2CBG Movie Review: “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2” – Fun…because, FUN!

An Earth child-turned adventurer, an assassin daughter of a cosmic Tyrant, a literal hulking warrior, a talking raccoon with a penchant for destruction, and a living tree. What’s NOT to love about the Guardians?! πŸ˜€

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Our favorite ragtag group of misfit, the Guardians, return – zanier and louder than ever!

 

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I said 3 years ago that this little-known group of characters would be a big hit.

I was wrong. Sorta – turned out to be a MEGA HIT!

Marvel Comics continues to win HUGE at the box office! And ‘Vol 2‘ is the Latest and Greatest πŸ˜€

What makes the GotG so awesome is this movie never takes itself seriously. It reminds me of all the GREAT 1980s offbeat movies that we love so much. Movies that were awesome just because. Movies like The Goonies.

Big trouble in Little China.

Ice Pirates.

Buckaroo Banzai.

Remo WIlliams: The Adventure Begins (and, sadly ended lol)

Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Big, loud, colorful movies with great characters and plenty of action. Did the plot REALLY matter? Nope! We love them anyways. We remember them with fondness. And if someone were to ask us today “What exactly WAS the plot to…?” – we probably couldn’t tell you lol, but we know we loved that shit! πŸ˜€

GotG, Vol 2 falls into that category. Great fun for the sake of FUN.

The movie opens with the team fighting an intergalactic behemoth threatening to to terrorize blah blah blah…oh who cares? Baby Groot cranks up the opening musical montage and its the most epic movie beginning possibly EVER.

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The rest of the movie, something about Peter Quill’s dad being a living planet (have to see it to believe it :P) – and pissing off arrogant gold people. (yes, GOLD people)

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Marvel Entertainment continues to spoil us. Easter eggs abound for the hardcore fans.

Prepare to Laugh nonstop for 2 hours. And that’s really what we care about! Worth every penny.

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

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2CBG Movie Review: Alien Covenant, new deja-vu

(“Even Though it looks incredible, and features exotic new locations, It feels like we’ve done this before…”)

 

alien3AF

(looks like an orgy gone terribly wrong!)

Folks, This is a tough one for me. Huge fan of the original ‘Alien‘ (1979) and the James Cameron follow-up ‘Aliens‘ (1986). But something about ‘Covenant’ left me unfulfilled……Kinda like a nice massage with a ‘happy ending’ lol πŸ˜›

30 Second Review:

Visually stunning with great set-pieces and cinematography. Introduces some new alien Xenomorphs. Reveals more of the background story but STILL leaves a lot of unanswered questions! I feel like this has happened before, only now with better visuals! :-/

 

FULL REVIEW:

****WARNING: MOVIE NERD ALERT****

Alien Covenant is the 8th installment of the Alien saga.

Prometheus (movie #7) is the prequel to the original ALIEN (1979) movie. This one – Covenant – is the SEQUEL to the PREQUEL (i know, i know…hang in there lol)

***ALERT COMPLETED! Whewww!***

And THAT FOLKS…is what I love and loathe about Alien: Covenant. Even though it looks incredible and features exotic new locations, it feels like we’ve done this before. :-/

Only THIS time, the year is 2104 and the ship is Covenant – carrying a bunch of frozen humans and embryos to colonize a new planet. A crew of 15 people are awakened from cryo-sleep when suddenly! – wait for it-

they answer a distress signal.

SOUND FAMILIAR??

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Brave humans traveling into uncharted territories and colonizing a new planet – that alone would make a GREAT story.But… this being part of the Alien saga, director Ridley Scott felt that THAT isn’t good enough. All of the Alien saga is condensed to its bare essentials:

  • Humans travel through space.

  • Humans answer a distress signal.

  • Humans die horrifically.

I wish I could tell you there is more, but that’s pretty much it. :-/

Visually, Covenant looks amazing! 22nd century technology against a strange and exotic backdrop. I could have watched an entire movie on JUST the history of the planet itself. But Ridley Scott has a bloodlust to fill, so carnage and mayhem soon follows.

