Archives for category: Movies

There’s way too much greatness to talk about. This last week of movies and friends has been a compact dose of awesome.

Prologue

A couple months back I was in South Carolina shooting a short film with Bryan King and the rest of the Rock, Paper, Scissors crew. Bryan mentioned that he and Zach were going to Sundance, I got all excited and immediately booked my flight. The big reason I wanted to go is to see Kevin Smith’s new movie, Red State. I’ve become a huge fan of Smith in the last several months because of his podcasts and his twitter feed so I wanted to see him more than his movie. Read the rest of this entry »

I saw this movie a couple weeks ago and liked it.  It wasn’t a great ‘film’ but it was fun and ridiculous enough to be entertaining.  What struck me was the development of Tom Cruise’s character.  First you think he’s crazy, then question it, then think he’s really crazy, then realize he was right all along.  This is often the cycle that any truly innovative concept goes through.  I think our good friend Tom was trying to say something about Scientology…

I’m still not going to be visiting Prince Xenuzathershlobongo any time soon though.

This movie was awesome in every way.  Sam Rockwell kicks ass.  Mise en scene is always spot-on. (Spoilers start now.)   Kevin Spacey is a robot – and isn’t the bad guy (surprise!)  For a while the story violently twisted me into thinking one thing and then another.  When we finally get slammed with the big news that Sam Bell is actually not Sam Bell but instead just a clone with pre-made memories we seriously care about this dude.  The biggest achievement of the movie in my opinion is that it is intellectually stimulating while keeping a fairly quick pace.

It’s a kickass look at the question, “Do you own your genes?”  THE Sam Bell has had himself cloned into a bunch of bodies that last three years on the moon base.  The original Sam got a tidy sum of money for his genes to provide a never ending supply of labor on the moon.  He basically put 100s of his clones into slave labor forever.  This clones believe they’re him and that they’re going home three years after they awake.  They don’t know they didn’t live up to awakening and the last thing they know before they’re blasted into ash is that they’re going home.  They don’t (usually) know they’re a clone-slave.  From an outside look this is obviously fucked, but what if you were them?  “The Truman Show” does space!

For me the major takeaway was, “you own your life and your body, but not the life that comes from it.”  I’ll definitely be checking out some more Duncan Jones flicks.

A short paper I wrote for my film class on the femininity of “The Hurt Locker”.

Kathryn Bigelow shows her femininity in The Hurt Locker. I look at this as a strong positive; good directors make themselves apparent in their films. There are two main ways in which she does so. She takes time to show beautiful images in the midst of violent or suspenseful scenes. Little care taken to ensure that military action of soldiers matched those that real soldiers would take. The latter detracts from the experience of the movie while the former enhances it. Read the rest of this entry »

The following is a paper I wrote for Film Analysis:

Pulp Fiction and Smart Sound

Mr. Quentin Tarantino is obviously a master of his art, a genius.  However, it is not until close inspection of his masterpiece, Pulp Fiction, that one can truly understand how good he is.  This paper is not about the genius of Tarantino, but is made possible by that genius.  With Pulp Fiction Tarantino proved that he wasn’t just a hot fad that would come and go, he showed that he could hang with the best.  His control over visual style and especially dialogue is famous (“An interview with Quentin Tarantino”.)  What is less talked about is his mastery over sound.  Sure, his movie soundtracks are some of the most popular out there; however, his ability to use famous songs to great effect in scenes is not what is most impressive.  His mastery of diegetic, or actual, sound in film is what impresses.  The diegetic sounds in Pulp Fiction work seem to always function in more than one way.  They often foreshadow negative events and mirror the character’s feelings and actions, highlighting discursive elements of the film. Read the rest of this entry »

I want to start keeping track of kickass scenes I see in movies.

The Crack Selling scene in Boogie Nights was brilliant.  The soundtrack along with the cracked out rich guy with his bigass body guard was fantastic.  The little Chinese dude throwing firecrackers was brilliant.  I couldn’t breathe normally until the scene was over.

A Clockwork Orange

This movie probably has several of my all time favorite scenes.  The opening scene might be my favorite out of all of them.  The first thing we see is a close up of Alex’s sinister face starring straight at us.  The camera moves back extremely slowly to reveal the Droogs and plastic statues of naked women in compromising positions.  The perfect balance and the color thrown in with black and white with the bad ass music playing is just freaking sweet.

This was a totally different movie for Guy Ritchie.  His most obvious moves weren’t present, but the movie was awesome.  Every Guy Ritchie movie leaves me wanting to be on of the characters… this time it was Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock.  I love Robert Downey Jr.  and this might be his best performance.  He’s perfect.  SO GOOD

Few movies have left me feeling excited leaving the theater- Avatar took that feeling to a whole new level.  Avatar not only excited me because it was the most beautiful, immersive movie experience of my life- but also because I can look forward to many more movies looking this way.  The 3D was used flawlessly.  There were not random rockets or trees sticking out into your face for no reason.  Pandora is one of the coolest worlds I’ve ever seen.  The movie is a game changer, I just can’t wait to see it again.

The Polar Express was the Christmas movie of choice this year. My grandpa was stunned at how realistic the graphics were. To me they looked very cartoonish (when compared with movies like Avatar.)

There were a lot of messages of the goodness of faith and believing being throw around; as well as lessons in leadership, humility, and confidence… A lot of life lessons to soak up in one cartoon. It might have really worke me up if they weren’t such bs. It was fun to watch with the family though. Merry Christmas!

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