War and Peace Mini Series

Adapting Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace would seem a daunting task. Considering books half its size have been divided into 2 part movies you would think that War and Peace would be hard pressed to fit into a 4 part mini series. But BBC and Weinstein Company will air on lifetime, A&E networks and History channel just that. The scheduled series is set for sometime in January. The series will focus on three characters Pierre (Paul Dano), Natasha (Lily James), and Andrei (James Norton). It will focus on the theme of love and loss.

I am both excited and skeptical of this. Can you really do this story justice with a four part mini series? I guess time will tell. I can tell you this as fall rolls around I plan to get the book and read it before the mini series starts.
War and Peace

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Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ’F’ Review

Dragon Ball Z

I got early access to this movie so I figured I would watch it. Now to be honest I am not that big of a fan of Dragon Ball Z but I should explain that I was exposed to Dragon Ball Z when it was on TV. This movie dooes so much better at telling the story than the tv show.

If you are a fan of Dragon Ball Z then most likely you know what this movie is about but if not here is a quick synopsis. One peaceful day on Earth, two remnants of Frieza’s army named Sorbet and Tagoma arrive searching for the Dragon Balls with the aim of reviving Frieza. They succeed, and Frieza subsequently seeks revenge on the Saiyans.

So yes you get the return of Frieza. Now normally I would rather them develop a new character that to resurrect an old one. For the most part this brings a level of familiarity to the movie. I would consider myself a very casual fan having watched maybe a dozen episode at best of the tv series. Still this film was easy access to someone like me that had limited experience with the series. I knew enough about Frieza to know he was a bad guy and I knew that the Saiyans were the only hope to defeat him. Granted a lot of things with the powers of the Saiyans was lost on me but all in all I was able to pick right up with this story.

Speaking of the story it was better than I expected. The grunting was limited, one of my main complaints about the tv series. I remember an episode that was mostly grunting for 20 minutes that included the this time on Dragon Ball Z and the next time on Dragon Ball Z sections of the episode. The story following the resurrection of Frieza was good, the fight scenes were also well done though I enjoyed the massive battle more than the final battle. The animation is what you would expect from this series, which is fine.

Overall I enjoyed this more than I ever would have expected. It held my attention and I actually think that I may watch it again once it comes out on dvd. As far as watching it in theaters, well I don’t think I would go that far. I enjoyed it but not enough that I would invest going to the theater to watch. I will save that experience for those that are fans. I have not seen any of the other movies done with these characters so I really don’t have anything to compare it to. I just can say that I enjoyed it and plan to watch it again in the future. If nothing else it has made me want to watch the other movies and I might even give the series a try again.

Rating 4 out of 5

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Revisiting the Original Fast and Furious

TFAF

 

 

 

 

 

With the new Furious 7 movie just released a couple months ago, and probably on its way to DVD soon, I wanted to take a look back at the original. The Fast and the Furious came out all the way back in 2001. Crazy, huh? Nostalgic memories were triggered watching this film. I still remember the first time I watched Dom Torreto get into what is easily the best car in the whole movie, his dad’s 1970 Dodge Charger. Once the music in this scene started, you knew that things were about to go down.

Some people might disagree, but this is easily the best film in the franchise. The movie had a great plot, awesome characters, relationships, outstanding action, and what the series seems to have switched gears from, RACING. If I were to talk to somebody who has never seen the original, he most likely would not believe me if I said the movie was truly based on racing and a family who raced against people and time. In fact, probably the best quote in the whole movie is about racing and how it has changed the life of Dom. He says, “I live my life a quarter mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullshit. For those ten seconds or less, I’m free.” Everything is a race to him; he is just trying to cross that finish line.

Although Dom is my favorite character, a Fast and the Furious review cannot be without the mention of Paul Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner. Walker is fantastic in this role, and there is no other actor that can play this character so well. In fact, Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Eminem were all considered for this role, but Paul Walker is really the only person I see playing Brian. It is sad to know that Walker will not play the character again.

The movie takes place in a world of racing, where the night life is racing a ten second quarter-mile and winning cash for it. Brian is an under-cover cop, and he is trying to get the low-down on who is robbing trucks in the middle of the night. The robbers use 4 Honda Civics suped up the way only racers would have them. At the beginning of the movie, viewers don’t really know Brian is a cop, because he genuinely seems like a person wanting to get in the racing scene. But, the people who are at the center of this scene, the Torreto family, are the best suspects for the crime. Brian does eventually make his way into the hearts of the family, especially his love interest with Dom’s younger sister Mia, played by Jordana Brewster, all the while trying to uncover the secrets of the family. There are obviously bumpy roads throughout the movie, but eventually things hit the fan, and all hell “brakes” loose.

