Monday, November 9, 2009
Here is their list: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article6902642.ece
I disagree with many especially Bourne as #2, but they do have some good movies on here.
Check it out and write back. For those that don't want to click, here are their top 25:
25. Dancer in the Dark (Lars Von Trier, 2000)
24. 28 Days Later... (Danny Boyle, 2002)
23. Man On Wire (James Marsh, 200
22. Far from Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
21. Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney, 2005)
20. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001)
19. United 93 (Paul Greengrass, 2006)
18. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 200
17. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
16. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
15. Downfall (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004)
14. 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
13.This Is England (Shane Meadows, 2007)
12. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
11. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Larry Charles, 2006)
10. Hunger (Steve McQueen, 200
9. The Queen (Stephen Frears, 2006)
8. Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006)
7. The Last King of Scotland (Kevin Macdonald, 2006)
6. Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, 200
5. Team America: World Police (Trey Parker, 2004)
4. Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005)
3. No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 2007)
2. The Bourne Supremacy / The Bourne Ultimatum (Paul Greengrass, 2004, 2007)
1. Hidden (Cache) (Michael Haneke, 2005)
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Now are many of these movies going to be classics going forward? Not all, but some definitely will. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, for example, I think will always be recognized until I am old. But I started thinking about others and doing some research since my memory isn't the best.
One thing I came across is this list from Paste Magazine.
I also came across this discussion from a message board I follow
Well, I'm thinking of turning it over to my loyal reader, (Yes singular) but also anyone else that may stumble upon this blog (after I post it on my facebook and twitter).
I will list some that I definitely agree with right now, but as far as my own personal rankings from 50-1 or whatever, I cannot do that right now. So in no particular order:
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - Just a perfect Trilogy. If you haven't seen it, come on over to my apartment on New Years Day where I always go there and back again as a hangover cure.
Inglourious Basterds - Only saw this once so far, but was shocked and amazed by the maturity Tarantino showed, and the story.
Mulholland Drive - Amazing. Even if I'm still not sure I fully understand it.
The Prestige - The twist of Usual Suspects, the weirdness of mulholland, great acting, fun story. See it!
City of God - Haunting, but fantastic film about Brazilian Gangs
Pans Labrynth - Not what I expected when I saw it. And that was a good thing.
Memento - Nothing will beat the first time watching this. Trying to put the pieces togethers.
Kill Bill Volume 1 & 2 (For very different reasons) - The first one for the fun and action, the second one for the story. I love Tarantino
Anything Pixar (mostly Incredibles, Up and Wall E) - Great for all ages for different reasons
Sin City - Visually stunning.
Donnie Darko - Diet Lynch. I've seen this movie 3 times in the theater, who knows how many times at home. Dream Halloween outfit: Frank the Bunny
There Will Be Blood - Epic. For some reason it sticks in your mind.
Magnolia - Two PT Anderson movies. Not a coincidence.
Sunshine - Am I the only one that likes this Heart of Darkness-ish film?
Waking Life (was that this decade?) - A little talky, but still amazing. The content and visuals.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - A little sad, but a great way to tell a story.
The Departed - A perfect crime film, and it does not follow many conventions.
Royal Tennenbaums - Fun script. Owen Wilson makes this movie.
Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou - Didn't like it the first time, but gets better each time I watch it.
Dark Knight - Not quite a perfect comic book movie, but close.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Great script, fun movie, and Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. looking like they are having the most fun since the 80s.
40 Year Old Virgin or Forgetting Sarah Marshall - Great, great comedies.
Requiem for a Dream - A difficult movie to watch, but that doesn't mean it isn't fantastic.
Cache - Watched this one morning. Different than most anything you have ever seen.
O Brother Where Art Thou? - Simply amazing. More fun than most movies you will eve see.
I'm starting to run out of movies and I'm sure that I have forgotten some of my favorites, but I think there are some actual GREAT films on this list as well as some that I know only I like. But what does everyone else think?
Fire back in my comments section. What do you like? What do you not like? Are there any GREAT films of this decade or just some "good movies"?
Friday, October 23, 2009
I especially enjoy the Sonic the Hedgehog one.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Last Friday I did something absolutely special. I went to see Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring at Radio City Music Hall.
I love these movies, and have never seen a movie at Radio City which for my money is one of the most beautiful places in New York City.
Seeing the movie would have been cool enough, but what made this even better was the presentation. The theatrical cut of the film was shown with subtitles because there was a full 200 person choir and 64 piece orchestra playing the score live.
The music in this film is great on its own but I have never heard it as clearly as it was played live. Also the mix of the movie is such that you sometimes hear more of the action, battle scenes and acting as opposed to the music, but in this presentation the music was featured.
Putting into words what I saw is difficult, but you can get a piece of how it was presented by clicking here
At times it was a little overwhelming to try and decide where to look. Do I watch the movie, or do I watch the conductor? The violinists or the drummers or conductor? Sometimes I forgot there was an orchestra as I got sucked into a movie I have seen about 30 times.
There were also solo vocalists like an Enya sounding woman to do her songs, and some kids from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir to do those vocals.
