Thor Ragnarok (Review)

What the hell did I just watch???

I understand that they said 80% of the movie was improv and it shows. Believe me it really shows. The acting is awful. The dialogue is cringe inducing. The CGI is terrible. SIDENOTE: YOU PEOPLE WHO SAID THAT THIS CRAPPY CGI WAS BETTER THAN THE CGI IN JUSTICE LEAGUE ARE BLIND. This movie was green screen hell. Virtually every location just looked fake. Everything about this movie was juvenile and hokey!!! Definitely the WORST Marvel movie.

Did I forget the story? The director and lack of writers sure did. Thor’s sister comes back to take over Asgard but…… Who cares??? This movie takes place on a world that is a nexus to trash. Jeff Goldblum is the grand master here and he skitters and stutters about enjoying his fighting matches that put Thor up against the Hulk. A rolicking, bad acting, and over the top time happens here. Thor has to get back to Asgard to fight his sister but don’t worry… seriously… He’ll take care of her in the last 20 minutes or so. She’s really not the point here. She’s a window dressing baddie. Nothing more. For that matter, none of the characters are more than shallow skit level characterizations. You know how Guardians of the Galaxy uses humor perfectly? Thor Ragnarok doesn’t. At all.

I see how people online either love this movie or hate it… no inbetween. I can see that. I fall on the “hate it” side and well… I’m right. My blog my rules. You people that liked this over something like Justice League (since that was what the comparison was that month), should not be trusted with movie reviews, opinions, or sharp objects of any kind, because you people are nuts.

Movie Reviews from the Stream 2/20/18

Alien Arrival (Netflix)

This one is a low budget sci-fi flick where a man who infiltrates an experimental ship crashes on a moon and then must survive. The alien, becomes himself when the moon, or creatures there, or some top secret experiment keeps bringing him back to life over and over. I’m a little unsure of just how or what was bringing him back to life. I know he gets “snatched” (a la Body Snatcher Aliens) but I’m not clear on if that is all part of the secret experiment or not??? It’s a decent movie to fire up if you like the single survivor and sidekick AI dynamic that seems to work so well ever since 2001: A Space Odyssey. The acting is pretty good for being low budget and I never got bored with what was taking place on screen.

Sidenote: It was filmed in Australia and I never knew that they had so many flies!!! In many of the outdoor scenes the actors were surrounded by flies.

Expelled from Paradise (Netflix)

This is another excellent anime that’s on Netflix right now. The premise is that a hacker (Frontier Setter) is breaking into the satellite paradise called DEVA and offering humans the chance to explore the stars. 99% of all humans are now digitized in DEVA while the rest live in the wastelands of Earth. Angela Balzac is a security agent on DEVA and is sent down to Earth on a body grown from her original genetic material. There she hooks up with Dingo, an Earth liaison, who will assist her in tracking down the hacker. Things are more than they seem though and when Angela is faced with the truth, will she finish off Frontier Setter or go against all that she has ever known and take on DEVA?

The animation is phenomenal and the colors pop off the screen. The final mech battle is how I see my first anime experience with Robotech, in my head. Granted, if you go back to Robotech now, those fights with that animation doesn’t hold up well, this is how I still remember it going down though!!! If you like anime, like mech fighting, and like cyberpunk style hacking and maybe even a little Mad Max… Then Expelled from Paradise is for you!!!

30 Years to Life (Amazon Prime)

This one is a low budget speculative sci-fi flick from 1998. Instead of sending people to prisons, society has come up with a way to age people the number of years that they would serve. When a 15 year old kid is framed for a murder, he is aged 30 years and then must find a way to prove his innocence. Would that be more of a deterrent than spending years in a prison? Maybe, maybe not… The movie speculates it would be and the thought of being prematurely aged is a frightening thing to think about. It’s an intriguing premise to say the least.

The acting is serviceable, the effects are on a shoestring budget, and the music is all old school synth. Should you take the time to check it out? I guess that really depends on how interesting you find the premise. It’s a B movie in pretty much every way, with an interesting premise. But if that doesn’t do it for you… You should probably move along.

Movie Reviews from the Stream

Magellan (Amazon Prime)

This is a low budget sci-fi flick where scientists find that 3 signals (of intelligent design) have started broadcasting, and they are all in our solar system. In a race against in other nations (Chinese), the US is sending a one man 10 year mission to each of the moons where the signals are coming from to investigate the source.

