Movie Review: Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)

As most, if not all of you probably know, Adam West sadly passed away last week at the age of 88. Whether you knew him from “Batman”, “Family Guy”, “The Detectives”, or something else, you can’t deny the impact he’s had on pop culture. So to commemorate this great man, I want to talk about the last thing he did as the Caped Crusader… other than the upcoming animated movie “Batman vs. Two-Face”, but that is not important right now.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders”.

Bruce Wayne (Adam West, R.I.P) and Dick Grayson (Burt Ward) have to suit up once again to stop their enemies who have teamed up to do villain stuff. So now Batman and Robin will have to once again stop the fiends. And this is basically a continuation of the 1960s “Batman” series. Especially the first half which is exactly like an animated version of a classic “Batman” episode, but with more action. Then during the second hald they do something quite interesting that plays around a bit more with the plot. Without spoiling too much, Batman starts going through some changes during the second half which becomes the primary plot thing during that part. And I’m not really sure what to say about it. There is fun to be had there, especially with some of the visuals and lines, but overall it’s quite a weird shift from that first part. So really I’d say that the overall plot in this movie is fine. It’s entertaining enough, and the pacing is good, but something just feels a bit off about it.

The characters are just as cartoony (HA!) as in the 60s show and they’re simply entertaining and for the most part well performed. Adam West (may he rest in peace), while sounding quite old, knocks it out of the park, you can tell that he still had that energy that he had back in the 60s, which makes his performance so enjoyable. Burt Ward once gain brings a sense of fun to Robin, which I quite enjoyed. Julie Newmar, yeah, she was okay. She didn’t sound quite like she used to, and overall her performance wasn’t great… it was fine. Since Cesar Romero has been dead for years, Jeff Bergman had to take over Joker duties, and he just nails it. William Salyers did the voice of Penguin in this and he was great. Riddler was played by… Wally Wingert? Huh, I guess that since he was a great Riddler in the “Arkham” gams he got to do it here… and he was great here. Jim Ward did the voice of Commissioner Gordon in this and he’s great. Alfred in this was voiced by Steven Weber, and I didn’t recognize his voice here… yeah, he was quite good. Thomas Lennon as chief O’Hara, he was good. Lynne Marie Stewart as Aunt Harriet, she was good. Overall, it’s well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Kristopher Carter, Lolita Ritmanis, and Michael McCuistion, with some of the tracks of course being new arrangements of Neal Hefti’s classic tracks… and this music is just classic “Batman”. It has that fun and jazzy feel of the 60s show, and it’s just awesome to hear. It just perfectly captures the feel of the 1966 series.

This movie was directed by Rick Morales and it’s overall very well handled. Everything has a nice flow to it and the animation (direct-to-video budget standards) is good. Everything design-wise is just straight up the 1960s show. And since this is animated and not live action, they have a lot more freedom with what they can do and it shows that they decided to have as much fun as possible with this version of Bats. There are plenty of fun visuals done here, both in the sense of just normal fun, and some as references/jokes. Speaking of which, this is quite funny. Lovingly poking fun at the old show and even a little bit at some of the newer and darker iterations of the character. It has the campy style of the old show while still being self-aware enough to have some fun with it.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 89% positive rating. On Metacritic it does exist, but it has no score to it. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10.

“Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders” is a lot of fun, at least if you enjoy the classic show to some extent. It has a good plot, great characters, really good performances, great music, and really good animation. The only problem is that something feels off about the plot from that weird shift in the second half. Time for my final score. *Nana nana nana nana*. My final score for “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders” is an 8,99/10. While flawed, I’d say that it’s still worth buying.

My review of “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders” is now completed.

As fun as it is seeing those comic book hit things (wham, bonk, bam, etc.), nothing will ever beat this classic.

My Top 13 Albums of 2016

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We have finally come to the end of this godforsaken year. And with that, everyone makes their ends of the year lists. And I am not too different in that sense. Primarily speaking I talk about movies on this blog, but since I haven’t seen that many 2016 releases, you will not see any “Top ___ Movies of 2016” from me any time soon. But I could at least make this type of list since it’s easy to listen to music thanks to free (and legal) services like Spotify and Youtube. With that said, let’s go over some of the ground rules here.

Rule #1: This is my list, featuring MY opinions. It’s not my list, featuring YOUR opinions. So don’t bitch and moan over what is featured on this list. I encourage friendly discussion, but bitching and moaning… get that shit out of here.

Rule #2: No “This artist’s greatest hits” albums will be featured. Would be a bit of a cheat to feature that since it would only be made up of older songs by the artist. Only new stuff.

Rule #3: I am not including any soundtracks or original scores here. Otherwise this list would be impossible to limit to a reasonable amount.

