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Saturday, 25 September 2010

Rock & Roll Queen

WOOOOOO!

Finally get to have a week where I can just relax and not worry about the stresses of University life. Now I can just play Starcraft 2 all week long without any worries (and that right there is why people call me a loser!).

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So Collingwood and St Kilda drew in today's Grand Final match which wouldn't be a disappointment if they didn't assign a rematch for next week
. I don't see why they didn't just put in a few extra minutes of over-time. I guess the AFL will make a killing with money again but it just defeats the purpose of calling it a Grand Final. In anycase, here's hoping Collingwood do their best to come out on top next week. Funnily enough, as soon as they drew, dark clouds started forming over the MCG and then it began to rain which is most unusual as today saw some spectacular weather. Not even nature is happy with the draw.

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The most exciting thing to happen this week was the fact that all the sitcoms and television shows started their brand new seasons this week (or last week, depending on what you watch). I was extremely excited about the new seasons of "How I Met Your Mother", "Modern Family" and "Community" but was also excited about the new HBO crime drama, "Boardwalk Empire". My thoughts on the shows are below. Oh that reminds me, I need to also get the newest episode for "30 Rock".

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DSC00550.jpg picture by hieuyy

An impulse buy at it's finest! I didn't need to buy this but becuase the second installment of this game was releasing soon, I thought I might as well try out "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed". Picked it up for a fairly cheap $37 and while the game isn't exactly great, it's still pretty fun. I just wish the lightsaber actually cut stuff instead of being a club the entire game. Mega disappointing that they screwed up such a tiny feature like that.
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING


First episode of the second season felt just like any other "Modern Family" episode - not necisarrily a bad thing. I guess that's what happens when you don't really have any major story arcs. Good episode nonetheless.

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Very much like how the focus of the series is back onto Ted and his search for "the one". Seasons four and five were rather weak but season six starts strong. Very funny episode - Barney Stinson owns the episode, easily.

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Good first episode for "Community's" second season. While not incrediblly funny, writers chose to instead answer all the questions that stemmed from the season finale. I like the direction this next season is going in, story-wise, and can't wait for more.

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"Boardwalk Empire" is damn impressive. Interesting characters, great production for a TV series (then again, it's HBO) and looks to be a sure-fire hit. It already got renewed for a second season after the ratings that were pulled in from the pilot that was aired this week.

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http://reelthinker.com/images/posts/2010/07/easy-a-poster.jpg

"Easy A" might seem like a girl's movie on the outside, but really it's just a good teen comedy. Like "Mean Girls", the biggest strength of the film comes from the snappy script. Emma Stone, normally seen in supporting roles, proves that she is able to carry a movie as the leading actress. She's backed by a great supporting cast and I also liked that the film wasn't predictable. I had a pretty good time with the film and enjoyed it quite a lot. Look out for Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as Emma Stone's parents in the film. They're absolutely hilarious in this movie and steal whatever scene they're in.

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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS


After a very stale run at the box office, "Scott Pilgrim vs the World" will be quickly coming to DVD and Blu-ray come November 9 (release date only applies to North America, at the moment). Not sure when it'll come out in Australia (I can only assume around Christmas time) but for people like me who love the special features and extras, this film has plenty of it. CLICK HERE for the full details about the home video release and it's nifty extras.

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http://cdn-images.hollywood.com/site/DeathlyHallowsPoster.jpg

Here's the final trailer for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1". I haven't seen the trailer myself (and don't plan to) but judging from some of the reaction to it, people are expecting this to be one hell of a spectacular finale. Fair enough.



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Some of you might know that Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight", "Inception"), is currently overseeing the new Superman feature. While he won't be officially directing or writing the film, he will have a hand in trying to help revive interest in Superman to audiences. Below is the shortlist of directors who Nolan is interested in for this Superman feature.

