Episode 57: Underworld Evolution

AMM Logo LargeHi everybody! Because normal is boring, I’m doing the Underworld movies out of order. Sort of…I guess. I covered the 4th movie waaaaay back when the show first started because it was on Redbox and I had an afternoon to kill. It wasn’t until like a year later that Wal-Mart had the Underworld box set for sale so now I’m chewing through the older movies. Anyway this is the 2nd movie in the series and it picks up where the first one left off.

I give this movie a solid 3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. For those that need a reminder, that means it’s worth watching if it is streaming somewhere, but it isn’t worth buying (unless it was in a cheap box set) and it certainly isn’t worth paying full price to own. The action was decent and the settings were nice, but the plot was forced and it was more like a video game than an actual drama.

Andy out.

Episode 56: Lara Craft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

AMM Logo LargeI’M BAAAAAAAAAAAAAACK! Did you miss me? No? Well, I never! Grumble grumble grumble. Anyway…..

After taking a little time off to get work and life and all that other crap in order, I’m back in the saddle and posting shows. I’ve got a really….ahem….good one for you here: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. That’s a super long name although to be fair you could shorten it to “Bikini, Some Dumb Shit, The End”.

I gave this movie a 1.8 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. Not the lowest score I’ve given, but then again this isn’t as bad as Battlefield Earth. It’s close though. Real close. Watching this damn near gave me PTSD. This movie is so bad I started leaking brain fluids about half way through. I only bothered covering it because my pal Derek said I was remiss in not doing it since I’d already done the first one. Thanks a lot buddy. Go ahead and open that box I sent you…don’t worry if it’s ticking…it’s just a clock.

Andy out.

Episode 55: Minority Report

AMM Logo LargeHoly shit, y’all – it’s a new episode of Andy’s Movie Minute!

I know, I know, take a deep breath, find your happy place, and get ready for the first episode of 2014! Oh yeah, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I don’t know about you guys, but between end-of-year insanity at work and a near-endless parade of familial responsibility, it was damn hard finding the time to edit a show. I’ve actually got a couple more “in the can” so to speak, that just need editing but even that seems to take me a month. Anyway, welcome back.

This episode is about Minority Report. I went 12 years without seeing this movie and I finally broke down and bought it at a gas station…they had a $5 bin so….you know. I had heard a few things about the movie over the years and I was never sure if people loved it, hated it, or were just fanatically indifferent. I’m aggressively “meh” about it myself.

I give this movie a 3.3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. I do enjoy Tom Cruise in some roles but the plot holes in this were big enough to house a family of 6 and still allow everyone to have their own bedroom. There were also elements of random humor that should have either been totally removed or buffed to make it a silly sci fi instead of a self-serious one.

Andy out.

Episode 53: Judge Dredd

AMM Logo LargeHi everyone! Here is episode 53: the one about Judge Dredd. Not to be confused with the recent Dredd with Karl Urban, this steaming pile of mid-90s crap is the Sylvester Stallone vehicle from 1995 that also inexplicably starred Rob Schneider. Before you accuse me of being too hard on a fan-boy cult favorite, I will say that if nothing else, it’s still better than Battlefield Earth.

I give this movie a 2.2 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. What it lacked in logic and reason and common sense, it also lacked in a core theme and direction. It really wanted to be an action movie but it also really wanted to be funny. Unfortunately it failed at both.

Andy out.

Commentary Track: Event Horizon

AMM Logo LargeHi everybody! This episode is a special “live commentary track” for the movie Event Horizon. Just like a normal commentary track, we talk about the movie while it’s playing, but instead of interesting tidbits about the film or the actors, you get to hear us complain about plot holes and incorrectly name movies that the actors have been in. There’s also a little audio of my dog going in and out of her doggie door. That’s a special treat just for you, dear listener. There are stretches of 20 or 30 seconds where we are quiet because we are watching the movie – that’s when interesting things are happening.

You might notice that this episode is marked Explicit – it’s an R rated movie and some of our language was R-rated to match it, just an FYI.

Please let me know what you think of the episode! If people like it, we can do more!

Andy out.

Episode 52: Dredd

AMM Logo SmallHi everybody! This episode is about Dredd. Now this is my kind of movie! Blood, gore, slow motion ultra-violence, Karl Urban, that blonde with the mental powers! The list goes on and on!

I really like this modern retelling of the comic book classic that was so terribly done in 1995 by Sly Stallone. I’ll cover that one at some point. Whew…gotta rest before that one.

I give this movie a 4 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. Any problems, of which there were a couple, were easily overlooked by the sheer balls-out insanity and gratuitous violence of the movie. It’s kind of like Wanted in that way…you are so busy saying, “OMG did he really just do that?!?!” to notice the plot holes. Fear not though, dear listener, I still pointed some out for you.

Andy out.

Episode 51: Underworld

AMM Logo LargeYeah yeah yeah, I know. I already did the 4th movie in the series and now I’m doing the 1st one. You’ll be okay, I promise. Anyway, this here is Underworld. I really enjoyed this movie when it first came out and I am happy to say I enjoyed it again with this viewing. I love Kate Beckinsale…she hasn’t written back to any of my letters and packages but the doctor says I have a lot of love to share and that maybe Kate isn’t emotionally prepared for all that. One day….one day.

I give this movie a 3.6 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It had great action, a nice look and feel, and it set the stage perfectly for the next 3 movies.

Andy out.

My Super Awesome Screening of Gravity (spoiler-free)

AMM Logo SmallThanks to Klout.com, I was able to see Gravity last night, a full two weeks before it is set for release on Oct. 4th. This was my first pre-release screening so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised by not only the organization and the process but the by the movie itself.

For those that don’t know about Klout, it’s an online tool that measures your influence based on your interactions online. It looks at which social media sites you use and how active you are on those sites and how (theoretically) influential you are. It then assigns you a score between 0 and 100 based on the spread and reach of your online activity. The system also assigns you various specialties based on what you post/tweet/whatever about the most. If you post something on Facebook and 10,000 people share it and comment on it, you are presumably able to influence a large number of people and therefore would end up with a high Klout score. For example, geek favorite George Takei rocks a 90, and pop star Katy Perry brings a 95 to the table (just being famous isn’t enough for a high score – you have to be consistently active online and whatever it is that you are doing has to get passed around and shared or commented on or liked). Conversely, your grandma who comments on pictures every so often and creates wall posts that include “love, grandma” at the end is likely a 10 or less. I wiggle between 55 and 62 depending on how active I am online and how many people are “engaged” with what I post or tweet. Unless you are one of the lucky few that have thousands of fans and followers without needing to expend any real effort, it takes dedication to keep your score stable or to get it to go higher. Anyway, Klout will send out “Perks” every so often to folks with certain scores or certain specialties and my score plus my love of movies equated to 2 free passes to the Gravity screening. Earlier in the year, it got me samples at McDonalds, passes to the American Airlines Admiral’s Club lounge at DIA, magazine subscriptions, and a few other fun things. In return, all they ask is that I share my experiences with my audience.

For this perk, all I had to do was pick the location (there was a dozen or more locations across the US in major cities) and luckily for me the Denver screening was just 15 minutes from home. I dragged my buddy Ty along and we got to the theater at 6:20 for a 7pm showing. We breezed past the MASSIVE line of people hoping to get into the screening and found the Klout rep at the head of the line. She checked my name off the list and we were in. We had to go through a security checkpoint where they did a metal detector wand, a bag check, and watched us turn our phones off. All the good “middle area” seats in the theater were taped off with signs saying they were for the studio reps so we found a couple middle seats in the upper back. A few other notables in attendance: Mario Lurig and Brian Ibbot. Security addressed the crowd and gave us a few stern warnings about keeping our phones turned off and told us they would eject anyone suspected of recording or taking pictures (in fact security paced up and down the sides of the theater the whole time during the movie). There were a couple decent previews and then the movie started. I could get used to not having endless ads for various products and banal trivia questions at the start of movies. 

I am generally not a fan of 3D movies and until such time that technology advances to the point that actual robots are fighting actual battles in the theater with me, I will continue not being a fan. That said 3D is absolutely worth it for Gravity. I won’t go so far as to say it wouldn’t be a good movie without it, but I do feel strongly that the vast majority of the feel and impact of the cinematography would be lost without that additional depth afforded by 3D. 

The movie itself is almost Spartan in its cast – the main stars are Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, two stars that you would normally have to drag me kicking and screaming to go see, and almost no one else. This is hands-down my new favorite Sandra Bullock movie (not saying much there I guess) but it is also my new favorite George Clooney movie. The movie opens with a single, long unbroken shot – something like 12 or 14 minutes. I’m not so much of a cinema nerd that I think unbroken shots are necessary or anything like that, but I do think it was incredibly well done and it set the tone for the opening of the movie perfectly. Another plus is that the movie is only about 90 minutes long. To be honest I was so thoroughly engrossed in watching the movie that I had no idea how much time had passed. There was not a single time watching this movie that my mind wandered. I didn’t think about work or what I had to do the next day or just how terrible iOS 7 is – I was totally caught up in the film. As can be seen in the trailer, you know that the two stars are up in orbit on the shuttle and things go poorly and Sandra Bullock’s character is tossed into open space. From there you have to watch the movie to see what happens, but trailers are made to make us wonder. Was that a simulation? Was that a nightmare? Is that what really happens? Was that scene even in the movie? I’m not going to answer any of those questions because this is spoiler-free, but I can tell you without a trace of exaggeration that this movie is absolutely worth seeing in the theater and that the answer to all of those questions raised while watching the trailer are answered in a gripping, dramatic, completely engrossing fashion.

Andy out.

 

Episode 50: Gymkata

AMM Logo LargeTo all of my dear listeners: Thank you. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou. It’s been 50 great episodes and although I am now constantly in snark-mode when I see a movie, it’s been a ton of fun and I don’t see an end in sight. This episode is dedicated to my new awesome best friends at The Monkey In the Cage podcast. If you missed it, you can catch me on their show talking about this very same movie. I don’t know that Gymkata deserves this much attention, but there you go!

Big shout out to Jim H. who left a 5-star review on iTunes! Thanks Jim!

I give this movie a 0.3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. I know, I know. The scale wasn’t made for B movies like this. It was really designed to help people decide between renting, owning, or avoiding. This bad of a show requires a whole different kind of scale.

Here’s to 50 episodes, and here’s to 50 more!

Andy out.

Episode 49: Next

AMM Logo LargeHi everyone! This episode is about Next. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Andy, this is the second Nick Cage movie you’ve done. You aren’t going to get all crazy on us and do Ghost Rider or Wicker Man are you?” The answer to that question is “raspberry 17 lawnmower”. Oh no! I’ve already lost my mind! That can happen with excessive Nicolas Cage consumption. I’ll watch 2004′s Miracle to cleanse my soul.

I give this movie a 2.3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It starts strong and looks interesting and then nose dives so hard and so thoroughly that you kind of feel bad for everyone involved in the movie. In fact, this episode is only a little more than 1/3 the length of the previous episode because bad movies make for short episodes.

BIG SHOUT OUT to “TehOhno”  for leaving a 5 star review on iTunes – thanks for the review and thanks for listening!

Andy out.

Episode 48: Fast Five

AMM Logo LargeBuckle up, boys and girls! Here it is: Fast Five, and it’s a long one! This wraps up my Fast and Furious series – I can’t do Fast 6 until it comes out on DVD and that isn’t until October of 2013 so you’ll have to wait for it. This one is special for a few reasons:

  1. It is the longest show to date – at just shy of 37 minutes, it’s a full minute longer than Episode 25 (Independence Day).
  2. It is the very first show to contain the term “smack ‘dat ass” not once, not twice, but three times.
  3. It contains an interactive science time. Now you can conduct an experiment at home! For clues on what the experiment is about, see #2 above.

I rate this movie a 3.7 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’s easily the best movie of the Fast and Furious franchise that I’ve seen so far, and it’s really the tipping point from being a questionable racing series to becoming a fun crime-based action film franchise. The Rock is an incredible addition to the film and he serves as the perfect foil to the racers, and bringing back some of the previous cast was a great move.

Andy out.

Episode 47: Fast & Furious

AMM Logo SmallI love it when a movie series goes waaaay past where they ever thought they’d be and they have to change up how they name the sequels. The FnF franchise is a great example of that – they didn’t know they were going to make it past #2 so they got silly naming 2 Fast 2 Furious. #3 has the smartest naming convention of all with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift – the rest of the movies could’ve easily followed that pattern but that left #2 sitting out there like…well…a big steamy #2, so instead they started mixing it up. This one is simply called Fast & Furious – note the ampersand – they didn’t spell out “and” as that would lead people to relate to the first movie, not the 4th. They give up completely for #5, #6, and right now #7 by naming them Fast 5, Fast 6, and Fast 7 respectively.

I give this movie a 3.3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It was a first-viewing for me, but since it isn’t the most gripping movie out there it took like 2 months to finish the damn thing. It was a nice return to some of the classic FnF characters but honestly it was too little, too late.

Andy out.

Episode 46: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

AMM Logo LargeWhaaaaa? A Fast and Furious movie with none of the original cast in it? What kind of non-canon crap is this??? (editor’s note: yes, yes, we know Han is in the later movies but we haven’t seen those yet since these are in chronological order, get it? And I’m not counting the stinger at the end even though it was the best part of the movie).

I rated this movie a 3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’s easily worth watching on streaming, it’s worth paying $1.29 for on Redbox, and if you already have the other movies this one is worth a few bucks at Walmart as well. I rather liked it and felt it was a nice cleanse after the train wreck that was 2 Fast 2 Furious. It does make me wonder about Han, though – and ain’t talking ’bout Solo. I have yet to see Fast 6 but I understand things get tied back in towards the end of that one.

Andy out.

Episode 45: 2 Fast 2 Furious

AMM Logo LargeAwww yeah! This movie is so badass that it uses numbers in its name! Can you believe that? Me neither! Anyway, hi everyone. This episode is about 2 Fast 2 Furious, the 2nd installment of the Fast and Furious franchise. Of all the movies, I think I’ve seen this one the most times for some reason. That’s good and bad – good because I know what to expect when watching it and bad because I know what to expect when watching it.

I give this movie a 2.6 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’s a dog compared to any other movies in the series.  What it lacks in action, it also lacks in plot and character development.

Stay tuned – next up is The Fast and the Furious 3 – Tokyo Drift!

Andy out.

Some thoughts about Star Trek Into Darkness – Spoiler Alert!

AMM Logo LargeI watched Star Trek Into Darkness Saturday night with a couple friends (Hi Mike, Hi Anthony!) and I must say I really enjoyed it.  I’mma tell you all about it, hopefully without too many spoilers, but first I want to share a little background.

It took me a couple viewings to really get into the first Star Trek reboot. I blew it off as a younger, hotter remake that ignored the legacy fans and worked only to get new people into the series. I guess you can call that the ramblings of someone stuck on nostalgia and unwilling to accept change – of course venerable series like Star Trek and Star Wars need new fans, obviously. I think I was stuck on the idea that all these noobs were all of a sudden into Star Trek and that was MY thing! I had watched all the movies, and all the TV shows (even the lame ones like Voyager), and I had been to the conventions – how dare all these new people enjoy something of mine??? I’ll be the first to admit it: I was wrong.

