Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Wishing You All A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Decorations, Cookies, Snowglobes, Nutcrackers and Christmas Tree Ornmaments All Featured in My Seasons Greetings!

Where You Can Find Me
The Thinking Lens Blog:
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

In Nolan We Hopefully Trust Again: "Interstellar" Teaser Trailer

It feels like the time when Christopher Nolan was not a source of geek contention is further into the past than it probably is in actuality. Even the months before The Dark Knight Rises were belligerent as geeks engaged in a suddenly more vocal debate between those who deemed the gritty realism of the Dark Knight Trilogy to be either appropriate for the source material or detrimental to the superhero genre. 

Following the divisive response to The Dark Knight Rises, that at the very least was underwhelming compared to the films predecessor, Christopher Nolan became an increasingly contentious figure. Supporting Nolan, even  while admitting any shortcomings, meant one was a delusional and biased fanboy. Conversely, criticizing Nolan was met with vile and even violent reactions. Such was and arguably still is the atmosphere around the internet whenever Nolan's name is brought up.

I do not feel a need to defend or explain myself when it comes to my adoration of Christopher Nolan, but to set the record straight: I absolutely adore The Dark Knight, I love Inception in spite of my criticisms towards the first act of the film, and I find The Dark Knight Rises to be highly entertaining despite unfortunately being Nolan's weakest film. (albeit for reasons no worse than most common blockbusters *goughTheAvengerscough*).

Whatever kind of Nolan fan that makes me, even I was beginning to criticize the filmmaker and found myself yearning for the enthusiasm I once had for him to return. While Man of Steel was a box office success, it was hardly the juggernaut Warner Bros. had been hyping it up to be to say nothing of the mixed-at-best critical reception. Assigning blame between Snyder, Nolan and Goyer for the underwhelming response towards the film seems to remain a unresolved issue among nerds (I personally feel all three individuals were the wrong choice considering the source material). For some time I have been waiting for a new Christopher Nolan film to reinvigorate my support for the director. If the teaser for the 2014 film titled Interstellar is to be believed, I may just get my wish granted.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Top 10 Best Christmas Specials [Part 1 of 2]

It is finally beginning to look a lot like the most wonderful time of the year! I tolerate 11 months of the year solely for Christmastime and now it is finally here! Seriously, unless you have a 'Phoebe Cates-esque' reason for hating Christmas, all the Scrooges in the world can kiss my yuletide ass!

I love Christmas for several reasons (The music, the presents, the decorations, the presents, the family, the presents ect.), but one of the most special aspects of Christmas to me are the films and TV specials. Missing any one of these classic specials causes the Holiday season to feel incomplete. They were a huge part of my childhood Christmases and remain a strong reason why I still enjoy the yuletide season to this day.

This list will focus on the 10 Christmas Specials I consider to be the greatest of them all!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #37

DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update #35 "Risen"
Date Posted: December 6, 2012
Summary: Final DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Check out my latest DVD & Blu-Ray collection featuring the final chapter of Christopher Nolan's superhero crime epic Batman trilogy. Movie Review also included. Risen: Being or moving from a lower position to a one of higher or greater in some value.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #36

DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update #34 "Bond"
Date Posted: November 26, 2012
Summary: New DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Check out my DVD & Blu-Ray collection update featuring old and new movie releases. Television Series' also featured. Mini Review included.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #35

DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update #33 "Schism"
Date Posted: November 19, 2012
Summary: New DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Check out my DVD & Blu-Ray collection update featuring old and new movie releases. Television Series' also featured. Mini Review included.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #34

DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update #32 "Assemble"
Date Posted: October 21 and November 1, 2012
Summary: New DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Check out my DVD & Blu-Ray collection update featuring old and new movie releases. Television Series' also featured. Mini Review included.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #33

DVD Update #31 "Legend"
Date Posted: September 3, 2012.
Summary: New DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Check out my DVD & Blu-Ray collection update featuring old and new film releases. Mini Movie Review included.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #32

DVD Update #30 "Adventure"
Date Posted: January 24 and 31, 2012.
Summary: New DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Check out my DVD & Blu-Ray collection update featuring old and new movie releases. Television Series' also featured. Mini-Review included.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #31

DVD Update #29 "Destiny"
Date Posted: November 30, 2011
Summary: New DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Check out my new DVD collection update featuring Smallville: The Complete Series DVD Box Set. Show Review Included.
Smallville Info

Plot: Young Clark Kent grows up in Smallville, Kansas where he faces trials and tribulations, makes friends and enemies, and grows closer towards embracing his destiny as Superman!

