Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Is Secretly A Children’s Book

I want to try something with you. A sort of meditation, if you’re willing to indulge me. I want you to breath deep. Loosen your shoulders. Calm your mind. Exhale. And pretend, for just a moment, that you’ve never heard of Jurassic Park.

Have you done it? Is your head clear? Has the franchise as a whole been erased from your brain? Ok, good.

We’re calm, cool, and collected, and we’re pretending Jurassic Park/World doesn’t exist in our reality. Now, I’m going to try to sell you an action film, and you have to pretend it’s for adults and their families. NOT exclusively written for elementary school children.

That’s right. Be calm. Like Dr. Grant before the talking dinosaur. Not after. Continue reading

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Three Amazing Movies Hidden In Pacific Rim 2

Google Images / Pacific Rim Wiki

Pacific Rim 2 is a bad movie. There’s a hollow love triangle between Eastwood, Boyega, and a talking mop stand, which is only really addressed during a lengthy ice cream eating scene. There’s also a brief waft of tension as the teenage genius tries to integrate with a squad of adult Jaeger cadets, which feels pretty high-school. But otherwise the writing, dialogue, and story are all matchsticks holding up the giant robot action figures and Godzilla monsters, who revel more in property damage than actual fisticuffs.

In the opening narration Boyega, playing a character who lives off the scrapheap slums of dead Jaegers, tells us that the smaller Pacific nations have suffered complete financial collapse–unable to survive the crippling debt caused by excessive damage from prior battles. Then in the first fight scene we see Gypsy Danger *ahem* Gypsy Avenger, piloted by Boyega, using a tractor whip to pull skyscrapers over. Which proves to be about as dangerous to the enemy as a falling stack of popcorn buckets. It seems our protagonist forgot about infrastructure pretty quickly…But I digress.

No, the real gold to be mined from this movie happens in the background, creeping behind the action like a plot-tease. Quietly. Subtly. Sometimes in a single throw-away line of dialogue. And those are the little glimpses into the lore that we’ll be focusing on. Those tiny glimmers of actual story–those are the hidden movies we’ll be discussing, and how three little details would have made better movies than what became Pacific Rim 2. Continue reading

How 90’s Movies Solved The “Black Superhero Problem”…And Promptly Forgot

As the above picture might indicate there is a very real trend in recent superhero movies. Black superheroes are support, while classic white superheroes are the main protagonists. Just as their source material intended.

Sidekicks? Sure, let Anthony Mackie don wings and goofy-ass goggles. Advisors? Certainly. Tony Stark always needs wise friends to ignore. But heroes, as in the center-stage variety, are nary to be seen (until we finally get that Black Panther movie that’s long overdue.)

Cracked readers noticed this unbalance too.

Cracked.com

Medium.com has articles from 2016 about black second-fiddle heroes. Readers on the IGN boards were pointing this out back in 2012. And any moment now Reddit will have threads popping up, retroactively claiming that they had arrived at this very unfairness independently, long before the first electrons were being passed around on the internet.

Google Images / Clipart

“First!”

But what if I told you there was a glorious place where black, center-stage superheroes walked the land like golden gods? What if I told you we’d already solved this multi-racial-cape disparity? What if I told you there was a place where well-spoken white people became their sidekicks instead? That place was 1990’s cinema. Continue reading

5 Things Gladiator Got Wrong About Emperor Commodus (Revisited)

Editor’s Note: This article was posted a year ago, before the release Netflix’s new docu-drama Roman Empire: Reign of Blood. Because we take every opportunity to talk about bloody, batshit tyrants, we’ve dug it out of the archives for your enjoyment. (Read; our enjoyment.)

Continue reading

Sci-Fi: Please Stop Substituting Aliens With Monsters

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From campy b-movie space romps to the Sci-Fi big-budget epics, authors, screenwriters, and movie makers keep committing the same old sin. Instead of inventing new and exciting creatures for their alien race they’ll still disappointingly cop-out and sub-in cheesy monsters. And not just any monster–it’s usually a monster from old Hollywood cinema.

Why?

