Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Top 100 Movies: Part 6: 50-41.

Half way through the Top 100! As I progress further towards the end of the list, more of the movies will be much more fan oriented picks, because those are the ones that I will watch and re-watch for years to come. Also I plan to eventually review all of the films on this list if I have not already. Here is the list.

At Number 50: Braveheart
Despite winning the Oscar for Best Picture, Braveheart's general opinion is often mix, you either love or hate, obviously I love it. It is such an inspiring movie and manly film, it makes you want to standup against tyranny and fight for "FREEDOM!" The famous speech is utterly bone chilling and epic, probably the best movie speech ever filmed. Sure it may have little resemblance with actual history, but it is a fantastic film and that what matters in the end. "They can take our lives. But they can never take our Freedom!"

At Number 49: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a revolutionary western in terms of the way it was made, yet it has never been copied. The humorous and witty dialogue between Butch and Sundance is hilarious and Redford and Newman deliver it with perfection. Also the movie is surprisingly historically accurate compared to most other history based movies, particularly westerns.

At Number 48: Ghostbusters
"If there's something strange in your neighborhood Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!"
From the classic theme song to the hilarious memorable quotes there is so much to like in Ghostbusters. Bill Murray's humorous dead pan performance and comedic timing is perfect. Despite the rather absurd concept, Ghostbusters has an unexpectedly clever plot and makes it work well.

At Number 47: Vertigo
Often considered Alfred Hitchcock's best film, Vertigo has the best pure mystery element in any of his films that I have seen. James Stewart's performance was reliably fantastic and Kim Novak was excellent as well in her role. Vertigo is one of the most mind bending movies ever made, it challenges your intellect and has so many plot twists and turns it almost leaves you dizzy, despite the slow plot pacing. If you enjoy having a movie mess with your mind, just watch Vertigo, it is truly amazing!

At Number 46: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Who knew that a movie based on a Disney world ride could be so good but Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl definitely succeed against all odds. Johnny Depp stole every scene he was in as the likable Captain Jack Sparrow. Not since The Adventures of Robin Hood has a film been packed with this much swashbuckling action adventure but Curse of the Black Pearl is just pure entertainment and escapism, savvy?

At Number 45: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon completely took me by surprise, I never expected it to have such amazingly choreographed action scenes and a epic story. I have always been a fan of great fight choreography and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is two hours of visually stunning fights, yet has an excellent plot. I watched the English dub version of the film, which was much better any other English dubs I have seen, although I assume the subtitled is good as well.

At Number 44: Kelly' Heroes
Out of all the films on this list, Kelly's Heroes has probably been seen by the fewest people. Kelly's Heroes is an unconventional war film because it is more of a comedy, but does have some fun action scenes throughout. Donald Sutherland's character Oddball is hilarious! He really steals the show and Clint Eastwood is awesome as always in as Kelly. There is some great satire in the film of Clint Eastwood's westerns and war films in general.
Kelly's Heroes Review

At Number 43: Inglourious B------
Please excuse the language on this poster.
Inglourious is the first and currently only Quentin Tarantino film I have seen, but it certainly will not be the last. The dialogue is sharp, witty, and full of tension, with some well time humor and fantastic performances from the ensemble cast. Inglourious is not for everyone, but it might just be my favorite war film ever made.

At Number 42: Batman Begins
The first chapter in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy started from the beginning, with Batman's origin. One of the most underrated aspects of the movie is Gary Oldman's character Commissioner Gordon, who was the most real and believable character throughout the trilogy. 
*Spoiler* Here's an interesting plot hole, which I might elaborate more on later, Ra's al Ghul used a microwave machine type to evaporate Gotham's water to release Scarcrow's toxin. Humans are made up of mostly water, thus everyone around the weapon would therefore be turned into a mound of microwaved goo. The military has actually made weapon grade directional microwave weapons, which boils the brain and other organs and obviously causes death. Just a fun fact at the writer's lack of scientific knowledge, that is particularly noticeable in Nolan's supposedly "Realistic" take on the character, although it does not detract from the overall enjoyment. *End Spoiler. 


At Number 41: Gladiator
Gladiator, one of Ridley Scott's many amazing films and possibly his best. Why are there not more films set during the Roma period? There was so much fascinating history that filmmakers should use to create more movies. Oddly enough, Gladiator is one of the few Best Picture winners that should be considered an action movie, because the action is awesome. Gladiatorial battles have always been so fascinating to men and Gladiator uses that setting to great effect.
 Are any of these your favorites as well? Please comment below.
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Iron Man: Extremis Reivew

