Archive for the ‘Meat Me @ Camera 4’ Category

mm@C4logo2ajclogo2by @anarchyroll
10/26/2014

Is it a prequel or not? I mean, it’s kinda the same movie. They’re kinda hinting at it. The names are different but it’s the same premise with the same character archetypes.

Wait, isn’t that the…?

Am I writing about Prometheus or The Equalizer?

Exactly

One of my personal favorite action movies is Man on Fire from 2004 also starring Denzel Washington as essentially the same character he plays in The Equalizer. The only difference is the drinking.

Does this sound like a critical review? Well if I liked Man on Fire then I certainly liked The Equalizer. The only reason a person wouldn’t be required to turn their brain off, kick back, and have a good time watching the gory action scenes is to wonder if this movie is in some way connected to Man on Fire.

The ex-CIA expert assassin is a character type that Denzel Washington has come to love playing in the twilight of his career. And he plays them well. Let’s be honest, Denzel Washington plays most if not every type of character well. He is one of the better American actors of the last quarter century.

The Equalizer, like Man on Fire is not rushed, there is an abundance of character development, dialogue, and build up before the explosion of action that comes at the climax. The end of the movie gets wrapped up in such a neat, bow wrapped package, there is no reason that Denzel’s character can’t go into the sunlight, get burned out on some new mission, and end up in Mexico City seeking work as a bodyguard.

The Equalizer is less about explosions and more about gory killings from both the antagonist and protagonist.

The supporting cast is a little weaker in Equalizer compared to Fire but neither movie is about the supporting cast. It is about Denzel’s acting and the innovation of the execution scenes, scenes plural, both films have a lot of gruesome executions.

Check out The Equalizer if you’re a fan of Denzel, films that don’t require thinking, or gory deaths.

mm@C4logo2by @anarchyroll
9/23/2014

Every year that passes, it seems a larger and larger percentage of the population is looking to avoid talking on the phone as much as possible. The explosive popularity of text messages a decade ago was apparently just the beginning. Services like Grub Hub and Uber have become darlings of the sharing economy based on the ability of their service to purchase goods and services via a smart phone without having to speak or even type to any direct person.

Enter Tinder, which takes the zero direct communication paradigm of securing goods and services to the dating/romance aspect of the human experience for those affluent enough to afford a smart phone and data package. You know you’re talking to an old person if they don’t know what Tinder is and/or don’t understand how to use it. Is it real? Is it a game? Yes and kinda are the answers to those questions.

Some excellent pieces on Tinder have been written recently covering Tinder’s effects on marriages and on how the service reveals the hidden nature of mate selection in the modern world.

What is Tinder? It is truly the first online dating service made for the smart phone app era of technology users/consumers. Tinder technically has a website which is just an ad/reminder to download the application. If you have a smart phone and are single, there is no reason to not utilize Tinder, unless you don’t have a Facebook account. A Facebook account is necessary to set up a Tinder profile. This is where the service carved its niche. Tinder farms the aspects of matching out to Facebook. People are matched based on Facebook likes (music, movies, tv shows, fan pages, etc) and/or mutual friends. People can be matched without these commonalities, Facebook is used as a defacto identity verification service.

What is Tinder’s value?

The shallow joke is easy, instant access to a one night stand. Tinder has made its name on facilitating hook ups. The New York Times has written multiple articles on Tinder writing under the assumption the app is strictly or at least predominately THE hook up dating app. Naturally the college kids love them some Tinder.

But in all seriousness, Tinder provides great value to single people. How? It provides instant evidence you are not alone. Whether young or old, in a city or suburb, Tinder will pull up dozens of single people near you. Tinder is empirical proof that there are indeed plenty of fish in the sea.

Tinder is not just for young people who are considering classically or stereotypically attractive. The hook up only aspect of the app has already been faded for almost a full year. Asking if people hook up using Tinder is like asking if the one night stand still exists. Consenting adults will do whatever consenting adults want to do when they are single and attracted to someone they have recently met and have begun spending time with.

