Friday, December 21, 2012

A Very Linky Christmas

Today we begin our Christmas Break... time to impersonate Santa. Look for big changes when we get paroled starting January 2. We'll be adding a regular Thursday post to discuss Bond... James Bond (and rank the films). We'll be mixing up the questionable articles on Tuesdays for greater variety. Scott will examine some disaster films and defend a film many consider a disaster. Naturally, we'll continue with the Toon-arama series and the Sunday Debates and the Friday reviews and watch for an interesting change in the link articles. So be sure to tune in! Meanwhile, to keep you busy over the holidays, here are some links from Scott.

A shot-by-shot analysis of the latest Star Trek teaser

You can find a link to the teaser in the opening paragraph. In short, I'm excited. However, it would be nice to see a new Star Trek film that didn't feature a megalomaniacal villain out to destroy Earth. We've had that twice in a row, plus it's pretty much the plot in every other superhero movie that's out there now. And if the villain does indeed turn out to be Khan, then color me disappointed. Why bother rebooting the franchise if you're just going to re-use old characters? Having said that, I'm sure this will be a lot of fun, and the effects wizards at ILM seem to have outdone themselves once again. But this all brings me to...

Are all franchise films essentially the same now?

It's hard to argue with this: "In the first Star Trek episode ever, “The Cage” a race of aliens called the Talosians is introduced. These guys got so into creating illusions with their minds that they forgot how the technology of their ancestors even worked. They forgot how to be original and grew bored and warped and immoral. Are the big-franchise filmmakers of today like the Talosians? Giant pulsing brains who’ve created the same illusion over and over, reusing the same formulas so often that they have forgotten how to be creative? How to take a risk?" Also, the author's comment on Tim Burton's Batman is spot on!

A look at the 2012 Black List

No, not that Black List. This list is the annual list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood, though a few of them are currently in some phase of development. I've perused the loglines and, while some of the films are your standard TV-movie "Guy/girl returns home to reconcile with family" routines, there are some really cool stories here. My favorites are, without a doubt, Seuss, Wunderkind, If They Move... Kill 'Em!, Man of Tomorrow, Untitled Cops Script, and Hibernation.

Geek culture has gone mainstream but at what cost?

A TV writer recently compared nerds who like The Bang Bang Theory to black people who like Amos 'n' Andy. Okay, so all things geek are now mainstream but has this damaged the "geek" label, or is it much ado about nothing? After all, history has shown that once something becomes popular, it often gets diluted. And our 24/7 media-saturated culture hasn't helped: "Armed with Wikipedia and an Idiots or annotated guide to just about everything, the average citizen can, in minutes, discover the tantalizing bits of canonical knowledge it once took years to accumulate - years in which some of us clung to our semi-secret predilections for fantasy or science fiction, playing Dungeon and Dragons instead of dodgeball."

With 35mm film dead, will classic movies ever look the same?

This could turn out to be a big problem. A.) companies that deal with film - suppliers, labs, etc. - are shutting down, B.) while (most) classic films will always get much-needed restorations, what about that B-western no one but your father remembers?, and C.) people now expect older films to look like new ones which is why too many Blu-Rays technicians pump up the color and try to get rid of the grain, usually with awful results. There are plenty of folks in Hollywood who value the industry's legacy but that and five cents will get you a cup of coffee and at the end of the day, it's about the bottom line and demographics. Or maybe I'm just a pessimist. [smile]

The terribly true story behind the Super Mario Bros. movie

I remember seeing this in the theater. I was a Mario-loving 10-year old and I enjoyed the movie (for what it was). Looking back on it almost 20 years later, I'm literally ashamed of myself! Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo have both said how much they hated making the movie and it seems no one knew how to adapt a video game, because it had never been done before. The problem with video game movies is that watching one is like watching your sibling play a video game - you don't want to watch, you want to play! And for some reason, they changed the locale from the Mushroom Kingdom to a Blade Runner-esque alternate universe Manhattan. The film has developed a cult audience (size: unknown) and after reading this article, I kinda want to see it again.

