Lucy

18 Aug

I tend to be a bit of a trailer junkie when it comes to movies.  I’ll get bored every month or so and will go and look at all the trailers that Apple has up and see what strikes my fancy.  When I first saw the trailer for Lucy I just knew that it was going to be right up my alley.  There’s a little bit of action, Scarlett Johansson gets to be a bad ass, some cool science-y stuff going on, what’s not to love right?  Well, apparently no, that’s not really what the movie is about.  I apologize if some things are a bit out of order.  If you see it or have seen it… you will understand why.

The movie starts off with Lucy, no not the Scarlett Johansson character, the first “human”.  The little ape thing is sitting drinking water from a stream.  There’s then a voice over by Johansson that talks about what have humans done in all their existence and lots of sped up video of traffic and people in an Asian city.  Then we come to Lucy, this time the Scarlett Johansson character, and her douchey boyfriend Richard.  I’m surprised I remember his name partly because he’s a general tool bag and also because well he dies 5 minutes later.  Douchard wants her to take a case of something into this office building to give it to Mr. Jang.  He doesn’t know what’s in it and he doesn’t want to take it in because he’s scared so he handcuffs it to Lucy, forcing her to take it in.  As she’s standing in the lobby asking for Mr. Jang there are flashes between her and a scene of a cheetah hunting a gazelle.  This parallels her being hunted by the body guards for this supposed Mr. Jang (so artsy!).  They shoot the boyfriend and cart her up the stairs and into a room.  It’s clear by this point that this Lucy is a little pathetic in a way.  By the time they get her upstairs she’s a bit of a blubbing mess.  I think it bothers me more because I’m so used to seeing her kick ass.

evian

Once in the room, Lucy promptly throws up (though it didn’t seem too realistic) because there are some dead bodies in the bathroom.  Mr. Jang comes out of the bathroom, hands covered in blood.  One of his lackeys pours a bottle of Evian over his hands so he can clean them.  Yes, it was Evian.  The bottle was positioned so the label could easily be read.  Great marking ploy there Evian!  After that fun little bit, Mr. Jang asks Lucy what’s in the case.  The kicker here is he doesn’t speak English so he uses a phone service to translate for him.  Perhaps he has his own special line for his murdering and drug dealing?  He gives her the code to open it and leaves the room while his guards pull out shields.  He really must not trust Richard, seems I was right on the douche part.  She gathers up her courage and opens up the case.  Unfortunately it doesn’t explode, so the movie continues…  Inside are pouches of the blue powder that we’ve seen in the trailer.  The next step is obviously to test the drug.  Mr. Jang brings out a drugged out guy and makes him snort some.  This takes a good deal of work because he is completely out of his mind.  After the dude snorts up the magic blue crystals, he flips out a bit and then just starts laughing before being shot in the head.  Alright… that explained a lot.

While this is going on, Morgan Freeman, Professor Norman in this movie, is giving a lecture to a big audience about the brain’s capacity.  Now I know the whole “you only use 10% of your brain” is bull, but I rolled with it for the movie.  He gives theories that at 20% you can control your own appearance and 40% other people and at 100%, who knows!  In bits of his lecture though there are more clips of animals and such.  The most memorable being when he talked about reproduction to pass on genes.  Yep there was some mild animal porn going on in the middle of the movie.  Yey animal porn.

Now that we have our weird mystery drug.  Lucy gets knocked out and wakes up with a bandage around her middle.  The bad guys throw her some random clothes and take her into a fancy suite with a dragon sculpture on the ceiling.  Three other dudes are brought in that have apparently had the same thing done.  Next enters a guy who actually speaks English.  He explains that the drug is called CPH4, but doesn’t say what it does, just that it will be a hit with the kids in Europe.  Each person has one of the pouches of blue stuff in their abdomen and is given a fake passport to travel to different parts of Europe.  Here come the bags over their heads (because that’s totally not suspicious looking right?) and off they go.

The handlers for Lucy, however, aren’t very smart.  Since she’s a purty lady one guy gets handsy and she fights back a bit.  This sends him into a blind rage (anger management dude, seriously) and he kicks her repeatedly in the stomach before the other guy pulls him off and they both leave with Lucy chained to the wall.  This is where the shit gets weird.  Things have been strange up to this point, but this part is just plain weird.  There’s a cool animation of the drug entering her blood stream just before the poltergeist comes out.  Lucy starts spasming and twitching on the floor having a seizure.  This progresses to her standing up against the wall.   But oh… now she’s in the fetal position on the wall.  Wait… what? Is that the floor? Nope, that’s definitely the wall.  Completely not touching the floor.  Oh look now she’s working her way onto the ceiling.  Then trying to pull herself back to the ground with the chain and then she collapses and is sucked against the wall.  Alrighty then…  I assume she passed out a bit at this point.  We get a screen that says 20%.

