Tag Archives: Movies

Justifying the Expense of WoW

Short of being rich, we all have to budget our money. Money has to be set aside for housing, utilities, automobile expenses (unless you are in a city and take a bus, in which case you still need to budget for the bus), clothing, personal care and of course food. Those of us with kids have to budget for diapers and all other child related expenses. Some people have profession related expenses. There is also a small budget for entertainment. That entertainment budget comes at the end as all the others are a bit more necessary. It can include books, going to the movies, DVDs/Blu-rays, TV, video games, renting movies/shows/games, board games, and a whole host of other stuff. For most of us, that entertainment budget is tight, for some of us it is very tight.
Blizzard‘s World of Warcraft isn’t free to play. You have to buy the game. As I write this, the World of Warcraft Battle Chest which includes the game, the first expansion and two strategy guides is $29.99, which is a steal since the game itself is $19.75, the expansion itself is $29.82 and the guides another $19 each. Then you will probably want the expansions (as I noted, the Battle Chest includes the first one for a few cent over the expansion itself), the second one, Wrath of the Lich King is another $29.99. They have a third expansion coming out called Cataclysm (available for pre-order for $39.99.
After you buy the game, install it, download all the patches (this is something that for us took overnight), setup an account and then you get to play the game for 30 days… after that you have a monthly fee. Continue reading Justifying the Expense of WoW

Just as I Thought They Need a Movie About Rugby

I just saw a trailer for yet another ping pong movie, and then one for soccer, and I started thinking, I have seen movies based on lots of sports: all the aforementioned, golf, football, basketball, a few others, but never one for rugby. Oddly, the very next trailer I clicked at random on Apple’s Trailer site was for Forever Strong, staring Sean Faris, Gary Cole and Sean Astin. (Despite the All Black Haka style intro we see at the start of the trailer, shown below, the movie takes place in the USA.)

Watch the better quality trailer at the official site linked above.

Girls in Ties with White Dress Collar Shirts = Hot

We saw the new Harry Potter the other day during the midnight showing. Plenty of people dressed in uniforms and other costumes. However, this isn’t really a post on how a girl in a white dress shirt with a tie on can be hot, this is a quick movie review. There may be spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book, it may be best to skip it.
First, how is it that the longest, and so far best, book in the series ended up with the shortest run time?
I hated the director, and unfortunately he is doing the next movie as well. Way too many they turned to using shots of newspapers to transition from one scene to the next, although that is probably a problem with the script in that case. However, what I think we can lay on the director was all the times they would pull out from a scene to show the castle, then push back in on the next scene, and these two devices seemed to take up too many scene transitions.
They cut Snape’s worst memory way too short. Never mind the general change on how Harry got the memory, but they really needed to show much more of it, especially the part of how Snape treated Lilly and more of how Harry’s dad did this kind of stuff to Snape all the time to show just how much of a jerk Harry’s dad really was in those old days.
In the book, only Harry gets caught having classes in the Room of Requirements. For some reason in the movie, they all get caught and then all have detention using Umbrage’s special quills. I would have dropped the whole detention scene and expanded Snape’s Worst Memory.
Sara and some others feel they didn’t do enough to establish why Umbrage was there (for those who didn’t read the book), I thought that was covered in one of the 20 million newspaper transitions, but I may be wrong as she isn’t alone in that thought, and that the movie may be confusing to those who didn’t read the books.
There wasn’t nearly enough stuff at the Department of Mysteries at the end. They could easily filled another 30 minutes there alone and it would have been well spent.
Perhaps another 15 to 30 minutes to fill out the rest of the movie and even the pacing out and not be so jumpy. It would have made for a long movie, but 3 hour Harry Potter movies isn’t something unheard of, and this is the longest book so give it more time. Yes, I know I mentioned the time in my first point, but this is perhaps the biggest problem with the movie, it wasn’t given the time to develop properly, and ended up being jumpy with too much taken away that is really central to the main story. Heck I would have done 3 1/2 hours for the theatrical, and perhaps nearly 4 for the Director’s Cut.
Having thought things over, I have to agree with Sara and others that they spent too much time with the Umbrage story line, and they dropped certain elements of her that would have explained a few other things as well… again a problem with cutting the movie so short.

