Sunday, June 30, 2013

The World Is Not Enough (1999)

Rating: 55%
Brosnan film #3, here's The World Is Not Enough.

Plot: The film starts off with Bond retrieving money for a billionaire named Sir Robert King only to witness the Swiss Banker getting assassinated in the process before telling any information about the person who killed an M16 agent. But shortly after bringing the money to King, the money turns out to be booby-trapped killing King. So M assigns Bond to protect King's daughter Elektra whom M believes is targeted to be captured and held ransom by former KGB agent Renard.

Okay Brosnan is still doing alright and we still have some nice while not great action scenes. And I kind of liked how they made the villain kind of interesting with how he has a bullet that blocks his senses and stuff like that. I would however agree with other people that the plot was a little confusing, at least in the sense that I wasn't always sure where precisely it was going. But what seems to really hurt this movie and I mean REALLY hurt it is Denise Richards' performance as Dr. Christmas Jones. Her performance apparently hurt this film to the point that she won Worst Supporting Actress at the Razzies and is commonly declared the worst Bond girl, bar none. This has been viewed to be the case for a couple of reasons 1) Just because she's wearing a tank top and short shorts, 2) the line "I thought Christmas only comes once a year." and 3) she wasn't very believable as a nuclear physicist because she's wearing a tank top and such short shorts and just plain her acting. All of this I only MOSTLY agree with. While I wasn't paying attention to her acting a whole lot, I will admit that she wasn't much of a character and I especially get it that even though her character did know nuclear stuff to help give Bond some information at what the antagonists where doing, that still didn't make her convincing seeing as most nuclear physicists probably close to never wear that kind of clothing on the job. But worst bond girl? That's a bit far. Because so far when I think of what falls in line to being a bad bond girl, is how they are bland and mostly forgettable. And what makes some bond girls the absolute worse are the ones that are mainly helpless bimbos/just plain bimbos such as Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever, Mary Goodnight in The Man With The Golden Gun, and Bibi Dahl in For Your Eyes Only. I mean come on guys, I can get disliking Richards' characters because she's suppose to be a nuclear physicist when she's really just a bad actress in clothes that aren't making her convincing, but I ask you; is that really worse then two bumbling, helpless women wearing nothing but their BIKINIS and a kind of annoying teenager sneaking into the hotel room of a guy in his mid-50s expecting to get laid the moment he comes in finding her naked in his bed?

And that's my review for The World Is Not Enough. While I can agree that Richards' characters is one of the worst Bond girls, there's enough from previous girls from these film for the to argue that calling her THE worst is too far. But that aside, it was a Bond film that still has a good Bond and has good action and a kind of interesting villain, it just needed improvement as far has understanding for sure what was happening in the plot during a good portion of the movie. It's not the absolute worst, but it's not the greatest.

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Rating: 65%
Okay Brosnan film #2 and altogether Bond film #18, here's how it turned out for me with Tomorrow Never Dies.

Plot: Media baron Elliot Carver who is the head of the Carver Media Group Network, is making plans to use a GPS encoder to provoke a war between China and United Kingdom in order to gain exclusive broadcast rights. M sends Bond to investigate by trying to get in contact with Paris, Bond's former girlfriends and Carver's trophy wife. But this becomes more difficult when Carver becomes aware of who Bond is and a Chinese spy named Wai Lin continues to interfere despite being on the same case.

Well to this films credits, it does for the most part act and have a lot of aspects to what makes a good Bond film. Brosnan was still doing a fairly good job as Bond, Wai Lin and for the most part Paris were good bond girls while not completely standing out, the action was great - I especially liked how we got more into Bond's car and the gadgets that it has considering that all that introducing from the previous film frankly seemed to have been for nothing. But what makes this film not exactly great is the villain and therefore the story. I'm all for the concept of starting a World War III and all that, but...starting it just for broadcast rights? That's...just...dumb. To be fair, you can argue that it at least makes Carver unique with what his evil plan it and why he's doing it. Heck, in terms of evil plot, one could argue that he's technically, kind of, sort of as unique as Goldfinger when you think about why he's doing it unlike a lot of the other villains. But the fact that it's for broadcast rights...that's just stupid - or at least to me. Granted you can argue that in a way it makes sense and it's interesting at how psychotic he really is, but that's my two cents to I digress.

And that's my review for Tomorrow Never Dies, it was great in terms of the Bond girls, the action and the gadgets, I just think the story and the motivation for the villain to be a little goofy despite how at the same time it makes him come out as a more memorable villain in a way. It's not the best, but it's still a nice action-packed Bond film.

Goldeneye (1995)

Rating: 80%With only seven more Bond films to watch, let's get started with Pierce Brosnan's films with Bond film #17, Goldeneye.

Plot: Xenia Onatopp steals a Eurocopter Tiger - which is designed to stand an electromagnetic pulse - and uses it to escape when she and General Arkady Ourumov use it to escape when they kill the staff of a bunker in Severnaya and steal the control disc to the Goldeneye satellite weapons. So the new M has sent Bond to stop them with the help of the only survivor from the bunker, Natalya Simonova.

 This movie easily puts Pierce Brosnan at a good start with his Bond. While Brosnan is no Connery anymore then the rest of the other Bonds, he fit the bill a lot closer then his predecessors. He was more action packed, he was more charming, and most noticeable to me, had a more younger look too James Bond then most of the other Bonds. Also Judi Dench turns out to become the new M for the franchise and she's starting off to a very strong start too. She's stronger, more strict, and isn't afraid to tell Bond how little tolerance she takes over who he really is. The action to this movie is also great as per usual, though where was an unique, amusing moment where Bond is chasing the bad guys with a tank. And it does have some gadgets to show us while there isn't an awful lot...though why the heck did they introduce the car with Q and actually never really use any of its features? The Bond girls were good for the most part - Natalya did start off as something of a damsel in distress, but she did get better as she was actually helping Bond. Xenia was...weird. Because the unique characteristic about her is that she gets sexual satisfaction from killing and torturing people. Again, that is a unique characteristic to her credit and makes her more memorable as a Bond girl, but...sheesh that woman was nuts. The villains for the most part were not completely memorable except for Sean Bean who I'm starting to wonder why he seems to be a villain in almost everything I've seen of him outside of The Lord of the Rings. Anyway, while his backstory wasn't done too incredibly well, it was something different from most of the other bond films, which is naturally something I often appreciate when it comes to a lot of the villains.  Finally, while I don't talk about the title sequences to these films an awful lot, this particular one was awesome! the sang, the visuals, it was just really entertaining.

And that's my review for Goldeneye. It had great action, a great new M, a Bond that's off to a fairly good start, two very good Bond girl even if one is particularly memorable for a very weird reason in my opinion, and it was an enjoyable film altogether

Friday, June 28, 2013

X-Men 3: The Last Stand

Rating: 55%
Alright everyone, we finally come to the last film for the X-men marathon. Let's finish going through all these films to date with X-Men: The Last Stand.

Plot: After the events of the second film, the government has become allies with the X-Men - helping with chasing Magneto and Mystique, and not going after the mutant population as a whole. But when a young mutant boy possess the power to take away, Worthington Labs uses him to develop a cure that can suppress the powers of the mutants, offering to cure anyone who wants it. Meanwhile, the X-Men find Jean Grey alive but becoming dangerous to everyone around her resulting in her accidentally killing Cyclops and joining forces with Magneto.

Now as far as what generally happens in the movie, it's fairly good. Because with this movie we see the world of mutants expand more then it ever did in X2, some characters like Colossus and Kitty Pride a.k.a. Shadowcat (but I think most of us like calling her just Kitty Pryde) get more screen time, we finally get the war that Magneto and Professor X have been talking about throughout the last two films, we even go into Jean Grey with her alternate personality known as Phoenix. All of this and a little more shows that X-Men: The Last Stand for the most part has the right story to make a great, effective film to finish the X-Men trilogy. Unfortunetly, how they execute it, doesn't leave people quite as satisfied as everybody would really like it to be. The more common reason why is that while it all wasn't done in a  "oh dear heaven no!" kind of bad way, it ended up lacking the atmosphere, emotion and all around soul that the first two movies had. Matthew Vaughn especially who was originally suppose to direct the movie pointed out that he did the script and all that before he dropped out and that his version of The Last Stand would've been 40 minutes longer and would've had more emotion and heart and that this one didn't really let the drama and the emotions just play. This was something that I more or less felt when I first saw this movie a couple of years ago. And while I wasn't too much into X-Men at the time, even after seeing this again where I've become a little more into it in term of both comics and TV, I was left admitting that it was lacking in the right kind of atmosphere and emotion that otherwise would've made this film a really big finale. One of the reasons I felt this way had to with the characters. Now while I do feel that there was development to some of them that worked or was done fairly well such as Wolverine, Beast and Storm, and how they interacted with each other, what was happening to everyone else among the X-Men was kind of off or not necessary. Main examples would be 1) Cyclops for one didn't really get much of a death. 2) Kitty and Cyclops sadly enough didn't have a whole lot of development even though they've become new members of the X-Men and it seemed like the right thing to do, to go into them even more after they were more noticeably introduced in X2. 3) throughout the film, there is a love triangle between Iceman, Kitty and Rouge that came out of no where, made little sense considering Rouge and Iceman's relationship during the second film, and was altogether not very emotional and kind of forced, and 4) the last scene with Professor X should've been really emotional, but with the lack of emotion and even music left what happened as something to just look at and go "Well alight then." then really having an emotion for it. Oh and just on a more personal note, I dislike what they did with Juggernaut with him not really acting serious and how his costume looked really stupid - especially with the helmet. The other reason is the climax at the very end which for the most part had great action, but not only did it not have a lot of emotion, it was a little confusing at what was happening during the first half of the final battle.

