I’ve done a lot of exploration online when it comes to movies, screenwriting & independent film. It’s an obsession. What fascinates me most is that I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s out there.
Throughout the existence of this blog, I’ve created posts highlighting great sites and online resources I’ve discovered on the web. Today, I gathered them and created the brand new DISCOVER menu above. There you will find several great places to start discovering new sites.
These are my favorite sites for the latest movie news, trailers and reviews. I love these sites because they don’t just report the news and move on, they react and offer opinions. Many of them are in line with my own. When something big breaks, you know these sites are going to go further than just copying and pasting a press release. Just look at how many Star Wars articles they posted in the last week. Tons of analysis. Great reads.
However, the internet is full of bloggers who are passionate about movies and post thousands of incredible articles every day. I visit them too and if you love movies, you should check them out. In today’s edition of The Post, I’d like to share some of my favorites as well as a couple places where you can discover new movie blogs to bookmark.
The Lamb is a community that opens the door to thousands of great blogs about movies. The site also runs a yearly blogging awards feature appropriately called The Lammys. Recently, they completely redesigned the site to make it even easier to find movie blogs you’ll enjoy.
A few years ago, Total Film published two articles you’ll be sure to love if you’re a fan of movie blogs:
IF BATTLE LOS ANGELES WERE A VIDEO GAME IT WOULD BE ONE HELL OF A FIRST LEVEL
Except… Awesome first levels are never enough and Battle: LA doesn’t quite give you a full game.
When reviews started to surface for this particular invasion, I was extremely worried but intrigued. I was beyond pumped to see it but I felt deflated when the tomato meter continued to fall. The popular consensus was that the film was full of intense and sometimes dizzying action but nothing else. There was no story driving the bus.
“Young men: If you attend this crap with friends who admire it, tactfully inform them they are idiots. Young women: If your date likes this movie, tell him you’ve been thinking it over, and you think you should consider spending some time apart.”
Both are negative but guess which one I agree with? I’ll give you a hint… I LOVE Call of Duty. So I caught a matinee by myself to see if it’s as bad as people were saying.
I got to the theater early and was unfortunately greeted by a group of loud and obnoxious kids. I live by simple rules. Talk all you want during the pre show but shut your mouth when the movie starts. They seemed to be having fun. It is March Break after all so I gave them the benefit of the doubt.
Still, someone must have been annoyed because a manager walked in and the kids instantly settled down. It was fear. It occurred to me immediately that they probably weren’t old enough.
The manager asked them for their ticket stubs and one by one they declared themselves 14. Literally, one kid remained and they were home free except:
Kid! It’s March Break! Lie! Live a little bit and lie!
I’m 90% positive he was there because his “14” year old brother was forced to bring him along. His brother was the first to lower his head as the group was led out of the theater. Probably to enjoy a matinee screening of Rango because no one saw Mars Needs Moms right?
Thankfully, the theater was a lot quieter as the movie started but I still felt like the kids were missing out. Oh well. Should have lied.
I thought the first 30 minutes of the film were pretty solid. Establishing a group of marines in a short period of time has been done better but this was still a good effort. It is what it is…
Then, the action began and didn’t let up. It’s frantic, endless and it was exactly like a video game. It was clear that the filmmakers intended to create a ‘real’ war zone. Give them credit. They set out to make a sci fi war film and they definitely reached that goal.
All the toys are in use here from shaky documentary style camera angles to state of the art visual effects. But that can only get you so far if the story can’t keep up.
There are little moments of exposition where we learn more about the aliens and what they are after but it was rare. I would have liked to know even more but Battle: Los Angeles isn’t really about the alien’s motivations. It’s about a small group of marines trying to survive.
In that sense, it’s a solid B movie full of guns, explosions and money shots except…
All of them are in the trailers! Once the Aliens land, or crash slightly in this case, we are immediately told that humans have the advantage in the air because they have no ships. Not ONE fan bought into that setup because their flying machines of death are heavily featured in the trailers. Nice try though.
I definitely bought into the hype of this movie. Independence Day meets District 9? I joined fans of Alien movies everywhere thinking we were in for Black Hawk Down meets destructive aliens from outer space. It didn’t really happen as we hoped.
Action = Good
Story = N/A
Battle: Los Angeles is full of big ideas but the movie as a whole feels like one giant setup without the payoff. Like the first level of a video game meant to set up the world and introduce you to the characters and challenges you’re going to face.
The difference is, video games continue once the first level is over and you learn more about the story and the heroes involved. In a movie, the credits roll and you go home. End of story.
I found myself hoping for an ending that provided enough closure to justify the huge effects filled action crammed into the film. I was let down. The ending is as intense as it is cool but it lacked an overall emotional attachment that makes action movies like Inception great.
Regardless, it’s an alien invasion movie that full of explosions and thrilling moments. This is what they wanted and they succeeded. However, I wanted more and it appears many critics did as well.
My one major complaint was how little we saw the creatures. If you asked me to describe them I wouldn’t be able too. They are rarely given screen time I’m pretty sure they don’t have faces let alone personalities. Maybe they needed to save money on effects or better still, they wanted them to remain mysterious for a possible sequel…
I’m the first person to admit I love summer movies for the action and eye candy. I should have LOVED Battle: Los Angeles but I didn’t. There needs to be more than just an excuse to blow up cars. It needs to be deeper than the first level of a video game.
