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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Movie Review: Air Guitar Nation- 8/29/07

Review: Following the exploits of two Americans who will be the first ones from the U.S. to compete in the REAL Air Guitar World Championships in Norway where it has been going on for years and is a huge gathering promoting peace through air guitaring.

You follow C-Diddy a Korean actor who’s tage persona belies his subdued personality with the extravagance of comedy and outlandishness in his performances. Bjorn Turoque is his American nemesis who tries to beat C-Diddy in the Eastern and then Western championships ending just behind him and the following him to the finals in Europe. This movie follows the roots of U.S. air guitar being established just a few years ago and it’s impact in the world air guitar media.

Comments: Good documentary movie, you get two competing personalities and backgrounds with the camera following C-Diddy and Bjorn from their childhood and families to their trip to Norway and meeting with their European and Australian counterparts in the championships. You first see the contestants in small stages in the U.S., then as they end up on national t.v. you begin to see how large this funny sport is when they get to the serious side of competition in Europe.

I just wish they did more of an update on the status of these guitar players since the movie was filmed a few years ago and I’d like to know how their doing these days. The movie does have some slow areas in the half-way point of the movie but pulls it off with a great championship ended.

Score: 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Movie Review: Wild Hogs- 8/22/07

Synopsis: John Travolta, Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy are four middle-aged and white-collar men who enjoy their “biker club” The Wild Hogs. After Travolta’s character experiences a divorce, he get’s his three friends to go out with him on a cross-country ride to the Pacific to re-capture their wild youth since they’ve turned into the boring, lazy men they feared they have become.

After traveling the country they end up rousing a real biker gang and blowing up their bar. The Wild Hogs end up taking refuge in a small town with a cowardly sheriff & deputies. The biker gang terrorizes the town until the Wild Hogs and the town’s people fight back. The WHs finally make it to Los Angeles and embrace the fun they have had on their trip.

Another movie I was not looking forward to, but was the only new available movie at the local store. Typical male-bonding/comedy set with middle-aged actors trying to capture their youth. Macey plays the geeky guy, Lawrence the husband with the nagging wife (played by the actress who was the friend of his wife from his t.v. show Martin), Tim Allen the former bad-boy turned yuppie parent with boring dentist job, and Travolta as the well-to-do entertainment executive (I think) with super-model wife who is divorcing him and going to through a mid-life crisis. They embark on their journey and some hijinks ensues with the guys finding adventure and the geeky guy getting a girl. Same story as old, but in a fun family-friendly way and shot at a brisk enough pace where the movie really didn't drag at all.

Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Movie Review: Fracture- 8/22/07

Synopsis: Anthony Hopkin’s character sets up a convoluted plan to escape prosecution after killing his wife and framing her lover. Fast rising attorney (Ryan Gosling) is about to leave the district attorney’s office with a 97% conviction rate and transfer to a private law firm to make more money to cover his debts but is pulled into his last case as a D.A. to prosecute Hopkins.

Comments: This is one of those films that went in and out of the theatre fast, I don’t even remember when it actually came out. The story tries to get you with a detailed plot by Hopkin’s to escape conviction even though the viewer knows he committed a crime while the D.A. is sought following pieces to try and convict Hopkins with no end in sight and road-blocked by the very crafty killer. This movie ends with one of those endings where the story continues and no final resolution is met.

Sometimes those types of endings are good, sometimes not. This movie has one of those endings that do not play well without a definitive plot conclusion since the killer had tricked and killed many people and plot lines are just left dangling. The device used to get to the near-conclusion of the story was obvious to me at the beginning and somehow did not come up until the end of the movie. Pretty long movie with two alternate endings with slight variations. Neither well.

Score: 2 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Movie Review: Step Up- 8/22/07

Synopsis: White-boy thug (aka WBT to be referred to from now on) in ghetto neighborhood with two black thug friends break into a high-class Juilard-type highschool and trash the place. WBT gets caught and is ordered to work community service by working at the school to pay back the damages. WBT we later learn is in a foster home. WBT is also a street hip-hop dancer and mops the floor of the dance classes with a cute classical trained dancer…I wonder what will happen next? Ooh the mystery!

