Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lord of the Rings in 99 Seconds.

Here is one of the coolest videos I have seen in a long time. It is a song that sums up the Lord of the Rings in 99 seconds and it is hilarious! If you have not seen The Lord of the Rings, go watch it, then come watch this video. What do you think of the video? Please comment below. Also thanks to my friend Rebecca at Just me... for originally posting this.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blade Runner Review.

Thoughts: Blade Runner is set in the far off distant future of, 2019? OK, the movie was made in the year 1982 and the common mistake made at the time was the advancement of technology in such a short time span. Blade Runner is often credited with the popularization of the Sci-Fi Noir genre, despite no being a big hit at the time of its released, it later became a cult classic. There are multiple versions of the film, including the original cut, "Director's Cut" and "Final Cut". When Ridley Scott first made the film, the studio forced him to make changes that made it "easier" to follow by adding a voice-over by Ford to tell the audience what is happening and adding changing some scenes. I first watched the original cut, a few months later I watched the "Final Cut". While I did not dislike the narration as much as most compared to the "Final Cut", I did enjoy the film more in the "Final Cut". Plus, there are added scenes that add even more complexity to the film and the ending is vastly different in the Final Cut. I would recommend watching The Final Cut version first however, it is a very complex movie and either cut is fantastic.

The story centers around the character Rick Deckard, who is a former "Blade Runner", Blade Runners are basically police that are there to hunt down and destroy rouge replicants that can become homicidal over time. It plays out like a hard-boiled detective story, similar to other films like Bullitt, with Deckard tracking down the replicants. But the first half is especially slow and does start to drag during some parts.
The best aspect I found in the film is how thought provoking Blade Runner and how much I thought about it after watching. Because that aspect would spoil the film, I will have a spoiler warning below, then it will be spoiler free again.
Is Deckard a replicant? That is what I find most intriguing about Blade Runner and I want to hear your opinion of it. My prefer to think, especially after watching the Final Cut, that Deckard is indeed a replicant. 

Athough Blade Runner is an acquired taste and would not appeal to everyone. One last problem with Blade Runner are a few very weird and odd scenes, which take away from the overall experience of the movie.

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Genre: Sci-Fi, Crime, Noir, Suspense,
Release Date: June 25, 1982
Running Time: 116 minutes
MMPA rating: R

The Good: Thought provoking, Ford's performance is excellent, Challenges your intellect, Fantastic last 25-20 minutes, Original concept, Great setting, Ambiguous,

The Bad: Slow pacing (especially the first half but wasn't an issue upon my second viewing),

Warning: Blade Runner is "R" for langue, violence and other mature content.

Plot: The following plot summary is copied from
In Los Angeles, November 2019, retired police officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is detained by officer Gaff (Edward James Olmos) and brought to meet with his former supervisor, Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh). Deckard, whose job as a "Blade Runner" was to track down bioengineered beings known as replicants and "retire" them ("retire" being the official term for the killing of replicants), is told by Bryant that several have escaped and come to Earth illegally. As Tyrell Corporation Nexus-6 models, they have only a four-year lifespan, and may have come to Earth to try to extend their lives.
Deckard watches a video of another Blade Runner named Holden (Morgan Paull) administering a "Voight-Kampff" test designed to distinguish humans from replicants based on their empathic response to questions. The subject of the test, Leon (Brion James), shoots Holden. Bryant wants Deckard to return to work to retire Leon and three other replicants—Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) and Pris (Daryl Hannah). Deckard refuses, but after Bryant makes a veiled threat, he reluctantly agrees.
Sent to the Tyrell Corporation to ensure that the test works on Nexus-6 models, Deckard discovers that Tyrell's (Joe Turkel) assistant Rachael (Sean Young) is an experimental replicant who believes herself to be human; Rachael's consciousness has been enhanced with false memories to provide an "emotional cushion". As a result, a more extensive test is required to determine if she is a replicant.
Watch the movie to see what happens next.

Plot: 8.9/10- While the pacing can be somewhat slow during the first half, there is a mystery being revealed. The thematic material works well and kept me thinking long after watching the movie. The mystery (noted above) is the most thought provoking and best aspects of Blade Runner, it takes the movie to a whole other level. There are clues left in the movie but in some ways the answers is ambiguous and is left to interpretation. Only the romance could have been a little better, but that was not a big problem for me. Also there were some very odd scenes, that felt out of place.

Action: 6.9/10- In the first half there is little to no action and what action is there was sporadic  However, the battle near the end was good. While the action was not visually impressive, it was suspenseful.

Acting: 8.4/10- Harrison Ford, who is my favorite actor, gave an excellent performance as usual. Sean Young's performance as Rachael was good and played her role well. Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty's performance was top notch.

Special effects: 8.1/10- Surprisingly most of the effects hold up well today, although the film never tried for anything close to as impressive as The Empire Strikes Back or many other of its contemporaries. But the set design was worked very well at creating a futuristic world.

