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Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

Late last year, the internet broke in half when Disney not only announced that they bought Star Wars, but that they are making more movies.

Today, the internet went nuts again when they finally announced the new director….J.J. Abrams.

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Excitement and fear was had by fanboys (as there usually is) but I have ask…what EXACTLY are we excited/fearing for?

Because with all the talk I’ve personally had of more movies (who’s going to direct them, will the original cast come back) surprisingly the least brought up subject that comes up is; what the hell are these movies going to be?

When Star Wars first came out, no one suspected anything with this film. What a difference that was comepared to the expectations and anticipation for the first prequel.

With the prequels, we as fans had a basic idea of where these films could go. We knew we were going to meet Darth Vader before he turned, we knew we were going to see Obi-Wan at his Jedi fighting prime, we knew we were going to meet Luke and Leia’s mom etc. We could speculate all day long what these movies were going to be because we knew where they had to end…they had to end with setting up the status quo for Star Wars: A New Hope.

But these new movies? What are they? Sure, we can come up with our OWN  ideas of where they can go. We can look at the expanded universe novels and comics for possible direction (thought I wouldn’t count on them using ANYTHING from those…)

But the reality is….NONE OF US (outside of the Disney and the new films creative team) have any clue what these movies will be.

The Empire is destroyed. Anakins dramatic arc was fulfilled. Luke has his approval from his ghostly mentors. There isn’t any OBVIOUS place to go from this point on.

….but that does make it exciting doesn’t it?

You know what that affords us? Surprise, something that Star Wars hasn’t had in a LONG time.

The expectations of where the Prequels should/and didn’t go don’t hinder these new films.

They literally can go where they want, and that’s a reason to be both excited and afraid.

So, why do we want these new movies to be good? Anyone can argue that we don’t need them. We COULD just watch the old ones again(plus-minus the prequels/remastered versions/ewok blinking versions….your choice.) BUT, why do we still hope for the best and want these movies to work?

The same reason we wanted Episode I to be good a long long time ago; we want to be excited for the newold.

Newold? That’s what I’m calling this  trend of reboots/or returning of old franchises. The Daniel Craig Bond series, the Nolan Batman films, Tron Legacy, the new Die Hards, Rambo and the 2005-now Doctor Who fall in this category. To me it means we want what we know from the series, but just done differently enough to be fresh.

Also, look at where all those franchise have in common. All these franchises fell apart in some fashion. They became stale in someway or became forgotten. They needed someone to come in, swoop in, dust it off, and remind us why we liked it the first place.

I know that’s what I felt J.J. Abrams did with his Star Trek reboot.

Not gonna lie, I’m an Abrams fan. I will defend Mission: Impossible III. I thoroughly enjoyed Abrams take on Spielberg movies (Super 8). I think the pilot to LOST is one of the best TV pilots I’ve ever seen. And man… I LOOOOOVED his Star Trek film.

Abrams is a right fit, and I think he specializes in Newold movies.

Star Wars needs that person to give it a new shine. That’s why I’m IN LOVE with the new Stars Wars comic that just came out.

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I think it does great newold. It uses the old, classic versions the characters but adds new and differently elements to them. It gives us new dramatic angles to the characters that we never got to see. It also gives us plenty of elements that make Star Wars…well…Star Wars.

So…now we play the waiting game. I personally kinda hope that Disney/Lucasfilms will let Abrams usual secretive style promotion that he’s been known to do. Like I said before, I want to be surprise and Abrams understands that I want that.(I.E. Who IS the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness)

All I can say to Abrams is…good luck. If he though making the Star Trek fans happy  was going to be hard, I’m pretty damn sure he knows that  the Star Wars fans are going to be MUCH worse. To many fans, Abrams is the key to fixing their childhood…which is extreme, but I know they exist.

I’ve personally learned to not be like that. All I want is a fun, adventure filled movie. I want the character interaction to be engaging. I want the score to be rousing. I want the action to be exciting. I want it to be funny. I want the characters to know the stakes and to get emotionally hurt sometimes.

It isn’t that hard for Abrams. In my eyes, he’s pulled it off before. I’m not asking for the second coming, I just want it to be fun.

Just be fun. No pressure. Just be fun, because that all Star Wars ever was in the end.

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And if the new movie is terrible?…hey….we’ve been through it before….

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I personally don’t feel like I’m qualified to define what makes a movie the “best”.

Film, like all art, is subjective. Saying something is the “best” implies (at least, to me) something everyone agrees with. Well, I don’t think I can defend what I think is the best, but I can easily defend what I LIKE.

Earlier last week I wrote a statement that read “Sometimes I judge a movie because I think the 9 year old version of me would flipped for it.”  I want you to keep that in mind when you look at my top ten favorites of last year.

