The Oscars

22 01 2009

The Oscar nominees came out today. While for the most part I’m not surprised or upset by the choices, I am horrified that The Dark Knight was snubbed for best picture. When pieces of crap like Titanic and Chicago can win, but The Dark Knight is locked out of contention it makes the Oscars look like the Grammy’s or the Emmy’s.

Essentially I believe the Academy has lost all the credibility it built up with last year’s win for No Country for Old Men.

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Movie Review: Juno

21 01 2009

juno-poster2-big1So last night, our TiVo presented us with the darling of the film world, Juno. About half way through this movie, I felt compelled to write something about how it made me feel. Let me start by saying that I don’t get what all the buzz was about. While Juno was technically a well shot movie, the writing was horrific and that just ruined it all.

First, the dialog between the teen characters was the most annoying thing I’d ever heard in my life. First, I don’t believe that teens talk that way today. Secondly, I felt like the movie was trying so hard to be hip and cool that none of the characters had conversations that amounted to anything.

The characters in the movie were horrific. Between the teenagers who seemed incredibly smart and dumb at the same time and the portrayal of Gen-X adults as shallow and borderline pedophilic, I found myself repulsed by nearly all of the paper-thin characters. The only actor who seemed to rise above the limited writing was J.K. Simmons.

The thing that disturbed me greatly, wasn’t how the movie depicted teen pregnancy, it was that there wasn’t a real emotion or situation in the entire script. Diablo Cody has written a screenplay that, while cutesy and cheeky, has none of the truth or real emotion she seems to think it contains. It also contains an incredibly weak portrayal of pregnancy. As my wife pointed out, some of the facts presented were just wrong.

I have no idea why critics loved this movie. The performances were fine, but the source material was really limited. The quick fire, “witty” dialog attempts to hide the sins of the plot and characterization.

To top it off, the music in this movie was the worst I’ve ever heard. It seems like it’s a collection of the worst played indie rock from the last five years.

I’d avoid this movie. Just read some of the other reviews here.





My One Word Review of the Dark Knight…

10 08 2008

Wow.

Now on to the rest of the week’s crap. I’ve fallen behind in my blogging lately thanks to work and a five month old who likes to bounce. Now that he’s asleep I can share a few items and thoughts for the week. Let’s continue with where I started… comics:

  • Marvel’s Secret Invasion continues and LOTR King reviews the latest Avengers installment.
  • He also reviews Thor #10. This title has been slowly getting stronger and stronger and has become one of the more interesting Marvel titles.
  • The AVClub has published its comics panel.  Not a whole lot that I’d read, but it’s still worth browsing.

Moving on to television, a few interesting things…

  • The AVClub reviews one of the most underrated televisions shows of all time… TV Funhouse
  • Electricity & Lust reviews Generation Kill. I’ve been really enjoying this HBO mini-series. Also, check out his new movie blog here.

In technology/Web 2.0 stuff, I found a new website I want to try, Fluther. Apparently the collective will answer your questions. I just wonder how you know if they’re right or not?

In words and the such, more good stuff from One-Story.

Finally, I’m also starting a new project for myself. As I find myself in airports from time to time, I thought I’d start a blog that covers travel. You can find it here, but I haven’t really posted anything yet.





Laziest Sunday Ever

27 07 2008

So after some work travel, a weekend away, late nights, etc.  I’m back to the blog.  I know, you all missed me so.  Actually, traffic has shot up like crazy from the odd 2-3 hits a day to hundreds.  Now before I go and get too excited it’s all being driven by Kirstie Alley searches.  Maybe she’s become popular again… who knows? 

So I’m going to start in comics.  There’s a shitload going on in comics.  Where to begin?

Let’s begin with the mother of all comic book movies, The Dark Knight.  Beyond smashing box office records and drawing repeat viewers and people who typically prefer Sandra Bullock movies, this movie is getting fantastic reviews.  I have not seen the movie yet, but here are the words of a few who have:

Ok, continuing in comics, a lot of quality books have come out in the last two weeks as well. Once again, Captain America is the highlight of my haul. Issue #40 has got me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what the hell is going to happen. This book continues to be one of the best written and drawn comics out today. Check out LOTRKing’s review. He also reviews Astonishing X-Men #25. So far, I’m a little unimpressed with it, but I think that’s in large part due to the great run Joss Whedon had on the Astonishing X-Men.

Finally, ComicCon has been going on this week, check out the AVClub’s coverage here for July 23, July 24, July 25, and July 26. Also, the Invincible Super Blog posts the true rumors here.

