Series Review: The Tick – Season 1 (2017 – 2018)

Whereas Netflix is currently known as the king of streaming these days, I feel like we should give some major cred to Amazon. Mainly because they’ve produced quite a diverse range of shows and movies, and a good amount of them I have enjoyed. So let’s talk about one such show today.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Tick”.

Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman) is a very nervous young man with a tragic past. And one day his life changes when he meets a mysterious man in a blue suit, simply known as The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz). And soon the two find themselves teaming up to try to stop the evil villain known as The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley). So now we have our superhero story. And what I liked about it is that compared to a lot of other modern superhero stories, it isn’t concerned with being gritty or grounded or overly serious. Instead we have a more tongue-in-cheek superhero story that aims more to entertain and inspire. It’s almost like a parody of superheroes, while still indulging in a good amount of classic superhero clichés. And I found this plot to be pretty damn great.

The characters here are layered, unique, interesting, and endlessly entertaining. Peter Serafinowicz plays The Tick, the titular blue hero. He is a bit lost in life, because he has no memory of his life before meeting Arthur. All he really knows is that he’s a superhero and he’s called The Tick, and I think it works for his character, you don’t always need a definitive origin. He’s also a very fun hero, he’s a very aloof and optimistic man who always looks on the bright side of life. Inspiring with a side order of silly is how I’d describe it. And Serafinowicz is fantastic in the role. Griffin Newman plays Arthur, the neurotic young man at the center of this story. Due to something that happened to him during his childhood, he’s a very nervous person and a little bit of a conspiracy nut. But we see him go through an interesting arc in the show after he meets The Tick and starts investigating The Terror with him. And Newman is great in the role. Then we have Valorie Curry as Dot, Arthur’s sister. She’s may look small and frail, but she’s actually quite tough and is doing everything to help her brother lead a normal life. And Curry is really good in the role. Then we have Scott Speiser as Overkill, a very grim and violent mercenary that Tick and Arthur run into during their adventure. He makes for an interesting contrast within this generally silly story, making for some very enjoyable scenes. And Speiser is really good in the role. Then we have Jackie Earle Haley as The Terror, the main villain of this story. The best way I could describe him is that he’s a little bit like Aku from “Samurai Jack”. A menacing and capable villain that also has a fun and enjoyable personality, making him stand out among all the villains in movies and TV. And Haley is great in the role. The final person I’m going mildly in-depth with is Yara Martinez as Ms. Lint, the henchwoman of The Terror. She’s got lightning powers, and that’s all I’m gonna say because her story and other personality traits are better left experienced. And Martinez is really good in the role. We also get some supporting work from people like Devin Ratray, Alan Tudyk, Brendan Hines, François Chau, Townsend Coleman, Michael Cerveris, John Pirkis, and many more. All doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the season was composed by Chris Bacon, and it was damn good. It’s fun and jazzy at times, but at other times it’s fairly serious and sounds more like something you’d hear in a typical superhero action movie. But I feel like all the music works quite well here, as it often elevates the show in certain ways. There are also a few licensed tracks used throughout and they work quite well too.

Based on a comic series by Ben Edlund, this show was created by… Ben Edlund? Yeah, he made a show out of his own comic… not gonna lie, I think that’s kinda cool. Anyway, he also got help with writing and directing from a whole bunch of people. And I have to say that it all works out marvelously. The direction is fun and fast-paced, which means there’s never a dull moment, even when they slow down for character stuff. And the action scenes are fun too. Sure, they’re not the most epic or overly choreographed things, but they’re pretty fun to watch. Admittedly there are some visual effects in this show that look a bit corny, but I think it kind of works for this since they’re not taking it as seriously as a lot of other superhero things. And since this is a comedy, let’s talk about the humor. It’s fucking hilarious, I laughed quite a lot throughout this. And I’m not just talking about simple chuckles, there were a lot of loud laughs coming from me throughout the season, which is rare for me to find these days.

This show/season has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“The Tick” is a ton of fun and is also one of the best superhero shows available right now. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, good music, and great directing/action/comedy. Time for my final score. *SPOON!*. My final score for “The Tick” season 1 is a 9,88/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Tick” season 1 is now completed.

This show is so refreshing.

