Archive for the Movies Category

Upcoming Release Dates

Posted in Blog, Games, Movies, Music, Uncharted on May 25, 2017 by slateman

The usual “for my reference only” posting. Looks to be a promising second half of 2017!

Videogames
Jun 02 – Tekken 7
Jun 20 – Nex Machina
Jul 11 – Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Aug 22 – Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Sep 12 – Ys VIII: Lacrimosa Of Dana
Sep 19 – Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite
Oct 10 – Middle-Earth: Shadow Of War
Nov 14 – Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2
Dec ?? – God Of War

Music
May 26 – Alestorm: No Grave But The Sea
Jun 09 – Anathema: The Optimist
Jun 30 – Vintersorg: Till Fjälls Del II
Jul 07 – Blind Guardian: Live Beyond The Spheres
Jul 21 – Wintersun: The Forest Seasons
Aug 11 – The Lurking Fear: Out Of The Voiceless Grave
Aug 25 – The Haunted: Strength In Numbers
Sep 08 – Arch Enemy: Will To Power
Sep 22 – Satyricon: Deep Calleth Upon Deep
??? ?? – Dimmu Borgir: TBA
??? ?? – The Black Dahlia Murder: TBA

Live Shows
Jun 23 – Emperor/Slayer – Norway
Sep 21 – The Haunted/Witchery – Pustervik
Oct 20 – Satyricon – Pustervik
Nov 11 – Soilwork – Brewhouse
Nov 24 – Scorpions – Scandinavium

Television
May 26 – Bloodline (Season 3/Final)
May 30 – House Of Cards (Season 4)
Jul 07 – Castlevania (Netflix)
Jul 16 – Game Of Thrones (Season 7)
Sep ?? – How To Get Away With Murder (Season 4)
Oct 22 – The Walking Dead (Season 8)
Oct 31 – Stranger Things (Season 2)
Nov 27 – Vikings (Season 5)
??? ?? – Taboo (Season 2)
??? ?? – Westworld (Season 2)
??? ?? – The OA (Season 2)

Release Dates: 2017 Edition

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Books, Games, Lists, Movies, Music, Street Fighter, Tolkien, Uncharted on March 3, 2017 by slateman

The usual ‘post so I can check back and remember’ release-date listing! This is for my interests only, really. I should mention it’s been a good start, with a great Kreator record and a solid outing for Overkill. RE7 was a spectacular game as well. However, I’ll be honest, I don’t see 2017 as being a tremendous year. There’s no major music on the horizon and movies??? That’s kind of frustrating. Surely something will be announced at E3, right?

Today: The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
07 Mar: The Americans (Season 5)
29 Mar: Proof Set 2017
14 Apr: Dimmu Borgir – Forces Of The Northern Night
16 Apr: The Leftovers (Season 3 – Final Season)
26 May: Bloodline (Season 3)
30 May: House Of Cards (Season 5)
01 Jun: J.R.R. Tolkien – The Tale Of Beren And Lúthien
23 Jun: Emperor/Slayer in Norway
30 Jun: Vintersorg – Till Fjälls Del II
xx Jul: Wintersun – The Forest Seasons
22 Aug: Uncharted 4: The Lost Legacy
19 Sep: Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite
31 Oct: Stranger Things
15 Dec: Star Wars: Episode 8 – The Last Jedi

Other Records
–A Perfect Circle
–Arch Enemy
–The Black Dahlia Murder
–Dimmu Borgir
–The Haunted
–Satyricon
–Skeletonwitch?

Other Shows?
–Taboo (Season 2?)
–Westworld (Season 2 – 2018)
–The OA (Season 2 ordered)

Stranger Things: So 80s. So Awesome!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Movies, Reviews on November 14, 2016 by slateman

stranger-thingsAfter hearing positive things, I asked around. My wife isn’t into sci-fi very much and I feared it would be too sci-fi-ey for her. Well, after six episodes in two nights, we are on the verge of finishing up season one, just three days after starting it.

The show is rooted in the 80s and everything feels like home. The setting, the decor of the houses, the camaraderie of the boys, it’s all 80s. It’s all like it was when I was a kid. And when the creepypasta happens, it’s classic! The silly tropes we allow past our radar are all there. Nowadays we have to explain everything in such detail. Back then…not so much. “Didn’t his mother notice he didn’t come home last night?” Sure, we could worry about it or we could just let it happen and enjoy it. It’s refreshing!

