Monday, March 23, 2015

Glee in Retrospect !Spoilers!

It has been a long road since 2009 when a scruffy bunch of teens sung their way into our hearts. I feel that it is only fitting that a retrospective be made for my last look at the series (well probably not the last but definitely the last time I will feel the need to watch it). I will run quickly through each season with my take on the ups and downs to give a final farewell.

The series started really big with Season one, especially the first half where our hero is reliving his past glory by taking on the glee club. He takes a bunch of unpopular teens and pairs them with a few of the popular kids to make it farther than they had made it before. Little did he know that he would find an enemy in the iconic Sue Sylvester the coach of the Cheerio Cheer Leading team.

This season had some iconic moments like the first time they would sing Don't stop believing. The season was very strong hooking us all with a super hard and fast first half and a weaker but still strong second half. This also introduced the iconic relationship between the awkward Miss Pillsbury and our Married hero. Not winning nationals was a brave choice for them to make but the team did get closer in the end. This was easily the best season in the series and what got me to watch the other 5.

Season two takes up with New Directions in full action. They are coming down off their high of winning State and are on cloud nine...too bad for them this year is to be a tragic one. With our gay lead taking the big hits from a bully from the football team he goes to a Private School where he is introduced to our other Gay Character Blaine and the Warblers.

Be prepared to cry often as this season dwells on down moments. There are very few up moments during the entire season with continued problems and rifts forming between the characters. This is a hard season to get through and I felt this was a really REALLY big down step. There were only two good things about this season: The Warblers and the Christmas Episode. The Sue the Grinch Episode is well my favorite in the series. So do yourself a favor and watch the Warblers Watch the Christmas episode but stay away from the rest.

Season three follows the crushing blows from the second season with a newly reunited New Directions. They are determined this time to win the gold and finally make it before they finally leave for good. This time we deal with the 'final' clash between the Cheerios and the New Directions as they tackle issues such as learning who Rachael's mother is, finding out where to go after they graduate and coping with their most difficult challenge the original song.

This season was a come back from the second season and really should have been the last in the series. I felt that it tied up a lot of loose ends in the relationship between our choir director and the guidance counselor. It resulted in very positive wins for everyone and a lot of the tragedy, though present partially was for the most part absent throughout the series. The work they did with Brittany and Santana as well as my favorite glee character Lord Tubbington added more levity and depth. This would have been a perfect end to an overall good series.

Of course the series much go on. We decide continue with a new crowd at the high school and our kids in New York. Fenn is settling down to try and take over the new directions while trying to reconcile his life. The left over Glee kids look to graduate and the new kids have trouble of their own.

This really is a non-discript season. Splitting the two sections did not work well. If they were to continue they needed to pick one group and just let the other go. The stories didn't advance at an even pace and even the addition to Whoopie Goldberg didn't save this one.

Season 5 dealt with the death of Finn and the glee kids trying to find their way with their arts classes being in Jeopardy with a vindictive and at the same time kind Principal Sylvester. The high school arc finally is ended leaving us to finally concentrate on the New York Arc crew for better or for worse.

I do like that they added Adam Lambert this time around. Though this season wasn't as bad as the fourth one I feel that they had a lot of glaring issues that lead to the series being canceled. I have felt that they wanted to dwell a bit too much on teen sex being appropriate and the one kid's eating disorder. The character of Sue Sylvester I feel had deteriorated over the years and this season shows her totally being insane with the benevolent and even handed sue balanced out with the "I will kill you all" Sue. This is sad with the character being a friend on one episode and seemingly forgetting it all in the next. I feel the writers were asleep at the wheel for season 4 & 5.

Season 6 finds our glee kids in a bit of a pickle. They have been out in the wold and have come back to the high school that made them as failures. They must work to revive the Glee Club for the last time in order to fight it out and save the arts once and for all.

This Season was short but easily the most solid since the first. I did enjoy the way that they tied this one up. The episodes were uneven but they did have enjoyment value that the others in the past have not. The last three episodes were very well written and for the end they managed to bring back the whole of the cast to see you off.

