Photobucket           Photobucket           Photobucket           Photobucket

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Spaceman

Yet another average week for Hieu. Most of which was spent finishing two assignments a week early so that's a good achievement. Now I've got a bit of time to focus on a few more exercises for Uni as well as some Japanese language preparation for the upcoming exam in a month's time. I've only got one exam too so that's very fortunate and also means I'll be having a nice relaxing (almost) two month holiday. Uni can sure be pretty awesome.

------------

Speaking of how awesome Uni can be, I had to borrow books to use for referencing in my Wong Kar-Wai cinema essay and was amazed at the amount of useful and informative content that was found in these books. The four books I've borrowed were not only useful for my essay, they were beneficial for my my knowledge as well. I might borrow a few more books in the future from the Uni library because the readings in the cinema section feel so relevant to me and actually hold an interest for me. I've learned quite a lot about the history of Hong Kong cinema and how Korean cinema is slowly usurping Hong Kong. Having said that, I'll probably try to reserve next week solely for Korean cinema. I've got four titles that I want to check out: 'My Sassy Girl', 'Joint Security Area', 'Take Care of My Cat' and 'Memories of Murder'. I'm looking forward to watching all of them as I've heard many great things about these films. I've been mostly looking forward to watching 'Take Care of My Cat' though since I've been trying to track down a hard copy of it for quite some time now.

------------

http://www.stuffwelike.com/stuffwelike/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/dedspgenscrn0726v1.jpg

I also bought a pre-owned copy of the game 'Dead Space' today. I've yet to play it though and it looks like I won't be doing so until Wednesday. This is because I prefer to play this game at night and when my parents aren't around to nag/annoy me while I'm playing. Now, the reason why I bought it was because I had a hypothetical discussion with two of my closest friends the other day over the subject of video games and what kind of video game we'd like to create. While I would (hypothetically) love to create an adventure game in the style of 'The Legend of Zelda', I would love even more to create a science fiction game. And if I hypothetically did make this science fiction game, it'd either be a sci-fi/action adventure game in the style of 'Uncharted' (players travel from planet to planet, plundering sacred sites for treasure while running and gunning) or a science fiction/horror game (think 'Silent Hill' but in space). While this may not mean much to many, the idea of a science fiction horror game got me thinking and prompted me to probe further by purchasing 'Dead Space'. I'm aware that there are already a few science fiction/horror games like 'Doom' out on the market but, honestly, I love the idea of having people stuck in a place where they can't really find their way back home. As such, I've decided to watch a few science fiction movies in the week after next week. The films I've got in mind are: 'Pandorum', 'Event Horizon', 'Sunshine', 'Moon' and '2001: A Space Odyssey'. I've already seen 'Sunshine' some years ago (just purchased it yesterday for my collection too) and 'Moon' recently but I really wanted to watch them again cause I think they're pretty good films. I would throw in 'Alien' into the mix but I think five is enough for the week. I should probably go out into the sun huh? I've got far too much time on my hands.


So that's me planning ahead for two weeks of movies. Thankfully this upcoming week is going to be my last week of Uni so I'll hopefully have enough time for all these films. So to wrap up this section, next week is Korean movie week with the following week being sci-fi horror/thriller week. Should be awesome. If anyone else has any other movie recommendations, feel free to suggest away!

------------


http://www.mmabay.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/ufc114-poster-2_medium.jpg

Epic day out with the guys today. We headed to the James Esquire bar up in Docklands to watch the live feed of UFC 114. It was awesome watching the event not only with some mates but with other men all cheering and jeering - it was pretty awesome. Afterwards we met up with a few other friends for some Modern Warfare 2 in the city. Epic, epic day today - seriously.
_______________________________________________________________

WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

http://jhota.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/iron-man-poster2-big.jpg

This week for cinema studies we studied the recent popularity of comic book movies and were screened "Iron Man" as our case study. I think I've said before that I liked the first "Iron Man" film much more than the recently released sequel so I won't go on anymore than that. It's just an entertainingly good movie that had a good run until 'The Dark Knight' stole it's thunder as the definitive comic book hero that year.


------------

http://www.flylip.com/news/images/88-1248239778-jake-gyllenhaal-prince-of-persia-movie-poster.jpg

I saw "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" on Friday night and thought it was a pretty okay film. As far as video game to movie adaptations go, it's not horribly bad as many others and is mostly just an entertainingly mediocre film. I don't see myself watching it again anytime soon and would be in no hurry to get it on DVD either. It was fun but dragged on a fair bit. Jake Gyllenhaal's, 'Prince Dastan', was a likable enough protagonist to follow along but I hated the romantic tension between his character and Gemma Arteton's, 'Princess Tamina'. Her character is so poorly written, incredibly two dimensional and flat. Then again, the same could be said for most of the characters in the film. I thought Alfred Molina's character was probably the most enjoyable, as many people have stated also. I honestly would've liked to have seen more from Dastan and his brothers but that didn't happen either. Worst of all, the dagger of time was put to shame. It was barely used in the film and after hyping it up as a powerful weapon throughout the film, they never really show it off in any action scenes. The rest of the movie is mostly one big predictable cliche after another. You may get your money's worth with it, I mean I didn't hate the film - I just thought it could've been so much better.


