Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Incredible Mr. E And The Two Doors Of Doom

Ok, I have been watching a lot of James Bond films lately, and that means I have seen a lot of evil dudes catch Bond and instead of just putting "two" in his head like any sensible villain, they put him in a pool with sharks, or a jungle with wild animals chasing him, and Bond does what Bond always does and gets away and then beats the bad guy. So with that in mind, here is a little situation that I am going to put you in, with two diabolical choices, and you can just call me The Incredible Mr. E for this post.
So here it is. You find yourself in a jungle with two levers in front of you. The levers open doors to cages 5 miles away from you on opposite sides of the jungle. You are then told over a loudspeaker by The Incredible Mr. E, (which is me if you remember, and if you already forgot you might want to talk to a doctor about that, cause something might be wrong with you if you forget that quickly and then being stuck on my imaginary island with monsters chasing you is the least of you worries) that you have 60 seconds to pull one of the two levers, or both of the cages will open. So, which lever do you chose to pull, the left or the right? Well, what are behind the cage doors would be my first question, (and probably yours too, that or, do you know the muffin man, but the cage question is probably a bit more important right now*) so Rod Roddy**, tell em' whats behind door number one.
God Rest Your Soul Rod Roddy, Hopefully Behind Door Number One.
Well The Incredible Mr. E, behind door number one is a terrifying killing machine of a creature that stand between 6 to 8 feet tall, has a hardened exoskeleton, a razor sharp piercing tail and even if you do manage to hurt it, it has acid for blood. I am of course referring to a Xenomorph, or as you might know it better, an Alien.
Yep, Xenomorphs are the creatures found in all those ultra cool scifi movies in the Alien series. They are strong, fast and tricky, and did I mention that they are great at hiding too. Yeah, so if you pull that first lever this is what you are going to have chasing you around the jungle.
So that is door number one, but what about door number two you might say, that has to be better then an acid filled monster, right? Well, how about something that likes to hunt acid filled monsters for sport, cause thats what is behind door number two.
Predators, (from the aptly named Predator series) are smart, quick and very strong aliens standing roughly 6 to 7 feet tall, (not the xenomorph type, but aliens in the, "there not from around here" variety). They are also incredibly advanced, with cool energy weapons and space ships and....theres something else, something I'm forgetting,..... what is it, oh yeah, they can become freakin invisible. Yep, Predators have this ultra cool tech that basically covers their entire body and for all intents and purposes, makes them invisible, which comes in really handy, cause in case you haven't figured it out yet, Predators are called Predators cause they are hunters, and they are really really good at tracking things down and then killing them.
So, you are back in the jungle, standing in front of those two levers, the one on the left letting out a Xenomorph, the one on the right letting out a Predator. You have 60 seconds, or both of the cage doors are going to open automatically and then you are doubly screwed, cause this island is the only island in the history of the world where Predators and Xenomorphs will not kill each other, due to a chemical that I, The Incredible Mr. E, have injected them both with. So if you were banking on letting the time run out and both cage doors opening with the possibility of the two killing each other, then you are pretty much dead, cause they will just catch you together and then sit down on a checked table cloth and split you like a bucket of chicken. So, tick tock, tick tock, make a choice, and pull a lever, and then run for life.
So there you go, that is my super villain diabolical plot. So pick your poison, or killer alien, as the case my be, and until next time when I kidnap you and put you in a impossibly impossible*** situation, this is The Incredible Mr. E saying, remember to spade and neuter you pets and aliens, and poop and scoop always, unless of course your pet is a Xenomorph, cause then you will just melt your hands trying to pick that stuff up, but other then that poop and scoop away. Until next time, blog at you later.
Now here is a movie that I think we can all get behind.
*To answer your other possible question, Yes, I do know the muffin man, we go way back, before he got all famous with the songs and blinged out solid gold gum drop buttons, back then we just called him "M", and let me tell you, I liked him better before all the money and fame changed him. I miss you "M", I miss you.
**Some of you are probably wondering, Who the heck is Rod Roddy? All I can say is, ask your parents, they will know.
***Yeah, you read that right.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pixar Smackdown: Round Five

