Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero (Animated) Review

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One thing I have noticed about the Batman animated movies after just two of them is that the plot is generally awesome. But, just like Mask of the Phantasm, the action scenes are lacking.

As the title suggests, this one is about Mr. Freeze. He is looking for away to save his wife and to do it he needs an organ donor, and the donor he needs just happens to be still alive. And Batman is trying to stop him obviously.

Did I just say Batman? Because Robin is in on the action as well and we get some brief Bat Girl action. I have never liked Robin but he isn’t too bad in this.

The plot is excellent but then we get to the climax of the movie and get… nothing. No epic fights. No Batman kicking ass. Just a bunch of explosions and running basically. Really disappointing. I can see why critics are so high on this movie due to the plot and the fact Mr. Freeze is a sympathetic villain. But a Batman movie with no Batman justice isn’t my type of movie.

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Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 90% Audience: 47%

Shadow’s Rating: 5/10– Awesome story but very little action and almost no focus on Batman.

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Pros, cons, spoilers after the jump.

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Continue reading Batman and Mr. Freeze: SubZero (Animated) Review

Mid-Day Musings #8

Nice and short today. Busy with tests. 

– I am getting fat again. I had a goal to get down to 200 lbs but then stopped caring and I am back up to 220. I just don’t do well eating wise without structure. If I cheat even a little it blows my diet to smithereens because I can eat way too much in one sitting. The extra weight is killing my body weight exercises.

– The weather finally “broke” down here in the South a couple weeks ago. Now its 70ish with a chilly breeze. Can’t complain but I prefer 80-85 myself.

– So, after hearing all the hype about the Walking Dead TV show, I finally watched it, which is rare because I don’t watch much TV. And really, it was boring as fuck. I don’t understand the hype at all and it seems like there is a bunch of fanboys who defend it to the end. Absolutely nothing of consequence happened in the second episode. Well, let me rephrase: stuff happened it just could have been summed up in 5 minutes instead of an hour. The acting seems… average/amateur to be honest. I am going to give it one more episode due to the cliff hanger that promises action in the 3rd episode. Maybe after I get around to watching Season 1 I will understand they hype but this show has nothing on Games of Thrones for example. 

– Sadly, I think my days of bench pressing are reaching the end. My shoulder just hates it these days and I don’t think it is worth the risk anymore. I may have to try some incline or something to see if that helps. Kind of blows. Maybe I should focus on dips or seated military press (standing kills my back). I don’t know, I have always wanted to do 405 for bench but that dream is all but gone these days.

– I haven’t gotten to watch any movies due to tests! Fucking sucks! I haven’t even bought Captain America yet because I don’t have time to watch it so I don’t want to tempt myself with it.

– So, I have been getting into comic books. Probably a horrible idea as I have too many “hobbies” as is with Lifting, my neglected fish tank, and movies. I have always been interested in comic books but couldn’t afford and didn’t know where to start. But with DC rebooting there comics I saw an opportunity and jump in. We will see if this is a short term thing or not. Hopefully short term lol.

Training Log: Upper Body

Lifting:

Towel Pull Ups: 4×6 -ss- Clap Paused Push Ups: 4×10

Band Tri Extensions: 100 total

– In the garage.

– I am out of town this weekend but I have tests this week so I did a very quick workout. I can tell I haven’t been focusing on pull ups they were much harder than they should have been. The extra fat gain isn’t helping either.

Dissecting the Avengers Trailer

Trailers really don’t mean much. They are just meant to get the casual people (aka the important people) interested in a movie. People like me don’t really buy movies based on trailers. Plus, no trailer is going to show the shitty parts of a movie. All trailers are different degrees of awesome.

But, I am going to dissect the new Avengers trailer anyway just for fun. Let’s see how much I can overanalyze 2 minutes worth a clips from a 2+ hour long movie. I am also going to use information from the Comicon clip as well that has been described on the internet.

After the jump in case you want to go into the movie without knowing anything. Possible huge spoilers.

Click here for a link to the trailer. 

– Loki looks pissed and insane. In Thor, he was starting to become evil. He was always jealous and conniving, but he wasn’t downright evil. Not anymore. He is hell bent on ruling Midgard/Earth.

– Aliens have been confirmed judging from the aircraft. Now we just need to know which aliens. Skrull? Kree? Thano’s army? Something completely out of left field? Marvel hasn’t let a single thing out to what the aliens are.

– The superheros are not going to get along initially. We had Cap and Iron-Man going at it in the trailer and Stark is poking fun at Banner.

