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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Destroya

Pretty awesome week for me. On Tuesday I watched the latest "Harry Potter" film with Jacquie; hung out with Thy on Wedensday in the city; caught up with Angela, an old friend of mine who still remains as awesome and had a small Monopoly/Poker night with some friends on Saturday night through to Sunday morning. The week would've been even more perfect if I hadn't had my Japanese exam (which I know I failed in) but other than that minor blemish, this was still a pretty amazing week for me. Now if only I had photos to share but I'm not all that photogenic. :)

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Here are three of my three recent purchases. I've buying more and more CDs lately and that's mostly due to the fact that I want my music to be played on awesome sound systems (the way songs are MEANT to be heard, of course!). Yeah, I'm totally gonna start a CD collection now.

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My copy of PS3 fighter, "BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger" also came in the mail this past week too (I forgot what day). It's a pretty good fighting game and I ordered it at a great price of $20! I want to master the fighting mechanics of this game now.

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Shiina Ringo's birthday was also something to celebrate this past week! Happy 32nd birthday to my favourite Japanese singer! May she continue to produce awesome tracks!
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

Now I know I said that I'd watch films from a specific director this week (I believe it was Paul Thomas Anderson, this week?) but seeing as how I had a rather stacked week, I'll reserve that for next week. Although I think I'll be pretty lazy when it comes to that. I still need to finish "Breaking Bad", "Mad Men" and start "Cowboy Bebop". For a guy who says he has a lot of time, I don't use it properly. =="

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So I guess this would be the beginning of the end? For the most part, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is enjoyable but one of the troubles it faces is the fact that the film doesn't have much going on with it. Basically what happens is (and there are spoilers ahead for anyone who doesn't wanna know what happens), Harry and friends go into hiding whilst trying to find the last remaining Horcruxes. This film doesn't have a lot going on, action wise, and there also nothing much going on, story-wise, however this film packs a lot of character development and great acting. It's really good to see how the core three of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have evolved as actors as their talents are truly on display here. My favourite moment of the film however was the animated section that told the story of the three brothers. The animation was great and reminded me a lot of those shadowplay puppets. It's a good film that sets up what's going to happen as well as inciting more excitement for the final part next year.

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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS


Mark Whalberg has officially been cast to play Nathan Drake, the hero of video game-to-movie adaptation, "Uncharted". I really, REALLY love these games but am not convinced that Whalberg can play the character with enough conviction. Drake's a witty guy who screws up... a lot. Whalberg is a tough guy who can occasionally be funny but in a tough guy kinda way. I know he can do comedy but this is kinda different and it'll be so hard for me to accept him as Drake (even though he does look a lot like him). In other "Uncharted" related news, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci are being asked to hop on board the "Uncharted" film. If the two decide to join, not only will it be a "Goodfellas"/"Raging Bull" reunion, but De Niro will be playing Drake's father and Pesci will be Drake's uncle. I would've been fine with De Niro as Sully though.

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Here's an unused "Inception" poster that was almost used as part of publicity and promotion for the film.

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Speaking of Nolan related projects, "The Dark Knight Rises" will be Christian Bale's last Batman related film. No surprises here as this will most likely be Nolan's final Batman entry also and that without Bale and Nolan, this grittier Batman universe that has been created won't work as well. However, should Nolan decide to continue the Batman series (and I don't see why he shouldn't as there are plenty of stories that can be told and numerous characters to explore), Bale may reconsider this.

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Finally, to celebrate Disney's fiftieth animated feature film, "Tangled", Disney released a video commemorating all fifty of their animated pictures. I'm starting to see Disney everywhere thanks to ACMI now, haha.

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And that's all this week. Now to end things here is a picture of two awesome people. The Spider-man that could've been (but one that most people would never accept), Donald Glover, and the new Spider-man to be, Andrew Garfield.


End post.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Violet Stars Happy Hunting!!!


