November 30, 2010

Cinematic Captions #1

In an effort to keep myself busy with this blog, I'm introducing a new feature which will fill the Tuesday gap. It's a fun little thing, the main purpose of which is to amuse myself, which, in turn, will amuse you, hopefully. It's a play on LOLCATZ. Pretty self explanatory, I think. Here's the first installment! Enjoy!!!


Addendum: This will become interactive. I'm just testing the waters. Chill, young grasshoppas!

November 29, 2010

Trailer Trash: Your Highness

It's time to root through some trailers. What sorts of wonderful things will be alluded to today?

Well, since you all just loved and commented the hell out of the Red Band trailer of I Love You Phillip Morris (note the sarcasm), I decided to do another one. Rejoice!

There's a prince. He's brave! There's another prince. He's an idiot! When the brave prince's virgin bride is kidnapped by a sleazy wizard, the two of them must join together on an epic quest to save her. They are joined by a hit archer who the idiot prince "thinks of" often. Stoned epicness ensues.

James Franco returns to the brand of comedy that made people start to take him seriously. He is joined by Danny McBride, who has been upgraded to a lead role after his scene stealing performances in Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder. Natalie Portman will be freaking audiences out in Black Swan this December, and then she will turn right around and crack them up as a fiery warrior who loves to strip down to her thong and bathe. Interesting. Zooey Deschanel and Justin Theroux round out the main cast as the virgin and the villain, respectively.

This trailer is hysterical! It's fairly long, giving it enough time to focus on the comedy aspects of the film, and then on the epic action aspects of the film. Pineapple Express did a good, if messy, job of balancing stoner comedy with urban action, and since fantasy and weed don't usually mix, Your Highness (see what they did there) should prove to be a breath of fresh air. The trailer would have you believe that it's a raunchy, vulgar piece of comedy, and I'm inclined to believe them.

November 28, 2010

RIP Leslie Nielson



1926-2010

You will be missed!

November 26, 2010

At the Halfway Mark...

It's never easy to say goodbye. You've been a part of the journey; you've experienced so much together. You grew collectively over the years, but the end is upon us. It's never easy, but this is especially hard. The story of Harry Potter has been a part of pretty much everyone's life for the past fifteen or so years. What started as fun, imaginative children's book blossomed into one of the greatest fantasy epics ever, which, in turn, grew into the most intense cinematic venture of all time. Now, we are at the end. The world of Harry Potter will be put to rest  after this. But, first, we have Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. 


On the run!

November 25, 2010

Glee Review: Furt

Oh how I wish I could shove a knife into Karofsky and twist it!

Glee has gotten pretty serious this past season, hasn't it? What was once a cheesy little musical serial that delighted in the high school cliches has now become a brutally honest look at what it is like to grow up and, pardon the expression, face the music. This week was a continuation of that trend.

Furt begins with Burt and Carol telling Finn and Kurt that they are engaged, meaning that Kurt will become Finn's brother for real. Surprisingly, Finn actually seems ok with this new development, or, if he's not, he does a good job of hiding it, since he doesn't want to spoil his mom's happiness. They grow up so fast!

Meanwhile, Kurt is still being tortured by Karofsky in the halls, and the club has finally had enough. Mike, Artie, and Sam all stand up to him in the locker room, and all get severely beat down. Puck is all for joining in, but, he's still on probation, and is not looking to go back to juvie. Finn, on the other hand, has no good excuse for not standing up for Kurt. Once again, he is obsessed with being cool and keeping his standing in the social hierarchy of the school, so much so that he won't help Kurt. I don't know about you, but if one of my friends was being tortured like that, fuck social standing! Whoever the culprit is better watch out cuz I'll take him down!

Whew, sorry. Let my emotions get away from me. Where were we?

There is a Sue plot line, but, honestly, it's pretty friggin' stupid. The half assed attempt to make Sue look even more self centered would have been solid gold, and would have done a lot to alleviate the stress of this thematically dark episode, if she wasn't as level headed as she was in the rest of the episode. This is the sweetest we've ever seen Sue when she's not interacting with Jean. The way she resigns her position as principal and vows to keep an eye on Kurt to make sure Karofsky doesn't pull any more shit is legitimately heart warming. So, why the stupid plot about her marrying herself? It was an excuse to bring Carol Burnet, who plays Sue's Nazi hunting mother. Unlike last week's inspired guest appearance by Gwyneth Paltrow, the addition of Burnet to this episode just seemed tired, like the writers didn't care enough. She comes on, sings a song, and then Sue tells her off for being a bitch. Could've seen that coming from a mile away.