Tinder’s purpose is to show you have options. That even in far off suburbs there are lots of single people around you and in cities there are even more. People who don’t like the bar/club scene have a free option of meeting people at their fingertips. People who don’t use gyms, grocery stores, yoga studios, and college campuses at meet markets have a free option to meet people they know are single and have been independently verified to be interested in them. Tinder’s value is in removing the question in one’s head “I wonder if he/she is interested in me or not”. If they’re not, nothing happens, if they are, you’re matched up and you both receive notifications on your phones.

It seems more and more people are becoming increasingly afraid of direct communication and rejection. Tinder kills both of those birds with one app. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to try to pay off a zoo employee to let me take a selfie with a tiger.

 

 

 

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by @anarchyroll
9/4/2014

Transformers fans and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans now have something in common.

No, a long anti Michael Bay rant is not forthcoming. When a person sees his name attached to a film and Megan Fox as the lead actress, one must know what they are getting before they buy their ticket. I grew up on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was completely unaware of their comic book, alien origin story until a year ago. I knew only of the turtles in the cartoons and live action movies 80s/90s.

My favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, is Casey Jones. I was very disappointed to not see him in the movie at all. The camera time and character focus that could have been given to a Casey Jones was instead given to Will Arnett, cast as a comic relief sidekick for April O’Neil. As a fan of Arrested Development, I’m only half complaining. Half complaining is really all I can really do with this movie. There is enough good to at the very least balance out the bad, if not outweigh the bad.

The Good

  • The spirit/personality of all four turtles was unchanged
  • The look of each turtles was modified to make each look unique rather than the same with different colored bandanas
  • The Foot Clan use guns instead of swords which makes more sense in 2014 NYC
  • The jokes are funny
  • The action scenes are good

The Bad

  • The origin of the turtles and overall plot is basically the same as the recent Amazing Spider Man films
  • Too much Megan Fox for the first hour of the film (was to be expected)
  • No Kraang, Bebop, Rocksteady, Rat King, Baxter Stockman, or any other villains/henchmen
  • Tatsu was cast as a woman who did nothing of importance or impact at any point in the movie

Those who saw the movie may be wondering why I’m not complaining about the Iron Man esque Shredder. If I didn’t have a Shredder action figure from the 90s that basically looked just like the movie’s incarnation, it would have been at the top of my list. Also, the case can be made they just skipped right to Super Shredder, also no complaints there. Even the obligatory, unnecessary Michael Bay explosion just before the closing credits made me chuckle rather than shake my head.

I am happy that the movie made enough money to already warrant a sequel getting an immediate green light. Hopefully we’ll get to see some of the characters listed above who were missing in action this time around. 

The bottom line is this; if you didn’t grow up watching the cartoons and/or playing the video games in the 90s or 00s, there is absolutely no point in seeing this movie.

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by @anarchyroll
9/2/2014

552 episodes spread out over 25 years is an achievement almost beyond description in the entertainment world/business. The Simpsons can claim to be the greatest cartoon and greatest sitcom of all time. I grew up in an era and media market where the show had syndicated reruns airing two to three times a day, five days a week. I can quote more episodes, word for word, than any human being should.

The show’s universally agreed upon “prime” is between 1993 and 1998. Those are the years when every episode of every season was a home run let alone a hit. Starting in 1999 the show, in my opinion became more hit than miss. The rise of South Park and Family Guy, along with stagnation saw the consistency steadily decline during the first half of the 00s.

The Simpsons Movie came out in 2007 and was an adult, comedy, cartoon tour de force. It was everytIhing a fan of the franchise could have wanted or hoped for from a movie that at the time was 20 years in the making. I was told that the seasons that aired after the movie were akin to the show’s prime years from those I knew who never stopped watching the show during its lean years.

