Archive | August, 2012

PCP Episode 082: Martial-Arts

29 Aug

There are at least two things we like around these parts: movies about fighting and fighting about movies. One of us is also particularly fond of Jazz-tap, but that’s for another day (Josiah). It’s time to revisit the Saturday Morning Kung-Fu Theater of the past as we reminisce about some of our favorite disciplines, masters, video games and movies where hitting someone really hard is the plot.

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PCP Episode 081: Steven Spielberg

22 Aug

He’s…made…so…many,,,movies. We were so excited about the idea of doing this episode, but this many hasn’t not taken a break since he didn’t have money. You know the man’s name and so many of the movies, TV shows and even games that he’s made. Why feign a description. Jaws, Close Encounters, Indiana Jones, ET, The Color Purple, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan…the list does in fact go on. Listen, laugh, learn and may we all bask in the arguably the most impressive resume in Hollywood.

PCP’s Weekly Dose: Expendables 2 Review

20 Aug

In our youth, we dreamt the fever dreams of seeing all of our favorite action movie stars together on the big screen. We are no longer as young as we once were and neither are these guys. While we do have a full review in store for you, that’s not why you want to listen to this one. Why? Because we top it off with the magical movie we envision for Expendables 3 in a perfect world. Fan-fiction at its finest. We even work in some intelligent conversation about storytelling in TV vs film for you.

PCP Episode 080: Survival Horror Games

16 Aug

We know what you’re thinking. “Why would they do an episode of PCP on survival horror games in August?” Well, it’s quite simp-BOO! That’s why! The element of surprise! Come October, all of you will be expecting this ep anyway. We like us some scary vidya games time and again around these parts. Resident Evil, Silent Hill…there are others I’m sure. Seriously, we delve quite in-depthly on the games that have scared us over the years and we hope that you’ll share your stories with us as well.

PCP’s Weekly Dose: The Campaign Review

14 Aug

PCP now returns you to this review of The Campaign already in progress. Don’t approve of that message? Well, how about a little group discussion on the latest entry in the “Jeremy Renner Gets a Franchise” series: The Bourne Legacy? What’s that, you want more? We also talk about the conclusion of the Olympics, The Newsroom and we roast one of absent brothers. Guess which one.

PCP Detox: The Bourne Legacy Review

11 Aug

It’s change in management as Tony Gilroy takes over for Paul Greengrass and Jeremy Renner for Matt Damon in what is effectively a reboot of the franchise

PCP Episode 079: Bleach

9 Aug

You guys thought that we’d never get around to actually doing this episode, didn’t you? Yep, another in our long line of “red herring” episodes bites the dust here as we finally tackle the second in the big 3 of Shonen. Well, we do eventually anyway. Truth be told, we have a lot of fun at the expense of the series, but we do get into how we fell into the franchise, our favorite characters and the highs and lows of the story.

PCP’s Weekly Dose: Total Recall Review

7 Aug

Somewhere within the nonsense that is our collective immaturity is our partly thoughtful, mostly spoilery review of Total Recall (2012). However, we are who we are and have a lot more to talk about. We discuss Marcus’s family seal, ramble about the Olympics, touch on the recent popularity of chicken sandwiches and just a great deal of more ridiculousness.

Marcus’s Top 10 Movies of 2012…so far…

5 Aug

1. The Dark Knight Rises:

The conclusion to Nolan’s Batman series that not only breathed new life into the once disgraced character but also changed how comic book movies are viewed. This isn’t simply the story of Batman’s ascension from his own personal hell, it’s a story of rebirth & the power of the human spirit in times of great adversity. We were presented with some compelling new allies in the form of John Blake & Selina Kyle as well as quite possibly one of the greatest onscreen villains of all time in the form of Bane. The stakes were high & the expectations were even higher but TDKR not only matched them, it exceeded them in my eyes. Whether or not it’s a better film than TDK really doesn’t matter because at the end of the day Nolan’s Batman series will go down in history as undoubtedly the greatest comic book movie series of all time and quite possibly the greatest movie trilogy of all time as well.

