Wednesday, September 8, 2010

MY APOLLO

So, yeah, I don't do poetry.

However, for a creative writing class, I have been asked to write just that.

For an assignment, I was asked to take a piece of text, in this case my copy of the famous Batman trade, The Long Halloween, and take the text within, and create a poem out of the prose from within the piece.

That's where My Apollo has come from. I turned to a random page, in which Harvey Dent and his wife Gilda are talking. From there, I took a line from the discussion, and the idea of this piece came. It is basically a letter to Harvey, from Gilda, proclaiming that she's leaving him. I think it works, but hey, I'm not a poet, so whatever. Let me know what you think below! :D

- Josh -

MY APOLLO

We need to talk
Where are you?
What's happened to Harvey?
I knew
When you came home late that night
A secret no one will ever find out
Why Harvey?
Looking for something?
Trying to hide from one demon
Only to find another
I guess
Never ask a question
You don't want the answer to
What if I'm wrong?
I pray I'm wrong
We're moving
Enough of this already
Starting over in a new house
A second chance
You're insane
Married on a gray and grisly Wednesday
Couldn't we make it special?
How do I fix this mess?
Things woulda been differennt
Thought you'd wanna know
Have good dreams.
You are my Apollo.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

REVIEW: The Last Airbender



















Coming into this weekend, you had two films that ran the spectrum of expectations.

First, there was The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which looked like a dreadful fang covered soap opera of a melodrama, and didn’t have much, outside of a great soundtrack and David Slade as a director, going for it. Then there was The Last Airbender. Based off of what I, and many, consider one of this generations most stunning television shows, the film looked visually striking, but coming from one M. Night Shyamalan, had all of us walking on eggshells going into the film.

Well I’ll be damned, expectations can really be a bitch some times, and this is exactly one of them, because I would never had expected the outcomes to be so vastly different than one could have expected. Never have I would have thought that a film could be so utterly disappointing as the one featuring the bald kid with the power of air, earth, water and fire.

The Last Airbender follows the story of Aang, the latest in a long line of people known as Avatars. These rare and special breed of people, all reborn from the same soul, are able to bend the four essential elements, of water, earth, air and fire. The Fire Nation is on the hunt, and enslaving any that get in their way in hopes of completely ruling the world. This is the story of Aang, and his two friends, Sokka and Katara, who will help him on his quest. However, it’s a story that has already been told, and this is definitely not a welcome addition to the series.

Personally, expectations were high for this film. First, I utterly adore Shyamalan and much of his work, particularly Unbreakable, Signs, Sixth Sense, and if drunk off my rocker, The Happening. Second, and more importantly, this story is based off of what I think may quite be the best animated television series ever put to television. It’s a basic heroes journey, but the sheer scale, style, and magnitude of the story, makes this a show that is not only a must see, but watchable like none other.

However, here, we get a horribly written, poorly paced, and thematically obnoxious piece of cinema that offers very few reasons to watch.

While many people have been calling this the worst film of the year, as it’s now the worst reviewed film of the year on Rotten Tomatoes, I do have to disagree. The film isn’t nearly as disgustingly vile as a horrible and utterly dreadful film like Grown Ups, or as boring and eventless as a film like Dear John, as this does have some solid aspects.

First and foremost, the film looks fantastic. Shyamalan is a master behind the camera, particularly in engrossing the viewer cinematically into either the world in and of itself, or a particular fight scene. The fight’s are visually impressive, ILM is doing fantastic stuff effects wise, and while the costumes are laughably cartoonish, almost Street Fighter-esque, I do believe, visually, that this world exists. Also, while the score is cliché and completely rehashed from previous adventure films, it does work for the film. It’s not the most original thing Howard Shore has done, but it isn’t anything dreadful. Just completely serviceable, which may be a bigger sin than if it were off, but I’ll let it slide.

That my friends, is where the positives stop, and they stop with a thud.

To me, the film’s major sin is something that Shyamalan has gone on record saying is a dream of his. Within the original series, the great thing about it was that it’s themes, while apparent, weren’t punching you in the jaw every moment. However, here you get lines like “I want to show the Fire Nation that we believe in our beliefs as much as they believe in theirs.” Not only that, but the themes as a whole are continually thrust into your face, which no matter if I agree with it or not, would be hard to take in. While I don’t believe in the overtly Christian themes that Shyamalan is verbally happy to give us, I would be fine with it, if it were far less obvious and hamfisted. It is simply too jarring that completely takes you out of what is best described as a classic hero’s tale.