One thing that was real cool was how on the Conductor's easel he had a flatscreen showing the movie but there was a white dot that was pulsing helping him keep the beat.
It is really difficult to put an experience like this into words, but it really was a special night and made me love the Lord of the Rings movies even more. I honestly could have gone for watching the entire trilogy even though I left Radio City well past 11:00.
I was looking through a list of Stephen King books and realized I was only about 5 books away from reading all of them. With Under the Dome coming out next month (King's newest 1200 page opus) I decided I better finish reading all of his books soon.
As a result, I started Pet Semetary today. Sure, I have seen this movie about 10 times, which is why I never read the book (some others I have not read include Cujo and Christine for the same reason), but now I feel like I should complete this feat.
I do not have all these books and hope they find their way to me with minimal purchases on my end.
My brother works for the publishing sector of Disney. They have a new series of books that geared towards young adults that he recommended to me. I read all five books in under a month with each book taking about 3 days while reading on the train. So although they are a very quick read, if you are a fan of Harry Potter types of books, I would definitely recommend these.
The story of the book is similar to Harry Potter, but instead of magic the underlying element that keeps the books moving is the premise that all of Greek Mythology is real. Zeus is the king of the gods, Hera is the queen etc, and they sometimes have children with mortal: These are Demigods also called Heroes in this book.
In the first book, the main character named Perseus (Percy) Jackson finds out he is a demigod and gets sent to a camp (kind of like Hogwarts) in Montauk that helps train Heroes. It turns out there is an old prophecy from the Oracle of Delphi (who resides in the attic of the building of this camp) about a certain Demigod changing the course of history on his 16th birthday.
I won't give anything else away, but if you enjoy quick, action packed stories, and if you enjoyed Greek Mythology whenever you learned it, I think these books are a lot of fun.
Like Harry Potter, they also get better as they go on, with the last book being quite good and well worth the time to read the other four previous ones.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Sunday - A Very Big Day. I split the watching on Sunday and Monday:
Curb Your Enthusiasm - So far, this season is hilarious, and I can't wait for the Seinfeld stuff.
Bored to Death - I have only watched the premiere, but so far it's quite fun
Dexter - I just finished the season premiere, and I forgot how much I loved this show. Off to a good start already.
Californication - I am looking forward to this.
Simpsons - Yes, I still watch it.
Family Guy - This show has lost its luster, but I'm still in.
Amazing Race - The best reality show, and the one that I keep kicking myself that I have not even tried to get on.
Mad Men - This show really deserves the acclaim it gets. I haven't watched this week yet, but the last episode was the best. I want more Joan and Don scenes. They are great together.
Football Games - There will be a blog about the NFL soon. As most people know, I am a Fantasy Football junkie and rabid Bears fan.
How I Met Your Mother - What a horrible, horrible season premiere. But I'm sure I'll stick with it unless something really horrible happens.
The Big Bang Theory - I have never watched this show before, but a lot of people have told me I should try it. I watched the premiere last week, and was kind of bored. If it doesn't get better, by Halloween, I'll drop it.
None. I will most likely either catch up on other shows, or watch movies
Glee - Although I have a feeling this is going to be cut soon since I think it kind of stinks.
SNL - Thursday - This is always funny, and I love David Patterson
30 Rock - I can't wait for this to come back.
Parks and Recreation - Last season was kind of bad, but I checked it out again this season because of Louis CK, and so far it is really funny. It's like they learned how to write comedy over the summer.
The Office - It is still one of the funniest shows on TV. The uncomfortableness of Michael is comic perfection.
Community - I missed the premiere due to my own incompetence, but then caught the 2nd episode. So far, I think it's pretty bad. The main problem is the lead girl is unlikable and not very cute. The entire show relies on her and without her, I hated it. I will give it a few more episodes, but I don't foresee this lasting in my radar.
Flash Forward - What an amazing premier! That's how it's done. This will keep me occupied until Lost returns.
Fringe - This show got really good at the end of last season. This season looks good so far, but they really need to concentrate on the overall mythology than the 'monster of the week' feel that the show does suffer from.
Smallville - I am sticking with this until the bitter end. There are usually some bad episodes and some great episodes every season. But, I do miss Lex Luthor. He was the best thing in the show. I don't miss Lana though.
Please let me know if there is anything else out there that anyone recommends. The only show I'm considering is Dollhouse, but since I gave up early last season, I am behind.
Anything else worth my viewing time?
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Enjoy the link here, and feel free to play around with it.
In a related news, I saw the documentary It Might Get Loud last night. It is a documentary about the electric guitar and it follows arguably three of the best guitarists from three generations: Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White.
I loved this movie and each person's story with how they found the guitar and how they were attracted to it and their influences and songwriting process was great. I'm sure there are tons of footage that wound up on the cutting room floor and can't wait to see that on the DVD someday.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Something different for dortTASTIC, but still decidedly dorky. I found this picture and this information related to the picture while reading about the AFC on ESPN's Page 2.
This simply fascinates me on so many levels that I thought it should be included. Anyone that thinks we are alone in the universe has to be mistaken. The law of averages simply means there has to be life in a bunch of these places, I just hope I live long enough for some sort of contact.
