Posts tagged reviews

Independence Day: Resurgence


On July 3, 1996, the most glorious alien-invasion movie hit the theaters and we forever knew: Independence Day. Will Smith was at the top of his game. Vivica A. Fox managed to keep her son AND her giant golden labrador alive. Bill Pullman was the best President of the United States (ever) with the best motivational-lets-go-die-in-war speech (ever). Jeff Goldblum, once again, just charmed the pants off everyone.

Twenty years later, we got a sequel with Independence Day: Resurgence. Pullman and Goldblum returned, joined by new cast members, including Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher (who played a grown-up Dylan) and Maika Monroe (who played a grown-up Patricia, President Whitmore’s daughter from the first film). Although, the actor who stole the show was Brent Spiner, who returned to reprise his role as Dr. Brakish Okun.

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47 Ronin is a fantastical retelling of history, based on the legend of a group of samurai who avenged their master’s  honor. The movie combines the legend of the actual 47 Ronin, a little re-writing and a dash of Japanese mythology. Overall, I found that it was a fun ride and a very pretty movie to watch — the backdrop and costumes for this film was gorgeous.

Yes, 47 Ronin has gotten blasted by critics, but for me, there is something to be said for this movie even existing at all in Hollywood.

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GEEK REVIEW: ‘Psychoville’

Imagine the following people: A delusional birthing coach who thinks her toy baby is real and feeds it blood, a degenerate children’s entertainer who is missing a hand and always in a scary clown costume, a blind rich old man who is obsessed with collecting beanie babies, a mother and son who are perversely codependent and obsessed with serial killers, and a telekinetic dwarf who dabbled in porn. These are the people of Psychoville.

Psychoville starts off like the beginning of old fashioned mystery. Five people, who are seemingly unconnected, each receive an anonymous letter that says only one thing, “I know what you did.” Each time the characters react as if they are hiding a dark secret, but we have no idea what that secret may be!

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Webcomic Review: The Beast Legion

Lithopia… a land of immense natural beauty ruled by the covenant of Kings of the Minos faction for centuries. But not too long ago, the land was under the threat of a dark force known as the Shadow Nexus. It was the brave efforts of King Vokan and the last of the Wizards that banished the evil force and brought peace and prosperity back to the land…

The Beast Legion introduces us into a fantasy world that includes a hero, a villain and a kingdom in peril. The beginning chapter lays down the world of Lithopia, a world governed by the kindhearted King Vokan and his queen who feared a prophecy that involves the future of her only son, Xeus (still a boy at this point). The story quickly spirals into action and the creator and the villain, Lord Dragos, is revealed by the end of the first issue. Without spoiling the opening too much, by the third issue Xeus is a grown man and his fate is fight and win back his kingdom from Dragos’ evil rule.

The title refers to the fact that these human characters can transform into an anthropomorphic beast counterpart during battle.

The creator, Jazyl Homavazir, is heavily influenced by shounen manga with his artwork style and favors action and battle sequences to move the story. A lot of the supporting characters are non-human creatures raging from orc-like soldiers, beautiful and mythical like creatures and to full on monsters. Personally, these beings are my favorite part of the series and Homavazir draws so many unique creatures within the first four chapters. I was very much drawn to their character designs. Homavazir doesn’t classify all of his monsters as evil either which I think is a very good choice and will play an important part in Xeus’ adventure. Readers are meant to sympathize along with Xeus who finds unexpected alliances with some of these monsters.

Despite the heavy manga style, a lot of it is also reminiscent of American comics and cartoons. The story and design reminds me of early cartoons from my childhood such as He-Man, Thundercats and even a little bit of Sonic the Hedgehog and Megaman. Homavazir produces a fresh mix of story telling and art style that can appeal to today’s younger comic readers and to people like myself who has a fondness for this style of fantasy and adventure stories.

This webcomic is a good and fast read. There is rarely any lulls between pages and action is never scarce. Best of all, it is all available for free to read on The Beast Legion website and is updated on Mondays and Fridays each week.

Homavazir has also produced animated videos, so check them out for extra coolness-factor. This guy is certainly dedicated to his series and hard at work to deliver a full experience for his readers and fans.

Read The Beast Legion at:

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Prince Naveen is the New Aladdin

I’m just kidding- Aladdin will always have the #1 spot in my little Disney girl heart!

