The Paper Bag Hypothesis And the Hater?…A Letter to Hollywood.

Dear Hollywood,

You’re quite good at pumping out amazing summer blockbusters, but I can’t help but have one question for you. Why do you keep giving Megan Fox roles in movies that she has no business being in? I may sound like a hater, but I’m not. I don’t hate her, I hate that her presence brings down the entertainment value of any film she’s in. I understand you want at least a little eye candy in your films and I suppose I can’t grudge you for that. Sex appeal brings in the big bucks, but that’s doesn’t justify casting someone who probably couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag…even if there were instructions written on the inside of the paper bag on how to do so and a copy of “Acting Your Way Out Of Paper Bags for Dummies” sitting right beside her in the bag.

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She’s a pretty face, yes, but there’re so many pretty faces out there who just happen to have talent to back up their appeal. Why not give one of them a chance at an iconic role instead of falling back on Megan Fox?

 

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Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t dislike her as a person at all. I’ve never met her, but she’s probably a decent person for all I know. That however has nothing to do with her acting. I recall reading something she’d said some time ago when the Transformers movies – the ones she was in- about her talking down about the directing or producing of the movies or some such thing and how the films did little if nothing to showcase her acting abilities. I of course didn’t believe a word of it, but I was willing to hold off for the most part until I had a chance to see her given the chance to get out of that paper bag. Then Jennifer’s Body came along.

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She had her chance to get out of that paper bag for once and for all. What did she do? She ended up bombing horribly. Sure tons of horny guys may have watched it to see her do the one thing she seems to be terrific at…being pretty on film. In fact, the only likable thing about that film was the character of her best friend…with the odd name.

Anyway Hollywood, the point of all this is simply to ask why.?.

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The New Star Wars

It recently came to my attention that in only a short 21 months (1 year, 9 months), there’s going to be a brand spanki’n new Star Wars Film. Ever since George Lucas sold all things Star Wars to Disney, I’ve been waiting with, I dare say bated breath to see what the outcome would be. In the past, Disney’s had a huge success with taking over Marvel Entertainment and putting out films like The Avengers and the films building up to The Avengers; Even their latest film, Thor: The Dark World. The point being… Disney apparently seems to know what it’s doing. The problem though is that unlike the Marvel films they’ve been putting out, there are already 6 Star Wars films out there that any new films are going to always be compared to. The new films are going to either as good as the first 6 or better in order to be any good. “Almost as good” just won’t cut it.

So, here are a few things about the up and coming film you may or may not care to know:
The film is slated to take place around 30 years after the events in Return of the Jedi and is said to star three new young leads…as well as a few very familiar faces. Disney also plans on releasing a new Star Wars film every year, beginning in 2015.

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Now, to go from what’s known, to what’s suspected/rumored… :
Adam Driver and is a great possibility to play the role of the film’s main villain, though how he or whoever is chosen for the role’s character will compare to the epic epicness of Lord Vader, only time can tell.

 

 

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Jesse Plemons, Ed Speleers, John Boyega, Matthew James Thomas, & Ray Fisher are rumored as possibles for the male lead in the film, and Lupita Nyong’o is a rumored possibility for the female lead role. it’s even been said that her (or whoever plays the role) will possibly be playing as a descendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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Both Gary Oldman and BenedictCumberbatch were both said to have been interested in the same role and both may have possibly been cast.

If those last two names got your interest then you’ll love the fact that Harrison Ford and Mark Hamil are coming back to the world of Star Wars. It’s even said that Carrie Fisher will be coming back as well, though sadly who knows if she’s likely able to appear or not. Also, there’s a possibility; however slight it may be, that Billy Dee Williams  might make a return as well.  And just to show that the Sith isn’t an all boys club, there’re talks of there being a female Sith villain in the film as well. Here’s hoping if that turns out to be true, the character is as interesting as the character of Asajj Ventress.

 

Last, but not least, (This may be a spoiler of sorts for anyone who’s not familiar with the Expanded Universe or the Star Wars fiction written to take place after Return of the Jedi.) it’s been said that the film may focus on twins; one possibly taking a turn to the darkside and another following in their fathers footsteps. This could reference Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa-Solo or Jacen and Jaina Solo (the later of the two being  the kids of Han Solo and Leia Organa-Solo in the Star Wars Expanded Universe and or Star Wars fiction.)

One thing I know without a shadow of a doubt… if this film doesn’t live up to the fans expectations story/script-wise, acting-wise, and of course.. effects-wise, a great disturbance will be felt in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. 

