Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Pads of Mad Men

Matt Weiner is apparently "well known for being fastidious about period detail." 

As such, the following map, showing where a few Mad Men characters live, can help us envision their movements in and around New York City

Monday, October 21, 2013

Brett and Marvin: Pulp Fiction and the (skill-testing) question

In this fifth installment exploring Pulp Fiction's treatment of redemption, we consider Jules' famous scene with Brett; he  had asked Brett if he knew why a Quarter Pounder with cheese was called a Royale with cheese in France. Brett proved he was a smart guy, figuring out that a Quarter Pounder with cheese can’t keep the same name in France… “because of the metric system” (“Check out the big brain on Brett…you’re a smart mothe…”) It was on the basis of his right answer that Jules could “lay his vengeance upon him” – because he should have known better

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Apartment

So, after watching Double Indemnity, I went looking for other Billy Wilder titles. I’d previously heard of The Apartment, although at that time I had no idea who Wilder was; it seemed like a good next movie to watch, given that Fred MacMurray was in both. And given that, unlike the darkness of film noir, this was a romantic comedy. Let's see how he handled himself. 

Double Indemnity - the film that started it all

I've mentioned on not a few occasions that Billy Wilder is my favourite movie-maker of all time. Quentin Tarantino is up there, as is Spike Lee, David Mamet, David Fincher, John Hughes, and other honourable mentions. However, insofar as I've been able to recognize, Wilder was not limited to any single genre - whatever style he approached, he nailed it.

The first Wilder movie I ever saw was not chosen because it was Wilder. I knew nothing of plot, didn't go looking particularly for it; I was at the video store (back when one went to video stores to rent videos), and decided to start getting through some classics. I saw the case, it had some award mentions on it, so I said "Okay, let's watch this tonight."

That movie was Double Indemnity, it had me from the opening to the close, and was the beginning of a journey of movie-making discovery I'm still travelling.

Monday, September 9, 2013

2013 Summer Movie Wrap up! Big year for sequels and stand alone films alike.

Well first and foremost, sorry for the lack of previews and reviews here. It’s been a rather busy summer for me, with several life changing events (some minor like a move to a new location; to more major like getting married!) But despite these changes I was able to squeeze some film watching here and there. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Star Trek: Into the Darkness, In my opinion, very entertaining film for both trekers and noobs alike!

Well with all the bantering happening with all the changes Disney has made (and is still making) with various Star Wars projects, most of them being cancelled incidentally, many are questioning what Disney’s angle with all of these various takeovers that are happening, first with Marvel, and now more recently with Lucusfilm (there’s already an article about this, so please check there first. I might do a "part two" of that topic later on). But back to the topic at hand - JJ Abrams sequel to the re-launch of the Star Trek series, “Star Trek: Into the Darkness.” 

I must say this was a very well made film. It was entertaining, surprising, a lot of inside and more obvious jokes, and plenty of action with good CGI that wasn’t over the top. Much like its predecessor, this film kept with the alternate timeline created in the first film. However while doing so, they re-told one of the classic tales from the original Star Trek series in its own unique way. 

As a long time fan of all of the Star Trek franchises, I’m glad they kept to the originality of the series, while at the same time developed new and unheard of sequences that was never in the original series. But again, this is a different timeline from the original; therefore you can experiment with many different aspects of the story without it looking like a re-hashed variation of the original, which is why I love this concept of an alternative past. By the way that too is also a staple of Star Trek, the space/time continuum theory, which works well with this series.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Django Unchained and the sad decay of genteel etiquette

The American interpretation of slave management was a brutally violent enterprise. The facade of civility was exactly that - a pathetic attempt to cover, to sanitize, the pall of violence that hung over daily life.
Django Unchained did a great job of capturing the awkward frailties of trying to be genteel and, at the same time, so cruel. Both Don Johnson as Big Daddy, and Leonardo Di Caprio as Calvin Candie, very deftly captured the nuances of the internal conflict.

Life's Hoppin' Bob and Django Unchained's Stephen: Understanding the Uncle Tom complex

Have you ever heardd someone ask why Black people can't "unite" like other cultures, or why there is so much violence within the Black community (I will not digress to observe that there is inner-racial violence in any criminal element, such as Italian on Italian or Japanese on Japanese, except to say that the Black community does not hold a patent on the phenomenon).

Hoppin' Bob from Life, and Stephen from Django Unchained, bring to life characters who, on the face of it, seem particularly reprehensible but, on closer examination, are very understandable and, perhaps even, sadly sympathetic.

Well, almost.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Star Wars vs Star Trek, or Potential new sci-fi Mashup?

So, as many of you know now, a few months ago, the Disney Company bought the rights to Lucasfilm for a little over $4.05 Billion US. According to several sources, this will give Disney the ownership but not control over the Lucas brands and letting them create what they want…hopefully. And with this purchase, they plan on creating a new trilogy for Star Wars starting with an episode 7 in 2015. 

At first I was a bit scared with this, considering its Disney and all and was afraid that they would cute it up much like many Disney films. Then I was reminded that Buena Vista, a bi-company of Disney, are responsible for making many other films that aren’t exactly up to Disney ratings (P.G. or lower) such as the Kill Bill series, and many of the current Marvel movies , which by the way Disney also bought the rights too as well. Hmm...They certainly are buying their share of the entertainment pie, and then some...aren’t they? 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Length of Movies: Longer than necessary, or Post Modern Impatience?

Happy New Year everyone. Looks like this will be the first new entry for the new year.. This idea came to me when watching a news segment on BBC news regarding the length of many current films, compared to films of the past. 

Traditionally, most films are precisely or just over the 90 minute mark. Lately with more current films however, have been known to go over that time, in some cases between 100-125min in length.