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Star Trekkin Thoughts

“Well that sucked” – Me after seeing Star Trek into Darkness

Allow me to crack my knuckles and go nerd wild for a moment.

So to begin I really enjoyed the 2009 Trek movie. It was action packed, it was thrilling, it set it on a new course (see what I did there). When you look at the state of the film series, yeah it needed something new. Star Trek The Motionless Picture pretty much sums up that first trip out the gate. Star Trek 2 The Wrath of Kahn got it right. Having enough familiar things for the long term fans to enjoy but giving something new to anyone just entering this world. Star Trek 3 The Search for Spock picked up where 2 left off with the addition of looking for Spock. Then the real home run came with Star Trek 4 The Voyage Home. A film that was for everyone and the box office showed everyone loved it. Star Trek 5 came and went and the less we speak of this the better (Although Into Darkness makes me appreciate 5 a hell of a lot more) and then Star Trek 6 The Undiscovered Country was a fitting end to the original series cast. A film with intrigue, action: it was the swan song for the original series cast and a nice bridge to The Next Generation.

Then we come to the Next Generation films and really after viewing them there’s only one real good one and one decent while the rest are just bad. First Contact is the best of the 4 Next Gen flicks with the return of the Borg. Star Trek Generations had the two best Enterprise Captains meet and while the idea souinded good on paper it ultimatly didn’t have the wow factor that a meeting between the two captains should have had. SPOILER: And Kirks death was so comical Im suprised he didn’t hold a sign saying HELP ala Wild E Coyote. Insurrection would be a good two parter during the series run but it was just a small film on the big screen. And Nemesis tried to ape Star Trek 2 but failed with an unexplainable villain and a death that was cheap and pointless by the end of the film.

The death knell was ringing loudly for our beloved franchise. Even the TV shows were losing popularity. Next Gen, DS9 and Voyager all had successful runs with 7 seasons while Enterprise only eeked out 4. Perhaps Trek had run it’s course. The 5 year mission which had become a 40 year ride seemed to be ready to for dicomissioning . And for while it was gone. Like Kirk in the Tholian Web it disappeared but periodically there would be glimmers of a return in some fashion. There was talk of a movies with the the DS9 crew or even the Voyager crew but those stories were squashed. There was talk of perhaps a new series that would deal with covert missions and more cloak and dagger stuff. But once the  fans caught wind they made their disappointment known with calm and subtlety.

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Yeah something like that.

Then and idea sprang forth, one that actually had roots with Harve Bennet, the man who saved the films with the great Wrath of Kahn. It was right after the release and the less than stellar performance of Star Trek 5 where he had envisioned either a series or a film about Kirk Spock and McCoy during their Academy years. It had some traction, Paramount was intrigued by this notion. They saw it as a way of keeping the franchise going for a longer period of time. But at the end of the day the studio was worried about alienating it’s fan base with what might be perceived as usurpers to the thrones. So they scraped that idea and waited.

Enter JJ Abrams.

A work horse writer who penned scripts like Regarding Henry and Gone Fishin’ (yep he wrote that) who struck golld with such shows as Felicity and Alias. It was LOST and Fringe that made nerd fan boys wipe themsleves in excitment . He then went on to direct Mission Impossible 3 and Super 8.

Now at this point I’m not sure who came to who first but JJ and Paramount had a meeting and from there the idea of rebooting the franchise was brought up. Now this can be a tricky thing as what this basically means is starting fresh, from scratch. Creating new stories with old characters that don’t feel old but at the same time keeping their familiarity so as to not lose old fans. Its a difficult tight rope to balance on. And I get why they went this route. The cast was getting old (some dead), there was no way in Stovakor they were going down the film path with DS9 or Voyager. So they decided on the Academy years, young kirk Spock and McCoy meeting and having a grand adventure. But once again the powers that be were worried about nerd backlash having these new younger actors take these icon roles. And there was strong resistance (I will not make a Borg joke) how dare they attempt something new and fresh (might i add people were upset that they were using a whole new crew back in 1987 and that turned out to be Next Gen and it became a big hit so stuff it nerds)

So instead of a straight reboot they decided to bridge the new with the old. This would be a separate time line as Leonard Nimoy would don the ears one more time so he could interact with his younger self. Again I completely understand where they are coming from. Nimoy is Trek and having him in your film gives it that stamp of approval. It would silent some, not all but it’s a good start. I for one don’t have a problem with reboots and remakes for the most part. I know they have a built in audience and its kind of sort of a safe bet . Besides I still have the originals, so as long as they don’t Lucasify them (verb: meaning to enhance, recreate, add too an existing property and then taking away the original so you are forced to only watch the shit revised version).

