Powered by Blogger.

Groovers and Mobsters Present: Horror

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Since it's Halloween, and since us blogging types can't think of anything original to go with it, we're gonna write about scary movies. Groovers and Mobsters, as they so often do, are running a specific theme this month, the theme being Horror. BE AFRAID! Anyway, since I arrived early to the drawing of films, I was given top priority, and as such got my favorite horror film of the bunch! Enjoy!

Set to Godspeed You! Black Emperor... HELL YEAH!!!

"It's just people killing people. Which, to my mind, puts us in a state of normality right now."

A group of animal rights activists break into a laboratory, and, like big turkeys, release a monkey with a certain ailment. Said monkey is infected with Rage, a highly contagious, quick spreading virus that sends the host into a homicidal craze, causing them to run wild, killing and infecting everything they see. 28 days later, the entirety of England has been ravaged by the virus. Enter Jim, who awakes from a coma on to a dead world. As he walks through the abandoned London streets, he soon meets other survivors, and together, they try and escape the city and get to a military blockade. When they get there though, they find something far worse than the infection waiting for them. 


28 Days Later... was a real game changer for the zombie horror genre. Not only was it the first of its kind to incorporate zombies infected that sprint, it was also the first of its kind that seemed possible. There was a clear explanation behind the outbreak of the virus, and the way it spreads and behaves, though heavily fictionalized, is quite believable, making 28 Days Later... all the more terrifying. But, it's the quiet moments that really set Danny Boyle's film apart from its brothers. Early on in the film, Jim walks through a completely desolate and abandoned London. There is not a single person in the streets. The only vehicles he comes across are stalled in the middle of the road, having been destroyed or ransacked. The only clues he gets to his situation are the out of date newspapers that litter the sidewalk and the posters of missing people that adorn the walls. What is truly amazing about this is that Boyle and Co. achieved these images with absolutely no special effects. That's right! Zero! The shut down sections of London's streets and then filmed the scenes. Those early images are incredibly haunting are truly frightening. 28 Days Later... keeps that level of terror up for the entire run time, despite the film going a little off the rails in the third act. Imagine that. A horror movie these days that is actually scary. 

'snarl' 'growl' 'roar' 'vomit blood'

Pretty much every single modern zombie movie owes something to 28 Days Later.... Remember how cool it was to see zombies running in Zack Snyder's remake of Dawn of the Dead? 28 Days Later... did it first, and better. Remember how, in I Am Legend, the shots of Will Smith walking through an empty city looked really cool? 28 Days Later... did it first, and without any special effects. Danny Boyle's film ushered in a new era for the modern zombie movie. It did away with the usual conventions of the genre, chiefly the concept of a slow moving zombie that anyone could get away from. It was the first legitimately scary movie of its kind since Night of the Living Dead. That one was scary because the concept was brand new. 28 Days Later... is scarier because it takes that concept, and updates it to fit in the real world. Hey, it made me believe that a zombie apocalypse could happen. That's gotta count for something.

Ok, fine, they aren't really zombies; they're diseased humans, but come on! Give a guy a break! Zombie movie is easier to write, say, and read then diseased human movie! Let it go (Here's looking at you, Nick)!

Gotham on the Rise

Friday, October 29, 2010

Well, after months of speculation, we have something to go on. Christopher Nolan has finally broken the silence regarding his third entry into the Batman franchise. He dropped some real winners of information, but, still kept a lot in dark. Here's what we know so far.

Good to be back, Gotham

1. It's called The Dark Knight Rises: Bit of a mouthful if you ask me, but, I'm interested, all the same. Since TDK ended with Batman being declared a hunted man, this title is a fitting foreshadow to his supposed redemption. One thing I am very interested in is how Nolan will play with the fact that Bruce Wayne is still an accepted member of the Gotham community, while his alter-ego is not. He's a master storyteller. This will be fantastic.

Talent Epitomized

2. The Riddler is not the villain: Guess I can give up on my fantasies of Joseph Gordon-Levitt going toe-to-toe with the caped crusader. With The Riddler confirmed not to be in the film, and with Two-Face, Joker, Scarecrow, and Ra's Al-Ghul already having had their chance to bring down the bat, the question now arises as to who Nolan will throw into the ring with everyone's favorite masked crime fighter. For my money, Mr. Freeze, Bane, and Killer Croc are out, as they are too fantastical to fit in Nolan's universe of realism. I would also throw Poison Ivy into that mix, but something tells me that Nolan could come up with a really cool way to include her, so I'm not ruling her out just yet. I think the best chances are Catwoman, or Penguin. Catwoman would be easy to pull off, although I can't really imagine how she would pose any real threat to Gotham. Penguin could also be pulled off, but only if they ditch the mutation thing from the comics. Make him an incredibly powerful crime lord on the rise who uses the moniker Penguin as an alias. That could definitely work. Maybe the two of them will be combined, with Catwoman working as an enforcer for Penguin while she furthers her own goals. I think Catwoman could work as both hero and villain. If Nolan goes that route, it will be interesting to see an ambiguous foe, someone who helps the people of Gotham, but who clashes with Batman. That could be great.

Who's it gonna be?

3. It's not gonna be in 3D: THANK GOD!! I have no doubt, that if Nolan wanted to do 3D, he'd give James Cameron a serious run for his money. But, until that day comes, Nolan is going to do what he does best, making visually astounding movies using IMAX cameras and traditional methods. If his last two films are anything to go on, The Dark Knight Rises will put the most visually astounding 3D movies to shame.

Leave em' at home.

4. All the main players are back in the mix: Christian Bale said he would only return if Nolan did, so he's in. Michael Caine is back as well, and I'm assuming Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman will return. New to the mix is Tom Hardy, fresh off Inception, in an undisclosed role. All rumors of Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent or Maggie Gyllenhaal's Rachel Dawes surviving from the last movie can be put to bed. Nolan has since confirmed to Eckhart that his character is indeed dead, and if he's dead, then Gyllenhaal's character most certainly is. I can't wait to see who else Nolan taps to star in his final Batman film. If Catwoman does in fact play a part, Marion Cotillard better be playing her. If I can't get Jo-Go, then I sure as hell better get Cotillard. She proved to be an incredible screen presence when she last worked with Nolan, so no one should doubt her ability when it comes to his films. As with the last two, the returning players should turn in great performances, but, let's not forget. It's the new additions that get all the attention. Nolan better not disappoint. I mean, he won't, but it's early, so I'm just gonna play devil's advocate for a little bit. You know, have some fun.

Make it happen!

Oh boy! I can't wait. I know nothing, but I'm already excited as hell! Information will probably be slow to trickle, but, I'll savor every little morsel we get in the coming months. 2012, end of the world aside, can't come soon enough.

Glee Review: The Rocky Horror Glee Show

Thursday, October 28, 2010

They really like the tributes this season, don't they?

Never one to take a hint, Will starts off this week's Glee still trying to woo Emma. Upon hearing that she had a blast at a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with Carl, Will impulsively decides that the glee club will perform Rocky Horror for the school musical. Rachel and Finn immediately jump on the roles of Janet and Brad, Sam nabs the role of the monster, Kurt refuses to play Frank-n-furter, and instead gets Riff-Raff. Mike is forced to drop out of the production when his parents order him to, which leaves a gap in the cast that Will cannot fill. Enter Carl, who, as it turns is a Rocky Horror fanatic with a killer voice. He offers to step in for Mike as Eddie, leaving the role of Frank-n-furter to fall to Mercedes.

Meanwhile, Sue infiltrates the production under the guise of helping out so that she can run a piece on inappropriate content in schools for Sue's Corner. Will and Emma continue to just run circles around each other, and end with Will promising to leave Emma alone. Didn't he do that just two episodes ago? Jeez, the guy just doesn't learn.

The big theme this episode is body image, as both Finn and Sam will be forced into revealing outfits for their roles. This doesn't bother Sam, who apparently has aspirations to become the next Stallone or something given how much he works out and the diet he adheres to. Finn, on the other hand, is terrified of appearing on stage in nothing but his tidey-whities. It's an interesting concept that Glee hasn't covered before, and it is handled surprisingly well.

Musically, this week is on point, though that's not saying much. The music of Rocky Horror isn't exactly the epitome of the rock opera, if you ask me. Still, the cast does a great job with their songs. "Time Warp" is a lot of fun, John Stamos' rendition of "Hot Patootie" is a rollicking good time, and Finn and Rachel's, albeit quick, cover of "Dammit Janet" is absurdly funny. There are a couple of blemishes though. The best song in the whole thing, "Science Fiction/Double Feature", sung so wonderfully by Santana, only lasts a couple of seconds. I'll admit, it was funny to see Emma sing "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me", but here voice is surprisingly weak, and didn't lend itself well to the song. And what the hell were the writers thinking making Mercedes Frank-n-furter? I mean, really? That was just stupid.

Comedy wise, this episode was strong. There were tons of great lines. I loved when Finn admitted to not knowing what was going on in the show, and not in "a cool-Inception kind of way." Becky's line "Give me chocolate or I will cut you!" was brilliant, and to see Santana being so forward about her desire to screw Carl was quite amusing. It was also hilarious to see the cast rehearsing with Will playing two roles. "Finn's line. Eddie's line. Finn's line." Awesome!

