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Showing posts from March, 2010

Darth Vader: Penultimate Warrior

Darth Vader is a powerful opponent, but he doesn't stack up too well against comic book superheroes.

The trick about defeating Darth Vader is that, for those not impervious to its effect, you have to avoid the lightsaber.

Opponent
OutcomeSuperman
This one is no contest. Superman could literally eat Darth Vader. Superman has been shown surviving a nuclear blast, and flying through stars, so the lightsaber could not harm Superman.Batman



Batman is Earth's greatest martial artist. If you consider that many characters are Jedi Hunter's in the Star Wars expanded universe, and that there are even a few in the canon, it's not at all hard to see Batman as being an equal of Vader's. As such, it's entirely within the realm of possibility that Batman could be a match for a Jedi.Magneto

If they were to fight, Magneto would just pull out all of the metal parts that keep Darth Vader alive.Wolverine



The outcome of this battle would definitely be affected by whether or not a li…

Go to College? See Toy Story 3!

Disney-Pixar are offering an opportunity for college students to see the first 65 minutes of Toy Story free. Click here to RSVP

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Few books cause a worldwide fervor and so instantly see themselves made into films. Gone with the Wind, The Godfather are other members of this class, but none have had such a dark tone. Steig Larsson managed to capture a zeitgeist with his tale of a journalist and hacker fighting against Neo-Nazis to solve a decades-old-crime.

Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) has been offered a great deal of money by respected industrialist Henrik Vanger to inspect the disappearance of his niece, who has been gone for forty years. The job offer would come across as odd if Mikael weren't currently disgraced after a libel suit went against him.

Still, Harriet's disappearance peaks Mikael's curiosity. He takes the elder Vanger on his deal, but Henrik's job offer comes with a warning: he will have to investigate the other members of the Vanger clan.

Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) makes her living on the outskirts of society. A computer hacker by trade, she trades in formal dress wear and a cub…

"It Would Be Different This Time..."

Yet another case where there are too many favorite scenes to pick, so forgive me.
 This scene has particular relevence because it's when Joel resigns himself to the memory-erasing procedure and recognizes this will probably be the last flashback he has of Clementine. Heart-breaking and thought-provoking at the same time. We all have had romances end badly and wished that they would be erased forever, but would we still be human without those experiences?

First Look at Burke and Hare

Nod to Empire for putting this up. Simon Pegg (of Spaced and Shaun of the Dead infamy) and Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) are headlining John Landis' latest effort based on the true story of two 19th century serial murderers and grave robbers who run a very profitable business providing cadavers to a medical school. The release date right now is listed as 2010 so there's no sure date, but be looking for this black comedy.

The Vault: La Dolce Vita (1960)

Federico Fellini in his previous efforts was known for his portrayals of post-war Italy and the plight of the downtrodden. With La Dolce Vita he took a turn with his career and made something just as revelatory about the world we live in.
La Dolce Vita features a journalist, Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni), who has no real solid footing on any place in life. He wants to be a serious intellectual like his friend Steiner, but instead spends his time with the other riff-raff paparazzo who just want a snap of the latest matinee idol. He pines after American actress/ sex symbol Sylvia (Anita Ekberg) picturing her to be his salvation - among many of the other women in his life. Like Tati’s film the protagonists see something in the blonde women they chase after but are forever out of reach.
Fellini’s primary tool of empathy is Marcello’s lack of direction in life. The audience can identify with it quite easily in today’s world and feel bonded to Marcello’s story because of it. Howev…

Put Vincent and Jules On Your Wall

Decals from The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction, The Godfather, or if you're so inclined Transformers,available from the Etsy store.

Review: She's Out of My League (**1/2)

As much of a nerd's fantasy as The Lord of the Rings, She's Out of My League tells the old "It's what's inside that counts" story in a sufficiently entertaining and engaging fashion.
The film has a great cast of people you probably haven't seen in much. Jay Baruchel, of Popular Mechanics for Kids, and Alice Eve, of Crossing Over, are the star-crossed lovers of the piece. The conflict arises, as the title indicates, from Jay's character thinking that Alice's character is too good for him. The leading actors perform admirably, but as in most comedies, the heart of this film pumps with the life force of its supporting cast.
The film is not entirely noteworthy, but is worth seeing. I certainly don't regret having seen it, as I am sure I would have had I opted to see Tim Burton's latest tarted-up onanism.


