Hidden Figures (2017) Review

Posted by The Zodiac | Movie Reviews | Saturday 7 January 2017 2:00 am
Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures (2017)

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Wow! This is one damn good movie! So, check it… We all know NASA’s importance to the space program and it’s development from it’s inception has been crucial to our technologies spinning around the globe. Back in the 1960’s, we had a Space Race to get the first man in space, man to orbit the earth, and one to go to the moon; and all return safely. Well, in order to do a fraction of that, you’ll need some bright minds, mathematicians, engineers, and scientists to even begin the process. Well, in a segregated and highly-racist America, it made it difficult for brilliant minds to cross barriers due to their skin color. Add in a female gender to the mix and you wind up with something next to impossible during a time when White men made sure only White people would achieve.

Enter three Black women who defied the odds: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. Played by Taraji P. Henson, Academy Award winner, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae, they give a performance worthy of your time, energy, and ability to question how much more successful the United States would be without a White power structure set in place where only White people would advance. These three minds were the key to a successful mission to help John Glenn orbit the earth and return. Imagine that. We, as the public, are only aware of the success of Glenn but don’t question why he came back alive at all.

The supporting cast of Kevin Costner as the director of the Space Task Group, Al Harrison and Kirsten Dunst as Vivian Mitchell, the condescending ass-clown who embraced her privilege so hard, you’d think they were married. There were emotional moments in the movie from Katherine the most but all members did their thing and although Taraji and Octavia were destined to pull their performances, Janelle did a bang-up job at this acting gig. The calculations and math involved were so solidly presented, it made you think you understood the formulas. Add in Pharrell Williams’ musical direction and you have a movie that you not only bounce to, but are extremely proud of…especially if you’re a person of color. And I’m POSITIVE women of color could relate to where they feel undermined by co-workers yet possess the knowledge of 20 of their peers and still have to prove themselves.

Yes…Cottonmouth from Luke Cage was in here too as well as the snide little dude from the Big Bang Theory (who did a great job as a manager who seemed also believe Black skin on a woman was way too inferior for him to deal with.) From the Colored Only signs, the White privileged attitudes, and the pent-up frustration each woman had to endure just to focus on their mission to launch Glenn, balance family, deal with racist coworkers, and STILL come out as historical heroes makes you wonder why their names aren’t synonymous with NASA. Good job, ladies!

The Birth of a Nation (2016) Review

Posted by The Zodiac | Movie Reviews | Saturday 22 October 2016 2:39 am
The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation (2016)

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I’ve wanted a movie done about Nat Turner for decades after I had learned about him at a young age. The fact that someone would have had the guts to rise up against not only the White power structure, but the people who placed it in action and enforced it, is worthy of a more than a film. I’d like a statue risen in his honor for the patriot he was: killing the enemy for freedom under God. I mean, that’s what the United States is all about, right?

Despite all of the controversy regarding the star/writer/director, Nate Parker, I went into this movie with my eyes wide open to see how he would do with the story of Nat Turner and the rebellion. What I loved about the movie was it’s simplicity in storytelling. There was no over-dramatization regarding slavery; which is a very seriously under-written or spoken about chapter in this country’s history despite what some may say. Don’t believe me? Ask those tired of Black people bringing it up to tell them who Dred Scott or Sojourner Truth were. Ask them when slavery began and which year the first boat came to the East Coast with African slaves.

Well, one of the descendants of those boat rides was Nat Turner who had taken his name, as many slaves did, from the White slave owners. This movie was different in it showing the White and Black kids playing despite the obvious social differences laid out for their lives. Nate Parker as an adult Nat took on as a preacher loaned by his owner to preach to other plantations. In the movie, he witnessed the brutality the other slaves had endured and used his Biblical verses in different ways: some as a God of love and others as a God of wrath. This duality showed Nat which way God was pushing him and as a slave knew it was wrong.

