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Glee Review: Britney/Brittany

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Now that's more like it!

Glee this week picked up with, no surprise, the club bitching about Will's song choices for them for the homecoming assembly. Kurt is big on the idea of doing Britney Spears at the assembly, but Will, clearly still shellshocked from the club's scandalous performance of "Push It" from the previous year, is not having it! Neither is Brittany, who reveals that she has a deep seeded loathing of Britney Spears since their names are so alike (Brittany S. Pierce).

Meanwhile, Emma's new BF, an unrealistically good looking dentist by the name of Carl, shows up, and Will suckers him into giving the club a lecture on dental hygiene. This leads to Brittany ending up in Carl's chair, due to her having "the worst teeth he's ever seen"! He knocks her out with some anesthesia, and puts on Pandora. Lo and behold, what comes on, but Britney Spears. With the combo of the music and the narcotics, Brittany hallucinates that she is just as talented as the pop diva (which is not saying much; the talent of Britney Spears is questionable at best). This leads her to become drastically more confident and willing to perform Spears' songs with the club. Santana, Rachel, and Artie soon all jump onto the drug wagon, and all have Brittany inspired hallucinations of their own.

Meanwhile, Will is trying to become less uptight, thinking that it will impress Emma. Rachel and Finn are still affirming their love for each other. Artie is still obsessed with winning back Tina. Santana is still a skank, and Sue is still Sue!

First off, the big thing about this episode! It's Heather Morris' coming out party! Though she is beloved all around as Brittany, she hasn't had her turn in the spotlight, until now. I think I can sum up how she did in one word.

YOWZA!

Who knew she could do that? Not only is Morris absurdly hot performing all of Spears' risque moves to the likes of "Toxic", "Me Against the Music", and "Slave", but the girl can sing! Unless she has been autotuned all to hell - which, knowing this show, is a possibility - Morris has a damn fine voice! Her one liners are here in full force, so worry not. Did I mention she's absurdly hot in this episode? To see her baring her stomach in a green bikini top and tiny jean shorts with a snake draped across her shoulders... I'm getting all hot n' bothered just writing about it! My out of control hormones aside, Morris' does a bang up job, and I really hope she gets more solos in the future!

The music in this episode was really good, and this is coming from someone who greatly loathes the artist who made it. The inclusion of Spears' songs is good for the show, though nowhere near as effective as "The Power of Madonna". The songs didn't really mesh with the story, since most of them were just hallucinations where the characters relived the music video of said song. As if to further drive home the fact that the writers weren't as inspired by Britney as they were Madonna, the episode ends with Paramore's "The Only Exception". What?

Speaking of weak points, Will's plot line of becoming less uptight was also not up to snuff. The show took it in some weird directions, as when he performs "Toxic" with the club on stage in front of everyone. There were some comedic moments, both involving Jacob, that were too over the top, even for Glee. The "Britney Spears sex riot", as Sue called it, was funny, but took it way too far, though the punchline of Sue getting trampled and threatening to sue Will was great!

John Stamos' Carl is a nice introduction to the cast. Sam and Sunshine are nowhere to be seen this week, further driving home the fact that they were just afterthoughts to begin with, and Bieste only made a brief appearance. All the other regulars are fine, but it's Morris who really stands out in this one. Her performance singlehandedly brings this episode back up to where Glee was before the lackluster premiere. Atta girl Brittany! Maybe you're not so dumb after all!

A Galactic Spectacle

A Galactic Spectacle (8/5/10)
The Antennae galaxies, located about 62 million light years from Earth, are shown in this composite image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), the Hubble Space Telescope (gold and brown), and the Spitzer Space Telescope (red). The Antennae galaxies take their name from the long antenna-like "arms," seen in wide-angle views of the system. These features were produced by tidal forces generated in the collision.

The collision, which began more than 100 million years ago and is still occurring, has triggered the formation of millions of stars in clouds of dusts and gas in the galaxies. The most massive of these young stars have already sped through their evolution in a few million years and exploded as supernovas.

The X-ray image from Chandra shows huge clouds of hot, interstellar gas that have been injected with rich deposits of elements from supernova explosions. This enriched gas, which includes elements such as oxygen, iron, magnesium and silicon, will be incorporated into new generations of stars and planets.




Antennae Galaxies – click for 851×864 image


More: here, here, here

According to the Movies #12

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If the movies say it, it must be true!

Since stupid mainstream America loves to see shit blow up and their hero/heroine mercilessly kill thousands of worthless henchmen, Hollywood is going to provide, and rake in mad profit! Now, I realize that it's ridiculous to analyze the realism of a balls to the wall action movie, but, then again, the whole point of this series is to point out the ridiculous aspects of movies that you might not notice! Anyway, since moviegoers want a hero/heroine they can cheer for and whose survival they need not worry about, bullets and swords and other things that can kill you don't touch the protagonist, or, if they do, don't effect them in the slightest! Arnold Schwarzenegger can run through a whole platoon of guys, gunning them down left and right, and nothing will happen to him (Commando, True Lies)! Russell Crowe can crash into a contingent of medieval soldiers, laying waste and whatnot, and receive nary a scratch (Gladiator, Robin Hood)!



The Lesson: If you are the hero/heroine in an action movie, take heart! The movie gods have bestowed thee with invincibility, and awesome badassery! You will kick so much ass, and you won't sustain a single wound! You! Are! A! God!

Disclaimer: There is a part two to this lesson! Tune in next week!

Selected readings 9/28/10

Tuesday, September 28, 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.


Convincing a Young Scientist that Dark Matter Exists
So I was in favor of dark matter, but I wasn't entirely convinced. I wanted a "smoking gun" piece of evidence for dark matter. Something that was an entirely new prediction that we could look for -- much like that 1919 eclipse was for general relativity -- and decide whether dark matter predicts what we're going to see. [Starts with a Bang, 6/24/10]

How blind to change are you?
This failure to notice what should be very apparent is something we unconsciously experience every day as our brains filter the barrage of visual information which we are flooded with. And apparently it has a name; it is called change blindness. [BBC News, 6/11/10]

New data suggest a lighter Higgs
New data offer evidence that the heft of the Higgs particle lies somewhere in the low end of the range being probed by particle colliders on two continents. The results also hint that the particle’s mass may be consistent with supersymmetry, a theory that gives every particle in the standard model of physics a much heavier partner. [Science News, 7/26/10]

Jellyfish eye genes suggest a common origin for animal eyes
Jellyfish may seem like simple blobs but some have surprisingly sophisticated features, including eyes. These are often just light-sensitive pits but species like the root-arm medusa have complex ‘camera’ eyes, with a lens that focuses light onto a retina. Not only are these organs superficially similar to ours, they’re also constructed from the same genetic building blocks. [Not Exactly Rocket Science, 7/27/10]

