Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

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“I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.”
– Diana Prince

SYNOPSIS: When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny. – via IMDB

So I am sure my husband and I were some of the few who did not see Wonder Woman in cinema. I didn’t expect much of it before it came, and I was really surprised when the rave reviews started pouring in, which piqued my interest. I then wanted to know if this was really as good as everyone was making it out to be. So finally we sat down to it and watched it, and I liked it (but didn’t love the crap out of it like most did).

This is probably one of the best DC films to come since Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. For reals. Warner Brothers churns out some fantastic trailers for these substandard films for sure, and it is a pity because DC has some super awesome stuff to bring to the table. Wonder Woman is certainly not perfect, but it definitely demonstrates a marked improvement on what we have so far.

Yes, yes, there is the strong feminist message here that has been discussed to death and debated back and forth, so I only want to touch on in long enough to say that it was really nice to see a female heroine, a woman to come in and own on screen, and Gadot did just that. She is impressive to watch here, and I certainly think she is a great casting choice. It is refreshing to see how a woman here can be strong while being feminine, optimistic, emotional and be allowed to cry and not be looked at as weak. The movie addressed how women have been dismissed for centuries, but it didn’t feel too preachy or anything, just showed that it is a bizarre concept, and that Diana was going to do her thing despite what society expected of her. I liked Gadot and Chris Pine together, I thought they shared some decent chemistry, though I really feel that their romance was a bit too brief and quick.

I feel that the CGI was a bit awkward and rather bad at the best of times, and I feel that the movie had an incredibly long run time that didn’t seem justified. It was really long, but didn’t feel like it actually used the time properly, if that makes sense? It was like not much happened, or was fleshed out properly. I guess we will just call that pacing issues. Also, the humour was quite cheesy at times, too.

I also felt a little cheated that Robin Wright was in and out so quickly – it made me think of how Bryan Cranston was used as a big selling point for Godzilla, and ultimately you are left feeling cheated. That being said, she was really good here. I thought that Hippolyta was quite annoying – she was overly possessive and came across as cowardly and not like a strong queen, which is a pity because I think that is because something here was rushed and not looked into quite properly.

Overall Wonder Woman is quite a decent watch. Not the perfect movie, and certainly not the first super strong woman we have seen on screen, but it is quite a fun watch. It didn’t feel too long, though there were some issues with what it felt like the movie contained afterwards, and had some good costume design. Gadot is particularly good here, and certainly has you interested in Wonder Woman – totally interested in seeing where she goes from here, and how she holds her own with the guys later on. I am looking forward to seeing what comes from future DC films, to see how Wonder Woman influences their marketing, writing, and implementation.

Review: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)

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“Love does things for reasons that reason cannot understand.” 
– Joe

SYNOPSIS: Now settled in Genovia, Princess Mia faces a new revelation: she is being primed for an arranged marriage to an English suitor. – via IMDB

Oh. My. Goodness. This movie sucked. Really Ugh. I watched this directly after The Princess Diaries, and was still basking in the glow of nostalgia. This certainly snuffed that light right out. Sequels are not usually known to be particularly good or anything like that, but this? Unforgivable on so many levels!

Where to begin? Oh right, the first thing to be said is that there is some horrible CGI featured here. Luckily the movie is not too dependent on that, so we are not tortured too often. Zipping right along, the movie just discards Michael and Mia, a super sweet romance that was set up in the first movie, and it is glibly dismissed here. Come on. Anything more than “he’s touring with his band” would have been better. Then her dropping the line of “I’ve never been in love”? So you weren’t even that annoying teenager in love with him? Because that is not what it seemed like in the last movie. Let me leave these gripes and move on the the rest of the treasure trove.

Royal Engagement is simply embarrassing, really. After all the fun and entertainment we got from the first one, you would hope that this could at least be halfway decent. Even with the same cast, it is not. It is lame, flat, uninspired. The humour was so forced and stupid and the delivery is terrible, which is unforgivable. The romance story here is so generic and predictable. It brought no excitement to the table whatsoever. The entire movie is actually so formulaic. The predecessor might not have been a movie that broke any moulds, but at least it was fun. This was just awkward and silly and I was not pleased one step of the way.

