Wednesday, August 3, 2011

IMPORTANT - Move to New Site!

Hello All!

We've MOVED! Our new site (it's really cool and will only get better!), including blogs, project information, contact info, and everything there is to know about us can now be found HERE!

The new site also includes links to the finished and released "The Death Of" project. The wait of the SUMMER is now over! Yay!!

Check it out! Subscribe! And as always, like us on Facebook!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens and Lame Movie Titles

Directed By: Jon Favreau
Produced By: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Steven Spielberg
Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde
Written By: Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci, Robert Kurtzman
Based On Cowboys & Aliens by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
Music By: Harry Gregson-Williams
Edited By: Dan Lebental

Distributed By: Dreamworks Pictures and Universal Pictures
Runtime: 118 minutes
Budget: $163 million

So there is this Scottish saying that I have found so much truth in and is basic how I follow everyday of my life. “If you think that you are going to be kicked in the balls but all you get is a slap in the face, then that was a good day.” This was my mind set going into Cowboys and Aliens last Friday night. The trailer looked like crap, the concept is very prole, as is the title, and the only reason that anyone is going to see this lame attempt at an action movie is Daniel Craig's baby blues. Yes, a movie marketed solely on one man's beautiful sky blue eyes. And yes, I too, from time to time, get lost in those windows to crystal clear oceans above his noise. But I don't think that they are worth a ten dollar ticket.

And I am pretty sure that the makers of Cowboys and Aliens thought of that. For if the off chance that some people might not care for those orbs of peaceful bliss, they have Harrison Ford play opposites of an ophthalmologist's wettest dream. I have no problem with Harrison Ford, he was in a couple of good movies, (understatement) but dudes get old. And yea he throws like one good punch and does a lot of talking but that's about it. And as for talking, like they only let Daniel Craig speak in four word increments. And yea it adds a little to the “I can't remember anything, take no crap, bad ass, tough guy” that his character is but if you are going to play an American character you have to learn how to speak like one. But the less he says, the more time I get to do backstrokes in lake of love right below his eyebrows.

As for this being an action movie, yea I guess either I am just getting older and not really caring about the same old fight scenes or they are just not trying anymore. The few action scenes that they did have were the same old boring fight scenes that you can pretty much see in any other movie. Yea things blow up, but what movie doesn't have things blowing up? I have seen cowboys fight, I have seen Aliens fight and I have seen Man vs Alien fight so nothing new in the action department.

As for a story, well there was a beginning, a middle, and a end. But there was no massage, no point. It was just a group of cowboys fighting a group of Aliens. Yea there was a little back story but nothing that you could not see coming. This was a movie, not a film.

The only reason that I guess anyone would see this movie is if they did not want to think to hard for about two hours and had like ten bucks to waste on a crappy summer semi action movie. But hey, Daniel Craig's eyes do look amazing on the big screen.


More To Do About How Much 3D Sucks

The question is, is 3D another form of enhancing the viewers watching pleasure like awesome lighting, or is it just a gimmick to pull more probes to watch their movie than normally would? I, of course, believe that 3D is pure probe, plain and simple, and that all it enhances is the weight of the movie makers', and 3D glasses makers' wallets. 3D in no way has the ability to add anything to the actual story. 3D did nothing to the story for Harry Potter, bad example because there really was no story to add anything anyways. But when I was watching Potter I did not feel like the 3D made the movie or did anything more than the normal movie would. And the biggest example to prove my point that 3D is just a gimmick is when you watch a movie that was made for 3D in 2D and you can tell when things jump out at you. Like in Beowulf with the spear, or any other object coming out at you for no reason what so ever. These moments in the movie are only put in the as 3D gimmicks. To do what 3D does best, make the viewer jump out of her or his seat. It adds nothing and will never add anything to movies. It just makes whatever is there worst.

I would be fine with 3D if it was like ten years ago and 3D was not that big and was just pure gimmick and that was the point. But now we have people making movie just for that 3D and when we make movies just for 3D we lose the most important part of the movie, the story. This is the future of cinema. Give it no less than ten years and we will have a movie named BLOOD in 3D and HOLY SHIT MOMENTS in 3D. There will be no story, no meaning, no point. It will just be an hour and a half of just in your face action screens and sexual intercourse. Don't get me wrong, it will look good, I mean, damn good. I mean, you will feel like you are right there in the car during the race for no reason, or in between the two hot sweaty bodies as they go at it. But whats the point? Why do you want to view any of that if there is no story being told?

