What do you get when you package everything you loved about the original Star Wars trilogy with a new mysterious adventure? You get Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first of the new trilogy and Disney’s first production of the movie. The Force Awakens is the perfect early Christmas gift to any Star Wars fan as it stays true to what we love about the original films, while adding just enough intrigue to keep us wanting more. I don’t want to spoil the movie so I will keep this post to impressions, which is fine since this movie made quite an impression. The film begins on an action packed note that continues throughout, and any possible lulls in the film are there for story telling purposes. As a big time Star Wars fan, I welcomed the slow downs as I watched very closely for the deeper story, but the action was never too far around the next corner. The Force Awakens is a perfect example of how other franchises should model their sequels, it takes all of the spectacular elements of the prior movies and builds on them without losing touch with its roots. The Force Awakens has the ability to stand on its own as a great film without relying on the past of the franchise. The Star Wars movies are well know for throwing in surprises, and while this newest film had its share of surprises, I left the theatre with just as many questions as I had answered in the film. I definitely recommend this movie to any Star Wars fans who still haven’t seen it, and to all movie goers. It has been hours since I saw this film and I already can’t wait to see it again, hopefully the writers will be able to continue the strong storytelling in the impending sequels.
It has been a long time since I had some great barbecue, and today I decided to head to a nice Upstate New York “barbecue joint” called Holy Smoke BBQ. I was a bit apprehensive about going to this place, since barbecue restaurants are often “hit or miss,” but after learning about their large portions of St. Louis style ribs I had to give it a try. I went into the restaurant with the intention of just trying their signature ribs, and I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor and size of the meal. Most people go into a barbecue restaurant strictly for the meats, but I am one of those rare individuals who has to try all of the sides. The mac and cheese was probably the best I have ever eaten at a barbecue restaurant, and considering the amount of eateries I have patronized, that is definitely quite a feat. The service was excellent and the meat was extremely juicy and well seasoned. I generally am not much of a rib eater, but for these ribs I would gladly make the 45 minute trip from NYC again. If you are ever in the Mahopac, NY area, check out Holy Smoke BBQ you will not be disappointed.
The Martian was an interesting film, this movie is based on a 2011 novel, and it was pretty cool to see how quickly and effectively it has been adapted to film. While I enjoyed this movie, I felt as though a few aspects of the film were somewhat sped through. I understand that this was a long movie with a solid pace, and that a cinematic release will never be able to convey the intricacies of written literature, but I still felt like I was forced to know more than what they were telling me in the film. I love space travel, and I especially love that this movie deals with the matter of the possible colonization of Mars, but I wonder if I would have enjoyed it as much if I was ignorant to the film’s subject matter. The Martian is a good science fiction film, it packs enough suspense to keep most movie goers interested, while not over doing it in the dialogue with too much jargon. The visuals of the film, while someone plain, perfectly express the idea of total planetary isolation, and the special effects of the movie are top rate. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone looking for an interesting and thought provoking action film. If you like a somewhat mindless suspense movie that throws in a bit of science for flavor, then this is definitely the film for you.
Goat simulator is a game that is available on almost all major platforms, but for the sake of this review, I will be sticking with the iOS app. With a name like Goat Simulator it may seem a forgone conclusion that this app is a joke, but after playing it, it is hard to deny its charm and addictive qualities. Goat simulator is a parody app, even on the purchase page there is a disclaimer warning the buyer to spend their money on something more worth while, but with a sale price of three dollars as this is being written, I decided to give it a shot. The object of this game is to run around, as a goat, causing damage to a small town, with absolutely no limits or consequences. Goat simulator is basically poking fun at the absurdity of “open world” games by making the character a mindless goat with an unexplained vendetta against humanity. Aside from the obvious jokes pointed at the gaming world and the blatant glitches thrown into the game, Goat Simulator is actually pretty fun. I wouldn’t go as far as to nominate this as the greatest app ever or to say it is a must buy, but for the money, it does exactly as it promises. It provides the user with minutes of useless time wasting fun that could have been used for more productive means. If you have a little time to waste, try this app out, it is pretty fun. I have only had it for a couple of days and while I enjoy playing it, I am starting to think I should have taken heed to the disclaimer and found a better use of my three dollars.