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Also, Covenant is another android-driven story. Which is cool, since the android in question is played by Michael Fassbender (who is dope!). But the rest of the human crew play second fiddle as Alien poo-doo.

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So here we are 40 years later and I still have a TON of questions that -dammit- need answered!

Here is what we REALLY want to know –

  • WHO THE HECK ARE THESE ENGINEERS?

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Covenant reveals the Engineer Homeworld as an entire race of people! And rather than a race of scientists, they appear to be very human-like, worshiping gods and building monoliths.

So that being said –Β 

  • are humans derived entirely from another race of beings?

(Prometheus revealed that humans are an exact DNA match to Engineers!)

Are there factions within the Engineer race – scientists and religious?

If so – does that mean we are genetically predisposed to worship god-like figures as well?

Are we considered the Neanderthal to their species?

If they are an advanced race, what were they doing on the planet originally?

  • And – Why create such a devastating bio-weapon?

    Alien-Covenant

Was humanity considered a ‘failed experiment’?

40 years and still plenty of questions, each movie just adds more and more to the mystery. Apparently, an android with a God complex is responsible for this entire Alien mess.

alienxSeems rather anti-climatic.

OVERALL: IMO – the strength of Alien Saga going forward lies within the story-telling, and less in the violence. We get it. We’ve seen the Xenos kills hundreds of people by now. The Alien saga should finally reveal an EPIC background story that ties it all together – the same way that Star Wars gave us the sensational Rogue One! πŸ˜€

Let’s take a chance and explore more of the biological process. It is a leap of faith, but something that die-hard fans are craving.

3.5 out of 5.

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2CBG Movie Review: Ahoy matey! ‘Pirates 5’ Sails to #1 at Box Office!

(“You can only tell a story so many different ways, but when a franchise generates $4 BILLIONΒ  – can we say ‘cash cow’?”)

30-Second Review:

Surprisingly this movie didn’t suck! πŸ˜€

Pirates 5‘ brings back all the elements we love most: rowdy pirates, madcap misadventures, impressive special FX and a hilarious (and drunken) Jack Sparrow! Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar makes a very sinister villain!Β 

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Full Review:

As much as I love the Pirates of the Caribbean series I gotta admit I wasn’t TOO thrilled to see this one…

Mainly because I wasn’t sure how they could follow Part 4 -aka- ‘On Stranger Tides’. , I didn’t care that Jack Sparrow was chasing after the Fountain of Youth. But I DID care about the ravishing Penelope Cruz ❀

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I would pay to watch Penelope Cruz do NOTHING but be Penelope Cruz πŸ™‚

but I digress…

This is ‘Pirates V: Dead Men Tell No Tales’!

This time around, jack Sparrow’s past comes back to haunt him (literally) and gives us a great new villain – Javier Bardem’s creepy Captain Salazar!

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Captain Salazar wants revenge and does some nasty things to get his vengeance. The rest of the plot is uncomplicated and rather straightforward. Pirates plunder and supernatural bad guys chase Jack Sparrow. Nothing really ‘deep’ here. Pun intended πŸ˜›

After all, ThisΒ IS the 5th go round. Johnny Depp is sleepwalking through this role and cashing checks. You can only tell a story so many different ways. But when a franchise generates $4 Billion, can you say ‘cash cow’? πŸ˜›Β 

By now Jack Sparrow has broken curses, defeated the Kraken, survived killer mermaids, cheated death multiple times, freed a sea witch, traveled literally to the end of the world, took on the British Empire AND the Dutch Trading Company – and manage to finagle and bargain his way out of every possible situation. There’s not much left for poor Jack to do.

In fact, he seems rather okay with this….

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So long as there is plenty of Rum. πŸ™‚

Sparrow’s drunk charm and flirty innuendos can only carry a movie so far. Thankfully, the supporting cast gives us something else to care about.

