Archive for the 'Movies' Category

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.

Continue Reading »

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Apr 09 2014

A History of Live Action DC Costumes

Published by under Comics,Images,Movies

dc

Hitokirivader had a rather cool idea to show the evolution of the live action costumes of the most iconic DC comics characters over the years. Both Batman and Superman have appeared onscreen for over half a century now, and as a result, have undergone a whole lot of transformations.

And then…he only thought it was fair to do the same for Wonder Woman as well. There we have Lynda Carter’s iconic one-piece annnnnd that’s it. Outside of some fantastic cosplay by amateurs, Wonder Woman has yet to grace the screen in any meaningful capacity. That will change with Batman vs. Superman, but even then I doubt Diana Prince will have a full costume yet when that film rolls around. It’ll take another few years for her spin-off to finally get off the ground, and I’d say best case scenario, we see a Wonder Woman film by 2018.

I suppose he could have included this WW costume from the never-aired-for-good-reason NBC pilot, but I don’t think that actually counts.

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Apr 08 2014

The Jackie Brown Effect: How Do You Follow the Unfollowable? – Volume 3

Published by under Editorials,Movies

JACKIE BROWN

It’s that time again, Unrealtors. Dial up, Pam Grier, we’re experimenting once again with “The Jackie Brown Effect”. If you missed any of the previous entries, the Jackie Brown Effect takes a look at various pop culture creations considered by many to be perfect, and whether or not their follow up efforts either equaled, exceeded, or failed their predecessors. Got it? Go to.

OCARINA OF TIME
WIND WAKER

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME VS. THE WIND WAKER

Calm down, Hylians. Yes, I know, technically Majora’s Mask is the follow-up effort to Ocarina, but to me MM always felt like the second half of Ocarina. Or, at least, a really killer (literally, according to some theories) epilogue. Either way, there are a good amount of similarities, and you definitely get a much stronger sense of an all-new Zelda game with Wind Waker. So, we’re sailing those seas.

Not much can really be said about Ocarina. Some folks call it the greatest video game of all time. Some say it changed the landscape of gaming completely. And some will compare every game they ever play, and especially those in the Zelda series, to it for the rest of their lives. And the justification for all of these is quite obvious.

When I first played it, Ocarina felt like the future of gaming come to life. It was truly difficult to imagine gaming getting any better. It was immersive, haunting, and epic before epic became epically misused. This was playing in your backyard with sticks as swords come to life. It taught many of us about music for the first time. It evolved a franchise further and faster than anything before.

It was everything we ever wanted. With fishing.

How the hell do you top that?

There’s only one way. Make like the Pythons, and do something completely different.

Despite fans clamoring for a grim and gritty next-gen Link and Co. outing, Nintendo washed Hyrule clean…and then left the sink running overnight. The Wind Waker was a cel-shaded, nautically-minded absolute phase shift of a game. While most Nintendudes and Lady Links were expecting something more in line with Ocarina’s more mature second half or the doom and gloom of Majora’s Mask. Instead, they got sunshine and high seas. And most fans had not yet found their sea legs.

Wind Waker was long considered the King of Red-headed Lions stepchild of the Zelda franchise. Many skipped it outright due to its more cartoony artstyle and kiddie feel. And that’s a shame. While the tunic may seemed foreign, the heart of this game was Zelda through and through. Liked exploring? Epona only wishes she had as much room to stretch her hooves as we had in WW. Love your weird Zelda minor characters? We got all the Tingle you can eat! And dude! NO WATER TEMPLES!

I love the Wind Waker. Power gloves down my favorite Zelda game. I love the setting, the shading, the unbelievably metal way that you (spoilers, but, come on) defeat Ganondorf at the end, all of it. I honestly believe it’s the best of all the Zelda games. All of them. Even you, Link’s Crossbow Training.

But.

The Jackie Brown Effect means more than just craftsmanship. When you follow the best, if you don’t leave as heavy a footprint, you have not reached their level. And while Wind Waker literally improved upon every aspect from story to swordplay, it simply didn’t live up to the worshiped status that Ocarina has. Again, remember, I think Wind Waker is superior, but in the annals of gaming history When we look back at what once was, Wind Waker will always be The Third Man to Ocarina’s Citizen Kane.

I’m not saying it’s fair. But I do realize it’s true.

VERDICT: FAILS

CORNETTO TRILOGY

SHAUN OF THE DEAD VS. HOT FUZZ. VS. THE WORLD’S END

The Cornetto trilogy is a familiar name to most cinephiles. They refer to the three movies directed by rising film auteur Edgar Wright, co-written by Wright and main engineer of the Enterprise Simon Pegg. Commonalities run rampant throughout the flicks: casting, genre-bending, and, of course, ice cream.

