Archive for the 'Movies' Category

SxSW, so far

Thursday, March 16th, 2006

Wow, I’ve had a great time at SxSW so far.

I got here last friday and went straight into party mode and haven’t stopped yet.

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday I went to a bunch of panels, most of which were very interesting. I also met a bunch of people (who’s cards I’ve collected and need to email sometime) and made new friends (and dodgeball connections) from all over the place. And that was just the first part of the week.

As Interactive wound down, all the web geeks started rolling out and a new crowd began to arrive, now the town is overrun with music industry people and music fans and, most importantly, musicians.

Starting yesterday its been all rock, all the time. Just yesterday I saw The Slip and Denague Fever at Emo’s Annex, Calla at Red Eye Fly, Aberdeen City at Dirty Dog Bar, Brightblack Morning Light and The New Pornographers at Stubb’s and then…

The Flaming Lips!!!!

The Flaming Lips played a secret show at Fox and Hound at 11PM last night and I got to see it! Kris and Buzz have photos (they got up on stage to take them!).

After that, I planned on walking over to Emo’s main room to see Trail of the Dead, but I totally crashed, so I headed back to the hotel for some rest.

I’ve also seen a couple films– yesterday I watched LOL, a film about what happens when people are addicted to the interweb and it causes drama in their face-to-face lives. Not to name names, but the guy sitting next to me totally missed half the movie while playing with his crackberry.

This morning, I saw The Refugee All-star Band a film about Liberian refugees in Guinea who formed a band while living in refugee camps. The best parts? The band was sitting in the row right in front of me, took questions during the Q&A and will be performing tonight! They’re worth seeing live.

Anyway, off to more music, later.

Memento

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

I just finished watching Memento. I watched it when it first came out, but hadn’t seen it since then- I had completely forgotten the the story-line, which made watching the movie quite strange, since the main character has also forgetting the story.

Additionally, as I was watching, I couldn’t help but think of the movie as . I’m a geek.

My Thoughts on National Treasure

Monday, December 6th, 2004

My thoughts on National Treasure….

and every other Bruckheimer film….

and many other action/adventure movies…

(beware- spoilers follow, not that I need to tell you what happens in this film)

So when my mom decided to bail out on my dad and I the other night, we decided to go to see a movie. Since it was just us, we decided to go see a guy movie- something Mom probably wouldn’t want to see. Our best option, schedule-wise was National Treasure.

Now, I’ll say this up front: I’m not a fan of Nicolas Cage or Jerry Bruckheimer.

The movie was entertaining, yet predictable. There was plenty of action, some romance, a mystery and a hero. However the movie followed a very familiar plotline:

  1. The Myth– the story starts with Benjamin Gates’ (Cage) grandfather telling him about a enormous treasure which has been in existence since the days of King Solomon. The story followed the 5 rules:

    1. It had a long history
    2. It involved characters recognizable by most audience members
    3. It would prove inspire to our story’s protagonist to begin a journey of epic proportions
    4. It almost sounds too good to be true
    5. But its wacky enough that most will not believe it (and go on the adventure and find the treasure before our protagonist)

    Of course only our hero understands and believes the myth.

  2. The Breakthrough– we join the protagonist in the early stages of the adventure. In this part of the film we see him make a critical breakthrough which had stumped the previous attempts at this treasure. Chances are this is where the protagonists’ father got stuck, gave up and settled down. Sometimes, at this point, there is a breakup in the posse of the protagonist, which spawns our antagonist.
  3. The obstacle– the Breakthrough inevitably leads the hero to an obstacle which seems in surmountable. In this case, it is stealing the Declaration of Independence .
  4. The Chase– now that our hero has broken through the Obstacle and probably has someone chasing him (who may have previously been a part of his posse) he must hurry.
  5. The Decision – at some point our hero must make a decision between the treasure and something more meaningful like love, family, patriotism or some other transcendent purpose (or maybe all of the above!).
  6. The Acceptance– because he is forced to make ‘the Decision’ and our protagonist is a hero, he chooses against the treasure. There is a moment here where he comes to accept that, though the journey seems like a waste, something deeper has happened. He’s ok with this and with the likelihood of the antagonist winning.
  7. The Bonus– Well, it turns out that things aren’t as bad as were though. There was a neglected clue which now leads the protagonist to find the treasure.
  8. The Wrap-up– The hero finds the treasure, he already has the deeper fulfillment, he gets revenge on the antagonist and, oh yeah, he gets the girl too. Somewhere along the story, he picked up a girl for the adventure. At first she thought he was crazy, but felt compelled to go along. Then she realizes that she’s involved and might as well contribute. Then she realizes she’s in love with the hero (or, at least, wants to sleep with him).
  9. And they all live happily ever after. At least until the bad guy gets out of jail and seeks to obtain some vengeance in the sequel.

Other miscellaneous rules:

  1. There’s always a girl
  2. Her loyalty is usually questioned
  3. The door is always left open for a sequel

Of course, Team American: World Police does a much better job at this analysis than I do. :-)

the french connection

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

I watched The French Connection last night. I wanted to see it because I really like Ronin and those two movies are consistently considered to be among the best car-chase movies ever.

All I can say about the movie is that I’m a bit underwhelmed. The case wasn’t particularly exciting, nor was the movie in general. I think my dad put it best when he said, “well, it was good for its time.”

The Return of the King

Tuesday, December 9th, 2003

Tuesday night I watched LoTR: The Return of the King at midnight. No one makes movies that good. I went into the experience with very high expectations. Every review I’d read said that this movie excellent and better than the first two LoTR movies. Personally, I loved the first two movies. In addition, as we sat in the theater before the movie started, I played some MiniGolf on my phone. For some reason, I was really in the zone and shot a new PR of 35 for 18 holes, beating my previous PR of 42. So, back to my point, my expectations for this night were high.

I purposely avoided eating and drinking anything for several hours before the movie so that I would not have to leave the experience for even a minute. Apparently I was not the only one. At most 2 or 3 people got up during the movie– we were transfixed.

This movie was stunning in several ways. First of all, this was one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. The New Zealand scenery is captured beautifully. I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful landscape. Second, the soundtrack was wonderful. It complemented the film excellently. And finally, the story was beautiful. Not only was this an epic war movie, but they are fighting for the biggest of prizes: Good. Wars in other movies are good an noble, I can’t fault them. But, this battle is nothing short of Good vs. Evil. In today’s world, which avoid such stark delineations, this movie was a beautiful reminder of reality.

The movie was worth staying up until 430 AM, driving 45 minutes each way to the theater and paying $8.75. And, its worth seeing again.