Rule #4: No live concert albums will be featured here. I kind of basse this on the same reason as rule #2, since it’s never made of only original material. That said, I am giving an honorable mention to Joe Bonamassa’s “Live at the Greek Theatre” album, because it’s pretty great.

Now that we’ve laid the foundation for this thing, let’s get started! Ladies and gentlemen, these are my Top 13 Albums of 2016!

Number 13: David Bowie – Blackstar (Sample: Lazarus)

Kicking off the list is the final album by legendary entertainer David Bowie who unfortunately passed away very early this year. Bowie of course is known for making a ton of great music throughout the years, as well as wearing some very interesting styles of clothing/makeup. Safe to say, he is missed. And hwile I don’t think this is one his best albums, it is still good (it’s on this list for a reason). Bowie did some very experimental stuff with this album, and while I am not the biggest fan of it all, I at least appreciate that he tried something so different and interesting with it. But I do have to say, the track featured in this post, “Lazarus”, is absolutely fantastic and one of the best songs of the year.

Number 12: Sabaton – The Last Stand (Sample: The Last Stand)

Here we have the latest album by Swedish metal band Sabaton. Several of their albums tend to have some interesting themes explored, which tends to make for some pretty epic metal songs. The theme of this album is “famous last stand battles”, hence the album title. If you’re not a history buff, you might not know which battle each songs is about, so I recommend reading up on the album on wikipedia. But I am a big fan of Sabaton, and this album is pretty badass.

Number 11: Doug Seegers – Walking on the Edge of the World (Sample: Walking on the Edge of the World)

Mixing it up at number 11 with some country. To be specific, it is American country musician Doug Seegers, who not too long ago was just a street musician. Then Swedish musician Jill Johnson found out about him and made him famous. And now he’s a pretty big artist. And like his first album, “Going Down to the River”, this album is really good… not much else to say.

Number 10: Leonard Cohen – You Want it Darker (Sample: You Want it Darker)

Here we have the final album by legendary singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, who died not too long after this album was released. Not to reopen wounds, but 2016  was a really awful year to be a fan of great entertainers. Oh well… c’est la vie. But as I said, this was the final album recorded by Cohen, and it kind of shows. It’s dark, contemplative, interesting, haunting… it’s a really great album and a perfect way for his career to wrap up.

Number 9: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree (Sample: Skeleton Tree)

Wow, 2016 was filled with interesting and haunting music. This is the latest album from teh critically acclaimed Australian band, and it’s definitely another solid album from them. It’s interesting to kind of read up on the album and find out some of the behind the scenes stuff. Mainly speaking, how the album was pretty close to finished when Nick Cave’s 15-year-old son died, which as you might expect, halted production. And this of course changed a few things in the album. Not exactly sure what, or how much… but some things got added. If you listen to it and look at the lyrics, the theme of death and tragedy is explored, which might have been triggered a little bit by the unfortunate passing of Cave’s son. His son is never explicitly mentioned, but it might’ve had some effect on it. Either way, this is a great album.

Number 8: Eric Clapton – I Still Do (Sample: Alabama Woman Blues)

So for the number 8 spot we have the latest album from Eric Clapton, one of my personal favorite musicians/songwriters. Clapton has always had one foot firmly in the blues genre, and this album clearly shows it. And yeah, it’s another win from Clapton. I wouldn’t say that it’s as great as “Slowhand” (his best album), but it’s still pretty damn good.

Number 7: Rick Astley – 50 (Sample: Angels On My Side)

You think I’m joking? I swear, this is serious. The man who for a while was one of the biggest internet memes, released a genuinely great album. I am not necessarily the biggest fan of pop music… but this shit is great. Astley’s vocals sound fantastic, even better than they did 30 years ago, and everything is overall very well composed. Really, it’s a great album.

Number 6: Shawn James – On the Shoulders of Giants (Sample: Hellhound)

To tell you the truth, I discovered Shawn James very recently. First time I ever heard one of his songs was through the “Last of Us Part II” trailer, which was released at the beginning of this this month. So I of course looked up the song used in the trailer and then began listening to more of what Shawn James had to offer and by god, he is awesome! His raw, smoky voice is great, and combined with some great instrumentals makes for some awesome music. And really, his 2016 album (which is the topic of this thing) is another win from him.

Number 5: Skillet – Unleashed (Sample: Feel Invincible)

I am not a very religious person. I’ve been baptized, I’ve gone through confirmation… but I am not particularly religious in general (my foul language should be a very clear clue). But I also go by the philosophy that you don’t have to be very relgious to appreciate good music that has a religious subtext. As long as the music sounds good and is well composed… then who gives a shit if it’s based in relgion. And that’s basically my way of justifying why I love Skillet, an American Christian rock band. I have been a fan of these guys for years now, and I was of course incredibly hyped about their new album “Unleashed” being released. And when it came out, I thought it was great. Not their best album, but it was still pretty great (Again, it’s on this list for a reason).

