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Topics - Chiprocks1

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DVD's & Blu-rays / Borg Vs. McEnroe (2018)
« on: September 19, 2018, 06:40:38 pm »
Borg Vs. McEnroe (2018)
3 Stars out of 5


Borg Vs. McEnroe kind of follows the same format as Battle of the Sexes in how they go about telling another iconic Tennis Match. Where Sexes failed, Borg V Mac get's it right due in large part to a compelling backstory told in flashbacks. On the surface, you automatically think that this movie is about McEnroe. It's not. This is all about Borg and the lengths he goes to to become the best player in the world. Mac is more or less a side character here. I love how they set up and then ultimately play out the match. If you don't have any idea of who wins, you will absolutely be on pins and needles the entire time, which I was because I totally forgot who won in the end. So, that was kind of cool to not remember the outcome and get to experience this match again. With that said, the movie isn't perfect, but it's definitely worth a Rent.

Now Playing: Movies / Captain Marvel (2019)
« on: September 19, 2018, 06:32:53 am »
Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel - Official Trailer

Captain Marvel is the one that I've been very interested in for a while now. With Wonder Woman kicking down the door for female-led superhero movies that actually succeed both financially and critically, I have my eyes on Captain Marvel to continue the momentum. And since it's in the MCU, I fully expect this to dominate at the box office and the trailer gives me a lot of confidence it will do exactly that. Great treat to see both Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg popping up in the trailer in their respective roles as Nick Fury and Agent Coulsen. Come on, that didn't make you geek out just a little bit? Brie Larson's career is about to go into a whole new level for sure.

DVD's & Blu-rays / Tomb Raider (2018)
« on: September 15, 2018, 05:14:22 am »
Tomb Raider (2018)
3 Stars out of 5


Tomb Raider was a movie I had high hopes for in large part because of the current Reboot of the game series. I really thought THIS would be the movie that finally got it right when it came to video game to movie translation. Sadly this continues the tradition of underwhelming performances. Granted, Tomb Raider isn't bad. It's just a decent flick for what it is. My issue is that I thought this was going to be a literally translation from the Reboot Game (it's not). It takes some things from Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider and then just makes up a completely different narrative. They get the tone and look right, but not much else. I think the biggest problem is how little respect the writer and director showed to what Tomb Raider is all about: Solving Tomb Puzzles! Furthermore, they took way to long getting there. Even worse is that once we get there, it's just a couple of Puzzle solving scenes and then that's it. This is what is at the core of the game and it should have been what drove the final hour of the movie. As the movie wore down, I kept saying to myself, "there is no way a sequel is getting green-lit in spite of all the seeds they are laying down regarding Trinity". If they move forward, they need to bring in a different team that actually uses the game as it's blueprint. Not just "inspired by". As for Alicia Vikander, I actually like her as Lara Croft. I just wished they took the script more seriously to give her something to work with. Worth a Rent on a rainy day. Nothing more.

DVD's & Blu-rays / Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
« on: September 12, 2018, 07:15:56 pm »
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)
2 Stars out of 5


Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets had me for 10 minutes at the start of the movie. I was watching the "Pale version of Avatar" and was kind of digging it for that very reason. In my head, in spite of wide swath of bad reviews, was in this. And then........the two main characters of Valérian and Laureline came in and took me completely out of the movie to the point that I kept starting and stopping the movie all day long. I have no idea about the comics that this was spawned from, but from a movie and story point of view....these two characters are completely irrelevant, even if they have to be the ones to save the inhabitants of Mül. If you want cardboard cutouts, they are the ones for you. The story itself was bland and at times extremely convoluted given how it jumps from one new character to the next without really giving much backstory of what's happening in the moment. Honestly, the entire movie....or at least the first movie should have been centered entirely around Mül and maybe in the sequel pick up with this two characters. I found the CGI characters to have more emotion then the two Human actors. Great eye candy. Looks and sounds amazing. But that's all this is. Beyond boring. I will never watch this one again. Skip. I'm not disappointed in the movie, because I knew exactly what this would be when I first saw the trailer.