And that's my review for X-Men: The Last Stand. It had the right story and had some decent action, but it was made without the right atmosphere and emotion to let everything that happens concerning drama, characters or the climax just let it go and sink in and therefore make the whole thing a great way to finish the trilogy. Some people like Doug Walker will consider that it does anyway and view it as a guilty pleasure, but it's otherwise the weakest of the trilogy, and the second weakest X-Men film all around (unless you're among the people who treat Wolverine Origins like it doesn't exist at all.)

So that's all the X-Men films to date reviewed. Watching all of them again inducing First Class, it's a very mixed but otherwise enjoyable franchise. The trilogy on a whole was a well done way to introduce the whole world of X-Men despite whatever flaws each film had, Wolverine Origins had one or two interesting ideas but was otherwise just clumsy, and First Class has a couple of things that leave you confused about how it's suppose to connect with the trilogy but is otherwise a very smart and thought of prequel that succeeded in expanding the X-Men universe in film a little bit more. And now during the next 11 months we have The Wolverine during the end of July and X-Men: Days of Future Past as a sequel to First Class and technically The Last Stand. Both upcoming films can be great ways to help X-Men give us great films again as First Class started to do for the most part - while also becoming great parts of phase two of Marvel's films in general. But will they succeed? Tune in a month from now as we will begin to find out with The Wolverine.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Deer Hunter (1978)

Rating: 95%
The third to last best picture winner and the second to last one from the 70's, here's The Deer Hunter.

Plot: Mike, Nicky and Steven are Russian American steel mill workers who are drafted to fight in Vietnam. Shortly before this, Steven gets married to his pregnant girlfriend Angela, and the three friends along with their other friends Stanley, Axel and John go on one last deer hunt. What happens after that...I'll keep my mouth shut on.

I was told that this movie was good, but that didn't stop me from being surprised at how specifically good it was. The story was very well told, the acting was great, the choice of cast was rather remarkable in a way. I mean we have Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, John Cazale, even Christopher Walken was in this film giving a pretty good and likable performance, and I don't say that often when it comes to that guy to be frank. I should also note that this is sadly the last film John Cazale performed in before he died. He had terminal cancer and the studio had to be convinced by the director, Michael Cimino and Meryl Streep whom he was dating at the time (yeah I know right? who would've thought?) to be allowed to perform in the project and he sadly didn't live to see the film. But anyway, one of the main complaint people will have about this film is how in Vietnam, the Vietnamese are using Russian roulette with their POW's when it's been reported that there wasn't even a shred of that in the actual war. But other people like Roger Ebert argued - to which I agree with - it worked better that this film had that because it gave a really good symbolism that gives an ideal about war in general, not just Vietnam. And as the film progresses, it went much more into what war does in both symbolic and literal ways. However it there is one down I would find it that the film is a little bit too long. Not so much that a huge chunk should've been let out, but it still could've been a slight bit shorter.

And that's my review for The Deer Hunter. it's not recommended if you're after a historically accurate view of Vietnam, but it still tells a great story with excellent acting, very good symbolism, and is just a great film altogether with little wonder that it won best picture.  

Going My Way (1944)

Rating: 90%
Okay. Only four more best picture winners to go, let's get to the second to last winner to review from the 40's, Going My Way.

Plot: St. Dominic's is a catholic church that for the past 45 years (46 in October *drum Rimshot*) has been under the leadership and care of Father Fitzgibbon. When the church is facing financial problems, the bishop assigns Father Chuck O'Malley to help. But O'Malley goes on a rough head start when his informal appearance and attitude gets him into trouble. Nevertheless, O'Malley uses his charm and cleverness to try to transform the church and the people in the town for the better.

This is another film that's very light, charming and simple. But this one may have more charm, emotion, wit and dramatic moments then You Can't Take It With You at certain points. Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley was a very likable guy with his charming sort of optimism and cleverness on how to change the way things went in St. Dominic's and tries to help what's happening to Father Fitzgibbon and the townspeople. Bing Crosby's performance has been known to have been so good that he unsurprisingly won Best Actor for his performance for this film and also played the same character in The Bells of St. Mary's where he was at least nominated again for the same category. Now one argument against this film that I kind of noticed when I saw this movie again for reviewing is that O'Malley might not necessarily be a particularly well done character. That in the rough words of one audience reviewer in Rotten Tomatoes, Jim Hunter, he's not entirely good as a character because he's too perfect. And I can see that; he wasn't really challenged buy what was happening and there wasn't really a side that was any different from him appearing as anything less then practically flawless. But with this kind of movie, he's not really suppose to be. Even if some of the things he does is arguably too simplistic and some solutions to some problems are practically handed to him with ease, that doesn't exactly make him and therefore the film bad. Because even if that is the case, they handle it really well, sometimes with really good wit or charm, but otherwise with some really good emotional moments too. And there isn't exactly no conflict at all - there's one turn during the last half hour or so of the movie that for the most part was pretty dramatic and well timed. And it's not just O'Malley to pay attention to. Some of the other characters like Fitzgibbon and also Father O'Dowd were also very enjoyable. In fact Barry Fitzgerald was nominated for both leading and supporting role for being Fitzgibbon and won supposting. (Yeah I don't know how being nominated for both worked either.)

And that's my review for Going My Way it's a charming and witting film that despite some arguments, does have a fair amount of emotion and drama at some points and has some memorable characters, but most notably Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley. It's not the most conflicting or complex film, but it doesn't need to be to be a particularly enjoyable film. 

You Cant' Take It With You (1938)

Rating: 85%
Alright so finally I get to the last best picture winner to review from the 30's. So let's finish this decade with You Can't Take It With You.

Plot: Tony is the son of a wealthy banker, Anthony P. Kirby who has fallen in love with his secretary, Alice. Alice tries to arrange to have Tony's parents meet her eccentric family, but they all find out that her grandfather, Grandpa Vanderhof is the person responsible for stopping Anthony from destroying his neighborhood for a large deal.

This movie is kind of hard to review because it's definitely one of the very nice, very charming kind of films that are a little hard to find anything particularly unlikable about it. While it can be a little slow and more or less predictable at what happens at the end, it's for the most part a light and simple film with charming characters, a great cast to perform them, some cute comedy that's rarely used but is still done pretty well, and a good fun simple story all around. The most notable actors/characters are Lional Barrymore as Grandpa Vanderhof with his optimism, wit and wisdom, (though I can't believe that's the same guy that plays Mr. Potter in It's A Wonderful Life), Mischa Auer as Kolenkhov mostly because of how her delivers his lines for whenever he says that something stinks, and of coarse James Stewart as Tony. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FRICKING know what? Most of you regular viewers out there have probably read my review for The Greatest Show on Earth, so you know how I feel about the guy. Anyway, the only real complaint with this film that some people seem to have is how it's message can seem preachy. And I can see why people would feel that way with how it plays a bit more into the 'money can't buy you happiness" kind of theme more or less, but for the most part, that's what make this film so simple, it leaves a good message that is a cliche today but isn't necessarily less important then it was back them it came out. Plus they told it in a rather unique way considering how particularly eccentric the Vanderhof family are, and that's a good thing to have I think with such a message.

And that's my review for You Can't Take It With You. Even if it's somewhat slow and predictable and has a message you've probably hear before, it still has a fun cast, with unique characters, and a story that make this a nice, simple enjoyable film to watch.        

Monsters University (2013)

Rating: 75%
Well last night the parents decided to see the latest Pixar film as a family. We all came with mediocre expectations, and this is how it turned out for most of us.

Plot: Before the events of the first film, Mike went to Monsters University with the dreams of becoming a scarer. He eventually meets Sully who is basically a jock for his ability to scare and so they become rivals over who is the better scarer. But when both of them fail their scare exam at the end of their first semester, they have to prove themselves by forming a team with a group of nobodies in the Scare Games and try to earn their right in the University's Scare program.

I'll be honest - and I mean brutally honest. When I went to see this movie, I had some low expectations to be anything higher then just mediocre. And when it comes to Pixar, when I say that, I mean that they were so low that I was just playing the My Little Pony mobile game on my iPhone most of the time that we were getting tickets and buying candy for the movie without a care. Not cool? I agree. But to be fair, when the best they have after Toy Story 3 so far is Cars 2 and Brave and their next film is a prequel to a movie like Monsters Inc., it is a little reasonable to have the expectations be fairly low. But as it turns out there was a little more of what makes Pixar, Pixar then what I and my family were going to give it credit for. Granted, the first hour or so into the movie was meeting my expectations with certain aspects of the story and some somewhat cute jokes here and there. But the last half hour - while still not perfect - gave an impressive amount of cleverness and creativity with its characters and where the story all around was going. There were twists, turns, and while there wasn't too much tension to what was happening seeing as this is a prequel to a movie everyone knows, the directions that they take still leave you curious on how it all ends with Sully and Mike working at Monsters Inc. And while it's still not at Pixar's complete best, it all comes pretty close and is altogether quite an improvement from the last two films. If the rest of the film was more like the third act, who knows how good this movie could've been? Another down is that there wasn't as many creative monsters as I expected. There was some, don't get me wrong - The Dean especially was awesome. But for the most part, there wasn't a whole lot of different, unique monsters to look at. Which is kinda disappointing because considering how the first movie showed us all of different monsters, it seemed a little obvious to me that they would at least try to continue to really give us a ton of monsters to enjoy watching.

