Coming Soon (Fall TV Edition)

These are the TV shows I am looking forward to for the rest of the year. After a long day of work, I like to sit back, relax and watch some television. I think the quality of TV has improved over the last decade with better stories, acting, and production value. Like most new TV shows, they probably won’t survive past their first season but I tend to jump onto these. If it looks good to me, then I tend to give it a chance. The dates could change and I may have forgotten a few TV shows.

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Still a Better Love Story Than Twilight (Love in the Time of Monsters Review)

Post #50, oh how far I’ve come

Two sisters Carla and Marla (Marissa Skell and Gena Shaw) are on their way to a tourist trap known as “Uncle Slavko’s All-American Family Lodge” with its prominent themes of America and Bigfoot. Carla is there because she wants to surprise her boyfriend who works there and Marla just wants to have a good time. Meanwhile, the lodge’s Bigfoot mascots led by Lou (Kane Hodder) accidentally fall into a pond contaminated with toxic waste. This toxic waste causes them to become hungry, flesh-eating, monsters with one of them being Carla’s boyfriend. These Bigfoots are now on a bloodthirsty rampage, killing and eating anything in sight. Now both sisters and the inhabitants of the lodge must fight for their survival.

Here’s a clip of Dr. Lincoln (Doug Jones) explaining how the Bigfoots came to be:

I came into this with low expectations. This film exceeded them. When you see a film called “Love in the Time of Monsters”, you immediately think its one of those “so bad that its good” films but it’s better than that. The film stays away from that for the most part but does briefly touch it. More about that later. The first thing you’ll notice is how good it looks, it looks very clean but also a little grainy like old horror films. I found that it and also the soundtrack added to the ambiance the film was trying to create.The acting was also pretty decent for this kind of film. It really saved the dialogue which came off as cheesy a lot of the time but I thought it fit with the story. I liked how it was more of a comedy than horror and that it didn’t take itself too seriously which kept me interested in the story. I laughed a lot more than what I expected. I also liked that it had the right amount of gore and violence which made the bigfoots more scary in that we saw what they were capable of. Since they were originally human, they felt real in that the powers they got were not too over-the-top. I enjoyed how fake the animatronic animals looked. They were so bad but the actors were still committed. The film starts off a little slow but when it gets going, it really does get going. That brings me to my favorite part of the film which is near the end, and that’s all I’m going to say to not spoil anything. Overall, with parts that seem like they would not work together that do, a fun story, good special effects, and acting, Love in the Time of Monsters is a fun and entertaining film that both amateur and die-hard horror fans will enjoy.

Score: 8/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

If you would like to read about more excellent, terrible films, you can do so here.

Also thanks to the producer of the film for the clip and the featured image.

We Are a Part of a Rogue Nation (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Review)

The IMF (Impossible Missions Force) is now disbanded and Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is left on his own while a new threat emerges, the Syndicate. The Syndicate is a network of highly skilled former government operatives with a goal of establishing a new world order by an escalating series of terrorist attacks. Facing what may be his most impossible mission, Ethan gathers his team William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and also joins forces with a disowned British agent Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) who may be part of this organization.

Everybody knows the Mission Impossible theme. I haven’t heard it too much lately so when I heard it at the beginning, I started getting chills. The film starts with action and does not let up. What added to the excitement was the lack of CGI used during the action sequences, from various stunts to fight sequences to various vehicle chases gave them a more authentic feel. The story was very much on par here bringing humour, excitement, thrills, and suspense. Tom Cruise really brings in this installment as he entertains and is able to handle all that is asked of him here. The supporting cast does not disappoint either even though I did not see them as much as I would like. My favorite of those was Simon Pegg’s Benji as the lovable, fish-out-of-water, computer nerd providing great one-liners as he is often not able to handle and/or not ready for what he is about to do next. I was not impressed by the villain Solomon Lane (Sean Harris). I did not find him very menacing as the story built him up into being a lot worse than what we actually got to see. Gadget fans will not be disappointed as you will have it all despite the fact that they probably would never exist. Other than the acting, the best part of the film happens to be the cinematography as all the locales we got to see were depicted in such a beautiful way that really gave you the impression that you were really there and the variety of shots and camera angles were able to catch all the action. Rebecca Ferguson’s Faust holds her own as sort of a female version of Ethan Hunt who manages to keep up and does not feel out of place amongst the returning cast. Some may not be a fan of the ending as it feels a little rushed and a little abrupt when compared to the rest of the film but I was fine with it because it fit with the story. Overall, this is a perfect Summer movie as it has everything a Summer movie viewer would want: action, explosions, suspense, plot-twists, etc. What works is that it does all of those incredibly well. I have not seen all of the Mission Impossible films but I don’t think that would stop anyone from enjoying this.

