Krypt3ia

(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Movie Review: LEGION… Angels With MP-5’s OH MY!

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I first saw this poster in the theater after seeing a movie back last October I think it was. My first reaction to it was;

“Angels with MP-5’s… Hmmm.. That’s gonna suck”

Well, this last week I had a chance to see this film and I was right. The most I could have hoped for was a close rip off to the “Prophecy” films with Christopher Walken, the worst I could be faced with was.. Well, this film really.

God Awful.

Oh I made a funny!

Anyway, the plot to this film is so loose that one has to wonder just what batch of bad peyote the writers got their hands on. An angel “Michael” comes down from heaven, cuts off his wings, and immediately heads for a local gang gun cache. He loads up Arnold style ala “Commando” and commandeers a cop car and drives off leaving destruction in his wake.

We then cut to a diner in the middle of the desert (New Mexico maybe?) which begins to hint at a backstory of a young pregnant woman and her “friend” who is taking care of her in a double wide.

ugh.

Suddenly you have a granny crawling the ceiling and biting some guys neck nearly off spewing blood everywhere. She tells the girl that her baby and her are about to die and burn in hell.. we will all burn in hell…

Meh.

Suddenly the zombies appear… Well, not zombies per se, but, what turns out to be not Demons, but Angels inhabiting “weak minded” people. Angels that are here to whack humanity because God is pissed at us for not living up to our potential. So the last time it was a flood… This time, angry angels who are going to chop us to bits!

Oy vey…

Our hero arrives with a trunk full of weaponry and a dark pall takes over the skies… We are at war with angry angels and the only way to survive and keep the “miracle child” alive is to pump them all full of hot lead!

YEEE HA!

Yeah.. It devolved from there.

This was a weak piece of film from the start. It ended up with a decidedly amatuerish rip off ending that really should be fodder for a law suit on the part of Cameron et al. for his Terminator franchise.

(mother, child, and protector in a truck, camera pans/pulls back behind them showing a huge pile of weaponry as they drive a desert road)

There is a whole other plot line between Michael and the Angel Gabriel, but, its just not worth the time. All in all, it was just silly and not worth the calories to use your brain cells whatsoever to think about it.

Please.. Save yourselves! DO NOT SEE THIS FILM! Or, at the very least DO NOT PAY TO SEE IT!

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/05/14 at 00:53

The Men Who Stare at Goats.. The Dude Abides…

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Well, I finally got around to seeing “The Men Who Stare at Goats” and I have to say I liked it quite a bit. It was odd, quirky, and it turns out as it says in the beginning of the film “more of this is true than you might think”

First, lets talk about the film…

The script, based on the book and documentary series was well done. The characters were rather well defined and the dialog flowed well, with an easy rapport between Ewan McGreggor and Clooney as they talked about such looney concepts as being a modern “jedi” warrior.

The acting was good and I especially loved to see Jeff Bridges back in the saddle of a “Dude” like character again. He was subdued in this film and really emoted sadness well as the defunct leader of an enlightened military unit working for the “dark side” in the second Iraq war.

Speaking of “The Dark Side” the whole play on Star Wars was for me, an excellent tongue in cheek play by the writers. The whole scene where Clooney is telling McGreggor about being a “Jedi” was hilarious if only for the fact that McGreggor had recently come off of playing Obi Wan himself. Ironic and funny.

Now lets talk about the reality…

After seeing the film, I did some Googling and the reality here is odd enough that I have to mention it. It seems that this is loosely based on real people, events, and a military expedition of sorts into the strange.

Jim Channon aka Bill Django is a real guy who actually presented the idea of a First Earth Battalion to the military. His ideas seemed to have taken root and spawned a bunch of differing programs. These programs included things that eventually would involve MK ULTRA as well as a CIA program on remote viewing.

What really struck me was that indeed there was a “Jedi Project” where certain martial arts techniques were taught to the “jedi” to make them.. well, a Ninja team. Whats more, the movie shows that some of the techniques from this new age squad were perverted to use as torture techniques, or PSI ops against Iraqi prisoners of war. Once you look into the reality side, you will see that the movie alludes to reality once again…

Like making prisoners listen to Barney Songs non stop for days…

Spooky.

