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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Review: KNOWING


What if you knew the world is going to end and there was nothing you could do about it?
Knowing goes where no end of the world film has ever gone before, it does not try to explain every event in the movie in a deceptively logical fashion. Very few movies choose this path, afraid they will not be taken seriously. When you put your mind to it, you notice a few things: A) most popcorn movies have preposterous plots that need not to be taken seriously, B) explanation in films take up time that might be used for more important things, such as character development, and C) I really do not go to see movies so I can learn how the Earth’s magnetic sphere works.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Review: SUGAR


If not for a "crazy random happenstance", I probably would not have seen this movie. However, I am very happy that I indeed did. It's simply great.

Sugar is the (fictional) story of Miguel "Sugar" Santos, a Dominican baseball player who comes to America with a dream of playing ball in the major leagues. However, he quickly discovers that playing in the minors is not the same as it was back home.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Upcoming Film: The Boat That Rocked

Let's keep it simple. An English film about radio and the coming of rock and roll. It looks simply hilarious and it has a great cast.


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Review: MONSTERS vs. ALIENS


After throughly enjoying Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar 2, I expected Dreamworks Animation to be on the road to at least something of El Dorado standards again. Something, charming and fun, not relying on references and pop culture, but on relationships of characters and the adventures on which they journey. Then Monsters vs. Aliens came out, and I quickly realized that I was wrong.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Incredibly Vague Early Review: FUNNY PEOPLE


I just got back from the first official screening of Funny People. I was all set to give you an early review, but unfortunately, Universal made me sign, literally, three different documents saying I wouldn't say anything about it.

Trailer: Where The Wild Things Are!

So this morning the trailer for Spike Jonzes Where The Wild Things Are was premiered on the Ellen show and shortly after hit the internet.

The use of the band Arcade Fire for the trailer makes it seem even more magical. This film looks amazing. Hopefully the trailer isn't the best thing, but it definitely got me a lot more excited than I was when I first heard of this movie being made. The monsters look real and that's the most important hurdle that they had to get over. The trailer is below please watch it for yourself and comment with what you think!



Where The Wild Things Are is set to release on October 16, 2009.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

As Good as a Movie


Hey internet,

I don't have anything especially profound to say today, so I thought I would throw another one of my opinions at you.

I was never a TV watcher. It was always movies, movies, movies with me. It was only a couple years ago that I actually began following a few TV shows. Only a few.

I started to think about what most hour-long dramas have in common. That seems to be what's popular in TV. After some contemplation, I thought that these shows are shot like movies.

Take L O S T for example. That show is as cinematic as anything I've ever seen.

Now, as soon as I'm done writing this article, I'm going to go watch the episode of Chuck I missed last night. This is another example of something that makes me feel like I'm watching a movie, rather than a TV show. Obviously, some of my favorite sitcoms like The Office and Arrested Development do not have too much of the movie feel, but I do feel like most of what I'm drawn to is very much like film.

Clearly, I can't speak for the whole world, but in my opinion, shows like L O S T, Firefly, Chuck, and 24 are shot like movies.

So, really, which is better? Movies or TV?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cloudy With A Chance of Film Adaptation

Hey internet,

For those of you who, like me, treasured Judi Barrett's Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs as a child, a film is in the works for a animated adaptation.



Clearly they've taken some liberties with the main character:


Whatever, the animation looks beautiful. Really original.

Check out the trailer here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Brucey



Hey guys. Here's a somewhat frivolous post on my part, but I hope you can forgive me.

It's Bruce Willis' birthday, and he's my favorite actor and such.

Here's some upcoming stuff we can look forward to for Brucey.

Surrogates (2009) - Directed by Jonathan Mostow
A Couple of Cops (2010) - Directed by Kevin Smith
The Last Full Measure (2010)
Pinkville (2011) - Directed by Todd Robinson


No matter how old you get, you will always be The Man.