Researchers led by Swinburne University of Technology, in Australia, released this map of the "nearby" cosmos. The map contains about 100,000 dots. The dots are not stars; each dot represents a galaxy, and galaxies are thought to average about 100 billion stars each. Thus the area depicted contains holds roughly 10 to the 15th power stars, a number far too huge to bother attempting to fathom. And the map merely shows galaxies nearby. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is at the center of the map. On the cosmic scale, a place with 100 billion stars is a dot.
Every Friday on the Bendis Board someone posts "Weird Images" he came across while he was surfing the net this week. Today's aren't great, but these are always fun to read. One of them was great for numerous reasons though.
Enjoy the rest of the images by clicking on this link
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Someone decided to compare and contrast characters from Lost with comic book superheroes. It's virtually perfect.
Go on. I dare you not to tell me that this is not the greatest thing ever. For me, this could possibly be the reason the internet was invented
ENJOY by clicking here.
Monday, August 24, 2009
|Inglourious Basterds||A +|
|Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||A-|
|Drag Me To Hell||B+|
|The Time Traveler’s Wife||B+|
|I Love You Man||B|
|Angels And Demons||B|
|Transformers: Rise of the Fallen||C-|
|He’s Just Not That Into You||D|
Anyone out there see any movies that I should see? Let me know and I'll add them to my list.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Click here to be brought to the youtube clip featuring Tarantino's opinion.
For those (like me) that get antsy if a video is more than 20 seconds long, here is the movies that he thinks are the best since 1992: (My comments on his list are below in italics)
Battle Royale- Fantastic future distopianJapanese movie. Anyone that has seen this agrees it is one of the best in recent memory.
Anything Else - I turned this off. I'm not a huge Woody Allen fan and this was not one of his best. Match Point on the other hand...
Audition - I have tried to watch this a few times, but it is quite brutal. I understand why Tarantino has this on his list. I do need to watch it myself. For those that don't know, it's a Japanese horror film of sorts.
Blade - This was the first movie based on a Marvel Comic and made possible all the other comic book movies that have come since. I agree with this for that reason, although it's not the best comic book movie.
Boogie Nights - I love this movie as well. The opening crane shot in the disco is fantastic, and any scene with Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly is priceless.
Dazed & Confused - One of the best. I agree wholeheartedly. My friend Craig used to throw a 70s themed Dazed and Confused party every year in honor of this film it is that good.
Dogville - I tried to watch this and failed. But I understand why Tarantino would like this.
Fight Club - Another one of my favorites as well. A revolutionary film and still Fincher's best in my eyes.
Friday - A fun comedy, but wouldn't be on my list
The Host - Great Korean horror film that I rented last year. A fun monster movie in the vein of Godzilla, but not as cheesy.
The Insider - I never saw this, but I know I should.
Joint Security Area - I never heard of this one.
Lost In Translation - I didn't love this movie. I still don't know what all the rage is for this movie. It's OK, but that's all for me (dawg)
The Matrix - Agreed. This changed the way action movies were done after 1999.
Memories of Murder - Never heard of this one either.
Police Story 3 - Or this.
Shaun of the Dead - I Agree with Tarantino. This is a fun, awesome movie.
Speed - This wouldn't be on my list, but I understand why he includes this. Like The Matrix, this was the blueprint for action movies for a few years after this came out.
Team America -I think South Park is better, but Team America is quite fun. Trey Parker is a modern genius in my eyes.
Unbreakable - Agreed again. This movie is so well done. The pacing, the story and direction are spot on.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
It is quite simple: They take all sorts of lists like the imdb top 250 movies or Academy Award winning movies or the Empire 500 and you go through and check off what you have seen. Very simple, but it has made me watch movies that I normally wouldn't watch.
For example: On every list is Unforgiven. I had never seen this movie even though everyone I know says it is great and I believe them. Because of this list (and the fact that I netflixed Gran Torino and liked it) I decided to watch Unforgiven last night just so I could check it off my list and have better stats with myself.
This also made Aubrey watch 2001: A Space Oddessey for the first time in her life while home alone today. If you are like me and enjoy crossing off things off lists, and sometimes sit around wondering what movie you should watch, this site is for you.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Feel free to read the article by clicking here and enjoy. Unlike most other Doc Jensen articles it is short and it may give you some ideas of things to watch/read during this slow summer season.
Monday, July 20, 2009
I have not read this yet since it seems quite long, but I usually enjoy Bill Simmons. He is mostly a sports writer, but he loves his pop culture. His movies and TV especially. This newest mailbag of his is about the 2010 lineup and although I'm sure there will be a lot about Sports, there will most likely be a lot of geeky shows that he watches. Give him a read, since he is quite a comedic writer.
Read it by clicking here,
The definition of Post Modern that I always thought was books that are self-aware that they are fiction. If this is correct can someone please explain to me how the Scarlett Letter qualifies?
On that note, it is great that books like "If on a Winter's Night a Traveler" made the cut as did Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. But I'm upset that Cloud Atlas did not.
Even though Lost has been off the air forever, there are still people talking about it. Entertainment Weekly just posted the top 15 questions viewers may want answered before the series ends next May. Click Here to read them and see if you agree or not.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The upcoming final season of Lost will run to 18 episodes, ABC has confirmed.
