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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.

Sounds to Listen Out for In 2012

I’ve already talked at length about the movies, gadgets and tech, toys, and doomsday events to look forward to this year, but one thing I’ve yet to mention is the sounds of 2012.

I’ve come across some pretty decent bands that are up and coming, have yet to up and come, or already here, and I figure what better thing to do than to share them with all you fine people out there in cyber space. Keep in mind though that as usual… this list is in no particular order.

1. Howler- A ban originally born out of boredom in 2010 by Jordan Gatesmith, Howler’s been described as having a west coast sunshine meets east coast garage/surf rock sort of sound. Their first EP ‘This One’s Different‘ was released in the US on February 14, 2011. The bands lineup consists of Jordan Gatesmith on lead guitar and vocals, Brent Mayes on drums, Ian Nygaard on guitar, Max Petrek on keyboard, and France Camp (real name Jay Simonson) on bass. With a sound like theirs, they’re definitely something to look for this year.

2. Spector- These east London indie-popsters have sharp suits, snazzy specs, and  swooning melodies reminiscent of bands of yesterday(this is meant in the best of ways). Their single ‘Grey Shirt and Tie’ is sure to be a hit. They’ve been described as “reminiscent of The Walkmen mainlined into The Killers’ chugga-train drive”. With a lineup of Frederick Macpherson (vocals), Christopher Burman (guitar), Thomas Shickle (bass), Jed Cullen (synth, guitar) and Danny Blandy (drums), they’ve got  the style and the substance to make it well into 2012 and beyond.

3. Flux Pavilion- Known professionally as Flux Pavilion and otherwise as Joshua Steele, is an English dubstep producer and DJ. This newcomer’s ‘Bass Cannon’ shot him directly into the public consciousness and saw him “Zane Lowe-d” as the hottest record of the week. A recent Tweets boast” recording my first string section – that’s why I love music”. And that’s why people are going to love him. I myself wasn’t the biggest proponent of dubstep, but even I have to admit that this guy is good…really good. I think he has what it takes to make it big or even bigger than big.

4. It Lies Within- In 2011, this band signed to Luxor Records.  For 2012, this means touring and new music.  Their sound is purely melodic.. in that deep, dark, metal way. The band consists of  Zachary (Vocals), Matthew (Guitar), Michael (Guitar), Justin (Bass), and Torrey (Drums). I see a ton of great things coming from this band next year, so make sure you check them out.

5. The Uptown 4- Unlike many of the other bands mentioned/to be mentioned, they’re an A Capella group. What originally started out as a few friends singing in their backyards and having fun has become one of the fastest-growing A Cappella quartets in the entire Pacific Northwest. Their lineup consists of  Orion (Affectionately nicknamed onion-ring.) (Tenor 1), Jeffrey McGlinn (Tenor 2), Jeff Weister (Baritone), Sky Lewis (Bass), and Shawn Dudley (Vocal Percussion) Their unique sound is sure to make them a continued hit throughout 2012. If you haven’t checked them out, you should.

6. Good Weather For Airstrikes- In 2011,  this band has released a full-length, gone on a Midwest tour, and played a ton of awesome shows.  Their Indie sound is quite unique(at least to these ears.) They definitely seem to have more than a hang on their craft. Look for them to keep the ball rolling in 2012 and beyond.  With a lineup like James Radick, Joe Hillier, Josh Fenn, & Bill Grant just wait till you see what they’ve got to offer.

7. Act As One- After a bit of a brief indefinite break, Act As One is back and better than ever.  Their pop-punkish sound is quite refreshing. They bring to mind Sum41, though they are of course quite different. Along with great vocals, they boast some great instrumentals. Look for some awesome new music from these guys this year. There’s nowhere but even further up to go for Taylor Nagel, Shawn Brown, Jared McNally, Levi King, and Ben Hoffman.

8. Toy-  This indie rock/psychedelic rock band from London is comprised of Tom Dougall, Dominic O’Dair,
Maxim Barron, Charlie Salvidge, and Alejandra Diez. Toy emerged from the smoking ruble of Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong(That band having been roundly shafted by a major label who paid for the recording of, then shelved, their debut album.) Now safe on indie shores with Heavenly Records, Toy are pushing a thoroughly mellow post punk sound that should have indie discos and clubs swooning throughout the year.

9. In The Name Of- These guys are a collection of musicians assembled and managed by the singer/songwriter Danny Worsnop, from various locations across the USA. They’ve raised the eyebrows and captured the attention of many. In The Name Of breaks all the rules written on how the music business works and is a fast rising new band that is definitely a name you won’t be forgetting about any time soon!

http://www.facebook.com/officialitno

That concludes my list of the sounds you should definitely listen out for this year. Though there are a slew of other bands out there who were not mentioned in my list, that doesn’t mean they’re not worth listening out for either. And while you’re at it.. keep an ear out for those artists already known… who knows.. they just may come up with something utterly amazing.

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Enough is Enough…Isn’t it?

LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) – “The Avengers” has a new superpower: 3D. Walt Disney Studios said Thursday that the movie will be released in the format when it debuts May 4.

I’ve noticed an alarming trend recently. That trend being that there are more and more movies being made in 3D. Now don’t get me wrong, when I saw James Cameron’s Avatar, I had to see it in IMAX 3D. It was just that epic of a movie. So I’m not against 3D movies all together. There are a ton of movies that have been made 3D though and unnecessarily at that.  Upon checking Wikipedia, I found over 30 titles that have been released in 2011 alone in 3D; starting with The Green Hornet on January 14, 2011 and ending with the release of The Darkest Hour on December 23, 2011.

While I love my films based on super powered individuals as much as the next person, or a little more, I don’t really think that every single superhero film should be made in 3D.

Movies deserving to be made in 3D this year include:

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Final Destination 5

These are the kind of movies that should be done in 3D, especially seeing as you don’t see these types of films being popped out every other day.

Movies undeserving of being made in 3D this year include:

Gnomeo and Juliet

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

TT3D: Closer to the Edge

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

Thor

Piranha 3D

Priest… the list goes on.

Now I’m sure you’ve noticed the first list is shorter than the second one, but that’s just the way I see it. I’m not saying that any of these movies are bad in any way(except the Justin Bieber one of course.) All I’m saying is that if you’re a film maker and you’re going to make a movie in 3D then you should be sure that the film is worth being put in 3D. You don’t see George A. Romero making every single zombie film he makes in 3D, do you? No.. and his films are awesome.

As a matter of fact, I’d say why not take a break from making 3D films Hollywood.?. I mean.. does 3D really enhance the films or is it just plain unnecessary? The average price about now where I live to see a non 3D film is $9.75 for an adult, $7.00 for children, and $7.00  for seniors. When it comes to watching those same films in 3D, the prices jump to $11.25 for an adult, $10.50 for children, and $10.50 for seniors. Sure, that’s only a difference of $1.50, but is it really worth it when the odds seem to always lean more towards the 3D being ill-used? If a family of 3 were to go on a movie night just to see.. “The Adventures of Tintin 3D”, assuming it’s 2 adults and 1 child the price for viewing the movie alone comes to about $33.00, not to mention the concessions such as drinks, candy, and or hotdogs…

Are you a slave to 3D?