Number 4: Santana – Santana IV (Sample: Forgiveness)

I’ve been a fan of latino rock band Santana for quite some time, so seeing that they came out with a new album this year of course got me incredibly happy. Like with previous albums, it’s filled with some cool beats, some nice vibes, and Carlos Santana’s god damn guitar playing. Seriously, that man knows how to play a guitar like a boss. Really, his guitar playing is the main reason why I love the band. Yes, there are other great things too, but that guitar, man… it’s so amazing!

Number 3: Airbourne – Breakin’ Outta Hell (Sample: Breakin Outta Hell)

Sometimes you don’t need a deeper meaning or experimental instrumentals to make good music. Sometimes all you need is some passion and a guitar. And by that I mean, Airbourne is just a straight-up hard rock band that don’t seem to give two shits about what anyone thinks. They just play the music they love… hard rock (clearly inspired by AC/DC and a little bit of Judas Priest). And that’s what I love about these guys. They have over the past few years become one of my favorite bands of all time, and when their new album was announced… boy, was I hyped. And then it came out aaaaand it was fucking awesome!

Number 2: Joe Bonamassa – Blues of Desperation (Sample: Mountain Climbing)

And at the number 2 spot we find the latest (non-live) album from American blues musician Joe Bonamassa, who I didn’t know about until some time in fall of last year. And now he is one of my favorite artists of all time. And this new album by him is pretty damn great. From some of the slower ballads like “Drive”, to the fast stuff like “You left Me Nothin’ But the Bill and the Blues”, to the heavy and badass “Mountain Climbing”… all of it is so amazingly good! Or at least that’s what I think.

NUMBER 1: Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct (Sample: Hardwired)

If you were surprised by this, then you clearly don’t follow me on twitter (@TheMarckoguy) or you’re just very new here. I have talked about Metallica a whole bunch of times (at least… 5) on this blog, and I have tweeted about the band a few too many times before (I am not sorry). They are my second favorite band of all time (Number 1 is AC/DC), so I might have some slight bias with this placement. But that’s okay, because it’s my list and I can do whatever the hell I want to. But I have listened to this album a lot of times to try to get the feel of it and I came to the conclusion that I absolutely love it. It’s a great return to form for the band, and a real treat for long time fans of the band. It also feels great to have another Metallica album out, since the last one before this came out in 2008. So yeah… this is my favorite album of 2016.

What are your thoughts? What’s your favorite album of 2016? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and happy new year!

 

Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

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Guys… motherfucking “Star Wars”! No clever intro needed!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”.

Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) is a young woman who has joined forces with the Rebellion to try to find the plans for the Empire’s new superweapon… the Death Star. That’s it really. Erso together with a ragtag group of rebels trying to get hold of the Death Star plans. And it’s a really good plot. There are a bunch of layers to it all, which I thought was a really cool aspect of it. The biggest flaw of the plot really is that it takes a little while to get going. There is a while in the beginning that sets up the story and characters and it’s a little slow. It’s not bad per se, I was entertained… but it’s worth mentioning to be quite honest. But everything after that setup… great stuff.

The characters in this movie are pretty interesting and they worked well for the movie. Felicity Jones did a really good job as Jyn Erso, playing this tough, determined, young woman that has a bit of a tragic past. Diego Luna was really good as his character, this Rebel captain that becomes part of Jyn’s group. Donnie Yen played Chirrut Îmwe, a blind man with a strong connection to the force. And he was really badass and gave us a really good performance. Wen Jiang plays Baze Malbus, Chirrut’s friend/sidekick and he was also really good. Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook was also really good. Alan Tudyk played K-2SO, a big droid. And he was so great, the character was so cool and so much fun. Ben Mendelsohn was really good as Imperial director Orson Krennic. He was a bit over the top, but in a way that actually really worked for the character. Forest Whitaker and Mads Mikkelsen are both really good too. Now, let’s get to the character everybody wonders about… Salacious B. Crumb. Nah, just kidding. It’s actually Darth Vader. Now, this can be considered a mild spoiler, but I also wanna get it out there. He isn’t in the movie very much, this isn’t a Darth Vader movie, don’t go in expecting a Darth Vader movie. He didn’t really have to be in the movie, but I’m still glad he was. His role may have been minor, but god damn… it was pretty awesome. Again, he was used VERY sparingly in the movie, so don’t expect fifty-five-billion Darth Vader scenes.

