Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘Movies

Zombies on the Brain (Pun Intended)

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As I’m writing this post, I’m watching the zombie romantic comedy Warm Bodies, starring Nicholas Hoult, John Malkovich, Teresa Palmer, and others. While I’m watching this for my enjoyment, I’ve been wanting to write something concerning zombies and their surge within mainstream media. Though this movie and others are one facet of this, comic books (The Walking Dead springs to mind and others),  novels, movies, television programs (again TWD comes to mind) continue to fill the mainstream and do not appear to be losing steam. However, I’m still mulling over what could be a good “in” for me into the conversation of zombies.
Right now, I’m reading Kyle William Bishop’s American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture, which follows the rise of the zombie from its roots in Haiti to the zombie’s more modern iterations. While this book is giving me some insight, I’m don’t know what would be the most interesting way to probe the “zombie” problem in literature and culture… I know that many have looked at the zombie as a figure of consumerism, others a fear of death, and much more…. Although these theories have been played out a little, I’m still intrigued by the zombie as a figure of…something… It can hold so much connotative possibility. What do I see it as? I’m pondering on that one.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

June 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Horror and Halloween Movies that I Will Be Enjoying at Some Point This Season

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Long title aside…sometimes, I can be a little verbose when I’m writing a title… or maybe it comes from the fact that all my professors say that the title of a piece should tell us what’s in the paper itself…while I know this isn’t a paper, this is a possible reason. Anyway, Halloween is a season that brings out the scary and seasonal movies to my DVD player. However, there are always a few that seem to make their way to be watched at least once during the season. Also, most of these movies may contain images, language, nudity, etc. that may not be for the faint of heart…

1) The Exorcist– A movie that may have helped launch Max von Sydow’s career which deals with the demonic possession of a little girl (played by Linda Blair…which may have dampened her career) by Captain Howdy. Moreover, two priests come in to exorcise the demon with scary and deadly consequences…(I’m going to give shortened reviews because I have quite a few). Contains disturbing images and language.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070047/

2) Hocus Pocus– A film starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as three witches executed at Salem that claimed on day they would return. A young boy lights their black flame candle and releases them. So, he, his sister, his crush, and a bewitched cat that used to be a boy must keep them from fulfilling their evil plot to suck the life from the children to Salem so that they may live forever. Overall, I enjoy this movie simply because it’s a throw back to my childhood and it’s just all around Halloween fun. Safe for children.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107120/

3) An American Werewolf in London– A werewolf movie that reenvisions the werewolf story to a large degree. David, an American guy touring the moors of England, is out with his friend, and they are attacked by a werewolf. His friend dies, but he suffers a fate that is worse than death because he becomes a werewolf and stalks the streets of London. A great movie which invokes the horror and the mystery of the werewolf legend while playing up some elements that other movies do not (such as the lack of a cure and the lack of humanity within the beast itself).  Contains disturbing images and nudity (including male full frontal because some people are more bothered by this…you’re going to see peen from a distance).

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082010/

4) Nosferatu– The silent era’s Dracula because F. W. Murnau could not gain the rights to the novel from Stoker’s family. This movie is creepy as shit because of it being silent and Max Shreck being the rat-toothed Count Orlock. I find the deliberateness of movement and the overall lack of dialogue (and yes, I know that it’s a silent movie) to be very disturbing…Creepy…not too much else going on.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0013442/

5) The Walking Dead– Alright, I know that it’s not a movie… however, this show is probably one of the best zombie projects that I’ve seen in a while; moreover, it’s based on a graphic novel. Mainly following Rick Grimes  a police officer as he tries to keep a group of made of friends and people met on the road, the human drama of this is the stuff that makes you wonder if you could survive something serious like a zombie apocalypse. Along with effects that rival that of any zombie movie (given zombie movies are usually low budget…but that’s beside the point), it just holds ones attention and keeps the air of creepy and unsettledness throughout. Graphic violence and some sexuality.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1520211/

So, there you have it. A list of movies that I recommend to those out there looking for movies to watch this Halloween season. Some fun, some spooky, some disturbing, but all fun for one reason or another. I hope that you might like them as much as I do and that maybe they’ll enter your Halloween rotation as well.

