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What I felt could’ve made the New Ghostbusters better

01GHOSTBUSTERS1-COMBO-master768                         First Off I want to say I thoroughly enjoyed the new GhostBusters. It was funny,quick and had some really decent scares. While a few jokes fell flat, the chemistry of the cast more than made up for it. Also the jokes were pretty rapid fire, so your cheeks were still in the proper position to take in the next chuckle long after the funk of that previous dud wore off. All in all the movie was a great time at the cinema, and will be thoroughly enjoyed as the summer popcorn film it was intended to be. Which is why I ache when I think about what they could’ve done to make it perfect. It was just so ‘there’, and yet…. So many remakes, and really most action movies as of late have been so incredibly hollow. You watch, enjoy, and move on.. Rarely are there moments where you say.. Wow I loved how they worked this element in, and the creativity behind it. The best example of a really creative reboot was easily Stark Trek. Which I say isnt nearly aped enough in these remakes. So I unabashedly cite this reference as my starting point for what I think would’ve made a simply fun Ghostbusters movie into something more akin to a memorable film…


For people who haven’t seen the movie. Go watch it first since I’ll be spoiling stuff here.

OK here we go. Mind you, this is less of an actual review and more of a rant on some missed opportunities,


First lets address the futility of adding original cast cameos to a movie that is a re-imagining… Its often does the opposite of paying homage, and just creates a sad, bitterwseet feeling that goes against the grain of the movies intentional vibe.. Be creative and make the cameos mean something. Why not make them part of the story?

Keeping the movie  as it is, with all the same beats and introductions to the characters. 
Move up the Dan Aykroyd  taxi cameo.. Possibly to the point where they needed a ride to the heavy metal concert.
(delay the introduction of the hearse)
Have Aykroyd make his off handed remark about not worrying about lower class specters, and maybe have the new cast look at each other.. (even as a cameo how would he know that?)
Keep Bill Murray’s cameo as the Ghost debunk-er the same. But instead of killing him off, end with a wonderfully awkward moment where he thanks the ladies for their time,and walks casually away covered in slime….(squishy shoe sound for comedic effect :-p )  But as he exits he takes his phone and  whispers ‘this might be it boys’.. Erin runs to the window to see hes getting picked up by the same Aykroyd cabbie.
Have  a Scene where Patty  is collecting food for Abby, and shes confronted by her Uncle.. (this is after they stopped North the criminal.) But we dont see her Uncle, you know by the voice who it is. Shes going back and forth in his kitchen collecting  food and complains about the house arrest everyone is under. Her uncle tells her there is something  she needs to see, for her to meet him at a cemetery.  “and bring your friends” . She tells her she cant help with the shop, and he explains, its much more important… Instead of  Abby getting possessed… Make that scary scene for the big dumb Kevin.. (could be funny to see a scene where a kevin is oblivious to a ghost trying to haunt him) Erin at this point has reading Norths notes and has run off to harass the mayor.

Meanwhile Abby, Patty and Holtzman go to the cemetery, and find. Winston, Venkman, and Stantz.  They are talking near a tombstone that reads Spengler..
Winston reveals they had followed a someone into a dimensional vortex… Leading them to an alternate universe where this laws of  physics simply rendered their equipment inoperable.. Spengler spent a large portion of his remaining life tuning their equipment to go back, but became ill before finally cracking the code.. Stantz was trying to finish his work but just couldn’t do it without Egon’s help..  Essentially sticking them in this alternate world for the remainder of their lives.. They all took on jobs and simply waited for this criminal who stole their tech to surface. And hoped that Spengler’s last theory and hope was that the introduction of this criminal to this new universe would in turn change its course and cause it to create new ghostbusters.. Their hope was with the criminal revealed they could once again attempt to capture him and force him to bring them all back… They had all but lost hope until they had came across Abby and Erins book.. Positioning themselves closer to the creators..With Venkmans fake Hiess character created to get closer to you guys, and Winston playing the role of a long lost brother from a war,.. It was all very elaborate but they had nothing but time originally, and now that time is running out.  Speaking of Erin Stantz asks where she is, and we then cut to her scene with the mayor..
(this whole scene does a couple of things for me.. for one its a great analogy for the struggle Both Aykroyd and Ramis had trying to get their 3rd GB movie out of limbo… It also adds a nice heavy tone to a comedy which is something that hasnt been done in a very long time,much less a GB movie. Just makes the choices the characters make feel more meaningful, and the humor have a bit more punch)

