Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Walking Dead: "Wild Fire"

The Walking Dead

"Wild Fire"

Season 1, Episode 5

Original Airdate: November 28, 2010

"Do not enter Atlanta, it's not what we thought it would be. The City...It belongs to The Dead now", Rick mournfully relays into a walkie-talkie hoping that Morgan is listening on the other end. Soon, Rick hears that Jim has been bitten and is trying to convince the small group of survivors left after the geek attack at the end of "Vatos". Initally, the party is trying to find the right words to get through to Andrea, still broken up after losing her sister Amy.

While Daryl, Glen, and Dale are burying the dead and burning the geeks, everyone else is trying to talk to Andrea, who hasn't moved from the spot where Amy died. While Lori tries her best to get through to Andrea, the best part was when Rick tried to talk to her, and she just pointed a gun at him saying "the safety is off". After Dale gives a heartfelt monologue about losing his wife and how Amy and Andrea were the first people that Dale cared about after his years of mistrust toward others, Rick and Shane have a disagreement about where to go now: Rick wants to go to the Center for Disease Control to find a cure, while Shane wants to an army base 100 miles away to better protect the survivors. Soon, it becomes clear that Shane wants to kill Rick to regain his position as group survivor and the only man in Lori and Carl (Rick's son)'s lives.

After the group loses Jim to wanting to turn as a zombie than endure the roadtrip to the CDC (you'll have to see why the group decides to follow Rick's plan rather than Shane's), we meet a new character at the CDC. Is this man friend or foe? We'll have to wait and see at the Season Finale next week.

Rating: * * * * * of 5


Starring Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Carpenter, Carla Gugino, Blood Moongood, and Maggie Grace

Directed by George Tillman Jr.

Release Date: November 24, 2010

After spending a decade behind bars, there's only one thing on Driver (Dwayne Johnson)'s mind: avenging his brother's murder. Soon, the best wheelman crime has ever seen is on a fast track to those who killed his brother and find out who set that event into motion.

Before you give up on this movie upon seeing that it stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, give Faster a chance. Because in all honesty, the movie is much better than the ads make it out to be. For me, the ads make the movie look like the standard bang-bang zoom-zoom brainless action movie with no memorable characters or events beyond the casting choices or the money put into the stuntman's paycheck. To my surprise, Faster is an updated film noir that takes an indepth look into one man's obsessive journey to complete a crucial moment in his life. The movie actually has many quiet moments where the characters absorb the situations they are in and how dark their lives truly are.

If you think Dwayne Johnson can't act, or that he can't carry a film, check out Faster; the film is actually quite enjoyable and Johnson does a commendable job as a man with inner demons that he can only silence with payment in blood.

Rating: * * * * of 5

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Bloody Valentine (1981)

Starring Paul Kelman,Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight, Alf Humphreys,Cynthia Dale,Helene Udy , Rob Stein , Tom Kovacs , Terry Waterland,Carl Marotte, Jim Murchison , Gina Dick , Peter Cowper,and Don Francks

Directed by George Mihalka

Release Date: Feb 11, 1981

Ok, I admit that this film is combination of Halloween, Friday the 13th and Canada...but I don't care because this is a great underrated 1980s horror film. Now, before you go running off to Netflix to rent the 2009 remake (in 3-D!), give the original a first glance and you'll be glad you did. The town of Valentine Bluffs has a sad history with St.Valentine's Day: 20 years ago a group of miners were caught in a cave-in while their supervisors left early to go to the town Valentine's Dance. The lone survivor went insane, killed his supervisors and dedicated his life to making sure the town never celebrated Valentine's Day ever again. Present Day, the teens of Valentine Bluffs don't believe the local legend and want to celebrate even with the rise of the deadly miner back in town. This film scores major points in my book by making the connection to valentine's day effective and creepy, instead of just a stupid gimmick where the killer could have dressed up like a cherub ( in Valentine). Also, the death scenes are effective, chilling, and innovative, which is the opposite of the reviews i 've heard from the 2009 remake. If you're in the mood for a horror film after seeing "The Thing" or "Night of the Living Dead" for the 100th time, check up on this "bloody" chilling flick.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Click here to buy
My Bloody Valentine (Special Edition)
My Bloody Valentine (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]


Starring the voice talents of Dakota Fanning, Ian McShane, and Teri Hatcher

Directed by Henry Selick

Release Date: February 6, 2009

Director Henry Selick is a stop-motion genius. He first dazzled audiences with A Nightmare Before Christmas then followed up with James and the Giant Peach (the less said about Monkeybone, the better). Now, he adapts Neil Gaiman's novel about a young girl who discovers another world in the wallpaper of her new home. On a personal note, I had to move around several times with my family when i was younger, so I understood Coraline's frustration in finding her new surrounding are boring and why she'd repeatedly return to the other world. As stated previously, Selick is a master at the art of stop-motion animation, so all the characters are lively and detailed, and the environments they set in the story are gorgeous to look at with outrageous and amazingly bright colors that are visual treats for the eyes. Though watch out, as Coraline becomes wary of the dangers of the Other World, so should you as the viewer. Also, Dakota Fanning is just wonderful as Coraline, the energetic and playful protagonist. Teri Hatcher brings alot of range when portraying Coraline's mother Mel and the seemingly wonderful Other Mother. Strange, moody, and a visual treat. Coraline is just a wonderful film.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Click here to buy Coraline (Single-Disc Edition w/ 3D)