I mean, c’mon….it isn’t like all the original Star Trek movies were all awesome, right? Spock nerve-pinching a horse and time travel and whales and dimensional rifts and Doc Brown as a Klingon and such. No, those weren’t all good movies, but I put up with a lot of crap growing up as a Trekkie so I felt kind of betrayed when they restarted the series. The first time I saw the reboot I was recovering from a surgery of some kind – heavy duty pain meds have dulled my memory, it was either wisdom teeth or a vasectomy, I don’t remember which, but I got the movie on redbox and watched it and it was just okay. Fast forward a couple years and it comes out on Netflix so I rewatch it one day and holy crap I had forgotten the entire thing. I remember the scene where Kirk and Sulu drop onto the top of the platform but that was it. I totally forgot about the black hole and the destruction of Vulcan and the time travel bit – all of it. Watching it again, essentially for the first time, for enjoyment and not with a bunch of preconceived notions, was very enjoyable. I liked the new cast – the energy and the youth, and I liked that they were working to appeal to a younger crowd while still giving props to the older fans (Kirk sexing up a green skinned lady? Winning!) I also really enjoyed the modern/future feel of the technology versus the “modern for the 80s” tech that we had in the first series. The quality was better, the action was better, and they still had throwbacks to the original series for me to chuckle at. After seeing it a couple more times since then, I was very ready for the 2nd movie in the series: Star Trek Into Darkness.

***SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

Before I dive in too deeply, can we all agree that we know that Benedict Cumberbatch is Khan Noonien Singh? I mean, it’s even in IMBD now so I think most everyone already knows. When he introduced himself in the movie, I shit you not, the woman sitting a few seats over gave this big gasp and I cracked up. Whether or not she was serious or being silly, I don’t care. The timing was perfect and it tickled me. Well done, strange woman, well done. The problem with the way he announced himself is that it didn’t make any sense in the context of the movie. Kirk had no idea who he was and had no reason to care. I understand that they used Khan as the protagonist not only as a shout out to the best of the original ST movies, The Wrath of Khan, but because he was a mainstay villain in the original series TV show as well. Honestly they could’ve picked anyone as the villain and using the backstory they had it would’ve worked just fine. There wasn’t too much reason for him to be the bad guy beyond convenience. That said the re-imagined Khan was pretty cool and the lore they built around him was weak but interesting even if he was a bit OP. There were actually a lot of throw backs to The Wrath of Khan, but since this is an alternate universe/timeline different people said the familiar lines and different people took familiar actions. I stayed as spoiler-free as possible going into the movie but the one bit I heard ahead of time was that hardcore fans of the original WoK were upset by Spock yelling “Khaaaaaan!” and by Kirk dying from going into the reactor instead of Spock. I’ve accepted the new timeline as a thing so I was fine with it. That scene actually brought a tear to my eyes because it was very well done and incredibly touching.

A small but fun tidbit is that the new version of Klingons is amazing and I cannot wait for the 3rd installment to see them in action. Seriously – they are all wearing helmets when they show up and I was thinking that they wouldn’t show us their faces and I was getting bummered about it but BAM! There was plenty of Klingon action after that and I loved it.

One thing this movie has in spades is excellent actors and actresses. The only person I didn’t care for was Alice Eve as Carol Marcus. Sure, she’s smokin’ hot and gets into her underwear in a very forced and implausible scene, but she was shoe-horned in to get a bit of eye candy in the film and it didn’t feel worthwhile at all. The mainstays are all amazing: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban. John Cho is my new favorite Sulu and Simon Pegg is a great Scotty. I’m ambivalent with Anton Yelchin as Chekov – he’s okay I guess. I liked Sherlock Holmes as Khan because he’s gripping and stoic and has a fantastic delivery, but I miss how exotic Ricardo Montalban was in the role – Khan is a genetically engineered superman – there’s no reason for him to be white.

The action was fantastic, not only a physical-action sense with stunts and combat, but with space battles and special effects. The super-massive Dreadnaught Class Vengeance was incredible and you can’t tell at all in the trailers that it is what crashes into the water, not the Enterprise. Speaking of the trailers, there is always a worry that you see the best parts in the trailers and that there won’t be any surprises but that was not the case here. There were plenty of times when I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I was a little disappointed by the over-arching conspiracty-to-start-a-war plot line, not because it wasn’t interesting, but because they show the head of Starfleet disappearing for a while on a secret mission and no one wonders about it. I’m fine that they designed secret weapons and that they built a massive new starship, that’s all plausible, but having the head of Starfleet run the mission would be like having the head of NATO forces in Europe slip away to shoot things in the Middle East. Too many people would ask where the boss is for that to work. If anything, the ship itself should’ve been run by mercenaries instead of by the head honcho.

They close the movie with the Enterprise heading out on their 5-year mission to explore new life and new civilizations – that is hard to make a movie about and there is way too much star power for a TV show, but I can see them running into a new threat or the encroaching Klingon empire and making a movie about that. All I know is, I’ll be in line to see it whenever it comes out.

That’s about all I have to say about that.

Andy out.

Episode 43: Airforce One

AMM Logo LargeAt long last! Holy crap, editing this episode made me its bitch. You wouldn’t have thought that a simple 20 minute show would take 2 weeks to edit and drop, but there you go. Anyway, this episode is about Airforce One – a somewhat decent 90′s action flick (if you haven’t seen it, it’s basically Die Hard on an airplane). It was in the $5 bin so I picked it up. Hey, at least it isn’t sci-fi, right?

I give this movie a 3.3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’ll be a while until I watch this one again. It didn’t age well and the effects look like the work of a first year student at one of those special effects night schools where you are supposed to learn video editing and all that. Anyway, I digress…

Andy out.

Denver Comic Con After-Action Report…

AMM Logo Large

First off, let me say that attending the 2nd annual Denver Comic Con was an incredible, near life-changing experience. If you couldn’t attend or weren’t interested, know that you missed something epic. Here’s a little pro-tip: if you decide to attend next year – buy your tickets ahead of time from a comic book store convenient to you. Not only do you get a discount, but you won’t have to worry about showing up and having the day sell out (as both Friday and Saturday did this time). I know a fair percentage of the attendees are “Hey that looks fun” walk up traffic, but when it sells out, those folks don’t make it in. Plan ahead and buy a ticket, even if it is just a single-day pass.

Now, on to the meat and potatoes so to speak…

It takes a couple days after any big event like a convention to get your thoughts in order and to get back into the groove of the normal day to day. At least, that’s how it is for me. Denver Comic Con was far larger and more crowded than I had imagined and I think that is what is taking the most adjustment. At a gaming convention, you know that everyone there is a gamer – they might not play the exact same games as you but they are all there for the same reason. Now multiply that times a billion and you have a Comic Con. I never would’ve imagined that there were so many people in Denver that love Nerd Culture as much as I do. I’ve been to conventions before, but the last BIG one was DundraCon 1987 when I was in middle school (yeah, I get it, I’m old). My recent convention experiences are with local gaming cons and we only see 2k attendees tops at those and even then they spend most of their time actively engaged in gaming. Denver Comic Con is approximately 2500% larger than that and it really opened my eyes to how big the San Diego Comic Con is – they clock in 136k people over 3 days. My sincere hope is that Denver can maintain the growth and hit 60 or 70k next year. Anyway, we only attended one panel the entire time (having kids with you changes the experience a bit) so we spent almost all of our time just wandering the exhibit hall and people watching. At some point, when the boys are older, we’ll attend a Comic Con and do more panels or gaming or whatever – for the first time out of the gate, shopping and looking around was fine.

A few highlights of the convention:

• My wife and kids wore costumes to a convention for the first time. My wife was very skeptical about the whole thing and it took a fair bit of convincing to get her to go. She doesn’t read comics, she doesn’t game, and she is only barely tolerant of my exceedingly geeky interests. I’m not independently wealthy so it goes without saying that I was much more attractive a couple decades back when we met. At the end of the day, I was going to be there on a press pass, and the boys were interested in going, so the economics of time said it was more convenient to simply go and be there with the boys than to stay at home and not let them attend. I suggested that she could go in costume and although she said no at first, I showed her some cosplay pictures on the internet and she was hooked. I’m very proud of my wife for dressing up – in fact, she picked her own costume. She wanted something vintage so that it wasn’t over sexualized so she decided on Marvel Girl from the 1960s. I think she really enjoyed being in costume – it allowed her to experience the dichotomy that is cosplay: the anonymity of wearing a costume but the attention of everyone looking at you. This worked out really well because our friends went with us and they were all in costume as well. Speaking of our friends, they are way geekier than I am. Mike and Anthony both brought boxes of comics and such to be signed by the artists. I haven’t collected a comic since high school and I couldn’t name more than one or two artists on a good day, much less tell who drew what by sight. They spent most of the convention standing in lines getting autographs and sketches and such. Our friend Angel (who went as Dark Phoenix) actually did all the costume work herself, that talented bitch, and we owe her greatly for her hard work and attention to detail. Peggy was there too although she had a pre-schooler to wrangle so her hands were full. All told it was an awesome group to attend with and it made Sheri far more comfortable to have a group of geeky native guides to show her around. It also allowed us to hang out in a hotel room afterwards and drink and play Cards Against Humanity – a favorite of our little group.

• Seeing the gang from Umbrella Corp Denver is always a treat. These guys are amazing. My friend Heather (or Jacinda…whatever) from NeedleForge and her normally-named husband David are both members of UC-D and I watch their antics on Facebook with great interest. There are a lot of awesome and dedicated cosplayers out there, but no one I know takes it as seriously as Umbrella Corp Denver. I can’t begin to estimate what these guys spend on their equipment…they have an Umbrella car FFS! If there is ever a no-shit zombie outbreak, I’m looking for members of UC-D because once they get real guns, they’ll be the best bet at survival…they’ve already got all the armor and gear! I have all five Resident Evil Movies lined up for the show and I’d love to partner with UC-D somehow – maybe interview a bunch of the members about what they like/dislike about the movies. The most amazing part about them is that they do this for charity. Think about how cool that is…not only do they get to dress up like badasses with their friends and do all these great community events like the Denver Zombie Crawl and the Run for Your Lives 5k, but they are doing it for a good cause. Most recently they have been raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Speaking as a veteran that’s had my boots in the sand overseas, I get a little choked up thinking about all the good that Umbrella Corp. Denver is doing and the passion they have. Thank you sincerely for all you are doing! I suggest all of you head to their Facebook page and “like” it so you can keep track of all their public events!

• I was able to meet up with Brian Ibbot , a local podcaster of some renown. He’s a regular on Film Sack and The Morning Stream (both from the FrogPants network) and he’s got his own show called Coverville. I got a lot of the inspiration for my own show from listening to Film Sack – their concept is simple: 4 friends watch a movie and then spend an hour talking about it. My show is a solo effort and I take a different approach to talking about the movies, but Film Sack definitely deserves recognition for inspiring me. Normally I would insert a link right here to the audio I recorded with Brian at the con, but the mic I was using pooped the bed and it only recorded out of one side so you can hear me, but it sounds like I am having a conversation with an imaginary friend. Every so often there is a whisper of sound that might be Brian or it might be noise from the convention floor. Either way, the audio is shot and I plan on begging Mr. Ibbot for another chance to record a quick interview, either over Skype or at a location of his choosing.

My overall impressions of the convention and its impact on the community are very positive. It was a great experience and my sincere hope is that my sons are raised with the same sense of wonder and curiosity as I had growing up. They already play RPGs and enjoy comics and sci-fi movies and my oldest has already read Ender’s Game and Watership Down (two of my favorite books) – he’s about to dive into the DragonLance series. My youngest has a real passion for collecting and I can see him as a comic or miniatures kind of guy. As nerd and geek culture becomes more mainstream, they won’t need to face the kind of social troubles I did growing up.

Speaking of social acceptance, for just a little while when you saw people downtown strangely dressed, chances are it was just some cosplay enthusiasts. Now that the convention is over, chances are they are just crazy and/or homeless. There was almost an aura of safety and acceptance around the convention center where you could walk without being judged and where you knew everyone was as into it as you were. Of course, as soon as you got a few blocks away and to the mall, that aura of safety and acceptance was gone and the people were just the regular denizens of Denver. That’s not necessarily a slam on Denver (or anywhere else) but my kids dressed as Jedi were met with “WTF” stares and murmurs instead of a nod of appreciation or a kind word. Denver is ready for a big convention like Comic Con but the population isn’t quite ready to understand what we see in it.

The thrill and wonder in downtown Denver is officially gone but if you listen closely, with the right kind of ears, you can still hear some of the greatness that was Denver Comic Con 2013. Fellow geeks are all around us, in hiding, and they will come out again this time next year. Personally, I can’t wait!

Denver Comic Con – Day Three: Lines, Cosplay, and Beyond

Denver Comic Con – Day Three.

We kept it short today. Everyone was tired and getting cranky so we left at around 3 (I think – I stopped checking the time days ago). I don’t know if all my thoughts about Denver Comic Con 2013 are fully jelled yet and it’s getting late and I’m pretty beat so I’m going to post a bunch of pictures here and buy myself some time to think about all the amazing things I saw and all the fun experiences I had before I blog about them. Here you go!

THE LINES:
Unfortunately, this Comic Con has gotten/is getting/will get a lot of bad press about the lines and how things were handled with ticketing. Some of it might have been avoided, but honestly, who could have known that so many tens of thousands of people would show up? Last year there were 27k visitors over the whole weekend. This year saw almost double that on the first day. No matter what, I think they’ll be better prepared for next year, and like I always say: if you are passionate enough to bitch about it on the internet, why don’t you become a volunteer and make it better next time? Anyway, in thinking about the economics of waiting in line – the guys at the front of the line waited about 4 or 5 hours. But, they didn’t have to move and they knew they were first. I waited about 3 hours, shuffling along like the living dead. Although it was less time, we were exhausted by the constant movement. Pick your poison I guess.

Here are some line pictures to give you an idea…

It was nuts!

It was nuts!

Day One - More of the Line

Day One – More of the Line

Day One - More of the Line

Front of the line. These guys had been here since about 10am.

Front of the line. These guys had been here since about 10am.

Saturday sold out in about an hour.

Saturday sold out in about an hour.

this was all the way on the other side of the building

this was all the way on the other side of the building

It went fast once they opened the doors.

It went fast once they opened the doors.

It wrapped all the way around the building

It wrapped all the way around the building

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COSPLAY
What is a comic book convention without cosplay?? Below are some of the ones that particularly caught my eye. I’m a big fan of cosplay; in Sheri’s words “it puts you in with the hardcore crowd and it totally changes the experience from just going as a normal person”. How true that is. When the Three Shades of Grey ladies walked as a group, they never got far before people stopped and asked them for pictures. The last time I wore an actual costume (beyond the occasional Halloween and even then with a sneer of contempt) was at a Ren Faire back in the early 90s when I was in high school. Our group hopes to all go Steampunk next year – maybe with a theme (such as Steampunk Star Wars) or maybe just plain ol’ Steampunk. There’s certainly something to be said about the look of corsets and top hats on women!

Beam me up and out of this line!

Beam me up and out of this line!

I think Flash needs to run a little more! Just kidding, they were great!

I think Flash needs to run a little more! Just kidding, they were great!

Awwwww!

Awwwww!

Vintage Marvel Girl

Vintage Marvel Girl

My wife wanted to go vintage and so she did!

My wife wanted to go vintage and so she did!

Yup. That's me: Andy, from Andy's Movie Minute and my darling wife.

Yup. That’s me: Andy, from Andy’s Movie Minute and my darling wife.

Three Shades of Grey...get it?

Three Shades of Grey…get it?

Wicked cool!

