Your guide to a wonderful movie marathon
Posted by Katooga.PH in , , | April 24, 2019

Perseus AKA Percy, a teenager with Dyslexia all his life suddenly finds himself as a demi-god.  The son of a mortal mother with Poseidon, the God of the Seas.  He then is not safe in middle earth only to find out that he is suspected of stealing Zeus' lighting bolts.  The stolen stuff created a stir in Olympus that Zeus wrath will fall upon us hapless mortals.  To add matters worse, his mortal mom gets kidnapped by Hades (God of the Underworld) and ransoms her for the stolen lightning bolts (which Percy doesn't have).  Even without the lightning bolts, he proceeds to rescue his mom, assisted by his demi-god friends.  The adventure then begins and so does our movie.

The movie is based on a series of books by Rick Riordan, this one was from "The Lightning Thief".  Being a fan of Harry Potter, we thought this was in the mold with that.  Although we haven't read the book, we will take the movie as it is.

Starred by some acting bigwigs in supporting roles like Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean (couple of double 0's), and Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson and Uma Thurman, we can't seem to find fault if we based on these casting.

Indeed we found some faults still.  The story line is a bit free flowing and that the only challenge we see fit was the time with Uma Thurman's medusa.  Although she was defeated rather easily, but it showed how intelligent and cunning our hero is.  Other situations were merely fillers and can be done away with and yet the movie remains intact.

An origin movie of sorts, its the establishment of the characters that made this movie a bit slow in the beginning.  The usual twists and turns are present that made the other half enjoyable in that sense.  The only thing that left us hanging is the fact that Zeus is like a child who lost his toy and blames other people for his wrath.  When returned of his toy, everything is fine.  Are the Gods like these?  That might be so, look at how Poseidon treats his demi-god son Percy.

The whole movie in itself is about the father son relationship of Percy and Poseidon.  The lightning theft is the one that made the movie with enthusiasm.  Thank God for the veteran actors, their acting made the movie enduring to watch until the end.  When everything was going slow again near the end, good thing Hades turned up with Persephone.  They are quite a couple.

Overall, although we haven't read the book, we felt that the book is more fun to read than watching this one.  An origin film is usually not something we expect much of and this one is the same.  Still, a watchable film then watch the sequel, the Sea of Monsters, a better movie in our books.

Posted by Katooga.PH in , , , | April 17, 2019

A cook rescues the crew of USS Missouri and defeats the bad guys while at sea.

There goes the story to this great action filled movie with Steven Seagal in the lead.  This was his fifth movie but this one made him a household figure.  You don't expect him to win acting awards, but with his martial arts skills, it doesn't bore us if he keeps doing it on screen for the fifth time.  

Don't expect the film to be a wealth of a story either.  A cook beating hard core military type bad guys?  If you are Steven Seagal, who was a military man himself before coming aboard the ship as a cook.  Who would do such a thing?  Only Steven Seagal can.

Backed up with great actors like Tommy Lee Jones as the head honcho of the bad guys, he truly is an amazing actor.  He was great here but his antics are too far fetch to illicit a sense of realism on his character here as the evil and psychotic Strannix.  Another bad guy favorite is Gary Busey who with little effort exudes badness.  Both carried the film very well with Steven Seagal's Aikido making up the best parts of the film.

That aside from the martial arts shown, bad guys acting, a truly noteworthy and unforgettable scene here is Miss July's coming out of the cake routine.  You may want to freeze the scene,  for historical sake.

If you want action, this one reeks of it.

Posted by Katooga.PH in , , | April 12, 2019

Initial D is a popular manga series in Japan that a number of movies and TV series were created.  Among these, this is the one that we truly liked.  Japanese this maybe in origin, the film is about chinese actors and production.  

The story is about a teenager making tofu deliveries across a mountain with a deceivingly modified old Toyota A86.  While doing these deliveries, his driving improves each run he makes.  So much improved that he beats other drivers along his mountain route.  He is a naive kid and does not bask on his wins that he remains anonymous in the process.  The drivers he beats would like to do a rematch and his being famous means other drivers would like to race against him.  Unknown to  us, his Dad was former racer himself so that solidifies that he got his racing genes somewhere.

The movie might be a simple racing story but the delivery was something slow at first.  Creating a good characterization of our lead, then slowly introducing new characters, supporting the main lead.  The actors herein played their parts well that I forgot they were all Chinese playing Japanese characters in a Japanese manga.

We especially loved his Dad (played by Anthony Chau-Sang Wong) as the Tofu man.  Who is in fact a former racer who knows how to modify and tweak cars.  His skills were so good that his old car can outrun and outmaneuver heavily modified new street cars.  It was clear in the movie of this that when a similar car, another Toyota A86, unmodified was simply no match to the other racers.  Later they found the old car's secret and the racer past of Tofu man.

Overall the movie was surprisingly great to watch.  

Posted by Katooga.PH in , , | April 10, 2019

If you into retro gaming, then this movie is for you.  Except that your beloved games, Pacman, Centipede and Galaga is out here to eat or kill you in real life.  Simple games no more.

The story is about us, sending TV transmissions to space about an arcade tournament.  The aliens received these transmissions and think this is our provocation for war or invasion.  The aliens challenged us with our own games (yes its absurd but let me continue).  They sent Galaga and decimated an army base as their first salvo.  The US government goes gaga who has the kind of technology of attacking them.  Then enter Adam Sandler's character (the second placer in that same arcade tournament) helping the government fight off these aliens.  Of course we win, who would like to see a movie that would humans lose.

