Friday, June 19, 2015

The Peanuts Movie- Official Trailer (2015) (NR)

I will be honest, upon hearing the news that a Peanuts movie was in the works a ways back I thought, “Good grief. Hasn’t Charlie Brown had enough bad luck?” It is not always easy to make a Hollywood version of beloved childhood classics and have it pan out with good results (I’m talking to you Garfield (2004), Alvin (2007), Marmaduke (2010) and Ginch (2000). Yuck.). Now I’m not one of those, ‘Vinyl sounds better than MP3’ purists when it comes to everything, but certain properties have a special place for so many and need to be handled with care. After seeing the latest trailer for The Peanuts Movie (2015), my nostalgia pains have been put at ease for now. They seem to have done their homework. And for this fan, I hope it’s true or it will crush a small part of my childhood (and therapists cost a tad more than 5 cents these days). Keeping optimistic, here’s the official trailer for The Peanuts Movie:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Predestination (2014) (R)

Director(s): The Spierig Brothers
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor, Christopher Kirby, Christopher Sommers

Over the years,  a love/hate relationship has developed with myself and time travel stories. I love the ‘what if’ aspects which drive the narrative, but the science drives the hate train for me where I cannot shut off the loophole detector in my O.C.D strangled brain. And no matter how sound the science, a loophole always slips in. Guaranteed. There’s too many variables to be able to sit back, relax and let the plot unfold. Although, as of late, I have learned to just Zen out and not get too Spock about the logic involved. That said, I give to you the time travel mind-screw, Predestination (2014).

Ethan Hawke plays a temporal agent (a time cop, no relation to Van Damm) who is on the trail of the Fizzle Bomber, a time traveling lunatic who is blowing up different cities throughout time. With this last assignment left, can the agent hope to stop the villain in time? Based on story by Robert A. Hienlien, that’s what the trailer would have you think this film was about. You ain’t heard the half of it. While my significant other and I sat down to watch Predestination, she turned to me around the fifteen minute mark and asked, “Are you sure this is the right movie?” I assured her that it was, although I did have similar doubts that my male pride kept on lock. Not to say that what we were viewing was not entertaining. Actually, we were drawn in by the characters and the story being told. But again, this was not what the trailer had implied. Now this is where being a reviewer gets tough.  If I were to say anything else regarding the ‘real' main plot of this film, it would be an automatic spoiler (spoilers? Not in my house).

The performances are well done all around. As the film played through the changing time periods the film took on an interesting feel. Expositional scenes came across with the verbose wit of a 90’s indie while the Sci-Fi aspects reflect an almost (not to be too meta) Gattaca (1997) style world, yet all built for for a modern day audience. The direction of The Spierig Brothers was engaging while never shoving the plot down your throat. Moderate, yet tense, pacing only helped move the plot while distracting from the clues.

When I began this review, I voiced my opinion on temporal loopholes and Predestination is not getting off Scott free on this one. Not revealing said loopholes, I will merely preface that they exist. The temptation there will be to ruminate and obsess over how this all works, but fight it. Fight it to the end. Then take a deep breath, take in what you watched, decide if you enjoyed it. I implore you to go into this without the nitpick mindset. The ride itself is much more fun that way. If after you have decided your final thoughts on the movie, nitpick all you want. I’m not your therapist. Who knows? I might change my tune after further viewings. But that’s in the future. (see what I did there?)

This one is a big recommend. Not expecting what it was going to be, I was quite please with what it became. And at a near perfect runtime of 97 minutes, the movie doesn’t overstay it’s welcome in the least. If anything it will leave you scratching your head. And who doesn’t like a good head scratching.

Don’t scratch your head too much.

Because I hyped the trailer so much here’s a sneak peek:

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pods On Film: Bad Movie Fiends Podcast

With the countless hours I have spent watching movies throughout my life, one inevitability has remained certain, there is a metric crap ton of poorly made shlock out there for the movie going public to view (and Holy Diver, have I seen a lot). But before we go lighting the torches and hunting down these blights on cinematic history, people should take a step back and try to find the good in even the most unpolishable of terds. In this chapter of Pods On Film, the M.F.B. is happy to report that we have found four such men to embark on this intrepid task. They are the guys behind The Bad Movie Fiends Podcast As brazen as their motto,“One star? We’re in!,” these viewers of video past sit through a litany of terrible films in order to prove that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a bad movie (or tearing it to shreds).

