Movies are awesome

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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Black Panther 2 Wakanda Forever
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They write out T'Challa at the beginning of the film, suffering from an unspecified disease his sister Shuri attempts desperately to cure by recreating the "Heart-shaped herb", but fails to do. Not really sure why she thinks this would cure him. This is what gives the Black Panther his powers, it's already in him. Why would giving him more cure him? Unless the herb is the cause and one has to keep taking it every so often to prevent from getting sick? But the movie doesn't explain it. At any rate, jumping a year later, Wakanda is on the defensive now that the world knows they have Vibranium and their King is gone. However, another source of Vibranium is detected under the Atlantic Ocean, which the Talokanil (to avoid confusion with DC's Aquaman, they aren't Atlantians in the MCU, with their culture instead based on Aztec mythology) kill to miners attempting to extract it. K’uk’ulkan (Namor to his enemies) then goes to Wakanda and asks that they find the scientist (Riri Williams) who developed the Vibranium detector, as by revealing themselves as a society with Vibranium based technology, they've also opened up Talokan to being discovered and attacked.

We find out the Talokanil Aztec ancestors all ate a plant similar to the Wakandan "Heart-shaped herb" in hopes it'd help them against the invading Spanish in the 1500's. It transformed them, making their skin blue and made it so they couldn't breath air, forcing them to live under water where they built a new society of their own, similarly to Wakanda, all based on the use of Vibranium. We're also told, Namor's mother was pregnant with him at the time of her transformation, which resulted him being born a mutant. I have to say, I really liked this origin for Namor and his people.

The Talokanil and Wakandans end up fighting each other, resulting in Queen Ramonda. Using some fibers from the Taloka plant, Shuri recreates the "Heart-shaped herb" and becomes the new Black Panther, intent on killing Namor. To help out, Riri builds herself a new advanced armor with Wakandan technology. But at the last moment, Shuri decides not to kill Namor, offering him an alliance instead in order to avoid endless war between the two nations. Namora is pissed that he'd yield, but he tells her when Wakanda is eventually attacked by the surface world, they'll turn to Talokanil for help, giving them the opportunity to conquer the surface world. Riri is allowed to return home, but she isn't allowed to keep her new armor.

In a mid-credits scene, Nakia reveals to Shuri that she had a son, Toussaint, but his Wakandan name is T'Challa, in honor of his father. Nakia explains she and T'Challa wanted him to be raised away from the pressures of the throne.
It's unfortunate they had to establish a new Black Panther already. To some degree this made the movie feel like it rehashed some elements of Civil War and the previous Black Panther movie. But given the circumstances, obviously they had to with Chadwick Boseman's untimely passing. I wish they'd done more the Riri. I know she's getting her own spin-off series on Disney+, I just think they should have done more to establish her character here, and not have her build an advanced Iron Man suit with the help of Wakandan technology. That's really something that should have been built up to and earned. They showed her cut out a heart shaped piece of metal at one point, but they never explain it, or use the Ironheart name at all, which makes the scene seem out of place and unnecessary.

Overall, I enjoyed the film, despite a few bits that could have been improved upon.
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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Shazam: Fury of the Gods - I like the overall story and character beats, but there are things in the movie that are just in bad taste and which sour the whole experience. I would disagree with Zachary Levi that it's a family film. The idea that "the gods" would be unhappy about a group of children using their powers is pretty strong idea for a Captain Marvel plot (I refuse to call the character Shazam. Shazam is the wizard.), and the three daughters of the Titans are well-played and understandably motivated, and not all at the same level of villainy, so there's some nice variety. I've always felt that Zachary Levi, while entertaining, leans too much into the "childish" side of his character, with non-powered Billy Batson seeming far more mature than his adult super-hero form. They carry on the running gag in this movie that they started in the last one of never quite settling on what the character's super-hero name actually is until the very end, when of course they have to settle on Shazam. Though in a fun cameo, the actor who played Billy Batson in the 70s Shazam series suggest the name Captain Marvel, so that was appreciated.
Spoiler
Wonder Woman gets a major, plot-relevant scene at the end, complete with her theme music.
I'd give this movie a C, and if they cut a few things out, it might get a low B. For the most part, perfectly enjoyable super-hero fare.
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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Once & Always

