Hey all, A few months ago I had the opportunity to interview a fellow in a competition. To make it short, he is a finalist in a game competition called unlock xbox. The contest ends in a few days...but I just want to help him out by asking you all to vote!!!
go to your xbox dashboard, click on unlock xbox, and download and vote for harms way. Thanks all!! :)
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friendship is truly a beautiful thing. If there is one thing Mary and Max communicates, it is this.
As you could have guessed, this film centers around two people; Mary and Max. Mary Daisy Dinkle (voiced by Toni Collette) is an eight year old girl living in Australia. Her eyes are the color of muddy puddles and her birthmark is the color of poo, as the brilliant narrator tells us. She has an alcoholic neglectful mother, an insane taxidermist dad, and no friends. That is, until she decides to mail a letter to a random person in America. That random person is Max Jerry Horovitz(played masterfully by Philip Seymour Hoffman) , a lonely, obese forty-something ex-Jew living in New York. He, like Mary, has no friends and finds people to be very confusing. He spends his days collecting cigarette butts, attending "over-eaters anonymous" meetings, and eating chocolate hot dogs right after said meetings. At first he is puzzled when he receives the letter from Daisy, but he eventually responds. From there, they continue to mail each other and they become the best of friends. hat is truly beautiful to see is how these small letters effect the other person's life. They make a bigger difference than I think they thought the did. Max becomes almost a mentor for Mary, and Mary becomes an escape for Max. But both become friends. The letters they send over the years truly strengthen each other and make them better people. A lot happens from A to B in this movie, and I want to try and spoil the least I can because this film is truly an experience.
Now there is one thing I didn't mention about this film; It is entirely claymation. And boy is it beautiful. This is the most well done claymation film I have ever seen in all my days of film criticism. The world is so amazingly crafted, that its really hard not to fall completely in love with the world and its characters. While a good portion of the characters are what could be called ugly, there is a certain charm about it all that really pulls you in and allows you to enjoy it. Although this is indeed an animated film, it is no Disney movie. I mean that both literally and figuratively. For one it was produced by Melodrama Pictures and secondly this really isn't a kids movie. It deals with mature themes such as mental illness and suicide. But it looks at these subjects with a light heart, and it doesn't get too sad. That is, until the end which will probably have you in tears.
The voices lent by both the main characters and the supporting cast are simply amazing. My personal favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman even further shows his talent with the character of Max. The character has a very monotone, deep voice and never before have I heard such a voice with so much personality. He really adds depth to Max and its my opinion that the character wouldn't have been half of what he was without Hoffman at the helm.
In short, this is a beautiful film. It is funny, sad, touching, and sweet. The claymation and the acting are both astounding. You will be moved by this extrordinary tale of friendship.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Hey all, its been a while since Ive come to write so I figure its time to write again. First off, homecoming was amazing! I really like the girl I went with, so I had a really fun time. Anyway, I saw a pretty sweet movie today. It was called Sword of The Stranger. Ill write a full review soon, but I have to say it was pretty awesome. Lots of fighting.
In other news, My Chemical Romance is coming out with a new album! I am a bit of a fanboy, so I am very excited. It is called Danger Days: The True Lives of The Fabulous Killjoys. Kind of a random title, I know. But I am excited.
Anyway, thats all I have for now. Ill have a full review for that animated movie soon! :)
Sunday, September 12, 2010
If my lack of organized film reviews haven't been enough of a hint, it is rather obvious that I haven't made a trip to the cinema in quite some time to see a film. In my boredom, I have been writing these 'recent happenings' articles to compensate for a lack of film reviews. This just happens to be another one of those articles.
Anyway, at the conclusion of my previous post I mentioned that I got Mass Effect 2. I haven't been able to play it much thanks to the over abundance of homework but so far it is a fairly decent game. The story is great and very interactive, the combat is fun and its just all around exciting. I will post a full review to the site at a later date when I have had adequate time to play the thing. But, I am a sucker for RPGs so I'm sure it will end up having a great score.
In other news, I will (hopefully) be attending my high school's homecoming dance this year. The reason I so carefully stuck hopefully in that sentence is because I have not received an official answer from the leading lady I asked yet. Although it strikes me as odd that she would take an entire weekend to tell me no, you never know what could happen. So now we play the ever-popular waiting game. While not many things seem to get me down, I would in fact be bothered and a little sad if she did in fact shoot me down. But that's just life I guess. In all honesty, it has been quite a stretch for me to do this whole "homecoming" thing this year so I hope its all worth the trouble. I think it will be. Considering the person I asked. Shes pretty great. Anyway, I will update you on that and tell you all how it goes.