It's not the best episode so far this season. The whole Will/Emma thing just ends up in the same place as it began, and am I the only one who is getting weirded out by Will performing with the club? I don't know. Apart from that and few missteps in terms of music, this was a good episode. As a tribute, it probably could have been handled a bit better, but it was a fun time with plenty of laughs and a well delivered message about body image.

Ok, enough is enough! Bring Puck back already!

According to the Movies #15

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If the movies say it, it must be true.

I'm sticking with the zombie thing this week. I mean, Halloween is just around the corner, and, to be honest, zombies are the only horror genre I have any substantial experience in. Besides, I've covered slasher films already. So, I'm going to go out on another date with the undead. No guarantees that I'll make it back.

In the first movie, it's all about the survivors. But since there's no easily recognizable villain, in the next installments a main zombie is introduced. This guy is usually a leader of the walking corpses/infected hosts, of sorts, and is usually a lot smarter than his undead legion. In Day of the Dead, Bub is Rhodes' prized pet, but eventually turns on his master and leads the zombies in a takeover of the underground facility. In Land of the Dead, Big Daddy starts to exhibit signs of intelligence and leads a zombie army in an effort to take down the last remaining human city. In 28 Weeks Later..., Dom gets infected and starts a new outbreak, after which he tails the fleeing survivors, which include his children, eventually cornering them in an abandoned tube station.

Another thing that should be noted about these particular zombies...
THEY! NEVER!! DIE!!! The other undead around them will drop like flies, but these guys exude some sort of power obtained in the grave that makes bullets conveniently miss them. They will also kill a ton, and I mean a ton of humans, including at least one main character.

The Lesson: If you find yourself in the next installment of a popular zombie franchise, watch out for one particular corpse. He is the leader of the undead, displays some form of smarts, and will absolutely not die throughout the entire run of the movie. If you are in a group of survivors, watch out, as this particular zombie will kill at least one of you. You don't have to fear any of the other, normal zombies. Just him. He''s the dangerous one.

Trailer Trash: I Love You Phillip Morris (Red Band)

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's time to root through some trailers. What's sorts of wonderful things will be alluded to today?

I've never done a Red Band trailer for this feature before. I'm a little nervous.

I Love You Phillip Morris is about a guy who realizes one day that he is gay, and decides to live it up. Unfortunately for him, being gay rackets up a hug bill, so this guy, Steven, becomes a con man so that he can afford his affluent lifestyle. He is of course caught, and, while in prison, he meets and falls in love with one, Phillip Morris. What follows are various shenanigans as Steven escapes and gets recaptured by the law, all in the name of love.

Jim Carrey finally returns to the brand of comedy that made a star. He plays Steven, and looks to be having a grand ol' time with it. Ewan McGregor plays Phillip Morris. I haven't seen McGregor in any film like this before, so I'm anxious to see how he does. Leslie Mann is also there as Steven's wife.

This trailer is hilarious! It's red band, so they can show a whole mess of stuff, and I can safely say that I can't wait for this one. So many great lines, a good amount of solid sight gags, and the thought of Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor mackin' on each other make this seem like one of the funniest comedies in a long time.

Best line in the thing: "Fuck me with a flaming fist!'

Selected readings 10/24/10

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Interesting reading and news items.

Please leave some comments that indicate which articles you find most interesting or that identify topics you would like to read about, and I will try to include more articles of a similar nature in the future

These items are also bookmarked at my Diigo account.

The New Nu News!
There could be an extra, "sterile" neutrino out there, although cosmology places tight restrictions on that. There could be a fundamental difference between neutrinos and anti-neutrinos, which we don't (at present) understand at all. Or there could be some physics that's completely off the radar that explains this, but it looks like the good ol' standard model (and the simplest modifications to it) is woefully inadequate to explain what we're seeing. [Starts with a Bang, 9/27/10]

Primordial Magnetic Field May Permeate the Universe
Two physicists attempting to overcome some unexpected fuzziness in images of distant, supermassive black holes say they have found yet another potential big bang vestige: an extremely weak magnetic field that stretches across the universe. If scientists confirm the finding, it could help reveal the origins of magnetism in the cosmos. [ScienceNOW, 9/24/10]

The Itch of Curiosity
Curiosity is one of those personality traits that gets short scientific shrift. It strikes me as a really important mental habit - how many successful people are utterly incurious? - but it's also extremely imprecise. What does it mean to be interested in seemingly irrelevant ideas? And how can we measure that interest? While we've analyzed raw intelligence to death - scientists are even beginning to unravel the anatomy of IQ - our curiosity about the world remains mostly a mystery. [Wired, 8/3/10]

The Personality Paradox
There's an interesting new paper in Biological Psychiatry on the genetic variations underlying human personality. The study relied on a standard inventory of temperaments - novelty-seeking, harm avoidance, reward dependence and persistence - as measured in 5,117 Australian adults. What did the scientists find? Mostly nothing. The vast genetic search came up empty. [Wired, 8/9/10]

The Worm In Your Brain
So our cortex turns out to be a lot older than previously thought. The common ancestor of us and ragworms–a wormy creature that lived 600 million years ago–not only had a brain, but had an ur-cortex. And it probably used that ur-cortex to learn about its world–most likely learning about the odors it sniffed. That animal’s descendants diverged into different forms, and the ur-cortex changed along the way. Yet they still used many of the same genes their ancestor did long ago. [The Loom, 9/3/10]

Mapping the Brain on a Massive Scale
A massive new project to scan the brains of 1,200 volunteers could finally give scientists a picture of the neural architecture of the human brain and help them understand the causes of certain neurological and psychological diseases. The National Institutes of Health announced $40 million in funding this month for the five-year effort, dubbed the Human Connectome Project. Scientists will use new imaging technologies, some still under development, to create both structural and functional maps of the human brain. [Technology Review, 9/28/10]

Recipes For Limb Renewal
Bioengineers continue to refine prosthetic limbs, but they still can’t replicate the entire constellation of capabilities provided by flesh and blood. So a few determined scientists are pursuing a different solution: They are seeking the recipe for regrowing a missing limb. [Chemical & Engineering News, 8/2/10]

If low serotonin levels aren't responsible for depression, what is?
While traditional antidepressants do increase neurogenesis and relieve depression symptoms in some animal models, others show that neurogenesis and antidepressant behaviours are unrelated. Much of this debate comes down to the fact that we don't yet have a real understanding of neurogenesis, how it works, and how it is controlled both in normal brains and in the presence of antidepressants. Until we know, finding a truly effective antidepressant may remain out of reach. So while the monoamine/serotonin hypothesis for depression may be out, neurogenesis needs to step it up a little to make it in. [guardian.co.uk, 9/28/10]

A New Way to Make Stem Cells
A Harvard researcher has developed a way to make pluripotent stem cells that solves several of the major impediments to using them to treat human diseases. Derrick Rossi, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, created pluripotent stem cells--which can turn into virtually any other type of cell in the body--from non-stem cells without using viruses to tinker with a cell's genome, as conventional methods do. This means that Rossi's method could be substantially safer for treating disease. [Technology Review, 10/1/10]

Alien World Tour: The Exoplanets Around Star Gliese 581
The announcement Wednesday (Sept. 29) of two newfound alien planets circling the star Gliese 581 adds to the nearby solar system's intrigue, further cementing its status as a top candidate to harbor extraterrestrial life. One of the two newly discovered planets, known as Gliese 581g, is a small, Earth-like world that likely lies within its star's habitable zone - the just-right range of distances that allow liquid water to exist. Astronomers have now detected six planets orbiting Gliese 581, the most known to circle any star beyond our own sun. [Space.com, 9/29/10]

If There's Life on Alien Planet Gliese 581g, How Do We Find It?
After spending decades searching for alien planets capable of harboring life, astronomers may have found one. So how can they check to see if life actually exists on this alien world? ... One of the planet's discoverers said in a briefing yesterday that "the chances of life on this planet are 100 percent." To determine if this is true, researchers will have to scrutinize Gliese 581g from afar, searching its atmosphere for certain telltale molecules. But it might be a while before they have the tools to do this properly. [Space.com, 9/30,10]

Astronomer Seeks ET Machines
If we ever do receive a message from outer space, we’ll want to know what kind of aliens sent it. SETI researcher Seth Shostak says we shouldn’t expect them to be anything like us – in fact, they might not be biological at all, but instead, extraterrestrial machines. [Astrobiology Magazine, 10/1/10]

The Gates of Immortality
Why do cells allow some mistakes to accumulate? If evolution is such a powerful process-one that finds solutions to all manner of problems-how could there be processes or problems that can't be fixed? [The Scientist, 10/1/10]

The One True Path?
Niswender and Galli are elucidating a molecular link between mental illness and problems with how the body processes sugars. That link is part of the complex series of events that make up the insulin-signaling pathway, a crucial mechanism by which the pancreatic hormone insulin directs the transport and storage of glucose in virtually every cell type in the body. This is only one of a recent rash of discoveries about how insulin is also intricately involved in many disease processes, including the growth of cancer cells and defects in bone mass regulation. [The Scientist, 10/1/10]