The rest of the plot features my FAVORITE ‘Pirates’ character Captain Barbosa (the impeccable Geoffrey Rush) who is dragged into Sparrow’s latest troubles.Β 

Also, two newcomers – Henry Turner, son of Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), trying to free his father from the Flying Dutchman curse, and female lead Carina Smythe, a heroine of sorts stuck in a pre-feminist era. She is an astronomer convicted to death, and the key to finding Poseidon’s TRIDENT. Yes, you read that right. Things get mythological!

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Speaking of mythology, the ending is on some old school Ten Commandments shit! That was the best part of the movie and they should have extended this scene πŸ™‚

Once the movie ends, take time toΒ  check all the messages, snaps, and ‘likes’ on your phone and sit through the credits. The post-credit scene gives us a hint at an inevitable Part VI,

Just TYPING that last part has me shaking my head….lol πŸ˜›

I give it 3/5 stars

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2CBG Movie Review: ‘Life’ -hack, Alien rip.

Β Β Β Β Β  “In space, no one can hear your plot retreads.”

Life_(2017_film)

30-Second Review:

Clever concept which settles for treading into very familiar territory. Which is too bad. This could have been a cult-classic a’la ‘Event Horizon’. Although, the payoff at the end is pretty awesome πŸ˜€

FULL REVIEW:

‘Life’ is a sci-fi horror movie that reminds us that some things are best left undiscovered. Like with the original Jurassic Park – splicing extinct genes with modern animal DNA and recreating Stegosaurus’ sounds like a wonderful idea! –unnntil the dinosaurs start eating people.

And as such, ‘Life’ starts off innocent enough. The opening shot is a beautiful 5-minute space montage reminiscent of (the far superior movie) ‘Gravity‘. We are introduced to the characters and the labyrinthine space station. And we learn that the members aboard the ISS are rescuing a probe carrying soil samples from Mars. Then we quickly learn that those samples contain LIFE – life found outside of Earth! – Martian life!

Marvi

Ha! πŸ˜€Β 

Annnnd, they proceed to bring it aboard the station. Everything starts off innocent enough and, damn if the little Martian bugger isn’t kinda cute – with its foreboding jellyfish flagella flapping around all curiously! Awwww! πŸ™‚ πŸ˜› …

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The crew announce its arrival via worldwide broadcast on social media, with much fanfare. Hell – they even name the alien ‘Calvin’.

Of course, from there, really bad shit happens.

Clearly, none of the crew has seen movies like Alien, the sequel Aliens, The Blob, The Thing, Prometheus, Jurassic Park, Gravity, or [pick a sci-fi horror’thriller]- and yet, early on, one crew member makes a nerd reference to the movie ‘The Re-animator’. Which lends itself to thinking ‘they DO exist in the world of what NOT to do in these situations.

If only they stuck with that train of thought…

But, this wouldn’t be much of a horror movie without checking off the List of Dumb Shit to Do in times of crisis. In fact, From watching so many horror movies with similar circumstances, I kinda knew how this would unfold.

BUT I will say this; Life starts off pretty unique. The first 30 minutes feel like something original and different. It is entirely possible that Life exists in the same ‘universe’ as Gravity. Maybe a later mission takes them back to space, and Sandra Bullock is the Ripley of the crew? I wanted to like this movie.

Unfortunately, the 2nd half of the movie nosedives into routine horror trope – and by the time the cuddly space spore grows full-sized, it becomes Alien meets Jaws.

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Within days, the cute little E.T. goes from precocious alien to monstrous space demon – and even grows what looks like a face. Really.

While horror movies anymore are rarely original (save, Cabin in the Woods – awesomeness!) we go in knowing that what we really want is to see different ways to watch people die, Mwuahahaha! >:)

And trust me, this crew goes out in some gruesome ways! But…It’s really hard to enjoy horror movies with the inescapable thought that MOST of the carnage could simply be avoided altogether by just exercising a touch of Common Sense.

