Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter Review

The first thing that seems funny about this movie is the title. Which I guess made sense at the time, because they really thought it was the last one, but looking back it’s pretty lame that the fourth out of ten sequels claims to be the last one. Anyway, this movie involves another group of teenagers going up to stay together in a cottage out near Crystal Lake. Only this time, there’s a family with a little kid living down the street, so there’s some kid humour and video games reference to offset the teenage sex and violence. And who plays the kid? Oh, just a pre-Gremlins Corey Feldman. And as if that wasn’t forgotten 80’s star power for you, one of the teenagers is Crispin Glover, who’s as hilarious as ever. The movie starts with Jason waking up in the morgue and killing two doctors, and then the majority of the movie plays out just like the last one; kids drinking, having sex, and being killed one by one by Jason. The coolest part is at the end of the movie, when little Corey Feldman goes up against Jason one on one, and actually manages to kill his hockey-mask-wearing ass. It then ends on a rather eery note, with the implication that the Fel-Dog had become addicted to psycho killing. It was a great end to the movie, and would have been a great end to the franchise. The only problem with trying to go out on a high note is that if the movie ends up being good, someone will end up wanting to make more sequels. This is probably the best one so far in the series, and the string of sequels continues to become more and more ridiculous. And in some ways that was bad. But in a lot of other ways, it was really fucking awesome. But more on that later.

Overall Rating: Fel-Dog VS. Jason

Friday the 13th Part 3D Review

Friday the 13th PART 3 is sort of the definitive movie of the franchise. It’s the first one where Jason wears the hockey mask, and it still sticks to the basic slasher format. The plot this time involves a bunch of teenagers going up to a cabin together for fun, as opposed to going to fix up a summer camp like in the other ones. This new twist on the series allows it to be much more full of sex and teenage mischief that the first two. It feels a little more like a Grindhouse/exploitation movie, rather than the slow, chilling atmosphere attempted in the original. Chance are that when you think of Friday the 13th, most of the images in your head are from this movie. There’s also a really weird subplot in the beginning of the movie where they’re being harassed by an all-black motorcycle gang. It gets kinda racist, but in kind of a funny 80’s way. Now, when this movie originally came out, it was released in 3D. Remember, old school 3D? With the red and blue glasses? Back when it was just a neat little gimmick that they did every now and then, instead of an automatic four dollar mark up on every goddamn movie ticket you tried to by? Man, fuck modern 3D. It sucks and it’s unnecessary for 90% of the movies they do it for and everyone should stop doing it. Sorry, kind of off topic. Anyway, with this movie, I actually have a DVD copy that lets you play the movie in 3D, and the red and blue glasses that work with it, so I watched it in 3D for my review. It looks awful, Like, just horrendous. Nothing every really looks like it’s coming out at you, and everything is red and blue. Also, there are a lot of shots specifically dedicated to making the 3D look cool.People swinging broom way out at the audience, or bouncing a yoyo at us. Every time a character hands a joint directly to the camera, it’s hilarious. Anyway, this movie is probably the best ones so far, and is way more fun than the first two. If you want to watch a fun horror movie, and you want to see why everyone loves Friday the 13th, grab a couple of friends, smoke/drink something, and throw this movie on.

Overall Rating: 3D/10

Friday the 13th Part 2 Review

The opening scene of Friday Part 2 has the main girl from the original movie being killed off. Now, it’s a pretty sweet kill. She goes to get something from her fridge, finds Mrs. Voorhees’ severed rotting head next to the milk, and just has time to scream before being stabbed through the temple with an icepick. But considering how major of a character Jason becomes in later sequels, it seems like a missed opportunity that the person who killed his mother dies so early on, and so quickly. Anyway, the rest of the movie plays out almost exactly like the original. It even has the same creepy guy on a bike warning the kids in the town. This time, however, it’s a much larger group of kids, and the camp they’re fixing up is across the lake from Camp Blood. The biggest difference, really, is that the killer is Jason instead of his mother, but that only really becomes apparent in the last half hour or so. Despite having a much bigger role this time, he still doesn’t wear the iconic hockey mask at all in this movie. Instead he rocks a burlap sac with an eye hole ripped into it. The look is a little bit scarier, but I guess it wasn’t nearly original or memorable enough. This movie is still cheesy and retro as all hell, but this time there’s more blood, a bigger body count, more creative kills, and a lot more nudity. It doesn’t really do anything new, but if you liked the first one, this is kind of like an improved version of it. The highlight this time around: Mrs. Voorhees severed rotting head hanging around throughout the whole movie.

