Transformers: Age Of Extinction Review

transformers_age_of_extinction_movie_poster
So, Michael Bay has been doing these Transformers movies for about 7 years now, to varying degrees of success, depending on who you ask. A lot of people enjoy the movies, myself included, for what they are. That is, loud, explosion filled movies with some sweet robot action. Obviously people enjoy them, elsewise we wouldn’t be here 7 years later. These movies make money, hence why we keep getting new ones. But there are a lot of others that declare the Bayformers movies as utter crap, cinematic excrement. And this latest movie is no exception. If you already don’t like the movies, you won’t like this one, but if you do like these movies, then you’ll enjoy it. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I have some issues with the movie, stuff that made me go ‘WTF’ in the theater as it happened. So, let me break down what was cool, and what was not so much cool, while these thoughts are still fresh in my head.

First, the good:

1. Frank Welker. Now, for longtime fans of the franchise, we know that Frank Welker was the original voice of Megatron in the 80’s show. When Michael Bay first started this franchise back in 2007, he signed on original Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen, to bring the character to life for a new generation, and for whatever reason…marquee value I suppose, chose to go with Hugo Weaving for the voice of the Decepticon leader. And he was decent…but he’s no Frank Welker. Now finally, we have Frank Welker back as Galvatron, who was initially voiced by Leonard Nimoy in the 80’s movie. They already used Nimoy on the last movie as Sentinel Prime, so we need a new Galvatron, why not just go back to basics? Which they did, and I loved every bit of Galvatron action in the movie.

I….really thought there was more to this than just that….but the more I think of it…that’s pretty much it. Now the action is frequent, and pretty awesome, but that’s really it. It’s entertaining to watch, but utterly forgettable movie. Now for the Bad section, now this stuff I need to get off my chest.

1. Laughably bad dialogue. This movie was written by just one screenwriter, Ehran Kruger, who used to write good scripts like Arlington Road…and now he’s writing lines like

Mark Wahlberg: You can’t search my house, you need a warrant!

Guy from Lost and Sons of Anarchy as a CIA type: My face is my warrant.

Another scene

Optimus Prime: We swore to play by the rules….but now the rules have changed.

And others just as bad, that didn’t stick in my head like these examples.

2. The Dinobots were the main featured attraction in all the previews, and the only reason they are in this movie it seems is just so Optimus Prime can ride Grimlock into battle. That’s basically it, they don’t even get named or have their personalities, which I wanted to see, they’re just borderline mindless robots that just happen to turn into Dinosaurs.

3. Optimus Prime has rocket boots. Yes you read that right, Optimus Prime can now not only fly but can fly into deep space, on his own…which makes no sense considering they used spaceships to come to earth in the first place, and now Optimus can fly….for no reason other than to set up the next movie. Which I will still see…but still, WTF…

4. Mark Wahlberg playing a robotics expert from Texas, who’s lived there his whole life it seems, with a Boston accent. C’mon man, don’t be like Kevin Costner in Robin Hood, if you’re playing a character from a different location other than your own, you adapt, that’s why they have vocal coaches, so good actors can fake new dialects, like half the stars of current tv shows are actually British, but you couldn’t tell that on the shows.

5. The length of the movie. Now, some movies need to be epic in length, because they are indeed epic, things like The Dark Knight, and Lord of the Rings needed that. Other movies, like King Kong or these movies, don’t really need to be three hours long…but they are, because they can. I lost track of time after a while, but was thinking in the back of my head, this should be close to done now, right? And I was wrong. Cut the movie down next time, 2 hours is just fine to tell a decent story. Hell the 1980’s Transformers was only an hour and a half or so. And that movie still holds up to this day, for me.

And one last thing, that just left me scratching my head, not a real comment on the movie, but is Bingbing a common Chinese name? We had Fan Bingbing in the latest X-Men movie, and now here we have Bingbing Lee. I’d love to see those two meet, along with X-Men’s Booboo Stewart. Bingbing, meet Bingbing, Bingbing, Booboo, Bingbing, Booboo…

Well that’s it, take it for what it is, if you already hate Michael Bay as a curse upon Hollywood, destroying your childhood, then just avoid the movie, but if you like this sort of thing, which I do, then you’ll probably enjoy it. But this is a very flawed, albeit entertaining, for the most part movie. Till next time, be sure to keep it Reel.