Click Here to buy Coraline (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo w/ 3D) (2009)


Starring the voice talents of Elijah Wood, John C. Reily, Martin Landau, Jennifer Connely, and Christopher Plumber

Directed by Shane Acker

Release Date: September 9, 2009 (9-9-09)

After mankind has gone it will be up to 9 voodoo dolls to save the earth from deadly machines. In the tradition of such memorable dystopian tales like The terminator or Wall-E comes 9, a tale about heroism even when our main character is made of cogs and cloth. The story is good, although the backstory/set up is a tad vague so i wish there had been more explaination about where and when this takes place; but then again that could be better left unsaid (maybe this is an alternate 1946 or maybe 9 takes place hundreds of years in the future). Two key aspects of this film are the amazing CGI animation that would make Pixar envious and the action sequences that are thrillng and spectacular to view. If you're going to take little ones, I'd just like point out there are a few deaths implied and shown on screen.

Rating: * * * * of 5

Click Here to buy 9

Click Here to buy 9 [Blu-ray]


Starring Sir Ben Kingsley, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard, John Mills , Martin Sheen , Rohini Hattangady , Ian Charleson , Athol Fugard , Saeed Jaffrey , Geraldine James , Alyque Padamsee , Amrish Puri , Roshan Seth , Ian Bannen , Michael Bryant , John Clements , Richard Griffiths , and Nigel Hawthorne

Directed by Richard Attenborough

Release Date: December 6th, 1982

A fantastic epic that details the political exploits of Mahatma Gandhi and his crusade to free India from British tyranny. Kingsley gives a fantastic performance as Gandhi, evoking the spirit and humble appearance of India's most famous nonviolent revolutionist. Director Richard Attenborough really captures the scope and look that was early 20th century India, illustrating the vast differences between the elite British and the slums in which the Indians were forced into. My only real criticism with the movie is its' failure at keeping a concise record of when events shown on film occur between gandhi's early life as a South African lawyer in 1893 and his death in 1948. Twice during the film the captions read to the extent "some time later", which doens't fully answer what year this is taking place in Gandhi's life and muddies up the chronology of the film's events. Still, this is a great drama and very much worth seeing.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Click here to buy Gandhi (Widescreen Two-Disc Collector's Edition)

Click Here to buy Gandhi (+ BD Live) [Blu-ray]

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Superman: The Movie

Starring Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, and Ned Beatty

Directed by Richard Donner

Release Date: December 15, 1978

Before the superfluous sequels, and the endless back and forth on Batman Vs. Superman/JLA movies, there was just a story about a man crashing down from the heavens.

Long ago, far from our galaxy, there was a planet named Krypton. A scientist, Jor-El (Brando), is fearful that the red sun from which their planet revolves may soon explode and destroy all life on the planet. Jor'El's peers do not believe in such ideas and ridicule Jor-El, until the planet shakes and trembles. Soon, Jor-El is sending his infant son, Kal-El, into a rocket toward a distant planet named Earth....

Superman: The movie is a fantastic action adventure ride that gives one a sense of who the man behind the cape is. Christopher Reeve was made to play the Last Son of Krypton. Reeve is charming, strong, mysterious, and tryuly carries the hope and despair of a planet's last survivor. In the supporting cast is Jackie Cooper (Perry White), Margot Kidder (Lois Lane), and Gene Hackman (Lex Luthor). Then, there's the scenery chomping fiend known as Marlon Brando who says Krypton like 'kriptin'. Yeah, he gets a few good moments mixed in with a lot of weird additions obviously created by the actor.

Still, for all its flaws, Superman: The movie is an enjoyable comic book movie with alot of affection for the Man of Steel.

Rating: * * * * * of 5

Click Here to buy Superman - The Movie [Blu-ray]

Grindhouse Presents: DEATH PROOF

Starring Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Ferlito, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan , Sydney Tamiia Poitier , Tracie Thoms , Mary Elizabeth Winstead , Zoe Bell , Michael Parks , and Quentin Tarantino

Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Release Date: April 7th, 2007

On a lonely night, a group of women meet a man named STUNTMAN Mike. Sure, he's charming, he's an interesting man to chat and have a few beers with. But soon, they'll find themselves caught in his headlights....

