Showing posts tagged film

Fury (Official Trailer)

I’m not a History buff, but I enjoy good War films. Besides that, Brad Pitt and Shia Labeouf are two of my favorite actors. Besides that, this looks really really good. November can’t come soon enough.


Locke (Official Trailer)

Tom Hardy is one of my favorite actors. I was unknowingly introduced to him when I watched Black Hawk Down with my father 13 years ago. Many years later I was formally introduced to him when I watched Bronson. And forgive me for going the movie-hipster-I-saw-it-first route on this, but I rented Bronson from Hastings when I worked there long before Inception and TDKR launched him into mega-stardom. His portrayal as “Britain’s Most Violent (and Expensive) Criminal” made me a fan before everyone was impersonating his Bane accent. Then once I realized that was him playing Eames in Inception I became an even bigger fan. I’m biased, but he’s been great in everything. I loved Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and he’s unstoppable (literally) in Lawless. And anyone who didn’t know who him was introduced to his skill and hulking physique in The Dark Knight Rises. But since then he’s been absent from the big screen.

Well that will be remedied soon. 2013 will see him play the title character in Locke, a thriller that seemingly takes place entirely in a car. I don’t know if that’s 100% accurate, but the movie looks interesting to say the least.

Watch the trailer above and be patient for the April release.


I Read The HATEFUL EIGHT Script By Quentin Tarantino…

And now I’m bummed it’s not going to be a movie. 

(Potential Spoiler Alerts for anyone who’s going to try and read the script. Also, in the off chance the movie does end up getting made - spoiler alerts for that too. I do my best to be vague, but I still talk about story elements and stuff. You’ve been warned.)

          Quentin Tarantino made waves in typical Tarantino fashion in late 2013 when he stated that he had finished the script to his new movie. Just as the hype was settling on that announcement he let word slip that he enjoyed making Django Unchained so much that his next movie would also be a Western. Well the steaming locomotive of news and excitement that was chugging along at full speed came to a screeching halt recently when QT announced that the film was being canned ‘cos of a script leak. Fans all over the internet went Pai Mei and started snatching their eyes out over the bad news. That wouldn’t be the last of it. Tarantino recently announced he’d be suing the website that announced the leaked script and shared a link to download the file. Cult fans of the cult genius went from midnight to six as their hopes for a new Tarantino film were smashed.

          Well, you know how the internet works. Most people let it go, and moved on. Others, maybe just interested film fans or the die hards who can quote every Sam Jackson line from Pulp Fiction, took to the web with a fervor. Forums, threads, and torrent sites were devoured in hopes someone could track down this gem of a PDF that for all we know could’ve been Tarantino’s next big hit. Seeing how it’s 2014, I’m using the word “devoured” for dramatic effect. It took some dude a couple clicks and search queries, and there it was. From there, he shared it to whatever site, that site got however many more searches and downloads, and so on and so on. QT nerds everywhere are downloading and reading the script that contained their favorite drug - dialogue, action scenes, and more from the mind of one of Hollywood’s most original writers/directors. 

          Well, here I am writing this so as you can imagine I am one of those Tarantino nerds. I’m not the most hardcore nerd, but he is easily one of my favorite directors. And with that said, he has made some of my favorite films. Being that I’m not too handy with the internet (I’ve had Tumblr for almost four years and still learn new things about it) I implored a savvy friend of mine to find and send me the PDF of the controversy inspiring script. He did find it, he did send it, I did download it, and I did read it. And after clearing the 146 pages that are The HATEFUL EIGHT (it’s capitalized like that in the script, so I’m doing it here) I have to say that I’m actually sad that it isn’t going to be a major motion picture.

