Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Love You, Man -- and a word about the Fox Theatre in the Beaches area of Toronto

Last night I was out with my wife and my Wife’s friend in the Beaches area of Toronto. For eons it seems, there’s been a movie theatre there called the Fox that my Wife wanted to go to. It was across the street from the restaurant we were eating at (the “Goof” Chinese Restaurant, nicknamed such because of a mishap with their old neon sign “GOOD FOOD” where the “D” in “GOOD” and the “OOD” in “FOOD” failed to light after a time, spelling “GOOF”, and stayed that way for years), and the marquee at the Fox showed I Love You, Man playing at a time late enough that we felt we could eat comfortably and still make the time to see the movie, if only to visit the Fox. I had never been there before, and I love these old-style “flat” (as opposed to the new stadium seated) theatres that play a mix of new and old films and hold film themed events like “Grindhouse” nights and stuff.

I Love You, Man was an okay comedy about a guy, Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), who is so girlish that he’s more comfortable around women than men, more of a girlfriend guy. As a result, when he proposes to his girlfriend, he realizes that he doesn’t have very many friends to invite to his wedding, let alone anyone to make his Best Man. So, he tries to find male friends and ends up being buddies with a laid back “dude” kind of guy, Sydney Fife (Jason Segal from TV’s How I Met Your Mother), who teaches him all of the mysterious trappings of male bonding, most of which Peter is very awkward about, trying to sound cool making up terms and nicknames that sound lame. This is basically a romantic comedy about guys that still manages to be about a man and woman getting married. Mix in the regular formula of this genre, like the second-act break up (which happens between Peter and his fiancée and Peter and Sydney), third-act make up (which, again, happens between both parties), goofy comic-relief friends (in this case the fiancees’ horny friend and friend with a pissed off husband played by Jon Favreu, and Peter’s oddly masculinely gay brother Andy Samburg), and unnecessary, random but welcome guest appearances (in this movie’s case it’s Lou frickin’ Ferrigno and Canadian maga-band Rush – and if you don’t believe this is part of the formula, please see Tony Robbins in Shallow Hal).

Lou Ferrigno is awesome in this movie. He appears in maybe 3 scenes, his voice is in two more over the phone, but his presence is everywhere here. Peter has to sell his house over the course of the movie and can’t seem to find buyers. Ferrigno’s house is maybe one of the greatest houses in film. It’s a huge estate, where every room seems to have at least 2 Hulk or Herculese posters and standess. Now, that’s how you decorate a house! There’s even a gigantic Lou Ferrigno statue in the front lawn! There’s at least one scene where Ferrigno fights Jason Segal, to which Peter’s fiancée asks “Who picks a fight with Lou Ferrigno!?” (non-spoiler: Lou Ferrigno wins).

The movie itself was light and fun, with Paul Rudd being appropriately awkward, and J.K. Simmons as Peter’s Dad making appearances here and there (is J.K. Simmons playing everyone’s Dad now??).

2.5 out of 5

The Fox theatre itself was wicked. Looks newly renovated too. If you’re ever in that area of Toronto, I recommend the place. The popcorn was the best I’ve ever tasted (dare I say better than Bloor cinema?) while their fountain drink selection isn’t as varied as Bloor but they make up for it in bottled drinks (and their fountain drinks are mixed better than regular theatres, more tasty). Their schedule of events and movies is a mix of new and classic films, and it seems that the crew that own the place currently are about my age, showing stuff like Superman and Close Encounters with a mix of stuff we would have seen late-night on TV like Clockwork Orange. I really loved their introduction in their hard-copy calendar listing to a program they’re running starting this month called “Way Back Throwback”, to take an excerpt:

“Just what in the past twenty years does the movie industry have to show for itself? What will be Hollywood’s legacy film for ‘Generation Y’? Michael Bay’s Transformers? Great movies are awfully hard to come by these days. How many times have we seen Hollywood remake a totally rad movie from thirty years ago and turn it into a twitching monstrosity with Hilary Duff or Paris Hilton in the lead role? [editor’s rant: Apologies to Ms. Duff (if that is your real name) but everyone knows the role of Bonnie Parker belongs to Faye Dunaway. When will those clowns in Tinsletown learn?]

