Vulcan Stev's Database

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Life Near an Iowa Cornfield: Sept 27, 2009

Where to begin?

PIT #3 is back at Timothy Christian and giving Mrs. VandeVort as hard a time as his brother did when we first moved to the area.  He his happy that his enforced review of the Yellow Belt form for Tae Kwon Do is over and we are now studying the Camo Belt form.  His skills as an RPG gamer are growing, enough that I’d consider taking a family vacation to a nearby convention.

PIT #2 is now a sophomore (*shudder*).  With his sister gone, he’s establishing his own identity.  He’s a member of chorus, the drama department, AcDec, and the “I can put a car into a sideways spin on gravel” club.  He’s trying to convince daddy that because we are now Camo Belts that we need to enroll in weapons class.  He’s also VERY happy that Saturday mornings no longer involve spending the day counting cans.

 Pvt Black Spartan (formerly known as PIT #1) finished Basic back in August.  She’s now at GoodFellow AFB getting her AIT or as she puts it “Learning to be intelligent”.  She’s found a group of gamers on base and has weekly D&D sessions with her new friends.  She still plays D&D with us on Sunday afternoons via SKYPE.  She just recently earned the right to leave base on pass and wear civies while not on base.

Mrs. VS is back to work.  She’s interpreting for fourth grade student.  Aside from having to deal with an entire class of uncooperative children, she’s glad to be back at work.  She has finished her chemotherapy but has started radiation treatments.  I’m just glad she’s still here.

VS is enjoying the challenges of his new job.  Last week I got to design the entire contest the paper is conducting for a ticket giveaway.  I’m glad I’m using my degree again.  This fall our church decided to help our sister church (an urban multi-ethnic church) start their new Wednesday evening children’s programs.  The logistics of transporting all the puppets, gear, lesson materials, and whatnot can get pretty interesting now that the can van is no longer at my beck and call.  We’re getting it done.

There now you’re up to date.

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September 27, 2009 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: GI Joe The Rise of Cobra

g_i_joe_ver12Starring:
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje …  Heavy Duty
Christopher Eccleston …  James McCullen / Destro
Grégory Fitoussi …  Baron de Cobray
Joseph Gordon-Levitt …  The Doctor / Rex Lewis
Leo Howard …  Young Snake Eyes
Karolina Kurkova …  Courtney A. Kreiger / Cover Girl
Byung-hun Lee …  Storm Shadow
Sienna Miller …  Anastasia ‘Ana’ DeCobray / Baroness
David Murray …  James McCullen – 1641
Rachel Nichols …  Shana ‘Scarlett’ O’Hara
Kevin J. O’Connor …  Dr. Mindbender
Gerald Okamura …  Hard Master
Ray Park …  Snake Eyes
Jonathan Pryce …  U.S. President
Dennis Quaid …  General Hawk

Synopsis: An elite team made up of allied military personel fights the good fight.  Adding new members to the team, the unit takes on Destro, the Baroness, Storm Shadow and witnesses the birth of a new world-wide terrorist organization, Cobra.

Reviewers: Vulcan Stev, Pvt. Black Spartan (formerly known as PIT #1), PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.5 pointed ears
I am a fan of the Larry Hama comic book series published by Marvel Comics.  I still own my complete set of G.I. Joe comics.  I am one of those fans that felt the cartoon was an absolute waste of air time.  I can recite you chapter and verse of Storm Shadow’s origin, his transformation from villain to hero and back.  In my mind Scarlett and Snake Eyes are a couple and the Pit was originally located under the Chaplain’s assistant School at Fort Wadsworth.

I am one of the fans that Hasbro and Paramount did NOT want to alienate with this two hour introduction to another potential box office franchise.  For the most part the producers were successful.  This is not a film based on reality.  It is not a treatise on how to fight terrorism.  It is a thriller from start to finish.

The producers were smart enough to set the movie into a continuity of its own without relying on the comic book or the cartoon series.  Stephen Sommers also had the brains to hire Larry Hama as a consultant on the film.  Larry Hama knows the G.I. Joe universe cold.

