movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: 6 Green Lantern stories, 5 of which are flashbacks related from Hal Jordan to a new, young, female novice Lantern.

PEOPLE: A Bruce Timm production — you either know what that means, or you don’t, but to be put simply: He’s involved in almost every good superhero animation in the past 20 years. 3 co-directors. 6 writers. A very collaborative work!

With Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Dracula 2000, Super (2010)) as Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern. Henry Rollins (Black Flag) plays Kilowog.

MICHAEL JACKSON voices Ganthet. Tricked you! There’s a new Michael Jackson in town, and now that the pop singer is dead, he gets to ride the coattails of MJ’s pop-star fame, and now longer has to put the “II” after his name. Funny. I’d buy stock in this guy.

Arisia is played by Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men, Get Him To The Greek, West Wing, and the awful Anywhere But Here, what played on our honeymoon airplane). Sinestro is Jason Isaacs (Lucious Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies, Event Horizon).

Also with some other voices like Arnold Vosloo (Habib Marwan from 24 Season 4, Imhotep from the Mummy movies), Steve Blum (Starscream in Transfomers Prime, Wolverine in Wolverine & The X-Men, Jamie in Megas XLR, Spike in Cowboy Bebop, FLCL, tons of anime dubs, tons of cartoons).

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers] Lanterns fail to save their homeworld.

QUIRKS: Bruce Timm quality superhero action. Origin stories for several Green Lantern characters. Cosmic-scale comic goodness.

Expect a flashback within a flashback, as well as a flash-forward within a flashback. Yo dawg.

VISUALS: Great animation. Up to par with any animated DC/Marvel movie coming out in the past decade.

GOOD STUFF: The final battle is probably one of the most epic animated battles I’ve ever seen, in term of scale. [highlight for spoilers] A battle involving multiple plants being used as weapons is fucking badass.

BAD STUFF: Not much, but some people were mad the Green Lantern only seemed to use his power to make “lasers and bubbles”, not the constructs you typically see in the comic. I didn’t really notice this failing myself.

CONCLUSION: Some people prefer the Green Lantern:First Flight origin animated movie. However, Carolyn & I thought this was even better than that. Flat out, for us, this is the best Green Lantern anything that’s ever been made anywhere.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 5/5 stars. IMDB: 9/10.
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.2/10, Netflix: 3.9/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 4.6/5 stars–well played, Netflix).

RECOMMENDATION: I hear the Green Lantern live action movie is really awful… so watch this instead.

SIMILAR MOVIES: Green Lantern:First Flight.

MOVIE QUOTE: “Mogo doesn’t really socialize.” (more…)

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link]

PLOT SUMMARY: “There are 4 billion people on earth. 237 are Scanners. They have the most terrifying powers ever created… and they are winning.”

PEOPLE: Written & Directed by David Cronenberg (eXistenZ, Videodrome, The Fly, The Naked Lunch).

Starring Stephan Lack as Camerone Vale — whose career went nowhere. His acting is perceived as bad in this movie, but I think it was kind of on purpose, as he was somebody who never really got to live a real life. Of course he would be stiff and naive and kind of robotic. But it still comes off as bad acting. And maybe it was. Bad guy Revok is played by Michael Ironside (X-Men:First Class, Terminator Salvation, The Machinist, Starship Troopers, McBain [yes that’s a movie!], Total Recall, Highlander 2, Top Gun, Lois Lane’s dad, General Sam Lane, in 3 episodes of Smallville, Darkseid in 4 eps of Justice League, as well as the 1990s Superman cartoon, Colonel Moss in the Wolverine & The X-Men cartoon, and Ham Tyler from the original V series).

The doctor was Patrick McGoohan, who I guess was famous as John Drank in Danger Man and Secret Agent back in the 1960s. He was also King Edward I in Bravehaeart and The Phantom‘s dad in The Phantom (1996). He died on my birthday in 2009.

UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): Government sponsors murder.

QUIRKS: Exploding head scene. Slowness. Nothing happening. Slowness. Government conspiracy. Slowness.

VISUALS: Exploding head scene. Buncha sterile 70’s locations with people talking. Shotguns.

The head exploding scene is really overrated.

The green computerized credits were really cool, though.

SOUNDTRACK: None that I remember.

MORALS:

If you have powers, best not to get involved with anybody or anything, because humanity fucking sucks.

If you’re pregnant, don’t take new drugs on the market.

POLITICS: Fuck the government. Especially secret agencies.

GOOD STUFF: The ending battle actually worked out differently than I thought it would, which was kind of neat.

BAD STUFF: Slow. Boring. Slow. Boring. Hardly anything happens.

The ridiculous fucking idea that if you are telepathic and can access human nervous systems, that you must therefore be able to access computers, because “they have nervous systems too”. What utter fucking bullshit.

