Archive for the ‘ Movies ’ Category

Cross Media Productions

I recently saw Hunger Games in theaters. My review of it was that it was good, and my main complaints is the had a lot of the camera annoyances like a shaky shots and zooming in close during fight scenes so it was difficult to tell what was going on and the alterations that are necessary for any book that is turned into a movie. This brings me to the title of this post. I’m not really sure I used it right, but what i am referring to is when a something is remade in another form of media, in this case, a book made into a movie. As was the case here and is usually the case, the movie wasn’t as good as the book. The only time this wasn’t the case was Forrest Gump; then again the movie and and the book were barely related. They had the same characters, and many of the same events, but the book was more of a Comedy with Forrest being an Idiot Savant, and the movie was more of a Drama, with Forrest being an idiot with a heart of gold.

In the case of Hunger Games there wasn’t really much changed from the book to movie, just little things like a relatively insignificant character removed, and other events changed in small ways that didn’t change the overall story. Some things were added, but were necessary. Things that were going on and needed to be shown, because the book is written in first person from the perspective of Katnis and there was a lot of explaining that only happened inside of her head.

This always seems to be the case when a book is made into a movie There is always a lot that is left out, and quite a bit that is outright changed. This is obvious because it needs to appeal to the new audiences that the new media appeals to, not just the original fans, although those are often who they actually lose with the change. It’s what happened with the Batman movies the Transformer movies, the later X-Men and quite a few other Marvel movies (Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Elektra. etc.) . People new to them that didn’t actually know anything of the source material enjoyed them – for the most part – but the original fans hated the movies for how much they changed. This part was actually a bit odd for me, because, Transformers was an Anime, something that should easily be transferred to a movie, and comic books which many nowadays are extremely episodic, but i guess it just goes back to appealing to a larger audience and not just to the herd of nerds that like the original stuff.

Another cross media creation that has cropped up is Book series being made into TV shows. My first experience with this is the making of Dreden Files into a TV show, that only lasted the one season and Legend of the Seeker, which i think lasted two or three. Both of these were changed drastically from their source material, but mostly necessarily, because to be true to the source material, a great deal of it would not have been appropriate for television, which is why i think Game of Thrones is doing so well because they can stay true to their violent and sexual source material.

The last worth mentioning is that games based off of movies are almost always terrible. This actually has a better excuse because games based off movies are usually made while the movie is being made and while it has very little to go on with what happens in the movie – something that often changes while the film is being made – games usually need a lot more time then a movie to be good, and yet they are still expected to come outbefore the movie to build the hype. Of course they’re going to suck, they don’t have the information to be accurate or the time to to be good.

Recently, Games have started to be made into movies, but not to much of a positive effect. For instance the Resident Evil movie didn’t touch well with most of the original fans of RE, but i hadn’t played any of the games when i saw the first movie and i actually enjoyed it. What they did that annoyed people is to take the basic story of the first game, and re imagine it with original characters and altered environments and events. This I actually think was a good idea, at least for this media. They kept most of the basic things: Umbrella, S.T.A.R.S., and Zombies, and made something that would actually appeal to a wider audience, and probubly got more people wanting to play the games, I know I did. The reason i didn’t want to play the original games was becuase I really wasn’t into the horror genre, but seeing that it had a great deal of action, i was interested, and have actually enjoyed the RE games i have played through: RE4 and 5.

Thing is, Movies made into games, Games made into Movies, Books made into Movies, Movies made into Books (something that i have never really delved into myself honestly) and other cross media are never going to be the same, nor should they. There are things that need to be left out, altered, and added in because they just don’t fit. A movie to game can’t be the same because a gamer should be in control of the outcome, a book to movie can’t be the same because an over-present narrator is just annoying. The best thing to realize is that things will change in the new product, but you shouldn’t let the reflect on the source material or the media as a whole, i.e. I didn’t like The Eragon or Percy Jackson movies, but i liked the concept behind them so I assumed that the books were (and having read them can say they are) better then the movies.


Netflix vs. Blockbuster

Well, it happened a while ago, but I’m only now feeling the desire to write about it. As a direct result of the Blockbuster bankruptcy the Blockbuster that i worked at went out of business, then then the one that i got relocated to closed. After this happened, i got really annoyed and cancelled my subscription to blockbuster online and out of spite, and the desire to still get movies/tv shows, i started a subscription to Netflix. I have since come to believe that Netflix is really better…and here is why.