What was handled right? Well, all the kids seem to be getting better. The girl who played Luna was right on and loved ever scene with her and wish they had done more with her. I thought Umbrage was spot on as well, making you hate her and be glad when she gets hers in the end, just like the book. The battle was cool, but was again, cut way too short. The girls at the theater with the ties… oh wait, the movie had nothing to do with that….

Not an overly bad movie, just not nearly as good as it should have been. Not near the top of the Harry Potter movies, and time will tell if it is at the bottom or not. Repeated viewings may rise it up, but as of now, I think the 3rd movie remains the best, and the 5th book remains the best of the books (we’ll see in a couple weeks if it is replaced by 7).

Update on J. J. Abram’s New Movie

I talked a bit about J. J. Abram’s new movie the other day. Well, it turns out the Ethan Was Right/Wrong websites have nothing to do with the movie, per a letter from Abrams to Ain’t It Cool News. So I guess it isn’t a Cthulhu movie which is a bit of a bummer. (Of course that leaves the question of what are the Ethan Haas websites for.)
Meanwhile the trailer can be found at Apple’s trailer site, and the real site, 1-18-08 is up. The website at the moment appears to just have snapshots from the camcorder shots in the trailer that you can drag around.

More Moore Lies

Michael Moore, one of the world’s biggest f*ckin idiots and big time socialist rolled into one, implied he was “banned” from having an interview on the floor of the stock exchange in order to talk about his new lie fest “Sicko.” What he left out, and he always leave the full truth out in everything he says, is that his people didn’t fill out the forms required to do it on the floor. No corporate conspiracy against him, just him manipulating things as he always does. He and his people knew that not filling out the paperwork would “ban” him from having the interview on the floor and force them to go outside and that he would be able to use it to show he was banned, while leaving out the details on why he was banned, and let him infer that it was due to his film. Of course anyone who carefully listened heard the interviewer say that they (CNBC) thought he and his people were taking care of the paperwork. Details of Mikey isn’t very NYSE at Moore Watch.
If socialized medicine like Michael Moore wants is so great, why do so many people in socialized medicine nations like Canada come to America to get much quicker and better care? Canada’s medical system is falling appart, and yet it is the model the Democrats and Michael Moore and the rest of the fascist on the far left want to use for an American socialized medical program.
A clip about one of the many Canadians who had to come to the US to save their lives or die waiting on the socialized program to approve the surgery for their life threatening condition.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4u5x9XAsAs[/youtube]
Not too long ago we took Ari to the emergency room. He got quick care that saved his life, would he have gotten that quick care in Canada or would he die waiting for government approval? I would never want to take a chance.
See this letter sent to Moore Watch which is from a French dude calling Moore out for his representation of an “average French family” in his film. Basically he goes to a family that makes more than double what the real average family would make… or course he himself comes from a rich family (contrary to his first film would lead you to believe) so perhaps what he thinks of as average is different from most people.

Moore’s Latest Lie Fest Premiers

Thank God we’ve never heard Michael Moore claim the sky is blue since we would know it turned blood red that day…
His latest lie fest, Sicko, premiered at the Canes Film Festival. The film is intended to show just how bad America’s health care is. Of course to do this, one has to ignore that if you want quality health care you have to come here, and those who can afford to do so, do leave their socialized medicine behind to come here. Why? Because anything socialized becomes worse than the free-market version and can never keep up. Socialism never benefits the people, just fools them into thinking it does long enough to trap them into the system, it only benefits those in power…of course to be fair, this is true of basically any government action.
If he makes the infant mortality rate in the US an issue, we can call him on that now. A few things affect that. One of course is an issue of documentation, a result of high quality health care. The next one is the bigger one, and is the result of women having children later in life and the availability of better pre-natal care to even the poorest of women. The result of those things is a higher than normal premature baby birth rate, and while we may have one of the best premature care systems, premature babies are still hard to keep alive. So America’s high quality, and affordable health care has resulted in more premature babies, which is why we have a higher infant mortality rate than some socialized medicine countries.
When the film comes out, I am sure you can count on a full report on all the lies the movie has just like there were for all his other movies.
How do you tell when Moore is lieing or telling half truths? His mouth moves… of the lawyers for his mouth moves… or he shows you anything… He never did apologized to the one Florida paper, or pay their requested $1 fee, for altering a headline and moving the date in his last lie fest (you know, the one about 9/11)… but I won’t go into all that again…
Way too many people think that just because Moore’s films, and Gore’s film are “documentaries” they must be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when they are not. They are clever manipulation of the real facts to fit their agenda.