I’m so psyched to watch the final two episodes but it all happened so fast. It’s odd consuming entertainment in this fashion. While many broadcast shows still have the weekly schedule, watching an entire season in four days has its drawbacks. Do these shows impact us as much, considering we don’t have to wait seven days to reveal what happened to our favorite characters? It’s a double-edged sword but I’ll tell you, very little can stop me from finishing this ode to my youth this very evening. Then the dreaded wait until the next season comes! See how long it takes us to devour those episodes!!!

Vikings: \m/

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Movies on May 25, 2015 by slateman

vikingsWith Erin gone (3 months down – 1 to go), I figured I should finally watch this show I’ve been meaning to. That was about 10 days ago. Now, two seasons are done and I’m itching to start season #3. As a fan of Nordic mythology and as a descendent of a Viking myself (not proven, just know it in my heart, ha!) I’ve gobbled up 19 episodes of Ragnar Lodbrook and his entourage (with especial consideration given to Lagertha – OMG). Two Blue Moons down and I think season three must be at least tasted! I don’t care if this is a historically-accurate depiction of the Viking lifestyle, although I know Ragnar was a real man. I’m just entrenched in this show and digging every minute of it. Moar please!

Mad Max: Fury Road – OMFG

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Movies on May 23, 2015 by slateman

mm-fr
I wanted to see this. The reviews raved. I finally saw it. I shat my pants.

The action is so over-the-top, so stylized, so outrageous, I couldn’t envision what would come next. That’s about the best review I could give a movie at a time when I feel as if I can predict almost everything, even twists. While you can guess the ending, my meaning is that the action choices blended with a NEW post-apocalyptic world left me surprised and smiling at every turn. See this movie on the big screen. It’s utterly spectacular.

The Pros & Cons Of The Hobbit Trilogy

Posted in Best / Worst, Lists, Movies, Reviews, Tolkien with tags , on December 30, 2014 by slateman

307252id1L_TheHobbit_TBOTFA_Teaser_27x40_1Sheet.inddNow that The Hobbit is done, we can look back at the trilogy that is a miracle to even exist. I recall the promise of it coming out being squelched by lawsuits. Now that the trilogy has ended, there is plenty to mull over. The verdict has come and it isn’t pretty. Rotten Tomatoes lists the finale as the worst of the three movies. I’ve heard of at least two comparisons to Episode I – just about the worst analogy a multi-part film could receive. It’s not quite so bad, but some commentary is needed.

The most important part of an article such as this is to preface the entire lot by saying this trilogy was no LOTR. The book, the lighthearted feel, even the way it was filmed differed. Comparing a children’s tale to the “if we don’t destroy the ring, the entire world will cease to be” feel of LOTR would be utterly foolish. Having said this, by the conclusion of the series, I found this tone, the colors, the presentation to be a charming alternate to the darkness found in the first film trilogy.

Nothing is more exemplary than the barrel scene from the second movie. If you read the book, you’ll remember it was a consistent, silly tale of “Aww shucks, we’re in trouble again – Oh look at that! Bilbo saved the day!” Contrast that to, “OMFG darkness, Nazgûl, Sauron’s gonna kill everyone.” The movies’ entire atmosphere is representative of this.

Letting go of this comparison allows for a better appreciation, so just do it.

The Good

The Dwarves
The variation of the Dwarves in the book was limited to color and some simple personality traits. The film does a good job in at least visually differentiating each. Time is limited, clearly, so by the third movie, there were some whom I couldn’t name whatsoever (Bifur and Nori, for instance.) I feel Jackson did a splendid job at making a colorful cast work well in the constraints presented by film. I did quite appreciate the fact that Glóin looks like his son, Gimli.

Out-Of-Control Action
It’s safe to say that some scenes were almost ‘comic-book’y. Yes. Just in case you were forgetting already, This Isn’t LOTR. Read the book again to get a feel of how silly it all was.

Three Films
In the recent weeks, reviews have slammed Jackson and his expansive Hollywood rendition of the timeless 200-page book. Most state that two films (the original vision) would have sufficed. But let me say this…in the original book, Thorin, Fíli and Kíli were all killed in three sentences. The nephews were relegated to saying they died defending their uncle. A film translation cannot introduce main characters and kill them without some weight and gravity. And Thorin’s death would come how? By the hands of a normal Orc? By a stray arrow?

hobbit-azog

Enter Azog & Bolg
In the books, Azog was slain by Dáin after killing Thrór. In the extended version of The Desolation Of Smaug we’re given information about Thrór’s death by the hands of the orc-chieftain. While Azog’s involvement in The Hobbit trilogy was greatly expanded, it presented us with a very important nemesis.

