Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Darker Side of Justice.

My first introduction to Daredevil was in the 1990's animated Spider-Man television series when he and his alter ego Matt Murdock got Peter Parker out of a sticky situation. They did a very cool job with the character, and so later on when Ben Affleck had a go at it in a film version, I thought it would be great. Boy was I disappointed (along with nearly all film goers). I think that film deadened the Marvel comic book character for a long time, and then someone got the idea to breathe new life into the character except this time for a gritty Netflix television series rather than a major motion picture. I think they have the right idea. There are a lot of fantastic characters and stories out there (just not comic book characters and stories) that will never be necessarily well suited for a major motion picture, but rather a series. Game of Thrones is the best, shining modern day example of this philosophy; looks big budget, well written, and highly successful therefore making it the envy of many program content producers. Despite watching only one episode of the Netflix show Daredevil I have to say that I am very impressed thus far. The writing is quite good, the cinematography is also very striking making usage of shadows, light vs. dark, and a very grim inner city landscape thus far. Although I have not seen the characters fleshed out that far yet, I do have to say that my attention was pretty much captivated for nigh the entire time. Charlie Cox as the hero I think was a good choice. He provides levity, darkness, and seriousness to what comes across as a very dark character. Even though I have not yet seen the performance of Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, I can tell he will be amazing. The bad guys in this show do not mess around; pretty much said, you cross them, you die or suffer greatly. Well I cannot yet say whether or not I would recommend this show, I will say this; so far so good and I have heard a good critical response since it's release. So if you find yourself bored I think you should give it a try, although it is very dark and violent. Oh one thing that kind of bothered me were the fight scenes; the choreography was interesting and dynamic, but there was an awful lot of pounding and punching over and over again....which after a few minutes of it kind of got boring. I understand why they did that (at least I think I do), but still, it makes it less....well cool, but I suppose it does make it more realistic. I don't know; we'll see how it progresses. Enjoy your weekend everyone.

Daredevil trailer

Batman vs. Superman trailer (not sure what to think.)

Star Wars: Battlefront game trailer (usually I don't put game trailers on here, but this looks pretty good.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

An Enigma.

I just finished watching an amazing film The Imitation Game. The film is based off of a book about Alan Turing who was probably almost entirely responsible for breaking the enigma code that the Nazis used during World War II. It also portrays the many complicated aspects of his personal life as well such as coping with homosexuality around that time in Britain, and most likely having some mental health issues as well. Apparently he also may be responsible for creating the template for what became modern day computers. It is perhaps one of the best WWII era films that I have seen in a very long, long time. I don't know much about the real man, but Benedict Cumberbatch's performance was astounding! That man truly has superior talent when it comes for spot on acting. Not only him, but a tremendously talented cast was assembled for the film as well. Keira Knightley played for lack of a better term, Turing's beard of sorts although I am certain they cared very deeply for each other. Matthew Good was on of Turing's colleagues (Ozmandias from the Watchmen film), and he was of course spot on as well. Then there was Charles Dance and Mark Strong both of which can strengthen a film just by there mere presence being in it regardless of the size; both were quite amazing with their roles though. I think though that the biggest star of the film was the writing, the screenplay was beautiful and the dialog was so effortlessly spoken with such intricacy that you couldn't help but be captivated as people's mouths moved. Graham Moore wrote the screenplay which was adapted from the book written by Andrew Hodges. As a writer, I love words so much, and these two individuals created seemingly effortless works of art. The cinematography was also nicely done, although I wasn't that surprised by the lackluster score composed by Alexandre Desplat. Granted he did get an Oscar for The Grand Budapest Hotel, but this score was very...Salieri like (you won't get the reference unless you've seen the film Amadeus) which is to say that it all sounds rather like itself and is very simplistic sounding. John Williams would have been a good composer to tap, or Michael Giacchino. Oh well. Can't have everything unless you're James Cameron. It was a really amazing film and I definitely recommend it to people to watch regardless of who you are or what you believe. I was just looking at my school schedule when I realized that next week is the end of the second spring term, which means, I only have one round of classes remaining before I graduate! I have begun the job hunting process in earnest and soon I will begin the relocation bit as well. Such a great feeling to realize I am almost done. Hopefully I will be able to do more writing with my spare time. Well, everyone. Good night and good luck, oh and don't forget to watch the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer; it's pretty sweet!

The Imitation Game trailer

Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch interview

The Force Awakens Star Wars trailer latest (Wow!)
   

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Is Ignorance A Virtue?

