8 Movie Props I need. Like, right now.

Oh, dog hat from Seven PsychopathsOne day, you will be mine!!!!

A week or so ago, the good folks down at invaluable contacted me about writing an article about my favourite movie props. Being overjoyed that somebody was aware of my existence, I accepted.

I don’t know if you could tell by the fact that a shot from the anime sequence from Kill Bill is my Twitter and Gravatar profile picture, but I’m kind of a giant nerd. One of the actions of nerd-dom that I fully embrace is collecting random shit that has to do with the pop culture that I love.

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As the three hundred dollars that I’ve spent on amiibos will testify to.

As of right now, I have a fairly sizable collection of movies, music, Nintendo merchandise (See above) and comic books. What I would love, though, is to possess an actual prop from an actual movie (As opposed to from a fake movie, I guess???).

Though a prop from Argo would be really cool.

So, because content pays the bills (I wish) I’ve rattled off a list of movie props that I want. Like, desperately. If anyone possesses any of these props, e-mail me at pleasekillthemessenger@gmail.com so that we can arrange a hand-off. I’m down with paying for it too, as long as you don’t mind me tracking you back to your home, murdering you, and taking all your money after the transaction is complete.

It’s a wonder I’m single.

…Yeah… let’s do it!

The CPU (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)

Played in Terminator Genisys by Matt Smith. I know, it’s a stupid, stupid movie.

When most people picture the one device that could cause human extinction, chances are you picture something like a massive nuclear bomb, or maybe something magical like the One Ring or the Infinity Gauntlet (Two more props I want, by the way). In the Terminator franchise (By which I mean, the two movies worth mentioning), the tiny CPU that contains the consciousness of SkyNet, the all-knowing A.I. that will eventually wipe out almost all of humankind.

Nah, too easy.

Don’t let the fact that it looks kind of like a Kit-Kat knock-off fool you. Leaving this device in the hands of somebody with even the of best intentions (Hello, Miles Dyson!!!) could result in everybody you know, don’t know, love or hate dying via nuclear fire.

And I want to use it as a USB stick! So, you know, sleep easy Planet Earth.

A tooth from the animatronic T-Rex from Jurassic Park

“Hullllllooooooooo!!!!!!”

Dinosaurs are amazing. That is not an opinion. It is objective fact.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex from Jurassic Park is also unquestionably incredible. not only in terms of the inherent awesomeness of T-Rexes, but also because it’s a seamless combination of animatronic and CG special effects. Obviously, I’m not fitting the whole animatronic in my house without a Batcave (Although, if anybody has a spare Batcave lying around…), but it would be almost as awesome to have even one of the teeth on my shelf.

That or a Velociraptor claw I actually just want something to threaten children with.

Sam Neill has truly been an inspiration for me.

Star-Lord’s helmet

The jacket or gun would work as well. or a life-size statue of Chris Pratt.

Fun fact, this is more or less what Peter Quill’s alter-ego looks like in the Guardians of the Galaxy comics.

Some costumes just don’t translate all that well.

Anyways, a badass helmet that doesn’t give you hat hair? I’m so in.

Hit-Girl’s detachable sword

Tune in for the sequel to watch her be a cheerleader!!!…Or some shit.

I don’t talk enough about Kick-Ass, which is a shame, because it’s one of my favourite movies of all time. My favourite character from this mildly unappreciated superhero dark comedy is Mindy MacReady, the preteen mass murderer known as Hit-Girl.

In her first scene as her masked alter ego, she effortlessly wastes a room of scumbags with a weapon that looks like a detachable, dual-edged naginata. Watch it yourself, It’s fucking awesome.

The drumsticks from Whiplash

This would make a great poster or publicity photo, I think.

Why do I want Miles Teller’s DNA, you ask? Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.

Hattori Hanzo Katana

Hey guys! Check out my giant moustache!!!

Ask any nerd what the coolest reality-based sword is, and odds are, he or she’ll probably say “the katana”, with little to no hesitation, and nobody has exploited the use of the samurai sword better than Quentin Tarantino.

Besides, like, actual Japanese people, I mean.

The Bride is an awesome hero, and she deserves an awesome weapon, so it’s only fitting that she receive a special weapon from the brilliant Japanese, uh, swordmaster (?) Hattori Hanzo that, by the end of the movie, claims the life of O-Ren Ishii and a metric shit-ton of Yakuza members in one of the greatest fight scenes of all time.