In preparation of Iron Man 3, here is my review for the comic book story Extremis. 
Thoughts: Extremis is an Iron Man comic book story arc, which the upcoming Iron Man 3 is loosely based on, and it is often credited for reinventing Iron Man for the modern era. Because Iron Man 3 is based on this comic book, the plot details will be kept to a minim as to not spoil plot points for the film.
Extremis' influence can be clearly seen in first Iron Man film in various aspects of the film. For example, Afghan terrorists take Tony hostage just like the film, however there are many other differences. Warren Ellis wrote a fresh new take on Iron Man's character, redefining the status quo and telling a more modern origin, through a series of flashbacks, as well as giving him the new Extremis armor. This review is for the Extremis motion comic, not the actual comic book, because that is the version I found easiest, although they are basically the same in terms of content. The main villain, Mallen, does have a solid character arc, but is there to pose a significant threat to Tony than anything else. *Possible Iron Man 3 Spoiler* In Iron Man 3 the villain is an amalgam of the characters Dr. Aldrich Killian and Mallen. *End Spoilers* The story is darker and more realistic tech-thriller than the most Iron Man stories, yet does not seem too far outside the previously established universe.  

For first time readers of the comics, Tony Stark's character is slightly different than that of Robert Downey Jr.'s in that he is more serious and Pepper Potts actually married "Happy" Hogan (Stark's security guy) in the comics, not Tony.

Plot: 9.2/10- As stated above, Ellis revitalized Iron Man for modern era and told a unique story.

Art: 8.5/10- Adi Granov's art style is unique and almost odd at first, however the combination of realistic and cell shaded art worked well as a whole.

Voice Acting: 7.9/10- Jason Griffith as Tony Stark is decent, not as good as some of the voice actors for animated series, but still solid. The rest of cast is solid for the most part, but not up to the quality of an animated feature.

Motion Comic: 8./10- There are different views on motion comics, I view them as the audio-book equivalent of comic books, where some look down upon them as a lesser form of the medium, I view them as an expansion of said medium. As for the motion comic itself, Extemis is one of better I have seen. Granov's art lends itself well to motion unlike most other motion comics, easily the best I have thus far in terms of quality.

 Overall: 8.5/10- Overall Extremis' is an excellent comic book story, even though it does not work as an animated film by any means, it is a well told Iron Man story that fans of the character should definitely check out. 

Closing Comments: Although I do recommend watching the motion comic for Iron Man fans, it would probably be best to watch it after watching Iron Man 3 as to not spoil any plot points.

Warning: The motion comic contains one instance of strong swearing and graphic animated violence and it requires a Hulu account to view it, however I am not 100% certain it is free because I watched on YouTube when they had it uploaded.
Also please check back tomorrow for more Top 100 Movies!

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Star Wars Special Editions, Why We Hate It!

Most Star Wars fans would agree that the special edition changes to the original Star Wars films are completely unnecessary and are often hated by many, especially the infamous change to the Han vs. Greedo scene. However, few would really care about the changes if the original version was easily available on DVD or Blu-Ray. For example, Ridley Scott's various cuts of Blade Runner are not criticized because every cut is readily available in various formats. Conversely, Lucas had refused to remaster the theatrical cuts because he claims that it would be "Too costly" to re-master them. He basically had half the money in the whole world; he could have done just about anything he wanted! Even if it would cost a lot to make, they would have sold like crazy because everyone wants to see the original version, particularly in HD (high definition). Lucas would easily make back all the money it took to re-master them and then some few. The only possible reason Lucas could had for not releasing the original version is that he actually thinks that the new version is better and should be the only version that people need see, which is insane. I know he use to own Star Wars but he should have given the people what they want. But us Star Wars fans might just have a chance to see the original versions of Star Wars again since Disney has bought Lucas Film. Unfortunately Fox currently has the rights to the original films for the next few years. Lets all hope that one day soon the original Theatrical Edition will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD in good quality. What do you think of this subject? Please comment below with your thoughts.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Two Year Blogiversary!

 Today is my two year Blogiversary! Technically yesterday was my Blogiversary but I kind of forgot and two years ago today was my first real post, while the actual first was just a test. At the time, I would have never expected to still be blogging, but two years and 729 posts later, here I am posting every day, which is all thanks to the 88 awesome followers. A big thanks to everyone who follows my blog and everyone who has commented on this blog. You make blogging worth it, thank you. My next goal is reaching 100 followers!
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Iron Man 3 Early Reviews!

Iron Man 3 will be released in one week from today, unless you live in Europe or Australia, then you might have already seen Iron Man 3. From the early reviews the film does not disappoint in the slightest! Although most film critics have yet to review the film, The Dark Knight worshiping fanboys at gave it an outstanding 9.0/10, which is the same score The Dark Knight Rises received. Normally their reviews are not particularly great due to their bias towards anything Christopher Nolan makes, The Dark Knight especially. However considering that Iron Man 3 received a 9/10 and was said to be quote: "A comic-book movie that expertly melds action, comedy and drama to become the finest Iron Man movie yet.", I am certain that it will not disappoint. In preparation of the film I will be re-watching first two Iron Man films again and avoiding all trailer, clips and possible spoilers. I may re-review the first because my previous review is subpar compared what I writing currently, although I have yet to make a decision on that. Also expect a review for the Iron Man comic book Extremis, which Iron Man 3 is partially based on. Anyone else excited for Iron Man 3 as I am? Please comment below.
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thor: The Dark World Trailer Review.

