Tag Archives: Movies

The Adjustment Bureau

16 Feb

I just saw The Adjustment Bureau and these are my (spoiler-free) thoughts.

Highlights of the movie, for me:

  • Matt Damon as a politician: that man is so earnest and boy-next-door trustworthy….I’d vote for him. He’s an easy hero to root for and I really feel like making “Matt Damon for Congress” bumper stickers now.
  • Emily Blunt”s ballet: I usually can’t stand modern dances, but her movements were liquid and exquisite and so damn beautiful to watch.
  • The interaction between the two main characters: it was not a typical romance in the ‘I can predict their every line’ kind of way. Their conversations were quick and took unexpected turns that made them interesting to listen to and witty where the movie could have just been sappy or boring. You only get snippets of their relationship, but I’d have happily watched them interact for the whole time.
  • The Adjustment Bureau: uniforms, equipment, and offices. More like a regimented dress code, but put-together men in fedoras and trench coats make me happy. Their Marauder’s-Map style books of people’s futures were fun animation to watch. And, of course, their offices were beautiful and marble in an old-fashioned way that was gorgeous to look at.

If you don’t know what it’s about, there’s the trailer:

The movie itself is a lot less ominous and suspenseful than the trailer seemed. Wikipedia called it a “thriller, sci-fi, action, romance” and if I had to organise those adjectives in terms of what the movie actually contained, it’d be “romance, sci-fi, action, thriller”. It’s more of a boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy fights supernatural forces keeping him and girl apart kind of movie. I  didn’t notice the ‘thriller’ aspect of it at all, and I’m normally a wimp about these things.

It’s based on a short story by Philip K. Dick who is a classic science fiction author; although you might not have read his work, you’ve seen his ideas in a million things by now. They might seem old hat to anyone who has watched modern sci-fi, but he was one of the first to write down so many major themes and tropes that we see all the time nowadays. Bladerunner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck: all canonical sci-fi films, all based on his stories.

I suppose that’s what made the whole movie feel so familiar. The major themes of free will vs determinism, ominous agencies controlling your lives, the fight to reclaim your fate, etc are all things we’ve seen in science fiction and fantasy before. The Adjustment Bureau, however, did it well enough to be an enjoyable, if leisurely, ride.

It had potential that it didn’t quite live up to (I’d have loved to see more about the hatted men’s powers or how they affected the lives of people other than the main characters) but it was still a good movie. I’d consider it a belated Valentine’s Day movie for anyone who can’t stand romcoms or drama, but still wants a “we’re meant to be together” kind of story with minimal cheese.

 

Super Full Screen Viewing Suggested

20 Jan

The Evangelion 2.0 movie, “You Can (Not) Advance” will premiere in the US on January 21 (tomorrow) in select theatres, and the “reboot” of this beloved series is leaving anime fans to debate whether or not this “improved” version of a classic is worth 2 hours of their life.

This is the second film of four in the “Rebuild of Evangelion” series, initiated in 2006, and while the film debuted in 2009 across the globe, I suppose there were licensing issues that delayed the North American release for 2 years.   (don’t we generally get everything LATER than everyone else? Like video capabilities on our cell phones? The Japanese had those in 2002…) Needless to say I’m pretty sure most of you have already downloaded this movie, so what’s the point?

Just some of our favorite anime ladies. Image via halcyonrealms.com.

Just some of our favorite anime ladies. Image via halcyonrealms.com.

My thoughts exactly–I never really understood why anyone would bother to view an anime movie on a large screen unless it was his/her first time viewing the movie, or his/her first foray into the magical (fantastical?) world of anime… until Anime Expo 2010. I tagged along with some of my friends to catch a screening of the second Gurren Lagann movie, “The Lights in the Sky are Stars” (Ragan-hen), and while I had previously only watched about 15 minutes of the anime series, I was hooked after seeing the movie. I was seated next to Yoko and Kamina cosplayers, crossing my legs as to accommodate all the Yokos’ guns tucked underneath the seats. Kamina’s seiyuu, Katsuyuki Konishi, introduced the movie, and as the crowd cheered and groaned collectively at key points in the movie, I could feel the energy in the atmosphere, something I couldn’t experience behind my 15″ computer screen at home. I guess it also helps that I was watching mecha action–I had watched a couple episodes of “Bamboo Blade” prior in other screening room, and there was a goddamn lot of cheering (myself included). I could only liken this experience to the time I went to see the “Grindhouse” (Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino) double-feature on opening night, packed crowd and all–everyone present for the same reason with escalating levels of excitement before and during the film. (That’s also why I enjoy going to live shows so much)

So don’t ask me if I’m in support of the Evangelion reboot, or against it… I’ll be at the Downtown Independent next weekend to relax and revel in some almost-full-scale mecha action.

