Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

Holy god, YES! This movie was AMAZING! So much better than the first, and so much badder, too! In fact, other than the fact that they both star Nic Cage, this movie has literally nothing at all in common with the first, so if you didn't like that one, please don't let that detract you from seeing this. Seriously, this may quite possibly be the very best "bad" movie I've ever seen. It's not just so bad it's good, it's all in all gloriously bad! And I loved every second of it!

So lets get into the story. Nic Cage is cursed with being the Ghost Rider. And in order to lift this curse, he needs to finds some kid and save him from becoming the devil's next vessel. That's basically the gist of it, it's fairly simple, but it works a lot better than the prior movie's strange villain gauntlet format. But honestly, nobody's going into this for the plot, it's all about Nic Cage, and boy does he deliver!

While explaining how he became cursed, Nic Cage mentions that he made the biggest mistake of his life once his father got sick. I jokingly said that his mistake was probably doing this movie, but by the end, I withdrew that statement entirely. He is just so great in this movie, and he's even more maniacal than you'd expect. He just makes the most over-the-top facial expressions, popping his eyes out, twitching his neck, laughing at inappropriate times. He pretty much became a walking, talking meme, and I just know that this movie is gonna produce so many new crazy Nic Cage gifs. But you could tell he was just having a ball with this role, and frankly, so was the rest of the cast, as well.

Johnny Whitworth gives a good go of his own in the crazy department as well. He plays Blackout, a supernatural villain with the ability to decompose anyone or anything that he touches. As he plays with his new abilities granted to him by the devil, this leads to one of the funnier moments involving a Twinkie. But this guy is great from the beginning, and he gets even better after he gains his powers. Like I said, you can just tell he's having a blast with this role, and his snicker is a thing of beauty. Idris Elba also has lots of fun with his own role, playing Nic Cage's biker sidekick and wine aficionado.

But I just gotta talk more about Nic Cage again, and how phenomenal he was in this movie. I can't stress enough how entertaining this guy can be. He knows exactly what kind of movies he's making these days, and he embraces them full on. But the lines this guy spews, my god! So many awesome one liners, and always with the most perfect timing! Whether he's shooing "bees" out of kids' faces or pissing like a flamethrower, Nic Cage delivers in a way that only Nic Cage can.

The action scenes are off the charts. Whenever Ghost Rider enters a new vehicle or piece of heavy machinery, he transforms said machinery into a flaming mass of destruction, and boy do they lead to some exhilarating set pieces. They just go so over-the-top with the action, there's rocket launchers, car chases, guns, explosions, you name it. And the best part of all is that these scenes are filmed so coherently. I can't express how glad I am that the whole "shakey cam" experiment in films has finally gone by the wayside, and there were a few times where I thought that this movie might fall into that pit trap. But thankfully, that wasn't the case, and we were able to clearly see all the carnage in all its flaming glory!

So the movie was great. I had a blast, but what made it all the more better was the audience I saw this with. I was so happy to be in an audience who knew what kind of movie they were getting into. This was an awesomely bad movie to the core, and the whole crowd ate it up. The theater was dying from laughter by the end of it. Seriously, this movie is hysterical, and you'll bust your gut laughing at the insanity on display.

Don't illegally download this movie. Go see it in theaters, or you're going to Hell!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An Obsessive Observation

So the other day I was thinking about the whole Whitney Houston dying thing. Actually, what I was really thinking about was how little I cared about it. And then it got me thinking about how little I usually tend to care whenever news breaks of another celebrity death. So I was trying to think if there was ever a time when I learned of a celebrity dying and it registered any kind of reaction more than an 'oh, well that sucks,' and I was able to come up with two names.

The first was Eddie Guerrero. I was a little bummed out when I learned of his death, though granted, I had literally just graduated boot camp when I learned, so I was feeling way too good about that to be brought too far down about the news that one of my all time favorite wrestlers had died. Had the circumstances been different for me, his death likely would have struck me a little harder, and I know this because of the way I reacted when I learned about the second person's death.

A few years later, another one of my absolute favorite wrestlers, Chris Benoit, had died. When I initially learned the news, I was struck pretty hard, and I instantly started digging online for more details surrounding his death. And once the whole, heinous story broke out, I became pretty depressed for a while. This was a man who I idolized, I looked up to as a hero figure in the world of professional wrestling. Just days before he died, I was looking in the mirror, thinking about how when I become a professional wrestler myself (because back then, I was certain it would happen), then I'd wanna be just like Chris Benoit. He was a man worth modeling yourself after, or so I thought, before he saw fit to murder his wife and child and then hang himself.

