Reviews & Commentary

 

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens DVD\Blu ray and Bonus Footage

Posted by on 7:01 am in Movie Reviews | 0 comments

Star Wars: The Force Awakens DVD\Blu ray and Bonus Footage

 

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away mere nerds awaited for The Force Awakens to come out on DVD. Now we have Blu ray and digital download and if you were paying attention you could have need watching it in the comfort of your own home days or even a week before the masses.

After getting my copy I watched it 5 times in a 3 day period and I plan on watching it many more times. Why  you may ask? The Bonus footage! On the bonus disc you get to travel to all location of where the movie was shot, meet the cast, crew, artists and more. I have to warn you though, the much anticipated “Deleted Scene” section falls short for me, but everything else was amazing and had me and my family memorized for hours.  Out on DVD April 2, 2016  A

 

By Valerie Cameron

All you need to know about the Deadpool film: It is great

Posted by on 1:26 am in Movie Reviews, Reviews & Commentary | 0 comments

All you need to know about the Deadpool film: It is great

deadpoollAll you really need to know about new film “Deadpool” is, it earns its R rating and it is spectacular.

Still reading? I suppose there are a few more things to tell you.

The opening credits of the brand spanking new film “Deadpool” set the tone for the film and make fun of everybody involved, except the writers, who it declares “are the real heroes here.” Thing is, it’s true.

The producers are credited as “asshats” and the film, starring as Wade Wilson (aka Deadpool) is “God’s perfect idiot,” Ryan Reynolds. The director gets slagged as does everybody, including Reynolds’ turn as a Green Lantern.

If you aren’t familiar with the character, he is a foul-mouthed, wise-cracking, super healer, who doesn’t really make an effort to be heroic and doesn’t play nice with others, including the X-Men who also feature in the film. The film is full of laughs and the opening-night audience laughed loudly enough that they probably drowned out a few jokes, and will likely line up to see it again.

20th Century Fox must be applauded for letting those hero writers — Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick get the screenplay credit whileFabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld are credited for creating Deadpool in comic book form — cross lines and break rules. Just as in the comic book, Deadpool breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to the audience. He is completely inappropriate and hilarious.

It isn’t that the film earns its R rating, it is that it feels unexpected and out of bounds, like the first time you saw “There’s Something About Mary,” before everybody over hyped its shock factor. Much of this comes in the way of verbal gags, in rapid fire from funny characters. But there is plenty of physical comedy too, some seen in trailers already. But, even those gags have more to them than the all-audiences trailers show.

The studio didn’t play it safe, didn’t follow the superhero conventions and as a result, they dropped a February superhero film with a fresh feel. Perhaps they did learn something from unmitigated superhero disaster “Fantastic Four.”

What is tragic is that Disney-Marvel and Fox can’t get together and find a way to put Captain America and Hulk together in a scene or two with Deadpool or even Punisher and Daredevil. The X-Men’s Colossus had to do for now, but he is a pretty single dimensional boy scout here, although with brilliantly executed CGI.

Is is worth mentioning that Morena Baccarin is also funny and great and every bit as attractive as Reynolds or anybody else in cinema. Why she isn’t a great big movie star and a Hollywood icon is mystifying.

Back to the opening line: The movie is spectacular, but trust the ratings board and leave the kids at home.

The Martian

Posted by on 6:45 am in Movie Reviews | 0 comments

The Martian

The Martian

“Houston, we have a blockbuster.”

I will end the suspense right now and forego the habit of making you read to the end of the review to

see my recommendation and just say it now:

Go see this movie!

Launch yourself out of your chair, acquire the necessary rations at the concession stand, sit down and

strap yourself in for a thrilling, emotionally charged, visually stunning adventure.

So, now that I’ve convinced you to go, let me tell you why. And I will try to keep it as spoiler free as

possible…

After we got our ice cream (yes, ice cream. At 10 am. Don’t judge…) and stopped playing with our

powered recliners (LOVE the new Sugarhouse movie theater), the trailers ended and our journey began.

