Monday, July 23, 2012

Forget 3D! Movie Experiences I would Actually Pay For!

Nothing makes movies more modern and technological than Hollywood offering technology from the 50's at extortionist prices.  I don't understand 3D and I really could care less about the IMAX experience.  I am baffled as to why movie makers are using images that "pop out a little" as the marketing scheme to revolutionize the cinema watching experience.  It almost sounds like an organized crime protection service.  If you pay an extra 3 dollars, the crime lords will give you special glasses so that the movie doesn't look blurry.

Now I have listed some services that movies could offer that I would actually pay for.  These would actually make a little bit more sense to me.

1.  Better Acting

Imagine, if you will, getting a choice to see Spiderman with Tobey Macguire or if you paid an extra 3 dollars you would get to see Spiderman with James Garfield.  Countless movie fans would gladly chip in the few extra bucks to see a less painful exchange of drama from James Garfield.  I paid thirteen dollars to see Will Smith sloppy his way through Men In Black 3.  Not once did I say, "oh my goodness, the 3D made up for the paper thin plot and underwhelming fun!"  Now if you offered the Men In Black 3: Acting Coaches and Script Editors Edition, I could see tossing a few bucks.

2. Adjust the Fight Scenes (So we actually know what is going on)

There's a theme among action movies, where the camera man and the editor will give you the perspective of someone having a violent spasm in the dark during a fight scene.  Every movie that claims to have good fisticuffs has had this editing style of extremely close up fights, one millisecond shots and horrible lighting.  The Dark Knight Trilogy is riddled with shoddy action scenes because at no time did the director ever want you to enjoy the fight.  I would pay an extra five dollars to rewind these indiscernible fight scenes, slow them down and add lighting.  Each person who paid the extra fee would get to choose options like, "slow motion," "add lighting" and "add Jackie Chan." Imagine a brawl that looked more like Morpheus' and Neo's exhibition and less like Batman's epileptic rave sessions.

3.  Hilarious Commentary

The girlfriend wants you to see some sappy Zac Effron movie where he rolls shirtless into puppies for two and a half hours, while he macs on a chick who cries all the time.  Instead of groaning painfully to the female pornography that you have to endure, you can order the hilarious commentary headphones.  For an extra ten bucks you can have members of Mystery Science Theater 3000 or some sarcastic comedian rip the movie apart, while your significant other commits mental adultery.  I would relish the part where Conan O' Brien compares Gerard Butler's romantic comedy to a Justin Beiber song.  So while Zac Effron is stumbling over a love scene, you can laugh hysterically knowing that you are sharing this movie with a loved one.

4.  The Comment Box

This one is a bit pricey, but I know that it will sell in droves.  This is for anyone who put high expectations into a movie that clearly let them down.  We call it Spiderman Syndrome and it happens every ten years.  After the movie is finished, the ushers bring out a comment box where you can fill in criticisms and direction to make the movie better.  The comment box is shipped directly to the script writer and producer, who are contracted by law to obey the majority criticisms of the movie.  Let's envision a world that won't get another Marvel reboot or how about sleeping peacefully at night knowing that Anne Hathaway won't be in the sequel.  The service would cost about $100 dollars, but I would gladly chip in to have the safety of the comment box.

5.  Professional Probation For Directors

Whenever a business man wastes tons of money or a politician makes a stupid law, they potentially lose their job in some way.  Not true for movie directors.  They can dump out endless movies and still make a profit overseas.  What if we could pay an extra few dollars to determine the director's career at the end of a bad flick?  If a movie sucked, the audience could vote and the majority would count as a strike against them.  One strike and the director would have to make an apology blog.  Two strikes and the director goes on professional probation, where they are required to take three classes at the New York School of the Arts.  If they get three strikes they must leave the movie business.  This kind of movie fan input would seriously make Sam Raimi consider his next artistic choices more carefully.  Consider a world where the movie visioneers of the cinema wouldn't jump to Tom Cruise so readily.  I would gladly pay for those features.

6.  Artistic Discussions

Have you ever seen a great movie and wanted to talk about it after?  But usually your friends want to go home and get some sleep.  For an extra five dollars, the movie does not end with the credits, but with a serious panel discussion with a movie critic, a theologian and an expert in the field of whatever the movie was based on.    You could wittle away hours explaining how Batman's cape was not exactly like Frank Miller's vision. Serious philosophers could explain the messiah complex of Sucker Punch as they pertain to the Christian Gospel.  Meanwhile, your girlfriend would be pulling on your arm saying, "I'm bored!  Why didn't we see the Zac Effron movie?"

