Juck’s Thoughts on the World Is Not Enough

The world is not enough. It is nahht. Oh hi Mark. – Tommy Wiseau.

wold-is-not-enough

It is no secret that Christopher Nolan is a huge Bond fan by his own admission. With that in mind, I can’t help but wonder if Cobb’s rappel scene from Nolan’s very own Inception was inspired by this movie. A more eerie similarity between this particular Bond film and another one of Nolan’s pictures, The Dark Knight, is between two lines of dialogue. In the World Is Not Enough, a character says, “She could be everywhere” in reference to M’s potential death by bomb. Of course, if the bomb were to have gone off, M’s remains would certainly be “everywhere.” In the Dark Knight, when Batman is interrogating the Joker as to the whereabouts of Harvey Dent, the Joker responds, “Depending on the time, he may in one spot, or several.” Interesting, how the lines of dialogue are so similar under like circumstances.

On the other side of things, this Bond film nods to an older era of Bond and refers to Live and Let Die by flipping a speedboat. Thankfully, because the universe was kind on a particular day in the editing room, there was no slide whistle sound effect include this time around!

The World Is Not Enough features another strong Q scene, one that undoubtedly served as an appropriate sendoff for Desmond Llewelyn, who died shortly after the film’s release. The scene is touching, and it marks the end of a truly spectacular Q. Brosnan brought out the best in Llewelyn, as is palpable on screen. Or perhaps it was Llewelyn who brought out the best in Brosnan. However the chemistry was conjured, the two have the greatest scenes of any Bond-Q pair to date.

I have finally determined that Brosnan handles a gun significantly better than he handles hand-to-hand combat. The manner in which he handles firearms exudes confidence and power, which is fitting, given that this Bond has proven to be more fond of including (and more apt to have) technology in his arsenal.

The_World_is_Not_Enough_Brosnan

I enjoyed seeing Robbie Coltrane’s Zukovsky appear once again, with his first appearance being in GoldenEye. Continuity is a rare element in Bond films, and seeing a recurring supporting character who isn’t from MI6 a pleasant treat.

Though The World Is Not Enough moves along Bond’s evolution quite nicely, the film lost much of its charm and shine as it went on, suffering from a problem possessed by a host of older Bond films. That is, the second half of the film lags. This is a decent Bond film, but it is not a standout for me.

~Juck

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Movies I Probably Should’ve Seen in 2013

2013 was not a big year for me in terms of movie-going. Rather than going to my local theater, I often chose to watch classics that I had yet to see (like Goodfellas. Yes, I know. It’s about time), as well as movies that my friends and family had recommended me to see (Donnie Darko, In Bruges, etc.). I am aware that I missed out on some great films. This list is essentially a kick to my own butt.

Prisoners

Jake Gyllenhaal consistently stars in fantastic films, and it seems that Prisoners is no exception to his great decision-making. From what I heard, this is a dark film that is well-executed. I also heard that a rabbit will make an appearance at some point. I will catch Prisoners as soon as it hits Redbox or Netflix.

Captain Phillips

Dave Matthews on a boat. What more is there to say?

Oh, right. I am the captain of this ship.

The Wolf of Wall Street

DiCaprio has chops. He owns every role that I have seen him assume. Many are calling the Wolf this generation’s Goodfellas. This vulgar film is on my must-see list, and I will absolutely catch it as soon as possible.

Ender’s Game

I didn’t like this book. I felt that it was very blandly written. Still, I’d like to see my father’s reaction to the twist at the end. Plus, Harrison Ford is in it, and so is the chick from True Grit. She did a fantastic job in her role as the witty daughter, and so I look forward to seeing her and her caterpillar eyebrows in Ender’s Game.

American Hustle

This movie looks intriguing. Perhaps it doesn’t have the grandeur of the Wolf, but I’d like to see it regardless. Oh, and Amy Adams. That is all.

