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Topics - Chiprocks1

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1
Television / The Walking Dead (Season 9 - 2018)
« on: November 04, 2018, 10:46:06 pm »
What Comes After
Episode 5
10 Stars out of 10



Yeah, I'm still watching TWD, even though I haven't been creating any threads for the show for the past few years. But this episode in particular, I definitely needed to talk about what the f*ck I just witness in what is dubbed 'Rick Grimes Final Episode'. I had no idea what was to come at the end. Two MAJOR things that happened basically has reset the entire TWD Universe. But before we go there, I want to talk about the the episode as a whole. It was F*CKING PHENOMENAL! Everyone has emmy-worthy performances (Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Jeffrey Dean Morgan) left me speechless with their performances. AMAZING! But it was Andrew Lincoln that steals the show here. The way the entire episode was constructed was fantastic. Edge-of-you-seat suspense that I just could not shake. With Rick in the throes of a Fever Dream, we are able to bring back fan-favorite characters such as Shane, Herschel, Sasha). Seeing Scott Wilson return as Herschel left me speechless because Scott passed away and I wasn't expecting to see him at all, which made his return all the more sweet.

So, everything is leading to the Bridge with a horde of Walkers closing in on a Rick who is bleeding out from the events of the previous episode. It's up to Rick for his final stand to protect his family and what a way to go out. Having him shoot at the stick of dynamite and blowing up the bridge to take them all out, giving his life in the process felt right and the only way for him to go. My biggest fear and the one that I dreaded was having the character getting mauled and turning into a Walker, which never would have felt right. So, he goes out in a blaze of glory.....

.......not so fast. The final scene before the Epilogue has Anne / Jadis finding Rick and whisking him off in a Helicopter to God knows where. So, at the end of the day, he is alive....but gone. The second WTF moment comes in the Epilogue which is a major time-jump for the characters with "Kid Judith Grimes" now (I'm guessing here) 5-6 years old, packing heat and saving survivors from their own run in with Walkers. Like I said, the TWD Universe has been complete reset and now anything....and everything can happen with their stories.

Now, for Talking Dead, Scott Gimple (Executive Producer on the show) said that Rick Grimes story is not finish and that they (AMC) have plans for feature length feature films for the character. He was a bit coy in divulging too much detail, but from what I heard, there is more on the way. How it ties into TWD....we will just have to wait and see. Now one thing I took from this is that Scott said 'Rick Grimes' will continue.....nothing was said of Andrew returning, which I don't see happening.

2
DVD's & Blu-rays / Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
« on: October 29, 2018, 08:19:00 am »
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
4 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPEYpryMp2s

So, I just got the chance to watch Solo: A Star Wars Story and I was more than pleasantly surprised in that I liked the movie given how all the negative reviews were floating around prior to the film's released and to some degree after as well. Is Solo perfect? Of course not. Far from it. But what it does have in spades is an adventurous spirit. That has been lacking in the previous 2 Star Wars movies (The Last Jedi and Rogue One). Ironically enough, watching Solo made it crystal clear why I didn't like Last Jedi. Solo is fun...from start to finish. It felt like a 'Star Wars' movie, whereas watching Last Jedi felt anything but.

I thought that Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo did a great job given the high bar that was set with Harrison Ford. Sure, Alden had some spots that would make you long for Ford, but overall, he delivered for me and brought his own thing to an iconic role. As for the movie itself, this is definitely a 2-hour fan service flick. I was expecting to see some nods here and there. I definitely was not expecting to see a lot of Easter Eggs. There are so many throughout the movie that I actually lost count. But I loved it. Great cast that included the scene stealing Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. I liked Woody Harrelson as Becket. Was a bit disappointed that Thandie Newton as Val was underused and gone before we even got to the 2nd Act. But I think the one thing that I really enjoyed the most was just how much Chewbacca we get here. There's a lot of him and it just adds to his legacy as a fantastic character. I thought Emilia Clarke as Qi'ra was good. I was a bit concerned when I heard she was going to be in this given her turn in Terminator: Genisys.

