November 24, 2010

Famous Robots

This comes from a great friend who has just revealed his astute observations about Robots. Hey Buddy, your Transformers 3 ticket is on me!

November 22, 2010

Boardwalk Bar Mitzvah

Al Capone is one of the most fascinating characters on HBO's incredible "Boardwalk Empire." While other characters like Enoch Thompson, Arnold Rothstein, and Lucky Luciano were all real people, none of them have the notoriety of Al Capone. Portrayed on the screen by the talented British thespian Stephen Graham, Mr. Capone is one of the most intriguing characters on the show, and it was never more clearer than last night's episode entitled "The Emerald City."

Since the first episode, when he and Jimmy Darmody where standing by their cars, waiting for their prospective bosses, Capone has behaved like a juvenile frat-bro madman. He lost his cool during the liquor heist in the first episode, blasting away on some "innocent" bootleggers because he got spooked by some deer. He repeatedly flies off the handle, stomping out people who he doesn't enjoy. And whether it's a joke cigarette to his boss or a gun getting fired next to Darmody's head, he loves a good prank.

Well all that changed last night with a Bar Mitzvah? A what? Yeah, a Bar Mitzvah, and while I was a little disappointed we didn't get to see the reception, the scene was effective awakening for the future crime lord. A helpful Jewish elder basically explained the Bar Mitzvah service to Al and you could see in his eyes the message of becoming a man resonating with him. I have no doubt in future episodes/seasons we will see a new Al Capone, particularly one that rises up to inherit Johnny Torio's mob empire.

But as much as the kind Jewish's elder's words had an effect on Capone, the actual scene of the Bar Mitzvah was clearly an homage to the greatest gangster film of all time: "The Godfather." In that film we witness Michael Corleone's "Baptism of Fire" where he systematically offs all the rival crime lords and comes into his own as The Godfather, all intercut with a Catholic baptism. In "Boardwalk" there isn't much killing, but the use and effect of a religious ceremony to show a criminal's growth is the same.

I could go on forever about all the loaded religious references on this show. The obvious one is the fire and brimstone pontificating of ATF agent Nelson Van Alden. But there are many more subtle undertones. Jimmy Darmody is essentially living a violent version of the prodigal son story-line and Rothstein seems to only speak in almost biblical parables. And fan favorite Richard Harrow (the dude with the mask) is on some path of twisted redemption. And as for Capone, I can't wait to see how his Italian heritage accepts his conversion to Judaism.

November 20, 2010

Behind The Scenes Harry Potter Photo

This behind the scenes photo comes from the excellent series that Aint It Cool News runs. Man, I love this picture. Watching these films I always see the characters, I never see an actor. And this picture, while it kind of pulls back the curtain on the magic, shows how much these people care about the franchise

November 19, 2010

Harry The Big Boss Potter And The Kick Ass Deathly Hallows

The hype train has left platform 9 and 3/4 and is barreling full steam towards July. "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt.1" is easily the best of the Harry Potter film series and one of the strongest and most entertaining films of the year. Full disclosure here, thislalife readers know that I love hype and may or may not have been wearing a Ravenclaw (what's good) prefect badge at the screening, but seriously this film delivers the goods better than owl post.

What struck me the most about the film is that it managed to take everything that worked from the previous films and combine them all together. The excellent Order Of The Phoenix (that's the good guys) vs The Death Eaters (bad guys) combat sequences from the fifth film are ratcheted up now to the point where blood is flowing with the spells. The funny emotional comedy of the sixth film is here too, with Rupert Grint still bringing the comedic thunder as Ron. And finally, the innate sense of wonder with the magical world hasn't left either. Dirigible fruits, dangerous wands, disfiguring spells, and dastardly magical characters all figure into the story.

This is the third film from director David Yates and his comfort shows in every frame. Series leads Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint easily do their best work of the series under his guiding hand. Together with screenwriter Steve Kloves, Yates and his very adept technical army create a real powerful spell of moviemaking. Kloves even creates an entirely new scene which will probably make some hardcore potter fans wanna Avada Kedavra themselves, but the scene is fresh take on the characters.

Let it be known that I also saw the film with a muggle (aka someone who didn't read the books) and he loved it. And that's what great about the film. It has the action to satisfy the thrill junkies, it's got the special effects (many that look like they were made for the film's forgotten 3D version), and it's got the emotions for everyone else. Without a doubt, it's in the top 5 of best films of 2010 and if you are wondering, lemme tell you two things. First, it's going to be hard waiting for part 2 this summer, and two, part 1 is so good I will have no choice to but dress up for part 2. What do you think I should be?

