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Goodbye Childhood: Toy Story 3 Reactions June 22, 2010

Posted by Zack in Movies, Pop-Culture.
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This is not a review for Toy Story 3.  This is merely my reaction to seeing it and how much it seemed to (oddly enough) affect me. Having said that there are spoilers in the article about the film.  If you haven’t seen it yet and intend to then I urge you not to read this until then.  Otherwise, please enjoy. (more…)

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Twilight’s Bite Doesn’t Break The Skin November 21, 2008

Posted by Zack in Movies, Pop-Culture.
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First and foremost, I will not make any excuses for why I went to see Twilight at the midnight showing.  I’m a huge pop-culture guy and an even bigger film buff so I need to see everything, regardless of the project itself.  The way I see things is how can I have an opinion about films if I don’t see them?  For instance, I personally hate Paul WS Anderson films with a passion but I try to see everyone one because I can’t say he;s one of the worst writers/directors in the business without seeing all he’s done.  Well shit… looks like I’m making an excuse… fuck it, who cares.

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The Batman VS Batman November 12, 2008

Posted by Zack in Everything Else, Movies, Pop-Culture.
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Alright, this really isn’t what I usually talk about on here but I find it ridiculous, so naturally, it’s going on the damn blog (also, I find it equally ridiculous that in spell check, the word “blog” is apparently misspelled… in my blog.  This is the same logic that enables one to download an illegal version of Limewire Pro from Limewire basic.  I’ll never understand technology).  So, I was checking my geek websites this morning when this headline caught my eye.

Batman sues Batman.
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Indiana Jones and the Questionable Script May 22, 2008

Posted by Zack in Movies.
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I love Indiana Jones, I watched them before I could read. While other kids were playing outside, I remember my mother and father watching ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ in the living room and me laying on my stomach towards the TV, mesmerized by the adventure. I remember my father purchasing ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ on VHS with it’s glazed black cover, and putting it in for the first time. Nazis were the number one enemy in my head as a child, the second was shredder, and the third was Darth Vader. I could go on but it’s completely uninteresting and even I don’t care. Temple of Doom? Not my favorite Indiana Jones movie, though it kicks ass.

I saw ‘Indiana Jones and The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull’ tonight and I’m not impressed.

Okay, first and foremost, I’ll just get this out of the damn way. Yes, Harrison Ford is old, but damn, once he starts fighting and kicking Russian ass, he’s in top form. The age difference from him in the last film and now was absolutely nothing to me. Also, the action, great, I mean really great. There’s a huge sequence in the jungle I won’t talk about but you just have to see it, just awesome. Now on to the complaints/the things that out weighed the good.

  1. Indy doesn’t fire one damn gun the entire movie. Seriously, he always has one, never fires a bullet. The only time he comes into contact with one is so he can take it apart. I LOVE the scene in ‘Crusade’ where Indy is fighting the Nazis on the tank, picks up a German gun and fires it, killing three people with one bullet. The thing is he had no qualms in the other movies pulling out a gun and killing everyone in the room. None. In fact he kills a man rather than fight him with a sword. It’s a fucking staple of Indiana Jones films. But not this one. In fact, we don’t even see Indy crack that whip he’s known for. I was just disappointed.
  2. The lack of development for anyone else in the movie besides Mutt and Indiana. It’s almost as if the filmmakers were like, “yeah, fuck it, everyone will see it, we don’t need to try on this one. Bring back Marion, that way no one will have questions.”
  3. The whole opening was great for me, except for the second half. I’m not gonna say why it’s horrible, but let’s just say… it’s explosive.
  4. This is the main problem I have with the film itself. The crystal skull. Now, if you didn’t already know this, Crystal Skulls exist and there are supposedly thirteen but only eight have been found. Now, according the Mayan legend (seriously) if all thirteen are brought together, some pretty cataclysmic stuff happens. End of the world and such… you get the idea. Now, this film decided it would build upon something that not only exists, but I can go see in London, New York, and France. It’s obtainable, which really takes away the magic for me. The beauty of the earlier movies is the fact that the things he searched for had been talked about for centuries and centuries and though they had been rumored as true, there was no clear evidence of the Ark or Holy Grail actually existing. This set the bar incredibly high. We were already set for an adventure, to see things we’d never seen, to follow clues through impossible traps, to fight our way out of any situation because the survival of the free world laid solely on Indy’s shoulders. It was something I’d never seen. Now, the crystal skulls exist, I can see them, which already took away the wonder of it all. Not to mention the world isn’t at stake in the slightest. Yes, we learn of the Crystal Skulls. Yes, the Russians want it for a reason I will not disclose. Yes, Indiana is, for some reason, wanting to return the skull to it’s temple. Is it compelling? No, not in the slightest. Indiana finds the skull pretty early on in the film and spends the whole movie trying to protect it. I just didn’t buy a sense of urgency. The Russians want the skull so they can return it to the temple. Right? Indiana has the skull. Right? Isn’t the Russian’s master plan foiled is Indy just buries the damn thing? Seriously, there’s literally no reason why he is bringing it to the temple, unless, of course, I simply overlooked it. I dunno. This is mostly the point where the whole movie fell apart for me.

