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Thursday, April 17, 2014


Captain America: The Winter Soldier movie review

I came away from Captain America: The Winter Soldier pretty entertained and found myself enjoying this character much more so than I did in the first film.  The story was smart and engaging. It's modernized to today, and Disney, taking its cues from past films, knows how to build a very entertaining film for many demographics.

- This is a comprehensive review of Captain America 2.  It includes

A non-spoiler review, followed by a
Spoiler conversation,
Descriptions of the post credit scenes, and
Easter Egg references dropped in the film.

I will warn you when spoilers approach -

Well, I was getting tired of trying to dodge all the spoilers from the myriad of reviews online and story elements being pitched in ABC's Agents of SHIELD.  In a great, industry leading move, Marvel and Disney have shared elements between their TV series and the Marvel Cinematic Universe films that have taken place in the theaters.

Go Marvel!

So I finally hit up the theater to watch Captain America: The Winter Soldier.


Chris Evans in Captain America The Winter Soldier, a movie review

The story opens with Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) out for a run, and literally running circles around another jogger, and then he's called to assignment with Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in an effort to rescue a hijacked SHIELD freighter, named 'The Lemurian Star.'

We watch Steve infiltrate the boat, using his enhanced physical gifts, going hand-to-hand with most of the crew, to take over the boat and rescue the hostages on-board.

But as Captain America and his team are doing their thing, Natasha is off doing her own mission, per Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) orders.

As the mission goes down, Steve and gang help save Agent Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez) and the other hostages.

Scarlett Johansson in Captain America The Winter Soldier, a review

They return and Natasha delivers her payload to Fury, but Fury can't get into the files, even with his clearance, and suddenly, he realizes something's up.  He shares his concerns with World Council head Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) and asks that they stall a particular project until he gets to the bottom of things.

But that's when the shit hits the fan for all our favorite characters, and the plot of the film, or, the game, is afoot, after a concerted effort to attack and kill Nick Fury.

- - -

Observational Opinions

One of the biggest changes I've noticed in this film, was how the story was presented.

I know some folks who love how many fantasy/action films develop their stories (When they're good stories) and but aren't totally in love with the all-out action that closes out the third act of a film.

But this movie was different.

It opens with a developing story point, we then get some action, then more story points, more action and so forth.  As the story progresses, this pattern continues as we hurtle towards the third act.  Even in the third act, more plot points are made and developed while we build towards an action-packed resolution of our story.

And despite his obvious advantages of being the super-soldier, he too has his human flaws and weaknesses.  Just to a lesser degree than we mere humans.


Sebastian Stan in Captain America The Winter Soldier movie review

The other aspect I enjoyed about the film was that the namesake of the movie title, The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), was that he was just another piece on the chess board of players and it was not all about him.  Don't get me wrong, he was rather critical in the confrontations, but we weren't doting all over this one character.

We had the many, many heads of HYDRA to watch and the different actions they had put into play through the movie, keeping us, the movie-goer, thoroughly occupied, as well as our heroes.

OVERALL, this felt like a well balanced film, with a lot to offer with regards to aspects of character history, present developments, and implications towards the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

We still had the humor we saw from The Avengers, but it was less frequent, more subtle, but still there.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a worthy film to see in the theater. I'm giving it a popcorn-9 movie score.  But if the movie theater is not your game, then it will MOST definitely be worthy of a rental or DVD/BD purchase.  I'm definitely planning on snagging that Blu-ray when it comes out.





Captain America: The Winter Soldier non-trivial SPOILERS

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

BIG ASS SPIDER Review for Syfy Telecast


As you may or may not know, Big Ass Spider will be premiering on a Syfy Saturday night movie on April 19th, 2014.

And to be honest, I think once you watch the telecast, you may very well come away thinking it will be one of the better Saturday night movies you've ever seen on Syfy.

OK, it's all personal taste, and my review process didn't include endless Syfy channel ads, but none-the-less...

When a giant alien spider escapes from a military lab and rampages across the city of Los Angeles, it is up to one clever exterminator and his security guard sidekick to kill the creature before the entire city is destroyed. "Big Ass Spider," (aka "Mega Spider").