Sci-Fi / Fantasy Movies of the Summer that I’ve Watched: Good, Bad or Mediocre

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So, it’s been a while since I have blogged…I’ve been a little tied up with things including watching the movies :). Anyway, here’s my opinion of the movies that I’ve watched over the course of this summer in only a few words or more…yeah…

Thor- 7/10: I thought that it was well done and fun. Good acting, solid script, interesting comic book characters, and mythology (even though it was a little skewed).

X-Men First Class- 8.5/10: Good look at the X-Men’s leaders before the main conflict of the first two films. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Keving Bacon were amazing. Good story.

Green Lantern- 5.5/10: I enjoy the Green Lantern storyline…however, it could have done with some updating…the script sounded like it might have been written in the 70’s…I enjoy some of the casting choices…but yeah…also, the pacing of the film was off (partially because it felt like it was just a setup for the next film).

Transformers: The Dark Side of the Moon- 6.5/10: I’m not a huge fan of Michael Bay…with that said, the movie was better than the second one (Giant angel robots…all I”m saying…), but this movie was fun and action-tastic, even though it could have been shortened by 30 minutes (it was 2 and a half hours…). Moreover, I think that the movie should be about the giant robots, but they tried to make it about the human drama…I don’t have to see the humans triumph, not what I came for…

Harry Potter 7 Part 2- 6/10: It was a solid movie…there were just sooooo many things that I would have done differently…yeah…and I feel that it was over-hyped for the end result of the film.

Captain America The First Avenger- 7/10: Enjoyable ride…however, we know that Chris Evans really can’t act because most of the scenes he was truly in were action-tastic (maybe I should coin a word…I’ve used it twice already)…he was serviceable as Steve Rogers…I did like Tommy Lee Jones and Hugo Weaving (best casting choices of the movie). I’m excited to see the Avengers movie in 2012…

So yeah, there’s my recap…I might expand upon them at some point. So, there you go. 🙂

Marvel Comic Movies of the Summer: X-Men First Class

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So, with the huge success of Thor (I totally loved it…I recommend seeing it if you haven’t), I am beginning to wonder what will happen with the new X-Men movie that will be coming to theaters next month (June 3 to be exact). Honestly, I’m remaining hopeful for the movie because it has two really good actors play Xavier (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and others that look equally promising. However, I am also apprehensive about what story arch they may be following in order to produce the movie.

My biggest reason for my apprehensions lies in the world that the filmmakers have created if the other four films are taken into account… Honestly, I’m hoping that this movie marks the reboot of the X-Men movie franchise. If not, I am irritated by the manipulation of character ages that seems to exist within the film. For example, Mystique is way older in the grand scheme of all the comics…and it appears that she would be in the movies…However, my biggest example of this would be Emma Frost. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, she is a teenager; yet, in this movie she is a thirty something year-old who is a full-fledged member of the Hellfire Club…Yeah….I don’t like when things like this happen. Moreover, I am already skeptical about the “First Class” idea because this isn’t the first class (this group includes Jean Grey, Scott Summers, Angel, Iceman, and Beast).

So, yeah, I’m anxiously awaiting the release and keeping up with new trailers and such. My biggest hope is that the movie is over two hours long…to me, this is an indicator of whether or not I should be hyped before I go into the theater (I will regardless….the X-Men is my comic book baby…). If it is over two hours, I can expect something at least because let’s face it a comic that has been around for 40+ years will not be adequately represented in less than two hours….So, I hope that you all are as excited / apprehensive as I am…Here’s hoping for the best. I also hope you enjoy the teaser trailers looking at a few of the mutants in the film.