Welcome back to the fifth round of......
Pixar Smackdown
Well, maybe it was the Superman picture that spurred people on, (but I doubt it) but for the first time in Pixar Smackdown there was a complete shutout, with one movie utterly destroying the competition And that movie is...
Yeah, The Incredibles scored a perfect shut out, 5 to 0, (pathetic voter turn out once again rules the day) over Lightning McQueen and company, but I kinda figured it would, superheros are so much cooler then automobiles.
So, now onto the next round, where maybe Mater will have a second coming, cause the first movie up is.......
Ok, here is the thing, I haven't actually seen Cars 2 yet, while most of my family has seen it twice now, (due to birthday parties and
 school trips), so I can't really say much about it other then it looks funny, and both of my daughters liked it, so if you have seen it and thought it rocked, then give it your vote. And for this round, keeping in the vein of sequels, Cars 2 is going up against the first movie that Pixar ever did as a sequel....
Yep, just as Cars got beat in its first time up to bat, so did Toy
Story, when it lost to Monsters Inc., and now it gets another chance
to go to infinity, or even possibly beyond. The second time out for Buzz and Woody is a pretty awesome movie, continuing the theme of what toys go through and the issues of abandonment that they will start to feel as their kid owners get older, (this is brought to its conclusion in the third movie, but we are not there yet). As in the first time out, the animation is stellar, the voice work awesome and the humor is great.
So, what sequel is better, not just your favorite, but the better made movie, and for the love of me, vote for once in your life, its your civic internet duty after all. So place your vote on the pole on the right side of the page, and make sure to floss, at least once a year, or maybe sooner, yeah, sooner is better. So until next time, stick and move, and shuck and jive, and float like a butterfly and sting like a beamer, or something like that. Until then, blog at you later.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

George Lucas, You Suck

Ok, for those of you who know me, you know that I love the original Star Wars movies, (that's episodes 4, 5 and 6 for those playing along at home) and that I hate the lame prequels. For me, numbers 1, 2 and 3, despite all the cash that was dumped into them, and a cast of good actors, were just horrible movies, that amounted to little more then a cash grab. I found this sad, cause I thought better of George Lucas, but because of the originals, I still held a warm spot in my heart for the man that has given the world and me Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and the force. That has now changed.
Anybody got some carbonite I can borrow?
On October 31st of this year I celebrated my 13th wedding anniversary, (yes, you got that right, I got married on Halloween, long story, but I will say this, my wife is awesome to have married me 13 years ago and stuck with me all this time) now because we were going trick and treating with our daughters, (they were Wonder Woman and A Dead Bride, in case you were wondering, and they looked great) we decided to go out and celebrate our anniversary on the 30th instead. Now I am telling you this because that night after we went out for a nice dinner, (Lone Star, ummm, Chicken) we went and saw the new Three Musketeers movie, (which is an ok Paul. W.S. Anderson action movie, if you like Paul. W.S. Anderson action movies).
Now as it was, there was only one other couple in the theater with Bethany and I, (they were sitting behind us and seem to be very kissy kissy, so we made sure not to look back during the movie, cause I didn't want to know what they were doing) which is a good thing, cause for the first time ever, I yelled out profanity in a movie theater. And here's why.
This is back when Lucas had a soul.
A little while ago a friend and I were talking about older movies being released back into the theaters with 3D effects added, (Lion
King, I am looking at you, shame on you Disney, instead of making something new and awesome, you took the easy way to make a little cash, shame on you) and he asked me "if Star Wars was released like this if I would go see it?" To which I replied, "Not even if you bought me dinner first!", (in truth, I can't remember my exact response, but that sounds about right) I then went on to say that George Lucas wouldn't lower himself to such a pathetic cash grab with Star Wars, not for a gimmick like 3D. Well, as I sat in the Three Musketeers previews, I saw this.
So, I was wrong, apparently Georgy is a cash whore, and is taking his greatest cinematic achievement and changing it to make a quick buck. This caused me to swear loudly at the movie screen, (I am not proud of it, but I did it) So, this leaves me with only one thing left to say.
George Lucas, YOU SUCK!

