A Gamer Geek's Cogitations, Conjectures and other Cortical Experiences

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Movie Review: Thor Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale
Directed By: Taika Waititi

My Rating:

I finally saw the newest Thor movie (Thor Love and Thunder), but not in the theater, which I regret. Personally, I think Marvel movies are best when seen in the theater. Be that as it may, instead, we waited until it’s release on Disney+. I assume, by now, most people have seen this movie (if you’re an avid MCU fan). First a quick synopsis before I give my feedback.

Gorr (Bale) is besmirched by the gods. When he becomes in possession of the Necrosword he vows to seek revenge against all gods for their vanity and hubris. Thor comes out of retirement to battle Gorr with the help of King Valkyrie and Jane (who can now wield Mjolnir); in other words Thor teams up with Queen Padme Amidala to defeat Batman.

Movie Review: 1Up

1Up review

1Up

Starring: Ruby Rose, Paris Berelc
Director: Kyle Newman

My Rating:

I am a big fan of Rebel Force Radio (if you are a Star Wars fan, I highly recommend listening to them each week). During the July 15th broadcast Jason and Jimmy interviewed Kyle Newman and they talk about this movie. If you have seen the movie Fanboys then you are familiar with Kyle Newman’s work. First a quick synopsis then my 1Up review.

Vivian (Paris Berelc) is a “support” member of an elite eSports college team. After an egregious display of ego and male chauvinism, she quits the team. She forms her own, female only, eSports team with the help of Parker (Ruby Rose) to coach them against a male dominated industry.

Biggs 1Up Review

This is another one of those movies where it’s more like 3 1/2 stars but since the plugin doesn’t allow 1/2 stars, I generously gave it a 4. It is getting destroyed though on IMDB. So much so that I almost didn’t add the link to the website. I, honestly, don’t think this movie deserves so much harsh criticism.

I admit that it’s a little campy but I feel like it’s campy along the same lines as Fanboys. It’s not a unique plot. In fact this is basically the same movie as Pitch Perfect except using video games. The writers and director do embellish the actual game play a little bit, but I don’t think it ruins the movie. It’s a decent “David Denise? vs Goliath” flick.

Women and Video Games

Erin Brockovich - They're called boobs, Ed

During the first act it does, kind of, abuses the very stigma it’s trying to abolish. Paris Berelc is a “well endowed” woman and we see her frequently in a white tank top where her … “goods” are right in our face. Ruby Rose’s character even addresses the fact that, over the years, “boobs” sell video games. I feel like from that point on, however, Berelc’s wardrobe is a bit more modest. Perhaps that is on purpose.

The movie comes at a time where women are being challenged and/or ridiculed for wanting to feel welcome in a male-dominated industry. Especially on the heels of the Blizzard fiasco. It goes without saying that gaming and eSports has largely been tailored toward males for the better part of a generation. This movie challenges that and I’m on board with it. Women should feel welcome and safe in the video game industry. A penis is not a requirement for playing (or developing) MOBAs, MMOs and eSport games.

If you are a gamer and/or in the video game industry, then check it out. Keep an open mind but your expectations low. It’s not a masterpiece and certainly not as good as Pitch Perfect but I still enjoyed it (boobs aside). It does have a few subtle Star Wars references (not just the Jedi/Padawan reference, let me know if you catch it).

film_reel“The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle.” 
– Stanley Kubrick

 

Movie Review: The Batman

The Batman

The Batman

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Jeffery Wright
Director: Matt Reeves

My Rating:

Yes, we have another Batman movie. There are so many movies that tell the story of this capped crusader that it feels exhaustive. It also becomes difficult to invest in another Batman movie when they keep changing the actor that portrays him.

I’ve made myself pretty clear as to how I feel about the various Batman actors. I am NOT on the Batfleck train; I rank him just barely above George Clooney’s Batman (who is probably the worst portrayal). Will Robert Pattinson fair better?

The Riddler is terrorizing Gotham. He’s murdering people of affluence and power and leaving only cryptic clues for the Batman. The Gotham Police, with Lt. Gordon (Wright) and Batman must hunt down and capture him before more die.

I highly recommend this film, especially if you are fan of the franchise. I believe it’s still in theaters and on HBO Max (at the time of this writing). It’s a long movie (almost 3 hours) but it’s worth your time.

I have more to share but it involves spoilers …

Movie Review: Matrix Resurrections

Matrix Resurrections

The Matrix Resurrections

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss

My Rating:

It’s been 18 years since Neo saved the world. Suddenly he’s back in the Matrix as Thomas Anderson, lead designer for a video game series based on his experience. It was real, wasn’t it? He has vivid dreams about it. Is he just a brilliant game designer suffering from severe psychosis?