The cute girl is an intense and snooty senior who would rather dance than apply to college and her only way out of not going to college is to win this dance competition, but her partner hurst his ankle! What now? The suspense! WBT ends up going all 'hood on her and tries to get up on her junk by practicing her dance moves with her until she can find a new partner. No new partner comes up since for some reason out of all the highly trained male dancers in this school somehow cannot lift her up or dance!? WBT ends up teaching her a hip-hop fusion of her ballet and street dance and they end up winning the competition and he transfer to her school. Oh, and one of the thug friends die. The end.

I hated this movie, and when I say hate, I mean HATE. This film didn't make sense at all. So this thug breaks and enters, trashes a school, has a long list of problems and the judge sentences him to work around other kids? I also hated the fact that the male-trained dancers, who should be able to do all kinds of moves and lifting girls should be second-hand to them, end up with so much trouble when they auditioned to practice with the lead girl after she was searching for a new partner. They were either to afraid to pick her up or didn't have moves, I mean come on, they're at a prestiguious dance school and don't know how to dance?

All the leads were unlikeable as well. WBT had no redeeming qualities, he carjacks, he breaks and enters, robs, and destroys school equipment and no respect for anything. The girl is also too aloof and doesn't exude any qualities to make the watcher feel for her. If you like watching a K-Fed wannabe hip-hop dance, then this is the movie for you, otherwise stay away!

Score: 0 out of 5 stars.

Movie Review: Vacancy- 8/22/07

Synopsis: Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale are a husband and wife near divorce after losing their child. After a night out visiting Beckinsale's parents, Wilson takes a shortcut off the highway and end up on a lone road. After a near miss with a racoon, the couple end up at a deserted gas staion next to a motel and get help from the gas station attendant on their car and directions to the highway.

After driving for a mile at night, the car breaks down and the couple walk back to the motel. The sleazy hotel manager gets the couple a room and after seeing the filthy room they decide to wait until morning until they can call a mechanic from the next town to fix the car. Wilson pops a video into the VCR to watch t.v. and ends up realzing that the stact of videos are not fiction, but real life snuff films of people who've stayed in the same room and were attacked and brutally murdered by two masked people. They realize that the room is has hidden cameras and they are being recorded. They try and escape but the hotel manager and two killers trap them and try and attack them. The couple try various pleases to the police and escape with only one making it out alive.

I was expecting better of this movie after reading decent reviews when this came out in the theatres. While the set-up of the movie (first 30 mins.) was fine, the cat-and-mouse chase scenes weren't that interesting or scary at all with the thrills able to be predicted before something happens. The killers also, though brutal, are kind of stupid and for some reason can't eliminate these two people when they have so many chances AND are able to watch them via close-circuit t.v. if you want a decent new thriller movie, watch this, but it's really not that scary or entertaining.

Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Movie Review: Fun with Dick and Jane- 8/22/07

Synopsis: Middle-class Dick (Jim Carey) and Jane (Tea Leone) and son are leading a normal life, living in a well-to-do suburban neighborhood and trying to get the finer things in life. Neighbors have nice big houses, well-kept lawns, new luxury cars, etc. Jane struggles to do chores at home while working at a stress-inducing travel agency. Dick works for a big conglomerate firm (Ex. Enron) and gets promoted to a V.P. level and ends up having his dream job with the status, money, and notoriety he is looking for.

Dick persuades Jane to quit and become a stay at home mom. After being promoted, Dick’s company becomes embroiled in a big money-laundering scheme and the company goes out of business with the pensions of all the workers gone. Dick’s family ends up close to losing everything and turn to robbing banks and stores to pay their mortgage to prevent foreclosure. They end up doing so well that they are able to buy everything back until they decide to stop with the robbing. They then cook up a scheme to get back at Dick’s boss who swindled the money from the company and try and help the workers who lost their pensions.

