9 posts

A Review of Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia

Starring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Keifer Sutherland, Melancholia is a movie less about the end of the world and more about the relationship between two sisters. However, if you are looking for a chick flick or disaster movie then this is not it.

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Nerd News Roundup: Someone Dies This Issue!

My fellow Nerdmericans, this week I bring you news of lawsuits that verge on cheating. I bring you news of clothing for cats and superheroes alike. Unfortunately, I also bring you news of the death of a beloved figure and the untimely demise of a career barely started. But put down your Bat’leth, there’s no reason to commit Hegh’bat just yet. I also bring you news of new shows that will numb the pain. All these stories and more in this week’s NERD NEWS ROUNDUP!
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Retro Movie Reviews: Berry Gordy’s ‘The Last Dragon’

The Last Dragon Retro Movie Reviews covers cult classics, films that while they may not have been a critical success have a fan following to this day. These are films that you may have seen as a kid on cable late at night and while the special effects are outdated, the dialogue may be cheesy and the budget may be suspect, these films will always be entertaining and hold a special place in your entertainment seeking heart. If you haven’t seen one of these movies you can almost never go wrong by picking one up to watch.

A kung fu film set in Harlem in the middle of the 80s, The Last Dragon follows Leroy Green (Taimak) AKA Bruce Leroy. Leroy has completed his martial arts training and seeks to move on to the final level to achieve “The Glow” and become a true master.

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Reel Previews: The Mechanic (2011)

I love movie trailers – come deconstruct them with me!

(Don’t cloud your judgement! Watch the trailer then read my rant.)

The Mechanic (January 28 2011 | CBS Films)

Years ago, I was bored and happened to flip to a local channel showing some seventies movie with Charles Bronson in it. I thought it was going to be lame, old-timey shit.

I was wrong.

That movie was The Mechanic, and it was fucking badass. The details of the plot are hard for me to remember, but simply reciting the movie’s title summons a soft blanket woven with fond memories of badassery over my heart.

A similar situation happened with El Mariachi; having never heard of it, nor having seen any plot-spoiling trailers for it, I watched El Mariachi one idle night on that same local channel with expectations so low, it was digging quite successfully to China. Needless to say, I was blown away by its majesty (and by the fact, which I only found out later, that it was the precursor to Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico).

Now there’s a remake of The Mechanic, starting Jason Statham.

I guess you can cue the sad violin and sense of foreboding, right? A remake is cruel, surprize buttsecks to the cherished films of yore, right? Well…I dunno. The Mechanic actually seems suited to a modern retelling. The plot is simple enough – sophisticated assassin takes on an apprentice (and hijinks ensue!). You can go interesting places with an outline like that.

The problem is that this new version looks like it goes to the least interesting corner of the Imagination Station. The original version had an almost meditative quality, which had the effect of making the violence even more chilling. The Wikipedia page for the original has a little note on the existentialism of the film, ferchrissake! But the trailer for the new version is hardly Zen-like. Almost instantly after the green rating card disappears you get wacked over the head with the sound of a pulsating electric guitar. You know, ‘cuz rock music makes everything cooler.

Quick cuts in the beginning showcase the lead character’s résumé of death screaming “Hire me! Hire me, bitch!” Bronson’s Mechanic would need no such brazen excessiveness. He’d kill your enemy’s dog and make it look like it accidentally choked on its favourite chew toy if you asked him for an employment reference.

The rest of the trailer is an infodump of gadgets and violence that leads me to believe that this movie will sink into the bowels of mediocrity. Case in point: “Time to take your training to the next level.” What the fuck is this, Training from Hell?! I’ll give the trailer’s tagline (“A good mechanic is hard to find.”) a pass, though. Because it’s true. Jason Statham may be a mechanic, but I doubt he’s a good one. It’s not that I don’t like him as an actor. He just doesn’t seem like the spiritual successor to Bronson. So keep on looking, folks! Nothing to see here!

Taken by itself, this is an exciting trailer that piques your interest in the movie, no doubt about that. Flashy action isn’t bad by itself, but come on…so many modern action movies are like that. The 1972 movie was special because it transcended the tired clichés that films about assassins are wont to slip into. Will the 2011 version do the same? If the trailer’s any indication, probably not. That’s a shame for badass lovers everywhere.

Not a Black Swan Ad / Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers- A Piece of Work, DVD Screener, 700mb Divx

Black Swan, DVD Screener, 700mb Divx

As always, see these films! Use a Bit Torrent client to download these. Google for instructions if you don’t know what to do (its not at all difficult.) If you get a message saying that the torrent cannot be downloaded, try a different torrent client. VLC plays both of these, you may have problems playing on things other than your computer. I’m not responsible if you try to play it on your ps3 and it blows your house up!

Reel Previews: Winnie The Pooh (2011)

I love movie trailers – come deconstruct them with me!

(Note: Don’t cloud your judgement! Watch the trailer, then read my rant.)

Winnie The Pooh (July 15 2011 | Walt Disney Pictures)

When I read that there was going to be a new Winnie The Pooh movie, I GOL’d. I actually Groaned Out Loud. Call me cynical, but for an industry that’s currently taking all the sacred memories of my childhood and butchering them (case in point: Smurfs!) I barely had any hope for this.

I began to watch the trailer and WHAT THE WUT? Is that frickin’ Copperplate Gothic Bold they’re using? I’m not an expert, but I like to think of myself as a font whore. I love fonts. But Copperplate Gothic Bold belongs in whatever circle of hell Times New Roman resides. So now the trailer looks cheap. Damn you Hollywood Bastards™!

But then…I saw the animation…I oooohed and aaaahed…simply exquisite. It’s as if E. H. Shepard came back from the grave to animate the backgrounds (I can stare at them for hours). Not that he would, were he to rise from the dead; apparently he came to resent Pooh Bear because it overshadowed his other work.

The voice acting sounds similar to previous incarnations, with one notable exception: Christopher Robin is British! Correct me if I’m wrong, but CR has never had a British accent in any of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh adaptations. Purists rejoice! Not that the real CR would care, were he to rise from the dead also. CR thought his father stole his childhood and made money off of it.

But back to the trailer, which isn’t as depressing as real life. Font bitching aside, I really liked this trailer. Some parts are whimsical, like Piglet knocking letters off a page, or goofy, like Eeyore getting a new tail. Did I mention the backgrounds? I wish I could snort it like cocaine. Most of all, I got a warm, fuzzy feeling in my jaded little heart. I got goosebumps. I got a longing to see this movie. And I got a craving to read the books all over again.