This is the first “Star Wars” movie not to be scored by the one and only John Williams. What’s interesting is that the movie was originally going to be scored by Alexandre Desplat, but he dropped out for some reason. So Michael Giacchino stepped up to the challenge. And it was really a challenge for him, he only had four weeks to score the movie. But despite that, he did a great job. Sure, there are a lot of familiar motifs throughout, but most of them are worked into some of Giacchino’s new tracks, and it all sounded absolutely terrific. The score was epic and it fit the movie perfectly.

This movie was directed by Gareth Edwards and I think he did a very good job. The movie had a lot of grit and intensity in it’s direction, which is something we haven’t seen really with previous “Star Wars” movies. What I also loved about his directing is the same thing I always praise about his “Godzilla” movie… you get a real sense of scale here. You really get to see a lot of size differences which really helps it all feel a bit more real. An example is (like we’ve seen in the trailer) how during a battle we get to see AT-ATs from the perspective of the people and how these machines look gigantic. Speaking of the battles, Jesus fuckin’ Christ, they are awesome! Again, there’s a lot of grit and intensity in the directing which makes the battles feel so much more grounded and badass. We not only get the ground battles, but also space battles… and those are really awesome too. You can tell that Edwards knew what he was doing when directing this. Which kind of segues into the visual effects, and all of them look amazing. Okay, there was one digital face thingy in the movie that looked a little off, but for the msot part the visual effects are amazingly good. There was also a surprising amount of humor in this movie. Really funny humor at that.

Any scores from review sites can and will change over time since the movie just came out. Anyway, on Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is another great part in this beloved franchise. It’s not the best “Star Wars” movie, but it’s still pretty damn good. It has a really solid plot, good characters, really good performances, great music, terrific direction/action, and amazing visual effects. The only problem was that the slow(ish) opening act. Time for my final score. Ah.. Star Wars! Nothing but Star Wars! Gimme those Star Wars.. don’t let them end! My final score for “Rogue One: A Star Wars” story is a 9,59/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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My review of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is now completed.

What’s this? An actual Star WAR? Holy shit.

Movie Review: Sing Street (2016)

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Music is one of the most important things in this world, at least I think it is. Without I honestly don’t know what the fuck I’d be like.

Ladies and gents… “Sing Street”.

Welcome to Dublin in the 1980s. We follow young Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) as he gets transferred to a new school in the wake of his family’s financial issues. Then one day he sees a mysterious (and beautiful) girl (Lucy Boynton) that he falls in love with. We then starts a band to try to impress her. And now we have a plot that honestly floored me. Because it’s not just a romantic comedy, but it’s a heartfelt coming of age story that managed to pull on my heartstrings quite a bit. It is a very relatable tale of family, love, friendship, and following your dreams. Sure, there are a lot of familiar elements that we’ve seen in a lot of movies, but the way they’re done in this movie is so great that it overcomes those elements. Yeah, it’s a great plot.

The characters in this movie are all very interesting and they also feel very real. Before this movie I had never even heard of Ferdia Walsh-Peelo at all, but I have to admit that he was great in the movie as Conor. He’s a very relatable character, even if I’ve never gone through all the shit he has. Jack Reynor plays his brother in this movie and he was terrific in his role. Aidan Gillen plays their dad and he was great. Lucy Boynton who played Conor’s love interest, she was great in the movie. The guys who played Conor’s friends, they were all really good. The guy that played the bully (yes, there’s a bully in this) he was really good. All of the actors in this movie did a great job with their performances.

The music in this movie… oh my god, the music in this movie! Since it’s basically a movie about music they of course had to nail it when it came to that aspect, otherwise this would have gone totally to shit. But they actually managed to do it! The original songs that they wrote and recorded for this are pretty fuckin’ great. Really catchy, really well written… it’s genuinely great. But they of course had a bunch of licensed tracks spread throughout, and not only were those tracks ones that I like… they actually fit the scenes in the movie very well. In other words, this movie has an amazing soundtrack.

The movie was directed by John Carney and I think he did a really good job. There’s nothing fancy or groundbreaking done with the camera, but the movie is visually appealing. The movie also has a good amount of humor in it, and I did think all of said humor was very funny.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 79/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“Sing Street” is a pretty damn great movie. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and some really good humor. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Sing Street” is a 9,89/10. So it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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My review of “Sing Street” is now completed.

Ah, Ireland…

Movie Review: The Nice Guys (2016)

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In a world filled with crime and scary stuff, cops have their hands full. And that’s basically why there are private investigators, so the cops don’t have to take care of all the bullshit out there… at least I think it is like that. If not, then I don’t know what the fuck their purpose is.

Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to… “The Nice Guys”.

Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), two somewhat different people. One is a somewhat dim-witted private investigator, the other is an enforcer. These two people have to team up to try to investiagte the disappearance of a girl and the death of a porn actress. The cases may seem unrelated, but our “heroes” soon find out that they might actually be related in some strange way. And from that premise we get a surprisingly layered and intriguing mystery set in Los Angeles in 1977. And as you may suspect from my choice of words, I loved the plot of this movie. It’s just such a fun and interesting and odd mystery that we get to see these guys go through in this movie, it’s really something we never see in film these days. But we got to now… and it was great!

The characters in this movie are all unique, interesting, and so damn entertaining. Ryan Gosling is terrific in this movie as this dim-witted and often drunk private investigator. Ruseel Crowe is also really great as the enforcer guy who seems to have a little bit more brain behind his skull. But what makes this even better is the chemistry between these guys. These guys play off each other very well and they really make some magic together. We also have young actress Angourie Rice as Holly, the fdaughter of Gosling’s character. And to tell you the truth, she was fucking amazing. Usually having someone as young as her in a movie can turn out really bad, but she was awesome. Her performance was really good and her character actually helped get shit done in the movie. She was really a standout in the cast. And the cast also has some more great actors in it, such as Keith David and Kim Basinger. There’s also a really badass character that doesn’t show up until late in the movie, but let it be known that he is awesome!

The score for the movie was composed by John Ottman and David Buckley. And it is perfect. Okay, it’s not something that I would jsut listen to at pure random, but it’s perfect in the sense that it perfectly fits the movie. The music really harkens back to the stuff you could hear in 70s crime movies/shows… and that’s perfect because this is a crime movie set in the 70s. It fit the movie perfectly and is overall very well composed. We also get a lot of great 70s tunes played in various scenes. We get everything from KISS, to America, to Earth, Wind  & Fire. Yeah, this movie got some great music.

This movie was written and directed by Shane Black, and like his directorial debut (which he also wrote), “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, he has created a movie with great directing and pitch-perfect writing. The shots look great and Black’s directing really helps sell the 1970s setting. And the writing… oh my fucking god, it is some of the funniest stuff that I’ve experienced in some time! Really, this movie made me laugh pretty damn hard. Maybe that’s just because I have a dark sense of humor, because there is some dark stuff in the movie that really got me laughing pretty hard. But that is also kind of like “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, Shane Black’s dark buddy-comedy from 2005. What I’m trying to say is that this movie is fuckin’ hilarious. I can also say that this movie has some action scenes and they are all fun and exciting. Really, Black did a great job here.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“The Nice Guys” is the type of movie that doesn’t really get made these days. It feels so different to the majority of Hollywood stuff we get these days. It has a great plot, great characters, great acting (and chemistry between the actors), great music, great directing, and some really hilarious writing. Time for my final score. *Boogie woogie*. My final score for “The Nice Guys” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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My review of “The Nice Guys” is now completed.

A movie written by Shane Black that isn’t set during Christmas? Holy shit!

Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

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I have been a pretty big fan of Marvel’s mutant franchise for most of my life. It all started with the cartoon “X-Men: Evolution”, and then I of course started watching the movies. And the rest is history. So I am of course always excited when a new one of these is about to be released. So let’s see if this was another hit.

Ladies and gentlemen… “X-Men: Apocalypse”!

Ancient mutant En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac) has awoken from his really long slumber and is recruiting various mutants to join him in destroying the world and rebuilding it into something different. So it’s up to Professor X (James McAvoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and a bunch of other mutants to stop him before everything goes to shit. Sounds pretty standard from that outlook, but it is far more interesting than that. The only real flaw with the story is that it takes a while to actually grab the viewer and get them invested. But after about 20 – 30 minutes we get a scene involving Magneto (Michael Fassbender) which truly helps kick off the story and increase the drama. And after that I felt that the plot worked very well throughout, featuring some truly great storytelling. Again, it’s those first minutes that take a while to get going as they only act to set up characters and the plot. But after that… shit gets good!