The moment I flew back home from my holiday trip, I promptly convinced my boyfriend to watch Disney’s The Princess and the Frog in the theaters! It has been a long time since I’ve watched a 2D animated film from Disney in an actual movie theater. I don’t even remember which movie I did see last! (Might have been Atlantis…) I suppose it would also just be repeating what a million other people have already expressed if I say I am happy to see good quality 2D animation on the big screen from Disney again. Even though people give them a lot of poop for “ruining” classic fairy tale stories. Though I find that point of view a bit narrow minded because I don’t think there should be restrictions when it comes to telling or re-telling any type of stories.

Either way, I enjoyed Princess and the Frog immensely. It is not my favorite- Aladdin, The Lion King, and Treasure Planet are actually my favorite films from Disney- but it was so much fun to watch!

Putting aside all the controversies that attached itself to this film (all the accusation of racism on Disney’s part, etc.), there is nothing threatening about this movie. It is a definite turn to the “modern” princess as the main female character, Tiana, lives in a more present and realistic time than the other Disney princesses. We are presented with her childhood in a lower, middle class African-American family in the South. As an older, young woman, her struggle is not against an evil stepmother, but to work hard and save money to make her own dreams come true (no fairy godmothers here!).

Although, a Disney fairy tale film would be lacking without the presence of magic! Instead of making the story simple, when Tiana kisses the frog (Prince Naveen cursed by the antagonist who dabbles in dark voo doo magic), she also turns into a frog instead of turning the Prince back to his human form!

Tiana fights her own battle throughout the movie, making friends… but not relying on someone else to break the curse. Even in the end, she owns credit for winning the final battle.

Some have reviewed the movie negatively because it doesn’t “compare” to the classic Disney animation. I think that is an unfair judgement. Yes, nothing that Disney makes now will ever hold up to their older movies… but that was a different era. Disney is adapting to the new generation of entertainment for a younger audience. The classic formula is still there, but it was changed creatively to bring us something completely new! Any type of creativity shouldn’t be expected to remain stagnant. This movie is a breath of fresh air from the previous Princess movies and I think it holds up on its own- just like its Princess.

Keep that chin up, Disney, and I hope this will be the re-start of a new generation of animated films!

Viggo and I

Last night, I cozied up in front of my laptop and watched A History of Violence for the first time. I liked the movie and let’s all admit that Viggo Mortensen was just smokin’ in that film to make up for all that it lacked. Am I biased because I think Viggo is wonderful?!

Maybe… yes…

Then I thought to myself– wow, just a few days ago, I touched that man and he touched me.

with Viggo Mortensen
Why yes! I am that happy, nerdy, Asian girl in glasses with Viggo’s arm around me!

Do I not look like the happiest female geek on the planet in that photo or what?! The happiness had three parts: A) VIGGO MOTHERFUCKIN’ MORTENSEN! B) I’m with Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, bitches and C) He couldn’t have been ANY nicer. Seriously, people– the man was lovely and patient with us slobbering fanwomen. What a true gent; and super nice celebrities make me feel fuzzy inside especially when I have the upmost respect for them.

My friend, Missy (as also seen in the photo), invited me to an advance screening of The Road, in which Viggo showed up afterwards to do a Q&A session. As far as the movie goes, for me it was incredibly dark, foreboding and depressing. I’ve never read the book and I’m afraid to do so because these days, I want my entertainment to lift my spirits up, not make me feel sad for the world.

Nevertheless, the movie was beautifully done with amazing performances by the whole cast. The production was unbelievable and made you feel that the Earth really was dying slowly and painfully by the dead trees, bleak weather, and the never ending overcast of just gray and dark, looming clouds. The whole world, it seemed, was in a post-apocalyptic state. How it happened? We don’t know and will never know. It didn’t matter because the viewer is immediately wrapped up in the lives of the two, main characters. The Man (Viggo) and his Son, struggling together and just trying to survive in what has become a brutal, dead, and very frightening world.

Apocalyptic films always affect me deeper than any horror movies can. Just the thoughts of: “That could REALLY happen one day.” and “Will I survive?” gives me a little anxiety deep down. To see Viggo’s character tramping through a hopeless world, running away from fallen human beings who choose to cast away their morality for survival… it’s VERY scary to me. We take civilization for granted and none of us will really know what to do when it is all taken away from us in one sudden strike.

The ending, without spoiling it for anyone, is interpreted by different people. Some see hope, and some– already so overtaken by the depression through the film– will see none. Maybe what we see in the end of this film says something deeper about ourselves.

I updated a few clips on my youtube channel from the Q&A, but here is the end of it where Viggo makes a comment on the topic of hope. ***WARNING*** Videos may be spoiler-ific!!!