Hey Chewy you won’t mind that I’ll never mention knowing you right?                                     

So Nimoy is in so what we get is Kirks father is killed before his born which changes the road he takes to command. Now we can argue all kinds of things here so I won’t belabor the point. The film is good for someones interpretation of Trek. This is not MY Trek. On it’s own its fun and rousing. It does take the status quo and completely skews it. And that’s great, I appreciate someone going into a play ground I’ve enjoyed an showing me a new way, notice I didn’t say better. Again I don’t want to be THAT nerd who complains about every little thing. BUUUUT I will say that I have some issues with the whole time line thing. Now one can argue that any change in the time line has ripple effects. What happens to one happens to all (I hate to use this as the example: A Sound of Thunder pretty clearly brought that up with the whole kill a butterfly in the past and humanity because non existant in the future.) But the whole history of Trek was so thrown for a loop that Im surprised they didn’t show Chekov and Sulu playing together in kindergarten. Just from a logic stand point half the stuff makes no sense. The biggest being Kirk getting his own command at the end when he was just a cadet at the start. I mean i know people who have excelled at their job and moved up quickly but there is still tiers one has to climb to get to the top.That would be like the mail boy doing such a good job handing out letters that the owner of the company makes him a Vice President. And don’t get me started on the highly coincidental meeting of Kirk and Spock and Scotty all on the same planet within miles of each other. But again I understand why they went this route. These Trek films are primarily made with the casual fans or newbies in mind so by the end of the film Kirk is Captain, Spock is science/first officer and everyone else is in their proper and Logical places (again see what I did there) So while there are plot holes you can fly a Death Star through (Star Wars reference, thought I’d change it up) all in all not a bad film. Until…

If Star Trek 2009 simplified things, Star Trek into Darkness is the special needs kid who rides the short yellow bus with his mittens taped to his jacket (from this time forward Star Trek into Darkness will be referred to as Ugh That Sucked)
Both films were written by the team of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who also give us two Transformers films and Cowboy and Aliens so take that as you will. Roberto Orci once said
“We always try to approach these big action movies from a place of: Could you remove the robots and the spaceships and aliens and whatever it is and take that character story and make an independent film out of that little story?” Orci told The Los Angeles Times in 2009. “If you can and then you sprinkle back in the giant robots, you have something very unique.”
So basically without the robots, Transformers is about Shia LaBouf acting like a crazy person…wow talk about art imitating life.

Proposed plot for Transformers 5.

Proposed plot for Transformers 5.

I won’t go into too much detail about Ugh That Sucked, basically if you watched Trek2009, Star Trek 2 Wrath of Kahn, a bit of Star Trek 3 and the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark then you’ve essentially seen the film. It’s such a mishmash of stuff that makes no sense topped off by the most ridiculous call back to the Spock Death scene in part 2. My best friend and I threw our hands in the air (because we didn’t care) in frustration, it was just awful.

So now we are here, in the present. While Ugh That Sucked made money, it made less money than than 2009. At the big Trek Convention in Las Vegas, they ranked all the Trek films (they even included Galaxy Quest which I thought was genius) Ugh that Sucked was ranked dead last. A non Trek film was more Trek than Ugh That Sucked and it was also beat by Trek 5 which, up until now, was considered the worst Trek film ever, not anymore. The fans were speaking loudly but Paramount either didn’t hear or didn’t care because Orci was still involved, but this time for the upcoming Trek 3 there was a lot of talk of him taking the directing chair now that JJ was off doing Star Wars. Orci has no directing experience, I have directed 2 short films and a few plays so I have more experience than this guy. But apparently there has been a bit of a shake up and Mr Oric is no longer involved (His script was tossed out a so Simon Pegg wo played Scotty is apparently co writing the film and Justin Lin, director of 4 Fast and Furious movies, will be taking the captains chair so expect a Vin Diesl cameo) This film is scheduled to be released in 2016. Now any Trek fan worth his Salt Creature knows that 2016 is the 50th Anniversary of our beloved Wagon Train to the Stars (For you non trekkers that is how the show creator pitched Trek to the studio) so the studio is going to push Sha Ka Ree and Earth to get this film in the theaters.