Executive Producers:
Season 1-8 Al Gough & Miles Millar (Spider-Man 2)
Season 8 Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (Melrose Place)
Season 8-10 Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson

Tom Welling (Cheaper by the Dozen), Erica Durance (The Butterfly Effect 3),
Kristin Kreuk (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li), Michael Rosenbaum (Breaking In), Allison Mack (Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves), Eric Johnson (Flash Gordon), Sam Jones III (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Jensen Ackles (Supernatural), John Glover (Gremlins: The New Batch, Heroes, Payback), Aaron Ashmore (Warehouse 13), Laura Vandervoort (Into The Blue 2), Cassidy Freeman (CSI: New York), Sam Witwer (Dexter, The Mist, Being Human), Justin Hartley (Passions), Callum Blue (Dead Like Me, The Tudors), with Annette O'Toole (Superman III) & John Schneider (The Dukes Of Hazzard) as Jonathan Kent.

Destiny: The predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #30

DVD Update #28 "Legacy"
Date Posted: November 22, 2011
Summary: New DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Check out my DVD & Blu-Ray collection update featuring the Jurassic Park Limited Edition Blu-Ray Trilogy Box Set. Mini Review included.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #29

DVD Update #27 "Outcasts"
Date Posted: October 06, 2011
Summary: New DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Check out my DVD & Blu-Ray collection update featuring old and new movie releases. Television Series' also featured. Mini-Review included.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #28

DVD Update #26 "Classic"
Date Posted: July 31, 2011
Summary: New DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Check out my DVD & Blu-Ray collection update with old and new movie releases. Mini-Review included.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #26

DVD Update #24 "Inception"
Date Posted: January 04, 2011
Summary: New DVD & Blu-Ray Collection Update. Featuring the HMV Canada Exclusive Inception Limited Edition Briefcase. Inception Movie Review. Directed by: Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Prestige, The Dark Knight). Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic), Ken Watanabe (Letters from Iwo Jima), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days of Summer), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose), Ellen Page (Juno), Tom Hardy (Bronson), Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later) & Michael Cain (Alfie). Inception: The creation or beginning of something; the establishment.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Dexter: Ranking Seven Seasons


With an early start to the final season of showtime’s Dexter just two days away, I have decided to take a look back at our favourite serial killers exploits, adversaries, triumphs and tragedies by ranking each season from the ones that nearly butchered the series to the bloody best the show has offered over the last seven years.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Man of Steel: Superman Has Been Poochie-fied!

The Zack Snyder directed and Christopher Nolan produced reboot of the Superman film franchise has been in theaters for nearly a week and yet, in spite of my best efforts, a video review of Man of Steel on my Youtube channel has yet to be filmed.

Considering reactions and debates regarding the film are THE hot topic of the film, nerd, and internet world, I have opted to post some bullet point form opinions of my own while the conversation remains relevant.

A full video review will be available soon with further details explaining my rationale, but until then, please enjoy…

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #25

DVD Update #23 "Nostalgia"
Date Posted: December 2, 2010
Summary: 23rd DVD/ Blu-Ray update: It WILL be a Blu holiday season in this new update featuring more Blu-Rays than ever! Nostalgia: A wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #24

DVD Update #22 "Justice" Smallville Season 9
Date Posted: September 11, 2010
Summary: Smallville The Complete Ninth Season Best Buy Exclusive T-Shirt. Justice: The upholding of what is just, especially fair treatment and due reward in accordance with honor, standards, or law.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #23

DVD Update #21 "Trilogy"
Date Posted: January 5, 10, and 15, 2010
Summary: A New Post Christmas and Boxing Day DVD Update. Trilogy: A set of three literary or dramatic works related in subject or theme.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #22

DVD Update #20 "Suspense" Alfred Hitchcock : The Masterpiece Collection Box Set
Date Posted: November 27, 2009
Summary: New DVD Update. Alfred Hitchcock : The Masterpiece Collection Box Set. Suspense: apprehension about what is going to happen.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Thinking Lens: Top 10 Comfort Films

Episode #4

Top Ten Comfort Films.

Everyone has a few bad days. Those days when you just can't win and/or the weight of the world has crushed your spirit. When things are not going well, many of us turn to the power of cinema. Film has the power to raise our spirits, get us out of whatever bad mood we are in and make us feel happy again. Romantic Comedies can make out hearts melt. Animated films can allow us to relive the simpler times of childhood. Comedies can make us laugh. Action films can thrill us. Science-Fiction films can allow us to escape reality. Drama films can make us think on our troubles. I refer to these gems as 'comfort films'.

Today I list my top 10 best and favourite comfort films to watch in times of despair in order to brighten up ones day.

"The Thinking Lens": Commentary on Film, Music, Video Games, Television, Politics and Pop Culture.

Where You Can Find Me
The Thinking Lens Blog:
Film Aficionado:

The various use of media material is protected by the Fair Use Clause of the U.S Copyright Act of 1976, which allows for the rebroadcast of copyrighted materials for the purposes of commentary, criticism, satire/parody and education.

