28 November 2013

At Movie Mezzanine: Why We Watch Movies


The first time I remember going to the movies was in 1994 at the age of five. It was the first outing that my sister and I were privy to that didn't involve coloring mats, kid's menus, or a playground. This was something adults got to do, this was something magical.

The Regal theatre didn't appear to be very large driving past it on the street a couple of times a week, but walking in through the entrance everything appeared larger and more grand. The lobby checkered with posters of coming attractions and standees for summer blockbusters. Four hallways led to sixteen individual screens for that weekend's exhibitions.

My father handed me my ticket and I ran quickly to hand it to the older gentleman in a red satin vest. "Is this your first show?" he asked, I nodded enthusiastically to signal yes. "Well enjoy the show" he added as he gave me the bottom half of the stub and pointed the way to the movie I was going to see, the film in question being Disney's The Lion King.

Read the rest over at Movie Mezzanine!

17 November 2013

Breaking Bad Alternate Ending


Breaking Bad : Season 5 - Alternate Ending "Hal... by Eklecty-City


Many theorized that AMC's Breaking Bad would end with Walter White enrolling in the Witness Protection program and eventually becoming Hal from Malcolm in the Middle, little did they know that AMC actually filmed a gag ending just for that scenario.

Awesome.

14 November 2013

Review: Dallas Buyers Club


Part-time electrician and some-time bull rider Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) likes to live dangerously, indulging in cocaine, ample amounts of booze and sex with loose women. A mishap on a job scene sends him to the hospital where the news is worse than he could have possibly imagined: Ron has HIV.

His chances of survival are uncertain at best, given only thirty days to live by Dr. Sevard and Dr. Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner). Unlike most, Ron doesn't just lay back and accept his diagnosis, he rages and rebels convinced that the louder he shouts the less real his positive HIV diagnosis will be. HIV only happens to people like Rock Hudson, not him.

10 November 2013

Review: Thor - The Dark World


2011's Thor was considered the least accessible of all the films that take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it was first released, but Chris Hemsworth's burgeoning stardom and the mix of fantasy and sci-fi has coupled together for something much more intriguing for audiences this time around.

At present moment Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is busy restoring peace and order to the nine realms doing battle with Warriors Three (Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi and Tadanobu Asano) and Sif (Jaimie Alexander). There is much merriment to be had as future king after his string of victories, but banquets bring Thor no pleasure. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and mother Frigga (Rene Russo) hope to see their son seek marriage with Sif and take his rightful place as successor to the throne, yet they can sense that Thor's priorities lie elsewhere on Earth.

08 November 2013

On Netflix: Serenity

Watch Haywire and other movies"Now think real hard. You been bird-doggin' this township awhile now. They wouldn't mind a corpse of you. Now, you can luxuriate in a nice jail cell, but if your hand touches metal, I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you."

And with that line my infatuation with Firefly began. The Joss Whedon series ran for only fourteen episodes, of which only eleven aired - thanks again FOX - but the devotion of Firefly fandom brought the series back to the big screen. Serenity doesn't waste time jolting off immediately with a Michael Mann-esque heist sequence. This is no ordinary robbery as there is no cash or merchandise to be had, Malcolm Reynolds' (Nathan Fillion) crew seeks only to break out River (Summer Glau). River, a recent addition to Serenity, after having her mind tampered with by the Alliance seeks only to get back to her old life with her brother Simon (Sean Maher). After rescuing River, Mal and the crew of Serenity incur the wrath of The Operative, who will hunt them to the ends of the 'verse.

Writer/director Joss Whedon does not conform to the traditional television to feature movie standards, so constantly expect the unexpected. Beloved characters might not make it through this adventure. There are few original sci-fi properties with such careful world-building and compelling characters, so reward one when you see it.

Watch Serenity on Netlflix today by signing up for one of many Sky tv offers.

On Netflix: Hugo

Thinking of Martin Scorsese, the top five pictures that came to mind are probably violent. The living legend of cinema has made his name on gangster films such as Mean Streets, Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York and The Departed, but a tale about an orphaned child in Paris wouldn't seem to be his forte. After watching Hugo, you'll know that assumption was wrong.

Scorsese's enthusiasm for the material waves a kind of spell over the audience. Aided by an excellent cast led by the vastly underrated Ben Kingsley and the two young leads (Asa Butterfield and Chloe Grace Moretz) with a great deal of potential. The director has a talent for drawing the best out of actors and he surprises no one in doing so again. What is surprising is the technical proficiency with which Scorsese wields 3D cameras. He doesn't go for the gimmicky shot, every sequence serves the story and dazzles simultaneously.

Hugo is part fiction, part history of film, and also a wonderful fantasy. Over his fifty year career, Scorsese has turned in one great film after another, and Hugo will most definitely be included in that class.

Watch Hugo and other movies on Netlflix today by signing up for one of many bt broadband packages.

04 November 2013

Bring Intermissions Back

During Hollywood’s heyday in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s when long-form epics were all the rage, films, especially the higher-grossing ones, would run over three hours long. Lawrence of Arabia, the poster child for movies with intermissions, was aided tremendously by a break because the tonal shift between the two parts is much more jarring kept as one long piece. When I caught a revival of it a year ago, I thought, “Why can’t we still have those today?”

Of course, that film was released over 50 years ago and the time of three-hour-long period pieces is largely behind us. Intermissions no longer seemed necessary with the death of massive epics. Yet here we are in the 21st century and running times continue to crawl north of two and a half hours. This winter alone sees the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Wolf of Wall Street, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, all of which run over 140 minutes. Couple these lengthy features with an additional 10 minutes of advertisements and then another 20 minutes of previews, and viewers begin to go numb from sitting for three-plus hours.

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