With all the recent examples of mediocrity and disappointment emanating from the movie industry lately, isn’t it finally time to turn up your nose, put down your foot, and say ‘no more, sir!’ to all the frivolous, heavy-handed remakes? And isn’t a refreshing look back at the finer films of a generation past just what the doctor ordered to cure this ill-gotten disease of recycled, half-baked creativity? We think so.”

Amen, brothers and sisters. Amen.

You can visit their website, which features schedules and listings at:


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Terminator Salvation (aka the best lit movie in Hollywood)

Terminator. The name inspires images of a frowning Arnold Schwarzenegger going back to the past, alternately attempting to kill, and attempting to save John Connor. Through the entire franchise, we have heard whispers in our ears: Judgment Day. (Okay, most people were hearing those whispers...I was hearing "where'd you leave the toilet paper this time, you little ass!") But I digress...this is not the time to discuss whom left the toilet paper where. This is Terminator. This is serious. This is...McG. Excuse me? McG. The Charlie's Angels guy? Are you serious?

To best answer that question, I will simply say: yes. Yes, I am serious. This movie rocked. It rocked all night, and partied every day. This movie delivered, in a series of movies, where some were okay (Wolverine), and some were bad (Star Trek), this movie delivered large and in spades. What do you want? Do you want a large friggin' robot attacking people, and then little motorcycles spawning from his legs to give chase? Yes, we had that. Do you want, in one particular scene, missiles fired, land mines detonated, John Connor shooting a Terminator from a helicopter, and then burning the surounding landscape, before crashing the 'copter and doing battle with some water-based robots? That may be the longest sentence I've written in my entire life, but yes, you got that. Do you want a serious, hardcore, relentless action film set in the Terminator universe, complete with a big muscular guy with Arnold's face in a cameo? You have that. You even have the best lit movie in history (as Christian Bale would attest). This movie DELIVERS people, flat-out delivers, and whatever you've been reading on the 'Net, whatever you think about this movie, think again. Remember, those goofs on the web slamming this movie probably think Transformers rock...and that not being able to see action is cool. You want to see the story of these guys? It's actually already been released. It's called Idiocracy.

So, do yourself a favour, and plop down 12 bucks and see this movie. It must be seen in the theatre, for its great cinematography, for the effects, for the unreal sound, for everything. If you miss out on this movie, if you decide to rent it on DVD, you are just not getting the full effect of this movie...and just remember...diss the Terminators...and Arnold (or his CGI variant) will get you. He'll be back.

I bid thee a fond good night.

Rating 5 out of 5.

- Stephenstein

Ill take a McG combo please.

Terminator Salvation is the 4th film in the series of Terminator movies started by James Cameron. There is also a tv series that got cancelled after 2 seasons (probably because it was actually good). So this concept has been around for a while, and for some reason it just wont die.

Well I figured out the reason…cause ITS AWESOME!!! This 4th film hits the mark large. It delivers great action and effects, and the action can be seen this time….not like shaky cam transformers (unless you like 2 heaps of junk metal rolling around a forest). In this film you can see machines fighting men in the same shot. There are long takes that show simultaneous action with explosions, machines, and gun fire all in one shot! Not the quick cut-aways by current film makers, who think that shaking the camera equals excitement. No. This movie was excitement. I ducked at some parts! I wasn’t in imax, I was in a normal theatre (less than normal, it was yorkdale mall) and I was ducking at some of the things that were jumping at the screen! The story was pretty good too and everything was taken seriously. Really serious. You cant even go in the water without a terminator trying to bite your ass!

No laughs, no cheesy jokes, and no nonsense. While T2 is obviously the best in the series (due to its action, groundbreaking effects and the human story element), this film is a great installment and I cant wait to see part 5, and I cant wait to own this one on dvd. After the show, we were so excited about this that one friend said “I wish McG would’ve directed Star Trek.” I never thought id live to hear that sentence!


Monday, May 25, 2009

You Cant Take it With You.

Fortunately you can take the dvd with you. If you had to pick the top 5 best films ever, you would probably have to pick:

It’s a Wonderful Life,
You Cant Take it With You,
Meet John Doe,
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.