Astronomy and particle physics race to replace Standard Model
If energy issues seem to be attracting the attention of a lot of physicists, the Large Hadron Collider seems to be drawing the attention of many of the rest of them, including people in fields like cosmology, which deals with items on the opposite end of the size scale. In turn, the people working on the LHC and other particle detectors are carefully paying attention to the latest astronomy results, hoping they'll put limits on the properties and identities of the zoo of theoretical particles that need to be considered. [Nobel Intent, 7/28/10]

Genetics tells tall tales
Studies scanning the genomes of tens of thousands of individuals for gene variants associated with height have come up short: around 50 variants have been identified, but together they account for only 5% or so of height's heritability. ... This heritability may not be missing — it may simply be buried deeper than previously thought, in a multitude of genetic variants that have tiny effects individually. [Nature News, 6/20/10]

Dark matter eldorado
Observations confirm that a faint group of stars in the Milky Way’s backyard has the highest density of dark matter — the invisible material thought to account for 83 percent of the mass of the universe — of any galaxy known. [Science News, 7/30/10]

Searching through the LHC data flood for dark matter
Although the Standard Model has needed some minor tweaking to deal with recent observations, Gross said that there are three major issues that suggests it's due for a major overhaul. One of these is that we have convincing evidence that dark matter exists, and comes in the form of particles that are heavy and stable to at least the life of the Universe. Unfortunately, the Standard Model provides nothing that meets these requirements. [Nobel Intent, 8/1/10]

Two New Paths to the Dream: Regeneration
Animals like newts and zebra fish can regenerate limbs, fins, even part of the heart. If only people could do the same, amputees might grow new limbs and stricken hearts be coaxed to repair themselves. But humans have very little regenerative capacity, probably because of an evolutionary trade-off: suppressing cell growth reduced the risk of cancer, enabling humans to live longer. A person can renew his liver to some extent, and regrow a fingertip while very young, but not much more. [New York Times, 8/5/10]

Sponge genes surprise
A complete genetic catalog of the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica suggests that the first animals already had a complex kit of genetic tools at their disposal. Sponges harbor between 18,000 and 30,000 genes — roughly the same number as humans, fruit flies, roundworms and other animals. [Science News, 8/4/10]

Plentiful and Potential Planets
Two planet-hunting telescopes - CoRoT and Kepler - are keeping astronomers hard at work cataloging far-distant planets that orbit other stars in our galaxy. The search for distant planets is essential for astrobiologists who are hunting for habitable, Earth-like worlds beyond our solar system. [Physorg.com, 6/23/10]

World’s Most Intense X-Ray Laser Takes First Shots
The world’s most intense X-ray laser may soon be the fastest strobe-light camera ever. Two of the laser’s first experiments show the device will be able to take snapshots of single molecules in motion — without destroying them first. [Wired Science, 6/30/10]

The origin of life: putting chemistry inside a cell
In Szostak's view, interesting chemistry is easy. He also said that Darwinian evolution also makes things easy, since it's possible to take what you've got and radically improve it. So what's bugging him these days is the transition in between the two. How do you move from interesting chemistry to something that can evolve? He's doing this by trying to engineer a system that can make the transition. [Nobel Intent, 6/28/10]

Why weather != climate: the engine behind climate models
In this article I take a look at climate modeling and in particular why the comment "They can't predict the weather, therefore climate models are not good" is just plain wrong. It represents a fundamental misunderstanding of what climate modelers are trying to achieve, what is achievable and why the weather is unpredictable. [Nobel Intent, 7/9/10]

Does Your Language Shape How You Think?
The habits of mind that our culture has instilled in us from infancy shape our orientation to the world and our emotional responses to the objects we encounter, and their consequences probably go far beyond what has been experimentally demonstrated so far; they may also have a marked impact on our beliefs, values and ideologies. We may not know as yet how to measure these consequences directly or how to assess their contribution to cultural or political misunderstandings. But as a first step toward understanding one another, we can do better than pretending we all think the same. [New York Times, 8/26/10]

Stem Cell Biology and Its Complications
Stem cell biology turned out to be more complicated than they anticipated. Besides the stem cells from embryos, there are so-called adult stem cells found in all tissues but with limited potential because they can only turn into cells from their tissue of origin. And there are these newer cells made by reprogramming mature cells. [New York Times, 8/24/10]

Scientists Square Off on Evolutionary Value of Helping Relatives
For the past 46 years, biologists have used Dr. Hamilton’s theory to make sense of how animal societies evolve. They’ve even applied it to the evolution of our own species. But in the latest issue of the journal Nature, a team of prominent evolutionary biologists at Harvard try to demolish the theory. [New York Times, 8/30/10]

Think You're Operating on Free Will? Think Again
There may be few things more fundamental to human identity than the belief that people are rational individuals whose behavior is determined by conscious choices. But recently psychologists have compiled an impressive body of research that shows how deeply our decisions and behavior are influenced by unconscious thought, and how greatly those thoughts are swayed by stimuli beyond our immediate comprehension. [Time, 7/2/10]

Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits
In recent years, cognitive scientists have shown that a few simple techniques can reliably improve what matters most: how much a student learns from studying. The findings can help anyone, from a fourth grader doing long division to a retiree taking on a new language. But they directly contradict much of the common wisdom about good study habits, and they have not caught on. [New York Times, 9/6/10]

Gene networks underlie disease?
An international group of researchers have developed a novel method for identifying entire networks of genes and their association to disease, providing a more accurate picture of the genetic risks associated with specific diseases than single genes can provide. [The Scientist, 9/8/10]

Collider gets yet more exotic 'to-do' list
As if the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) didn't have enough to look for. It is already charged with hunting for the fabled Higgs boson, extra dimensions and supersymmetry, but physicists are now adding even more elaborate phenom­ena to its shopping list — including vanishing dimensions that could explain the accelerating expansion of the Universe. Some argue that signs of new and exotic physics could show up in the LHC far sooner than expected. [Nature News, 7/20/10]

Under Pressure: The Search for a Stress Vaccine
Chronic stress, it turns out, is an extremely dangerous condition. ... While stress doesn’t cause any single disease — in fact, the causal link between stress and ulcers has been largely disproved — it makes most diseases significantly worse. The list of ailments connected to stress is staggeringly diverse and includes everything from the common cold and lower-back pain to Alzheimer’s disease, major depressive disorder, and heart attack. [Wired Magazine, 7/28/10]

Why some memories stick
A study published in Science this week indicates that reactivating neural patterns over and over again may etch items into the memory. People find it easier to recall things if material is presented repeatedly at well-spaced intervals rather than all at once. For example, you're more likely to remember a face that you've seen on multiple occasions over a few days than one that you've seen once in one long period. One reason that a face linked to many different contexts — such as school, work and home — is easier to recognize than one that is associated with just one setting, such as a party, could be that there are multiple ways to access the memory. This idea, called the encoding variability hypothesis, was proposed by psychologists about 40 years ago. [Nature News, 9/9/10]