And that's my review for Monsters University. Its first hour meet the mediocre expectation that I had anticipated, but the third act gave us different directions that were smart, creative and helped make this movie a very enjoyable movie and show that Pixar is more or less getting back on track on what makes them just a great and lovable animated studio. Was it a classic? No. Would I buy it on Blue-Ray? Unless I ever have kids later on in life, probably not. But is it still a good movie to watch? You bet.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Amadeus (1984)

Rating: 80%
Well it's been a long time since I've been reviewing the best picture winners, especially since there aren't a whole lot left to review, so let's go back to them with the last winner from the 80's to review: Amadeus.

Plot: The film begins with an old Antonio Salieri who attempts suicide only to be stopped and put into a lunitic asylum. Later a young priest comes to take his confession, and so Salieri tells the priet his story about how he was devoted to god and music growing up to the point of becoming the court composer for the Holy Roman Emperor. But then he comes across Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who despite his criticism from the court and occasionally even the Emperor at times, is also an extremely gifted young man when it comes to music. This makes Salieri jealous and also causes him to doubt God because of how he could let someone like Mozart have so much talent. And so Salieri secretly starts a war against Mozart and against God attempting to destroy Mozart for his talent.

I first saw this film about four and a half years ago and both found it very well done but also kind of creepy. This movie was pretty well done. The acting was great, the sets and costumes were spectacular, the music helped a lot with the story with the second half of the film especially, and it's just another one of those films where so much happens and the tone goes from kind of light to really deep and dark.  Considering that both F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce were nominated for best actor for this movie, I'm glad that in the end it was Abraham won as Salieri. I mean the laugh aside, Hulce did a great job as Mozart - especially when it came to how his character and everything around him were changing for the worse as the most progress. But Salieri is more the person to focus on in this story. He's the one who is fighting this war over his jealousy over Mozart's talent But it does have its issues. He's the real focus to the movie because he's the cause to a lot of things that happens and you also have to pity him. He's doubting God because someone as wild and lewd would be so much more talented with music then he is and so he's eventually fighting against not just Mozart but God himself. Part of that for me personally is because I am a Christian and so with a lot of his problems and questions, I just wish I was there and give him answers that I wish he got and would help him during all this. But unfortunately he doesn't, and so his personal war rages on resulting in what happens during most of the second half of the movie. And the second half of the movie is what creeped me out when I first saw this movie. Because everything all of the sudden turned really dark and it was really tragic and deep at how Mozart has come to really be a salve to his music and what it's doing to him on top of his other demons. The scene where the Requièm Mass in D minor by Mozart is a very dark  way to conclude the film that I found to be very imitating when I first saw it. But that's my take on it the first time. I didn't get creeped watching this again, but...maybe that's because I saw it during most of the day whereas I saw it really late at night the first time...yeah I"ll stick to that. But this movie does have its problems. One is that it's a little too long. I mean I guess I can agree that it's the way its suppose to be and that there's nothing that should be taken out, but at the same time, it is 3 hours long. Another issue that some people like my brother point out is how really annoying Mozart is - particularly with his laugh. I don't hate it as much as he clearly does, but still...that can get really annoying. Also people complain that this movie is very historically inaccurate, but it's not suppose to be. In fact this movie is based on a play that is also very historically inaccurate. In fact, I've taken a Music Appreciation class a couple of years back and while some things are accurate, the story as a whole with the relationship between Mozart and Salieri is pretty fictitious. As a matter of fact, while I don't remember for sure, I fell certain that the real Mozart and Saleri never even met.

And that's my review for Amadeus. It was possibly too long, had a main character whose laugh was probably a little too annoying, and people might dislike how its historically inaccurate even though it's not suppose to be, but it otherwise is a film that had a good story, great acting, excellent music and sets, and while may be a bit creepy for me, is otherwise a very well done and enjoyable film.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Man of Steel (2013)

Rating: 65%
Well we've been waiting a long time for it, and I"ve been going through the other 5 films to tell you what I thought about them, it's time for my 475th review: Man of Steel!

Plot: Shortly before Krypton is destroyed, General Zod threatens the council to his rule only to be eventually captured and taken to the Phantom Zone. But during this, Jor-El takes his infant son Kal-El on a ship to Earth so he can survive. Once on earth, Kal-El is found and adopted by Johnathan and Martha Kent naming him Clark who over the years struggles with his super powers. Eventually, he finds an old Kryptonian ship where he finds out who he really is and what he's suppose to. But as this happens, General Zod comes to Earth free from the Phantom Zone and is looking for Kal-El.

Now the way people have started to view this movie has become divided. Critics especially are torn between liking or disliking it to the point where Rotten Tomatoes has given it a 57%, while the general audience seems to have come to more or less love it. For the most part, I side with the general audience to the point where while it's hardly great, I consider this the best Superman film for me personally. However while I won't call it bad per say, the critics do make some very good reasons as to why this movie is considered bad for a lot of people. But let's talk about what's good about it first. First off, the design is great. Krypton was not a small crystal planet (yeah I know everyone says ice but it's obviously crystal to me), it was a completely different planet with it's own technology, culture and so on. I've heard one argument that it's a bad thing what they did comparing to the comics, but since I'm not as devoted to them, I'll stick with what I liked. But the bigger and more obvious example with the design in this film is how they upgraded Superman's costume. I've said this many times before and I'll say it again: that needed to happen. Because while I understand how much the original costumed worked for so long with the belt and underwear thing balancing out the colors and things like that, it needed the change. I mean if Iron Man and Superman ever met, Iron Man would just look at him and go "Does your mother know that you're in your pajamas, wearing her drapes, your sisters' boots and your gay dad's underwear inside out?" And now we have gotten rid of the belt and underwear and have made the colors darker, it helps us take Superman a little more seriously. Secondly, the development in the story, and ...some aspects of the characters and the all around world was Superman was done well. Roughly similar to what Nolan did in the Dark Knight trilogy, Snyder kind of went a little deeper into the story and how the world of Superman works and gave us some different takes on the characters. The first 15-20 minutes and some other various parts of the film especially gave us so much more about what Krypton is and what the Kryptonians more or less do as a species. It may not be how it's suppose to be, but I found myself really enjoying Krypton as a culture. We also go a little more into what Clark and his parents have really gone through with his powers and what they are meant for. Granted, a lot of it is easily found to be rushed - especially watching the movie a second time, but they still showed more of Clark and his parents trying to hide his power when he was growing up.  Even General Zod while probably could've been well played by anybody was given more of a background as to why he is the way he is instead of just being evil like he was in the first two Superman movies. The third thing that's good about it...albeit not entirely, is the characters themselves. Along with what I already said about Zod, Henry Cavill was not a bad Superman. Even if he didn't have the charm that makes Christopher Reeve's Superman so loveable or always knew how to use his powers, his performance held out well enough convincing us the he is Superman. Amy Adams as Lois Lane I was skeptical at first- particularly that she's red hair and not black like Lois is suppose to be, but she turned out to be a great version of Lois. Granted, I can agree that she was sort of bland, but I felt that she was still smart and willing to hold her own to the best of her ability despite needing to be rescued quite a few times, and of coarse always wanting to give out a story the people should know. Heck, we see her fight Kryptonians halfway through the movie, how often do you see Lois Lane do that? And the relationship between her and Superman - while I can't say played out in a lot of detail about the chemistry between them -  is very unique from other adaptions of the couple that left me very interested to know how it will carry on in the sequel. Okay so what big things about the film that other people not like about it, and what do I disagree or admit about? Well for one thing, the action was considered to be overdone - some have even gone so far as saying that there was more action then anything else in particular in this movie. Now on a whole I really enjoyed the action. The fact that it had some certain aspects such as the destruction of buildings while superman fights some super strong villain(s), helped make Superman appear how he normally is today in either the tv shows or in the comics in my point of view. But even if I wouldn't go so far as saying that there was action more then anything else, they did tend to make some action scenes go too long to the point where after a while we seem to get a little too much of the general idea of what is happening. Finally, there's people who consider Man of Steel to not really be a Superman movie at all: that it really is just some sci-fi movie or that it's too dark and tense and we don't have a shred of joy or humor. And for the most part they're right. Man of Steel had more futuristic or advanced technology and all that stuff thanks to how much we see of Krypton and General Zod and his followers. And there wasn't a lot of other things Superman normally does like fight crime, or even be called Superman to begin with. Now I won't pretend that I read a lot of the Superman comics or that he's even one of my all time favorite superheroes. But I know and respect the comics and the all around world of Superman enough to know that the fact is that Superman as a franchise is made to be very light and family friendly. There's even one or two big moments is the film that I personally found to be too intense and dark to really work in a Superman movie. But at the same time without getting into a really deep discussion about it, it works because Superman kind of needed to start acting more serious. When I say that, I especially refer to how I personally found some of the way the other Superman films to be a little too light or humorous in some area or another as I've discussed in my reviews for those films. They worked back then, but around this modern time it's a little better to make him more serious as we got much further in development of the characters and the story.

