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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Insidious – Movie 50 of 365

insidiousThere are really three kinds of horror movies I like, zombie, schlocky slasher, and the kind like this that make being alone in the house nerve wracking. At first I thought this movie was going to be another Paranormal Activity which bored me to tears. This starts off kinda slow and predictable. A family moves into a new house and slightly odd but not too frightening things start to happen. To be a little different, in this movie one of the children falls into a unexplained coma. After that the incidences ramp up. Amazingly the family does something smart, they move. Unfortunately it doesn’t help things.

They seek help from a paranormal investigator and this is when the movie hits its stride. Not only is the psychic not stereotypical, she very straightforward. Her assistants are a bit of comic relief and really how most of us would act if saddled with this job. The otherside entities are interesting and creepy without depending so much on the jump and loud bang factor.

I wish the climatic scenes were a bit stronger but they was probably a run time issue. Also even though some of the twists were foreseeable, I still enjoyed there reveal.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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Dante’s Inferno – Movie 49 of 365

Dante's InfernoDante’s Inferno: An Animated Epic is based on the Inferno part of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. But it’s also based on a video game. I’ve never read the poem nor played the video game so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the screenplay.

This very much has the feel of Japanese anime. Which means the demons and monsters are interesting to say the least. I spent a lot of this movie just floored by the creep out factor. I had to pause several time to go “did I actually see that?”

That being said, I’m really not sure I liked it. I felt a lot was lost if you haven’t already read the poem or played the game. Specifically it was confusing why Virgil and Dante looked different through every level of hell. I assume these changes are alluding to a mental change in the character  and I can sort of understand that with Dante a bit but not Virgil.

I also don’t understand the change of the role of Beatrice in this whole matter. I know enough about the poem to know she’s different. I guess it’s the plot of the game.

Also I feel no sympathy for the main character Dante. Maybe it’s because this is the third film I’ve watched this year dealing with the Crusades but I don’t feel he really repents and gets a free pass on a lot of stuff because he’s a soldier of God.

So interesting and imaginative animation of hell and flashbacks, rushed story line (run time 84 minutes), and characters I just couldn’t give a care about. Others may have a better time of it or maybe this just isn’t that good of a movie.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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The Air I Breathe – Movie 48 of 365

airI don’t know where to start with this movie besides saying I loved it. I even liked Brendan Fraser in it.  Which says a lot considering, with the exception of the movie School Ties, I usually tolerate him at best.

The Air I Breathe connects the lives of four people who represent four emotional states, happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. The story is not told linearly which I think makes it more interesting. Sure there are a lot of movies that interconnect stories but it doesn’t mean they aren’t interesting.

Forrest Whitaker is Happiness and it’s kinda hard to believe that when you first meet him. He’s happy or at least supposed to be by American standards. He did well in school, he has a nice paying job as a businessman and he has a home. Safe, predictable life, never varying. Happy right? But a chance overheard conversation takes him down a path that will have him experience true happiness for the first time in his life in a way no one would ever suspect.

Brendan Fraser is Pleasure. Money collecting thug for a bigger thug. He doesn’t love what he does, nor does he particularly hate it. He’s pretty much shut out any emotion. But a chance meeting allows him to begin to take down the walls he’s built around his emotions.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is Sorrow. A professional singer with the stage name of Trista. She tries to escape the pain and sorrow of her past by being loved by tons of fans. But it’s not enough. Does she ever find happiness or is sorrow always for her to bear?

Lastly Kevin Bacon is Love. A doctor who seems to have everything but someone to share it with. Love seems to be constantly taken away from him. When the love of his life is about to be taken away permanently he goes to great lengths to prevent this.

I think the storyline interweaves very well and the pacing while somewhat slow really isn’t a problem. This is a great cast and I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this movie before finding it on Netflix. It pulled me in from the beginning but that may have just been that I find Forrest Whitaker an excellent actor. But I also think what also makes this movie enjoyable is how writer/director Jieho Lee expertly uses visuals and voice-over to make you feel like the movie is a conversation with the audience.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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Iron Sky – Movie 47 of 365

Iron SkyYou know how they label Dr. Strangelove a comedy but it isn’t really funny and more than a little bit thought provoking?  The same is true of the movie Iron Sky.

First things first, suspend all disbelief before watching this movie. Most, if not all, of this movie isn’t remotely plausible, but that’s not really the point. This movie is part alternative history, part parody, with not to subtle political overtones.

The year is 2018 and the president of the United States, who seems a lot like Sarah Palin,  in a bid to boost her rating and her chances for re-election authorizes a trip to the moon. Once on the moon astronauts discover a secret Nazi base hidden on the dark side of the moon for the last 63 years. After capturing one of the astronauts the Nazis determine that they are about to be invaded and need to strike first. But they need something with stronger computing power to unleash their war machine. They discover the astronauts cellphone has the power but the battery runs out. So they must launch a secret mission to earth to get more cellphones.

Okay stay with me, it’s not as bad as it sounds.

There is more to it but I don’t want to give it away. There is parts about propaganda, beliefs, and what happens when you have been force-fed wrong information for so long. Also the greed of nations and what we are willing to do for a vote.

