Mind-Blowing Ian McKellen Impression

May 20, 2010 at 8:21 pm (Video, Weapons of Mass Enjoyment)

There really is no better way to describe it. Just bask in the wonder…

Duck Tales Theme Song-

Fresh Prince of Bel Air Theme Song-

Popeye Theme Song-

Saved by the Bell Theme Song-

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The Best New Shows Spring 2010

May 20, 2010 at 8:16 pm (Television)

I don’t particularly get a chance to watch much TV, what shows I do faithfully follow are few and far between and get their reserved time on my DVR. Chuck usually dominates my Monday nights, I usually try to keep up with the latest shenanigans with the Mythbusters, and of course I have my G4 programming and the Comedy Night Done Right on NBC, but rarely if ever do new shows come along that get into my radar and that I completely get into and love. Here are a few new-ish shows that I could completely recommend-

Modern Family-This is probably my new favorite among all the new shows. This show kinda lost me at first just because it didn’t know what kind of humor it was shooting for, but now it’s really found its groove as a mixture between a classic family sitcom and The Office’s style of documentary and camera work. The crew follows a “modern family” of sorts in that it’s completely dysfunctional, you have the “grandpa” who is married to a Latino mistress with her own pre-conceived child, there’s the grandpa’s daughter who is married to her own dimwit Michael Scott-esque husband and their children, and her gay brother, his partner, and their adopted child. It’s all absolutely hysterical and only gets better with time as you get to know each of the families. It’s all really smart, really witty, and really really funny and wholesome to watch.

Human Target-This is one that I haven’t gotten into as much, but it still worth checking out. This is sort of like a weekly dose of action in my TV-watching diet, all about a guy that works as a bodyguard to people of interest. What makes it cool is his rag-tag A-Team-ish renegade partners like Jackie Earle Haley as the tech expert.

Community-This show also really took me by surprise. At first I sort of wrote it off as a knockoff of other funnier shows, but I’ve been so pleased to see that it’s actually evolved into a really funny show that follows in the vein of Scrubs thanks to it’s goofy off-beat humor with a strong moral message and a likeable group of characters to follow. Jeff is forced to return to community college to re-validate his law degree, and there comes into contact with a rag-tag study group made up of many different unique individuals that you’d find at community college-Black jock, pedophile, artsy girl, miss perfect, single mother, etc.

Breaking Bad-This one isn’t as much a new show, but I just recently got into it. It’s in its third season, and its a highly story driven series that follows Bryan Cranston as Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher that after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, becomes involved in a world of dealing and cooking methamphetamine with a former student. The story’s always evolving and changing, which is why I couldn’t keep up with it, but there’s something so brilliant and great about this show with its movie-quality story that you just can’t turn away.

Parks and Recreation-Once again, this show is in its second season, but its slowly become one of my favorite shows after I got into its second season. Once again shot in the style of The Office, the show follows the adventures of Leslie Knope/Amy Poehler as she works in the Parks and Recreation department. Just like The Office the show delights in tossing you a lot of likeable characters that are easy to relate to and laugh at. Aziz Ansari does a great bit on the show, and it’s great for any general fan of comedy.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Trailer

May 20, 2010 at 5:20 pm (Movies, Video)

Behind Inception, this is probably my most anticipated film of the Summer. I take one look at the trailer and I almost immediately know I’ll love the film. Check it out if you haven’t already. The film’s being directed by Edgar Wright who also crafted two of my other favorite films “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”. Here’s hoping he can bring that wit and style along with his classic brand of humor for this superhero film.

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The Brothers Bloom Review

May 19, 2010 at 9:20 pm (Movies)