And that's my review for Man of Steel. It's not quite for everyone considering some of the action and how it differs from anything else Superman, and it could've had more work with things like the characters or how similar it is to the comics in some way or another.  But it's otherwise an enjoyable film that did have good action, design, okay character development for some of what it had, that altogether makes it my personal favorite of the Superman film. Is it a very strong start for DC and Warner Bros. when it comes to building up to a Justice League movie as a response to The Avengers? Not entirely. But I'm sure those who are loyal to the DC universe can hope that it can get better from here eventually.

Here's the video version of this review:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Superman Returns (2006)

Rating: 70%
Well tomorrow is the release of Man of Steel at long last, so with that said, let's finally get it out of the way with reviewing the up the last Superman movie; Superman Returns.

Plot: After 5 years of Superman mysteriously leaving Earth to explore the remains of Krypton, he returns to find out that things have changed. Lois Lane has a son named Jason whose father is supposedly Lois' fiancee, Richard. Lex Luthor is also free from prison due to Superman not appearing at his trial, and has also stolen the crystals from the Fortress of Solitude with a new plan that will kill countless people. So it's up to Superman to stop whatever Luthor's up to while going back to saving the world from catching a place to stopping a robbery. 

Well this may not be the first movie per say, but it does a good job at being a modernized version of the story. Because a fair portion of the film is Superman doing some of the same things as he's done in previous films only doing them in more visually remarkable ways. Most notably when a robber shoots him in the eye and we see the bullet hit his eye with no effect in slow motion. As for the actual story itself, it is a little confusing at times, especially with Jason concerning his personality and how he reacts to certain things on top of who his father really is and how it really is unknown to the characters for the longest time. But for the most part it was well told with more or less give us a rough similarity to the first movie only with a completely new evil plot from Luthor and the climax was not too shabby. There is also the plot hole that Martha Kent is shown to actually be alive in this film even though she was dead in the last two. Though to be fair, it's possible they wrote this film so that they and treat the last two movies like they never existed which if that's the case, I'm down with that. Then there's also the problem with Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth as Superman and Lois Lane. They weren't bad, but they were too young for their parts. In fact its quite a surprise to know that she was actually 22 when they shot the film. (I know right?) Finally there's Kevin Spacy taking Gene Hackman's place as Lex Luthor. He was still a little bit like a cartoon villain like Hackman's Luthor, but most of it was pretty minimal and in hindsight, he did act a little more like how I imagine Lex Luthor should act like.

And that's my review for Superman Returns. It has its issues with the plot and the characters, but is otherwise brings us a modernized version of the first film with a new evil plan from a Luthor who fits the part a little better then Hackman did that makes Superman Returns a nice film to see. Well that's all the Superman films to date, so in conclusion...they can be better. I mean the first one was a classic and the second was more or less as good, but I just would like them to expand more on the universe of Superman, and I dislike that the best they've done is just Lex Luthor and General Zod. And it can do with less ways of trying to be family funny then making Lex Luthor act like a complete cartoon villain and having a bunch of slapstick from the second and third movies. Now granted, I haven't seen the Richard Donner cut of the second movie, which is hear is awesome. But I do plan to see it really soon before seeing Man of Steel and I'll let you know what I thought of it at some point in my review for the new movie. Until then, I'm going to try to have my 475th review up and running at some point so I have that out of the way before seeing Man of Steel tomorrow. So hope to see you then if I don't give up and make Man of Steel my 475th review.  

License to Kill (1989)

Rating: 80%
Bond film # 16 and the second and final film from Timothy Dalton, here's my review for Licence to Kill

Plot: After Bond and his friend Felix capture drug lord Sanchez shortly before Felix gets married, Sanchez escapes and kills Felix's wife and has Felix maimed by a tiger shark. M reassigns Bond to another assignment, but Bond refuses and thus has his license to kill revoked causing him to flee and become a rouge agent. So Bond is out for revenge with the help of ex-CIA agent pilot Pam.

This is another Bond film that more or less has a lot of different views in its viewers, and one that I more or less find a little surprising. There's the people who really like it, but there's people who remarkable dislike it to the point  where some think it's the worst Bond film next to A Need to A Kill. But in my case, I really enjoyed it. In fact it's probably somewhere around my third personal favorite of the series ( far. I mean I still have 7 more movies to go.) And quite frankly even if I found it bad, I think it's very easy to say that going so far as second worst film after some of these movies I've seen is rather utterly, hilariously too far. The main problem everyone seems to have with this film is that Dalton's Bond is being way too serious and that the film itself is too dark and all of that is really off from the Bond formula. Okay I can understand it against off the formula, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad. I meant it when I said in my last review that The Living Daylights worked a lot when there was little to no humor and it brought back the realism and suspense to the series. And here, I got a lot more then that with it being so dark and serious and as an action film and a spy thriller, that's great to me. I mean the story for one was more unique; Bond gets his license to kill revoked and become a rouge agent just to go on a vendetta. That's very new to these Bond films. In other words, they decided to take a different turn from most Bond films just like On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Which is always a good thing with these films. Then there's the villain who...yeah is still no Goldfinger, but in my opinion stand out very well - which is saying a lot compared to a lot of past villains who are drug lords or something like that. I mean rather then killing a guy who captures him, he just has him maimed by a shark and leaves him to die or get found...that's very new. I mean I expected Felix to die getting eaten by that shark without a thought. But no, this guy just wants him to survive in misery by losing some of his limbs. That's just awesome. And Pam was a very good Bond girl too. She worked more into how most people feel a Bond girl should be - beautiful, smart, dangerous, all that jazz. There's another Bond girl named Lupe who...was a little weak during her dialogue. Which is a shame because considering the problems she faces with Sanchez, I feel that she could've been a very complex and entertaining character. The action and the suspense was also great. It was bigger, darker, had way better effects, and mostly more realistic (yeah to be fair, he does that driving on just one side of tires while driving trick again only this time with a truck). We also get new gadgets and even Q sticking around helping Bond throughout a lot of the second half. And you know what? That's also awesome. It was completely different and Q was a very nice addition to the story.

And that's my review for License to Kill. I can understand why a very dark and serious Bond film will throw off people. But what they might see as a big negative use of Bond, I saw as a movie that I could take seriously and get very well into while also really enjoying how they took different turns at some certain aspects from Bond films. It's a really enjoyable film, I recommend it, and its so far one of my personal favorite of the James Bond series. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Living Daylights (1987)

Rating: 75%
Well now that we finally have Roger Moore's Bond finally out of the way, let's move on to film #15 which starts Timothy Dalton's short time as Bond with The Living Daylights

Plot: When Bond is sent to aid the defection of a KGB officer, he disobeys orders to kill a KGB sniper trying to kill the officer just because the sniper is a woman. The officer later informs M of an old plan from KGB called Smiert Spionam, meaning Death to Spies, but is later abducted by a KGB agent and presumably taken to Moscow. So Bond is ordered to find General Pushkin - the new head of the KGB, and kill him to prevent the death of other spies.

I can very easily say that this is a very refreshing start from moving on from Moore's Bond. With this Bond we get more gadgets, the action is bigger, the realism in the franchise has more or less returned, the villains and their evil plan...still aren't quite as memorable as Goldfinger and Bolfeld, but they were still good. And then you have Timothy Dalton as Bond. Dalton brought us back to how Bond should be, young, charming, and surprisingly even brought back some of Bond's dark side that we haven't really seen since Connery's Bond. Roger Ebert however didn't like how there wasn't really any humor from Bond, but to be perfectly honest, I can really do without any of that. After Diamonds are Forever and...basically most of Moore's films, I feel we can do with way less humor to help us take the films a bit more seriously. I have also noticed that this film also has a certain lack of Bond girls which naturally a fair amount of people also find to be an issue. While I can clearly see why, I also kind of find this to be an extent. Sure some Bond girls can be entertaining characters to these films - the Bond girl in this one, Kara I liked because of how despite how she can be a little dumb on one or two occasions did show way of trying to be helpful, strong and stand her ground as best as possible if she's being attacked by one of the bad guys. But there also wasn't all that much sexual content unlike most of the other Bond films, be honest, is fine with me since I'm not a huge fan of that...and even then, it's a little nice to see them take a different turn from the rather noticeable aspect in most of these films of Bond sleeping with at least two women.

And that's my review for The Living Daylights. It was more serious, it was bigger with its action and gadgets, and Dalton gave us a very strong and refreshing movie that gives more realism and suspense that make The Living Daylights a big improvement and a very enjoyable movie.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A View to a Kill (1985)

Rating: 30%
The last film with Roger Moore as Bond...whew. Here's my review for A View to a Kill...I feel I shouldn't be the only one who thinks that title sounds dumb.

Plot: After Bond recovers a microchip from the dead body of 003, M send him to investigate on Max Zorin who own the company that makes the chips that the one that was found is a copy of. Eventually Bond learns that Zorin is planning to destroy the Silicon Valley to gain a monopoly on the market with the help of a Nazi scientist. So with the help of a geologist named Stacey, it's up to Bond to find out how Zorin is going to destroy the valley and stop him.