Using the Bible as a weapon, Nat was punished for his words and beaten. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back; even after the disappearance of his father and after the rape of his friend’s wife, as well as the rape and beating of his wife, Cherry. See, whether those like to believe it or not, the evil that was created in that word and that the Blacks had to endure for hundreds of years…entire lifetimes for most made it a miracle any were able to find hope. Nat helped them do that in the Bible.

Well, once the Bible showed him the way he was supposed to go, he began his plot for a rebellion. The cinematography wasn’t fantastic but there were some highlights. The coloring was awesome and the music fit the narrative. The costuming was pristine and you were able to see the pain in Nat’s eyes as he was forced to stay silent during the brutality…as were all slaves unless you wanted to be whipped or killed.

The rebellion made me proud as people should stand up to evil and if you have to kill it to be free, then so be it. Nat Turner and the rebellion were heroes and unfortunately, it left a lot of innocent Blacks dead in it’s wake as a form of intimidation, he showed what happened when you teach the true meaning of the Bible to those who take it word-for-word. Peace to Nat Turner and thanks to Nate Parker for creating this film. I hope people get a chance to view it and then read the story of Nat Turner and other insurrections that occurred in this country.

Captain America – Civil War (2016) Review

Posted by The Zodiac | Blog,Movie Reviews | Sunday 8 May 2016 4:35 am
Captain America Civil War

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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Where can I start? @Marvel has a knack for capturing a great story in a comic book movie when even the story itself is weak. How do they do this? Great direction, a lot of awesome action scenes and otherwise characters we wouldn’t care about normally, we grow to not only enjoy them but anticipate their arrival on screen. Take Iron Man in 2008. Did anyone give a damn about him at that point? Guardians of the Galaxy? Captain America? No! We didn’t. We were probably all focused more on Batman and Superman. But since the Marvel Cinematic Universe decided to take more creative control of the characters they DID have, they made great stories and characters out of Iron Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye and more. And now…we have those guys and more battling it out against each other because of what they happened to destroy in Avengers, Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Because of their less-than-suave approach to saving the planet which usually leaves trillions of dollars in repairs, entire cities destroyed, and thousands of people dirt-napping, Cap and his crew have been grounded due to the Sokovia Accord; a 100+ country-approved document that has more control of the Avengers than they do of themselves. Basically, they’re on a leash unless needed.

Captain America doesn’t like being on a leash and Iron Man’s Tony Stark thinks they could use one. He thinks this mostly out of guilt but still, he won’t budge. All the while, after a huge mission in Lagos, Nigeria goes right but with a few more people dead, a new threat is let loose with Secretary of State, General Thunderbolt Ross is breathing down their necks. So, what’s the problem? Well, after a meeting with leaders regarding the Accords ends up in disaster with the brothaman, T’Challa and his father, T’Chaka, the prince and King of Wakanda wind up in less-than-stellar condition, it begins to raise hell in Vienna. Why? Because Bucky, the Winter Soldier is involved and T’Challa isn’t happy about that. Considering his alter-identity as The Black Panther, it adds a LOT of chaos, action, and siding with the rest of the heroes although his mission is more personal. Captain America is Bucky’s oldest friend by about 60 years so his priority is to help his buddy while others try to capture him. This leads to some siding with Cap and others with Iron Man.

Character Line Up:

Captain America, Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Ant-Man and Hawkeye vs.
Iron Man, Vision, Black Widow, War Machine, Spider-Man, and Black Panther

The airport scene includes all of these characters and it’s impossible to digest all of what happens. Someone almost dies, many are injured, suits are destroyed, Brooklyn vs. Queens,..but why all of the fuss? Who is #Zemo? What does “freight car” have to do with the Winter Soldier? Exactly how bulletproof is Black Panther? Captain America carjacks people? House arrest? Arc Reactors? It’s too much…yet, it all works and all of the heroes have an equal amount of screen time. There’s literally nothing I can think of that’s really wrong about this movie that a comic book enthusiast wouldn’t enjoy!

The ending surprise really causes the civil war and we wonder if it can be repaired later in time. Who knows? This could’ve easily been called Iron Man: Civil War or Winter Soldier: Civil War. But after a couple of years, it was time for Cap to shine. And he did…Brightly!

