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Crunching the Numbers: Year 4

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    Four years old and better than ever.

    Here's the deal, each of you get two requests, BUT you have to request films made by other players. I want to know what films you either fear or think deserve a good old-fashioned critical butt-whupping.

    So let the scrambling to turn on one another begin.

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    The sad thing is, that's probably true for both.

    Who knows. I could have written them both while drunk and my memory tells me they're good when in fact they're gibberish.So go and pick two new films not written by yourself or myself.
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    riczhang requests...

    A Blankments Productions Production

    A Danny Boyle Film

    Michael Fassbender

    David Tennant

    and Gary Oldman in...

    LORD MADSHIP

    Bond has come to CAYOM, in the form of a superstar trilogy shepherded by Danny Boyle, Christopher Nolan, and Duncan Jones. Such a lineup of movie gurus meant to guide one of cinema's most famous franchises to box office glory creates very high expectations. Does the film meet those expectations however?

    The film introduces us to a new Bond, played by Michael Fassbender. Suffice it to say that Fassbender is an actor born to play James Bond. His Bond-like antics in the opening act of X-Men First Class was one of that film's highlights and he brings a classy, steely, yet roguish presence to the screen as the most famous cinematic spy. So his acting and his general screen presence is all good. Anyways, the film says that Fassbender is about to do his first mission as 007, which given Fassbender's age means he's been doing other stuff that allowed him to be hired into the 00-division, which makes perfect sense. You aren't going to give 00-designations to kids just out of college, you give them to the people who've proven they can handle their shit.

    In a turn of events from like every Bond film out there, the flirting between Bond and Moneypenny actually goes beyond words with an early kiss. Nice little change-up.

    Anyways, the deal is that Lord Garfield, god is that a British name if there ever was one, has been kidnapped by Hugo Drax. Hugo Drax for those who care was the villain of the Bond novel Moonraker, where he is a super-rich guy who's a secret Russian spy planning to sabotage a nuclear missile test so the missile actually destroys London. In the movie adaptation they made him go into space...so yeah, Bond and space don't mix (Dr. No is the only good Bond film dealing with a space plot point). Bond gets his mission and meets Q. Now Tom Hardy is way too imposing and physical for Q. Q's a techie who never goes into the field, having Bane play him is either a waste of Hardy's physicality or changing up Q by making him athletic and combat-skilled. Felix Leiter shows up and we can tell that this film is connecting the dots in the reboot by showing us all the familiar Bond supporting characters.

    There's an odd sequence where Bond falls asleep and suddenly wakes up to find that an action sequence happened while he was dozing off. It's strange, yet also kind of funny to imagine Bond sleeping through a shootout and Leiter having to drag him to safety. Anyways they are being hunted constantly by Drax's goons and pick up company in Tiffany Monts. Bond does his usual gambling thing and encounters Drax and the two verbally spar while Drax takes Bond to the cleaners. Eventually Bond and Leiter get themselves caught and OMGTWISTTHATYOUPROBABLYSAWCOMINGFROMAMILEAWAY: Turns out Garfield has decided to work with Drax on some special mission. And turns out they got nuclear weapons from Mexico (who the hell stashes nukes in Mexico?) and want to shoot them at London while hiding in Russia. Hey, maybe these guys actually read the Moonraker novel? After the plot device of Bond and Leiter conveniently finding Monts just as she's about to get hypothermia death, Bond infiltrates the secret lair and takes out Garfield easily. Drax runs for it, Bond chases him, they fight, and Drax fails, but not to his death, just mostly dead but then Bond mercy kills him so problem solved. Everything gets wrapped up, Bond is officially made 007, and then goes out to do his Bond thing with Monts.

    So, all in all, how was the film?

    It was fine. The action is a bit light in the second half and the characters are a bit flat (Drax and Garfield are bland villains which is a waste of Tennant and Oldman's talents). It's a competent enough beginning to a new Bond but in some ways the film is more concerned with saying "Hey guys it's okay, I'm a Bond film for real, see, here is all this Bond stuff and references to other Bond stuff" instead of trying to make as exciting and fun a film as it can. So it's a decent outing, but not one to make a big lasting impression.