Ugh, I'm not really sure how to begin with explaining what it wrong with this movie. I guess the one way to start is really how of all people to be the main villain in ANY Bond film, it turn out to be Christopher Walken. That...just doesn't fit to me at all. He wasn't very menacing or anything like that...well I guess he was when it came to what his evil plan is, but to me, all I saw was Christopher Walken and not really anything else. Anyway, the story wasn't all that exciting, and the action was hardly thrilling, and Moore...well...actually let me explain this in a way that basically summarizes the last 6 films as well as this one. Now when I say "whew" that this is the last film where he's Bond, it's not that I super hate the guy or something like that, it's just that it's more or less how Roger Ebert put it once: he was mostly an impersonator of James Bond. He did get better during The Spy Who Loved Me and sort of Moonraker, but on the whole his performances as well as his film were between decent to just bad and I felt that the only reason he  played Bond this long was because his films kept making a lot of money. And as I've brought up with my last two reviews, he is starting to get older and apparently audiences have started to officially notice that too seeing as he was 57 when making this film. Heck, even for him this was the least favorite of his film because he noticed how he was apparently even older then his female co-star's mother. The whole thing seemed to have left him horrified. And while it's not quite as painfully shown (at least not for me) this film did have a little slapstick during a car chase in San Fransisco.

And that's my review for A View to a Kill. It had an unexciting story, a villain played by Christopher Walken which just...doesn't work, and it generally showed how it was high time for Moore to give the role to somebody else. It's currently the worst Bond film I've seen so far, and I sincerely hope the last 9 are nothing like that. So next up we have Timothy Dalton to take Moore's place for the next two films. How does he compare? Tune in for when I review The Living Daylights.

Octopussy (1983)

Rating: 45%
Second to last Moore film, here's Octopussy.

Plot: When Agent 009 is murdered while carrying a fake Fabergé egg, M sends Bond to go to the auction in London and track the person who buys the real egg to find out if they're behind it. The person who buys it is an exiled Afghan prince named Kamal Khan, who is in league with a renegade Soviet general named Orlov who plans to start a conquest against conquest Europe as a way to expand the Soviet Union's boarders. 

Okay so what is easily good about this particular Bond film is that it manages to have really good action and a sort of suspenseful climax, it gave us new gadgets too look at even though Bond rarely used any, and while the villains themselves didn't really stand out, their evil plot was considerably big and menacing. That last positive thing in particular, I have found to be something to always value comparing to other evil plots in some of these film that are mostly just smugglers and things like that. But that doesn't help from this movie still being bad. Because again, the villains didn't really stand out, and the climax - while still enjoyable - did still fall in line to acting more like an ordinary action film and not really like something from a big franchise like Bond. But the biggest issues seem to revolve around the moments where the movie tried to be funny or just don't really work in a Bond film such as Bond wearing a Gorilla suit (no, I did not make that up), dressing up as a clown (still didn't make that up) and worst of all, swinging through trees and emitting a Tarzan yell (boy I really with I completely made that one up). Also Moore doesn't make this better because he's acting less like Bond then he was a couple of films ago and is sadly starting to show that he's aging.

And that's my review for Octopussy. The action and the climax is enjoyable as well as the evil plot as a whole, but it had villains that weren't all that interesting, it acted more like an ordinary action film, and had moment like Bond making a Tarzan yell

Saturday, June 8, 2013

For Your Eyes Only (1981)

Rating: 70%
Bond film #12 and the 5th one wi- oh screw it, you get the drill: For Your Eyes Only.

Plot: A British spy boat that contains an Automatic Targeting Attack Communicator is sunk by a mine, so Bond is sent to find where it is and collect it before the Soviets do. Meanwhile, a marine archaeologist and his wife are killed for trying to locate the ship and his daughter Melina swears revenge against him. This complicates things for Bond as she start to kill his leads to the sunken ship.

This has a fair share of issues, but I think this one's the second best of Moore's films. This particular Bond film I noticed has a few aspects that have been used before from some of the other Bond films like having a ski chase and trying to retrieve a important item. But this film still manages to make those moments enjoyable with what they do differently with those certain aspects. Also Melina managed to be a decent Bond girl because of how she is deadly and has a certain personal goal that is interesting unlike some of the other Bond girls. Other then that, it has some decent action and a fairly enjoyable climax. But again, it has a good amount of issues. While enjoyable, the story is one that isn't that particularly big and doesn't have the most menacing villain for Bond to come across. Also it does contain some attempted humor that is thankfully minor and not all slapstick like some of the other Bond films, but is still not all that great. Plus we do get Bibi Dahl who is...kind of a Bond girl...I don't know, I wouldn't call her that but everyone else does so there. Anyway, she wasn't there a lot but when she was, she wasn't all that great - mainly because for me, it was really weird that a girl that young was trying to seduce Bond who is played by a guy who... is kind of starting to get old. Plus while some seem to praise the beginning, I thought it to be really dumb as far as who Bond was fighting in that scene and how it turned out.

And that's my review for For Your Eyes Only. It's not the biggest or the most well done Bond film, but it gives us a Bond girl that is a little more interesting then some of the others we've seen, had some decent action and an okay climax that makes it just a nice film, and yet the second best I've seen from Moore.

X-Men 2 (2002)

Rating: 85%
Let's take a break from the Bond movies, and review X-Men 2...or X2 or X2: X-Men United, whatever you want to call it.

Plot: As Wolverine returns from trying to unlock the secrets to his past, a mutant named Nightcrawler attempts to assassinate the President of the United States. As a response to this, Professor X sends Storm and Jean Grey to find him while he and Cyclops investigate to find out is Magneto is behind it. But unbeknownst to the professor, Colonel Stryker uses the failed assassination to attack the mutant school and kidnap the children there. While most escape, Wolverine, Rouge, Bobby (a.k.a. Iceman) and John (a.k.a. Pyro) attempt to regroup with the other X-men and try to stop Stryker.

Better. Way, way, way, better. The story was much more clever and complex then the first, the action was so much better and they did such a great job with handling the characters. They gave us more development with characters like Storm and Wolverine, and introduced us to some brand new characters. Nightcrawler especially I liked seeing him in this film because of how they gave us how he shows his deep faith in God which as a Christian myself, I really liked about him in the 90's TV show and I'm glad that they went a fair bit into that too. We also went a little more into the romance into Rouge and Iceman as well as a little bit of the relationship between Jean Grey and Wolverine. There are a lot of other X-men characters that get very brief cameos like Kitty Pryde a.k.a. Shadowcat and Colossus who were mostly there just to show their powers to the audience, but I'm actually okay with that because at least by their short appearances, they really helped the audience explore more of the world of X-Men with the different kind of mutant that are in the school, and as far as introducing a franchise that has countless characters, that's a decent way to handle so much of them...unlike some other films. *glares and the Transformers trilogy* But I digress. The story is also much more loyal and deep to the comics, getting us more into the conflict between the X-Men, Magneto, and humans who want to rid the world of mutants like Stryker. And we went more into Wolverine's past. I can only think if one or two things that don't really make sense, but most of them are very minor compared to everything else.

And that's my review for X-Men 2. It was bigger and better with its characters, plot, showing more of the world of X-Men, and altogether is a very enjoyable film that surpasses the first movie with ease. It's a great superhero film that is very enjoyable to watch.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Moonranker (1979)

Rating: 65%
Bond film #11 and Moore film #4 (yay we're about halfway done with him!) Here's Moonraker.

Plot: A Drax Industries Moonraker space shuttle is hijacked and Bond is reassigned from a mission to investigate. As he searches for clues, he comes across Dr. Holly Goodhead and the owner of the shuttle manufacturing company, Hugo Drax. He suspects that Drax may somehow be behind the hijack but has trouble finding proof and is also facing Jaws again who is working for Drax.

This is better then the first two Moore movies, but it has a fair share of good and bad stuff. The story takes a while to really make sense, but it is really exciting when it finally does, Moore is not as good as he was in the last film but he's still holding his ground as Bond fairly well, and Dr. Goodhead is a decent Bond film. This film also has from pretty good space effects and really enjoyable action that went with it. In fact, the next Bond film was suppose to be For Your Eyes Only, but was later moved to be the film after this one so Moonraker can basically be James Bond's response to Star Wars. Even if it's easily not as grand as Star Wars by any means, it does manage to still be least for what it is. However we also get slapstick comedy again and unsurprisingly, it's not all that great. We also get a change with Jaws' character that turns out kind cute but a generally stupid and cheesy turn with where they were going with him.

And that's my review for Moonraker. It gives us more of the unnecessary humor and a story that takes a while to be really interesting, but it also has good effects and action despite most of it being another response to Star Wars, and a decent performance from Moore as well as a decent Bond girl that makes this film not great, but manages to be a nice time.

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Rating: 75%
So here's film number 10 and the third movie with Moore's Bond and so far seems to be the best that Moore has given us. Let's fine out why with my review for The Spy Who Loved Me.

Plot: When both a British and a Soviet submarine mysteriously disappear, Bond is assigned to investigate. He starts in Egypt where plans for a highly advanced submarine tracking system are on the market, where he meets Soviet agent Triple-X a.k.a. Major Anya Amasova who is his main rival for his plans. They try to best the other but eventually are ordered by their superiors to work together and find out who is making the submarines disappear.

This may not quite go as high as From Russia with Love or Goldfinger, but it comes close and is definitely the best Bond film from Moore that I've seen so far. This film has great action, we get more gadgets then what we've been given from the last 4 films put together, and they covered some new ground with the story and with the kind of woman to have as a Bond girl. Moore actually ended up improving with his role as Bond and what helps is that he has Barbara Bach by his side as Amasova as Bond's equal, making the story a bit more compelling and clever then expected. Also we get another gadget that has been referenced a lot in shows and stuff: a car turning into a submarine. Yeah, about time I finally get to one of those. The main villain Stromberg was...okay, he had a good evil plan but he didn't entirely stand out. But with him, we also get a new villain named Jaws who was more menacing and powerful. Oh yeah, there's little to no attempted humor in this film. That's a really big plus.