While this movie was panned when it came out, I really did not find it boring or bad at all. This is a light comedy with a few laughs and chuckles throughout. Jim Carey does his usual antics and the script while not superb, brings an enjoyable story line that is easy to follow.

Score: 3 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Golf Course Review: Arrowood Golf Course in Oceanside, CA- 8/18/07

Comments: Played a game at the cart-only Arrowood Golf Course in Oceanside at just past noon on a hot and balmy Saturday with temperatures hovering just over 81 degrees. I was hoping to be impressed by this course which just opened last year after two of my playing partners were able to try out this course a few months back and exclaimed that the greens were in immaculate condition and there was a hole you hit over water into an island. Unfortunately the hot summer and increased traffic to this course has not been too kind to this course overlooking the hills and homes around the No. San Diego County.

The course is located just past the Oceanside Municipal Golf Course with new tract homes lining the streets to the club house. The clubhouse had a nice pro shop with adequately stocked supplies and OEM clubs (Burners, Raptures, Super Quads) available to buy. An afternoon tee time was priced at the regular weekend rate of $85 which includes a golf cart and $5 discount for Southern California residents. If you want to try out this course on the cheap, I suggest the 4:00 p.m. tee time which clocks in the late twilight rate of $30. The heat was bearable only due to the occasional light breeze, but when it died down the sun beat down on you horribly.

Due to the hot weather these last few weeks, there were not a lot of players on the course at high-noon; we had a couple 4-somes moving at a good pace ahead of us and a two-some behind us. So we were able to play at a leisurely pace with a few second tee-offs if they were needed. At the time the course was just being aerated. There were a couple holes where the drive off the tee was blind since the course would wrap up and over a hill.

The greens were in o.k. condition, but the tee boxes were in need of fixing and divots were not fixed on the greens. The rough grass was long and kept you from bombing over them in hopes not to lose your balls into them. There were some challenging fairways, but not too distinct with the “lake” hole the 16th consisted of a pretty large island with ducks and dirty water that you needed to carry on the second shot after your initial drive. I enjoyed the challenging 18th hole with required you to drive your ball over a hill and right before a water hazard to the enclosed green surrounded by 3 bunkers. If you hit a slope and not on the green, the ball will roll into the lake.

While a nice course, with good scenery, I felt that for the cost of playing that the tee boxes, greens should be in better condition or discounted because of the aerating. The course would have been a better value if the fee was at about $65. For the $85 we played I felt the San Juan Hills course in San Juan Capistrano offered more of a challenge with the same layout and yardage type and the Aliso Viejo Golf Course in Aliso Viejo had just a good view of the county, both at relatively the same or lower price. So if you’re looking to play a good course with nice views and not feel like you’ve spent too much, check out Arrowood in the twilight or super-twilight hours.

Score: 2.75 out of 5. Priced a bit too high for my expectations. Too many blind shots that do not challenge but instead infuriate the course layout.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Comic Book Review: D.C. Comics Comic Book Collection Listing- 8/14/07

Always liked D.C. because of the Super Friends cartoon as a kid.

My favorite hero was Green Lantern for some reason, I guess because his ring let you create almost anything as long as the color didn’t bother you.

I wish though that I kept my run of the Death and Return of Superman from this list since I had the whole storyline.

