Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cloud Atlas: Simple message for a very complex film

First of all, apologies for not getting this review out sooner. It’s been rather hectic with work and day to day living and all.

I had to admit, when I first heard of this film being debuted at the 2012 TIFF, I was sceptical on how it would be. I had heard it was based on a well known novel, but one I had never read before. Then I heard it was directed by the Wachowski bro…er, the Wachowski’s, the creators of “The Matrix” franchise. Since they are known to be very picky on outside products to base their films on (in this case this novel), and the fact they every film they made so far has been very visually stimulating and unique, it was no surprise to me that this was one of the main films I wanted to see at TIFF.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Flashpoint, Toronto and the character of Setting

Flashpoint is a hit show both here in Canada as well as in the USA, and its Toronto setting is a part of its success. But, what took so long for Toronto to be front and centre?

Setting is an important part of story-telling. Setting is often actually a form of character, and certain stories can only be told in certain settings, because the character of setting impacts the story.

For some strange reason, Toronto had yet to be embraced as a setting in which a compelling story could be told...but I've never understood why. Thanks to Flashpoint, however, those days could finally be over.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Replacement Gods: Post-modern rant, or potential eye opener?

Hmm... now I guess it’s time for something a little “controversial.”

As a fair number of you are already aware, there’s been an ongoing (and in some cases heated) debate on the documentary “The Replacement Gods” among Christians and comic/ superhero/hero archetype enthusiasts alike.

And even larger debates among those who are Christians but still like their sci-fi and comic-related forms of entertainments, much like me. Yes, we are a rather interesting group - some consider us odd; others would even going as far as calling us hypocritical or even blasphemous for taking an interest in some forms of “geek culture,” whether in the forms of video games, reading material, or types of films or TV shows we enjoy.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Looper: A good Sci-fi flick that still misses 'something'..

It’s been a while, since this summer that there was a new entry here. That mainly has to do with the usual doldrums of end-of-the-summer blockbusters, and the waiting game of those fall/ winter films that don’t come out until at least a month into fall itself. Then, of course, the anticipation of those same fall/winter films that are showcased at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), which instills the other waiting game of when those films are released… Thankfully a few of them I anticipate seeing are being released within this month or so. A few have been released already, which brings me to the film in question, “Looper”. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Life, prison and the new slavery

I’m a big fan of Eddie Murphy’s acting chops. Even in movies that most people hate (Norbit is a great example) he demonstrates remarkable character-acting. This post is not about Murphy specifically, so I’ll refrain from attempting to further explore the nagging question of why he has not been able (or willing) to do what other 80s comedians (Tom Hanks, Michael Keaton to name two off the top of my head) have – be taken seriously doing drama while still being able to dabble in comedy periodically.

This post is about the 1999 movie Life, perhaps Eddie Murphy’s greatest. He’s had many great movies (Coming to America pops to mind on many levels), but Life is yet at another level still.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Superhero Genre Part 2: The End of the Heroic Film Era?

Now we come to my issue with heroic archetype films, and Hollywood’s current approach towards it. Yes granted with some of the current films that were recently released, (The Avengers, Amazing Spiderman and the Dark Knight Rises especially) I still feel that this genre of films and possibly many more, could soon come to a end.

Superhero Genre Part 1: The final two best?

Before I begin, I want to take a little time to state my condolences to the family and friends of those victims of the Colorado massacre in the movie theatre. My prayers go out to all of them. This heinous act was beyond deplorable, and completely unnecessary. It’s still unknown why this happened, but hopefully justice will be served. 

As many of you who follow us here on this board know, a popular genre of films we love to review, critique, and in some cases criticize, are the hero/superhero archetype films. And within the last decade or so, there’s been a resurgence of sorts, with this genre. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Prometheus: the prequel that raises more questions than answers

Sorry it’s been a while since my last review. I’ve been busy with the usual day-to-day events that typically take a great deal of our spare time, but are necessary to do regardless. Good news is, I did happen to catch a couple of films during my absence at the site. One of which I will give my two cents on in this entry. 