Now, there has been much talk behind the changing of the lead character’s races, in the case of Zuko, Katara and Sokka. With Zuko being of seemingly Caucasian background, and Katara and Sokka of Inuit (apparently the ethnicity of the village in the film) or Middle Eastern decent, the races have been completely switched here, making it a story of good ole’ Caucasians being attacked by extremists of Middle Eastern decent. Sure, that in and of itself is horrible and really jarring when in Katara and Sokka’s village, but what is even worse, is that the three just don’t work.

Noah Ringer is fine here as Aang, however, both Nicola Peltz and Jackson Rathbone are really poor here. Peltz is as wooden as one could imagine, and Rathbone lacks any of the charm, comedic timing, or true character features that made Sokka such a watchable and loveable figure. Patel is menacing as Zuko, but also lacks any of the darker undertones that really made the character a powerful and dark figure within the original series. Appa is pretty much a none character here, which is a real shame, because as a fan of the series, some of the show’s best aspects come between Aang and his trusty six legged flying whatever-he-is.

Overall, while the film is definitely not the worst of the year, actually, it’s not even close, it is indeed one of the year’s biggest disappointments. It doesn’t fail on every level, but it also excels in very few, making this one of the year’s most underwhelming and mediocre films. It’s not challenging, not offensive, not fun, not dreadful, and it’s not inspiring. It’s simply a film that you will see, and then never remember the next day. It’s like that boring party that you simply go to for a free night of binge drinking. You won’t remember it the next day, and after you go through it, you’ll feel empty and used.

THE LAST AIRBENDER – 3/10

Friday, July 2, 2010

James Cameron Directing A Black Eyed Peas Concert Film In 3D

Sometimes, a news story comes along that just punches you in the throat with its blatant randomness.

This is one of those times.

According to Pop Crunch (via Cinematical), James Cameron will be directing a 3D concert film for the Black Eyed Peas. Yup, there is no making this one up, as it’s far too random to be a joke. Leader of the group, Will.i.am said in an interview with VIBE magazine: “Right now, we are planning our 3D tour movie, and James Cameron is directing it – we have the biggest director, because we are the biggest group on the planet.”

While I don’t agree with the latter part of the statement, this news story is still one of the more interesting ones to pop up on my computer screen. I’m not at all a fan of the Black Eyed Peas, but the idea of James Cameron making a 3D concert film is really intriguing. He loves himself some documentaries, so this doesn’t really shock me, but it does definitely make me interested to see what the hell Cameron has in store.

The film is expected to hit theaters next year.

Go see something good!

So, The Straw Dogs Remake Will Be "Hard R." Makes It's Existence Easier To Take, Still Not Justified


This news doesn’t justify the film’s existence, but it makes the pill a little easier to swallow.

According to an interview with Collider, the director of the upcoming remake of the massively brilliant, and massively controversial film, Straw Dogs, Rod Lurie said that “I keep reading blogs from people saying it’s going to be far less violent than the 1971 film [or that] the rape scene will be watered down. And those people are going to be shocked, because this movie is hard R, it’s a tough movie…It’s going to be very controversial.”

It damn well better be.

The film stars Alexander Skarsgard, James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, James Woods, Dominic Purcell and Willa Holland, and apparently takes a step away from the original, which followed a man who must defend his home from people who viciously raped his wife. The film reportedly features a love triangle and has been described as a “culture clash.” While that sounds far less interesting, I have to say, this news does make the film less of a travesty to me.

There are very few filmmakers that you just don’t remake. Kubrick, Scorsese, Godard, just to name a few. Well, Sam Peckinpah is directly implanted on that list. This being one of his more beloved and controversial works, I don’t necessarily understand why it’s being remade, but if this gets more people to see the original, then it served its duty. Also, the idea of the film staying as a hard R and controversial has me hoping that it works, as much as I don’t think it will. Also, there will reportedly be an action sequence that clocks in at 25 minutes long, so hey, this thing may very well kick all of our asses.

What do you think?

Go see something good!