To end this post on a more upbeat note!… Let us review my Fellowship Tally so far, shan’t we?!

Viggo Mortensen = met 1x
Orlando Bloom = met 1x
John Rhys Davies = saw from a distance pinching womanly butts 1x
Sean Astin = met 2x
Elijah Wood = met 1x
Billy Boyd = met 2x


The Food Industry… worst than the Tobacco Industry?

I went to watch the documentary called Food Inc., which I will have to HIGHLY recommend for everyone to watch.

The movie presented a lot of eye-opening facts about this country’s food industry. I hope everyone is already aware that the food we are eating these days are hardly manufactured to be actually nutritious. I know a lot of people are already aware of the animal abuse that is going on with our cows, pigs, chickens, etc. I know everyone is aware of something that is “wrong” in the food industry, but we all tend to turn a blind eye a lot of times.

Heck, I know I do! I love food to the umpteenth degree and I’ll shovel anything in my mouth as long as it tasted good! I’m guilty of financially serving these corrupt food corporations!

After watching this movie though, I can no longer completely feign ignorance to the truth and what is REALLY going on with the production of our food. The inhumane treatment of both animals AND people.

It’s sick.

It’s not even just about our meat products– even our greens and everything else is affected and tainted. If not with e coli, it’s affected by horrifying greed and corruption. The utter carelessness from the people making all the money and to what they are feeding us– and how our farmers are truly and sadly affected by the crisis.

Eating “cheap” has a price, people. We have kids dying from e coli on a regular basis. That should NOT be the case in the 21st century. We are moving backwards and all because a select handful are making billions feeding us absolute shit.

I can’t present all the facts myself in this blog entry, but I just hope to convince more people to go and watch this documentary if it happens to be playing close to you. There is a feeling of enlightenment at the end of it. Trust me. You WANT to know where your food is coming from.

So much for ‘final’ frontier

I saw the new Star Trek film last week. I’m not well versed in the Star Trek mythos. My fondest memories of it is watching the original series in the afternoons one summer during high school. I don’t know why I started watching it, there probably wasn’t anything better on tv, but it sucked me in. I loved how camp it was and yet how important some of the messages were.

In between episodes they’d run interviews with the cast, and they would reveal what it was like to work on and how amazing it was during those years, when the whole world was in turmoil and this show was trying to find meaning in it all.

Over the years I’ve tried watching various re-incarnations, but I always felt like they’d missed the whole point. In fact, I feel like most science-fiction these days miss the point. Now it’s all about spectacle but there was a time when science-fiction was about gaining perspective on issues that plague us now. It allowed writers to present us with a story that was familiar but so far removed from our daily knowledge that it didn’t offend our sensibilities but let us think outside of the box. I think that’s missing these days.

But, I’m getting side tracked. My point is, I haven’t followed with the more modern Trek tv shows, and I haven’t seen any of the films except Star Trek Nemesis (which was weird). So, in many ways I’d hoped this was the first Star Trek film I’d really get. And, I sort of did. I knew the characters well enough to love seeing them again on screen, even with new actors.

I think Chris Pine (Kirk) and Zachary Quinto (Spock) were amazing. In fact, Quinto was so good at being Vulcan, he made the other Vulcans appear too emotional. Pine had the toughest job, from what I could see. He had to play an arrogant bastard and make you like him. I think he did this well.

The rest of the cast I enjoyed just as much, with one exception. I liked Chekov on the TV show, but for some reason it didn’t translate well in the film. He was just so over the top and so unnecessarily there, he felt really tacked on. He didn’t even get to have a Monkees hair cut.

Story-wise, it was ok. There was a lot of set-up to get through and some really unnecessary chase sequences (bigger fish! and BIGGER FISH). I felt Eric Bana was bland. He was an insane evil bastard and they gave him backstory which basically didn’t change the fact that he was an insane evil bastard. I really wasn’t all that bothered by the plot, to be honest and got most of my amusement from Scotty.

My one irritation with the story really surprised me. It was that the writer assumed too much knowledge on the audience part. They had little to no explanation to Romulans vs Vulcans and still at this point all I can determine is that Romulans are Vulcans with tattoos and anger management issues. I can understand not wanting to patronise Trekkies, but come on! Throw me a bone here, guys. Is it that hard to have some red shirt ask “What’s a romulan?” or something?

But, I’m looking forward to more and that the writing will improve now that introductions are out of the way and we’re comfortable with our new crew.