Not this crude matter
The Avengers (2012) review

First of all, I would say that Joss Whedon has accomplished what he has set out to do. He has successfully helmed the best comicbook movie I’ve ever seen. He has now proven himself to be worthy of directing big budget flicks, without a shade of doubt. As a huge Joss Whedon fan, I was not disappointed by the movie overall.

So let’s begin the analysis then:

PROS

The pacing was perfect. - Just when I felt the need of an action scene after a few minutes of excellent witty banter (the back and forth between RDJ and Chris Evans for example was just brilliant), Joss delivered an action scene. When I was tired of the explosions, we got a character-developing, plot-building dialogue scene. Joss clearly knows what he is doing! (Serenity also proves this BTW) In Transformers 3, the fight at the end was so long, loud and obnoxious, I felt really uncomfortable in my my chair. After 20 minutes, my head hurt. After 30 minutes, I just wished the whole thing to end. Here, the final action scene was paced excellently with occassional breaks for the audience to get a breath. This is the difference between Joss and Michael Bay.

The chemistry between the heroes was excellent - Whedon has captured every nuance of every character perfectly, and did not downplay any of them. They got roughly equal screentime, and he has managed to give some development to each and every one of them. Black Widow sees that she has done horrible things. Iron Man sees that this once, he can’t do everything alone, he needs a team. The Hulk learns to embrace and let out his “other side”, etc, etc, etc. Everything falls into place at the end. Their dialogue and their fighting style is also spot on.

The coreography of the action scenes was just awesome - Joss knows how to direct an action scene, that’s for sure. After Serenity, he showed us again, how it’s done. I can only compare his creativity to Cameron’s (see Avatar) - Hulk immediately grabbing the ejecting pilot? Iron Man using his thrusters creatively to put some distance between him and Thor? Black Widow beats up everyone tied to a chair? (classic Joss!) All these sequences were thought out and executed well. No jerky camera *beep* no ADHD rapid cutting - just pure action. This is how it’s done. Any comparison with the similar sequences of Transformers 3 are not valid, since the difference between the scenes is clear as day. Oh, and Joss handled realism the most ideal way: it had enough impossible sequences for a comic book movie, but not enough to really insult the viewer.

The jokes were all funny - Watching the other comicbook action flicks I’m happy if I smile 2 or 3 times throughout. Here, all the jokes were funny, and I smiled hearing/seeing all of them. There are quite a few classics there too (“Puny god”, “A millionaire playboy philantrophist”, “He was adopted”, etc.).

CONS

The beginning and the first 10 minutes was kind of weak - I expected a more powerful opening from Joss, especially after the excellent multi-layered opening of Serenity.

Loki was not a really charismatic/evil/crazy villain - Loki is one of the weak points of the movie: he does not represent as huge a threat as I expected. Joss is skilled at creating memorable and chilling villains (see: Jubal Early and the Operative…), so I was disappointed in him in this department. To counter this, Loki had some gripping scenes (the conversation with Black Widow, the look he gives Banner, the failure to manipulate Stark with his staff, etc.), but all in all, he was a weak villain.

The plot was too thin and too linear - The villain’s plan was to open a portal and pour some warriors through it and conquer Earth. Ok, so what’s the twist? I kept expecting something great, a revelation, a twist, something that catches the viewers off-guard, but no. The plot was too simple.

TL;DR: The movie has it’s cons, but the pros far outweigh them. Joss had a weak plot to work with, but it’s not the story, it’s how you tell it. And he told it with care, with creativity, and his direction was sharp and thoughtful.

My final rating: 9/10. Not flawless, but it’s a gorram entertaining flick!

Special Effects are no longer “special” if they are over-used and if not placed in some kind of context. (I could easily say that Avatar had too much CG, but everything was in context. There was a reason for every special effect - nice waterfalls to capture the beauty of Pandora, glowing nightlife to convey the planet’s uniqueness, heavy man-made transformers-like machinery gradually invading Pandora’s forest to capture man’s influence on it’s natural surroundings, all of these being a crucial component of the story).

An user comment about Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon on IMDb.

I felt desensitized after all the explosions, giant robot fights and military stuff, it was so tiring, I sank in a melancholy for a few minutes after the credits rolled.

I missed only a few things: consistency, substance, weight, characters, plot…

God! Alan Tudyk was the only redeeming feature, and even he had some silly scenes…

spookyactionatadistance:

Piracy vs. Paying Customer. There’s truth in this whether you agree or not.
via i.imgur.com

It’s not even necessary to comment on this. Ridiculous.

spookyactionatadistance:

Piracy vs. Paying Customer. There’s truth in this whether you agree or not.

via i.imgur.com

It’s not even necessary to comment on this. Ridiculous.

