The Good, The Bad, and the Awesome

Alright fanatics, before I really begin this post, I have a bit of a public service announcement...Wash the absolute crap out of your fruits and veggies!
There has been a bad strain of bacteria going around, called Listeria, that I think I may have just fought off. It's usually a meat and dairy associated bacteria, but it's finding its way around right now on improperly washed fruits and vegetables. I'm pretty sure I just defeated it, because I ate a prepackaged salad from Walmart on Monday, and have been in utter agony from about that time up until late in the afternoon the following Friday. I bet if my doctor knew about it, he could have given me the antibiotics, but was ignorant and just gave me something for the nausea.
Anyways, if you don't want to be laid out and exploding from everywhere, thoroughly wash all your produce you're bringing home.

Enough about the rabbit food, meat and potatoes. I've been out and seen a trio of films recently, and it's time to render my verdict.

Lucy

This one turned out to be a bit of an intellectual thriller, to be frank. I thought that this would be a relatively easy to follow Scarlett Johansson led sci-fi female ass-kicker. The first 30 minutes of it though more felt like a strangely edited documentary through the history of our understanding of intelligence and the evolution of thought and the human brain. And then...enter Lucy. If you've seen any of the trailers for the movie, you know some baddies have put a new form of drug in her stomach, and intend to use her as some kind of drug mule...which all goes awry when the packaging bursts inside her and begins to leak, jump-starting her powers. What follows is an interpretation of what might happen if one were to suddenly and violently unlock all the dormant parts of our brain...interrupted by intermittent bursts of ass-whoopings.
If you're looking for a nice flashy movie to turn off your brain, and vegetate to for and hour and a half, this isn't for you...you're going to need to do a little bit of thinking to follow along with this one. I'm not harping on this, I actually really enjoyed it, the requisite of a little mental give and take to keep the plot moving. This is one of those flicks that might require a second visit to completely wrap your head around, and a second visit I wouldn't at all mind paying.
Lucy - 8 out of 10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Let me preface this by saying that I went into this movie with significantly lowered expectations...like, I went ahead and took my bar and put it on the floor. I still loathed this movie.  I had heard that the original Chris Evans version of Captain America was pretty bad, lowered my expectations accordingly, and ended up kind of enjoying the movie having done so. This new ninja turtles is absolute rubbish. If you loved the ninja turtles as a kid, they have taken everything and completely corrupted it. I had to pay this movie the ultimate disrespect by walking out in the middle of it (I say the middle, it was probably right at the climax, regardless, I was done). Even though I'm not going to give any spoilers, it doesn't matter...they reveal the entire plot line right at the beginning. What I will tell you is that they have perverted the entire origin story of the turtles (MINOR SPOILERS) into some intentional lab experiment, and have turned April O'Neal into some kind of deific spiritual protector (/MINOR SPOILERS). Oh, and as you could have guessed, Megan Fox's acting was absolutely horrid. Will Arnett was no redeeming factor, his performance was good, but he was far from able to save it. Splinter was bad...no other way to say it, just bad. And the Shredder, there was no mystique to him, he was just some poorly developed baddy that didn't get a lot of screen time. The turtles themselves may have been the best part, and I still want to pick them apart. Johnny Knoxville, to his credit, did an amazing job voicing Leonardo. But, he has such a distinctive voice, all I could ever here was the Jackass member talking at us. Michelangelo constantly felt like a stoner. Donatello was the über nerd that was only given one real chance to be a badass, and that lasted all of about 20 seconds. Raphael is supposed to be dark and rebellious and broody, but Jesus, you almost thought that he was the black sheep, the shamed brother by how dejected he constantly acted.
I would love to sack all the blame for this atrocity on Michael Bay, as I've built up his pedestal so much, but he is not the sole contributor to this tragedy. Nickelodeon seems largely responsible for the revamp of the origin story, and the progression of the turtles into their teenage years. I'm so let down by the network, this is what they've become: destroying from my childhood that which I loved. I'm done, time to put this to bed.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) - 1 out of 10

Guardians of the Galaxy

Thank God that turtle movie wasn't the last one I saw over the weekend. I was able to exit this week with a bad taste in my mouth, but then came Guardians of the Galaxy...and it saved my week. There's no two ways around it, this movie was fantastic. Once again Marvel Studios, this time in the hands of Director James Gunn, has put together a big ensemble cast  movie, and fit everyone together correctly. The casting could not have been more perfect. Chris Pratt was fierce and funny, all at the appropriate times. Zoë Saldana was sexy, strong, independent, and driven. Dave Bautista continues the trend of pro wrestlers/fighters showing us that they can bring much more to the table than just a big set of muscles, but acting chops to boot. Bradley Cooper brought Rocket Raccoon to life, and in fact made me love a character that many months ago I swore I would hate. Even Vin Diesel was able to pack loads of variance of tone, empathy, and emotion into the one line that Groot was forced to repeat. His last utterance in the film...So. Many. Feels. Won't spoil it for you, but I'm sure you'll see it and get it. The secondary roles were really strong too, I really wish Michael Rooker had more screen time as Yondu. Lee Pace's Ronan the Accuser was perfectly dark and unfeeling, and Karen Gillan's Nebula... beautifully oozing with crazy daddy issues. Well casted, and well executed, but there was something else that held the entire movie together, and as an audio guy I am so glad to be able to say this...the music was the gravity that pulled everything together. Given embodiment in the form of Peter Quill's tape deck, and his "Awesome Mix" cassette, the playlist of hits from the 80's both serve as Quill's link to his home and past, as well give small plot points, comic relief, transition, and points of celebration throughout the film. The music is its' own character, and a crucial member of the cast. Guardians of the Galaxy is a good laugh, a fantastic voyage, and delicious eye candy for all to love.
Guardians of the Galaxy - 10 out of 10

Alright friends, family, and followers...it's time for me to retreat back behind the veil of the interwebz. I bid you farewell and adieu. Until next time.

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

Thank You For Smoking (2006), another great ensemble cast movie.

Thank You For Smoking (2006), another great ensemble cast movie.