They all return to the  shop, and encounter the Possessed Kevin. after everyone gets knocked on their asses the new crew gear up to stop him. From here we get a nice montage of Holtzman reverse engineering the original crews tech.. They agree that since they couldn’t close the portal with just the 4 of them, then maybe seven will do the trick.

Then we get a nice set action sequences with the 7 of them doing their thing. Compliments from the original crew on the new crews tech etc.

Then we come to the final scene.. The portal is open, and they need enough energy to reverse the flow. But instead of exploding the car,  Stantz explains how crossing the streams worked before. So thats what they do.. At first it seems like its working.. but then it begins to stabilize again. Abby exclaims its just not enough power, and they getting pushed back from the force.. Then out of nowhere an 8th proton stream is introduced.. the portal is beginning to reverse… Everyone looks over and there’s a proton pack firing floating in the air.. and slowly Egon begins to materialize as a specter.. He winks and smiles, and everyone refocuses their attention on the portal with new determination….. The portal reverses.. Its slowly closes.. Egon gives a salute and thanks everyone.
Venkman thanks the ladies.. Erin says dont worry this dimension is in good hands Venkman states.. ” I never had any doubt” Winston, tells Patty to take care of the business, and gives her a big hug. They all leave through the portal.

now THIS wouldve made it the perfect GB movie, for me anyways..

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Good Robot stories are hard to find


Review of ‘Robots; The Recent A.I.’

Being a fan of discovering new authors to follow I’m naturally drawn to short stories and whenever i can get my hands on a collection of shorts from various authors, I’m even happier. It’s a hit and miss game, but the odds are that I’ll find at least one or two intriguing writers that leave me looking up more of their work. My expectations were blown out of the water when I grabbed a copy of ‘Robots; the Recent A.I.’ at a local comic-con.

Edited by Rich Horton and Sean Wallace, the variety of A.I. inspired stories were clearly chosen for unique spin and expert writing. (I’ll ditch a story two sentences in if I don’t like the writer’s style and almost every story in this collection had me interested and hungry for more.) And by ‘unique spin’ I’m addressing the household A.I. units that chose whether to carry on with the daily routines when the humans didn’t return in ‘Houses’, by Mark Pantoja, to ‘Kiss Me Twice’ by Mary Robinette Kowal, about an A.I. program that chose to visually personify Mae West (in black and white, no less) to suit a particular detective’s preferences.

So here’s the wrap; if you like a good story, A.I or not, and you’re looking for some talented authors to follow, grab a copy of this collection. You’re guaranteed to come out the other side with a list of names and a pampered imagination.

Grab yourself a copy here

~review by Ella Qyint

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GodZilla :(

After watching Godzilla I can’t help but feel I got suckered with a bait-n-switch. The trailers depicted horrific imagery of fear, destruction and despair. Ominous Gregorian chants, people running in the streets, and the Glasglow smiling roar of a giant creature as the doors closed the shot- were no where to be found. what we got instead was some really incredibly tedious exposition by actors who were seemingly phoning it in from the beginning. What’s worse , the almost hour and a half of explanatory buildup had nothing to do with Godzilla.



A lot of what made Godzilla not work for me have a lot to do with the actual story.  Something the trailers attempted to keep covered since many of those memorable trailer shots are completely different from the final movie.. So take this as a heads up. I will be spoiling aspects of the movie that basically ruined it for me… so consider this a warning!