Trent Reznor And Atticus Ross Scoring The Social Network

While I like my music not quite this heavy, this could not be better news.

According to the blog for his band Nine Inch Nails (via Pitchfork), he and his long time collaborator Atticus Ross are currently working on the score for David Fincher’s hotly anticipated film, The Social Network. Apparently, Fincher himself began asking the NIN frontman about his interest in scoring the film, and after he read the script, Reznor asked Ross to help, and here we are.

This isn’t the first time that David Fincher has asked a non-conventional composer to score his films, as he has worked with people like The Dust Brothers on Fight Club, and even Trent Reznor himself on his serial killer masterpiece, Se7en. However, this seems to be the most random, and equally the most interesting of the bunch.

While I’m massively excited for the film, this both worries me, and makes me think that we don’t quite know what Fincher has in store for us. I really dug the script, that while rather long in the tooth, is one hell of an enjoyable story, and an even more fun of a read. However, I still don’t quite see how we’ll get Fincher’s stamp on it, which this sense of the unknown has me thinking this film is going to blow minds, and hopefully the score will be just the music that the film needs.

It stars Jesse Eisenberg, Spider-man, I mean, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Rashida Jones and Rooney Mara, and will hit theaters later this year.

Go see something good!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Trailer For Let Me In Hits

One film that I have been oh so desperately trying to imagine didn’t actually exist just got a trailer, and while it’s not forcing me to find someone to go on suicide alert for me, it certainly doesn’t make this imagining any easier.

Thanks to Deadline, we now have our first look at the upcoming Matt Reeves directed remake of the masterful Swedish vampire flick, Let The Right One In. The new film, called Let Me In, follows a boy who discovers that his neighbor may be much more than just the new kid on the block.

Personally, taking my massive love for the original film out of the equation, this doesn’t look like the worst film ever. It visually looks striking, particularly knowing that the DP from last year’s brilliant Bright Star, Greig Fraser, is on board for this one, and looking to do some really top notch work. Also, the cast looks perfectly put together, which makes this film look quite promising, if only due to the massively low expectations.

However, I continue to lack any true evidence that this film should exist. The film looks far too faithful for it to me something wholly new, but isn’t shot for shot, so it’s stuck in some weird, creativity free purgatory. I’ll let you decide.



Go see something good

BREAKING: Andrew Garfield Is Spider-man

Finally.

According to Heat Vision, Sony has made up their damn minds about who will be leading the cast of their upcoming Marc Webb directed and James Vanderbilt penned reboot of the Spider-man franchise, and it’s one hell of a choice.

The outlet is reporting that actor Andrew Garfield is set to portray Peter Parker, in what will no doubt be a complete world changer for the relatively unknown actor. Best known for roles in films like the Spike Jonze directed masterpiece of a short, I’m Here, as well as the first film in the fantastic modern noir masterpiece, The Red Riding trilogy, the actor is both the best of the group (which included thespians like Jamie Bell and Logan Lerman), but he’s also one of the oldest, clocking in almost 27 years old, and will be 10 years older than the character which he’s rumored to portray.

This reboot will see Parker reportedly returning to high school, which no matter how baby faced he may be, he definitely doesn’t quite look the part. That said, to me, this is the best they could have done really.

While most of you might not have seen him previously, he is far and away one of his age’s most gifted actors, which truthfully, is something that the role has really been missing, no matter how much of a fan of Maguire I really am. Throw in Marc Webb, and hell, you have one film that I can’t wait to check out.

What do you think?

UPDATE: Now, we have video of the announcement, and apparently Garfield was promoting The Social Network, and literally found out 30 minutes before it was announced. This guy has no idea how his world just changed. Congrats to Garfield, and Sony, you better not mess this one up.



Go see something good!

Mark Ruffalo To Join Ryan Murphy's The Normal Heart

If there is one thing that I’m glad Glee has done, it’s the fact that now Ryan Murphy will be able to do much better, and much more interesting work.

