Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Star Trek

Star Trek - review by ZackRelease Date: May 7th, 2009

Click here for the Star Trek Trailer.

"Space....the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. It's five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."

J.J. Abrams(LOST) is boldly going where no man has gone before with his take on Star Trek. While this movie isn't the first in the Star Trek franchise, it is, however, the first one to feature a cast of new people portraying existing characters. All of the other movies have coincided with their respective tv series and featured the original cast from those series. Abrams takes all ne actors and puts them into the roles of the crew of the Starship Enterprise.

Star Trek centers around the original crew of the Enterprise when the are first assigned to it. A Federation vessel carrying the unborn Captain Kirk and his mother and father is exploring the vast reaches of space when a highly advanced Romulan ship appears out of a lightning storm and attacks them without warning. The Captain of the federation vessel is transported onto the Romulan ship to meet with it's captain and negotiate. The Romulans are looking for Mr. Spock. But when the captain says he has never heard of Mr. Spock, he is killed and the Romulans commence attack on the Federation ship. In a last attempt to save his wife, unborn child, and the rest of the crew, the now acting Captain Kirk stays behind and flies the ship directly into the Romulan vessel. Flash forward 20 years. Kirk(Chris Pine), now living in Iowa, is a loner and a troublemaker not knowing his true place in the galaxy. When he starts a fight with a group of Starfleet cadets, he is approached by Captain Christopher Pike(Bruce Greenwood) who talks Kirk into joining Starfleet. On his way to Starfleet Academy, Kirk meets Leonard McCoy(Karl urban) and bumps into he beautiful Nyota Uhura(Zoe Saldana) whom he met in the bar before fighting the cadets. At Starfleet, it is obvious that Kirk desires one thing, to be the best. To be the best, he needs to beat the Kobiashi Test, a simulator designed to test a captain's ability to command in the face of certain death. The test is unbeatable so Kirk decides to "cheat". When he is confronted by the test's creator, Mr. Spock(Zachary Quinto), Kirk faces sever punishment. However, Kirk's trial is interrupted when Starfleet receives an emergency distress call from the planet Vulcan, who is being hit by a severe natural disaster. All the ships in Starfleet are sent to assist. But when Kirk realizes that the natural disaster bears the same resemblance to the attack on his family's ship by the Romulans, Kirk knows it is a trap. Nero(Eric Bana) the Romulan Captain of the ship attacking Vulcan, requests the presence of Captain Pike, who obliges and leaves Spock as acting captain. Nero's plans are finally brought to light when he destroys Vulcan by creating a black hole in the center of the planet. Nero plans on destroying every planet in the federation starting with Earth. It is up to Kirk, Spock, and the crew of the Enterprise to defeat Nero and save the Federation.

Now there are different versions of Star Trek fans ranging from the interested to the hardcore Trekkie/Trekker fans. I would place my self more towards the middle of the spectrum but I was still very excited when this new movie came out. Seeing that it was directed by J.J. Abrams made even more excited since I am a total LOST junkie. Now I have seen most of the other Star Trek movies and this one was by far the best for one reason; the fact that it was different. All the other movies had to do with the tv show casts. Abrams took totally different new people and made a sort of "Origins" movie, the way Wolverine did for X-men. This movie was probably the best summer blockbuster I have seen so far and will be a hard one to top.

The main attraction to this movie is the action. It is intense. For me, the Star Trek franchise, both on tv and in movies, was a little lacking in the action. I'm not saying the other Star Trek movies and shows were void of any action, I just feel they could of had more. But this movie definitley does not disappoint on the action. It is intense and keeps you on your seat the whole time. The movie also does a fantastic job of blending high powered action with the right spice of humor. This movie is funny. Chris Pine(Kirk) is on the front lines with the humor. His carefree and womanizing attitude makes for a much needed comic relief with the high octane special effects and action. The other characters in the movie all have their little personality quips that add on with the humor Kirk displays.