------------

http://1000filma.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/being_john_malkovich_poster.jpg

I watched "Being John Malkovich" after I came home from watching "Prince of Persia". It's a really bizarre and unique film but it's a pretty good one at that. I was interested in watching this after having seen "Where The Wild Things Are" from director Spike Jonze and having loved Charlie Kaufman's fantastic script for one of my absolute favourite films, "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". It's a bizarre film but it's so well written and the characters that inhabit it are so well developed. I loved Spike Jonze's direction in it also as it did have a bit of a music video-kind of vibe that worked so well for the film. The various plot points and transitions from one act to the next is so seamless and smooth. Certain ideas and concepts that are revealed in the movie seem so plausible and are made to sound somewhat believable which is a good thing on Jonze's part. I guess what I love most is how magnificently abstract and bizarre it was. The performances are great and the last scene of the movie is very tantalising. I also loved the idea of only being in John Malkovich's head for 15 minutes (15 minutes of fame, haha). Interesting film that's worth a try.


------------

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2009/3/9/1236598258191/Vintage-Film-Posters-Chri-005.jpg

I watched "Trainspotting" last night and thought it was an awesome film. I could've done without the techno music but I could see how important some of it would've been to the narrative. It's not as bizarre as 'Being John Malkovich' but it's still a little quirky in it's own right. The visuals were amazing - there were three scenes in particular that really amazed me. Ewan McGregor is damn phenomenal in this film and does a fantastic job as Renton. As I was watching this, I couldn't help but compare it to Stanley Kubrick's, "A Clockwork Orange". It seemed a bit similar to me. I guess most surprisingly of all was that this was film was made by Danny Boyle, the man who directed the Academy Winning picture, "Slumdog Millionare". Actually, I'm not that surprised after having seen "28 Days Later" and "Sunshine". Just amazing how he's built his career on films for primarily adult audiences and then made something everyone can love.


_______________________________________________________________

TIDBITS OF FILM NEWShttp://andthismakesaheartbeat.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/fox_megan_rose_boy1.jpg

I didn't think this was important enough to post last week but I may as well post it this week since I haven't much to discuss. Megan Fox has left the 'Transformers' series that made her a household name after disputes with director Michael Bay during the filming of the 'Transformers' series. Fox has compared Bay to a "Nazi" on set and has claimed that the director was very tough and incredibly hard to work with. Bay in response said that she wouldn't be anywhere without his helping hand. Either way, it seems Fox has left the 'Transformers' series for good (not sure whether it was on her own terms or if she was fired). Paramount are currently scouting for a replacement girl but this girl will NOT be Mikaela (the character Fox portrays in the 'Transformers' series). Instead, she'll be an entirely new love interest for Shia LaBeouf's, Sam Witwicky. Insiders say that The Hills' Heidi Montag has sent in an audition tape and Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whitely is Bay's top choice.

------------

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7a/Shanghai_poster.jpg

A trailer for the World War 2 espionage thriller, "Shanghai" was released this past week. The film boasts an international cast of John Cusack, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chow Yun-Fat, Gong Li, Ken Watanabe and Rinko Kikuchi and sees an American federal agent (Cusack) return to Shanghai to investigate the death of his partner (Morgan) in months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Habour. One thing that made me visibly happy about the trailer was seeing Chow Yun-Fat wielding handguns again and being a total badass. The film itself doesn't look too bad, I guess. The film releases in China on June 17 and has yet to be slated for an international release (though it doesn't look like their could be one at this point).



------------

http://thespotlightreport.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/alice-carteles-news-1.jpg

Tim Burton's recently revised version of "Alice in Wonderland" has become the sixth film to pass the $1 Billion mark in the box office. The film earned over $322 million in America and made over $667 million in overseas/international revenue. The film joins the other billion dollar successes of "Avatar", "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King", "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest", "Titanic" and "The Dark Knight".



------------

http://topnews.in/light/files/Dennis-Hopper.jpg http://mylifeofcrime.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/garycoleman.jpg

Finally, my condolences go out to the friends and family of Dennis Hopper and Gary Coleman, both of whom passed away this week. Hopper died of prostate cancer at the age of 74 while Coleman was pulled off of life support after falling into a coma due to an intracranial hemorrhage. He was 42. I only knew Coleman through his catchphrase, "Whatchu talkin' about Willis?" and was never really exposed to his work. As for Hopper, I primarily knew him through his role as the bad guy on "Speed" (which ironically is airing this week on television), some of his various other film roles and was aware that he was quite a major player in Hollywood (by that I mean he had a bit of an influence). The last time I saw Hopper in a movie role was earlier this year when I studied, "Rebel Without A Cause". I've wanted to check out 'True Romance' and 'Apocalypse Now', two films Hopper starred in but haven't had the chance to. In anycase, I wish these actors' respective families all the best through this time of grief.
_______________________________________________________________

I don't know if I've shared this picture before but I'll put it up anyway cause I think it's such an epic picture. Below we have Batman engaging in a firey lightsaber duel with Darth Vader. An idea that's obviously made of win.



End post.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The Final Countdown

This is going to be quite a lackluster blog post because I've been far too engaged with a certain game that was released this week. I've also been a bit preoccupied with University work which is why this week's post is very short (I do believe some people are crying out in joy at this moment). In any case, here's today's weekly post.

Nagase,  Masatoshi - SUICIDE CLUB A wave of unexplainable suicides sweeps across Tokyo after 54 smiling high school girls join hands and throw themselves from a subway platform into an oncoming train. The police are baffled as the bloodbath triggers waves of more suicides across the city. The only clues are a mysterious website keeping a morbid tally and the cryptic phone calls made by a child.

