Sunday, March 25, 2012

And now I shall speak for the trees...

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
Just felt like bringing this up. It's very rare that something makes a REALLY good first impression on you. Rarely does a trailer ever get me super hyped to see a movie unless it's a trailer for a film I'd already heard about and was already looking forward to before the first teaser even came out.  However, as of recently, there has been something I've been dying to see ever since the first trailer.
It actually got me really interested in seeing how it's going to be. That trailer is: 

"The Lorax" has always been a great story by Dr Seuss, and one of the few heavy handed environmental message stories that I actually found meaningful and well played. Now this trailer comes out, with mixed reactions from many people, especially those who love the book. Personally, 
I think this first trailer was brilliant. When it opens, you literally have no idea what the movie is based on or what story it's telling. It seems like just your average CG animated kids' movie about teenage kids living in this strange, otherworldly neighborhood. Zac Efron voices the boy, which is good since 
I already know he has talent and the more that breaks him away from "High School Musical" the better, and Taylor Swift voices the girl he has a crush on. Taylor Swift is an incredibly talented singer but I'm not so certain about her acting skills, but from what I hear of her here, she does a good, cute "hippy like" voice for this character. Then the girl shows off her painting of bizzare looking "trees", which supposedly don't grow anymore so she's never really "seen" one. At this point, I'm thinking "Wait, is this....nah, couldn't be." 

Then the boy asks his family where he could find anything on trees in order to impress his crush. Cut to him riding his scooter down a dark and spooky mountainous road, with "Beware, Danger, Stay Out!" signs posted on the side. Now I'm like "Ho-ly shit, is is!" a second before Dr Seuss' name even shows up on the screen and we see the Once-ler's creepy Lurkin tower. 

Apparently, Once-ler does not like visitors and has set traps that nearly kill the boy. Immediately, the awesome sounding song ("Light and Day") kicks into high gear as the Seuss style images fully rendered in 3D come onto the screen. We see the Lorax's woodland home, the creatures that inhabit it, a young Once-ler voiced by Ed Helms arriving and chopping down his first tree, and then the Lorax shows up...with the voice of Danny Devito.  When Jim Carrey was cast as Horton back in the CGI "Horton Hears A Who" movie, I had my doubts but he turned out to be great in the role. (Though I will always say that Will Ferrel would've been better.) With this, though, there was no doubt in my mind; this is perfect casting. Devito's voice somehow fits the Lorax's short, stubby, hairy design perfectly. We then see more images flash by, including a brief shot of Old Man Once-ler reaching out his window, grabbing at Zac Efron's character. And I'm thinking "What the hell is he?"  From what little we can make out, he has yellow eyes, hair all over his face, and long green gloves on. It freaked me out a little the first time I saw it. Appropriately enough, the trailer ends on the only genuinely hilarious joke in it, made funny by Danny Devito's delivery of the Lorax's utterly sincere confusion. We hear "Reach for the SUN!" one last time, and I'm sold.

I hear that the story's been altered a good deal. Well, that was obvious. A lot of purists still don't seem to grasp that no short story can be adapted as a full length movie without adding new stuff in. The stuff that's here seems promising. We have Thneedsville as a nice, happy place where everything is artificial and nobody can ever leave due to some sort of government conspiracy, the lead boy and girl and their families getting involved somehow, and the main villain named O'hare, who apparently started off a canned air salesman and is supposedly the devil with whom Once-ler makes a deal in the backstory. The biggest change is that we're going to see what happens after the boy gets the seed from Once-ler. That's going to be interesting. The movie's outcome could be made or broken depending on how this is all used. I, for one, am definitely looking forward to seeing it in March. Once I have, I'll write up a review to sum up my thoughts. 


Alright, I promised I would give my review of "The Lorax" once I'd seen it, and now I have. Let's go:



Books by Dr. Seuss have always had great half-hour cartoon adaptations. But when it comes to Hollywood, I think the quality has varied due to the big changes that had to be made to the material. We've had "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" (which I thought was good), "The Cat In The Hat" (which was awful), "Horton Hears A Who!" (which was okay) and now, "The Lorax", which, like "The Grinch", I thought was good. Oddly enough, these two movies have a divided reaction among critics. You either love 'em or hate 'em. Personally, I really liked this movie. I had expectations set for it after the first trailer and I received exactly what I expected: a good, fun movie based on a great story. Now for this overview of my reception towards the film, I'll list what I liked and disliked about overall:

PROS:

- The computer animation in this movie looks fantastic. The town, the environment, the creatures, the people, and even the objects look distinctly Seuss-like. 