Directed by: Mike Mendez

Starring: Greg Grunberg, Lombardo Boyar, Ray Wise, Clare Kramer, Lin Shaye, Patrick Bauchau

Production company: Epic Pictures Group

Big Ass Spider is a cross between Arachnophobia, Aliens, Species, and Starship Troopers riddled with some pretty cute humor.


The movie starts with Alex Mathis (Greg Grunberg) waking up in the street, he's a mess, people are running all about in a helter skelter sort of way, and police are shotting at something, something big above them.

All this in pace to a mellow sort of musical piece, like one of those great video game ads.

And then we see it... the Big Ass Spider, clinging to a skyscraper, taking out helicopters. And oh yes, it's big.  Bigger than any shoe might be able to take out.

We jump to 12 hours earlier, in a calmer time of his life, when Alex is helping an elderly woman remove a rodent from her cellar.

She see's a spider on his shirt, a Brown Recluse.  She wants to kill it, he's telling her to remain calm, they're only poisonous when provoked.  She smacks the thing, and our next scene, we're watching a body bag being rolled through a hospital.

Psych!  That's a body, but it's not Alex.  He's in the next room watching it being rolled by.

And that's how we roll in this film.


But there was more to that body bag, than meets the eye.

Something comes out of the bag, and the power to the room, the morgue, fluctuates, as 'it' comes out of the body bag.

Then the military, led by Ray Wise, shows up.

Remember how Arachnophobia started out, when a spider arrived in the small town, via being inside a body?  Yep, this is how the star of the movie arrives, inside that body!


"It was 20 inches long and black!"  No, no no....  that was a description of a spider.  Serious!  But how it's delivered, well, OK.  Just maybe.

Don't mistake my initial take on the film, this is a "B" movie, but B at it's best.  It's riddled with a cast that carries this story nicely. The spider effects are better than most Syfy movie telecast effects.  The humor is well timed and well placed, subtle and sometimes not.

It's fun watching Grunberg, the exterminator, deal so smoothly with the military when they move in to take over the extermination of this big ass spider.

All in all, if I had watched this on Syfy, I would have fully enjoyed the film.  Sure, on IMDb, users have given the film a 5.2... but think about it... a Syfy movie rated at 5.2!  That's big!  As in Big Ass Spider big!

I'd say check it out and see what you think.

Oh, Grunberg's character has a Twitter account:

And the movie has a Facebook page:

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Movies and TV New on DVD/BD Tu, 4-15-14

Movies and TV New on DVD/BD Tu, 4-15-14

This week, new DVDs and Blu-rays coming out this week on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, includes cast powr of Judi Dench, Ben Stiller, Ice Cube and others.

Check it out...

Philomena on DVD

Starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan

This movie opened to a mere $128K weekend in limited openings, but pulled in $100MM worldwide when all was said and done.

IMDb users have given this movie a 7.7 out of 10.


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [Blu-ray]

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty [Blu-ray]
Starring Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig and Adam Scott

Starring and directed by Ben Stiller, this movie ended up netting to date, $185M worldwide, or $58M domestically.

IMDb users gave it a 7.5 rating.  Curiously, it got an average higher rating from IMDb users under 18.

Ride Along (Blu-ray + DVD + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
Starring Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo and Bruce McGill

This flick pulled in $134M domestically, and ended up with an average score of 6.8 on IMDb.

The Nut Job
Starring Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl and Brendan Fraser

This animated flick pulled in $64M in the US, and almost managed an average IMDb score of 6 (5.8).


Bletchley Circle: Season 2
Mallrats (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
Berserk: Golden Age Arc III - The Advent [Blu-ray]
Touch of Evil - Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
Double Indemnity - 70th Anniversary Limited Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
One Piece: Collection Nine
Breaking the Waves (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray/DVD)
Ripper Street: Season 2
Black Nativity
Invisible Woman, the (Spc) [Blu-ray]
Flowers in the Attic
Angry Birds Toons - Season 01 Volume 02
The Practice: The Final Season
Interior. Leather Bar.
Great Expectations
Murder on the Home Front
The Legend of Hercules
Carol Burnett Show: Carols Crack-Up
Confession of Murder [Blu-ray]
Thomas & Friends: Railway Mischief
Reality Bites - 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet)
Rock Star [Blu-ray]
The Making of a Lady
Date & Switch
Barney: Happy Birthday Barney
Beverly Hillbillies: Official Fourth Season
Free Ride
UFC: The Ultimate Fighter Season 18
Gabby Douglas Story
Men in War
Better Living Through Chemistry
Anger Management: Vol. 3
Dead Sea
Sleep My Love [Blu-ray]
Between the Lions: Vowel Power
Into the Cosmos Collection
Switch [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
From the New World: Collection 1 [Blu-ray]
Camp Dread
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GAME OF THRONES Finally Made Me Happy

