Articles about movies

Recreating Jane

So the Ender movie is coming out. That's... well, it's coming out.

This had me thinking about the book series and one thing from there struck me as being more science than fiction nowadays (don't worry, no spoilers):

In the later books of the series Ender has a digital assistant called Jane. Jane takes the shape of small in-ear dongle - a "jewel", which Ender communicates with using voice commands.

Could we create - or at least approximate - Jane using existing consumer technologies today?

Import MTS video clips to iMovie

My parents have a digital camcorder. A week long vacation with said camcorder, my parents, and their only grandchild produces a fair amount of raw footage. Before we headed back home after the vacation I wisely snapped up all the footage from their camera hoping to eventually run it through iMovie.

Turns out their camcorder stores its clips in MTS/AVCHD format, and I didn't grab all the fluff^Wnecessary files. As a result iMovie '11 cannot import the MTS video clips.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind the other day. Not really having heard anything about it, it was pretty much a case of “bah, the movie we really wanted to see isn’t on for another hour, but that one with Jim Carrey is. Let’s see that”. I am glad we did.

ESofSM is a great movie. The story is written by director Michel Gondry (who has made music vidoes for artists like Bjork, Chemical Brothers and Massive Attack) and Charlie Kaufman (who wrote Being John Malkovich), and as you’d expect from Kaufman it revels in blurred reality, plot twists and timeline jumps.

In essence the movie is a love story between Clementine and Joel, who doesn’t really realize how much they appreciate their relationship until both of them decide to erase each other from their memories. Peel the love story layer away and you’re left with a movie that takes on issues of ethics, science, fate, destiny, moral responsibility and free will.

The crude lightning, on-location shots, and very real and in your face atmosphere combined with an intelligent and catching story and all around solid acting is bound to make this a sure hit with movie critics.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind takes you on a delightful trip away from the grand scale, epic battles and conflicts of todays movies and into the single person conflict in Joels mind. Good stuff.

Final Fantasy VII sequel on DVD

Seeing how I am currently playing through Final Fantasy VII to finally finish a game I first played 6 years ago and have restarted playing 6 or 7 times since, the news of a coming Final Fantasy movie are pretty interesting.

Cloud

The coming full length movie, Final Fantasy VII – Advent Children, apparently picks up where the game ends, and is – like the previous Final Fantasy movie – going to be fully CG animated. The trailers look great and several characters from the game reappear.

Here’s hoping that they manage to make the story vastly more interesting than the one in The Spirits Within, but building on the story from the game should provide a great foundation for making a movie that is more than simply overdimensioned swords and excessive visual effects.

The Two Towers Extended version

I just finished watching the extended version of the Two Towers, and daaayamn, everything about this DVD is simply fantastic. The 40 minutes of extra footage makes an already amazing movie even better, and it almost makes it feel like you’re watching an entirely new movie.

I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the Gollum/Sm

Finding Nemo (2003)

Pixar strikes again. Finding Nemo is a great movie.

The tale of daddy clownfish travelling through the ocean to find his lost son is catching, the characters are all fittingly fishy in their own unique ways, and the voice acting works very well.

The animators have obviously had tons of fun creating the lush, colorful, underwater enviroments and models and it shows. Each scene is saturated with colors, movement and tiny details that makes the movie a visual joy to see.

And let’s not forget that it’s funny. Sure, it may not exactly be Shrek-style adult humour, but as long as your inner child have not packed its bags and left for greener pastures, you should be able to find several things to send you into minutes of laughter. I know I did.

Grab your tiny nephew, call the local Rent-a-kid, or set up a daycare center – anything works as an excuse to see this movie.

Aarrr, it be th'Black Pearl

When Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer are among the names behind a movie, you are almost guaranteed 2 hours filled with action, fun and adventures. Pirates of the Carribean fully lives up to this guarantee.

