Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Short Film Review: Ruthless

His Chinese gun smuggling ring dismantled, Triad gangster Lee has designs on moving his operation stateside.  He’s even found a gwailo benefactor to help make this dream a reality.  Alas, old demons come back to haunt him, preventing his plans from truly coming to fruition.

Short Film Review: Magnetic

Rogue Agent “Dark Suit” (Alexander Hashioka-Oatfield) is finally tracked down by Rookie Agent “Light Suit” (Jessie Bayani).  The game appears to be up as “Dark Suit” has his hands up against a wall and is being frisked by “Light Suit.”  “Dark Suit” suddenly gets the drop on his less experienced counterpart, disarming him.  A pitched battle ensues in the tiny space as “Light Suit” struggles to regain the upper hand over his prey.  In the end, only one agent will walk away from this alive.

Movie Trailer: The Avengers - Official Trailer #2

By now, moviegoers have surely been shown enough of The Avengers via trailers and commercials to have an idea of what the film holds in store.  Each successive advertisement has tried to expand the scope of the film a bit.  They’ve been successful to an extent, though it still seems like the first episode in an extravagant television series rather than an ambitious big screen epic.  That notwithstanding, it must be acknowledged that there appears to be some very good stuff here.  The latest trailer, billed as the second official one, plays like a two and half minute highlight reel.  It’s a procession of money shots in which each character gets to shine a bit.  Some moments are so good that one wishes they would have been saved for the film itself.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Movie Trailer: 'The Raid: Redemption' U.S. Trailer

Is there any more that I can possibly write about my anticipation for The Raid?  At this point, I just want to see the damned movie already.  It certainly doesn’t help that Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions keeps dangling film clips and trailers in front of fans like carrots in front of Bugs Bunny.  They obviously know they have one Hell of a product on their hands, and have no compunction about teasing it up until the zero hour.  What else could possibly explain their curious decision to rename it The Raid: Redemption so late in the game?  Just what is that title change supposed to signify?

Batman Gets Medieval In a New Suit of Armor

Of Batman’s many moniker’s, “The Dark Knight” has always been my favorite.  It adds an air of majesty to the caped crusader, almost as if the Batman persona is a position that has been handed down in the Wayne family for generations.  It also paints the Batman as a true warrior that holds a place of honor in his beloved Gotham.  It’s a title befitting an icon.  After all, what is The Batman if not a Knight in every sense of the word?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Movie Review: Elite Squad: The Enemy Within

All is not well in the streets of Rio de Janeiro.  After the BOPE (Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State) violently squelches an inmate uprising at the Bangu 1 penitentiary, lieutenant colonel Roberto Nascimento (Wagner Moura) is promoted to sub-secretary of Intelligence at the public safety department. He has his work cut out for him, as drug cartels have turned the city’s slums into a warzone.  He also has sworn enemy in History teacher and staunch liberal Diogo Fraga (Irandhir Santos), who witnessed the BOPE’s violent methods at Bangu 1 firsthand.  Incensed, Fraga becomes a state representative Hell bent on exposing corruption in city government.  He also marries Nacismento’s ex-wife Rosane (Maria Ribeiro), becoming stepfather to their son.   

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Short Film Review: Lego Captain America

Captain America, with shield and pistol in tow, bursts in on a secret Nazi meeting.  Catching those in attendance completely off guard, he commences to make mincemeat out of everyone in the room.  Reinforcements arrive, but to no avail.  All who enter are shot, sliced, or eviscerated.  Even a helicopter armed with a Gatling proves to be no match for America’s favorite super soldier.  At the end of it all, Cap emerges triumphant.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Movie Trailer: The Amazing Spider Man Trailer #2

I’ll just go ahead and put it out there:  I really don’t want to like The Amazing Spider-Man.  I already got the Spider-Man movie of my dreams eight years ago with Spider-Man 2.  I’ve been a fan of Sam Raimi since Darkman, and I always saw him as being the ideal choice for this property.  This reboot wipes the slate clean and starts from scratch, tossing everything Raimi and company did out the proverbial window. That really irks me, yet I still don’t want the film to fail.  I want to be proven wrong come opening day.  Spidey has been my favorite superhero since childhood, and I root for him no matter what.  I’ll gladly eat a nice big slice of humble pie if the final product delivers. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Movie Review: Chronicle

A trio of teenagers are blessed with telekinetic powers after coming in contact with a strange glowing object.  Each handles their new-found abilities in different ways.  Matt’s (Alex Russell) inner superhero is slowly awakened.  Already brimming with confidence and swagger, Steve (Michael B. Jordan) takes it all in stride.  The overly timid Andrew (Dane Dehaan) gradually comes out of his shell, but years of being bullied at school and at home have given him a pronounced dark side.  He obsessively documents his entire life on video, and manages to capture the trio’s super-powered experiments and misadventures in great detail.  With each use, their powers grow exponentially.  In Andrew’s case, that metamorphosis has tragic results.  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mission Not Quite Impossible: One Teenager's Unrelenting Quest to See 'Juice'

In 1992, I was rediscovering my NY roots.  Having lived in Lithonia, GA for six years at that point, I wasn’t really a New Yorker anymore.  Though I still enjoyed much of the rap music that came from there, my growing fascination with West Coast gangsta rap had nearly converted me by that point.  I wasn’t really feeling the then emerging generation of NY rappers.  Brand Nubian and Leaders of the New School just didn’t move me, at least not at first.  Their videos sucked, and their production left something to be desired in my eyes.  However, by 1992 I was slowly coming back to the fray.  Some kids from Queens had started going to my High School.  I liked their swagger, and in turn befriended them.  Another influence in that same regard was my cousin, a native of the Parkchester section of the Bronx.  He had just signed a deal with Wyld Pitch records, and the B-Side of his first single 
celebrated the home town in grand fashion.  As if some sort of omen,   a film appeared on the scene that seemed to cater to my feelings at the time.