The movie starts out, as all movies should, right in the middle of the action. In very short order the crew

is on a ship fleeing Mars and our hero, Mark Watney (Matt Damon as Mark W is kind of funny) awakens

in the stark, red landscape.

A stranger in a strange land.

As Mark documents his struggle for survival via his video journal, we are transported to Earth, where

NASA and the world are dealing with the disaster and it’s aftermath, and to the ship with the remaining

members of the crew making their way slowly back to Earth.

Everyone involved is faced with practical and moral choices, and Scott weaves the story well, taking us

into the minds and thoughts of all the groups involved as the tough choices are discussed and made.

For me there was no dreaded ‘Second Act Dementia’ where most films wander about trying to figure

out what to do until the final conflict. I was engaged the whole time.

Aside from a few blatantly obvious plot devices (Whenever someone in a movie says “Oh, they’ll be fine,

as long as nothing goes wrong” EXPECT something to go wrong) and the obvious similarities to OTHER

space films (Interstellar, Gravity, and the iconic Apollo 13 come to mind. You’ll see what I mean.) it was a

great movie.

I was right there with everyone else, not knowing what was going to happen next but anxiously waiting

to see.

And although this film included the annoying trend to insert lighthearted, flippant remarks at some of

the most intense moments (No, thank YOU, Marvel Universe…) it was still extremely entertaining and

engaging. There wasn’t a moment in the over 2 hours of viewing that I wondered when it would be over.

But eventually it was and we emerged into the sunlight. I mentioned to Val that my puny little ‘first

world problems’ in life pale in comparison to Matt’s ‘off world problems’ stranded on a planet 35 million

miles away.

In short, THIS American stranded on Mars is well worth watching.

By Dan Larsen

Dan Larsen

The N00B reviews Bridge of Spies ——–Spoiler Alert——-

Posted by on 5:23 am in Adventures of The n00b, Movie Reviews | 0 comments

The N00B reviews Bridge of Spies                        ——–Spoiler Alert——-

 

Aside from Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, this is the first movie I saw in the theater since coming home, and it’s the first review I’m writing in two years. So, I’ll do my best to give an intelligent critique of this one.

 

Steven Spielberg…it’d be a waste of time and typing effort to go on about this legend. What can be said about his career that hasn’t been said? His are most of the movies that changed the way movies are made. He’s been a massive influence on every serious filmmaker since his time, and when he talks about the future of the industry, we print it as prophecy.

Although, to be fair, you know as well as I do that not everything he touched was worth Oscar gold (A.I., War of the Worlds). So, it’s become a matter of intrigue that every time a movie is released under his direction, it’s not just “What’s the Master got in store for us this time?”. More like, “Is this gonna be one of his hits, or misses?” Well, while I wouldn’t put up there with, say, E.T. or Schindler’s List, it’s thankfully doesn’t go along with A.I. or War of the Worlds or that stupid Jurassic Park sequel I still don’t think he needed to make. I’d put it somewhere in the middle with, oh…War Horse or Empire of the Sun. Nothing I’d call substantial, but he still did a good job with it, and I’m glad I saw it.

Bridge of Spies is based on true events taking place around Cold War paranoia in the late 1950s, when the CIA captures an accused Soviet spy named Rudolph Abel (Mark Rylance, in a touching and sometimes quite funny performance). Tom Hanks gives an up-to-par performance as James Donovan, the lawyer assigned to defend Abel for the sake of due process. But, considering the mindset on the Soviets at that time, the trial really was a formality, and Abel was found guilty on all charges. It sort of reminded me of the Muslim kid who got in trouble for the clock. Hmm….Still, Donovan developed something of a friendship with this guy, and to this day it’s not confirmed whether or not he was really a spy. So Donovan is actually able to waive the death sentence, making him the least popular guy in America. The reasoning behind it is that you never know when they Soviets might capture someone and we’ll need something to trade.
Well, wouldn’t you know it? A few years later, an Air Force Pilot named Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell), is capture by the USSR. Now Donovan and the CIA are sent overseas to negotiate the exchange of Abel and Powers. It’s around this point in the movie that what I feel is Spielberg’s weakness kicks in.

