Jack Reacher – Film Review

Tom Cruise takes this former kick-ass soldier turned mysterious bringer-of-justice story into a two hour film full of suspense, mystery, action, humor, and of course, Tom Cruise.

This film was not what I expected from the previews, but exceeded my expectations to enjoy it more and enjoy it at a different point of view. I had expected this film to be somewhat of a Mission Impossible, except with more action and less “story-line”.
The story is about Jack Reacher, a former soldier with over a dozen awards and medals for his work in the service, for his heroism. After a shooting in a public area with random victims, the suspect asks for Reacher to help his case. New mysteries arise, conspiracies are formed, theories tested, and killers come after Reacher until the end which will be waiting for you to see ūüôā

Anyways, back to the review;
I am usually a hit or miss with Tom Cruise; not sure why, but some of his movies I just do not find intriguing or fun to watch, while others are seen every time they come on tv. But some of my favorite Cruise films are The War of the Worlds, The Last Samurai, and his soon to be released, Oblivion.
Cruise did a fantastic job with the personality of Reacher; a hard nosed, edged former soldier with fight for justice, no mercy and no laws, straight justice, and it is seen in his face throughout the film; no fear, all focus, thinking, and planning his next move. This film brings in a modern day vigilante with muscle cars instead of horses. All the other actors also did a great job throughout the film too, such as Rosamund Pike (Die Another Day) a lawyer fighting the suspect’s innocence, with a change from naive, straight-forward, daughter of the DA Lawyer, to siding with Reacher and unfolding the truth behind the entire case; Robert Duvall (you all know Duvall) the DA and father of Helen (Pike) who wants his daughter to change and accept the truth of the killer; David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) the climax-changer who some would but others would not expect to do what he did; and finally Alexia Fast, an up and coming, beautiful actress with hopes from me to becoming the next young starlet!
The fight and action scenes were a work of art; fighting styles in harmony and not like most movies where the “good guy” gets every punch, Reacher takes a beating too here and there. I also really enjoyed the chase scenes with the Chevrolet Nova, (Driven by Reacher) as it would actually lose control and drift, as the weak handling of those types of cars would have it. A lot of movies miss this feature and have 60’s and 70’s muscle cars making perfect turns with hardly a skid, but this film actually had Reacher catching up after spinning out from the chase.
The shoot-em-up scenes were also great, with the bad guys having above average accuracy unlike most bad guys who never get a target; and the good guys taking more misses than usual as well.

What I liked most about this film was the Bourne Series feeling; a new twist and evidence coming up every so often really had you thinking either into the future of the film, as to what would happen next or what could connect the other facts; and also had you thinking of what you missed or never even thought about. These are great films to watch, ( at least for me) because it not only has you thinking throughout this film, throughout other films, but also in life for circumstances that would involve Tom Cruise and conspiracies.

So, with that simple and sweet review, I give this a 9/10.

Hope you all enjoy and Sunday I will have more reviews up!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Film Review

So, finally saw The Hobbit, and as much as I had hoped it would reflect the original LOTR trilogy, it was not up to the full expectations; with that being said, it was not a terrible or bad movie, it was pretty good, but had quite a bit of room for improvement that should not have been needed.
For the record, I have not read The  Hobbit novels, but from what I have heard from a few people, those who have read the books, Peter Jackson and crew stuck very close to the story line.

For this review, I will do a “good” and “bad” of each aspect of the film, and from there a final personal rating.

The story:
“good” the story was well done, overall an okay script, but some lines were a little kiddish and not as “LOTR” style. It also had good points of giving background to some of the story…
but that is also where the “bad” comes in; some background of the story was also bad because it would explain one thing, and then just bring up another event or talk about one without prior knowledge or scenes of it. The overall, or main story line was well, but the points that showed flashbacks, other intentions or “quest” and so on were not always well explained or discussed.