Of course, there are other films that I’d like to see, but these are the ones that are at the top of my list. Which film do you recommend that I see first? Thanks for reading!

~Juck

A Fan’s Opinion: How my Mom Feels About the New Wonder Woman

I know nothing about the character of Wonder Woman other than the basics. She has a lasso of truth. She wears patriotic attire. She is an Amazon (like Khloe Kardashian, except Wonder Woman is attractive). Other than that, I’m out of the loop. My opinion of the new Wonder Woman, therefore, is insignificant. Gal Gadot has been cast as Wonder Woman, and though I cannot speak much about it, my mother can. She is a huge Wonder Woman fan and has seen all of the TV episodes.

What follows is a casual interview between she and I. I did not give any explanation as to why I was asking her these questions, or tell her that a new Wonder Woman had been cast. I break the news to her later into the interview. Let my mom know what YOU think in the comments below, and enjoy!

Q: It’s no secret that Wonder Woman is your favorite superhero. Why are you so fond of the character?

A: Apart from watching her show while growing up, I feel that Wonder Woman is a beautiful character who has great abilities. She is a strong hero character. I would love to sit down and watch the show again!

Q: There’s been talk for a long time about a Wonder Woman film. How do you think the new Wonder Woman should look?

A: I don’t think that her appearance should change at all. I feel that Wonder Woman’s costume, hair, and accessories are perfect in regards to the original Wonder Woman. She had a simplistic style which works. I hope that they don’t touch her look.

Q: Is there anyone in Hollywood who you can see playing Wonder Woman?

A: I don’t think that anybody can replace Linda Carter.

Q: Well, they replaced her. A new girl has been cast as the official Wonder Woman. Would you like to see how she looks? *I show her a few pictures*

A: Wow! She’s beautiful. I think that this casting decision will work out well, though I don’t know if this new Wonder Woman fits exactly. My first impression is that she looks too “Hollywood.” She is tall and slender, though Linda Carter was pretty in a simplistic kind of way. Plus, Linda Carter had blue sparkling eyes, and this girl doesn’t. Still, that isn’t a big deal. As long as the girl playing Wonder Woman is brunette, it’s alright with me. I would love to see this Wonder Woman movie in theaters with my sister.

Q: She actually isn’t getting her own movie just yet. She will be making her first appearance in the Batman vs. Superman film in 2015. Are you still on board to see her despite the fact that she isn’t getting a solo film any time soon?

A:  Yes, I would be very curious as to how she would fit in as a superhero, but I will be very critical when I watch the movie. Because I have seen every one of the Wonder Woman episodes, I will be watching her performance closely. I won’t be watching with a negative mindset, but understandably I wouldn’t be able to help making comparisons.

Q: Thanks Mom. Can you make me some cookies?

A: *no comment*

____

It seems that she has my mother’s stamp of approval! Thanks for reading! Drop a like and a comment for my mom! She looks forward to hearing your opinions of the casting!

~Ddog

Movie Monday: Actors

Week 3

Actors

Let’s take a look at 15 actors with interesting stories and fascinating upbringings! Note that Expendables-esque action stars as well as comedy actors are not included here, with the exception of Jim Carrey. This is because this series is young! We got time for that in the future.

Robert Downey Jr.

  •   Career gained momentum with Chaplin, a biopic about Charlie Chaplin, played by  RDJ.
  •   1996 to 2001 was rough on his career due to drug related problems.
  •   In 2003 he came out of jail/rehab clean and sober.
  •   Revived himself through Iron Man, Tropic Thunder, and Sherlock Holmes. Take note of the “Jesus shot” in the first Iron Man movie, as well as the character similarities between RDJ and Iron Man.

rdjDenzel Washington

  • Got his career started with Cry Freedom. He was nominated for an Oscar for playing Steve Biko. That was not the only activist he played. Denzel also tackled Malcolm X, and was even offered the role of MLK Jr. He refused it, however, as he wanted to avoid being typecast.
  • After a hit supporting role in Glory, which won him Best Supporting Actor, his career gained momentum.
  • Training Day was a big lead role that won him Best Actor after he did many supporting roles.

