REVIEW: HOWARD THE DUCK

CAST

Lea Thompson (Back To The Future)
Jeffrey Jones (Sleepy Hollow)
Tim Robbins (Green Lantern)
Ed Gale (The Polar Express)
Jordan Prentice (Mirror, Mirror)
Holly Robinson Peete (Mike & Molly)
Richard McGonagle (500 Days of Summer)
Miguel Sandoval (Medium)

Twenty-seven-year-old Howard the Duck (Chip Zien) lives on Duckworld, a planet similar to Earth but inhabited by anthropomorphic ducks. As he is reading the latest issue of Playduck magazine, his armchair begins to quake violently and propels him out of his apartment building and into outer space; Howard eventually lands on Earth, in Cleveland, Ohio. Upon arriving, Howard encounters a woman being attacked by thugs. He defeats them using a unique style of martial arts. After the thugs flee, the woman introduces herself as Beverly Switzler (Lea Thompson), and decides to take Howard to her apartment and let him spend the night. The following day, Beverly takes Howard to Phil Blumbertt (Tim Robbins), a scientist who Beverly hopes can help Howard return to his world. After Phil is revealed to be only a janitor, Howard resigns himself to life on Earth and rejects Beverly’s aid. He soon applies for a job as a janitor at a local romance spa. Because of unfair treatment by his boss, Howard resigns and rejoins Beverly, who plays in a band called Cherry Bomb. At the club at which Cherry Bomb is performing, Howard comes across their manager (Tommy Swerdlow), and confronts him when he insults the band. A fight breaks out, in which Howard is victorious.Tim Robbins in Howard the Duck (1986)Howard rejoins Beverly backstage after the band’s performance and accompanies her back to her apartment, where Beverly persuades him to be the band’s new manager. The two begin to flirt, but soon after that they are interrupted by Blumburtt and two of his colleagues, who reveal that a dimensional-jumping device they were inventing was aimed at Howard’s planet and transported him to Earth when it was activated. They theorize that Howard can be sent back to his world through a reversal of this same process. Upon their arrival at the laboratory, the device malfunctions when it is activated, arousing the possibility of something else being transported to Earth. At this point, Dr. Walter Jenning (Jeffrey Jones) is possessed by a life form from another alternate dimension.When they visit a diner, the creature introduces himself as a “Dark Overlord of the Universe” and demonstrates his developing mental powers by destroying table utensils and condiments. A fight ensues when a group of truckers in the diner begin to insult Howard. Howard is captured and is almost killed by the diner chef, but the Dark Overlord destroys the diner and escapes with Beverly.Howard locates Phil, who is arrested for his presence at the laboratory with no security clearance. After they escape, they discover an Ultralight aircraft, which they use to search for the Dark Overlord and Beverly. At the laboratory, the Dark Overlord ties Beverly down to a metal bed and plans to transfer another one of its kind into her body with the dimension machine. Howard and Phil arrive and apparently destroy the Dark Overlord with an experimental “neutron disintegrator” laser; however, it has only been forced out of Jenning’s body. The Dark Overlord reveals its true form at this point. Howard fires the neutron disintegrator at the hideous beast, obliterating it, and destroys the dimension machine, preventing more creatures from arriving on Earth, but also ruining Howard’s only chance of returning to his planet. Howard then becomes Beverly’s manager and hires Phil as an employee on her tour.Honestly, yeah the plot is a bit much to grasp, but cut the movie some slack, it’s about a duck for goodness’ sake! For me, it still makes me laugh and I have a ton of fun watching it. I loved seeing Tim Robbins and Howard trying to get to the factory to destroy Jeffrey Jones before he could take over the world, Tim was absolutely hilarious! Yes there are a few things about this movie that are over the top but I still think that this movie is just mindless entertainment. Hey how many movies do we have where a duck saves Planet Earth.

REVIEW: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

 

CAST

Chris Pratt (Jurassic World)
Zoe Saldana (Avatar)
Dave Bautista (Riddick)
Vin Diesel (The Fast and The Furious)
Lee Pace (The Hobbit)
Bradley Cooper (Joy)
Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead)
Karen Gillan (Oculus)
Djimon Hounsou (Stargate)
John C. Reilly (Step Brothers)
Glenn Close (Hoodwinked!)
Benicio Del Toro (Traffic)
Lauda Haddock (Luther)
Peter Serafinowicz (Spy)
Gregg Henry (Payback)
Brendan Fehr (Roswell)
Nathan Fillion (Firefly)
Alexis Denisof (Angel)
Ophelia Lovibond (4.3.2.1.)
Rob Zombie (Super)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
John Brotherton (Fuller House)
Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex)
Seth Green (Family Guy)

Lee Pace in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)Guardians of the Galaxy stars are a loosely shaped band of intergalactic scoundrels who go from being bad guys to heroes despite their own penchant for greed and self-preservation. Amongst them is a cosmic kidnapping victim who goes by Star-Lord, a terrible alias, which is why most folks call him by his Earth name, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt, Parks and Recreation). Stolen from his parents in the movie’s prologue, Quill has become a spacefaring thief and scavenger. He has recently struck off on his own, betraying his adopted crew to sell a mysterious metal orb and pocket the profits. This action sets off reverberations, angering the orb’s intended recipient, a brutal thug called Ronan (Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies), and landing a rather large bounty on Quill’s head. Ronan dispatches one of his minions, Gamora (Zoe Saldana, Star Trek), to get him the object. Blows are exchanged. Chris Pratt manages the physicality with a surprising ease, while also making it okay for those of us sick of Andy Dwyer to like the perfomer again. Zoe Saldana is at her most badass, continuing to prove that she should be the star of her own action franchise. (She was the only thing good in Colombiana). Further complications arise, however, when her efforts are derailed by the presence of the aforementioned raccoon and tree.Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)Rocket Raccoon and Groot (voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, respectively) are misfit bounty hunters who intend to collect on Quill’s head. Rocket is a violent little bastard who is the product of some sinister experiments, and Groot is a kindly wood creature who comes from parts unknown. These two steal the movie, I promise you. Cooper’s vocal performance has a glee and abandon I’d like to see from him in the flesh, and those who remember how Diesel tugged at our heartstrings doing similar work in The Iron Giant will be pleased to have him work his magic here, too. Groot can only say one phrase, “I am Groot,” and like Woo shouting out a certain obscenity when talking to Al Swearengen in Deadwood, how he says it is indicative of its meaning. The computer effects team for Guardians easily bests even Dawn of the Planet of the Apes for creating believable, fully realized creatures that simply should not be.Lee Pace in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)The four bad guys tussle on a peaceful planet, and end up arrested. It’s in prison that they find their fifth Guardian, a shirtless bruiser called Drax the Destroyer (wrestler Dave Bautista) who has a grudge against Gamora’s former employer. He agrees to stave off killing her and go along with their prison break if it means they’ll take him to Ronan. And so an unlikely group of heroes is born.Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)The basic plot of Guardians of the Galaxy, which was co-written by Nicole Perlman and director James Gunn (Slither, Super), follows the Guardians as they first try to keep the orb out of Ronan’s hands and then, after they simultaneously lose it and discover what it really holds, get it back before he begins a path of destruction across the universe. The main genre is more adventure than sci-fi, and the tone lighter and more comic than a lot of recent superhero movies, but that’s what makes Guardians of the Galaxy so refreshing.