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #21

DVD Update #19 "Fall"
Date Posted: October 10, 2009
Summary: My 19th DVD Update. Fall: descend in free fall under the influence of gravity.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #20

DVD Update #18 "Memorial" Six Feet Under: The Complete Series DVD Box Set
Date Posted: September 28 & October 2, 2009
Summary: New DVD update. In depth look inside Six Feet Under: The Complete Series Box Set. Memorial: An object which serves as a focus for memory of something, usually a person (who has died) or an event.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #19

DVD Update #17 "Doomsday" Smallville Season 8
Date Posted: August 26, 2009
Summary: Smallville Season 8 DVD. Doomsday: The day of the Last Judgment, at the end of the world; a time of catastrophic destruction and death A fictional character, a supervillain that appears in comic books published by DC Comics who killed Superman. Subscribe to DVD Collector and Smallville fan CaptianJackHarkness4:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Thinking Lens Brain Flares #1: Top Ten Best Film Heroes

Top Ten Greatest Movie Heroes and Heroines

James Bond. Indiana Jones. Han Solo. Spartacus. Superman. Lassie. Ellen Ripley. Cinema has no short supply of great heroes in film. This list explores my picks for the 10 best movie heroes and heroines.

"The Thinking Lens": Commentary on Film, Music, Video Games, Television, Politics and Pop Culture.

Where You Can Find Me
The Thinking Lens Blog:
Film Aficionado:

The various use of media material is protected by the Fair Use Clause of the U.S Copyright Act of 1976, which allows for the rebroadcast of copyrighted materials for the purposes of commentary, criticism, satire/parody and education.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #18

DVD Update #16 "Dexter"
Date Posted: August 23, 2009
Summary: My return to DVD Updates! This is my 16th DVD Collection Update. Dexter Intro: Dexter: A male given name; an American television drama series that airs on American premium channel Showtime.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Thinking Lens: His Name is Superman

Episode #3

My reaction to the newest trailer for the upcoming film: Man of Steel.

I analyze the latest trailer for Man of Steel and discuss my overall excitement, fears, and hopes for the upcoming Superman film. Are director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan the right choice for Superman? How do Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe and the rest of cast seem to be? Will the score by composer Hans Zimmer be worthy of such an iconic superhero? Will we finally see The Last Son of Kryton display the full extent of his super powers? All this and more is explored!

"The Thinking Lens": Commentary on Film, Music, Video Games, Television, Politics and Pop Culture.

Where You Can Find Me
The Thinking Lens Blog:
Film Aficionado:

The various use of media material is protected by the Fair Use Clause of the U.S Copyright Act of 1976, which allows for the rebroadcast of copyrighted materials for the purposes of commentary, criticism, satire/parody and education.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I Don't Need A Hero: MSN/Xbox To Revive NBC's "Heroes"?

Remember the NBC superhero drama titled Heroes? Perhaps, but I am willing to bet that this mention of the show was the first time you thought of the series since it went off the air. Even in the shows final years, before its now three year absence, enthusiasm for the show was waning due to a dip in quality leading to low ratings and a struggle for the series to keep breathing.

However, if you happen to be among the few (or at the very least, the non-vocal) who are clamoring for the series the be revived....your wishes could be granted. Maybe. It is being discussed.

MSN is reportedly in talks to bring back the series through original programming via Xbox.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #16

DVD Update #14 "Christmasrav"
Date Posted: December 30, 2008
Summary: My 14th DVD Update as well a few other things I got. *I forgot to mention I also got Wii Fit*

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire -- Trailer Reaction

If there is anything that gives me that old man, "these darn kids!", mentality it would be the MTV Movie Awards. Last year, I subjected myself to the 'prestigious' ceremony in order to watch first-hand the preview for the then-upcoming film The Dark Knight Rises. It was ultimately worth sitting through the agonizing hours of bestowing high honours onto classic films such as The Twilight Saga : Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and cinematic sequences involving defecation and wedding dresses, but there will be very few films in the future that will earn my admiration and/or anticipation enough to torment myself with the antics of idiotic teens and unfunny comedians again.

This year the "big footage preview" event for the MTV Movie Awards was the first full trailer for the upcoming sequel to last years massive hit The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games was not a cinematic classic nor a flawless film by any means, but it was a surprisingly enjoyable and interesting film. I had little to no reason to ever see the film aside from the involvement of rising star and now Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence, but fortunately the talented actresses lived up to her reputation as an emerging talent and was easily the best aspect of the film with her commendable performance. To be fair, even with its flaws, most other aspects of film were pretty good in their own right.