He does a great job with the set up, and it’s fun to follow Donovan as he defends this unconfirmed spy, and urges the court to treat him like a human being. We’re introduced to a man who does the right thing because it’s right, and it’s what’s supposed to define America as a people. But halfway through the picture, it gets a little boring and a little too slow. As Donovan and the CIA try to negotiate the exchange, audience members will most likely be thinking to themselves, “My gosh! How much longer? Can’t we just get this thing over with and go home?” But, maybe that’s what Steven was going for. Maybe it’s just that I’m young and immature and need a certain amount of action and emotion to keep me hooked, something Bridge of Spies was lacking. And I feel like this is one of those on again/off again things with Spielberg films, and it hardly ever works for me.

But it’s also what I found fascinating about Bridge of Spies, as well as Spielberg’s last directing job, Lincoln. When most people think Spielberg, the probably think of sweeping musical scores over gorgeous wide shots as we go along some epic adventure. But these past couple of films from Steven have been put together in a style that’s a little more understated and takes it’s time, bringing in a more realistic drama, as opposed to over-the-top performances or all-age whimsy. He’s done this with films in the past as well, but it seems to be his style now. My point remains that it can try the audience’s patience.
But even if Bridge of Spies feels like it slows to a crawl, it still delivers what I feel is the best part of almost any Spielberg film (almost!), the payoff. If you’re familiar with the tale, you know how it all plays out, but it’s still done in a way that gives you the feel-goods and you know everything was worth sitting through. I’d even say that the ending gave me a few reasons to still be proud of being an American.
Again, Bridge of Spies is a classic tale of good men doing the right thing because it’s right, regardless of how the public might respond. My favorite line came from Tom Hank’s character, Donovan: “It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. You know what you did.”
I’d say that this one is far from being another Spielberg masterpiece, but I’d gladly recommend it and go to with you to see it when it’s released.
Ryan Saunders
“The N00b”

 

Chris Evans! It happened.

Posted by on 8:19 am in Adventures of The n00b | 0 comments

Chris Evans! It happened.

I can’t believe it’s already over. Why do the greatest things in life always need to be so fleeting?

