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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Passage

Hello friends and lovers.

Sorry for not updating over the weekend. I spent the whole weekend writing up my final assignments for the semester and finished everything on Monday afternoon. The assignments weren't due until next week but I've got way too many things planned next week so I figured I'd get them all out of the way now instead of doing it bit by bit like I normally do. The fact that I was able to finish three essays in three days though is pretty impressive in itself. I'm surprised I pulled it off to be honest.

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You know how I've been talking about a little documentary I made for university? Well it's actually done. Well... kinda. I mean we still have some minor things to fix up but it's essentially finished it, along with the other documentaries produced by other groups this semester, were screened in class. Some great work by everyone in the class! I was a bit nervous about how our film would be received but everyone seemed to really dig it (or they're just being nice out of pity, haha). I'm just happy this whole ordeal is over now. We have a public screening of it sometime soon in the city.

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Multiply number of people + boxes by 500 and you get how BIG this sale was.

I've been trying to save up on my money but it seems the powers that be have other plans for me. Madman Entertainment had a huge warehouse clearance sale on Saturday - a sale that I only caught wind of during last week on their Twitter. They had a bunch of stock that they needed to get rid of since they were going to be moving from Collingwood to Richmond (not far at all really). I expected it to be a pretty big turnout and I was right. The sale started at 8.00AM - my mate and I got there at about 7.30. The line wasn't too long when we got there which was fortunate for us as we were part of the group that we're able to get in first. In my head, I imagined it all to be chaotic with people fighting over films and such but it was very orderly and civilised! Well done to us customers!


It was pretty amazing just seeing how much was made available to us but I kinda had an idea of what I wanted to get. I walked away with quite a lot - more than what I had anticipated. As you can see above, those were all the purchases made. I think the original retail price for all of these items would come somewhere between $400 - $450 (I cross checked it against prices at retail stores online after the sale) but I managed to get it down to $180. I think I could've haggled it down even further if I wanted to but I was just caught up in the hysteria of it all that I just said, "YES!" So yeah, this pretty much made my month.
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

Lucky for you, I didn't watch anything this week (or maybe unlucky?). I swear, I'll get back to regular viewing consumption once uni's finished for the semester (I still have a test on Friday for which I'm probably gonna just scrape for the passing mark).
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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS


You like movie trailers? Well here's the trailer for Baz Lurhmann's intereptation of "The Great Gatsby". My thoughts? This is not what I expected. I've never read the novel BUT I can definitely say that this is not the movie. I dunno, maybe I just thought that this would be more "Gone with the Wind". On top of that... Kanye West. Um, what? The trailer for "Gangster Squad" trailer was kinda ruined by Jay-Z and now this is kinda ruined cause of Kanye West. Who okay'd this? Oh well. It looks flash, as any Lurhmann project tends to look. I'd still check it out though.


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Speaking of all things Dicaprio related, some new stills from Quentin Tarantino's upcoming film, "Django Unchained" were made public this week. I still can't get over Dicaprio's overall swagger in these images. He just looks like such a douche but in a good way (if that's possible). Yeah, put my ass in the seat for this one.

 

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Anyone here a fan of Wong Kar-wai? No? Just me you say? I'm sure there's more of you out there, you're just not reading this blog. Well anyways, a teaser trailer for a short he's doing called, "Dejavu" which is for the scotch whiskey brand, Chivas Regal was released this past week and wow. Just wow. Pure Wong at work here. The whiskey pouring into the glass and onto the ice is reminiscent to how he chose to photograph vanilla melting over pie in the opening credits of his American film, "My Blueberry Nights". Anyways, can't wait for this one.


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And finally here are some fantastic new banners for "The Dark Knight Rises". If this doesn't feel like the end of an era, I don't know what does. They're clearly going all out on this film and the banners and trailers have shown that so far. If you're gonna go out, go out big. Good stuff.

 
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And that's all this week. The title for this blog post comes from Exitmusic's new LP, "Passage". It's a fantastic listen - very ethereal if you ask me. Aleksa's vocals are hauntingly beautiful as is the music itself. So much to love. I should probably import the album since it most likely isn't sold here.


End post.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Gun-Shy Sunshine


SUP?!