DVD's & Blu-rays / The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017)
« on: September 11, 2018, 09:26:06 am »
The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017)
4 Stars out of 5


The Hitman's Bodyguard is a love it or hate it affair. I don't know either the Director or the Writer, but it's clear they are drawing from their favorite action adventure films from the past and the movie does come off as a bit cliched. It's a been there, done that movie. So most are going to criticized the film for that reason alone. I on the other hand found the movie to be very entertaining from start to finish. The one thing I think this improves on in the "cliche" department is just how much humor is interjected into it. This is not a comedy, but it's damn funny and that's in large part to the chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson who play off each other to perfection. Watching Hitman's Bodyguard, I was noticing a handful of mini reunion's throughout. Sam Jackson and Gary Oldman in particular. It only took 25 years, but Sam exacted his revenge on "Drexl". The other "reunion" of sorts was Salma Hayek and Joaquim de Almeida, although they never share screen time in this one. Anyway, yeah, highly recommend checking out this movie. Glad to hear there is a sequel in the works.

September 11...y Bday movie.  ;D

DVD's & Blu-rays / Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
« on: September 03, 2018, 11:50:32 am »
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
4 Stars out of 5


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a movie that honestly had no desire to see. Not because I heard bad things about it and whatnot, it just seemed like a movie that I wouldn't really get much out of. And then there was the fact that Kevin Hart was in it. It's not that I don't like him, it's just that pretty much every movie I have seen him in has been a disappointment. One thing I didn't know about JWTTJ is whether this was a remake, reboot or sequel to Robin Williams' Jumanji and having just watched the flick and barely remembering the first movie, I still don't know where this installment fits in. But you really don't need to know this at all to enjoy the movie, which I absolutely did. The core cast of  Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas made this flick hum along. And yes, even Kevin Hart was funny.

It's easy to label this as a modern day version of the Raiders of the Lost Ark formula. But it's got something else going on, something that I think makes me really like the movie a whole lot more and that's the fact that it takes a big chunk from of all things....The Breakfast Club. Yeah, you are probably thinking I'm full of sh*t. But it does owe a lot to TBC. You have a group of misfits that want nothing to do with each other being forces into detention and then through the course of the movie embracing who they are and bonding with the same people that have no desire to be associated with and ultimately changing for the better because of it. TBC. It has other influences like Big with regards to Body-Swapping as well. But yeah, at it's heart, Jumanji bleeds TBC. Cool story, fun adventure and the Epilogue is exactly what I wanted to see once they revert back to their kid selves. Definitely worth checking out.

DVD's & Blu-rays / Justice League (2017)
« on: September 02, 2018, 07:49:04 am »
Justice League (2017)
2 Stars out of 5


In a word, Justice League sucks. Sigh. As much as I wanted to like this, I didn't. No amount of trying to convince myself that what I'm watching is the best thing ever....or at least decent, my mind can not trick me. This movie was and is such a monumental letdown to say the least and here's the kicker, I knew it was going to be a let down. How? Why? Well, it starts at the top and that's Zack Snyder. With the exception of one movie of his (Watchman), he has turned out very mediocre films, especially those in the DCU. Yeah, Snyder can film "pretty" scenes, but when it comes to crafting a narrative, he has only one peer on his level: Michael Bay. If DC is really serious about turning their DCU films around, they absolutely have to get rid of Snyder. Like I said, it starts at the top and if they continue to allow him creative control of what happens in this universe, we are going to continue to have sh*tty movies being shoved down our throats.

There's just too many things with this movie....and all the other film DC films he is tied to to really comment on. Justice League's story is just a mind numbing cluster f*ck that is neither engaging or important enough to bother wasting your time with. He mishandles everyone from Batman to Superman to Aquaman and to a large extent Wonder Woman, a character thus far to have a superior movie to her name and the one that Snyder had nothing to do with. Go figure. How do you f*ck up The Flash here? I know that he is meant to be used for comedic relief, but Snyder makes him look beyond stupid and idiotic. If this is where they are taking the character, I for one have no desire to see the stand alone movie that's coming.

I should have seen where Justice League was going from the very first scene of the movie. The f*ck up of all f*ck ups: Henry Cavill's digitally "removed" mustache is beyond distracting. I heard about this debacle prior to watching the movie, but I never really believed at just how bad everyone made this out to be. Well, everything you have heard is absolutely TRUE. It is awful and what makes it stunning is just how bad the job is for a movie that has millions of dollars behind it. How does something this bad ever get signed off by those overseeing the Special FX. The "Special FX" is so bad, it literally makes Henry Cavill / Superman look like a CGI character from head to toe, in spite of only having the FX applied to his upper lip. Yeah, I can go on and on about everything else that is wrong about the movie and how the best thing the DCU can do is fire Snyder, but I've already wasted enough of my precious time. Skip this if you want a sound story. If all you want is eye candy (upper lip candy notwithstanding), then maybe you will enjoy this one.