The Vault: Head Office (1985)

Don't fall for it, Jack, [don't fall] for the lie we keep telling ourselves. We do the dirty stuff to get the power. It'll give us all the good things we really want. Then we get the power, we can't even remember what goddamn thing what it was we wanted it for in the first place.
Head Office is oddly timely for a film that was made 25 years ago. Or it would be oddly timely if the same bunch of assholes who screwed up everything in the 80s hadn't gotten nostalgic and decided to try it all over again, but worse.
The film highlights all that is wrong with big business: the control of elected officials; the blind ambition; the backstabbing; and the blatant disregard for their workforce, both at home and abroad. We've all heard it all before, but it's an interesting angle to see in a fluff rom-com.
As in The Hudsucker Proxy, the problems with corporate culture are shown from the perspective of a newcomer who is rapidly being promoted through the ranks. While Head…

Tron Legacy Analysis

Snap! Has the ability to de-age actors really gotten to the point where I can't tell whether they went back in time to film Jeff Bridges?
I didn't really know anything about Tron before the teaser trailer came out last summer at Comic-Con, but the trailer piqued my interest. So I check out the original Tron and to my surprise it hasn't aged badly at all. The story is infectiously enjoyable and reflective of the Cold War period it was made in. I was looking forward to this next Tron with cautious optimism, but then the new trailer for Tron Legacy was released and my expectations have been blown sky-high.


Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has apparently been made prisoner of the cyber universe he triumphed over previously. The question is whether or not young Flynn and the sage Flynn depicted in this screencap are one in the same.


If anything this new film will feature a much more in depth version of the cybercity that Tron takes place. One of my chief complaints with the original…

"You and I Are Destined to Do This Forever."

In this pivotal scene of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight we are finally introduced to how the Joker sees this world and Batman's role in it.
 In starting the scene with the Joker upside down and flipping the camera around to his point of view Wally Pfister (frequent Nolan collaborator and TDK cinematographer) lets the audience in on the master plan. While seemingly defeated and in Batman's clutches, the Joker wins. Gotham, as they know it, will never be the same.

Nolan Talks Dark Knight Sequel

The LA Times has another interesting piece with director Christopher Nolan talking about the third Batman film:

Jonathan Nolan is “now doing the hard work” of writing the script based on the story by his sibling and Goyer. “My brother is writing a script for me and we’ll wait to see how it turns out.... He’s struggling to put it together into the epic story that you want it to be.”

He continued on about the appeal of doing the third film. “I’m very excited about the end of the film, the conclusion, and what we’ve done with the characters,” Nolan said.“My brother has come up with some pretty exciting stuff. Unlike the comics, these things don’t go on forever in film and viewing it as a story with an end is useful. Viewing it as an ending, that sets you very much on the right track about the appropriate conclusion and the essence of what tale we’re telling. And it harkens back to that priority of trying to find the reality in these fantastic stories. That’s what we do.”

To be honest I&…

Review: Crooklyn (Brooklyn's Finest)

I'm a sucker for movies about crime. It might be because of the moral complexities that crime films seem to be steeped in, like The Godfather, Goodfellas, Se7en, Touch of Evil and Reservoir Dogs, or could it be because man's baser instincts need to be indulged occasionally.
Who knows? All I know is that when 90% of the country was watching Alice in Wonderland when I took this film in instead.
Brooklyn's Finest starts off with a slow draw into a car where Sal (Ethan Hawke) and Carlo (Vincent D'Onofrio) are discussing Carlo's latest trial. Not long after Carlo is finished discussing the judge's verdict Sal shoots him in the face, and takes off with a bag full of cash.
Tango (Don Cheadle) is an undercover looking for that last bust at a promotion, problem is that he has to bust Casablanca (Wesley Snipes) the man who saved Tango's life in prison. Eddie Dougan (Richard Gere) however is just a week away from retirement and truly does not give a good goddamn about…