Searching for the real movie Lincoln

"Sources agree that Abraham Lincoln is the president most often represented on film, though an exact count of portrayals is difficult to determine. The editors at Guinness list 136 featured roles in films in The Guinness Book of Movie Facts and Feats, but that doesn’t include television and shorts. The Movie List Book estimates over 150 films, but that reference was published in 1990. Internet sources such as Suite 101 and Great weigh in at over 200 film portrayals, though I fear they inflate in order to push their point that Lincoln is our most iconic president. The popularity of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln with Daniel Day-Lewis’s magnetic interpretation of the 16th president has inspired bloggers to recount the portrayals and mine them for best performances, historical accuracy, and bizarre depictions."

Celebrating 50 years of James Bond title design

As a preamble to our new James Bond series in 2013, I've included this piece which takes a look at each and every Bond title sequence, featuring work by Maurice Binder, Robert Brownjohn, Daniel Kleinman, and the studio MK12. "As with the films themselves, most Bond titles draw from a self-governed set of themes, but they are also liberal in their application of them. Female forms, stylized violence, implied danger, guns, imaginative photography, motion graphics, and academic typography are paired with a billboard anthem and presented through the thematic lens of the film itself - as in the underwater ballad of the Thunderball titles or the cosmic backdrops of Moonraker."

Last night's listening:

There's a good chance that if it's mentioned on this list, I was listening to it! (My last purchase included the second, third, and fourth items in the La-La Land Records category.)

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah everyone!


AndrewPrice said...

I am one of the few, the not so proud, who enjoyed Super Mario Brothers. It was pure escapist fun... nothing more.

Commander Max said...

Heck with the links, lets caption the Santa photo.

shawn said...

Abrams Trek 2- I have high hopes for this one, especially with all the talent involved. I enjoyed the first one immensely, but can't argue with anyone who thinks the story was seriously lacking. Fingers crossed. Also, I too hope the villain isn't Khan.

The problem with francises is that because they are so expensive- the studios don't want to take any chances on not getting their investment back. Plus, there are only so many types of stories to tell anyways. What makes them different is characterization and the acting.

All I want is a clean picture on my old movies, otherwise make it just a straight transfer and no upgrades.

Super-mario. Never saw it.

Bond titles- I really, Really, REALLY miss Maurice Binder. The new ones are flashy, but not anywhere close to being as sexy.

And while he didn't do any Bond titles, I also miss Saul Bass.

Anthony said...


I've stated before I'm capable of enjoying bad films, but I bow to the master :). If you enjoyed Super Mario, I recommend Double Dragon. It caused my soul to die a little.

Anthony said...

There have been some entertaining videogame movies. First and foremost, Wreck-it Ralph wasn't quite Toy Story, but its a really fun, funny movie which was enjoyed by critics and audiences.

Among gamers, Street Fighter 2: The Animated Movie is quite popular. It gave us the Ryu vs Sagat fight (and the Chun-Li shower scene) we'd always wanted to see.

Also, the original Mortal Kombat wasn't brilliant, but it was competent, fun and faithful to the source material.

For FF geeks (I say the term with love, I am one) Advent Children was the movie they were hoping the Spirit Within would be. Advent Children (a direct sequel to the game FF7) isn't exactly good and its incomprehensible to outsiders, but it is great fanservice.

Last but not least, the first Silent Hill movie was a fun horror film that stayed remarkably faithful to its creepy source material (the first three Silent Hills are classics) up until the end bit, which went really, really off the rails.

Anthony said...

For the uninitiated, when I say, FF, I mean Final Fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

I suppose it is escapist fun but when I look back at the excitement with which I greeted the film, not to mention dragging our poor mother to see it, I really cringe.

I suppose it has a kind of goofy charm to it, and I even bought the making-of book from the school book fair, but... wow. :-)

Anonymous said...

Max -

You can enjoy the photo and the links! :-)

This was actually one of two photos Andrew sent to me for my opinion. The other one was fine but I felt this one was a better match for the blog's sense of humor, such as it is!