I didn’t like the idea of Azog originally. Another CG character – but think about it…Tolkien created Azog and while his backstory isn’t fleshed out (much like countless other characters), his purpose in the book is legitimate. And Thorin has a genuine interest in him. Who is the main antagonist in the story otherwise? Peter Jackson took an underused enemy, beefed him up and gave the trilogy a veritable (though not the most innovative) main enemy. It had to be done and while it’s far from canon, it ties in well.

Oh, Bolg was Azog’s son. He fought in the final battle and was slain by Beorn. In the movie, Legolas took care of him, but that’s OK. I guess Legolas needed to have some purpose (more on that below).

Extended Editions
We still wait for the last film’s extended version but I look forward to Alfrid dying! I liked the first movie’s extra footage but the second’s was far more powerful. It included much more about Thrain and Thrór. The potency and overarching importance of the magic rings is played out. Beorn has his time in the sun and seeing him next to Gandalf next to Bilbo was a cool height comparison!

Seeing the the Witch-King of Angmar’s burial grounds, the added scenes in Mirkwood and even the naming of Bilbo’s sword Sting were all nice touches that added to the fidelity of the motion picture as well as effective tie-ins to the LOTR trilogy.

The Bad
I positively hate how Galadriel handles things in Dol Guldur in the last movie. However, in The Silmarillion, details are given about the White Council, though few they are. Essentially, while Galadriel is part of the council in some form, she wasn’t there for the actual event. All that’s told is that Saruman, Gandalf and Elrond “assailed Dol Guldur and drove Sauron from his hold.” You can understand Peter Jackson’s desire to include this portion in the films. It ties this trilogy with LOTR and also gives Gandalf something to do. That is why he left the party at the edge of Mirkwood after all. So, having this is ok, but man, I hate the weird magic they give to Galadriel (but it’s not much different than what she was like in LOTR. And, having that meeting in the first Hobbit in Rivendell with Saruman, Gandalf, Galadriel and Elrond is pretty cool.

hobbit-tauriel

Tauriel
I don’t know of a single reader of the book who enjoys Tauriel’s presence in these films. Her acrobatics were entertaining. Many cite Tauriel as one of the worst decisions of the movies but I’ll just say one other name. Arwyn. I still haven’t a clue how it was the she was dying in the LOTR trilogy. As a purist, I hated her entire storyline and Tauriel is no better. She is Hollywood’s love story and as dreadful as it was, I understand the need to have this type of character.

Legolas
I realize time doesn’t pass the same way for Elves but it’s hard to hide the 10 years of age in Orlando Bloom’s face. To counter this, some film tricks have been used but he looks less natural. Visuals aside, my biggest issue with him was his lack of purpose. The entire second film just made him seem like a whiny boy slighted by his true love.

The WTF?

Thranduil’s Goodbye
Really? Go find Strider? That’s absurd, ridiculous and unnecessary.

Gandalf Knows?
I look forward to the extended edition to tell me more about this. I’m guessing he may think Bilbo has one of the Dwarf rings of power. This was another unnecessary attempt at a tie-in to LOTR.

Worm Things?!?!
I guess the Orcs need a way to travel. I don’t remember any worm things…

Alfrid
He kept getting screentime in the third movie but never died! Perhaps the extended edition? He was annoying but the comic relief was appreciated by one of my daughters. I expect this was the goal, but like Tauriel, readers groaned at his inclusion and recurring appearance!

It’s Over
Regardless of what you think, we’re done. The Silmarillion will and can never be made into a film so let’s not even pretend there’s hope. So, that’s it. Two trilogies that were dreams in the first place have been issued and while The Hobbit will never receive critical fame, I thought all three movies were fun. I enjoyed them all in some fashion and each has its own merits. I can’t wait for the extended finale. While most will disagree with all of what I wrote above, I’m a reader. I’ve read everything at least three times. I love my stuff and was highly entertained by the motion pictures. For me…that’s good enough!