Being that it is the Enterprise, hardcore fans would have started a riot if not all the original characters from the show were present. Well Abrams gets the entire crew of the Enterprise aboard and matches up the actors perfectly. John Cho(Harold and Kumar) plays Hikaru Sulu, the young helmsman of the Enterprise. Cho was perfect for the part of Sulu and even though he didn't get much screen time he still made the best of what he had. Anton Yelchin(Terminator Salvation) takes the role of navigator Pavel Chekov. Russian-born Yelchin is crafting an impressive acting resume with his recent work in Terminator Salvation and now in Star Trek. Yelchin's character is one of the more lovable characters. A young, innocent 17 year old, Chekov becomes the hero more than once. The famous Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott is played by the very funny Simon Pegg(Shaun of the Dead). Aside from Kirk, Scotty was the other big comic relief in the film. delivering most of his lines with that spark of humor and wit he typically shows. But the main characters is where Star Trek really performs. Chris Pine is an excellent Kirk. We remember from the tv show how Kirk was always getting the ladies and Pine is the same way always chasing a new girl. Zachary Quinto, best known as the character Sylar on the hit show Heroes plays the perfect Mr. Spock. Leonard Nimoy made Spock famous with his cold calculations and logic and his emotionless persona. Quinto is almost a spot on Spock with a few different personality traits of himself added in. Zoe Saldana plays Nyota Uhura, the beautiful Communications officer. Saldana does not have a tremendous amount of screen time but the time she does have is performed very well, making her a very good Uhura. But probably one of the best performances comes from Karl Urban, who plays Dr. McCoy. Urban's performance is a perfect representation of the character of McCoy. All the actors portrayed their respective characters flawlessly, perfectly capturing the essence of the original cast. And as an added bonus to all you Trek fans out there, the Leonard Nimoy reprises his role as an older Spock in the film. Confused? Well then your going to have to watch the movie.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this movie was the way Abrams captured the essence of the original Star Trek. He accomplished this through superior casting and the use of classic line from the original show like McCoy's classic "Dammit man I'm a doctor not a scientist!" Scotty's "I'm giving it all she's got Captain!" and the ever popular "Energize!" For me, using lines like these that were popular from the show helps draw in the audience and bring in some of what made the original series so loved.

Abrams did a fantastic job with this movie and there is really nothing wrong with it at all. The only problem is that the story may be hard to follow at time, so I wouldn't recommend taking a bathroom break. The great casting, writing, and acting blended with the proper doses of action and comedy make Star Trek a definite must see movie of the summer.

I give Star Trek 10 Pissed of Romulans out of 10.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Last Chance Harvey

Last Chance Harvey - review by ZackRelease Date: June 16th, 2009

Click here for the Last Chance Harvey Trailer.

Academy Award winners Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson star in Last Chance Harvey, a quaint, charming romantic comedy about finding love in unlikely circumstances.

Harvey shine(Hoffman) is just a guy living his life as best he can. Divorced and working as a jingle writer, Harvey has nothing more important in his life than his work. When his daughter decides to get married in London, Harvey begrudgingly goes. Wanting to leave London early for a job pitch, Harvey's boss tells him not to rush back, saying that they are going to go with one of the younger writers ideas. When he arrives in London, it becomes clear why Harvey was eager to leave. Thanks to his workaholic ways, Harvey has grown exceedingly apart from his daughter Susie(Liane Balaban). Feelings are awkward between Harvey and Susie, especially because whenever Susie tries to get close, Harvey is always interrupted by a phone call from work, further pushing away his daughter. It isn't until Susie tells Harvey that she wants her step-father, Brian(James Brolin), to walk her down the aisle and give her away that Harvey truly realizes the affect his lifestyle and priorities has taken on him and his daughter.

When Harvey misses his flight home for the job pitch, his boss(Richard Schiff) tells him that this was his last chance and fires him. Just fired and practically disowned by his daughter, Harvey is at the lowest point possible. While sitting in the airport bar, Harvey stumbles upon Kate(Emma Thompson), an airport survey giver who has her own problems with a failed romantic life and a mother who calls her 100 times a day trying to pry into every part of Kate's life. Some harsh words from a tipsy Harvey leads to an apology, the telling of their personal woes to each other, lunch, a walk around London and an unlikely romance. Harvey takes Kate to his daughter's wedding reception. When Brian starts to give the "father of the bride" toast, Harvey stands up and interjects. Being that he is, after all, the bride's actual father, Harvey wants to give the toast while a cautious crowd watches on. After a heart-felt and sincere toast, mixed with a little confession and apology from Harvey, the relationship between Harvey and Susie begins to mend. When Harvey makes a date with Kate for the following day, he unexpectedly has to be rushed to the hospital unbeknown to Kate, who thinks Harvey stood her up just like every other guy. But Harvey pursues Kate, because even though he missed the date, he knows that his whole experience is his last chance at happiness. Subdued by his quaint charm, Kate goes off with Harvey to live out their lives with each other.