What did I think were the problems with this film?  First the implication that Rip-Cord was able to make it onto the team solely by being Duke’s friend.  G.I. Joe is supposed to be the BEST of the Best.  Those acceleration suits were completely unneccessary.  Brandon Fraiser’s cameo detracted from the film.  Finally excuse me for being a raving fanboy here… Scarlet and Snake Eyes 4Evar ’nuff said.

Pvt. Black Spartan – 1.8 pointed ears
This movie was nowhere near as bad as the critics implied.  My first trip off base to a civilian theater in forever would’ve been a treat if the theater didn’t have as many technical difficulties.  This movie is obviously a two hour preview for the actual series coming soon.

I had given this movie 2 pointed ears then proceeded to complain to Dad about the laughable military protocol.  Dad insisted that I deduct some for my complaints.  Most of the problems with military protocol and procedure are ones that non-military folks will never notice.

PIT #2  – 1.9 pointed ears.
This is my first exposure to the G.I. Joe universe.  I was suitably impressed with the concept that I’m looking forward to the actual movie.  This two-hour preview for the eventual movie is the best commercial I’ve ever seen.

PIT #3 – 2 pointed ears
This movie rocked.  There was absolutely nothing about this movie that made it bad.  Massive explosions, action, explosions, no kissing, explosions.  Did I mention the explosions?

7.2 pointed ears out of 8.

Aside from this being an obvious Part I, this movie provides  2 hours of mindless entertainment.  The violence is cartoonish at best.  If mild language and cartoon violence are acceptable then this is a nice way to spend an evening.

September 22, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

harry_potter_and_the_half_blood_prince_ver19Starring:
Daniel Radcliffe …  Harry Potter
Rupert Grint …  Ron Weasley
Emma Watson …  Hermione Granger
Jim Broadbent …  Professor Horace Slughorn
Elarica Gallacher …  Waitress
Robbie Coltrane …  Rubeus Hagrid
Michael Gambon …  Professor Albus Dumbledore
Maggie Smith …  Professor Minerva McGonagall
Alan Rickman …  Professor Severus Snape
Bonnie Wright …  Ginny Weasley
James Phelps …  Fred Weasley
Oliver Phelps …  George Weasley
Julie Walters …  Molly Weasley
Mark Williams …  Arthur Weasley
David Thewlis …  Remus Lupin

Synopsis: In the sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, and in both wizard and muggle worlds Lord Voldemort and his henchmen are increasingly active. With vacancies to fill at Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledor persuades Horace Slughorn, back from retirement to become the potions teacher, while Professor Snape receives long awaited news. Harry Potter, together with Dumbledore, must face treacherous tasks to defeat his evil nemesis.

Reviewers: Vulcan Stev, Mrs. VS, PIT #1/Pvt Spartan, PIT #2, PIT #3

Vulcan Stev: 1.4 pointed ears
I have never read any of the Harry Potter books.  When my children complain about things the movie left out of the previous novels, it usually didn’t matter much to me.  The movies have, to this point, been able to stand on their own.  HPatHBP is the first time that I, as a non-reader of the novels, could sense something was missing.  Don’t get me wrong, the movie was still enjoyable.  There was just to much unexplained.  Harry’s being forced to give up the textbook seemed, from my vantage point, to be more jealousy from his fellow students than it was a necessity to get rid of the book.  The whole sub-plot of the hor-cruxes seemed to be given short shrift.

Warner Bros. determined that it would be impossible to do adequate justice to the Deathly Hallows in one 2-hour movie.  After watching HBP, I wonder if they shouldn’t have done the same thing with book six.  How hard would it have been to film HBP as a two-parter release part one at Memorial Day and then part two at Labor Day.

Mrs. VS: 1.4 pointed ears
This movie was a little confusing.  I had a difficult time following parts of this story.  The part of the story where Harry is attacked in the cave was VERY creepy.

Pvt Spartan/PIT #1: 1.5 pointed ears
Watching this movie without my family was a bittersweet experience.  This was a good movie but a terrible adaptation.  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a very misleading title.  The book is more about the discovery of Voldemort’s horcruxes and setting up lots of things for the final book.  There is lots of underplay relational issues that are left out of the movie.

Non-readers of the books might be confused by this movie.

