Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday Punday!

Here's your Monday pun: Why do you want to boil your priest? It's important that they've been Pastorized!

Well now for a little bit of this and that - starting Wednesday I'm going to kick into gear a series of Blu-ray reviews for my YouTube Channel! Yeah so now you won't just be able to read my reviews, but you'll be able to watch them as well! Yippie! More me on the screen!

All that said I need to prepare, get to work on my Mad Max Film Retrospective and much other things to do. Before I leave you, my reviews for the two 'In the Heat of the Night' sequels have been published!

'They Call Me Mister Tibbs!
Sidney Poitier in 'They Call Me Mister Tibbs!'
Sidney Poitier in The Organization

Friday, May 8, 2015

A little this, a little that and my Blu-ray Review for Frogs / The Food of the Gods from Scream Factory!

Not a whole hell of a lot going on. Just working away at some more reviews and getting prepped for my Mad Max Film Retrospective I've gotta crank out this weekend, which should be a ton of fun.

Also it's Mother's Day this weekend so yeah, get some gift cards, find some flowers in a neighbor's yard and give them to your dear old momma! Also you should probably take her out for breakfast. Moms like breakfast.

That said, my review for Scream Factory's double feature release of Frogs / The Food of the Gods has been published! So follow the link, take a gander at some screenshots and then read my review for these awesome movies!
Burt I Gordon's The Food of the Gods
Sam Elliot stars in Frogs

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Pyramid Blu-ray and Dancing on the Edge Blu-ray reviews

Pretty much what I look like while I try to work at a coffee shop that doesn't have any power outlets as I wait for Rifftrax Live The Room to start... so basically what I always look like, only out in public.

Yeah I don't have a lot to say. I seem to be hitting some kind of stride on Twitter - which is cool. I picked up about half a dozen new followers in the span of a couple hours! So maybe all this blu-ray reviewing I do is getting noticed? Maybe? Probably not, but one can hope! So yeah find me on Twitter today to get my great and goofy movie reviews sent directly to your mobile device in the form of annoying push notifications! Woohooo!

With that - I've got a couple more Blu-ray reviews published that I would like to share with you!

First, the terribly dim oppressively dark horror movie The Pyramid
Good luck seeing anything in The Pyramid

Next up, I did a review for the BBC production of Dancing on the Edge a truly great little mystery series anyone waiting for their next fix of Downton Abbey should check out!
Talk about a beautiful drama/mystery Dancing on the Edge

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

One last Post for the day The Admiral Roaring Currents Blu-ray

Sorry for the second post, but I got one of my latest Blu-ray reviews published today and it's for a movie that I was absolutely blown away by. If you have a love for foreign historical action cinema - you absolutely must check out The Admiral Roaring Currents.
The Admiral Roaring Currents

Summer Movie Guide!

This is a quick post, much to do and I'm running out of time to do it in! Literally I've got like half a dozen more movies coming my way to review and my stack is already 10 deep... yikes!

With that my High-Def Digest Summer Movie Guide is posted and ready for your reading enjoyment! If you want an idea what you should see in theaters this summer - give it a read!

Monday, May 4, 2015

May The 4th Be With You!

I know it's "May The 4th" and the Vulcan salute is a bit out of place, but given the recent passing of Star Trek original series legend Grace Lee Whitney AKA Yeoman Rand - I felt I needed to give her a little shout out through all the Star Wars Noise

With that- it's Star Wars Day! Hopefully you have the "Unspecialized Edition" that's been circulating of the original films. Under normal circumstances I don't condone or encourage piracy, but this isn't a normal case. With that I do encourage you to buy the Blu-rays over the recently released digital editions because, yeah, they're a ripoff - ultra compressed HD image of dated masters has a number of fans up in arms. The extras may be interesting, but who cares? They're no the original unaltered trilogy so no $ from me.

Next - seek out this week's Vanity Fair because it's loaded with new Star Wars The Force Awakens images, including Adam Driver unmasked - yeah the dude looks evil.

This is going to be a short post because I have a load of stuff to get caught up on. At least 3 more reviews to write after I just finished my Summer Movie Guide for High-Def-Digest that should be published sometime tomorrow. With that, my wife has got me hooked on a piece of 70's classic rock that I can NOT stop listening to... so I'm going to make you listen to it! HAHAHAHA! I'm evil...

Check back later for more stuff!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron Review

Avengers: Age of Ultron 

The Short Version: 
While it contains thrilling action sequences and the patented Joss Whedon whit, it almost has too much of both while also being burdened with introducing and establishing new characters, giving time to the old characters, building up the threat of a new villain, AND still moving the MCU forward. The 3D is 100% completely worth the extra cash.

The Long Version:
I try to go into every movie I pay my $12 to see with as clean a slate as possible. I'll watch a trailer or two but I rarely read reviews prior to viewing. I just don't want expectations raised too high only to be let down. In the case of Joss Whedon's followup Avengers Age of Ultron I had hoped that I would be bombarded with some top notch action sequences and dialogue with a touch of creative banter and humor. What I got was entirely too much of both.