Be sure to stay for the two post scenes for a couple of surprises to come.

Creed (2015)

Posted by The Zodiac | Movie Reviews | Friday 11 December 2015 8:00 am
Creed

Creed (2015)

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The creativity on continuing the Rocky movies without actually involving Rocky as a boxer per se is genius for the movie, #Creed. This actually continues the tradition of boxing rival and friend of Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone), Apollo Creed. As you should know, Apollo got demolished in the ring and died in Rocky 4 by Ivan Drago in an exhibition. Drago used poor Apollo as conditioner for his gloves.

So, how did Apollo have a son we didn’t know about? Easy…he cheated on his wife and the mistress dumped the kid off having him bounce around group homes where he gets into fights. But thank God Claire Huxtable had a heart and decided to adopt the kid into her home. Not many women would care to seek out the children of their cheating hubby’s but Mrs. Creed is Clair freakin’ Huxtable! So, of course, she’s awesome!

Fast forward a bunch of years into the now and Adonis (yes, Adonis..like Apollo) has learned about his father and studies his highlights when he’s not working in the corporate environment, getting raises, and flying to Mexico participating in underground boxing matches. He’s self-taught and has that fire so he decides to talk shit in a boxing ring and get mollywopped by a real champion showing he has some training to do. Quitting his job against his mom’s wishes, Adonis (Johnson) decides to head to Philly to seek out Rocky for some training. Rocky is now fully retired from boxing and owns a restaurant gifted from his former buddy, Paulie. Very reluctant to have anything to do with young Johnson, Rocky gives him some pointers since he’s his old buddy’s kid. Eventually, Rocky relents and starts training Adonis..and that’s when things get really interesting!

The comparisons to the old Rocky flicks in the build-up of Johnson in Philly and how he finally accepts the Creed legacy is really good. Zoe Kravitz looks good as hell and should be on my Hulk Smash list. Her scenes build her up as a new Adriene and Rocky has a fight to battle as he trains young Adonis. This whole build-up will lead to some more Creed movies continuing the Rocky tradition. The updated version of Rocky running into the street followed by kids is more street and the internal struggles of who Adonis is as a Johnson vs. a Creed is something we can all relate to when trying to prove ourselves out of someone else’s shadow.

The ending is excellent and Michael B. Jordan does his thing as Adonis. Expect Sly Stallone to get some Oscar buzz in this film because if he doesn’t, the Academy are morons. Check it out while it’s in theaters so you can get pumped and start wailing on your cousin from being hyped up!

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Posted by The Zodiac | Blog,Movie Reviews | Thursday 13 August 2015 11:51 pm
Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

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To see this movie for me was important on a few different levels. First off, I got to see on film the story of NWA from their foundation until the rise of Ice Cube and Dr. Dre as well as the death of Eazy-E. Secondly, for hip-hop, it’s especially important because the generation of now, which is focused solely on beats and this weeks dance craze, gets to see why the music genre was so integral to kids on the street. Today, the music is almost meaningless…even from self-confessed 2Pac-influenced signed artists who focus on nonsensical lyrics and how much a woman’s booty shakes. The story of Ice Cube, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, and Eazy-E showed why their voices during the Rodney King assault and LA Riots were the voice of the people. I’d love to see how the story of Drake would do in theaters.

Back to the movie. It begins in the mid 1980’s with Eazy-E nearly escaping a theme in the movie: horrible LAPD police officers. Anyone who had grown up on their music would know NWA was an early adopter of anti-authority with their album, Straight Outta Compton’s second song, “Fuck tha Police”. The build-up of how that came to be was well-scripted and shot because we had five kids from LA who wanted to walk the straight-and-narrow path legitimately but were plagued with rocks aka gangbangers on one hand and a hard place aka crooked cops in the other. Eazy-E was a drug dealer that found his last encounter to be a little too close for comfort and he runs into his buddy Dr. Dre who is DJing with DJ Yella under the World Class Wrecking Crew, a local crew they had in LA. But the manager named Lorenzo was too corny for them and only wanted to have them play R&B. Dre slips in Ice Cube to perform a on-off of “Gangsta Gangsta” which the crowd reacts to immediately. Eazy is a witness to this with his boy, MC Ren and when Dre approaches him with an idea to make his own music label and include all of their talent, he reluctantly agrees.