Mr. Smith is my personal fave, but they are all equally amazing. Frank Capra was a great man, who made films that touch us in ways that other films could never dream of. This film is no exception. Jimmy Stewart (my number one fave actor of all time, second is Bruce Campbell!), is just awesome as usual, but I really loved Lionel Barrymore as Grandpa. Everyone in town calls him Grandpa, and that’s because he represents all Grandfathers. He was once a business man who one day went up to work in the elevator and realized he isn’t doing what he loves to do. He goes back down the elevator and walks away from his job forever.

He becomes a man who lives free and does what he enjoys. He houses a bunch of other like-minded individuals and they live happy and free. Until a banker decides he wants their land and Grandpa refuses to sell at any price. Of course the bankers son (Jimmy) is in love with a girl who lives with Grandpa, and thus we have the standard Frank Capra feel good festival. We know the banker will break down, and we know that the couple will make up, but Capra’s films are not about being unpredictable, but are about humanity and the capacity for good that everyone has.

The banker isn’t such a bad guy, he’s just forgotten how to be good. He has forgotten that life is about living, not surviving. Jimmy says Grandpa’s family has courage. Courage to do what they want to. Most people are scared to spend money, so they save it and do nothing with it.

The message of this movie is that people need fun in their lives. Not to be scared, not to constantly worry about how things will turn out, not to spend their lives doing crap they hate and not how much money they will be able to save…after all, you cant take it with you.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sherlock "The British Bad Ass" Holmes

The above picture is of Jeremy Brett, a British actor who played Sherlock Holmes in 41 adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous stories. I am not sure if those of you out there know that I am a BIG Sherlock Holmes fan. But not of any visual adaptation besides the Brett television show. I like the original stories and his show…that’s it. The other Holmes stuff is ok, not too bad. Basil did a good job, but non of these other adaptations were accurate of the real Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes was a brilliant man, second only to Mycroft (his smarter brother), but Mycroft was too lazy for police work, so he spent most of his time in gentleman’s club, and serving the government in various ways, while trying to maintain a leisurely life. Holmes, on the other hand, was active and craved mystery. When he didn’t get it, he would play his violin, or shoot up cocaine to keep himself sane. Most of the stories are told from Watson’s perspective, and he is usually in the dark about what’s going on. Holmes is sometimes rude, condescending and gets irritated with people’s stupidity and pretty dislikes women (they cant be trusted and are harder to read then men). Holmes only ever had one “love” interest and it went no where, because he doesn’t care to pursue such vices. This is the real Sherlock Holmes and we never really got him till Jeremy Brett.

Which brings me to the point of this article. The new Sherlock Holmes movie is coming soon with Robert Downey Jr as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson. There is fighting, action, partial nudity and a lot of stupid comedy. Now I haven’t seen the movie, so I cant judge, but with all my knowledge about Holmes and how movies work today, it looks like we are gonna get nailed again with a stupid adaptation that is pointless and doesn’t pay any respect to the character Doyle created. But you never know, it may be a good movie, but I have serious concerns over the storyline and how “bad ass” they are gonna make Holmes.

PS: Holmes does know how to fight, but hardly ever does. I have seen him fight more times in this trailer, than in all the Jeremy Brett series put together.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Angels and Demons

Remember when the Da Vinci Code came out? All the furor, the press, the indignation? Well, here we have the "sequel", which is actually the prequel if you're going by the books, but those crazy Hollywood types, they never seem to get things right. So Tom (I won 2 Oscars 15 years ago, or so) Hanks has returned with his buddy, Ron Howard, to deliver another religious thriller. The critics and fans hated the first one. How did they do in round 2?
Well, I think they did really good, personally. Now yes, they probably didn't jam every ounce of the book into the movie (and thank God, because this religious history stuff is hard enough to follow as it is), and I'm sure there were great parts in the book that never saw the light of day in the film, but that's the case for all, SETTLE DOWN! Better. Not great, but better.
So what you get in this one is a good, albeit somewhat predictable film, with suspense and fine performances turned in by Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor.
Now, the question on everyone's mind who saw Da Vinci Code is, does this film run as long as the first film? The answer is, I think it does, but this one ran a little smoother than it's predecessor. It's still somewhat a long movie, but I feel there was less to cut out of this one, and far more intrigue and a faster pace. As I am quickly falling out of favour of 3 hour opus' that really could be 2 hour opus' (and I'm looking right at you, Dark Knight), this movie could have really irritated me...but it didn' there.
So check this one out, if you're interested enough from the first film to enter the world of Robert Langdon, and those crazy, crazy guys in the church.
I bid thee a fond good night.
- Stephenstein

Thursday, May 14, 2009

From the set of Michael Bay's latest...