The Every Simpsons Ever marathon on FXX was an opportunity to rediscover classics of the golden years and discover new classics of recent years. 552 episodes airing 24 hours a day for 12 consecutive days, what a concept. The marathon was used to promote the upstart FXX network itself, the FXNow streaming content app, the new season of The Simpsons, and The Simpsons-Family Guy crossover episodes that both debut at the end of the month.

I partook in some binge watching during the marathon. The highlights for me where;

  • Getting to see my two favorite episodes of all time
    • Tree House of Horror V (Season 6, Episode 6)
    • You Only Move Twice (Season 8, Episode 2)
  • Discovering the show’s second golden age

The seasons that have come after the movie, especially season’s 19 and 20, contained a quantity of quality episodes that stand up to the show’s prime in the mid 1990s. After losing its way from 1999-2005, the show truly found its mojo again. Some of the things the show changed after the movie came out are;

  • Improving the animation
  • Embellishing the opening and closing credits
  • Recalibrating the levels of pop culture vs political parody/satire
  • Spotlighting and increasing the relevance of all secondary characters

I am still surprised as I type, just how great the show became again. If you were a fan of the show for any stretch of time, the recent seasons are worth going out of your way to see. Considering FXX will be airing the show five days a week, with a four-hour block on Sundays, it won’t be the toughest task in the world to do.

The Simpsons is at it’s best when it hits the full range of emotions in a given episode. The show in its prime years of the 90s knew what buttons to press with which characters to make their audience laugh, cry, get happy, and/or upset. They truly found that stride again in the five seasons since the movie came out in 2007. Truly a second golden age as there were not just a couple, but rather a couple of dozen episodes that stand up to the best of the best from the mid 90s.

My only complaint is that the marathon aired during the last week of summer rather than in the middle of winter. I’m sure myself and the millions of others who partook in the marathon of marathons would have preferred seeing snow and ice outside as opposed to sunny skies and mid 70s.

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by @anarchyroll
8/11/2014

Holy Howard the Duck was Guardians of Galaxy a good comic book movie!

The first time I heard of Guardians of the Galaxy was when the trailer debuted online earlier this year.

 

 

This film is yet another example that Marvel Studios does way more right than wrong and that all Marvel intellectual properties should be developed for the silver screen by Marvel and NOT third-party like Sony (Spiderman) or 2oth Century Fox (X-Men).

I saw the movie with a friend who owns all but two issues of Guardians ever printed. He informed me that the film was as true to the source material as any comic book movie that has come before it. That is another reason why Marvel Studios needs to make all Marvel movies. It is important that comic book movies be very close to their source material, more so than novels. Why?

My friend @TheFantom says it all the time and it’s truer each time I hear it; comic books are colorized, fully fleshed out, movie storyboards.

That doesn’t mean each comic book movie needs to be a shot for shot live action version of a comic. Hollywood needs to be able to do its thing and take creative license with the source material. But maybe let’s have one comic book movie that is a live action storyboard and see how it does in the theaters. It can’t do any worse than Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern disaster.

Guardians of the Galaxy is the opposite of disappointing. It was everything I want out of a summer blockbuster movie in general, and out of a comic book movie specifically. It had awesome action, great comedy, and intense drama all in the right places of a film that was neither too short or too long.

The opening scene of the movie is intense human drama, the very next scene is a comedic, musical, action scene. That sentence basically sums up Guardians of the Galaxy. The film does a good job at touching upon the full range of human emotions. I think that many women who don’t like comic book movies or big budget action movies would like this film for that very reason; the full range of emotions get their buttons pressed.

So whether you’re a casual movie fan or the human version of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, Guardians of the Galaxy will find a way to suck you into the screen and entertain you, regardless of whether you paid the extra fee for 3D. And these days, at these prices, that is all I ask of a movie.

 

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by @anarchyroll
7/31/2014

Change is the only constant. It’s true in life, in business, and especially in the world of video games. Isn’t that why a new gaming console comes out every other year? Nintendo has taken turns being ahead of the curve adapting to change (the original NES and Wii) and being in danger of getting left behind ( Virtual Boy, Wii U).

