Tuesday, February 11, 2014

No More

I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything here, and I'm sorry. I've decided to start anew. Having said that if you are still following this blog, I recommend you switch over to my newest one, which I shall be publishing under from this day onward. Good day


Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Stephen King has had a very interesting history with movies. When they're good, they are really good, or they just really suck. There never really seems to be much of a middle ground. Today's movie, Carrie, is a special circumstance. Based off the Stephen King novel of the same name, and remade off of a Brian De Palma film of the same name, Carrie is the story of an unpopular girl who is the only daughter of a single mother who to say she is religious, is a gross understatment. I think saying she is borderline Westboro status is scratching the surface. As a result of her strict religious upbringind, Carrie is considered an outsider at school and is the target of constant abuse at the hands of her peers, especially at the beginning when she, ugh, well, becomes a woman if you catch my drift and she doesn't know what to do. As if I should tell you any more of the story because either you already know it, or you really need to see it for yourself.

So, how does the remake hold up? Well, you know how I said this is a special circumstance compared to other King movies? The reason why it's so peculiar is because it's just okay. When we left the theater, my reaction ranged from "meh" to mildly positive. Don't get me wrong, by itself, it's actually a pretty good movie. However, being that the original even exists, that means that this movie gets banished to the group of movies that when we bring them up, we find ourselves saying "Did we really need a remake?" In this case, not really, although there are a few changes and modern updates that actually fit in well, even if they make the villains so despicable even Joffrey Baratheon would look at them and say "Whoa, pump your brakes guys!" As an adaptation, it's pretty good, though towards the end it alters things from the book that didn't really have a reason behind them.

Final Verdict: B-, maybe I'll rent it

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Today's movie is going to be a little different. I'm not judging it based on how good of a movie it is, but on how good of an adaptation it is. And no, I won't be using my own experiences with the books, I'm going to be using my girlfriend's experiences.

Alright, a little backstory. I am not all that familiar with the book series that today's movie is based on, and hadn't really heard that much about it until I saw the first trailer for it. My girlfriend, on the other hand, is a fan of the books and was waiting for this movie with the attitude of "Please don't suck! Please don't suck! Please don't suck!"So, this review is going to be a combination of my thoughts (as a casual viewer) on the movie as well as hers (being a fan).

Let's get this out of the way: It sucked. Doesn't matter who you ask, her or myself. It's just bad. From what I reckon, it's not Last Airbender bad, but it's still pretty poor, at least they got the name pronunciations right.

So, again, knowing next to nothing about the series, I went in with an open mind not exactly expecting Harry Potter, but with some high hopes. Put it to you this way, if I had a nickel for every time I shrugged my shoulders and thought "I guess I should have read the books" everytime a character did something nonsensical or something just came out of left field, I could fund my own Dark Knight Trilogy, and it would be awesome and not have Ben Affleck, but I digress. Seriously, there are some moments that just come out of nowhere. Like a guy being called out on having the hots for another guy. Apparently it was made clear from the beginning that this character was gay but in the movie, we were just expected to know it already, I guess. I wasn't able to call it. Then again, I'm a guy, my gay-dar is practically nonexistent. But I digress. I will give it credit for having some creative ideas and a competent enough cast, but I just couldn't get over the number of plot holes that came up that only those who read the book could fill.

On the other end of the fence, you have my girlfriend who's feelings on the movie were almost identical to mine, but her contempt for it had more to do with the fact that so much of the book was either left out or not explored enough. Not to mention that a key character was totally botched, both by the writing and the character performing his part. I guess in the book, he was a sarcastic wise-cracker and in the movie, he's very stoic and serious all the time.

Final grade: D+, wait for the dollar theater

Sleepy Hollow Pilot

Am I the only one who ever imagine the different networks as being like competing siblings? Whenever one comes out with a cool show that is creative and kind of different, at least one of the other competing networks has to jump on it and make their own version. For instance, ABC has Once Upon a Time, NBC has Grimm, the CW has Supernatural, and now Fox has their latest entree, Sleepy Hollow. Each of these shows have the premise of taking some old stories or mythology and bringing them into a modern day context, as is the case with today's show. In Sleepy Hollow's case, they have taken the characters or the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane and brought them into modern day New York. I know, it sounds lame, but then again, so did the other shows I listed above when I first heard about them, and they all seemed to have done well for themselves. I have to admit, I even find Once Upon a Time to be kind of fascinating, but I digress.