Tarantino continues to make movies that define "cool". Here, his snappy dialogue comes from the lips of gorgeous women and the #1 badass-Kurt Russell. While it isn't as action-packed as Planet Terror, Tarantino's fewer action scenes seemed to laced with dynamite and adrenaline, as the cars move like speed-demons and the chase at the finale is amazingly entertaining and breath-taking. Also, be on the look-out to Tarantino's subtle refernce to his own first theatrical movie, Reservoir dogs.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Click Here to buy Grindhouse Presents, Death Proof - Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Click here to buy Death Proof [Blu-ray]

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Morning Glory

Starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Patrick Wilson, Diane Keaton, and Jeff Goldblum

Directed by Roger Michell

Release Date: November 10, 2010

Not too soft or too serious, and a very enjoyable film. Harrison Ford is gruff, but still the enjoyable performer he has always been; Rachel McAdams is adorable as the young, up and coming producer willing to try anything and everything to make the Nation's #4 morning talk show into a hit. The movie, for the most part, is an enjoyable light-hearted comedy with quick-witted comedy and some wacky moments such as Diane keaton dressed as a sumo wrestler or the weather man (Matt Malloy) freaking out upon being forced on-camera to ride a rollercoaster. Personally, I felt that the building relationship between Ford and McAdams was far more impressive than the romantic sublot with Patrick Wilson as a fellow producer at the same News channel McAdams works at (sorry folks, but I think their begruding relationship was the crux of the movie, not the romance).

Morning Glory is a fun, enjoyable film that has some fun to it and does have a couple moments of dramatic tension.
Rating: * * * * of 5

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Toki o kakeru shôjo (original title)

Starring the voice talents of Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Ayami Kakiuchi, Sachie Hara, Mitsutaka Itakuru, Mitsuki Tanimura , Yuki Sekido , Fumihiko Tachiki , Kaitou , Andou Midori , Uesugi Moriko , Sekimi Nowake , Katsura Utawaka , Mitsutaka Itakura

Directed by Mamoru Hosoda

Release Date: July 15, 2006

At one point in our lives, we have all wanted to correct a mistake we made, or do something different. That is one of the reasons Time Travel fiction is so popular; people wonder about the path not taken, or how to make our lives better by correcting the past. 'The Girl who Leapt through time' explores both the popularity of time travel fiction and the concept of changing your life for the better.

Makoto Konno (Riisa Naka/Emily Hirst), a high school junior at Tokyo's shitamachi, has recently discovered that she has the power to "time leap" to return back in time by taking off in a sprint and then leaping in to the air. How did she discover this power? By narrowly avoiding a fatal accident at the train tracks by her school. Soon, Makoto is using her newfound abilities for everything from getting to school early to singing karaoke for ten hours. But, does that mean Makoto's journeys back through time are without consequences?

"The Girl who Leapt Through Time" is a fascinating story about the relationships between friends and the fears of how our actions affect others. Finally, the heroine of our story, Makoto Konno, is a highly entertaining character who is treated like a real person who makes mistakes, suffers heartache, and panics at the suggestion of romance between her friends.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Click Here to buy The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Click Here to buy The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Limited Edition)

Click Here to buy The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [Blu-ray]

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Walking Dead: Vatos


Season 1, Episode 4
Original Airdate: November 21, 2010

Some of you may have noticed a character in the past few episodes hanging around Dale at the compund and wondered who he is. Now, if you didn't already know, this is Jim; the reason why it's important to note this character's name is because it's the first episode where we get to explore this character and how he fits into the survivors' camp. Initally, we begin the episode with Amy and Andrea discussing the different ways they were taught fishing by their father during their respective childhoods. The scene works very well exploring the dynamic between the two sisters and also subtly explores their remorse and fear over what had happened to their parents in Florida without spelling it out for the audience. After that, we get to see jim on a hill above them digging into the ground, the mood of the scene getting darker and darker before the credits sequence begins.

When I wrote my review of the pilot episode, I talked about my opinon of how the developers of The Walking Dead should follow some familiar ground while also venturing into unfamilar territory in terms of both the story adn the characters, both from the comic and TV created. That being said, SPOILERS AHEAD (don't say I didn't give you fair warning): As the episode winds down, we see the survivors' camp attacked by "geeks", and several survivors are killed such as Ed and Amy. However, we find out that the reason that Jim was digging in the ground that day was to prepare graves for the dead survivors. Some may call it ESP, I'd prefer to thinking of it as Jim's assumption that they are all just one more day toward either becoming "walkers" or just dead. In between this, we saw Rick and his group journeying through Atlanta to find Merle Dixon (no such luck). However, the foursome did stumble upon another group of survivors and met another new interesting character, Guillermo.

"Vatos" brought up alot of new character development, but also saw the departure of a few characters viewers maybe wanted to see stick around just longer. Just as well, because you're either quick or you're dead, and those survivors are gone.

Rating: * * * * of 5

The Venture Brothers: Operation P.R.O.M.