Up until this point in my life, I was absolutely obsessed with wrestling. I lived it, I breathed it, I loved it. I was passionate about it. I soaked in as much wrestling as I could possibly get my hands on. I never missed a Raw, Smackdown, ECW, or even a TNA show. I watched almost every wrestling DVD that would get released. Hell, I even went out of my way sometimes to watch the crappy independent stuff that came on at three in the morning. I've traveled all over the state to see various wrestling events, and even flew across the country just to see a wrestling show, a fact that completely baffled one of my uncles. But I just couldn't get enough of it. And it was reflected in my blog. My old blog was to wrestling as my current blog is to movies. I reviewed television events, pay-per-views, live events that I attended, and commented on various storylines and gimmicks and all sorts of things.

But then the Benoit tragedy happened, and the wrestling world was never the same again. The product had a noticeably sharp decline in quality, both inside of the ring and out. And save for maybe a month here or a week there, it's never been as consistently good as it once was. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that, more often than not, wrestling is just frustratingly bad these days. But soon, I just stopped caring about it. I stopped watching TNA, I stopped watching ECW, and I even let Smackdown go by the wayside. I stuck around with just Raw for a bit, but it came to the point where I would miss an episode here or there, and I wouldn't even care. Before I knew it, I went from being a die hard fan of professional wrestling who never missed a moment of it and who was determined to become a part of it himself, to merely a passive fan who just kept up with it from time to time purely out of habit.

These days, I do still watch sometimes, though it's not the same way I used to. My eyes aren't glued to the screen, paying attention to the psychology of the match or watching the story being told in the ring flesh out before my eyes. No, these days I merely glance at it from time to time, watching for things to snark at as I take part in live chats during Monday Night Raw. And that's pretty much the extent of my wrestling outlet these days. And if it weren't for those live chats, I likely wouldn't even bother at all, for as I said before, wrestling these days is just so, so frustrating to even bother trying to get too invested in. And maybe I only see the bad for what it is these days because I've become such a bitter fan, but there's just so much wrong with the product now, though that's another rant for another day.

So yeah, while most times when a celebrity dies it doesn't really effect me much, that one shook me up pretty badly. To think that a man like that, who was so universally looked up to, could be capable of doing what he did, it was just unbelievable, and it really made me take a step back and observe the world of pro wrestling and my obsession for it in a whole new light.

But who knows, even if that whole Benoit situation never happened, maybe I would have just grown out of wrestling anyways. Maybe, but it all happened so sudden, and it all started with that one moment. And in dropping one obsession, I've since picked up new ones, and I've also shifted my career focus. Where before, I was so convinced that I was gonna be a pro wrestler myself one day, now I really don't think much of it. It would be cool, sure, but it's nothing I'd want to pursue anytime in the foreseeable future, and I just don't have the passion for the sport anymore to be able to deal with all of the backstage nonsense those guys have to go through in order to make it. Nah, now I'm more focused on other things, which those of you who follow me should be well aware of, and wrestling has become a thing of the past for me. Yeah, it was a fairly major thing of the past, but Chris Benoit, the man I once so admired, took my love for wrestling to the grave with him.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Taking a look at the 2012 Academy Awards

Overall, looking at the nominees, I've gotta say that this year's Academy Awards looks to be a boring show. They really just played it super safe this year. There was lots of Oscar bait to go around, and boy did they take the bait. But that's not to say that all of the nominees were bad choices. For instance, I was thrilled to see Kung Fu Panda 2 get nominated for Best Animated Feature after the Golden Globes decided to snub it.

But for the purposes of this post, I'm going to mainly focus on the Best Picture nominees. Now, my ill feeling towards The Tree of Life and War Horse have been well documented, as has my appraisal of Hugo, so I won't be talking too much about those movies here. So I guess I'll just move right along with the remaining nominees, starting with my favorites and working my way down.

The Artist

Who ever thought that in 2011, the front runner for best picture would be a black and white silent film? But it really is one of the absolute best movies of the year. They captured the time period perfectly in this film, and if it weren't for the inclusion of such current day names like John Goodman, you would never think that this was a modern movie. And I still can't believe they pulled it off, but they really did it. In this day and age, they not only managed to make a successful silent film, but they managed to make it completely enthralling throughout. The movie looks stunning, and the music almost perfectly evokes the emotions accompanying the visuals on the screen.

