Movie: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Have you ever had one of those days that technology just wants to smack you around a bit? That’s been my whole day, battling uphill against the stuff not working, and as I type this, there is an internet outage. I actually have to use my phone as a hotspot to post this. I also can’t play Destiny 2, which displeases me greatly.

But enough whining. I have a movie post! I haven’t done one in quite some time, but I feel strongly about this movie.

Valerian is based on a French comic book that I never heard of before I watched the movie. It’s also directed by Luc Besson, the same guy that directed The Fifth Element, which is one of my favorite movies. Here’s a quick description from IMDB.

valerian

“A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.”

Like The Fifth Element, Valerian is colorful and funny. The action scenes and the special effects are very well done. The characters aren’t as endearing as the ones in The Fifth Element, but they have their merits.

The acting was mostly decent. All in all, the movie was exactly what I hoped it would be: butt-kicking, fun scifi.

I might need to check out the comic book.

 

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1922

We watched 1922 on Netflix this past weekend. The movie is based on a Stephen King novella, so I was kind of excited. The husband and I expected a creepier story than what it was. Maybe I just expected such things from Stephen King.

The trailer didn’t really help matters. It made the movie seem more exciting than it was. Well, here, check it out.

The movie is slow, like really slow. It’s not bad. I guess I was just waiting for it to pick up, and it never really did.

I will say that Thomas Jane was amazing in it. This character is so far removed from his other work. I was really impressed with him.

Movie: Gods of Egypt

Guess what I have. It’s a movie post! I know, I know. I haven’t done one in forever. But here we are.

Gods of Egypt

Description from IMDB: “Mortal hero Bek teams with the god Horus in an alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict.”

Okay, I know I might get some jeers for this one. Gods of Egypt seems to be the movie to hate right now, but I honestly did like it.

I didn’t read about the whole whitewashing thing until after I saw it, but I did notice the multitude of white people, primarily the main characters. I mean, come on. The story takes place in Egypt. A few of my pale-skinned brethren could’ve been there due to some European presence but the ratio was way off. Almost every character that mattered was white.

Once I got past that, the movie was great. So much of it was big, the scenery, the buildings, the monsters, the action, big, big, big and CGI. Lots of CGI, which fit this high-fantasy version of ancient Egypt.

There’s a chariot pulled by big scarab beetles, snake ladies riding giant vipers, a super creepy version of Anubis (my fave), and a bunch of other stuff that’s fun to watch.

The battles are pretty cool. They reminded me of the Avengers fight scenes, people flying around and breaking buildings and such.

My only complaint, other than the lack of ethnic authenticity, was that the movie was too long. They could’ve chopped 20-30 minutes off the thing, and it would’ve been fine. Gods of Egypt gets a C+.

Ladies of Hollywood

star

 

Okay, I know this news thing is kind of old, but my annoyance has been eating away at me for a while and I want to post about it, so I am.

Earlier this month, Dakota Johnson commented on ageism in Hollywood, asking why her mother (Melanie Griffith) and her grandmother (Tippi Hedren) can’t get roles in Hollywood, that they’re great actresses, etc. I don’t doubt their acting ability, and I don’t doubt the claim of ageism.

I even believe this bit that Dakota supposedly said – “No matter how tough you are, sometimes there’s the feeling of not being wanted. It’s absurd and cut-throat.”

What I don’t get is why these skilled ladies with fantastic resources sit around and wait for someone to hand them something. Seriously, if no one offers you a role, make one for yourself.

Hell, these days, there are kids with webcams slapping stuff up on youtube and making fairly large amounts of money. And most of them don’t have rich, artsy friends.

So here’s my unsolicited advice to the ladies who feel undervalued. Don’t talk about the problem and hope that things might eventually change. Get off your butt.

Team up with your undervalued lady writer friend, your undervalued lady director friend, and your undervalued lady actor friends and make something real. Pool your resources, because together, you are stronger than the people who disregard you.

Make an indie film. Slap it up on the internet if you have to. The internet is free worldwide distribution, baby.