Movie Review: The Dark Tower (2017)

Right up front, I adore Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” books. They’re epic, unique, engaging, and just awesome. So I was worried about the series being adapted to film. Then the trailer came out and it looked like shit. But now we’re here, reviewing it. Comparisons to the novels are inevitable, but I will do my best to not rely on that stuff. Try to judge this on it’s own. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Dark Tower”.

Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) has been having dreams/visions of a strange land filled with strange stuff. And one day he finds an actual portal to that world. There he meets Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), AKA the gunslinger. And they meet up to try to find and stop the evil wizard known as the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) from destroying the one thing holding all the universes together… The Dark Tower. So now we have our adaptation. And it’s not a direct adaptation of any of the books, but rather mixes the stories of all of them into one thing. And it feels quite messy. Cramming a ton of stuff into a 90-minute runtime. So you get a rushed mess that has stuff from all the books, but only feels very surface-level. And even if you take the books aside for a second, it still feels rushed and messy. And not very interesting. At best the plot is meh. But for the most part it is not good.

The characters here show potential to be interesting, but never reach that full potential for me (at least I didn’t dislike them, I guess). Idris Elba plays Roland, a gunslinger. Quick lesson: A gunslinger is a sort of guardian who has sworn to protect Mid-World and the Dark Tower. And Roland is the last of the gunslingers because someone (the Man in Black) was a dick. But you can see some history with him and that there’s some pain behind those eyes. But they never go and fully develop him. But Elba is really good in the role. Tom Taylor play Jake Chambers, the young man who gets visions of Mid-World and Roland and all the shit going on with the Dark Tower. He gets some backstory, and you get a decently clear idea of who he is as a character. And I didn’t hate him, he was probably the most well developed character here (even if it’s not full-on development). And Taylor was really good in the role. Matthew McConaughey (alright, alright, alright) plays the Man in Black, the big threat to Mid-World, our world, and all worlds that are connected by the Dark Tower. He’s a wizard of sorts who can tell you something and you do it. He’s like a less interesting version of Kilgrave from “Jessica Jones”. And while McConaughey is clearly having a lot of fun in the role, his performance isn’t great. It’s average-ish. The rest of the actors in this movie range from fine to good. Serious waste of Jackie Earle Haley in this.

The score was composed by Tom Holkenborg (AKA Junkie XL) and it was okay. Bit generic, often reminded me of “The Da Vinci Code”. It’s not bad, but nothing stuck out to me as great or memorable. Most of it is just fairly typical stuff. Takes cues from action, horror, emotional drama, and more in the various tracks. It’s overall… fine.

This movie was directed by Nikolaj Arcel, and I think he did an average job. It’s clear that this movie was rushed into production, so a lot of the less than stellar stuff in direction and such might not be his fault. There is almost no tension here, and the movie looks really generic. For one of the most unique and interesting fantasy franchises, the adaptation sure looks bland. Admittedly there are moments in this movie where I had fun with some of the action. Mainly in parts where action gunslinging was happening, I kind of enjoyed those bits. But there’s also some action here that leaves no impact and just comes off as… meh. Let’s also talk about the visual effects. Some of them look good, and some were kind of bad… distractingly so. It’s kind of like what I said about the plot… messy.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 16% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 34/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,7/10.

As an adaptation of Stephen King’s books, “The Dark Tower” isn’t good. As a movie on it’s own, it’s slightly better but still not that good. Good things include a couple of performances, the character of Jake Chambers, and a couple of action moments. But the plot, most other characters, the music, and directing/cinematography/action range from meh to bad. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Dark Tower” is a 4,65/10. I didn’t want to dislike it… but I kind of did. I’d recommend skipping it.

My review of “The Dark Tower” is now completed.

I didn’t wanna dislike it. I wanted it to be good. *sigh*. At least I can still read the books.

“The Evil Within 2” Announcement Trailer!

Hello guys, hope you’re having a good day. Well, it’s that time of year again. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (more commonly known as E3) is currently going on and we’ve gotten some interesting trailers/reveals from it. So I’m gonna talk about them for the next couple of posts. So here we go.