    So hopefully Round 2 kicks things up a notch.

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    *Gets DVD screener in the mail*

    Sweet! A new film to write about *pops it in*

    *Title card says it's a JJ Abrams film*

    Double Sweet! JJ Abrams rocks!

    *The beginning of the film depicts a sci-fi exodus from a ruined Earth in spaceships with some guy narrating it all*

    Hey! Someone sent from that alternate reality I visited once sent me a DVD of that awesome JJ Abrams sci-fi film Sins of Their Fathers from that game called CAYOM 1.0!!!! I loved that movie!!!! The voice of the guy narrating and the visuals of the Earth exodus are different than from what I remember...eh it's been a few years since I've seen it so maybe I remember it wrong...

    *First modern scene is a close-up of Matt Damon's face*

    WHOA WTF???!!!! Matt Damon wasn't in Sins of Their Fathers! What sorcery is this???

    DIVISIONS: That Other J.J. Abrams Sci-Fi Exodus Movie About a Decades-Long Journey to Find a New World and the Perils of Humans Competing for Leadership of a New Political Power Structure

    In the original CAYOM game, in Year 38, I made a J.J. Abrams sci-fi film called Sins of Their Fathers that was about six spaceships leaving a environmentally devastated Earth on a 30-year journey to a nearby star system where a supposedly habitable planet awaited and the political jockeying for power that resulted as the ships neared their destination and the struggle of a few good people to do the right thing amidst the chaos. It crushed the opposition at the Oscars and I regard it as one of my better films in my 30+ game years in CAYOM 1.0. So, with all that in mind, I tried to be as fair and impartial to Divisions as I possibly could. It was difficult.

    The main characters of Divisions are the father-son duo of Alfred and Will. Will of course is the saintly, do-no-wrong, wise-beyond-his-years version of a teenager, which means either two things: Either Damon dies early and the film is about Will's struggle to survive without family in an unknown, hostile world (or the same thing, but with Will dying early), OR Will dies in the end for some sacrificial moment that forces previously dickish people to change their tune and become less dickish. When neither Alfred or Will kicked it in the first 30 minutes, I pretty much knew where things were going.

    What I like about this film is that it addresses the fact that after 50 freaking years of travelling through space, things are going to start to break down and people are going to forget some stuff: like how to land a gigantic ship on the surface of a planet. The middle section of the film is pretty good, since once the ship crash-lands and supplies dwindle, the group has to explore the new world for supplies and when clueless adventurers wander around unknown worlds and grab stuff to see what it is, they piss off nature, and pissed-off nature means- OMG ALIEN BEARS!!!! Sorry, that was cool. We also see people fighting over the dwindling supplies and forming into small groups competing for supremacy and many people including a good friend of Alfred turning into greedy dicks and Alfred and Will essentially being the only two people not trying to screw other people over. It's a bit heavy-handed in execution but it still works well. At one point someone pulls a gun on Alfred and says that caring for others is overrated. I was ready for that person to call Alfred a commie or spout some Ayn Rand craziness but luckily the film restrains itself there.

    Eventually the group is down to a quarter of its original size and only a few are acting reasonably sane. Then an alien bear attacks and Will -yep, I knew it- sacrifices himself to save some old lady he was nice to earlier in the movie. This act of kindness apparently has never ever happened ever because all the dicks suddenly turn into angels and begin chanting Alfred's name to make him leader after the old lady apparently shames them for acting like dicks the whole time. The chanting was a little creepy in the context of the scene (I mean they were low on supplies so they could have been choosing him for dinner). Though it certainly wasn't as creepy a chant as this:

    But I digress. In the end, Divisions is a solid film with strong lead performances, but it lags in some areas and some of the thematic and philosophical points are too heavy-handed and too on the nose. Also the film telegraphs some of its major points from the very beginning, particularly with the title. It's not the typical summer starter but it should have some pull.

