Monday, November 30, 2009

Observe & Report

Observe & Report

I will give any movie a ton of credit that can make me dislike a character so much that you almost want to turn the movie off, if not for the perverse sense of wanting to see what will happen next. Seth Rogen's Ronnie Barnhardt is all that and more, just as depressing as an old high school buddy still living with their parents "living the good life" (according to them at least) and just as aggravating as a close-minded reactionary relative at a family gathering. I never hated Ronnie, but jesus did I want him to get his comeuppance.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tower Records Goes To College: Star Wars & Culture Shock

Star Wars & Culture Shock

Last Friday I was given an amazing opportunity by my good friend Scott Cashman to lead a discussion about my passion of passions: Star Wars. It was part of a series of classes/lectures/discussions being lead by former Tower Records employees as part of Harper College's continuing education program. It was an honor and privilege to talk with everyone. I feel remarkably blessed that I get to be a fan of something that so many other smart and eloquent people are also fans of. Thanks to everyone who came and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

As a bonus to everyone who came, I would like to share my work. My Powerpoint presentation, videos and excel spreadsheets can all be found by clicking this link. Let me know what you think, and thanks again.

(the excel spreadsheet isn't entirely accurate i was using a partial list from Wikipedia and another list from Box Office Report, i'll be adding the EPS files for graphs I made later, those are more accurate.)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Uncharted 2: Review

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Uncharted 2 is a really, really, really good game. From a technical perspective it is at the top of its game. The modeling, the textures, the animation and sound design are all second to none. I defy you to find a game that looks, feels, and sounds better than this. It is unfortunate then that the one thing that keeps it from being "OMG! THE GREATEST GAME EVAR!" is the same thing that dampens the emotional resonance of many games: Narrative.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves - So far, so good

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
I'm at the beginning of chapter 13. My first major observation so far concerns the pacing. It's really good. I started my first playthrough on hard and though the action is sort of slow in the first few chapters, once you get into it, it rarely stops for long.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

VIDEO GAMES RE-VIEW: Blastman: Akron Asylum

Blastman:Akron Asylum
I know what you are saying! Finally! A decent Blastman game! Typically licensed video games are bad. Not Blastman:Akron Asylum though. It will make you forget Blastman:Riddlemizers Revenge, Blastman vs. Jokester 64 and Blastman Blastamobile Karts X-Treme.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Here's a case of wasted potential. Special had a lot of really good things going for it. The concept was pretty ingenius, a boring every man wishes he had super powers and he starts taking medication that gives them to him, or does it? It features one of the best lead performances from Michael Rappaport and visually it's blazing some trails with mostly hand held sparsely lit location shooting. It's just that the movie itself isn't any good.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Watchmen - Overview

I'm not totally sure why this movie was made. I mean, I know "why" but why? To meet, it felt like Zach Snyder was basically just trying to impress everyone with his reverence for the material while never actually delving into why the material is so treasured and respected in the first place. It was like an excercise in faithfulness. They sort of missed a golden opportunity to comment on the growing number of superhero movies, this movie easily could have done for superhero movies what the original Watchmen did for superhero comics. By focusing too much on the literal adaptation they missed the opportunity to translate. What works well in a comic won't always work well in a movie.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dear Watchmen Fans,

Shut the fuck up until you see the fucking movie.

"they changed the ending" - yea, so? If you like the ending so much, read the fucking comic book jackass.

There are all kinds of reasons I have for just shutting the fuck up about any minor gripes i may have with what they done thus far, but you know what, i'll save my opinion for after I see the movie. Because i'm an adult and I can handle it if things don't always go my way. I also understand that "my way" is based entirely on my misconceptions about storytelling and the reality of the movie business.

So please. Shut the fuck up until March 7th.

Thank you.


Monday, January 12, 2009


I'll be the first to admit that I'm no historian. I really really like movies, but I've definately not seen all of them, not even most of them, I've barely gotten through just the ones I want to see let alone the ones that I'm just remotely interested in. So from that perspective, and using the movies I have seen, I thought Leatherheads was thoroughly charming.
I've read alot of reviews of the film and everyone points out its stylistic ties to classic hollywood screwball comedies (none of which, i regret to inform you, have been seen by me). I'm sorry, I just haven't gotten around to it, like i said, I'm the farthest thing from an expert. And since George Clooney rose to prominence in the 90's it seems every tom, dick and harry has been trying to peg him as the next "classic hollywood" leading man while completely overlooking one glaring similarity that Leatherheads had on full display.
Imagine the movie was made in 1969. Put Paul Newman in the George Clooney role and Robert Redford in the John Krasinski role, leave Randy Newman's score where its at and throw George Roy Hill behind the camera. I can totally see this as an alternate timeline follow-up to the success of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.
Naturally, the age difference between Clooney and Krasinski is quite a bit larger than the age difference between Newman and Redford, but they're also brilliant actors who could completely pull it off.
So to me, Leatherheads was a throwback's throwback. A movie inspired by movies that were inspired by other movies. It was remarkably charming and witty, quickly paced and superbly acted (save for Renee Zellweger) and I'm actually a little surprised that that it hasn't shown up on more best of 2008 lists.
Then again, I'm not an expert and I have yet to see all the movies released in the past year, let alone all the movies released in the past 80.