The scorpion jacket from Drive

Look at it. It’s…glorious…..

Also, it looks really cool with blood splattered all over it, so that’s definitely a plus.

The suitcase from Pulp Fiction

Fun fact: Pointing a gun at Samuel L. Jackson is the leading cause of death in the continental United States.

What was in the suitcase? Money? Diamonds? Drugs? Marcellus Wallace’s soul? In many ways, I hope I never find out, but regardless, this would be an awesome to possess such an enigmatic piece of film history.

Second only to John Travolta’s hairstyle.

My (Revised) Top 20 Movies of 2014

Three of these didn’t blow.

I know I originally did this list way back in late December, but it would be kind of stupid of me to have watched all those movies I watched for Oscar season and having had my opinion evolve without re-doing the list. So, uh, here you go.

20. Big Hero 6

Dear god, do I want a Baymax plushie. Have I mentioned that yet? I don’t care, I still want one.

Genres: Animated, superhero, comedy

Directed by: Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt)

Voices of: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans, Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Daniel Henney

I’m personally still pissed that it won Best Animated Feature, but I’m also not going to deny that Big Hero 6 is an incredibly likable movie, if not the most original or unpredictable. To be absolutely truthful, this movie probably wouldn’t rate as highly in my mind if it wasn’t for Baymax, but the other characters hold their own in terms of likability, especially Hiro and his brother, though the side characters get their share of laughs as well.

They really should’ve picked one way to pronounce “Hiro” and stuck with it, though. That’s pretty goddamn annoying.

19. The Lego Movie

Genres: Animated, comedy, adventure

Directed by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street)

Voices of: Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman

I didn’t love The Lego Movie nearly as much as some people did, but, again, I still thought it was a great movie. I thought the buildup was kind of weaker than I expected, but the rest of the film is pretty terrific fun. It’s definitely the best piece of incredibly conspicuous product placement ever made, if nothing else.

Ant it’s not even close, realy.

18. 22 Jump Street

Genres: Comedy, action

Directed by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (See above)

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare, Wyatt Russell, Amber Stevens, Jillian Bell, Ice Cube

The second straight Phil Lord/Christopher Miller project on my list had, like The Lego Movie, kind of a weak buildup that kind of disappointed me. Thankfully, when it does pick it up, it grabs hold of the intensity knob (Heh) and turns that shit up to 11 (Out of a possible five).

“I am the unicorn wizard!!!…”

It’s not quite as good as the first movie, but as long as Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum and Ice Cube keep delivering, I genuinely wouldn’t mind seeing some of the joke sequels that were teased during the credits.

17. Edge of Tomorrow

Genres: Science fiction, action

Directed by: Doug Liman (Swingers, Go, The Bourne Identity, Fair Game)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson

Admit it, you took one look at the trailer for Edge of Tomorrow (Or All You Need is Kill. Or Live. Die. Repeat.) and rolled your eyes. “Oh great, another Tom Cruise sci-fi movie. Why can’t this Scientologist prick just fuck off into irrelevancy and take his smug-ass demeanor (As well as his tremendous talent for making action movies) with him?” Then you learnt about the plot. “Oh, fucking brilliant. Oblivion meets Groundhog Day??? Jesus Christ, are there no more original ideas in Hollywood?”

Yes. Yes there are.

And then, you actually watched Edge of Tomorrow. That made you feel pretty stupid, didn’t it?

16. The Theory of Everything

Genre: Biographical romantic drama

Directed by: James Marsh (Man on Wire, Project Nim)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Simon McBurney, David Thewlis, Maxine Peake

This movie has gotten a lot of recent criticism for essentially being just another paint-by-numbers Oscar movie, but even so, I really like it. I definitely understand the complaint that it’s a merely okay movie with good performances, but when those performances are as good as the ones you get from Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, I frankly don’t see that much reason to hate it all that much. I can understand being adverse to it, but I enjoy it, personally.

15. Selma

Genre: Historical drama

Directed by: Ava DuVernay

Starring: David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo, Andre Holland, Tessa Thompson, Giovanni Ribisi, Lorraine Touissant, Stephen James, Wendell Pierce, Common, Cuba Gooding Jr., Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey

It’s bullshit that Ava DuVernay didn’t get nominated. And that’s all I have to say about that.