Video Games / Spider-Man
« on: September 01, 2018, 10:34:45 am »
Marvel's Spider-Man (PS4) Photo Mode Trailer - PAX West 2018

There are plenty of other trailers thus far for the forthcoming game, but this one in particular really peaked my interest in a game I already want. Photo Mode is very reminiscent of GTA V's Director Mode. Think of what you can do with this Mode, especially for artist. We are going to be able to create whatever Spidey pose we want in the game, background and all, use the in-game camera to set up your shots any way you can think of and then save that image. This is a BIG thing for artist like myself, especially with Spider-Man, looking for unique reference material to draw from.

DVD's & Blu-rays / Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
« on: August 26, 2018, 07:12:45 pm »
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
4 Stars out of 5


I never been more entertained by a movie that ultimately p*sses me off than I did with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I didn't know anything about the story other than it was "Based on a True Story". I went into this with nothing else. Like I said, the movie was great for all it's idiosyncrasies and unique characters that make up the movie. All I knew was that  Frances McDormand was in this. So, it was a nice surprise to see the likes of Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, Sandy Martin, Željko Ivanek and Peter Dinklage pop up in the movie. The two main characters that really carry the film belong to Frances and Sam...and to a lesser degree Woody. But it's these two characters that drive the story and move things forward. As a viewer, we are meant to feel and act a certain way toward Sam's character (very, very unlikable). But then a few kind woods from Woody can in fact change a person's life and give them a sense of direction moving forward. Now we have a redemption that I was truly on-board for. And then......that Ending. Ugh. Why? Why leave the viewer cheated like that? That is the stuff that really irks me. This isn't the first time this has happened. It's happened plenty of times before and everytime I feel like I want to beat the sh*t out of both the Director and Writer for this. I don't want it to be left to me to "think whatever you think the ending is....". It's lazy writing. With that said, the movie up till the ending is a fascinating watch. And I'm surprise that I can still give this movie 4 Stars given how it ends. Ugh, still can't get over the ending. Ugggggggggggggggggggggggggggggh!!!!

FYI, with Frances being in the movie, I absolutely, 100% thought this was going to be a Coen Brothers film based on the title of the movie because THAT is definitely a title they would use.

Television / Cobra Kai (Season 1 - 2018)
« on: August 25, 2018, 08:16:43 pm »
Cobra Kai (Season 1 - 2018)
4 1/2 Stars out of 5


I really didn't know what to expect from Cobra Kai the series. Yeah, the handful of Trailers that dropped hyping this up did peak my interest giving that I'm a HUGE fan of the original film The Karate Kid. But with each successive movie in the franchise, it was less than the last previous film. So, what would this series actually be beyond seeing both Ralph Macchio and William Zabka returning to their most iconic roles? Just binged-watched the entire series the past few days and damn was I ever entertained! Wasn't expecting that at all.

I have to say right off the bat, I went into this thinking it was going to be "more of the same" with it focusing on Daniel LaRusso. Boy, was I ever wrong. This is about Johnny Lawrence and I felt like an idiot for not seeing the obvious road sign based on the name of the series: Cobra Kai. D'oh! So yeah, Johnny Lawrence is the A Story, Daniel LaRusso takes a back seat and is the B Story and the kids....students, they are the C Story for the entire series. Having Johnny as the focal point really makes this a series worth checking out. If you have any passing knowledge of The Karate Kid, he's the one that gets "kicked in the face" at the end. I really appreciate that the writers went down the road of exploring where he is currently at in his life, 34 years after the events of the movie.

