Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Piece of Cake

I thought I'd post up this short film found by my tweep, Flash Your Shorts (thank you!). Here's some info:

"A tribute to John Woo. A sizzling summer blockbuster exploding with high energy action!"

It's very interesting to watch this short. I find it comical and very funny how some action shots are done very well here, I've seen the same shots and/or scenes done in many movies we have today. Are there any action shots that look familiar to you? Which movies are they from?

For all the John Woo and action film fans, this one's for you - check it out!

(p.s. If you have a project(s) you'd like me to check out (i.e. fan trailer, short, spoof, animation, etc), feel free to contact me. I'm always on the lookout for fresh stuff from emerging filmmakers!)

Video Link

Monday, September 28, 2009


I have to admit, I wasn't really planning to watch this film. I didn't even know what it was about, I never even saw the trailer. Though, it was more of a spur of the moment kind of thing - I was out voted by present company but decided to give it a try.

(Note: Usually, I recommend checking out the movie trailer and reading the reviews beforehand. However, I have gone and seen movies without knowing anything about them, without reading the reviews, and/or without seeing the trailer. And, I've had both good and bad experiences. Though, I always have a story to tell with the films I see on a "whim" - it's the experience of seeing something unknown despite the outcome. And, having these experiences is what makes life interesting).

Basically, the movie is about humans living the kind of lives they've always wanted through robots (aka "surrogates'). And, these "surrogates" are the ones that go out in the world and live life while the humans (aka "the operators") stay home with their brains connected to computers to control their individual "surrogate."

Almost every human has their own "surrogate." And, their "surrogate" is physically configured to look like however they want to be perceived. The surrogates do not necessarily have to look like their operator. For example, you can have a male operator with a female looking surrogate (scary thought!). Basically, the physical appearance of the surrogates lie in the hands of their operator(s).

I found the whole concept of the film very interesting. Surprisingly, the themes of the film closely resemble some of the issues we face today with the evolution of technology and the Internet. We are told the Internet is here to help us connect and communicate better with the world. In a way, that's true. However, in another way it also secludes us from the world by limiting our physical interaction with others.

Some people say that spending too much time at the computer and the Internet is unhealthy because it inhibits our communication skills and our true nature to physically interact with others. More and more we are spending a great amount of time on the Internet, and I wonder if this will contribute to a lack of verbal skills and inability to interact with others in social, face to face settings? I wonder.

With the Internet, we are free to be anonymous if we choose. And, this freedom of anonymity allows others the opportunity to become whatever they like and to be perceived however they would like due to the physical barrier the Internet provides. On the other hand, the Internet allows us to communicate with many people, some we may not have been able to reach before. The Internet truly levels the playing field of human communication. Though, at what price?

The film addresses these issues and asks the ever so lasting question, "What makes us human?" It truly opened up my eyes and made me think, "With all the changes in technology, what is in store for the human race in the future?" With the evolution of technology, when is enough, enough? And, why do we always keep wanting more? These questions are what makes humans, human and eventually why sometimes wanting too much may not be the answer.

Overall, I found the movie to be more than ok but not great. It's definitely a film that makes you think about the future and where we are headed. It does have a lot of action and kept my attention. Though, I think the story could have been better written.

At times, there were some parts that were a bit confusing especially since the film involved a lot of different characters. Also, the "special effects" were a bit comical (if you've seen the film, you'll know what I mean). Though, they tied it up in the end - it didn't have a strong ending but it did have its twists and turns resulting in an unexpected ending.

If you're in the mood for a sci-fi type movie, this one is a toss up - it's something you can see it at the theater or wait for it to come out on DVD. Either way, I think it's one of those films that's better than average but not over the top spectacular. Though, it does raise some interesting questions - it challenged me to think and question where our world is headed.

(Note: For another perspective on the film, check out my tweep's, Action Flick Chick, review).