14. The Imitation Game

Genre: Historical thriller

Directed by: Morten Tyldum (Headhunters)

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Charles Dance, Mark Strong

Much like (Although maybe not quite as much as) The Theory of Everything for being another “Oscar-bait” movie, and while I do generally have a problem with that term, I can see what people get at when they criticize it. That said, even more than The Theory of Everything, I love this movie, mostly for Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance.

13. John Wick

Genre: Action thriller

Directed by: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Willem DeFoe

Oh, just read the entry for Edge of Tomorrow again.

12. Top Five

Genre: Comedy

Directed by: Chris Rock

Starring: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union, J.B. Smoove, Cedric the Entertainer, Tracy Morgan

Cedric the Entertainer is fucking disgusting. This movie has convinced me of that.

Also, DMX has the voice of an angel.

11. Guardians of the Galaxy

Genre: Superhero

Directed by: James Gunn (Slither)

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro

I saw this movie four times in theatres, and it got a little better each time for me. I’m sure most of you are sick to death of it by now, so I’ll just say that if you haven’t seen it yet, do so immediately.

10. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Genres: Anime, drama, fantasy

Directed by: Isao Takahata (Grave of the FirefliesPom Poko, My Neighbors the Yamadas)

Voices of: Asi Asakura, Kengo Kora, Takeo Chii, Nobuko Miyamoto, Atsuko Takahata

English dub: Chloe Grace Moretz, Darren Criss, James Caan, Mary Steenbergen, Lucy Liu

I haven’t talked very much about Studio Ghibli, as I’m just now starting to get into Japan’s answer to Disney, but The Tale of the Princess Kaguya sold me on them. As cliched a noun as “beautiful” is in describing movies, it’s a perfect word to describe this dreamlike movie. The art style in this movie is brilliantly executed, and the last fifteen to twenty minutes or so are composed of some of the best animated sequences I’ve ever seen. Also, the soundtrack in this movie is terrific. It figures that I’d get into Studio Ghibli right when they decided to go on a hiatus.

9. How to Train Your Dragon 2

Genres: Animated, fantasy

Directed by: Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch, How to Train Your Dragon)

Voices of: Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrara, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington

As much as I loved Princess Kaguya, it just couldn’t beat out my highly developed Western ethnocentrism.

8. Nightcrawler

Genre: Crime thriller

Directed by: Dan Gilroy

Starring: Jake Gyllenhal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton

It’s bullshit that Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t get nominated. That’s all I have to say about that (Again).

7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Genre; Superhero

Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo (Community)

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson

Terrific movie, but did we ever ind out what happened to Red Skull in the first movie? That kinda seems like something you wouldn’t wanna gloss over.

6. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Genre: Comedy

Directed by: Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom)

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric

The Grand Budapest Hotel is actually the only Wes Anderson movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s tough to think that any of his movies could possibly be better than The Grand Budapest Hotel. Just give me dark, whimsical, occasionally crude humour in formal, colourful environments and I’ll be putty in your hand, I guess.

5. Gone Girl

Genre: Psychological thriller

Directed by: David Fincher (Seven, The Game, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris

Blood…. So much blood… Poor Ben…

4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Genre: Science fiction

Directed by: Matt Reeves (Let Me In)

Starring: Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee

It’s bullshit that Andy Serkis and Toby Kebbell… Ah, fuck it.

3. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Genre: Superhero

Directed by: Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men, X2)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicolas Hoult, Evan Peters, Ellen Page, Peter Dinkage, Shawn Ashmore

With all the love that Marvel movies keep getting, it’s easy to forget that Fox has been churning out quality X-Men movies (Brett Ratner and shitty Deadpool aside). Days of Future Past (Based on the popular story arc fro mthe comics) continues on in that tradition, combining the older actors from the original trilogy with the newer actors from X-Men: First Class. Hopefully, X-Men: Apocalypse is just as good. Also, while we’re hopin  things, I hope the sexual assault allegations against Bryan Singer turn out to be false.

One of those definitely seems more likely than the other. But hey, Channing Tatum’s gonna be Gambit and Nightcrawler is coming back, so it all works out in the end.

2. Whiplash

Genre: Drama

Directed by: Damien Chazelle

Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist

Until I saw Whiplash, I thought for the longest time that there wasn’t any real competition for my favourite movie of the year. It didn’t quite get there, but hey, 2nd place ain’t bad. J.K. Simmons especially did a really good job-“

“Excuse me? You dropped my movie to second place for some fucking Hollywood circle jerk art house piece of shit?”