Season 4, Episode 16

Original Airdate: November 21, 2010

.....It was just too much for words, so here's what it all boils down to: Hank and Dean have a prom in the hangar, then Brock kills mutant fly women. Sheer wacky awesomeness. Plus, new status changes within the "Venture Universe".  The only thing that sucks? This season's over.......

Rating: * * * * * of 5

Whisper of the Heart

Mimi wo sumaseba (original title)

Starring the voice talents of Cary Elwes, Courtney Thorne-Smith, David Gallagher, Brittany Snow, Harold Gould, and Naohisa Inoue

Directed by: Yoshifumi Kondo

Screenplay written by Hayao Miyazaki

Release Date: July 15, 1995

A sweet love story about a junior high girl lost in her own world of fairy tales until she meets a young violin maker who prompts young Shizuku to follow her own dreams of becoming a talented writer. Leave it to Studio Ghibli to make the most formulaic genre of young love into an engaging and heartwarming tale of love, teen angst, and beliving in one's self.

This is absolutely one of my favorite films of all time and I highly encourage all fans of animation, romance, and fairy tales to check this movie out for themselves. Whisper of the Heart is a joy to behold and the characters in it are engaging, fun, and their US adaptations are enjoyable to listen to again and again.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Click Here to buy Whisper of the Heart

The Cat Returns

Neko no ongaeshi (original title)

Starring the voice talents of Anne Hatheway and Cary Elwes

Directed by: Hiroyuki Morita

Release Date: Jul 19, 2002

More a spinoff than a sequel, The Cat Returns brings back two characters from 1996's Whisper of the Heart, Muta (or if you prefer "Moon") and the Baron from Shizuku's story. Here, the story involves a 15 year old girl named Haru who through an act of kindness, is introduced to a world run by cats and through a series of unforseen circumstances has been betrothed to Prince Loon. So, our young protagonist is told to seek out the Cat Bureau run by the mysterious, proper and heroic Baron Humbert von Gikkingen (but i prefer to just rememeber him as Baron Humbert). Compared to Whisper of the Heart, The Cat Returns is a shorter story with a change in animation, but that necessarily isn't bad. TCR has a more exaggerted style of animaton where the characters have more "cartoonish" physicality which is a tribute to the fluid style of the animation and adds to the nature of the story's fantasy-like nature. Finally, i'd like to compliment two of the voice actors for the English language adaption: Anne Hatheway and Cary Elwes. Hatheway brings a nervous, teenage like vocal range in order to make her portrayal of an insecure 15 year old girl more authentic. Elwes is just perfect, returning from Whisper of the Heart to bring The Baron (so to speak) to life once again.

Rating: * * * * of 5

Click Here to buy The Cat Returns

My Neighbor Totoro

Tonari no Totoro (original title)

Starring the Voices of Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, and Tim Daly

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Release Date: April 16, 1988 (Japan) May 7, 1993 (United States)

Another adorable film from Japan's answer to Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki. Set in 1940s Japan, the story centers on two young girls, Satsuki and her younger sister Mei, who have moved to the country with their father so they can be closer to their mother who is recuperating in a hospital. During their exploits into the forrest they come across the gigantic Cat-like being they name Totoro. This is a good entertaining movie that leaves you with a sense of delight and happiness, as it is near impossible not to crack a smile when Satsuki act like sisters or playfully tease one another. A solid film from one of the greatest men to impact animation as we know it.

Rating: * * * * of 5

Click Here to buy My Neighbor Totoro (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Kaze no tani no Naushika (original title)

Starring the Voices of Allison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Uma Thurman, and Edward James Olmos

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Release Date:

March 4, 1984

North America
February 22, 2005 (uncut re-release)

Miyazaki's first film is also one of his finest accomplishments. Nausicaa is a great action adventure, though a tad heavy on the environmental issues that Miyazaki adds into all of his films. But maybe sometimes we need someone to bring it home with how much damage we as people do to the planet. Great voice acting from the American cast, especially Alison Lohman as the titular princess of the wind valley and Patrick Stewart as Lord Yuma, the greatest swordsman in the land. Lohman really brings the emotion and energy as Nausicaa who wants to protect her people from the rage of the insects (including the monsterous ohmu) or the warring Tolmekians. Her young, energetic voice really nail a character that when the whole world around her is encircled in blood and violence, she tries to appeals for peace and order for the betterment of the world. Patrick Stewart brings his legendary bravado voice to Lord Yuma. Stewart's voice is just amazing, that's all that needs to be said about his devotion to bringing the character over from Japan.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Click here to buy Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Spider-Man 2

Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, J.K. Simmons, Alfred Molina, James Franco, and Bruce Campbell

Directed by Sam Raimi

Release Date: June 30, 2004

This movie is on my top ten favorites of all time. My favorite reasons are: faithful to the comics, the relationship between MJ and Peter, and Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus. First, this film is amazing as it follows so closely to the comics: peter continues to struggle with his double life, unfortunately hurting his loved ones in the process; Harry is desperate to destroy spider-man after believing his father was killed by him. Finally, Mary Jane is trying to move past her feelings for Peter. I love the relationship between Mary Jane and Peter, it's so realistic and heart-wrenching which makes it all the more to root for them to wind up together. I love Alfred molina as Doc ock, he's perfect for the role as he masterfully makes a stirring performance when he first speaks to his mechanical arms. Finally, look for the homage to Amazing Spider-man #50, where peter throws his spider-man suit in the trash can.

