This last weekend we watched San Andreas, with Dwayne Johnson. While on the one hand, yep, it’s a disaster movie and you know what that means… on the other hand, it’s a really solid disaster movie, that doesn’t stretch out the tropes too much.
One thing I can say about disaster movies is that they make great popcorn movies – as in, there’s thrills, adrenaline, amazing effects, and somewhere along the line that can mean that tropes are relied on heavily, audience expectations that you feed on purpose – or subvert on purpose. So I’ll get to those after the jump.
But the one thing I want to say as a general, non-spoiler review: the destruction and mayhem in San Andreas is really solid. There’s no bad guy, no monster or aliens or evil corporation. It’s not even much of a social commentary, unless you count “man it would be great if we could detect earthquakes before they happen.” No, it’s just a massive, act-of-God disaster movie, without far-reaching world-destroying effects – but you know things wouldn’t ever be the same again. The effects were great, you got to see all kinds of things just fall apart. In other words, this was a fun movie. Now on to some analysis below!
Posted in Catching Up, Movies
Tagged disaster movies, Dwayne Johnson, Earthquakes, Genre, Godzilla, Independence Day, popcorn movie, Recommendations, Review, San Andreas, Storytelling, tropes, World War Z
One of our recent finds on YouTube is Lip Sync Battle, a show that needs a little explanation – but also doesn’t. The easy part is that they get two celebrities on and have them battle it out, Lip Syncing a song, and the crowd picks the winner. It’s on Spike, and hosted by LL Cool J.
And so they opened with Dwayne Johnson versus Jimmy Fallon.
Yes, that’s the Rock singing Taylor Swift. Alright, so they had us hooked.
It’s based on a segment that Jimmy Fallon ran occasionally (thus bringing him in to kick off the stand-alone show). Fallon’s segment is based on an idea by Emily Blunt and her husband. Another reason to love Emily Blunt, as Holly will tell you!
Given that it’s also based on Jimmy Fallon’s success, they are of course posting full videos of the songs on YouTube. So even though we don’t have Spike, we have this show, which is great.
They added an online-only element to the show, as well. So they brought in YouTubers to run this – and that’s the last piece that caught our attention. One of their hosts? Elliott Morgan. We’d wondered where he went when he was suddenly no longer on Mashable.
So after the break, check out the pre-show with Elliott Morgan, and then you can watch to see how round two of the Lip Sync Battle worked out between The Rock and Jimmy Fallon!
Posted in Music, Teh Webz, TV Shows
Tagged Dwayne Johnson, Elliott Morgan, Emily Blunt, Emma Stone, Jimmy Fallon, Lip Sync Battle, Lip Sync Battle on Spike, LL Cool J, Recommendations, YouTube
We finally caught Hercules, the second movie this year about the Greek demi-god, starring Dwayne Johnson as Hercules. This movie was supposed to be based on the comic Hercules: The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore, so I read that too, after seeing the movie. Definitely an interesting comparison.
So this is my LitFlix for Hercules, only a few months late. As a quick review, I thought the movie was pretty good. It exists in the genre of movies trying to put the real spin on legends, so similar to a movie like King Arthur. They play with the idea of Hercules not actually being a demi-god, but that he and his group of companions lean into the living legends of him and use them to their advantage, both to strike fear in their enemies and to get jobs as mercenaries. And then action ensues, but there’s also interpersonal dynamics with Hercules and his team of heroes, and a better plot than just action-for-action’s-sake.
I will add that this is not the movie that the trailers promised, as it is not the movie about Hercules completing the 12 trials. It’s not a monster movie, it’s not Hercules versus monsters nor Hercules versus armies. Pushing these scenes in the advertising likely hurt them in theaters, as people probably showed up expecting to see a very different movie! So some spoilers ahead, but hopefully spoilers that might actually make you interested to see this movie.
I don’t know how many of you have seen or remember the movie Doom starring Karl Urban and Dwayne Johnson, but personally it is an underrated movie. I admit it is cheese tastic at some points, but I think that is some of its charm. Now some of the reason this movie can pull anything off is because of Karl Urban and Dwayne Johnson. It is early in their careers, but in some ways taps in to what each of the does best. The other great part of this movie is that it feels like a movie based on a first person shooter game. Doing movies based on video games often does not turn out that well. Either the movie takes itself too seriously and just fails or it does not have the edge that you need to really pull off the story that a video game often entails. Doom really balances these elements perfectly. Continue reading
In 2013 we had fun doing LitFlix, reading the books or comics that had to go with the movies. I’m going to continue that on into this year, with whole new offerings to go from!
Marvel has 4 movies alone; another way to look at it is there are two from Frank Miller, and two from Chris Claremont. They’re dipping back to the classic writers.
The ones that are part of a larger comic universe are harder to plan for: they have to work off of the content from the movies, as well as any comic inspiration. So, I’ll be putting together what I can for those, reading inspirations, and seeing what I can do!
I’ve got trailers to follow for the ones that have trailers, and, like last year, I’m listing what I have found for reading these materials – so you can read along too for the movies!
Posted in Comics, LitFlix, Movies, Trailer Watch
Tagged 300, 300: Rise of an Empire, Amazing Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Big Hero 6, Captain America, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Chris Claremont, Days of Future Past, Dwayne Johnson, Electro, Frank Miller, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hercules, Infinity Gauntlet, Kitty Pryde, Sin City, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Spider-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Scibbler, Trailers, Winter Soldier, X-Men