This next piece of information came to me on a Tuesday afternoon when I was browsing through JB Hi-Fi's DVDs (as I normally would).
I wasn't really looking for anything in particular but after rummaging through the Eastern Eye section of the store, I saw Japanese film, "Suicide Club". I've been interested in this film for quite some time and was somewhat discouraged to watch it when I found that it wasn't released in Australia (though pirated copies do run rampant, of course). I didn't want to download it either because part of me still felt apprehensive about watching an R rated film about grizzly suicides and murders. I have seen the infamous train jump scene on YouTube though - a scene in which 54 girls sing happily, join hands and then jump in front of a bullet train. Only in Japan could you get away with filming this. However, after seeing it on the store shelves as a new release, I felt more inclined to watch it and was somewhat delighted to see that amidst the film's controversy, a small film such as this, has been given a second chance and is being given more exposure. A lot of films get ignored and while I'm in no immediate rush to watch "Suicide Club", I'm hoping this could be the start to a few more great releases in World Cinema. NTS: Hieu, you still have to watch Sion Sono's "Love Exposure"!

------------
http://cache.g4tv.com/ImageDb3/149252_S/Red-Dead-Redemption-Screens.jpg

Guess who just bought themself a copy of 'Red Dead Redemption'? My god, I've been anticipating this game's release for so long and it's finally in my hands. The game does not disappoint but apparently, it looks a lot better on the 360 than it does on the PS3. I personally haven't found any major issues with graphics (perhaps odd glitches here and there) but the graphics have looked top notch to me so I'm not complaining. I'm mostly just loving the overall feel and gameplay. I'm still getting used to the controls and what not but I'm a few hours into the game and have had a lotta fun already. Can't wait to play more. I have a feeling that this game is going to completely devour my life which isn't good since I've got several assignments due in two weeks time.

_______________________________________________________________

WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

http://www.joblo.com/newsimages1/2046-poster.jpg

While Wong Kar Wai's "2046" wasn't liked as much as I had hoped, I was still satisfied with what I watched.
I wasn't prepared to have "In the Mood for Love" strike me the way it did. I admit that the plot was what really hooked me into the film in the first place and it works really well as a standalone film. The cast is magnificent as always with Tony Leung, who once again, proves that he is a force to be reckoned with. I'm probably going to probe a lot deeper into Leung's acting career and see other films he's starred in cause I really do think he's one of the best actors of his generation. The marriage of cinematography, sound and the mise-en-scene is so sumptuous and satisfyingly rewarding. The movie switches narratives a lot. By this I mean, one moment you're seeing Leung's character sweet-talking Zhang Ziyi's character, the next you're in the fictional story of 2047 and then you're suddenly introduced to another character. However, they all do make some sense and it's a formula that one comes to expect in arthouse cinema. The moments when the film takes place during the fictional story, however, definitely looked like they were scenes taken straight from Ridley Scott's, "Blade Runner". This didn't deter my viewing experience, nor did it add to it. I just thought it reminded me of "Blade Runner" as I was watching it. I think what made me appreciate the film though was that it made me like "Days of Being Wild" and "In the Mood for Love" so much more. The opening scene of "2046" basically explained the ending of "In the Mood for Love" to me (thus radically making me appreciate "In the Mood for Love" so much more as I was left somewhat confused by the end of that particular film) and it was nice to see Carina Lau's character still feel the effects of her tumultuous relationship with Leslie Cheung's character in "Days of Being Wild". "2046" is far from perfect but is still an interesting piece of cinema, I felt. How awesome is the poster for this, by the way?



------------

http://bullshish.com/blog/pictures/veronicamarss1.jpg http://expectaculos.com/uploads/sopranos_poster6.jpg

So I didn't watch any films for Monday's cinema class but we were screened the pilots of "The Sopranos" and "Veronica Mars". I've never really checked out "The Sopranos" before and have heard so many good things about it too. I really want to check it out but don't want to download it because I don't want to download several a whole season of 20-something, one hour episodes. I'd rather use that for half hour shows (which I did for "30 Rock". Very happilly enjoying that series too). I was happy to see Amanda Seyfried in "Veronica Mars" on Monday morning too except I wasn't too happy about seeing her DEAD! Yeah, totally didn't see that coming. I can't unsee it now. There was something about "Veronica Mars" that made me shy away from it, though after watching that pilot episode, there does seem to be grounds for potential. Dunno if I'd follow it though.
_______________________________________________________________

There were a few newsworthy pieces this week but I couldn't be bothered naming them simply because I'm far too obssessed playing 'Red Dead Redemption' and watching '30 Rock' to be writing them down this week. So with that said, apologies to anyone who was actually looking forward to hearing about anything new in film world. Now to end today's a picture I've loved ever since I saw it some few months ago.


End post.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Where I End And You Begin

Didn't do anything remotely interesting or fun this week so there's really nothing I can talk about in today's post other than films I watched this week and some news in the world of film. These posts are really starting to lack, I feel. I think I haven't engaged in anything that great in the last few weeks and it kinda shows. Just another average week spent. Oh well, I'll just keep writing for my own amusement.

------------

http://thepeoplesmovies.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/zombieland-movie-image-woody-harrelson-jesse-eisenberg-abigail-breslin-emma-stone.jpg

Oh actually, just a brief mention though it really has nothing to do with anything but I was able to add "Zombieland" to my DVD collection this week. The bonus features were awesome and I can't wait to re-live the fun side of the zombie apocalypse sometime soon, haha. Seriously, if there was a zombie apocalypse I'd probably want to go to the amusement park just to rack up an awesome zombie body count, haha. Then again all the lights and noises would probably attract more unwanted guests than I would want. Oh well.
_____________________________________________________________

WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

http://i655.photobucket.com/albums/uu280/ROKSTIZAR/family-guy-tv-poster.jpghttp://static.tvfanatic.com/images/gallery/30-rock-poster.jpg

My cinema class didn't watch any films this week but instead, we watched an episode of "Family Guy" and two episodes of "30 Rock". I had already seen this particular "Family Guy" episode numerous times but it was my first time being exposed to "30 Rock" and I really enjoyed it. Really made me want to go out and watch episodes of "30 Rock".