The characters in this movie are really interesting. James McAvoy as Professor X once again knocked it out of the park, he is so great in this movie. Michael Fassbender as Magneto, fucking amazing, especially since he actually gets a few pretty damn emotional moments. And the interplay between these two main characters is just as great as ever. Jennifer Lawrence was good as Mystique, you could tell that she was phoning it in a little bit, but overall her perforamance was good. Nicholas Hoult was great as Beast. Rose Byrne (welcome back), was really good as Moira MacTaggert. Evan Peters as Quicksilver… he was just awesome, like in “Days of Future Past”. I’d even argue that he’s even better in this movie since he gets more to do and has more of a purpose in this story. So now let’s talk about the newcomers. Sophie Turner was really good as Jean Grey, I am glad that she got to shine a bit in this movie with some scenes/moments that requires the actor to be able to portray anger and distress in a movie, and she nailed it. Tye Sheridan played Cyclops in this movie and I thought he was really good. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a fan of Sheridan, but I am saying it because he was genuinely good in the role. And to answer your questions, yes I am really a fan of the guy. Kodi Smit-McPhee played Nightcrawler in the movie, and that is something I was really interested in because Nightcrawler is my favorite mutant. And I am happy to say that the guy was really good in the role. Then finally, let’s talk about Oscar Isaac as En Sabah Nur, or Apocalypse as he’s more known as. Oscar Isaac is one of the best actors of the modern generation, so I was very excited when he was cast in the role. And how was he? At first his performance felt a little odd, not exactly something that I’d say was great. But then as the movie went on I got more used to it and I’d even argue that his performance got a better over time. And as a villain in general I thought Apocalypse was fine, he was suitably intimidating and badass.

Like in the previous movie, the score was composed by John Ottman who also did the editing on the film. But how was his score for the movie? Good. It’s, bombastic… the stuff you’d expect from this type of huge superhero movie. Not to say that it’s bad, I’m just saying that it doesn’t take any big or unique or unexpected turns. But it’s good. And there are a few licensed tracks in the movie as well that caught my attention, mainly because of how cleverly they were put in the movie.

This is the fourth “X-Men” movie to be directed by Bryan Singer. And I think that he once again did a great job. The shots look good and the action is very well directed. Speaking of action, there are two action scenes in this movie that just blew me away. One of them is one I won’t spoil in case you have managed to avoid trailers and/or spoilers and haven’t seen the movie yet. But let me tell you… it’s brutal and badass. The other one… remember Quicksilver’s awesome scene from “Days of Future Past”? Yeah, it’s like that but even better. And the visual effects in the movie look great. Sure, at times there a fuckload of it and you know it… but I never thought it detracted from the movie at all… stuff looked great.

This movie has gotten some truly mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 48% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

I honestly don’t understand all the hate that “X-Men: Apocalypse” has gotten. Is it the best “X-Men” movie? No. But it’s still a damn fine movie. With a good plot, great characters, great acting, good music, great directing, great action, and some great visual effects. The only drawback is those first 20 – 30 minutes that kind of drag on. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “X-Men: Apocalypse” is a 9,40/10. It’s not perfect, but it’s still definitely worth buying!
Worth buying

My review of “X-Men: Apocalypse” is now completed.

Feel thy name extermination
Desecrating, hail of fire
So we cross that line
Into the crypt
Total eclipse
Suffer unto my apocalypse!

Officially Announcing The Month of Spooks 2016!

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Hello there, ladies and gents, boys and girls, other descriptive words and phrases… how are y’all doing? I hope you are all ready for this little post right here! If you aren’t, take a deep breath and say to yourself “I am ready for this shit” a few times. All good? Okay, here we go!

So as you can tell, I am officially announcing the Month of Spooks! But then I hear someone saying “BUT MARKUUUUUS, you announced this in your 200 followers post!”. And yes you’re right, person who I may or may not have made up. I did more or less announce it in my “200 followers” post (#ShamelessPlug). But I did also say in the very same post that I would be making a special post where I talked a little more about this stuff. So I thought that now was a good a time as any. For those who might not be 100% aware of this thing, let me fill in your blanks. The Month of Spooks is a concept I loosely came up with last year since it was October and I dedicated it to reviewing horror movies. And back then I really half-assed it, since I started in the middle of the month and never really made it all officially official. So now I have decided to make it slightly more officially official by announcing it ahead of the month itself and adding a twist to it… I’m not the only person who’s gonna write under the Month of Spooks title/banner. That’s right, I want some guest bloggers to join in for this dumb thing. Not like a full-on blogathon with hundreds of people… but I’d at least like to have some people joining in to write something for this. And to tell the truth, I already have one person ready for it. And that certain someone is Zoë from The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger (Sidenote: If you aren’t following her already, go do it. She makes some pretty awesome stuff). I don’t know what she’s gonna make, but I’m sure it’ll be great. And that’s when I hear someone saying “BUT MAAAARKUUUUUS, how do I join in on this stupid thing?”. Here’s how:
1. Go to twitter,com/TheMarckoguy.
2. Send me a tweet that says something like “Hey, I want to join the Month of Spooks”.
3. I’ll then DM you to start a chain of messages between us.
4. We have a conversation about the Month of Spooks.
5. You make a post at some point in October.
6. The Month of Spooks ends.