As a life long Trek fan I want to really enjoy anything they put out. Things can’t stay the same forever, actors get old, stories become repetitive; If we want our shows to go on fresh blood has to brought in. But with that comes things that we may not agree with but we have to be open to the change. I’m completely ok with new actors taking on these iconic roles. Pine, Quintos and Urban are fantastic as Kirk Spock and McCoy the look of the films, while feeling like you’re in an Apple Store, still feels fresh and new. They have yet to actually explore anything and that’s what I’m waiting for. I want them to go where no one has gone before and show us those strange new worlds one more time.

Until next time. Live long and prosper

Come at me ladies.

January 26, 2015 Posted by | Films | , , , | Leave a comment

Netflix Viewings

This weekend was pretty much a stay at home (for the most part) and Netflix the days away. Most of my viewings were documentaries. Here is what I checked out and some quick reviews.

Directed by William Shatner, this little docu takes a look at the lead actors of each Star Trek show. Patrick Stewart (Jean Luc Picard Star Trek The Next Generation), Avery Brooks (Ben Sisko Star Trek DS9), Kate Mulgrew (Katherine Janeway Star Trek Voyager ), Scott Bakula ( Jonathan Archer Star Trek Enterprise) and Chris Pine (James Kirk Star Trek 2009) all get their moments but with a running time of about 1:30 I felt it was a bit short to really get an idea of each actor. I think an half hour show would have given us a better sense of their lives and some of the pitfalls and triumphs. Still it was a nice little nugget for any Trek fan.

Both these film aren’t just documentaries about exploitation, they are big thank you’s with sloppy kisses and swift kicks to the nuts. Not Quite Hollywood takes you into the insane world of Ozplotation; genre films in Australia. Machete Maidens Unleashed brings us films made in the Philippines. Both these films showcase the best and worst (ok mostly worst) that came from these two countries and there are some gems out there. If you have never dipped your toe in the exploitation/ grindhouse pool then these two films can be your gateway drugs. Highly recommend them


A great film, that not only traces the rise and fall of the notorious sex club Plato’s Retreat but it also gives you a grand view of the freedom that the 70’s was known for. A time when sex wasn’t pushed down by death dealing disease and copious amounts of repressive assholes. Couples could walk in dance, have a buffet (not sure I would eat where there were free flowing bodily fluids) and engage in as much carnal pleasure as your little heart (and any other body part) desired. There were no judgments; tall, short, skinny, fat, any race, any creed if you got the nod, then you could have their bod. The interviews with former employees and patrons ran the gamut from awkward to hilarious. If you’re curious, take a peek don’t be shy and leave your inhibitions at the door.

November 23, 2011 Posted by | Films | Leave a comment

Hey Look More Oscar Predictions

Ok so I’ve been lazy.
Yes yes I know “where ya been”, “what happened to the blog, we totally missed it” I’m assuming that’s what you are thinking and even if you’re not, well, I will just live in my own little world and pretend that’s what you’re thinking.
I really can’t say why I played the invisible blogger for close to a year. I love to write. I know you can’t really count Facebook statuses or Twitter updates as writing but I always enjoyed trying to get people to laugh or put a thought in their head. But when it came to longer forms of scripture I would doubt myself. I would get an idea, start to write and think “this is shit, nobody would read this” and it gets deleted and I go back to gaining weight on my couch.

But now the drive is back, not lose weight mind you but to start putting words to paper or in this day and age watching them magically appear before my eyes. I’ve been in a holding pattern for too long and it’s time for me to get back to my love and that is writing whatever the hell I want. Actually this first blog will consist of two of my loves, and no the other isn’t vagina…that will come in a later blog. I’m talking about film, cinema, celluloid, the flickers as the old timey folk used to say.

