Movie Review: The PREDATOR

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the predator20th Century Fox
2018
R

So, here we are. Yet another movie involving the intergalactic hunter species known as the Predator. Ever since showing up on the big screen in 1987 with the very first movie, the fanbase can’t seem to get enough of the creature. Even with every sequel that doesn’t seem to live up to the insta-classic that was the first one. Even when they pitted the Predator with that other intergalactic fan favorite, the Alien (which is, ironically, technically more of a predator than the actual Predator is). Since it’s been 8 years since the release of the better-than-most-realize sequel Predators, another go at a sequel was not surprising, but again I don’t think a lot of people were clamoring for another one. But we got one. And of course I went to go see it on the opening weekend.

So, the story for The Predator goes as such: a couple of Predator space ships are battling it out over Earth when the smaller ship ejects something, and then crash lands on our planet, in the middle of a hostage retrieval mission. One of the snipers picks up some sweet Predator hardware, and mails it to his autistic son for safe keeping. And because Hollywood treats autism like it’s magic, the young boy figures out how to use the Predator mask and arm gauntlet. Meanwhile, the captured predator has come to and escaped the super-secret military lab where was in the process of getting looked at by Jake Busey (Busey Lite…you get all the Busey with only half the crazy), and tracks the kid who’s out trick or treating with the Predator tech. Which, technically, this makes The Predator a Halloween movie. Anyway, Sniper Dad was being transported to a government prison during all of this, but managed to escape with his fellow inmates and tracks down the escaped Predator and saves both a scientist and his son from not only the Predator, but kind of a bigger, scarier Predator that’s been hunting the first Predator for reasons. Stupid reasons, as we’ll come to find out later. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. The gov’ment is also hunting the Predators, and it seems that the aliens are looking to upgrade their species with the best of the best DNA, and in this case, that’s from the sniper’s son, because, and I’m quoting from the dialog here, “autism is the next step in human evolution.” *sigh* Anyway, the Apex Predator does the whole Most Dangerous Game thing with the gaggle of inmates and gov’ment guys, captures the young lad, and makes to take off for home, when the surviving inmates take out the ship, then takes out the Apex Predator, and the movie ends on sequel bait.

For what it is, The Predator is exactly what it is: a Predator movie. Nothing more, nothing less. But, this one feels like a bit of a hot mess, mainly due to the combination of awkward humor beats, some choppy editing (possibly due to the controversy surrounding one of the actors who was cut from the final film), and some attempts to build on the Predator mythos that doesn’t make much sense. The real hits to this, though, are not only the autism treatment, but The Predator once again uses Tourette’s as comic relief. It just pisses me off.

The Exalted Geeks and I went to see The Predator the Saturday after it opened, and the theater was mostly empty. This is not doing well as of this writing, and we’ll probably never see that sequel the movie was hinting at. Just as well. I give this movie a frustrated head shake and a “wait for the rental”.

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Music Review: IMPENDING DOOM – The Sin And The Doom Vol. II

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impending doom - the sin and the doom vol. iiIMPENDING DOOM
The Sin And The Doom Vol. II
eOne
2018

Five years after the release of their last album, Impending Doom is back with their latest offering of what they refer to as “goreship” metal, The Sin And The Doom Vol. II.

In case you’re wondering where Volume I is at, the title is a reference to their 2005 demo the Sin And Doom Of Godless Men. I don’t have that one, and I doubt I ever will, short of a re-release of some sort. Regardless, this is a review of their new album, so let’s get to it, shall we?

Despite being less than impressed with Death Will Reign, I still was interested in picking up this release when it came out. I didn’t get it the day it came out, mind, because I spaced the release date (it was in April of this year), but did eventually pick it up from Amazon in late August after being reminded that it was, in fact, available for purchase. Better late than never, I guess.

Figuratively popping on The Sin And The Doom Vol. II (it was an MP3 file purchase), we open with “The Wretched And The Godless”, which kicks things off with a standard mid-paced deathcore riff that’s heavy, pounding and brutal…and a bit of the same-old, same old. This is the type of deathcore that they continue on with several tracks off of the album: “Burn”, “War Music” (which goes for a bit heavier and faster riff), “The Serpent’s Tongue” and “Everything’s Fake”. But then you come across a cut like “Evil”, which is easily the best track on the album, as it’s a straight-up brutal death metal track. “Paved With Bones”, “Unbroken” and “Devil’s Den” make good use of groove in the riff, while the final track, “Run For Your Life (She Calls)” makes use of a bit of electronics with the groove riff, making this sound like something current Demon Hunter or War Of Ages would make.