Here is the full review for the new Thor: The Dark World trailer. As I stated before, I am in awe, this is going to be so much better than I originally expected. Alan Taylor appears to be taking this film in a darker direction, which is not surprising considering he has directed a few episodes of the popular fantasy series "Game of Thrones", which I have not seen (HBO costs way too much). In a way, this Thor reminds me of Star Wars in the sense that the first Star Wars had a lighter tone and then Empire Strikes Back came back with a hard hitting darker tone, although one cannot expect Thor to be nearly as amazing as the best two films ever made. The final shot of the trailer with Thor asking Loki for aid is the best part to me, because Loki is one of my all-time favorite characters in any form of fiction. The first Thor was great because of the relatable brother dynamic between Thor and Loki. My brother and I are best of friends and Thor and Loki relationship works so well. Loki is on the cusp of being redeemable and believes that he can be redeemed, which would be how I would feel if I were in Thor's situation. If Loki and Thor do team-up in the epic final battle, it would really make the film for me. Overall this trailer is awesome, the only thing missing is the humor, which is not a huge problem.
Thor: The Dark World is my new most anticipated film of the year, or slightly behind the new Hobbit and maybe Iron Man 3.
Below are JT's thoughts and both of our comments on the screen caps from the trailer.

Now here is JT's part of this review.
JT: Well, is this one awesome movie or what? To borrow another notable's super's line, the original may have been the film Thor needed to introduce himself, but this is the one he deserves. The music appears to be at least as good as the first one, the story is better, and there are surprises... Director of Thor 1: "Let's make a cartoonish and fun movie people will laugh at. Director of this one: Ok, guys, listen up. We are going to make a movie today! So get right down to it. Enough with the cartoonish rainbows!" Did I mention medievalness is awesome? And Loki's back! He was only the highlight of the original at first viewing, so that's great news. This looks really fun in every way right now and I will definitely be going to see it, even though I am not actually with most of you in the ranks of hard-core geeks for Marvel.
JT: See the truck. See the truck levitate. Behold, a dark power is at work on the Earth. Maybe it's Thor announcing himself, but I doubt it.
James: Maybe when the dark energy is coming it creates an other worldly phenomenon or some kind of electromagnetic charge lifting it before Thor arrives.
JT: What exactly does this shot show?
James: This appears to be showing some kind of dark new enemy awakening, probably Malekith.
James: Here is the first full shot of Thor's kick butt new armor.
JT: You can practically hear her thinking "Oh yay! My kevlar-suited alien prince Charming has returned!
James: Natalie Portman is back and as beautiful as always, although she does look a little shocked that Thor. Wonder if this is the first time Jane has seen Thor in person because Thor should have had time to met her again before leaving for Asgard again at the end of The Avengers. Jane would have at least seen Thor in the news about the battle of New York.
JT: Ok, but I personally don't think it plausible that they met after Avengers, because what would he do with Loki during the downtime? Just have him awkwardly sitting nearby handcuffed and gagged while they hung out? So yeah, "I promised you I would return" and this when he does it.
James: Thor looks awesome in his new armor! Slightly different than the one we saw in The Avengers, but just as, if not more, awesome than what he had before.
JT: I see more shininess and a bit more puffiness on the arms and legs, but otherwise no difference.
JT: Thor: "Why are you working in this dump? My Princess charming deserves better. Pack your bags, cause you're moving to Asgard." Jane: "Well...Remember when the agents took all my stuff? I'm homeless now."
James: After a long wait Jane finally gets to see Thor again, it will be interesting to see how much time has passed since the first Thor and The Avengers.
James: Kat Dennings is back as Darcy but it will most likely be a brief cameo in the beginning. Many viewers did not like her, I actually enjoyed her humor, although I hope that she will not be playing a large role in the film.
James: Epic Thor entrance! Hopefully he did not fry too many people with his beam of epicness.
JT: Unfortunately, this is the end of Thor's epic entrance. Notice how they're both awfully stretched out as they rocket upward? Shades of the comical flavor of the first one and it's treatment of the rainbow bridge.
James: Oh, that should be Epic Thor Exit!
JT: Nice view...
James: This shot is particular reminds of The Lord of the Rings, which is always a good thing.
JT: Asgard looks better with age.
James: Wow, Asgard is looking amazing, less shiny and more and aged. Cannot wait to see more of it!
JT: Is that Sif? I'm thinking she does not appreciate the intrusion of miss astroscientist.
James: Sif is not very pleased with Thor bring Jane to Asgard, I sense some serious jealousy, or that is what the trailer wants you to think. In the comics I do believe Thor married Sif, in one of the versions at least.
James: Now this frame intrigues me the most, because that looks like that is Loki in front. Maybe I am wrong, but does look a lot like Loki with the hair and costume. Anyone else with ideas as to the identity of that character?
JT: Oh, good catch! I did not notice that the first time... Although I am equally intrigued by the identity of the character Thor is supporting up the hill. Who could that be?
James: The character Thor is supporting up the hill is probably Jane (or maybe Sif) because the characters appears famine but it is hard to tell.
JT: Save Jane! She's falling! (off-screen) "Don't worry it's just an optical illusion house..."
James: Not entirely sure what this is implying. Jane might be given some important role in the plot like having some kind of power or is cursed by Malekith, but it is unclear at this time.
JT: Ok, kidding aside, there's an idea there... Maybe they will solder her grasp of astrophysics onto the Asgard world and make her some kind of doomsday seer...
JT: Bow to the power of the Sith! The Empire has come to Asgard! But seriously, that is one dangerous looking ship and I'm on the edge of my seat to find out what emerges...
James: That ship does look like a Sith vassal, particularly the Old Republic, I assume that is Malekith's ship.
James: This reminds me of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 with all explosions in the trees.
JT: But who's causing the explosion?
James: Anthony Hopkins is back as Odin, king of Asgard and he was one of the many great aspects of the previous Thor film, looking forward to seeing more of him.
JT: Maybe, but I don't think we'll see a lot of him since his one appearance in the trailer is to say "I refuse to help"
James: Epic Lord of the Rings scale battle! Are those Loki's soldiers with the Loki horn helmets? Wonder if Loki calls his army to aid in the battle against Malekith as part of the bargain with Thor or he might just be fighting against Thor.
JT: Wait a minute James, another look at the shot of Odin shows that they are Odin's guard. The horn-helmed guys are definitely with Thor. The helmets match. btw, where is Thor in this shot? He's gone AWOL.
James: JT is correct, those are definitely Odin's soldiers not Loki's and as for Thor, this is probably before he arrives.