I had heard so much about this film, how good it was, how creative it was, and it turns out every single thing I had heard about the film was absolutely correct. The Brothers Bloom is a genius, witty, funny film that stands the test of time and remains one of, if not my favorite film. The story follows too brothers, Bloom and Stephen, two con men who along with their assistant, Bang-Bang, go across the country, contriving elaborate stories or scripts that Stephen writes and Bloom plays in to steal money from others. After long, the life of a character begins to take it’s toll on Bloom, what is actually him and what is actually his character begins to fade, and it all comes to a head as he meets the girl of his dreams that just so happens to be the group’s next and final target. One thing Director Rian Johnson nails on the head in this story is the idea of conceiving a wildly fantastical and whimsy story, but also accompanying it with just as well-thought-out characters to inhabit that world. Each of the characters, whether it’s Mark Ruffalo’s Stephen a.k.a. the Big Shot, Adrien Brody’s Bloom that is dealing with the anguish of his life, Rachel Veisz’s Penelope who is simply a mess of a person and “collects hobbies” (and of whom this movie made me have a crush for haha), or Bang-Bang’s silent but destructive nature, each one alone could be a main character that anyone could connect with or enjoy watching on screen. The story of the film is near-genius, and connects on a lot of levels so that you’re constantly interested in what’s going on or what’s coming next, or laughing at the witty dialogue Johnson’s wrote for the film. Although the story can become a little too convoluted nearing the third and final act, it all works for the best for the way the story and plot is set up and keeps the viewer guessing. All of the performances stand out, the scenery is continuously gorgeous (the characters go from a wildly beautiful mansion to a luxurious boat to a luxurious train to another beautiful mansion and it all fits into how vivid and beautiful the life the Brothers Bloom live. There’s so much to see and feel with the movie by the end of the film you’re just waiting to watch the film all over again just to catch what you may have missed. The score for the film, composed by Nathan Johnson, is also stunningly brilliant, and has brought me many times to listen to many of its tracks over and over again on my iPod. There’s style oozing from this movie in its sharp characters and the way the world works, however the class of the movie never becomes more important that how much fun it’s supposed to be, and that’s something Johnson thankfully never forgets. There’s nothing I could think of that is wrong with this movie. I can’t recommend The Brothers Bloom enough, whether it’s the engaging story, the funny nature and class of the film, the score, the scenery, the characters, this is a benchmark of what truly-rounded films should be. There’s adventure, there’s comedy, there’s romance, it’s a truly perfect film that I could recommend on any of those sole merits.

5 out of 5

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Top Ten Films of 2010 So Far…

May 19, 2010 at 9:20 pm (Movies, Top Ten)

The year is nearly half-way through, and I figured it appropriate to start naming off my Top Ten films of the year so far before we entered fully into the Summer movie season. Given, one or two of the films in this list are from the Summer season, however it still fits into the criteria (sort of). Plus it’ll be interesting at the end of the year if this really changes that much.

  1. Shutter Island-This film has really stuck with me over time, and I truly can’t wait for its DVD release. Nearly 3 months after seeing it I still ponder it’s message and what it really meant. This really has the best chance at staying #1.-5 out of 5
  2. How to Train Your Dragon 3D-This movie filled me with that childhood wonder again, and was one of the best animated films I’ve seen in quite a while (and by a while I mean since I saw Princess and the Frog).-5 out of 5
  3. Iron Man 2-This film delivered some harrowingly fun, awesome action set pieces, improved on everything that was good and fun about the first Iron Man in terms of scale  even though it lost some of that storytelling power.-4 1/2 out of 5
  4. Date Night-This movie really knocked away my expectations as it had me rolling with tears in my eyes from laughter from some of the wonderfully hilarious, family-friendly hi-jinks.-4 out of 5
  5. The Losers-A destined to be cult classic film that really proved me wrong by being hilarious, action-packed, and dared to be different.-4 out of 5
  6. Nightmare on Elm Street-This film, while lashed by many, completely satisfied me in terms of a psychological horror fun ride. –4 out of 5
  7. Robin Hood-Sure it’s a little slow and unfocused, but there are still some great moments to be had in Ridley Scott’s latest epic.-4 out of 5
  8. Kick-Ass- Although it did disappoint in terms of the story, it still delivered a really fun time with some great writing and action that I enjoyed.-4 out of 5
  9. The Wolfman-The makers of this film really reminded me of what horror used to be in a really fun, interestingly campy B-movie.-4 out of 5
  10. Alice in Wonderland-There are some great moments in this movie from Johnny Depp and the rest of the gang even if Tim Burton overshadowed it a little bit.-4 out of 5

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Why the Spiderman Reboot is a Great Idea

May 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm (Movies, Weapons of Mass Enjoyment)