From director Joel Hopkins, this movie is one of those hidden gems of film. It didn't have a lot of buzz surrounding it, no multi-million dollar budget, no big trailers to fuel a hype. What it did have was two great actors with wonderful chemistry, and sweet and innocent story, and an all around heart-warming feel that makes it a perfect movie to watch while curled up with your significant other. Dustin Hoffman is and always has been a fantastic actor and delivers a perfect performance inLast Chance Harvey. The character of Harvey is essentially a workaholic who really has nothing else in his life except his work and his failed dreams of becoming a Jazz pianist. However, you see a complete;y different side of Harvey when he is around Emma Thompson's character of Kate. When they are together, Hoffman's character turns from the depressed workaholic to a sweet, innocent, and gentle man. It is a classic depiction of puppy love when Hoffman and Thompson meet and interact with each other. The movie also does a good job of balancing drama, romance, and comedy. There are some great, sad scenes between Harvey and his daughter that really make you feel for Harvey, in large part due to Hoffman's acting. Writer/Director Joel Hopkins adds just the right amount of humor in the film, mainly with the character of Kate's mom, played by Eileen Atkins. The paranoid neuroticism of the mother adds that kick of comedy that gives the movie that added joy. But, the main point of this movie is the romantic aspect. An unlikely love story, the plot is wonderful. It just has this warm feel about it. The most important thing about a romance movie, however, is the chemistry between the two actors portraying the romantics. Well, needless to say the chemistry between Hoffman and Thompson was spot on. They both had this sort of shy awkwardness about them that made them a joy to see fall in love with each other.

Now, even though this movie isn't an award winning giant like the summer flicks coming out now, it is definitley worth you watching. It has a good story followed up by wonderful acting that just makes you smile. A perfect movie to watch for a date or if you are just in need of a smile.

I give Last Chance Harvey 7 Catchy Jingles out of 10.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation - review by ZackRelease Date: May 21st, 2009

Click here for the Terminator Salvation Trailer.

The fourth installment in the acclaimed Terminator franchise, Terminator Salvation takes a different approach to the war between the human resistance and Skynet. In all previous Terminator movies, the story has revolved around machines traveling back in time to either destroy or save John Connor, the future leader of the human resistance. Salvation, however, takes audiences straight to the front lines in the post-apocalyptic war against the machines and Skynet.

In 2003, Marcus Wright(Sam Worthington), an inmate on death row, is calmly awaiting his execution when Serena(Helena Bonham Carter), a representative from Cyberdyne, asks Marcus to donate his body to Project Angel, which essentially seems like a good cause. 15 years in the future, in the year 2018, Marcus awakens in a desolated L.A. with no memory of anything. As he makes his way through L.A. Marcus is confronted by T-600 Terminator. Not knowing what it was, Marcus was attacked and narrowly escaped death after being thrown out of the way by Kyle Reese(Anton Yelchin). Marcus, along with Kyle and his partner Star(Jadagrace Berry) make their way to the resistance headquarters and to find John Connor.

John Connor(Christian Bale) is a soldier in the human resistance. His whole life, John's mother, Sarah Connor(Linda Hamilton) has told John of the impending Skynet take over and Judgment Day and how John is humanity's last hope in ending the war against the machines. When Kyle, Marcus, and Star are attacked by a Skynet scout and a hunter-killer, which is capturing human prisoners, John sends fighter pilots to intercept the machines and try to find out why they are taking prisoners. The hunter-killer captures Kyle and Star and destroys both fighter planes, but not before the pilot of one ejects and lands in the desert. Blair Williams(Moon Bloodgood) is another fighter in the resistance. Marcus locates where she landed and goes to help her. Blair then takes Marcus back to base camp and to John Connor. While traversing a magnetic minefield, Marcus steps on a landmine and is blown back. Upon examining him, the resistance learns of Marcus' terrible secret: Marcus is a prototype of the T-800 Terminator. Marcus has only two organs remaining in his body, his heart and his brain, which is only partly human considering it has a microchip implanted into it. The most dangerous part of Marcus is that he actually believes himself to be human.

