Posts Tagged ‘Action’

Friday the 13th: Jason in Time (Movie Pitch) Pt. 2

August 20, 2022

See Pt. 1 here.

Crystal Lake Area – Exterior

Renata talks with her superiors. The FBI is under the impression that this and the events of Jason Goes to Hell can be attributed to a Jason copycat. There is a history of Jason copycats. The one that was destroyed in 2003 is never coming back. It is medically impossible. Renata tells him that she knows what she saw. They tell her that she just bought into the legend and to stay on mission.

The mission goes poorly. They come upon Jason Reborn and get into attack position. They begin to fight but Nanotech Jason suddenly appears and flanks the group. As the agents regroup, the two Jasons regard each other. There is an air of recognition but also confusion. It looks like they might actually fight each other when the FBI attacks. The two Jasons work independently and thrash the FBI agents. Nanotech Jason grabs Renata by the neck and throws her off of a cliff. 

Camp Crystal Lake – Camp Lodge Interior

Tommy is flabbergasted at there being two Jasons and everybody else is too. However, Creighton presses Rowan on her lack of reaction to the second Jason. After intense grilling, Rowan relents and explains her story and the origin of Uber Jason. KM reminds Rowan of the timeline and Tommy asks about the timeline. He puts together that if Jason was captured in 2008 and frozen in 2010, he doesn’t end here. Rowan confirms this. Everybody is dispirited. She feels for them but she feels like they are doomed. Everybody splits up.

Tommy, Jessica, and Rowan sip whiskey together and talk about knowing Jason so intimately. Duke comforts Billy over the death of his friends. KM pulls Tina aside and lets her know that KM’s scans have revealed that Tina has a small blockage in blood vessels near her brain and that would account for her powers being blocked. Since the timeline is no longer a concern, she could repair that damage and restore Tina’s powers. Tina thinks about it and then agrees. KM places her palm on Tina’s forehead and humming noise and lights are produced. Tina says she feels much better. As she walks off, Tommy and Rowan ask KM what she did. KM says she did nothing. Tina had no physical damage and therefore KM deduced that the problem was psychological. Their odds of success go up dramatically if everybody is at full power.

Tommy rallies his troops and says that they have to fight. They can’t give up and just let the Jasons kill them all. If they let the Jasons win, many more people will die. A more confident Tina agrees and says that she is ready to go. Billy wants revenge for his friends. Everybody gets fired up and Rowan says that maybe the addition of her and KM will change things. Maybe changing the timeline is the right thing to do.

Tommy gets on the public address system and calls out Jason, telling him to come to mommy. The group moves toward the location of Jason’s shack. Inside is the shrine to Pamela Voorhes, including her head. It also has the body of his mother’s killer, Alice Hardy, and two other bodies. 

As Tommy sets the shack on fire, he thanks Ginny for revealing the location and contents of the shack. 

Jason Reborn shows up to find Billy beckoning him in front of the shack. Jason moves to kill Billy but Billy is fired up and starts beating the crap out of Jason with a baseball bat with nails in it. The others box Jason in. Jason kills Billy. Everybody opens fire on Jason with the energy weapons doing the bulk of the damage. Jason fights back but this time he is overwhelmed. He keeps looking back at the shack, emotionally torn between his mother burning and fighting for his own life. Tommy picks up Jason’s machete from the shrine and cuts open Jason’s back with it. Jessica stabs her dagger right between Jason’s eyes. Tina uses her powers and shoves Jason into the flaming shack. A flaming Jason runs out of the shack but he is decapitated by the sudden arrival of Uber Jason who then kicks Jason Reborn back into the burning shack.

Jessica pulls the dagger out of Jason Reborn’s head and kicks it back into the burning shack. Duke throws a grenade into the shack which enrages Uber Jason. That was his mother too. Jason swings his machete at Creighton and barely misses. Jessica lunges with the dagger but is caught by the throat and slammed into Duke. As a doctor, Rowan rushes to help them but is caught by Jason who begins to choke her out. A harpoon impales Jason from behind and Renata has arrived, still moving in an injured state. Jason pulls the harpoon out and the wound closes instantly. He resumes choking Rowan.

