Friday, June 8, 2012

The 'S' Is Back!!


Here's a little tidbit of info for you about your old pal Kendrick Kendall Bucklesworth: I am and have always been a huge Superman fan.  Ever since I was a kid watching the Christopher Reeve movies I always loved the idea of being invulnerable, and flying around the earth at leisure.  I've watched pretty much everything released on tv and video (even the old b&w movies), and collected a ton of comics.  So of course I was the logical choice to review the latest animated feature Superman vs. The Elite. 

In SvTE, Superman meets and befriend a team of lesser-known superheroes who are self-professed fans of the Man of Steel.  They combine forces to clean up a few problems, but Supes is dismayed by the use of extreme force that the super team exhibit.  Unlike Superman however, the team (who eventually go by the name The Elite) is getting a strong following from the populace.  Eventually it becomes too much for Kal-El and after talking has no results, he decides to put a stop to it with a little force of his own. 

All in all, I enjoyed this movie.  the animation style is different than the other Superman animated releases, but not in a bad way.  It has an almost retro feel to it.  The opening credit crawl was very fun to watch, with an upbeat opening theme song while showing some shots of the Superman cartoons from the 1940's.  The voice acting was also done well, as it so often is with these movies. 

I think what I enjoyed the most (outside of the action), was the theme of the movie.  Seeing the booming popularity of The Elite, Superman begins to question his relevance in a changing world that seems to prefer a more permanent end to the rampant crime that so often threatens citizens in Metropolis, and all over the world.  Which is a fair debate, to be honest.  Superheroes like Superman and Batman defeat these supervillains time and time again, just to have them break out or get released and cause more death and destruction.  To not lower yourself to the villains level and kill them is noble and good, but if letting them live results in more people dying down the road, and you have the power to stop them permanently, shouldn't you be obligated to stop such a threat once and for all?  SPOILER ALERT!!!  Case in point: The Atomic Skull in SvTE.  Superman defeats Atomic Skull and has him incarcerated early into the flick, and what happens later?  Skull escapes and more people end up dying.  The leader of The Elite, Manchester Black, ultimately kills Skull to the satisfaction of the crowd.  Yes, the line was crossed with a villains death, but now there will most likely be less people losing their lives down the road.  Something to think about anyway.

One more thing.  This movie has Superman in his classic costume.  With his new look in the DC Comics reboot, it makes me wonder if this is the last time we'll see an animated Superman with his original look.  To be honest, I'm sort of surprised SvTE went the old school look, considering it has a 2012 release date, and the DC reboot happened in 2011.  Either way, check this flick out.  You won't be disappointed.

Movie rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Superman animated rating: 4 out of 5 stars

-Your mild-mannered reviewer, K. K. Bucklesworth

Awesome. Chop. Kick. Awesome.


I love martial arts. If you know me. If you know me through this blog. You know I love roughly seven things, and one of them is martial arts. I hear about a new actor, or director I get excited, and when they deliver... well... I feel so damn good. Just happy all over. I imagine it's how most women feel during the 8th time they watch a notebookish type flick. Yup. I get a little emotional inside.

A few years ago Tony Jaa melted my brain in theatre with "Ong Bak" and then "Protector". Since there have been a few moments of warm feelings. Bangkok Knockout, Chocolate, Jacky Wu, and a couple others. But, mostly there have been almosts, and disappointments. Including one that dropped a lil while ago "Merantau" featuring a new team of director Gareth Evans and his star IKO UWAIS. I checked it out. And was basically whelmed. At best. The martial arts were good, even great at moments, but the film itself, boring. So very boring. Then I heard about this new film. THE RAID. Then I saw a trailer. And inside, I began to get so very happy. Then it debuted in NA at the Toronto International Film festival (TIFF), and everyone was saying it was one of the greatest action films ever. And then, I finally got to see it.


That is the best way to one word review this flick. The story is exactly what it should be for a hardcore action flick simple, and to the damn point. Evil drug lord operates out of a 15 floor building. A swat team has had enough, and attacks the building off the books one early morning. They make it a few floors up before kids they just couldn't bring themselves to shoot sound the alarm. Then the bodies start hitting the floor. Gritty. Realistic. These are words that will be blasting your mind as the air escapes your slack jaw. And then the bullets are gone, and it's knives vs feet vs fists. No turning back. No chance but to fight through. The Choreography is like nothing you have ever seen. Ever. I have seen it all. And I have never seen anything like this. Memorizing, violent, but never across the line of the believable and very real. The Evil henchman in this flick is just wicked. A mans villain. Not afraid to throwdown with the heroes. And boy howdy, do peeps get thrown down. Just to keep things going they throw in a few twists. Actual plot to fill the minimal gaps between bone bashing.

