Friday, December 31, 2010

Home for the Holidays: Movie Rundown

I have had some downtime since I've been home, so I decided to catch up on my couch-surfing and film-fiestas. The flicks I've seen thus far:

  1. A Christmas Carol (Newest one with Jim Carrey)
  2. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
  3. Fried Green Tomatoes
And here's what I think of them:

Jim Carrey's A Christmas Carol. [4.0 Thumbs Up]
My first reaction was that this movie is not meant for a younger audience, and so far, people have agreed with me. There are some scenes in the film that were so FREAKING freaky that even I jumped a bit. For those who have seen it, you know which ones I'm talking about, but for those who haven't, it's the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Everyone knows this as the creepiest spirit and Robert Zemeckis makes sure we know it and we know it HARD.
My second reaction, however, was pure amazement. It was the intense emotions, the incredible imagery, the masterful scoring, and the beautiful direction that made it a wonderful film. The theme of the movie was conveyed much more greatly than the older version with Scrooge McDuck. Given they are both animated, the 'raw' expressions of the new Scrooge and the heavy imagination of Robert Zemeckis made for a Carol that was fantastic, albeit a more adult-fantastic.
Some other cool things were the voice/character recognition, where the character was adapted to look like the actor lending the voice. The Ghost of Christmas past was the creepiest because it's Carrey doing his creepy voice, but trying to make it a serious piece. So, yeah. Nuff said on that.

All together, I think A Christmas Carol was extremely well done and could become the new "go-to" film for the holidays.

This is going to be brief and skewed for two main reasons. First, I didn't start it from the beginning; Second, I didn't finish it- not because it was horrible, but because I was hungry and got some food. By the time I got back, the movie was over. With that said, this movie is kind of tricky to decipher because there is not a whole lot that enticed me to ever want to see this film on my own dime- yet a small part of me enjoyed this film. Maybe it was the odd variety of freaks presented in the show or the fact that it was a simple film done simply for simple-minded people. If I were to critique it properly, it'd probably end up saying that this film is a waste of time, and since it's already a skewed breakdown, I'll say this:
  • Unknown star supported by a relatively big-time cast = mixed feelings on the acting;
  • Vampire vs Circus Freak subplot= mixed, yet intrigued feelings;
  • John C. Reilly as a bad-ass vampire = not the greatest;
  • Ray Stevenson as a creeped out super-freak= also, not the greatest;
Basically, I was right on with my desire to never want to pay for it, but if it were to ever become a filler show on TBS, then I would be more than welcome to wasting my time zoning out to the horrible special effects and permed-out, gingered-up John C. Reilly

Fried Green Tomatoes. [2.6 High Fives]
I'm not a big fan of chick flicks, especially ones which ask Kathy Bates to look at her own vagina. However, movies that empower people to break out of their conservative and abused lives can't be all that bad. Fried Green Tomatoes is such a movie that I will only watch once and this is because I really...really wanted to take a nap, yet I ended up watching it all. The movie is about Kathy Bates wanting to change her shoddy life situation and in doing so, meets a crazy ole' gal that tells her a story of an intense friendship between two young women, one empowering the other and the other supporting the other, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Throughout the movie, Kathy Bates takes these stories close to heart and uses them to fix her life. There's action, mystery, vaginal empowerment, and mini-adventures that tend to have those with softer-hearts tearing up and wishing they had friends like that.

As for me? Well, let's just say it was a movie that I'll watch once willingly. If there were to be a next time, I'd expect much incentive to sit through it.


I'll try to watch something else more exciting, but most of them are holiday favorites [National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, etc] and since most EVERYONE on the planet should have seen them by now, I'll just leave it at that. If you haven't seen the holiday necessities, pull your head out and get with it.

Boom!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Home for the Holidays: BLACKOUT!

Image of "Blackout" of Warner Bros's Transformers. Desktop image by LordSeacow


Last night was the last night my brother and his girlfriend Stacy were in town for their trip, so we planned out an epic night of food, fun, and fancy. It was going to be truly epic. And because I believe in the rule of 3, I shall say it once more.

Epic.

The Food was wicked sweet- turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, stuffing, baked apples, broiled broccoli, and rolls. Effffffing tasty, right?!

The Fancy had begun during dinner, with some wine, toots (spirits), and for my sister- Diet Mt. Dew.

The Fun was planned out as such: Scattergories, ApplesToApples, Karaoke, and then some sort of Wii game. In other words, it was going to be much fun- and then-

BLACKKKKKKOUUUTTTT!

Oh, preface: Spokane, WA was hit with a storm cell that covered our area with a lot of snow. It started out as the heavy stuff that is perfect for building for a day or so and then moved to the very dry stuff that comes with much colder weather. So, pile that together and you've got the good-stuff that can knock down trees and stuff, in turn, knocking out the power to your house.

BLACCCKKKKOUTTTTTT!!!

At first, no one knew what to do. I was in the3 bedroom talking with my mom and brother about possibly moving to LA, my dad was downstairs making a toot, and my girlfriend Sarah, my sister, and Stacy were all in the living room playing Words with Friends (yes, in the same room and Yes, against each other). It took a while to get things set up for the night with lighting candles, designating the community toilet (for number 1), and making drinks, but all in all, it turned out to be a better night than I think we even planned for.

I mean, no one can schedule a blackout and everyone loves spontaneousness! We lit candles to play Scattergories and rocked it for a while, carrying on the fun night we planned on. After we'd all had some toots and played some games, we came to our senses and realized that the power was out and it wasn't going to come on magically in the middle of the night and with forecasts of overnight temperatures close to zero degrees, we ended up falling back on my parent's on firing up the generator so we could have heat throughout the night.

We ended up also plugging in the fridge and our downstairs TV, and once again, we made a round of toots, sat ourselves down in a tight bunch, and plugged in season 1 of ABC's Modern Family.

Good show, good company, and a good last night with my brother and his girlfriend. Honestly, I wouldn't have traded it for anything.

I hope everyone else is having as good a time on their holidays as I am, 'cause I'm having a ton of it!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Home for the Holidays: Never again, Jumbo Jump. Never. Again.



So, my grandma's-cousin's-daughter came over last week and I was in-charge of kid-handling. The children were actually quite precious- Natalie and Ben, 6 and 4, respectively, did not fight or yell at each other, while Grace, 3 years of age, spent most of her time running around the house talking on the phone. For the record, Gracie is one of the most adorable things I have ever had the privilege of playing telephone with. Being born with Downs Syndrome has not held her back from enjoying any minute of life and seeing her smile when the phone lit up (after I had dialed the number from my cell), well, it could have made the most hardened person crack their hideous shell and smile too.

To get back from my cute-child-digression, I had to figure out what a 23 year-old with limited babysitting skills could do with 2 small children. It was actually quite easy- I'd let technology do all my dirty work for me!

Enter Wii Party.

Wii Party is the latest addition to the Wii family gaming in which players compete in mini-games to earn the highest score, and thus, bragging rights and household renown. Some of the games are extremely similar in design to Mario Party, but since Nintendo owns the right to all of it, it's fair game, I guess.

As with all children, the closest way to time well-preoccupied are games that are easy to work and retain as much attention as possible. It turns out that activity has a name in Wii Party. It's called "Jumbo Jump" and it was PERFECT. All the game does it sends the Miis hurling down the ski-jump and at the right moment, the player needs to flick their remote upward. That's it- it worked perfectly.

Until Natalie said it. And I will remember it this moment for days to come:

She looked straight into my eyes with her light blue eyes, blonde pig-tails, and child-sized toothy grin and said...