It’s actually kind of smart and clever. Yeah the writing and a lot of the acting could’ve been better but I think it gets it’s point across.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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Today’s Theme Song 2/28/2013

Show me what I’m looking for by Carolina Liar

What I so love about this song is that it can mean so many different things, depending on who is listening to it and when.  It’s been part of the soundtrack of many of my stories; someone seeking redemption, someone finally finding love, someone just trying to untangle the puzzle in their head. Like I said many different meanings.  It’s been stuck in my head for the last few days.  I think because in four short days, I become the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.  That’s 42 for those who haven’t read Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Either that or I’ve known all along and just to afraid to go for it.  As with most things, the answer is a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B.  Sometimes you really want a bolt of lightning or some sign that tells you that you are on the right path.  Yesterday I was startled awake by the feeling that someone whispered the word Yes into my ear.  Maybe that was my answer.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in introspective, Videos

 
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London Boulevard – Movie 46 of 365

London Boulevard - Movie 46 of 365

Today, I was really craving to watch a movie I’d seen before. However, I was busy and knew I didn’t have time to watch two movies. So I went to Rotten Tomatoes and put in the movies I wanted to watch, The Losers, Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Unfortunately nearly all the movies they suggested. Three were left, two weren’t on Netflix so I watched London Boulevard, which had also been suggested by a friend a bit ago.

I’m always leary of Colin Farrell movies because he’s kinda hit and miss with me. But this one, he’s actually likable. He plays Mitchel, an ex-con with zero desire to go back in again. However, everyone he knows wants him to go right back into the criminal world.

At a party he meets Charlotte (Keira Knightley), a well known actress that wants to hire him for a legitimate job, groundskeeper but mainly keeping the photographers away. As much as he wants to just do this his past refuses to go away and soon he’s sought after to help burgle the actresses house. Unfortunately when he refuses he pisses off Gant (Ray Winstone). What follows is a bit of a cat and mouse game where Mitchel tries to hold on to the new life he wants without letting Gant drag him into a world he no longer has use for.

Unlike The Losers and Snatch this is not really an ensemble cast, however there are very distinct secondary cast members who add to the plot, not just filling in the scenery. My particular favorites are Briony (Anna Friel), Mitchel sister who seem to try to subsist completely on alcohol, money and sex and Jordan (David Thewlis), an actor who lives with Charlotte but it’s never quite clear what relationship they have. Butler, personal assistant, and constant companion, Jordan seems to be one of the few people who knows what’s all going on.

With an amazing soundtrack as a backdrop this movie while not driven by a lot of action was still pretty good. Decent plot, a main character you could care about and interesting ending. I didn’t see it coming but I’m sure others will.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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A Good Day to Die Hard – Movie 45 of 365

A Good Day To Die HardI’m a big fan of Bruce Willis. However, after seeing the latest installment of the Die Hard series, I’m left wondering if it’s time to let John McClane retire. To go out on a good note, not a particularly high one, but still a bang, instead of a mediocre whimper.

A Good Day to Die Hard, a title that brings out the pre-pubescent humorist in all of us, takes us to Russia. John McClane (Bruce Willis) arrives there in hopes of helping his son Jack (Jai Courtney) who has been arrested for murder. Dad rushes in to find out instead of helping he’s screwing things up. Because Jack is now CIA and his arrest was part of a plot to rescue political prisoner Yuri Komarov (Sebastian Koch) and to secure some a valuable file. What follows are lots of car chases, gun fights, and the big explosions we’ve come to know and love from the Die Hard movies. Unfortunately, what ties all this action together is weak plotline and attempts of father-son bonding moments that for the most part fall flat.

At least the storyline for Live Free or Die Hard was kind of novel, plot holes aside. This story I frankly could care less about. It’s been done to death. Rescuing the political prisoner, secret files, double crosses, nothing new and not even done in a particularly imaginative way.

What bothers me the most is the portrayal of the McClane’s. First of all the McClane’s daughter Lucy (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) serves no purpose in this movie other than to remind you that he has a daughter. As little as they used her she could’ve been a photo on the wall. Secondly, how John McClane is brought into this plot doesn’t make sense. What reason does he have to go to Russia in the first place? Why didn’t he just contact the state department, the U.S. embassy in Russia, a lawyer? He has no contacts there, he can’t speak Russian, yet he’s going to get on a plane and do what for his son who’s facing life in prison or worse? Also we are clearly aware why he’s there, so why does he feel the need to remind people repeatedly he’s on vacation. No one cares, least of all the audience.

Then there is his son Jack who is a trained CIA agent yet can’t figure his way out of things or catch a clue once his dad’s on the scene. I know John McClane is the hero but I think this would’ve played better with more give and take instead of using almost every opportunity to prove that daddy knew best. Jack has a couple of flashes of brilliance but not enough to make it that exciting.

Was it a good day? Good yes, great no. It’s not like Bruce Willis doesn’t continue to have a pretty decent movie career. We’ll be seeing him again soon in GI Joe: Retaliation, Red 2, and many other films. But it’s time for John McClane to turn in his badge, go have a beer, and call it a day.

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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