The performances here are great all around. Our stars, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, are both nominated for their performances, and boy did they earn it. They were both great, as was all the supporting cast (especially the dog!). The movie tells us a story about love. Not just love between man and woman, but the love for art. We see as the acclaimed actor, George Valentin, played by Jean Dujardin, has a great love and passion for film as a silent medium, and is reluctant to let that love go and move on with the times. His pride leads to his downward spiral, while the actress of his affections, Peppy Miller, played by Bérénice Bejo, is only growing more and more successful in the move to talking movies.

On a technical level, this movie is outstanding. The use of sound is, quite frankly, brilliant, and results in a scene that is so simple, and yet so fascinating at the same time. But this movie just pulls you right in to the very end, and it'll leave you gasping. This really is just a lovely film all around, and definitely a solid pick in the Best Picture bracket. If I had seen it in time, it definitely would have made my Top 10 of the year.

The Descendants

This movie was actually really good. It didn't look like much, and I didn't really expect much, but this movie really does deliver. It stars George Clooney, and he does as good a job as ever. But really, I was really impressed with pretty much everyone in this film. Shailene Woodley was especially awesome, but even guys like Matthew Lillard and Nick Krause really surprised me here. There's just such a level of depth to all of these characters, and it shows in the performances all around.

The story is that George Clooney's wife is dying, but he finds out that she was cheating on him, and we basically see how he and his family deals with this news. It's a complex situation, but this movie handles the subject quite well, and the plot moves along really smoothly. We're presented with some very uncomfortable and, quite frankly, awkward moments. But unlike so many other movies, this movie presents these moments in a way that doesn't leave us, the audience, also feeling uncomfortable.

We'll be really feeling for the characters one moment, only for the movie to throw us an unexpected laugh the very next. The movie just feels really balanced in this way. It knows when to lay off on the sentimental moments and lighten the mood the little. Not that it's afraid to really drive home the sentimentality, of course. This movie can get pretty heavy at times, yet it leaves you off with a really good feeling inside.

This movie was a lot better than I expected. And if I would have included The Artist in my Top 10, then this would have placed as a real solid #11 spot, so a strong honorable mention, and another really solid nomination for Best Picture.

The Help

I was looking forward to this movie the very least. Hell, I was dreading seeing this movie. I had heard both good things and bad things about it, but nothing I heard could interest me in the least. So I basically had to force myself to sit down and watch this movie. But from the very moment it started, I couldn't pull myself away.

Starring Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, this movie is about a white girl, played by Emma Stone, who decides to write a book from the perspective of black maids, in order to get their story out there during the civil rights movement. And even though it may not be anything we haven't already seen and heard a thousand times before, it was still an interesting story this time nonetheless. I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie, how much I really cared about the characters, their various relationships, and their outcomes. But not only that, I was also surprised at just how funny this movie can be at times! Sissy Spacek just kills it, stealing every single scene that she's in.

But as with the other movies mentioned, this film is mainly pulled together by the strong cast all around. As I said, you really do grow to care about all of these characters. Well, most of them at least. Bryce Dallas Howard does a terrific job playing the racist antagonist, just a completely detestable young woman who'll leave you seething. (And on a nerdy note, I did get a kick out of the prior Spider-Man movies' Gwen Stacy, Bryce Dallas Howard, playing the villain to the upcoming Spider-Man movies' Gwen Stacy, Emma Stone).

I wrote this movie off as Oscar bait, and sure, maybe it is. But there's actually quite a bit of substance here as well. And despite the long running time, this movie just flew by in no time. Really enjoyable movie, and one of the biggest surprises of the year.

Midnight in Paris

And here's another movie about a writer, this one starring Owen Wilson. He's on a family vacation in the magical city of Paris. And every night, at the strike of midnight, he's taken on a trip through time, as he meets his idols, the artists of the past, such as Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso, who laid the groundwork that inspired him to become a writer himself.

This was an interesting movie, and I thought the story was really nice. I loved the contrast in style when he travels through time, it really paints the period down nicely. The story deals with nostalgia, and how we always think more fondly of the past than we do our present. I really liked the way it was handled, and I do have my own theories concerning the story. I actually think that what we're watching is actually Owen Wilson's novel being played out to us. The movie never confirms this, of course, but I think it's an interesting take on the movie, and there are a few hints leading me to that conclusion.

In any event, this was a decent movie, with a fun story and generally likeable characters. I wouldn't say that it was great, just that it was nice, though the fact that it got nominated I do find rather intriguing.