Review: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE


After two years of film school, and many more of being a cinefile, I have finally been convinced that Citizen Kane is the best film of all time. Notice how I said film and not movie. Film is a piece of light sensitive celluloid on which images are imprinted so they can later be projected onto a screen. Movies… well movies are magic and much more than several thousand feet of celluloid; a movie is a relationship between the craftsman and his subject and between the subject and the audience. It would take ages and an awful amount of arguing to convince you that Citizen Kane is indeed the best film ever made, so instead I am going to recommend for you to go watch Slumdog Millionaire and experience some true magic.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

YouTube Pick of the Week

Hey the internet.

This week's pick is nothing short of awesome. Like, seriously, seriously awesome.

This is some fine stop motion like I haven't seen in a while. It's also one of the only "interactive" YouTube videos I've seen.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Away We Go


Ok, I'm going to put this simply.

This may be the best movie of 2009.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ten movies you should watch instantly off of Netflix

Thanks to some clever synergy between TiVos, Xbox 360s and Roku boxes, Netflix's streaming features have become easier and easier to take advantage of if you have a subscription. The main issue however is that 95% of their films are throwaway direct-to-DVD comedy movies or pieces from the '80s that are best left forgotten. However, there are quite a few gems in their 30,000 or so movies that they have available and here are the ones you totally need to check out on a lazy sunday.



After seeing The Dark Knight, its pretty easy to forget the pitfalls that the Batman franchise has been through before the mature Christopher Nolan reboot of the franchise. The plot of the 1960s Batman movie involved around an exploding shark and The Penguin's plan to use a powder based dehydrated team of pirates to take on Batman and Robin after he snuck them into their lair and poured water on them. Its a horrible movie that hasn't passed the test of time at all...and that's why you should watch it.



On a more serious note, if you're an animation fanboy that's declared hand drawn is dead, you obviously haven't seen Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's adaptation of Persepolis. The film serves as both a coming of age story and a tale of the Iranian Revolution, all done in a beautiful hand inked style with the occasional scene in Adobe AfterEffects. The English dub with Iggy Pop was really well done too, but Netflix currently only offers it with subtitles in its original French form.



On the surface, this looks like your average beef-headed financial drama with montages set to hip hop music and an occasional appearance by Vin Diesel. While in one sense, this wouldn't be too far from the truth but on the other, Boiler Room is a fantastically stylized drama about the morally bankrupt and fast paced world of brokerage firms. Its an exciting movie, and the chances are you've never seen it.



If you have Netflix set up for an Xbox 360 or TiVo, you'd be able to catch this one in HD. This one follows the dreams and aspirations of costumed panhandlers on the Hollywood strip, its quirky and touchy at the same time and totally worth it if you're into strange documentaries.



This "western" film comes from none other than Takashi Miike, the director of the cult slasher film Ichi the Killer. The most interesting aspect of this Japanese film is that the entire movie is spoken in English despite none of the actors being particularly fluent in the language. Without subtitles, this movie will have an odd 1950s Godzilla vibe where unintentional humor arrises from the awkwardness of the movie. Yet, this would sell the movie short at the same time, Sukiyaki Western Django features a distinctly vivid color palette and features some really nice action scenes and over the top violence. Also, Quentin Tarantino's cameo in the first five minutes of the film makes it worth a viewing alone.



This is Hayao Miyazaki's first film but its also Steven Spielberg's favorite adventure movie. While the movie lacks a lot of the themes you'd expect judging on Miyazaki's later works such as Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away, it still features the same token flight scenes and expressions most anime fanboys have come to expect. Its a really fun movie too.



Another HD streaming film, Outsourced is a culture-clash comedy and a love story centered around a cocky man whose sent to India on a job selling cheap American pride paraphernalia. If you haven't seen this I HIGHLY recommend you do, its satirical without being disrespectful of Indian culture. Worth seeing if you've already captured the Indian fever from Slumdog Millionaire and Sita Sings the Blues.