I grew up watching MMPR, up until Lost Galaxy. I was really curious when this special was announced brining back the original cast. Some of them at least.
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The whole MMPR team are fighting a putty patrol created by a robot version of Rita Repulsa. During the fight, Trini is killed and robot-Rita leaves, swearing to return to get revenge on the rest of them. Sometime later, Billy and Zach argue about what to tell Trini's daughter, Minh, but she finds out when they fail to notice she walked into the room. Pretty dark way to start this special. It's not the first time a Ranger has been killed in Power Rangers, but this was a pretty brutal way to do it.

A year passes and robo-Rita is ready to enact her evil revenge plan. She's created robo versions of two monsters she'd used before, Snizzard and Mighty Minotaur. Snizzard has been given an ability that captures Rangers and shrinks them down to action figure size, which he uses to capture Tommy, Jason and Kimberly (explaining why none of those actors appear unmorphed). It's interesting robo-Rita attacks the Rangers on the anniversary of Trini's death at her grave. Again, kinda dark for Power Rangers. Anyway, Billy and Zach retreat to the new Command Center, built by Billy, secretly underneath his company building. It's pretty cool looking. It takes some cues from the original, but looks more high tech. Alpha 9 enacts the "Bandora Protocol" (nice reference to the Japanese name for Rita) calling all available Rangers to help with the crisis. Kat and Rocky teleport to the Command Center and Alpha gives them proxy power coins allowing them to morph (needing them in case they need the zords, having only modified the Sabertooth Tiger to operate minus its Ranger). Kinda cool that Billy and Alpha have figured out how to create copies of the power coins. I guess that's also how the original team got their original powers back. The Rangers go to fight off another attack but quickly figure out they're being tracked while morphed, and retreat to come up with a new plan. Meanwhile, Minh sees the news and takes her mother's morpher but is unable to activate it. Zach and Rocky save her from putties and take her back to the Command Center.

We find out that Minh blames Billy for Trini's death. Turns out, Billy was trying to bring back Zordon by gathering his essence after it was spread across the universe by the "Z-wave" at the end of In Space. But instead of Zordon, he got the evil essence of Rita, which possessed Alpha 8. The Rangers go capture Snizzard and Mighty Minotaur with a giant magnet at a construction site, and Minh wonders why they don't just destroy them. Billy explains it's not always necessary... Um, Billy? You guys pretty much always won the day by blowing up the monster of the week. But if it wasn't clear already, they make it clear the reason Minh cannot morph is because she's just out for revenge. The Rangers, using Billy's stealth tech, go to robo-Rita's moon base but Minh decides to go destroy the monsters by herself... Which of course fails. The Rangers realize they need to destroy Snizzard to break the spell on their friends, but robo-Rita has already released her monsters and has Minh hostage.

A battle breaks out, and Minh ends up making the same self sacrifice move her mother did to save Billy. For some reason, she survives. I'm guessing, as indicated by the glowing morpher, that it somehow protected her. So... Why didn't it protect Trini, who was even morphed at the time? At any rate, Minh is finally able to morph and joins the others. robo-Rita makes Snizzard grow. Billy stabs her, then he and Minh take the Megazord to fight him (despite that earlier they said they needed Rocky and Kat to pilot the Tyrannosaurus and Pterodactyl if they needed to use the Zords). Rocky finishes off robo-Mighty Minotaur, so he, Zach and Kat join the others in the Megazord to finish off robo-Snizzard. The CGI in this fight is pretty bad. robo-Rita wakes up just as her device is ready... A time portal to when she was freed from the space dumpster, so she can team up with her younger self and kill the Rangers before they become Rangers. But the Rangers save their captured friends, destroy the device, and Zach destroys robo-Rita. Back at the Command Center, Adam and Aisha (now members of SPD) are taking the Rangers that had been captured to Aquitar to recover, and will say hi to Cestria for him. I guess they're still together after he stayed on Aquitar back in Zeo? Back at the Juice Bar, Zach, Minh and Billy reminisce about old times.
I thought this was a pretty good tribute to the original series. For only being about an hour long, they managed to squeeze a lot into it. Although they kept a lot of details vague, they did a pretty good job of addressing or at least acknowledging continuity. I'm not too familiar with anything after Lost Galaxy, but from what I've read they had a ton of references to many of the series. There was quite a few things from the Zordon era that I picked up on.