DNA 'Volume Knobs' May Be Associated With Obesity
When it comes to our expanding waistlines, we usually blame either diet or genes. But a new study fingers a third culprit: chemicals that attach to DNA and change its function. A survey of millions of these modifications has uncovered a handful associated with body mass index, a measure of height and weight. [Science Now, 9/15/10]

Astronomy and particle physics race to replace Standard Model
If energy issues seem to be attracting the attention of a lot of physicists, the Large Hadron Collider seems to be drawing the attention of many of the rest of them, including people in fields like cosmology, which deals with items on the opposite end of the size scale. In turn, the people working on the LHC and other particle detectors are carefully paying attention to the latest astronomy results, hoping they'll put limits on the properties and identities of the zoo of theoretical particles that need to be considered. [Nobel Intent, 7/28/10]

Sizing Up Consciousness by Its Bits
Consciousness, Dr. Tononi says, is nothing more than integrated information. Information theorists measure the amount of information in a computer file or a cellphone call in bits, and Dr. Tononi argues that we could, in theory, measure consciousness in bits as well. When we are wide awake, our consciousness contains more bits than when we are asleep. [New York Times, 9/20/10]

Translating Stories of Life Forms Etched in Stone
The Ediacaran fossils tell us that Darwin was being too generous. Our earliest animal ancestor probably had no head, tail, or sexual organs, and lay immobile on the sea floor like a door mat. [New York Times, 7/26/10]


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Trailer Trash: The Fighter

Monday, September 27, 2010

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

Gotta love the uplifting sports movie, don't ya? You gotta especially love the ones that feature a once mighty giant returning from obscurity. Those stories are always riveting, aren't they! Too bad they are all mired by cliche and over exaggeration, but, who cares! The underdog wins, damn it!

The Fighter traces the ascent of Mickey Ward, a lowly Bostonian who sweeps streets by day, pounds faces by night! He is trained by his cracked out brother, Dicky Eklund. When Dicky becomes too much a liability, Mickey leaves him behind as he gains fame! There's a love interest and a promise of redemption!

Mark Wahlberg is getting a lot of Oscar buzz for his portrayal of Mickey! He looks ready to impress, especially since he has gotten consistently better as of late. The real stand out looks to be Christian Bale as Dicky! Bale is almost at Machinist levels of thin for this film, having lost all his beef to convincingly play a crackhead! If Bale is anywhere near as good as we know he can be, and Oscar nom is definitely incoming! Amy Adams is the love interest. Whatever.

Ok, the film. Not interested. Sure, Wahlberg and Christian look ready to for Oscar gold, but this just looks like ripoff of every other sports film of its kind! There's definite shades of Rocky, and especially of The Wrestler in this trailer. If the movie can bring enough to the table to warrant a look, fantastic! But, it just looks to be treading old ground. SHENANIGANS!!

Starting Tomorrow

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tune into the LAMB on Monday! I'll be running the first installation of a new weekly feature for the site. I think it's gonna be a fu little thing, and Dylan approves of it mightily! High praise, indeed! It'll be exciting, oh, and I almost forgot, it will be interactive! So, head on over to the LAMB tomorrow and take part! Thank you, my pretties!

Time for an animal! This is a sloth!

Cute enough for ya Megan?

Not With A Bang, But With A Whimper

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The end of the world is scary concept that plenty of films have played with! We've seen countless directors destroy civilization in one way or another, be it with massive rocks from space, or the fury of mother nature, but very rarely do we actually see a film go all the way and straight up destroy the planet! Titan AE was the remedy of that situation! It presented the really cool concept of life after earth, with plenty of action to be had, but then something terrible happened! The makers of the film decided to make it a kids movie! WHAAAAAT?? Now, let me go on record. I liked it when I first saw it. I first saw it when it came out! I was eight, and I loved anything with explosions. I have since developed a thing called taste, and can now take a critical look at the thing. Titan AE has good ideas, to be sure. But, it absolutely sucks as a film!

Well that's not good!

In the distant future, humans have discovered hyperspeed, met and accepted alien life, and other cliched sci-fi tropes of that nature. The pinnacle of their technology is a spaceship called the Titan. Basically, it could change the entire course of human existence! This doesn't sit very well with the Drej, a race of beings made up entirely of raw energy. In a massive surprise attack, the Drej destroy Earth! No, seriously! No concessions made, no mercy shown! They just show up and literally blow the planet to pieces! Fast forward 15 years and humans are almost extinct, living in refugee colonies and enduring the ridicule of the other species in the galaxy! Enter Cale, a cynical 20 something year old, who discovers one day that he holds the key to finding the Titan and saving the human race. He embarks on this journey with a band of allies, both human and alien, all the while being pursued by the Drej, who are wise to his plan, and will do anything to stop him!

That sounds pretty flippin' sweet, don't it? Too bad it's handled terribly! The plot of the movie is very dark, with plenty of adult themes, but, since this is a kid's movie, barely any of them are explored at all. It also moves at an incredibly fast clip. Too fast, in fact! Earth is destroyed in first five minutes, and Cale is informed of his mission ten minutes after that. It only takes them an hour or so to find the damn ship and after that, it's twenty minutes of STUPID! The movie never slows down to explore characters or the lucrative universe it has created. We never understand why humans are hated, why the Drej want to kill them, where the other aliens come from, or what their deal is, because the movie doesn't care enough to let us know. Great setup! Shit execution!

Since the film is animated, the only performances we get are vocal! Somehow, Fox Animation managed to get a mighty fine cast for this one. But then all the people they got realized the project was shit, and phoned the whole thing in! Matt Damon plays Cale. Damon is great actor, but one that needs to be seen, not just heard. His performance here is tepid at best! Drew Barrymore is the obligatory love interest/badass female, Akima! She's in the same boat as Damon! John Leguizamo and Janeane Garofalo show up as enigmatic aliens, but it's only Bill Pullman as the tough Joseph Korso and Nathan Lane as the slimy Preed who bring any sort of effort to the roles! Pullman is pretty good as a badass captain, and Lane always does a good job with voiceovers. 

I always have trouble talking about vocal performances. You're only seeing one facet of the performance, whereas if it was real people, you would be witness to a lot more! That being said, the voice work in Titan AE is far behind the best in the business. Disney, this is not! 

That's really not good!