Oh, uh, Doctor Fletcher, I-

“Did I say you could speak, bitch?”

(Whimpers)

“If you deliberately sabotage my movie, I will gut you like a pig!”

I’m no sabotaging it, I, really loved it, I-I-

“Oh my dear god, are you actually crying? Are you one of those single-tear people?”

N–n-no!!

“You are a worthless pansy-ass who is now weeping and slobbering all over your keyboard like a nine year old girl! “

(Starts straight-up bawling)

“… Whiplash is your favourite movie. Say it.”

Whiplash is my favorite movie.

“Say it so the entire internet can hear you. “

Whiplash is my favourite movie! 

“LOUDER!!!”

WHIPLASH IS MY FAVOURITE MOVIE!!!!

” You are a worthless, friendless, faggot-lipped little piece of shit who is under the delusion that he has any writing talent to share with anybody, and who is now weeping and slobbering all over his computer like a fucking nine-year old girl! So for the final, FATHER-FUCKING time, SAY IT LOUDER! “

WHIPLASH IS MY FAVOURITE MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

…Start practicing harder, Rollins.

(Resumes sobbing)

1. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Genres: Surreal comedy, black comedy

Directed by: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel)

Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan

No, I’m not bandwagoning. I loved Birdman even before it won Best Picture. If you really want me to go into it, read my review, or my Oscar predictions, for that matter. It’s my favourite movie of this year, possibly one of my favourite movies of all time, and that’s really all you can ask out of a year in movies.

Especially when there’ no hilarious Nicolas Cage performance to rewatch. God, that movie blows/

My 2014 Oscar Predictions

Many tiny, tiny men were forced to give up their lives after being randomly selected for being made to stand in an uncomfortable upright position and having liquid gold poured on them. Their sacrifice will not go forgotten.

Ah, the Oscars! The award show where the old, rich, out-of-touch white men of Hollywood engage in the biggest circle jerk of the year and hand out golden, vaguely phallic trophies in order to congratulate each other for making pretentious, artsy films that the average moviegoer didn’t even think about before the eve of the ceremony!

God, do I love the Oscars. It’s right up there with my birthday, Christmas, Blue Jays Opening Day, Game 7 of the World Series and Edmonton Comic Expo Weekend in my rankings of my favourite days of the year. For somebody who loves movies as much as I do, it’s so great to see these movies that I’ve grown so attached to in the last few months that I’ve been scrambling to watch them. It’s nice to see them all gathered together where all of them can be celebrated for the joy they’ve brought to people.

And by “all of them”, I, of course mean “Boyhood“.

So, without further ado, let’s get my official predictions out of the way!!!

(Keep in mind that I haven’t seen 100% of the movies. Merely a lot of them. Don’t blame me, blame school.”

That, and the fact that I’m not allowed out of my house anymore after the unfortunate incident at a nearby Dairy Queen.

Visual Effects

Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees! And people say we monkey around…”

Winner: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

If I were in charge: Interstellar

Interstellar didn’t impress me as much as it did others in terms of story or plot coherence, but I can’t deny the visual majesty that Nolan’s space epic had. That said, when Dawn wins, I will not complain at all, because Apes On Horses.

Film Editing

TWELVE YEARS!!!! THIS TOOK TWELVE YEARS!!!! ITSOAMAAAAAAAAZZIIIINGGG!!!!!!!”

Will win: Boyhood

If I was in charge: Boyhood

Yeah, as burnt out as I am on hearing people call Boyhood the Citizen Kane of our era or some bullshit, I can’t deny the wonderful editing job done in the film.

Costume Design

Dear lord.

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

If I was in charge: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Makeup and Hairstyling

And this is what happens when you party with Benecio del Toro.

Will win: Guardians of the Galaxy

If I was in charge: Guardians of the Galaxy

Cinematography

Gravity‘s got nothing on this.

Will win: Birdman

If I was in charge: Birdman

Emmanuel Lubezki. That is all.

Production Design

The symmetry alone, Jesus Christ.

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

If I was in charge: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Sound Mixing

Theeeeenn, he swore profusely at me, Pa rum pa pum pum….

Will win: Whiplash

If I was in charge: Whiplash

Man, I’m not exactly being much of a contrarian, am I?

Sound Editing

Oh, there we go.

