Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Tremors 5: Bloodlines - Okay

Today "Tremors 5: Bloodlines" was finally released across the board. It's been a little over a year since I first reported on the then rumours of a full Tremors reboot, which turned into news of an actual Tremors sequel just under a year ago. Fans have been mixed in their expecations, some being very excited, others being skeptical. But how exactly did "Tremors 5: Bloodlines" turn out?

There is a surprising amount of good material in "Tremors 5: Bloodlines". Going to Africa gives us new, but familiar, scenery in a franchise that's a quarter century old. We get new characters (Burt Gummer is the only remaining original character), new weapons, and kind of new graboids. Because this is Africa, and the local graboid life cycle turns out to have evolved slightly differently than its American cousin. The picture from the trailer that I speculated was a mixmaster creature? Turns out it's actually a plain old regular assblaster, just of the African variety. That alone fixed a lot of issues with the film for me. They went all out and made the monsters bigger and scarier, but still retained the core basics we've learned from the four previous films and 13 episodes of TV. 

But where there is only "some good", there is usually a lot of bad and meh. And "Tremors 5: Bloodlines" does have a lot of meh. Despite its short runtime of 100 minutes and being pretty packed with action sequences, I felt the urge to pick up my phone and see what happened on twitter and snapchat. It just doesn't grab on to you as well as I'd like. Jamie Kennedy's new character feels forced, and like a weird rip-off of "Tremors" TV's Tyler Reed. Who again in his time felt like a rip-off of "Tremors 3: Back to Perfection"'s Jack Sawyer, but Tyler got himself 13 episodes to redeem himself. Jamie's Travis gets 100 minutes. Despite some obvious "twists" and character revelations that the audience sees coming from a mile away he just ends up being an annoying sidekick that thinks he's a lot funnier than he actually is.

So all in all I am pleasantly surprised with this film, but I was also hugly skeptical. I'm pleasantly surprised because it isn't completely terrible. It feels like someone tried to make a Tremors film who just didn't know how, which is kind of exactly what it is. Stampede Entertainment was not involved, so the guys over at Universal 1440 has tried to recapture the magic unsuccesfully. Luckily Michael Gross knows Burt Gummer better than anyone and makes sure that what Burt does is what Burt would do. If you are a Tremors fan I would tell you to watch this film, otherwise there is no bother. It's the fifth best installment in a film franchise with five films.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Tremors 5 Trailer Surfaces - Spoilers Level: Medium

A trailer has emerged for "Tremors 5: Bloodlines". With a little over two months left till the home release we finally get a closer look at what to expect. Is it good? Be warned that the rest of this post will look into the trailer, and may therefore contain spoilers for the film itself.

The All-New Movie Tremors 5: Bloodlines available October 6th on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.Jamie Kennedy joins Michael Gross in this cult classic franchise > http://uni.pictures/Tremors5Portal#TremorsMovie

Posted by Tremors on 27. juli 2015

So what do we think? Is this something we're excited about? Is this what we have been waiting on for over a decade? Personally, I am really disappointed at what we get here. It doesn't seem to really match any of the previous Tremors film on any level. Be it the visuals, the audio, the acting, or the thematics. Not even Michael Gross seem to quite remember how to pull off a decent Burt Gummer.

We'll start right off with the biggest reveal and "spoiler" of the trailer, the new monster. There's a new monster that looks like a mix between a shrieker, graboid, and those things from "Tremors" homage "Grabbers". Its introductory scene is in a kitchen and is a clear reference to the kitchen scene in "Jurassic Park". But we don't get to see it "properly" until later in the trailer when Jamie Kennedy's character is faced off with the creature in what I'd think is a dark cave.

We can argue day and night until the release over where this fits into the evolutionary chain of the graboid, but it could easily be something different all together. We already know that assblasters lay the graboid eggs, and that "Tremors 5" was originally going to go into detail on the egglaying process, but the creature pictured above does not seem to have morphed from any of the creatures already known. My biggest hope is that this is a further development of the mixmaster formula explored in the Tremors TV series. Perhaps it has mixed a graboid, a shrieker, and an assblaster all together to form one übermonster. If that's the case I'm all for it. But I seriously doubt they'd pull in something only the fans would know of for a soft reboot like this.