Jason’s fingers slowly release Rowan’s throat as we see that Tina is exerting her will. Rowan drops to the ground and rolls away. Tina uses her abilities to beat the crap out of Uber Jason, similar to their earlier fight. This allows the others a chance to recover. However, the damage from Tina’s attack is healed just as easily. Tommy goes to get Jessica and Creighton back on their feet. KM jumps on Uber Jason’s back. He fights hard to get her off and ends up knocking her head off with a back elbow. KM’s body glows and explodes and the nanotechnology falls off of Uber Jason. Creighton and Tommy take out Jason’s legs from behind. Renata shoots Jason through the forehead at point blank range.

Jason still struggles to get back to his feet but Tina holds him there. Jessica stabs him with the dagger and the souls of those Jason has killed swirl around them all. Tina shoves Jason into the still-burning shack. Everybody sits back and watches it burn. “Do you think that did it?” Tommy asks. “I hope so,” Creighton says. “I’m getting too old for this.”   Tina says “I don’t sense them anymore.”

Daybreak

Renata claims that this time, the government is going to listen to her about the threat of Jason Voorhees. Tommy, Jessica, Creighton, and Tina all agree to testify. Rowan says that she would testify but it complicates things that there is another her out there. They mourn the fallen but after a long moment of silence, they hear KM shouting. Her head survived again and Rowan happily cradles it. They ask Rowan and KM what they will do. Rowan says that the timeline has undoubtedly changed and she and KM come from a future that probably doesn’t exist anymore. As if on cue, Rowan and KM start to fade away. Rowan declares that it was worth it and that the new timeline should be much happier for everyone. She hurriedly tells Renata about the corrupt Dr. Wimmer and to investigate him and anybody else involved should Jason come back. The two of them completely fade away. Everybody else makes a promise to be there if Jason does come back. 

Casting: (If the movie had been filmed in 2004):

  • Uber Jason – Kane Hodder, James Preston Rogers, Matthew G. Taylor
  • Jason Reborn – Ken Kirzinger, Derek Mears, Glenn Jacobs
  • Renata Dario – Jordana Brewster, Marisa Ramirez, Dania Ramirez
  • Owen Argento – Rupert Evans, Dustin Milligan, Lochlyn Munro
  • Billy Campbell – Tyler Labine, Tuc Watkins, Stephen Dunham
  • Billy’s friends – Zoë Bell, Spice Williams, Jennifer Caputo, Nathan Jones, Mike Knox, Jason Arhndt

Director: Josh Becker, Bruce Campbell, Adam Marcus

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Friday the 13th: Jason in Time (Movie Pitch) Pt. 1

August 13, 2022

Cast of Characters:

From Earlier Films:

Jason Reborn – After the events of Jason Goes to Hell in 2003, Jason has once again clawed his way to the land of the living thanks to Freddy Krueger

Uber Jason – The killer Jason Voorhees whose undead body merged with nanotechnology to become even more of an apex predator. 

Creighton Duke – The bounty hunter who helped kill Jason the last time. He barely survived his injuries from his last fight with Jason.

Ginny Fields – One of the original survivors of Jason back in 1984. She has since followed her dream of becoming a child psychologist.

Jessica Kimble – One of the two last blood relations to Jason Voorhees and survivor of Jason’s last known rampage.

KM-14 – An android from the future who fought Jason and barely survived. She is dedicated to stopping the threat of Nanotech Jason.

Reggie Winter – Fought a copycat Jason alongside Tommy but is ready to tackle the real thing.

Rowan LaFontaine – A scientist from the 21st century who was stabbed by Jason and frozen only to be defrosted in the future to face Jason. She is dedicated to stopping Jason.

Tina Rogers née Shepard – A young woman with psychic powers who once defeated Jason. 

Tommy Jarvis – He was a troubled young man who had encountered Jason twice but failed to kill him. Probably the foremost expert in surviving Jason Voorhees since most others are dead

New Characters:

Agent Renata Dario – An FBI agent investigating the Crystal Lake site after alerts went off.

