Thursday, April 16, 2015

STAR WARS - THE FORCE AWAKENS Trailer #2

Seen this up a lot today. Apparently a lot of people are pretty into it, huh?

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 17: "MELINDA"

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Having now introduced somewhere just under a dozen new yet-to-be-solved mysteries in it's second season (what's "Real S.H.I.E.L.D's" real agenda, what's really going on at Afterlife, what's in The Iliad's super-secret cargo hold, what exactly is Cal using to gain his strength to name just a few), "Melinda" finds AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D doubling back to explain a leftover from Season 1: What really happened to earn Agent May the nickname "The Cavalry" (official story: She singlehandedly took down a superhuman villain and their entire army of henchmen) and why is she so cold and mysterious about it?

The answer and more (SPOILERS!) after the jump...

Pitch Me, Mr.B: "MEGA MAN"

This poll decided which hypothetical movie adaptations of... things I'd take a swing at pitching as movie treatments. Just a creative-writing exercise to keep things sharp. By decision of you the readers, first up is MEGA MAN - which I'm assuming anyone reading this recognizes as a series of video games from Capcom. Reminder: If you enjoy this sort of feature on this blog, please consider becoming part of The MovieBob Patreon.



Let's get into this:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Full ANT-MAN Trailer

"Even our movies that we totally fuck up midway through production and have to scramble to put together in under a year look better than everyone else's movies!" - MARVEL.*



*(not really)

Really That Good: DIE HARD

NOTE: FOX has made multiple Copyright claims on this video, which I believe to be invalid and have disputed. The video is available for viewing while my dispute is reviewed, but you should watch it ASAP because they could concievably block it again at any time if they choose to reject the dispute.

As ever, if you want to show your support this project and others like it, please consider doing so via The MovieBob Patreon.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pitch Me, Mr. B - RESULTS!

A week ago, I asked fans to vote on a list of four licensed nostalgia properties I'd been working up hypothetical movie pitches for as a writing exercise. The votes have been tallied, and the lineup (read: order you'll be getting these in by popular demand) looks like this:

Thursday, April 09, 2015

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 16: "AFTERLIFE"

NOTE: Enjoy this recap? Want to read more like it? Please consider The MovieBob Patreon.

Season 2 of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D has now reached the point where episodes seem to be almost-entirely made up on plot points and comic/movie-universe references, which means it's all very exciting but we probably won't know if it adds up to anything until the finale on May 19th (or sooner, since it's looking more and more likely that some of this is going to tie into AGE OF ULTRON, which hits on May 1st.

This makes appraisal of quality fairly difficult, because there's no real way to tell (for example) whether the presence of the season's first "Oh, come ON!" plot twist is head-scratchingly dumb or makes some kind of sense. Frustrating, but entertaining. For more (including SPOILERS) hit the jump:

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Really That Good: GHOSTBUSTERS (Now With Text!)

The debut episode of REALLY THAT GOOD was a resounding success, and I'm hard at work on the next one (next two, technically.) But that doesn't mean I want fans and followers to stop re-watching and sharing the original. To that end, after the jump of this post I'm going to post the full text of Episode 1's look at GHOSTBUSTERS, for those who prefer text to video-essay format (or who just want to be able to read it).



Thank you all, again, for helping (via The MovieBob Patreon or just by watching and sharing) to make this project a continued (early) success. I hope you enjoy the text for now, and the next episode as soon as it's able to be uploaded:

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Pitch Me, Mr. B

I'm a big believer in the "use it or lose it" school of creative aptitude, and that concerns me as I find myself (or, at least, feel like I've found myself) with less and less time for creative experimentation when it comes to writing.

Sure, my movie reviews (back again!), REALLY THAT GOOD, the re-launch of GAME OVERTHINKER (coming soon!) and a few other projects that can't be announced yet are all keeping me sharp in terms of analysis and critical-thinking, but I'm feeling like I stand to put in more practice-time on fiction, particularly screenwriting. On the other hand, it's not like I feel comfortable putting effort into "just for kicks" experiments when I should be busting ass (relatively speaking) here and elsewhere on behalf of my exceptionally generous Patreon backers, who expect (and should expect!) some entertainment and interaction.

So! Here's how I'm going to combine the two for a bit:

Friday, April 03, 2015

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 15: "ONE DOOR CLOSES"

NOTE: Do you enjoy recaps like these? Want to read more? Please consider supporting The MovieBob Patreon

I gave less-than-great marks to last week's AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D, largely because it was a "setting things up" episode and not much else beyond it. The good news? This week's episode turns out to be where almost all of that setup starts paying off immediately and without much extraneous padding: The new characters/ideas? Explained as fully as anything on this series gets explained. The worldbuilding? All functional. Subplots? All in motion. Good stuff... though with the unfortunate caveat that it looks like the show is about to take an obligatory swing on a tried-and-true comic-book story idea that almost never works.