A new source of CP violation?
Abazov et al. report an unexpectedly large value of the same-sign dimuon charge asymmetry. This means that they see pairs of positive muons, μ+μ+, among the debris of their proton-antiproton collisions more often than they see pairs of negative muons, μ-μ-. The key point is that their measurement violates CP symmetry, which relates the behavior of matter and antimatter particles. [Physics, 8/16/10]

Hagfish Analysis Opens Major Gap in Tree of Life
Since the 1970s, many evolutionary biologists have considered an eel-like, deep-sea-dwelling creature called the hagfish to be the closest extant relative of a last common ancestor for all backboned creatures. That made the hagfish a stand-in for a transitional species between invertebrates and higher animals, spanning a leap as dramatic as any in evolutionary history. But a new family tree based on high-powered molecular analysis lumps hagfish together with lampreys, a jawless fish that’s primitive, but very much a vertebrate. [Wired, 10/19/10]

On a quest to map the brain’s hidden territory
On a recent morning, Wedeen pulled up images created with the new technology, in which the lakes of white were crisscrossed by colorful, ropy bundles of fibers, revealing an elegant, three-dimensional architecture. Looking more like art than anatomy, these strands form the connections in the brain — the “connectome.’’ They are neural highways crucial for brain function, including thoughts, movements, and sensations. [The Boston Globe, 10/11/10]

The origin of complex life – it was all about energy
According to a new hypothesis, put forward by Nick Lane and Bill Martin, we are all natural-born gas-guzzlers. Our very existence, and that of every animal, plant and fungus, depended on an ancient partnership, forged a few billion years ago, which gave our ancestors access to unparalleled supplies of energy and allowed them to escape from the shackles of simplicity. [Not Exactly Rocket Science, 10/20/10]

The Fuel Of Evolution
Within the cells of humans and all other modern creatures are lots of tiny mitochondria, which may have been the key to the evolution of complex multicellular life billions of years ago. [InsideScience.org, 10/22/10]

Geologists revisit the Great Oxygenation Event
Why did oxygen levels spike 2.5 billion years ago, and how much oxygen was there in the atmosphere really? Why are banded iron formations made of layers only a few centimeters thick, and why did they stop forming so abruptly? If the oceans were oxygenated 2.5 billion years ago, why did multicellular life delay its appearance for another 2 billion years? And did all these changes really take place at pretty much the same time everywhere on Earth? [Physorg.com, 8/19/10]

Mirror Mirror On The Wall
Every one of the four forces of Nature we know of - gravity, electromagnetism, the weak force, and the nuclear force - all originate from slight variations of this narrative. Gauge symmetries are the origins of all the forces of Nature. For example, gravity arises from a gauge symmetry in 3D: a sphere of a gauge with its hand pointing in any direction in the full three dimensional span of space. [Schrödinger's Dog, 10/22/10]

Gravity Up Close
Scientists know how gravity works at big distances -- the inter-planetary or inter-stellar range -- but does it work the same way at the inter-atomic range? A variety of tabletop experiments are trying to explore this issue. Already some theorists say that a departure from conventional gravity behavior could hint at the existence of extra dimensions. [InsideScience.org, 10/13/10]

Cracks In The Universe
Physicists are hot on the trail of one of strangest theorized structures in the universe. A team of researchers have announced what they think are the first indirect observations of ancient cosmic strings, bizarre objects thought to have contributed to the arrangement of objects throughout the universe. [InsideScience.org, 10/11/10]

RSS access:
Blog posts labeled "readings"
Items saved at Diigo

Cause For Celebration

Films From the Supermassive Black Hole turns two today!

I started this blog back in 2008 with nary an expectation, too much free time, no readers, and no skill. Two years later, I still no expectations, don't have any free time, have a plethora of readers, and... well, skill is relative, so let's let it be. Thanks to FFTSBH and the filmic community, I've expanded my range of films, met a whole bunch of sweet people, and really invested in this little passion project. Well, that, and having a film blog gives me an excuse to see a perverse amount of movies.

So, lets see. I guess I should thank a few choice people. Blegh, these types of post are always so sentimental. Whatevs. Everyone does em'.

1. Family: Because you have to every time you write up something like this.

2. The... what was it, 3?, friends who read this when it first started: I think it was Chani, Morgen, and Rebecca. No way to tell if they still read it (except for Chani. She comments every now and then), but, I still appreciate them for giving it a shot.

3. The LAMB: Listen to the Matineecast for a full description.

4. Fletch: For letting me into the LAMB and letting me run wild.

5. Hatter: Because you are always incredibly complementary.

6. Computers: Because writing this on a typewriter would suck some serious sack!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BLOG!!! Let's get our drank on!

Except, not really, because I'm underage and that could end up being difficult for a lot of people. 

Post #200: Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Well, it's about flippin' time! After a year of hearing everyone rave non-stop about it, and falling head over heels for the American remake, I've finally joined the club. I've finally seen Let the Right One In. And, I have a favorite. Which one did I prefer? Take a leap and find out.

Give you all you need to drink and it will never be enough!

Since I can't be pressed to write a full review of the film when the purpose of this post is to compare LTROI with Let Me In, I'm going to take a cue from Simon and jot a down a few random thoughts on Sweden's take before diving into the meat of the article.

-Why does everything look like it's lit by halogen lights? Moon don't glow that brightly, even in Sweden.

-What the hell kind of school let's bullies get away with this shit? I mean, really. How have these kids not been kicked out?

-Loved the music! Wonderfully sombre and moody.

-Both kids are great! Don't hold a candle to Chloe Moretz though.

-Cat thing was friggin' stupid! Served absolutely no purpose other than to show off the low budget of the film. Those were some fake lookin' felines!


-Wish all vampire moves were like this. Take away the sexiness of them, lose the dumb as hell sparkly thing, and bring them back to their roots. Vicious, scary, and dangerous!

-Really liked how Eli cries after killing her victims. Does a good job of showing how guilty she feels.

-Scenes with Dad are a nice addition.

-Simon, you better comment the hell out of this post for my plug!


I find myself in the unique situation of seeing Let Me In before Let the Right One In, which is why my thoughts sound like that. Though it may not come through in the notes, I still loved LTROI. Brilliant film! How that didn't get at least an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film is beyond me.

Anyway, now that I've caught up to you cultured people and seen both, which one do I prefer? Be prepared to hate me.

I prefer Let Me In.

I know, I know. Here I am going with the big budget, American remake over the smaller budgeted foreign gem, but, you know what? Screw you! I have good reasons.

First off, let me say that the performances of the two kids are great. Both Kare Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson do fantastic jobs. But, neither of them comes close to touching Chloe Moretz in terms of quality. Both Hedebrant's and Leandersson's performance would be considered great performances for veteran actors, but Chloe Moretz's performance would be considered a great performance for someone like Marlon Brando. Does that analogy make sense? Leandersson's performance as Eli conveys all the emotion needed for the character, but, she keeps this weird sort of smile on her face throughout most of the film, including the most emotionally draining moments for her character, which significantly detracts from the gravity of the situation. That being said, Leandersson does succeed in making us empathize with her, but Moretz as Abby does that and so much more. The confusion and pain she portrays, the way her eyes sadly trace over the face of her protector before he dies, the way she says goodbye to Owen against her entire will and then returns to save his life, all make up an acting job that even the greatest actors working today would be jealous of.

Let Me In also looks better, but that's all budget. Even so, the environment doesn't look like it's lit by fluorescent  lights; the scenes at night have that lovely amber tone to them. The world just looks more foreboding and scary. Abby/Eli also seems more dangerous in Let Me In, as the scenes of her ripping guy's throats out, and the climatic scene at the pool, are significantly more brutal. That's not necessarily a plus, just an inevitability. The American version was always going to be more violent. Gotta try and ring in the idiots.

The relationship between Owen/Oskar and Abby/Eli is also better handled, in my opinion, in Let Me In. I don't know, I just felt more for their love story than the Swede's. That could be the fact that they were speaking my language, but I'd like to think I'm not that shallow. The way it was written, framed, and acted made me connect more with the kids in Let Me In. I can trace it to one line, the part where Abby quietly utters "I told you we couldn't be friends" as Owen storms out of her apartment. That line, and the way Moretz said it, summed up the relationship for me. They couldn't make it work, despite the fact that every fiber of their being wanted it to. That line isn't in LTROI. The scene is, but not the line. LTROI took too many breaks from the relationship with the Dad's scenes or the gang of drinking buddies, making it seem just a tiny bit more like an afterthought.

Also, Owen/Oskar's parents were much more fleshed out in Let Me In. In Let the Right One In, they are just there, but in Let Me In, they are actually given something to do, even if they are never on screen. Owen's mom is a religious nutjob who, it is implied, has a drinking problem. His dad is never around, and is completely incompetent when it comes to helping his son. There's none of that in LOTRI, making it just one of the many things Matt Reeves added that deepen the story overall.