Nintendo posted a $100 million loss for just the first financial quarter of 2014. The Wii U has been a flop which means that Nintendo is looking to the 3Ds and 2Ds to pick up the slack for the company. However, expecting mobile gaming consoles to save the company means that Nintendo is dead already and doesn’t know it.

Why? Because mobile gaming is done on smartphones and tablets now. 2014 is the era of Flappy Bird and Candy Crush not Game Boy and Game Gear. Nintendo may not want to release Mario, Zelda, and Kirby games for IOS and Android, but doing things we don’t want to do in order to survive is part of life. Maybe five years ago it wasn’t necessary for Nintendo to put games on the iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone, Android, and Windows phones/tablets but it is time for the company to shift course and adapt…or die.

TIME magazine recently broke down three ways to save the company before it becomes the gaming equivalent of the Titanic. Staying the course definitely is not an option. I remember when SEGA started making games for Nintendo and thinking it was sacrilege. Ironically, Nintendo moving from a hardware company to a software provider might be the only way to survive. Other proposed ideas that Nintendo hasn’t formally commented on would be a Nintendo version of Netflix, a Nintendo theme park, and reissuing classic games on smartphones and tablets.

Nintendo and video games is like peanut butter and jelly. It would be a shame if they went under, even more of a shame if they went under because they were too stubborn or stupid to transition to a smartphone/tablet game provider. Mario Kart may be an awesome game, but if it’s on a game system people aren’t buying, well insert the tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it analogy. It doesn’t take much creative vision to see groups of pre-teens huddled in masses playing network games of Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, etc on their iPhones and/or Androids. Not to mention all of the adults who would ditch Farmville and the like in half a second if it meant they could play Zelda at their cubicles.

Nintendo needs to make this paradigm shift before it’s too late. Paradigms die-hard, let’s just hope Nintendo doesn’t as well.

 

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by @anarchyroll
7/5/2014

While getting my BA I took a decent amount of film classes. Between film, television, and video studies I took eight classes that focused on the history of or making of the electronic visual medium(s).

I used to be quite the amateur, wannabe, cynical critic of movies. I assumed that knowing the history, terminology, etc would make me an even sharper critic since I would have actual knowledge to go with my sarcasm and self-proclaimed high level of taste. Instead the opposite happened.

Learning about the visual art of film making from misé en scene, cinematography, editing, set design, rule of thirds, set design, and the history of film from Edison and the Lumiere Brothers to the first talkies to the second golden age of American film in the 1970s gave me a true appreciation for almost all films and major motion pictures, even the bad ones. I really grew to appreciate the effort that goes into making a movie/television show.

That doesn’t mean that I confuse shit for steak, but I often see the good in the bad films, and rather than spend time, effort, energy, and emotion throwing shade at a lackluster film, I just follow the “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all” paradigm.

I was and still am completely blown away by how much goes into making a movie. Even bad movies, even Michael Bay movies.

I thought studying film would turn me into a film snob who only liked avant-garde, black and white, indie flicks.

Instead my taste in film didn’t really change at all. In fact, the blockbuster movies I tend to see in movie theaters, I came to enjoy even more. Why? Because film is a visual medium. Big budget blockbusters are basically 100% tailored to be visual stimulation. Heaven knows most of them aren’t going to pull on the emotional strings based on their script(s). When I learned that nothing that appears on-screen of a film’s final cut is an accident, my appreciation and fandom grew.

My educated eyes allowed me to be more easily sucked into James Bond and comic book blockbuster movies, rather than more skeptical of them.

What I really learned in studying the history and processes of film, television, video production, directing, editing, cinematography, script writing and acting besides the terminology is an appreciation of each. That is why when I read cynical reviews online and in print all I see is bitter, childish, ego centered pouting by a failed artist/creator who now judges others. It’s why all of the film reviews I’ve posted on this blog have been pretty positive even though I have seen and written about some pretty underwhelming films.

I encourage anyone reading this to take a film history or art of film and video class. It will literally change the way you see what you see when you look at a screen, and that is a good thing.