2.The Avengers:

What is there to say about this movie that millions of other people haven’t already said? In a year that Ridley Scott returned to Sci-Fi after 30 years & Nolan released the conclusion of his iconic Batman trilogy, The Avengers still stood tall as THE event film of the year and that says something. Like most Marvel movies, there’s all the glitz, glam & fanfare that you’d expect but thanks to Joss Whedon, there’s also alot of heart backing this juggernaut of a movie. All of the actors fully commit to their roles and combined with Whedon’s confident direction & brilliant writing, the characters truly feel every bit like they should. With a movie that could’ve been a disaster and essentially had the future of comic book movies riding on it’s shoulders, The Avengers rises to the occasion and then some. Don’t believe me? Go look at how much money it made & both its critic and audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

3. Prometheus:

Ridley Scott makes an emphatic return to the genre that he revolutionized 30 years ago just to remind everyone why he can’t be f*cked with. Prometheus is a movie that’s not afraid to ask tough questions and push both the actors & the audiences limits throughout. Along with a truly intriguing plot, the film boasts breathtaking visuals, one of the best ensemble casts of the year and one of the greatest onscreen performances of all time courtesy of Michael Fassbender. Whether or not it was successful as a “spiritual successor” of the Aliens saga is up for debate but nonetheless, as it stands, Prometheus is one of the best sci-fi movies to come out in the last decade.

4. The Grey:

The Grey is a gem of a movie that was unfortunately overlooked by most people because it came out in such a loaded year. A survival thriller in the truest sense of the term, The Grey really does capture the hopelessness of being stranded in a frozen tundra as well as the lengths that we will go in order to survive. Thanks to some strong acting all around (most notably from Liam Neeson), arresting cinematography & committed direction from Joe Carnahan, The Grey may very well be one of the best man vs the wild movies that’s ever been made.

5. Chronicle:

Or as I like to call it, The Little Movie That Could. Chronicle is a movie that literally came out of nowhere and impressed the hell out of damn near everyone much like Limitless did last year. Essentially based around the often pondered on question, “What would you do if you had got superpowers one day?”, Chronicle takes us on one hell of a journey as three high school friends learn the hard way that with great power comes great responsibility. What makes Chronicle so great is that instead of trying to turn it into a superhero movie they choose to simply make it about normal people reacting to having superpowers and that makes everything that happens that much more fascinating. It also takes the now gimmicky “found footage” style of filmmaking and adds a fresh new spin on it that makes perfect sense with the subject matter. Due to some potentially star-making turns from the lead actors, cost effective visuals, a tight script & very capable direction from first timer Josh Trank, Chronicle turned out to be the best original superpower based film ever made.

6. The Cabin In The Woods:

In a day & age where the American horror market has gotten beyond stale, The Cabin In The Woods is a well needed and overdue kick in the dick to the genre as a whole. Every once in a while a movie comes along that takes a genre of film, points out it’s flaws and proceeds to reinvent the wheel. This is that movie for the horror genre as it takes literally every cliche in horror history, rolls them up into a ball and kicks it out of the Earth’s orbit. This movie’s scathing & devilishly clever self deprecating humor comes from the brilliant mind of Joss Whedon who scripted the film and is effectively brought to life by Drew Goddard. As it stands Cabin In The Woods is my favorite horror movie of all time and unless American horror films start to step their game up, I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

7. Magic Mike:

A year ago if you would’ve asked me if I would go see a movie involving Channing Tatum & stripping and think I’d enjoy it I would’ve laughed in your face. It’s funny how things end up working out though because I thought Magic Mike was great. In the same autobiographical vein as 8 Mile, Magic Mike essentially tells the story of Channing Tatum’s exploits as a male stripper before he became a movie star while also doing for male stripping what Boogie Nights did for porn. Sure there’s alot of eye candy for the ladies (and some guys if that’s your preference) but the movie has substance behind all of the spray tan abs and man thongs. Intimate direction from Steven Soderborgh, Great cast chemistry & quite possibly Channing Tatum’s best perfomance yet make Magic Mike a pleasant surprise of a movie and serves as proof that Tatum may very well be evolving right in front of our eyes.

8. The Amazing Spiderman:

Out of all the movies on this list I was probably the most iffy about The Amazing Spiderman. While I was excited to see someone else’s take on the character, I (and many other Spidey fans) wasn’t so keen on the idea of watching another origin story on the guy. Thankfully the origin aspect of it proved to be it’s only glaring flaw as while it retreaded the same steps as Raimi, it was very much it’s own movie. Grabbing more inspiration from the Ultimate universe, this was a darker but more snarky take on the iconic character and thanks to some surefooted direction from Marc Webb and a pitch perfect performance from Andrew Garfield, TAS turned out to be my favorite Spiderman movie ever.

