30 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 25 - Your Favorite Documentary Film

I've seen very few documentaries, so I have gone with Super Size Me.  I almost put my choice for favorite foreign film here as well, however it would have been a bit of a stretch to classify it as a documentary.  You'll see why tomorrow.

For now, the trailer to Supersize Me.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 24 - Your Favorite Animated or Children's Film

Originally, this was going to be Aladdin.  However, I recently saw Despicable Me.  I'd watch this movie over and over if just for the minions.

27 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 22 - Your Favorite Horror Film

Ghost Ship.  Not the biggest of hits, or the most popular.  But I love it.  And you can't beat the song...

26 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 21 - Your Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film

I almost went with the 2009 Star Trek here.  But then I realized that there was another choice.

Serenity.  I actually saw this before I ever saw Firefly.  And then I fixed that omission.

24 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 19 - Your Favorite Action Film

Another easy choice.  With a great mix of action and comedy, this is one of my favorite Arnold films.  Great film all around.

Most epic answer when asked to ID a nuke bomb?  'Is it a snow cone maker?'  Epic...

And I ran...I ran so far

Today I ran 3.21 miles in about 44 minutes.  My average pace was 13'36", which is 6 seconds longer than last week.  That's ok though because the route I took today had a long gradual uphill on my outbound leg.  I beginning to think that my goal of completing the 4 mile leg of the relay Triathlon in under an hour is easier to attain than originally thought.

23 April 2011

Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

Data: I will always be puzzled by the human predilection for piloting vehicles at unsafe velocities.

Now, there are people out there that don't like this movie.  My only explanation for this is that they forgot about Insurrection.  Coming on the heels of THAT flop, Nemesis is a pile of gold.

However, not one with out its own set of issues.  One of the plot points is that Shinzon ( a Romulan clone of Picard ) lures them to a planet which has *gasp* positronic signatures.  This leads them to discover another Data.  One called B4.  This would have come off much better if it had been Lore, as B4 ends up causing some problems for the crew.  Bad writing decision there.

Anyway... So Shinzon's feeling pretty upset that the Romulan government cloned him then threw him away.  So clearly Shinzon needs to destroy Earth.  Some pretty nice action sequences ensue, including the Enterprise slamming head on into Shinzon's ship.

So then there are some talkie bits; Data dies.

Whoops, spoiler there a bit.  Ya, Data does the whole noble sacrifice thing.  But wait!  Data downloaded his memories to B4.  So hes kinda not dead.  Yet.

Facepalm.  Fade to black. Roll credits.

I really liked Nemesis.  For all its problems, its far better that Insurrection.  Over all a nice ending to the TNG era.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 17 - Your Favorite Comedy Film

Out of all the comedy films I could have chosen, I chose History of the World, Part 1 for a funny story that I can attach to it.

But first, a quick lesson on the Spanish Inquisition (which no one ever expects)*

See, my senior year in high school we had a pretty awesome science teacher.  In the closing days of school we were allowed to bring in some movies to watch.  I chose this one.  I had to shut it off right about the point where Madeline Kahn was choosing some male....um, servants.  Oops.  I didn't see the problem.  We were all adults...sort of.

*OK, I was worried that calling on both Mel Brooks and Monty Python would be akin to crossing the streams.  As we are all here and not being attacked by a 50 foot marshmallow man, I think we're good.

22 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 17 - Your Favorite Drama Film

You want the truth?  Well you can't handle the truth... that my favorite drama film is 'A Few Good Men.'

I had this taped from TV for years, wore that tape out, then went out and bought it...and came close to wearing that tape out.  Its such a great movie, with many powerful performances.

21 April 2011

Its rant time beotches...

Ok ladies and gets time for me to break out the soap box and assault your eyes with some good old fashioned ranting.

I saw a link today (this one in fact George R.R. Martin added to Time's 2011 100 .  At first, I thought that they had released a new list of 100 books to read.  I was ready to let forth with the full fury that I have at my command and bitch and moan why Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time was not on the list because at least his series has an end date thank you very much.

I was wrong.  Apparently this is Time's list of 100 most influential people.

What. The. Fuck.

*disclaimer:  I am really a huge fan of George RR Martin; no lasting malice intended*

But seriously?  Ok, I get that his series is now the basis for what looks to be a massively popular HBO series.  But his last book came out... a while ago.  The next one is due in the summer of this year.  Hey, Robert Jordan passed away, and they got somebody to finish the series.  What was your excuse George?