Seeing that Marcus is no "real" machine, Blair releases him from his bindings. John, realizing Marcus isn't interested in killing him, lets him go. The two formulate a plan on infiltrating Skynet and rescuing the human prisoners, including Star and Kyle and to shut down the security of Skynet. While in the Skynet headquarters, Marcus links up with the Cyberdyne mainframe where a holographic image of Serena appears and reveals to Marcus his true identity and purpose. Serena tells Marcus that he was nothing more than a spy, or Trojan horse. Is job was to infiltrate the human resistance and lure John Connor and Kyle Reese into Skynet so they could be killed. Marcus then rips out the chip in his head and fights alongside John destroying numerous T-800s and T-600s in an attempt to escape Skynet. In the final fight John is impaled through the heart by a T-800, which is then destroyed by Marcus. The two then flee Skynet, and as their chopper is flying away, John detonates a small group of the nuclear power sources used to power the T-800s, leveling the entire Skynet complex. Seeing that John is going to die, Marcus decides to undergo a heart transplant, essentially ending his life and saving John's. He explains to Kyle and Blair that everyone deserves a second chance, even John, the now leader of the resistance.

Reviving a movie franchise like this is a dangerous business. But director McG does the franchise justice and a favor by veering away from the previous time traveling storyline of the first three movies. Taking the film into the post-apocalyptic future that was documented by Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese in the first movies was exactly what this franchise needed. This movie is first and foremost an action movie, and needed to deliver the action on a high octane intense level, and it does. This is no typical war movie. The people aren't fighting other countries or other people. They are fighting machines. Machines that don't eat, sleep, fatigue, or have a conscious. Machines designed for one purpose, to seek out and destroy every living human. This movie definitley delivers on graphics and action. The machines in Terminator salvation look incredible. The exoskeleton design is definitley a very intimidating look and the animations of the terminators are incredible to see as well. You actually feel like these things are real. Their motions, and actions are very fluid and clean, adding to the realism.

Another highlight of this moving was the characters. Christian Bale does a fantastic job as John Connor. His performance really delivers a believable character and you can really see the leader portrayed in Bale's character. But Bale isn't alone and is supported by a very well developed cast. Sam Worthington, who plays Marcus Wright, also delivers a great performance as the half human half machine hybrid. He has the mysterious aspect about him that sends a little chill down your spine whenever he is around. Among these two in the cast include the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard as Kate Connor, John's wife, Common as Barnes, John's right-hand man, and even a small bit from acclaimed actor Michale Ironside who plays General Ashdown, the leader of the resistance before John Connor. Anton Yelchin, who plays a young Kyle Reese, delivers a surprisingly good performance. Yelchin's film career doesn't include many big name movies. Previous performances from Yelchin include movies like Alpha Dog and Charlie Bartlett. However, Yelchin has upgraded his resume with this most recent Terminator Salvation and the recent Star Trek movie. But Yelchin handles this major role pretty good and delivers a worthy performance.

Now to get into the pros and cons of Terminator Salvation. The action was intense, to the extreme. Visually the movie was stunning. The special effects were incredible and looked fantastic on the big screen. It really did the Terminator franchise justice. One of my favorite aspects of this movie was the input of classic lines from the original movies. For example, when Kyle Reese and Marcus Wright meet for the first time, Kyle looks right at Marcus and says the classic "come with me if you want to live" line used by his character in the first movie. John Connor also spouts a classic line used by Arnold in the first Terminator film. John is leaving for a mission and his wife is expressing her fears of him not returning when John turns to her and says "I'll be back" made famous by Schwarzenegger in the original Terminator. Little things like this really add that special touch to franchise movies like this.

The cons, well, there aren't much. Sometimes the acting was a little off by Bale and Yelchin, but very rarely did this happen. Other than that there was nothing overly bad about this movie in my opinion. It had great action, a good plot, and brought a fresh new aspect to the Terminator franchise that we all have come to know and love. If you are a Terminator fan, then I would definitley recommend this movie for you. Or even if you are an action movie fan, this is a good movie to see. And while I don't want to spoil anything for you, there is a very cool and unexpected surprise towards the end of the movie which Terminator fans will absolutely love.