Overall Rating: Jason/10

Friday the 13th (1980) Review

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the slasher genre started. Some say it was in 1974, with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Others maintain that it was as early as 1960, with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. I personally thing the slasher didn’t fully take form until 1978’s Halloween. But whatever it was that officially gave birth to the genre, it was 1980’s Friday the 13th that brought it into the mainstream. One of the first slasher flicks to employ the camp/wood setting, which has become a pretty common trope, it was hugely popular at the time and spawned nine sequels (the most of any slasher movie? Probably. I’m not googling it), a remake, and a crossover with the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise. The series main killer, Jason Voorhees, also went on to become one of the most famous horror icons of all time. However, what you may not know is that he’s not actually the killer in the first movie. In this one, the killer is his dear old mother, Mrs. Voorhees, played by Betsy Palmer. She’s probably the best part of the movie. She shows up all sweet and makes you think she’s there to help, and then OH SHIT! SHE’S THE MURDERER!!! Overall, this movie is a little boring by today’s standards. There’s not very many kills, and they’re all pretty basic. On the plus side, Tom Savini does awesome special effects, and some highlights are definitely the arrow through Kevin Bacon’s neck and the decapitation near the end. Most of the movie, though, fails to create a chilling atmosphere or consistent tone of creepiness. Nowadays, I would say the only real reason to watch is it’s high campiness factor. Still though, it’s a pretty fun movie and I can see why it was so popular at the time.

Overall Rating: Wait, no, the best part is at the end when the kid pops out and grabs her on the canoe/10

Hulk Review

Yep, Ang Lee’s Hulk. You knew we had to talk about it eventually. I saw this movie in theatres when I was six years old, and for a while I was just as into it as the first Spider-Man movie. Also the Ben Affleck Daredevil. The point is I grew up, developed an actual discerning taste in movies, and eventually went on to see a much better Hulk movie in 2008. And since then the infamy of the terrible original Hulk movie continued to grow. Go up to anyone who was a comicbook fan in the early 2000’s and just say “Ang Lee Hulk” and I guarantee they’ll have something to say. I think the biggest problem with this movie is that the people involved seem to have very little respect for comicbooks as a medium. It’s one thing to have a comicbook movie be a little corny, or cater too much towards children, but Ang Lee seems to think that comics are such a silly little kid thing that he can’t even make a literal translation into film, but rather has to turn it into a parody of the medium itself. The movie is full of moments where the screen separates into comicbook panels to show two different angles of the same shot at the same time. Not only is this stupid, but it can be really disorienting and make it hard to focus on what’s happening. And it’s not like this just happens once or twice; almost every scene transition does it. There’s even a scene where the secondary villain dies in an explosion, and they do like a weird freeze frame with a cartoon outline around the character. It’s shit like that that makes this movie hard to take seriously. But the way bigger insult than the gross over stylization is the complete refusal to actually use any of the characters or story elements from the comics. Not only do they make Hulk’s origin totally ridiculous and overcomplicated, but they use a villain who’s not even in the comics. Instead of Abomination, or the Leader, or Doc Samson, or Absorbing Man, or Red Hulk, or Zzzax, the use Bruce Banner’s father (a completely different character than he was in the comics with a completely different name) who has some kind of super vague energy absorption powers. What a giant middle finger to the fans. And speaking of ludicrous villains, they are also Hulk dogs in this movie. But what really sucks about the whole thing is the wasted potential. There’s about forty minutes, roughly in the middle of the film, where Hulk breaks out of a government containment facility and just jumps through the desert being chased by military tanks and helicopters. The fight eventually ends in San Francisco, where Hulk jumps on to a military jet and gets flown all around the golden gate bridge. And this single forty minutes, where nothing is happening but the Hulk fighting the military, is awesome. It’s so cool. It’s beautiful, and cinematic, and well directed, and looks like it leapt right off the comic page. That forty minutes is everything everybody wanted from a Hulk movie. The only problem is that it’s both proceeded and followed by so much bullshit that it makes the overall film completely irredeemable. And so the great director, great cast, and some really great action go completely to waste in this complete fucking mess of a movie. Damn shame.