The news means that the show's sixth season will have one hour more than was originally planned.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the final season will include a two-hour premiere and a two-hour finale.
That means 20 more hours to explain this madness.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I loved this. It's crazy that someone could put something like this together, but it is quite all-encompassing and a lot of fun. This is a little large so it will not fit on my blog, but if you want to check it out, just click on it to open the full page.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
I'm a Lebowski (really, my great-grandparents on my mother's side is named Lebowski) and I love this movie. This poster may be a bit unnecessary, but it is also kind of awesome. For anyone that wants their religion represented as a Lebowski last supper, feel free to buy this piece. Click here to purchase for only $19.99.
If anyone's curious. I saw this movie while I was studying abroad in London in 1998. I saw it 3 times in the theater and have watched it too many times since to count. In fact, I think I may throw it in the DVD player now as I "clean my apartment".
The link for the article below can be found here:
Matthew Fox: Lost's Bomb Fallout Will Be Surprising... and Confusing
Matthew Fox is using words such as "amazing," "incredibly satisfying," "very surprising" and "fairly confusing" to describe Lost's sixth and final season, which kicks off sometime in early 2010.
Emerging from the cone of silence lowered onto stars and producers after the Season 5 finale aired, Fox shared with the crowd at the 49th Monte-Carlo Television Festival a glimpse at the final 17 episodes. (CineTVBuzz.com posted video of the event.)
The season will begin with the aftermath of Juliet seemingly detonating the Jughead bomb's explosive core, in a development Fox said will be "very surprising — and probably fairly confusing, initially, to the audience."
About a third of the way into the season, Fox said, the show's two separate timelines — in 1977 and 2007 — "are going to be solidified into one, and we will be operating in a more linear time, to the end of the series." Once the show moves to one timeline, he said, flashbacks will cease, and the series will resolve on the island.
Oh, and about that big finish: "I do know how the show's going to end, I know what the last images will be," said Fox, who only would hint at it all leading to "a final conflict."
Perhaps — or not — on a related note, he mentioned that Jack and Locke "will come head-to-head again." But since the Season 5 finale seemed to indicate the real Locke is very dead, it's unclear if Fox was foretelling a showdown with Locke or the person or entity posing as Locke.
With just 17 hours remaining, can Lost possibly tie together all of its narrative threads and loose ends — from Dharma and the Others to Jacob's seemingly epic feud with the entity known in scripts as "Man No. 2"?
Fox feels confident that the writers "will prove that they did know all along where they were heading with it," he said. "All the pieces will come back into play."
But he also acknowledged: "You're not going to please all the people all the time."
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I am a huge comic book fan. However, I never really got into the Indy comic-scene too much. I'm mostly a Marvel Comics superhero junkie and Vertigo fan. This is mostly because of lack of cash and how expensive comics can be. That does not mean I'm not interested though. I would love to read all the comics out there but the high costs keep me from doing this.
Well, Aubrey has lots of comic nerds at her work who let her borrow some stuff, and I get to reap the benefits. Someone just allowed us to borrow the graphic novel Black Hole by Charles Burns and I have to admit, I was impressed. I had seen the book at comic stores many times, but did not know anything about it and never would have bought it if it wasn't recommended and loaned out to us.
I read the book over the course of 3 train rides, and I was quite impressed. I posted the cover so anyone interested can easily identify it in a store, but I posted the picture at the bottom because this is a page from early in the book that made me realize how intricate the black and white art work could be. The only negative thing I can think about the art is that I sometimes was confused about which character was which since there was little ways to differentiate the characters in black and white, but that is a very small critique.
This is not an easy read though. The book tells the story of a sexual transmitted disease that manifests itself by grotesquely mutating people's appearance. The mutations are different per character from a person that has hideous boils on their face and body, or someone that grows a second mouth.
I'm sure I missed TONS of symbolism in this book since symbolism was never my strong suit in comparative literature, but the story is obviously an allegory for the AIDS virus and how it effects a small-town. There is not that much dialog in the book, but the pictures really do tell the story. I was quite impressed with the book and am always impressed when comic books are more mature and though-provoking than normal prose novels.
The book is pretty cheap to buy on Amazon and think $12 really is a good deal for this book. This is definitely not a book for kids or teenagers, but I'm glad I read this now and not when I was in high school (even though I don't think it existed back then).
Over all this book really surprised me with its depth, art and maturity. Although it is not the most uplifting books I've ever read, it is really quite good.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
I've been a huge fan of Conan O'Brien for some time. I remember being a huge Letterman fan and when this new guy took over his show in 1993, I was unsure about him and very skeptical. It didn't take too long for me to start to really like Andy and the band, but I still was not sold on Conan. I don't remember when the switch came exactly, but probably around the time Letterman was a guest on the show and spoke so highly of Conan. Now, I didn't watch every night, it is on a little late, but whenever it was on, I always seemed to find something funny in the show: whether it was a look, a joke that didn't work and Conan's reaction, or an actual funny bit.