1.) It’s cheaper. I didn’t really notice before because i was getting all of my rentals for free, but the I’m only spending about 8 bucks a month to get something that would have cost a great deal more though blockbuster. Either the buck a day per movie through the store, or 15 bucks a month through the online are both more expensive.

2.) It’s more convenient. I really really really really like the streaming, especially the way I can have it both through my computer and PS3.  The only way you could come close to streaming with blockbuster is on demand, which also means paying for each of them. There is also instant access to all these movies and shows with no need to wait for them to come in the mail or wait in line for newer or more obscure items. You also don’t risk receiving the incorrect or a damaged disc which happened to me more then once, and to plenty of other customers. Yes they do allow you to report it and after the report the immediately send the correct disc…if they have it, but the inconvenience is still there.

The only negative thing i can say about it is that there are a lot of popular and newer shows and movies that they don’t offer, but the inexpensiveness, and convenience far outweigh this disadvantage. even though the selection is limited I have been able to find a lot of things i have wanted to watch, which is mostly TV shows, and anime….which i suppose could be considered TV shows, but most the ones i watch didn’t air in the US. In fact I am currently watching SNL 2000s, specifically S34: E11 with Hugh Laurie as the host (the second time), did you know he is British? because i didn’t until the first time i watched this episode when it first aired Christmas season of 2008.

Now, before i went with Netflix i considered Hulu, but i can use it for free, and it has this weird tendency of messing up the image on my computer if i watch it fullscreen for to long, and i didn’t want to start paying for it if that was going to happen.

Conclusion: Blockbuster: BOOOOO! you deserve to go outta business if you don’t change you ways, and Netflix: YAYYYYYY!!! puh-lees don’t go away. and Hulu: I like your free stuff.

Fast Five – Review

Today…or rather, yesterday because i am making this entry after midnight, is…or was, my birthday. On it, i went to see this movie. Once again, i saw a review before i saw it. From seeing that review i wasn’t at all excited to see it, but because i was seeing with my sister, brother-in-law, and friend of my sister’s, i figured i would give it a chance, and i’m glad i did. It was a fun mindless action movie. There really isn’t much other then that that i can say, because it’s really one of those movies that if you’re just looking for action with cars you’re going to love, but if you’re looking for something else, why the hell are you watching this movie? You should really know what to expect from the other 4 movies, cept this one is chock full of other action stars, and characters from the other movies.

The one thing i should say is stay through the credits, because there is a scene at the end with a teaser and obvious set-up for a sequel.

Thor – Review

This is another in a looooong line of Marvel movies. Many of them sucked, and a bunch of other were awesome. I liked this as a movie by itself, but as a comparison to the comics, i’m not one to judge. Most of the comics i read are X-Men, or mutant related, i didn’t read many of the Avengers. I have started reading some of the new avengers ones, but none of those have Thor..for some reason he’s dead in those, but in true comic book fashion, not permanently.

Anywho, about the movie. I watched a review before seeing it, so i wasn’t surprised by Natalie Portman, but i was pleasantly Surprised by Kat Dennings. Natalie Portman was great but i have been a fan of Kat Dennings since 40-Year-Old Virgin, and the only movie i didn’t like with her in it was House Bunny. She added a goofy side-kick sorta personality for Natalie. Yes it’s an action movie, but i really like the funny characters in an action movie, and the fact that she’s really hawt is another plus.

The other really big plus was that all of the costumes and Asgard itself was so over the top, but in a wonderful eccentric way. The costumes were so awesome and odd, but they went well with the Asgard appearance (Rainbow Bridge, teehee) and while they were on earth it was the whole mentality of “yeah, we’re goofy looking, and don’t blend at all, but who cares, we’re freaking gods”.

This also just makes me that much more excited for the Avengers movie.

P.S. Don’t leave durring the credits you dummies. This is a Marvel movie, so you know there is something at the end of them.

The Tourist Review

This movie wasn’t really what I expected, but i did enjoy it. It was likely because of the advertisements and the fact that it’s JD’s forte that i was expecting a movie that was an action/comedy sort of movie, but it was more of an action/drama spy movie with twists and turns throughout. Even though i did have the final twist figured out near the middle of the movie, the movie itself did have me questioning, and i really like being right about this sort of thing.

