Tag Archives: Films

The Social Network. We’re all in one.

Thanks of a very generous twitterer I was given the chance to see The Social Network on Monday night.

Quick Synopsis:

Nerd from Harvard wants to be popular.

Nerd makes popular website.

Nerd gets into trouble.

Nerd makes even more popular website.

Nerd gets into even more trouble.

Nerd makes a billion dollars.

Nerd is popular….but still a Nerd.

The End.

Yes, it’s the story of that little website that rose from obscurity in the mid 2000’s to become the No.2 website in the world (after Google). It has also made Mark Zuckerberg, the founder/creator/nerd the youngest billionaire in the world with a worth of around 6.9 billion dollars. (click here to see what that could buy)

The film is essentially about the court cases surrounding the inital boom of the website, but we are taken back in time to see what occured during the pivotal moments of Zuckerberg’s rapid rise to riches.

You wouldn’t think this would make an especially enthralling film….but that is where you’re wrong. This film is exceptionally made in almost every way. First, you have David Fincher directing it. I’ve loved this guy since Se7en, which was also beautifully shot in almost every way. (also Fight Club, The Game, Panic Room, Zodiac, Benjamin Button and the new Dragon Tattoo US version). He gives this film an almost gritty edge to it. Surprising seeing as though the majority of it is filmed on a campus location (actually at Johns Hopkins Uni, not Harvard).

Secondly, you have Aaron Sorkin writing the screenplay. He wrote the 90’s hit, ‘A Few Good Men’, but is better known for his work on ‘The West Wing’. This would explain the incredible wordy opening sequence (which took 99 takes), in which Zuckerberg and his gf discuss their relationship.

The film itself just works. It’s fast paced, it has excellent performances from Jesse Eisenberg and particularly Justin Timberlake, who should definitely pursue acting a lot more. He plays the inventor of Napster, Sean Parker, and portrays him brilliantly, assuming that the actual person is paranoid, boisterous and charismatic.

When I walked out of the cinema I couldn’t help feeling that this is a movie for our generation. I specifically mean, for Gen X and Y. The Internet generations. We’ve all grown up with the Internet. We use it every single day and many have since the mid 90’s, but it wasn’t until Facebook appeared that we all joined together so whole-heartedly to create an online community that consumed so many.

My first experience of Facebook was early in 2006 when I was living and working in the US. I befriended a girl from Georgetown University who showed me the site. Of course at the time it was restricted to Universities and High Schools. It was until September of that year that anyone could create their profile.

The film goes a long way to show how the ideas for the site originated. Primarily the idea was taken and massaged from other students into what would become the original ‘TheFacebook.com’. The addition of personal information, relationship status and the infamous wall made it similar to MySpace, but it was the clean interface, speed and unique ability for added applications that helped it grow.

Whether you’re Gen X, Y, Baby Boomer or old fart you should enjoy this movie. If you’re like me you’ll also enjoy the awesome soundtrack provided by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails fame. Does industrial themed music work with this movie? Yes and suprisingly well. It adds that layer of depth to the scenes that Fincher would have loved and makes this more than a movie about a court case or a web site.

Well, stop reading this tripe and go see it already!

(funny)

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I Want to Believe..

The new X-Files is what you expect, but not.

Remember the good old days of early X-Files episodes which weren’t obsessed with the whole alien conspiracy theories, smoking men and Mulder’s daughter?

The movie is like that and it works. Scully smokes up the screen, and together with Mulder they just make you wish you were an ex-FBI agent with time to kill.

I really enjoyed it and although I may have been expecting a little more it was worth the whole $10 I spent on it (love those Hoyts Bluetooth prices!).

So, we’ve landed on Mars and are making little footprints with Phoenix craft. They’ve found evidence that water was there as well, and are now looking for the proof of life.

It’s pretty awesome if they find something. What do we call animals/organisms that exist on a planet other than ours? It’s like a whole blank canvas and a spanking new planet we can destroy.

Oh, and then some weird looking creature ‘washed up’ on the beach in New York

Looks convincing hey?

It’s most likely some viral marketing for a new Cartoon Network show called Cryptids, but damn, I wish it was real. Those little horns are cool, and is it just me or does it look like he is giving us the finger?


