June 24, 2009

Turn off your mind and enjoy Transformers

"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is a horrible experience of unbearable length"
-Roger Ebert, June 23rd 2009

Roger Ebert is either a boring old coot or a decipticon because the new "Transformers" flick delivers on every level that you would want it to. Before I lose all my credibility, I will get clear the air with these simple facts. The film has barely any plot. The film has no real characters. The film is predictable. The film is one giant special effect. The film is one giant military ad. AND.....wait for it.......WHO CARES!!! The film is full of robots, cheap (but funny laughs), and explosions, and more robots.

I find it almost funny that people actually seriously try to review this movie. Megan Fox herself said the film is not about acting, but rather the adventure. Props to Michael Bay for taking the problems of the first film and fixing them. There are now are four primary robots (Prime, Bumblebee, Starscream, and Megatron) instead a large posse from the first. Bay also does not take any character seriously. Fox exists to look hot (endless slo-mow cleavage shots will drive this home), Shia is there to be funny, and everyone else is over the top. The only serious character in the whole film is Agent Pierce from 24, and he's in the glorious COM center the whole time.

At the end of the day, this is top of the line summer movie making. Plently of things blow up, the special effects are amazing, and the pace never slows. Megan Fox is insanely hot, the milatary dudes have big guns and huge muscles, and the Robots, they're loud, rude, and powerful. As for Mr. Ebert, someone tell the guy to relax, get a large coke, and inhale some popcorn. It's the summer, enjoy it.

June 19, 2009

Heading back East for a week with friends and family. I'll be back on the 28th, bigger, stronger, faster, and fiercer than ever.

Battle of the JB's: Bourne, Bauer, Bond

I have seen "Year One" and it is not funny. So let me drop a classic question on you.

1. Who's winning in a fight? Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne, or James Bond (The Daniel Craig Bond)

Jason Bourne is the clear victor here, he is a killing machine, witness him choking out that dude in a Morocco bathroom if you have any doubts. But in the end, it all comes down to the emotions. Bourne is emotionless. Jack and James they are torn up over their ex lovers. I mean Jack cried at the end of a season and Bond spent an entire movie chasing down the girl's killer, keep in mind this is after he was betrayed by her!

You also gotta realize that Jack and James kill with firearms, while Bourne does not. This is not because he doesn't know how, it's because a gun in his hand is an cop-out. It's like bringing a pencil with the multiplication tables written on it to the time table test in fourth grade, it's weak sauce, you just don't need it.

June 18, 2009

Bruno:The Most Important Movie Of The Summer

In a sea of starships, X-Men, and giant robots, Bruno, a cartoon in himself stands out as the most important fictional character of the summer (sorry Optimus). The reason for this is that the current state of gay rights in the country is at a tipping point, and the Austian fashionista could ultimately decide which way it goes.

Recently an article in The New York Times questioned if the films satire of homosexuality will reinforce stereotypes instead of lampooning them. Members of the LGBT community expressed their concern with the film, saying they fear it may do more harm then good. People are gearing up for the film and it's roughly a month away.

The civil rights facing the LGBT community are pressing, and this film could be more controversial than "Borat". For example, Cohen's last film "Borat" featured a character so foreign it was easy to laugh at him. Not many people know hairy, ping pong playing men from Kazakhstan who live with a cow in their house. But most people do know someone from the LGBT community. In other words, this is a character more familiar, and therefore he carries more importance for community he represents. Sorry to all the Kazak's out there if I'm putting you down for not being important.

I haven't seen "Bruno" yet, and I'm not making any proclamations if it's offensive, responsible, or whatever, I'm just saying the stakes are high (and I expect to laugh my ass off).

June 16, 2009

Great White Shark Attacks LA

Out the door, down the elevator, through the glass doors of my building there is a shark. He lives on the circuit control for the intersection of Pico and South Beverly drive. And apparently he lives all over the place not just in LA, but in other cities as well.

I never made of much of it, until my friend pointed out that he had seen the shark as well and directed me towards this website.

What I initially thought was just well placed graffiti is actually, well, um, a well placed, perfectly designed statement about treatment of Great White Sharks around the globe. According to the site

"The global great white population has shrunk 70 percent in the past 50 years.”

The shark above is called "White Mike" and his appearance all over the country is actually the group's way of raising awareness. You can check their website right here and report sightings of the shark. And don't worry he's appearing even far away from the oceans. Check where I found him below.

June 15, 2009

Thislalife: Pitchest

This past weekend I went to went to an event called a "Hollywood Pitch Festival." Basically people from the around the world come to a cavernous hotel function room here in lala land and proceed to pitch their movies to studio execs, managers, agents, and independent producers. I was there representing the company that I work for, so in other words, I was being pitched to (so does that make me a hitter?)

