Michael Rooker

Guardians of the Galaxy

Year: 2014
Directed By: James Gunn
Written By: James Gunn and Nicole Perlman


This movie came out before I really understood and appreciated the scope of the MCU. I knew that all the comic book movies Marvel was making would eventually tie together and I thought they were all good. Yet when this movie came out I gave it a pass. I have been a comic book fan my whole life yet had never heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The previews did nothing to encourage me as I distinctly remember wondering what was up with this movie. There was a talking racoon in it and this big tree thing that was voiced by none other than Vin Diesel. They had a WWE star in the cast! The fat guy from Parks and Rec was playing the lead. There was just no way this movie would amount to anything more than an experiment Marvel lost money on.

Well, I like to admit when I am wrong and from the very beginning of this movie I could instantly tell I was not only wrong about it but I was in store for something spectacular. Starlord dancing around during the opening credits is so engaging and fun. It instantly sets the tone for what turned out to be a really engaging and fun movie. That tone is also set by an awesome soundtrack that would top the charts for many weeks on end.

It turned out that fat guy from Parks and Rec lost a ton of weight and was kind of a hilarious badass in his own way. The talking racoon was not only not stupid but managed to steal the show. He is incredible and awesome in every single scene he is part of. Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot arguably showed more range than Vin Diesel as the actor in popular over explosive movies. I knew nothing about Dave Batista other than him being a WWE performer. Just when that seems like enough I see something like this that throws the whole world off balance.

I thought Dave Bautista was not just good in this movie but outstanding. He is so funny with his literal one liners and lack of understanding when it comes to metaphor or sarcasm. “Why would I run my finger across his throat?” He’s just so unexpectedly hilarious I absolutely cann0t wait for the sequel because I want more of this guy. I wrote him off for no other reason than the fact that he was a pro wrestler by trade and that seemed to be a gross miscalculation.

Chris Pratt blew up into a star following this movie and when you watch the movie it’s easy to see why. He is undeniably likable in this movie and brings a wit to the character that makes him hilarious. I really like Chris Pratt from his days on Parks and Rec where after a while I thought he was the only good thing about the show. I only refer to him as “the fat guy” because I have heard so many people describe him that way. I found it really impressive how he got himself in shape for the role. He did so on his own volition too which shows a lot of dedication to the character.

I can’t think of anything to say about Rocket other than he is just hands down awesome. His dialogue and delivery are so funny. He didn’t have time to work out the “minutia” of the plan, he called Stan Lee a “class A prevert,” and he got Starlord to take that prosthetic leg for his plan to escape the prison. He’s just so funny and I was thoroughly surprised by the character. He is so much more than simply funny as he is a tiny little badass that you just don’t see coming.

By saying no more than three words throughout the movie Vin Diesel actually managed to impress me. I have never been a big fan of the guy and don’t consider him to be a good actor. I can’t stand an actor that has to go over the top trying to be cool. If you have to try to be cool you are simply missing that element that makes it natural. In this film though, with his three words, it’s the coolest I think he has ever been.

Zoe Saldana seems to be part of every sci-fi franchise lately after significant parts in Avatar and the Star Trek franchise. In this movie she looks really good with green skin and I like her character quite a bit. She’s a beautiful woman but I feel like I would’t recognize her in anything else. She has over 40 acting credits but usually when I see her she is either CGI or in tons of make up.

Most of the characters in this movie are in a ton of make up or done by CGI but my favorite is Michael Rooker with that bright blue skin. I am a big fan of Michael Rooker going all the way back to Cliffhanger and before. I love his perception in this movie that Starlord owes him something because he stopped his people from eating him as a child. The arrow that he uses with his whistling is awesome and I can’t wait to see more of it in the sequel.

The rest of this cast is full of great actors in supporting roles. John C. Reilly is great in everything and he manages to be really funny in a small part. Glenn Close brings credibility as the leader of the Nova as does Benicio Del Toro as The Collector. My favorite supporting character is Korath played by Djimon Hounsou. He just looks so wicked in costume and I love the part of the film in which he called Quill Starlord and the response is a delighted “finally.”

