Archive for May, 2008

First Impressions: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Posted in First Impressions with tags , , on May 22, 2008 by B33

The first ever look at The Curious Case of Benjamin Button came with a trailer spot attached to prints of Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Up to the point of seeing the trailer for the very first time, I knew virtually nothing about this film other than it was directed by David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac) and starred Brad Pitt (Fight Club, Se7en, etc). The idea of the film is a 80-year-old man is born at the end stage of his life and as time passes his physical appearance ages backwards. In other words, let’s say 10 days went by. I would be 10 days older by simple logic. The character Benjamin Button, however, would be 10 days younger. Time moves backwards for this character. The film begins in 1919 and goes all the way to the year 2000. Fincher is quoted below:

“It’s dark, it’s romantic, and it also deals with mortality in a pretty unflattering way”

-David Fincher

It sounds very intriguing and the trailer is very well put together and delivers the film’s message through various segments of the film played together with a engaging musical score. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and interestingly enough based upon a short story written by Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald whom has written upon some interesting topics ahead of their time. I’ve never read the short story before but intend to do so in due time in preparation of the film’s arrival on December 19th, 2008. It appears that this will be one of the last great films of 2008. Keep your eyes open for more information and the official trailer to be appearing online some time very soon…

Advertisements

The Rating System

Posted in General with tags , on May 19, 2008 by B33

As you have more than likely noticed, I no longer supply a rating with each review I give. This is a new policy I’ve decided to abide by since I’ve always had a strong distaste for measuring quality by a mere number. Ratings systems always have problems and issues accompanied with it since many skip right to the number and ignore the bulk of the review entirely. And then the comparisons between which film, book, video game, etc received the better number fuel unneeded arguments. It’s not easy to rate something based solely on a number when each genre within it’s own context has it’s own unique advantages and disadvantages as well. One’s own opinion is complex and multiple points go into each side. There’s simply no fair method to sticking a number on a opinion which is complex in nature. Thus, I’ve decided to replace the number system with a “Pro, Con, and Conclusion” part of the review at the bottom of each. It’s simpler and allows the complexity of a opinion to show while still retaining the “Conclusion” aspect to each review as well.

First Impressions: The Strangers

Posted in First Impressions with tags , , on May 17, 2008 by B33

The next sleeper horror flick to hit this Summer is upon us and I for one am very intrigued by what has been released thus far about this new film entitled “The Strangers”. The basic idea is as follows; a couple located in a secluded house is randomly intruded upon by strangers (natch) and now face a night of torment from attackers they don’t know nor fully understand their motivation. I’m impressed with the editing displayed in trailer and if it reflects the final cut, it’ll definitely go above and beyond in terms of suspense and the inventive ways it appears to display the tone.

Actors Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman play the couple and seem to fit the roles decent enough based on what I’ve seen thus far. The film also seems to be riding upon the “Based on true events” card which it claims its based on a certain case that has no document regarding it in existence. Regardless, it does hold loose similarities to other murder cases out there and hence can lay claim to the tagline without being specific… All and all, the film appears to bring forth a interesting concept along with decent editing that plays into the suspense and overall atmosphere. I’m a bit cautious since this is the director Bryan Bertino’s debut as a filmmaker. Regardless, I’ll still give it a shot when It hits theaters May 30th, 2008.

High Definition version of trailer can be seen by clicking on the following link: http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/thestrangers/

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on May 16, 2008 by B33

The idea of a break up certainly isn’t a new concept to cinema. But I can’t seem to recall a film that’s captured the feeling of a break up, withdrawal, and overall resolution that comes from the situation it covers until now with the recent release of “Forgetting Sarah Marshall…” The story is as follows; the main character, Peter, is a composer for a popular NBC show that exists solely in the universe of the film but, in reality, is a spoof of every popular crime drama to hit the airwaves in the past 10 years. At the start of the film, he is dating a popular television star who happens to be one of the leads for the crime drama previously mentioned. Her name is “Sarah Marshall” and after a introduction she promptly dumps Peter, out of the blue.

The usual irrational reasoning is played out and Peter’s world is shattered in a instant. Within a short period of time Sarah Marshall is seen dating a fellow popular star and it’s a major blow to Peter. After withdrawing from the world and going through the usual states of denial, sadness, and anger he decides to get away and go off to Hawaii to get his mind off of things. And, in reference to the saying “It’s a small world,” runs into his ex and her current partner she dumped him for, only a short period of time ago. Awkward moments, Hilarity, and important lessons of life ensue within the 110 minute time span it follows.