"This game is SO much fun- I want to play it until we leave!"

She had just gotten there.

1 hour and over 50+ games later, they decided to try another mini-game. This experimental phase only lasted 2 games before they wanted to do more Jumbo Jump.

Here is the thing though- it wouldn't have been that bad except I. could. Not. Beat THEM! I don't know what it was or how they did it, but the kids kept getting the records on the game. They'd make records and then make some more, all the while, I was 'happily' getting second place. Mind you, I did my fair share of winning, but I never once made a record jump.

Upside: Natalie did not gloat. She made sure to let me know that second place was still good.
Downside: I can never Jumbo Jump again.

Here is a video of Jumbo Jump. All together, Wii Party is amazingly fun and worth snagging it you have the system and a fun family.

Home for the Holidays: Let the Good Times Roll

And by rolling, I mean me.

Because I am eating a lot. And I can't stop. I recently did a 3-week low-carb challenge with a buddy and let me tell you what- there is no room for a low-carb diet during Christmas. Grandma makes her bacon-wrapped water chestnuts and her fudge, her marshmellow/pretzel/chocolate things, and Mom makes her eggnog french toast with german sausage, and Dad...oh, man...DAD goes and makes his prime rib, butter-rosemary red potatoes...YOU CANNOT TURN IT DOWN. All of the hardcore discipline I had during the weeks prior to Christmas, you think I'd be able to watch my self. But here it is: I can't.

And I love it.

This incredible. I can't stop eating, drinking, sleeping....I am rolling all over the place.

Worth it.

Worth it.

Happy Holidays, everyone!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The New Year Begins-horribly

nic cage

Season Of the Witch

Plot: Nicolas Cage is a knight who ends up transporting a witch to a church to be exorcised, or killed, or thrown into a pond to test for buoyancy; however, the witch gets out and chaos ensues.

Here we go: Things that should help this movie

  1. Ron Perlman. Perlman’s held his own since he held the throne of New York’s underground with Linda Hamilton. Granted, everyone has ups and downs [Looney Tunes: Back in Action];
  2. The Witch. She’s kind of cute.

ANNNNNNNDDD now the things that should enforce this was the worst movie to start the new year.

  1. Nicolas Cage. He is like a younger, more balding Anthony Hopkins- he has one character. It doesn’t matter what era, what country, or what sector of Manhattan, Cage can only do one thing- suck. His last film that was somewhat enjoyable was National Treasure I and that was only, only because of his supporting cast. I’m getting sick thinking about it;
  2. The Not-So-Special-Effects. It honestly looks like a project from the Sci-fi channel. The one thing the sci-fi channel has going for it is the ability to pump out a ton of films. They do not have the special effects to pump out Hollywood flicks.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the sci-fi channel because happen to be attracted to B-rate films- but that doesn’t mean I don’t shudder at Gargoyle;
  3. Dialogue. Go to the 1:51 mark on the second trailer. Don’t worry, I’ve linked the trailer here so you don’t waste your time looking for it;
  4. Nicolas Cage. I don’t like him;
  5. It’s release has already been delayed several months. I haven’t come across anything that gives the postponement any credit, so because I am seemingly on an anti-SOFW tirade, I’m going to say it’s because the producer realized he made a bad decision and tried to postpone it so everyone thought it was already released  and would forget about it.

Honestly, the last decent Cage film was Gone in Sixty Seconds*. It had star-power, creativity, and Vinnie Jones; Season of the Witch does not. My opinion: wait until the DVD is in the 5$ Wal-Mart bin and someone else has bought it, and gave it to Value Village, where you can then get it on red tag discount.

Season Of the Witch [ 0.3 High-Fives, preview style]

starring Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Graham, and Claire Foy

 

*- this is an un-informed opinion since I haven’t seen Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call- New Orleans, which I heard was pretttty decent.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Random Thoughts…

 

…on Hollywood/Movies:

  • If Kate Winslet had not been saved and had successfully jumped off the back of the Titanic, do you think the Titanic would have still sunk? I like to think not…
  • If Eddy Murphy was more like his character from Nutty Professor, do you think his career would have taken a better turn? My guess: most likely.

….on things that are good:

  • comic books about aliens abducting one single simple minded human.  Check it out: AbductedComic.com;
  • Quitting a part-time customer service jobs;
  • 30 Rock. It’s GENIUS!

3 Sci-Fi flicks to Watch out for: Part Tre

 

cowboys_and_aliens

Cowboys & Aliens

Plot: Daniel Craig wakes up with an obviously alien bro-clet* and all of a sudden *GASP!* aliens show up. Big bangs and shiny lights happen and BOOM before you know it, it’s a showdown- Cowboys vs. Aliens!

Here’s what is going to truly rock about this latest Jon Favreau’s excellency:

  1. Earth’s Greatest Heroes. Raise your hand if you’ve ever wished for James Bond AND Indiana Jones to kick it together to kick some alien butt? Yeah, I have two hands raised. ‘Nuff said;
  2. Directorship. Favreau’s been on a roll with his box office domination. Both Iron Man movies have proven his action sequence capabilities, and Zathura shows his ability to tell a story. Cowboys & Aliens should be an awesome attempt at pulling it all together. Since it doesn’t cater specifically to my comic geek brethren-and caters to ALL nerd classes- it’ll be a good show;
  3. Historien*. The movie is about cowboys defending their small town of Absolution against an unknown alien horde-'nuff said.

Speculation (s):

  1. Bad Aliens. They need to be badass and beyond. Last time Hollywood needed sweet aliens, they were defeated by half-full glasses of water. Translation: weak sauce;

So far, I think Cowboys & Aliens should be a rockin’ movie. Go see another movie in theatres right now to see trailers for it. And support the economy. Because progress is rockin’.

Cowboys & Aliens [ 5 High-Fives preview style]

starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, and Sam Rockwell

Directed by: Jonny Favs

* Bro-clet: a bracelet designed for a group of 3 guy friends as a pact of their undying man-love (true story: my friend has one. It’s why I’m laughing right now); Historien: this is Norwegian for “the story”. You’re welcome.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

3 Sci-Fi Flicks to Watch out For: Part Two

To continue on with the sci-fi previews:

The Warrior's Way

The Warrior’s Way

What should be good about it:

Ninjas vs The Wild West. This is a genre clash that isn’t approached too often because, personally, westerns haven’t been ‘in’ since entire sets had to be digital. Back in the day, Westerns needed only a couple of sets on Warner Bros lot and the rest was done in backyard Arizona (or something). But today, with rampant expansion, western plots are becoming harder and harder to come by that feature vague originality. Good thing this movie is more about the ninjas than the westerns, because it could work given the fact that it features NINJAS THAT FLY. If they pull it off, it could either be a good extension of the current ninja movie-plots akin to that of the 90’s [Surf Ninjas, Beverly Hills Ninja, 3 Ninjas, feks.] or it could kill a genre that seems to have few devout followers;

The Star-Power. Historically, Geoffrey Rush’s ‘random’ flicks [House on Haunted Hill, Mystery Men, etc] turn out to be sleeper hits. Nevermind the fact the film sports Danny Huston, Tony Cox, and…yes…Kate Bosworth, the amount of good reliable acting should help support the new comer to the Western film industry, Dong-gun Jang, our hero of the evening;

The Cinematography. The movie looks as if it’s a dreamscape, and to be honest, you’d have to almost be dreaming when you thought of this genre-collaboration. Like when Snoop Dogg had a cameo in “California Gurls”- it’s guaranteed whoever thought of that was either dreaming or had just bought a dime-bag off Snoop Dog and felt obliged to invite him on set. With the surreal design of the intensity of the ninjas, real sets and locations would limit the characters, so the almost entirely 3D rendered visuals actually fit this film;

Things that are worrisome about it:

It’s Ninja Assassin meets Wild West. And Ninja Assassin was already done, which is why I am concerned. That movie was intense and worth watching more than once, but if Warrior’s Way goes the way of Ninja Assassin, the film might have to wait for more the word-of-mouth that comes post-DVD release to receive any deserved attention;

Geoffrey Rush is going to Die. Just saying. He seems like the type of character you hate at first, love later, and then become crushed when he gets stabbed by the ninja brigade leader. For the record, I haven’t seen it yet, but that is what I’m calling.

