5/26/09

Green Lantern Fan-Made Trailer

Scouring the interwebs one comes across many things. Some great, some not so great. This one is great. Nay, beyond great. This is quite possibly the most awesome thing I've ever seen done outside of a professional studio. The maker of this Green Lantern trailer has cast Nathan Fillion in the lead role and has stolen clips from Firefly, Castle and a host of other movies and tv shows to create a single 2:38 clip of what he imagines to be the best Green Lantern film that could be made. And I agree!
[via /Film]

5/25/09

CAGE MATCH: Stargate vs. Star Trek

TWO EPISODES ENTER
ONE EPISODE WINS
Today's fight:
Star Trek: The Original Series, "The Paradise Syndrome"
vs.
Stargate SG-1, "A Hundred Days"


5/22/09

Night at the Museum 2

I broke a long-standing rule of mine today. I'm never supposed to see sequels without having first seen the original. That being said, this particular sequel didn't really need much of an original. Wouldda been nice to know ahead of time that the tablet is what brings everything to life, but it's pretty clearly explained.

I say it didn't need much of an original because, after seeing it, it didn't really strike me as a movie that I needed to see. It's a fun ride, but most of the situations they get into seem contrived. I mean... seriously... Abraham Lincoln had to tell us who he was... really? Like we don't know? Other character introductions could have been handled more discretely, too. Amelia Earhart, Ivan the Terrible, Napoleon, Al Capone, their introductory dialog was pretty much a paragraph on their contribution to history. We really didn't come to learn about all that, we just came to see exhibits come to life. I think the best part of the movie was probably seeing Amy Adams in tight pilot's pants.

That's not to say it wasn't a fun ride. If you can get past the cheesy introductions and the contrived historical data, you'll love flying around the museum in the Write Brothers' airplane, getting slapped by monkeys, kissing the girl in famous WWII kissing photo. Kids will love the movie, I'm sure. They're probably the only audience that will be able to forgive and even enjoy the cheese.

One thing that kinda got awkward was the attempt at ironically awkward dialog. Ya know, the kind where you pretty much just... say what's on your mind. Kinda trying to be polite, but at the same time getting a point across that you believe to be very important. It's the kind of thing Ben Stiller is famous for, I think. But it just doesn't work sometimes. If it goes on for too long it goes from being funny-awkward to just plain awkward. That happens a couple time in the movie.

If you have nothing else to watch, then I recommend this movie as a time-killer. It's a feast for the eyes, but not much for the brain.

5/21/09

The Soloist

In my last post about Sherlock Holmes I mentioned Rubber Ducky Jr's broad portfolio. This is the movie that kept him in the running for dramatic roles. The Soloist is about a schitzophrenic cellist who falls to his disability and consequently drops out of Juliard after being harrased by the voices in his head. He becomes a member of the Los Angeles homeless community and draws reporter Steve Lopez's attention when he fills the air with beautiful violin music using only one string. Lopez writes a human interest story on him and thus begins their troubled friendship.

RDJ has some awesome raw talent which has only previously been portrayed in comic roles. Iron Man gave him the ability to showcase some drama, but it was still light-hearted at the core. The Soloist allowed him to apply his dry mannerisms and quick whit in a moving role as a reporter who ends up getting a little closer to his subject than he wanted.

Jaimie Foxx was awesome, too. As RDJ taught us in Tropic Thunder, it's always difficult to portray the mentally handicapped. Foxx seemed to put a lot of research and thought into his role as Nathaniel Anthony Ayres Jr. He was never a parody and he imbued the character with the sense of realism that a true story deserves.

Ayres and Lopez are both real people. Lopez wrote a book about the handicapped street musician and this movie is based on that.

