Thursday, September 11, 2014

What's Next On My List? Eight Below

Today, September 12th is Paul Walker's birthday. I have decided, seeing that I do want to get around to talk about all of his movies, that I will do so every year on his birthday. I miss him a lot! I sure wish he would still be out there making great movies! Rest in peace Paul!

An unforseen cold forces two Antarctic explorers, among them Jerry Shepard, to leave their team of sled dogs behind. Based on a true story, the eight dogs chained get free and have to survive until Shephard gets the funding necessary to return for them.
Although most people are sure that the dogs couldn't have survived in the cold for so long, Shephard doesn't give up. On their last expedition he worked for a professor named Davis McClaren, who owed his life to the dogs and with the latest grant he won, he has the necessary funding to visit the base where the dogs where left. Having escaped, the dogs managed to get food and even shelter themselves from the snowstorms. Not all make it, but Shepherd saves them and takes them back home.

I already told you several times that I eternally love these movies that are either situated in the Caribbeans, Hawaii or in Alaska and at the poles. There is just something wondrous about them for me. All places I wish to visit one day and these movies make me even more curious. That said, yes, the movie appealed to me from the beginning. Even if the story wasn't compelling - and it was - I probably would've still liked it. But I couldn't not like it, seeing that these cute little dogies made me cry so hard that I was embarrassed... This story is very beautiful and you get why are dogs really man's best friend.
I don't think you should force your kids or young siblings to sit through it, I was 16 and I still cried like a little baby! The Lion King is enough of a trauma for them, but do get around to it as it focuses not only on the dogs, but also the horrible conditions these explorers have to live in. They help scientists study everything from the weather to the smallest of rocks and people don't really throw big piles of cash at them for that. The dogs are part of the team and without them the team doesn't function. That is the key element in our story as Shephard somehow becomes less as a person without his dogs. With explorers there really is no 'I' in team.
You forget that this is a true story and when you remember at the end it feels you with a warm happy feeling! I loved these dogs, I loved the setting and the drama of it as well as the casting. You watch it and you root for the dogs and root for Shephard to save them and you really start to hate nature for a couple of minutes for that damn storm and then you see the sky clear out and it is wonderful. It's a great tale indeed.

Watch it? Yes, please do. Maybe save it for a rainy day and get under the covers with a hot chocolate and enjoy the adventures of these adorable eight dogs and their dad. As a matter of fact, I'll re-watch it right now!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Jerry Shephard - Paul Walker
Davis McClaren - Bruce Greenwood
Eve McClaren - Wendy Crewson
Charlie Cooper - Jason Biggs

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What's Next On My Marvel List? The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I got around to this mess finally... let's just get it over with.

Peter is about to embark on a new chapter in his life. After graduation his guilty conscience forces him to break up with Gwen and he tries to reconcile with an old friend of his - Harry Osborn. While trying to fix things with Gwen, Harry turns to him for help but when Peter turns him away Harry uses the help of a villain. A scientist at Oscorp involved in an accident becomes doted with electrical power and Harry uses him against Peter - against Spider-man. Peter defeats Electro, but in the fight with Harry he is unable to save Gwen and her death forces him to retire the costume. Realizing that he decided to become Spider-man because he wanted to do good and not just to spend time in a costume gives him strength to go back and fight another day.