I'm not sure who/what George influenced, but on a list that includes Justin Bieber, I guess its a good thing Mr. Jordan was not included.

*sounds of heavy breathing*

Seriously though, you should give the books by Mr. Martin a read.  They are indeed very good.  For one, I am right now waiting for Spring 2012 for the last book in the Wheel of Time series.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 16 - A Film You Used to Love, But Now Hate

I love Star Trek.  I really do.  But THIS movie really made me doubt myself the older I got and the more I saw the massive flaws in this movie.

No, not Star Trek 5, Star Trek: Insurrection is the choice for today.

Even watching the trailer, this movie had more promise than it delivered.  I was 15 when this came out, and loved it.  But as time went on, I saw how the flaws were just atrocious.  And its not that I hate the film, but this is a good reason why Star Trek can get a bad name.

The next time I watch this will probably be when I introduce my son to Star Trek.  After that?  Who knows...

20 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 15 - The Film That Depicts Your Life

I can't think of any movie that depicts my life.  Instead, I give you one of my favorite scenes in any movie.

I lied, here's another favorite from the same movie.

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 14 - The Film That No One Expected You To Like

I'm giving my vote for Moulin Rouge here.  I remember hearing about it before it came out, and had ZERO interest in seeing it. Singing? Dancing?  Weird look?  Nope I'll pass.  That is until I got to college.

My roomate and our friend would get together for movie nights.  We once did one called 'Natural Disasters'  Ghostbusters, Twister and the volcano one with Pierce Brosnan was on the bill.  But I digress.

One night she came over bearing Moulin Rouge and pretty much tied us down, and pried our eyelids open.  Well, at least the roomate's.  :-)

That all being said, I ended up really enjoying the movie.  I saw it several more times throughout college, and ended up buying it.  Even now when I look at it, I'm still surprised that I liked this movie as much as I did.

I give it 4/5 Mr. Goodbars.  Yes, I know you don't get it.  But there are those that do.

18 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 13 - A Guilty Pleasure

10 Things I Hate About You.  There I said it.  This is indeed a guilty pleasure of mine.  A re-telling of Taming of the Shrew, this movie stars Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger in the lead roles.

There was always something I enjoyed about this movie, and at first look not one that I would enjoy.  But it is one of those films that just seemed to grab my attention.  I still watch it from time to time, most recently on the day my son was born.  Ok, so that was a year ago.  So kinda recent.  A fun film all around, its a must see for anybody looking for a highly quoteable movie.  For the shit hath hitteh the fan...ith.

Neuromancer - William Gibson

Read 10 books off the Times 100 Books (1/10)

Here we have the first book that I've chosen to read off of the Time's 100.

To paraphrase the bad ass knight from Indiana Jones, I chose poorly.

I was excited to see that something of this genre showed up on a list of 100 great books.  While I am a fan of sci-fi and related works, its not a genre I would expect to see on a list like that.  When I did, I figured that it must be pretty damn good indeed.


Frankly, I thought it was boring.  Your main character, Case, is a literally burnt out hacker who gets hired to perform one last hack.  Turns out one of two AIs want to kill itself.  Or this family wants to take over the world.  Maybe a bit of both.  Really ambiguous plot.

Its possible I missed the point.  I'm not really sure.  The book never grabbed me, but I never wanted to put it down without finishing.  So I guess I am ambiguous towards the book.  Its not one I'll read again.

17 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 12 - A Film By Your Least Favorite Director

Hmm, another interesting topic.  I do have an answer for this, but not because of his films.

Kevin Smith.

Not because his films are bad.  I like them all.  But after listening to several of his self important podcasts, I just got fed up.  Outside of his film making he seems to be a one note pony.  Same jokes, same stories and same woe is me when the world wrongs him.  Perhaps this is my own fault for listening to all the podcasts, but I dunno.  I'll still see his new movie.  And maybe someday I'll listen to his podcasts again, but I think I got overexposed to him.

That being said, here is my favorite film by Kevin Smith, Dogma.

Running Update

2.45 miles today.  Just over 30 minutes.  Average pace was 13'30".  An improvement over last week, lets hope it keeps getting better.

16 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 11 - A Film By Your Favorite Director

I spun the roulette wheel of movies that I keep stored in my head, and came up with this:

Yup, The Quick and the Dead, directed by Sam Raimi.