Monday, March 16, 2015

DVD Movie Review #158 Of Dice and Men

Hello all! It has  been a while but I am returning with a run that is worth it. I have been following these people for a long time now and though I really want to I have not read the source material. I am a gamer and I love films about gaming. When I see another film coming out about gaming I can't wait to track it down and see it. This film was based off a play that I now really want to see and a book I really want to read. Of course I have not gotten to the source material so this review is all about the film. 
Lets talk about the plot of the film. Our hero and Game Master is preparing to move on with his life putting his game books away and moving on to adulthood. What he doesn't realize is that his friends are also hiding surprises of their own. Can they resolve their issues and feelings for one another before the last crit hits the table? 
As I have said before, I am an avid follower of gaming movies. Many of them tend to have the same aspects that drive home the point that gaming is fun but we all must eventually move away from it and be adults. This story is very different. Gaming is not the villain though it is a living breathing character in the movie. The actors do the best I have seen in the vast majority of gaming films. They seem to be very much into what they are doing, it isn't a joke it is a way of life. In the end we learn that gaming isn't the childish thing we need to put behind us. It is about what we need to with ourselves to make us better people in the end. I am kind of ashamed that I got a little emotional at the scene where one character sacrifices themselves for the other. 
This film is a tad darker than the comedy that it is billed as. I am at times worried I'm watching Fellowship of the Dice again (Don't want to go back there that one was too real for me). Otherwise if I was judging this on the blockbuster level I would have some issues with the level of effects. 
So there you have it. Short and sweet probably one of the best gaming films I have seen in my time. This is a medium that any person should check out if anything to get a different overall feel in the genre. 

Art:  7
Entertainment: 9
Total:   8

You too Can buy it Now:   Click Here!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Theatrical Movie Review #2 Kingsman: The Secret Service

Hello All! Welcome to the second installment of my Movie reviews. Last week I started out my 2015 with the god awful film, Fifty Shades of Grey. I had planned on following it with Kingsman the day after but we had a nasty winter storm that prevented us from going. We set up to see the movie the next week yet the weather again kept us from seeing it. The weather then kept us from traveling to see my parents this weekend but it was not bad enough for local travel allowing us to finally see this film.
Eggsy is a troubled youth living with the mysterious death of his father and the fact that his mother remarried a crooked bad guy. Eggsy is definitely on the wrong path here but he is a rather stand up guy. When he and his friends take a little joyride he takes the fall for his friends leaving him with no place to turn except for the number his mother left him to call when he needed help. Sure enough he was out of jail with no charges and a finely dressed gentlemen waiting at the door. Our gentlemen, Harry takes a liking to young Eggsy, being previously acquainted with the boy's father and offers him a chance to be one of the major elites in the spy world, a member of Kingsman. While our boy is training we have yet another plot in the works. An internet billionaire by the name of Valentine has concocted a scheme that will shake the very foundation of the world and only the Kingman can stop him.
I had my doubts when I went to see this. When I spend $100 for two people eating lunch at a matinee I tend to be very choosy about what I see when I go. This movie, to me looked to be a combination of Agent Cody Banks and Old School Bond.  In the end this movie reminded me more of a Roger Moore Bond film. For those that are not familiar with Roger Moore's take on Bond it involved creative and strange villains with a bit of cartoonish humor added. Kingsmen has two starts really, our young hero Eggsy and our Veteran spy Harry. The Performance of both actors was believable and enjoyable, Colin Firth was out of his element in this part and played it masterfully he was a great action hero. It was reported that he did his own stunts and that further impresses me. Teron Egerton does a believable job but I will explain more later. I also love Sam Jackson's character in this. We talk about out of the box acting and he does exactly that. From the mannerisms to the way that he talks it shows me that we tend to overlook Sam Jackson and his ability to perform in many situations. Now he needs to take on another oscar bate role and collect his acting due. The action was great and the comedy fit in very well making it less campy than a Moore film and more of a slight homage to one. With the combination of acting and writing this is a very fun action film that I will be proud to have in my collection.
   This movie is not an award winner nor is it a piece of art nor is it trying to be. The only thing I have against this film is that it still leaves a slight Spy Kids/Cody Banks taste in my mouth. Teron Egerton is not a kid but the way he plays the part gives it a kid feel and I feel this is on purpose to draw the disney channel kid crowd. Sophie Cookson also lends to this giving me the thought that this is geared towards a younger crowd than me. In truth this is the major bad point of the film.
So in the end you have a very nice action romp that is fun for the whole family bring the kids get the popcorn and enjoy.