It wasn't as bad as everyone said it was. There. That's the only good thing I can say about the movie. Okay, I might be exaggerating, but lets go in order.
Electro. I didn't like how he looked. Call me old fashioned but I loved the stupid green spandex with the star on his head (yeah, I know it's not a star, whatever!). What I hated about his appearance was that he somehow managed to get himself a perfect suit that would enhance and/or be compatible with his abilities. Now, seeing that he wasn't a planned experiment, just the outcome of an accident, I don't really get how that happened... And my biggest problem with him was LAZINESS. The writers were simply lazy. What I mean by that is that his character was simply sick. He had a personality disorder and some exploited that and others suffered from the consequences and that was it. He didn't have a true motivation! He could've been a villain with a thick back-story who turns toward Spider-man for a completely different reason, other than the fact that he was Spider-man... which is essentially what happened. It was a wasted opportunity is what I am saying. And well, his accident? The boss sends him to fix something and he doesn't get any help because it is six o'clock and everyone is leaving... Really? This gigantic corporation doesn't have a skeleton crew or an afternoon shift? NOPE. Everyone clocks out at six on the dot, because that is what scientist who are in the middle of work usually do. Lazy. F*cking lazy.
Let's move on to Harry. (I started to giggle after writing down that sentence, just so you know!) I actually liked this actor a lot more than I thought I would. His voice is quite magical. Aside from the acting, that I cannot criticize, I will say that his character sucked. Explain to me - scientifically - what kind of disease starts to work after you hear you have it. He lived, what, 22 years without knowing about a disease that killed his father when he was around 60 or so. So... why are the symptoms already showing? And Spider-man really was a d*ck for not giving him his blood. Actually, you know what? That would've been a great story line! Harry gives himself shots of all kinds of things to ease the pain and when he mixes those with Spidey's blood, he becomes the Goblin. Wouldn't that have made more sense? Wouldn't the fact that he just doses himself with spider venom and then gets into a suit that he once saw a picture of make him look - oh, I don't know - unbelievable? Even ridiculous? Oh wait, IT TOTALLY DID. As cheesy and cliche as the original story line of Peter killing his father was, it still gave a better motivation for his anger! And the suit? He gets into it and immediately knows how to use it? How to fly with it? I get that it wasn't his origin story but both him and the other two villains where exceptionally skilled with the suits and powers they got! I could also start an argument about HOW these two were such great friends when Harry goes unmentioned in the first movie, but I'm not going to. I'm just letting you know: I could!
The third villain was Rhino. I actually liked that he wasn't in the movie as much. Comics and cartoon episodes often start with Spidey finishing a battle with someone and then moving on. I liked that that was what they went for here. What I hated was that they tried to sell him with posters and making us think his character or appearance will have any importance at all. It didn't. Did I like his costume? No. He looked like an even more retarded version of Grimlock. If you don't know who that is, then you missed out on a couple of things in the past thirty years. Either way, the fact that he looked like everything for the exception of a rhino kinda explains why I don't give a rat's ass about him being in the movie.

Also, there was this scientist guy who put on opera music in the background and had a German accent... I swear to god this stereotype is becoming racist against Germans! So let me understand, there are two kinds of scientists:
1) The American ones have personality disorders and/or mental diseases that make them dependent on others. Later on turning into villains whose motivation never has to be questioned.
2) The German ones are simply psychopaths (it goes unsaid that they are probably also Nazis) who listen to fancy music and somehow work for huge American corporations.

... OK.

Gwen. You know it was coming, if you know anything about Spider-man, you know where her story was going. I actually loved every scene she was in, because she made them better. She finally wasn't the cliche these love interests turn into and she wasn't in the first movie either. I was happy they didn't forget that. And her death scene was undoubtedly the most beautiful scene in the whole movie. However, because of the 300 villains and the subplot from the first movie and setting up the next movie and so on it got really lost in the background.
And speaking of the background... I can let all of my little quarrels go because there was one major problem with the movie that I cannot: the soundtrack. My brother and I just kept looking at each other and at a point he just asked me: "This is a cool song, but is it really supposed to be here?" There was one magical song at a very sweet moment in the movie but that was it. Everything else just raised an eyebrow.

I like Garfield as Spider-man but for me ultimately this was: "Awkward: The movie". It was awkward every time Peter talked to Aunt May, it was awkward when he broke up with Gwen, then went on a date with Gwen, then got back together with Gwen, it was awkward when he talked to Harry as well. There were these little moments in the movie that made it bearable and I wish there were more moments like that: little laughs, little nods and Easter eggs all over. If I cut those scenes together that were beyond comparison awesome: You would get about 20 minutes of footage. But those 20 would truly be beyond compare the best!

Last argument would be that people can relate to him because nobody likes him as J. Jonah Jameson spreads the word that he is evil and just a vigilante, an outlaw. How are we supposed to feel any connection with him, if beside one single email nobody ever gives him a hard time for who he is? The whole concept of not being accepted falls flat as everyone clearly loves him from the beginning of the movie to the very end!


That said, you'll live if you don't see it. Disappointment all around for true fans, unfortunately. It is worth to see for the small things, and overall it is not that bad as a lot of people said. The actions scenes for example were quite unique. Nonetheless, could've been a lot better!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Peter Parker - Andrew Garfield
Gwen Stacy - Emma Stone
Electro - Jamie Foxx
Harry Osborn - Dane DeHaan
Aunt May - Sally Field
Rhino - Paul Giamatti

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blogger: RIP Joan Rivers

"I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw my bath toys were a toaster and a radio."

It might sound strange, as a Hungarian girl to mourn an American comedienne who was somewhat 'forgotten' by the time I got around to becoming a YouTube junkie - but she was special to me. My sister and I watched a documentary of her life, made when she turned 75, entitled Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work and she just found a way into my heart. Been following her everywhere ever since and I keep laughing hysterically at her facebook posts. Well, I used to at least.

"My husband wanted to be cremated. 
I told him I'd scatter his ashes at 
[the department store] Neiman Marcus - that way, I'd visit him every day."