Truth is stranger than fiction man..

If you get a chance see the flick.

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/05/12 at 00:17

Posted in Movies

Movie Review: Man of the Year

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Last night I checked out “Man of the Year” with Robin Williams, Lewis Black, Laura Linney, Jeff Goldblum, and Christopher Walken. After watching about half of the film I had to go look for the date of release because man, did this look like our last election cycle. Turns out that this was released in 2006 and boy did it kinda sum up many of the things that had happened before and what kind of did happen with the rise of the Obama campaign.

The story revolves around a comedy talk show host somewhat like John Stewart, being asked to run for president by an audience member. Tom Dobbs, the commentator considers it and decides to actually run as an independent because he feels, as the country does, that the same ol same ol politics as usual just wasn’t working. This was a complete mirror of where the nation was when this came out and with hindsight, we are now trying to see just how much “change” we really have gotten over a year into the presidents term.

Now, the story line here is the interesting part of the movie and not so much the usual good, but in this case repetitive acting on the part of Robin Williams as Tom Dobbs. Williams does his usual schtick in the film with bits of his comedy stand up routines on the campaign trail which has its funny moments, but it is the serious Robin Williams that always gets me when he is in a film. From the first film that I really thought he acted in “Moscow on the Hudson”  on, he has managed to really pull out some very interesting, thoughtful, and honest portayals that eventually garnered him the Oscar in “Good Will Hunting”

In this film, he comes across as a man who honestly wants whats best for the country and not so much for himself. He is an honest man that thrusts himself into the crooked politics that is our system and brings a dose of reality to an election cycle besot with politics as usual and jaded operators therein. The story becomes even more unlikely in the reality way when he actually wins the election and becomes the president elect of the United States.

This is where the plot begins to vacillate between light and dark as Laura Linney’s character finds herself being drugged, smeared, and hunted by the company (a not so shadowy reflection of Diebold) that she had been working for that created the new electronic voting machines. She finds an anomaly and tries to tell the company chair before the election that the system is flawed. She is ignored as the CEO hopes she would just go away, but 3 weeks later the election ongoing shows the same telltale results and she knows that the election has been compromised by the glitch. She goes to the CEO and his lawyer to ask about this and in a scene that I had never expected out of Jeff Goldblum, is told (without his usual peripatetic speech patterns) in no uncertain terms to be quiet or very bad things will happen to her. He also launches into a diatribe about how the election really does not matter and so what, the people didn’t get the candidate they really wanted, like voting counts. Goldblum was downright evil and scary.. Very well acted in a small part!

The plot goes on and becomes somewhat darker from there with moments of levity. However, the end will have you feeling good about the possibilities within our governmental system “if” we were ever to have a Tom Dobbs run for president. If you want a feel good movie with some laughter and scary bit, check out this film. Then sit for a while afterwards and think about our system of governance, elections, and the veracity of both old school and electronic voting…

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/05/03 at 18:11

Posted in Movie Reviews, Movies

Movie Review: The Inside Man

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Well, I just got around to seeing “The Inside Man” and I have to say that I guess I missed out when it was in the theater. The DVD came in this weekend from Netflix and we had a sit down today.

Now, when the film came out I remember saying I wanted to see it, but we never got round to it. Perhaps the trailer just did not grab me as much as it could have, perhaps we just got busy with life. As I remember though, it did not make a big splash in the theaters though.

In any case, the story revolves around a bank robbery on Wall Street, well Exchange street really, a place I am familiar with as I have been stopped from taking photos there.

The plot plays out as a group of bank robbers take over the bank and begin a process of taking hostages. As the plot progresses, we see that not only is the hostage taking an integral part of the bank “heist” but also as a means for escape by confounding the police with confusion between robbers and hostages. This is done by dressing everyone in the same thing and to keep the hostages confused with disinformation.

Into this walks Denzel Washington as a police detective who is looking to get his “first grade” status but seems to be in trouble with IAB. He is sent in and begins to see that this robbery is not all it would seem to be and works toward not only resolving the hostage crisis, but to also see just what the leader (Clive Owen) is really up to.

