Friday, September 19, 2014

Amazing or Not?

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Tuesday night was Softball, complete with a nice barbecue as we were matched up against our “rival” office across the way… and it was pretty good. The burgers were… maybe half-pounders? All the fixin’s, good peeps, what more could you ask for? The game was pretty good too. I didn’t really play as we had a full lineup of about 17 players to pick from… but the end results was that we won. Yippee!!! We’re back up to a record of 3-2 and starting to hit a stride!
The past few weeks, I’ve been watching “The Boondocks” on Netflix… and it’s hilarious. Do you like anime? Racist comments? Voiceover work by the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Charlie Murphy, John Witherspoon, Regina King, Cedric Yarborough & others? Well, then I’d recommend that you check out this Cartoon Network Adult Swim classic about two young boys from the inner city growing up in the suburbs with their grandpa… and basically getting tangled up in some wicked messes. Not exactly paper routes or anything like that… more like celebrity abductions, gas station shoot-outs, and other examples of The Man holding them down… or something like that. The comedy is on point, the musical accompaniment is tight, there’s even a Bob Ross ripoff… but if you’re squeamish around the N-word, this isn’t the show for you… cuz that sh*t is everywhere… but it’s okay apparently. Check it out!
Wednesday night, I finally watched the summer blockbuster “The Amazing Spiderman 2” starring Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Cole DeHaan & others. So… the first one, if you haven’t seen it, I’ll sum it up for you real quick. Boy gets bit by radioactive spider. Boy gets superpowers. Boy’s uncle who raised him dies. Boy decides to use powers to help others by using vengeance-fueled vigilante justice… but with sarcastic teenage humor so he’s not Batman. One-armed scientist is trying to find cure for Alzheimer’s or something noble. One-armed scientist becomes Lizard Man. Boy meets hot chick. Hot chick is daughter of Denis Leary playing… wait for it… an Irish cop! Lizard Man runs rampage. Spiderboy tries to stop him. Irish cop no like Spiderboy. Irish cop also doesn’t know Spiderboy is bangin’ his hot daughter (or does he?). Lizard Man runs more rampage. Spiderboy kill Lizard man. Irish cop die too. Spiderboy feel guilty for dead Irish cop. I saved you over two hours. Now, for the sequel, we pick up where the second one left off… sorta. Basically Spiderman is doing his thing and saving people… and there’s a… I don’t know, maintenance man or electrical engineer who takes care of the power grid or something, who thinks Spiderman is AWESOME! (like to a creepy point) Anyway, he’s involved in… an absolutely ridiculous workplace accident that basically turns his entire body into a solid mass of electric power… so people are scared of him… so he gets angry & thinks Spiderman betrays him… and hijinx ensues. Oh & a billionaire former friend of Spiderman comes back… he gets screwed out of his dead father’s company… he wants vengeance… and a cure for a disease that his family gets apparently that turns them into rotting corpse monsters (?) but that’s the angle for why he wants what he wants… so he teams up with ELECTRO by breaking him out of jail & it kinda goes from there. Oh… and most of the filler is the relationship between Spiderman & his hot chick who’s apparently a valedictorian & going to Oxford… in England… so yeah, drama. Okay so… I kinda liked this movie… but I probably wouldn’t watch it again. It’s exactly what you’d expect (especially if you’d seen ANYTHING on social media the week it came out & knew the “twist” ending, but frankly you knew that was going to happen about half way through the movie anyway, because everybody wants to be Joss) but here are some things I like & didn’t like about the movie that made it so… I don’t know… average at best:
What I Didn’t Like (spoiler alerts if you’ve been in a cave the past six months):
·     One of the three villains billed up for this movie was only on screen for 2-3 minutes… and had three lines in a HORRIBLE Russian accent (Paul Giamatti as Alexei something-Russian a.k.a. The Rhino)
·     How Electro became Electro – Now, I know this is based on a comic… and frankly, there’s only so many ways you can take an average guy (who by the way looks like Malcolm X ate Wesley Snipes to have his muscles even behind a pocket protector) & turn him into a being of pure energy… but the tunnel of wire down into a vat of electric eels is… wow. On top of varying continuities with the character in general… one scene he’s all powerful like Dr. Manhattan from “Watchmen” and the other he’s dressed in a neoprene jumpsuit to save money on special effects… which by the way disappears (or evaporates?) instantaneously only to come back in another scene… or if he’s wearing a homeless man’s jacket it doesn’t instantly disintegrate because… ugh… it’s a movie, $teve. The guy got bit by a spider & become a superhero… so why can’t a guy get devoured by electric eels and become a lightning bolt? Don’t look to hard at the science in it. You know… like you did with “Wolverine” and every other comic book movie. By the way, why the f**k does he look like a radioactive smurf?