Entertainment:     8/10

Art:     7/10

Rating:   7.5/10

Theatrical Movie Review #1 Fifty Shades of Grey

Movies, TV they are pretty much a part of my life. You laugh you Cry you have weird #@#$ going on. My life has been like a movie and it has made it difficult for me to do my Blog Posts. This time I am adding another edge to my blogging which is a simple movie review process. I review the DVDs that I have seen going through what TV shows I finish in my DVD collection. From this point on enjoy my new feature where I keep track of current movies.
Fifty Shades of Grey is a phenomenon that has shaken the world taking the Harlequin romance and taking it mainstream, off of the rag rack and putting it up with the higher forms of literature. This former Twilight Fan fiction has become one of the highest selling books of all time and is currently one of the highest grossing films of the year. It was valentines day weekend and my fiancee had read these books, saying she had to see the movies hoping to tear them apart in her reviews later. I of course, was taken along for the ride.
The Moment she took his pencil in her hands she knew she had found the one... Meet Anastasia Steele, a mousy college student trying to move her way through life in an insignificant manner. When her roommate gets sick she ends up having to interview billionaire bad boy Christian Grey. Christian, only meeting her once becomes obsessed with our mousy heroine stalking her at every turn showing that there is no amount of money he won't spend to try and win her over. Like any sensible woman confronted by a controlling extra creepy stalker, she falls in love with the man wanting nothing more than to be in his life. When she gets what she wants she realizes that it is much more than she had bargained for when he shows her his play room. "Like what your x-box or playstaion?" No this is a different kind of "play"...ahem. Anastasia tries to fit into his life believing that "hey I can change him with our love", but alas her love was not strong enough this time as his creepy beating scares her so much she has to leave finally taking the cue that we had all seen from the beginning.
We all know they hype and by god this is one of those extremely hyped up films. This is normally the part where I find something positive about the film and talk about it...well it is a true phenomenon that has sold many many books and the box offices couldn't be higher. The decision to release this on valentines day was probably one of the smarter marketing decisions out there. I have to say Dakota Johnson took this role along with the help from Director, Sam Taylor-Johnson and made it into a more empowering character than she was in the books. Anastasia didn't seem like the totally love struck victim of a wife beater, she actually showed her own mind. I was generally pleased with the production it was very clean and crisp with subtle coloration keeping us all in tune with the characters. We can also put in that this was written and directed by women for women and that could raise the female empowerment card.

I am not a Fifty Shades Protester but I can see their point. I have interviewed many women who have been victims of domestic abuse and this series falls into the lines of what they say getting them back into such relationships. "He's a good man deep down and I know my love can change him." This is a really sad message to be sending to women, I really don't consider this female empowerment but consider it something closer to female enslavement, maybe Pat Robertson's description of "Pornogracy" serves it best. Of course the plot aside, we have to go into the particulars of the film. This was probably one of the most boring films I have seen hands down. I have not seen a film that had literally had me falling asleep since Il Postino and that film had something this one did not, good acting and writing. Though Dakota Johnson did a great job the rest of the cast was kind of phoning it in, especially our Christian Grey. He didn't come across as charming in the slightest but as an incredibly creepy stalker trying poorly to masquerade as a human being. The dialogue was taken directly out of the books so I really can't fault them for the god awful scripts but lines like "I don't make love I @$#$!...Hard!" I mean really?! I have heard the director is leaving due to the author getting too involved in the process but one can't help but think that our creepy stalker guy's direction could be a way she hoped to sabotage this venture. I don't feel it worked. This movie did show a lot of nipple and if you like staring at Dakota Johnson's chest then you will probably enjoy at least that part of the movie. Other than shirtless scenes I really don't see what is sexy about this film I mean the soft core porn on cinemax had more class than this and the characters had a lot more chemistry. Their love is not that believable. It is starting to come across by the end that she is the one obsessed with him and Mr. Grey is just a piece of rock salt. 

This movie is nothing special but then again what can one expect from a fan fiction based of the Twilight Movies (yeah not the books). Enjoy your obsession ladies I am just hoping that they are not planning on splitting the final book into two movies so I will only be seeing three of these creep shows. 

Art Value:     2/10          (Dakota Johnson this 2 is for you as your job on this kept it from being a 1)

Entertainment Value:     2/10 (As it is sooo popular I can't give it a 1 so I give this for all those who would say "you aren't a woman so you can't understand") 

Total Rating: 2/10