So yeah, enjoyed this flick. It's something that I can see myself going back to over and over in the future. I rank this above the prequels and The Last Jedi for sure. I highly recommend checking out Solo if you haven't done so already. There's something in this for everyone. Oh, and there's that little thing with Darth Maul that I did not see coming. Sh*t, that was f*cking awesome. Made me geek out. The fact that he popped up was great, but the fact that they actually set up him returning in future Solo movies has me geeking out even more. Yes, I want to see a sequel for Solo and that was before Maul even showed up. But with him in it, a sequel is a MUST!

3
DVD's & Blu-rays / Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
« on: October 26, 2018, 07:08:17 am »
Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
4 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUkn-enk2RU

Ant-Man and the Wasp is just as fun as the first film was. Hugely entertaining with a lot of laughs from start to finish. Having just watched Infinity War on DVD a few weeks ago, this flick was more of a light-hearted romp by comparison. But that's not to say it doesn't have some edge of your seat moments. But overall, watching Ant-Man and the Wasp is all about giving people a 'break' from the events of other Marvel flicks, even though those flicks are anywhere dark like the DCU films are.

SPOILER ALERT:

The only time the movie does get dark comes at the the first End Credits bonus scene where we "see" that the events of Infinity War actually affects every superhero around the world and not just those that actually appear in the Avengers movie. So yeah, Hope van Dyne / Wasp, Hank Pym and Janet van Dyne have turned to dust (that means they have been erased from existence). With Scott Lang / Ant-Man in the Quantum realm, he is sparred. So, this means that Ant-Man will play a 'big' (pun not intended, but it's perfect here wouldn't ya say  ;D ) role in Avengers 4's story I would suspect, which would be ironic all things considered given that within the grand scheme of things within the MCU, Ant-man is still a minor character. It will/would be great to see Paul Rudd get a big push in Avengers 4. So, with that out of the way, definitely check out this movie. It's f*cking awesome with a lot of great set pieces and you will laugh plenty of times. Michael Pena as before carries a lot of the humor. Damn funny.

Kinda cool to see a mini reunion between Walton Goggins and Michael Pena. Fans of The Shield rejoice. Also cool was the addition of Hannah John-Kamen, Laurence Fishburne and Michelle Pfeiffer to the cast. And I'm in love with Evangeline Lilly all over again. She's fantastic....as always.

4
DVD's & Blu-rays / Ready Player One (2018)
« on: October 25, 2018, 06:33:31 am »
Ready Player One (2018)
4 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixWL1BWi44U


I finally got around to checking out Ready Player One and it was everything I expected the movie to be. I watched the trailer once and left it at that since the movie's plot is about finding the first ever Easter Egg, which the movie itself is all about Pop Culture Easter Eggs. Kind of like an Easter Egg inside of an Easter Egg instead of an.....well, you get the idea. Full disclosure, I have no connection to the source material the movie is based on. I didn't even know there was a book before the promotional stuff for the film started leaking out. So, I really am coming at this completely unaware. I don't have a clue what was added to the movie for the sake of fleshing out the story. But one thing that I did suspect was added was the whole The Shining gag, only because of Steven Spielberg's relationship to Stanley Kubrick. I imagine, given how big of a Kubrick fan Spielberg is, he wanted to pay homage to him in this way. Now if this was in fact in the book, then it makes perfect sense why Spielberg wanted to direct this.

So, how was the movie itself? It was entertaining and fun. But I'm not sure someone that's not in my generation would care for this. I grew up in the age of where all the Easter Eggs are derived from. It's my own personal connections to these touchstone's that make the Eggs mean as much as they do for me. Now speaking of the Eggs, this is a movie that requires multiple viewings to find them. There is so much going on at all times, if you are staring at a particular part of the screen, you will see an Easter Egg, but you will miss a those around the one you're looking at. Sure, you could pull up Wiki or go to YouTube and find a video highlighting all the cameos. But where's the fun in that. I'll save my hunt for the next time I watch the movie. So, Ready Player One is a movie I can recommend for sure. If the plot isn't something you're interested in, there's a lot going on to keep you busy for sure.