This is What Happens When You Find a Stranger in the Alps

I was watching The Big Lebowski, perhaps one of the funnies movies ever (abide, profanity filled, but still very funny). This was on cable TV so they had to cut some of the profanity out. When Walter (John Goodman), is smashing what he thinks is Larry Sellers car, he says in the cable version “You see what happens! This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!” Originally of course it was “…what happens when you f*ck a stranger in the *ss.” (A small aside, the show Branded, that they talk about around this time was a real show.) I am not sure what led them to decide the “…find a stranger in the Alps” would be a good substitutes, but it was one of the funniest substitutions ever…
Oh here is a video of it.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YHXdnWLvH4[/youtube]
I have to say, it may be nearly as funny as the original. Applause for the person who came up with that line.

New Order of the Phoenix Trailer Out

The new trailer for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5) is out, and it looks very exciting. Check it out at Yahoo! Movies. Order of the Phoenix may be one of my favorite books in the Harry Potter series, ahead of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) which has many revelations that has everyone in eager anticipation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7).
Anyhow, the trailer looks like the movie will be very good. Obviously it can’t compare to the book, but it looks like it will be one of the best, if not the best movie in the series.

The Trailer for 300 Hits the Web and More Trailers

The trailer for Frank Miller’s 300 hit the web. It isn’t a high quality trailer, but it serves well enough to show how exciting it looks like it will be. Frank Miller is also the author of Sin City, another graphic novel that was turned into a equally visually impressive and entertaining movie. 300 shows many impressive visuals itself.
From the official 300 Site:

Based on the epic graphic novel by Frank Miller, 300 is a ferocious retelling of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae in which King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and 300 Spartans fought to the death against Xerxes and his massive Persian army. Facing insurmountable odds, their valor and sacrifice inspire all of Greece to unite against their Persian enemy, drawing a line in the sand for democracy. The film brings Miller’s (Sin City) acclaimed graphic novel to life by combining live action with virtual backgrounds that capture his distinct vision of this ancient historic tale.

Well, I for one can’t wait. It’s visual style is very cool, not to mention it should be a good story.
Other trailers you need to check out.
Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto – A movie about the Mayan culture, and done in Mayan, so no English. It looks to be a very good movie. I don’t know how strong the reception will be, even without Mel’s negative publicity, seeing how the movie’s dialog is in Mayan. I anticipate a short theater run and quick to video release on this one. The anthropological movie crowd probably isn’t as big as the religious movie crowds are.
The Fountain – Staring Hugh Jackman as a man who struggles for thousands of years to save the woman he loves. The story behind the beyond amazing special effects is very cool. The director hired a macro photography expert to film things such as chemical reactions in petri dishes. The story looks amazing, the style is jaw dropping. This is a must watch film and trailer.

The U.S. Vs John Lennon

Coming out near John Lennon’s birthday will be The U.S. Vs John Lennon:

[gv data=”yqiV0f3p3yI”][/gv]
(high quality trailer here)

The government had huge FBI and CIA files against Lennon, and those CIA files are still largely classified, more then 25 years after Lennon’s assassination.

I have to wonder if the film will cover the various conspiracy theories that Mark David Chapman was little more then a manchurian candidate, programmed to kill Lennon, or take the fall for assassination.
One can go fairly deep down the rabbit hole on those theories. Some of the wilder/crazier ideas out there:

