I watched “Blackwater” from season two of GAME OF THRONES, and although the episode was very good, I still don’t approve of all the shit they changed. Especially on the heels of season one which was word for word the first book, literally in some parts word for word.
Then comes season two…
Dany’s dragons get kidnapped?? King of Qarth??? No Meera, Jojen OR Ramsey Snow?? Jon Snow knows everything?? The Hound is suddenly a nice guy???
Seriously HBO, you better step it up for season 3…nudity and Peter Dinklage will only get you so far. Especially with me…I’m not 17 anymore, tits no longer give you an instant pass. They are lovely yes, but I’m far more interested in character exposition thank you. So give the whores some clothes and let me hear Tyrion and Varys talk some more.
I’m unfortunately at the point where all the best is behind me. I’ve finished season one and season two is the only option for visual Fire and Ice stimulations…and my next book to read is FEAST OF CROWS which I hear is pretty much: “No one you want to hear about and Cersei Lannister.”
This feels like DEXTER all over again…
The last book was mediocre at best, sloppy, inefficient in it’s story telling, with an ending that is suspiciously close to that of a particular James Bond novel, and I haven’t given the show my attention since they killed Rita…and from what I hear, I’m not missing much either.
At least CASTLE is proving to be consistently enjoyable in both book and TV format.
I remember the 90’s…well, some of it anyways, and the american “RING” was a massive phenomenon when it was released. Everyone seemed to love the movie…except me.
I hated it. I thought it was boring and slow, and blown way out of proportion.
So, a few years later I found the original Japanese release on DVD and decided to buy it on impulse thinking, “the original has got to be better than the remake right?” Well…yes and no.
It’s still overrated I think. There are far better, and scarier Asian Horror films out there. In fact, as far as Asian Horror goes, this movie is tame as all hell. It’s like comparing BAMBI to HOSTEL. It’s nowhere near close to the comparison. Trust me…Asian Film, Horror especially, can be extremely f*cked up. Hell, ICHI THE KILLER has warped me so much I refuse to watch anything else by Takashi Miike. RINGU has little to no blood, no gore, no disturbingly commonplace rape themes, and NOT A SINGLE on-screen death the entire film.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that it’s just…strange. You don’t expect that in an Asian Horror film, and if you’re expecting some twisted, keep you up at night, hour and a half of horror…you’re going to be severely dissapointed.
In fact, I dare say it’s not even Horror, so much as a supernatural Thriller. JU-ON is horror, SHUTTER is horror, RINGU is not horror.
Ok, so I’ve ranted about what this movie doesn’t have, what does it have? To borrow and over-used internet meme…
PSYCHICS!!!! PSYCHICS EVERYWHERE!!!!
Asian cinema sure loves it’s psychics. I’ve seen it everywhere from comedies to Godzilla films, and yes, in RINGU. In fact, the main difference between the American remake and the Japanese original is THE ENTIRE PLOT!!!
I remember very little of the American remake, but I’m fairly certain it didn’t have anything to do with a Psychic crazy woman who gave birth to a more powerfully psychic crazy girl who may or may not be spawn of some kind of sea monster and then threw herself into a volcano…oh and the ex-husband is psychic too. No, I’m not kidding. And they don’t give you any other revelations other than that. The movie carries on the Japanese tradition of not spoon feeding things to you, which is admirable, but awfully frustrating sometimes.
In this case it kind of makes sense considering the movie was based off a series of Manga that went into far more detail of Sadako’s sad, sad, story…in fact I vaguely remember one volume where you find out she’s a hermaphrodite and it was really her boyfriend who killed her…or something? I don’t know…it was a looooooong time ago, back when I actually paid attention to that shit. I’m too old for you crazy kids and your manga books now.
Moral of the story, the movie is a disappointment at the least, and annoying at the worst (especially the lead actress.) If you want to see what asian horror really is, watch SHUTTER or JU-ON. Just be prepared…as I’ve said before, there’s some pretty disturbing stuff ahead for you.
Let’s just get this out of the way first…it’s nowhere near as good as Dark Knight. Nowhere near as good for so many reasons…but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good.
It’s fine…it just takes a while to get going. In fact, the entire first act slugs along, all the while you’re wondering if this may be Nolan’s fatal mis-step. Then the second act comes and kicks you in the teeth.