So it begins, my catching up on Oscar winning and nominated films. So tonight I finally sat down and watched the film Birdman. Now, I didn't have any thoughts or expectations going into the film other than my sister and brother in-law liked it. Now after watching the film I can state simply that it was boring. about 30 minutes into the movie I had thoughts about just stopping it, but I sat through the remaining hour and thirty minutes somehow. Now, the film was shot spectacularly and the performances were great, and even the writing wasn't too bad. The characters themselves so though were not endearing, the storyline was uninteresting, and there was just a lot of shouting, yelling, and raw anger. It doesn't take a lot of talent to scream and shout, just watch a Michael Bay film. I was honestly expecting more, the film did have some similarities though I noticed to Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle in regards to especially the shouting, yelling, and anger, but also the not so endearing characters and boring storyline (aside of Jennifer Lawrence of course though). I don't know why there is such a trend lately with Hollywood films; I think they're going through a phase that was similar in the 70's. Michael Keaton is very talented man and his portrayal of a psychotic, washed up actor was spot on, yet I couldn't really empathize with his character until the very end, and by that point it was too late. Edward Norton played a self absorbed fat head very well, but I couldn't stand his character whatsoever. Emma Stone, played the recovering drug addict with a gross attitude very effectively, although once again nothing there. Naomi Watts had a small role as Micheal Keaton's wife in the film, and she brought class and an anchor point to the film. Whereas Zach Galfianakis brought levity, and wit to the film (also a small role, which was a real shame). As I mentioned the film was shot very exquisitely; reminded me of Gosford Park and Pride & Prejudice. The film score was essentially obnoxious, and that is all I have to say about that. The lighting was actually quite spectacular, but that's about it. The premise I think is a wee bit ridiculous, but it could have worked. The whole Michael Keaton acting psychotic though just didn't work that well. Also, I wasn't certain if this was Hollywood political film blasting big budget films as opposed to films similar to Birdman, but that was kind of ridiculous as well. If you don't see this film you aren't missing anything. I could have done something far more enjoyable with my time, and kind of wish that I did after spending hours finishing up a statistical analysis of a survey that I create for my grad school class. I found out today that since I like House of Cards and Niccolo Machiavelli that I may enjoy reading Plutarch, according to my friend acquiring his MA while studying England. Just an interesting anecdote. I really feel like I should write something concerning international matters, but it's hard to do that without sounding too politically abrasive or antagonistic I suppose. Perhaps we can all reflect on an old Vulcan proverb, "Only Nixon could go to China."

Birdman trailer

Robot Chicken Disney Princesses (need some humor, granted inappropriate, but quite hysterical)  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Who's the More Foolish? The Fool, or the One who Follow's Him?

There are only 8 months remaining approximately of 2015, and then 2016 will come. I think that sounds rather intense when I sit and think about how fast these past 3 months have gone. I suppose March Madness will do that to do, and I am not referring to Basketball; mental health March Madness, and yes this happens at least all over the area I live in, I cannot speak for other geographic areas, but I am certain there are some similarities. The bright spot is that I only have 3 months of graduate school left, and I am putting the finishing touches on my Masters project for a presentation (which I am not looking forward to) so everything is beginning to come to a close. This also means that I will be beginning the process of trying to move back to San Diego, thank God. Even though the Midwest is beginning to warm up, I am kind of over it all. Oh, happy April Fool's Day! Not sure what the reason or history is behind it, but there was this one joke that I really want to try on someone one day. Fill a balloon with air, cover it with whipped cream, decorate it enough so that it passes for a cake, and then have someone cut into it; best effect would be if there was a large group of people around when it goes off. So I recently finished watching Da Vinci's Demon's season 2 and I do have to admit that it was still pretty good, and maybe even better than the first season, although their trek into the New World was less interesting than I would have preferred. Still, the characters grew stronger and better I think, and there were quite a few interesting surprises which were awesome! I'm not certain what Leonardo Da Vinci was like in real life, but I love the performance of Tom Riley; it is truly astounding. Dark, intense, humorous, thoughtful, flawed; just really well done. I can only say good things concerning the rest of the cast as well. It was shot beautifully, and written fairly well; the costumes are also quite divine, but they were of course done by Trisha Biggar (did Star Wars Prequels to name a few). If you like excellent adventure and drama, and also like history, then you will love this show. I wish I could say that I have been writing....but I would rather say that I have been surviving and thinking about writing more so than actually doing it. Time has turned out to be my biggest enemy currently; always could use more time. So if anyone knows how to make human clones please let me know. A part of me wants to tell people to not watch world news because it is so doggone depressing, but being educated and knowledgeable about world and domestic affairs and voting accordingly is how to fend off oppressive government most of the time. So please stay informed and consider what other people are going through throughout the world before you cast stones at glass houses. May the Force be with us all.

Da Vinci's Demon's season 3 teaser

Da Vinci's Demon's first look

Spectre trailer (new James Bond)