This movie, sadly, also somehow manages to take itself way too seriously, which truly only hurts the experience even more. Royal Engagement is annoying, goes for cheap, cheesy tricks, and they never really land true. The story doesn’t engage you (yes, I did that), and there is nothing that makes you feel that this could be some special, treasured childhood movie. Rewatching this was a stark reminder as to why it got exactly one viewing from me when I was younger. One of the few things that work for this is the cast – Pine, Rhys-Davies, Andrews, Hathaway and Elizondo give it what they’ve got. They were quite good, even with the abysmal material, but could still not save this train wreck of a movie. Pine and Hathaway worked very well together, it’s just a pity that this is what they had to work with. This movie is so bad it can’t even be guilty pleasure bad.

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement is a colossal waste of your precious time and energy.  It is a prime example of how not to do a sequel. There is virtually nothing to praise in this (they even managed to throw a spanner in the works between Joe and Clarisse – not okay) and I spent near two hours cringing and annoyed. You could totally pretend this one does not exist and just acknowledge the first one. Seriously.

Rapid Review: Stretch (2014)

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SYNOPSIS: A hard-luck limo driver struggling to go straight and pay off a debt to his bookie takes on a job with a crazed passenger whose sought-after ledger implicates some seriously dangerous criminals. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8I hadn’t actually heard much about it, but I liked the cast, and decided to give it a test. As you guys know, I am not really one for comedy or anything, but this was Patrick Wilson guys, come on! Deciding to give it a watch, I found myself laughing throughout the majority of it. What a winner. It was fast, and even though it was predictable, it was funny and witty. Chris Pine makes an uncredited appearance, yet whenever he is on screen he steals the show in a role that is so extremely uncharacteristic of him, and he makes it work. This is typically a movie of everything goes from bad to worse for our lead, Stretch. But he is desperate to make his six grand, settle his debt, and somehow start his life from scratch. Naturally, things won’t be as simple as he was hoping, but alright. Taking a shift with Stretch for the most ridiculously awful evening of chauffeur work you have ever seen is endlessly amusing. Ed Helms was very entertaining as Karl-with-a-K, who kept popping up in Stetch’s mind to have some really whack conversations and I-told-you-so moments with him. There were some awesome cameos littered throughout the movie, what with Norman Reedus, Ray Liotta and an especially bizarre chat with The Hoff, they were definitely worth being featured. Stretch was shot well, had witty dialogue, good performances, some great laughs, some hilarious sequences, some action crammed in, and was just seriously fun overall. I would highly recommend looking into this one if you like some slightly offbeat comedy.

JB & The Chop Do: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

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And it’s over! Can you believe it? I sure can’t! I had an absolute blast with this, thanks to everyone who stuck with us and read all we had to say about these movies and shared their two cents, you guys rock. However, biggest thank you to Eric for watching these with me and approaching this project with such gusto and fervour, it was awesome! But I gotta admit I’m real sad this is over ESC 😦

CRY CRY CRY!!

Anyhow, enough with the pleasantries, let’s move on to Into Darkness, which is my favourite of the whole lot. This movie was just awesome, and I have much love for Mr Cumberbatch (of course), and I think JJ Abrams was the perfect choice to handle the Star Trek reboot. So cool!

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SYNOPSIS: When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis. With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew. – via IMDB

For one, I know that Khan was always like the Big Bad and all that with the original crew and all, I just felt that the 1982 film missed it a little. All the potential for how hardcore Khan was supposed to be seemed a little… lost and underplayed. But never mind that. Benedict Cumberbatch. That is all I have to say. I mean can you even compare these two?!

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Alright then, moving on…

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Thanks to everyone who read our reviews, stuck with us and had a good time, read and commented, this was a fantastic project to undertake 🙂 Until next time then!

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And just because he is ridiculously epic (and yummy, even though you think he looks like an alien, PSC) – aaaaaaaaaaand I just realised that I spend too much time at The IPC

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benedict cumberbatch yummy

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JB,

I just want to say that today’s post is bittersweet. I think we’ve accomplished something great here and this has been a LOT of fun – so much fun that I am sad that it’s over. But I know we can move on to other things and still work together  but I just wanted to let you know how much fun I had watching these and talking to you about them all summer. It was GREAT!!! I put this little rendering together for you that if you ever wanted to think about us actually working together – in person – this is probably what it would look like. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!!