  • Jose Perdomo, the doorman, was the one who actually killed Lennon. This is based largely on the fact that Perdomo was involved with the CIA and the Bay of Pigs Invasion and a friend of Frank Sturgis. While he may have been involved with the Bay of Pigs and Sturgis, this particular theory is generally unreliable as the main proponent of the theory goes on to blame a Zionist conspiracy. So perhaps a bit of a loon
  • The CIA, whom one needs to recall that George H. W. Bush was briefly CIA Director, was also involved with the assassination attempt on Ronald Regan. The rabbit hole goes even deeper here, with accusations that Bush was involved with CIA activites all the way back to the supposed CIA killing of Kennedy and even before with recruiting for the Bay of Pigs, so who knows how much any of the Bush connections to the Lennon assassination can be taken seriously. This isn’t to say that I believe that Oswald acted alone, but that starts getting a little too far out there.
  • Lennon was one of the latter CIA led assissnations on big music stars of the time that were seen as a threat. This includes the death of Bob Marley. The story here is that Bob Marley got his cancer from a pair of boots given to him by Carl Colby, son of CIA Director William Colby. The boots had a bit of coper wire that stabbed Marley in the same toe that latter got cancer that spread and caused his death. This is another one that is a bit out there, but perhaps not as much as the above two.

Clearly, the government had the motive and means to kill Lennon, but I have to doubt the conspiracy theories. It just seems too wild to think that Mark David Chapman was manchurian candidate.

First 24 Minutes of A Scanner Darkly Online

You can view the first 24 minutes of A Scanner Darkly online.
Scanner Darkly uses interpolated rotoscoping, basically meaning that they filmed live actors on live sets, then placed animation over them, giving the film an unusual look.
The film takes place in the very near future (7 years) and stars Keanu Reeves, Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jr., Rory Cochrane, Winona Ryder and others. The plot is kind of hard to summarize as I haven’t read the book. Nearly as I can tell is that there is a new drug out there called D, which is highly addictive and dangerous. Meanwhile there is lots of spying on everything that everyone does. Keanu, the main star, is a reluctant undercover officer, who wears a scrambler suit, must now spy on his friends… Bad summary, watch the trailer (below), then if it looks cool, follow the link above and check out the clip.
The trailer can be found here:
[gv data=”oVnvilLFk2Y”][/gv]

Digital Projection at the Theater

The news out there is that the big three theater chains (AMC, Cinimark, and Regal) may raise $1 billion to convert 13,000 screens to digital projection (news). No word if that would be for the newer 4k projectors or not, one would hope.
The report says, “Theater owners plan to spend about $75,000 per screen to rip out film projectors and replace them with digital systems that promise higher-quality pictures and lower costs, and faster delivery of films over cable or satellite connections.” Let’s be clear, it isn’t a better quality picture, even at 4k. Until they can remove compression, and project motion RAW at a good resolution, you can’t beat film. However, most people probably won’t notice too much to care anyhow, so I guess that is a fairly moot point. Besides, most movies, even if filmed an film, are edited digitally, so I guess the resolution, color issues don’t actually matter anyhow. Lower cost is an important point, but unfortunately it doesn’t mean a lower cost to the theater unless the studios are willing to take smaller cuts of the ticket sales. The lease of the film print itself isn’t what makes going to the movie expensive, it is the fact that the theater doesn’t make money off ticket sales. With a studio taking 90%+ of the ticket sales for the first week or so, it is little wonder why the theater has to charge so much as the concession stand. The studios have to rethink the way they do business if the theater industry is going to survive, and the studios should subsidize the cost of the switch themselves.
What digital projection does for the theaters is give them more options of what they can show. Deals could be made with Pay Per View to allow them to show say a boxing match at the theater. ABC could make a deal with some chains to show the season premier of Lost a week early at the theaters. Digital projection gives theaters more options. It makes them easier places to rent out for doing presentations and the like, imagine somebody doing a Power Point presentation on a big screen. Game developers could develop mass player games where everyone gets a controller and helps play a game of some type.
Of course it doesn’t solve the problem of the bad points of a movie going experience, noisy kids, people talking, cell phones and the like. This is mentioned just as much as cost when people say why they don’t go to theaters. (Many people complain about the picture being out of focus, but I haven’t noticed that at the local theaters.)
The studios may blame piracy for falls sales at the theater, but the truth is the cost issue which is their fault is to blame, along with the the rather crappy experience at the theater are to blame. Piracy just gives them an invalid reason to put restrictions on fair use, since the Government isn’t smart enough to know the problem is created by the studios themselves, and the theater experience… but I am getting off topic…
Anyhow, this has the potential to be good news, we’ll see what comes of it all later.