7.  Sex Scene Distractions

There is not much you can do during a movie sex scene.   I mean really, you can watch it and look like some perv who is taking notes.  You can turn to your parents and explain that you didn't know Natalie Portman would perform such a rude act.  You can't really announce to the audience how the inclusion of the sex scene helped you understand that Adrian Brody actually had feelings for Keira Knightley.  But, for an extra five dollars, a professional juggler and balloon artist will perform during the whole awkward scene.  It helps conservative parents and makes that awkward romantic date seem a little more bearable.  How many of you would have rather seen a professional sword swallower rather than see King Leonidas teach your 5 year old brother what one does with a wife before battle 300?

This is....awkward!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Six Most Bizarre Artistic Decisions For The Dark Knight Trilogy

Christopher Nolan gave the Batman franchise a dignified, ethical and serious reboot that supplied audience members a reason to believe that super hero franchises can be incredibly awesome.  I have sat in theaters, mesmerized by the sheer workmanship of the Dark Knight trilogy.  But amid the powerful and provocative styles of the Nolan think tank, there are somethings that bother me greatly about this movie.  If you think of the Batman movie as a beautiful collage painting, there are some places that have cheesy stick figures.  The number one obstacle is taking a man wrapped in hard plastic with bat ears and making him look credible.  For the most part, Nolan did a great job, but here is where I cringed a little.  [Caution!  Contains spoilers for the new movie]

6.  World's Silliest Batman Voice

Everyone knows that Batman's voice is silly.  It's so silly that everything the caped crusader says fills us with tiny lightning bolts of corny sensations.  It's almost as if Nolan could see his movie dominating box offices so he put a fail safe in to make sure it didn't collapse the economy.  To have a character who is written so serious and troubled and to give him a voice that sounds like some kid's dad trying to dress up as Batman as a party favor is just truckloads of sillyosity.  How can any director sit through one of Christian Bale's cigarette induced raspy rants and think, "I made a healthy choice today?" They were obviously trying to go for intimidating, but somehow they took a page out of the Nicholas Cage school of overacting.  It's not quite as bad as bat nipples on the suit, which is a decision that sends my whacky meter off the Richter scale into lockdown mode.

5. Anne Hathaway

I get it, Nolan!  You wanted a chick that was fresh and unexpected.  Who better than the girl who melted our Disney hearts with Ella Enchanted and Princess Diaries?   She was a credible Cat Woman and a decent actress.  But for some reason, poor Anne can't shake the fact that she is cradle robber bait.  Forty year old men love to be her love interest in movies.  She was the love interest of Steve Carell in Get Smart and now she was shacking up with Christian Bale. She is a twenty something bombshell actress who deserves to girlishly giggle in the arms of Thor or Spider-man.  She shouldn't be wooing Liam Neeson type characters.  Is there a creepy relationship clause in her contract?  Luckily there was no intimacy parts or real on screen chemistry, but the implication was there.

4.  The Marvel Ending

The difference between Batman and a Marvel movie is that Marvel cannot break the barrier of "pop culture good time adolescent fun."  The most serious and film noir Marvel has every gotten is on par with Disney's  John Carter.  This is why I think Marvel could also name their movies, The Marvel Fun Times Awesome Hour For Kids.  Marvel loves the sappy hero cliches, safe story telling and foreshadow that is so obvious that you might as well have Stan Lee text you spoilers.  You can't really blame them because God forbid we get another Hulk movie.  Dark Knight Rises jumps on that territory with no shame at all.  Gotham has a nuclear bomb with a textbook 5 minute countdown.  This gives Batman just enough time to kiss the damsel in distress and fly off over the bay to sacrifice himself.  They even include overused movie slapstick lines like "There must be another way!" and "There is no other way."  Now, I believe that Christopher Nolan had an urgent potty break and in his desperation told the intern to take over for him because there is no way in Hades that he would direct that.  I half expected Captain America to fall in the same bay and get frozen.