Love,

The Chop

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JB & The Chop Do: Star Trek (2009)

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Well shit… today is bittersweet as it’s my last day of hosting during the Star Trek Project…. 😦 We still have another week to go but… I sure have loved doing this!! Thank YOU so much, dearest JB!!! This has been GREAT!!! I mean that!!! Obviously today we focus on the reboot of the franchise that had fallen pretty far over the last few movies and we got what we desperately wanted – ACTION!! HUMOR!! EXCITEMENT!! This was totally fucking awesome and the best thing that could have possibly happened to this franchise, at least according to me. I thought the cast were all fantastic and there were even little throwbacks to the original series. ONE thing did kind of bother me a little though, and I’ll address it later but – this was all kinds of awesome! Let’s see what The JB has to say about it –

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SYNOPSIS: On the day of James Kirk’s birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien time-traveling vessel looking for Ambassador Spock, who, in this time, is also a child on Vulcan disdained by his neighbors for his half-human heritage. Twenty-five years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker. Challenged by Captain Christopher Pike to realize his potential in Starfleet, he comes to annoy instructors like young Commander Spock. Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and even Kirk himself, thanks to Leonard McCoy’s medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever as a new version of it begins. – via IMDB

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Dammit, WordPress changing shit all over the show again, now I need to write this and deal with everything looking all weird again and such… meh. :/

I am totally with the Chop on this on: this is one of those rare occasions that the reboot is just fantastic on so many levels, a breath of fresh air, and came together incredibly well. I freaking love these movies, for so many reasons.

I thought the way the movie started was great – fantastic effects, a solid scene introducing us to Kirk’s past, and an amazing Romulan space ship coming out of a black hole, blowing up the Kelvin. Very cool. I also like how Chris Hemsworth played papa Kirk. It was quite a sad and brave thing he did to save the crew, his wife, and his child.

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Chris Pine really nailed the absolute cockiness of Jim Kirk, which was awesome. He was equal parts douche and honourable (in a strange, his morals kind of way). Well done on that front. I really liked that he didn’t necessarily recreate William Shatner, but that he did his own thing. I thoroughly enjoyed him.

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I was not always a fan of Anton Yelchin playing Chekov, though I do enjoy his work. Well, the more I watch it, the more he grows on me. I thought the casting overall was just spot on for these new movies. There is absolutely no way I was going to dispute Quinto as Spock – I love Spock, and I am a massive fan of Quinto. There was no ways that that was going to bomb. I honestly wish that he was in more stuff. He always impresses me, and I can listen to him talk for hours. That voice!

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There were so many funny scenes, too. The humour was absolutely awesome in this, and it is a blast of a  movie! I had plenty laugh out loud moments and giggling galore, which is awesome. This is not necessarily a comedy at all, but they managed to incorporate the elements into it super successfully. Like Karl Urban, being all McCoy and the initial shift from liking Spock to his eternal irritation with him. Simon Pegg is a pretty darn cool Scotty, and I was a fan of the friendship between him and Keenser. Very cool.

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Star Trek takes you through this epic journey of how the crew of the Enterprise come together under Kirk, and it’s worth it. Funny lines, great introductions for all the characters, ultimately it all comes together in the end, and it’s awesome. JJ Abrams just gets the sci-fi thing, and he did an outstanding job rebooting a franchise that was (yep) getting really tired. I am so sad that he won’t be doing the third one 😦 Well, I am terrified of more Star Wars, but let’s hope he can do that as successfully as he did this.

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Anyway, there is so much that I can say about this movie. The most important? That I loved it. The effects astound me every time, the humour, the cast, the performances, the shenanigans they get up to, all of it. Sadly, the journey is damn near over, and I have been having immense amounts of fun with it. Thanks PSC! Last but not least, bestie, this is specially for you!

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the chop

Who hasn’t seen this?? We know about the rebootyness of it and the time travel and Chris Pine and Quinto and Pegg and Urban and this and that and this and that and Hemsworth and Tyler of all fucking people Perry and Saldana and Yeltin and Bana and face tattoos and the Beastie Boys and fuck all and I loved it. But I think the main thing to concentrate on here is the reboot of The Green Lady. I’m sure Brian and Luke used to get their BeatIt on back in the day or yesterday when the rerun played during lunch hour in the break room at work, but I was never a huge, horny fan. She never got me “astir in the hot box” so to speak. I was more into the ladies you can find HERE. I mean:

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Even though she only has a small bit part, I think the modern version is an apt improvement (even though this isn’t the most flattering still):

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I mean:

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Or:

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MMPH:

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Or MMPH!!:

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And:

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OOPS!! How did THAT get in there??? But, I really did like this movie and, being a lifelong Spock guy, I have to be honest and say that the only thing that bothered me with this is how Old Spock is in it. I mean, so Romulus is about to explode and, despite having legions of cadets and veterans in the UFP, they send 150 year old Spock to try and save the planet? That sounds like a dodgy call to me. But hey, this is Science Fiction, I reckon. Oh well – good stuff!