The Visuals:
The visual aspects were once again tremendous and magnificent! The New Zealand and Australian settings are amazing for the LOTR and Hobbit films, and they do an amazing job both from visual effects and natural settings to create the film’s settings. From the rolling hills, peak of the mountains, rushing waterfalls, it all comes together to truly create a “fantasy” or Middle Earth not many parts of today’s Earth are capable of use for.
Other aspects of the visuals I love are when the views are over Rivendell where the Elvish live; throughout and over the Shire for the Hobbits, and of course the architecture of the Dwarf kingdom. The architects and film designers did a marvelous job at this, thanks to artists and the entire crew responsible for the film!
As for the visuals in costumes, appearances, weapons, etc, again these have been brought not as a “video game” look, but an actual real life look, almost as if, while watching the film, you are there and want to hold the sword, wear the armor, or look through the windows!
One of my favorite settings also was . **spoiler alert** when the Stone or rock creatures were fighting in the mountains, an amazing scene and obstacle for the crew!
It is always great to watch Peter Jackson films for these features and to have the life like feeling!

The Characters:
The Hobbit did a great job of bringing in old characters, or well new characters from the now sequels, but also did a good and bad job of the new introduction of characters. The return of well known characters include Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, Gollum/Smeagle, Frodo Baggins, Lord Elrond, Saruman the White, and Galadriel. They all reprised their roles as how they were in LOTR and the actors did a fantastic job once again!
Now the bad side to the characters… I am not sure how they were depicted in the novels, but a few of the dwarves were just..not the right material, too fat or too “funny” …not a Gimli funny from LOTR, a more JarJar Binks x10 from The Phantom Menace. It was hard to take some scenes serious because of this. Also, the Goblin King was a bit over done with the look and seemed like a children’s bad guy.

That was probably the biggest disappointment for me for The Hobbit. They did what Star Wars did for Episode I and VI, made it “kid and family friendly” but they made it too “friendly”. The first probably 30 minutes of the film made me feel like Jar Jar Binks wrote the script. Now, I love Jar Jar binks, so there is no hate towards him like the rest of the world has; but, for The Hobbit, the first half hour was just a childish humor fest. Dwarves making slap stick remarks and acting in a way that children would enjoy. It would not have been as bad, well if the writers took it about 4 knotches down on this style. The rest of the film also had too much “friendliness” like the Trolls with their idiotic personalities and such. What made the original LOTR great for comedy was the humor between Legolas and Gimli, fighting for the most kills, or Mary and Pippin in their type of humor. But this was way too much and that has to be my biggest downfall for this film.
The fight and battle scenes were also very much like The Fellowship of the Ring, no long major wars or battles, but sequences and reflections of battle here and there which was well built. Good Choreography and weapon handling, as well as the fighting techniques of Orcs and what not.

So, my final rating for this film would be a 7.5/10. Like I said, the comedy and new characters, as well as a few mishaps in the story were the biggest downfalls; would I see it again? Of course, because it is in the series and it was not a bad film; but this would be related to Star Wars episode I, the same issue for both reboots of the franchises. With the $84.8 million haul over the weekend, things are looking good for The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again.

A Look Ahead for Movies and Media

The past few years have had rumors upon rumors, confirmations, denials, hopes, dreams, and deaths of movies to come; many we look forward to, many we never expected, and some the Movie Studios just decided to take on their own paths.
These movies to be discussed include Transformers 4, Justice League, Star Wars, Ender’s Game, and more!

Starting off with¬†Transformers 4,¬†the biggest and latest news comes with the announcement of Mark Wahlberg as a main character. Sources say¬†Transformers 4¬†will surround Mark Wahlberg as the main character and his daughter, and the daughter’s boyfriend who is a race car driver. Prospective daughters include Isabelle Cornish (sister of Abbey Cornish), Nicola Peltz (The Last Airbender),¬†Margaret Quallay (daughter of Andie MacDowell), Gabriella Wilde, (Carrie), and¬†Alex Frnka, on MTV’s¬†Inbetweeners.¬†
Paramount is also searching for the next leading male character behind Wahlberg; they also state they are only signing to three movie contracts.
Now the main story of Transformers 4 is set to take place 4 years after the third movie;
Transformers 4 is set to be released June 27, 2014.