The swordfights and jokes are swift and plenty, the explosions and sea-battles are impressive, and Johnny Depp is great as the fallen pirate, Jack Sparrow.

Pirates of the Carribean is a popcorn-flick and has no intention of being otherwise. It delivers the story and punchlines with a wink and entertains for a full 2 hours.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

This addition to the ever-growing family of fast-cutting, wire-action, musicvideo-styled kind of action movies is a waste of time. Not even the cameos or the babe-factor of Cameron Diaz, Demi Moore, and Lucy Liu can make up for the incoherent and unexciting storyline.

Take my advice, spend 15 minutes in company with three Google searches while Prodigy blasts from your stereo, sprinkle with random glances to MTV, and you’ll have experienced Charlies Angels: Full Throttle.

My DVDs

And now, for no apparent reason, a list of my DVDs. Anyone know of a good website application for keeping track of such a list?

Starship Troopers with deeper meaning?

Damn Jake of 8Bit Joystick.com! To me, Starship Troopers has always been the perfect no-brains-involved movie – perfect for when hung over. I enjoy the way Verhoeven manages to stear clear of every bit of sentimental, emotional substory in the movie.

It is hinted that Dizzy is feeling lonely, but it doesn’t turn into more than a single shot of her not getting any mail.

The shattered relationship between Carmen and Johnny could’ve turned the movie into a sobbing love story, but it doesn’t because Carmen is a bitch and Johnny has Ace to kick around.

The implications of Carl sending Johnny to his expected death is shrugged off with a That’s what the Mobile Infantry is good for.

The movie never becomes deeper than “we’re the good guys, we shoot with big guns at everything that has more legs than us”.

Now Jake claims that Starship Troopers is really an anti-fascist statement. Damn, now I have to set my brain in gear next time I watch the movie.

Actually, I have always thought Starship Troopers was a bit of a forgotten pearl. The fact that it can be seen as a dark black humour, “kill ’em all” action movie as well as an anti-fascist, “war is bad, mmmkay” statement doesn’t make it one bit less good – quite the opposite.

Product symbiosis in the matrix

Yeah yeah, the Matrix horse has been beaten to death by now, noone really knows what is happening and we won’t be able to tell eachother “See? I told you so” until later this year. But after having received my Animatrix DVD and looked a bit at the Enter the Matrix game, I have to applaud the Wachovski brothers – besides, I wanted an excuse to post this picture.

Blatant buttshot

My reasons for applause is that the whole Matrix suite (the movies, the game, the animatrix, the website) seems to be a pretty succesful experiment in creating a symbiotic relationship between different medias and products.

Eeach product adds its own little bit of extra detail and background information to the matrix saga. Each product can still be used seperatly but when seen in the big context it makes the most sense, they supplement eachother very well.

Not only does this most likely give the Wachovski a nice cashcow to milk, it also allows fans to dig deeper into the matrix universe and its philosohies if they so desire. And judging from the amount of comments and blog entries about the events in and behind Matrix Reloaded a huge deal of people do want to dig deeper.

Matrix Reloaded thoughts

So I saw the movie last night, and I think it rocks. It may not be as philosophical as the first, the plot may be quite a bit confusing and the action may more or less be repeats of things seen in the first Matrix movie, but in total I like the movie.

Right from the start you are shown that this movie has no intention of being any less spectacular than the first. Although it starts slowly, after about 20 minutes of introducing characters and places the action kicks in – and continues kicking you in the entertainment center until the end.

The action scenes are indeed spectacular and if you’re into kung fu fights and fast car chases you can’t go wrong by seeing Matrix Reloaded. I am definatly looking forward to seeing it again.

Warning, spoilers incoming. Do not read further if you haven’t seen the movie

Enter the Matrix

And so it got to be Denmarks turn to experience Matrix Reloaded – well, in a little while it will at least. I managed to get a hold of a ticket to one of the first showings in the country, couldn’t resists the temptation even if I have tickets for the coming friday too :)

Reloading in America

Americans suck – they get to see Matrix Reloaded now, while I have to wait a week before it opens in the danish cinemas. Bullocks. I don’t get that decision, why not launch at the same time worldwide? I can’t seem to think of any reason to seperate the openings by a week, but then again, I generally don’t understand the movie BigCos.