Cobraaaaaaaa!

Awesome detail!

Awesome detail!

Cosplay: Young Jedi

Cosplay: Young Jedi

 

 

Man walks down the street in a hat like that...

A man walks down the street in a hat like that…

 

Well played, Ladies, well played.

Well played, Ladies, well played.

 

This was a subtle costume. I loved it!

This was a subtle costume. I loved it!

 

Yup. He's tall

Yup. He’s tall

 

So cute!

So cute!

 

Meow!

Meow!

 

I'm glad this was the original version.

I’m glad this was the original version.

 

What can I say? Star Wars is awesome

What can I say? Star Wars is awesome

 

I know like....4 of those comic books characters. GO MARVEL!

I know like….4 of those comic books characters. GO MARVEL!

 

Love these guys!

Love these guys!

Robert looks a little nervous

Robert looks a little nervous

Captured!

Captured!

Furries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RANDOM IMAGES
I took a lot of pictures and I need to put them somewhere so I am plunking them right here. Enjoy!

Day One - pre-opening

Day One – pre-opening

Day One - pre-opening

Day One – pre-opening

Awesome Yarn Beasts!

Awesome Yarn Beasts!

Justin said he would wait there forever if he had to.

Justin said he would wait there forever if he had to.

Day One - pre-opening

Day One – pre-opening

Day One - pre-opening

Day One – pre-opening

Press Area

Press Area

Oh yeah, the "casting couch"

Oh yeah, the “casting couch”

Press Area

Press Area

Press Area

Press Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He's just this guy, you know?

He’s just this guy, you know?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think I love her.

I think I love her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Out.

 

 

Denver Comic Con: Day Two

AMM Logo SmallDenver Comic Con Day 2:

Another busy day was had at DCC2013. Our friends met us at the hotel this morning and after about an hour of costume prep and last minute sewing, we were ready to make our entrance. The older kids were all Jedi and the younger kids were Ewoks. The ladies were Jean Grey / Phoenix in different incarnations (my wife was particularly beautiful, if I might add). Unfortunately there was a line a ¼ of the way around the building to get in – and that was for the people with badges already. There was another line for the folks needing to buy tickets and another line for people that bought online and didn’t have paper tickets. The overnight press notices came up with this little tidbit: there were 49,000 people at DCC Friday – that’s the biggest opening for any Comic Con ever….ever! That’s a bigger opening day than San Diego Comic Con – now that’s saying something! That’s good and bad for the Comic Con folks: it’s good because it shows that Denver is ready to join the ranks of the big boys of geeky conventions, but it’s bad because ticketing and line problems are bad press and too much bad press could wreck any momentum that DCC has built for the future. They sold out of Friday-only tickets about 2 hours after the doors opened yesterday and they sold out of Saturday-only tickets in an hour today. The big problem from what I understand is that there were too many people in line and the fire marshal closed out new entrances until more people got out of line and got into the expo hall. Record-breaking attendance is great but only if the setup is capable of handling it. Once we were inside things were crowded but generally fine.

I interviewed some awesome folks today, including the Umbrella Corp of Denver and Brian Ibbot. My pals Heather and David turned me onto the UC-Denver and I hope to lean on them in the near future when I cover the Resident Evil movies, and I’m a huge fan of Mr. Ibbot so it was a real treat to talk to him for a few minutes. I also spent a little bit of time  talking with the Reel Nerds podcast, an excellent local show that talks about movies and such. I also got to see my pal Justin moderate a panel of indie game designers (I’m proud to say I’m friends with 3 of the 4 that were speakers on the panel). Speaking of press-related dealings, one thing I’m a little bummered about is that the Press Badge doesn’t give you the all-seeing power you typically associate with a press badge. Whereas I can avoid lines and get into sold out panels with no hassle, I can’t get closer than normal fans to the celebrities. I really wanted picture of the greats like Will Wheaton and Felicia Day and I couldn’t get any closer than about 75 feet. The zoom lens I have is good an all but come on. I understand that it’s not hard to get a press pass. Sure I had to post a bunch about the convention and mention Denver Comic Con in tweets and whatnot, but I get that any jackass with a mic can do a podcast and be “the press”. I’m not even sore that my interview requests were met with silence…with the couple hundred listeners I have for each show that isn’t a shock. I’m just saying it would be nice if the press badge came with the ability to hang out behind the scenes and get the candid shots that really tell the convention story. Anyway….

We called it today at about 6pm – 7 or 8 hours of non-stop Comic Con is about as much as a reasonable human can stand. We were closing out our day at with dinner at Tokyo Joe’s downtown and I happened to strike up a conversation with a group of fellow geeks in the restaurant. They were at DCC all day as well and it turns out their last names were also Collier! That’s kind of crazy as the only Colliers I know are cousins from the Northwest and these fine fellows’ families are from the Midwest. They are from Denver  though and have ties to local cinema so we’ll be doing something together in the future I’m sure (stay tuned for that!) This brings me to my favorite part of the geek/nerd/Comic Con environment: everyone there is my people. We are all there for the love of something generally geeky – it might be comics, it might be cosplay, it might be artists, or it might be a deep and undying love of Firefly tempered with a bitter anger at Fox for it being cancelled. Whatever the particular passion, Comic Con brings us all together in a place where we can dress up and be ourselves and have a good time without the “normals” judging us or making us feel insecure. For that, I applaud the Denver Comic Con. For a lot of us, this is home.

Andy out.

Episode and Movie Listing…

AMM Logo LargeHi everyone! There was some question today about what movies I’ve covered and since no one has taken it upon themselves to create a Wikipedia entry about the show, I figured I would just list them all below. I may have mentioned this before, but if you subscribe on iTunes, you’ll be able to see all the episodes and have them with you all the time (in case you ever miss the sound of my voice). I’ve also included the rating I gave it as a handy reference.

Episode and Movie Listing: 

  1. Pitch Black (4 rating)
  2. Chronicles of Riddick – Director’s Cut (4 rating)
  3. The Core (3 rating)
  4. Blade (2 rating)
  5. Ghosts of Mars (2 rating)
  6. Blade Trinity (3 rating)
  7. Demolition Man (2 to 3 rating)
  8. Death Race (3.5 rating)
  9. Underworld Awakening (3.5 rating)
  10. Wanted (4.4 rating)
  11. Legion (2 rating)
  12. Transformers (4 rating)
  13. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (4 rating)
  14. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (4 rating)
  15. Lockout (3.5 rating)
  16. xXx (1.8 rating)
  17. Starship Troopers (4 rating)
  18. AVP – Alien vs Predator (2 rating)
  19. 2012 (3 rating)
  20. Lara Croft – Tomb Raider (2 rating)
  21. The Raid – Redemption (3.1 rating)
  22. Equilibrium (3.9 rating, originally a 2.8)
  23. Deep Impact (4 rating)
  24. Twelve Monkeys (3 rating)
  25. Independence Day (2.8 rating)
  26. Prometheus (4.1 rating)
  27. District 9 (4 rating)
  28. Ultraviolet (4 rating)
  29. Push (2 rating)
  30. Battlefield Earth (1 rating)
  31. Battleship (3 rating)
  32. Salt (4.2 rating)
  33. Knowing (3.5 rating)
  34. Predator (3 rating)
  35. Predator 2 (2 rating)
  36. Predators (3.75 rating)
  37. Sphere (2.5 rating)
  38. RoboCop (3 rating)
  39. Priest (4.5 rating)
  40. Looper (3.5 rating)
  41. Battle Los Angeles (4.3 rating)
  42. Taken (3.9 rating)

Andy out.

Episode 42: Taken

AMM Logo LargeHi everyone! As a peace offering to those listeners that have suggested that I lean too far into sci-fi, here’s a straight up action film: Taken, starring Liam Neeson. Fair warning: I watched and recorded this something like 6 or 7 months ago and I’ve just now gotten around to editing it. To be honest, without going and looking I seriously don’t remember if I bought this one in the $5 bin or if it was redbox. It’s a nice short one, which is convenient because things are ramping up around the household in preparation for Denver Comic Con, riding ATVs, and camping.

I give this movie a 3.9 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It was a first viewing and I thought it was really good. There was solid action and suspense, and I am a big fan of the spy/thriller genre. I would’ve given it a 4 but I don’t think this movie will hold up to repeated viewings. Sure, maybe once or twice a year when you want to chill out with a couple railroad spikes to the thighs, but otherwise a lot of the thrill is in not knowing what will happen next.

As of the time of this posting, DCC2013 is less than two weeks away! Remember to come find me during the convention and I’ll put you on the show!

Andy out.

Episode 41: Battle Los Angeles

AMM Logo LargeGood new, everyone! Another episode is ready! This one is about Battle Los Angeles. Seriously you guys – I dig the hell out of this movie. It isn’t in my top 10 or anything, but it is really good. This was a 2nd viewing – the first was on Redbox when it first came out and then I found it in the Wal-Mart $5 bin, and well…you know what happens when I find good movies in there.

I give this movie a 4.3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. That is the 3rd highest I’ve rated a movie (Wanted was a 4.4 and Priest was a 4.5). As for why I like the movie so much, that’s easy. It blends 3 of my favorite genres: military, sci-fi, and apocalyptic scenarios. This is like the perfect storm of awesomeness. You might be saying to yourself, “Self – Andy is obviously out of his mind. Battleship had all those elements too and he tore that movie a new hole for pooping from.” You are correct; however Battle Los Angeles is gritty and rough like District 9 where Battleship was soft and weak like a kitten.

Remember to come find me at Denver Comic Con on May 31st – June 2nd and I’ll interview you for the podcast!

Andy out.

Episode 40: Looper

AMM Logo SmallHoly crap y’all! 40 episodes! Woot! This one is about Looper. This was a fan request from a self-titled “super fan” named Tori. In fact, Tori even gave me a copy of the DVD so I could cover the show. I hope you enjoy it! Bruce Willis was dark and gritty and the movie really captured my imagination.

I give this movie a 3.5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. The tech was good, the dark future backdrop was amazing, the action was decent, and I was able to ignore some, but certainly not all, of the time travel issues.

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, and come on out to Denver Comic Con May 31st – June 2nd to see yours truly. Find me and be on the show! I’ll make you famous! Well, as famous as being recorded for a half-thought out interview on a small-time podcast can make you anyway. You’ll be heard by tens of peoples!

Andy out. 

Episode 39: Priest

AMM Logo LargeHi everyone! I really love this week’s movie: 2011′s Priest. I rented it on Redbox a couple times before buying it from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart and now it’s on Netflix in case you haven’t seen it. Speaking of which if you haven’t seen it, you are missing out in a BIG WAY – this movie is a fantastic alternate Earth vision of a dark future where mankind has spent every waking moment not dying at the hands of vampires.

I give this movie a 4.5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. Call me a sucker for post-apocolyptic vampire movies with cowboys and super-powered monks, but this movie proably ranks in my top 25. I’ve never actually sat down and tried to list my top 25, but I’m sure if I did this would be in there somewhere.

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes, and come on out to Denver Comic Con May 31st – June 2nd to see yours truly. Find me and be on the show! I’ll make you famous! Well, as famous as being recorded for a half-thought out interview on a small-time podcast can make you anyway. You’ll be heard by tens of peoples!

Andy out.

Thoughts on One Year of Andy’s Movie Minute…

AMM Logo LargeGood new, everyone! One year ago today, I posted the first episode of AMM. I’d had the site for a few weeks and had done a blog post or two, but the key element of any podcast is the actual audio so I’m considering the date of the first episode the start date for the show. I’d planned on being at 40 or 50 episodes by now, but hey….what are you gonna do?

By way of backstory, my only previous podcasting experience had been with WombatCast and that lasted a couple years (70 some episodes and likely near 100 hours of audio). It was a fun show but eventually it got too hard for me to balance work and home and recording and I felt it was the right time to step away. I still had some creative energy to share and I had a couple ideas floating around for solo shows and eventually Andy’s Movie Minute was born. Really, people: anyone with a microphone and a computer can be a podcaster. All you need is something to talk about and you’d be amazed at some of the insanity that you can find out there; but I digress. I found it very liberating to do a show solo because I could edit and record and post at my leisure and when I had time. Can’t sleep at 2am on a Saturday? Edit a show. Kids are in bed and the wife is working late? Record a show or watch a movie and take notes. Can’t post for a couple weeks because things are too busy? That’s okay (not that I want to let the listeners down, but the reality of a solo podcast that doesn’t make any money is that it sometimes falls off the agenda first). It isn’t as much fun as recording with friends but my goal was to have a creative project that I was in control of and that I could grow and morph and tweak as time went on and that has certainly been the case with Andy’s Movie Minute.  

Some things have gone better than I expected, and some things haven’t, and like all shows I think there has been some evolution along the way. When the show started, I thought of it as more of a review-type show and I expected each episode to be very, very short (hence the name of the show). Once I got rolling though, I found it was a lot more fun to just take notes on my reactions to the movie along the way – kind of a stream of consciousness monologue or commentary instead of an actual review. The shows also ended up 8-10 minutes long despite my best efforts to speak quickly and edit the audio so that there is only a half second of pause between each idea and reaction I present. My notes started handwritten because I was limiting myself to just a sentence or two at most to keep things fast (my inspiration for the speed was Zero Punctuation – an awesomesauce review show for video games). After a handful of episodes I found that typing my notes during the movie allowed for much more complex ideas and thoughts and as long as I was never going to get the show to a minute or two I might as well really dive into the concepts I wanted to cover. Typing the notes allowed me to add things like Science Time and Trope Alerts because I was able to get a lot more detail into what I wrote and recorded. Those are now some of my favorite segments and hopefully you like them too!

I’ve mostly covered Sci-Fi or Action/Adventure so far because those are the kinds of movies I own or had interest in watching (the more interest I have in seeing a movie, the better the show will be). I’ve found that it’s really hard to cover comedies or spoofs or RomComs because the plot structure doesn’t allow for the kind of commentary I want to deliver (you can’t make fun of something that is already making fun of itself). I’ve been told by listeners that they won’t listen to a show until they’ve seen the movie, but I’d recommend listening even if you haven’t seen the movie. The commentary is still funny and you might find that you want to watch the movie even more afterwards!

I average about one show a week. I did until I changed jobs in January, at least. Since then I’ve been averaging close to one show every 2 weeks or 2 ½ weeks. Sometimes that’s my schedule and sometimes that’s technical issues getting in the way, but again that is a benefit of a solo show. I can’t imagine having my current day job AND trying to record a show with other people as well. Holy crap! I start to get stressed just thinking about it! As it is, I shoehorn in the time I have right now. I usually take the 20ish minutes I have after getting off of work but before picking up the kids to edit a show (I average about 3 minutes of edit time for each minute of audio so a 20 minute show takes about an hour to put together). That works well toward getting a show edited every week or so and I have the notes for 20+ shows already done that just need to be recorded. If nothing else, the upshot to the totally unfulfilling and dead end job I had for the last couple years is that it gave me plenty of extra time for these kinds of creative endeavors. The show hasn’t been as popular as I’d hoped but generally speaking I’m okay with that. WombatCast didn’t really take off until we tapped into the Gamer demographic, and I haven’t found that niche yet with AMM. I’ll continue recording as long as I enjoy myself and it’s nice to have a hobby even if I’m not likely to get rich and famous from the show. I’ve been told it’s a hard show to classify: it isn’t a pure review where I go into the director and actors and such, and it isn’t a multi-host show where you get conversation about the movie. Instead you get me, picking apart whatever plot and science flaws I see, and you get to hear about whatever I felt were the best and worst parts of the show. I’m also sure that there are dozens of shows just like mine. Hopefully you listen to mine because you enjoy it and hopefully you have as much fun listening to the shows as I do recording them.