 

 

 

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Movies This Year

Well…it’s a new year, and that means of course… new movies. If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing like a good movie to distract you from whatever’s going on in your life(or not going on)… at least for a few hours.

So, here’re a few flicks to look for this year(keep in mind, I wrote the list, so I’m a bit biased) Oh, and I do apologize if there are any spoilers hereabouts.(There likely are.)

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything: Directed by Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell and Starring the constantly brilliant Simon Pegg(How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, Star Trek); this little gem is about a crime novelist, whose research into Victorian serial killers has turned him into an extremely paranoid man, in fear of being murdered.

Date and Switch: Directed by Chris, this movie is about two High School seniors: Michael and Matty that have been best friends since 3rd grade. Still virgins, they make a pact to help each other “get lucky” before their senior prom – their mission however takes an unexpected turn when one of them announces an unexpected secret.

Pompeii: Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, this film stars Kit Harington(Game of Thrones, Silent Hill: Revelation3D) and is set in the year 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo, a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius begins to erupt in all its fury, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his love as crumbles all around him.

A Haunted House 2: Directed by Mike Tiddes and starring Marlon Wayans, this is the sequel to A Haunted House with Wayans as Malcolm who, after exorcising the demons of his ex, is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children. After moving into their dream home, Malcolm is once more plagued by bizarre paranormal events.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlet Johansson; this film takes place after the events of The Avengers. Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, is trying to live a quiet life in Washington, D.C. while trying to adjust to things in the modern world, but when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Captain America becomes enmeshed in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world once again at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the conspiracy plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow must enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and dangerous new enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Transcendence: Directed by Wally Pfister and starring Johnny Depp, this film stars Depp as Dr. Will Caster, the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will stop him at all costs. In their attempt to destroy him however, they set into motion the culmination of their worst fears.

The Quiet Ones: Directed by John Pogue and starring Jared Harris( Sherlock Holmes: A game Of Shadows, Pompeii, and The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones). The Quiet Ones Tells the story of an unorthodox professor (Jared Harris) who uses highly controversial methods, leading his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: creating a poltergeist. Based on the theory that paranormal activity is caused by the negative energy humans sometimes put out, the rogue scientists perform a series of tests on a young patient, pushing her to the edge of sanity and starting something more frightening and terrifying than they could have possibly imagined.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Directed by Marc Webb(no pun intended) and starring Andrew Garfield(The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network), Emma Stone(The Amazing Spider-Man, The Help) and Jamie Foxx(White House Down, Django Unchained). After the events of The Amazing Spider-Man, life for Peter Parker is busy. Between taking care of the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the girl he loves, things seem the same as ever, but things always have a way of changing; especially when you’re a superhero with a new villain emerging, an old friend returning, and you start finding clues about your mysterious past.

Godzilla: Directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Aaron Johnson(Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2) and Bryan Cranston(Argo, Breaking Bad, and Malcolm in the Middle). This film is the retelling/re-imagining of Godzilla’s origin in a more contemporary time.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past: Directed by Bryan Singer and starring Jennifer Lawrence(The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games), James McAvoy(X-Men: First Class, Arthur Christmas), Patrick Stewart(X-Men – X-Men 3, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Star Trek), Ian McKellen(The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug, LOTR Trilogy, X-Men – X-Men 3), and Peter Dinklage(Game Of Thrones, Death at a Funeral). The film’s story is set partially in an alternate future where surviving mutants have been penned in concentration camps, giant robots called Sentinels patrol America, and the majority of the X-Men have been hunted down and killed.

Maleficent: Directed by Robert Stromberg and starring Angelina Jolie(Kung Fu Panda 2, Salt, Beowulf). This is the untold story of one of Disney’s most iconic, classic villains(Sleeping Beauty as told by Maleficent).A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until the day an invading army threatened the peace of the land. Rising to be the land’s fiercest protector, she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—turning her pure heart to stone and setting into motion a revenge of classic proportions.

How To Train Your Dragon 2: Directed by Dean DeBlois and starring Jay Baruchel(The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, This Is The End, How To Train Your Dragon)and  Craig Ferguson(Brave, Winnie the Pooh, How To Train Your Dragon). The heroic dragon-riding Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless must protect the peace — and save the future for men and dragons from a power-hungry enemy named Drago.

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction: Directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg(Ted, The Fighter, The Happening), Stanley Tucci(The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games, Jack the Giant Slayer) and Kelsey Grammer(Monsters University, Toy Story 2,  X-Men 3).   As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond their ability to control – all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets its sights on Earth. The epic adventure and battle between good and evil, freedom and enslavement ensues.

(A trailer for the film seems to be unavailable as of yet.)