Whew, moving on to music. I found a few cool reviews and articles this week, including:
Sub Pop records turned 20 years old while I was away. A few people have written about it, including Cinematically Correct, and Electric LustElectricity & Lust’s Tumblr site.

  • Also in music, the AVClub reviews Nine Inch Nails new album The Slip. I downloaded it a while back for free.
  • I also have attempted my own version of the best albums of each year since my birth. Not an easy task (especially for the lean years of the 1980s).

In literature and books and the such, One Story Magazine dominates this week…

  • The editor points out how newspapers are cutting their noses off in spite of their face as they try to stay relevant. The latest cuts? book reviews.
  • Issue 106 Safe Passage has arrived in my mail box and landed on my to read list.

Finally, in movies, I have to point to Electricity & Lust’s movies since their birth. I don’t think I’ll try it myself, but I think they have a pretty good list. They also give us a little commentary on The Wackness a movie that intrigues me for some reason.

You might be wondering why I have a picture of ROM in this post…  Well, I heard they’re making a Tron 2 and it led me to wonder why there is no ROM movie??  Ok, that’s all for now. Back to my lazy, lazy Sunday.





Weekly Roundup

13 07 2008

I’m too tired to come up with an interesting title this week.  We saw Tom Petty last night and after standing on concrete for two hours (and stayig up late) I’m wiped out.  I don’t want to move off the couch.  so let’s begin…

In comics, beyond the pile I always have (which my local comic book guy said was a sign of my problem), Secret Invasion 4 came out this week and the cross over keeps getting better and better. Usually with a Marvel summer cross over I can figure that things will be the same at the end but with this one, I’m not sure. It’s really quite good. Some other thoughts on comics this week include:

In movies, the AVClub has finally recognized the greatest achievement in film history… Roadhouse.

In music, Electricity & Lust has released a list of their favorite albums since the year of their birth. I might have to try that. Check it out here. I agree with a good number of the choices.

In books, the Times highlighted The Size of the World, by Joan Silber. It looks worth picking up, but I’m a sucker for short fiction.

In television, I’ve TiVo’d the first installment of HBO’s Generation Kill, I’m lookign forward to it.

That’s it for now. I’ll write more once I recover.





Mishima

1 07 2008

Out on DVD today is Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in four Chapters. This is one of those movies that I saw in college and still sticks with me today. The beauty of the filming and the weaving of Yukio Mishima’s real life story with his fiction is just amazing.

Yukio Mishima is one of Japan’s greatest post-war authors. His books are stunning as was his nationalistic samurai views. I was introduced to his work by a college professor and some friends and dare to call him the Japanese Hemingway.

The New York Times writes a great, brief review of the film here. It’s definitely something to add to your Netflix queue.  And yes, that is really a picture of him!





The Incredible Hulk

15 06 2008

In the latest round of comic book movies, Iron Man has been getting all of the love.  While it didn’t get panned, the reviews for the Incredible Hulk have been lukewarm at best.  I finally understand.  It’s obvious that the people who made The Incredible Hulk actually cared what people like me, comic book readers, thought.  As a result, much of the shmaltz that is woven into movies so that the general public can swallow then is not here.

I’m not going to give any spoilers here but I have to make a few comments.  First, this movie doesn’t see the need to give us a long-winded and cliched origin story.  Actually, it uses the origin found in the television show as a backdrop to the credits.  I actually prefered this because, as a long-time reader of the Hulk, if they’re going to tell an origin story I’d prefer it to involve a gamma bomb. It also allows us to sidestep what would end up being an hour of slow story development and trade it in for some action.

That being said, we get Bruce Banner in Brazil, trying to learn to control the monster inside.  Of course we know that won’t happen because otherwise there would be no movie.  What we get in addition to a great Hulk is a supporting cast full of the characters needed for any Hulk movie.  William Hurt plays a great General Thunderbolt Ross and Liv Tyler is adequate as Betty Ross. What we get in addition to these two is Tim Roth in a fantastic performance as Emil Blonsky and Tim Blake Nelson as Samuel Sterns.

Other nice touches include cameos by Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno. Additional touches for long-time Hulk fans include Jim Wilson (one of the Hulk’s former sidekicks) and McGee (the name of the reporter who hounded the Hulk on television) within the film. I do wish that Rick Jones had somehow been worked into the movie as his sidekick.

Overall this movie was fantastic. It includes yet another teaser for the Avengers movie scheduled to be released in 2011 and remembers that the angrier the Hulk gets, the stronger he gets. Don’t believe the reviews that say the movie has no heart, is lacking, etc. This movie was well worth the price of the ticket.