- The musical score and songs were great, too. Especially the Once-ler's Villain Song, "How Bad Can I Be?". All pieces of music in this movie set the moods perfectly.

- I liked the characters of Ted, Audrey, and Grammy. They all played their roles well and their voice actors made them very likable. I was actually impressed to see Ted go from someone who was only "interested" in trees just to impress his dream girl to a young hero who genuinely cared about carrying out the Once-ler and Lorax's wishes. Audrey was really pretty and cute, and I liked that despite her obligatory love interest role, she wasn't really interested in "love" and was instead dreaming about seeing real, natural trees, and only fell in love with Ted once he learned to really care. And Grammy was awesome: Ted and Audrey even say as much!

- I loved this take on the Once-ler. He was hands down the best character in the film. I really enjoyed Ed Helms' performance as both young and old Once-ler, and loved seeing him go from good natured young aspiring businessman to a friend to the Lorax and all the forest critters to a ruthless, uncaring business tycoon bent on "biggering" his empire at the cost of the environment, to a broken, regretful, reclusive if not slightly looney old hermit who helps Ted realize his destiny. He was funny, charming, and likable, inconsiderate and despicable, and very sympathetic all at once. I also actually loved the expansion on his motivations of wanting to make his family proud of him, even though his family was a bunch of reprehensible hicks, and how in the end, his brotherhood ("bromance") with the Lorax ended up more important and fulfilling for him. Made especially blatant in that last scene. D'aaaw.

- I also loved the Lorax, how he spoke for the trees, how he was sort of a grouchy extremist jerk with a heart of gold who still tried to be as reasonable as he could, and Danny Devito as his voice.

- I really loved the story and how it was ultimately handled. When it was faithful to the book, it was REALLY faithful to the book. But when it went on it's own, it was still really engaging. I loved the disturbing idea of a civilization that's secluded and walled from the outside world and everything is fabricated, I loved the "bottled air", I loved how the unnamed boy from the book was made into the protagonist character, I loved that the backstory telling was divided into three trips to the Once-ler's place rather than one, I loved the added scenarios to the backstory (like the marshmallow bit and the floating bed bit), I loved the pragmatic changes (like the people NOT immediately buying into the Thneed BS when Once-ler first starts selling it, and the Villain Song being used as a montage song), and I loved the ultimate resolution, similarities to "Wall-E" that preceded it be damned. And I thought the serious, emotional bits were really effective. I was close to getting choked up at the last scene between the Once-ler and Lorax, and when the book quote from Dr Suess came on screen...damn.


CONS:

- C'mon, guys, you don't have to be ashamed of Seussisms.  Put some more in!  "Truffula Trees" isn't said as often, and words like "Grickle Grass", "Lurkin", "gruvelous gloves", "whispermaphone", " super axehacker" and various others are omitted entirely. 

- I know that the people who made this made this also made "Despicable Me" but God, they really could've cut down on making the critters act like the Minions! I mean, the studio logo bit at the start of the movie showing a Barbaloot Bear falling on top of a Minion should have clued me in for what I was in for, but still...

- The main villain, Mr. O'Hare, was really overplayed. And he was also lame. VERY lame I mean, I got the idea behind him and know why he had to be here, but he really grated on my nerves after awhile. His Edna Mode-esque design, short stature, loud and obnoxious voice, and the fact that he was a flat stock cooperate villain purely motivated by greed. Worse is that he knew damn well he was polluting and didn't care so long as he got profit: heck, he even seemed to get off on being an evil slimeball, like a Captain Planet villain! That kind of sends the wrong message: Once-ler is a great antagonist because his villainy comes from the human flaws of being careless and ignorant. Rarely ever in real life are there just these megalomaniacs who deliberately pollute for profit and go through over-the-top villainous lengths to stop anyone from planting so much as one real seed. And I was disappointed in how he wasn't in any way connected to the Once-ler's story like I initially thought he would be. Nope, he was just some diminutive geek who took Once-ler's Thneeds business and designs for Thneedville for himself and completely took over. It would have been more interesting if he had been an old employee of Once-ler's. That would mean they'd have to age him up in the present time, but y'know what? He'd probably be more interesting that way! As he is, though, he's annoying, he's boring, and really weighs the whole thing down. At least his eventual comeuppance was satisfying, but only because I hated him and not for the right reasons.