Angry Joe - Nightmare on Elm Str. 2010 review.

Wow, he is really angry again… I won’t even bother to watch thi-BWAAAH!-s, because it’s full of BWAAAH! cheap jump scares and it’s in gene-BWAAH!-ral not a new idea, and as a remake, I can tell from the vid, that it pretty much BWAAH! sucks.

Why can’t they create NEW horror franchises? Why must they remake everything? I hope he will review the prequel for The Thing too…

A key thing Alien (1979) does right…

… is that everything comes off natural, especially the plot twists and important revelations in the story.

First of all: there’s really not much to speak of in this department. The two key revelations are that the signal was a warning and not an SOS, and Ash’s identity and his mission. That’s it. The rest is linear, with virtually no sidetracking. No useless bullsh*t subplots, this is the real deal throughout. This movie has balls to explore it’s own premise. And it’s damn good at that!

Also, observe carefully the “revelation” scenes. The first one, the signal’s contents is revealed by Ripley via radio. Watch how it’s done: no dramatic chord, almost no visual indication - the director doesn’t try to use his cinematographical sledgehammer to beat across your brain that this is something important. It just kinda happens. Same with Ash - that point again feels real and goes with the flow of the movie. The only thing dramatic is Ripley’s reaction, then Ash’s attack - and rightfully so.

And this, ladies and gentlemen creates a natural flow of events throughout the whole movie, where the plot stays on the point.

Most contemporary movies a) are full of “twists” b) try to enhance them every possible way.

And then you’ve got movies where every 10 minutes a revelation happens, with dramatic chord and different visuals, and after 2 of them, you become desensitized, and then you just don’t care anymore.

All these movies need is a competent plot without sidetracking and useless random subplots (stay on the point, for crying out loud!), and a natural flow.

In this regard, I find Alien to be unmatched, even to this day.

HR. Giger’s painting, Necronom IV.
The inspiration for the design of Alien…

HR. Giger’s painting, Necronom IV.

The inspiration for the design of Alien

A funny 2001: A Space Odyssey review.

Personally, I found it funny, because it’s so completely missing the point, it becomes actually hilarious. 2001 is by no means a plot-driven movie.

The reason why Kubrick didn’t cut where “he was supposed to”, is that the slow scenes have a purpose. To draw you in. To provide a setting. A context in which the plot is happening. The mysteriousness of the monolith. The wastness of space. These are the ideas Kubrick is trying to convey, he’s trying to give you an experience, rather than a traditional movie. And that’s why he can get away with scenes of “nothing” and “cr*p floating in space”.

Another mistake the reviewer makes is when he mentions the music. It goes something like “If I want to listen to (profanity) music, I would listen to (profanity) music” (I can’t watch the video now, so I paraphrased). Film is an audiovisual experience. Music sets the mood of the scenes. In any film. The same scene can change it’s entire meaning if the music in the background changes. It influences your perception. You can’t separate music from visuals. Not ever. In any film. Especially not here.

A little more about the “cr*p floating in space” scene: the music gives it an excellent atmosphere, and in 1968 these scenes were never before seen brilliant special effect shots. And in 2010 all I can say, that we’ve seen this before, but… still brilliant. If this guy would’ve actually pay attention to these scenes, he could’ve found a way to appreciate the visuals, the atmosphere and one of the highest kinds of eye-candy you can possibly get. And I consider the space scenes still unmatched. It looks real. Part of the realism comes from the fact that it was not CGI, it was the real thing…

And still, aside from that, I watched all 3 parts of the review giggling all the way through. At times, I was under the impression that the guy is misinterpreting things on purpose. But it doesn’t matter if he’s not. It’s really a masterpiece of a review. Bear in mind that no one is saying that you have to agree with a review. A review is just a guy’s opinion, and I’m extremely tolerant about this.

If I had never seen the movie before I saw the review, I wouldn’t listen to the guy when he claims he has the ultimate objective criticism regarding the movie and “if you miss the ending, you miss nothing”. No one should ever listen to anyone giving a movie a review they haven’t seen. If you’re interested enough to watch/read a review, then you must see the movie. Period.