Soundtrack: 7.4/10- Some of the soundtrack definitely had an 80s jazz theme and other tracks reminded me of classic crime like Bullitt. But my favorite track from the movie was the end credit theme.

Comedy: N/A-

Would I Watch This Again: I have seen both the original and Final Cut but it is worth a re-watch to analyze it further.

Overall: 8.7/10- Overall Blade Runner is a thought provoking and fascinating film, a must see for Harrison Ford or sci-fi fans.

Closing comments: While Blade Runner is not for everyone, and I can understand why others might not like the movie.

Recommended for: Sci-Fi fans, Harrison Ford fans, Crime movie fans, Noir fans,

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Clone Wars Fans Tag and Rally!

Since the start of the younglings episode arc of Star Wars Clone Wars, the reviews and fans in general have really disappeared. Even I stopped reviewing the episodes because no read them and I know this season has been a let down but the last two episodes with Death Watch and Maul have been awesome! Before, The Clone Wars was a big thing on blogger with many fans posting reviews and writing about it in general, but what happened? Where is everyone? I am here to start a resurgence of the Clone Wars and rally the fans! Is anyone with me?! Starting every Friday I will be posting a review of the previous week's Clone Wars episode even if no one is interested. Some bloggers have posted less for good reason, but why have the Clone Wars fans disappeared? There are a few reasons why I believe the show has had less interest over the past season, one being: the quality of the show. The younglings and droids arcs are possibly the worst arcs in the Clone Wars history. Wasting four episodes each! Why those were made, we will never know (probably for the young child audience) but man they were terrible. Another is that the two biggest names in the Star Wars fandom on blogger Grace (aka Jedi Chick/Fallon) and Savanna have not been posting, albeit for good reason and I do not blame them in the slightest for it. But why should all other Star Wars fans lose faith? Again, I know some fans have reasons for not posting, despite this could the fandom have truly died? I am here to rally the fans and start a revolution of sorts, whether it works or not, because I am just one man running a small blog. To support the cause I have started a tag in which you take this "Clone Wars Fan Award" I made and re-post just like any other tag.
Here are the rules: 
1: Post the picture and where it originated.
2: Give a short (or long) opinion on the current season of the Clone Wars even if you have not seen all the episodes thus far (this is optional).
3: Tag any Clone Wars fan that wishes to take part in the tag.
Are you with me!

On a side note: If you are a Star Wars and have not seen The Clone Wars, I highly recommend you watch it. It has some of the best Star Wars stories since the original trilogy. Also if you are not a Star Wars fan, but like animation, you should give The Clone Wars a chance.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Review.

Thoughts: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, one of the best sequels ever made. Because less people have actually seen The Last Crusade compared to Raiders of the Lost Ark, this will be a spoiler free review.
The Last Crusade is one of my all-time favorite movies, it is enjoyable to watch with so much nostalgia and pure fun throughout. Featuring my two favorite actors of all-time, Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, in the same movie is pure brilliance. They play off each other perfectly with spot on comedic timing and you really believe they are father and son. Their father-son relationship is really the core of the film and it is easily the best I have seen in a movie (other than Empire Strikes Back but they kind of hated each other). It humanizes Indy even more and I was have liked good father-son relationships in film. Something that I noticed this viewing of the film, is how suspenseful the Last Crusade is, it makes me gasp everything during some scenes.
While the opening does not match Raiders of the Lost Ark's, it is excellent. It gives Indiana a backstory, which was never really talked about before, starting with a flash back to one of earliest adventures. You see how he obtains his iconic hat, whip and fear of snakes all in the first 10 minutes. Plus it is a great action set piece as well.
The story and characters are so involving you almost feel like you are with them in their adventure. An interesting aspect of The Last Crusade is that the film has very slightly less action than the previous two installments in the franchise and focus more the characters being in peril, which does create great suspense. But the humorous tone can be absolutely hilarious at times, yet the humor never feels out of place.

Directed by: Steven Spielberg.
Genre: Action Adventure.
Release date: June 12, 1981 (1981-06-12)
Running Time: 127mins
MMPA rating: PG-13

The Good: Ford and Connery in the same movie, Perfect use of humor, Great father-son relationship, Spot on pacing, Sharp dialogue, Impressive chase scene, Surprisingly suspenseful, Hilarious at times, Great action scenes, Amazing John Williams score, Excellent editing, Perfect way to end the trilogy,

