Geeky Mommie’s Review: Beauty & the Beast

Geeky Mommie here (ok, so Geeky Mommy was taken as a user name), with a review on Beauty & the Beast. Geekydaddy got out of having to see it – he’s not really a fan of anything that’s not an action movie or comedy. There are a few spoilers here at the end, but since the tale is literally as old as time (aka 1740), there’s not too much to spoil.

The movie starts by showing us the Prince (not a 9-year-old boy like in the cartoon version) as an adult who is cursed by an enchantress. Stay tuned for lots of ranting about the enchantress. It then cuts to the line “who can ever love a beast” and I got chills as Belle’s song “Bonjour” starts. It was just so cool seeing everything live – your cartoon literally just came to life!

Emma Watson is very cute as Belle (and has some nice singing pipes) and Kevin Kline shows up as her father. For whatever reason this made me feel old because Kevin Kline playing Crazy Old Maurice when I’m used to him in movies like A Fish Called Wanda just made him seem ancient.

They try to add a little more backstory about Belle’s mom, but not sure why honestly. It’s a Disney movie – they don’t have moms. Ariel – no mom. Jasmine – no mom. Snow White – evil stepmom. Cinderella – evil stepmom. You get my point. It seems like a few of the details such as Belle’s mom, the age of the Prince when he was cursed, the curse making townspeople forget about the castle/Prince, etc are trying to fill in “plot holes” identified by the Internet but people really need to calm down. Not everything needs to be explained away.

Also in the town is Gaston and LeFou, played by Luke Evans and Josh Gad respectively. Both were great, but I kind of wish this guy had played Gaston.

The beginning of the movie is pretty similar to the cartoon except that Belle gets bullied a bit more by the townspeople for reading and teaching a kid to read. Good thing she wasn’t in Salem in the 1600s when they hung women who could read as witches. Then Maurice stumbles upon the castle, gets caught and Belle has to go get him out of trouble.

The now empowered Belle, who seems to have more spirit and fight in her than the cartoon version, thinks that she’ll just escape from the Beast, thus explaining why she’s happy to trade places with daddy. Now cue all of the inanimate objects in the castle – Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellan), Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson). If you want to convince people like Geeky Daddy to go to the movies with you, just tell them it’s Obi Wan, Magneto and the ditsy witch from Harry Potter and they’ll be sold! Interesting enough, just like in the cartoon, Lumiere is the only one speaking with a French accent, even though they’re clearly in France. I guess that an English accent in France makes just as much sense (I’m looking at you Drew Barrymore in Ever After).

Lumiere and Cogsworth just don’t seem as friendly and cute as the original, but I didn’t find them creepy like some Buzzfeed articles I’ve seen. I also wonder if they were missing some money in the budget to not afford suits of armor so that Cogsworth could crack “If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it.” Anyhow, both Belle and Maurice are more creeped out by talking dish ware than in the cartoon version, so a little more of the realism.

The Beast’s makeup looks great (I should know, we’ve watched every season of Face Off on Syfy, so I feel like we know what to look for!) and the chemistry between him and Belle was quite nice. It didn’t feel like a weird Stockhold Syndrome type of thing, but just two young people getting to know each other.

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Pretty nice special effects makeup

The songs were great and they added a new one (meh) toward the end as well. “Be Our Guest” was CGI heaven and “Beauty and the Beast” looked just like the cartoon, which I recall in 1991 was a huge innovation in animation. My favorite was Gaston’s song – there was just so much energy and it seemed like everyone was having a fun time filming it.

Speaking of Gaston, he was both better and worse in this version of the movie. He really was trying to court Belle and gain her father’s approval, but failed miserably and became an even worse/abusive person than in the cartoon.