The acting when people get scanned. Having to shake and act like “oh no i’m being scanned”. The scanner battles. The expressions the actors make. CORNY!

The only guns are shotguns — you better believe it! Then again, if a scanner may be messing with your aim while you are trying to kill him, a shotgun’s wide blast radius might be the only way you still manage to hit them.

Yes, a computer can make a telephone booth explode. DEAL WITH IT. Ha ha ha.

CONCLUSION: An overrated cult classic that is not deserving of its notoriety. Dated, slow, boring, preposterous (even for the world it took place in), NOT gory like its reputation, and certainly not groundbreaking in the least. The 2011 remake’s gonna be better. It can’t NOT be.

RATINGS:
Clint: Netflix: 2/5 stars. IMDB: 5/10.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6.6/10. “I thought it was somewhat interesting. It wasn’t ground-breaking though…”
The native public rating for this movie is: IMDB: 6.7/10, Netflix: 3.2/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was the same–3.2/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: I’m waiting for the 2011 remake. It’s got to be better than this.

MOVIE QUOTE:

Cameron Vale: You called me a scanner. What is that?
Paul Ruth: Freak of nature, born with a certain form of ESP; derangement of the synapses which we call telepathy. (more…)

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 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link #2 #3] [Netflix link] This is where The Matrix got its ideas from, or so I hear.

PLOT SUMMARY: A young biker stumbles onto a prototype motorcycle with a hidden function that has a link to the true nature of his world, which is not what it seems.

The red pill is now a motorcycle.

QUIRKS: Sci-fi anime.

VISUALS: Cheesy early 1980’s anime style. They look like a bad Robotech episode. Actually, movie #2 has an improvement in the animation sometimes — even if the characters look like they came from Tromaville (just like Hobo With A Shotgun).

SOUNDTRACK: Cheezy 80’s music. With J-Pop interludes.

ADV did the English dubs for movie #2 and movie #3, so if you like Super Milk Chan and Ghost Stories, it may be worth checking it out in English. We, however, watched this in Japanese, as we do with all anime. Then again, #3 in particular was so much worse that perhaps hearing the familiar ADV voices would have made us pay more attention! Apparently the ADV dub for #3 was 30-40 minutes longer! Damn!

POLITICS: Fuck the military.

GOOD STUFF:

At least with movie #1, the Matrix-like reality-reveal is quite amazing and interesting. And it’s not identical to The Matrix, either. And in movie #2, they have a scene that could be analagous to Neo’s talking with The Architect in The Matrix 2 (one of my favorite parts of The Matrix trilogy, though thankfully I didn’t see The Matrix 2 in the theatre, and was able to watch The Architect scene 2 times in a row to fully comprehend it).

An all-cgi pop idol (and I don’t mean the character is animated via cgi in the movie, but that in their world, this character is completely computer generated) that the public doesn’t know is a computer program. This mimics real life a bit, where a Japan pop idol was recently found out to be a computerized face.

BAD STUFF: An increasingly bad franchise. Movie #3 had parts where we were both drifting off and not paying attention — because it wasn’t that engaging. New characters. It’s hundreds of years later (though they don’t really make that known when they should). Unexplained plot points. The most interesting thing in movie #3 is the Eve character — which says a lot, because I found her to be one of the less interesting things in the first 2 movies.

Carolyn adds: “Also, I was annoyed at the second movie when they had the same 2 characters, but they looked completely different.  Yui had blue hair in the first movie, and light brown in the second.  It took me a bit to figure out they were the same characters, and not some new introductions…..  it was kind of lame…. then the third movie actually was different characters, and you were confused by that..”

CONCLUSION: Worth seeing movie #1 at least, in order to see the early inspiration for The Matrix, The Truman Show, Dark City, and the like.

RATINGS:

Clint: Movie 1: Netflix: 4/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
Carolyn: Movie 1: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.

Clint: Movie 2: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.
Carolyn: Movie 2: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6.5/10.

Clint: Movie 3: Netflix: 2.4/5 stars. IMDB: 5/10.
Carolyn: Movie 3: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10.

The native public rating for these 3 movies are: IMDB: 7.5/10, 8.0/10, 8.0/10 (which is totally fucked up, as the first is the best–but some of these only have 40 or so votes); Netflix: 3.3/5 stars (Netflix‘s predicted rating for us was 3.0/5 stars).

RECOMMENDATION: Watch the first movie, skip the rest. If you really liked the first movie, watch the second. Ignore the 3rd, unless you’re really in love with the Eve character (and even then, you will probably be disappointed) (but watch the ADV dub to get the full, un-cut version with 30-40 extra minutes).

SIMILAR MOVIES: The Matrix (barely though).

FRIENDS’ RATINGS: EdSquid recommended this to us, and felt similarly. 1-2 good, 3 not so good. He couldn’t fully pay attention to 3 either. He did mention he liked the animation and character desgins in 2. (more…)

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