I went to see Django Unchained last night and I have to say that it’s a really entertaining movie. It touches upon a touchy subject (slavery) with it’s setting and despite of that; it is altogether an interesting story that will keep you hooked while providing laughs aplenty. There were many cases where the whole audience was just snicking or laughing out loud, which is the first time I remember hearing that at the cinema.
The movie other than that had my attention from the beginning right up to the end and the time really did just fly by, all 165 minutes of it. All the actors were really good and completely in their role. The story of a nigger becoming a free man in that time also really grabs your attention and I have to say that there were no off-characters or moments in the movie at all. The story is a bit of a slow one and very much filled with dialogue, which is not what you’d expect from Tarantino. But it’s the story that really shines, it’s only at the very ending where the movie gets a bit weaker as the action kicks in and goes way over the top. Everything leading up to the point where the final moments start (trying to prevent spoilers), was class – it could’ve used a better ending; one more fitting with the story up to that point.
Overall though; it’s an excellent movie that you really should go see.
I went out this weekend to join a friend going to an open day to look if it was something she’d be interested in later after having decided that while talking on skype pretty much half of the night. So we met up and due to a gasleak we had to take another train to get to where we needed to go, but eventually we got there. It was an arts school which was really interesting for me having gone to a rather exact opposite kind of school as an IT guy. I’m not generally a big arts guy, but there are definitely things that I appreciate, but when it gets too artsy I’m simply not getting it. I’m too logical a person so abstract things don’t really do much for me.
That school as it turns out was very much an art school, as we checked out the photography section there were a bunch of examples of photo’s made by students for projects. These showed for example some walls, some chimneys on top of houses and other really random pictures including some blurry ones that just looked like you accidentally pressed the “photo” button while waving the camera around. This being art… well, I guess you have to be really into abstract art to get any of it.
That school also really reminded me of highschool (not too great a memory for me) with it’s structure and small rooms. There was also a certain smell to it because of all the materials that were around that I simply haven’t smelled since then. Unlike this building, my school had many big rooms full with spacious desks and patchpoints to set up your laptop at and have your books and stuff laid out. As such all the rooms were really big to allow this and were really clean as you took everything with you in your bag as you came and went.
Afterwards we went to a metalbar and enjoyed a pretty good band that was performing there and then as we got to her home we decided we’d watch Bambi on VCR. That’s still totally a good movie despite it’s age and it being aimed at children. There’s something about it that makes it enjoyable for all ages, the only downside to that would be that it is really quite short with a runtime of 70 minutes. But the sheer cuteness factor and unadulterated fun make up for that.
On saturday we went to another art school’s open day to see if that was more her thing, as we had heard that they took a less “artsy” approach to especially photography, which she’s interested in. And that indeed was the case, there were a lot more realistic photo’s that were simply gorgeous and projects that were really interesting and had a message. Hell, I really liked some of that stuff and after talking and getting some more information, it sounds like a pretty cool study all in all and not overly artsy. But she still wasn’t sure if it’s her thing or not, but atleast she’s properly informed of it now and has seen that it doesn’t have to be as artsy (which she didn’t like).
After that was over we decided to go to a movie as we walked near a cinema and ended up viewing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It was a really good movie, better than I expected it to be honestly. It’s a pretty lengthy movie and it has you guessing what’s going to happen next, or how the plot sticks together pretty much throughout the whole movie. The characters of Mikael and Lisbeth were all both played excellently, though I also have to mention Henrik. The good acting, interesting characters (mainly Lisbeth), the plot that keeps moving at a good(pretty rapid) pace and the twists make it a movie you really ought to see. Be warned though that it does get pretty shocking in some of the scenes, I have to admit that I wasn’t sitting entirely comfortably in some of them.
After that we checked out some rock bars, sat down and talked briefly and then decided to go home as I still had a 2 hour trip back, I arrived roughly around 1.30am which isn’t all that bad considering. I slept a long time that night to catch up on some sleep as I had some really black spots under my eyes that saturday. Waking up refreshed I did some chores, started reading my next book (Swords and Swordsmen by Mike Loades) while listening to some music and caught up on some of the content giantbomb had put out the past couple of days. Then I finished the day by going out for exercise and watched a movie based on one of my favorite manga/animes: Gantz.
Gantz is a live-action movie which means that it’s played by real people and as such that means that it’s going to take a lot to live up to the original. After watching the first movie (I haven’t watched the second one yet), I have to say that it did a pretty good job. It’s of course very Japanese but it still captures the spirit of the series as the main characters try to deal with the bizarre fights they have to go through and the people that end up in the room with them. It deals with some really unique situations because of it and that’s also where 1 of the flaws lie; it’s hard to portray the struggle of the humanizing process within the characters.
