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.