Music wise, this episode was weak, but, for the first time this season, I didn't care. The story was clear focus of this episode. The writers were more interested in furthering characters than they were in entertaining with song, and, unlike the tepid Never Been Kissed, they took the story telling to a whole new level in order to make up for lack on fun songs. With the exception of the Sue plot, the writing on display here is some of the best Glee has had so far. This should be the episode the producers submit to the Emmys for consideration. The resolution of the whole Kurt/Karofsky thing was a long time coming, and, God Damn, was it heart breaking. Sam and Quinn finally become a real couple, with an emphasis on the real. And to see the guys stand up to Karofsky like that was some of the rawest acting to come out of anyone so far in the series.

On a character note, Karofsky. I can honestly say I have never hated a character as much as I hate him. Seriously! Props to Max Adler for going all out with this character, giving us every despicable detail about him. He doesn't seem like a caricature of a confused bully, he's a real person, and Adler plays him exceptionally well.

The ending of this episode is incredibly sad, despite the revelry that was previously seen at the wedding. It's what's best for Kurt, and even though it pains him to leave McKinley and New Directions, to stay would have been the death of him, especially after the school board refuses to expel Karofsky. I had a major problem with Rachel in that last scene. "Are you going to be competing with us at sectionals?" Come on girl! One of your best friend's is leaving you. No one's that shallow!

Can't wait to see how the club is gonna punish Karofsky after this! Dude better watch out. Something tells Finn is out for blood and Puck doesn't care about juvie any more!

Gobble Gobble Gobble

Happy Turkey Genocide Day Everyone!!!!!!!!

November 24, 2010

According to the Movies #18

If the movies say it, it must be true.

The following lesson probably applies to a whole slew of movies, but, I can't seem to think of them. Sorry. I just started Thanksgiving break, I'm allowed to not think!

In the movies, you have your hero, and you have your villains. It's always very fun when said hero is a former member of said group of villains. The main movie I'm talking about right now is Ninja Assassin. See, here's the thing. The villains are a very dangerous bunch. They can kill countless good guys and cause all types of carnage. But, when they fight the hero, they can't do shit! The movie gods have imbibed the hero with supreme skill over his former comrades. In Ninja Assassin, Raizo is an unstoppable force when it comes to dispatching of his ninja brethren. They ninjas he kills are very adept at killing cops, innocent bystanders, and people the movie doesn't consider important enough to capitalize on. However, when they face Raizo, they are completely helpless. He cuts bloody swath after bloody swath through them, barely flinching as he does.

The Lesson: If the hero suddenly finds himself fighting his former comrades, he can take heart. He will suddenly find himself to be far more capable at dispatching foes than any of his opponents, even though, when they were allies, they were matched. Does that make any sense at all? Screw you! It's not supposed to!

Movie Videos & Movie Scenes at MOVIECLIPS.com

November 22, 2010

Trailer Trash: Green Lantern

It's time to root through some trailers. What sorts of wonderful things will be alluded to today?

One of the annoying things about having this feature on Monday is that is about as far from the day new trailers are released as I could possibly have made it. When a new trailer comes out, I usually have a good 4-5 days before I'm scheduled to write about it. By then, all my blogging buddies have given their two cents, so when I post it, it's as if I'm arriving late to the party. I mean, I could always move the feature to a different day, but that would throw my whole schedule out of whack, so I'm not gonna do that, especially since I've gotten comfortable with it.

So, why the bitching? I don't know. I guess it's too explain myself for posting something about this trailer so late. It was released, like, last Wednesday, and since then, Hatter, Travis, and others have dished on it. Now it's my turn.