Animation superpower Don Bluth is the genius behind this beast! Ever wonder what happened to Bluth's career in the last decade? This movie killed it! Don't get me wrong, there was almost limitless potential here! The concept is friggin' brilliant! But, he made it a kids movie! YOU DON'T MAKE A STORY THIS DARK INTO A KIDS MOVIE!!! To Bluth's credit, Titan AE is significantly more mature than most child cinema. 90% of humanity is killed in the first five minutes; there are, albeit brief, scenes of torture, a surprising amount of blood, and some rear nudity! A character gets his neck violently snapped! Another is vaporized! Does it sound like I'm describing a fun, family film? NO!!! So why do you make one out of it?

If there's one good thing to be said about the film, it's about the animation, which is really good! Utilizing a clever combination of CGI and traditional, hand drawn figures, Bluth has created something that looks very pretty, but is ultimately hollow! There are some really spectacular scenes here, as when Cale drives his ship through a nebula, dancing with some sort of flying things, or when two ships try and out maneuver each other in an enormous field of gigantic chunks of ice! That last scene is actually really something! There is some pretty cool action as well, not gonna lie!

But, that doesn't matter, because despite the fact that Titan AE looks great and is sometimes thrilling, the rest of the movie sucks! Bad voice acting, a plot that moves too quickly, and no exploration of character all bring it down, but it's the inability to decide on tone that hammers the final nail into the coffin! It can't figure out if it wants to be cute and kiddy, or dark and mature. I appreciate what Bluth and Co were trying to do, which was make an animated film that would appeal to an older demographic. They failed! They failed epically! If this is indeed how the world is going to end, then let happen because we deserve it!

Also, the soundtrack! What the hell?



Glee Review: Audition

Friday, September 24, 2010

I've endured your scorn and ridicule for many things! My obsession with Muse. My recommendations of films that are generally loathed. Hey, Transformers was goofy fun! I was alright with that! I'm prepared to endure a whole hell of lot more after this; I really like Glee! I'm not a Gleek, but... well, no, actually, let's not mince words. I am a Gleek, and proud of it! Sorry, I like the show! So, in honor of this, I'm going to do what all good people with unhealthy obsessions do; write about it.

Tuesday night marked the beginning of the new season, and saw Will Schuester's glee club reeling from their loss at regionals in the season finale! Rather than push forward with new stories, the writers of the show pulled a fast one on us, and hit the reset button! So, we see all the kids start again. Just when they thought they were slowly climbing the social ladder, fate came down like a demon bitch and kicked them back down to the bottom! So, Kurt is still getting slushies to the face; Rachel is still a controlling pain in the ass, Puck and Finn are still obsessed with being cool and popular, Artie is still depressed, and Brittany is... well, she's still Brittany, but that's not a bad thing!

That's not to say that everything is the same, oh no! The show opens with Will and Sue "le gasp" on good terms, united against a common enemy in the form of new football coach, Shannon Bieste. That's pronounced "beast". It's french! Tina is dating Mike, having displayed extreme shallowness and dumping Artie because he wouldn't put out. Quinn, having given birth to her bastard, is ready to be the queen of the school again, which she accomplishes all too easily thanks to her exceptional bartering skills! And Santana comes back to school with a new set of, umm... assets!

The club is eager to recruit new members, leading them to single out two individuals! The guys scope out a transfer student by the name of Sam, who is clearly destined to be Kurts future plaything! Just sayin'. Rachel runs into a foreign exchange student by the name of Sunshine, who has a killer voice. But, of course, Rachel's epically huge ego gets in the way of Sunshine joining.

Ok, so, now that you have the set up, how was the episode! Well, the opening, which saw Jacob addressing all the complaints that real world have lobbied at the show, was brilliant. And then it was downhill from there! None of the songs really carried much punch! The "Telephone" duet that Rachel and Sunshine take part in in the girl's bathroom is alright, but the best part was Sue's perfectly timed "Shut up!" at the very end. Sam and the guy's rendition of "Billionaire" sucked, and Rachel's finale was the exact same thing we've seen her do countless times.

Thankfully though, the best part of the show, the humor, is still here in full force! Sue has some great one liners, as always, and everyone of Brittany's lines, all two of them, are solid gold! There is also some great line delivery on the part of Puck.

The actors all play their roles in the way we've gotten accustomed to. Nothing's really changed, and the newbies don't stand out, with the exception of Dot Jones' Bieste. This highlights my main issue with this season premier! It's treading old ground too much! It's only the beginning, so, I have plenty of hope, but, this is not the Glee I know and love! Come on guys! Give me some feeling!

According to the Movies #11

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

If the movies say it, it must be true!

Have you noticed it? That strange phenomena? Has it ever occurred to you that movies where a serial killer is the main focus never end on a happy note! Disregard parodies and send ups from that list; no one wants to hear Ghostface or Chucky in this forum! Anyway, it's actually kinda scary. Think about it! Se7en ends with Brad Pitt gunning down Kevin Spacey in a fit of rage after Spacey puts Pitt's wife's head in a box! Zodiac ends with the main character's lives in disarray after they realize that their obsession with the case was slowly driving them insane! Though Laurie survives in Halloween, Michael is still on the loose! Freddy Krueger lives in your dreams, and, as such, cannot be killed, and Jason Voorhees will just NEVER! FUCKING! QUIT!

His tenacity is infuriating!

The Lesson: If you are in a movie where a serial killer is the main focus, and said movie is taking the whole thing seriously, abandon all hope! It's not gonna end well!

Trailer Trash: The Tourist

Monday, September 20, 2010

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

Let me explain my incredibly weird philosophy on Muse real fast, if you care to know! I am more than just obsessed with them; I am a god damn fanatic when it comes to Matt, Chris, and Dom! Hello? I retitled my blog with reference to one of their songs! I know, it's bad, but, hey! Admitting it is the first step! Anyway, where am I going with this?

The Tourist is an international caper that concerns a man named Frank, a woman named Elise, and a case of mistaken identity that leads to an intercontinental chase! Frank was just a guy on a train until he met Elise, who ropes him into a plot involving gangsters, police, money, gunfire, and boat chases! Looks like a James Bond movie without the martinis!

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie are Frank and Elise, respectively! Depp hasn't done a caper like this in a while, and Jolie looks to be playing a far more restrained character than she has played of late! That being said, they ooze chemistry in this trailer! They look primed to deliver taut performances! I can't wait!

Ok, back to Muse! When the trailer started, I was interested! It was Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, beautiful scenery, and international intrigue! And then Muse's "Map of Problematique" came blasting through my speakers for the rest of the trailer, and I was sold! A smart use of a Muse song in a trailer will make want to see the movie being advertised, even if that movie isn't very good (see Knight and Day)! But no, really! This is a very cool trailer that does a great job at getting me excited to see two of the biggest and most talented stars today match wits on screen! I'm there! 

