Release Date: September 14, 2012
Studio: Sony Pictures
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Michelle Rodriguez, Bingbing Li, Johann Urb, Boris Kodjoe, Oded Fehr, Kevin Durand, and Shawn Roberts
Plot: The Umbrella Corporation’s deadly T-virus continues to ravage the Earth, transforming the global population into legions of the flesh eating Undead. The human race’s last and only hope, Alice, awakens in the heart of Umbrella’s most clandestine operations facility and unveils more of her mysterious past as she delves further into the complex.

Thoughts: In 2002 if you would have told me after I watched the horrible adaptation that was Paul WS Anderson’s original Resident Evil that they would follow it with four sequels I would have laughed in your face. Yet here I am writing about Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth movie in the horror turned action series. Not only that, but I’m excited for this latest installment, as I was the last one. This series has turned into a guilty pleasure and I hope a sixth, seventh, and eighth movie follows this one. Keep them coming and I’ll keep watching them and will be entertained.

The new movie introduces fan favorite character (and my personal favorite character from the games) Leon S. Kennedy, along with Ada Wong and Barry Burton from the games. The movie brings back Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine, who had a cameo in the closing minutes of the last film, along with the return of characters that died in past films, including Oded Fehr as Carlos and Michelle Rodriguez as Rain. Which side, good or bad, these characters are on is unknown, but I’m sure it will be a fun ride finding out. Noticeably absent from Retribution are Claire and Chris Redfield, portrayed by Ali Larter and Wentworth Miller in Afterlife. Rumor has it that they will return in a sixth movie, if it gets made… And I have no reason to think that it will not get made.

Sure, there are more than a hundred Troma movies that have been uploaded and are ready to watch on their official YouTube page, but how do you know which ones to actually watch? They are all gross, inventive, disgusting, entertaining, sick, etc. Here are three suggestions of movies that are not necessary worth your time, but are a great way to kill some time.

THE TOXIC CRUSADERS
Growing up I absolutely loved the animated series Toxic Crusaders, which was part of the early 90s Fox cartoon block. It only lasted for 13 episodes, but that didn’t stop me from watching them over and over on taped VHS tapes and buying the board game based on the series. It was not until much later did I track down the original Toxic Avenger movie that the series was based on and get scarred for life… I still can not believe that they allowed a company to make a family friendly animated series out of a movie that I’m still shocked to this day was allowed to be rated R and not NC17. This was also my gateway into loving Troma films and for a few years in the late 90s I tracked down as many as I could get my hands on (this was not always an easy process). The Toxic Crusaders movie was a few of the television episodes compiled together. I have not actually watched in the past 15 years, but I’m sure it is as good as I remember as a kid… right? Right??

Official Description: THE TOXIC CRUSADERS, led by Toxie, a creature of superhuman size & strength, are America’s favorite environmental heroes! The TOXIC CRUSADERS wage an ongoing war of laughs against crime, corruption and chemical waste. In order to save Tromaville and the rest of the planet, the TOXIC CRUSADERS must thwart the plans of the evil Dr. Killemoff, a mutant pollutant from the planet Smogula, and his hoards of heinous henchmen. Watch The Toxic Crusaders Online for Free!

MACABRE PAIR OF SHORTS
This Troma gem comes from 1996 and was directed by Scott Mabbutt (he would later follow this with such b-movie fare as Predators from Beyond Neptune and The Daughters of Darkness). Macabre was Troma’s answer to horror anthologies such as Tales from the Crypt and Creepshow, which a comedic twist. The quality is not the greatest with you get multiple stories and doses of Troma along with an appearance of David Boreanaz before he was Angel! Sure, he is just an extra in the Dinner, but if you look quick enough you will not miss him!

Official Description: In the tradition of “Creepshow” comes the Macabre Pair of Shorts! This horror/comedy spoofs everything from “The Twilight Zone” and Dr. Seuss to “Die Hard” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” One fateful Halloween night, two employees of a certain motion picture equipment house discover a very unusual film. They decide to thread it up, and the rest becomes a very memorable Halloween indeed! Filled with vicious female vampires and an assortment of creepy characters, The Macabre Pair of Shorts “fits so tightly, you might find it hard to breathe.” -Don Murphy. Watch Macabre Pair of Shorts Online for Free!