Will win: American Sniper

If I was in charge: Birdman

Original Song

Will win: “Glory” (Selma)

If I was in charge: “Glory”

Original Score

Just for the record, I would have given the prize to either John Powell or Joe Hisaishi for How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, respectively.

Will win: Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Theory of Everything

If I was in charge: Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game

Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Documentary- Short Subject, Documentary- Feature

I didn’t watch any of these. Why? I’m really, really lazy, in case you guys haven’t noticed.

Foreign Language Film

Are her eyes following anybody else? Just me? Okay then…

Will win: Ida

If I was in charge: Leviathan

Animated Feature Film

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Will win: How to Train Your Dragon 2

If I was in charge: How to Train Your Dragon 2

While I still think that Dragon is the best animated movie of the year (Yes, even better than The LEGO Movie), I highly suggest any fan of animation to check out The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. You’ll thank me later, trust me.

Adapted Screenplay

Will win: The Imitation Game

If I was in charge: The Imitation Game

Original Screenplay

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should win: Birdman

Supporting Actress

Yeesh, now that kids’ eyes are following me.

Will win: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

If I was in charge: Patricia Arquette

Again, I’m not a huge Boyhood fan. That said, I think I would’ve liked it more if it focused more on Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke.

Supporting Actor

Will win: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

If I was in charge: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Actress

“What the fuck am I watching?!?!”                    -Julianne Moore, seen here puzzling over Inherent Vice.

Will win: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

If I was in charge: Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Admittedly, I haven’t seen Still Alice yet, but with all do respect to Julianne Moore, I don’t see how her performance could be better than Rosamund Pike in the movie that is the biggest Best Picture snub of the year.

Actor

Yeah, no way I’m joking about this photo. I’m not a total asshole.

Will win: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

If I was in charge: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

The sentimental part of my brain wants Michael Keaton to win, as Redmayne’s still young, and we don’t know if Keaton will ever be nominated again, but I know in my heart of hearts that Redmayne was probably better.

Director

Meh.

Will win: Richard Linklater, Boyhood

If I was in charge: Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman

I LIKED BOYHOOD, ALRIGHT!?!? I JUST THINK IT’S KIND OF OVERRATED!!! AM I REALLY SO WRONG IN THINKING THAT?!?!

Picture

You know you want it.

Will win: Birdman

If I was in charge: Birdman

My gut actually says that Boyhood is gonna take it, but winning all the Guild Awards is pretty promising, so maybe Birdman has a realistic shot at winning the big prize?

American Sniper is going to sweep the awards now, just because I said that.

Top 10 Best Movies of 2014

After a couple nights of sobbing, binge drinking, and being driven to insanity several times over, I was able to release my list of the worst movies of this year. Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to set our sights on this year’s best movies. Before starting, I must admit that I haven’t seen every movie that I probably should’ve seen by now. Selma, for example, won;t be released in a theatre near me until January, I haven’t had a chance to see The Imitation Game yet and, like an idiot, I missed my chance to watch Whiplash when it was released in Edmonton. Since I can’t very well claim to have seen the best of this year until I’ve, y’know, actually seen the best of the year, I’ll probably do another list in February after awards season, when I’ll have become a little bit less of an uncultured swine.

Unlike my…Other list, I actually enjoy watching good movies. Therefor, I have a few honourable mentions to get through before getting to the actual Top 10. These are movies that would be great fits on any Top 10 list, but juuuuuust missed out on mine.They are, in no particular order:

  1. Interstellar
  2. Neighbors
  3. The Fault in Our Stars
  4. Boyhood 
  5. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1
  6. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  7. Edge of Tomorrow (Or Live. Die. Repeat. Whatever the hell we’re supposed to call it)
  8. John Wick
  9. Big Hero 6
  10. The Lego Movie
  11. 22 Jump Street 
  12. Top Five

Let’s give them all a round of applause, everybody!

Oh, right, before I go on, once again, this list is purely opinion-based, and if you don’t agree with it, feel free to leave your own list in the comment section. Also, I’m not going to go quite as in-depth as I did with the shitty movies (In fact, I’m only doing a caption for each movie), as I’ve already reviewed quite a few of these movies, and pretty much all of those that I haven’t reviewed yet are probably on deck for an Oscar or Golden Globe review. Alright, let’s do this!!!

10. The Theory of Everything

You will cry.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy

This is an actual thing that happened.

8. How to Train Your Dragon 2

“Nice pansy-ass white balloon robot. Check out my pet.”

7. Nightcrawler

Uhh…..Bamf????

