Aladdin (2019)

Considering the last thing I posted was John Wick, I guess this would be most appropriate:

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So where did I leave off. . .oh yeah:

This week: Aladdin (2019)
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So I haven’t been watching the Disney Live Action Remakes.  God, if I thought of it ahead of time, I should have done a “WE’RE DOING IT LIVE!” Disney Marathon prior to watching Aladdin.

The only other Live Action Disney Remakes I saw were Cinderella and Malificent(which I’m not sure counts since they left out all the songs and got the story wrong).  Cinderella was okay, but kind of underwhelming.  I keep meaning to see the other Disney films, but for one reason or another have not brought myself to watch them.

I don’t think any of them look particularly bad, but I guess I just am meh on them.

Aladdin is a decent movie, the only problem is that you are sitting there the entire movie comparing it to the Animated movie you already know and love.  It makes a point to redo everything simply so it doesn’t do the same thing.  It is like a singer taking a song you know and changing up the pace and trying to make it their own.  It’s nice, but the entire time you are trying to keep pace with the song in your head that you already know and now your timing is off.  It doesn’t make the new version bad, just not what you are used to and you end up not caring for it.

Gonna move into spoiler territory.  Bring protection.

*SPOILERS*

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So we all know the basic story, Aladdin is a street rat who runs into the Princess in disguise and then ends up helping Jafar recover the magic lamp, but curse his sudden but inevitable betrayal. Then Aladdin finds out the lamp has a Genie and he wishes to be a prince but Jafar steals the lamp and then gets tricked into the wrong wish and itty bitty living space.

So I will give some thoughts on some of the changes made while adapting the movie to live action.

Apparently the reason Aladdin is a poor street rat is mainly due to installing hide away stairs leading up to his pent house. Seriously, he pulls a lever and wooden beams slide out of the wall to form a staircase.

While all the singing in Aladdin is good, it looks weird while Aladdin is “running” away from the Guards. Sadly live action just doesn’t easily lend itself to the fluid grace that animation does.

Oh and Jasmine gets her own song. It’s a good song, but a jarring change of pace from the rest. Hell, she even pauses the movie and snaps everyone around her out of existence Thanos Style in order to have her music video moment.

She then calls bulls*** on Jafar’s first wish. Jafar wishes to be Sultan and Genie uses his ULTIMATE COSMIC POWER TO . . .switch hats? And the guards just go along with it. Until Jasmine has her Zack Time Out and then decides to point out that he ISN’T the true Sultan.

This works for about 5 seconds until Jafar makes the sorcerer wish. Which ACTUALLY works. Until Aladdin outsmarts him with the “make me a Genie” wish.

Genie also has his own love story. While Aladdin is making awkward moves on Jasmine, Genie is making equally awkward moves on her Hand Maid. We know it works out because they open the movie with them on a boat with a couple of kids.

Sadly they didn’t do an after credits “made you look!” So that alone makes the whole movie a failure.

So I got about 4 movies in my backlog, plus all the Dark Universe films to get back to.

Next “Week”: The Secret Life of Pets 2

John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum (2019)

This Week: John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum

This is all happening over the course of a few weeks. Seriously.

It’s been 5 years since the first film, but I don’t think all the corpses from the first film have been found and disposed of yet by the end of this film.

That is a LARGE murder spree in such a short amount of time.

The trailers mention how John needs a lot of guns, but hell, he uses just about anything! Guns, knives, hatchets, dogs, bare fists, his belt, a GOD DAMN HORSE! He straight up slaps a horse and has it kick a guy to death. TWICE!

There is just an insane amount of violence and murder in this film.

Oh and we get proper ninjas. Seriously, you are watching a scene and the background just comes to life and kills people. PROPER. F***ING. NINJAS!

One of the downsides is, that like Chapter 2, it is more setting up another film than being its own film.

The first film existed on its own and although the mythology and the world building was there, it was a self contained story that could exist without sequels. This movie is just another middle to a longer story.

But my god is it entertaining to watch.