We greet our familiar heroes mid-mission as they are in all out assault mode attacking a secrete compound lead by evil German Hydra scientists. These scientists somehow managed to get ahold of Loki's scepter from the first film and have been using it do perform any number of evil experiments - none the least of which is human genetic manipulation in the form of Quicksilver (Aaron Tyler-Johnson) and his twin sister Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). For a recap to you kids that don't read comics, Quicksilver can run really fast and Scarlet Witch has magnetic energy powers while also being able to do a little mind manipulation.

After the Avengers clear out the bad guys and reclaim the scepter, they go home the victors, have a party and relax for a few minutes. With the scepter in hand, Tony Stark AKA Iron Man (do I need to say played by Robert Downy Jr.?) and Bruce Banner AKA The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) decide to play around with the mysterious energy source contained within the scepter. They quickly learn that it is in fact a form of intelligence. The intrepid scientists think "lets make artificial intelligence and we can save the entire world all at once!" So they start tinkering around and that doesn't exactly work out well.

By using Jarvis, Stark's electronic Butler as a roadmap, they inadvertently create Ultron. Designed and intended to be man's savior, the eccentric robot voiced by James Spader decides the world's best hope to survive is without the presence of man. rather than being a savior of the world, Ultron becomes a global threat taking control of robotics stations all over the world and embedding his consciousness in the internet allowing him to know all and see all instantly. Outmatched and outgunned, the Avengers must do their best to rally their strength, unlock Ultron's evil plot, and once again save the day.

While this was fun, there just isn't much of a complete movie here. At a bladder-crunching two hour and twenty minute run rime, this movie feels really long. Being burdened by its status as a sequel to a movie that served as a sequel of sorts to three other films, Avengers: Age Of Ultron tries to do everything a big budget sequel should do - only all at the same time with mixed results. It has to reintroduce all of the familiar characters we already know, give them a reason for being in the film, expand their characters while introducing new characters and moving the entire franchise forward. That is a lot to do for one movie.

Apparently there were several cut scenes and entire sequences that didn't make it into the final cut of the film - and it's noticeable. There is a late second act mission that Thor goes on in order to decipher the evil vision he had when he was infected by Scarlet Witch's mind control powers - only we get to see just a couple scant glimpses of what is going on and none of it makes any sense until some late and fast-worded exposition comes in. For an already long movie you can tell that this was intended to be an even longer film - for better or worse.

Part of the problem I have with this movie is that it opens headlong into an action sequence without reestablishing our characters. The last time we saw Captain America (Chris Evans) he was about to embark on some sort of mission with Falcon (Anthony Mackie) that sounded thrilling and exciting. We don't get to pick up with that. We get a long action sequence that easily could have been ten minutes shorter for how little it actually moves the plot forward.

Now don't get me wrong, I love action sequences and this movie delivers on that in a big way. But part of making an action sequence good or thrilling is making us care about the characters involved. One way Whedon tried to do that is by expanding on Hawkeye's (Jeremy Renner) character by giving him a family. On top of that we get Bruce Banner and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) building into some kind of romantic pair - which is weird because after Captain America: The Winter Soldier she clearly had eyes for the big boy in red white and blue, but so what, Johansson and Ruffalo play well off each other and their scenes are nice. The issue with these quiet character moments I have is that they grind the film to a screeching dead halt. Then when things need to get going again, the movie has to double clutch and grind its gears back into place before moving again.

With that, everything we watch for an hour and a half builds to a forty five minute climatic super battle that honestly, is straight out of the last movie only with mindless robots instead of mindless alien things. Our heroes protect the innocent while working towards taking down the main bad guy, Ultron. This would all be great if we hadn't seen it all already. After The Avengers and Man of Steel bad things falling from the sky can only be just so exciting for very long.

Now, how much of this is the fault of Writer/Director Joss Whedon? Really hard to say. Given his recent public behavior, the coy off-handed comments, and calling out other summer films like Jurassic World for supposed sexism while injecting a rape joke of his own is telling. I don't think he enjoyed this experience all that much. Maybe it's like he says and he's really burned out and his lips are a bit looser, but at the same time, it's entirely possible a lot of what he wanted to bring to the show was strangled by Disney/Marvel's need to keep the ever expanding franchise growing bigger and bigger. Where the Phase One line of films felt like they built towards The Avengers - this one feels like it's just a part of several stand-alone films that didn't really lead to this particular film in any real way other than a scattering of events from The Winter Soldier. On top of that - this movie feels entirely too "Whedon." We all know that he's a clever guy who knows where and how to throw out a smart quip, but he doesn't need to have EVERY character be quippy at all times. If Ultron had just been the only one, that would have been something - but even the most side characters, including random unneeded cameos from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. get a snarky quip. If there were good scenes left on the cutting room floor, I can guarantee that if they cut 90% of the unnecessary jokes out there would have been plenty of room for those scenes to come back.