I’m Barry, and I’m an IMDB.com Addict

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So, recently, I have become enamored with the imdb.com website. Now, it’s not that the website is new to me because we all know that people go overboard when they come into contact with new things. However, this is not the case for me. I have known about imdb.com for at least a couple of years if not more, and in that time period, I have not been nearly as engrossed as I have become in the last little bit. Why you might ask is this even possible? Well, let me enlighten you how I’ve been drawn in.

 

1) Ease of access– Ever since I got my first smart phone in November, I have had the imdb website at my finger tips. This accessibility has allowed me to look up my every query right when they happen. Was Billy Bob Thorton married to Angelina Jolie (purely hypothetical question…I know that they were…down to some of the creepier details)? I can find out at the touch of an app button.

2) Being in Grad. School– Now, I know that this one might seem a little counter-intuitive, but I have looked up more things as a result of working on papers and things simply because of my writing process ( I have to have something on in the  background to be able to work). Sometimes while I’m watching/ working, actors and actresses will suddenly connect up in my mind in some weird way, and I must find out things about them.

3) The Game of Connections– One night when I was a little bored, I developed a game on the website. Usually, it started by looking up an actor or actress and then finding a movie they were in. Then, I went to the movie and looked for other actors and actresses that I recognized. Then, I clicked on them and found a movie and repeated the other step. I would do this until I couldn’t find someone or some movie that I knew (this was without repeating movies or stars…). Honestly, this game is kind of addictive….you should try it and see.

 

So, yeah, I have become an addict of imdb. However, it keeps me involved in the movie world, and I get to have some fun doing it. Plus, I’m willing to bet I know some facts about celebs / movies that would boggle your mind. 🙂

Written by uncannynerdyguy

May 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Amazon.com Reviews: Things to Think About if You Want to be Taken Seriously

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Recently, I have been doing quite a bit of purchasing on Amazon.com because of my classes that I’m taking (believe it or not, most libraries don’t have a lot of books on Native Women’s Literature…but anyway), and I have noticed several trends that the writers of reviews do that really unnerve me…Honestly, I even mentioned some of them in rants to one of my classes because they were that bad. So, without further ado, the things that annoy me in Amazon reviews.

1) Know WTF you’re talking about–If you don’t know what happens in the movie, book, etc., don’t feel obligated to write a review about it. I don’t give a crap about your philosophical scruples concerning certain ideologies that might or might not be in the work that you’re talking about (again…if you haven’t watched the movie, you can’t have an educated opinion of the matter)…I hate for people to express their opinion on something that they don’t have a clue about…let’s face it, it’s pretty annoying overall.

2) Don’t criticize an item’s validity simply because you had a bad experience with the seller or you’re unsatisfied with   the packaging– I don’t know how many 1-star or 2-star ratings that I’ve seen that bring down the items overall rating of an item simply because people are pissed off at people who have nothing to do with the creative quality of the item…if you have a complaint to lodge about the shipping or something like that, you should contact Amazon…not slander the product.

3) If you are going to write a review, try to punctuate, spell, and write with an appropriate tone–DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, it’s annoying and causes people like me to think that you’re yelling at them…also dont type in all lower case without any hope of punctuation entering into the mix its really annoying too (FYI: these previous sentences were for effect. So, don’t revolt against me.) Moreover, try to spell to the best of your ability…most of you probably have a word processing program that will tell you if you are misspelling words or not. Copy and paste your text into it. This way, you come across in your writing as at least a semi-intelligent individual.

4) Try to be explicit in what you like or dislike in the  review your writing–If you say something like “This is the worst damn book ever,” you have made no valid argument as to why or why not I should listen to your review. Please, please, please, give us some sort of information to back up your ideas…simply because Bob Smith writes a review, it doesn’t mean that I should trust them…all I’m saying.