I would love to say that this whole 3D thing is a fad. But to say 3D is a fade is like saying that DVDs were a fad or that the iPod was just a fad. Nope this one is here to stay, and unlike DvDs and iPods this is not a step forward in the the art of cinema but a giant leap back. In a few years movies will go back to normal but there are just too many probes with too much money to waste to make that dream come true.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

An Escape from Reality

There is nothing better than sitting down and reading a good book or watching an awesome movie. The environment slips away and no longer are you in your bed room or at a movie theatre, instead you are at Hogwarts with Harry and the gang or on Pandora with Jake Sully and the Navi. Movies provide (in my opinion) the strongest out of body experience you can have without the help of illegal drugs or a near death experience. Books give you a similar out of body experience but it isn’t as strong. I use the phrase out of body because while your body may be reading a book or sitting in a theatre, your mind is off in an adventure; providing an escape from the harshness of reality. You simply drive down to the local cinema, pay your ticket fee, and for the next two hours all your problems are forgotten as you watch whatever ‘cinematic adventure’ (to quote Dane Cook) you've chosen.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: Captain America - The First Avenger

Directed By: Joe Johnston
Produced By: Kevin Feige
Written By: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Stanley Tucci, Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell
Edited By: Robert Dalva, Jeffery Ford
Music By: Alan Silvestri

Distributed By: Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios
Runtime: 124 minutes
Budget: $140 million

The final setup before The Avengers releases next summer, viewers know by now what to expect when they go to the theater. Captain America, like Thor, isn't here to win awards or make a billion dollars. It's here to entertain while introducing us to a character that will feature prominently in a future film that has the potential to be very awesome or very complicated. America succeeds at both, giving us another fun summer blockbuster with plenty of action, comedy, and romance to satisfy. WARNING: MIDLEVEL SPOILERS!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cinema of the Coens: Part II

Welcome to Cinema of the Coens, Part II.

It's not often I get to write a blog with a theme song, but the Coen Bros. bring many surprises. After working ten years, their success was limited but significant. The opportunity for more was there and they kept seeking it, but never at the expense of what they loved. The Coens, in the end, are filmmakers through and through. It's this attitude that's made them respected. Many of the senior crew positions have been filled by the same people for every film they've made (cinematographer, costume, stunts, it continues). They make what they enjoy, regardless of whether it'll make $10 million or $100 million, and people flock to the unity and creativity this inspires. At the same time, we'll see that their second decade in the business will bring many of the films, and songs, that shaped the Coens into what they are today.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cinema of the Coens: Part I

Joel and Ethan Coen are two of the most prolific directors working in Hollywood today, known not only for box office success but creating a unique artistic style that makes them stand out. Coen Bros. cinema falls into many categories, but it indisputably makes up its own. In our new multipart feature, I will be running through the history of the Coen Bros. on screen. What factors make a movie a Coen movie? At the same time, how have their films changed in the nearly thirty years and fifteen films they have under their belt?

A few facts to start us off: Joel, the taller one, is also the older one, and until 2004's The Ladykillers is the only one credited as director. This was because the Directors' Guild of America refused to allow two directing credits on a film, and only after the Coens were irrefutably successful was the ruling overturned. Despite this, the two brothers have always written, produced, directed, and often edited their films together, a collaboration well known to those who have worked with them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It Is Finally Over.

It is over. Finally after all of these long years of watching bits and pieces of my favorite parts of childhood be butcher before my very eyes it has ended. And it was bad. I knew it was going to be bad. Even after they told me that because they made a whole second movie for it it was going to be good but that was just a slap in my face. Two hours. Two bloody hours of crap. And of course it will make millions upon millions of dollars off of it. Everyone has to see how it all ends. Well the smart ones already knew how it ended like two years ago. It was a waste of time and money, like they all were.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

In this special review, three of the group that went to see the final Potter film in beautiful IMAX 3D have put together short reviews of how they feel the film summed up the conclusion to what is arguably the saga of our childhood, like Star Wars was to our parents. Check it out, and comment with what you thought of the film, because there are plenty of opinions out there!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Power of Choice: or the Pleasure of the Least Resistance