Rating: * * * * * of 5

Spider-Man 2 (Widescreen Special Edition)

Spider-Man 2 [Blu-ray]

Spider-Man 2.1

Spider-Man 2 Gift Set (Widescreen Special Edition W/Comic Book/Postcards/Sketch Book/Photo Booklet)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Finnes, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, and John Hurt

Directed by David Yates

Release Date: November 19, 2010

There are dark days for Harry Potter and his friends: Voldemort is gaining more influence, Dumbledore is dead, and there is no where to hide from the Death Eaters, Voldemort's wrathful followers. Therefore, the few left to oppose the dark wizard have banded together to stop his brutal takeover of the magical world before it is too late.....

Picking up from "Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince", it has become clear to Harry and his friends that the only way to stop Voldemort once and for all is to destroy all 6 Horcruxes, objects in which Voldemort stored pieces of his soul so he could be revived from death. However, Harry has soon become the target of a mass hunt of magical thugs known as "Snatchers" to catch not only Potter, but all wizards that could oppose the Dark Wizard. While dealing with this, the trio must also face inner conflicts, doubt, turmoil, and frustration in the quiet moments when the battles are over and the waiting seems to be an eternity.

(For the purposes of this review, I will refer to the movie as "Part One")

Part One is a fantastic adventure and is sure to whet the appetites of all Harry Potter fans anxiously awaiting this final chapter of the series. Some reviews claim that Part One is only 1/2 a movie, that there is no real tension/conflict to work through and that there is no climax in the story structure, that this film is only to be viewed as exposition to Part Two's epic battles and resolution. I have to disagree: part one is full of tension and turmoil, where the characters go through so much that it becomes a whirlwind of story development and exciting action sequences such as when Harry and the Order of the Phoenix battle Death Eaters early in the film.

For Harry Potter fans, Part One is a must see. If you're a fan of fantasy and action, I'd recommend you view the series in chronological order before viewing Part One.

Click here to buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (Three-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

Click here for the review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5


Starring: Jeff Bridges,Bruce Boxleitner,David Warner,Cindy Morgan,Barnard Hughes,Dan Shor,Peter Jurasik,Jackson Bostwick , Tony Brubaker,Loyd Catlett,Craig Chudy ,Erik Cord,Vince Deadrick Jr.,Michael Dudikoff,Bob Neill,Sam Schatz,Tony Stephano,Jack Manning,Ted White ,Gerald Berns,Mark Stewart,Charlie Picerni, and Dave Cass

Directed by: Steven Lisberger

Release Date: Jul 09, 1982

Within the depths of cyberspace, a malifulous computer program called "Master Control" has been stealing multitudes of computer programs to horde power from. The program is growing out of control, and the only way to stop it is to journey from the real world into the virutal world. Hacker/Gamer/Former Programmer Kevin Flynn may be the only person to end the dangerous software.

Tron is viewed as one of the hallmarks of science fiction in the last 30 years, influencing many other works of fiction and becoming a staple of pop culture history (seen in such works as "Chuck" or "South Park"). Unfortunately, the film was seen as a financial failure during its initial theatrical run. Now, it has become a cult phenomenon that has continued on in the form of video games, toys, and a sequel "Tron:Legacy" premiering Dec. 17, 2010. Nearly 30 years later, the film is still an entertaining adventure with interesting visuals, rich concepts, and dry humor that is superbly delivered by Jeff Bridges. I enjoyed the fact that the movie explores such complex subjects like religion, persecution, and belief where the characters are mostly bits of data personified as actual people from the real world. Sure, the special effects are more dated and simple than from a film made in 2010, but I liked the simplicity of The Grid, as if the reason the world is so block and generic is because Master Control absorbed more and more of The Grid into itself.

A great 1980s action adventure science fiction fantasy with an hero made of data and numbers.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Green Lantern Trailer

okay, so this week was the release of the teaser trailer for 2011's Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds. I watched the trailer last night, and I had a mixed reaction. For the most part, I enjoyed what I saw: the action was interesting, getting me excited for the movie. But, this is a movie about Green Lantern, specifically the most well known GL Corps member: Hal Jordan. Don't get me wrong, I like Ryan Reynolds (usually), but here it doesn't feel like he's the right actor to play a fearless, cocky test pilot. Sure, he got the arrogant part of Hal's character, but I don't feel that he can show that Hal can stare down any challenge that comes his way: maybe I'll be proven wrong when the movie premieres next summer, but that's my initial reaction. Finally, the GL costume seen in the trailer: IT SUCKS. Oh man, it is so poorly animated I couldn't believe how it stands out like a sore thumb. The suit should be made of fabric, not CGI dots. Just see it for yourself. I just can't believe someone in the editing bay saw that brief 2 second moment of the costume and said, "Yeah, it's fine to show to audiences".