It would be easy to write off the strange pitches that I received. Some of them were disturbingly violent, some where a little too autobiographical, and some were just flat out strange. More often than not someone had a great idea and then rapidly distilled it with all sorts of crazy nonsense. These usually included mobsters, for some reason the mobsters always show-up, regardless of the genre. It's if a romantic comedy, someone has an uncle named Tony who's cousin knows a guy who needs money. If it's a musical, some mobster has a hidden tap dancing talent he can't tell the other wise guys (hey that's not a bad movie!)

However if there was one thing about the surreal nature of the event that shines through; it is the hope that all these writers have. Some of them came across the amber waves of grain, some even over the oceans to have the chance to share their ideas. That is dedication to their craft and their dream, and in the days where hope is audicious, the dream they have is something that no one can defuse....Even if it does involve zombies attacking a bread factory that is run by mobsters who enlist a crack team of commandos who also happen to have fish for eyballs and be physically controlled by a Turkish gangster named Wise Larry.

June 12, 2009

Relfecting on Travolta: Face/Off

In honor of "The Taking of Pelham 123", I want to take this time to reflect on the genius of a film that is "Face/Off." I've seen it about 20 times, and yes, 18 of those times was when I was 15 years old and watching it on VHS. This was a film made by John Woo at the height of his powers. If you haven't seen it, you owe to yourself to check it out.

June 11, 2009

Appreciate the Simple Pleasures: PB & J

Here's to you Peanut Butter and Jelly, yeah, sometimes I call you PP & J, which is just plain strange when you think about it. Oh you great sandwich, that is not only cheap to create, but a true delight for even the most sophisticated palette.

Speaking of palette's, you are one of the few, the chosen, foods that can not be gourmetizied. And I know that's not a word, but there isn't no five star joint serving up peanut butter and jellys with sourdough bread and organic hand picked peanuts combined with jelly from grapes created by old men named Jacob and Jeremiah in vineyards where the sun sets brilliantly each night.

You're just a simple pleasure. Tasty, cheap, and smooth (or crunchy if you roll like that.) In fact you are so spectacular you are worthy of this clip.

June 10, 2009

Arnold in the Predator Sequel

While Arnold's first responsibility is slaying the demonic beast known as the California budget crisis, he has not forgotten about another beast, this one an intergalactic bounty hunter. In rumors flying around the web this week, some people are saying that Arnold will return in Robert Rodriguez's new Predator film. This was original scoop at Moviehole.com

"“Robert’s camp has just reached out to Arnie’s [camp]”, we were informed. “But they haven’t had a response yet”.

While the rumor was recently completely debunked, it still was face melting and mind fryinginly cool. Now I'm still all nostalgic about "Predator" and how it is THE MOST MACHO FILM EVER MADE. Seriously, lines from the film include the classics "If it bleeds we can kill it" and "I aint got time to bleed."

So they got a blood thing going on, maybe Arnold will appear in the new Twilight flick. Either way, just a rumor, a mere side-step in the cinematic world regarding Arnold and the action movie pantheon got me all jacked up. I mean there's a reason why the crowd went wild when he showed in Terminator.......He's Arnold, the one and only.

Free Games :: Myspace Layouts

June 9, 2009

Colbert Goes to Iraq

"The Colbert Report" came at millions of viewers last night in a burst of shock comedy and just plain awe. After a funny sequence involving him getting tranquilized with a dart (always cool when that happens) Stephen finally woke up in Baghdad. He proceeded to do a show from Baghdad in which was the most the exquisite private contractor made bunker or the remnants of an old Saddam mansion.

The show taped with the participation of the USO saw Colbert in camouflage suit doing his usual shtick. Some people are making a big deal that he "declared victory," but there is a difference in having a comedian declare victory and 50 year old fighter pilot, I mean, President.

Speaking of Presidents, the Big O meng himself made a taped appearance. In a funny bit Colbert asked him if his spy satellite was that good he could hear in in Iraq. Obama responded he just a really big ears. The commander in chief then proceeded to order Colbert's head shaved to military standards, the General on stage followed orders.

I guess if anything, the fact that a popular late night show can tape a week in Baghdad is a sign of things changing for the country. Three years ago this idea would have been scene as tomfoolery (great word, huh?), but progress is real (or things haven't changed that much and Colbert has gigantic cojones). Either way, it's definetly worth tuning in to see this week. My only hope is that he goes out and talks to some real Iraqis.

June 8, 2009

Review: The Hangover (A Classic?)

"Classic misunderstanding" says Alan Garner, portrayed by the very funny Zach Galifianakis in the new film "The Hangover." And while time will tell if "The Hangover" is a comedy classic, it certainly is a hilarious R-Rated comedy for the all the bros out there who in the words of the movie "do dumb shit when they're fucked up." So job well done.

In terms of the story, the time flipping narrative script is stronger than a punch from Mike Tyson, who makes a cameo that is way more bizarre than he is in the preview. There are some potholes in the script, but the comedic performances from the three leads are strong enough to keep you laughing right over them. And with the three leads doing great, the film also benefits from some great supporting characters including Ken Jeong, who seems to be everywhere these days.