6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

One of the most badass posters of the year, by the way.

5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

“You’re an inanimate fucking object!!!”

4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I want an orangutan of my very own. Maurice is fucking awesome.

3. Gone Girl

..Ummmm… I’ll just give you two some privacy…

2. X-Men: Days of Future Past

The collective awesomeness in this poster is too much for most mortal men.

1. Birdman

What? No! Who the hell is this?!

A Quick Look at the Revealed DC Cinematic Universe: Part 1 of 4

‘The Guardians of the Galaxy can suck it.”

Last week, likely in response to Marvel’s announcement of the plot details to Captain America 3, Warner Bros. decided to go one further by announcing all of the movies planned for the DC Cinematic universe up to the year 2020, along with some casting details and a couple director announcements. So, was this really a hasty, impulsive announcement that doesn’t really bode well for DC’s ongoing rivalry with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, or is this a genius publicity  move by WB that will get people to forget all about the MCU?

Definitely the former. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested though. So, after getting through the last of my TV reviews until this week’s Legend of Korra episode, I decided to take a quick look at the movie announcements, with each movie accompanied by a short blurb. Let’s do this!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

I dunno if this is official art or not, but I really like it.

Release date: March 25, 2016

Directed by: Zack Snyder

Produced by: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder

Screenplay by: Chris Terrio (Argo)

Story by: David S. Goyer

Cast: Henry Cavill (Superman/Clark Kent), Ben Affleck (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman/Diana Prince) Amy Adams (Lois Lane) Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) Diane Lane (Martha Kent) Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor) Jeremy Irons (Alfred Pennyworth) Holly Hunter (U.S. Senator) Tao Okamoto (Mercy Graves)

Cameos: Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman) Ray Fisher (Cyborg/Victor Stone)

This is the movie that we currently have the most information on, as it’s currently the only movie that’s in production. Really, there isn’t much more to say about it. I still liked Man of Steel more than most and think that the returning cast from that movie could do a great job, I still have faith that Ben Affleck can pull Batman off (Even more so now that the photos of him in the batsuit have been released), and Jesse Eisenberg is still kinda iffy for me. I guess this is where you pull the Heath Ledger card on me, because “You don’t now if he’s gonna be great until you see him.” That’s true enough, I suppose. I guess we’ll just wait and see.

Also, high fucking time that Wonder Woman appears on the big screen. We had a damn Steel movie with Shaquille O’Neal and no Wonder Woman? Bullshit.

Suicide Squad 

I’m not sure what the fact that I find a psychopath murderess attractive? Well, I find Harley Quinn really hot. There, I said it.

Release date: August 5, 2016

Directed by: David Ayer

Screenplay by: Justin Marks

This…. This announcement really threw me off.

I just don’t get it. There was no solo Batman or Superman movie announced, and yet, a Suicide Squad movie?

The only possible reason that I can imagine why this was green-lit is that Warner Bros. saw Marvel and Disney make all the money because of Guardians of the Galaxy and thought “Hey, we can make a movie starring charming criminals who become reluctant heroes!!! Let’s do that!”

“But edgy!!!”

Regardless, I’m still pretty pumped about the movie, although I’m kinda pissed off that it doesn’t look like Harley Quinn’s gonna be in it as, morbid sexual attraction aside, I think she’s a great character. But hey, Deadshot’s gonna be there, and even if he’s got a bunch of nobodies behind him, they’re in negotiations to bring in an A-list cast of Will Smith, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy and Margot Robbie (Who, just saying, would be a great Harley Quinn). Also, David Ayer is a pretty highly regarded director, having helmed movies like Fury and End of Watch. I dunno, it’s bizarre, but it could pay off.

 To be continued…

Guardians of the Galaxy (Movie Review)

 

Am I alone in thinking that Ronan’s face paint makes him look kind of adorable?

Sooo……Better late than never!?!?

 

Guardians of the Galaxy

Directed by: James Gunn

Produced by: Kevin Feige

Screenplay by: James Gunn and Nicole Perlman

Based on: Guardians of the Galaxy by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

Franchise: Marvel Cinematic Universe (Tenth installment)

Genres: Superhero, Science fiction

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael  Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro

Music by: Tyler Bates

 

 

Plot: Twenty-six years after he was abducted and adopted by a group of intergalactic space pirates led by Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker), Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), now a fully-fledged outlaw, has gone rogue, trying to steal a mystical orb of sorts and hopefully make some money off of it. However, his plan hits a snag when he is sent to…Uh, space prison, I guess, by the famed Nova Corps of Planet Xandar. While in the clink, he meets several interesting characters, namely a notorious assassin named Gamora (Zoe Saldana), a hyper-violent, vengeful badass named Drax (Dave Bautista), a tough-talking, trigger-happy genetically altered racoon bounty hunter named Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and finally, Rocket’s sweet-natured sidekick, a giant talking tree named Groot (Vin Diesel).