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by @anarchyroll
6/4/2014

A sequel, a prequel, and a reboot all in one movie. Regardless of personal taste or opinion, X-Men Days of
Future Past deserves respect for being the first of it’s kind.

Those of us who have fond memories of the 1990s X-Men cartoon that aired on Saturday mornings finally got
the movie we have been waiting almost two decades for since the first film hit theaters. By that, I of course
mean sentinels, sentinels, sentinels.

I’m not fluent in the comics, the X-Men I know are from arcade games, video games, and animated tv shows. I
am still confused why it took fifteen years to get a sentinel movie. I’m sure it’s in the same line of thinking that
thought it a good idea to kill off Cyclops, not have Gambit, have Phoenix with no fire bird, and nothing but
Magneto for a villiain over the course of the first four films.

All is not forgiven or forgotten, but for my money all is made better in X-Men Days of Future Past.

I mean that literally and metaphorically. The details I won’t get too much into to avoid major spoilers.

Bryan Singer (the director) did his best work out of all the comic book movies he has made. The writing was as
good as comic book movies get. My two favorite scenes in the movie do not involve action or explosions.

The merging of the two eras of the movie franchise showed that the acting chops of the bunch goes to the
prequel group. Jennifer Lawerence, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy really shine as actors while
everyone else not named Hugh Jackman looked as they did in the original trilogy, like they were phoning it in
and didn’t respect the franchise they were representing.

I was happy to see Bishop and Quicksilver and was still left to wonder where the hell Gambit has been.
Apparently Gambit will be getting his own movie starring Channing Tatum. At this point, that character that is so
popular and has been that ignored, has probably earned his own trilogy.

I suppose there has been a fair amount of negativity in this review considering it’s my favorite X-Men movie by
far and is easily in my top ten comic book movies of all time list. For me thisine is right up there with Dark
Knight, Avengers, Spider-Man 2, Man of Steel, and the like. Certainly a cut above films likes of Green Lantern,
Fantastic Four (both), Amazing Spider-Man (both), and all the X-Men movies that came before it.

A great summer blockbuster that is the first of it’s kind in terms of franchise films. Good acting, good action, a
good tease for what is to come. X-Men Days of Future Past gets my endorsement and my excitement for where
the scene after the credits is taking the franchise. Fingers crossed for my main man Cable!

MM@C4Logo1ajclogo2by @anarchyroll
5/20/2014

I was sold on the new Godzilla before I saw it. The trailer below absolutely blew me away and took away my fear of getting something on the silver screen worse than what we got from Matthew Broderick and company in 1998.

I still get goosebumps watching that trailer, and I have seen the movie.

The 1998 version set a very low bar for this movie to jump over, or just limp over. This movie took a giant leap over the bar set by any other monster movie before it.

The Godzilla movies that came before this one were paid homage to. A new precedent was set. This was not just a monster movie. This was not a campy movie. This was what it needed to be to relaunch the only movie franchise that predates James Bond.

The first monster you see, is not Godzilla. There is a non spoiler spoiler that should make you want to to see this movie more. If you don’t like monster movies or epic disaster movies, you won’t like this movie.  This is also not a campy movie. If you want to see a campy summer action movie, this is not it. Bryan Cranston will insure that you don’t look at this movie as campy. In fact, the first twenty minutes of the movie that is dedicated to his storyline is what I enjoyed as much as the city destroying monster fights.

This movie hits the full range of emotions. It is great summer time movie in every sense of the word.  It has made enough money to warrant a full reboot, but it has the quality of cinema to warrant one as well. I look forward to further installments in the series. In every sense of the term this is a not just good but a great summer time popcorn movie. Buy your ticket and enjoy the ride.

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by @anarchyroll
5/15/2014

$19 billion is a lot of money to pay for a country let a lone an app. An app that is not mainstream. An app that has as much competition as any. Google searching “WhatsApp’s purpose” will yield some funny results. Certainly not what I was expecting. Not exactly a murderer’s row of technology literature heavyweights weighing in. There are as many obscure blog posts as weighing in from the likes of CNET and The Verge. What is WhatsApp’s purpose?

