Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Holy Digital Monkeys Batman! It's the a new Daft Punk video for Tron Legacy.

For anyone that knows me, they know that I go through faces of musical discovery. About a year ago was my folk/Americana phase, then it was noise/drone metal, and this time it seems to be electronic music. I've been loving everything with a drum machine and synths that's NOT chillwave bullsh*t that's the Gorilla Vs Bear crowd love so much. So with that I'm pretty excited for the new Tron:Legacy soundtrack featuring none other than Daft Punk. If the recent Social Network soundtrack is anything to go by, this will probably be amazing. Without further ado, I show you the new video called "Derezzed":

I will say this has my excitement peaked for both the movie and the soundtrack so much I went ahead and pre-ordered it. You can go here for the album's site.  Tron Legacy comes out on December 17, 2010 in all sorts of delicious 3D and 2D formats.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paranormal Activity 2- He said/she said

                                                                Directed by Tod Williams
Written by Michael Perry, Christopher Landon, and Tom Pabst
Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Brian Boland, Sprague Grayden, & Molly Ephraim

Jonesy-I saw the first one a year ago before it had its wide release, and I really enjoyed it. This one is equally as fun. It has some better jump scares in my opinion, and it’s equally as entertaining. And I would say “continuity-wise” one of the better horror movie sequels.

Javi- I didn’t get to see the first one, because just like with Avatar, I felt I needed to have seen it in theater in order to get the full experience. It’s not that the story or movie itself isn’t great, but the crowd experience is what makes it. I’ll probably go back and watch the first one now that I’ve seen this one. Overall I enjoyed it because of how it built the sense of atmosphere. You see the at the beginning of the movie why there are a million cameras all around the house, and they show all of these boring establishing shots of the house at night. But by the time shit gets crazy, then you see weird little differences and that’s what makes it creepy. It’s one of the better horror movies I’ve seen. If this movie is the exact same as the original then I see why the first got all the hype that it got. Because the horror movie genre is so boring, you always kind of know what to expect. Then you get some stand-outs such as Saw, Paranormal Activity, Hostel, Blair Witch, and The Ring. All movies that kind of did something different with the genre. It didn’t always adhere to all the typcial tropes of horror movies, don’t you think so?

Jonesy-I think of the pluses of Paranormal Activity 1 & 2 and one of the reasons why I liked Blair Witch is you never see the evilness that is terrorizing all of these people. It’s funny because in most horror movies you’re building up to what the monster can be and by the end the monster always looks ridiculous. My mind is a lot scarier than anything they can produce on screen. So I really dug that you never saw it, and your mind begins to play tricks on you while you watch the movie, and you see things that aren’t there.

Javi- And I don’t know if it was just me, but there was a scene where I saw a platter full of fruits and a knife that disappeared and then came back.

Jonesy-I also loved the story. It’s very similar to the first, but the way they explain and interweave both stories together made a nice cohesive arc.

Javi-Would you like to compare it to Breaking Bad with large story arc?

Jonesy- Yea, and they were not expecting the first one to get released, and it was a miracle it came to screens. So I’m sure there were no plans to make a sequel, and the fact that the writers not only made a second movie but a cohesive second movie is a tribute to them. There’re so many sequels (I’m looking at you Saw) that get so diluted you don’t know even know who’s who or what’s going on. With that said, Paranormal Activity 3 does not need to happen.

Javi- I thought it was cool. I knew that eventually shit would go crazy, but in a way it really felt slow, it really felt like 90 minutes. Not like some movies where you really feel that the time flies by, but this one you felt like it initially dragged. This wasn’t too bad because I feel it was necessary in order to build the atmosphere. I wish I’d seen the first one because of all the little nods to the original that I was later told about. They were written in okay, but they were really transparent about it. They made so sure that they fit, and they came close but didn’t hit that level of seamlessness that would have made you think they planned the story all along. It’s not even a big complaint, and in the end when the pay off happens, you grow to appreciate all of the little moments where they try to intertwine both movies.