Superman, Pirates, Spiderman 3, and V for Vendetta

Okay, I didn’t make it to the movie theater for ages. I missed tons of movies that I wanted to see, but I’ll probably have to make it out for Superman Returns and Pirates of the Caribian… Reason enough to see Superman Returns would be to see the Spiderman 3 trailer on the big screen… the black suit… I doubt we’ll see Venom unleashed this round, but I would guess we’ll see him next time. I can’t wait! The first Pirates movie was great fun, and the new one looks nearly as much fun.
Meanwhile, Sara and I watched V for Vendetta. I liked the movie a lot… Sara on the other hand seems to feel it may be one of the most important movies of our time. I haven’t read the books yet, but if they are like Alan Moore says, then I can see why he is upset, but I can also see why the Wachowski Brothers updated it to reflect something people would understand better then the purer fascism that the book supposedly has. The movie has more of a Theocracy, and is more clearly based on an extreme form of the Bush administration than a fascist regime. Anyhow, it is still a very good movie and comes highly recommended. It comes to DVD August 1st, so get it.

More Happiness to the Point of Crying

The announcement that the original Star Wars trilogy would come out soon was dampered some by the fact that it isn’t going to be a good transfer, but the old Laser Disk transfer, meaning it won’t be anamorphic widescreen. Still, I’ll buy it just to see Han Shoot first… well shoot since Greedo didn’t shoot back…
Anyhow, further good news came out recently that this September will see a limited four month re-issue Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut, I have no idea if this is simply a reprint of the version that went out of print, or slightly enhanced such as an anamorphic widescreen transfer, however that doesn’t matter.
The reason it doesn’t matter is that in 2007, to celebrate the 25th aniversory of the film, we will get a limited theatrical run of Blade Runner: The Final Cut, Ridley Scott’s definitive version of the film. Then after that we’ll get a multi-disc set featuring the original theatrical version of the film, both American and International cuts, the Directors Cut and the Final Cut version, all with loads of extras. I can’t wait.
Blade Runner is without a doubt the Best Science Fiction Movie of All Time.

Who Killed the Electric Car

Who Killed the Electric Car is a new exciting movie coming out this summer. Not exciting in the action sense, but in the it is about time sense. Aside from the global warming fear mongering BS that they engage in on the site, and one would presume in the movie, it is a very well done site and I look forward to watching this movie. A trailer is on the site and at Apple’s trailer site, where you can get it in HD if you want.
They bring up a good point about the replacement part industry being in trouble if electric cars had taken off.

I am so Happy I am Crying

The original theatrical versions of Star Wars will be coming to DVD for a very limited time on September 12th (story). Once again Han will shoot first! I don’t have much of a problem with cleaning the digital effects up, so long as we could get the original versions, and now we can. I did have a problem with Han shooting in reaction to Greedo (sp?) shooting at him, but that was the only change I really had a problem with in the Special Editions. Oh what a happy wonderful world it is. The original versions! Oh joy! Excuse me, I need a tissue… “I am a little verklempt. A little emotional, little verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic. Innocent independent civilian contractors were working on the second Death Star when Luke destroyed it in Return of the Jedi. Discus!” (Apparently, George Lucas responded to that very accusation, from the movie Clerks, in his commentary track for Attack of the Clones, he says something to the effect of termite-like Geonosians would have been hired by the Empire, so there was no problem in killing them.1 “There I feel better. Who knew this day would actually happen.”
(The verklempt bit is a nod to Mike Myer’s Linda Richman character on SNL.)
This obviously means I shouldn’t buy the Special Edition set as I was going to…

Speaking of May Day

Speaking of May Day, Robin Hardy’s follow up to his original cult classic, The Wicker Man finally seems set to start filming. It has gone through a few name changes, from “The Riding of the Laddie,” to “May Day” where Sean Astin and Vanessa Redgrave joined the cast with Christopher Lee (who plays a different character then he did in the first movie). The current working title is “Cowboys for Christ,” a title I would have to think would get renamed for the US release, given the current market. I would think one of the two original titles would be best. There is a remake of the original being made over the strong objections of Hardy, staring Nicolas Cage, with Ellen Burstyn in place of the Christopher Lee role… they added a killer bee scene and have apparently made a few other odd, inexplicable changes to the original… it’s one thing to move the movie from Scotland to the US, it’s another to change things to the degree they apparently are.