My favorite bit of his recurring gags has to be the Walker: Texas Ranger lever which if you have never seen, please click on the below links:
Walker Texas Ranger #1
Walker Texas Ranger #2
Walker Texas Ranger #3
Walker Texas Ranger #4
Walker Texas Ranger #5
He also could have been his funniest during the writer's strike 2 years ago where it was obvious he was winging most of the show and could not have been more entertaining. Well, you get the point.
When it was announced that Conan was going to become the host of the Tonight Show, I was a little worried that Conan was not going to be the same. Maybe he would tone down his ridiculousness or something. I'm not sure what I was worried about, because it has been 4 episodes, and he is the same. His first entrance he even did his famed string dance which I was afraid would have been retired. He still has the clunker jokes that don't quite work, but his reaction is what makes him fun. He still goes into the future (but now he named it in the year 3000, I liked how they never changed it from the year 2000 even how it is now 2009, but I digress), and his pre-taped recordings have been spot on so far showcasing Conan's amazing humor, wit, self depreciating and fun. Also, his guests have been quite fantastic and all of his favorite guests have been helping him out.
I'm not sure what the general public thinks of Conan O'Brien, but he's got the gig and I hope he wins over all of America like he did this 16 year old in 1993. I do not have hope for the tastes of America, so I hope I am proven wrong and Conan can have a run on the Tonight Show until he seems fit to leave and not be forced out the door.
I was just playing around on the web and I found some extra things. It appears some people think Conan's new set looks like backgrounds from the Super Mario video games. I think they may have a point. Check it:
What do you guys think?
Also, for those of you that haven't seen Conan's new show, at least watch the first 10 minutes or so of the first episode where he shows how he got from New York to LA. It is vintage Conan and his use of Cheap Trick was fun.
Watch it here
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I finished this book by Christopher Moore last night. It is a quick, fun read about a 20 year old kid who gets turned into a vampire on page 1 by his girlfriend and them running around trying to deal with being vampires in present day San Francisco. There is not much substance to the book, it is a very fast read and there are some genuinely funny moments, but like the rest of Christopher Moore's books, I feel that something is missing.
This is the 3rd book of his that I have read and I see many comparisons to Tom Robbins in his writing style, but the problem that I find is that Tom Robbins seems to have something to say about people, society, religion or whatever and Christopher Moore has the ability to write an entertaining book, but it seems like he doesn't say anything in all of his books. I even read his book Lamb which is the story of Jesus from when he was a kid up until his death and it followed what he did in his youth in a comedic way, but even that book seemed to not say much.
This is not to say his books are not entertaining. They are. Very entertaining, but when you look back you realize very little happened and you wonder if it was worth the time it took to read.
I will say this though. You Suck had a very awesome scene in it where one of the main characters ran into a main character of Moore's other book A Dirty Job which I read about 2 years ago. They didn't just run into the character, the exact same scene was written, but this time it was from the You Suck point of view. I was reading along and got a sense of deja vous so I picked up A Dirty Job and literally opened up to the right page where Jody from You Suck was having a conversation with Charlie from A Dirty Job. I remember reading that book and thinking that scene was weird, and never explained when I finished, and it finally was. The books were written only a year apart (according to their copyright dates) so I'm sure he wrote both books around the same time, but I really appreciate when authors take you into their own worlds like that. It's probably the Marvel Universe kid in me.
So You Suck is a fun, witty, page-turning read that really does not have much substance, but if you are a fan of Christopher Moore I'm sure it is up your alley. It is not as good as Lamb which is so far his best since it almost had something to say, but I found this more fun of a read than A Dirty Job, but honestly, I think I'm done reading his books. I completed my own personal Trilogy and I think it's time to read some other books with more substance. Either that, or it's time for the newest Alex Cross adventure.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
When you keep on writing good reviews, does your credibility as a reviewer go out the window? I have a pretty broad taste in lots of things, and it must be strange for my last 3 reviews to be glowing for a gypsy-curse horror film, a political biopic and now a children's cartoon about a man that has his home fly away on a bunch of helium balloons, but here I go. (But don't worry, stick around until the end and there will be some negativity.)
Last night Aubrey and I went to see Up in digital 3D. Like the rest of Pixar's films, this one was enjoyable, heartfelt, visually amazing and just a lot of fun.
First off, I am a huge fan of these digital 3D films. From Beowolf to Coraline and now this they always seem to pop off the screen and although the luster does wear off a bit after 10 minutes of wearing the glasses, that first image that pops off always shocks me. I kind of wish there were no 3D previews and that initial shock would come in the actual movie, but I understand advertising comes first.
This Pixar film began like all others, with a short film that has some sort of common denominator with the feature presentation. This was a wordless five minute film about a bunch of storks delivering new-borns to parents. It follows them from delivering their puppies to their doggy parents up into the clouds, where the clouds are creating the babies, then zapping them with lightning to give them life, the wrapping them up to give to the storks to redeliver the babies. It then focuses on this one gray, small cloud that keeps creating fierce animals, like sharks and porcupines to its poor stork that continues to get injured delivering these babies to their parents. The stork finally is so injured it goes to a different cloud which upsets its original cloud since he is just doing what he's supposed to do. It turns out the stork loved doing his job, but didn't like getting injured, so he just went to another cloud to get some protective gear and he comes returns to his cloud to continue his duties and everyone is happy. This doesn't sound like much, but the imagination, and visual stimulous that is used to convey all of this is comical, effective and downright genius. Not to mention the 3D animation that is used and how beautiful it is, I truly believe Pixar has yet to release anything that is not above any potential competition.