A bit of Matrix-related stuff:

  • Brad Choate has given his site a pretty cool “matrix-over” (which I hate him for, but more on that some other day).
  • PVP Online has started what seems to be a week of Matrix-strips
  • Warner and Ubi Soft are developing a real “the matrix”.

Animatrix - Second Renaissance II

The Second Renaissance Part II

It’s May and it’s time for the final free Animatrix episode before The Big Bang: The Second Renaissance Part II.

The 10 minute movie is a dark and grim depiction of the events that lead to the fall of flesh prior to the events in the first Matrix movie.

We are told the tale of mankinds final desperate battle against the machine army, the torching of the sky, and the treaty signed by man and machine that lead to the building of the first matrix. Very good stuff.

May there be mercy on man and machine for their sins

Underworld

Let’s see… Vampires, trenchcoats, slowmotion, swordfights, werewolves, gothic cityscapes, steam engines, female butts in tight leather pants, rain – Yup, Underworld looks very promising.

DVD Easter Eggs

At a dinner during easter my cousins husband-to-be pointed out to me, that the MTV Music Award spoof of the council-scene from Fellowship of the Rings was accessible on the extended version DVD by following some obscure keypresses.

He instructed me to look it up using Google. Behold! Google sent me to DVD Easter Eggs that lists over thousand Easter Eggs. Feel free to call me ignorant, but I never realized that DVDs containing this were this widespread.

Animatrix: Detective Story

Ick, I had forgotten about this – luckily my brother brought it to my attention.

With the beginning of a new month comes the next freely availabe installment of the Animatrix: A Detective Story (I would love to link directly, but they are using a frames setup, sorry).

The episode is a very nice piece of Cartoon Noire with plenty of more or less obvious references to the Matrix universe as we know it. In my opinion this is by far the better of the existing Animatrix episodes, with its own unique style and feel, and a decent story going. It even features a method of “debugging” that’s even more gross than the bellybutton method featured in the movie.

Visiting Apples trailerpark

Biker boyz

The Fast and the Furious meets Boyz N the Hood. The custom cars are replaced with custom motorcycles, Vin Diesel is replaced with Laurence Fishburne, the bitches and the bimbos are still there.

“Biker boyz, we set our own rules” – or perhaps we’ll grab them from another movie.

2 Fast, 2 Furious

Speaking of The Fast and the Furious it seems like the sequel is coming soon; 2 Fast, 2 Furious. Please, I thought spelling words with numbers went out of fashion a couple of years ago. Apart from that, more from the same shelf. Fast vehicles, busty babes and no Vin Diesel (I wonder if his newfound stardom has made him too expensive) – sound familiar?

Guns, girls, and gadgets

Die another day, The latest chapter in the tale of the never-aging, british agent James Bond delivers. It has everything I expect from a James Bond movie; Intense action, beautiful women, evil super-villains, and hightech devices. Pierce Brosnan makes a great James Bond, and along with the rest of the actors, he delivers his lines as credible as the predictable and deliberatly misunderstable dialogue allows. One thing that pleased me alot seeing, was the fact that Bond gets to use his delicious Aston Martin to its fullest. In the previous movies he seemed to rely on his car solely for transportation - which is a damn shame when your car is fitted with missiles and ejector seats. That is remedied in Die Another Day in a most impressive manner. You won't leave the cinema feeling any wiser after seeing Die Another Die. It is a fastpaced action movie and it does exactly what it is supposed to: It hits right in the entertainment-center of the brain.

Tarantino goes John Woo?