– Banner is going to join the Avengers willingly. This was in the clip at Comicon. He was asked by the Widow to come along as Fury needs him as a scientist. Different versions of the story in the comics had the team fighting the Hulk and then he joins to save the day. Maybe that still happens with the Hulk but not with Banner. This also brings us to our next point…

– The cosmic cube is getting stolen. They need Banner to help track the cube as it gives off gamma radiation and Banner is the leader in that field.

– The Black Widow is going to get a lot of screen time. And this does not make me happy. She is the least interesting Avenger of the group.

– The Hulk looks fantastic. Best job yet. And…

– It looks like there will be an Avengers vs. Hulk fight. The scene were the Hulk flips out looks like it happens right after the explosion and in the same setting as Thor calling for Mjolner. A Thor/Hulk fight NEEDS to happen. I could be way off on this one but that is what it looks like.

– Why is Cap fighting Thor? For one, Thor would kick Cap’s ass… Thor is just on another level of power. But anyway, why are those two fighting? Is that really Cap or is it a shape shifter (Skrulls?). Is it a training exercise? Is Thor pissed because SHIELD won’t turn Loki over to Thor and Asgard? Is Thor pissed they won’t give Asgard back the cosmic cube as it was described in Captain America: TFA that it came from Odin’s treasure room. Are they just having a disagreement (I can’t see Cap and Thor not getting along). We know Thor is a bit of a hot head but this seems odd and interesting.

– What is with Loki’s staff? It isn’t the same one he had in Thor.


– Iron-Man is probably still going to be the star in this movie. He was featured heavily in the trailer, although I think Loki and Banner may steal the show.

– We still know nothing about Hawk-Eye. He hasn’t gotten hardly any screen time whatsoever.

Training Log: Lower Body

Warm Up:

Foam Roller: Upper Back, Lower Back, ITB, Quad, Adductors
Lacrosse Ball: Piriformis, Calves
Stretch: Hip Flexors, Hamstrings, Calves, Piriformis

Lifting:

Donkey Calf Raises: 70x12x2 -ss- Planks: 2x45cts

SM Calf Raises: 315x8x2 -ss- Planks: 2x45cts

SM Calf Raises: 315x8x2 -ss- TKE: 2×25


One Legged Leg Press: 140x10x3

Goodmornings: 75x20x2 -ss- Hip Abduction Machine: 110x25x2

DE Squats: 225×2, 275x2x3, 295x2x2, 315x2x2

Training Log: Upper Body

Warm Up:

Band Shoulder Traction
Foam Roller Thoracic Extension
RC Internal Rotation Stretch

Lifting:

Bench Press: 305×2, 255×5, 280×3

Pull Ups: BWx10x2

Straight Bar BW Presses: 3×8

– I have tests this week and last week so I didn’t have much time. Plus my shoulder is really bothering me again.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse Review

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One thing good about Resident Evil was that it wasn’t just your typical, boring Zombie movie. They added in some more elements to make it more exciting and just better. Unfortunately in RE: Apocalypse, they took out all the interesting stuff.

Like the end of the RE showed, the virus has spread out of the Hive because they went back in and opened it for a 3rd time for some stupid reason. The city gets infected, they quarantine the city, and Alice wakes up in an empty hospital and doesn’t really know is going on. They decide to lock down the city for good and Alice and some others are trying to find a way out.

That is like the beginning of 10,000 zombie movies. Seriously this is what they could come up with?

The movie adds some things of interest, such as what the Nemesis program was they mentioned at the end of the first film and what they did to Alice. And some of the action scenes are pretty good (particularly Alice). But the last action scene was pretty damn cheesy and the movie as a hole doesn’t live up to the first of the series.

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Rotten Tomatoes: 21% Audience: 70%

Shadow’s Rating: 4/10– Virtually all of the originality and interesting-ness of the first movie was stripped out and replaced with a ho-hum zombie apocalypse movie. Yawn.

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Pros, cons, spoilers after the jump.

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Continue reading Resident Evil: Apocalypse Review

Movie Quick Shots

– The director for the new Judge Dredd movie has quit the project. Not a good sign.

– There is more and more evidence that the Dark Knight Rises seems to be following the Knightfall series of the comics. There seems to be a video of Wayne limping with a walking stick. This is a huge undertaking and I hope they don’t leave the huge plot holes like the DK did.