When she wakes up, there’s one fluid motion where she grabs a chair, turns it right side up, and sits in it.  In comes random bad guy who thinks he can get some only to have his ass handed to him by super Lucy.  She takes his gun, marches out, shoots all the other bad guys, and then eats all their food.  Someone’s got the munchies!  It’s clear at this point she is no longer the Lucy from the start of the movie.  She has no emotion, no reactions to things; she becomes very robotic and almost inhuman in a way.  After the noms, she goes out and gets a cab driver to take her to the hospital.  Here is where she does some of the impossible; she walks around the hospital with a gun.  Really? She does not even try to hide it would no one really notice this?  Suddenly she can now read Chinese, or whatever language it may be, and finds an operating room.  The poor surgeon and crew are just shocked telling her “Ma’am you can’t be in here!”  Lucy ignores them and looks at the patient’s x-ray.  Using her new super powers she determines that the patient is going to die anyway, so she shoots him.  How merciful right?  She then demands the surgeon take the drugs out of her at gun point.  While the doctor is doing his work, Lucy decides this is the perfect time to call her mother.  She tells her mother how much she loves her and all the new things she can feel, including old memories.  The TMI moment is when she tells her mother that she can remember the taste of her breast milk.  All the while a little Asian man is pulling a pouch of illegal drugs out of her stomach.

Now that the drugs are out, what oh what should she do?  Revenge of course!  She heads back to bad guy headquarters and shoots all of Mr. Jang’s guards.  Once there, she shoos away his tattoo artist and stabs him in the hands.  Shooting him is too good for him I suppose, but she’s going to talk at him for a while.  Now, Mr. Jang doesn’t speak or understand any English, so I imagine the whole situation is very confusing for him.  Super Lucy interrupts his tattoo, stabs him, and starts jabbering.  She wants information about where the other drug mules had been sent, but since he doesn’t speak English, this is kind of pointless.  However, she is not part Vulcan and does a mind meld type thing to get the information out of him.  I mean of course she can do that now right?!

After she’s done, she decides the next place to go is her house.  Her roommate lets her in and talks about a date she had all while Lucy uses her laptop to do some crazy typing and reading.  She then calls Professor Norman from the computer, because oh by the way, she can do that now too.  She talks to him about his research and wanting to meet, makes the lights flicker and do some weird stuff with his radio and that’s it.  Her main concern here is that she has all this knowledge but isn’t sure what to do with it and she is asking him for advice.  He tells her that she should figure out how to pass it on.  She seems to think that’s a good idea and tells him she’ll be there in 9 hours.  Professor Norman is a little weirded out by the whole situation.  It seems very similar to a ghost movie, except a little more sciency.  Before she leaves the apartment though she gives her roommate a prescription and tells her that her kidneys are failing and she needs to change her lifestyle.  Random, but maybe she isn’t a complete robot yet?

Off she goes to the airport; she changes her hair since the police are looking for her for shooting the patient in the OR.  I think it would have been cool if she had changed all her looks for a while, but that would have required another actress.  While getting her tickets she calls a random cop in Paris.  I assume she knows that he is some sort of expert.  She gets his attention by knowing things about him that she shouldn’t be able to (oo he has a red pen on his desk!) and gives him the information to catch the other three dudes with drugs in them.   I think she was around 30% here, I really don’t remember when the different percents happened.  The police catch them all and Lucy is on the plane to get the rest of the drugs.  It’s not really clear why she wants them, that is until a super weird scene on the airplane.  She’s using two computers, with one hand on each typing at an insane rate.  The stewardess tells her it’s time to close them and gets a nosebleed for some reason, so Lucy asks for some champagne.  When she takes a sip, a tooth falls out in the glass.  Because molars totally fall out like that.  A cough and more teeth come out in her hands. This is where shit really hits the fan.  Her skin starts vaporizing and she’s really tripping out.  It’s hard to tell if the other people in the plane can see it or are just freaked out because she is flipping her shit.  She locks herself in the bathroom.  In the mirror you see her eyes are starting to droop and her cells are flying off.  She is literally coming to pieces so the obvious to answer is to chow down on some more of the blue stuff and poof she is back to normal.

Upon landing though, she is detained and knocked out.  The doctor said she should be out all day from what he gave her, silly him, he doesn’t know she can control her own metabolism!  Out she walks into a hallway full of police.  She asks to talk to the cop alone, but everyone has guns pointed at her.  With a wave of her hand, she makes everyone else pass out and drops the bullets out of his gun.  Here she has reached 40%.  She tells him she needs to get the other drugs and they get in his car and off they go.  While sitting in the car, at an absurdly long stop light I might add, she is looking through people’s cell phone data.  There is a neat scene where you see all these streams going up into the sky, but then she finds Mr. Jang’s cell phone and realizes they are sending people into the hospital to get the drugs back.  She takes over the car and drives like a crazy person, mostly up one way streets, to get to the hospital.  Lots of other cars crash and flip, but’s of no concern to her right now.  So maybe she doesn’t care much anymore.  They get to the hospital where Mr. Jang’s people have recovered two of the pouches of drugs.  She does some of her magic which turns the one guy into a mime when he tries to run away and floats the rest.  Fuck gravity man, it’s such a downer anyways.  She takes the case of drugs, rips the last pouch out of the last mule’s stomach and she’s ready to go.  The cop asks why she needs him and she gives him a very impassioned, and almost depressing, kiss and says “To remind me” and walks away.