There are of course more movies coming out this year, but take it upon yourself to go look for’m, and… happy movie watching.

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The Wonder Woman We… I Want.

Hey there to whomever’s reading this latest post of mine. I’ve noticed that my postings have been few and far in-between, but I aim to fix that…eventually. In the mean the mean time, I was talking with a co-worker of mine about things from our childhood; cartoons, movies and such.. and we came to the topic of Wonder Woman… or to be more specific, who should play Wonder Woman should they decide to make a film for her(with the obvious fact that a Justice League film is obviously looming overhead in the distance.)

So, here’s yet another geek-fueled post by yours truly. Here’s my top 5 list of the most capable female actresses who also happen to have the required looks to play the role of probably the most powerful female character in the entire DC Universe.

 

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1) Jaimie Alexander: It may seem obvious to claim that Jaimie Alexander(the only female Asgardian on Marvel’s side)would be a more than perfect pick for Wonder Woman. As Sif,(In the film Thor)the female Asgardian warrior, she more than combined beauty with brawn. Believe it or not, Alexander’s been brought up in the past as a possible/potential Diana, but for one reason or another, her interest decreased. None the less, she would do a more than splendid job in the role.

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2) Michelle Rodriguez: Being no stranger to the genre of action, Rodriguez has more than shown she can hold her own, whether it’s taking down the infected undead, fighting off an alien attack, driving really fast, or flying/firing from a gunship while kicking butt and taking names…like a boss. Aside from that, she..like every actress mentioned or to be mentioned in this list more than physically fits the bill. And while some may question her as a pick, due to her not being Caucasian, keep in mind…that Wonder Woman herself is not Caucasian… She’s Greek.

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3) Jennifer Lawrence: Star of The Hunger Games, Lawrence showed us that she can do action, and quite well at that. As Katniss Everdeen, she’s shown she can hold her own in a lethal fight to the death, while inspiring that most important of things.. hope. And as good as she is as an archer(In character at least), the world would be a far more interesting place, and we would get a near-perfect representation of the Amazonian  princess.

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4) Sarah Michelle Gellar: There’s no question that Gellar would be more than suited for the role of Amazonian princess. Her stint as Buffy Summers in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1997-2003 more than qualifies her as capable. As the titled character, she’s faced vampire lords, eldritch deities, the apocalypse(on a few occasions) and even the very first evil to ever exist. We’re talking the embodiment of all evil here. If that’s not good enough reason, then there’s also the fact that she is an actually good actor. Her roles in The Grudge, the 2 Scooby Doo films, Cruel Intentions have proven that. And she’s even got geek cred having voiced April O’Neil in the TMNT film.

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5) Lucy Lawless: Just like the 4 mentioned actresses above, Lawless has earned her action chops. In her case, it was in her role as TV’s Xena, Warrior Princess. The ancient Greek equivalent of Wonder Woman, she was basically everything Wonder Woman stood for and then some. She’s taken on monsters, warlords, demi-gods and the god of war himself, Aries. She’s even taken on angels and demons. She may be a little older now than when she played the title character, but I have no doubt that Lucy Lawless could more than handle the role and do it some major justice.

 

I should note that none of the images used in this blog post are by any means my property.

The Princess that Never Was?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so here’s a short rant from yours truly about something seemingly random and geeky.:

 

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a princes… only… was she really a princess? As Star Wars has become Disney property, a good friend of mine brought it to my attention that princess Leia would be a Disney princess. That got me to thinking… would she be a Disney princess? Further more, was she even really a princess?

If I were to allow my friend to answer that question, he would say that Leia was in fact a princess. She was the adopted daughter of the king and queen of Alderaan, and her birth mother was the Queen of Naboo.  Now, that sounds like more than enough for her to be considered a princess; right? Wrong. In my opinion anyway.

 

 

Here’s the problem. She may have been the adopted daughter of royalty, but does that in of itself make her a royal? If I’m the king of France and I adopt a monkey into my family, does that monkey then become royalty? (not to equate princess Leia to a monkey.)No, it doesn’t.  And as to her being the biological child of the “Queen of Naboo”… well.. I may be ignorant of all of the political ways of Naboo, but the last time I checked.. being the daughter of a former queen doesn’t make you royalty when that queen in question was elected to the position. Elected, not born into or married into.. elected.

Even if I can manage to get past the whole elected queen thing, there’s the fact that when Leia was born, her mother had been dead/on her death bed at the time and there was a newly elected queen ruling Naboo. Heck, even before Padme was dead, Naboo had elected a new queen. Padme was a senator. So, in truth, Leia is the biological daughter of the senator of Naboo and the adopted daughter of the king and queen of Alderaan.