D.C. Listing / Issues

Action Comics 687
Adventures of Superman 501
Artemis: Requiem 1-6
Azrael Annual 1
Batgirl: Special 1
Batman 436-442, 457, 492, 497, 500
Batman: Arkham Asylum TPB
Batman: Haunted Knight TPB
Batman: In Darkest Knight TPB
Batman: Legend of the Dark Knight 16-20
Batman: Mad Love TPB
Batman: Sword of Azrael 1
Batman: Sword of Azrael TPB
Batman: The complete Frank Miller TPB
Batman: The Killing Joke TPB
Black Hawk 2, Missing: 1
Black Lightning 1
Black Orchid TPB
Cosmic Odyssey 1, Missing: 2, 3, 4
Crisis on Infinite Earths 1-12
D.C. Giant Four Star Spectacular 1
Darkstars 1, 2
Day of Judgement 2, 3, 5, Missing: 1, 4
Death: The high cost of living 1-3
Detective Comics 608
Dr. Fate 1987 mini-series 1, 3, 4
Dr. Fate 1989 Annual 1
The Helmet of Fate: Det. Chimp, Zauriel, Ibis, Sargon, Missing: 2
Essential Vertigo: Swamp Thing 12
Final Night 4
Final Night: Parallax 1
Firestorm: 1,3,4,5,18,20,24,25,26,27
Green Arrow (Vol. 2) 0, one million
Green Arrow 1995 Annual 7
Green Arrow: The longbow hunters 1-3
Green Lantern & Green Arrow (Reprints) 1-4, 6, Missing: 5
Green Lantern (Vol. 1) 90, 196
Green Lantern (Vol. 2) 1
Green Lantern (Vol. 3) 0, 46-56, 63, 64, 76, 81, 105, 106, 119, 200
Green Lantern and Silver Surfer TPB
Green Lantern: Dragon Lord 1-3
Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn 1-6
Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn II 1-6
Green Lantern: Silver Age 1
Green Lantern: Special 2
Green Latern: Mosaic 1
Guy Gardner: Reborn 1-3
Guy Gardner: Warrior 18-21
Hawkman (Vol. 1) 13
Hawkman Special 1986 1
Hawkworld Mini Series 1-3
History of the D.C. Universe 1-2
Justice League America 0, 92
Justice League America 1996 Annual 10
Justice League of America (Vol. 1) 61
Justice League: The Nail 1-3
Kingdom Come 1-4
Legends of the D.C. Universe 1, 38
Man of Steel 22
New Teen Titans 60-61
New Teen Titans 1982 Annual 1
Omega Men 3
Resurrection Man 1
Return of Dr. Fate 1
Richard Dragon: Kung-Fu Fighter 1
Robin (Vol. 1) 1
Secret Files & Origins: Day of Judgement 1
Secret Origins 7, 24, 32, 38
Sergio Argones Destroys the D.C. Universe 1
Shade the Changing Man (Vol. 1) 1
Shazam: A new beginning 1-4
Starman (Vol. 2) 1
Superman 78
Superman: Distant Fires TPB
Superman: Man of Steel 1-4, 6, Missing: 5
Tales of the Green Lantern (Tangent) 1
Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual 2
Tales of the New Teen Titans 1-4
The Books of Magic TPB
The Flash (Vol. 3) 0, 91-94, 114-116
The Flash 1992 Annual 5
The Flash: Terminal Velocity TPB
The Golden Age TPB
The Kingdom 1-2
The Kingdom: Kid Flash 1
The Kingdom: Nightstar 1
The Kingdom: Offspring 1
The Kingdom: Planet Krypton 1
The Kingdom: Son of the Bat 1
The Ray (Vol. 2) 0, 1
The Ray Annual 1
The Ray: In a blaze of power 1-5, Missing: 6
The Spectre (Vol. 2) 0, 1-5, 8, 9, 13, 18, 19, 24, 25-28, 30-32, 35, 38, 39, 44-46, 48-52, 54, 56, 57, 62; Missing: 6, 7, 10-12, 14-17, 20-23, 29, 33, 34, 36, 37, 40-43, 47, 53, 55, 58-61
The Spectre 1995 Annual 1
Underworld Unleashed 1-2
Underworld Unleashed: Abyss- Hell's Sentinel 1
Untold Legend of The Batman TPB
Valor 17
Vigilante: 2, Missing 1, 3-6
Wonder Woman 1995 Annual 4
Wonder Woman: Callenge of Artemis TPB
Wonder Woman: The Contest TPB
World's Finest 1-2
Wrath of the Spectre 2
Zero Hour 0-4

Comic Book Review: Marvel Comics Comic Book Collection Listing- 8/14/07

I used to have a pretty good-sized Marvel collection, liked Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, and all the usual heroes. Apart from the X-Men though there was never really any storylines that I wanted to go back to so I sold the majority of them.