The feature of UP began after that. The first 10 minutes of this movie are some of the truly most heartfelt few minutes of anything I've seen possibly since watching The Notebook a few years ago (I'm sorry, but that movie can make almost anyone cry.) This shows the main character as a young boy meet a girl very much like him, and then follows their life through getting married, realizing they can't have kids, how they are trying to save money all their life and how their plan keeps getting derailed, how they grow old together and she finally dies as an old woman. This 1o minutes is so sweet, sad, and tender with hardly a word spoken, it is truly one of the best 10 minutes of anything I've ever seen. It tells a complete story, and the viewer is never left to wonder anything.
After this, the real plot begins which I will not get into here. A guy makes his house fly and adventures ensue. Let's just say, I thought from the trailer this movie would be just OK. I was thoroughly entertained for the entire run-time and was sad when it ended. Visually beautiful, fun, sweet, kind, pure laugh-out-loud moments and a great theme and story.
Now for my gripe: I went to see this movie at 9:15 on a Tuesday night. That means the movie doesn't get out until 11:00 at night or so. I did this for a few reasons, but mostly because I didn't want to see the movie with a bunch of screaming, crying children. I figured that late at night on a weeknight, there will be a bunch of stoner high school kids, and dorks like me going to see this. I guess I underestimated how horrible parents are. There were 2 sets of screaming kids on both sides of the theater. Luckily for me, the loudest and the one talking throughout happened to sit right behind me. Right when the movie began, the little girl started screaming at her mother because she didn't want to wear the 3D glasses that are necessary for seeing the movie in focus. Now, I understand children are difficult. I understand being a parent is hard. What I do NOT understand is why you would drag your difficult child to a movie that this 3 year old could care less that she is watching. I know this girl liked the movie (I know this because she was very vocal about the parts that she did like in a volume that was impossible to ignore), but she would have been just as happy to stay at home at watch the exact same videotape/movie that she has probably seen 300 times by now. You know why I know this? Because I was a kid and I listened to the same records a million times. Children are very easy to take care of because they do not have sophisticated tastes yet. They like fun, pretty things. They like to dance and sing and jump around while watching these things. In today's society there is absolutely no reason for children to go to the movie theater. Home theaters are pretty good, and you can watch a bootleg version of any movie for $5 what would cost you $30 at a theater. On top of that, these movies then can be watched ad nauseum as kids tend to enjoy anyway.
This is not to say kids should not go to movies in the theater. I believe they should. I also believe every person of every age should see this movie UP in particular. I also believe there is a time and a place for everything. The time for a child to see a movie is before 6PM. Period, end of story. A three year old child should be in bed by 9:00 at the absolute latest. They should probably be in bed well before that. I cannot tell you how many times I almost yelled at the woman behind me, but really that is not my place. I can't teach common sense to parents, I can just rant about it on my blog and hopefully when I have kids I can keep my common sense and not act like many bad parents do.
END OF RANT - for now.
In conclusion: Go see Up. It is absolutely amazing!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
This afternoon, I watched the Oliver Stone movie W. which I'm sure most people know is a biopic of George W. Bush and his youth through his first term as president. Taking away any political thoughts I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. I understand it was filtered through Oliver Stone and there were scenes that were quite good but no one can know what happened (I'm thinking mostly of the War Room scenes and how they showed the evil of Dick Cheney and the logic/goodness of Colin Powell).
Josh Brolin was great in this though and he really has turned into if nothing else the best actor to come out of Goonies (with apologies to Corey Feldman, Martha Plimpton and Sean Astin) with his recent performances in Milk, and No Country for Old Men and at times he looked EXACTLY like the actual George W. Bush.
This movie actually does not paint our ex-president as a bad man, but someone that was trying to live up to his father's expectations and how he wanted to have a legacy. Also, I was very creeped out by Richard Dreyfus' performance as Dick Cheyney which was so on-point it was scary.
Some history: I grew up on horror films and still love them to this day. I am a late bloomer to the Sam Raimi type of horror film. I saw Darkman in the theater when I was a kid, but had never seen Evil Dead beforehand. I saw the Evil Dead trilogy in college and immediately loved it. Some of the most fun horror/comedy movies around however I can understand why people don't enjoy this type of movie (even if I think they're wrong).
As you can probably guess, I'm also a HUGE Spider-Man fan and think the movies are all quite good with 2 being the best, 1 being quite good and 3 had potential to be good, but is flawed in numerous ways (which I will not get into now).
So yesterday my friends Nick and Kerri told me they were going to see this. I had originally not planned to see this movie in the theater and instead opting to wait until it was available on Netflix, but since friends were going and I had nothing going on tonight I figured why not. I can't thank them enough for the idea since I enjoyed it immensely.