Right off the bat you notice just from the camera work that this is very low budget. The sets are sparse spaces, the astronaut suit looks like the best interpretation of a suit on a lo-fi budget, and the CGI is below video game levels. Still… What is broadcasting? What happens when all of the artifacts are found and are put together? I admit, I stuck with it to find out. So even though it is very low budget, I wanted to see where the story went. In that regard, it does draw you in. The resolution was interesting though it set up more questions and left us on a bit of cliffhanger where a second movie could be done (I hear they are doing an eBook sequel).

After watching this, I found out they had done a Kickstarter, not for making the movie per say, but more for the funding of getting it released and put on display. Should you watch it? That’s a tough call… if extreme low budget flicks check you out of the experience then this is probably not for you. I however could see what they wanted and intended in the grasp of what was probably unaffordable in a sci-fi budget. At least they shot for the stars and I give them credit for that. I’d check out the sequel if they followed it up.


Blame! (Netflix)

Blame! is an excellent anime that is on Netflix. It tells the story of a human group who has to hide in a safe zone from the machines that want to terminate all humans in the city, which it keeps building. Humans lost control of the machines due to a virus and now only someone with the Net Terminal Gene, can access those controls. So a mysterious man named Killi wanders the city looking for any human that may possess that gene. He ends up helping this group of survivors in their quest for food and safety from the machines.

The CGI is beautiful and the story elements between drama and action are very well balanced. This is a universe that is heavily influenced by dystopian cyberpunk and one that I would love to see more stories happen within. If you like anime or cyberpunk then definitely check this one out!!!


The Ritual (Netflix)

This may be the first spooky, terrifying, make you jump, horror thriller I’ve seen in a long time. When four friends do some hiking in Northern Sweden, they get off the normal trail and then are hunted by… something. The fact that this “something” is rarely seen, makes the movie all the more creepy. Normally horror movies are plagued by cliche after cliche but The Ritual kept me guessing and interested in what was going to happen next all the way through. The underlying message of “facing your fears” also plays out in a very intriguing way. So much so, that when you reach the end, there is a feeling of accomplishment in the resolution. I know that sounds vague but I honestly do not want to give the plot away because it is so good. Go watch it!!!


The Cloverfield Paradox (Netflix)

I’m not sure what many of the jaded critics out there were smoking but this is a really good movie. It’s pure “Cloverfield” for one. Secondly, it has that “Alien” feel to it, as far as building tension. Having said that, it was much better than the last Alien movie. The ending wasn’t your average cliche ending that you seem to get with every female led group movie since the dawn of Alien. The acting was good, the music works, and the CGI was done well too.

Part of me just thinks that sci-fi fandom has become jaded. They claim they want more varied sci-fi media but then when they get it, they rip it up and hold it up to the same old same old movies and TV that came before. The Cloverfield movies tell different stories, not really linked, but possibly linked, and give us interesting characters to follow throughout.

Regardless what the hive group mind of sheep on the internet think, I think Netflix has a winner here and it is definitely worth checking out for any sci-fi fan out there. I also applaud Netflix for debuting the trailer at the beginning of the Super Bowl and dropping the movie on the platform for all to stream right after the game. I wish more movies would go direct because the “theater experience” these days leaves much to be desired. Give me my HD screen, home sound system, and a pause button. You can keep your fight for the middle good seats, theater screens or sound systems that seem to always have issues, and the smell of jalapeno nachos wafting strongly through the air. Home viewing is just better in my humble opinion.

King Arthur Legend of the Sword – Review


It’s no Excalibur but King Arthur Legend of the Sword is a damn fine movie. I know the critics blasted it but it is an Arthurian Legend movie so I had to see it. What I really liked about this interpretation was that it leaned toward fantasy over this boring trend that I have been seeing in movies and books to take the Arthurian legends to as close to reality as one can get. No thanks… I’ll take some wonderful fantasy elements with magic, a sword of power, and interesting creatures and demons. That’s where all the fun is!!!


There are several places where the story jumps around fast, backtracks to tell plot details, and then jets off to move forward. Some may call it frenetic but Guy Ritchie harnesses this style in a really unique way that never bores the viewer. There are always new and interesting things to look at too. Also, Excalibur may just be the ultimate sword of power in this interpretation. Sometimes the scenes of Arthur wielding the sword are reminiscent of some very cool anime scenes, in that you really see the power within Excalibur being used.


For me, there is no beating Excalibur (1981) as a movie but at the same time, I love seeing different interpretations of the story and this one is definitely a unique and fun interpretation to see. The critics really got it wrong on this one.