– Thor has been pushed back to November 2013 due to the fucking Lone Ranger. This sucks. And there is way too much talk going on about Jane Foster (Portman’s character) instead of Thor kicking ass. I was hoping Thor would barely be on Earth at all in this movie. I want more Mjolner not Foster. I guess this means we may get more Sif and maybe the Enchantress?

– Rumors from Comi Con is that the new Ghost Rider is looking MUCH better than the first. It is much darker and much more violent. Keeping my fingers crossed on this. GR is one of the most powerful things in the Marvel Universe.

– The plot from the new Underworld is slowly coming out. Selena has been stuck in cryosleep for 10 years and now the humans know the existence with Lycans and Vampires and are hunting them. Michael is NOT in the movie (good) but Selena has a very powerful Hybrid daughter. Could be fun or could be stupid. I will be there to watch either way.

– Transformers 4 AND 5 is almost a given at this point as they are thinking of making them back to back to save money. Why they need to save money when they have grossed over a billion I dont know lol. There is also a rumor going around that Shia is done and they want Jason Statham to lead. Anyway, I have no idea how they will squeeze another two movies out of this but I am willing to let them try. Transformers has its flaws but they are generally entertaining to watch. Just please, don’t bring Megatron back to life again.

– [SPOILERS] There is still a rumor going around that Thanos will be in the Avengers to an extent. Probably to set up the sequel. Interesting if true. [/SPOILERS]

– Marvel seems dead set on making a Guardian of the Galaxy movie and Ant-man/Wasp. Pisses me right off. I want BLACK PANTHER DAMNIT!! Plus, Marvel gets their rights to the Fantastic Four back relatively soon and I would rather they do that than the damn Guardians and fucking Ant-Man. 

Shadow -vs- the Critic #1: Ebert and Thor

“Real” movie critics are almost useless these days due to the internet, twitter and texts. If I want to know if a movie is good, I don’t look in the newspaper: I text my friends and ask or go to a website that gives movie reviews from people who aren’t 89 years old.

But critics can affect the opening week numbers for the technological challenged which can stop movies I like from getting a sequel. Now, I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion and a lot of people hate the movies I enjoy. But, there is a difference between not liking a movie and barely even watching it before passing judgement or coming in with such a biased opinion from the get go that the whole review sucks.

That is what these posts will be for: the reviews are so bad I can’t help but tear them apart quote-by-quote internet style.

First up, the old fuck Ebert and his terrible, terrible review on Thor. He literally didn’t see the movie, was falling asleep during it, or was having mini strokes. There will be SPOILERS so it is after the jump.

I didn’t attend the April 30 critics’ screening for “Thor” because it was at the same time Ebertfest was showing “A Small Act,” about an 88-year-old woman named Hilde Back. She’d flown from Sweden, and I wanted be onstage to present her with the Golden Thumb. Missing “Thor 3D” was not an inconsolable loss, because Richard Roeper covered it for the paper and I was able to see it in Chicago in nice, bright 2D. The house was surprisingly well-populated for a 8:50 p.m. screening on a Monday, suggesting that some people, at least, will make an effort to avoid 3D.

There is something called Ebertfest? /facepalm. At least we agree 3D is stupid most of the time. 

“Thor” is failure as a movie, but a success as marketing, an illustration of the ancient carnival tactic of telling the rubes anything to get them into the tent.

The marketing, as I remember, was a God has a powerful hammer and fucks things up. Someone takes his power and sends him to Earth. Is that not what was delivered?

The failure of “Thor” begins at the story level, with a screenplay that essentially links special effects. Some of the dialog is mock heroic (“You are unworthy of your title, and I’ll take from you your power!”) and some of it winks ironically (“You know, for a crazy homeless person… he’s pretty cut.”) It adapts the original Stan Lee strategy for Marvel, where characters sometimes spoke out of character.

Why is he acting as if this is the Green Lantern or something? There was no abuse of special effects. Asgard was CGI (kind of have to be), the frost giants were CGI’d but it was done perfectly. None of the Earth scenes were CGI. Wtf is he talking about?

The story might perhaps be adequate for an animated film for children, with Thor, Odin and the others played by piglets. In the arena of movies about comic book superheroes, it is a desolate vastation. Nothing exciting happens, little of interest is said, and the special effects evoke not a place or a time but simply…special effects.