Anonymous said...

shawn -

I agree, re: Trek. Studios tend to play it safe and besides, they're not catering to the Trek fan, they're catering to the person with no knowledge of the franchise.

Re: Mario, the movie is a bizarre curiosity and I can't recommend it as anything other than that.

Re: Bond, the new titles don't seem to have any women in them but that's not the fault of the title designer - I assume they get some basic directives from the suits: "We want to see more of X and less of Y," that sort of thing.

I LOVE Saul Bass and, as a wannabe graphic design student, I imagine his name will come up in the future. Our teacher this past semester showed us the main title sequence for Anatomy of a Murder - cool stuff!

They also published a coffee table book about him last year that I managed to pick up.

Anonymous said...

Anthony -

I had forgotten there was a Double Dragon movie till I saw the Nostalgia Critic's review of it.

I remember the original Mortal Kombat movie but I don't believe I saw any of the sequels.

And of course, I have to mention the Jean-Claude van Damme Street Fighter movie, which I believe was the last role for the late great Raul Julia.

I never saw Silent Hill but I've heard nothing but good things about Wreck-It Ralph.

Anthony said...


I think there was just one MK sequel. It managed to limbo under the low bar set by MK. It used actors/stuntmen less and used completely unconvincing special effects a lot more.

The fact the abysmal live action Street Fighter was Raul Julia's last movie is sad, but at least it wasn't his worse (that honor goes to Overdrawn at the Memory Bank).

Anonymous said...

Anthony - When I read Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, I thought that was just an expression - your way of saying you couldn't remember his worst movie.

I was obviously wrong. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Since this is also going to be an open thread, I have to say that I saw In Bruges last night. I see where it is a decent film, but the anti-Americanism throughout left me cold.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I love the Final Fantasy series. Those are amazing.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, Caption away! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, LOL! I can't tell you why I enjoyed Super Mario Brothers, I just did. I'm not proud of the fact. :P

Double Dragon was horrible.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn and Scott, I'm not hopeful about the new Trek film. I struggle to like the first reboot and I just can't, and this looks like it will be a clone of that one.

Shawn, I think the Bond stuff will be interesting. Plus, it adds another day. :)

T-Rav said...

Out of curiosity, what's The Bang Bang Theory? Is that about nerds shooting each other? ;-)

Anonymous said...

T-Rav -

Sadly, no, The Big Bang Theory is NOT about nerds shooting each other.

People tell me I should watch the show but I watched one episode a few years ago and I hated it. It's not true geekery, it's pandering sanitized network TV geekery for your grandmother!

(I'm done now.) :-)

Barack Obama said...

Darn it, Joe! How many times have I told you, that's not what the Santa suit is for?!

tryanmax said...

Such a tease: I'll be honest, that preview does nothing to pique my interest in the next Trek film whatsoever. Sure, it looks flashy and all, but nothing about it says "Trek" to me. My analysis of the preview: the plant life on Nibiru is horribly evolved and terribly inefficient. Why? Because it's red. The reason most of our Earth plants are green is because that allows them to photosynthesize using the broadest portion at the center of the visible light spectrum generated from our yellow sun as refracted through our atmosphere, the yellow through blue part. Now, it's allowable that other sun/atmosphere combinations could conceivably broaden a different portion of the light spectrum. However, that does not appear to be the case on Nibiru, as its sky looks a familiar whitish color and its ocean is deep blue (i.e. reflecting a blue sky). This means that, whatever color Nibiru's sun is, by the time its light is refracted through the planet's atmosphere, it's roughly the same color as our light on Earth. Thus, the Nibiruan plant life has evolved utilizing a much narrower portion of the light spectrum in order to photosynthesize from. I'm not saying it's impossible, after all, we do have some red leafed plants here on Earth. I'm just saying that Nibiruan plants, on the whole, are dumber than ours. /nerd

Are all franchise films the same? Yep.

The list: Not much to say about that.

It's adorkable: Excuse me!? I'm sorry, but "geek" ceased being a pejorative well before 2007. Geek cred: revoked!