In any case, the movie is already out in theatres and ready to be enjoyed. So, go enjoy it, and prepare for the Holidays the right way- with flying ninjas.

 

The Warrior’s Way [2.98 high-fives]

starring Dong-gun Jang, Geoffrey Rush, Danny Huston, and…….ugh.….Kate Bosworth

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Thorsday!

This will be short and epic, I promise.

thor

See.

 

Told you so.

 

picture taken directly from Marvel’s release page of the new movie posters.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Movie Monday: 3 Sci-fi Flicks to Watch out For; Part UNO

I like to watch movies. Even more so, I like to talk about movies [example(s): Avatar and Transformers II]. Even more than that, I like to look at upcoming movies and know what previews are playing in the theater to look like a badass. But actually, looking back, that's only worked a couple of times, so check that whole badass thing; insert "...look like a geek".
Once again, I digress.
Here are three (3) movies [science fiction] films coming up that I think should be pretty good, or at least I want them to be: Green Lantern, The Warrior’s Way, and Cowboys and Aliens.

Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern

Green Lantern

Premise: Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is chosen by a dying member of the Lantern Corps, an intergalactic United Nations, to take his place. The movie follows Jordan on his personal quest in becoming a true Lantern, both internally and physically.

What I Like:

  1. It’s a Superhero Flick. More importantly-and as others have said as well- it departs from the Earth-bound hero. This is something that DC Comics is very good at and their universe shows this with their character collections. Unlike Batman, who patrols Gotham, the Lantern Corps patrol sectors and regions of the universe.  A.k.A the dude has to go into space often and kick ass.
  2. Ryan Reynolds.  The dude was a solid choice for this role. Hal Jordan is sort of known as the all-courage, no-brain type hero and though Reynolds as proven himself a sturdy actor, I think everyone remembers one of his first roles as Berg on Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place. His developing action acting chops will come in handy for the role and I am truly excited to see one of the first bi-universe actor films [bi-universe = Reynolds also played Wade Wilson, or Deadpool, a jumbalaya of superpowers in X-Men Origins: Wolverine- in the Marvel Universe.
  3. The Supporting Cast. Tim Robbins (Senator Hammond), Mark Strong (as Sinestro), Peter Sarsgaard (as Hector Hammond), and Temuera  Morrison (as Abin Sur). Not only has Mark Strong been on a freaking role, but when is Peter Sarsgaard NOT a complete badass? Give me ONE good answer, I dare you. If Robbins does half as great an acting job that he did in Mystic River, then it’ll be worth a paid-ticket. Lastly, Temuera Morrison because he was Jango Fett.
  4. The Costume. I think it’s rad. ‘Nuff said. Though, there could be more black…

What I don’t:

  1. The Costume. I know! I just said I liked it! But here is the thing- the entire costume is digitally done. It’s like Ryan Reynolds walking around with a green Nav`i around his body. I just don’t know if I like it enough yet to fully get behind it. I like the color and the design, but from what I have seen in the trailer, I’m not buying it…which is sad, because I really want to. Plus, I think they should have done a bit more white-out on the eyes. So far it’s just weird being able to see his eyes.
  2. Blake Lively. How is a 20-something gossip girl supposed to be the owner of an airfield with a military contract? I know, I know, ‘you watch a ton of superhero movies and read comic books- why can’t you let this slide?’ Stuff it. I can believe in some realism if I want to, you know…
  3. The reliance of digi-FX. The movie’s premise is space-bound and I understand that, which is why I can’t bitch about this too much. I just hope that the director doesn’t get tooooo liberal with the graphics and make it look cheap [namely the test-flight shots. Reminds me a lot of this sketch by the Whitest Kids U Know. And because I know those sketches are low budget and they know it, then they can get away with making it look low budget. SO, that’s why I don’t want Green Lantern to get lazy with the graphics and stuff. If that makes sense…

Overall, I think what I dislike about the movie will be over-powered by the sheer possibilities of the Green Lantern character. Also, DC Comics has a lot of pressure to do well with this, seeing that the film was already voted “Most Anticipated Film of 2011” at the …VMA’s…? I’ll be checking in more on this once more trailers and pictures are available.

So, check out the trailer and available pics and tell me what you think! Next in-line: The Warrior’s Way.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I’m Leaving…on a JetPlane! (insert auto-tune)

norway-fear_m

Soon, I’m heading out on trip to Norway- and this is an incredible moment. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a long damn time and it’s going to be mondo exciting. Because of this, I will be giving doing a split-so blog pre-trip, during trip,and follow up. It’ll be awesome because I’ll be updating my blog in a couple of ways. One of which will be the CRAZY an ABSURD excursions throughout the Homeland and the close proximity nations of awesome. Second, I’ll be commenting on the things that I find fun and entertaining, and sometimes thought provoking, much like I do now, but being a different country it might be actually include topics outside of movies and tv- not that there is anything wrong with movies and tv, because it’s all good stuff. In any case…I digress..

Isn’t this just incredibly awesome!?! Enjoy, because I will be enjoying every moment of it and be letting you in on all of it!

So, to start off, I’ll leave you with a good movie I’ve seen. You should all see this. It’s called Elling and it’s essentially a buddy movie with two Norwegian psychiatric patients released into the social world. The movie follows the two as they attempt to commit themselves back to “regular” society. It’s extremely good and the best part is if you have Netflix- it’s automatically subtitled! So, yeah! I had to watch this for one of my Norwegian classes (well, I wouldn’t say ‘had’ to, because it was the day before Winter Break, so we had a ton of sweet, sweet Norwegian snacky foods and Julbrus [Christmas soda]. Boom yeah).

Her er filmen!

Elling!

Ha det godt!

Monday, November 22, 2010

¡MovieReview! Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

SCOTT-PILGRIM-vs-THE-WORLD

Synapsis: This dude, Scott Pilgrim [played perfectly by Michael Cera] begins dating this chick, Ramona [played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead] and everything is wonderful' until Scott finds out that in order to stay with her, he’ll have to defeat (defeat, not fight) her seven evil exes. Without seeing any production photos, sketches, or other bits of information about the film, would you go see it on a whims? Be honest. Ok, my turn:

No. I would not have up and seen this flick –BUT- that is a ridiculous question because no one in their right senses goes to see a movie without ever seeing or hearing anything else about the film. I mean, you don’t walk into a video store and look at blank words about the film! Hell nah! You look at the pictures the post-production team placed creatively on the back of the cassette! And yes! I am talking about VHS rentals! why? because they had the TWO extra pictures on the sides, not just the lousy low-bit picture now a-days on DVDs and Blue-Ray features.

But I digress; I apologize.

To review this film, I will liken the analysis to that of discussion topics I have had with one of the regulars at my store:

  1. Geekdom
  2. Characters
  3. Subtleties

Geekdom noun \`gēk-dəm\ [this could have been noted as “geekiness” or “geekness”, but I think “Geekdom” sounds more ‘geek-propriate’] : First and first most (yes, I said it), this movie tackles everything I was passionate about as a child and still passionate about to til this day- VIDEO GAMES AND CHICKS AND COMIC BOOKS; in that order. This calls for a

¡¡¡GEEKDOM BREAKKKDOOOOWWWN!!!