I give Terminator Salvation 8 Robot Apocalypses out of 10.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Release Date: January 30th, 2009

Click here for the Taken Trailer.

Taken puts a new spin on the kidnapping movie and transforms it into a pulse-pounding, full-blown action movie.

Liam Neeson is Bryan, a friend, father, and former C.I.A. "preventer". Now into early retirement, Bryan is trying his best to make up for time lost with his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). When Kim and her mother (Famke Janssen) ask Bryan to sign release forms for Kim to go to Paris with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy), Bryan is hesitant, knowing first hand the dangers of going out of the country for a girl her age. But, like any father who only wants his daughter to be happy, Bryan begrudgingly signs the forms and lets Kim go to Paris. However, as soon as they land in Paris, Bryan's worst fears come true. When he gets a phone call from Kim depicting their safe arrival, four men suddenly break into the apartment where the girls are staying and take Amanda. Bryan knows full well what is about to happen and gives Kim specific instructions on where to go and what to describe about her attackers because Kim is about to be taken. When she is, Bryan has one last conversation with the kidnappers and promises them one thing, "I don't know who you are, but if you don't let my daughter go, I will find you and I will kill you." Using his C.I.A. skills, old C.I.A. friends, and the short, broken phone call from Kim, Bryan begins to slowly piece together details of what happened. Through his investigation, Bryan discovers that the kidnappers are part of an Albanian crime ring that kidnaps young girls and sells them into the sex trade. Bryan now has only 96 hours from when Kim was abducted to find her before she drops off the grid completely. The closer and closer he gets, the harder it is to find Kim and it seems like he's always one step behind her. But Bryan is set on finding her, and doesn't let anything get in his way of finding the thing that means the most the most in his life, Kim.

O.k. so Taken is far different from the typical kidnapping movies we typically see. Thinking back on kidnapping movies, I typically think of Ransom (Mel Gibson, Gary Sinise). The son gets taken and everybody is crying and paying the ransom, blah blah blah. Taken says hell no to ransom and hell no to negotiating. Its all "you give me back my daughter or I am going to kill you", and that is exactly what happens. Now when you think of action stars or somebody you need in an action type movie, Liam Neeson doesn't typically come to mind. He normally does the prize winning Oscar performances, the serious dramatic roles. But after seeing Taken we now know Neeson can do it all. The best thing about his character his the way Neeson delivers his lines. He has the deep, calm voice that makes you shiver a little. Whenever he speaks, you know he isn't messing around. The story is also heart touching and dramatic in the extreme. Just the fact that it is Kim's father doing all this to try and get her back just tugs at your heart strings the whole time and Neeson definitley does an incredible job of really showing his love for his daughter and his desperation in getting her back.

But lets get to the meat and potatoes of the movie and that is the action. Neeson's character is an ex-C.I.A. operative so his fighting skills are intense. Neeson is like the ass-kicking birth child of James Bond and Jason Bourne. And when he says he will kill everybody if he doesn't get his daughter back, he means it. Neeson literally kills everybody he comes across without a second thought. The best thing about the fight scenes are that they are not so polished as some you might see in a James Bond film or Bourne film. They bring a more realistic approach to how someone would fight in the surroundings Neeson was in. There not choreographed, elaborate fight scenes, there all out, fight to the death, do what you have to survive fights and Neeson is always top dog.

I really do not have any negative things to say about this movie. The only thing I didn't like was the character of the mom because she was a complete and total b-word. But that really can't be considered a flaw considering that was how she was supposed to be. The plot was fantastic and original, the action was great, and the acting was top notch. If you are a fan of Liam Neeson, action films, or just good movies in general, then you should definitley see Taken.

I give Taken 10 Albanian Sex Traffickers out of 10.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gears of War Movie: Will it Follow the Trend of Bad Game-Based Movies?

gears of war MovieEveryone knows that the relationship between video games and movies is a touchy subject for gamers and movie buffs alike. Being that I consider myself in both categories, I feel I have a special view of the subject.