No one wants to hear someone talk about “the good old days” because there never was any such thing: all our memories are pure personal nostalgia, so I won’t bore you with recollections. I do, however, want you to consider a profound change in movie viewing over the last thirty years. Because this change has happened over time, its impact is particularly perceptible by someone who has seen it “over time.” For those of you born after 1990, the way movie viewing is now is relatively close to the way it has been since you were aware of movies, but trust me when I say there has been a profound change in “movie delivery systems.” (I just made that up.)
So this will not be a retrospective of movies in general or their content specifically, but rather a contemplation of viewer access to movies and movie making itself. The choice that viewers now have in movie viewing has had an impact on our sense of self, on the market, and our movie-viewing habits.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'll miss you, Harry Potter

Oh god. Where do I start?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the first big book that I ever read. I remember that my mom tried to read it to me, but that I refused to listen, because I wanted to read it on my own. I remember being scared at holding that thick novel in my hands; I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to finish it. But, I devoured the novel in only a few days, and thus my love of reading really kicked in high gear. I began reading everything that I could get my hands on: magazines, textbooks, playing cards, kleenex boxes. If it had words, I wanted to be a part of it. I became a really fast reader, which, if you know me now, is extremely important, because I have the shortest attention span of all time.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I Love You, Harry Potter

I adore love stories.  The moment when the music swells, the protagonist gazes into the girl’s eyes and all is right in the world.  But this is not a blog about my severe weakness for sappy romantic comedies, this a week of Harry Potter, a week to celebrate, in my opinion, the greatest series of movies created.  Granted, I have been inhaling the books since early elementary school, so my opinion might be slightly skewed to favor the literary genius of J.K. Rowling, but seeing as this is a film blog, I shall contain myself strictly to the magical movies we know and love.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Impact of Potter

If you have any sense of pop culture awareness, it should come as no surprise that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is finally upon us. It's been ten years of ups and downs as we not only watched our childhood favorites translated from page to screen, but also shared in the memories and experiences as Harry, Ron, and Hermione grew through the years. Different hairstyles, fashion styles. We notice. To celebrate the epic conclusion to the motion picture event of the decade, we're featuring a new Potter-themed blog from now through Friday, ending with our review of the IMAX 3D presentation.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

House, Season 5

With the spectacular season four behind us, we enter season five.

As I said before, season two is my favorite (for reasons explained then). Season five, however, has potentially my favorite story act. I say potentially because I can’t remember if I said the season four storyline was my favorite.....


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

House, Season 4

House, Season 4 really changes the tone of the show. Before, it was much more House centric, but with the departure of Cameron, Chase and Foreman, it begins to focus more on the people around House. Well, after the first few episodes, anyways. House is left without a team (obviously) and refuses to hire a new one. House says its because he can do just fine without a team, though its implied that the emotional backlash of being wholly rejected as a person hurt his feelings a bit, to say the least.
-Spoilers for Season 4 of House after the break!-

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Music Videos

Music videos are the essential visual of music. It gives an artist the chance to explore their production in more depth; a chance to say something they didn’t get to say lyrically, or a chance to emphasize what they want the audience to get from their words. Music videos are the colorguard of singles. Just like a marching band, an artist needs that next dimension that can further define and really bring together an extensive idea. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Directed By: Michael Bay
Produced By: Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Written By: Ehren Kruger
Starring: Shia LeBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Patrick Dempsey
Edited By: Roger Barton, William Goldenberg, Joel Negron
Music By: Steve Jablonsky

Distributed By: Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures
Runtime: 153 minutes
Budget: $195 million

Transformers: Dark of the Moon falls into the controversial summer movie category, with films like The Hangover: Part II and X-Men: First Class. It's a highly profitable franchise riddled with criticism, especially over Revenge of the Fallen, meaning Michael Bay and company were expected to deliver a product completely different and better. We have two different reviews of the same screening: Hunter B, very critical of the first two, and Hunter F, a fan of the series. Read on to see how they compared!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Top Five Denzel Washington Characters

Number Five. Eli, Book of Eli.

One of Denzel Washington weakest characters but still good in some ways is Eli, in Book of Eli. Playing a post-apocalyptic nomad, he really brings action back to such epic tales. The twist ending was cool and plays a little on what the overall point of the movie was but in the end no one really cares about what the book is or what's up with Eli, because its Denzel Washington shooting and stabbing people out in the desert. How cool is that?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June Project Update!

With less than one week left in The Death Of production, things are both winding down and speeding up for our short film, web series, and all other projects. The summer continues to be a busy one for everything HTTProduction, and we've got updates on all of it plus a new production diary in our newest Project Update!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Top Five Funniest Will Ferrell Movies.

Number Five: The Other Guys.

Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg play two cops in New York City, both with troubled pasts, that are over shadowed by the hot shots, played by Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson, until their chance finally comes up to prove to the world what they are really made of. Overall this movie was not that funny and I really did not like either of Will Ferrell's or Mark Wahlberg's characters. But the reason that this is my number five pick is because this movie has funny concepts, such as hot women are attracted to Will Ferrell's character and he cares nothing for them or that Mark Wehlberg's characters learns things just so he can make fun of people. All in all in has funny parts and it grows on you overtime but in general its not one of his best.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review: Green Lantern

Rating: 5/10

Directed By: Martin Campbell
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Peter Sarsgaard, Mark Strong, Tim Robbins
Written By: Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim, Michael Goldenberg
Edited By: Stuart Baird
Music By: James Newton Howard
Produced and Distributed By: DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures

Budget: $200 million
Runtime: 114 minutes
Rated PG-13 for "intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action"

A summer filled with so many films has to have a few disappointments, and Green Lantern may be that disappointment. It isn't bad, though critics say otherwise, but it isn't good either. The reasoning is simple enough: it's no different a superhero story than what audiences have been paying for since 2001, but every year this formula works less and less. Hence, our first look at a DC superhero not Batman or Superman is entertaining but not engrossing enough to hold up against what Marvel has to offer.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cult TV

From the dark and surreal to the comedic and campy, cult television shows have entranced millions of hardcore fans for decades. No matter how long a cult show has been canceled, obsessive viewers will devote plenty of their time and money to keep it alive. Untold hours have been spent watching, re-watching, analyzing, and arguing over series, and untold amounts of money have been spent on merchandise and at conventions.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Movie Marketing III: Mystery Box

Film is a mysterious industry, both in production and story value. It use to be that the mystery of how movies were crafted was part of their appeal, but in today's world of the internet few secrets remain about the process of making a movie. What filmmakers do hold on to, though, is the mystery of the screen. High profile films like The Dark Knight Rises or The Amazing Spiderman have a hard time staying ahead of bloggers who would spoil secrets, but sometimes it is those secrets that make a film so great. In this third installment of Movie Marketing, we'll examine keeping Mystery alive and how it relates to the different levels of spoilers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

House, Season 3

-Contains spoilers for season 3 of house and minor spoilers for season 7!-

When I think of House, season three, I think of one character: Michael Tritter. Tritter is a huge pain in the ass for about six episodes, constantly going out of his way to make life terrible for House. Granted, he has a reason; (House treats him as a clinic patient, and leaves a rectal thermometer up his ass for upwards of two hours). Tritter freezes Wilson’s bank accounts on suspicion of writing false prescriptions (House had actually stolen Wilson’s pad), and threatened to send him to jail for fraud if he didn’t rat out House. Wilson refused, and Tritter went after House through the rest of his employees. When none of them would budge, he took House to court for it. Cuddy falsified records to show House as innocent of the charges Tritter had brought against him, and he went free. The reason I love this story arc is because of the clear message it sends about Greg House: he always gets what he wants. That is a powerful and clear message for the coming seasons, and it sets up a fantastic heartbreak in season 7.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Super 8

Super 8
Rating: 8.7/10

Director: JJ Abrams
Starring: Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler
Written By: JJ Abrams
Music By: Michael Giacchino
Edited By: Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey
Produced By: Steven Spielberg, JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk
Studio: Bad Robot Productions, Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Budget: $50 million
Runtime: 112 minutes
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality, and some violence

I was very skeptical about Super 8 when I first heard of it. I was in kind of a JJ Abrams hate stage, primarily because Fringe made it another season on Fox and Lie to Me was canned. Anyways, I went in the theatre with a pouty look upon my lips and my abrasive skepticism on my sleeve. But, with god as witness, I love this damn movie.
-Warning, contains spoilers after the break!-

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Project Update!