PIT #2: 1.7 pointed ears
The was a decent movie.  However the producers tried to cram wa-a-ay to much stuff into a two and a half hour movie.  What I’ve read of the book, it should have been turned into 2 two-hour movies at least.

PIT #3: 1.4 pointed ears
In addition to all the kissing (yecch!) this movie left out a lot of the novel it was adapting.  The parts they did film where done nicely.  I didn’t like the fact that the movie showed an attack on the Weasleys.  Daddy explained that it probably was done to lump all the attacks by the Death Eaters into one attack that mattered.  All in all a decent movie.

7.4 pointed ears out of 10.

The overall consensus of the VS family that this movie was too short for the material was trying to cover.  If you own the first five you’ll definitely be owning this one as well.  This film is a little too intense for younger viewers without parental supervision.

September 12, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I’m ba-ack

It’s been awhile but I think I’ve got the modem problems fixed to the point of being able to blog again.  So where to begin?  There’ll be some changes coming to the blog.  I’ll still be writing about gaming but I’ll branching out to cover some of my other interests.  I also won’t be putting up daily content.  One of the things that came out of my enforced hiatus was PIT #3 expressing his happiness that Daddy wasn’t spending EVERY NIGHT at the laptop writing about gaming instead of actually playing.

Updates on the V.S. family:

Mrs. V.S. has finished her chemo treatments.  She is back at work interpreting for a 4th grade deaf student.  She goes to see the Radiology Oncologist on Wednesday and we learn at that point whether she’ll be undergoing radiation therapy.  Her hair is growing back, unfortunately it isn’t returning in the appropriate color.

PIT #1 is now Pvt. Spartan.  She is done with basic and is now undergoing A.I.T.  She’ll be back to providing her unique insights into the movie reviews (in fact she’s already phoned in her first).  She’s not completely online yet as her new laptop does not have net access inside her barracks.

PIT #2 is back in school.  He’s in Ac Dec this year and is looking forward to being the oldest at home.  He’s also back in Tae Kwon Do and will be testing for his camo belt next weekend.

PIT #3 has discovered Wizard’s 101.  He’s not as enthralled with 4e he terms it “offline gaming”.  When I asked him to clarify he responded that 4e wasn’t role playing.  It was more like the games he plays online only without the computer.

Me… I have sold the redemption center.  I’m back to punching a clock instead of working for myself.  This is not a step backwards as I’m using my degree.  I’m working as an ad designer for a local paper and loving it.  I’m also working on a “sekrit pojikt” that I’ll be sharing as soon as it’s ready to go.

What changes are coming to blog?  There will be still be gaming stuff.  However, my first love/obsession is movies.  I’ll be blogging more about films.  The family will still be doing reviews, however we’ll be adding blog posts about the goofs we picked up on while watching the films we’ve reviewed.  I’ll be adding some columns about comic books as well as bringing back Goober’s Words of Wisdom.

So bang the drum, sound the gong, let it be known far and wide.  Stev is back.

September 6, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Movies, Mrs. Vulcan Stev's Fight, RPG | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: The Spirit

spirit_ver14Starring:
Jaime King …  Lorelei Rox
Gabriel Macht …  The Spirit / Denny Colt
Dan Gerrity …  Det. Sussman
Arthur the Cat …  Himself
Kimberly Cox …  Damsel in Distress
Brian Lucero …  Thug #1
David B. Martin …  Thug #2
Larry Reinhardt-Meyer …  Officer MacReady
Frank Miller …  Liebowitz
Eva Mendes …  Sand Saref
Eric Balfour …  Mahmoud
Samuel L. Jackson …  The Octopus
Louis Lombardi …  Pathos, etc.
Scarlett Johansson …  Silken Floss
Sarah Paulson …  Ellen Dolan

Synopsis from IMDb: Down these mean streets a man must come. A hero born, murdered, and born again. When a Rookie cop named Denny Colt returns from the beyond as The Spirit, a hero whose mission is to fight against the bad forces from the shadows of Central City. The Octopus who kills anyone unfortunate enough to see his face who has other plans. He’s going to wipe out the entire city. The Spirit tracks this cold hearted killer from the city’s rundown warehouses, to the damp catacombs, to the windswept waterfront all the while facing a bevy of beautiful women who either want to seduce, love or kill the masked crusader.

