Monthly Archives: June 2011

June 28th New Releases

June 21 New Releases

ADJUSTMENT BUREAU:  Fantastic philosophical sci-fi.  Talking about it will only spoil it.  Just watch it.  Trust me.

UNKNOWN:  Very well done mystery thriller with a twist.  Liam Neeson is great as a man who wakes from a coma to find his identity gone.  Sounds like a cheezy, seen-it-before concept, but this one is better executed than most.

DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS:  Cable mini-series based on the classic sci-fi novel.  Excellent cast, with very underplayed effects make this a solid remake.  I enjoyed it.

23,000 People Sued Over Illegal Downloads

Imagine paying $150,000 for a movie…  That’s the reality for 23,000 people who were named in a recent BitTorrent download case involving the film “The Expendables”.  Nu Image studios, an L.A. based production company, filed the suit in February, and on May 4th, the IP addresses of 23,322 defendants were submitted to a federal judge in the United States.  Nu Image is seeking damages from all the people who are accused of illegally downloading the film.

In the U.S. damages of up to $150,000 can be awarded in cases such as this.  Although the smart money is on the studio going for a smaller sum, just enough to make a point that if you choose to take films from the internet without paying for them in some way, it may cost you eventually.  Cases like these show that, in the U.S. at least, the government takes illegal downloading seriously, due to the impact it has on the economy.

June 14th New Releases

BATTLE: LOS ANGELES – Just imagine if “Independence Day” and “Black Hawk Down” got together and made a baby.  You’d get Battle: Los Angeles.  Pretty entertaining overall.  Patriotism abounds and stuff ‘splodes.

HALL PASS:  Funny stuff for those who are fans of potty humor.  Two middle-age shlubs are given a week off from their marriage, in which they plan to act like frat boys.  Turns out, it isn’t easy as it sounds.  Scatalogical jokes are at a premium, but it has some funny bits.

RED RIDING HOOD:  Basically, this is just “Twilight” in sheep’s clothing (pun intended).  Fans of emo love triangles and goth angst should love it.  Everyone else, not so much.  I will say, it has extremely stylish set design, and it’s an interesting concept.  Just not my kind of flick.

The Future Of Home Entertainment Is Here

Want to take a glimpse of what the home entertainment landscape will look like in the future?  Not the far future either.  I’m talking about next year.  When Microsoft introduced the Kinect for its Xbox 360 console, critics scoffed that it would probably turn out to be just another novelty fad.  Guess again.  This technology is reshaping the way we interact with electronics.  And while it may be mostly gamers who are using it right now, it’s only a matter of time before similar peripherals start getting connected to televisions and Blu Ray players.

This video is a demonstration of how the Kinect will allow users to interact with the game “Ghost Recon: Future Soldier”.  It’s strikingly similar to the way Tom Cruise interacted with his gadgets in “Minority Report”.  Even if you don’t play games, watch this video and imagine the potential uses in your entertainment room.  Considering the fact that apps like Facebook, Twitter, and MSN already exist on the Xbox, people adding Kinect to the mix are going to find themselves in a whole new experience.

Talking Skyrim with Lead Designer Bruce Nesmith

In this interview with Skyrim lead designer Bruce Nesmith, the folks at Xbox 360 Achievements dish out some tantalizing goodies on what to expect from the years most anticipated game release.  If this game is even half as good as they’re promising, our economy is sure to take a hit from all the man-hours lost to people calling in “sick” on November 11th.

June 7th New Releases

TRUE GRIT:  An interesting remake of the old John Wayne film, one that is closer to the original book and has a very tightly written script.  Lyrical use of language from all the characters, very much the way the HBO series Deadwood is written.  The Coen brothers always seem to straddle that line between art house films and mainstream fare, and this one is no different.  Some viewers may find it a bit “talky” for their tastes.

SANCTUM:  Produced by James Cameron, this one has a lot in common with many of his movies, especially The Abyss.  That being said, despite it being a pretty good survival story, I thought it could have used a giant sea monster or two.

JUST GO WITH IT:  Personally, I think Adam Sandler writes some of the best rom-coms going.  I really liked this movie.  It was funny, and he had great chemistry with Jennifer Aniston.  Great supporting cast as well to round out the laughs.  Sure, Sandler still tends to like l0ts of fart humor in his movies, but isn’t that why we like him?  I think this is his best flick since The Wedding Singer.

ANOTHER YEAR:  Great new movie from British director Mike Leigh.  A meditation on love and aging with a fantastic cast.  Perfect for fans of film society.

This Week’s New Releases

Overall, the selection is a bit on the sparse side this week.  One that caught me by surprise was Nicholas Cage’s “Drive Angry”.  A nasty bit of ultraviolent fluff, the movie is a kind of twisted parable of the American celebration of both violence and apocalyptic religion.  Many bullets fly, but the humor is pretty biting and satirical.  Try to imagine Sin City as filmed by Sam Raimi.