The little prick, King Joffrey

SPOILERS for the episode from 4-13-14

I've been watching Game of Thrones since it showed up on HBO.  Every season has at least one shocker of a death, some mildly satisfactory deaths, and a few that just need to happen.

But last night's episode was both awesome and frustrating, but seriously needed to happen.


THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD if you have not seen the episode yet.

Though it's not really a big spoiler to learn that someone croaked last night, I mean, it is Game of Thrones, and gads, someone is always either dying or having their body parts cut up!  But who it was, now that could be a spoiler for any time-shifted viewers.


I've hated Joffrey from the get-go, and his mother doesn't help the case with her own "aspiring mentality."  (Yes, I'm trying not to use the word bitch.  I'm already using prick in here, so I'm trying my damnedest to keep this shit clean!) But each season, he's proven what a little power can do to a little prick and he was only getting worse as time went on.

Gads, if he had lived, the kingdom would have been ruined.

He couldn't even treat his women right, but hey, that's for another kind of blog!

Be it as it may, when king twit Joffrey took a piece of cake and the camera focused on the cake he took for but a moment longer, I wondered what was up?  But by this point in time, I had given up hope of anyone killing him off. So I have been biding my time.  I'm good with this kind of patience.

And last night, my time had been rewarded, because as they say, patience is its own reward.  Or some such crap like that.

When he started to choke, I just assumed it was yet another tease on this punk keeling over on us.  I mean, I have not read the books, I have not Googled or Wiki'd the story or characters, so when he started to choke, I thoght, "Great, he's going to punish some random victim like the baker for this slight in his food and his own inability to actually chew."

But the choking persisted and suddenly my hopes were getting ignited.

I thought, "Is this it? Did someone grow a big enough pair to take him out? Is he going to choke on his own wealth of unsavory attitude?"

Not until he hit the ground AND his eyeballs were starting to bug out did I start to actually hope that, that, which I waited for ever since his first mischevious statement that rolled off his tongue, was actually starting to happen.

That I would not have to tolerate this schnippet of a dog for any longer than I really had to.

That I would be free of this horrible hate he instilled in me.

But then, as you might have noticed, he croaked.  But with HBO cutting the episode off seven minutes short, I am wondering if there's a director's cut that has that extra seven minutes of Joffrey choking to death.  Or I would even take rehearsal footage of his choking to death.

But alas, the biggest evil in the show, for me, is dead.  Long live the king!  And don't worry, even if he made it to heaven, there are a lot of Starks up there... so either way, he's f*!

And now, his opportunistic whench of a mother is in a pickle.

We're all only as good as our best social connections.  And if her crap son is dead, where will this leave her?

I'm hoping she'll end up somewhere rotten and smelly, where she'll have to marry some huge, smelly man, to do her part for upholding family honor!  Hehe.

But that's neither here nor there.


Oh, and the actor that played Joffrey says he's retiring.  He only wants to act for fun with his friends or for summer fun.

Though it sounds like they had cast correctly for Joffrey, hold one moment, and consider true words from Jack Gleeson:

"When you make a living from something, it changes your relationship with it. It’s not like I hate it, it’s just not what I want to do."


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Sunday, April 13, 2014

TV news For The Week Ending Sun, 4-13-14

TV news For The Week Ending Sun, 4-13-14; SHIELD, AMERICANS and more

Today's news, albeit, a bit late for a Friday, has some SHIELD news, renewal notes (as usual), and a new series ordered by Syfy.


ALERT: Agents of SHIELD will be having two, back-to-back episodes on April 15th.  BUT... the second episode will be an encore of the previous week's episode, not a new one.