Reviewers: VS, PIT #1, (PITs 2 & 3 took a pass to watch the All Star Crew Chief Challenge)

VS: – 1.25 pointed ears
I’ve never read the Will Eisner comic.  I saw this movie as a complete virgin to the Spirit universe.  That said this movie confused the heck out of me.  It was beautifully shot, Frank Miller is proving that he understands directing as much as he understands writing and illustrating comics.  However the story is difficult to follow the first time through.  The movie needs at least two viewings.

PIT#1: – 1 pointed ear
This movie was hard to follow.  I was completely lost until about the half-way point.  I do want to see this again.

2.25 out of 4 pointed ears
Rentable, if you like Sin City or film noir you’ll like The Spirit.  Adult themes, though the partial nudity is not in your face.  Not recommended for impressionable viewers.  I do recommend at least two viewings of this film.

July 3, 2009 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Movie Reviews, Movies | , , , , | Leave a comment

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace

star_warsIStarring:
Liam Neeson …  Qui-Gon Jinn
Ewan McGregor …  Obi-Wan Kenobi
Natalie Portman …  Queen Padmé Amidala
Jake Lloyd …  Anakin Skywalker
Pernilla August …  Shmi Skywalker
Frank Oz …  Yoda (voice)
Ian McDiarmid …  Senator Palpatine
Oliver Ford Davies …  Gov. Sio Bibble
Ray Park …  Darth Maul
Hugh Quarshie …  Capt. Panaka
Ahmed Best …  Jar Jar Binks (voice)
Anthony Daniels …  C-3PO
Kenny Baker …  R2-D2
Terence Stamp …  Supreme Chancellor Valorum
Brian Blessed …  Boss Nass

Synopsis from IMDb:
The evil Trade Federation, led by Nute Gunray (Carson) is planning to take over the peaceful world of Naboo. Jedi’s Qui-Gon Jinn (Neeson) and Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) are sent to confront the leaders. But not everything goes to plan. The two Jedis escape, and along with their new Gungan friend, Jar Jar Binks (Best) head to Naboo to warn Queen Amidala (Portman), but droids have already started to capture Naboo and the Queen is not safe there. Eventually they land on Tatooine, where they become friends with a young boy known as Anakin Skywalker (Lloyd). Qui-Gon is curious about the boy, and sees a bright future for him. The group must now find a way of getting to Coruscant and to finally solve this trade dispute, but there is someone else hiding in the shadows. Are the sith really extinct? Is the Queen who she really says she is? and what’s so special about this young boy? All these questions and more in the first chapter of the epic Star Wars.

Reviewers VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS: 1.75 pointed ears
I don’t understand the hate bestowed on this movie by supposed fans.  Yes, Jar-Jar was annoying.  Yes, the acting was wooden and yes, George Lucas proves once again that his skills lie in story telling and not in directing.  Watching this movie again I was struck by the fact that the CGI characters are more “animated” than the actors.  Check out Sebulba’s introductory scene and the cut-scenes of Qui Gon’s party  during the pod race.  Sebulba is all over the place and his humanoid dining companions just sit there.  Jar Jar is moving all over the booth while the humans sit there motionless.

The more obvious points of Lucas the story-teller are when we’re told that Obi Wan is headstrong instead of shown.  Being told about the suffering on Nayboo instead of being shown the suffering.  The movie has lots of “Wow!” moments.  However “wow” moments do not make a movie continuable watchable.  That said, this is still a fun family friendly flick and is not deserving of the “hate”.

PIT #1 – 1.75 pointed ears
Die Jar Jar die (this review was tweeted in and that is the sum total of the review)

PIT #2 – 2 pointed ears
This was a very nice start to the saga.  I like looking for the subtle hints and foreshadowing that Lucas interspersed throughout.  I’ve been playing Lego Star Wars with PIT #3.  Some of the scenes make a heck of lot more sense now that I’ve refreshed my memory on the movie.  Pod racing is harder than it looks.

