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!