I've been thinking a lot about the Muppets lately. I love the Muppets. There is just something about....well, them that I just love. That is why I worship the very ground the Muppet Movie treads. That movie is most of the reason for my existence. I also cant help thinking about how incredibly awesome the creator Jim Henson is. I worship that man as well. I think I admire him so much because he lived his life doing what he wanted to do most. He was happy. One great thing about him was that he shared that happiness with others. I just think that's interesting. The man had almost a drive to share happiness with other people. I think that's pretty cool.
Anyway, that's whats been happening with me. Now I need to head over to the theaters so I can review something and not drone on about my life!
Friday, September 3, 2010
I need to write here more. I figure I could write about more than JUST film. Although I love to write about film. I don't see enough movies to constantly write here. So I need to generate more content.
Anyway, nothing much has been going on with me lately. I have stated school again, and I am very busy. I don't think its anything that I wont be able to handle but I am busy none the less. I had the opportunity to take yearbook class this year, and I am enjoying it. They had "auditions" if you will for one of the five slots of yearbook photographer. I love taking pictures, so I decided to give it a shot. I sent in about 14 of my best pictures and waited. And waited. (and waited.) It took them a while to get back to all of us who had applied, and I was disappointed to discover that I didn't make it and would not be a photographer that year. Although I was disheartened by the news, I wasn't as sad as I thought I would be. Perhaps it was seeing other peoples reactions when they discovered they were going to be a photographer.
One fellow in particular stood out to me. He seemed so happy when he read his name off of the list. It struck me as odd, it was only a photography position after all. But then I realized that this meant much more to him than it did to me, and giving me the position and not him would have been a waste. Something told me he worked hard to get where he was today, because he put forth child-like excitement upon receiving the news. It wasn't the kind of excitement where you shout, and jump around. It was the kind of excitement where you say nothing, because you are shouting on the inside. It is my opinion that someone who displays the latter is more excited than someone who doesn't. That's the kind of celebration you give when you have worked hard for something; when one of your dreams have been realized. The words he shared with me further prove my theory about all of this. When he discovered that my name wasn't on the list he turned to me and said
"I'm so sorry. Just don't give up. If its your passion,something you love, just keep on going for it. I have failed many times. Its OK. Keep trying. That struck me as rather interesting. I'm not quite sure why, but those words diminished my disappointment. I realized that I could either feel sad and continue in misery and attempt to enact revenge on those who were responsible for my misfortune. Or, I could pick myself up and try again. I think I am going to do that. I have found that it's all about how you view things. Bad situations can be made good, and good bad. You just need to have a positive outlook on things.
So if you find yourself fallen down, pick yourself up and keep trying. Because it will pay off one day.
In other news, I am getting Mass Effect 2 today! YESSSSS!!!
Have a good weekend everyone.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Edgar Wright is a funny man. His works include Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. If any of you are familiar with these films then you know they are very humorous and full of energy. His newest work, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (based on the popular comic) is really no different.
The film stars Michael Cera who plays Scott Pilgrim, a socially awkward 22 year old who has some serious girl troubles. For one thing he has a crazy, 17 year old Asian girl friend. He also has a crazy ex-girlfriend who happens to be a rock star. But those are the least of his problems. Enter Ramona Flowers, the girl from Scott’s dreams. She has the face of an angel, rides roller skates everywhere and her hair even changes colors every week and a half. Scott knows he has to have her. But there is a little something blocking his path. (Seven little somethings actually)
These “somethings” are her seven “Evil ex boyfriends”, all of whom have been hurt by Ramona in the past and want vengeance. Scott soon learns that to win Ramona’s love he must defeat all seven of these evil, evil people. Thus the story of Scott Pilgrim kicks off. I give it points here for its pacing, and its originality. Since the originality speaks for itself, let’s talk about the pacing.
It is my belief that everyone inhaled as much caffeine as they could before making this film. At least that’s what it feels like. But don’t worry, because in this situation this is a very good thing. The film is very quick, witty and fun. It changes its subject of attention very frequently and that’s what makes it funny. The characters are just so lovably random. You will be laughing almost nonstop throughout the film. The good thing about the humor is that it is witty and different each time. They rarely repeat a joke and while a few lines may be too corny to laugh at…the good far outweighs the bad. This film will have you laughing out loud and maybe even have you crying silently. (Yes there are some touching parts. But it’s touching in a good way.)