This person went to a Michael Bay set…and lived to tell about it…

As a new reporter for ‘The Hollywood Gabber’, I was given the unwelcome assignment of going to the set of Michael Bay ’s latest tragedy, a remake of “My Three Sons”. In the film, former Oscar Winner F. Murray Abraham, Michael Gambon, and George Wendt play the three sons in question, with Clint Eastwood portraying the father. In this action-packed, explosives-laden film, the three barely breathing thespians take on rapper Ludacris, who plays their arch-nemesis, the villainous gangster Big John Fart.

When I arrived on the set, I found Bay screaming at the highly-respected Eastwood, claiming that the living legend was standing in the way of one of Bay’s explosions. As he continued his ranting, I gazed at the faces of the cast and crew of this travesty. A more demoralized group of people, I have never seen. Finally finished, Bay turned to me.

“What the f*** do you want?” He shouted.

“Mr. Bay, I’m a new reporter from the Hollywood Gabber, and I’m here to report on the movie you’re shooting. Specifically, what’s the storyline?”

“Storyline!” Bay laughed. “Have you seen any of my other movies? There are no storylines! No scripts! No logic! Just hot, almost-nude women, stupid jokes, and lots, and lots of explosions!”

It should be noted that, while Bay was screaming this into my face, he unzipped his pants, and whipped out the smallest penis in recorded history.

“Do you see this?” He guffawed, while shaking his microscopic member at me, “this is what drives Hollywood these days!”

“Mr. Bay,” I sputtered, trying to get the conversation back on something resembling sanity, “in your opinion, why are your movies so popular!”

“Because people are stupid!” He ranted. “Here, let my chest hair explain the rest.”

I looked three inches below his neck, and noticed that Bay’s shirt was open, and a tangle of unseemly chest hair was poking out. I was shocked, when the chest hair began to spoke, eerily sounding like Sir Ian McKellen.

“You see, Michael Bay is the greatest filmmaker in the history of cinema, specifically because he makes absolute s***, and everyone loves him. I mean, he literally pulls material out of his a**, and throws it in front of the camera, and everyone thinks its great!” The chest hair told me. Then another voice continued, from the top of Bay’s head. It was his mop of unkempt greasy hair, and it sounded exactly like Sir Anthony Hopkins.

“One day, you all will understand the power of Michael Bay . One day, his name will be on everyone’s lips, and a**cheeks.”

As my heart pounded in my chest, at this physical impossibility, my mind raced to find a fact, any fact, that could bring this entire interview into the realm of normalcy. “There are some people in the internet who don’t like your movies!” I blurted.

Bay laughed again. “You stupid, insolent f***”, he screeched, “it doesn’t matter what the people with brains on the internet say! I have people in my corner, powerful people who cannot be touched, like JoBlo’s James Thoo! I mean sure, he’s been caught sodomizing goats, and exposing himself to small children, but it doesn’t matter, because people still think his syllable-challenged posts are good!”

I had to get out of there. This was no place for a human with a brain. Without another word, I rushed from the set, and returned to my lonely cubicle, typing out this article. As I was surfing the ‘Net, seeking any sort of salve for my outraged values, I stumbled across another story, claiming that Fox was so enamored with painfully horrible dialogue, mindless, unwatchable action, and toilet humor of “My Three Sons”, that Bay has been signed to direct a biopic of Martin Luther King Jr., simply entitled “King”. Rumor has it that Shia Labeouf has already been signed to play the title role of King, with Sean Bean portraying a fun-loving Jesuit priest named Julio, and Paris Hilton taking on the role of a banana. Also, apparently, Bay wants Beyonce for a role in the film of Reba McIntyre, but only if she shows up in her alter-ego of Sasha Fierce

“I don’t want that b**** Beyonce,” he proclaimed, “I want Sasha!”