How Wonderful Life Is Now You're In The World

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Let's talk about musicals! They are cruel little mistresses, aren't they? I mean cruel in the sense that they only appeal to a very certain demographic! No, not just gay men! Shut up! If you're not in that musical demographic, you traditionally want nothing to do with singing and dancing and general revelry, like my dad! Now, I'm am one of those types who loves, and I mean LOVES, musicals! I have a ton of soundtracks, try and see one whenever I go into NYC, and am currently in rehearsals for one at school! So, of course I was going to love Moulin Rouge going in! The thing is, though, everyone else will too, because Moulin Rogue is a mad crazy brilliant piece of work! Visually astounding, very well written, sharply directed, impeccably realized, with some great music to boot! This is a musical to get people into musicals!

JAZZ HANDS!

Moulin Rouge is a musical, obviously, so that should instantly tell you something about what it's about! I'll give you a hint. What is the one thing that is a universal underlying theme in musicals? What drives the story of them all?
...
LOVE, you tosser! Moulin Rouge is about love! Love of art, music, fun, and each other! The specific love story here concerns Christian, a penniless British writer obsessed with love, and Satine, the star of the most banggin' night club in all of Paris, the Moulin Rouge! Their romance is brought about through a really convenient case of mistaken identity, but soon grows to a relationship for the ages! As Christian writes a play for the club to perform, he and Satine must contend with the eccentricities of their fellow artists and the advances and machinations of the evil Duke, who seeks to make Satine his own!

Ok, yeah, I know! A little cliched. It's a musical! Cliched is a part of the fun! So, it's the same story we've seen a bazillion times, but it's a very well told version of it, with relatable characters that we can easily root for and believe in. Christian and Satine's relationship is simply beautiful!

Obi-Wan Kenobi Ewan McGregor is Christian. Once you get over the idea of a Jedi Master belting out Elton John lyrics, you'll find he does a fine ass job! He inhabits the role of the hopelessly romantic bohemian effortlessly and does a lot in adding believability to absurdity of the whole movie. Nicole Kidman does some of her best work as Satine! She's gorgeous, as always, and really excellent! She is instantly lovable and sweet! It's impossible not to fall in love with her or sympathize with the obstacles in her way! The thing that drives home both of these performances is their voices! Both McGregor and Kidman can seriously sing! They aren't up to the level of a full on Broadway star, say, Idina Menzel, but, for this movie, they are more then adequate!

Other performances include John Leguizamo, a righteous hoot as the verbally challenged, comically short Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Jim Broadbent, hamming it up as Harold Zidler, the owner of the Moulin Rouge, and Richard Roxburgh as the villainous, but clueless, Duke!

Performances are universally excellent, but McGregor and Kidman steal the show out from everyone's noses! They are the clear focus of the story, and are more than up to the task of carrying the movie!

Come What May

Director Baz Lurhman has traditionally annoyed me in the past! I wasn't the biggest fan of Romeo + Juliet, and I flat out hated Australia! That being said, what he has done with Moulin Rouge is nothing short of genius! He doesn't just make a movie musical; he makes a fucking musical experience! He fills each shot with so much color and movement that it is almost unrecognizable as a film! It's more akin to a theme park ride! Thankfully, he keeps the scale and story at a human level, and keeps the focus always on the characters! He carefully balances the film with a balls to the wall musical orgasm one minute, and then a quiet, humane moment the next! It really works!

And then, there's the music! Oh boy, the music! Not very much of it was written specifically for the film; a lot of are mash-ups or reimagining of modern classics. There's a truly inspired love medley that combines the likes of The Beatles, David Bowie, U2, Kiss, and others, an absolutely beautiful rendition of Elton John's "Your Song", and a haunting tango set to The Police's "Roxanne". Some songs, like the absolutely wonderful "Come What May" were written specifically for the film, and stand out, but the highlights come from seeing classics from the last twenty years being performed in pre-war Paris! It's impossible to not get a kick out of a bunch of tuxedoed gents dancing in sync to Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Lurhman also acts the part of smart director when it comes to the music! He carefully balances out the numbers, so that some are your traditionally sombre ballads, while some are just flat out hilarious! This is possibly the best example of how to use music from today in period piece! Take notes A Knight's Tale! 

Lurhman has reinvented the cinematic musical with Moulin Rouge! In an age where movie musicals are all sad sack Broadway adaptations or something involving Hannah Montana, at least we have something like this fall back on! I honestly can't believe I put off seeing this film until now! I had no idea what I was missing!

On A Whole New Level

With Apologies to John Lennon

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I want to be
In Toronto City
At the lively film festival
In the sun!

It sounds like fun
A hole in one
At the lively film festival
In the sun!

I'd ask my friends
To come and see
The films at the festival
With me!

I want to be
In Toronto City
At the lively film festival
In the sun!

:) Hope you're having a blast Hatter!

According to the Movies #10

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If the movies say it, it must be true!

Have you noticed the trend? Aliens love our pathetic, blue planet! Don't ask me why, but, for some strange reason, all they want to do is come on over to our side of the universe and blow the hell out of us! Ok, anyway, since America loves a happy ending, and the total extermination of the human race would kill any chance of a profitable sequel, the humans always win. Here's the thing though, they always win at the very last minute! How do they do this? Some wonderful coincidence (War of the Worlds) or some guy who suddenly has a brilliant idea to bring down the invaders that he/she totally could have figured out in the beginning (Independence Day).

God, people! I'm laying all this out for you! I'm thinking of your own damn survival! Why won't you listen? Christ, you guys are thick!

Really? It took the whole movie to come up with that?


The Lesson: In the event of an alien invasion, just sit tight! Something will come along that will soundly defeat the invaders! Don't worry! Hollywood doesn't have the balls to kill off the entire human race! You'll be fine!

Seriously Good Advice

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trailer Trash: Priest

Monday, September 13, 2010

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

What is our major malfunction that makes vampires so appealing to us? I mean, seriously, let's tick em' off, why don't we! Eclipse, Daybreakers, True Blood, Let Me In, and The Vampire Diaries have graced us with their bloodsucking presence this year alone! Priest will soon be added to that list!

It's the future, and the world has been torn apart by wars with vampires! Out of the ashes, religion has risen, leading the people into a bleak, but safe existence! Vampires are still a threat though, so, to combat the demonic bastards, the church trains priests, ultimate badasses who jump really high and do cool things with silver! All's beautiful and starshine until one of the priests, Ivan Issacs, has his niece abducted in a vampire attack! Rather then heed his order's ruling to do nothing, he turns his back on his superiors and stages a one man war to save her!

Paul Bettany is Issacs! I don't know. I've never been able to accept Bettany as a badass action hero, but, he looks alright here! Cam Gigandet and Maggie Q are his sidekicks in whooping ass! They look alright, but the trailer doesn't show enough of them for me to formulate an opinion. One person I'm excited as hell about is Karl Urban as man bad guy, Black Hat. That image of him conducting music as the town burns behind him looks so sweet! He's back on the a-list now, thanks to Star Trek, so I'm anxious to see how he does! Also, Stephen Moyer, aka Bill from True Blood, is in it! I'm down!

