Archive for the 'Lists' Category

Oct 15 2014

Five Things X-Men Days of Future Past Should Have Screwed Up …But Somehow Didn’t

Published by under Editorials,Lists,Movies

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Days of Future Past had a lot of hype going for it, but nearly everything else going against it. The film, which came out on DVD and Blu-ray yesterday, is officially the seventh in the line of X-Men movies. It also marked the return of most of the cast for the first time in nearly a decade, including the reappearance of director Bryan Singer to the helm.

All the makings of a well-intentioned supergroup disaster were in the mix. The new film intended to merge the storyline of reboot installment The First Class while capturing the magic of Singer’s first two universally-praised entries into the franchise. On top of that, it was going to use one of the most well-regarded storylines from the X-Men comic series. A million unfathomably-obese Blob’s-worth of pressure was upon the entire production to not suck.

And did it succeed? Hell yes! Some critics and fanboys had lots of nitpicks, but by and large the film was popular with both audiences and critics. And China. China loved them some Days of Future Past. The fact that the Chinese adore Hugh Jackman and that Singer cast Chinese movie icon Fan Bingbing probably helped.

Regardless, Days of Future Past hardly stumbled, let alone fell on its face. Fully appreciating the fact that the movie was successful takes pointing out where other productions would have failed. For instance… Continue Reading »

3 responses so far


Oct 10 2014

This Week In Movie Trailers!

Published by under Lists,Movies

A plethora of good movies coming out recently and I’ve not had a single ounce of time to go watch any of them. (insert sad face here) I have hopes that I’ll be able to escape the clutches of the to-do list of my home dwelling and go see Gone Girl this weekend. I doubt that Dracula, the Judge or Alexander could knock it from the top spot … but I’ve been wrong before. Thankfully I write this weekly post and delve into the world of movie trailers to supply some sort of “fix” for my anguish.

By the way, at the end of each little blurb I typically jot down “Will I see this?” followed by an answer. I’ve never outlined what those answers mean but I’ll do that now…Yes, I will definitely go see it in theaters. Maybe, I will see it in theaters but I’ve not decided yet – this might be dependent upon the reviews. Rental, I’ll watch it at home via Netflix or something. Nope, I will not be watching this movie ever.

Let’s do this.

Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Oct 09 2014

Five Characters Who Would Make Fox’s Gotham a Better Place.

Published by under Comics,Lists,Television

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I definitely had my doubts about whether giving Batman the Smallville treatment was the best idea, but after a few episodes, I think it’s safe to say that the approach they came up with for Fox’s show about the formative years of Gotham’s most famous residents is shaping up pretty well. But there’s always room for improvement.

Although the show predictably opens with the fateful night at the theater that led to the eventual creation of the Batman, rather than focusing on young Bruce Wayne the star of Gotham is a rookie James Gordon, still many years away from being the Commissioner, making his way through the mire of corruption that is the Gotham City Police Department. Naturally, our heroes split time with some of Batman’s rogue’s gallery, who occupy various stations around the city prior to their eventual rise to supervillaindom.

Many of the usual suspects are already accounted for at this point, but we’ve seen them all time and again in countless incarnations. Gotham represents a whole new approach to the Batman mythos; one that’s more down to Earth and character-based than what most of we’ve seen in the past. In a weekly serial format, that opens up a lot of possibilities for characters that often get overlooked in film or animated adaptations in favor of more recognizable or zany alternatives. Here are five characters I’d like to see from Batman comics that could help make the show a real winner. Continue Reading »

5 responses so far


Oct 08 2014

Ten GTA Missions That Are Designed to Make You Throw Your Controller

Published by under Lists,Video Games

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For years, Grand Theft Auto games have given me and millions of others a way to vent our real-life frustrations in the form of raining down bullets and grenades on the hapless populace of its cities. These games let you have a carefree attitude towards social responsibility, and they let you shut out the things that cause you stress.

That is, unless they are the thing that is causing the stress. A lot of it, actually, depending on the situation.