Jonesy-Was the pay off worth it?

Javi- I think so, and I feel if it had ended any other way it would’ve been cheap. It brought a satisfying conclusion to the two-part story

Jonesy- The biggest downfall of the movie is the characters because they’re so generic.

Javi-You mean like the cheesy upper middle class suburban girl that’s all about the Misfits?

Jonesy- It was just very typical suburban family, but I did like the fact that there was the daughter and step mom, and they have a good relationship. It’s like all the girls know there’s something going on, and the guy is cynical “all women are crazy”, and then he realizes something is up. Even though they’re very typical, they’re very believable. I liked them. The relationship, acting and dialogue had a great documentary feel.

Javi-I do have a similar complaint like you where all of the characters are just tropes, but I don’t think that the story called for a character study, and there were no Tarantino-esque sequence of dialogue. If we’re going to look at it in the sense of the movie, then it’s appropriate. I will say the most believable relationship was the baby and the dog. You see the dog is with the baby and the way she tries to protect him. Apart from that, I liked when the sisters talked. It made me realize that even though I liked their relationship, they had some shady dialogue. “Oh no something happened in the past, but wait! We can’t tell the men, even though we just said something in front of them!” I liked the fact that they really looked like they were related.  Overall, I enjoyed it; I got one good jump scare. But everything else I was lukewarm on, and once again, I would tell you to pay for this movie to be scared. You’re paying to be tense for 90 minutes, and you’ll get your money’s worth. Apparently it’s very similar to the original, and even though I haven’t seen the original, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Jonesy- I liked the movie a lot, and it’s best to see it with a lot of friends in a packed theater. Also, go at night when you see this movie, and then you won‘t even feel comfortable in your own home.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Jackass 3D

Directed by Jeff Tremaine

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Steve-O,
Ryan Dunn, Jason Acuña, Preston Lacy, Dave England, Ehren McGhehey

Premise: A group of friends performing various nasty, gruesome, and/or dangerous stunts.


Jackass 3D- She said

I’ve never seen any of the Jackass movies or the TV show. Obviously I haven’t lived under rock for the past ten years, so I know what the concept is. So, when I went into Jackass 3D, I was pretty prepared for what I was getting myself into. Jackass 3D will become this year’s guilty pleasure because you really shouldn’t like it. It’s a 100 minutes of a group of friends putting each other through pain and gut-wrenching antics for the pure enjoyment of seeing each other get hurt.

What I was looking forward to the most was the 3D effects because I heard the movie was actually shot for 3D instead of up converted later. During some of the stunts, the 3D was used very well to show depth within the picture, but I feel that the movie could’ve used even more 3D-ness. The best uses of 3D were the opening and closing sequences with all the cast getting walloped in slow motion. I felt like I was in the room with them and was afraid debris might hit me in the face at any moment.

Knowing how long this franchise has gone on, I honestly don’t know how in the world these guys are still in one piece. Some of the antics and stunts that they come up are pretty fun and creative (of course, I’m not insane or insured enough to even attempt any of these), but I will have to say even with a pretty strong stomach, there are few antics that almost made my dinner come up.

Surprisingly the movie actually comes away with a lot of heart. Their credit sequence in great because of the nostalgia factor it plays to. You get to see all the main cast and crew who have been with the franchise over the years with their baby pictures. Plus, they show some home videos of their earlier days when Steve-O was getting his start by jumping off his roof onto his trampoline in the backyard with a painful ending. It’s actually kind of sweet. These band of misfits found understanding, respect, and love (though tainted and odd as it may be) with each other. Do I understand it completely? No, but that’s not the point. They understand each other, and in the end, that’s all that matters.

This movie is fun with a huge group of friends opening weekend or playing in the background at a party. Having never seen the first two, this movie didn’t make me want to go see them, but I still had fun. Some may not have the stomach for some of more gross stunts, so just be prepared. But I have a feeling if you are excited and a fan of Jackass, you will not be disappointed.

