Movie Review: ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender
May 2014 23

dofp posterBased on Marvel’s “The Uncanny X-Men” issues #141-142, Days of Future Past is a time travel story that brings together the X-Men of old and new. The film bridges the gap between Bryan Singer’s original X-Men and X-2, and Matthew Vaughn’s “origin” story First Class. Throughout all of the X films, as well as the comics, are themes of social issues which reflect our own society. It is no secret that the humans in the films do not accept mutants. But what would happen if they were finally successful in eliminating them? In Days of Future Past it’s a race against the clock to travel back in time and save the X-Men and all mutants before it is too late.

The plot follows the story from the comics pretty closely. In the original storyline, Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) travels back in time to occupy the mind of her younger self, in order to warn the X-Men of their future downfall. In the film however, Kitty uses her powers to send back Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), because… Wolverine (enough said, Bub). In the year 2023 a sentient line of robot mutant-hunters know as Sentinels, created by Boliver Trask (Peter Dinklage), have been successful in finding and eliminating most all mutant threats. The surviving X-Men, lead by Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), work together with even Magneto (McKellen) to try and stop the Sentinels from eliminating their kind. Yet however much they try, the Sentinels keep coming back stronger and more plentiful. Their only hope for survival is to send someone back to the year 1973 and erase the catalyst which gave birth to the Sentinels – the murder of their creator at the hands of Mystique. Wolverine is the only one whose brain can handle the stress of traveling that far back, and so it is up to him to convince a younger Xavier (McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) to work together and ensure the survival of mutant-kind.

The film is smart, fast paced and action packed from beginning to end. There is no doubt that this is the X-Men movie that we have all been waiting for. Coming off the heels of both First Class and The Wolverine, Days of Future Past brings back all of our favorite actors and gives us exactly what we want to see. Hugh Jackman is the glue that holds the film together, and does an incredible job as always. Although it is inevitable, it is hard to see anyone else in the role of Wolverine. He not only has the acting chops, but the charisma to make every scene he appears in that much better. Although Ellen Page does a great job as Kitty Pryde, there is no question as to why Jackman is the star of the film.

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Movie Review: ‘Chef’ Starring Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Robert Downey, Jr.
May 2014 23

Jon Favreau is used to putting out huge, summer action flicks, like Iron Man 1 and 2, as well as the dud Cowboys and Aliens, but this summer he’s not blowing up anything, he’s cooking. Chef is Favreau’s latest project, and a welcomed departure from summer action flicks.

Favreau directed, wrote, and stars in this low-budget comedy about a Los Angeles celebrity chef named Carl Casper. Casper is living large, running the kitchen of his boss’ upscale restaurant. Casper’s boss, played by Dustin Hoffman, fires the head of his restaurant after Casper goes on a viral tirade after receiving less than stellar reviews from a well-known food critic. Out of a job, Casper heads on a cross-country journey in a food truck along with his 10-year old son. Once on the journey, the real cooking occurs, as Casper finds the ingredients that really matter in life.

Make no mistake about it, Chef may boast a cast of John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, Hoffman, and a small role for Robert Downey Jr., but this feast is all about Favreau, who in a sense goes back to his roots with Chef.

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43: ‘Godzilla’ Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen
May 2014 21

This week, for the first time ever, we venture outside of the bunker to broadcast from an undisclosed location. We are Kevin-less so we were temporarily barred from the Brackett Compound. But that didn’t stop us from taking on Godzilla.

We also have a special guest as Thom West runs the board (and even speaks occasionally). Dan tells us about his special working relationship with the infamous 1998 version of Godzilla and how it inspired the best Dorito idea you’ll sadly never see. All this plus we take our first ever phone call.

It’s a historic Reel Spoilers #43: Godzilla.

You’ve been warned.