There are some AWESOME shows coming up as we creep into Spring and Summer, to name a few:

  • Resident Evil (1-5)
  • The Transporter (1-3)
  • The Fast and the Furious (1-5 and maybe 6)
  • A live commentary show (internet live anyway) with a few funny guys sitting around a microphone watching a movie.
  • Coverage of Denver Comic Con 2013
  • And if I can convince people that I’m not a stalker or a maniac, maybe a recording from a movie premier.

Thanks for listening, thanks for reading, and thanks for being a fan,

Andy out.  

PS: I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to get your shiny metal butts out to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a review. Just sayin’

Denver ComicCon – Coming Right Up!

AMM Logo LargeHey everyone! It’s just over a month until our fair city hosts Denver Comic Con. If you’ve never been – RIGHT NOW is when you should head to their website and score tickets (you can click here for ticketing info) – there are still prime tix left INCLUDING THE KIND WHERE YOU GET TO MEET STAN LEE OMG HOW IS THAT EVEN A THING YOU HAVE NOT DONE?!?!?!?! By the by, you might want to get on that sooner than later.

We are going to make this DCC a family event – I’ve got some podcasty stuff to do that comes with the awesome burden that is a press pass, so Sheri and the boys and some family friends (that are also massive geeks) are going to all go as a big gaggle – IN COSTUME! It’s going to be such a good time. We’ve already booked a hotel for Friday and Saturday night and have many, many awesome plans.

MG1

Sheri’s Vintage Marvel Girl Inspiration

Sheri is going as vintage Marvel Girl – I am a very proud husband, not only that she is going to a very geek-oriented event like this, but that she’s going to dress up as well. We have a very talented friend named Angel that is helping with the costumes. The boys are going as Jedi and we’ll also have some ewoks and a Princess Leia.

I’m going to keep it chill – I’ll wear my Firefly “Cunning Hat” and maybe a Serenity t-shirt but otherwise I’m not going in costume.

Anyhow, there will be many many many awesome stars, artists, and geek demi-gods in attendance – my hope is to photograph, interview, and live-blog as much of #DCC2013 as possible. Stay tuned for more!

Andy Out.

Episode 38: RoboCop

AMM Logo LargeAt long last, our technical troubles are behind us…for now anyway! This episode is about Robocop, the 1987  classic. I used to watch this movie all the time as a teen and for that my parents should be ashamed of themselves! Holy shit there is a lot of violence and gore! I never realized it before watching it for this show, but wow. Of course, this is the same director that brought us StarShip Troopers so….you know.

I give this movie a 3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’s a great romp for what it is and when it was filmed but otherwise the movie is incredibly dated and the tech is so lo-fi that it is laughable.

REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE ON ITUNES! You can also listen to the show on the website or on Stitcher Radio! See you at Denver Comic Con!

Andy out.

Episode 37: Sphere

AMM Logo LargeHi there cats and kittens! I hope everyone enjoyed Spring Break. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some podcasts! This episode is about Sphere. The book was decent, the movie….not so much. It alternated between sci-fi thriller and lame character story about damaged people.

I give this movie a 2.5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. For those keeping score at home, that means it’s worth watching on streaming if you are already paying for the service and have some time to waste, but it isn’t worth paying for and unless you are a Queen Latifah completest, this certainly isn’t worth buying.

Andy out!

Book Review: The Neverwinter Saga, Books 1-4, by R. A. Salvatore

 

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** SPOILER ALERT! The newest book in this series is only a couple weeks old and I am going to go into major plot points – YOU’VE BEEN WARNED! **

Hi everyone! I know doing book reviews is a little bit of a departure since this is a podcast dedicated to snarky movie reviews, but I am a huge fan of the books by R.A. Salvatore and I just finished the final book in the latest series so I wanted to write about it. I hope to be able to delve more deeply into book reviews and to possibly make it a normal part of what I produce. I can’t say they will all be 4,000 word beasts like this one, but at the same time, I’m covering 4 books at once!

Let’s set some ground rules: explaining step by step what happens in a book is not a review – that is a summary or a synopsis. This is not going to be one of those. Instead of listing out the plot to each book and what happens along the way I’m going to dig into flaws and complaints as well as things I really liked.

I will start by asking if anyone knows what in the screaming hells is wrong with R. A. Salvatore and if he suffered a massive and debilitating stroke in the last couple years? That would explain why his writing has become so confused and rushed and why he only closes 1 plot point for every 15 he opens (for those not following along, I’m obviously suggesting that he has a helper monkey that is writing his books for him. Try and keep up, okay?) To save myself the inevitable and vitriolic mail I’m going to get from the half-dozen people that actually read this, I’ll explain: when I complain about poor writing from Mr. Salvatore I’m talking about the Neverwinter series and I’m really only talking about the 3rd and 4th books. Just relax and finish reading, okay?

For those not familiar, the Neverwinter books are:
•  Neverwinter Saga Book 1 – Gauntlgrym
  Neverwinter Saga Book 2 – Neverwinter
•  Neverwinter Saga Book 3 – Charon’s Claw
•  Neverwinter Saga Book 4 – The Last Threshold

Before I get into each book individually, I’ll start with a small overall complaint that it feels like he wrote the series, or at least the starting framework of it, to coincide with the announcement of the MMORPG of the same name. I can totally understand the synergy of having an immensely popular Forgotten Realms author describe an amazing frontier town in a book dedicated to one of the most famous names in the realms, but it feels like a sell-out. Did it work? Probably, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Neverwinter Saga Book 1 – Gauntlgrym
I like that the first book in the new series starts years after the events in Transitions series (Orc King, Pirate King, and Ghost King). It gives some distance from the fan-favorite characters that aren’t involved and it changed the landscape away from the well-known tunnels of Mithral Hall and Menzoberanzan. I also like that two of my hands-down favorite characters make a strong appearance: Athrogate and Jarlaxle. This was a solid book and I read it a second time before book 2 came out because I wanted it to be fresh in my mind. The story was gripping, the characters were great, and the ending was moving and emotional. They got into the kind of epic-level adventures you’d expect from Drizzt and Bruenor: primordials, ancient dwarf magic, massive landscape-changing destruction, and a huge conflict between Thay and Netheril. The final battles in Gauntlgrym are incredible and keep dragging you along with amazing action, personal sacrifice, and powerful enemies. I’m wasn’t overly familiar with Thay or Netheril so I had to do some research on the side to get a better grasp of that was going on, but it made for an interesting backdrop to the rest of the story. Overall the book was great and the death of Bruenor was every bit as touching as the death of Albus Dumbledore. There were some confusing parts (how did Herzgo Alegni get Charon’s Claw, what happened to Artemis Entreri, etc) but the rest of the story was strong enough that those were just branches on the tree-trunk that was Gauntlgrym.

Neverwinter Saga Book 2 – Neverwinter
After the greatness of Gauntlgrym, the second book had a lot to live up to and it did okay I guess. Drizzt was forced onto a path that was totally different for him and that was fine. He’d been through some crazy stuff and all of his friends were dead so it made sense that he’d try and leave his past life behind and hooking up with a homicidal but stunningly sexy elf seems like a pretty epic way to go. I hadn’t considered for a moment that Barrabus was Artemis Entreri and I was pleasantly surprised that such a great character was brought back into the world. The last time we saw Entreri he was hanging out with Jarlaxle causing problems for people in the Bloodstone Lands and getting all touchy feely with his emotions because of a magical flute (see Road of the Patriarch, book 3 of the Sellswords series). This is a long time after that so I figured he’d be dead – they kind of explain it away by saying he’s part shade because his dagger absorbed the negative energy of an undead but that doesn’t really explain it. They also sort of say that the sword is keeping him alive but that doesn’t really make sense either. In fact, they start assigning some pretty impressive powers to Charon’s Claw and in previous books it was just a really wicked sentient sword that was owned by a small-time merchant lord in the desert. I went with it because…hey…it’s a book. Artemis, Dahlia, and Drizzt defeat the folks from Thay and all that, but it felt hollow after the grand adventures in the first book. Following the tree analogy from the before, this was a sapling, not a full-grown tree. It was there but it wasn’t impressive.

Neverwinter Saga Book 3 – Charon’s Claw
I was really excited for the 3rd book. There were a lot of ways the story could go after the previous book so I dove right in. It started out by getting back into what made R.A Salvatore famous: the drow. There was plenty of Underdark intrigue to be had, including Gromph Baenre – probably my favorite mage in the Forgotten Realms books – and I was kind of bummed when the story left the drow and turned back to Neverwinter. I’ll be honest; I don’t care how the town of Neverwinter organizes its militia and guards. If they can’t man up enough to drive out the Netherese then I don’t really care. The story chugged along rather predictably with Drizzt and crew going after the Herzgo Alegni to get Charon’s Claw back but I never really felt connected to the story. The real high points were checking back in on the drow caravan to Gauntlgrym. I wasn’t overly wild about the whole SpellSpinner thing but that is likely because I don’t follow Dungeons and Dragons anymore and I’m not up to speed on the latest editions. I also prefer my driders and drow outrageously evil and unpredictable and these felt watered down. Sure they were evil, but not chaotic evil the way Lady Lloth prefers.

My biggest complaint about the book is the sheer number of open plot lines that were started and completely ignored. There were so many unanswered plot lines at the end of this book that I planned to write a review about it last year, simply so I could try and wrap my mind around it. It was so out of character for R.A. Salvatore and so strange for his style that I was ready to write it off as an unfortunate deadline issue or really crappy editing. An old rule in gaming is that “you don’t describe the window if you want the group to use the door”. A couple of the unresolved plot lines were to be expected and I looked forward to their story: the potential Dahlia/Entreri hook up, the creation of Lullaby and Spiderweb (Tiago Beanre’s sword and shield), and Errtu the balor. Having a few plot lines to carry into the next book is kind of an expectation but this one had so many that I literally forgot about some of them until typing this up:
•  What about the drow now inhabiting Gauntlgrym?
•  What about Guenhwyvar?
•  How come Artemis didn’t die when they destroyed Charon’s Claw? There was a crap ton of build-up and absolutely no payoff.
•  What about Athrogate and Jarlaxle?
•  What about the Aboleth? In case you haven’t read it, The Orc King starts decades in the future from the timeline in that book and one of the things mentioned is the rise of the aboleth. I thought for sure this would tie in since there was lots of build up, but again there was zero payoff.
•  What about Arunika the succubus? It seemed like she was going to play a larger part but no.
•  What about Vampire Pwent?
•  What about Valindra Shadowmantle and her zombie/mummy champion? They were essentially ignored in this book.

If we continue with the tree analogy, this was a bush not a tree. There was no central plot – just a bunch of side stories that were generally connected through the characters involved. It ended and I felt really frustrated because there were a ton of unanswered questions – far more than normal for a Salvatore story and far more than I appreciated after spending the money to buy the book. It felt unfinished and rushed.

Neverwinter Saga Book 4 – The Last Threshold
I bought this as soon as I saw it had been released. That said instead of having Amazon alert me like I normally would I spotted it while looking for a book for my wife. I was so thoroughly disappointed by book 3 that I stopped caring about the series. Old habits die hard however and I started reading it on my iPad that night. I didn’t remember a lot of the details from the 3rd book but they came back soon enough – Salvatore does a fine job of explaining backstory as he goes. I had the chew through the first half of the book before it really hooked me, but once it did I finished the 2nd half in one day. You can pretty much skip everything before Part III: Into Shadow and thank me for the time you just saved.

Here’s a breakdown of what you missed:
•  Drizzt: I miss my old friends. I’m going to convert this totally evil party into good guys by doing nice things for people but I’m still going to complain that they aren’t as cool as my old friends. I miss my cat. I’m super bad with women. Dahlia is a hot mess.
•  Entreri: I’m surly. I kind of like Drizzt but I’m too grouchy to show it. Dahlia is a hot mess.
•  Dahlia: I’m a hot mess.
•  Effron: I hate my mom and dad! Now I hate my dad but my mom is okay. Now I love my mom. Now I’m a good guy!
•  Ambergris: I’m a great character but I’m written like a horny college girl on spring break. Yay beer!
•  Afafrenfere: I’m pretty much awesome but I only get in a couple fights and the guy writing this book totally forgot that classic monks are immune to poison.

You’re welcome. Use the time I just saved you to plant a tree or adopt a pet or rob a bank or something.

The 2nd half of the book cooked right along and that only made the ending more frustrating and more puzzling because by then I was really invested in how it was going to end. I hated, hated, hated how the book ended. The start of the book was okay but kind of boring because there was a lot more of “Drizzt being emotional and trying to redeem people” than there was ass-kicking but the second half started off so well! Jarlaxle raids a Netherese lord’s castle to free his buddies in truly fabulous style – it was gripping and exciting and full of the interplay that made R.A Salvatore such a beloved writer. It felt a little “dragged by the nose” when the team finally got back together and headed to Icewind Dale but I was okay with that because I knew a Balor and a drow hunting party were hot on their trail. All the same, I kept checking the progress bar on the Kindle, wondering how on earth he was going to close out such giant plot lines like Errtu the Balor, Tiago Baenre and his team of hunters, the clairvoyance the succubus put on Artemis, if Guen would recover, if Pwent actually destroyed himself, what Kimmuriel learned from the Mind Flayers, and how all that played into Drizzt returning to Icewind Dale.

Because the wounds this book inflicted on my soul are still fresh from how it ended I’m going to bullet out the worst offenses below:
•  The first few chapters are spent talking up the vampire/battlerager that was so obviously pointed out at the end of book 3. When they finally find him, they talk for 5 minutes and then Pwent suicides? Wait, what? Why bring him back at all if the plan is to kill him off (again) without any resolution?
•  Valindra Shadowmantle, the insane and powerful lich from the other books, is mentioned a couple times and then ignored (same as in book 3). This is a lich for god’s sake. Use her to destroy things or raise an undead army to ravage the towns or something. So much time was spent in books one and two to bring her mind back online that it seems like a total waste to just ignore her now. What about the obvious twist where she bends Pwent to her evil will and forces Drizzt to kill him? C’mon man! That’s an easy win and it would’ve been sooooo cool to read about!
•  How come Guen didn’t die during the year she spent in that cage while Drizzt was held captive by Draygo? She was withering away after just a couple months so another year should’ve killed her. And astral creature or not, doesn’t she need to eat and drink while on the Prime Material Plane?
•  They only fought one group while crossing the Shadowfell. Sure, it was a super tough group, but why? How come there was the hints that Effron would use this cool new staff to whoop some ass only to never have it be mentioned again?
•  How was Drizzt a captive for an entire year? Are we to believe he spent an entire 12 months sitting in a small room in a tower doing nothing but talking and eating all day? How was he not overweight and out of practice with his swords when he was rescued? And what was Effron doing the whole time?
•  How do Tiago and his team all speak Common? Drizzt had to learn it when he left the Underdark so unless it is now a normal class taught in Menzoberanzan they wouldn’t know it. And why again are they being friendly to the people of Ten Towns when the normal drow reaction to humans is murder and chaos? Trying to buy goodwill or not, these are nobles of arrogant and wealthy drow houses – they would just as soon destroy the rest of Bryn Shander because human life means nothing to them. Instead we see them chumming around with the locals and drinking beer. Whatever.
•  They disappeared for 18 years for no good reason! I was fine with them going missing while Tiago’s hunting party was looking for them because I knew they had found the forest and I totally expected an epilogue where the entire party was accepted into the magical woods where Catti-Brie, Bruenor, Regis, and Wulfgar live. Drizzt would reunite with his old friends and fade into legend, Dahlia and Artemis would decide to leave and set out into the world together, and the monk and the cleric would hang out for a while before setting out on their own. I would’ve been completely okay with the series ending right there giving the message that all the machinations of mankind fall away in the face of true love and fate or whatever. Instead it seems like a very heavy handed way to make everyone forget the enemies they had collected before coming back into the world. What about Guen? 18 years with no summoning? And why 18 years? The magical forest was something like 60 or 70 years old at that point – why would it fade away at all and why would they be asleep the whole time? If it was supposed to be a message from Catti-brie that she was okay with Drizzt moving on, then she should’ve appeared to him and told him that.
•  Did Drizzt die at the end? I’d be okay with that, hoenstly. He went out like a bitch, but he’s had an amazing run. If he didn’t die, I’d accept the story that he was snatched up by a deity and that he’s sent back as a Chosen. Otherwise that ending was just plain stupid. Sure he was taken off guard and sure he didn’t think she’d actually try and kill him but this is Dahlia we’re talking about.