When asked about Martin Luther King Jr., and why he chose to take on this assignment, Bay’s response was extremely cryptic.

“F*** Martin Luther King Jr.! I was the real inspiration for High School Musical 3!”

So what did I learn from this experience? The most important thing I learned, is that Michael Bay is an arrogant, ignorant, insane, unintelligible waste of human life, who also happens to be hung like an infant. After I finish this article, I am going to go to church, and pray to God that somewhere, somehow, the people of this continent snap out of their love of this man, and see him for what he really is: a monster.

***Note*** This is a work of fiction, which means, I made it up. Do not in any way, shape or form think this actually happened, and try to sue my a** off. As for libel, if Michael Bay and James Thoo don't like it, I invite them to write a blog post insulting me. Good luck.

I bid thee a fond good night

- Stephenstein

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Star Trek

Well, look at me. Last night, I boldly went where a lot of people have gone before. I went to the movie theatre. What did I see? Obsessed? Let me ask you something: WOULD I BE POSTING THE STAR TREK POSTER IF I WENT AND SAW OBSESSED???? No. So, that answers your first question. Your second questions is: how was it?

Well, let's see. The effects were good. Now, before we all start clapping, and sending cigars to J.J. Abrams, take note: everyone's effects are good these days. This movie was given a budget higher than the gross national product of most countries. If I make a movie that looks that good on 99 cents, then there's cause to celebrate. So there.

Secondly, the characters. Scotty -- good, though played mostly for laughs. Chekov -- good, though mostly played for laughs. Sulu -- alright, though I find it interesting he can now flip and fence. Perhaps he should be the captain. Bones -- the best one there. Karl Urban was remarkable, with the mannerisms and voice of DeForest Kelly. Maybe he ATE DeForest Kelly. I don't know. Uhura -- worthless, and apparently, has a fetish for Klingons. Nice. Spock -- I want to like this actor. I want to like his portrayal of Spock. However, I want to like a lot of things...and I don't. Kirk -- the biggest disappointment, character-wise. A cheap punkass kid, who looks like an adolescent trying to play his father. When he tries to take command, you want to give him a lollypop and send him on his way. I don't buy him as Kirk...seriously.

Now, the plot...whoo boy. A pissed-off but supernaturally patient Romulan named Nero (as in Captain Nero...get it?) goes through a black hole after his planet is destroyed, and waits for Spock (Leonard Nimoy), the guy he blames for the end of Romulus. In the process, he kills James T. Kirk's Dad, because apparently, he can't stand Kirk either...though he never met him. Warp speed ahead. Kirk is punk in Iowa (a hotbed for punks), and Spock is wrestling with his emotions (and the fact Winona Ryder is his Mom...I mean...wasn't she just in Heathers?) Eventually, Kirk joins Starfleet, and ends up on board with Urban's Bones, Chekov, Sulu, and Uhura. Eventually Vulcan is destroyed (thus infuriating millions of Trekkers), and Kirk is deposited on a snowy, monster-infested planet, because Kirk wants to attack Nero, and not go running back to Starfleet (also, perhaps, because Spock knew Kirk bopped a green woman at the beginning of the film, and made a pass at Uhura...after all...that's his woman!). There, Kirk meets old Spock (and I just lost you), and old Spock tells Kirk to go back and cause his younger self to show emotion, thus allowing him to gain power over the ship. Kirk returns, and taunts Spock, (which is a brilliant ploy, considering the latter knows a move known as the Vulcan Deathgrip...let me repeat...the Vulcan DEATHGRIP).

After these hijinks, Kirk takes over the ship, and with Spock's reluctant help (reluctant because apparently he wants to make out with Uhara again...which he does just before warping to save Earth), they warp to the Romulans ship (which is drilling into the Earth to put a black hole into it...either that, or they're looking for oil), and save Captain Pike (who decided the best course of action when the Romulans first engaged them was to walk right into their hands...that's why he's the Captain). A bunch of visual effects follow, and the bad guy is either destroyed or warped another 25 years in the future, to wait for everyone to return (whilst playing in an egaging game of Yahtzee). Future Spock meets up with Old Spock (I lost you again, didn't I?), and old Spock tells young Spock "good luck"...presumambly because Leonard Nimoy realizes the writers are returning for the sequel. The cast leaves on the Starship Enterprise, and the credits roll.