Monday, October 31, 2011

What Did He Just Say? 5 Awesome Subtitled Movies

Some of the best movies that I have seen in the last couple of years are what we in North America would call foreign films, (I guess if you live in the places that they were filmed you would just call them "movies", and call our movies foreign, but I live where I live, so I will call'em like I see'em). Now, this post almost could have
 been a rant, cause one of the things I hate is when people will not watch a movie just because it has subtitles, (one of my teen friends hates subtitles so much that he actually told me that Inglourious Basterds* was the worst movie he has ever seen**) and for me, if a film is in subtitles and you have a choice to watch the dubbed version, I always pick the subtitled version*** cause I like to hear the actors performances as they were meant to heard, even if I have to read what they are saying. So with that said, I am recommending five foreign movies from five different countries that are totally worth seeing.

So, first up is the brilliant film based on the true story of a young man who wants to become a photographer and get out from the....
City Of God (Brazil) is a film that has amazing acting and an incredible true story, all about a drug lord controlled slum in Brazil that ends up as a war zone between two groups, and "Rocket" is a young man who gets caught in the middle. City Of God is a movie that took me a long time to finally get around to watching, but after seeing it I can say it is an incredible worthwhile experience. There are interesting and memorable characters, the editing is incredibly well done and as always, it is great when films are based on true stories. Now a word of caution, it does have swearing and violence, so it is not for everybody and if you are easily offended then it is not the film for you.

Next up is one of the saddest and yet most beautiful animated movies ever made, which takes a child's perspective of the horrors of war, in......
Grave Of The Fireflies (Japan) is the story of a brother and sister who find themselves orphaned during the second world war, (this is the one movie of the five that I don't mind seeing without the subtitles, because it is animated it is not quite the same, although both the original language track and the english version are both done exceptionally well). Their Mother is killed during a bombing raid and their Father is out in the Japanese navy, leaving the siblings to be placed with an awful family relative, which causes them to leave and be on their own, living in caves and trying to make the best of it until their father comes home. Grave Of The Fireflies is a one of a kind movie that conveys incredible emotion through phenomenal animation, and telling a tale that is very unique amongst movies about war. It manages to entertain while pulling at your heartstrings and leaves you with an ending that is not really happy but more realistic. On a whole this is a great example of the unseen horrors of war, sibling love, and how far family will go to take care of each other.

From looking at World War 2 through the eyes of children, we move to looking at it from the perspective of the Norwegian underground resistance, that was trying to desperately get Hitler's goons out of their country, and one "mad"**** man named Max who led the way.
Max Manus: Man-O-War (Norway) is a movie I came across at the library when it was mistakenly put in the wrong section, and I am really glad that someone misplaced it, cause it is a great unique war movie. It tells the story of Max Manus, a leader in the Norwegian underground resistance against the nazis, (I hate frickin' nazis, did I ever tell you that) who have taken over the country. It is filmed really well, has very believable action and has a decent pace. And it too has the whole "based on a true story" thing going for it. Plus, how great is the name Max Manus, it just screams, "I AM AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!", so it has that going for it as well.

After two movies about WW2 lets move on to the only movie I have ever seen about the Korean War made from the Korean perspective, in the very violent.....
Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood Of War (Korea, duh!) is the story of two brothers who are forced into the army when their neighbors to the north declared war on the south. The one is incredibly smart, and the other one is incredibly loving and only wants whats best for his family, and he thinks that means his brother should become a doctor and is willing to do anything to get him out of the fighting and back to their mother and family. It has solid acting and action, and is very original in its storytelling, although it is not for the faint at heart as there is a fair amount of graphic bloodshed, but it is a war film after all, so think of it this way, if you can handle Saving Private Ryan, then you should have no problem with this.