          When Tarantino announced that The HATEFUL EIGHT was going to be a Western I was immediately excited. Django Unchained was another great flick in a long line of great QT flicks, so another film in this style would’ve been more than alright with me. But after reading the script it turns out another action-packed, gun slinging, damsel in distress, revenge story wasn’t what Quentin had in mind. All the trademarks are there; the style of the dialogue we all know and love, the larger than life characters, the wild violence (although not very much of it), and the well told story to back it all up. Quentin’s “go to” directorial and writing mannerisms are there, but what it seems like is he went back to his roots to branch outward. If I was seeing things the way Tarantino was wording them; then this movie would’ve borrowed not only some of Django’s wild, wild Western thematics - but would’ve also borrowed the “Whodunit?” aspect of Reservoir Dogs.

          Reservoir Dogs came out in 1992, and if you haven’t seen it by now then shame on you. But for those who aren’t so inclined - Spoiler Alert : In Reservoir Dogs we meet a group of characters that pull off a heist. But unbeknownst to them, one of the members of their crew is an undercover cop. We, the viewers, know about the undercover cop due to some exposition around halfway (maybe a bit later?) through the movie. The HATEFUL EIGHT almost uses the same plot device except we don’t learn the twist ‘til closer to the ending. Some of the main characters are suspicious, but they’re unaware of what they’re suspicious about. I’m trying to remain vague for the sake of the people interested in reading the script, but I’m also trying to make sense. Bear with me. 

          Another aspect I feel like it slightly borrowed from Reservoir Dogs was the fact that a bulk of the movie takes place in one location. Reservoir Dogs has a bit more location variety than The HATEFUL EIGHT would have had, but a lot of the movie takes place in the warehouse that is the rendezvous point for the heist team. In his newest piece Quentin has the characters travel to a small location; which takes what seems would be 10-25 minutes (maybe more, maybe less - I don’t know. I don’t make movies) of the movie, and once that small location is reached that’s where the rest of the story pans out. Again, this goes against your typical setup of a Western where some films have the protagonist travel across vast landscapes, visit numerous towns, or at least use a small town as a whole setting. This film would’ve partially taken place on a mountain path, and then in a small cabin that said mountain path led up to. I liked this idea ‘cos it’s not something done everyday.

          All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the script and as I said above I wish we were still going to be treated to seeing it come to life. It made me laugh, it made me cringe,and it was a damn exciting page turner! I burned through the 146 pages in about a day. Whether Quentin is serious about pulling the plug on this or not, it is a cool story. If you’re interested you should use the power of the internet to check it out. I’m not trying to encourage “stealing or illegal downloading”. I’m one of those people that still buys music in the form of CDs and records, I still buy movies, and I frequent movie theaters even though prices are getting fucking insane. I appreciate art in all its mediums and try to support people whose art I enjoy and believe in. I WOULD NOT have had my friend send me this if the movie were still going to be made, and that’s the honest truth.

With that being said, do what you want. The HATEFUL EIGHT is a cool story that would’ve been a badass movie.


P.S. My favorite QT movies are (in order of appreciation) : Kill Bill Vol.1 & Vol. 2, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, and Deathproof.

The Raid 2: Berandal (Indonesian Trailer) from Merantau Films on Vimeo.

The Raid 2 : Berandal (Indonesian Trailer)

So there’s a new Raid 2 trailer, and it is absurd! I mean that in the best way possible. After seeing the teaser trailer sometime last year I was hyped. Now I’m even more hyped! And that’s understating things significantly. 

The film was just played at Sundance and it’s making more noise than leaked Miley Cyrus nudes. Action/Martial Arts nerds everywhere are trying to hide hard ons while waiting for this film. You can’t count me as one of the erect. The scale of the film looks to be bigger : car chases, prison riots, dudes with baseball bats, and can’t forget “hammer girl”. Not only does it seem like they’ve upped the scale and locations, but the action looks to be more brutal, and the gore more gory. 

And the best part? There’s a release date. The Raid 2 : Berandal will be kicking names and taking ass in theaters March 28th.

Pacific Rim (Movie Review)


The Apocalypse was canceled and my hopes, expectations, and dreams were fulfilled. Pacific Rim is great!