Plot: The following plot summary is copied from
1912, 12-year-old Indiana Jones is horseback riding with his Boy Scout troop in Utah. He discovers grave robbers in a cave who find an ornamental cross which belonged to Coronado and steals the cross from them. As they give chase, Indiana hides in a circus train. Although he escapes, the grave robbers bring the sheriff, and Indiana is forced to return it. Meanwhile, his oblivious father, Henry Jones, Sr., is working on his research into the Holy Grail, keeping meticulous notes in a diary. The leader of the hired robbers, dressed very similarly to the future Indiana and impressed by the young Indiana's tenacity, gives him his fedora and some encouraging words.
In 1938, after recovering the cross and donating it to Marcus Brody's museum, Indiana is introduced to Walter Donovan, who informs him that Indiana's estranged father has vanished while searching for the Holy Grail, using an incomplete inscription as his guide. Indiana receives a package which turns out to be his father's Grail diary, containing his father's research. Understanding that his father would not have sent the diary unless he was in trouble, Indiana and Marcus travel to Venice, where they meet Henry's colleague, Dr. Elsa Schneider. Beneath the library where Henry was last seen, Indiana and Elsa discover catacombs and the tomb of a knight of the First Crusade, with a complete version of the inscription that Henry used. They flee when the catacombs are set aflame by The Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, a secret society. Indiana and Elsa are pursued and escape on a speedboat, and a chase through Venice ensues in which they capture the secret society's leader, Kazim. After Indiana convinces him of their legitimate intentions, Kazim explains that The Brotherhood are protecting the Grail from those with evil intentions, and that Henry was abducted to Brunwald Castle on the Austrian-German border. Watch the movie to see what happens next.

Plot: 9.9/10- The stakes have never been higher for Jones than in The Last Crusade, which makes the film even more involving. With the fate of his father and even the fate of world from the Nazi menace, everything is more intense, yet the tone is still extremely fun. Surprisingly, there is less action than the previous Indiana Jones movies with more focus on story, discovery, peril and Indy's relationship with his father, which all worked perfectly.

Action: 9.8/10- While there is not quite as much action as the previous Indiana Jones films, the quality of the action is there, with some very impressive action set pieces. The motorcycle chase is excellent, its intense and fast paced, but not on par with the amazing "Chase for the Ark" in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Also *Spoiler* The tank battle at the end is great, its filled with tension and fun action. *End of Spoiler*

Acting: 10/10- You really cannot get much better than Harrison Ford and Sean Connery in the same film. Easily the best duo of actors to be put on screen and they play off each other so well, it almost seems natural. Alison Doody as Dr. Elsa Schneider, and Julian Glover as Walter Donovan are both great in their roles. The return of Denholm Elliott as Dr. Marcus Brody, who was hilarious, and John Rhys-Davies as Sallah were great to see in the final installment.

Special effects: 8.6/10- With the exception of excellent stunt work, The Last Crusade has the least amount of special effects of the Indiana Jones films. However, the effects that are present hold up well today.

Soundtrack: 10/10- John Williams' score is more dynamic in this movie than the previous films with more subtle themes that compliment the Last Crusade brilliantly.

Comedy: 9.5/10- Definitely the funniest of the franchise, the Last Crusade hits all the right comedic notes. The humor is always well timed and placed throughout the film, mostly from the dialogue and situational humor.

Would I Watch This Again: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is one of the few films that give me pure pleasure every time I watch it from beginning to end. As with Raiders, I have seen it too many times to count.

Overall: 9.9/10- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is perfect way to end the franchise, its fun, exciting, and involving throughout, easily one of the best sequels ever made.

Closing comments: Although some might say that the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the last movie in the Indiana Jones franchise, I refuse to admit that disgrace to the franchise was the last installment because the Last Crusade ended the series perfectly. The Last Crusade is my literally my 10th favorite of all-time, few even come close.

Recommended for: Anyone, If you watched the previous Indy films, Action fans, Action Adventure fans, Fantasy fans, Harrison Ford fans, Sean Connery fans,

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File:Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade A.jpg

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Trivia Questions and Answers.

Today I have a few Star Wars and Middle Earth trivia questions

What is the name of this character from Star Wars: A New Hope?

What are the names of the two suns of Tatooine?

Who led the Rebels' strategy meeting for the Death Star attack?
Here are some Middle Earth questions that I found on the internet.
What is Bilbo's father's name?
When is Durin's day?
Who was the only female character mentioned in the Hobbit book?
What are the names of the three Trolls in that try to eat the Dwarves in The Hobbit?

Congratulations Helen and JT, who both answered the trivia correctly. Here are last week's answers.

What does the "J.R.R." in J.R.R. Tolkein's often abbreviated name represent?
Answer: John Ronald Reuel

Where does Legolas come from?
Answer: Mirkwood

How is the youngest of the 13 Dwarves?
Answer: Kili

In the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (film not book), who were the first four Dwarves to enter Bilbo's home?
Answer: Dwalin, Balin, and Fili/Kili

Please check back here tomorrow for my review of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,
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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Clone Wars: Eminence Review.