Digital killed the analog star: (Just how many variation of that can I come up with?) I don't mean to get all ecclesiastical, but don't ask, "why were the old days so much better?" because that's just silly. (paraphrase) So digital isn't an improvement over 35mm as an archival format? 35mm wasn't that great to begin with. A net wash. Woebegone diatribes about color balance seem trite when you consider that many of the films in question were produced without any expectation that they'd be seen beyond their original theatrical run. (And, in some case, they essentially haven't been.) The Arabs stripped the limestone off the pyramids to build Mosques. That's sad, too.

Game Over: The Super Mario Bros. film was an unforgivable disaster. A classic case of over-thinking the project. Nintendo had already provided an opening and a character list with the game. LINK Call me crazy, but information on page 2 alone seems like enough to fill 9 minutes of screen time. Of course, the real mistake was in not casting Capt. Lou Albano in the title role.

Insert penny pun here: (yeah, I'm losing it) I gotta go with the Lincoln from Bill and Ted as the quintessential Lincoln for me. Now how come So-crates can't get more love from Hollywood?

After 50 years, don't expect him to die: As much as I hate to admit it, Roger Moore's "turn and shoot" maneuver wins. There's a remarkable consistency over the years, with Casino Royale being probably the main outlier.

Commander Max said...

Caption for the Santa pic-

The sequel machine is part of the reason I have little interest in new American films. I haven't seen anything as of late that will get me into a theater. The last film I saw in a theater was Wall E.

35mm film is only part of the problem. The reliance on computers has really crippled the film industry. The guys who really know how to make film look good, are going away. Even being pushed out because of their age. One other thing about CG effects, they are no where near as impressive as the practical effects of the old days(they still use practical effects, not that often).

tryanmax said...

As to video game movies, some of us are still waiting for Metroid. waiting... waiting...

Anonymous said...

tryanmax -

Re: tease - I can excuse multi-colored flora in a sci-fi film. I'd simply classify it under the "exotic alien world" trope. And it does look flashy but I admit the very first teaser definitely did NOT scream Star Trek - I don't think it had one shot of outer space in it.

Re: franchise films - Just askin'. :-)

Re: the list - It's not for everyone but it's worth perusing to see what Hollywood is interested in. There are some cool-sounding projects there.

Re: adorable - Geek creed revoked? Perish the thought! :-) Besides, the media will always use "nerd" and "geek" interchangeably… like they care. But I admit it sucks having been a geek when it was still a pejorative!

Re: digital - I think the big problem isn't "digital" itself but the studios who are apparently rushing to go all-digital when there are still kinks to work out. And yeah, as a storage medium, it has problems of its own.

Re: games - Wow! I don't think I've seen that instruction manual in almost 20 years. Thanks for the link! I still think they can do a Mario movie now with the technology at their disposal. And yeah, gotta love Capt. Lou. I remember an episode of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show which featured an Inspector Gadget cross-over (with Maurice LaMarche clad in a trenchcoat doing his Don Adams impression).

Re: penny - Don't you mean So-Crates Johnson? :-) (That's how they introduced him to Bill's mom.)

Re: Bond - I like 'em all, though I'm hoping they finally put the gun barrel back at the beginning for the next film.

Anonymous said...

Max -

I'm kinda the same way with superhero movies. There are just so many of them out there now that, at least to me, each one is less and less special. They used to be an event; now they're as common as Starbucks!

CGI can look as good as the old practical effects (to an extent) but the problem is that not every CG artist knows how to pull it off and not every director knows what the hell he's talking about!

Or to put it another way, CGI just has its own set of problems but it takes more than programming talent to make things look good. Veteran FX people always tell the new kids, "Go outside! Study light and nature!"

There was a great effects roundtable discussion a few years ago for Cinefex Magazine and believe me, a lot of folks in the industry are frustrated, too. I sent a transcript of this discussion to Andrew a while back and I hope he writes a piece about it.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I'm waiting for the granddaddy of them all -- PONG. I can't wait to see Pong on the big screen.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I very much want to write about that effects roundtable, but just haven't had the chance to summarize it. I've read it, but haven't summarized it meaningful.

