Sunday, May 30, 2010

On Film Etiquette

Dear fellow Movie Goers,

It seems to have become the norm to have a very disruptive audience.  You don't need to lean over and tell your girlfriend that the scene that just passed was hilarious. I think she got that from the stupid guffaw you made. It wasn't that funny either. Repeating lines just said is vexing and lowers your I.Q ten points. I have excellent hearing and so do the other patrons around you. Texting and taking phone calls during a film is extremely rude. Also, if you know you're going to be taking more than 3 phone calls during the length of the film, go see it when you can actually view it in peace. Running up and down the stairs and across the theater is annoying and very distracting. If you need to use the restroom, you don't have to invite four other giggling girls to accompany you. Please save your anecdotes until after the movie has ended. Mr. I-couldn't-shut-up-for-five-minutes, you were wrong about a couple of things during your pointless commentary.

If you follow those small guidelines, watching movies should become a pleasant experience again.

A Fellow Film Addict,


PS. Mr. Darren Lynn Bousman, director of "Saw II" and "Repo! The Genetic Opera," has a good blog on Film Etiquette that I highly encourage you to read here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Favorite Season Finale Endings

After seeing the House Season Six finale, I got inspired to write this. Well, not entirely true. I just wanted to write about the finale without it turning into a full-blown review so I added in other finales that I absolutely love. Spoiler-phobes, beware.

House Season Six "Help Me."

That finale was one of the most beautiful, emotional, and cringe-worthy ones I have seen. I was weary of it due to the season flipping and flopping on many issues, but this episode tied in the whole season marvelously. From hindsight, we now see what cliff the writers were throwing us off of.  I can honestly say I enjoyed the sensation of falling for this show all over again. [Plus, FINALLY House and Cuddy are together!]

Torchwood: Children of Earth "Day Five."

I loved the ending so much! It was heart-breaking and gut-wrenching. What kind of man is Captain Jack Harkness to suddenly sacrifice his grandson so easily it seemed? I've always loved how "wrong" and screwed up every character in Torchwood appeared to be, but with this series, it showed the lengths of how far the characters would go to save the Earth. Was that the end of Jack? I sincerely hope not.

Doctor Who "The End of Time" Part II

I did have a couple issues with the ending of the Tenth Doctor's life (falling from the ship was a little too cheesy for me), but the ending was fantastic. I included both these clips because it is a very long ending. Very worth it though! I loved how the Doctor was able to see his friends and loved ones once more before he changed his face forever. It was tragic, sad, but oh so lovely an ending for David Tennant. I didn't want you to go either!

House Season Five "Under My Skin" and "Both Sides Now." 

Unfortunately I couldn't find short clips of the endings of these two episodes. "Under My Skin" starts with House hallucinating and questioning the only thing he holds dear, his mind. We see him resolve the issue yet is everything still as it seems? It's never that simple in House. In "Both Sides Now" we see how far the hallucinations have taken House from reality. Showing the audience in back to back clips of reality versus fiction was ingenious of the show. I had not read any spoilers so I was in total shock of the conclusion.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Two "Becoming Part I" and "Part II."

Joss Whedon took great pleasure in torturing us during Season Two. First he brings in handsome, punk vampire, Spike, with his crazy girlfriend, Drusilla, to bring chaos to an already chaotic Sunnydale. Then he changes Angel into Angelus, one of the most brutal and evil vampires in the series. We saw him torture Buffy's friends, kill one of my favorite characters ("Passion" still makes me weep), and almost destroy the world. In Part I, we see Angelus's plan come to light and with that, he kidnaps Giles, Buffy's Watcher. Part II sees Buffy killing her lover as his spirit is restored, sacrificing him for the world. As that season ended and we saw poor Buffy walking by herself, away from friends and family, it left the audience wondering how psychologically damaged our Slayer was and what she was going to do next... alone.

The X Files Season Four "Gethsemane"

Season Four will always have a special place in my heart for the greatest episode The X Files ever had, "Home." FOX originally did not air the episode due to the 'graphic' nature of the episode; infanticide, incest, mutants, all in a town reminiscent of Mayberry. The creepiness and horror were upped by the pleasant sound of Johnny Mathis singing "Wonderful."  I still get chills thinking about this episode. However... "Gethsemane" steals the spotlight due to the beginning. We first see Special Agent Scully in a court room and get a flashback of her identifying a body... Mulder's body! Huh? Of course Mulder isn't dead, but the whole story behind the fake death is thrilling and keeps you guessing.

Dark Shadows Episode 460 The End of the 1795 Era 

Dark Shadows may have had seasons, but they have either been long forgotten or just not marked on the DVD sets. So to keep this simple, we'll treat the end of a storyline as the "finale." We see Barnabas implore Joshua, his father, to kill him in his coffin. Joshua essentially becomes a coward and instead chains Barnabas in his coffin to suffer for eternity. Such a nice Dad. Anyway, it ends the tale of Barnabas's transformation into the fierce and insane vampire we grew to love in the 1960s. I really hope Johnny Depp choses "1975" as his first film's storyline.

I could go on for a couple more pages, but this will do for now. These finales are the ones that have really stuck with me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hello, My Name is Alex and I am a Fangirl Snob.

Or Ramblings about Comics and their Film-verses. 