Let me divert some of your hate real quick. Let the Right One In does do many things better than Let Me In. They just aren't as obvious. For starters, the dynamic between the bullies is more fleshed out. The leader is a righteous dick in both, but, in LTROI, his two cohorts seem to be timidly following along because they don't want to be victimized, instead of being fully into tormenting Owen/Oskar. That came off as more realistic, and made the scene where they are butchered that much more chilling.

The cop in Let Me In doesn't exist in Let the Right One In. Instead, he's a drunkard who's friends are killed by Eli. He sneaks into her apartment to try and avenge them, but we all know how that turns out. The idea of a man losing his life because he was simply trying to do right by his friends is a much more disturbing concept than a cop who just poked his nose in the wrong area.

But, all these gripes are pointless because the fact remains that both Let Me In and Let the Right One In are great movies; I just find myself liking Let Me In more and more as I continue to think about it. It could all be because Let Me In was the one that introduced me to this story, and Let the Right One In, for me, is just another adaptation of it. But, that doesn't make me like it any less. Both earn solid ECSTASYs from me, but only Let Me In gets the "On A Whole New Level!!!" prefix. I know. You can't fathom it. Let it sink in, digest it for a little bit. Maybe you'll find it in yourselves to accept me again one day.

Let Me In

Let the Right One In

According to the Movies #14

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If the movies say it, it must be true.

Since this is October, and I like to lead by other's examples, this week of According to the Movies will concern horror. Zombie horror, to be exact. This week's lesson focuses on zombie films, more specifically, the end of zombie films.

Let's set up the scenario, why don't we? The remaining survivors have fought off the undead/possessed/infected horde in the finale, losing a few choice characters. They lose the honorable badass who dies giving the others a chance to escape, the asshole who only survived this long so you oculd have someone to hate, and the nice guy, possible love interest, that the movie spent the last two hours making us care about, so that we feel all bad in the end. Don't you love that callous manipulation of our emotions?


Once the remaining survivors have escaped, all is well, right? WRONG!!!! Zombie movies that don't have some cutty dude named Shaun NEVER end on a happy note! The ending of 28 Days Later... (the real one) saw Jim dying from a gunshot wound and Selena and Hannah walking away towards an unknown future. The ending of 28 Weeks Later... sees the Rage virus hopping the English Channel and spreading all throughout Europe. In Dawn of the Dead, the survivors make it to the island, only to find that it hadn't escaped the virus, and are accosted by a horde of the undead as the screen goes black. Night of the Living Dead sees the main character emerge from the house, having lived through the night, only to have a gunman shoot him square in the face. REC./Quarantine sees the main character being dragged away and devoured in the end. Land of the Dead ends with the zombies wisening up and destroying a human stronghold while a few people flee north to Canada.

See the pattern?

The Lesson: Have you survived the end of a zombie movie? Well, good for you! Too bad it ended terribly for you. Abandon all hope! The dead walk the Earth! You're alive! Wonder how long that's gonna last! Just give up!

Trailer Trash: ???

Monday, October 18, 2010

Like the demon bitch that it is, school work was been kicking my little arse this past night! As such, I am unable to write a up a Trailer Trash for this week. I do sincerely apologize. I can't imagine where else you would find these incredibly popular trailers outside of the Black Hole.  :-p

Once again, I beg thy forgiveness!

But hey! I still got the animals! This is a lemur!


Me And My Shameless Following

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So, I was perusing the blog-o-sphere yesterday, reading some stuff on my blogroll, and I come across this post by one Vancetastic over at The Audient. The post in question concerned a site by the name of Flickchart, a place where people go to rank movies. Basically, you are shown two films, and forced to pick one, and all the answers are added up until you have a list of your favorite movies. I've only been at it for a day, and DAMN, is it addicting! Right now, there are 500 films on my list, but since listing off all of the them would take time that you and, especially, I don't have, I'll just you give the top twenty. The creme de la creme! The cream of the crop! The big kahunas, if you will!

1. Monster's Inc.: I'll bite... for now. It's a fun little Pixar film, though far from their best.  

2. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events: Uhhhhhhh... no!

3. Die Hard: Most badass action movie of all time cracks my top 5? Alright, I'll go with it.

4. 28 Days Later...: Even if it wasn't on some algorithm or whatever it is that powers the site, this one would probably be just as high on the list!

5. The Departed: Same story.

6. Sin City: Ok! Hella fun, visually awesome crime epic? I can live with that.

7. Closer: This film doesn't get the credit it deserves. Just sayin'...

8. The Dark Knight: I'd say this one's pretty obvious.

9. Citizen Kane: A bonafide classic and game changer.

10. Notting Hill: Not my favorite rom-com, but certainly a gem.

11. The 40-Year-Old Virgin: The coming out party of Judd Apatow and Steve Carrell! All around excellent!

12. Zombieland: Eh, why not?

13. The Godfather: This sure as hell ain't high enough on this list!

14. Pulp Fiction: Only 14? Tarantino would be insulted!

15. No Country For Old Men: Will be considered a classic in a couple years.

16. Toy Story 2: How sad is it that Monster's Inc. is at the tippy top, and this masterpiece is at number 16?

17. Little Miss Sunshine: Whatever...

18. The Empire Strikes Back: God, remember when George Lucas wasn't a hack?

19. Grindhouse: Was I the only one who saw this in theaters? Man, this was awesome!

20. Saving Private Ryan: Definitely deserves to be on this list somewhere.

New Poll: URL Change

Thursday, October 14, 2010

So, since the name change, I've gotten a lot of positive feedback regarding the new look of the site. One question that has been posed is whether or not the URL will change as well. I was hesitant to change the URL right away, since that would mean everyone who had me on their blogroll would have to re-add me and Fletch would have to do some editing of my profile on the LAMB, and it would have been needlessly difficult for a lot of people. I did, however, go into the name change with the intention of changing the URL at some point, and now that the new site has had time to sink in, a URL change seems imminent. I came up with five, Muse inspired ideas that I think could work very well, but, as always, I leave it up to you. Chime in.

The Options

1. litbystarlight.blogspot.com (Inspired by Starlight) (This one's my favorite, but...)
2. fromtheblackhole.blogspot.com (Inspired by Supermassive Black Hole) (Guess this one is most appropriate...)
3. erasedandpluggedin.blogspot.com (Inspired by Citizen Erased and Plug In Baby)
4. songofabsolution.blogspot.com (Inspired by Sing for Absolution)
5. resistanceuprising.blogspot.com (Inspired by Uprising and Resistance)

Glee Review: Duets

Well, after months of teasing and speculation, the big kahuna was finally delivered to us. Santana and Brittany finally made out!

This week's Glee started off on one of the funniest notes the show has hit yet, with Will revealing to the club that Puck is in juvie after driving his car into the front of a convenience store and jacking the ATM, cuz, you know, Puck's thug like that! Will sees this as a good thing though, because it leaves a temporary space for Sam, who has officially joined to club, to fill.

The focus of this week is duets. Each member of the club pairs off with another member and each group sings a song. Will, in a competitive mood again, makes it a competition, the winner getting a certificate for a free meal to this inexplicably popular italian joint. Anyway...

Artie pairs off with Brittany in an incredibly misguided attempt to make Tina jealous. He goes all the way with Brittany and, not surprisingly, immediately regrets it. Meanwhile, Finn and Rachel decide to throw the competition so that Sam can win, making him feel welcome in the club, Santana and Mercedes combine their respective diva strengths into one awesome amalgamation of bitchiness to win, and Sam schmoozes on Quinn, who is hesitant to engage in anything after the birth of her bastard.

Kurt takes on a big part in this episode as well as he finally comes to terms with the fact that his advances on the straight men of the club are making them uncomfortable. He finally realizes that he is as much to blame for Finn calling him a "offensive word that even I'm too much of a pussy to use" as Finn was.

Music wise, this was probably the best episode of the season thus far. All the songs popped and stood on their own. The big deal was that this was the week we would finally get to see Harry Shum Jr.'s Mike Chang get to sing a solo, although singing is a bit misleading. He had the male part in "Sing", from A Chorus Line, which is more a rap than anything, but, even so, it was nice to finally have him in the spotlight.

Santana and Mercede's song was awesome; Kurt's duet with himself was spectacular; Rachel and Finn's throwing of the competition was hysterical; and Sam's and Quinn's duet of Jason Mraz's "Lucky" was one of the best songs of the season!

On a character note, I'm interested to see how the events in this show effect Brittany. The episode ended with Artie telling her off about how cavalier she is with sex, and, shockingly, it seemed to resonate with her. And am I the only one who was touched when it panned to her pushing a meatball with her nose all alone? Are we finally going to see Brittany act like an actual human being? I hope so.

All in all, great episode. It's without a doubt the best of the season so far. Plenty of comedy, great songs, a good drama add up to a quality hour of television.

No Sue though. That's a problem!

An "Island Universe" in the Coma Cluster

An "Island Universe" in the Coma Cluster (8/10/10)
A long-exposure Hubble Space Telescope image shows a majestic face-on spiral galaxy located deep within the Coma Cluster of galaxies, which lies 320 million light-years away in the northern constellation Coma Berenices.

