I think you should watch.

So last night i decided to throw on a movie while i did some work for some backgroung noise as i so often do. as i was skimming my movie titles deciding on what movie to watch i quickly stopped on a movie i really really like but always forget that it exists so i decided to watch it.

Now why when someone asks me for a good movie recommendation or something they should watch my mind never really goes to Ladder 49, in fact i generally don’t remember that movie exists most of the time. But every now and again something will spark my memory and i will sit back and watch it. and it is great. I don’t know what it is but there is just something really wonderful about this movie.

Lader 49 was released in 2004 and followers the journey of firefighter Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) as he matures into a seasoned veteran. Jack reaches a crossroads,  as the sacrifices he’s made have put him in harm’s way countless times and has harmed his relationship with his wife and kids. Responding to the worst blaze in his career, he becomes trapped inside a building. And is left to reflect on his life as he waits for rescue.

I nearly cry (I don’t because i am a man) every time i watch this movie. Joaquin’s performance is brilliant and you really feel the struggle he faces as he weighs the decisions in his life. As he sits and waits for rescue he has only the memories of his life. He sits in judgement of himself wondering if there was something he could have done better, and if he has done right by his family.

I’ve only actually watched this movie maybe 2 or 3 times because as i said i often forget about it. but every now and again I will be reminded of it or i will come across it in my library, toss it on the tv, grab a big bowl of buttery popcorn and sit back and enjoy. So I guess i’m going to call this my movie recommendation of the day. It is sure to not disappoint and it was a very riveting change (i have been talking about how movies haven’t been living up to hype these days). If you haven’t watched Ladder 49 your seriously missing out and should check it out.



Transformers DOTM thoughts.

So you may have read a couple days ago me expressing my excitement and my fears about going to see Transformers 3 and the Daunting challenge I issued to Michael Bay about restoring my faith in him.

Well… I saw it. and have very mixed feelings about the movie. I’ve spent the last couple days reliving every action scene in my head and still can’t really decide what i think. It is easily better than the second. You’ll remember i complained about the second not focusing on the Transformers, the third corrected this issue. There are several really good scenes that include only transformers. but to help myself decide i’m going to just list some of my likes and dislikes in this post.

LIke – the new Witwicky love interest is easily as hot as Megan Fox.

Dislike – they removed the 2 bumbling moronic Autobots (the twins) from the second one only to replace them with a slew of equally annoying robots.

(now spoilers follow)

LIke – Leonard Nimoy

Dislike – Having Nimoy say “the needs of the many outway the needs of the few” – this was supposed to be a nice little shout out to startrek fans and people like me who were excited to have 2 of my favorite things combined (Spock and Transformers), but i found that it didn’t trigger my inner (and obvious outer) Trekkie, instead i thought it was almost to lazy and obvious to matter to me. and the line seemed rather tossed in and not well thought out.

Dislike – How I just wrote a big paragraph (that i then deleted) about how the plot in the DOTM is all to convenient. The plan in the third relies entirely on getting Optimus to use the matrix of leadership on Sentinel so that he may control the pillars to bring Cybertron to Earth (which kind of would have been useless had their plan succeeded in the second one killing their entire potential slave force). So the plot of this movie is that Sentinel Prime (frozen on the moon since the mid 1900’s.) came up with a plan with Megatron (frozen on earth since the early 1900’s. that would start to be put into place in the 1960’s that had counted on all of the plot points in the second and first movie to take place. It seems to me that trying to foil your own plan (the plot of the second one to destroy the earth) is the worst way to complete a covert operation. It would have made more sense for them to just quietly find the matrix of leadership (in Egypt where no-one can hear you transform) and then just sit tight until you were ready instead of trying to use it.

(on that note let me just state how much i hate forced sequels… remember when 1 movie was good enough…)

Now all that being said. the action scenes were very enjoyable. The Autobots kick serious ass. there are some great fights. some good jokes. most of the robots are enjoyable. and it focuses on the robots more than the humans.

So. all in all i would say enjoyable action movie. but a sequel that i really didn’t need. it suffered greatly from sequel syndrome and tried to be so much bigger that it just kind of trips over itself. I was not displeased, i enjoyed it, it was better than the second, its just not going to be my favorite movie of the summer (so far thats super 8 incase you were wondering). and I just did not leave the theatre with the same zeal i felt after the first.