My second volunteering shift at ACMI took place today and I only just got back from the city from it.
Today was good cause I wasn't standing for two hours at the entry level greeting and helping people find out what's on and what's available. Today I mostly spent time checking out the latest exhbition ACMI have set up for the next few months, the Disney princesses, "Dreams Come True" exhibition. The gallery space is immense and and the artwork is just absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, this exhibition focuses on the princesses of Disney's fairy tales so Princess Jasmine and Mulan are exempt from the exhibition. It's awesome that the unreleased "Tangled" (although already released in America), Disney's computer animated take on the story of Rapunzel is also being exhbited there. Spectacular artwork that has made me want to watch some of these films (some of them for the first time, too!) Unfortunately, as it is an exclusive exhibition, I wasn't allowed to take photos or film anything but I IMPLORE YOU GUYS TO GO CHECK OUT THE EXHIBITION! :D

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Because I haven't been watching as many movies during the week as I should be, I've decided that over the course of a couple of weeks, I will try to have a director's spotlight.
What that basically means is that I'll be watching some films from a director's filmography and then obviously report back what I think every week. There are A LOT of directors I have yet to catch up on. Having said that, I will be having a Paul Thomas Anderson week next week, Satoshi Kon the week after and the Coen Brothers (I've already seen "The Big Lebowski" at least) the week after that. I know that obvious obnes like Alfred Hitchcock and Akira Kurosawa aren't listed but that's only cause I already know of their names and will watch their films eventually down the line. Anyone wanna name any other directors to help me out?

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If you haven't listened to the music of Janelle Monae, I also suggest that you guys should have a listen to her tracks because her music literally makes me want to get up and dance. Her songs are fun and infectious and most importantly, it's damn good. Have a listen to the song below and you might agree with me.


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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_fU7LdRkUMVM/TOPleAD6FAI/AAAAAAAADE8/FOauSYxlJAc/s640/Red-Riding-Hood-Poster.jpg

I wanted to like this "Red Riding Hood" honestly
. A dark reimagining of the classic fable, "Little Red Riding Hood" would've made for a great film (and it still could) but honestly, this just looks like another cash in on "Twilight". The whole "forbidden romance" shtick is here and it's quite pungent. The only two credible things about the trailer, for me, however was the well rounded cast (Gary Oldman in anything is automatically made to be quite cool) and some pretty lovely images (that long red hood that Amanda wears against the snow is quite striking). I want to think that the trailer was just cut in a way that made it seem similar to "Twilight" (being that the film was directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the first director of the first "Twilight" film) but first impressions are hard to overcome. Let's hope I'm wrong about that.



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http://www.jimhillmedia.com/mb/images/upload/Cars-2-Poster-web.jpg

The first trailer for Pixar's next adventure, "Cars 2" hit the web this week. I wasn't a fan of the first film and, like most people, consider "Cars" to be their weakest film (but still better than most other animated properties out there). I enjoyed it but not as much as their other stronger entries like "Toy Story" or "Up". Still, "Cars" was a major success and made a boatload of cash in merchandising so the studio saw fit to jump on this and create a sequel. I will say though that this film looks like the original in that the detail in lighting and effects look absolutely gorgeous. This was one of the things I really liked about the original - how polished down and nice some of these cars looked, especially when light is bending off of their surfaces. It's a credit to the animation house at Pixar.



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http://image3.examiner.com/images/blog/replicate/EXID39595/images/6a00d83451d69069e20133f29d04f5970b.jpg

The official trailer for next year's superhero film, "Green Lantern" made its round on the internet this week. While I am a fan of the superhero and like what has been done to the film in regards to the trailer, one of my main concerns is of the suit. The concept for the suit was completely justified and looked good on Ryan Reynolds as a picture but it looks awkward to watch in motion. Having said that, the film is still in post production and what we see in the trailer isn't entirely the final product. I trust they'll fix everything and that this film will be awesome. As for the trailer itself, I'm impressed by not absolutely floored. I'll need a bit more convincing.



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According to Michael Caine, Christopher Nolan and the Batman crew will begin filming the third film, "The Dark Knight Rises" in May of 2011 with production ending on November. Scripts are apparently supposed to arrive in the actors' hands by January so we could expect some more news on characters, casting and/or stories leading up to January. Exciting stuff!

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I'm not sure what's worse, an American remake of a foreign film or a foreign remake of an American film. What we have here is the Chinese remake of the 1999 film, "What Women Want". Originally starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, the Chinese remake will instead have two of Chinese cinema's biggest stars, Andy Lau and Gong Li starring in it instead. The trailer released this past week, now make of it what you will.