Quick post this week for the sake of keeping this post up to date. I can’t really talk much given the fact that I’ve been super busy over the week. Semester’s almost over which essentially means crunch time for due assignments. At least I don’t have exams to worry about as well.

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Only a show like Community could get away with doing an entire episode completely in 16-bit.

Final three episodes of Community aired a few nights ago and I’m still in withdrawl. Just… so many feelings that I can’t commit to right now. Not to mention the show’s creator, Dan Harmon, is not going to be leading the show next season which means the quality of the show and the way it is right now might not be as insane as it could be under Harmon’s approval. I dunno. I hope he stays on in some capacity (perhaps as a producer or consultant).

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WHAT I’VE BEEN WATCHING

  • Saw it due to the new trailer that came out for The Last of Us, a PS3 game due out later this year.
  • I liked it for the most part. It’s a different look at what we may expect from a post-apocalyptic world (or for a film that advertises itself as one anyway).
  • I think the flashback moments with Charlize Theron’s character added little weight to the film.
  • The relationship between the father and the son reminded me of Lone Wolf and Cub. I’ve never seen it though… Well executed.
  • Viggo Mortensen is ridiculously good in this – supremely underrated actor.
  • So often you see films like this rely on action to move the story forward so it’s nice to take a stand back and just focus on the actual survival of these two desperate characters in a world that’s completely changed and how that changes them.
  • I think this is exactly why I liked The Walking Dead’s pilot episode a lot because it didn’t need to concern itself with violence and instead just decided it would take a different approach to the genre and truly gave it a human element to the story.
  • The ending is a bit too positive though - it would've been a lot more powerful had it ended on a more sombre note but that's just me.
The trailer doesn't do the film justice - its very misleading.

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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS


Here’s a four minute preview of “The Amazing Spider-Man”. I haven’t seen it yet but apparently it’s mostly the previous trailer and some new footage of what could potentially be a classic scene from the film (Slashfilm’s words, not mine!). Have fun and watch it below.


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And on the Eastern side of the world, the trailer for "Chinese Zodiac" was recently released and it’s being touted as Jackie Chan’s last big action movie. Judging from the trailer, Chan looks like he’s going all out on this one. Book me in for this one.

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And that’s all this week! This week’s post title is off Silversun Pickups’ new album, “Neck of the Woods” which I actually received this week in the mail! It’s an interesting album – the songs aren’t instantly amazing like those found in their previous albums but do take some time getting used to. It feels different as far as an SSPU album goes but I’m not bored by it or anything. I think it just shows that they're evolving as a band which is always a good sign. FYI: They’re one of my favourite bands – probably somewhere in my personal fave five (Booker T shout-out right there).


End post.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Cream of the Planet

Hi all.

Few more weeks left until semester is over. Which means after this semester, I've got one more and then I *gasp* graduate! Time goes by far too quickly. Can't do much about that can we?

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JB Hi-Fi had YET ANOTHER sale on all their DVDs and Blu-ray films. Naturally, I took advantage of this but I didn't overinduldge (at least I hope it doesn't look like I did). The new acquisitions include a DVD box-set that includes three landmark films by Japanese director/writer/actor Takeshi Kitano's landmark films - Violent Cop, Boiling Point and Sonatine - as well as Blu-ray copies of Taxi Driver and Zodiac. Beastly high-def transfers of fantastic films. Now I have to add Takeshi Kitano on my list of directors to slay during the upcoming semester break (cheers to hermit status).

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 http://ichorid.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/darksiders.jpg

Had time to catch up with the game Darksiders this week and am enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I haven't finished it yet but I think it's a pretty solid game so far despite the fact that it borrows heavily from a lot of other games, most notably The Legend of Zelda. That's not a knock on the game though but if all goes well, I might be inclined to pick up the sequel which comes out some time this year.

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

Oh and Community got renewed for another season! It's no secret that I love the show so it's fantastic to hear that the show will continue to have life, even if it's only been renewed for thirteen episodes. A new season and some new episodes are ALWAYS welcome (and I'm sure Dan Harmon and the Community writing staff have already figured out ways to end the series in case it prematurely gets cancelled mid-way through).
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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

I didn't watch any films this week but instead found time to be able to watch an anime series called, Eden of the East. I also started watching HBO's new series, Veep and the new anime series, Sakamichi no Apollon. I can't say much regarding either series given that they've only just begun but I'm enjoying what both have to offer right now which is always a good sign.