Billy Campbell – A local interested in getting rid of Jason to avenge the dead who are not acknowledged as much. He believes that Jason is a sickness.

Officer Owen Argento – A security officer from the future tasked with disposing of Jason’s body in the sun. 

The year 2455 – On a Ship in Deep Space – Interior

KM-14 and Rowan LaFontaine have assisted in the effort on Earth 2 to clean up what was left of the remains of Jason Voorhees. They convinced the government of the severity of the situation by showing footage of Jason’s attack on their ship. Rowan insisted on accompanying the disposal mission to dump Jason into a nearby star. KM-14 accompanied her just in case things got out of hand again. While en route, a space anomaly causes power on the ship to fluctuate including the containment field around Jason’s remains. Rowan and KM-14 rush to that area. As they work with Owen Argento to assess the risk, the anomaly further activates and that section of the ship is completely destroyed.

The year 2006 – Crystal Lake – Exterior

The serene surface of the lake is disturbed by bubbling and then a large hand reaches above the surface. 

The year 2006 -Blairstown, NJ  – Exterior

Tommy Jarvis arrives at the house of Tina and Nick Rogers.  Tina is sitting out on the porch. He asks if she was expecting him but she simply smiles and says it is a nice day  She offers him some lemonade. Tommy is there because Tina would not answer his messages. She simply ignored them. She is done with Jason. Tommy points out that she gave Jason the toughest fight of anybody else. He thinks that Jason is back. They have a responsibility to end him. She refuses. Tommy asks her to at least reach out and see if Jason is back. Tina states that doing so might draw Jason to her. Tommy points out that she and Nick could have moved far away from Crystal Lake but they settled nearby. Tina relents and reaches out with her mind and confirms that Jason is back but she feels something is very wrong. Tommy asks if he is back at Crystal Lake. Tina says yes… and no. She cannot make sense of what she feels and that troubles her.  Tommy pleads with her to go to Crystal Lake with him. He has some people for her to meet. If 

The year 2006 – A secluded beach in New Jersey – Exterior

Rowan wakes up and stumbles to her feet in an unknown place, her vision blurry at first. The ruins of the spaceship section are half on the sand and half in the water. She searches for the others and finds Owen and pulls him out of the water. Thankfully, he did not drown. The two of them find KM and are able to reactivate her. She informs them that they are on Earth and not Earth 2. They are startled to find out that they have appeared in 2006. Owen marvels that this is what Earth looked like when it was still livable. They find that Jason’s containment field is empty. Rowan knows where Jason would go

A gym in Crystal Lake – Interior

Tina arrives and walks into a gym full of faces familiar to fans of the franchise. Creighton, Tommy, Jessica, Ginny, and Reggie have all been seen before. Billy is a new face. They settle into a circle of chairs. One by one, they talk about their experiences with Jason as the audience sees brief clips of the events of Friday the 13th Parts 1 and 2, The Final Chapter, A New Beginning, Jason Lives, and Jason Goes to Hell. Tommy fills in bits he has learned from Part 3 and Jason Takes Manhattan. He mentions that a fence has been erected around the whole area after a recent incident (referring to the conclusion of Freddy vs. Jason). Tommy introduces Billy who is a local and is there to represent the town of Crystal Lake, unofficially of course. Billy says that he’s got two others he plans to bring along.

A small town in New Jersey – Exterior

The time travelers have obtained clothes of the time and are walking down the street. They talk about making as few changes in the timeline as possible. Owen points out that the cat may already be out of the bag since Uber Jason won’t be concerned about the timeline. Besides that, they need to get to Crystal Lake. Rowan relents and they have KM steal a truck from a nearby lot. They drive off toward Crystal Lake.

Camp Crystal Lake – Exterior

Tina and Tommy get through the fence and arrive at Camp Crystal Lake. They sit and talk for a moment as they contemplate the dilapidated buildings of Camp Crystal Lake (with graffiti saying Camp Blood) and all of the memories there. Tina points out that there must have been good memories before Jason. Tommy says that if they remove Jason, there will be nothing standing in the way of the good memories coming back. The curse of Crystal Lake will be over. Tina reveals that she is a bit rusty with her powers. Tommy assures her that it will be alright but that he’s counting on her.