James: Dark Elves vs. Asgardian soldiers and Thor standing in the middle, this is going to be beyond epic!
James: Definitely appears to be Dark Elves there, because in the Asgardian realm the Dark Elves kind of look similar to Orcs crossed with Elves, opposed to other interpretations.
James: Glad to see Thor is still having some fun in battle with that smile on his face, because Viking love combat!
James: Sif in her combat armor, these are some of the shots from the scene that I posted set pictures about a few months ago.
JT: What's going on here? Someone just took a hammer to the gut. My guess would be Loki, cause this setting looks the same as the shots below of Loki sitting in a containment cell...Oh wait it's worse than that. There's blood flying around right there...
James: Agreed, definitely Loki cell, is Thor breaking him out or fighting him? That does look like blood, which would be awesome! 
JT: Haven't you heard? The teletubbies turned to the dark side a while ago...
James: Christopher Eccleston (aka the 9th Doctor) is playing Malekith the Accursed the dark elf leader from Svart√°lfar. Considering that he is the main villain it is odd that he is not shown more, although they could still be working on the effect since the film is not set to release until the fall.
James: Malekith is trying to Jane it appears, but that is about all that can be surmised from the shot.
JT: Somebody died. Is your money on Jane or Sif? These shots immediately above show Jane falling off a cliff. I'm afraid I knew she going to die in this movie as soon as the synopsis was released....
James: Not sure who just died, but I wonder if Portman has a contract for more films, although I have not read the synopsis and would not recommend anyone else doing so.
James: Epic title banner!
James: Loki's cell, kind of similar to The Avengers but I assume it uses magic to keep him in there.
James: Cloaks seem to be the new fashion trend in Asgard and the costumes look awesome thus far, very Viking like.
JT: Is it just me or does Loki look like Snape? And he's living in a glass box in the middle of nowhere. Oh I remember now. Thor put him there after taking him back to Asgard last time. It's a trap!
James: If the other epic shots from the trailer were not enough, this is what makes me extremely excited because Loki is one of, if not, my favorite character in movies right now. He reminds me of some 80s or 90s punk rock band member and I guess he does look a little bit like Snape from Harry Potter and as evident from the Avengers bloopers, he can do a very good impression.
For more an even more in-depth look at the trailer, watch IGN's Rewind Theater of the trailer as they break-it-down similar to the way JT and I have above. 


Below is the epic music used in the trailer.

What did you think of the trailer? Please comment below and check back tomorrow for the Iron Man 3 countdown.
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