The movie did actually remind me a lot of the movie The American, cept I wasn’t disappointed. With the American it came off as an action move, but was really more of a drama, and a somewhat boring one at that. This one was more drama then action, but it did have a great deal of fun action moments, and although there weren’t as many comedy moments, they were there and amusing.

So, as a bit of a sum up. Great movie, and wasn’t what i was expecting in a very good way. If you want some funny action with a goofy JD then watch Pirates. This movie is a good one to watch with the girlfriend what it really is under all the chase scenes is a love story.

eXistenZ (Review)

This is a movie that I caught on TV a couple of years ago, and when I saw it on Blockbuster Online, I figured I would add it to my queue. The story-line of the movie is about game developer named Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh who made a game for a Game Pod, who has to go on the run with Ted Pikul (Jude Law) because an anti-game terrorist organization is trying to kill her at the testing party of her new game: eXistenZ. The Game Pod is a bit of bio-technology, and you play the game by plugging what looks like an umbilical card into the base of ones spine. When playing the game, the player was completely immersed in the game seeming to leave their own body behind.

The underlying message throughout the whole movie is a warning of where we are going with realism in games, and the danger of virtual reality, and how the characters routinely cannot tell whether they are in the game or in the real world which is really driven home with the last line of the movie. One could think this movie was anti-video game, with it’s clear view of it getting out of control, and harming the environment. However it was shown so poorly and was trying to hard by having the testing of the game take place in a church.

This wasn’t a great movie, and probably would have done better as a Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episode, and that is really what it felt like throughout the whole movie because it was the message that I really liked, but not the presentation.

Wing Commander

I’m not sure if anyone bothered to remember this movie. I barely remembered it when i came across it on Blockbuster Online, but i thought i would give it a shot. As I was watching it, I was having a hard time remembering what was so bad about it. Until it came to the space scenes that were really crappy, and they also played the typical annoying sci-fi mistake of making noise in space that only Firefly/Serenity managed to avoid. They also had the really horrible alien puppets that only moved their eyes and mouths. It might have been a better movie, or at least more popular, if that hadn’t cast Freddie Prince Jr an Matthew Lillard in a Movie that was ‘supposed’ to be based on a video game. Yeah, let’s put Fred and Shaggy into space and have them fly around shooting aliens. Oh and just for kicks, lets have the goofy guy (Shaggy) have a dramatic situation that makes him all sad-faced. In the original game Mark Hamil did one of the voices. Gee, I wonder if Luke Skywalker would have been a good casting choice for Nerds.

What’s that? This movie was based on a game? Why yes it was. Not a game I’ve ever played, because it was a flight simulator made in the 90s, and i wasn’t really that much of a computer gamer until a while after it was released, and even then i really didn’t stray far from games that were made by Blizzard. I was also more of a console gamer, and the computer was in the basement, where it was cold.

Back to the game though, It actually had cut scenes that had actual actors and were FMV. This was actually a common practice in that time done by other games like Myst and Star Wars Dark Forces. So, in my eyes, a better movie would have been if they had just made a longer version of one of those.

The thing that I really did like about the movie was the Pilgrim Side-story. Pilgrims were the first to explore the galaxy. It wasn’t very well described but to jump from one point to another, they would travel close to spacial anomalies like quasars and black holes and just the right point. The Pilgrims developed a sense that allowed them to do this naturally, but then an A.I. was invented that could do this without the pilgrims. It wasn’t really explained well or elaborated upon, other then some minor racism because Freddy was half-pilgrim, and he was the only one that could jump in certain situations and save the day! I would have really appreciated more on this story. They even had their own version of the Cross, that had a thin blade that popped out at the bottom. It just screamed being stabbed into a console or something making technology work better….or something, I don’t know, but they showed it off without really describing what it does.

A fun scene was a prequel to the bullet dodge scene in the matrix where the camera swings around which happened when the world seemed to freeze in the moment of the jump. Obviously this one was poorly done. Choppy and clearly just thrown in as an afterthought. To bad it was done better later in the same month in The Matrix.

Really though, it was fun to watch. There aren’t that many sci-fi movies, and usually they are really good/innovative, or really bad/funny. Guess what kind this movie is.