Jackass 3D- He said

Jackass 3D is probably the most difficult thing I’ve had to write.  This movie connects with a certain audience, and it probably won’t gain any new fans since it’s basically the same concept as the show and the movies.  The big deal here is that this is probably one of the few movies that were shot for 3D without post-conversion and more importantly without a ton of CG.  I will say that Jackass 3D is either a movie full of pranks full of fecal matter or the greatest commentary on Peter Pan syndrome ever.

I’ve only saw the first movie in theaters.  I have nothing against these sorts of movies either; I just never really cared for them is all, but whenever it was announced that this next one would be in 3D, I got excited for the possibilities.  This was ironically the most underused aspect of the film.  For those of you thinking you’re going to get shot in the face with paintballs coming at you, you will be severely disappointed.  Yes, there is 3D in this movie, but it’s closer to the subtle depth effect created for movies such as Toy Story 3 or Up.  There are some stunts which I don’t necessarily want to “spoil” for you guys that make great use of the effect, and you can tell that they took great time and care coupled with great technical skills to make these shots happen.  However, the rest of the time I was left thinking how ripped off I would’ve felt paying the extra money for the effect. 

What will sell this movie to people are the humor and the stunts.  What you do see is how sad half of these guys, especially Steve-O and Bam, look like they really don’t want to be there which makes their respective stunts even more hilarious or just plain tragic.  You couple that with the end sequence where they show baby pictures of the crew, and it’s almost a little tragic that their lives have all led up to this. The first half of the movie is a complete riot. I’m not sure if I’ve gotten prude in my old age (25) but after a particular skit, I was so grossed out it killed a lot of the enjoyment out of the second half of the movie for me.  With that said those of you that are mentally prepared or are fans of the show know what’s up and will have a great time.  I will say that the opening and closing sequence/credits were some of the highlights of humor and use of 3D. 

I can’t recommend Jackass 3D for people that are even remotely on the fence about it or are not fans of the show.  I’d recommend seeing it in a matinee or a 2D screening if possible.  Otherwise fans of the show know what they’re getting themselves into and will probably have a great time.  Oh and please be a decent human being and don’t bring CHILDREN to this.  They have no business seeing this many penises. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Directed By: Robert Schwentke
Written By: Jon Hoeber & Erich Hoeber
Starring: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary Louise Parker,
& Helen Mirren
Synopsis: When a retired CIA agent is suddenly a target of an assassination squad, he must 
figure out who is behind the hit, recruiting his old teammates and a government employee in the process.


Jonesy- I liked the story. I thought it took too long to get to the real problem, but in other spy movies, you always got little hints of the mystery, and I don’t feel that you got enough of the mystery to keep me focused on guessing what was wrong.  I wanted to get to the real meat of who’s trying to kill Bruce Willis.

Javier- I also really liked the story, though I didn’t care for the mystery, and I was just taking it moment by moment. This movie was probably just as funny as Get Him to the Greek, which is one of the funnier movies we’ve seen this year.  So yea, the complaints are there, but for me it doesn’t really matter because I was having such a good time. I didn’t feel there were that many issues with the pacing did you?

Jonesy- I think there were pacing issues in the beginning, but once the four main characters got together, it was great. I wanted all four to get tougher faster.  I think getting to Helen Mirren took way too long.

Javier- And it felt a little cheesy you know? I hate making the comparison, but it felt like in Mortal Kombat they were trying to get all the main characters from the video game together, like “we gotta go to this guy for a really specific reason, and only X person that is vital to the plot later on can help us with in this exact moment.” The movie had that very campy and goofy style. 

Jonesy-It’s funny because they’re old and they’re kicking ass

Javi- And they all had great chemistry.

Jonesy- I don’t think Bruce Willis’s character was as dynamic, and you never really find out much about him.  All you know is he was some ex-bad-ass-CIA dude. You find out a lot more about Freeman, Mirren, and Cox, but Willis is supposed to be the main character?  I liked Mirren the best.