And that's my review for The Spy Who Loved Me. It was a great improvement from the last couple of films with a fresh, new story and a Bond girl that went hand to hand very well with Moore who also improved as Bond, had great action, a good side villain, and is altogether a very enjoyable film and is the best so far of Moore's Bond.

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Rating: 40%
Bond film number 9 and the second one with Moore, here's my review for The Man with the Golden Gun.

Plot: When a golden bullet has Bond's code name '007' etched into its surface, the agency is lead to believe that it's the work of famed assassin Francisco Scaramanga, who uses a golden gun to kill his targets. Because of this M relives Bond from the case for finding him. But Bond unoffically goes on investigation anyway by finding out where the bullet is manufactured and works his way to identify and face him.

Now this particular film has some argument as to whether or not consider it the worst Bond film there is. Because while some of the action was kind of okay, we have a story that wasn't quite as entertaining or as amusing as you'd think, more silly moments and not much imagination. In fact we get a chase scene where we get the police chief from the previous film as the comedy relief and - you guessed it - he was unfunny and didn't really have any reason to be in this film at all. The main 'good' thing about this movie is Christopher Lee playing as Scaramanga. Most people - myself included as of after seeing this film - consider him to more or less be the best part of the movie, but some people, or at least I for one thought they could've done more for him as a villain. Scaramanga was a very interesting concept and Lee was awesome because...well it's freaking Christopher Lee, but I found myself at a loss about how Scaramanga and Bond were viewed as equals. I mean I see some of it, but I wasn't completely sure how that worked. The main Bond girl in the film Mary Goodnight was also a kind of mix. Because on one hand she did kind of try to be a little more helpful then she was really capable, but was otherwise helpless and kind of a bimbo like Tiffany case.

And that's my review for The Man with the Golden Gun. It seems to have an interesting concept with its villain and had some nice action, but otherwise just gave us the unfunny sheriff again, gave us another helpless Bond girl, and a story that wasn't very interesting.

Live and Let Die (1973)

Rating: 55%
Alright so coming at Bond film number 8 we see the joys of Connery's Bond end with Roger Moore who has the most films in his pocket as Bond. Yes this guy even surpassed Sean Connery's Bond with most films. It's okay, I find that hard to believe too. So starting off with Moore's days as James Bond, is Live and Let Die.

Plot: After three British Agents are killed in New York, New Orleans and San Monique, M assigns Bond to all three of these places and find out if there is a connection to their deaths. During his travels he comes across a ruthless gangster named Mr. Big and his psychic Solitaire. Mr. Big plans to bankrupt his competitors in the poppy business and use Solitaire's powers of seeing the future to secure his plans. And of coarse it's up to Bond to stop him while also taking an interest in Solitaire despite the fact that she will lose her powers if she sleeps with a man.

Okay while this wasn't the worst movie to start off in replacing Connery, it's still a movie that's kind of just a little meh and nothing else. The main good things about this film is the action, the boat chase more or less, the main song Live and Let Die is a little memorable and is little surprise that it was at least nominated for best original song, and Solitaire was a good Bond girl for the most part. But the rest of the film surprisingly focuses a fair bit on racial overtones and having some okay humor, and some effects during the end that are kind of...weird. Because with villains, they were pretty much all black, and some of them did play into some kind of stereotypes that I found to be surprising that they were taking those characters into that direction. With the boat chase scene, a good portion of the chase was a police sheriff tried to stop and arrest Bond and the people chasing him as the comedic relief. He wasn't annoying, but he wasn't all that funny and he helped make the scene a lot longer then it probably needed to be - so much in fact that some critic Leonard Maltin thought the film was ultimately an excuse just to have chase sequences like the boat chase. And during the very end of the film, while it did show us some new gadgets (something that seems to be easily a plus to have considering some of the films I've seen so far) some of the effects that they had for them during the end of the film where - again, weird. I'm not how to explain it better, but ultimately the effects where just unexpected because they're not the kind that you'd expect or really should be in a Bond movie. But I digress. With Moore as Bond he was...not that impressive. He had some little moments here and there, but ultimately he started off in this film and not really living up to the concept of the character James Bond. Also the villains weren't all that menacing or memorable except perhaps with Tee Hee Johnson.

And that's my review for Live and Let Die. The action and the Bond girl were good, but it otherwise had some racial stereotypes, a chase scene that was good but was a little too long, humor that wasn't all that amusing, odd effects, and a Bond that is not off to a great start. So was there any improvement to this particular Bond as his reign continued? Let's find out with the next few films.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

Rating: 60%
James Bond film # 7 and the final film that had Connery's Bond, here's my review for Diamonds Are Forever.

Plot: While Bond is looking for Bolfeld, M assigns him to Amsterdam where M suspects that South African diamonds are being stockpiled to depress prices by dumping. So Bond disguises himself as a professional smuggler named Peter Franks and contacts a diamond smuggler named Tiffany Case. Through her, he tries to find the person that's at the highest of the diamond smuggling business and find out what they're up too.

Now even if this film does manage to be a little enjoyable, it is easily the worst film that has Connery's Bond. Because what helps make this movie still enjoyable is that we have Connery back for at least one more movie with his charm and altogether presence that makes him James Bond and it had pretty good action during the climax of the film especially. But the rest of the film has stuff that's either annoying or a little too silly. With annoying I mostly am talking about the assassins Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint. They may not be the worst characters I ever had to put up with, but just how they acted, how they were trying to be funny and how it looked like they were the main villains of the film for a while that just annoyed the crap out of me and lead me to feel like the Bond franchise has begun to sink with this film. Also there was Tiffany Case as a character. Again, I've seen worse characters, but she did stand out as particularly helpless and kind of an idiot, and apparently she's considered to be least likable Bond girls so it figures that I'm not alone. For silly we have a scene where Bond escapes the enemy in a moom buggy which I didn't think too much about at first, but after hearing some opinions and thinking more about it in retrospect, I can see why people find it really silly. But I also found a car chase from the middle of the film to be kind of silly. I mean it does have Bond doing a somewhat cool trick with his mustang at one point, but otherwise I found most of it to be not all that great and kind of acted more like a car chase you can kind of find from just about any action film from around that time that you could possibly find while you are switching channels on your TV. And that also brings us to the same problem that we encountered from the last film - that this film for the most part lacked gadgets and other aspects of the bond franchise that make James Bond awesome to watch.

And that's my review for Diamonds Are Forever. It has moments of being annoying and silly and not acting a whole lot like a bond film, but we still get Connery even if it's for the last time and it had some action and other aspects of the franchise that makes the movie bearable.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

Rating: 75%
So after You Only Live Twice, Connery decided to retire the role of James Bond which resulted in him being replaced by George Lazenby just for this movie. So let's talk about how that turned out in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Plot: For the past two years, Bond has been searching for Bolfeld after the previous film with no success and has been removed from the case by M leading him to consider resigning from the Secret Service. But while all this is happening, Bond comes across Countess Tracy di Vicenzo and saves her from committing suicide. Her father who is a crime boss notices this, and asks Bond to try to start a romance and eventually marry her in exchange for knowledge of Bolfeld's whereabouts.

Now this is kind of a fascinating film to reflect on and see how people have viewed it. Whether it has to do with Lazenby's performance, the film itself or both, people's views seem to be highly divided among about what they liked or disliked about this movie. With both Lazenby and the film, I myself feel like I'm kind of in between with what's good or bad about this movie. For the movie itself, there's one side where magazines like The Observer who felt that "All the pleasing oddities and eccentricities and gadgets of the earlier films have somehow been lost, leaving a routine trail through which the new James Bond strides without noticeable signs of animation." But on the other hand, people have come so far as claim that this is the best bond film and is even the last truly great film in the series. For the first argument, I would agree that I did notice how all the gadgets and other things from the series have started to disappear which is something that I find strange and kind of makes the film act like a totally different movie from the kind we want/expect from James Bond. But despite that, I would have to side with the other party because admittingly, they did give us a story that's very unique from what they normally give us with James Bond. With Bond threatening to resign from the service and the film as a whole acting a little more about catching the central antagonist rather than find out who it is later in the film, we are given something very different from what we originally get. Also the main love interest is very interesting. In fact I wanted more of Tracy with her back story and her relationship with Bond. Because one of my other issues with this film is how she's left out during ...I think roughly whole hour or longer from the film just to be replaced with Bond finding Bolfeld and sleeping with other women. What the heck? I mean I liked that she came back and stayed for the rest of the film but I still ended up wanting more after all the time that she was gone and I was starting to forget all about her. Because as a Bond girl, she was also very unique with her past and how she and Bond met and started a relationship. Also for the record, sorry everyone if you're all "What the heck H.A.K.?" with not even mentioning the other Bond girls in my other reviews. Just know that when that's the case, it's because I have found the women in those films to be generally 'meh' and not really have anything interesting to say about them either good or bad. Okay now with that out of the way, let's get to the guy that temporarily replaced Sean Connery as Bond. To put it bluntly, with Lazenby's performance, people either thought the sucked and just wasn't a good actor, or thought he held out pretty well and was the kind of Bond the film needed. This is where I'm a little more torn with what I thought about the movie. Because part of me felt that this guy was not really someone to take Connery's place. That in no way means I also thought he sucked or anything, but he wasn't completely convincing. But at the same time I would also somewhat agree that he kind of was. While he wasn't quite as devilishly charming as Connery he sort of stands his ground as someone trying be a little bit like Connery's Bond. There are also moments during the second half of the film that as an actor, Lazenby did a genuinely good job with how Bond should react to certain moments in the movie that lead me to more or less agree with people who say that Connery's Bond would be out of place with what is happening compared to Lazenby's.