PIT #3 – 1.9 pointed ears
This is my introduction to the Star Wars.  I don’t remember watching the other Star Wars movies until after I’d seen this one.  Qui Gonn Jinn is my all time favorite Jedi.  It was a shame that he had to die.

Overall 7.4 out of 8
As far as prequels go I’ve seen better and I’ve seen worse.  This movie could’ve been a heckuva lot better with some editing or if it had been cut to about 45 minutes and combined with II.  Thank you Lord that Abrams didn’t follow Lucas’ formula with the Trek reboot.

If you’re the type that buys DVDs you probably already own this one.  If this is your first exposure to Star Wars, don’t judge the rest of the saga by this opening round.

June 6, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Angels & Demons

angels_and_demons_ver2Starring:
Tom Hanks …  Robert Langdon
Ewan McGregor …  Camerlengo Patrick McKenna
Ayelet Zurer …  Vittoria Vetra
Stellan Skarsgård …  Commander Richter
Pierfrancesco Favino …  Inspector Olivetti
Nikolaj Lie Kaas …  Assassin
Armin Mueller-Stahl …  Cardinal Strauss
Thure Lindhardt …  Chartrand
David Pasquesi …  Claudio Vincenzi
Cosimo Fusco …  Father Simeon
Victor Alfieri …  Lieutenant Valenti
Franklin Amobi …  Cardinal Lamasse
Curt Lowens …  Cardinal Ebner
Bob Yerkes …  Cardinal Guidera
Marc Fiorini …  Cardinal Baggia

Synopsis from IMDb:
Despite his notorious relationship with the Church, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is once again called upon to decipher the clues to a catastrophic conspiracy. The Pope has died, and before conclave can begin to determine his successor, the four preferitti (primary hopefuls for the papacy) are kidnapped. An ominous threat of their hourly demise, along with the complete annihilation of Vatican City, is issued as an elaborate revenge scheme for a persecuted group known as the Illuminati. With their meager time limit steadily counting down, Langdon, accompanied by beautiful physicist Vittoria Vetra, must travel throughout Rome to unravel the carefully hidden signs that will lead them to a terrifying adversary, a harrowing discovery, and the shocking truth.

Reviewers VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.9 pointed ears
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Christian.  Although I have differences of belief with Catholics over interpretations of some scripture, I harbor no ill-will towards them in general.  I have not read the Dan Brown novel on which this movie is based.  Ron Howard has made a much better movie than this time around.  He has crafted a thrill ride from start to finish.  This movie states, quite accurately that science and faith do NOT have to be mortal enemies.  In fact Robert Langdon says that faith is a gift.

The plot twist at the end completely took me by surprise.  If you’ve seen the movie or read the novel you know what twist I’m talking about.  If not, well I’m not going to spoiler it for you.  This movie flowed easily from start to finish.

PIT #1 – 2 pointed ears
Even though the novel Angels & Demons came before the DaVinci Code, the producers did a nice job of turning this movie into a sequel.  There were no “What the…?” moments everything flowed logically.  The plot twist caught completely by surprise, but it wasn’t a “Where the Heck did this twist come from” it was an “Oh My, THAT’S what was going on” twist.

This is not my last review for the database.  I’m just taking a basic training sabbatical.  I’ll be back when I can start watching movies again and e-mail Daddy my reviews.

PIT #2 – 2 pointed ears
The flow was logical and consistent even the surprise plot twist at the end.  This movie had a National Treasure feel to it.  I like the History Channel, and anytime history can be incorporated into a action-packed film I’ll be watching it.  I did not see this twist coming at all.

PIT #3 – 1.8 pointed ears
This movie was a little tough to understand.  I don’t think 10-year olds where the target audience.  There was NO kissing (Yay Ron Howard).  Once the action got going I liked the movie a little more.  Daddy doesn’t believe me, but I suspected the plot twist from the beginning.

Overall 7.7 out of 8
This is a good sequel to the DaVinci code.  There are some intense images of torture and mutilation in this film.  The language is kept down.  Families of faith do not need to be concerned about this film, although it does not “defend” the faith, it does not tear down the faith either.

Highly reccomended.

June 4, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life Near an Iowa Cornfield 5-30-2009

My presence online has been greatly diminished this month.  It has been a hectic month for the VS household.  Mrs. VS has begun  the weekly chemo treatments (see Day 146 for more info).  She’s been feeling the stress.