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Chili Cheese Crescent Dogs, a how to on a quick, messy, delicious treat.

 

      Hello all, now, one of my cooking staples has always been the cheesy crescent dog.  Which yes, is basically an oversized pig in a blanket, but more meal worthy and less of an appetizer.  But today I thought I’d put a twist on that, and told myself I’d write about for this week’s blog entry if they came out as delicious as I imagined.  And they did, so here we are with another recipe from Mike’s Kitchen.  I don’t make healthy, but I make awesome.   For starters, here’s what you’ll need to make these bits of awesome in a roll.  

 1. Package of Pillsbury Grands Crescent Rolls.  

 2. 1 Jar of Cheese Whiz

 3. Can of chili, without beans.  

 4. Package of hot dogs.  ( I like the variations in my rolls, your cheese infused dogs, or your newer bacon or jalapeno variants, but to each their own I always say.)

 5. Baking pan

 6. Aluminum foil, (makes for an easy clean up at the end)

  

  •     Step one, heat up your cheese whiz in the microwave til its more of it’s cheese spread use rather than the jar of cheese dip that it starts out as for spreadability.
  •       2, break out your aluminum foil to put on the baking pan
  •      3. Unroll your first four rolls on the tray
  •       4.  Use a spoon to scoop out a spoonful of cheese whiz (makes the medicine go down) and spread it out over the rolls
  •      5.    Now add a spoonful of chili to each roll
  •      6.    Add your hot dogs and roll them up as best you can.  This part is where it starts to get messy, but they’re worth it, trust me. 

     7. Repeat process til your tray is full, or til you use up all 8 rolls, whichever happens first, then pop them in the oven set to 350 degrees, and wait about 10-15 minutes.  

 

         Let them cool an additional five to ten minutes after so they’re easier to put on the plate and enjoy.   They’re messy, but delicious, and should make anyone, especially guys from ages 3-93 happy and full.   If you have any recipe ideas that you’d like me to try, just leave a comment below, I’m always on the lookout to try new things in cooking.  Til next time ya’ll.  

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Defending the Adamantium Claws in X-Men: Days of Future Past,

 

  I’ve seen the latest X-Men film, X-Men:Days of Future Past three times thus far since it was released, so suffice to say I loved it.  There hasn’t been a movie that’s prompted such a strong reaction from me in a while.  I also saw Amazing Spider-Man 2 three times, but by the third time of that I was done with my interest in the film, for the time being, unlike X-Men, which has reawakened my passion for the characters, which has always been there, but just been in relapse mode, especially when compared to other  characters and comics like Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers, or Spider-Man.    You can read my review of the film on here as well, but, you can already tell I loved the hell out of this movie.  Now, I did mention some flaws to the film earlier, and on the internet, as fans are want to do, there’s loads of speculation and complaint about certain flaws that the fans have picked out about the film,  but one in particular comes up the most I’ve seen, and that’s why does Wolverine have his Adamantium claws back in the future?

 

  You see, if you for whatever reason skipped out on seeing last summer’s The Wolverine because you either aren’t into comic book movies, or were burned badly by the last not so good Wolverine movie, by the end of the film, he had his Adamantium pulled from his bones by the villain of the film, not Magneto as the event happened in the comics. After which, in the post credits sequence we see Professor X and Magneto recruiting Wolverine to help them in their fight, setting up this latest mutant X-travaganza.  Now, between those events and where we pick up in the future in this film, it’s been a few years, to go from the world as we know it to the judgement day eque world ruled by Sentinels.  So in theory,  other adventures have happened between those two time frames, and he could have gotten his adamantium back in an infinite number of possibilities.  But the theory that came to my mind when watching the film this last time was something altogether different, and it has to do with the timing of the showing of the claws.  

 

   In the film, Wolverine doesn’t pop his claws in the future until he’s mind transported to the past in order to stop Mystique from killing Bolivar Trask at the Vietnam peace talks in 1973, after they stop her from killing him then, and then he sees the younger version of William Stryker, the head of the Weapon X program, or to be, head of the program I should say that will give him his claws and starts freaking out with flashbacks of the pain he went through in the process of getting the metal grafted to his bones.  His body in the future responds accordingly, popping metal claws, which they show close ups of twice.   

