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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The BACHELORETTE Contestant Dies in Accident

The BACHELORETTE Contestant Dies in Accident

In the upcoming season of The Bachelorette, which premieres on May 19th, there will be one contestant who is on the show at the start, and by all presumptions, was eliminated from contention early on, so his passing won't impact the series.

But it seems that Eric Hill died of injuries sustained from a paragliding accident last weekend.

That is truly unfortunate.

ABC's response to the event was,

We are deeply saddened to hear about the tragic passing of our friend, Eric Hill. Eric inspired us every day with his passion, his courage and his adventurous spirit, and for that we are very thankful. On behalf of our cast, crew and producers, we send our love, our thoughts and our prayers to Eric’s family during this difficult time.”

But I have to wonder how they may actually try to milk this sad event for their ratings, because as we all know, tragic events make for great ratings.

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Amazon Prime Nabs Itself Some HBO

HBO to show up on Amazon Prime

Don't know if you saw the news or not, but Amazon and HBO have put together a deal that will now allow select HBO programming to stream to Amazon Prime members!

Amazon and HBO announced in a press release that they've signed up for a multi-year contract between them that will allow Amazon to stream shows like Deadwood, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and The Wire.  Over time, series like The Newsroom will become available, approximately three years after airing on HBO itself.

Going in the other direction, this new agreement also will have HBO GO available on Amazon's Fire TV device.

The fun will start on May 21st and you'll start seeing HBO content, which will range across shows, movies and events like comedy specials.

No, I did not miss mentioning Game of Thrones, because it's not part of this deal yet.  And no, HBO did not look to other content providers to create this kind of an alternate streaming deal.

You won't see some content like Entourage because the show itself is already tied up in other contractual deals, and the like.

To be honest, this will be a trick act to pull off, to some degree.  HBO needs to keep their own content lucrative and isolated, so they need to retain their hot programming for a while.  But with the older shows like Sopranos having spent their strongly lucrative life cycle at HBO, it's not a bad deal for Amazon to get that and other kinds of popular content.

This gives Amazon a nice new niche to market.  And HBO is balancing this act, hoping that consumers are not so patient that they just don't wait until HBO content finally lands on Prime.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Movies This Week, Friday, April 25th, 2014

The Other Woman, starring Cameron Diaz


SO this week, we have men getting caught cheating, another entry into the ghostly realm of scary films and a few extra flicks.  The star power coming to screens this week include Cameron Diaz, Jared Harris, one of Paul Walker's last roles, and Tom Hardy.

Movies Opening This Week - April 25

The Other Woman (2014)

Rated PG-13, 109 min   -   Comedy | Romance

After discovering her boyfriend is married, Carly soon meets the wife he's been cheating on. And when yet another affair is discovered, all three women team up to plot mutual revenge on the three-timing SOB.

Director: Nick Cassavetes
Stars:    Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

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The Quiet Ones

The Quiet Ones (2014)

Rated PG-13 98 min   -   Horror

A university professor and a team of students conduct an experiment on a young woman, uncovering terrifyingly dark, unexpected forces in the process.

Director: John Pogue
Stars:    Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards

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Brick Mansions, starring Paul Walker


Brick Mansions (2014)

Rated PG-13 90 min   -   Action | Crime | Drama

An undercover Detroit cop navigates a dangerous neighborhood that's surrounded by a containment wall with the help of an ex-con in order to bring down a crime lord and his plot to devastate the entire city.

Director: Camille Delamarre
Stars:    Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Gouchy Boy

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Locke, starring Tom Hardy


Locke (2013)

Rated R 85 min   -   Drama | Thriller

Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his careful cultivated existence.

Director: Steven Knight
Stars:    Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Movies and TV New to DVD/BD, Tues, 4-22-14

Movies and TV New to DVD/BD, Tues, 4-22-14


It's an interesting week for new DVD and Blu-rays coming out on Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

We have yet another Tyler Perry product, a blu-ray release of a sorcerer with Roy Scheider (I can't picture that), and oddly, a Yoga DVD is outpacing a Doctor Who DVD in sales on Amazon.  This is a funny world we live in this week.

