Posts Tagged ‘movie’


Thoughts on the Suicide Squad movie

12 January, 2017

Suicide SquadI do not get to movie theaters much anymore, so I waited for this to be available on DVD and finally got around to watching Suicide Squad.  I was a fan of the original comic thought I have not followed the series recently.  To my surprise, considering what I had heard about it, it was actually pretty entertaining.  The opening third is slow, laying out too much unnecessary background but once it gets to the action, it starts to come together.  While it is far from perfect (some of my concerns, I will discuss below) it much more than I was expecting and it has some surprisingly effective sequences.  If you like superhero or action movies, you will probably enjoy it.

More thoughts and Concerns (spoilers probably abound):

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Inspirational Viewing – the Brass Teapot

1 July, 2013

The Brass Teapot (2012) is a lovely dark comedy built around a magic item, or a cursed item, take your choice.  It is a story about people and the price they are willing to pay for success.  I do not wish to say much more because watching the story unfold is quite fun.  Do watch the alternate opening once you have watched the movie, otherwise it will set up expectations that will not be fulfilled.






And a discussion with spoilers:

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Inspirational Viewing – Man of Steel (2013)

14 June, 2013

Short non-spoilered review of Man of Steel:

Well done special effects are no substitute for a well thought out plot and 3D only make poorly directed action scenes more confusing.  However, Henry Cavill rises above the material he is given to work with to prove himself a worthy actor to play Superman, of the other actors, Russell Crowe improves he scenery chewing skills and Michael Shannon proves he is no Terence Stamp in his portrayal of (admittedly poorly written) General Zod.  Wooden dialog, confused plot and over-exuberant special effects lead to an overall unsatisfactory return of Superman to the big screen except for Cavill’s portrayal of Clark Kent/Superman which managed to ground the film surprisingly well, if only he had had a proper plot and a better script to work with . . .

Still Krypton and Krytonian technology looks fantastic and we have an excellent actor for Superman, so if you like those things, probably worth watching (though seeing it in 3D is surely not necessary).


But Sean, you may be saying, you hate Zach Snyder and swore never to give him money again after the travesty that was Sucker Punch.  That is true and my wife was given tickets for her and I by a friend to see Man of Steel, so, I have kept my word and given no money to Mr. Snyder.

Longer, spoiler filled analysis of Man of Steel follows the cut: Read the rest of this entry ?


Inspirational Viewing – Phase IV

8 June, 2012

Phase IVis a science fiction movie from 1974 and it shows especially in the occasionally heavy-handed soundtrack.  It does present an interesting take on the environmental/natural threat.  However, it makes good use of footage of ants (and occasionally other insects) and implied effects to achieve an impressively disturbing scenario.  But it is slow-paced and

Ant Towers

Ants Made This

occasionally quite talky, if you want an action movie this is not it, and features a fair amount of 70s stock characterization in the main characters.




More discussion (with spoilers) after the cut:

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Inspiration Viewing – A Bad Day at Black Rock

30 January, 2012

A Bad Day at Black Rock is fascinating movie set in 1946 in the small, isolated California town of Black Rock.  The train stops and a man gets off, a stranger to the town.  This is notable as this is the first time the train has stopped there in four years.

But Black Rock has a secret, and not one that it wants to share, the stranger’s arrival is notable enough but when he starts asking around the towns people get nervous or hostile.  I will not tell any more of the plot as it is a delight to watch unfold in this short (about 80 minutes) movie.

Spenser Tracy is the stranger who disrupts the tense fabric of Black Rock and the -very young- (The very young) Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine play the heavies of the villain of the piece.

Highly recommended.

More information, which may contain some spoilers, after the cut.

