Friday, December 30, 2011

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Hello, I am the Movie Prick... and I'm a Skyrim addict. It greaves me to say this, but I am. It has only been five days and I have now become a Skyrim junky. Barely a day goes by where I don't find myself going for hours on end playing this game. I feel as if this game has me on a chain and won't let me go, it's a ponderous chain. It is just so hard to quit. I don't know what it is that has me so hooked... The open world gameplay... The way you can interact with everyone and everything... The presence of voices like Christopher Plummer and Max Von Sydow... Maybe it's all of them... I'm sorry, I need a minute (sniff sniff, heavy exhale). I'm sorry, it's so hard for me to talk about this. We all have our baggage. For so long, I thought that it was so silly for people to get hooked on a game like World of Warcraft, and I laughed at them for being so weak. And now, I know their pain... It has been 45 minutes since I last played the game.... And lord knows how soon it will be before I play it again.

P.S- Long live Dovahkin!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Okay, I just got back from the theater where I saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. And to get to the point, I really liked this movie, I really did. I heard a lot of people complain that this was more action and not quite as much mystery, and while I do agree with them about that, I think it should be pointed out that this movie is not so much about solving a mystery as much as it is about trying to stop Professor Moriarty. The other movie was about finding out what Blackwood was doing and how he was doing it. This movie, we already know what the bad guy is trying to do, it's more about just stopping him. It's also mostly about the rivalry between these two eerily similar people. Both are geniuses and both don't mind showing it off. The idea of Moriarty is showing us what Sherlock Holmes would have been like in another life. And in that respect, the movie did a very good job. The scenes where the two of them are in the same room having a battle of wits are some of the best scenes in the movie.
Final Grade: B

It would be a B+, accept for one thing that hurt me deep inside. It's a bit of a spoiler, so those of you who don't want me to ruin it, stop reading this after the *
Also, I think Professor Moriarty deserves the "Villain of the Year" award, with Sebastian Shaw from X-Men: First Class in a close second. The other two contenders were Loki from Thor and Red Skull from Captain America

Yours truly,

*The thing that hurt me deep inside was the fact that a certain future wife of mine met her demise in the beginning of the movie.

Top 20 Favorite Movies of All Time

I've been working on this list for a while now. I've decided to give you a list of my top 20 favorite movies of all time. I know a lot of people like to do top 10 and top 5 lists, but I figured if I gave you a top 20 list, then you would be able to get a better sense of my taste in movies. And I will be working backwards starting at 20 and working to 1. So without more ado, let's get right into it...

20. Raiders of the Lost Ark- Some of these entrees might seem a little cliche, but like my heroes list, I make no apologies for mentioning some of these movies. This is no exception. The movie is one of the best action movies ever made and is probably the best adventure movie ever made. Few have been able to meet the bar set by this movie, and even fewer have passed it. Not even it's own sequels could pass it in terms of greatness. I love Harrison Ford and this has to be one of his best roles

19. Braveheart- There has often been a debate on which is better, Braveheart or Gladiator. For me, personally, Braveheart is the uncontested winner. I think the story is a bit more engaging and a bit deeper, even if it does stray from historical fact. Gladiator was good, but it was your basic revenge story. Braveheart started as revenge, but turned into something much bigger.

15. District 9- This is one of my favorite science fiction movies. I know a lot of people will make the argument that this has the same flaws as Avatar, but I felt more connected with the aliens in this movie, which is weird considering that they were essentially walking 6 foot cockroaches. But that really is an achievement if you ask me. Also, even though there was an obvious political message (like Avatar), I didn't feel like I was being slapped in the face with it (like I was with Avatar).

17. Scarface- I am a huge Al Pacino fan, especially when he does gangster pictures. So it would make sense that I include the crown jewel of his career in this countdown.

16. Hugo- I think it's kind of weird that one of my favorite Martin Scorsese movies is not a cops or gangster movie considering that is what he is best at. But this is by far one of his best, making one of the best family films I have ever seen. The movie is essentially a homage to the movies that inspired Scorsese himself, and you can tell he put his soul into this movie.

15. Bladerunner- I have heard a lot of complaints that this movie is really bizarre and weird, and that is why a lot of people don't like it. Ironically, that is the very reason why I like it. This is probably my other favorite Harrison Ford role, playing a much darker and more depressing character than the adventure icons we are used to seeing him play. The story itself is great and I especially love the twist at the end of the director's cut. It's pretty easy to miss and you have to really be paying attention if you are going to catch it. This is one of the few movies where if you are going to see it, see the director's cut because it is much better than the theatrical version.

14. The Shining- I already mentioned that I love Kubrick, and this is my favorite movie of his. I read the book and at first I was a little upset with the amount of artistic license that he took from it, but the more I thought about it, I really didn't mind it and really began to love the subtlety of this movie. This is a horror movie that takes its audience seriously, which is not often seen in this genre. When it is seen however, it really does deserve recognition.

13. The Taxi Driver- Martin Scorsese makes another appearance here as we see another one of his best movies. This is a dark character study that is not for the weak-stomached towards the end. It's a dark, disturbing movie that is a combination of both De Niro's and Scorsese's best efforts. You also can't help but be intrigued by this movie when you hear all of the rumors and legends surrounding the production of the movie (Scorsese planning on shooting a man for making him edit it down).

12. Heat- I love a good old fashioned cops and robbers movie, and Heat set the bar for heist movies. Again, I don't think many heist movies have met it and none have surpassed it. Sure, I love movies like  The Italian Job, Ocean's Eleven and The Town, but this is by far the best. I really like this movie because there is a ten minute shootout scene involving no CGI and no green screen. It's just a bunch of guys running through the streets of Los Angeles with guns. And yet, it is ten times more engaging than most action movies I see these days. Michael Bay and George Lucas, take the hint.

11. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street- I really love Tim Burton, and this is my favorite movie of his. There was a time when Hollywood tried to resurrect musicals and make more movies out of them like they did years ago with West Side Story and Sound of Music. This movie is the only one that we remember because Tim Burton's visual style is perfect for this story and this music. It's a match made in cinema heaven. It was something that could have been really mediocre, but Burton really made something great out of it, as well as giving us some of Johnny Depp's best work and some other good performances from Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman.

10. The Nightmare Before Christmas- I really don't have to talk about this anymore because I've already talked about it to death. Just know that I love the concept, the atmosphere, the animation, the story and the characters.

9. Pulp Fiction- I am a huge fan of nonlinear storytelling and this movie is a prime example of that. In fact, I think this influenced a lot of nonlinear movies that followed it. The characters are great and Quentin Tarantino is a master of writing dialogue. In fact, most of his fans will tell you that the most memorable things about his movies is the dialogue. Not the action or the gore, but the dialogue itself.

8. Fight Club- This is a classic movie that every guy needs to see at some point in his life. It really explores the idea of being a man filled with pent up rage stuck in a PC world with nothing to vent on.  There have been a lot of movies that are social commentaries, a number of which have been directed by Oliver Stone. This one however, is the best. And of course, there is arguably one of the best twist endings I have ever seen. I think The Sixth Sense should take its hat off to this movie.

7. The Lord of the Rings trilogy- which one? All of them! I love all of these movies and put them in the same spot here. I could go on for days as to why I love these movies so much. For now, I'll just tell you that I adore the story, characters and above all, the lore. I may do a day where I talk about what I like about each movie individually.

6. Mystic River- As much as I love Clint Eastwood as an actor, I love him even more as a director, and this movie is my favorite of his. The overall theme of the movie is how violence can affect somebody in the long run. Anybody can say 'Violence is bad', but this story really takes a look at how one act can affect a person's life forever. The other part of the story that I really love is the theme of trying to fight off one's demons and how right when we thought we got them beat, fate comes along to test us and (when human nature is factored into the equation) sometimes, the good part in us doesn't always triumph. It's a brilliant story with brilliant performances all around, especially from the three leads: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon.