Summer is running full speed ahead and so are HTTP's summer projects! In addition to the constant stream of opinions and reviews we've been putting on this blog lately, we're also prepping the transition into production of The Death Of as well as brainstorming several other short films. We're staying busy all the time and don't have a single complaint, so let me take a moment to update everyone on what we're doing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

House, Season 2

Continuing on with the theme of my previous post, we come to the second season of the television show, House. --Be advised that this post contains spoilers from the second and sixth seasons of House--

In the second season of House, the main story arc is one that focuses on the relationship between House and his previous flame, Stacy. House treated her husband Mark in the season prior (he is paralyzed as a result, against House’s best efforts to stop it from happening), and the two reconnected. Their relationship is quite a mess, as both have feelings for the other but refuse to acknowledge the pachyderm in the room. They finally kiss in the episode “Failure to Communicate”, and have resolved (without actually saying it to each other at first because, god forbid, they be wrong about the other person’s feelings) to try again. Stacy decides to leave Mark for House, but he, House, panics, telling her that House cannot make her happy, and that she should stay with Mark, in the episode “Need to Know”. She leaves, and Wilson is furious at Houses need to be self destructive and self loathing. House is affected by this for, I think, the entirety of the series, up to when he and Cuddy get together at the end of the sixth season.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

X-Men: First Class Review

X-Men: First Class
Rating: 9.2/10
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, January Jones, Kevin Bacon
Written By: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Music By: Henry Jackman
Edited By: Eddie Hamilton, Lee Smith
Produced By: 20th Century Fox and Marvel Entertainment
Budget: $120 million
Runtime: 132 minutes
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexuality, and a violent image
Serving as a prequel to the X-Men trilogy, First Class takes us back to the 1960s to show how it all started. It brings all the thrills and excitement one expects from an action-packed summer blockbuster while giving us an intimate look at the growing relationship between Charles and Erik. In the end, First Class is a solid superhero film well worth the ticket price. -BE ADVISED THAT THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS-

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Too much Product Placement?

Ever since watching Thor and discussing the over use of product placement I can not help but notice every little trademark, logo, or label in anything I watch. The whole reason that I hated Thor was that I believe the over use of product placement was insulting. I felt like they did not want to tell me a story (the whole point of a film) and just wanted to sell me everything thing they could. But now that I have notice product placement in just about everything I see I have to ask the question. Where is the line when it comes to product placement?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Movie Marketing II: Trailers

Continuing our conversation of how movies are marketing, we turn now to what people have the most contact with: movie trailers. A trailer is the truest form of visual adaptation. Where a product has a poster or albums have singles, motion pictures have theatrical trailers. Trailers, from original teasers to final TV spots, serve as tools of information for the majority of movie goers who do not research films themselves, giving trailers the power to make or break how audiences perceive a movie when they make that decision to buy the ticket. As a case study for this power, I'm going to examine the progression of trailers for the upcoming release Green Lantern.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hangover: Part 2 Review

Directed By: Todd Phillips
Produced By: Todd Phillips, Daniel Goldberg
Written By: Todd Phillips, Scot Armstrong, Craig Mazin
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis 
Edited By: Debra Neil-Fisher, Mike Sale
Music By: Christophe Beck
Distributed By: Warner Bros.
Runtime: 102 minutes
Rating: R for "pervasive language, strong sexual content, including graphic nudity, drug use and brief violent language"


Director Todd Phillips not wanting to mess with the winning formula (thinking if it ain't broke, don't fix it) reintroduces the same characters and the very same scenario that made The Hangover a box office hit. This time around it’s Stu (Ed Helms) getting married; not to the lovely stripper with the heart of gold from Part I (which personally made me sad after all the bonding that went on at the end of the first film) but to some random girl named Lauren (Jamie Chung) who basically says hi and then bye; which is the most character development you get out of her or any of the other women in the cast. The wedding and the overall setting takes place in the exotic local of Thailand in an effort to appease Ed’s Thai in-laws to be. Cautious from the hellish series of events that took place in Las Vegas two years prior, Stu even decides to play it safe with just an IHOP brunch. However not even ten movie minutes later, he is convinced that one beer bottle toast wouldn’t hurt and BAM let the games begin. Lo and behold, the “Wolf Pack” is back at it again. 

Spoilers after the break!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Coming to a Theatre Near You…

Spiderman.  The Lion King.  Shrek.  Billy Elliot.  Legally Blonde.  All movies, seemingly disconnected, correct? Wrong.  All five, as well as countless others are in fact musicals that at one time or another have graced the Broadway stage in New York. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

HTTProfiiles: House, Season 1

With it being announced that the TV series House is ending next year after an 8 season run, I decided to write an article on what I think the show means and other various things. We’ll start from Season 1 and continue on until we hit the end of Season 7, in a series of articles.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top Five Antagonist of Films that you Can’t Help but Love.