- There were several blatant moments where the "3D" gimmick was clearly meant to be used. I am so sick of 3D. Why can't movies be made without that shit being shoe-horned in? Though I did love the "Ted on his scooter" sequences, especially when he actually made use of the weird Seuss-like structures to go around them. But did those sequences really need 3D?  Did they?

- I didn't really like Ted's mother. She only did one redeeming thing during the climax but other than that, she didn't seem all that much better than Once-ler's mama!

- And while I liked how the Villain Song was used as a montage before we cut to the dark wasteland the Truffula Valley has become, I really wish there had been a little bit more Lorax vs Once-ler conflict after that because instead we immediately get the final confrontation before the last tree is chopped down. I understood why the animals all had to leave at the same time as opposed to one after another like in the book, and it even made for a nice scene where Once-ler's mule and "teddy bear" turn their backs on him, I really would've liked to see the Lorax point out the exact effects of what Once-ler's business venture has been doing to the environment and its' inhabitants. This conflict took up most of the book's story and I felt it was really lousy for so much of it to get cut.


But overall, I really enjoyed the movie. It was silly alot of the times, but you have to expect that from Dr. Seuss movies and Dr. Seuss in general, and the environmental message that mattered was still kept and delivered in a satisfactory, even moving way. In fact, after I left that theater and drove back home to my neighborhood, I really took in my surroundings and looked around at the sunshine, blue sky, grass, and trees. I really appreciated the natural beauty. It really is a lovely world we have, and UNLESS...unless we stop being selfish and foolhardy, unless we do things to help preserve its' beauty and really lift a finger to clean up the man-made trash that pollutes the earth, things really won't get better. They won't. They'll just keep getting worse until we lose all of God's gifts that we used to have. That's something Theodore "Ted" Seuss Geisel realized when he wrote "The Lorax" and I'm glad that the message can be heard by a modern generation now. In their hands, and ours, and mine, hopefully we can keep the world a life-filled, beautiful, and wonderful place to live in.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Legend of Korra

Okay, I just got done sneak previewing the first two episodes of "Avatar: The Last Airbender"'s sequel series, "The Legend of Korra" and I'm blogging my thoughts on the show thus far here:

Let's get the most obvious thing out of the way first:

 KORRA IS HAWT.

Seriously, check out how well built she is! This may be the hottest girl in the franchise by far. And if you dare say you cannot be attracted to this cartoon character, you're lying. There's a reason she's
a Memetic Sex Godess, guys.  Everyone is Korrasexuual, even you! But not only is she hot, she's utterly adorable, she's got a great attitude, an interesting characterization, superb animation, skilled badassery, and great voice acting.  Just two episodes in and already Korra is a very likable main heroine. If her character development ends up solid (which it most surely will), she'll officially be right up there with Katara and Azula as a favorite female character in the Avatar world.

 Personally, I love the idea for this series and the direction Mike and Bryan are taking with it is absolutely the right way to go in my opinion. "Avatar: The Last Airbender" was such a magnificent animated epic, why should it have a sequel that would try to imitate, live up to,
or even surpass it's legacy?  Mike and Bryan must've realized that it couldn't, so the sequel series
is changing it's gears completely. Instead of an epic fantasy story stretched across three seasons, we're getting a modernized "Batmanish" show that revolves more around the characters and their setting than it does any overall plot, since there will be no overall plot this time: just different story arcs per season. The fact that it's set years into the future past the original show also gives it it's edge and we get to have an all new cast of characters with new stories to be told with them. While I'm liking "The Promise" as a bridge between the two series' that establishes the founding of Republic City, I think it also shows why it's best to let old casts and their stories go. There's just no more room for good development with them because their character arcs were resolved in the show itself: what we get in the comic is either the same old shit the characters usually did in the show (Sokka's jokes and Toph's snarks), stuff that we'd rather not have seen past its' resolution (Kataang couple), and rehashing of development that characters have already been through  (Aang and Zuko's conflicts respectively). Bringing in new characters, settings, and stories ensures that things are kept fresh.