5. The Dark Knight- It's no secret that I am a huge Chris Nolan fan, as well as a huge Batman fan. This has to be my favorite movie of his, being the first superhero movie to tackle the issue of ethics and how far one is willing to go in order to achieve success, even if it means breaking their own code. It is also the first super hero movie that really adressed the question of whether or not the hero's presence has done more harm than good. To be honest, you could put any Chris Nolan movie in this spot and I would be happy. Whether it is Memento, Batman Begins or Inception, I love all of his movies. Going back to Pulp Fiction for a minute, Nolan actually confessed to being inspired by the nonlinear storytelling method employed by Quentin Tarantino when he was writing Memento.

4. The Silence of the Lambs- Where do I begin with this movie? I'm usually a guy who, when it comes to scary movies, likes to creeped out to the point that I am not merely just jumping, I want to be disturbed. I want a movie to really have a lasting impression on me if they claim that they can creep me out. And this movie was the first and one of the only movies to ever achieve that. Of course the best parts are Ted Levine and Anthony Hopkins's performances, becoming two of the most memorable villains without ever actually harming anybody on screen, with the exception of one time. The build up to both of these characters is just great. Okay, it wasn't really build up, but when we heard about Buffalo Bill and then saw him on screen, we already knew he was trouble. I had heard a story that this movie was released in the middle of February as a way of marketing it as this year's Valentine's Day date movie for couples to see. I would have loved to been in the theater when the hot young teens all saw some of these scenes just to see what their reactions would be.

3. Saving Private Ryan- Something you should know about me is that I am a history nut, more specifically, I am a World War II nut. I think it's an interesting and important part of human history and needs to be taught to everyone. This movie is the perfect war film, showing us the brutal parts of war and giving little to no romance or thrill to it, or to the deeds done by the men taking part in them. This is a movie where the characters ask the same questions that we would be asking if we were put into that situation. And of course, the whole dilemma can be summed up by Tom Hanks' dying words 'Earn this'. If you haven't seen it, you won't know what I'm talking about. That scene is one of many in this movie that actually get me teary-eyed.

2. The Godfather/ The Godfather pt. 2- They both belong on this spot because I honest to goodness, can't decide which one I like more. Each have their own perks and something that the other doesn't. I could go on about why the first one is better and then spend as much time saying why the second one is better and in the end, still be no closer to deciding which I like more. The second one has some of Al Pacino's finest work, as well as Robert De Niro, but the first one has the oh so memorable performance of Marlon Brando. Everything about these two movies is great.

1. Goodfellas- This is a movie that would easily belong here. It's a gangster film directed by Martin Scorsese and features the old school type of gangster. This was destined to be my favorite movie before I even saw it. This is a movie where the star of it may be Ray Liotta or Robert De Niro, but the real star is the criminal life style that is both glorified and condemned all in the same movie. Much like Scarface, this movie explores the idea of being careful what you wish for, because the characters in this movie DID have everything they wished for, and ended up paying for all of it in the end.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Some Really Underrated Movies

These are the movies that I think are really good and deserve ALOT more recognition than they got. In most cases, these are just movies that sort of came and went and didn't get the audience that I think it deserved. So without more ado...

  1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford- This one just baffles me because it is so good, it is so well made and it has two really good actors giving some of their best work (Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck are great as their respective roles). The fact that there wasn't even a peep of Oscar Buzz surrounding this movie just astonishes me.
  2. Gone, Baby, Gone- Casey Affleck makes another appearance on this list in an adaptation of a novel written by one of my favorite authors Dennis Lehane, who also wrote Shutter Island and Mystic River, one of my all time favorite movies. You would think that with a book penned by such a good writer, it would have drawn more attention, but sadly, it didn't.
  3. Hollywoodland- I'm betting some of you have never even heard of this one. This is the fictionalized account of a PI looking into the death of actor George Reeves, who was the first person to play Superman on television. Now, I haven't seen this movie in a long time and I don't remember that much about it, but I do remember being really intrigued by the story and the twists, as well as trying to work it out in my head. Much like J. Edgar, I think people were turned off by how slowly it was paced.
  4. Eastern Promises- This movie came out around the same time as American Gangster, so I'm guessing it just got buried underneath the hype and praise for that movie. I don't know, what I do know is that this is a great movie that really deserves to be watched. Viggo Mortensen does some fine work as a Russian mobster in London and the rest of the cast (including Naomi Watts) is great too. It was directed by David Cronenberg, better known to the world for directing A History of Violence. Again, with that fact in mind, I'm a little surprised that this movie was so overlooked, especially when it is directed by somebody who made another really popular movie.
  5. Observe and Report- I'm not entirely sure if this is a cult hit or not, because those who have seen it have loved it, and quote it all the time. It was shown to me by a friend of mine a few years ago, and it has been on my list of favorite comedies ever since. I will say though, that it is a crazy ass movie and not for the weak stomached (I believe the director described it as "if Taxi Driver was a comedy")

Hero of the Day- Audie Murphy

There's a bit of a story on how I ended up putting this guy on here. But it's really long, involves a law suit, a maiming of a small child, and my house being burned to the ground, so I won't get into that. What I will say is that I have a friend who really likes this guy, and I added him here to shut him up. With that out of the way, let's proceed.

So Audie Murphy was apparently a soldier who fought in World War II and enlisted at a very young age. While serving his country, he did some really awesome stuff, killed a shitzillion germans and won the congressional medal of honor (among other awards), all while looking like a 13 year old. Look at that picture! He looks like a 7th grader! Part of me thinks he may have had a hard time walking around with all of those medals. The story is a bit more complicated than that, but I hate people dictating what I should write, so I'm going to make this as short as possible. Years later, there was going to be a movie made about him, and he expressed interest in possibly playing himself. Unfortunately, the studio didn't think that he looked the part... of himself... Yeah, it doesn't make a lot of sense to me either.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hero of the Day- Robin Hood

Rise, and rise again until lambs become lions
When I talk about Robin Hood, I'm not talking about any specific adaptation, but rather in general. Throughout history, Robin Hood has been one of those icons who has had a rather large impact on people. We admire the cause that he stood for, and just about every movie that he is in, for some reason, the actual character of Robin Hood has this swagger about him. He's almost like a heroic prince or a male lead from a Disney film. In fact, in the Disney film, he had the same sort of swagger that he did in the Errol Flynn version, the Kevin Costner version and in even the parody with Cary Elwes Men in Tights. The only film that didn't have him with that sort of swagger was the Ridley Scott version with Russell Crowe. But that was because they were going for a darker and more intense version of the story. And to be fair, it worked in some areas well and not as much in others. However the Russell Crowe one had the only memorable quote from a Robin Hood film, and that was the one that I used.

Hero of the Day- The Dude

The Dude abides
Today's hero is The Dude, man. Why? Because he's The Dude! He's laid back, he's cool. And he will not stand for somebody peeing on his rug. That aggression will not stand, man. Seriously, that rug really tied the room together, man.