The book ended abruptly and I cursed so furiously that it startled my dog. I think she may have even pee’d a little. I honestly questioned if my Kindle dropped a few pages. There wasn’t even a back cover…it just freaking ended. I was annoyed by Charon’s Claw because a ton of plots were opened and not resolved so I had to wait until the next book to finish those stories in my mind. This is the last book in the Neverwinter series so anything left open is technically done and closed or if not closed, to remain unanswered indefinitely. The few plots he did close (Errtu and Tiago for example) were closed in a rushed and sloppy fashion. The drow hunting party runs into Errtu and they kick his ass and then the drow hang out for a while and then they leave? That’s it? And no further mention of Neverwinter or any of its characters? And no further mention of Jarlaxle or anyone else – just a quick reference that they got bored of searching after 20 years and called it? And after the fight with Dahlia, Artemis takes the group and heads out – as far as they know Drizzt is dead or missing so they leave Icewind Dale and that’s it? They don’t bother with Ambergris casting a few spells to find him or heading back to Ten Towns? Where’s the loyalty? And how come they don’t turn on Dahlia for potentially murdering Drizzt? She loved him and he didn’t feel the same way, I get it, but damn woman! Get over it! She reconnected with her son and killed the dude that ruined her life so move past the “I kill all my lovers” shtick and try and be normal for a damn minute.

If I had to offer an opinion, I think R.A. Salvatore had a ton of idea for where he wanted the legend of Drizzt to go and instead of picking the best few story lines and writing a book, he crammed them all haphazardly into the last two books of the series and hoped that we’d just choke it all down. Maybe he’s too busy with other projects or maybe he’s having trouble closing the book on one of the most influential characters in the entire Forgotten Realms mythos, but Charon’s Claw and The Last Threshold were massive disappointments. If he wanted to tell all these stories and set the stage for the next series, he should’ve released a second book of short stories instead of trying to fit it all into a novel or two. I won’t even bother with the tree analogy because book 4 is a yard full of grass compared to a tree. There’s no central story, just a bunch of stuff that never gets explored beyond a glance.

What’s Next?
In reading things online trying to figure out what the hell happened I saw that there is a book planned for August 2013 called The Companions and that it is book one of the Sundering series. Some folks say it is about the new group of heroes led by Artemis Entreri and others say it is actually lost stories about Drizzt and the Companions of the Hall. I’m kind of excited to read the Sundering series because War of the Spider Queen is one of my favorite book series of all time and these promise to be just as good but R.A. Salvatore has a lot of work to do to regain my trust. You can kill off my favorite characters and you can destroy the worlds you’ve created, but right now it feels a lot like he used our trust to put out a couple shitty books to close out his commitments, meet some deadlines, and make some money.

Andy out.

Episode 36: Predators

AMM Logo SmallHi everyone! Whew, episode 36 already! This one is about Predators. That completes my 3 episode run of the Predator movies. At some point I’ll do AvP Requiem and the Alien movies but there are a lot of shows to cover between now and then.

I rate this movie a 3.75 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. Generally speaking I really liked it. The action was solid, the pacing was good, and the characters were enjoyable. That said, I had some issues with the plot and I had my normal complaints where Hollywood-style guns and ammo are involved. I liked it a lot more than Predator 2 and if anything, I think this was a modern take on the first Predator movie.

Also, don’t forget about #DCC2013 – Denver Comic Con. It’s coming to Denver on May 31st through June 2nd 2013. Find out more here and get tickets here. There will be lots of TV and Movie goodness and you’rs truly will be in attendance!

Andy out.

Episode 35: Predator 2

AMM Logo SmallHi everyone! Here is the long-awaited sequel to Predator. The title is a tricky one though…they went all left field on us. That’s right, it’s called Predator 2. Nowhere near as good as the first one but for different reasons than you might think.

I give this movie a 2 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. The action was meh, the acting was meh, and the age of the movie stood out like a fart in an elevator. Unless you are chasing down all of Danny Glover’s not-Lethal-Weapon films, go ahead and skip this movie.

Andy out.

Episode 34: Predator

AMM Logo SmallHey! Look at that! A computer…with an internet connection! I should do something with that…something that isn’t physically demanding but that does take a little time. Something people enjoy….hmmmm…well, there’s already all the porn ever on the internet, so I’ll do a podcast making fun of movies instead! Yeah, this is a great idea!

What’s that? I already do a podcast like that? Oh…I guess it’s been so long since I posted that I kind of forgot. Well in that case, here’s an old favorite, Predator from 1987. I’ll be covering Predator II and Predators next.

I rate this movie a 3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’s a classic piece of 1980′s action but it falls apart pretty quickly once apply a little logic and/or common sense.

Andy out.

PS: This is a quick public service announcement about #DCC2013 – Denver Comic Con. It’s coming to, duh, Denver on May 31st through June 2nd 2013. Find out more here and get tickets here. There will be lots of TV and Movie goodness and you’rs truly will be in attendance!

Episode 33: Knowing

AMM Logo SmallI know one thing – I didn’t know about this movie before stumbling across it in the Wal-Mart $5 bin. I have absolutely no recollection of this 2009 sci-fi (sort of) thriller (sort of) being a thing at all. It’s a short episode too, clocking in at less than 14 minutes – not necessarily a bad thing but it does mean less Andy for your ear-holes.

I give this movie a 3.5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. For a Nick Cage movie, those are pretty high marks! I also give this extra credit because it was a total surprise to me. It’s hard to find movies that are so far off the radar that you’ve never had the ending spoiled or that you’ve never at least heard some mention of. This was that movie – that one, singular moment in time when you have no idea a movie existed and you watch it for the first time, with childlike wonder. And to make it even better, it didn’t even poop the bed (so to speak). Well played, Knowing, well played.

Andy out.

Episode 32: Salt

AMM Logo SmallHi everyone! This episode is about Salt. I know, I know, I don’t even like Angelina Jolie so why am I torturing myself? Well it turns out this is actually a pretty good action/spy thriller.

I give this movie a 4.2 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. I know that’s pretty generous but I rather enjoyed the movie for the action and the twists. More than that, the DVD I got in the $5 bin at Walmart had 3 versions on it: The theater version, the extended cut, and the director’s cut. You can look online to find the subtle differences but for the most part, whole scenes at the end are either changed or removed completely as well as some changes in the middle of the movie. None of them make a huge difference in the outcome but I went with the unrated director’s cut because….c’mon. Unrated director’s cut.

Andy out.

Episode 31: Battleship

Happy New Year! Thanks for being a listener through 2012 and if you are new to the show, welcome to episode 31! I was looking forward to Battleship based on the trailers but then the word started coming out that it was actually based on the family board game of the same name. I thought that was a joke, but no…they were serious. You’d never know it was supposed to be based on the game from watching the movie but whatever.

I give this movie a 3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It had an almost perfect combination of aliens, the US Navy, and apocalyptic scenarios but it fell flat on its face because they went soft instead of gnarly. If they had gone the same route as Battle Los Angeles with gritty, realistic action and if they’d allowed some cursing, some blood and gore, and some good old fashioned nudity this might just be one of my favorite movies of all time. Instead it is just okay. Hell, I don’t even know if I’d buy it from the $5 bin.

Andy out.

Episode 29: Push

Hi everyone! You know, you’d think that a movie with Dakota Fanning and Chris Evans as super-powered mutants fighting against an evil government agency while embroiled in a world-spanning conspiracy would be a summer blockbuster the likes of which mankind has never seen before, but no. Actually they got it part right…I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of mankind has never seen this before and with good reason. You can’t really tell if I love or hate a movie based on the length of the show as it turns out. If I love a movie, I might have only good things to say so it ends up short, of if it is super bad I might be too bored to take detailed notes. This one is just meh. It wasn’t at all good, but the potential was there for greatness.

I give this movie a 2 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. I paid $5 for it at Walmart but I won’t be watching it again unless I have guests over and they ask me “What’s a terrible movie we could watch? Not the worst movie of course – not Battlefield Earth, but a really bad one that we should have enjoyed but ultimately won’t? Something with star power but absolutely no payoff?” If my guests ask me that specific question, then I will say “I have just the thing” and get out Push. You’ve been warned.

Andy out.

Something Walmart This Way Comes….

Ahem (cough)….uhhh……hi everyone. My name is Andy and I’m an addict. That’s right, an addict. I’m addicted to the Walmart $5 DVD bin. It’s just such a good deal I can’t help myself. Sure, sometime I have to dig through to the bottom of the bin and sometimes the really good movies are in there by mistake, but you just never know! Sometimes you find some really great movies and they are only $5! Sigh….I’m so weak.

Anyhow, we were grocery shopping today and my dear wife understands that when I get to the $5 bin I’m going to need a few minutes to browse. She takes the kids to the toy aisle and I start digging. I try not to climb directly into the bins anymore….that seems to freak out the employees. I found a few really great movies so I wanted to share them with you. I didn’t buy all of them but consider this a heads up that if these are missing from your film collections at home you need to go get them RFN.

 

Judge Dredd – this is NOT a good movie. Seriously. It really isn’t. That said, if you liked the comics or if you love bad sci-fi, you might enjoy this. I bought this one and I’ll do it for the show in the coming couple months after my backlog is done. Well worth $5 even if I won’t rate it more than a 2.

 

 

 

 

Blazing Saddles – if you haven’t seen this movie, we probably aren’t friends. I mean, I can forgive you and we can try and get things back to normal between us, but it’s going to take time, and probably a handy J, and you will most definitely need to watch this movie. There’s no possible way to do it for an episode because it is a comedy and because it is near-flawless.

 

 

 

Young Frankenstein – This is another “if you haven’t seen it I will probably just as soon throw poop at you as wave to you” movies. It’s from the same year as Blazing Saddles (1974), has some of the same cast members, and is by the same director, Mel Brooks. The similarities end there, though. It’s in a totally different genre and has a totally different feel. Again, impossible to cover as an episode.

 

 

 

Full Metal Jacket – this is one of the few movies I give a 5 out 5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’s a gritty look at a Vietnam-era Marine Corps. Is it totally factual? Not quite. Is it emotional and twisted and amazing to watch? Completely. You’ve quoted this movie even if you’ve never seen it, and you’ve seen parodies and memes and off-shoots from it even if you didn’t know it. Every good Vietnam movie since late 80s was because of this movie.

 

 

The Dark Knight Rises (Walmart 2-disc edition) – I bought this full price, $19.99, which should automatically make it a 5 out of 5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. I’ve only seen it once, and that was at a midnight showing so my memories of the movie are tainted by having an awesome day of watching movies and hanging with a good friend before seeing TDKR but it’s still worth it. I plan on covering all three Batman movies soon (yes, there are enough plot issues to make a show out of each thankyouverylittle).

 

So now you have some homework to do if you haven’t seen these before (feel free to skip Judge Dredd until I post an episode about it and then you can use my humor to cleanse your palette at least). Older Mel Brooks movies are classics for a reason, as is Full Metal Jacket. Happy watching!

Andy out.

Episode 28: Ultraviolet

Hi everybody! For those who keep up with the conversations on the Facebook page, you’ll know that there was some heated debate last month about which Kurt Wimmer dark-future tale was better: Equilibrium or Ultraviolet. I prefer this movie to Equilibrium but had I seen them in different order, I think I would feel differently. Or maybe not. I don’t know.

I give this movie a solid 4 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’s got great action, some leftover Gunkata, and a great dreamy surrealistic feel. Oh, and Milla Jovovich.

Andy out.

We are on iTunes!

That’s right, I finally got with the modern age and got the show on iTunes. After 27 episodes, it was about time. You can find it right here. I’ll also add it to the side menu bar there on the right as a quick link. Get on out there and subscribe – never miss a show again! And if you enjoy the show (I’m assuming that you do since you are bothering to read this) leave me a review and some stars…maybe 5 of them….and help keep the show going!

Andy out.

Episode 27: District 9

This was a peach of a movie. I really liked how different it was from other mainstream sci-fi alien movies – not only in location, but in style, set up, and plot. At the moment, you can stream this for free on Crackle so go check it out!

I give this movie a solid 4 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It kept me guessing until the very end and although it left me a little wanting, it more than made up for some plot issues with sheer grittiness.

Andy out.

Episode 26: Prometheus

SPOILER ALERT. It isn’t like this movie is brand new but there is a still a chance people haven’t seen this and I like to give fair warning for newer releases.

Prometheus was a movie that I was at first very much looking forward to seeing and then after it was released, it was so picked on by friends that had seen it that I kind of lost steam about it. That said, when it showed up on Redbox I ran out to grab it the day it was released and I wasn’t disappointed.

I gave this movie a 4.1 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. Sure, there were some plot issues but the cinematography was great and the sci-fi action/thriller/horror genre was firmly represented.

Andy out.

Episode 25: Independence Day

At long last, here is episode 25! A big thank you goes out to all my listeners, new and old – although I do love to hear myself talk, this wouldn’t be worth it without all of you.

ID4 was a fun movie to cover – it’s hands down the longest show I’ve done for AMM because this movie is what we call a “target rich environment” when it comes to problems with the plot. It’s also been lampooned and reviewed extensively so it was a bit of extra effort to not simply retread old ground. I think I may have come up with some interesting tidbits for Science Time - enjoy!

I give this movie a 2.8 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. Giving it a 3 is too generous and it is at least better than a 2, so I’ll say 2.8 because, hey! What are you going to do about it? That’s what I thought…punk ass.

Andy out.

Having a Rich Fantasy Life….

I’m going to take a break from a regularly scheduled blog post about movies to talk about gaming for a bit. There was a charity game day this last weekend put on by Justin Suzuki of Protocol 5 Productions, among others, and hosted at Total Escape Games in Broomfield – a great event and lots of fun.  Those of you that listened to me on WombatCast know that although I used to be a pretty hardcore tabletop RPG’er, I barely play anymore (no more than half a dozen games a year) and that the majority of my gaming now is on the computer. If you didn’t listen to WombatCast, shame on you, and let me fill you in.