Javier- I did too. Rawr.  Anyways, in terms of characters, I see what you’re saying about Willis not being dynamic.  What’s interesting is that later in the movie, the interrogation scene where Karl Urban is asking Sarah- “Do you know who Frank Moses is?”, that could’ve been a great scene where she finds out all of this messed up stuff that he did.  I kind of see what you’re saying; there could’ve been ways of showing more of his past than without exposition.  One thing I will complain is they tried to Liz Lemon-ize the Sarah character, and I know I’ve read this before.  It's where they play off an attractive woman as dorky or dumpy like the Tina Fey character in 30 Rock.  However, let’s face it, Tina Fey is gorgeous even if she acted as goofy as she did, she could get herself a guy.  That just kind of gets annoying to me.

Jonesy- I like that Sarah never shot a gun, that she helped but not in a violent way.  She was able to help in her own style, and she wasn’t a damsel in distress and wasn’t a super genius. 

Javier- Going back to the story/character thing, I thought the Brian Cox character encapsulated everything that was cool and yet wrong with this movie.  I thought it was ridiculous how he shows up in the middle of the group getting hunted down in a non-armored car and helps them escape. 

Jonesy- I also really enjoyed how Cooper (Karl Urban) was super developed. I felt more for him, and I understood his motivations more than I ever did for Bruce Willis. I understood where he was coming from, and it really should be the other way around. 

Javier- Overall, I thought it was really enjoyable, and you shouldn’t really go in expecting too much. I was excited because I wanted to see Helen Mirren with a gun, and I was not disappointed, and I was surprised at how funny and amusing the movie was.  You won’t have to say it’s a guilty pleasure, which made me like it even more because it was genuinely funny and it was well acted.  The chemistry was great, and the story was solid.  If someone was to say, hey let’s go see Red; I’d probably see it again, especially in a big group of people 

Jonesy- This is definitely a big group movie; you just have to go in expecting fun.  It’s one of the best action movies of the year.  I enjoyed it, but I still have issues with it.  I’d recommend it to anyone; it’s enough fun that most everybody could find something to like from it.  It’s very kick ass and funny and sweet…just an all around fun movie. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Let Me In

Directed by Matt Reeves
Written by Matt Reeves John Ajvide Lindqvist
Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz, and Richard Jenkins
Synopsis: In a small New Mexico town, young Owen is constantly picked on
at school, and spends most of his time by himself.  That changes when the mysterious
Abby moves in next to him, but she carries a heavy burden with her that will affect Owen.

