Archive for the Movies Category

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

Mini-Review: Looper – Fucking Awesome

Posted in Blog, Movies, Reviews on December 26, 2012 by slateman

LooperI imagine Bruce Willis can choose whichever movie he wants to do now. He’s established, likely rich, and…The Man (see the upcoming A Good Day To Die Hard). Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the other hand is a young, relatively un-established actor. That’s not to put him down, but he’s no Bruce Willis. In any event, when a script like this (or also in the case of Gordon-Levitt, Inception), how can someone not go for it? This movie was friggin’ incredible. I loved, loved, loved it. Any movie that leads me to the last 10 minutes with absolutely no clue how it might end = GOLD. Time-travel movies are just fodder for brain activity.

And when it comes to time-travel movies, this very well could be the best one ever. It wasn’t riddled with ‘what if’ situations, but it really made me think and in the end, I sat there, jaw agape (love when that I need to use that phrase). This movie rocked and may be the best movie I’ve seen all year (The Hobbit is still on the horizon.) I would list this up there with Inception as one of the coolest, yet most thought-provoking film in recent memory. A+++!

Merry Christmas!

Expendables 2: Did I Mention It Was Awesome?

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Movies on November 5, 2012 by slateman

Two snapshots to show off the splendour (read: legendary awesome) of this film. Still can’t believe this whole scene…

Mini-Review: The Expendables 2 – ROAR!!!

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Movies, Reviews on November 3, 2012 by slateman

It’s all about the expectations. I thought Independence Day would be awesome (I was only 18 at the time). It was not. I had low expectations for Aliens Vs. Predator – therefore I was not disappointed. Here, we have the second Expendables film and it was precisely what it needed to be. I cannot see how anyone could rate this poorly. It was what it was, and nothing more.

The intro and outro sequences were great. Arnold, Willis and Stallone fighting side-by-side? KICK ASS! Sly’s punches vs. Van Damme’s kicks? Rock and Roll! One-liner trade-offs? FUCK YEAH!

Jet Li punches someone in the face and I see meat. MEAT!

There were 400 casualties in the first 90 seconds of the film. This is a modern-day Hot Shots: Part Deux!

(Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar)

The Expendables 2 was an over-the-top, absurd, high-testosterone film and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. Even when I thought there should be more Arnold, I realized how awesome it made the final sequence. Maybe more explosions would have worked. I think there were more in the first one! I loved this movie. Thumbs up!

The Hobbit: Trailer #2 – Getting Psyched!

Posted in Blog, Books, Movies, Tolkien, Video with tags on September 21, 2012 by slateman

This has been a pretty good week. The Yankees are playing last-place teams, which gives the sense of great success. I’m currently joy puking my face off. The Resident Evil 6 demo hit (thoughts soon) and a new trailer for The Hobbit has surfaced. I’m rather thrilled about all of these things but of course, I’m exceedingly excited to see what Peter Jackson has done with my beloved J.R.R. Tolkien novel.

I picked up Lord Of The Rings in the late 90s after a lifetime of desiring to read it. Considering my collection is massive (I should take a pic), it’s safe to say I love his stuff. I love the LotR film trilogy. Obviously I’m looking forward to The Hobbit.

The new trailer is exciting and gives a real glimpse of the light-hearted nature of the book. I’m curious to see Radagast, though through all my readings, I know (and care) rather little. The only real downside is knowing there are two other films, so Smaug and the massive Battle Of Five Armies aren’t shown. However, it also means that those two things should be given proper attention and not glossed over at all. Man…I’m even more psyched now that I got thinking about it! Definitely re-reading this soon, or, in the very least, listening to the audio book on the way to work. Less than three months!!!

The Hobbit Poster (100th Post)

Posted in Blog, Books, Movies, Tolkien with tags , on July 8, 2012 by slateman

The Hobbit (Pt 1)


Mini-Review: Prometheus – I Definitely Liked!

Posted in Aliens, Best / Worst, Movies, Reviews with tags on June 10, 2012 by slateman

There WILL Be Spoilers

I have not been this excited for a movie since Return Of The King. That was 9 years ago. In all honesty, I have been waiting for this movie to be made for 20 years. We survived Alien: Resurrection and a pair of Alien vs. Predator films. While this may not be an official prequel, anyone who gives a damn about this series knows it is the only film to matter in almost quarter a century. As the days progressed, I kept my expectations low but the fact remained; I was excited beyond belief. Therefore, as the 1pm showing crept closer, I could hardly contain myself. Prometheus is here.

It is an interesting tale. We all yearned to know the origins of the aliens, the mythical Space Jockey’s details, the reason the space craft crashed. Ultimately however, we don’t get all the answers we desired. In fact, there is much left unclear and many new questions are raised.

  • This wasn’t LV426, so this setting isn’t the same as Alien.
  • Assuming this is an actual prequel, a different ship crash landed. Was that Dr. Shaw’s?
  • Therefore, could the space jockey w/ the chest burster be Dr. Shaw?
  • Guy Pearce played Weyland. Why not just get an older actor?
  • Vickers (Charlize Theron – rowr) – Was she an android? Why should I care that David calls her mother and she calls Weyland father?
  • The xenomorph at the end is different from what we know. Since it was all CG, recreating the classic alien should have been easy. Why opt for a different style?
  • The tattooed guy returned with super-human strength. What exactly was he?
  • Similarly, Dr. Holloway was infected with the black liquid. What was he becoming?

