Thursday, October 24, 2013

Russell Brand May Have Started a Revolution Last Night

http://gawker.com/russell-brand-may-have-started-a-revolution-last-night-1451318185

This is awesome stuff. If you did not like him before you have to admit he is at least interesting. ‎

Monday, October 14, 2013

Canadian government considers end to bundled cable channels - CNET Mobile

Thank goodness
http://m.cnet.com/news/canadian-government-considers-end-to-bundled-cable-channels/57607363

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What Stanley Kubrick got wrong about “The Shining” - Salon.com

Excellent article about The Shining. Must read and watch the movie again to see if I agree. I guess in the end that is what's so special about the novice as it is a completely different perspective of the book.
http://www.salon.com/2013/10/01/what_stanley_kubrick_got_wrong_about_the_shining/



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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

'Walking Dead' Companion Series in the Works at AMC

Not sure if this is good news to you or not. I definitely see it as a project of milking previous success, but I will watch it eagerly nonetheless. http://m.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-companion-series-works-629848



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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ylvis - The Fox [Official music video HD] - YouTube



Thanks to Gary who shared this awesome video. We will be talking about this video 10 years from now. I've added a second one from them as well.




Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Hansbrough a Raptor?

Intriguing replacement for Bargnani. Decent skills and will work hard for promise of additional minutes. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

This Is The End

I was looking forward to this and I am glad it's getting good reviews. 



Star Trek Into Darkness

 As I watch the second installment of the JJ Abrams Star Trek series it reminds me why I more strongly associate with the Trekkie sphere of influence than the Star Wars fandom. 

The film making of the Star Trek realm has historically fallen short of the high mark trail blazed by the Star Wars movies.  They utilized inferior (bordering on campy) special effects, and overall visuals and production value that seemed less devoted to pushing the genre.  Lucas pushed all the boundaries in film making distancing his franchise well out of the grasp of all other lower budget sci-fis.  And in his series he spun a marvellous epic story of good versus evil. 

Where he fell short was in directing his cast and handcuffing them with weak unnatural dialogue. 

Star Wars was marketed to adults and children, while Star Trek never professed to include anything within its storyline or intellectual content that would appeal to children.  Star Trek plots, operated within the confines of a prime directive and their characters were not solely driven by revenge and justice. Their exploration of the universe fed the story line and provided its audience with a plethora of adventures and complex conflicts to overcome.  Each struggle encountered required diplomacy and reason to resolve the dilemma.  Like the Rebel forces of Star Wars the Enterprise found themselves in unfavourable odds and saddled with inferior weaponry.  In Star Wars however, no one seemed to outwit their enemies and instead relied on bravery and lets not forger the game changing magic of the mystic Force.

What separated the franchises in that era was the technology available and pioneered in the Lucas arsenal of film making.

Not anymore.  Now the playing field is level.  Star Trek has its own visionary director and controller in JJ Abrams.  JJ has similar film making tools at his disposal and all of the years of master sci-fi directors, which he borrows from regularly.  JJ has something else going for him.  He can also direct actors. He assembles an awesome supporting staff of talented writers that afford the actors with smooth intelligent dialogue that will stand up years from now unlike the campy Star Wars talk.  

As for the technology, Star Wars' science is utter nonsense whereas it can be argued that Star Trek's has driven the possible science of today and tomorrow. 

Star Wars' future is not unlike our own in that the characters face similar struggles of war, intolerance and politically driven class inequalities. While Star Trek offers a more Utopian model of the future, and the characters reaction to any threats to that standard or any other races' for that matter often builds into much of their plot lines. 

I'll let you decide which of these two attributes is better.  Personally I tend to long for what I don't have.

Where I believe that Star Trek enjoys its biggest competitive edge is with its characters.  I believe that Star Trek offers a much richer cast of interesting characters.  They range from the dynamic bravado of Kirk to the comedic touch of Bones and Scotty and penultimately the incompatible duality of logic and humanity struggles offered by Spock.  I would further venture that Spock is one of the all time best developed character in cinematic history.   SWs offers a few characters with sporadic charm but for the most part a large contingent of them a childish, pathetic or ultimately dull.  Now I get my umbrella to shield myself from the angry SW fans' protest. However, before you start depositing horse heads in my bed let me remind you that I too am a big SW fan.  With that said though you have to admit that the most interesting characters in Star Wars are the villains and unfortunately there isn't enough of them and the screen time is limited. 

With all that said I should return to the matter at hand, Star Trek Into Darkness. 
This is a top notch film.  It leaves nothing to its predecessor and will stands well on it own.  The story is compelling and in interesting.  The casting is out of this universe.  All the returning staff of the Enterprise hit their mark and the story offers further character development which paints them as real flawed and complex people.   The most refreshing addition was the villain played by Benedict Cumberbatch.  His portrayal is fierce and convincing.  He reinvents the Khan character and breathes new interesting intricacies into the personality. Cumberbatch is a force and we will see much of him as America adopts him. 