5
DVD's & Blu-rays / Eighth Grade (2018)
« on: October 23, 2018, 08:08:15 am »
Eighth Grade (2018)
5 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnesHAtSHzs

It's very rare for me to sit down and watch a movie and know, half-way through a movie no less, that I'm watching an instant classic. Eighth Grade is a movie that you know people will still be talking about 20 years later. The movie is THAT good in its honest depiction of what life is for a girl transitioning from Jr. High to High School. This is a movie that everyone is going to relate to in some way or another because we have all been there regarding our own anxieties of school life in trying to "fit in" with the popular kids and questioning everything we do because we think it's not good enough. I love how the entire plot is structured around Kayla's (Elsie Fisher) 'Instructional Videos' and how whatever topic she is doing, she tries to apply to her own life. From this we are able to see whatever growth she is making...in spite of it all being superficial because she is stressing "being herself", but it's not until she post her last video (the one where she is "taking a breaking" from making videos) that she finally post something real with no artificial pretense.

Like I said, this is a classic. You know I'm a HUGE fan of the High School genre (even though Eight Grade technically takes place in Jr. High), this is a movie that I would put in my Top 10 favorite High School movies. The movie itself reminds me a lot of Dazed and Confused, not only in content, but style as well. Eight Grade, in spite of what it looks like is in fact a modern day film that takes place in 2017. But this is an Indie flick, which means that there is no budget and looks like a companion film to Dazed. The style of direction also reminds me a lot of Richard Linklater. I'm sure that Bo Burnham derived a lot of inspiration from Linklater. There were plenty of times while watching the movie that I kept thinking this movie was made in the 70's/80's and would only snap out of that thought process when anything relating to Social Media (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc...) reminded me this is current day. So yeah, I highly recommend checking out this movie for Elsie's star making performance. 5 very BIG Stars.

6
Television / GLOW (Season 1 - Ongoing)
« on: October 19, 2018, 05:42:54 pm »
GLOW Season 1&2 (2017/2018)
4 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZqDO6cTYVY

Binged-watched the first two seasons of GLOW and was surprised that I liked it as much as I did. The series isn't perfect, but they offer enough stuff for each episode to keep me engaged from start to finish. I grew up watching the original GLOW that this series is based on and they pretty much nail everything. The series is dripping in 80's nostalgia from the music to the clothes to the lingo right on down to how the original wrestling show was presented to the Ameican people. Honestly, I didn't think I would like this Netflix series at all given how cheesy the source material is. As a kid, I knew it was awful entertainment and I didn't really want to invest too much of my time on this. Yeah, I can recommend this for sure. Hell, with how Season 2 ends, I am anxiously awaiting Season 3 to drop.

7
DVD's & Blu-rays / The Commuter (2018)
« on: October 19, 2018, 05:20:01 am »
The Commuter (2018)
4 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDshY43Ol2U

Simply put, The Commuter has a dash of a few movies rolled into one: Die Hard, Speed, Silver Streak and Murder on the Orient Express. Going into the movie, I was expecting it to be more "Die Hard on a Train" than anything else. But the nods to the other flicks was fun. Genre-wise this is more of a Thriller wherein Liam Neeson in a race against time must ferret out a Witness (so that the bad guys can kill him/her) or they will kill his family. That's motive enough to want to save your family. Obviously it's not going to be that simple. First it's about finding the Witness, then it's about turning the whole situation on its head and flipping it against those working behind the scenes to frame him for everything. I really enjoyed the movie and the 3rd Act was very suspenseful to say the least. I definitely recommend checking this one out for sure.