NOT ANOTHER B MOVIE
Last but not least I choose Not Another B Movie, a movie making spoof directed by John Wesley Norton (who also directed Space Daze for Troma). I picked this one because it is actually a pretty recent movie (released in 2010), it pokes fun at the movies that Troma makes and how they make them, and it throws in some zombies- and who doesn’t love low budget zombies? As the tagline says, “Just because you can make a movie, doesn’t mean you should…”

Official Description: An adept spoof of cinema’s behind-the-scenes experiences, NOT ANOTHER B MOVIE combines frightening and disgusting zombies with frightening and disgusting hack directors to tell a hilarious story! With a cast that includes Ed Asner, Joe Estevez and David Faustino, it’s an insightful romp through the horror film industry and the horrors of the film industry! Watch Not Another B Movie Online for Free!

Check out these horror movies for purchase…


What can I say about this one? I did not like the first one and yet, thanks to an old friend of mine, I’m now the not so proud owner of the following statement; “I saw The Expendables 2 in theaters.” What can I say about this film that you cannot already predict from the trailers that were released? Was the acting bad??? Yeah, you didn’t see that one come a mile away? Is the action good??? It’s actually underwhelming. Are the one liners are rapid fired?!? Of course they are!

(spoilers follow) The Expendables 2 follows the group as they are black mailed into doing a top secret mission for the mysterious Church (Bruce Willis) that sees them heading to Eastern Europe. However, before they can complete the mission, they are thrown for a whirlwind when one of the members of the team is brutally killed and their loot is stolen. Now, they’re on both a mission for Church and a mission of revenge as they find themselves becoming heroes in one of the most unlikely places. This is a film riddled with cliches and judging from the plot line I just provided, it shows you that there’s no ingenuity here. You’ve seen this plot a hundred times before and I know we’ll see a rehash of it down the line. For a men on a mission-vigilante-revenge tale it is not even executed all that well. The plot will get you shaking your head more then once and that’s just a big no-no in my book.

The film’s best actor is actually its youngest one in Liam Hemsworth and I cannot help but feel that he, like his brother Chris, is a future action star. The guy has great screen presence and easily held his own against all these action vets. Speaking of them, how in the hell did Jean Claude Van Damme become the most entertaining of them all?!? As Jean Vilian, he was brilliant as the film’s bad guy and I cannot help but think that he should be sticking to playing the villain and this might be his best turn since starring in JCVD. I will say that Chuck Norris’ entrance in the film was a hoot and his presence on the screen was appreciated after so many years off, but I absolutely hated that they butchered the classic “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” music to elevate his character. That really wasn’t cool.

The story of the film was really stupid though and in the end the novelty of the premise is wearing off. Not sure if I’ll be back for a third installment, but I know that these guys had enough fun to want to come back. And how can you blame them? They have nothing else going for them. Well, except for Arnie and Stallone. And maybe JCVD if he can build some momentum and stick to more comedic roles. Was this film a good bad film? Yes. Just wait for this one to hit a Redbox near you. Not worth the price of admission. Everybody in this film has done better. Everybody.

*½

Now that we know that Marvel Studios will be moving forward with a SHIELD television series set in the movie universe we can start to speculate on characters that will be featured in the series. Who is better to start with than the villains?

Red Skull. This pick is likely the most obvious. He was the main villain in Captain America: The First Avenger and his fate was left a bit undetermined (no body means that anything is possible). With his connections to the terrorist organizations such as HYDRA and AIM, Joss Whedon and company would have a lot of possibilities for stories all around the world. The Red Skull could be guiding the other bad guys from the shadows while plotting to get the Cosmic Cube or another device that will help him take over the world and/or get revenge. After his reveal as the big bad, it could lead to an epic season finale that could feature SHIELD turning to Captain America for help (ratings gold!). Another great thing about the Red Skull is that if Marvel can’t get Hugo Weaving to reprise the role for television (or just want to save money) they can easily hire another actor and put him in the make up. Other possibilities are to use one of the Red Skulls that followed Johann Schmidt, such as Albert Malik, or they could even feature Sinthea Schmidt, the daughter and newest version of the Red Skull in the comics.