Action, visuals, acting, story and overall coolness.  See it. 

Ethan Hawke

I am kind of looking forward to Before Midnight.  Stumbled upon a nice article that debates the relevance of Ethan Hawke.  I happen to agree he is underrated.  Check out this convincing piece.  Also, in response to some Reddit Q&A, Hawke speaks openly.  Also I read one of his novels.  He is a talented writer as well.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Collected Quotes from Albert Einstein

This was way too good not to share. Lots of gems in here.


 

99 songs to make your homework awesome.

 Sorry about that, the link did not work from the website I found this at.  Enjoy this easy streaming experience with pretty good music

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Portlandia

Started watching this sketch comedy SNL spin off show and it is legitimately funny.  I would highly recommend for a quick clever fix of comedy. I found it on Netflix. 



Monday, May 20, 2013

Steven Soderbergh on Cinema

My friend Dave shared this link and I would like to pay it forward.  This link provides the full transcript of director Steven Soderbergh‘s keynote speech at the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What Exactly Is Google Up To?

With this recent announcement I am wondering what kind of services we can expect to see in the near future.  Possibly using your drive to stream your music.  And/or a handy mobile app that links you right to the drive to see and play all .mp3 files.

This Guy Just Gets Cooler


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Flight

Most enjoyable weekend catching up on a few movies that I had failed to see while in wide release at the cinemas.  I was quite happy with Flight.  Top notch story telling, which plodded along nicely in full character development fashion.  Being witness to people celebrate and then unravel is true to the 'people-watcher' fancy that most of us humans have come to enjoy.  This film offers us such voyeurism.
While watching Flight I came to a conclusion about Denzel Washington.  As a humble, flawed character he is much more interesting.  Never to shy away from difficult or controversial characters I feel he shines best when burdened with humility and human dilemnas (man vs. himself conflict).  I also very much enjoyed Kelly Reilly who was as beliveable of a addict as I have ever seen.  This is ever more impressive when you consider that the majority of her screen time was in recovery. 
The movie ran a lengthy 138 minutes, ample time to get Whip Whitaker's story told in fair unbiased representation.  A strong 7.5 out of 10.

Philosophy of Science Portal: Deceased--Storm Thorgerson

Philosophy of Science Portal: Deceased--Storm Thorgerson: Storm Thorgerson February 28th, 1944 to April 18th, 2013   Pink Floyd's Animals   Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the M...

House At The End Of The Street

Arriving hot off her run in The Hunger Games blockbuster and Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence took a slight detour in the suspense/thriller House At The End Of The Street.  Lets not get this mixed up with a horror or teen slasher movie, like some dissatisfied reviwers did.  Instead this story takes us through a relatively formula plot of mystery and suspense.  Some critics complained of the lack of jumps and the slow pace.  I rather appreciated the pace.  Too often in these type of stories viewers protest the inelixible actions of the characters (like, 'Why would she go out into the woods alone').  A slower methodical plot allows for the characters to develop organically and give the viewer insights into the motivations of their actions.  For example, this pace allowed us to understand why our heroine would be curious about her neighbor and seek out his attention.  Another reviewer proclaimed that Jennifer's gifted acting saved the movie only because she abandoned it.  Not quite sure what they were getting at, but I will give it a go.  I think that they were crediting her for having the professional insights not to over act the role in scenes that would have otherwise crumbled under less gifted actors. 

I think Jennifer did an adminarble job showcasing just enough instincts so as to not render the script too hokey and making the relationship with next door neighbor (played with great skill by Max Thieriot) believable.  Looking forward to seeing more of him in the future.  Reminded me of a young Ryan Gossling.  Their chemistry and innocent exploratory interactions is probably the highlight of the movie.  
Don't misinterpret my positive comments as I can only give a moderate recommendation as the story did have holes and timing out at 101 minutes it got out when the getting was good.  I could not have withstood another 20 minutes.  All in all, a diversion for Jennifer, who along with the serious drama Silver Linings Playbook demonstrates that she is a versatile actress tackling suspense, action and drama. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Roger

No, not Roger Water.  Roger Ebert.  Its taken me quite a while to think of something worthy to say about this cool geek that I have followed for so long. 

Quick aside: This is my favourite picture of him.