Auction Hunters
was renewed by Spike TV.

Bates Motel was renewed by A&E for a third season.

Cesar 911 was renewed by NAT GEO for a second season.

Divorce Court was renewed through the 2016-2017 TV season.

is a new show coming to series on Syfy. It's "a new mythological drama series Olympus, which will take viewers into the action-packed world of humans, Gods and monsters." It will be coming to TV in 2015.

Game of Thrones was renewed by HBO for two more seasons already, a fifth and sixth.

The Americans are expected to have a season three renewal announcement, or so the FX CEO says.

The Librarians:  TNT ordered a new series which will be exec produced by Noah Wyle, who will have a reprising role, and starring Rebecca Romijn.  The show is based on the film franchise of the same name.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

What's Ron Perlman's Next Gig?

Ron Perlman lands role in Amazon pilot episode

Being a fan of an actor, sometimes, it's tough to play keep up with what they're doing. Others aren't so tough to follow when they land a decent role.

But with Ron Perlman, you have to wonder what role he'll land next after his gig with FX's Sons of Anarchy.

In this case, Perlman has landed a role in a new series backed by Amazon, due out under their Prime Instant Video selection later, in Hand of God.

Hand of God follows the Judge Pernell Harris (Perlman), who experiences a religious awakening as he starts to have visions and hearing voices through his ventilator-bound son.

Other cast will include Dana Delany, Andre Royo, Alona Tal, Julian Morris, Elizabeth McLaughlin and Garret Dillahunt.

For now, the job in this show is for a pilot episode, but if it does well enough, expect to see more of Perlman playing the powerful and questionable judge.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

DEFIANCE Online Episodes

Julie Benz and Grant Bowler in Defiance

While waiting for season two of Defiance to return on Syfy, did you know that there is a five-episode story from the show that picks up where season one leaves off.

Season two of Defiance premieres on June 19th on Syfy.  The filler episodes can be found at


Defiance is about an Earth after a disaster involving alien space ships crashing out of orbit in the planet, seriously messing things up for us.

And along the way, the aliens move in and now we all have to get along.

Well, as best we can.

Defiance stars Grant Bowler, Stephanie Leonidas, Graham Greene, Dewshane Williams, Julie Benz, Jessica Nichols, Tony Curran, Nicole Muñoz, Jaime Murray, Mia Kirshner, Justin Rain, Jesse Rath, Trenna Keating and Noah Danby.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Movies Opening in Theaters This Week, Apr 11 2014

New Movies this Friday, April 11th, 2014 : RIO 2

This week for new movies, we have animated bird, something with Kevin Costner, and a scary movie that will try to win our fear factor in the middle of April.

New Movies on April 11:

Rio 2
Rated G 101 min run time

It's a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they're hurtled Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law.

Director: Carlos Saldanha
Stars:    Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement, Andy Garcia

So will the RIO franchise step up and take the place of the older Ice Age series?


Draft Day
Rated PG-13, 109 min

At the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he's willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Stars:    Kevin Costner, Chadwick Boseman, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella

Was I not paying attention or did the marketing for this movie barely begin just last weekend?


Rated R, 105 min

A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.

Director:  Mike Flanagan
Stars:     Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Katee Sackhoff, Rory Cochrane

So a horror flick in April, during tax season no less.  But will Dr. Who's Karen Gillan pull in enough fans?

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Box Office Top Ten from last weekend:

The super soldier helped crank out April box office records this last weekend and I'm assuming will help to set more April records with the next upcoming weekend.

Then again, as ticket prices go up, sure, more money will be spent at the theater, but does that mean more butts are in movie seats too?

As it is, aside from the top few films, I've never seen such a weak top-10 list, where the bottom three are barely making $2M!