I've seriously seen this movie over thirty times and I'm still up for watching it when people are around. This documentary tells the story of a modest middle school science teacher who gets the world high score in the classic Arcade game Donkey Kong. Little did he know he'd get caught up in a controversy involving a porn star who calls himself "Mr. Awesome" and would ultimately get his score disqualified by possibly the closest you could come to a real life version of Ben Stiller from the Dodgeball movie. This is a hilarious and uplifting documentary that's sure to touch the 30 year old man child in all of us.



In the spirit of The Castle of Cagliostro being visionary director Hayao Miyazaki's first film, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure was the first movie from superstar director Tim Burton. This movie introduced Pee-Wee Herman to the masses and was quite a funny romp at the same time too and Danny Elfman's score is as good as ever.



Much of the buzz on Grindhouse died down after the film was a box office flop. Fanboys loved it but the decision to release both films separately on DVD sans the fake trailers from Edgar Wright and Eli Roth. With this the strength of the presentation was gone and you'd soon learn that Death Proof was no more than an "average" Quentin Tarantino film and Planet Terror was no where near the quality of the George Romero films it was inspired by. Luckily, thanks to Starz you can now finally watch the movie in the theatrical version that captured the hearts of a generation of fanboys.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Indie-Darling High School President Gets Assassinated from Theaters



Following the distributor, Yari Film Group's bankruptcy the film Assassination of a High School President may not get a true theatric run but rather a release direct-to-DVD. While I can't directly speak on the quality of the film, as I haven't seen it the reviews and buzz from critics and bloggers alike have been overwhelmingly positive and there's no reason this film does not deserve to see the proper light of day when rubbish like Miss March is released every week (sorry Ezra).

So what's a film geek to do? Become a fan of the film on Facebook and add the title to your Netflix queue. Pass the word along on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, whatever to let the studio know your interested. Also check out the teaser trailer below.



source: SlashFilm

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Upcoming Film: SUGAR

A film about a baseball player moving up to America from Central America. I think it looks intriguing. A sports film shot like an indy one . . .

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

YouTube Pick of the Week

This week goes back to Mr. Bo Burnham, with his newest video. While it's not especially hilarious, it does capture the essence of YouTube completely.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Upcoming Film: State of Play

Hey all,

Just a quick bit of fun stuff. As far as crime thrillers go, they tend to have something special, in that there are so many good ones.

Here's the trailer for Kevin Macdonald's (The Last King of Scotland, My Enemy's Enemy) State of Play. It's based off of the old BBC Series which I have seen some of, and loved.

It stars Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Jason Bateman, Robin Wright Penn, and Rachel McAdams*.

Here's the trailer:




*Anyone who has read my posts should know how I feel about Rachel McAdams by this point. If not, get an encyclopedia and look up "example of the most perfect, beautiful, and wonderful piece of stardust that the good lord has ever done us the favor of creating", and you will get a sense of how I feel about her.

New Up Trailer Continues to Look Awesome

While the previous Up trailer teased the premise of Pixar's next movie, this is the first one to reveal the details of the plot and even give us a brief glimpse of a villain slated to appear in the latter half of the movie. Check out the full trailer below, and make sure to click that swank HD button.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Movie Review: Street Fighter: The Ties That Bind



It's been hard, but I have pulled myself away from Street Fighter 4 for a little bit again to watch the movie that came with the above pictured "Collector's Edition". Not only did it come with the movie and the game, but it came with a soundtrack with updated themes and new themes of the characters, a miniature strategy guide, a Ryu figurine performing a Hadouken (or Crimson Viper) and a download code for a costume pack. These extras alone are worth the price of this game, but I will honestly say that the movie is definitely worth a watch.

This Street Fighter movie closely resembles the old anime series based on Street Fighter 2, but that's exactly what the fans wanted! Something related to the game starring the characters from the game acting like the characters from the game! Needless to say, The Ties That Bind is not an epic feature that everyone should see. If you are a fan of the Street Fighter series, then you will get, appreciate and and enjoy this movie. It shows the events between Street Fighter 2 and Street Fighter 4, but starts closer to the events of 4. It's a great lead-in for the game.