Just a mix of "30 Rock" and "Family Guy" material, really.

------------
Wong Kar Wai's "In The Mood For Love" is one damn beautifully crafted movie. I'll let the trailer below try to tell you the story but credit must be given to the cinematography department for creating what basically seems like a slideshow of wonderfully taken photographs. The use of lighting, colour and framing really evoked both the era and the tone of the story so well. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung do an extraordinary job acting the parts of Mr Chow and Mrs Chan, respectively but it's Wong Kar Wai's direction that makes this film so remarkable. It's not that long of a film (roughly 90 minutes) but it is so meticulously paced and rewards you, as a viewer, right through to the closing credits. The use of slow motion coupled with nostalgic music, once again, completely sets the era and tone of the film so well. I will say though that I was somewhat confused with the ending of this film but that's not to discredit the rest of the film. It's a recommendation from me, definitely, for anyone who has an appreciation of cinema. Oh and can I quickly mention how smoking should be classy and sexy, not dirty. This film makes me want to smoke, hahaha.


------------

http://bluemoviereviews.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/eastern-promises.jpg

I wouldn't be surprised if people have heard about a certain infamous scene in this next film. I saw probably the first half hour of David Cronenberg's, "Eastern Promises" a few years ago but I never was able to finish it because I lent the disc to someone and can't find it anymore. I watched it again this week only finished it this time and actually quite enjoyed it. Viggo Mortensen LITERALLY gave the film his entire self and really embodied his character, Nikolai. His Russian accent comes off as sounding quite authentic - it doesn't feel like a parody nor does it sound atrocious. Plus he had to speak a bit of the Russian language too! Vincent Cassel is great here also - there wasn't a hint of his French accent any where! It's funny how, after seeing Cassell in "Irreversible" that I've started noticing him in a few other films. Naomi Watts' performance was quite well handled and she plays off quite well with the actors around her. The story, though a little rocky in the beginning, finds its way as the film progresses and it's a really intriguing story too. Not many films about organised Russian crime syndicates (to be more specific, organised Russian crime syndicates in London) so it was definitely interesting to me. By the way, I've always loved the poster for this film, haha.


------------

http://www.limitemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/new-york-i-love-you-poster.jpg

Not sure whether to categorise "New York, I Love You" as a 2008 or 2009 film. I mean it premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival so it's assumed that it finished principal photography in 2008 as well. The film didn't get released in the States until a year later in 2009 and it only just released this week in Australian cinemas. Odd. I was fortunate enough to acquire this film through different means though. Anyways, this is a film I've been semi-interested in for quite a while now and it wasn't until it's recent release here that triggered my interest in it again. The basic jist of this film is that it takes place in New York and has nine separate stories relating to love (in form or another), each directed by a different director and each story lasts roughly eight minutes. It follows the same format as the French film that came before it, "Paris je t'aime". In fact this anthology of short films is part of the "Cities of Love" project and the same project is being applied to various other cities of the world. I do believe that there is to be a "Rio, I Love You", "Shanghai, I Love You" and "Jerusalem, I Love You".

Oh, crap I really strayed away from the topic. Back to the film. Firstly, being that it is a collection of short movies, you're viewing experience is going to differ. Some stories you'll love, some stories you'll dismiss. If I were to look at the film as a whole, given that a small handful of these segments tend to be misses, I must say that, cohesively, they don't work well together. One segment in particular really had me scratching my head over what had just happened. I enjoyed or appreciated most of the segments, even some of the transition sequences. However, there were four segments in particular which I felt were really enjoyable, engaging and well made. One of the major draws for this film was the phenomenal ensemble cast that was attached to this project. It didn't feel like they were just throwing in names for the sake of it, I felt. It was good too that they brought in a lot of directors that weren't that well-known (at least to me, anyway) because it really showcased some fresh talent. Anyways, I reckon people should give it a shot. As I said, it's an anthology of short films, so you're really getting nine movies in one. Give it a try, if one segment doesn't amuse you, there's bound to be another one right around the corner waiting to have itself proven to you. Can't go wrong with that.



------------

http://www.mynewmovies.net/images/2009/10/robin-hood-movie-poster.jpg

I like Ridley Scott and have liked most of the films that I have seen him direct such as "Blade Runner", "Alien", "Gladiator", "Black Hawk Down" and "American Gangster". Coming into this, I had heard that the film has garnered mostly mixed reactions so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Unfortunatley, I was really disappointed with his latest feature, "Robin Hood". It reminded me of the 2004 film, "King Arthur", so much, in that I felt disappointed with both pictures and they were both similar. I will give Scott the credit he deserves for pulling off great looking set-pieces but the film just simply doesn't hold the viewer's interest due to it's rather slow pacing. The final scene, however, almost looks like it borrows (one might even say steals) from the beach storming from "Saving Private Ryan". Most importantly, however, this is NOT the story of Robin Hood, but rather a prequel to what would eventually be the Robin Hood that we all know and are familar with. Think "Batman Begins" I suppose. This was major disappointment to me.



