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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Give Heath Ledger the Oscar

If you've read my review of The Dark Knight you would know that I absolutely loved this movie. I really do believe it's one of the best movies made in the past twenty years.

However, it's a little saddening that The Dark Knight may not win any Oscars. Unless of course, Heath Ledger wins for best supporting actor. Christian Bale is not going to win for best actor. I doubt the Academy will give The Dark Knight the Best Picture award either. Maybe best director or best screenplay has a shot, but I think the best chance is Heath Ledger as best supporting actor.

What do you think? Should Heath Ledger win for best supporting actor? Can The Dark Knight win awards in any other major category?

Friday, July 25, 2008

X-Files: I Want To Believe Movie Review

This is the second movie based on the hit Fox television series. While the first movie that was released in 1998 was a culmination of events that took place throughout the series, this version was more like a stand alone episode. There were no big conspiracies, no government cover-ups or anything like that. Just one very creepy case.

For those of you that are already familiar with the X-Files series, then this movie should fit well with you. It's just like watching a longer episode from the television series.

If you are not familiar with the series, this movie might make you a fan. Even though you might not be familiar with some of the historical references that come up in the movie, the case itself and the acting were all well enough to make you enjoy the mystery. And there is very little science fiction in this movie. There are a few references, of course, but nothing like the first movie with aliens, and spaceships, and pods.

What I liked:
Reminded me of the series
A few really creepy moments
Decent mystery

What I didn't like:

Not enough action at times
Lotta talkin'

Overall, I give this movie 3 quarters out of 4 quarters. It certainly wasn't bad or boring. It was actually pretty decent. But nothing to go crazy about.

Time to Begin the Mystery Section

The science fiction section of my website is done now. It's time to start the mystery section and I can't wait. I was not pleased with my progress in the scifi section at all. It took me almost a month to write up only five pages. I can't let that happen again on the mystery fiction section. I hope to have the first five pages done within 1 week, ten days tops.

The good thing about mystery is that I've read a lot of it. I would say I've probably read more mystery fiction than perhaps any other genre except for horror. Of course, this would include spin-off genres like suspense and thrillers.

I plan on seeing the new X-Files movie later on today. I should have a review by tonight, and a video review on Youtube.

Let's keep our mind on the goal: One week to finish the Mystery Fiction section.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Top Ten Fantasy Movies From the Past Ten Years

Don't you hate wasting money on a bad movie? I know I do. That's why I like creating these top 10 lists of the best movies to make it easier on all of us. My top 10 scifi movies from the past decade is already listed. Now, here is my list of the top 10 fantasy movies of the past decade with ratings.

10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - 3
9. Shrek 2 - 3
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - 3
7. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - 3
6. Enchanted - 4
5. Cars - 4
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - 4
3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - 4
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - 4
1. The Green Mile

You may want to look over my rating system and see how it works. And visit my website and discover more about fantasy and other fiction genres.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cloverfield DVD Review

I watched the DVD Cloverfield today. Cloverfield is a science fiction movie about a group of friends in New York trying to survive an attack by some strange monsters. This movie was unique in that the entire film was made to look as if it was shot with a camcorder.

To me this movie was okay. It was just another "Monster Attacks New York" movie like King Kong, Godzilla, Independence Day, and a bunch of others. The only thing that makes this movie stand out is the unique filming perspective. I thought that made the film different, and helped liven up the overdone plot. However, at times I couldn't stand the camcorder perspective because it made it difficult to view certain parts of the film.

I was very upset that there wasn't more closure to the film. We never find out where the darn monsters come from in the first place. And given that the movie was aiming for realism, I found it annoying that all of the actors looked perfect. No one was heavyset, no one had any deformities, no one was balding, no one looked ugly. All of the characters were picture perfect models-type actors, a very annoying science-fiction cliche.

What I liked
Lots of clever banter
Great shots of NYC from different overhead angles

What I didn't like
Ambiguous ending
Too many pretty actors
Over used plot

I give this movie only 2 quarters. You might need to familiarize yourself with my rating system.

I'm glad I rented it instead of paying $10 bucks for a ticket. I'm pretty sure it won't make my top 10 list for 2008.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Dark Knight Review

Perhaps I should qualify this post by stating that I have always been a huge Batman fan. But it doesn't really matter.

Look folks. This movie is fantastic. The Dark Knight is the best movie I've seen all year. It's probably the best movie I've seen in over a year. If you only see one summer blockbuster, then, Go. See. This. Movie.

The Dark Knight is so realistic it's scary. This movie was as realistic as a movie about a comic book can get. I'm tempted to start another portal on my website dedicated to comic books and their movie spin-offs. I'll think about it, but for now I classify The Dark Knight as a mystery.

Move over Spider-Man. This is how a comic book movie should be done.
Move over Jack Nicholson. Heath Ledger is officially the best Joker ever.

What I liked
The Joker in a nurse's uniform.
The camera work was stupendous.

What I didn't like

Maybe it was a little too long.

Read the earlier posts to understand my rating system. I give The Dark Knight 4 quarters. Yes folks; this movie is a full buck and worth every damn cent. Go see this movie.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Page Added

I added a new page to the website today about science fiction genres. Four major genres and themes were discussed in this article those being:

Time Travel
Space Opera

Each genre is represented by several movies. I don't bother rating any of them since my main concern was discussing the genres themselves and giving the reader an idea of what they were.

Another page was added a few days ago discussing science fiction cliches. This article is a little humorous, but my intention was to help writers avoid common scifi pitfalls. It's a very short article and happily free of affiliate links.

If you're considering purchasing a book or movie online, please visit my Amazon affiliated store.