As you all already know, “Prometheus”, is the supposed prequel to the Alien(s) series. The movie itself was to give a detailed look at where and how the aliens in Alien originate. That said, after seeing the film, for me at least it raised far more questions than answers. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gran Torino: Shows that sometimes the simple message is better

I’ve been debating for a while on how to approach this particular film. With all the hype with all the sci-fi superhero films with heavy CGI out now, sometimes we overlook the simpler films that are also out there. 

The ones that many not have the flashy CGI or over-stimulated action sequences with explosions galore, yet send a quiet but powerful message. No, this isn’t about “Passion of the Christ”, (I think one of our other bloggers will post on that film later on if not already) this one is about “Gran Torino” one of the 2008 films directed and started Clint Eastwood. Why this film you ask? 

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Hunger Games: A unique remake, or a Battle Royale with Cheese?

With the overall sagging decline of theatre sales (with the exception of major blockbusters), Hollywood is literary chomping at the bit, for a new unique teen/tween novel based movie series to start up. Harry Potter is done, and the (ugh) Twilight series is about to finish. 

Hollywood needs a new series to appeal to the teen/tween demographic in order to keep that gravy train flowing. And what better way to do that than with…wait for it…another new teen fantasy novel series to be made into a film franchise. Surprise, surprise…

Thursday, March 29, 2012

End Time Films, Why is the Future in this genre so bleak?

Terminator 2 pt1

Why do so many futuristic depictions of the future, or not-so-distant future all seem so….bleak and morbid?

Friday, February 24, 2012

What’s my name? Coming to America and self-determinism

I've got the Lakers/Thunder game on and there's a stream of tweets ridiculing Metta World Peace (born Ron Artest) for his change of name. I find it all the more remarkable as I reflect in the context of Black History Month.

It was 1967. Cassius Clay had changed his name to Muhammad Ali. Leading up to one of his earliest fights after the name change, opponent Ernie Terrel continued to refer to him as "Clay," publicly disrespecting Ali's decision to change his name.

Ali spent 15 rounds beating Terrel up while yelling at him, "What's my name?!"

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Power vs. Responsibility genre in Film: Where do we stand?

I was compelled to take a stab at this topic, based mainly on the previous discussions in the X Men, First Class post; also, to a less degree, from all the critical decision-making while playing SWTOR game (yeah, the game is that detailed). 

It’s a bit contrived so bear with me.

Monday, January 16, 2012

M. Night Shyamalan's exploration of closure

Artists explore themes. Whether song writers, book writers, painters, sculptors, people dig down into the depths of their being to find whatever is inside, and they put it out into the open as it were to share the process of self-discovery with their audience.

Picasso had a "blue period", and a "black period." Pat Metheny Group did a lot of latin jazz while Pat Metheny Trio did bop...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Number 23 makes an odd statement on accountability

I am a Jim Carrey fan, and not because his physical humour puts him up there with the very best of all time; rather because, very quietly, Carrey has built a body of work that has not a few statements towards a higher consciousness. Carrey continues to explore treatments of morality - not his typical comedic fare, this dark crime caper actually ends with a Bible quote, which  may have triggered sub-conscious rejection by all those who out-and-out hate on this movie (I've previously commented on the issue of theophobia and methinks such is the case again here).

The movie isn't really about the number 23, although on the surface everyone wants to make it out as such. That's the problem - it's disappointing if the issue is supposed to be about the numerology, weak as it may be. What is it really about? Accountability.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Red Tails, between the Hollywood blockbuster & Real life Heros:

Normally I do not make a review of a movie I haven’t seen yet. Typically we do reviews on films that are already out or ones we’ve seen in the past (this one is scheduled to be released by January 20th by they way).

For this particular film, about the Tuskegee Airmen, however, I think I will make one of those rare exceptions, mainly due to my interest in many famous battles during WWII.