All in all, was it good? I dunno really. It was entertaining, really entertaining but it didn’t meet the bar that was set so high with the earlier films. Instead of created new and amazing worlds, it just made me miss the old ones that much more. It was good enough to see in theaters, but not to own. The movie was watchable and I enjoyed it BECAUSE it was about Indiana Jones. Without him though, the film is nothing more than fool’s gold.

Well, I’m Twenty-Two Years Old… November 6, 2007

Posted by Zack in Everything Else, Movies, Pop-Culture, Television.
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I’m twenty-two years old and it doesn’t feel any different. At all… it’s nice, to an extent, except the only one I have to look forward to is the 25th birthday (I can then rent a car, in which I promptly will). All together, I had a wonderful birthday, I got drunk, had a wonderful dinner, got good presents, and finally finished my James Bond collection. That’s right, it doesn’t sound like much but it took me 6 1/2 years to find them all, individually and not in a huge box set. I’m stoked, now I own all 21 James Bond movies, even the “Sir James Bond” movie ‘Never Say Never Again’. It’s a crapfest but hell, I’m a completists. What are you gonna do, right?

Heroes this season blows something fierce. Gone in the wonderful character development, gone is the kick ass villains, gone in the wonderful battles that jump started the show when it was in a downward spiral. Gone, gone, gone. The latest episode that aired tonight is promising, but it’s too much drama for me. More action, less drama. I tune in to watch superheroes fight and save the world, if I wanted drama, I’ll rewatch Dawson’s Creek.

The writer’s strike is killing me. The office is officially shut down, 30 Rock is shut down, Heroes filmed a new ending for the December 3rd episode that will double as a season finale if the strike isn’t resolved in time. Battlestar Galactica is puched back from December to April, which pisses me off because dammit, I’ve waited long enough, I want more cylons! The Daily Show is officially shut down and so is Colbert. The thing I’m most worried about is my two favorite shows of the new season, Chuck and Reaper, might go on hiatus, leaving me with literally nothing to watch. Dammit, just when Chuck was getting good… All I have now is fucking reality shows and I hate that shit with a passion. Frack reality TV.

I’m really, REALLY, excited about fall movies coming out this year (They will be followed by the trailers). First and foremost, the one I’m most looking forward to…

1. No Country For Old Men: The Coen Brothers have, for the most part, not disappointed me. And what is making a huge comeback? Westerns! Yes! I love westerns so much, 3:10 To Yuma kicked major ass and I’ve got huge hopes for ‘No Country’.

2. There Will Be Blood: When I first heard of this, i thought it was a cheap Saw rip-off. It’s anything but though and written by my favorite screenwriter Paul Thomas Anderson, the amazing writer/director of Magnolia and Boogie Nights… I’m so excited, plus, who doesn’t like Daniel Day Lewis….

3. American Gangster: I love Russell Crowe as an actor. He’s my go-to guy for wonderful movies (except for that shitty movie where he got drunk and drank wine for two hours). Plus, Denzel Washington is also a strong actor, how can this movie not be good? Seriously?