Oh and I was watching a new series called Magic City for a while but after the fifth episode, I've dropped it completely. It's hard to sit through and I wasn't enjoying it which is a shame considering the potential it had.

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http://www.geekpeeks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/eden-of-the-east.jpg
  • Eden of the East took me by surprise as I had originally thought that the anime was just going to be about these two characters that meet and fall in love (mind you, this is judging solely on the cover art and title!).
  • What I got instead was something that fell in line more with Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex only with more humour and less cyberpunk.
  • Coincidentally, the director of GiTS:SAC also made this! 
  • The main premise is very interesting and the series does provide a sense of relevancy as the issues and situations the series addresses are current-world problems but, and this is dependant on your knowledge of Japan's politics, it can also alienate the viewer.
  • The term NEET is constantly used in the series and it's not a term that's used a lot in Australia as far as I know (a term originated in the UK which is short for Not Educated, Employed or in Training) so I had no idea what it meant or it's relevancy to the series as a whole. 
  • Fortunately, I brought up the series in a conversation with someone at university and he explained to me what a NEET was which was helpful. 
  • But essentially, the series doesn't take the time to explain anything and ignores a lot of exposition, which ultimately leaves the viewer in the dark and drags down the quality of the series.
  • In addition to this is the way in which the series ends - it's really abrupt and it feels like there should be more.
  • But I guess that's where the two films come in (which I'll have to find time for in the near future).
  • Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the series and enjoyed the small film references here and there.
  • It's not a perfect series but it's a fairly good one and it only goes for 11 episodes which can easily be viewed in one sitting. 
  • It plays like a precursor to GiTS:SAC, like everything that happens in this series sets up what happens in the world of GiTS:SAC
  • Also Oasis is played during the opening credits. Awesome.
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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS


http://wa3.cdn.3news.co.nz/3news/AM/2012/5/11/253886/gangster-squad.jpg?width=460
The first trailer for Gangster Squad arrived this week and, aside from the use of Jay-Z in the trailer, my immediate thoughts of seeing this was basically The Untouchables. Everything about this screams of the 1987 film by Brian De Palma! Change New York for Los Angeles, Al Capone for Mickey Cohen etc... I'm not knocking off Gangster Squad though, I think it looks great although it is a bit strange just how "modern" this period film feels. Kinda like how Public Enemies looked a little too "modern". Maybe it's just me.

It's probably too early to say but this looks like it COULD have the potential to be an early Oscar nominee. It has the feel of it although the fact that Ruben Fleischer, the same man that directed Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less is behind this makes that statement less credible. Again, 2012 is THE year for blockbuster films.

Aside: I forgot about the existence of the film until this week when the trailer launched (Tumblr was mad crazy about it last year when on-set photos of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling started making the rounds in light of Crazy Stupid Love's release).

 

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http://s3.amazonaws.com/auteurs_production/post_images/39/wongcannes.jpg?1271689202

Wong Kar-wai will indeed have something shown at the Cannes Film Festival but it won't be his long-awaited film The Grandmasters. No, instead it will be a short called Dejavu which will be filmed in conjunction with the whisky brand, Chivas Regal. More details about it can be found over at The Playlist.
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And that is all that I have to write about this week. This blog post's title is brought to you by Ski Beatz (dude's a music producer) and Yasiin Bey (although everyone will probably know him by his former name, Mos Def). The song, Cream of the Planet, was apparently released back in 2010 but this is the first I'm hearing it (Ski Beatz's channel made it seem like a new Yasiin Bey track so I just assumed it was new material but it's not). Anyways, enjoy some fine tunes ya'll.


End post.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Dear Blue

HAI.

Can't remember what it was I got around to this week. I saw some a movie, marked out over new film trailers and that's about it really. I think it's because much of this week was dominated by my need to finish an assignment for my journalism class. I was in a film shoot for a classmate's short yesterday and had a pretty fun time with it. My role was quite... unusual. Imagine Jesse Pinkman from "Breaking Bad" - that was me for the entire day. I really can't wait to see his short in full.

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Speaking of, I made a quick short for one of my classes. It's called "Boy Friends" and is only a minute long. When you watch it, you'll realise that this is the reason why writers aren't directors (unless you're a writer/director like Quentin Tarantino or something...). Enjoy angry Cantonese yelling!