Now we have our first glimpse at the sequel titled The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #15

DVD Update #13 "Knight"
Date Posted: December 10, 2008
Summary: 13th and greatest DVD update EVER! Featuring the 2 disc steelbook Futureshop exclusive (in Canada). WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #14

DVD Update #12 "Risked"
Date Posted: November 23, 2008
Summary: 12th DVD update featuring The Nightmare Before Christmas Ultimate Collectors DVD Set. Wanna see the video in High Definition? Apparently if you add &fmt=22 to the link the video willbe in HD format.

Friday, March 29, 2013

DVD & Blu-Ray Update March 2013

#1. Skyfall
After the the lifeless and mediocre Quantum of Solace, Skyfall manages to resume the top notch writing and character exploration initially set up in the first Daniel Craig Bond film, Casino Royale. Skyfall introduces a villain more in line with the classic era of Bond antagonists, played wonderfully by Javier Bardem, delivers some spectacular and exciting action sequences captured with glorious cinematography, offers the greatest Bond song since Goldeneye, and continues to explore the relationship between Bond and M in a compelling story that results in one of the best films of 2012.

#2. Mulan/Mulan II 3 Disc Special Edition
For whatever reason, Mulan does not have the reputation of being one of the great Disney films. Perhaps this was because the film was released near the end of Disney's resurgence and most were tired of the tried and true formula of a misfit hero seeking something more in their life with the help of comedic animals? Who knows...but as far as I am concerned, this film is excellent. The three main problems with the film are that the songs  (with the exception of "I'll Make a Man Out of You") are not particularly memorable, some of the antics of Eddie Murphy's Mushu character fall flat at points where it seems the writers were trying too hard to be comical, and the transition into the final act feels extremely forced (The final scene is also really lame). However, these are relatively minor problems in a film that has fantastic visuals in addition to the lively and engaging characters. Perhaps most impressive is the films ability to truly develop and explore the relationship between Mulan and the supporting characters. Disney tends to rush through the details of romances and motivations, but in this film a lot of attention is giving to forming these story points through conversations. Mulan is not nearly as flawless as some of the Disney greats, but the film is certainly strong and entertaining enough to belong in their company.

#3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame 2 Movie Collection
While I would argue that Mulan is a far better film that given credit...The Hunchback of Notre Dame is far less easy to defend. The main problem with the film is that the protagonist, Quasimodo, feels like a supporting cast member whose desire to experience life outside the church walls is pushed aside to focus on the motivations of antagonist Frollo and the romance between Esmeralda and Phoebus. Quasimodo is constantly a plot device used to progress their stories and only towards the end of the film does he finally become the primary participant. One could argue that considering his isolation from the real world, this is a perfect role for his character to play in the film, but even in that case the film still could have focused more on exploring his goals and thoughts rather than designating the task of motivating Quasimodo to the supporting cast. I do not share the hate most have for the Gargoyles, but they admittedly feel unnecessary and while some of their jokes offer laughs, at least as many fall flat. In fact, the comedy in this film is really weak and it drags the slapstick moments of hijinks on far too long. Conversely, the film is bold in it's exploration of the dangers of lust and the hypocrisy of religion while the animation, musical score, and songs are actually very damn good. It is a film with noticeable and cringe worthy flaws, but there is also a lot to admire about this film. Far from perfect, but an amusing watch.

#4. Wreck-It Ralph Collectors Edition
While the Disney Renaissance may have ended with Tarzan, some have argued that beginning with The Princess and the Frog Disney has begun a Third Golden Age. Considering the both Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph, the two films to follow Princess and the Frog, are excellent films, I would be inclined to agree with such statements. While the first two films are of the classic Disney Fairy Tale sort, Wreck-It Ralph would be the first modern times, high concept, type of Disney film (Oliver & Company, The Rescuers, ect.) of this proposed Third Golden Age and fortunately, it is a success. Granted, the films narrative is a little too predictable for its own good (even the biggest twist of the film, which admittedly caught me off guard, will have those who are surprised by it acknowledging that they should have caught on) and those who are bothered by puns will quickly find this film irritating. However, the film is filled with colorful characters who are brought to life with passion and personality by a great cast of voice-actors and even at its most predictable, the film is not afraid to go to cruel lengths to test our characters while hurrying through the more tiresome cliches. Fans of video games will find all kinds of little gems and gags geared directly towards them and the creativity behind the video game world is highly admirable (Sugar Rush game and theme are the best!). Also, as someone who gets a kick out of puns, the humour was right up my alley. Simply put, Wreck-it Ralph was made with a lot of love and is a lot of fun.