Last up is a movie about one of the most important and best martial artist to have ever lived, the quiet and unassuming.....
Ip Man***** (China) has to be one of the best martial arts movies I have ever seen. Donnie Yen, (the guy who plays Ip Man for those of you who don't know who Donnie Yen is) is amazing, with fists so fast that sometimes you would swear they had sped the film up, (they didn't, if you can believe Wiki that is, and if you can't trust Wiki then what can you trust******) the story is great, (basing the story on a real person always bla bla bla, you should know the deal by now), it is beautifully filmed, the acting is solid all around and the fight scenes are just simply amazing. Oh, and did I forget to mention, that Ip Man was another famous marital artists first master, now what was his name again, oh yeah, BRUCE "I AM THE DRAGON" LEE!!!!! So yeah, Ip Man rocks on so many levels that it hurts just thinking about it, and the fact that more people haven't seen this just cause it is not in english is maddening.

So there you are, five movies that although you will have to do some reading to enjoy, are well worth the effort, (that is unless you are illiterate, and in that case just sit back and enjoy the cinematography, but come to think of it, if you got this far in my blog and you are illiterate, you haven't understood a word I have typed, so I will just say enjoy the pretty pictures, and pretend you got it). So give foreign films with English subtitles a chance, you never know what you are missing until you give it a try, and for all my illiterate readers, I will end with a funny picture of a monkey for making it this far, and remember everybody, hands up and chin down is good, chin up hands down will make you sleepy real fast. Until next time, Blog at you later.
*Hey, I actually spelt it right, which is to say, it is spelt incorrectly if you are using the proper words, but Q.T. spelt it wrong on purpose, now, I know I spelt it right/wrong cause when I bought it on Blu-ray it came with a dog tag that now shares space around my neck with a Jesus dog tag, and if not for that I would have spelt it wrong, or right, or something, my head hurts now either way.
**I actually think it was the best movie of 2009, so my friend Connor basically couldn't be more wrong.
***Animated movies are one category this fits in, but the best example is the Japanese Godzilla movies, which become so much cooler when you watch the dubbed version, like the following video will show.
*****Big shout out my friend Jim Chen for telling me about Ip Man and then giving me it as a birthday present, thanks Jim, this picture is for you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pixar Smackdown: Round Four

When I first thought of calling these posts Pixar Smackdown, I never thought that one of the movies that I think is amongst Pixars best would be smuck downed so hard, and by a little cute fish no less, but that is what happened, because the winner of round three was...
Yep, Nemo totally trashed* Wall*e in the biggest vote landslide to date, (it was 6 to 2 incase you were wondering, wow, that is so, underwhealming). This is the first time that the movie that I picked actually lost. Now before anyone starts ranting at me in their heads, (or out loud for yous** people who are really into this for some reason) I will say this, I think Finding Nemo is an incredible movie, but I just think that Wall*e is better, mainly due to the... well, I think I will just use my friend Ben Peltz's answer for picking Wall*e, "Its scope and its cultural commentary is massive for what is billed as a kids' movie." and I total agree with Ben on this, (Ben also has an awesomely smart blog on Google+, click the link and check it out, after you finish this of course), but the rest of you voted for the clown fish and company instead, so that is that.

Ok, now that that is out of the way, onto round 4. First up is my second favorite animated movie of all time***, which is about the daily lives of superheros, and their friends and families. Of course I am talking about...
The Incredibles is, well, an incredible movie, for lack of a better word. It is funny, has great action and a realistic depiction of what
 could happen to a "Super" once they can no longer be super. Add to that the great voice work and direction from Brad Bird and a little fashion designer saying, "No CAPES!" and you have one...(I am trying not to say incredible, but I really want to) amazing movie, but can it possibly compete with a "precision instrument of speed and aerodynamics", well thats up to you, cause it is going up against......
Who knew that race cars and tow trucks could be so entertaining, but they are. Cars is often over looked among its Pixar brethren,
 cause, well, lets face it, it has cars that are humans, but are, Some people have trouble with this, I am not one of them. I for one think Cars is great. It is funny, has one of the most memorable Pixar characters in Mater, (I totally knew that Larry The Cable guy would make a great tow truck the second I heard my first Git R Done) and made a whole lot more fans for nascar. It also looks fantastic and has a great moral about thinking of others before yourself.

