The Amazing Spider-Man Review

It’s been ten years since the first Spider-Man movie came out. At the time, it was one of the biggest super hero movies to ever come out. A lot has changed since then though, super hero movies have become big money makers for studios, as “The Avengers” proved, recently becoming the top grossing movie of all time. So in an effort to make more money, Sony Entertainement rebooted the Spider-Man franchise with a whole new cast and crew.

I enjoyed the first two Spider-Man movies and hated the third. Those movies always felt a little off though, like the actors were working off a first draft copy of the script. The dialogue was a little stiff and kind of cheesy at times, and while that may work fine for the original comics, it did not work for the movies. The cast felt a little flat, Kirsten Dunst’s lines had no feeling behind them and Tobey Macguire always looked like he was about to cry. In the new movie, the dialogue flows naturally and all the lines sound like people would say them in real life. I know this seems like nit-picking, but some of the awkward dialogue ruined a few scenes in the original trilogy, mostly the lines between Peter and Aunt May or Mary Jane.

It’s hard to review a movie reboot without referencing the original when there’s been such a relatively short time between them, but I will try and keep it to a minimum. With that said, the new movie does tread some familiar ground as they have to go through the whole origin story over again. Luckily, the movie speeds through it rather quickly. It’s not that it’s a bad or boring story, it’s just everyone knows it by now; there’s no reason to dwell on it. The only downside is that Peter seems a little too accepting of the fact that he gets superpowers from a spider bite, but he does make his own webshooters in this movie, so it’s a compromise I’m willing to make. Continue reading

Advertisements

“Prometheus” is not “Alien,” or “Aliens” or… You Get The Point?

I don’t often care for prequels.  These days, most Hollywood productions are all flash and no substance, so I was reluctant to see if they’d butcher yet another beloved franchise.

I’m relieved to say that Prometheus, while not perfect, is a surprisingly entertaining film that manages to tie the story into the Alien universe while setting itself apart as a (hopefully) new franchise.

Archeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshal- Green) discovered clues that predate some of the earliest evidence of a race of humanoids that have come in contact with humans.  Shaw and Holloway believe it to be an invitation to seek out the humanoids and with a little funding from the Weyland Corporation set out on an expedition to find the planet they believe would hold the answers to that one mysterious question; why were we created? When they arrive, they begin an investigation that slowly unravels a dangerous and terrifying reality. Continue reading

The Thing That Walks and Other Experiences of Being On Strike

My all suffering feet, with some angry carbs staring at me from under a sweet card from a neighboring business.

Although I am not a teacher, I often find myself working in schools. I did the contracting thing (oh man does tax time suck), but once I settled down in Oregon, I found out that the contractor game isn’t as fun to play here. So I called around and got myself a district job with relative ease.

Part of working for a school district is becoming a union member. You can choose to just pay the fees and waive the protection, but I like to get all the benefits that I pay for when I join something. So yeah, union member over here. Teacher’s union, in fact.

I am not a political person. It may be stupid to ignore politics since they directly influence me on daily basis, but I generally ignore politics anyway, because I often ignore dirty sleazy things. I know that unions and politics go together, but I try not delve further in than that.

When I was hired, I was told that I would be working under an expired contact and that this would be remedied in the very near future. Eight months later–still working under an expired contract. Talk of striking began. Before we knew it, the time came to a vote, and union members voted overwhelmingly to strike.

I ignored the hell out of everything that didn’t pertain directly to my job. I went to all the staff meetings, listened to the information, heard how we should support other districts who were about to strike, and just kind of ignored it all some more. It was a trickle of information that I watched puddle by my feet and then, suddenly, the puddle was up to my knees and the trickle was a stream carrying me away in a sea of buttons, red shirts, slogans, chants, and lots and lots of walking.

Continue reading

Assemble! “The Avengers” in review!

On April 14, 2012, I ended up being one of the lucky few granted access to a free advanced screening of Marvel’s “The Avengers”, possibly THE most anticipated movie of the Summer season. Disney had run a contest on Facebook stating that the cities with the largest population of Avengers fans, who “liked” the FB page, would get this most coveted prize. Is it really any wonder that NYC, being the headquarters of the Avengers and Stark Tower would manage to pull this coup?