Green Lantern is based on the DC comic of the same name. It concerns Hal Jordan, who is entrusted with a mystical and powerful ring one day and tasked with using its power to defend the universe as a Green Lantern. He is then whisked away on an epic journey to alien worlds, where he learns how to use the ring, and then returns to Earth to face off with an enemy with less than good intentions.

Ryan Reynolds is Jordan. Ok, he could be good, but I'm a little skeptical. Any superhero movie that Reynolds has been in has been unmitigated shit far. Blade: Trinity? How bout X-Men Origins: Wolverine? You get the idea. Granted, he's taking the lead here, instead of being relegated to the back burner, but still. His reputation suggests something tepid. Other people that show up are Mark Strong, playing the bad guy again, and Peter Sarsgaard as... someone. This cast is talented, but it's a superhero movie not directed by Christopher Nolan. I'm going in with tempered expectations.

This trailer is sweet, but nowhere near as awesome as I thought it would be, given what I've read on IGN and such about the film. None of the action scenes shown really did anything for me. Honestly, I thought there'd be more destruction on display. The alien worlds look sweet, but shockingly cartoonish for a film with such a ridiculous budget. The ring effects look cool. My verdict on whether or not this film is going to be worth going to on opening weekend is still out, but, if the next trailers are like this one, I'm gonna be disappointed.

November 21, 2010

Off With Their Heads

Horror is a fickle little bitch, ain't it? These days, it's all about the BLOOD, whereas, way back in the day, it was all about the atmosphere! Since we are usually treated to films that specialize in one of those aspects, be it the gore (Saw), or atmosphere (The Ring), it is a very nice surprise when we get a film that specializes in both. Sleepy Hollow is such a film. Tim Burton's moody take on the William Irving's famous legend mixes things up a little bit, changing the origin of the main character, and bringing in a healthy dose of the supernatural. Though some qualms pain me, Sleepy Hollow is wonderfully atmospheric and legitimately unsettling film. It also goes overboard with the decapitations. Not necessarily a bad thing, but...

Edward Sweeney Scissorhands Wonka Hatter

November 19, 2010

It's Good To Have Friends

Isn't it?

This past week, I strolled down to my mailbox in the Campus Center here on Bard Campus. After getting it open, I happened upon a little something-something from a certain someone-someone. Hatter had alluded to a gift of sorts that would be finding its way to me at some point as a thank you for putting up with a Matineecast recording session mired by technical issues up the wazoo. Unfortunately, Hatter's big move to a stylish new crib postponed the mailing of said gift, and, since its college, and I was in a show, and I have work, and I'm busy, and I'm tired, and I have a social life outside of this blog (crazy, right?), I briefly forgot about the incoming present. So, imagine my surprise when I found a nice little package sitting in my box, from a certain mad person. What was it you ask?

A DVD copy of Moulin Rouge!!

SAWEEEEEEEET!!!! I was very excited about that. Not only am I now privy to all the juicy extras, but now I can watch it legally!! YAY!!! Thanks Hatter. You da man!!! Here's a special furry just for you!!! This is a bunny!

Meow?

November 18, 2010

Glee Review: The Substitute

I say. Those casting people sure do know how to attract the talent.

There's a disease spreading through the halls of McKinley. Strangely enough, this new strain of "monkey flu" only seems to effect people who pose a threat to Sue. Maybe she bioengineered it to attain her goals, which is totally something she would do. Anyway, Will comes down with it and is forced to take a sick leave. Enter the substitute, the comically named Holly Holiday. Not only does she take over in Will's Spanish class, but she also takes the reins of the glee club, much to the chagrin of Rachel, who was hoping to lead the club in Will's absence. Holiday is a big proponent of letting the kids do the songs they want, a big change of pace form Will, who is still looking for a Journey song that the club hasn't performed yet.

As this power struggle plays out, we see Kurt and Blaine's relationship progress, albeit through the eyes of a ticked off Mercedes. It's nice to see Kurt finally have someone to relate to and chat with, but, God Damn, he was dick to Mercedes in this episode. Mercedes thing with the tater tots was pretty stupid, but, as with everything in this episode, was taken to such glorious heights of ridiculousness that it is easily overlooked. The plotline that saw Will and Terri briefly reconcile was also interesting, and handled better than any other  plotline between the two so far in the series.