Wow, last year. 2012 was quiet a year for movies. An abundant of riches of a wide array of films. While figuring out my top ten, I seriously had to make some hard decisions.

First, I’m gonna give you my top four runner ups. Trust me, some of these jumped back and fourth in the top ten. All of these I saw only once, so in due time, when I see them again, maybe one of the top ten movies will be bumped off.  Any other year they would have easily been in the top ten, but man, it was just that kind of year for me. So, starting with…

Les Miserables– Stunning performances from Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Samantha Barks and Eddie Radmayne, the film really brings the famous Broadway musical to big epic life. The songs and numbers are spectacular, but sadly Russell Crowes performance as Javert isn’t perfect (though I don’t hate like the rest of the internet does) it does hold back the film to go higher on the list. That being said, I still have the songs and numbers stuck in my head so I can’t wait to revisit it again.

Argo– Ben Affleck gave me the kind film that I miss seeing. Smart, tense, mature and exciting. The final sequence was tension filled to the brim. This is my favorite of Afflecks directed films, and I can’t help to think he’s only getting started.

Wreck-it Ralph– The Pixar film I didn’t get this year (sorry Brave…you looked very pretty though!) The film surprised me how emotionally invested I got with Ralph and more surprising…Vanellope Von Schweetz. Sarah Silverman gives one of her best performances voicing Vanellope, and her story really surprised me.

Cloud Atlas– It’s big budget art, and I have to respect that. I love the fact that I know that I lot of people hated it as much as the people who loved it. I couldn’t help but be impressed. The scope, the performances from Tom Hanks, Bae Doo-Na, and Ben Whishaw. I also dearly loved how they edited this film. It constantly challenges you to pay attention, to not look away. Look away, you might miss something.

Ok…here we go, my top ten….

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10.) Chronicle

Surprises are nice. I love surprises. Surprises for films being released are hard to come by nowadays. When I saw the trailer to this, I had very little interest in watching another found footage movie. Here comes the surprise, it’s not. It’s wants to be better then that. It’s got characters I legitimately give a damn about.  It’s wonderfully directed. It’s smartly written. The acting is great. It’s a fresh take on the this subgenre of “superpowered” people movies/tv shows we’ve been getting lately, and most of us didn’t knew this thing existed until a few weeks before it came out. It’s made $64,314,970 in the US and Canada alone. Like I said, I love surprises.

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9.) The Raid: Redemption-

Straight up, no bones about it, this a modern action movie classic. BRILLIANT! AMAZING! FIGHTS! A simple (but effective) story. Great directing and editing. The score kicks ass. Oh, and did I mention how GOD DAMN AMAZING THE FIGHTS ARE?!?! This is pure adrenaline movie making, the kind that they don’t make as much as they used to.  You see this if all you want to see is spectacle and action, and you will NOT be disappointed.

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8.) Moonrise Kingdom

While I always like Wes Anderson films, I haven’t always loved every single one. This the first time I truly connected with one of his movies since Rushmore, which is my all time favorite one of  his. The quirks that makes Wes…well…Wes, truly shine, making this strange coming of age/love story  a special movie.  Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward give remarkable performances as Sam and Suzy. Loved Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Bruce Willis.  Loved the music.  It’s the most Wes Anderson-y movie that Wes has made, and I loved every second of it.

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7.) The Cabin in the Woods-

Being too clever can be a dangerous thing for a film. It can sometimes feel like the filmmakers are trying too hard to impress you as oppose to just tell the story.  So when a movie does BOTH, it’s an exciting thing. Director/co-writer Drew Goddard and co-writer/producer Joss Whedon (hmmm….that name sounds familiar) crafted a movie that feels both familiar yet different. OH, and it’s gory, hilarious, exciting and so much fun. This has to have one of the best third acts of ANY movie this year. Just a blast. We horror fans should feel so lucky to have this film.

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6.) Skyfall

The Bond film that reminds us all why we go and watch Bond films. It blends the aesthetic that made the Daniel Craig era of Bond so appealing to the new fans yet brings back the fun of the original films. It’s also one of the most BEAUTIFUL looking films of the year, thanks to Roger Deakins amazing cinematography.  Javier Bardem also kills as one of the best Bond villains in the series history. I now can’t wait to see the next Bond. A great film to celebrate the 50th anniversary.  Now…..BRING BACK BLOFELD!!

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5.) Sleepwalk With Me

Hilarious, real, and mature. Writer/director/star Mike Birbiglia crafted a first film that many would call Woody Allen-esque. I won’t, I’m calling it Birbigliastic….or not, you can ignore that. As I wrote in my Blu Ray review of the film: “Birbiglia crafted a film that wonderfully balances the humor and the drama. It feels so effortless clever in how it allows us to understand Matt (the character that Mike plays) and really get into his headspace. It would be very easy to accidentally have us dislike Matt, what with the some of the choices he makes throughout the film. Thankfully, the smart writing from Birbiglia (along with co-writers Ira Glass, Joe Birbiglia and Seth Barrish) never falters, and I remained invested with Matt’s story…even when he messes up.” Since owning the Blu Ray I realized I ended up watching it 4 times that week.  I look forward to Mikes next film, especially since his first film that is as good as this.