Okay, maybe the Dude is a bit of an odd choice for this list considering who I have included here and who I will include, but the fact of the matter is that he is a classic cult icon. Everybody who has seen The Big Lebowski knows his image, as well as his signature catchphrase "The Dude abides" to which The Stranger says that those are words we can all take comfort in. It remains as one of my favorite quotes of all time, and The Big Lebowski is one of my favorite comedies. Kind of something odd that I have noticed is that when it comes to cult movies, The Big Lebowski has one of the most devoted groups of fans. I think only Bladerunner rivals it.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Hero of the Day- Batman

I am vengeance. I am the night! I am Batman!
Earlier this month, I had said that there would be one more childhood hero of mine on this list, and here it is: Batman, the caped crusader, the world's greatest detective, one of the greatest superheroes of all time. A lot of people thought that Superman was supposed to represent the everyman, but I think Batman is a better representative considering that he has no powers, just some really awesome and expensive crap. Along with having a cool arsenal of gadgets, Batman also has some of the greatest villains of all time, and over the years they have all become more 3 dimensional. Some of them have become more of a shakespearean tragedy than an actual villain which makes the stories more engaging and even a bit darker. That is another thing that sets Batman apart from other superheroes is that Batman is one of the only heroes whose movies involve a dark story with complex characters. I never read any of the comics, but I watched the animated series when I was a kid, and I freaking loved it. I still would love it if I found a channel that showed it. Something else that Batman has going for him is that in the last few years, he has proven to be a gold mine in terms of entertainment. The recent movies with Christian Bale have grossed a butt load of money, the animated series is known as being one of the best superhero shows of all time, and even the video games Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have made a lot of money and gotten a lot of popularity. What do I specifically like about this hero? Just about everything. I love what he stands for, I love his approach, I love that he has had to deal with crap that a lot of heroes don't always have to deal with (do the people really need him? Is he doing more harm than good?)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hero of the Day- The Avengers

Since the movie is set to come out next year, I figured it was only fitting that I include them here. Even if there wasn't going to be a movie, I would make a point of including them considering they are some of the most iconic heroes with some of the most popular comic books of all time and have been able to retain that popularity over the years. Now, I know the picture only has Captain America, Thor and Iron Man, but I am well aware that there are many more than just them, but I figured I would just pick a picture with the three best known ones (they also happen to be my personal favorites so there). I've always wondered if there was a website where you could find out what your favorite Avenger says about you, but have yet to find one. I'll say right now that my favorite is probably Iron Man, and my least favorite is Hulk, I always thought he was kind of lame. Anyways, the Avengers are some of the coolest heroes of all time, and to say that I am hyped for the movie would be the understatement of the month.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Biggest Disappointments of 2011

Since I did my favorite movies of the year, it is only logical that I follow it up with what were the biggest disappointments of the year. Some did not live up to the hype, and others I just freaking hated.

  1. The Hangover Pt 2- I hope this movie was made out of studio pressure because this really was crap
  2. Green Hornet- I like Seth Rogen and I love Christoph Waltz, so naturally I should love this movie... Which makes it all the more heartbreaking for me
  3. Twilight Saga: Whatever- I didn't even see it... The trailer enough was unbearable for me
  4. Fast Five- I spent the majority of the movie riffing it. It may not help that I never saw the others, but I still didn't enjoy this movie all the much. Didn't hate it, but I didn't really like it that much either.
  5. The Rum Diary- I was really excited to see this movie because I really like Johnny Depp and Hunter S. Thompson has always been an interesting writer, and I was kind of let down by this movie. Didn't hate it, but it felt really long and really slow
  6. Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon- The only good thing that I can really say about this movie is "Hey, at least it isn't the second movie"
  7. Cars 2- It's official, Pixar is flawed. Humanity is screwed

Hero of the Day- Wolverine

Bub, you're a mess
I guess you could say that I chose Wolverine to be the representative for all of the X-Men. They are all awesome and relatable (kinda, I know at least I can't control the weather or give people AIDs just by touching them), but Wolverine is by far the most badass. I guess it helps that he can heal and therefore never really die, but he also just has the coolest atitude. He actually calls his enemies 'Bub' right after he kicks their ass. He is just an all around badass dude and is one of my favorite characters from X-Men. So what are your favorite characters from X-Men? They don't necessarily have to be X-Men, they could just be mutants from the series. My personal favorites are Wolverine, Magneto, Sebastian Shaw*, Nightcrawler and Jean Grey

*Played by Kevin Bacon

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Top Ten Movies of 2011

So, now that the year is drawing to a close, I've decided to give you my picks for best movies of 2011. Now, these aren't the movies that I think should win big at the Academy Awards or anything, these are the movies I just liked the most, whether because they were entertaining, had great action or humor, or because they had great story, plot, characters, etc. I will say that it's nice having a year where three of my favorite directors have movies that come out, and thankfully they didn't disappoint. FYI, the directors are Martin Scorsese, David Fincher and Clint Eastwood. In 2010, I had a similar year where Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, the Coens and David Fincher all delivered as well (Shutter Island, Inception, True Grit, and Social Network). Ridley Scott (Robin Hood), Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland) and Clint Eastwood (Hereafter) also made movies in 2010, but they were kind of a swing and a miss. I should also add that this is in no particular order, just accept that I liked these movies and be done with it.
  1. Hugo (Martin Scorsese)
  2. X-Men: First Class* (Matthew Vaughn)
  3. Thor** (Kenneth Branagh)
  4. J. Edgar (Clint Eastwood)
  5. The Debt (John Madden)
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 (David Yates)
  7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher)
  8. Margin Call (J.C Chandor)
  9. The Muppets (James Bobin)
  10. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Brad Bird)
Thankfully, this year delivered a lot more in terms of memorable movies. Last year wasn't bad, but with the acception of True Grit, Social Network, Toy Story 3 and Inception, I don't remember that many movies that came out last year. Some were good, but others (in fact most) were okay. Most of the movies listed you can probably guess I'll get when they come out on DVD, if they haven't already.

*This movie has Kevin Bacon in it
**FYI, I enjoyed Captain America: The First Avenger, but I already knew I would enjoy it. With Thor, I was not expecting to like it and was surprised at how much I really ended up liking this movie. That is why Thor is on the list in place of Captain America: The First Avenger

Hero of the Day- Superman

"I think Superman's journey is to become comfortable on Earth. Of course he's got his role as Earth's greatest protector but he also wants to be as happy as he can, and if that happens to be with Lois, then he's going to find a way"- Richard Donner, director of the first Superman movie

Let's talk about superheroes. Over the past century, superheroes have become a huge part of our culture, there is even a theory going around that some superheroes like Superman or Spiderman are to us, what Hercules and Archilles were to the Greeks, and that actually makes a lot of sense. They are all humans with extraordinary abilities that use them to achieve extraordinary things. And one of the first superheroes ever conceived in the human mind was none other than the Man of Steel himself, Superman. Even if you aren't a fan of his or the comics (which I will admit I never was), you have to admit that there is something iconic about his story and his picture. Much like Luke Skywalker, you don't need to be a fan or even be familiar with the comics to recognize the image of the man in a red cape, that is how much of a part of our culture he has become. Another thing that was great about Superman is that the animated series that was based off of him in the 90's actually gave him a lot of respect and wasn't corny like a lot of super hero shows at the time. Between that and Batman: The Animated Series, DC showed that while they may not have as many cool characters as Marvel, they at least showed that they could take themselves seriously and also make an enjoyable show. The only area where I think he suffers as a character is the fact that he isn't very relatable. He has emotions and went through a lot of the same stuff that we went through growing up, but he suffers from the fact that nothing can hurt him, which means that it's hard to feel nervous for him when he gets in a fight. That would probably explain why, despite his iconic image, he has lost some popularity over the years. And for me personally, the red underwear on the outside kind of killed it for me. At least Batman's movies found a way of eliminating that. No matter, Superman has become and will always remain an important part of modern culture, standing for truth, justice and the american way.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Hobbit and Dark Knight Rises Trailer thoughts

What a week it has been! First, we have Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Sherlock Holmes, AND The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo being released in theaters, and now we have BOTH trailers for The Hobbit and The Dark Knight Rises hitting the web within days of each other. So now, we are going to talk about them.

