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Joss Whedon Makes Me Sad…I Think

4

Aug

Posted by Steve

serenity1.jpgWhen I was growing up there were a few names that were synonymous with doing no wrong.   Names like John Hughes, Steven Speilberg, and even George Lucas were mentioned with a reverence and confidence that if their names were on a project, it was gonna be a winner.   Many of the names from that time survived to become legends of film and television making.   It’s interesting to be on the verge of becoming an old fogey and seeing who the new generation has tapped to revere in similar ways.   Visionaries like J.J. Abrams, Christopher Nolan, The Coen Brothers, and of course Joss Whedon.  There are tons more, and there’s a part of me that gets sad knowing that M. Night Shyamalan had such potential to be in that list…but alas…THE HAPPENING happened.

Of all of the film makers, show runners, and writers that have emerged in the last ten to fifteen years, none have garnered the cult following of Joss Whedon.   Quite frankly, he deserved it.  He’s a man who built two successul franchises on a movie that received a pretty modest reception from audiences in the early nineties.  To perform that kind of feat, one has to be a visionary.  From Buffy, Whedon has gone on to gain across the board approval from his fans on whatever he touches.   People follow Whedon as blindly as I follow George Lucas.   On one hand I get that.  The guy has a great imagination…but…he makes me sad.  Why?  I think I finally realized it while watching FIREFLY and SERENITY.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love a Movie That Bombed – Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

7

Jul

Posted by Steve

superman4.jpgThe year was 1987.  I was ten years old and was super excited that a new Superman movie was on the horizon.  I had worn out our copies of  SUPERMAN THE MOVIE and SUPERMAN II that we recorded from the ABC Sunday night movie.   I had gone with some friends of our family to see SUPERMAN III and now we got a new a Superman movie?

In my book, Superman movies were just below Star Wars in my little guy geek spectrum.   So it was that my dad took me to see what would be Christopher Reeve’s final portrayal of The Man of Steel.

Even as a chunky ten year old kid I knew something was off about this movie.  There was too much humor.  Superman always looked just the same when he came flying onto the screen.  By “looked the same,” I mean that it appeared that someone had cut out a picture of Superman flying and pasted it onto the film.  (Apparently that’s exactly what they did.)

In the years that followed, whenever I talked to friends or fans about SUPERMAN IV, it was always the same thing.  ”That’s the worst Superman movie EVER!”  ”They should have stopped with three.” “It’s sooo bad.”

The problem is I could never not watch it.  If it happened to be on TV, or if it was in a video store to rent, I loved to watch it.  When I finally got the first set of Superman movie DVDs that were released back in 2001 I would often come home on a Sunday afternoon, pop in SUPERMAN IV and watch it again and again.

For a few years, this was something I would never admit to my geekier friends except jokingly.  Why?  Because everywhere I turned, whenever Superman IV was mentioned, it was mentioned in groans and moans.

I refuse to accept that SUPERMAN IV is a movie with NO redeeming qualities, and I refuse to believe that it’s simple childhood memories that fuel my love for SUPERMAN IV.  In fact, I maintain that were it not for the poor special effects, SUPERMAN IV may not be held in such disdain.

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Time For A Confession…Toy Story 3 Reviewed!!!

28

Jun

Posted by Steve

ToyStory3.jpgLet’s just stop and think about Pixar for a second.  It seems that every film that Pixar has done has been the new standard by which other animated films are judged…until the next Pixar film comes along.  I remember seeing TOY STORY for the first time in 1995.  I was blown away by how real some of the backgrounds looked.  I genuinely laughed at all the jokes.  I was was caught up in a fun story about two characters forming an unlikely friendship in the most unlikely of places.

The Pixar movies that came after equally impressed me.  From the retelling of  ”The Ant and The Grasshopper” in A BUG’S LIFE to Sully’s fur in MONSTERS INC.  to the Super Hero team movie that showed how other team up movies should be done in THE INCREDIBLES to the very adult themes in UP, Pixar has consistently surprised me with the ability to knock it out of the park everytime the studio steps up to the plate.

Right off the bat, I will tell you that, for me, TOY STORY 3 was no exception.   I would never say that Buzz and Woody are part of my childhood.  I was in college when Toy Story hit the scene.  So, there was no way that the gang from Andy’s room could have been a part of my childhood, but they were a big part of the point in my life when movies began to become something a little more than a distraction to me.  Toy Story was part of a time in my life when I began to watch movies a little more critically, when I began to pay attention to trailers a little more closely, when I began to seek out reviews from respected critics, and when I began to truly define my cinematic tastes.   So, Pixar holds a special place for me inasmuch as in the past 15 years or so, I have been able to point friends and other geeks to Pixar as THE movie studio that “gets it.”

Now, confession time.

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Am I Getting Too Old For This? Iron Man 2 REVIEWED!!!

7

May

Posted by Steve

iron-man-2-poster_1.jpg

I have this friend named Crevice.  Well, his real name is Matt, but I call him Crevice.  He calls me Crevice.  It’s complicated.

Crevice knew that I was going to see IRON MAN 2 at midnight last night, so he stopped by today to ask me what I thought.  His main question was, “Is it as good as the first one.”  My answer?  I don’t know.

IRON MAN 2 is a great movie.  The action is ramped up from the first movie.  The characters are all like friends that have been missed for a while.  The story is…well…it’s an Iron Man story.   The story…moves…

I liked the movie.  I really did.  But I think there are a few factors that may play into me being a bit more critical of the movie than I want to be.  Read on after the jump to see what you think.  Spoilers will be present and heavy, so you may want until you’ve seen it to read my full review.  I DO recommend that you see the movie.   Its one not to be missed…flaws and all.

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Avatar and Bulletin Board Talk – A Movie Review

13

Jan

Posted by Steve

I’m a pretty big fan of college football.  One of the big unwritten rules of college football is “Watch what you say, the other team will just use it to fuel their fire.”  This was true several years ago when it was said by a journalist that UGA wasn’t “man enough” to go to Alabama and win.   The team used that and came away with the victory that year.   Then, after UGA scored first when playing Florida a couple of years back, the whole teamed stormed the field in celebration.  It got everyone pumped that day and Georgia came away with the win, but for the next two years sports analyst, highlight reels, and most likely the coaches used that clip to fire up a Florida team that was already stacked with talent just to get the players fired up and give them another reason to go out and win.

Some of the best football coaches in the history of the game are masters at underplaying their team’s ability.  They do this so as to not have everyone in their conference gunning for their boys.  It’s usually a pretty sound strategy.   Fly under the radar.  Stun everyone with your on field ability.  Don’t overhype.

It was said again and again and again that AVATAR would be the game changer as it pertains to cinema.   James Cameron said repeatedly that he had to wait for technology to catch up with his ideas.  Everyone waited with bated breath for the next STAR WARS.  Then the movie was released…

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