The ending of the movie especially wasn’t as powerful as the end of the manga was for me, but it still shows camaraderie and dealing with loss. If you have any interest in a Japanese action movie that plays with emotions, give Gantz a shot, or go read the manga or watch the anime.
All in all, this was a pretty great weekend, although I didn’t get around to recording, but that’s why I’m so glad I have a backlog that’s already uploaded and scheduled to go online. I hope you all had a similarly good weekend.
So I went to the movies with a friend recently and we were deciding between the new mission impossible and the latest Sherlock Holmes movie. Seeing the title of this post, you may have already guessed what we settled on. It’s also partially because I had heard good things about ghost protocol. We both went in not knowing anything at all, so we were very curious.
From the get-go you start off the movie watching several things play out before being introduced to the main character. While doing this they also introduce humor into the movie from the start, mainly by Simon Pegg who’s playing Benji Dunn. He really does a terrific job of it in an otherwise very serious and action oriented movie. I tend to find that such comedic relief can easily get in the way of things, but it’s used well here and never felt unwelcome or poorly timed.
Other than that, the movie was much like a Mission Impossible movie; good action, plot-twists and a generally interesting story. Though you really shouldn’t think about what they’re doing in a matter of seconds, especially as someone working in IT that got incredibly painful. What I especially liked though was that not everything went to plan. It wasn’t 1 grand plan that was then executed throughout the movie. Nor did every action go well, there are plenty of stunts that go awry that cause some good “shock” moments that you aren’t expecting.
All in all I have to say that it’s a very entertaining movie that really goes back to the magic of the Mission: Impossible and I suggest you go see it. It’s well worth the price of admittance.
Yesterday I went to the cinema for the first time since roughly 10 years, I believe it was the first Lord of the Rings movie I watched last, though it may have been the 2nd. So what movie did I go watch? The Lion King 3D. This may surely be an odd choice considering i’m 22, but that doesn’t bother me. Me and the girl who wanted to see it in the first place were looking for some fun after a day at the beach and such a nostalgia trip seemed like an excellent choice. So does this 17 year old movie hold up to today’s standards?
The movie starts off with a lengthy intro song and from the get-go you know you’re in for something special. I even found myself watching with goosebumps and I suspect that most in the cinema did. That will also be a recurring thing while watching the movie. It simply grabs you and takes you for a grandiose trip full of feel good moments, lighthearted humor and terrific songs. There really aren’t any drawbacks or negatives to this movie that I can think of.
I went to see the original English version over the dutch one and with that there was 1 funny detail; the subtitles (which annoyed me) seemed to be Belgian. Although the same language, it used belgian-dutch words especially in Hakuna Matata, which looked really weird. Other than that minor point, I can’t fault it for anything else, it simply is such a wonderful film. The animation, the sound, the overall story, everything is likable and not only for kids as you may think. This film is simply timeless and the 3D effects added a little extra to a couple of scenes.
If you’ve never watched it and even if you did many years ago; do yourself a favor and go watch it. It pains me to think that there may be kids growing up without having seen this movie. It’s a masterpiece of 2d animation and is a timeless classic for a reason and it seems like it will hold on to that spot forever.
A movie about a prince with a speed impediment? How could that possibly be entertaining? That’s what I thought but after seeing it being recommended on several forums/reviews. I then got curious and decided I’d give it a shot. I can say I don’t begrudge that decision at all. In fact it turned out to be a wonderful movie that kept me interesting until the end.
Acantophis asked my opinion on a movie, this movie was (as you may have learned from the title of the post) Idiocracy. I hadn’t heard of it before so I set out to watch it after reading the plot summary.
The movie is about a completely average guy and girl from our day and age who gets hibernated and was supposed to get awakened after a year. Except that he awakes 500 years later and what has happened is that humanity’s just gotten more and more stupid because of intelligent people not procreating and the dumb lowlifes just fucking until they have a million babies each. The president is an ex-wrestler, the higherups in the white house are ‘marked’ by these stupid big chains, like you see rappers wear.
This being an american movie clearly shows that it’s based entirely on the US with junkfood places, big chains, wrestling and tv with lots and lots of advertisement. So maybe that’s part of the reason why it didn’t really click with me. But it certainly makes you think on how things are being dumbed down and are being made easier to use by the day. The movie just takes this to the extreme, for example by taking out creditcards and wallets and replacing them with tattoo’d individual barcodes and essentially taking away all privacy along with it.
This brought up 1 major issue though, seeing as…. someone must’ve made those systems. They never really explain this and the beginning of the movie showing the degradation of humanity doesn’t show that they were still capable of implementing such a system. Any somewhat-intelligent person also would’ve not wanted to be part of such a society and would have left immediately.