Burt Gummer is another disappointment from the trailer. He just doesn't feel like he's Burt Gummer. Sure, it's been a while since we last saw him, and he's probably been through a lot of shit, but the main draw of this film was seeing Burt Gummer battle graboids once again. What we get seem to instead be a stylised version of the kind of character Burt Gummer was a spoof of. All in an effort to fit into what seems to be a highly more polished and referential film than the rest of the series.

I'm hoping that all of my concerns are just the result of the trailer editing. That they're trying to pander to an audience that isn't actually going to like this film. It seems like a stupid move, but is not unheard of with films like this. I guess we'll just have to wait and see when "Tremors 5: Bloodlines" drops October 6th.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron - A Stepping Stone (English)

Ever since "The Avengers" was released three years back in 2012 we've been waiting for the sequel. Sure, there's been a lot of other MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) stuff released since then, a lot of better MCU stuff, but it's never been anything like what "The Avengers" was. Now, finally, we get to see what the guys have been up to.

"Age of Ultron" takes place roughly three years after the events of "The Avengers" from what I can gather, but quite a few things have changed. What was once the Tony Stark Tower is now the Avengers Tower, where the members of the Avengers group before and after their missions. Their missions from last time seem to be mostly rounding up stray Hydra bases, all in their bigger search for Loki's scepter. The film starts with one of the last of these missions, they have finally found the scepter. And I have to say, it was kind of weird. They had the full team of superheroes out to get this scepter. I get why it's important, but if they all have the time to team up for this I start to wonder why they didn't have time to team up during "Iron Man 3" or "Winter Soldier". I can still make excuses in my mind, like that they never had any time to warn or call one another, but it is one of the overbearing problems with this franchise. And it needs to be addressed. Why aren't they helping each other out in each other's films? Luckily this segment of the film ends soon enough for me not to think about it too much.

At that last Hydra base they raided on the mission to find the scepter, they discovered a powerful AI. Artificial Intelligence. Way more complex than what Stark's JARVIS has ever been. Stark and Banner start to rework this AI to build Ultron. A program they have long dreamed will be able to keep the world safe without the Avengers. A program that can control squadrons of Iron Man suits around the world, always on guard. This is what of course kickstarts the main plot of "Age of Ultron". So from here on out I'll avoid specific plot points.

The most interesting thing about this film is how funny it is. It's been a while since I last watched "Guardians of the Galaxy", but this just might be Marvel's funniest film so far. It's definitely funnier in a different way than "Guardians of the Galaxy". It's the kind of humour you have with your friends. Friendly banter and quips. They've managed to balance it very well, so you never forget that the film is in fact a fun entertainment piece, and not a huge dramatic epic. It keeps the film very efficiently grounded.

The most disappointing part of the film is perhaps the CG. There is a lot of very excellent CG, as always, and the most important parts are well produced. But often does a shot come along where you start to wonder how late it was added to the film. They look rushed, they look like they were a last minute idea, and they just don't have the same quality as the rest of the scenes. There was one very quick shot of Thor flying that almost looked like something from a low-budget television show.

But all in all this is a solid, and amazingly entertaining film. It is not Marvel's best, I can't say that. I still think that "Winter Solider" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" might be a few spots better, but this is so different that it's kind of hard to compare. "Winter Soldier" was a spy thriller, "Guardians of the Galaxy" a comedic space opera, and "Age of Ultron" is a real action blockbuster.  But it feels a bit like a stepping stone between "The Avengers" and the obvious huge event that will be "Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 & 2".

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Daredevil - Marvel sin fyrste superhelt

På fredag kom Marvel med sin fyrste storsatsing på faktiske superheltar på fjernsyn. Me har tidlegere hatt to seriar om dei hemmelege agentane som ofte jobbar med superheltar, men "Daredevil" på Netflix er den fyrste til å vera ein superheltserie heilt gjennom. Kor bra ble det?

Eg har relativt liten erfaring med Daredevil, båe som karakter og konsept. Men utfrå ein film som ingen snakkar om, og nokre animerte serier frå 90-tallet så veit eg cirka kva det går i. Ein gutunge blir blind, og så blir dei andre sansane hans så sterke og utrulege at han kan sjå betre enn dei fleste andre. Dette er også grunnkonseptet frå Netflix-serien.