This is a list of the top five antagonist in films made form the 90s to the present that you can’t help but love. The meaning behind that is that these antagonist are not your run of the mill bad guy. These antagonist are different, whether it be just great writing on part of the writer that makes this villain a step above the rest or the actor who plays this antagonist or both. These five antagonist are just simply known for equal or in some aspect more likeable than their protagonist counter parts. Lets start the show.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Movie Marketing Part I: Going Viral

Friday marked the opening of the viral campaign for Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, and already it shows itself to be something to follow. The viral campaign for The Dark Knight remains, in my opinion, the best ever marketed by a studio, so I am very excited about following Nolan's 2012 production along these coming months. In light what's to come, I've decided to start a new multi-part series. In this new age of constant journalism, internet rumors, spoilers, and leaks, keeping secrets in the movie business is harder than ever, especially when working on such highly publicized productions like superhero movies. Hundreds of websites and blogs across the internet are dedicated to movie rumors (including my favorite: SuperHeroHype), along with those internet followers who are always willing to leak anything they can just to show dominance.

Chris Nolan, Jim Cameron, JJ Abrams, and Zach Snyder are all noted for their notoriously tight-lipped productions, but this series will focus less on the people and more on the styles through which studios market films. The mystery behind a project is, after all, one of film's greatest allures. More often than not, though, this marketing campaign is the product of the studio rather than the director. One of the newest forms of movie marketing came along with the rapid expansion of the internet in the past half decade by way of viral marketing, made even more prominent in the past few years with social networking media. It amazes me the extent to which a studio can go to get people involved with the marketing of a film, all as a way of both giving in to their demands to be kept informed while also distracting them from the real rumors. Nearly all movies nowadays create Facebook pages and Twitter trends and Tumblrs as a way of spreading themselves around the internet, but none have taken the possibilities to the extend of Nolan's Batman trilogy, led by the company 42 Entertainment (at least for TDK - DKR's company has not been made public).

--Be advised that an official promotional photo of Bane is shown after the break and is considered a LOW-LEVEL SPOILER--

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Top five TV shows and Why I Love Them

What is the greatest thing that an artist can do?

Is it create a masterpiece that survives the times? Is it to inspire hope in desolate times? Or is it to show a side of something that no one ever considered?

Personally, I think the greatest thing an artist can do is create.

Create? Isn’t that the entirety of an artists job description? Isn’t that what they do anyways, regardless of the quality of the creation?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Talking Animals in Film

I recently watched the Zach Snyder film Legend of the Guardians: Owls of Ga'Hoole and found myself fascinated not by the movie so much as by audience's ability to make non-human characters so lifelike, in an odd turn of phrase. It's an animated family film in all sense of the phrase, and I wasn't expecting much from it. The main reason I was watching it at all was because I'm a Snyder fan and felt the need to see even his strange picks of direction. As can probably be expected since I'm writing this post, it was a surprisingly good movie. There wasn't anything groundbreaking in it, from the typical three-act narrative and redemption plot of the young owl Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess of 21 and Across the Universe) as he seeks to find the ancient Guardians and save the land. Everything is quite predictable, but that didn't stop me from being entertained.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

YouTube: New Canvas

©NITVShorts - "New Boy"
Standing in line for a movie ticket is a lot like standing in line for a Big Mac. Do you want the action movie with a side of comedy or the thriller with extra gore? It’s not a secret nor a surprise that Hollywood regurgitates its story lines. With over 600 movies released each year you can’t expect each one to be a flourishing garden of artistic creativity. I don’t expect it, and neither does the rest of America. Thoughtful poignant movies bite it at the box office. In 2009, Robin Williams starred in the movie “World’s Greatest Dad” which was a hit at Sundance, had a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 88%, and was rated three out of four stars by Roger Ebert, but it grossed less than $250,000. Compare that to M. Night Shyamalan’s “Last Airbender” which received a 6% rating from Rotten Tomatoes and was described by Ebert as “an agonizing experience in every category”, but grossed over $319,000,000, and you can see the difference that I’m trying to point out.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Going outside the camera

Personally, I pride education, intellect, and rationality over all things. The one thing that I cannot understand is people who refuse higher education. There is nothing more stimulating that conquering an intellectual task, at least to me. For this reason, I find that actors that go outside the boundaries of film to study other things to be incredibly inspirational, speaking specifically of Natalie Portman and James Franco.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Marvelous Money

This, like just about every summer for the past several years, will be a summer filled with comic book movies. Thor was released in theaters a few days ago and the Captain America is set to come out in a few months. With Marvel pumping out a minimum of comic book movies every year showing that there is a audience for these types of movies one must ask the question, what is the real point to a comic book movie?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

HTTPreview: Thor

Rating: 7/10

Directed By: Kenneth Branagh
Produced By: Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios)
Written By: Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins
Edited By: Paul Rubell
Music By: Patrick Doyle
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures

Runtime: 114 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for "sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence"

Setting up another character for the upcoming epic The Avengers, Thor not only successfully establishes the mythicism of Asgard but does it within the realm of the Marvel movie universe, reminding us that hundreds of miles away Stark, Banner, Rogers, and others are but waiting to join forces. In the meantime, we're treated to a visually and emotionally entertaining joy ride split between two worlds that leaves you wanting more, and knowing Marvel will soon deliver.