It's an interesting parallel of how both Johnny and Daniel both head in different directions in life from this lone fight of theirs.....and how they basically take on the roles of their former Sensi's of Kreese and Mr. Miyagi. You don't have to have seen the movie to enjoy the series, but it does make the series a whole lot of fun as there is a lot of fan service, whether it be revisiting familiar iconic locations from the movie or scenes being re-imagined here. There is a healthy dose of flashbacks that are fleshed out throughout the series that use scenes from the Karate Kid movie. In the off-chance you haven't seen Cobra Kai yet, I will refrain from spoilers for the plot. Watching it unfold and play out is half the fun. So, you will just have to watch it and find out for yourself. And what about those cameos that pop up, especially in the final scene of the Season Finale? Now I'm really pumped for Season 2. BRING IT ON! F*ck yeah! I highly recommend checking this out. Personally, if they ever release this on DVD, I am definitely adding this to my personal Library.

DVD's & Blu-rays / Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
« on: August 25, 2018, 01:35:42 pm »
Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
3 Stars out of 5


Murder on the Orient Express is a beautiful film to look at and Kenneth Branagh does a great job putting the movie together. With an All-Star cast that includes Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, and Daisy Ridley along with Branagh in the lead role as the Detective, how could this not be a success? Well, star power is not a movie-make. It comes down to story and they are riding the talents of Agatha Christie. So, how could this not be a success? All the ingredients are here and missing the one thing that it should have. Engagement. By that I mean, whenever I watch a Whodunit movie like this, the joy comes in trying to piece all the clues together and solve the mystery before the movie ends. That's what ever Whodunit movie strives for right? My issue here is that Hercule Poirot, the Detective is pulling out clues left and right, stuff that isn't even shown on camera but somehow figures into the plot. Um, if you're not going to show clues, then you're taking me out of my ability to solve anything. So, as pretty as this movie is to look at, I'm just a spectator and can't really get into it since I'm not being given the chance to solve anything. Sure, I already knew the story and knew what the Twist was, but I still want to see how the evidences was laid out throughout the movie. Worth a Rent, nothing more.

DVD's & Blu-rays / The Post (2017)
« on: August 21, 2018, 07:46:02 am »
The Post (2017)
4 Stars out of 5


Who would ever guess that a movie about a "small" newspaper like The Post could actually be a fun movie to watch. Put this in the hands of Steven Spielberg, alongside the powerhouse acting of Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep and you have a pretty good chance of an enjoyable movie from start to finish. The pacing of the film is what drives this movie and that's why Spielberg is one of the greatest film makers ever and he does a fantastic job keeping everything humming along. As for the story itself, it's about The Washington Post publishing the Pentagon Papers and how Nixon was trying to squash freedom of speech and the Free Press. Sound familiar? Now I don't know if anyone involved, namely Steven, Tom or Meryl ever came out and said explicitly this was their statement on today's attack against the Free Press. But because the movie is so relevant to what's happening now, watching The Post has to be a BIG MIDDLE FINGER to the current administration. There's no getting around the subtext of the film at all. Okay, with that out of the way, I highly recommend you check out the movie. It's a great way to learn a little bit more about our history, something I only had a marginal understanding of as it was something I ever went deeper on beyond just the "basic" knowledge. A lot of great supporting actors to be found here as well. Too many to name. Check it out.

Music / Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018)
« on: August 16, 2018, 07:27:43 am »
Watch Now: Special report, Aretha Franklin dead at 76

Sad day for music fans everywhere. What a voice. RIP

DVD's & Blu-rays / Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
« on: August 12, 2018, 07:38:16 pm »
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
4 Stars out of 5


This movie starts and ends with Groot. Seriously, I love this character. He was great in the first film, but it wasn't until the dancing baby Groot to close out the movie did we get a taste of what the character could and would become. And having dancing baby Groot open up Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a stroke of genius. Everyone was just waiting for Groot and what better way to kick off a movie and get the entire audience on board right from the get go. I actually found both Groot and Rocket to be the stars of Volume 2. And ironic of all, it was their story that really had emotional pull for me. There's a lot to like about Volume 2. It's not perfect...but it does a great job of telling a story and giving other characters more room to shine this time around.

Dave Bautista as Drax really got to show what he's made of in the character. Wouldn't have really expected him to have so many laugh-out-loud moments, each one priceless in his delivery and execution. I also liked seeing both Yondu and Nebula getting a redemption arc, more so Yondu. His sacrifice and subsequent funeral/celebration was touching, which I didn't see coming at all. I imagine that Nebula will get a bigger redemption story in Volume 3. The cameo's were interesting to say the least from Sylvester Stallone and David Hasselhoff and Kurt Russell. I did notice both Ving Rhames and Michelle Yeoh as well. Be sure to watch the End Credits. THIS is how you do the credit scroll. There is a lot going on from the multiple bonus scenes to the 'I AM GROOT' credit reveals to the dancing GIFs. I'm sure those that worked on the film appreciate this knowing that everyone is sticking around....even if they aren't reading the credits. Anyway, this is a definite movie to add to your DVD library. There is so much humor peppered throughout the movie to keep you laughing.