In fact, the entire movie can be summed up with “slow, boring stuff happens for much cooler things to come.” This would all be fine, if only the character exposition was as good as it was in Dark Knight…but it’s not. It just comes off as clunky and out of place.
Then there’s Bane’s accent…it’s really something that I feel needed to be changed. You got used to it after a while, but even then it seemed rather ridiculous…even moreso than Christian Bale’s Batman barking. I won’t tell you how it sounds like, simply because I feel you need to experience it for yourself, just be prepared to laugh at the big hulking brute at first.
What makes the whole situation of goofy, echoy, accents, and Nathan Explosion-esque barking much, much, worse is the absolutely atrocious sound mix. Seriously, the audio guy should really be ashamed of himself. You can just barely even recognize that there are actually people talking, let alone make out what their saying, over the roar of music and sound effects. I don’t know, maybe this was just my theater, I don’t think so though.
Without giving away spoilers, there’s not much else I can say. It’s no Dark Knight, but it’s no Green Lantern either. It’s good…just not what we expected for the final outing with Christopher Nolan’s Batman.
These movies are usually my go to for a day home from work sick. Admittedly, when it comes to demons and ghosts and stuff…I’m kind of a wuss, which confounds me to no end considering that I’m an atheist and know enough about science to know that ghosts aren’t logically possible when you consider the basic laws of physics. I don’t know, maybe it’s something leftover from my childhood, who knows. The point is, I still love these movies and a sick day is the perfect time for me to watch them because there’s plenty of daylight between now and bedtime.
I first heard of this movie online via YouTube. I was watching a trailer for (by all appearances thusfar) a far better found-footage horror movie “VHS” when the trailer for this film came up under the related videos section. The trailer was stupid and I instantly forgot it. But, that all changed when browsing Netflix this morning and found it under new releases. So I figured, why not? And dove right in.
The movie was frustratingly mediocre, not even mediocre, bad really. Especially for an independent film that doesn’t have to answer to any kind of major studio. Despite being independent film, the fell pray to the common pratfalls that dooms nearly all found-footage movies that are hastily shoved into theaters.
Keeping this in mind, I’ve decided to structure this review by blending it with a “how-to” guide for the perfect found-footage film…
Rule #1- It has to make sense!! Don’t be “Chronicle,” ok? No one is going to respect you for making a found-footage film for the sake of making a found-footage film. You have to have a reason for it, a framing device for the world you are creating. “Grave Encounters,” did this perfectly…a paranormal reality show. It was actually quite clever when you think about it, avoiding the number one problem with “some dude is investigating weird shit in his house…” because I don’t care who you are, you could be a Navy Seal that uses a ceramic knife to shave, the moment you or your loved one gets dragged down the hallway by some invisible thing in the middle of the night…you get the f*ck out of that house. End of story!! The reality show crew, well, that’s the kind of shit they are there for. They want to see weird stuff, so they’ll stick around through far more than the average person.
Rule #2- LACK of polish I can’t stress this enough. If the movie is supposed to be filmed by a handheld p.o.s. camcorder, it really shouldn’t be an HD quality movie. This movie was supposed to be shot for television, so they have an excuse for the excellent video quality…what the DON’T have an excuse for is the sound effects. It seriously drives me nuts in these found-footage films, and it’s not just the retardedly transparent bass rumble cue to let the viewer know “OH SHIT, something spooky is about the happen!” It’s the little stuff too. Speaking as one in the A/V field, I can tell you from experience; on-camera mics have come a long way, but they sure as hell aren’t going to pick up every little insignificant detail in the room…and it sure as hell isn’t going to pick up sound effects that don’t exist anyways. An old wheelchair isn’t always going to squeak, a door doesn’t always creek, and shit doesn’t make noise just from somebody picking it up.
Rule #3- A New Hope not Phantom Menace Found-footage films are prime real estate for Guerrilla Filmmaking and Method Acting. Put your actors in the dark! Drop the camera (not hard, but hard enough to actually get the job done.) Don’t pussyfoot around, it’s supposed to look real make it real! Shoot with a p.o.s. camcorder if need be. “Grave Encounters” was somewhat inconsistent with this. While on one hand they threw a camera full down the stairs…on the other, they always made sure to carefully set it down when they needed to rush to someone’s aid. You can’t have it both ways.