Next Week: Disney’s Brightburn. James Gunn’s reimagining of the classic Arabian tale, but instead lets pretend Aladdin is a psychopath who wants to kill everyone.

Or

TemplarKnight gets Married.

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

This Week: John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

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So, I never saw this movie in theaters.  I held off watching ANY promotional material for John Wick 3 because I was waiting to watch John Wick 2.  I really do not know why I have waited THIS FREAKING LONG to watch John Wick Chapter 2.  I’m pretty sure this was back during the dark times when I just couldn’t make it out to movies as much as I wanted to.  Hell, I still think I’m in those dark times, but I generally manage to make in enough movies to keep things interesting.

Seeing as this movie has been out for 2 years, spoilers.

So we pick up RIGHT where we left off from the first movie where we remember, “Oh yeah, he never DID get his car back, did he?”

The brother of the Russian mob boss from the last film still has John Wick’s car.  He is describing in great detail how unstoppable John Wick is.  When his underling suggests, “How about we just give the car back?”  And he scoffs at the idea.

John Wick arrives, gets in his car, and drives away.  But one of the Russian’s goons crashes into him.  So after getting into a thrilling car chase, John Wick comes back, kills almost all of the Russian’s underlings, walks into his office, has a drink, and declares peace.

Yeah.  You coulda just given him the car back and called it done.  Enjoy posting new Goon postings on Monster.  Is Monster still a thing?

So John goes home to retire again.  Before the concrete even dries, a new douchebag shows up with more mythology.  John apparently used a “marker” to do the impossible task mentioned in the last film.  This binds him to the villain of this film.  He wants John to kill his sister, to get him a seat at the High Table.

John turns him down, and gets his house blown up.  AND HIS DOG IS KILLED AG- nope, wait Dog lives.  And this dog is REALLY well trained.  He follows without a leash, sits when told to, and instantly bonds with the concierge at the Hotel.

We see John go abroad and meet the Italian version of the Hotel.  We then go through a fun little montage of John getting new guns and knives, layouts of the grounds where his target will be, and one of the bulletproof suits from Kingsman’s Tailors.

John then storms the building where the target is, appears out of nowhere behind the douchbag’s sister, and they have a nice little chat before she. . .cuts her own wrists?

All that planning and he didn’t get to use any of his toys.  John: Eh, what the hell, I bought the bullets, might as well use one. (Shoots her as she dies)

Well, he ALMOST doesn’t have to use any of his guns.  Her body guard recognizes him before he leaves, so he ends up having to shoot his way out of the concert.

The villain turns villain and decides to try and kill John Wick.

Dude is not paying attention.

John manages to escape THAT murder attempt, taking a LOT of goons with him.  So Douchebag Villain puts out a $7 Million open contract on John Wick.  John manages to make it back to New York and continues to have a bad day, with random hitmen trying to cash in.  He kills them all, of course, but takes his bumps along the way.

The fight with the Villain’s Sister’s Bodyguard is pretty interesting.  At one point they are walking through a subway station and taking random pot shots at each other while trying to look inconspicuous.  It is HILARIOUS.

John ends up getting the better of him in a knife fight and leaves him on a train to die.

John then pays a homeless man to get him to Laurence Fishburne.  Laurence Fishburne is the leader of an army of homeless people.  Who are packing.

Y’all better start carrying spare change to give away.

John convinces Laurence Fishburne to give him a gun and safe passage to where the Villain is.  Laurence gives him a gun with 7 bullets.  One for each Million on the contract.

John Wick shows up at the Villain’s gala, and after another spectacular amount of violence, the villain runs to the Hotel seeking safe passage.  John shows up, gets his dog back, and decides to just shoot the villain in the head, right in the lounge.

Ian McShane declares John Wick excommunicated.  We get a pretty cool scene where Ian McShane demonstrates his control by revealing that everyone in the park is working for him.  They all stop at the same time, then walk away.  John declares that ANYONE who comes after him will die.  Ian McShane says that is true.  Then Ian McShane burns John Wick’s membership card.