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And now to end things with something I found to be so utterly true of most of the directors featured within this video from CollegeHumor. The video is a "what if" scenario where other directors are brought in to direct "The Social Network". It's quite brilliant as you can see how obvious some of these director's styles are infused into whatever films they do. My favourites in that were Michael Bay, Quentin Tarantino and Guillermo del Toro (literal Facebook is literal).


End post.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Somewhere Only We Know



Call of Duty: Black Ops arrived this week and that's all I've been playing this week.
I've taken time out for now just to write this blog but know that in the past two days I haven't been playing and I desperately need my quick fix of running and gunning. That and I just feel I HAVE to post something before today ends. I spent most of yesterday and today at home cleanining up and re-organising my room. I woke up to a horrible sore throat which I have yet to get rid of and I'm assuming it has something to do with all the wipe downs and dust clearing I had to do. All those dusts and cleaning chemicals can't be good for me. Anyways, I Tetris'd the hell out of my room for the second, maybe third time this year. I'm anal like that. I would show a photo of my shelves cause they look mad awesome but I can't be bothered taking a photo and uploading it onto the interwebs. Lazy. :)

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Other than spending my entire week playing Black Ops (and sadly finishing the single player campagin on hardened diffculty in under seven hours), I actually *gasp* went outside for a birthday dinner party! I had a pretty good time there and it was nice to just get out and do something that didn't require copious amounts of virtual bullets and bloodshed. The Italian food was pretty fancy and very nice but not filling at all. But it was nice, and that's what's important right?


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"Scott Pilgrim vs the World" was released on Blu-Ray and DVD this past week... in the United States. We in Australia, still have to wait til December (I think the 19th) to get it. I desperatently want to see this again and in Blu-ray! :(
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING



I honestly thought "Skyline" would be a nice piece of fluff entertainement - something I could turn my brain off for, watch and simply enjoy as a popcorn film. What I got instead was something that was pretty bland and one dimensional. Firstly, the good: the CGI is pretty damn good, especially considering the budget constraints of this film. And that's it. Expecting more good? Sorry, not in "Skyline". The dialogue is quite bad, situations are overblown, nothing ever happens (I kept sitting there thinking when is something amazing going to happen but nothing ever did) and you couldn't really care for the characters are very poorly developed. Oh and the film is dark. I mean it is REALLY dark, it's hard to see what's going on sometimes. The good thing is that it finished quickly. The ending is amazingly open ended and the creators of stressed that they will be continuing a series for this. However, judging from "Skyline" would people even want to stick around for a sequel? It's already underway so I guess there's no stopping the producers who've invested money into it.

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Finished season 1 of "Breaking Bad". Must continue on to season 2. I can't say how much I loved that first season because it's so damn good. Amazing how they condensed a great amount of story and character into seven episodes. If you're not watching "Breaking Bad", do so. NOW!
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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS




Here's a first look at the lovely Amanda Seyfried in next year's "Red Riding Hood".
Expect a trailer to be released soon. The film is a dark retelling of the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. It's set in a medieval village where a werewolf has taken residency. Hrm, can I assume Seyfried will be speaking with a British accent?

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Another first look, this time of Ryan Reynolds as next year's superhero blockbuster, Green Lantern. The footage here is like a trailer for the trailer that will debut next week and features actual footage from the film. I don't know if it's the quality of the YouTube video but the suit has me a little concerned now. It looks awkward to watch in motion. I hope it doesn't though as the film still has several months before it releases which means they can fix things up by then.


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The newly released trailer for "Winnie the Pooh" released this past week also. The honey loving bear from 100 Acre Woods returns to the big screen in great fashion, I must say. I like that the film has been animated quite simply and of course, hand drawn, giving it a kind of nostalgic feeling. I'll admit that I was smiling quite a lot while watching this and it's nice to revisit old friends. I also hear Keane playing in the trailer! Appropriate song is appropriate.



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And that's week, children. Hey look, this is what happens when the world can't handle the power of such an immense paradox!


End post.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Goodnight Moon



BLACK OPS RELEASES THIS WEEK OMFGGGGGGG! COMMENCE SHELTERED EXISTENCE IN A FEW DAYS!
(oh wait I already live in a sheltered state and nothing will change...)