My final day should be the easiest to write about; the hard part would be giving the Con a proper conclusion.
My friend and I arrived a little after 8:00, as lottery winners for the Chris Evans panel, and sat ever so patiently for an hour and a half for the panel to begin. Just to see the man who’s played the most comic book characters in a career was exciting, and that fans actually asked relevant questions that let us get to know the star a little more was greatly appreciated. Things really picked up when Anthony Mackie and Hayley Atwell snuck up from behind him. Those three together with a legion of fans in one large ballroom was a panel for the books!
Unfortunately Chris and Hayley had to leave early for some photo ops, which meant that I had to be on my way, too. 😉 Let me tell you, now I’m beginning to understand the talk about long lines that last an hour, and with so many people to get through there’s not a whole lotta time to geek out on ’em. Literally all I could do was say, “Hey, guys! Big fan! Love your work!” “Thanks, dude. We love you, too!” Take a pic, NEXT! They probably thought I was a spaz… And the excitement on my face shows just a little too much.
And that was my time with Chris Evans and Hayley Atwell.
Gratefully, though, I was able to have just a little more one-on-one time with Felicia Day. I brought my copy of her book for her to sign and had a photo op with her later that day. I said, “Y’know, I really love your stuff.” and she said, “Thanks, Ryan. You have excellent taste.” and I said “It’s more than that. Learning about you and your story, it almost feels like I’m reading my own story…” and so on and so on about what an inspiration she’s been to me. We both got a little emotional. It was a good moment. I told her I looked forward to working with her, and she said she would, too. Seed planted? Maybe?
After that and the photo, my dad and I took some time to browse around the vendor hall, and we able to get pictures with R2-D2 (like, a REAL R2-D2!), the Batmobile from 1966 (that car has EVERYTHING!) and even a good visit with Richard Hatch, Apollo of the original Battlestar Galactica, the only one I’ll watch, I told him. He was so chill. He even gave me card for his acting clinic when I told him what I wanted to do with my life! Again, opportunity? Maybe?
Then it was time to get clobbered into another line for a photo op with Anthony Daniels.That guy knows how to love his fans. Let me tell you. I was the last one to walk in, knees about to just quit on me. I go in and tell him that I claim to be his biggest fan. He says, “Well in that case, you get to hold my dolly!” and he gave me the C-3P0 doll he was holding. Again, too much excitement…But I actually got to shake his hand and thank him for all of the good times. What really blew my mind was that C-3P0 is the same height that I am…Never imagined…
After that was a couple of fun panels about two of my favorite things: The Spielber/Lucas Era and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Back to simplicity with a bunch of nerds discussing what we love and why we love it.
And that was it…
My last selfie is of me outside the Salt Palace, wondering what I do now. Start a fan film? Write a comic? Try to reach out to Felicia Day again? (I’ll give that last one a month and see where I am…).
My first Comic Con was a dream come true. I can’t think of a sufficient word to express my feelings throughout this weekend. Life-changing, maybe? I spent the past three days doing nothing more than sharing my passion for “childish nonsense” that gives me joy, purpose and even hope for better days to come. I don’t know when I’ll return, next year or later, but I ended this first one with a sort of conviction of why I love the things I love, and what I’m gonna do with that love.
Best. Weekend. Ever!
Ryan Saunders
“The N00b”

 

 

Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 Day 2

Posted by on 7:26 am in Adventures of The n00b | 0 comments

Salt Lake Comic Con 2015 Day 2

Wow. This day’s gonna be harder to write than yesterday.

My first order of business this day was to buy my own lightsaber from Ultra Sabers, and an Energy Sword for my brother who wasn’t able to attend this year. And if you know me or my brother, you know this means that my mom has a new world of worry to look towards.
After that and a panel about killing our favorite characters (Moment of silence for all the victims that fell at the hands of Joss Whedon), I figured it was high time to meet some famous people.
So, at the recommendation of the Convention Survival, I went all the way upstairs to attend Animaniacs Live!, a Q&A panel featuring the voice actors of The Brain, Pinky/Yacko, Wacko and Dot. I’ve been an avid lover of The Animaniacs since I was, like, two. So, this panel was a breath of fresh air. We sang songs from the show, re-enacted some inside jokes; it was like the show never ended. My inner two year old was in pure bliss! And that was just the beginning.

Followed by that was my geek/hero (one of ’em, anyway), Felicia Day. Man, I love this girl. If you haven’t watched her web show The Guild, or read her latest memoir, You’re Never Weird On the Internet (Almost), drop everything and get started. This girl is an inspiration in every sense. I couldn’t wait to ask her more about her journey from social recluse to online superstar. I was anxious to see what words of wisdom she could give to a little boy trapped in Utah whose only dream was to become the next geek icon. The most frustrating part was that people kept wasting time asking stupid, irrelevant trivia questions. (“What did you think of [so and so] when [such and such] happened in [this show]?) I was the second to next to ask my question before we ran out of time. But, I guess not all dreams are meant to come true. At least not in one weekend.

Immediately after, in the same room, was the panel of Anthony Daniels, which was way more entertaining. Why? Because Anthony Daniels told us his story. No BS questions that grabbed no one’s interest. He played with the fans, he shared his love for the material. I really felt like I was getting to know the person in ways you don’t read in interviews. No Force Awakens spoilers, though. He told us he was wired and that he’d be shocked if he tried anything. I yelled, “Show us!” and he gave me a cold stare. Yip. My ten seconds of comedy with C-3P0!
I can’t wait to get photos with both of those people.