Again I say, this is the best film of the series, and I say that so naturally because it is the first film of a franchise that has never disappointed. It is also the film that started these beloved characters, and is one of the few that stuck to racing at its core. On a side note, Vin Diesel does make this movie. I remember watching 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift and realizing there was a character missing. I am so glad they brought Dom back, because, although Walker’s performance and character could have kept the series alive, there is nothing like the hot headed Toretto making a mess out of things.

This film in my book is easily a 4.5 out of 5 and climbing every time I watch it. It is easily my favorite of the 7 film franchise.

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Podcast Episode 109

Show Notes

Antman.
August Movies: Shaun of the Sheep, Fantastic Four, Ricki and the Flash, The Gift, The Man from Uncle, Straight out of Compton, Air, Hitman Agent 47, Some Kind of Beautiful, American Ultra, No Escape, Sinister 2, We are your Friends.
August DVD & Bluray Releases: Insurgent, Child 44, Hot Pursuit, Unfriended, Little Boy, Oloha, Justice League Gods and Monsters.
August Video Game Releases: Rare Replay, Garfiled Cart, Goat Simulator, Christopher Brookmyre’s Bedlam, Gears of War Ultimate Edition, Madden NFL 16, Disney Infintiy 3.0.
Movie Classic: Batman.
The List: Best fake bands.

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Minecraft Movie

Minecraft Movie Gets Director: ‘It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s Rob McElhenney

The makers of Minecraft have unearthed a pretty good morsel of movie news. Rob McElhenney, best known for co-creating and co-starring in the long-running FX/FXX series It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, has just been selected to direct the Minecraft movie that Warner Bros is developing.
Minecraft movie

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Antman

Ant Man Review

I will be honest I was skeptical that Ant Man had any hope of turning out as a decent film. After seeing leaked photos, then the trailer, then more promotional material I was left very underwhelmed. So read that my expectations were at the level of dirt for this.

Even with low expectation I found myself in a seat ready to watch this. I never read any comics with antman and my only exposure to him was back in the day when I played a game called Hero Clix. One thing that is done right off the bat is the film really jumps right in and grabs your attention. This opening scene really changed my perspective on the movie and really changed my view from expecting the worse to expecting a some pretty awesome.

After getting a quick scene from Hank Pym we jump right into the other may character Scott. He is about to leave prison for burglarizing a rich man and giving the money back to the people the rich man stole it from. Of course this is still frowned upon and cost him a lot. It cost him his family and cost him is daughter (granted this story line is nothing new). This does lead me to one complaint I had about this film. Apparently this stealing to correct a wrong was all it took to get the interest of the great scientist Hank Pym. That is all it took for Hank to follow this guy, create the greatest setup of all time, and lead to the perfect man taking the Antman suit. I did sit there and think to myself – really that is the best you could come up with to justify not having Hank Pym wearing the suit. It kind of goes like this, Hank gives some girl a significant amount of money to tell some guy, who tells another guy, who then tells a friend of Scott about this house that has an old safe in it. Only to get Scott interested in seeing what is in that safe. Granted we do get to see some of Scott’s mad burglarizing skills but still that is the best they could come up with. I think you could have had a second grade writing contest and come up with a better way to introduce Scott into the fold. That is my one complain on the film and from there everything else was positive.

We also get introduced to Hank’s daughter Hope. She actually get a fair amount of screen time. Hope is played by Evangeline Lilly and if you first don’t place were you last saw here think back to the Hobbit and a certain female elf. I really think she was one of the best aspects of this film. I think most of it is how here characters transforms, grows, and becomes so much more than you expect at the beginning. This transformation translated so well. The story of her and her father spills out onto the screen. Between the growth of Scott as Ant-Man and the growth of Hope as the daughter of Hank Pym really make this film way better than expected. Sure Ant-Man has some great action scenes. His going from ant size to human size does have some cool moments and leads to some unique fight scenes. You also get to see Ant-Man take on an Avenger so that is also a fun action scene.

I will tell you this the credits have two scenes in them. One right away after the flashy credits and then another one after the credits role. The first one is the one that gives me hope for what character may be introduced next soon into the Marvel Movie Universe.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this film. It has a fair amount of entertainment value, has it share of funny moments, decent amount of action, a bit of burglarizing (kind of reminds me of a combinations of Oceans 13 and Smoking Aces). In the end it puts all of that together in a decent film that I would give 4 out of 5.