What else has he hand his hand in?  Well, a couple of little trilogies.  Evil Dead and Spider Man.  Various other projects, but i would say that Quick and The Dead is my favorite.  I really enjoy westerns, and this one was done just differently enough to make it rise above.  Can't knock the cast either.  DeCaprio. Hackman. Stone. Crowe.  All around a great movie.  And an easy pick for a film by a favorite director.

Kick-Ass (2010)

Hit Girl: So, you wanna play?

Kick-Ass tells us the story of a young man who decides to take the law into his own hands.  Tired of being picked on and beat up, Dave Lizewski dons a green wet suit and becomes Kick-Ass.  An overnight internet sensation, Kick-Ass begins to attract the attention of other superheroes... and villians.

Joined saved by Hit Girl, and her father Big Daddy, Kick-Ass begins to get sucked in more and more to a world that he is not ready for.  He draws the attention of the local mobster, who thinks Kick-Ass is responsible for causing his woes.  The mobster is wrong, its really Big Daddy and Hit Girl.  So, the mobsters son decides to become a super hero himself (named Red Mist) to lure Kick-Ass in.

Well, there is the inevitable betrayal.  Big Daddy and Kick-ass are captured and tortured; with that being broadcast over the internet.  Hit Girl arrives and kills....um everyone.

The final action piece is pretty impressive.  Hit Girl and Kick-Ass take on the remaining gang members in their penthouse lair.  The good guys win, and the movie closes with Red Mist (now in yellow) vowing revenge on Kick-Ass.

I really liked this movie.  I had read several issues of the comic and was not very impressed.  Due to that, I had some reservations about the movie.  I'm glad I watched it though.  Its now on my short list of films to own.  Its very fun, very visually striking.

Oh, and as far as the bit of controversy about the 11 year old dropping a very bad word?  So what, clearly her parents were ok with her saying it, so no big deal.  I'm glad that they did not change the age of Hit Girl, as I think her age makes some parts of the film have a greater impact.  Especially the rescue of Kick-Ass and Big Daddy.

Clearly there will be a sequel.  I will ABSOLUTELY try and see the sequel in the theater.  Not a movie I regret seeing.  I highly recommend it. 

I give it 7/9 broken bones.

Trailer of Rise of the Planet of The Apes

Now, I have never seen the original Planet of the Apes.  I did see the Mark Whalberg version (don't judge).  I kinda liked it.  I know the little twist ending of the original, so I don't know if I am ever going to go back and watch it.  This movie really interests me.  I think it will be pretty good, but here's the trailer for you to judge for yourself.

15 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 10 - A Film With Your Favorite Actor (Female)

Since I'm going with snap first-movie-to-come-to-mind type choices for this series,  I choose Scarlett Johanssen in Iron Man 2.

I wanted to show the fight scene, but I could not find a legit clip online.  Trailer will have to suffice.

I'll be in my bunk...

14 April 2011

13 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 8 - The Film You Can Quote Best

Better question: What film can't I quote?  Sadly there is no one film that I can or do quote on demand.  I seem to have a library of quotes that I work through from time to time.  But at the moment, I'm going to have to go with Top Gun.  Mainly because I'm on an ER binge right now, so Goose has been gracing my television a lot lately.

As always, I feel the need, the need for speed.

12 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 7 - A Film That Reminds You of Your Past

Easy one....

I watched this movie hundreds of times.  Watched the cartoons, played with the toys.  This movie was a large part of my childhood.

I can't wait to show it to my son.

11 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 6 - A Film That Reminds You of Somewhere

Well, this one is pretty easy I think.  I kinda, sorta, not at all hinted at it in the previous entry, but 'Not Another Teen Movie' will get my vote for this slot.

This movie took up a large chunk of my sopohmore year of college (that would be the place).  We would watch this at the drop of a hat.

6 - Start running at least once a week

So, Saturday I went out and got some shiny new running shoes and the Nike + sensor.  Sunday I put those running shoes to use.  I'll admit, there was more walking than running.  But for being a fatass, I'll take it.

2.07 miles in 30 min.

My goal is to do a relay triathlon with my dad and sister.  Sometime in September.  My part will be the 4 mile run.  Seeing as I did just over 2 miles in 30 minutes, I should be able to do 4 in about an hour.  My goal is two tiered.  Maintain a 10 minute mile pace, and finish in less than an hour.