Everybody else pulls up in two cars. They climb out of the car and Tommy gives a pep talk as de facto leader. They all have what it takes for a final confrontation with Jason. 

Somewhere in New Jersey – Exterior

A group of teens is having a party in a clearing. Two young lovers walk off into the woods and the guy blindfolds the girl. [The film audience is vicariously blindfolded] After a few beats she hears a horrible scream. She lifts the blindfold to see her boyfriend impaled on a tree branch next to her. She screams and looks around wildly and sees red eyes light up in the shadows. Cut to her running into the clearing when she is hit behind by a thrown machete. Uber Jason strides into the clearing and starts to slaughter teens as they try and flee. The violence is sudden, chaotic, and gory. There are no survivors.

Camp Crystal Lake – Exterior

The support group is walking along the trail. Renata shouts at them to freeze and announces herself as an FBI agent. They are a highly suspicious and well-armed group in a site deemed off-limits by the FBI. Tommy admits that she is right but points out that it is off-limits because of Jason. Renata brushes this aside. Tina says that Jason is back. Renata blurts out that Jason Voorhees is dead. Tina insists that he is back and Jessica backs her up. Tommy asks Renata what she is doing at the camp. Not that it is their business but she is there to check on several tripped motion sensors. Isaiah jokes that this was a fast response. Renata states that, unless the group had been down by the water, it was not them. Everybody looks at each other and Renata runs off toward the lake telling the group to stay put. Tommy says there’s no chance of that and Creighton helps rally the group toward the lake.

Renata finds Jason Reborn standing by the lake, staring out at the still water. She tells him to freeze and stand down. He turns as the others arrive. Renata is annoyed but also a little grateful. They aim their weapons at Jason but he approaches anyway. Renata gives a warning but Tommy’s crew just starts firing. The battle begins and the group is terrorized by an absolutely feral Jason Voorhees. Tommy calls on Tina to put a stop to it but her powers falter. Ginny, Reggie, and Billy’s two friends are killed in the battle.  As things look grim, a truck plows into Jason but the impact merely staggers him. Owen and KM pop out and fire their weapons at Jason. The energy weapons kick up a lot of smoke which allows Jason to disappear. The others are stunned but they are beckoned into and onto the truck. At the last moment, Owen is stabbed from behind by Jason and the rest of the group drives away.

Camp Crystal Lake – Camp Lodge Interior

Tommy points out that Jason is smarter than he looks and will have retreated temporarily to regroup and assess the new threat. They barely made a scratch and Jason could have easily killed them all. They take a moment to mourn those who did die. The group realizes that the newcomers have disappeared.

In another room, Rowan and KM talk again about being in the past and that they have to be careful. Rowan knows that the group fails to end Jason because of the incident that led to her being frozen in the first place. She laments that they have to deal with two Jasons now. Their priority target remains Uber Jason. KM does not like the odds of success.

They are interrupted by Tommy and Jessica who ask them to join the group. They are grateful for the rescue but suspicious of these newcomers. Tommy reveals that most people there are survivors of Jason. Rowan says that applies to her and KM as well. Owen was just along for the ride. 

Renata has no idea what she has gotten into. The others tell her the basic story of Jason. He was a kid who died in the lake, he rose again as an adult zombie, and each time he falls, he rises again even more powerful. Renata claims that the FBI destroyed Jason. Jessica walks her through his resurrection. He is way more powerful than the government could ever know. Rowan blurts out that the government will know about it but is able to play it off as a plan to let the government know the entire truth about Jason. The group agrees but Tommy insists that it won’t be necessary if they do their job right. Rowan hides her reaction, knowing that they will not succeed.