The fact is that the Grand Theft Auto has constantly pushed the boundaries of what can be expected of video games, especially when GTA III came out. While Rockstar has always done a great job of bringing all of the games’ disparate elements together, they sometimes left in clunky half-measures or inadequate cues to the player to help them navigate the massive worlds.

GTA’s mission structures tend to bring all of these flaws to the forefront. Suddenly, a game that was giving you great joy is now bringing you close to a pulmonary embolism. And no, internet, it is not always just because “omg u suck at it. dat mishun wuz ez.” It’s because even a nearly infallible design juggernaut like Rockstar can make the occasional mistake. Here are the worst ones… Continue Reading »

6 responses so far


Oct 07 2014

Seriously, This Needs A Sequel! Vol. 1

VIDEO GAME SEQUELS

Sometimes it’s terrible to love, especially in the wide world of electronic entertainment.

It’s rare to find a game that doesn’t, at some point in the future, have a 2 (or 3 or 64) slapped after its name.  Venerated titles celebrated for their artistry and innovation even fall victim to industry sequelization (Portal 2, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Bioshock 2 just to name…just so few) and more often than not, if you loved it once, you can have seconds.

But there are those childless titles that stand apart with one game to their name and no one to inherit the digital throne. For whatever reason, the video games I’ll be highlighting today have yet to be given an extra life. And before you scroll down, Chrono Trigger ain’t on here. Let’s just leave that (flawless) one be. Please? Thanks. Continue Reading »

9 responses so far


Oct 02 2014

5 Current Image Comics that are Putting Marvel and DC to Shame

Published by under Comics,Lists

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A while back talented Scottish purveyor of all things gritty in comics Mark Millar launched his own narcissistically-titled comic universe, Millarworld, declaring that “the Big Two has just become the Big Three”.  I was thinking that may actually be closer to reality than we think, but it’s got little to do with that particular creator striking out on his own. Image comics has been quietly putting out killer books for years now and it’s picking up steam fast.

Since its founding in 1992, Image has been the home of popular titles like Spawn, Witchblade, and The Darkness, all of whom successfully found their way to other forms of media, as well as highly-regarded cult series like Invincible and Chew. And they aren’t even on the list.

One thing sets the company apart from the big guys is that they are dedicated to complete creative control and ownership for the writers and artists they publish. Marvel and DC’s histories are littered with creators being screwed out of their rights to their own creations and left out in the cold as well as solid artists and writers being railroaded and having their works abandoned and/or dissected after they are booted from them. Jack Kirby practically created the Marvel Universe and he’s only just now getting his legal props twenty years after his death.

The Big Two’s corporate approach and deep pockets have allowed them to saturate our culture while riding on the backs of talented individuals, but Image is the company that works with the creators to make comics as art first and profit second. This talent-friendly approach may leave them a little short on making the Big Three a reality, but this reader’s comic subscription count currently reads Image: 4, Marvel + DC: 0, and I’m hoping to get caught up and adding the fifth soon.

Continue Reading »

10 responses so far


Sep 30 2014

New Tube: YouTube Channels You May Not Have Seen VOL. 2

NEW TUBE

Fire up your eyeballs, Unrealtors, today I’m sharing three new YouTube channels you may not have seen yet. Hopefully after you read this article the second button you hit after play is subscribe. Let’s get tubin’. Continue Reading »

One response so far


Sep 25 2014

Mandatory Viewing: Six Unmissable Samurai Epics

Published by under Lists,Movies

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Samurai films (aka jidaigeki or chanbara) are an essential part of any film fan’s international cinema diet. Japan has a long, long history of supplying art both philosophical and visceral by utilizing their nation’s exceptionally turbulent history and the many shades of its warrior caste as a storytelling backdrop. The stories and themes are universal and have supplied Western filmmakers with inspiration and material for longer than most of us have been alive.