Lets see how this goes.

10 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 5 - A Film That Reminds You of Someone

A film that reminds me of someone...  hmm.  Interesting topic, lets see what I have.

I'm going to have to go with Eurotrip.

Just one of the great scenes from that movie.

Why I chose this?

Well, lets flash back to my senior year of college.  My roommate, (whose blog can be found here CLaP List Blog) says 'Zupka, I'm going to show you some funny parts of a movie.'  Thats pretty much how our discussions went.  So, I happily sat down and instead of watching a few parts of the movie, I saw the last 2/3 of the movie.  Then for the next, oh, week or so, I think I watched this movie about once a day.

So, its not so much that parts or people in this movie remind me of my friend, but its a gateway to all the memories of school (most of which contain my friend), and all the experiences those four years contained.  Like my sophomore year, or the year of 'Not Another Teen Movie'

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 4 - A Film You Watch to Feel Down

Oh look, four days in and I already forget to fire off a post for this.


However, after careful meditation, I can have no answer for this.  Grasshopper no watch movie to make self feel down.

Look for day 5 later today.

08 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 3 - A Film You Watch to Feel Good

This is a VERY tough one, as most movies make me feel good.  But, upon some quick soul searching I have decided to chose Almost Famous for this entry.

I honestly can't think of anything that is wrong with this movie.  Granted, I have not seen it in years (had on VHS, no VCR) but I have recently acquired the directors cut, and look forward to watching that.  And even though I have not watched it in some time, just thinking of it puts a smile on my face.  If you have not seen this movie, I recommend you give it a go.

07 April 2011

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 2 - Your Least Favorite Film

This one is a bit easier.  I first saw this film many moons ago...and did not like it from day one.  And to be honest, there were two I could have chosen from, but I chose this one for its background story.


*Shudder*.  There was just something about this movie that I never liked.  Maybe I saw it when I was too young, and I should give it another go.  But I don't know.  I just don't care too much for the movie.  My dad is a huge fan of this movie, and this is one of those movies we always have friendly banter about.  That and Doc Savage (runner up for this post).  Perhaps one day I'll give it another shot.

06 April 2011

Inception (2010)

Eames: You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

Now this is a film.  I loved it from beginning to end.  The idea that you can go into somebody's dream and steal information.  And not just that.  But you can create dreams and bend them to your will.  Oh, and you can plant an idea in somebody's head, but that's only been done once.

See, the premise here is Ken Wantanabe wants Leo DeCaprio and pals to put the idea to break up a huge company into the heir of said company's head.  So DeCaprio yells 'Dreamers Assemble' and they go to work.  Oh, and DeCaprio has some baggage.

Without going into to much plot detail, we get a plan to go three dreams deep to plant the idea.  The visuals as they do this are AMAZING!  Story is well done, with very few points where they beat the plot and mechanics of said plot over your head.

I do want to address the ending...

See, every dreamer who enters Tel'aran'rhiod needs to bring along a totem that they can use to make sure they are either in or out of the dream.  DeCaprio has some dream issues cause he's hardcore like that.  So the movie ends with his totem (a top) spinning.  If this was the dream, the top would never stop.  Real life - it topples.  The film ends with the top wobbling just a bit.

I think he made it out.  My other evidence is Michael Caine.  Mr. Caine plays DeCaprio's father (or father in law).  He is the one character that never appears in the dream sequence.  So the fact that he is there at the end tells me that it is no dream.

What are your thoughts?

30 Day Film Challenge: Day 1 - Your Favorite Film

So I've seen this kicking around the interwebs the past few days, and thought I'd give it a go.  Its kinda hard for me as I have seen many movies, and my tastes/faves tend to fluctuate.  So this list will be more of a snapshot than anything firm.

To start it off, my favorite film...probably the toughest of them all.

I'm going to have to go with Star Trek (2009).  Its the one movie I'm always thinking of putting on, and telling myself to watch something else, cause there is more than this movie to see.  It symbolizes what Star Trek should be both visually and in the story.

04 April 2011

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

Why?  Why was this movie made?  Why did I choose to subject myself to it?

This  was not a good movie.  I remember liking this when it first came out.  But time has not been kind to my opinion of this movie.  Just.... ugh.  It has a decent battle scene, but overall just, ugh.  It felt very uneven.  Following First Contact, this movie falls very flat on its face.  I can't even muster up enthusiasm to write an interesting review of this movie.

