Ratchet & Clank: What Happened?

RATCHET & CLANK

Ratchet_and_Clank_2015

DIRECTED BY: Kevin Munroe

STARRING: James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Rosario Dawson, Sylvester Stallone

GENRE: Animated, Science Fiction, Action, Comedy

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: United States, Canada

Ratchet and Clank tells the story of two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. When the two stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets, they must join forces with a team of colorful heroes called The Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy. Along the way they’ll learn about heroism, friendship, and the importance of discovering one’s own identity.

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The plot is so mangled it almost defies summary. There’s a smirking cat-thing called Ratchet (voiced, as in the games, by James Arnold Taylor), who ditches his starship mechanic business to join the Galactic Rangers: a crime-fighting posse led by a barrel-chested egotist called Captain Qwark (Jim Ward), who’s heavily reminiscent of the cult comic-book character The Tick.

One of the games’ unique selling points is the array of gimmicky weapons used by Ratchet in battle (one, the Sheepinator, turns foes into ewes). Many of these are crowbarred en masse into the film’s final action sequence, which aims for madcap extemporization but delivers floundering incoherence.

Ratchet & Clank could have been assembled entirely from clips from other movies, and would have been better if it had been. This is a lot of noise and nonsense, colorful idiocy good for nothing more than being an electronic babysitter for especially undemanding toddlers, utterly charmless and unfun.  One of the film’s associated production companies, whose logo proudly appears at the beginning of the film, is “Cinema Management Group,” which sounds more like an organization that determines the optimal rate of Bags of Factory-Popped Popcorn-Flavored Snack Per Mean Moviegoer at the Average Multiplex than one that has anything interesting to contribute to a well-told story.

PROS:

  • Amount of weapons in finale.

CONS:

  • Simply put…everything else.

SCORE: 3.0 / 10

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Argo: Let’s Make a Film…but a Fake One

Hello everybody! Sorry for the wait, as we have been very busy behind the scenes optimizing your experience! This time around we have the film featuring a CIA funded film known as Argo.

ARGO

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DIRECTED: Ben Affleck

STARRING: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman

GENRE: Political Thriller

YEAR: 2012

COUNTRY: United States 

argo-trailer-ben-affleckIn 1979, the American embassy in Iran was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries and several Americans were taken hostage. However, six managed to escape to the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador and the CIA was ordered to get them out of the country. With few options, exfiltration expert Tony Mendez devised a daring plan: create a phony Canadian film project looking to shoot in Iran and smuggle the Americans out as its production crew. With the help of some trusted Hollywood contacts, Mendez created the ruse and proceeded to Iran as its associate producer. However, time was running out with the Iranian security forces closing in on the truth while both his charges and the White House had grave doubts about the operation themselves.

Damn Ben Affleck, you just keep moving up on my favorite actor/filmmakers list. Argo is a fantastic film, I just wish I had seen it sooner. I want to give a shout out to both the main and supporting cast, as they breathed life into characters that could have been rather two-dimensional and merely textbook. The story is in fact fascinating as well, since I didn’t know much about CIA cover missions yet they absolutely enthralled me. Damn it Affleck, why can’t you make a bad film? Oh wait. Gigli. Nevermind…forget I said anything.

rory_scott_argo_film_still_a_lI don’t have many gripes with Argo, as overall it is a pretty decent film. I just have to say, the film suffers from what I like to call “first act-itis”. The film does a fantastic job setting up the overly interesting characters and setting, but it hinders the time flow throughout the film. Argo is incredibly slow, as it feels like it takes forever to get up and get going. The actual operation, which is based off of the real life CIA operation, known as the Canadian Caper, doesn’t even start until almost the hour mark. Regardless, Argo is a fantastic film that any thriller fan will enjoy.

PROS:

  • Solid main cast performances.
  • Fantastic supporting performances.
  • CIA cover missions.
  • Interesting plot.

CONS:

  • “First Act-itis”.
  • Pacing.

SCORE: 8.0/10

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Flight: Let’s Roll the Plane!

Hello everybody! Today we have Denzel Washington’s drama Flight.

FLIGHT

DIRECTOR: Robert Zemeckis

STARRING:  Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Bruce Greenwood, Melissa Leo

GENRE: Drama

YEAR: 2012

COUNTRY: United States

Whip Whitaker is a commuter airline pilot. While on a flight from Orlando to Atlanta something goes wrong and the plane starts to fly erratically. With little choice Whip crashes the plane and saves almost all on board. When he wakes up in the hospital, his friend from the airline union introduces him to a lawyer who tells him there’s a chance he could face criminal charges because his blood test reveals that he is intoxicated with alcohol and cocaine. He denies being impaired, so while an investigation is underway, he is told to keep his act together. However, letting go of his addiction is not as easy as it seems…

Flight follows the story of Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) who is an alcoholic, drug addict pilot who crashes a plane, but kills 6 people. Flight analyzes Whip and his addictions and we are allowed to see what his life is like. This analysis is done expertly, even if the film doesn’t ever reach the pace or excitement of the plane flight (the first act). The film is shot amazingly in the first act (especially when the plane is upside down), but then there isn’t anything special in the remaining acts. Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, and John Goodman performed spectacularly and they definitely were the right actors for their characters.

Flight suffers from a huge pacing problem after the first act. Zemeckis intends to give us a slightly more depraved version of Washington’s usual charismatic hero, then pull the rug out from him. But Flight‘s true downward spiral is its own loss of momentum. Flight turns out to be a disappointingly standard addiction story in its second half also serves as a reminder that Hollywood tends to be more invested in these types of self-serious movies than most actual audiences.

PROS:

  • Character analysis.
  • Perfect cast choices.
  • Amazing shooting during first act.

CONS:

  • Second and third act pacing.
  • Too little coverage on controversial themes.

SCORE: 8.0 / 10

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