4. Beowulf: Who deosn’t love Beowulf? Out of all the books and tales we read in high school, this one stood out above the rest, leaving me wishing I could fight monsters and be bad-ass. I can’t wait for this movies, besides, Robert Zemeckis has a wonderful eye and I want him to make a comeback.

5. The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford: I saw Casey Affleck in ‘Gone Baby Gone’ and was blown away by his performance. He’s a wonderful actor who can steal scenes like no other and it’s nice seeing him in something thats not n ‘Ocean’s’ movie. Plus, Brad Pitt seems like an obvious choice for Jesse James and apparently is amazing. I know, it’s already showing, so is American Gangster, these are the movies I haven’t seen but want to so incredibly bad.

Well, that’s all for me tonight, it’s late.. well, not really but my body thinks it is due to the time change… Goodnight.

Top 5 Favorite Theatrical Experiences: #4 July 14, 2007

Posted by Zack in Movies, Pop-Culture.
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#4:  Serenity

I’m not entirely sure if you now this.  It might come as quite a surprise to everyone reading… but I’m somewhat of a movie buff.  Well, I wouldn’t call myself a buff so much as a fanatic.  Watching a good movie to me is a wonderful experience where I’m on the edge of my seat, wondering what the hell is gonna happen next (redundant anyone?).  Maybe I’m starting this in the wrong place.

Back in 2002 a show aired on Fox “we cancel everything within five episodes” Network called “Firefly.”  This was a tough sell.  It was a space western that was initially not supported by neither the critics or the audience.  It was written, produced, and created by mastermind Joss Whedon, the creator/writer/producer/director of Buffy and Angel.  I know, I’m kinda geeking out but who cares, I love me some Buffy and Angel.  I wasn’t aware of these wonderful shows at the time due to Georgetown not having The WB or UPN.  I was kinda in the dark.  But no fears.  After the first episode aired on Television my little brother, Trey, ran into my room and enthusiastically explained why this Sci-Fi show is so damn cool.  He went on for about twenty-minutes about how awesome it was.  After bringing him down to a cooled state, I took his word for it and vowed to try and catch it next week.

I set up the VCR to catch this show and went to rehearsal (I think I was doing Our Town) and ran home to watch the episode.  The thing was, I was really confused.  I know I had missed one episode but damn, I missed all this character development and knew absolutely nothing about this world these characters lived in.  I slowly caught on and began to understand more and more.  Then, I was hooked.  I watched it a couple of more times, then got busy, then Fox, after 11 episodes, cancelled the show suddenly.  But it was too late.  The critics loved it, the fans loved it and it now garnered a full fledged cult following.  The DVD box-set was released and quickly became one of the quickest selling DVD box-sets ever.  Suddenly, the studios began to take notice.  It took four years of struggling and bartering with studios but Joss Whedon had finally made his Firefly movie that wraps up the series.  Serenity.

The film was set to release, the trailers were up, and I was so fucking excited.  My friends and I bought the box-set of the series (a mere 14 episodes) and after watching them, realized Fox’s dire mistake.  They aired the damn episodes out of order, leading many people and I, to be really confused about the plot.  Stupid fuckers.  First they fuck Futurama in the ass, then Family Guy (a show which should not have been brought back) and then I discovered they raped Firefly.  I officially hated Fox at this point.  But no worries, Universal was releasing the movie, not Fox, so I knew it was the film that Joss Whedon wanted to make.

We all wore our Browncoats and arrived at the theater.  I was actually really sick, vomiting and couldn’t stop coughing, but dammit, I was watching this fucking movie.  I’d never seen so many Browncoats in one room.  It was insane, the air was full of anticipation and every was discussing “Firefly” with sudden urgency.  The movie suddenly started with barely a whisper of previews and the adventure had begun.  This film was everything I wanted from a sci-fi without all the whiny bullshit that plagued the new Star Wars trilogy.  Everyone cheered the main character with every fight he won/lost.  It was amazing, we clapped, we all cried and with the death of main characters, everyone screamed at the screen in unison with a thunderous, “NO!”  It was single-handedly the geekiest experience I’d ever had in a movie theater.  And dammit, it was so much fun.

