Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Contest - Babylon 5, Nosferatu and CHiPs Giveaway from Comet TV and Charge!'s Hushaween

Halloween might be wrapping up but CometTV and Charge! still has a Hushaween hullabaloo for sci-fright fans. A chosen one will walk away with a swag bag of a Nosferiffic shirt, a watered down bloody water bottle, attractive Babylon 5 magnets, candy(CANDYCANDY!) from Comet TV, with Charge! chipping in with CHiPs memo pads.

How do you win this pulse-pounding prize pile? Just enter a comment below if you'd prefer to visit the PAST (Nosferatu!), the PRESENT (CHiPs!) or the FUTURE (Babylon 5!) if you somehow stumble upon a timewarp of sorts, in case you stumble upon a mad scientist's home if your car breaks down while you go trick or treating. Also leave an email address so I may contact you for your details if you are the chosen one.

The lucky winner will be randomly picked by November 5, 2018. Giveaway open to the US only. The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please.

This gory giveaway is brought to you by Comet TV and Charge!

Hushaween (Halloween Marathon) - Halloween night October 31 starting at 10/9 C

This Halloween tune in to COMET as they bring you the silent horror classics that will send shivers down your spine. Before Buffy, before Edward, and before a certain Count, there was Nosferatu. Catch the classic Vampire film, followed by The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Phantom of the Opera.

Babylon 5 (series) - In October, Babylon 5 airs every day at Noon/11 C and every night at 9/8 C

New on COMET in October! Creator J. Michael Straczynski's ambitious and complex futuristic space opera charts five years in the lives of those aboard the titular 5-mile-long space station, where personal drama plays out against a tense political backdrop of looming war between bitter enemies the Centauri and the Narn.


So you can’t sleep? COMET TV has the solution with cult classic midnight movies airing Mon - Fri! You can pencil in Night of the Creeps, get sucked into Vampires on Bikini Beach and do your best to escape The House on Haunted Hill!

The prize pack includes:

1- COMET TV Babylon 5 Magnets: Show off your spacey side with these super fresh Babylon 5 magnets. Perfect for any new recruit looking to sign up for new spacey adventures!

1 - Limited Edition Nosferatu Shirt: Only available via this promotion, this creepy T-Shirt is sure to make your neighbors and friends shriek with envy! AHHHHHHHHH!

1 - COMET TV Blood Bag Water Bottle: I would like some Type-A Negative please. No matter what your flavor, this novelty water bottle is the perfect thing to fill up for an on the go refreshment.

2 - Exclusive CHARGE! CHiPs Ticket Memo Pad: Do you see someone breaking the law and you just have to sound off and tell them? Is someone’s parking THAT bad you want to be like… Dude come on? Now’s your chance! Write them a little note, and maybe mention that CHiPs is heading to CHARGE! as well!

1 - COMET TV Midnight Movies Blood Splattered Candy: Do you have a bit of a sweet tooth? This candy assortment will give you that sugar rush you’re craving! There’s Ghost Poofs, suckers, bugs, lizards and more!

Have a happy, horrifyin Hushaween!

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Movie Review - Venom

   So one of Spider-Man's more popular villains got a feature film.  They are such great enemies that they don’t appear in the film together?

  Eddie Brock investigates a corporation supposedly experimenting on humans.  What he got is a close encounter of the dark kind, one that gets under his skin.

   Viewers who are familiar with Venom would have fun either identifying the small references to the comics or nit-picking at the various alternations to this new origin.  A major change, of course, would be missing the main connection of the anti hero to the greater Marvel universe.  But the lack of a certain web-slinger isn’t actually a big factor.  Even with the removal of the spider theme on the character, the film stand alone just fine.  It doesn’t hang by a thread, hoping for a lif aeline from the major Marvel hero.  As it is, Venom simply takes over, engulfing what is given to him and demanding more.  

  The comic Venom has evolved from his original appearances but several mainstays remain like weaknesses.  Adding a personality is new and frankly pretty welcome.  The innovation lent itself to some gallows humor (like wading in a shallow pool of dead bodies) and much needed mirth in the flick.

   This isn’t to say that Tom Hardy was just a puppet on a string.  He cut his teeth on meaty roles.  He made use of it and he looked like he enjoyed himself at some points.  Michelle Williams plays another beleaguered significant other but does get in on some action, even if it got ugly. Riz Ahmed, on the other hand, cleans up very nicely.