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Friday, September 25, 2009

Indie Film Trailer - Determinism

(Update 10/21/2009: Here is the link to the film's new website. Thanks!).

I thought I'd post up this film trailer submitted by my tweep, Determinism (thank you!). Check it out!

(p.s. If you are a filmmaker and have a project(s) you'd like me to check out, feel free to contact me. Also, I may be doing some interviews (podcast style) with indie filmmakers down the road if you'd like to send me a message and start a conversation. Thanks for your interest!)

Video Link

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fan Trailer - The Neverending Story

Since I wrote a review on the movie recently, I thought I'd post up this cool fan trailer. Check it out!

(p.s. If you have a project(s) you'd like me to check out (i.e. fan trailer, short, spoof, animation, etc), feel free to contact me. I'm always on the lookout for fresh stuff from emerging filmmakers!)

Video Link

(Note: Just in case you're interested, this fan trailer was my second choice. It's pretty cool as well, but evokes a very different emotion and feeling. Enjoy!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Since the last movie I went to go see was a romantic comedy, I decided to stay in the comedy genre but switch gears a bit and see this movie. Let me tell you - it wasn't at all what I expected.

When I first saw the trailer, I thought this was going to be a typical "shoot em up" type movie. Going into the film, I expected Brad Pitt to lead his small army of "Inglourious Basterds" to victory by finding and hunting down their prey. (In this case, the Nazis. By the way, I love how he pronounces the word "Nazis" in the film). Boy, was I ever wrong.

To my surprise, this turned out to be more than a "shoot em up" and kill them type movie. Sure, there were those parts (very bloody and violent) but it wasn't the entire movie.

It had a story, a good story. And, a very interesting way of storytelling. But, then again this is Quentin Tarantino - his films are interesting and unique. I should have know this.

From the opening scene, I could tell this was going to be a good movie. Yes, there's a lot of dialogue (especially in the opening scene) but the dialogue has a purpose. And, dialogue with purpose help tell the story. (Now, dialogue with no purpose really does not contribute to telling a story at all).

What I enjoyed about this movie was Tarantino's ability to tell a story in a unique way. Similar to Kill Bill, the film is divided into chapters (like a book) and each chapter contributes to make up the pieces of the puzzle (aka the story). In a way, there was a sense of mystery and it kept me guessing throughout the movie - it definitely kept my attention. I wanted more.

In addition, Tarantino was able to take a serious subject by adding humor and being witty at the same time. The man is brilliant. His writing exemplifies true wittiness. And, wit is a very valuable skill to have.

Apart from the story and excellent storytelling presentation, I also liked a few other things. In terms of setting the time period, I noticed the film is very detailed oriented. From the wardrobe to the props to the location settings (set designs), I definitely had a sense of the time period. Also, since this was set in Europe I respect the fact that both French and German languages were also used respectively.

Other things I liked were the different angle shots - it really helped add perspective to the story. (On a side note, I also enjoy Robert Rodriguez' work, Tarantino's buddy, who also uses really good and unique angle shots in his films). Probably the best part of the movie (apart from the story), was the audio. The sounds used and the music were superb - they really added to the story and invoked emotion. And, a film able to evoke emotion is one worth watching.

All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. It wasn't at all what I expected. But, in a good way. I don't want to spoil it for you but let's just say the saying, "That's entertainment!" hold true.

If you're in the mood for a comedy type movie, I highly recommend this one! It's definitely worth the money.

(Note: For another perspective on the film, check out my tweep's, Action Flick Chick, review).

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Neverending Story

"People lose their hope and forget their dreams. People with no hope are easy to control. And those who have the control, have the power."

The Neverending Story

I recently watched this film based on the novel. Seeing this film, takes me back to my childhood. Growing up, this was one of my favorite movies.

What I enjoyed about this movie as a kid, I still enjoy as an adult - adventure and imagination. The ability to create and imagine is something I really miss from my childhood days. Thus, the reason for this blog. (See my first post).