Off they go to meet Professor Norman with all the drugs.  Mr. Jang happens to see them and follows and he is quite pissed off at this point.  Lucy meets Professor Norman at a university and they happen to have a lot of random lab equipment that is never really used.  They talk a bit and the cop is sent to setup a defense because bad guys are coming.  Tons of cops flood through the front of the building while the bad guys on the other side of the street are loading up their guns.  Neither group noticed each other.  The bad guys casually walk in and shoot up the place.  During this time Lucy is talking with the group of scientist explaining what the meaning of life is, which ends up being time.  Without time nothing exists.  Okay, that’s not too weird I guess.  There’s the reference to a video of a car and if you play it faster and faster at infinity the car will disappear.  After the gun shots happen, they decide to get to work.  Lucy decides she needs to take all of the drugs at once to get her to the last few percent to reach 100% of her brain capacity.  I don’t remember where she reaches other percents past 40, but the last scene is where she goes the last 20% or so.

To take all the drugs, they mix the drugs in water and give them too her in an IV.  This pushes her to 99% and she makes the room completely white and starts building a crazy futuristic super computer.  Outside the room, the cops are fighting the bad guys but one bad guy grabs a random rocket launcher thing and shoots one into the room.  This interrupts Lucy and she starts teleporting to random places.  She’s at the Eiffel tower, then some random cliffs over the ocean, then Time Square.  Its here she realizes she can control time, forward or backward.  She reverses time and you see New York City de-evolve.  She stops at a few points through history.  One you see an old timey New York City, another time a group of very surprised Native Americans, and the last time in front of a raptor.  The raptor lunging at her makes her jump and she teleports through time and space and is now sitting in front of the Lucy primate we saw at the start of the movie.  She reaches out and touches fingers with the freaked out primate (which is similar to the ceiling of the Sistine chapel which was a scene shown at the start of the movie) and then she is zapped again.  This time we have time going back farther, you see earth change to molten lava and then meteoroids coming out of the crust and it goes backwards more to what I can only assume is the big bang.  While this is happening in Lucy’s mind she is still sitting in her office chair in the middle of the room.  Most of the cops have been shot and Mr. Jang makes his way into the room with his gun pointed at her head.  Blackness is creeping over Lucy’s body as Jang approaches, ready to kill her.  But just as he pulls the trigger she hits 100% and just vanishes.  He shoots at the empty space and flips his shit, which I think most anyone would do if the person in front of you vanished and their clothes fell to the floor.  In comes the cop Lucy had called and he kills Mr. Jang who just happens to fall perfectly into the empty office chair.  Still standing however is the giant weird super computer that Lucy created.  One of the scared scientists remarks that it is moving and out pops a very large flash drive.  It is no ordinary flash drive though, its surface looks like space and it contains all the knowledge that Lucy accumulated from being able to use all of her brain.  Once Professor Norman takes the flash drive the super computer disintegrates and that’s pretty much the end of the movie.

Now, does anyone else feel like they just came too from a really bad trip?  Okay good so it’s not just me.  I had gone to see this movie with a friend.  He really wanted to see it so I tagged along.  Even though he loves weird shit, he even found this weirder than he even expected.  Someone in the theater actually turned around and looked at us at the end with a “What the fuck just happened” expression.  It was nothing like the trailer had made it out to be, likely because no one would have wanted to see it otherwise.  It definitely came off as more of a bad-ass action movie with a touch of super-hero-ness to it.  Now there were some parts that I liked, but the whole movie just seemed like a grab bag of stuff, especially when it came to science related things.  I’m not really even sure what to say about the movie besides that it was weird.  The first thing I did think was that Sharknado 2 (which I have been adamantly avoiding) probably has a more cohesive plot and not be as fucking weird as Lucy was.

As far as a rating… well maybe a 2? I don’t even know.  It’s hard to rate something that you don’t even know what you watched.

Doctor Who 2048

8 May

Being a teacher at a school where students have their own laptops can be nice, until it comes to video games.  They are always coming up with ways to play games on their computers when they shouldn’t be.  Plus there are a ton of games online.  I’ve noticed as well that there tend to be fads with games.  There was Flappy Bird for a while and then 2048.  And then there  were the other versions of 2048.  I saw doge 2048 and a few others.  But then I happened across the Doctor Who version of 2048, and… well… I might be sort of addicted.

doctorwho2048

The basic concept of 2048 is that you add blocks together (2 + 2) to get to a higher number.  You can only add the same numbers together and the goal is to get 2048.  It requires a lot of thinking to it.  With the Doctor Who version you add the doctors together to get the next level.  For example, two Doctor Ones gives you a Doctor Two.  I’m told by someone who has beaten it, that it ends with 11 (Matt Smith).  So far my highest score is 11,252 and I got to the 10th doctor.  This has only happened once but I have gotten to the point that I can regularly get to 9.