There's also a bunch of Spider-Man offerings, capitalizing on awareness from the new movie coming out soon.

But go through the list and see that we have some classic TV coming out this week also.

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Tyler Perry's Madea's Neighbors From Hell (The Play)

Tyler Perry's Madea's Neighbors From Hell (The Play)
Starring Tyler Perry, Cassi Davis, David Stewart and Dathan Thigpen

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Sorcerer  Starring Roy Scheider

Sorcerer [Blu-ray]
Starring Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal and Amidou

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Easy Yoga: The Secret to Strength and Balance with Peggy Cappy

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Doctor Who: The Web of Fear  Starring Patrick Troughton

Doctor Who: The Web of Fear
Starring Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling

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Other Titles This Week

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Newhart: Season 3
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Get Carter [Blu-ray]
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Spectacular Spider-Man - Season 1 / Spectacular Spider-Man - Season 2 - Set [Blu-ray]
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Good Witch's Garden
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Lies We Tell but the Secrets We Keep
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The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection (1949-1959)
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Eureka Seven: Part Two
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Conspiracy Theory [Blu-ray]
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Big Bad Wolves
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Best of Raw After the Show [Blu-ray]
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Riot in Cell Block 11
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Ken Burns: The Address
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Cloud 9
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Spider-Man 2 (Mastered in 4K) (Single-Disc Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy)
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Exit Wounds [Blu-ray]
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Hit the Deck (1955) [Blu-ray]
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Barefoot
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Pawnbroker
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Scream Park
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Eureka Seven: Part One
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The Suspect
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Torque [Blu-ray]
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The Trials of Muhammad Ali
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Maria Stuarda
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Corazon Indomable
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Spider-Man (2002) / Spider-Man 2 (2004) / Spider-Man 3 (2007) - Set [Blu-ray]
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Bettie Page Reveals All
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House on Sorority Row [Blu-ray] (widescreen, remastered)
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The Lost Empire
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Chances Are (25th Anniversary Edition)
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Seven Warriors [Blu-ray]
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Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers (Movie) (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
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Spider-Man 3 [Blu-ray]
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DCU: Son of Batman [HD]
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Yeti: The 20th Century Giant
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WWE: Best of Raw After the Show
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Master of the House (Blu-ray + DVD)
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Gila!
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Norman Rockwells Shuffletons Barbershop
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Four Fast Guns
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Movies 4 You: Film Noir / Thriller
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Lady Whirlwind / Hapkido
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Tin Can Man
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House of Good and Evil
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Inspector Lavardin Collection [Blu-ray]
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The CW Summer 2014 Schedule, BEAUTY and the BEAST, and more

The CW Summer 2014 Schedule, new eps of BEAUTY and the BEAST

For the summer of 2014, The CW network has announced their programming slate via a press release.  And as I'm sure some will be happy about, Beauty and the Beast is on that summer schedule!  It's a mixed development, to be honest.  The show was on the bubble of being cancelled, and having it put on the summer slate says it's not strong enough to pull its weight during the Fall TV season.  But the network seems to be saying they like the show enough to try it out during their summer schedule.  There are plenty of good shows that live only in the summer seasons, and last a lot longer than they normally would have without this holiday traveling season, so this could be a good thing.

Now, if they would get off the same old bad guy that's been persisting week in and week out...  that too might help things along.

Along with new eps of Beauty and the Beast, we'll be seeing encore epiosodes of Arrow and Supernatural.