So, Eazy and the crew are established and Ice Cube’s boys from NYC, HBO are in the booth. The funny thing was how they had them dressed completely NY and the NWA crew as LA. Back in the 80’s and 90’s a whole East Coast vs. West Coast hip-hop feud jumped off and the animosity in this scene showed the different styles of the crews even though Ice Cube was writing their lyrics. After a stand off, they didn’t have talent to record the song Cube had written so Dre suggested Eazy do it. The scene was perfect because it was well-known Eazy was a horrible rapper in the booth and had to be taught to hit his lines on time. They played on this well to where Yella and Cube were cracking jokes. A frustrated Eazy finally hits his notes and Dre responds, “That was dope, E!” The song, “Boyz N Tha Hood” became a huge seller and popular on the streets. This got the attention of notorious Ruthless Records, Jerry Heller; often accused of stealing money from Eazy and the crew all along. The movie didn’t hold back on this fact and built Jerry up as a creeper who knew a good thing when he saw it and took advantage. The only one blinded was Eazy. As the only one blinded, the crew started splintering. The rise and fall was beginning.

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This movie had everything in it regarding the group that you’d want to see. It highlighted many faults but not the known flaws of Dr. Dre with his handling of women physically. There was plenty of eye-candy at the pool parties and groupie parties and there was a great “Bye Felecia” line they played into it. Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson, Jr. did a great job playing his father. He gave a very human approach to Ice Cube to where you could see he was a good kid that wanted to express himself creatively and simply focus on his talents. His early introduction of being bussed from the hood into the White kid’s school showed his education and influence as well as what he could have (fancy cars, etc.) compared to what he did have (gangbanger jumping on the bus to give a PSA). The police were pivotal to the rise of NWA in their constant abuse and power-trips. The “Fuck Tha Police” entrance was brilliant and O’Shea, Jr. showed his dismay well with the lingering afterwards of abusive cops. His frustration continued with Jerry Heller’s buy out and Priority Records broken promises.

Corey Watson channels Dr. Dre to where at the end, I only saw Dre. His emotion toward family grief and Suge Knight’s intimidation and bullshit proved his determination. Suge thought it was all good when Dre. left to form Aftermath since he had all of Death Row to himself. Dre is now almost a billionaire because of his risk and skill and Suge Knight is blind and in prison….again. Look at that. And Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E showed how naive he was when it came to business yet he just wanted to trust. His NWA family was his real family and in the end, they had all reconciled. Who knows what the world would’ve gotten had NWA made one more record with Cube included?! DJ Yella was hilarious and the whole scene with “No Vaseline” showed how ruthless Ice Cube could be with the verbals. I believe MC Ren was underutilized. Being my favorite NWA lyricist, I wish he had a bigger impact since his songs on Eazy E’s and NWA’s album, especially NIGGAZ4LIFE, were explosive and had the best flow. They also didn’t use The D.O.C. enough since his impact on NWA and Dr. Dre is HUGE!! But it was good to hear his voice played out as well as acted on screen. Many nuances such as the Nation of Islam with Cube, Suge’s intimidation tactics, Cube recording with Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad production team for his first solo album, the effect of The Chronic when Eazy sees what could’ve been… It makes you want to go back to a time when hip-hop was THIS real! This raw! Something you didn’t just nod your head to the beat, but you nodded your head in agreement. It also showed how these were all just good kids and actually friendly guys who had a bigger plan.

In the end, I enjoyed myself as an NWA fan and hiphop buff. RIP Eazy-E and it’s great his widow, Dre and Cube were able to pull this film off and make it a success. Now…PLEASE create a Public Enemy movie!