**Big Ups to Olly Moss for the cool poster featured above

November 18, 2010

Green Lantern, Thor, and the Super Hero Bubble

What do you see in the image on the left? A super hero? A green one? A ring? A weird purple Kool-Aid spill in the background? Planet Earth? The Green Lantern**?

Warner Brothers certainly hopes that you see the Green Lantern. Coming out this summer, the studio that brought us "The Dark Knight" is delivering their next big hope at a mega franchise. However, this film is more than just another "super hero" film. It's a huge step for the genre.

Notice I didn't say "huge step forward" for the genre, because the fact is, "Green Lantern" is going to be different than any super hero film people have seen. When I say different, I mean it's going to be full of some hardcore sci-fi insanity. Think giant purple headed extra-terrestrials, alien landscapes, and giant green shapes coming out of a ring. Peep the trailer here if you haven't yet.

In the past the super-hero genre of films has been grounded in "reality," meaning that people buy into the concept of the "hero" because it's rooted in our reality. People love the "Dark Knight" because it's basically a crime movie that happens to have Batman in it. Spiderman is cool because he's just a normal kid with some average powers, nothing too nuts. However,  Green Lantern and also Thor, which will feature some far out Techno viking realm are full blown far out super heroes. Will general audiences be able to handle this?

I guess we'll know the answer this weekend. Tonight the trailer for "Green Lantern" will debut on the big screen with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1." If the multi-plexes go nuts when they see the Lantern regulating, I guess the audiences will be ready, but if they don't, looks like our super heroes might be grounded back in reality for a while. Also where the hell is our "Thor" trailer?

** My Dad loves the Green Lantern, me on the other hand, I'm more of a Batman dude, Green Lantern, not so much.

November 16, 2010

The Green Lantern Trailer

Not sure why it's in Spanish, but hey the Green Lantern is multi-cultural and multi-colorful

November 12, 2010

Battle Los Angeles Trailer Drops

For a movie where the filmmakers wanted to create an alien invasion film that "looks like a video game" this trailer is way too serious. I mean let's be honest here, this is an alien invasion movie not a spiritual sequel to "Saving Private Ryan." I'm sure the movie will be great, I'm just very thrown by the trailer.
(If you can watch on Full Screen in 1080P)

November 11, 2010

Mind Melt: Holographic World Cup in 2022

Consider this an an ultra supreme super sized mind melt with Manchego, Gouda, Bacon, Chives, Mayo, and caramel syrup.

According to a report released today, Japan in a bid for the 2022 World Cup has announced a plan to broadcast 3D holographic images of the games into stadiums around the world. And I when I say project, I mean basically have the broadcast be life size on the field just like the game was actually there.
Japan's bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup includes an initiative called Universal Fan Fest, a $6 billion plan to treat fans around the world to live 3D telecasts of tournament matches. Four hundred stadiums in 208 countries would provide some 360 million people with live 3D feeds of games played in Japan, where each game would be captured from 360 degrees by 200 HD cameras.
Take a look at the image above and then just imagine it on a much larger scale, like stadium scale and that's roughly how it would work. As if the World Cup isn't awesome enough. Yeah, I know it hurts my mind too.

*All I gotta say is that if they are broadcasting the World Cup there is no reason that couldn't broadcast original programing into stadiums as well. And if you're not following my train of thought here, I'm thinking about broadcasting epic gladiatorial battles into stadiums.
Thank You Veterans

Hollywood's New Villain: The Moon!


Have you ever thought how shady the moon is? Unlike the sun which give power to all things and makes us tan, the moon just chills up there and controls our tides. The sun is always the same, a big ass circle in the sky, the moon is in a perpetual identity crisis, always shifting up it's shape on us. Well if you've ever thought this things, consider yourself one of the masses, because Hollywood, with it's looming crop of "moon movies" has now determined that the moon is a shady evil deity that wants to kill us.

The first movie is the recently announced "Apollo 18" from the Weinstein Brothers. The film is the latest in the "found footage" genre and tells the story of two astronauts stuck on the moon with some evil little alien buggers trying to kill them. The "found footage" is supposedly the tapes that made of the encounter which have been classified by Napster, I mean, NASA. I've read the script and it's a cool two person thriller which does a great job of not letting us see the evil moon based aliens, but still making them terrifying.

But wait, stop your mooning, there is more. Titled "Dark Moon," this film is set up at Dark Castle Pictures, the production house behind films like "Gothika" and "The Reaping." It's a little different from "Apollo 18" in that we actually see what the astronauts are up against and it's full on hardcore Sci-Fi insanity with aliens and alien structures, but that's all I'm saying. It also has the moon rover, which is the greatest non-fictional vehicle ever.