What do you think of the trailer?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Forbidden Lie$

Starring Norma Khouri

Directed by: Anna Broinowski

Release Date: Feb 25, 2007

Truth and fiction: some people have a hard time separating the two. Norma khouri is one of those people. In 2003, Khoui published her memoir, Fobidden Love, about the honor killing of her friend Dahlia by her father for besmirching their familiy. Khoui became an overnight sensation, her book flooding the market and making her a celebrity, particularly in Austrailia. In the press, Khouri was seen as a champion of women's rights in Jordan, a woman who fled her homeland a virgin, and whose only concen was to tell the plight of her friend's death. One year later, revelations about Norma Khouri came to light. First, she had only lived in Jordan until the age of 3 (with a 2 week visit in 2000). Second, that she was not a virgin but a mother of two children who she neglected for her cause. Finally, the biggest shock of all: Khouri's memoir was a work of fiction.

Regardless of your opinion of Norma, you know that people are upset with her; she lied in her book, deceived the media, abandoned her children (on several occasions), and tarnished the image of Jordan. I could go on and on, but let's sum it up: Norma is a great con artist, she can say one thing then later say that she was misquoted. In one instance, a Jordanian journalist goes over all the mistakes Khouri made in her book, from the location of the Jordan river to the choronology in the book. What was Khouri's response? To paraphrase, "It doesn't matter where the river is, I'm just telling the story. It doesn't matter if I get all the facts straight, it's the story". Norma can spin tales like no other; if she is accused of lying about her virginity, she says that it was to protect the cause and spread the truth about "Dahlia".

In this story, there are only 5 truths: There was a woman named Norma Khouri, she at one time lived in Jordan, she wrote a book, became successful, and then was accused of deception. In Norma's world, truth is flexible.

This is a fascinating documentary about a 21st century literary hoax, and the author's strange life.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Click Here to buy Forbidden Lie$

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Walking Dead: "Tell that to the Frogs"

"Tell that to the Frogs"

Season 1, episode 3

Original Airdate: November 14th, 2010

Continuing on from last week's episode, we see that things with the Grimes family are far from perfect. This episode, Rick is dedicated into going back for Merle Dixon and to retrieve his bag of weapons he lost in "Days Go Bye". Lori, on the other hand, is trying her best to deal with the revelation of Rick being the mysterious stranger the group located in "Guts", but that Shane had lied to her by saying that Rick had died in the hospital. While Rick and Lori try to rekindle their relationship (in the brief time he's at the survivor camp), we see that Shane may be harboring some pent up rage and aggression, as seen when he bullied Ed into dousing his campfire. "Tell that to the frogs" is a great chapter in the "Walking Dead" storyline: we get to discover more characters in the camp, further explore the characters of Shane and Dale, and see how Rick will eventually become the reluctant leader of the surviors. While I think that the cliffhanger of Merle Dixon's status is somewhat odd, it does fit into what type of character he is and cannot wait to see where he next pops up in Atlanta. Perhaps he'll just return to the survivor camp to await his aggressors.

Rating: * * * * * of 5


Starring Sam Huntington,Dan Fogler,Jay Baruchel,Kristen Bell,Christopher George Marquette,Jaime King,Billy Dee Williams,Carrie Fisher,William Shatner,Allie Grant,Chris Marquette, and Seth Rogen

Directed by Kyle Newman

Release Date: July 31, 2008

It should have been made in 2000, 2001, but as Cheech Marin said in Ghostbusters II "Better late than never". The reason I say that the movie should have been made earlier is because maybe the movie would have been more successful had the movie been made just after Star Wars Episode I was released, but the film still works despite being made nearly a decade after. Sure, you'd have to be a geek to get the majority of the jokes, but that's the target audience for the movie: Star Wars Nerds. The film is a geniune love letter not only to Star Wars, but to comics, film, and even Star Trek (despite our main characters holding a deep hatred for the Federation).
If you're a fan of Star Wars, you owe it to yourself to check out FANBOYS.