Check out our in-depth review after the break; BEWARE MINOR SPOILERS!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

2011: Sequels Galore!

(©SequelBuzz: Because One is Never Enough!)

I came across an interesting article back in January about all the movies slated to release this year, and as this jam-packed summer starts up I thought it relevant to talk about as a jumping off point from my previous discussions of originality to all future discussions we'll have throughout the summer in reviews. 2011 has the most movie sequel/prequel/whatevers of any year previous, with a grand total of 27. Definitely check out the article, but for a quick rundown there are: nine #2, five #3, five #4, five #5, two #7, and one #8 in the form of Deathly Hallows Part 2. To compare, 2003 was the previous record with 23 while 2010 had 19, so definitely a leap.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Last week I spoke about censorship in a broad sense, but as my deadline grew closer, I felt that I had more to say about the topic. Specifically, the MPAA.

The MPAA is not the most rational or democratic organization in the US. They keep their board members secret, and refuse to elaborate on why they gave a particular rating to a particular movie. They leave it up to the filmmaker to decide what parts of his movie to cut, which can lead to unnecessary and damaging deletions. They also, bizarrely enough, refuse to adhere to any standards.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Every single year movie theaters play tons of remakes of past movies that were successful enough that if they remade it, they would be able to turn a profit off of it. Usually the response from audiences are that though it was a good movie they thought that the original was the better. Why is this so? Just because someone tells you the story first that means that any other attempt at telling this story is going to fail in comparison simply because they were not first?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

HTTPreviews: Fast Five

Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Chris Morgan
Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Dwayne Johnson
Music By: Brian Tyler

Distributed By: Universal Pictures
Runtime: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Rating: PG-13 for "intense sequences of violence and action, sexual content and language"


This weekend, I went and saw ‘Fast Five’. I had medium expectations for this movie, mostly because the reviews from places like RottenTomatoes and Metacritic were very positive, which were the highest of the series at 78%. Once again, this is a series movie within a series that I love, so hopefully I don’t slant this too much.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, mainly because of the action scenes. They were fantastic, and I’m really underselling it here. There was a badass fistfight between Vin Diesel and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and it was the most epic, knock down, kick in the face fight of all time. Two massive, scary ass dudes just punching it out for at least three minutes. It was just... Ugh. Just so fantastic. I loved it. All the action scenes were like that, though. Justin Lin has a really good idea of how to create suspense and power within the scenes. Fantastic.


Saturday, April 30, 2011

HTTPresents--Adaptations: You're Doing it Wrong

Film adaptations are a very polarizing subject, and for a lot of people it goes beyond the movies themselves, with the supposed increase in the quantity of adaptations signaling a proportionate decline in the quality and originality of Hollywood as a whole. However, this “plague” of book and television adaptations, reboots, and remakes is about as new as the lightbulb. A brief glimpse at the 83 year history of the Academy Awards reveals that the overwhelming majority of films that received the award for Best Picture are adaptations of some kind. I'm well aware that not all adaptations are Oscar-worthy, but my point is that they are nothing new, they are not going anywhere, and like any other movie they can run the gambit from inspiring art to something you might find in a diaper. What I'll be discussing is not so much what separates the Oscar winners from the diaper contents, but how our experience with the source material can color our views of a movie, and how adjusting your perspective can help you better appreciate a solid adaptation.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