·     Speaking of inconsistencies, the power grid for New York… is not as it’s portrayed in this movie. See Blackout a few years ago… and that was like… one little thing going wrong at a power plant a thousand miles away or something… not a malevolent being destroying all of it and then… I don’t know, a breaker is flipped & it’s back on. Pretty sure is a transformer pops that it still takes 2 to 96 hours for it to be repaired. Whatever… it’s a movie…
·     The multiple scenes that are SUPER cheesy… you’ll know then when you see them…
·     Collateral damage not quite to the level of “Man of Steel” but… probably on par with a certain date in 2001 in New York… just sayin’
What I Really Liked (trying to keep it even):
·     The interactions between Peter Parker/Spiderman& Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) – Where in most superhero/comic movies I feel like the love interest is either incredibly stupid (most), poorly done (Dark Knight trilogy) or just plain pointless (Man of Steel)… I thought that this movie did it pretty well. They’re teenagers, they have their witty banter, everything isn’t exactly life & death (unless it is) but these scenes didn’t bring about my usual response of “UGH, something blow up please! This is filler!” They were actually pretty good… probably because it’s from the director of “500 Days of Summer” Marc Webb
·     The Action Scenes – Lots of obvious CGI, but still pretty f**king legit in my book... just suspend your disbelief in physics...
·     Green Goblin – This character was on the fence for me. Now, the whole backstory where he & Peter were friends as kids… and then didn’t see each other for 12 years (so they would’ve been SIX YEAR OLD?) and then… “Hey, sorry about your dad, wanna be friends again?” “Noooo…. YEEEEESSSS!!!” I didn’t really care for… but the whole kid that was never loved by his father, in fact kind of a disappointment (HE’S 18 AND YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW HIS MIDDLE NAME!) yet… because you have the disease of… turning green & rotty (?) now you have to find a cure. Spiderman may know. Oh he’s a different blood type? RAGE!!! I’LL KILL EVERYTHING HE LOVES! Now, on the surface, that character arcs sounds pretty ridiculous… because it is… which is why I assume they threw in a lot of betrayal from others he trusted, some chemicals altering his state of mind & body, and gave him a supersuit… but yeah, for as weird a story arc as it was… I mean… it could’ve been a lot worse. FYI – Willem Dafoe’s scenes with himself from “Spiderman” are LEGEND!!!
·     The Lead-Ins to future sequels – The little teaser scene / birth of Green Goblin scene in the “secret projects” room at OsCorp setting up the future sequels… basically just wets your appetite & that’s what it should be at this point. I mean… you have the three villains from this movie (is Electro dead? Energy never dies, it just transfers) and you see the suits for Dr. Octopus & The Vulture… stay tuned…
·     The Ending – Gwen Stacy’s death in the comics is also the stuff of LEGEND! Now, with everything in the movie going the way it was with them breaking up & her going to Oxford… and then getting back together and she decided to stay… you figured she was a goner, right? Then when she showed up at the final battle it was like… “okay, no more Emma Stone except in flashback scenes… was nice while it lasted… Bring on Mary Jane Watson…” but the final battles with Electro & Green Goblin… and how she was in middle because… well, she kinda threw herself in that situation… and how it was so close but then… basically reality set in (why don’t more people’s bodies break under the ridiculous circumstances they’re put in these movies when a 10 MPH crash can give you permanent neck damage with partial paralysis?) was pretty well done. I’m not sure about the whole five months of grief afterwards… but then again if something happened to Izzy like that, I wouldn’t be mopey for five months… I’d change my image to something like “The Plague” and go vengeance-fueled rampage on these supervillain mother f**kers… but hey, that’s not PG-13… and different characters act differently. The set up for #3 at the end where he fight The Rhino (minute #3 of screen time) was good too… though after defeating a being a pure energy, the idea of stopping a guy in a robot suit seems pretty easy, right? I feel like it’s something that the police could almost handle pretty easily. Anyway… check it out if you’d like. If you haven’t already, I assume you probably weren’t planning on it… but it’s not horrible.
That’ll probably do it for today… Northern California Homebrewers Festival is this weekend & it should be LOADS of fun & adventure. I’ll keep you posted! Have a great day everybody!

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