#5. Lincoln 4-Disc Combo Pack
Following Munich, the last truly great Steven Spielberg film before 2012, it was a difficult time to be a Steven Spielberg fan. While I would have and will continue to defend Spielberg as a genuinely great filmmaker, the period following Munich made it hard to do so. Indiana Jones 4, The Adventures of Tintin, and War Horse were fine films but no doubt failed to live up to the Spielberg greats and one could not help but groan at announcements of Spielberg's intentions to remake untouchable films such as Harvey or Old Boy. Then Spielberg may as well have walked up to me, given me the finger, and told me to never doubt him again with his newest film: Lincoln. Lincoln is a quiet and intimate film driven more by characters and performances than anything else. Both the content of the film and the way it is shot resembles 12 Angry Men in its ability to capture beautiful shots in simple locations such as offices with a script that is both intriguing and informative. Of course the brilliant Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a performance of legend, but every single actor and actress contributes greatly to this film in their ability to create such engaging characters. Considering the film literally consists primarily of people talking behind closed doors, those uninterested in politics may find themselves easily bored by this film. However, those like myself who are fascinated by the political world will be entranced by Lincoln, a film which presents a heist-film-like story where votes are the goal and both Abraham Lincoln and politics themselves are presented as flawed and in need to some rule bending in order to see justice prevail over ignorance. This is without a doubt one of the top 3 films of 2012.

#6. Peter Pan Diamond Edition
It had been years since I had last seen Peter Pan and while it was never one of my favourite Disney films as a child, I did develop a new found appreciation for the film when I finally revisited it on Blu-Ray. The voice acting is enthusiastic, making up for some characters who can, frankly, be annoying and/or uninteresting, the animation is imaginative and vibrant, and most importantly...the comedy is genius. Turning to physical gags and slapstick comedy, the film offers some big laughs, especially during the antics between Captain Hook and Mr. Smee. A classic film that gets a much deserved outstanding restoration on this Diamond Edition Blu-Ray.

#7. Breakfast at Tiffany's 50th Anniversary Edition
Little known fact about me: I have a huge 'thing' for Audrey Hepburn. Aside from the fact that she was beautiful beyond words, she was also an immense talent and legend with the kind of class all too uncommon today. Yes, I understand the flaws of creating an "idea" of someone. Like any human being she was probably far from perfect and had her own demons. However, as an actress, humanitarian, and public figure...she was nothing less then exemplary. Breakfast at Tiffany's features Audrey Hepburn in what is widely considered her most iconic role and for good reason. Her performance is extraordinary and is aided by an outstanding supported cast directed masterfully by Blake Edwards. Many have called Hepburn's character to be one of the earliest examples of the 'manic pixie dream girl' stock character featured in films such as Garden State or (500) Days of Summer. This statement really sells Hepburn's performance short. With Hepburn's talent, Edwards' direction, and George Axelrod's writing, together these artists have created a character far more fascinating and real than a brief four word description. A little cheesy? Perhaps. However in a time where 'real cinema', as pretentious douchebags would call it, must be harsh and dreary to reflect the tragic reality of life....a film like Breakfast at Tiffany's remains a testament that films for hopeless romantics like myself have their merit when handled with care and can become one of the greatest films of all time.

#8. Schindler's List 20th Anniversary Edition 
Many film snobs have written Schindler's List off as mere piece of Oscar baiting, emotionally manipulative, Hollywood fluff. They would be wrong. As someone who has seen his fair share of films centered around the Holocaust which take the lazy "it's the can you not cry!" route, I can say with absolute conviction that Schindler's List is a masterpiece. The film can have it's detractors such as Terry Gilliam or Michael Haneke (the former mistakes it as a film that depicts the Holocaust as a triumph while ignorant to the fact that it is by Spielberg's own admission one singular story which took place during the Holocaust, while the latter has had the scene they criticized proven to be historical fact by actual survivors), but at the end of the day...none of it matters. Shot beautifully with a haunting score from John Williams, the film uses the black-and-white effect to create a raw and authentic feel to the film that immerses the audiences into the horrors of history. Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, and Ralph Fiennes lead a supporting cast and every single performance in this film is outstanding. Not only is this one of the greatest Spielberg films (I would argue THE greatest) but it is also one of the most important films ever produced. This moving film shocks, enlightens, and humbles you in ways that make for not only a superb film, but a transformative experience. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #11

DVD Update #9 "Hero"
Date Posted: August 30 2008
Summary: Ninth DVD Update

Misson to Mars: Kickstarter Helps Veronica Mars Film

What a novel idea! What exciting prospects! What...lack of enthusiasm on my part. has to be one of the greatest ideas for a website since the dawn of the internet. Truly, creating a platform for people to use as a means to create funds for various independent projects and endeavors with the promise of some form of valuable reward for donators...why the hell didn't I think of that!