There were a few scary parts that make me recommend this movie for 8+, unless your children are very mature. The wolves did appear, and while not as scary as Direwolves, they weren’t cute and fluffy either. And Gaston was a bit scary at the end as well. Also, quick warning that Chip and Mrs. Potts have a dialog where she tells him that she’ll tell him something when he’s older, at which point he waits 5 seconds and says “I’m older now.” I can see that getting old (no pun intended) really quickly! Maybe this is why Mrs. Potts is the only Disney mom I know of…

Anyhow, I give this movie a 3.5 out of 5 and just north of Care Bears.

Geeky Daddy Movie Rating (9)

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Potential Spoilers/Rants

The Gay Moment

There was a lot on controversy regarding LeFou being an openly gay character and a lot of people up-in-arms. It was so subtle that a kid would miss it as it’s a comical scene. Yes, LeFou is Gaston’s buddy, but he could have just been a friend. At the end, a villager is “attacked” by the garderobe in the castle and dressed in a gown and makeup and he’s really happy with his new look. Later on at the ball, him and LeFou end up dancing together as partners change during the dance. Whatever. LeFou was really cute as they gave his character a little more depth and the gay implication was a blink and you miss it type of thing.

The Curse

Yes, Gaston is the villain in the movie, but the Enchantress really should share the role. In the beginning, the Prince was a party guy who was spoiled and selfish. Reminded me of Ally Sheedy in Made to Order – awesome 80’s movie). It wasn’t like he was taxing his people to starvation or putting them in prison. He just didn’t offer shelter to an old lady who crashed his party, but seriously, shouldn’t the servants have dealt with the woman?

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The original reverse Cinderella movie

Anyhow, it was one error in judgement and she gives him a potential life sentence as a beast and pretty much gives a death sentence to all of his servants. If he can’t find someone to love him, all of the servants turn into inanimate objects, which kind of seems like killing them, right? Seems a bit extreme. And even worse, when she makes it so that no one in town can remember the Prince and the Castle (closing those plot holes), Mr. Potts forgets all about his wife and young son. WHAT? How is this OK?

And while I get it that it’s based on the original story by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and you need to stick to the plan, if this really was about teaching the Beast a lesson (and not just punishment), shouldn’t the spell have been broken by having the Beast being able to love someone else and not someone love him? What if Belle loved him and he didn’t love her back? No lesson taught.

I suppose in terms of fairy tales this isn’t the worst (e.g. no witch trying to eat children in her gingerbread house), but still think that the Enchantress is pretty awful.

Various Artists Beauty And The Beast Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Amazon.com Music

 

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Joss Whedon to Write, Direct & Produce New Batgirl Movie

Variety is reporting that “Avengers” writer, director and producer Joss Whedon is finalizing a deal to write, direct and produce a solo “Batgirl” movie for Warner Bros.

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credit: Gage Skidmore

It is no secret that the relationship wore a little thin between Whedon and Disney/Marvel during the production of “Avengers: Age of Ultron”. Marvel can be very controlling throughout the production process of their films (universe building, advertising for future movies, paid product placement…) and this was felt at a distracting level in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Will Warner Bros be less controlling in the production of Batgirl? Who can say, but Whedon’s resume of directing strong female characters (Firefly, Buffy, Dollhouse, & Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) should allow for Warner Bros to give him the leniency and trust to work his magic.

Joss Whedon The Complete Companion The TV Series the Movies the Comic Books and More The Essential Guide to the Whedonverse PopMatters 9780857689863 Amazon.com Books
Paperback available on Amazon.com

Batgirl first appeared on the 1960’s “Batman” television program as a way to draw in female viewers and later made her debut in the comics.  It should be fun seeing what Whedon has in store for this character and how she will fit into the new DC cinematic universe.

 

Remember When Rocky Balboa Was A Member Of G.I. Joe….For About 3 weeks

This is actually a true story and one that confused me as a kid.  I had the comic book with Rocky Balboa’s origin but never knew why we didn’t see him in stories or his action figure. But fortunately CBR.com go to the bottom of it.