The Dark Knight Rises- You already know my thoughts about the prologue clip, but now I am even more hyped thanks to the trailer. We definitely get the feeling that this will not only be the finale but that shit is going to get real in this movie. We see an entire football field collapse as a player is running for a touchdown! How much more epic can you get?! For those of you who are suspicious about Anne Hathaway being Catwoman, I hope this trailer will make you feel better. From what I saw, I think she can pull it off. Perhaps not to the degree that Heath Ledger did with the Joker, but I think she will hold her own. I also mentioned that in the prologue, many made the comment that Bane's voice was less than clear. Again, based on this trailer, I think we will have little to worry about when it comes to that. For those of you who have previous-level hearing, the one thing that Bane says is this: "When Gotham is in ashes, you will then have my permission to die" Did I mention it looked like he was saying this to Bruce Wayne? I thought I was having a seizure, that's how many chills were going down my back when I heard that.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey- The only problem that I have with this trailer is this: I HAVE TO WAIT AN ENTIRE DAMN YEAR BEFORE I GET TO SEE THIS MOVIE!!! I had a friend of mine (who is not a Tolkein geek mind you) say this was a little underwhelming. A pox on him! This was enough to convince us fans this much: This story is in good hands, you have nothing to worry about. Ian McKellen is back as Gandalf, Peter Jackson is back as director, Andy Serkis is back as Gollum (we see him in this trailer too!), the dwarves all look like I pictured them in the book, and even Galadriel made an appearance. On IMDB, it said that even Elrond and Saruman will pop in to say hi as well. I don't know how that will work, but I love both those characters, and would love to see them again. Is there a skeptic out there about this movie being good? What more do you need to put your mind at peace?

In both of these cases, I think things are looking good. These are both movies that I have been waiting forever to see, and it looks like they will do anything but disappoint.

Dark Knight Rises Prologue Thoughts

The other day, I went to see The Dark Knight Rises prologue (and the free showing of MI IV that followed), and here are my thoughts. For those of you who don't know, this basically shows the first six minutes of the movie. That may not sound like much considering that there is a huge chance this will be a long ass movie, but let me tell you, it was enough to get me absolutely hyped for next summer.

So basically, the main point of this was to showcase the villain: Bane and his talents. Based on this six minute clip alone, I can tell you that he will be an awesome villain. In the clip, we see him and his merry band of mercenaries take over a plane controlled by the CIA as they are attempting to capture this guy called Dr. Pavel. We don't know who he is, what he is a doctor of, or why he is so important, we just know that Bane wants him for whatever plan he has for Gotham. I don't want to give away more than that, but I will say that while they may not have gone the venom route with this character (at least I don't know if they have yet) we do know that Bane will be a big dude and will be uber strong (we see him break out of his handcuffs with complete ease). He and his men also have some sort of call sign that they say to each other: 'The fire rises'. Besides that, all I can say is that I am more than excited for July.

One thing I will say, however is that a lot of people have complained that Bane is a little hard to understand. I personally did not have that problem, but I hear that while Chris Nolan doesn't want to completely change the sound of Bane's voice (he is wearing a mask very ala Darth Vader and I think he might have an accent as well), there will at least be tweaks to the audio to make him more understandable.

Top Ten Favorite Directors

These are the ten directors who I get excited for when I see their name attached to a movie. I would like to start this out by saying that there are directors who I like but won't be making this list for one reason: They're dead. That doesn't mean I like them less, but in order for me to say they're my favorite, I want to be able to say that I can look forward to what they are going to make in the future. Directors like Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra and Orson Welles are the big ones that I am thinking about. I've liked what I have seen of their's but since they are no longer with us, I won't put them under "Favorites". That being said, let's get right into my favorite directors, and the movies that I like the most from them.

  1. Martin Scorsese- Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Hugo, The Departed
  2. Christopher Nolan- The Dark Knight, Inception, Memento
  3. Quentin Tarantino- Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds, Reservoir Dogs
  4. Joel and Ethan Coen- No Country for Old Men, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, True Grit
  5. Ridley Scott- Bladerunner, Alien, American Gangster
  6. David Fincher- Fight Club, Se7en, The Social Network
  7. Tim Burton- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Ed Wood, Batman
  8. Michael Mann- Heat, The Last of the Mohicans, Public Enemies
  9. Peter Jackson- The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  10. Clint Eastwood- Mystic River, Unforgiven, Gran Torino, Letters From Iwo Jima

Hero of the day- Professor Abraham Van Helsing

She lives beyond the grace of God. She is Vampyr, Nosferatu... So my friends, we fight not one beast but legions that go on age after age, feeding on the blood of the living

This guy belongs in the same category as Father Merrin in that (aside from Count Dracula) he is the most interesting character in the story (whether it is the book or the film). We don't meet him until about halfway through the story and again, even though we don't know jack shit about this guy, he is still one of the most interesting characters in the book. He's like the Obi-Wan Kenobi of vampire killing and proves it when he single handedly kills all three of Dracula's wives and tosses their heads off a cliff. He is also very knowledgeable in the ways of things that would have no purpose outside of this story. When he was investigating an illness that had everybody stumped, he knew that the girl was the victim of a vampire and had no problem asking her fiancee to stake her once she had returned from the grave. Now that is hardcore! Later on, he would lead a posse of men to take Dracula head on and would bring the vampire count's life to an end. On a side note, he has also been played by some of the most well known actors on screen. Most people know about Anthony Hopkins, but there is also Christopher Plummer and even Peter Cushing, who apparently played him like six times!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hero of the Day- Jack Bauer

Damn it!
Where do I begin? This guy is like MacGyver and John McClane rolled into one. The show 24 was awesome for a lot of reasons, and each of those reasons was all the different ways we got to see Jack Bauer kill somebody. And it didn't matter what they threw at this guy, he still wouldn't die. He even died and it turned out he hadn't died. How does that make sense? I don't know, but it happened! I will tell you that one of the saddest days of my life was the day I found out that they weren't going to bring 24 back for another season. And considering I found that out a few days before my birthday... yeah that was not fun.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Top ten Disney movies

Over the years, one film studio has captured audiences the way no other studio could, and that studio is Walt Disney Pictures. Think about it, Disney has practically become their own genre. I have even heard people split movies up into lists of "Disney" and "Non-Disney". Some of the first movies we have ever seen have come from Disney, and that really says something. And the fact that they are reaching out to kids first and foremost and adults second, you really have to admire that, and admire it even more when they are able to make movies that reach across the table and are entertaining for everyone. So, here is my list of my top ten favorite Disney flicks. And this is the top ten that does not include The Nightmare Before Christmas. I think it's a little redundant to put it here because you all know that it's one of my favorite movies overall and would be taking the number 1 spot easily. Some of these I like because they still hold up and others I like because of nostalgia reasons.

  1. The Lion King- This was one of the first movies I ever saw in theaters, and for that, it has a special place in my heart.
  2. Aladdin- yet another great movie, Robin Williams as the genie is just fantastic
  3. The Great Mouse Detective- I never knew that Vincent Price was the villain until recently.
  4. Sword in the Stone- This is more for nostalgia purposes. I liked it as a kid and I like it now just thinking back on it.
  5. Fantasia-I actually like this one more now that I am older and can appreciate the music and the imagery that goes with it. The whole package is just amazing.
  6. Robin Hood- The idea of making Robin Hood a bunch of animals is pretty clever and they really make it work
  7. Toy Story- One of the first movies I can remember seeing in the theater. And the third movie I saw a week after graduating from high school. You bet your ass I was sappy when I saw the third movie!
  8. Ichabod and Mr. Toad- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow bit is a classic piece of animation
  9. Alice in Wonderland- Those of you who have seen me get quirky should probably know that I get a lot of inspiration from the characters in this movie. They are all hilarious, but you wonder if they are all there mentally.
  10. Peter Pan- Every boys day dream.