3.  This is not the Batman Universe

  I will admit that Nolan has adapted his Batman characters based on pivotal comic books in the series.  But for the most part this Batman is an exception to the rule rather than the rule.  Nolan's Batman is super detailed and drained of all fantasy to the point where every character is tethered to drama, realistic and completely adaptable to real life.  Basically, these movies are a view of what Batman would look like if he lived in Chicago and had heavy violin music follow him constantly.  Nolan killed the fictional suspended belief of Batman by removing the Batmobile, nixing any science fiction elements from the bad guys, and making Gotham into virtually any city in the US.  In actuality, the Gotham universe is rich with fantasy.  This is a place where freaks grow organically, villains murder without ideology and personalities are rich with crazy.  The whole point of Batman's crazy world is that he fits in with the psychopaths who dress up as The Mad Hatter.  I'm probably going to get hate bombs for this, but Tim Burton's portrayal of Batman's world is more faithful to the comics.  His doses of macabre, mixed with outlandish landscapes is more fitting for a man who dresses like a bat.  Nolan makes a great movie about Batman, but he didn't necessarily make a Batman movie.  Which brings me to my next point...

2.  This is Not a Batman Movie

The best Batman movie barely has Batman in it.  I'm referring to Dark Knight Rises where Bruce Wayne gets more screen time than the actual Batman.  Now let us add the fact that Batman is crippled, disinterested in detective work and does most of his scenes in vehicles.  Seems like Nolan views Batman as a dessert part of the meal and his focus is clearly on the dinner.  The main focus of the movie is Gotham and it's well being in the face of passionate villains.  What did we come to see?  We came to see Batman kick the ever loving crap out of thugs in amazing ways with technology and martial arts.  What we got was a great coming of age story with Bruce Wayne as he fights his morals to find the best way to save a city.  Batman is the whipped cream on the sundae, but if you watch carefully the actual costumed character is not the ice cream.  Batman Begins and The Dark Knight were great portrayals of Batman, but The Dark Knight Rises merely lets Batman tag along just so they could fulfill it as an action movie.

1.  Stupid Final Fights

You have the Scarecrow and Bane in your movie and you've spent the greater portion of the story building up their evilness.  Now one would expect a huge final brawl where Batman gets the upper hand and sends them on a one-way ticket to dream land.  Not true.  Scarecrow is defeated by Katie Holmes with a taser and Bane gets shot right out of the film by Cat Woman.  I know we are dealing with a very cerebral and deep Batman, but at least give us a sweet action scene.  This is equivalent to the Hulk not saying "smash!" or Wolverine having a sit down talk to resolve his issues with bad guys.  Batman had a great fight with the Joker so it is not like Nolan is completely inept in the field of standoffs.  Even George Lucas will get off his golden fan boy throne to deliver a lightsaber battle between two guys.  I feel robbed that Batman never gets to be the one who finishes his evil thugs.  I have to give kudos to Marvel.  The Avengers clearly had some sweet chin music with Loki and not once did an audience member yell, "get back to the deep convicted discussions between Steve Rodgers and Tony Stark!"


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Preview: A Military Shooter 2k12

The latest installment of A Military Shooter just came out.  This is hard hitting, realistic war FPS that puts you smack dab in war torn Middle East and Russia.

The latest sequel involves:

30% More slow motion door opening scenes where you have to shoot everyone

20% more getting blown up in slow motion and then someone tossing you a pistol

50% more monotonous corridor shooting

80% more mindless explosions disguised as story

Endless ways to play: duck and shoot, shoot and duck, take cover and shoot, shoot and take cover.

All of the realism of war (except the auto regeneration, unlimited ammo, bullet proof skin, respawning and complete lack of mourning and war trauma)

We insure that every multiplayer map will have at least 3 smash mouth ten year-olds who think they are better than you

Free US Army registration form in each game

Also stay tuned for our Extra Shotgun DLC, Add Some Zombies DLC, War Tug Boats DLC, Bastrop Texas Map DLC, Batman Skins DLC, Boring Desert DLC, Six Extra Bullets DLC, Optimus Prime Challenge DLC, Aflec Duck Character Add-on DLC,  Far Quarters DLC, Change the Color of Your Gun DLC, Crappy Maps DLC and other add-ons that you must buy to have a complete game

War is fun!!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Letters from a sidekick: The Amazing Spiderman

Dear Spiderman,

I am thrilled that I am your new partner in crime.  I was looking over your backstory and I had a few questions.  Did you think it was weird that Oscorp just had a random division where radiated spiders and thin metal cables were made in conjunction?  Did they tell you why they were making those?  Seems a little convenient that they build up two of your best weapons so close to each other and not have a reason for them.  It was also nice of that scientist friend to let you take home an unlimited supply of metal cable shooters.