The trailer looks very cool, but I'm still apprehensive. That's because Priest is made by the exact same team behind the God-awful Legion earlier this year! Granted, Priest looks a whole hell of a lot better than that festival of mediocrity, but, even so. It get's you worried! Otherwise, I love the look of the movie, and I dig the vibe of mixing old west tones with a futuristic setting, although no one will ever be able to pull that off as well as Joss Whedon! The action looks fun, and I'm very interested to see how they play with the idea of religion taking on the role of a totalitarian regime!

On another note, what the hell kind of vampires are these?

Oh, Also...

Friday, September 10, 2010

I made the obligatory facebook page! Since you are reading this, you are required to like it! Sound good! Faaaaannnnntastic!

Thank you! You may return to your daily works!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Films-From-the-Supermassive-Black-Hole/152595678097721?ref=ts

Poll Results: The Name Change

You voted for it! Here are the results!

The Question: So, the name change is happening. Here are some options I came up with! I have a favorite, but I want to see how the others sound to you. Weigh in!


1. Cinematic Snark: 3 Votes (Yeah, kinda cliched, but it fit the bill!)

2. How the Massacre of Sonny Corleone Affected a Teenager, and Other Things of That Nature: 3 Votes (Too long! Wasn't really taking it seriously when I put it in the pot, but, guess it was well received!)

3. Films From the Supermassive Black Hole: 5 Votes (Is my borderline unhealthy obsession with Muse that obvious?)

4. The 9th Rule of Fight Club: 2 Votes (Would've been cool, but something tells me there's a blog out there that already came up with that.)

Well children! It looks like you and I think alike! Films From the Supermassive Black Hole was my top choice! Give me a few hours to change up the layout and put the finishing touches on my banner, but, by the end of the day, you'll see a brand, spanking new blog in this space! Hopefully one with a more interesting layout (Here's looking at you Nick!). Thanks guys!

I Just Died!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

HAHAHAHA!!! YES!!!

Tolerate It!!!

This is my entry into the good man Fletch's blog-a-thon, 30 dAyS of cRAzY, in which he pulls together a bunch of other bloggers to write about the weirdest, most insane, most trippy of films! Compared to some of the other films on the list, mine seems pretty tame, but, it is still one crazy and disturbing experience!

So, serial killers! Ummm... how to phrase this without sounding like a psychopath... Though they are the most disreputable of people, serial killers have proven to provide damn good material for movies! Don't believe me? Alright, how's this? Dirty Harry, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, American Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and Death Proof! Foolish, uninformed human! Movies about serial killers are some of the most interesting! They prove to be such terrifying foes for the men and women hunting them, and nowhere is this quality better realized than in Se7en. This 1995 thriller is one of the most haunting, intense, and downright terrifying serial killer films. It's also sensational, with a brilliant atmosphere, strong writing, a sadistic mindset that pulls no punches, and some seriously solid acting! This one will fuck you up, but you'll love it for precisely that reason!

What horribly deranged murder are we gonna try an solve today?


Se7en chronicles one week in the lives of two detectives. Sommerset is a disgruntled veteran who has one foot out the door! Mills is the new hothead on the block! These two are paired to work together investigating a string of grisly murders. As soon becomes clear, the deaths are linked, and soon Mills and Sommerset are hunting for a serial killer with a truly demented pedigree. He kills people based on the seven deadly sins. Example: The victim of gluttony is force fed to death! As the bodies start to pile up, and the list of sins becomes smaller and smaller, Mills and Sommerset race to find the man behind it before he finds them!

It's your standard hunt for the killer movie, but the way it's handled makes it stand out so much from the rest of the pack. For starters, we don't see the actual killer until well within the movie, and even then, we don't see his face! We never see a murder in progress, only the aftermath! It's better this way, in my opinion! The crime scenes are so disturbing and horrific that it is actually scarier when we don't see the act. It gives us the opportunity to imagine how brutal it actually was. Well, that and I'm pretty sure this would have gotten an NC-17 if any of the murders had been shown! The story moves at a breakneck pace, keeping us wrapped up in the tension and urgency of the case! It's a pretty long movie, but the two and half hours that it lasts will fly by!

Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt play Sommerset and Mills, respectively! As Sommerset, Freeman is a passive, grizzled man who is disillusioned with all the brutality in the world. He is retiring, and cannot wait to do so! Freeman perfectly captures the essence of this man, always staying calm and collected even when things are blowing up in his face! Pitt as Mills, on the other hand, is the polar opposite! Mills is a hotheaded new kid who has no time for books or research, but is all for going out and finding the son of a bitch behind the killings! Pitt commands the screen, nicely balancing out Sommerset's passiveness with impatience and anger! 

Gwyenth Paltrow plays Mill's wife, Tracy! She doesn't have much in the way of screen time, but her role is incredibly important in the grand scheme of things. R. Lee Ermey plays Mill's and Sommerset's police captain! He doesn't have much to do, and is only on screen for twenty or so minutes, but, he does a good job nonetheless!

The one who steals the show, though, I'm sorry to say, I can't talk about! For the people who haven't seen this movie, I do not want to spoil it for you! The person who plays the killer is, far and away, one of the most terrifying characters I've ever seen on film! That's all I'm saying! He'll give you the willies!

This has been a crazy week!

Se7en is the directorial debut of David Fincher. Ok, technically, that's not true, but even Fincher hates Alien 3, and, as such, has removed it from his filmography! Who are we to judge? He really comes into his own as a force to be reckoned with with Se7en. He brilliantly creates a atmosphere of dread, terror, and hopelessness, giving an already heavy movie that much more weight! Fincher does a great job directing his actors so that they stay true to the disturbing nature of the story, but not going so far that it's uncomfortable for the audience! There are some pretty funny moments throughout the thing that do wonders to alleviating our stresses! They are few and far between, but welcome, nonetheless! 

And finally, there's the disgusting aspects of Se7en, which are in a league of their own! Sure, Saw and Hostel are gory and whatnot, but they do not even hold a candle to the fucked up shit you'll see in Se7en! You'll squirm uncomfortably when you hear about the victim of greed; you'll cringe at the sight of the victim of lust; you'll grab the arm of the person next to you when you see the victim of sloth! And then, there's the ending! HOLY SHIT, the ending! Just when you think all is well, the killer caught and such, Fincher pulls the biggest fast one ever and delivers an ending that will beat you like a punching bag and leave you weeping pitifully in the corner! It's positively mind blowing!

