Category Archives: movie review
Earlier this year, when the first trailer to Thor: The Dark World was released, I found myself surprisingly excited. Here was what looked to be a bit of a throw back film; a bit of a Marvel Studios homage to the those great swashbuckling sword and sorcery movies of the early 1980’s: Conan, The Sword and the Sorcerer, The Beastmaster and Krull. Those were movies that I loved as a kid – and love even more now.
With Thor: The Dark World, it seemed liked the eightification of comic book films was upon us. And in this particular case, I was ok with that. There was no better decade for this kind of genre than the decade that spawned all of those cool movies of my youth, happily spent at the video rental store.
Thor: The Dark World, was more than that, though. It was a movie that combined muscular heroes and dreaded villains with big-budget sets and fantastic special effects with well-known actors, working inside a shared fictional universe, playing well with at least three other important film franchises. A truly twenty-first century aesthetic.
It’s Saturday. Let me tell you more about the movie, Thor: The Dark World after the jump.
A quick summary (spoiler alerts!): new preacher comes to a small town were everyone is creepy and boring and low and behold they’re actually a cult and the new family is the sacrifice for the demons of Hell. One is left alive to close the gate of Hell again and she must watch a new family come to town to start the cycle over again.
It’s not a bad premise for a short little horror film. You can tell that Slash grew up with horror films and he knows the tropes. The movie is filled with them. From the blonde haired blue eyed skinny virgin being the one to survive, to the slightly chubbier, dark haired, sex starved sister being the one who is sacrificed to the demon. They have their prerequisite 2.5 children, we get a little stringy haired creepy walking girl action in there, we get foreboding dream sequences, we get creepy towns people being all ritualistic. You can go on and on. There are plenty of tropes to find. I do take exception to the fact that the virgin heroine seemed to need to be faultlessly pretty, tow headed and compliant and the sacrificed sister is slightly defiant, sarcastic and just good at talking to guys so its automatically implied she’s a slut and has to die. But that is the trope and they use it.
Joseph Gordon Lovett (JGL) makes his writing and directorial debut with the romantic comedy Don Jon. If you’re thinking: why would a Hollywood veteran bother making a sappy, clichéd, trope-filled travesty of a genre film, be prepared to have your misconceptions skewered with the opening frames. JGL makes sure you know his debut is indie in its conception, execution and casting. This is not an emo love story, it’s not an indie film trying to brush up against Hollywood. This is a film that has a powerhouse behind it who can get a first time director’s movie made with big stars that actually has something to say. ‘Safe’ is not a word to use for JGL’s first film. It may have Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza and Julianne Moore as the main characters in the film, but this could be considered anything but mainstream. Channing Tatum and Anne Hathaway also get funny cameo rolls, but as the $9 million opening weekend box office attests to, Hollywood does not consider this film a mainstream winner. And thank God for that. There is little evidence of Hollywood interference in a movie containing explicit drug use, in your face sex scenes and a narrative thread dedicated solely to porn.
You hardly have to know much about wine to know Bordeaux. The renowned growing region with its eponymous wines has been at it for hundreds of years, growing grapes in the stony soil and through judicious applications of science and alchemy vinting ruby rich liquid for the consumption of kings. If you’ve actually had a big-name Bordeaux, kudos to you. Lafite or Margaux, the stuff ain’t cheap, as Red Obsession explores in great detail. But the image of the stuffy wine-snob drinking and spitting is only a first taste of this documentary’s deep dive into the business of France’s most exclusive wine. For Bordeaux has a new aficionado, the wealthy elite of China, and their money is propelling the business into the stratosphere.
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What do you get when you cross a visionary particle physicist with a brilliant neurosurgeon, a philosopher for the ages, a fearless race car test pilot, a comic book hero and the world’s greatest rock musician?
The truth is, you only get one thing. More precisely, you only get one man. And that man is Buckaroo Banzai!
Regular readers of Biff Bam Pop! would (should) recognize that name. Especially readers of a certain age. Were you born in the 1970’s? Did you spend your out-of-school summers riding your gooseneck, banana-seat bike to the local video rental store? Did you gather in basements with your pals, watching all manner of obscure VHS movie tapes simply because they had cool titles? Yeah? Then you were probably a Blue Blaze Irregular. And you probably still are, in some shape or form.
‘Cos nothing was cooler than the 1984 cult film, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension.
My oldest grandson, Jimmy, a lover of martial arts and a serious student of Muay Thai; won every tournament he’s ever entered. This year he and some of his friends joined the military; the United States Marines to be exact. Physicals done, tests passed, oath taken, Jimmy and the others are waiting to go to boot camp. But, with all this stuff happening in Syria; he might go off to boot camp much sooner than anticipated. What does this have to do with the martial arts movie, The Grandmaster? Find out after the jump Read the rest of this entry
I’m a big apocalypse fan. I mean, I hope I’m not around if or when the whole thing goes down, but I find those sorts of stories to be endlessly fascinating. Whether it’s global warming or Mayan predictions, the notion of the end and of how people deal with it just gets my brain humming.
One of the most interesting concepts to me is that of the Rapture – the idea that all those who accept Jesus Christ as their lord and saviour leave all their earthly possessions behind and are accepted into heaven, right before the arrival of the Anti-Christ. It’s all Book of Revelations type stuff, and make for some interesting stories, such as the Left Behind series of books (even though they get REALLY preachy). I often discuss the Rapture with an atheist-scientist friend of mine, who himself admits that should something like it occur, he’d be hard pressed to find a scientific explanation. I love winning that discussion.
So, yes, I’m a huge sucker for these sorts of stories, and crave a great film that draws upon it for a story. Sadly, Rapture-Palooza is not that great film.
Find out why after the jump!
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