Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Blu-Ray

Rating: 3 out 5 Inexplicably Mutated Animal Experts of Karate

Review:  I realize I'm late to the party on this one so I'm not going to make a huge deal about it.  It's kind of weird that this thing just came out in July and already it's on DVD.  I guess the same could be said about Dame to Kill For and Guardians of the Galaxy but it feels like this was just in theaters.  Anyway... I sat down and watch TMNT.  All in all I've got to say I'm pretty happy with it.  The lack of Casey Jones gives the original the edge however.

  I haven't seen the original in a while but it's very clear that this concept works best as either a comic book or modern CGI-fest movie.  The original I remember as being more plodding, more character focused with few fights and limited choreography.  They did what they could with what they had and as a result aimed it in a totally different direction.  This thing has Michael Bay written all over it.  When there aren't action beats there's comedy beats and when there aren't comedy beats there is movement.  I would defy you to find a single second of film where something isn't moving.  That being said I enjoyed the hell out of it.  It is the Pizza Hut pizza of movies, appropriately enough.  The action scenes are solid, the Turtles have distinct and fun personalities, Will Arnet is pretty funny and while I'm not a fan of Megan Fox she has some great comedy acting moments during the course of the run time.  Both Splinter and The Shredder bad-ass it up, another thing that wasn't and/or couldn't be done in the original film.  I really liked Shredder's new suit and while the character has zero character development he did what he needed to do which is show up and kick ass.  Oh boy does he kick ass.  They push him as such a heel that when he does finally get beaten it seems like a total fluke.  It almost seems like he CAN'T be beaten so when he inevitably is it feels undeserved and unearned.

  You can't really compare this to the original but at the same time it's impossible for someone like me to not make comparisons.  The original movie came out right in my childhood, the Turtles were a huge part of my adolescence.  The cartoon, the action figures, not so much the comics, but the movie helped define my time as a child so it's very hard for me to not use that as the measuring stick to evaluate the new movie.  So I have to keep in mind that this is not my time anymore and these aren't my Turtles and I have to let go of those preconceived notions and I think if you can let go of those pre-concieved notions you'll have a lot of fun with this movie.  But it may only be a one and done situation so I'd encourage the average person to Redbox or Netflix it.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Flash vs Arrow/The Brave and the Bold

Epic Crossover
So, this happened this week.  I have to admit that I came into the two episodes with a lot of apprehension.  Flash has been amazing, one of my favorite shows of the year at this point, but Arrow has been disappointing.  I didn't even finish "Draw Back Your Bow" (the episode previous to The Brave and the Bold) and I read some of the reviews online and they weren't favorable.  Needless to say I was expecting Arrow to drag down the greatness of Flash and create kind of a muddy mess.

  Well, I was wrong.  I actually quite enjoyed this block of television.  Probably top three or five Flash episodes and, I'd say, the best Arrow episode of the season.  There is no doubt they take some heavy handed jabs at a couple of subjects they have no business taking, namely the very thin theme of torture, but overall it's the best of both worlds.
Starting out I was ready to hate but when that Arrow-esque music sting hit with it's own Flash score twist I totally popped.  Follow that by the Arrow tinged opening credits and I was all in.  I also popped thinking that we were seeing the debut of Psycho Pirate but it turned out to be jabroni scrub Prism.  Eh, I'll let that one go.  The Flash side of this is it's usual light hearted, colorful fare with a couple drops of Arrow darkness to grunge it up.  Seeing angry Barry was great as Grant Gustin proved he can be truly intimidating as a heavy.  The Arrow/Flash conflicts were great showing Ollie's ability to think faster than Barry can move and keeping the duo on pretty even footing.  The final conflict between Ollie and Barry was a really solid fight, not only a top tier TV fight but something that could go up on the big screen.  Obviously not as a main event but a page 20 action beat definitely.  The episode is solid just not as "meaty" as The Brave and the Bold, but it's fun and engaging.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Arrow: Escape from Lian Yu (2012, PS3)

The Arrow game in question.
Rating: 4 out of 5 People Who Have Failed This Island

Plot Synopsis:  Oliver Queen is a rich, entitled frat boy on vacation with his brothers and friends when they skydive onto an island filled with pirates, drugs and human traffickers.  This game follows a young Oliver Queen as he transitions from rich asshole to plain bad-ass.