I'll be honest... Star Trek 5 had its issues, but I actually think that's a better movie.

The quality of this review is reflective of the quality of the movie.  Unfocused, poor and just plain meh. 

03 April 2011

Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

Deanna Troi: If you're looking for my professional opinion as ship's counselor: he's nuts.

Oh, man. Here it is.  The pinnacle of Next Generation movies.  Which is sad, cause its only the second one starring them, and the first with only them.

Moving on...

Where did Worf come from?
Easy!  At this point he was stationed on DS9, basically in command of the Defiant.  Said Defiant was specifically designed to fight the Borg.  Makes sense that the Defiant is there...getting its ass kicked.  Moving on.

This movie will always have a special place in my heart.  This was the first Star Trek movie I was aware of prior to its release.  It was right around this time that I started buying Star Trek magazines.  So naturally, this movie was everywhere.  i remember getting excited about the design of the Enterprise-E (bad ass), the uniforms (finally they get it right).

I was 13 when this came out, and it was also the first Star Trek movie I saw in the theater.  What an experience.  The battle at the beginning of the movie...epic.  I loved seeing all the different classes of ships.

And then we go back in time...

See, the Borg have an idea to assimilate Earth in the past, when its unable to defend itself.  Of course, they go back to the couple of days before Cochrane's first warp flight.  Cause going back to say, the middle ages, mad no sense whatsoever.  Anyway, Picard, et al, realize the time that they have arrived in and immediately jump into action violating the Temporal Prime Directive in the process.  And probably the Prime Directive since TECHNICALLY, this Earth is still a pre-warp society.

Meeting Cochrane is some of the most fun in the movie.  He's an arrogant, drunk ass and tons of fun to watch.  And to drink with.  Just ask Troi.  So, to sum up this plot arc, all is well, flight is made.

Then there is the other arc.  That of Picard dealing with the Borg that have taken over his ship.  Cause, he so totally has some prior issues with his past assimilation.  (Think Moby Dick)  We meet the Borg Queen who totally has the hots for Data, cause she is all into making him the perfect specimen.  Creepy.  There is some great acting my Patrick Stewart and Alfre Woodard (Lily) as Picard becomes more and more obsessed with stopping the Borg, and Lily snaps him back to reality.

In the end, the Borg are stopped and the Enterprise returns to its own time.  This is one of the greatest Star Trek movies, and a damn fine sci-fi film in its own right.  Not something you can necessarily watch as a stand alone, but it does stand on its own merits.  Star Trek fan or not, I think there is something every film fan can find to appreciate about this movie.

I give it 7/9 assimilations. 

01 April 2011

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Logan: Control?  You know, sometimes when you cage the beast, the beast gets angry.

And here we are.  One of the more divisive movies I know, people either love it or hate it.  The end of X2 set us up rather nicely for a telling of the Dark Phoenix story.  And we did get a telling of that story.  Just not the one that is from the comics as I understand.

See, I've never really been into the X-Men comics. So I had very little invested in the movies.  With one exception.  Portions of this movie was taken from the Joss Whedon penned Astonishing X-Men.  And they treated that material well.

Dark Phoenix however...

I dunno.  It felt forced.  Killing off Cyclops was... pointless?  Plot device?  Apparently Professor X did some mind control on Jean to protect her from herself.  She's crazy powerful.  And then the Phoenix cam through and wanted to tear things up.  So naturally she kills Prof. X and joins with Magneto.

BTW, there is also a mutant cure.  Which Rouge takes.  And then sits back on the bench, cause, ya know she had nothing else to do in this movie.  Magneto wants to (again) destroy all humans!  The X-Men (again) want to stop him.

And here we are on Alcatraz Island.  Probably one of my favorite battle scenes.  On one side we have a shit ton of the Brotherhood of Mutants.  On the other, puny humans and some X-Men.  Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Iceman (who totally goes full ice!), Beast, Kitty Pride.  And that's it.  Intense battle ensues.

In the end, Magneto is 'cured', Professor X is 'alive' and Jean Grey is dead.  I like the movie.  Like I said, its got some good action pieces, including a part in the danger room against a Sentinel.

I look forward to X-Men: First Class.  This was a nice end to the trilogy.  I know its not without issues, but what movie is truly perfect?