Jack’s Bad Movies: Flight World War 2

January 15, 2017 by . 0 comments

IMDB Description:

After Flight 42 travels through a storm they find themselves in France, 1940, during World war II.

The greatest battle that never happened! Based on true events!

That jacket cover makes a couple of bold assertions, and I fully expect it to live up to them.

This movie opens with the flight already in progress. Faran Tahir is captain William Strong. You might remember Tahir from such blockbusters as Iron-Man and Star Trek (2009) and such TV shows as Once Upon a Time and 12 Monkeys. What you won’t remember him from is Flight World War 2. Strong’s copilot is Daniel Prentice (Matias Ponce). They are flying International Airlines flight 42 from Washington D.C. to London. This airline wins the award for least imaginative fake airline name to ever appear in a movie. And of course there are some passengers and a flight crew, will they be relevant later? I hope not. This movie is called Flight World War 2, so I’m guessing somehow it is going to end up in the past. Best case scenario, the plane arrives over London and is shot down by flak cannons immediately.

Props to the movie, three minutes in and it brings us directly to a little thing I like to call, the inciting incident. The plane begins to experience turbulence, and the people on the ground warn the pilots of a sudden storm materializing out of nowhere. Ground control recommends flying around, but I guess that isn’t Strong’s style (ground control probably hates him almost as much as they hate Major “I love radio silence” Tom). Instead Strong decides flying into the vortex is the best idea. At this moment I experienced a terrible fear that this movie will be The Langoliers.

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Assassin’s Creed – A (mostly) spoiler-free review

December 30, 2016 by . 0 comments

It has become more than a cliche — almost a tautology — that movies based on video games are never good. The latest attempt, Assassin’s Creed, makes a strong effort to disprove that claim… but ultimately fails. Judged against others of its ilk, Assassin’s Creed is among the better video game movies, an eminently watchable two hours of simple fun. Unfortunately, it misses the mark on two of it’s most crucial audiences: die-hard fans of the game will complain about all the things wrong with the story, and (in a year that gave us Captain America: Civil War and Star Wars: Rogue One and Deadpool), the science fiction movie fan will probably find it falling to the bottom of their list.

Overall, I would give this movie a fairly mediocre 5/10 (its better than it’s RT score would indicate, but not much), and probably recommend you wait for RedBox. I saw the movie in 3-D in the theater, and there wasn’t much in it to justify the added cost. (If anything, seeing it in a theater may ruin the fun, as we’ll see later).

Here is a mostly spoiler-free review of the movie; though, fair warning: if you have never played an Assassin’s Creed game, those will be spoiled heavily here. To see where this movie did well, and where it floundered, read on…

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Jack’s Bad Movies – Alien Uprising

November 21, 2016 by . 0 comments

I typically use the IMDB description for a movie at the start of a post. Except in this case. Netflix actually tells you what might happen in the movie.

One night five friends are out drinking, the next they’re struggling to survive in a landscape controlled by alien invaders in this sci-fi chiller. Anarchy is in the air as an enormous spacecraft hovers overhead and order breaks down on the ground. – Netflix

The real "battle" is the insurgence within mankind itself. - IMDB

The real “battle” is the insurgence within mankind itself. – IMDB

The movie opens with a woman (Maya Grant) running out of a house in a panic, in the rain. She is looking around scared, and then suddenly looks, and appears to be the on verge of fainting. I’m only 99% sure the purpose of this first scene is to have a woman standing in the rain and allowing the camera to pan up and look down at her cleavage.

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Doctor Strange – A (mostly) spoiler-free review

November 7, 2016 by . 1 comments

The latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange, has finally arrived worldwide. For me, this was the movie I was most looking forward to — Doctor Strange is one of my favorite Marvel characters, and I was really interested to see how Marvel handled the introduction of magic to their universe. Would they be able to put together a movie so different from their previous movies, and pull it off? Would they chicken out on the whole concept of magic, like they did with Scarlet Witch? Would we just get more of Thor‘s “its not magic, it’s science”?

In the end, I wasn’t disappointed, I was satisfied, but I wasn’t exactly blown away. Doctor Strange is a good, solid, entertaining movie, and it handles the subject matter very well. But when you stack this movie up against the rest of the MCU, it’s going to suffer a bit. I think that’s an unfortunate but inevitable comparison, because the movie is a great movie on its own merits, but Marvel’s raising our expectations pretty high lately, so it’s going to happen.

I give this movie a 8/10To see why, and to see exactly how Doctor Strange stacks up against it’s siblings, and why you really should go see it, keep reading. (Warning: I’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum, but there’s a few things that will come up as we go along.)

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Timeless – Pilot

October 5, 2016 by . 0 comments

An unlikely trio traveling through time to battle unknown criminals in order to protect history as we know it. – IMDB

Timeless Pilot

The show opens with the death of the Hindenburg, showing one hypothesis about how it met its gruesome fate.

Now we cut to the present day with Lucy Preston (Abigail Spencer) teaching a lecture at some University. She tells a story how once when questioned about the Vietnam War LBJ unzipped his pants and displayed his member “this is why!” As her lecture ends she meets up with some guy who tells her she won’t be receiving tenure. She is really angry, but she also appears to be a history teacher who spends her time talking about former president’s junk. So maybe it isn’t totally out of line. She goes home to her sad life where her sister and her both live in her mother’s house because her mother is on the brink of death.

Meanwhile, somewhere else, a group of men bust into a large warehouse, shoot up a few people (mostly guards) and kidnap a few more and jump into a large machine centered in the middle of the space. The machine spins up (literally) and then disappears.