Oh, and how’d the world record attempt go? Well…WE BROKE IT! 1,086!!! WHAT’S UP!?

But the Groot costume was a disaster. I’m doing Deadpool next time. Deadpool’s have all the fun.
I can’t believe tomorrow marks the end. I’m looking forward to that being the best day. I *will* get into that Chris Evans panel!

And tell you all about it.

Ryan Saunders
“The N00b”

 

Nerdy News by our “N00b”

Posted by on 12:42 am in Adventures of The n00b | 0 comments

Nerdy News by our “N00b”

9.24.15

My first day at Salt Lake Comic Con 2015

Writing about this is gonna be a lot easier said than done. I should’ve posted some live updates, or the like. But I was doing so much that I just couldn’t find time to update before my next stop. Seriously guys, just the first seven hour day has been exciting, overwhelming, even revelatory.

 

The day started out, honestly, a little scary. The first picture shows where I was in line before they opened the floor. I was excited to be surrounded by people with the same passions I had, having fun observing who was dressed as whom. The scary part was worrying about if I’d be able to fight through that crowd. Dad and Jonny had to work and would join me later in the day. So, I was on my own.

 
Imagine a tiny freshman who walks into a football field in gear that’s three sizes too big on him, facing a whole team of giant senior players who are ready to crush him. That’s how I felt.
 
But once the doors open and the bedlam started, there was really nothing to it. Sure, you had to dodge some groups now and then, but all that talk about three hour lines and the stress of running from panel to panel, I don’t know what they’re talking about! There was plenty of time to browse booths and enjoy some great discussions, today ranging from Enterprise captains and what they represent (Kirk was inarguably the favorite), to how to scare the crap out of people in writing, to starting your first fan film.
 
That last one I mentioned was why I said earlier that the day was revelatory. For some time, two of my greatest desires have been to make a Star Wars fan film that summed up everything Star Wars means to me, and a Joker/Harley Quinn rom-com. But, as was pointed out in this panel, too many people allow themselves to submit to fear or stress, and don’t follow through with what they’re passionate about. I mean, really, what’s stopping you?
 
Sobering thought, huh? If there’s something we claim to be passionate about, how much do we show that we really care?
 
And that seems to be what the spirit of Comic Con is all about. People who can proudly go out in character, in front of God and everybody, sharing what they love with fellow lovers.
 
My kind of people, my kind of place.
 
No celebrities today, but on Friday I plan to meet Felicia Day, Queen of the Geeks and personal hero, as well as the one and only C-3P0, Anthony Daniels. Jonny and I will also be participating the World Record Attempt for Largest Gathering of Comic Book Characters. He’s gonna be Star Lord and I’m Dancing Baby Groot.
Lots more fandom coming your way!
 
Oh, and I also got a comic based on George Lucas’ rough draft of “The Star Wars”! How cool is that!?!?!?
 
Ryan Saunders
“The N00b”

The N00b helps

Posted by on 12:38 am in Adventures of The n00b | 0 comments

The N00b helps

9.23.15

In the world of fandom and entertainment, I feel that people seldom realize or appreciate just how much goes into a movie or a convention or anything that’s put together to show audiences an unforgettable experience. It’s not like fingers are snapped and everything just comes into place. It can be hectic, stressful, and even dramatic.

Today, I helped set up the booth for Rocky Point Haunted House in the Vendor Hall, which gave me an idea of all the hassle that goes on behind the scenes. It was also an exciting sneak peek on what’s in store.
It was more exciting than waiting by the fire place for Santa to come down!
We pulled into the loading dock with at least three men yelling at us about where to park, what to do, and to get our truck out ASAP. Obviously having a bad day… After hauling all the equipment into the hall (which was way bigger than I’d imagined) I was given the chance to walk around, explore the venue and sneak a preview for some of the attractions.