Tony Scott (Unstoppable, The Taking of Pelham 123)
Matt Reeves (Let Me In, Cloverfield)
Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles, Clash of the Titans 2 [upcoming])
Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code)
Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch)

I say no to Zack Snyder and Tony Scott. Their visions don't seem to really co-ordinate well with "Superman". I'd give Duncan Jones or Matt Reeves a chance. Jones because he made "Moon" look a lot bigger in production value than it really was and Reeves because he's had that experience with handling a big-budget film (while keeping it entirely under wraps). Can't say much about Jonathan Liebesman because I don't know him or his films unfortunately.

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spider-man-stone-wasikowska

Another possible candidate now for Mary Jane Watson in the "Spider-Man" reboot is Emma Stone. She has apparently been working with Sony Pictures, director Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man). Her name's been thrown around a lot for quite a while now though, but I fully support Stone for MJ Watson. Also, Mia Wasikowska ("Alice In Wonderland") has also apparently been working with the same aformentioned people above. Gwen Stacy perhaps? Maybe.

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It was announced this past week that Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas" is being turned into a television series. I want to think this is an awesome idea but something about it just seems wrong. More information HERE.
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And that's all this week. I don't have any neat/cool/funny things to share at the end of this week's post so I'll just go and leave now. I'm very hungry and need food.

End post.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

My Mistakes Were Made For You

I recently received an influx of awesome music from a friend. So far everything I've heard has been ace. Am curious now as to why I haven't bothered looking up these bands. I am now a converted fan of The Kooks, The Libertines, Angus and Julia Stone, The Subways and The Last Shadow Puppets. I've also just come to the realisation that almost all bands (indie or otherwise) start their name with "the". Good music for your sanity.

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The Reel Anime film festival wrapped up this past Wednesday, much to my dismay.
Not only did I like the festival, I liked the venue and the atmosphere that came along with it. It was great and so were the films. I had the pleasure of viewing "Summer Wars" this past week (thoughts below) and was surprised to see much more people coming in to this than "Evangelion" last week. if there's another Reel Anime film festival next year, I'll definitely be in attendance!

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http://www.thespeedgamers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Tokyo-Game-Show-2010-poster.jpg
Awesome poster, methinks.

The Tokyo Game Show is currently underway as I write this and goddamn, I really wanna attend one of these events in the future! It's either E3, Gamescom, PAX or TGS that I really want to attend one day! That and Comic-Con, of course. BLAH!

Anyways, a lot of substantial news has stemmed from that show this past week. These include the official confirmation of the ICO collection, an official release for The Last Guardian, the announcement of the fifth installment in the Devil May Cry series and the announcement of Tekken Tag Tournament 2 among many other things that might pique one's gaming interests. Man, I love Kotaku.

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Currently saving up for the following:

http://www.blu-ray.com/images/reviews/upload/chunk5.jpg
Crazy awesome packaging and cover art, seriously. A screaming "must have" for the collector in me.


I know I wrote a rather understated "review" of this film but I've been really thinking about it a lot lately and really want it. Plus, the opening of this film still amazes me.


I don't understand why this game isn't in my collection yet, :(

Why don't I have a part-time job yet? Geez, I'm hopeless.
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

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"Summer Wars" is an amazing anime film - I highly recommend anyone whose a fan of anime and good storytelling to see this delightful feature from Mamoru Hosoda, director of "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" (and I just learned he also directed the "Digimon" movie). The film is wonderful to look at and the story and it's characters are just as riveting. Every character has their own personality and brings much more charm to the film. Hosoda carefully blends action, humour, drama and commentary/satire so well and offers up an incredibly engaging experience. Fun to be had at the cinema for all ages and never boring or a letdown - one of my small favourites of the year. It's too bad that the Reel Anime is over now but I highly recommend people check it out however they can.




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"As Tears Go By" is Wong Kar-Wai's debut film and it's pretty much your standard gangster flick with a small love story interwoven into the mix. The script isn't so much tight and perfect but it's probably the only film in Wong's filmography that actually has a story, in my opinion. The violence is confronting and not as stylishly portrayed and shot like other contemporary Hong Kong directors like John Woo which makes the film a little more impactful. I couldn't help but compare this film to Martin Scorsese's debut feature, "Mean Streets" as both stories are somewhat similar (the older gangster looking out for his hot-headed protege). A rather decent film at best but one an important one in this auteur's filmography.