Personally, I like watching scenes of “nothing”. It’s so brilliant of a “nothing”, it’s art. And not exactly nothing, but it depends on your POV. The guy showed us (either intentionally or not, really doesn’t matter that much) how can you misinterpret 2001, and how to expect a plot-driven ride. 2001 is not that. Far from it. And not every movie is plot-driven, so the statements like “This is not how you open a movie, and the movie did not begin yet, because there were no plot points so far” are not objective as the guy claims. But it provides a POV. And us, 2001 fans can always appreciate a new POV. At any rate, I can…

I wonder what kind of review this guy would make about Eraserhead

I don’t get the ThinkPad T400…

Recently, I got this fine T400 I’m currently typing on (I did not buy it, it’s a company laptop BTW), and played an episode of How I Met Your Mother with it, I noticed something. When I moved the laptop from my table and placed it on my bed to continue watching from there, the playback stuttered. I got a little nervous, because I thought this laptop is gonna die on me on the first day, this can’t be good. I held my breath as I watched the episode, but no further stuttering happened.

A bit later I moved the laptop again while it was playing another episode, and then I suddenly figured it out: it has drop-protection, so the HDD shuts off in the instand it senses that it’s freefalling (or close to that anyway).

OK, then… something’s still off. I just don’t get something about this…

Why does it have 2 GBs of memory again?!

I mean, seriously, this is ridiculous. The episode of HIMYM is some 180 MBs. Why does the playback suffer when the whole thing should be in the RAM in the first second it loads the episode?

I just don’t get this! Can someone answer me?

I’ve just made my ticket reservation…

… for AVATAR!

19th December, digital 3D. Yeaaaaaaaaaah!!! Movie of the year, here I come!!!

Don’t let me down, Jim, I need a classic here…

aliensandpredators:

Ripley’s power loader from Aliens
by Larry Lars
via fuckyeahlegos: brothers-brick

I want to assemble this!

aliensandpredators:

Ripley’s power loader from Aliens

by Larry Lars

via fuckyeahlegos: brothers-brick

I want to assemble this!

The formula of saying random weird stuff for a long period of time followed by violent scenes was a failure in this movie, given the storyline and the historical context.

And IMDb user’s opinion about Inglourious Basterds.

I don’t agree. It worked perfectly, the historical context clearly didn’t matter. It was a great movie!

Lost in Translation FTW

Lost in Translation FTW

Unreal Tournament - The movie?

On the IMDb message board for Unreal Tournament, there is a thread about a possible movie. I’ve dreamed about it several times in my lifetime.

The user fab-me posted a basic storyline idea:

A man, Russell Goodwin, fights to revenge the death of his family in Unreal Tournament where the murderer is also fighting. Russell begins his training and prepares to kill the murderer. He begins making his own guns and making his own rules and when he finally goes into battle he turns out to be surprisingly good! In the deathly Tournament Russell makes friends with Jack, a fellow competitor on his team who soon helps him and becomes his best friend but is later killed when helping his team. When Russell sneaks out one night the murderer finds him and Russell soon finds out what a battle he is in for after nearly being killed!

In the next few battles Russell begins to go crazy as he not only wants revenge but he wants to win as well! Defeating the murderer seems harder than he expected and soon his team begin to give up hope. Finally when Russell gets the chance he’s been waiting for and he and his enemy face off in the temple where one of them will die and Unreal Tournament will end.

My reaction to this:

1. It would be good, but the design of the weapons suffered a major breakdown between UT99 and 2003, so I would go along with the original design. Same goes for the character models and armors - they were perfect in 99 and embarrassing in 2003/2004…

2. To make the movie even more dark, let’s make the game against the killer not the final, but the semi-final of the tournament. He wins, goes crazy about it and even though he got his revenge, he wants to win and then dies in the final. That would be shocking.

OR

He wins the semi-final, realizes that revenge didn’t redeem him, he feels pain and doesn’t want to fight and kill anymore, but the directors of the tournament doesn’t want him to quit and they threaten him to kill him if he doesn’t play in the final. Then he either lets them kill him or plays in the final, but doesn’t kill his opponent, who then kills him.

Of course, this would need a competent director, who can portray the character’s inner struggles adequately, and at the same time, he could direct stunning and awesome action-sequences - all with UT99 design!

My director of choice is of course James Cameron. More on that in one of the  next posts!

When I saw Armored, I could tell he’s also great with action and has a keen eye for casting. He reminded me of Quentin with how he was able to work with a group of very strong, singular actor talents and make it look effortless.

Robert Rodriguez (Source)

Robert Rodriguez has just compared a hungarian director to Quentin Tarantino. Am I awake?