What I Liked..

Ridley Scott separated himself from the Alien mythos and for good reason. He would have been inundated with xenomorph questions for the entire 2-year publicity run. Once again though, we knew it was a prequel and I just kept trying to prepare myself for a different type of movie. This was not meant to be Alien and Aliens. That’s OK with me. Some of the best parts were ones removed from that style. On the other hand…

Fifield and Milburn – the scenes with them after they were trapped overnight. There was an intensity to the waiting and barring the stupidity of wanting to play with alien snakes, that whole attack scene was awesome.

The self-abortion scene was insane.

David was an excellent part of the movie. Unlike the anti-android sentiment you got in the first two movies, this was different. I never quite knew what to think of him and what his agenda was. Couple this with Vickers hatred for Weyland and their relationship, there was always a level of underlying strife.

The sandstorm was pretty cool. As were the scanning orbs (pups).

The entire look of the ship was just like the Nostromo and the outfits were classic looking. The look was familiar and awesome.

Final Thoughts

There were a few iffy moments but it avoided being cheesy and that was worth it alone. (remember Alien: Resurrection?) While it created more questions than it answered, I actually quite liked the final product. It was not what we had been expecting and that almost made it more interesting. The intense moments were intense. The thought-provoking concept was deep (and I’m still thinking about it) and barring a few small qualms, I think I liked the movie quite a lot. Now to wait for the blu-ray release, see if there are any cool extras (answers?!?!) and then rethink the whole thing all over again. Definitely thumbs up!

Pan’s Labyrinth Poster = Awesomeness!!!

Posted in Best / Worst, Movies with tags on May 17, 2012 by slateman

So Awesome!

Newest Prometheus Trailer: How Can I *NOT* Be Excited?!?!

Posted in Aliens, Blog, Movies, Video on March 25, 2012 by slateman

I LOVE Alien & Aliens. The second is my favorite movie of all-time, I think. We’ve all heard that Ridley Scott was making Prometheus, a prequel to Alien. Wait…What? It’s NOT a prequel? But, but…but it’s got the space jockey and that ship is the same and…

OK, so it’s not officially a prequel but it’s a prequel and we all know it. I think he said it so we wouldn’t all expect face huggers and xenomorphs. Because, let’s say it were a prequel and there were no face huggers and xenomorphs, it would be a disappointment, right?

I’ve learned my lesson. I try to have low expectations for anything that could be utter friggin’ awesomeness. This is a perfect example. Prequel or not, this could be ├╝ber-amazing and for that reason alone I should have NO EXPECTATIONS. However, it’s time you watch something. It’s time you watch this, in its HD glory. It’s time to speculate, “WTF is going on?!” Yes. You are excited. You can’t help it. This could be utter friggin’ awesomeness. So, release your inhibitions and accept it. Now, wait until June 8th to find out if it does in fact disappoint you on a legendary scale. Because it just might. Or…….?

Psyched beyond comprehension – even if that is a very bad thing indeed.

Mini-Review: Paranormal Activity 3: I Liked

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Movies, Reviews on March 2, 2012 by slateman


Kids - Good or Bad?

I’ll never forget watching the first Paranormal Activity. I heard the hype and IMO, it was something new and different. I don’t care what you or anyone else thought of it. It scared the shit out of me and I loved every second of it. My eyes were glued to the TV. I refused to blink. OMG…so scared.

The sequel was good, relying more on jumps than scares IMO but it was enjoyable. There were a few solid scenes in it. I found the third film to be even better; the final half hour was intense and excellent. If you didn’t care for the first, the next two wouldn’t do much for you, but I ate it all up. I watched in the dark, alone, and it was fantastic.

Spoilers BTW

Sadly, the real magic of the first film was never found again. Much like in most sequels, the additional characters and therefore reduction in each’s development, leaves me caring less about them all. Sure, there aren’t many in PA3, but for the most part, a little girl running around at night is simply not very scary.

However as the movie came to a close, there were a number of memorable scenes. The babysitter scene (wow!), the second Bloody Mary scene (AHH!), the holding-up-by-her-hair scene, then the jumpy kitchen scene (holy shit!). At the grandmother’s house, I figured out she was sketchy, but sat at the edge of my seat waiting to see how that final scene played out. WHERE IS EVERYBODY??? Then those people in the garage? CREEPY! The final moments wouldn’t have been my choice for the epic finale, but I loved it all.

What I don’t love is how reviewers slam a movie like this saying it’s no better than the predecessor (which they gave 1/2 star to as well). I don’t watch horror movies at all anymore. (I grew up on them.) When I do watch a thriller/horror, I want to be creeped out, spooked and frightened. PA3 trumped part 2, wasn’t as good as 1, but was better than most, and that’s enough for me!!!