Yes the movie plot is absurd, the movie is not heavily thought of.  If its an Adam Sandler movie, you can't expect more.  All his movies are so thin in story line yet so entertaining with shallow jokes and taunts that people actually watch them.  For this movie, we liked the nostalgia, nothing else.  I thought I could get some substance but it was like Happy Gilmore once again with retro games instead of golf clubs.

How I wish to see my favorite games in a good light but alas, they come to earth as our enemies.  Pacman the lovable yellowed puck eats cars and whatever comes in its path.  Galaga running around blasting army buildings, centipede doing some zumba (zumba?) as a comedic relief from the supposed comedy of errors here, and Donkey Kong acting out as the main villain.  With the winners of the arcade tournament, those pesky aliens can't win over us with our own games.   

Watch this movie if you want to see Kevin James as the US President.  That's absurd and hilarious combined already as it is.

Posted by Katooga.PH April 07, 2019

Pierce Brosnan, the sexiest geologist you will ever meet, comes to Dante's Peak to investigate some irregular seismic readings.  The town being small, he gets entangled romantically with its Mayor (with two kids).  Him being single, he tries his best to be the dad or hero to this loving family.  Amidst all the destruction brought about an exploding volcano.

This is a love story waiting to happen in our books with disaster as a side story.  A very scientific side story as a matter of fact.  This film will teach us what are tell tale signs of a volcano erupting in the near future.  Smell of sulphur, water getting blazing hot enough to cook skinny dipping teenagers, spewing acid in lakes eating metal hulled boats and hard headed bosses telling him that there isn't an eruption coming.

A very slow moving but compelling movie, the film drags on at first establishing the roles they have and building momentum half into the story.  Very well placed and paced, we love the slow approach on to the action filled other half.  

Led by industry bigwigs during this time, we have Pierce Brosnan who is really dashing that whatever roles he plays, is very mesmerizing on screen.  Oh he also acts good in this film, but we can't help it if we see James Bond suaveness here.  Coupled with Linda Hamilton of Terminator fame, its quite difficult to see her as a helpless mother, mayor of a small town kind of thing.  We still see her as the tough mother who won't get beef from Arnold Schwarzenegger.  She gave a solid performance in spite of what we see her here.

Being a slow paced movie brings a positive thing to the movie, all the characters even the supports were given ample time to strengthen their roles that we "believed" in them.  Their plus and minuses, we loved them all.  There were some moments that we felt bad about them dying, being heroes, the whole film in itself is a good watch for a disaster movie.

Posted by Katooga.PH in , , | April 05, 2019

Growing up with the A-Team TV series, you will want to watch the movie version of it.  The film "almost" mirrors the excitement of the series and we were glad it did.  Two A list actors are here with Liam Neeson leading as Hannibal and Bradley Cooper as Face.  These two made the movie entertaining and upheld the characters true to the TV series.

The other two, Sharlto Copley (as Murdock) and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (as BA Baracus) provided support to complete the cast of the A-Team.  Copley was the surprise hit here as we thought he not only personified the cooky pilot character here but he was excellent playing the role.  He pushed the character to the point that I forgot who the actor was in the TV series.  He created the character to himself and provided the needed comic relief in the movie.  Jackson as BA Baracus was in a difficult position.  Mr. T in the TV series was so endearing that it was a tough act to follow.  Mr. T was intimidating and forceful, meanwhile Jackson was charming.  Quite a different character that we had to adjust while watching and hoping to like him till the end.

Liam Neeson was credible here, much more than George Peppard but his character was "altered" somehow to reflect the original series.  I wish they haven't done it so, Neeson is a strong actor that he can portray the character according to his personification and we might have liked it.  Nevertheless, he still did a good job here as Hannibal.

Bradley Cooper as Face is a shoo in for role.  He was the bestest fit here if you compare him with the tv series.  Great looking, suave, fast talker, he is the Face we would like to see next to Dirk Benedict.  We can't see fault in his characterization here.

Taken together, they form the A-team, a group of Iraq War veterans who were wrongly accused and tries to clear their name in the whole film.  Following in their footsteps is the Charissa Sosa (played by Jessica Biel) hoping to catch them and bring the team to justice.

Unlike in the TV series, this film is their "origin" story.  So expect half of the film to be just that.  Although we find the film entertaining, it fell short in the reality sector.  The story line is a bit messy and muddled that we were confused up to half of the film.  There were the usual twists that we expected and extended the movie and added a bit of life hoping to bring us the explosive conclusion in the end.  If you are into the "believe" factor, then the action scenes here would be problem for you.  We just couldn't fathom the idea of one flying a tank.  Of how container vans explode and they destroyed buildings and a seaport, yes a sea port, just because they can.  It was too overblown for us just to make a point.

Like the TV series, they always have a plan, (in this case ridiculous nearing the absurd) and we like it when the plan comes together.  Although passing our taste halfway, we don't think we would be seeing a sequel.  We do hope it will be rebooted though with a credible story and a new team altogether.

A watchable film, a thin but nice story line with messed up action scenes and maybe lost drama, the movie can be watched on a friday evening if you like to see Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper together.