Hero of the Day- Martin Brody

Smile you son of a bitch!

This guy killed a giant freaking shark by blowing it up with a rifle and an air tank... What have you done with your life? Whatever it is, it sure doesn't measure up with that! That might make him one of the coolest persons on this list... And the odd thing is he doesn't look like he would be the kind of person that would do that. Roy Scheider strikes me as being 'the every man'. Kind of your average joe sort of hero. Which makes the scene where he blows up the shark that much more awesome. Not to mention that he did it twice. Once in the original Spielberg film and another time in an unnecessary sequel. Thankfully though, his sons and aging wife were there to get the job done in the following unnecessary sequels. And his wife killed the shark by raming a boat into a pressure point of some sort and causing the shark to spontaneously combust. Now shouldn't that gain her a spot on this list? Nope, because nothing about that scene (or that movie for that matter) made a lick of sense. It makes about as much sense as having sequels to the movie Jaws.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hero of the Day- The Bride

I'm better than Annie Oakley and I've got you right in my sights

I never thought that Uma Thurman was that hot… In fact, I still don’t think she’s all that attractive, but there is just something right about a woman who can kill a bunch of bodyguards with a ninja sword. She’s so awesome even The Comedian from Watchmen would look at her and say, “That bitch is crazy”. How many people did she kill in the Kill Bill movies? There was Bill, the Crazy 88, each member of the viper assassin squad (except Bud), the body count she stacks up is quite huge.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hero of the Day- Sarah Connor

Men like you built the hydrogen bomb. Men like you thought it up.
This is a woman who I’m a little conflicted about. Part of me wishes that she was my mother, while the other half wants to have a massive crush on her. That may sound a little weird, but I never said I was sane. Screw you! I don’t need your approval! Sure in the first movie she didn’t do that much but she really proved she had steal in her hypothetical balls. Just take a look at that picture. Wearing aviators and loading a machine gun… Hot. Not to mention she gave birth to a dude who would go on to have one huge scar going right down his face and would give the middle finger to Skynet. I definitely consider the T-1000 to be one of the coolest villains in any movies and the fact that she took him on and kicked him into a vat of molten hot… lava? I don’t remember what it was… somebody comment and let me know what it was.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hero of the Day- Ripley

Get away from her you bitch!

This weekend, we are paying tribute to some of the most kickass ladies to blow up the screen. The first entree is one of the first leading ladies to ever single handedly kick an acid-bleeding alien's ass. Ripley from the Alien movies, mostly from Alien and Aliens. The reason why I'm not including the third or fourth Alien movies is because I haven't seen either of them, and I heard they blew chunks anyway. But I digress. Ripley was kickass in the first movie, being able to use her wit and brains to outsmart the creature and then in the second one tote big ass guns while carrying a small child. Is it weird that I find Sigourney Weaver kind of hot because of this? Considering that the first movies I saw with her were Holes and Galaxy Quest, years after she was doing this. The odd thing is that the picture I chose to represent her, most of the time, that would be a dude in the picture rather than a woman. Again... HOT

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hero of the Day- Doc Holliday

I'm your huckleberry
And you, music lover, you're next
I got two guns, one for each of you
And you must be Ringo. Look darling, Johnny Ringo. The deadliest pistoleer since Wild Bill they say. What do you think darling? Should I hate him?
It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds

This guy is the man! The best way I can describe this guy is if they took Captain Jack Sparrow, gave him some testosterone pills and put him in a western. For the record, I think Captain Jack is a kickass character, but Doc Holliday is much more kickass. You know that I always love to include a memorable quote, but I have always limited myself to one quote per character. With this character, there are so many good quotes that I couldn't deny myself more than just one. They all deserve to be mentioned. Even though he is half dead throughout the entirety of the movie, he's still awesome.

GI Joe 2 trailer reaction

Little known fact about me, I hated the movie GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. At first I thought it had to do with the fact that I never read the comics or watched the show as a kid, so maybe that was why I couldn't get into it. But then I learned that even those who were fans of the comics hated it, so there.

Anyway, when I heard that they were making a sequel, I thought to myself "Oh okay, I guess I'll be skipping that". Yesterday, however, a new trailer for the movie was posted on Youtube, and I thought I would take a look. Below is a transcript of all the thoughts going through my head as I was watching this:

Oh great, Chaning Tatum is back. Can't wait to sit through his blandness again

Oh hey the Rock is in this. That's pretty cool. Still don't planning on seeing it

Wait... Tatum DIES at the beginning? Hey, this might get good!

Wow... That british guy is back playing the US president? A BRITISH MAN IS PLAYING AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT?

Wait... The Cobra group takes over the US? That might be interesting. Though a little corny I guess. They are after all hanging cobra flags on the white house.

Is that a dub step version of "Seven Nation Army" I hear?... Okay

Rock is toting a big ass machine gun... Looks a little promising. But still, this is a sequel to a really crappy movie.

Come on guys! This may look cool and everything, but you are going to need to try really hard to make me forget the first movie!

Wait a minute... Is that?... No... It can't be... Oh... My... God... It is!... By God it's... BRUCE WILLIS!!! And he's being awesome, witty, douchey, and all of the things that I love to see in Bruce Willis!

So yeah, this movie may be crap, or it may turn out to be freaking fantastic. All I know is that I'm sold thanks to the awesome of Willis. Also I should point out that all the cheesy ass laser guns and gadgets are gone. Not to mention that Marlon Wayans was nowhere to be seen in this trailer (cue joyous choir).

Hero of the Day- Father Lancaster Merrin

The power of Christ compels you!
This one is a little different from the other heroes that I've done since we know next to nothing about this guy. We see him doing an archeological dig at the beginning of the movie, and then he doesn't show up again until the end. But even then, with the obvious exception of the possessed Regan, he is by far the most interesting character in the film. In fact, the image of him standing under the lampost outside the house is so mysterious yet also very simple and very interesting at the same time, and has become one of the most iconic horror images to date. You look at that picture and you know something's about to go down. If it wasn't so dark and had so many shadows, you would look at the picture and think that he was just an old school doctor making a house call. And the other odd yet really cool thing that I like about this character is that he is so quiet, calm, mysterious and even a little creepy to the point that if this were any other movie, I would say that he would make a great villain. Obviously he can't be the villain in this movie because who would make a better villain than the devil? To be honest, of all the people that they considered to play Hannibal Lecter, I'm a little surprised that Max Von Sydow wasn't called, I think he would have done great. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hero of the Day- John Nada

I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... And I'm all out of bubblegum

He is on this list for one reason only: That kick ass quote listed above

Hero of the Day- Rick Grimes

I woke up today... In the hospital
What's a heroes list without a zombie killer? I was trying to think about who would fit the criteria for ultimate zombie-killing badass and the answer was pretty obvious: Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead. Hey, you have to have some kind of balls if you are going to take on a crap load of zombies in the middle of a city. And considering that he was in a coma before taking on those zombies, that says a lot too. Not to mention he had the iron balls to do something extremely hard: Shoot a little girl in the head at point blank range right in front of her mother. Yeah, that's pretty intense. Needless to say she had turned into a zombie at that point, but it's still hard to shoot somebody you knew only a week ago. For that reason, Rick has earned a spot here. Always doing what needs to be done, even when it's hardest.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hero of the Day- Michael Corleone