Somehow I've managed to be be ignorant to the fact that Quentin Tarantino is finishing up a new movie. Judging from the trailer, it looks like he'll be going John Woo on Uma Thurmans ass, stepping away from his previous style into a more action-oriented, Matrix/Crouching tiger, Hidden Dragon kind of movie. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing this, but then again, I am a sucker for swordfights.

Ninjai

Ninjai: The Little Ninja I just spotted that my favorite Flash animation, Ninjai, has been extended with a new chapter. If you haven't seen Ninjai: The Little Ninja before, I highly recommend heading there and start from chapter 1. It is topnotch work, both the visuals, the sounds and the history.

Incoming bliss

For no apparent reason, I just want to point out the fact, that my ticket for the The Two Towers has been secured. Center seats, Imperial, 19th december, 21:40. Drool... On a related note, I am contemplating buying the extended version of Fellowship of the Rings. The extacy-like state of mind, that Anders seems to be in after having watched it makes it hard to resist. Is it possible to perfect the perfected?

US customers only, please

What do five of the worlds biggest movie-companies; Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures and MGM, have in common? They apparently don't care about their non-US customers:
"We want you to take part in the powerful Internet movie rental experience that Movielink delivers, but it is presently unavailable to users outside of the United States"
The above quote is what non US visitors are presented with when they try to access Hollywoods newest online investment, Movielink. Movielink is (as far as I know - I have no way of getting this verified from the site itself) a joint venture between the 5 movie-companies offering selected movies for download for a few dollars each. Despite obvious technical challenges they decided to boldy adventure into an area they have been trying to kill for so long: Digitally copying full movies to the harddrives of individual users. To avoid illegal distribution, they have apparently put their trust into a mechanism that disables the movie after a set amount of time (I wonder how long it will be before that mechanism is cracked open?). The idea itself is great and I regained a little trust in the juggernauts of the movie industry, kudos to them. But then they cut off their non-US customers from even getting info about their service. I realize that the cost of international downloads will probably be too high for them to begin with, but cutting the access before we even get to seeing what movies are available makes no sense. They don't even want to tempt us by showing what this is all about. They don't even give non-US press somewhere to get reliable information about the service. To me, this still makes the movie-companies look like the BigCo's of yesterday, still not quite grasping the possibilities of the Internet. Worst of all, it looks a lot like the ridiculous regional-system they currently use to control the DVD market. They are so close to showing they have balls, and still they fail.

One DVD to rule them all

Oh my... The ending credits for Fellowship of the Rings is slowly moving across my television. I had totally forgotten how awesome that movie is. The introduction alone almost makes it worth buying the entire DVD; Cate Blanchetts voice over is simply amazing. Her pronunciation, her variation in speed, and shifting tone of voice in combination with Peter Jacksons fantastic images still sends shivers down my spine - gotta lova it. Only problem is my television definatly does not do the movie (well, any movie actually) justice. It is far too small and gives everything a greenish hue - I guess I better buy a new one soon.

A worthy addition it is

Wow. Last night I had the undivided pleasure to experience George Lucas' most recent addition to the everexpanding Star Wars universe, Attack of the Clones. Every doubt I have had after the mediocre first prequel, was effectively put to shame. George Lucas manages to correct the mistakes from the first movie, while telling an intriquing story spiced with staggering action sequences and breathtaking scenery. The movie gives us a glimpse into the more shady depths of the governmentplanet of Coruscant and it elevates the plot of the prequels into a state that makes it very hard waiting to see how it all will become resolved 3 years from now.

Random DVD Madness

Owning a DVD-player is ruining me. While preordering my DVD copy of Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Rings (that movie is so amazing), the DVD vendor managed to tempt me into visiting their area with special offers. Bad idea! Before I had managed to think twice about this, I had spent 520 DKR and bought 5 DVDs (of which Blues Brothers and The Fifth Element arrived earlier today). This was in addition to the 300 DKR I spent on the LotR-movie. Hmm, I also need a bigger TV-set and some surround-gear...