Rule #4- NIGHT VISION DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!!! Seriously…
Rule #5- Ground yourself You can get away with a lot in a movie, the whole “shooting the gas tank of a car” is proof of that alone. But found-footage films have a way of grounding the viewer more firmly in reality. Things you would normally get away with, you can’t in a found-footage film. There has not been a single recorded case of someone being killed by a ghost (An American Haunting doesn’t count as it takes place in the time when people still only required a single allegation against you to try you of Witchcraft) so no found-footage movie about ghosts killing people isn’t going to be taken seriously. Furthermore, specifically in this movies case, you cannot simply decide to break the laws of physics because you think it would be cool to have the mental hospital constantly change around it’s building layout.
That’s just about it when it goes to rules specifically designated towards found-footage film. Really, I could go on and on with more and more rules but really that would just be me lecturing on how to make a good movie in general.
In the end, this movie wasn’t really a disappointment, because all I really wanted was something to entertain me while I lay on the couch…and it did that, to a certain degree.
Finally think I’m at the halfway point of my sci-fi novel…or, depending on how much more I write, novella. I can’t imagine it being all that long. As is it’s only 40 pages, even if that’s before formatting it to a paperback template, that’s still not much.
At any rate, I’m thinking that once it’s done and sent off to a friend to edit it, I might try to release it as an ebook somewhere. I’ve heard that it’s far easier to get published as an ebook than in actual print. I’ll keep y’all updated.
Don’t listen to Rotten Tomatoes on this one…well, that is, if you’re the type of person that appreciates a movie that knows what it is and runs with it.
Especially if you are also the type of person that appreciates action movies that know what they are and strive to be as absurd as possible out of nothing but the sheer joy of it all…
Even more especially if you enjoy things that are outside of the box.
The sequel to the Sony abortion that was the original Ghost Rider is all these things, and I love every minute of this move for that.
It’s movies like these (as well as X Men:First Class) that prove that you CAN make a good super hero movie without heavy creative involvement from the comic company who originated it.
This movie was thrust into the arms of those wonderful men who brought us CRANK and CRANK 2…and it shows. I can tell you right now, this movie is basically CRANK: JASON STATHEM HAS A FLAMING SKULL NOW.
Alright, so it’s not quite as delightful as the CRANK films, but it’s damn close. In fact, the only thing that I really think is holding this movie back is the attempt at a story. Personally, I would have been quite happy with an entire movie of Nick Cage and GR going apeshit on a bunch of demons and at the very end we find out it was all orchestrated by a main villain and there’s a fight.
Really, that’s all you needed to do for this type of movie…but I suppose the studio forced the brother’s hands on this one. Another case of studio notes killing a movie…or at the very least hurting it.
The movie is very kinetic, and the camera style mimics this with very shaky hand-held shots, quirky transitions, and a very impressive sequence shot on cable line. It offers a nice symmetry that I as a fellow filmmaker can appreciate.
Nick, meanwhile…good old Nick, is off the leash and chewing the scenery every chance he gets…and it’s clear he loves every minute of it. While the previous film you could tell he was just going through the motions…this time, he is having the time of his life. And in a delightful surprise, Ghost Rider’s backstory is tweaked slightly to reflect Nick’s performance. Turning Ghost Rider from the serious soldier of the Devil…to a bat-shit insane angel of Justice, killing anyone who so much as told a lie. It’s so clever that I could hardly contain my glee.
Like I said, the movie knows what it is. It’s an over-the-top, gleefully absurd, action movie about a guy with a flaming skull. No more than that. And if you can appreciate that, you will love this movie. If not, well…your loss.
Assembled a slow cooker dinner before work today…as a result, my finders smell delicious and offer a pleasant reminder that no matter how sucky today may get, I have a delicious cuban stew awaiting my return.
Recently I’ve started upping my workout regiment, doing a full gym style session with my best friend in his basement. It suddenly occurs to me…I really haven’t set myself any goals for this kind of thing. What do I want out of this? Well…I think it’s about time I make me a list or two!
Short Term Goals
Bench 0.75 my body weight (135-145lbs)
Perform 1 pull up in perfect form
Long Term Goals
Bench my body weight (190-195lbs)
Perform 3-5 pull ups in perfect form
Insanity Goals(aka shit I would like to be able to do but by no means expect to happen)