One of the problems I have with a lot of superhero movies and several other properties like Transformers is that at the finale always revolves around some big bad destroying a big city with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Take the 2 Avengers movies for instance: both deal with an non-human life form trying to take over the planet with an army. All of the Transformers movies have similar third acts, where dozens of robots battle each other and entire cities are destroyed. At the end of Man of Steel, Superman and General Zod duke it out above Metropolis, destroying half of the city and costing thousands of people their lives. The epilogue in that movie, like so many others, focuses on the positive fact that the villain has been stopped and nothing more. Just think about the post-credits scene of the Avengers, where New York has just been under attack of an alien army which was fought off by the Avengers. As the streets are filled with battlefield remains including injured people, the heroes are enjoying a well deserved Shawarma in a diner. This year saw an end to that attitude as both Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice actually dealt with the direct aftermaths of their fiery previous battles. The similarities between the two movies don’t end there as both of them feature an all star cast and pit two well known heroes against each other due to an antagonist pulling strings from behind the curtain. What really sets these movies aside is how they were both received by critics and audiences. One got raving reviews, while the other was destroyed by every self-respecting critic. The movie that was reviled: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
As the old saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. That certainly is the case for Cannonball Run II, the follow up to a race movie of which the large amount of cleavage on display was its most notable aspect. Cannonball Run II is a basic rehash of its predecessor, with a large portion of the cast returning, but with a goofy kidnapping plot thrown in for the sake of variation. The plot is simple: the sheik from the previous movie is considered to be a disgrace to his family due to not winning the Cannonball Run. His solution: organize another so he has new chance to win the race and the approval of his father. But nefarious plans are made as the son of a gangster is in debt for 9 million dollars with another gangster and decides that kidnapping the sheik and holding him for ransom is the quickest solution to all of his problems. Without the sheik there is no prize money, so the Cannonballers have to set aside their differences and work together to save the Sheik.
Movies about car races are rarely actually about car races. Often the race is just a means to an end, a plot device to give a movie a finale in which at least one protagonist and antagonist are pitted against each other. Sometimes the actual race takes up less than a third of the running time. When it does take up more time than that, these movies often revolve around drivers sabotaging each other rather than actual racing. The reason behind this: seeing someone drive a car for an hour just doesn’t make up for interesting movie making. The classic movie The Cannonball Run is such a movie. In this movie several colorful characters, often driving even more colorful vehicles, compete in a race taking place somewhere in central America. Almost all of the contestants use some sort of disguise to protect themselves from being caught by the police, who are actually aware of the race taking place. Some of the contestants do a better than job than others, because who are you trying to fool when you’re driving a Lamborghini or a Ferrari?
Up until now the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (M.C.U.) played it relatively straight. Every movie was mostly a self-contained story in which a protagonist takes on an antagonist and saves the world at the end of the day, each movie adding something to this universe by setting up the next Avengers movie. Events portrayed in these movies had hardly any impact outside of these movies aside from an occasional episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It is therefor surprising how much impact the events of The Winter Soldier has on the entire M.C.U. So much that they will resonate into the movies following this movie and generated a major turn of events in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This is all due to S.H.I.E.L.D. turning out to be compromised by HYDRA for decades now and thus breaking the one central element that tied all these movies together.
In the past several movies have been released at almost the same time, covering the same subject: Deep Impact and Armageddon, A Bug’s Life and Antz and recently Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down. This spring both Marvel and DC put out a movie that pits two of their most popular characters against each other: Batman vs. Superman and Captain America vs. Iron Man. Both have another similar theme as they both tackle the subject of the mass destruction the actions of self-assigned heroes often causes. Where Batman v Superman was demolished by the critics it’s unlikely Captain America: Civil War will suffer the same fate as the end result is one of Marvel’s best movies.
Video game movies: the type of movie which has as much chance at critical and commercial success as Nickelback. Nowadays there have been some movies based upon video games released which are considered to be decent, but when the first properties were transferred from the small screen to the big screen in the early 90s they all sucked so hard it would pull a golf ball through a garden hose. Yes, that was a Full Metal Jacket reference.
One of the movies that sucked the least was Mortal Kombat. That movie might not be great art, but it had a simple story-line, some nice fights and was at least faithful to the original premise of the game resulting in a two-star rating by me. Something you can hardly say about movies like Super Mario Bros or Street Fighter.
Too bad the sequel, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, it right down there at the bottom of the barrel with them.
Naked Souls: a movie so filled with random nudity it should have been called Naked Bodies. The main attraction here is Pamela Anderson, though her role is more of a supporting character despite being featured on the DVD cover. It should come to you as no surprise that much of the nudity is provided by Ms. Anderson. A movie in which Pamela Anderson has a big part, but no sex scenes is like pizza without cheese. It can still be enjoyed, but there is something missing. If the amount of cheese on a pizza is an indication for nudity in a movie, then Naked Souls is the Quatro Formaggi of movies.Read more
The 2003 Daredevil movie starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner: probably the strongest sedative available without a prescription. While that can be said about the theatrical cut, those wanting something more potent should definitely check out the director’s cut like I did. I slept like a baby for three days after watching that thing. It’s puzzling that this movie isn’t regulated by the FDA. You might wonder how it’s possible that a movie starring Ben Affleck walking around in a red tight leather outfit accompanied by Jennifer Garner wearing a black tight leather outfit could be so coma-inducing, but somehow they managed to pull it off. Looking at it from a positive angle: it’s something!
Watching a Pamela Anderson movie and expecting a good movie is the same as walking into a McDonalds restaurant and expecting Haute Cuisine. There are simply no good Pamela Anderson movies. Even her one and only attempt at making a decent movie, Barb Wire, was a failure. Snapdragon was her first movie and an obvious rip-off of Basic Instinct; a movie every erotic thriller made after it seemed to be ripping off. Just like that movie, Snapdragon revolves around a femme fatale. Quite literally as this lethal female is posing as a prostitute and killing men by cutting the artery in their necks with a sharp blade stuck between her teeth. Can you guess who is playing the role of the femme fatale?
Erika Eleniak: a model turned actress with not only a name that sounds Swedish, but also looks Swedish. In the early 90s Miss Eleniak was responsible for giving young boys certain tingles in their loins as she ran across the beach in a tight red bathing suit every week in Baywatch. This was before one Pamela Anderson took over and became the center of attention. Women like Eleniak are usually only destined to perform one type of role: the hot chick. Whether that would be in the form of a sidekick or, as she is in this case, the antagonist: her character trait is that she’s incredibly hot and can seduce every man she runs into. The 1994 comedy Chasers is no different as she plays probably the hottest female prisoner you will ever see on screen in a movie, which is directed by none other than Dennis Hopper.