The addition of Jodie Foster brings an interesting twist to the story too. Ms. Foster’s character is, rather nasty in a cutthroat bitch way, and she does a good job at making you dislike her as a “Fixer” of sorts. She is contacted by the owner of the bank to assure that his personal safe deposit box is untouched in the vault. She accepts the assignment and moves on to basically blackmail the mayor of NY to get her close to the bank and to have control of the situation.

What ensues after this are many twists and turns that left me guessing up until the end just what was going to happen and exactly why it was done. In fact, you never really get the why from Clive Owen, even in the last voice over of the film… Which, I kind of like.

The one thing that kept running through my mind at the end though was one word.. Mossad…

The cinematography was good, the musical score was daring, and the script/screenplay was well written. The dialog was snappy and overall, the movies pace was fast even with the tendency to flip back and forth in time using the usual flashback sequence contrivance.

Not a bad heist film and some good acting on all parts by the star studded cast.

Check it out.

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/05/02 at 20:55

Posted in Movie Reviews, Movies

Movie Review: Ninja Assassin

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Ninja Assassin, perhaps a title that is a bit repetitive as a “Ninja” is pretty much always an “Assassin, but, title semantics aside (and play on words as you will see below) I liked this film. So, ith that said up front, lets talk a bit about the actual history of the Ninja, or as they are more properly called “Shinobi no mono” in Japan. The Shinobi were taught these skills in  “Ryu” or schools of martial art forms that rely more on stealth and trickery than the standard forms of the Samurai period. This type of martial study or form is called “Ninjutsu”  and much of its early history surrounded actually being spies for certain Daimyo’s. Some time after this, the ryu’s went underground in the Iga province around 1184.

With the history out of the way, I can now review the film and you may have a better understanding of the Shinobi. Now, I had kind of expected the usual bad ninja movie that I am accustomed to. You may indeed know the style I am talking about, the kind that comes from the likes of “American Ninja” or some of the other chop soki films that have been made over the years for teen boys looking to dose themselves in marital arts without actually walking into a dojo… And well, I did get some of that, but to my surprise there was a bit of a story to the film. Mind you, it was a thin one.. But still a story just the same.

The protagonist of the film is Raizo, a man who as a boy was taken by the ryu sensei and forced to become a ninja. Though Raizo is one of the best students the sensei has a very strict and brutal method to his teaching and abuses Raizo as well as kills a girl he likes. This, as is pretty predictable, makes Raizo hate the sensei, but he feels he cannot escape. That is until one day he attempts to kill the sensei and takes on his whole clan on a rooftop. Raizo escapes and turns the tables on the clan, hunting them as they assassinate people for 100 pounds of gold per hit.

Into this walks an INTERPOL librarian who improbably begins looking into the ninja clans as being a real thing. You see, no one really believes that they are still in business today, but she puts it together that if you are a world leader, and you want a hit carried out, you call the “Black Sand” clan… Oh, yeah, it’s kinda cheese-tastic… But hey, what can I say, I am a classic martial arts movie kind of guy.

Well, one thing leads to another and the hit is on for the INTERPOL librarian, but, Raizo saves her… And makes his stand. A series of improbable fights ensue and much of the mythos surrounding the ninja and their magic are brought to bear here. There are flights of shuriken as well as Kusari-gama scenes that are well choreographed. Much of the blood in these scenes is CG, but the actual fx for the wounds on Raizo and others look really really painful, so good job by the makeup artists.

In the final fight scene you have something akin to Darth Vader fighting Luke Skywalker in pathos, but the way the scene is set in a burning dojo is great. The effect that I liked the most was the slashing blood spatter patterns (CG) on the rice paper panels as the fight progresses. It was like watching a sumi-e painting being created in large swaths of blood on beautiful rice paper squares. It had a certain rough and austere bushido beauty to it.