And yet… we wouldn’t get any dead bodies, now would we? πŸ˜‰

So tossing out common sense in the face of the Unknown, here is my special review of Life – which contains a list of Do’s and Do Nots to survive in horrible situations. πŸ™‚

DO NOT

  • Make a movie which basically combined ‘Alien’ with ‘Gravity’. Hollywood, how lazy are we getting? I mean, Smh….

DO

    Exercise more caution dealing with an unknown alien life!

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Hell, I am more careful walking around on 6th Street at night…here in Austin, TX! Surely these astronauts can be a LOT more careful handling an alien bio-hazard.

DO NOT

  • Play with the dormant alien and thaw it out! MAYBE it is frozen in stasis for good reason?? (see: John Carpenter’s ‘THE THING’. classic)

DO NOT

  • Become fascinated with an alien life that evolves within a matter of DAYS. Does nobody exercise caution or skepticism? Security officer? BioEngineer?

DO

  • Explain why on Earth that poor rat was sitting there clamped down and helpless in a ‘Saw’-like head contraption! Really…What the shit. As soon as I saw the rat I was thinking “…..WHY?” Cruel and unusual punishment! What purpose did that serve? Obviously, it soon became alien stew. OBVIOUSLY.

DO NOT

  • Name an alien spore ‘Calvin’. As a matter of fact – don’t name alien spore anything! Just, don’t.

DO

  • Notify the ENTIRE crew beforehand of All. Three. Levels. – of safety protocols which involves everyone’s lives! Especially one that includes blasting you all into deep space! Why would you keep that a secret??

DO NOT

  • Provoke fate by …prodding it with a shock tool??? That doesn’t work well on HUMANS. Why do that on an? …eh, never mind. 😐

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in the history of Bad Ideas…

DO

  • Feel free to react in utter and sheer TERROR when tiny alien manages to effortlessly rip scientist hand apart. These guys are acting way too cool for school as their colleague is getting dismembered by a tiny space germ named ‘Calvin’ lol! Again…How does Safety Protocol 1, 2 and 3 NOT go into effect IMMEDIATELY? And this is when the alien still fits on a petri dish! In fact…

DO

  • jettison that fucker into DEEP COLD SPACE as soon as it EATS THE RAT. I mean….??

DO

  • Be smarter than the fledgling life form. Sure, it is intelligent life, but only comparatively smart…the same way a 5yr is smarter than a 1yr. But it shouldn’t be able to out-smart and out-maneuver a space station full of trained astronauts WHO LIVED THERE for years. Really??

DO NOT

  • try to kill a space alien with fire….INSIDE OF A space station. πŸ˜€ lord lord…. If you had to thaw it out to bring it to life in the first place – why not simply re-freeze it??

DO NOT

  • Wait so long to notify NASA/Houston that you ‘have a problem‘…in fact, a SERIOUS problem of epic f*ckin’ proportions! How do you go hours (days?) without communicating with Earth? Only to realize at the worst possible time, ‘Oh drat, our comms are down‘ –

DO

  • Sacrifice yourself AND kill the alien by cutting the tether and jumping out into space, thus saving all of humanity.

 

I know…it sounds like I am nitpicking here. Or maybe I got too caught up in my role of Black guy at Horror Movie lol πŸ˜› – but there was a wealth of ‘WHY’-moments when I caught myself thinking out loud (“Don’t open that door!”)…

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seriously, do NOT open that door.

…about the amount of inane decisions made, which ultimately led to the possible demise of all of humankind on Earth.

“…this sounds illogical, but I really hate that thing” – said one very distraught astronaut. Which was probably the MOST logical thing said, but too late.

All in all, it wasn’t an entire waste of time. It’s fun watching A-list actors die horrifically lol and I enjoyed the first 1/3rd of the movie. The final 10 minutes are absolutely riveting and worth the payoff.

Everything in between, we’ve seen before and seen better.

3 out of 5 stars.

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