A Look Back On The Year

December 28, 2009

2009 is coming to an end.  Its been a tremendous year for movies. Could say, a big year in the Science Fiction genre! Star Trek made a huge come back, Avatar is a success and not a bomb like so many thought it would be,  and I was never a fan but Battlestar Galactica also ended this year.  Originality, also shined with District 9 and Moon!

Apple may have failed to make any of those clinging to hope that they would announce a tablet but Google, picked up the torch and announced the long rumoured Google OS and sorta announcing there own Google Branded phone with the Nexus One. Sadly, nVidia continued to stumble throughout the year. With Fermi being delayed to legal issues with Intel. Intel on the other hand wasn’t much better, seems like they’re becoming the Microsoft of the 90’s, with lawsuit after lawsuit being thrown there way.

The game market also continued to do well despite layoffs and studio closures. Sadly, that is just the business. The industry is changing with games run through facebook are becoming bigger and bigger. EA, announcing a purchase of a FB game maker for a tidy sum. The apocalypse isn’t upon us yet gamers. Just looking at how much Modern Warfare sold…

Hope you all had a great holidays, and hope you have a great New Year!

I’ve been really busy as of late.  So here is a quick review for each movie.

Up!

Pixar, does it again with this masterfully crafted tale about an old man who wishes to complete his childhood dream, about traveling to South America. He ends up with a boy scout accompanying him on his trip. Together they help Kevin, a giant bird that looks like peacock crossed with an ostrich, find its  way home.  In true Pixar, fashion they craft an beautiful tale that is much more then it seems. Be sure to have your tissues ready for this movie will get you watery.

4/5 Stars

The Hangover

Every few years, you get that hit comedy that just becomes the must see movie. Last time it was Wedding Crashers, which also starred, Bradley Cooper. This year its The Hangover. To put it simply for that can’t figure out what this movie is about judging by the title, its about 4 guys who go celebrate the one friends wedding by having the bachelor party in Las Vegas. Of course, they get ridiculously drunk, and wake up in there hotel room not knowing what happened last night. Quickly realizing the groom, is missing they backtrack on a search to find out where he went and what happened.

3  1/2 / 5 stars

Year One

I fell asleep for 20 minutes and I wasn’t even tired.  Save your money and just rent it. Or just go see The Hangover.

1/5 stars

A blog post from Variety’s Editor In Chief, recently called Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, “Ben Stiller’s Art Movie”.  Having seen the movie now, I can see why. Even the first movie. The plot is simple but come on, after the first, did you really expect heart-wrenching oscar material?

Night At the Musuem, maybe not the greatest piece of film work. Nor does it try. It is a film that teaches you about history in a very entertaining way. Personally, I never knew that Abraham Lincoln, never lies; hence forth being referred to as  ‘honest Abe.”  Then again I’m Canadian and naturally fairly ignorant about American history. Its presented in an amusing and occasionally a superfluous manner at times.

We find our hero Larry Daley(Ben Stiller), living his dream of the being the head of his own company, walking around his office looking bored, and mopey. Which is what,  leads him to visiting the museum only to find it undergoing renovations, and discovers a lot of the old exhibits are being moved off to storage,  and to be updated with more updated technological versions.

Throughout all the hassle of the move, the Egyptian tablet ends up at the Smithsonian as well, leading to trouble with Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria). Who wants the tablet to open up the door to the underworld and release his army of the undead.  Daley, receiving an urgent phone call of help flies off to Washington D.C in search of the Smithsonian with the help of his son.  He soon finds out the Smithsonian isn’t just one buildings but multiple specialized buildings (i.e Air And Space). Throughout his adventure he encounters even more famous characters leading to more mini-history lessons.

Overall, this movie is a great family film for those parents who want to take they’re children to see something ’till Pixar’s Up, is released. For those that aren’t parents or 12 years old, there is always Star Trek, or Terminator.

Movie Podcasts

May 20, 2009

I am a huge movie buff.  Well, more as in follows industry news, and watches a lot of movies. When it comes to the classics, I fall short…very short.  So, I rely on movie podcasts full of people who know a lot more about movies then I do. This way I can go back and talk to my co-workers as if I’m some movie god. Listed below are some I’ve started listening too, or have been for a while. Either way, they are all greatly recommended. By the way, al these podcasts can be found on iTunes.

Scene Unseen

First up, is Scene Unseen.  This podcast consists of one of two having seen the movie, and the other hasn’t. Which leads to some often funny discussion about the movie. My first one was the X-Men Origin: Wolverine Review. That one alone won me over.