KA1

OOOPS!!!

Top Ten Reasons I Like Chris Pine: Life of this City Girl

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Well howdy do folks? Looks like I still have Top Ten lists making their way to me, albeit sporadically (cough cough – yes, my attempt at humour). At any rate, I think Natasha was having an absolute perve day when she decided to put together another list for me. This one is different than a lot of the others that I have done, seems that she wants to share her love here with us today! With little more, let me move this day over to Natasha!

Should you be interested in submitting a Top Ten list, draw up a list of either your top ten personal favourite movies or a top ten list by a specific genre/theme and send it along to me at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com. Hope to see a few more lists!

Chris Pine: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

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So I have made time in my enormously busy schedule to come and violate my best friend’s blog. Now, my Zermattenman (remember Mr. De Lange at school, friend?), usually runs a very serious minded establishment over here, full of the esteemed movies and books she usually watches and reads. A while back her blog became a safe haven for any individual that would like to express their interest in the characters that inhibit, and it became quite successful.

Now, why am I back? Haven’t I put enough men on here already? I did, I most likely did. Then I remembered that I had neglected my good friend Chris Pine, a man whose acting abilities know no bounds and whose fearlessness in the face of adversity is legendary.

Today I present to you the Top Ten Reasons I Like Chris Pine

1. He is a human, and I have never even heard a rumour otherwise.

You need all your actors and actresses to be human. I really have nothing against aliens, really, but the language and galaxial gap (I DID make that word up), would make co-production quite difficult. (That is why humans are often dressed up as aliens in movies. Speaking of aliens, my main man Chris Pine was in Star Trek). So, back to my point here – I haven’t actually heard that Chris Pine is a douche, anywhere. Rag Mags from Hollywood should never be trusted, but it usually becomes quickly known if a celebrity wants imported cow brains from Indonesia for their seventeen cats when they are on set. I have never heard anything about Pine that indicates that he is in-fact, a cow brain importer from Indonesia. I am not saying that Chris doesn’t occasionally swear at passive aggressive people, or at anyone who can’t use “their” and “there” correctly, but he does seem to be a normal guy without any dictator/serial killer tendencies. Normal people are desperately needed in this world, and I think no normal person, no matter their birth conditions or their job warrants unneeded hate.

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2. His eyes are as bluer than the waters that grace the shore of Bora Bora.

I mean, have you seen his sparkly lookers? They are intensely blue, incredibly beautiful and will pierce the most lost soul and fill it with the hope of tomorrow. You could swim everyday in the Sea of Pine and never feel homesick.

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3. His bearded face looks like baby sloths could sleep on it, cushioned with marshmallows.

4. His face is as beautiful with a beard as it is without a beard. Not many men can pull this look off. Man is either made as a cave-impersonating millennial or as the casual, clean shaved metro-sexual (this statement isn’t in the least a horrid generalization of an entire gender).

5. Have you noticed the tiny speckles of grey in his beard? HOT. And the man doesn’t dye his beard, and he gets serious points for not doing that.

6. Him with glasses is the answer to every nerd girl’s dreams.

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Some people really like other people who smoke a ciggy (hint hint), and some people really like other people who really look intelligent (I was speaking about me, if you couldn’t guess, and then I would certainly not be referring to you). The next question is rather predictable – does Pine have any intelligence whatsoever, or does he just wear glasses to impress me? I would say that yes, I do think that Pine is intelligent – he has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California. I think you need to have a bit of brains to get any type of degree, amirite?

7. He probably smells very nice because he is a spokesperson for Armani cologne. *sniff sniff*

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8. Speaking of Armani, have you seen this beautiful specimen in a suit?

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9. His smile promises that all the bad days are gone, that happiness is upon you, and that every care in the world has evaporated miraculously.

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10. Oh, he is relatively good actor too.

Look he is no Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Ralph Fiennes, Anthony Hopkins or Tom Hardy, but neither is he Jack Black, Adam Sandler or Taylor Lautner. He always does the best with the material he is given and produces relatively good movies. He hasn’t made made it in Hollywood yet, but I think the time is nigh and soon he will be everywhere.