Score: 8/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

Oh Damn! (Zombeavers Review)

While transporting toxic materials, a pair of truckers get into an accident which causes them to lose one of their containers that eventually makes its way to a beaver dam and then its contents get onto several beavers. The toxic waste has mutated them into smarter, flesh-eating, killing machines. While that is taking place, college students Mary, Zoe, and Jen (Rachel Melvin, Cortney Palm, and Lexi Atkins) arrive at Mary’s cousin’s cabin near the dam for a weekend of girls only fun. This does not last for very long as their boyfriends Sam, Tommy, and Buck (Hutch Dano, Jake Weary, and Peter Gilroy) show up. When a beaver interrupts their weekend of drinking and sex and attacks one them, they must now try to save their friend and fight for their own survival.

This is a terrible movie. The story is bad, the characters are all a bunch of douchebags, the over-acting is bad, and the special effects are the worst. The beavers are just badly operated puppets. The characters are just the worst as they act as caricatures of stupid college students who say and do stupid things, as one would expect. This just makes it more satisfying for us viewers (spoiler alert) when they all die in predictable ways, (spoiler alert) except for at the end (spoiler alert)(spoiler alert). Since the story is so predictable, it was fun for me to rightfully guess what happened next. Surprisingly enough as everything individually doesn’t work but when you put them all together it works. People are entertained in different ways, sometimes people want to watch films with great story, great acting, great special effects, etc, but sometimes people want to watch certain films just to laugh at them because of how bad they are. I would say that I fall into both of those groups. The difference between this film and the Sharknado films is that I found that this one tried a little too hard. I always thought that the Sharknado films were self-aware in that they knew what they were and embraced it. Zombeavers was not quite there, in my opinion. The films also chose to ignore certain characters they introduced. I was fine with this as I didn’t care for them except for one, a character named Smyth (Rex Linn). He’s a old, experienced, hunter-guy who’s just there. You also may not recognize one the actors who plays one of the truckers. Again, this film is no masterpiece but that wasn’t why you chose to watch it in the first place.

Score: 6.5/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

If you would like to read about more excellent, terrible films, you can do so here.

Holiday Road (Vacation Review)

Realizing that his family and his marriage is in a rut, Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) decides to take his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and his two sons Jacob and Kevin (Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins) in a strange foreign car on a cross-country trip to “Walley World” following what his father Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) did with him when he was younger hoping to get closer with his wife and to give his family time for some bonding. This trip soon becomes one misadventure for these Griswolds and for anyone who runs into them.

I was pleasantly surprised by how funny this film is since some of the reviews I’ve read have not been to good. Just a warning, this film is not a remake in that it has a new story and the film acknowledges the others and the way it differentiates itself is smart in a meta kind of way. Their vacation will not be like the others because it will stand on its own. Ed Helms is great here as the family’s new patriarch. He is clueless and out of touch at times while desperately trying to hold his marriage and family together and his stubborn optimism is infectious. Christina Applegate was solid and had a few good moments as Debbie and she also had great chemistry with Ed Helms’ Rusty. They both had their fair share of one-liners and exchanges that were both funny and also real. What really impressed me were the actors who played the Griswold children. Their exchanges with one another are some of the funniest things in the film and they both work well alongside the more experienced actors playing their parents. The chemistry the four of them had with one another kept me engaged and entertained. What I thought also worked was the film’s pacing. It kept the story going as they did not stay in the same place for too long and the jokes kept coming and no single joke overstayed its welcome (except for one but that’s still pretty good). I can’t go any longer without mentioning Chris Hemsworth who is unrecognizable as Rusty’s sister Audrey’s (Leslie Mann) husband Stone Crandall. His american accent is remarkable and there is one scene of his in particular that you will not forget. We also get to see Rusty’s parents Clark and Ellen Griswold (Chase and Beverly D’Angelo) who are still funny after all this time and also have some moments of their own. What I didn’t like about the film was that we did not get to spend enough time with either them or Audrey and Stone as each them brought a lot of funny to the film and I just wanted more of that. I found the ending a little disappointing as well but I did enjoy the journey more than the destination. The film has a message about the importance of family and that’s a message I can stand by. Despite that message, this film is not for kids and definitely earns its R rating. Be that as it may, this is a funny, smart, and edgy film that should not be missed. This definitely one of the funniest movies of the year and could be the start of a new franchise but I would be okay if this was it.

Score: 8/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

He Shoots, He Scores

I was trying to avoid doing this but now I will score my reviews using a half-point scale. I just wanted to be different. If you would like to see my reviews, you can here. I honestly just wanted an excuse to use that line as a title.

Oh Hell Yes! (Sharknado 3 Oh Hell No! Review)

Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid) are now remarried and are expecting another child. After a trip to Washington D.C. to receive a medal from current president Marcus Robbins (Marc Cuban) for his heroic actions during the events in the first 2 films, another sharknado strikes destroying the capital. Fearing that his family is in danger, he heads to Orlando. What he doesn’t know is that a sharknado is following him while another is attacking Orlando. Now he and those he runs into on the way to Orlando must work together to try to stop the sharknados before they combine to form a sharkicane with the potential to destroy the entire East Coast.