The Academy Awards are coming up and once again I’ve decided to do something completely unoriginal, I will give you, my faithful readers (or is it reader) my thoughts as to who will take home the statue of the naked gold man. As I did last time I will tell you who I think will win, who should win and the dark horse films. Ready Kids…Oh wait before I being let me say this; the fact that Christopher Nolan, director of Inception, is NOT nominated is a travesty beyond reason and the Academy members should be forced to watch repeats of the Star Wars Prequels as punishment for this dastardly deed. Ok now that I got that off my chest, let us begin…

BEST PICTURE
Who Will Win: The Kings Speech
– Come on it’s about a stutter, it’s about a stutter who is King and he must overcome the stuttering to be taken seriously. I mean that screams “Give me the Gold!!!”

Who Should Win: Inception-A totally original film, despite the Scrooge McDuck comparisons. You are sucked in from start to finish with its action, its drama and its touches of comedy. Great stuff

Dark Horse: Toy Story 3- No Animated film has ever taken home the big prize. This film was an emotional ride from the get go and while a win would be welcomed I just can’t see this breaking the glass ceiling. But no matter what, Pixar deserves every accolade it gets.

BEST ACTOR
Who Will Win: Colin Firth (The Kings Speech)
– The Academy members are suckers for those with disabilities and add the fact that Colin Firth is a damn good actor and you are talking sure fire winner. Hell he could win 2 in a row if his next film is about an Egyptian Pharaoh with a bad case of pink eye.

Who Should Win: Colin Firth (The Kings Speech)– He did an amazing job and thoroughly deserves this.

Dark Horse: Jeff Bridge (True Grit)-Amazing performance in True Grit but I don’t see him nabbing it again from last year.

BEST ACTRESS
Who Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence
– She gave an exceptional performance. Now I have never heard of this actress but I think she’s got a bright future ahead of her.

Who Should Win: Natalie Portman– Her performance is so engaging. She makes you feel every cut, every tear and every awkward moment.

Dark Horse: Nicole Kidman- There is no denying the talent but this was not so amazing that it screams Oscar, maybe Blockbuster Award.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Who Will Win: Christian Bale
– He really knows how to transform, he virtually unrecognizable in The Fighter. He took a role that essentially was second banana and made it shine.

Who Should Win: Christian Bale– As I said above he just disappeared in this role as he does with all his roles. This is a well deserved win.

Dark Horse: Mark Ruffalo– I really like watching him, he’s very engaging and just a natural but this performance really isn’t anything special. It’s good it’s not like it really stands out from the other things he’s done. He should have been nominated for either Shutter Island or Zodiac.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Who Will Win: Hailee Steinfeld
– In my humble opinion I think she stole some scenes from both Bridges and Damon. The characters confidence and drive beamed through the screen. And it’s not the first time a child has taken the gold. I see up there with Anna Paquin and Tatum O’Neal.

Who Should Win: Hailee Steinfeld– See above. I’m too lazy to type.

Dark Horse: Jackie Weaver- Haven’t heard much about her so my guess is she did a good enough job to get nominated but doubt she will win.

BEST DIRECTOR
Who Will Win: Tom Hooper
– He won the Directors Guild award and when that happens its pretty much a lock for the Academy award.

Who Should Win (Christopher Nolan should win but since he’s not even nominated):
I am going to break a rule (and since it’s my blog I can) and say that Im split between Tom Hooper for Kings Speech and David Fincher for The Social Network. Both were able to take rather mundane topics; a kings stutter and Facebook and create enthralling and very entertaining movies. I will probably always lean more towards Fincher just because I’ve loved all his films and he just keeps getting better. But I’ll be happy with either one taking it home

Dark Horse: The Cohen Brothers– They won in 2007 and while True Grit is a good movie I don’t see it as a “Wow what an amazing” film.

Best Screenplay Adapted (Might I point out. I was using the Academy Award website to remind me who was nominated and the screenplay awards were listed below sound mixing and visual effects. That’s how much respect writers get)
Who Will Win: Aaron Sorkin
– He is an amazing writer, from a Few Good Men to the West Wing (and his other TV credits) to this. Who cares how accurate it is. When you hear the dialogue you are hearing the words of a master craftsman just like David Mamet and Shakespear.