I really liked the villains in this movie. Ronan was really wicked from the beginning with his dressing ceremony up to his disgust at Peter Quill dancing. Played by Lee Pace it is hard to recognize him at all in all the make-up but the make-up that hid him was excellent. He is a ruthless villain and thus far one of the better villains in the MCU who haven’t really measured up in the villain department quite like they have in the hero. This movie also gives us our longest look at the coming big bad guy Thanos, played by Josh Brolin. He has merely a cameo in this movie but it offers us a good look at what is to come. I also liked Nebula with her jealous streak and ability to just bounce back into form robotically after being blasted by an explosion. Looks like she will be switching sides in the next film and it will be cool to see her kicking ass for the good guys.

I had never seen anything by Director James Gunn before but I will have an eye out for his work in the future. I think the script he wrote for this movie was just so incredibly funny. I am regularly impressed with the people Marvel finds to helm their movies because often I am unfamiliar with them. They manage to make it all work great though with fantastic continuity for the expanding cinematic universe. No matter who is at the helm all of these movies manage to feel like they are on the same page. It’s an impressive thing and evidence of the genius behind Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige.

I think I have rambled on sufficiently for this movie but I could never say enough about how much I enjoy this movie. I love when I have low expectations of something and it manages to blow me away. If you have preconceived notions about this movie I understand, but I sincerely encourage you to give it a chance and find out as I did how great it is and what you are missing. This movie isn’t just worth your time but worth plenty of your time as it gets better with multiple viewings.




Mississippi Burning

Year: 1988
Directed By: Alan Parker
Written By: Chris Gerolmo


The best movies are the ones that teach us something.  The ones that get into our core and change the very fiber of our being for the rest of time. This movie did that for me. It taught me an invaluable lesson about racism that I will never forget. The message this movie sends is one that has been preached by many films but it is one I only needed once. It has soured my opinion some to other movies along the same lines but I hope each and every one of them did for others what this one did for me.  The world was an uglier place in 1964. It’s an unfortunate reality that the world is still that ugly 50 years later, but I hope with every lesson a film like this delivers that we will be that much closer to what the world can be.

There is plenty of ugliness in this world but I think racism would just about give anything a run for its money at being the worst.  To have hate in your heart for another person based on nothing more than their skin color is despicable.  To judge a person you do not know for preconceived notions that are unfounded is awful.  Worst of all is being so blinded by hate that you physically and emotionally hurt other people to perpetuate some ridiculous idea created by hateful and evil people.  It just blows, in every way possible.  Nothing makes me sicker than to see this ugliness in the world.  I do not judge people for what they were raised to believe but I believe we should all try to be better.  When you settle for the norm or go on with a mentality you know to be wrong you aren’t being better but simply bringing us all down by being worse. The world will never change unless we change ourselves but we can’t do it alone.  It’s a sad reality that as long as ignorance is still prevalent in our society that we will have to endure unnecessary hatred and judgment.

I mentioned that this movie has soured me on others along the same lines and I’d like to clarify that statement.  I just don’t like seeing racism, and I prefer not to see it because I find it ugly.  It’s no different than seeing rape or adultery in a movie.  Some things will just turn me off of a film because I don’t care to see it.  With racism I have learned my lesson about it and I don’t care to pile on by choosing to watch more of the ugliness.  I hope they never stop being made because each and every one has the opportunity to teach someone and that’s great.  I just don’t need that lesson anymore and choose to avoid seeing those films for the most part.  This movie is enough for me but I still find this one hard to watch again.  It’s a great movie all around but I don’t think it is fun to watch.  The Klansmen make me sick to my stomach and though it is awesome to see them get what is coming to them the damage they had already done can’t go unnoticed.  I wish this world hadn’t been this way and wasn’t so similar today in various ways but it’s an unfortunate reality we have to live with.  It’s incredibly difficult to change someone’s opinion about anything once they have set their mind to it.  I am thankful for the people out there who want to fight the battle but personally I think you are just fighting.  It’s like the war on drugs, it’s unwinnable.  You can no more make someone feel a way they don’t than you can stop them from doing something they want to do.  You can preach and punish all you want but at the end of the day haters are gonna hate and hopheads are gonna get high.

I think with this movie that the lesson I have learned from it is more important than the movie itself.  It’s a very good film that is based on real events.  There are the Hollywood elements added in as they are in all movies based on true stories but the messages the film sends are clear and authentic. Gene Hackman is incredible and should have won the Oscar but lost to Dustin Hoffman for Rainman. Frances McDormand is great in everything she does and I’m a big fan of Willem Dafoe.  I think all the KKK members were perfectly cast, R. Lee Ermey and Michael Rooker fit in accordingly.  There is also a young Eddie Winslow in the movie playing an inspiring part.  That is all I want to say about the film itself though.  I think it is a terrific film and I appreciate what it taught me but I believe what it taught me was more important than the film itself.