So in conclusion I would say that it’s a movie with an interesting setting and there is some real potential in it, but it doesn’t get fully used. The acting is pretty convincing, but I’m not a big critic on that at all. It’s an average movie with a lot of unused potential which you should probably watch on a slow sunday, if at all.
Time for a general update on what I’ve been up to I’d say, it’s been a while.
I’ve been playing a lot of Battlefield Bad Company 2 and now with the expansion/DLC Vietnam for it, which is absolutely excellent. The already great game seemingly got even better, which surprised me.
It actually started at the release of the new maps in Map Pack 7, which were a ton of fun, big open maps with some good camps for skirmishes. I’m really glad I gave bad company 2 a shot after having skipped the first.
The other thing which has kept me rather busy is Mount & Blade, yes.. that game I’m also let’s playing currently. I hadn’t played it in a while and it feels like it’s come a long way, also due to the mod (Prophesy of Pendor) that I’m currently using for it. It makes everything a LOT harder and that certainly helps, it also fixes a bunch of things that should really be in the original game, but aren’t. According to Steam I’ve played it nearly as much as Bad Company 2 in the last 2 weeks.
In other news, I played some more World of Warcraft on my one month access, but I have grown tired of it. It simply doesn’t grab me as it did upon the first release, but that may be due to many different factors, it was many years ago after all. I’m not saying it’s a bad game, it’s still a good engine, the quests have been improved but… something’s missing.
Other than that I just finished watching a documentary called Third Reich – The Fall, which I really enjoyed. It contains a lot of footage that I certainly hadn’t seen before, all of it being made by soldiers, civilians and some filmmakers. The same can be said of all the writing and quotes, it focuses on the people of Germany, how they experienced the war. This kind of approach I hadn’t seen before, most documentaries focus on the war and the front lines, but that may be because I am looking for English documentaries after all.
If the second world war interests you even in the slightest, I suggest you give this documentary a shot.
So I finally got around to watching Inception, which granted was about time since it’s such a blockbuster movie that a lot of people loved. I don’t really keep up though but even I heard about this one. All I knew is that it was about dreams and people found it to be really hard to follow. The beginning was kind of hard to get into as it really just seemed to throw you into a situation and then casually explained away, though the setup was kind of transparent.
As it kept going I found the concept to be really interesting and engaging. I had no trouble focussing on the movie and enjoyed it until the end, though the last minutes were just such a cliche it was painful to watch. It’s a very good action movie and the way the action is taking place in multiple ‘instances’ was really cool and kept the movie from focussing on 1 scene for too long. Especially near the climax of the movie I was really eating it up and was fully absorbed into it, even though I knew how it was going to end, it’s a Hollywood movie after all.
I don’t like to go for long ‘review’ really so I’ll refrain from doing that, the quick and dirty is that you should really just go see Inception at some point, strongly advised! Note though that the runtime is 148minutes, so it’s not a short movie. If you were worried that it might be too hard to follow; don’t worry, it’s not. You do have to keep watching though as missing some minutes may indeed cause you to miss plotpoints.
So Call of Duty: Black Ops, or BLOPS or even CODBLOPS as people have been calling it, has been released. I started off playing the multiplayer, eventhough I stated on the forum that I wouldn’t do that, which is pretty much what you’d expect out of a call of duty/modern warfare game. It’s a fast paced game with plenty of ranks, challenges, wagers and all that. Some improvements have been made over Modern Warfare 2, but nothing mindblowing. So all in all, the multiplayer seems really good so far. The only thing that may screw that up is balancing issues with the later weapons, thinking of the ACR from Modern Warfare 2, but time will show us.
As for singleplayer I figured I’d be able to go through on veteran as I have not had a problem with these modern warfare games in the past. The opening sequence immediately proved me wrong, it starts off with a whole lot of enemies shooting at you, which when you can only take a bullet or two, is a problem. So I died several times while trying to blow up the police cars and therefore creating a passage to run where I was supposed to. As things turn out, the game just really wanted you to stick to your npc friends and run along with them pretty much just shooting a little.
This showed me that this game was incredibly scripted and doing anything other than what the designers wanted you to do would result in your very rapid death. This eventually led me to a point at the end of the third level where I simply could not progress as there was an infinite spawn of enemies in a tight corridor which I had to run through. Now I could kill some enemies (though often I’d die before I’d even seen them while inching to the side to watch in the corridor), but before I could move up there would be new enemies running into place which simply didn’t give me room to move. The AI on my teammates at that point was useless aswell as they managed to shoot zero enemies and infact if I stepped back into the previous room I’d see enemies just run in and stand inbetween my both teammates and still get several shots off.