As I watched this movie as an adult, I could sense an underlying message. The quote above from Gmork says it all. I think the film is trying to make a statement that as we grow up, we lose our sense of imagination and creativity.

In the first scene, the dad of the main character, Bastian, tells him he needs to get his head out of the clouds and start taking responsibility. His father was upset that his teacher called stating that he was caught drawing unicorns in class and had failed to turn in his homework.

So, we can already see that at an early age Bastian is deterred from using his creativity and imagination. I had a similar childhood experience as well. And, growing up I find that I was also taught to take up more responsibility and be more practical.

Throughout the story, the film tests the main characters', Bastian and Atreyu, faith and belief. There are times when things seem hopeless. Though, the story goes on which shows that persistence and belief is the key. This ties in with the theme of hope and belief - believing in yourself and your dreams. And, I think the film gets this underlying point across very well throughout the story.

What I also find interesting is the symbolism and terms used in the film. For example, the world of Fantasia is an imaginary world where anything can happen. And, as a moviegoer you learn that Fantasia has no boundaries - it's limitless. This message symbolizes our imagination and ability to create anything we want. Our creativity has no barriers - the sky is the limit.

The Nothingness (the cause of the collapse of Fantasia) was also a great symbolic message. To me, the Nothingness symbolized the idea of the real world destroying the imaginary world (i.e. being practical and sensible versus being creative and imaginative). It truly was an eye opener to see that there was only one small grain of sand left of Fantasia at the end. To me, this symbolized the lack of imagination and creativity we tend to lose as we grow up to be adults.

Though, I did enjoy the film ending on a positive note of hope. Hope that we could build up the fantasy world again and exercise our ability to create and imagine. And, that ability is why we still have great stories told today.

If you're in the mood for a fantasy type movie, I definitely recommend this one!

Happy movie watching!

(p.s. Just in case anyone is wondering, the name Bastian gave to The Childlike Empress was "Moon Child" (I looked it up). It's hard to believe that was his mother's name. Go figure!)

Video Link


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I thought I post up this funny and entertaining short submitted by my tweep, Shelby Films (thank you!). Check it out!

(p.s. If you are a filmmaker and have a project(s) you'd like me to check out, feel free to contact me. Also, I may be doing some interviews (podcast style) with indie filmmakers down the road if you'd like to send me a message and start a conversation. Thanks for your interest!)

Video Link

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Proposal

Since I was in the mood for a comedy, I decided to give this movie a shot and check it out. Plus, I was stuck on a plane and again it looked like most of the movies they offered, I had already seen! (surprise, surprise!)

It started out a bit slow, though it had its entertaining moments. I really enjoy watching both Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds on the big screen - I think they are pretty entertaining to watch.

As for the story, I thought it was a bit unrealistic. Then again, we do go to the cinema to get away from the realities of day to day life and in the end, it is all about being entertained.

During one point in the movie, another girl (played by Malin Akerman) was introduced into the story (an ex of Ryan Reynold's character). Here I thought the story may take a turn and go in a different direction, it could have made the story more interesting and more believable.

But, it went into a more "predictable" direction. Though, I felt it was a bit "unrealistic." I don't want to spoil it for you, but let's just beg the question "Does love happen over night?" Maybe, maybe not. To me, it all happened way too fast.

Though, this film had its moments. There were bits of entertaining parts in the movie that made up for the lack of realism in the story. I especially liked the part of Ramone, (Oscar Nunez) who plays Oscar in the television show "The Office." He was very entertaining to watch here. I also enjoyed the part of Grandma Annie (Gammy) played by prior "Golden Girl" Betty White.

All in all, I think this was an ok movie. It wasn't great. To me, it's not really a movie you need to go run out and see. Honestly, it's probably best left in the NetFlix queue for those times when your choices are kind of limited and when you're in the mood for a romantic comedy type movie

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Soloist

Ok, so I heard a lot of good things about this movie and decided to give it a try. Let me just say, this is a very, very serious film. I guess that's why it's classified as a drama. Very serious.