The show’s creator has now, according to an interview between Mark Ruffalo and MTV, cast the actor in an adaptation of the Larry Kramer penned play, the HIV drama The Normal Heart. Ruffalo will play the lead, Ned Weeks, which according to the actor, will follow a "story of when the AIDS outbreak happened in New York. It wasn't really taken seriously, I think specifically because it was 'the gay cancer,' they called it. I think it's a really interesting time in America. I think to see someone who really does change the world by his commitment and he's even totally by himself at times, there's still a real power in that. I love that it's a people-powered movement that actually changed the way our government looked at this epidemic. I think there's a real powerful message to that and something that we forget."

Sounds interesting.

Now, while we don’t have confirmation as to just how involved the Glee and Nip/Tuck creator will be, it has to be something rather influential. With films like Running With Scissors and the upcoming Eat Pray Love, the director is definitely in the mood for a new project, and this could be one hell of a gig to really jump onto. Throw in Ruffalo, and you have a project that I can’t wait for. He’s a fantastic actor, and Murphy is definitely a gifted filmmaker, so hopefully this is one that sees the light of day sooner, rather than later.

Go see something good!

Kevin Smith Shooting Red State This August

Coming off of the rather lackluster/awful buddy cop comedy, Cop Out, it looks as though Kevin Smith is looking to get that taste out of his mouth, this time, with one long gestating project that many film geeks, including yours truly, have been waiting for.

According to an interview with E!Online, the filmmaker will begin shooting his long talked about dream horror project, Red State, this August, and yes, he still plans on using a cast full of unknown actors:

"It's a political horror movie, essentially. We're still casting right now, but I don't want to cast anybody that anybody knows because that takes you right out of the flick. The idea is what's going to sell the movie."

Personally, while I’m not a fan of Cop Out, and Smith’s work has been diminishing returns as of late, the idea of the filmmaker getting back into the world of smaller, unknown actor filled projects, let alone an interesting horror film like this, has me more than excited. I love Smith’s writing, which was missing from Cop Out, and his style is really suited to the lower key nature of the horror film. Horror films don’t all have to look like the visually obnoxious fare of films like Nightmare On Elm Street, and would work really well with Smith’s point and shoot style.

All in all, my hopes are high for this one, so Smith, don’t mess this one up. I may lose all faith in you.

Go see something good!

Meryl Streep To Play Margaret Thatcher

This hasn’t already been the case?

According to THR, actress and all around badass Meryl Streep is in talks to portray famous British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in an upcoming biopic. The film will be directed by Phyllida Lloyd, director of Streep’s musical outing, Mamma Mia, and will star Jim Broadbent as Thatcher’s hubby.

The upcoming Damien Jones produced film will be penned by Brian Fillis, and will follow Thatcher during the crisis between England and Argentina over the control of the Falkland Islands, which became a war.

Personally, while Thatcher in and of herself is one hell of a character that could easily jump to the realm of caricature, but after seeing Streep in Julie and Julia, I think that the character is in the absolute perfect hands. She looks like a carbon copy of the legendary political figure, and being one of the most decorated thespians of her generation. Sure, the character could be a massive stretch for even the most gifted of actresses, but I would trust Streep with a role in a big screen adaptation of Everybody Poops, so this is utterly amazing news in my book.

Go see something good!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

REVIEW - The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

So, over the past few years, the film world has had a brand new punching bag to join the side of easily mocked video game adaptations and toys who jump from the toy room to the big screen, like Transformers and G.I. Joe. That fang adorned emo wet dream of a punching bag is better known as the Twilight franchise, and it has become the biggest thing on the planet.

Literally, it caused theaters to show 3 a.m. showings. It’s that big.

However popular the series may be with the I-hate-my-parents-so-I-wear-black-clothes-and-right-sad-poems set, it has seemingly gone over the heads of the critic set. Hell, even the franchise’s fans realize that they are fans of lesser than type of material. However, it keeps them coming back.

It’s like crack for pre-teens and creepy neo-pedophile moms.

That said, for some reason, I still had hopes for the third film in the franchise, Eclipse. Maybe it’s the cast, which I think is a really gifted collection of actors, or maybe it’s the film’s director, David Slade, who got my ass in the seat. Hell, the soundtrack is one of the best I’ve heard in years, so maybe it’s that.
Frankly, I don’t care, because for some reason, this film didn’t fail like I had expected.

Eclipse finds our lead, Bella Swan, again caught in the middle of her awkward and horribly misguided love triangle between Jacob and Edward. An army of new born vamps have been sent out by the villain Victoria, who wants to avenge the loss of her former lover, James. A bunch of brooding looks, whining, and poorly done special effects shots ensue, making this the epitome, no, the physical manifestation of mediocrity.