Next up, and a short note, is Star Wars Episode VII; pretty much Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher have spoken with George Lucas about returning to the films, along with Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Ewan McGegor, and many many more are interested in returning for the new trilogy. A few issues do arise though: for one, Harrison Ford says he will only return as Han Solo if Han Solo gets killed off in the new film; apparently Ford had a love-hate relationship with Solo, and will return if he dies off. Hamill and Fisher would like to return, but Disney is planning on making      Ep. VII  from a new story line set a few years after Ep. VI; which means either Luke and Leia would have aged dramatically, CGI will make them younger, or new actors will be cast. Also, McGregor as Obi-Wan would still be too young, even as a Force Spirit.

In other Harrison Ford news,¬†Ender’s Game¬†images were released with Ford as character ¬†¬†Col. Hyrum Graff. I remember reading this book in the beginning of High School, and it was actually one of the few mandatory books or novel I enjoyed reading and looked forward to. A few changes would be made to the movie which have been discussed with Author of the original story, Orson Scott, to bring in older actors for older characters, to keep the time frame from getting out of the loop. And to handle more experienced but not too old of actors. Gavin Hood has been working on this film for four years, and has finally taken the next step forward into production;¬†Ender’s Game¬†opens in theaters November 1, 2013.

One of the most recent movie updates was the announcement of Disney moving forward with Tron, and hired David Digilio to write the script..this happening a year and a half ago. Since then, Disney has not made a move until now, continue work on the next film.

Man of Steel¬†was just revealed being handcuffed for the latest teaser poster; a new, exhilarating trailer is set to be shown before¬†The Hobbit,¬†as both films are WarnerBros. material. This comes as a reward to all the¬†Dark Knight¬†fans on Facebook, who unlocked the trailer after enough fans liked a post two weeks ago. As of now, no certain plot lines are setting for the Superman arrest photo, but some are predicting Zod and the Military have something to do with it. ¬†There have also been spoiler of a major battle scene to take place…Man of Steel¬†comes out
June 14, 2013

Even with¬†The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey¬†still anxiously approaching theaters, news for the third installment of¬†The Hobbit¬†have brought in Orlando Bloom as Legolas. Peter Jackson explains how it makes sense as “Legolas is the son of King Thranduil; and since Elves are immortal, it makes sense for him to be able to appear in¬†The Hobbit and LOTR”.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey hits theaters December 14th, 2012. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug hits theaters December 13th, 2013. And lastly, The Hobbit: There and Back Again comes to theaters July 18th, 2014.

2015 will be a fully loaded year and an exciting one for that matter in the new movie releases;
The Avengers 2: May 1
Ant Man: November 6
Star Wars Ep. VII: tba
Justice League: tba
Avatar 2: tba
Wonder Woman: tab
other possible follow ups: James Bond, G.I. Joe, Mission Impossible, and Jack Reacher
A sequel to Prometheus is also set for 2015; Ridley Scott is fully prepared and focused on the next film, as many movie goers have more questions than answers to the Alien origins.

Dan Aykroyd has also confirmed Ghostbusters 3 and 4.¬†Here is Aykroyd’s statement to Empire Magazine: “[B]ecause of the ever-shifting sands and nature of the motion-picture business, I will just say that hopefully, at some point, it will be morphing into what is known in the business as a ‘production number XP39789. Then I will begin to rent cars, get hotel rooms, and bill for writing. But that point hasn’t come. All my work has been gratis to this point, as Ivan [Reitman]’s has, and I’m hoping that I can get that production number set up in L.A. and help everyone bring the movie to fruition, as the originator and creator of the concept.”

So, there you have it folks! A good chunk of a blog for all you readers and fan-people to have something to look forward to! More and more news will come, and I am here to simply give it to you; straightforward and no clutter.

The Walking Dead: Analyzing the best show on television

The Walking Dead has captivated viewers from the very beginning with its unique and eccentric story line, jaw dropping visual effects, and characters so diverse with so many hidden secrets, it is quite difficult to not like TWD even if you hate Zombies.
The Walking Dead brings out so much about life after a Zombie Apocalypse, and thanks to the creators of the comic series and AMC, we now have this story in the middle of the third season, waiting for the second part to begin in February!
This post will start off with a “review” of how¬†The Walking Dead¬†has evolved and caught the attention of so many, and a second post will be based on Season 3 and what to expect.

