Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Red Riding Hood

So, in addition to watching Priest a few weeks ago, Destree and I also sat down to watch Red Riding Hood.  I remember when it came out it didn't look that good.  Interesting concept, but who could make a good feature-length film off of such a short, over-told fairy tale?  Apparently Catherine Hardwicke can.

When the movie came out, I wasn't too keen on seeing it.  From the previews, it didn't look like it would be that good, a view that nearly every review echoed in the weeks following its release.  After taking the time to watch it myself, I must disagree.  Yes, Amanda Seyfried was given a rather poor supporting cast.  Yes, there was some overacting (*cough* Gary Oldman *cough*).  Was the dialogue a little cliched?  Yeah.  But overall, the movie rose above all of its shortcoming and wound up being a decent film.

The movies' strongest suit was its ability to keep you guessing as to who the wolf actually was.  Partway through the movie, I had it narrowed down to five people.  By the final act of the film, I had it narrowed down to three.  None of them were the wolf.  The person was in my top five though.

In the film they were able to include the classic "Grandmother, what large eyes you have!" dialogue.  That was cool.  After the wolf was killed, they slit open his gut and filled it with rocks.  This is very similar to a scene in the Brothers Grimm story where they did the same thing while the wolf was sleeping.  The motivation was different, but I liked the fact that they were able to work in such a detail to the film.

Was it a must see movie that has achieved a place on my Top Ten List?  No.  (I haven't made one of those yet.  I should...).  Was it fun to watch?  Yes.  If you come across it on T.V. one night, find it on Netflix, or see it at Redbox, then watch it.  As for buying it...if you see it in the $5 bin at Walmart, then definitely go for it.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Priest

I remember when Priest came out.  It looked interesting, but not quite good enough to take the time to see in a theater.  While house-sitting at my parents', Destree and I saw it DVR'd and decided to watch it.  Is it a must own movie?  No.  Was it entertaining?  Yes, and it was even a little thought provoking.

The idea behind the movie is that vampires evolved and laid waste to humanity, and the only way humanity survived was from priests--warriors trained from a young age to kill vampires.  The church rules society in a dystopian, autocratic type-way.  The vampire menace has ceased, but humanity lives in a walled metropolis with a handful of outposts in the vicinity of the remaining vampire hideouts.  The priests, who had once been the saviors of mankind, have been marginalized by the church and all but forgotten.

When a vampire attack hits close to home, Priest (the titular character) tries to get the church to support him in finding out why the vampires have started attacking humans again.  Predictably, the church ignores him and Priest goes rogue, hunting down vampires and trying to get to the bottom of the mystery while attempting to rescue his captured niece.  All the while, there is a mysterious black-hatted figure leading the vampire army.

It had some cool fight scenes and action.  The special effects were good--not too cheesy and not too over the top.  The plot line had a lot of potential, but it fell short.  The history of Priest could have been more developed, particularly the part with Black Hat, but they let it fall short.  It seemed like they rushed things, trying fit a two hour movie into 90 minutes.

The spiritual message of the film is one that I think many people can identify with, and even need to hear.  All of the priests had been alienated and abandoned by the church.  Priest in particular.  At one point, Priestess, his love interest, basically tells Priest taht just because the Church has abandoned him doesn't mean he should abandon God.  It was a very thought provoking scene.

Was it a great movie?  No.  Did I feel that my time was wasted?  Not at all.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Men In Black III



MIB has come a long way since its origins as an underground comic. I was a little dissapointed with the second film, but the third one was worth the wait.  I think it's the best one of the trilogy, and it's definitely worth watching in 3D.

They've continued to stay imaginative with not only the story, but with the aliens themselves.  Boris the Animal, the primary antagonist, was brilliantly done.  How he functioned, if you will, was out of the ordinary, even for them.  But it was good.  James Cameron Avatar type interesting.  Boris had something, maybe another alien, maybe a part of himself, that lived in his hand, but could come out attack.  The thing was a beast.

Will Smith looked younger than he has in years, and he was still cracking jokes just like before.  Tommy Lee Jones was as stoic and emotionless as ever.  Josh Brolin, who plays the younger version of agent K, was believable.  I don't how long it took him, but he had Jones' facial expressions and tones down pat.  Andy Warhol was hilarious, as was Grif, an interdimensional being who could see an infinite number of realities, and is constantly commenting as to which one it might be.

Time travel gives the audience some great laughs.  From Will Smith being pulled over by racist cops to a portable neuralizer working off of dial-up internet, I was cracking up the whole movie.  And the worms playing bagpipes while singing "Amazing Grace" at a funeral--priceless.

Without giving any spoilers, there was more depth to this one than in any of the other films, delving into some motivations that you don't necessarily see coming..  The ending gives you more back story on the characters than I would have imagined.  Very intense.

So, in a nutshell, MIB is definitely worth watching.  And if you watch it on the big screen, spend a little extra and watch it in 3D.  It's not on the level of Avatar, but it's still worth it.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Love

So simple yet so true. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone subscribed to this thought process...


1st Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 


Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Dilemma

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted.  My keyboard hasn't been idle, however.  I've been spending a lot of time working on fictions.  So far, I've completed five short stories and have over a dozen other ideas for prose that I'm currently working on.

But I do need some help.  I absolutely detest editing my own work.  You spend so much time wrestling with the right words and phrases, birthing characters, and transforming an idea into a coherent plot, and then you're forced to tear it apart, piece by piece, looking to destroy it.  It can be agonizing.

But I've found that it's much easier to do with the work of someone else, especially if you're a masochist ;)

That's why I will be posting my work here.  Be warned, most of it is still rather rough.  I've given everything an initial edit, but that about it.  So if you enjoy editing, please, take some time and lend a hand.  If not, read it anyways.  Let me know what you think, let me know what you like and don't like.  I will be posting more as I complete the various projects I have going.

Each work of fiction has its own tab near the top of the webpage.  Enjoy, and if you like it, share it with others, please.  :)