The only main titles I kept were the Todd McFarlane Spider-Man books since I just really liked his artwork on the series. The majority left of my Marvel collection is mostly trade paperbacks and reprints of Frank Miller’s Elektra series.

I used to have a pretty good-sized Marvel collection, liked Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, and all the usual heroes. Apart from the X-Men though there was never really any storylines that I wanted to go back to so I sold the majority of them.

The only main titles I kept were the Todd McFarlane Spider-Man books since I just really liked his artwork on the series. The majority left of my Marvel collection is mostly trade paperbacks and reprints of Frank Miller’s Elektra series.

Marvel Comics Listing Issues
Dark Hawk 1
Devil Dinosaur 1
Elektra (Vol. 1) 1
Elektra Saga (Reprint) 1-4
Elektra: Assassin 1-5
Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown 1-4
Infinity Gauntlet 1
Man-Thing (Vol. 1) 1
Marvel Illustrated Magazine
Marvels 1-4
Moon Knight (Vol. 2) 60
Morbius 1
Ruins 2
Spider-Man 1-8, 10-14
Spider-Man vs. Venom TPB
Spider-Man vs. Wolverine TPB
Spider-Man: Kraven's Last Hunt TPB
Squadron Supreme 1-12
The Amazing Spider-Man 180, 198, 252, 298, 312, 318-325, 328, 361-363
The Amazing Spider-Man Annual 18
The Defenders 1
The Incredible Hulk 372, 377, 393
The Last Avengers Story TPB
The Savage She-Hulk 1
Transformers Universe (Who's Who) 1-4
Web of Spider-Man 1
What If: Elektra had lived (Vol. 1) 35
X-Factor 1
X-Men: Days of Future Past TPB
X-Men: The Asgardian Wars TPB

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Golf Course Review: Lake Forest Golf & Practice Center, Lake Forest, CA- 8/12/07

Comments: The Lake Forest Golf & Practice Center raised their golf rates recently.

Early bird is now $11 instead of $9. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but for a dinky quick 9-hole course that takes less than an hour and is mostly Par 3s, $11 before 7:30 a.m. is too high as well as $12 for the late owl special, especially when there is always a wait on every hole. For the same price I’d rather go to Casta Del Sol in Mission Viejo and for $12 after 5p.m., get a full 19 holes with decent Par 4s and better location.

There’s a few golf hoppers at Lake Forest that just come to play without paying since there’s no marshall in the morning. Played behind a guy that was alone and he had his dog with him running around and playing two balls even when we were right behind him.

The only additional note is that the driving range has replaced a majority of their practice balls with new Nike practice balls. This is a long time in coming since the old practice balls looked liked that were not replaced in two years. The second level hitting area also has been closed to players who drive longer than 275 yards (irons on top deck only for those people) since I guess some balls have been going into the busy street or homes across the way.

Score: 2.5 out of 5. Prices should actually be lower for the length and challenge of the course. Too much traffic on weekends makes hurried plays.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Comic Book Review: Independent Publisher Comic Book Collection Listings- 8/14/07

I've decided to do an inventory of the comic books I've managed to hold on to. I used to have boxes and boxes of comic book collection amassed from jr. high through college.

I sold about 90% of them for almost nothing just because I needed room and the place I was moving into just didn’t have storage space. So I kept only the must-have series that I would keep going back to.

I now wish I kept a few additional collections, but thankfully publishers are now reprinting trade paperbacks (TPB) since that is my preferable reading material of choice.

Here is my collection from non-Marvel or D.C. comics titles. I used to have tons of Image and Valiant books, but gave those up fast when the marker went down in the late 90’s.