Now, if you've read this synopsis of the movie, and are not laughing, then this is the movie for you. If you did laugh though, then stay away...the ridiculous events I have described actually transpired in the film (well...maybe not the Yahtzee). This film is another in a long series of ludicrously plotted films from young writers who are "hip" and "cool", and obviously have never actually studied how a plot is actually supposed to work. In closing, a person who "loved" this film told me it was made to "to make it more accessible for more people to get into Star Trek." My only response is this: if this film gets people interested in Star Trek again, then my worst fears about our society have been realized.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 (as I am feeling overly generous at the moment, and the film didn't really anger me in any way).

I wish thee a fond good night.

- Stephenstein

Star Trek

To boldly go BACK. I am tired of going back to see how it all started. It all started with the first Star Trek episode. I liked Enterprise, the show wasn’t too bad. But after Trek, TNG, DS9 and Voyager, I was ready for something new! A new series set afterward. Maybe Picard could be an admiral and send off a new crew to boldly go… Alas, no, lets go back to the start of Kirk, because he is a name that the average joe knows, and lets make it cool so that other brainless people can enjoy it.

You see, Star Trek is boring, or so most people think and so do the film makers. They are trying to make it less boring, by making it the same as every other poorly written sci-fi movie. I don’t think Trek is boring, and anyone who has the ability to think, shouldn’t find it boring either.

This film is really poorly written. The actors were fine, the ship looked good, but its like the writers just squeezed all the juice out of the orange and we are only left with the peel, which is part of the orange, but not the tasty part. Everything looks good, but doesn’t feel good.

Uhura is appointed as communications officer because she knows Romulan. Bones becomes chief medical officer because the other guy died. Scotty has never served on a starship, but he knows how to transport through warp speed, so he is now chief engineer. What happened to working for your advancement? If you put in your time, gain knowledge, experience, toughen up, work hard, and then are rewarded with a higher ranking. Not accidentally gaining one. The entire movie is treated in that way. No one works towards a goal, the stumble upon it. Does that make a good Captain? Would you trust a boy who has no experience running a ship? Or a man who has been in countless battles and has defeated many enemies. This whole idea of making authority look bad, or useless is getting really tired. Who needs to follow the rules? Kirk doesn’t right? Well that’s because Kirk had been in space for awhile, so he knows all decisions cant be made by a book. It takes experience to run a ship, which Kirk had, but not in this movie. He breaks rules just for the sake of breaking them.

I also don’t like the “sex with farm animals” line and many like it. It’s not funny and it’s screams of bad writing. I would need an entire review for how badly they screwed Spock up. Even when he’s logical, he’s not. I will say that Bones, Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov were all pretty cool. Kirk was even ok towards the end, but Uhura, who looked good, was not very well used (keeping to the old show I guess) and Spock, who looked good too, was really poorly written. See, you need to understand logic to write about it.

There is no story at all. Some Romulan wants to destroy Vulcan cause he hates Spock. He is so angry that he can wait 25 years before Spock shows up before destroying Vulcan. What a joke.

The look of the movie was fine, the casting was fine, even with Spock, who could’ve been really good if they knew what to do with him. But even as a non-trek movie, it’s still lacking.

The plot is terrible, the action is shaky (typical of today), and the characters don’t do enough. They are only cool if you know who they are already, which non-trekers wouldn’t know.

I wont even bother talking about the timeline of Trek, which was pissed on LARGE. In any case, this movie wasn’t a real Star Trek movie, and the masses may like it, but then they’ll forget about it like they do with all movies they “love”. Terminator comes out in a couple of weeks, and then everyone will jump on that band wagon.

Where no ONE has gone before. PISSU.
2.5/5 (1 for Bones, Scotty, Sulu, Checkov - 1 for effects and design - .5 for kirk - in the end he was cool).

Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek the Future vs the Past.