Men eg vil ikkje snakka for mykje om kva serien handlar om, men heller om kva den prøvar å gjere. Kva den er meir enn den visar. "Daredevil" er kanskje det beste som Marvel har produsert til dags dato. Dette inkluderar alle filmar og tidlegere seriar. Marvel har laga sjukt mykje gøy, og "Daredevil" er på langt nær så gøy som "Guardians of the Galaxy" eller "Avengers", men den er det fyrste Marvel har laga som er verkeleg bra. Me får tid til å kjenne karakterane over dei rundt tretten timane serien går over, betre enn nokon av dei andre superheltane me har blitt introdusert for. No verker det nesten som om Iron Man og Captain America er meir som bekjente enn karakterer eg faktisk kjennar godt. Det blir litt urettferdig å samenlikne appelsin og eple, men slik er det no, det gjer serien ein valdsamt god overhand.

Det som kanskje er stiligast med serien er at Daredevil faktisk er den fyrste verkelege helten i marvel sitt kinematiske univers (Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU). Matt Murdock går ut på gatane og kjempar mot kriminelle fordi han meinar det er rett, og fordi han har moglegheita. Ikkje fordi nokon har bedt han om det, han vil helst ikkje at folk i det heile tatt veit han gjer det. Då blir han noko heilt anna enn Tony Stark som oftast havnar i trøbbel fordi han seiar noko dumt, og er berre ute på gatana for å rydde opp når han har vore med å skapt problema. Steve Rogers er kanskje litt nærmare, men han óg jobbar for ein organisasjon som er ute etter å redde verda. Han er meir ein politimann enn ein vaskekte superhelt. Daredevil er der fordi folket treng han, ikkje fordi dei vil ha han. Og det er fantastisk å sjå ein serie som er så annleis frå det alle dei andre filmane opp til no har bygga opp. Dette er ingenting som filmane, men du kjem til å elske det.

Monday, 6 April 2015

The Fast and the Furious - Ein mesterklasse i suksess

Eg såg den fyrste filmen ein gong for lenge sida. Det kan ikkje ha vore kjempelenge etter den kom ut. Eg forstod ikkje heilt appellen, og appellen ble enda mindre når eg så vidt såg noko av oppfølgjaren "2 Fast 2 Furious" ei stund etter. På grunn av det har eg til no blankt ignorert resten av filmane i serien. Til tross for kor svære og populære dei har blitt. Eg ville ikkje sjå dei, eg visste eg ikkje likte dei, eg visste dei var teite. Men herligheten så feil eg tok.

Markedsføringslaget bak filmen forten ein eller anna pris for det dei har gjort. Lenge har eg ikkje kunne gått på kino eller internett utan å sjå dei mest actionfullte scenane nokon sinne frå "Fast & Furious 7". Traileren starter med at dei hopp i fallskjerm i bilar. Når filmen då endeleg kom ut i Noreg lurte eg på om eg ikkje burde sjå resten av filmane, kanskje det var noko i dei sida dei var så populære, og såg så kule ut, men det var ikkje før hypen frå USA kom til lands at eg verkeleg forstod at eg måtte sjå filmen. I går, sundag, såg eg filmar nummer 1 til nummer 5. Rundt ti timar med bilar og action som eg trudde eg ikkje likte. Det var så vidt eg kom meg så langt, for "2 Fast 2 Furious" står enda ut som ein sår tommel, men når serien finn ut kva den verkeleg er. Det er då det starter.

Den nyaste filmen, den syvande, er kva eg ville kalt den tredje i ein soft reboot av serien. For i film nummer 5 ("Fast Five") byrjar dei å gå i ein heilt anna retning. Dei forstår at det er ekstrem action og tøffe karakterer me er ute etter. Familiedramet kan gå meir i bakgrunnen og funke som drivstoff for actionen me verkeleg vil ha. "Fast & Furious 7" tar heilt av i alle banar. Det er action frå byrjing til slutt med veldig få dødpunkt. Det er nesten den perfekte actionfilm, det er iallefall den perfekte actionfilm for vår tid. Me har helikopter, me har dronar, me har fallskjermbilar, me har kule gadgets, fine damer, muskelbuntar, morosame vitsar, nesten alt er på plass.

Ja, eg seiar at nesten alt er på plass, men det er ein veldig tynn nesten. For viss du ser på dette som eit dramatisk epos kor historia er i senter av alt så blir det kanskje litt vel tynt. Det meste av plot er gåing frå punkt til punkt. Når du kjem frå A til B så går du til C, så til D, og ein siste gong til E. Det er ikkje noko magisk, ingenting spesielt du ikkje har sett før, men den trenger ikkje å vera det. For med alt den har så er den ein av dei mest underhaldane filmane du kjem til å sjå i år, og vonar verkeleg at du ser den.