MODOK or the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing could be SHIELD’s version of Doctor Who’s incredible race of villains, the Dalek. On first glance MODOK looks a bit goofy (rather, he IS a bit goofy) and would need a redesign to work better on TV. He has the right level of intelligence to keep SHIELD on the defense and he could keep things interesting by being a gate way to other villains, such as the Hulk villain Abomination and Black Lama. Just like the Red Skull, MODOK has connections to AIM and the Cosmic Cube.

Ultron. Okay, I know what you are thinking… Ultron is the ultimate Avengers villain, why in the world would you waste him on a SHIELD television series? As seen in the credits (spoiler alert, talking about the end of The Avengers, stop reading or you could be spoiled!) of The Avngers, Thanos was revealed as the big bad behind Loki’s grab for power on Earth and has likely set up him being the main villain for the sequel. That would mean we likely would not see Ultron until a third or forth movie which would bring us to 2019 at the earliest. What a waste of an awesome bad guy. Imagine a pre Ant-Man Henry Pym as a SHIELD scientist who develops Ultron as a weapon for SHIELD to use against the growing thread of supervilalins, but something goes wrong and he inadvertently creates their worst enemy. It could be a great way to introduce the future Avenger while giving SHIELD a villain that they created and need to hunt down and stop before he kills millions of people and starts a war.

What villains would you like to see featured in the possible SHIELD series from Joss Whedon and ABC?

Finally Warner Brothers and DC Comics are getting their act together! The behemoth that was The Avengers this summer seems to have lit a fire underneath the suits in Burbank. First Gangster Squad writer Will Beall was given the task of scripting the film that will finally (hopefully) bring all of the big DC comics Titans together on the big screen for the first time. Last week the studio was reportedly eying Ben Affleck to direct with Harry Potter alum David Yates next on their list. Could we be finally seeing this happen? If it does here are some suggestions that I think WB/DC should take into consideration.

Story and Villains
Give the Justice League a full on challenge, not just something like the Injustice Gang plotting to take over the world. Put the whole world in danger and have this be the reason for why they have to team up. Don’t team them up simply because Joker, Luthor, Trickster, and Star Sapphire have joined forces so that means Batman, Superman, Flash and Green Lantern should team up. Throw the team together because Earth is being invaded by Darkseid and his forces from Apokolips. The story from the recent reboot, DC’s “New 52” is perfect for that. Have the Earth be in serious trouble from a real threat. Give us the full fight of the league vs Darkseid. That was my biggest complaint about The Avengers. When you took away all the geek factors and other story parts you essentially had an Alien Invasion movie with no real pay-off at the end. Instead it was a mid credits teaser where the big villain was revealed and now you have to wait presumably until The Avengers 2 to see it. Don’t do that here! Make the league face Darkseid individually and fail then lead up to them fighting together to stop him.

Creative and Personnel
Get the right people involved on the production, Hire Paul Dini and Bruce Timm from every recent memory DC Comics animated series and features to look over scripting and story details. Get Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, and Dan Jurgens to make sure DC’s interests are kept true to the comic universe. These are key to the process. Warner Brothers need to do what they been doing wrong all these years. Make this a collaborative film, pick the right storylines from the comics to help inspire the story. Now we’ve seen Ben Afflec’sk name come up already in line for the gig though his rep’s reportedly say he has passed (which I don’t believe). My gut tells me he is probably still talking to them. Yes he turned down the Man Of Steel allegedly, but he is obviously impressing people at Warner Brothers with his work. I’m a fan of his directorial work, Gone Baby, Gone and The Town were two of the best crime films I’ve seen in a long time. The guy knows his stuff, but the question remains can he do a big action film. My answer to that would be yes he probably can. He’s worked on those type films as an actor, so he would have had to picked up something along the way (good or bad). He is also a comic book geek so he will know what kind of audience he has to aim the film for as well. I think Affleck’s previous work has earned him a shot. I would also be happy with Warner’s rumored second choice, David Yates. He can make a solid film and has huge spectacle film experience. Some of the action sequences from the Harry Potter films he has directed have been nothing short of excellent. I would hope Warners interviews or talks to a few more directors before anything is made official and I hope we get to hear who they are.

Check out Part 2 of my Justice League Movie Suggestions: Casting the Big Three.

Release Date: August 10, 2012
Studio: Universal
Director: Tony Gilroy
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton, Rachel Weisz, Zeljko Ivanek, David Strathairn, Joan Allen, Scott Glenn and Albert Finney.
Plot: Writer/director Tony GIlroy expands the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum with an original story that introduces us to a new hero (Jeremy Renner) whose life-or-death stakes have been triggered by the events of the first three films.