Personally, going into the film, I had my mind set. I have had a long and storied history with the franchise, which I find not only boring and a butchering of the vampire mythos, but also a really deplorable statement to the young, impressionable pre-teens and 40 something cougars around the world. However, I was shocked to find that while that message was still here (which I go in depth on here), what seems to be put in its place is a film that ultimately fails, but has moments that didn’t want me to put bullets in my skull. That is this film’s true success.

The great thing that this film is able to do is instead of making this a boring and turgid three way between a homoerotic glowing vampire, shirtless werewolf, and a girl torn between them, and makes it a semi-watchable film with true stakes that gives you a payoff that makes the free ticket I used to see it somewhat worth it.

The cast here is solid. The three stars have solid chemistry, with Lautner, who plays Jacob, actually showing a bit of an arrogant side that makes his character seem a bit more human, and much less of a caricature. Pattinson is fine as Edward, but is about as lively as a piece of wood he’d use to kill himself, and Stewart is actually kind of solid as Bella, who while being given absolutely nothing to do, keeps your attention on screen. However, it’s people like Jackson Rathbone and Ashley Greene who really shine here, as does the entire supporting cast, which seems to be a constant theme throughout the films. Always the more interesting characters, the supporting cast get a rather massive chunk of on screen presence, giving us fans of them a lot to really chew on.

David Slade is also impressive here, as he’s been given nothing to really do here, but has instead crafted a stunning visual piece, and again proves that he’s far better of a director than this material really deserves. The film looks utterly breathtaking, particularly when he gives us a visual glimpse of the world we are dealing with, and the landscape that it covers. I adore these moments in the film, that are way too few and far between. Also, the action is well done here, which is quite the shocking surprise.

Oh, and this has to be one of the best collections of source music collected in recent memory. Seriously, this is one of this year’s most fantastic soundtracks. Pick it up. You won’t be sorry.

However, that’s where it all stops, as this is remarkably unforgettable.

Personally, the film fails just about as fast as it starts. The film’s ultimate sin is that no matter how high the stakes are here, you have no need to really care. You don’t care about these characters, particularly the three leads, which we are supposed to have so much invested in. There is no narrative or dramatic weight here, which leaves you simply wanting to watch this stunning landscape that Slade has crafted. He and his crew do what they can with the material, but those who aren’t fans of the books really won’t have much to dig into here. It’s visually impressive, but for a film to have such little keeping you glued to the screen, this all seems to get lost amongst a bunch of uncalled for angst and emo bullshit.

Overall, the film does what it can with the awful source material. If you love your films without any narrative or emotional weight, and with a copious amount of unfounded whining, then this is your masterpiece. However, for those of you like me, who like our movies engaging, then maybe this is one to let your girlfriend and her friends go see on a girl’s night out.

ECLIPSE – 4/10

Trailer For Paranormal Activity 2 Hits

Like your horror films in the form of franchises who lose their luster after the first viewing?

Well then this trailer will be right down your ridiculous and turd covered alley.

In the year that was 2009, one film seemed to take the world by storm, with that film being the rather fun and shocking first-view-only horror film, Paranormal Activity. Pretty much, after that film hit theaters and made massive amount of bank thanks to one hell of a promotional machine, talk of a sequel hit the scene. Well, now, a year later, we have a trailer for the upcoming sequel, Paranormal Activity 2, and I must say, while it looks like the epitome of a carbon copy, there are a few points in this thing that are actually creepy, and make me think happy thoughts about the first time seeing the first film.

However, this looks to be doing absolutely nothing new, making this one of my least anticipated films of the year. It looks exactly the same both stylistically and scare wise, and while it is a great example of “it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” it also doesn’t nothing to improve on it. This will make a ton of money, but this is definitely one I’m not looking forward to.



Go see something good

Bobcat Goldthwait Confirmed For Kinks Musical, Dominic Cooper Is Captain America's Howard Stark

Well, today seems to be a day full of old rumors and confirmations of them.