 

I tried to put in my best Peter Parker eyes and get some pics, but failed miserably. Here are some results (sent from my iPhone):

 

It’s weird to see the place so empty, knowing what to expect.
I also had a fantasy that I’d bump into one of the big stars who’ll be attending. No dice.
Valerie also got me acquainted with some of the people who’ll “take care of” me. I’ll also be getting backup from my father and my friend Jonny, who can be considered Comic Com veterans.
Do I even need to point out that I’m pumped?
Until tomorrow!

 

 

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Meet The N00b

Posted by on 12:36 am in Adventures of The n00b | 0 comments

Meet The N00b

Meet Ryan Saunders the “The N00b” here at Flava Entertainment Productions, and follow his nerdy adventures at Salt Lake Comic Con 2016

9.22.2015

 

I left home just over two years ago to serve in the Washington Kennewick Mission. It was a tremendous experience and I learned so much about myself, God, life and a bunch of other things. It really was the best two years of my life. I’ll have to tell you about it sometime. One thing that I admit really sucked was that I flew out of Utah TWO WEEKS before the inaugural Salt Lake Comic Con. Since I was a little boy who decided to make movies, sci-fi and superheroes his life, it had been a dream to attend Comic Con. But to travel to San Diego or anywhere else they house these gatherings was too expensive, so I remained trapped in my obscure town in the Tooele Valley, watching the Cons on the Internet, only imagining the thrill it must be to experience the Fanboy Mardi Gras that is Comic Con. I don’t need to tell you I was ecstatic when it was announced that Comic Con was actually coming to my dark corner of the universe, and deeply disappointed to have missed the first one. Again left to the Internet in e-mails from friends and family to give me just an idea of what it’s like. Apparently, is was a big deal, because it gets bigger every year. And finally, after much long-suffering, I’ll be attending the 3rd Annual and my first ever Salt Lake Comic Con, covering it all!

Along with the obvious stuff such as the displays, cosplays and Chris Evans, I wanna attend as many panels that cover as many different fan bases as I can. While my passions lie with Star Wars, Marvel and DC, Comic Con has a little something for everyone that can be considered geeky. And I intend to see all that I have time for.

Ones that really grab my attention include:

– Convention Survival (for obvious reasons)

– Creating Horror – My Little Brony

– Fan Films That Look Good

– Your Opinion Sucks! (Audience Member and Film Critics Square Off – The Spielberg/Lucas Era And many more.

I’ll also be participating in their World Record attempt for Largest Group of People Dressed as Comic Book Characters, and I’ve bought some some photo ops. There’s just too much to do in too little time. But, this is bound to be the best week of my life, thus far.

http://saltlakecomiccon.com

 

See ya’ there!

“The N00b”

 

 

 

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Cinderella – Movie Review

Posted by on 7:40 pm in Movie Reviews | 0 comments

Cinderella – Movie Review


 

Well I can not bring up seeing the new Cinderella without mentioning the Disney short from Frozen Fever

When I originally heard that there was another Frozen movie I rolled my eye’s. Don’t get me wrong I like the original movie and so does my kid. But we all have to admit has been played out. Then I found out that it would be before Cinderella. I double rolled my eye’s. I thought to myself, both of these could go really wrong. But I had a little Disney faith in the back of my head and I was so glad that instead of rolling my eyes during this movie I smiled, cried, laughed till I cried and so much more. I actually think I like Frozen Fever more than I like the original. Don’t miss this one. –Disclaimer to parents: There are new songs, new dresses, new plushies. So prepare the wallet. B+

Cinderella was magical. The cinematography was beautiful, the costumes, the hair, the make up, it was candy for the eyes. I love how they took what you loved about the 1950’s animated feature and then added on to the story flawlessly. The characters were REAL, with real emotions and the actors where such a great pick. Some of the CGI was a little off but I will for give them for this one. You need to see it, and you need to see it in the theater. A