EFM8: I Am Your Father

Posted in Blog, Movies on April 23, 2014 by slateman

So psyched to present this. I’ve waited a long time to make this movie. :D This is a short, three-minute film devoted to the film series of my youth. Enjoy the usual stupidity!!!

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug Poster

Posted in Blog, Books, Movies, Tolkien with tags , on June 16, 2013 by slateman

hobbit2-posterWhile The Lord Of The Rings was truly a cinematic event, I find The Hobbit films to be more of a fun jaunt. I’m psyched about the remaining two, but they certainly don’t have that epic grandeur that the LOTR films did. That’s OK, because the book was just a fun, lighthearted adventure. So, I’m quite looking forward to the film this December and here’s a poster for it. Sorry for no updates in a long time. Not like anyone is reading anyways!

Mini-Review: [Rec] – Outstanding

Posted in Blog, Movies, Reviews on March 19, 2013 by slateman

rec-movie-poster-2007-1020420587Dread. To put it simply…dread. The horror genre is one I grew up with and have never quite outgrown. As a father now, though, my fascination is mixed with dread as parents have a new priority in life. I’ve seen [Rec] twice. I never watched the American recreation…but the original film is the perfect thriller. This wasn’t the first found-footage film, and it may not be the best. However it instills dread in me every time I watch it. But when the bloody woman attacks in the apartment….when the fireman falls from upstairs…when things go to hell at the end…I’m filled with dread. It’s just a movie, of course, but it feels real. The first-person account of whatever is going on feels real. Like Cloverfield, you have no real idea as to what is going on, much like it would be in real life. All of the calm dialogue is utterly shattered when things start going wrong. The horrible sounds, the utter panic, the non-stop dread…And the entire time I am scared to death at what’s around the corner, where the people are and what is going to happen next. And don’t even get me started on the end. I know what’s going to happen and it still freaks me the fuck out. Oh, and then the lights go out.

[Rec 2] was good and had some very cool ideas but as usual, the original is the best. Outrageous fear. I hate this movie but I love it more.

Review: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

Posted in Books, Movies, Reflection, Reviews, Tolkien, Video with tags on December 28, 2012 by slateman

poster-gandalfIn the 1990s I started reading Tolkien. In the 2000s, we were given the spectacular film conversions of The Lord Of The Rings. In the 2010s, we have another epic journey to embark upon.

I was so excited about this movie. In fact, no movie since Return Of The King had me so compelled to plunk down my cash and spend hours in a theater. Of course, in the ’90s I was young and now I’m riddled with responsibility. I think that’s what makes this more profound for me. Tolkien’s masterpieces follow us through our own epic journeys.

Perhaps this is all too dramatic, but as the New Line logo came and went, Howard Shore’s familiar tunes entered my ears and I returned to Middle Earth, it was so reassuring to see certain images on the screen precisely as I have seen them in my head for 15 years. It was all too amazing to see Erebor’s hoards of gold torn directly from the images my imagination conjured up.

While very few of the Dwarves really did the same for me, I loved their diversity (something hardly addressed in the book) and it was wonderful seeing Thorin change his opinion of Bilbo. Spanning three movies, I expected it to be slow. Martin Freeman’s portrayal of Bilbo was spot-on IMO, blundering yet innately brave, he was amazing. The scene with Gollum was another essentially identical to what I’d envisioned. I felt sadness for Smeagol, his pain and suffering. The meeting of Elrond, Gandalf, Galadriel and Saruman was total fiction, but for those of us who cared, it carried such weight. Thousands of years of knowledge, wisdom, power (and rings! All three elven rings, to be precise) all together in one meeting! And such a meeting in Rivendell for that matter! Again, it warmed my heart to return to this imaginary place. That may make no sense at all, but it was a remarkable feeling.

Dol Guldur, Radagast, Hobbiton, it was all great. I thought the Goblin King was too cheesy; I don’t understand the need to make him so goofy.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is no LotR. That’s quite fine by me. It is not without flaws but in so many ways it was exactly what I wanted…and needed. The Misty Mountains song was amazing and I’m posting Neil Finn’s version of Song of the Lonely Mountain below because it was so phenomenal.

I can’t wait to see it again…to see The Desolation Of Smaug in a year…to feel the sadness to leave Middle Earth like I did at the Grey Havens back in 2003. To say this is all more than just a movie, more than a book, more than just a passing interest would be to lie. And it’s all just begun. :D