According to THR, a rumor connecting World’s Greatest Dad helmer Bobcat Goldthwait to a musical adaptation of the famous album Schoolboys In Disgrace from the band The Kinks. The film was up against an “ass kicking Western,” when it was first announced, but apparently, after getting the blessing of the band’s founder Ray Davies, it looks like it is actually happening.

It has been announced in the form of a press release, and will follow a schoolboy who turns into a bitter young man who tries to go against the establishment which has kept him down. “It’s the genesis story of a super villain set to music.” Awesome.

In other confirmation news, Marvel has confirmed that Dominic Cooper will indeed play the role of Howard Stark in the upcoming Captain America film. The rumor is a rather old one, and was previously confirmed by Cooper himself, but this is the first thing that we’ve heard from the studio themselves. It’s great news, because he not only looks the part, but is one hell of an actor to boot. Double awesome.

Go see something good!

Marvel To Start TV Production Wing

It’s about damn time!

According to reports, Marvel is looking to make the leap from comic book page to the big screen, and now to the small screen. Apparently, the studio has created a new arm, Marvel Television, which is looking to bring series ranging from live action to animated, all to your homes.

No details have been released as to just what they plan to push out, but with news coming that the studio is looking to make projects revolving around lower tier characters, one can’t help but think that this would be the perfect outlet for that. Personally, I absolutely adore this news. For one, this is a perfect step forward for the studio. Also, this is an amazing way for the studio to really make an impact with the characters in shows like Heroes and Smallville. While I’m not the massive fan of Smallville that I know a lot of people are, I have been waiting for something like this to come from the Marvel universe, and who better to front it than the studio themselves. This could not be better news.

Go see something good!

Bono And The Edge To Score Pixar's Brave?


This could be intriguing.

According to Bleeding Cool (via The Playlist), both Bono and maybe even his right hand man, The Edge, are apparently writing some new tunes for Pixar’s upcoming film, the film formerly known as The Bear And The Bow, now called Brave.

While nothing is confirmed, or even close to it yet, this does seem like a possibility. The report says that Bono is working on a score for a Pixar film, that is most likely Brave, but with only Cars 2 really confirmed to be on the way out of the Pixar camp, it looks like Brave is most likely the film in question. The film follows a royal daughter who hopes to become a legendary archer, and one day unleashes a new terror amongst her kingdom, which she must stop.

The film is being directed by one of The Prince of Egypt helmers, Brenda Chapman, and is currently looking at a June 15th, 2012 release. Personally, not only am I a rather massive U2 fan, but the idea of the dynamic duo of Bono and Edge getting behind the music of a Pixar film just screams amazing. Hopefully this isn’t an unfounded rumor; as this would be too good of an idea to really waste.

Go see something good!

Banshee Cast For X-Men: First Class


Wow, it seems like with each day comes a new cast member for the upcoming Matthew Vaughn film, X-Men: First Class.

Just a day after the casting of Alice Eve in the role of Emma Frost, it looks like another classmate has been cast. According to Latino Review, the role of Banshee, an Irish mutant who has the power to disarm and even harm baddies with his voice, which can reach subsonic frequencies, will be played by the 21 year old actor Caleb Landry.

Best known for his turn on Friday Night Lights, the actor hasn’t had a ton of work, but definitely looks the part, especially for what they are doing with the film. However, like the character of Emma Frost, the character of Banshee isn’t quite the most beloved or well used character in the history of the X-Men franchise. The film will feature characters like Beast, Mystique, and Cyclops, but this also means that smaller, really poorly colored characters like Sunfire and even Banshee will also be used, which may very well spell doom for this film.

Sure, I’m not one to think that this film will fail, particularly with Vaughn at the helm, but if a film is set to become a giant clusterfail of a film, it’s this one. All still remains to be seen, but lets just say that this is a perfect example of cautious optimism.

Go see something good!

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs Duo To Helm Lego Film


While I utterly hate the idea of an actual film based in the world of or surrounding the famous child toy known as the Lego, you really couldn’t ask for a better group to get behind it.

According to Heat Vision, writer/directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the same mind behind last year’s surprisingly solid animated comedy, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, have signed on to bring this legendary toy to the big screen.