Film Review: The Dark Knight

I will not spoil anything in this review, but to be honest, it’s quite hard to spoil it anyway. Nothing I could say would ruin this film.

But I digress.

Batman Begins was the start of a new era for Batman. He has been through many incarnations, from his original comic strip, the the old TV show, to the Keaton/Kilmer/Clooney years to now. And finally they have got it right.

Batman Begins represented the real and true Batman that Bob Kane always intended. It concentrated around the man that is Batman, Bruce Wayne, and around the reasons why he became the vigilante.

The Dark Knight is the movie that Christopher Nolan was meant to make. Batman Begins was just the beginning.

He has assembled a cast that brings Gotham and it’s dirty underworld to life. Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhardt, Michael Caine and Maggie Gyllenhaal. It’s a perfect cast, because they got rid of Katie Holmes, who basically ruined her role in the first movie.

All the talk has been around Heath’s performance, and I cannot take anything away from the accolades he has received. The maniacal Joker is brought to life like never seen before. Where Jack Nicholson brought the class and the wit of the Joker, Heath brings the seediness and the psychotic. It’s a scary performance in that you don’t even see Heath. We don’t see the man that brought us a gay cowboy, a larrikin school kid or a young modern knight. He consumes the role and scares the crap out of you by how well he does it.

But you can’t let Heath’s performance overshadow the other points of this movie. Christian Bale IS Batman. He works as the Dark Knight is better than as Bruce Wayne admittedly, but ironically Bruce Wayne has always been better as the vigilante than as himself. It’s who he is, and always will be.

Aaron Eckhardt, the man you will likely know as the Tobacco company spokesman from Thank You For Smoking, expertly plays Harvey Dent, the fresh faced newly appointed District Attorney for Gotham City. He is seen as the ‘White Knight’ that is going to save the city.

So what then, is The Batman?

Hence, the title and the moniker that he has assumed over the years. The Dark Knight.

This film was always going to get a 5 star rating from me. I knew it would before I saw it, but I was worried about building my hopes up too much. You never want to presume a movie is going to blow you away. Inevitably you will be disappointed.

I was not disappointed.

I can’t rave about it enough. The action, the acting, the directing, the sets, the music, the cinematography, the writing. Everything. It’s the Batman movie I have been waiting 20 years for. That is when I started to read the comic books.

Batman is the people’s hero, and the underlying theme in this movie is just that. He is the hero that the people need. In whatever form that takes.

This is why Batman is easily the best superhero ever created.

Oh yeah, and check out the bike. It’s freaking awesome.

And this shot of the Joker is just perfect. Exactly how I have always wanted to see him.

This is how he looks in comic form. This is the famous strip from ‘A Death in the Family‘. Note the use of the crowbar.

or The Joker from ‘The Killing Joke’

But when it comes down to it. Batman is the hero.

Norm Breyfogle is my favourite Batman artist. Here’s an example of why.


Winter Movie Wrap

Wanna see a movie?

I do.

Hancock – A drunk superhero (Will Smith) turns good and saves the world whilst being funny.

Kung Fu Panda – A fat panda (Jack Black) saves the world with his menagerie of animal friends, whilst being funny and animated.

The Dark Knight – A (dead) crazy psychopath that thinks he’s funny is taken down by a Bat that often saves the world.

Speed Racer – The team that saved the world in their last movie (The Matrix Wachoski Brothers) make a bright colourful speedy CGI movie based on a kids cartoon. Not funny.

Get Smart – Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) teams up with a chick way too young for him to save the world AND be funny. Stars ‘The Rock’ (Dwayne Johnson). Hell Yeah!

The X Files – I Want to Believe – An old show (Can you believe it’s been 6 years?) is revived in order to revive Mulder and Scully’s acting careers. They will most likely save the world from Aliens or the government.

The Love Guru – Mike Myers solves the love troubles of ‘westerners’. Stars Ben Kingsley as a guru. Enough said 🙂

Hellboy II – The Golden Army – A freaky looking horned beast saves the world from a mythical army. Stars Seth McFarlane (voice and creator of Family Guy) as the voice of something. Score!

So. What to see?