So, there are a few tips for you. I hope that they help everyone out there so that we can quite having reviews like “This is the werst movie I’ve ever sean.” Good luck and happy reviewing.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

March 5, 2011 at 12:44 am

Year of the Geek: Comic Book Movies of 2011

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I saw somewhere on the internet the other day (maybe it was my homepage…I’m not completely sure which is one of the pitfalls of reading news and such on the internet the majority of the time…but any way) that a lot of people are terming this year the year of the geek due to the excessive number of comic book movies coming out in the theaters this year. Honestly, I am excited about this year…does that mean I am a geek myself. I believe so because I am looking forward to watching several of the movies that will be coming out over the course of the year, and here are the few that I’m most interested in (and alright, I am a Marvel snob to some degree…so forgive me if a lot of the DC or Darkhorse stuff is missing from my assessment).

Thor–Directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman. This movie is promising to be one of the must see movies of the summer months. Following the storyline of one of the most prominent Marvel characters (which all of them are prominent in their own right), this movie is bringing us all one step closer to the promised Avengers movie that will be in theaters in 2012. What I am most interested in in this movie is how they are going to meld the scientific and the magical worlds that Marvel are known for. I know that in the movie trailer they are saying that science and magic are practically the same thing just us dumb humans using another name for something mystical. Yet, I’m still intrigued to see how far they go with this concept.

X-Men: First Class–As most of you know who read my blog on a regular basis, X-Men are the comic book heroes that are near and dear to my heart, so it probably doesn’t surprise you that I am anxious about this upcoming movie.  It does have a few good things going for it though. First, Matthew Vaughn is directing the movie and overall his other movies (Kick Ass, Stardust, and Layer Cake…all good movies). Then, you have Bryan Singer (the man who co-wrote and directed for the first two good X-Men movies) responsible for the story. Finally, you have several actors that are pretty good in the roles of some of our memorable characters (James McAvoy is Professor X, Kevin Bacon is Sebastian Shaw, and many more). I’m still holding my breath on the this one because we all know the debacle of the third movie. However, I’m trying to remain hopeful that this movie might help redeem the series from X3 and the Wolverine movie. Also, another side note, Wolverine will not be in this one unless it is a small cameo (Hooray! I don’t like him that much anyway).

Green Lantern–Okay, so, this is one of the few (if only) DC comic movie adaptation that appears here. I’m interested in this one because let’s face it Green Lantern is a pretty cool super hero. His powers are limited by the strength of his mind…so, yeah, he seems like he would be any intellectual’s go to super hero. Being played by Ryan Reynolds, I think this movie has potential if it is done right because like any other super hero movie it also has the potential to be sooooooo bad too.

Captain America: The First Avenger–Okay, so, I’m not a huge fan of Capt. However, I’m pretty excited about this movie because its release will be the last piece of the puzzle for the afore-mentioned Avengers movie. Chris Evans will be an okay Capt. (I’m not completely thrilled by his casting choice partially because he has already been a character in the Marvel-verse of movies), but I am really excited to see Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull. I think that he is going to be amazing at that. Why? Because he plays evil and off-beat characters well (look at Mr. Smith in the Matrix, V in V for Vendetta, etc)…I’m just excited overall.

So, these are just a sampling of the top things that I”m looking forward to. I’m also excited about Harry Potter and other things of that nature (not excited about Twilight). Looking forward to seeing Paul Bettany in Priest. Yet, I’m also not excited to see some others (like the Green Hornet for instance…I find Seth Rogen insufferable). However, there will be more to come of these other things in following days. Till then, adieu.

Celebrity Cameos in Film

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So, I will be willing to admit that I am the first to either cheer or to shake my head in disdain for cameos in film. Why? Because if it’s a great film it makes me happy to see my favorite actors in the movie. However, if the movie is half-assed or stupid, I feel very sorry for the miss step that the person made. But for starters what is it that makes a cameo an actual cameo.