Overall Rating: Not so Incredible/10

Predictions About the Future Of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

So basically any time in the last five years that someone was like “hey, maybe Spider-Man will be in one of the Avengers sequels”, I’ve been pretty quick to shut them down with the hard fact that Sony owns Spidey and aren’t giving up the rights any time soon. But Kevin Fiege (head of Marvel studios) has said on record that he would be open to negotiating a deal, and Sony could definitely use the kickback from letting Spider-Man appear in a couple MCU movies. Now, there have been mutterings that Avengers 3 could actually be the Civil War. For those of you who don’t know, the Civil War storyline from the comics is when a superhuman registration act is implemented by the government, and the entire Marvel universe becomes divided on the issue of whether or not superhumans should be forced to reveal their identities, with Iron Man leading the pro registration side and Captain America leading the anti registration side. Seeing the two of them go up against each other is both the saddest and coolest thing ever. A Civil War movie would be awesome. But it has previously seemed like an unrealistic hope. 

See, Spider-Man is the third most important character in that entire story arc. He starts out on Iron Man’s side, even going so far as to reveal his secret identity to show his support, but then eventually has a change of heart and pledges allegiance to Cap. What makes his role so pivotal is that both Iron Man and Cap have been great idols and mentors to him. It’s like a kid having to choose between his parents in a divorce. He may not seem on the surface like the most vital character, but without Spidey, the Civil War just isn’t the Civil War. So with Marvel’s need for Spidey rapidly increasing, Sony continuing to lose money, and the two studios being on pretty good terms with each other, it suddenly seems like a very legitimate possibility that Avengers 3 will be a Civil War movie, with Spider-Man in it. Which would be totally awesome. But if you’ll allow me to speculate one step further: There have been a number of rumours flying around about the ending of Age of Ultron (potential spoilers ahead).

The rumours are basically that almost every major character dies, or leaves the team, and the movie will end with Captain America assembling a new team of superheroes. Which could lead to a Captain America 3 in which he leads this new team, which in the comics he does under the title of “the Secret Avengers”, which is my official guess for the Cap 3 subtitle. Now, we’ve been expecting the Cap 3 subtitle reveal for a while now, and the Russo brothers, in addition to assuring us that the title would be a huge game changer, have also said that one of the reasons they’re hesitating to reveal the name is that they’re waiting for certain deals to come through. Could that mean certain deals with sony? Could Spider-Man be a member of the Secret Avengers in Captain America 3, setting him up to play a major role in Avengers 3: Civil War? If that’s true, could we even see him make an appearance as soon as Age of Ultron? Maybe in a post credit sequence, or cameo towards the end? Sony has pushed the Amazing Spider-Man 3 back to 2018, and apparently he’s not going to be very heavily featured in the Sinister Six movie, which means that both Andrew Garfield and the character are free to appear in the MCU without interfering with the solo Spidey movies. This may all be just speculation based on rumours, but it does all fit. And if it is true, all us comic fans are in for a real treat.

The only real flaw in the theory is that the Marvel movies have so clearly been building towards the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, but who says that has to involve the Avengers? With the huge success of Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s obvious they want to build the cosmic side of the universe, and a great way to do that would be to have the Guardians go up against Thanos. We could see the whole infinity storyline play out in space while Avengers 3 gives us the civil war down in earth. We could even have major characters like Iron Man or the Hulk be involved in both events. All I’m saying is just because an Infinity Gauntlet is inevitable doesn’t mean that it will be Avengers 3. And Guardians was a success, but if Marvel really wants to create a cosmic branch of their universe that’s as strong and compelling as what’s going on down on Earth, they’re gonna need some heavy hitting bad guys and story lines, and Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet seem to fit perfectly. We can have the Guardians and more soon to be introduced cosmic characters up in space playing out the unfolding Thanos arc, and we can have The Avengers and Spider-Man building to a Civil War down on Earth. The only real missing piece is the Hulk.