That's the non-spoiler version. For SPOILERS, hit the jump:

Monday, March 30, 2015

TV Recap: WRESTLEMANIA XXXI (Partial)

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Did one of these for the old outlet a year ago, figured I might as well put a new one up here and see how the reaction goes. Almost didn't, because the "venue" I chose to watch the show wound up not actually putting it on the main screen until almost an hour in because a prior sports-event tied and ran long, but I saw what seemed to be the "big" matches so I'm going for it. I feel like there's a pretty solid crossover between Wrestling fandom and the rest of geek culture, but I also feel like it ought to be even moreso. Anyway, we'll see.

PROLOGUE (NON-SPOILERS):
On the off chance that you've decided to read this recap as a non-fan (or casual fan) of pro-wrestling, a brief explanation behind (some) of what's going on here: Wrestlemania is the WWE's biggest annual event, and while it's not a strict rule this is the show where the biggest spectacle match-ups (i.e. "you never thought you'd see these two fight!") and title defenses are expected to take place and where (some) of the year's long-running kayfabe (in-ring/in-character) biggest storylines are expected to either resolve or twist in some dramatic fashion.

(More prologue and SPOILERS after the jump)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Really That Good: GHOSTBUSTERS

NOTE: Sony has released the copyright claim against this episode. Good on them.



The first episode ("pilot," if we're being honest) for my new project: REALLY THAT GOOD, a film essay series based on the radical idea that our most beloved movies probably became our most beloved movies for a good reason; and that just because "everyone" agrees a film is great doesn't mean it's not worthy of a serious second look:

A lot of work has gone into this one, folks; and I'm pretty damn happy with how it came out especially for a first try. I hope you all enjoy it.

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 14: "LOVE IN THE TIME OF HYDRA"

One reason it was rough going getting this up for Wednesday (hence why you're now getting it on Saturday)? This wasn't an especially strong episode, and it was hard to find anything useful to say about it other than to recap what happened.

This an episode almost-exclusively about putting various characters into the positions they need to be in for a promised "explosive" storyline next week, buoyed by some character/relationship melodrama that was nice to see but would've worked better amid the support of a stronger overall setting. Upkeep-episodes are all well and good (and necessary, given that AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D is now clearly pacing itself with an eye on bulk re-watchings whenever the various future Marvel movies it's laying foundation for hit) but the word "obligatory" was hanging too prominently over the proceedings.

Full review (with SPOILERS!) after the jump...

Friday, March 27, 2015

News & Such

Short version: Yes, you're still getting an AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D recap for this week (between tomorrow and Sunday) and I apologize for the delay. I could pin some of it on work (things are gathering steam, and I should have exceptionally good news for fans pretty soon) but it's not just that...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dronehood

Andrew Niccol's (GATTACA, IN TIME) GOOD KILL is being touted as the first major Hollywood war movie specifically "about" post-9/11 drone warfare, which one can (cynically) assume is coming out now because we're almost on to the next election and it's now that much less lightning-rod-y to criticize a war-fighting method that's seen (fairly or not) as belonging uniquely to the Obama Era rather than as a Bush/Cheney holdover.

Ethan Hawke stars as an oldschool fighter pilot who, with the demand for his actual flight skills waning, reluctantly joins a squad of joystick-jockeys blowing up Taliban/Al-Qaeda/ISIS/etc (it's unclear what time period/enemy-cycle this takes place in) from the comfort of a stateside cubicle:


Thursday, March 19, 2015

In Dog We Trust

Below, the trailer for MAX, which answers the question "How do you make a story about an Afghan War veteran recovering from severe PTSD even more wrenching and instantly sympathetic?" as follows: "Well, what if he's also a dog?"


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 13: "ONE OF US"

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I'm having a serious internal debate as to where to put the spoiler-warning on these things.

The fact is, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D is now more-or-less "out of the closet" as to what corner of the Marvel Universe it's actually been most connected to all this time (or, at least, midway through Season 1) ...if you're watching it. If you're not, since the ads aren't really using a lot of the key terminology yet, it might still be a surprise for the binge-watching crowd. And while I'm not of the mindset that TV critics should neuter their reviews to cater to the watch-later set... I do know a few people personally who're doing just that with this series, so... I dunno.

For now, short version: "One Of Us" is basically a catch-up episode, keeping the main plot largely in a holding pattern so the show has time to explain lingering questions about where everything stands and partially-reveal the answer to at least one major remaining mystery. It works, especially the welcome presence of Blair Underwood as an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D psychiatrist who also turns out to be Agent May's ex-husband; but it's also the first episode in awhile to return to Season 1's habit of feeling like a "grownups" episode of BUFFY - and not just because it involved a lo-fi superhero battle on a small town high-school football field.