During the summer she posted pictures of herself in Rome with her grandchildren, and although I cried when I first read she passed, I now smile: I smile because she was a role model for many comediennes today. She showed that the road isn't easy, but it is worth traveling on it. She showed me that a good laugh can be just as good a medicine as one prescribed by a doctor. She was a talented actress, an honest pure heart and true role model. The life of a comedian is never easy, and being a star that doesn't shine so bright anymore is even harder, but she never gave up fighting!

"[Interview with Andrew Scott, June 10, 2010] 
I've never been in the 'in' group. I've never been considered. 
But that's what keeps me punching, if that makes sense. 
I'm still in the 'I'll show you' mentality."

It is too soon, we all know it is too soon and I read 'Joan Rivers dies at age 81' and I just started to cry. Staring at the computer screen and I couldn't stop myself. My sister - also in tears - got up and hugged me. I think part of growing up is seeing more and more people you love die and that's just awful. It's no wonder nobody wants to grow up! I loved your series In Bed With Joan (check out here) and I loved you in Hot In Cleveland as Betty White's sister :')

You will truly be missed - and now one more star shines up in the sky!

Rest in peace Joan Rivers, my diva.

"(Her idea of a perfect childbirth experience) 
Knock me out with the first pain, 
and wake me up when the hairdresser arrives."

"The Book Was Better Than The Movie"


I eternally hate people who utter that sentence to me. Why? Because contrary to popular belief it does not - I repeat, it does NOT - make you sound smart. It makes you sound like an a**hole. First of all, it's great that you think that, but guess what? EVERYONE THINKS THAT.

Movies and books are different mediums. If you expect the same excitement from a movie as you would from your own thoughts and fantasy, then you are simply an idiot! The casting in your head will always be better! The scenes you find important will not necessarily coincide with the script writer's! The problem really comes when the movie conveys a different message then the book would - in those cases there is no doubt about the fact that the movie sucks.

The problem also arises from the fact that some people think that one reads the book, makes a script and then it is over. It is not. I have been dealing a lot with adaptations and I have come to find that it is a science on its own. You can decide on whether or not you are willing to accept another person's fantasy coming true and enjoy the common things (most people don't do this...) or dwell on the small - very insignificant - details. One needs to understand that the good adaptations aren't the ones that adhere 100% to the books! No, changes have to be made because it is a different medium, but those changes have to work. Have to work within the one movie and have to work if there are sequels that follow. If this is messed up then you have a bad adaptation. Here I would like to point out that I also hate people who criticize the Harry Potter movies! Not having all the finished books you can hardly blame someone for not including the 765th detail, after all the others! Are they the best? No! Does that make them a bad movie? No! It is one of the longest blockbuster series ever made and it is unique in its world and the stories still compel you! I only watched the movies and I loved the movies! You do not need to read the book to enjoy the movie, and why? Because they are different mediums!!

And if you think that the script writers are the idiots, then look at The Lord Of The Rings! They are longer to fit in everything and were people happy? Some, but still plenty still complained saying that the books were better. Great, then how'bout you go back to your room and read that stupid book instead of ruining my movie experience??!! If you want accurate adaptations, watch the BBC miniseries of Pinguin Classics, trust me, that is the only case where you won't be disappointed. But, knowing some people, you might argue with the casting, so really, nobody is safe from you, are they? And here, as long as we are talking about LOTR, take the Hobbit! Does it make sense that they made 3 movies? No. Does that point have to be stated over and over again? NO. You don't care, don't watch it! Easy-peasy!

When you say this sentence, do you know what you say? "I can read." And if you can't, then you clearly have bigger problems than the bad adaptation of one of your favorites! It is sweet of you to advise others to also read the book, because in some cases the adaptation might be so bad that you don't care for the book at all. It is OK to give advice, to teach and inform people but constantly showing up and letting others know how disappointed you are and pointing out every single defect will never get you in my good graces! I have an opinion too! And my opinion might be that I will read the book, judge for myself, but otherwise understand that I didn't write or direct this so I cannot expect it to come from my head!

Another example I would like to point out is Under The Dome by Stephen King. I have only recently been introduced to this writer, who has quickly got a place in my heart. I have seen several adaptations of his works and it was then that it became apparent to me that people have absolutely no skill in adapting his works. Not even the ones he contributed to... No offense. And then, as an angel from the sky, I started to watch the series of Under The Dome and I fell in love. The second season is a bit darker, which is expected of King, but I really enjoy the mystery bits. While watching the show I was told that "the book was better than the series." ... I almost told them to f*** off, which I didn't want to do because I know they didn't mean it in the sense that I hate, they are a big fan of King, and surely know more about it than me! But for me this is just one of those things that makes me want to punch everything and everyone. Ask me if I had read the book, ask me if I care to know that there is a book, ask me basically anything about it without stating the obvious! If you have ever read King and seen and adaptation than it will go without saying that the book is better! However, do NOT ruin a perfectly good show for me, where the writer is very much involved in the production. There might be some changes but I trust him!