denzel Heath Ledger

  • Early in his career, quickly gaining the image of a teen heartthrob and not wanting to retain it, he accepted a role in The Patriot.
  • Not finding success after playing many different characters, Brokeback Mountain gave him an Oscar nomination and a lot of attention.
  • The role of Ledger’s career is inarguably his performance as the Joker in the Dark Knight.
  • He passed shortly after filming the Dark Knight due to an accidental drug overdose, at age 28.

heathHarrison Ford

  • Got his start in American Graffiti from George Lucas.
  • His role as Han Solo progressed his career greatly, following up with Indiana Jones.
  • Has no ambition to get behind the camera, which is an interesting choice for men in his age group. Clint Eastwood and Sylvester Stallone have pursued directing careers, for example. Ford says that he wouldn’t want to trade the best job in the world for the hardest job in the world.
harrison

Mark Wahlberg

  • Started off as a rapper in his group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
  • When his rap career ended, Boogie Nights gave him a great start in film.
  • Since then he has played many characters, often hotheaded. He has great range, as displayed by Ted, giving the star a new reputation of a potential comedy actor.

wahlbergBrad Pitt

  • First got noticed in 1991 for Thelma and Louise. (attracted the ladies, as he appeared without a shirt.)
  • In 1995, Se7en and 12 Monkeys were both big hits which gained much momentum for his career.
  • Four years later, Fight Club was a cult hit. Brad Pitt continues to have a large spotlight. Pitt is still flourishing in Hollywood because of his role choices. He doesn’t stick to one type of character, and his range is undeniably wide.

pitt

 John Travolta

  • Rose to stardom through Welcome Back Kotter, a hit TV series.
  • In 1977 and 1978, Saturday Night Fever and Grease were hits, making Travolta a symbol of disco.
  • From there, his career regressed. His role choices were poor and he wasn’t doing very well for himself. Travolta’s career was revived in 1994 when he was cast in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

 travolta  Johnny Depp

  • Became a star after playing in the popular TV series 21 Jump Street, the inspiration for the 2012 comedy.
  • Chooses roles in which he plays odd characters and outlandish people.
  • Since Pirates in 2003, Depp has played Jack Sparrow in all of his films. (See the Tourist running scene.)

depp

 Jim Carrey

  • In 1990, In Living Color, a comedy sketch show, showcased Carrey’s very animate humor. (Fire Marshall Bill)
  • In 1994, he made a name for himself with Ace Venture: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and The Mask.
  • Transitioned to serious roles with the Truman Show, though he still does comedy.
 carrey

Liam Neeson

  • After landing in Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, he was recognized as a leading actor.
  • In 2009, his wife died as a result of a skiing accident. He has not remarried.
  • Is known in pop culture to be godlike, on screen and off. He has, after all, played Qui-Gon Jinn, Ra’s al Ghul, and Aslan.
neeson

Kevin Spacey

  • The Usual Suspects threw him into the spotlight after he played a string of mysterious, manipulative characters.
  • Tries to keep his personal life private in an effort to have the audience recognize his characters rather than himself behind the characters.
  • Is currently starring in House of Cards, high acclaimed Netflix exclusive show.
spacey

Tom Cruise

  • Top Gun made him an A list actor
  • Starred in many big films after Top Gun, including Rain Man.
  • Greatly enjoys Oprah’s couch.
  • Has been married 3 times.

cruise

 Leonardo DiCaprio

  • After taking on various roles, 1996’s Romeo + Juliet gave DiCaprio great amounts of attention.
  • Titanic instantly booted him up to being an A list actor.
  • A string of Scorsese films advanced his career. (Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed.)

dicaprio

Will Smith

  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air gained Smith a large audience.
  • Bad Boys kicked Smith into the Hollywood spotlight.
  • After Independence Day, a string of hits were released.
  • Smith advanced his rap career throughout his movie stardom.

smith

Russell Crowe

  • Born in New Zealand, raised in Australia.
  • LA Confidential was the first American movie to draw him attention.
  • In 2000 and 2001, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind were a one-two punch that won him awards and critical praise.
 crowe

Thanks for reading!