The duo have given pitches to executives involved with the project, and while this films sounds completely and utterly dreadful, as most films of this nature due, I can’t help but think that this could be the rare occasion where it may truly succeed. The two of them are truly talented comedic filmmakers, and while the source material doesn’t seem to be able to make for much of an interesting story, neither did the story for Meatballs, so really, this could be just as big of a surprise. My breath isn’t being held, but hopes are a little high for this one.

Go see something good!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

10 Film Facts About Yours Truly

Thanks to Julian Stark for the mention, but now it’s my turn. Here are 10 film related facts about yours truly, that you may not have known:

1. Film I’ve Never Seen That I Am Most Ashamed About – Tie between Grand Illusion and North By Northwest

2. Favorite Film – Jean Luc Godard’s Breathless

3. Favorite Director – I’ve got a few. The Coens, Godard, Kurosawa, Ozu, Tarantino, Early John Woo, Gus Van Sant, Werner Herzog, Spike Jonze, Kubrick, Leone, Bergman, Fincher, Aronofsky, the list goes on, and on, and on. And on.

4. This blog’s namesake, I Are Movies, comes from the show Cow and Chicken, a cartoon I used to watch all the time, which featured a character called I Are Baboon. Thus, I Are Movies

5. For those who don’t know, the twitter name isavedlatin89 comes from the film Rushmore, where Max Fisher says that “I saved Latin, what have you done?” Oh, and I was born in ’89.

6. I don’t cry during a lot of films, but when I do, it’s all out weeping. Last film I cried during…Where The Wild Things Are.

7. Favorite film genre? Probably horror or film noir. Throw in French New Wave if that can be a genre, instead of just a movement/style

8. I started writing film reviews/essays my Freshman year here at Grand Valley, and from that lonely little LiveJournal blog, sprung my blogger site, which has been up and running for over 2 years now. From that, I have now moved on to writing for DVDSnapshot, as well as Gordon And The Whale, where I co host the site’s newly formed podcast.

9. First film I ever reviewed was Halloween, the Rob Zombie remake

10. My favorite actor: Daniel Day-Lewis
Favorite Actress: Zooey Deschanel

Now, it's Danny King and Marc.

Go see something good!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

EDITORIAL: Blockbusters Have Only Become Dumber

Moviegoers are becoming dumber, and dumber, as the years go by.

In what has been a pretty buzz-worthy piece of writing, Slate’s Tom Shone posited the idea that modern day blockbusters, the films that make the money in the box office, have become far too intellectual for his liking, or their own good.

Going on to give examples like David Fincher’s The Social Network, Aronofsky’s Black Swan, and Christopher Nolan’s upcoming mind related thriller, Inception, the idea is stated, discussed, and then given examples of films that fit the style of blockbuster Shone is craving, all in a tight and fun little read.

However, it’s one that comes at it from the wrong mind set.

Big budget, action packed, blockbusters, the very thing that keeps this industry going, have not only gotten dumbed down over the past years, but are being intoxicated by stupidity, and the illness is only getting more and more extreme.

Network, Swan, or Inception are not truly considered blockbusters. Yes, Inception had a huge budget, and with name power like Fincher and Nolan attached, they are sure fire hits. However, they are the exception to this ever growing, and ever distressing rule.

Look at last year’s highest grossing films:

1. Avatar
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
3. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
4. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
5. 2012
6. Up
7. The Twilight Saga: New Moon
8. Sherlock Holmes
9. Angels and Demons
10. The Hangover

Wow, my brain is numb from how taxing those films were.

Avatar may be the biggest example of a film fitting Shone’s hypothesis, but the following nine films have the combined cinematic I.Q. of an Abercrombie and Fitch model. They don't have the highest of mental wave lengths, with Transformers and New Moon being the best example of the growing stupidity of box office juggernauts. Both are complete gender based wish fulfillment, and strive to be nothing more than that. Throw in a pair of racist robots, a dumb and incomprehensible group of teenagers, and then cut to shots of dogs humping, and you have the most intellectual of modern blockbusters.

Oh, and 2010 doesn’t look to be much better.

Featuring such films as The Expendables, Predators, The A-Team, and Piranha 3-D, not only is Hollywood attempting to lower the already ground level mental state of films and filmgoers, but they are being intoxicated by the ever growing sense of masturbatory nostalgia for a decade that brought us cheesy action films, dumb one liners, and Ahhhhnold; the ‘80s.

