Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

I've come to the conclusion in life that it's best to completely skip all trailers, commercials, hype ads, and other media when it comes to things I think I might enjoy.    I'm willing to watch one trailer to simply see what a movie might offer and learn that it might actually be something I want to know more about, but beyond that there's so little value to them beyond "revealing the entire plot."

However, I did say in that previous post that I would see both movies, and I've lived up to exactly half of that promise by going out and seeing the story of a guy with an armored suit battle a guy who's a walking atomic powerhouse.

So what did I think?  Well, look after the cut, and be prepared for spoilers.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Erik's Favorite Things: Millennium Actress

If you ever want to see me get really close to crying in public, ask me what it was like watching Perfect Blue for the first time.  I'll probably sit in a corner and gently rock back and forth, mutter to myself, and seem unresponsive to the outside world, but I can't promise there wouldn't be any tears.

What I'm saying is that the first directing work of Satoshi Kon messed me up pretty bad.  The fact that I keep going back to him for other projects he's worked on tells you just how amazing his works are as well, because I don't tend to go back to things that strongly disagree with me.

Millenium Actress was Satoshi Kon's second directorial project, the story of an actress who vanishes at the peak of her career, and the small documentary crew exploring her life to find out why.

Monday, February 22, 2016


When I first heard of Westworld years ago, I thought it was an interesting gimmick.  An amusement park where the attractions flip out and attempt to murder everybody present because of the uncontrollable nature of chaos theory?  By the mid-90s, I had already seen that story done so well that it's stuck with me ever since.

Wait, that can't be right.  Anyway.

Finally, just recently, I sat down and watched Westworld.  The announcement that a television series featuring Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris piqued my interest in it again, and I figured that it was such a staple of science fiction that the fact I hadn't seen it yet was a pretty huge blemish on my "nerd cred."

I want that poster.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Top Eleven: Tips For Steven Spielberg Regarding Filming Ready Player One

So, the Ready Player One movie is happening.  While I realize that my giving tips to Steven Spielberg about movie making is akin to Tommy Wiseau giving acting tips to Marlon Brando, there are a few things that I remember from my time listening to the audiobook version that have stuck with me, things that I don't think worked in a medium that wasn't "words on paper/screen" and are things I hope the movie would address.

Because I'm sure there's a good movie in there somewhere.  I'm just not 100% confident in Hollywood's history of portraying video games in any way, shape, or form.

But maybe I'm just cynical.

So here's eleven tips that, at least to me, should be kept in mind while creating a film that's one part huge "anybody can be a hero" adventure in the vein of Star Wars and Harry Potter, and one part "look at all the pop culture references we can make!"

Monday, February 8, 2016

Jurassic World

I really wish there had been someone else in the room when I watched Jurassic World, because when I watched it I really, really wanted to pause it and ask someone if they thought something I spotted meant anything or if I was just overthinking things.  The movie doesn't really present itself as anything other than mindless action and witty comments set up to show off a fancy new set of CGI dinosaurs, but I find it hard to believe that any movie Steven Spielberg takes part in wouldn't have at least some thought put behind it.

So if you wanted me to simply say "oh, man, DINOSAURS ARE AWESOME YOU GUYS" then I'm sorry, but you're stuck with me once again breaking down a movie in ways that I don't think it was meant to be broken down.

However, dinosaurs are totally awesome.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Heavenly Sword - The Movie

There are times a project comes together that is made up of individual pieces that simply scream to me "this is going to be absolutely wonderful."  It's destined to wind up my "best of the year" list and all I need to do is simply sit back and partake in its splendor.  A writer I love and an artist I love will come together to draw a comic book featuring characters I love to read about, and I wind up with Matt Fraction's run on Hawkeye.  A stellar cast comes together with amazing directors and producers and you can wind up with, well, any of the movies that found their way onto my best of the year list.  Writers finally hit their strides and I get amazing novels.

So let's look at the puzzle pieces here:

We have an animated movie.
Anna Torv (Fringe) voices the heroine, a sexy red-haired acrobatic woman wielding a powerful sword.

Alfred Molina (you know, the guy I just talked about being amazing) playing the villainous king.

Other voices by Thomas Jane (y'know, the Punisher), Nolan North (everything), Ashleigh Ball (Black Lagoon, Applejack AND Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony), and Barry Dennen (so much stuff on Broadway).

A story line involving revenge via massive battles against swarms of enemies, requiring a deft director's eye to choreograph complex fight sequences since this is based on a fighting game that essentially looked at God of War and went "yes, everything from that, just make the lead a woman."

Written by Todd Farmer, a guy whose extensive career includes... hold on, I don't actually know this guy.  Let's see what else he wrote.... okay, he wrote... Drive Angry, The Messengers, My Bloody Valentine 3-D...and Jason X.  As in "the one where Jason goes into space."

You know what?  I'm going to save all of you some time if you want to bail from this article.  This movie's terrible.  It's just awful.  The rest of this post is going to just be me ripping it apart and bemoaning the fact that I wasted an hour and a half of my life when I could have been doing anything else and it would have amounted to more, including "licking random mosses growing outside to see if they're toxic."

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Standard preface: Dame Judy Dench can do no wrong.

Okay, let's get into it.

Chocolat is a movie starring Juliette Binoche, Judy Dench, Alfred Molina, Johnny Depp (in a surprisingly small bit role), and other actors that I'm not personally familiar with.  It involves a young woman with strong Pagan beliefs moving into a small French village with her daughter and drawing the ire of the strict, religious Comte de Reynauld and other people in the village until her exotic chocolate recipes steadily start to win people over.

It's a very good movie, though I understand there's a considerable controversy surrounding its multiple academy award nominations (other than the one for Judy Dench, naturally), but honestly, I don't care about all that.  It's a good movie with lovely set pieces, superb acting from wonderful stars, but there's something I want to focus on in this review.

Why is restraint always the villain in so many movies?