The first trailer we’re talking about today is the announcement/reveal trailer for “The Evil Within 2”, the sequel to the 2014 horror game from game director Shinji Mikami. So what’s going on here? Well, first the story for the first game to give a little bit of context. Sebastian Castellanos (Anson Mount) is a police detective that gets sent with his colleagues Julie (Jennifer Carpenter) and Joseph (Yuri Lowenthal) to investigate a horrible massacre at an asylum.And when they get there they get dragged into a mindbending and quite fucked up adventure trying to stop an evil madman named Ruvik (Jackie Earle Haley). Now, onto the sequel. Sebastian (voice actor not confirmed) seems to get a report from Kidman (voice actor not confirmed) that Seb’s daughter (who we found out died), might actually be alive. So now he has to go on anotehr fucked up mission through the horrors of the mind. But the trailer not only reveals the existence of the game and reveals a little bit of plot, but there’s also a little bit of gameplay towards the end… and it looks like more of the first, which I’m okay with, because I really enjoyed the first game. And wait a minute, did they tease the return of the spider-lady from the first game? Oh shit. Now, will this game be able to scare me as much as the ninth chapter of the first game? Who the fuck knows. All I know is that this looks kind of creepy and mindbendy and yeah, I’m excited. “The Evil Within 2” is set to be released on Friday the 13th of October 2017… wait that’s this year, right in time for the “Month of Spooks”!

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for “The Evil Within 2”? And what did you think of the first game (if you played it)? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the madness, I mean trailer!

Series Review: Preacher – Season 1 (2016)

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The world of comic book/graphic novel adaptations is pretty huge. From movies, to video games, to TV-shows. Which means that there are a lot of different adaptations to choose from. And my guess is that we will keep getting these types of adapations until the end of time.

Ladies and gents… “Preacher”.

Welcome to the fictional town of Annville, Texas! In this town there’s a preacher named Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper). Jesse may have a bit of a shady past, but he at least tries to be a good preacher. However when a strange supernatural event at his church gives him a special power, things seem to take weird turn. So with the help of his new friend, the Irish vampire named Cassidy (Joesph Gilgun), Jesse has to try to figure out what the hell is going on. All of this while a few things happen to the side, including Jesse’s ex-girlfriend Tulip (Ruth Negga) suddenly showing up in town. And I’m not gonna say anything else because it’s quite the interesting plot that should be experienced rather than described. The plot of the show takes some very weird turns throughout, which gives the show a lot of personality and makes it stand out a lot within the world of comic book adaptations. I found the plot incredibly interesting and entertaining, constantly surprising me with everything it had up it’s sleeve.

Calling the characters in this show colorful would be quite an understatement. Jesse like I said, has a bit of a shady past which you gradually get to know more and more about as the show goes on. And I think Dominic Cooper was fantastic in the role, perfectly playing his part in this whole thing. Ruth Negga as Tulip, she’s cool and her performance was really good. Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy is just buckets of fun. From the first time I laid eyes on him I knew that I was gonna like him… but I didn’t think I was gonna love him as much as I did. There are also a whole lot of supporting characters that are just as entertaining as the main three people and have really good actors in their respective roles.

The score for the show was composed by Dave Porter, the same guy who did the music for “Breaking Bad”, anotehr show that aired on AMC. And I think that the stuff he composed for the show was good, working perfectly for scenes that it was used in. But there are also a lot of licensed tracks too, mostly within the country genre. And it all works because of the show not taking itself too seriously for that type of music, but also because of the Texas setting. There’s also a good amount of Johnny Cash in the soundtrack, which is always a plus in my book.

“Preacher” is based on the comic series that was created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon for Vertigo, a sort of subsidiary of DC Comics. And this show was developed by three people: Sam Catlin, Evan Goldberg, and Seth Rogen (Yes, that Seth Rogen). And while I haven’t read a single issue of the comic, I can still see that this show does a lot of things right. The directing in this show is terrific, it’s visually terrific. The action scenes are great, but even the more quiet talking scenes look great. I’ll give a wanring though, if you’re not a fan of blood and gore… yeah, this show has a lot of it. But if you’re like me and have a dark sense of humor, you’re really gonna enjoy the writing in this show. The humor is really dark and twisted and weird and I laughed a lot during the show.

This show has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes the season has an 89% (100% if you go by “Top Critics” only) positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 76/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,4/10 and is ranked #239 on the “Top 250 TV” list.

If you couldn’t tell, I love “Preacher”. The plot is really entertaining, the characters are really fun, the acting is great, the music is great, the directing is great, the action is great, and the humor is really funny. Time for my final score. OH LORD, JEBUZ CRUST! My final score for “Preacher” season 1 is a 9,94/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval 

My review of “Preacher” season 1 is now completed.