_____________________________________________________________

TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

All of this week's news updates are just trailers, nothing too heavy with words. First up is the officially released teaser trailer for J.J Abrams' "Super 8". Many originally believed this to be a prequel to Abrams' 2008 film, "Cloverfield", but it's completely different and is it's own thing. There is no plot synosis about the film whatsoever but the intriguing trailer below is sure to make you wonder.


------------

adjustment-bureau-trailer

The next trailer to show for in today's post is for "The Adjustment Beauru" starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. The film is an adaptation of a short story from science fiction writer, Philip K. Dick ("Blade Runner", "Minority Report"). It's directed by George Nolfi who also wrote the screenplay adaptation (his writing credits include "Ocean's Twelve" and "The Bourne Ultimatum"). Check out the trailer below.


------------

es.jpg picture by hieuyy

Remember how the other week I posted up a teaser trailer for Emma Stone's upcoming teen film, "Easy A"? Well the official theatrical trailer for it has been released and it looks somewhat promising. I'm getting a bit of a "Mean Girls" vibe from this film (which isn't a bad thing - "Mean Girls" is a bit of a fun guilty pleasure of mine). The use of Lady Gaga in the trailer isn't as annoying I would've imagined it to be, at least. Emma Stone can fake-rock my world anytime.


------------

http://www.wu-jing.org/News/images/2009/2009_12_06_10_Legend_of_Chen_Zhen.jpg

Final trailer for today and it's the first trailer for the upcoming Donnie Yen film, "Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen". From what I gather, the character of Chen Zhen was made famous by Bruce Lee and has been played by Jackie Chan and Jet Li in the past. The thing is, I keep thinking this is Kato from, "The Green Hornet" which Bruce Lee also played. In anycase, Donnie Yen has been doing so much work, churning out some pretty entertaining and wild films in these last few years. Very cool.


_____________________________________________________________

And that concludes today's post. To formally finish it off, here's a picture of a modified baby stroller that's made to resemble the AT-AT walkers from "Star Wars".

Star Wars AT-AT Imperial Walker Baby Stroller

End post.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Bad Kids

This week was a rather average week so there's really not much to talk about. The only worthwhile thing to mention this week was the fact that I was involved with a small film shoot for a friend but I'll get to that later. Actually speaking of films, I was anticipating the DVD releases of "Adam" and "Zombieland" this week and was happy to see JB Hi-Fi put these two movies on their new release shelves. I probably won't be buying them anytime soon though because I've learned from my purchase of "(500) Days of Summer" that I shouldn't get new release DVDs when a month later, those very same DVDs will be at an affordable price.

Gallagher, Peter - ADAM Romance can be risky, perplexing and filled with the perils of miscommunication - and that's if you aren't ADAM, for whom life itself is this way. In this heartfelt romantic comedy, Hugh Dancy (The Jane Austen Book Club, Confessions of a Shopaholic) stars as Adam, a handsome but intriguing young man who has all his life led a sheltered existence Harrelson,  Woody - ZOMBIELAND - (NUT UP OR SHUT UP EDITION) The horror comedy Zombieland focuses on two men who have found a way to survive a world overrun by zombies. Columbus is a big wuss -- but when you're afraid of being eaten by zombies, fear can keep you alive. Tallahassee is an AK-toting, zombie-slaying' bad ass whose single determination is to get the last Twinkie on earth.
I neeeeeeeeed. D:

------------

So, this film shoot. I probably made it sound like a big deal (it probably is, as far as my friend is concerned) but really it's not. I volunteered to be the main character of my friend's 90 second student film and the shoot lasted two days. The film was to form part of her final assessment for this semester so it was kind of a big deal for her. Being involved with the shoot was pretty fun and watching my friend do all the preparation and telling people where to go and what to do was pretty interesting too. My role didn't require me to do much or talk at all, actually, but just to be a part of something like this was great fun. I can't wait to see the finished product. Overall, it was a very cool experience, quite fun and I would love to do something like that again sometime soon (though perhaps not in front of the camera, haha).

------------

 - SUPER STREET FIGHTER IV Super Street Fighter IV features the full roster of 25 characters from Street Fighter IV such as Ryu, Ken, Crimson Viper, Abel, El Fuerte, and Rufus, while adding about eight characters new to the world of Street Fighter IV. The impressive new roster includes classic combatants from previous Street Fighter games like T. Hawk as well as all-new characters such as the mysterious and deadly female fighter, Juri.

Just bought myself "Super Street Fighter 4" for my Playstation 3. It's too bad that I don't have another controller to play with someone else but man is this game hella awesome and mega fun to play. I love the new characters and the overall improved gameplay, menus and challenges that have been modified for this expansion/sequel.

------------

Oh and just to quickly answer a question from last week's post. Someone asked me how long it normally takes for me to write each blog post and the answer to that would probably be close to an hour or a bit more. Yeah, that's dedication right there. The thing is though, since I've turned this into a weekly blog and have the memory of a fish, I save a draft and record everything as it happens throughout the week, thereby saving me time from having to post everything in one succession. It's quicker and helps me remember anything I saw, read or did this week.
_______________________________________________________________


WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

http://caffeine-headache.net/blog3/theprestigeposter.jpg

I actually watched "The Prestige" on television as I was posting last week's blog but wasn't paying a lot of attention to the film. There were some instances where I was wondering what was happening because things jumped from one place to the next, it was confusing at times. It's not the film's fault (or maybe it could be, I'm not sure) and I'm quite sure if I watched it without any commercial interruptions and give it my complete attention, I'd probably understand the film a little more. The only thing I got out of it was that there were two competing magicians who were desperate to find each other's tricks which would result in a pretty gratifying twist ending.