I spent my middle school and high school years playing Dungeons and Dragons, along with other more niche role playing games. We grew out of AD&D during our high school years and moved on to games like Rifts, Robotech, Marvel Superheroes, and so on. My favorite of these games is called Cyberpunk 2020. Made by R. Talsorian games, it is the story of the dark, lawless future in the year 2020 and fits very nicely with my love of post-apocalyptic future scenarios. It was created in the early 90s so we’ve actually surpassed some of the tech we were supposed to have been using in 2020. Granted, we don’t have cybernetic arms with bazookas in them yet, but the best phones and computers they could imagine in the dark future look like crap compared to the worst smart phone on the market today. I played RPGs up until I left home for the US Navy back in 1993. I even tried teaching some of the guys in my squadron how to play. My dad was in the Navy for 22 years and he had a steady group of gamers through years of it, some of which he is still friends with today because of the bonds forged through gaming. Anyway, I played a total of one game with my shipmates and although I guess it was kind of fun it didn’t catch on so I went 16 or 17 years without playing another RPG. WombatCast partnered with the Denver Gamers Association and started covering their twice-annual gaming conventions and the rest is history. Now I try and fit in 3 or 4 games at each Con and even took to running the Con Jr for kids-that-are-gamers and kids-of-gamers.

During my almost 2-decade hiatus from RPGs, I kept up with video games, computer games, movies, TV shows, and incessant reading. Why? Because they gave me the same escape from reality that RPGs did. It’s why people play games like World of Warcraft – those games let you be someone different than you are. For a few hours at a stretch I could be someone else entirely, without the same worries and fears and stresses and responsibilities that the real life Andy faces each day. In fact, the RPG Andy, especially in a dark post-apocalyptic setting, is usually stone cold killer who delights in rampant destruction and murder and is likely to burn down a building to ensure that there were no witnesses even if there was no crime committed. Why you ask? Why not? Why not use the chance to be someone else to live a life with no consequences? It isn’t that I fantasize about death and whatnot, no – I’m actually a big softie that gets choked up at certain ads on TV. No, I play a ruthless maniac in Cyberpunk games because that is the antithesis of who I actually am, and when I read books I can be the hero in a fantasy setting, or a healer with mystical powers. I can be everything I’m not.

Play on, friends. Or if you don’t game, watch more movies. Let them take you away to different worlds where you can be whatever you want. And on December 4th, I’m going to be Batman!

Andy out.

Episode 24: Twelve Monkeys

Hi everyone! I hope you are ready for some weird brain-twisting dark future insanity! No, this isn’t Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, it’s Twelve Monkeys!

I give this movie a 3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. Not my favorite Terry Gilliam movie, but far from his worst. It’s dark, creepy, confusing, and chock full of things that make you feel like the whole thing is a dream/nightmare…it’s a lot like having kids actually.

The next episode will be the big #25 and I’ve got a real winner lined up for it. Stay Tuned!

Andy out.

 

Episode 23: Deep Impact

Hi everyone! Finally I get to do Deep Impact! You are probably asking why I’m so excited and I’ll tell you: it had been a long, long time since I’d seen the movie and I couldn’t remember everything that happened. Sounds dumb, I know, but unfortunately I remember a lot of detail about movies I’ve seen within the last couple years and that makes me not want to watch them again. I couldn’t remember much at all about this one except that as a planet, we get bitch slapped.

It is your basic apocalyptic scenario, but it lacks the tension to be a thriller and lacks the ball-slapping Kung Fu or aliens to be an action movie, so it’s in the Drama category. Because of that I give it a solid 4 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. Like Armageddon, it’s a good movie and worthy of rewatching but you watch it for the people and the scenery, not for the action or scares.

Andy out.

Episode 22: Equilibrium

Hi everyone! I finally got off my butt and recorded my notes for Equilibrium. For those paying attention, I actually got the movie and watched it a while ago. I never got around to recording my notes because a ton of other movies came my way and it got lost in the shuffle. Well, it is lost no more!

I know from the Facebook page that there are some mixed feelings about this movie. I’ll be honest, I prefer Ultraviolet (a similar movie by the same director). Now, that could be because I saw Ultraviolet way before I saw this, or because Milla Jovovich is easier on the eyes than Christian Bale, or maybe because Equilibrium is a darker, slower movie and lacks the action and cartoon-like zip of Ultraviolet. I can’t say. Wait, actually I can. It’s all those reasons. Equilibrium is a good movie and one I will watch again soon, but I think it needed a bit more action to offset the dreary, emotionless tone that they were going for.

I give this movie a 3.9 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. I’d give it a 4 but it just didn’t quite hit the mark for me. Feel free to debate with me on this! Convince me and I’ll score it higher (this goes for any of the movies).

UPDATE: A helpful although possibly OCD listener kindly pointed out that I rated the movie a 2.8 in the audio but a 3.9 out here. Allow me to rectify so Paulette will stop calling me at all hours of the night begging for an explanation and for the universe to make sense again. I guess I changed my mind some. I watched the movie and recorded the audio a couple months ago and just got around to editing it and posting it. During that time I watched a dozen way worse movies than this one and I had a few really good conversations about it with friends. Their various viewpoints made me look at the movie in different ways and I realized that I went into the movie with the wrong expectations. I wanted Ultraviolet with Christian Bale and what I got was something very different. I decided that I was judging the movie too harshly. Is it a 4-times a year watcher with good quotes? No. But it did deserve a higher score than I gave it and fans of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 would readily agree that it fits right into their genre of a drab and dreary dystopian future. 

Andy out.

Episode 21: The Raid – Redemption

Hi everyone! This one was fun to watch! I even ate some Pad Thai while I was reviewing it, not only because it is super yummy, but I felt it brought me closer to the culture….or something. I don’t know, whatever. It was a good excuse to eat out for lunch.

Anyway, this one is kind of short because it was a pure action movie. I rate this movie a 3.1 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability – the plot was thick enough to enjoy, but too thin for much poking at. If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it! If you like movies like Ip Man, this is perfect for you!

Andy out.

Episode 20: Lara Croft – Tomb Raider

Hi everyone! WOW! 20 episodes…a major milestone in movie mania! A big thank you goes out to everyone that’s stuck with the show for the last 20 – here’s to 20 more! I’m planning something grand for episode 25 since that’s a bigger milestone than 20 so keep your ears open!

I wasn’t sure if I’d seen this movie before and after watching it, I still wasn’t sure until the very end. Not a good sign generally. The length of a show usually isn’t a good indicator if it was good or not. During an awesome movie, I might take fewer notes because there are fewer plot holes OR because I am busy enjoying the show. Sometimes more notes means there were more problems OR it means I just had a lot to say, good or bad. This one is short because it is a terrible movie and I didn’t want to spend any more time than absolutely necessary talking about it.

I give this movie a 2 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. I’m not a Lara Croft fanboy and I’ve never played the game, so I could care less about the movie. Also not a good sign.

Andy out.

Episode 19: 2012

Hi everyone! Man this one was a bear to edit….it had been the longest show to date when looking at the number of notes but it ended up shorter than Starship Troopers or Transformers Dark of the Moon. I’ve got a more recent movie that has even more notes though! I’ll save it for a later show – it can be our little secret for right now. Shhhhh…..don’t tell anyone or I’ll find out and I’ll make you watch Ghosts of Mars again.

I rate this movie a 3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’s got great action and the CGI effects are brilliant, BUT it lacks the ability to be watched repeatedly in a year. It just doesn’t have enough zest to keep it fresh over multiple viewings. Maybe once a year? And even then I think I might lose interest. Maybe I’m too picky. Maybe the scale is flawed. Maybe you should mind your own damn business!

Anyway, happy watching!

Andy out.

Episode 18: AVP – Alien vs. Predator

Hi everyone! Strap on your boots and hitch up your pants cause it’s gonna get deep in here for this one! Don’t get me wrong, I love this genre and the concept of Aliens and Predators immensely, this was just a terrible movie. You can tell because it is way shorter than the last half dozen shows.

This stinker rates a 2 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. Ugh. It hurt me just to record this one.

Thanks, and happy watching!

Andy out.

Episode 17: Starship Troopers

Hi everybody! Welcome back to Andy’s Movie Minute. This episode is about Starship Troopers. A big thanks to the kats and kittens over at The Monkey In The Cage podcast. They were talking about favorite movies and mentioned this one and it motivated me to finally do my write up on it. At over 23 minutes, it is one of the longest shows to date.

I give this movie a 4 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. If you actually look at the scale, you’ll see I gave it a 3 in the write up. That was before watching it again. I’ll tell you what, for a movie I have seen a dozen or more times, it still holds my attention and makes me chuckle with delight at the violence and action. Well done, Starship Troopers, well done.

Andy out.

Sit Down Before You Hurt Yourself, Grandpa…

I think a retirement home bus broke down in Hollywood and some actors escaped.

Arnold has “The Last Stand” and now Sly has “Bullet to the Head”. I can appreciate older action stars getting their groove on but the trailers for both movies make jokes about how old the stars are. They say there’s a little truth in every joke and I think these movies prove it. I am judging them based on the first trailers, but both seem like carbon-copy tropes of “aging hero has to make a last-ditch effort to save town/loved one/partner from a new generation of bad guys proving that age is just a number blah blah blah heart and dedication” and it doesn’t surprise me that they are coming out around the same time (Deep Impact/Armageddon anyone?) Is it simply a resurgence in interest and popularity because of other movies like the Expendables, or is it an ego thing?

With awesome up and comers like Chris Hemsworth and Henry Cavill, and even some middle aged greats like Jason Statham and Sam Worthington, why are these older icons dusting off their chops? I don’t count Bruce Willis in this list because he always puts out a solid performance and he doesn’t resort to self-depreciation in his characters to make up for age. Like the great Angela Lansbury, Bruce always plays his age. I know Arnold and Sly have always had a great rivalry on-screen and that they are actually good buds off-screen, but this just reeks of cashing in on a renewed interest in schlocky action flicks.

I know I should cut Sylvester Stallone a little slack because he did “The Expendables” a short two years ago, but his new movie is different. Instead of having the most bad-assed ensemble cast ever to cover his acting, he’s playing the solo-hero archetype and that takes a lot of on-screen charisma. Sly put out so much effort in the Expendables that he almost freaking crippled himself and in my humble opinion, all that effort made him just about equal to the other actors in the movie. How can he hope to pull of a solo gig? I don’t expect that “The Expendables 2” will change my mind much on this either. That is once again an ensemble cast that should cover any failings in the older actors.

I’ll watch them when they come out and I’m hoping for the best, but I am fully prepared for one-liners about their hit movies from the 80’s and 90’s and to have nostalgia let me down.

Andy Out.

Episode 16: xXx

Well hello there….I didn’t see you come in. My, but it’s hot in here – I’d better take these pants off. Oh wait, this the about xXx with Vin Diesel, not that other kind of XXX. Too bad, even the old standby of a pizza delivery guy that shows up to a sorority party where no one has any money to pay for the sausage and pepperoni pizzas is a better plot than this train wreck of late 90′s tropes crammed into a movie.

Spoiler: Samuel L Jackson plays a hard ass and Vin Diesel plays a bad boy that breaks all the rules. Shocker, I know.

This movie rates a 1.8 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. If you think I rated it too low, you’d better get off the internet and go catch that short bus back to the home. They’ll be looking for you soon.

Andy out.

Episode 15: Lockout

Hi everyone! This episode is about Lockout. This is a really recent movie and I watched it because of a viewer request (although I was gonna watch it anyway). THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS! Just like with Underworld Awakening, it is only fair to warn you before you listen to an episode about a new release movie.

I give this movie a 3…maybe a 3.5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’s a good movie and was fun to watch, but I will tell you upfront: there was a lot of bad science. You’ve been warned!

Andy out.

Episode 14: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Hi everyone! This is part three of the 3-part Transformers series. This is Transformers: Dark of the Moon. For those keeping track, at well over 20 minutes this is the longest episode ever! What can I say? I had a lot of comments about this one.

As the final (?) Transformers movie that Hollywood has put out, I have to say they left me wanting more. This one had great action, great characters, and brought back the all-or-nothing against an unbeatable foe like the first movie.

This movie rates a 4 out of 5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It was better than the 2nd movie and about matches the 1st one, although I’d have to say this was my favorite out of the three because I am a big fan of alternate-future/apocalyptic scenarios and I’d say the Decepticons wrecking Chicago counts as apocalyptic.

Andy out.

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time…

Hi everyone. My name is Andy and I’m an addict. To be specific I’m addicted to the $5 movie bin at Wal-Mart. You see, I never owned a lot of movies growing up or even as an adult. There was never time for movies so buying them wasn’t a priority. As a teenager, I had a few VHS movies to call my own: UHF (a Weird Al skit movie) Transformers (the cartoon movie), It’s a Wonderful Life, and Day of the Triffids (the original black and white). I liked what I liked and I had a few tapes to go along with that. When DVDs made it big on the market, I was a young man working 2 jobs and going to night school and spending $20 for a movie wasn’t in the plan. Now that I’m older a bit more secure in what I’m doing for a living, I simply cannot resist the temptation to stock up on movies! I still don’t like to pay full price – if there is something I really want to see, it will be in Redbox, or on Netflix, or I’ll wait.

I took my sons to Wal-Mart this weekend for a couple things and we stopped by the $5 bin to see what they had. I found 5-6 things right away but I try and limit myself to a few movies at a time. In particular I found The Last Unicorn and 8 Action Movies. That’s 8 movies for a $5 and also its title – more on that later!  I also picked up AVP: Alien vs Predator. I’m  an Alien completist, including the books – there are a couple dozen extended universe books and a half dozen or so Predator crossovers. The movie isn’t great but it is perfect for this show.

The Last Unicorn was a favorite as a kid, along with The Flight of Dragons. I grew up a gamer and if I wasn’t playing Dungeons and Dragons with my parents, I wanted to be doing something that was in the same genre. My parents supported me in that so those two movies were a weekly staple for viewing. The Last Unicorn isn’t the pinnacle of art or plot, but it is a pretty cool piece of early 80s storyline and has some excellent voice actors in it. The music is a little soft for my tastes but the imagery of the Red Bull chasing all the unicorns into the ocean has stuck with me for the last 30 years.

Now, about this “8 Action Movies” thing. It was $5 and there are 2 discs with 8 total movies. I only got because it has Equilibrium on it and I’ve been hunting for that movie for months. I’ve listed out what’s on it below. If I can stand it, I will cover every single movie on the show. It isn’t like these are no-name movies with unknown actors – some of these were hits back in their day, they just aren’t very good. Admittedly some of these make me cringe just reading about them but I’m in this for the fans and you deserve to know about some of this made-for-TV schlock. I’m doing this for you, because there is no way I would subject myself to this otherwise.

FORTRESS - John and Karen Brennick dare to have another child in a futuristic world that does not allow it and are sentenced to a sadistic prison buried beneath the Earth.

TOTAL RECALL 2070: MACHINE DREAMS - In the year 2070, the crime rate is virtually nonexistent. But when a government agent is gunned down, his partner is determined to uncover the dangerous truth.

CYPHER - When computer expert Morgan Sullivan joins a huge multinational company, he assumes a new identity and is sent undercover to investigate corporate espionage.

CONVICT 762 - After an error leads a spaceship off-course into an asteroid field, the crew is forced to stop and re-fuel at a penal colony. But upon landing, it’s clear something isn’t quite right. No one is alive except a terrified captain babbling about convict #762…

EQUILIBRIUM - In a futuristic society, the top enforcer misses a dose of an emotion-blocking drug and begins to realize that things are not as they seem.

IMPOSTOR - A government scientist, whose work promises to save the planet, is suddenly accused of being an alien spy.