Not 4 months ago, the nerd community got wind of a massive film news tid bit, that the Spiderman series’  fourth installment, Spiderman 4 had been completely scrapped in favor of an overhaul of the series. The would have been fourth installment would have starred the very talented John Malcovich as the comic’s highly regarded villain “The Vulture”, director Sam Raimi returning to helm the project, and a good majority of the cast was all-but-confirmed for the project. However,  someone over at Sony pulled the plug, and whether it was Raimi’s cold feet that he’d produce another Spiderman 3, Macquire or Dunst’s reluctance to continue on on the nearly decade-old series, or the financial production woes, the project ceases to exist. Little is known about the new reboot as of now, however after doing some of my own film studies and evaluating my own film opinions and standpoints, I for one am incredibly excited for the idea of a Spiderman reboot, and these are a few reasons why I think that and I think you should too. Feel free to tell me why I’m wrong in the comments section. Keep in Mind-All anyone knows at the point in time I am writing this post is that Marc Webb, 500 Days of Summer Director, is signed on to direct the movie, noone has been confirmed to star as any of the characters or villains, a script has been written and/or roughly drafted/formulated, and that the film is being released in 3D for a July 2012 release. So enjoy.

  • Sense of Wonder For A New Generation-One of my favorite memories of my childhood is being 10 years old in that theater for Spiderman 1. My Dad took me to see the film, and I’ll never forget seeing Tobey Macquire go head-to-head with Willem Dafoe, fighting in the skies. Webs were being shot every which way, bombs were going off, and for that 2 hours and 1 minute, I was in that world. I was the total demographic for that movie, and I was in love, it did it’s job. For the next year anytime my friends and I played together we always played Spiderman and Green Goblin, I had Spiderman toys, I quoted and reenacted the movie with my action figures, heck, it’s probably the reason I love film the way I do now. Sure enough 3 years later I drug my Dad back to the theater to see Spiderman 2, and to this day I remember the incredible cutouts in the Hickory Hill theater’s lobby of Alfred Molina in that perfect Doc Ock costume. 2 years later, I was 15, and I dragged my friends and my Dad for the series’ third installment. That series defines the sense of wonder that only the superhero genre can provide, and to this day no other superhero film has done that. So who’s to say we can’t let the new Jake’s, the new children of this generation relive that? Batman and other franchises follow the darker and more adult-oriented audiences, so who’s to say we can’t give kid’s something to follow? If we re-start this series, we can start fresh, and give a new generation a series to follow and grow up with just like I did back in 2002, and give a new generation a superhero to look up to and mimic in their back yards.
  • Marc Webb Is Amazing-Just recently I got a 3 month Netflix subscription as a gift, and one of the first films I added to my queue was a film I had been waiting a while to see, 500 Days of Summer, directed by Marc Webb. I haven’t posted my review yet, and I’m not sure if I will get around to it, however the movie is amazing. I have no trouble recommending it to anyone. For a debut film, Marc Webb knocked it out of the park, and crafted a great movie that has a fantastic sense of pacing and telling a great, compelling, youth-oriented story. The movie had a great way of telling its story in a quick, interesting way that kept the audience engaged, didn’t take itself too seriously, and had a seriously awesome soundtrack. After seeing the film, it makes me all but certain Marc Webb would be perfect for re-adapting the Spiderman audience for a new adolescent crowd. He perfectly GETS what teenage relationships are like, which would be perfect for the supposed more teenage-life-emphasis Spiderman reboot plotline. This, combined with the humor he understands, the soundtrack/score Spiderman would fit perfectly into, and the atmosphere Webb (just realized it’s a huge pun joke from Sony) is so comfortable in painting could result in a great film.
  • A New Take-This is more of a minor complaint, however is worth mentioning. I love Christopher Nolan’s mentioning that not all superhero films are meant to go 4-17 films, but sometimes superhero films are just meant to tell a story, and at times it only takes 2-3 films to tell that story. I felt as if at the end of the third Spiderman movie, we had reached a suitable conclusion. I don’t feel like it was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to continue with a fourth film. Most if not all of the plotlines were resolved and things seemed to be at an appropriate end. IF we had continued with a fourth film, newcomers may have had far more trouble attaching to this convoluted storyline than they would a newer, fresher storyline. We’ll have new actors for the leads-Peter, Mary Jane, and some new takes on the villains we had already seen.
  • 3D? Sign Me Up!-What sounds cooler than a CG landscape with a CG character magically and wonderfully glorious swinging through the landscape that captivated me as a kid, that would be the same premise, our glorious web-slinger, in 3D. The Spiderman series would be a perfect fit for three dimensions, and could pull movie goers even farther into the experience of being Spiderman.