This is a review for last week's Clone Wars episode "Eminence". Due to the near total lack of interest in the Clone Wars this season, I have not written reviews for all the episodes this season, however the Darth Maul/Pre Vizsla story arc has began, therefore I must write about it. 
Yes! They finally did it! An awesome episode of the Clone Wars has finally aired! Eminence might be the best episode of the season and it was there to mostly set the table for the episodes to come but man it was one heck of a set-up. Basically the episode was all kinds of fan service, only featuring the villains of the story. Maul and Opress, Death Watch, Black Suns, Spice Dealers and the Hutts, what more would a Star Wars fan ask for? Even though it was more of a set-up for things to come, it manged to pack the action scenes since episode one of the season. In short the Clone Wars team packed everything that makes the Star Wars villains awesome into one super team-up episode. In terms of the visuals, Eminence was striking! It just leaves me in awe in how well everything is rendered, two thumbs-up for the Clone Wars team. There were some shockingly violent and brutal kills throughout, mostly by Savage Opress, particularly the Black Suns leaders being decapitated by Opress' double-bladed Lightsaber. While at first I was not the biggest fan of Darth Maul's return, however after this episode Maul might be the best Star Wars villain since Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Lastly, nice touch with Savage knocking his big, horned head on that light as he stood up.

Overall: 9.6/10- Overall Eminence packed everything I love about the Clone Wars into one fan service episode that actually makes me excited for what is to come for this arc.

What did you think of the episode? Please comment below.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Star Wars: Ep. 7 Director is J.J. Abrams!

Breaking news, J. J. Abrams is announced to direct the next Star Wars film! Although the Disney has not officially confirmed this, it comes a reliable source. The crazy part is that he earlier denied that he had interest in the job and even crazier is that he is the director of the recent Star Trek movies! Not only did he director the 2009 Star Trek, he directed the up-coming Star Trek: Into Darkness. The same guy is directing both Star Wars and Star Trek, that will cause a rip in the time-space-continuum! (that was a joke) Despite this, I believe he is an excellent choice and will bring Star Wars back to its former glory. Also Abrams took many aspects from Star Wars when he made the recent Star Trek, which made it more Star Wars, than Trek. Abrams has even said that Star Wars is one of his favorite and most influential films on his career. I believe that this choice of Abrams is on par with Joss Whedon directing the Avengers, he is fan, he loves these characters, I do not think he will fail us or the wrath of Darth Vader and millions of fans will be upon him. Den Affleck, Brad Bird (The Incredibles, MI 4: Ghost Protocol) and David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) were up for the role as well. The Force is strong with Abrams, he will not fail us. What is your opinion of this news? Please comment below.
Other films J.J. Abrams movies Abrams has directed are: Mission Impossible 3, Super 8., and produced many TV series including some of my favorites: Fringe, and Person of Interest. Another famous TV show Abrams produced Lost, which I have not seen.
If you have not read my previous reviews, please click on the links below and check back tomorrow for the review of last week's Clone Wars episode and "Name That Soundtrack".
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to Train Your Dragon Review.

There was a rather strange glitch that made me think this review was posted but it never actually posted it, hopefully it worked this time.
Thoughts: How to Train Your Dragon is a 2010 DreamWorks animated fantasy film staring Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler and America Ferrera. As I have said previously I am not the biggest fan of kid's animated films like Pixar or most DreamWorks despite my interest in the art of animation. However, How to Train Your Dragon was different in that it felt more like a great fantasy film and less like a kid's animated movie. There was a surprising lack of humor, especially for a DreamWorks film, if How to Train Your Dragon's story was used in an live-action movie it would have mostly worked well. Also the action was actually really well done, probably the best in a 3D animation feature film. There were things in the movie that I did not expect for a family film, those things just are not in most animated movies, with the exception of Mask of the Phantasm. The only family animated I have seen that is better than How to Train Your Dragon is Rango because it was so ridiculously hilarious. Without spoiling the plot, the reason for the main character Hiccup to "Train" his Dragon was actually really clever, opposed to what one would expect from such a movie. The soundtrack is another highlight, it has one of the best I have ever heard in a film (more on that below). The look and atmosphere of the world is fantastic, in some ways similar to one of my favorite video games, Skyrim. The only real problem with the movie was the main character Hiccup in the beginning of the film. Although he needed a starting to grow as a character, he was far too much of a wimp upon his first encounter with a Dragon, being almost unlikable until later in the film. However, that is a small quibble to an overall fantastic animated film.

Directed by: Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
Genre: Animated, Adventure, Fantasy, Comedy
Release Date: March 26, 2010
Running Time: 98 minutes
MMPA rating: PG

The Good: Amazing soundtrack, Clever plot device, Surprising ending, Great action scenes, Original fantasy plot, Top notch voice cast, Great visuals,

The Bad: Hiccup was too much of a wimp in the beginning,

Plot: The island of Berk is a Viking village that is plagued by attacks from dragons that steal their livestock and burn their homes. Hiccup, the awkward son of the village chieftain, Stoick the Vast, uses a cannon contraption he invented and shoots down a dragon he thinks may be a Night Fury, a rare dragon nobody has ever actually seen. Hiccup locates the dragon in the forest, but finds he is unable to kill the helpless animal. Hiccup instead cuts it free, and the dragon disappears into the forest. Meanwhile, Stoick assembles a fleet to seek out the dragons' nest, but before he leaves, he places Hiccup in dragon-killing classes taught by Gobber, the village blacksmith

Note: All rating relative to other animated films, not live action.