The movie attempts to create a strong sense of tension and build up for the eventual monster reveal. On many occasions it tries to extend that tension with plenty of false reveals, that don’t work. Y’know kinda how in a horror movie there will be a  loud musical chord sound, and a screech, only to reveal it was just some frightened cat? Well this movie attempts to do this for the first hour and a half. Ultimately though, the flat dialogue, and uninspired acting only further frustrated me as I sat there uncomfortably in my seat. Also doesn’t help that the movie hops through characters for that  first hour and a half, so you as the viewer never have anyone to relate to or care about. Its just sequences, of scientists  saying “something is out there!” but none of his family believes him,-of generals looking at maps in control rooms, -army platoons scurrying between positions with guns drawn, (how that would help them against a 600 foot monster is beyond me.) -Nurses trying to care for their patients and frantically calling their boyfriends.. And close tight shots of children looking deadpanningly out towards danger while adults run around with their heads cut off. Good god that must’ve happened like 3 times in this movie. All with children who weren’t even part of the main cast. Are we supposed to feel something? Is this a powerful shot, when the characters are just throw aways? Steven Spielberg does shots like these in his movies, but it usually a pivotal moment when a MAIN character has discovered something. These days its as if directors just grab these iconic shots just for the sake of emotional buildup without realizing, YOU STILL NEED TO DEVELOP THAT CHARACTER for that buildup to have any meaning….


So we have all these characters with no development time. Then we have the monsters…. not godzilla, but bug-like creatures straight out of  a ‘Gears of War’  game, with smooth dolphin like skin and LED lit eyes.. Extremely plain and derivative looking bugs, that come from the planets core to feed on nuclear missiles,  mate and breed.Its only then that Godzilla has picked up their mating calls and comes out of the watery depths to kick their ass.. So in comes Godzilla – fashionably 2 acts late, with his entourage of battleships .. Its around this time when the Japanese scientist huddles all the military fools together to give them a quick history on “Gojira”..Thats right, no mention of Godzilla until he shows up, and then we get a rushed history lesson on how he was last seen in the 50s when they attempted to bomb him to hell.. So not only is this really not a reboot/remake  what have you, but its really a sequel of the original.. From this point on, this japanese scientist, insist that Godzilla is here to restore the balance of nature, not to interfere with his mission and “let them fight”…. So after being  blueballed for almost 2 hours, this movie  isn’t even about Godzilla, and to top it off, it isn’t the vengeful Godzilla that was portrayed in the trailers… Totally got suckered… “Godzilla 2014”  is a sad and confused movie, that wants to tell a meaningful story about a Corny giant monster, but regrettably fails…. So really its Star Ship troopers, mixed with Independence day, guest staring Godzilla… No thanks.


To the credit of  the CG director and all the amazing artists involved in those last 20 minutes,..  While the bugs were terrible, -Godzilla himself was incredibly detailed, moved with real weight and his atomic Breath and dorsal fin light up details were visually arresting.. Not to mention that breath taking roar.. it is some of the most amazing visuals of Godzilla you’ll see, at least till the inevitable sequel.I just wished they couldve made this first one about.. you know.. Godzilla.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2


Just when you’d think one would be suffering from movie hero fatigue, in comes the Amazing Spider-man2 swinging his way in from the skyline, and webbing away those dark notions that superhero movies have lost their way from being actual movies with character, emotion, empathy, and you know story. I had zero intention on seeing this movie. The first one was abosultely terrible. It was janky, and awkward with sometimes weird scene and character transitions that gave Peter Parker the unintended douche vibes. Aside from the redesigned suit, which I liked a lot, and the great 90s style cinematography. The first amazing Spider-man, was just bad.

The good news is, just like those clumsy early teen years, the amazing Spider-man 2 moves pasts its origin story, finds itself  and just goes straight into a more mature look into Spider-man’s very complex and dangerous life.
A complicated life of love, lies, and loss. Its wonderfully visualized in this gritty and violent new york city. Ol Spidey definitely has some fun with that PG-13 rating a few times. Playing around that level like a game of double-dutch. That’s where the campy humor really comes in and elevates the movie even further. Spider-man’s quips and playful demeanor really gives you the breathing room to elevate yourself from some of the heavy moments.. Its here when YOU feel NOW you know why Spider-man is the way he is. His humor is a release from his complex and sometimes heavy life. Its reflected in the movie, and thus reflected on to the audience. That’s freaking brilliant.. Comic relief, used as its intended.. Go figure right?