Video games: The seven evil exes, in design, are fashioned as the the first is the weed-out bad guy and the rest get harder from there. Also, when they are defeated, they turn to coins [BIG shout-out to Mario and Zelda]. Upon turning into coins, the hero is rewarded points, and those points are awarded on level of difficulty and combinations. This tickled my fancy far beyond any 3D video game system will ever. Not to mention the fact that everyone has always wanted to know what would happen if they got into a fight in the video game world. Scott does this and does this well. Whence a bad-guy is defeated in the video game world, they SHOULD turn blink red to show progress [though this trend died quickly in the early 2000’s] and when they are defeated, you SHOULD hear a resounding and epic “ K.O.!”. And this happens and it is great.

CHICKS: The girls are quite cute in the movie, so, well played Casting Crew and Mister Director [Edgar Wright]! And don’t even get me started about Ramona- when she pulls out the Thor-like digihammer to defend Scott from a crazed ex. Scott’s ex in the movie, Knives Chau played by Ellen Wong, also plays the adorable and confused, naive stalker-ex-that-loves-the-band kind of chick and she’s cuUuUuute! So, chicks in this movie: thumbs up. Next subject.

Comic Books: Scott is based off a comic series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, so there is that. Also, the fact that the action in the movie is highly characteristic of comics with the high-flying attacks, mega-punches, and mondo-moves. I also really enjoyed that fact that the movie just took off. Literally, Scott begins the quest for Ramona by launching himself upwards to the first ex. The moves and the action sequences remind me of the comics I grew up loving and still love to this day. Plus, it was just intense to see how Scott just naturally had these awesome abilities. He didn’t learn to fight and there was no montage. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good montage, but I think one in this film would have tainted it a bit. Lastly, no one knows how in the hell these people developed these fighting abilities- and that is brilliant. Not to mention there is only one dude that actually has stated powers, the rest are just people with crazy abilities. Lucas Lee, played by the up-and-coming Steve Rogers (Captain America) Chris Evans and Todd, played by Brandon Routh [was a one-time Superman] both show a really interesting and creative adaptation of this. I’m not telling how and what, so go watch it. Finally (truly lastly finally) there were a couple of spots here and there that only a geek would notice involving comic books, primarily the usage of two superheroes. If you DON’T spot them, just let me know and I’ll point them out to you. [note: dual montage clips. CLICK THEM BOTH]

Ultimately, there were multiple aspects of the movie that tickled me allll sorts of pink because of its 112minute patronage to all things great on this Earth.

Characters noun \ˈker-ik-tərs\: I haven’t really said this for while about any one movie, but the entire cast was very well-rounded and worked with each other incredibly. Scott’s crew, the exes, and even the background people were incredible. I especially love Young Neil. Once you see the movie, you’ll know what’s up. But seriously, the characters and the actors who portrayed them were awesome, as the acting was very done and everyone maintained a certain tone to it- serious, yet quirky and smart-assy [i.e. Kim, played by Alison Pill], which made the movie just that much funnier. and enjoyable. Characters to watch and enjoy: Wallace [Kieran Culkin], Young Neil [Johnny Simmons], and Todd [Brandon Routh].

Subtleties (subtlety) noun \ˈsə-təl-tē\: It mostly has to do with the quips and the dialogue, but there are multitudes of subtle ‘here-theres'’ that you’re going to have to watch it. It’s really hard to describe the subtleties of the film not because there are so many or for any reason other than, well, they were subtle. Many people might not pick up on them because I am entertained by subtleties and their silent, often un-picked up genius. It’s just how I am, though I really hope by telling you that the film is riddled in quips and intelligent banter and creative direction, you’ll really try looking for them. Just know that they were one of the biggest influences on my strong liking of this film.

Overall: Very good flick. Other people will say it’s a movie to the testament of character or because they were a fan of the comic book, what have you. As a geek and a dude who likes the subtle things in life, I found this movie to be highly enjoyable. Scott Pilgrim brings to screen any fantastic daydreams I had as a kid and it’s because of this, I connected with this film. I felt…something…something great- such as laying in bed watching the film with your best friend (and in this instance, my significant other Sarah). All in all, if you were at all interested in how your life would be lived as a comic book hero, video game protagonist, or just some dude who fell in love with a purple-haired chicka, check out Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It'll either make you want to play video games or write a blog about telling other people to play video games after watching it.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World [5 High-Fives]

Starring Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Ellen Wong

¡¡¡DO IT!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lou Ferrigno….NOOOOOO!!!

ferrignohulka

Lou Ferrigno just signed up as a volunteer for the Arizona immigration witch-hunt a.k.a “the-anyone-who-looks-like-they-are-uncomfortable-around-law-enforcement-and-or-is-brown-is-in-deep-shit posse”. The posse was bad news on its own and now they recruited the HULK! Sonuvabitch! No one can run and NO one can hide from the HULK! There is no hiding your wives, or hiding your kids, because the Hulk WILL snatch all your peoples up!

Seriously?

Let’s put aside the idea that one of the most recognizable icons from the golden age of television has joined a statewide manhunt for immigrants, the entire idea of the Arizona law is redonkulous. Yes, REDONK-U-LOUS. Don’t get me wrong, I have read the reports and the statistics behind illegal immigration and I know that there are negative side-effects and economic reactions to having out of control immigration and I support some sort of designed regulations surrounding immigration- but I will not, will not support Arizona’s attempts at renegade immigration patrol. If people read the reports and looked through the economics of immigration, there is a good amount of it that helps out economy and actually gives the American people jobs! But Arizona in all of it’s infinite wisdom has decided to grab it’s proverbial torch and equally proverbial pitchforks and hunt the monster that is immigrants- and it is absolutely asinine.

I apologize, younger generations, for the falling of a comic-icon. Lou Ferrigno knows not what he does.May the Lou Ferrigno we all know and love rest in peace; and may Arizona get kicked in it’s foreigner-hating testicle/vagina [I didn’t want to associate Arizona with the hated-rage typically associated with being a man, so I gave it a vagina too. me= maninist]

Movie Review: The Karate Kid

Jaden Smith Karate Kid

So, without any pretenses and pre-review ramblings, here is my assessment of the Karate Kid reboot: it was actually pretty damn good.

Plot: This was a remake; No further comment.

Acting: Good stuff, mangaloid. Jackie Chan’s handle on English from years of being a Hollywood icon and Jaden Smith being the son of two of TinselTown’s finest, you’d expect the acting to be up to snuff ESPECIALLY since remaking one of mankind’s most favorite films. If you act like a bitch or cry when you’re not supposed to*COUGHtoberymaguireCOUGHspiderman* then you’re not only doing a disservice to yourself for sucking it up, but you’re insulting a classic. Honestly, the worst acting was from the antagonist because for as awesome as he was at kicking ass, he had a really high-pitched voice which made his badassery fall. I know, I know, I shouldn’t hate because the original bad-boy had a higher pitched voice AND the little Chinese kid is, well, a kid but I feel they should have doctored his voice with Michael Clarke Duncan. Outside of that, I was pretty impressed with how well the actors, all of them [mostly the younger Chinese students] performed in the film. Smith Jr. actually surprised me with his chops. He rocked it out in Pursuit of Happyness, but in Pursuit, he had to act like himself, a little boy; Karate Kid, he got the shit kicked out of him repeatedly and STILL maintain is chi. I was half surprised at how much of Big Willie’s swagger stays strong in this little Smith, but at the same time- he’s the heir to the Fresh Prince and his kingdom in Bel-Air, so in truth I was probably more relieved that he’s keeping it in the family. I mean alive. Yeah, you know what’s up.