I went into watching the pilot episode thinking it was either going to be cool and creative or just flat out lame. And I was actually rather surprised. Going into it, I learned that the head writers of the show were also the brains behind such success as Lost, Cowboys and Aliens, Prometheus, and the recent Star Trek movies. Now, whether you like or dislike all or any of those endeavours, you at least have to admit that the writing that went into each of them was really creative and there was a lot of thought put into them. As is the case with Sleepy Hollow. The plot is much deeper than you would expect, and the dialogue is witty and well written and the ending of the pilot episode did leave me wanting to see more next week. One of the more major strengths of the show is that it tackles the time-jump element really well. There are a number of good jokes and one-liners regarding Ichabod's struggle to adapt to the 21st century, and the Headless Horseman, while he does start out with the classic Big Fucking Ax, he eventually upgrades to toting a shotgun and assault rifle. Is it cheesy? Undoubtedly. Is it cool as fuck to see? Hell yeah!

My only concern is that maybe a little too much thought went into the show. I know it sounds odd, but the plot of the show is if you took National Treasure, Da Vinci Code, Dark Shadows and the book of Revelations and all shoved it into one. It's creative, but it feels a little crowded. Though then again, I guess that's why they decided to make a show instead of a feature-length movie. And besides, we already have a movie.

So, my final word on the show is while it hasn't gotten me hooked in the way that Walking Dead, Game of Thrones or even Hannibal has me hooked, it is still intriguing, though I wouldn't be totally crushed if it went off the air in a season or two.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ben Affleck as the next Batman

It's not the same as Heath Ledger! And I am sick of people who keep telling me that. Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system. Moving on, I have to say that the casting of Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader in the sequel to Man of Steel is probably one of the most baffling casting decisions of the past few years. And today, we are going to address the reasons for my concern on this casting choice.

1. Christopher Nolan- This is really the key difference between Heath Ledger and Ben Affleck. Christopher Nolan was one of the main brains behind the creation of the Joker that we saw in The Dark Knight, and while he was the producer and the story writer behind Man of Steel, it has been reported that he won't be involved in any further projects in the DC universe, which means that he won't be writing anything for the upcoming movie. You see, Nolan was a man with a specific vision and a specific writing for the Joker, which is why so many people had faith in him and why people came to love what he and Ledger put together when the Joker first came on the screen. Zack Snyder, on the other hand, while he is a competent director, is not a writer. That's not really his area of expertise. He can create a really visually dazzling image for each frame but story wise, he's not as gifted. That's why I'm not as confident in either Affleck or Snyder. Plus, we won't have the back story that was built up and well thought out from Batman Begins, I guess he's just gonna show up in the suit and say "I'm Batman from Baastin". One of my facebook friends told me that if I'm a fan of Batman, then I should love whoever plays him no matter what. And to that, I say this "Arnold as Mr Freeze" Fuck off.

2. Christian Bale- Say what you will about his performance, but I thought Christian Bale was a damn good Batman. Whether he is the best is up for debate, but he was certainly a great one, and he more than made up for the atrocity that was George Clooney in that movie that doesn't exist. Now, I really respected Bale's decision to end it at 3. My feeling has always been that 3 is the safest number to cut it off at, once you hit 4, you run the risk of your audience losing their emotional interest in what you are giving them, until you finally hit 6 and people have just stopped giving a crap. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule, but 3 is usually the best place to end it. However, if I had known that Ben Affleck was going to be the next choice, I would have asked Christian how strong his commitment to this decision really was. Plus, I've always thought that every generation never needed more than one of something, especially when it came to an iconic role. For example, I've always seen Daniel Craig as my generation's James Bond because Pearce Brosnan made his last 007 movie just as I was old enough to get into James Bond, and then along comes Daniel Craig. In that sense, Christian Bale is my generation's Batman. He's the definitive one. Before him, it was Kevin Conroy, before him, it was Michael Keaton and before him it was Adam West. If we cast someone else as Batman this soon after Christian Bale has finished, we'll just get confused as to who is the real Batman.