Rating: * * * * of 5

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

How I met Your Mother: Natural History

"Natural History"

Season 6, Episode 8

Original Airdate: November 8th, 2010

"Galactic Superstar President McAwesomeville"- That really should be Ted's name for himself. After the lackluster episode that was "Canning Randy", HIMYM is back on track with a great episode exploring the personal histories of the characters. Set against a backdrop of a black tie soirre, the gang is at a GNB celebration hosted by a man who calls himself THE CAPTAIN. Kyle Mclaughlin is hysterically awesome as the captain; he's stuffy, but easy going and I would definitely like to see him return one day. Marshall and Lily have an argument over Marshall's decision to stay at GNB despite his college dreams of being an environmental lawyer. Meanwhile, Barney and Robin have a contest to see who can touch the most exhibits (personally, I felt Robin won when she toted around a stuffed penguin like it was her date). The episode worked really well with good jokes, touching moments, and the sight of Barney atop a stuffed lion.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Big Bang Theory: The 21 Second Excitation

"The 21 Second Excitation"

Season 4, Episode 8

Original Airdate: November 11, 2010

.....We've all been to big premieres for our favorite movies. During that event, there's that one member of your group of friends who's so concerned about seating that he'll bug you to arrive 7 hours early just to wait in line outside the theater. Therefore, Sheldon is driven to near madness for getting in line late to a midnight showing of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with 21 extra seconds (Penny's response summed up my own thoughts: It's like a whole new movie!) As the boys wait in line, Sheldon runs into his archnemesis: Wil Whetton.

During that time, Sheldon's girlfriend Amy has decided to spend the night with Penny and Olive during their girl's night in.

I felt that both plot lines were effective and humorous, but I liked the girl's night in a bit more. Many people find Amy to be a Sheldon clone, but I like Amy because she's funny and an interesting new character for the show. Plus, I liked how in this episode she was trying to fit in with olive and Penny by sharing "girl talk" (with too much information) or in her own way, showing her interest in having a slumberparty. While the "Raiders" storyline should have taken full interest with me, I liked the development of Amy trying to fit in with others on the show and the question of Penny's involvement with Leonard despite the two no longer seeing each other.

Rating: * * * * of 5

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Time to End: Batman the Brave and the Bold

I love Batman The Animated series for several reasons, including that it was 1) A cornerstone of my childhood 2) a landmark in 1990s animation 3) content that neither spoke down nor belittled my intelligence and is still enjoyable years later. Why am I bringing up my devotion to Batman TAS? Because I'm still waiting for the day Batman the brave and the bold gets cancelled. It is a juvenile and terribly written adaptation of the caped crusader that gets worse each time I try to give the series another chance. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed "The Music Meister" episode, but that was mostly for the well written songs and the appearance of Neil Patrick Harris as the Music Meister. Mostly, the show relies on cheesy dialogue, nonsensical plot lines, and a terrible voice actor to play batman: Kevin Conroy IS the voice of batman, and there are few to challenge that title. I have seen interviews with Diedrich Baeder talking about his experience voicing batman; good to know he had fun, but I sure didn't. It's not that I don't get that the content is supposed to be a throwback to Silver Age comics where Batman always teamed up with Batmite to journey to Planet Zur-en-arh; the problem I have is that this is a really bad series that tarnishes the legend of Batman in media.

Until I hear the show's cancelled, let me leave you with this: In the pilot, Batman does the following without any logical explanation or reason:
- pulls an Energy Sword out of his utility belt
- removes an emergency batarrang off his chest
-His cowl transforms into an air helmet
-His cape transforms into a jet pack

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Scott Pilgrim Blu ray

Scott Pilgrim Vs The world is on blu-ray today.

Tons of features, commentaries, and other cool bonus stuff.

Go get it now! If you are still not sure about the movie, read my review of the movie.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Walking Dead: "Guts"



Season 1, Episode 2

Air date: November 7th, 2010

A whole lot went down in this episode and yet the one thing I wanted to see never happened: A scene with Morgan and Duane. Oh well, maybe we'll see them down the line later this season. Still, we did get the onscreen first appearance of Glenn, Amy, Andrea, and some TV created characters like Merle Dixon and T-Dog. While Rick meets some new survivors in a department store, we get to see a glimpse of life at the survivor camp. First, we get to see that Laurie and Shane's little affair has become more than a "one-time" event as previously seen in the comic: It's a little touch, but Darabont and creator Robert Kirkland knew that it would be best to shake up the story for familiar fans and I for one am glad they are doing it. Next, we get to see that not only do the survivors have to deal with the zombies (or "geeks" and "walkers" as they are called in this episode), but also Merle Dixon's racism and uncontrollable urge to kill. Perhaps we will see more of this character? Only time will tell. For now, you should be on board with The Walking Dead. If not, do your self a favor and watch the pilot and "Guts". Otherwise, you'll be missing out on one of the best new shows of 2010.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine

Starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, and Chevy Chase

Directed by Steve Pink

Release Date: March 26, 2010

A word of caution: This movie is crude, exceedingly crude, so much so that it may turn off some interested in finishing the film: You've been warned.