Evangelion 2.0 will be screening at the Downtown Independent from January 28-February 3rd. Get your tickets here!

Also, if you still have not watched the first movie, the Downtown Independent will be re-screening this movie on January 27.

2011: A Year of Geek Movies

8 Jan

There are a ridiculous amount of geeky movies coming out this year.

With superheroes, fairy tales, robots, gods, aliens, vampires, gnomes, zombies, genetically engineered apes, smurfs, pirates, spies, witches, wizards, pandas…the movie selection this year is a smörgåsbord of geek topics.

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Season of the Witch: Jan 7th

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The Green Hornet: Jan 14th

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Gnomeo and Juliet: Feb 11

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I am Number Four: Feb 18th

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All Star Superman: Feb 22nd

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The Adjustment Bureau: March 4th

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Mars Needs Moms: March 11th

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Battle: Los Angeles: March 11th

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Beastly: March 18th

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Paul: March 18th

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Dylan Dog: Dead of Night: March (tentatively)

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Sucker Punch: March 25

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Super: April 1st

Starring Rainn Wilson as The Crimson Bolt, a powerless superhero who wields a wrench, it looks like it’s going to be Kick Ass level of good.

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Source Code: April 1st

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Your Highness: April 8th

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Thor: May 6th

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Priest: May 13th

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: May 20th

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Kung Fu Panda 2: May 27th

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X-Men First Class: June 3rd

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Green Lantern: Emerald Knights: June 7th

Straight to DVD animated movie about Kyle Rayner and a time-travelling Hal Jordan as they team up with the JLA and Green Arrow to fight Sinestro and Parallax.

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Super 8: June 10th

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Rise of the Apes: June 24th

Planet of the Apes prequel which shows how the apes came to rule to world, starring James Franco.

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Green Lantern: June 17th

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Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon: July 1st

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: July 15th

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Captain America: The First Avenger: July 22nd

If you don’t know what this is going to be about, shame on you.

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Cowboys and Aliens: July 29th

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The Smurfs: August 3rd

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Conan the Barbarian: August 19th

Conan”s adventures on his quest to avenge the death of his father and the slaughter of his village.

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Fright Night: August 19th

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Johnny English Reborn: September 16th

Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) tries to stop a band of assassins from killing the Chinese Premier

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Now: September 30th

A society where aging stops at 25 and the rich are immortal while the rest struggle to survive. Starring Justin Timberlake, who’s falsely accused of murder, on the run with his hostage Amanda Seyfried.

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Real Steel: October 7th

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The Thing: October 14th

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Puss in Boots: November 4th

Origins of the swashbuckling cat from the Shrek movies.

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Immortals: November 11th

3D movie where Theseus (Henry Cavill) must fight to save his people and the Greek gods from the mad King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke).

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Arthur Christmas: November 23rd

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Sherlock Holmes 2: December 16th

After how awesome the first one was, we all knew the sequel was inevitable.

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The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn: December 28th

3D motion-capture film based on the comics: Tintin’s first encounter with Captain Haddock and their adventures trying to find his ancestor’s hidden treasure.

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Tekken: Sometime in 2011

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These are trailers for the ones I’m actually likely to go see. For even more, see this io9 post.

Top 5 Films of 2010

7 Jan

Since every movie geek creates a list of their favorite films of the year, I figured I would as well cuz I drink the Kool-Aid like that, ya dig, shortstack? I don’t know what it is that causes me to speak that way, but I think it may be because I was subjected to viewings of Grease as a child. So here it is, MegaWoman’s top five films of 2010! This will be short, sweet, and succinct for two reasons. One – I’m no film critic – I like what I like and sometimes can’t always intelligently articulate it. And two – I’m a lazy bastard.

5. Greenberg
Written and directed by the writer/director of The Squid and the Whale, Noah Baumbauch, Greenberg is an amazing character-driven film about a jerk of a main character (played by Ben Stiller) going through the crisis of adulthood. Greta Gerwig’s fucking brilliant as Florence as well – I’m hoping we’ll see a lot more of her in the future.

4. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
There is nothing about this movie that hasn’t been said on every blog ever, so we’ll just do this – director Edgar Wright’s fucking brilliant, best cast ever, hilarious, captured the tone of the comics really well, hilarious, amazing soundtrack, nerdgasm, BREAD MAKES YOU FAT?!

3. Kick-Ass
I actually saw the Kick-Ass film before I read the Mark Millar comic. I’m not sure if I’m committing geek community blasphemy by saying this, but… the film was loads better. Colorful, violent, and darkly humorous, Kick-Ass is a film I’ve watched an embarrassing amount of times and still haven’t tired of. Hit Girl is one of the coolest female characters to come out of cinema for a while and for that – thanks, Kick-Ass! I’m tired of seeing little female whinyass bitches in movies. But that’s a rant for another day.

2. Never Let Me Go
Every once in a while one of those films comes along that just doesn’t leave your head. It’s happened to me a few times before, namely with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Into the Wild, both of which have had an extraordinary impact on my life. Never Let Me Go, based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, is one of those movies. A very beautifully subtle sci-fi carried by three brilliant leads – Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan, and Keira Knightley – this is a film that grabs you by the heart and never lets you go. SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!

1. The Social Network
There was no contest when making this list – The Social Network went straight to the top. A strong cast, a renowned director, and one of my favorite screenwriters all get together to make a movie with witty back-and-forth repartee, a soundtrack that has oft been described as ‘haunting’, and an engaging story about the creation of a website I’ve been using since I graduated high school? SIGN ME UP. The Social Network is one of the most brilliantly crafted movies I have seen in a long while for all the reasons I listed above. Writer Aaron Sorkin, also writer of television programs The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, has, as a result of this film, become a personal hero of mine. So much so that if he doesn’t win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay this year, I will cut a bitch. And not with those pussy elementary school Fiskar scissors either, I’m talking professional Iron Chef kitchen knife.

This awards season, I’m Team The Social Network. All the way like a double rainbow, baby.

Quarter of Silence… Golden, Golden Silence

28 Dec

Every time I visit my parents’ home, my sister is either doing one of three things: showering, sleeping or watching a Detective Conan movie. Not to say she is unproductive, but that’s just how my timing seems to work when I visit during the holidays. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m not very close with my sister even though we’re only three years apart. In an effort to “bond”, she usually asks me, “Have you seen the latest Detective Conan movie?” to which I usually don’t know how to respond because I actually only watched up to the 12th movie, and Detective Conan movies aren’t at the forefront of my brain. Needless to say, I do enjoy the movies very much and “Captured In Her Eyes” is one of the best movies I have seen in the history of my life.

I was actually in Japan this year during the release of the 14th Detective Conan movie (one is released every year) and was tempted to watch it while in Tokyo. Had to remind myself I was not in Japan to watch movies, though. Apparently my sister watched it and gave away a little spoiler, a spoiler juicy enough for me to encourage me to start following the storyline again.

The 14th movie, if you’ve been following along as my sister has been, was titled “The Lost Ship in the Sky” and reunited Conan with our favorite “villain” Kaitou Kid. The 15th movie, “Quarter of Silence”, celebrates the 15th anniversary of the series (wow… I am old…), and will be in theatres (in Japan) on April 16, 2011. Enjoy the trailer below:

As much as I love the Detective Conan series, I just don’t understand how time functions in Conan world. Do they solve mysteries everyday? Once a week? I mean.. if it’s been 15 years, shouldn’t Conan grow up to be Shinichi already and get back with Ran already? I wouldn’t mind a happy ending, that’s all I’m saying.

Geek Gingerbread

24 Dec

I’m going to share these with you because I’m rather proud of some of them (and hopelessly embarrassed by others).

Consider it an early Christmas present with one condition: you’re not allowed to make fun of my frosting skills…or lack thereof.

Captain America

Dr. Manhattan

Dr. Manhattan

Spidey

Superman

ThePowerofLoveMan?

Black Canary

The Doppler Effect

Sheldon Cooper's Halloween Costume

Wonder Woman

Nightwing

Batman

Not a Red Shirt

Ninjas

Pirate

Star Wars/Trek Christmas

21 Dec

My contribution to geekify our holiday decorations:

I haven’t made paper snowflakes since elementary school, but apparently it’s just like riding a bike: you never forget. Or, well, learn new tricks despite being an old dog. ‘Twas a lot easier than I expected.

So that you can make them too:
Stormtrooper stencil
Boba/Clone & Vader stencil and instructions

 

And, on a slightly related Christmas note, I give you this cartoon, which made me laugh:

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