It's tough to make a lights out comedy. Each laugh needs to be timed correctly, the story has to be kind of there and the stars need to be able to deliver. "The Hangover" is mind melting in it's hilarity, but I will say that is certainly delivers on warming the brain (and the heart?, no just kidding) a little bit. It's funny, raunchy, and unlike the situation facing the characters of the film, actually something that people will remember.

June 5, 2009

Movie Fakiew (Fake Review): My Life In Ruins

After a very long pre-game session of watching "Clash of the Titans" and pounding some beyahs, I caught this flick at midnight last night. Let's just say it was not what I was expecting. It's a story about some Greek teenagers that take a trip to Costa Rica with The Beatles and Lil Wayne. Right off the bat I was struck by the wild setting of this movie. The Ruins from the title really pop off the screen, whoever shot must have been using a super high tech camera because Wow, my eyes hurt from the color assault that was inflicted on them.

But let's talk about everything that happens in this flick. The Greek teenagers, Lil Weezie, and the Fab Four get attacked by a whole bunch of supposedly evil natives and find themselves trapped on the Ruins. So literally their lives are hanging in the balance of these ruins, they are psychologically in ruins, I haven't even gotten to evil that lurks in the ruins itself.

I don't recommend this flick. Instead I suggest going to find some ruins yourself or perhaps creating some out of Duplo.

June 4, 2009

Final Destination Four TRailer

The Final Destination trailer in HD

If you see this opening night in a packed house, this will be the most fun you have at the movies all summer. This is my prediction and I'm sticking to it.

Star Wars next for a reboot?

It's been four years since a live action "Star Wars" came out, and I'm starting to wonder if a reboot is on the horizon. As I mentioned in a previous post, reboots are all the rage right now, and George Lucas who his cheddar (is he a mouse?). But when you think about the newer Star Wars films (episodes 1-3) are technically reboots themselves because they tell the origin of the series most Iconic character: Darth Vader.

If I was doing the Star Wars reboot I would focus on one character and one character alone, the one and only Han "Don't tell me the Odds" Solo. Picture a young solo, played by someone along the lines of Chris Pine (who cares if he is the face of another franchise) traveling around the Star Wars galaxy tearing shit up. He could technically interact with younger versions of established characters, I'm calling it hear now, 50 Cent or Donald Faison (wink) could play a young Lando.

As for the villain, if they created a horned demon with red face paint for Episode 1, they can come up with someone else. May I suggest a three sided lightsaber to really raise the stakes. And if any of you folks over at Lucasfilm are reading this, remember you heard about on thislalife first.

June 3, 2009

Review: Moon (Space Odyssey?)

Space is a lonely place. Besides being a conveniently rhyming lead in sentence, it's a fact that isn't always thought about when discussing the world (wayyy) up above us. Amongst the stars, it's just you, some satellites, some buddies if you're lucky, and a huge earth looming out the window reminding you that you're missing the summer movie season back home.

The new film "Moon" from director Duncan Jones deals with a astronaut/miner Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) who has been on the moon (now an energy mining station) for three years. As his stint on the giant rock (or it is made of cheese) comes to a close he starts to lose his mind. He wakes up after an accident to find what looks to be his clone walking around. That's all I'm saying, don't worry, it's not zany, and it does have a very satisfying ending.

Besides Sam Rockwell's muted yet impressive performance, Moon shines fully on a technical level. With a small budget the film pulls of numerous technical feats. Whether it is the imagery of space module crawling on the barren surface (which totally reflects Bell's barren mind brah) or just seeing two Rockwell's on screen at once, the film is astounding. It has a slow almost hypnotic pace to it, which I enjoyed. Check it out, don't expect a wild summer movie thrill ride, but do expect to have your mind gently blasted out of the atmosphere to the moon. Speaking of the moon, peep this classic moon-related sequence below.

June 2, 2009

Is Microsoft Natal the Real Deal

Yesterday Microsoft revealed it's new technology for the XBOX 360 called Natal. Natal in some languages means birth, but for Microsoft I think it just means "Ahhhhh jeshushhhh, Billy, we mhusht catch uppp to da Weeeeee some howww." Either way the video presentation is pretty effective and definitely has me interested to see how successful this new technology could be.

Steve Spielberg introduced the technology at E3 and said "The gamer in me went out of my mind." So I guess if the man himself is saying that it's blowing his mind, it must be cool. The main question I have about this technology is not how exactly it works, I'm sure in time it will work almost perfectly, but rather HOW WILL IT APPLY TO M-RATED GAMES.

In the video we see families driving around, oh look, the father is bolting on the tires to car, how cute. But the biggest franchise in gaming at the moment both commercially and critically is Grand Theft Auto, and I don't know if that father wants little Junior, virtually beating up hookers and running over cops in a Ferrari. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Until then, I'm content chainsawing ground dwelling demons from a stationary position on my couch.