 I also love that they've decided upon the title just being "The Legend Of Korra." While we all know that the title is meant to be "Avatar: The Legend Of Korra", that James Cameron turdfest movie made use of the title "Avatar" forbidden despite the fact that the original show used it for it's entire run four years before James Cameron's movie ever came out. But thankfully, they chose not to go with the working title "The Last Airbender: The Legend Of Korra", which would make no sense whatsoever seeing as there is no "last airbender" anymore and it would make the series sound too associated with M Night Shyamalan's sub-par live action adaptation. So compared to that, the simple title we've gotten is good enough.

 The animation for the backgrounds, characters, bending and action sequences, all that stuff...it's phenomenal as always. And the style and mood they've set for the show is great. It still feels very Asian, but much, much more modern, with Republic City being a clear Expy of New York City itself.  (Y'know, since Team Rocket's fight against Team Plasma is still postponed, maybe they should invite Team Rocket over to Republic City so that can terrorize it while duking it out with the Equalists instead.)  They've now got automobiles, planes, cameras, radios, newspapers, and much more modern conveniences. All we need to see now are phones and TVs and it'll officially be a nice place to live in.

 I love the Tenzin character and his family. Tenzin being the full grown son of Avatar Aang is interesting enough but his characterization is engaging too. He's a great stern, uptight, serious, wise and dignified man with a strong belief in how things should be done but he is also a wonderful comically serious character, being made the butt of several great moments of humor in the show while still being able to maintain his dignity despite that. You just gotta love him, and the voice acting by JK Simmons helps alot. His overactive kids and envious "normal" wife are funny too. I can't wait to see more of this family in future episodes.

 The metalbending police force of Republic City are hardcore badasses, being led by a badass captain voiced by Richard Epcar, who in turn works for the badass chief, Lin Bei Fong, Toph's grown up daughter. I love what little I've seen of this stone cold, hardass bitch. I wonder what is was in her childhood that made her grow up to be the total opposite of the rebellious Toph, but it makes for an interesting character conflict when she has to deal with the rebellious Korra. Bei Fong is entirely right that Korra shouldn't dish out vigilante justice if it means causing damage to the city and that "I'm the Avatar" should not be a get-out-of-jail-free card. However, Korra is right in that helping out in her own way rather than relying on the cops is what she as the Avatar should do, and that Bei Fong should be a bit more tolerant towards her seeing as she IS the reincarnation of her mother's friend. I hope this dynamic goes places and the two of them end up like Batman and Commissioner Gordon by the next season rather than staying enemies.

 Pro-Bending, as has been stated, is right up there with Quiditch and Blitzball with cool fantasy sports that we wish existed in real life. I enjoyed every minute of it in the second episode, the way its' animated is great, and now that Korra's joined the Fire Ferrets team alongside Mako and Bolin, I'm eager to see more of it. Speaking of Mako and Bolin, those two brothers seem like interesting characters too. Mako acts kind of like Zuko while Bolin acts kind of like Sokka, making the Zuko/Sokka "brotherly" dynamic more apparent. Bolin is amusing without going too over-the-top (yet), and while Mako may need a serious attitude adjustment, the guy's kick-ass. The way he implemented a brilliant strategy to take out all three of the opposing team members by himself was incredible! Looks like there's going to be some "relationship drama" between him and Korra down the road. And thus another shipping nightmare shall begin...

 And while on the subject of Pro-Bending, how about Anti-Bending? (Geddit?) The Equalists seem like very intriguing antagonists for this first season's story arc. Their arguments for why bending should be abolished so far actually make a good deal of sense, but with these sorts of anti-whatever revolutionary union groups, I have to wonder about their real motives. The mysterious evil leader, Amon, interests me greatly. He's only shown for the last few seconds of the first episode and is all over the promotional ads, and already he's a really cool villain. He seems to have a natural charisma, wears a creepy yet inspiring looking mask, and has the voice of Yamaki from "Digimon Tamers".  If he gets alot of supporters, I wouldn't blame them. And from the looks of things (especially the "I will destroy you" nightmare bit on the trailers) he looks to indeed be
a very frightening enemy for Korra. But what could he possibly be concealing behind that mask?

