January 29, 2012

The Grey Is A Ferocious Man Vs Nature Movie

While there is an ample amount of wolf punching/slaying/shit talking in Liam Neeson's new flick "The Grey," the film is a lot more than it's simple (yet effective) marketing. This is a movie about what men do when faced with insurmountable odds and trauma. Simply put, who are we in the grand scope of nature? Or in the language of the Liam Neeson action audience: You think you could hang out in the wild with demonic wolves trying to eat you son?

Neeson, at the height of his dramatic and ass kicking powers in this flick, plays John Ottway, a lonesome man who works on an Alaska oil field shooting the wolves that get too close the workers. When the plane the oil workers crashes in the Alaskan tundra, the survivors must fight for their survival against the elements and the man eating wolves that are following their every move. Before I go deeper into why this movie is so fresh, let me just say, that if you have a phobia of flying, you're going to want to peace the hell out of the theater during the plane crash sequence. It's straight up terrifying. Realistic as hell, it's a stunning piece of filmmaking.

Stuck out in the wild, Ottway takes the leadership position amongst the survivors. He both helps dying men come to grips with their end moments, advises strategies for dealing with the fury fiends on their tale, and rapidly puts down mutinies by promising people, in his best "Taken" voice that they will be "swallowing a lot of blood if they fuck with him." Neeson plays the elite alpha male for the first two thirds of them and it's just as satisfying as you'd expect. It's just like his parts in "Batman Begins" or "Phantom Menance" just with more swearing and higher stakes.

But it's the final third of this movie where the movie really shines. The film succeeds at examining just what makes men so tough. Where do they draw their strength? From each other? From God? From some inner determination to survive? By the time the film's ambiguous ending comes snarling at you, every viewer may be examining these things themselves, and that is one of the film's strongest elements.

I wrote a post on Friday "The Grey" presents Neeson with an opportunity to evolve as an action star. I can happily report that he succeeds in doing this, not just because he can add wolves as something he has punched (in addition to jedis, albanians, and super-heroes) but because it adds a much needed level of humanity to his action star persona. Thanks to his thundering performance, he carries this movie to the levels of gritty survival tale you're hoping for, and then delivers even more! 

January 27, 2012

The Evolution of Liam Neeson

Have you seen "Taken?" If the answer is no, you need to get your priorities straight, seriously, easily one of the best movies ever made in the last 100,000 years. It's a premise as old as time, a retired spy/assassin/modern day ninja who no one appreciates, has to gain everyone appreciation by saving the princess, aka his daughter. 86 minutes! 10 minutes set up, 76 minutes of Neeson destroying Albanians in Paris. But in a sea of Statham movies, why does Neeson endure and appeal?

Back in 2009, I said it was because we wanted to see a calming presence take on the machine, the higher ups, a one percent warrior if you will.   And while that is still kind of true, I firmly believe that with Neeson's new movie "The Grey,"  Neeson is now evolving into the highest levels of ass kicker. It's well known that Neeson often plays God like figures in his roles. From "Schindler's List" to "The Phantom Menace" and even as the voice of Aslan in "The Chronicles of Narnia" he is the ultimate wise soothing protector. He is god to the mortals, the guiding light of good, the judger of men, and in some cases, the wrecker of men (only bad dudes though).

Which is why "The Grey" is the ultimate Neeson movie yet. No longer content with taking on humans, Neeson is jumping up a level and taking on Mother Nature itself. His new movie is man vs wild personified by Wolves and Weather , the ultimate test of one macho abilities. No longer content with almost saving an entire mediocre movie like "Unknown" with one line (" I didn't forget everything. I remember how to kill you, asshole. "), Neeson now has the opportunity to go to take his interesting career to the ultimate level....the beyond God level...and after that comes?