The general reaction I've noticed this movie get is that it's definitely good, if not necessarily great. And that's pretty much how I see it as well. It's basically The Social Network, only with baseball as the subject matter instead of Facebook. Not surprising that it feels so similar, seeing as it was written by the same guy. In fact, there's times where it feels a little too similar to The Social Network. The music often feels like it's trying to mimic Trent Reznor's score from that movie, the fast dialogue and the clinical way the story plays out, it really just feels like the same movie, only with baseball. The difference is, this movie just isn't nearly as good as The Social Network. It's not as sharp or as witty, the characters aren't nearly as interesting, and when it's over, it doesn't leave you wanting to revisit and see what you might have missed.

But enough about The Social Network, lets talk about what Moneyball has to deliver on its own. And honestly, it's Brad Pitt. He gives an awesome performance here. And while I personally thought he was even better in The Tree of Life, I'd actually say that Moneyball is well worth watching purely for Pitt's performance alone, while I could never find a valid reason to ever recommend The Tree of Life. And I suppose Jonah Hill was decent as well, certainly his best performance yet. Though I wasn't blown away by him or anything, and I find all the awards recognition he's been getting to be a bit baffling.

And yeah, that's pretty much all I have to say about this movie. It's basically The Social Network Lite. But despite not being a baseball fan, I thought it was still an interesting movie. And hey, if you are a fan, then you'll likely be able to enjoy and appreciate it a lot more than I did. But if there's one thing this movie has going for it, that one thing is Brad Pitt.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

And here's where I stop being so kind. I didn't like The Tree of Life, but for those who did, I get it. I didn't like War Horse, but for those who did, I get it. I won't call those bad movies, but they just weren't my kind of movie. This, however, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is just, flat out, a bad movie. But the thing is, the movie does have moments of brilliance that really have me wanting to like it. Yet these moments are few and far between, and are almost always cut short by something so cringe-inducing that it immediately reminds me that I'm watching a really, really bad movie.

It's just obnoxious, really. Director Stephen Daldry likes to have his characters softly rub things against their faces in an unnatural way that you would only see in a pretentious film such as this. And all of my complaints about War Horse's sentimentality abuse applies here, but where they were just eye-rollers in War Horse, they literally left you cringing in disgust in this awful movie, as it tries to play on people's emotions surrounding 9/11. I don't even have a problem with it using 9/11 as a basis for its plot. Hell, that's what actually interested me in the movie in the first place. But if you're going to do so, at least have the decency to treat such a touchy subject with at least a shred of respect! I've seen movies based around 9/11 that have tackled the subject well and respectably, and this sure as hell isn't one of them. This movie is nothing more than exploitation.

And the kid actor, my god, he is just terrible. In a year with movies such as Super 8, Hugo, and even Real Steel, where the kid actors manage to act so well and so naturally, it's just a shame to see a movie based entirely around this little shit who you can barely stand to stomach five minutes with, let alone two god damn hours.

But as I said, there are moments of brilliance to be had here. Pretty much all of the scenes with Tom Hanks are really nicely done, and Max von Sydow's character was also pretty interesting, playing a mute who communicates through writing on a notepad. It's just such a shame to see these brilliant moments and interesting characters wasted on such an embarrassing movie. And that's the key word there, this nomination is an absolute embarrassment. I may not agree with some of the other nominees, but I can at least understand why they received them. But this? In no way, shape, or form does this movie deserve a Best Picture nomination, or hell, any kind of positive recognition.

It's a terrible movie, through and through. Hell, it wasn't even that well received by critics or general movie-goers, so I really don't know how this even happened. Oh wait, that's right, this movie was Oscar bait. And it's the shining example of how the Academy totally just took that bait this year without even a second glance. Embarrassing.


... Oh wait, that's right, DRIVE GOT SNUBBED!!!!!!!!!

So anyways, that's my look at the Best Picture nominees for this year's Academy Awards. I don't agree with them all, but with the exception of one, I can understand how they all got their nomination. My favorites to win are either Hugo or The Artist, so I'll be satisfied with either one. But really, as I mentioned in the beginning, these awards just kind of look boring overall. The Academy just didn't take any chances this year, they played it way too safe, and as a result, the show just doesn't look all that interesting. Of course, I'll probably still watch, but, eh...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Naruto Shippuden: The Kyuubi Attack

A few months ago I listed my Top 5 Naruto Episodes. And over the course of the past month, we just saw three new episodes that really give those five a big run for their money. The anime is currently going through the 'Confining the Jinchuuriki' portion of the War arc, and we just got done watching possibly the most anticipated events in the entire series, when we see just what happened 16 years ago when the Kyuubi attacked Konoha.