To say I was trembling in excitement is putting it mildly, but I was also trembling with cold! Merely being on the list to get in wasn’t, in fact, a guarantee at all. It was first come, first seated, as most screenings are. And if anyone knows the meaning of sacrifice, its a bunch of geeks who happily revel in fandom. Yes, I am proudly one of those geeks. Which is how I found myself waking at 4:30am in the morning (late, to be honest) to make it to the AMC 25 in Times Sq. by 7:30am, freezing with my fellow die-hards.

Continue reading

Gamer Review of “The Walking Dead: A New Day”

I have been reading “The Walking Dead” comics since the first few issues. It’s an ongoing story about people living in a world after a zombie apocalypse, focusing on their lives instead of only the killing of the undead the movies tend to focus on. When the adaptation for television was announced, I was excited because it’s a character driven series that lends itself perfectly to the small screen. In reality, the TV show has been hit or miss but overall still enjoyable. Then I heard they were coming out with a game and I was just confused.

When you think “zombie game,” usually you think one man against a horde of the undead, arming yourself to the teeth to kill as many of them as possible. “The Walking Dead” did not fit this genre. Even more surprising, it was developed by TellTale Games, the company responsible for bringing the adventure game back into the public eye with their recent series such as “Tales of Monkey Island” and “Back to the Future” (both of which I reviewed favorably). “The Walking Dead” seemed like an odd choice for them, but having faith in the company and the source material, it was still a highly anticipated title for me.

The first episode is out now, with four more coming out over the next few months. The results were not what I was expecting, but this is in no way a bad thing. Rather than call this a game, I’d say it’s more like interactive storytelling along the lines of the PS3 game “Heavy Rain.” You progress through the story and have to make some tough decisions along the way (and every once in a while you have to fight off a zombie by mashing a button). There are a few small puzzles that move the plot along, but nothing overly complicated. Continue reading

Cabin in the Woods: A Loving Hate Letter

Over the past few years, horror movies have fallen out of favor with the general public. Slasher movies have become laughing stocks. The invention of cell phones makes fleeing in terror seem even more unrealistic and the sub-genre known as “torture porn” has made many people avoid horror movies over the past decade.

So Joss Whedon, nerd god and creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and many other things, wrote a movie which he called a “loving hate letter” to the whole horror genre. It is now playing in theaters and does not disappoint.

I won’t speak about the plot at all, because this is a movie best seen going in not knowing anything. I went in without even watching a trailer, only relying on the word of my friend and was not disappointed.

Looking at them now, even the trailers give a bit too much away about the story. I will say that while the story may start off enough like your typical horror movie, it quickly changes things up in unexpected ways. The movie isn’t perfect, but it’s a fun ride and I would say it’s one of the few movies that have come out in recent years that is worth the rising ticket prices.

Also, if you are a horror fan at all, you must see this movie. The whole thing is filled with references to other horror movies, the most obvious being “The Evil Dead,” which also takes place in a cabin in the woods. Many lines, visual cues and even small background jokes make references to many horror movies.

If you feel like horror has gone downhill in the past few years, as movies like “Saw” focus on gore rather than storytelling and actual scares became prominent, you will like “Cabin in the Woods.” It’s a return to horror which doesn’t just focus on how many buckets of fake blood they can fit into a movie (although it does use a lot of blood), but a coherent story with some unexpected twists. It is one of the few times I have walked out of a theater completely satisfied.

Squatters

Cybersquatting, is one of them crap things that intertubes breeds, where the second you’re late with a payment for your domain name, after establishing a bit of traffic, someone will swipe said name for the $10 you were 3 days late with, and then offer it back to you for a couple of grand.

Since you are reading this at meanderingentertainer.wordpress.com, that’s obviously what just happened. I’m not sure if I should risk a new domain name, or if I should just let wordpress have a place in my URL. For now, i’ll go with the latter, but if you have some suggestions for a domain name, maybe some that roll off the tongue a bit easier than the old one, leave it in the comments.

Advertisements