**I'm seeing the film on Saturday, tune back in on Monday for a review**

January 24, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Has Some Serious Oscar Pedigree

Further adding to insane levels of hype for "The Dark Knight Rises" is this morning's oscar nomination for Gary Oldman for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." Oh, wait, did I mention insane levels of hype, consider the fact that people are scalping midnight tickets for this bad boy at a somewhat evil $100 dollar mininum bid. Back to the Oscar nominations for Oldman, can we say what only some bloggers have pointed out before....this movie has a crazy amount of Oscar Winners/Nominees:

That's a lot of firepower!

January 23, 2012

New Details on the 24 Movie Emerge

It's well known to all the readers out there, that I'm a big 24 fan. So big in fact that i'm convinced that the very intriguing looking "Touch" premiering this Wednesday is actually an undercover season 9 of 24, I'm hoping halfway through there is going to be some type of time jump caused by Desmond from Lost (he was on 24, don't you see it's all making sense) and we'll back in the 24 dimension. I've been told this type of thing happens all the time on "Fringe" so, yeah it will probably work.

I might not need the time jump though as new details have emerged on the 24 feature film from Kiefer via an interview he did with website Collider. Here is what he said.

  • The movie takes place six months after the last episode of the season which saw Bauer going off the grid or in spy terms "going dark"
  • It will follow up on the events on the series.
  • Filming is set to begin in April/May
  • The film will be not be 24 hours long, rather it will be a 2 hour representation of a 24 hour day. 
While I was really pulling for a 24 hour epic feature film, I can I settle for this. Can't wait to see Bauer again.

January 13, 2012

2012 Survival Guide: Friday the 13th Edition (January 13th 2012)

Welcome to 2012 Survival Guide Issue #1

Don't believe the world is going to end in December? Consider that this is the first year since 1984 that has three Friday the 13ths. Should I mention that each of these Friday the 13ths are 13 weeks apart and that 13 is an unlucky number related to Pagan Demon rituals...whoahhh, let's get into some shit huh. But, if you're still caught up that 13 shit check out more here

(Photo courtesy of Wired)
Article: Creating Holes in Space-Time To Make Events Disappear is Now Real Life (WIRED)

Wired's excellent DANGER ROOM blog is a must read. It's so awesome that Homeland Security monitors it as part of their new initiative to keep track on how much time you log on the interwebs. So of course this awesome blog would explain how the government is investigating wormholes for military use. Granted it's on a small scale but jesus is this wild or what? Also keep in mind...this is just the shit they're telling us!

Watch: Dog Finds Ball in Pile of Leaves

I'm including this video for a couple of reasons. The first is when the world comes crashing down you're going to need your human companions and than something else. Personally I'm hoping my animal end of the world sidekick is a tiger or w wolf or a wolger, but I could be convinced to settle for a dog. The second is that this video makes me happy and that shit is gonna be in short supply when you're huddling in a cave drinking black coffee that a grizzled and well bearded Mesch and DJ Steve are brewing up. You'll pat your dog on the end, drink your cup of coffee, eat a biscuit (they always eat biscuits) and head back out into the streets in the war against the G-Bots.
Photo: Alter Egos: Portraits of Gamers and Their Avatars
Subscriber (hahahah) Karl J. Winslow sent me this profound photo series of gamers in real life in and in their virtual worlds of choice. Check out the link for the full gallery.

Mind Bone: Teamwork! Timing!

Keep Exploring

January 12, 2012

The Hype Train: Kathryn Bigelow's Bin Laden Movie

The creative team behind the best action film about the war on terror is making a movie about the hunt for the biggest name of all terrorism. I mean that's some wild shit when you think about it. Let me take a step back here. The creative team that I'm talking about is "The Hurt Locker," the micro budget Academy Award winning film from director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Marc Boal. Think back on that movie, it just felt so real, both in the wildly tense action scenes and the more personal moments dealing with war-driven minds trying to cope with life back in the real world. Did I mention it was a massive Oscar upset and Bigelow was the first female director to win the Oscar?