But, the main focus was Mrs. Holiday, and boy was it a good focus! Gwyneth Paltrow guest stars as the substitute, but it's not a just a movie star cameo designed to ring some extra viewers. I mean, the total viewing population of Glee is probably bigger than some countries, so, they aren't exactly starved for an audience. Paltrow is fantastic as this spunky, fun loving, but ultimately damaged woman. She's hilarious, but also heartbreaking. And damn, can that woman sing!!


The songs this week were also a big step up from last week. They were all exciting, interesting, and each brought something new to the table. The "clean" version of Cee Lo's "Fuck You", as sung by Paltrow, was great, as was her and Rachel's rendition of "Nowadays" from Chicago. Will's and Mike's reimagining of "Make Em' Laugh" from Singing in the Rain was hysterical, and the last song, a mashup of "Singing in the Rain" and Rhianna's "Umberella" was the best song so far this season, and the dancing on the number absolutely killed!

"The Substitute" is, hands down, the best Glee episode of the season, and certainly one of the best of the whole series, ranking right up there with "Dream On", "Journey" and the pilot as the strongest of the bunch. There's talk of making Paltrow's character a regular. I don't know how I feel about that, but, for the time we spent with her this week, it was absolutely wonderful.

Also, how awesome was it seeing Beiste burn Sue when she tries to disband the football team with a "But then who are your Cheerios gonna cheer for?" Priceless.

So, now that Paltrow is out of the way, who's next for big name guest star? Javier Bardem is on the list, and Stamos and Chenoweth are sure to make reappearances. I don't care about any of those; I only care about one of them. Please let the rumors about Bruce Springsteen guesting the show be true. Please let be true. If The Boss were on Glee, so many dreams would come true!

November 17, 2010

According to the Movies #17

If the movies say it, it must be true.

So, I'm going to take a break from balls to the wall action films and focus on something a bit more tame for this week's lesson. There's a trend in romantic comedies that dictates that the two leads cannot spend the entire movie together, instead being forced apart only to see the error of their ways and reunite in the end. In High Fidelity, Rob breaks up with Laura in the beginning, and then gets back with her in the end. In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (which is a romantic comedy. Shut up!), Joel and Clementine break it off, only to reconcile in the end. In (500) Days of Summer, Tom and Summer break it off and then... well, they don't get back together, but screw you! Movies need some conflict, right?



The Lesson: If you are a couple in a romantic comedy, prepare for hard times. You will break it off at some point, but will most likely get back together in the end. Sorry. Audiences these days would just get bored if there wasn't anything to challenge the love of their two stars. That's modern day consumerism for ya. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

November 16, 2010

And It Was So...

The URL has been changed!
Rejoice!
If you are reading this, then you are aware, and you should totally add it to your blogroll/favorites.
Ok, that's all.
Be sure to pick up your gift bags from the caribou outside.
Ciao tutti!

Addendum: Ok, so, this is kinda embarrassing. I went to register the domain fromtheblackhole.blogspot.com, and I find, much to my chagrin, that there is already a blog with that URL. The person who registered said URL has not written anything for the blog since its inception. Pisses me off, but whatever. So, slight adjustment. Here's the new URL.

fromthesupermassive.blogspot.com

I don't like people sometimes. Really, I don't...

November 15, 2010

Trailer Trash: Battle: Los Angeles

It's time to root through some trailers. What sorts of wonderful things will alluded to today?

It seems LA is the new New York City when it comes to alien invasions. Just this weekend we had Skyline, and alien actioner set in the city of angels. Too bad everyone says it sucks. What will save us? Los Angeles should be able to provide great backdrops of extra-terrestrial carnage. What will provide it in kind?

Battle: Los Angeles, apparently. Concerning a group of soldiers tasked with repelling an alien invasion in the glamorous city, Battle: Los Angeles is shot guerilla style, hoping to evoke such films as District 9, Cloverfield, and others. It looks pretty promising, especially when you consider the talent on display. Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, and Michael Pena all lend their talents to this sci-fi romp.