 Lastly, there's a character that has yet to appear that I am really eager to meet. No, not Dante Basco's character: we don't know who he even is yet. The character I want to see is named Asami Sato, the teenage daughter of a wealthy industrialist tycoon named Hiroshi Sato. From just the description of her character, I think I love her and am sure I can add her to my category of "Best Spoiled Bitches" that I've seen. Also, she's voiced by Sychelle Gabriel and since we know she's a Pro-Bending fangirl, she'll undoubtedly be siding against the Equalists. If we do not hear her at any point say "We'll show the Equalists that we believe in our beliefs just as much as they believe in theirs!", I will be immensely disappointed.

 Oh, and of course, there was a tease about "the amazing story of what happened to Zuko's mother...but not yet!" towards the start of the first episode. That all but confirms that Mike and Bryan have something specific in mind for that plot point and it will be revealed either later in this series, or in a graphic novel, or maybe even both! 

Cannot WAIT to see more of this show after it's premiere in April.

Friday, March 23, 2012

MTV Movie Awards: Villains

Now I follow up on my previous MTV Movie Awards entry with another one regarding one of my favorite subjects: villains! This goes over the "Best Villain" award and seeing if I think the right call was made:


1992:
- Peyton Flanders  (The Hand That Rocks The Cradle)
- Max Cady  (Cape Fear)
- The T-1000  (Terminator 2: Judgement Day)
- The Sheriff of Nottingham  (Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves)
- Nino Brown  (New Jack City)

The first year got this one right. While T-1000 is scary as hell and Alan Rickman as the Sherrif of Nottingham was the best thing in a bad film,  neither match the cold, persistent, intelligent evil that Peyton demonstrated as she continuously and methodically ruined the lives of those she blamed for the death of her husband and unborn child, always succeeding and covering her tracks brilliantly.
Her kind of villainy was compelling and disturbing, and it made her karmic downfall in the end an immensely satisfying payoff. On side note, I do not know who Nino Brown is and I did not like Robert DeNiro's Max Cady at all, seeing as it was an over-the-top imitation of Robert Mitchum's superior characterization.

 
1993:
- Hedra Carlson  (Single White Female)
- The Penguin  (Batman Returns)
- Pete Davis  (Unlawful Entry)
- Col. Nathan Jessup  (A Few Good Men)

Ummm...okay, I like Hedy alot and she easily beats out Pete Davis and (ugh) Danny Devito's Penguin, but I wouldn't call her best villain material if she's up against Col. Jessup.  In the end, Hedy was pitiable, tragic, even downright likable as a character. Jessup, on the other hand, was much more vicious and unapologetically villainous. His motives had a very good point to them, but that
didn't excuse his criminal actions nor his mean spirited arrogance towards others. Plus, it's Jack Nicholson, so it's bound to be a fantastic performance. The fact that Jessup desereved to win Best Villain is the truth, but THEY CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!


1994:
- Adrian Forrester  (The Crush)
- Henry Evans  (The Good Son)
- Mitch Leary  (In The Line Of Fire)
- Simon Phoenix  (Demolition Man)
- The T-Rex  (Jurassic Park)

I guess I could give this one a pass, though I probably would've voted for Mitch Leary on account of
it being John Malkovich. I don't know Simon Phoenix, Henry Evans was a terribly written villain, and the T-Rex has absolutely no business being here at all! Dennis Nedry and the Velociraptors were the bad guys of that movie: the T-Rex was just following its' instincts. Hell, it even saved the day in the end! That's no villain, that's a hero!


1995:
- Howard Payne  (Speed)
- Lestat  (Interview With A Vampire)
- Scar  (The Lion King)
- Ryan Gareity  (Blown Away)
- Meredith Johnson  (Disclosure)

I can give this a pass too because Dennis Hopper was outstanding in this role, but I probably would've voted for Scar here. I mean, c'mon: Jeremy Iron's voice performance was incredible and he had one of the best villain songs of all time. None of the competiton can compare, especially not prettyboy Tom Cruise as prettyboy vampire Lestat. Bleh!