Enough gushing over that film, let's talk about what's next. Tentatively titled "Kill Bin Laden," the film hits theaters December 19th 2012. Everything about this film is packed full of details that should get you hyped. The first is that Boal and Bigelow were already working on it before the terrorist leader was killed. Once the news hit in May, they scrambled and re-wrote the final third of the script to include the final raid. Prior to that event, film focused on the battle of Tora Bora, which would have been an excellent movie on it's own.

The cast that's coming together around the movie is also wicked badass. Now they haven't released what the roles are, but you gotta assume a bulk of them are going to be grizzled NAVY SEALS. According to a recent article on Deadline, the cast is set to include a whole host of people you might recognize but not know by name, and almost all of them have played highly interesting characters in previous film. Here's a quick breakdown"

  • Jason Clarke - Johnny Depp's right hand man in "Public Enemies"
  • Joel Edgerton - The tough yet empathetic brother in "Animal Kingdom" and the MMA brawler in "Warrior."
  • Edgar Ramirez - Star of international terrorist thriller "Carlos" and Bourne nemesis in "The Bourne Ultimatum"
  • Mark Strong - The villain in the first "Sherlock Holmes" and the best part of "Body of Lies"
  • Chris Pratt - Andy on the TV show "Parks & Recreation," yeah not really sure what this goofball is doing here but I trust Bigelow.
  • Jessica Chastain - Great actress from "Tree of Life," I mean there has to be a female role in this thing somewhere, and who better to get to play that role?
But enough about the buzz worthy actors and acclaimed directors and writers. Why is this movie really so intriguing to me? Well, for one of the biggest world events ever, there is so much actually known about what happened that night in Abbottabad. Sure we've heard news reports and read New Yorker articles about it, but we've never seen any live video of it. As we all know we never saw pictures of the body. I may be wrong for the first time in history we're going to see one of the world's most infamous men gunned down in million dollar budget detail. With the Pentagon investigating the Obama releasing sensitive information about the raid to the production, this is by all accords the most realistic movie about a military mission ever.

I've always been fascinated by the use of media and how entertainment plays into how we process reality, and to me this film is the ULTIMATE example of it. Get on the hype train.

January 9, 2012

2012...It's Finally Here

2012 is that year and don't worry ThisLaLife won't be going on anywhere. I know some of you were concerned cause I dropped off the face of the earth for a couple weeks there, but rest assured I'm back with vengeance. I was actually at the Pyramids doing prep work for the saving of the world but anyway there are going to be a couple of changes around the site thought so I thought I'd keep you guys informed:

  • 2012 Survival Guide - On Friday's I'll be posting your 2012 Survival Guide. And while some of you are probably craving tips on how purify water and track animals, I won't be providing you that. Basically it will be a one picture, one video, one article, and one mystery "mind bone" that combined will hopefully enlighten you as we await December 21st 2012. Tune in this Friday for the first edition. 
  • More Reviews - I know it's hard to believe but I tend to watch a lot of movies. I'm going to try to do a better job of reviewing the current film at the box office. Granted I can't review them all but chances are, if I'm hyping it up like crazy on the site, I'll post a review.
  • Recaps! Recaps! - Many people have expressed to me how much they enjoy my recaps of TV shows. This year you can expect more recaps of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and maybe some other new shows by special request.
  • Hype Trains - As the wise old sage An.T.onY once said, "TPG loves hype" so consider yourself warned, you're going to be seeing some epic hype trains.
  • More Tweets - Are you following me on twitter? If not...do so now!
  • Life in LA -  I rarely post about all the wild shit that happens to me in LA but I'll try to sprinkle that in more in 2012. It's just hard cause I'm always just chilling on the beach brah.
Tune in tomorrow for the first Hype Train and official post of 2012. It's a movie I've been talking up something fierce to friends with some serious vigor so I'm going to be happy to share it with all you guys.