Yes, Marvel greenlit this movie instead of, say, a Black Panther or Captain Marvel movie. Two years ago, that line of reasoning was kind of confusing to everybody, wasn’t it?

Anyways, this motley group of intergalactic rejects discovers that this orb has a little bit more to it than being a shiny thing they can sell for cash, and they must travel across the galaxy in order to keep it from falling into the hands of a genocidal maniac and terrorist, Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and his henchmen, Nebula (Karen Gillan) and Korath (Djimon Hounsou).

This month, Marvel and Disney proved that not only can they adapt pretty much any D-list product from the annals of Marvel’s archive into a movie, they will also make a shit-ton of money off of it, and get every critic to cream themselves over it. The movie is a soli 92% over on Rotten Tomatoes and is on pace to become the highest grossing movie of the year in the U.S. and Canada, although it’s still expected to fall short of the billion dollars that Transformers: Age of Extinction made internationally.

Thanks for that, China. Fucking assholes.

So, once again, the question must be asked: Do I think that this movie as good as the critics say? Or is it just a overrated, overblown corporate CGI turd that somehow brainwashed critics into liking it?

Of course I loved it. I’m not made of stone. There are a couple big flaws though, so let’s get them out of the way first.

The first time I saw this film, I was kinda thrown off in the first act or so, as the pacing is kinda, well, sloppy. I just felt that there was too much crap being thrown at the audience to the point where the first thirty minutes or so feel busy or cluttered. It’s pretty much smooth sailing from then on, though. I guess the key is to just watch the movie multiple times until you get to the point where it doesn’t bother you any more.

One recurring fault that seems to, unfortunately, be becoming a trend in Marvel movies, is a lack of a really compelling villain (Loki, Winter Soldier and Red Skull notwithstanding). Unfortunately, Guardians doesn’t really do much to distinguish itself from the herd in this sense. It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with Ronan, per se. Lee Pace’s performance is great, and he feels threatening enough (If you discount the emo makeup, I mean), but his backstory doesn’t extend much beyond him being a crazy extremist. He’s good for some fine scenery chewing, but not much else. Especially when us Marvel nerds know that Ultron and Thanos are just around the corner. However, for all my carrying on about the villain, I honestly think it’s a minor problem at best. Why? Because it’s incredibly obvious that he was never ever meant to be the focus of this movie. He’s only ever onscreen when the audience is in need of some exposition, or when he’s interacting with one or more of the Guardians.

Which brings me to the main characters. As much as the special effects are fantastic, the score is phenomenal and the movie, in general, is hilarious when it wants to be and pretty heavy when it wanted to be, the best part of the entire movie is anything to do with the Guardians of the Galaxy themselves. I already kinda liked the characters, thanks to my prior knowledge of the comic book series (Albeit, not the classic ’08 series. Just the recent series.), but I downright fell in love with them in this movie. Hell, I’m already planning my Star-Lord costume for Halloween! I haven’t gotten this excited about that silly holiday since I was, like, eight and dressed up like Harry Potter!

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord is great, and while I admit that I had my doubts about him, those opening credits absolutely killed, and extinguished any worries I may have had about him. Think Han Solo crossed with Peter Venkman, and you’ll probably end up with a good idea of this character. Also, there’s a pretty cool backstory connecting him to the awesome, 80’s infused soundtrack of this movie, so listen up for that.

I liked Zoe Saldana as Gamora, in her millionth role as an alien, and her thousandth role as somebody with an unusual skin pigment, and her character had some pretty great backstory, although when listening to her dialogue, I kind of got the impression that they weren’t sure whether to make her a more modern, witty heroine (Like Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender, for example) or a more stoic, eloquent badass, like her teammate, Drax. Ah well, that’s just me nitpicking, I suppose. It worked fine, and I guess I’ll leave it at that.