Shaun of the Dead was Wright and Pegg’s follow-up to their successful BBC sitcom Spaced. Inspired by a brief sequence of zombieing in the show, the pair decided to go full-length with the undead and gave us an incredibly off-kilter take on the walked dead. How? They turned it into…a romantic comedy?

Well, kind of. Rather, a romantic comedy that hangs out with a buddy comedy during a horror-con. Shaun of the Dead was a multi-leveled, surprisingly human take on inhuman creatures. A movie that had no right being as deep as it was, it wound up transcending most zombie flicks and landing its way to the top of many horror fans favorite flicks.

Shaun of the Dead was a critical and fan favorite and helped bridge the gap between the UK and USA for Edgar Wright, and we all couldn’t wait to see what the man perennially confused with the guy who sang “Frankenstein” would film next.

The sci-fi/horror fans out there were expecting another take on their favorite style, but instead Wright decided to stay more within the letter of cinematic law and give us a cop flick. The subject? A tough-as-nails London cop with more arrests than most entire police departments. The location? The quiet, sleepy English countryside. The result? A bubbling bucket of Hot Fuzz.

Hot Fuzz continued in the tradition of trope-mangling and expectation annihilating that film fans had witnessed and celebrated with Shaun and the gang. They even took it to the next meta-level by openly commentating on the various similarities between cop movies through Wright staple Nick Frost’s character. Shaun certainly had some winks to the camera. Hot Fuzz outright showed clips from Bad Boys 2.

Some fans didn’t embrace Hot Fuzz as much as they did Shaun of the Dead. There’s a pretty heavy community of horror junkies in the world of film entertainment, and when Wright decided to make a film commenting on a more “typical” Hollywood genre, some fans tuned out.

But in making Hot Fuzz, Wright brilliantly freed himself from being labeled as the guy who makes funny horror flicks. Instead, he cemented himself as the sharp, subtle satirist making incredibly polished flicks that both poke fun at and celebrate everything we love about various genre flicks.

Sure, I liked the White Lines sing along in Shaun of the Dead, but I loved when they argued about the “zed” word. Yup, the indecipherable old man in Hot Fuzz was hilarious, but the Godzillaesque smashing up of the model city proved that Wright doesn’t just know cinema, he understands it. Humor takes intelligence, and these might be the most well-made comedies of the last decade.

So then what?

Well, end the freaking world.

 After some time off, Wright, Pegg, and Frost teamed up one last time for a final round with The Worlds End. This time, Pegg put on his silly pants leaving the usually funnyguy Frost to don the suit of the straight man. This time the genre to be skewed dipped a toe back in the waters of geek-chic with a sci-fi infused, apolalytpic robot extraterrestrial extravaganza.

On the surface, at least. While we were sold on alien action and robot rampaging, what we were given was a stunningly insightful, deeply moving commentary on what exactly dreams can be and how growing up is never simple, rarely comfortable, but always inevitable. Were there laughs? You bet, and plenty of them.

But there were also tears. Really. The Worlds End is that movie to watch ten years after you graduate high school. Then ten years after that. And so on. For my theatre geeks out there, this is the closest I’ve gotten to Our Town on film. Yeah, it’s that deep. I expected to love this movie, and I did. I never expected it to be one of the best movies not only of 2013, but that I’ve ever seen.

And it all felt so natural. From Shaun to Worlds End. While I’m sure there wasn’t really a plan for all this, you can tell that these films were crafted to compliment each other in ways beyond genre and comedy style. There’s a harmony within the Cornetto Trilogy that most filmmakers try, but almost always come up short. This is the type of movie making that should be seen by any student of cinema, or any true fan of the arts.

But since they’re comedies, they’ll never get their true due and proper. Sigh.

The team of Wright, Pegg, and Frost continue to make good moves individually and the world of entertainment is a richer place for it. But it’s when they come together that, for me, the Jackie Brown Effect takes on entirely new dimensions. And that’s no easy feat. On their own, each of these films is a masterpiece. To know that this team didn’t rest their laurels on that and continued to outdo themselves? Well…

VERDICT: EXCEEDS, AND, THEN, TRANSCENDS.

And that’s the effect for this week, Unrealtors. Agree? Disagree? Sound off.

Adam Esquenazi Douglas is a playwright who was born in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, was raised by a Jewish man and a Cuban woman, and, somehow, he doesn’t have an accent. His plays have been produced across the United States, as well as in Canada and Japan.

He is co-host of two podcasts, The JimmyJew Podcast Extravaganza and Schmame Over, which can be found at http://jimmyjew.libsyn.com/ and http://schmameover.libsyn.com/ respectively, as well as on iTunes. He is a contributing writer to www.GamersSchmamers.com.

He currently lives in Brooklyn where he drinks far too much coffee.