Harry Potter And The Regal of Chaos July 12, 2007

Posted by Zack in Everything Else, Movies.
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Tuesday was an odd night. it began slowly with us getting out of rehearsal later than we’d imagined. I scrambled to get out of Studio Player’s and gave quick directions to a friend who had no idea where the hell we were going. I through it ‘Let It Be’ and began to roll.
I just knew it was going to be a good night, but there was trouble on the horizon. After a quick stop at Wendy’s for a last minute attempt at dinner, I arived at the theater fifteen minutes early. it was glorious. Geeks as far as the eyes could see. Staring at the blank screen, waiting patiently for something to happen. The, it finally did. The movie began and it was pure magic. I was sucked back into this darker world and was happy to be a part of it, when the lights came back on… and the movie disapeared.
Everyone flipped the fuck out. I mean everyone, people got up and ran out fo the theater and there was laughter/horror lingering in the air. It permeated the mood and suddenly it was exactly like before. Geeks as far as the eye could see. Staring at the blank screen, waiting patiently for something to happen. Fifteen long minutes went by before the film picked up… but it didn’t pick up where it left off, suddenly it was further into the film, and we’d missed something.
Luckily, I pulled a tool out of my utility belt. When i say utility belt, i mean my brain… and when i say brain, I mean the saving account for all my pop-culture knowledge. I thought back to the book and tried to remember the 800+ pages I had read over two years ago. it wasn’t working too well. But I finally caught up and everyone forget Regal Cinemas attempt to ruin our “geeking out.”
But Regal Cinemas had just begun….
*ODDLY OMINOUS MUSIC BLARES*
The films was finally taking off, shit was about the hit the fan and the scene I waited for during the whole movie was about to unfold itself… When the fucking movie shut off… again.
The decision had been made and it was the wrong one. Regal Cinemas had declared war on all of Theater 11’s Harry Potter fanbase.
Now… Let me explain something to you. As i sat in my seat, staring around the theater, dozens and dozens of hate consumed Potter fans dove out of their seats as their black cloaks followed obediatly behind them. Wands high into the air, they decended onto the beaten path that ultimately bottlenecked into what us muggles call the “lobby.” I, of course, followed suit both out of anger and curiosity of what these people intended to do with their plastic wands. I stood back and watched from a pillar in the lobby. My friend’s Ryan and Kathlene had left at this point, promising to make a return venture the next day and demand reimbursment for their mud blood* film. My friend and I watched, patiently and admittingly enough, wonderfully entertained at the sudden chaos. People were searching the theater for someone to talk to, someone to complain to, someone to give an explanation… by explanation i actually mean free passes to the next day’s showing. I glanced to my left and spotted an overwieght woman, standing in front of the employees only door, screaming and knocking rather annoyingly. “Open this door and get out here you cowards!” she screamed bravely. I wanted to see what would happen but someone tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a sheet of paper.
I glanced down and in my hand I held a Regal Cinemas Performance Evalution. Apparantly one of these Potter fans were so pissed, they found some, took around 70 and began to pass them out unapologetically. It wasn’t enough we were getting a free movie, he had to take down Regal Cinemas too. I crumbled up the paper and threw it away in the trash. There’s no purpose of holding onto something I was realistically never gonna use.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted it. Movement behind the main desk in the lobby as a gun-shy manager sheepishly appeared branishing free ticket stubs. I proceded to take my ticket stubs and made my way outside. This is where I saw the TV news station, seemingly waiting for me. They interviewed me and it came out okay, granted, they only used one tiny bit, but damn, I really wish I would have seen the rest of the movie…

Top 5 Favorite Theatrical Experiences July 8, 2007

Posted by Zack in Movies, Pop-Culture.
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I don’t know why I’m doing this, maybe Cory’s gigantic favorite albums of all time list has inspired me to do something significantly smaller in comparison… maybe I’m just sitting at work, have an hour to burn, and have nothing else to do. Anyways, here is a list of my top ten favorite theatrical experiences of all time. Remember, these are not necassarily good movies, but the experience of watching them in theaters will stick with me forever.