In 1985, Sly Stallone was on top of the world.  Rocky had just beaten the best boxer in the USSR (and the world’s worst He-Man) Dolph Lundgren.  In those USA boxing shorts and with a James Brown theme song, this dude was the ultimate patriot!

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“While you are at it Drago, tear down this wall!”

So much so that Hasbro approached Stallone about having Rocky enlist in the G.I. Joe toy line as a follow up to the success they experienced with World Wrestling Federation’s Sgt. Slaughter.  With Hasbro thinking the deal was a slam dunk, they gave the go ahead for G.I. Joe  writer Larry Hama and artist Herb Trimpe to create a bio for the character for the 1987 Marvel comic book mini-series G.I. Joe: Order of Battle.

Here is the bio from issue #2 of the mini-series.

G.I.-Joe-Order-of-Battle-2-1987

Hasbro even created a villain specifically for Rocky, Cobra Trainer Big Boa

big-boa

However, before the paperwork had been signed with Hasbro, rival toy manufacturer Coleco stepped in with a more lucrative offer for Stallone to launch a whole Rambo toy line. Apparently the deal with Coleco (or possibly the Hasbro one) had a non compete clause so Stallone was unable to do both.

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Stallone’s new deal even had a poorly developed cartoon!

On the Marvel comic book end, this meant they needed to find a way to retcon the Rocky balboa bio that had just been published in the 2nd issue of G.I. Joe Order of Battle. So in the very next issue of the series, Marvel printed this on the first page of the comic:

G.I.-Joe-Order-of-Battle-3-1987

So, when Stallone is unavailable, who is your backup?  William Refrigerator Perry of course!

 

Moral of the story: Always make sure legal has signed paperwork first!

Amazon.com NECA Rambo First Blood Year 1982 Movie Series 7 Inch Tall Action Figure Survival Version JOHN J. RAMBO with Alternative Right Hand Spear Assault Rifle Gun Walkie Talkie
This Awesome Toy is Available on Amazon.com

 

Lil G-Man’s First Picture Day Follow-up

In the first article, I posted the 3 pictures proofs from Lil G-Man’s first picture day and asked for your assistance to help us pick the one for us to put on a canvas.

Well, we had a tie between pictures 1 and 3!

Just to refresh your memory (and for the proud papa in me to show off my cute kid again), here are the finalist:

Option 1
Picture 1
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Picture 3

I know which one I am leaning towards, but my wife is adamant that our readers and friends pick a winner.

So please cast your vote below so we can have a winner!

Amazon.com Your Photo On Canvas 24 x 20 Personalized Premium Canvas Art Print Customized Canvas Picture Stretched on Wooden Frame as Gallery Artwork Posters Prints
Canvas available on Amazon.com

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Grayson’s “School” Photos

(polls)

Spider-Man Homecoming Official Movie Trailer

I’m excited for the new Spider-Man movie.  I thought Tom Holland really nailed the Peter Parker role in Captain America Civil War.  Robert Downey Jr. is always entertaining as Tony Stark and I love the casting of Michael Keaton as Vulture.

The action and special effects look great.

It looks like Marvel is trying hard to weave Spider-man in with the rest of their cinematic universe, which is terrific.  Really helps to build the anticipation for Avengers Infinity War (which Spider-Man will be a major part of).

The only thing the traditionalist in me is uncomfortable with is Marisa Tomei as Aunt May.  Aunt May has always been more Golden Girl-ish and Marisa Tomei brings a little too much hotness to the role, but this could make for some funny dialogue with womanizer Robert Downey Jr.

Spider-Man-Homecoming-Tom-Holland

Spider-Man Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7th, 2017.

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Geeky Daddy Test Drives Nintendo NES Classic

This post is over a week behind thanks to Lil’ G-Man’s daycare unleashing Strep Throat, Pink Eye and other illnesses upon us.  That place is like a biological weapons factory. But we are getting back to health.

