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.