Who Should Win: Aaron Sorkin– No need to repeat myself.

Dark Horse: Toy Story 3– I can’t recall any animated film taking home this prize. It would be nice to see it happen but I just don’t think it will be this year.

Best Screenplay Original:
Who Will Win: The Kings Speech
– A film that is the front runner for best picture, best director and best actors can, in no way, leave out the writer because guess what..without the writer there wouldn’t have been a picture.

Who Should Win: Inception– Give Nolan something. This film was a masterpiece of writing and filmmaking.

Dark Horse: Another Year– A film that really hasn’t been talked about that much. Although it would be nice to see an unknown take it home.

Ok so that’s it. I highly doubt anyone care who I think will win best sound mixing or set design and I’m sure most of you don’t care either and that’s ok. I hope to keep on writing and keeping you entertained.

See ya.

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Films | Leave a comment

Legion

I can’t recall the last time I saw a film where Angels were the bad guys, in fact I think Michael with John Travolta was the last time an Angel terrified humanity. Seeing the trailer for Legion got me all jazzed and I couldn’t wait to see the terror and action unfold before my eyes. Wasn’t quite sure why an angel would need large guns but I was open to anything.

What a mess.

That’s the exact thought that came to my head about an hour into this piece of drivel. The sad thing is, I love pre, post and everything in between apocalyptic flicks. The idea that God has had it with us and is about to pull the plug put me in a giddy mood to see some angel on angel action. I thought, at the very least, I could leave my brain at the door and have a good time. But apparently I would have enjoyed this film even more if I left my eyesight, hearing and any semblance of conciseness at the door as well.

Paul Benttany plays Michael, an Angel who defies God’s proclamation that humans are to be eradicated from the planet. He comes down and promptly cuts off his wings. Why? Don’t know, but I’m sure they’ll explain. He arrives at a diner populated by the saddest bunch of sad sacks to protect the unborn child of a waitress because said child will save humanity from it’s fate. How? Don’t know but I’m sure they’ll explain.. Then Angels, who have possessed humans, attack the diner. Why are angels possessing humans? Don’t know but I’m sure they’ll explain. Then another angel, Gabriel, arrives and seems to be the only angel that can now go near the newborn baby. Why? Don’t know, but I’m sure they’ll explain. I’m guessing you’re sensing a pattern here.

And there in lies the biggest problem for me, NOTHING IS EVER EXPLAINED!!!! Now I don’t need things spoon-fed to me and not every single solitary plot device has to be google mapped for me to figure out, but give me a little something. Why do Angels inhabit humans? Why did Michael cut off his wings especially when it would have been a lot quicker to convince people he was an angel and probably made fighting his fellow angels a bit easier? Why are angels afraid of bullets? Why do angels bleed and how exactly can they die? And why is God going through with this elaborate Lex Luthor-esque plan to kill an infant when all he would need to do is just make her miscarry? People tell me I over think this kind of stuff but I can’t help it when it’s pretty blatant. It’s like the writers were slamming away on their typewriters and someone else was reading each page and went “whoa whoa don’t you think you need to elaborate on certain items” and the writers went “Ahhh screw all that explaining stuff, we are giving them kick ass angels they won’t care about shit like that” As far as I’m concerned God did punish us by allowing this film to hit the theaters.

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Films | , | 1 Comment

Avatar

Avatar is nothing short of a masterpiece. I won’t go into any detail but say what you will about Mr James Cameron; he’s insane, difficult to work with, an ego the size of Texas, but you can’t deny the man delivers. His near Howard Hughes level of perfectionism is perfectly captured with all that you see on the screen; the beautiful planet, the flora and fauna, the inhabitants themselves, all painstakingly created to make a world that we hope exists somewhere. Then you add the human element and military weaponry that would make Rambo cream his fatigues and you have the culmination of James Cameron. It just feels like everything he’s done before was just a warm up to this. You have elements of almost all his films, neatly mixed together plus a heaping helping of Dances with Wolves. The film looks beautiful, the acting is great and the action sequences totally breathtaking. I am going to make this short and sweet because quite frankly there really isn’t anything I can say without giving away stuff so I will end this by saying “Damn you Cameron, you did it again”