Naruto Shippuden 246 - The Orange Spark

This is the episode where Naruto finally squares off with the Kyuubi. Naruto puts up a good fight, but the Kyuubi's hate begins to overwhelm Naruto. And that's when Kushina intervenes. For the first time, Naruto meets his mother, and it's just such a heartwarming reunion. You can't help but feel so happy for Naruto during these scenes. Naruto asks his mother how she and his father met, and we go into flashback mode, as Kushina tells us her story. This was just a very well done episode, where the anime took the source material from the manga and expanded on it in ways that only enhanced the tale. It was beautifully animated and, as I said before, just a very heartwarming episode, as we see how Kushina and Minato grew to love each other.

Naruto Shippuden 247 - Target: Nine Tails

If I had one complaint about the previous episode, it would be that the actual fighting portion between Naruto and the Kyuubi felt really rushed. And when they resumed their fight in this episode, I got that same feeling. But Kushina helped Naruto defeat the Kyuubi, and as he takes the Kyuubi's chakra, we see Naruto's new Kyuubi Chakra Mode animated for the first time. Truth be told, I felt this episode fell a bit flat in comparison to the manga. It didn't have as much of a kick to it, and the unveil of his new form was a bit anticlimactic. But it was still a decent episode, and I'm mainly only talking about it as it strings us along between the previous episode and the next two, which really kicked things back into gear.

Naruto Shippuden 248 - The Fourth Hokage's Death Match

This rivals 167 as the best action episode in the series. Kushina is telling Naruto the story of the Kyuubi's attack, which all begins with his birth. And Tobi joins the scene right off the bat, threatening to kill Naruto at the ripe old age of one minute! Using this as a distraction to get Minato out of the way, he extracts the Kyuubi from Kushina, and all hell breaks loose.

The animation style they used during the Kyuubi's rampage was just phenomenal. Not your typical anime style at all. And the battle sequences between Minato and Tobi were even better than they were in the manga. Really intense stuff all around, and as I said, this was definitely up there as one of the best action episodes in the entire series. The anime did not disappoint at all.

Naruto Shippuden 249 - Thank You

And if 248 was one of the best action episodes, then 249 is, by far, hands down, the very best emotional episode I've ever seen. And I'm not just talking about Naruto, or even anime in general. I've never seen an episode of a television series that was able to bring me to tears like this one did. It's the death of Minato and Kushina, as they sacrifice themselves in order to save the village, sealing away the Kyuubi inside their newborn son, Naruto. And in their final moments, with blood dripping from their mouths and the Kyuubi's massive claw protruding from them as they protect their baby, Kushina and Minato say their heartfelt farewells to Naruto, who looks so much at peace as he sleeps right through all the travesty around him.

Reading this part in the manga was moving, sure, but seeing it in motion was a whole different experience. This episode was just heart-wrenching, and the music and animation were so wonderfully well done. And even though I already knew the outcome going in, I still couldn't help but hope that somehow, someway, Minato and Kushina would make it out okay. It was just so powerful, and so painful, and everything came into play just perfectly to produce the most emotionally moving episode of television I've ever witnessed.

If I had anything negative to say about these episodes, it would only be about minor little nitpicks that I happened to notice. In 248, the translators botched some of Tobi's epic lines, and they decided to not include the scene from the manga when the village elders enter the fray, fighting alongside the Third Hokage. Also, they changed Tobi's mask color from white to orange in the end. I thought that was a bit odd, but nothing that took anything away from the impact left by these episodes.

The anime can be really hit or miss, but they totally nailed it with these episodes. And as the title of the latest episode says, thank you, Studio Pierrot, for treating these episode with the utmost level of respect. It's episodes like these why I love this series so much. No other anime is able to stir such strong emotions in me like Naruto does. But they brought it to a whole new level with these episodes. This was just a tremendous achievement for the whole series.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Underworld: Awakening DOESN'T exist...

... and yet here I am, talking about it. Basically, despite the horrible trailers telling me otherwise, I actually expected this to be okay, just a fun little action flick. But, as it would happen, I was wrong.

I just don't even know what to do with this. This one completely misses the mark of what made the first three Underworld movies good. I mean, the first two weren't great, but they were at least fun and enjoyable. And even the third was alright, even if it was entirely pointless. But they totally dropped the ball with this one. There's no delving into any of the mythology here, hell, there's hardly even any vampires at all other than Kate Beckinsale. They make up about 10 minutes of the movie, then, poof, they're gone. But there's tons of lycans, and the CGI on them looks particularly awful this time around.