 

 

 

Now, if I can manage to look past even that, there’s the one tiny fact that Alderaan no longer exists. So, what’s princess Leia the princess of?  A large heap of space rock? I don’t think so. No kingdom, no power, title becomes meaningless. Princess Leia becomes commoner Leia.

 

 

So, to sum it all up… princess Leia is not a Disney princess. At best, I could say that she’s a Disney person of importance….within the Star Wars galaxy.

 

 

As an added bonus, here’s the a video about the Disney purchase of Star Wars:

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Marvel vs. DC: Avengers vs. Justice League

With the soon to be arrival of the new Avengers movie, I found it only fitting to do a hero-off..if you will. Both the Avengers and the Justice league are composed of some of their comic book universes mightiest heroes. Now, I could go and limit myself to people who served in either group at the same time, but where would the fun be in that?  I’ve decided to judge both groups on a category based system. The Categories are Strength, Intelligence, Speed and agility, Weapons, and Magic.

Strength: While many may look at the Justice League at having this one in the bag because of Superman and Wonder Woman’s strength, they could possibly be wrong. Though the two are two of the strongest humanoid beings in the Justice League and the DC Universe, the Hulk is one of Marvel Comic’s strongest beings period. He’s pummeled gods, androids, and super-humans alike. Then you have Thor. As strong as the Hulk is, Thor is one of the only beings to have gone nearly to toe with the mean green machine. If the Hulk was out of this equation the fight would possibly go to the Justice League. Edge: Avengers

Intelligence: As important as strength is, it’s nothing without some intelligence behind it; and that’s something the Justice League has in spades. With brains like Batman (Who was smart enough to make a contingency plan in the event of the rest of the Justice League going rogue and trying to takeover the earth. Despite the fact that those contingency plans were stolen by agents of Vandal Savage and later used against the Justice League to nearly lead to their end.), the Martian Manhunter, and Superman… yes… Superman(he’s from an advanced alien civilization. He’s got to have some advanced alien intelligence.), the Justice League is doing very well, intelligence wise. On the other hand, the Avengers have minds like Tony Stark/Iron Man, Ant-Man, and Bruce Banner. Edge: Justice League

Speed and agility: Speed’s as important as any of the other categories here. No two people personify speed in the Justice League as much as Superman and the Flash. The Flash of course being the faster of the two. The quickest/fastest member of the Avengers would have to be Quicksilver. He is fast, very fast, but not faster than the Flash. Then there’s Thor, whose hammer allows him to fly at speeds faster than most fast superheroes can run. The Flash however is speed personified. He’s so fast that when he dies from going too fast he doesn’t go to heaven, hell, or purgatory, he becomes part of some sort of cosmic speed-force type thing. Edge: Justice League

Weapons : There’re a vast number of actual weapons that’re used by both groups here, but two of the most powerful among them is the power ring possessed by the Green Lantern of DC Comics and Mjolnir, the mighty hammer of Thor. While the Green Lantern’s power ring is powered by will itself and can create any construct its wearer can imagine, Thor’s hammer Mjolnir is forged of an indestructible or at least nearly indestructible star metal. A Green Lantern power ring can be broken or destroyed, though the later of the two would cause quite a large explosion….usually. On a basis of just how much power each weapon possesses though, one Green Lantern ring is enough to possibly destroy an entire fleet of starships… assuming its wearer’s will is strong enough. Mjolnir has the power to control storms and weather itself. That basically makes whatever planet the hammer is on into a weapon. That, and Mjolnir can absorb energy.  Edge: Avengers

Magic: While it’s not the most important thing for a team to have, it always helps to have at least one team member learned in the arcane arts. You know, in case that Harry Potter kid ever gets out of hand. There’s no doubt that the Justice League has its share of magic users… Doctor Fate, Zatanna, Etrigan, and Captain Marvel to name a few, but despite their number and their abilities, it’s the Avengers who boast a Norse god and the Sorcerer Supreme. The combined magics of Thor and Doctor Strange could rip open a whole in reality so large that nothing this side of the sun could survive. Now if we’re talking Rune King Thor… it would be even more epic. Not only is the sheer level of magical mastery larger on the side of the Avengers, but unlike the Justice League there is no one member of the Avengers who would take additional damage due to magic based attacks. That can however not be said of the Justice League…due to Superman’s “magic allergy”. Edge: Avengers

Bottom line: Any fight between those two groups would go down in history as the most epic of epic battles to ever be witnessed. Either side would face tremendous losses in a battle like this and some of our favorite superheroes would surely be lost to us. Unless they came back wearing Black Lantern power rings in some odd crossover. Winner: Avengers, Earth’s mightiest heroes.