5. King Kong (2005)

This film holds a very special place in my heart for more than a couple of reasons. One, it’s actually really fucking good, if not better than the original. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original, I’ve probably seen it a 1000 times as I watched it over and over on a now worn out VHS before the age of 13. I love the original and was really worried when the remake was announced. But trust me, if you haven’t seen it, please, go out and rent it and watch it on the biggest screen possible. It’s more than worth your time. The film clocks in at around 2 hours and 45 mins but it’s three acts fly by so quickly.

What am I doing? I’m loosing my focus. Where was I? Ohh yeah, okay, so back to the theatrical experience. I saw it on the midnight showing withm y friends. We were all very excited as we sat entirely too close to the screen. The previews promised a “good geek year of movies” and then it happened, the movie began. The larger than life opening credits gave me something to look forward to, as I looked from a 45 degree angle. The plot began and the character introduction took center stage. People in the theater began to talk, which is my biggest goddamn pet peeve ever. They continued to do so until the ship crashed into Skull Island. I will never forget this particualar scene because there is a shot that shows the ship (through the glory of widescreen) do a complete 180 in less than five seconds with a sailor on the stern, holding on for dear life, coming so close to the audience it was as if he would tear out through the cloth on the wall. I was impressed…

But the talking continued. I was seriously thinking about saying something, then I remembered, if I did, I would be just like those bastards who were talking too loud. I turned to look behind me and was depressed to discover it was merely three geeks talking too loudly. Fucking bastards… save it for the “aintitcool*” talkback… I was staring at them with pure hate when I heard a large roar that seemed to overcome the theater. I turned slowly and stared in awe as all the characters had the same look. Something glorious was coming.

Enough with play-by-play. I’d be tired of reading that shit. The reason I loved this movie on the big screen is because of it’s sheer size. The movie was HUGE. If you haven’t seen it, you missed quite possibly one of the giddiest theater experiences you’ll ever have. Just, the way that the characters dove from one edge of the screen to the next with pin point accuracy caused you to rip your head from side to side just to catch all the action, it was awesome. That film was made to see on the big screen. Too bad no one did.

www.aintitcool.com My personal favorite website to recieve all my geek movie, TV and just all around entertainment.

SiCKO July 8, 2007

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Now, I like Michael Moore.  Always have, and never have I had a problem with the man.  He’s a wonderful filmmaker that brings up wonderful points in an argument.  Sure, he only shows one side of the argument, but we know the other side.  We don’t need someone telling us that rock music is why those guys murdered people at Columbine, or that Iraq is horribly evil with a dictator that openely killed his people, or that helathcare may be worse in other countries, though cheap.  We know people say these things, (though most of it is probably not so much as fact as it is fiction… Though, there is documented evidence that Hussein did kill his own people) we hear these excuses all the time.  We don’t need Michael Moore to tell us why something is evil.  It’s just pointless and a waste of time.  He tells the other sides of the stories.  Like for instance, did you know that one ladies inhaler here in America is 120 dollars a pop, but in Cuba, it’s 3.6 pesos for the EXACT medication which translates to roughly 5 cents?  It’s so ridiculous that these people that worked and saved their money, put their children through college, fought in our wars and rummaged through the 9/11 rubble to save lives, can’t get healthcare for the injuries they sustained while doing it.  But, they went to Cuba, and all they asked was for their name and date of birth.  And they were treated completely for free and one person actually came back to America with a new set of teeth.

What exactly is America doing with all that money that the insurance companies are making?  Nothing, it goes to the stock holders leaving us with more debt that we can even handle.  When, in France, people go to college for free, get time off from work from their doctors, and get paid for the time that they can’t go to work.  It’s all paid, they don’t need insurance in France, it’s all completely free.  SiCKO is about all of this.  It’s a wonderfully made film about Healthcare and HMOs in America.  And… if it were even possible, makes you almost wanna move to France because of the

A.  Better healthcare.

B.  Free College

C.  Hell, the food, the food is awesome to behold.

SiCKO is a wonderful movie that I believe that everyone should see.  Go see it.  It’s not nearly as “attacking” as Moore’s other films and more tame.  It’s really good.  Easily 3.5 out of 4 stars.