I was also surprised to note that in the credits this was co written by J. Michael Straczynski who did Babylon 5 back in the day. I always liked the writing on that show if not the CG all of the time.. But back then CG was pretty darn new, so I give em props for what they did have in a weekly television show. I believe that it was Straczynski’s  touches on the writing that made this more than just the usual bad Ninja romp.

Overall, I am glad I did not pay for the film at the theater as todays prices are the suck, however, if you have Netflix do rent it. Just be sure that you don’t eat as you watch, the blood and body parts that fly off of people here are a bit gory.

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/04/30 at 19:24

Posted in Movie Reviews, Movies, Ninja, Shinobi no mono

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Movie Review: The Brave One

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Long ago and what may seem far away to some, NYC was a very dangerous place. During the late 70’s and early 80’s New York City subways, streets, and neighborhoods during the day or at night, could get you robbed, raped or killed just as easily as not. Times have changed and the city is a bit safer, but if you don’t watch yourself, it still can happen.

The days of such dangers being just a walk into the subway away, are 0ver, but they spawned a whole revolution in urban crime fighting. The likes of the “Guardian Angels” and of course the case of “Bernie Goetz” showed just how fed up the populace had become to the crime rate and the poor police showing in resolving, never mind preventing these crimes. They were the times when the word “Vigilante” came to mean more to the common man.

I have lived in Manhattan and admit, there were a couple times when I thought “this is it, gonna get shot or stabbed” but, luckily for me it did not happen. Now post 9/11, New York seems, at least to me, to be a bit more friendly a place and certainly safer from the prospective of regular crime. Terrorism, well, that still is a heightened threat.

So it was that this film started and I thought, really, I just haven’t felt that unsafe in New York for a while. As the film progressed though, it became clear that Erica Bain had become the next generation to take on the mantle of “vigilante”, like that of Bernie Goetz or even Batman. She inadvertently became a statistic to some, but for her it was her life. A life that was shattered more than just body, but also psyche.

She simply became the personification of what everyone wronged in this way wishes they might be. Able to clear those demons by removing them from society when the police and the law could not.

The film plays on this feeling that we all cam empathize with and Jodi Foster plays it so tightly that you can genuinely feel the anguish over everything that has happened to her as well as what she has gone on to do to those, and those like them, that destroyed her life.

I hadn’t gone into this film thinking I would like it as much as I did. Of course now I am going to go to Manhattan again and feel that old edgy feeling that it gave me back in the 80’s…

If you get a chance, see the film.

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/04/29 at 18:12

Posted in Movie Reviews, Movies

Movie Review: Blood The Last Vampire

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Not too often does an anime film transfer to live action well. In the case of “Blood The Last Vampire” they did a great job at carrying on the story as well as the action on film and I was pleasantly surprised.

The story follows Saya, a centuries old vampire hunter who wields a katana and slices vampire demons deftly. The story takes place in Japan during  the 70’s, an odd choice of time, but, I rather liked it.  In this time the vampires are gathering because the head demon has come to end the war and destroy Saya per a prophecy.

I won’t go into the story more for fear of giving too much away, but I will tell you this. This movie had some of the best katana fight scenes, even with CG, they did a fantastic job. The film even managed to get down with a whole Ninja vampire fight scene. While the CG also was at times, kind of cheap where the demons and blood were concerned, they still serviced the film well. Nothing in the CG will turn you off as much as some of those horrid Syfy films that they have been churning out.

If you are able, see the unedited copy, not the one from Chiller or Syfy. Its much better to have the original language in there instead of “darn” as well as some of the scenes are uncut as to gore and blood.

All in all, a nice take on the vampire mythos with a Japanese twist.

Check it out…

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/04/29 at 17:45

Posted in Movie Reviews, Movies

Crabby Movie Review: Flawless

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It’s 1960, London, Inside the London Diamond Corp. A juggernaut of the diamond industry run by the usual South African bad man. There is one sole woman on staff who is not just a secretary, and she cannot break the diamond ceiling to become upper management. She comes to realize with the help of a kindly janitor that she is about to get the boot because she is too smart and a threat to the all male “Old Boy” network in the company.

She is offered a chance to get revenge and to set herself up to retire securely… A handful of diamonds from the secure vault… But then things go awry.