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Movie Making for Dummies

I’m sure that almost anyone who’s made a film knows the following keys to making a movie, but it seems like some in Hollywood have forgotten the basics. So for those of you who don’t know or may have forgotten, here’re my steps to making a movie.. you dummy. (Sorry for the insult, but this IS called “Movie Making for Dummies”. )

 

1)      Decide what kind of movie you’re going to make- Will it be a narrative film, documentary, or will it be a film that tells a true or fictitious story? If you want a narrative, decide if you want to write a story yourself, base it on a book or base it from a real life story. Either could work. Don’t confuse a documentary with a narrative. Narratives tell the story with characters and plots, so you can make a real life event into a narrative. Documentaries, on the other hand, provide behind the scenes footage of events or a person’s life, with real life people discussing these things, while providing information to the audience about a person or an event.

2)      Decide on your theme or plot and genre of your film- While TV shows about nothing may seem to work, movies about nothing will do the absolute opposite. Almost every story has a lot, be sure to be very descriptive about what the movie is…about. The more interested you are in the film, the more it will cross over to your audience.

2.5) Knowledge- Be sure you know what the hell you’re talking about. If you don’t know horror movies from the back of your hand, you probably shouldn’t be making a horror movie. Just like with writing.. sometimes it’s better to stick to what you know.

3)      Write a script- Without a script, there’s nothing for anyone to rehearse. Your script should detail every scene, the actions performed by the characters, the settings/locations, and when each scenes changes. The stage term for that would be blocking. If you’re unsure of how well your script reads, have someone else read through it for you. Sometimes it helps to have another persons opinion.

4)      Story-boarding- Plan the shots you want to make in the film. This will help the film go along a lot smoother.

5)      Cast & Crew- Without a cast of actors or people to speak in your documentary and a film crew, your film will go nowhere. Just because someone’s got a pretty face most certainly does not mean they should be in your movie or have the lead role. Substance over flash wins every time. Be sure the people you have in mind for your film are willing to work for whatever film budget you have. It’s also important to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing and knows what they’re supposed to do. And make sure everyone involved is properly paid and or accredited.

6)      Location, location, location- Location is key for any film. You can’t shoot a film about living in the city if it’s shot in the country, and visa-verse. If you can’t find the right location, create the sets you need.

7)      Equipment- Make sure you have equipment. Without it, your script, cast and all the above is pointless. Make sure all the equipment you’re using for your film is in working order. Useless equipment makes making a film rather difficult. Equipment needed for a film shoot: Video camera(s) and tripod(s), additional microphones, lighting equipment, and spare tapes/discs.

8)      Roll cameras, and…action- Now it’s time to make your film.

9)      Most important of all- Know your audience. The people who will watch your film are one of the most important elements of the film. Be sure not to pander to them. It’s true, some people love fan service, but just remember… fan service is fan service and pandering is just downright… irritating.

 

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A Different Sort Of Game

It’s recently come to my attention that there are quite a few folk out there who are fans of or have seen the movie ‘Battle Royal’ and have recently come to the conclusion that ‘The Hunger Games’ is a version or adaptation of ‘Battle Royale’. Some individuals have even gone so far as to say such things as, and I quote: “So what’s up with this hunger games craze? I don’t see what it can possibly give me that “battle royale” “the lethal lottery” and “running man haven’t already.” Well, while ‘Battle Royale’ and the ‘Running Man’ are good movies with similarities even to ‘The Hunger Games’, they are in no way the same and as thus in no way offer the exact same things. And believe me, I’m the first to yell out “hasn’t this been done before?”

I’ve decided to take it upon myself to enlighten or rather… impress upon those who think as such, just how wrong they are. So, here’s the…nitty gritty if you will.

The Running Man– The story’s protagonist, Ben Richards, is a citizen of Co-Op City, a suburb of the fictional Harding, which is located somewhere in the Midwest, west of Detroit (not to be confused with the real Co-Op City) in the year 2025. The world’s economy is in a shambles and America has become a totalitarian dystopia. Richards is unable to find work, having been blacklisted from his trade, and needs money to get medicine for his gravely ill daughter Cathy. His wife Sheila has resorted to prostitution to bring in money for the family. In desperation, Richards turns to the Games Network, a government-operated television station that runs violent game-shows. After rigorous physical and mental testing, Richards is selected to appear on The Running Man, the Games Network’s most popular, lucrative, and dangerous program. Richards meets with Network producer Dan Killian and Running Man host Bobby Thompson. The men proceed to discuss Richards’ contract for appearing on the show, as well as the challenges he is expected to face when the game starts.