The galaxy, known as NGC 4911, contains rich lanes of dust and gas near its center. These are silhouetted against glowing newborn star clusters and iridescent pink clouds of hydrogen, the existence of which indicates ongoing star formation. Hubble has also captured the outer spiral arms of NGC 4911, along with thousands of other galaxies of varying sizes. The high resolution of Hubble's cameras, paired with considerably long exposures, made it possible to observe these faint details.

NGC 4911 and other spirals near the center of the cluster are being transformed by the gravitational tug of their neighbors. In the case of NGC 4911, wispy arcs of the galaxy's outer spiral arms are being pulled and distorted by forces from a companion galaxy (NGC 4911A), to the upper right. The resultant stripped material will eventually be dispersed throughout the core of the Coma Cluster, where it will fuel the intergalactic populations of stars and star clusters.

NGC 4911 – click for 1280×1109 image

More here, here, here

Fall Break Roundup

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New York City. It never sleeps. The subways smell. It's always crowded. I love it! So much energy, so much culture, it's mind boggling! I had a very busy weekend, a lot of which was spent catching up with old friends, but, the film blogger/entertainment junkie in me needed to be fed, so, Monday (Columbus Day) was spent at the theatre, taking in some films that have since eluded me thanks to my almost rural living situation at Bard. Since I have three films to write about, I'm just going to do it all here, rather than separate reviews for each one. See? I'm consolidating! You know you love it!

But first, another furry. This is a hedgehog!

Fine! More like a prickly, but it's cute, so screw you!

First on my list was The Town. My whole dorm went on a trip into Red Hook to see this as a group to which I couldn't attend (thanks Hatter). They all seemed to like it enough, although I was getting vague hints of lukewarm appreciation in their voices when they talked about it that night. It could have also just been the fatigue due to the fact that they had to walk 3 miles back to campus because they missed the shuttle, but, well, I've said too much. A dorm mate asked me to see it so he could read what I wrote up on it, and me, always the sucker for new traffic, was more than happy to oblige.

So, how do I feel about The Town? Eh.

Don't get me wrong. The Town is still pretty good. It has a decent plot, ok characters, and plenty of urban action to keep the antsy teenage boy happy. But the story, which involves a bank robber trying to leave his life of crime behind him while the FBI closes in, is cliched as all holy hell; the characters are passable, but don't go far beyond the typical archetypes of the genre; and the action is exhilarating at first, but gets old really quickly!

Performances are alright. Ben Affleck is passable, as is Jon Hamm. Rebecca Hall and Jeremy Renner both do fantastic jobs, but they are the only people I can say that about. Given the genre that this film belongs to though, the acting is a lot better than what we usually come to expect.

The Town is just alright. It will probably generate some Oscar buzz, but won't go much farther than that. It's a Heat clone, and while it stands up as its own as a film, when compared to the masterpiece it is so shamelessly trying to ape, it falls flat!

Also, the title really sucks!

Edit: I'm changing my tune. I have since watched the Extended Cut of The Town, and I am pleased to report that it is a far superior film to the one shown in theaters. All the characters are much more fleshed out, and the acting is better because of it. Jon Hamm's FBI agent isn't just a dick for no reason; he's a dick because he's fed up with the rampant crime in the city. Affleck's character is much more conflicted, and, as such, much more likable. There's one scene that really turned it around for me. Right after he is outed as a crook to his girlfriend, Affleck's Doug goes to an abandoned bus, proceed to snort some some drugs. He then proceeds to unload his gun into his reflection that he sees in the mirror. It's an incredibly powerful moment that made it clear to me that Affleck had a great film made, and was forced to make cuts in the final hour. It's still not as good as Heat, or Gone Baby Gone, for that matter, but I am still now highly recommending it.



Next was Let Me In. Ok, I'll admit, I still haven't seen Let The Right One In, but I will soon, if only because I want to see the film that this gem is based off of!

A meek, bullied little boy by the name of Owen befriends his new next door neighbor, a girl named Abby. It's clear there's something off about Abby, but Owen doesn't care, as he has finally found a friend, and soon begins to fall for her. The thing is, Abby is a vampire. Uh-oh!

Owen and Abby are played by Kodi Scott-Mcphee of The Road and Chloe Moretz of Kick-Ass, respectively. Let me get this out of the way right now. The Academy had better get over their usual thing of not nominating minors and bestow some recognition on these two because they are spectacular! Smit-Mcphee is great as the lonely soul looking for someone to help him, but he is outdone by Moretz in every scene. She is astounding as this tiny bloodsucker, firmly cementing her place as, in my opinion, the best child actor working today! Richard Jenkins and Elias Koteas are there too, and are also very good!

Matt Reeves, who you may know as the bloke behind Cloverfield, is a smart little man. Normally, American remakes of foreign films tend to do away with subtlety and subtext in favor of more crowd pleasing shenanigans, but Reeves is clearly having none of that. Let Me In is wonderfully nuanced, perfectly paced, and downright chilling. It stabs at you, forcing you to feel something for the two kids. Reeves doesn't skimp on the blood either; this is a gory little film. But, the blood isn't there to appease all the people who think Saw is the end all be all of horror. Reeves is a director of class, and has made a movie that shows it.

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but Let Me In is the best movie I've seen so far this year! Sorry Inception, you had a good run, but this one soundly beat you! The Academy probably won't give it the attention it so clearly deserves, as it is a horror movie, and they will be wrong, and I will continue to send them hate mail. I don't know what's wrong with me, putting a horror movie at the top of my list, but I do know this. Let Me In is REALLY! FUCKING! GOOD!

On A Whole New Level!!!


Last up? Never Let Me Go. This was one was recommended to me by Hatter during our recording of the Matineecast when I singled out Andrew Garfield's performance in The Social Network. He's also in this one, along with two of the best current young British actresses working today. How does this one hold up to the brilliance that was Let Me In or the slightly above average The Town? It's not as good as Let Me In, but a whole hell of a lot better than The Town.

Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy all grew up together at Hailsham, a school for "special" children. As they mature and start to develop feelings for each other, the start to cope with the harsh reality that they must inhabit. See, in this dystopian world, disease is a thing of the past, but at a terrible cost. People are cloned, and these clones act as donors of vital organs when the time comes. Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy are just three of these clones.

First off, Andrew Garfield. My prediction stands. He will win Best Supporting Actor. Only thing is, now, I can't decide for which film, because he's just as good here, if not better, than he was in The Social Network. I'm amazed at his ability to embody a character and convey emotion with the smallest of facial ticks and eye movements. His character's confusion is so clearly apparent that it is almost overwhelming!

Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightly, as Kathy and Ruth respectively, are just as good as we've come to expect them to be. Mulligan only further proves that she should have gotten that Best Actress oscar last year, and Knightly adds yet another strong performance to her already impressive resume of quietly devastating performances.

Director Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) and writer Alex Garland (28 Days Later...) have crafted a dark, but beautiful little film. At times painfully slow, what makes Never Let Me Go work is how it stays focused on something small, the relationships between these three characters, in the context of this huge idea. Garland's script is very sharp, and Romanek's direction is pitch perfect. Aesthetically, Never Let Me Go is in a league of its own. If anything, this is a gorgeous film to look at!

It's not perfect, but it is still mighty impressive. Boasting strong acting from Mulligan and Knightly, and incredibly powerful work from Garfield, Never Let Me Go is just the film for you if you are looking for something quiet! It's pretty damn good, but it's missing that certain something that would make it great.


Doh, I almost forgot! I have one more thing to write about! God, how I could I not remember that? It was so good! Jeez, I'm a turkey! Alright, anyway...

It's New York City, and since you are reading the words of an aspiring actor, I think you can figure out where this is going. Of course I was going to see a show. Since I go crazy for musicals on Broadway, I decided to indulge in prime seats for a Saturday matinee (Don't worry. I did student rush. Much cheaper that way. And front row! A dancer almost kicked me in the face. AWESOME!!). The show in question? Memphis, this year's Tony award winner for Best Musical.

Memphis concerns a white DJ named Huey Calhoun, who looks past racial boundaries and radically plays Black R&B on an all white radio station. Though his superiors are initially angry, the young, white population of Memphis is hooked on the music Huey is playing, giving the African-American community a chance to step up and strutt their stuff. Along the way, Huey falls for a black singer by the name of Felicia, who, thanks to him, quickly climbs the ladder to stardom.

Ok, it's not the best plot in the books, but it is oddly engrossing, despite the cliched nature of it. What hammers it home is the performances by Chad Kimball and Montego Glover as Huey and Felicia. Glover is awesome as Felicia, showing great range whilst giving us a taste of her fantastic voice, but she is completely overshadowed by Kimball, who is sensational as Huey. As the friend I saw this with so eloquently put it, "He is the perfect example of how to get into character". His character is funny, sweet, heartbreaking, and infuriating. He has a great voice, and never once winks at the audience in that sort of, "Hey, this is a musical, so it's over the top, hehehehehe" sort of way.

The music and lyrics, both written by David Bryan of Bon Jovi, are also spectacular. Though it doesn't hold up to the brilliant music of Hair, Spring Awakening, or Rent in my eyes, it is still a great example of how classic styles of popular music can be translated to a Broadway stage. There are some really fantastic songs here. The finale in particular will be stuck in your head for days to come after you walk out of the theatre.

