Tag Archives: movies

Sunday Reviews Explained

Sorry for the delay today, we had a power outage this morning, and a few other things going on…

So! I figured that I would lead up to my first review with an explanation of the reviewing process. I am going to do these as a two-fold review, so there will be two rankings per movie – Creative and Technical. Basically, the reviews are going to cover points that stood out to me throughout the film – specific scenes that were good (or bad), specific technical aspects that I took notice of, etc. Also, there will be a basic explanation of the plot, acting, camerawork, etc, as a breakdown of my ranking. I intend to try and keep these reviews as spoiler-free as possible… so at points they may feel vague, but I feel that you as readers are more likely to want to watch the movies I give high praise to if I don’t give away the entire movie in the review. So, to break down the two categories…

Creative – The “Creative” category covers the acting, writing, and plot of the movie. The acting will simply be based off of the skill/talent of the actors involved. I will also be trying to keep my considerations of this within the era of the movie. Movies were held to much different standards in the ’70s than they are now, so a movie that might be considered a bomb today could have been a box office hit in 1975. Things you have to keep in mind… Also, the writing will basically cover the flow of  dialogue in the movie, as well as the quality of the dialogue. Finally – plot will cover just that – the plot. How interesting it is, how well laid out it is, and whether or not it’s well delivered. I will take a “grade” into consideration for all of these categories, and then my final rank will be the average of them.

Technical – The “Technical” category is more definite than the “Creative” one. It will cover things like the sound editing, cinematography, lighting, direction, soundtrack/score, etc. This rating will probably be more strict than the other, as it isn’t as open to opinion as the “Creative” side – aka I hold movies to higher standards in technical aspects than creative aspects, heh. So basically I’ll point out anything I think was done poorly, or particularly well, and at the end give you my rating, which will once again be the average of all the individual grades that make up this category.

So for example – say I watched Fight Club (one of my favorite movies). I think the acting, dialogue, and plot of this movie are fantastic. The plot twists are well done, and the over arching imagination it took to write this movie was superb. 5/5. And on the technical side, the movie is extremely well shot, the soundtrack rocks, the lighting fits well with the themes, and the movie, over all, delivers in every way it sets out to, artistically.  Again, 5/5. So at the bottom of the review you’d see this…

Creative: 5/5
Technical: 5/5

Got it? Good. Now stay tuned for the review of Suspiria!

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Changes!

Movie ReviewsI expect there to be a few changes around here! I expect this place to be kept tidy! I expect you to stop jumping on the bed! I… wait… no.. wrong context. Sorry… Sorry everyone.

So yeah, I know I mentioned changes, and obviously one of them was revealed yesterday, and you’ll get more information on that later. The next change is much less impressive. I’m going to do a little format changing on Aberro Specus here. This includes getting some more regularity in post topics, as well as a higher standard of material. Which hopefully you’ll see less posts with Colbert facedesking, and more posts with lengthy editorials on the Google+ nym wars. I have intentionally had little real content in my posts this week, because A: I’ve been busy, and B: I was working up to this post. Not that this one has much real content in it either, but it’s an announcement for real content coming soon. I guess that counts, right?

So – this is this the first change you’ll see coming to Aberro Specus – movie reviews.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to review a movie every Sunday. I love watching movies, usually horror, and I might as well put that to good use. Lately I haven’t been watching many movies, so I figure now is as good a time to start as any. There are no specifics in this, they might not be new movies. I like watching old movies. But, for example, I’ve never even seen Citizen Kane. Some would consider that blasphemy. I just haven’t gotten around to it… Hell, if you look at Time Magazine’s list of the All-Time 100 Movies, I’ve only seen… 27 of them. That number goes up on most other lists of “Greatest Movies of All Time” so… Time magazine probably just likes boring movies… but you get my point. I watch a lot of B-Horror, a lot of crappy action movies. I also watch a lot of classics and a lot of thought-provoking films. I also watch a lot of trippy stuff… So it’s not that I don’t watch a lot of movies, I just don’t watch a lot of what most people consider to be “the best.”

So what does this mean for you, the reader (all five of you)? Well, you get to read potentially entertaining reviews. You get to learn about a movie you might never have heard of. And you even get to give input! That’s right. Every Sunday, I’ll be taking recommendations/requests for the next week’s movie. So tomorrow, when I post my review (I haven’t even decided what movie yet), you can make recommendations in the comments as to what you’d like to see my review for next week. This comment thread will be open until the following Saturday, when I’ll make my decision, and watch that weekend’s movie. And hey, maybe I’ll watch Citizen Kane for tomorrow.

Clapping

I approve! Watch me!

So! Get to thinking. I’ll get to watching, and writing. And let the games begin.


World War Z – No Longer an Oral History…

World War ZIn 2007, Plan B Entertainment (the production company owned by Brad Pitt) acquired the rights make a movie of (the sequel to) the book that one could argue ably say returned zombie to popularity in 2003. World War Z. Long time fans were excited. New zombie minions groaned with anticipation. And then we heard very little. For a while. Then we heard about early leaks of the script, which all looked promising. Faithful to the book. Starring Brad Pitt, which is never usually a bad thing. Excitement abounds! Then Paramount brought another writer in to rework the script. And that’s when things started going downhill.