This movie is worth your time.  If you watch this movie and don’t feel sympathy in your heart there is something wrong with you.  There is a valuable lesson to be had from this movie and if you manage to not get it you need to see more.  If you can’t feel how awful the content of this movie is then you need to open your mind and see it again.  We can all be better as people and as individuals.  This is one of the movies that taught me to be a better person and a stronger individual.  I hope you watch it and get as much out of it as I do.  We can’t change the world but we can change ourselves and we can raise children to be smarter than our parents were and we are.


This movie is incredibly moving. A movie that makes you want to stand up for something, too. It is a really hard movie to watch. If you are a black person or a white person, it’s hard to watch. There is a huge lesson to be learned about this movie, about people and natural born rights. I wasn’t alive during this time and I am so thankful for that, because my whole motto in life is “Live and Let Live.” I don’t understand why people had and have hatred for other people for no reason at all. It burdens my heart. This movie tells an amazing story and it is worth watching for sure.


I am really impressed with this poster. I don’t think it effectively draws in curiosity or anything, but I do think it is really well designed. I am always a fan of a grid design. I think the colors are simple and well suited for this movie. You have two big names and they are evident and at the top and it also gives you an idea of what the characters look like in the film. For this poster to be done in 1988 is also impressive, I feel like it is a little ahead of its time. Another note here. I feel like the simplicity of this poster alludes to the seriousness of its nature.

NEXT MOVIE: Money Talks (1997)

Movies By Request

The Trigger Effect

Year: 1996
Directed By: David Koepp
Written By: James Burke, David Koepp

Writing about this one has been on the to-do list for some time now so I will do my best to review it by memory.  This movie was given to me by someone close and when I watched it I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or to cry.  It’s probably one of the silliest movies I have ever seen if truth be told but things were different in 1996 I guess.  The plot seemed like it would be interesting because at the time Amber and I were giving the NBC show Revolution a try and for a brief moment thought it was really interesting.  This movie is about a family that struggles to make it when things get crazy during a power outage.  What makes it all so laughable is that in a matter of days these people COMPLETELY lose it.

In this movie we see a typical suburban couple. Weakling Kyle MacLachlan and his far too attractive for him wife, Elisabeth Shue are the two typical people living regular lives and trying to raise their newborn child.  Suddenly when the power goes out everything changes and for the extreme worse.  The power is out and the phones are dead, something that happens frequently during snow storms, ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, or really any extreme weather.  It is also something that frequently occurs for a number of different reasons that have to do with some kind of technical problem.  There are frequent cases of people being without power for weeks at a time and I can only hope that they don’t fall to pieces the way these people do when something like this happens.

On day one with no power, weakling Kyle MacLachlan panics and resorts to stealing from a pharmacy to provide his infant child with medicine.  On day two they link up with his long time friend played by Dermot Mulroney and then things get really interesting.  During day two they buy a gun at a ridiculous price, they begin drinking and take smoking back up, Elisabeth Shue strongly considers adultery with Mulroney, and before the night is over they have killed someone in the street.  What’s particularly funny about this last thing is that when the cops arrive MacLachlan specifically ask them “how’s it going out there?” and the cop doesn’t seem to know what in the world he is talking about.  Yet panic still has a firm grip on these people.  In the morning of day three they pack up and head for the hills with as much gas as they can get into one of their vehicles. On the road they run across a car parked on the side of the road and when they stop to steal gas from it an incident takes place with Michael Rooker.  During the incident Mulroney is shot and their car is stolen by Rooker. Nobody will stop to help them and it is MacLachlan who has to stop being such a pussy and buck up.  He travels to the closest house they passed along the way. There he proceeds to hold a father and son hostage at gun point and tries to steal their car.  This is the moment of clarity in the movie where MacLachlan realizes what life has come to (in a matter of only three days).  The movie has about ten minutes left and as it ends the power is back on with no explanation and they are going back along their normal lives.