Two reasons. Budget and ease of narrative. Continue reading

Chris Tucker – Secretly A Badass Action Hero

Some weeks ago I stumbled upon a little brain game that has given me no end of amusement. Picture a ridiculous, goofy, manic action sidekick from a popular movie franchise. Preferably someone so over-the-top that if they threatened you with a hot BBQ poker you’d laugh right in their big fat facebeak. For me, I picked Chris Tucker of Rush Hour and Fifth Element fame. Because, well, Chris Tucker.

Got your wacky comedy sidekick in mind? Can you hear them screeching shrilly into your ear? Good, now imagine their movie lines being recited instead by some stone-cold gravel-voiced menace. Take those comedy warbles and swap them with the slow, steady vocal grind of Mickey Rourke or Sam Elliott. Suddenly, those high-pitch throwaway one-liner jokes sound pretty badass…

Captain: Two officers were shot, one man lost a pinkie.

Carter (Chris Tucker): But didn’t nobody die.

Captain :You destroyed half a city block!

Carter (Chris Tucker): That block was already messed up…

Or;

Captain: Every now and then we have to let the general public know that we can still blow shit up.

Carter (Chris Tucker): You’re God damn right.

See what I mean? Change the cadence. Make the dialogue play slower in your head. Give the lines to Bruce Willis, and suddenly Chris Tucker’s character sounds like an explosion-hungry wanton badass. Here are some more from IMDB, sans rebuttal from Jackie Chan’s character.

Carter (Chris Tucker): You don’t know nothing about no War.

Carter (Chris Tucker): This ain’t no democracy. This is the United States of James Carter. I’m the president, I’m the emperor, I’m the king. I’m Michael Jackson, you Tito. Your ass belongs to me.

Carter (Chris Tucker): Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth?

Carter (Chris Tucker): I don’t want no partner, I don’t need no partner, and I ain’t never gonna have no partner. Did Kojak have a partner?

And my personal favorite for this thought exercise:

Carter (Chris Tucker): [after killing Sang] Wipe yourself off, man. You dead. 

3 Word Plot Synopsys

Die_Hard_Blu_Ray_Neuron_Syndicate_Key_Art_Award

Google Images

Wait, has he become what he always hated? Is he…Mr Glass?

A few of us were having lunch at St Vincent’s hospital the other day. Not because we were sick or visiting our Gram-Grams, but because the hospital’s salad bar is amazing.

While we were cackling and enjoying our chef salads, which resembled pyramids of bacon and cheese with lettuce sprigs entombed below, one of the contributors to Statbonus.com tried to describe a movie while laughing, chewing, and choking at the same time. He ended up fumbling after three words, and promptly died. Or just coughed a lot. Things get blurry when you drink at hospitals.

Ugh…dinosaurs…uh *cough* hmm…prison break…

To which we answered “Jurassic Park?

And a new and glorious game was born.

There is no score. There are no points. And unlike Drew Carry, this game is actually fun. It’s the pop-culture nerd equivalent of “I spy with my little eye.” Except this goes a bit more like “I’m about to vomit three words at random to describe a movie without using the title, character, or actor names, and you assholes have to guess it.”

It’s sometimes more challenging for the person giving the three-word clue than it is for the people guessing. Here are a few examples we came up with:

Shrimp’n boat captain.

Motorcycle skyscraper jump.

Panda hooker murderer.

Vent-crawling cop.

Bloody volley ball.

Space Vietnam-war.

And the answers, for those of you who like to feel superior about your pop-culture savvy are (in order) as follows:

Forrest Gump

True Lies

Tropic Thunder

Die Hard

Castaway

Aliens

I’m not saying it’s the best road-trip game ever invented. Maybe not even the fifth best. But the Lord can strike me down if it’s not in the top ten, and it’s wayyy better than that pretentious 6-word-story nonsense Hemmingway pulled out of his ass. Which, consequently, is why those baby shoes were never worn. Something about the legality of reselling soiled shoes. But hey, if you’re into shoes… I mean, who isn’t right? Right?

Sorry, I lost track of time for a moment. Anyway, Hemmingway would have been aces at this game, is what I’m saying.


Featured image from Google Images

Game concept originally posted at Masksofmonsters