~Ddog

Movie Monday: Directors

Week 2:

Directors:

Directors are the guys who have made our favorite (and least favorite) movies. Let’s take a look at some notable directors.

Steven Spielberg 

Known for: Jaws, Indiana Jones, ET, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan

Recent Projects: The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, Lincoln

The tense, unnerving Jaws put him on the map.

                              jawsspielberg

Spielberg is known for his masterful storytelling. In Spielberg films,  normal people are typically thrown into extraordinary situations. This is why audiences flock to him: He makes films that everybody can relate to and enjoy. He establishes a strong sense of adventure in his movies. Spielberg is essentially the grandfather of Hollywood: As he rocks on his chair, he tells us stories that make us feel like kids.

James Cameron

Known for: Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Titanic

Recent Project: Avatar

Sci-Fi action film The Terminator put him on the map.

                     terminatorPicture1

James Cameron is primarily known for sci-fi. He is greatly interested in the ocean, and it shows through his films. He has also directed the two highest grossing movies of all time, Avatar and Titanic. On set, he is known for leading with an iron fist, not a perfectionist but a “rightist.” He needs his film to be the best it could be.

Christopher Nolan

Known for: Memento, The Prestige, Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception

Recent Project: The Dark Knight Rises

Memento put him on the map, due to it gaining a large cult following.

                                       nolan

What makes Christopher Nolan great is that he able to take a ridiculous premise and make it believable. Inception is a story of dream thieves, an absolutely ludicrous premise. Even more over-the-top is Memento, a story of a man who has short-term memory loss, and so he tattoos messages into his skin to remember things. Perhaps the most unbelievable of them all is Batman, a vigilante superhero who wears a bat costume and talks as if he’s been smoking for 20 years. Nolan takes ridiculous premises and makes them real.

Quentin Tarantino

Known for: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill

Recent Project: Django Unchained

The dialogue driven Reservoir Dogs put him on the map.                                                                                           dogstarantino

Quentin Tarantino is known for witty and memorable dialogue. His films are often controversial due to his movies’ subject matter, constant language, and violence. He is not a very child-friendly director, though his writing and directing style is undeniably one of a kind.

Martin Scorsese

Known for: Goodfellas, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, Casino

Recent Project: Hugo

Crime film Mean Streets put him on the map.                                                                                                                scorsesemean streets

Martin Scorsese is known for making crime films. His biggest hit is undoubtedly Goodfellas, a film detailing the life of a gangster. Scorsese has touched controversy, though he is best known for his crime movies featuring Italian characters and . He frequently collaborates with Robert De Niro.

M. Night Shyamalan

Known for: The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Last Airbender (an atrocity to film, but a great comedy)

Recent Film: After Earth

The Sixth Sense put him on the map.

sixth senseshy

Each of Shyamalan’s movies since the Sixth Sense has gotten worse reviews than the previous film, with the exception of After Earth, which received a whopping 4.9  over the Last Airbender’s 4.4. (out of 10) Shyamalan started his career off strong with the Sixth Sense, but audiences now see his name as a curse. When his name appears in trailers, people in theaters sigh audibly.

Joss Whedon

Known for: Cult TV Series (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), Serenity, The Avengers

Recent Film: Much Ado About Nothing

Cult TV series Firefly put him on the map.

                           fireflywhedon

Whedon is known for creating great character interaction through dialogue and confrontation. Many compliment the chemistry that he helped to create in the Avengers, for example. He developed a large following due to his TV show Firefly from 2002.