Battle RoyaleShuya Nanahara is a Japanese middle school student trying to cope with life after his father’s suicide by hanging. Meanwhile, Noriko Nakagawa, finds her class, 3-B, empty with only her teacher Kitano present in the classroom. Kitano leaves but is attacked by student Yoshitoki Kuninobu with a knife. Kitano later resigns after recovering from his wound. One year later, class 3-B makes a field trip after completing their compulsory studies; however, the class is gassed and summoned to a “briefing room” on a remote island after being gassed, wearing electronic collars. Kitano explains that the class has been chosen to participate in this year’s Battle Royale as a result of the BR Act, which passed after 800,000 students walked out of school. The orientation video has the class forced to kill each other for three days until only one student remains.

The Hunger Games– The Hunger Games takes place after the destruction of North America by some unknown apocalyptic event, in a nation known as Panem. Panem consists of a wealthy Capitol and twelve surrounding, poorer districts. District 12, where the book begins, is located in the coal-rich region that was formerly Appalachia. As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol in which a 13th district was destroyed, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are selected by annual lottery to participate in the Hunger Games, an event in which the participants (or “tributes”) must fight in an outdoor arena controlled by the Capitol, until only one remains.

There you can see that all three films, while having a vaguely similar theme of people set in a game of life and death, they are in no way the same movie. Each film offers up something completely different. In ‘The Running Man’, the main character places himself in that situation rather than face jail time. In ‘Battle Royale’ none of the combatants has a choice in fighting. And in ‘The Hunger Games’, everyone who’s not a citizen of the capital has to enter their names in a lottery of sorts in order to receive rations for their families. Of course the more times your name’s entered, the more likely you are to be chosen as “tribute” of your district.

If you’ve managed to see past vague similarities and other folks opinions of the film or book, then by all means, do check out the film. Give it a chance. If nothing else, the story (the theatrical version) was quite well done. The acting was superb, and the effects were quite nice. Not over the top and not underwhelming, just nice.

A Few Films To Look Forward To…

Those who know me know that I tend to go to the movies a lot. One of my favorite things about going to the theatre; other than seeing the film I’d planned on seeing, is the previews. If not for the previews, there are a great many films I might have possibly missed out on. So, I have decided to take this time to provide you good folk out there who may have possibly missed out on some things coming soon and or not soo soon with a heads up if you will. Here are a few tidbits of news  about what’s to be expected on the big screen.

Enjoy the trailers:

 

The Cabin In The Woods – April 13th

Just upon hearing the name, I’m sure your imagination starts to conjure up the image of your typical slasher flick. Take a few nubile youths, put them in a cabin in the middle of the woods, add a wrong turn here, stupid thing said there, and mistake here, and throw in one slash-happy psycho with a larger than life knife, chainsaw, ax or what have you and there you have it. Right?  That would be the usual recipe for a movie with a title like ‘The Cabin In The Woods’, but with a tagline like “You think you know the story”… one can’t help but be somewhat dissuaded from thinking they know enough to brand this as just another cabin-slasher flick.

The Avengers – May 4th

Now, I’m sure just about anyone who’s seen a movie preview in the last while knows that there’s an Avengers movie coming out in the next few months, but in the event that you were unaware of this.. now you know. For anyone unfamiliar with Marvel Comics or The Avengers, this film has Thor, Cpt. America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and of course Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury as they are pitted against Loki (Thor’s adopted brother) and an enemy that I’m not all too sure about. It could be anyone from A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) to Zodiac, though let’s face it.. it’s not likely to be Zodiac. It’d be more likely to be Hydra or even Ultron. Anyway, you may or may not have seen one of the latest previews for the coming film, but in case you haven’t seen the awesomeness that is this particular trailer, here it is for your viewing pleasure.

Spider-Man – July 3rd

I’m far from the biggest fan of Spidey, be it in comic book form, cartoon form, action figure form, or video game form, but I can’t help but have some interest in the character. Nerdy geek ends up being imbued with super-human abilities like agility, super strength, the ability to know danger’s near, and of course the web slinging and clinging to any surface he wants to (All which comes along with an upgrade from dweeb to pretty cute guy, it seems.), but they’ve gone and changed ol’ Spidey up it seems. He’s got a new face and a new suit. He even comes with a new villain. I won’t get my hopes up for this one, but I could be wrong and this film could blow every other Spider Man film clear out of the water.