The new trek movie is out. Ill review that monday night. For now i just wanna mention something on my mind. Why the hell do they keep moving this series back and not forward.

im sure this new movie is just fine, or maybe its a bunch of ass, but we'll see that monday.

i just dont get it. I wanna see the next batch of characters. we had kirk, then picard, then sisko, then janeway, and then we went back to archer (who was made up and then we had to explain why klingons look better in the past etc.) its time to move ahead here.

this new movie couldve really done something. have picard as an admiral and he can send off the new recruits and assign a new captain of the enterprise. no, lets go back and reinvent kirk and spock? what the hell kind of dumbass move is that!!!!!!!!!! just make something new. maybe they are too scared to do something knew, because then they would have to actually create new characters....OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!

What's the next movie gonna be, kirk as an infant?

One step forward, 5 steps back.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sunshine Cleaning review

I managed to catch this little known movie a few weeks ago. My wife wanted to watch it, and I had never heard of it but I'm willing to give anything a try. It's an interesting movie about a cleaning lady named Rose Lorkowski, played by Amy Adams, who struggles to support herself and her child on her meager earnings. She learns of a cleaning industry that's built on cleaning the aftermath of gruesome murders from a married cop that she's having an affair with and tries her hand at that, enlisting the help of her loser sister (played by Emily Blunt). Rose becomes successful at it, but of course being somewhat of a chick flick this film delves further than just the trial and tribulations of cleaning murder scenes. Rose deals with her life and how to improve it, coming to terms with her affair with a married man and her constant justification at the perceived lack of success in her life by the women she had gone to high school with years ago. She still tries to show them that she's a success in her own right, but of course she learns that she should frickin' grow up and take stock of real priorities, like raising her son.

I liked this movie. I thought it was funny that this was made by the same people who did Little Miss Sunshine. I guess they're trying to corner the market on movies with the word "Sunshine" in them and that have Alan Arkin playing a curmudgeonly grandfather. His role is virtually identical to the one he played in Little Miss Sunshine, but he's still a bright spot in the film. All in all, it's not bad. It's good to watch maybe once or twice but, in my case, it won't have alot of resonance with me. There isn't alot here that's memorable except perhaps the concept of everyday cleaners trying to clean crime scenes. Still, it's admirably original.
I give it 3/5 stars.

Till next time, human germ!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

An open letter to movie fans

You know, I'm sitting there today, thinking over the movies of today....considering my top ten list of the year, so far...and thinking about the movies I've seen this year...and I'm seeing a lot of 3's...not bad...not know...alright. Now, you could argue that I'm just seeing a certain type of film, but not really. I watch pretty much anything, and you know what? Everything's...mediocre these days. So, that's why I'm writing this post.

There's a lot of people out there who consider themselves "movie people". They sit around, talking about this latest film, and that new flick, and they speak as if they know something about movies. Now for those who don't know, I know about movies. I was practically raised on them, I can remember one wall of our dining room practically covered with bookshelves stacked two deep with VHS movies (and it was a decent-sized room). As it stands now, I have close to 1,000 DVD's, and none burned. I've attended classes that showed films from Thomas Edison, all the way down to The Godfather. I've seen epics of the modern era, and epics from the golden era, and right now as it stands, the two don't compare. They just don't make films like they used to, which is sad.

So, why write this post, bemoaning about the state of films today? Simple: because I care. I care about movies, and about where they're headed, and I don't like where the new releases are headed. Think about it: we live in an era where information is literally a click of a button today. We have the Internet Movie Database, which documents pretty much every film in existence. We have scores of movie classes that teach genres, and even ones based on individual filmmakers. Why are films so mediocre these days? We have history on our side, and we know how the masters did it. Think about this progression: D.W. Griffiths, Cecile B. DeMille, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg...Michael Bay? What's wrong with this picture?

The problem is this: we accept mediocrity too easily nowadays. We're shovelled it by the barrelful. I liken movies to fast food: you absorb it, you crap it out two hours later, and you completely forget about it by the next day. The filmmakers and studios have all these classics, all these masterpieces that came before them, so, the natural progression is that films get bigger and better, right? We're supposedly a sophisticated society. We should expect sophisticated, better produced movies, right? Nope. We have more explosions, I'll give you that. We also have shaky-cam, amateurish humour, t and a, and not a storyline in sight. Any storyline we do get, usually feels as if it was dreamed up by an exec's 12 year-old niece. These guys don't seem to understand they have a legacy to continue. They don't care; after all, it's just a movie, right?