Tommy pulls Tina aside and asks her what went wrong out there. Tina tells him again that she is rusty as she abandoned her powers after fighting Jason last time. Tommy tells her that they need her badly, more than he thought. Jessica overhears and interrupts and yells at Tommy for hinging his plan entirely on Tina. She points out that the mystic dagger combined with her blood is supposed to be the only thing that really works. Tommy points out that only 3 years have passed but Tommy put Jason down for five. Jessica points out that Tommy also brought Jason back too. Tina yells at them to stop and a surge of power goes through the room. Tommy and Jessica smile and Tommy says that they might have a chance after all.

Creighton bursts in to tell them that Renata has run off. Renata’s FBI backup has arrived and she went off with them to track down Jason. KM is able to alter some old camp radio equipment so that they can listen to FBI communications.

Aftershocks: Dark Carnival Pt. 1

October 3, 2020

Lydia, Nancy, and Rob were all lounging in the bunker. Lydia was elbow deep in a stack of books, lost in thought. Rob was on a laptop, scrolling through news sites constantly. Nancy was bored so she was playing on her phone and playing some music. Lydia had welcomed the music as she was good at multi-tasking. Rob, on the other hand, had complained. When he had been overruled, he put on some big headphones and grumbled a bit. The girls did not take it very seriously, Rob had long since given up on being a pint-sized authority and was now fully partnered with the two teen girls. They were really meshing as a team. The witch, the demon daughter, and the angel boy.

A vase on the table in front of Lydia started to shake, vibrate, and wobble. Lydia looked up casually but Rob got tense and threw off his headphones.

“What is that?!” Rob asked, shouting the question. He stood up.

“Calm down, Rob,” Lydia said. She reached for the vase. Nancy had already sat up and was hugging her knees. “It’s a little present from Dorothy that Sabrina left here. I finally got it to work.”

“Ah, a witch trick.” Rob asked, calming down now that he saw that the girls were not panicked. “What is it, though?”

“It’s a sort of trouble detector,” Lydia said, cradling the vase. “Dorothy called a Weather Vane, Sabrina calls it a Dark Detector. It tracks dangerous magic or magic used for dark purposes. It’s not a perfect system but it’s better than nothing.”

“It means our peacetime is over,” Nancy said softly. “We have to get back in the saddle.” She sounded so sad that Nancy patted her shoulder.

“Finally!” Rob said with a smile. “Does that Trouble Tracker have another step? I mean, it’s nice to know there’s trouble but it’s not very helpful.”

“Yes,” Lydia said and she reached into the vase and drew out some powder and tossed it toward a map of the city hanging on the wall. “Reveal!” she shouted. The powder stuck to the map in a wide pattern but slowly started to consolidate around the downtown area.

“What is it?” Nancy asked, staring at the point on the map.

“The magic doesn’t go that far,” Lydia said. “We have to actually get out and investigate. It could be anything.”

“It’s always demons,” Nancy said. “They’ve made it clear that they want me. He wants me.”

“It’s not going to happen, Nance,” Lydia said. “but it could be something subtle like Jack and Charles or something more blatant like West or Ley. We just have to find what does not belong.”

Rob was looking at his computer again. “News alerts have us covered,” he said. “It wasn’t there a few minutes ago but there’s a huge circus tent that went up at the fairgrounds. Ads have started to play online. We have a Dark Carnival situation.”

“What’s a Dark Carnival situation and is it what I am afraid it is?” Lydia asked.

“Yeah,” Rob said. “It’s kind of like an evil circus. They’re pretty common. Sometimes called a Circus of Fear. They always suck.”

“Why do they always suck?” Nancy asked, confused. “I like carnivals. I like circuses. How bad could they make it? What’s so bad about circuses?”

“Clowns, Nance,” Lydia said.

“I hate clowns,” Lydia and Rob said in unison before looking at each other.

“Clowns aren’t so bad,” Nancy said. “I think they’re funny.”

“I definitely don’t,” Rob said. “but that’s why they’re dangerous. Everybody thinks what they do is innocent fun until it’s too late. Clown ghosts, clown demons, clown monsters. All horrible.”

“Alright,” Nancy said. “I’m on board with hating on ghosts, demons, and monsters. What do we do?”

“We get ready for showtime,” Lydia said. “and then we bring down the curtain.”