Many have used the site and method to raise funds for numerous noteworthy projects, but today we may have witnessed the most notable of them all. Rob Thomas, creator of the relatively short lived but ever popular and acclaimed teen-drama/mystery series titled Veronica Mars, called on zealous fans to help raise funds to greenlight a feature film based on the series. In less than twelve hours, the set goal was reached and now fans can expect a Veronica Mars movie in early 2014.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #10

DVD Update #8 "Multipurpose"
Date Posted: July 22 2008
Summary: A VERY small DVD update and some promotion. Also a Q&A vid. I don't care if nobody asks anything, I just figured I'd throw it in there so the video is not so pointless. P.S I'm sorry for the blurry footage. Here is the link to theReelDVDWatchers:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #9

DVD Update #7 "Testament"
Date Posted: July 16 2008
Summary: 7th update after numerous takes! Link to a new channel where 7 dvd collectors review films they've seen. Sub to Us Please!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 News Round-Up

Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane Watson

Ever since it was announced that Shailene Woodley was cast as Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 I have been behind the choice one hundred percent. Admittedly, based on her appearance alone, she is not the actress you think of when you ask "who resembles the Mary Jane Watson of comic book lore?" in the same way Emma Stone bares an eerily perfect resemblance to Gwen Stacy.

However, now that set photos for the web slingers upcoming sequel have surfaced, the popular opinion in nerd circles is not only that Shailene Woodley is not "attractive enough" to play Mary Jane Watson, but that she also looks flat-out "Horrible" in terms of her own personal appearance. Does this make me mad? Well...yeah.

 Image Source:

Granted, it seems as though most who share this negative opinion have not even seen Woodley's much praised performance in 2011's Best Picture nominated film The Descendants, and are therefore unaware of how talented she actually is. However, a more important fact remains. The reason Shailene Woodley does not resemble the Mary Jane of comic book because she is actually a REAL human being. This article from articulates my feelings on this issue better than I can.

Putting my faith in Woodley based on one role could backfire, but it is still a more reasonable and likely to be proven true stance than the harsh one directed towards her based on....set photos and her appearance. Shailene Woodley is immensely talented so I do not give a fuck whether she looks like the ideal Mary Jane or not...but on a personal note: I do find Shailene Woodley very attractive.

Chris Cooper as Norman Osborn

Image Source: /Disney

Not much to say here other than this is pretty damn great casting! Chris Cooper is an excellent actor and would make a great Norman Osborn. However this news announcement raises some very intriguing questions!

Will the Green Goblin appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 2? Will Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy meet her demise at his hands? If not, what exactly will Norman Osborn be up to in this film? 

Personally, I doubt we will be seeing the Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, aside from a brief tease at the end of the film. With two villains (Electro and The Rhino) already announced to be appearing in the upcoming sequel in addition to the introduction of Mary Jane Watson in the rebooted series, it seems unlikely that Marc Webb and the writers would try blowing their load early with Norman Osborn when they have so much going on already.

Even before this casting news was announced I never subscribed to the theory that Gwen Stacy would be killed off in this sequel, especially at the hands of anyone else besides the Green Goblin. Considering the upcoming sequel already seemed jam packed with story material even before Cooper's casting was announced, I feel even more strongly that Gwen Stacy will live to see another sequel by the time The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rolls the credits.  

After all, why would they not take the chance to dedicated an entire film to one of the most important and iconic comic book stories of all-time?

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 New Trailer: Good Chances for a Good Sequel

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs remains one of the most underrated films of all-time. While the initial concept for the film and the trailers suggested a kid-friendly but silly and forgettable family film, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs proved to be a clever and adventurous comedy filled with colourful characters brought to life by stunning animation and talented actors. It was a film for all ages on par with some of Disney and Pixar's best!

Now the trailer for upcoming sequel, simply titled Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2, has hit!

All things are looking good! Granted if your are not one for puns then I advise staying far away from this trailer. As for me? I have a soft spot for puns as long as they are clever...and boy does this film pack some great ones!

Ultimately the trailer does not offer too much other than splendid visuals and a taste of the comedic style offered by the film, but considering we complain that trailers reveal too much information, I think the trailer has succeeded in giving us a taste for something everyone should be eager to devour!

Of course, I do have some worries that the film will not live up to it's predecessor, especially considering original directors/writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are not returning, and the final gag in the trailer was not funny at all, but these are minor worries considering the trailer offers some hilarious moments and hints at an equally entertaining film if nothing else.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Reveals New Costume

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was arguably the most divisive film of 2012. While some would point to other big budget flicks such as Prometheus or smaller independent ventures such as Beasts of the Southern Wild as the kind of film worthy of said title, I would point to The Amazing Spider-Man simply due to how extreme the differing opinions of the reboot are in contrast to each other and because of how vocal each side of the argument has been.

Some praise The Amazing Spider-Man as the Spider-Man film fans have always waited for that equals or even betters Spider-Man 2, Sam Raimi's second installment of the original Spider-Man trilogy which is regarded by many to be one of the greatest superhero films ever produced. Others absolutely loath The Amazing Spider-Man, claiming the film is pure garbage and not only one of the worst superhero films ever produced, but also one of the worst films of the year. 