  Venom itself is an extension of Hardy, well, altered vocals really.  The use of CGI is expected, which is more than a space suit can contain.  The action and effects are expected to be of high quality and the cover of darkness overshadows what imperfections there are.  The moves they pull off are pretty slick to see, when you can track them through the speed and murk.  

  Despite the threat of brain eating and all the teeth, Venom could have been given more of an edge.  The plot became an already tried and tested superhero origin, which is not exactly fitting for the anti-hero that he is.  The element of hate is missing.  There might not have been enough of the original expected anger for the lethal protector.  Also, with the steady influx of replayed origins that follow the basic pattern with a significant other and getting used to the new powers, they really could have gone the darker path.  Well, darker, wetter, gorier than the PG rating would allow.  I mean, look at him!  This is Venom!  He's not meant for the light.  He’s freaky enough as it is and could do some more car, damage in the future, if he’s given the half the chance.  

Movie Review - Little Italy

   Not everybody is Italian in this flick but it has genuine heart and is a labor of flavor and love.

   Childhood sweethearts Leo and Nikki are broken up by animosity between their families.  They are reunited once again and have the chance to mend broken fences by putting the taste to the test.

   It's a Romeo and Juliet love story with lovebirds torn apart by warring kin.  Except it's a rom com with a ton of food involved.  The actors capture the feeling of family associated with the Italians and their sense of blood and honor but they involved other nationalities in the mix.  In fact, the plot and execution actually has touches what would be a hit with Filipinos.  What results is a heady and aromatic atmosphere thiick with culture and accents, full of flavor and feeling.  Despite laying in the sauce thickly, it's a light and easy to digest affair.  The bad blood is kept thin with glib one liners and suggestive talk.  Humor flows smooth and the tone is breezy.

   The men and women on menu play out their roles well enough as it is established later on that race is not an issue.  Family need not be tied by blood so Italians can be borne in Canadian soil.  Hayden Christianson takes an understated claim to his leading man status but it is Emma Roberts and her easy smile that charms her way to hearts and stomachs.  The background players are a fanciful and interesting bunch, very accommodating and easy to embrace.

   Little Italy is a very sweet little tale.  And also very saucy so watch out with the spice.  The blooper reel during the credits makes for a feast of hilarity, that's for sure.  Savor this meal and be pleasantly filled with love and laughs.

Movie Review - Night School

   It's a movie starring Kevin Hart.  What more are you expecting?

   Teddy got dealt a bad hand at life but he has the chance to turn it around.  He just has to pass night school.

   It's not like Kevin Hart is typecasted as a perpetually down on his luck dude fast talking his way up the rung.  It's an image that he cultivated himself, using his height and attitude to fill the niche he created.  His brand of humor pokes fun at himself, with immature mature themes included.  Night School fits him to a tee.

   To be fair, he does has social justice and compassionate insight in the projects he undertakes.  This lessons of friendship and bonding are always presented as a counterpoint to the wackiness of the flick.  This flick piles extra disadvantages to shortcomings that he already has and the difficulties do make his eventual success all the more sweeter.  

   Night School has instances that smacks of an 80's high school caper.  It's a throwback but done with adults acting like punk teenagers.  The humor is more often crude and easy but as everybody loves an underdog story, Night School makes a passable grade.

Movie Review - Smallfoot

   It's another role reversal comedy where the strange beings or oddballs are the heroes and the humans are the antagonists.  It's tried and tested, true; and this time, it's the tall and thick toed whose turn to be in trouble.  And by that, I mean the largeYeti, Saquatch or Bigfoot.

   BTW, bonus scene in the middle of the credits.  And a final shot at the end.

   Migo is a young monster who finds evidence of the mythical creature called a Smallfoot.  He discovers more than he bargained for when he tries to prove it's existence.

   At the start, the movie was a bright, upbeat and stuffed with slapstick.  But as it went on, the story became a little deeper.  One can't quite say serious because implications are glossed over.  The younger audience might take it for face value but fridge logic leads one to more serious thought.  I had thought the original subtext to be of a Flat Earth variety but it turned into something about politics, social structures, influential media and religion.  There's hidden subjects obscured by fog that could have been tackled but this is a children's movie.  Themes are touched upon and are actually changed but still had to be resolved in a neat and tidy way.  If it was just kept with the funny song and dance routines or the always hilarious cultural misunderstanding, it would have been fine but bravo on the producers for going for an underlying mature message.  I'm not quite sure if it's handled properly but it's there and the sentiment is appreciated.