Jeff Bridges' Long Overdue Oscar Win

I cannot say enough how great it was watching Jeff Bridges take the Lead Actor Oscar last night. Bridges' five nominations yielding zero wins was tantamount to Kubrick's career oscar shut-out. Whether he should have gotten the Oscar for Last Picture Show, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Starman, or The Contender, The Dude should have risen the trophy to the sky years ago.
For months it looked like Colin Firth was going to run away with this Best Actor contest after his excellent turn in A Single Man, but then a little film called Crazy Heart made its way across screens and one of America's greatest - and most underrated - actors joined the likes of Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, and Gary Cooper.
Of course I felt that Bridges should have won, let alone be nominated, for The Big Lebowski. Comedies have never been the forte of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but despite what some thought Bridges wasn't toking up before takes, he was acting. Alas, he has his …

The Year of the Curmudgeon (Best Films of 2009)

This year will probably be remembered as the year the little guy (The Hurt Locker) went up against the big bully (Avatar). What will probably be forgotten are the performances that made the films of 2009.
Avatar was the box-office smash of the year/decade. Most of the focus has been on James Cameron's awards campaigning and the clinky dialogue. The real shame is that Zoe Saldana's performances will not garner any other consideration than sci-fi hottie. Neytiri is the character that keeps our eyes on the screen. Saldana had to break through the computer generated Na'vi to deliver one of the most heart-breaking scenes of the year.
Mr. Bale had a rough year following the infamous Terminator Salvation rant and because of it most people missed one of his best performances. Christian Bale tones it down for this one playing Melvin Purvis, less anger, but far more emotional honesty. Each time Purvis sees a life taken or ends one by his own hands you witness a slow death of his ow…

You Voted and the Film That Takes Home Oscar is...

The Hurt Locker ran away with this poll taking 41.7% of the vote with Inglorious Basterds lagging behind with 25%, Avatar with 16.7%, Up in the Air with 12.5%, and Precious - which suffered from not being seen most likely - took last with 4.2%

Hurt Locker and Inglourious Basterds received most of their votes from the U.S. but a majority of Avatar's votes come from overseas.

For a long while it looked like the Best Picture winner would be a surprise, but at this point of the race it's leaning heavily to Team Bigelow. Be sure to tune in Sunday for the big show.

"Then I Woke Up."

Today's post will be the first in a series Shots of the Day. The first coming from the instant classic No Country for Old Men from the Coen Brothers.
The end of the film was a disappointment of sorts for some, but for me there could not have been a better ending. The dream says so much about the film that a shootout between Sheriff Bell and Anton Chigurh never could. A man who never fully invested himself into this world recognizes that evil has always been around. That Chigurh is no new phenomenon. His father was willing to go toe-to-toe for this world, something Ed Tom realizes that he could not do.

'Brooklyn's Finest' Trailer

Granted Fuqua hasn't made something on par with Training Day since its release, but something about this trailer makes me want to see this today. Alice in Wonderland be damned, come Friday I'm watching Brooklyn's Finest.

The Vault: Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Punch-Drunk Love is a departure of many sorts from what kind of film Paul Thomas Anderson typically makes. His Altman-esque ensemble casts and dark studies of L.A. are replaced with a singular focus on Barry Egan (Adam Sandler), a man berated by his seven sisters to the point that he merely nods along with anyone he is in conversation with just to avoid the conflict.
Sandler, certainly not anyone's first guess for lead in a P.T. Anderson film, manages to disappear into the role of Barry as Jim Carrey did when he first cut his teeth in dramas. Although no one really supports the serious endeavors that Sandler takes part in so we will all be treated to another Sandler/James/Schneider outing. Barry is an easy-going guy until his sisters proceed to call him gay-boy thoughout most of a dinner party then he smashes a glass slider door in an explosion of hostility. Barry then seeks the advice of one of his brother-in-laws telling him, "sometimes I don't like myself and don't…

Laurie Takes A Bite Out of The Oranges

House star Hugh Laurie has signed on to star in the indie comedy The Oranges, according to The Playlist. The story follows the Schiff family, who live on Orange Drive, a New Jersey suburb, with their neighbors, the Bass family, who are torn apart when David Schiff (Laurie's character), embarks on an affair with the Bass's daughter Nina (Leighton Meester). Catherine Keener, Allison Janney, and Adam Brody also star.

Hugh Laurie's film career hasn't quite parlayed to success after the resurgence of his career following House: Monsters vs. Aliens, Flight of the Phoenix, and the Stuart Little films. Hopefully The Oranges will change that.