This guy is hard to forget.  Over the past weeks, I was constantly reminded of his passing every time I sought a reliable review for a new movie.  Sadly, I can no longer lean on his reliable take on movies.  This loss however got me thinking.  When compile all of the reading I have done in my lifetime from any author (including my favourite Kurt Vonnegut) the volume pales in comparison to the output from Roger that I consumed.  That really hit me.  I've read more Ebert than any other writer.  The accumulation of all of his reviews will likely never be surpassed, as no other writer (that interests me) has ever been more prolific.  For that I owe him, and for that I have to admit that he must have influenced my writing in some significant way. 

What made Roger so endearing to me was that his take on film came from what got him truly excited  He found redeeming qualities in otherwise bad movies.  He put as much credit into the pure entertainment of a movie as he did into the artistic value that it provided.  What else impresses me?  Well, he was an eternal child at heart and when disease stole so much from him he did not roll over and fade into cinematic history.  Instead the years of his fading health became the most prolific period of his output.  He embrassed technology (particularly Twitter) and always stayed dedicated to the responsibility (or prime directive) to share all things that he found passion in. 

I have to ask what set him apart from all the other critics.  In my opinion it was the fact that he sincerely respected all of its players.  Actors, directors, producers, cinematograhers et al.  These people sensed his respect and as a result worked to try and impress him with their artisitic output.  I am sure that his was the first review that most referenced when reaching out to see how they were doing.  He was the true barometer of film,  From many other critrics you sensed that they resented and sometimes loathed those in the industry that had success.  This came through in their reviews.  As a result entertainers lost respect or dismissed them while the viewers grew tired and resorted to the critics that gave them truthful unbiased opinions.  Perhaps Roger was not a critic, and instead he was celebrator or champion of the art of film. 



I could go on all day, instead, I have included a link of a collection of comments and written statements from fans and people from the movies.  Enjoy. link

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Girl, a Boy, and a Graveyard - Jeremy Messersmith- The Reluctant Grave...

Another great, relatively new artist.  Don't know much about him.  Love 3 or 4 tunes from his only album in wider release called The Reluctant Graveyard. 
Here is another one.  This one mught be a bit deeper in meaning.  Whoever is producing his videos also knows what they are doing and are marketing him to a distinct audience.  No Bieber type marketing yet.  Hope I never see that as the potential is there, but I do not see teeny boppers listening to this type of music.

Jake Bugg - Lightning Bolt

Only twice in my life have I scored a jem by listening to an album in a music store listening station.  The first time I was blown away by Nirvana's Nevermind.  It had not really hit the airwaves yet but some genius clerk at CD Warehouse in Ottawa heard it and stuck it in the listening station for me and others to discover.  Most recently, I saw a CD cover of a young kid that looked like a junior Keith Richards already wearing what might be an ounce of his life experience on his face.  What I briefly heard was a very raw sound which seemed to come from a throw-back folky rocker from the 70's.  I heard tonnes of 60 and 70 influences in his music. This intrigued me enough to pick it up and boy am I lucky I did.  This kid is going to be huge if he sticks with it.  Every tune on his CD is listenable and carries some redeeming qualities and hints as to where he can take his skills next.  His lyrics are way beyond his years (and 95% of the artists already out there) and I can't wait to see where he is going to go from here.  Just listen to the insight of the lyrics in this catchy little Dylan sounding tune.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Woody Lives

I seems the report (singular) concerning Woody Harrelson's death was grossly exaggerated.   Thank God.  And sorry Woody and those Woody fans prematurely mourning.

Woody Harrelson Dies

Loved this guy and all of the choices he made on screen.  I watched him only yesterday in 7 Psychopaths. 
Link Hoping that this is a false story as I am not seeing this story blow up on the internet like you think it would.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Roger Waters

While on the topic of Pink Floyd.  Roger the maverick human rights advocate speaks out in this Rolling Stone article. Check out the associated links within. 

Dark Side 40th Anniversary

To celebrate this momentous Pink Floyd offering check out the following message from the official Floyd website.

From 00.01 GMT on 24th March – marking 40 years since the album's original UK release date – join us in turning the moon dark on pinkfloyd.com

Fans will submit Dark Side inspired photos that they will use one by one to eclipse the moon.  Very cool.  Thanks to my buddy Mike for sharing this.

Bowie Androgenous Maximus

Proof that he still has it.  Watch this cool video.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Worst Contracts in the NBA

For my Raptor fan friends (which I realize is few) an interesting article which names of the Raptors as having contract issues.  The Rudy Gay section is interesting. 

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/9030601/the-worst-contracts-nba

 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Tech Wars Continue

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57566376-37/apple-ipad-jumps-to-128gb-starting-at-$799/

At the end of this who will still be standing?