Overall, The Sin And The Doom Vol. II is a fairly decent album. They’re not sticking to the same tried-and-true deathcore formula that has been their trademark since they released their first album back in 2007, incorporating a bit more style in a handful of the tracks. The production, as always, is fantastic, with the music thick and meaty. After this, I’m interested to see where they go from here, if they continue to evolve their music, or stick with what’s safe. As far as the album goes, The Sin And The Doom Vol. II is worth a look-see.

A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT SCREAM…

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punpkin screamSo, I thought I’d take some time to bring whatever readers I still have up to speed in the life and times of your Uncle NecRo. It’s been a while, and I thought a bit of venting is in order. In a matter of speaking.

First, with the lack of postings since house sitting for my sister’s family whilst they were vacationing in Nevada: Currently, I’m in the midst of writing and scheduling the daily posts for this year’s HALLOWEEN’ING 2018. I’m almost halfway done with that; all that remains is waiting for the stores and seasonal attractions to open up and let me pursue for the remaining posts. This year marks the return of the Shadow’s Edge haunted attraction, after a two year absence. I can’t wait to check that one out. I also want to hit some places I hadn’t made it to for the decorations and costumes. But, there will probably be visits to my standard favorite places, more because of familiarity. I’m old. That’s my excuse.

old metalheadSpeaking of being old, I probably won’t be able to make the Metallica show on the 6th. My health has been not good, and my eyesight is that driving at night and in the dark is getting kind of wonky for me. I’m scheduled for an eye exam later today (as I write this), but the new glasses won’t be back in time for the show. Also, there’s the regular middle age guy things, like I have to work the next day, it’s an hour’s drive, that section of Lincoln is difficult to navigate in the daytime, let alone post-show congestion in the dead of night. And quite frankly, my knees are all shot, making it difficult to make the hike from the parking garages to the arena. If they would have played in Omaha, maybe. Ten, maybe twenty years ago, I would have been all over this show. Now, though, I’m in my mid-fourties. I wasn’t able to find someone to go with me, so I’m probably going to sit this one out. Yeah, I’m probably pissing away my only chance to see them live. I’m at peace with this. Metal up your ass.

As far as blog postings for the rest of the year: I’m holding off on the standard Movie/Book/Music reviews until next year. Right now, I’m focusing on the HALLOWEEN’ING 2018 posts, and getting some of the standard brain dropping style articles take care of. I’ve had quite a few percolating for a number of years that keep bubbling back up to the surface ever now and again. So, bit of a relaxed schedule for the blog, here.

Anyway, if anything else comes up, y’all will be the first to know. That you know of. Until then, God bless, my wonderful freaks. Cheers and all that…

::END TRANSMISSION::

House Sitting, Day 7

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existential pizzaDay Seven of the House Sitting.

Last day. Doing the laundry one last time, getting things packed away. Spending one last night here, then headed to work tomorrow mourning, all of my things tucked into the NEKRON 7. Headed back to the Haunted Victorian afterwards.

Tonight, though, I plan on watching the newest Preacher on the AMC channel on the Dish Network setup (as opposed to waiting until Monday evening to watch it on the Amazon streaming). Only three more episodes left to this season. I hope they actually get to the point of all this. Judging by last season, though, probably not.

The existential realization of heading back to the reality tomorrow looms just above and behind me, like the realization of my own mortality. It’s more of an intangible black cloud, reminding me that, like life itself, the holiday is fleeting, a mere blip in the grand overall scope of time and space. I exist, and that existence has meaning; and yet, when compared to the vastness that is time, and the fact that time itself is speeding along faster and faster, so that to give the illusion of blinking and seeing much of my life and experience go by, a blip in the history of Everything…makes me want to just order a pizza and chill out a bit.

Mmmmm…taco pizza from Casey’s…make this a reality, when the laundry’s done and I have socks again…

::END TRANSMISSION::

House Sitting, Day 6

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clutterDay Six of the House Sitting. Saturday. I didn’t go into Omaha for the standard Lunch + Writing. I was planning on doing so, as I had the Lappy and a couple of notebooks packed up in the bag, but decided when I got inside the NEKRON 7 to just go into Blair and pick some things up at the Family Fair, and just do the writing at the homestead.