Plot: 9.0/10- While there were a few "kid's movie" type plot points, it rarely felt like a kid's movie in any way. The story was surprisingly mature and went places were I did not expect. In some ways it reminded me of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in the "boy befriends strange creature" part, however the reason for it was just so clever yet rightfully understated. The exposition in explaining the dragons and the world the characters inhabit was done very and never slowed down the plot. One of the background characters even was a "Dungeons and Dragons" type nerd in his knowledge of the dragons and it made slight references to other fantasy films. Plus the teen-romance that often handled poorly was written very well, one of the best for a family film.

Action: 9.3/10- The high-flying action was spectacular, particularly for an animated film! The dragon battles actually showed the fighting between the creatures, unlike many other family films and the shot were all framed is skill.

Acting: 8.6/10- Jay Baruchel's performance was solid in the lead role and played the wimpy character well just like he does in his live-action roles. America Ferrera gave a stand-out fantastic voice performance as Astrid, giving the character depth. Other notable background actors were Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Gerard Butler all giving solid voice performances.

Art Style: 9.3/10- While the film is two years old, the animation is still just as stunning as ever. The quality of the furry and hair was top notch, which is often difficult to get right.

Soundtrack: 9.9/10- Wow, all I can say is just wow! The soundtrack was amazing, one of my favorite new Top 25 favorites. It captured the Viking setting perfectly, John Powell couldn't have done it any better.

Comedy: 7.9/10- Surprisingly there was not as much humor as one would expect from a Dream Works film, however what was there usually was humorous. The fact that the humor was not the main point of the film actually helped it to be taken more seriously, ultimately adding to the movie.

Would I Watch This Again: Most definitely, one of the few animated movies I want to watch again.

Overall: 9.0/10- Overall How to Train Your Dragon is a fantastic movie with a great ending and amazing visuals. An absolute must see for any fantasy fan.

Closing Comments: How to Train Your Dragon is a perfect example of how make a great fantasy film, with good atmosphere, fantastic music and a fun story.

Recommended For: Animation fans, Dream Works fans, Fantasy fans,

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Die Hard Review.

The votes for yesterday's Reader's Choice are in and you have chosen Die Hard, How to Train Your Dragon, Blade Runner, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. All of these reviews will be posted in the coming days starting with Die Hard today. The other films that did not quite get enough votes were Charade and Gettysburg, however those two will either be up for voting again in a week or I will post after the aforementioned films. There is still time to vote for which review you want to see if you haven't already so Click Here to vote in the comments or just vote in the comments of this post.

According to your votes Die Hard is one of the reviews you wanted to see and with "A Good Day to Die Hard" coming out in a few weeks, I plan to post reviews for the entire Die Hard series leading up to the new movie. Most likely I will make a "Review Round-Up" for "A Good Day to Die Hard", if anyone is interested.
Die Hard is the action movie that redefined the action genre with the concept of a somewhat average guy saving people from a hostage crisis. The plot may seem like a cliché today but that is because so many other films have copied the formula with varying success for example: the movie Speed is considered "Die Hard on a Bus", and Air Force One "Die Hard on a Plane". At the time Bruce Willis was not known as the action movie star he is today, so the concept of him staring in a big action movie was unheard of. His likeness was not even on the original poster for Die Hard. Bruce Willis as John John McClane Unlike most action movies Die Hard did not start with a "Bang" like most but it set up the characters' back stories, which greatly aided in making it different from its contemporaries. Alan Rickman as the gentlemen villain Hans Gruber is one of the key aspects that makes the film great, he is one of the best film villains to date. It is difficult to describe why Die Hard worked without spoiling the film, you just have to watch it for yourself. While I would not consider Die Hard to be quite on the level of perfection that other actions films such as Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Matrix, it is nonetheless one of the best actions movies ever made. There is a lot of action after the movie gets going and there are even a few suspenseful moments. The only complaints I have with Die Hard are the few cheesy lines by some of the henchmen and the absurd amount of profanity. That is why I watched it on cable with the bad language cut out, please do not criticize my decision, but I do not enjoy watching movies with a ton of F-words (violence on the other hand is not a problem in the slightest). However, those are minor issues with an overall amazing and fun action film. One question that often comes up is whether Die Hard is a Christmas film. While it is set on Christmas-Eve and uses Christmas music, however it was released in the Summer (July 15), so it is a Christmas film? Considering that there are few Christmas movies that I really like, I have it at number one favorite Christmas film. I almost want to say that it  is one of the "Ultimate Guys Only Movie" because it is generally considered the de facto guy film. However there are some really cool women readers who love the movie, so I can't say that accurately.