  1. A way to communicate internationally without the traditional international communication charges
  2. Emojis! Emojis! Emojis!
  3. The result of electronic cross breeding between instant messanger services and social media
  4. The pinnacle means of mediated by communication for generations of children raised on either mediated communication or awkwardness

WhatsApp offers everything offered by Facebook, Instagram, Vine, KIK, and Snapchat offer in one package. You can rehearse and revise audio, video, text, emoji, and all of the above within one interaction. Because, why put yourself on the line in the face of the limit of your comfort zone and knowing of what to do, when you can simple trade audio clips and modified smiley faces instead of having an eye contact to eye contact conversation.

I have talked to men and women, boys and girls, young and old about WhatsApp. The only people who have used it have used it to avoid international charges while on vacation. People in the US on work visas told me they used it to communicate to family back home, also to avoid international charges.

But then I talked to a couple of high schoolers who basically only used WhatsApp to communicate with everyone they weren’t related to. I asked them the following questions;

  • why don’t you just text?
  • doesn’t data cost more than calls and texts?
  • why don’t you use the litany of other messenger services?

I learned several things by asking these questions.

  1. It is important to talk to young people
  2. Parents could control their children by the mere threat of taking away internet use
  3. People really are social creatures
  4. There’s a lot of free WIFI in white America
  5. An increasing number of people don’t know how to communicate without it being mediated by technology or mind altering substances.

The value is in that data used is just data used. It isn’t text messages that their parents could look up. The vast supply of emojis could replace words, sentences, and entire sentiments. Emojis could equal code, for, anything. That is very valuable to younger generations who only know mediated communication. They’re brave only while drunk, stoned, rolling, or tripping or all of the above all before the age of 21. Unable to be to make eye contact without threat of punishment. Unable to focus without pills.

The entire social network experience condensed into an instant messaging chat window. The ability to practice and edit every piece of communication that goes out. Why have a conversation when you can instantly exchange audio clips? Why talk about hooking up or drinking while under age when you can send one of a thousand smiley face variations that only you and the other person know the meaning of for this interaction? Why ever use Facebook again when your parents, grandparents, employers, and exes are looking on? With WhatsApp all the stuff that made social networks fun five years ago are born again, the only people invited to the party are the people you personally send invites to turn the one on one exchange into a group chat.

There is of course, nothing wrong with wanting a completely personalized social network experience fused with instant messaging. There is nothing wrong with teens using emojis to get high and get laid since teens have been getting high and getting laid in secret using code since the roaring twenties. I worry about the need for mediated communication. The need to rehearse and edit a simple exchange of thoughts and desires. Not a preference to have communication done that way, but not knowing how to communicate competently any other way.

The inequality gap is being matched by a social competence gap. A widening gap of shyness in contact with people outside of one’s childhood collective, and experiences outside of one’s comfort zone aren’t even being seen, because more and more people are spending their lives looking down at their smart phone(s). The beautiful people of course do fine for themselves since they are constantly reminded how genetically superior they are. The rich folk are reminded they have been bred for success and can not just communicate but dictate to anyone and everyone by proxy to their parents’ bank accounts. But those in the middle or lower are looking at screens and not interacting with the physical, unless they’re riding the Molly go round. The rest use thin veils of sarcasm, impatience, and boredom to mask the fear beaming out of their eyes and creating stink lines around their entire being. A fear of not know who they are, how to act, or what they want without regurgitation of media.

Everything they know comes from a screen. Their ideas of style and substance. Photoshop and Pro Tools. Everything they experience is slickly produced at corporate level, so why wouldn’t their communications be the same way? There’s purpose and value in WhatsApp, it’s just that neither  have matured or gone mainstream yet, much like the audience they are coveting. For demographics raised on the paradigm of always being able to hit backspace or restart, WhatsApp may just be the future of communication.