One of the sweetest, feel good movies in recent memory, ‘Love & Monsters’ came as a totally welcome surprise! And that’s all being said as someone who’s normally pretty tough on newer horror/fantasy/sci fi movies. Love & Monsters which came out last year may not have the most original plot but it more than makes up for any shortcomings with its impressive special effects and it’s truly heartwarming adventure. I guess I’d at first glance describe this as having somewhat of a “Zombieland” type of a thing going on and it might be easily dismissed as just some wimpy copycat. On the contrary, Love and Monsters buries ‘Zombieland’ (and especially the sequel), with what I think are just plain more likable characters who embark a much more compelling and colorful adventure in general.
Roughly seven years after the Earth was subjected to a mysterious monster invasion, the rather cowardly Joel Dawson has been living underground with a small pod of people trying to avoid what lurks above. He spends his time reconnecting over the radio with his high school girlfriend, Aimee, whom he was separated from when the tragedy hit and also cooking his signature soup for his crew. When the feelings of isolation and cabin fever finally get the best him he decides to muster up the courage to head to the world above. Seeking to finally reunite with his lost love who resides 80 miles away at a coastal colony, as he surmises that there’s nothing really left for him underground anymore. As he heads out alone he soon realizes he’s hardly prepared for the dangers all around him in the outside world. Mutant monsters are hungry and lurking around nearly every corner.
One of the high points here is the inclusion of charming canine character named “Boy”. Lifting a bit from ‘A Boy and his Dog’ (minus the weird sex plot) in a much sweeter way, we get the best of both world’s here for this little apocalyptic adventure. ‘Boy’ proves to be the show stealer here imo and his bond with Joel makes dealing with the dangers a bit less frightening, all things considered. The two make an excellent team against the creatures and it’s clear that they both need each other more than they likely ever realized for piece of mind in a crazy world. He also meets a few other interesting characters, a pair of wandering scavengers, Michael Rooker along with the ruff and tumble little girl named ‘Minnow’. Joel soon learns the tricks of the trade from them and has to make a big decision on the outcome of his journey. One of the best scenes involves a strange AI intelligence, who brings even more unexpected meaning to his travels.
The whole thing is a great exercise in escapism during these real life uncertain times we all face at the moment. It also shows just how important real human (and animal) connections will hopefully always be to us here on the planet as we move forward. As we’re feeling isolated to certain degrees currently, Love and Monsters showcases some parallels to the current state of affairs. I guess we can all at least be relieved that big mutant monsters aren’t waiting to chomp us to bit when we head outside at least?
Let me get to the monsters here as well, I was half expecting some sort of chintzy fx work here to spoil the damn party. Not the case, the creatures here though mostly CGI are a treat to behold and for the most part are pretty convincing threats to our heroes. As a HUGE fan of monster movies I think it hits that sweet spot quite nicely. There’s also some cool plot twists and of course some admittedly hokey ones that otherwise might not have worked without such strong characters at the forefront. If you’re looking for “Calgon to take you away” (80’s kids you know the reference) from the worries of the real world, I can’t think of a better new fantasy adventure flick to visit than ‘Love and Monsters’, easily one of my faves of 2020!
I checked out ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ today, a movie I was super excited for as I was a huge fan of ‘Days of Future Past’ and the other Singer X-Men movies. I’m sorry to say that for some reason this latest installment is a big bloated mess that sadly misses the mark by a boatload. I loved that the last movie was set in the 1970’s & was so stoked on the idea of this one taking place in the 1980’s. However, aside from some cool vintage wardrobe and a Ms. Pac-man video game there wasn’t much else in this one that for me really brought me back to that great era of the X-Men comic books.
There was simply just too many damn characters running around, the story was missing heart and the special effects were just too much of a cartoony CG mess to convince me that the Earth was in any serious danger. I had high hopes forthe movies antagonist Apocalypse too and didn’t even mind his look, which most people were in a frenzy about from the start. However, Apocalypse as a villain was just way too hokey to be taken seriously and yeah he really did look a bit ridiculous I must admit.
And Talk about a villain who takes himself way too seriously, jeez, he seemed more like an overdramatic cartoon version of the legendary villain. We’re really not given that much character development here for anyone, everything that happens happens way too coincidentally including the origin of people’s hairstyles! It seems Apocalypse is not only responsible for huge amounts of global chaos but also for Storm’s white hair & ALSO Professor X’s bald ass head!! Continue reading
I really don’t like to be negative here at Universal Dork but having seen the new X-men: Age of Apocalypse trailer, the one character I was most stoked on seeing in this movie has suddenly become the biggest disappointment of the first trailer.