Trying to Maintain my Focus

If you've been following my site, you may have noticed that I kinda lost my focus the last week or so. It seems I started adding a lot of products and affiliate links to the website. Along with that, I've recently discovered Youtube ads from Google.

The sum result of all this confusion was a website that was beginning to look like a big, jumbled wannabe online retailer. To fix this problem, I started removing most of the Amazon affiliate links. I kept a few affiliate links that I thought were aesthetically appealing or relevant to the material being discussed.

So now, is more streamlined, less confusing, and more like the site I always wanted it to be. Simply a place for me to discuss my love affair with books and movies.

Have I decided to give up my affiliation with Amazon? Of course not, I still need to eat. Amazon has an affiliate store setup that is actually very ingenious. It allows me to sell the books and movies I talk about in the site through a separate online store that is connected to, but not a part of, my own site. a brother out. Buy a DVD for goodness sakes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hancock Review

Hancock was a very interesting movie. I thought Will Smith's acting was a little stunted in this picture, like he was just going through the motions. I've definitely seen better from him though it wasn't necessarily bad.

I don't want to give up the plot so I'll try to be careful with what I say. I thought I was going to see a sci-fi flick but it was actually more like fantasy. The special effects, like most movies these days were very good and believable. It's kinda hard to have bad effects these days with the guys at Industrial Lights and Magic and other CGI experts.

Charlize Theron's character was very good. Her acting was superb, even in a role that was probably a cakewalk for her.

Overall, I liked the movie. I did enjoy myself, I laughed out loud several times and it was a good movie if you just want to relax and have a moderately good time. Just don't take Hancock too seriously. It's not the Lord of the Rings. But it's worth seeing. Will Hancock make my list of top ten movies for 2008? It has a good chance, but definitely not a lock.

What I liked:
Charlize Theron's acting
The special effects
This quote: "Did you put a man's head up another man's ass?"

What I didn't like:
Will Smith's acting
The big fight scene
References to the X-Men movie

I give this movie 3 Quarters. If you don't understand my rating system, see my earlier posts for an explanation.

See this movie if you have the money and the time and you just want to watch an enjoyable movie and have a few laughs. If not, you can wait for the DVD.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Top Ten Science Fiction Movies

I've been looking at a lot of movies of late, especially with the summer blockbusters coming out. I'm starting to think science fiction movies are making a comeback. There was a time when scifi movies were all about philosophy and warning man of the doom to come.

Not anymore. 2007 introduced 4 good scifi movies. So far, we have another 3 this year with Hancock, Incredible Hulk, and Wall-E. I'll be posting reviews for all of them pretty soon.

So, using the rating system I mentioned in the previous post, here are my top 10 science fiction movies from the past decade.

1. The Matrix – 4
2. King Kong - 4
3. Star Wars Episode III - 4
4. K-Pax - 4
5. I, Robot - 4
6. Planet of the Apes - 4
7. Star Wars: Episode II - 3
8. Spider-Man 2 - 3
9. Transformers - 3
10. Matrix Reloaded - 3

Visit the website to see my ratings for the other science fiction movies from the past that didn't make the cut.

My New Movie Rating System

After rating Wall-E, I realized I need to make up a rating system and do it quick. I don't want to use thumbs up because I'll probably get sued. And I'm sure someone else already uses stars.

I'm going to use a monetary system, based on the American quarter dollar coin. So a good movie gets 4 quarters, or a buck. And a bad movie gets only 1 quarter...or maybe not even that.

Be sure to visit the website for my newest posts on science fiction movies from the past decade and a little quip on some of my favorite scifi directors.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wall-E Review

I took the kids to see Disney-Pixar's newest release Wall-E. They liked it, even though we saw the last movie of the night. Still, they managed to stay awake until almost 12am which means the film must have been good.

I don't want to give away any endings or spoil the movie for those of you who haven't seen it yet. Suffice it to say, the movie is very good. It'll make adults think and make kids question. I think you'll enjoy this movie even if you're not a science fiction fan.

The animation was of course stupendous. I was a little worried my kids wouldn't think of it as a cartoon it was so realistic. The story was great too. There's very little dialog in the first 30 minutes of the film, yet they managed to create a good story just by watching Wall-E go through his daily routine.

I found references to other classic scifi movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, A.I., and The Matrix. I also thought the movie reminded me in some ways of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series. But, I'll let you come to your own conclusions.

What I liked
The animation
The first 30-40 minutes
The story

What I didn't like
Some themes might be beyond little kids understanding

I don't have a rating system of my own, but if I did I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Go see this movie.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Starting The Science Fiction Portal

Now that I've finished the Fantasy Fiction portal on, it's time to start the science fiction portal. The first page is already posted on the website.

Science fiction poses greater challenges than either the horror or fantasy portals did. This is primarily because scifi is so vast and ever-changing. I can only hope I can capture a good grasp of what this exciting fiction genre really means. For now, I think I'm going to take this portal in a different direction than either of the previous portals. I plan to write several articles about science fiction genres and works of fiction, rather than focusing on the scifi creatures like I did with horror and fantasy.

Another update to the website that I've added was to post one of my short stories. I've added my story Bunt which is probably one of the best short stories I've ever written. This story highlights the trials Alzheimer's brings upon families. I decided to include some of my artwork for the story as well that I originally intended for the audiobook advertisement. The artwork was created using Gimp free software.

I'm happy to say the website has been getting increased hits of late. Even though these hits haven't translated to higher Google page rank, it is exciting to know so many people are visiting my website. This motivates me to keep adding more things and to continue expanding the available options.