Archive | January, 2012

PCP’s Weekly Dose: Oscar Nominations

30 Jan

Awards season is still underway and no doubt that the film buffs among you are aware of the nominations for the 84th annual Academy Awards. We, the brothers of PCP, would gather with the intent of discussing these nominations, note our approvals and more importantly complain about the movies that got screwed. At least that was plan. While we did eventually manage finishing what we sought to do, somebody got here late and we fell off the rails a few times. It’s to be expected. In fact, we’d like to think that’s why you all like listening to us. Be sure to check back in for 062: Disney Vault

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Marcus Reviews Red Tails

29 Jan

Synopsis:

1944. To help win the war, the Pentagon brass has no choice but to consider the untested African-American pilots of the experimental Tuskegee training program. Just as the young Tuskegee men are about to be shut down and shipped back home, they are given the ultimate chance to show their courage. These intrepid young airmen take to the skies to fight for their country – and the fate of the free world

What I Liked:

Red Tails is the kind of movie that despite the cliches you can’t help but like because the actors in the film seem to be having so much fun with it. The cast had great on screen chemistry (mainly the young guys) and really made it easy to get behind them even when some of the dialogue was eye roll worthy (more on that later).

Large scale aerial battles have always been a double edged sword in film because no matter how well done they are you can’t keep up with them as you would a car chase or war on foot due to the fact that you can’t actually film in the air. With that being said when the Red Tails took to the sky it was always gripping and kept your attention.

This serves as the first time in a while that I actually liked Terrence Howard in a movie. Usually I’m not a fan but he demanded attention every time he was on screen and really played his role with class and pride.

As I said before the cast as a whole was pretty strong but the two standouts in my mind were the leads, Nate Parker and David Oyelowo. Both guys gave some pretty strong performances and really played off of each other well.

I’m a big fan of Tristan Wilds and so I was happy to see him finally get a part in a Hollywood film after doing nothing but TV. I feel like he’s got a bright future if he plays his cards right.

It’s also good to see Cuba Gooding Jr. back on the big screen again. I’ve always had a soft spot for that guy lol.

What I Didn’t Like:

Red Tails, like most films taking place in Prohibition Era, suffers from the fact that the dialogue is very hokey (sometimes unbearably so). While there are some times where I was able to let it slide (and even laughed a bit), there were others where I rolled my eyes so hard that they almost fell out of my head. Half of the time characters seem to only know how to speak in cliche’ one liners and more times than not they’re terrible.

The score of the film was pretty cheesy and in your face as well. Each selection seemed to very unsubtly let you know which emotion that you’re supposed to be feeling in a certain scene and I really couldn’t take it seriously.

For a movie that is all about rising above oppression/adversity, I sure never felt like anyone was treated that badly. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to darker/grittier content but it was almost like everyone in this movie was walking around with kid gloves on. Even when the movie tried to present us with the inevitable “racist” moments I found myself laughing at how blatantly predictable and weak they ended up being. I never thought I’d be saying this but if you really want bigotry to have an impact, don’t pussyfoot around it.

I felt like they could’ve done a better job developing some of the characters and their back stories. Even the two leads felt slightly one dimensional because every thing we knew about them we kind of had to assume by what they presented us with.

I also felt like Lightning’s (David Oyelowo) romantic subplot with the Italian woman wasn’t really needed in the grand scheme of things. It was cute and all but it didn’t really do anything to enrich the experience or enhance the movie.

The movie dragged on a bit in places and so I really felt the 2 hours that it ran. If they would’ve trimmed the fat a bit or at least added more character development then I feel like it would’ve flowed better.

I found the “final battle” (if that’s even what you wanna call it) to be anticlimactic and I was left feeling a little empty inside as it all drew to a close

Overall:

Red Tails is a movie that I really wanted to succeed due to the subject matter and all the work it took to put it out and, while in a few ways it did, for the most part it didn’t really deliver the way it could’ve to me. If a few more risks were taken and the script was a bit stronger it would’ve really been something special. Red Tails deserved to be better than it was but I admittedly enjoyed it nonetheless. I’d encourage you to at least matinee the movie just to support it and help it make back it’s budget (especially if you’re African-American). It’s the least that we could do after all the work it took to put it out and the inspiring story that it’s trying to tell. You may just enjoy it.