HTTProject Update: April

As the month of May draws near, it's time for our second HTTProjects Update. Even with all of us in school, this was still a really exciting and really productive month as we worked hard at planning things for the ever nearing summer. Before I get into that, though, I want to give a few updates on this blog, which serves as a... say, scholarly arm of HTTProductions. This blog will be our twentieth, all of which I am very proud to be connected with. We've gone from one post a week to two posts and now three, and Hunter, David, and I are going strong with tons of ideas to keep things going and a lot of plans for future guests.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The MPAA is not one of my favorite things. They are a biased and wholly ridiculous organization that has far too much influence on artistic creativity. They routinely cut out parts of movies that are ‘overly sexual’, while at the same time allowing violence to go basically unchecked. They act like they are the moral high ground of our society, our protectors of democracy, and yet they hide behind closed doors and a strict privacy policy. If there is anything more hypocritical, I have yet to find it. However, if the MPAA was the only problem, it could be fixed. The problem we have here is censorship.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Nontraditional Story Structure

We are all too familiar with the traditional story structure, the three acts, the main character, along with a cast of supporting, taking his or her journey to self discovery and along the way finding the errors of their ways and by the end of the story are better for the experience.

This type of story structure is usually called the Hero's journey. The Hero's journey usually begins the story by introducing to the audience the main character or protagonist and due to whatever plot device or background the writer feels is most beneficial to the story the protagonist sets off on his or her journey to right the wrongs, save those who are in danger, or to simply over come some hang up that the protagonist has acquired due to the original plot device. Along the way the protagonist meets up with the cast of supporting characters, either one by one or in a group setting, each bringing something important to the story.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

HTTPicks: Run Lola Run

To finish off our slew of new features this week, I'd like to present the first of HTTPicks, a joint feature with HTTPreviews. While the latter covers reviews for recently released films in theaters (see other Hunter's great Scre4m piece!), this will focus on "older" films we happen across for the first time and enjoyed enough to try to spread the word. These picks will focus more on overall themes and opinions rather than ratings (there will be plenty of that for the numerous summer movies this year). For our first installment, I'll be talking about two films I recently watched: Run Lola Run and Island of Flowers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Editorial: Materialism with Modern Culture

One of my favorite actors is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I find his underwhelming style to be fantastically intriguing. From one of his earliest appearances in ’10 Things I Hate About You’ to ‘Inception’ in 2010, he has only bettered himself in the realm of acting. However, this is article isn’t about Mr. Gordon-Levitt. Its about a specific passage from one of my favorite of his films, called ‘(500) Days of Summer’. In ‘(500) Days’, he works as a greeting card writer while trying to woo a new employee. Predictably, the film is about the evolution of the main character and the ideology of love. One particular scene stands out:

Tom [speaking about greeting cards]: This is lies. We are liars. Think about it. Why do people buy cards? It's not because they want to say how they feel. People buy cards because they can't say how they feel or are afraid to. And we provide the service that lets them off the hook. You know what? I say to hell with it. Let's level with America. Or at least let them speak for themselves. Right?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

HTTPreviews: Scre4m

This is the first of our second new feature: HTTPreviews, where we will provide our opinion on the latest releases in theater, along with an out of 10 ranking. This summer is sure to be a big one with several sequels and superhero/comic movies releasing, so we'll have plenty to review in the coming months. For some releases, we'll even do joint, head-to-head views when two of us have differing opinions. For now, enjoy Hunter B's reaction to this weekend's Scre4m...


Admittedly, I have a soft spot for self-deprecating humor. People that are self-aware and are able to make fun of themselves are usually the funniest people in the group, not to mention they realize their limitations and are unafraid to push them. With that, I have a confession to make: I love the Scream horror series. This series shares a couch with self-deprecating humor and self-awareness, and they are completely comfortable around each other. With that in mind, a friend and I went and saw Scream 4.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

HTTPresents: The Influence of Tarantino

                                             Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, courtesy AP

Welcome to our first post of HTTPresents, a new feature where friends and colleagues will write weekend guest posts. No doubt the words of the three of us can grow tiring at times, so we'll switch things up with fresh blood! Our first guest is Shannon, notably known for her well-informed comments on our posts. She is as big a film enthusiast as us and we're proud to have her posting with us, so check out her thoughts on the oh-so unique director Quentin Tarantino below:
While he isn't exactly universally loved, Quentin Tarantino's influence on cinema over the last twenty years, American and British cinema especially, is indisputable. Tarantino has reignited careers of the forgotten and given work to unknowns while leaving an indelible mark on film and pop culture with his  instantly recognizable set of tropes and techniques. While he did not invent things like non-linearity, profanity,  stylized violence, criminal characters, or a habit of paying “homage” by including concepts and scenes from older films, he most certainly popularized them, and 1994's Pulp Fiction, Tarantino's first big hit and the one he may never be able to top in terms of recognition and cultural impact, is among the most beloved and instantly recognizable films of all time.