Archangel is hands down one of my favorite characters in the Marvel universe, when Angel made the transformation into this character in the 80’s he became one of the most deadly X-men of all time. One who could suddenly go toe to toe with the likes of Wolverine and Sabretooth. Warren Worthington had such a cool look too that really separated him from the cute, cuddly, handsome look of the classic Angel.
Well it seems that Bryan Singer decided to keep Warren looking like the beautiful blonde Angel (with a bad hair cut to boot) in the role of Acrhangel rather than the dark deadly blue skinned killing machine he’s been portrayed as in the comic books. He looked even more sinister when he joined the ranks of X-Force not too long ago.
This is a minor gripe, if you’re not a huge fan of the character but Archangel’s story is quite compelling too and goes hand in hand with Apocalypse. His physical transformation is incredibly important to the potency of the characters emotionally dark & heavy backstory.
Warren was transformed into freaky looking killing machine and had to come to terms with his odd appearance, he was no longer the handsome angelic superhero everyone had always been so fond of.
So yeah, I’m a bit disappointed with this movie version of Archangel, I like his wings and his suit is decent, but once again Hollywood for some reason has tried to fix something that was never broken. It seems we’ve just got to keep the sex appeal of the star in a Hollywood movie rather than stay true to his comic origins. I’ve still got high hopes for this movie however the excitement around Archangel has died..
I blogged about this one a a couple weeks ago and now we have the official trailer for “Turbo Kid”! This look like a ton of fun for any fan of those 80’s Mad Max style flicks. “In a post-apocalyptic future a young solitary scavenger obsessed with comic books must face his fears and become a reluctant hero when he meets a mysterious girl. From horror masterminds Ant Timpson (The ABCs Of Death 1 & 2, Housebound) and Jason Eisener (Hobo With A Shotgun).”
This one looks pretty over the top! Check this shit out!!!
Who doesn’t love an old school apocalyptic survival flick these days?! I know I do an after seeing Mad Max: Fury Road yesterday and having my mind completely blown with awesomeness I’m most definitely ready for more!! I’ll go on record here to say I was a bit underwhelmed with Avengers: Age of Ultron. It just didn’t really stick. The story was lackluster and it felt a bit too much like a repeat of the first flick in nearly every way. So I was pleased to see Mad Max kick the movie going experience back into high gear with amazing stunts, breathtaking action, incredible costumes and old school special effects as well as some awesome CG. I call it the blockbuster of the year. Well now today I witnessed a trailer and promo video for “Turbo Kid” and well it looks fantastic! Check out this awesome poster..
“In a post-apocalyptic future, THE KID, a young solitary scavenger obsessed with comic books must face his fears and become a reluctant hero when he meets a mysterious girl named APPLE. Despite their efforts to keep to themselves, ZEUS, the sadistic and self-proclaimed leader of the Wasteland, plagues THE KID and APPLE. Armed with little more than blind faith and an ancient turbocharged weapon, THE KID learns of justice and friendship and embarks on an incredible journey to rid the Wasteland of evil and save the girl of his dreams.”
This one is a true homage to the apocalyptic flicks of the 1980’s that were all a direct result of the success of George Miller’s Mad Max series. You know the movies where it was like 1995 and the world was nothing more than a wasteland? Anyway I’m really excited for this one. It looks like a ton of dumb fun and so far it look s like it could have come out in the 1980’s. This cool flick from New Zealand should be on your radar!
Check out this short that inspired the feature film:
And the new trailer:
And a great interview with the directors!
This new pic released as concept art for Bryan Singer’s X-men: Age of Apocalypse has got me pretty damn excited. It clearly shows that this “final” installment of the movie franchise will feature once again The Angel, (Warren Worthington III) making an appearance on the big screen! Unfortunately we got a pretty flimsy version of the iconic X-man in Ratner’s X-men in 2006, that’s not to say the casting wasn’t pitch perfect with Ben Foster in the role. It really featured him in a bit role as an easily forgettable part of the critically un-acclaimed movie. So now we’ve possibly got Ben Hardy being cast as that same character in the upcoming movie and really that can mean only one thing. Apocalypse and The Angel on the sliver screen together=Archangel. Check out this pic released yesterday…
So in the pic it looks like Warren is on display, caged in some sort of auditorium. People think this might be some sort of traveling carnival, or an alternate dimension but I think it’s Angel perhaps held captive by some anti-mutant group before they “clip his wings” for show. It also reminds me of an image of Warren when his wings were taken from him viciously by The Marauders during the Mutant Massacre storyline(one of the best), however in the above concept picture it’s not clear if his wings have been impaled.