Both Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. played excellent roles in this film. They were very believable and played true (in my opinion) to their assigned character in the story. The performances alone of both actors is worth watching.

As far as the story goes, this movie is definitely for anyone out there who has had a dream and/or has known someone who has had a dream where things have not gone as planned. It's truly inspiring to see Robert Downey Jr's character, Steve Lopez, attempt to help Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), a very talented musician who so happens to be living homeless on the streets as a result of mental illness.

What I like about the story is that it's not predictable - it does not end the way you think it will. While watching this film, I thought the story would basically go in a linear direction - very one sided. To my surprise, it did not. Though, it did end on a positive note inspiring hope to the audience.

It made me think about how many talented people out there can be in the same situation. It sort of reminds me of the movie "With Honors," and Joe Pesci's character, Simon Wilder, who was also homeless but smart and talented as well.

Overall, I thought the performances of Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx made this a worthwhile movie to watch. Also, it made for a unique story with moments of conflict and drama.

Though, it is a very serious movie. I'd only recommend this film if you're in the mood for a really serious, drama type movie.

Happy movie watching!

Video Link

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blackout Film Festival

I thought I'd post up the info here about a very interesting film festival coming up - The Blackout Film Festival. (This festival was called to my attention and found by my tweep, brwc, (thank you!).

This year they are showcasing 90 minutes of short films centering on the theme: The Great Recession. The shorts will focus on various situations with the effects of the economy. Filmmakers from across the country have submitted a light-hearted group of films about the current economic recession. I find this interesting and good timing with the downturn in the economy.

Here's some basic info on the event:

DATE: Saturday, September 19, 2009
TIME: Screenings at 3PM, 5PM, & 7PM
LOCATION: SVA's brand new Visual Arts Theater, 333 West 23rd St. between 8th & 9th Avenue. The renovation of the space was overseen by renowned graphic designer, Milton Glaser.
TICKETS: $12 advance; $14 at the door
CHARITY PARTNER: A percentage of every ticket sold will be donated to the Food Bank for New York City's current campaign, "NYC Goes Orange".

If you are interested in attending, they have offered a 10% discount off on tickets for my tweeps as I have promised to pass this on. For ticket information, click here and enter discount code TWIT to receive the discount.

Thanks for reading!

Video Link

Monday, September 7, 2009

(500) Days of Summer

"This is not a love story. This is a story about love."

- (500) Days of Summer

I had heard lots of great reviews about this movie, so I decided to give it a go. The quote above says it all.

Right at the beginning, the opening credits of the film definitely sets the tone for what's to come. (If you've already seen it, you probably know what I'm talking about).

Before I go on, I just feel I have to warn you. If you've seen the trailer, most of the first half of the movie has already been revealed. So, going into it I had anticipated those parts and the jokes already. Sometimes when too much is revealed in the trailer, it can hinder those classic moments if you had not seen it especially if those moments are comedic in nature.

As far as the story goes, it's definitely not the typical love story. It's a tale of boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl starts to like boy. Girl and boy slowly work towards becoming a couple through a series of dates and courtships. Boy loses girl and tries to get her back. And, usually in most typical movies - boy usually gets girl back. Then again, this is not the typical love story.

At the very beginning, Summer (Zooey Deschanel) tells Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) that she is not looking for a relationship. We soon find out that she is a product of a broken home, her parents divorced when she was very young. She is used to being on her own and it's hard for her to really let anyone into her life beyond what they see.

So, going into it I thought she may have commitment issues. Then, they start to date and get to know each other better. And, at one point of the movie - it seems that Summer does let Tom in. That's how deep their relationship seemed to me.

Though, the film takes a turn - things start to fall apart. Misery, resentment, and anger set in. The film goes back and forth (between past and present) to compare the early and later stages of the relationship. It kind of had a Memento style of storytelling, though it was not linear since it went fowards and backwards in time.