The plain and simple fact is that Marvel missed their window on a sequel to the Incredible Hulk. The set up a lot of threads in that movie, and I’m sure a follow up would have been great, but it’s just been too long. The movie’s already six years old, and even if it were still fresh in our minds and they hadn’t fired all the actors, a story that small in scope is simply no longer where the universe and character are at right now. If they gave the Hulk another solo movie, it would have to be something major. Something like World War Hulk. World War Hulk, in the comics, directly follows another storyline, Planet Hulk. In Planet Hulk, the Illuminati (a secret organization composed of Marvel’s smartest minds) decides that Hulk is too dangerous to live on Earth, and stick him on a spaceship heading for a distant and uninhabited planet. The ship veers off course, however, and land him on a gladiator world where he’s forced to fight in tournaments against alien monsters for the amusement of other alien monsters. Eventually, he defeats all the alien monsters and becomes the new King of the planet, even taking a wife and having a son. World War Hulk then deals with him coming back to Earth with an alien army and waging war against basically everyone.

World War Hulk seems like a logical step for the character. But for World War Hulk, you need Planet Hulk, and for numerous reasons both Kevin Fiege and Mark Ruffalo have said that a Planet Hulk movie is impossible. (Mainly just because between Hulk and aliens the movie would be basically all CGI) But we now go back to another couple of rumours that have been circling the youtube internets for a while now; one, that Hulk will at some point towards the end of Age of Ultron find himself stuck in a ship heading for deep space, and two, that this will lead to him having a supporting role in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Which is obviously exciting because everyone wants to see Hulk buddy around with Groot and the rest of the gang. But put yourself in Kevin Fiege’s shoes: you really want to make a World War Hulk movie, but you can’t make a Planet Hulk movie, and you’ve got a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel on deck that you’re really hoping will continue to help solidify them as part of the rest of your universe. What do you do? The incredibly obvious answer that’s been smacking me in the face ever since I hear these rumours is this: tell the story of Planet Hulk as a B-plot in Guardians 2.

So that’s all the pieces laid out: Age of Ultron will leave us with a disassembled Avengers and a space bound Hulk. Captain America 3 will see Cap form the Secret Avengers and introduce Spider-Man into the universe as somewhat of a protege to the Captain, while the rest of phase three will continue to set up new character such as Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, and hopefully Black Panther and Ms. Marvel. Meanwhile, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will also serve as a Planet Hulk movie. Then Avengers 3 will take the original Avengers, Spider-Man, and all the new character and throw them into the Civil War, ending with the final showdown between Iron Man and Captain America. That will cap off phase three pretty nicely and probably see the departure of a lot of major characters. Going forward after that, we’ll see the cosmic universe continue to expand, and eventually lead to the Infinity Gauntlet, possibly in Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Then eventually, possibly in the form of Avengers 4, we’ll get World War Hulk. And that is my official prediction for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Which is probably completely wrong. But on the slim chance it is right, I’ll get to say I told you so a lot in the next few years.

Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie Review

I love the fuckin’ nerd. Let’s get that out of the way first, I’m a big fan going into this review. And as a fan and frequent watcher, I’ve been waiting a loooooooong time to watch this movie. Anybody who watches the Nerd knows what I’m talking about. He’s been in production on it for about five years, and for the last two years we’ve been hearing about how it’s coming out very soon. So to actually sit down and watch it on my computer a few night ago was kind of a surreal experience. I spent about the first half just going “oh my god, I can’t believe this movie finally exists”. But once you get past the excitement, the real question becomes whether or not it actually holds up as a movie. I was really afraid that I wouldn’t like this movie, because honestly I don’t really like it on the web-show when things sort of get away from the actual game review, and obviously that was going to be what the movie was. But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, it definitely requires you to accept it as a pretty silly movie, but if you do that it has a perfect and consistently corny tone that not only fits well with what the movie tries to do, but allows for the scope of the story to seem natural. Like, towards the end there’s a giant robotic death god destroying the world, and you’re sort of just like “yeah, that makes sense”, because by that point in the movie it seems normal. Another thing I really like are the special effects. They’re pretty cheesy, but it’s amazing how much better a terribly cheesy practical effect looks than a slightly crappy CGI effect. I don’t really have a problem with CGI as a tool, I just wish it wasn’t the automatic go to for so many things, because there’s something so great about practical effects. Especially with lower budget films, I really wish more directors would cut it back on the use of CGI. Anyway, this movie is kind of a big departure from the show, but it has a similar enough tone and is full of enough references that it will surely satisfy any major AVGN fan. As a movie itself, the plot does drag a little in places, and the typical female love interest and black sidekick characters get really annoying really fast, but it’s just self aware enough to be fun as hell to watch. I would for sure watch this movie again, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the nerd. 

Overall Rating: Cockburn/10