   

   Now it could be that they just showed them in closeup because it’s the only time we see them in the movie, and they wanted to make sure that we knew it was his metal claws and it looks cool.  But I think it has to do with the timing, like I said.  We don’t see the claws until after the future has been altered.  First timeline, Mystique kills Trask in 1973, gets captured and experimented on, where they take her DNA and other samplings of her, leading to the creation of the future Sentinels, and also I imagine the cold, calculating borderline mute Mystique as played by Rebecca Romijn in the first X trilogy, tramautized and scarred mentally from the experiments.

    That’s the timeline that The Wolverine film came from, so just by changing the way Trask dies, it changed that whole timeline, so the events of The Wolverine either didn’t happen or happened differently, either way Wolverine still has his Adamantium in the future.    Now, the whole future wasn’t yet changed, as we saw in the film, so it set things up to be their potentially Darkest Timeline had they failed in the past, but things were already changed.  And that was one of them.  So not an error of continuity, but rather a subtle bit of genius that few people caught on to, that’s how I see it at least.   

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Mike’s Super Spoiler Heavy Review of X-Men: Days of Future Past, with a non spoilery section.

 

   Hey guys,  it’s been a while, a few months.  Been super busy with my new…well I’ve been there 6 months now so it’s not really a new job anymore, but it’s been keeping me busy plus I haven’t really felt that spark to write much as of late, nothing that my twitter or facebook can’t handle anyway.  But that’s changed for me today when I treated myself to seeing the latest Brian Singer (!) directed X-flick, X-Men: Days of Future Past.   Now if you haven’t seen it, I wouldn’t suggest reading further, because I will spoil the crap out of this in this review, not unlike the trailers for Amazing Spider-Man 2 chose to show a really quick version of basically the whole movie with it’s marketing.  I still liked that movie, a lot, despite it’s flaws, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.  No sir, today is all about my favorite mutant team since I was 12, the X-Men.  

 

        Now, before I get into the specifics, I went all out and saw the movie in 3-D, which looked amazing, (last sidenote the new Guardians of the Galaxy trailer was in front of the movie, and seeing that on the big screen, in 3-D was truly breathtaking…so psyched for that one).  But okay, to the X-Talk.   Right from the beginning of the film we know we’re back in Brian Singer territory, with the X-theme from his first two movies going over the credits, and right there you know that this is not the crap we’ve been subjected to in the interim years (exception being X-Men:First Class, loved the hell out of that movie)   But I digress, we’re in the future, and crazy super sentinels which are like the sentinels from the Matrix movies crossed with traditional sentinels crossed with the t-1000 had a baby with the Destroyer from the first Thor movie have decimated the world, leaving the few surviving X people, including new mutants Sunspot, Blink, Warpath and Bishop are at their wits end.  Professor X and Magneto (the returning Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellan) have an idea to send someone’s conciousness back in time before the world ended to fix everything.  And because this is an X-Men movie, the man for the job is Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.  Whom they send back into the past to the 1970’s First Class timeline to save the world (and the franchise) .  

     So back in his younger pre adamantium bonded body he has to assemble the younger X-Men from the first class universe,well Professor X (James Macavoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating sentinel developer Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) that kickstarted the darkest timeline.    That’s all you really need to know about the movie.  Now, go see it, and come back here for the spoilery part.   It’s okay, I’ll wait, Orphan Black is coming on now anyway.  

 

 

 

        

 

       Awesome, so you saw the movie, awesome right, I know!   Okay, so now here’s what I loved, and a few nitpicky things here that keep the movie from being a perfect X-Men movie.  I loved seeing the returning cast in this movie from the original trilogy, even in cameo form at the end of the film, which now post DoFP negates X-Men 3:The Last Stand and Wolverine:Origins, which should in theory mean that that version of Deadpool never happened, and Ryan Reynolds can play a proper Deadpool now if they ever get around to doing that movie.   I grinned from ear to ear when I saw Famke Jannsen and James Marsden onscreen, that was just a great moment.

