Planes — Review

Today (24 Aug 2013) we went to see Planes.  Here’s what I thought of it.  But first, one of the trailers I found on youtube:

Here’s a link to a local mirror of the trailer, just in case it comes off youtube

Ok.  Now for what I thought.

1. The “race” was an “around the world” type race.  I expected the racing to be air racing around pylons.  That fits the paradigm of a crop-duster getting in.  The around the world race didn’t fit the qualifier, either

2. There were some scenes with US Navy “esque” planes.  One thing I really liked was some of the voices were from the actors from Top Gun.  There was even a nod to some classic “Top Gun” or aircraft carrier takeoffs with the backwards looking shot off the bow and roll.  The paint job was even based on the modern day VFA-103 Jolly Rodgers.  I really liked these scenes; however, I didn’t like some of the specifics that happened as they wouldn’t happen in real-life.

3. I liked the “skipper” being a F4 Corsair.

4. I like Ray’s brother being the fuel truck.

5. I didn’t like the environmental wacko plug for corn as fuel.

6. I didn’t like the Canadian plane being French Canadian.  They should have made the Canadian a non-French Canadian and had a French plane for that part (even if it meant doing away with the Canadian part).

7. The entire cinema laughed when the UK plane did his “I’m British, I don’t cry” line.

8. I wish they would have had “cameos” by some of the minor characters from the infield from the cars races (the biggest King fan, etc….)

One last thing I really liked…there was a scene where the Mexican plane steps in to help Dusty.  He makes mention that he’s helping Dusty because in the past Americans showed up to help his countrymen and didn’t expect anything in return.  I think this is what is missing from the modern-day America.  We don’t help the little guy any more.  We don’t stand up for what’s right.  We make vague threats and don’t follow through.  We need to return to being known as the champion of the little guy.

Anyway, back on track….I liked it, overall.  I want to get it on BluRay when it comes out.  It doesn’t rank up there with Cars…but it was good.  I’d give it a solid 4 out of 5

Olympus has Fallen

White House, Front View

Last night, Cyndi and I went to see Olympus has Fallen.  I’ll try not to give too much away; however, if you want to see it you may want to come back after.

First, I thought the action scenes were good.  Realistic.  There.  Cyndi made the comment though that it was more gorry than she had seen in a while.

Second, the plot is relatively realistic:  kidnapping the president.  The setup is fantastic–as in fantasy…would never happen in real life–but after the initial attack, things are ok believable.

Third, you can tell the thing was written by a bunch of liberals and people who had never been around the military.  Two scenes in particular stand out to me:  the president ordering people to give up their codes to activate a secret self-destruct in the nuclear weapons (it wouldn’t be followed for multiple reasons) and the head of the Joint Chief’s ordering a secret service guy to stand down (he wasn’t in the chain of command)

Fourth, the premise was flawed.  Kidnapping the president buys the attacker no bargaining room whatsoever (unless they want the launch codes in the football)  The US Constitution very clearly describes who is president and what happens when the President can’t act.  This happens clearly in the movie yet everyone still acts as if the president (the one at the start of the movie) were still THE President.  Sure, they would try to get the President out as he knows TONS about LOTS of secrets…but he can’t actually do anything.  He’s lost all power at that point.

Fifth, and lastly, when someone brings a knife to a gunfight, use your gun.  Shoot the bad guy…don’t simply have a fist-fight with him

3 out of 5.

Image from cpence via flickr

The Hobbit in 3D


Tonight, Cyndi and I went to see The Hobbit — An Unexpected Journey in Real 3D.

First, I liked the movie.  It keeps with the Lord of the Rings genre very well.  The special effects were good.  The acting was good.  The landscape shots were outstanding.  I haven’t read the Hobbit book in ages so I can’t speak for how close it is to the book.  Although, one minor thing Cyndi pointed out:  the scene where Bilbo “finds” the ring in The Hobbit is different than the flashback in whichever the Lord of the Rings movies had it.  In that one, Bilbo found the ring…stumbled onto it, as it were.  In this one, he sees Golum drop it then picks it up.

I didn’t care for the 3d.  It was well done in that there were no “made for 3d” effects (like the horse chase scene in Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter).  However, everything seemed slightly out of focus.  Here’s the problem….in a normal film, your eyes know the camera is doing the focusing.  You will see whatever the director wants in focus.  In 3d, you want to be able to focus on whatever you want.  But, since it is filmed with cameras, you still only see what the camera has in focus in focus.  Does that make sense?

I don’t know if I’ll ever go see a 3d movie just by choice.  At least not until it improves.

On another note, heres a video from Peter Jackson talking about making the Hobbit in 3d.

Here’s an mp4 of the youtube embed for archive purposes.

We are Marshall

Just saw a preview for the new We are…Marshall movie.  I'll probably wait to see it on video.  Even though I went to Marshall, I think Huntington (and the school) need to get over the plane crash.

By the way…that cheer (We are…Marshall) didn't start until I was at Marshall in the late 90s.

Missionary Documentary

Agape Press has a story today about a missionary documentary.

Beyond the Gates of Splendor details the deaths of missionaries Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully and Roger Youderian, who were violently killed in the remote Ecuadorian jungle by the notoriously savage Waodani tribe known then as Aucas. With first-hand accounts from the missionaries’ widows and interviews with their children and the actual tribesmen involved in the missionaries’ killings, the documentary provides a compelling look into the spearing deaths that providentially changed the violent nature of the tribe. It also details the remarkable story of how two American women reached out and brought peace to the Waodani people as a result of the spearings by living among the very people who killed their loved ones.

[Update 2012-12-26 16:12:07] Agape Press has changed names and I can’t find old articles.  I’ve updated the link to the wikipedia page on the theatrical version.

Dukes of Hazzard Movie

I haven’t seen this movie yet. I really did want to see it before reading these reviews…now, I don’t know. I remember growing up we’d have pizza on Friday evenings and watch the “Dukes.” Then, they came out on re-runs on TV. Now, you can even get seasons 1-3 on DVD (I plan to collect them all–skipping the Coy and Vance season, of course).

Has anyone out there seen the movie? Would you like to comment on it? Are the reviews accurate?

The Dukes of Hazzard
Don’t go unless they clean it up

[Update 2012-12-26 16:17:47] I updated the Christianity Today link.  The Cooter link was stale too, but I couldn’t find the link on his new redesigned site.  It was at

Revenge of the Sith

Cyndi and I went to see Revenge of the Sith on Sunday afternoon after we took my parents to the airport. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it is good. There were some things I wish they had done differently; however, overall, it is a good movie. You find out who the good guys are, how who you thought were good guys turn into bad guys, you find out why Luke still sees good in Darth Vader, you find out how all the Jedi die, you find out why Dart Vader has a mask, etc…. The list goes on.

Oh, BTW, after seeing all these movies, I agree with Lucas. If he could only ever make three of them, the middle three are the best to make. I'm glad he had a chance to make Episodes 1-3; however, I'm glad he didn't start out with them. The story would have been incomplete.