I have to say this movie started a bit slow and had me feeling like I was in an episode of “Mad Men” but, if you bear with it, you will be rewarded with some excellent acting and plot twists. Michael Caine does his usuall Cockney best, and Demi Moore does a serviceable job at being a scorned employee lookin for a way to secure her future.

As an aside, I could not but help think about the Antwerp heist in 03 while watching this film. I am presently reading the book about it and, well, the heist in the film is equivalent in difficulty to the one in Antwerp…

Anyway, check out this film. The end will have you thankful that you stayed with it even with its pacing…

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/04/26 at 23:59

Posted in Movie Reviews, Movies

Crabby Movie Review: The Day The Earth Stood Still 2008

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So yeah, I finally got around to watching “The Day The Earth Stood Still” the “Keanu” version.

Short review:

Whoa.. EPIC SUCK DUDE!

Long review:

Dear Hollywood…Umm, why? Why did you feel a need to re-do this perfectly serviceable film from the 1950’s? Really, why? I mean, Keanu? Ok ok, an emotionless alien automaton.. No wait, that was GORT, but, ok, yeah why again?

Also, why take up the pen to re-write this story so poorly and without any real denouement? What was it.. did you just run out of money to pay Keanu to act woodenly? Was it paying for the salary of the newly minted “Oscar” star in Jennifer Connelly? I mean Jeez, the story line just sorta ended at about 15 minutes into the film there kids… You get an F- for effort here.

Ugh.. Well, glad I didn’t pay for this film, because had I done so I would have created and unleashed a hoard of silicon nano bots on your asses post haste.

DO NOT PAY FOR OR SEE THIS HORRID FILM.

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/04/26 at 22:55

Movie Review: Kick Ass

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Meet “Hit Girl” an 11 year old assassin extraordinaire and a central character to the movie “Kick Ass” Of course the image above is somewhat disquieting but it belies the complex conflict and ideas within the graphic novel as well as this film. Just who would train a child to be a ruthless assassin at age 11? Well, “Big Daddy” in this case, her father and the man who don’s a pseudo Batman outfit. Of course these two are not the main characters here though, Kick-Ass is… And who is Kick-Ass? Just a regular kid in a wetsuit.

Overall, this film is VERY entertaining and both it and the graphic novel play off of the idea that we all long to be a super hero at times in our lives. Just how many times as children do we pretend to be our favorite hero? Or maybe later on in life as we read the comics or go to Halloween parties dressed as Batman and other heroes from the pages. We all have those moments and that is what this movie uses as a premise to get you hooked. How can you, just an ordinary person be “super” Kick Ass says as much himself, asking why hadn’t anyone just stepped up and tried until now? The answer he gets is that no one has super powers, but, he comes back with Batman. Batman has no super powers.. But, he is a billionaire so he can buy his tech. What Kick-Ass has is just a higher threshold for pain and a green wet suit bought on Ebay. This though, makes him even more super in the eyes of many.

For all of the impossible things that do happen in the film (a 300K jetpack with mini gatling guns) and a Bazooka scene, it all grabs you and has you thinking “Shit, that would be so cool!” in your seat while cheering Kick-Ass on. I also was impressed with a scene that they obviously thought out concerning Kick Ass’s Facebook page. He posts to it as Kick Ass and takes requests for help. Of course my first thought was “He better be using TOR, otherwise they are gonna find his ass soon!” Sure enough, the writers were smart enough to have Big Daddy mention that he had re-routed his IP to hide who he was.. After all, that was how he found him. Good on you writers for getting technical shit right!

Anyway, back to the themes, Hit Girl’s foul mouth is a little troubling at first but you get used to it as she slashes in the best of “Kill Bill” tradition through bad guy drug dealers and mobsters. All the while you will be calculating just how much it would cost for the tools they are using and the time to train yourself to be your own not so super hero incarnation. Parents beware, this is a bloody and foul mouthed film so younger audiences are discouraged.

My review: Kick-Ass KICKS ASS… See it and read the comics.

CoB

Written by Krypt3ia

2010/04/25 at 11:42