Any ideas? Comments? Questions? Suggestions? Feel free to let me know.

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Robin Hood Review

May 17, 2010 at 2:08 pm (Movies)

Going into Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, I wasn’t expecting much, in fact I was expecting it to be a really boring, dull, uninteresting take on the Robin Hood story, for some reason the story to it’s roots in a prequel “reboot” of the story. Interestingly though, Robin Hood, although slow in parts, completely satisfied me in terms of looking for a good, worth while, epic. The story takes place years before the Robin Hood story we all know and love, as Robin Longstride becomes some what of an outlaw after standing for what’s noble and just as a new king is slowly gaining too much power in the olden days of England. Although I was a little shaky of the idea of taking a known-and-loved story to a storyline we were less familiar with, I have to say I was really interested in the story as my inner history buff came out. It was really cool to find out as the movie went on what led Robin Hood to be Robin Hood. It’s cool to see who this guy is, but where this movie’s biggest fault lies is in that it’s far too broad, far too Pirates of the Caribbean 3, with its story. There’s just too much going on to really click with who the audience should be clicking with, and that’s Robin Hood. Sure we have King John’s plotline with his taxes, Marion’s shoehorned plotline of female empowerment, all this surrounding business involving the Magna Carta that should have been more interesting than it was, but the movie really could have been much smoother had it just followed Robin Hood and his merry men. Its less about “The Events of Robin Hood” and more of “Events in old-timey England that just so happen to involve Robin Hood”. Scott’s ambition is admirable, but it just doesn’t pay off. Also, as I feared, there are a few slow spots in the middle of the film that follow some character exposition and development, while effective, just don’t add up to much and could have been easily cut by self-indulgent Ridley Scott. The film also boasts some great visuals. The movie’s set design is gorgeous, nailing all the costumes and towns/castles perfectly. I thought a few times during the film “Is it really productive or necessary for a film studio to have spent THIS much on a film when it’s already financially floundering?”, however I had nothing to complain about come time for the incredibly well-shot epic Normandy-style battle toward the end of the film and the number of great looking slow-motion shots. The actors in the film all do a great job. Russell Crowe does a great job as Robin Hood, perfectly hitting that accent and physical swagger, Cate Blanchett is pretty good at times, King John is appropriately jerky, and all the merry men are perfectly merry. Although I did fall asleep during my screening (it was a 10:00 screening at night, and I had had a long day), the way Robin Hood ends sets up the the story we all know in a really exciting way, and concludes in a perfectly TDK-cliffhanger tone that leaves me really excited for what could come of a sequel to this film if it gets the attention it sorely needs. There’s a lot of room for great improvement in a sequel and for a spectacular story, it’s just up to Ridley Scott to hone his storytelling skills to make it happen, and for American audiences to show their favor of what was a spectacular time at the movies for myself. Robin Hood won’t win the award for most exciting or fast-paced film of the Summer, but if more summer films were more like this, more focused on telling a good, although stretched, narrative, and simply better made, than maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

8 out of 10

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Inception Trailer #3

May 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm (Movies)

Here is the final, amazing trailer that gives some great detail into my most anticipated film of the Summer, Christopher Nolan’s Inception. The film stars Ellen Page, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy (Scarecrow), Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Leonardo Dicaprio.

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Best of Human Giant

May 13, 2010 at 3:12 pm (Video)

This was one of my favorite short-lived sketch shows, hope you enjoy a few clips from the some of the show’s best bits.