Directed by: John McTiernan
Genre: Action,
Release Date: July 15, 1988 (1988-07-15)
Running Time: 131 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13

The Good: Action packed, Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber is a great villain, John McClane is a great hero, Revolutionary for its time, Memorable quotes, Great use of humor,

The Bad: Some cheesy dialogue,

Warning: This movie is rated "R" for graphic violence,  profanity, and other mature content.

Plot: On Christmas Eve, Detective John McClane of the New York City Police Department arrives in Los Angeles to reconcile with his estranged wife, Holly Gennaro-McClane. McClane is driven to the Nakatomi Plaza building for a company Christmas party by a limo driver named Argyle. The party is disrupted by the arrival of twelve armed men led by Hans Gruber. They cut the telephone lines and seal the building doors, trapping Argyle and the limo inside the parking garage and replacing the building guard with one of their own men. Hans and his group secure the party goers as hostages, but McClane manages to slip, barefoot, into a stairwell.
Gruber portrays himself to the police as a terrorist, but they are actually trying to steal $640 million in bearer bonds from the Nakatomi vault (Though it is later revealed that Gruber actually was a terrorist having gone rogue). When Nakatomi executive Joseph Takagi refuses to reveal the code for one of the vault's seven locks, Gruber executes him. Gruber orders Theo (Clarence Gilyard), the technical member of his team to break through the locks on the vault. Theo reminds Hans that the final lock is powered by circuits that cannot be cut locally.
McClane moves through the building, hiding from or shooting the terrorists he sees. He learns more of their objectives while acquiring a two-way radio and C4 explosives. McClane uses the radio to attract the attention of the LAPD, who send Sergeant Al Powell to investigate. Gruber sends his men, led by Karl, to kill McClane and retrieve the detonators. Fooled by the impostor guard, Powell is about to leave when McClane drops the corpse of a terrorist onto Powell's police car. Gruber's men then open fire on Powell, severely damaging his car, prompting Powell to call in back up. Watch the movie to see what happens next. This plot summery is from

Plot: 9.4/10- The concept might not sound as original today as it did in 1988 but that is because so many movies have copied the concept throughout the years. Compared to most action movies at the time, only Indiana Jones humanized the main protagonist more than Die Hard did with McClane. The setting adds the feeling of claustrophobia with the tight corridors, which at times added suspense. Except for a few cheesy lines and F-words, the dialogue sharp and often humorous, filled with memorable quotes (please reframe from quoting famous line in the comments because any profanity will be removed).

Action: 9.5/10- While some of the action and explosions were over-the-top, this first Die Hard is still in the realm of movie believability, unlike the disappointing sequels. There was not one extreme memorable action scene that stood-out among the rest, but overall the action was fun and well filmed.

Acting: 9.2/10- Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber was phenomenal, one of the all time best on-screen villains, his mannerisms and way of speaking were so entertaining. Bruce Willis was obviously great and played a likable protagonist as stated previously. Some of Hans Gruber’s henchmen’s performances were not the best and some could have been better.

Special effects: 8.0/10- There two scenes that use special effects both still look good today.

Soundtrack: 7.8/10- The soundtrack was good and used great classic Christmas songs to great effect.

Comedy: 8.1/10- John McClane’s dialogue is often humorous and memorable and contains many humorous lines throughout.

Would I Watch it Again: Since it is one of my favorite movies, it is a fantastic movie to re-watch, especially at Christmas time.

Overall: 9.4/10- Overall Die Hard is a classic action movie that every action film fan should watch and one of my favorite movies period.

Closing comments: Not only was Die Hard a fantastic action film, it was  redefined action films and created its own “Die-Hard-Clone” sub-genre.

Recommended for: Action movie fans, Alan Rickman fans, Bruce Willis fans,

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Reader's Choice.

Recently I and many of you readers have noticed a lack a of actual movie reviews and considering that this is a movie review website, that problem is about to be rectified. Here is this week's Reader's Choice were you, the read, votes in the comment section below for what you want to see me review and I have a plethora of choices today. Depending on the variety of votes cast, these will be posted Tuesday through Thursday (maybe even Friday) and either continue Monday or I will have another Reader's Choice on Monday.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Review
Terminator 2: Judgment Day Review
Die Hard (In-depth) Review
Vertigo Review
How to Train Your Dragon Review
Rear Window Review
Charade Review
Gettysburg Review
Blade Runner Review
Notorious Review
Lethal Weapon Review
The Bridge on the River Kwai Review

Here is the new Reader's Choice logo. Basically the header with "Reader's Choice" on it.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Peter Jackson Cameos in LOTR: Trivia Questions and Answers.

For last week's trivia I asked "How many cameos did Peter Jackson make in the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Can you name where?" and there many answers, most of which were correct. Because it seems like a fun idea, I decided to show all of Peter Jackson's cameos throughout the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and have some Middle Earth trivia questions at the end.

Jackson as some random guy with a carrot. This is one of his most well know cameos and one of the easiest to spot. Arda was the first to answer this one correctly.

Spear throwing solider in the Two Towers, answered first by Eldra.