December 15, 2009 Posted by | Films | Leave a comment

Terminator Salvation

terminator_salvation_ver7

So I was sitting in the theater all excited about this film. While I was skeptical at first about a McG Terminator film, after seeing the footage and getting bits and pieces of what the story entailed I was hooked. Not Star Trek hooked mind you but enthused nonetheless. So the film starts, it’s 2003 and we see Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) in prison signing his body away to Cyberdyne Systems and then waking up 15 years later to find himself in a completely different world. And then finding out that he is pretty much no longer human and how he has to deal with all these new revelations. I’m starting to get into this story. And then some guy starts talking, just yammering on for no reason. I’m thinking, “ Could someone please tell this guy to shut up, he’s interrupting, what is turning out to be, a great flick” But no one said a thing and this guy kept making his comments and even did some speeches and I was getting more and more annoyed. I just wanted to reach out and strangle this guy and I would have to if it hadn’t been for one little thing; that annoying guy, interrupting a good movie was one of the characters in the movie and his name was John Conner.

Now lets get this out of the way. I didn’t hate this movie. I did enjoy most of it. I enjoyed the Marcus Wright/Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) scenes, I enjoyed the giant robot with the cycles coming out of its leg and I enjoyed the little nods to the previous movies-although the Guns N Roses song was pushing it. There were some eye catching action sequences and I was excited about getting my first glimpse into Skynet. But the one person I couldn’t get past was John Conner. Now if the stories are true; Christian Bale was offered the Marcus Wright part but decided he wanted to play John Conner. In the original script Conner only appeared in the last 3 minutes of the movie, it was primarily going to be Marcus and Kyle Reese as the main characters. So he brings in Jonathan Nolan, co-writer of Dark Knight, to beef up the Conner part. Now seeing as the same two guys who wrote The Net and Catwoman wrote the original script, maybe a pass by Nolan wouldn’t be so bad. So he beefs up the character and we get a film that feels like there are two competing story lines going on. And unfortunately the good story line is getting beat out by Bale’s ego.

The John Conner we hear about in the previous films is this, almost, mythological messiah. He’s the guy that everyone talks about, the one that battled an army of Terminators all by himself with just a pulse rifle and pair of scissors. You hardly see him but you know he’s there; pushing you to go forward and you gladly do even if it means you’ll die. The John Conner we usually see is the whiney, self absorbed little brat that makes you wonder how he could be the leader of anything, let alone the savior of man kind. The John Conner we get in this film is more mature and starting to get his footing in terms of who he is to become. But there in lies the problem. The people are following him but you never really get an idea as to why, it’s just that they follow him. They feel he’s right and the those above him are wrong and maybe it’s that simple but I felt that something was missing, a strong enough reason for everyone to just ignore orders from their higher up to follow this guy, because that’s really who he was, just this guy. And that’s what saddened me. They had a really great story going with Marcus Wright and his relationship with Reese and the relationship with Blair (Moon Bloodgood); I would have loved to see that develop. They had the makings of doing something unique with this but all the Conner stuff drags it down.

A few other little things that bugged me included; the fact that Conner didn’t seem to be suspicious about his relative ease breaking into Skynet. They seem to know he was coming so wouldn’t Skynet have had Terminators positioned everyone to blow is ass to pieces and the same with Reese, they had him but just kept him locked up. I had issue with the Helena Bonham Carter bit at the end. It’s that idea of “well it’ time to put a face on the faceless villain” They did it with the Borg and now they did it with Skynet. It’s kind of ironic since machines are taking over and trying to wipe out humans but yet a human face is their representative. Like I said I didn’t hate but I was saddened to watch a film, that had the chance of being something special, brought down by ego and by people who just couldn’t say No.