Rating: C

Shegaw’s Review

Marcus Reviews Haywire

28 Jan

Synopsis:

Mallory Kane is a highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor in the dirtiest, most dangerous corners of the world. After successfully freeing a Chinese journalist held hostage, she is double crossed and left for dead by someone close to her in her own agency. Suddenly the target of skilled assassins who know her every move, Mallory must find the truth in order to stay alive

What I Liked:

If there’s one thing that everyone will unanimously agree with walking away from this movie, it’s that Gina Carano (with her fine ass) was the perfect for this particular role. While it didn’t require her to show much in the way of acting (actually no one really did), she was a force of nature on that screen physically. Too often are female action stars very small and slender so it’s hard for you to really believe that they’re taking out people left and right, but there is no need to suspend your belief when watching a well built woman like Carano. The beatdowns that she administered were really a thing of beauty and she made it all look so easy.

While I’m on the subject of violence, the fight sequences in this movie were downright brutal without being unnecessarily graphic. The fight choreography was very well done and Soderbergh’s creative decision to have no background music whatsoever during the fights made it feel that much more realistic and gave them a certain suddenness that completely catches you off guard (I couldn’t help but laugh at how some of the fight scenes just started seemingly out of the blue). You could hear every punch, painful groan and broken bone.

In typical Soderbergh fashion the movie was shot in a very low-fi way that gave the movie a sort of documentary-esque quality which I really appreciated. Nothing was too over the top or grandiose and it was kind of refreshing to see such down-to-earth/bare bones filmmaking in an action film.

The score of the film was very reminiscent of old cop shows or James Bond films which I felt was an inspired choice. The music really gave the film a certain “cool” quality that really added to the overall feel of it.

They decided to keep the plot of the film very straightforward and simple so that it wouldn’t hinder it’s overall cohesiveness which I really appreciated. Sometimes it’s okay for there to not be any ridiculous plot twists or life altering subplots.

What I Didn’t Like:

While I did like how cut and dry the plot was, I do wish that the back story was a bit meatier. While I understood why Mallory was double crossed, due to the lack of a stronger back story, there wasn’t a lot going on in the way of emotional impact. When characters started dying you didn’t really care because you didn’t really know much about them except the small amount that they showed you.

To go along with my slight gripe with the weak back story, I felt like Mallory’s father and Scott were so underdeveloped that they weren’t really even needed in the movie at all. I get that the Scott served as a reason for us to find out what happened leading up to this point but they could’ve just as easily done that without his character being there. Also because he ends up disappearing halfway through the movie you’re left wondering what in the world this kid is going to do with all of that government information.

There were a few moments where the cutting during some of the fight scenes got a little sloppy and as a film geek that made me kind of wince lol. Also the lighting was a bit off in certain

Overall:

While it could’ve used a stronger back story and trimmed some of the characters, I thoroughly enjoyed Haywire. It’s a cut and dry action/thriller that is fully aware of what it is and doesn’t try to be anything but that. With pitch perfect scoring, masterfully brutal fight sequences and a strong lead holding it all together, Haywire should serve as a great starring vehicle for Gina Carano and a hell of an introduction into Hollywood. A new action star seems to born and I can’t wait to see what’s next for her.

PCP Episode 061: Best of 2011 Avery Awards

26 Jan

At long last, we present to you the 2nd annual PCP: Best of the Year Awards. Also known as the Averys. Prepare to be ticked off as we run down the best in movies, video games, anime/manga, TV, comics and music that came out in 2011. Some are mired in controversy and others are plain obvious here. But that’s not the point. These awards are all about you guys telling us how wrong we are for the decisions that were made and that’s what we’re looking forward to reading from you all at home. Categories will be trickling out slowly.

Movies

Best Comedy: The Muppets, Hangover II, Bridesmaids, Cedar Rapids, Super, A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas

Best Drama: Drive, Warrior, 50/50, Midnight in Paris, Limitless, Ides of March

Best Action: Harry Potter 8, Fast 5, Battle: Los Angeles, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Hanna, Attack the Block

Best Animated Movie: Rango, Rio, Adventures of Tin Tin, Kung Fu Panda 2, Winnie the Pooh, Puss in Boots

Best Comic Book Movie: Thor, Captain America, X-Men: First Class, Green Hornet

Video Games

Best Console: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Wii, 3DS, PSP, PC

Best New IP: Bulletstorm, LA Noire, Shadows of the Damned, Catherine, Dead Island, Rage

Best Shooter: Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Resistance 3, Killzone 3, Portal 2

Best RPG: Disgaea 4, Skyward Sword, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dragon Age 2, Pokemon: Black & White

Best Action/Adventure: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Dead Space 2, Batman Arkham City III, Saint’s Row the Third, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, inFamous 2