I think it’s a neat concept and it’s good at getting you out of your head to focus on beating it.

American Dad – Spelling Bee My Baby

24 May

American Dad is a show I watch on occasion that is either hit or miss for me.  For a while I liked it a lot, but it seems to be getting more and more like Family Guy.  I still watch it, but it’s not great.  This episode is the first episode after Roger tricks Jeff and he gets taken away by a space ship, which was still just a weird thing, I was waiting for it to be a dream or something.

So for this episode, there are two plot lines.  The main line is with Steve and Francine.  They both show up at Toshi’s house where his mother is being the stereotypical Asian mother tyrant and making Toshi and his sister Akiko practice music.  She tells Francine that Steve will never get into a good college because he’s not good at anything.  Later Francine is talking with the gay couple when their baby comes in speaking French after her fencing lesson.  They say they’re already preparing her for college because they want her to stand out from the other applicants.  This causes Francine to panic and she goes to grab Steve to find what he is good at.  They try chess and gymnastics, but Steve just sucks at everything.  Francine is logging into Amazon and needs to spell diarrhea for her password and Klaus said it is an impossible word to spell, but Steve spells it with no problem.  That’s when they realize that Steve’s special talent is spelling.  So obviously if he wins the National Spelling Bee he will be able to get into any college he wants.

Steve wins his first spelling bee and Akiko comes up to him and starts flirting with him afterwards.  Her mom says that he won’t win the National Spelling Bee because Akiko will be willing it.  Once they get home, Francine takes away his video games and says his life will be just words from now on.  She puts cards with words on them everywhere.  He thinks he’s finally escaped with no words in his room only to pull out a porn magazine to find words over the boobs.  Frustrated, Steve sneaks out and goes for a walk and ends up at this waterfall that overlooks the city where he of course runs into Akiko.  They chat and then end up making out for a few minutes.  Akiko says she needs to get back before her mom finds out and asks Steve if he’s coming.  He says he will after his “comfortability” goes down.

Afterwards they show both Akiko and Steve spelling montage, which you would then expect a montage of them winning spelling bees that lead up to the national one.  However, they pull a Family guy and say they aren’t going to do that and have a bunch of weird, random pictures from the internet.  Lame.  The night before the National Spelling Bee, Steve is talking to Akiko online and they are planning to meet by the waterfall again.  Francine finds out and gets mad and forbids him to see her.  Steve gets upset and starts crying and says he won’t do the spelling bee so she agrees and lets him go.  When Steve gets there, he finds a message from Akiko essentially standing him up.  He runs back home and says he’s going to kick her ass in the spelling bee.  We find out though that Francine actually kidnapped her and has her in the basement.  When they leave the next day to go to the spelling bee, she gives Akiko a Wii so she won’t be bored.  Her mother is trying to find her when a cousin of the family that works at Nintendo found where she had logged into the Wii.  Akiko’s mom goes ninja mode and breaks into the house and gets her out so she can get to the spelling bee on time.

They do make it to the spelling bee and while they kids are spelling; the moms go out to fight.  They each have Asian style swords and Akiko’s mom says there is no way Francine can win in a fight to the death because she isn’t Asian.  Just then Francine’s parents walk by looking for the spelling bee and Akiko’s mom realizes she grew up Chinese.  Epic fight scene ensues.  Out of the whole episode, I think this was probably the most amusing, mostly because of the horrible stereotypes.  After a while, Francine’s dad pops in and tells them to stop playing around because it’s down to just Steve and Akiko.  Steve learns that his mom kidnapped Akiko and neither of them wants to beat the other so they go back and forth spelling words wrong.  Francine realizes that her kid isn’t so bad after all and Akiko’s mom realizes she shouldn’t be so hard on her daughter.  Dawww such a sweet moral lesson.

The minor plot line in the episode is Stan and Roger messing with Haley.  She is obviously still quite upset that Jeff was sucked up by the aliens and thinks they will bring him back any day now. Roger and Stan need her to be the line judge for their badminton tournament (the winner gets the prized “shuttle cock ring”), but she’s still at the starting stage of the grief process.  They decide they are going to push her through the five stages of grief.  Roger starts by giving her a front wedgie to push her into the anger stage and it works after she beats the crap out of him.  The next stage is bargaining, but since Roger doesn’t know what that is, they skip to depression by showing her a slide show of all the good memories with Jeff.  At the end she does come out and tell them she accepts that Jeff is never coming back, but she also accepts that it is all Stan and Roger’s fault and takes their shuttlecock.

Overall, it wasn’t a great episode.  The fight scene was amusing, but the rest just seemed out of place and like they slapped and episode together at the last minute.  I much prefer the episodes where Stan is more involved, even though he is a complete douche.  I’ll give it a 4 out of 10 nerd glasses, if you’re quite bored.