Michael Cera does an excellent job as Scott Pilgrim. I am the first person to admit that I am not a big fan of this actor, mainly because he plays the same awkward lovable character in every film. He reprises this role yet again, but it works this time. You will laugh more at Cera than you ever thought possible. His witty dialogue and loveable-awkward self are perfect for the role of a boy looking to win a girls love by any means necessary. Other notable performances include Jason Bateman as Gideon, one of the evil ex boyfriends and Kieran Culkin as Scott’s gay roommate. While I only mentioned a few, there are many other notable performances. Each actor lends his or her own personal touch to this imaginative, vibrant and hilarious world.
Like I just mentioned above, the world this film takes place in is very stylish and imaginative. But that is speaking modestly. This is the best and most creative take on a comic book I have ever seen in a film. While Sin City was almost a shot-for-shot remake of the comic, this one does it better than Sin City did. The onomatopoeia come on screen when things happen just like in a comic book, the enemies turn into coins when defeated, and the fight scenes look like something out of Dragon Ball Z. The combat sequences are heavily influenced by Anime. Lets just put it this way: if a comic book and a video game had a baby, and that baby somehow grew into a movie…this would be the film. There are elements from both video games and comic books everywhere. They literally make up the feel and essence of the film. So, if you are a person that is a fan of comic book s and video games you will enjoy taking a trip to the Scott Pilgrim universe. The fight scenes are over the top and crazy and the overall look and feel of the world is happy, energetic and fun.
This is truly the film for the 21st century nerd. If you grew up with comics and video games, you will completely love this film. It is packed full of video game and comic references. It has a very witty and sometimes juvenile sense of humor and it has loveable characters. If you are a person who hasn’t ever picked up a video game or a comic, then this film wont mean as much to you, but you will still enjoy it. If you are a person who loves video games and comics then you will totally love this film. It is designed from the ground up for a longtime gamer and comic fan and it is the most realistic comic to film adaptation of all time.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a very well done feature that is just a lot of fun.
It looks as though you have won your epic battle vs. the world, Scott. Well done.
5/5 – Must See
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I was in a rather cheery mood when I noticed the armies of teenage girls lining up to see Charlie St. Cloud. “This will be a perfect place to meet women,” I thought to myself. But then I realized I was there and I had a job to do, so I turned my attention to the movie screen. That was a bad idea.
Let’s start off with the story. Charlie St. Cloud is a golden boy played by Zac Efron who is very good at one thing; sailing. He also has a very close relationship with his brother Sam. One night, they are in a car wreck and young Sam kicks the bucket. Charlie is very sad about this, so he runs away and pouts in the woods. Between his sobbing, he stumbles upon the spirit of his younger brother Sam. He then remembers his promise he made to the young boy that he would play baseball with him for one hour every day until he leaves for college. So he does this…for five years. Then, our main character meets the female known as “Tess” played by Amanda Crew. From there conflicts arise, and things happen. But I don’t want to go into that. It really isn’t worth any of our time
I really don’t blame Efron for the failure of this film. At the end of the day, he really isn’t that bad of an actor. He has gone a long way since his High School Musical days, and I commend him for that. Honestly I am not really sure who to blame. The film just doesn’t work. The core issues lie with the dialogue and the pacing. Like I said earlier Efron (or really anyone in the film for that matter) is not a terrible actor. He just isn’t given much to work with here. As far as the pacing goes, the film just feels clunky and out of place. You have a car crash, and then minutes later he stumbles across the ghost of his dead brother. Just like that. No explanations, no character development. We are just rushed into this story and expected to go along with all of what’s happening. This same thing happens with the films “plot twist”, if you will call it that. The reason for me saying this is because (just like before) they just kind of throw it on you. There is no tension, and hardly any foreshadowing to what actually ends up happening. It is almost like the film makers just decided what would happen last minute. A lot of the film makes it seem that way. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many scenes in this film that are touching: like some of the scenes with Charlie and his brother and Charlie with Tess. There are also some funny side characters. Unfortunately the good weighs out the bad in this situation. Although there is some good.
Let’s go some more into the acting. Efron and Amanda Crew have some great on-screen chemistry. Like I mentioned earlier, they don’t have a lot to work with but they do indeed work with it. They are one of the few couples in movies that you actually like to see on screen together. Much more could have been done on the part of Charlie Tahan, Charlie’s little brother. But again, I do not blame anyone here. 9/10 child actors cannot act, and the remaining one usually grows up.
I see what they were trying to do with Charlie St. Cloud. I have seen this type of movie before, only it worked. There was a lot of room for improvement here, especially since they had people that could act. I was not writing this review with resentment, but with understanding. But, if you want a cheesy romance that involves a shirtless Zac Efron then this one is for you. I don’t want to be as merciless as to give it a 1/5, because some people might enjoy it. A little bit.
But, at the end of the day, it truly deserves a 1/5 rating.