Now let’s review.  These people lose power for A WEEKEND and they resort to theft, murder, drinking, smoking, carjacking, arms bearing, fleeing their home, and far too close for comfort to adultery.  That’s about the most pathetic thing I have ever heard of and I can’t be quite sure what to make of this film.  As I said, I was interested because we had been watching Revolution but it was nothing like that at all.  These people would be in serious trouble if a blizzard hit town because they seriously can’t handle themselves.  I would say if nothing else the movie might be worth seeing because at one point Elizabeth Shue is wearing a see-through bra.  Shue may have been one of the most attractive women to ever grace the big screen but never really made any significant impact as an actress.  Yet seeing her in that bra did make sitting through this movie worth it if nothing else.

As to NBC’s Revolution I would like to say a couple of things.  We almost got into this show because it was an interesting story but one night we sat down to watch an episode Amber had already seen and everything changed.  I had seen maybe five minutes of the episode when Amber told me there was a surprise at the end and I called it immediately.  I simply said the most obvious thing that could happen and that turned out to be exactly what the surprise in the end was. I didn’t want to see it any longer after that, when a show is that predictable it isn’t worth our time and we were already on the fence about it.  To all this I simply want to say that NBC is like Busch league when it comes to television dramas and this is why we steer clear of them.  NBC, FOX, CBS, and ABC don’t have the balls or creative capacity to make a decent drama series.  They had a foothold early on when TV started getting so good but they seriously fail in comparison to networks like AMC, FX, and HBO.  I will still stand by the comedies that come on these networks but when it comes to putting together a big time serious series they just can’t get it right.  Fox had a hit with 24 over ten years ago but everything they have done since has simply seemed to be rehashing the story lines we saw there.  If you are looking for good dramas take your chances on something FX has to offer or just watch anything that comes on AMC.  They are so far superior that they don’t even compare.

The Walking Dead S3 Part 1 Finale

Whoa. I can’t believe I am saying it but this was even better than the season 2 finale that got me back on board with the show.  I am so thoroughly impressed.  The show has obviously split from the comic again but while it toned down the violence, it still gave us plenty to talk about tomorrow.  In the comic some of the group are captured by Woodbury.  Rick loses a hand (something that would have been annoying production wise and I understand why they didn’t do it…yet), and Michonne is raped by the Governor repeatedly.  She still manages to escape but not before taking an arm, eye, and member of the Governor.  What we saw tonight was tamer but no less satisfying.

I thought the introduction of Tyrese was great.  Amber and I both instantly became fans when he calmed down his wife with the realities of their situation.  I know Tyrese is a big character in the comic and I think he was appropriately cast.  I see plenty of potential for this guy when the season comes back in February.  I also really like that while things went differently in the show between the Governor and Michonne he still lost an eye.  Bad guys are so much more badass when they have lost an eye.  We could see it immediately as he turned his one glaring eye on Merle and pronounced him a traitor. I think it’s obvious from the previews that Merle and Daryl will somehow escape and rejoin the group.  I think it was a great cliffhanger though. I am not really a fan of Merle but I have always liked Michael Rooker and I think it is a good idea for the show to keep him around.

The show has taken its annual break for the Christmas season and I think that is appropriate.  This show has no place during the season and it is a great idea ratings wise to have this hiatus. I am a huge fan of the FX series American Horror Story and this season has been great but I do wish that show did the same thing.  It’s hard to get into the horror spirit during the season of giving no matter how good the show is.  I found that to be a problem with the spectacular season one of the show and I anticipate it to be the same this year.  The Walking Dead does it right.  By the time February rolls around we will all be salivating for this show and it will make it all the better.

Next season look for a major assault by Woodbury on the prison.  It’s obvious that the Governor has already noticed its whereabouts and wanted its resources.  His conservation with Merle a couple of episode suggested as much.  He will tell his people that the “terrorist” who attacked them reside there and they will eventually form an assault that will climax perfectly in an incredible season.


Year: 1993
Directed By: Renny Harlin
Written By: This movie started out as “Gale Force” (Die Hard in a hurricane), it went through several re-writes.


I grew up in a family that had a thing for cheesy action movies.  Movies like this were our bread and butter, what we sat up watching on Friday nights before we were old enough to drive and go out on our own.  I have to admit I have a special place in my heart for movies in the “Die Hard-genre,” for the simplicity of them.  When the terrorists are just white guys who want money, with no racial or political motives.  You don’t have to be Jack Bauer to handle these terrorist, simple police training a la John McClane will suffice, or in the case of this movie simply being a rescue worker with muscles coming out of your ass will do.