That isn't to say Avengers: Age of Ultron is a bad movie. It is very fun and the action is often very thrilling. The Iron-Man / Hulk battle was fantastic - especially in 3D. Granted, I love 3D and am a bit biased, but this is a HUGE movie and it really makes use of the extra dimensional space. I loved James Spader's voice work for Ultron - he easily steals the entire movie. And, like the last Avengers movie, The Incredible Hulk is the best of the bunch. The big green monster gets all of the best fight scenes while also having a true and genuine emotional arc. That leads me to wonder why the hell they just don't make a new stand-alone Hulk movie again? One can hope.

In the end, I am more excited by the future single hero adventures coming up. This movie was a good bit of fun for a summer movie, it just wasn't nearly as memorable as the first Avengers film. Like I said it isn't a bad movie, I'll say I had a good time but not a great time - it's just average, and for a Marvel movie that's kind of tough medicine to take. I'm reserving final judgement for the Extended Cut thats rumored to arrive in the fall. It certainly isn't as bad as Iron Man 2 so that's something!


While problematic and overstuffed, Avengers: Age of Ultron was still a good bit of fun, it's just not as special as some of the more recent Marvel movies. 

It's Avengers: Age Of Ultron Day!

Matthew Hartman Mattedscreen
Too close for comfort?

Well today is 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' day - no this is not the review for that. I'm not up for midnight openings for movies these days so staying out to 2-3:00 AM was out of the question. Being the lame duck I am, I'll be seeing the old person early matinee - in 3D of course. So if I'm feeling ambitions with my day I'll try and get a review of that one up for you kids to take a look at my opinion.

This is a quick update because I need to get cracking at a couple of disc reviews I put off due to migraine, and I need to put the finishing touches to my Summer Movie Guide for High-Def Digest. All that said - I have a couple new reviews up I'm attempting to reblog and improve my SEO - there I have admitted to my true motive. That and simply I just have nothing else to write about at this moment. so with that - here is the screenshot link for the Nick Nolte staring film 'Teachers' it was a hoot.
Nick Nolte in 'Teachers'

After that I have the Paul Newman film 'Harry & Son' for you to take a look at:
Paul Newman in 'Harry & Son'

That's all for now - I might be back after a bit if I feel inspired enough to write about 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' - otherwise I'll save that treat for another day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

It's a Wednesday... my name's Friday

It's hump day and I'm hard at work on a lot of things. First I just reviewed the Nick Nolte 80s flick 'Teachers' and that should be posted up on High-Def Digest soon.

I just finished the run of Daredevil on Netflix so when I can I'll post up my thoughts on that, in short it was badass.

I am also currently working on a summer movie guide for High-Def Digest as well, so that should be up VERY soon if not by middle of next week.

In the mean time I'm bracing myself for 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' - overall I'm hearing great things but also that it is a bit more of the same and if you're expecting "new" from this outing, you're not going to get it. Oh well, anything is better than 'Iron Man 3' in my opinion. As soon as I'm back from the theater Friday morning-ish I'll have my thoughts on that one posted up and ready for your eyeballs to soak in.

In the mean time, I have a couple of new reviews for you with screen shots!

First up is a charming little musical that did in fact make me remember that time in September; 'The Fantastics' so follow follow follow the link there and you should get to see all my screenshots and find the link to the review itself.
'The Fantasticks' Blu-ray Review

ALSO I got to take on the Pat Boone 50s classic 'April Love' - while I wasn't a huge fan of the movie, the picture quality is absolutely gorgeous and if you love the movie - the Blu-ray is certainly worth it.
'April Love' Blu-ray Review

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Oh yeah... Bio-Dome

Consider this one a late Earth Day gift... I'm sorry but no one else would take it and I'm never above watching a movie when I get to be paid for movie reviews!

So check out the screenshot page I created for Bio-Dome and follow the link to the review if you're a glutton for punishment.
If this image doesn't make you want to kill, you're stronger than me.

A New Post You Say?

Well it's been a long time since I was on here so time for a little update:

1: I am still building the wordpress page - but now I have a real website and hosting so I started all over from square one on that and it being wordpress - yeah there are a lot of theme options and I am fastidious so choosing the right look is important.

2: I am now a contributing Blu-ray writer for High-Def Digest. Since the end of January I've plowed through a better part of 50 reviews!

3: In case they haven't been linking to the main page like they're supposed to - I've been posting up screenshots for some of my reviews to help the SEO for my posts as well as offer some readers a little more to look at and help them decide if the disc is worth the purchase.

4: Well there really isn't a 4 I just wanted an excuse to keep writing.

5: There isn't a 5 either.

6: Okay even I'd admit the joke has played out.

7: I'm watching Daredevil on Netflix right now and it's awesome!

8: There isn't an 8 either.

SOOOOOoooo with that I'm gong to drop a link to my latest Blu-ray Screenshots page for 'The Wicked Lady' and as I post up reviews for more Blu-ray releases, if I think they're worthy I'll drop in the links here as well.