Tim Burton

Known for: Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Recent Films: Dark Shadows, Frankenweenie

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure put him on the map.

peewee hermanburton

Tim Burton often creates films that are odd and different, usually with Gothic or dark atmospheres. He is known for creating often off-color films, much like Guillermo del Toro, though he has taken on lighter projects. Burton frequently collaborates with Johnny Depp.

Peter Jackson

Known for: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, King Kong, The Hobbit Trilogy

Recent Project: The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug

Fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings put him on the map.

peter jacksonlotrPeter Jackson is known for having long movies and establishing universes. The Lord of the Rings and King Kong are prime examples of how Jackson can take a new, large world and make it come to life on screen. He does not have as many films on his track record as Spielberg, but the films he does create are large feats and big productions.Some other directors worth noting include:

  • The Coen Brothers
  • Guillermo del Toro
  • Michael Bay (BOOM!)
  • ALFRED HITCHCOCK

Thank you for reading! Let me know in the comments below: Who is your favorite director?

~Ddog

Movie Monday: The Film Crew

The news form of Movie Monday is no longer going to be practiced weekly. THIS is the new Movie Monday. We’ll take a movie-centric topic every week and take a closer at it. At the end of this post is a poll relating to this week’s topic. Be sure to vote on it! 🙂 Leave a like to support this kind of Movie Monday and let me know what you think!

The Main Crew:

  • Producer
  • Director
  • Cinematographer
  • Composer
  • Actors

Next to each crew member’s title is the parallel to it, as if a movie was a restaurant.

The Producer (the restaurant owner)

  • Spawns the movie

The producer does exactly what his name implies: He produces and creates the movie.

  • Is tasked with overseeing the movie’s production.

The producer oversees the movie’s whole production, making sure everything is running smoothly, on budget, and on schedule.

  • Can offer creative advice.

The producer CAN offer creative advice, though it’s the director who heads the actual creative process of the movie.

To better understand what a producer does, observe MEAT.

oney – The producer keeps track of the film’s budget. Most of the movies we see in theaters are big budget. It’s important to keep tabs on what you’re spending and where you’re spending it.

E mployment – The producer gathers the crew, hires the director, and oversees casting. Casting directors head the talent casting process, but producers cast the casting directors as well as the entire crew.

A dvertising – The producer handles marketing and advertising. If nobody knows about a film, nobody can see it. He doesn’t personally go out and give interviews as often as actors or the director, but he gives publicity to the film behind the scenes. (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, for example. It has been poorly marketed as far as I can tell).

imetable – The producer manages and establishes the production’s schedule. Movies have a slated release date, and the producer is responsible for ensuring that the movie is ready and complete by that given time.

Clearly, the producer is very important to film. He’s the guy that gets everything started and keeps everything rolling. Once he has the crew and production established, he passes the baton to the director.

Director (the manager)

  • Coordinates the crew

The director has a crew of actors and technical people working under him, and he is responsible for coordinating and guiding them to capture the footage needed for the movie.

  • Their vision is what they try to create

The director has a set idea in his head as to what he wants the movie to be like. He tries to achieve his vision as best he can.

Cinematographer (the chef)

  • In charge of the shot.

The cinematographer is responsible for making a great looking movie.

  • Coordinates lighting, cameras, etc.

The cinematographer works closely with the camera crews and lighting technicians to create the desired look of shots, as well as the editor, who tweaks things during post-production.

  • If the movie looks good, give credit to the cinematographer.

Some movies with great cinematography include: 

Skyfall :

Avatar:

The Dark Knight:

The Composer (the teenage boy who burns CD’s to play in the restaurant.) 

  • Oversees and creates the music

Score vs. Soundtrack

Score = The music created for a film specifically

ex: Lord of the Rings

Soundtrack = A collection of songs, usually from various artists, used in a movie.

ex: Pulp Fiction

The Composing Process

1.Watches the movie

2.Writes music to pair with the movie after deciding on an artistic direction with the director.