Still, as has been the case with Season 2's slower installments, the cast and the bigger ideas at play ultimately pull this one out. More details after the Jump...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Adam Sandler *Literally* Kills Your Childhood in First PIXELS Trailer

Well. Here's the trailer for PIXELS, a movie based on a viral internet short that won a bunch of praise a few years back:


Friday, March 13, 2015

THE UPDATED MOVIEBOB FAQ: 3/13/2015 EDITION

Below the jump, some overdue updates on where I'm at and when you'll start seeing my web presence kick up again. But first - Did you know you needed this in your life? Because you needed this in your life:



I wonder how many people who're seeing this in 2015 even know/knew that DINOSAURS was a "thing?" Anyway...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Surf Nutsy

Okay, so the premise to RIDE is pretty cute in a "pandering to the fantasies of an audience that almost never get's pandered to" sort of way: Helen Hunt is a wealthy-ish NYC helicopter-mom who, upon learning that her kid (Brandon Thwaites) has dropped out of college to pursue surfing, chases him down and resolves to hang around in the surf-culture herself until she can talk him out of it. Luke Wilson and David Zayas are also there, stuff is learned, dreamy/"soaring" indie-pop song, underlit photography and earthtone title-fonts so we know this is Smart Grownup Comedy, etc. Coming soon to a bookstore coffee-bar lunch discussion near you:


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

TV Recap: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D - Season 2 Episode 12: "WHO YOU REALLY ARE"

There was a moment in the second half of the first season of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D when the show, decidedly mixed up to that point, seemed to "click" all at once into what it was truly meant to be - both in terms of quality and of narrative-threads beginning to realize their full potential. Without giving it away for the (still) spoiler-averse, it involved the reveal of an Agent's full backstory and agenda; and once it happened the series started aggressively moving and didn't let up until the season finale.

It's now clear that last week's "Aftershocks," which dropped the show whole-hog into a new status quo with an entirely new purpose in the Marvel Cinematic Universe experiment, was that moment for this season; with "Who You Really Are" playing out this new scenario with a confidence that feels more akin to a show that's been working this angle all along... for better or for worse.

FULL SPOILERS from here on out:

Monday, March 09, 2015

Full TOMORROWLAND Trailer: Atlas, Hugged?

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There's a running sort-of joke/sort-of gripe in online film geek circles about Brad Bird being a secret Objectivist, mainly based on really, really cynical readings of THE INCREDIBLES (i.e. naturally-gifted superheroes versus a society that wants them to conform to averageness and a villain whose plan partly involves using technology to level the human/superhuman playing field). I'm not fully onboard with that reading of his career (THE IRON GIANT's philosophy is slightly to the left of Captain Nemo, for one thing) but it's interesting to consider. Ayn Rand's peculiar mix of philosophy and proto self-esteem mythmaking has long found favor with artists, storytellers and sundry visionaries who otherwise operate well outside Objectivism's capitalism-as-secular-religion framework, so who can say?

In any case, the new trailer for his big Disney theme-park tentpole TOMORROWLAND will likely do nothing to quell that; as it unveils more of the film's up to now top-secret storyline:


Spoilers (for trailer-avoiders) after the jump...

Friday, March 06, 2015

Film Review: CHAPPIE (2015)

NOTE I: Sorry folks, PAXEast preparations means no video review for this one - at least not right away. Hope you enjoy this text-only version, all the same.

NOTE II: Did you enjoy this piece? Please consider supporting The MovieBob Patreon.

CHAPPIE is an ambitious, earnestly crafted film that's also profoundly flawed; in both respects to a degree that one will likely cancel the other depending on the individual viewer.

It's a work cast in bold strokes, with every thematic and aesthetic element carried to the nearest extreme: The titular robotic hero is supposed to be "childlike," so he's realized as literally a titanium five year-old who cowers and sobs when unable to comprehend having been lied to and cries out for his "Mommy" when in danger. In tone and texture (and in approach to the "science" in science-fiction) it's a kids movie, but realized as an R-rated bloodbath because, well, there's guns in the story and damned if any of them are gonna go un-shot. South African rave-rap icons Ninja and Yolandi Visser (aka "Die Antwoord") are stunt-cast as Chappie's human co-stars - not simply as characters like their stage personas but as "themselves," in an alternate universe where they're actual violent gangsters instead of an arty gangsta-rap piss-take.

It's kind of a mess, in other words, but there's an energy to it - a real, beating-heart sincerity to the parts that work - that worked for me, in spite of the roughness of everything else. Your mileage will likely vary.

SPOILERS from here on out...

"Welcome to Asia"

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"Okay, here's the pitch."

"I'm listening."

"Cool. Cool. So, it's a movie..."

"Good, good. That's primarily what we make here."

"Nice. So, it's a movie, but - here's the hook: It's SUPER racist."

"...racist."

"SUPER racist."

"Hm. Can you clarify, 'super?' Like, on a scale of zero to Nugent?"

"Um... I guess, Nugent - but at a no-press-allowed CPAC fundraiser with those Duck guys?"

"Ah!"

"Yeah."

"So... pretty darn racist."

"Yes. Yes it is."

"Hm........... ....... ... ...Well, shit - we DID just cross $470 million worldwide on 'Bradley Cooper Headshots Brown People For Two Hours.' You got yourself a green light!"