Thoughts: Today, Universal looks to keep its very popular Bourne series of action movies alive with The Bourne Legacy. Goodbye Matt Damon and a big welcome to the series to Jeremy Renner, who is the go to guy who was able to stand out next to Tom Cruise in the latest Mission: Impossible and was able to prove that he had the chops to be among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in Joss Whedon’s The Avengers.

Also gone is director Paul Greengrass, whose shaky/frantic style was seen in The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. A lot of people are fans of Greengrass’ style, but personally I hate it and it killed the two sequels to director Doug Liman’s The Bourne Identity, which I thought was a refreshingly good action movie. I look forward to see what Tony Gilroy decides to do with Legacy. He wrote the scripts for all of the Bourne movies, so he knows the characters and story inside out, and his direction in Michael Clayton was award caliber.  He knows how to put an audience on the edge of their seat and keep them there for a thrill ride. Lets hope that he can do the same in The Bourne Legacy. I know that Universal is at the edge of their seats.

With the recent rumors of Ben Affleck sliding into the director’s chair for a big budget Justice League movie (I’ll believe it when I see it), lets take a look at some of the possible villains that the DC Comics heroes might faceoff against.

Starro. We might as well start at the beginning with the first villain that the League faced off against, Starro the Conqueror. Created way back in 1960 in Brave and the Bold #28, Starro has had a very long career of giving the Justice League headaches (literately, he grows little parasite starfish that latch onto their heads and takes control of their bodies). Visually Starro is a little goofy- he is a giant purple and blue starfish with a target logo as an eye and, oh, did I mention he can fly and shoot energy blasts? Yeah, he was born in the silver age of comics where everyone had a smorgasbord of powers. In story terms, Starro could do a lot to help push the Justice League together. Nothing rallies the troops better than an alien that comes to earth and enslaves humans. Even better, Starro can pit the Justice League against each other by taking control of their bodies. He can help fans finally decide who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman? Green Lantern or Flash? Visually, that aspect could be a lot of fun (maybe have the parasites latch onto the heroes backs or go inside their bodies as to not cover their faces).

Black Adam. In terms of power level and personality, Black Adam flies above the pack of possible Justice League villains. Single handed, he could take out each individual League member and could give them a pretty impressive battle all together as well. A team of archaeologists accidentally awaken the ancient Egyptian prince named Teth-Adam, who proceeds to assert his power over the people to declare himself King Black Adam of the world. After taking out each of the Justice League members in their own cities (and countries like Atlantis and Themyscira), the heroes must ban together to distract Black Adam long enough so they can find a way to awaken the legend known as Captain Marvel- the key to which might be a little boy named Billy Batson. Sure it is a Captain Marvel/Shazam origin story, but who is to say that something like that couldn’t tie all of the heroes together and give them purpose. In terms of visuals, Black Atom is a powerful villain and the lightening effects alone while he fights could be a real visual treat (especially in 3D). With people used to DC heroes fighting Lex Luthor, the Joker, and evil clouds (why Green Lantern movie, why?), Black Adam could give the team a villain that is as powerful and charismatic as they are. On the other hand, Black Adam might just be a bit too similar to the Avenger’s Loki with Captain Marvel as his Thor.

Darkseid. Enough is enough with all of the cameos, hints to bigger threads, etc. Do you know who would have been a cooler villain then Loki for The Avengers? Thanos. Instead we got a weaker threat and more set up. With Warner Brothers and DC Comics jumping right into Justice League without a series of solo movies, why don’t they jump right ahead to the biggest thread of the DC Universe, Darkseid and Apokolips. Not only could he take down the Justice League on his own, making him the highest level of threat, but he has a planet of warriors created by comic legend Jack Kirby that could also take down the Justice League. Superman The Animated Series did an awesome multiple episode Darkseid invasion, and now imagine that live action and with the whole Justice League. You have seven heroes standing against an army with super powerful generals (Desaad, Godfrey, Granny Goodness, Mantis, Female Furies to name a few) and a warlord who is one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Don’t use Justice League to hype of future movies, let the s#it hit the fan from the get go and prove why the Earth (and universe) needs the Justice League.

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