The movie starts with a huge explosion in the jungle in which Delta Red, the private military organization in which Cammy is a member of, begins their investigation. In another part of the world, we see Chun-Li and Guile investigating the reports of the greatest fighters in the world disappearing. In America we see that Ken is the head of a corporation and hasn't had much time to relax, train or even talk to his wife. We also see Ryu, who is still roaming the earth, trying to train himself to fight without giving into the temptation of using the murderous Satsui no Hadou that Akuma(Gouki) has been trying to get him to use.

Chun-Li, Guile and Cammy come together when they find out a new mysterious organization called S.I.N. is working on a project called BLECE or boiling liquid expanding cell explosion and need the power of Ryu's Satsui No Hadou in order to properly conduct experiments. Apparently Ryu's power is the only thing that can withstand the cell explosion, make it the perfect test subject. How do they find Ryu? Ken of course, but they find that a strange woman named Maya is watching him as well. Maya is an agent for S.I.N. that has been slowly befriending Kens wife Eliza in order to get to Ken to find Ryu.

We then see Ken at his house talking to his wife when some strange noises are heard from outside. Ken worries and investigates, but find that it's just Sakura coming to look for Ryu to make sure he's okay due to the recent rumors of fighter disappearances. 

That's all I'll say because I don't want to spoil the film and I actually want people to see it, unlike the one that came out in theatres. This is a movie for the fans. It's interesting, it sets up the game and the characters act like they should while doing the moves that they know. Also, the animation is beatiful and looks even better in a high-definition format. For any fan of the series who hasn't bought the game, buy the collectors edition. For any fan of the series that bought the regular version of the game, find someone who has the movie to watch it with. Even after a little bit of explaining, non-fans should enjoy it. Check this one out if you can!


Concerning Anthony Lane's 'Review' of Watchmen


Sorry readers for all the Watchmen postings lately, but I really feel this is necessary.

This guy, Anthony Lane, is so full of conceited, self promoted brilliance it makes me want to puke. Go read his article about Watchmen and then read my piece. I have no issues with the dude if he doesn't like the movie. I have issues with the way his article is written and a lot of things he says.


Mr. Lane,

Really dude, I understand you don't like Watchmen – that’s OK. But just maybe you shouldn't try so hard to distance yourself from all of us bourgeois, low life youngsters? I don't know how old you are, yet I can't imagine that your life has presented itself in such a way that you have a good reason to totally condemn your youth, a period when your mind was still open and your body wasn't failing. Your lack of enthusiasm for the inheriting generation is quite interesting. Forgive me if I, as an ignorant, conspiracy harboring, school boy 19 year old, forgo the trap that you've obviously fallen into in your mid-life crisis, where the only acceptable view of the young is one of distaste and barely concealed laughter. Do you enjoy having that ‘intelligent’ conversation with your much more merited cadre of elder women?

Trying so hard to be an elitist bastard is even more embarrassing than actually being one. And if you can find it within to listen to someone other than yourself, then know that your sophisticated vocabulary and writing style (while impressive) do not justify your degradation of this movie, Zack Snyder, or its audience. If truth be told, you don’t actually say much in the whole range of it. Babbling about ‘great hairy English lords’ (how classy) and trying to comes across witty by making sweeping generalizations and insidious remarks with clever word choices, gives no value to your opinion. In the entire length of your review you criticize and undermine the caliber of several million people, call Alan Moore, one of the most prolific and celebrated writers of our time, a baboon, and vaguely hint that anyone who enjoys this film is a ‘slavvish’ and apparently disturbed individual. Unfortunately in the whole piece I can see maybe six good points you make that pertain to the movie at all.