Me? I am firmly in the middle ground on the whole debate. I feel the film suffers from too many common flaws, such as a generic narrative and rushed character development (or lack thereof), to be worthy of the praise given to Spider-Man 2, and yet none of the films problems justify the vile hyperbolic hate shown towards it. If forced to choose a side, I would align with the positive opinion considering how exaggerated the arguments of those who hate the film have been, however my true stance is that the film is flawed and not as good as the better Raimi films, but it is enjoyable with some great performances from the two leads which makes for a fun and solid popcorn flick.

Now we have our first look at the newly designed costumed for the web slinger himself!

I have to say...I like it. I really dig this new look.

My issue with the costume in The Amazing Spider-Man was not with the design, but with the material. There was just something about it that felt a little too "Halloween Costume-ish". This slick new material appears to be returning what was used for the Raimi series of costumes, however the new eye pieces have a classic comic book style to them that we have not seen before in these films. I love that. More than any other costume used in previous films, this one looks like it leaped right off the page!

I am relatively excited for the upcoming sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. While I do have a problem with the villains appearing to once again have a connection to Oscorp, the casting of Paul Giamatti as The Rhino and Jamie Foxx as Electro offers exciting prospects for the future of the series. Hopefully if we get more of a sense that Peter Parker is a struggling outcast and more developed script, this film could be one that everyone will love!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #7

DVD Update #5 "Askewniverse"
Date Posted: June 25 2008
Summary: A trip looking for Coldplay's latest album resulted in 2 new DVD's.

Fast and Furious 6: Get Here Fast!

I have never been a fan of the Fast and Furious film series.While my male comrades would insist that the first three films (The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift) have their merit in the form of shots of objectified barely clothed women and fancy vehicles, I found them to be lifeless, hollow, filled with douchebag characters, and they offered nothing I could not easily see with a simple google search. 

My opinion started to change with the fourth film in the series, Fast and Furious, albeit only to a certain extent. I was still not amused by the continued bromance love-fest between boring characters, but I did very much enjoy the high energy racing sequences featured in the film. Some complained that these sequences were less racing scenes and more CGI, logic defying, action scenes...but frankly they were the first exciting and enjoyable moments to be offered by the series. Fast Five continued the streak of cardboard characters and thin stories which had always been a bother when it came to the previous films. However, much like the films predecessor, Fast Five stepped it up with the over-the-top action sequences and made for the most amusing film of the bunch, if nothing else. 

Now we have Fast and Furious 6 heading our way...

Well...for the first time ever...consider me excited for a Fast and Furious film!

Granted, this fact has only ever been based on levels of enjoyment rather than improved writing and story, however I can say with conviction that the Fast and Furious films are one of the first series I think of when asked "what series has gotten BETTER with each film."

Sure, the story seems to be the basic "law enforcement turns to criminals for help in exchange for full pardons" narrative. Sure, the bromance between the characters seems to be in full gear (no pun intended), but I will admit that as the films have progressed, I did like the characters and the relationships they share (particularly between Vin Diesel and Paul Walker's characters) in the previous two films.

But when has ANYONE bought a ticket for these films for the story? What really appeals to me about this trailer is that the filmmakers seem to have decided to push the envelop in terms of evolving from a shallow film filled with glory shots of women and a shallow film that captures the kind of car racing, tank crushing and plane crashing shenanigans that many of us pretended were happening while playing with our hot wheels toys as children. I mean...the characters have gone from douchebags punks to gun toting ass-kickers. Fast and Furious 6 looks to be an over-the-top, insane, action film that delivers on the ridiculous set pieces. Also, frankly, I am sort of curious to see where the story goes with this one considering they are bringing back Michelle Rodriguez's previously assumed dead character.

Also, did I mention...they take down a fucking plane with their cars!?

No Toast for "The Host"

The Twilight films are pure shit. I am sorry, but they are terrible by any rational sense judgement. The characters are dry and lifeless, the story lacks intrigue or passion, and Bella is without a doubt one of the worst fictional role models for women to have ever been conceived. I try not to be critical of anyone who finds enjoyment from the books and films because everyone, myself included, find enjoyment in our fair share of awful films, novels, and music. However, anyone out there who feels the Twilight franchise is an unfairly maligned genuine quality series of films and novels...well, please do not ever operate a vehicle or run for public office. Please.

Regardless of how I may feel about the Twilight phenomenon, the fact remains that it has been a lucrative franchise for all involved and naturally the search for it's replacement, now that both the film and novels appear to have definitively concluded, has begun. Much like how a slew of fantasy based films tried and failed to capture the success of the Harry Potter film series, the search for a new Twilight equivalent was inevitable and why not start off with the OTHER book  from Twilight writer Stephanie Meyers. 