So there are your choices, superheros or automobiles. Now, for a friendly reminder.
                    We here at Jesus Was A Browncoat So I Aim To Misbehave,
                     (which is really just me, but it sounds cooler if I say it that way,
                     cause you might envision a room filled with really awesome yet
                        overweight funny mega geeks that are working around the clock
                        to serve your humor blogging needs.****) are looking to crown
                        the best Pixar movie ever, so when voting, please don't just vote
                        for your favorite, pick the better made movie, and to make sure
                         your vote counts, you have to place it in the poll on the right side
                   of the page. Thank you for your patronage and participation.

So get voting everybody, and if you are in Ontario, Canada, today this goes doubly for you, because it is election day here, (and you should see some of the parties that are out there that you can vote for. There is one that has their main goal as legalizing marijuana, I think they are called the Happy party, or was it the Munchies party, I can't remember, but I am pretty sure they would be really funny to watch if they ever got in*****) So until next time, remember, your left shoe goes on your left foot, and don't be tricked into thinking otherwise, or you'll just end up walking in circles, and no one wants that, so keep both shoes on the right feet, (I mean, correct feet), and you will be able to stay on the straight and narrow. Until next time, blog at you later.
Possible foreshadowing? Who knows?
*I did two awesome things there, first, I used some great "T" alliteration, which is always nice, and secondly I said Wall*e got trashed, which might actually be a use of irony, but I can't be sure of that, cause irony is a tricky thing to get right, especially if you are a female canadian pop singer, but that is another story.
**Yeah, I meant to say yous, so stop correcting me in your head already.
***Incase you are wondering what the number one is, you can find it that answer in my Best Movies Of All Times List.
****That would kinda make me the Steve Jobs of the operation, which I only bring up because I do all my writing for this thing on my iPad, and Steve Jobs passed away today, so although I never met you Steve, from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you for all you did, rest in peace.
*****Sorry, but its never gonna happen.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Half The Force, Still The Same Price: A Fullscreen Movie Rant

It doesn't seem that long ago that I was in the cashier line at Best Buy with the newly released Star Wars Trilogy DVD in my hand, (I am talking about the real Star Wars trilogy here, not that fake piece of "dirty word" that Lucas tried to pawn off on us a while back) you know, the cool silver one that looks like this.
Well, as I was standing there, waiting, I noticed that the lady in front of me had a Star Wars trilogy in her hand that was gold instead of silver, and then I noticed that the silver ones were widescreen and the gold ones were fullscreen. Now, at this point I leaned forward and politely asked her if she didn't actually like seeing the whole movie, (Ok, I didn't really say that, I actually just shook my head and wondered if she knew what she was buying, but I said it in my head, so that is good enough) and that brings me to a nice little walk down memory lane.
You see, loving Star Wars as I do, my parents bought me this really cool collector set with all the movies on VHS, (VHS refers to video tapes, these were like ancient dvd technology, for those of you young people who might be reading and didn't understand the reference) and for the first time ever I was introduced to, WIDESCREEN movies*. Now at first I didn't get it, the picture seemed wrong, squished kinda, but it was explained to me that when you watch a fullscreen movie, you are actually missing some of the picture**, and that widescreen lets you see it all. Here are some pictures comparing the two so you can see what I mean, first with Star Wars

Sorry its a little blurry, the internets not perfect you know, but you get the point.
 And then with an even better example from Lord Of The Rings 
So you got to see the whole picture, that was cool, but what about those annoying bars you might say, they are just so......annoying! Well, thats kinda what It thought at first too, but then it was explained to me that you are supposed to watch the movie in the dark, and the bars won't bother you. And you know what, its true. So, this was all before dvd's came out, and when they finally did, most of the time they came in widescreen, but if not you usually had the option to either watch it in widescreen or fullscreen, and on the same disc no less, (although some of them used Double Sided Discs to accomplish this, and that is a whole other rant all together)

So here is my question?