Billy-Ray was a preacher’s son And when his daddy would visit he’d come along.

Beyond the Cover Blogathon: Shutter Island

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Hello there, ladies and gentlemen of the internets. I believe you’re asking yourself what the hell is going on here, and don’t worry, I will explain it all to you. I decided about a week ago(ish) that I would take part in a Blogathon held by the terrific Kristina of Speakeasy and the also terrific Liz of Now, Voyaging. The theme of this Blogathon is “Beyond the Cover”, or “Movies based on Books” as the simple man would call it. I found the idea rather intriguing and had the thought “Hey, I read books and I watch movies… maybe I should take part?” and then I signed up. So now we’re here, ready to take on this topic.

The book/movie I have chosen is “Shutter Island”. The book came out in 2003 and was written by Dennis Lehane (Sidenote: He might honestly be my favorite author). Then the movie came out in 2010, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Ben Kingsley. As you might’ve been able to tell, this isn’t going to be a conventional review. Instead I will see what the movie did different to the book and also compare the characters and their interactions (Minor spoilers might occur). But I might still give you a normal review of the movie as well in a separate post because, why the fuck not. So let’s do this stuff.

Teddy Daniels
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Edward “Teddy” Daniels is the main protagonist of both the book and the movie (where he’s played by Leonardo DiCaprio). Overall there is no major difference between the two characters, both are U.S. marshals from Boston (Like all Lehane protagonists), both have the same backstory. The only real difference is that there is a slight difference in how he’s physically described in the book and how he’s portrayed in the movie. In the book we get a brief mention that his head is shaved and that he’s a pretty big guy. He is also supposed to look pretty rugged. And in the movie he has a decent amount of hair on his head and he is also not a particularly big guy and he has the face of a DiCaprio. He’s pretty average when it comes to his physical attributes. He is a troubled character, but that is one of the things that make him interesting. DiCpario also does a good job of playing him.

Chuck Aule.
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Chuck Aule is the partner who had been assigned to help Teddy with the investigation of Rachel Solando’s disappearance. In the movie he’s played Mark Ruffalo. What makes this comparison interesting is that there are some differences in both physical description (sort of). In the book he’s described as being about 5’9” (180 cm) tall and a maybe not in perfect shape. He also has hands that look a bit too small in proportion to the rest of the body. In the movie (like I said before) he is played by Mark Ruffalo who is about 5’8”. But with the rest of the appearance (hair/skin) it seems they are pretty close in resemblance. But the biggest difference comes to how he’s portrayed. Ruffalo plays him very well, actually nailing the essence of the character. But in the book he is fucking hilarious, constantly having great lines. In the book he acts as both a comic relief and a serious marshal who helps Teddy. But in the movie he doesn’t have nearly as much awesome stuff to say which is a little sad.

Dr. John Cawley
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Generally speaking, he’s the same. Nothing to add really. Ben Kingsley’s great.

 

Story
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The basic story is (for you unfamiliar few) that two U.S. marshals are sent to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a patient there. Basic plot is pretty much the same in both the book and the movie. The only differences come in the form of parts being left out. There is for example a part in the book where Teddy has an argument with his dead wife Dolores which ends with him accidentally cutting himself while shaving and being pissed at her. The ending is basically the same as well, I won’t go into detail about it because I’m sure there are at least a few out there who haven’t read the book or seen the film. I’m just saying, they’re basically the same with minor changes done in the film.

Dialogue

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LD – “Ya know that asshole, Markus?” BK – “Yes?” LD – “Yeah, he’s got a great blog.”

This might seem like an odd topic to bring up, but it’s one that I’ve been givin’ some thinkin’ over the past… day. To prepare for this post I read through the book (for the fourth time) and also rewatched the movie (third or fourth time seeing it) and I noticed some things regarding the dialogue in the movie. While the basics of it is intact, a good amount of dialogue has either been altered or removed. I mentioned before how Chuck doesn’t say as much fun stuff as he does in the book, and that’s just the start of it. Relatively large chunks of dialogue that existed in the book has been removed, including a good amount of dialogue from the final confrontation near the end. Having read the book and then moving on to the film in such a quick succession makes these changes very clear which actually annoys me a little bit. I guess a lot of these exchanges were cut out to keep the runtime on the shorter side, but I wouldn’t mind if they made the movie a bit longer to keep those really interesting bits of dialogue in it. But I guess they wanted to keep it at a higher pace and not keep people watching for “too” long… *sigh*.
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What the movie did well
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The previous bit might’ve made me sound like I was just complaining about the film, so let’s just relax and quickly talk about what it did right. The plot holds very well, Scorsese’s directing is terrific, all of the performances are somewhere between really good and fantastic, the music choices (though few) are great, the cinematography is gorgeous and the ending (if you think about it) is absolutely terrific. The movie is also very suspenseful makes for a really interesting and gripping watch.