------------

http://www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1020/215151.1020.A.jpg

I'll admit that the only reason why I watched this movie was because Rose Byrne was in it. She might replace my celebrity crush of Amanda Seyfried but it's not all that clear at the moment, haha. Anyways, "Wicker Park" was interesting at first but got a bit silly later onwards. I'm amazed no one used a mobile phone to call because things would've been resolved so much quicker and made things so much easier for the characters. The only person I recall even using a cell phone is (surprise, surprise) Rose Byrne's character, Alex. The story's a bit silly yet can be quite sweet at times thanks to the film's wonderful actors who shine here. They're the best part about this movie, for me, and do the best with what they have. Also, for those of you who like pointless trivia, Rose Byrne and Diane Kruger who both star in "Wicker Park" would go on to work together again in the film, "Troy", starring Brad Pitt, Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom. I wasn't surprised to find that this film was actually a remake of a French film, "L'appartement" starring French powercouple, Vincent Cassell and Monica Belluci. I'm sure that the original was better than the remake but it wasn't to say that I was bored because the relationship dynamics were interesting also. A decent enough movie with good looking people. Can't go wrong.


I actually can't believe they released THIS trailer for the movie becuase it's completely sending all the wrong messages about it. It's really not as intense as it's made to look, honest.

------------

http://gordonandthewhale.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/theinvasionpostergif.jpeg

For Monday's screening, we watched the "The Invasion" starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. It's a remake (among a few other remakes) of the classic film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and while it does a decent job of building atmosphere and tension in the movie, I mostly found myself quite bored watching it. I wasn't emotionally invested with the characters and their predicaments and didn't find it all that great. Someone in my tutorial noted that it was the best film that we had been screened so far. I didn't want to be the bad guy and tell her that I thought it was bad for me (otherwise, who knows what my film class would've thought about me) so I kept my opinions to myself. There were moments, however, where I just had to laugh inappropriately at people getting hurt or run over (cause I'm masochistic like that).



------------

http://i263.photobucket.com/albums/ii147/bingbing_013/397px-DaysOfBeingWild_Poster.jpg

I quite liked and really enjoyed "Chungking Express". I thought it was well paced, had an intriguing narrative with even more intriguing characters and the mood and atmosphere that director, Wong Kar Wai, was able to achieve was quite satisfying. Having said that, when I watched "Days of Being Wild" earlier this week, I was somewhat confused about I felt about the film towards the end. The film didn't confuse me with its narrative, no, it was rather easy to follow, I thought. What confused me was my enjoyment of it. Did I like it, or did I simply not understand it? I will say that the cinematography and acting is top notch and it's pretty cool to see someone like Andy Lau before he became a mega hit in acting. I'm a bit on the fence with this particular movie, but the next film of his that I'm planning on watching is, "In The Mood For Love" which seems to be his masterpiece (and just so happens to be the second part of this unannounced trillogy).



------------

http://www.traileraddict.com/content/mandarin-films/ipman2.jpg

Hong Kong's latest release, "Ip Man 2" is a very entertaining and wortwhile film, one people should definitely try to see. However, my viewing experience was somewhat deterred by the audience that I watched the film with. They laughed at almost everything that happened in the film and were very emotionally invested with the film that they began clapping and applauding whenever Donnie Yen's character, Master Yip Man, knocked down the villain of the film. It was quite a surreal experience but I guess they enjoyed it a lot more than I did if they were so emotionally invested into the film. I could've done without the rambunctious laughter though because halfway through the film, I leaned over to my friend and whispered, "Dude, is this supposed to be a comedy?" Personal viewing experience aside, I thought it was a pretty decent followup to the first film, with superb fighting choreography thanks to Sammo Hung. The film's story could've been a bit tighter as characters from the first film were easy throwaways in the second and there wasn't much of a threat for Master Yip Man in this film as there was the last. Overall, however, it is, as I said, a very worthy followup to the first and I really enjoyed it.

_______________________________________________________________

TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

Inception IMAX Poster

The shroud around Christopher Nolan's next feature film, "Inception" is really starting to disappear now. Not only has an official plot synopsis been revealed, the new theatrical trailer - which was attatched alongside the United States release of "Iron Man 2" - was released also and you will find the trailer embedded below (hopefully it'll be there long enough for people to see it though) The trailer looks freaking amazing, it tells you SO much about the film and provides some incredibly stunning visuals and what seems to be amazing set pieces to go along with it. Nolan's so lucky to have worked with such an ensemble cast here. Here's how "Inception" will play out like.


Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in an original sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible—inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. This summer, your mind is the scene of the crime.



------------

http://static.blogcritics.org/10/05/03/134119/Street-Fighter-Legacy-short-film-movie-image-4-545x600.jpg

This isn't necessarily film news but I thought I'd share this piece of awesome anyway. Fans of the awesome "Street Fighter" series of games have been forced to have two poorly adapted, live action film versions of the beloved fighting series. Joey Ansah's short, 3 minute fan-made film completely squashed both of those two films. Joey Ansah is a British actor and martial artist who's most notable role in Hollywood came when he played an assassin, Desh Bouksani, who tracks down Matt Damon's, Jason Bourne, in "The Bourne Ultimatum". Check out the awesome, fan-made short below.



------------

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) action to allow movie studios to directly broadcast newly released films straight to your home has caused much concern over the state of movie theaters in America. Some are already quick to call it "the death of the movie theater" and it isn't hard to see why. The FCC have stated that this action is "in the public interest" of consumers who simply don't have time to get out of the house and visit the movie theaters. Word? It allows people to, legally watch a newly released film - let's say for example this week's blockbuster, "Iron Man 2" - at the comfort of their own home.