The main titles I will try and get are the Transformers (Dreamwave) and Robotech comics since I enjoy the artwork or continued storylines.

Independent Publisher Listings Issues
Bloodshot 1, 2
Eternal Warrior 1, 4, 5
G.I. Joe: Reborn TPB
Harbinger 0, 7-15, 24-25
Harbinger: Children of the eigth day TPB
Kabuki 1/2, 1-6
Kabuki: Circle of Blood TPB
Kabuki: Fan Edition 1
Kabuki: Masks of the Noh TPB
Macross II 1-10
Macross II: The Micron Conspiracy 3-5
Magnus Robot Fighter 5
Marshall Law: Kingdom of the Blind TPB
Rai 0, #1 companion
Robotech (Wildstorm) 0-6
Robotech: Invasion 1, 2
Robotech: Love & War 1, 2
Robotech: Sourcebook (Wildstorm) 1
Rocketeer Adventure Magazine 1-2
Shi: Fan Edition 1
Solar - Man of the Atom: Alpha and Omega TPB
Spawn 1
Star Wars: Dark Empire 1-6
Transformers (Vol. 2): War & Peace 1-6
Transformers (Vol. 3): More than meets the eye 1
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe (Devil's Due) 4
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe (Dreamwave) 1
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe (Image) 4
Transformers: The Age of Wrath 1-3
Transformers: The War Within TPB
Transformers: The War Within- The Dark Ages 1
Unity 0-1
Voltron (Devil's Due) 1
Wanted 1-6, dossier
Warrior Nun Areala: Book 1 1
Watchmen TPB
Wizard Magazine 11-16 & 100 most collec. comics

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Movie Review: Alpha Dog- 8/8/07

Synopsis: Known as the wannabe-gangsta movie starring Justin Timberlake. This movie starts off showing a group of early 20-somethings hanging around a house where the leader of the posse, Lovegood, runs a drug and loan shark crew.

Lovegood and his crew are all mouth and posers with their tattoos and guns, but when brought up against tough thugs they run scared. A skinhead-type guy who runs duties for Lovegood ends up being short on cash to pay back and ends up getting into a fight with him. In retaliation for not getting paid, Lovegood and his posse kidnap the former-crew member’s younger brother.

Taking the brother to another location the posse try and figure out what to do with him since the older brother and police are on their tail. They befriend the younger brother and keep him well-off in another location partying and such. As the police are called in and the parents find out that Lovegood and friends are responsible for the kidnapping and face life in prison, the posse freak out and try and find a way out. Unfortunately instead of letting the boy go, they end up killing him and the posse end up going to jail and destroying their and their families’ lives.

Comments: Standard movie popcorn fair, nothing shown in the movie was overtly interesting and dragged for the first hour and five minutes, and character’s behavior changed half-way through the movie making the tough guys weaklings and the weaklings into badasses. There are faux-interview scenes intercut in the movie with the parents of the people and I think did not make the movie flow as well. One thing I did note was Justin Timberlake has a very high-pitched voice in his normal tone.

Score: 2.5 out of 4 Monster Stars. Nicely shot, but the weak script and character development hampered this film.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Movie Review: Disturbia- 8/7/07

Synopsis: Starring Shia LeBeouf (Greatest Game Ever Played, Holes, Transformers), this is a semi-remake of the classic Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grand “Rear Window” movie with a modern twist. Instead of a middle-aged man trapped in a wheelchair as he’s recuperating viewing his neighbors out his window, we get a troubled kid on house-arrest with an ankle monitor keeping him from leaving the vicinity of his house.

