I heard about this video on Subject:Cinema. This was made by one guy with a computer and WAAAY more skillz than I could EVER hope to have. Watch it and be ASTOUNDED.
Be sure to check out his YouTube channel!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
2. I apologize for the lack of updates lately. I can explain, though. After finals were over, I was at work almost every day up until Christmas. I work in retail, and so obviously it was our busiest time of the year. Then Christmas came and I finally got to relax. Now things are starting to get back to normal again.
3. We have a new episode of our podcast in the works! It should be up in a few days...maybe even as a New Year's countdown??
4. If you've found us through the Subject:Cinema website, welcome! Please send us an email or leave a comment. We'd love to hear what you think of the blog! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click on the link (shameless plug...muahahaha).
5. Time for me to "revue" a couple of movies!
Movie revue: The Day the Earth Stood Still
After listening to the Subject:Cinema review of this movie, I knew I had to see it. Nothing gets me more interested in a movie than hearing two widely different opinions about it. The Day the Earth Stood Still is a remake of an earlier movie (which I've never seen). This version stars Keanu Reaves as Klaatu, an alien who comes to our planet to save it. The only problem is, he's saving it from the humans.
I thought this movie was actually pretty good. Keanu basically portrays one emotion through the entire film (brooding angst) which I think is effective. It definitely makes him seem alien. I thought his name was very strange, in a way that didn't fit with the rest of the movie, but it's obviously taken from the earlier version. The rest of the acting is also solid. I thought the movie kind of had a point: humans are destructive and violent. We really do think we're "all that." Oh, and if we don't know aliens exist, but they find out (a) that we're here, (b) where "here" is, (c) how to get here, and (d) how to survive here, wouldn't it be safe to assume their technology is a LITTLE more advanced than ours?
Overall: 3 1/2 stars/5
DVD revue: The Librarian: Quest for the Spear
Flynn Carsen loves college. That's why he's earned 22 degrees in 16 years. That's why he's never graduated (his family must be loaded...unless he's gotten scholarships everywhere he's gone. Which, for him, might actually be plausible). And that's why his Egyptology professor kicks him out and tells him to get a job. So, of course, he starts working in a library. And that's when things get interesting.
Turns out that he's not just a librarian. He's the Librarian, guardian of the world's best-kept secrets. Remember everything you read about in mythology and fairy tales? What if it was all real? The goose that laid the golden eggs, Excalibur (the sword in the stone), a jetpack?? Flynn hardly has time to start polishing the Holy Grail before something is stolen. Flynn teams up with foxy, "psychopathic" Nicole Noone to save the Spear of Destiny from the evil clutches of the Serpent Brotherhood.
This movie was SO much fun! Think "Indiana Jones" with a good sense of humor and less of a special-effects budget. What it lacks in technical tricks, however, it more than makes up for in writing and acting. Flynn (Noah Wyle) and Nicole (Sonya Walger) have great chemistry together. The movie also has Jane Curtin and Bob Newhart as Flynn's overseers at the Library. It's kind of cheesy in places, but it's a great fun, funny, adventurous movie. Originally, it was a made-for-TV movie on TNT (my new favorite cable station!). They're up to 3 "Librarian" movies now; the first 2 are out on DVD now and the third one should be at some point (it just aired for the first time less than a month ago). If you like adventure/comedies or comedy/adventures, definitely give this one a try.
Overall: 4 1/2 stars/5
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
My friend TC over at Subject:Cinema recommended this one, and I have to say I enjoyed it very much. It's a fascinating look at the MPAA, which everyone has heard OF, but very few people seem to know anything ABOUT. Which is due largely in part to the air of secrecy surrounding the ratings board. They're supposed to be a group of parents with children between 5 and 17, and represent the "average American parent." Aside from the problems defining what "average" is, they did some digging and managed to uncover the identities of all of the ratings board members. Of the eight, only one had young children. Everyone else had adult children (and one member might not have even been a parent).
The movie raises some very interesting issues about censorship. Even before watching this film, I noticed that some of the MPAA's decisions seemed arbitrary. The first PG-13 movie I ever saw was Titanic, which I still think should have been rated R. The funny thing is, the movie points out that the MPAA is much more strict with sex than violence. Of course, they're also more lenient with the big studios than the smaller ones, so that probably has something to do with it too.
More fun facts: Unofficially, gay sex scenes are "worse" than straight (more likely to receive a hard rating); women's pleasure is "worse" than men's; and they don't always tell you why your movie received the rating it did. Sometimes they'll say "If you cut the scene with XYZ we'll consider an easier rating" but it's basically completely arbitrary. Everything is arbitrary. And there's no accountability.
They talked to different directors about the MPAA, and Kevin Smith had a very interesting comment. He said that if he were to create his own rating system, and decide what shouldn't be seen, the first on his list would be rape. When I heard that, I thought, "Wow. Kevin Smith is being thoughtful and insightful. And good for him." I have a new respect for Kevin Smith (and, by the way, I saw Jersey Girl and I thought it was pretty good).
Personally, I think there needs to be some kind of system to let people know what people might object to in the movie. At the same time, I think America can do a lot better than the MPAA. If I were to design a rating system, I would probably make sure that everyone involved knows why the movie got the rating it did. I'd also take the attitude that they have in Europe, where violence is more of a no-no than sex. I don't know that I would necessarily keep the NC-17 rating. It's up to parents, not the government, to determine what their kids under 17 can and cannot watch.
My redesigned system would keep the same ratings, except for NC-17, because they're easy to remember and everyone understands them already. But I would also have more detailed information about why the movie got the rating it did. I'd do something like a points system to be very specific (off-the-top-of-my-head examples: saying "shit" is one point; showing boobies is five; decapitation is twenty). Then you add up all the points to find the overall rating (anything less than 20 points is a G rating, etc). All run by a ratings board and an appeals board who are known to the public. Oh, one more fun fact from the movie: the MPAA is even more secretive about the appeals board than the ratings board.
This Film may not be rated, but it is a must-see for anyone who's ever wondered what the MPAA does.
My fifth grade history teacher played this song for us. I thought it was hilarious, and at the time I had no idea where it was from. Then after Johnny and I really got into the Animaniacs, he found this video. I fell in love with the song all over again.
And remember to never give up! "You'll find the East Indies, you just don't know where."