THE PROPHECY - In his fight to stop the angel Gabriel and the forces of evil, an L.A. detective finds an ally in an elementary school teacher. Together they race against time and terror to save the world as we know it.

TRANCERS I - AngelCity, 2247. Trooper Jack Deth is sent back in time to battle Whistler, an evil magnate who uses his psychic powers to trance and control armies of citizens.

I’ll start with Equilibrium and burn through the list as time allows. Sigh.

Andy out.

Episode 13: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Hi everyone! This is part two of the 3-part Transformers series. I’ll release them all as normal episodes and after this will be Transformers: Dark of the Moon. You can expect that one middle of next week.

If you are current on the episodes to date, you may have noticed two things. 1. My comments have moved from talking about what is happening on screen at that moment (kind of hard to follow unless you know the movie really well) into more general comments about plot issues in chronological order. Although it was fun to raz whatever was happening at the time, listener feedback helped me shift to a different style that is easier to follow after watching the movie once. 2. Now that I am typing notes instead of writing them, the shows are longer and individual thoughts tend to be longer and more complex. I’ll let you decide if more Andy is a good thing or not :-)

This movie rates a 4 out of 5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It isn’t quite as epic as the first movie but still pretty damn good. There is something to be said for the first movie finally being the Transformers movie we had all wanted (even with its faults) and this one just didn’t tickle that nerve quite as well. That said, it still rates a 4 and is good for multiple viewings a year.

Andy out.

Episode 12: Transformers

Hi everyone! This is part one of a 3-part Transformers series. I’ll release them all as normal episodes but after this will be T2: Revenge of the Fallen and after that will be T3: Dark of the Moon and I’ll release them on a much faster schedule.

This was a really fun movie to do and I knocked out all three in a short period of time so I am pretty snarky by the end of T3. You’ve been warned!

This movie rates a 4 out of 5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability for a great score, good action, good visuals, and a healthy dose of Megan Fox.

Andy out.

Episode 11: Legion

Hi everyone! Let me start by saying that there were very few movies that I wanted to see as badly as Legion after I first saw the trailer – angels fighting demons, gun battles, and a post-apocalyptic landscape? That might as well be my Christmas wishlist! You’ll have to listen to the episode to see how that worked out for me!

I give this movie a 2 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. I wanted SO MUCH for this movie to be everything that the trailer promised and it wasn’t. This movie broke something inside of me and I don’t think I can ever feel happiness again.

Andy out.

First Impressions: The Dark Knight Rises (NO SPOILERS)

I finished watching midnight release of The Dark Knight Rises this morning and I wanted to talk about it a little bit. Mind you, I’m running on about 1 hour of sleep in the last 36 so I’ll see what I can do to remain cogent. In fact, I didn’t just see TDKR, I saw all three Christopher Nolan Batman movies.The showing started at 6pm with Batman Begins, The Dark Knight was at 8:45pm, and The Dark Knight Rises started at midnight.

I’ll start by saying that I’m a recent convert to the newer Batman movies. I wasn’t a fan of DC comics back in the day – I’m a Marvel Universe kind of guy and although I had some friends that dabbled in the worlds of Batman and Superman, I was far more interested in X-Men, the Avengers, and Spiderman. For non-comic book fanatics, it is a lot like the difference between Chevy and Ford: they both offer very similar products with remarkably few differences save for style and nomenclatures and the rabid fan base of loyalists who would rather die than switch sides.

I had seen that Batman was being rebooted back in 2005, right around when we were having our second child and movies weren’t really a priority at the time. I was still jaded by the horrible Tim Burton Batman movies perhaps. The Dark Knight came out in 2008 and everyone was raving about it. I still hadn’t seen Batman Begins and based on the trailers, I really wasn’t interested. It looked like some kind of fanboy ninja movie and I remember groaning and thinking it was a convenient way to explain away Batman’s abilities by saying he was trained by ninjas. The reviews of Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker were making headlines and the trailers made the movie look pretty awesome and when I saw it in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart a couple or few years ago I picked it up and absolutely loved it. Seriously. I love that movie. I finally got Batman Begins earlier this year when it showed up in the $5 bin (I think I have a cheap DVD addiction) and it was amazing and really pulled together a lot of what happened in the 2nd movie. That said, I don’t know that I would’ve enjoyed Batman Begins as much when it first came out. I needed to let my taste in movies mature a bit more and I needed to let myself get into a place where I could appreciate a movie for more than just the blatant and obvious things shown to me.

Anyway, I told you all that so I could tell you this: The Dark Knight Rises was amazing. And when I say amazing I want you to think of a really thick and dense slice of cake with 2 or 3 different layers of filling and some sprinkles on top. Hold on now, stay with me on this. I’m super sleepy but this is making sense. TDKR was so rich and textured and detailed and full of flavor and bits of yummy character development that it was almost too much. You want that cake to have every awesome ingredient ever made so it is the single finest cake in the world, but how much is too much before the parts that make up a great cake are lost in the mix? This movie packs so much into each bite that there is no way to enjoy all of it – the best you can hope for is to hang on and take in as much as you can before you are overloaded.

Even at close to 3 hours there wasn’t enough time to really delve into everything that was happening. Sure, all the high points got hit and plot fairly cooked along, but the potential was there for so much more. A couple of the characters might as well have disappeared completely since their roles and involvement were, in my opinion, cut short from where I had hoped they’d be. In fact, one person is gone for so much of the movie that I had actually forgotten about them completely. Some plot elements that I wanted explained were glossed over so much by the story that I ignored them as detritus – if you aren’t going to take the time to explain why or how something is happening, I have to assume it isn’t important even though I really, really wanted to know more about that specific something. The timeline of the movie was fine, but with all the action and plot points shoe-horned in, it almost seemed like an after thought.

All things considered, it was an incredible movie and an awesome experience. I just wish they had a made a two-part movie instead of a single film. An extra 2-3 hours would have been plenty of time to add more depth to the high-level plot and it would have allowed for more presence from the “missing” characters.

Andy out.

Quickie #1: RED (Special Text-Only version!)

This is a special print-only edition of Andy’s Movie Minute. Partly because I don’t have a ton of time to get a full recorded episode out and partly because I only took a couple pages of notes during this one so it would’ve been exceedingly short.

We were down at my parent’s farm a couple months ago (Yes my parents are farmers, I know, I know) and my dad had been listening to other episodes and insisted that we sit down and watch RED…it is a favorite of his because I think he can relate to being a dangerous, slightly deranged, ex-government employee. I had never seen it an always wanted to so I said why not. Anyway, I borrowed a notebook and started taking notes but without the ability to pause and write or the ability to fact-check using the internet I was left with a pretty short list of notes. It was still a couple pages, but it takes at least three to make an 8-10 minute show so I figured I would try a text-only format. There are lots of movies I don’t have a whole lot to say about and if this isn’t a complete bomb I might record the long ones and type the short ones. I’m going to call these Quickies and number them starting with this as #1.

For those interested, I transcribed these from written notes and to be honest I don’t even remember what a couple of the lines are referencing so here goes!

-          Awesome cast (Willis, Freeman, Malkovich, Urban, Mirren)
-          Kind of sad, but kind of optimistic too that he calls into the Help Desk to talk to the lady.
-          I’ve always got a CIA hit squad hanging out in my foyer waiting to kill me…it’s why I use the back door to leave the house.
-          An around the corner gun? And they didn’t even use it?
-          Gunshots are loud…Squad Assault Weapons are REALLY loud. All the neighbors for a mile would be pooping right now and calling the army.
-          So the guys outside assume that because they hear gunfire that the only option is to lay waste to the house? What if the first team had ended up shooting him and were on their way back out?
-          So thee is a siren and a screech of tires and they just get out with guns on a busy street and no one freaks out? Doubtful.
-          I love Karl Urban in everything…even “Doom”
-          Wait,Kansas CitytoNew Orleansin one night?
-          Wow – you can tell Karl Urban’s character is a highly trained CIA operative because he can put two halves of a torn check together and somehow, just somehow, he figure that must mean something.
-          The way Bruce Willis stepped out of the spinning car and shot was slick as hell…excellent cinematography
-          Aaaaand now they are inNew York? Does he have a magic flying car or something?
-          I just know that when this librabry scene is over, Morgan Freeman will have done something terrible to that poor hit man that came after him. He is a dangerous mofo.
-          My dad is classified a Retired: Extremely Dangerous but it mostly counts when he’s using power tools or driving.
-          Now they used their magic car to get toFlorida. Sure, why not?
-          The door to my next house will be hidden inside an old car; I don’t car what the HOA says.
-          This is classic Malkovich. Love it
-          At they flew a plane to their next destination this time.
-          How again did they get that gun through security?
-          All of a sudden the movie turned into Multiplayer mode in Battlefield 3.
-          So they have armed and combat-prepared guards just waiting in the wings right off the lobby of the Russian Embassy? Do they ever take a break or use the bathroom or anything? Or do they just wait there all day and night, ready to charge out?
-          I’d think there would be more than just dry wall next to the door frame of that secured room there.
-          The Record Keeper is really crappy at keeping secrets. I mean seriously…he is just giving away information to whoever walks near the room.
-          C’mon, really? No one heard the fight or the gunshots? Really?
-          Helen Mirren is so great at playing the subtle cold-blooded killer.
-          John Malkovich wearing a plastic baggie suit while you are tied up is the single most frightening thing a person will ever see….also likely it will be the last thing they will ever see.
-          Richard Dreyfuss too? Damn, this movie has a great cast!
-          I like how Karl Urban’s arm seems fine seeing as it was terribly broken the day prior.
-          I bet Bruce Willis is at Karl Urban’s house. Yup, told you so.
-          For the record: the CIA can’t operate inside the borders of theUS. It’s part of their charter and is the job of the FBI, although arguably the NSA could get involved if it was a national security issue.
-          I love how their magical .50 cal has unlimited ammo and didn’t melt after firing for 5 minutes non-stop.
-          Although I’m happy the Mirren was saved, I would’ve liked to see her go hog-wild on some dudes and have a murder fest.
-          Awww sweet. A happy ending.

I give this movie a 3 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability….maybe a 2.75. It was funny but the twists and humor don’t appeal to me as a multiple watcher worth owning. This is a once a year movie at best.

Best part of the show: Great cast of seasoned pros obviously having fun with their roles, good action scenes, solid humor, and it didn’t take itself too seriously

Worst part of the show: They kind of misrepresent the CIA but I am willing to forgive them because I don’t want to be assassinated.

Thanks and happy…um…reading?

Andy out.

Episode 10: Wanted

EPISODE 10!!! WOOT!!!

Hi everyone! It’s been a couple weeks since I posted anything so my apologies. This whole “work” and “home life” thing is a killer when it comes to free time to record, edit, and upload podcasts that don’t make any money. Anyway, I’m back on track and should have the next one up next week like usual.

This review is a slight departure from the norm in that I typed my notes instead of scribbling them. The result? I can read what I put on paper without needing a graphologist and a stiff drink and the shows will end up longer. This one was well over 20 minutes before editing out screw ups and long pauses. One technical note: I had Outlook open when I recorded so there are a couple times when you can hear the “ding” of new mail. My bad and lesson learned. The upshot is that I was wearing pants when I recorded…I think. Actually don’t quote me on that.

This was an awesome movie and it rates a 4.4 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. You’ll have to listen to the show to hear all the gritty details on why.

Happy Listening!

Andy out.

Episode 9: Underworld Awakening

Welcome back to Andy’s Movie Minute!

I know, it’s kind of dumb to put a spoiler alert in the title but the movie is still pretty new and it is a straight-up douche move to spoil an otherwise good movie. That said, people should be watching the movie before listening to the show anyway so it is likely a moot point, but you can’t be too careful. People take spoilers very seriously and once someone says something negative about you on the internet, dwarves come out your computer and beat you with lead pipes while nibbling oh so gently on your toes. No one wants that…right? Right? Okay, maybe.

Anyway, this movie rates a solid 3.5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. It’s certainly worth renting on Redbox and if I could find the box set at Wal-Mart I’d totally get it.

Andy Out.

Books into Movies…

There are some books that I simply love – books that fundamentally change the way you see life and give you messages that you keep for the rest of your life. More often than not, those books make terrible movies. Some of that is because the voices and scenes you create in your head can never be recreated on-screen, but more so it is because the stories themselves are usually changed (perverted more like) byHollywoodto make the movies more socially acceptable and more likely to sell tickets. Face it, some great stories just don’t translate well to movies. In fact, I will bet you an uncomfortably long hug right now that you’ve seen a movie based on a fantastic book but you don’t know it because the original story was changed so much that the author wanted nothing to do with it or the “inspired by a novel …” was hidden in the ending credits.

Dune is a great example of this. I literally own every book, novella, and short story written by Frank Herbert – even the ones written after he died (I know, right?). Having read Dune dozens of times, I know the story inside and out and I cringe whenever I watch the movie adaptation “Dune”. The book was way too cerebral to turn into a movie and they had to change quite a bit to make it work and to make it less than 6 hours long. That’s something I think they did right with the Harry Potter movies – instead of trying to cram all of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” into one movie, they broke it into two parts and in my humble opinion, they mostly nailed it. I’m also a big fan of the movie/cartoon adaptation of “Watership Down”. It is actually one of my all time favorite books, top 10 easily, and the cartoon itself was pretty good (I still watch it as an adult).

On to my point: I just finished watching “The Way Back” on Netflix. It had caught my eye because the description reminded me immediately of one of those life-changing books, “The Long Walk” by Slavomir Rawicz. The book is decades old (1956) but the movie is very recent. Although the movie is pretty good, it can’t come close to the level of description in the book. Part of that could easily be that I have read the book 10-12 times and consider it a staple in my library – the tales of sacrifice and endurance on the page and turned to images and emotions in my head just can’t be captured on film. That said, there were a couple scenes in the movie that were very powerful and brought a tear to my cynical old eyes. It’s a decent movie and even without the book to fill in the background of the story, it is still worth watching. Before any Google Masters take the time to tell me that Slavomir’s account of his trek from Siberia to India might be made up, remember that a book doesn’t have to be true to have meaning (looking at you Bible fans out there). Besides, I read “The Long Walk” for the first time maybe 20 years ago and that book imprinted me so thoroughly that I would flatly ignore anything that questioned the honesty of it.

Before I get going too long in the blog here, I want to list out just a few books I would love to see made into movies – as long as they can keep to the story anyway. Changing the core plot or adding characters or whatever to make it a “better” movie would ruin these.

  • The White Plague by Frank Herbert. If you haven’t read this, you should. Now.
  • Redliners by David Drake – action + redemption + sci-fi = winning.
  • Final Blackout by L. Ron. Hubbard – might be difficult to get made since it doesn’t exactly portrayAmerica in a good light at the end but still an amazing story.
  • The Drizzt Do’Urden stories (Starting with Homeland and going through the entire series) – one caveat: Drizzt needs to be played by Luke Goss. He was Prince Nuada in “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” and the second I saw him twirl with two scimitars he became my #1 for playing Drizzt.
  • Neuromancer By William Gibson. This book started cyberpunk as a genre and it deserves a good modern treatment.

What about you, dear readers? What books do you want to be made into movies?

Andy out.

Episode 8: Death Race

I’m baaack! Sorry for the long break there – I meant to post but got sick and then left for Cancun and although I love all 12 people that listen to this show, that kind of took precedence. I don’t have any more crazy vacations planned for a month or two so I can promise I will do better next time :-)

Death Race was a fun movie and is a good Jason Statham vehicle, even if he seemed to be sitting down for most of it.