In my opinion, the person making the cameo has to be known across the board on some level for a cameo to count. If the person in the movie is only known in a small circle, then, they do not command the celebrity to actually be considered a cameo. For instance, people who have gained reality show fame that appear in movies are not considered a celebrity cameo in a movie. I could really care less that these people have been on Big Brother 17.5: The New Big Brother or something like that. They are celebrities. It doesn’t matter how many reality shows they’re on (most of them who are considered a “celebrity” will appear on at least 3)…Really people, I think that the whole reality show fad should die out…but that’s just me. That’s also a conversation for another time…although, I’m pretty sure my opinion is clear…

A true celebrity cameo can be a welcome breath of fresh air in a film. Most of the time, these cameos are more fun if nowhere in the advertising for the movie they mention it, such as SPOILER ALERT in Zombieland Bill Murray (making a fantastic twist to the movie), in Austin Powers in Goldmember with all the celebrities in the beginning (including Tom Cruise, Gweneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Danny Devito), and in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle with the mighty Neil Patrick Harris. All of these cameos are special and fun in their own right. Each brings a wonderful surprise to the course of the movie whether or not they have any attachment to the plot of the film.

Then, you have the ones that they pimp in the  movie trailers such as Mike Tyson in The Hangover or Lou Ferigno in I Love You Man. Each of these cameos was flouted about and lived up to the expectations. Generally, cameos like this appear in comedy movies because they use them as a main drawing factor. They want to pull people in based upon the celebrity that is involved (no matter how much of a B- or C-lister they are).

Honestly, I think celebrity cameos are a delight because they are fun and random. Why would Neil Patrick Harris be out in the countryside where Kumar and Harold will find him? It doesn’t make any sense, but it made him relevant again. (Trivial sidenote, Harris was able to get into the television series How I Met Your Mother due to H&K.) Cameos are fun period unless they try to make them into something that they’re not. Mainly, a cameo should never be taken too seriously because if it is they whole concept of why that character is in the movie wouldn’t work (we start to question). Also, the thing that makes the cameo special is because the actor plays him or herself, and self parody is so funny if done right.

Cameos. Love them. Hate them. Enjoy them. Do whatever seems to tickle your fancy at the time.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

March 22, 2010 at 3:03 pm

X-Men Movie Reboot

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I am an X-Men fan through and through. It’s probably fairly obvious from my previous posts about them and how much I mention them in articles that they seem very unrelated to. I love the X-Men because every character is messed up in some way or other. There are no “perfect” X-Men…each brings their own maladies and dysfunction to the group. This is the beauty of the series because everyone can find someone that they can attach themselves to whether it be a popular character like Wolverine or Gambit or less popular characters like Psylocke or Wolfsbane.

Recently, after hearing talks of them rebooting the Spiderman movie series, I heard that they might possibly be thinking about doing the same to the X-Men. Immediately, my heart pitter-pattered in my chest because I would love to see them produced as amazingly as the new Batman series perhaps. I think that the first two of the trilogy that are in existence now are good movies (we won’t speak of the third because although it was passable as a movie, it made fans of the series and comics go “WTF!” in the theaters…some of us just happen to be a little more vocal than others). They actually have a lot going for them to have such an extensive cast. However, there are also some parts that are just awful.

Good:

–Casting for the most part was fairly spot on. Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart are amazing as the opposing leaders. Famke Janssen, Hugh Jackman, James Marsden, Kelsey Grammar, Rebecca Romijin, and a few others were amazing in the parts they played…I have a few scruples about the age difference between Famke and James, but that didn’t bother me as bad as some other things.

–The storylines, although not mainstream X-Men plots, were not bad. The idea of changing world leaders into mutants and killing all mutants are both very logical and followable plots. They create a journey that both movies are able to follow to fruition.

–Effects–They didn’t overdo them which is amazing. With a super hero movie, it is the tendency of most directors and crew to try to be overly flashy with special effects….this was not the case with the first two movies. They relied on very limited effects and let the storyline/acting take the forefront of the movie.

–Directing. Bryan Singer was amazing at capturing the heart of the X-Men’s universe. He seemed to understand the drives and motivations of most of the characters…he seemed to really get the ideas and the heart of the comics.