People thought radio would die out when TV came along, did it? No. The audio format is so strong that we even have audio books! They sad the internet will kill TV, did it? No. People run at a chance to watch things on bigger screens, and TV channels appeared online. People also said that ebooks will kill books, did they? No. In some countries (like mine) for every ebook sold they sell 1000 printed books. Just let that sink in for a moment! You don't need to fear that books will disappear, nor should start a war against adaptations, as you are not going to win, and only gain more enemies along the way. If you must criticize a movie then do it because the movie sucks and not because you had something else in your mind! Thank you.

Please, approach subject with care from now on! I am game to read any book people say is worth reading, but don't ruin the fun for someone who enjoys other mediums!

Until the next item on my list!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dear David Wain

Writer and director of Wet Hot American Summer.

Yes, this is a trick, I am also going to include a review of your movie, as well as a short - but very to the point - love letter... On this, the last official day of summer (at least in my book) I wanted to write about something that I wanted to get off my chest for over a year now! Please Mr Wain, take a minute to read as I don't often write open letters, but when I do, I hope it reaches it destination! I have also carefully googled and chose this picture as this is how I see you every time I think of you!

That having been said, let me begin my letter by adding that I am a sucker for good comedy and when I keep seeing toilet humor everywhere, I start to wonder: What kind of pudding brain idiots live in the states that they enjoy this? I get that toilet humor is universal and so you can sell the movies, I just don't understand how could anyone enjoy that? And then last summer my sister got her hands on a copy of Wet Hot American Summer and we decided to watch it.

It was the weirdest thing and yet the funniest movie I had ever seen. I quickly started forcing my friends to see it, and they all just laughed their asses off and couldn't withstand the awesomeness of this movie. To those who don't know, the story - set in 1981 - is about the last 24 hours of a camp where the counselors try to conclude all of their unfinished business. The cast includes such greats as Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Elizabeth Banks and Christopher Meloni. Basically everyone you now know and love! And also everyone you can encounter on most of Wain's set, but I would gladly cast these people over and over because they are literally the best!
Their troubles include, uhm, getting laid. Like for all of them. But each of them go about it completely differently and the movie makes fun of every 80's cliche and it makes fun of comedies today. It even makes fun of itself at times and the ending is: Perfect. It's dumb and it doesn't forget that it is just a dumb comedy! Which is a problem I have encountered a lot lately: Movies start off funny and then they forget they were supposed to be funny and just fall flat from the second half on.
When I decided to write this letter, it was because my sister showed me a WTF Podcast, where Marc Maron talked to you, Mr Wain and when he said that they movie wasn't a hit when it first came out I grew angry. The fact that it still (at the time of the podcast at least) didn't make a profit simply outraged me. How can someone not appreciate this kind of great humor? I mean, I don't think you need to be sophisticated to understand what cliches they are trying to make fun off!
When I saw the trailer for They Came Together it was like two minutes of ecstasy! Maybe people finally grew up to appreciate this kind of humor and maybe we'll see more of it soon - at least I hope! Either way, you have a fan in me. And if you, reader, haven't been to an American camp lately where you could watch this movie as one of the counselors (my friend did, so I am hoping that is a thing everywhere!), then get your hands on it as soon as you can! I also love that there is a little cult around it and a huge number of fans have grown to love it - this to me proves that perhaps it was ahead of its time in some ways. Either way, I know it was your first movie and I wanted to say that despite the budget, you have a real success on your hands!

I know that you co-wrote this movie with Michael Showalter (my gratitude to you as well sir!); but I will now turn to something else that I merit to you alone, that is why the letter is only addressed to you. I want to talk about Childrens Hospital. I just cannot comprehend how can all of the episodes be equally funny and be such a good satire of all TV shows and not just medical dramas. I know that a lot of people work on this show, I hope nobody will be offended if I don't start naming every single one of them now :D But I kept looking up the writers per episode and you always appear next to my favorites. If that wasn't enough, yours is my favorite recurring character! I just start to giggle nonstop every time Ken Marino's character utters the words "Jewy McJew Jew!", I mean seriously, who can come up with this name? I love it! I am dying to see the new season of this crazy hospital, hoping your character will return in one of the episodes!

Please Mr Wain, keep up the good work! You might not know it, but the real good stuff reaches everyone - even a random girl and her sister in Hungary! And as long as you are behind the script I have something to look forward to, as in other than senseless toilet humor. (If in any case somebody wishes to point out a couple of disgusting jokes in your works - know that I don't care! It is minimal next to the golden stuff!) So to all of those who don't recognize the genius that is in these works, it is their loss and I have only this to say:

       Thank you,
       Best regards,