When the title of your film is "Hot Tub Time Machine", there's no limit to how oddball and bizarre you can get. At one point, Jacob (Clark Duke) fades in and out of reality for no reason until his uncle Adam (John Cusack) slaps him in the face and he's back to normal (?). Obviously, the actors and the screenwriters knew the story was goofy and took no limits to how satrical one can get with the concepts of time travel from such pop culture staples as Back to the Future, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. The film is very amusing, the actors are definitely enjoying themselves on set, but at times they do use expletives too often (look, I can accept using some language, but when it's every other word, just calm down, ok?). Cusack is enjoyable as always, Corddry is vulgularly hilarious as the overzealous, anger-prone Lou, Robinson gets some funny bits contemplating sleeping with a groupie in 1986 despite being married in 2010, and Duke gets in some sarcastic, snarky bits with Corddry as the two hate each other.

Good movie, but a tad excessive at times.

Rating: * * * 1/2 of 5

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Due Date

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Jamie Foxx

Directed by Todd Phillips

Release date: November 5, 2010

An admitted "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" inspired comedy, but a hilarious one. The comedic exchanges between Downey and Galifianakis are hysterical and inspiring, an explosion of comedic masters dueling each other for the title: "Who's gonna steal this scene"? The plot is pretty simple: Peter (Downey) is a high strung father to be kicked off an airplane due to an unfortunate exchange with Ethan (Galifianakis), now has to travel with this fat, bearded man-child to get to his expecting wife in Los Angeles. From that, it's a comedy of awkard conversations, car chases, and a hilarious scene with Peter babysitting.

Rating: * * * * 1/2

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Community: "Aerodynamics of Gender"

"Aerodynamics of Gender"

November 4th, 2010

Season 2, episode 7

"We all make fun of ourselves. Even Tom Cruise knows he's short and nuts".

Let it never be said that Abed can't deliver some killer material from cliched material. In this episode, the group divides into 2 plots: while Troy and Jeff experience the miracle of a secret garden with a sweet trampoline, Britta, Shirley and Annie discover that Abed can make nasty comebacks due to his social ineptitude. Where's Pierce you ask? He's mostly relegated to sneaking into Troy and Jeff's bliss about finding the joys in trampoline bouncing, which pays off with a hilarious physical stunt later on. As usual, Community makes good use of crazy broad humor with good characterization amidst the pop culture references (especially the ROBOCOP POV or the subtle Blade Runner reference). I think one of the best parts of this episode had to be how calm and relaxed jumping on a trampoline can be. Also, the development of Senor Chang's "oh SNAP!" moments go from amusing to downright hysterical.

Rating: * * * * 1/2 of 5

Monday, November 1, 2010

How I met Your Mother: Canning Randy

"Canning Randy"

Season 6, Episode 7

...............Am I the only one who thinks Ted is not only becoming the most annoying character, but the dullest? Honestly, I think they should abandon Ted and refocus the remainder of the series on Marshall, Lily, and Barney (Robin can stay...for now). I mean, Ted is such a jerk that it's becoming hard to care about his journey to find his soul mate, i.e. the titular mother. Take for example this episode: Why did Ted egg on the obviously deranged Zoey and was still surprised to see her heckle him at his architecture class? That's SitCom writing 101, folks. Also, the way he resolved his students deriding him for tearing down the "historic" Arcadian building was insulting to my intelligence. No teacher would use this strategy unless they were desparate or an idiot: Ted is both.

The only real saving grace of this episode was Marshall trying to be a nice guy at his job while at the same time trying to find a constructive way to deal with a co-worker's repeated mistakes.

Rating: * * 1/2 of 5

The Walking Dead: "Days Go Bye"

"Days Go Bye"

Season 1, Episode 1

I'm a big fan of the comic. In fact, I love The Walking Dead so much I tend to think of this as a legitimate heir to George A. Romero's Zombie-lore throne. Therefore, when I found out about the TV adaptation, I was both excited and scared. I realized that just because I was a big fan of the comic did not mean it would be successful (see the box office gross for "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World"); then I found out that the entire series would be developed by Frank Darabont, director of "The Shawshank Redemption". So, how did the first episode fare in my opinion?

Honestly, the next episode can't get here soon enough. The actors are dead-ringers (no pun intended) for their comic counterparts; hopefully, the actors playing Morgan and Duane Jones will get a subplot about their zombie encounters in the suburbs in addition to the main story. It's too soon to start talking about the other characters so I'll get to the heart of the matter, the zombies. In short, the zombies look great! The make-up effects are fantastic, the prostetics look great, and the zombie crowds are awesome!

If there's one thing I hope the writing staff and Darabont will keep in mind is how to walk the line between being faithful to the comic and finding the series own voice by making unique choices. I know it seems hard, but hear me out: the TV should keep all the themes and mood of the comic while taking risks so that even fans of the comic will be shocked by familiar characters dying sooner or new story arcs in place of treading familiar ground.

Rating: * * * * * of 5