Can you Transform into less awesome, no way!

Quick one on the movie I saw last night. First of all, I lowered all expectations before seeing “Transformers II”. That’s what you have to do. Set the bar so low that it feels like you are leaping over it, no matter what happens. So here were my three criteria for this to be a good movie: 1) Things had to explode, alot. 2) Things had to explode, alot. 3) Megan Fox has to be running around, alot. “Transformers II, Revenge of the Fallen” was three for three. How could I be upset about that? It really is the best mindset to have when going to the movies, especially when its $10+ dollars now to see.

Transformers even went above and beyond my expectations. We’ve got too more racist robots, Skid and Mudflap. Some hot biker girl robots. Oh, and (spoiler?) some crazy hot terminator 3 like robot that tries to fuck Shiala LeBeouf to death. Optimus Prime doesn’t have lines like “my bad” which is kind of nice. Shiala’s character’s mom is also a highlight. She is the source of most of the swearing and sexual reference. Without her character I’m sure we could have brought this down to a PG rating.

Best part of the movie is the complete rush of “I want to blow some shit up” feeling that you get after watching this movie. That’s really the only feeling you can have. Cause “that was a fantastic cinematic event” doesn’t really come to mind much. So if you don’t get the first one, you’re kind of screwed. My friend Matt and I left the theater and decided it was a good idea to completely tweak out in front of all the parents and their kids. I was thinking, it must suck to take a kid to this film as a parent, then I realized how we were acting, and I thought, “crap, how much would it suck to take us to the movies? We’re 25. Oh well, screw it!” Then we tried to do our best impersonation of a transformer sound, which probably would have confused even a meth-head from Marysville. About 15 minutes later I got home and passed out, having expended all the energy I unusually burn over 3 hours in about 5 minutes. Whatever, I blame the Linkin Park song.

Twice the Spock For The Same Price: My "Star Trek" movie reveiw

So I just got back from seeing the new “Star Trek”. I know what you’re thinking. “Brian? I thought you were a super huge nerd and would have seen it opening weekend.” Well, I’d hate to be predictable. That, and, like Wolverine, I had better things to do. Two good things come out of waiting to see Star Trek until two weeks after its opening. One, whenever a character people know is introduced on screen, it isn’t accompanied by a bunch of cheering (and/or erections) from all the hard core fans in the audience. I mean, I had an erection the entire movie, but at least there wasn’t any cheering. Secondly, my mom even heard it was good from one of her friends, so guess who bought my ticket to the movie. My dad. But my mom came too. So it was like a family movie outing. Yay. Made the erection really hard to deal with though…

How was the movie? Ok, there will be some slight spoilers here so if you haven’t seen it, don’t read on. Just know that it was worth seeing, stuff happens, go watch it. Still with me?

Ok, so the movie in itself was an excellent movie. Plot, lots of action, plenty of colorful things and attractive people, awesome sound, and some comedy to boot. Also put in a handful of throw-backs to the original, and you’ve got yourself a good Star Trek flick. This is about where my compliments for the film end. Let’s look at the characters. All the original cast has been re-incarnated into newer, younger, more attractive versions of their former selves. The guy who plays Spock does a pretty good Spock. The lady who plays Ahura is a good (read: hotter) Ahura. And the guy who plays Zulu is Asian! Close enough!

Spoiler Alert! Ok, here is my one major gripe with this film. This is not really a Star Trek film so much as it’s a “hey, how can we cash in on yet another preexisting body of work without having to really honor and of the story structure that happened before.” Simple, we’ll just create a new timeline with the old characters, make up some junk about it being a new timeline and how it came to be, and wah-lah! A blank check to use as you will to make countless sequels and oodles of money without actually having to write anything new. Albeit the story in the movie was actually quite good, but I thought good story should be taken with a grain of salt, that grain being an excuse.

You can’t really blame them too much. The Star Trek universe has dealt with time travel before in that movie where they all go back in time to steal the whale and end up meeting the mom from “Seventh Heaven”. I really liked that one; right up there with the one where Christopher Lloyd plays a Klingon. Then there was the whole “Enterprise” series where they basically break it off into its own storyline by declaring that it was taking place in a different reality. Also a good show; the Vulcan was hot and in many episodes was scantily clad. Almost outed Seven-of-Nine for the top spot on Star Trek characters I want to have sex with, but I digress. So now I guess the grievence is two fold. They are caching in on a previous body of work AND using a mechanism said work has already used to branch itself off of itself. Shenanigans indeed!