This is simply one of the greatest action flicks of all time. The fact that most website have it an 8, or much higher, out of ten, shows that. People that don't even get action movies, love this flick. Add in a new crisp Mike Shinoda soundtrack (I was a lil worried when I heard he redid it for me and my fellow North Americans, but damn its good, I am curious about the original though). And the ending... an ending that leaves a sequel open without screwing the entire movie up, or screwing the audience out of a showdown.

I love this movie. That's it. I hope you do too. Unless you severely hate awesome things, including kung fu, and fridge grenades... in which case... stay away... :)

movie scale 4 out of 5 stars.
Kung Fu flick 4.99 out of 5 stars.

Why no 5 you ask. Well. Me and good ol' K. K. Bucklesworth are well aware of a certain movie... starring Tony Jaa and so many more... Protector 2 in 3D dropping later this year. And I want to leave myself room. Just in case. I don't know though... have to see....

- Charles B. Boonsweet.

Is she really the fairest of them all?


Snow White, the original Disney princess movie. And thus, one of the more known Grimm Fairy tales. Do you know of Grimm (and no, not the latest NBC fantagasm)? Brothers. They wrote fairy tales. Dark, twisted little tales. To inspire children to bed, and obedience. Disney bought them. And well, made cartoons.

I enjoy a good fairy tale. Anyone remember the Snow White horror film? Circa, mid 90s? I do. So hear I am thinking well, ok it won't be that dark. But Thor is in it, and the effects look cool, and really... aren't we in need of a good movie with adventure, and magic, and a quest, and freaking actors shrunk to dwarves...
You damn skippy we are!
So the story is... Wicked queen. Magic mirror. Queen kills king, takes kingdom. Turns out years later Snow White (the kings daughter who has been kept alive all these years in a tower) is the one person who can kill her. Because, she is now fairer than the queen, fairest of them all. Snow white then on cue escapes, and the quest is on. Kinda. First Queen (a deliciously evil Charlize Theron) hires a huntsmen (drumroll please) Thor almighty himself, Chris Hemsworth, to find and kill Snow White. Insert an evil Queen brother, people in need of hope, a troll, fairies, and well... awaaaaaaay we go.

First the whole first act of this film is great. The effects are great. Kristen Stewart minus the sparkling vamps, is actually good here. Charlize is on fire, and Chris Hemmy, steals the show. I think he may wanna consider being drunk for the first half of all future non marvel related films. The special effects are actually bang on too. I'm sure this didn't have the budget of a LOTR, but a lil over a 100 mill I'm sure. And every penny is used. Sets, dark and Gothic, check. The score. Nope. Kinda week. Honestly when's the last time you hear the soundtrack actually stand out. Doesn't happen often, but enuff to be annoying.

There are some genuine scenes of questage that really made me smile. The seven dwarves are awesome. There is even an homage to LEGEND, that I found amazing. Some true moments of wonder, and glee. However.
Hooooowwwwever. We have a few problems here. Let's start with the kiss. You remember the original fairy tale... snow white eats a poison apple... goes permanent sleepy. Or as we in modern times call it "a catatonic state" lol. Anyway, true loves kiss. TRUE LOVES KISS. That is what wakes her. And here too. Only, after that. There is nothing. No romance. No explanation. Nothing... at... all. You build chemistry. You let the poor bastard fall all over himself apologizing over your dead body. Then you wake up, rally the people to war... and nothing.
Gather the family. Hell, get the baby out the damn crib... Ol Chucky Boonsweet needed a lil more romance. Yup. There I said it. I wanted some lovin' up in this flick. It's as if they made a conscious effort to avoid it after the kiss... Why? It's snow freakin white. It's a fairy tale. Ah well. So close to being a great quest and conquer, sword and sorcery, whatever you wanna call it flick. But well worth checking out. Especially if you are a fan of the original Grimm's, or just dwarves... and well... quest stuff. :)

I am really hoping for an extended cut on bluray. With more... well just more....