Discovered that Blair’s Family Fare is the only one I’ve been to that doesn’t carry the A&W Diet Cream Soda in 2 liter bottles. Minor setback. Just picked up a 12-pack instead, as well as a 4-pack of the IBC brand diet root beer. That stuff is more on the wintergreen side of the taste, instead of the creamy side.

Steve the Hamster keeps getting his hamster ball of DOOOOOOOM stuck. Extension cords, between a yarn basket and the wall…it’s almost like he’s now doing this on purpose, just to get the thrill of me unsticking him out of his predicament. I’m on to you, Hamster Steve.

Watching the 1991 sci-fi-ish action flick Firehead. Why do I do this to myself?

House Sitting Day 5

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me and duchessDay Five. Got a bit of the ol’ cabin fever, so I opted to go have a shorter Lunch + Writing session at Sean O’Casey’s. Had the Breakfast Bacon Cheeseburger, with peanut butter. Onion rings with 1000 Island for the dippin’. Not bad, but didn’t set my world ablaze with flavor.

Kicked things old-school with the writing, meaning I didn’t bring any of the two laptops (I’m typing this on the Linux Lappy, in case anyone was morbidly curious), only a couple of notebooks and my pen. Made sure it had plenty of ink this time. Mostly listened to some albums and taking notes for future reviews. One Disciple EP and a couple of Dead Artist Syndrome albums.

Steve the Hamster rolling around in his Death Ball. Duchess off brooding somewhere. Had some fun running around while I watered the flowers. Back to watching the movies on my Windows Lappy by way of the Prim streaming…horrible, horrible movies riffed gleefully by the guys who brought us the original Mystery Science Theater 3000…even then, sometimes that barely helps…

Movie Review: BEFORE I DIE

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before I diParade Deck Films
2016
NR

Dammit.

Dammit dammit dammit dammit.

Look, I’m not going to mince words, here. It’s been a long time since I’ve been angry for having watched a movie. Indifference? Yes. Irritation? Yepper. Insulted? Plenty of times. Been reduced to madness-induced laughter? I call those “Thursdays”. But a movie that was so badly made that, once the end credits ran, all I can think of is to do violent things to the movie for having teased me with promises it never intended to keep. Or, at least write a very terse review of it for my blog.

I believe the last movie to do that was 2000’s Lost Souls. Well, that has been dethroned and replaced with this movie we’re discussing right now: Before I Die.

Before I Die happens to be one of those movies that are free streaming with my Prime account. You better believe I’m gonna get as much mileage out of that as I can. But, sometimes that means being duped into watching a movie like this because the movie poster art and descript blurb made it sound interesting. Here, let me reproduce the descript from Amazon, and tell me if this doesn’t sound the least bit tantalizing:

“Strange spiritual obsessions begin to unearth age-old secrets in a small Northwest town, leading a pastor to suspect that all might not be as idyllic as he first imagined and personal threats await anyone who dares confront them.

I mean, sure, it’s kind of a generic sounding horror premise, one that has been done since Hawthorne and Poe’s time, but at least it wasn’t another “teenagers trapped in a haunted asylum” or what have you movie these low-budget straight-to-video movie makers seem to favor.

What I got instead, was something that was ineptly made on all levels. The movie starts at a potluck gathering in a Congregational style church basement, and for 110 minutes of the movie’s nearly 2-hour run time, it maintains that level of excitement throughout. The movie just drags on and on and on, with a story that has less to do with horror, and more to do with a PBS drama, with some lame attempts at “oooh, spooky shenanigans afoot!” thrown in to remind us that we are, in fact, watching a horror movie. The acting is amateurish at best, and is so wooden you’ll be picking splinters out of your brain for days after. The effects are…well, there are no effects, really. The plot is so meandering and at times confusing that the big “twist” reveal seems more of an afterthought tacked on.

Watching Before I Die did the impossible: it made m want to watch the television show 7th Heaven for some excitement. To say that I was disappointed with this movie is a gross understatement. Avoid this movie like the festering blob of undigested guacamole dip that it is.

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