Somehow I couldn’t help feel like I was watching an episode of Lost or Heroes due to the proximity of directors and actors who contributed to this film (JJ Abrams and the Spock guy). Also there were many more close up shots than in the original Star Trek films. I remember the older ones being much more fans of the wide pan than the shots in this film. Ok, that is way too film nerdy. I’ll stop there.

In conclusion, go see it, its good.

BJ rating for Star Trek originality: C-
BJ regular movie rating: B+/A-

PS: I also found it funny that, as previews for the movie, we have “Transformers” and “GI Joe”, two other movies that are raping the cache of fan sentiment as a way to make a bazillion dollars off of nerd erections.

Wolverine on Wolverine – my X-Men review

I saw “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” on Sunday. I know, your thinking, “Brian, what happened to Thursday night at midnight? Or at least Friday night?” To that I answer, “I had to be at work early on Friday and then that night I had dinner with a girl, which unfortunately, was way better than the movie”. But I did see it opening weekend and was able to add my money to the $85 million+ total it took in domestically. Jesus Christ!

My review starts before the movie even does. Previews; big fan of them! The movie theater where I went now plays the commercials BEFORE the previews, like when you’re just sitting there wishing you had bought some popcorn because they seriously put crack in it to make you want to buy it. So no commercials during the previews = awesome. Halfway through the previews though, I had a moment where I thought, “Man, these are some nerdy previews”, but then quickly remembered what movie I was there to see. Are previews like movie foreplay? I wonder…

Ok so the movie already. As an almost nerd, I’m becoming a little disillusioned with the X-men franchise. I feel like in the first movie, they introduced a crap-ton of characters and for the most part, they were all pretty fleshed out from a character standpoint. You knew what power each of them had, usually their name, and a bit of back story within, meh the first 5 minutes of them on screen. Remeber the beginning of X-men, in the concentration camp, with Magnito, and the Nazis? Fucking brilliant! That’s good storytelling. Storytelling apparently doesn’t mean jack to the X-men writers anymore. They aren’t story-telling so much as story-feeding. You need to come prepared! Don’t know who that character is on the screen, tough, we aren’t telling! If you did know who he was though you would probably just have creamed your pants because you totally didn’t expect him/her/it to make an appearance, you can thank us later. So aside from Wolverine, Sabretooth, and maybe Gambit (a stretch), you shouldn’t expect to know anyone else in the movie. I know, I know, its the Wolverine movie, but I’m a bit disappointed. At the very least, watch the first two X-men movies before seeing Origins so you can feel at least a little bit involved when the cameos come a calling.

Hugh Jackman is “naked” for maybe 30 seconds. Nakedness is implied, not realized. Topless with a bit of thigh would be more appropriate. Ladies this is not a reason to see the movie, but if you boyfriend wants to go, I guess its a plus. If you want naked, see “The Watchmen” (see previous post on that).

The story itself is ok. It has a beginning, middle, and an end, so at least its complete. The beginning was unexpected and awesome, but unfortunately they used up their awesomeness quota for the first 45 minutes in those first 5. After those first 5, hunker down with that popcorn you broke down and got, you’ll be glad you have it. 40 minutes and a couple of forgettable characters later, we get to the plot that we knew had to happen to get to the end of the movie. I don’t like movies like that. Like “Meet the Parents”, you know it has to all go to shit so things can happen. Wolverine definitely had that feeling till about the hour mark.

The ending was exciting, but really confusing. Why are there 50 mutants just hanging around doing nothing? Couldn’t you all be kicking ass right now? Shouldn’t at least one of you be pissed enough to do something stupid and show off your powers. Nope, sorry, we only have the budget for the approved mutant powers for mutants with lines, so you guys, just act scared and follow (points to random character with a name), that guy. Cue the fight scene on ridiculous location! Andddddd, movie over! People died, we don’t care, get out of the theater!

Ok, I think that’s enough without ruining the movie for everyone. Really, I could have told you the ending and it probably wouldn’t have changed much. You weren’t going to see it for the story anyways, were you?

BJ Movie Rating – C+