DVD's & Blu-rays / Game of Thrones (Season 7 - 2017)
« on: August 06, 2018, 07:08:08 am »
Game of Thrones (Season 7 - 2017)
5 Stars out of 5


OMG! There is so much to like about the Seventh Season of Game of Thrones. If you have been watching the series up to now, then you are sure to like that all the stories thus far have now merged into one. I look at Season 7 as the Reunion season because certain characters are reunited at long last or meeting for the first time. Sansa is reunited with both Arya and Brandon separately, which delivered emotionally and then there is the meeting of Jon and Daenerys. These are the scenes I have been patiently waiting for and they were fantastic. I will say that I never even thought of Jon and Daenerys as a potential power couple. I thought the undertones of sexual tension between the two was great. You see two hard asses slowly shedding their metaphorical wall they have put up for themselves.

I'm trying to remember as much as I can about this season because there was so much happening. At the forefront, the main plot of this season is Jon and his cohorts going on a White Walker hunt to capture a "living" walker as proof of the impending Great War that is barreling toward all the Kingdoms. I never thought about them actually going down this road and it makes perfect sense they would need proof if they are to convince everyone else to join in their fight. And speaking of the White Walkers, the second to last episode was easily THE episode of the season. The showdown between 6 men against 100k White Walkers was beyond exhilarating to say the least. Having Daenerys and her Dragons coming in to save the day was a cheer-out-loud moment for sure.....that ends in tragedy, which I absolute saw coming a mile away. What I didn't see coming was the forethought of the White Walkers to actually salvage the dead dragon and 'turn' him into a White Dragon to be used as their own weapon against the Kingdoms.

The Season Finale could be considered a "let down" because of the preceding episode that was wall to wall action, but it's nothing short of perfect. With the Finale, it was THE face to face meeting we have all been waiting for as Jon, Daenerys and the rest finally sit down with Cersi and try to convince her to stand with them in the Great War. Man, watching her, makes me really hate her more so than ever before. I can't stand her, which makes her a villain you absolutely enjoy rooting against. So, with their "alliance" finally cemented, that leads us to the cliffhanger that sets up the Eighth and finale season of Game of Thrones. But before I talk about that, I want to talk about.....Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish first.

FINALLY! I have been patiently waiting for him to get his comeuppance for 6 seasons and the pay off was perfect. I love how they set it all up with Baelish thinking he was outsmarting both Sansa and Arya by meticulously laying traps for both to turn against each other, only to reveal at trial that it was he that was being set up all along. What makes the pay off all the more sweeter is that during this cat and mouse game, the writing was painting Sansa as a power hungry "Queen" in waiting, willing to kill Arya and Jon in order to ascend to the throne. This is where the trial comes into play as Arya is to be tried, convicted and executed for her "crimes", thus leading to the twist at the end with Baelish actually being the one on trial. His demise was....poetic justice, coming at the hand of Arya.

Now, let's talk about that cliffhanger. Sheesh! That was amazing to see. The White Walkers come upon the Wall. The Keepers of the Wall are safe right? I mean, it's a wall of ice. They sit atop of the Wall looking down at the White Walkers with no way to climb or enter through the gates. Enter the White Dragon in all his fiery glory, laying waste to the Wall in a matter of minutes. This was such a monumental moment that I will never forget this....ever. Ending the season with the White Walkers crossing over the debris of the wall into the valley makes me salivate for Season 8. I absolutely can't wait. Doesn't drop until 2019 though. Sigh. Anyway, this season is one of the best. I highly recommend this as a Must-Buy for sure. 5 Stars out of 5.

With that out of the way, one last thing. Since it usually takes a year, year and a half for me to watch each new season, I don't remember all the small details, especially regarding the lineage of the characters. So, big reveal about Jon parentage suggest that he and Daenerys are Brother and Sister? I'm starting to think that this series isn't about White Walkers and Dragons, but about Bro and Sis shacking up. *Shudders*

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