Back to Lucy, she’s complaining to her sister about not getting tenure when the doorbell rings. Someone identifies themselves as Homeland Security and Lucy says “I don’t know what you are selling but I’m not interested.” I guess in her neighborhood sales people pose as Homeland Security all the time. Despite this, she ends up going with this person and ends up at the facility where the machine disappeared.

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Highlights from 2016 – 3rd Quarter

October 4, 2016 by . 7 comments

Top Stats

Top Question

Why doesn’t Discworld run out of water? asked by Nathaniel with a score of 104. Runner up was Why doesn’t Hogwarts have more teachers? with 90.
profile for nathaniel at Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange, Q&A for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts

Top Viewed

What do the Death Stars do, other than destroying planets? with 16066 views asked by Koldito and answered by Rogue Jedi. Runner up was Why did Batman do so much better in his second fight with Bane? with 14765 views.

profile for koldito at Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange, Q&A for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts

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Top Answer

Valorum had the highest voted answer for Why does Watney’s notebook in The Martian have four holes?asked by crmdgn with 196 votes. Runner up was Why doesn’t Discworld run out of water? with 188 votes (also by Valorum).

profile for Valorum at Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange, Q&A for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts

profile for crmdgn at Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange, Q&A for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts

Top Controversial

What is JK Rowling “bad” at?, with 13 down-votes to its 14 up-votes, asked by Skooba and answered by Valorum.

profile for skooba at Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange, Q&A for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts

profile for Valorum at Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange, Q&A for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts

Bounties

There were 13 bounties awarded (strangely all of them for 500 rep each) for a total of 6500 rep.

User Favorites

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A review of the Stonewylde series

September 14, 2016 by . 1 comments

I first discovered the Stonewylde books one Beltane a few years ago, and was immediately captivated by the magical story. It’s a strange kind of fantasy: set in a fictional secluded village in the English countryside, and rarely containing much palpable magic, preferring instead a subtlety which makes the magic, mainly based on ceremonies and meditation, hardly perceptible. A pagan believer might even argue that this isn’t fantasy at all. But I’m going to go with assuming it’s on-topic here; indeed, since the so-called Outside World is hardly involved in the story at all, much of it feels like it could be classic LotR-style fantasy, set in an entirely imaginary universe rather than an esoteric enclave of the real world.

The series consists of five books … wait, did I say five? I meant three. It’s a wonderful trilogy consisting of three books. OK, there are also two more books, set some thirteen years after the first three, but DO NOT read them. The first three books form a magical and beautiful story, like a delicate flower whose love and innocence shines through the darkest of times and uplifts the reader’s soul. The last two are a sickening blot, ugly and brutal in their betrayal of the franchise, like a crippling disease that consumes from within and slays slowly and without mercy; they leave a foul taste in the reader’s mouth. So most of this review will completely ignore the last two books and focus only on the first three. I will avoid spoilers as much as possible, although there will be a short section at the end which covers the last two books and necessarily contains spoilers from the first three.

stonewylde

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Salt Lake Comic Con 2016 Recap

September 6, 2016 by . 3 comments

This year’s Salt Lake Comic Con opened in the Vivint Smart Home Arena with Mark Hamill. Traditionally celebrity panels are held in the Grand Ballroom of the Salt Lake Convention Center, which accomodates around 5,000 people. This year two events (Mark Hamill and William Shatner) were moved to the Arena because it allows for up to 20,000 attendees and is located just west of the convention center.

Nothing definitive yet for the ongoing lawsuit between San Diego Comic-Con and Salt Lake Comic Con. The latest news reported in May says they are working towards a settlement and that a decision is expected to be made by mid-October.

Mark Hamill

There weren’t 20,000 people in attendance, but the lower bowl and the floor around the stage were almost completely full, with some people bleeding into the upper bowl. I heard one estimate that 10,000 were in attendance for Mark Hamill. Had the event been on Saturday instead of Thursday at 11:00am I’m sure it would have completely filled up, but as it was Mark Hamill had only one day in Salt Lake City before leaving to attend Fan Expo Canada the same weekend.

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Coverage of Salt Lake Comic Con 2016

August 29, 2016 by . 0 comments

It’s that time of year again (that time being all the time, it seems). Where 120,000 attendees will come out of the woodwork for Salt Lake Comic Con.

As always I will be attending the convention and checking out the panels and reporting back to you.

This year sees the introduction of the what I’m calling super attendance panels in the Vivinent Arena, allowing up to 20,000 participants to see Mark Hamill and William Shatner. In the past, the Grand Ballroom within the Salt Lake Convention Center was the largest panel space available, offering around 5000 seats. Whereas in the past people have had to stand in line for hours and sometimes still not get in to a particularly popular guest panel, the expectation is that anyone wishing to attend either of those panels should be able to.

The list of attendees is very broad (a full list can be seen here). If you have questions you might want addressed or specific celebrities or fandoms, please see my meta question. If they attend the press conference or I attend their panel, I might get a chance to ask them something.

Salt Lake Comic Con runs from Thursday September 1st through Saturday September 3rd.

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The Rise of the Red Shadow – Prequel to the Book of Deacon Trilogy by Joseph Lallo Review

August 27, 2016 by . 0 comments

The rise of the red shadow

As promised, here is the review of the prequel to The Book of Deacon Trilogy and all I can say is that it is one of those rare things. A prequel that is leagues better than the original series. However much I may have enjoyed the Deacon series I enjoyed Rise of the Red Shadow more.

In this novel we follow Lian as he becomes the famed assassin that we all knew from the original series. We get a brilliant view into the history of the story as well as a great action and emotion packed set up for one of the best characters in the series.

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