Ever since films like Rambo began hitting theaters, the collective I.Q. of film goers, according to studios, seems to be less that Kate Moss’ weight. And like the model, it’s only going lower. The newest trailer for The Expendables shows that while it may be fun, it’s not striving to make Stephen Hawking punch himself in the balls for fear of being out shined. It’s not that these films are not enjoyable; it’s that they are becoming dumber and dumber than even their ‘80s counterparts.

The problem with these films is that, instead of fitting within the genre of meathead action fare, it becomes what Planet Terror, Robert Rodriguez’s addition to Grindhouse, was to 70’s exploitation films. A complete and utter pastiche. It’s what MacGruber is to MacGyver. It’s not a film meant to be taken seriously within the likes of Predator or Die Hard, but as a film playing off of those same beats. It’s like a cover band of a ‘80s hair metal group. Not quite good to start off with, but even worse when it’s covered.

And smart action has been done well recently. Look at the Bourne Trilogy. Not the biggest world shakers in terms of brain waves firing, but at least it’s there. The films are balls to the wall action, and have some rather interesting things to say when it comes to American foreign policy. However, people don’t go out to see these types of action films, just look at Green Zone. Yes, it’s an Iraq War film, but the trailers were making it seem like a kick-ass action film, which it was, and people avoided it like a Blockbuster rental shop. Even some dumb action films have at least tried to take the genre forward. Crank and Crank: High Voltage, may very well be the dumbest of the dumb when it comes to action films. However, with the team of Neveldine/Taylor, the films have been able to push the genre of action films forward, introducing more guerilla and seemingly verite filmmaking tactics to the genre. Yes, they are live action video games, but they work, where films like Transformers: ROTF are not only dumb and lazy, but they also offend those of us with a multiple digit I.Q.

Every year we get our occasional blockbuster with actual balls to try to be something more. Avatar, The Dark Knight, Bourne Trilogy, Inception, but again, these are the exceptions to this disgusting and truly depressing rule. Blockbusters have not become more intellectual. Blockbusters have been exponentially been getting dumber and dumber.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

KREATIV BLOGGER AWARDS

The greatest thing about being a film blogger/critic/journalist, is the family that I am so happily a part of. Aside from a few squabbles here and there, it has been a great time becoming what I like to consider a semi well known writer.

I started this very site about a year and a half ago, and while I've moved most of my work over to DVDsnapshot, I fully plan on getting more content back here (maybe not me completely, but hopefully with some new writers). Why you may ask? Because some people, althought I truly can't tell you why ;), have decided that this blog was worth nominating for a Kreativ Blogger Award.

So, now it's my turn. Here are my Kreativ Blogger Award nominees:





Now let's get down to my Kreativ Bloggers shall we? Seven criteria must be met upon receiving this honor:

Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.
Here goes!





1. Thank you so much Julian Stark. It means a lot to me to know that you feel as though my blog is worth checking out.

Seven Things:

1) I am a BIG fan of costume dramas and romance films. Probably more than I should be.
2) I'm a closet geek. Film, Music, Comics, and even sports, if it has some element of geekdome, I probably fall under that category.
3) My favorite book is Requiem For A Dream
4) I once wanted to be a Political Scientist prior to film journalist
5) My favorite film is Jean Luc Godard's Breathless
6) I've walked out of a movie once. Good Luck Chuck...
7) I play the ukulele

Now my nominees:

The King Bulletin
Reel Talk
Marc's Movie Blog
Dain's Movie Reviews
Drinkable Films
Kenz Talks About Movies
A Life In Equinox

These are all just really fantastic reads, and should be staples amongst your daily search for film news and discussion.

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Stay tuned, there might just be a few changes to this place, but I'll still be here and most of my work can be read at DVDSnapshot.com.

Go see something good!


5 and 6. The blogs that I'm nominating are...


Common Sense Movie Reviews

The Film Experience

I ARE MOVIES



The King Bulletin



Life of a Cinephile and Bibliophile



Reel Talk

Stale Popcorn



Honorable Mention: Again, Univarn's A Life in Equinox. The reason I give honorable mention is because I have absolutely no clue if you're allowed to mention the one who nominated you in your seven blogs

Everyone nominated... remember to pass the awards on! Thanks again to Univarn for nominating me!

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