Check it out:

The summer premiere schedule is as follows:



MONDAY, JUNE 2

8:00-8:30 PM                WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (New Night)

8:30-9:00 PM                WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (Encore)

9:00-10:00 PM              Beauty And The Beast (Summer Season Premiere)



TUESDAY, JUNE 3

8:00-9:00 PM                FAMOUS IN 12 (Series Premiere)

9:00-10:00 PM              Supernatural (Encore)



MONDAY, JULY 14

8:00-8:30 PM                WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (Original Episode)

8:30-9:00 PM                BACKPACKERS (Series Premiere)

9:00-9:30 PM                WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (Encore)

9:30-10:00 PM              SEED (Series Premiere)



WEDNESDAY, JULY 30

8:00-9:00 PM                PENN & TELLER: FOOL US (Series Premiere)

9:00-10:00 PM              Arrow (Encores in a new timeslot)



FRIDAY, AUGUST 1

8:00-8:30 PM                MASTERS OF ILLUSION (Series Premiere)

8:30-9:00 PM                WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (Encore)


{

Descriptions via press release

WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? moves to its new night, with original episodes at 8:00-8:30 pm ET, followed by an encore episode of WHOSE LINE at 8:30-9:00 pm ET.

All-new reality docuseries FAMOUS IN 12 premieres Tuesday, June 3 (8:00-9:00 pm ET).  FAMOUS IN 12 is an unscripted series/social experiment that will film one fame-seeking family around the clock for 12 weeks straight.  The family will be guided by the TMZ machine, which will create a series of opportunities for them.

The original half-hour comedy BACKPACKERS premieres Monday, July 14 (8:30-9:00 pm ET), following all-new episodes of WHOSE LINE.  Originally created as a digital series for The CW's digital studio, CW Seed, BACKPACKERS, follows best friends Ryan (Noah Reid, “Titanic”) and Brandon (Dillon Casey, “Nikita”) as they race across Europe in search of Ryan's missing bride-to-be, while also struggling with the eternal twenty-something question of what to do with their lives.  When Ryan’s lost journal suddenly gets posted online and explodes across the internet, Ryan's life dream of becoming a published author becomes real – if only he can track down the jerk who stole the journal.

The half-hour comedy SEED premieres Monday, July 14 (9:30-10:00 pm ET), following encore episodes of WHOSE LINE.  From the creative team of Joseph Raso (“Zombies & Cheerleaders”) and award-winning writer/producer Mark Farrell (“This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” “Made in Canada,” “Corner Gas”), SEED tells the story of Harry (Adam Korson), a single, underachieving bachelor/bartender who is also a sperm donor.  Harry reluctantly begins a relationship with three unique and separate recipient families – a laid-back lesbian couple with a 9-year-old son, a neurotically hopeful single mom-to-be, and an uptight, upper-class family with a rebellious teenage daughter – with whom he’ll come to share more than just his DNA.

On PENN & TELLER: FOOL US, premiering Wednesday, July 30 (8:00-9:00 pm ET), aspiring magicians are invited to perform their best trick to try and fool the world-famous team of Penn & Teller.  Anyone who succeeds wins the right to perform with Penn & Teller in their celebrated show at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  The live studio audience and the TV audience watch along with Penn & Teller as they try to figure out the secrets.  Penn and Teller see the trick only once and have to immediately try to Work It out.  The live studio audience knows there are no camera tricks, secret edits or helpful camera cuts.

Hosted by actor Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”), MASTERS OF ILLUSION premieres Friday, August 1 (8:00-8:30 pm ET) with great escapes, fascinating sleight-of-hand and large scale illusions, all in front of a studio audience.  The series features amazing magic performed by cutting-edge illusionists and escape artists, and performers in each episode display skills ranging from perplexing interactive mind magic to hilarious comedy routines. }

Really, this is the best Dean Cain can do? Who the bloody hell is his agent?
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

TV News for the week up to Sunday, 4-20-14

TV News for the week up to Sunday, 4-20-14


Today, we have some news on renewals and cancellations from Fox, Spike TV, USA, Discovery channel, and a quickie TV review from Syfy.

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Below is news for the following shows and in one case, a review of sorts.

Animation Domination High-Def (ADHD)

Catch a Contractor

Chrisley Knows Best

Everest Jump

Hemlock Grove

Metal Hurlant on Syfy

Marooned

One Night Only

The Americans

The Voice

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Animation Domination High-Def (ADHD) is being cancelled by Fox.  It didn't pan out like they wanted to and the last night of the offering on June 18th.

Catch a Contractor has been renewed for a second season on Spike TV.