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I forgot to include the fact that I finished watching season one of the brilliant "Mad Men". It's quite hard to get into, I admit, but stay on and you'll be rewarded ever so handsomely. I really dig this series and think it's a really well crafted adult drama. The characters are so well-written, especially the ever mysterious Donald Draper. The acting is top-class and while there isn't really a "story" to follow, the series is heavily embedded in it's interesting characters. The 60's looked like a sexy period. Christina Hendricks may be hot and amazingly curvaceous (no straight guy would deny her, seriously) but there's something about January Jones that makes me fall completely for her. Now I need to see season two!


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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

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Not much happening on the film news scene this week except for one major rumour that's had me pretty darn excited. Joe Pesci and Al Pacino are reportedly, "circling" around a project that Robert De Niro and director Martin Scorsese are supposedly looking to make together called "The Irishman". It's a crime picture, a genre that all four men owe their careers to. It's an exciting idea to have these three actors work under Scorsese if Pacino and Pesci indeed sign on but unfortunately, this project won't be heard for a long while because Scorsese's got a few other films under his belt before this happens. He's currently shooting for the 3D children's film "Hugo Cabaret". Would that be his first children's feature too? I think so.
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So that's all really this week. Anyways, here's a pretty funny interview I found with the always beautiful Amanda Seyfried and Mark Webber (last seen as Stephen Stills in "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World"). This video made me find out that her favourite colour is GREEN which makes her even more awesome than before.



End post.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Creep

I'm back!

Anyone miss me? No? Okay!!!

I didn't exactly say I'd be on a week long hiatus but that's because I didn't know I would be. My computer got infected with a virus and it made my internet completely shut down and unusable. Thankfully, I had that fixed yesterday by a friend so now I can continue blogging! I won't cover everything in the past two weeks because the first week was dry and dull anyway, nor will I cover anything from film news becasue I haven't had the chance to properly inhale my dosage of film news this past week. So having said that, let's begin!

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DSC00547.jpg picture by hieuyy

I've saved up enough money to get "Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty"! I just came back from the city to buy it actually and can't wait to spend countless hours online with my preferred race, the Zerg! I'm not all that great of an RTS player but I do enjoy playing them.
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The other day I hung out with some friends from high school whom I had not seen in some time. My friend invited me out for karaoke with him and his Uni friends. Half of the guys and girls there I didn't know, obviously, but it didn't matter because when it comes to karaoke, I don't care if these complete strangers are gonna eyeball me for looking like an idiot. I'd provide photos but why should I? I think we can clearly produce a picture of Asians singing at karaoke in our heads.

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I also attended a screening of "Evangelion: 2.0 - You Can (Not) Advance". It was showing at the Nova in Carlton as part of the "Reel Anime" film festival. My thoughts on the film are below but as a fan of the character of Kaji, I was disappointed that he wasn't used as much. They barely even referenced his and Misato's past relationship together though I suppose with two more films to come, they'll flesh his character out more. The new girl, Mari, was also scarcely used. Next week I'll be returning to watch "Summer Wars".

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An anonymous person asked me on Formspring for 15 interesting facts about myself. To be honest, I'm not all that interesting so if these facts aren't all that interesting, you've been warned. So for that anonymous person (and for the amusement of anyone else reading), I shall proceed with 15 interesting facts about me!

FACT ONE: "Fight Club" is a very important film to me because it changed how I looked at myself and how I looked at other people.

FACT TWO: I think that my adoration for all things zombie-related can be attributed to three awesome dreams I had where I found myself in a zombie apocalypse.

FACT THREE: My favourite video game of all time is "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time". I invested a lot of time into that game and fondly remember sharing my findings and discoveries in the game with another friend who was also into the game.

FACT FOUR: The first movie that I can remember watching in cinemas was "Jurassic Park: The Lost World".