And it is indeed loaded with tremendous surprises and insights.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

I look forward to it. :-)

And since this is an open thread... computer problem was fixed and they did exactly what I expected them to do. I re-downloaded all my apps and we're good to go.

And I'm currently prepping three reviews, more or less simultaneously. I've got one DVD ripping and another DVD in the player so I can peruse the extras.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm glad you solved the problem. I hope this teaches you never to trust what the manual. :P

I'm working on the James Bond articles. Sadly. I need to start with the worst, so these have been rather harsh reviews.

Commander Max said...

CG can look good in the right hands, but that's the trick.

I know the frustration of the industry having friends there. One them is all into CG, he has created a number of things in the sci-fi world you know well. But he is one from the old school. Another friend(where I met the old CG guy)is a close friend, and often states he has to tell his old friend, "Lets shoot 'REAL' models".

AndrewPrice said...

Max, This roundtable discussion Scott is talking is really fascinating. I would estimate it's about 100,000 word discussion by all the big names in the industry. And the things they say are eye-opening. They seem to understand all the frustrations of the audiences and they talk about these are things they don't want to do, but the studios and directors basically dump it on them to do with poor planning and inflated expectations and simply not knowing how to shoot effects films.

It's really a great discussion.

Unfortunately, I can't find the link at the moment. Maybe Scott can post it again?

Anonymous said...

Andrew and Max -

It's here.

It's a little hard to follow at first and there are a few typos but it's very informative.

And you want to see something really cool? A British author is revisiting every back issue of Cinefex, looking back at every article and showcasing some of the old school FX on display.

Check it out.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Scott.

FYI, SciFi Channel is doing a Star Trek film marathon if anyone is interested.

Anonymous said...

I liked the Star Trek reboot a lot but can understand why hardcore fans didn't like it enough so I'm looking forward to the next one.

As to franchise films being the same, isn't there are saying that there are only seven
stories in the world? So why would franchise films be any different?

I never got the American Geek thing, I liked both sport and fantasy/SF and I never thought of myself as a Geek and cannot remember being called one. I have different interests some which I suppose are considered Geekish, some not, I don't need to belong in another group.

I stayed far away from Super Mario Bros. As a rule movies made from games usually suck, but I thought the best one by far was Resident Evil and it even had pretty good sequels. I didn't mind Mortal Kombat, I actually liked Doom as a trashy B-Grade action movie, Far Cry was a great game that Uwe Boll turned into a really shitty movie, though he did that to quite a few video games. DOA was a perv fest with some pretty good action and Hitman was average.


AndrewPrice said...

Scott, You don't have nerds in Australia?

I thought Resident Evil was great, but the sequels got progressively worse. Doom is a guilty pleasure of mine. Very few games translate well though.

T-Rav said...

Yeah, I noticed that Star Trek marathon a little while ago. Whales? Are you kidding me?

AndrewPrice said...

You didn't know about the whales?

Besides, what's wrong with whales. They're tasty and they keep you warm if you light them on fire. Who could ask for more than that?

Anonymous said...

Scott/Anon -

Re: franchise films, I agree that there are only a handful of stories so these movies will end up similar to each other, BUT it's not just the stories - it's the marketing, too. Every big blockbuster movie is seemingly marketed the same way, with the same editing, and the same music. And Star Trek and The Dark Knight Rises both seem to feature anarchist villainous hellbent on destruction, with talk of "vengeance" and "a reckoning," etc.

Don't worry about the geek thing: labels are labels and at the end of the day, who cares? Of course, people seem to argue nowadays about who's a "real geek/nerd/etc." versus a "fake" one.

I haven't watch a lot of video game movies. They usually just don't interest me, regardless of their video game origins.

Anonymous said...

T-Rav -

Yes, whales! Star Trek IV is a little dated at times and a little too cutesy at others but it's a lot of fun, and was the highest-grossing Trek film until the reboot.

K said...

Are all franchise films essentially the same now?

Yeah, but it could be worse. I figure we're about due now to go back to franchise films with in yer face - or buried in the subtext - left message plots disguised as "blockbusters".

