Logic inspired reviews, smart talk and advice from a "Tech" Dads point of view

Oblivion – Review

OblivionAs other reviewers are mentioning – being a sci-fi fan isn’t an advantage while viewing Oblivion. In fact, it’s a downer as you can almost say some of the lines with the main actors. If one can forget their degree in sci-fi  ( with a minor in post-apocalyptic survival flicks ) you’ll just marvel at the stunning visuals Oblivion has to offer. Tom Cruise is his regular haptic self with plenty of meat to deal with but you can see around corners in this movie.

Oblivion starts with a narrative of how the Earth was decimated in a “we won the battle but lost the planet” ( and the moon)  type of way. Mankind has shifted to Titan – leaving behind a mop-up crew to service killer drones that apparently kill off the remnants of the moon killing alien invasion force that want to sabotage the salt-water sucking Dyson vacuum cleaner energy harvesters. Breath.  Speaking of Titan, I’m not sure I’d want to leave a floating condo in the clouds ( Lando Calrissian would be proud ) and miss my midnight swims with Andrea Riseborough for soothing methan winds of Titan . Still, this duo has just two weeks to go before they return to Titan “with the others” and then Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) has to screw it all up. Typical ‘me me me’ post-apocalyptic thinking!

It’s hard to mention even the smallest plot points past the opening without giving everything away but I’ll say this – Morgan Freeman and The King Slayer have tiny parts that should have / could have been expanded on. Once you start asking too many questions of Oblivion it starts to fall apart … so just don’t ask those questions. Enjoy the Drones, Andrea Riseborough’s awesome post-moon business attire ( with 4 inch heals) and eat your popcorn. You’ll really enjoy Oblivion if you come at it straight on.

All in all, for a sci-fi movie, I give Oblivion a 3/4 rating if your not sci-fi fan. If you are, it’s a 2/4 split. The production value and Cruise’s strong acting are enough to carry the day if you just accept some things in advance.

 

Iron Man 3 – New Theatrical Trailer

“There’s my boys …”

Iron Man 3 Poster - The Mandarin

Men In Black 3 – Back in Time Review

It’s be 10 years (REALLY! TEN YEARS! GETTING OLD, I AM) since we last saw Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent J (Will Smith) slugging it out with aliens – the prize being Earth’s continued existence – the Men in Black haven’t lost a step. The franchise is a little rough though.

SPOILERS AHEAD

The story starts with a prison break by assassin Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Concords) – a one armed spike shooting blast from K’s past – 1969 to be exact. Boris REALLY doesn’t like the reality of living on a moon based prison and he’s a little perturbed about K shooting off his arm during their last encounter 60 years prior. Oh, and K then launched a protective shield around the planet which thwarted Boris The Animal’s brethren ( it’s just Boris if you know whats good for you) from destroying the planet. As a result, Boris’ race dies out since they can’t feed on us humans. You know, that old chestnut!

Understandably, Boris is out for some payback and decides to time travel back to 1969 (awesome year BTW!) to kill his captor before he’s K takes his arm. J follows to stop the aforementioned from happening.

We learn that K wasn’t always so gruff  and one particular event changed his outlook on life. A scene between the younger Agent K and a young child version of  Agent J really tugs at the heart strings. Very unusual for a Men in Black movie which brings us to younger K played by Josh Brolin. I can imagine Brolin, who easily upstages everyone else, sitting in his living room for months just watching the first two MIB movies in an attempt to channel the essence that is Agent K. It is really well done. The mannerisms alone are worth the price of admission.

The movie has some fun with 1969 while making a few poignant comments on the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. As Jeffery Price (Michael Chernus) observes just before Will Smith “time-jumps” off a building “it wasn’t exactly a good time for your people.” Indeed.

Also of note is the performance of Michael Stuhlbarg as “Griffin”. His ability to see the future (not just a single future but all possible futures) is lighthearted and reminded me of the type of characters in the first Men in Black film.