Action: Damn. Damn. I did not…Damn! I didn’t think little kids could do those kind of things. I have a strong sense that Jaden Smith didn’t do all of his own stunts, but I have a STRONG sense that the little Chinese kid who plays his archnemesis Cheng did. The kid’s acting supports my theory. He was weak at anything but being a complete asshole, but that asshole literally kicked ass and kicked it hard. But more seriously, the action and the storyline, helmed by Harald Zwart took a much more serious tone than the original. It could have been the lack of 80’s pop music (replaced by modern pop music---fack..) or the fact that Ralph Macchio is a goofy bastard to begin with, but the tone of the film was more heavy than the original. The hits, the fear little Smith has of those kids, and the training- oh myGAWD the training! It was intense! Little Smith, something like 12 years old, began looking like that Russian weightlifting buckaroo [click it!]- but with cornrows. The heavier tone is felt more so in this film because of the montage. Granted, in the original, the montage was Ralph Macchio’s best friend, but with the original you felt him get better and gain more confidence. The remake, however, you feel the Little Smith get stronger, better, and still scared shitless- That’s the difference.

Overall: It won’t ever touch the level that the original because the bond between Daniel-son and Miyagi was something that the world had never seen and they became addicted to it, for one. And for another, they remade it before the “most-of-the-original-cast-has-died-and-their-family-doesn’t-mind-a-remake” mark, which weighs heavily on me, personally. But honestly- don’t push this movie aside. Coming from someone who never thought they’d voluntarily sit down and check it out, I actually really enjoyed this film. In fact, I watched it twice before I had to return it, and I normally don’t do that. It’s a good flick that I would say does the original justice by not sucking ass. They use subtle similarities from the old film and you get excited about how the new film will use it [Russian Scotsman, you’d better pick up on what I’m talking about] and you really are not disappointed. Go rent the film and check it out. You’ll see what I’m talking about- all of you.

The [next, Next] Karate Kid [3.4 High Fives]

starring Jaden Smith, Jackin Chan, Taraji P. Hensen, Zhenwei Wang

Bill Bye collapses- and the audience does NOTHING

Bill-Nye

This just pisses me right off. This highly intelligent and highly beloved icon of the 90’s after-school special era collapsed while walking to the podium during a presentation at University of Southern California (USC, for those less-than sufficient in their college acronymology-and yes I know this is a fake word, but suck it)- and the students did absolutely nothing! They sat in their chairs and did nothing. Oh, wait, my bad- they UPDATED THEIR STATUSES.

Absolutely ridiculous.

This doesn’t help USC with their image problem of thinking they are better than everyone else and it doesn’t help me with liking them- yes all of them- at all.

Here’s the article I read: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20101117/sc_yblog_thelookout/if-the-science-guy-passes-out-and-nobody-tweets-it-did-it-happen

And yes, it is a one-sided account, but since no one from USC is doing anything but telling people on Facebook and Twitter that they “totally, like, read that they were in the news and stuff”, I don’t really care.

What can we take away from this?

  1. USC is full of tools;
  2. I further my hold on a complete dislike of the school and their complete douchebagery ;
  3. Bill Nye is getting old
  4. #3 makes me sad
  5. Acronymology should become a word.

Mike out!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Movie Review: Iron-Man 2

IronManConcept1

Image from blog.al.com, courtesy of Sega

This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while but finally got the push to do it. Dear MacRussianScot, this is for you:

***MINOR SPOILERS. READ ON YOUR OWN ACCORD***

(i.e. don’t get pissed at me if I ruin a plot twist for you)

The biggest question on everyone’s mind when Iron-Man 2 started pre-production was “…how will IM2 weigh up to the first one?” I hope to give you the insight to go find out for yourself (I’ll give my opinion at the end). I don’t know a lot about Iron-Man’s history outside of his alter-ego’s alcoholic past with his up-and-coming self-induced paralysis (oops- I hope I didn’t just unintentially spoil IM3 or a possible plot-twist in The Avengers…), so my first-thought was that I couldn’t think of any immediate fantastic villains outside of Justin Hammer (IM2 villain) or the Hulk, but I doubt Favreau would go that route just yet. And while I’m being honest, I really didn’t know what to expect from the second installment because I felt from all of the TV spots I’d seen through the weeks and months leading up to my own experience, I felt I had already seen it; but I was wrong. I’ll get to that later and you’ll see what I mean. SO here’s how I will be critiquing Iron-Man 2: comic interpretation, antagonists/villains, character development. Normally I would use the same ole’ “plot, action, acting, etc”, but I want to try something new. Plus, the only real bad acting was from Gwyneth Paltrow- I don’t like her.; I think her acting stinks, her facial expressions suck, and she hasn’t landed anything worth paying attention to (except Iron Man 1 and Shallow Hal)—but I digress—on to the review!

Comic Interpretation

As I said, there isn’t a whole lot I know about Iron Man/Tony Stark but from what I do know is that Tony Stark is the anti-hero of heroes. It sounds complex, but it really isn’t. Essentially, he’s the most human out of many of the superheroes because is the most frail at the same time he’s supposed to be the so strong, almost made of…iron..? (tell me you giggled too) But as it turns out, he’s an alcoholic playboy with a lot of personal issues, of which, Favreau illustrates just the playboy side in both of the Iron Man films. In Iron Man 2, Favreau does a good job at interpreting this problem by incorporating it into the plot line, using the alcohol as a way to stave of death for that much longer, but ironically killing him at the same time—just like alcoholism. In both Iron Man films, Stark’s playboy-side is shown incredibly well. Anyone not familiar at all with the character, Downey Jr. simply seems like the misdirected fool that needed a push, but to anyone whose read at least one Iron Man, they’ll see it’s very well played out by Favreau’s team; his alcoholism is portrayed also very well by Favreau’s team in an interesting twist, a really good twist that shows more of Stark’s ingenuity and massive mental awesomeness and because of the awesomeness that is Favreau’s interpretation I say this—mui bueno, senior.

Antagonists/Villains

Sam Rockwell i.e. Justin Hammer was a good and logical choice. Most of Iron Man’s biggest, baddest, and most hard to fall come from Stark’s days in both the Avengers and the West Cost Avengers, and since that movie hasn’t come out yet, then the best choice was the easiest and most logical- and that was to create two enemies; Justin Hammer is Stark’s opponent in the business world, and Whiplash [played very well by Mickey Rourke] as Iron Man’s nemesis. I don’t really know how Hammer was in the comics, but I really enjoyed Rockwell’s take on it. He made Hammer seem like an incompetent and lucky-to-be-where-he-is kind of dude and it worked, it really did. He played it off right and his character was perfect for the semi-villain. You could tell he was never the main bad guy because he wasn’t of any true influence on what Stark did or how he operated. Hammer is a nuisance and Rockwell acted well on the part. Rourke, well, Rourke was incredible as the main bad-dude Whiplash. The part I found most negative about his character was the back story that IM2 provided: nuclear physicist. I’m not sure how that correlates to the comics, but I cringed when they gave it because I don’t think it was fitting for the character and Rourke’s physique. It’s like saying Tara Reid fits the profile of a ‘brilliant anthropologist’ (ref: Alone in the Dark). Outside of the ill-fitted back story, the only other downer I saw to Rourke’s character was his obsession with whips. I know, I know- his name is Whiplash, whiplash, but obviously, as you’ll see, the whips don’t quite work and with all the crazy explosive action, you wish Whiplash would have done something a little more—elaborate with his weaponry. There is also a third villain- Stark himself. His attitude and stubbornness is nearly destructive to himself and his friends, but this is more of a constant villain, as seen through the entire film. I just wanted to note that it’s there. And it’s good.