    And the First Class cast, that’s in this movie really stepped up their emotional game as well, Jennifer Lawrence is impressive as always as Mystique, and I hope to see more of her in future X related shenanigans.     I was also impressed that Bryan Singer had John Ottman return to do the score, with the not quite classic, but well missed X-theme.  Loved the hell out of that.    Also, I really liked Evan Peters’ brief role as Quicksilver here, I was ready to hate him from the marketing but he really worked for me, I just wish we had more time with him in the movie, but he shines in his brief spot here.  I can’t help but wonder how his Kick Ass costar Aaron Taylor Johnson will handle his role as the Quicksilver of the MCU in Avengers 2, but right now I’m digging the X version.  Different from his personality in the comics, here he’s like if The Flash was also a klepto.    

 

  And the post credits scene setting up Apocalypse was pretty dope as well, not sure if that’s the same guy that’s going to play the older version of Apocalypse, but it was great to finally see Apocalypse acknowledged in the X-film universe, as to me he’s always been their ultimate villain, moreso than Magneto who’s more misguided and has a different point of view on how to get mutant rights, Apocalypse is just pure evil.   I hope that a new version of Angel plays a role in this next story so we can see his transformation into Archangel.   

 

   Now for what didn’t really work for me, which wasn’t really a whole lot to it.  I didn’t like how they killed off the majority of the First Class cast offscreen in this one, namely Banshee and Emma Frost,  who we saw also in the Origins:Wolverine movie younger than she should have been if she was in First Class…you know what that movie didn’t happen now, so I guess not too important.  And Banshee getting killed off….we saw his daughter Siryn in X2…how does that work?    Also, that whole scene with Mystique breaking Havok, Toad, and (Pestilence?) out of a military prison that we saw a clip of in the post credits of Spider-Man?  That’s Havok’s entire role in this movie, I thought there was going to be some sort of setup with that, but nope, that’s it.   Also, I’m assuming in this universe Havok is the older sibling, what with being a teenager in 1962 and whatnot.  Never quite got that.    There were too many characters at times to really do anything with, but they wanted to show them I suppose.  

 

  And lastly that last shot of the General Stryker that now has younger Wolverine in custody reveal to be Mystique threw me off as well.  I was happy with it being Stryker that had him, thus setting up the new timeline for Wolverine’s Weapon X origins, and at that point in the movie I was like, okay, sweet, so that movie never happened now either. (Literally the only good thing about that movie was Ryan Reynolds in the opening of the movie, and Liev Schrieber’s Sabretooth performance, they should get him back if they ever do anything else with that character).   But then the reveal happens and ok it’s Mystique.  Why?  I’m still pondering that one, but again like I said, minor nitpicks on an otherwise great, awesome, fun time at the movie theater.  I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did, and you enjoyed my review.  Til next time, be sure to keep it Reel.

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Robocop 2014 vs 1987 a Compare and Contrast Critique

 

      Yesterday I saw the remake of Robocop twice inadvertantly.  On the way back from my first viewing with my Dad, my buddy Will calls me asking me if I wanted to see it again, I figured, why not, since I liked it, plus it would give me a better understanding of the film for me to write this piece.  And I did indeed like the movie, I’ll get into my reasons why shortly, but after I got back from work tonight I put on the original 1987 classic to be able to compare and contrast with the santized remake.   If you’ve got the patience of a twitter feed than to sum this up in the opening paragraph, and as I tweeted after I saw the movie, I liked the new one, but it’s different from the original, and not nearly as good, but still it’s a fun movie.  

 

   What I really enjoyed about the remake is you get to see more of Alex Murphy’s personality, played in the new movie by Joel Kinnaman, and in the classic by Peter Weller.  In 2014 we have an Alex Murphy who’s established himself in the ranks of the Detroit PD with his partner Jack Lewis, in a gender swap from the first movie’s Ann Lewis, who’s played by The Wire’s Michael K. Williams here.  We see a little more of his home life, and his wife and son have well, not a lot to do in the plot, but more so than in the original, who leave town in the original after Alex Murphy was gunned down by Clarence Boddicker’s gang.  And in this new one, there’s no memory loss when he gets turned into the half man, half machine, all cop.  He’s aware of who he is, and so is the world.   