We start with see The Kid with his father on a fishing trip. Afterwards on the drive home they are in a car accident and the father dies. One year later the kid is having problems at school and ends up punching his Spanish teacher in class and thus gets placed on house arrest with an ankle monitor that will beep and notify the police if he leaves his home for more than a few seconds. The kid has a wise-cracking asian friend/side-kick. He is bored at home after his mom takes away his XBOX and t.v. privileges, so he ends up watching his neighbors though his binoculars throughout the day. Then new neighbors move in with an attractive teenage daughter the same age as the kid. After seeing reports on the news of a string of murders in Texas that is happening in the same town as the kid now, he suspects the male neighbor across the street of being a murderer. After courting the girl, both the kid, his friend and the girl start spying and trying to get details on the neighbors. They break into his car and home trying to get info. on missing women that have been killed. The kids gets in trouble for stalking the neighbor and the neighbor starts appearing frightening the kids.

As the movie nears the ending, the neighbor attack’s the kids’s mom, knocks out the sidekick and tries to kill the boy since he know’s their on to him. The girl tries and helps the boy who runs into the neighbor’s house and find a hidden underground surgery room and basement where bodies are found. He struggles with the killer and ends up killing him in the end. As the movie ends, the boy is let off early from his house arrest and he finally hooks up with the girl. The end.

Comments: Basic suspense-thriller movie, nothing too surprising. There was a good scene with the sidekick entering the neighbor’s garage to snoop on them, but the movie is a bit predictable. What saves the movie is Shia LeBeouf and his great timing as an actor and whit used in the comedic bits. Not as notable as the Hitchcock version, but as a quick movie to watch on a weeknight, this is pretty enjoyable.

Score: I give it 3.0 out of 5 Monster Stars for those looking for a cat-and-mouse type suspense thriller.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Movie Review: Pathfinder- 8/6/07

Synopsis: This movie is based on the oft-told legend of Vikings traveling to North America hundred of years prior to Europeans landing in the Americas. In this story a Viking expedition force lands in what seems to be the Carolinas cost of No. America and trample over the Native Americans.

The leader brings his then young son and gets him to try and kill a young native girl and the boy refuses, so the father whips the boy exclaiming, “You’re no son of mine” and abandons the boy behind when the raiding party head back to Europe. Later on a N.A. woman finds the boy and takes him back to her tribe to raise him as her own.

15 years later, the blond blue-eyed boy is now a man and his tribe seems mostly peaceful and dealing in fishing and hunting. He unfortunately cannot be a “Pathfinder,” which I think is like being the tribe’s next leader/shaman since he is not from a tribe and no one knows his history. Originally when he was brought in as a boy they thought he was a demon due to his skin, but then there was also a legend where a white-colored savior would come and help the tribe.

Soon another party of Vikings arrives and terrorizes the village and slaughters everyone except the Viking boy (V.B. from now on) since he was across the river. The Vikings are brutal and spare no one. V.B. escapes and tries to warn another nearby tribe to escape since the Vikings as too strong with their armor and steel weapons and would obliterate the N.A. with their wooden spears and arrows. V.B. along with another N.A. try and ambush the Vikings but are unsuccessful and end up having some of the warrior tribesmen killed while the other half of the village try and escape.

V.B. and his love-interest girl/healer from the second tribe are captured and piece-by-piece V.B. leads the Vikings in the search for the other tribe and he gets some Vikings killed by drowning them as the fall through ice and fall of mountain cliffs. After V.B. vanquishes the leader (who knew V.B.’s father), he marries the girl and they raise children and he is always on the lookout for potential threats of the “Dragon Men.”

Comments: The production values of the movie were stunning, The budget is noted at $38 million and the money was well spent on the location, studio shots and costumes of the Vikings. Great detailed was played out in what is mostly a wannabe-Conan movie. Battles are bloody and well-paced. A cross between The 13th Warrior and Conan movies is what I describe this film, I just wish the main star was a bit bigger since all the Vikings were large in the movie, and as an offspring he was average size making his battles seem one-sided when he was smaller then the well-armed opponents.

Score: Though 15 minutes too ling I thought, the movie is a good popcorn-flick and I give it 3.5 out of 5 Monster Stars for those looking for an old-school hack/slash action flick.

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