So here's the third and latest trailer for the upcoming adaption of The Host...

Well...I do not hate it with every fiber of my being...but that is the best thing I can say about it.

A few weeks ago I mentioned on twitter that the casting of Saoirse Ronan as the female lead was a sign of hope for the film, not unlike the casting of the incredibly talented Jennifer Lawrence in the lead for The Hunger Games. I had absolutely no interest in The Hunger Games (which by the NOT a rip-off of Battle Royale and anyone who thinks otherwise in an imbecile) but Jennifer Lawrence had proven herself to be an immense talent and I could not resist watching another one of her performances. Fortunately...I was pleasantly surprised. The Hunger Games is not a perfect film, but it was highly enjoyable and a large reason for that was Jennifer Lawrence's performance and the fact that Katniss Everdeen is an interesting/likeable character did not hurt.

Saoirse Ronan has also proven she is an extremely talented actress. With role in films such as Atonement, The Lovely Bones, and The Way Back, I have been very impressed with her work even when I was not equally impressed with the films themselves. In fact, I maintain that Ronan was more deserving of an Academy Award for her performance in The Lovely Bones than actual winner Sandra Bullock collected in the same year for her overrated performance in the overrated film The Blind Side.

Unfortunately, while I do feel Saoirse Ronan appears to be giving it her all in The Host...the rest of the film just appears...dull. It starts off with a mildly interesting concept that initially feels as though it will the raise the stakes and present audiences with a compelling story of rebellon, choice, and war.

Until it looks to be another juvenile love story focused on the relationship and dedication between two characters. I will admit to knowing nothing about the novels on which this film is based, but from the looks of things...gee, another female-geared film where the female lead spends most of it slavishly devoted to her man, this time while completely helpless due to outside circumstances rather than her passive behavior? Pass.

Grading The Monsters University Trailer

I have admitted to being apprehensive towards the future of Pixar. While Toy Story 3 is a masterpiece, Brave is unfairly maligned, and the jury has yet to deliberate on Monsters University...the fact remains that since being acquired by Disney, Pixar has produced two sequels, a prequel, a princess film that treads familiar territory, all while a second installment of Finding Nemo is being developed. 

Granted the worst of the bunch is without a doubt Cars 2, which itself given more hate than it deserves, and ALL of Pixars upcoming projects sound like the 'why didn't I think of that' kind of ideas we are used to getting from the studio. However, Monsters University cannot help but feel like  the wall between the continuation of previous ideas and the road towards much anticipated fresh ideas from Pixar. 

But now a new trailer has been released and the verdict thus far is...

I like it. In fact, I really enjoyed what we have been shown so far.

Now I certainly have my reservations. The story does not seem to have much to it beyond the predictable concept of two individuals, whom we know are best friends in the future, starting off as enemies only to become friends through their rivalry. Let's face it...most of us can probably predict the kind of speeches and narrative developments that will occur throughout the film. It is a little unsettling, but as someone who defends Brave (or any film for that matter) for being able to take a familiar story and present it in an enjoyable and quality manner...I have to give Pixar the benefit of the doubt and hope that even if the story for Monsters University does not offer any surprises, it will at least deliver clever amusement within that familiar story. (I just hope they don't make Randall the "friend who becomes the enemy" character...that wouldn't help an already potentially cliched story).

Which brings me to what excites me about this trailer. The humour. Granted the humour is of the "It's just like real University...but with monsters!" which did not work well AT ALL for Cars and their motor vehicle pun induced style of jokes. That said, here the comedy seems to be endearing and I will admitt that I got a few good laughs from the footage. The characters seem loveable, the jokes are clever, and if nothing else the film looks to be filled with high energy fun and excitement. 

I was not enthusiastic over the idea of a sequel/prequel to Monsters Inc. (a film I love) primarily because it felt so pointless. After much thought my opinion has changed. Much like how the Toy Story film series aged appropriately alongside those who children when the first film was released, Monsters University has the benefit of being released at a a time when many of those who grew up on the original film are now University students themselves. Ironically, in spite of taking place before the first film, Monsters University has managed to tell a story suited perfectly to those whom may be the films ultimate target audience. As a university student myself, consider me excited for another nostalgic trip to the past with old friends James P. Sullivan and Mike Wazowski.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Retro DVD/Blu-Ray Update Week #6

DVD Update #4 "Trippy" Part 1
Date Posted: June 22 2008
Summary: My fourth update, sorry but I end up rambling, and going off topic, and giving sort of mini reviews.

DVD Update #4 "Trippy" Part 2
Date Posted: June 22 2008
Summary: Part 2, again, more rambling, reviewing and going off topic.