Archive for the 'Columns' Category

Apr 16 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Near Dark

Published by under Columns,Movies

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There was a time, not so long ago, when the legends and stories of vampires where steeped in blood, death, and fear. A time when even mentioning the word vampire would send a chill down someone’s spine. There was a time when vampires were represented like badasses. Feral badasses who function on a primal level, where they only seem like they need to feed or they need to screw. But then a film series came along and changed the way people looked at vampires. Gone was anything that made them cool and scary, replaced by a femininity and sensitivity that would even seem out of place in a fourteen year old girl. While I refuse to mention the film series out of spite, I think we all know what movies I am talking about.

Well, today, I want to talk about one of the best vampire movies ever made. A film that represented vampires as such scary badasses, it is how I imagined all vampires forevermore, after I saw the film. I am speaking of the classic, Near Dark. a damn near perfect vampire film, if there is such a thing.

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3 responses so far


Apr 09 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Stoker

Published by under Columns,Editorials,Movies

stokes

Stoker was easily one of my favorite movies of 2013. While I do not normally recommend movies this new, I had to shout-out Stoker, because the more and more people I ask about it, the more I realize. For some inexplicable reason, there are a great many film and horror fans who are not even aware this film exists. This is Chan-Wook Park’s first American language film (known for his classic Oldboy) and while it may not keep the pacing that film does, it carries itself in a way that makes it just as enthralling and intriguing as that amazing film. Stoker is a slow burn at first, but once the flame catches, as Hell breaks loose. At the end of the day, it is nice to peer into a family dynamic that is even more f*cked up than my own.

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4 responses so far


Apr 02 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Goon

Published by under Columns,Editorials,Movies

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I will be honest with you, people. This is an absolute fluke. The likelihood that there would ever be a sports movie featured in this column was slim. One, because I don’t give a shit about sports, and two, because sports movies all seem to fall into the same formula. Team (or person) is an underdog. Team (or person) works way back from being an underdog to somehow (miraculously) win the big game. I know all films are formulaic, but that formula gets boring after awhile. Thing is, Goon is not your typical sports movie. Main character in a hockey movie who can barely skate? Yup, that is what I am talking about. Hell, despite whatever you may think, This film is actually an (oddly endearing) love story, with some pinnings of the underdog sports story just to keep you glued. The irony is, I held off on Goon for a year, thinking I would not like it, and I ended up loving it.

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6 responses so far


Mar 26 2014

Peripheral Vision: Nintendo’s Famicom Disk System

Published by under Columns,Video Games

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In the tradition of my very first Unreality article that discussed the ill-fated SNES-CD, I am starting a new, irregular column. It will cover forgotten and obscure hardware, as well as other off-the-radar gaming goodies. For starters, let’s meet the Famicom Disk System…

For those unfamiliar, the Famicom, which is on top in the above photo, was the original Japanese version of the NES. It was released in 1983 and – after a slow start – became one of the most successful and popular video game consoles ever released.

Original plans for the Famicom called for computer-like accessories such as a keyboard and a floppy disk drive, but these were scrapped in favor of a lower-cost, dedicated game console that wouldn’t intimidate non-techies. The fact that the system’s name is a portmanteau of the word “Family Computer” indicates a holdover in this design philosophy.

Once the Famicom became hugely successful, though, Nintendo reconsidered their position on home-computer-style accessories like the disk drive. Floppy disks had more storage space and could be produced cheaper than the Famicom cartridges being made at the time. Also, disks could easily be written on and rewritten, which meant the player could save their progress directly onto the game’s code. This was a first for home consoles, before battery-backed cartridges became cost effective. Continue Reading »

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Mar 26 2014

Why You Haven’t Seen It: Clean, Shaven

Published by under Columns,Editorials,Movies

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be schizophrenic? ɔıuǝɹɥdozıɥɔs ǝq oʇ. Ever wondered what it would be like to hear voices or see things that aren’t there? ¿ǝɹǝɥʇ ʇ,uǝɹɐ ʇɐɥʇ. Have you ever had an opportunity to put yourself in their shoes? Would you want to? (noʎ ǝʞıן ʇ,uop ʎǝɥʇ, you know?) Today I want Ї ÆM ζΘЇÑζ ©ҐÆշy to tell you about (broken car window, yesterday) a movie called Clean, Shaven. ɹǝɥ puıɟ ɹǝʌǝu ןןıʍ noʎ. A dark ride to place most people would never want to go, but I think everyone needs to go there. It takes us one step closer to understanding a mind that works quite differently than ours. uǝʞOɹq ɹǝʌǝN. Though it may make you sick and disorient you, Clean, Shaven is a brave and unforgettable film. noʎ ǝʞıן ʇ,uop ʎǝɥʇ. Tread cautiously. This film may be brilliant, but it is also undeniably heavy.

