I noticed a young father barely out of high school with his baby daughter sitting behind me inside the theater. He smiled back at me at he nervously ate his popcorn, as if he knew he was doing something wrong. Although I’m not a parent, I knew he was doing something wrong. LOTR was never meant for children, especially with the horrific battle scenes between the forces of good and evil that dominated the third movie. This wouldn’t end well.
The little girl responded with glee to the My Little Pony toy commercial and paid no attention to the trailers that preceded the movie. Once the movie started, she became very quiet as her father ate the popcorn faster. The movie opened with the origin story of Gollum as a hobbit who came in possession of the One Ring, sitting down at the river and holding a caught fish. A screen-wide mouth with ugly teeth appeared, biting into the fish and ripping the flesh to shreds. A loud wail ripped through the theater before the crying started in earnest with lush wails.
I didn’t need to look back to see the father spilling his popcorn and hustling his kid out the door. They were soon forgotten as the LOTR theme song overwhelmed the theater. Needless to say, he didn’t get to see the movie that morning. Too bad he wasn’t charged with child abuse. Too bad the parents who take their young children to a midnight movie weren’t charged with child abuse as well. Maybe a stay in the pokey would put some commonsense back into them about raising children.
One of the surprises that came out of the San Diego Comic Con this year was a unauthorized short film called #DIRTYLAUNDRY, staring Thomas Jane as Frank Castle (a.k.a., The Punisher) and Ron Perlman as a handicapped liquor store clerk. When a gang terrorizes the prostitutes in a ghetto neighborhood, Castle keeps a wary eye out but ignores them while doing his laundry. When the life of an innocent schoolboy is threaten, the Punisher dispenses justice with an indestructible bottle of Jack Daniels.
NOTE: This video contains strong language, brutal violence and copious blood spray.
Although Ray Stevenson in “The Punisher: War Zone” (2008) represents the pulp version of the Punisher with his chiseled face and steely glare that cuts like a wicked knife, I always prefer the humane version that Thomas Jane brings to the character. The humorous scene from “The Punisher” (2004), where Castle is searing a steak with a blowtorch while poking a Popsicle into the backside of a minor thug who thinks he’s being tortured, is a fine example. If Marvel Comics were ever to reboot the series (unlikely as the previous films never took off beyond its fan base), they should bring Thomas Jane back for the role.
If you can’t get enough of Andrew “Jungle Bird” Dudley (see here and here), he returns in this Jay Leno sketch of “The Amazing Spider-Man” movie trailer. Since I’m a Batman fan (suck it, Superman!), I’m going to bet that Jungle Bird will hand Spider-Man’s ass back to him.
The first hour of the movie was quite beautiful as the origin of humanity begins with an eight-foot-tall giant—”engineers” as they would later be called—who sacrifices himself by drinking a black liquid that tears apart his DNA to form new life on an uninhabited planet. Many eons later, a team of archeologists find the oldest cave painting with humans worshiping a giant alien pointing to a star cluster that links all the ancient civilizations to Earth. (If you’re into UFO conspiracy theories, some people believe that the Nephilims were giant aliens.) A few years after that discovery, the spaceship Prometheus lands on the moon LV-233 and the crew begins their mission with conflicting agendas.
For the next 90 minutes, the plot holes starts piling up fast and furious. Two major plot holes ruined the movie for me. If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading now.
Why does the moon bears the designation LV-233 in “Prometheus” instead of LV-426 in the “Alien” movies? No clue. Although the weather patterns are violent on LV-233, it’s not yet the hellhole that becomes LV-426. The two moons are obviously supposed to be the same location but the designation doesn’t match up.
When the captain jettisons the life support module and sacrifices the Prometheus to prevent the alien spaceship from leaving the moon, the alien spaceship crashes to a rolling halt into its final position, and the space jockey is strapped down in the flight chair, all we needed was the chest buster alien to pop out and leave the space jockey dead to match the scene in “Alien.” That didn’t happen. The space jockey comes crashing into the life support module to be attacked and infected by a huge facehugger. The movie ends with a crude-looking xenomorph emerging from the dead space jockey. This is not the sleek killing machine we all come to love and admire.
Seems like director Ridley C. Scott took all the plot lines from a wrong turn at Albuquerque TV trope and mixed them together with the best parts of “Aliens” to create “Prometheus,” which is less than the sum of its parts. The unanswered questions will probably be answered in the next sequel or two. This wasn’t the completed movie that I expected it to be.
As I waited for the movie trailers and “Prometheus” to start at AMC Mercado 20 in Santa Clara this past weekend, the California Lottery black scratcher video, where Lady Luck slaps some clueless idiot to let him know that he won, came up on the big screen. I sat back to enjoy this video but it wasn’t the video I was expecting. This video had Lady Lucky blowing air on the clueless idiot.
That’s probably because this 3D movie is also being released on demand via cable TV and through Facebook for half the price of a regular 3D movie ticket. The big question becomes whether or not to see David Hasselhoff get his due as a phony lifeguard while watching the “water-certified strippers” get eaten by the piranhas on the big screen or the small screen. A tough decision.
If that wasn’t jacked up enough, you need to have a Facebook account to view the age-restricted trailer on the official movie website. You only need to be 13-years-old with parental permission to join Facebook. Since I couldn’t figure out the privacy settings, I no longer have a Facebook account. I doubt there’s another age check to prevent young viewers from seeing the more explicit trailer.
If you seen “The Avengers” during the opening weekend last week, you probably saw the trailer for “The Expendables 2” with a large cast of 1980’s action hero movie stars reliving their glory days. One such action hero was a cigar-chomping Arnold Schwarzenegger announcing, “I’m back!” (An obvious double entrendre to his most famous line—”I’ll be back”—from “Terminator” and his long absence from starring in the movies while governor of California.) The audience I was with laughed and cheered at his appearance, heralding the arrival of more popcorn movies in the near future. California’s favorite maid-banging action hero is back.
Black Widow bears a remarkable resemblance to Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) from “The X-Files” with her bomber-red hairdo and intense eyes. Something I kept thinking about while watching the movie. Although Scully was never much of a physical ass kicker, she made that up with her brilliant application of scientific principles to unknown phenomena. I’m hoping that Black Widow will get her own movie now that “The Avengers” broke the box office records. Marvel fan boys need another intelligent woman to idolize.
Clive Palmer, an Australian billionaire mining magnate, is planning to build a $500-million USD replica of the Titanic that was sunk century ago. Although nearly identical to the ill-fated ship, the Titanic II will have diesel engines to replace the coal engines, a bulbous bow and other modern features below the waterline.
The ship will be built in China, which has never built a luxury cruise liner as most are built in the European shipyards, and the Chinese navy will escort it from United Kingdom to New York City on it’s maiden voyage in 2016. Not sure how the British and American navies would take to the Chinese navy plowing the North Atlantic waters.