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NON-Inspirational Viewing – The Mechanic (2011)

11 September, 2011

As I mention in my look at Charles Bronson’s The Mechanic (1972) it was party in preparation for seeing the 2011 remake

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the 2011 version of the Mechanic to anyone.  For all of the flaws of the original, it is a superior movie on all counts to its modern successor.  As a movie about a professional assassin, it does not work and as an action movie it is still below average.  Surprisingly, I can find nothing worth recommending this movie for.  The action lacks drama, the plot is riddled with holes and the acting is unengaging at best.  Find something else to watch, your 90-minutes will be better spent.


Inspirational Viewing – The Mechanic (1972)

5 September, 2011

As a remake of this had come out, I wanted to rewatch the original version of the Mechanic which I had seen many moons ago before viewing the new version.

It is a movie about a Mechanic, in the Organization’s sense of the term, in other words a professional killer.  Charles Bronson plays the title role with a world-weary air.  It is very much a movie of its times, with big American cars everywhere, an occasionally heavy-handed electronic soundtrack, 70s style and the sprawl of LA not quite as sprawling as it would later become.

Short Opinion: While it does suffer some pacing issues, The Mechanic is a superb movie about how a professional killer can operate.

More information,with possible spoilers, after the cut:

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Inspirational Viewing – Trollhunter

29 August, 2011

Trollhunter is a wonderful low-budget Norwegian film about a group of Uni students making a film who stumble across a great secret, that there are trolls and the government has a branch that covers up their existence.

While it is entirely low budget, the effects are good and atmospheric (even if the trolls look a little goofy they still manage to be frightening) and it is well written.  Overall, I thought it was well worth watching.  Note, however, that we watched it in Norwegian with subtitles, I can make no claims as to how good (or bad) the English dubbing is.

Good points:

Believable Conspiracy, the Troll Security Service (TST in Norwegian) is believable because it is small.  My problems with most conspiracy theories is that they involve two thousand people and none of them have ever talked.  The Mafia have a saying about that, it goes,Three people can keep a secret . . . if two of them are dead.”

Modern Monsters, the explanation of trolls and how they (still) exist in the modern world is fairly plausible.  It tries to fold the legends of trolls into a modern ‘scientific’ understanding and done quite well.

Using Technology, the adaption of technologies, modern and ancient, to the problem of dealing with trolls is well done.

And a few less good points (which can be ignored):

Documentary Format, leading to some shaky cam moments, but not as bad as say Cloverfield or Blair Witch.




Inspirational Viewing – Ironclad

25 August, 2011

Ironclad is a movie based (very loosely) on the historical siege of Rochester Caster (1215) by King John of England.

Things it did well:

Rochester Keep

Rochester Keep

Showing a siege.  Both from attacker and defenders viewpoints and the problems facing both sides including storming/defending the walls, supplies (and lack thereof) and morale.  Also, trebuchet!  The visuals with these medieval siege weapons were quite well done.

Brutality of medieval combat, no sugar-coating of the combat in this film, blood and gore abounds in the combat scenes with everyone fighting dirty to survive.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of quick cuts and shakey-cam usage so it is difficult to actually make sense of what is happening in most of the fights beyond mayhem and bloodshed.

So, if you want to be inspired about running a castle defense (or assault) in your fantasy campaign, give it a look.

Things it did not do well, which you can ignore:

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Inspirational Viewing – I Sell the Dead

25 July, 2011

Stumbled across this movie from 2008, I Sell the Dead, it starts with a execution by guillotine and moves into the story of a pair of grave

I Sell The Dead Poster

Never Trust a Corpse

robbers in an 18th/19th C. Englandish place.

It is a little slow paced at the start, but soon picks up.  It borrows its look from the Hammer Horror movies, consciously aping the style, look and pacing of that era.  It has interesting undead, villainous humans, grave robbing and Ron Perlman as a monk.

If you do not mind a mix of campy horror and humor, give this movie a look.  I suspect that someone could build a nice Fiasco scenario out of the pieces of it.  It would also be an excellent inspiration for Warhammer and other gritty fantasy.

Take a look if such craziness interest you.

Image borrowed from the IMBD page for the film.

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