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Iron Man 2 Review

May 10, 2010 at 9:24 pm (Movies)

“Iron Man 2 doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but it blows that wheel to smitherines…

Over the past decade we’ve seen some pretty phenomenal superhero stories. We’ve seen Christopher Nolan’s dramatic reinvention of the fledgling Batman series, Sam Raimi’s awakening of Spiderman, and Brett Ratner’s tale of the X-Men, among many many others. 2 years ago Jon Favreau entered that race with a little superhero film called Iron Man that was financed for $100 million dollars that won over both critics and audiences, and simply wasn’t afraid to have a lot of fun while still being smart and full of satirical comedy. Much in that same vein, Iron Man 2 has flown into theaters with huge expectations, and by no means does the film reinvent the wheel, but it blows the wheel into smitherines. 6 months after the public confession Tony Stark made, revealing he was Iron Man, things shortly come to haunt him and his decision. The film begins with the continuing yet hysterical realization that Tony Stark indeed is a pompous a-hole when we get to see millions of fans screaming his name and a group of “Iron Man” dancers frolicking behind him. Tony Stark milks every second of it and has fully taken his fame to his advantage, and while it seems he hasn’t learned anything from his adventure in the first film, you realize he really has though, yet it’s just within Stark’s character to be a complete jerk about it and continue on in his playboy lifestyle, other wise he just wouldn’t be Tony Stark. Iron Man 2 revolves around a central theme, and it’s the idea of the Iron Man suit’s massive appeal. On one side you’ve got Mickey Rourke who appears as Ivan Vanko, a past arms dealer who is hell-bent on a revenge mission to avenge his father’s death against Tony Stark. He plays the idea of “I could do this better” and builds his own version of the Iron Man suit, “Whiplash”. Sam Rockwell plays Justin Hammer pops in to play off Tony Stark as a weapons correspondent for the government who is given the task of mass producing the Iron Man suit for the United States government, and goes through many means in the film to get it. James Rhodes comes in later in the film for his own interests in his career to perfect the Iron Man suit himself, and ends up on the front lines in the weapon-equipped “War Machine”. All the while Tony Stark is trying to perfect his own technology for not only the Avengers initiative but his own well-being.

As it may sound, the plot does significantly suffer from an over-stuffed plot, the occasional “Spiderman 3” syndrome rearing it’s ugly head. Once you look at it from the particular perspective earlier mentioned of “all about the suit” it’s easier to understand. However, the script and the story has some serious trouble getting the plot to its end product during the first 1/2 of the movie. After it gets past it’s disjointed storytelling and gets all the characters past their beginning arc and in the right position, things get back into their stride and comfortable again. While the first half at times felt like a different movie in terms of charm from Iron Man 1, in the second half the familiarity kicks right back in and that realistic snark the original movie had makes it great. Iron Man 2 has a great notion of fully satisfying its audience with some great visuals, humor, and action, but really it never does hit that full potential it could have with a little bit of a smoother plot. There’s a great story lying in there, what with Justin Hammer’s interesting knack and the Avengers story lying overlying presence through the story, but I, among others, am more than satisfied with the ambitious yet sometimes flawed story we ended up with. If there’s a great thing Favreau knows how to do with his films, it is crafting some awe-inspiring shots of action. So many directors focus on shaky cams, realism, or set pieces, and while all of those are great in Cameron’s, Abram’s, and Mann’s pictures, Favreau proves he’s a master of simple yet elegantly awesome action pieces thankfully with no regard for preserving orderliness. It’s like a ballet of fire and monster trucks. Every action piece isn’t afraid to be ridiculous, and each is an insane amount of fun. I continue to be a fan of the brilliant way Favreau keeps Iron Man and others in suits human by showing us their faces inside the helmet during battles. Scenes like the reveal of Black Widow’s amazing butt-kickery, the opening freefall set to “Shoot to Thrill”,  and the final robot-on-robot-on-robot soaring flight and land battle really stand out, and keep audiences like mine in that purest state of wonder only films like this can produce. The story doesn’t make huge improvements over the first, but one thing this sequel does well, as all sequels should, is expanding the scale to inspiring new levels. Iron Man 2 also surrounds itself with some outstanding leads. Mickey Rourke pitches an awesome set with what he has to channel an amazing Russian avenger that steps outside the expected, and Downey Jr. chimes in with another applause worthy perfect Tony Stark rendition. Paltrow and Johannsen are both serviceable in their parts, but Rockwell is the star of the show. His charisma, sarcasm, and the way he plays off Stark is brilliant, and makes the movie that much more enjoyable. He’s the perfect villain for the movie, there’s simply no better. Don Cheadle has a stint taking the place of Terence Howard as James Rhodes who later becomes War Machine. Cheadle does some great work in the movie, and although I was hesitant at first, by the end of the movie there was no better decision. It was also really nice to see Jon Favreau himself as an even bigger character in Happy Hogan’s spot in the movie, even getting to fight in a few hilarious scenes. Everyone just channels their parts to near perfection. Also, all of the brief, peppered hints involving the upcoming Avengers film did exactly what they were supposed to do, and were a lot of fun to watch for comic nerds as Hulk, Captain America, and Thor references became increasingly fun to see as time went on. Iron Man 2 is an interesting creature. It perfects the scale needed for this sort of movie, ratcheting truly awesome action and near-perfect casting, but it’s necessary to admit it does have some flaws when it comes to telling the story in the best, clearest way possible. I love being able to say Iron Man 2 is everything we hoped it would be. As I said earlier, Iron Man 2 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but while it’s demolishing that wheel it sure as heck is fun to watch, and it’s setting the bar even higher for action and superhero films to come.