The movie is not perfect, but there are no dull parts. It starts with a big action scene that will set up what we are in for then jumps from Mexico to LA where we meet the main character Christine. She is quite normal and she just has a little bit of bad luck that gets her in a jam where a little devil will find her and literally drag her to hell in 3 days.
With most Raimi movies, the plot is really an excuse for him to use his camera gifts, and fantastic puppets and make-up skills to show some awesome gross-out scenes and he really delivers here. There are at least 3 scenes that made my theater scream in delight/terror/disgust and joy. I really do not want to give anything away, but I was very happy with the entire movie and with an almost perfect ending that has to be seen to be enjoyed.
The acting was also quite good for a "cheesy horror film" with Alison Lohman proving to me that she is one of the better young actresses around today. Too bad the last movie I remember her in was Matchstick Men which was 6 years ago so I hope this opens some doors for her. Justin Long who normally bothers me was pretty good in this movie, although I'm pretty sure he's contractually obligated to pimp Apple products everywhere he goes since there were Mac computers and Iphones all over this movie. For all the Raimi purists, the yellow Oldsmobile Delta 88 has a very prominent role in the movie, but I don't remember seeing Maker's Mark anywhere. Maybe because of the PG-13 rating, they couldn't show booze.
So to wrap up, if you enjoy horror, and velveeta covered movies, please do yourself a favor and go see this movie (or at least rent it when it comes out). And if this movie tought me anything, it's to never say no to a gypsy when they ask you for a favor.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
You can pre-order this here and in the meantime you can watch some skits on facebook by either becoming a friend of The State, or just clicking here.
I have probably seen each and every one of these episodes numerous times when they originally aired, or back in 2000 when I bought the entire series on one VHS tape on ebay for approximately $60. This DVD is a bargain compared to that. Until July 14th, I will not mention The State again. We'll just consider them "off limits" just like that big wide-open gate over there.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
After the Lost finale, I watched the Jimmy Kimmel show. I already posted the Lost Secrets, but there was also an interview with Matthew Fox which needs to be seen. It has very little to do with Lost at all, but it is quite funny.
Enjoy by clicking here
Sunday, May 17, 2009
On one of my regularly visited message boards, there is one person that always makes me happy. Every Friday, this guy posts Weird Images He Found While Searching the Web This Week. It always puts a smile on my face. This comes from a comic book messageboard, and although some things are comic book related and people will not understand all the things on there, but it doesn't matter. I rarely understand all of them, but they always make me laugh.
Feel free to check out the newest one here.
I always know the weekend is about to begin whenever I see this post, or if I go away for a weekend, I look forward to seeing it. I can only hope he never stops.
And much like a magician, and I would not want to know how to do his tricks, I do not want to know how he finds some gems sometimes.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
There is also the new Doc Jensen column on Entertainment weekly. He always has great ideas, even if they are a bit high-brained. Enjoy
Afterwords, I did watch Jimmy Kimmel which had a pretty funny bit. If you remember the old Conan O'Brien skit called "Secrets" this was pretty much the same thing only about Lost Secrets. I found most of them on youtube and you can watch them all here:
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I will update these as I watch, but Season 1 is 29 episodes, it may take a while. Instead, I will just post updates on the really good ones.
Dead Like Me was created by a guy named Bryan Fuller. After that show he went on to do Wonderfalls (which had potential, but I only saw one episode), then he was the head writer on Season One of Heroes (AKA the only good season that show ever had).
He then went on to create Pushing Daisies, which was one of the most fun TV shows on for 2 years (or more accurately 2 half-seasons) until it was canceled this year.
I hope he finally makes something that sticks and finds its audience since all of his shows are quite good.
The Dead Like Me movie had some problems, most notable in the casting replacement they had to do for certain characters. The movie followed a typical arc, and I would love to see a sequel sometime since the ending left open a bunch of really cool possibilities.
If anyone has a chance, this show is worth Netflixing sometime.
The new Halloween by Rob Zombie is available to watch on demand and being a HUGE fan of the original (this is an understatement by the way) I did not see this movie in the theater and was wary of it. I remember watching Halloween 1, 2 and 3 virtually every year on Halloween day and when I was around 10 years old, I watched 4, and 5 and finally was able to see 6 my Freshman year of college (and being so disappointed after the great cliff-hanger of 5 but that's a post for another day.) I remember hating H20 when it came out, and the newer version with Busta Rhymes that I saw in the theater, so I was starting to think maybe Michael Myers mythology was over and done.
Then I watched this movie. Rob Zombie is hit-or miss for me. House of 1,000 Corpses and Devil's Rejects both have their positive aspects and I would rank in the "good" category with Devil's Rejects actually the better of the two. This new Halloween suffers from some of the same problems the original had, but it also has some very great aspects to it. The best thing about this movie is the first 30-40 mintues. In John Carpenter's original Halloween movie from the 1970s, we see a first-person point of view shot of a little boy kill his sister while wearing a clown mask, and then we flash forward 15 years until that little boy is all grown up, breaks out of prison to try and finish the job. This happens in the first 5 minutes of that movie.