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Graduation!

23 May

Ahh I finally did it.  As of last week, I have officially (at least I haven’t been told otherwise) graduated with my Masters of Science.  There have been a lot of bumps along the way, but I’m thrilled to be done.  But I came across this comic and the idea could not be more true for me, so I wanted to share it.

Source:  Incidental Comics

Star Wars Dance Off 2013

21 May

Since I stumbled across the Dance-off with the Star Wars stars a few years ago, I always look forward to when the newest ones get posted on YouTube.  I can’t really explain why I love it so much, but it’s just epic.  Plus the guy (or girl I suppose) that dances in the Chewy costume deserves some major props!  So here are the videos for you to enjoy:

*eyeroll* I should have figured they would do Gangam style.  Can’t that fad be over yet?  And the Harlem Shake too…

Hopefully the Jedi Mickey is not a sign of animated Star Wars Disney crossovers to come. But it’s still kinda cute regardless.

Iron Man 3

21 May

iron man 3

Movie Poster

Unfortunately, Iron Man 3 is the only Iron Man movie that I have not been able to see at the theater at the midnight release.  Apparently in the States, Disney had a dispute with Regal and AMC Theaters about doing midnight releases.  Something about not wanting to encourage kids to stay out late.  Sure, it’s PG-13, but is that really their target audience?  I don’t think so.  My local Regal was doing showings at 9:30 and later added one at 10, but I had class until 7, which usually runs to 7:30 and I had no desire to rush and tried to eat and then get to the theater and fight for a seat by myself.  So I went and saw it at 1:30pm on Friday.  Plenty of room in the theater, no kids, no creepy guys dressed up like Iron Man (though I did wear my Iron Man t shirt .  Unfortunately there was a whole row of bros, but they actually behaved during the movie.  I feel, given the name of the website, I shouldn’t state this, but just as a reminder, if you have not seen the movie and do not want to know any spoilers, click away NOW, this will be your last chance.

So the movie starts out back in 1999 with Tony Stark before he ever became Iron Man.  He is at a new years eve party with a research botanist Maya Hansen and his bodyguard Happy.  As Maya and Tony are going up to continue the party in their room, Aldrich Killian, who appears disabled with long greasy hair and overall unattractive, squeezes into the elevator to talk to Tony and Maya about his new Think Tank Aim.  Maya accepts a card and Tony pulls him aside and says that he will meet up him on the roof later and for him to wait for him.  At this point, we know that Tony has no intention of going up there.  This is pre-Iron Man when Tony Stark is still a bit of an egotistical, uncaring douchebag.  He goes back to Maya’s room where she is showing him her research on tapping into the genetic or neural coding of living things in order to allow them to heal themselves.  They move into the bedroom and Happy pokes at the plant and rips a few leaves off.  It grows back but then the entire thing explodes.  Maya says that this is a flaw in her research and she is working on fixing it.  In the morning we see Tony leave a note for her, though we can’t see what it says and he leaves expecting to never see Maya again.

Back in the present, Tony is incessantly tinkering because he can’t sleep.  We see him putting in implants that go with his latest suit, Mark 42, that allow him to call his armor to him.  Unfortunately it still has a few kinks to work out with it and the parts are hitting him a little hard.  Eventually the last part knocks him over and it all falls to pieces.  From the very start here we start to see how much the events that took place in The Avengers have affected him and his emotional state.  We really see it when it is having lunch with Colonel Rhodes.  Some kids ask him to sign a drawing and he freaks out and runs to his armor (which he left at the curb like a parked car).  Jarvis tells him that he is having a panic attack and he leaves.  It’s here that Tony learns more about the attacks by The Mandarin, but Rhodes tells him to stay out of it.

iron man 3

Who wouldn’t want to come home to this?

In the last movie, Tony promoted Pepper to the CEO of Stark Industries, which is probably good given his current mental state.   Pepper goes in to work and she is scheduled to meet with a very handsome client.  The client turns out to be Aldrich and Happy calls Tony because he was worried he was going to try to flirt with Pepper, especially since he did not look the same as he did in 1999. Aldrich is there to ask for funding from Stark Industries for his Extremis technology.  He shows it to Pepper as a way to visualize what is going on in the brain in real-time.  Pepper is concerned that it could be weaponized and has to decline.  After Pepper meets with Aldrich, she heads home for date night with Tony.  He had bought her a giant stuffed rabbit (that had boobs, that old Tony isn’t completely gone) and she walks in to find Tony on the couch in the Iron Man suit.  She tried to convince him to take it off, but when he refuses, she goes to find him downstairs working out.  She gets mad but Tony admits that he is a “hot mess” after what happened in The Avengers.  She gets him to come take a shower to take his mind off things and they go to bed.  In the middle of the night Tony is having a nightmare about what happened in New York and Pepper tries to wake him.  He apparently was able to call the suit in his sleep and it grabbed Pepper.  He stopped it before anything else happened, but she got upset and went to sleep downstairs.  I was kind of confused as to why this upset her so much.  Perhaps that he had been tinkering with things so much, but I would have been more included to comfort Tony after the nightmare and try to figure out what was bothering him so much.