8
DVD's & Blu-rays / Fahrenheit 451 (2018)
« on: October 16, 2018, 11:17:46 am »
Fahrenheit 451 (2018)
2 1/2 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeDBaMg8NSQ

You would think with the likes of Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon carrying Fahrenheit 451 on their backs that this would be something special. It's not. It's actually somewhat of a letdown because they are in it. Not because they sucked, but because they bring a certain level of their craft to each and everything they do. This remake is nothing more than a Hi-Tech version of the same story we already know. There really isn't anything special about this adaptation at all. I would say this is a Skip. Just read the book.

9
DVD's & Blu-rays / American Assassin (2017)
« on: October 14, 2018, 06:08:15 am »
American Assassin (2017)
3 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySxRlsAbEpw

I vaguely remember seeing the trailer for this last year and even though it didn't win me over instantly, there was potential here. After that, I totally forgot about the movie until yesterday when the DVD came across the desk at my Library. Decided to give it a shot and see for myself if there was something there or not. I thought American Assassin started off on good footing. I was engaged with the story that was being set up, especially with the backstory of the main character. Sadly, this is where the movie ends for me in regards to what I thought the movie would be, instead turning into a by-the-numbers action thriller that looked and played more like a direct-to-DVD movie. It's still a decent flick, it's just a been there, done that movie that really doesn't offer anything new. Some odd editing choices here and there. But the thing that really goes off the deep end is the interrogation scene between Michael Keaton and Taylor Kitsch. Keaton's overacting here is beyond ridiculous in his "attempt" to be "crazier" than Taylor. It's almost cartoon like. Even still, I think it's safe to recommend this as a rainy-day pickup if you like thrillers. Also stars Dylan O'Brien and Sanaa Lathan.

10
DVD's & Blu-rays / Deadpool 2 (2018)
« on: October 04, 2018, 08:34:28 am »
Deadpool 2 (2018)
4 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D86RtevtfrA


Deadpool 2 delivers what is promised, a good time from start to finish. But I have to see, that even though I give both DP1 and DP2 the same star rating, DP1 is the better movie of the two and the reason why that is, DP2 is a different kind of movie than the first. Sure, the skeleton is the same, but the execution is not. As you already know, this is more of a team flick than following the exploits of a single character. And because of that, the focus is kind of scattered. But that does not mean this is a lesser film. I really did enjoy DP2 and for me the biggest thing going for the movie is the inclusion of Cable. Josh Brolin has another kick-ass superhero to add to his arsenal after his turn as Thanos. And speaking of Thanos, leave it to Deadpool to bring that into the discussion when he name drops the character. It really is a great inside-joke that plays perfectly. There's a wealth of inside-jokes and easter eggs to be found throughout the movie. So, you definitely need to be looking out for them going into the movie. Be on the look out for some that include Hugh Jackman and Rob Liefeld.

As for the movie as a whole. It's a fun flick and it actually gave me more than I expected, namely Colossus getting a meaty, kick-ass scene involving Juggernaut. One of the things I was disappointed in the first film was just how little we got from Colossus. The writing was on the wall and it's clear that Ryan and the producers kind of f*cked up in the first film by not doing much with him. In DP2, his throwdown more than makes up for it. The other things of note was that I was totally surprised that as soon as "X-Force" was assembled, they more or less killed off the entire time with the exception of Domino. But with this temporary roadblock, clearly they are setting up X-Force 2.0 to include Cable leading the way moving forward. Another thing to look out for is a cameo of sorts. One that you absolutely want to see. *cough* X-Men *cough*. Oh, and then there is Brad Pitt. I'll leave it at that. It's funny to say the least. So yeah, DP2 is definitely worth a Rent for sure. I look forward to either DP3 or X-Force. Still unclear where they are going first. Either / Or.