A little side Note: I read this several times and I am curious to hear what people would have thought of this. It’s the original ending. Apparently Conner was going to die. He was fatally wounded in the final assault against Skynet. He lay dying and convinces Marcus Wright to take up the mantle of John Conner. Conner dies and they graft Conner’s face on too Marcus’s skeleton ala Face Off. So in the end John Conner, the savior of Mankind, the leader of the human resistance would actually be a Terminator. I’m not sure how I would feel about that; I mean it would be balancing that tight rope between awesomely shocking and totally retarded. So if you made this far, let me know your thoughts on this.

May 27, 2009 Posted by | Films | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oh Look, Oscar Predictions, How Original

oscars

So the Oscars are upon us once again.. Now I know there are others giving their Oscar picks so I’m sorry for being unoriginal but hey I gotta throw in my 2 cents so I will pick the ones I believe The Academy will chose, the ones that should win and the dark horses. If they are not mentioned that means I wouldn’t be surprised if they won. I will only do the major categories because I really don’t think anyone cares who I pick for Best Sound editing.

BEST PICTURE
WINNER: Slumdog Millionare
It’s the little film that has been racking up the awards. I can see the Academy members giving this one the prize simply because it is such a small film that has made it’s mark and this would be the logical ending.

SHOULD WIN: Benjamin Button
An epic movie that really hit the emotional buttons (no pun intended). A film that makes you thinks about mortality and being happy with who you are and where you are at. People have said it’s Forest Gumpish but is that really a bad thing since Forrest Gump took home Best Picture, I think not

DARK HORSE: The Reader
I know this film is good but I haven’t heard much about it. Holocaust movies seem to be money in the bank when award season starts. And while Kate Winslet has been given oodles of praise, the film itself hasn’t really been given a huge push.

BEST ACTOR
WINNER: Sean Penn-Milk
The caliber of actor Penn is, playing a beloved historical character, mixed that with the current political climate regarding gay rights and this seems to me like a slam-dunk.

SHOULD WIN: Mickey Rourke-The Wrestler
Hands down one of the best performances this year. Rourke’s heart wrenching portrayal of Randy “The Ram” showed the world that he is back. Regardless of how this turns out, no one can argue the brilliant performance he gives.

DARK HORSE: Richard Jenkins-The Visitor
He is a great character actor. He was wonderful in Six Feet Under and he does a great job here. He is a first time nominee up against some heavy hitters. I see him getting out shined here.

BEST ACTRESS
WINNER: Kate Winselt-The Reader
She took home the BAFTA and Golden Globe awards. Everyone has been heaping praise upon her left and right. She is the lead actress in a holocaust movie, so with that all signs point to her taking it home.

SHOULD WIN: Kate Winslet-The Reader
I finally saw the film and she was amazing. She was riveting and is such a natural actress. She truly deserves this award, no doubt about it.

DARK HORSE: Melissa Leo-Frozen River
Suffers from the same problem as Richard Jenkins; great performance in an emotional film but still up against some powerful and better-known actresses.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
WINNER: Heath Ledger-The Dark Knight
He gave an amazing performance and he died, nuff said.

SHOULD WIN: Heath Ledger-Dark Knight
See above…

DARK HORSE: Robert Downey Jr-Tropic Thunder
He is a brilliant actor but I just don’t see this one being the film that gives him the award. He was great, no doubt, but I think his time will come in another film.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
WINNER: Amy Adams- Doubt
She did a great job in this role; you felt her inner struggle with all that was going on.

SHOULD WIN: Marisa Tomei-The Wrestler
She breathed new life into the “hooker with a heart of gold” character (yes I know she was a stripper but same difference), She projected both physical and emotional vulnerability with such ease. She deserves this one more than the one she got for My Cousin Vinny

DARK HORSE: Taraji Henson-Benjamin Button
While she did a great job in the movie I don’t see it as Oscar worthy. She really didn’t do anything that was all that eye catching.

And the rest…

BEST DIRECTOR
WINNER: Danny Boyle- Slumdog Millionaire

SHOULD WIN: David Fincher-Benjamin Button

DARK HORSE: Stephen Daltry- The Reader

BEST SCREENPLAY (ADAPTED)
WINNER: Simon Beufoy – Slumdog Millionaire

SHOULD WIN: Eric Roth- Benjamin Button

DARK HORSE: David Hare- The Reader

BEST SCREENPLY (ORIGINAL)
WINNER: Dustin Lance Black- Milk

SHOULD WIN: Jim Reardon and Andrew Stanton- WALL-E

DARK HORSE: Martin McDonagh- In Bruges

There you have it. Feel free to come back and check out how many I got wrong.