Outside of Tony’s relationship trouble, Happy follows the Aldrich’s suspicious bodyguard, Savin, to the Chinese Theater.  He sees him give a case to a anxious looking military guy.  Happy bumps into him to try and determine what is going on, but Savin catches him and attacks him.  The military guy inhales something from the case and he essentially starts to boil from the inside out and explodes like a bomb.  Both Happy and Savin are badly injured, but Savin gets up and walks away as his body heals itself.  The effects of him healing himself as he walks away like nothing happened makes him seem all the more creepy.  The Mandarin claims this as one of his attacks and at this point we think he is still planning the attacks, but using people as the bomb.  Happy is of course taken to the hospital but is in a coma. Tony visits him, but when he is leaving the press swarm him to ask what Iron Man is going to do about The Mandarin and this is where he gets very serious.  Tony offers a personal threat to The Mandarin saying that he is already dead and gives out his home address and says to come and get him.

Back at home, he uses Jarvis to walk through the scene of the explosion.  He realizes that Happy is pointing and looking at something and he finds the dog tags of the guy that blew up.  Tony is able to put the pieces together to realize that the bomb was a person and uses the heat signature of the explosion to find other explosions.  One of the signatures he finds was not claimed by The Mandarin and he tells Javis to plan a flight route to Tennessee so they can go check it out.  Just then the door bell rings and Tony yells at Jarvis for not having the high security protocol in place.  He goes up to answer it in his Iron Man suit and finds a very nervous Maya at the door.  Maya comes in, but Pepper is packing up some bags and says that they are leaving because Tony gave out their address.  You would expect that Pepper would be upset that an ex-fling of Tony’s is in the house, but they actually have some playful banter over the matter, which was funny. But that leads to Tony and Pepper arguing over the fact that they are not leaving when Maya points out that there is a missile headed for the house.  During the slow motion explosion scene, Tony uses his new tech to put the suite on Pepper in order to protect her.  She takes advantage of the suit and uses it to protect Tony and to get Maya out of the house.  Tony cannot find a way out of the house as it is starting to go crashing into the ocean and calls the suit back to him before going down with the house.  He gets trapped as parts of the house are sinking, but frees himself just in time.  This scene for me was both heartbreaking and amusing.  First, we see the cases with the original Iron Man suits explode due to the missiles, but we also see items from the house, like his expensive cars as well as the charred boob bunny, sinking into the ocean.

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Tony and Harley

During his escape, Tony passes out and wakes up from the low power warning as he is zooming across Tennessee and ends up crashing.  He drags his suit behind him until he comes across a shed near a house that he decides to set up in to get warm and repair the suit.  It’s here we meet the coolest side character in the movie, Harley.  Harley is a kid around 10 years old that uses the shed as his place to tinker and play with this, probably much how Tony got his start.  He is not freaked out by Tony, who tells him he’s a mechanic, and the suit and Tony convinces him to help him out by giving him something he can use on the kid that bullies him at school.

They go into town to get some things to work on the suite with and they come across the bombing site that Jeeves had found.  There is a small crater and five shadows from the victims that were killed.  If the guy who was said to have used a bomb had actually used a bomb, he would have had a shadow too.  He goes to find the supposed bombers mother and she gives him a file on her son.  For me, this part was a little confusing because it was clear Tony had not talked to her, but he was playing along like he had and expected the file.  It all makes more sense when the woman that the mother was supposed to meet comes in and tries to arrest Tony.  Being a small town, the local cops int he bar intervene and all hell breaks lose.  The woman starts using her power to burn the cops with her hands as well as shooting them.  Tony nabs the file and the dog tags from the mother and runs out.  He gets the woman into another empty restraunt and tosses the dog tags in the microwave and rips a gas line, causing the building to explode.  Thinking that he has escaped, he runs into Savin who has nabbed Harley.  Harley uses the item that Tony gave him and Tony uses a small pulse he had rigged up to kill Savin (but at this point we know better than to think that he’s dead).

Tony takes Savin’s car and sends Harley back home to keep an eye on the suit and work on fixing it.  He takes off, while looking a the file from the bombers mother. He is on the phone with Jarvis and Harley who determine that the broadcasts from The Mandarin are coming from Miami.  He asks if the suit is ready yet, but when Harley says that it’s not he has to pull over because he is having another panic attack.  What is Tony Stark without the Iron Man suit?  The kid is able to calm him down with one simple question, “Well you’re a mechanic right? Why don’t you build something?” Off to the hardware store he goes where he buys a ton of seemingly random stuff and assembles it into various gagets and bombs in a hotel room.  I really loved this part because it really gets to the core of who Tony is and that the suit is just a part of him.  Once in Miami, Tony uses his new toys to get past all the security and quickly finds The Mandarin.  For a turn that I did not expect, The Mandarin is not really a terrorist, he is a silly British actor named Trevor.  He finds out that Aldrich is really the bad guy, but Savin comes in and knocks Tony out and captures in.  The funniest scene in the movie for me is when Savin asks Trevor why he didn’t push the panic button and he says “Well, I panicked  then I handled it.”  I can totally see myself using that line at some point.