The arrow is not pointing at Peter Jackson.
In the Return of the King Extended Edition, Peter Jackson makes a rather humorous cameo as the Umbar Corsair that Legolas shoot with an arrow. JT was the first to answer correctly.

There is one more possible Peter Jackson cameo that I have yet to confirm that Vellvin cited in last week's trivia questions. She said he was "Sam's hand just after Shelob's bitten Frodo". If anyone knows something to confirm this like a picture or website comment below.

Although this is not part of the trivia answers, Peter Jackson did make a brief appearance in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as a Dwarf fleeing during Smaug's attack.

Here are today's trivia questions.
What does the "J.R.R." in J.R.R. Tolkein's oft abbreviated name represent?
Where does Legolas come from?
How is the youngest of the 13 Dwarves?
In the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (film not book), who were the first four Dwarves to enter Bilbo's home?

Last week's trivia answers, which Shena Tokala answered correctly.
What did Uncle Owen from Star Wars do for a living (job)?
Answer: Moisture Farmer

What was Leia's starship at the beginning of Star Wars named?
Answer: Tantive IV

Name the movie and character that these quotes are from: "I recognize the council has made a decision, but given that it's a stupid-a-- decision, I've elected to ignore it."
Answer: The Avengers, Nick Fury

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Friday, January 18, 2013

How The Hobbit Should Have Ended.

HISHE finally made How The Hobbit Should Have Ended! Unfortunately it is not really that funny, however the after credits "Like, Comment, Subscribe" part is the best ever. Some parts of it were funny but overall not one of HISHE's best. It seems much harder to make a HISHE of truly amazing films, with the exception of The Dark Knight and Rises HISHE, those were HISHE's best. Also Harry Potter was ridiculously hilarious.  If you have not seen the movie do not watch the video because it spoils one of 2012's best films, click here to read my review.
 Warning: The video contains some unnecessary crude humor.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Seven Jedi: New Star Wars Movie.

There is a rumor going around that one of the Star Wars movies set around the new trilogy might be based on Akira Kurosawa's Japanese film Seven Samurai. It will not be the first time it has been adapted into film for example the famous western The Magnificent Seven even a Clone Wars episode was inspired by the film. For those who do not know the premise, basically seven Samurai/Gunmen/Jedi are hired by a small town to defend it from a tyrant who forces the townsfolk to pay him or he will kill everyone in the town. While I have yet to see the original Seven Samurai,  The Magnificent Seven is one of my favorite westerns and a must watch for any classic film fan. George Lucas has even said it himself that Kurosawa's films inspired Star Wars to a small degree, therefore it would not be a stretch to think that could be based on the film. Although it has been denied, Man of Steel and Watchman director Zack Snyder might take the helm as director. It really depends how Man of Steel turns out later this year whether if he will be a good choice for the job considering that his last three films have been more style (Sucker Punch, Watchmen, and 300) than substance. Obvious there must be seven Jedi since they are basically the samurai of Star Wars universe. It would most likely be set after Return of the Jedi featuring characters that might have a small role in the up-coming trilogy. However, I would much prefer if it would set in the Old Republic since it would have a more western, gritty setting. Because it seems like a good time, here are the seven actors I would want to Jedi in the possible film. Since the cast would have to be within reasonable budget to have seven Jedi, some actors would obviously cost way too much to be a side character, plus some of them would have to die.

The Seven Jedi

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo is an obvious choice and my first choice for a Jedi. His role of Aragon in The Lord of the Rings really is the model for him as a Jedi, particularly when he is first introduced. He is just perfect for an older wise Jedi, who escaped Vader's alienation of the Jedi Order and is now in hiding on some backwater planet. Considering the fact that Viggo really immerses himself in his roles, he might be the best Jedi since Obi-Wan. His role would be that of the leader of the group and the lead character in the story.

Ken Watanabe
Keeping with the story's Asia roots, Watanabe would be a great choice for a Jedi. When you can understand what he is saying, he's a fantastic actor and even looks the part of an old Jedi Master. Ken's role would be the second in command to Mortensen's character. He would be the Master to the next actor on this list.

Ellen Page
Page would make the perfect apprentice to Watanabe's character. Ellen is a very likable actress and she would add an identifiable character for the female audience. Her or her master would most likely be killed-off by the end of the film. Emma Watson would be an excellent alternative, although I am not sure who would be a better pick.

Liam Hemsworth
While my first choice for the role would be Joseph Gordon-Levitt, he would be too far out of the price rang for the film. Liam would be a young brash Jedi who believes himself strong in the Force despite his lack of experience. Eager to show his talents, he makes mistakes that put the villagers in danger and causes conflict within the group.    

Andy Serkis
While Serkis might seem like an odd choice, the film needs at least one non-human character, which would most likely be CGI. Who better to play a CGI character than the master himself, Andy Serkis. Not exactly sure which race the character would be but Serkis can do just about anything.

