I want to mock this film. I tend to dislike when Jack Black is all Jack-Black-ing out, making faces and saying silly nonsense. But I watch this trailer and am reminded that it’s by the same people who did Night at the Museum which was such a fun movie, and this movie looks fun too. It is highly unlikely that I’ll go see this in the theater for $10, let alone pay $13 to see it in 3D, but I can easily see myself watching this at home at some point and feeling good about it.
Having completely come to terms with the fact that Hollywood is content with turning out remakes and sequel, I first saw this trailer with an open mind… and it was blown away. Early reviews of this film are heaping praises on the little girl and on the film overall, and it makes me very excited. I will, somehow, manage to see this movie. Soon. If for no other reason than because I can’t let Jonah Hex be the last western I’ve seen on the big screen. That must be rectified.
Also, Black Swan goes wider this week and might actually be playing in a theater near you…
Overall, I am very pleased with it. Who am I kidding? This was just awesome! It is the epitome of everything I love about the zombie genre.
First off, it isn’t about the zombies. Frankly, I hate movies or shows where people try to protect the zombies (or love them) or where the undead are just not living but go around talking and stuff. Here, zombies are used the way I feel they are best used, as a setting.
The only real complaint that I have about the show is a similar complaint I seem to have with many movies and TV shows these days: poor communication of time passage. When you sharply cut from one scene to the next, my brain assumes that either these events are happening at the same time, in succession or that one is shortly after the one preceding it. If you have a character say, “I’ll go do this.” and then sharp cut to a scene taking place in the same setting as the previous one and the guy who said he was leaving is still there, my brain assumes he has not left yet. The Walking Dead did this once only it was supposed to be that the guy had gone and come back and a couple of hours had passed.
That issue aside, The Walking Dead on AMC was just fantastic. I look forward to owning this on DVD or Blu-Ray, and to seeing season two next fall. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.
I suppose it was inevitable. Hollywood is either remaking, updating or finally bringing to the big screen every idea someone else already had. Watching the trailer for this movie does not make me want to see it at all. I suppose if I had kids my view might be different, but I don’t so it isn’t. If I ever see this movie it will be on accident or under heavy protest.
It’s about damn time. That’s right, after I rail against Hollywood not having any new ideas I’m going to applaud them for finally making a sequel to Tron. I don’t have rose colored glasses on. I know the original was silly, plagued with bad dialog and the special effects might have looked fantastic to an eight year old kid but were actually pretty awful, but the fact remains that it was deeply influential to me. I mean, I grew up to be a programmer. It was the shell of the idea of Tron that was so good, that something special was going on inside computers, and I’m excited that it is being revisited. I worry, however that it might be too late. No, we haven’t invented full-on virtual reality yet, but unless the movie is hiding some big surprises it doesn’t look to have advanced much further than the 1982 shell of the original: there is a world inside the machines where programs fight for survival. But ultimately it doesn’t matter. I’ve been itching for a sequel to Tron for so long that there is almost nothing that will stop me from seeing this film. Not rain, nor sleet, nor bad reviews. This weekend, Tron: Legacy will be seen.
Paul Rudd is one of those actors that I’ll see practically any movie he does. Reese Witherspoon too. The only thing this movie has against it is Owen Wilson. I just can’t stand him. Nonetheless, this movie looks pretty good. Since I’ll be seeing Tron, I doubt I’ll make it to see this movie this weekend, but I’ll gladly see it later on at some point. If you aren’t seeing Tron and you aren’t a kid, this would be a good movie to spend your $10 on.
Someone I know, after seeing this movie, described it thusly: I love it when people get tricked into seeing a horror film. For people who don’t watch trailers to avoid spoilers, this description fits because on the surface the film is about a ballet dancer who is getting older (but by no means old) who is struggling with possibly losing her place in the company (and more) to a younger dancer. But if you’ve seen the trailer, then you know that isn’t the whole story. The thriller and horror elements are what draws me to Black Swan… well, that and I’ve been told there is a hot sex scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that. Since I’m unsure I could drag the wife to see it in the theater, I probably won’t, but I’ve already put this in my Netflix queue.
I’m a sucker for underdog sports films, and this one looks to be real good. With so much else fighting for my box office dollar, I doubt this will be something I see in the theater, but I’ll happily see it later on, and I’m sure that I’ll wish I’d seen it sooner.
After skipping a number of Gamer Banters, this month’s topic caught my attention: “What was your favorite game you played this year?”
I played a few games this year that I really enjoyed. Among them, Red Dead Redemption and Dead Rising 2 (and Case Zero) and Free Realms and Wizard 101 and a slew of others… but the standout, the one that has to be my favorite game of 2010 is the little indie that could, Minecraft.