Oh yeah, this movie isn’t just about Tony Stark, we have some side characters that need to be involved too!  After watching her house be destroyed and sink into the ocean as well as crews go over the house, it still isn’t clear if Pepper thinks that Tony is dead or not.  She takes Maya to get a safe place so they can talk.  Maya tells Pepper about her research and how she thinks that Aldrich is working with The Mandarin.  Her guise was working, but Aldrich became in patient and bursts in so they can take Pepper in attempts to get Tony to help with the Extremis technology.  Back in the secret lair Aldrich tells Tony he has Pepper and has started her on the Extremis procedure.  It’s here we learn that the Extremis technology is what’s been causing people to blow up and it’s not on purpose, it’s an inate flaw in the science.  Maya tries to get him to help because she couldn’t figure out the note he left all those years ago, but that it must be the answer.  Trying to play to her true nature, Tony reminds her that she isn’t like Aldrich.  She has a change of heart and threatens to kill herself because she feels Aldrich cannot continue without her help.  His ego is too big, perhaps a side of Extremis, and shoots her and leaves Tony with two guards as he goes off on the last piece of his evil plot.

We also learned at Rhodes had gotten captured while inside the Iron Patriot suit and they eventually force him out, but he comes out fighting.  Unfortunately he is outnumbered and Savin takes the Iron Patriot suit.  While Rhodes is escaping from where he is being held, Tony is trying to as well.  The alarm on his Dora watch goes off and the guards are not able to make it stop.  He says they’ll be sorry very soon and keeps making the motions for his armor while the guards taunt him.  Finally a hand and foot show up and Tony is able to blast away a small onslaught of bad guys.  The last guy that shows up, Tony simply points his palm blaster and a gun at him and he drops his gun and says he doesn’t like his job anyways and that these guys are doing weird shit and runs away.  He’s wondering where the rest of his suit is when it cuts back to Tennessee where the rest of the parts are trapped in  Harley’s shed, which he promptly frees.

Once outside, Tony sees the Iron Patriot suit going after Aldrich’s plan and he calls to see if it was really Rhodes.  They meet up, still at the Miami machine to go and harass Trevor for information.  The Iron Man suit is still not completely functional, so they take Trevor’s speedboat to go after Aldrich.  While Tony is trying to charge the suit, Rhodes calls the Vice President to warn him about the attack on the president.  The Vice President seems considered but when a guard asks if he is okay, he says everything is fine and goes back to celbrating what appears to be a birthday for his handicap daugther, showing that he is also in with Aldrich.  We cut to seeing the president gettign on Air Force One just as the Iron Patriot suit lands and gets on the plane as well.    Iron Man shows up just after Savin stuffed the president in the Iron Patriot armor and sent him to Aldrich (apparently Savin can reprogram the suit to do whatever he wants).  Iron Man blasts Savin through the heart and kills him for good, bu tonly after Savin blew a hole in the plane which sucked out all the passengers.  He goes after them to save them all which I found to be a cool scene.  He has to get the panicked people who are falling to work together and grab on to teach other because he cannot carry them all.  He drops them in the ocean and flies off over a highway where he gets hit by a truck, which makes the suit fall apart to reveal Tony was not actually in it (Thank god, I remember thinking “Oh come on!”, thinking Tony had been killed in a stupid way).

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Badass Pepper Potts

Back on the boat, Tony and Rhodes arrive at the oil rig where Aldrich is with his gang of Extremis goons.  Rhodes mentions how he would apprciate some backup, since the Iron Man suit is gone, and Tony itiations the house party protocol with Jarvis.  Back at the ruins of the house, the basement opens up (much to the surprise of the poor construction guys trying to clean the place up) and out come all of his suits.  I was thrilled because (even though I knew better from the trailer) it was still nice to see that all of the suits had not been destroyed.  When the suits finally show up, Rhodes asked for one, but Tony says they are only coded to him and takes a suit to go off and find Pepper.  He attempts to save her, but Aldrich, as this ridiculous molten man, interrupts.  The fighting causes the carrier to shift, and Pepper falls to her (presumed) death.  I did not believe she was dead (they were injecting her with Extremis), but I kind of expected Tony to give up and let Aldrich smack him around a little, but Tony decides to fight.  Aldrich is clearly more powerful and skilled, but the prodigal son (the newest suit) returns and he puts the suit on Aldrich and tells Jarvis to blow it.  Yey Tony wins! Well… except for Pepper being dead and such.  Right? Nah, we know better than that by now.  Aldrich slowly approaches Tony, determined to kill him, when out of no where Pepper, in all of her badass-ness, shows up and hits him out of the park with some debris.  One of the remaining suits sees Pepper, and since she has the Extremis heat signature, goes after her, but she quickly takes it down.  She uses the arm of the suit to blast away Aldrich for good.  When she stops, she turns to Tony and says “Wow, that was really violent…”.  She is terrified of hurting or burning Tony and especially worried that she will never be the same, but Tony promises to fix her.