“I want a progress report!” Killjoy yelled out. He was pacing inside of the trailer behind the main tent. He was his usual grumpy self, his hands itching to shed some human blood.

“Well, they sent us up here to Oyth but they weally wanted that Pennywise guy but he didn’t go to Hell,” Batty Boop said. “Pwetty dumb if you ask me.”

“No!” Killjoy yelled, shaking liking a maniac. “I mean what’s the progress of our plan?!”

“Plan good!” Punchy said.

Killjoy leaned against a table and looked into the mirror and shook his head and sighed. “Very descriptive, Punchy,” he said.

“Don’t take it poysonally, Punchy,” Batty said, patting the big man on the shoulder. “He’s just nervous because he hasn’t performed for such a big audience before.”

“I had a wildly popular web show!” Killjoy shouted.

“Did you, though?” Batty asked. “Did you really?”

Killjoy grunted. “Where’s Freakshow and our newest recruit?”

“Freakshow and Stitches aw putting the finishing touches on everything with all of the zombie clowns.” Batty said. “The plan is fine, baby. Relax. It’s not gonna go like the last time we had a mission from Hell.”

“You had to remind me of the one who got away!” Killjoy yelled.

“Punchy, will you go outside while I calm down our glowious leadew?” Batty asked with a smile.

Punchy left the trailer and kept moving when he started hearing the most hideous of noises. He wondered when he would get to start tearing teens apart again. As long as dragged that girl back with them, they could do whatever they wanted.

Media Update 9/13/18

September 13, 2018


Countdown

On a whim, I decided to watch this movie over Labor Day Weekend because it was the weekend of All-In and Dolph Ziggler is big on Raw again. For those who don’t know, “Dolph Ziggler” is the stage name of Nick Nemeth. He has been part of the World Wrestling Entertainment machine for at least a decade now. I knew that he had done some stand up comedy on the side so I wanted to see what his acting was like away from the ring. Turns out it is actually pretty good. The movie is about a rogue cop (Nemeth) who is about to be fired for being a loose cannon cop when he is drawn into an extortion plot involving a kid strapped with explosives. So this time it’s personal. Literally. He is in a race to find the boy and save him from the explosives all the while being opposed by his fellow cops and Russian criminals. Along the way, there is an action sequence and chase sequence in the backstage of a WWE show so we get great cameos from stars like The New Day, The Usos, Brock Lesnar, and Rusev. Also, the police captain is played by new Mayor of Knox County Glenn Jacobs (aka Kane) who is imposing but not the greatest actor. Oh well. Ziggler is joined by Katharine Isabelle, a tough internal affairs cop who is forced to tag along in order to save the kid. The movie is actually pretty tense and, although it is cheesy, it was a lot of fun to watch. Give it a shot and just relax and watch it.


Brick Mansions

I have previously expressed how much I like Luc Besson movies both as a writer and a director. Even his worst movies are more entertaining than most movies and he is really good at building strange and exciting worlds. This one is based on one of his earliest movies (which I have not seen) but it really captured my imagination. It has probably the most likely and believable future world that I have ever seen. The setting is called Brick Mansions, an area of Detroit that was built for newly rich citizens. However, a financial collapse happened and the area was abandoned and taken over by squatters and criminals. Eventually, Detroit just walled that neighborhood in and no longer provided it with law enforcement or emergency services. The movie is basically just a buddy cop film between Paul Walker and David Belle and an excuse to watch them engage in gunplay and parkour. In fact, David Belle’s parkour is both a plot point and a running joke. They are up against a gangster played by the RZA at his most charming. What I liked most is that everybody’s motivations in the movie make sense and they all make believable choices. It is a fun throwaway action film with a pleasant plot and I definitely recommend it.