This trailer is sick. No dialogue is spoken. Instead, we are only shown choice images of the city's destruction and the ensuing conflict set to Johann Johannsson's "Sun Gone Dim". It's an effective marketing method that alludes to a more subtle approach to this flick, but the shots in this trailer make it out to be a hyper intense, violent as hell thriller. Maybe it'll be both. Either way, I'm super excited for this one. Only a couple of months till LA is destroyed again. Can't wait.

November 14, 2010

Poll Results: The URL Change

You have spoken. I hereby obey.

The final stage of the blog overhaul is complete. Y'all have voted on the URL change, and the winner is here. The new URL is...

fromtheblackhole.blogspot.com

Thanks to everyone who voted (all seven of you). I'm not going to change the URL in three days time. I'm giving you this heads up so as to give everyone some time to re-add it to their blogrolls and such. Ok, well, that was fun, wasn't it?

Time for another animal. This is a woodchuck. 

Suck on dis!

November 13, 2010

70741 |)0/\/\!|\|47!0|\|

Title Translation: Total Domination in leetspeak... I am such a geek...

Slowly, but surely, I'm overcoming the challenges of being a film blogger who is suddenly thrown into an area where theaters are not exactly easy to come by. You know all those movies that were huge at the end of the summer that were conspicuously absent from this blog? Well, blame Leon Botstein for that. Anyway, as the movies I missed slowly start to trickle out onto DVD, I, like a fiendish feline (alliteration FTW), pounce on them all. There are a few which have still eluded my grasp, but, the big kahuna has finally found its way into my hands. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was on my short list of films that absolutely had to be seen this past summer. My prediction was right; Scott Pilgrim was great. As a guy who is pretty well versed in video game culture and no so secretly digs on the whole power ups, levels, and boss fights thing, this was film was something of a godsend. And now that I've seen it, I'm finally going to jump in line behind y'all with my verdict. Im slow to the draw, but, what do you want from me? I'm young.

Epically Epic On An Epic Scale Of Epicness!!!

November 11, 2010

Glee Review: Never Been Kissed

Nice to see Finn's mailman incident come up again.

With Puck back from juvie this week, everything is back to normal within New Directions, or so it seems. In preparation for sectionals, Will decides that now is as good time as any to have the annual Battle of the Sexes.

With this as a foundation, the episode delves into some solid storylines. The comedic one, which involves Sam, Bieste, and pretty much everyone else, sees Sam taking Finn's advice on how to cool off when making out with Quinn, since she's not going anywhere past first base. So, Sam takes to fantasizing about Beiste, which is a huge turn off. Unfortunately, since he still hasn't grasped how things work around McKinley High, he shoots off his mouth, telling everyone in the club about is new method of killing the mood. Everyone gets in on the action, even Tina. Of course Beiste finds out, and shit goes down.

Another plot saw Puck being Artie's aide as part of his community service. What this entails is Puck intimidating kids into giving up money when he and Artie busk in the school yard, and showing him how to woo Brittany and Santana, though that one doesn't end very well.

The final plot sees Kurt as he finally meets another gay kid, the star of a rival glee club played by newcomer Darren Criss. This blossoming friendship helps Kurt muster up the courage to stand up to Karofsky, leading to a totally unexpected shift in the dynamic. That was well handled.


Plot wise, this was a great episode. Puck's return wasn't just a comedic thing, it was a real story that showed a more vulnerable side to him. Kurt's storylines so far this season have been aces, and the one about the kids cooling off by thinking of Beiste in neglige chopping meat is almost perversely funny.

There were some unbelievable moments in the plots though. I bought the ending of the Kurt/Karofsky face-off, and especially bought the aftermath, but I did not for a second believe that Will and Beiste would end their final conversation that way. That made no sense.

Music wise, however, this episode sort of sucked. There was only one number that really popped, that being the girl's mashup of "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Start Me Up". That one was awesome. The others were awful. Any time Katy Perry is played, I want to drill into my brain, even if it is sung by a bunch of uber talented men; the guy's mash-up was eh, but it was the first song of the episode that hit the nail into the coffin. For Puck's busking session, he and Artie sang Bob Marley's "One Love", and the show could not have fucked it up more. My GOD, that was horrendous! None of the songs had anything to do with the plot, making them all seem like complete afterthoughts. Also, what is it with the Bon Jovi and the mashups? Seriously, last year during this contest, the guys sang "It's My Life" with "Confessions". This year, the girls sang "Livin' On A Prayer" with "Start Me Up". What's next? "Wanted Dead Or Alive" with "Like A G6"?
...
Actually, that would be pretty cool.