In place of writing more and more about this movie, that movie, and the other, I’ve decided to show you good people the Super Bowl movie commercials. (Alright, I know it’s a cop-out and I’m fine with that.) If you’ve seen them, here they are again. If you’ve missed them.. Here they are for your viewing pleasure. (Excluding the Avengers trailer; as it’s already on here.)

The Hunger Games

G I Joe: Retaliation

John Carter (Extended Super Bowl movie trailer)

The Dictator

Act of Valor

Battleship

The Lorax

 

 

mana_energy_potion_sixpack

Great Wizards Who Aren’t So Great…

There’s no doubt that with the successes of books and films like Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings, wizards, witches and magical users in general are more familiar to readers of fantasy books than ever before. Being the geek that I am, now and again, the question of who might be the best, most powerful or prominent in these expansive worlds of fantasy tends to arise. That being the case, I have taken it upon myself to lay to rest that very question(In a manor that is as unbiased as is possible of me.), the question of who is the best wizard, witch, or all around magical user in general in all of the world of fantasy literature and film. I have combed through film, literature, and comic books to compile a list of individuals (In no particular order.) whose skill with the arcane arts exceeds the realms of awesome.

 

Merlin the Magician (TV’s Merlin)

This incarnation of Merlin has him as a young man who is the best friend/servant of prince-turned-king Arthur of  magic hating Camelot. Along with being a servant, he assists the court physician, Gaius in some of his duties. Merlin’s role is to along side Arthur, reunite all of the five kingdoms under the rule of Arthur and bring peace between the old religion and the new religion.

The case against him:

Though an actual historical figure.. of some sort, I’m choosing to stick to legend here. According to legend, Merlin was half human half demon, granting him the ability to wield magic and to a great extent. He’s even seen as one of the most powerful, if not thee most powerful sorcerer/wizard to have ever lived(Or not lived as the case may have it.) It is said that he had the power of prophecy, to peer into the past and future, shape-shift, the ability to speak to wild animals, to fly, the ability to conjure realistic and terrifying illusions and much much more

For being such a vastly powerful individual with knowledge of things past and things yet to come, you would think it would be a cinch to help a guy who’s already a king to unite 5 measly countries/kingdoms under one banner. Of course, in this case, you would be wrong. Most of his time is spent saving either Camelot or Arthur from facing one horrid end after another; whether it’s from an army of undieing soldiers, the usurped and tyrannical reign of Arthur’s illegitimate half-sister Morgana, or all the other people shunned, persecuted or worse due to their practice of the old religion(magic). Doing that’s a full time job in of itself, especially when the great and powerful Merlin the sorcerer is really the not soo great and not soo powerful Merlin the servant boy.

 

Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter)

Dumbledore is the headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and among the most powerful and gifted wizards in the Potterverse. He’s a kindly old man who brings to mind Santa.. if he wore long robes.  Behind those caring eyes lurks a man who can turn invisible, create objects out of thin air, read minds, shoot fire, disappearte, encase you in a sphere of water, use magic without a wand or without speech (Something not everyone in the Potterverse is capable of), and to read minds (To say the very least.) He’s pretty much the Potterverse’s equivalent of Merlin.

The case against him:
I’m sure that fans of the Harry Potter series have uttered the phrase “Where the hell is Dumbledore?”  during all the action. He seems to  conveniently find himself being away on business whenever Harry and friends are in imminent danger, have riddles with steaks of life and death to figure out, or single-handedly fight a basilisk, a giant troll, an army of spiders (Ranging from small to damn that’s big!!).

Consider if you will, Prisoner of Azkaban, where in order to save a dear friend he casually advises Hermione to use the “Time Turner” device, which lets you effortlessly go back in time and change any thing you want. The question of course is why the hell didn’t Dumbledore himself go back in time and just kill Voldemort when he was killing Harry’s parents??? He could have stopped it all from happening.. the rise to power of the wizarding world’s equivalent of the anti-christ, the death of Harry’s mother and father. So much death and bloodshed could have been avoided. Most of all, that mix of Freddy Krueger and the Avon lady who calls herself the Undersecretary of the Minister of Magic would never have had to set foot in Hogwarts. For a man who’s packing soo much power, Dumbledore surely left his A-game back at home. Hell, he couldn’t even stop himself from dieing. The kicker of course being that he knew it would happen.