Rob Zombie took those 5 minutes and lengthened them into a great 40 minute mini-film where we get more background into Michael Myers homelife and more explanation as to what made him so angry/disturbed to commit these acts. Zombie paints a picture of a kid with repressed homicidal tendencies that kills animals in his spare time. On top of that, he has an abusive father and an older sister that couldn't care less about him. He also has a stripper for a mother who although she loves him greatly, is the cause of ridicule from his classmates. We see a day-in-the life of 10 year old Michael Myers and what causes him to make his first human kill of a person (we assume) and how that spills over to his 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
This first 40 minutes borrows so well from the first movie that I am happy to have this in Halloween canon and was shocked at how good this movie was. Michael then goes to the mental institution and we see more of his relationship with Dr. Loomis than ever seen before. Although this is decent, Malcolm McDowell is not as good Donald Pleasence who simply WAS Dr. Loomis.
The rest of the movie plays out similarly to the original, but the scares were not as good for me. We see many of the same scenes only with more gore and I come from the school of horror where less truly is more. Sure I love my buckets of blood as much as the next guy, but I find the scariest movies really are where your own imagination goes with it more than what is on screen. I will say I was happy to see Danielle Harris in this movie who played Michael Myers' niece in Halloween 4 and 5 (two of my favorite movies when I was 12 years old or so).
But the real problem is since the last hour of the movie is basically a retelling of the original, it just pales in comparison. I have no problem with watching the first 40 minutes of the new Halloween movie and then throwing in John Carpenter's original and watching them as one long movie. That might be fun.
Also, one quick sidenote: The Halloween music is my favorite movie music of all time. It is just perfect. The right amount of spookiness and fear and power in music. You can listen to it here.
It really is perfect and probably the main reason for my love of the original movie.
Fun Fact: Michael Myer's original mask is just a rubber William Shatner Halloween mask that was sold anywhere painted white. This is interesting for these Star Trek times.
There is a site I visit everyday. It is Sporcle. On it, there are quizes ranging in virtually any topic you can think of. Sporcle is a timed quiz where you have to try to name as many things as you can possibly think of in a time frame decided by the site. For example, if you are a movie fan, one of today's quizes was to name however many High School Movies given the year and one main actor in it. If you are a sports fan there are topics such as yesterday's quiz of "Name every player in the MLB Hall of Fame broken out by team".
Please do yourself a favor and just go on it when you have 10 minutes of free time. You will find that an hour later you can keep playing. You can also hit a button on the top right of the site that simply says "Random Game" and it will bring you to a random game. If you don't like it, move on, but if you do play to your heart's content. Many people I know can now name every president in the US History or name every country in the world, or all the states and capitals simply because of this game. The only negative of this game is you will get nothing done for the rest of the day once you start. It is THAT addictive.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Last night I went to see the new Star Trek movie with Aubs. Before I say anything about this movie, I will give you some History.
I was never a big Star Trek fan. That said: I have seen every one of the movies. Most in the theater (In fact, The Wrath of Kahn is my first memory of going to a movie, and I even have a slight memory of seeing the original in the theater, but very slight) I have watched almost every episode of The Next Generation since my brother is a huge fan of that show and I really enjoy it as well. And I have seen a few random episodes of each of the other series including Enterprise, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and the original Series. That's right, I cannot remember watching one episode of the original series.
Any follower of this blog knows I'm a huge fan of Lost and with JJ Abrams directing and Damon Lindeloff producing and the great reviews this was getting, I was pretty psyched for this movie.
Now for my review: The movie was absolutely amazing. It pulled off one of the most impossible feats: Surpassing already high expectations. The movie was filled with great action, acting, a fun story, some shout outs to the original movies and (I'm assuming) the TV Show. Each of the characters also had their moments to shine.
Sulu - Only had one really good scene, but it was quite good so it was enough.
Scotty - Provided a lot of the comic relief and was played perfectly by Simon Pegg.
Uhura - Played a surprising role in this movie which worked. She wasn't just an 'intergalactic cheerleader' as I remember her character being called in the original series from somewhere.
Bones - Was played so jaded and angry at the world as well as providing the most comic relief including one or 2 inside jokes.
Chekov - was also great with his signature V and W mix-ups added in for more comic effect.
Spock - was done very well and is one of the main characters in this movie but in a way that was most satisfying to anyone new to the series and he provided the explanation to any truly hard-core Trekkies that may not be happy with some of the decisions the producers decided to take.
Kirk - Was really the best in the film. The actor was quite likable and had just the right amount of Shatner in him.
Nero - The villain played by Eric Bana was also quite well played with his motivation very Kahn-like, but if you're going to borrow from an old Star Trek movie, it may as well be from the best.
There is also one surprising cameo by an actress that was the only strange part about the movie. She is a famous person, and plays an important role but it is the only time I got taken out of the movie at all.
All in all, this was a great movie and well-worth anyone's trip to the theater. Anyone that knows even a little bit about pop-culture knows enough about Star Trek to get most of the references. It had it all including a red-shirt, people beaming places, the Enterprise's first journey, a new origin for Kirk that even old-school fans can enjoy, a young Spock and Kirk, Vulcan, San Francisco, Phasers, sword fights, Red Matter, and even time travel.
Go see this one. It is worth it and I can't wait to see it again.