On the comedy front, this episode was solid, though. Brittany didn't have much in the way of funny lines, but this was balanced out by Sue, who had tons. Her conversation with Quinn about how she thinks Sam is fantasizing about Bieste was hysterical! Also, the images of Beiste when the love makers fantasize about her, including one where she is doing ballet whilst smoking a cigar, are comic gold!

It was good episode, to be sure, but the lack of any decent songs brings this one down to the level of the season premiere. There are plenty of funny moments, and great story telling, but, this is Glee. If anything, we expect the music to be good, and it wasn't. Oh well.

On another note, Gwyneth Paltrow is guesting next week. Wonder how Coldplay feels about that...

November 10, 2010

According to the Movies #16

If the movies say it, it must be true!

I finally got around to it! I finally overcame my rural living situation here in Annandale-on-Hudson and managed to get my mitts on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (review on Saturday). For those who don't know- and, judging by the pathetic box office the movie experienced, that could be a good percentage of you- SPVTW concerns a lowlife named Scott Pilgrim who starts dating the girl of his dreams, named Ramona Flowers. Unfortunately, this comes with a slight downside. For Scott to live happily ever after with this girl, he must defeat her seven evil exes in all out battles to the death. There are quite a few lessons to be learned from this movie, most of which I will touch on eventually, but, today, I am laying the best one out for you.

See, one of Scott's opponents is a man named Todd. Todd has totally awesome hair, plays bass like Flea, and has psychic and telekinetic powers. How does he manage to pull of all this crap? He's vegan. Yeah, one of those hipster types that I'm practically drowning in here at Bard, but anyway...

The Lesson: Are you vegan. Good for you! You can do cool shit, like levitate a person on the ground, and play bass as if it were a surfer guitar. You'll also make really bad puns, but, I guess that can't be helped.



Addendum: You have three strikes, or the Vegan police will find you. No, gelato is not vegan. It's milk and eggs, bitch!

November 8, 2010

Trailer Trash: Sucker Punch... Again

It's time to root through some trailers. What sorts of wonderful things will be alluded to today?

Good to be back! We had a GREAT run of The Wild Party, but, alas, it is over. Post show depression is hitting me like a mother fucker, but, gotta keep trucking on, right? Luckily, I have a really awesome trailer to write about to pull me out of my funk.

Thanks to this new trailer, I finally have a grasp on what Sucker Punch is actually about. A girl, whose name is apparently Baby Doll (???) is entombed in a mental asylum by her less than loving father after her mother passes away. It's a grueling life in the nuthouse, but, with the help of her compassionate dance teacher (again, ???), Baby Doll learns to escape into her own mind in an elaborate plot to break free from her prison. She enlists the help of four other girls in her quest, and together, they delve into their imaginations to find the things that will set them free, guided along the way by an enigmatic wiseman.

Thoughts on the cast are still the same as last time. Emily Browning looks to kick a whole ton of ass, and look damn good doing it. I still have no idea who the hell Carla Gugino is supposed to be. Scott Glenn looks to be having a rollicking good time as the wiseman. That character is gonna be ridiculous.

As with the last trailer, the latest addition to Sucker Punch's marketing campaign is flat out awesome!! So many cool shots, so many sweet scenes, and it's all set to Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks" and Silversun Pickups' "Panic Swtich". Talk about some brilliant trailer music. Trailers for Zack Snyder movies always have awesome tracks; I have the Watchmen trailer to thank for my ridiculous obsession with Muse, but, we won't talk about that again.

It's a lot of the same thing that the last trailer gave us, but, when the "thing" in question is this good, you won't hear me complaining. Sucker Punch is still my most anticipated movie for next year. I can't wait!

November 1, 2010

Due To A Wild Party...

Blog's closed for the week.

Why?

This video!



I will do the Glee review though. It gives me an excuse to watch it.

Addendum: There is no Glee this week. Ooops...