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Starship Troopers 2: Hero Of The Federation (2004)

Starship Troopers 2: Hero Of The Federation (2004)

They turned this one into a horror movie! No longer the war. No longer the budget. Still the bugs - and bugs as I thought the bugs may be when they first discovered a head with a hole in it in the last movie - a parasitic one.

It does set up a good premise, but needs more.

Feels like they lost the cause. The element of growth, not just glory. The horrors of war, not just the greatness.

The cast's as cut down as everything else is, and the close-ups plenty, and the CGI doesn't hold, and there's barely a ray of sunlight throughout the duration of the film - which further emphasizes the subpar special effects.

Captain V.J. Dax was a highlight, as was the General's speech in ultraviolet glow, and the girl with the baby for the grinder, but overall this just didn't have that special something that the first one did.

It started badly, and ended better, but didn't uphold the expectations I hoped it would past the last one.

Starship Troopers, glorious and boosted super? That's done.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Starship Troopers (1997)

Starship Troopers (1997)

I feel like I just lived through a lifetime of war.

I watched a man grow up. I grew up myself. Never mind the commercials and flashy but somewhat bland-looking typography: The war is where it's at, and what starts off seeming as a parody of the soldier ends up feeling like real propaganda. Like I could go to war for this. Change my life. Save the world! Do you want to live forever you apes?!

I'm glad he got to say goodbye, I'm glad he and Diz had maybe the most sensual moment I've ever seen in a movie, and I'm glad the props here stood the test of time as well as they did. Twenty plus years later it's still a banger. I wonder if the sequels are too.

Starship Troopers is a testament to friendship. An ode to glory, and honor, and all it means to be a real G.

I can't seem to conclude this in a way that truly reflects how I feel about this. It's not ALL perfect - sometimes they get a breather in battle - at a moment where it seems they wouldn't have the time to have one, an excuse to prolong an important scene - but overall it's got it all.

It's a package deal like a happy meal and though it's clad in sad I don't wanna bawl, I don't want to grieve, I've got a ton of feels but. This is humanity. This is our creed. I believe.

Neil Patrick Harris in a serious role too? I'm impressed. And surprised.

There's Denise Richards as Carmen, Dina Meyer as Dizzy, and a few others you might recognize. The cast's solid.

I see why this became a cult movie. There's just something about the characters. Something about the progression. Something about the relations. Something about the both exaggerated and comical and serious nature of the war they portray, that starts off so naive, and ends beyond what any measure of expectation might've prepared me for...

If you had to sum this up in just one word I think I'd go with glory. Or war. Or growth. Or humanity. But it's so much more.

I really can't sum it up at all.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Emanuelle And The White Slave Trade (1978)

Emanuelle And The White Slave Trade (1978)

I didn't know Emanuelle was a franchise! I saw this one earlier, but here she is again, accompanied by an equally sexual white female companion/partner/friend...

It's good, but the last one... was better.

Though the premise is interesting (think about the title for a while) the previous definitely had a richer variety with both characters and scenes; atypical sensuality; a plot that felt similarly chaotic but also refreshingly adventurous and conclusive. This one... feels a little simple.

It's still not bad. It's still sensual. Comparatively it's just a little directionless and bland, like most movies of the sort seem to be.

The last one stood out from the stereotype in a good way. With strong characters, exotic scenes, open relationships, curiosity and lust, but with a progression and sense of adventure that made sense too...

This one feels messier. More like others. More visual than anything else.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 - On Stranger Tides (2011)

Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 - On Stranger Tides (2011)

Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.

This was no doubt a great movie, though it feels like it's missing essentials for the franchise. Everything feels a little different, and it's more so Britain and Spain than the Caribbean.

Although it's nice with a shift of scenery this one's more so for the bleak and majestic. I miss the white beaches and coves - of which there's little here until the end.

It really should be 'of the Caribbean' after all...

It feels like they brought back the franchise under a more historic guise, while still trying to retain the mythical element, as if to weave the fictional Captain Jack Sparrow into reality somehow.

Here there's Blackbeard, and the King of England, and the by legends foretold fountain of youth, and religion, and mermaids, and a quest for colonization and conquering...

Doesn't feel like the early movies did.