Character Development [primarily dealing with Downey Jr./ Stark/ Iron-Man]

There are two things I noticed of the film. First, between Iron-Man 1 and 2, Downey’s portrayal of Tony Stark remains relatively the same, if not more narcissist than before. To be honest, a self-made hero that has the badass intellect and swagger to pull it off and “privatize world-peace” deserves the mondo-dose of ego. With that said, it seems like with the work he’d completed between the two films, you think he would have changed somewhat for the better- but he didn’t. His big change came at the end of the film when he realizes that he has the ability, knowledge, and the know-how to create a new element. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but with any kind of superhero, you always want them to learn the error of their ways in the from their super-debut. Iron-Man 2 doesn’t fulfill that sort of viewer desire but it does, however, fulfill the other thing I noticed: Tony Stark’s genius. In the first movie, it showed his ingenuity to create weapons; IM2 shows Stark’s ability to create a NEW ELEMENT and create advanced weaponry/scientific innovations, something extremely prevalent to the comic character. Tony Stark is a genius and IM2 shows this very well.

Overall

Great movie. To get to my earlier notes (1) I felt I had already seen it and (2) Was it better, with the TV spots, it showed so much of the conflict between Iron-Man and the overarching villain, Justin Hammer, that you thought you knew what the movie was about. But, as it will show, the movie has more to do with the battle between Iron-Man and Tony Stark. The whole Hammer and Whiplash is just for action since the story lies with Stark and that, my friends, is the plot that Iron Man 2 needed. We got action and a wicked bad-dude last movie and this film was more on the development of who Tony Stark/Iron Man is and will become. Yeah, there were some pretty sweet scenes, but for the most part, the movie needed to deal with the character, not the explosions. With that said, I don’t think it was necessarily better than the first one. I won’t say it was bad or much worse than the first, but there is something about an origin flick that always sticks out. I really liked Iron-Man 2 and will think it was well done, except the whole creating a new element thing wasn’t explained all that well, but I digress- good film.

IRON-MAN 2 [4.2 high-Fives]

(starring Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Sam Rockwell, and ugh…Gwyneth Paltrow)

Check it out fool!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Animal House on Wheels…and coke..and steroids…

blue-mountain-state

Blue Mountain State

[4.0 High-Fives]

starring Ed Marinaro, Alan Ritchson, Darin Brooks, and Sam Jones III

Seriously, if you have seen Animal House, American Pie, and any other ridiculous raunchy college humored movie- and LIKED it- then you need to tune in to Blue Mountain State on SpikeTV on Wednesday’s 11pm/10c.

The show mainly follows BMS’s backup QB, Alex Moran ( Darin Brooks, dude in the red jersey) as he goes through college and his football career on the sidelines-purposefully- and I quote: “being backup QB is the best position on the team! I can drink all I want, I don’t have to go to class, and I get the perks on being back-up QB [while in bed with two women].” His best friend, and team mascot, Sammy, is mildly retarded-yet-mildly-ingenious in all of his endeavors. Sam Jones III plays Craig Shiloh, BMS’s own Reggie Bush, but sadly gets pulled into horrible situations because of Alex and the team captain, Thad Castle [Alan Ritchson] who is one of my favorite characters of the entire show. Ritchson plays him perfect, a model of stereotypical collegiate meat-headedness, Castle…ugh, eff it. Just watch one episode and you’ll either like it or love it.

Here’s why you’ll like it:

  • Hot college chicks;
  • Modern day Animal House in football pads;
  • the cast works perfectly together [rounded out by Ed Marinaro, a former NFL running back];
  • You have a [sick] sense of humor;
  • Hot college chicks.

You won’t like it if:

  • You’re a square that looks for absolute plot in a 20min block of television;
  • You’re a maninist (the feminists of man) and are appalled at the typical portrayal of men;
  • You are no fun.

I’m going to do you a favor and set up a link for a video from BMS’s SpikeTV page. It’s called  “Memorable Moments from season 1”. I’m also going to be honest- it only holds a microscopic amount of the good times. Seriously…watch Blue Mountain State if you like fun.

Most Memorable BMS Quotes: Season 1

     

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No Ordinary Family: Why is this SO catchy?!

noordinaryfamily

And to answer that question, I still don’t know.

Just like Smallville, I began watching this show because of the meta-human (superpowered people) factor; with Smallville, I found out it was about Superman and was, without watching a single episode, hooked- and with NOF it’s the same kind of thing, but the twist here is that Michael Chiklis (The Shield, Fantastic Four) leads a super-broken, super-powered, and super-naïve family that never seems to get it-they will use their powers eventually as they were meant to be used. So far, however,  as with ABC family’s productions, it’s all about the lessons we learn. Common lessons in every episode: lying is not bueno; eavesdropping (telepathic or not) and prematurely acting upon said eavesdropped conversations is no bueno; and using your powers to gain advantage over others without powers is cheating and it is….no bueno.

The show started out rough and HIGHLY unexplained. Family goes on an outing to team build, which involves a bush-plane view of the jungle. Of course, it ends in a plane crash and a family born-again as meta-humans. Since then, it’s been introduced that they are not the only ones out there, and it is seemingly more like a corporation that is behind the meta-testing on regular people.  Here is the thing that gets me though- I get that super-powers need to come from somewhere and most often it’s from chemical testing (i.e. Green Goblin), the way NOF incorporates it- it’s just used and boring. The fact that it’s established that the mom works underneath the bad guy at a chemical research company early on is bogus because it doesn’t leave anything to the imagination for the rest of the season. Other meta-humans show up and you want to think “yeah, awesome! SUPERFIGHT!”, but no. Instead, Papa Crimefighter (who DOESN’T wear a mask when he goes out-BIG turn off to us comic-regulars) always gets his butt kicked. And this is outrageous because he is essentially The Thing without the get-up from the Fantastic Four films.

Overall, I don’t know why I am still picking this show up on Hulu. I mean, the super-human thing is always a good enticement for me to watch something, but the way ABC makes their family dramas, it just makes you want to slap them across the face with a corporate-wide bitchslap “Make something EXCITING for once!”

Upsides: People have super-powers

Downsides: No protagonist gets it.

No Ordinary Family [2 High-fives]

starring Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Romany Malco, Stephen Collins

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What’s Up Wednesday: Spider-Man

christopher-daniel-barnes-300x225

 

 

This guy, Christopher Daniel Barnes, was the voice for Peter Parker/Spider-man in the animated series. You owe me- I know you’ve always wanted to know!

 

 

 

Sometime this week I watched “Spider-Man 2” and realized that when I first saw it I thought this movie was rockin’. But after watching it this time, I found a lot of things that I hope- nigh- PRAY the reboot takes into account.  For one:

The Villains’ Shortcomings: Why does Hollywood think that killing off all of the bad guys is the way to do it?  Green Goblin/Norman Osbourne doesn’t die, in fact, lives on FAR into the Marvel future. So killing him kind of pissed me off; Doc Ock- one of Spider-Man’s greatest foes and granted there is a moment where Octavius dies, he comes back to life to battle Spidey over and over- and it’s awesome! Their battles are often the best because of the challenge facing Spider-Man, considering Doc Ock’s menacing tentacles.

So long story short: Don’t kill off the next villain. Just like Batman (of the DC Universe), Spider-Man doesn’t kill- he subdues.