The most amazing thing about it is that before and when I picked it up, I was in the LEGO Universe beta feeling like something was missing… and then I found Minecraft and knew what it was: absolute freedom. As a kid I really loved dumping out the giant box of LEGOs and building stuff, and I had wanted that from LEGO Universe, which ended up having too much traditional MMO in it. But in Minecraft I could run around and do pretty much anything that I wanted. Sure, the survival modes of Minecraft are fun, but being able to just run around and create awesome stuff is just incredible. Check out the map for this server that I play around on.
WARNING: This post is going to contain spoilers for both Red Dead Redemption and the Undead Nightmare DLC. Continue at your own risk…
I really enjoyed playing Red Dead Redemption. The world was really well crafted, and the story of the game was top notch. I had issues with the game play, or more specifically the game controls, a few times, but it was minor complaints that were far overshadowed by the awesomeness of the rest. The game even threw me for a loop when (and I’ve already warned you about spoilers, but here is a second warning – stop reading if you don’t want spoilers … ) John Marston died saving his family and then the game picked up a few years later with you playing his son. One of the biggest complaints I heard about the game from many people is that they didn’t want to play the son, they wanted to keep playing John. For me, however, it made playing John special. I can only be him for the duration of the game. I can’t play him in multi-player, and I can’t play him in the sandbox world that extends after the story is done. Despite Jack Marston having a few annoying phrases he seems to repeat endlessly, I don’t mind playing as Jack, trying to carry on his father’s name and keep it clean to honor his memory.
Then along comes Undead Nightmare. This DLC is single player and it puts you back into John Marston. The story is set after John has gone home to be with his family, but before the government men have him killed. A zombie plague has fallen across the land, his wife and son have both been bitten and turned, and John sets off to find a cure. Much like the original game, the story here is extremely well done. You meet most of the characters from the original game in this new twisted reality and it just works (unless you are the sort of person who simply cannot stand to have zombies in your westerns). Once you complete the story and set everything back right, John is back where he needs to be to complete the story, as if this whole thing were a true nightmare and it never happened… well, almost. Because they put in challenges that you might not complete before finishing the story, they decided to do like the original game and allow you to continue playing in the sandbox. You get a cut scene that explains how a few years later, someone triggers the undead plague again and John Marston rises from the grave, retaining his soul because of a thing you did during the original nightmare. This is where the game loses me…
In pretty much all my forays into things dealing with the undead, one bit remains constant: I do not want to be a zombie. As much as I love zombies as a setting and zombies as monsters, I despise zombies as main characters. And while I found Jack’s whining in the original game to be irritating, Zombie John’s groaning and other noises make me want to play with the sound off. I hate it. I really, really hate it. Zombie John practically ruins the game for me. I still want to play, do the challenges and whatnot, but I’d really prefer to not do it as a member of the undead.
Anyway, unlike the original game, which I still mess around with now and then, once I’m done with the last couple challenges I doubt I’ll ever fire up single player Undead Nightmare again. Multi-player, on the other hand… I might be playing this forever…
It might be just me, but I’ve been kinda over Angelina Jolie for quite some time. I have seen movies of hers that I enjoy and even that I find her work perfectly fine, but she just isn’t a draw. I won’t go see a movie just because she’s in it. Johnny Depp, on the other hand, I’ll watch in just about anything. Even so, something about this movie isn’t pulling me in. The trailer just doesn’t excite me and make me want to go spend $10 to see it. As such, I’ll probably wait for Netflix.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: (official site)
Like many people, the Narnia stories were part of my growing up. Not a huge part, mind you, because I only started reading the books a few times and never finished, but I do distinctly remember seeing some version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on TV, either broadcast, HBO or VHS. I digress… the point is, I was very excited to see the first film, and I loved it. The second film, however, was lackluster at best. It was… boring. The trailer for this third installment looks a bit more exciting, but we’ll have to see if they have managed to avoid the pitfalls of the last film. Then again, this book is more popular than the last, so there are probably more people wanting to see it. If I do go to the theater, I’ll likely pass on seeing it in 3D. To date, none of the films where the 3D is done in post production have impressed me. The ones filmed with 3D cameras have been quite good, and of course animated films that are rendered in 3D work also. However, post production 3D just looks like a cleaner version of the old 3D, where depth doesn’t feel like true depth, but instead like there are different layers of flatness, as if everything is moving cardboard cutouts positioned differing distances from the camera. It ends up feeling like a gimmick rather than that the filmmakers felt that 3D was the best way to tell the story. It distracts from the film instead of adding to it. So, yeah… probably worth going to see, but in 2D to save the extra $3.