If your a MIB fan, your going to see this movie anyway. It’s not the best film out there at the moment so I’ll put it like this. If your one of the few who hasen’t seen The Avengers yet, go see The Avengers first. It’s then a toss up between Battleship and MIB 3 for your weekend dollars.

Men in Black III / Men in Black III 3D is currently playing nationwide and is rated PG-13.

Rating: C+

How Marvel’s Avengers sunk Hasbro’s Battleship Deep

… like Laurentian Abyss deep.

This isn’t so much a review on the Avengers as it is a commentary on the future of comic book spiced movies. There are plenty of great reviews out there like as THIS  one, THAT one and ONE MORE over there. You’ll even find some negative nellies but the numbers speak all that needs to be spoken. The Avengers / Marvel / Disney have more money than Greece, more money than Zuckerberg (if that stock keeps fallin’ – puny GODS!) [Read more…]

Disneynature’s Chimpanzee Review

I had the pleasure of attending the Disneynature’s Chimpanzee Premiere at Downtown Disney in Orlando last Friday. It was my first red carpet experience and Jane Goodall sat just behind our group which was kind of neat.

Let me reverse this review up a bit. Yes, the movie has awesome cinematography and Oscar (the lead?) is so amazingly cute, I could hear muted “awes” around me every time the little bugger had a closeup. What truly amazed me was the quality of the footage! I think the people who spent FOUR YEARS in the Ivory Coast’s rugged Tai Forest (dealing with all sorts of challenges) are the real heros here. I encourage you to stay through the credits for some behind the scenes clips that detail the hell these people went through to get such amazingly CLOSE shots.

On to the film.

The story begins with Oscar, a young chimp learning from his mother Isha about the ways of the forest. Narrator Tim Allen does a good job at injecting just the right amount of humor into each scene while giving a ‘voice’ to the chimpanzee’s actions and movements. For those familiar with Mr. Allen’s Tool Time past, there is even a shout-out (well grunt-out) to his former show.

As the cameras follow Oscar and his forest education, there is trouble brewing with a rival group of chimps who have designs on the treasured nut grove frequented by Oscar and his extended family. “Scar”, the alpa male leader of a larger (and apparently uglier) rival ‘gang’, attacks causing the unconfirmed death of Isha – leaving the vulnerable Oscar orphaned. Seeing Oscar go from female to female only to face rejection is hard to watch. Indeed, during filming the crew filming it thought that this was it – Oscar was doomed. They planned to pack up an leave until something extraordinary happened. Oscar was finally adopted by a most unlikely chimpanzee.

Oscar’s new parent was the group’s alpha male – the elder ‘Freddy’. This is where the story begins again for Oscar. His new teacher and protector saves Oscar from starvation and eventually drives Scar off again (for good?) in a second attack. Watching the two interact is something to behold as this type of bonding rarely happens in the wild.

While I’m sure there was some creative liberty in the telling of this story, I don’t really care all that much. I learned a lot about chimpanzees and their human like behaviors which I suspect is the point – I learned something while developing an appreciation for these animals, their plight and their dwindling numbers. I might have picked a better name for Scar though. Each time Tim Allen mentioned his name I pictured him back at camp singing ‘Be Prepared’ like Jeremy Irons from The Lion King while Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin looked on.

Surprised is one word I would use about my reaction to this film. It’s not a movie I would usually pay to see. That would have been a mistake giving the visually striking nature of this film. You should see it on the big screen if possible. I’ll now take a closer look at Disneynature movies in the future as I’m sure my two daughters would love a story like this.

Chimpanzee opens Friday, April 20, 2012. From opening day through April 26th, a portion of the films proceeds with go to the Jane Goodall Institute (http://www.janegoodall.org) for the protection of chimpanzees.

This film is rated G.

Links:

Trailer: www.disney.com/chimpanzee/

http://disney.com/Chimpanzee

http://facebook.com/DisneynatureChimpanzee