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WHAT I'VE BEEN WATCHING

http://www.comingsoon.net/gallery/44400/The_Five-Year_Engagement_4.jpg

This week, I got around to seeing "The Five-Year Engagement". I'd make an excuse for why I went to see the film but I don't think I need one. But just in case I do, here it is: I like the cast for the film, okay?! I hadn't seen any trailers for the film and went into it not expecting anything from it. Not enough time to write thoughts out fully so I'll put it in dot-point.

  • The film benefits from having extremely likeable leads - you root for these guys and really want them to work things out.
  • Jason Segel and Emily Blunt work great together and are equally charming.
  • The supporting cast are equally fantastic but aren't given as much screen time as you'd like - although trust the DVD extras to show off the improv work from everyone involved.
  • Alison Brie and Chris Pratt steal scenes in this film and I would love to see a spin-off based on their characters.
  • Although just as an aside, Alison's British accent could use a little more tweaking (goes in and out).
  • Suffers from a long running time with a third act that drags on and gives little in the way of story.
  • Often times predictable but the writing tries to avoid cliche as much as possible and never falls into the formulaic traps of most romantic comedies.
  • Overall a sweet and thoroughly entertaining film. The jokes might miss its mark here and there and those looking for the typical gross-out Apatow-ian humour may be disappointed but its Tom and Violet's journey to the altar that makes us fall in love with the film's heartfelt characters.
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TIDBITS OF FILM NEWS

A lot of new trailers were released this week for some of this year's biggest films! You should be excited. Because I totally am. This week has been so damn awesome (as far as film news is concerned) and it's because of these trailers! Bring it, 2012. BRING IT.

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http://cdn.screenrant.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Dark-Knight-Rises-Poster-Bane-Triumphant.jpg

First up, arguably the biggest one of them all - the final theatrical trailer for "The Dark Knight Rises". Fantastic trailer - quiet and fearful at first and then leads in with a crescendo of awe-inspiring hope. All eyes on, Christopher Nolan this blockbuster season.



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http://geekpropaganda.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/the-amazing-Spider-man-lenticular-poster.jpg

"The Amazing Spider-Man" also got a brand new trailer this week which brings together a lot more of the story and shows off some sweet new footage. I personally think they may have shown a bit too much but I'm still salivating over what was given. Andrew Garfield totally GETS Peter Parker (the bit with the 'small knives' is hilarious and really captures the condescending wit of his character) and Lizard looks great with his iconic labcoat on (what a difference that single coat makes, I was really on the fence with the overall Lizard look until that labcoat showed up!)


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http://www.expendablespremiere.com/uploads/4/2/6/4/4264382/3492619_orig.jpg

Next up is the first full-length trailer for "The Expendables 2". Yes, the first film was silly but I still enjoyed it and the sequel looks like its going to top the first one in terms of its scale. Also Van Damme as a villain... awesome. Now it's not "The Raid", I'm expecting here but just some dumb action (which is what the trailer essentially highlights no?).


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http://twitchfilm.com/news/PrometheusPoster.jpg

And finally (and as if I haven't plugged the crap out of this film enough already) is a new three minute trailer to "Prometheus". Much more new footage although just like the one for the new Spider-Man film, it might be a bit too much. That doesn't change the fact that I'm pumped to see this film. Check it out below.


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http://www.impactonline.co/images/articles/people/1Oldboyremake.jpg

Sharlto Copley has signed on to take on the villain role in Spike Lee's adaptation of "Oldboy". It's an interesting decision to say the least. Copley hasn't had all that many film roles and I'm not even sure if he's the right man for the job but, and this is solely judging on his work in "District 9" alone, I don't mind that he's there. The film is reported to start filming in October this year and will star Josh Brolin and Elizabeth Olsen (wife).
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So yeah that all happened this week. This week's post title comes from the soundtrack of the Japanese film, "Su-ki-da". Does anyone remember me talking about that film? I felt that there was a lot to like about it but at the same time found it to be mostly dry.

Anyways, back the song, it's done by Yoko Kanno who is one of Japan's most popular composers having composed for so many films and popular television shows. Her reputation as a composer is mostly known through anime series' like "Cowboy Bebop" and "Ghost in the Shell". I really like this piece. Enjoy.


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