The last few scenes leave a bit to be desired and are, in a way, confusing.  Tony is able to fix Pepper, though they say how or what became of the Extremis technology.  He also decides to have his arc reactor removed.  I was quite concerned about him removing the reactor because it is such a part of him and an iconic part of the Iron Man that I know and love (remember, haven’t read the comics or anything else, so I don’t know if he ever does this in those).  I also had the impression that it was impossible to remove the shrapnel in his heart.  After it’s removed, he chucks it in the ocean with the rest of his house and makes a point to say that you can take away his suits and his toys, but you cannot take away the fact that he is Iron Man.  So many questions still remained for me, would Iron Man be back without his arc reactor? Will he make more suits?  At the very end, after the extra scene in which Tony is talking to Dr. Banner about his emotional issues after New York (not the best after credit scene in my opinion) there is text that says “Iron Man WILL return”.

Thinking back over the movie, I really felt that I should have made the connection to Maya and Aldrich much sooner than we did. We were shown her work for a purpose at the beginning, but it didn’t really click until Aldrich came in to capture Pepper.  I suppose the rest of the movie was so engaging that it kept my mind off it and prevented me from making that leap.  I did really like that Rhodes and Pepper were included in the movie much more than others.  Rhodes is just a cool guy and while Tony likes him, it’s clear he does not want a sidekick.  Tony said that all of his suits are coded to him, but we know he can put the Mark 42 on other people, so that may just be an excuse.  Also, while I do not care for Gwyneth Paltrow, I do love Pepper Potts and she totally kicked ass in this morning.  I loved seeing her in the Iron Man suite at the beginning, especially when she couldn’t get it to work right.  However, the effects of the Extremis plus the Iron Man suit at the end was a killer combination.  I would have loved to see her as a full on superman, but I think that being in situations like Tony was in The Avengers would be even harder on her.  I am not sure she would be able to handle it.  I could see her trying and end up becoming a supervillain that Tony would have to fight, that would be a very interesting story.

My favorite thing about the movie overall though is how they tied in The Avengers.  I have seen other people say that this was the perfect movie to come after it and I agree.  I really didn’t expect there to be much tie in, but it was great to see the vulnerability that Tony was dealing with.  Really though, how does a normal person deal with something like that?  Tony doesn’t really have super powers per se, not like the Hulk or Thor.  It’s definitely a side of superheroes that we don’t really get to see.

Overall, I loved it.  The bad guys were not my favorite and seemed a little strained at times, but how Tony deals with everything, even when he doesn’t have his fully functional awesome suit is great.  I loved Pepper and Rhodes.  And Harley? That kid is just awesome.  Plus I love how Tony decked out his tinkering shed.  I loved how they bantered and how, even though Tony acted like he doesn’t like kids, he connects with Harley.  I think he probably seems some of himself in him.  The ending did leave a little left to be desired and I was really worried when he was getting the arc reactor removed, but Iron Man WILL return and I cannot wait. I give it 8 Iron Man helmets out of 10.

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Browncoats: Independence War – A “Firefly” Fan Film

6 May

 I’m generally not much for fanfiction and the link, but when I came across the KickStarter for Browncoats:  Independence War – A “Firefly” Fan Film, I was intrigued.  I watched the video and new this would be something I would want to see.  The video has different people working on the project talking about why they love Firefly, which are most of the same reasons why I love it.  It also got me thinking, I do really want to know what happened during the war.  Like all Kickstarter projects, they have various levels with tons of perks.  For just $25 you will get a digital download of the film once it’s finished.  I plan on probably doing that one.  So head on over to check it out.

Supervillain Speed Dating

4 May

Yesterday I posted the Superhero Speed Dating, so today I thought I should follow up with the Supervillain Speed Dating.  This one is not as funny for me, but the best line is when Vader says “I used to work for the evil empire, but now I work for Disney…”

Superhero Speed Dating

3 May


Ran across this on Geeks are Sexy and it made me lols.  I’ve done speed dating before, but it wasn’t quite this bad.  Though it was the graduate student version so… we’re probably a little more lame than superheros.  The only guy I really remember was a physics guy (I’m an engineer), so I tried to start off with a Big Bang Theory joke, because we all know how Sheldon harps on Howard because he’s an engineer.  The guy just kind of looked at me and said “That’s just a TV show”.  The rest of the conversation was very strained after that…

The deleted scenes are funnier than the first video I think. And poor Aquaman, he gets such a hard wrap.

The Internet: A Warning from History

29 Apr

I thought this was an amusing little video, especially since YouTube has been driving me NUTS lately because it keeps pausing where the video won’t load.  How much time do you waste looking at pictures of cats?