So the third movie is now set up.  Should be fun.

Tomorrow: John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum

John Wick (2014)

Originally Posted October 24th, 2014

This week: John Wick.

Keanu Reeves kills the f*** out of a bunch of people because they stole his car and killed his dog.

Although it is fun, there is no new ground covered here. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie and can guess the outcome.

If you want a straightforward shoot em up, feel free, but I would say save your money and see it when it comes to netflix.

Next Week: Before I Go to Sleep or Nightcrawler. Unless of course something else pops up.

Update: Okay, my original review did this movie a GREAT disservice.

I loved this movie, and I’m not sure where my head was at the time. I believe I was trying to get into a reviewer mode where yes the fight scenes were cool, but how would the average critic handle this?

I dunno, I think I just assumed at the time that most people would blow this movie off as a mindless action flick.

I have since learned that I know jack all.

I loved the worldbuilding that went on in this film. The Hotel where assassins stayed and the clean up crew.

The smartest cop in ALL OF CINEMA, who knows when he is out of his effing league and decides to just walk away.

This movie is really well done and I generally recommend it to everybody.

Which has me wondering why I haven’t seen the sequel yet? Well, John Wick 3 comes out tomorrow night, so maybe I should get going on that.

Tomorrow: John Wick: Chapter 2: The Dog Did It.

The Invisible Man (1933)

Originally Posted October 4th, 2017

TONIGHT ON TEMPLARKNIGHT MEETS THE UNIVERSAL MONSTERS:

THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)

So invisibility has been the least desirable power for me as far as usefulness. Unless you plan to commit crime, it is kind of useless. Especially considering you have to be naked to use it effectively. My favorite user of Invisibility is The Shadow, which is more accurately convincing people he is not there rather than being truly invisible. It helps he doesn’t have to be naked to use it.

This is one of the first monsters that isn’t anything more than just human. Although he becomes monstrous, he is simply a human. What’s interesting is that he ends up with a much higher kill count than any of the other monsters combined up to this point.

I loved Claude Rains performance. He just seemed to have so much fun with the role. Also the patrons and owners of the Lion’s Head were so much fun. The Hysterical screaming innkeeper’s wife was just great.

My notes for the film:

-Claude Raines (The Invisible One) Spooky Scary.

-Nice little player piano joke.

-What? It’s as if you’ve never had a mysterious figure walk in out of the cold before!

-Sorry, not a lot of jokes or observations to make here, far too engrossed in performances.

– I do not wish to be disturbed.(five seconds and one disturbance later) WHAT DID I JUST SAY?!?

-and now to the family Dr. Franke- I mean Dr. Griffin left behind.

-Okay, Dr. Kemp seems to be trying to steal Dr. Griffin’s girl.

-And back to the Lion’s Head

– My god that woman seems to scream at the drop of a hat. It’s just a tray, you crazy broad!

-Yeah, the mysterious stranger routine only works when you can pay your debts, otherwise you are just a mysterious bum.

-Ouch, that’s a nasty fall down the stairs.

-And more hysterical screaming.

-your power is being invisible. That’s it. You can’t be warning people about anything.

-DAMN YOUR EYES!

-Wow, rather astute reasoning from this country policeman. “He’s invisible, as long as he’s dressed, we can catch him.”

-Though apparently him wearing a shirt is still too much for you.

-I guess being invisible just requires you to mess with people. Can’t just escape, you have to screw with people’s perceptions of reality.

-Yeah, I’m less bothered by talking with an invisible person and more bothered with an invisible person whom I know to be sitting in my chair naked.

-Wow, turn invisible and just immediately decide, “Let’s rule the world, Just you and I!”

-Huh, here you are having a big meeting to prove whether or not an invisible man is terrorizing your town, and when a door mysteriously opens and you immediately assume some kids did it?

-And more hysterical screaming.

-Okay, it is ONE invisible man. When that ONE invisible man is strangling one person, the rest of you try and grab the invisible guy who is doing the strangling.