Chrisley Knows Best was renewed by USA for a second season.

Everest Jump cancelled by Discovery channel.  In light of the tragedy that took place on Mt Everest this week, the Discovery Channel has cancelled it's May 11th special that was going to chronicle Joby Ogwyn's climb to the summit.

Hemlock Grove will be returning to Netflix in July.  Keep your eyes peeled.

Metal Hurlant on Syfy: I just started watching this show that premiered last week on Syfy.  I'm only three minutes in and I'm not holding my breath as random pieces of information are tossed at us and rubber swoards are weilded threateningly.  It would be nice to have had some kind of background about the story before we're thrown into this poorly put together show, with horrible fight coreography.  This show makes Syfy's Saturday night movies look good!  ALL OF THEM.

Marooned:  Ed Stafford will be starring in a new show on Discovery, called Marooned.  It will be premiering on April 23rd.  You might remember Stafford from his other show, Walking The Amazon.

One Night Only is an all-star tribute to the late Don Rickles, and it's set to premiere on Spike TV on May 28th, 2014.

The Americans has been renewed by FX for their third season.

The Voice: TMZ reported that Gwen Stefani will be replacing Christina Aguilar while she's pregnant!


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'THE WAY WAY BACK' Review



If you like TV shows like Parenthood or about families facing some form of change or dysfunction, I think you'll enjoy The Way Way Back.

The summary says "Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park."

Even though the summary talks about the shy Duncan (Liam James), the story of the characters around Duncan truly help move his story forward, through the swirling details of what takes place with his family and friends.

All in all, it's a well conceived idea that's executed in a fashion that pulls you in along the journey.

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Steve Carell plays Trent, the overbearing dick of a boyfriend to Duncan's mother, Pam, played by Toni ColletteAllison Janney plays Betty, the next door neighbor whose affinity for drinking is a bit scary, and her daughter, Susanna, is played by AnnaSophia Robb.

Other critical cast includes Sam Rockwell, who plays Owen, and Amanda Peet, who plays Joan.

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To be honest, when we meet Duncan, I am not sure shy would be the first word that comes to mind when describing him.  I was thinking more along the lines of socially handicapped, but as the story goes on, you'll see that shy just might be the right term.  Liam James does well in the role.

Toni Collette plays a single mother who seems to have fallen for Trent (Carell) and they're on a summer road trip to a beach town for what's later referred to as "spring break for adults."  Collette does a great job as the single mom in an interesting situation.

Steve Carell is the real surprise here, playing the overbearing boyfriend/single dad.  I've seen Carell in funny and light roles, but never in a serious role that demands zero humor from him. And to be honest, he pulled me in and had me disliking, or believing him.

Then there's Sam Rockwell, playing the older man who ends up befriending Duncan.  On paper, this doesn't sound right or make any predictive sense, but once you watch how they interact and how Owen tends to draw Duncan out, you'll see how it works.

The last time I watched Rockwell, it was in Iron Man 2, and to be honest, his portrayal of Owen seemed to be that character, in a bit of a different setting.  Still, it worked out OK for me.

One thing that I didn't find in the story was what truly sparks Owen's first contact with Duncan, but you forget about that flaw as the story moves on.

And move it does, from Duncan slowly being pulled or drawn out of his shell, to everyone else's story and developing situations.  The tagline mentions Duncan's friendship with Owen, but every one around Duncan is a part of his summer journey.

All in all, it was a nice story that has some great moments of humor that come out of nowhere, most, thanks to Rockwell and his croonies.

If you like family stories that work through dysfunction, you should enjoy the flick.

On my review scale, I give The Way Way Back a dramatic 7, easy.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

CAPTAIN AMERICA The WINTER SOLDIER Review

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.

The NON-SPOILER Review:


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.

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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.

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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.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier non-trivial SPOILERS



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

BIG ASS SPIDER Review for Syfy Telecast

BIG ASS SPIDER Review

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.

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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.

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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!

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"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: https://twitter.com/badassbugkiller

And the movie has a Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/BigAssSpider

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Civil comments that further the conversation are always welcome
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