Escape from Planet Earth and; Hidden Messages, a Blu-Ray Review

Had Escape from Planet Earth have been more diligent with its message of mending fences then this movie might have fared better

Escape from Planet EarthFans of Brendan Fraser’s work will most likely find enjoyment with Escape from Planet Earth. He is the perfect fit to voice Scorch Supernova, a not-so bright hero from the planet Baab. This astronaut thinks might makes right when defending his world from mysterious forces from beyond his solar system. Most of the vocal talent like Jessica AlbaGeorge Lopez and Ricky Gervais fit in rather well to the character archetypes they are portraying in this film but this talent does not help save it from certain production problems. There is no clear target audience for Rainmaker Entertainment’s first foray into feature film development.

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Where is the “Epic” Appeal? A Movie Review

Epic inserts is a movie made on steroids. It tries to be too much of everything we love from Disney and it’s not needed.

Epic Film PosterThe main problem with Blue Sky Studio’s Epic is that it tries too hard to be just that. This film forgets where its inspirations should be coming from. It could have borrowed from Peer Gynt—which would have been fine—but it didn’t. While the CGI is very impressive with its photo-realism, that isn’t enough to carry this film.

This movie deserves a Oscar nomination for artistic direction. As for any other category, it may need a Razzie for its story development.

Its fairy tale aspirations gets forgotten in favor for an action story in the same vein as Avatar. Instead of an invasion of an evasive human species, the antagonist here is with the forces lurking under the earth. All the nastiness of mosquitoes, mole-men and rodents (including bats) gets personified as agents of pestilence.

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Star Trek: (Getting Deeper) Into Darkness, A Movie Review

If only Star Trek: Into Darkness was edited differently, it could have been a tale about Spock’s heroic journey.

Star Trek: Into Darkness PosterSpoiler alert

Star Trek: Into Darkness is a film that will no doubt have many fans wanting to make comparisons once the spoilers are known. By now, nearly everyone knows who the true villain is. This movie’s title card is enough to suggest the tone and direction. It’s to explore what drives men to do what they do. Sometimes that territory needs to be ventured into. And just where should the line be crossed?

The Prime Directive may be more than just a mandate to not interfere with fledgling civilizations, but in how culture gets developed. The intro is very Indiana Jones when Kirk and Bones are running away from some primitive tribe for reasons unexplained. Part of it may well do with causing a distraction so Spock can enter a volcano to save this tribe. But the plan has a few problems, and Kirk has to violate the Prime Directive to save his science officer.

In a plot that develops in one direction, the swing it makes is not necessarily politically driven. Some viewers may well read plenty of left-wing messages into this piece, but the way this film ends speaks for itself. Gone are the colorful suits the Federation that the classic and later TV series defined. When on duty, the standard red, blue and yellow are seen, but as for when they are presenting en masse, for the public to see, some viewers may well wonder what’s with the drab dark grey? Could J.J. Abrams version be a look in the mirror darkly? The first movie established the Spock from the original series universe does in fact exist. He chose to stay out of interfering in this canon’s timeline. As for what that means in this reboot as a whole, even this universe’s Spock is perplexed.

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The Rise of the Guardians, A Movie and DVD review

A few ideas have been tossed out from the book version to make Rise of the Guardians work, and it shows.

B00947N6D8.01.LZZZZZZZThe Rise of the Guardians (RotG) is an interesting legends to lore tale that turns characters like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny to superheroes. It’s not like Marvel Comic’s Avengers, but rather a stripped down version of X-Men. The CGI and cinematography are wonderful to behold, especially in high definition, but the story is all too familiar. It’s like watching a re-imagining of Peter Pan.

Jack Frost replaces the titular character of Pan, and Pitch Black aka the Boogeyman (or Nightmare King) is Hook. They have a relationship which can get forged if the two decide to mutually work together. While one story deals with eternal youth and all the irresponsibilities it can represent, the other looks at accepting the consequences of age and developing wisdom. These themes are loosely explored in RotG but the emphasis is on Frost and how well he can work in a team environment.

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Monsters vs Aliens, A Movie Review

As an action/comedy, all the elements required to make Monsters vs Aliens hilarious is here. But young children will not necessarily get all the jokes.

Monsters-vs-aliens-posterWatch out Shrek! Dreamworks’ Monsters vs Aliens is more than just another franchise in the making. It has now arrived on the boob tube and where the movie fits in is with a blu-ray/dvd video release that delivers a bunch of extra content. The upgrade to the higher-resolution format is worthwhile, and the 3D version on the smaller screen is just as good as the big-screen presentation. And in a combo set, the DVD has extras likes deleted scenes whereas the Blu-ray has an animated extra, B.O.B.’s Big Break in 3D.

While this film does not compare to PIXAR’s movies for depth or meaning, it does keep up with recent 3D trends. The animated short, Monsters vs. Aliens: Night of the Living Carrots became available first on the Nintendo 3DS first, and, of course in 3D, natch! The visuals in both products are very eye popping, and the visual experience is more enjoyable than grating. And the movie experience is a wonderful tribute to the B-movies of yesteryear with a dash of dyslexia mixed in. That is, sci-fi connoisseurs will find plenty of pop culture references of even some current films of the past century to snicker at, but as for Godzilla—he’s a fluffy bug!

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