I am a real pain in the ass when it comes to the mythology and storyline of characters. The more convoluted, the more complex, the longer the storyline, I am probably in love with it. I can provide evidence based on the "fandoms" I love. I could go into a long and very extensive rant on those fandoms but I'm going to get specific: comic books.

First the reason for this blog: Here I must put a SPOILER WARNING for "Iron Man 2" and future Marvel/Comic book films.

I love the Marvel Film franchise. I love how the producers have woven the stories of Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Thor and a couple others together in the current films. It makes seeing the films an exercise on spotting the tie-ins. The Geek in me cheers with joy whenever I see something that ties into another story (ie. Captain America's shield in Iron Man 1 and 2, Tony Stark in "The Hulk"). I am easily amused. The Geek, however, gets easily frustrated when others don't see those tie-ins or when people make up their own  [bullshit] explanation of the new "clue."

Scenario after seeing the clip after the credits of "Iron Man 2:"

Kid to Brother: "That was totally a weapon for Iron Man 3! Iron Man is going to use that!"

That poor Kid fails miserably. He's not even close to what that object is. I bit my tongue as I walked behind him, cringing every time his chubby mouth opened. I don't feel too bad knocking on him since he looked like a teenager and he didn't hold the door open for me as we exited the theater. People just don't have any manners.

Anyway, if you're puzzled by the object, here's a photo and link to the film it is from.  I'm dying to see what Kenneth Branagh has done with this film since the man is marvelous.

I know Marvel are not following their canon even loosely. I totally understand that actually. If they were to follow the comic book series of Iron Man, we would be seeing far less technology and more a story about the Cold War. Then the story would move on to the self-destruction of Tony Stark, the Suit becoming sentient and killing without distinction of civilian or villain, an alternate-version teenage Tony Stark showing up, the real Stark dying, and just a story that wouldn't work well on the silver screen.  I like the new road being paved a bit more. Also, it is futile to argue canon when alternate universes come into play.

I don't expect ninety percent of people to know those facts above. With comics, I can easily forgive that... to a point. The following images should be easily identified:

If you can't identify one logo, you must be hiding under a rock. All of these superheros (Batman, Captain America, Spiderman) have had films made. I really do like the Captain America one a lot. They have also been around in comic books for decades! They should be one of the first pop cultural icons kids see and enjoy on Saturday mornings; unless the networks have completely wimped out due to the "violence" factor and taken these off the air.

I'm far from being a comic book nerd. In stating that, I clarify by saying that I wouldn't know the numbers of issues, volumes, and maybe a couple story-lines. Give me a character and I could probably tell you where they came from if they're not very obscure. I can remember going to the comic book shops in my hometown and picking up anything I thought looked interesting. I did judge a comic by its cover. I did know better, though. I usually stayed with the Marvel-verse unless it was Batman or Superman related (DC). If I could "sneak-buy" a Chaos comic, I would do it in a heart beat. Chaos comics usually were more gruesome, horrifying, with explicit language and stories and the parents didn't approve, of course. That made them all the more appealing; forbidden fruit and all that. I still have those comics in storage. Looking around my room now at almost 2 in the morning, I can see more than 20 comics in plain view, Dark Horse my favorite company at present.

Yeah, I'm not a hardcore comic geek.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Movies I NEED to See

We all have movies that we CAN'T wait for. There are "Harry Potter and the Death Hallows Part 1 and Part 2," "The Villa Golitsyn," "Iron Man 2" (coming out next week), "Coriolanus,"   and many others that I will definitely see in theaters. But with these highly publicized films, we can be patient... maybe. The ones below, I cannot.  

An older guy falls for the daughter of a family friend resulting in a dark comedic film of their trials. That's all I know about this film except that it stars Hugh Laurie. Will I see it when it comes out? Certainly. It's every young Hugh Laurie fan's fantasy! 

I'm cheating here a bit. I've read the book by Mr. Stephen Fry. I loved it's very eccentric yet thoroughly complicated and bloody amazing plot. I can see myself adoring the film. Have you read (and particularly understood) it? Yes, wait to see the film. All of its production information is currently unavailable so I don't even know when this will be in pre-production. Hopefully soon! 

Now to go from the library to the bitter and bloody gutters of exploitation cinema at its best.... I have no idea what this film will be about, but Quentin Tarantino is directing.  He hasn't made a film I haven't liked yet. 

This was one of my favorite trailers in the "Grindhouse" films, released by Robert Rodriquez and Tarantino. It has been a long time coming for Danny Trejo to get his own leading man role and what better than in a film like this. 

[And these two trailers need to be made into films ASAP. "Don't" (recognize the blue-eyed Brit in the beginning?) and "Werewolf Women of the SS."]

This is the next horror film that I've wanted to see since I found out about it. I haven't felt that way about a horror movie in a while ("Trick R Treat" in 2007 and "Repo! The Genetic Opera" in 2008). From what I've read it is about a couple getting stranded on an island/isolated area and not being able to find their way out. Then to make it worse, a soldier shows up causing more tension and terror within the cabin/house (?) the couple are staying. Why do I want to see it? The Husband is the aforementioned blue-eyed Brit from above who plays some of best Villains out there. The Soldier, who is the villain of the piece, has shown he can be terrifying and very believably insane. I can't wait to see him as a villain! 

Again, there are many more than just these, but that's all I'm good for at the moment. It is 01:00 am and I am knackered.