If you consider yourself a game enthusiast, or gamer, then you probably cringe a little whenever you here that one of your favorite movies is being turned into a video game. And why do you cringe? Because a majority of video games based on movies suck, period. This is surprising because you have this amazing action movie or whatever which, in your mind, looks like it would be awesome to play on your 360 or PS3. The problem? People love money, including game producers and film companies. When a blockbuster movie comes out, everyone expects a game to go along with it. But games take a long time to create and the only way to make one based off of a movie is to have most of the movie already completed. Herein lies the problem. Game developers finally get what they need to complete the game and are then stuck with a forced upon release date that coincides with the release of the movie causing the game to be rushed, not leaving room for the necessary time desired to fine tune the game resulting in a crappy game. Our lives are chalked full of crappy movie-based video games: Ironman, Reservoir Dogs, E.T.(named one of the worst games of all-time) just to name a few.

On the other side, there are also a ton of movies based on video games that also suck. Now, while the games have already come out and the movies are being made after, there is no release date the movie has to try and hit to match up with the game, which means no rushing. So why do a majority of game-based movies suck? Because the movie companies obtain all the rights and try to make a movie how they think it should be made. They exclude the writers and creators of the game itself and kind of do their own thing with it. This is why most movies based on awesome games suck, i.e. Bloodrayne, Super Mario Brothers, Max Payne, etc...

So now-a-days, when people here about their favorite game being turned into a movie or vice versa, they tend to get a little worried, and with good reason. But, it seems like things are taking a turn for the better, especially with the announcement of a big screen adaptation of the hit X-box 360 game Gears of War. Released in 2006, Gears of War became one of the most popular and fastest growing games on the market. But when gamers heard there beloved game was getting a big screen adaptation, skepticism ensued. Nobody wanted to see such an incredible game be crapped up in the cinemas by some money hungry film studio looking to make some easy cash. But all fears may be blown away due to the fact that the game's creator Cliff Bleszinski, or Cliffy B, is working hand in hand with the creators of the movie. This is what all video game based movies are missing, an person with all the insider views of the game, how it was made, and the meaning behind everything. Gears of War is Cliffy B's baby, and gamers across the world can sleep a little more peacefully at night knowing that he is working hard to make the Gears of War movie not suck.

While there is not much info on the movie as if yet, here's what we do know, about the game franchise and the movie. On March 20, 2007, it was officially announced that New Line Cinemas had purchased the rights to a Gears of War movie. Len Wiseman is set to direct with Chris Morgan to script rewrites as of June 2008. In an interview with Morgan during G4's live coverage of Comic Con 2008, Morgan hinted that the movie will be a prequel to the games which could explain a lot of interesting things, like how Marcus Fenix got his scar. As of May 6, 2009, Chris Morgan stated that the Gears of War movie "looks incredibly good." But its not like Morgan has seen any actual footage considering there is none. Morgan is, however, referring to the script currently on hand at New Line. As of today, we have no confirmed release date, or cast of characters, though the cast is being thrown around quite a bit.

As for characters, there are some speculations of which big name stars will be playing who in the film. According to Morgan, he envisions the character of Marcus Fenix as being played by someone the likes of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. A good choice, however everybody remembers Johnson's "stunning" performance in the Doom movie. But this is a hard act to do. The characters in Gears of War are iconic and need to be done justly. Other speculations of who might portray the bad-ass leader of Delta Squad were actors like Nick Chinlund(Chronicles of Riddick) and Dominic Purcell(Prison Break). While none of these people are confirmed, it will be interesting to see who lands the roles of these characters.

The Gears of War movie, like all other movies based on video games, has the same possibility to suck, just like the rest of them. However, with Cliffy B taking a huge roll in the production of the movie, I'd say we, as gamers, Gears lovers, and movie lovers, shouldn't have too much to worry about.

As an added bonus to you all, I have decided to compile a list of the characters from Gears of War 1 and the actors/actresses I think should play them. Enjoy and feel free to leave me a comment on who you think should comprise the troops of Delta Squad.

Marcus Fenix - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Dominic Santiago - Franky G.