The tone was a little bit odd... There was some fairly dark elements to it for Power Rangers. I'm sure they had their original fanbase in mind for those scenes. But it also had some of the goofiness' the original series had. I mean, I get this is still primarily aimed for younger audiences, but it was just an odd mix, that I think they could have balanced better.

The Zord fight was the most disappointing part to me. I'd thought, based on the trailer, that they'd recreated the original suit for this. But it was all CGI, which kinda looked like something out of the Netflix War for Cybertron series.
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Ursus mellifera
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Sparky Prime wrote: Sat Apr 22, 2023 12:21 am The Zord fight was the most disappointing part to me. I'd thought, based on the trailer, that they'd recreated the original suit for this. But it was all CGI, which kinda looked like something out of the Netflix War for Cybertron series.
Yeah, I have to say I was bummed to see the Megazord as CGI. It really needed to be a suit to fit with the aesthetic of the rest of the special. It was jarring and out of place.
Check it out, a honey bear! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinkajou
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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Across the Spider-Verse - I mostly enjoyed it, but I think if I were to sum it up, there's such a thing as too many variants on a character, and this movie has them to the point of absurdity. It's also long and a bit slow at times, and
Spoiler
ends on a cliffhanger. Yep, it doesn't even finish the story it's been telling. I felt a bit ripped off that I didn't even get a complete story, something I did not expect.
I can't say it's bad, because it's interesting and entertaining, but nowhere near as good as the first one.
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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny - I'm still processing this, but a real mixed bag. I enjoyed the story, and I thought they did a great job making Harrison Ford look young again for the opening 20 minutes set in 1944. Good to see Sallah again and
Spoiler
Marion, at the very end
. On the downside, I just don't like seeing Indiana Jones as a tired, sad old man. He still had the spark and energy of the character in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which I liked then and still like now. He doesn't have it in this one. Feels like he's going through the motions but just doesn't have the drive to play the character like he used to. I enjoyed the movie for the most part, but at the same time, and I hate to say this but I will, Harrison Ford was probably just too old to come back and play him one more time. And Phoebe Waller Bridge's character is nothing but annoying and arrogant for 95% of her screen time, only finally growing a conscience and becoming likeable at the very end. I won't be going to see any movies or watching and tv series starring her character, I can tell you that.

I'd like to have seen this made 10 years ago when Harrison Ford still had some fire and energy, in all honesty, because there's a good movie here if the central character was still who he used to be.
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Re: Movies are awesome

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I liked Dial of Destiny. But, I also liked Crystal Skull. Because here's the thing with an Indiana Jones movie: You don't go into to think. All it's supposed to be is a fun adventure movie with the main character doing adventurey stuff. And really, all 5 movies have given me that. After every single one, I came out of it thinking "That was a fun ride!" and that's all they have to be. That's what makes them great movies. It's a bit like Godzilla. Same thing. You don't go into for the purpose of high art. You go into to see monsters mess stuff up. So yeah, for me Dial of Destiny delivered everything I wanted it to and I felt like it was a nice way to end the story.
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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Shockwave wrote: Tue Jul 18, 2023 8:41 pm I liked Dial of Destiny. But, I also liked Crystal Skull. Because here's the thing with an Indiana Jones movie: You don't go into to think. All it's supposed to be is a fun adventure movie with the main character doing adventurey stuff. And really, all 5 movies have given me that. After every single one, I came out of it thinking "That was a fun ride!" and that's all they have to be. That's what makes them great movies. It's a bit like Godzilla. Same thing. You don't go into for the purpose of high art. You go into to see monsters mess stuff up. So yeah, for me Dial of Destiny delivered everything I wanted it to and I felt like it was a nice way to end the story.
For the most part, I agree. I've warmed up to Dial of Destiny after a few days to let it process. I guess the downside for me is how sad they made Indy's life, though it does take an upturn by the end of the movie. It reminds me of the Star Wars sequels in that Return of the Jedi left our heroes in a happy place, only for the sequels to reveal that life hasn't been so kind to them. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull left Indy in a great place, but life's been hard on him in the years between that movie and Dial of Destiny, and I wish they'd written a story that let him be happier, though at least the ending was very nice. Other than that, I've decided that a story featuring an action hero who has gotten old is an interesting approach that we don't often get to see. What does Indiana Jones do when all the things that gave his life meaning are no longer available to him? Nice to see him still portrayed as a capable solver of ancient puzzles, and it was really nice to see him after a lifetime of studying antiquity getting to actually witness it.