February 18, 2009 Posted by | Films | 3 Comments

Friday the 13th

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I’m not a huge slasher movie fan, I’ve nothing against them but they pretty much follow the same formula; big hulking dude with large sharp weapon stalks and kills teenagers that are just too stupid for their own good. So Friday the 13th, Halloween they’re fun to watch but that’s about it. Nightmare on Elm Street made this concept a little more unique and more interesting by adding the dream element.

When plans were made to remake Friday the 13th I was intrigued by what direction they might go. I didn’t like the Halloween re-make just because they decided to be cliché and give Michael Myers a horrific childhood, complete with a stripper mom, an abusive step father and whorish sister. I always liked the idea of him just being evil, no rhyme, no reason he was just pure evil. That to me was more frightening because, by that thought, anyone could be like him, anyone could snap at any point. So I was worried we were going to see kiddie Jason being molested by some creepy uncle who liked to play hockey thus the reason for the mask. And then there were the other problems; this couldn’t be an exact re-make of the original because at the end of it we found it was Jason’s mother who was committing the murders and, as we were taught by Planet of the Apes, you remake a film with a surprise ending and try to give a different surprise you fail miserably (Thinking how that ape’s head appeared on Lincolns body still makes my brain bleed.) And then there is the fact that Jason himself didn’t start killing until Part 2 and he didn’t have the hockey mask until Part 3 (he wore a loose fitting potato sack in Part 2) . So how do you create the familiar Icon in one movie where it took 3 movies to get to?? You slam all 3 together, that’s how. Director Marcus Nispel, whose previous work includes the re-make of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which I really liked, not only has an understanding of the material but seems to have a strong fondness for it as well. So instead of re-inventing the wheel and trying to add more than needed, he just took the important bits from the first three movies and made them all work seamlessly to create a great beginning and the resurgence of our hockey mask wearing friend.

Jason is back no doubt about it, but this one is a little improved from previous incarnations; he runs, he is more methodical, a little more of a thinker but still a killing machine (using one of the victims as bait to lure the others really showed the slight differences this Jason has over the others). Derek Mears does a great job as the new Jason; he embodies terror and dread. Now is the film good? Well it does its job. Look you don’t go to Friday the 13th to see plot twists and character development, all you want is Jason carving, killing and slaughtering and he does that. I will say the kills are a little bland but we don’t know how long Jason has been rampaging so you might want to think of this as Batman Begins with a machete. It’s a little slow at times but overall a fun popcorn flick that will make people forget that he was in Space or in Manhattan. Welcome back Mr. Voorhees.

February 15, 2009 Posted by | Films | Leave a comment

PUSH

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This was a dull movie. My girlfriend and I found ourselves dozing off from time to time, and while with other films this may cause one to lose track of what’s going on, it didn’t really matter here because nothing of significance was happening. For people with amazing metal powers they sure didn’t use them a lot and when they did the heroes always got their asses kicked. And the last 20 minutes consist of a convoluted, Ocean’s 11 style con job that by end of it I wanted someone, anyone to stick an ice pick through my head. Cool visuals but that’s about it, boring boring boring.

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Films | Leave a comment

Allow me to Geek for a minute

So here are the new Star Trek action figures that are based off the new movie

What happens when Star Trek and High School Musical have a baby

What happens when Star Trek and High School Musical have a baby

Ok I’m not looking for an exact likeness (It’s not like I’ve been waiting for a Chris Pine doll) but this is just boring. They look like Mexican knock-off’s from that exciting science fiction show Star Trik. The shirts look like those itchy wool sweaters you got from your grandmother and were expected to wear even in summer. And what is up with Kirk’s hair, it’s like he got caught in a wind storm. I hope one of the accessories is hair gel. See this is what happens when you let Abercrombie and Fitch design action figures.

January 23, 2009 Posted by | Films | 3 Comments