If they make a sequel, I’m willing to bet it will be better. Level One was decent but I’m ready for some story now.
Movies that scarred me for life is all about the movies that keep you up at night. The horrors you just can’t seem to get out of your head. But beyond the monsters, ghosts, slashers and aliens, there are also the cringe worthy films you wish you never saw. Movies that made you wish you had the lost two hours of your life back. There are tons of ways a movie can scar you for life. This series will look at 12 of my personal favorites.
Ernest Scared Stupid
Take a moment and look at that huge bumpy double-nosed head with horribly tiny eyes…
That thing may be frightened of milk but dammit, that Troll scared the crap out of me when I was little. I know it’s an Ernest movie but the trolls in the film were too much! Especially the leader and his vicious quest for revenge. Hopefully, I’m not the only one who was terrified.
I haven’t seen the film in years as my VHS copy is long gone but I remember every detail about that ugly jerks face. For a kids movie, he’s pretty ruthless and mean. Now, thanks to IMDB, I know the stupid creature’s name.
Trantor The Troll!
Honestly, for the longest time, I thought the troll’s name was actually STUPID. Ernest scared a troll named Stupid? Perhaps I wasn’t the brightest young lad.
Some people may laugh at how I was afraid of a Troll who was ultimately no match for… Ernest.
I disagree but everyone is entitled to their opinion. I constantly rewound the final showdown with wide eyes. Then I would have nightmares of that stupid Ogre and all his warts coming through my window.
It’s a true story. I had dreams that he would superman through my bedroom window. Shattered glass flew everywhere and he would stand above me and say:
“Not even MILK can stop me now!”
That voice… That horrible ‘I turn kids into wooden dolls’ voice!
Let me tell you, Ernest was never there to save me in those dreams. He wasn’t around to say:
“How ’bout a bumper sandwich booger lips!”
To make matters worse, once he gets really mad he turns into Super-Troll with tentacles and spikes coming out of his head.
… I’ve never told anyone that this film scarred me for life. Stupid Trantor!
PS: I miss Jim Varney’s Ernest. Ewwwww-www-www. Don’t tell me you’ve never done his trademark ‘ewww’ lip sway.
Click the link to read all about my high hopes that an amazing superhero movie is possible in January.
Honestly, I think Seth Rogen’s comic book adaptation wasn’t nearly as terrible as many seemed to think. There was a ton of negative buzz from the second they announced this project was moving forward.
Lets get one thing straight: It doesn’t suck.
First and foremost, I think Seth does a pretty great job as The Green Hornet. I bought it. Honestly, I don’t really know much about the characters but in my opinion, this is Kato’s movie. Jay Chou is pretty fantastic in the film and is pretty much responsible for carrying all the action scenes.
I’ll can’t get enough slow motion fight sequences. I love them. Action is the number one reason why I went to see the film in the first place.
While the movie did have a ton of fights including some fantastic car chases with guns blazing, I did have some major problems with the film…
Good thing it didn’t cost me anything.
Thanks to my Scene card, I was able to use my points to score a ticket for nothing. Nothing like a free matinee show on a Friday afternoon right?
I felt bad for the film immediately as there were probably about 4 people in the theater. FOUR!
I don’t want to appear to be too hard on the movie. I’ve said many times that I try to enjoy every movie for what the filmmakers intended it to be. In this case, they wanted it to be a good old fashioned comic book action movie. If you go in expecting The Dark Knight, you’ll be disappointed.
It’s meant to be a fun movie and it succeeds admirably.
To me, it failed on two major points.
The Villain sucked
Chudnofsky was dead in the water from the very first moment he appeared on screen. Christoph Waltz does an okay job (at least it’s not Nicholas Cage with a Jamaican accent) but I’m not sure they ever fully decided who Chudnofsky is.
He spends most of the movie whining about whether or not people find him scary. I didn’t get it? He rules L.A yet he feels threatened by any criminal who steps on his turf.
I’m not even going to get into the scene where he declares himself ‘Blood-nofsky’. I wanted to laugh. There’s no way he’s serious right?
Woops… Oh no… He’s wearing an ‘intimidating’ gas mask…
When you don’t buy the villain, it doesn’t matter how cool the hero is.
But I suppose I didn’t ‘buy’ anything in this case.
Kato and The Green Hornet Fight Over A Girl
Okay, this one is essentially more of an annoyance. Why do partners always have to fight over a girl?
I understand it’s necessary sometimes but my problem is how forced their fight was. All of the sudden The Green Hornet becomes a raging jealous ass for basically no reason other than to . Sure Kato doesn’t help by antagonizing him but in the end, nobody gets the girl and they fought for nothing.
Best friends. Brothers even completely forget everything and start throwing each other through windows like it’s a drug deal gone wrong. (Which inflict no damage at all.)
A minor gripe but I was happier when that ‘episode’ was over.
In the end, The Green Hornet gives you exactly what you paid for. A pretty entertaining and sometimes funny action film with some cool stunts and a lot of bullets.
You can’t really ask for much more than that in the middle of January.