Movies with IMDb user scores included, in case you need some help deciding.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier    8.3/10
Weekend: $95.02M, Gross: $95.02M

Noah     6.6/10
Weekend: $17.05M, Gross: $72.39M

Divergent    7.6/10
Weekend: $12.98M, Gross: $114.01M

God's Not Dead    4.8/10
Weekend: $7.76M, Gross: $32.56M

Muppets Most Wanted    7.1/10
Weekend: $6.15M, Gross: $42.00M

The Grand Budapest Hotel    8.4/10
Weekend: $6.12M, Gross: $33.20M

Mr. Peabody & Sherman    7.1/10
Weekend: $5.13M, Gross: $102.03M

Sabotage    6.6/10
Weekend: $2.00M, Gross: $8.86M

Need for Speed    7.3/10
Weekend: $1.81M, Gross: $40.81M

Non-Stop    7.3/10
Weekend: $1.79M, Gross: $88.10M

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

AGENTS of SHIELD 4-8-14 Episode, Big Changes

Clark Gregg in AGENTS of SHIELD

Tonight's episode of Agents of SHIELD brought abut a huge change to the underlying story line.  And this change had been in the works since the show started, but they could not let on until tonight, that events in this episode were going to be tied into the newest Captain America film, The Winter Soldier.


But the showrunners said they had to bide their time and plot out a story until the release of Captain America The Winter Soldier, and in so doing, did indeed, lay some interesting nuggets throughout the season, up until now.

Barring the horrible writing at times, the questionable effects, and the sadly overly-abundant dropped hints at Coulson's condition, up until his reveal, some of the clues and nuggets, looking back, makes the show more interesting.




Last week Coulson (Clark Gregg) was holding a gun on May (Ming-Na Wen), after she just tried shooting Fitz in the head.

But as tonight's episode evolved, we watched a pissed off Coulson take action, we learned that May was using a direct line to Col. Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and that Hydra has fully infiltrated SHIELD.  And we were first led to believe that Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows) was the head Hydra infiltrator.

But watching the show, we saw the twists and developments that kept us on our toes, and that was a refreshing experience with AoS.

Hand turns out to NOT be HYDRA, and that Agent John Garrett (Bill Paxton), despite the apparent threats to his life by a HYDRA attack, is in fact, the big HYDRA infiltrator and the info leak from SHIELD, or, the Clairvoyant.

And throughout the episode, we have been told that Col. Fury is dead, folks are led to believe that Coulson is HYDRA, and when the episode winds down, Coulson defeats Garrett, and Hand and Coulson are the only ranking SHIELD agents left in the organization.

We learn about a few safe spots that SHIELD still has and Hand is taking Garrett to a holding cell.  But then we see the biggest twist of all.  Hand asks Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) to shoot Garrett.  But then Ward shoots the guards and Hand to death, and the big reveal just took place.

Did you see that coming?

And in an interview with TV Guide, the showrunners drop little hints of what had taken place through the season, to the dropped nuggets to Ward's infiltration.

HYDRA infiltrates by getting and building trust of its victims.

Future episodes of AoS will also be delving into Ward's association with Garrett, his family, his past, and how he feels with our team.

And those nuggets through the season?

The nuggets were actions done to redirect any idea of a suspicion:

He took on his biggest threat and seduced May [Ming-Na Wen].

He sidled up to the unknown, and became her training officer. Skye [Chloe Bennet].

How do you build team trust? By diving out of an airplane to save Simmons [Elizabeth Henstridge].  But he did have a parachute, so he was at no real risk.

How did he convert the suspicious one?  He took him on an assignment. Fitz (Iain De Caestecker)

So we thought we got to know Ward, and all along, (From the beginning for the showrunners), Ward was working over his team, and fooling the TV viewing audience.


Despite the HYDRA threat finally coming to light, Coulson's team still has other issues to clean up or deal with.

There were some spoilers for the Cap movie, but then again, were they?  Will we be seeing Samuel L. Jackson again?  Some already know that answer, and since you've trudged on past the SPOILERS warning, then do know that we'll see him in the season finale of Agents of SHIELD.  I don't know in what capacity, if he's dead, it will be a ghost. If he's not dead, maybe the infamously underused LMD plot will come to light.  EH, we'll find out then.

This was a fun episode. And it was great to see a TV episode touch base with a movie that's in theaters.  But will the series be able to keep this energy and maintain its own identity?  Or will it return to the story of the week and continue to lose viewers.

I have to say, I like the connection of the show to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but there aren't enough movies to keep the show that fun throughout.  SO they have to crank it out and give the show more of a decent amount of momentum.

That's it for now.

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Civil comments that further the conversation are always welcome