Bad:

–Haley Berry and Anna Paquin–While both are good actresses in their own right, they were not the right people to play Storm and Rogue (respectably). Berry played Storm too hot-headedly. Storm is practically a goddess of the weather…she gets pissed the weather changes. This is why she is generally seen as a very stoic person in the comics…in the movies, Berry gets angry and shows a variety of emotions that would cause the weather to go all sorts bad. Paquin just doesn’t live up to my standards as a Rogue in my book. One, her accent is not great. Two, I don’t think that Rogue should have been that young (no fault of Paquin’s). Finally, Rogue is one of my favorite X-Men. She is nothing that I envisioned her to be (I’ll admit that I have a personal bias here).

–The third movie….or as I like to call it, Barry yells a stream of obscenities at the movie theater. It was awful from a purely X-Men nerd stand point. Why? Because they (and I place most of the blame with Brett Radner) completely destroyed a treasured storyline (the Phoenix Saga), they went against the internal motivations of characters (Magneto would have died saving Charles from Jean…Charles would have never transplanted himself into another body), they killed multiple main characters and screwed over even more (Cyclops is dead, Jean is dead, Xavier as we know him is dead, Magneto has weakened powers and Rogue has none…honestly, what is this)…This movie managed to make me wonder if it would have been better to stop at the second movie because then they would have at least ended on a good note…instead of on crap…also, I’m not even going to include X-Men Origins: Wolverine because it’s so far from the original comic line that I’m not even going to get started…

All in all, I think that if they did decided to reboot the series, I would not be hurt by it because I think there is room for improvement. I think that if they found someone with the right vision like they have for Batman Begins and The Dark Knight that this series has the potential to be AMAZING …and I’m not just saying that because I love the X-Men….or maybe I am…who knows?

Sequels: The Good, the Bad and the Mediocre

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In the realms of movies today, many sequels keep spawning in the recesses of the movie studios…some good…others not so good. Why is this happening? It’s because people are taking to heart the concept that there are no new ideas in the world. Rather, we as humans are simply reinventing old concepts for the newer world. While I do think that there is some relevance to the whole no new ideas concept, I still think that there are some fairly clever writers out there that can think up something better than such gems as Step Up 2, The Ring 2, etc. Each of these movies have several things that make them poor sequels.

1. The whole idea of a sequel is pretty much saying that it isn’t going to be as good as the first. The reason for this is the idea that “we can’t think of anything else, so we’re going to make another one of these” mentality. In reality, a sequel should be bigger and better than its predecessor because we’re already introduce to the characters and therefore should be able to start with just the plot of the movie. Very few sequels actually seem to realize this. Most of them want to reveal the characters to us again…on the off chance that a sequel doesn’t use the same base characters or have them appear in the movie…to me, it is another movie. It should be named as such (i.e. Step Up 2…etc.). The idea behind a sequel is that it is a continuation of the former movie…the same title with new character thing doesn’t fly with me.

2. Sequels should either be continuing the plot from the previous movie or should contain a plot complete and entirely to itself. Don’t try to rehash the same plot with a different antagonist…it’s irritating to be watching the same movie with a different villain (I’m sure many of you out there will agree).

3. For the love of God, Subtitle your sequels or change the title!!! I don’t think I have ever seen a sequel that didn’t have a subtitle which was any good…think the Step Up movies, Save the Last Dance, and others…the fact is that if they didn’t give it enough thought to give it a little something extra very rarely will it be any good (however, there are always exceptions to this ideology).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that all sequels are shit because that’s not true. I’m just saying that a vast majority of them are…for ever Diehard franchise there is a Speed…for every good there is a bad. The title of this blog is even based on a movie trilogy which is excellent. It’s Clint Eastwood’s “Man with No Name” trilogy which includes A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. These movies were brilliant and carried over a character as part of the continuity…they are well-made sequels. However, the writer and director of the films had a clear, artistic vision of where they wanted to go with these films…most sequels made today are just created as a cash cow.