Fantastic Four is the most recent superhero movie released, and due to reviews from my friends, I stayed far away from watching this movie. My curiosity and desire to watch any recent superhero film finally got the best of me, and I decided to watch the “terrible movie” that my friends warned me about. I have stated before in this blog that I generally like to watch movies without reading a review, since I don’t want to watch with a tainted impression. I decided to watch this movie months after its release and unfortunately I have heard nothing but bad things about it, so my expectations were very low. My honest impression of Fantastic Four, is that it is a good movie, not great, but definitely better than what I expected. When I say this movie is good, I mean it does what an action movie should, it has great effects and a couple of decent fight scenes, nothing that is award worthy. The issue with this movie is its pace, it is an extremely short movie that tries to do too much in a short time, and ends up leaving far too many unanswered questions. The characters are not correctly developed, and the major villain is not even introduced as such until there is 20 minutes left in the film. I have read that the director wanted a much longer film, and that he was upset about the cuts the producers made. Now that I have seen the film, I fully understand the director’s displeasure with the finished product. This movie had a lot of potential, and based on what I saw, it really just needed more time to explain itself in order to be a great movie. I am not sure if this movie was a product of low expectations, but I believe this movie could have been much better than it was if they took the directors advice and made it a bit longer and more developed. For what the movie was, I think it was fine, it is a very short action movie that quickly pushes viewers through a hallway without answering questions. I am the type of viewer who likes to understand the story behind a movie in order to enjoy it, but I was still satisfied enough with this film due to my understanding that the director did not mean for it to be so rushed. Fantastic Four is not the greatest superhero movie but it is not the worst, if you are looking for a quick, mindless, action film to watch, it is definitely worth at least a rental.
Ant-Man was a fantastic film, it had a great balance of comedy and action, and the casting was perfect. As you have seen from my past reviews, I am a big time action movie fan, and Marvel hit this one out of the park when it comes to action. The idea of casting Paul Rudd as a super hero seemed a bit sketchy to me, but after seeing the advanced amount of humor in the film, I am glad they chose him. The character of Ant-Man is an extremely sarcastic and intelligent individual, who seemed to be thrown into a much larger world than he would have ever expected. The film is small within the scope of the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it leaves a large impression. The writing in the film was extremely clever, it played more like a comedy than a dramatic action film. Even with the deep drama going on in the narrative, there was never a moment when this film took itself too seriously. In a way it was like this movie made light of the whole dramatic world Marvel spent over 10 years creating, and I gladly accept this infusion of levity. If I can categorize this movie in the scope of the othe films in the MCU, I would call it the anti-Thor. The Thor movies always came off to me as dry with a bit of laughs thrown in, while Ant-Man takes a more comedic stance on drama. I would recommend this film to any comic book lover, but oddly enough, I would recommend it more to a comedy fan. The laughs were steady and warranted, and the actors made me feel like they would really exist in the world of the film. This movie is a low risk film for Marvel, they probably have no plans to make a sequel for this film, but after watching I would gladly pay to see Ant-Man return in his own solo film. I really enjoyed this film, and I can’t wait to see how they fit this wacky cast of characters into the future Marvel films.
I enjoy any kind of fiction that contains the vehicle of time travel. I call time travel a vehicle because once you introduce it into any story, you simply can not toss it aside as just another means to deliver a narrative. Time travel, once introduced, brings with it a litany of other issues that can only be explained or corrected with time travel. This brings me to my review of Terminator Genisys, this film is the fifth film in the Terminator franchise, a series that is known for using time travel to tell the compelling story of how robots conquered the human race. As a fan of both time travel and Terminator I loved this film, this movie was made for fans of the original Terminator, it even had a few scenes that were almost direct copies of the original film, as well as plenty of Easter eggs that long time fans would enjoy. I generally don’t like reading reviews or previews of films I plan on watching, I love to go to the theatre and blindly watch a film so my view of it isn’t tainted or skewed by the reviews of others, so as always I entered the theatre knowing almost nothing about the plot of this film. As I was watching the start of this film I honestly hoped it would be a frame by frame remake of the first Terminator movie, but I was happy with the product I was met with nonetheless. Terminator Genisys gives a pseudo prequel to the Terminator series, as well as reboots it, since it treats the original films as another timeline that has not been altered by an unknown friend or foe from further in the future. This movie takes time travel to a whole new level as it plays with multiple realities while keeping them within the same plane of existence, as a time traveling fan this could be a bit annoying since it tended to contradict its own set timeline, but as a terminator fan I was more forgiving of the strange use of the vehicle. This movie was full of great dialogue and action, I really enjoyed the pace of this film, but I feel as though the story could have been helped by a little more character development for some of the supporting cast. This film is clearly the start of a new set of films in the Terminator franchise, hopefully they will build on the momentum this movie will surely gain and use time travel more coherently in the future films. If you are a fan of time travel, I would suggest watching the first couple of Terminator movies before this one to get a feel for how the series treats the fictional mode of travel. If you are a fan of the Terminator franchise or of action movies in general, you will most definitely love this film, it builds on what is loved about the series and creates a new way of expanding on the struggle between humans and machines.