Augustus "Cole Train" Cole - Lester "The Mighty Rasta" Speight

Damon Baird - Ryan Reynolds

Minh Young Kim - Jason Scott Lee

Anya Stroud - Jessica Biel

Maria Santiago - Meagan Fox

Victor Hoffman - R. Lee Ermey

Hope I did them justice.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Deadpool Movie Announced

Deadpool Movie AnnouncedIn a conformation from 20th Century fox, Ryan Reynolds, who played Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, in the recent X-Men Origins: Wolverine, has been given his very own spin-off movie, another origins movie. Now while there isn't even a suspected date, I would wager that the movie will come out in about three years if all goes well.

32-year-old Canadian actor Reynolds will reprise his role as the deadly wisecracking mercenary infected with cancer. The character receives a cure for his disease after being injected with a concoction that included a sample of Wolverine's blood and healing ability. For the movie, Deadpool's abilities consist of enhanced strength, regenerative healing abilities, and the ability to absorb the powers of dead mutants, hence the name "Deadpool".

Fans of the recent Origins movie will be happy to see such a beloved character, who was somewhat shortchanged in the first movie, get the screen time deserved. No release date has been announced but I would expect to see this movie some time around the summer of 2012 with the only logical title being X-Men Origins: Deadpool or something like that.

Also confirmed by 20th Century Fox is an X-Men Origins: Wolverine sequel as well as talks about a Magneto Origins movie and a movie called X-Men: First Class , which will focus on the core characters, Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Beast, and others that were among the first "students" at the "Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters". Needless to say that X-Men and comic book fans are going to have a lot to look forward to in the coming years.

Monday, May 4, 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins Wolverine - review by zackRelease Date: May 1st, 2009

Click here for the X-Men Origins: Wolverine Trailer.

Hugh Jackman puts the claws back on and reprises his role as the vicious Wolverine.

The fourth movie adaptation for the X-Men comic book series, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, sets off on a course to explain, well, the origins of Wolverine. How he got his claws, his healing ability, his name, and what caused the traumatic memory loss seen in the first three X-Men movies is mostly all explained in this film dedicated solely to the guy who is "the best at what he does".

Definitely one of the most interesting and beloved characters of the X-Men, Wolverine is the perfect fit for an origins story, considering their is so much we do not know about him or his past. The story starts off with a young James Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine, sick in bed in a mansion in Canada. Oh, and did I mention the year was 1845? Even though the X-Men movies take place in present time and Wolverine is a grown man, he has actually been around for more than 100 years! When young Wolverine's father is shot and killed, he gets so upset and angry that claws of bone come out from between his knuckles and he attacks the killer. After this happens, Wolverine(Hugh Jackman) and his brother, Victor Creed(Liev Schreiber), also known as the mutant Sabertooth, go on the run, promising that each would look after the other. The next thing you see is Wolverine and Sabertooth fighting in every major war this country has seen, from the Civil War to Vietnam. When Victor kills a superior officer in Vietnam after he attempted to stop Victor from raping a Vietnamese woman. As the squad begins to attack Victor, Wolverine steps in to help and the both are captured and sentenced to death by firing squad, which doesn't bother them considering they can't die.

After their sentence is carried out, a man, named William Stryker(Danny Huston), questions the two about their abilities and offers them a spot on a special team he is creating, a team of mutants called Team X. The team consists of Agent Zero(Daniel Henney), an extremely agile and deadly marksman; Fred Dukes(Kevin Durand), also known as "Blob", a ridiculously strong mutant with an impenetrable layer of skin; John Wraith(, a mutant with the ability to teleport; Chris Bradley(Dominic Monaghan), a technopath who can control machines with his mind; Wade Wilson(Ryan Reynolds), a deadly mercenary who wields samurai swords and of course, Logan and Victor. The two agree and go on their first mission with the team to Africa to retrieve a piece of a meteorite. When they question the village of where the meteorite landed, they are met with no help. Stryker then orders the team to murder the villagers in an attempt to make someone talk. Wolverine, disgusted by this behavior, stops the team and leaves. Six years later, Wolverine, now going by his last name Logan, is living in the Canadian wilderness with his girlfriend, Kayla Silverfox(Lynn Collins), and working as a lumberjack. Everything is going good until Stryker and Agent Zero come knocking at his door asking for "help". According to Stryker, Victor is hunting down and killing members of Team X, in a bloody quest for vengeance and, with Stryker's help of course, Wolverine is the only one that can stop him. But when Wolverine refuses, he pays for it as Victor kills Kayla. It is at this point that the animal in Wolverine takes over and he agrees to go through a procedure that coats his entire skeletal system in adamantium, a nearly indestructible metal. Only due to his incredible healing factor does Logan survive the operation, and it is here that he takes on his new identity as Wolverine. When he realizes he has been set up and betrayed by Stryker, Wolverine escapes and heads off to find some members of his old team who are still alive.