More information can be found here:  www.sceneunseenpodcast.com

The /Filmcast

The /Filmcast is a podcast from the editors of the site, who do the typical movie podcast thing, news, discussion, etc, then leading to a review to a movie. Being a movie geek I can’t get enough movie discussion. I usually have things pointed out to me that I either missed originally  or just never would have thought of, either way it’s a great podcast with some great people. I really do recommend also listening to the After Dark series. I finally got around to taking the plunge and listening to one of those as well, and it’s hilarious. Having listened to one at the recently, I got the impression its more of a reader heavy segment. A reader asks a question after confessing some embarrassing or pretty funny story and asks the editors and guests to relate if it all possible. This leads to even more amusing stories.

More information can be found at:  www.slashfilm.com

Battleship Pretension

Another more unique podcast, that doesn’t talk much about movie news, or reviews. Focuses more on film discussion such as, when great directors make bad movies. The people are very witty, and funny. Highly recommend it.

More information can be found at:  www.battleshippretension.com

IGN’s Keepin It Reel

My one sellout recommendation cause I just love all the IGN podcasts…except for the music and the retro ones…but thats just because I’m not interested in those things.  Either way, it’s a great podcast with insightful discussion. Other then straight forward. Also, it’s amusing to see the editors try and make box office predictions and to later discuss how close/distant they were in the following week.

More information can be found at:  www.ign.com

Hope everyone gets as much enjoyment as I do!

The summer movie season started off great this year, with J.J Abram’s Star Trek. I know what your thinking, “what about Wolverine? my point exactly. What about Wolverine? Lets just pretend it didn’t happen. Other then Star Trek: Wrath of Khan, I’ve never seen any Star Trek movie or anything Trek related other then the odd, very random episode of Next Generation on TV. J.J. Abram’s is very much the same, which is why this movie is so accessible.

Chris Pine, is definitely one to watch in the coming years. This is a role that will definitely secure his face and name in the mainstream. He carries this movie with such charm, and a healthy dose of humor that won’t drag you down into a realm of boredom never to return.  Alongside him, is a strong cast that helps establish a team that is worth watching in future sequels now that the origins have been cemented.

Abrams, and his writing team have successfully brought Star Trek to the mainstream. He captures us in with the destruction of the U.S.S Kelvin, introducing us to the villain Nero, and our hero, Kirk (except as a baby form). We have no idea what his intentions are other then forcing aboard the ships captain before destroying the captains ship. This sets the pace for the movie.

Moving from watching Kirk get into a hilarious bar fight (which in turn leads to being convinced to join Star Fleet), to continuing his womanizing behavior.  Then to him beating the simulation which is designed to test how the cadets deal with stress,  leads to his first confrontation with Spock.  Played by Zachary Quinto,  who doesn’t do a bad job himself.  The friction between these two leads to some great moments, and some other that make you go really? Why didn’t he just do x, instead of y? Like I said, before a lot of these things are just nit picking. And don’t harm the overall enjoyment of the movie.

Star Trek is a great movie, and definitely something that Paramount must have been hoping for when they hired Abram’s to reboot the franchise.  He has given them a summer blockbuster that will hopefully produce sequels that are either equal or superior to this movie.

Horrorific Horror

January 31, 2009

I love horror movies. Sad to say however that horror lends itself to so much to self deprecation that it its hard to stay relevant sometimes. I love the twisted morality tales of 80’s slasher flicks. It was easy to follow along. You have sex, you die. You do drugs, you die. Women always hold the power and the virgin always lives. The real problem comes when your franchise is 5 movies in and your killer can only out walk a running victim so many times before the humor starts to set in. Its a fine line, but ultimately one amusing enough to sit through, especially as a kid.

We also have movies that played on other fears. Movies like Frankenstein that played on our fears of science. Movies like repulsion or Rosemary’s Baby that played more psychological fears. Or movies like the The Exorcist that placate to our fears of Religion, death and the unknown. So many classics that deserve as much praise as a good drama but are sometimes cast aside with the stigma of a genre that sees very little serious thought.

This is my problem. This idea that if you don’t have much money and you want to make a horror film you can just take some friends out to a cottage and Kill them on camera. We’ll I have news for you, chances are your not Sam Raimi or George A. Romero. Your not making the next Night of the Living Dead or Evil Dead… what your doing is wasting my fucking time. I’m all for someone trying. I want to see more people take this genre seriously is all. I don’t want two bit companies marketing more of these cheap college film projects as lasting pieces of an ailing horror legacy. We are in an age were we are seeing more remakes of legitimate low budget horror flicks. Why are we seeing movies like Prom Night and My Bloody Valentine remade? They were solid attempts from directors with real passion for a genre. Not big budget date movie fodder. It frustrates me to see my favorite genre pissed on when there is just so much potential for a good scare.

Lets get one thing clear. This is just a listing of the movies I enjoyed,  over the past year. I don’t care if its ‘critical approved’, cause in the end its my opinion and thats what matters to  me.

Here we go in no particular order: Read the rest of this entry »

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