Also, me and Kendrick Kendall Bucklesworth had a rather heated debate about the fact that Kristen Stewart's Snow White, is in no way hotter than Charlize Theron. Um. I'm team Kristen. But it is a valid argument. Decide amongst yaselves...

Movie scale 3 out of 5 stars
Quest/sword&sorcery scale 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Chuck Boonsweet saying I'm the fairest of them allllllll!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Everybody's jumpin' and shakin'!!


Usually, when I go to see a movie in theatre, I research just enough to get the idea of what I'm getting myself into.  With Chernobyl Diaries though, I went in pretty ignorant of what was gonna be involved.  I expected another "found footage" flick involving ghosts, probably because I knew that people behind Paranormal Activities were involved.  When I realized that mutants were the main antagonists, and that this wasn't really a found footage style, I was somewhat disappointed, but I decided to stick with it and give the movie a chance to redeem itself. 

So basically, the story is that a group of friends decide (after some reluctance on one friend's part) to take an "extreme tour" of Chernobyl before departing for Moscow.  Sounds pleasant enough right?  I mean, I personally would like to do something like that someday.  In this situation though, they are turned away by military who has the area locked down.  but that doesn't stop our plucky tour guide, who decides to make sure the group gets their money's worth and takes another lesser known path to the destination.  Now, if I was in this van and got stopped by two serious looking guys with large guns, I don't think I would risk getting in further trouble by going around them.  But I guess that just means I'm not extreme enough for the tour.  Anyway, they make it there, get their tour over with (including surprise jump scare thrown in for good measure).  But oh no!!!  The van has been sabotaged somehow, and they're stuck there.  Hijinks ensue from there.

To start my opinions on a good note, I enjoyed the characters in this flick.  They're not the standard annoying jerkoff/airhead/doped up protagonists you tend to see nowadays.  They actually seemed like good people whom you actually grow to like and want to see escape.  It's so rare to watch a horror or slasher flick these days where you don't give a damn about the main characters because they're so annoying and mean.  In my opinion, if you're watching a horror flick and you find yourself rooting for the guy/monster that's going around killing everyone, then it's not a true horror movie.  Whoops, there goes my rant mode again.  Back to the topic at hand.  These characters, while making some dumb decisions later on, were still good protagonists in my eyes. 

And what about the antagonists?  Well, I don't have too much to say about them, mostly because I BARELY GOT TO SEE THEM!!!  For this movie not being found footage, there was an ungodly amount of shaky-cam whenever the mutants attacked.  So much so that it was damn near impossible to get a good look at them.  I mean, come on!!  I've already ranted before on this blog about my hatred of shaky-cam, but every time I see it I want to rant and rave all over again.  I'm trying with every fibre to not do it now.  I'll sum up my rage with this uppercase repeating: SHAKY-CAM USE IS NOT A GOOD THING!!!!!  If you really want to see what these mutants look like, you need to look up still shots online, or if you get it on bluray or dvd, pause it when they appear.  Either way, I haven't, so I have nothing to say about the makeup effects.

Another mini-rant I have is with jump scares.  This movie was just rotten with jump scares, and when it was done I decided a better name for this movie would be Chernobyl Jump Scares, because that's what it mostly consisted of.  This may be showing my age, but I remember when horror movies used atmosphere and suspense to grab you and keep you scared.  Nowadays with this A.D.D ridden audience there has to be something going on at all times, and jump scares aplenty.  And it wouldn't be as much of a problem if so damn many of them weren't predictable, but most of them are and it sucks. 

Finally, the fact that this movie had Diaries in the title doesn't even make sense.  There is no diary anything in this movie, so it seems an odd title choice. 

So, reading through my rants in this review, you probably think I wouldn't recommend watching it.  But I say to you, that that isn't necessarily true.  My issue is that I paid $10 to see it, and it was too high a price.  I don't recommend buying a ticket to watch it, but if you can rent it for cheap or a friend happens to rent it and you can watch it for free, I suggest you go that route.  This isn't actually such a bad movie, but all I saw when I watched it was wasted potential, and TOO MUCH SHAKING!!  Ahem, sorry.  The saving graces of Chernobyl Diaries were the characters, and the scenery (which I didn't really talk about in this review but it had a pretty creepy look about it).   Anyway, that's all for now.

Movie Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Genre Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

This has been a K. K. Bucklesworth production