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The Reasons for My Future Disappearance

I play video games on occasion. I’m not good at too many of them but I still enjoy playing. A few summers ago, I decided to invest a lot of money into building a decent gaming desktop. Basically I just got some of the most expensive components they had at the time. The only limit I had was my credit card limit. I will say that it has performed admirably since then. My PC game collection has also grown since then with 130+ games on my hard drive. Most of those are on my Steam account where most of those were purchased impulsively during their various sales. I will admit to not having played at least half of my games seeing that since they were bought impulsively, I thought that buying them was a good idea at the time but I don’t exactly feel that way now.

Along those lines, I also decided to join the most recent console generation. I got myself a PS4 at Best Buy last boxing day. I got an open box Last of Us bundle for about $25 less but after having gone through what I had to go through, it was definitely not worth it. The download code for The Last of Us on the card that came with my bundle was already used. When I spoke to Sony about it, they offered to give me another code if I offered proof that I purchased the console. Unfortunately for me, my receipt said that I purchased a Destiny bundle which was probably how they had it programmed in their system. When I went back to Best Buy with this, they offered to let me exchange my open box console for another with the chance that the download code coming with the new console isn’t used. Because I did not have my console on me at the time, the Best Buy I went to did not have any more open box console bundles, and that I did not want to take that risk again, I gave up. I hadn’t learned my lesson yet. I went to the Future Shop across the street (back when they still existed, Canadian reference) and got the physical copy. With the amount I saved on the original console bundle, I went slightly over breaking even so it wan’t too bad.

The reasons for my future disappearance are the 4 PS4 games I’ve pre-ordered recently:

1. Until Dawn

It’s like you’re playing in your own horror movie.

2. Metal Gear Solid 5

I’ve always been a fan of the series and I never got the chance to play MGS4. I’m also curious as to how Snake’s voice change will affect the game.

3. Uncharted Collection

I’ve known about this series for a long time but I never got to play any of them since I never had a PS3. All 3 games remastered for PS4 make this a great deal and is a great opportunity for someone like me.

4. Fallout 4

I’ve always been a fan of the Fallout series and I talked a little bit about it here.

Beep Beep Boop (Pixels Review)

When a race of aliens intercept a videotape containing footage of classic video games and misinterpret them as a declaration of war, they decide to attack Earth using those games as weapons. In order to combat them, President Will Cooper (Kevin James) recruits his old childhood friend and former classic video game champion and current “nerd installer” Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), to lead a team of classic video game players Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad) and Eddie Plant (Peter Dinklage) and also a colonel and weapons developer Violet van Patten (Michelle Monaghan) to try to save the planet.

After reading some of the other reviews for this film, I found that most people did not like this film. I understood some of their points but I didn’t think it is as bad as they made it out to be. I just want to say that despite the fact that the trailer makes it look like the film is for kids, it is not. This film is recommended for at least teens. Adam Sandler’s films this last decade have been rather hit or miss but mostly misses and this one is not a miss but is not quite a hit either. Just like his films, the jokes in this one are hit or miss but in this case, they are mostly hits with some misses. The acting in this film wasn’t remarkable either. Adam Sandler plays the same character he has played in numerous other films. The role could have probably been played by another actor and be just as good if not better. Kevin James is serviceable as President Cooper.  Josh Gad was good as the clumsy, fat guy Ludlow and got to recite some of the film’s funniest one-liners. Peter Dinklage’s Eddie was arguably trying too hard. Michelle Monaghan’s Violet was ok but had no chemistry with Sam which made their romantic scenes a little cringe-worthy and unbelievable. Sure the story doesn’t make too much sense either but the film wasn’t meant to be taken seriously and does a decent job of not taking itself too seriously either. For me, the best part of the film has to be the special effects. The way in which they bring all the classic video games to life was rather good. All of the classic video games of the 80s were well represented which was appreciated. The way in which people go in and out of pixelation and how environments got destroyed via pixelation was nice to see. I was also curious as to how they were able to alter old 80s video footage as well (I won’t spoil why this happens). This film is nowhere near the best film of the year and will probably not be on any best of thew year lists but I was entertained. If you just turn off your brain and suspend belief and except what you are given, I think you’d all enjoy it too.

Score: 6.5/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

Where the Paper Streets Have no Name (Paper Towns Review)

Quentin (Nat Wolff) is a young and shy high school senior about to graduate. He has always played it safe and lives his life within a narrow comfort zone. Within a few weeks of graduation, he is in for a night of his life when Margo (Cara Delevingne), the most popular student at his high school and a girl he has known since childhood, enlists him to help her play pranks on some of her friends that have wronged her. The next day, she suddenly is missing. With the help of his two best friends Ben (Austin Abrams) and Radar (Justice Smith) and others, they try to decipher clues that she left behind, Quentin goes on a mission to find the girl who he has now fallen in love with and made him feel alive.

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