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    I felt while writing it that it could've ended better, but around the point when Monts came in, I felt like just trying to fit in every Bond motif, just since it's the first movie. Funny you mention Oldman over Gordon-Levitt, since the movie is essentially an action movie split between the two. Also, I feel like Inception Tom Hardy would be his size for Q, which didn't seem that big to me at least. Plus, if Nolan's going to eventually do a Bond movie, you know Tom Hardy would be involved. ;)Oh, and the title is purposely terrible. The original title "Shipping Madness," didn't really fit the changed plot. Another interesting fact was that Boyle was going to direct the last one in my planned trilogy, but I switched him and Duncan Jones so that way Duncan Jones didn't have three big budget movies releasing in one year.Thanks for the review; I'm pretty sure it's longer than the movie. :P

    Edited by Blankments
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    Your review makes it sound like a typical 70's Bond film, not like the Craig ones like I would have expected from those behind it.Anyways, I want dibs to a Bond franchise some time in the future, if I'm still around in CAYOM years long down the road from now.

    It's definitely a Roger Moore Bond, not a Dalton/Craig one.
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    The chanting was a little creepy in the context of the scene (I mean they were low on supplies so they could have been choosing him for dinner). Though it certainly wasn't as creepy a chant as this:

    This entire thing just made me lol. :D:lol: Thanks for the Review. Edited by riczhang
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    So I'm in a hurry but my boss says I need to crank out another review and suggests I take a crack at that 'Flash" movie. I was super stoked since like my talking teddy bear I loved Flash. So I rush over to meet the two and it's like:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brSBpK2iZCI

    And then my boss ruins the moment by telling me I'm supposed to review the movie about the DC Superhero Flash.

    Buzz. Killed.

    The Flash

    Featuring music by Danny Elfman, not Queen like Flash Gordon which stinks since Queen is awesome, but then again Freddy Mercury is dead so Queen can't match the magic anymore anyways, and Elfman's pretty good with most stuff I mean his Tim Burton collaborations are usually strong and his theme for Raimi's Spider-Man was cool...

    Anyway, the film.

    So Shawn Levy made this film which set off my flop-radar immediately before seeing this, but I reassured myself that with Bradley Cooper starring and this being part of some major DC superhero plan they wouldn't let Levy mess things up.

    So we get the origin story, with a guy with the laughable last name of Snart locked up in prison and Barry Allen getting his powers through that most reliable method of being soaked in toxic chemicals. Now I've seen people get soaked in toxic chemicals and the only thing that happens is that they go all Wicked Witch of the West and melt into goo. But anyway, Flash finds out he can run superfast and also vibrate through solids and decides that since he was with the police already, he might as well become a super cop. After some standard superhero antics Snart breaks out, calls himself Captain Cold, which is only slightly better than Snart, develops a freeze ray (this makes up for the bad names since freeze rays are awesome), and decides to become a supervillain.

    Flash is juggling superhero duties and his personal life and faces the usual conflict that all superheros have. He also skirmishes with Captain Cold and in Cold's big scheme at the university he is able to stop Cold cold but is not fast enough to also stop his fiance's father from falling to his death. Cold is taken into custody, Flash's girl breaks things off since she's distraught, and all Flash has left is flashing people in the stree- I mean saving people from crime. We then get the post-credits scenes like with Marvel's films laying the framework for a CAYOM Justice League some years in the future.

    All in all, this was a standard superhero film. It's not great, but it's entertaining and hits the usual notes for a fun, if disposable ride. Bradley Cooper has the charm and physicality to fit Barry Allen very well and he makes even the dodgy parts of the film shine enough. As the first piece in a long-term plan, it does its job well enough.

    Edited by 4815162342
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    Thanks for the review. To be honest though, the first person I thought of to direct any superhero movie was Shawn Levy. :P His work on Night at the Museum and Real Steel fit the fun comic-book vibe of superheroes, so I'm honestly surprised he's never done one in real life. But, yeah, yay Bradley Cooper! :)

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