Note : 

Jaeger(s) : giant, human piloted robots
Kaiju : giant monsters

          I posted a week or so ago about why I was so excited for Pacific Rim. I’m posting tonight about how I’m completely stoked to say it met and exceeded my expectations. The movie was great from start to finish. The Giant Robots (Mechs) fighting Giant Monsters delivered in every way I wanted. Guillermo Del Toro let out his inner child with his biggest budget film to date, and although it didn’t excel at the box office (as many expected), it did excel in the hearts of film goers across the world. And it definitely excelled in my heart.

          The film starts with the dialogue we’ve all seen in the previews a hundred times about humans expecting alien life to come from the stars, but they surprised us and came from our own ocean. Literally a minute, maybe less, into the film and there’s a giant monster on the screen destroying San Francisco (he was probably upset at the cost of living). From that segment of backstory we’re transitioned to our introduction to main character Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam) and his brother Yancey being awoken to go to battle with a kaiju. Tragedy strikes and Raleigh turns in his Jaeger piloting days for construction work until he is recruited by his old commander Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba). Stacker has a new plan to put the Kaiju war to an end, but he’s hard pressed for resources and for pilots.

          Now we’re in the Shatterdome, the last Shatterdome to be exact, where all the planning, defense coordination, and Jaeger maintenance takes place. It’s here that we’re introduced to the other pilots and robots. We’re also introduced to Mako Maori (Rinko Kikuchi), a wannabe pilot with eyes for Beckett, and a lust for vengeance she wants to take out on some Kaiju. There’s an interesting dynamic between Maori, Beckett, and Pentecost. The actors do a good job of making you believe their problems, their chemistry, and their convictions. Everyone does a good job, but Elba steals the show as Pentecost. He’s down right vicious in some scenes, and in others all he does is stare stoically in the camera and you feel his pain. He steals the show.

         The main idea of the film is that we were winning the battle after we developed the Jaegers. But after a short period of confidence the Kaiju evolved to be bigger and stronger, and they invaded more often putting a strain on time and resources. Our clash with the titans was beginning to look like a one sided fight, so the World Government decided to stop funding the Jaeger program and start construction on a wall designed to keep the monsters from breaching the mainlands (as you can imagine, these walls don’t work). Stacker’s plan is to take the fight to the monsters and drop a bomb, a really powerful bomb, through the portal to the Kaiju dimension hopefully ending the attacks.

          The fight scenes are obviously the selling point of the film. I’d say 60% to 75% of the movie is battle sequence between the bots and the beasts. And the fight sequences are STUNNING. I saw the film twice, once in IMAX 3D and once in a theatre equipped with Dolby Atmos surround sound. Both viewings were incredible, but the IMAX really delivered the sense of epic scale and chaotic destruction. The visuals and sound worked together beautifully to make you FEEL every punch, every step, and every roar. The fights also have fan service around every corner. Rockets in elbows to make punches hit harder, projectile plasma cannons, retractable swords, flame throwers, and oil tankers being used as bludgeons are only a few of the grand examples. The IMAX auditorium erupted into cheers multiple times. The visual effects are also top notch. The Jaegers surfaces, mechanics, and movements look like they should. They look like modern machines of futuristic design and technology, but they also act and react physically like the 2,000 ton machines that they are. And the same goes for the Kaiju (minus the machine part). They look alien, but familiar. Del Toro being the monster maniac that he is definitely took his time overseeing their design. They run, jump, fly, scream, roar, and fight like you would imagine big monsters should. Their were definitely no shortcuts taken in the design department. Kudos to Del Toro and team!

          I love this movie! It’s probably going to end up on my all time favorites list. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment from the opening monologue to the end of the credits. Now, if I can ask you all for a favor it would be to GO SEE THIS MOVIE! Let’s help it do some damage at the box office so we can get more stuff like this in American Cinema. My fellow Geeks and Nerds need to invade theaters this week and weekend to support Guillermo and Pacific Rim.

Zach Norris

I Want To See Pacific Rim!

So Pacific Rim comes out on Friday and I really want to see it. The following post is me elaborating on why I want to see it. Enjoy.