But what truly makes this show so popular and so addicting? I can tell you, not very many television series’ have caught my attention like¬†TWD¬†has. (just a note, a few shows I have always and will continue to enjoy are¬†LOST, The Simpson’s, Malcolm in the Middle, The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family,¬†and a few reality shows; so my genres vary widely)
The only other show I can think of which I have watched before that closely relates to TWD, would be LOST, another captivating show with twists and turns and hidden gems throughout each season that kept me at the edge of my couch cushion.
TWD has three aspects that have made it grow so much and gain so much popularity: the storyline, the characters, and the visual effects, makeup artistry, & settings. These three are, from my point of view, what makes TWD the best television series out and the best we have had since LOST. 

First off, the story line; now, I have never read the comic series or graphic novels, so the only accuracy I am aware of between the show and comics is from friends who have read and seen both. So from that, I will not compare the story from the comics to the story of the show; but, I will have my own inferences based on the story of the show only.
The series has a story unlike any thing else I have seen; With the episodes starting with either flashbacks, introducing new characters, continuing from the previous episode, or giving foreshadowing secrets and hints of what is to come. Then the intro and the episode is on! The scenes before the intro are something never to miss! They set off the mood and expectations or hopes for the rest of the episode, but they also offer something that will become unexpected later on in the episode or in the rest of the season. The creators and writers have done a fantastic job at this, creating somewhat of two parts to the introduction, one with those mentioned a few lines earlier, and then the cast and crew, music, scenes etc.
The overall story is also fantastic, again an amazing job by the multiple writers this series has had; other television shows with multiple writers lose track of what the story is about, or try to add in their own twists or plots that end up ruining that episode, and eventually creating a domino effect for the rest of the season. But with TWD, all the writers have done their research, and understand not only what we the viewers want out of it, but what is in the best interest for the producers and cast portraying the characters.
The main story line has myself,(and I am sure others too) in an “awe” when each segment returns from commercial break; one moment there is family and friends in turmoil, the next they make up and love one another; then Walkers could come and bite someone in the group, another person gives birth, a jealousy and revenge plan turns the tables and kills a best friend, someone loses their leg, and so much much more that it is too much to explain here! Just go watch the show!
But honestly,¬†The Walking Dead¬†has continued to throw out practically every emotional and psychological aspect of life itself in front of viewers that you sit back and think “Wow, who would I turn out to be like in a zombie Apocalypse?” As I am a College student taking Psychology courses, a lot of what is happening in the show can relate to what I have learned and discussed in class; I even made my last Analysis Paper on¬†TWD¬†and it just so happens my professor loves that show and I was able to pinpoint every aspect of our course into the series!
There is love, hate, anger, jealousy, romance, loss, lust, grief, pain, hunger, death, life;
mind games, perversion, controlling, hopelessness, depression, positive reinforcement, violence, revenge, education, survival of the fittest, adaptation, a changing environment, maturity, degradation, and again, so much more that can be said or written about The Walking Dead, because it is a show about LIFE. What would truly happen of LIFE if family was lost to a Zombie Disease, Friends fight you for food and warmth, strangers become egocentric and lose all sense of humanity? The Walking Dead offers this type of story line that could never all fit into a movie, and enhanced by real people playing the characters with emotions and senses and bodies; bodies, life, and your mind. TWD simply and surely offers an amazing and outright breathtaking script.