Fantastic 4 (2015)

Posted by The Zodiac | Blog,Movie Reviews | Sunday 9 August 2015 4:19 am
Fantastic 4

Fantastic 4 (2015)

[rating=3]

So, critics were panning the new Fantastic 4 movie since the casting had begun so I know they were salivating when it was released and giving it negative reviews. A lot of it is true; I can’t lie. But I think they also went over the top a bit in their critique of this film. Ok, sure another origin story about these guys is told but in the way they did it in the first 1/3rd of the film, it made a lot of sense. The young genius, Richard Reed was a little kid building a transporter in his parent’s garage and recruits the help of classmate Ben Grimm, the son of some trashy parents who own a trashy junk yard. So, we have the genius and the hard-edge. Unlikely match but being social outcasts, they become friends and build on this piece of science. Years later, after their first attempt at the transporter shows they’ve transported a toy car but only rocks came back meant they were close. Now, they’re at a science fair where they meet Martin Querns from “OZ” but here, he’s pretending to be Susan Storm’s adopted and Johnny Storm’s father. They’re intrigued by Reed and Ben’s demo and give Reed a full ride to their institution which is government-funded and backed.

While there, Reed gets closer to the team which consists of Susan Storm, Johnny (by way of bribery by his father to get is piece of crap Toyota MR2 back), and the previously ousted Von Doom who is now a social outcast looking like a grunge cover band lead trombonist. Querns visits him and gives him another chance to make their Transporter work. Von Doom is interested in Quern’s daughter instead and that’s what convinces him. Potential to #hulksmash. Back in the lab, Von Doom and the team work to get the transporter finalized and after sending Caesar from Planet of the Apes on a test run into who-knows-where with camera equipment, they’ve determined what looks like Arizona during dusk will be safe for human travel after Caesar comes back safely. That’s when the government comes in patting backs, chewing an endless piece of gum (or a case of serious TMJ), and trying to take over. Not with the program, Reed and the team figure they’ll do it first to get the credit so he calls Ben out of the blue who uses an Uber to get to the institution in record speed.

So, they all go into the pods to enter into the dimension of Arizona and take off. Sue at the helm holds down the fort and when they get there, they discover Arizona has putrid green slime in the ground. Most likely from transported New Jersey waste barrels…maybe even the ones that affected The Toxic Avenger and The Hills Have Eyes characters. Either way, it’s probably best to snap a few pics, grab a sample and leave. But Noooooooo…!!! They figure it’s a good idea to walk a half mile in the goop and figure out what’s the problem. The Black man knew better and stayed behind. The rest? “Let’s see what this new dimension is about!” So, of course, shit goes haywire and that’s where all hell breaks loose. Sure, a few make it back and explode in the lab causing poor Sue to become invisible, Johnny looking like Ghost Rider, Reed stretched out looking like my old Stretch Armstrong action figure and Ben wound up being a really cool Thing. All is lost? Nah…the government has plans for these kids until Reed escapes and promises a return.

From this point, Phase 2 steps in and it’s cool but Phase 3 enters Dr. Doom and it’s soooo rushed!! I mean, Dr. Doom should be as badass as his comic character and although his powers are awesome and violent, his look? Well…they tried too hard to make him look like he fell in epoxy resin. I don’t know…it’s an origin story so maybe the thought is next movie: he’ll have a metal face. There was only one real battle scene and it was pretty quick. So, forget action. Sue’s hair proves how many reshoots there were and everyone seemed disinterested. It wasn’t as bad and it’s worth a watch but not a rewatch. The Thing is really cool but he hardly says anything! He just agrees with shit and keeps a grudge. Johnny is all about those 5 seconds and the Mara chick from House of Cards is great as Sue. In fact, all of the people rock their characters nicely. It’s just not as cohesive as it could be and when the credits come up (FAST!!), you’re left with a face like “…what? It’s over already?” You leave, get your ticket validated and don’t really think about it. I swear there were parts in the trailer that weren’t in the movie…like Thing falling out of the helicopter. But maybe I dozed off. I don’t know. I would’ve rated it 2.5 stars out of 5 but I rounded up.