The film’s subject matter can easily connect with movie goer’s as it covers what we all go through when change of this magnitude regarding a situation of this manner happens. It surprisingly carries deep and likable characters as well to carry this message through to the audience. Even the prick who steals Peter’s girl is a funny character that is essentially the rebound that we all know of that gets the leftovers, but is also regarded as an “asshole” amongst the previous fellow and his buds. Which brings me to the main cast as well as the supporting cast. Both are surprisingly strong and bring convincing yet hilarious performances to the table that further helps progress the story and sell the film.

There’s never a boring moment with a solid script that always delivers great laughs and genuine moments of humor via the characters it’s developed along the way. The message to Forgetting Sarah Marshall isn’t just that of coping with a break up. It also covers the difference between what people like to perceive as “love” and what simply feelings of lust and fear of change. Throughout the movie, Peter reflects and realizes why he reacted the way he did. And after certain events span out, we see a different side of Peter that realizes the truth of the situation. He sees the true side to the person he presumed he loved and in doing so comes to realize the fact we must all realize sooner or later. The concept of “moving on” and to stop dwelling within a past that has no future for you. The film is essentially about opening your eyes and truly seeing someone or something for what it’s worth.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall surprised me in many aspects and delivered a worthwhile 110 minutes of laughter and a surprisingly deep message that might hit home in both good and bad ways for certain individuals. It does begin to wear out it’s welcome towards the end but I didn’t really mind because it was still delivering laughs. Though the style of humor and subject matter clearly isn’t for everyone. The idea of the film isn’t to shock you though like such “classics” (e.g. terrible films) as American Pie and every other film that mimicked the same “shock humor” style with no substance in order to attract the mainstream crowd whom seems to love getting nothing for their money’s worth. All and all, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is definitely on my list of top films of the year. It’s not perfect (though nothing is) but it does deliver upon it’s intentions and provides good laughs along with a message that carries substance that most films of it’s kind seem to lack these days.

Pro’s: Well rounded, filled with a ton of genuine laughs, excellent main and supporting cast, good message and delivery, and a down-to-earth storyline.

Con’s: Begins to wear out it’s welcome towards the end with it’s run time, the style of humor and subject matter isn’t suitable for everyone, and the concept might hit too close to home for certain individuals.

Conclusion: Might be a bit too long but still delivers a good set of laughs and genuine moments of humor. One of few good comedies out this year amongst the sea of mediocrity we’ve grown accustomed to.

In Retrospect: The Top 10 Films of 2007

Posted in In Retrospect with tags , on May 15, 2008 by B33

The following is a list of the top ten films I found to be noteworthy for 2007, in no particular order.

1. Grindhouse

2. No Country For Old Men

3. The Simpsons Movie

4. Zodiac

5. Hot Fuzz

6.  There Will Be Blood

7. Ratatouille

8. American Gangster

9. The Darjeeling Limited

10. The Bourne Ultimatum

Insomniac Games Recruitment Video

Posted in Nifty Stuff with tags , on May 14, 2008 by B33

External Link: http://www.gametrailers.com/player/30799.html
From the developer that brought you titles such as Disruptor (PS1), Spyro 1-3 (PS1), The Ratchet and Clank Series (PS2 and PS3), and Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3) comes the companies first recruitment/music video for the masses. You can learn more about Insomniac Games and their titles by directing your browser to http://www.insomniacgames.com .

Zero Punctuation

Posted in Nifty Stuff with tags , on May 6, 2008 by B33
Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw has been spearheading his review project tentatively titled “Zero Punctuation” for nearly a year now. Yahtzee is often brutal, honest, and rather cynical with his critical reviews of Video Games. He incorporates a lot of bizarre analogies and metaphors within his weekly video review installments combined with humor that is reflective of past British journalists (such as “Charlie Brooker”). He resides in Australia and the schedule in which his games reflect as much due to the different in releases per region. Even though the culture of his humor slightly differs from what those of other countries are used to, you’ll still be able to get a few great laughs and nods of approval out of each installment of Zero Punctuation. Yahtzee, a PC gamer at heart, reviews for each console within this generation (PS3, 360 and Wii). While he can not review every single game released, he does review the core titles of each console (such as Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Halo 3, and Bioshock) and still finds time to review mainstream titles (Turok, Burnout, and Army of Two) and PC hits (Portal, Call of Duty 4, etc). If your looking for a good laugh and have some spare time, I highly recommend you look into Zero Punctuation. New reviews hit every Wednesday. Be warned: Zero Punctuation contains harsh language and NSFW material present throughout. Viewer discretion is advised.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/zeropunctuation/