Hitman

I never played any of the Hitman games so I am not really aware of how much plot they contain. In the movie, Timothy Oliphant plays a member of an elite group of assassins who are raised from childhood to be the best at combat. I have a few issues with the aesthetics of these “master assassins” who are all bald and have barcodes tattooed onto the back of their heads but I guess I need to take that up with the video game franchise. They did the best they could with this movie and it shows. I was prepared to just enjoy the action and hate everything else but I was wrong. One of the best decisions is how they modeled the movie on the style of Luc Besson. I definitely got some Leon vibes from the movie in the best ways. Also, casting Timothy Oliphant was a great choice as he has natural charisma that shows even when he is trying to be emotionless. Olga Kurylenko is a relative innocent whose lively demeanor draws more emotion out of Oliphant. Dougray Scott plays an Interpol agent who has been pursuing Oliphant for years and is a fun plot element. Robert Knepper plays a villainous agent who is also chasing Oliphant. It is a fun romp that is basically just an excuse for awesome gunfights and martial arts combat. I also recommend it.

Weekly Music:

Jay Rock – Win

Slipknot – Sulfur

Bebe Rexha – I’m A Mess

Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin – I Like It

Air – La Femme D’Argent

 

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s theme is “Deadly Pairs”
– I started watching Once Upon a Time Season 7
– I kept watching The Good Place Season 2
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 2
– I watched more Disenchantment Season 1
– I went back and watched some Charmed episodes I had missed
– I watched more Voltron: Legendary Defender Season 1

Media Update 3/30/17

March 30, 2017


Akira

This movie is the legendary anime film that is pretty much solely responsible for anime reaching the mainstream culture in the United States. The movie was record-breaking in many ways. The two main ones were that it used more drawings and more colors than any previous animated film. Because much of it took place at night or in the dark, a larger and more complicated color palette was needed. Also, it merged action and science fiction in some ways that had not been seen as much in popular culture at the time but are very prevalent now. The movie itself is extremely compelling. It is the story of friendship, giving somebody more power than they can handle, evolution and the results of science reaching too far. It mostly follows two members of a biker gang in post-apocalyptic Japan. One of them gains immense psychic powers and their story spirals out of control, involving other super-powered beings, rebel forces and the government. It has really beautiful animation which obviously influenced most of what came after it. It also very clearly creates a world where there are not really any good guys but everybody is still very sympathetic. The story is also extremely interesting and it had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing at almost every moment. I definitely recommend it to the three anime fans who have not seen it yet.


Glitter Force

I saw this pop up as a “Netflix Original” a long while ago and I laughed and put it on my list to check out at some point. I mentioned before how much I love Magical Girl shows and if nothing else it would be fun to watch the first episode or two. I decided to watch it this week because it fit the week’s theme. However, I almost turned away when I saw the tag “Ages 2 to 6”. Then I googled the show and found a really bitter change.org petition to remove the show from Netflix. I had to watch it now. I am really glad I did. The show is a comedy action magical girl show. It is constructed very similarly to Sailor Moon with five young girls drawing on important values and magical powers to save the day. The comedy is sometimes wacky and sometimes actually pretty dry and, dare I say it, sophisticated. The action is a little formulaic but so is every other anime of its kind. The construction of the girls’ powers is mostly based on their personalities and their hobbies. At the same time, it may be the girliest thing that I have ever watched and that is coming from somebody who has seen multiple seasons of My Little Pony and half a season of Jem. They definitely lean into that and it ends up really working. I can see similarities to Sailor Moon and Madoka Magica but there are definitely some things they make their own. Particularly, all of the main villains are based on villains from fairy tales. I definitely recommend it but I understand if you do not.


One Punch Man

The Game Grumps have been hyping this show for ages now since it showed up on Crunchyroll. Now that it showed up on Netflix, it was time for me to check it out. The show is a anime superhero parody set in a fictional post-apocalyptic supercontinent. The ‘hero’ is a guy named Saitama who is so powerful that he kills every villain he opposes with one punch. The ease of his crimefighting has made him really bored with his life since the thrill of battle was something he really longed for. While the world goes crazy around him, he is very low key and nonchalant while everybody else is taking things way too seriously. The animation is really cool as we see opponents with ridiculously strong powers face off against each other. A lot of it is played for laughs even though there is plenty of gore either visually or through implication. I wish I liked this show more. The action is actually kind of similar to shows like Seven Deadly Sins but without the emotional stakes. All of the action is kind of boring when everybody is kind of a jerk and there is nobody to really root for. I do not think I will be continuing on with this one because I have shows that I actually really want to watch.