PIT #1 graduated High School last week Sunday (5-24-09).  So we’ve been running hither and thither attending open houses, final concerts, Baccalaureate, graduation and what-not.  Pastor Gary (yes the same Pastor that Goober helps) preached Baccalaureate.  I was left wondering why Senior Awards needed to be presented after Baccalaureate and why each presenter had to spend 15 minutes re-reading the info printed in the program.  PIT #3 summed up everyone’s feelings “That was two hours of the most boring thing I’ve ever sat through, Daddy”

Graduation went off without a hitch.  PIT #1 has closed down one chapter of her life and is prepared to embark on the next chapter.  She heads off to basic training on the 31st of May.

Memorial Day we went to a Renaissance Faire in the Amana Colonies.  Wasn’t sure how the family would like it but all five of us enjoyed ourselves.  PITs 2&3 want to go to the one in Des Moines over Labor Day.  Mrs. VS enjoyed herself as well.  I picked up a cloak and two daggers.  PIT #1 got a Katana blade to go with her Black Belt.  PIT #3 remarked that the Faire was like a D&D game at full size.

Me? I’ve been working at a new job and trying to juggle the career and the can company.  I’m the new Ad Designer for a local paper, The Record in Conrad, Iowa.  I’m using my degree and enjoying myself immensely.  The new job is 9-5 and thus my free time has evaporated somewhat.  I usually work on blog posts on the weekends and get a full week’s worth written.  However the past few weekends have been busy with graduation stuff.  Uncle Bear has written some guest-posts to get me back up and running (Thank You My Liege).  I should be back to writing tomorrow after we drop off PIT #1.

We have a farewell party for PIT #1 tonight and PIT #2 starts Driver’s Ed on Monday.  Hoping to catch Angels & Demons at the dollar theater.

May 30, 2009 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

x_men_origins_wolverine_ver3Starring:
Hugh Jackman …  Logan / Wolverine
Liev Schreiber …  Victor Creed
Danny Huston …  William Stryker
Will i Am …  John Wraith
Lynn Collins …  Kayla Silverfox
Kevin Durand …  Fred Dukes
Dominic Monaghan …  Bradley
Taylor Kitsch …  Remy LeBeau / Gambit
Daniel Henney …  David North / Agent Zero
Ryan Reynolds …  Wade Wilson
Scott Adkins …  Weapon XI
Tim Pocock …  Scott Summers
Julia Blake …  Heather Hudson
Max Cullen …  Travis Hudson
Troye Sivan …  Young James Howlett

Synopsis by VS:
This is the origin story of Wolverine as interpreted by David Benioff and Skip Woods, the writers.  Many of the established facts from Marvel’s convuluted backstory of the character are incorporated into this movie.  As the story progresses the audience is treated to  revelations of Logan’s powers, training, and how he got his indestructible skeleton.

Reviewers: VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.5 pointed ears
I’m being a little more harsh than the kids.  Yes we are treated to Wolverine’s origin story.  The character’s backstory as revealed in the comics is convoluted at best and I’m not going to fault the writers for picking and choosing the elements they want to use.  I’ve seen complaints online about the use of Professor X and Cyclops in a Wolverine origin as neither of those characters seems to know anything about Wolverine in the first movie.  This is handled fairly well in my opinion as Wolverine does not directly interact with either character during the course of the film.

I’m not going to rail against the bending of the laws of physics this film inflicts as it is a COMIC BOOK adaptation.  I can view the movie for what it is.  My main problem with the film is that story focuses too much on style and not enough on substance.  This is an origin film I want to know WHY the character is who he is. 

The other reason I have for lowering my rating is the fact that this film is inconsistant with the previous three.  In the first movie, Wolverine’s claws are revealed to be mechanical (look at the X-Ray) and completely metallic (Magneto would not have been able to bend bone).   Yes, I know that Logan’s claws are bone and are part of his natural mutation in the comics but let’s try to stay consistant with what has been established for the film universe.  Sabertooth, if he is Wolverine’s brother does not seem to care to much about their meeting in the first movie.  You’d think that Sabertooth would’ve shown more interest in Wolverine in the previos movies if the relationship is as described in Origins.