I am a Stallone fan no matter how ridiculous some of his movies are. I do think it’s time for him to hang it up though.  His time has come and gone, it is time for him to move into a different phase of his career.  This movie is one of my favorite of his actually, I really like the “Die Hard scenario” in this setting.  Stallone is an interesting person because he has had to overcome so much to be successful with his face paralysis. During his birth a doctor improperly used a pair of tongs to pull him from the birth canal and incedently paralyzed part of his face, including the insides of his mouth.  In the beginning of his career he specifically wrote the first Rocky with little dialogue to mask his difficulty speaking.  What I really find interesting about him is how he can literally do the exact same thing over and over again on multiple platforms and continue to be successful.  He made Rocky 6 F-ing times and Rambo 4 for crying out loud, and people are still paying to see it. He has gotten old though, as unfortunate as that is, and he needs to stop trying to turn the clock back by juicing.  He was caught with roids a few years ago when shooting Rocky Balboa. Stallone was great in his hey day, but it’s time for him to admit to himself that that time is over.

The bad guy was originally going to be played by Christopher Walken which would have been awesome but he bailed at the last-minute.  I am a huge Christopher Walken fan and I have to think that it would have made for a better movie.  I am also a big John Lithgow fan though, and think that he was awesome as the bad guy in the movie.  Walken may have been a little better, but that’s not to discredit Lithgow’s performance because Lithgow is always good.  He is incredibly versatile.  He was so funny and silly on 3rd Rock From the Sun yet so ruthless and cold as the villain in this movie. There is only one reason I think Walken might have been better, and if you want to know what it is check this out.

Michael Rooker plays the other leading part in the film and I have always been a fan of his as well.  I did not like his most recent performance on The Walking Dead, but I enjoyed several of the movies he was in earlier in his career.  Renny Harlin directed the movie and I have liked many of his movies as well. He is never going to be considered a really serious filmmaker but he has made some great action movies. Like I said though, I come from a household where we spent a lot of time on stupid and mindless action movies.  We owned nearly every variety of the “Die Hard Genre.”

In the aftermath of Die Hard many movies were made with the exact same formula.  A group of white terrorist hijack something in an effort to extort lots of money in a variety of settings.  Let me provide some examples….there’s Steven Seagal vs. the white guy terrorists Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey in Die Hard  on a Boat (Under Siege), Christian Slater vs. white guy terrorists John Travolta  and Howie Long in Die Hard in the Desert (Broken Arrow), Nicholas Cage vs. white guy terrorist John Malkovich in Die Hard on a Prison Plane (Con Air), Harrison Ford vs. white guy terrorist Gary Oldman in Die Hard with the President, on a Plane (Air Force One), even Howie Long had his own Die Hard in the Woods (Firestorm),  and this one of course, Die Hard in the Mountains.  There are probably several I am forgetting, there was one with Van Damme in a hockey arena, ah I could name them off forever if I try.  These movies are all simple, there is nothing to learn from any of them, but sometimes it’s good to just sit back and relax.  These movies come in handy then.

I love this movie and still enjoy watching it, but I don’t know that I can tell just anybody that it is worth their time. It does hold a certain sentimental element for me because when I was a kid playing with G I Joes it was this scenario I always acted out.  My favorite Joe would be the one who had to defeat all the others one by one and all the “Die Hard” movies influenced how the action played out.  This one was a popular one because I could have them climbing of the furniture. So, as I was saying, I can’t say this is worth your time,  but if you give it a chance I think you I will like it.


I might have written a real review for this movie. Maybe it could have been the best review I have written so far. But, that isn’t going to be the case here. The night that we watched this movie was the night that The Help came out on onDemand. I had spent all day trying to figure out how to get Ryan to watch it with me. I read the book and missed it in the theaters, so I have been patiently waiting for the DVD release date. Well, after much debate and arguing I guess you already know who won. Instead of getting to watch an uplifting movie about race relations, I was forced to watch Sylvester Stallone try to save a woman who ultimately plummeted to her death. And the whole time I sat there sulking, and thinking about how awesome Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls was for making fun of it.

I can’t say if I love it or hate it, because even though I watched it, I wasn’t really paying attention to it, because I was so mad that Ryan won and his pregnant wife didn’t get to watch the movie she had desperately been wanting to watch since finishing the book.

For the record, I still haven’t seen The Help. (I still love him, but don’t you think he owes me?)

 NEXT MOVIE: Closer (2004)