I won’t go too much into the actual visuals of it other than to say, this is the most realistic looking spider-man I’ve seen in action. There is actual weight to his movements ,not always landing so effortlessly as hes done in previous versions.  The camera choices during these moments are exhilarating to watch. Almost made me wish I had seen it in 3D.. The live action segments are shot with the same kind of  passion and sophistication thankfully. (Easily one of my biggest grips of the first 3 spidermans were that the dynamic CG shots seem to differ from the more straightforward live action shots. The transitions between the two would make it feel as if I was watching a movie, then watching a video game.. )

The movie does have a few hiccups though. For starters, Electro played by Jamie Foxx, was a very interesting character, and I really would’ve loved it if he was given more time to develop. His moments are silly, then powerful, and sadly fleeting. Harry Osborne (peters old friend) suffers even a worse fate with even less time, and a rushed transformation into his final character. Ultimately though, this is a movie about spider-man , and his life. A lot of questions about Peter and his past get answered, making you even more emphatic with the hero. So it worked out. Besides Director Webb, handles those slivers of  villain development time as impact-fully and as elegantly as he could have.. I guess the best way would be to compare it to Tim Burton’s Batman Returns.  Penguin was the main villain, Catwoman kinda got shafted with screen-time, but we all got what we needed because her scenes were crafted so well.  One of these elements is  the music. The introduction of Electro had some very unnerving music and whispers that added to the character’s sense of paranoia and islolation. Its also some of the best use of dubstep in a soundtrack so far. Wholly appropriate for a super-being with Electrical powers.

I’m not gonna lie. It was the dubstep in this trailer that gave me the final push to see the movie. I wanted to see if it was used as effectively as it was in this trailer. FUCK YAH IT WAS BOYYEEEE..

The music in general was excellent, grandiose and appropriately melodramatic. Other times it was very synthy and understated. Every character seemingly had their own melody, including the city itself which had plenty of moments to shine. Thankfully the director showed less known locations of NYC,which added  tons of personality. I left the theater and bought the soundtrack in my car.

The other hiccup is the dialogue can get a bit hammy and hard to chew on. Even with the camera swinging skills the director was showing off, and the cast of amazing actors at his disposal, some of the high-school fan-fic dialogue just didnt roll off the tongue.. so one quick look on IDMB and yup sure enough…. The two biggest writing quacks in the biz had put their dirty Sanchez’s  all over the face of this story. It won’t matter. because none of those moments will kill the power and ambiance of the film.

Go see this shit please.


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Robocop 2014 Review

To not compare the original 1987 RoboCop to the Reboot, is a huge undertaking. Nothing like Robocop 87 has been made since. It was technologically advanced, incredibly raw, and profound.  It was also excellently shot, with masterful pacing, and direction. Inside its adolescent, comic book story was  a movie that was shockingly violent, unabashedly self-aware, and incredibly prophetic.


Then we have Robocop 2014.  Set about only 14 years in our future it attempts to use controversy over US drone use overseas as the anchor-point to the story. This Robocop is Omnicorp’s  (the robot company that makes all these drones)  answer to having drones here on US soil. Which makes me question the demographic this movie aims for. Its PG-13 because it wants to attract a wider and younger audience right? I find it hard to think there are any kids out there who can peel their eyeballs away from their Iphones to care about drones invading our privacy and freedoms, unless its to look up and see if their Iphone 8 has been air-dropped by one of Amazon’s future delivery drones.
So to circumvent a ban on drones on US, OmniCorp (the movies robot making company) creates  a cyborg cop .  Luckily for them  Detective Alex Murphy gets his ass blown to bits just in time to be considered for project. Also luckily for them Alex Murphy has the right psychological profile that would work for their robotic monstrosity/ public stunt. That is a hot headed detective asshole, who likes to ignore protocol , go into a situation guns blazing and gets horned up for his wife just hours  after his partner was almost critically wounded….
So OCP Robot scientist Dr Norton  (Gary Oldman)  pretty much tells Clara, Murphys wife (Abby Corny or something)- she has a choice, sign over Murphy’s Gibs to them and allow them to make him into a Super Cop Robot or wiping drool and changing diapers for the rest of her life.