Speaking of Drax, I was kind of worried that Dave Bautista would be the only weak link among the fantastic cast, considering that he doesn’t come from an acting background, and is better known as the wrestler and MMA fighter Batista, and wrestlers don’t exactly have a long and storied connection with non-wrestling visual media.

Case in point.

However, Bautista blew away my expectations. It’s not like he’s Oscar-worthy or anything, but he was irreplaceable in the part of a character who, surprislingly, isn’t merely there to kick ass and take names (Although don’t worry, there’s plenty of that too). He has some of the best lines in the movie, in terms of both comedy and drama, and he displays some pretty impressive comic timing.

And I’m not just saying that because he could mangle my puny ass, although it does play a part.

My two favourite characters though, are the consensus picks, though, being Rocket and Groot. Oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper was an odd choice to voice a tough talking CGI raccoon bounty hunter and, I’ve gotta admit, it kinda smelt liked casting a celebrity for the sake of casting a celebrity. However, not once during the movie did his voice ever take me out of the movie (As even he best celebrity voices are wont to do), and he really disappears into this character.

I really love Vin Diesel as adorable Groot too. Weirdly enough, a lot of the criticism of the movie has to do with Vin Diesel voicing a character who only says a handful of different words. Could another actor have voiced Groot? Eh, maybe, but I think that Riddick did a fantastic job conveying emotion and conversation in such limited dialogue.

And besides, who doesn’t love Vin Diesel?

Overall: I don’t think it’s quite as good as The Avengers, but Guardians of the Galaxy is a fantastic sci-fi adventure that, while not faultless, is still probably the best movie of the summer.

Face it, you could do worse.

Rating: 9/10

Top 5 Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains- Part 1of 4

It took me a few minutes to make completely sure this wasn’t just photoshopped Tea Party propaganda.

A couple of days ago, I had the immense pleasure to watch the newest installment in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy. I don’t want to get too much into it, as I plan on writing a formal review after I watch it once more, because holy crap was that movie awesome, but I will say that one of the very few shortcomings of the movie was the unspectacular villain, Ronan the Accuser. The so-so baddie ended up working well with the movie, and I’ll get into why some other time, but it got me thinking about the different villains in the MCU, and I realized that aside from Loki, there aren’t many that get a ton of love. It’s not usually through any fault of their own…

Though there are exceptions.

… I just find that maybe the moviegoing public doesn’t find them quite as interesting as, say, Heath Ledger’s Joker, Jack Nicholson’s Joker or Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor. Hell, even Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin is remembered for all the  more than, say, Obadiah Stane from Iron Man, albeit for all the wrong reasons. So, in order to both celebrate the new movie, and to throw Marvel Studios a bone (To go along with billions of dollars in worldwide gross), I decided to count down my top 5 favourite MCU villains.

First of all though, I limited myself to only villains who were the main antagonist in one of their film appearances. Therefor, villains like the Abomination, the Mandarin and Nebula, who were being created or controlled by a “puppet master” for lack of a better term, are not included. All clear? Good. Let’s start with 5 and 4 on our list.

Also, I may possibly go into spoiler territory, so be aware of that.

5. Aldrich Killian

Winner of “Most Punchable Face” at the 2014 Academy Awards.

Appearance: Iron Man 3

Portrayed by: Guy Pearce

The founder of A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), Aldrich Killian had the misfortune to be diagnosed with a debilitating disability. To overcome his handicap, he injects himself with a virus of his own creation, Extremis, which not only cures his disability, but ends up giving him heat-based superpowers. Instead of doing something awesome with that power…

Seen here: Doing something awesome with that power.

…Killian uses his high intellect to manipulate the Vice-president into doing… Well, something. I don’t remember shit about the whole conspiracy, and all I really remember from the movie was that there was  less to the Mandarin than you thought, Pepper Potts still sucks, and Shane Black has still got it.

Also, Robert Downey, Jr. called a young boy a pussy, so you know, that’s pretty awesome.

In all honesty, it was kind of a crapshoot for the number five spot between Thunderbolt Ross and Aldrich Killian for the fifth spot, but I finally went with Killian because of the reveal of just exactly how diabolical and complicated his power-grab was (I Google’d it between paragraphs). The problem is that he didn’t really do much to distinguish himself, even with his badass skill set, and, for fucks sake, he let Pepper Potts kill him. So, yeah, he barely gets on this list ahead of Thunderbolt Ross (Whom I barely remember) and Ronan (Who I’ll get into later).

To be continued…