Conclusion
So those were my thoughts on the book/movie differences for “Shutter Island”. What do you think of this movie? What do you think of the book? Leave any and all thoughts you have in the comments. Also, I might post a regular review for it as well in the near future. So maybe look forward to that! With that said, I will now leave you with a goodbye of some kind and my favorite image/still from the movie.
Have a good one!
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Movie Review: Robocop (2014)

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Remakes are happening all the time. Some good like “3:10 To Yuma” and Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy. Then there are shit ones like the 2013 version of “The Lone Ranger”. Then we have remakes that get reviews so mixed, that they wake the interest of people even more. That recently happened for this reviewer fairly recently with a remake of one of the most undreground hits of all time…”Robocop”. So what did this reviewer think of the remake that has gotten a PG-13 rating instead of the M rating the original had.

Ladies and Gentlerobots…”Robocop”!…The remake.

In 2028, company Omnicorp has the leading grasp on robotic technology. Mostly for military needs overseas. But they want to expand it to have for police based needs in the US. But the people are not too happy about it. The guy who want to put it in the hands of cops, Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) really wants to push the idea forward. He looks for valid candidates to put this technolgy on. Mainly people who have lost limbs and been in the army and shit. But they find no good one. Enter police officer Alex James Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) who after coming home from a regular day of work and checking why his car alarm is going off an hour or so later…gets blown up. So naturally he gets picked out, his wife (Abbie Cornish) signs the papers that basically say “Yes I allow scientists to do weird robot shit with my husband” and he gets rebuïlt by Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman). So after he wakes up and stuff, he goes on a smaller rampage just because he is scared and don’t know what the hell is going on or where the hell he is. But after getting shut down and getting everything explained to him by the good Dr. Norton, he will be tasked to become the first ever…Robocop (Roll the credits…oh wait). So yeah, they did some changes to the origin story a little bit and drags the whole transformation into Robocop out until circa the 30 minute mark. Then he becomes Robocop. But changes aren’t always so bad (Except if Michael Bay makes them), they might actually help. And I feel that the dragging out until the transformation thing was kinda smart, considering it gives it a little more buildup. But they try to make the entire story thing a shit-ton more complicated which kinda takes away from the charm a little bit. And since they make it more complicated…it kinda loses its edge a little bit. Also…it’s PG-13…so no ultra violence to make it more entertaining…damn. Also, they reversed the character of Robocop a little bit. In the original, he had to learn to become more human. In this one he need to learn to be more robotic. So yeah…changes!

The characters, I’m gonna be honest are kinda jsut there to be characters and fill out space. They are not here for anything else. The only one I even remotely cared for was Alex (Robocop) since he was the main protagonist with any development. Oh wait…Dr. Norton had some too…but not as much. So the characters are not the strong suit of this movie.

The music is something I liked in this. It is exactly what you’d expect from this type of movie…techno-esque things and a few rock tracks. And I really enjpyed that. Also, minor spoiler (but still not) for the end credits. They played the song “I fought The Law” by The Clash on the end credits…and that gets some major points from me.

The special effects in this…they are honestly really good. Those are one of the few things driving this movie forward. Also the action scenes, while brief, are surprisingly well done and actually enjoyable…even if they are few and far between. And this movie looks really, really good. Good job director-guy.

Reception for “Robocop” has been very mixed. For example: Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 49% rating. Metacritic gave it a 52/100 rating. The things in this movie that has gotten most praise were the performances and the looks of it. But getting criticism for the lack of violence and social satire in it. And to top this off, imdb.com has given this movie a score of 6,5/10.

So I have given my opinions on the movie and is ready to throw it a score. The score for “Robocop”…the remake, is a 6,89/10 and a recommendation rent it. This movie is not bad…it’s quite good. But it is not as fun as the original.

Review is now completed.

Your move, creep!