= Steven Seagal

.. it's pandering sanitized network TV geekery for your grandmother!

Amen. The worst part is, as a licensed geek myself I get co-workers telling me over and over I should watch it.

AndrewPrice said...

K, I hate that. There is nothing worse than a wannabe trying to tell someone who actual is XX that they should like some sanitized herd-based show about XX because it really represents XX. Jerks.

Hmm. Re-reading that, I wish you luck following my sentence! LOL!

Anonymous said...

K -

Amen, indeed!

As for the Seagal reference, I assume you're referring to On Deadly Ground? I suppose if you're gonna include a message in your movie, you might as well make the movie really good or laughably bad. :-)

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

I got it. :-)

What bothers me is that: a.) the show still contributes to the stereotype of "smart = awkward" and b.) many of the geek references are just that - references.

"They mentioned Linux. It's like they know me!" ;-)

Anonymous said...


Yes we have nerds, but I didn't hear Geek or the other titles except for
American movies/tv. I got called a nerd sometimes at school as I did my work and got good grades and most of the other guys were just waiting until they could leave school and start their apprenticeship, but I would still go out and play sport with the same guys at lunch time.

It's just that I never saw myself as one thing "a geek", I'm me. Some
of the things I like could be called Geek, some not. To me it's like someone whose entire identity rests on their sexuality "I'm Gay", ok but I'm sure there is much more to you then that. Or someone who identifies as their race "I'm African American/Mexican American/Aboriginal etc", again that is only a part of them but they put that up as their whole identity.


I still don't mind about the franchise films, mostly superhero movies being very similar, as said in Unbreakable a superhero needs a super-villain. If they bring out a new Hulk Rom/Com where he is trying to get his relationship to work around his predilection of turning into a huge green rage monster and he doesn't fight any really bad guys then it'll be pretty boring. Or an Iron Man Court Procedural movie where Tony Stark is suing the government to keep his inventions out of the governments hands. Or a Hawkeye sporting movie spinoff where he competes in the Olympics in Archery, superheros need a super-villain and that limits the types of movies they can make. I don't know much about marketing so I cannot comment on that, I guess its the same so as not to confuse people.

I also never got the labels and who is authentic or who is fake. I used to go to rock, punk, metal, hip hop concerts when I was younger and I always wore the same type of cloths. But I would notice a large percentage of people wore the cloths of that scene (jeans, black t shirt and long hair for metal etc). But I wasn't only a fan of metal or punk I like bits of it all so I didn't want to be just part of that scene. Maybe I missed out on something, but maybe it would have kept me from doing other things. Maybe I'm thinking too much about it.


K said...

ScottDS: I assume you're referring to On Deadly Ground?


Also "Fire Down Below": Seagal as a Captain Planet EPA enforcer against E-vil businessmen polluters as well as "The Patriot" where he takes on E-vil gun owning militia members.

I'm sure there are others.

I actually liked him in "Machete" which is a actual parody rather than an unintentional one.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, The "geek" thing came later -- I'm thinking 1990s? It was an attempt to escape the world nerd by creating a new category for people who are nerdy in taste but aren't nerd in look and personality (like the guys in Revenge of the Nerds). Since that time, I think the two words have both gone positive for the most part. Indeed, I've met many women who are actively looking for nerds.

Personally, I agree with you, I don't define myself by one trait, but a lot of people do for whatever reason.

Kristina said...

love checking out the links as always.
Merry Christmas all! best wishes for joy, health & happiness and more of same for 2013.
cheers, faithful reader (if not commenter!)

Anonymous said...

Why do these things happen at the same time?

Jack Klugman and Charles Durning both passed away yesterday.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I would say that clearly, Santa is like some sort of grim reaper of celebrities.

Anthony said...

Saw Django Unchained yesterday. I like watching all Tarantino movies at least once, but some I don't go back to because they drag in places (Tarantino is a wonderful writer, but sometimes he has clever dialogue for the sake of clever dialogue).