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Apr 07 2014

Get Your Couch-Shaped Ass in Shape With TV/Movie/Video Game Themed Workouts

Published by under Images,Movies,Television,Video Games

pop-culture-workouts-1

Fitness blogger Neila Rey has crafted a series of “visual” workouts meant to get the attention of the (often overweight) geek community. He’s gone through and made a huge number of workouts based on various staples of geek pop culture, from superheroes to video games to movies. Often they don’t seem like they make all that much sense, but on his site he has more detailed descriptions about each one, and explains the tie-ins.

For example, the “Aquaman” workout works muscles that have to do with swimming (which is like, all of them). The Hunger Games workout focuses on agility, being able to bound through a forest in fear of your life. 300′s is pretty ab-centric, obvious to anyone who has seen the film.

It’s a neat idea, and if you do any of this shit enough, it’s going to be pretty hard. Check out the HUGE number of workouts below, and head to his site if you want to actually understand the “lore” behind them. Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Apr 07 2014

Some Well-Crafted Vinyl Record Art

Published by under Images,Movies

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Why let good records go to waste? Instead of filling up a landfill somewhere, these vinyls have been carved into pieces of art by Tamas Kanya. He’s a practitioner of “recycled art” using old stuff to make new stuff, and his record designs are rather fantastic.

You can see Batman above, but there’s Star Wars, Blade Runner and more below: Continue Reading »

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Apr 04 2014

Superman Makes Gravity a Hell of a Lot Shorter

Published by under Movies,Videos

I loved Gravity, and I don’t think I ever got around to making a top ten movie list for 2014, but if I did it would have been at the top. It was one of the only movies I’ve seen recently that truly felt like it was worth not only going to the theater for, but even paying for IMAX and 3D to boot.

Welllll, it could have gone differently, particularly if it had this alternate ending which would have shaved about 100 minutes or more off the movie. The movie is all about fighting back against nature and space itself, but who needs to do that when you have Superman? Just watch.

[via Slashfilm]

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Apr 04 2014

This Week In Movie Trailers

Published by under Lists,Movies

lucy

Hey guys, happy Friday! Did everyone have a good week? Yes? No? Well regardless, we have some videos to watch!

This Week In Movie Trailers is not as crazy as last week’s, though it does have some pretty good movies to boot! There are isn’t as many, but what it lacks in quantity, it makes up in quality … well for the most part anyway!

So, I guess let’s get right to it and see what’s shakin. Continue Reading »

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Apr 03 2014

Unreal Movie Review: Noah

Published by under Movies,Reviews

noah4

It was a rather perplexing thought. Why is director Darren Aronofsky, of Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain and Black Swan, directing an apparently spring blockbuster about the biblical story of Noah? Why would he leave his old friend Hugh Jackman hanging in The Wolverine to do this instead?

At first, it seemed like a possible cash grab, something uncharacteristic for the director. Bible movies/shows are big business, as evidenced by the History miniseries and Mel Gibson’s mammoth hit, The Passion of the Christ. Noah is certainly a Bible story that could be reworked into a CGI-filled blockbuster, but Aronofsky always seemed like an odd choice to helm something like that. Roland Emmerich would have made perfect sense.

But we should have known better. Aronofsky’s Noah is perhaps a bit more accessible than his other work, but still feels distinctly like it’s his. And outside of a select few “battle” scenes, it’s not really the blockbuster the ad campaign claimed.

Rather Aronofsky’s film is a surprisingly personal look the character of Noah himself, and an exploration of what faith means. Ahead of release, critics were saying the film supposedly made no reference to God, which is technically true. The word “God” isn’t uttered, but he is a distinct presence, and called the “Creator” instead. Noah’s relationship with him is the basis for the film, but it’s more complicated than the original Bible story would suggest. Continue Reading »

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Apr 02 2014

The Dark Knight Hallows

Published by under Movies,Videos

It doesn’t happen too often, but sometimes, one movie’s soundtrack ends up being great matched up with a different film. One of those times is now, where someone has taken the intro to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and set it to a track from The Dark Knight soundtrack by Hans Zimmer.

The result is a rather fantastic intro for the movie, made infinitely more epic by an alternate universe score. Check it out for yourself above.

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Apr 02 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Goon

Published by under Columns,Editorials,Movies

goon_ver7_xlg

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.

Continue Reading »

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Apr 02 2014

More Muppet Humans

Published by under Images,Movies

muppets humans

Alright, so this isn’t quite as terrifying as the collection of human-like Sin City Muppets we showed you the other day, buuuut many of these are still pretty terrifying nonetheless.

They’re from artist Nick Hoffman, who used this poster for inspiration. That way you can match-up who is supposed to be who, though many would be obvious. I think Kermit is the one freaking me out the most. Why is he so tan???

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