The thing that keeps Ayres lucid and focused is music. It's the thing that drives the voices from his head. Watching him become entranced by the works of Beethoven made me feel like there was something in music that I would never understand. Something higher than any of us could ever comprehend, and that only a select few, like Ayres, could really appreciate. Growing up in a musical family, I never felt music like this. Whether it was the director's ability to translate that feeling to the screen or the enharent quality if the music combined with the moving talent of Foxx, I couldn't tell you. But I think, maybe, if I could tell you, I would have missed the point.

-- Post From My iPhone

5/20/09

Sherlock Holmes

There was a trailer in front of Terminator for a Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey Jr. that I absolutely loved despite the apparent lack of resemblance to the Sherlock we all know and love. It's more like if The Great Mouse Detective was done for an adult audience. I knew this movie was coming, but failed to blog about it for... Some reason...

I'm really looking forward to seeing RDJ in this role. First off, he is inharrently hillarious. Secondly, a period piece like this broadens his awesome portfolio to an incalculable size.

But about the movie itself: it's going to be a blast! The original books were more intellectual, obviously, although some had the element of thrill. The movies take more of an action movie approach, but that doesn't lessen the intelligence of the character. Robert's whit itself is extremely intelligent and it it would be a shame to waste that on just another thrill ride. Playing Sherlock, though, is a perfect way to cultivate his sense of humor.

I'm looking forward to it. How bout you?


-- Post From My iPhone

Terminator Salvation

The Terminator series has always been about robots blowing stuff up. But it had always previously been about robots blowing stuff up in a world dominated by humans. Now it's about humans surviving in a world dominated by robots blowing up stuff.

They did this well. I was pretty much on the edge of my seat wondering who, if anyone, was going to survive. I was pretty sure John Connor and his teen-aged dad was going to live, but we learned from Star Trek that when people change the past anything is possible.

Which reminds me, it was pretty interesting to see Anton Yelchin in another movie about a couple people going back in time trying to change future events. Now we just have to get him to play the son of Marty McFly in a new 2015 Back to the Future movie and his trilogy will be complete.

Christian Bale seemed a bit pained in this movie. It may have been on purpose, but every word he spoke sounded like a grunt. Not in a Batman way where he was purposely disguising his voice, but more in a way where he's trying to pass a kidney stone or something...

Ok, all that out of the way - the acting, the awesome graphics, the action - how was the story? Marcus Wright is pretty much the focus of this story. And I'm not giving any major spoilers by saying he's a terminator/human hybrid. The plot of the movie took viewers on a thoughtful journey through the difference between man and machine. Through all the action and all the stuff blowing up, they subtly put pieces of the puzzle throughout that you didn't know where pieces until at the end Christian Bale gives a poignant monologue about the human heart. The moral of the story was very well done because it didn't detract from the action and the action didn't detract from the story. It wasn't so much that it was balanced, but action TOLD the story like the story gave MEANING to the action. It wasn't balanced, it was infused.

BTW, this is important: Arnold isn't in the movie. The image of a younger Arnold is. CGI is just so awesome now-a-days.

Your favorite lines are there, skillfully woven into the tapestry. "I'll be back," was maybe a little contrived, but it still made sense. All-in-all this was a very engaging movie worthy of the Terminator franchise. It doesn't necessarily excel expectations, but expectations were pretty high, anyway. Go to the theater this weekend and enjoy!

5/17/09

Blog Updates


Trying to decide whether or not a movie should be considered a geek movie is kinda difficult. On the one hand, you have movies that geeks would be interested to see, but those don't necessarily have to be movies that require a geek personality. On the other hand, there are movies about geeks, that is, with geeks in them, that really are just feel-good movies with geeks cast as the protagonist. There are various ways one might be able to define "geek movie," so in light of that, I'm just going to forgo doing geek movies exclusively.

Starting today I'm going to expand the reach of the geek movie geek blog into ALL movies as well as some TV shows. Now, obviously, the focus will remain on those movies and TV shows that have some sort of appeal to geek culture, but that doesn't exclude the ones that aren't sci-fi or superhero or nostalgic. Believe it or not, geek culture has many different interests. As long as things are flashy and awesome, they'll probably watch it.