Destroying Childhood Memories, One Jason Lee Film At A Time July 7, 2007

Posted by Zack in Movies, Pop-Culture.
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Alright… I’m fine with Hollywood deciding that they need to make more movies, I’m even fine with the idea of them taking something that is older and creating something new and improved with it. Problem is, it rarely happens that way. We got lucky with Transformers and in my opinion, Scooby-Doo (Alright, I’m gonna catch alot of shit for this but dammit, I enjoyed those movies). They’ve also had some misses… okay, there were alot of misses. But here are a few that are almost guaranteed to miss the mark.

Alvin and the Chipmunks

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I can see it now. 12 Hollywood executives are painstakingly brainstorming over a large oak table, trying to discover what their summer tentpole will be. One looks at the other, his wrinkles convey years of decision making. He sighs heavily and takes a sip of his lukewarm glass of water. They’re out of ideas. The boss suddenly sits up and everyone looks up, alarmed, for this is the first time he’s moved in ten years. Dust consumes the air around him and he achingly spits out, “My grandchild, 12 years ago, watched a cartoon named Avin and the Woodchucks… Or was it Alvin?” he takes a much needed breathe, “No, I believe this goldmine was named, Alvin and the Chipmunks. Yes! They also sang, let’s make this with that new 3D animation and mix it with real life! Instead of singing, they can rap! That’s what out audiences want… rapping chipmunks who are too cool to behave.”

Now, I don’t hold Alvin and the Chipmunks as one of my favorite childhood memories but dammit, I enjoyed their hijinks’s when I was young. The chipmunk animated movie they did was so damn bizarre that I actually enjoyed it. I have fond memories of these singing Chipmunks. Why does Hollywood have to rape these memories for a cash profit? Do they really think audiences are going to show up in hordes to see this movie? It seems the studio doesn’t realize that Alvin and the Chipmunks haven’t been popular since 1992. Sounds like stellar decision making to me, you know, the kind that makes Garfield: The Movie necessary. Or better yet, the fucking sequel. Does Hollywood not learn anything from Josie and the Pussycats? We don’t give a shit about old cartoons about people dressed as animals (or in this case, curiously creepy CGI chipmunks) that sing and have high flying adventures. But, all this is horrible, but you wanna know the worst part? Jason Lee is Dave. *Sighs Heavy* Why must you ruin your career like Breckin Meyer and whore yourself out for a paycheck? My Name Is Earl is fucking awesome and I’m sure Kevin Smith is doing something he can put you into for like 20 minutes. Please don’t do this Jason… but sadly, it’s too late, another Jason Lee vehicle (kinda) is flying over the horizon… it’s…

Underdog

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I have to admit, that is a damn clever catchphrase but it won’t save the movie if it’s bad. I used to watch Underdog, I’ll admit, it wasn’t the best cartoon in the world, but it was a dog (I love dogs) who is a superhero (I love superheroes) who could fly (I love flying) and knew how to fight (I love fighting). What wasn’t there to love about this cartoon? it had everything I loved growing up wrapped up conveniently and served everyday to me on television, my babysitter and nanny for many years. Now, this movie could, theoretically, be entertaining as hell. Jason Lee is just lending his voice (which actors can do the worst movies ever by just lending their voice and most of the time it doesn’t hurt their careers) and he’s entertaining enough so I have a theory that this film could potentially be good. Throw in some ass kicking action, a crazed supervillain, and lots of jokes about dogs and sniffing each others butts and it could be entertaining.

Now, when I say could, it actually means 10% chance of good. 90% chance of bad. This could go way out of bounds quickly and completely die at the box office. This movie will ruin yet another childhood memory. You people in Hollywood sicken me… What are you gonna do next, ruin my favorite comic strip of all time?

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