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Movie Issues: Demolition Man

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Movie Issues: Demolition Man

As we enter our third week of watching Sylvester Stallone’s filmography, we wanted to watch one of his off the wall crazy action movies.

I think Demolition Man totally fits that bill! This 1993 movie follows the story of a formerly-cyrogenically-frozen evil manic wanting nothing but to watch the world burn (Wesley Snipes) and the a risk-taking-no-nonsense cop (Sly) reawakened to stop him. What follows is a funny, action-packed flick with some crazy future ideas!

Come hear us try to understand this insane vision of the future – and why we see Stallone’s beanbag.  Read On

Old Classics: Rurouni Kenshin

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Old Classics: Rurouni Kenshin

The 1990’s gave us enormous perms, hilariously awkward fashions, and bizarre fads.  But as many of us revel in our childhood memories of Pokémon cards and pogs, we tend to forget one of the greatest gifts that the 90’s gave us: epic and groundbreaking manga series.

Among those gems is Nobuhiro Watsuki’s riveting series Rurouni Kenshin.  At 28 volumes, this shounen series of the historical genre is a tale packed with just the right balance of action, romance, and suspense.

KaoruxKenshin-rurouni-kenshin-22082253-982-1442Synopsis:

Rurouni Kenshin is the story of Himura Kenshin, a legendary swordsman known as the infamous hitokiri battousai (battousai the manslayer).  Ten years after earning his title, Himura Kenshin is a rurouni (wanderer) who yearns to atone for his transgressions committed during the Bakamatsu (a Japanese civil war).  After having taken so many lives in the name of justice, Kenshin devotes himself to protecting innocent lives with his reversed-blade sword.

Enter Kamiya Kaoru, a 17 year-old girl carrying on the tradition of her later father’s dojo and the Kamiya Kasshin school of swordsmanship.  A man who calls himself hitokiri battousai claims that he is one of Kaoru’s father’s former students.  However, the Kamiya Kasshin style is based upon the principle of katsujinken, the sword that gives life.  This ruthless murderer is sullying the Kamiya Dojo’s good name and violating its teachings that hold life so precious.  Determined to redeem the Kamiya Dojo and its teachings, Kaoru takes it upon herself to discover the identity of this cold-blooded killer and bring him to justice.

Read On

Movie Issues: A Good Day to Die Hard

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Movie Issues: A Good Day to Die Hard

A Good Day to Die Hard, directed by John Moore, is the fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise. Once again it stars Bruce Willis as John McClane, now with Jai Courtney as his son Jack, who has gotten himself into some trouble in Russia. John feels it’s his fatherly duty to go and help his son, but little does he know that his son is actually a CIA agent on a secret mission in Mother Russia. With John now in tow with his son, stuck in Russia, no help, and no hope, what are the McClane boys to do?

Blow up everything they see and save the day.

A-Good-Day-to-Die-Hard-2013-Movie-Banner-Poster

Read On

Movie Issues: Total Recall

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Movie Issues: Total Recall

All good things must come to a end. And Arnold Schwarzenegger month is no exception.

Today we talk about our final Schwarzenegger movie, 1990’s Total Recall. Yes, you can go see the new one today in theaters, but when you done doing that you can also listen to the guys throw some love towards Quato, the three-breasted woman, and of coarse our favorite she-dragon Sharon Stone.

So get yourself to Mars and listen as we wrap up Arnold Schwarzenegger Month with a bang!

Read On

Movie Issues: The Running Man

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Movie Issues: The Running Man

It’s all action here at the Movie Issues HQ as we celebrate Arnold Schwarzenegger month!

That’s right! Five weeks of our favorite action star Schwarzenegger, and first up: The Running Man. This 1987 movie has our boy Arnold wrongfully accused of a crime and forced to compete in the televised game of life and death, as all dystopian futures settle matters of justice with blood sport.

So come on down and listen in with us as we discuss our love of action movies and Schwarzenegger!

Read On

Thor

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Thor

I am certain no two people in the theatre were more ignorant of the Marvel comic title Thor than my companion and I. We gamely let the film unfold before us with zero preconceptions and (to be honest) pretty low expectations. The fans around is seemed to feel pretty good about it as a whole, and we both found it entertaining and pretty well self-contained.

The story takes place in two worlds: ours, and the far-off realm of Asgard, where the personages of Thor (Chris Hemsworth(, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Frigga (Rene Russo), and Heimdall (Idris Elba) live. The presence of these space gods in our Norse folklore is explained as long-ago visits to Earth where their advanced science seemed magical. Naturally, back in New Mexico, we have Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd as a Swede who knows the stories, though a children’s book is still needed to explain the extra bits.

Read On

Hanna

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Hanna

Matinee

Hanna is a bit of a mystery.  Played by the ethereal Saoirse Ronan, Hanna is introduced in no time as a cunning huntress, an over-educated killer polygot, and a total naïf.  If you ever wondered what Aliens’ Newt might have grown up to be, see Hanna.

Her father, Eric Bana, has them living off the grid, seemingly in a timeless bubble of held breath and unrelenting strictness.  They huddle together in a small house near the arctic circle, fending for themselves and training, always training, for the inevitable forces that will hunt them down and destroy them.  Until Hanna enters the real world, as you know she must, we have no idea who those forces might be — and through the end we’re not even sure why they would pursue with such lethal intent.  Ultimately, to enjoy the film, that unresolved point doesn’t even matter — what matters is eluding Hanna’s pursuers and showing her the world.

Read On

Source Code

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Source Code

When I first heard of it, I had initially rejected this film out of hand — it looked like Groundhog Day meets Unstoppable (what did we do before we had Groundhog Day to compare movies to?) — but with Jake Gyllenhaal, who sometimes just plain turns me off.  However, enough buzz and recommendations from friends turned my eyes to notice that Duncan Jones directed it, so I plopped into my seat.

I am so glad that I went.

First of all, Source Code is really more like Groundhog Day meets the video game Assassin’s Creed — and it’s this difference that gives Source Code its oomph.  If you don’t know Assassin’s Creed, don’t look it up — the surprise made the store more enjoyable to experience.  If you do know it, this is far better conceived.  What could have been an investigative game of countdown cat and mouse also became a really affecting story about letting go and acceptance and life…and quantum string theory. Read On

Paul

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Paul

Director Greg Mottola gave us Superbad only four years ago, a monster R-rated hit with unlikely elements working together to create a sweet and funny and still raunchy comedy.  His follow-up, Adventureland, had a good idea and supporting cast, but unfortunately relied on two of the least charismatic lead actors out there to carry the comedy and the heart.

Adventureland‘s Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart were only playing a few years older than Superbad‘s Michael Cera and Jonah Hill, but already the chasm of implied acceptable innocence was too great to give Adventureland the young sweetness it needed to plug into the comedy-free holes.

Then comes Paul, a fantastic premise but further along the unfortunate path of “they’re too old for their naïveté to be cute or feasible” (counter-example: Cedar Rapids).  It’s also too random and arbitrarily profane for “random profanity comedy” to really sing like it should.  Read On