Lucy Liu
My first choice would Anne Hathaway for obvious reasons, however Lucy Liu is a more realistic choice. Another lower-profile choice, Lucy Liu is fantastic actress and her previous role in the Kill Bill films should give her a martial arts background to a point (assuming she did any of her own stunts). Alternately, she could be Ellen Page's Jedi Master in the story. Plus Liu and Page would be the first human female Jedi to have a sizable role in a Star Wars film.

Idris Elba
If you have seen him in Thor, you should that he would make an awesome Jedi. We need another Mace Windo type Jedi and Elba would be a perfect and reasonable pick. In the film he would play the role of former comrade of Viggo's character.

Few of these would be true ultra heroic Jedi, more shades of gray like Jolee Bindo from the Knights of the of the Old Republic video game where Light and Dark Side are really a matter of perspective.

The Villain

With seven Jedi the villain would have to be formidable foe with a sizable army of Dark Jedi and mercenaries as his disposal.  

Hugo Weaving/Benedict Cumberbatch
 Choosing the villain is extremely difficult because no actor that comes to mind is a realistic option. As much as I want Weaving and Cumberbatch to play Jedi, they would both make an excellent villain. Cumberbatch is highly unlikely considering that he will be the main villain in Star Trek: Into Darkness and would not accept a role in a Star Wars film. Hugo Weaving has shown that he is an awesome villain from his Agent Smith role in The Matrix, so imagine Agent Smith is a freaking Lightsaber! If it were set in the Old Republic, I can easily imagine him is a Sith specie in the red make-up. Other actors such as Javier Bardem and Tom Hardy would be cool but they would basically be playing the same character as in their previous films.

The Setting
Most likely it would be set some time after Return of the Jedi and somehow reference the up-coming Episode 7, however I would much prefer it would be set in the Old Republic. An Old Republic setting even being set before Revan and the Old Republic video game. That setting would make for a more gritty and primitive art style more suiting to Zack Snyder's typical art direction. Hopefully the story will be contained on a single backwater planet that just happens to bring some rouge Jedi together through the Force.

While my choices are somewhat unreasonable, featuring many Middle Earth and Chris Nolan cast members, this is who I would want to see in the film. Some of the actors here could be replaced by lesser known actors for the roles that die during the end of the film. As said above, these are more reasonable choices considering a film's budget and the actors other roles in film. For example I would love to see Michael Fassbender, Christ Hemsworth, Ian McKellan, Scarlett Johansson, Huge Jackman, Emma Watson, and Christian Bale, just to name a few actors that I would want in the film.

Do you agree with my choices? What would your dream cast look like? Please comment below.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

LOTR: Two Towers: Book Vs Film: Part 3.

Here is my Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers: Book Vs. Movie. In part one I will be comparing the chapter "Treebeard" namely, the changes made with "Treebeard's" personality. For this three part post, I have changed my typical writing format to more of a formal five paragraph essay just to give it a try. Due to the time it takes to write such a post, I most likely will not be continuing to write like this, however please give me your opinion of the post.

The Two Towers Book vs. Film

Although there have been many adaptations of books to film, few maintain accuracy to the original source material, which often frustrates the book’s fan base. While The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers is more accurate than most book to film adaptations, there are some changes that the director felt were necessary. Three prominent changes are Treebeard’s personality, Faramir’s nobility and Frodo’s betrayal of Sam.

In the adaptation of the chapter “Treebeard” from book to movie there were several changes. Most notable is Treebeard’s motive for later attacking the tower of Orthanc at Isengard. In the book, he is aware that Saruman is now affiliated with Mordor and that Saruman’s forces are cutting down Fangorn Forrest. Previously he planned an attack on Isengard and later gathered the other Ents at the Entmoot council to convince them to aid in the attack. On the other hand, in the film Merry and Pippin are rescued by Treebeard from the Orcs. Treebeard then assembles the Entmoot council to determine whether Merry and Pippin are Orcs. After determining that Merry and Pippin are not Orcs, Treebeard begins the journey to deliver the Hobbits back to their home. However, Merry and Pippin trick him into taking a route that leads them to the location where the other Ents were cut down by Saruman’s army, thus provoking his attack on the tower of Orthanc. Although the chapter could have been adapted better, it is understandable considering the limited time devoted to these events.
Please check back here tomorrow for my new Star Wars post about a up-coming Star Wars film. Also click on these links to read Part 1 and Part 2. of the Two Towers: Book Vs. Film posts.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Funny Pictures and an Announcement.

Here are some funny Lord of the Rings, Avengers and other funny pictures for your enjoyment. Be sure to check back tomorrow for part 1 of the Long Expected Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Book vs. Film post! Update: I have a special Star Wars post scheduled for Thursday that I am working on about the Seven Jedi, please check it out.
Most of these pictures are from Rebecca at Just me... and The Sith Photographer at Cupcakes to Lightsabers.
Best picture ever!

I found this to be incredibly interesting.

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