Friday, March 31

Film Friday: Resident Evil: Apocalypse

(As previously stated, in order to do a proper review and breakdown of this series, there are going to be some spoilers.) 

So Apocalypse starts off right where the original ended. The credits intro is Alice rehashing the plot of the first movie via video screen, Cut To:  It's a hot summer day, and life is calm and perfect in Raccoon City.

* * *

 Then it's time for intros to the new non-Alice main characters:


We also meet our further supporting cast, villains, and obvious dead meat characters.

The story line of RE 2 is pretty straightforward:

The Hive has been reopened and the Raccoon City outbreak has happened. Raccoon City is (evidently) sealed off (I don't actually know how, it just is), except for Raven's Gate Bridge. Eventually our puppet master villain, Major Cain, says "screw this, lock everyone in," - but wait! - Dr. Ashford (who, in this movie is the creator of the T-Virus), wants to get his daughter, Angie, out of lockdown city for obvious reasons.
[Note: Not only do they have the zombies and other monsters running around, but the city is set to be destroyed at sun up.]

So Dr. Ashford does the movie version of hacking and uses the magic of [the government is spying on you] and (get this - payphones, lol), to get in touch with people (our main characters) still inside the city and the rest of the movie is essentially an escort mission with an added bonus boss creature. You see, Major Cain wants to see Celebrity Death Match: T-Virus Edition, and has unleashed the Nemesis to hunt down Alice and any STARS members during said escort mission.

Shit happens, fight scenes with club music on meth happen. Our characters have their limited (but occasionally fun) development and exactly how stupid are you? moments.

Eventually the final showdown between Alice and the Nemesis happens, (they even bring in stadium lights - fun for the whole family!) Cain gets his, and our heroes escape (only to crash in the Arklay Mountains, no less).
Alice is back in the Umbrella Labs of Evil and is essentially a toddler, both physically and mentally. But she is gaining her physical and mental strength back at "a geometric rate." Which makes Dr. Isaacs happy. He's all, "Hey, do you remember anything? Do you remember who you are?"
And 30 seconds of screen time/"geometric rate" growth, she's like "Yeah, I'm Alice, and you're the fucker who has been experimenting on me and also created the Nemesis Project." She is understandably upset.

There is an escape and we learn she now has telekinetic powers.

Not, however, the intelligence and foresight to actually - you know - kill the doctor.

So now she's "Program Alice." She has evolved from Security Chief Normal Human Alice to Super Alice and at the end of movie 2, she is now "Super-Duper Alice." 

Plot holes abound and there are continuity errors, but again, the movie is straightforward and fun enough. It's super light and full of action, a good on in the background/nothing else on/home sick from work pick. It's not a smart movie by any means; if you played a drinking game pointing all the laughable points, you'd be in a coma by the end. But again . . . fun.

Ties to the game:
Several nods. Nemesis is a direct character. Dr. Ashford is sort of a combination of all of the RE Canon (games, books) doctors who are credited with various parts of the creation of the T-Virus, one of them being a Dr. Ashford. His daughter, Angie Ashford, is somewhat of a comparison to the little girl in the game RE 2, who is also the daughter of an Umbrella scientist.
Jill Valentine is obvious, being one of the two primary playable characters in the original game, references to STARS members and some of the supporting, i.e., dead meat characters, are also supporting characters throughout the game.
Apocalypse is kind of a combination of the games RE 2 & 3, but by no means a faithful adaptation.


Heads Up: Violence, Blood, Gore, Language, Monsters

Friday, March 24

Film Friday: Resident Evil (1)

In order to faithfully break down and review each of these movies, there are going to be spoilers as I discuss plot. If you are desperately in need of not having anything spoiled for you, you'll have to skip the Resident Evil Reviews series.

The first in the series, Resident Evil is easily the best of the group. That doesn't mean it's good. Totally popcorn worthy, the plot is straightforward: there is a viral outbreak in some sort of corporate lab, the AI computer monitoring the place says: "seal shit off and no one gets out, because we just can't risk it." So the building is sealed and everyone dies. 
Thank you for saving humanity from the T-Virus, AI computer. 

And then we a bunch of commandos lead Milla Jovovich (Alice), who is evidently the head of security for the Umbrella Corporation, (but suffering from memory loss), down into The Hive. They open it up because they want to know what happened. 
And this stupidity is why we have a movie. 
Rain, played by Michelle Rodriguez, even states it: 

So, the AI that watches over everything down here decided everyone needed to die and the whole thing should be shut up against possible intruders? Sounds like "containment" to me. 
But I get it. 
They had to know. They had to make sure The Red Queen wasn't just acting up. So they sent a team in. OK. We'll let this go. 
And so they keep exploring The Hive, in search of answers. 