Some of us still care though, and to those, I am appealing. Hell, I'm getting down on my hands and knees at this point: please, please, PLEASE do not accept mediocrity anymore. Let these yahoos know that while the koolaid drinkers of the world still might be the majority, the minority, the ones who actually think for themselves, are still going to be an annoyance. Let them know that the kind of bland, cookie-cutter, pie chart drivel that is constantly being driven into our skulls is not going to continue unchallenged. You won't change the world, but you'll let them know that we're all not going to sit there and take this garbage.

Still with me? I know, this is a rant, and not a movie preview, but I've simply had enough. It's time some people sent a message to these schmucks in Hollywood. I know what you're thinking now; you're thinking one man can't make a difference, you can yell and scream on your blog all you want, and it won't make a damned difference. You're probably right, but remember this: the sun shines on every dog's ass, even a mutt like me.

I bid you a fair good night.

- Stephenstein


I started out with low expectations on this one. Not a big Xmen fan, at least not of the movies…but Jackman was the best part of them (along with Prof.X and Magneto). But I am a fan of Wolverine. He was the first character I picked when playing Marvel RPG. The first comic I every bought at a convention was Spiderman Vs Wolverine, and Punisher Vs Wolverine. So I’m a fan of the character and Jackman’s portrayal. That being said, I wasn’t expecting too much. But I really enjoyed this film! In fact, I really really liked it, I loved it! I mean we got a solid wolverine origin and I love that him and sabertooth teamed up at the end!

If you stayed through the end credits (depending on which theatre you were at, there are 2 different ones) it showed Deadpool going for his head, and saying “shhh” breaking the 4th wall (like the deadpool comics do – thanks wiki!). The other is wolverine in japan drinking…hopefully taking us to the Logan with patch (or without) and his japan adventures!

There are problems with some of the characters, as with all xmen movies, and a lot of guys are tense over deadpool. Even thought deadpool was “ruined”, he really wasn’t, cause you can say he becomes the deadpool we know after this movie. All I know is that we got the bone claws, weapon x, and a lot of cool fights and the best opening credits of a marvel movie. Wolverine was perfect in it, and that’s what we wanted. Plus I like wolverine doing his own thing, not being a sidekick to the xmen. There were also a lot of wow moments. I was stunned at a few things, so its all good! Definitely the best mutant movie, and I cant wait to see it again!

5/5 (that’s right, I really liked it!!!!!)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I have literally just come back from the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie. My thoughts? Well, Wolverine was awesome, and so was Hugh Jackman, though that's pretty much been the case through the entire X-Men run. Okay. Liev Shreiber was good too, though there could not be a satisfying ending in this case, as this was a prequel, and we all know Sabretooth shows up in the first X-Men movie. Fine. However, the one thing that sticks in my craw is the Deadpool character. What the hell was that? Ryan Reynolds shows up for a couple of scenes as Wade Wilson, and then we have nothing until the end when he's and uber-mutant with powers? Then he's offed by Wolverine! I mean, Deadpool's pretty popular, I think he got a raw deal. Other than that, a lot of mutants show up, but they reall don't do much. This is Wolverine's movie, and the only character who is on his level is Sabretooth...which is disappointing that they can't have a decent fight. Was this movie good? Yeah, but only if you're a huge fan of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Otherwise, I found it a good tease: they were going in good places, but never quite fulfill what they promise.
- Stephenstein

Friday, May 1, 2009

Well, I walked into this one thinking it was gonna be ass, and that the fighting was gonna be terrible. I was half right. The fights were poorly shot. More "shaky cam", which is the trademark of hiding the fact that no one can actually fight. Tony Jaa never has shaky cam. That being said, everything around the fighting was really really good! I liked the characters, especially the leads, and the plot was pretty good! All in all it was a good movie. Kinda like Midnight Cowboy meats Lionheart. 3.5/5