And if those two aren't enough, there is also the long rumored Doug Liman and Jake Gyllenhaal moon thriller coming eventually. Yes, I know it's a little bit of moon overload, but just in case you can't handle all these small little art house films, the new "Transformers" flick will also have some moon related business, Pink Floyd be damned, check out the title below.

November 10, 2010

The Eagle Trailer (Channing Tatum Action Star?)

I'm always on the lookout for future action movie stars. History has proven the fastest way to establish yourself as a badass on the screen is to star in a movie with raw physical action. Not gunfights or car chases, just fast, brutal beatdowns. Here is a brief list of reigning action stars and how they proved themselves

Jason Statham -Everything
Stallone - Rocky
Daniel Craig - Casino Royale
Arnold - Conan
Tom Hardy - Bronson
Christian Bale - Newsies

Channing Tatum is trying to join that list, and no, I don't count "Fighting" as making him eligible. But this film, "The Eagle" has some potential. Nevertheless, here is the trailer, looks like a more serious "Centurion," which was pretty sweet by the way.

November 9, 2010

Call of Duty Brings War To Your Door Once More

Today as it has happened for the past four years, a brand new "Call of Duty" game has been unleashed on the masses with the force of napalm attack. Titled "Call of Duty: Black Ops," the game no doubt already has millions of people of every race, age, creed, gender, and political belief on their video game device at choice shooting, stabbing, and exploding the enemy. I am, reluctantly, one of those people.

Previous games in the Call of Duty franchise have taken place during World War II and the present day. The most recent offering, from mega game publisher Activision Blizzard puts the gamer in the midst of the "Black Ops" of the Cold War.  Once again, the horrors of real life warfare have been digitized for the  enjoyment of the masses. This has disturbed me in the past, but now with the newest advertisement, featuring NBA superstars and young girls smiling as they lock and load, I feel like the game is now ultimately "dishonoring" the soldiers it tries to portray as grizzled badass heros.

The message that "there is a solider in all of us" seems like an army catchphrase it is because it basically is (see right). One generations previous conflict has becomes a means of mega profit for the next generation. The fact that Activision wants us to be soldiers on a fictional battlefield when two wars are still raging in present time is in poor taste. Not to mention that Veterans day is coming up on Thursday.

Yeah I know it's only a video game, but with any portrayal of history, whether it's a book, a film, or a video game, there is a certain element of responsibility. Many people died in conflicts based out of the Cold War, there are monuments to them. Now for many people the imagery of the real life war will be replaced by the digital one. Activision is bold enough to tell us that everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to your concierge has the potential to be a killer on the battlefield, however I can only wish they'll also be able to be bold enough to realize the responsibility they have in portraying America's soldier heroes.

Call Of Duty Life

Real Life

November 8, 2010

Mexicans, Montages, and Mothers: The Brilliance of Eastbound & Down

Kenny Powers is the rawest, filthiest, hilarious, and honest character on television. He also happens to be a perfect microcosm of what it means to be an American in today's world. Now before you get all freaked out about a racist drug using washed up pitcher representing our country, think about what really drives Kenny: love and the need for acceptance.

Last night's finale to the second season of "Eastbound & Down" was about our getting his life back on track, sure that track might be constructed on a bootleg budget, but nevertheless it looks like Kenny is really finding his way. Opening with a hilarious scene at the border, where Kenny, like many people in our country was able to use his celebrity to get out of jam, the script saw Kenny really make some tough decisions about his life. Also, there was a lot of montages.

Jody Hill, Ben Best, and Danny McBride, the creative gurus behind the show clearly love taking a crunchy track and showing some wild shit in slow motion. Looking back, almost every episode of this show has a montage set to some semi-obscure jam. For everyone that wonders, the theme of the song, is actually a scorching blues song by Freddie King called "Goin Down," hopefully you'll feel a little bit like Kenny himself when you listen to it.

Can we talk about Kenny please? This is by all means a terrible person. He does drugs, treats most women like objects, and is insanely arrogant. Nevertheless he is a lot like all of us. He's a sucker for love, he's got one dream girl. He wants to succeed professionally, even if it means some tough personal decisions. And finally, like everyone at one point in their lives, something happens that brings reality right into their strike zone. For Kenny, it was the realization that he will be a father, and his dream girl is the mother.

