Who could resist a name like “Scout’s Guide To The Apocalypse”? (Apparently a lot of people, considering it’s grossed — no pun intended - less than $4 mil against a $15 mil budget). But’ it’s on Pay Per View now and it might be worth another visit... if nothing else is on... you’ve already popped the corn... you’re bored out of your (zombie) skull.
Three scouts (there are only three in this troop and two-thirds of them are planning to quit) must band together to save a love interest from hundreds of zombies created by something (a lab experiment gone wrong, I think — I don’t really care — after all, it’s about zombies). The scouts arm themselves with makeshift weapons from the local hardware store, like The Caulk N’ Nail (a combination caulk gun/crossbow that shoots nails), The Bleed Whacker (weed whacker with butcher knives) and The Knob Lob (PVC pipe that somehow shoots doorknobs) to fight many marauding dismembered monsters (not really an alliteration, but it sounds fun).
It’s got everything every other zombie movies has — gore, blood, guts, mayhem, zombie violence, sexual material, graphic, gratuitous nudity and crude language. So, it’s typically stereotypical. To add to the stereotype hype, it includes a zombie stripper, a badass high school dropout/cocktail waitress, a Dolly Parton worshiping scout leader, zombie breasts, a zombie deer and a houseful of zombie cats.
Scouts Guide exploits the talents of Tye Sheridan (Mud, Tree of Life), Chloris Leachman (a bunch of stuff, Young Frankenstein) David Kouchner (Hot Tub Time Machine) and some other people.
Of course, the quotes are some of the best parts of the show:
If you do watch Scouts Guide, be sure to stick around for the closing credits, containing tons of zombie selfies.
I would like to say Scouts Guide is the Porky’s of another generation, but that claim is due to Zombeiland.
Back in 1999, I was a training manager at Universal Studios Florida. When we opened Islands of Adventure, we were all thrilled that it included the Marvel Superhero Island. Since then, the Marvel universe has exploded with movie and TV program after movie and TV program, ad nauseous, infinitum, forever and ever. With so many superheroes on the big screen, is there really room for another one?
Move over, Hollywood, just a little bit for the next big thing (sorry, bad pun). One of the most recent Marvel-inspired movies is Ant-man, the bigger-than-life adventures (sorry, bad pun) about burglar, Scott Lang (played by Paul Rudd) who is recruited to become a powerful, if tiny, superhero. The characters seem typical of superhero types:
I admit I was reluctant to waste my time on this one, even though I really enjoy Paul Rudd, so I waited ‘til it came out as a rental and there was nothing else on TV. It was fun. It was silly. It was predictable. However, I did feel sorry for the ants who selfishly gave their lives so Ant-Man could save the world.
You can find all sorts of messages within this movie. Redemption. A father’s love for his daughter and her adoration of her father. Evil people have huge egos. Sometimes the most humble among us must rise to the occasion to save the world.
The absolutely best part of the movie is when Michael Douglas plays Dr. Hank Pym (where do they get these names?) 30 years ago. It looked like he stepped right out of "The China Syndrome" (It's a movie, kids. Ask your parents). The CGI is astonishing and just about worth the price of admission.
Ant-Man is simply entertainment. That’s about all. But it’s good entertainment. Given the current efforts at entertaining people, that’s a big deal (sorry, bad pun).
You may have already read my semi-review here on The Martian, Andy Weir’s best selling debut novel (I'm jealous!). The film by the same name starring Matt Damon is a decent rendering of the book and a runaway hit. Of course, some things are punched up for a movie audience (and perhaps some Hollywood egos) and go a little beyond reality –(would the captain of the rescue ship really venture from her spacecraft to capture the elusive astronaut or would she send another one of the crew? – sorry about the spoiler).
Go see this flick, even if you aren’t a sci-fi fan. Actually, in some ways, it isn’t a sci-fi movie, like Gravity or Interstellar. The Martian is about a guy stuck in a bad place who must use intelligence and ingenuity and a lot of luck to get out. That should interest just about everyone. The message in the movie comes directly from astronaut Whatney:
“I guarantee you, at some point, everything’s going to go South on you, everything is going to go South and you’re gonna say, ‘This is it. This is how I end.’ Now, you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That’s all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem, and then you solve the next one, and then solve the next, and if you solve enough problems, you get to go home.”
Pretty good advice.
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Stories are stories, whether they are recited around a roaring campfire, printed on paper or projected on a screen. And, stories should say something.