4 1/2 out of 5

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Nightmare on Elm Street Review

May 6, 2010 at 12:22 pm (Movies)

The only memory I have of the Wes Craven Nightmare on Elm Street saga was my Uncle’s VHS collection of the series I found when I was helping him move, and I’ve never particularly had any other interest in the franchise. However, once director Samuel Bayer and veteran character actor Freddy Krueger were attached, my expectations went up for a deeply psychological horror film. Although leading up the release I was greatly fearing disappointment, after seeing the series’ reboot, I can say the result is everything I could have dreamed. (See what I did there?) The story follows a group of teens (Chris, Dean, Quentin, Jackson, and Nancy) who are all being stalked in their dreams by a burned man wearing a fedora and a red/black striped sweater, wearing knives on his fingers. Once a number of their friends start getting killed off in their sleep, they begin to look into the mystery of who this vengeful man is and why he’s doing what he’s doing. The film plays out like a mystery through the first 1/2, trying to figure out the who/why, and slowly brings to light the involvement that Fred Krueger had with the teens and their parents nearly 2 decades earlier, all revealed in a series of flashbacks about halfway through the film. Not to spoil anything, but the flashback towards the halfway point where we do meet Fred Krueger, his ways, and his eventual demise is undoubtedly the best the film has to offer thanks to a non-makeup performance by Jackie Earle Haley. I had assumed they would give us the back story towards the beginning of the film and built from there, but the way they choose to reveal it half way through works better than I could have imagined. In fact, it works brilliantly in order to give the movie an extra layer of meat to keep the viewer guessing. You’re constantly wondering “Who was this guy?”, “What happened to him?”, “What relation did he have to these kids?” will haunt you. However, some out there will still be against the idea of restructuring the story like they did.

As with many horror films, the cast is usually second rate. Although a majority of the teenage cast isn’t setting a new standard in adolescent acting, they’re more than solid at performing their parts. The real entertainment of horror films, just as with Robert Englund nearly 30 years ago comes with Jackie Earle Haley’s rendition of Fred Krueger. Haley chimes in another incredible performance with the film’s tone of a more perverted villain. Aside from Englund’s comedic tone of Krueger, Haley brings some sheer terror and brute force to the part. He fills the sweater perfectly, and oozes creepiness with Bayer’s interpretation of the character within the pedophile subtext. You come to fear him and what he may do anytime he’s on screen, often hiding, jumping out, and taunting just as any Krueger should, or at least in this universe. However, as Bayer is a first time director I got the general feeling he just didn’t know how to build suspense, and therein, is the film’s greatest flaw. Through the first half, the only times we see Krueger are in quick, frequent bursts, often in jump scares. While it does work for the movie as it is a horror film, I’ve never been a huge fan of jump scares, as any film can do it. The real skill comes from making the audience fear for the characters as if they were in the situation, fear death, and most importantly fear Krueger as the Boogeyman he is. All of the scenes of Haley’s sheer menace work splendidly, and the fear they build works well, especially towards the last 1/3rd, but they just don’t reach their true fear potential.