Wolverine meets up with Wraith and Dukes who tell him about Stryker's activities of capturing young mutants and harnessing their powers on his base on Three Mile Island. Wolverine then seeks out the only person to ever escape from the prison set up by Stryker on the island, a man by the name of Remy LeBeau(Taylor Kitsch), otherwise known as Gambit. Together, the two break into the prison and Wolverine sets out on his quest to take out Stryker and his plans. Wolverine is then confronted by his brother, Victor, and the two face off. After this, Stryker prematurely sets off his ultimate weapon, Weapon XI, a mutant infused with different powers from captured mutants including Cyclops' optic blast, Wraith's teleportation, and Wolverine's healing ability. Weapon XI also has the same adamantium skeleton as Wolverine and the two face off in a final epic battle. After Wolverine defeats Weapon XI, he his shot in the back of the head by Stryker using adamantium bullets, which renders Wolverine unconscious and no memory of what has just happened. Wolverine leaves after releasing the captured mutants who are greeted by a helicopter and a young Professor Charles Xavier. Wolverine then sets of on his own to figure out what all had just happened and who he really is.

This movie was high on everybody's anticipation meter from the very first announcement from it. And although it was a good movie, it did not live up to the hype and fell short, which is sad for a movie with so much potential. Now to get to the goods and bads of it. The cast of characters and actors in this movie definitley lived up to an X-Men title. It was good to see mutants, most of which are fan favorites, have screen time that didn't include anybody from the first three films. I was particularly happy to see Blob and Deadpool, but not as much as the incredible Gambit, which had me hooked from the first preview. The actors cast in the respective roles did a good job of capturing the character they were portraying. Ryan Reynolds was good as the sarcastic and crazy Deadpool, as was Liev Schreiber as the fierce Sabertooth. My only problem with these iconic characters being in Origins is that none of them, except Wolverine and Sabertooth, got enough screen time. To put great characters like Deadpool, Blob, and Gambit in a movie is great if they get face time. However, such high caliber characters deserve more than their 10 minute scenes the were given.

Another negative point in this movie was some of the graphics. Wolverine is all about the claws and while Hugh Jackman doesn't actually have razor sharp adamantium claws yet, it is up to the special effects guys to give him some. However, some of the slowed down close-up scenes showed incredibly poor animation on the claws not making them realistic at all. I mean come on, its 2009, our technology is good enough for simple tasks like this. Although they did do an incredible job on Wolverines bone claws seen before his "adamantium dip". The bone claws were a very cool thing to see. Mostly people think of the adamantium claws but nobody really thinks of what it was like before that. In origins we get to see what Wolverine was like before the operation which gave an interesting spin on Wolverine's life.

The story, at times, was a bit choppy and didn't flow. Like Wolverine's past, somethings didn't make sense. However, where the plot line lacked, the action more than made up for it. With Wolverine, you know there is going to be bloodshed, and Origins doesn't hold back. That was one of the best things about this movie. The action. The scene with Team X taking out the diamond smugglers in Nigeria to obtain the adamantium was non stop, high energy action. The fight scenes with wolverine were intense as well. Most of the fight scenes involved Wolverine and Victor. Considering they are both brothers with similar powers and the same healing abilities, the fights turn away from the tradition because how do you win or lose a fight when neither of the combatants can die?

Overall, the most this movie did was leaving you wanting more, not because the movie was incredible, but because so much could have been done but was left out. The graphics needed a serious boost in places and the story could have gone many different ways and been better. Yet, it was not a total loss. even though it did not live up to the hype, I still thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber delivered good performances, and despite having a widely talented yet underused cast, the characters were mostly spot on. I give X-Men Origins: Wolverine a 7 adamantium laced bad-asses out of 10