The film is really a case of perspective - we see the story through Tom's eyes. We see what he sees. Or, I should say - what he wants to see. I don't want to ruin it for you but let's just say the saying, "We only see what we want to see," holds true.

Sometimes the line between reality and fantasy can be blurred especially when emotions are in play. And, in this film - it's Tom's emotions.

As for the story, I felt there were some parts that were left unanswered. Some of these parts were questioned in the movie even by Tom, though never really answered quite fully. I don't know if it was the director's intent in order to get across the message about life and how things just happen. Though, as a moviegoer I wanted to know more.

To me, the movie had it's moments - good times and bad times. Though, there were some parts that were slow and dragged a bit. It was enjoyable to see the courting of Tom and Summer together at the beginning stages of their relationship, it kind of takes you back to the silly and goofy things you do with that special person when things are good.

Overall, I felt the film was ok. I was entertained at parts, but I just felt some parts were still left unanswered. Though, maybe that was something the film was trying to get across - that maybe some things just remain a mystery. And, that mystery is part of what we call life.

If you're in the mood for a romantic comedy, I'd say this film is something you may want to check out. In my opinion, it's not something you absolutely must go run out and see. If it's a question of spending the money, it can be saved until it comes out on DVD. Though I know some may differ in opinion, just my thoughts.

(Note: For another perspective on the film, check out my tweep's, Clarabela, review).

Happy movie watching!

(p.s. I did enjoy the music in the film, there are some pretty cool and catchy tunes!)

Video Link

Saturday, September 5, 2009

How Do You Survive In the Indie Film World?

I thought I'd post up this video found by one of my tweeps, FilmTiki (thank you!).

This video truly reiterated and enabled me to further see the work and dedication indie filmmakers put into their craft. To persist, despite the obstacles and financial limitations truly inspired me to post this video.

If you know any indie filmmakers, please pass this on. Check it out!

(p.s. If you are a filmmaker and have a project(s) you'd like me to check out, feel free to contact me. Also, I may be doing some interviews (podcast style) with indie filmmakers down the road if you'd like to send me a message and start a conversation. Thanks for your interest!)

Video Link

Friday, September 4, 2009


I saw this movie for the second time just recently. The first time I saw it was in a movie theatre. During both times, I had a very enjoyable movie watching experience. When it comes to kids movies, Disney is among the best!

What I think is so awesome about this movie is its ability to tell a story through visuals, not using too much dialogue. During the first part of the movie, I was amazed at how there was no dialogue at all and how much the movie captured my attention. The music and the visuals were enough to keep me watching.

The movie communicates emotion and feeling through much of the music and visuals presented. Though, there is some dialogue during the second part there's not that much and that's why I think it makes for such a good film.

In the early days of film, the whole concept of "motion pictures" stemmed from the ability to tell stories by moving pictures. Add some music on top of that and you get the early films of our time.

As far as the story goes, it was great. In true Disney fashion, watching the movie felt like a great adventure. There were good times and bad times, obstacles and fears, and in the end - triumph. And, not to mention the great musical score and awesome CGI effects.

The best thing about Disney movies is that they are for everyone - both the young and the old. And, this is what makes their movies enjoyable for generations to come.

If you're in the mood for a family type movie, I definitely recommend this one. Check it out!

Happy movie watching!

(p.s. If you've seen the movie already, the film playing in the television set is Hello, Dolly!, and the name of the song playing is Put On Your Sunday Clothes - I really like this happy song!)

Video Link

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fan Trailer - Back to the Future Paradox (Part IV)

With my interest in time travel, I thought I'd post up this fan trailer based on the movie series. It's amazing how changing one small thing in the past can change the entire future.

It's pretty cool, check it out!

(p.s. There have been rumors of a sequel, though nothing confirmed. If anyone hears of anything, I'm all ears!)

Video Link