 

Gandalf the White (Lord of the Rings)

Batting for the good guys of Middle-earth, Gandalf the White, formerly known as Gandalf the Grey. One of the few non-mortal sorcerers/wizards on this list, Gandalf is Maiar; a lower and less powerful form of Valar. Basically they’re all spirits, ascended beings… if you will. Gandalf is among the wisest of his people. In the Lord of the Rings series, he takes mortal form to better aid in his helping the people of Middle-earth stand against the evils of Sauron, the dark lord of Mordor. He’s an individual of great magical skill and prowess. He has the ability to create a concussive blast strong enough to knock back a whole host of enemies and kill them by simply stamping his staff to the ground. On one occasion he’s been known to go toe to toe with a Balrog.. an ancient, evil, and huge being of fire. As well as create concussive blasts, Gandalf is able to shield himself from all manor of attack, be it magical or physical. If Dumbledore is the Potterverse’s equivalent of Merlin, then surely Gandalf is such for Lord of the Rings.

The case against him:

According to the books, Gandalf is a being of extraordinary magical prowess and if that’s not enough, he’s immortal.  He also has the ability to  disappear at will, is impervious to permanent injury, can conjure and control fire, can make lightning strike down on you, has limitless knowledge of spells, potions, and sorcery. It’s almost fair to say that he has no equal.

In the films, however, we see him mostly speaking ominously whenever a Hobbit does something they know they shouldn’t be doing, and shooting light from his staff to drive back Orcs and Ring Wraiths alike. As if out of nowhere, warning, he’ll do something amazing, like fight a Balrog all on his own. The Balrog being something out of the league of all the other groups members combined.

Being that the fate of all of Middle-earth is in the balance, it seems confusing that he would limit himself to a few light shows and sword play.. no matter how much butt he may kick with a sword. In all fairness, I actually know the reason behind that, but it doesn’t stop me from being miffed when I see the film. Pick up your staff and shoot some fireballs once in a while, let some lightning hit a few Orcs or Wraiths and see if they don’t leave you alone for a bit.

 

The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull (He-Man)

The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull is known as the most powerful magic-wielder in all of Eternia (The world in which she resides.).  She’s known to be able to look into both the past and the future, teleport herself and others across great distances, create life, project images, create magical shields, the ability to fly and shape-shift as well as other things. She is most noted for granting prince Adam the powers to become He-Man, the mightiest hero of Eternia and sworn enemy of Skeletor.

The case against her:

Despite being a being of tremendous mystical abilities and knowledge, the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull employs others to do what she could easily accomplish herself. The vast strength and power that He-Man possesses are basically given to him from her, through Castle Grayskull, which would mean that she has the strength and might to do what needs to be done. Somehow she allowed herself to be captured by Skeletor (In the film Masters of the Universe. ). I fail to see how such a thing could happen, being that she is as I have stated, the most magic-wielder in all of Eternia. Skeletor, though not originally from Eternia is still an inhabitant of the planet, technically making the Sorceress his superior.. magically speaking. I just fail to see how with the powers of Castle Grayskull and her own magical powers combined, she fails to do what He-Man who has only the powers of Grayskull can do and on a daily basis.

 

Skeletor (He-Man

Skeletor is the main rival and enemy of He-Man’s in the Masters of the Universe TV show, comics and films. Basically, Skeletor is a non Eternian native with aspirations of gaining power at any means necessary. Once a man with an actual face, he’s now devoid of all facial tissue, due to an incident involving  battle against “Captain Randor” and a deflected vile of acid in the face. He is a highly-skilled sorcerer who wields one half of the “Power Sword.” He-Man has the other half, and whoever unites the two would become.. the master of the universe. (See, I got the title of the show in there.)

The case against him:

Though he manages now and again to capture He-Man in one way or another, time and time again, He-Man manages to slip through his grasp. Most of their battles end in He-Man tricking Skeletor or just all together overpowering him. Even while dueling with their swords of power, He-Man would manage to cut a rope here or there that would drop a chandelier or something on top of Skeletor, leaving him cursing He-Man and vowing revenge. As accomplished and skilled a sorcerer as he’s supposed to be, one would think he would have managed to have finished He-Man off by now. With all of the wonderful evil at his disposal, he hasn’t even managed to put much of a dent in He-Man. What’s more is that though they do clash mano a mano or in this case mano a skullo from time to time, most of the fighting is done between his subordinates and He-Man & friends. Not only does he fail to bring home the bacon on his own, but with the help of his subordinates as well; one of which is a magic user like him. So, that’s two magic users. Not to mention the fact that He-Man is secretly the less than fearsome prince Adam of Eternia. For all his might and magic, Skeletor can’t defeat a little boy.

All of these sorcerers and the Sorceress are purely awesome, but their awesomeness can’t help but be overshadowed by their sheer lack thereof. For all of their great deeds and feats, their failures and inadequacies hang around their necks like an albatross; a big giant albatross.

Thanks to Google.com for all the pictures & images I use in my blog posts.