very few nudge-wink moments even though you
feel in your gut they are nudging and winking at you. This movie
is possibly Reeves' best effort to date. Too bad he wasn't allowed
to make this kind years ago. But then, maybe he wasn't aged enough
to play it this well. Well worth the IMAX admission price to see
several times. Nice mix of familiar actors and stunt people.
Every opposable monkey appendage up! Oh, did we mention crashed
cars that go over the edge DON'T explode!!! Nice detail!