To me it was a sad day back in the 1980’s for The Angel when this happened and the loss of his wings ultimately lead to him “committing suicide” by crashing a plane he was piloting. We all know though he was far from dead and the next chapter for the character was perhaps the most compelling. Apocalypse saved him from his suicide and turned him into a blue skinned killing machine with razor sharp metal wings. No longer was Warren the blonde pretty boy, now he was a deadly character that could go one on one with the likes of Wolverine and Sabretooth. Archangel is easily one of my favorite Marvel characters of all time but over time they decided to transform him back into the his original form with the feather wings.
We however in the past few years saw the Archangel persona return and join X-Force where he lead the team to murder the resurrected incarnation of Apocalypse as a young boy. So I can say with certainty that we are going to see Archangel on the big screen because lets face it to include Warren Worthington and Apocalypse in the same flick and not follow this story line would be a crime! Don’t screw this up Singer!!!
I had to weigh in on this new Mad Max trailer and I have to admit I wasn’t the least bit excited about this whole thing. I haven’t seen much success by bringing back these classic movie franchises into the current world by way of rebooting or giving us the sequel we’ve “always dreamed of”. Let’s face it there have been a ton of less than impressive, totally forgettable films out there recently masquerading under the names of the movies we loved as kids. Most of them seriously, seriously suck. So to hear that a new Mad Max was on the way to me sounded like yet another weak ass attempt to yet again capitalize off of our nostalgia. But then the trailer dropped and it appears that Mad Max: Fury Road clearly ain’t fucking around!
So what gives? Why is this trailer so awesome?! Well for one it’s George Miller who’s directing, who also helmed the previous two Mad Max flicks of the 1980’s and it’s a continuation of his vision. Even if we don’t have Mel Gibson returning, who I think would have if he hadn’t turned into the world’s biggest douche bucket! Second he made it clear that he wasn’t focusing on modern CGI to bring this one to life, and the realism can clearly be seen in the trailer. He’s used 80% practical effects, with actual living human stuntmen, real car crashes and shot the film on location rather than putting everyone in front of a green the entire time.
By the look of the trailer you can see he’s using the prefect blend of CG and real world to make this one of the best looking, most exciting flicks(hopefully) of 2015. Let’s be honest here, I don’t think CG has much of a place in the action film genre, perhaps that’s why a great action flick is a dime a dozen these days. This is a breath of fresh air, and I’m starting to see a trend happening if even a little bit in Hollywood. Let’s hope this one has a great story to go along with it’s incredible visuals and action!
With all of this talk about the death of Wolverine lately it’s got many people debating the true motivations behind Marvel’s decision to “off” him. Some people think it’s a dick move by Marvel to screw over Fox for having the rights to the character theatrically. Others think more to the obvious, that Wolverine has been turned into a boring, over exploited, cash-cow character by Marvel. As I said yesterday, he was once the most mysterious character perhaps in comic book history. There’s not much left to the imagination anymore regarding Logan, not many interesting stones left unturned in his past. However I’d like to bring to light something that we touched upon a few years back here that’s quite interesting. Logan’s other son “Erista”! Nope we’re not talking about that brat Daken. We’re talking about another kid that “dead beat dad” Logan has running around the Savage Land! Many people forget about a one shot by Mike Mignola called “The Jungle Adventure” from 1989.
This saw Wolverine escaping his troubles in the Savage Land, because back in the 1980’s when Wolverine was interesting he’d do cool shit like this. There he met an amazonian woman named Ghack and they got busy right there in the Jungle, of course this happened when Wolverine was still a rad dude before he started hanging out at the Avengers mansion with Tony Stark drinking cocktails. So Ghack has a child named Erista, son of Wolverine. Of course Wolverine splits and never checks back to see if he got Ghack pregnant, maybe not such a cool move, but well I guess that’s how he rolled back then.
Strangely we have never seen or heard from Erista or Ghack since! Nope just this one issue ever addresses the issue. It’s hard to believe that Marvel hasn’t exploited the living shit outta his long lost son by now! I say with Wolverine soon to kick the bucket we finally get the scoop on this guy! What the hell has he been up to? Is he still roaming around the Savage Land? Perhaps he’s a character we’ve already met-who’s simply unaware that Logan is his father? Shouldn’t he meet his douchey brother Daken one of these days? I think this is a missed opportunity Marvel-you could cash in big time with Erista! At the very least it’s something that legitimately remains one of the last truly mysterious things about Wolverine’s past…
I had the pleasure yesterday of watching ‘Dead Weight‘ a great little indie horror gem all the way from my home state of Wisconsin. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from this one and to be honest, I haven’t really seen too much in the way of cinema coming out of “America’s Dairyland”. I’d have to say that Dead Weight is much less of a horror movie than it is a drama set in an apocalyptic wasteland.