On another note, I'm trying to see if I can find a better template for the blog. If you have any recommendations, leave a comment or email me with a link to your favorite template. Or you could make one for me, too, if you're so inclined ^_^

That's it for the update. As soon as I see Angles & Demons I'll do a review of that. I wasn't sure if that could be considered a geek movie or not, but now it doesn't matter. Good day to you!

Buy the pictured t-shirt at LushTshirts.co.uk

5/7/09

Star Trek


This is the one we've all been waiting for. Trekkies everywhere have been waiting with bated breath for a glimpse of the new classic. Some have little hope for it, others anticipate nothing but greatness from Bad Robot, JJ Abram's production company. The way the movie is set up, there are so many things I could spoil... the slightest mention of the plot could undermine the entire experience. I can only tell you what JJ Abrams has already been saying: you have nothing to worry about.

Before I watched the movie I tried to go back and watch some of the Romulan episodes of the original series to get a sense for the background of the relationship between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire. I knew that in Balance of Terror it was noted that no one had ever seen a Romulan's face. And I knew that Nero was a Romulan and that the movie took place before Balance of Terror. In short, I was ready to make a list of things in the movie that ran contrary to canon and about ten minutes into the film I had to just throw the list away. This is masterful storytelling as far as a Star Trek story goes. There is really no better word for this story than "reboot." A complete overhaul. But in a good way.

Even explaining so much as that gives a little more insight than one might want to know, but I'm confident that even if you know the entire story you'll enjoy watching it again and again. The action is non-stop from the very first frame, there is comedy reminiscent of the original movies as well as new comedy, there is a driving storyline, fully fleshed-out characters, and superb acting.

Speaking of the acting, I felt like the characters were completely reborn. Not in the sense that they are totally different, rather in the sense that the spirits of the characters that you know and love have been infused into new bodies. When Chris Pine walked onto the bridge of the Enterprise as the new Captain it was like young William Shatner had trained for the screen all his life. When Karl Urban introduced himself as the doctor who had nothing left on earth but his bones it was like he was psychically channeling DeForest Kelley. And with Sylar's ability to understand how things work, Zachary Quinto analyzed the deep intricacies of Leonard Nemoy's signature character and brought to Spock a life we could only previously imagine.

There is one minor thing that fans may start whining about, and that involves a relationship between two of the crew members. I won't give away any details, but the addition of this relationship seems tacked on. It doesn't particularly fit very well into the established Star Trek universe, but in a broader sense it does work. I can't go into an argument for or against it without releasing any spoilers, but suffice it to say that if this relationship had occurred in the original series it probably would have gone over just as well as having a female captain, if not worse, which is probably why nothing like this ever happened. But I think in the spirit of a reboot to the franchise, it's a fitting tribute to the show's original morality and sensibilities. That's as much as I can say at the moment. I'll probably discuss the topic further when the movie has been out for long enough that it won't be spoiling anything.

This really is the Star Trek movie that we've all been waiting for. We've been waiting for it without knowing it. Fans have nothing to fear and newbies have everything to gain. This is a fresh start for Gene Roddenberry's vision; one that is well deserved and welcomed with open arms. May it live long and prosper.

5/4/09

May the Fourth be with you

It's May the 4th, Star Wars day, and the blockbuster summer movie season has begun! It officially started with the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. And this weekend comes the movie we've all been waiting for: Star Trek! :-D

You'll remember I originally started doing geek movie reviews in anticipation for this movie almost a year and a half ago. I'm definitely going to continue doing it beyond Star Trek. It's just too much fun. I might even consider moving beyond just geek movies. There are so many good ones out there that don't necessarily deserve the "geek" tag.

This weekend may be the great Star Trek day, but today we all sit and focus on Star Wars - the movie that made sci-fi great. May the Fourth be with you, young Jedi! And may you live at least long enough to see Star Trek and prosper!