Sounds simple enough, right? “BUT MAAAARKUUUUUUS, what do I do if I don’t have twitter?” that possibly imagined person says. Well, you’re shit out of luck. Just kidding, sort of. We might be able to figure something out in the comments of this post. But still, how many bloggers don’t have twitter… almost feels like a necessity. That banner up there is also not like any final design that I want you to use. I just made it to have something to put at the top of this post. I can however say that there are a few hints to what posts I might do in there… you figure out which thing is what. Again, that’s just a slapped together banner for this post (with those hints in it that I mentioned).

So yeah… that’s my announcement. I hope to get some cool bloggers involved in this stuff. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a podcast or two on board for this too. Like I said, hit me up on twitter and we’ll make some spooks! BOO!
Have a good one!

Great Music #19

Hey there guys! Time for me to share some good music again! And by good music I mean, I really like it and I’m forcing it into your feeds. Oh well, let’s just get into it!

So for this time we are having a look at something pretty recent. And by that I mean that I missed it when the song itself came out in late August. But I am also somewhat in the clear because this music video came out today (September 16th). I am of course talking about the song “Rivalry” by Australian rock band Airbourne. This is actually the second song they have released this year, with the first being “Breakin’ Outta Hell” which came out in July. You can actually hear the end of that song in the beginning of this music video. I’d even argue that this video is a continuation of the “Breakin’ Outta Hell” lyric video, based on the few shots we get in the beginning of this video. Anyway, what do I think of this song? Well, the title of the post explains it pretty fuckin’ well… it’s great. I mean, if Airbourne’s upcoming album “Breakin’ Outta Hell”, which comes out on September 23rd (#SoExcited), manages to be as great as the first two singles that have been released… Then shit, we’ll have a new contender for my favorite album of the year. Of course, there’s a big chance that Metallia will contend for those heights too later this year, but we won’t know until it’s out. So yeah… A lot of good shit is due to be out this year.

Have a good one and enjoy!

Movie Review: Ghostbusters (2016)

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What? Two reviews in such a short amount of time? And both of recent movies that are in theaters? What kind of madness is this? I’ll tell you what it is… Mad skills, that’s what it fuckin’ is!

Ladies and gents… “Ghostbusters” (the rebootification).

Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) are two long time friends, both having an interest in the paranormal. So when they discover that ghosts actually, truly, without any doubt exists, they form a group/firm together with crazy engineer Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and historian Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones). They also get a secretary named Kevin (Chris Hemsworth). And together these people make up… the Ghostbusters (roll credits). And what they have to do is try to stop a sudden paranormal invasion of New York City. Interesting? Decently. Investing? Not really. I never really thought the plot was bad throughout the movie, but there was also never a point in which I got emotionally invested in it. I wasn’t bored at any point, but there was never that full on investment that I might’ve wanted from the movie.

The characters, I honestly thought I would dislike them… but no, they’re actually pretty enjoyable. Let me first say that the central cast have terrific chemistry, they work well together. Melissa McCarthy does a fine job in the movie, she’s not bad nor great, she does well. Kristen Wiig does a really good job with her performance and her character was enjoyable. Leslie Jones, I thought she would be pretty annoying, based on the trailers. But no, I actually enjoyed her in the movie. Then we have my favorite of the four… Kate McKinnon. Her character was just absolutely nuts, and was definitely the one I enjoyed the most. Best way I can explain her is that she’s kind of a mix of Doc Brown from “Back to the Future” and Tyler Durden from “Fight Club”. Chris Hemsworth is a lot of fun in this movie… mainly because he’s playing a dumb blonde secretary who’s pretty much inept at anything he tries to do. Yeah, everybody did a good job… holy shit, I never thought I’d say that about this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Theodore Shapiro and I thought it was okay. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. It was what most people would call passable. It worked just fine for the movie, nothing spectacular. As for the new and “updated” theme song however… yeah, I fucking hate it. And just so you know, saying that saddens me because I like Fall Out Boy. I think they’re a good band, but this new “Ghostbusters” song is not good.

This movie was directed by Paul Feig and I actually think he did a pretty good job. The direction is pretty fast and snappy and never spens too much or too little time on a specific bit. As for the CGI? It’s fine I guess. I wouldn’t call it bad, but there’s a point in this movie where it’s just a bit too much. And the ghost designs aren’t really creative or even scary, which is a little sad (Sidenote: Slimer looks like shit). And since this movie is a comedy, we should look at the jokes and see how they are. I thought the jokes were fun. Not all of them, there were a few that made me cringe a little bit, but the majority of jokes at least made me at least chuckle. There was one joke which I can’t remember, but I know that it made me laugh quite a bit. Most of the comedic entertainment came from Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth in my opinion, both of whom had a bunch of fun lines and entertaining personalities. So let’s talk cameos! That’s right, all of the original cast members (‘cept for Rick Moranis and William Atherton) had cameos, even Harold Ramis who is dead. And these cameos felt a little bit distracting for me. While not as gratuitous as some cameos in other movies, they still felt a bit distracting and almost even forced.