Memphis won that Tony for a reason. It's the best damn musical I've seen in a good while! Seriously strong performances, great music, inspired dancing, awesome energy! Gah, I wish I could see it again!


Whew! That was fun! Three movies. One show. Good break. Back to work I guess. Oh well. See you next time!

Matineecast 22: Social Pariahs

Monday, October 11, 2010

Here's my first appearance on Mad Hatter's Matineecast. Let me tell you! This episode was bitch to record. Bad internet at Bard. Files not showing up. Microphone issues. Hatter being a big turkey and not recording for the first hour. Fun times! Even so, we had a great time slogging through the technical difficulties and such as we discussed The Social Network, expectations, and filmic things we are thankful for. I've been jonsing to get in on this podcast for a while, and I had a blast doing it!

I'm Not Dead Yet

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blog's closed for the weekend!
I'm on break!
I'll be living large in NYC!
The alien out front shoulda told ya!
Hope you didn't listen to the beaver in the yellow raincoat!
He lies!
Back on Monday with a particularly awesome post (Hatter knows what I'm talkin' about!)
Cya then!

He's incredibly knowledgeable!

Glee Review: Grilled Cheesus

Thursday, October 7, 2010

About friggin' time they sang some Billy Joel!

Glee got serious this week! In a big change of pace from last week's insanely entertaining, but ultimately unimportant Britney/Brittany, this week's episode sees Will and Co. tackling religion and how each member of the club views that tricky subject.

It all begins when Finn makes a grilled cheesus, aka, he sees the face of Christ in the burn marks of his grilled cheese. This hilarious concept turns into one of the heaviest episodes Glee has given us. Kurt's dad, Burt, has a heart attack, and the prognosis doesn't look good. All the members of the club tell him to pray for a cure, while they do the same, but Kurt isn't having it. He adamantly believes there is no God, and cruelly, but understandably brushes off their help.

Meanwhile, Finn is praying to Grilled Cheesus for help with his everyday problems, namely, going farther with Rachel in the sack, and traversing the ranks in the football team. He accomplishes all this, but, big fucking surprise, has a realization that maybe it isn't right what he was doing.

Sue shows a significant more amount of humanity when she tries to stop the club from singing spiritual songs, as she shares the same opinion as Kurt. This doesn't stem from Sue's pathological need to ruin New Directions; it is actually a deeply personal feeling for her, one that we haven't seen from her yet.

Unlike last weeks Britney Spears focused episode, the songs in here all have connection to the plot and what each character is feeling. The only problem is that, while all the songs are well performed, most of them are so painfully obvious that the message is lost! I really dug Puck sticking to his mantra of only singing songs by Jewish artists, leading him into a rollicking rendition of "Only the Good Die Young". Kurt's heartfelt ballad of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", was beautiful, and, though I could see it coming from a mile away, Finn singing "Losing My Religion" was pretty good, if only because it's REM, and they rule! All the other songs, especially the finale, made me pull a face palm on myself. Both of Mercedes' songs were good, but, oh so cliched. Whitney Houston's "I Look To You" was nice, but Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge of Troubled Water" rang hollow. And then the finale. "What If God Was One Of Us"? Really? Can't you think of something a little less obvious?

Despite this, the episode dealt with the heavy subject matter very well, thanks in large part to the acting on Chris Colfer. As Kurt, he displays wonderful vulnerability, and does a great job selling it. Jane Lynch also does solid dramatic acting. Cory Monteith is alright as Finn, but I couldn't help but get annoyed by his character this episode. Kurt's dad is in the hospital, and Finn is still a selfish asshole for most of it. This is the same exact we've seen him go through countless times. I wish he would grow the fuck up already!

A good episode all around. Not perfect, as some song choices drag it down a little bit, but, for sheer dramatic content, this is one of the best offerings Glee has providing yet.

Also, I love how Mercedes says hello to her congregation! "Hey Church!" Awesome!

15 Directors Meme

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So, there was this note thing going around Facebook that some blogger buddies that I've friended got in on. As far as I know, it was initiated by Branden. Anyway, I don't really like Facebook notes; I created this blog to get away from them, so, I'm going to write out my thing right here, where everyone else can see it. How do you like my shameless ploy to get more traffic? Damn, I am devious!

Before the jump, another animal for your ocular enjoyment! This is a meerkat!

Hakuna Matata Bitches!

Anyway, the idea is that you list off the first 15 directors that come to your head that have shaped the way you look at movies. You know, the ones that will always stick with you. Don't take too long to think about it. Just churn em' out. For a little extra flavor, I'm going to list off the movie I think best exemplifies what each director is all about next to their name! Let's do this.

Christopher Nolan (Inception)
David Fincher (Se7en)
Steven Speildberg (Schindler's List)
George Lucas (The Empire Strikes Back)
James Cameron (Terminator 2: Judgement Day)
Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather)
Danny Boyle (28 Days Later...)
Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction)
Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum)
Martin Scorcese (The Departed)
Michael Mann (Heat)
Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange)
Ridley Scott (Alien)
Joel and Ethan Coen (Fargo)

Hmmm... This has the looks of a meme! Alright, let's roll with it! Let's turn it into a meme! Who to tag, who to tag, who to tag? If you're tagged, and decide to take part, standard rules apply! Write it up, tag others, and so on and so forth!

Peter from Magic Lantern Film Blog
Aiden from Cut the Crap Movie Reviews
Marshall from Marshall and the Movies
Nick from Random Ramblings of a Demented Doorknob

According to the Movies #13

If the movies say it, it must be true!

So, last week I talked about how the hero of a balls to the wall action movie is invincible, right? Bullets, knifes, and other things that kill a normal person, have no effect on them. In Commando, John Matrix (awesome name!) can walk through a hail of gunfire, and not get hit once. In Ninja Assassin, Raizo gets cut up by what seems to be hundreds of ninja stars, and yet he is still able to jump around, slicing dudes in half in increasingly bloody fashion. However, since there needs to be some high stakes in there, or else everyone would just get bored really fast, the hero always gets hurt in the end, and only by one individual. The main antagonist is the only person who can hurt the hero. The movie gods have blessed him/her with the Elixir of Supreme Villainy. Only they can do damage to the hero!

The Lesson: Are you the hero in a balls to the wall action movie? Great! Go nuts! Blow shit up for an hour and fifty minutes of your two hour run time. However, be prepared. In the final ten minutes of the film, you will face your nemesis, and he will do something to you! He/she will hurt you, and you will feel something you have never felt before. That thing is called pain. Don't worry, you'll still kill him in a glorious fashion, but, even so. Know your enemy! He/she is the only one who will do any damage to you!

Trailer Trash: Skyline

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's time to root through some trailers. What sorts of wonderful things will be alluded to today?

Ok, yes, I know. The trailer for True Grit came out, and it's awesome! But, everyone and their dog is writing about that one and I want to give another project a chance to shine. Look at me, being all charitable like that.

Skyline seeks to put a new spin on the alien abduction/invasion genre with it's fresh idea. As people start to wake up in the morning, they see a bright blue light from outside. Once they see the light, they are hooked, and walk, zombie like, towards it. Once they arrive at the source of the light, they are sucked up into one of the dozens of ships that have appeared in the sky. A group of survivors that have managed to avoid being abducted must now contend with the invasion force, which includes giant four legged monsters, tenacious attack drones, and other, as yet unknown things. As the world begins to fight back, this group of survivors struggle to stay alive.

Skyline employs a cast of relative unknowns. Eric Balfour is the clear protagonist, as he gets the most screen time. Donald Faison, aka Turk from Scrubs, is also in the mix, as is David Zayas from Dexter. I'm not familiar enough with these actors to form an opinion, but, from what I've seen, they're pretty good. Should be interesting to see how they do.

This trailer looks pretty sweet! The previous one was enough to start stirring the juices of interest in my brian, and now I am officially excited for this to come out! It visually impressive, well shot, and looks to have some cool action and special effects. The only caveat is that is made by the same people who gave us the abysmal Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. Only time will tell whether or not they can redeem themselves.

An Elegant Galaxy in an Unusual Light

An Elegant Galaxy in an Unusual Light (9/22/10)
A new image taken with the powerful HAWK-I camera on ESO’s Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile shows the beautiful barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 in infrared light. NGC 1365 is a member of the Fornax cluster of galaxies, and lies about 60 million light-years from Earth. ...

The new infrared images from HAWK-I are less affected by the dust that obscures parts of the galaxy than images in visible light and they reveal very clearly the glow from vast numbers of stars in both the bar and the spiral arms. These data were acquired to help astronomers understand the complex flow of material within the galaxy and how it affects the reservoirs of gas from which new stars can form. The huge bar disturbs the shape of the gravitational field of the galaxy and this leads to regions where gas is compressed and star formation is triggered. Many huge young star clusters trace out the main spiral arms and each contains hundreds or thousands of bright young stars that are less than ten million years old. The galaxy is too remote for single stars to be seen in this image and most of the tiny clumps visible in the picture are really star clusters. Over the whole galaxy, stars are forming at a rate of about three times the mass of our Sun per year.