I will also mention that my writing services are almost always available, and my older lady characters kick ass in their own unique ways.

Here’s the link to the article.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jan/05/dakota-johnson-brutal-hollywood-ageism-fifty-shades-of-grey-melanie-griffith-tippi-hedren

movie: The Babadook

As per usual, maybe more than usual, I’ve been crazy busy. Drive forever, work, drive forever, dinner, children, and somewhere in between, I get snack-sized bits of time. Yay snacks!

It was during one of these that I watched The Babadook.

babdook
Description from IMDB: “A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.”

Babadook is an interesting movie. First, the pace is very slow, much like old horror movies. In fact, a lot of the movie seemed to strive for classic horror movie-style. The camera work, the tension, etc.

As for the story, Dad died in an accident. Mom’s a little frazzled/crazy, son’s a little frazzled/crazy. Everyone seems to need an extended vacation. I spent a lot of the movie feeling bad for both of them, not just for the Babadook problem but for their situation in general.

As for the monster…the Babadook is a scary man/creature in a pop-up book the son randomly finds in the house. Nobody knows where the book came from, but apparently, that isn’t much of a concern off the jump. Pop-up book is scary. Weird stuff starts happening after they read it.

Babdook does have parts that I thought were decently scary, but the slow pace of the story detracts from that. What the movie does well is plant doubt about what’s really happening. What it doesn’t do well is the ending. Unsatisfying to say the least.

The Babadook gets a D.

movie: Edge of Tomorrow

I am present today! I’ve been in a crazy time/energy crunch lately, so blogging has been pretty much non-existent. I still find time for working on books, some stolen minutes here and there. I feel like this whole lack of time situation will get better. Hopefully, this is the worst of it.

Today I have sci-fi deliciousness.

edge of tomorrow

Description from IMDB: “A military officer is brought into an alien war against an extraterrestrial enemy who can reset the day and know the future. When this officer is enabled with the same power, he teams up with a Special Forces warrior to try and end the war.”

Tom Cruise and sci-fi movies go together like…uh…things that really go together. This movie is awesome. Much of the first half of the movie is hilarious. Cage (Cruise) is awkward and makes a really bad soldier, so much so that he dies. A lot. It becomes almost cartoonish but in a good way.

In the movie, time keeps repeating itself, the same day over and over. There is some repetition in the beginning, but it’s doesn’t get too annoying, and it is interesting to watch Cage try and make progress with people who don’t remember meeting with him before, etc.

The fight scenes are really good. The initial battlefield reminded me of Saving Private Ryan, the part where they storm the beach at Normandy, only this is with futuristic weapons, crashing ships and wicked crazy looking (that’s the technical term) aliens. It’s pretty intense.

Aside from all that business, we have the romantic tension between Cage and Rita (Emily Blunt), a badass lady soldier who is the face of the alien war. I thought that part of the movie actually could have been stronger. They work okay together but their relationship didn’t progress much. Of course, when you’re in a 50 First Dates type of situation (she doesn’t remember him when the day starts over), that kind of puts a damper on things.

Okay, awesome movie. I loved this business. The Edge of Tomorrow gets an A.

movie: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Movie: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Whattup, internets? This is me blogging 2 weeks in row. #winning

This weekend, we watched A Million Ways to Die in the West.

million ways to die in the west

Description from IMDB: “As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival.”

This is a Seth MacFarlane movie. If you’re looking for sophistication, pass on this one. If you can’t laugh at absurdity or raunchiness, pass on this movie.

That being said, I’m not sure Seth MacFarlane can actually act. I liked his character fine, but he just seemed like he was playing himself. As far as the rest of the primary cast, they are awesome: Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, Liam Neeson, the list goes on.

The humor is mostly lowbrow, which is fine and dandy with me. I enjoy that business. The story is decent but pretty predictable.

A Million Ways to Die in the West is entertaining. It gets a B+.

I am participating in NanoWriMo this year, which is a month of crazy productive writing. I probably won’t do any movie reviews or real posts during November. I may, however, pop by and provide updates.