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4.) Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino makes movies. No shit right? But you don’t understand…he makes…MOVIES. Movies that know how to BE movies. Films that firmly live in the fictional world they live in. Characters that move to music that, while they shouldn’t know there’s music, seemingly feels like they DO know there’s an awesome song being played for them as they walk and stand. Characters that know what they should be doing in the genre they’re in, but refuse to act the typical way they are suppose to act in the genre of film they’re in.  Tarantino writes dialogue you wanna memorize. He makes films that you wish had a 100 sequels/spin offs, just so you can spend more time with the characters. He helps give actors memorable roles that they clearly are having fun playing.  He creates soundtracks that you wanna own. He creates moments that he knows will get a crowd excited. Tarantino makes MOVIES, and I love him for doing so. Django Unchained is no different. He made another badass film, and I am dying to see it again.

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3.) Looper

Had the film been ONLY about Bruce Willis chasing Joe Gordon-Levitt in the near future, that would have been enough. BUT, it’s not just that. It ask big questions about morality, and it does so in the only way a Sci-fi film can. It does it originally too. Writer/director Rian Johnson continues to make films that are more then what it seems and he never fails to impress. The big winner for the film to me is definitely  Joseph Gordon-Levitts incredible performance as Joe. Never being a parody of Bruce Willis, he brilliantly takes the essence of Willis and creates a character that is all his own. Add that to the great storytelling, action, and exciting world building that Johnson crafted, Looper is another unique notch in Johnsons film catalog.

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2.) Beast of the Southern Wild

This film lives in it’s own world. It’s a larger then life fable. It’s emotionally gut wrenching. It’s sensational filmmaking that takes you on a trip. You will meet characters that are fascinating, strange, but utterly compelling. You will see one of the most charismatic performances of the year from the 9 year old actress, Quvenzhane Wallis. You will hear a score the tells as much story as the images on the screen (and it’s my personal favorite score of the year, give a little listen to it here.) After I saw the film, it didn’t leave me for days. If you like to watch movies to be transported, then I suggest to take a trip to this film.

and finally my number one pick is….

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1.) Battleship-

Now, I know…this film gets a lot of shit, but …hear me out. I truly thinkBWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I couldn’t do it! I can’t keep a straight face about that. Ok…for reals, my number one is pretty obvious…..

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1.) Marvels The Avengers

This movie is the film I’ve dreamed of seeing since childhood. I got into movies the same time I started reading comics. I grew up watching/reading the good and the bad superhero stories. I love this genre too much. This movie bottles what makes reading all those comics that I’ve read and finally put it on the big screen. This film is pure joy to me. Any flaws it has in it’s script, it goes away by charm and personality. As a Joss Whedon fan, I’m happy to see him make something that connected to not only the comic fans, but to everyone else too. I’m happy to see a cast that brings it’s “A” game. I’m happy that it’s hopeful and bright. It’s a crowd pleaser that makes watching a movie in a room full of strangers a great experience. I love it when you and the rest of the audience is laughing together, clapping together all because your sharing this one big movie. It’s the reason why I saw the thing 10 times (?!) in the theaters this year. I want to relive that excitement again and again. Those are the kind of movies I grew up loving, and I am glad to know I can still feel that way about seeing a flick.

Whew….2012. That was quiet good. So 2013, lets see what you got, but I’m not gonna lie, 2012’s movies were quiet a doozy.

And there were so many more that came out that I HAVEN’T seen but I still want too:
Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Jeff who lives at Home, The Master, End of Watch, Seven Psychopaths, Lincoln, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Holy Motors, Silver Linning Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty.

This list could STILL change.

2013, not to put any pressure on ya, but you have a hard act to follow.

How about you guys? What’s on your list?

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By all accounts…I’m a pretty geeky guy.

………………

Wow, please, don’t gasp in shock all at once.

But I am. I collect DVD/blu-rays/comics and the occasional toy. I can talk endlessly about movies and comics. I know the works of directors/writers/actors off the top of my head. I watch fringe comedy/sci-fi shows. I go to fan conventions.

So yeah, I’m super geeky.

There are only a few things I’m don’t do the world of geekdom. 1.) I’m not a video gamer (I like video games just fine, but I don’t own a system and I just play casually with friends) 2.) I’ve never cosplayed (costume played)

Like video games, I have nothing against cosplay, but I just never did it. When I was younger (and a lot more cynical) I used to mock cosplayers at conventions. That’s ridiculous of course. It’s basically the kettle calling the other kettle black but with a weirder spout.