Mixtape 476: WU LYF – Heavy Pop

WU LYF – Heavy Pop

This song is the sound of the last party of summer, a bittersweet second farewell to your hometown. The spotlights shine down, the pool sits open and unused while the liquor sits open and finished. Friends have come and friends have gone, and you feel like everyone you’ve seen over the last few months have stopped by. People you didn’t even know were acquainted have hugged, and shaken hands, and promised to meet up again next year. You’ve been wished well and wished well in return.

This isn’t the sound of the last day of high school, or the last day before college. There’s wisdom, there’s a certain world weariness. Less excitement, less unknown, more inevitability. There’s a knowledge that you’ll never see some of these people again. Sure, some will stay in your life for a while longer, some forever, but there are no misconceptions that you’ll “keep in touch”, or “talk everyday”. There’s a few hugs, some handshakes, and a knowing goodbye.

This is more in the vein of my tumblog, Taken in Tune, where I write something inspired by a song I loved in a more freeform way. I felt like Heavy Pop warranted this sort of entry, but I still felt like it, being new and fitting with the theme, belonged on the summer mixtape (though it’ll likely close it when all is said and done). If you enjoyed this, I urge you to check out Taken in Tune, because there are some things I’ve written on it that I’m very proud of. On the other hand, if you hated this and would rather I left this sort of thing on my other blog, feel free to leave a comment saying so.

Regardless, song number five of the summer mixtape for 2011, the:

Mixtape 476 – 2011

…is Heavy Pop by WU LYF.

1. The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

2. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

3. Jim Jones and Girl Talk – Believe in Magic (ft. Lloyd)

4. Cults – Oh My God

5. WU LYF – Heavy Pop

Overlooking at Super 8

It’s been a week or so since I saw Super 8 in the theatre, and it’s given me a chance to really think about my feelings about it. I’d love to see it again to be sure, but living in nowheresville, Canada makes that premise a little bit more difficult. Driving an hour to see a film usually means I’m watching something new, but I digress.

Basically, I loved Super 8. I absolutely loved it. The kids were pitch perfect, the story was well paced and the action was consistently entertaining. The way JJ Abrams conveyed a complete love and reverence towards both the craft and medium of film was brilliant. Coming out of the theatre, I couldn’t see how I could possibly like any movie this year more than this one.

What I’ve realized since is that I may have turned a blind eye towards some of the major flaws of the film. I’ll try to be vague, but spoilers for Super 8 follow.

My primary problem came with the end of the film. I really felt like the characters had no real impact on the final act. On one hand, the kids have a direct impact within their own storyline (even when it crosses over with that of the alien), but ultimately fail to contribute in any way to the driving plotline of the entire film. While the discovery, and eventual liberation, of the alien/monster may only be a MacGuffin upon which the actual story is built, the way in which the alien storyline is resolved still felt forced.

Similarly, the resolutions of some of the relationships seemed forced. While the way in which they were portrayed (especially between the father and son) was still believable (and still managed to pull an emotional response out of me. That final, unabashedly Spielbergian, shot, looking into space, was pure magic), there was really no moment to me that the father really “got it” in regards to who his son really was. I guess I can believe that their relationship was strengthened due to the events of the film, and I can understand the desperation and unconditional love going into finding them at the end, it still seemed like nothing was really changed. The relationship between the two father characters seemed rushed, as well. Once again, I can buy the whole “shared experience” angle, but how Joe’s father can make a complete 180 that way seemed dubious, at best.

Despite this, and a few other small gripes (the way characters would be alluded to and introduced, seemingly only to be cannon fodder to create a false sense of danger towards the main characters, for example), none of these problems came up while I was watching the film. The things I absolutely loved (the relationships between the kids, the filmmaking aspect, the mystery, etc.) completely outnumber the minor issues (that are mostly nestled within things I loved).

I guess this sort of turned into a review, so I’ll end by saying that Super 8 is absolutely worth watching, watching again, buying, and watching again. It may end up being my favourite film of the year (though I haven’t seen Attack the Block yet). It does some things wrong, but it’s all wrapped within such a great package that it’s incredibly easy to overlook them. The scene near the end (to avoid spoilers as much as possible) when the kids are running through the town is enough, by itself, to recommend this movie.

I don’t want this to seem like a middling review, either. My intent is to demonstrate that a) Super 8 is not a perfect movie, but that b) the flaws don’t even begin to make me love it any less. I’m glad I waited to post this, because it let me get some sort of a perspective on my feelings, but I don’t think my enthusiasm has been tempered at all. If anything, I want to rewatch it even more. Please, drive-in, bring this to Perth soon.