So I dropped the difficulty down to Hardened and it is so much more easier now and I’ve been able to progress just fine, not that I have felt like going through it much, so instead I’ve played some multiplayer instead.
So I’ve started to LP Blade Kitten which I’m really enjoying and it seems to be liked aswell, which is always a bonus. So I’d like to point out that the game is a prequel to the webcomics that can be found here. I’ve not read much yet but I do like it’s style and Kit is just so damn likeable. Also there’s some good wallpapers to be found here. Personally using the one that has skiffy in it, because skiffy <3.
World of Warcraft
As some of you may know I used to play world of warcraft at the start until some months after Burning Crusade and I especially liked the leveling in it and not so much the grind at later levels, which now surely has exponentially increased. Though I’d like to point out that I loved the raiding with the guild and there’s some great memories there for me. So with the news of Cataclysm where Blizzard has revamped all the original world and content within it, it has made me very curious to see what’s changed. On top of that they recently gave all accounts 7 days of free time, which ofcourse is very conveniently timed. So I decided to give that a go and… though a lot has changed, the core remains the same.
I’ll be curious to see for how long it can keep me interested this time, my expectation is maybe 1 or 2 months.
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World
So I finally got around to watching Scott Pilgrim, there had been quite a hype surrounding the movie that to me came out of nowhere. I had never heard of Scott Pilgrim before, but from what I had heard it was a lighthearted movie about a young guy who embraces his geekiness and had to fight some exes of a girl he wants to go out with. Apparently there’s whole series of comics and all kinds of other media, but I haven’t paid it any attention.
Going into the movie I was immediately into it as it was presenting the characters. Starting off with Scott, a skinny guy who’s down on his luck after getting dumped and is in a band, and his gay roommate who he shares a bed with. Then there’s Kim, an old ex of Scott who’s also the drummer for his band, Knives who’s a young highschool girl who gets kind of used by Scott as he’s trying to work through his feelings and they soon grow apart as Scott realizes she’s just not the one, which leads to some funny situations. Then finally there’s Ramona, the girl the movie’s essentially about. She’s this alternative looking girl with dyed hair(which looks great, btw) that just seems way out of Scott’s league.
Then honestly there’s not too much to say about the story itself, it all boils down to boy meets girl out of his league but tries anyway, hilarity ensues. What really is worth mentioning though is how the movie handles it’s transitions and characters moving, Scott is a dreamy guy and there’s a whole lot of transitions where you’re wondering what the hell is going to happen next or even wonder if he’s dreaming or not. It stays entertaining that way and the movie’s very self-aware as Scott will at times even straight up ask: “Am I dreaming?” while staring at someone. It may sound pretty awkward but it’s really entertaining.
If you’re looking for a lighthearted action comedy and don’t mind a lot of cuts and being engorged in gaming and comicbook geekiness, I can definitely recommend Scott Pilgrim to you.
Eve No Jikan - Time of EVE
I also watched another movie, though this one was not as well known or even shown in cinema’s outside of Japan. This movie is called Even No Jikan, which translated becomes Time of EVE. It is a story about a boy and his friend and their soceity wherein androids are rather common in the household. It plays with the question of how this would go and infact it starts off with some ads on tv about people who are ‘addicted’ to androids and some anti-android campaign, which I would say you would also see in the real world.
It all starts when Rikuo, the main character is going through the logs of his housedroid, later called “Sammy” and discovers that she’d been to a strange place after returning home at a weird time. It wasn’t programmed so he got curious and after talking about it with his friend Masaki at school, they decide to go see where the ‘droid spent her time and what she could’ve been doing. Upon entering the place they find that it’s a small cafe which has some unique rules to it, which boil down to: Everyone inside has to be treated equally. What this means is that there is no distinction between human and android as they look entirely alike. For androids it means that they can act ‘normally’ and disable the “Circle” that normally has to float above their head to indicate that they are infact an android.
So the boys get very intrigued by the entire situation and they try to figure out who is human and who is android, meanwhile some small social things happen and they get to know the commoners one by one. That is essentially what the entire movie is about, the questions about what the androids are doing, how much they know and learn and think and if they’re fully sentient or not. Those are very interesting topics in my opinion and I can see this becoming a question that we’re eventually going to face as mankind.
The movie is actually a “Season 1″ of multiple as it also touches upon people who seem to be governing over the androids and monitoring them as they learn and interact. This project seems to be called Code:Life, which I think is a pretty deliberate and funny name. Nevertheless, if you’re up for some relaxed and entertaining fun and the subject interests you at all, you should give Eve No Jikan a watch.