I never thought about cosplaying until…well…last year.

It was the midnight screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2. My friends decided to dress up in full Harry Potter cosplay that night.

Now for them, they only did Halloween costumes and never did a convention. Tonight, well tonight, they felt the love.

Fans got excited, tons and tons and tons of people wanted pictures. They were mini celebrities that night, and they were having a blast. At the end, they started thinking about wanting to do this for an actual convention. I saw how much fun they were having, and soon my brain started thinking.

In the months to come, I saw a few more friends try out cosplaying (this time at conventions) and soon they saw the fun in it too. The joy of pretending to be a  character, the fun of posing for pictures….it was starting to be appealing.

Cut to a few weeks ago. I was hanging out with some friends. We just watched a movie together and were walking to get some dinner. Two of my friends were planing on cosplaying at ANIME EXPO (an Anime Convention in LA).

One was going as Deadpool….

The other was going as movie style Hawkeye….

My friends (lets call them Deadpool and Hawkeye respectively for this blog post) asked if I had plans on cosplaying for AX. I told them no, and that I wasn’t sure what to dress as anyways.

I told Deadpool that I had some mild interest in dressing up as Nightwing or Robin at one point, but I don’t have the time or the money.

Deadpool said “How about Red Hood? I have one of those masks from comic con.”

What mask is he talking about? This one….

And who’s Red Hood? Red Hood is former Robin Jason Todd, who is now a “dark” vigilante.

Huh….I thought about it.

When I went home, I reminded myself on how Red Hood looked like.

I quickly realized I HAVE that jacket. The rest is all black, some guns and a bat symbol. While Red Hood is not really one of my favorite characters, I can make the costume really quickly and easy.

So…..it wouldn’t hurt to do it…for ONE day.

I made a cheap (and I do mean CHEAP) red bat symbol out of cardboard, borrowed some belts and holsters from friends and well…..

Ok….I think it stinks and I look like a weird Mexican wrestler.
But you know, thats ok, I have seen worse at other conventions.

So I walked around with Deadpool and Hawkeye at the convention. I wasn’t getting much attention (especially since their costumes were AMAZING) until we were looking at one table at artist alley. The artist behind the table looked at me and quickly said….

Artist at Artist Alley Table: ….whoa, dude…are you….uh…oh crap…RED HOOD?!?

I nod my head.

Artist at Artist Alley Table: DUDE! Can I take a picture of you?

Ah….so it begins.

Or so I thought.

Not shocking, Red Hood (an American Comic character) is obviously not very well known at an ANIME convention.

But that’s ok. For every 3-4 people who confused me for Deadpool (which is funny because I was standing right NEXT to Deadpool!) Spider-Man, Batman Beyond (the red bat symbol makes it confusing I guess…), Batman (REALLY?!?) I got the few really excited guys who knew who I was.

One moment played like this….

Young Fan 1: OH man! Check out who this guy is dressed up as!

Young Fan 2: Duude, that’s a sick Deadpool!

Young Fan 1: NO YOU IDIOT! That ain’t Deadpool, this is Red Hood!

Young Fan 1 proceeded to tell me and Hawkeye how much he loved Red Hood, got excited because I was doing the new comics version of him, showed us his very cool pipe cleaner toys he made (his Red Hood one was at home he said) and proceeded to geek out to me. It was pretty adorable.

Now, Red Hood’s history has a dark one. You see, when Jason Todd was  Robin, he got beaten to a pulp by Joker. When Todd came back from the dead as Red Hood(long story), lets just say he had some beef with Joker.

So of course…look who I bumped into at the convention…

He mockingly called me Deadpool and bird boy…and yeah, I played along, acting tough and gruff. Not gonna lie, it was pretty awesome.

I also enjoyed freaking out my friends that I did see at the convention, but didn’t know I was in costume…

Example below…

I did that twice, and probably enjoyed it more then I should.

I ended the day taking some duo pictures with Deadpool and Hawkeye..

Then we ended our day at Denny’s.

So my finale thoughts on my first time trying out cosplay?  Well, like my friends earlier in the blog post….I finally get the appeal. It’s fun, and yeah, its extended dress up for the right crowed.

And yes…I’m going to do it again. I want to actually put some WORK into it. I want to have a character that I can have some fun with. I have ideas for the next ones. Nothing crazy or elaborate. I won’t be ready for San Diego Comic Con, but the plan is to have it ready for Long Beach Comic Con. So yeah…I guess I cosplay now.  Who knew. Sorry that I avoided it for so long.

P.S. All photos were taken by either Deadpool (if he’s not in the shot) or Hawkeye (if she’s not in the shot). Also, to commemorate my first cosplay, they got me this pin from Artist Alley. Thanks guys, your the best!

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