Your pal,
Spider Boy

Dear Spiderman,

I thank you for accepting me, Spider Boy, as your new side kick.  I know that you are having a long blonde haired, Polish and scruffy looking vigilante phase.  I had no idea that every long blonde haired, Polish and scruffy looking man was actually a criminal.  That kind of works out in your favor.  

Your pal,
Spider Boy

Dear Spiderman,

I am a little confused.  You don't want people to know who you are, but you keep taking your mask off.  So far children, people you love and people who want to capture you know who you are.  I'm just wondering if revealing your identity to the people you want to protect and the people who want to hurt those you want to protect is a good idea.  Anyways, I followed in your footsteps and showed some bank robbers my face.  They in turn slaughtered my family as revenge.  I was hoping you had a backup family

Your pal,
Spider Boy

Dear Spiderman,

You are really good at fighting and parkour, but I think you need some assistance in rescuing.  You were saving a child from a burning car that was hanging from a bridge.  For no good reason you made the kid put on your vision deterring mask.  was that symbolism?  If that was symbolism it was not very effective.  No one knew who you were so giving children your mask to wear did not really help the situation. Did you mean to make it that much harder for the kid to escape?  Thank God you helped the one kid whose father can own and manipulate all construction vehicles to his will.

Your pal,
Spider Boy

Dear Spiderman,

I just heard that the Lizard is going to spread horrible mutating gases all over New York City to transform the whole population.  But I don't think you should worry.  I did some research and it looks like the lizard dude has to inject himself daily just to continue being the lizard.  So even if the lizard can infect the population they will only be lizards for two hours tops.  Maybe you don't need to put this so high on the priority list.  It would suck if someone got killed for trying to stop such an ineffective plot.

Your pal,
Spider Boy

Dear Spiderman,

I am officially resigning from the position of being your sidekick.  You actually don't have any attributes that make you a hero.  Don't get me wrong, you are amazing at hurting long haired Polish men, but you kind of suck at everything else.  I think I was incredibly disappointed when Gwen stacy's father made you promise to stay away from his daughter.  This promise you complied with...for about 1 day.  It's kind of a jerk move to desecrate the wishes of a dying man (with his daughter no less).  Remind me to accept your vows as absolute crap.  I hope the eventual slaughter of all your loved ones is worth that extra make out time you get with that leggy blonde.  I'm sure she will appreciate the vow you made with her father a little more as a super villain is disemboweling her.

Screw you,
Tim Drake

Dear Spiderman,

I've been looking at your exploits from zero to super hero and made a few connections.  Your entire life is modeled after Batman Begins.  Take a look at this chart I made.









Technically, you didn't make this promise last very long.  If your rule is that you can go back on your promises as long as the promise maker is dead, than you should really think about stabbing Uncle Ben in the back and not becoming a super hero.

You are a turd,
Robin (formerly Spider Boy)  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Xbox Throwdown 2K12

This looks amazing.  Finally you can pit Alan Wake versus Master Chief versus that guy from Amped 3.

Does anyone remember Blinx, Azurik or that girl from Jade Empire.  I have a feeling it is just going to be a lot of Master Chief battles against Gears of War.

This game is too awesome to exist sadly.  I also forgot to add Fusion Frenzy to the list.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weirdest Video Game Genre Crossovers

Call of Duty: Point and Click
Pros: Maybe with less repetitive run and gun action they can worry about the story a little more.
Cons:  You really only need the Duck and Shoot commands  

Grand Theft RPG
Pros: You can finally level up bats, guns, and  knives.  Also the healing spell comes in real handy when the army comes.
Cons:  Every two steps you take you encounter a pedestrian.  

Madden Fighters
Pros: Finally a sports game where I might win.
Cons:  Story mode always has the same ending: "I'm going to Disney World"

Mass Effectville
Pros:  Let's face it, you spent two hours on the story and sixteen on collecting junk.  This game was made for you.
Cons: You might have to milk a Volus!  

 Pong FPS
Pros:  Killing raging Hell Beasts in Pong just feels natural.
Con:  The realism of ping-pong might be slightly diminished by the inclusion of a BFG.

Rockband Adventures
Pros:  The Bon Jovi Forest and Journey Castle are amazing levels!
Cons:  The Mastodon Dungeon and Amy Winehouse Village are such a pain to play through!  
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