1996:
- John Doe  (Se7en)
- The Riddler and Two-Face  (Batman Forever)
- Nicky Santoro  (Casino)
- Vic Deakins  (Broken Arrow)
- Alec Trevelyan  (GoldenEye)

This is pretty tough. Given my feelings for the movie, I didn't like John Doe: in fact, everything went irreversibly wrong the moment he decided to show his face! However, Kevin Spacey did play the part chillingly well. So I guess he deserves this award: I'll just pretend that he's getting it for being Keyzer Soze and it'll be alright. Besides, who else can top Kevin Spacey here? The Riddler and Two-Face?
Puh-leeze!


1997:
- The Cable Guy  (The Cable Guy)
- Gil Renard  (The Fan)
- Aaron Stampler  (Primal Fear)
- Freddie Lee Cobb  (A Time To Kill)
- David McCall  (Fear)

Jim Carrey couldn't cut it as the Riddler last here, so I guess this was his year to take the prize. And it won't be the last time either...


1998:
- Dr Evil  (Austin Powers)
- Castor Troy  (Face/Off)
- Ivan Korshunov  (Air Force One)
- John Milton/Lucifer  (The Devil's Advocate)  
- Cal Nathan Hockley  (Titanic)

Oh, Hell yes!  Dr. Evil definitely deserved this win. Mike Myers is consistently hilarious as this villain: his voice, mannerisms, background, and comedically evil antics makes him better than all the villains he's spoofing in my book. Al Paccino and Billy Zane gave fun hammy performances as their villains, but the parts weren't as well written. I don't care about the other two, whoever they are. 


1999:

I don't care about any of these villains at all!


2000:
- Dr Evil  (The Spy Who Shagged Me)  
- Tom Ripley  (The Talented Mr Ripley)  
- Kathryn Metruiel  (Cruel Intentions)
- Darth Maul  (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
- The Headless Hessian  (Sleepy Hollow)

Dr Evil wins AGAIN? While he probably earned it, two awards for the same villain is kind of unfair.
I would've chosen Matt Damon as the talented Mr Ripley himself or maybe Sarah Michelle Gellar as Kathryn 'cause I love her so damn much. Darth Maul and the Hessian don't deserve the award: they don't even talk! 


2001:
- The Grinch  (How The Grinch Stole Christmas)
- Sebastian Caine  (Hollow Man)
- Carl Rudolph Stargher  (The Cell)
- Hannibal Lecter  (Hannibal)
- Commodus  (Gladiator)

Gotta agree with this one. It seems this was the year of over-the-top villains (even the always great Anthony Hopkins was playing a far less subtle of Hannibal Lecter), and Jim Carrey is easily the best at playing over-the-top villainy. His take on the Grinch was very interesting and memorable to me, if not overly obnoxious at times. 


2002:
- Alonzo Harris  (Training Day)
- Queen Akasha  (Queen Of The Damned)
- Saruman  (The Fellowship Of The Ring)
- General Thade  (Planet Of The Apes)
- Hu Li  (Rush Hour 2)

Nothing against Denzel Washington, but Chrisopher Lee as Saruman would've been my pick here.


2003:
- Samara Morgan  (The Ring)
- The Green Goblin  (Spider-Man)
- Bill The Butcher  (Gangs Of New York)
- Bullseye  (Daredevil)  
- Dr Evil & Goldmember  (Goldmember)

All top-notch villains here, but I'd have to say that they made the right call here. Samara is easily the most sinister, frightening, most memorable and original out of all the villains here. And she's also the only one that isn't a total ham in any way, so that makes her stand out more. To think, all these evil men can't quite measure up against a long haired, pale, demonic little girl!


2004:
- O-Ren Ishii  (Kill Bill)
- Leatherface  (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
- Madison Lee  (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle)
- Hector Barbossa  (Pirates Of The Caribbean)
- The Caller  (Phone Booth)

Yeah, I think not. Barbossa should've won this one. He was very well acted and very enjoyable.