This movie is a 3.5 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. Although I did buy it from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart it isn’t quite good enough to be a 4. I’ll give it an extra .5 for sheer chaotic mayhem and enjoyment.

Happy Watching!

Episode 7: Demolition Man

Oh Demolition Man….this was a listener request from Marni. For those that are too young or have been living in a cave since the early 90′s, Demolition Man is stuck somewhere between an action movie with two 90′s super-stars (Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes) and a goofy comedy romp with a very weak sci-fi premise. It starts out promising with lots of explosions and violence, and then falls wall a bottomless pit into tongue-in-cheek silliness. I can never be sure if it wants me to take the action parts seriously or if those few good scenes were just a byproduct over the rest of the over the top parts.

If you want to dress up in a kimono and eat Taco Bell with your buddies while watching this, the movie is a solid 3 or maybe even 4 on the Andy Scale of Movie Watchability. If you are watching it just to watch it, I’d say it is a 2.

Enjoy!

Episode 6: Blade Trinity

Step right up and get some hot, fresh Episode 6: Blade Trinity. This is the 3rd movie in the Blade series and a stronger cast and better effects make it the best of the three. That isn’t saying much, but it’s something. You can tell they wanted this to be the really popular one of the series because the cast is young, hip, and far more attractive than they have any right to be. It doesn’t make up for overdone acting, forced  plot complications, and silly fight scenes.

This move is a 3 out of 5 on the Andy Scale but only if you already own the other movies. By itself, the movie is okay but you really miss out if you don’t have a strong understanding of Blade lore (cough, cough). Ahem. Anyway, if you are going to take the plunge, I’d recommend buying the entire Blade Trilogy + The House of C’Thon – the box set is available for $10 at your local massive retailer.

Enjoy!

Andy’s Movie Minute presents: The Andy Scale of Movie Watchability

Have you ever wanted a realistic scale to use to determine if you should just rent a movie or actually spend the money to buy it? I know I have, otherwise I wouldn’t have spent the last 30 minutes coming up with one. I’ve also included some example movies to give you an idea of where some movies land. Obviously the examples are based on what I like, but you wouldn’t be reading this in the first place if that wasn’t something you were at least mildly interested in. I’m going to start adding this scale to each of the movies I review, including going back to older postings and adding it in.

Since all the movies I review are out on video or are streaming, I haven’t included watching in the theater as part of the scale. It can be assumed that if you’ve already seen a new release movie in the theater and you pay to see it again, it must be a 4+ or maybe you just had $15 you wanted to get rid of.

The scale is a simple scale of 1 to 5; 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest.

  1. Only worth watching on a dare or to see for yourself just how worthless and terrible a piece of cinema it is. No redeeming qualities, even by accident. Not worth owning for fear of public shame and embarrassment. Not worth multiple viewings even for the sake of irony. Too terrible to be a cult-classic.
    1. Examples: Battlefield Earth, The Lost Highway, The Human Centipede 2, Dante’s Peak, The Lawnmower Man, Rubber, 8MM
  2. Worth borrowing from someone or watching it streaming online (hey, you’re paying for the subscription anyway, right?) Most TV-series adaptations land here. A possible cult-classic, could be considered so bad that it’s good. Poor scripting, lots of overacting, porno soundtrack. Some folks will love this movie and watch it a million times but they are dangerous to themselves and to others. You see it on the shelf and say “Hey, I remember that movie….I think it was either terrible or okay. Let’s find out!”. Good for watching once every few years after you’ve forgotten that it isn’t actually a good movie.
    1. Examples: Ice Pirates, Strange Brew, The Last Airbender, UHF, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Tango and Cash, Aeon Flux, most Ben Stiller movies
  3. Worthy of paying the $1.29 to rent it for a day on Redbox. Probably worth watching again at some point for enjoyment and not just sentimentality. At least one redeeming quality such as a solid soundtrack or a decent plot. Worthy of telling someone “That’s an okay movie; I’d watch it again.” Hard to watch more than once in rapid succession – not enough twists or too many tropes for multiple viewings. You really enjoyed it the first time, but subsequent viewings are tough and you find yourself wanting to fast forward to the parts you remember being good. The perfect movie to dust-off after a year and watch again.
    1. Examples: In Time, Centurion, Hot Tub Time Machine, Starship Troopers, 2012, Ultraviolet, The Prestige, The Day After Tomorrow, older Adam Sandler movies
  4. Worthy of owning if in the Wal-Mart $5 bin or on sale somewhere but not worth full price. Multiple redeeming features such as good casting, good cinematography, or a memorable plot. Worthy of telling someone “That’s a great movie; let’s go watch it.” Good for at least 10 viewings before you get kind of sick of it. Good for watching 3-6 times in a year, possibly more.
    1. Examples: Priest, Batman Begins, Avatar, the Fast and the Furious movies, Pulp Fiction, Red, The Fifth Element, The Expendables, most Guy Ritchie movies
  5. Must own on DVD / Blu-Ray even if at full price. Can be watched repeatedly without losing enjoyment. Full of awesomeness and quotable moments. Unique plot devices, excellent casting, emotionally charged portions of the movie can evoke a visceral response even after multiple viewings. A recognized classic in its genre. The kind of movie you always have on your iPhone or iPad just in case you need to kill time. Has a story or message that transcends the movie itself.
    1. Examples: Armageddon, Serenity, 300, V for Vendetta, It’s a Wonderful Life, Full Metal Jacket, SIlverado, The Avengers
Andy out.

Repost: “It’s a Wonderful Blog”

Editor’s Note: I wrote this for WombatCast.com back in February as the idea for Andy’s Movie Minute was still percolating. I am reposting it because it is about movies and I because I wanted to – Enjoy!

I love movies. It’s a simple statement and I’m okay with it. Given my reputation on the show for being a foul-mouthed pervert with misogynistic tendencies, you probably think that my favorite kind of movies are really nasty Dutch pornos, or snuff films where homeless people or college co-eds get murdered, or at the very least some kind of soft core NC-17 boobie-fest. Although I do enjoy the occasional adult-themed film, my favorite movie of all time is Franks Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” in the original black and white. Fuck the colored version…fuck it right in the face. I don’t know what makes that particular movie my favorite, but it is.

I love all different kinds of genres: sci-fi, action/adventure, and slightly-raunchy comedy being my favorites. I’ll watch horror, and thrillers, and deep mind-bending brain fucks, and even schmaltzy romantic movies (if my wife is with me) – I don’t care so long as they are entertaining and done reasonably well. Given that wide spread of interests, what makes a B&W classic from 1946 my favorite? Maybe it holds special memories for me, or maybe I watched it during a pivotal time in my life? Nope.

I watched a film today that I used to love – “Battle Beyond the Stars”. It was a favorite when I was in elementary and middle school when we owned a pirated copy on BetaMax. I suffer mightily from bouts of nostalgia and as with a lot of movies from my early childhood I remember bits and pieces of movies from back then. I love watching them now to try and recapture the original feelings of wonder and enjoyment I felt when I saw them for the first time. There is also a feeling of comfort in watching an old favorite and thinking back to when I was a young boy and life was simple. In typing it, I think we used to watch a lot of TV when I was a kid. I spent the vast majority of my childhood overseas and my dad was away on deployment with the Navy a lot. I suppose TV was an easy out for my mom who was stuck in a foreign country raising two rambunctious kids. Anyway, “Battle Beyond the Stars” is a terrible movie. The plot is stolen directly from “The 7 Samurai” or more specifically, the American western version “The Magnificent Seven”. The effects are joke, the characters are played like it’s a middle school theater production, and the one saving grace (George Peppard as “Cowboy”) is only worth a damn because he plays the comedy relief.   Terrible movie or not, I watched it and I wanted to love it again. Admittedly, it’s been 25 years since I’ve seen it and I’ve been looking for a copy of it for years (c’mon the ship has tits!) but it is a hard movie to love for any reason beyond nostalgia. Nonetheless I watched it and I grinned when I recalled my sheer enjoyment of this movie during my childhood and I was amazed at how much of the movie I remembered with pretty good detail. I groaned through all the horrid effects and shallow characters and when the credits started to roll at the end, I clicked it off and said “Christ that was a shitty movie…just terrible”. Nostalgia can’t make up for that much bad cinema.

I guess what it comes down to for me is a combination of message and delivery. One of the reasons “It’s a Wonderful Life”  is my favorite is because it is simple and graceful– no flashy effects, no nudity, no cursing, no world-destroying monsters or space ships – it is what it is and I love that about it. I tend to ignore the God and angel bits because they don’t fit my personal dogma but they work to move the story along and they don’t get overly preachy.

The messages the movie shares with the world are timeless. When George gives away his own money during the run on the bank, it’s because he cares for the people in the town and wants to help save the bank. Was his wife mad that he gave away their honeymoon money and doomed them to staying inBedfordFalls? No! She showed patience, true love, and understanding by spending the rest of the day fixing up the old house and made it their own. George is compassionate and funny and has a determined zest for life regardless of whatever shit comes his way. True, when things hit rock bottom he considers killing himself but even in that the idea was to let his family have the money from his life insurance. Even when thinking of ending it all, he leaned toward a selfless act (ignoring the outrageous selfishness inherent in suicide).  At the end when George needs help, the whole town turns out for him because he made a massive impact in all of their lives (I’m not ashamed to say that 9 out of 10 times seeing the film I will get tears in my eyes at that part of the movie). The message there is clear: even when you feel alone and even when you feel that you aren’t making a difference, people love you and people are there for you because somewhere along the way you made a difference in their lives – maybe big, maybe small, but a difference nonetheless. You can’t go around all day showing the people you care about how much they mean to you because you’d never get anything done – what matters is being there when it matters the most.

Andy out.

When Geeks Unite…

Sometimes you just know when you are going to get along with someone.

We went to Universal Music this evening because my oldest son is taking violin lessons there. We had stopped by a week ago to pick up a rental violin and I got in a conversation with one of the guys there about podcasting and audio equipment and he very kindly offered to help me tune in my soundboard. I’ve been pretty much winging it with the audio quality so I was more than happy to take him up on a guided tour of the board! I packed all my gear into a bag and we drove the Family Truckster over for lessons all around.

Sheri and the boys went into the back to start violin lessons and I unpacked my board for Jeff to look at. He walked me through some of the different functions and explained how it works – it isn’t the most complex equipment in the world so it only took 5 minutes. The violin lessons are 30 minutes long so I had some time to kill. I noticed a Walking Dead graphic novel on the counter and made a comment about it, which lead to talking about Neil Gaiman books, which led to wondering what the love child of a werewolf and a Wookie would look like. There was some conversation bridging all that but you get the idea.

I figured that since these were my kind of people, I could let a little of the Raw Andy Geek (now available by prescription) loose and I’ll tell you what, I had the most enjoyable 30 minute chat I’d had in a while. We started the conversation as complete strangers and ended it knowing that we had a shared bond based on interests, personality, and a love of terrible movies. It turns out that all three of the guys there are massive geeks and we covered just about every topic in the book – it was seamless, it was full of laughs, and it would’ve even been a good recorded jam session (all we needed were the beers). It reminded me instantly of the idea behind WombatCast: like-minded dudes just shooting the breeze about stuff that geeks love. Simple, enjoyable, and most of all fun.

It’s moments like that where I love being a geek. It’s not always wine and roses since a lot of the interests and hobbies that go along with being a geek aren’t always socially understood or accepted, but it is downright magical when you meet other people whose minds work the same way as yours. So to all you readers out there that worry that you can’t make new friends, take a chance! Drop a reference to Arathi Basin in conversation with someone – if they know what it is, awesome! If not, just pretend it was one of the smaller skirmishes in France during WWII. You never know when you’ll click with someone and make a geeky new friend.

So, a warm welcome to my new buds – (insert obligatory geek quote here)

Andy out.

Episode 5: Ghosts of Mars

 

Come one, come all! Bask in the awesome terribad glory that is John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars. If you love Jason Statham, you probably still won’t like this movie. Enjoy!

This movie is a 2 on the Andy Scale. 

Remember to favorite Andy’s Movie Minute on Stitcher Radio!  “Like” the show on Facebook for super special and somewhat mystical content that isn’t otherwise available to the public.

Episode 3: The Core

Here it is! Episode 3: The Core!
Enjoy!

This movie is a 3 on the Andy Scale. 

The Core

 

 

 

The Dark Knight Rises – new trailer

OMG OMG OMG OMG

I cannot wait for this movie to come out. I’ve already reviewed and recorded, but not posted, the episodes for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I hope the folks in the theater don’t mind me scribbling away taking notes and laughing while I watch the Dark Knight Rises.

 

Stan Lee and Marvel Movies…

A quick look at Stan Lee’s IMDB page shows the following:

How cool is that?!?!? It goes without saying that the Avengers movie coming out next week will be wicked, but a Nick Fury movie and a Deadpool movie? AWESOME! I have some harsh criticisms for the Deadpool character represented in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie that you’ll be hearing about in the coming months, but I love the idea anyway. Doctor Strange is an amazing Marvel character and now that they’ve brought Captain America to modern times there is no limit to who he might battle. The only one I’m “meh” about is Spider-Man. I liked the very first Toby Maguire Spider-Man and they all sucked after that. I’m hoping the reboot helps but I won’t be watching it until it is on Redbox or Netflix.

It is going to be an excellent 2-3 years for Marvel movies.

Andy out.

Episode 2: The Chronicles of Riddick (director’s cut)

Step right up and get some fresh AMM (Andy’s Movie Minute). This week’s show picks up where the last one left off with Pitch Black. The Chronicles of Riddick is 5 years later in the movie timeline. It calls back to Pitch Black with some returning characters and introduces a whole new spectrum of sci-fi goodness to replace the thriller/horror-esque feel of Pitch Black.

This movie is a 4 on the Andy Scale. 

Enjoy!

Andy’s Movie Minute – The Chronicles of Riddick

Episode 1: Pitch Black

The first episode is ready! Feel free to leave comments on the flow, the structure, the format, etc. I’ve got a dozen or so episodes already recorded but it is never too late to make little changes to make it a better show! This one is a little shorter than the normal because I recorded it early on in the process.

This movie is a 4 on the Andy Scale.

Andy out.

Upcoming Playlist

Image

Hi everyone,
I wanted to fill you in on the first few movies that I would be skewering. I’ll post on this site before releasing each episode so you can watch the movie ahead of time if you want, but in no particular order here is what’s on deck:

 

 

- Pitch Black
- Chronicles of Riddick
- The Core
- Batman Begins
- The Dark Knight
- Resident Evil
- Resident Evil: Apocalypse
- Resident Evil: Extinction
- Resident Evil: Afterlife
- X-men
- X-Men United
- X-Men The Last Stand
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine
- The Immortals
- The Thing (new version)
- Thor
- In Time
- Ghost Rider
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
- Book of Eli
- I am Legend
- Centurion

As you can tell, the list is pretty sci-fi and sequel heavy right now. I think sci-fi movies are a little easier to deconstruct because there are so many common tropes in use. I’ve got a few action/adventure films lined up as well. One thing you won’t see many, if any, of is parody films or comedies. It’s hard to poke fun at something that is already poking fun at itself.

This is a family-friendly podcast as well. I’m keeping it free of graphic statements and I’m bleeping out the cursing. That way, you can enjoy the show on the road even if the kiddos are in the car.

Happy Watching!
Andy