And that's my review for On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Whether you disliked Lazenby's performance and how certain aspects of the James Bond franchise are left out, it's still manages to have a very creative story, a great Bond girl, and an actor who stood his ground somewhat well as James Bond himself. This particular bond film is either disliked or viewed as one of the greatest is not THE greatest Bond film ever made. But which side you pick concerning Lazenby or this film or both is 100% up to you.

You Only Live Twice (1967)

Rating: 70%
Alright. Now here's my review for the 5th bond movie and the second to last one with Sean Connery; You Only Live Twice.

Plot: An American spacecraft is hijacked by a mysterious spacecraft, leaving the American to automatically believe that the Soviets did it. But the British believe that someone else completely did it and so send James Bond to Japan to discover who is really behind the hijack.

This is another just decent Bond flick. One one hand it has good action, Connery being Bond just the way we like him, and it had a pretty good climax. But the problem is that the film is a little too long and the story does turn out to be a little confusing. I say confusing because when it comes to thinking about what happens to the spacecraft and why, I don't think they actually really explain why the antagonists in this particular film are doing it. There is also a scene where Bond is flying an autogyro called The Little Nellie and fights a couple of enemy helicopters that did kind of have a purpose but at the same time I felt was a little out of place and was kind of there just to have an autogyro/helicopter battle. Also there's a moment during the very end of the film that has a big reveal about the central villain that was something of a let down for some people which while I kind of liked it, I think I can see why.

And that's my review for You Only Live Twice. It has its issues at being a little too long and being a bit of a mess or a let down at some points, but still manages to be a decent enjoyable film with its climax, action and Connery...well...being Bond.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

My Top 5 Best And Top 5 Most Painful Episodes of The Office

Once upon a time in the earlier days of the 21st century, Ricky Gervais created a British sitcom about the day-to-day lives of office employees called The Office. Even through it only lasted for two seasons, it became one of the most successful British comedy exports. Years after the show ended, it was remade into different versions in many other countries. But none of them made such a large and remarkable impact as the version that was made in the United States. This version of The Office gave so many characters - sometimes to hate with all our hearts, but in most cases were made for us to love to no end - and had comedy, drama, romance, and a lot of it was done exceptionally well. But as the years have gone by like leaves in the wind, it has become less interesting and tragically keeps making more seasons when it has painfully overstayed its welcome. Few words can really describe how sad that this once classical show has now become a bland, boring,  and uninspi-

What? It's finally over!?! As in it ended a couple of weeks ago !?!?! OH PRAISE MY MASTER ALMIGHTY, THE EARTH IS FILLED WITH HIS GLORY AS IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh don't get me wrong. It was a very good show - one of NBC's best. But...well...there's no other way to look at it except that it just had the freaking go. After Pam and Jim finally got married and had their first child not too long afterwords, the series really did start to annoyingly overstay its welcome. The stories really did become less interesting, the comedy was less clever, the rest of the show as a whole didn't really give us any more real juice under the debatable exception of the last couple of episodes of Michael in Season 7 and most of the second half of season 9. But however you view its later years, The Office as a whole was a great show that had some brilliant and unforgettable jokes, great acting when it came to both the comedic and dramatic moments, and some of the best romance that you could ever watch. But as entertaining as it is, it sadly also brings out some of the most annoying, awkward, and altogether unbearable moments ever seen in either TV or film. What some of us might find very funny to watch with characters like Michael, Dwight and Andy, the rest of us may sometimes if not often find to be pure torture to watch. So now that The Office has finally kicked the bucket, it's time to take a look at The best and most painful (because worst...just doesn't really express it) episodes of The Office.  

The Top 5 Most Painful Episodes

5) Sexual Harassment.

Now to be fair with this episode, the jokes that are done by Jim are pretty funny and the part where Pam's mom comes to visit is pretty cool too. The rest of the episode on the other hand...just no. The story starts off with corporate having Toby make a 5 minute review of the company's sexual harassment policy. Michael greatly dislikes this as he really likes making sex jokes and sending trashy e-mails, so he tries to fight against it. Who can really blame why people dislike this particular episode? Not only are the jokes not funny (again, Jim's jokes are the exception to that), but the episode is probably among the episodes that are very horrific to watch when it comes to Michael. From bringing a blow up doll in the middle of the review, to bringing a lawyer to fight against Jan her lawyer (well I don't know if a lot of people dislike that, but I personally always hated that part when it comes to how irritatingly far Michael goes), to trying to make Phyllis feel attractive by saying he hopes he doesn't get a boner from her, Michael just takes the whole episode and makes it unbearable, awkward and just brutal to watch. Plus we are introduced to Todd Packer in this episode, and while he gets much worse as the show goes on, the hate against him all started right here.

4) Gay Witch Hunt and The Convict

When it came to organizing the most painful episodes I ended deciding to just make a tie with these two episodes because in terms of structure and what we more or less put up with from Michael, they're kind of actually the same. Michael discovers something really personal about one of his employees (Oscar is a homosexual and Martin is a former criminal) and starts spreading the news all over the office, he then starts a meeting in the conference room where he starts to truly make the whole things a way bigger deal then it is, does something excruciatingly painful to watch and it results in that employee leaving the office. (Oscar gets a three month paid vacation and Martin just quits.) Now there's some funny moments too. Dwight pretending to be sad Jim left and Jim putting Andy's calculator in Jello in Gay Witch Hunt are both pretty funny. And Jim giving Andy false information about Pam when he tries to pursue her in The Convict is something Pam and Jim fans have to just love watching. But again, when Michael makes both matters a way bigger deal then you want it to be, you just can't believe what you are watching. In Gay Witch Hunt, he over does his claim that he's okay with homosexuals by kissing Oscar, probably a bit more awkward and disturbing then it most likely sounds. And in The Convict when the employees discover that prison sounds way better then the office, he tries to convince them otherwise by creating the persona of "Prison Mike" where he "explains" how horrible prison is, and when that doesn't work, he just locks everyone in the conference room until they decide that the office is better. Which of these moments do you find unbearable is completely up to you, but they're both great examples of how Michael can learn one thing about a person and just make it uncomfortable for everyone.

3) Mafia
 If you look up worst episode of The Office on Goggle, the episode that you will most commonly find in the lists that you see on just the first page is this particular episode. And taking another look at it, I can see why. A insurance salesman comes to Michael's office and just because of his last name and how he looks and acts, Dwight and Andy are convinced that he is actually part of the mafia. So all three of them try to decide what to do and eventually try to face the salesman at a lunch meeting with Andy dressed as a mechanic. This is an episode that shows not only how Michael can be gullible and take things the wrong way, but just how he and Dwight and Andy are all idiots. Most if not all of these other lists that have this for one of the worst episodes point out how we need Pam and Jim to balance things out since during this whole episode, they are on their honeymoon. And they are absolutely right. There isn't really anybody else in the office that really gives out a plain and clear voice of reason like Pam and Jim do individually or together. Granted, other people in the office discuss the possibility the likeliness that the salesman isn't part of the mob, but no one really makes a clear opposition to Michael, Dwight and Andy's claims. Plus we also really needed either Pam or Jim or both in terms of comedy because I can't think of anything that was particularly funny. And the whole mix up with Jim's credit card because of Kevin just doesn't make things better. So with Michael, Dwight and Andy acting like morons with no one to really stop them, Mafia is a painful episode to end up in my list as well.

2) Phyllis's Wedding
Now I consider Season 3 to probably be the best season when it comes to a lot of the comedy and the big moments that happens between a lot of the main characters. But as painful as some episodes from that season have easily become like with Gay Witch Hunt and The Convict, I think I can more or less put up with them compared to this one. In this episode, Phyllis is getting married to Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration. (I hope everyone who watched the show enjoyed what I did there.) And Phyllis asked Michael to push her father's wheelchair down the aisle at the wedding. Michael takes this as something that's going to be the highlight of the wedding, but when her father decides to amazingly get off his chair halfway down the aisle and walks Phyllis to the alter by himself, Michael feels upstaged and starts becoming petulant over the whole matter by making an embarrassing toast in order to try to still be the highlight of the wedding resulting in him getting thrown out of the reception. Now Michael making a fool of himself in the office is one thing, but when he's trying to get everyone's attention like a little kid at something like a wedding, that's just wrong. Because it really is embarrassing and awkward, and is just too much to bare. That is the kind of moment where I either fast forward, hide under a pillow or otherwise just run out of the room until it is over whenever I get to that scene. It truly hurts to watch this episode, but it's NOTHING compared to my #1 most painful episode of The Office.