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New Games Added

Here are some new games that have been added

Zoo Escape – Block removal puzzle game

Political Duels 2 – Street fighter style game but with political figures

Zombieman – top down zombie survival game that challenges you on how long you can survive.

Runaway Train – Drive train through obstacles to complete boards

Toastache – Use a piece of toast to jump from platforms while collecting butter

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Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

We decided that we would take our five year old to this movie. I am not sure why Minions did not come out on the fourth of July weekend as it would have been a great weekend for that to open.

Anyways Inside Out follows a girl named Riley. Actually it opens with Riley being born and the first thing she knows is joy. Joy last for 33 seconds before sadness joins into the list of emotions. Soon Fear, Anger, and Disgust join her list of emotions. Everything is going great for Riley, she has a good family, a best friend, a passion for hockey, and just enough silly to make life fun. Of course this balance is shaken to its core when the family picks up and moves to San Francisco.

The story itself has some funny moments, some that are sad, well a few that make you sad, and even a little adventure. I do like how it depicts the brain and how it functions. How memory’s are made, stored, and used. Sitting next to my five year old at times the story went way over his head and at other times it hit home with a lot of ways to relate to it. I would say that really this film to be best captured you would need to be seven to twelve. Though it does have a few moments that only an adult would understand. Under seven the child will still enjoy the movie but may not get the emotions. I know our son asked a lot of questions which is fine as other kids were doing the same thing. My only complaint is the story in the middle does drag on a little longer than my comfort level allowed. Things get rather bleak for a while and it seems that maybe this section was a little long. Even though the writers put in a little comic relief to break the mood some it did just seem to stretch this section a little long for my liking.

The animation in Inside Out was excellent as expected. It had some real sharp colors and really did some neat things with the animation. Along with the animation the sound and music also went well with the film. That includes the voices used for the characters.

Overall it felt like Inside Out was a very short film. The film itself is 94 minutes but really felt short. With that it did feel like the movie just kind of ended. Still it was good and one section of the movie is not enough to ruin it. It kept me interested and it kept my son interested. It is the kind of movie that you have to be prepared to cry at as at times it does pull at your heart strings a bit. I did enjoy the movie and even though it is not perfect I still thought it was good. I would give it a 3 out of 5.
Inside Out

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‘Sesame Street’s Maria, Is Retiring After 45 Years

Sonia Manzano, ‘Sesame Street’s Maria, Is Retiring After 45 Years

Sesame Street is losing one of the neighborhood’s longtime residents. Sonia Manzano, who played Maria on the PBS show, is retiring after 45 years. Manzano, 65, revealed her retirement earlier this week at the annual conference of the American Library Association, which tweeted the news. Manzano retweeted the announcement and thanked her supporters but said “don’t be bummed!”

Manzano, who shared 15 Emmys as one of the writers on Sesame Street, joined the show in 1971 and became a permanent cast member three years later. Her character, Maria, initially played a Puerto Rican teenager working at the neighborhood lending library. Later she moved to the Fix-It Shop alongside Luis, the show’s Mexican-American handyman. The characters later married and had a child, Gabi, who was initially played by Manzano’s daughter Gabriela.

Born in a Puerto Rican neighborhood of The Bronx, Manzano attended Manhattan’s High School of Performing Arts then Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She began her show business career in the original cast of Godspell, which began as a student production on the Carnegie Mellon campus. She moved with the production to a club in Greenwich Village, then to Off Broadway and later to Broadway.

Confirming Manzano’s retirement, Sesame Workshop said “She will always be a part of the fabric of our neighborhood. During her 44-year career as the iconic Maria, and the first leading Latina woman on television, she was a role model for young girls and women for generations.”

Maria

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Podcast Episode 108

The Nut Gallery Review Podcast Episode 108

Jurassic World . July Movies: Terminator Genisys, Magic Mike XXL, Faith of our Fathers, Self/Less, Minions, The Gallows, Ant Man, Trainwreck, Mr. Holmes, The Vatican Tapes, Pixels, Southpaw, Paper Towns, American Heist, Vacation. July DVD & Bluray Releases: Maggie, Kill Me Three Times, Paul Blart Mall Cop 2, The Longest Ride, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Ex-Machina, It Follows, Home. July Video Game Releases: Pneuma Breath of Life, Rocket League, Deception IV The Nightmare Princess, Gods of War III Remastered, Godzilla, Rory Mcilroy PGA Tour, F1 2015, Lost Dimension. Movie Classic: Black Sheep. The List: Favorite video game weapon or gadet.

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