This realization reminded me of the end of the "The Graduate," suddenly Kenny has everything he wanted: a chance a the majors, a lunch with his dream girl, and a chance to be a better father than this own, and his was terrified of it. The show closing out with Kenny and April walking together (are they holding hands?) was a great way of showing how real life has finally caught up to Kenny. No more Mexican cock-fighting, jet ski riding, or other shenanigans, just real life sitting in Kenny's glove, ready for him to throw some heat.

November 5, 2010

Clint Eastwood is Too Cool For Handshakes (At Least With Me)

You do not meet Clint Eastwood, you encounter him.

About two years ago I was doing temporary PA on the Warner Brothers lot. I was having a grand time driving around on a golf cart, picking up props, almost running over John Stamos, and doing whatever the higher ups told me to do. And so it happened on a brisk Friday night in September I was asked to deliver a package to an office on the other side of the lot.

The sound stages where ghastly buildings and I was the lone gunslinger cruising through their shadows with my objective. I wasn't the only gunslinger on the lot that night. In a particularly narrow part between two buildings, legendary came around the corner.

Eastwood, when you think about it, is larger than life in every single way. First off, he is tall, over six feet. In real life he comes across as the western hero he embodied but with a dash of Obin Wan Kenobi mysticism. And then you look at his career. The guy was TV star, who became a movie star, who became one of the most acclaimed film directors of all time. Did I mention he is a wicked jazz musician as well.

He was walking like a boss at me. I was just walking at him. I thought, damn TPG, this is it, better man the hell up and do this shit. So I approached him and said:

Mr Eastwood?


Uhhhh....I'm a big fan of your movies....I'm from Boston....and I think Mystic River is a great're a big inspiration

Thanks Son
No handshake. No nothing, just a piercing stare and an acknowledgement that I was was lucky to meet him and he was feeling in a not handshake mood. But hey, at least I talked to him. And after that I realized that now it was time to start diving into thislalife. Now we start.

November 3, 2010

Finally, the Commando Musical

Pulled this from SlashFilm, but seriously this musical comedy duo who just dominate the 80's action movie musical genre are some of the funniest around. I have featured their previous videos on CONAN and RAMBO here.

November 2, 2010

Explosive Data About 24 Feature Film Revealed

Today it was announced on Deadline Hollywood that Kiefer Sutherland will be starring in a production of "The Championship Season" on Broadway. Sure this is great news, Kiefer will be reflecting on not only one season, but multiple season's of saving America's ass in 24 hours. Just kidding, the play is about depressed basketball players, it's actually really good.

But buried in the article is confirmation that TONY SCOTT IS CIRCLING THE 24 FEATURE FILM. Yes, Tony Scott who specializes in making explosive action cinema with strong protagonists may direct the film about the most strongest american protagonist ever. Just as a reminder, some of Tony Scott's badass films include "Top Gun," "Man on Fire," and "Enemy of the State."

Scott is not confirmed, but this is still explosive news.

November 1, 2010

A Brief Update on All Things Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is a national treasure. I once argued that he is one the biggest cultural forces on the planet. The movies he made: "Jurassic Park", "Indiana Jones", "Saving Private Ryan" "Jaws, Schindler's List" are cultural landmarks for the entire world. Simply put he is one the world's most valuable creative minds. Of course, as I stated before, I'm a little terrified that he has single handily created the entire WWII narrative for the United States, but whatever, he introduced us to the velociraptor so who cares. Anyway, "the beard" as people call him has been absent from the screen as a director for about two years now. His last movie was "Indiana Jones & The Crystal Skull" which wasn't as evil as people make it out to be. But anyway, back to the point, Spielberg is coming back to movie theaters in a big way, so in order to prepare for what is coming, I've prepared this little guide for you.

War Horse

Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, this is a period piece set during World War I. The film is coming out December 28th 2011, which means this bad boy is a straight Oscar contender. I'm excited about this one because Spielberg's period pieces usually deliver and it stars David Thewlis who is one of the world's most underrated actors. Audiences know him from his part playing Professor Lupin in the Harry Potter movies, but all this guy does it tear it up on screen.

Spielberg has been working on this project with the other bearded film director: Peter Jackson for over two years now, and courtesy of EMPIRE magazine we have our first look at the film. Based off the beloved graphic novels, the film is the Spielberg's first "animated effort." It is being shot using Motion Capture (like Avatar) and will be in 3D. It could suck or it could be amazing, I'm more inclined for it to be good cause I read all the books as a kid.

This is a movie about robots taking over the world and the humans trying to stop them. Let me rephrase that, giant big budget human vs robots combat directing by the guy who did "Jurassic Park" and "Saving Private Ryan." Let me rephrase that. This movie is going to be the shit. Coming in 2012, hopefully the world won't end before we see this.