I might actually go see it again before it's out of theaters. And I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who liked Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I know a lot of people have to enjoy it, but it seems like the only chatter I see about it is negative. It's a fun Indiana Jones movie, down to surviving an atomic blast in a fridge. That's no sillier than surviving a fall from a plane in an inflatable raft as he did in Temple of Doom. These movies are all full of absurd things, that's part of the fun, as you say.
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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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So I did go see Indiana Jones again, and took my 14 year old daughter with me. It was a good daddy-daughter date, and she enjoyed the movie. I think what threw me the first time was just not liking the fact that Indy's life was so sad at the beginning of the 1969 "present day" sequence. His son is dead, his wife is divorcing him, he's retiring from teaching and the kids in his class don't care anyway. It's to the point that by the end of the film, he'd rather stay in the past that he's studied all his life and die rather than return to his life in the present, feeling that there is no one and nothing to return to, though the final scenes where he reconciles with Marion show that things will improve.

Once I was okay with the direction, I really enjoyed the story and how despite his age, Indy could still put his knowledge to use in solving the historical mysteries he was presented with even if he physically couldn't do as much as he used to. He had to use his intelligence more than his fists. He got a few good punches in, but couldn't really brawl or run a lot, being forced instead to rely on vehicles (and a horse) to get around quickly. We don't usually see an action hero get old, so this was a novel and fairly brave move to make, especially when the early part of the movie shows us Indiana Jones in his prime so we're not relying on memories of the previous films for comparison. Dial of Destiny is a slower, more serious movie than the other four, even though the typical absurd things still happen. Maybe that accounts for it not doing as well as the others, it isn't really the same type of movie, the throwback pulp action adventure that the first three were. But it can't be, not with Harrison Ford pushing 80. Still, the tone is different, but I think that helps keep it from being a remake of what we've already seen.

I've gone from mixed feelings on the movie to really enjoying it. I'd still rank it fourth of the five, but only because the others are better, not because it's bad. Even my least favorite, Temple of Doom, has things to recommend in it, though I'm more negative than positive about it.

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. The Last Crusade
3. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
4. Dial of Destiny
5. Temple of Doom
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Sparky Prime
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Re: Movies are awesome

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TMNT Mutant Mayhem

It never really occurred to me that the Turtles have never actually acted like teenagers, until this movie. It was refreshing. Past movies have mentioned the Turtles longing to be a part of the human world, but this movie made it feel real because this version of the Turtles act like kids who just want to do normal things, like go to high school and interact with peers beyond just each other (and eventually April). It was a nice touch that they were even voiced by kid actors... although Donatello sounded a bit too young to me. There was maybe one or two things I think they could have done differently... In-particular, I'm not a fan of gross humor and there was one such joke with April I think they over played. But I really liked this film.

Spider-Man Across the Spiderverse

This was also a fun movie, although to be honest, I enjoyed the Turtles movie more. That might be because this movie leaves off on a "To Be Continued...", which doesn't resolve anything. It's good to see Miles back as a more confident and experienced Spider-Man, and dealing with juggling his duel identity. And they put a lot more focus on Gwen as well. Beyond that... not sure what else to say when this really is only half of a story.
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