Peter Parker:  Stop being such a wuss. Tobey Maguire showed way too much emotion for Spider-Man. I understand that he’s got a lot of pressure on his shoulders, I mean, he has to juggle women, super-villains, and public relations. That would be a ton of pressure for anyone, but that gives him no excuse to cry. None at all. Peter Parker should not and if everything goes right, will not cry in the reboot.

Spider-Man: More, more, MORE smart-ass quips. It might sound odd, but it accentuates the essence of Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s age and personality.  As a youth, he’s cocky, naïve, and completely driven to be kick-ass. The last 3 films have left a LOT to be desired with the quips and there needs to be more. 

I know it’s difficult to do right with having a legitimate human being in the role, but Spider-Man needs to be even more acrobatic and nimble in his movements and his action scenes. There really wasn’t enough of this fluidity in the last films, and with an even scrawnier looking Spider-Man this go around [Andrew Garfield], it could be done!

Finally, let’s get back to what makes Spider-Man and Peter Parker so freaking awesome: his intelligence. Everyone knows that Spider-Man did not develop shooters from the spider-bite, but rather invented them as transportation, tools, and weapons. The best part is Spider-Man develops and creates new web formulas for different baddies and different situations, it’s not a generic goop that shoots out of his wrist. Parker’s intelligence is one of the most intriguing aspects of Spider-Man because he’s not a dimwitted, muscle-head; he’s hella smart, and they need to play on that more in the reboot. Raimi attempted that in the Spider-Man 2 but missed the mark because Maguire’s character only spat off random, out-of-context remarks on science that “fulfilled” the intelligent remarks quota set out by Columbia. For the record, I don’t think this was an actual quota, but seeing as how they went about tossing in said remarks makes me think they wanted enough to please us comic geeks; they didn’t.

So long story short: Marc Webb, please, please, PLEASE do your research: read our blogs, be a fan of Spider-Man already, and for the love of GOD, make this one right. Currently DC comics is kicking the Marvel’s ass  in the box office –the Batman reboot, primarily, but Green Lantern is cropping up to be a pretty damn good film- and Marvel needs a solid box office take over- Iron Man can’t hold up the franchise himself; Hulk was a bust, though Edward Norton’s take was better; and Thor should help, but he’s not here yet.

For the readers of this blog, I’ll keep you up to date as the film progresses. Until then, check this out: Every Wednesday Marvel streams the Spider-Man Animated Series! Click it to check it out!

Monday, October 4, 2010

And now the moment we've all waited for....



NINJA ASSASSIN VS. The EXPENDABLES
( Dedicated to my dearest Russian-Scotsman)


This comparison is going to be a tough one- so I'll get right to it. It's 3am and I'm ready to rock!

Since these two movies are obviously different in composition, I want to compare the films on four main points: plot, action, acting, and overall sustenance.

Plot [Ninja Assassin]
Since Hollywood has taken a real liking to recycling plots, neither Ninja Assassin or The Expendables had an original idea or even close to it. Good-Bad guys turning rogue and Good Guys over taking tyrannical dictators- cliche and run-down. With that said, Ninja Assassin had the better take on it. Raizo (S.Korean pop-star Rain) was abducted as a child and turned into a mad-dog, kick-ass assassin; however, he was conflicted early on in the leadership program because of his big heart and his big hard-on for the seemingly only girl in boot camp. It's this that eventually turns him into the bad-guy destroying good-guy WHICH is also an interesting take because anyone might suspect from the beginning of the film that Raizo was the top-dog turned rogue, when in fact he wasn't. He may have been a promising protege, but he kind of sucked it up a bunch during training, so you are never quite sure his "rank" in the ninja academy until the end when he literally becomes a shadow; the ultimate ninja. Sylvester "Sly" Stallone, being the natural born badass he is, excels at everything and his team is no less awesome. This includes blowing EVERYTHING up, felling Russians (our beloved Dolph Lundgren), and using weaponry that almost has people begging to be made examples of. But as awesome as they were, I'm afraid assassins take the cake with their attempt at the rogue hero plot. I'd actually go to say that the plot of Ninja Assassins isn't used- it's refurbished.

Action [The Expendables]
Don't get me wrong, Ninja Assassin had plenty of action and bloodshed, I mean, how could a movie with that title NOT have ludicrous amounts of action- but The Expendables doesn't even take the cake- it bakes it, decorates it with grenades and then pulls the pins. Both movies offered fantastic action scenes with the hero(es) being up against greater odds. One ninja against hundreds is pretty sweet, considering their 'old-school' albeit wicked sweet weaponry. But growing up in the action era of Arnold, Sly, and Lundgren, and every schmo-joe in between, I grew up being excited and encouraged by fire, loud noises, and the weapons that create them. So call me biased but everything about The Expendables and it's awesome action had me tickled giggly. Truly, I was laughing from excitement during the movie, my best friend was as well. Flat-out, the action category goes to The Expendables.

Acting [Ninja Assassin]
The Expendables starred Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, and Eric Roberts, co-starred Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Mickey Rourke, and Steve Austin, and featured a worthless and useless cameo by California's very own Governator.

Ninja Assassin starred South Korean pop star Rain and Rick Yune, neither of which is that extensive, but considering the only REAL actor is Eric Roberts of Expendables, South Korean pop-star Rain did an outstanding job as his first main-stream lead off of the bright lights of the silver-stage.

Actin' goes to Ninja Assassin- nothing more to be said.

Overall Sustenance [Ninja Assassin]
When I started this blog, I wanted to be able to say "Listen, Scotsman, by the facts, The Expendables was much better than Ninja Assassin"- but if I go by overall sustenance, Assassin wins. The plot was better done, acting told a story better, an it was actually viable. Expendables was an intense ride of explosions and muscles, guns and knives, a hot girl and a huge plane with huge weapons. Both movies had their small awesome things, like in Assassin, the ninjas have a weird-talky thing going on AND they seem to crawl out of the shadows as if they own the own the damn place and Expendables was just plain awesome. But it's the cooler subtleties in Ninja Assassin that makes it wicked.

Here we go: My dear Russian-Scotsman, Ninja Assassin, was better than The Expendables-if you break it down. BUT without a doubt, I will watch The Expendables on TBS or SpikeTV on any day off over Ninja Assassin.

So there, we both win.





Sunday, October 3, 2010

Greg Giraldo: RIP you Comedic Genius



I think there needs to be more attention brought to the unfortunate and untimely passing of comedian Greg Giraldo. I don't know much about the dude except one simple and undeniable fact: he was damn funny.


Sure, he was brash, rude, and often outright outrageous, but if he made fun of you, I feel as if it would have been a compliment.

Kate Ward, Entertainment Weekly, does a good job of reminiscing Senior Giraldo. Check it out--> Greg Giraldo: Remembering the great insult comedian.

Do yourself a favor and go on Netflix-right now- and reserve all of the Comedy Central roasts and Giraldo's stand ups. I would give anything to have seen him live because nothing escapes Greg Giraldo and he reminds you of that. That, my friends, makes for a good time.

Here is a clip from the roast of Pamela Anderson. Enjoy.

click here [ ( . )( . ) ]

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ninja Assassin....FTW!

Yes.

Alright, let's break this ish DOWN!