Music of the Week:
Teruko Akatsuki – Tokyo Shoe Shine Boy

Buckcherry – Lit Up

Chet Faker – Gold

Royal Blood – Out Of The Black

Babymetal – Megitsune

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is Animated Action
– I am almost done Blue Bloods Season 4
– I watched more Lucha Underground Season 1
– I am almost finished watching Haven
– I watched a lot more Iron Fist and it’s still good
– Getting ready for Wrestlemania weekend
– Working on the April A to Z Blogging Challenge
– Happy Media Update 100!

Night Watch (2004)

October 31, 2016

The Other can be a frightening concept. As I have discussed before, The Other is anything that is not us. In this movie, “The Other” is anything beyond our normal natural world. This is even more frightening because it comes from a world of secrets and the unknown. Generally, ignorance breeds fear and fear breeds violence and hate. Not knowing what was out in the darkness and why bad things happened gave birth to folktales and religion. Both have their bogeymen who we are told we should fear and perform rituals to protect ourselves from what goes bump in the night. We also are told often to embrace a duality and are told that picking a side will protect us and empower us. However, in the old tales often neither side was really the good guys. If you look at most material covering faeries, both courts are to be marveled at but also feared. Looking at things as Light and Dark without seeing the Gray is dangerous. However, the great thing about fiction is that they can often simplify things so that evil is evil and good is good.

I have been thinking about what makes a monster in these tales of supernatural horror. Do we do bad things because we are a monster or are we a monster because we do bad things? Freddy Krueger was a horrible human being even before he became a dream demon. However, in the Buffyverse, the very act of becoming a vampire removes the soul and usually turns a person evil. Our justice system says that we are innocent until proven guilty. Religion says that it is our actions that define us and not our thoughts. So if you are a vampire who refuses to feed on humans, are you a monster? I think not. However, just watching and experiencing the misdeeds of others can be enough to darken the soul. Police officers and military are often as irreparably changed as gang members and other violent criminals. Hunting vampires can be almost as troubling as being one.

We have yet another foreign horror movie which makes it the sixth of sixteen reviews this year. This one is Russian and might just be the first pure Russian movie I have watched outside of a certain Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode. Yet again, this means that I have no preconceived notions about any of the actors in this movie. The movie stars Konstantin Khabensky as Anton, a man who basically tracks monster criminals on behalf of the Light side. I like how Anton is not perfect and his journey on behalf of the Light is plagued by the temptation of evil. He is a great example of the reluctant hero. I like to think that even when pressed, we are all the reluctant hero. Nobody gets supernatural abilities and suddenly leaps up excited to risk their life. Anton and everybody he meets is  hardened by life outside the norm where things are more dangerous.

I really liked the visuals in this movie. Everything is bleak from the very beginning of the movie. The world is full of shadows and muted colors and light is almost a godsend. Even in sunlight, everything is just dark and dangerous looking. It makes light and splashes of color a very welcome contrast. I really love the digital effects of the supernatural world. I especially loved how various vampiric powers and abilities are depicted. For example, vampiric vision makes everything but the veins of a human body invisible, making it easier to feed. There is also some great drawn animation which makes some of the exposition easier to get through. The editing is smooth and keeps the movie clipping along at a pretty good pace. The action is easy to understand and the subtitles made the Russian language clear.

Overall this is a pretty good horror adventure movie. The depiction of the supernatural world just beyond our natural one is one of the most interesting examples I have seen in pop culture. The movie was the top grossing film in Russian history when it was released but the record has since been topped. It is also one of the first Russian blockbusters after the fall of Soviet cinema and is therefore automatically a success. The movie has some great ideas but I would say its only sin is that it is too long. It incorporates two plots that do not ever fully connect. However, I feel like the world building and character work mostly make up for this. I would recommend watching this movie because it is so different in how it depicts the creepier side of things.


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