Films ranging from Star Wars and A Bug’s Life to any number of westerns owe their existence to classic Japanese period dramas -some of which were inspired by Western writers like Shakespeare- creating a great give-and-take dynamic that has allowed storytelling as a visual art form to thrive worldwide for decades. This week, I’m taking you on a tour of my favorite samurai films and franchises of all-time from the arthouse to the grindhouse to the present day blockbuster.

I’ll be focusing more on iconic action-packed tales for chanbara newcomers rather than deep philosophy, but feel free to sharpen your katanas and chop into the comments section with further viewing recommendations because there’s a nearly bottomless well of quality in this genre. Dozo.

  Continue Reading »

4 responses so far


Sep 24 2014

Ten Screen Actors who Understand Voice Acting

Published by under Lists,Movies,Television

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An awful thing happened during my childhood. Following the success of The Lion King and Toy Story, animation studios erroneously began to think that casting nothing but celebrity voices was an okay thing to do.

Unfortunately, without a good casting director, incredibly poor choices are made. Worse yet, without a good voice director, we get awful performances that either fall flat or miss the mark by millions of miles. The result was a stream of hit-or-miss films bogged down by screen actors who had no experience in voice acting, and who were not being guided through the proper techniques.

Screen actors have the benefit of facial expressions, body movements, and general on-camera presence. Without all of these tools at their disposal, many A-list, well-recognized actors will inevitably flounder, especially without a rigorous director to show them the ropes.

John K., creator of Ren and Stimpy put it best by saying that good cartoon character voice acting involves having a good ear for sounds. Different inflections and creative ways of reading lines are necessary to “fill” the character within the animation.

Neglecting this element of craft makes a David Schwimmer character sound just like David Schwimmer, and allows someone as talented as Scarlett Johansson to sound devoid of emotion, especially when compared to her animation. You can tell this is not her fault when she gets some legitimate motivation to work with.

The bottom line is that becoming a character without makeup, costumes, or blocking can be difficult for many screen actors to handle. I get the feeling that most directors feel like making their celebrity actors go through too many takes will be a waste of their time, fat paychecks be damned.

In fact, some actors are just getting paid to be themselves or, worst of all, just have their names appear on the poster. Chris Rock’s smug as f*** Oscar presentation a couple of years back embodies how many screen actors are barely scratching the surface of what it takes to be a voice actor. He clearly has no clue that he’s being let off easy because Dreamworks thinks we want to hear the same character every single time.

So, to cut this rant short, there are a few shining examples that run contrary to this trend. Here are my favorites: Continue Reading »

18 responses so far


Sep 22 2014

5 Action Movies You Can Watch Again & Again

Published by under Lists,Movies

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Guns blazing, music pounding, and people in some kind of turmoil – yeah, everyone likes a good action movie. Not that every film needs this specific criteria to qualify as a “good” action movie. The summer blockbusters are clear evidence that we all enjoy munching down on some tasty popcorn as the CGI sequences blow our minds away. I find that time and time again if I’m ever in the mood to pop in a BluRay that it will more often than not be of the action/adventure genre.

What is it about these kind of films that makes us shell out our hard earned cash so easily? Doing some quick research on the topic at hand, I found that it might be due to the fact that for whatever reason we enjoy being stressed out. But this stress is “controlled stress” which, as I was reading, is referred to as being similar to a roller coaster ride. I don’t know about all of that, but I definitely consider the action movies I watch to be a great escape from the mundane. With this in mind, I felt that I should make mention of 5 action flicks that are my “go-to” when I need to indulge my senses.

Continue Reading »

10 responses so far


Sep 19 2014

This Week In Movie Trailers!

Published by under Columns,Lists,Movies

Hey there Unrealtors, how goes your week!? Anyone take a break from playing Destiny yet? I know it’s hard for some to pull themselves away from it **cough – Paul! – cough** and yet, my sorry butt hasn’t even played a minute of it. It’s not for lack of wanting to. I guess I’ll just browse the interwebs for more movie trailers to present to the readers. Speaking of trailers, this week was a big one for a particular film that many have been eagerly waiting for…I wonder what film that could be?

Let’s do this.

Continue Reading »

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