   

   If there’s a real flaw to the remake, it’s that there’s no real villain.  It’s always been said a hero is only as good as his villain, and in the original you had Clarence Boddicker played by Kurtwood Smith, and Dick Jones played by Ronny Cox.   Now, sure Michael Keaton’s character in this new one, partial creator of Robocop is kind of a dick, and a bit of a villain midway through the movie, but he’s not like a real threat to anyone, he’s just greedy.   And there’s this lesser criminal in the film, the guy who had Alex Murphy blown up by a car bomb at the beginning of the picture, but he’s not really important whatsoever, so much so I’m not even going to bother looking up the character name, let alone the actor, he just wasn’t important really.  

 

 Also, in 2014 Robocop the supposed crime ridden city of Detroit looks really clean, even before Robocop shows up, even the police department is neat and organized, it seems that there’s no need for a Robocop in this new version of future Detroit, could be a metaphor for the movie, but I still had fun with it.  

  I did miss however, the fake commercials and news broadcasts from the original, which in later years reminded me of what Alan Moore did in the Watchmen, or Frank Miller in The Dark Knight Returns.  But we do get in this new one  Samuel L Jackson in a weird toupee as a Fox News like conservative talk show host, who book ends the movie.  And there’s some hilarious bits of text in the news scroll at the bottom of the screen during these sequences, that give you a sense of what this future is like, things like Mexican President is calling for removal of American illegal immigrants’, or message from SETI decoded, there is no intelligent life on earth.  I did enjoy those, but still I preferred the use of the media in the original.  

 

   So all in all, I’ll say that 2014 Robocop is worth seeing, but in the long run it can’t really hold up to the original.  But that’s more that can be said for half the remakes Hollywood is cranking out now, so good on them.  

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Making The Juggernaut, a how to recipe for the most epic breakfast sandwich since the Mcgriddle

Good morning, well almost morning, well to those of you on the east coast of the United States anyway, and good proper morning to those further west, and Good Evening to those of you elsewhere in the wibbly wobbly timey wimey zones.  

Recently I decided to make breakfast, but I was tired of cereal, and wasn’t quite feeling cakes, of either the pan or wafflecake variety, but wanted something filling, and epic.  So, I made the sandwich you can see a picture of in the earlier post.  And it may just be the most delecious thing I’ve ever made, outside of bacon filled wafflecakes.   I’m not a greedy man, and decided to share with you how to make this unhealthy, but awesome (isn’t that how it usually works) sandwich.  Now first, things you will need:

 2 Eggs

  4 slices of cheese, (I prefer Velveeta Queso Blanco, but your cheese preference is yours and yours alone)

 3 strips of bacon

2 hashbrowns (I prefer deep frying them, but however you like to cook your hashbrowns is again, your choice)

and 2 slices of bread, but that goes without saying, doesn’t it. 

  Step 1: Fry up the three slices of awesomeness, er, bacon

  Step 2: As the last part of the bacon is cooking, heat up your hashbrowns in your desired method

 Step 3: When the hashbrowns are done, put a slice of cheese over each as you prepare your eggs

 Step 4: Place 2 slices of cheese onto the pan, then immediatly crack the eggs, and start scrambling them.  Sure most people put the eggs on first, then the cheese, but I like to make the cheese the base of the concoction, makes everything all melty and tasty.

 Step 5: Toast your bread

Step 6: (Assembly) Put the hashbrowns and cheese down first, breaking up some of the bacon and putting it on top, then add the cheesy eggs, and the remaining bacon on top.  Add any condiment you wish on there, but it’s not really necessary, and then the second slice of bread, smashing it down a bit so it doesn’t all fall out instantly.

  And in those six easy steps, you have made an awesome sandwich, that will most likely kill you if you overindulge in it’s eating, but most good things usually will, and enjoy.    

 Let me know if you’ve tried it, liked it, or even just like this entry, and if so I’ll do more recipes in the future.   Well, it’s time for me to get ready for work, so til next time, friends…

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Behold, The Juggernaut, the cure for the common breakfast sandwich. Next entry will tell you how to make this deliciously unhealthy, but filling, concoction.

Image

 

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