   The humor mentioned at the beginning does carry on throughout the film and it's some parts snappy wit and silly physical comedy.  These are entertaining enough.  There are a couple of catchy songs, like the slightly misleading one at the start and the hilarious parody but there's also the serious ditty that gets into the heart of the matter.  The voice cast includes singers (Zendaya, Common) and dancers (Channing Tatum, haha) so the performances are pretty good.

   The CGI is par the course and there's some pretty fun sequences to look at.  For something supposedly kept all drab and bleak white on the mountain top, it admirably keeps things interesting and well contrasted.  The plot does seek to elevate one's mind but perhaps it didn't take to it well enough to stick.  There was a part that they could used to revert things to the status quo and, while it didn't, it probably didn't need to then.  Small foot challenged beliefs but isn't too effective in imparting it.  It does make me wonder how the leader gets the lesson stones to stick.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Movie Review - The Predator (2018)

homages or outright parody.  But it has trouble reigniting its fandom due to varying degrees in quality and execution of its film depictions.  How does the 2018 version stack with its predated incarnations?

  Sniper McKenna encounters a Predator in the field and involves his family in a dangerous hunt.

   Shane Black is the director and one of the writers of this flick and his signature style shows in the snappy banter and quick cuts.  This makes for an enjoyable ride with hilarious interplay and exciting editing.  The characters stand out with set traits and verbal wit.  An odd inclusion would be the kid factor, somehow changing the tone to something less than purely mature.  The lighter feel is even more evident with the eventual canine angle.

  While the violence and sexual bits mean that the film isn't aimed for kids, there is a definite direction going for a wider appeal.  This film is more fun and more accessible, not afraid to take itself too seriously, unlike previous iterations.  The atmosphere is definitely not heavily based on fear and suspense but on action and humor.  The attacks are even juxtaposed with a short school setting and on a cheery Halloween.

  As mentioned before, the characters are literal characters.  The band of heroes are saddled with personality quirks and, well, defects.  Even the child and eventual dog have mental issues.  This may be a technique to help the individuals distinguish themselves or have a quick connection with the audience via automatic sympathy.  Olivia Munn as the science liaison is obviously for gender consideration, even including a stripping scene.  She is, as modern paradigm dictates, independent and empowered and quite competent, really.

   There is a problem with the lighting.  Even though most of the conflagration takes place in the evening and in naturally darkened areas, proper lighting would have cleared up hard to follow sequences.  The erratic editing also lead to some confusing sections such as the sudden decapitations and head explosions.  Perhaps there's parts left on the cutting room floor, such as a missing soldier's probable death at the vocal recognition exit.

   New information, or more accurately clarifications with the mythos such as the Predator naming and their reasons for hunting humans are expounded on.  Callbacks and references are dropped,  such as the 'chopper' line and all the dates of earlier encounters.  The new revelations may or may not be accepted by die hard fans but it's already made canon by this 2018 outing.  A little more polish could have elevated this film to an instant classic but it's enjoyable for newcomers looking for action and adventure and exposure to the Predator's presence.  Hopefully there will be more flicks down the line as this one should hit cult status.

Movie Review - Wheely

   There was a time when film studios would make movies with the same theme and release them at a competitive time slot.  Giant asteroids with a deep impact to trigger Armageddon.  The buggy life of ants.  But sometimes, it's just a plain carbon copy. Emphasis on car.

   Wheely is a failed racer who gets involved with carnapping syndicate as he tries to get back into the running.

   This is a Malaysian project but it doesn't try to hide its... inspiration.  Really, the design is already a given.  Why it waited so long, well, who knows?  The main character is a racer, his new close friend is a bucktoothed oddball, there's a rival and a lady car...

  The beginning of the film is sort of the same, with racing involved.  At least the plot shifts gears to a carnapping action, adventure.  A possibly deep point here is that, considering the denizens, is this a parallel on just stealing vehicles or actual slavery?  It's something to consider, if it's just auto parts piracy or the actual, er, forced escorting as the crime the film is trying to portray.  As this is a children's film, the latter theme would be a subtle implementation.
   The CGI isn't up to the quality competitive studios release of late but at least Malaysia is trying to develop their animation industry.  There is an off putting factor with sound effects that intrude at points that are suppose to be humorous but seem amateurish.  Kartun the film company that made Wheely could have aimed higher but at least they tried.