Terminator – Genisys (2015)

Posted by The Zodiac | Movie Reviews | Monday 27 July 2015 4:04 am
Terminator Genisys

Terminator: Genisys (2015)

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The Terminator franchise got another shot in the arm with @Terminator: Genisys this year. Arnold Schwarzeneggar is back as the cyborg with a semi-soul like in the Terminator: Judgement Day movie. In fact, with all of the time changes and crazy timelines in the Terminator movies, I believe that cyborg is the same one in this movie. The T-1000 has now been given a name; “Pops”. Pops is a friend of Sarah Conner who everyone knows from the original Terminator movies becomes the mother of the resistance against Goog…er, um…Skynet. #Skynet is the company that raises cybernetics to the point where the machines eventually protect itself against the humans and destroys most of the planet. In the Genisys timeline, John Conner is seen sending Kyle Reese into the year 1984 to prevent history from starting all over again after another Terminator is sent back. This is the setup for the original James Cameron film. But this time…it’s different.

With a timeline slightly altered due to what Kyle sees while being teleported back, he’s sent to 1984 and does everything the original Kyle Reese does in the original Terminator movie except this time, he’s faced with a T-2000 instead of the Arnold Schwarzeneggar version. Why? Because the Arnie version is a younger looking version of Pops. Yes, they CGI backdated Arnold into a damn near exact duplicate. This one gets infiltrated by Pops so now the Terminator timeline is reset. Kyle meets up with Khaleesi aka Sarah Conner and the T-2000 is after them. It’s a wild ride from that point on that leads you on police chases, the brothas who create Genisys (the new name for Skynet), the Golden Gate bridge, Uber-John Conner, and more.

It’s hard to get the timeline right in this movie so you have to suspend belief. The CGI was great and the storyline is decent. It’s a cashcow at this point and doesn’t focus on the reality of Skynet aka Genisys. There are good explosions, 2 time jumps, and Pops gets down to business several times in this movie. It’s a good time for all and even kids could see it and get lost in the story line like I did. But whatever….it was an easy way to spend $10 and a couple of hours.

Ant-Man (2015)

Posted by The Zodiac | Blog,Movie Reviews | Friday 17 July 2015 3:13 am
Ant-Man

Ant-Man (2015)

[rating=4]

Everybody is wondering what in the hell Marvel is thinking by introducing a character named Ant-Man to their cinematic universe? Well, even in the movie, they poke fun at the name and the ability of Scott Lang, the main protagonist of the film. And…it works! Ant-Man is a very exciting film and brings a very well-crafted character into a Marvel world filled with #Avengers and Ultrons and Thanoses and Thors. In fact, there’s a scene where a New Avenger is confronted by Ant-Man and the results are embarrassing enough to look the other way when revealing to Captain America.

The premise of the film is simple: It’s an introduction to the character, a lesser-known, to the world where Batman, Superman and Iron Man reign supreme. But in the same way the Guardians of the Galaxy became a huge hit from virtual unknowns, Disney/Marvel hope the same for Ant-Man (@antman). Hank Pym, the creator of the Ant-Man suit is being challenged by his former apprentice after he recreates his revolutionary formula. The apprentice, Darren Cross, becomes The Yellowjacket and of course, a small fight breaks out between hero and villain. The thing is, this movie works really well and is a LOT of fun!

The special effects in this really work as the visual to reduce Paul Rudd from 6-foot something into a tiny version of himself is smooth. The training session of going from large to small all while fighting was intriguing but even more interesting was when they put it all in play. Everything balanced out very well and Ant-Man will be a great addition to the Marvel Universe.

Don’t forget to view the mid-ending credits to see what’s in store for the future. Evangeline Lilly (@evangelinelilly) looks like #hulksmash material and Michael Douglas does his thing as usual. Comic relief in the form of Michael Pe‚àö¬±a (@realmichaelpena), T.I. (@tip), and David Dastmalchian rounds out the crew. Check it out twice because I think it’s worth it. Yup!