The plot was used- BUT- when ninjas are involved, you can't go wrong. Seriously. You ever seen Surf Ninjas [yes, the link takes you to part 1 of 9 of the movie- YOU OWE ME]? Easily one of the worst movies made, but it's still one of my favorites.
In any case, the main ninja dude (played by S. Korean pop sensation Rain) is kidnapped as a child and trained to be a merciless killer by an ancient "merciless-killer-ninja-assassin-clan", but after his first real mission, he realizes that everything up to that point was everything he wasn't. So what is a merciless killer with a heart do? That's easy-

KILL EVERYONE

...or, at least everyone in the clan, putting an end to the craziness that is being a Ninja Assassin.

Here are the things I appreciate in the movie:
  1. Gratuitous amounts of RIDICULOUSLY intense and awesome action scenes
  2. Copious amounts of shadow-people-ninja-men
  3. Appropriate computer simulated weaponry (not abused like in some ninja flicks)
  4. Rain's surprisingly good-grip on being a badass, but not the cocky, douchey type of badass.
  5. The director's take on flashbacks and memories
  6. The "what-the-heck?!" moment when ish gets real (you know what I'm talking about, Cameron)
  7. How the action did.not.STOP...once it got started
  8. The main character's name--is RAIN.
Things I did not like:
  1. There was a sh*t ton of mondo-fake looking blood, but I can forgive it because of how awesome it was drawn aka "why it happened".
  2. Rain didn't really use the SUHWEEET ninja stars as much as I desperately wanted him to.
The movie starts strong, continues even stronger, and ends as you want it to.
It is all that is man when it comes to ninja gore, wicked action scenes, and South Korean pop stars turned NINJA ASSASSIN!

Overall: the movie kicked-ass and if you don't see it, go crawl under a rock and stay there, because you don't deserve to see the glory that is cinema.

Ninja Assassin- 4.5 High-Fives.
[Starring Rain, Rick Yune, Sho Kosugi]


Coming up next blog: Ninja Assassin vs. The Expendables!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy THOR'Sday!!

picture from getasword blog

In honor of Thor and his day (what's left of it) here's a little "betcha-didn't-know" about the Norse deity:
  • Thor is the Norwegian god of Thunder, the sky, fertility, and law;
  • He is renowned for his quick temper and stubborn personality;
  • Also very simple god (not the brightest);
  • His hammer, Mjolnir, may give whoever holds it the mighty power of Thor, but even the big guy himself needs a "belt of strength" to harness the awesome virtue of the famous slayer of giants;
  • In order to be granted the power of Mjolnir, Thor had to prove himself a worthy warrior and noble god. After he received the honor and the weapon, he was declared the Greatest Warrior of Asgard- which royally pissed of his adopted brother- Loki;
  • The Lay of Thrym is a classic amidst Scandinavian folklore that illustrates Thor's simplicity, humility, rapid anger, and swift-action personality [click link and scroll down the page];
  • Thor's punishment for being arrogant and disobedient (in the comics and in the upcoming film starring Chris Hemsworth) is exile from Asgard (the home of Norse deities);
  • Last but not least: when thunder boomed across the skies, people believed it was Thor being pulled around Asgard by his goats, Tanngrisni ("gap-tooth") and Tanngnost ("tooth grinder").
Betcha didn't know that! BooOm!


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Say-What Sunday: Why you NEED to see Dave Matthews Band Live

Whether or not you are a fan of the group, you have to admit: they are damn talented. Less be said, the music created by the boys of the Dave Matthews Band is incredible live. The simple reason being that DMB is notorious for their wicked jam sessions. Most of the group have earned renown for their jazz instincts, a musical lifestyle that entirely comes from the heart not the sheet music- and that's the best part of DMB. The musicians here are musicians, through and through, and it shows. Oh man does it show.

Their live performances are incredible because you don't get radio edits- you get an intense musicial experience that stimulates the rock senses (Carter's increasing usage of the double-bass drum), the jazz senses ( Lessard and the two tour dudes Jeff Coffin and Rashawn Ross), the classical senses (Boyd Tinsley's incredible string talents), and the overall senses that are comprised to an epic 3 hour event of non-stop awesome.

Notable Moments from the show:
  • Incredible Jam sessions mixed with the popular playlis
  • Fantastic spread of all material Dave's material, both from solo projects and the band
  • Nice fan-list of favorite songs (typically the ones jammed the hardest)
  • Carter Beauford and his INCREDIBLE solos
  • The touring members: Jeff Coffin and Rashawn Ross, sax and trumpet, res.
  • TIM REYNOLDS
  • Carter is always smiling (just watch the Coffin solo...)
  • The fantastic energy of the band and the music
  • Free high (seriously: second hand EVERYTHING)

Everyone honestly needs to see at least one Dave Matthews Band concert in their life. Even if you don't qualify yourself as a fan of Dave but are a fan of music, and I mean REAL music, then this show is for you. DMB doesn't rely on fireworks, fancy graphics, or catchy skits to hold up their tour- their music speaks for itself. Seriously, check it out- you won't be disappointed.

Here is their website. Click on it. Also, click on the names of people mentioned in the Notable Moments section for solos (from other concerts, events, etc). Party on, Wayne.

Dave Matthews Band <-- (here it is)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Movie Monday: Expendables FollowUp

All image rights belongs to Alex Gallego.

Alright, so I know it's actually Tuesday, but yesterday I was busy filling out a job application for a SWEET job down in San Francisco- but I digress-
The Expendables review awaits!

I'm going to put this bluntly, so pay attention:

The Expendables is 103 minute Mangasm!!!

Seriously- if you go expecting a good plot, strong acting, and a considerable supporting cast

JUST DON'T GO!

However, you should see this movie if you enjoy the following bullets:
  1. INTENSE ACTION SCENES
  2. GRATUITOUS EXPLOSIONS
  3. 90's ACTION-GENRE SUPERSTARS
  4. GUNS THAT DESTROY EVERYTHING
  5. RACIST COMMENTS AGAINST A PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE JET LI
  6. RIDICULOUS FATALITIES
  7. PASSION FOR THE ABSURD
  8. RIDICULOUS AND UNNECESSARY QUIPS (inducing nostalgia for the 90's screen writes)
Three scenes to get you to see this movie:
  1. Dolph Lundgren's opening move against Somalian pirates (hint: it includes #'s 2, 3, 4, 6, 7)
  2. Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone's plane get-away (hint: it includes #'s 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7)
  3. the Final 45 minutes of the film (hint: see the freaking movie)
I don't believe I need to delve much into the other aspects of the film-but realll quickly....acting is not the greatest, except from the main cast. Randy Couture, as I mentioned in an earlier post, isn't an actor and his role here had few speaking lines-which is a good thing. Not the strongest actor; Terry Crews was much better, even though most of his lines included yelling and the sound his muscled man-boobs make when he shakes them (ref: Old Spice commerical)- but all in all, the acting was down on the appreciation level. I almost blame the script for this- but then I remember I'm watching a movie the contains every MAIN actor from the 1990 action-movie scene and then I forget about being such a cynical butt-monkey.
The 'peace-time' cinematography or 'the-moments-when-nothing-is-blowing-up' is too up close and artistic. I think Sly was trying to be reminiscent of his more artistic Rocky moments, but this was just too much. I felt as if I could see the in-grown hairs of the actors developed as the scene went on; however, the action shots were almost perfect for the film. They were quick and efficient, awesome and LOUD, deadly...and even more deadly.

I honestly believe that when I went to see it with my friend, we were the only ones there who actually knew what we were doing there and what we wanted from this film. Because of this, we were yelling, cheering, and laughing at the sheer intensity of the absurd and more than likely pissing off EVERYONE in the theatre to see the plot develop. Eff those guys, we went to be entertained and entertained we were!

The Expendables: 4 high-fives
[starring Sylvestor Stallone, Jason Statham, Eric Roberts, and Dolph Lundgren]