Well, obviously The Dark Knight is at the top of the list. Next Wednesday people!!

X-Files, Hancock, Love Guru and Get Smart all look pretty good.

I really liked the first Hellboy and can’t see why Number 2 wouldn’t be any worse (hahaha)

Actually, it’s a bloody good winter line-up of movies.

Any more to add to the list? (Sex and the City, Narnia, Iron Man and Indy 4 are all long gone.)


Movie Night Anyone?

Since I failed miserably with my Oscar Challenge (again), I have been busy downloading lots of movies to catch up on.

So far I have the following movies ready to watch:

  • Juno
  • There Will Be Blood
  • Michael Clayton
  • 27 Dresses
  • La Vie En Rose
  • Bourne Trilogy (I have only seen the first)
  • American Gangster
  • Knocked Up
  • Pirates Trilogy (haven’t seen ‘World’s End’ yet)

So, who’s bringing the popcorn?

Any others I should grab while I’m in the mood?


Oscar Movies…..again. 2 Down.

Well, if you read my blog last year, you will remember I had a mission to see all of the ‘Best Picture’ Oscar Nominated Films for that year. I failed miserably, only seeing 2 of them before the Oscars happened.

So, it’s time to try again! The Oscars are on March 5th, and I have now seen 2 of the 5 nominated ‘Best Picture’ films.

They are:

Brokeback Mountan
Capote
Crash
Good Night, and Good Luck
Munich

So, 3 to go in 3 weeks. I reckon I can do that. Crash is a DVD movie anyway, so it should be easy.

So, here’s a couple of my opinions on the 2 I have seen.

Munich

Let me just give you a quick rundown on Eric Bana’s career…..

So. yes. He’s had a diverse career. His role in Munich is like something you have never seen him do. Not only does he do a pretty damn good Israeli accent, he acts his way so well through this movie, you feel proud to have known him as the guy that impersonated Ray Martin.

I have not been a huge fan of Spielberg’s recent works. To be honest, I haven’t seen them either because his fascination for Tom Hanks is really starting to wear thin with me. Now, if he started a fascination with Eric Bana, I might reconsider. This film is strong, well cast and even though it runs for 2 hrs 45 mins it keeps you enthralled and unsleepy (I was really tired when I went into this movie). I didn’t really know the story of the Terrorist incident at the Munich Olympic Games, but after this movie, you really will know all about it. It’s almost filmed in a documentary style, but the character that Eric Bana plays really pulls you into the film and keeps you wanting to find out more.

No Spoilers here, but the ending may not be to everyone’s liking. I didn’t mind it. I thought there was a lot of texture and a real under current to the film which you really have to keep track of otherwise you may fade.

Anyway, I’m being vague. It’s good. It’s not usual Spielberg tripe. And Eric Bana is the best actor to come out of Australia since…..well…for a while. 4 bombs from me!

Brokeback Mountain

I just came out of this movie about 2 hours ago, so it’s still very fresh in my head. Firstly, let me say that if I were gay, I would so want Jake Gyllenhaal. Damn, I almost envy Heath Ledger getting to kiss him. But I digress. This is a freaking excellent movie. As far as movies go, too many times we see the same old worn out stories rolled out again and again. But has there been a film about gay cowboys recently? I think not!

This movie makes me want to go to Wyoming. Some of the scenery shots are magnificent, and the music? Damn, it may have been country and western styled, but it (almost) had me getting into it.

But what makes this movie so frigging good is the acting. They both act well, but Heath just kicks arse in this movie. I have not seen him perform like this ever, and I have seen most of his movies. (10 Things I hate about You included!) He portrays the confused, likeable, quiet cowboy with scary ease and his thick country American accent was almost perfect. The story in this film keeps you interested and the emotion it invokes, althought probably very different with different people, really pulls you in.

I am not the best person to ask, “Did you like the movie?” after coming straight out of the cinema, because I have a habit of saying that it was “..the best movie I have seen this year.” But this movie is, and maybe it will be all year.

I enjoyed picking the female actors in this movie too. Find Velma from Scooby Doo and Jen from Dawsons Creek.

It’s great! It’s gay! It gets 4 1/2 spurs from me.