We got our NES Classic Edition from Amazon and couldn’t wait to relive happy memories from our childhood. For a review of a product this important, I brought in support in the form of classic Nintendo enthusiasts: Uncle Josh! Uncle Josh has forgotten more about Nintendo classics like Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros than I can pretend to know.

And now, the unveiling of the NES Classic Mini

What surprised us most initially was the compact size of the NES Classic.  Very tiny and lightweight, aas Lil G-Man models below!

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Lil G-Man is not smiling because we wouldn’t let him play

The NES Classic comes with the power cord, an HDMI cord, 1 controller and a cool vintage poster. The included controller comes with an extremely short cord, so to avoid serious vision damage gy sitting inches from the screen, we recommend purchased the controller extension cord.  You will also want a second controller to enjoy all the 2 player games such as super Contra (which in the video I mistakenly said was not included on the system. It is listed simply as “Super C”).

We purchased the TASYSZ (off brand) controller since it comes with a 12 ft controller cord, as opposed to Nintendo’s 6 ft cord.  It also cost $12.99 on Amazon as opposed to Nintendo’s steeper price of $39.95.  That’s 2/3 the cost of the unit for just the controller!

In the video below, we initially fire up the NES Classic and go for our first test drive.

After a couple hours of play (and reminiscing of our youth), we determined that some games were more fun than others. Super Mario, Dr. Mario and Excitebike were awesome.  Some games you remember as being cool but then revisiting them, you wonder why you ever thought that.  Kinda like going back as an adult and watching your favorite cartoon, listening to the horrible dialogue and wondering if you were a moron as a kid for finding it entertaining.

My overall opinion is the system is well worth the $59.95 price tag, but probably not the crazy inflated price some scalpers are trying to receive for it.  There is a certain nostalgic feeling playing the games on the Classic NES system as opposed to a mod on a PC or PS4.

There is something to be said for this system having such demand for it while the Sega Genesis Classic Game Console is still going for MSRP with no scalping demand.  Shows which system gamers would rather play.

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Available on Amazon.com
Amazon.com Sega Genesis Classic Game Console 2016 Video Games
 Available on Amazon.com for $44.99

Monday Morning Meme Me With Grayson for March 27th

Merry Monday everyone!

This week we are going to turn the clocks back a few months to when Lil G-Man was first learning to NOT cross his eyes.

It used to creep me out when he would focus in on objects close to his face and go cross eyed on me.  Although, I gotta say, I am thankful that he never did have one eye go up and the other go down.  That would have really messed with my head!

Here is this week’s pic.  As usual, please comment below with your suggestions for a meme with this image.  I created a few examples to get your geeky minds goin’…

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And here are the the examples:

Grayson meme 3-27 1

Grayson meme 3-27 2

grayson meme 3-27 3

grayson meme 3-27 4

Have a great day!

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Geeky Daddy Movie Review Of Logan

This may not be the most popular opinion…

Obviously: Major Spoiler Warning!

Between Strep Throat and Pink Eye tearing through the daycare and my wife’s crazy work schedule, I was pretty late seeing this movie.  But it finally happened!

I had a ton of hype for this movie!  With Hugh Jackman repeatedly saying that this was going to be his last time portraying Wolverine, we could all pretty much guess how this was going to end: Sadly for our favorite Canadian super hero. C’mon, other than Alpha Flight, who else do our friends north of the border have? Captain Canuck?

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The movie is loosely based on the incredibly successful Mark Millar mini-series Old Man Logan (which was awesome!) but had to be changed around, mostly because FOX does not have the movie rights to most the main characters from the comic (Hawkeye, Hulk, Red Skull and so on). Part of why Millar’s story was so successful was because the villains coordinated together, utilized all their strengths and won by tricking Logan into killing most the X-men (he believed he was being attacked by villains) then luring the other heroes into a trap. This gave purpose as to why Logan chose to leave society and never want to use his claws again.