While this may not affect audiences or the average movie-goer here in Australia, I predict that if this actionsturns out to be successful, it would quickly spread and follow throughout the rest of the world. I, for one, enjoy the movie going experience and would much prefer to see films up on a big screen without incredible sound because I simply don't have this luxury at home. Also, the atmosphere and buzz one feels on the night of a movie (depending on how relatively popular said movie may be) is something that can't be generated from at home and is a much grander and different experience. I remember watching "Inglourious Basterds" last year and the atmosphere was electric throughout the film. Hell, when Quentin Tarantino's name appeared in the opening credits, everyone in attendance clapped! It's a much more engaging expereince to see a movie alongside other fellow movie-goers. Also, since when did we become so lazy that they couldn't be bothered travelling to their nearest movie theater to go see a movie? It's ridiculous!

To see the full statement that was released by the FCC, click on THIS LINK to read more.
_______________________________________________________________

And that's all for this week's post. I don't really have anything to end this week's post with, however, I have changed my banner. If you haven't figured, it's inspired by "(500) Days of Summer" (particularly the elevator scene) and I thought a small change would've been nice.

End post.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Lien On Your Dreams

Man I really want this semester to be over because I'm not enjoying it all that much. I've got an upcoming 1,800 word essay that's due in a months time that I'm not terribly confident about cause I've not interest in the subject whatsoever. My other 2,000 word essay, however, I feel much more confident in being that I just have to write about cinema which seems fine for me. Exams are also coming up but the only one I have is for Japanese. I'm not sure if it's both written and oral but in any case, I'm hoping I'll do well for that too. I had a Japanese test on Wednesday which went well (I hope) but I couldn't figure out what the word was for "lawyer". I later realised it was "bengoshi" and not "bungaku". I was wrestling with both terms. Anyways, a run down of this week's happenings.

------------

I've done a bit of shopping this week and was able to buy four new tops and a hoodie. Staying true to my monochromatic nature, I bought tops that were predominately white, grey or black. Yeah, I'm boring like that but I like having it like that. I also like buying shirts with awesome prints and cool designs. I prefer t-shirts over dress shirts but that's not to say I absolutely hate the latter. Two of the tops I bought had some splashes of green on it (green being my favourite colour) which look really cool with the designs that are on those two shirts. I'd show the two shirts but I can't be bothered uploading the pictures today. Maybe next post?

------------

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/91/Marvel_vs._Capcom_3_Fate_of_Two_Worlds_artwork.png

Okay, I can't suppress this any longer. MARVEL VS CAPCOM 3! I am super excited about this game because it's predecessor was my favourite arcade fighter as a child. I've been tracking MVC2 for most of my teenage years and found a hard copy of MVC2 at an EB Games but it was valued at over $100. It was a pre-owned game too. Why would anyone want to trade in that gem? I recently bought MVC2 via Playstation Store and have been getting into it so much. The third installment to this awesome franchise was announced a few weeks ago but I only found out this week. I can't believe it skimmed passed my head. Anyways, it's gonna be an awesome year next year.


------------

http://blog.mlive.com/mediumfidelity/2008/04/large_black-rebel-motorcycle-club.JPG

The other day I came across a band that have apparently been around for quite some time but they're new to my ears and my ears love what they hear. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club remind me of Jet but are like ten times more awesome. BRMC an awesome band and with an awesome garage rock sound. When I was listening to a few tracks of BRMC on the internet, I was reminded of My Chemical Romance's new sound (refer to Desolation Row). While I don't expect MCR's new album to sound exactly like BRMC, I certainly do hope that they bring that element of raw and unbridled sound that BRMC have. Check out their song, Weapon Of Choice, below and if you like that, give the song title that's used in today/tonight's post a try too.


------------

http://au.movieposter.com/posters/archive/main/64/MPW-32030

Was somewhat disappointed to see the excellent film, "21 Grams" in the $10 bargain bin among other bad films the other day at JB Hi-Fi. It's a really great, moving movie that stars Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro, and I have no idea why it's dumped with bad films. I don't mind that it's $10 dollars cause it just means that you're getting a great movie for a great value but my heart sunk a bit seeing it there amongst forgettable straight to DVD productions.

_________________________________________________________________

WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

http://www.screen-power.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/true-legend-poster-beggar-so.jpg

Yuen Woo Ping is better known to most Western audiences as the fight choreographer for such films as, "The Matrix", "Kill Bill" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". He has, however, been around Chinese cinema for a very long time as a director and has made his name famous in his homeland for directing some kung-fu epics, including "Drunken Master" starring Jackie Chan (I've got it right next to me but still haven't seen it). "True Legend" is Yuen Woo Ping's first directed movie since 1996. It's a pretty solid film but wasn't as extravagant as I thought it could've been. Sure, the fights are filmed very well and look very good but it's the pacing of the movie that really bothered me. It felt like two movies to me. The first half was about Beggar Su's revenge against his friend while the other half saw him take on his iconic drunken beggar appearance, revolting against the Russians. It's an entertaining film, one that looks great and sounds great but lacks because it doesn't feel all too cohesive. I'd elaborate a bit more but I don't wanna take up so much blogging space.