Don't ever take sides with anyone against the family again
It's Monday, finals start today, we're all depressed, so why not talk about a depressing character. Michael Corleone, the lead character of The Godfather movies, the first two ranking as two of my favorite movies of all time, and by far one of the most depressing protagonists to grace the screen. I know a lot of people think of him as a villain, but I honestly always saw him as more of an antihero than a villain, considering that's what Al Pacino was best at and that's the kind of character that dominated a lot of movies in the seventies. When we first see Michael, he starts out as a young college kid with a promising future. He has a nice girlfriend, was in the marines and fought in World War 2, and even may have had a political career ahead of him. The only thing that didn't fit into Michael's vision for his future was his family. He makes it pretty clear that, although he loves his family, he detests the fact that they are involved in organized crime and wants nothing to do with them professionally. However, after the attempted murder of his father, played by Marlon Brando, Michael is forced to make decisions that he really did not want to make and he eventually ends up becoming apart of his family's syndicate, and then taking over it as the new Don after his father retires and passes away soon after. Although he goes down a path that would end up tearing his life and family apart, we can't help but feel bad for him. Even though he makes some less than admirable decisions over the course of the movies, we still couldn't help but connect and sympathize with him. Think about it, when it comes down to it, you have to ask yourself: What would you have done if you were put in that position?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Movies that I am excited to see next year

I know it's a little early to do this sort of thing, but I'm taking a break from studying for finals and thought I would do this. These are the movies that I am most excited to see in 2012. When I was putting this together, I realized very quickly that 2012 will be the year of the geek. Sure, we had a lot of good comic book movies come out this year, but 2012 is going to have some of the most anticipated movies in a long time.

  • Skyfall- For a while, there was talk of abandoning the James Bond movie franchise. Thankfully no such thing has happened yet and the 23rd installment of the franchise is due out November of next year
  • The Woman in Black- Daniel Radcliffe's first major role since leaving Harry Potter behind, and it is based off of one of the creepiest ghost stories of all time. I recently read the book and it really did creep me out quite a bit. This movie is due out in February of next year
  • Ted- Mark Wahlberg plays a man who wished his teddy bear to life when he was a boy. Unfortunately, he is now in his thirties and the bear is still following him. It is directed by Seth MacFarlane who is better known for creating Family Guy and I'm kind of excited to see this. My guess is that this one will be out around summer.
  • Prometheus- Ridley Scott returns to the genre he helped define by making a prequel to the first Alien movie. This will be his first sci-fi movie since Bladerunner and to say I'm excited to see this will be the understatement of the month. Release date is in June of next year
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey- After years of hanging out in film limbo, the Hobbit movie is finally being made and by Peter Jackson, thank God. If you were like me, you have been keeping your fingers crossed about this movie since Return of the King came out. This one is out around Christmas time, so the year will probably end on a high note.
  • Django Unchained- Quentin Tarantino doing a western. No more need be said.
  • Coriolanus- Ralph Fiennes doing a modern day adaptation of one of Shakespeare's plays. And Gerard Butler is in it, as well as war, explosions and death. You would have to pay me to stay away from this movie.
  • The Avengers- Kind of a no-brainer. They've built it up so much over the past few years, it's almost impossible not to be excited for this movie. Though to be honest, there was a period of time where I thought they wouldn't do it. It sounded like one of those projects where people would get really excited and then the studio would find some excuse like not being able to find a director or the cast couldn't get together. No matter, it's finally happening and I am absolutely psyched to see it.
Those are some pretty big movies. Now what could possibly top them in terms of excitement? I'll tell you after I hit the "Enter" button multiple times for the sole purpose of building suspense...

  • The Dark Knight Rises- What's that? You didn't know I was hyped for this one? Away with you then! You cursed wretch of a being! May thou call the pits of Hell thine home! Seriously though, I am extremely excited to see this one. I've already got my t-shirt to wear to the premiere. That's right, I'm gearing up for the premiere and we haven't even seen a full trailer! I saw the midnight premiere of the last movie, and for this one, I'm sparing no expense, I'm going to go IMAX for this movie!

Hero of the Day- Maximus

What we do in life echoes in eternity
I don't know why, but I felt sort of obligated to put Russell Crowe on this list. Could be because we share the same birthday or because he is just an all around badass. Anyway, when I think about it, the movie Gladiator did not have anything all that special or unique to it. It was basically just your basic revenge plot. Not to say that the movie is bad or anything, but it's just a plot line we've seen before. With that said, the character of Maximus is one that we really can get behind. We see him as a great military leader, he's charismatic, his men's spirits get lifted just by him walking by, we see him talk about wanting to be home with his wife and son. And on top of that, he was just super badass. He killed three guys in the span of about thirty seconds and then proceeded to kill another guy later on even though he had already been cheap-shotted and was on death's door. Not to mention that like William Wallace, he had a lot of great quotes to go along with him. There is the quote above, but there is also that classic "I will have my vengeance" speech amongst many others. Even though he was your basic revenge protagonist, Maximus was just a really cool character. He's a little different than some of the other heroes featured on this list because most of the people here have all started as average joe's whereas Maximus already was that great strong military leader that we all wanted to be. Other characters we might have seen them work their way up, where as with Maximus we saw him go backwards. Kind of a nice change of pace to be honest with you. So yeah, while I said that Gladiator was your basic revenge story, there are a few things that make it stand out, this arch being one of them.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hero of the Day- Frodo Baggins

I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it

Of the three main characters in Lord of the Rings, this one is definitely the  most relatable. That doesn't make him better than Aragorn or Gandalf, but it did make him easier to connect with the audience, at least for the first movie. He was the fish out of water protagonist that is commonly found in stories like this. And since he is unfamiliar with the issues of the outside world, when the other characters explain it to him, they are also explaining it to the audience as well. He is much like Luke in that when we first see him, he isn't anything all that special, he isn't a warrior or a genius, he isn't even that strong or brave. But circumstances force him to make decisions that he wouldn't have made on any other day and next thing you know, he is on a journey that will either change the course of his life forever or end it altogether. The main difference between the two stories is that there was really a point where we thought that Frodo might not make it out of this. In Two Towers, we really see the effect that both the ring and the long journey have had on him. His skin has lost its color, he is growing weaker and he's starting to loose it a little bit. By the time he finally reaches Mordor in Return of the King, he practically looks like a walking corpse. The thing that I love about these movies is that you really get the feeling that everything is on the line here, and that's not just the case with Frodo, if you watch the build up to some of the battle scenes like Helm's Deep or Minas Tirith, there is a moment where you basically realize that everything is on the table, and if they loose tonight, then that's it for them. Of course Frodo was carrying one of the most powerful objects in existence around his neck, so you can see why the stakes may be a little high for him.

Batman Forever

There I was, sitting on the edge of my couch, when a sudden sensation began to overtake me. It was not one of the body, but rather, one of the mind. I began to see and hear strange things in my head. Bright flashing colors, a man in a suit with massive nipples on it, I saw bats flying everywhere, I even saw Tommy Lee Jones, or at least I thought it was Tommy Lee Jones, I can’t know for sure. Apparently, in this vision that I was having, the Tommy Lee Jones that I was seeing would be extremely hammy and have purple slime all across his face. It was at the moment that I saw a thin Val Kilmer that I realized something: This must have been the moment when the drugs began to get the better of me. I began to feel light-headed, and the room all around me began to spin. The odd thing was that I wasn’t planning on taking any drugs, I was just going to watch a Batman film and must have, at some point, indulged in some very heavy yet very pleasing narcotics, for this is not the Batman movie that I was planning on viewing. For this movie had Jim Carrey in it, as well as bright flashy colors and neon lights, and even people who looked like Darth Maul, if he was drawn during the same sort of acid trip that I was having. And suddenly, something else had occurred to me. I slowly began to realize that I hadn’t taken any drugs, and that this experience was one of complete sobriety and reality. It was then that I began to feel something terrible: Panic. It crept all over my spine. All these awful realities began to take hold of me. Alone, in a room, watching this acid trip of a movie where Jim Carrey tries to play a villain and Tommy Lee Jones is one of the hammiest actors appearing in the film. The more I think back on it, the more I wish I was on drugs, for if a movie like this is allowed to exist, then clearly the world that we create for ourselves when we go into a drug induced delirium has more sense to it than the world that surrounds us in a state of sobriety. I would go further into this movie, but my brain cannot possibly fathom the idea of returning to such a dark and difficult time in my life. If you wish to indulge yourself in this experience, go forth at your own risk. Some may not want to, but those of you who do, buy your ticket and take the ride.