Now going along with the story, the show would need actors and people to portray those characters with the emotions that can actually be taken seriously and sometimes think this is happening right now right outside your door step. There really is a Walker scratching at your door, another breaking through the glass; a town run by a man with an unknown name, killing innocent and turning around to his people as if the murdered were the issue; there really is Rick Grimes searching for hope and security, with his wife lost, his growing son, and newborn daughter.
Andrew Lincoln plays Rick Grimes with such heart and emotion, that I see very, very few others who could have played him. Along with that note, I am happy to see upcoming and new actors with such roles to reprise themselves in such an environment, I don’t believe many big name actors in Hollywood could be.
Andrew Lincoln has done some great work creating his “Rick-tatorship” as leader of the group, from stumbling out of a coma, from the hospital into the streets of dead and undead bodies, to finding his family, fighting for and against his friends; yet he feels he never does enough, but some of us see him being the true hero of the group; coming from his background, and almost immediately after realizing what the world has turned to, he takes charge; But Lincoln is not the one doing all this; Rick Grimes is, yet Lincoln has done such a fantastic job, it is hard to see Andrew Lincoln as “Andrew Lincoln” and not “Rick Grimes”.
Jon Bernthal has that well built, rugged look, which comes in handy when we discover Shane has been sleeping with Lori and becomes jealous of Rick, seeking to kill him and get rid of him; Bernthal does a good job at his anger and jealousy towards Rick, and has his own moments of becoming a horrid Walker. Sarah Callies as Lori shows the “ass kicking” mother with an affection of unconditional mother love, but kicks in the Walker butt kicking when she needs to!
Steven Yeun was a great choice for Glenn, the young kid who first is afraid and ultimately gets thrown into every “mission” yet eventually falls for the Farmer’s Daughter (literally) and finds someone to love and care for. Carl Grimes is played by Chandler Riggs, and for being only 13 years old, he has done a job not many young actors have been able to accomplish; Riggs has shown his childish and immature side in the first season, being naive and trying to act like Shane or Rick; but then his father comes in and he has to grow faster than young kids would in a normal life; he has to mature, learn how to use a gun, and learn the strategies of killing Walkers and staying in formations. Riggs accomplishes this in a short turn around from a fun kid, to a serious and mature growing teen after the loss of Sophia and his dad’s philosophy.
These and more characters including Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon)
Lauren Cohan (Maggie Greene) Danai Gurira (Michonne) and Michael Rooker & David Morissey (Merle and The Governor) they all have the look and heart to play difficult characters yet never cease to amaze at the emotional and soulful characterization.

And lastly, the final reason why The Walking Dead is the best series on television;
The prosthetics, makeup, visual effects, sett designs, all things to do with what we see throughout the show.
Sure there are plenty of zombie movies with okay make up and fake limbs, falling guts, losing jaws and eyeballs, but¬†TWD¬†takes it to an entirely new level. With makeup from head to toe, some other movies have even failed at simple tasks when¬†TWD¬†never misses an inch. To compare, I am bringing in¬†Star Wars Episode I:The Phantom Menace.¬†Before you hound me either of your¬†Star Wars¬†fandom or hate for¬†Episode I,¬†i’ll make this point: I am a HUGE¬†Star Wars¬†fan and yes, Episode I was not THAT great, but here is what I am getting at: a few scenes, such as the one after or during the Pod Races, almost every alien and creature has a mask or some kind of head gear and clothes, right? Well, if you did not notice something that stands out quite a bit, every persons’ hands are. . . human hands, there are no makeup, paint, gloves, nada nothing on the hands, yet each person has a different mask. Sorry to LucasFilm to rag on them, but hey, the small things count and in¬†the Walking Dead,¬†not a minor inch is missed. The skin so dead, gray, pale, no life whatsoever in the Walkers. The intestines spilling out, blood squirting on the faces, jaws falling apart, bones cracking through the skin, and none ceases to amaze the gore and gruesome factors I love about these these types of shows. Even in a recent interview with Andrew Lincoln, he states how he loves being covered in dirt, grimy water, dirty and torn clothes, and when he walks into Woodbury, he actually hates the set because it is so clean; unlike his group has been. It is these simple things that make a show so fascinating!
Even the set designs make you want to go there, live in those scenarios, feel what they feel; the hospital grounds with bodies and tanks left everywhere; the CDC with a senile researcher; the prison grounds with fences and reinforcement on all sides, except for one side left untravelled and blown out walls; then there is Woodbury, a “hope” for those living there, but a threat and horror for outsiders.

I hope all you¬†Walking Dead¬†fans have enjoyed this post; it is probably my most extensive post so far, and for those already or new to my blog, you can see how “new” it is.
The Walking Dead will not be fading away or dying down anytime soon at all. With part 2 of Season 3 quickly approaching in February 2013, there is much to discuss and reminisce until then. On New Years Eve and Day, AMC will have a marathon of seasons 1+2+3.5 for your viewing pleasures! Look out for my next post, possibly two about The Walking Dead for news, reviews, and more!