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Just got back from my first day of volunteering at ACMI and it went pretty damn well I must say.
The only thing I don't like about it so far is the fact that I have to stand up for SOOOO long (though I'm sure most people have to deal with this in whatever jobs they have). Looking forward to my next shift in a couple of weeks!

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I had a Japanese listening and oral comprehension/test this past week and while I had been dreading it for the weeks leading up to it, the actual thing wasn't all that stressful. The listening comphrension was pretty difficult though. I was talking to some of the "smarter" students in our Japanese class who said that even they had trouble with a few things (though I'm sure they still did much better than myself). The oral test was pretty good too though my teacher asked WAY too many questions to me that were a tad hard for me. But all was good.
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING


"Clean" tells the story of Emily Wang (Maggie Cheung), the singer/song-writer girlfriend of rockstar Lee Hauser. One night, Lee overdoses on heroin and everyone blames Emily for having ruined Lee's life with drugs. In order for Emily to see her child again, she has to become clean of drugs and get her life back on track. The film delivers a great performance from Maggie Cheung, however, suffers from pacing issues during the middle portion of the film. It just felt so slow and didn't feel like it was heading anywhere. We're supposed to get the sense that she's getting her life back together but she's off running strange errands everywhere. It does, however, pick up once again in the third act of the film. The film showed great promise in the beginning with quick moving, handheld shots which I really liked and set up the story very well. Another thing I didn't like was that we're never given enough time to truly soak in the emotion of a scene. It's just like as if Oliver Assayas, the director, thought "Okay, here's a scene of Emily crying. Did you get that? Okay, now we're gonna move on.". It's a decent enough film, not particularly strong, and with the exception of Maggie Cheung, feels like it could've been a lot more powerful. It's okay for one-viewing though I don't think I could watch it again.


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http://www.traileraddict.com/content/paramount-pictures/jackass3d.jpg

How does one go about giving a mini-review on this "Jackass 3D"? There's no story to speak of, it's just a series of randomly funny and sometimes painful to watch scenes. But goddamn if this movie wasn't one of the funniest things I've seen all year in a cinema. And surprisingly, the 3D actually works here and makes the film so much funnier. I will say though that these guys are getting old and you can really see the anguish and fear in their faces when they're about to do some of these ridiculous stunts. Steve-O, who I always thought was the craziest and most far out person in the entire Jackass crew, literally showed fear for a LOT of his stunts. I even felt a little sorry for him. But nonetheless, the film's been done, these guys did what they wanted to do and it entertained the hell out of myself and the audience I was with.



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"The Walking Dead" television series was premiered this week and man am I excited for it. While it is true that the first episode established things that we've already seen in past zombie-related films, I love the zombie genre and cannot wait to see what the series has in store. I mean I could easily read the comics to know but I'd rather see how things pan out throughout the series. I like where it's going at the moment and can't wait for tomorrow's episode to release.

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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

I'll keep this section short and sweet as there isn't much to talk about for this week.


FUN FACT: Zack Snyder had originally wanted Amanda Seyfried the role of Baby Doll and a deal was close to being made, however, Seyfried had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with other projects. Days after Seyfried officially turned down the project, Snyder and company immediately hired Australian actress, Emily Browning, for the part.

Firstly, there is a brand new full-length trailer for Zack Snyder's upcoming film, "Sucker Punch". The trailer gives you much more of the story while giving even more imperssive visuals. Seriously, this film is going to melt your eyes out with it's amazing visual design. It also just looks like a nerd's wet dream, haha. Oh hey, I hear one of my favourite bands in the world, Silversun Pickups in the trailer! There's also an awesome track by Led Zeppelin is also featured in there as well! The only thing the trailer is missing is some Hamm. Jon Hamm.


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World reknowned animation studio, Studio Ghibli, will announce their next upcoming feature on December 15. Their two upcoming features at this time are "The Borrowers Arrietty" (recently released in Japan) and "Tales of the Bamboo Cutter".

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And this was released some time ago in the last two months but word of it has only just reached my ears this week. A new full length trailer for Japanese film, "Norwegian Wood" (based on the Haruki Murakami novel of the same name) has also been released which shows much of the film's wonderful cinematography. Expect this film to be absolutely gorgeous to watch.

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And that is all this week. To end things properly here is something you may, or may not, find hilarious. BYE!

colindigs:  To be continued…. sirmitchell:  That’s so Kraven….

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