Yours truly,
Hayden S. Thompson

Thank you to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and to Nostalgia Critic for inspiration of the material

Hero of the Day- Gandalf

All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you

While this guy isn't necessarily a hero (in that he is a protagonist), Gandalf still deserves to be mentioned. He is the classic archetype not only for mystical and mysterious old characters, but also as an archetype that serves as the mentor to the main character, much like Obi-Wan Kenobi or Dumbledore. However, the only difference is that those two characters died, but were still able to guide the main character from beyond the grave. Unlike those two farts, who died and stayed dead, he died but came back twice as awesome as before. And he would go on to put Saruman in his place merely by saying "Your staff is broken" which is essentially the same as looking him in the eye and saying "F%^& you! You think you're awesome? I fought a huge ass demon". If you don't know what I am talking about, you either haven't read the books or seen the extended versions of the movies. Please remedy this as soon as humanely possible... Seriously, I'm not kidding. You will become a better person by seeing these movies. Jesus wants you to see these movies. Are you going to let down Jesus? On the month of his birthday? Dude, you are cruel!

Hero of the Day- Aragorn

I would have gone with you to the end, into the very fires of Mordor

Being that I am an incredible dork, Aragorn's presence on this list was unavoidable, almost as unavoidable as Luke Skywalker's. Even if I wasn't I would include him. Why? Because he really is a great hero. We don't meet him until about a quarter of the way through the first movie but we learn so much from him. At first, when we learn that he was supposed to be king but decided he wanted to do otherwise, I thought he was nuts. But then we learned about his personal problems and the issues he was dealing with and we understood why he would want other plans for his life. It makes it much more satisfying for the audience when we see him put aside his personal baggage and become who he was born to be.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hero of the Day- Rambo

I could have killed 'em all, I could kill you. In town you're the law, out here it's me. Don't push it. Don't push it or I'll give you a war you won't believe.
You know what? There is nothing that I can say about this character that the picture and quote haven't said already. So... I'm just gonna end it here

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What's to come

So earlier today, I was trying to think about movies that I should review once Hero of the Day has wrapped up. And here is an idea of what may come following the start of the new year.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull- This should be fun
Twilight- Maybe I'll twist the knife and explain why Harry Potter is better
Musicals- Remember when Hollywood made a worthy effort to bring back musicals? Me neither. I remember some movies coming out that were musicals, but none were all that good. A few were, and one became one of my favorite movies, but they were all pretty mediocre
Batman and Robin / Batman Forever- Damn you Joel Schumacher!
Gymkata- As soon as I can get it from a friend, I will be more than happy to watch this movie
The Room- I am well aware of this movie's awfulness and cult success, but have never actually watched it
The Lost World: Jurassic Park- God I hate this movie, and this one will come soon
Avatar- I already promised I would get to this one
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emporer- This was a movie that I liked at first, but then I sobered up
Pirates of the Caribbean 2-4- Not what you think. I already admitted to these being a guilty pleasure, and in this, I'll explain why I like them. What bugs me as well as what satisfies me.
Eragon- Based off a shit book, made a shit movie
Ghost Rider- Along with all crappy Marvel movies (Hulk, Fantastic Four)
Star Wars prequels- A lot of what I'll have to say has already been said, so there won't be a whole lot left for me to write.
Michael Bay and M Night Shyamalamadingdong movies- Do I need to explain why?
Battlefield Earth- I'm actually kind of excited to see this pile of crap

So those are the movies that are for sure going to be making appearances on here. The list is always subject to change and may be altered at any time. If you have a movie you want me to rip apart, feel free to post it below.

Yours truly,

Hero of the Day- John McClane

Yippy kay-aye, mother f&*()@#

Yup, you knew this was coming. If you honestly considered that I would forget this guy or that I would find him unworthy, then you don't know me at all, and I cast you from my presence. This is one of the coolest action protagonists of all time. He's relatable but also very tough and badass. We see him go through issues that a lot of every day people go through (marital issues, fear of flying, terrorists attacking your wife's christmas party), and then we see him do some really awesome shit. Seriously, what's more awesome than being able to kick ass without shoes and fighting with glass in your feet for the last quarter of the movie? I'm gonna go with nothing. There are a few things, but the list is relatively short. Talk about a trooper, he actually pulled some of the glass out of his own feet while hiding in a bathroom. McClane has become one of the most iconic action stars of the 80's standing next to Rambo and the Terminator, and they all had something unique about them. Stallone would mumble his way through fights, Arnold would deliver awesome and quirky one-liners, and Willis would just be a straight up sarcastic douche bag, making his enemies so freaking pissed that they couldn't wait for the moment when they would put a bullet between his eyes. Unfortunately for them, that time never came. I think there is even a line in the movie Die Hard where Mc Clane's wife sees one of the henchman in a fit of rage and says "Only John could make somebody that pissed!" And of course, there is the always badass and always iconic line that he would say right before pulling the trigger. If you don't know what it is, kiss it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hero of the Day- William Wallace

Every man dies, not every man really lives

Before I get started, I do recognize the fact that there are quite a number of inaccuracies between the movie Braveheart and what was actual history. I am well aware of the fact that some things in this movie were either made up or exaggerated. I do not judge this movie based on its faithfulness to history, I just judge it as a movie, nothing more. That being said, let's move on. William Wallace in the movie was a freaking badass! He truly proved that nobody screws with the Scottish and lives to talk about it. The first part of the movie may be a little slow, but then those English bastards attempt to rape and then kill his wife. This has been recorded as one of the worst mistakes in human history. Don't believe me? Watch the rest of the movie! Not only did he turn hard trained english soldiers into total pussies, but he also inspired his men to fight on long after his death and delivered one of the greatest motivational speeches in film history (that would later be ripped off by almost every war movie to follow it). Sure he went down in the end, but he (sort of) went out on his own terms (he decided not to take the poison and refused to give in when they offered him relief, that counts). Even when he was on trial for his life, he told the english king to go screw himself (not with those exact words, but you get my point). The other thing that is so great about this character is that he has so many great quotes. Obviously there is the one listed above, but there are a bunch more throughout the movie that it was next to impossible for me to pick just one!

Also, I have to point this out. William Wallace was Scottish. You know who else is Scottish? Yup, him. SEAN CONNERY!!! I just realized that most of the people I've brought up so far have been related in some way to Sean Connery. All except for Luke Skywalker and Dirty Harry. Well, Dirty Harry was played by Clint Eastwood, who is like the american Sean Connery. And I'm betting Luke got to be like Sean Connery in his later years.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Top Five Directors to Start From 2000 Onward

These are the directors that have really made a name for themselves in so little time. Some have become film legends in so little time while others are getting there, and should be recognized for their accomplishments. So here are my picks for favorite new directors of the past 11 years

5. Zack Snyder- Some of you who know my taste in movies know that I am not a huge fan of overusing CGI. It’s not a bad thing, but a lot of the time, the director will get too warped in creating a dazzling shot and forget to concentrate on story, characters or dialogue (George Lucas and Michael Bay, take the hint). Zach Snyder is one of those directors who spends a lot of time on special effects, but it actually works really well. He has a knack for adding a visual style to his films. If you look at some of the shots in 300 or Watchmen, it almost looks like you are viewing a painting or something right out of a comic book. That’s pretty cool. I’m actually really looking forward to seeing what he does with Superman.