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Like Hipsters? Love Pub Crawls? Join the ‘Dress Like a Hipster Pub Crawl’
May 2014 20

pub crawlI remember back in the day when being uncool was, well, uncool. When I was in elementary school, every kid had to have the latest fashions: the Adidas jackets, the shoes with soles that lit up, track jackets, etc. Those who didn’t get in on the trend were shunned, outcasts.

Somewhere along the way, though, it became cool to buck the trends. Mainstream trends became bete noire to some, preferring to set their own avant garde trends and other French words I’m not sure I’m even using properly.

Mere mention of the word hipster can either fathom fond thoughts or pejorative dirty words I’m not allowed to print here. Regardless, when one hears the word hipster, one’s mind tends to conjure up certain images: a scarf, perhaps a fedora, big glasses with thick frames, and (at least for the guys) thick mustaches.

Leave it to the founders of the wildly successful St. Louis Baconfest to come up with yet another non-traditional social event in the form of the “Dress Like a Hipster Pub Crawl,” taking place Saturday, July 12, in Soulard. The brainchild of Matt Willer and Matt Guillot, owners of Team Bacon LLC, the pub crawl is scheduled to begin around 2 and end when all the pubs in the area close.

“We ultimately decided to do it because we like to create things, and once I came up with the concept, well it’s just too funny to not move forward with it!” Matt Willer exclaims. And who could argue with his initiative? Last year’s Baconfest drew over 15,000 people, well over the 10,000 they’d anticipated.

The pub crawl isn’t anticipated to be quite as large, he says. “With our marketing plan we’re anticipating about 1,000 people participating,” Willer estimates. Still, with some strong marketing and word of mouth, there’s no reason to believe they can’t easily achieve this number.

Everyone attending will receive a hipster start-up kit consisting of hipster glasses, a scarf, stick-on mustache, gloves with no finger tips, and a beer koozie that says “I only drink craft beer.” Those who register by June 1 will receive a ticket for $22.09, while those registering by June 30 will have to pay $32.64.

Excited as Willer is, he’s quick to admit that he looked to outside sources for inspiration. “Recently, one of our friends and her boyfriend, both not hipsters, decided to dress as hipsters and went to a popular coffee & beer establishment called Foam. They thought it would be a fun date to change their clothing style for an evening, experience the local hipster culture, so that’s what they did. And they had a great time!” he explains. “Their date idea inspired me to come up with a pub crawl where people dress up like hipsters.”

The event is still in its nascent stages of planning, so plenty is still up in the air: drink specials, the number of stops, even the stops themselves. Willer will be updating the website as more information becomes available.

Regardless, he feels confident this event has every opportunity to succeed, mainly because of its unique identity. “Many other styles have already been done in pub crawl form in St. Louis and around the country. However, no one has done a hipster themed pub crawl here.

“It’s something new, and themed events are fun.”

For more information, check out the Facebook page. To purchase tickets, visit the official website.

Movie Review: ‘Godzilla’ Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston
May 2014 15

“Holy crap, they made a Godzilla movie!”

Godzilla 2014 PosterThat brilliant and insightful cinematic commentary came from yours truly, roughly during the last third of director Gareth Edwards’ (Monsters) summer reboot of filmdom’s favorite green-skinned gargantuan, Godzilla. I couldn’t resist – as an avowed monster-lover dating all the way back to the days of “Creature Features” on our local UHF station, I’ve had a soft spot for the big guy and his gang (Mothra, Gamera, Rodan… hell, I even got my giggles off the animated show – well, save for Godzuki).

Aside from the bloated and embarrassing Americanized mishandling by Roland Emmerich in 1998, Godzilla, to me is as warm and comforting a figure as Santa or the Easter Bunny to the normals. And though this film has some strange tonal shifts, at risk of becoming slightly ajar, it’s nice to see this fifty-year old franchise more or less standing tall once again.

With opening credits straight out of an old-school monster movie, Godzilla initially has the look and feel of Spielberg movie for about the first ten minutes, with the same sort of expositional prologue one may have seen in Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or even Jaws (which has clearly guided Edwards in his handling of how and when to reveal Godzilla).

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