Django will join Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill on my shelf once it hits bluray. Its filled with great dialogue (I loved an argument a Klan lynch mob had), strong performances and bloody action. Most people die fast, but there are a couple very slow deaths.

Anonymous said...

Anthony -

Glad you liked it! I'm sure I'll see it eventually. A friend of mine was supposed to see it the other day but didn't feel well.

tryanmax said...

I saw Django over the holiday, as well. I'm more of a Reservoir Dogs Tarantino fan, so I can't say that this one really did it for me. Worth a once-though, doubtless, but like Kill Bill, I'm in no hurry to see it again.

The Klan scene was funny, though! And the blue suit Django picks for himself! LOL!

Anthony said...


The blue suit was hilarious. Humor popped up at weird moments in Django.

AndrewPrice said...

I'll see it, but I'm not excited about it. To me, Tarantino has been slipping as he's tried to find more outrageous ideas to keep standing out. I really despised Inglorious Basterds.

Anonymous said...

Two more deaths...

Film composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett

I'm not that familiar with his work but I LOVE his theme for Sidney Lumet's Murder on the Orient Express

Also, Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson

Anthony said...

I didn't have a problem with the concept of Inglorious Basterds, but it was too talky for me (the fact a good chunk of the conversation was about films didn't help).

Also, while killing Nazis (and of course, Hitler) is fine and good, I thought the movie letting the main villian of the movie (the guy who was hunting down Jews and who killed the woman who was helping the Basterds) get by with mere mutilation was a mistake.

tryanmax said...

I know there isn't a lot of love for Seth McFarlane in these parts, but I thought I'd report on Ted, which I saw last night, anyway. Unsurprisingly, it was little more than a drawn-out, live-action version of a Family Guy episode starring characters you don't recognize. That isn't to say I didn't laugh at parts, but it was mostly at the cut-away gags. Oh yeah, and it came complete with cut-away gags, so...

I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone who doesn't like McFarlane's other work. Ted is just an annoying jerk. Marky-Mark's character is completely unlikable. Mila Kunis' character isn't believable. I was actually rooting for Joel McHale's to scoop the girl. Also, it's not for anyone easily annoyed by a Bah-stehn accent. (Yikes!) But if the idea of an oversexed teddy bear who smokes pot, drinks like a fish, and picks up hookers is funny to you, go for it!

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

tryanmax, I saw Ted, about a week ago, I feel the same way as you, but I kinda liked it, surprisingly. It was like an R-rated Disney movie! Yeah, the stuffed bear can be quite unpleasant at times, but the movie's warmth and heart made up for it. I actually find McFarlane funny when he isn't making political and religious jokes, which this movie is thankfully free from.

I'll report on the two movies, I saw today.

First I saw "Safety Not Guaranteed". I thought it was a decent enough movie. I had enough heart and the concept was there. The story was unique but it just wasn't properly executed. I loved the first half, it was very engaging, then they dropped the ball on the very lazy second half. Besides the two main characters (played by Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass), the others just weren't engaging, their scenes were just a waste of time. Plus the movie was also a little too hipster for my taste...
2.5 stars out of 5

Then I saw "Beast of the Southern Wild". It was very good, but over hyped by the critics. The movie was very imaginative, poetic, and very human. It was both depressing and heart-warming at the same time. The whole movie was beautifully shot! This film proves, you don't need a big budget make a film look good.
3.5 stars out of 5

Anonymous said...

tryanmax -

I'll see Ted eventually. I could take or leave McFarlane - I think he has talent but he also, uh, overindulges himself... a lot. I watched Family Guy for a while and for me, the only funny parts were the cut-away gags - I couldn't care less about the actual "plot."

Anonymous said...

Snape -

Safety has been on my radar for a while but, with few exceptions, I have no love for "hipster" things so we'll see...

Beasts is one of those movies that I've only heard about in passing - I haven't read anything about it, I haven't seen any ads for it, and no one I know has even heard of it... yet it's there. Cinefex did a story on the film's visual effects which seem decidedly low-tech and DIY in nature. I might check it out just on that basis.

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