9. 21 Jump Street:

To me this, along with Think Like A Man, was the surprise of the year because I went to this with LOW expectations and had to eat some serious crow. 21 Jump Street isn’t so much remake of the show as it is an extension of the story as it follows newcomers Jenko (Tatum) & Schmidt (Hill) trying to bring down a local drug ring while going undercover as high school students. What surprised me the most about this movie was not only was it downright hilarious from start to finish but there was also some pretty genuine character development on both side. Tatum in particular stole the show in this as a former popular kid who’s completely out of his element in the new hipster savvy age of high school and ends up getting stuck with the nerds. There hasn’t been a buddy cop movie this good since Rush Hour 2 and if they can keep the level of quality that they did in this one then I greatly look forward to the sequel.

10. Haywire:

I was trying to decide between this & SWATH for the number 10 spot and ultimately this edged it out. The second Steven Soderborgh movie on this list, Haywire is nothing but a vehicle for Gina Carano to show off just how badass she is and damnit if she doesn’t show it well. Plot-wise it’s your run of the mill spy betrayal story but what makes Haywire special is just how visceral the action is. Carano comes off is quite possibly the first believable female asskicker since Michelle Rodreguiz as she proceeds to beat the shit out of every guy in this movie (and trust me they don’t hold back on her at all). Backed by some sleek and wisely minimalistic direction from Soderborgh, Gina Carano has emerged from Haywire is the next big action star.

Honorable Mention: Snow White & The Huntsman, Project X, The Hunger Games, Think Like A Man, The Five Year Engagement

Marcus Reviews Total Recall

4 Aug

Synopsis:

Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he’s got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world – Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen.

What I Liked:

Total Recall’s biggest strength by far lies in it’s gorgeous and at times completely arresting visuals. Even though none of the ideas presented in the world are particularly original (the world basically looks like what would happen I, Robot, Blade Runner & The Fifth Element had a threesome and some how a baby came out of it) it meshes those ideas together nicely and really serves as a great backdrop to make the movie feel like pure sci-fi (which is something that we haven’t seen in a while).

While for the most part they’re pretty by the numbers, there are some action sequences in this movie that are truly awesome (probably the best one involving zero gravity).

While they’re not exactly given a whole lot to work with in the way of character development the actors in the movie still put forth good efforts, most notably Kate Beckinsale & Colin Farrell. Farrell serves as a solid lead who not only handles the physicality of the role well but also made me care enough about Quaid to actually want to see him find the answers to his questions. Beckinsale was the best character in the movie by far though since she was essentially the goddamn Terminator. After she revealed her true colors, every time she showed up on the screen you knew that shit was about to hit the fan and I loved it. She also has probably the best lines in the movie, “I give good wife” is just brilliant lol.

The concept of “The Fall” is really awesome and some of the coolest moments in the movie involved it in some way.

Putting the chick with three boobs in as a nice little throwback to the original.

What I Didn’t Like:

Now while I haven’t seen the original Total Recall in a long time, I already know that it had way more depth than the remake in terms of story, which is the ultimate downfall of this movie. There’s supposed to be this big sociopolitical plot line going on but it all just seems silly because not enough time is spent on it. A lot seems to be happening just to happen and even after the big “twist”, there’s not enough pathos behind the motives to really make everything that happens afterward seem like it’s as big of a deal as they make it out to be.

Unfortunately the characters are as underdeveloped as the story is which really doesn’t help things. Aside from Quaid (who really isn’t that developed himself), all of the other characters in this movie are really given one real character trait and you’re just supposed to assume that they’re important. The biggest offender of this is Matthias, the head of the underground resistance, who is in the movie all of about 10 minutes and the only thing we really get out of him is some fortune cookie line about starting anew and how the past isn’t important. Most of the characters were so underdeveloped & unmemorable in fact that I forget pretty much all of their names by the time the movie was finished.

For a movie called Total Recall, the Recall concept sure doesn’t seem to be that important here. It’s really only touched on in the beginning of the movie and if the movie had a different name I wouldn’t be surprised if you forget that it was in the movie to begin with.

Even JJ Abrams would be annoyed by the amount of needless lens flare in this movie

Overall:

The Total Recall remake is a pure popcorn movie that aspires to be more but can’t because the plot took a backseat to the action. The movie presents you with a lot of really cool ideas that really could’ve made this into a great sci-fi film, but due to how underdeveloped said ideas are, the movie never reaches its full potential. Luckily I went into the movie with zero expectations and so I was able to look past that and enjoy it as a by the numbers sci-fi blockbuster. I’d recommend checking it out if you’ve already seen The Dark Knight Rises and are looking for something else to quench your action movie thirst. There are worst things that you could drop 10 dollars on.

Rating: C