------------

http://thedirecthor.fooyoh.com/thedirecthor_filem_topboxoffice/files/attach/images/1068/123/340/004/ironman2poster.jpg

I caught "Iron Man 2" last night and had previously read on various film sites that the sequel to 2008's big hit was deemed to be rather disappointing and didn't quite live up to the first film. I walked into the cinema with a hint of skepticism and didn't want to believe it until I saw the film and made my own judging. In a way, the critics are kind of right about it. I didn't think that it was as good as the first film. It had way too many subplots that distracted rather than added to story. Casting Scarlett Johansson as the Russian double-agent, Black Widow, was a pretty bad choice in my decision. Initially, I actually really liked her as Black Widow when I first heard that she got the job but after watching her, I felt quite disappointed. It's certainly a lot more action-oriented than the first film but it doesn't quite have the edge of the first film. Maybe the writing is to blame? It's still worth your money, I believe as I did find it to be very entertaining and much more of a blockbuster movie this time around.



------------

http://gloaminganddawn.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/upintheair-poster.jpg

So I don't know how many people I've actually talked to about this but I am a fan of Jason Reitman's body of work. I loved "Thank You For Smoking", appreciated "Juno" and when it came to Reitman's third picture, the Oscar nominated, "Up in the Air", I thought it was a very well crafted film. I think that the cast for this film was very well chosen - everyone fit their roles astutely. You might argue that George Clooney was only playing himself in this film, but I happen to disagree. Clooney's character is a prick in every sense of the word. His character's job is to travel from company to company all across the United States to fire people so that the particular company's boss doesn't have to face it. It's a job that most normal people wouldn't chase after and Clooney does a very good job in humanising that character and making him somewhat relatable and likable at the same time. It's a clever movie that pretty much touches on a lot of topics, the recession in America, technology and lifestyle choices.


------------

http://verseandform.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/smallville.jpg

Was able to grab "Smallville" episodes from my friend this past week and have been trying to get through Season 1 as quickly as I can. I'm halfway done with Season 1 and can't wait for later episodes. Whatever happened to this show? It aired on Australian television for a season or two and then got cancelled. I know it's in either it's 9th or 10th season this year and with that many seasons under it's belt, you'd think Australian television networks would be smart enough to air it. I guess we've gotta make room for the CSI's of the world.


I really, REALLY wanted to put the show's opening credits here but all the videos of the opening, even fan made ones had disabled embedding. This should do, I suppose.

------------

http://media.animevice.com/uploads/0/4177/197944-minitokyo.durarara_.scans_452334_large.jpg

I've also been steadily watching an anime that was recommended to me by a friend called, "Durarara". It's an interesting show, to say the least. I'm not far into the thing as of yet because "Smallville" has been taking up a lot of my time and am unsure as to what the premise may be as of yet, though the first two episodes seem promising with the second episode feeling a lot like a commentary about the suicide rates in Japan. Speaking of, I also need to check out "Suicide Circle" (or "Suicide Club", however you want to look at it), a Japanese film that deals with this matter. It's not quite a horror film (though it's been labeled as such) and seems more like a mystery thriller to me. But now I'm just straying far from the point here.

_________________________________________________________________

TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

http://thepeoplesmovies.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/ts3-5.jpg

Below you will find an exclusive Internet trailer for Pixar's upcoming, "Toy Story 3". It's not that great of a trailer and I can see why it's meant only for the Internet but it's still fun to revisit familiar characters we know and love. Here's hoping Pixar don't disappoint with the final product.


------------

http://korea.helda.info/wp-content/uploads/The-Housemaid-Scenes.jpg

Those of you who are fans of Korean cinema should check out this film, "The Housemaid". It's a remake of a 1960's film of the same name. It looks to be an interesting movie and it was selected as part of this year's Cannes Film Festival so it's quite a big deal that it got selected to run in contention there. I like the use of canted camera angles throughout the trailer and how the house itself seems atmospheric. There aren't any subtitles in this trailer so you'll have to make do.


------------

http://www.legendsofhorror.org/images/miike/tmpic1.jpg

Reknowned Japanese horror director, Takashi Miike, is aiming to grab younger audiences by adapting an anime/manga, "Nintama Rantaro" to the big screen. Miike is known for his outlandish and stylistic approaches to horror so it comes as a bit of a surprise that he's aiming to do something for children. I, myself, haven't really watched many of Miike's films so I can't really say anything on the matter though I have seen "Sukiyaki Western Django" (not many people liked it, but I did, haha), have heard things about "Crows Zero" (ironically another manga adaptation) and have heard so much about his often proclaimed masterpiece, "Audition" that this decision does come off a little strange. Though it's to be expected I guess. Martin Scorsese's planning his next film to be a children's feature, Robert Rodreguiez has done "Spy Kids" and Steven Spielberg did "E.T".


The trailer to Sukiyaki Western Django. I think it's the one they used to market to American audiences.... I think.

------------

thor-first-image

This is awesome. Above is the first official photo of Chris Hemsworth as the Asgardian god, Thor. I reckon he really looks the part and the costume doesn't look as goofy as I had thought it would. He looks great and although he doesn't quite have the build of Thor, the team behind the film have definitely gone out of their way to make him look like Thor as much as possible. Quite impressed with this photo.
_________________________________________________________________

Wow, I kinda just realised that I covered most things that were relevant to me in this post. Games, movies and music. Nice. Anyways, to finish off today's post, here's a picture I found to be quite amusing.

http://www.instant-ramen.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/ryu_piano_move.jpg

End post.
_________________________________________________________________

P.S. I've been meaning to make a new banner these past few weeks but I keep forgetting to change it and update. I've planned what it would look like, I just haven't really done it yet. I'll get around to it though, once I get over all this homework.