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Mar 21 2014

A Tale of Two Rob Lowes: His Political Do-Gooder Characters on Parks and Rec and West Wing

Published by under Columns,Television

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Happy Birthday Rob Lowe, you turned 50 on Monday.  You seemed to have been birthed in a wellspring of youth.  I was quite obsessed with Rob during his West Wing years playing Sam Seaborn; a mere decade after my mother had a crush on him during the Brat Pack days.  Now he’s captured the college co-ed audience with the easily watchable Parks and Recreation.  Even my younger sister told me over Thanksgiving a few years ago “wow, Rob Lowe looks great for his age.”  She was 9 at the time.   Co-Star Adam Scott has described Lowe’s character on Parks and Recreation as “like Sam Seaborn, just on speed and less smart.” Let’s see how Rob’s portrayal of two ridiculously handsome political do-gooders stacks up: Continue Reading »

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Mar 12 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Fire and Ice

Published by under Columns,Movies

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I am striking hard with this one. One of my favorite animated fantasy movies of all time, but one very many nerds don’t know about. Fire and Ice is the surreal meshing of Ralph Bakshi’s rotoscoping animation with the fantasy art styling of the incomparable Frank Frazetta. It may be a fairly generic fantasy tale by today’s standards, but the art style and maturity of the story set it above many other movies that were coming out aimed at the same demographic. I grew up well aware of Frank Frazett’s art style (my Dad being a commercial illustrator was influenced by Frazetta and there were ALWAYS Frazetta art books laying around) and I also grew up aware that Ralph Bakshi was more of the Rock N’ Roll Walt Disney. The guy who liked to cross lines and deal with heavier subject matter reflective of the state of the world. So for me, Fire and Ice was an absolute delight. The Anti-Disney movie that didn’t water itself down. It had bouncing boobs and bloody bad guys. Looking back, it is an odd film, but one that I cannot help but recommend to fans of fantasy. Yes, it is showing its age, but it is still worth the ride, at least once.

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5 responses so far


Mar 07 2014

The Classics on Netflix: Sunset Boulevard

Published by under Columns,Movies

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Sometimes you can get into a Netflix rut of binge watching House of Cards and an endless stream of depressing documentaries.  Last Sunday I perused the Netflix catalogue in search of something that would get me in the mood for the Oscars – I thought perhaps another look at Good Will Hunting (that I’ve already watched 50 times).  I made my way over to the classics – a list that I’m sure we’ve all browsed at but never quite found a day to click start.  Given that I was in for a night of Hollywood pomp and circumstance, I thought this might just be the time to watch Sunset Boulevard which provides a scathing view into what Hollywood does to its stars. Continue Reading »

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Mar 05 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Killing Bono

Published by under Columns,Movies

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I like biopics. I really do. I know they dramatize the elements of someone’s life, but I also find the stories (and even the skeletons of their stories) to be quite inspiring. Even if the film focuses on someone I am not at all familiar with. In the case of Killing Bono, new wave musician, Neil McCormick, whose band could have potentially been as big as U2. Only a few small things got in the way. The music was not that good, a massive ego, and a shit ton of pride. Killing Bono is adapted from Neil McCormick’s 2003 book of the same name, and the ride he took (and the ride he ALMOST took) make for one hell of an interesting story of famous friends, falls from grace, and how family will accept us no matter how bad we screw up. Also, who on Earth HASN’T thought about killing U2 front man Bono at some point? This film merits a viewing on that premise alone.

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3 responses so far


Feb 26 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Beyond the Black Rainbow

Published by under Columns,Editorials,Movies

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ןɐǝɹɹns sǝɯıʇǝɯos sı ǝɟıן. That is just how life is. Everything doesn’t always have to make perfect sense to you to make perfect sense to you. Cinema is an experience, and that experience is vastly different depending on who’s at the wheel. I recommend Beyond the Black Rainbow to you today knowing that it will only reach half of you. The other half will stare at the screen, wondering what they are looking at, unable, perhaps, to find the story in it. I find it grotesque and beautiful, all at once. An Alice in Wonderland meets acid inspired cinema from the 70′s, and then takes even more acid and throws in some sci-fi elements to tie the whole beast together. I find the whole thing to be an experience any fan of film and any fan of horror or science fiction should take. Does that mean you should take it? Read on and answer for yourself. This is beyond anything you have seen before. This is beyond the grasp of literal comprehension. This is beyond the borders of what art can do and say. This is Beyond the Black Rainbow.

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5 responses so far


Feb 19 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Wristcutters: A Love Story

Published by under Columns,Editorials,Movies

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I have a scar on my wrist. It is like a thin red vein that sits on top of my skin to remind me of a terrible choice I made once, a long time ago. Truth is, I am okay with that scar. It doesn’t scare or embarrass me. It simply reminds me of a kid who was overwhelmed and had no idea what he was doing. I look at that scar sometimes to remind me that clouds pass, and that we shouldn’t get caught in life’s sadder moments, lest they get the better of us. Wristcutters: A Love Story is a movie that knows of such mistakes, and would like to present us with a different version of what potentially happens after that act. You can all it a drama if you want. You can call it a surreal black comedy. Hell, you could even call it a love story. But you know you can’t call it? A bad film. Wristcutters, to me, was nothing short of beautiful, in its own twisted way.

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