Bayer, being a former music video director, does get a good sense of his visual style necessary for the Elm Street franchise. All of the “nightmare” sets look really good, Bayer signifying a shift into sleep by a shift in lighting and sometimes sound. All of the kills are fun and creative, and once the film enters the “micronap” section, then the film really starts to have fun and tap into the true primitive terror. Also noting, the opening credits are great. The film’s dark, it deals with serious tones, and Bayer taps into just the right feel for it. All in all, Nightmare on Elm Street is a film not to be missed. It’s terrifying, it taps into the deep and dark psychological nature it strives for, and it boasts some great performances by the one and only Jackie Earle Haley. Simply put, I loved it. It’s the potential beginning for a great series I’ll definitely be tuned into for the years to come.

4 1/2 out of 5

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Will X-Men First Class Be “Kick-Ass”?/Super 8 To Accompany Iron Man 2?/Another Nightmare for Elm Street?

May 4, 2010 at 9:06 pm (Movies)

In nerd film news, Matthew Vaughn, who recently directed the good-intentioned superhero film “Kick-Ass”, has been chosen by Fox to direct the newest film in the X-Men canon, X-Men: First Class. The highly anticipated entry in the series will follow some of the first students of Professor X’s school for mutants. Matthew Vaughn has had quite a career over the past 5 years, from his fantasy film “Stardust” to his most recent superhero tale “Kick-Ass”, which ended up being praised by critics but not so loved by audiences. Fox is ready to get the project rolling, planning on getting production ready this Summer for a June 2011 release. This will be the same weekend as Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom, a week after The Hangover 2, and two weeks before the release of the Green Lantern film. The film synopsis goes as follows-

X-Men: First Class, following the classic Marvel mythology, charts the epic beginning of the X-Men saga.  Before Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men discovering their powers for the first time. Before they were archenemies, they were closest of friends, working together, with other Mutants (some familiar, some new), to stop the greatest threat the world has ever known.

Also, in JJ Abrams news, the director’s new super-secret project, known only as “Super 8” has been rumored to have a first teaser trailer attached with Marvel’s juggernaut action film “Iron Man 2” this weekend. The film project is rumored to be a much-anticipated sequel to Cloverfield, a film that upset many audiences’ stomachs, however is a film that I can’t get enough of. Here’s hoping the rumors are true, and that JJ Abrams projects are closer than they are farther.

Also, in freaky Jackie Earle Haley news, Touchstone Pictures has confirmed a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel after the massive performance of the past weekend’s Nightmare on Elm Street that raked in over $30 million dollars, which is huge considering it’s an R-rated horror film and that it cost only $35 million to make. This being as I’ve not even gotten to see the film yet. However, all is not well for the news of the sequel, as Samuel Bayer (Director) has stated he isn’t interested on coming back in for a sequel, however has also stated he would if “the script was right”. The studios behind the film are largely pulling for it to be in 3D although Samuel Bayer had refused the idea in the first film in his series. No word has come along yet concerning Jackie Earle Haley’s involvement with the film, however, if I know Jackie Earle Haley, chances are he’ll be returning with the razored glove.

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The Losers Review

May 3, 2010 at 10:35 am (Movies)

In the vein of hardcore action films like Die Hard and Pirates of the Caribbean, The Losers isn’t afraid to have fun. Heck, it hardly shows any fear at all. Like most of these films, there are a few pieces and sequences that may not be necessary or pertinent, but all the while they’re a ridiculous amount of fun. The film follows a renegade group of ex-CIA mercenaries, code-named The Losers, out for revenge after being black listed by their former employer, the United States government. The writers and crew seem to have good intentions for the story, and throughout the 1 1/2 hour run time they have as much fun as possible for each second. The film doesn’t forget it’s true action-oriented intentions at heart, yet at the same time falls victim to the occasional bit of sloppy storytelling. Sure, we get it, you’re a high-octane action thriller, but does that mean certain moments have to be a little off-key in terms of making sense? This didn’t detract from the experience for me, as throughout the whole film it did it’s job perfectly, suspending my sense of disbelief to just have a great time. Sometimes, a few of the action shots can be a little scatterbrained, and other times the film’s action shots use a variety of tools and slow motion to be gorgeous. Sometimes the camera cuts so quickly it’s hard to tell what’s happening, and others I was back to being an 8 year old watching old action films on VHS, truly inspired by film making. Nitpicks exist, but The Losers overcomes these faults 95% of the time with an atmosphere of fun.