Paramount, in a press release earlier this month laid down the plot outline for the World War Z movie, slated to be released in December, 2012. And it’s not the book. It’s barely related to the book. Infact, I’m not even sure I recognize any of the character names from the announced characters. Any many, many fans are unhappy about this. I have yet to hear rumors of boycotts, but I’m sure it will happen. You see, fanatics are a fickle group of people. They like things to be exactly the way they want them to be. It’s a slippery slope movie companies have to climb when making an adaptation. On one hand they want to remain faithful (hopefully) to the source material. This makes the fans of the original work happy, as well as the creator of the original work. On the other hand, they want to make money. This is kind of the point of backing a movie (sadly). And when you a cater a movie to the people who were fans of the idea in the first place, you tend to alienate everyone else. So they have to change things to try and make a movie with broader appeal. Sadly – this is difficult to balance, and most production companies lean more towards money making than remaining faithful. So we get movies like World War Z, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (which I still like), and… anything by Uwe Boll based off a video game

Bloodrayne Movie

Really? Ben Kingsley, you should be ashamed. Actually... you all should...

But, returning to World War Z… You take a book that is originally a “Oral History” of the zombie wars… with a interviewer meeting with various people discussing the actions they took and things they witnessed during this zombie war… and you collect these stories into a narrative. Excellent premise, great result. Now take World War Z the movie – A UN representative racing against the clock to stop the zombie pandemic from destroying the world. Stereotypical zombie movie. Guaranteed to fill the box office (if people aren’t sick of zombie movies by now). And also a stereotypical action/thriller. Nothing new, nothing innovative. Boring premise, great result (if the only result you’re looking for in ticket sales). So the original fans get screwed.

RedNow… obviously this doesn’t mean the movie will be bad. Many great movies are based off of other media and make drastic changes to the source material. Just look at Red, a movie based off Warren Ellis’ short comic. They had to make changes and add material because the comic was a oneshot… there wasn’t enough material to base an entire movie off of. But they did a fantastic job and made a good, enjoyable movie, that remained faithful to the feel of the comic. And of course there are others. But with a book like World War Z, which is a best-selling novel and has garnered thousands, if not millions, of fans – why deviate? The book is already an amazing tale with a strong fan base, why change things? Well – movies are of course a drastically different animal than books. It’s easy to be entertained by a book about someone interviewing people. In a movie though… that’s about an hour and a half of two guys sitting in a chair talking. I wouldn’t really mind that… but a lot of people would.

So on one hand there’s an action/suspense movie of a man racing around the world trying to stop a zombie apocalypse from happening. And on the other hand… a bunch of phenomenal actors sitting around being interviewed about a zombie apocalypse that was diverted… Personally… I’d like to see both made. But I wouldn’t call the first one World War Z.


So you want to make a movie…

Some friends and I are finally getting underway with our movie – Lazarus. We were actually supposed to start filming back in February, but money problems, schedules… and having most of our equipment stolen set that back. Finally we’re about to get underway again, with casting in a week (July 17th), and it’s pretty damn exciting. Lazarus is a short horror film featuring, you guessed it, zombies. We’ve gone through a few changes with the overall plot, but now we’ve finally got something solid we can back, and between the three of us we’re psyched. So what is Lazarus you might ask? Here’s our “official” synopsis.

A group of gaming geeks go out to a cabin in the woods to play their horror campaign in a more fitting setting, only to discover something far more real, but just as horrible, waiting for them.

But of course the plot is a bit more intricate than that. Basically, there are a group of gamers playing their horror D&D (or Call of Cthulhu – we’re not sure what game yet) at their local game store, when the clerk tells them about a cabin they can rent for a better setting for their game. Taking him up on the offer, they head out to the woods, only to be attacked. The rest of the film takes place primarily in said cabin. Of course that doesn’t sound all that interesting in and of itself, but there are twists, trust me. I just don’t want to give them away yet :D.

So why should you care? Well, if you’re reading this, you probably know me… and should care based solely on that fact ;-). But in all seriousness, it should be fun. We’re using all local talent, and locations in Delaware. We’re using as small of a budget as possible, although yes, we are still trying to raise money (more on that later). More or less, it’s going to be ridiculous fun, and hopefully a foot in the door of the film industry for everyone involved (not just the three of us who created the project).

So you want more information? Certainly. I hope you do, it means I’ve peaked your interest! The “official” page of the movie is currently it’s facebook page, which you can view here – Lazarus – Facebook. We also have a twitter account you can follow – LazarusFilm. You can also e-mail us with any question at LazarusFilm2011@gmail.com

So you want to support us? Awesome! We need all the help we can get, trust me… haha. If you’d like to spread the word about Lazarus either share this post, or the facebook page with your friends. If you’d like to back us, check out our Kickstarter page. Kickstarter is a project site where anyone can go on and pledge money to help out a project. The site is great because we offer rewards for different investment amounts, AND if we don’t raise enough pledges to meet our goal in the allotted time? We don’t get any money, and you don’t get charged. It’s an all-or-nothing system. So if you’re interested, go check that out, you can donate as little as a dollar.

Well, that’s all the information I have to share for now. Once we’ve gotten our cast together, and more underway I’ll have more to post, but for now check out the links, and enjoy.

~Ian