Why the heck are they still putting movies in fullscreen!!!!!!?
I mean, what is the point? If they could fit both formats on dvd's before, why not now? Plus pretty much every dvd player I have ever seen has the ability to zoom in, which basically gives you an
option to make any widescreen movie into a fullscreen movie, (that is assuming you like missing the complete movie experience). So why do they still make full "frickin' annoying missing the scope that was intended" screen movies? So, if you know, feel free to let me in on the secret, cause it bugs the crap out of me, especially when you accidentally pick up a movie that you have been looking for and buy it, take it home and unwrap it to find that it is fullscreen, (this happened to me on more then one occasion, stupid rabbits, fullscreen is for....., well, schmucks). So, that is my rant, until next time, remember, stay safe, stay warm, and for the love of Pete, (hey, thats me) stay widescreen. Blog at you later.
*It helps to put a deep loud movie announcer voice in your head for that part, but if you want a less epic post, feel free to just read it in your own normal pedestrian voice.
**What they do is actually called Pan And Scan, which means that when they go to put the movie on dvd, someone actually has to sit there and watch it and decide what the most important part of each film section is, and then focus on that, leaving everything else in limbo like some half eaten taco that you ate and then put down, and your mom put it in the back of the fridge, and you find it years later. Now, what ever you do, no matter how much you like tacos, do not eat that one, sometimes, if you love something, you just have to let it go, this, is one of those times. Unless of course you are watching the widescreen version of the movie, which is like eating the complete taco and going back for seconds, and even thirds possibly***. So to recap, fullscreen is two year old moldy half eaten taco, Widescreen is taco paradise, and now you know.
***Man, now I really want a taco, and I am writing this at work at 1:35 in the morning, this sucks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pixar Smackdown: Round Three

Welcome back to the third round of: Pixar Smackdown!!!

Just to recap for those of you who have not been playing along at home, in round one Monsters Inc. defeated Toy Story, and now for the results from round two, where A Bug's Life went up against Ratatouille. And the winner is.....
Yep, A Bugs Life won by a whopping 4 votes to 2, (the voter turn out is starting to remind me of a local government run election) so yay for the insects I guess. So now, onto round three, which as far as I can see, is going to be one of the toughest, cause it has two of the biggest Pixar movies going toe to toe. So first up is the movie that caused pet stores all across the world to sell out of clown fish, of course I am talking about.
Finding Nemo has to be one of the most beautifully animated
movies of all time. Water has never looked better, plus all the fish and coral, they just did a stunning job.
Now take that and add all the incredible voice work and an endearing father son story, and lots of memorable humor, and what you get is a freakin masterpiece. But can that masterpiece beat another of Pixars masterpieces which has possibly the sweetest animated character ever.
Yep, I think Wall*e is one of the most endearing characters ever to be put on screen. There is just something innocent and likable about him, the way he loves so fully.
If you have ever read my Christ In Film post you will know that I basically think that the character of Wall*e is awesome on many levels, and the film is the same. The story is just great, it is very original, creative and heart warming, looks incredible and even has a great moral message about taking care of the environment and obesity.

So, there is the hard choice before you, and remember, it is the better movie I am looking for, not your favorite, and make sure to vote on the pole on the side, its the most thrilling thing you can do on the internet, plus it helps lowers your cholesterol*. So until next time, stay loosey goosey, and I will hit you on the flip side, or the middle, or somewhere other than in this post. Blog at you later.
*There is no actual proof that voting on my question of the week will lower your cholesterol, but its the internet, and anything could happen, so give it a shot and see what happens.