Amazon.com Wolverine Old Man Logan 9780785131724 Mark Millar Steve McNiven Books

For the movie, it is never outright said but strongly implied that Xavier was responsible for the X-men’s demise (by way of a massive brain seizure).  This results in the U.S. Government classifying Xavier as a weapon of mass destruction leaving Logan and Xavier hiding out in Mexico. Which leads to my first issue with the film…

Who was this film really about?

Who was this story of redemption really about? The killing off of nearly all the X-men is a huge pivot point in the X-men movie universe!  Why re-work this so Xavier is responsible for this event and not Logan? Why take all the gravity off the title character of the film? At times Logan was the supporting character of the film and literally the chauffeur for Xavier on Xavier’s quest for redemption.

The character of Laura or X-23 (who was played expertly by new comer Dafne Keen) was a little confusing as well.  Why make her mute for three quarters of the film, then suddenly have her speaking in Spanish?  Then, after watching the ending of the western”Shane” on a television with Xavier, she is able to speak some English?  At that point it would have been more impactful for the story to leave her mute, aside from the screams and grunts during combat. Speaking of combat…

The fight scenes were great!

All the combat scenes were fast paced and bloody!  That is exactly what you expect from people fighting with razor sharp claws! I guess my only request is that there were more of these scenes.  And an actual villain.

Why use a corporate putz like Dr. Rice?  I loved the idea of using high fructose corn syrup as a mutant gene sterilizer (right now I am eyeing my can of Mt. Dew very suspiciously…) and the lab where X-23 was created was all about DNA and cloning.  How could DNA mastermind Mr. Sinister not be the villain!?! Unless there are other plans to use him in a future “X” movie.

I liked the idea of bringing the Reavers (who once worked for Sinister by the way) in from the comics as the mercenaries. Although it was odd that lead Reaver Pierce (Boyd Holbrook) was seen repairing his cybernetic hand with no pain at one point, but was then in pain when the same cybernetic hand was shot later.

Overall, all the acting was superb.  It is hard to image any actors other than Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart as Wolverine and Prof. Xavier.  Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook and Stephan Merchant (as Caliban) were all great.  Even Eriq La Salle turned in a great performance, although I still hear the tune of “Soul Glo” every time I see him.  But that is my own issue to work out…

Long & Depressing

We all knew a sad ending was coming, but wow, it seemed like it took a loonnnggg time to happen.  And I guess that is my main issue with the film.

Normally after watching a superhero movie, I can’t wait to watch it a second time to hunt for all the Easter Eggs I might have missed.  But when Logan ended, I had no desire to re-watch it soon. The film reminded a lot of “The Road” with Viggo Mortensen.  It was just a long sad story of a father and child traveling across a depressing dystopian country.  It ends and you are like “That was good but I have no desire to re-watch it.”

The most distractingly depressing part for me was the slaughter of Will Munson’s (Eriq La Salle) family.  Why? It served no purpose in the scene.  The gravity of that scene should have been Xavier, the father of the X-men and reason they are extinct, being stabbed in the chest.  Instead, that weight is distractingly distributed amongst him and a family we just met.

For what?  So Logan can be reminded that anybody her cares about dies?  Hasn’t that already been established in the previous 7 storylines?

Every beginning comes from another beginnings end

I did like how the movie wrapped up. It had good closure for Xavier and Logan while still setting the table for the “New Mutants”. This was the 9th time Hugh Jackman played Wolverine (counting the cameo in X-Men: Days of Future Past) so there is no re-casting of Wolverine anytime soon.  This meant Fox needed to pass the adamantium claw on to a whole new character which they did successfully.

logan review 1

I previously read where some viewers were confused by where this movie fell in the X-Men movie timeline.  I did not see the confusion since the timeline was more or less “re-set” at the conclusion of X-Men: Days Of Future Past.  It’s not like The Flash were Barry Allen re-sets it 3 or 4 times a season.