FACT FIVE: My first gaming console was the Nintendo 64. I don't know why I didn't have a Super Nintendo before that...

FACT SIX: My first gaming device of any kind was the first generation of the Game Boy. It was a black brick and it came with two games: "Double Dragon" and "Star Wars". Good times indeed.

FACT SEVEN: I use self-deprecating humour a lot. It's probably why I don't have any friends.

FACT EIGHT: The first "Saw" film; being home alone with Foxtel; and watching films with my dad are all contributing factors to my love of all things cinema.

FACT NINE: I find dead baby jokes to be absolutely hilarious. You could say I'm pro-abortion, I guess.

FACT TEN: After having written fact number nine, it should be also noted that I have an incredibly twisted sense of humour as well. I laugh at people dying in horror films.

FACT ELEVEN: In year 7 or year 8, I was pressured into watching "Battle Royale" but I refused to because the concept of the film really scared me (school kids trapped on an island and forced to kill each other in horrifically glorious fashion). A few years later I watched it and thought it was the most awesome thing. I naturally laughed at a lot of the deaths too.

FACT TWELVE: Despite being in possession of a driver's licence, I have yet to actually do any driving. My logbook is completely empty.

FACT THIRTEEN: I once got pulled over by cops for not wearing a helmet whilst riding a bike on an empty street. It's about as rebellious and hardcore as I get.

FACT FOURTEEN: I was nicknamed "Tekken Chau" at year 8 camp. I won't let go of this moniker.

FACT FIFTEEN: I can make abnormal bone cracking noises with the heel of my right foot. It's like I have a beating heart there.


Did that make you happy Anonymous person? :)
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

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The second installment in the "Rebuild of Evangelion" project completely disregards everything you've ever known about "Evangelion" and absolutely makes the revised movie versions their own thing. The new direction in story takes this film completely away from it's original anime series' story but retains a lot of the imagery, themes and symbolism that fans have become familiar with. This new direction is incredibly interesting and highly engrossing but because these are essentially a summary of a certain set of episodes in the original series, some characters and stories are either abandoned or left underused/underdeveloped. Fans of the series will have no idea what's going to happen in the final two films and will be left in the dark as much as the new fans are which is smart, I think, for the people behind the series. I can't wait for the final two parts and am definitely getting this film on Blu-Ray.




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"JCVD" is an interesting film. It's essentially a film about action star Jean-Claude Van Damme. Van Damme plays a kind-of-fictionalised version of himself but the film feels very personal and really allows the audience a glimpse into how Van Damme sees himself. One very important monologue scene had me very enthralled. You wouldn't think a guy like this could act but he can (though that's probably because he feels more comfortable in his native language than in English). The main story of the film sees Van Damme stuck in a post office with other hostages and criminals trying to rob the place and that's also quite nice to watch but it's Van Damme's performance that one must certainly look out for.


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It's my first Wes Anderson film and it's certainly a unique one. I like the way Anderson shoots the film and the colour scheme he employs throughout "The Royal Tenenbaums". The humour is dry and somewhat witty and the colourful cast of characters all have their unique little quirks. It's definitely not quite like any other film I've seen and certainly feels different but it's something that I think I can get used to and grow to appreciate. I liked it for the most part and thought that the script was excellent (must be hard developing all those characters).


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"The Other Guys" is a hilarious film but personally I don't find it nearly as quotable or hilarious as "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" (director Adam McKay directed both these films). There are a lot of great moments in "The Other Guys" that had me in fits of laughter and it's hard not to share these moments because they're quite spoiler heavy. Some critics have criticised Mark Whalberg's performance in the film but I thought he was fine (seemed to channel just the right amounts of one of his previous cop characters, Staff Sergeant Dignam, in "The Departed"). Will Ferrell is perfectly comfortable in his role here and it's an absolute joy watching him and Whalberg go from one situation to another in the film. An action comedy that sometimes subverts the conventions we've come to be familiar with in cop movies.


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And that's all for this week. Now if you'd excuse me, I need to attend to "Starcraft 2".

End post.