The film looks great, the characters all feel real, and the grisly aspects pull no punches! This is a terrifying, nightmare inducing movie, but, it is also tightly made, wonderfully nuanced, and brilliantly realized! Serial killers are demented people! No where is that more apparent then in Se7en! This is the film that, in my opinion, all other serial killer films should hope to live up to! It's a bloody disgusting masterpiece!



Trailer Trash: Black Swan

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

Ok, Darren Aronofsky is an enigma to me. He'll make a movie as twisted and weird as Requiem for a Dream, as convoluted as the The Fountain, and then turn around and make a movie as raw as The Wrestler! I don't understand him, but I don't think I'm supposed to.

Black Swan is about dancers, and how fucking crazy they are! It concerns Nina, who is embroiled in a feverish rivalry with a fellow dancer, Lily, over who will get the lead in the production of Swan Lake that their company is putting on! Weird stuff transpires, rashes appear, Nina and Lily make out (for some reason), and Nina pulls barbs out of her skin!

...

WHAT?


Natalie Portman is Nina! Portman is an actress who has consistently turned in fantastic work, but never seems to get the recognition she deserves! A sole Oscar nomination? Never before has there been such heinous a crime! She looks primed to deliver another searing performance as this dancer slowly losing her sense! Mila Kunis has not been in anything high profile, dramatically that is, but she's a damn fine actress, and I'm eager to see her creep us out!


This trailer is nuts! I have no idea what the hell is going on in it, but, suffice to say, I interested in seeing how it turns out! Aronofsky isn't the most reliable of directors, but The Wrestler was great, and he got an astounding performance out of Mickey Rourke in that. Here's hoping he can do the same with Portman! I think he can!


It's Coming!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Three more days till the name change reveal! Hope y'all are ready!

In the mean time, this is a dog!


Ha ha ha ha ha!

According to the Movies #9

Saturday, September 4, 2010

If the movies say it, it must be true!

Disclaimer: Gah! My schedule is all kinds of screwy right now! This should have gone up on Wednesday, but, it's going up to today! I'll get something set in stone in a weeks time! Bear with me!

This week's lesson harks from a slew of movies. Leonardo DiCaprio has chalked up a damn impressive resume, turning in some truly fantastic performances for some of the best directors working today! But - and this could be due to a clause in his contract or something - his characters never seem to end the movie in a desirable state! More often than not, he ends up dead! In Shutter Island, he is carted off for a radical lobotomy, which, if it didn't kill him, certainly came close. In Titanic, he succumbs to the frigid water, sinking into the depths of the Atlantic ocean! He doesn't die in Revolutionary Road, but he is left as a horribly distraught and sad single father when his wife kills herself. In The Departed, he is the proud recipient of a bullet to the head! In Inception, he... well, no one really knows about that, but, there is a good chance he was still dreaming!

Damn it, man! Have you no sense of self-preservation?

The Lesson: If you are a character played by Leonardo DiCaprio, you should write up your will, and fast! You're probably not gonna be around for much longer, as you have the life span of about 2.5 hours!

LAMBcast #37: The One With My Head On the Block

Friday, September 3, 2010

For this episode of the LAMBcast, I didn't contribute! Instead, my site was the focus of the new feature, LAMB of the Week, where the guests on the show critique the site for the entire LAMB to hear. Enjoy!

The Place That All Roads Lead To

So, a little bit ago, the latest segment in According to the Movies dealt with death, and no matter how you try and mess with it, you can never escape it! I posted two pictures of death in film, both radically different. The summed up the vast spectrum that death can occupy in the movies. One image was from The Seventh Seal; the other was from The Final Destination. Lovely Jess of Insight into Entertainment commented on the piece, expressing interest in seeing my deconstruction of death in film taken to a new level! Well, I can never say no to a woman! So, if you'll indulge me, I'll attempt to delve deep into the world of cinema and see how death is treated! Join me, won't you?


So, today, we're going to look at a few different depictions of death in film! We'll start off with a classic.



As The Seventh Seal comes to a close, Death, who has been dogging Block and his companions throughout the whole film, finally claims their lives! This depiction of death is probably one of the most muted in film, but one of the most powerful! Rather than show us the gory details, Bergman decides, instead, to not show us anything at all, apart from the dance at the very end! This process of not showing is actually scarier, but not so much that you can't handle it. Bergman is giving us a vision of death that carries a whole ton of weight, but, at the same time, not so much that it is unbearable! The demise of these characters means something; the whole story was leading up to this one moment. You spent that whole of the movie getting to know and relate to Block and his companions, so that when the moment of judgement comes, it is like a punch in the stomach! This is one of the best depictions of death in film!

Now, let's look at a depiction that is in a completely different spectrum!

Ok, fucking YouTube won't let me embed, so click here to see the video I intended to show! It's a compilation of all the death scenes in the remake of Friday the 13th. Warning: Very Bloody!

So, this type of cinematic death has a completely different mindset then that of The Seventh Seal. This type of death is meant to thrill and entertain! Ok, the studios would have you believe that it is meant to frighten as well, but, who are they kidding? Now, I, at least, have a slight issue with this type of death in film! What is it with our fascination with seeing teenagers getting butchered on screen? What makes teenagers so prime for hunting in the movies? Being a teenager (18. That's still a teenager... right?), I am more than a little disturbed by all this love of underage murder! Think about it. How many slasher films can you think of that don't involve teenagers getting mutilated in some way? There's not a lot, and, if there are, they clearly didn't do well. For example: the remake of Friday the 13th. Those kids were just going on a weekend trip up to their friend's cabin! They probably packed their bags and said goodbye to their parents with a casual, "I'll see you on Sunday night". Well, they never make it home, as they are, that very same night, butchered by some man in a mask! I'm sorry, but that's fucked up! Also, why the hell does it have to be so gratuitous? Ok, Jason, we get that you are pissed off and have mommy issues that would make Freud scratch is head. But, do you have to draw out all your murders to such ridiculous lengths? Come on! Have some class! Death in slasher films, though fun and thrilling (sometimes), does away with the seriousness of the matter, which, in my opinion, is not the way to go about it.

Ok, next up, we have something a bit lighter!



The Darwin Awards, though not an adaptation of the book series, deals a lot with people accidentally killing themselves in horrendously stupid ways! Now, this is meant to entertain as well, but, unlike slasher films like Friday the 13th, there is weight behind these deaths. These people are idiots, plain and simple! I could say that there are lessons that go with each death scene, but that's too cliche, so I won't say it.
...
Oops!

But, no, just because the deaths in The Darwin Awards entertain, they still have weight! You can make death fun, but still have it be serious! This is another good way to go about depicting death in film!

On another note, I love Metallica's reaction to the car flying off the cliff!

Death in film is not going anywhere anytime soon! People want to see people losing their lives! I just get a little frightened by how much death is made out to not be a big deal in the movies! It's very rare, these days that is, that we get a film that treats the subject of death in the same manner as The Seventh Seal. That's alright! I just think we need to keep the mindset that death is a serious thing! But, people want to see their blood and guts! Guess Hollywood has to provide! Kill me now!