Super Cop it is.. 3 months later.. We have Robocop, or the terribly outdated name of “RC-2000”. Just to bring home he is NOT a robot to the public, they save his right hand.  To show it is a MAN pulling the trigger. Which seems totally unnecessary since most of the time hes just going around tazing people anyway. Save for a few no name grunts, bullets hardly fly in this not-so-action-packed movie. Not that it had to be an action packed movie to be enjoyable, but it never delves into any of the philosophical  complications of being a cyborg, or the implications of someone who is totally “jacked-in” to the net invading everyone else’s privacy. Aside from an interesting moment when Murphy is shown whats left of him, and when his son touches his robotic arm-only to hear the hollow sound of brushed aluminum, the movie shys away from going much deeper than that. It instead opts to push the whole, Drones on US soil agenda. Don’t make a shot game out of the word ‘Drone’ for Robocop2014, otherwise your friends would be in the emergency room for alcohol poisoning. Its all this movie could harp on. OCP heads, the uninteresting ‘Novak Element’  ( Fox news Bill Orielly Spoof, played by Sam Jackson), are fixated with getting drones on US soil. Which is what ultimately makes this movie dull. There are no ulterior motives. For anyone. Period. Seller’s (played by Keaton) goal is to circumvent the Drone ban by making a Cyborg Cop, then by ultimately changing public opinion on the ban in order to repeal it and get his drones in the States. Thats a lot of investment on a project just to sway public opinion don’t you think? (2.06 billion robobucks  for the RC-2000). The plan was never to make more Robocops, and eventually they were going to put Murphy out of his misery when the ban was lifted. However, as Robocop solves his own murder, and begins to follow the chain of corruption up to his own chief, the higher ups at OCP decide its time to pull the plug on him sooner than later. Why? Its not really explained,the audience is left to assume the level of corruption will eventually lead to OCP heads, but how, that seems to be left on the cutting room floor.

The second half of the movie plays like a cliffnotes version of the original,minus any character development. Since the first half of the movie was focused on Murphy becoming Robocop (as opposed to the 5 minute-becoming-robocop-montage of the original), there just isn’t enough time in this 108 minute movie for characters to develop.Robo has to hurry up and get revenge  before the credits roll. A lot of action elements were lifted from the first two original movies, but sadly they all feel  uninspired at this point since Jon Favreau pretty much picked the meat off of those bones for his Ironman movies years ago
Robocop 2014 is definitely a product of the times. Just like the character its based on, Robocop 2014 had no other purpose than to become a consumable for todays market, create toys and merchandise. This is ultimately the goal of any movie or franchise, the difference is while other creatives in this field have found  ways to work the Hollywood machine in their favor; creating evocative stories with memorable characters, you will find no such qualities in the new Robocop. It’s a paper thin story that stretches itself out  by repeating itself ad nauseam.  There is no layer of satire, or irony to be found in Robocop 2014, as it plays out painfully straight and by the numbers. In-fact if there is any layer of irony, its the fact that much like the film itself, the RC-2000 was created by Committee. From the generic design of the suit down to the painfully lackluster and botched Public event. The similarities  between the creation of this movie and how the story plays out are endless. One can only assume  Jose Padilla was projecting himself as Dr Norton, the hapless Robot scientist who was promised the world, but ultimately lost control of his own creation while getting steam blown up his ass.

I do hope it does we’ll enough for a sequel. Robocop could be a really fun property in the right hands, and hopefully if given the freedom , Jose Padilla could give us the Robocop he really wanted.

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