The Losers also makes a great effort of being thoroughly entertaining with a new benchmark for incorporating action with humor. The amazing action set pieces ranged from an amazing finale involving two vehicles colliding and to the awe-inspiring Journey-themed heist sequence tuned perfectly with the classic song, all culminating in Chris Evans’ “telekinetic prowess.” There were moments I was in tears laughing and others when I couldn’t help but me amazed, shouting “No way!” at the screen before realizing the genius of some segments. Let’s be honest, if the later film remake of the A-Team is anything like this in terms of action or its array of team members, audiences will have no trouble having a great time. The film does a great job of making each member of the team distinct in their own way, with Cougar, Pooch, Rogue, Aisha, Clay, and my personal favorite Jensen (Chris Evans) all being their own team member that you care for. The ensemble accomplishes everything it should when it comes to creating an experience where you enjoy and love each of the characters for their own unique style and skills, and by the end you feel like they’re a family, a strange, gun-toting family. Chris Evans proves his potential for Captain America, and has some hysterical lines as the hidden-master of the movie. “That’s right, I have a crossbow!” I still need to buy a Petunia’s soccer team shirt.

All in all, The Losers is a great movie to see I have no trouble recommending. The movie combines a great visual style (the comic book illustration introduction of the characters and locations) with a great attitude of making an A-Team action adventure. Unfortunately this film hasn’t really been doing well financially, but needs and deserves all the support you could give it. Something tells me though it’ll be one of those films I’ll be pointing to on the rack at the video store saying “You’ve never seen this? It’s amazing, you should check it out, totally underrated!” I have a Books A Million gift card right now and I hope to pick up the comic as soon as I can. Is it B-Movie-ish? Yes. Is that one reason why it’s so amazing? Absolutely. Some minor nitpicks aside, The Losers is literally a hilarious, fast-paced action film anyone can enjoy, it never forgets to have fun, and this soon-to-be cult classic will keep you entertained long after you see it.

4 1/2 out of 5

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Iron Man 2 Press Conference

May 3, 2010 at 10:01 am (Movies, Video)

This was a really cool press conference I found for Iron Man 2 on slashfilm.com, basically it’s just the whole cast together answering questions about the film, including some questions regarding the easter eggs in the film and how they’re setting up for the Avengers project. It’s kinda long, but it’s split into 4 different parts, definitely worth your time.

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Iron Man 2 Pre-Hype…

May 1, 2010 at 7:56 pm (Movies)

So, as I’m writing this now in 6 days I will hopefully be in a crowded theater filled to the brim with sweaty comic nerds all on the same line of anxiousness as I am to see the newest Marvel creation, Iron Man 2. I was so blown away by Iron Man 1, and that’s part of why I’m nervous for Iron Man 2. Part of the reason we all loved the first one was b/c we didn’t expect much out of a new franchise, the same thing happens every time with movies like Spiderman 1 and Batman Begins, all because we don’t know what to expect. Right now the film is holding a 75% on Rotten Tomatoes, which is pretty respectable for a superhero film, and is fairly promising of a great time at the cinema. On average critics are saying it lives up to the promise but can sometimes feel over-stuffed.

It was about three weeks ago that I was super-excited for the film while still being really cautiously optimistic. Now as I’m less than a week away from seeing the movie, my hype is somewhat leveling. This could all be in my head, but Iron Man 2 is somewhat going to the back of my mind. I have a final this week, I have a speech to present, and a dozen forms to film out and things to do. Plus, I would really like to get around to a Nightmare on Elm Street screening sometime this week. Not to say I’m not excited for the film or think it’ll be good, it’s just that this happens with every film I see. I get excited, it goes to the back of mind, I lower my expectations, and I hopefully I enjoy it. So stay tuned to the site to see my review of the film sometime around Saturday (hopefully) and I’m sure James’ review will be up sometime after that if all goes according to plan. I’m seriously hoping this movie isn’t terrible. Let’s hope the film stays true to the intelligent fun of the film we loved two years ago and doesn’t become a corporate buy out of a film. So definitely come out and support the film, I’m sure it’ll be a great time. There’s seriously a lot of other crappier films to waste your money on, so pay your hard-earned $8.75 to Jon Favreau and gang to show them you appreciate their hard work and to ensure films like this continue to be made.

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