The plot here is that humans have discovered the vampires and lycans, and seeing them as a disease to society, the humans go about trying to wipe them out. In some ways, the way the story's presented has sort of a Daybreakers vibe to it, only it's not as good or as clever, not to mention that it's the wrong vampire series that this movie should be shooting for.

So anyways, Kate Beckinsale gets frozen, wakes up 12 years later (supposedly, though everything looks exactly the same), and while trying to track down her lover, Michael, she finds her daughter instead, who winds up getting herself kidnapped by the bad guys. Insert more 'grr, take down the man, won't let them get away with this, yadda yadda yadda' nonsense, and that's basically the gist of it all. And considering what miniscule amount of plot that they gave us, they didn't even have the common courtesy to finish it off, opting instead for the totally bullshit cliffhanger ending. Hell, the first three all work as stand-alone movies, why couldn't this one, too?

But I just don't know what happened with this movie. I mean, sure, I don't expect that much from an Underworld movie, but I would like to see at least a little bit of effort put in! This is essentially just a 90 minute action sequence, only they don't have any fun with it this time around. It's not slick and sexy at all. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that watching this movie felt like watching a really bad Resident Evil movie, in terms of general quality. Now, I actually do enjoy the Resident Evil movies for what they are. However, this isn't supposed to be Resident Evil, this is Underworld. And I've come to expect significantly more from my Underworld movies than what this one has to offer.

So the quality just plummeted with this one, which was pretty disappointing. But the first three are all about on par with one another, and compliment one another so great. They're just such a good fit, but while this one feels like an odd combination of so many lesser movies, at no point does it ever actually feel like an Underworld movie. It's entirely unnecessary, and it just flat out doesn't belong. Not in this series, at least. And so, I choose to believe that it doesn't. Underworld: Awakening doesn't exist.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Chronicle is the latest in the found-footage genre of movies. This one takes a superhero approach, as a group of high schoolers are exposed to something that grants them telekinetic powers. They're able to move objects with their minds and fly, and the more they use their powers, the stronger they become.

Unlike other found-footage style movies, such as The Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield, this movie uses a variety of techniques that allow for a much clearer image throughout. This eliminates a lot of the shakey cam, which is always a blessing. Since the characters have telekinetic powers, they often have the camera "levitate" around them, allowing for the movie to be filmed in a more traditional style, while still maintaining the found-footage feel. Also, anytime someone else with a camera shows up, we sometimes view the movie through their lens, allowing for multiple perspectives throughout. This style actually works quite well, and allows for a lot of neat shots as the action really accelerates towards the end.

In the story, we follow Andrew. He's a high school outcast, has no friends at school, his father's a drunk, and his mom is sick. So yeah, the kid's pretty messed up, and in order to cope, he decides to start documenting the things going on in his life. Only his cousin, Matt, pays him any attention, as he tries to help Andrew break out of his shell and have some fun. The third kid, Steve, randomly inserts himself into the story, and the whole origins portion, as they discover whatever it is buried underground that grants them their powers, does feel a bit forced. But once they acquire their powers, the movie really picks up from there.

Watching the three experiment with their new powers is really cool. They start off small, such as building Lego sets with their minds and stopping baseballs in mid-flight. But then they begin to think bigger, until eventually, they're flying through the clouds tossing a football around, in what is one of the most exhilarating scenes in the movie.

So things seem to be going well for these guys, and Andrew's two new friends actually help him with his high school status a little. But just as soon as things are looking good, they begin to crumble back down for Andrew. And now that he has the power to do so, he lashes back out at society. In some ways, this is like watching the gradual rise of some big super villain. But really, it's not that he's a bad kid, he's just an angry teen, and he's let his emotions get the better of him. And it's a really natural progression, which is elevated by a very believable performance.

This is a movie that's fun to watch if only for the spectacle of the effects, which only grow bigger and better as the movie goes on. But even the story itself is very entertaining, and relatable in its own way. The presentation also differentiates this one from the rest of the crowd, so it's not just a been there, done that experience all over again. I only had a few minor nitpicks, mostly relating to the origins aspect of the story, as well as near the end, when one of the shots stays on Matt's face for so long, while so much action is going on around him. I just thought that was a bit odd, though nothing that takes away from the movie. Overall, I'd say check this one out, it's an enjoyable movie if nothing else.