3.Prepares the music for the musicians.

4.Records/creates the music.

Actors (waiters)

  • The performers who act out the story.

The actors are the talents who you see on screen.

  • Their responsibility is to act. They are the faces of the movie.

Actors are often the center of marketing material. People know actors, and unless you’re Spielberg, casual moviegoers won’t gravitate towards a particular director.

  • Stunt doubles are often used when an actor is unable, unwilling, or not allowed to perform a strenuous task.

Actors cannot always do stunts for various reasons, whether it because of safety or because of the disinterest in doing stunts. (Jake Gyllenhaal opted to do his own stunts in Prince of Persia.)

Other Roles…

People are also needed for

  • Props
  • Casting
  • Set Design
  • Animation
  • Practical Effects
  • Clothing
  • Makeup
  • Audio
  • Editing
  • Writing
  • Locations
  • Booms
  • Camera
  • Lighting
  • Script Supervising
  • Weapons
  • Etc.

REMEMBER 

Movies are HUGE productions, and require a lot of people to get the desired end result.

Poll: Please vote on the poll below! 🙂 To you, who is the most important person involved in a movie’s production?

Thanks for reading!

~Ddog

The Hangover Movie Review

(written in 2011)

I regret waiting so long to see this hilarious movie. I was blown away at how hysterical it was.

The two key points to the movie were the plot and the comedy. The plot was simple, but enough to attract the guys: A comedy taking place in Las Vegas.

The story was so ridiculous and so well paced that I find it hard to knock it, despite how over the top it was. It was well thought out and was constructed for thousands of laughs. The chemistry among the guys make the Hangover all the more solid.

The comedy was so random and casual that it was impossible NOT to laugh when jokes sprung up. The Hangover is so smartly written, and the jokes kept hitting. The music in the film was a plus as well, aiding to make this movie a comedy of our time that people will look back on and enjoy.

This is a Filet Mignon, minus the pepper and drugs the tiger ate.

~Ddog

Ben Affleck is the Next Batman

Ben Affleck’s career is on a roll. As announced today, he will be playing Batman in the next Man of Steel film. At this point, can we even consider it a Man of Steel film? It’s a Batman-Superman film. How do you feel about this major piece of casting news? Let me know in the comments below. I’m personally satisfied with the decision. Affleck is talented.

~Ddog

Red Movie Review

Retired 

Extremely

Dangerous

The two keys points to Red were the comedy and the characters.

The comedy was on point and fresh. To try to describe Red’s comedy, I’ll say that it wasn’t corny Austin Powers humor, but it wasn’t full blown Hangover humor. It was a humor that was applied to the movie when needed. Unlike Superhero Movie and Disaster Movie, which push the humor to occur every second so that you can’t even take it seriously, this movie can carry out a basic plot without breaking the serious scene with unnecessary humor.

The snappy dialogue is easy to follow, which is a plus. Red had fast, funny humor that was consistent all the way through the film. The stars leave their big egos out the door for this film and act like old friends, sharing the spotlight and allowing their companions to work their lines when it was their turn to crack a joke.

The characters were great, and added spice to the movie. Frank Moses was the action hero, Marvin Boggs was completely nuts (yet always correct), Victoria was the tough chick, Joe Matheson was an old man with an eye for women, Ivan was the loving Russian, and so on. The movie expands on all of the characters as the movie goes on.

If you’re looking for some easy humor paired with action, go with Red. This T-Bone was bright red and aged perfectly.a

~Ddog

Dinner for Schmucks Movie Review

Go on thesaurus.com and type in stupid. You’ll find synonyms like brainless, dopey, dumb, foolish, half-witted, thick-headed, witless, and other words. Every single word describes this horrible, disgrace of a movie.

This movie is not worth your time, your money, or your ears. It’s not even worth a proper review. Don’t waste your time. This is Cat Food. Horrible.

Movie for Schmucks. That is all.

~Ddog