In the end, I liked a lot of what the director wanted to accomplish, just not sure he was 100% successful. Like I said previously, I did not leave the theater with a desire to see the movie again.

Logan achieved a 3.5 on the Geeky Daddy Movie Rating scale and a sub Cannibal Holocaust on the Geeky Daddy Sidekick Scale.

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Geeky Daddy Movie Rating (8)

Side Note: This Logan is not to be confused with the American Girl Doll Logan…which is a real thing!

 

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logan movie
Available on Amazon Soon

Too Drunk To Find Your Way Home? There Is An App For That (In Tokyo At Least)!

I love Tokyo!  Visiting there is like travelling into the future!

Remember when I wrote about their sliced chocolate! Yum!

But one thing that takes a Ph.D to figure out their is their mass transit rail system.  There are three different lines that all use their own stations, their own pay cards and their own rails.  On top of that, many trains shut down after evening rush hour.

Now imagine trying to keep this all straight after you have been out with your pals slamming back some Asahi (my favorite Japanese Beer) or some Sake. Talk about a Kobayashi Mauru!

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Well Rocket News reports that software developer Val Labratory has developed a “Drunk Mode” for their Ekisupaato (from the Japanese word eki for“station”) railway navigation app.  Simply enter in your home station (preferably while sober) then party on!

When you have had enough (or the bartender tells you that you have) simply hit home and the app navigates you home utilizing the best railways (including their schedules and last trains of the night).

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Don’t be like this guy…

drunk in tokyo

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The 5 Most Challenging Star Wars Lego Sets To Build With Your Kids

Star Wars.  Legos.  Kids.

No matter who you are, you gotta love at least 2 out of the 3.

My top 5 are: my child, Star Wars, Legos, Mt. Dew and Pizza.

Oh yeah!  My wife too! But I digress….

Here is my list of the top 5 most challenging Star Wars Lego playsets

5. Lego Star Wars Tantive IV (10198)

 

This our first introduction to a much larger world. This Lego edition of the first spaceship we ever saw in a Star Wars film contains over 1400 pieces, rotating radar disc, detachable escape pods and 5 figures.  A challenge not to be taken lightly.

(You can see an expertly done splicing of this ship towards the end of Star Wars: Rogue One and this ship’s beginning classic scene in Star Wars: A New Hope HERE. (Warning: Spoilers)

4. Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon (75105)

 

The Millennium Falcon is probably the most famous ship in Sci-Fi lore, maybe second to the U.S.S. Enterprise (which has never made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, by the way). Over 1300 pieces to assemble with hideable cargo compartments, turbo lasers and 7 Star Wars: Force Awakens figures. Even Harrison Ford couldn’t crash this…umm..well actually…

3. Lego Death Star II (10143)

 

The Lego Death Star II (now discontinued) stood over 25″ tall, had a Star Destroyer in orbit and contained over 3,400 pieces! But unfortunately no moon of Endor.

2. Lego Death Star (75159)

 

Holy Crap!  What didn’t this set come with! Over 4,000 pieces, Darth Vader’s Tie Fighter, 23 figures with nearly 20 weapons and a room from basically every Death Star scene from the movie! Only thing missing was the Death Star’s kitchen sink!

1. Lego Star Wars Motorized Walking AT-AT Imperial Walker (10178)

 

There are actually a number of different Imperial Walker Lego sets, but only 1 motorized walking set!  This 1,137 piece beast comes with a motor allowing it to walk and move it’s head up and down. Comes with opening cockpit, rotating lasers, 4 figures (including Luke’s grappling cord) but not the 6 AA batteries needed to operate the motors.

Honorable Mention

Lego Compatible Star Wars Super Star Destroyer

 

The Super Star Destroyer gets an honorable mention, but I am not including it on my list simply because it is not manufactured by Lego.  Wesselink Toys makes Lego compatible products, but still pretty cool!

Please comment with the Lego sets you think I might have missed.