Looking Ahead: Fall 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Well, it would appear that summer is over for good, my preemptive FITS Awards notwithstanding! So, not that the time for stupid people going to the theatre has passed, we can get to the real meat. Oscar Season is just around the corner, but, before we get into the full swing of things, Fall is put on the stand to wow us. What's coming up in the next three months, and should you care? Take a seat, children! Uncle Seb is gonna take good care of you!


THAT TREE IS ON FIRE!!! THAT TREE... oh wait!



The Ones to See

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1: Harry Potter movies got back on track with Half-Blood Prince last year, and Deathly Hallows: Part 1 looks to be even better. Since it's two movies, every part of JK Rowling's masterpiece will be put on screen for your viewing pleasure. We wouldn't have it any other way. Part 1 is more of a thriller, with Harry, Ron, and Hermione evading Death Eaters as they search for the Horcruxes. The action that featured heavily in the last trailer will come in Part 2, but that's not until next year, so, we'll have to make due with this. That's alright with me!

The Social Network: David Fincher takes a break from weirding us the fuck out to deliver the "true" story behind the creation of Facebook! This movie looks great! Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake all look poised to graduate into a new class of acting with this. With a script by Aaron Sorkin and direction by one of the modern greats, The Social Network looks ready to dominate the awards season!

Due Date: It's by the guy who made The Hangover! It has Zach Galifinakis! It has Robert Downey Jr.! What the hell else do you need to know?

127 Hours: Danny Boyle follows up Slumdog Millionaire with the true story of Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who was forced to amputate his own arm when it became trapped by a boulder. James Franco stars! Franco is a good actor, and anything Boyle touches turns to gold! 

Nowhere Boy: This one lit up the festival circuit earlier this year! It tells the story of John Lennon as a teenager, delving into how he met Paul McCartney and how the two of them formed some band no one's ever heard of. Aaron Johnsonaka, Kick-Ass, is Lennon! There hasn't been a biopic of Lennon, to my knowledge, least of all one dealing with his younger years. I'm there!

Hereafter: Clint Eastwood takes a break from gritty, real world dramas and dips his toe into the supernatural thriller pool! Think Crash, mixed with Final Destination, minus all the bloody disgusting deaths, and you have an idea! 

Buried: I don't really know much about this movie, but the concept has me sold! Ryan Reynolds plays a guy who suddenly finds himself buried alive! From what I've heard, it's a very tight knit, incredibly claustrophobic thriller, well made and very well acted! I've been a defender of Reynolds, and I'm thrilled that he is finally in something where he can show off his great talents. 


I'm psyched!

The Ones to See (With Reservations)

Red: It's based on comic that I've never heard of. The plot seems cliched and old school. The action looks a little ho-hum! But, it has Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovich, all wielding various sizes of highly destructive weaponry! That could be good!

Megamind: Ok, it's by Dreamworks Animation, aka, poor man's Pixar! Though they have been coming into their own as of late, their films still leave much to be desired! Now, Megamind, which stars Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, and Tina Fey looks a lot better than their usual fare, so, you never know!

Skyline: Ok, the trailer looks positively sick! Really neat looking visuals make this out to be this year's Moon or District 9. However, it's just another alien invasion movie, and it's being helmed by the guys who gave us Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. I'm going in apprehensively!

Let Me In: It's an American remake of a really excellent foreign thriller. Now, American remakes can be really good (see The Departed), but, for the most part, remakes that hark from our land of purple mountains majesty tend to be more interested in selling tickets with cooler visuals and more violence! Let Me In looks good, but, it's part of a sub-genre that has a pretty ugly history!

My Soul To Take: Ok, it's a teen slasher movie, but, it's not a remake, and it's brought to you from the mind of Wes Craven! It could be good!

Jackass 3D: The last two entries into this series were unmitigated pieces of shit, sure! But, boy, were they fun to sit through! Come on. How can you not get a kick out of seeing these guys do the stupidest things ever! This one is in 3D, but, it's good 3D, so, the extra money might be worth it!

Paranormal Activity 2: I haven't seen the first one; I'm too chicken! But, I am aware of the genre it's in, and how sequels in that genre usually fare. Does anyone remember the second Blair Witch Project? I didn't think so!

Monsters: Think The Road meets District 9, and you have a good idea of Monsters. The trailers make it look cool, and the idea of having a quarantined section of the planet where aliens run wild is a fresh one! It just looks too much like Cloverfield for me to get fully on board!

Faster: The Rock, it seems, has finally woken up and is returning to action movies! That's good! What's bad about this? It's a full on serious action movie! The Rock has made a few action movies in his time, only one of which was any good! That movie was The Rundown, which was an action/comedy hybrid. His other, serious pictures were all pretty terrible! Be wary on this one!

Devil: It has a really cool premise, and the trailer looks terrifying! But, it bears the name of M. Night Shaymalan. I'm already less interested!

The Town: Ben Affleck's second directing job after the excellent Gone Baby Gone looks good, to be sure. But, it looks like it's playing it safe! How many times have we seen a bad guy become a good guy for the woman he loves? It has a damn good cast, but, the cliched story and significant increase in the violence leave me a little distressed!

Easy A: I've heard a lot of people that are excited for this one! Emma Stone is damn good comedic actress, and her supporting players are all very good as well! But, the trailer did absolutely nothing for me. This looks like just another boring teen, high school comedy! 

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: The reviews from Cannes were promising, but, I'm still wary! The chances that this sequel, twenty plus years after the fact, might still suffer from Crystal Skull syndrome are still good!

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hool: Ok, visually, this looks pretty sweet! But, it's directed by Zach Snyder, and doesn't feature astounding feats of violence. It seems to be a lot of sentimental, tacky crap, which, let's be honest, Snyder sucks at! Who knows though! It looks interesting, and is sure to please the little ones!


Looks sweet, but it might suck!

The Ones to Skip

Saw 3D: Well, ok then! If you're into plots that are too complex for their own good, and relentless amounts of torture porn, then this might be for you! If you're a normal human being, then you'd be wise to stay far away!

Tangled: No! Just no!

Unstoppable: Tony Scott has passed his prime, as has Denzel Washington! Chris Pine looks ready to impress, but I doubt he'll be able to save this surefire stinker!

Resident Evil: Afterlife: The last three Resident Evil movies all sucked, the third most of all! This looks like just more of the same, and, in this case, that is far from a good thing!


Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Disclaimer: So, unlike the summer, where I saw most of the movies I previewed, the chances of me seeing even five of these is slim, at best! It's the college thing! Just letting you know, just in case you were hoping for my teenage opinion on Faster, or something! See you next time!
 

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