Film Review: Room 237
When I heard that there was a documentary out there about all the wild conspiracies behind Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining how could I resist? I love the film, it is brilliantly made and (as mentioned in the documentary) not many mysterious films can make you analyze and question its purpose 33 years after its release.
I didn’t realize people had conspiracy theories about The Shining until recently however, when I read an article and watched some Youtube videos about how Stanley Kubrick used the film to admit to the world his guilt of falsely recording the Apollo 11 moon landing. Crazy and outlandish right? (more…)
Film Review: The Guilt Trip
Got invited to an early screening of this film, immediately proceeded by a live QnA with Rogen and Streisand themselves and it was a neat experience. I always love seeing free movies early, even when I don’t necessarily love the movie.
From the release of the trailer I thought the plot looked like it had its limits. The film looked like a one-trick pony. Mom is too motherly to a grown man on a cross-country road trip. Alright, can nearly two hours of that be consistently hilarious? (more…)
Classic Cartoon Review: Avatar: The Last Airbender
I didn’t have the pleasure of watching this mesmerizing television series as a child, but I did as an adult. Avatar: The Last Airbender is a classic by every means. In the world of Avatar there are four nations: Water, Earth, Fire and Air. The Fire Nation has gone to war with the other nations and it is destined that the Avatar stops it, but he is no where to be found.
The ‘Avatar’ is a person who can master all four elements, chosen few in each nation can bend their element (which is too odd to explain, just watch the show) and the use their bending for fighting and problem solving. Two young kids in a southern water tribe (named Soka and Katara) discover the Avatar frozen in ice, he has been there for over a hundred years. His name is Aang, and he is still a kid but has a big responsibility to restore balance to the world.
Film Review: Seeking a Friend at the End of the World
by Matthew Durham
Writer/Director Lorene Sacfaria, fresh of her success with Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist presents us with a flawed, but engaging drama. Seeking a Friend at the End of the World is the kind of movie that wants to call itself a dramedy, but fails to present any effective comedic elements.
If you go in to the movie with the expectations the trailer and ads provided you with, you might be disappointed. But if you come in to the theater with a blank slate of expectation, expect a gratifying romantic tragedy.
Film Review: The Avengers
Finally, the long-awaited time has come to put four of our favorite super heroes together and watch them conquer over evil.The Avengers is a fun time at the movie theater for families. Disclaimer though, take your kid you should probably invest in all the toys that will inevitably be released.
One thing I have always loved about superheroes and the idea of them is their inner conflicts. Of course none of these films have been known for being deep. Stan Lee was a genius in making characters that had power everyone dreamed that they had, and revealing that it came it a cost.
Don’t be a snob or think to hard in this movie, you shouldn’t in the rest of them either. Just enjoy the action and awesome effects. The story isn’t all that bad either. I have seen much more stilted story lines in blockbusters. My biggest problem I have had with all these films has been the lack of development in the villains.
Come to think of it, I can’t for the life of me remember the motivation of Loki and his ban of alien monster things. That’s all fine for a mindless action entertainment, but it won’t help the movie stand out at all. In fact I don’t see how this movie stands out.
Mindless Action Entertainment doesn’t get much better than this, but mindless can only do so much. In the end it all felt a little bland, just like this whole series has. I’m also not a fan of the gratuitous family-fun comedy they put into these films. The comics explored the deeper dark inner conflict that these characters had to overcome.
This isn’t meant to be fine art. It’s meant to be family-fun. Which can have good and bad qualities. I rank The Avengers better than all the other Marvel films featuring these characters with the exception of Captain America, which I liked more due to the more choreographed action sequences and look of the film. I also didn’t like the way the Hulk was portrayed here.
Final Score: 2.5/4
Video Game Review: L.A. Noire
I have a special place in my heart for Rockstar games. From Grand Theft Auto to Max Payne to Red Dead Redemption. I have really experienced a Rockstar game I didn’t like. They became famous through the Grand Theft Auto series, and became notorious for adult content. I agree that all their games are meant for more mature audiences. But it has never felt like the inappropriate content was gratuitous.
LA Noire is not perfect. Three discs and it doesn’t feel like a huge game. Mass Effect 2 and 3 were two discs each, but both felt like they had miles more content than this game. I believe most of the space was consumed by some of the most impressive graphics that has ever struck the gaming industry.
Everything in this game is so photo realistic. They advertised the fact that the characters were motion captured and you can recognize some of the actors in it. The game also successfully strikes the look and feel of the decade. I spent most of the time admiring the graphics in this game.
The story is also very good. Nothing revolutionary, but very good. Things tie together in the end after watching flashbacks to things you don’t understand. I also found it odd that you never know too much about your character. You learn more about your character as the game goes on.
The playability is solid as well, controls are easy to maneuver and at times it makes you feel like a legit detective piecing things together. So what’s my problem with the game?
The only real problem I can find is that it is short. It’s a short game, there are some side missions but they are all bland and repetitive. You can also find new vehicles, but why? For the XBOX achievement? I need more of a motivation than that.
La Noireis great fun for the couple of days it takes to beat it. It’s original gameplay, great story, and mind-numbing graphics are something to be noted. But as far as Rockstar game standards it is probably one of their weakest links.