Borrowing a Page from the iPod classic (still the best model) this announcement totally makes sense although it negates the cloud push somewhat.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

*Spring Breakers* Official Trailer James Franco, Selena Gomez

This might end up being really bad but it looks like these young Disney stars are trying to break out from behind the Disney stigma and Franco looks cool channeling  Gary Oldman's Drexl from True Romance. 

http://youtu.be/rVvn9T6bqls









Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kathryn Bigelow and Zero Dark Thirty

Can't wait to see this movie. In the interim my respect grow greatly for Kathryn Bigelow.  Read her response to controversy and criticism about her movie in the LA Times.





Apple Uncool??

Maybe's it's not this bad, but recent slips and gains by the opposition can be a sign of things to come.
 
 
 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Death Star?

I just knew when I was a kid that this moment would eventually come.  See Link.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

This is 40

 
Although This is 40 lacked as many side splitting laughs as expected, it did instead deliver continuous moderate chuckles and interesting experiences that the viewers have themselves likely experienced but never found that funny at the time.  I think I prefer this pace of laughter, and enjoyed the experience and impression that I was watching something meaningful and at times even thought provoking.  Paul Rudd is as usual the understated comic genius and Leslie Mann is also quite funny.  Judd Apatow's, children were surprisingly effective as the young children, particularly Maude Apatow who showed flairs of her own comic talent.

It was odd that during the opening scenes I found the dialogue delivery to be quite quirky and awkward, (almost as though it lacked the familiar Hollywood flow I'm accustomed to).  However as the movie carried on I started to realize that this style was working for me and actually seemed more realistic and endearing.  And I further came to the realization that this might be more how people actually talk, as opposed to the smooth eloquence suggested in more polished dialogue.  This made the movie even more relatable, which from experience is in Apatow's wheel house.

So as the film is true to it's name I recommend this to all the 30 and 40 somethings out there, and suggest that the youth market may not find it as accessible as some of his earlier work like 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and series Freaks and Geeks.

The Hobbit

Wow, I'm not quite sure what critics expect from Peter Jackson.  No one else wanted to tackle this monster of a task and Jackson pulled it off to perfection.  If this film was horribly acted, poorly adapted and altogether boring, the accomplishment of finishing it and bringing new industry standards (which may take 20 years to surpass) should be enough to put all critics on their knees to worship him.  Instead he gets no respect.  He should be celebrated as the next Spielberg instead of treated like Michael Bay.  Bay directs visually stimulating films but falls short on all the other elements of film (like acting, dialogue, story, believability etc.).  Jackson delivers visually stimulating films that challenge and surpass Bay's accomplishments and also provides epic stories (and believe me the coordination of the adaption of the Tolkien's books is not an easy thing to pull off), memorable acting and casting as well as an historically enduring piece of cinema that will be spoken of in 100 years time.  I believe that if Tolkien was alive today he would only allow Jackson to direct as he remains true to the intent and story and as a matter of fact brings together story lines not covered in the books but instead dug out of the author's personal notes.

For those that complained it was boring, I have to ask if there is any fantasy storyline that would satisfy them.  Perhaps this type of story just isn't for you?  I was floored by how much action this movie had packed into it.  The action was brilliant but spaced acceptably apart from each other in order to develop story.  Jackson compromised on nothing.  See this film if you like fantasy or sci-fi.  Fans of the books will be very satisfied.

And after seeing this film ask yourself one important question.  Do you think anyone will ever attempt to shoot a remake of this film.  If your answer is 'no' then I guess this is the best it can be or ever will be.   

 
Just a typical example of stunning scenery.  Enjoy. 

Django Unchained

This cast appeared to be a can't miss and Tarantino delivered.  No big surprise.

This western is engaging, full of action, with classic dialogue and over the top quirky acting.  Nobody is this interesting and verbose in real life, but it all seems to work in a QT movie. 

In a previous post I shared a review from Jim Emerson that suggested that in Christoph Waltz Tarantino has found someone that can speak fluently in his unique dialogue.  This is an ability to deliver clever articulate dialogue without coming across as nerdy or stuffy.  It just plainly raises the level of memorable scenes and becomes another element of the movie much like scenery or cinematography.  Through Quentin, Waltz will become something of legend.  Book it. 

Not a family movie the dialogue is time sensitive and chuck full of swearing and  racial slurs.  But this is forgivable given the era of setting. 

The truly unique thing about QT movies is that you will leave the theatre with plenty of memorable scenes that will live forever in your cinematic utility belt.  Who hasn't recited dialogue exchanges or drawn reference to scenes from movies such as Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds or Reservoir Dogs?  Well this film is no different and will likely deserve a few more viewings just to fully internalize them.

A must see if you love cinema and have a strong stomach for language and violence. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tweet from @ebertchicago

Excellent point
@ebertchicago: Tarantino has found his actor in Waltz, sez Emerson. "who can speak Tarantinian fluently and still make it his own." http://t.co/MOUYRuSU