Mad Max – Fury Road (2015)

Posted by The Zodiac | Blog,Movie Reviews,Reviews | Friday 15 May 2015 11:39 pm

Mad Max: Fury Road(2015)

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So, imagine you ran out of the house, jumped in your car and drove clear across town in order to buy something special with a few of your friends. Once you get there, you have to U-Turn and go back because you forgot your wallet. Mad Max: Fury Road is something like that except on horse steroids, in the middle of something that looks like New Mexico, with bad-ass women with scars and missing limbs; plus you’re a former prisoner with a metal mask on your face and chain around your neck. Oh yeah, and there are savages chasing you in both directions and they all want you dead.

This movie is a non-stop adrenalin rush from start to finish and has everything you want. Old woman with a tattooed face? Check. Ultimate Guitar Hero fanboy who is dedicated to his job under any circumstance? Check. Big women supplying breast milk for the higher-ups? Check. Dwarf in a wheelchair who looks like he’s sleeping all day? Check! What else do you need? Oh yeah…Charlize Theron! Sure, she only has one arm but she’s still hot with her shaved head and under the name Furiosa. She links up with Max, played by Tom Hardy, after he’s captured and (sort of) escapes from the lair of the overlord, Immortan Joe, who looks like a combination of Ric Flair and American Horror Story crazy clown, Twisty. “Escapes” may be misleading. He was attached to the front of a war vehicle like a hood ornament and taken into battle on the drylands as a Mercedes car symbol. Thanks to some savvy thinking, a haboob, and a car accident, he’s freed from his captor…sort of. “Freed” may be misleading. He was handcuffed to his assumingly dead captor and dragged him and the card door till he ran into Furiosa and four fine ladies with scars bathing in water from their war vehicle in the middle of the desert.

After a vicious fight over weapons and more, they all team up in a way to head toward the “Green Place”. Apparently, this is the only place around where something more than dirt exists. Considering Furiosa’s women are the wives of crazy Joe and one of them is pregnant, this leads Joe’s army after them. Thus, the one way drive begins to safety and through other rebels in the drylands. I won’t even tell you about the U-turn. Just know, more ladies are met, a War Boy is redeemed and a lot of people die! But still…you’ll see how Rock n Roll lives on! #guitarhero

Ex Machina (2015)

Posted by The Zodiac | Movie Reviews | Saturday 9 May 2015 12:34 am

Ex Machina (2015)

[rating=4]

Man! This was a dope flick! The premise has been done before considering this is an AI movie but they do it in a manner that holds the interest of the viewer in suspense. So, an extremely wealthy business owner throws a contest where a winner is proclaimed on his programming skills inside the company. The winner is shipped out to the owner’s facility which is in the middle of nowhere in some beautiful outback. Inside this facility, the winner, Caleb, meets his boss, Nathan; who looks like American Outfitter-bearded douche. Caleb gets settled and find out why he’s there: to check out Nathan’s new AI robot, Ava and interact with her to determine exactly how “human” she is.

Things get revved up during his week stay where his key card can get into certain rooms. His interactions with Ava range from intellectual to flirtatious. But which one of them is controlling the situation? Under cameras watched in his own private room, Nathan checks in and reviews his subject as they communicate with each other. Then…uh oh!! Power failure! Seems this is happening quite often and Nathan is blinded by them and the discussions that go on between Caleb and Ava.

Meanwhile, Nathan has a BAD ASS non-English-speaking assistant (whom we get to see naked later) named Kyoko played by Sonoya Mizuno. I’ve never heard of this woman but dammit!! If I need to travel in the middle of the world to get her, then where are my hiking boots?! Anyway, her fine slim ass is a highlight as the story progresses and gets deeper. If I go any further into the review, things will get revealed. It’s a slower-paced movie but the ending gets pretty exciting and wishes are fulfilled. Some are trustworthy characters and others aren’t. Check out Ex Machina to find out who is who.

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