Final Score: 4/5
TV Review: Game of Thrones S2E7 “A Man Without Honor”
One of the greatest episodes of the season so far. Game of Thrones has been a TV series that I have humbly admired and followed since episode 1. I follow it for two reasons: 1: I am a complete nerd for this kind of stuff and 2: Because it’s a fantastic story. One thing that sets Game of Thrones apart from other shows is its abundant supply of interesting characters. Every character has their own unique mannerisms and conflicts that makes them interesting.
In this episode we begin watching “Prince” Theon get angry about the escape of Bran and all his pals. He goes out and searches for them and it doesn’t seem like he is having much luck. From here we bounce storyline to storyline and don’t return to Theon’s hunt for Bran until the end of the episode.
What’s going on with Daenerys is really odd. Qarth seems like a bizarre city enough, but we learn more about the characters there and discover some violently evil intentions. Toward the end it quickly goes from bizarre to what-the-hell-just-happened. Safe to say that Voldemort looking man is involved.
I was happy to see Jamie again, I have always believed he was an interesting character. There is a sequence between him and a Lannister cousin that feels so real and deep as they share stories about there days as squires. Then after 5 minutes Jamie does something that just breaks the quiet moment up, soon he is met with a showdown against Ned’s wife. Where he speaks some hard truths.
Game of Thronescan be a very grim show, that doesn’t go easy on it’s characters when they make mistakes. I love it, the most unpredictable show out there and this episode highlights everything I love about the show as a whole. So many situations are left unfinished as an obvious ploy TV shows do to keep you watching, but dammit it works!
Final Score: 5/5
TV Review: Once Upon a Time – “An Apple Red as Blood” (Spoilers)
This is the first TV review I have written for an episode in particular. I found it is easier to judge a show by each episode than as a whole. Primarily because sometimes an amazing television series can have a flawed episode. “An Apple Red as Blood” isn’t the best we’ve seen from Once Upon a Time , but it also isn’t the worst.
This show has a strong following, and the ratings stay up pretty high. There are some people I wouldn’t dare criticize the show in front of. But, to be completely honest, nothing that has happened in this show has really stuck out to me. The people who don’t watch Once Upon a Time criticize it as another fairy tale adaptation for teenagers. I find it hard not to agree with them. Yet here I am, having seen 21 episodes of the show willingly.
So it’s safe to say I am wouldn’t call myself a Once Upon a Time fan. In this particular episode we aren’t focused on one characters back story. You can immediately tell the show is gearing up for it’s finale next week. We start off seeing Regina (The evil queen) having a nightmare where it seems all the other characters are burning her. I really can’t say I feel any remorse for her, even though the show has attempted to show her side of the story a couple times now.
I mean the bitch pretty much doomed everyone because she wanted to get snow back for not keeping a promise when she was a little kid. She’s killed people because of this. I understand that in the original fairy tales the character development of the evil characters was scarce, because the only real definition they needed was that they were simply evil. I applaud Once Upon a Time for trying to put more motivation behind it, but it’s falling flat. I really just want Emma to shoot her and be done with it.
After the first dream sequence in the series. Regina realizes that her apple tree is falling apart and she confronts Mr. Gold (Rumplestiltskin) who is content to see this new world fall apart. Regina’s schemes to find the Mad-Hatter and let him use his magic hat to retrieve the apple. The magic doesn’t seem to work, then conveniently Regina has an item of magic, but it’s real precious to her, we know this because it has a picture of that dude she loved on it.
This little magic only allows the mad hatter to retrieve one single item from the other world. Conveniently all she is after is one single item. The apple. In which she bakes into a pie to plot to kill Emma once and far all. Meanwhile Emma can’t come to terms with being a hero and decides to do what’s right for Henry. Leaving him with the evil queen mother Regina. Even though she just found out she was a murderer and put an innocent man behind bars.
Emma, even having about 3-4 people tell her now, still doesn’t believe the fairy tale story. She makes piece with Regina who in returns offers her the deadly pie. Meanwhile in the fairy tale world we learn that Snow ate the poisonous apple to save Charming, this storyline was alright, some of the action scenes are well choreographed during the castle raid. Although the fairies sounding like bees was weird.
At the end, Henry notices the pie and to prove to Emma that it’s poisonous he takes a bite of it and then collapses. While Emma stands there screaming. If Henry is really dead, that is a solid change of pace for the story, especially getting rid of that child actor. I know they try real hard, and I wouldn’t want to ruin his spirit. But seriously that kid needs a new acting coach. Or the show needs better directors.
As I was saying, it would’ve been a nice change of pace ending, but my prediction is he will be hospitalized or something in the finale and he will be alright. This show isn’t known for its twists and turns. As a whole the show does an interesting thing connecting all these fairy tales together and re-writing them and their outcomes. It’s the “real” world that I believe feels stale. Like seriously nothing interesting has happened in this world.
So my consensus for this particular episode is that it follows the shows usual 50/50 scale. Where half is alright and the other half is dull. The connection with the real and fairy tale world can be interesting sometimes, but ever since they removed the mystery it just feels a little convoluted. There really doesn’t feel like there’s much to look forward to with this show.
Final Score: 1.5/4