While the bar of the galaxy consists mainly of older stars long past their prime, many new stars are born in stellar nurseries of gas and dust in the inner spiral close to the nucleus. The bar also funnels gas and dust gravitationally into the very centre of the galaxy, where astronomers have found evidence for the presence of a super-massive black hole, well hidden among myriads of intensely bright new stars.

NGC 1365 – click for 1280×1271 image

More: here, here, here

Broken Social Scene

Saturday, October 2, 2010

We live in a digital age. Like it or not, that's the way it is! Cell phones have replaced face to face conversation; e-mail has replaced paper mail; social networks have replaced actual socializing! I would say I don't like this, but who am I to talk? I'm a perpetrator! The Social Network would have you believe that it is simply the story of the creation of Facebook. It is far more then this. David Fincher's astounding new film holds up a mirror to modern day society, showing us all how friggin' dumb we have all become! Though I don't think this is the best movie going experience of the year (that's Inception), The Social Network is, officially, the movie to beat come Oscar time. Shockingly well made, impeccably scripted with career best performances from all involved, this is one piece of pop culture that you need to experience.

Oooo. Bunch of guys looking at a computer screen! Oh, the implications!

Plot wise, The Social Network is just that, the story of the founding of the most popular social networking site, Facebook. Wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg came up with the idea one night in his dorm room at Harvard, got his three roommates in on it, and the rest, as they say is history. As the site reaches monumental levels of popularity, Zuckerberg lets his ambitions get away from him, leading to make an enemy of his best friend and business partner, Eduardo Saverin. As the Facebook enterprise begins to grow, thanks in part to Mark's relations with Napster founder Sean Parker, he begins to take fire from all angles, from a trio of fellow classmates, who claim it was their idea first, to Saverin, who wants his fair share of the pot!

Both director David Fincher and Mark Zuckerberg himself have gone on record to say that the way events are portrayed in this film is heavily fictionalized! That being said, it's still a damn fine story! Though it's a character study, it moves like a thriller, getting your blood pumping as the stakes are consistently raised, while taking time to create and explore real, believable, relatable characters. It's really friggin' good!

Jesse Eisenberg plays Zuckerberg. I honestly can't think of a better person for this role. Eisenberg's trade mark awkwardness and fast talking are perfect for the character. The movie portrays Zuckerberg to be posses shockingly bad social skills, almost to a pathological level, and Eisenberg fully embodies this. Mark is ultimately an brilliant, but empty man, who is obsessed with doing something substantial, but has no idea what do with the real relationships in his life. So blind to the real world is he, that even as his relationship with his best (only?) friend comes crashing down, he doesn't seem to care, holding the same look of quiet and sad detachment on his face for the whole thing! It's a great performance from Eisenberg, one that we haven't seen out of him yet!

Eduardo Saverin is played by relative newcomer Andrew Garfield. I made some quip a while back about how Garfield would need to impress me here to convince that he was ready for the Spider-Man reboot. Verdict: I'm more than convinced! Garfield does just as fine a job as Eisenberg, if not better! Saverin is the emotional one of the group, constantly having to balance out Zuckerberg's indifference with touches of humanity, always looking out for him, and then displaying tremendous fury and pain when he realizes that he has been cheated! Garfield is shockingly good as the soul of the project! Though he's not the focus of the film, he's the slowly bleeding conscience of it!

Justin Timberlake is another revelation as Sean Parker! Timberlake has always been an actor I've defended. I've always seen him as a pop star with actual talent and acting chops to match! Maybe now people will come over to my side. He's mad crazy brilliant as this smooth and sexy, but ultimately dangerous entrepreneur. The way he suckers Zuckerberg into his world and outcasts Saverin is simply chilling, and Timberlake sells it as well as it possibly could be sold! He is a slimy and disreputable character, but God damn is he good!

Other performances include Rooney Mara, completely redeeming herself for A Nightmare on Elm Street as Erica Albright, Zuckerbergs muse who's breakup with him starts the whole mess, Armie Hammer, playing two roles as the comically dedicated Winklevoss twins, and Rashida Jones as a office intern sitting in on Mark's deposition!

All performances are great, and Oscar noms are definitely incoming for Eisenberg, Garfield, and Timberlake. I'm predicting, here and now, that Garfield is going to win Best Supporting Actor! He's that good!

How could you do that to her Mark?

The Social Network, though not dealing with serial killers or men with absurd identity crises, isn't all that far off in tone from director David Fincher's other works. Fincher excels at making films about people who are obsessed with something, in this case, accomplishing something of substance! Though this is the least violent of all his films, all of his stylistic choices are there! Harvard is lit like dungeon, and there are rarely any scenes set in wide open environments, keeping up the feeling of isolation that is prevalent in the film, giving the whole experience that feeling of dread that only Fincher can deliver! He's a very good director, but The Social Network ranks right up there with Se7en and Zodiac as his best works!

The script, penned by Aaron Sorkin, also deserves praising! The dialogue flies at a mile a minute, is always snappy, and is consistently interesting! Since Mark and Co. are computer programmers, a lot of jargon that most people won't understand, coding and what not, is thrown around willy nilly, but always in a way that the audience can comprehend! To hear Zuckerberg relay to us how he hacked into Harvard's databases to steal all the headshots of the students would normally be a snooze, but, thanks to Sorkin's devilishly clever script, it's actually quite exhilarating! 

The Social Network is something special! Not only is it a first rate movie, it also presents us with a startling accurate picture of how much our social lives are ruled by technology. The last shot of Zuckerberg sitting, stone faced at his computer, constantly refreshing the web page to see if someone accepted his friend request is a startling accurate image of our times! The films boasts incredibly strong writing (Sorkin should start making room on his shelf for his Oscar right now), mad crazy brilliant performances (Eisenberg, Garfield, and Timberlake have all graduated into a higher class of actor), and impeccable direction from one of the modern greats (Fincher might want to clear some space on the mantle as well)! Though it hasn't dethroned Inception from my mind as the best of the year, The Social Network has jumped far ahead of all the other award season contenders. Oscar, I think you've found your winner!