PIT #1 – 2 pointed ears
It was interesting to finally see Wolverine’s background.  Things that have hinted at in the other X-Men films are revealed in this movie.  I liked the fact that the memory loss is attributed to something other than a technological brainwash.  I also enjoyed the fact that Wolverine’s past was revealed to be part of the larger Marvel film universe and not an isolated character that just runs into these folks in the first movie.

PIT #2 – 2 pointed ears
It was very nice that the writers tied Wolverine’s backstory into the larger picture.  The helicopter destruction sequence was very  nice.  Nothing in this movie detracted from an enjoyable filmgoing experience.

PIT #3 – 1.8 pointed ears
This was a very good movie.  I didn’t like the fact that Logan lost his  memories.  Yes, I know that it’s part of the character.  Daddy has explained it to me so many times.  That doesn’t change the fact that I don’t like it.

Overall 7.3 out of 8 pointed ears.
Nice summer popcorn flick.  This can be watched without needing to see the first three X-Men movies.  This film has received far too much bashing from fans.  It isn’t as bad as the pundits make it out to be.

May 30, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Lethal Weapon

lethal_weaponStarring:
Mel Gibson …  Sergeant Martin Riggs
Danny Glover …  Sergeant Roger Murtaugh
Gary Busey …  Mr. Joshua
Mitchell Ryan …  General Peter McAllister
Tom Atkins …  Michael Hunsaker
Darlene Love …  Trish Murtaugh
Traci Wolfe …  Rianne Murtaugh
Jackie Swanson …  Amanda Hunsaker
Damon Hines …  Nick Murtaugh
Ebonie Smith …  Carrie Murtaugh
Bill Kalmenson …  Beat Cop
Lycia Naff …  Dixie

Synopsis from IMDb: Los Angeles police sergeant Roger Murtaugh, who has just turned 50 years old, is assigned to investigate the death of Amanda Hunsaker, a prostitute who is one of the daughters of bank president Michael Hunsaker, a friend whom Roger has known since they were in the Vietnam War together, but Roger hasn’t seen Michael in 12 years. Beginning with this investigation, Roger is assigned a new partner Sergeant Martin Riggs, who has been suicidal ever since his wife Victoria “Vicky” Lynn Riggs died in a car crash in 1984. Riggs and Murtaugh’s investigation of Amanda’s death reveals that she was murdered. Upon hearing of this, Michael tells Murtaugh that he would like for whoever is behind Amanda’s murder to end up dead, like Amanda. Riggs and Murtaugh’s investigation continues and it makes them the targets of Shadow Company, a group of former Vietnam War era mercenaries who now bring heroin into the Los Angeles County region. Shadow Company’s leader, General Peter McAllister, and his right hand man, Mr. Joshua, want Riggs and Murtaugh dead, no matter what the cost

Reviewers: VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.75 pointed ears
Rated “R” when it first came out it is pretty tame by today’s standards.  Use of the “F”-bomb, drug use and some nudity this movie may not be suitable for your younger viewers.  The story, plot, and action still holds up 22 years later.  However, my kids were momentarily taken right out of the movie when Sgt Murtaugh uses his bag phone.  The backstory is a little dated as well.  When the characters mentioned “the war”, the PITs asked if they meant Iraq.  This is not the first buddy cop movie, but it is one of the best.

PIT #1 – 2 pointed ears
This movie did not need the items added to pad it out for an ‘R’ rating.  The language and nudity were unnecessary.

PIT #2 – 1.9 pointed ears
Riggs’ fighting style rocks.  That action sequence made the movie worthwhile.  I’d like to be trained in the crazy, ninja martial arts that Riggs knows.

PIT #3 – 1.5 pointed ears
I did not like the swearing and lack of clothing in the opening sequence.  The story about taking down drug dealers was pretty good.

7.15 pointed ears out of 8
With a few simple edits this film could’ve been more family friendly.  However, this is a nice mindless action flick.  Enjoyable enough if this genre is to your liking.  Only you can determine appropriate levels of language and violence for your audience.

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , , | Leave a comment