3. Ben Affleck- About a year ago, I said that while I hated Ben Affleck years ago, I have come to be more kind to him in recent years. When he's acting in movies that aren't Gigli or Daredevil, he's actually not that bad of an actor. And with only 3 movies under his belt, he's proven that he's actually a pretty good director as well. But is he Batman? My answer is doubtable. While Ben Affleck is a competent actor, I don't see him being the Dark Knight. If anything, I always saw him as being closer to Superman than Batman. Plus, he's already played one superhero in his career. Yeah, it was a piss poor one, but it still counts. I feel like you would be stretching yourself if you tried donning two different pairs of tights in your career.

So ther you have it, my reasons on why I'm doubttful about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman. If it turns out that I'm wrong and he plays a freaking fantastic Batman, then great! I am always open to being proven wrong. In fact in times like this, I would welcome it.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Favorite Characters pt 4- Rick Blaine

What can you say about Casablanca? Nothing that hasn't alreay been said to be honest. It's known for being one of the greatest love stories of all time, in my opinion, it's THE greatest. Why? Because it's the ultimate example of someone who was willing to put aside their own pride and self interests to truly help someone who had hurt them.

Rick is a club owner in the city of Casablanca, which is currently being occupied by the Nazis. He's the kind of character that really only looks out for number one, everyone else doesn't really seem to warrant. Whether the Germans or the French hold the city is of little concern for him. He's a mysterious man with a shady, and more than likely troubled past who is just looking to live comfortably and that's about it. Things seem to be working out for him until the love of his life, the one that got away, Ilsa walks through the door of his club with her husband asking for his help getting out of the country. At first, he turns them down and wonders why "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, she walks into mine". Eventually, he swallows his pride and decides to help them leave town to find friendlier skies. Even at the end, when Ilsa wants to stay with him rather than leave with her husband because she still has feelings for Rick, he forces her to go because of how much danger she will be in if she stayed with Rick. One of the best moments of the movie is when he says "If you don't get on this plane, you'll regret it. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow, but soon". I know it's a cliche for people to say "If you love her, let her go" when someone breaks up with them, but in Rick's case, that is literally what he had to do. The best kinds of characters are those that decide to make sacrifices when it would have been just as easy to take what they probably deserve. I only saw this movie about a year ago, and didn't know that much about it going into it, so I was genuinely shocked when I saw the ending. I don't think anyone would have blamed Rick if he let Ilsa stay with him because that's all he wanted, the only moments when you see Rick smile are in the Paris flashbacks and when you see the difference between him then and now, you have to feel bad for the guy. In the end, it's hinted that he and the corrupt police chief are leaving their cushy lives in Casablanca to go join the French resistance, both now having found reasons to pick a side. Renault because he's fed up with the Nazis and Rick because he wants to follow Ilsa's example of courage.

Favorite Characters Part 3- Chris MacNeill

I've always wanted to include a parent in my favorite characters list, and while I could include Liam Neeson's character from Taken, it makes a lot more sense to include Chris MacNeill, the mother of Regan the possessed girl from The Exorcist. To me, there is nothing better to see than a parent who is willing to put it all on the line for their child, and what is more ballsy than putting it all on the line when your daughter is possessed by the devil? At the start of the story, she is a loving mother who, despite being a well-known actress, still finds time to raise young Regan. And for once, you have a parent that isn't completely clueless about their child's condition in a horror film. That's what always bugged me about evil kids, the parents area always really reluctant to face reality until it's far too late. Chris here immediately jumps on the situation and only suspects for a second that her sudden changes are due to puberty or a mental disorder. Even after the doctors continuously tell her that it may just be a problem with the temporal lobe or whatever, she yells at them "Are you serious? Did you not hear my daughter speaking with a creepy man's voice?". Throughout the course of the story, it is taking a physical tole on her as well. By the time she goes to Damien for help, she looks old and tired and just really worn out.

And considering that she is going up against the greatest evil of all, that being the devil, you can't discount the measures that she takes to save her daughter. Even though the movie is technically named after Max Von Sydow's character, it really is Chris that stands front and center along with Father Damien for the rest of the story, both are very strong characters. We are sympathetic to Damien for his recent plights and you want to be in Chris's corner as she continues to tackle realities that were long dismissed as fantasies, even to the Catholic church.

I hate to sound like a broken record but The Exorcist is one of the best horror films of all time, and it's not just because of the scary girl, but all of the effort that was put in by the rest of the actors, especially Ellen Burstyn, who is the emotional weight of the movie