Oh, her defenses are up, you say? She's making it difficult, you say? 
Maybe there's a reason for that. Maybe there was a whole containment plan in case of outbreak. 

The team forces their way through. Bad things with lasers happen.

But eventually they make heir way through the hallway of death into the main room, aka, The Red Queen's Chamber."  They really want to turn her off and back on again, because it works with phones and laptops, right?
She tries to stop them.

OK, creepiest representation of AI ever, but sometimes you should listen to the horrifying blood red little girl hologram when she says "don't do that." 
{Spoiler alert: they don't listen.} 

And then things proceed to get worse. Whoops, probably shouldn't have shut down the power system that was keeping everything sealed, i.e., keeping all the killer monsters contained.

To be fair, that was the team's first objective.

They do suffer from being super low on the zombie-killing learning curve. The first zombie attacks at 38:59, and it's not until 58:17 - a full twenty minutes of screen time! - that they realize "oh, gee, you have to shoot them in the head." (Also? They didn't discover this themselves, they had to be straight up told.)

Welp. Now they know what to do. Our group of hero commandos spends the rest of film trying to get back out of The Hive before the big doors seal themselves forever and nothing can get out - ever.
(Personally, I am in favor of the nothing ever getting out plan, but I'm on Team Red Queen, not Team Dip Shits.)
Much running around ensues, there is some blood, some unrealistic Jovovich ass-kicking, and for sub plot we have the mystery of who the inside contacts were and also, can we trust that one guy?
It's not brain food. (LOL, Brain Food.)

PS: Michelle Rodriguez doesn't make it. :( 

So, shit happens and because there are six total movies featuring Milla Jovovich in the center, I don't feel like I'm spoiling anything by saying she and one other dude, Matt, make it out alive. Scientists and more commandos descend onto them and the lead guy is all: "Sedate that chick, I want to do science on her and she is being annoying. And for funsies, let's put that Matt guy into the The Nemesis Program. Also, open up The Hive, baby, 'cuz I want to know what the plot of this movie was."

And we end on Alice waking up 28 Days Later style in a hospital room wearing only a gown and with part of her head shaved. When she makes it to the street, she sees that opening The Hive was actually a bad idea, and surely enough, there has been a massive outbreak Raccoon City.
The End.

This movie isn't the smartest of films, and the beginning sequence of Alice walking around The Mansion is slow (I almost always fast forward that), but overall it's a decent enough, fun flick for fans of zombies and horror. It's not brilliant or deep, and nuance is nonexistent, but it does what it's meant to do, it doesn't pretend to be something it's not.

Ties to the game:
Almost none. The Mansion, we can imagine, is probably meant as the tiniest of shout-outs to The Mansion from the original Resident Evil Playstation game. And The Nemesis is a character from the 3rd in the game series, so having Matt "put into The Nemesis program" is another. Other than that, there really are none.


Heads Up: Blood, Gore, Language, Monsters, Violence

Tuesday, March 21

Life Lessons From a Mini Panther

 1.) Natural Light is (Generally) a Girl's Best Friend

2.) It is Important to Stretch

3.) Take Care of Yourself

4.) Enjoy the Beauty That Life Does Offer

5.) And Play Hard

6.) Life Will Always Get Overwhelming at Some Point, 
and it's Perfectly Okay - and Even Necessary - to Just Take
a Break and Hide Out.

7.) It is Okay to Be Angry Sometimes.
You Don't Always Have to Be Little Miss Pleasant 
Just to Please Others.

8.) But Ultimately, Everyone Needs to Learn to Compromise.

9.) Help Others When You Can, 

10.) Even if All You Can Do is a Hug and a Cuddle.

Sunday, March 19

Sunday Confessions March 19, 2017

I Confess: I am not working today. My stomach is twelve different types of messed the hell up. Note: macaroni & cheese is now on the permanent no-go list. I've been tracking how I feel physically after eating and looking at my tracker, virtually every time I have eaten mac & cheese in the past few months, I have gotten a headache and/or sick to my stomach. You wanted to know this, didn't you? 

I Confess: I was so thrilled with the Becky character from Finding Dory that I ordered a tee shirt with her on it from Amazon. According to tracking, it will be here sometime late next month. (Made in China.) 


I Confess: It is taking me forever to get through The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. I'm about three stories from finished, but I feel like I've been reading this since puberty.

Friday, March 17

Film Friday: Rings


Guys, Rings is awful.
As in, this is the worst movie I'm reviewing since starting Film Friday. It's a special type of bad. 
The Ring, I think we can all agree, was awesome. (71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which I think is a bit low, but not terrible.)  The Ring Two is stupid and tends to drag until the awkward do-the-rules-still-actually-apply? ending, but it's enjoyable. It has a 20% Rotten Tomatoes rating, and that's about accurate. But what The Ring Two has that this film doesn't is the laughability factor. Watching it, I chuckle to myself, thinking "you dumb shit." Ha ha, lol.