Thor to begin with is not an interesting character. The gods of Greek, Roman and Norse mythology share the same problem, which is that what you see is what you get. They’re defined by their attributes, not their personalities. Odin is Odin and acts as Odin and cannot act as other than Odin, and so on. Thor is a particularly limited case. What does he do? He wields a hammer. That is what he does. You don’t have to be especially intelligent to wield a hammer, which is just as well, because in the film Thor (Chris Hemsworth) doesn’t seem to be the brightest bulb in Asgard.

And Odin is supposed to act like what? He acted as an all powerful King, which is what Odin is. Thor isn’t supposed to be portrayed as intelligent, especially in the beginning of the movie, which is his downfall. He is supposed to be portrayed as a warrior who reacts on emotion instead of reason, hence why Odin banished him. He isn’t the brightest bulb in Asgard, Loki is. 

The land (sphere? state of mind? heaven?) known as Asgard is described in Norse mythology as being near Troy, or perhaps in Asia Minor. In the movie it is not of this earth and must be elsewhere in the universe.

Thor is based on some Norse mythology… it isn’t a direct copy. Why does he keep referencing it? It is based on a fucking comic book. And the movie clearly states it is another planet/realm in the universe. The same as Jotunheim and Earth. Here, we begin to see the Ebert is having mini strokes during the movie or is falling asleep. 

It consists of towering spires and skyscrapers linked by bridges and buttresses and betraying no sign of a population, except when untold thousands of Asgardians are required to line up at attention like robotic Nazis to receive dictates from the throne of Odin (Anthony Hopkins).

Think back to what parts of Asgard we saw. We saw the Bifrost, Odin’s treasure room, Odin’s throne, Odin’s bedroom, and the place Thor and the Warrior Three hang out. All of these are places of royalty. Why would random Asgardians be hanging out there? And of course everyone is going to come and here the FUCKING KING announce his successor in the beginning of the movie. Why is he complaining about this?

Asgard’s ancient enemies are the Frost Giants, whose home is Jotunheim. I believe, but cannot promise you, that Jotunheim and Asgard are linked by a bridge, although this bridge also seems to be the way Thor reaches Earth, so perhaps it’s more of a gateway through time and space, which would explain why Asgardians hurtle across intergalactic light-years and land in New Mexico without a hair out of place.

Another stroke I guess. The movie clearly states that it is similar to a worm hole. And stunning that GODS can travel between realms without getting dirty. 

Thor is the first to arrive, and encounters three human scientists. Whether he is human himself is a question the film sidesteps. We know from mythology that gods sometimes mated with humans, which is a hopeful sign.

The movie makes it pretty clear that the Asgardians are not humans. And once again the mythology references for a COMIC BOOK movie.  

(On another note, I believe Thor has been retconned to be half human in a way. But this is never covered in the movie.)

The humans are astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her friend Darcy (Kat Dennings) and the distinguished Dr. Erik Sevig (Stellan Skarsgard). I mention she’s an astrophysicist because behaves more like a Storm Chaser, cruising the desert in a van and peering into the skies, which won’t get you far in astrophysics. Their van hits Thor after he unluckily lands in front of it. This is not a Meet Cute for the gods.

The movie clearly states Foster was looking for something particular (can’t remember off the top of my head) that night. Stay awake, Ebert. 

Later there’s a meteoric event in which Thor’s hammer hurtles to earth and becomes embedded so firmly that it can’t be pulled lose by a pickup truck or even the federal government.

That is because Odin’ put a magical enchantment on it you dumbass. That was even stated in the fucking trailer. I am starting to think Ebert just read the plot of Wiki and didn’t actually see the movie. 

So now Thor is on Earth, his hammer is stuck, and I am underwhelmed. Thor luckily speaks English and Jane and her friends take him to the local diner, where he eats lots of Pop Tarts and, when he finishes his coffee, smashes the empty cup to the ground. “We don’t do that,” Jane explai
ns as if to a child, and advises him to simply order another cup, after which he apparently absorbs human behavior and the movie drops the Taming of the Thor angle.

First off, I hate when people bitch about the language in movies. American’s don’t like to watch movies that are full of subtitles. It is done for convenience. And, is it really hard to believe that God’s could speak any language they damn well please? Plus, it was mentioned earlier that the Asgardians have visited Earth on more than one equations. 

And second, soon after the coffee cup scene, he goes into a pet shop and demands a horse. And after being told they don’t have any, he demands something large enough to ride. So he wasn’t “instantly tamed” as Ebert states. 

The three scientists are thin soup. Jane flirts demurely with Thor, Darcy stands next to her and does nothing very important, and Dr. Sevig regards them gravely and looms slightly above a low-angle camera while looking on with wise concern. There is also a government agent (Clark Gregg), whose every action is the remedy to an immediate requirement of the plot.