1) Scott's Tots
Mother fricker why would anyone in heaven's name create this episode? know what I'll just get to the plot out of the way. 10 years ago, Michael made a promise to a class of 3rd graders that if they all graduate high school, he will pay for all of their college tuition due to his belief that he will be very rich by the time that happened. This unsurprisingly bites him in the rear like nobody's business as it has been ten years and all of those children have pushed themselves to graduate high school and invite him to come to their high school and display their undeniable gratitude, not knowing that Michael can't keep his promise as he his not rich like the believed he would be. How should I begin to possibly describe how brutal this episode is? Because ultimately while this episode got high ratings and people on the internet have different choices as to which episode is the worst or the most painful, the undeniable truth is that deep down, everyone and their dog knows that this one is the worst. It just tears you apart at how stupid Michael is and just how sick and wrong the entire situation is. What makes this worse is how the children even created a song and dance number to show their appreciation, and considering the entire situation, it has to be one of the most disturbing songs you've ever heard. If that song reaches your mind for any reason, you have to immediately sing something random but catchy to keep it from staying in your mind and haunting you for only heaven knows how long. I know part of the purpose of the episode seem to be to show how sad it is that Michael's dreams have not come true and all that, but the truth is we don't need this episode for that. You know why? BECAUSE THEY ALREADY FRICKING DID IT!!!!!! In Take Your Daughter to Work Day, Michael begins to realize that he hasn't come close to his dream to marry and have 100 kids. And when that happened, we felt dreadfully bad for him. In here they're just taking one of his dreams and shoving it right in everyone's face - just torturing us slowly but deeply as the episode goes on. And to top it all there's a prank that Dwight pulls on Jim while all of this is happening, and while it's not completely as sick and wrong, it's also very painful to watch. All this and a little bit more is why Scott's Tots is and truthfully always will be the most painful episode of The Office.

Dishonorable Mention: While my decisions are final with the top most painful, some of my friends have pointed out that a fair portion of Season 9 has been a torture. Because during a good portion of Season 9, Jim is offered an entrepreneurial sports job that was created from an idea that he and an old college friend had. Throughout the season, Jim and Pam start having a lot of fights over the entire matter and the worst of that is in Customer Loyalty where they get in a extremely brutal and devastating fight. While this isn't painful as far as being very uncomfortable goes like the episodes I went with, it still is painful to watch considering that all we've been through with Jim and Pam seems to be on dangerously thin ice. These moments were heartbreaking, uneasy and just horrid to watch to the point that even if it's not on the list, we still have to recognize them for what they did to us during the final season.    

The Top 5 Best Episodes

5) Beach Games
Like I said when I began to talk about Phyllis's Wedding, I consider season 3 to be the best when it comes to its comedy and big moments that happen to some of the main characters. And one of the best examples of that is in Beach Games. In this episode, Michael learns that he's a candidate for a job at corporate. So he decides to use Beach Day for the entire office as a chance to create a competition on deciding who will take his place as manager if he gets the job. So he selects Andy, Dwight and Jim as candidates and has them form their own teams with other employees; Team U.S.A. for Andy, Team Griffindor for Dwight, and Team Voldemort for Jim (you can guess the kind of jokes are pulled from those names.) And from egg and spoon races to inflatable sumo wrestling matches, we get some really funny jokes. The best one is probably where Jim thought he was going to die during his sumo match against Stanley. It's also an episode that just helped bring up the suspense of not just the possibility of Michael leaving, but the good ol' love triangle between Jim, Pam and Karen. But the best part of the episode is in the very end. When no one else takes Michael's challenge to walk across hot coals, Pam takes the challenge without anyone noticing and as a result of feeling great from the experience, she makes this speech in front of everyone just pouring out her feelings. I still remember seeing this episode for the first time with my mom rewinding that scene a couple of times just loving that moment and cheering Pam on. All this and more makes Beach Games the right episode to be #5 on the list.
4) Halloween
Some of the best moments of the show are when it's Halloween and all the characters dress up. Because who didn't get a kick out of later Halloweens where we have Ryan as Edward Cullen, Jim as a "face"book or Kevin, Creed and Dwight all dressed as Heath Ledger's Joker at the same time? And we all owe our thanks to the episode actually titled Halloween. A good portion of the most memorable jokes and creativity from the show revolves around what everyone is dressed as for Halloween. Dwight is a Sith Lord, Kelly is Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Pam, Phyllis and Angela are all cats, Jim is a "three-hole punched Jim" (it's better explained if you've seen the episode), and so on and so forth. We also get another classic prank against Dwight and a little more of Pam and Jim together which is awesome considering that this was just the fifth episode of season 2/11th episode of the whole series. Now the main story to this episode I'm not too fond of - especially with how it ends, and I feel there are people who feel the same more or less. But it's still one of the funniest and is an altogether classic episode from the show.

3) The Return
Yeah let's face it, we all know the main reason why this is in the list. It's because of Andy putting his fist through the wall. I mean come on, who the heck didn't laugh that he punched the wall? Not to mention Jim's reaction to it which was just priceless. But that's not necessarily the only reason why this episode is on this list. The story plays a great factor into it as well. In the previous episode, Andy tricks Michael into suspecting Dwight for disloyalty. And since the only way to clear his name would also reveal his secret relationship with Angela (which she disapproves), he decides to resign. So Dwight is working at Staples while Andy takes his place and tries to be Michael's new best friend and start to annoy the crap out of everyone. Now sure we may have started to care for Andy a little bit eventually in later episodes when he started dating Erin the first time and all that, but this is a perfect example of how he had come a long way to be likable in any way. Because I think Andy is probably the one of very first if not THE first character that we had come to really deeply hate. I mean again, he gets better later on and we get way worse characters like Charles Miner, but before all of that, there was Andy. So this was a great episode to watch story wise because the office was facing the currently most hated person in the show to date at the time and how it turns out is not only funny but it has a great ending. The story also works as a touching addition to the story line of Dwight and Angela's relationship and the love triangle between Jim, Pam and Karen. 

2) Stress Relief
Part of why I put this episode on the list is because its the one that got me and my whole family into the show. But that doesn't mean there aren't justified reasons to putting it so high. Heck, the first five minutes is completely hysterical. Dwight starts a fire in a trash can and locks all the doors and cuts the wires for the phones in attempt to teach the employees for not taking his fire safety seminars seriously. And what happens when everyone thinks it's an actual fire is just laughing-your-butt-off great stuff. The best line from the episode is probably during the very end of that whole scene where Michael is trying to wake Stanley up when he gets a heart attack. During the rest of this two part episode, we get a little more of Dwight causing trouble again by destroying a CPR dummy but afterwords the whole thing is never brought up again...which is weird, but it gets replaced with Michael eventually deciding to cheer everyone up by making a comedic roast of himself to try to cheer the office up. Even thought I didn't know any of these characters the first time I saw this episode, that didn't stop some of the really big jokes from the roast being any less funny. We also get more romance from Pam and Jim that turns out really touching and also a guest-star-filled-video that some of the staff watch that...while is a sort of strange kind of thing to get in a Office episode, does have its funny moments. Stress Relief as a whole has a great story...or sets of stories with touching romance and exceptional comedy that you don't really get in any other episode of The Office.

1) The Job
I picked this episode for one main reason: it gave us the end of the long wait of Pam and Jim finally getting together. I mean the rest of the episode is great too. The comedy for sure has classic moments like the Schrute Buck, Stanley Nickels, and of course Creed's blog; creedthoughts. It had a very big story with Michael, Jim and Karen all trying to get the position for cooperate while Michael gets back with Jan because of her breast implants (loved how Pam and Jim reacted to that). But it's the very end when Jim asks Pam to dinner that just makes this episode great. Because at this point we've gone through three seasons of Pam being engaged to Roy, Jim confessing is love only to be shot down, Jim leaving Scranton and then coming back dating Karen, Pam's speech during the end of Beach Games and a whole bunch of other great moments. But after all that on top of Jim interviewing for that job to build up the suspense even more, we at last see them start a beautiful relationship that we've all grown to love so well throughout the show. This two-part season finale was well acted, well written, very funny and just gave us one big story that ended with our favorite couple finally getting together at last. And that's why The Job is in my opinion the number 1 episode of The Office.

Honorable Mentions: The Negotiation was a great episode for getting rid of Roy for good (aside from appearing in a couple of episodes) and getting more of the romance between Dwight and Angela. Niagra had Jim and Pam getting married... I'll just leave it at that, the last episodes of Michael had him finally getting engaged to Holly and all the employees saying goodbye we're very emotional, and the second half of Season 9 was funny and it more or less wrapped up all the remaining stories like Erin finding her parents and Dwight and Angela getting married. The last episode gave the series a very emotional and at some points exciting ending. Michael even came back during the wedding where we learn he and Holly have kids which is wonderful. (But we didn't see Holly come with him with the kids. What's up with that?) Even if none of them where the greatest episodes even made, they still gave us a lot and that's why they are at least  honorably mentioned.

So that's all the best and most painful episodes of The Office. And looking back, it really was a good show. Even if it's not one of my personal all time favorite due to how it really was painful in a lot of cases that mostly have to do with Michael, it still was a creative show that gave us so many characters to love or hate, jokes that we don't ever want to forget, romantic moments that deeply touched our hearts, and just one show that had great run and will most likely will be remembered for a very, very long time.

Now if you excuse me, I need to hold my stuffed Snoopy and sing a My Little Pony song swinging back and forth to keep my sanity in check for so much as remembering that Scott's Tots even existed let alone talked about it. So I'll see you guys next time when I officially know that my brain is not terribly damaged from bringing back mental scars.