Feels here like Jack Sparrow is more a bystander than a central part of the story, and all of his crew but Gibbs are gone. Barbosa's back as the eternal nemesis, and I miss Bill and Miss Elizabeth Swan... wonder how they're doing, in this alternative realm and future.

No mention of the Flying Dutchman at all.

I do applaud the props, and the locations, and Angelica (Penélope Cruz) is a welcome addition - Ian McShane makes for a believable Blackbeard too, but the rest of the crew's comprised entirely of young ones - there's not a trace of any other old face. They don't look quite piratey...

It feels like Jack's no longer the master of his own story.

Already with the third movie he seemed to slip away, and leave the reigns to the boy with a 'speck of destiny', but here he has a lead role more so by whim than intention.

He gave up the search didn't he?

The details surrounding the fountain feel vague and whimful too. Suddenly it's just there, and it's a magical but very short-lived moment.

All moments seem to flicker by in a span of nothingness, in this new era of faith and power where he has little left to play. It's sad to see.

Even his brief reunion with his father here is fleeting, and strange, as if the father was just a ghost as well, like Elizabeth's in the last one.

But he WAS real, wasn't he? He did shoot a man.

I don't like the setting or tone of this movie, or the way this is going, but I do like the mermaids!

I do like the motive. I do like that he got the Black Pearl back too, in the end, just might've felt all the more pompous an ending if he did so with a bigger crew, and a few of the old guys by his side too...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 - At World's End (2007)

Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 - At World's End (2007)

They turned this into a real romantic franchise didn't they?

I miss the humble beginnings, when everyone was new and searching for a place and piece of the pie, before it all turned from well-intended parley to pirate politics and petty vengeance.

The marriage scene was epic, and Jack's dad was a pretty bad-ass addition, and knowing that Chow Yun-Fat played a pirate lord this time around made the pirate gathering thing a more appreciative addition, and the end of the world was beautiful, and the end suitable, albeit tragic, and it was nice to have justice on behalf of the business-minded one, but the showdown somewhat was slightly underwhelming - would've been nice to see armadas actually colliding - as the speech seemed to promise, and Calypso appearing again from the depths in some form of embrace or goodbye...

Both Davy's fate, and the merchants, and Elizabeth's dad, seem hasty and spontaneous additions, and the way the plot constantly moves this way and that as if it'd been but all devised as some grand plan... it doesn't leave me entirely tranquil and satisfied.

There is indeed a thin line between genius and insanity, and that was always Sparrow's main course and charm, but it also feels like this is unfortunately much about business at this point.

Whatever sells, more so than what really adheres to the pirate realm; to ghosts and goblins and great things and possibly that all out war as well.

Am I going in circles with my reasoning? Am I downplaying the great battles and magnificent cannonball seasoning?

The special effects still hold up well, I'm just not sold on this one.

More so than on the former - with how unjustly and inconclusively that one ends - but not all the way.

Think they might've picked up on old trails with the next though, we shall see...

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 - Dead Man's Chest (2006)

Pirates Of The Caribbean 2 - Dead Man's Chest (2006)

I remembered all movies after the first POTC as sub-par, but when this one starts you really don't see that sub-parness!

They have a new villain that rivals the last, but more so they make the seaside towns seem all the more atmospheric, Tortuga all the more crazy (in a charming piratey way), the beaches all the more sandy and serene, the oceans all the wetter, the fights all the wilder... and with love there too all things seem better!

There's a stint with a cannibal tribe too in what I wonder might be a possible nod to the Senegalese people, who still reign free on an island of their own out at sea (IRL, for real). Cool if it is so.

Will's dad was acted so well too here.

I'm proud of Stellan Skarsgård.

You see the emotion with him, and the props are impeccable. And Bill Nighy as Davy. And the chest. And the swords on the wheel. And the fortune teller. And everything really! It's good...

...until Elisabeth's deceitful moment on the bridge and the unnecessary shot of slime. Then Barbosa comes back in too, to show that it's possible to bring back the dead I suppose, but also to show they're messing up the world with this one. Bringing back lost plot elements left and right. Testing all testable new relationships they can.

Feels like they're leaning a smite too far from realness; into the realms of trend and profit, and to end with the promise of a sequel, rather than an end.

I've never liked that practice, and maybe this is where I first saw it...

A movie should be finite. This one is definitely not.

It has a lot of good going for it but ends up just not feeling as wholesome; comes to an unfortunately weak integrity end.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

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