It disapoints me, how disapointed I am

So although a lot of people have already seen it, Tomorrow I go and see Transformers 3 in theatres. I am really excited as transformers was and still remains one of my favorite franchises of all time.

I loved the cartoon as a kid, watched almost all of the spin offs (beast wars) so when i found out that Michael Bay was relaunching the franchise in 2007 I was pumped! and quite frankly he did not disappoint. Transformers was a great film. the explosions were awesome. the story was awesome. and the robots were awesome!. So when the second one was announced my first thought was AWESOME!

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed Giant Robots from outer space (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) as a movie about well giant Robots from outer space, but as a Transformers film I was disappointed. it didn’t focus on the Transformers (ya know… the movie isn’t called “Shia Lebeouf and Megan Fox in: My Boyfriend and his crazy robot friends’)

But more about my disappointment. Due to A lack of funds (broke student) and not a lot of time due to work (weird how I’m still broke) I have not gotten to see as many movies this summer as I would have liked. But out of the movies I have seen so far I can say the only one to NOT disappoint me was Super 8. Green lantern a movie I’ve been waiting my life to see left me walking out of the theatre ashamed to be wearing a green lantern T-shirt.

So as I enter transformers tomorrow night. I enter with high hopes and a barely mended heart. If Michael bay adds Transformers to the list of things that have disappointed me this summer I don’t know how I will ever be excited for a movie again. that being said It could be awesome! and I hope it is! I purposely have not been reading reviews because I don’t want to form an opinion before I see it.

All i know is Michael Bay has some faith to restore. hopefully he is up to the task.

The Beauty of Apps

So you may have noticed that I don’t blog all that often. mostly because I’ll be somewhere and see something that makes me think to myself… hmmm I really have a lot to say on this topic and would love to write a blog post about it. So I go about whatever it is I’m doing at the time the whole time formulating in my head how I’m going to structure the post and what I’m going to say. the more and more I sit collecting my thoughts the more excited I am about the post. Then my focus returns to whatever I was doing at the time. the task I was performing the movie I was watching ect.

I get home bust out my laptop log onto WordPress open up the add new post tab and begin to…. try to remember what I was going to talk about. Happens all the time. and i sit and I sit… and I think and I think… finally out of frustration I decide that I will come back to it when I remember what I was going to say. but i usually never do. Thats where the beauty of apps comes in.

I just downloaded the WordPress app and am hoping that this will solve my problem. it has for so many other things. I have an iPhone and do everything from it. I haven’t stepped into a bank in probably a year because I can do all my banking from my phone. I never go onto the computer to check my email because… it’s always right at my figure tips.

It seems that the longer it is before i have to do something the less likely I am to do it. if I can do it right then and there it will get done. but the longer I have to wait the more things I find to do and the further it gets pushed back. (in the case of bloging it gets pushed back so far I feel it is no longer relevent to me)

So the question I leave with as I continue to trudge through the App store looking for the next thing to make my life simpler is. Does the convenience factor make us better or worse as a society? is the ability to have everything exactly when we want it going to be our downfall and make us unable to do things later? that well… is a problem I’ll let future James deal with.

aslo to add a point to the convenience is lazy side. as I spell checked this post I realizeed I did not capitilize a sinlge I (because microsoft word does it for me usually)… fail…

Mixtape 476: Cults – Oh My God

You wanted a summer pop song? Here’s your goddamn summer pop song.

Cults – Oh My God

I like this for a lot of the same reasons I like Arcade Fire’s Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains), the vocals have an airy way of marching along without giving you a chance to breathe.

The whole song shimmers under the light of the sun, constantly propelling forward with no real regard for where it will end up. The song is anchored by a rolling rhythm section and crafted by the singer.  Out of nowhere you find yourself falling into the chorus, headfirst into a wall of sound, wondering how any part of the song could be catchier than another. Somehow, though, the chorus sticks in your head.

I had a tough time deciding which Cults song should be added to the mixtape. There are so many catchy, wonderful songs, including the previously released Go Outside, and You Know What I Mean, which I almost chose thanks to the last chorus alone (I’m a sucker for singing an octave higher), not even including the verse, which uses the tune from Where Did Our Love Go by The Supremes. Oh My God is just so good that I had to go with it.

Song number four of the summer mixtape for 2011, the:

Mixtape 476 – 2011

…is Oh My God by Cults.

1. The Dean’s List – Dear Professor

2. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass

3. Jim Jones and Girl Talk – Believe in Magic (ft. Lloyd)

4. Cults – Oh My God