-My that is a long long list of weaknesses. I hope the person you are telling this to doesn’t turn against you.

-damn, took you long enough to move the body!

-We are searching for an invisible man! Good luck.

-A thousand police officers out LITERALLY beating around the bush, and the invisible man is at home sleeping comfortably.

-BETRAYED!

-God damn, people are trying way too hard to get a crime stoppers reward. “Throw paint on him and shoot him, now when do I get my 1000£?”

-yeah, he’s going to kill you all. Just, all of you.

-Dr Griffin to his fiancé:”That funny little head.” Okay, what is 1930’s obsession with heads?

-And back to the insanity speech, but I have to admit, she is taking it well.

-come on, don’t insult the poor girl’s father.

-Damn, this guy took one minor power, and went FULL ON SUPER VILLAIN MONOLOGUE MODE!

– we shall defeat the invisible man BY HOLDING HANDS!

-And hand holding failed miserably

-Okay, yeah, I would also enjoy freaking people out by being a disembodied pair of skipping singing pants.

-and just killed two people, for no real reason.

-HOLY SHIT HE DERAILED A GOD DAMN TRAIN! Which I guess you don’t need to be invisible to do, but GOD DAMN!

-Uh, if you are carrying a tray of money around, you are able to be found.

-alright children gather round gather round.

-Again, he is INVISIBLE, not insubstantial. He can’t go through walls.

-oh shit, they just spraypainted that poor cat. I wonder what peta thought about this film.

-Wow, those old cars burst into flames REAL good.

-YES I SHALL RULE THE WORLD WITH MY AWESOME POWER, but have to sleep on a bed of straw for the night.

-Bit extreme to burn down the barn to catch someone.

-and shot dead.

-Weird ending, he becomes visible after he died. But at least it wasn’t the abrupt ending as the others gave.

Over all, I enjoyed this one a lot. Still not scary, but my god the voice acting and melodrama can’t be beat.

Tomorrow Night: Dracula, The Mummy, and the Invisible Man all had love interests to pursue and give them purpose, now it is time for the monster to be the Bride.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

This Week: Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

When trailers for this initially came out, I was convinced this was a College Humor/Funny or Die video. A fake trailer that we would never actually see a movie for.

I’m still not convinced this isn’t all a prank. I half expected the ending credits to say, “April Fools!”

This movie does a pretty good job bringing Pokémon to life and putting them into the real world. It is pretty neat to see the various Pokémon in a “real world” setting.

As far as the rest of it goes, it’s just okay. The plot is fairly simple and predictable. The twists can be seen a mile away.

They never really explain why Tim can understand Pikachu outside of everyone else.

There isn’t really anywhere to go from this movie. As much as I would like a Smash Bros Cinematic Universe, I think it is unlikely.

Wow, I can post a review without spoilers!

Next Week: John Wick 3: A Dog’s Journey. John Wick’s dog keeps getting killed and coming back as a different dog.

The Mummy (1932)

Originally posted October 3rd, 2017

TONIGHT ON TEMPLARKNIGHT MEETS THE UNIVERSAL MONSTERS:

THE MUMMY (1932)

Before Brendan Fraser’s The Mummy (1999), I thought this was the least threatening and oddest of the classic monsters. It was only a slow moving zombie in bandages. So what? Even going into this film, I simply pictured it being something like the first Alien movie, where the suspense and story was being trapped in a tomb with the Mummy walking around picking people off, and some falling victim to the booby trapped tomb.

Nope. Fleshed out monster with goals, intent, and powers.

Unlike in Frankenstein where Boris Karloff switched back and forth between slow and lumbering and cat burglar-esque agility and speed, here Boris Karloff sticks to slow and methodical movements throughout. Where I thought the Mummy would spend most of the movie in bandages and lumbering around, he is only in bandages for one scene. You see him open his eyes, grab the scroll and then just see two bandages dragged out of the scene.