 4. J. J Abrams- He is more of a TV icon than anything else, making such loved shows as Lost and Fringe, but the movies that he has made have all been very enjoyable. The Mission Impossible movie that he directed was very good, and I’ve never been a huge Star Trek fan, but I really got a kick out of the movie that he made, and I look forward to the sequel that will be coming out hopefully in the near future. I will admit that at the time of typing this, I have yet to see Super 8, but I hope to remedy that soon because I have heard so many great things about it.

3. Ben Affleck- If you had asked me what my opinion was of this guy five years ago, I would have said that I hated his guts. I never thought he was that good of an actor and he just seemed like a total douche. However at some point in the past five years, Affleck must have matured a little bit because he directed two films that clearly show he has what it takes to sit in the director’s chair: Gone Baby Gone and The Town. I know that two films is a little early to decide that he’s good, but I think these movies show that Affleck may have gotten into the wrong area of show business when he decided to become an actor.

2. Jon Favreau- Technically he’s been in the film business a lot longer than the last ten years, he was, and still is, an actor, but he was always that guy that you point at and say “Oh hey! It’s that one guy!” nobody really knew his name and he never got that many big parts. Usually just the quirky supporting character. However he has really made a name for himself through his directing. I already mentioned how he directed Elf but he is also responsible for Hollywood taking Marvel Superheroes seriously again when he directed Iron Man. DC didn’t have to worry, they had the Wachowski’s and Christopher Nolan helping them out, but Marvel was still suffering. All of the franchises that were supposed to be bringing in big bucks were beginning to go downhill. Both X-Men and Spiderman had two great films and then a third that was a bit of a letdown, something commonly known as "Godfather syndrome". Dare I bring up the tragedies that were Hulk, Fantastic Four and Ghost Rider? Nope, I won’t. When Jon Favreau directed Iron Man, we were all skeptical considering this was right after Spiderman 3 was released. I think we were all pleasantly surprised by how it turned out. It was the perfect mix of action, drama and comedy, and it still took itself and it's audience seriously. While I will say that they aren’t the best movies in existence, Iron Man and the other Avengers line-up movies that followed are definitely some of the most entertaining. And to be honest with you, I really liked Iron Man 2 and even Cowboys and Aliens. He may not be the best director in the world, but he has definitely proven to be a competent one, making good summer action movies without totally surrendering to CGI, and he is among the few to say no to 3D.

1. Christopher Nolan- Kind of a no-brainer, really. Not only is he my pick for best director to get his start in recent years, he is one of my favorite directors of all time. There are some directors that I like, but have made some movies that were kind of a letdown. Chris Nolan has yet to do that. In fact, he has yet to fail to knock me completely off my feet. The first movie that I saw of his was Batman Begins, and needless to say, I loved it. And then The Prestige came out, and I loved that one too, and so on and so forth. He really is a director that knows how to take his audience seriously and treat them like adults, especially in the comic book genre, which had been through a bit of a dry season before Begins came out. If I had to sum him up in one sentence for somebody who had never heard of him, I would say “Christopher Nolan is a director that knows how to get his viewer to buy another ticket” because honestly, since Batman Begins came out, I have yet to see one of his movies only once while in the theaters. The Dark Knight I saw three times within opening week! It was also the first movie that I saw at a midnight showing. The main thing that I love about his movies is that he avoids using CGI and green screen as much as possible. In fact, he used next to none when he made his Batman films and Inception, which would have normally have been the first route that any other filmmaker would take. He is also one of the few remaining directors who has said no to 3D. In fact, I heard a story that even Warner Bros. told him that he had to make The Dark Knight Rises in 3D, and he flat out told them “No way”. And as luck would have it, they actually respected his wishes and let him shoot it without 3D. In fact, he even said he had a distaste for it. God bless you Mr. Nolan!

Hero of the Day- James Bond

The name's Bond... James Bond

I'm sorry if people find this list to be a little cliche, but I make no apologies for including some of these people, this guy included. He's suave, he's badass, he's cool, the women want him, men want to be him, he's just an awesome dude. Remember all the things I said about Indiana Jones because he was fathered by Sean Connery? Well, this guy is Sean Connery, or at least was for a while. So whatever I said about Indiana Jones, applies to this guy... tenfold. I think it should be pointed out that even though this is a british agent, he has been portrayed by six actors and only two of them have actually been British. Sean Connery is Scottish, Pierce Brosnan is Irish, George Lazenbi is Australian, and Timothy Dalton is Welsh. Only Roger Moore and Daniel Craig are actually British. No matter what way he is portrayed, each person that has played him has done it a different way and they have all been great (accept Lazenbi and Moore, they're terrible). And of course, no James Bond movie is complete without an arsenal of gadgets. Some of them are cool, others are okay, and some are just plain silly. Do I have to bring up the invisible car from Die Another Day? My God was that lame. Of course they toned it down a bit in the most recent ones, but since I read that they have cast someone to play Q, we may get to see some more cool gadgets soon. Let's just hope there will be an absence of invisible cars or glass-shattering rings. Lamo.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hero of the Day- Indiana Jones

Nazi's. I hate these guys

If I did this list and did NOT include him, I think I would have lost all credibility. Again, this guy is just a classic hero. The movies that he stars in are some of the greatest adventure movies of all time (The first three that is). After seeing this and Star Wars, I think it was pretty much cemented that Harrison Ford was another of my child hood heroes, and continues to be to this day (For the record, I have three movie heroes that have stayed with me through the years, two have already been mentioned here, and the third is still to come). In each movie he's in, he goes through a routine of getting his ass kicked only to come back and kick theirs twice as hard. Sometimes, all he needed was the propeller of a plane, a rock, or the wrong cup and the job was done. And even though he wasn't a cowboy or anything, the image of him riding on a horse with his gun in hand is so iconic and just seems right. Heck, that was part of the reason that I was so psyched to see Cowboys and Aliens. I just wanted to see Harrison Ford wearing that kind of hat, riding a horse and toting a six shooter again. And I saw that. So for me, personally, that movie didn't disappoint. But I'm getting off base here. It also helps that it was revealed in the third movie that he was fathered by none other than Sean Connery. I should end this post right here, because whatever arguments you may have had about Dr. Jones being a wuss are rendered invalid. If Sean Connery's blood runs in your veins, then that means that you have nothing but testosterone and badassery coursing through your body like a river of manliness! He's killed Nazi's, he's killed blood thirsty cultists, he's killed communists, I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out he was the one that shot Osama!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hero of the Day- Dirty Harry

You got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well do ya, Punk?

Since I started yesterday by sharing a childhood hero, I thought today, just to even things out, I'd share one of my more recent heroes. DIRTY HARRY. Why not? He's one of the most badass characters in all of film. His methods are unconventional, but they get the job done, so who can blame him? He didn't earn his nickname by playing by the rules! Screw the rules! He's so badass that the tagline for the movie says "He doesn't break murder cases, he smashes them!" I don't even know what that means and that sounds awesome. And who can forget that oh so awesome speech he gave not once but twice about his handgun (The last part of it is today's quote)? The character was played by Clint Eastwood and in my opinion, this is Eastwood's best character. I like Bill Munney, Josey Wales and Preacher, but this guy just kicks ass!