1. You thought that the Snyder went overboard with the violence, specifically in the attempted rape of the Silk Spectre and with Rorshach in the pedophile scene. You are correct in saying it’s a departure from the graphic novel (but the leg being chewed on is not).
2. You felt that the dialogue was cheesy and amateur.
3. You didn’t like Malin Akerman’s performance citing her lack of emotion and line delivery as limp.
4. You didn’t like Matthew Goode at all.
5. You don’t like Bob Dylan’s music in the opening credits because it didn’t fit the tone of the movie and was almost shamefully cliché.
6. You thought that the opening sequence was well done.

Apart from that, the rest of your review is fluff that doesn’t actually have anything to do with the film and is more of a social critique. I find that just a touch ironic, since Watchmen is all about social criticism and specifically challenges society’s tendency for violence and disrespect. Hmmm…that sounds a lot like what you were getting at with all your mystical commentary and metaphoric allusions.

I have to say that I find it amazing that someone like you can’t see the point behind this movie. Try looking beyond the first layer of the film if you don’t like its aesthetic, and immerse yourself in the message. Do you really think this movie would be as violent and dark as it is if there was no purpose to it? Watchmen isn’t supposed to make you comfortable and it isn’t supposed to be clean. It’s supposed to make you think and feel the black aspects of our culture.

If anything, your tone alienates readers who are not so into themselves or who enjoyed thinking about the ideas and concepts behind Watchmen (by the way, that would be several hundred million). Why should we listen to such a pompous high-horsed fellow such as you, when anyone who prefers to read friendly, engaging material can find it elsewhere? Learn how to review a film as a film, instead of turning it into an editorial. And maybe try to peel back the layers around you instead of allowing yourself to be caught in the shallows.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Watchmen's Opening Titles

Still unsure about Watchmen after reading Pat's glowing review last night? Fair enough. Today the animation blog, Motionographer posted the complete opening credits to Watchmen. I'd recommend you check it out, it establishes the humor and rules of the Watchmen universe quite immediately and is rather stylish to boot. Even the snobby review that The New Yorker wrote for Watchmen mentioned how good this sequence was if you don't take our word for it.

Review: WATCHMEN


30 seconds into this movie I was sold.

I literally don't know where to start with this review, there just so much to say. If you can find me a film that starts off more flawlessly than Watchmen I'll eat my ticket stub. As soon as The Comedian's signature smiley face flashes across the screen and the opening credits sequence begins, you will be engaged with this film. The inundation into the story happens so quick and smooth that you don't even notice. And pay attention, because in that 5 minute period, director Zack Snyder (300, Dawn of the Dead) magnificently manifests a solid 40 pages worth of backstory art and detail in a beautiful and near flawless adaptation. There are an amazing amount of shots that are EXACT interpretations of the graphic novel frames. Fans will be furiously tapping their buddies in excitement as Dave Gibbons' art quite fantastically comes to life on screen. I know I was.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

YouTube Pick of the Week: Watchmen as a Saturday Morning Cartoon

Later tonight Pat will deliver the full review of Watchmen but in the meantime, check out the Watchmen gang as a Saturday Morning Cartoon. I don't think Alan Moore would approve.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Review: STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI


So I pulled myself away from Street Fighter 4 long enough to check this movie out. I mean, the studios can learn from the abomination that was the first Street Fighter movie, right?

NOPE!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Review: EXTREME MOVIE


"Penis? I haven't heard that word for a long time. I usually just call it dinner."

Yep, this is probably the worst movie I have ever seen, ever. If possible, this is worse than all of the movies that Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer (Date Movie, Epic Movie, Everything-that-happened-in-pop-culture-in-the-last-five-years Movie) have ever made put together. The most amazing thing about it is that this Straight-To-DVD piece of garbage was not, in fact, made by the aforementioned filmmakers. This film was directed by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson. I haven't seen anything else by them, and now I never want to. The film was written by, and I suppose I should take a sharp inward breath before I recite the mammoth list of people that piled their vacuous ideas into this script, Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson, Will Forte, John Solomon, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Erica Rivinoja, Phil Lord, and Chris Miller.

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