Here are some of my thoughts while watching the movie:

-ooo, an actual Model as the Title. How very Mystery Science Theater 3000.

-It’s only a model(shush!)

-Wabbit season, Field Expedition Season, Wabbit season.

-hey Van Helsing, shrugged off that murder by Frankenstein’s monster, I see.

-A CHEST MADE OUT OF GOLD? Damn, murder the other two, and become rich.

-(When Van Helsing Warns them NOT to open the chest)LISTEN TO VAN HELSING! HE KNOWS HIS SHIT!

-what was the point of explaining the scroll of Thoth in the title card if you were just going to have Van Helsing explain it himself almost word for word later?

-This is how the world ends, not with a bang, but with an idiot opening a box.

-Imhotep: I’ll just take my things and go. . . laughing crazy bastard.

-(When the best archeologist quits because of tragic event his last trip) That’s what we in the business call a “Hint”

-Ardeth Bay? Gotta say, seems the Mummy has done well for himself getting back into things. Has his own secret identity, has figured out the modern era, and even has managed to keep his plans in motion for 10 years.

-I swear Helen looks luke Sarah from Cinema Snob’s Midnight Screenings.

-I’m exposition man, vaguely gesture to a character, and I shall tell you their entire story.

-(When Helen suddenly leaves the party due to being possessed) At least this possession didn’t make you leave behind your coat. And also gets how public transportation works.

-Locked doors are too much though.

-Helen: “How did I get here?” Frank(with a BIG smile on his face)”My father and I brought you here! You Fainted!” STOP SMILING WHEN YOU SAY THAT!

-(When Frank is describing his feelings when he unwrapped the mummification of Anut Su Namoon) Wow, you fell in love with a dead chick. Neat.

-Frank: “There was something about her head.” That’s creepy. You’re creepy. Stop being creepy!

-Frank: “You really want to know why I didn’t take you to the Hospital?” Because they would have used a rape kit you CREEPY CREEPY BASTARD!

-When the Mummy is acting less creepy than the leading man, we got some problems.

-Helen! Ardith! Leave some room for Jesus!

-Van Helsing is not afraid to just call out monsters on their monstrosity.

-What’s a Nubian?

-Mummy surveillance. and of course his cat.

-Can’t trick Van Helsing by burning newspaper instead of the scroll.

-And Helen, you are choking that dog as you drag it through the street.

-okay, yeah, Imhotep is officially catching up in the creepy contest.

-Flashback to Ancient Egypt Dream Sequence

-Disapproving Egyptians Disapprove.

-MOVING STATUES!

-Oh no, you caught me! Very well, let’s go.

-yes yes, these heavy stone sarcophagi, easily maneuvered by just two guys.

-Killed the slaves who buried them. Killed the guards who killed the slaves. Killed the Officers who ordered the killing of the guards, who killed the slaves.

-So is this The Mummy or Phantom of the Opera? Cause seriously what is up with this love triangle shit.

-did. . . Did the cat just walk off and kill the dog?

-HOLY SHIT! THE CAT DID KILL THE DOG! WHAT THE FUCK?!?

-Frank: Well, have this charm that kept me alive until now. And now I’m dead.

-one dead guard, a costume change, and off screen ritual later, Helen is now Anut Su Namoon.

– oh Frank’s alive. Yay.

-Deus Ex Machina. I would credit the god that did, but I think that might be misconstrued. Let’s just say her name got borrowed by a not good group.

-And Helen is back, I think. Doesn’t matter story over.

I swear, there is never more than a minute or two between the monster getting vanquished and The End title card. I don’t know why Universal is trying so hard for a cinematic universe here when they had one back in the 30’s. If they didn’t insist on renaming Van Helsing every movie(and killing him in Frankenstein) they could have had him just coming into every movie and being the occult expert. It’s not like they change his role or accent very much.

Again, not very scary but an interesting story. Can’t say I’m a fan of Frank. He was only there to serve as a different love interest for Helen.

Tomorrow Night: From one wrapped up cinema classic to another.