And then this movie with its 6% Rotten Tomatoes rating happened.

There are a lot of failures within this movie, but I'm going to focus on the main ones.

1.) The opening scene is utterly superfluous, and the minor scene that connects the jammed-in opening sequence to the rest of the film is lazy and expositional at best. I can just see a group of asshat producers and/or writers  - (a total of 6 writing credits on this piece of shit, folks. Six. One for the original Ringu dude, two are for "story by" and three are for "screenplay by") - sitting in a room saying "You know what would look really cool? If this happened. . . " And then it was like "we absolutely must find a way to ram this sequence in, so make it happen. Also? It did not look cool, it looked dumb.

2.) Our "heroes" are just the worst.  Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz {oi} and Alex Roe  appear to have attended the Kristen Stewart school of acting. Their characters, Julia and Holt, put it lightly, criminally boring, and while the script doesn't give them much to work with, they don't bring much of anything, either.
Let me put it this way: there is a scene which involves a telephone pole and both of our "heroes" are on-screen the entire time. I realized after the scene was done that I had been paying attention to the telephone pole; it was more interesting.
Guys, I've got to be perfectly honest: I've seen better performances out of cheese.


3.) ALSO: Holt and Julia are the dumbest characters I have seen in a horror movie since I Know What You Did Last Summer - and those characters were epic on the stupidity scale. Everybody is familiar with the concept of Chekov's Gun, yes? Well, it works both ways. What I mean is that, if someone is going to be saved by their mad swimming skills, you need to show they are a good swimmer somewhere in the beginning - preferably with some measure of subtlety. If a gun is hanging on the wall, the gun better go off later, or it's unnecessary.
Conversely, if a character DOESN'T do something that is the "why wouldn't you just..." - there better be an explanation. WHY didn't the teenager in the woods just get in the car and drive away? Oh, the lights were left on and the battery died? Well, shit. WHY didn't our hero just go hide in the panic room until the killer got bored and left? - We know from something in the first scene that he is deeply claustrophobic, so it makes sense he wouldn't do that.
Holt, especially, is guilty of doing and not doing things that are A.) Counter-intuitive to what we understand to be his nature, and B.) ANY normal human being would do, but he just . . . doesn't.
(If you want to know more , you can click here.)

Le sigh. This movie suffers from shoehorned scenes, flat acting, dumb ass characters, breaking the rules of its own universe, poor cinematography, predictability, bad lighting, uneven pacing, and random just "what the hell are you doing?-ness".


Heads Up:  I don't remember much to be warned about. Violence, I guess. Swearing, maybe? Girl in her underwear. Bad writing. Wooden dialogue.

In theaters.

Saturday, March 11

Sunday Confessions March 12, 2017

I Confess: I watched Finding Dory for the first time last night, and I definitely reacted like this at certain key parts.

I Confess: I am working on a whole series of reviews of the Resident Evil film series because I weirdly enjoy (most of) this series, even though it is awful on so many levels. But it's just delightful and a guilty pleasure even though we all know what Dave Grohl thinks about that. Still, I feel the need to kind of do a breakdown of the series and its merits (few) and failures (many) as a whole.
And if you haven't seen the series, let me assure you: it is bad.

hd home alone horrible

I Confess: I have a pimple on my jawline (thanks, menstruation!) and I can't seem to leave it alone. I hate that. Boo.

Sunday, March 5

Sunday Confessions March 5, 2017

I Confess: Shawn & I went to an Applebee's downstate. And our service was bad. I asked for 2 different dipping sauces for my quesadillas and only got one. (Okay, no biggie.) I said I didn't want salsa, I got salsa. (Again, not really that big a deal.) But. It took our server about 35 minutes to bring us our appetizer. And unfortunately, I'm not exaggerating that number. And while I understand things get backed up in a kitchen, it wasn't until the 25 minute mark that she was like "oh, sorry about the wait, things get backed up sometimes. It'll be out in a few minutes."  (Tip: that should happen at about the 12-15 minute mark so people will know they will be waiting. Rather than 25 minutes of seeing/hearing nothing from their server at all, which screams of "oops, forgot to put your order in."

 So, I am confessing: guess who only left a 10% tip? 

I Confess: Sometimes I want to do social commentary posts. Reactions to articles or stories about race, gender, human rights, etc. But I also don't want to bore/alienate people. But sometimes I get very pissed about the lack of common sense in the world. Also: sometimes I have questions. And I wonder if I am the only person who has these questions or musings. So I am curious: would this bother you guys? I honestly want to know, because I care.