Harlo, Maki, Chuck, and B.J. sit down and watch a so-called 'Bad Movie.' Then they discuss and rate said movie on a sliding scale: 1 to 5 'Jox' after Robot Jox (1990) (which they heavily reference throughout the episodes as one of their favorite flicks) if it's a Good/Bad movie meaning a bad movie that is fun to watch. If it’s a Bad/Bad movie it gets a sliding scale rating of 1 to 5 ‘Bags,' short for ‘Douchebags,’ after the movie Twilight (2008) (‘nuff said). 

I found this podcast while hunting for something movie related to listen to. Having a soft spot for 'Cinema d’ Garbage’ I decided to give the boys a listen. Soon, I was bingeing on episodes back to back. Ignoring my daily routine in order to search out and watch these abominations of film and join in on the adventure. Action being their bread and butter for many of the flicks the’s cover (Hey, we have the same letters. Just noticed), they tend to pepper in the occasional horror, sci-fi, and (God help them) animaaaaytion. That is not a typo, the animation themed episodes are classic and must be pronounced that way (it will all make sense). 

The hosts bring that ‘old buddy’ feeling to the listeners with their natural banter which the fellas bandy about with ease. Never forced or fake, they welcome the audience into their world and make you feel like you’re in on the jokes. Split into halves, the show closes with a brief discussion of random movies, shows or general nonsense that’s always entertaining. By the way, audience participation is greatly encouraged. Listeners are asked to voice their opinions, recommend a movie or just leave a message on the Garfield Phone (the number is 1-910-5JOX-BMF. And yes, it’s literally an old school Garfield Phone). There is not much else I can say about the Bad Movie Fiends other than to get your loose cannon ass over to their site and check 'em out for yourself. Crash and burn! (like I said, it will all make sense) M.F.B. out!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Check Your Shorts- Kung Fury (2015) (NR)

Director: David Sandberg
Starring: David Sandberg, Jorma Taccone, Steven Chew, Leopold Nilsson, Andreas Cahling, David Hasselhoff

It was on this day, the Twelfth of June, Twenty-fifteen, that many milestones were reached here at the Mock Films Blog.

Milestone #1: The post before you is none other than the 50th entry into the coveted of M.F.B. archives.

Milestone #2: This day marks the inaugural posting of the M.F.B.’s newest and most innovative segment Check Your Shorts. This is where a much overlooked genre of the cinematic world, Short Film, get it's time in the spotlight.

Milestone #3: Today I have had my senses blessed by one of the most unabashedly hyper-amazing action/comedies to have ever axe kick it’s way into existence. I speak of none other than Kung Fury (2015).

To try and explain this 'playground of crazy' would do the project a disservice. Kung Fury needs to be experienced. Kickstarter funded for $600,000, this Swedish indie has gained fast notoriety on Youtube, where it can be viewed (do yourself a favor and watch it on the biggest, loudest device you can find). Like I said, I will not tell you much about the movie, but here are a couple of tidbits peak your interest. A Kung Fu Cop, a Laser Raptor, and Adolf Hitler. Those are the tame parts. Quippy one-liners, 'in on the joke' writing, and an eye for detailed action concepts that are freaking bonkers. It’s as if the greatest action movie ideas ever conceived by the gods themselves were amped to 100 and then made sweet yet vigorous love to the 1980’s (let that mull around in the old grey matter for a bit).

Listen, Kung Fury might not be for everyone. Few things are. But what can be said is this, watch the movie (which is a breeze at 31 mins) with the mindset of ridiculous fun with a smattering of nostalgia for cheese. I can only imagine how what a blast it must have been making this and because I’m such a nice guy, I’ve included a link to the film. What are you waiting for? Get clicking:

ADDED SUPER BONUS ROUND: The Official Kung Fury music video for True Survivor by none other than David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff. You lucky people, you.