11
DVD's & Blu-rays / Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
« on: September 26, 2018, 05:18:36 pm »
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
10 Stars out of 10

Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZfuNTqbHE8

There has been a run of some of the greatest Superhero flicks ever made with the likes of Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Black Panther (2018), Wonder Woman (2017), Logan (2017), Deadpool (2016) and one sh*tty one: Justice League (2017) to highlight how NOT to make a Team flick. But I just watched what I would easily ranked at the absolute best of them all with Avengers: Infinity War. This movie is pure high octane adrenaline from the very first frame to the very last one. Honestly, I've never seen a movie quite like this. Simply put, the entire movie is basically a 3rd Act. Yes, there is a beginning, middle and end. But with so many different characters that need to get their screen time in, they have no choice but to give them all their just due. By the time you get the actual 3rd Act, you're left wondering "how the f*ck" are they going to top the first 2/3 of the movie?" Well, they top it and it's exhilarating to say the least.

Like I said, so many characters, but the one true breakout, the one that was Shakespearean in both backstory as well as the main Plot motivation is Thanos. Even though I have known about the comics story-line this comes from, I have never read it for many reasons (free time being the biggest factor). So everything that happens in the flick is completely spoiler-free for me and Thanos and his reasons for doing what he is doing is actually very interesting. He feels that he is in fact the "good guy" because he has to make the hard choices to save humanity. Committing genocide is NOT a good thing, but to see how the character is convincing himself he is on the right side of things is still a bold choice for the character and makes for a much different take on what is normally a cardboard cutout Villain, especially in a Comic book movie. Josh Brolin absolutely deserves every accolade he gets for his role as Thanos, who is both scary as f*ck and sympathetic in his portrayal of a morally flawed character.

There is so much to talk about and I'm trying to digest and remember it all. If there is one "criticism" I could level at the movie is that in order to really enjoy and get A LOT of easter eggs and inside jokes, watching the last handful of MCU flims is the way to go. I don't think Infinity War can be watched as a stand alone flick because there's just too many things an average moviegoer is just not going to get. I'll post more about the flick as it comes to me. But I really dig the final shot of Thanos and then the End Credit scene with Nick Fury and him sending a distress signal to Captain Marvel. Now I'm reeeeeeeally pumped to see the movie. So yeah, I highly recommend Infinity War as a Must-Buy for any personal DVD Library Collection. 10 Stars out of 10

12
DVD's & Blu-rays / Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
« on: September 23, 2018, 06:57:18 pm »
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
3 Stars out of 5

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Nxc-3WpMbg

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is nowhere near what the first film was. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this one was actually too much of a "comedy" in the sense that what we get is not a homage to all things spy-related, but more or less a parody this time around. Don't get me wrong, there's some great stuff here, especially the opening scene as well as the fight scenes. But I think the pacing was a big off and I wasn't particularly digging the story motivation of Julianne Moore's villain of drugging (releasing a virus) and then holding the world hostage. The way her character was written was just weird. Her demise was satisfactory either. It's what the entire movie is building toward and it just fell flat. Hated to see Merlin go. He will be missed if there is a Part 3 on the way. As for both Halle Berry and Channing Tatum, they really aren't in the movie as much as you think based on the trailer. And speaking of the Trailer, out of all the trailers I have ever watched, this one was and is still the most egregious of them all. I remember when the trailer first dropped and they ruined, RUINED by telling everyone that Colin Firth as Harry was back and alive. Seriously, WTF! How does a trailer get made and then get signed off on to release with a major twist like that still intact? Okay, enough ranting. I do have one thing to ask, how and why the f*ck was Elton John in this? This is the biggest head scratcher of them all? Mind you, he is funny as hell and it's just just a single cameo. He pops up throughout the movie and each time being better (and funnier) then the last. So, the movie is worth a Rent, nothing more than that.

13
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

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgfFdEOGUqE

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.


14
Now Playing: Movies / Captain Marvel (2019)
« on: September 19, 2018, 06:32:53 am »
Marvel Studios' Captain Marvel - Official Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1BCujX3pw8

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.

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

Trailer


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ndhidEmUbI

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.

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