Jonesy: I liked it. I thought it was pretty like you said, but it’s not my favorite of the year, and it probably won’t even be in my top of the year list. I just thought it was a little too long even if it’s two hours.
Javi: Apart from the very first sequence, the movie matched the original perfectly.   It added some suspense to the movie if you didn’t know what the movie was about.  As a standalone movie, I can’t necessarily say what this movie is; I can only compare it to the original.  That’s my only basis for it, and either way I enjoyed it. I thought it did a lot of cooler things than the original.  I’m not sure if I liked this movie being less ambiguous than the original because is it dumbing it down for American audience, or is it explaining a flaw that the original Swedish one had? But since the original is so loved we never thought about it.
 I agree the original is very well liked. The American version is more subtle because that’s just the American style of cinema, just in general.  When I watch this movie, I can almost watch and think of it as a standalone movie because I only remember random scenes from the original.  I’ve only seen the original once, and it was over a year ago.  I do like a bit more of the subtlety in the acting in this one better.  I think the kids are more way talented than the originals. 
 I think they have better chemistry because whenever she held his hand, I felt a tingle.
It’s a first love movie. It makes you think back when you’re 12 years old and of your first crush and how that felt and going out….
Whenever she gave him that kiss on the cheek, and the look of his face, he looked like he got laid.  Great stuff.  I agree…the American style I like a lot better.  I liked that it had a clearer ending because I was too stupid to realize what was going on in the original.
And then, we had the music cues.
::THUD:: Inception trailer
 It always let us know there was gonna be danger and that something bad going to happen.  A little bit initially was ok, but the cues got old.
The first couple of instances it was very effective because I got tingles.  I will say that the music with Ronald Reagan and religious symbolism really set the mood.
What does Ronald Reagan have to do with religious symbolism?
Nothing…well, when he was shown in the movie, he was never speaking about anything political, and it was all about morality and overcoming it and things like that. I found that it was weirdly tied together. It added a weird dystopian feeling even though it wasn’t meant to be.  I can only equate it to movies where robots have taken over or 1984, but there’s something so weird having all this constant religious type of things with Ronald Reagan with a Big Brother sort of presence.  Anyway, that’s what it felt like to me. I don’t know what Matt Reeves was trying to do necessarily, but that’s just the way I saw it.  He made it have a sense of hopelessness or constant conflict.
For us not being raised in the 80s, or at least not remembering, and the fact that you felt that is probably what he wanted. There are all of these fears of getting attacked, and there were all of these crises from the 70’s that were still looming over everyone, and so for comfort, people probably turned to religion in the 80’s.  I’m sure the mom turned to religion because of that and that’s why she changed and the dad couldn’t deal with the change.
I would recommend this movie; I just like that it’s a different take on the vampire lore.  You see the loneliness Abby feels, the isolation she has gone through, and you see who she attaches herself to, and how that person always ends up dying.  Who knows what number caretaker Richard Jenkins was…  (Who by the way was awesome!)
What I liked about Abby’s character was how she put herself in danger in order to impress Owen, like the Now and Later scene, but I wonder if she did that with Caretaker #1?  That in a way makes me feel bad because she probably has done this so many times that she knows how to get an emotional reaction out of people. That’s more manipulative than she was made out to be.
And that actually plays on the title because the original one is “LET THE RIGHT ONE IN” because she would choose the right person to let into her world or that you have a choice.  This is just “LET ME IN”, and that title seems more forceful, which goes along with what you said about Abby being manipulative.
Then I wonder if it was Matt Reeves’s intention to focus on that aspect. It’s weird because it’s the same actions she did in the original, yet I didn’t get the manipulative impression.
In major difference is the American version didn’t show that she was really a boy like the original did.  Personally, I liked that.
Well she’s a boy, that’s the whole thing, that’s explained in the book. And his origins were in the colonial times and for some reason he was castrated.  Why did you like that aspect being left out?
I don’t think movie going audiences are mature to handle that situation, and I don’t want the movie ruined because someone thinks it’s funny. It might be an American audience thing, but you just couldn’t show that scene in a mainstream movie. You have to be so careful to put that in there with the right tone and the right pacing for that to come across and for people not to laugh
That bugs me a little that people aren’t mature enough for that.
I don’t think you lost anything by not having it in there.  All that matters is she’s a vampire, and unfortunately, if they had kept it, then you would’ve had to deal with a story of two 12 year old boys falling in love, and unfortunately, America can’t handle it either. Most people are just not ready for that
And yet that’s exactly what they’re seeing
If they choose to see it that way.
My counter argument is that this is a very specifically made movie. You’re going to get people that like indie-horror or high concept horror, and in order to be on board you have to be open to things.  So, even though you’re right nothing was lost by not having it there, I think that the audience that this was targeted for, cause let’s face it this movie is not gonna make a ton of money, would have respected the story.  I feel that it’s already too brainy for a lot of people. So I
figure if you make it brainy, you might as well throw that in there.

Conclusion: It’s a very worthy adaptation of the original Swedish LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.  There are some stylistic differences that show Matt Reeves’ skills that were not apparent with CLOVERFIELD. There are elements of the story that are changed completely to varying effects, ie the opening sequence. The actors in this movie are superior to the original movie with special kudos to Chloe Grace Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee for showing skill far eyond their years.  It is highly recommended for high concept-horror fans and anyone that isn’t afraid to get a different take on the vampire genre.