If I could use an emoticon to express my feelings for this film it would have to be this one ” 😦 ” and for those who are not fully versed in the realm of “txt talk,” that is supposed to be a sad face. I went into the theatre full of excitement, with fond memories of the first film in the Jurassic series, expecting to see some dinosaurs and some action, and I left with a sour taste in my mouth and the dreaded realization that a sequel is in the works. This film was riddled with issues, from the writing, to the acting, there was no point in which I felt like the characters were genuine enough to actually care about. The emotion in the film was forced and predictable, and the overall tone felt more like a mid nineties children’s show than a family friendly action film. Even with the PG-13 rating, this movie seemed to push its boundaries with a few uninspired gruesome dinosaur attack scenes that just didn’t seem to be as impressive as they were meant to be. I am a big fan of Chris Pratt so I expected his character to be the films saving grace, and while his acting was fine, his lines were so cheesy I had to make sure I wasn’t watching an old school G.I. Joe cartoon. I don’t usually like to give bad reviews of Scifi films because they hold a certain license to explore the unbelievable, but this film took far too many liberties in the realm of disbelief, while failing to explain the actual possibility of such an occurrence within their world. I am not going to spoil the movie since I know many want to watch it but I will say, a raptor riding a T-Rex happened, and it was underwhelming. I will saw the overall visuals of the movie were fantastic, but I just can not recommend it. If you must see this film, please watch a matinee showing to save a few bucks, you may my hate it, but I am sure you will not love it.
I love cookies, and the Oreo is arguably the king of all cookies, over the years Nabisco has given the cookie different twist in an effort to drum up publicity on the already famous cookie, but few have hit the mark like the new smores Oreo that was just released. I would consider myself an “Oreo connoisseur,” I have eaten almost every iteration of the cookie, from the terribly over sweetened birthday cake Oreo to the surprisingly delicious pumpkin spice variety, and none have managed to both taste like their target and still keep the Oreo feel like the smores version. The smores Oreo is the first Oreo to have anything other than a standard cookie shell, this Oreo stays true to the smore by having chocolate and marshmallow filling flanked by two graham crackers. I always enjoyed eating graham crackers as a child so this tiny change to my favorite cookie was easy for me to try, and even welcomed for a bit of a change of pace. Out of all the different cookies or cereals I have tasted that claimed to be smores or smores flavored, this Oreo is the most authentic to the original. The only thing that would make this cookie better is if it was possible to heat the marshmallow cream. If you are a fan of Oreos or a fan of smores I would definitely recommend picking up this cookie, it will be available for a limited time, and based on the availability of past Oreo flavors, I can attest to the fact that the company sticks to their limits.
I am not much of a sci-fi movie buff, so I viewed this Star Wars trailer without any bias. Who am I kidding I love all things sci-fi, in my opinion it is the most intriguing genre of film. I am especially thrilled about the new Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, that has been scheduled to release this Christmas. I have to start by saying I am too young to be a “true” Star Wars fan since my earliest Star Wars memories were of the dreadful Episode One, but I have since watched all of the original movies and I can’t wait to see what is in store for our heroes and villains. Yesterday, a new trailer for the film was released and it showed enough scenes to get fans excited, but not enough to answer the questions we all have about the plot. Who is the new main character? What happened to Luke? How is the empire still around after the events of Return of the Jedi? I have no answers to these questions, but I will be waiting in line to see the movie in order to get some of them. Star Wars has a massive fan following and I am sure it will grow with each new release, I will post the trailer here for those who haven’t seen it yet, enjoy.