Knowledge Link Suggest

Drug Abuse Online Lottery Games Drug Abuse Health and Fitness Health and Fitness free music downloads Law Reports Wallpapers Artist online shop originals Product Auto Parts Web Developer online shop originals Product Insurance Company Health Life Technology System Home Security Beauty Cosmetic Online Travel Agency Linux Tips Guide Shooting Simulator Gadgets Technology Project Build Houses Payday Loans Health News Information Animals Shop Travel Agency North Owl Network Dentist Healthy Aging asian pretty The Tool Hospital Barbecook Best way to make Money with Forex Trading Green Home Design Online Lottery atozbythesea.eu.org augmentezvosventes.eu.org automobielbedrijf.eu.org aworldofwindows.eu.org aws-orgware.eu.org azregionalmls.eu.org bacimamma.eu.org Business Plan Competition travel channel and rental cars Pharmacy and drugs Criminal Justice Planning Agency Lawyers Association The Best of Insurance http://celebritytidings.eu.org http://livingandfashion.eu.org Academic Advising Audio logo Stock Audio auto repair advice guide Healthy Women Medical Centre busy with business Car Finance Tools Debt Settlement Lawyer crafty stash corner cuentas and colors Cheap Wedding Dresses drug abuse statistics Lifestyle Home Solutions education essay titles finance insurance premium Lawyer and Legal Information guide healthy recipes health problems of children health topics kids home decorating service home improvement project home improvement project management home improvement project planning home insurance morgages house insurance plan house insurance progressive The Savings Bank insurance agency business loans insurance business loans insurance premium loan legacy landscape blocks legacy landscape contractors legacy landscape materials personal insurance loan real estate for commercial Bedroom Furniture Lawyer Requirements Concept Design teach about alcohol abuse technology support autocar the family deal tile flooring ideas tips lifetime fitness tips reduce car insurance quotes Online Jewelry Stores traveller hotel Insurance and Finance Auto and Parts wood flooring ideas the networks board game Adult Learning Theories sexy lingerie tattoo designs wallpaper artist health category insurance financial category Category Online Money Category Home Improvement online business category Category software games and android category marketing advertising category marketing advertising Home Solution Real Estate Financing Lucepedia Sports and Fitness Train Now Business Economy Global auto car loans car loans insurance Health Information how to prevent diabetes Best Credit Cards Cheap Wedding Dresses Small Business Finance Systems Body Health Home Improvement Services Guide Android Apps and Games fashion design Alcoholism Android Phones Board Games Cheap Tickets and Vacation Packages Online Prevent Child Obesity Prevent Premature Ejaculation Labor Lawyers Home Interior Design Ideas plumbers and carpet cleaning service diet and slimming Beautiful Picture Doctors Dental Care music video art BurningPedia Guide Planning Home Improvement Beauty Cosmetic Web Development Company lawyer requirements Books On Children Education security innovation work iPhone and iPad Turkey The Medical School Barbecue Electric The Linux Documentation Project Mental Health Care New Car Buying Guide House Curtains Dentist All System Education iPhone Specifications Cloud Trading Strategy mortgages and loans Pharmaceutical Info Online Application Service Provider The Masterchef Business Service Delivery Arts and Entertainment Pokerstars Real Money The Masterchef Electric Motors Gadgets Technology Casino Zone Small Business Solutions Home Advice Fashion Design Clothing Adventure Games Health and Fitness Hospital Equipment Plan Life Insurance public transportation services Prevent Premature Ejaculation Best Professional Carpet Cleaning Web Hosting Vehicle Emissions Inspection Drug Abuse Collection Travel Agency Medical Herbs color vision casting Aromatherapy Tips community film Cardio Tips Top Best Home Improvements Article Marketing Colon Cleanse Tips Terms and Conditions of Sale Products for Treating Acne Scars Natural Beauty Products Seo Web Marketing Business Prospects Trade Online Tool House Cleaner Bathing Equipment Financial Solutions Credit Loans Business Insurance Best Supplements Online Affiliate Marketing Web Design Jobs Online Business Degrees Travel and Leisure Hotel Business Online Payment Processor Women Management Criminal Law Marketing Product Webdesign Transportation Services The Marketing Business Prospects Trade Online Shop bed furniture free movies online Direct Hardware Supply Free Download PDF Technology Ipad doctors Specials Medical Dictionary Legacy Landscape Bank South Pacific Carpet Cleaner Best Internet Business Seo Web Marketing Doctor Healthy Doctors Diet Program Health Benefits of Drinking Water ups pills drugs Best Supplements dynasty fine jewelry Ceramic Floor Tile Online Business Degrees Property Residential and Commercial Real Estate All About Medical Bankruptcy Prevent Child Obesity Handbag and Shoes Education of Children physiotherapy school Cheap Airline Tickets Healthy Life PET online Interzoo Rehabilitation Center electric hybrid vehicles Baidu Software Center Automotive Advertising Agencies Health and Care Virtual private network Student Education Technosound Wedding Dresses excel archives Classic Car Restoration Defense Audit Banking Travel and holiday Forex Trading Jobs Cheap Car Insurance Opening the Book Safe Chemical Act Presspeople System Software Plan Life Insurance Top Best Home Improvements Cheap Car Insurance Auto Parts and Service Swiss Business Acting in Real Time Fitness Equipment Tips Bodybuilding Tips Search Engine Optimization Cardio Tips Beauty Salon Express The Best Advice Lawyer Advice Associated With Online Payday Spa and Wellness Center Packages Holiday Travel European Countries Tours Small Business Finance Electronic Cigarette Commercial Law Advice on Travel Planning Home and Family All System Education Graphic Visual Photo business between countries Shop Online Financial Security Authority Latest Fashion Trends Photoshop Wallpaper Real Estate Agents Micro Cogeneration Beauty Products Business Travel Insurance International Trucks For Sale Hair Tonic Top Web Design Business Financial Touring Start Vehicle Emissions Inspection Business Service Delivery Insurance and Finance Web Design Business Shopping Online Insurance Processing Systems Electric System Vehicle Blood Medicine European Vehicle Market Pharmaceutical Section Home sale Beauty Therapy Acupuncture Recipes Kitchen Restaurant Hardwood Flooring Resident Services The Masterchef Employment and the Economy Free Web Design Paint Creations Travel Insurance SEO Consulting Services Car Insurance Loans Doctors Dental Care Vehicle Wash Systems Search Engine Marketing Online Education Schools Natural Beauty Site Cheap Wedding Dresses annuaire automobile episiotomy and pregnant Westerly Lawyers Healthcare Travel Vacations Cheap iPhone Specifications The ReaL Estate Event Online Pharmacy and Drugstore Music Video Art CareCredit Cloud Trading Strategy House Cleaning Services Interoperability the talent agency Good Home Design shooting simulator Independent Port Services The Hotel Sax The Digital Money Booking Tickets and Hotels Online Business Loans Department of Pharmacy Law Free Credit Report football development Trending in Entertainment Prison Education Sexy Lingerie Wood Flooring Ideas Dealer Optics and Ophthalmology Car Insurance Online Urbanism and Architecture Electronic money International Conference on Education Dental Care Auto Repair Shop Auto Repair Advice Guide Dental Clinic Online Pharmacy Debt Consolidation Loans Free Software Smartphone Advice on benefits Insurance Providence Real Estate Product Research Analyst Product Research Facilitator Fashion Magazine Substance Abuse Education And Technology Marketing Strategy The Best Payday Advance Incident Report Criminal Accounting Books Caring for Pets Real Estate Financing Banking Software Solutions Financial Solutions Credit Loans Full Service Research Agency Discover our free games Business Prospects Trade Online Restaurant Hood Cleaning how to start a business Women's Health and Beauty Payday Loans Criminal Attorney Lawyers Travel and Tourism Fashion Designer The Food Products Fitness and Sports The Beginner's Guide to Businesses Tips To Make SEO Techniques Online Payday Loans Medical Advocate Englisch Training Online Drivers Education Auto Parts and Service Best hotels cheap sport shoes Dental Work Insurance Company Android Phones Financial Advice Service Mobile phone Free Credit Report  The Hair Tonic Advantage Car Rental Information Civil Law Information Payday Cash Loans Payday Cash Loans Advance Affordable Auto Insurance Effective Quality Services Car seats Product Interactions Specialist Medicina Natural Traveller and Hotel European Investment Bank Vehicle Electrical System Pet Food Shop Online Lawyer Employment Plaza Ballroom Weddings Art School The best form of insurance solutions Advice on benefits Insurance Medical coding Tutor Buying Safe Products Free Online Game Famous Fashion Designers Education in Music Virtual Currency Systems Learn Trading Folktronica music Digital currency Manufacturing Engineering Technology Fashionista The Money System Explained Good Marketing In Business Technology Ipad Real Estate Bubble CarePass for Android Business Direct Marketing Carpet Cleaner Natural Beauty Products Seo Web Marketing Business Prospects Trade Online Tool House Cleaner Bathing Equipment Financial Solutions Credit Loans Business Insurance Best Supplements Online Affiliate Marketing Web Design Jobs Online Business Degrees Travel and Leisure Hotel Property Residential and Commercial Real Estate All About Medical Bankruptcy Prevent Child Obesity Handbag and Shoes Education of Children Women Management Free Online Slots Games Healthy Life PET online Interzoo Sunrise Health and Rehabilitation Center Presspeople System Software Baidu Software Center Scientific Entrepreneurship Automotive Advertising Agencies Health and Care Virtual private network Student Education Technosound Information network energy sources Niche Dating Classic Car Restoration Defense Audit Banking Travel and holiday Safe Chemical Act Leader in internet information Music Electric The Marketing verb translation country island FILM LITERATURE GOLD STATUS A Short History of Movies Sexy Lingerie Classified ads Inspire Home Design Trauma Clinic Finance Investment Business Marketing Acting in Real Time Glasgow Tourism Herbal Medicine Cheap Car Insurance Quotes Health Pregnancy Professional Graphic and New Media Designers Legal Connect Network Generating Money Online Oregon health plan Slow Cooker Recipes Best Internet Business Terms and Conditions of Sale Products for Treating Acne Scars Hardwoods Furniture Green Tea Fitness Equipment Tips Bodybuilding Tips Forex Trading Article Marketing Colon Cleanse Tips Hair Loss Tips List Building Search Engine Optimization Cardio Tips Aromatherapy Tips Medical Weight Loss Clinic The Benefits Of Moving Insurance Travel Advice Online Dating Security Network Information Green Energy Scheme Group Auto International Business Telecommunication International All Medicine Reviews Marketplace Real Estate Review Clothing Style Management Consulting Real estate Natural Medicine Treatment Natural Beauty Skin Care Products Shop online Marketing Bank rent car guide Fishing Games cheap website traffic Health and Beauty Gambling football Clothes and Accessories Garden and Landscaping Portal Game Online E-commerce Business Car Accident Lawyer Criminal Law Best free Android apps Hotel and Travel Jobs Technology Film Industry Free Music Downloads Solar Installation Search Engine Optimization Life Technologies Football Betting Site Substance Abuse Apartments home improvement contractor job Luxury Car News Law Products and Services Business Web Hosting Company Complaints Diabetes Drug Abuse Marketing Product Make Money Online Living Without Money Apartments Luxury Car News Law Products and Services Growth Technologies Articles on business growth technologies information Health Insurance Management Advisors System Solar Panel Online Trading The Best of Insurance Payday Loans for Bad Credit Financial Solutions Credit Loans Ensure Insurance Plan Financial Management Team Payday Loans Reviews Distributed File System Student Loan Payments Cheap Insurance in Los Angeles Favorite Fashion Styles The Best Savings Rates Manage Student Loans Webshop europe business guide Shop Personal Loans debt consolidation loans Personal Loan Repayment Chiropractic Tables Webdesign Management Concepts Android Software Free Internet Solution the online casino Best Small Business Blogs Sound Beginnings Automotive Electrical Systems Skin Care in Centrum Master Ethique Cher Client Agency Law Sell Products Online Mens Shoes Strategy Business Development Women's shoes Headache Causes Shop Online Clothing Online Pharmacy Healthy Aging Battle Games best electric vehicle Commercial Real Estate Cosmetic Beauty Product Health Medicine Pharmacy Image of the Orient Fashion Jewellery

Blog Archive