Rumors have been stirring for years about a possible fourth movie. I think many didn’t think it was ever going to happen; and then that teaser trailer dropped and the Internet lost their mind. But did it live up to the hype?

Bigg’s Review and Analysis

This movie has a much bigger cast then I was expecting. Obviously we know Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are reprising their roles, but there are a couple more familiar faces and cameos which I will leave that for you to find.

The addition of Jonathan Groff, Jessica Henwick, Neil Patrick Harris and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Morpheus (more on that in a bit) really rounds out the cast.

What a Mind Job

This movie is getting some harsh criticism. I’m not going to lie, don’t enter into this movie lightly, and you need to have seen the first three. It’s a little confusing in a few spots, but puzzling in a good way; at least in my opinion. It’s the kind of movie where I feel like the more I watch it the less confounded I’ll be. And I will watch it again, but I do feel like it’s the weaker of the four movies.

There are a couple of details I’d like to discuss but I feel I should do this first …

spoiler alert!!!

The following content contains spoilers for The Matrix Resurrections.

Movie Review: 8-Bit Christmas

8-Bit Christmas IMDB Link

Directed By: Michael Dowse
StarringNeil Patrick Harris, Steve Zahn, Winslow Fegley

My Rating:

It is rare to get to review a Christmas movie at Christmas time. I usually stick with watching all the Christmas movies I like instead of watching new ones. My brother-in-law sent me a text telling me I needed to watch this movie; so far I’ve watched it twice.

This movie is our generations version of “A Christmas Story”. I might even go so far as to say its a soft remake. The bulk of the film borrows several themes from A Christmas Story but applies them in its own unique way. It even goes so far as to include it’s own “F–––” moment. By the way, I have actually held that infamous Bill Ripken card in my hands; in fact my father still owns it.

Biggs’ Review

You can probably assume that I enjoyed this film since I have already mentioned I have watched it twice. It is rare to find a new Christmas movie to add to my cadre of Christmas movies I watch each year. This movie definitely makes the list. I remember getting my Nintendo, and playing it probably more often than I should have. It is the toy that defined our generation.

If you are a member of the Nintendo generation, I highly recommend this movie. If you don’t like “A Christmas Story”, you should still watch this movie because the beginning and ending is a lot different. Also, NPH is your narrator, the Jean Shephard, of this film. You can’t go wrong when Doogie Howser is telling the story.

film_reel“The screen is a magic medium. It has such power that it can retain interest as it conveys emotions and moods that no other art form can hope to tackle.” 
– Stanley Kubrick

Movie Review: Mulan (2020)

Mulan

Directed By: Niki Caro
Starring: Liu Yifei, Donnie Yen, Jet Li

My Rating:

I know this movie came out over a year ago and it was not popular among Disney fans. They are complaining that it’s a terrible animated-to-live-action adaptation. I should know better than to listen to “fans”. These days the only thing “fans” do is complain (I’m looking at you alleged “Star Wars fans”). It wasn’t until my wife watched this movie on Disney+ that I finally saw it.

Unpopular opinion, I disagree with all the Disney princess fans. This is the Mulan movie we should have gotten back in 1998. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ming-Na Wen’s Mulan (who makes a cameo at the end), but it’s just another Disney princess love story.

It’s About Culture (and Kicking Ass)

A key indicator as to whether I really like a film is if I’m looking up the trivia on IMDB to learn more. I did this for this movie. It wasn’t a surprise to read that it was a conscious choice to stay “true to Chinese culture and traditions”. This is why Mushu is missing, which fans also hated. He is essentially replaced with the phoenix, a significant symbol in Chinese culture. Also, the phoenix happens to be one of my favorite mythical creatures. Martial arts is also a staple of Chinese culture and this is a Disney princess martial arts film.

Ask anyone that knows me well and they will tell you that I’m a sucker for a martial arts film. It’s exciting to see Jet Li back in a “martial arts” film although I think he’s retired from martial arts. This is probably why we don’t see him perform much in the film. However Donnie Yen and Liu Yifei make up for that. In fact Liu Yifei is a trained sword fighter. It turns out she is in a movie called The Forbidden Kingdom where she “held her own” against Jet Li and Jackie Chan.

Listen. If you want to see a live-action version of the 1998 film, then keep waiting. This movie is not it. However if you want to see Mulan kick ass as a sword fighter and martial artist, then you need to check out this movie.

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