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Pacific Rim is a film involving giant, man made robots fighting giant monsters which have come from another dimension of which the portal is hidden in our own Pacific Ocean. I just so happen to be a nerd that loves giant robots fighting giant monsters. So that alone had my curiosity and attention. I love smart, intelligent, artsy, abstract, complex films. But I also have an area in my heart for big, action-packed, blockbuster type movies as well.

Secondly, Guillermo Del Toro is directing it. This guy does monsters well. He may do monsters THE BEST. His skill for creating and crafting unique, impressive, horrifying creatures aside; he’s directed one of my favorite films of all time, Pan’s Labyrinth. I’m not a huge fan of horror movies so I haven’t seen a lot of his stuff, but I know he’s good at what he does. This movie has the potential to be his first true “blockbuster” and it looks like it has the potential to follow through.

Thirdly, the story is ORIGINAL. And I don’t mean original as in no one has done a giant robot vs. giant monster movie. I mean original as in it’s a story written by Travis Beacham (mostly) and Guillermo Del Toro (partially). I don’t know if y’all know this, but over 80% of movies coming out this year are either remakes, adaptations, or sequels. There’s little to no originality in American cinema nowadays. Pac Rim is going against the grain. I’m stoked Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures had the balls to back this in today’s market. The Place Beyond The Pines, Chronicle, Oblivion, Only God Forgives (out later this month), and Pac Rim are a few examples of original stuff hitting the big screen and I loved TPBTP, Chronicle, and Oblivion. We’ll see if the originality and creativity pay off.

Fourthly (not sure about that one), the main subject matter, giant robots/mechs battling giant monsters/kaiju, is based in Japanese Pop Culture. **I use the term “robot” ‘cos it’s a little easier to digest. In actuality these are not robots, but “Mechs”. Robots are artificially intelligent while they’re mechanized counterparts are piloted by humans.** I am a huge fan of Japanese culture. From the Samurai of the Feudal Era to Fashion to Anime I love it all, and Pac Rim draws big influence from Anime and Japanese films of old. A few of Japan’s gems have invaded American Film and Television before. Godzilla, Transformers, Voltron, Power Rangers, Pokemon, etc. are all originally from Japan. Pacific Rim is taking inspiration from two of Anime's biggest genres, giant robot and giant monsters, and combining them. Two of my favorite anime are from the giant robot genre : Big O and Gundam Wing. Some shows and movies have turned Americans on to Japanese Pop and Anime culture, but I’m stoked that a piece of the culture is hitting American big screens in such a way.

Fifthly (I’m not getting “spell check dotted lines” so I’m assuming these are good?), Charlie Hunnam of Sons Of Anarchy fame is in the film and I’m excited to see how he does in his first big Summer Blockbuster role. Besides Jax, there’s Idris Elba, Charlie Day, and Ron Perlman filling out a solid cast.

Lastly, if the movie gets good reviews and does well financially then it opens the doors for more films of this style and genre, and that would be music to my ears and sights for my sore eyes.

I can’t wait for Friday. I’ll see y’all at the movies!


Kilian Martin : India Within

This kid continues to blow my mind. And Brett Novak’s cinematography is top notch as usual. The skate world’s new dynamic duo (or first dynamic duo) : Kilian Martin and Brett Novak.


Kilian Martin : Internal Dpearture
By Brett Novak

This guy is truly something else. I haven’t seen skill or creativity like this on a skateboard since Mullen or Daewon Song. And I’d be brave enough to say he’s knocking on their door. Every video I’ve seen from him he takes his talent up a level, and it’s not looking like there’s a limit for him.

The video is filmed, edited, and directed by Brett Novak who has worked with Kilian before. His shooting/editing style make Kilian’s boardwork look even classier. These aren’t your typical skate footage shorts, these are short film masterpieces. This is high art (which, ironically, some of the tricks are performed on). Novak is the Chris Nolan to Martin’s DiCaprio. They have a chemistry that shows in the end product.

Are these guys not huge yet? Or am I out of the loop? 

I’m really excited to see this, a short film about Jacob Bannon of Converge, which debuts tomorrow.

Things I like