Superhero movies live and die on the quality of their villains. “Thor” has a shabby crew. The Frost Giants spend most of their time being frosty in their subzero sphere of Jotunheim and occasionally freezing their enemies.

And trying to steal their Casket of Ancient Winters back. And trying to kill Thor, Loki, and the Warriors 3. And trying to assassinate Odin.

Thor’s brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is dark-haired, skinny, shifty-eyed and sadly lacking in charisma. He might as well be wearing a name tag: “Hi! I can’t be trusted!” These villains lack adequate interest to supply a climactic battle, so the plot provides a Metal Giant, sends him to the New Mexico town, and has him blast fiery rays that blow up gas stations real good but always miss his targets. He is apparently stopped by a sword through his spine, but why does he need a spine since when his mask lifts we can see his head is an empty cavern?

This is one of the worst paragraphs in the whole thing. 

Name me a villain in a comic book movie that didn’t scream villain?  

Lack interest? Loki was a jealous brother who had been passed over to be the next king. Oh, and then he finds out he really isn’t Odin’s son and is really a Frost Giant, the hated enemies of the Asgardians. Conflicted as fuck, he tries to prove he can be what Thor couldn’t, a great king. He tricks his own people (Frost Giants) into coming into Asgard, and then two times him and kills the leader of the Frost Giants. He also tricks Thor into believing that Thor killed Odin and then sends the Destoryer to kill him. All in a horribly misguided way to prove his worth. Yep. Terribly boring villain. So boring he is the next villain to the Avengers movie.  

Lack of interesting battles? Thor, Loki, and the Warriors three vs the Frost Giants? Thor vs the Federal agents? Thor vs the Destroyer? Thor vs Loki to end the movie? Did he just miss all of those battles? 

Destroyer miss his targets? Loki instructed him to destroy everything. So he destroyed EVERYTHING.  

And stopped by a sword in the spine? WTF? The Destroyer immediately turned around and attempted to vaporize Sif. It wasn’t destroyed until after it killed Thor and Thor got his powers back and threw his hammer into its face. How did he completely miss the entire sequence? He literally must have fallen asleep. The Destroyer acted dead after getting stabbed for all of 20 seconds. 

And what about that town? It seems to be partly a set with two interiors (the diner and Jane’s office) and partly CGI. It seems to go for a few blocks and then end abruptly in barren desert. Not even any suburbs or strip malls. I know aliens from other worlds are required to arrive in New Mexico, but why stay there? Why can’t the Metal Giant attack the Golden Gate Bridge or scale a Trump Tower somewhere? Who cares he if turns a 7-Eleven into a fireball?

Never mind. This paragraph my be even worse. 

The Destroyer was sent to kill Thor and everything else around him. Thor was in that town. The Destroyer was not sent to destroy the planet. 

And Thor stayed in New Mexico to get his Mjolner, which was in that town. Loki came to visit New Mexico because that is where Thor was. The Warrior 3 came to New Mexico because that is where Thor was. The Destroyer came to New Mexico because that is where Thor was. Stunning.  

And yes, those types of towns exist. Dumbass. 

Here is a film that is scoring 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. For what? The standards for comic book superhero movies have been established by “Superman,” “The Dark Knight,” “Spider-Man 2” and “Iron Man.” In that company “Thor” is pitiful. Consider even the comparable villains (Lex Luthor, the Joker, Doc Ock and Obadiah Stane). Memories of all four come instantly to mind.

Nobody is saying Thor is as good as those movies (except me lol). That why it has a 79% and not a 90+% like those movies. But pitiful? GTFO. Spider Man three was pitiful. Batman and Robin was pitiful. Green Lantern was pitiful. Thor wasn’t.  

And LOL at Obadiah Stane in the same company as Lex Luthor and Joker. GTFO. Iron-man was epic because of RDJ, not Obadiah. 

Will you be thinking of Loki six minutes after this movie is over?

Yes. He is one of the best comic book villains out there. Hence, him being in the Avengers. 

The director given this project, Kenneth Branagh, once obtained funding for a magnificent 70mm version of “Hamlet.” Now he makes “Thor.” I wonder with a dread fear if someone in Hollywood, stuck with a movie about a Norse god, said “Get Branagh. He deals with that Shakespeare shit.”

Retire already you senile goat. And go to the ER, you are stroking out or something.