This movie has sure as hell gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 73% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,4/10.

Let me start this wrap-up by saying that the movie was a lot better than I anticipated. Sure, the plot isn’t very engaging, the CGI gets a bit too much at times, some of the jokes don’t land, and the cameos are distracting. But the characters are all enjoyable, the performances are good, the music is fine (‘cept for that damn theme), the directing is pretty good, and a lot of the jokes are pretty fun. Time for my final score. *WHO YA GONNA CALL!?* My final score for “Ghostbusters” (the rebootification) is a 7,54/10. While not that great, it’s still worth a rental (or in this case, worth a watch).
Rent it

My review of “Ghostbusters” (the rebootification) is now completed.

True story: When my parents and I got out of the theater and got into the car, the original (AKA good) “Ghostbusters” theme played on the radio. No joke, it actually fucking happened.

Movie Review: Jason Bourne (2016)

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People… we’re finally here! The long awaited release/review of the fifth “Bourne” movie. As some if not most of you may know, this has been my most antipcipated movie of the year. And with that I reviewed every movie in this franchise (I highly recommend you checking them out #ShamelessPlug) over the past few months, had a lot of fun doing that. But now it’s time… the main act, the reason we are here, the other synonymous phrase that could be put here!

Ladies and gentlemen, you know his name… “Jason Bourne”!

Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) has been in hiding since the end of “Bourne Ultimatum”. But now he has to come out of hiding to be able to find out more about his past. While all of this is going on, there is a plot by CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) to use a new social media platform to monitor people in the name of “national security”. So there’s kind of a debate going on throughout the movie on freedom vs. safety. And while the whole social media thing felt a bit weird and slightly out of place at first, I eventually bought into it and thought it kind of worked for the movie. There’s also another assassin (Vincent Cassel) going after Bourne. Yeah, this guy seems to have a bit of a grudge towards our hero. And that bit was really interesting. As for the rest of the plot, it’s really good, it’s always interesting seeing Jason trying to figure out more about who he is and why he is the way he is. It’s tense, interesting, and dramatic. I really enjoyed it.

This movie proves to us that Matt Damon still got it. He kicks so much ass in this movie and his performance overall is fantastic even though he doesn’t say too much (which is fine). Tommy Lee Jones may be and old man in a suit… but he’s my old man in a suit. Yeah, his performance was fine. Alicia Vikander plays a sort of computer tech working for the CIA, and she was really good in the movie. Julia Stiles returns as Nicky and she’s good in the movie, not much to really say there. Vincent Cassel as the CIA assassin, or “Asset” as they call him (New game: Take a shot anytime anyone in any of these movies say the word “asset”, you’ll be drunk before the movie is over). Yeah, he was badass, pretty intimidating, and his performance was good. Riz Ahmed did a fine job with his performance, and so did Ato Essandoh.

The music was once again composed by John Powell (Sidenote: This time with some help from David Buckley). And there’s really nothing to complain about, I thought it was really good and really worked in the movie. And since this is a “Bourne” movie, let’s talk about this movie’s version of Moby’s “Extreme Ways”. While not my favorite version of the song, I still thought it was very good.

“Jason Bourne” was directed by none other than the great Paul Greengrass, the man who directed “Supremacy” and “Ultimatum”. And once again he brought his shaky, but still visually interesting style. So you know that when action happens, it’s badass. And yeah, the action in the movie is really badass and really awesome. There are two scenes in particular that are great. One is at the end (don’t worry, no spoilers), and is so amazing. The other one is a really tense and awesome chase set during a riot, as seen in all the trailers. Yeah, I really enjoyed how this movie was directed.

Keep in mind that this movie just came out, so any scores on these sites might change. Anyhow… On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 56% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

While not my favorite in the series, I still really enjoyed “Jason Bourne”. I found the plot investing, the characters interesting, the acting really good, the music great, teh directing really good, and the action so awesome. Time for my final score. BOURNE TO BE WILD! My final score for “Jason Bourne” is a 9,75/10. So yeah… it of course gets the one and only “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Jason Bourne” is now completed.

Extreme ways are back again
Extreme places I didn’t know
I broke everything new again
Everything that I’d owned
I threw it out the windows, came along
Extreme ways I know move apart
The colors of my sea
Perfect color me