I could draw some comparisons obviously to The Walking Dead, as I’m fairly certain that writers and directors Adam Bartlett and John Pata are big fans (I’ve heard the DVD will feature artwork by original Walking Dead artist Tony Moore!) but this plays out as something much more than a mere carbon copy. Sure the story revolves around a small band of survivors of some sort of viral outbreak traveling a barren landscape and yeah they meet some ultra sketchy people along the way. What we are really witnessing is one man’s psychological breakdown as he desperately travels by foot to reunite with his lover in a small northern Wisconsin city.
The movie shows flashbacks of Charlie (Joe Belknap) and his girlfriend Samantha (Mary Lindberg) before tragedy struck while at the same time following him on his journey to reunite with her after these events. I really loved the contrast between the warm colorful flashbacks and the cold, grey, dismal look of Charlie’s journey in the aftermath. Who would’ve known that Wisconsin would make such a convincing setting for a zombie wasteland?
The film really looks great too, the locations chosen really give you a feeling of dread and isolation which makes it that much more tense when other survivors enter the equation. What also grabbed me was the tightly woven story, which I might add has it’s fair share of twists and turns, something I truly appreciate in my cinematic viewing when done effectively. The short explanation for what may have caused this tragedy was also an interesting addition to the plot as it unfolded.
Dead Weight is pretty light on the violence and we barely see a “zombie” in sight anywhere throughout the movie. To me that’s great, as I’m quite honestly pretty burnt out on the zombie genre at this point. It seems people are still cranking out zombie movies by the boatloads these days, jam packed with, shoddy gore, CG blood and weak ass plot lines. That’s exactly why Dead Weight succeeds, its unique character study plays out quite differently than most zombie flicks.
Without giving too much away, I’d say this is a pretty true to life tale of how people might actually act in this type of situation. Sometimes there are no real heroes and people act simply off of their own emotions and selfish motivations, making the idea of a situation like this much more hopeless and bleak. Something this movie did a great job of portraying. That’s not to say the movie was flawless, the flashbacks were well put together but I really wasn’t fully convinced of the love and emotion Charlie and Samantha had for each other. In fact the two of them together felt a bit off at points. It would have been nice to really feel exactly what made Charlie go against all odds to try and reunite with her.
Plain and simple Dead Weight is a great slice of cinema from Wisconsin! An intriguing story and solid acting by all involved. This was a true independent film and the first for Adam Bartlett and John Pata. I was truly impressed that they pulled off a horror drama, I consider it quite daring as most people on a small budget in this genre go for the tired “over the top” zombie comedy. So kudos for putting some real heart and emotion into a memorable zombie film. That alone is an incredibly tough thing to accomplish in the sea of undead movies flowing onto the shelves these days! I’m pumped to see what these guys do next, I’d say they’re going to be putting the cheese state on the map of movie making in a big way in the near future….
Dead Weight will be released nationally on DVD and VOD January 21st, 2014. Look for it here soon on Netflix too. Check out the trailer:
The other day I was re-reading the somewhat forgotten Wolverine graphic novel, ‘The Jungle Adventure’, a great solo Wolverine story by Walt Simonson and Mike Mignola.
In this tale, Wolverine escapes from his recent troubles with the X-Men by hanging out in the Savage Land. Eventually he becomes a pretty prominent member of a native tribe, even fighting Apocalypse in their defense.
But the real gold is that while there, he fucks a very large woman named Ghack who delivers his son, unbeknownst to him. This little guy’s name is Erista and nobody has given a shit about him since 1990!!
Instead we have this Daken dipshit running around the MU with his ‘tribal tats’ and mohawk, crying to everyone within earshot about his daddy issues. I think the time is now for the return of Erista, savage-land warrior with Wolverine’s blood, to surface in the MU, put Daken out of his misery and stake his claim as the original Wolverine offspring.
Oh and anyone else out there wondering about Lynx? She was like a daughter to Wolverine and last we saw her, it was 1993 and she was left to fend for herself in the Candian wilderness. Let’s get her back too so she can show X-23 (or Laura or whatever) who’s boss!