Best Studio: Ubisoft, Rocksteady, BioWare, Sucker Punch, Grasshopper Manufacture, Rockstar

Anime and Manga

Best Shonen: Naruto, The Breaker, One Piece, Medaka Box, Kenichi, Bloody Monday

Best Alternative: Sun Ken Rock, Gantz, Deadman Wonderland, Wolf Guy, Zetman, I Am Hero

Best Manga Adaptation: Bakuman, Beezlebub, Mirai Nikki, Blue Exorcist, Deadman Wonderland, Usagi Drops

Best 12 Episode Anime: Baka to test, Mayoi Chiki, Ano Hana, Infinite Stratos, Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka, Stein’s Gate

Best Ongoing Anime: Guilty Crown, Fate Zero, Persona 4, Tiger & Bunny, Marvel Anime, Penguin Drop

Television

Best Cancelled/Ended Show: Smallville, Star Gate, The Hard Times of RJ Burger, Entourage, Lights Out

Best New Show: Being Human, Alphas, Death Valley, Awkward, New Girl, Hell on Wheels

Best  Returning Show: Breaking Bad, Supernatural, Psych, Community, Justified, Vampire Diaries

Best Animated Show: Young Justice, Regular Show, Adventure Time, Avengers, South Park, Archer

Best Premium Program: Game of Thrones, Spartacus, How to Make it in America, Boardwalk Empire, MisFits

Comic Books

Best Marvel Book: Thunderbolts, X-Force, Journey Into Mystery, Avengers Academy, Future Foundation, Iron Man

Best DC Book: Justice League, Wonder Woman, Batman, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Aquaman

Best Event: Flashpoint, Fear Itself, Spider Island, Death Of Spiderman, New 52, Artifacts

Best Independent Book: Chew, Invincible, American Vampire, The Unwritten, Scalped, Morning Glories

Best Writer: Scott Snyder, Jason Aaron, Jeff Parker, Geoff Johns, Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer

Best Artist: Ivan Reis, Jimmy Cheung, Humberto Ramos, Francis Manapul, Rafael Albuquerque, Stuart Immomen

Music

Best Album: Camp by Childish Gambino, Section 80 by Kendrick Lamar, Take Care by Drake, Goblin by Tyler the Creator, Bon Iver by Bon Iver, Mylo Xylo by Coldplay

Best Artist: Kanye & Jay-Z, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Drake, Childish Gambino, Adele

Best Song: Niggas In Paris by Kanye & Jay-Z, Rolling In The Deep by Adele, Yonkers by Tyler the Creator, Novacane by Frank Ocean, Marvin’s Room by Drake, Heartbeat by Chidish Gambino, Paradise by Coldplay, Fuck Your Ethnicity by Kendrick Lamar

Best Music Video: Our Deal by Best Coast, Otis by Kanye & Jay-Z, Words I Never Said by Lupe Fiasco, All Of The Lights by Kanye, Bonfire by Childish Gambino, Iron by Woodkid

Best Soundtrack: Drive, Attack The Block, Saints Row the 3rd, Fight Night Champion, Hanna, The Muppets

PCP’s Weekly Dose: Ramble III

25 Jan

Here’s the final chapter in this week’s ramble session. Sorry about all of  the posting gaps, but until we can cement a recording schedule we’re going to have to space out content. We promise to have our collective acts together in the coming weeks though. We have a full expectation in the post. But that’s not all. We talk Twilight, 21 Jump Street, more of Marcus learning about old news and we collectively fathom a Magic School Bus movie. What of you? Who’d you want to star and direct an MSB movie?

PCP’s Weekly Dose: Ramble II

24 Jan

You didn’t think we’d vanish off the face of the web only to return for 30 minutes and disappear again, did you? We care about you all far too much for that. We continue the rambling session that we started before and let the stream of consciousness continue to flow. What pops in our collective noodles? Well, we get a bit topic and discuss SOPA/PIPA/ACTA, Red Tails, rap beefs, Daft Punk, Lupe Fiasco’s Friend of the People and the ongoing award season.

PCP’s Weekly Dose: Ramble

23 Jan

We’re slipping, we know! We’re sorry for all the hold-ups, but we try to make up for it by going off the cuff here and just talk about everything that comes to mind. What does that entail? Dragon Age II, game and movie endings, the “Sh** __ People Say” glut, parents listening to your music and Thor typing in all caps.

NEW 52 “Static Shock” Cancellation

22 Jan

NEW 52 “Static Shock” Pros

22 Jan

NEW 52 “Static Shock” Cons

22 Jan