2005:
- White Goodman  (Dodgeball: A TRUE Underdog Story)
- Count Olaf  (A Series Of Unfortunate Events)
- Vincent  (Collateral)
- Regina George  (Mean Girls)
- Dr Octopus  (Spider-Man 2)

I loved Ben Stiller as White Goodman, but I don't think he earned this. Jim Carrey as Count Olaf and Rachel McAdams as Regina George are funny as well but they're also not worthy. The title ought to have gone to Alfred Molina's Doc Ock, one of the best supervillains to ever be put on the big screen.


2006:
- Darth Vader  (Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith)
- Jigsaw  (Saw II)
- Lord Voldemort  (Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire)
- Johnathan Crane  (Batman Begins)
- The White Witch  (The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe)

Darth Vader's a villain icon, so I can see why he got the win here. The problem? The award was for Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader! Sorry but no...just no. I'd say Tilda Swinton as the White Witch should have won this year. Jigsaw's scary but not much else,  Ralph Fiennes was just starting out as Voldemort so he's not worthy yet, and Crane wasn't even THE villain of that movie: Ras Al Ghul was!


2007:
- Frank Costello  (The Departed)
- Jigsaw  (Saw III)
- Davy Jones  (Pirates: Dead Man's Chest)
- Xerxes  (300)
- Miranda Priestly  (The Devil Wears Prada)

Gotta agree with this one, seeing as its' Jack Nicholson finally winning the award to make up for the Jessup thing back in '93. 


2008:
- Sweeney Todd  (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street)
- Anton Chicurgh  (No Country For Old Men)
- Eddie Brock/Venom  (Spider-Man 3)
- Grendel's Mother  (Beowulf)
- Frank Lucas  (American Gangster)

They got this right. Sweeney Todd was a compelling and dark villain protagonist, and Johnny Depp played him to perfection. The other villains seem to all suffer from poor handling. 


2009:
- The Joker  (The Dark Knight)
- Prince Nuada  (Hellboy II: The Golden Army)
- Agent 23  (Get Smart)
- Jason Voorhes  (Friday The 13th)
- Richard Fenton  (Prom Night)

There was no fucking contest here. The Joker OWNED this award, as he should. I mean, who else would deserve it? Prince Nuada and Agent 23 are laughable villains, I have and always will loathe Jason Voorhes,  and Rick Fenton is probably just as bad. None of these guys even come CLOSE. 


2010:
- Draco Malfoy  (Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince)
- The Red Queen  (Alice In Wonderland)
- Leslie Chow  (The Hangover)
- Miles Quaritch  (Avatar)
- Hans Landa  (Inglourious Basterds)

Like the "Twilight" movies winning the Best Movie award, this vote seemed to be due to legions of fangirls.  I'm sorry, but as good as Tom Felton and the Malfoy character were in that movie, he's still not best villain material. This REALLY ought to have gone to Hans Landa. I may find his movie and its' director overrated, but he was a terrific villainous character. The Red Queen was a joke, Leslie Chow was an unremarkable baddie with a girly name, and I don't consider Miles Quaritch to be a real villain:
just a mean man!


2011:
- Draco Malfoy  (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallow Part 1)
- Lots-O-'Huggin' Bear  (Toy Story 3)
- Rebecca Evans  (The Roommate)
- Ivan Vanko  (Iron Man 2)
- Benjiaman Bloodnovsky  (The Green Hornet) 

......UUUUUGHHH! WHERE ARE THOSE BLASTED FANGIRLS, AND WHO THE HELL LET THEM VOTE FOR MALFOY AGAIN? Malfoy was barely a villain at all in this one: he was barely even IN the movie, period! How in blazes does he win Best Villain award? EVERY OTHER choice was better!  Even the uninteresting, over-the-top Hedy rip-off Rebecca Evans was at least the real villain of her movie! Personally, I would've voted for my favorite evil teddy bear, Lotso. He was a damn fascinating and monstrously evil villain: one of Disney/Pixar's best ever.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The MTV Movie Awards

Here on this post, I shall do what GregX did on his blog with the Accadamey Awards, but with the MTV Movie Awards. Yeah, I know that they're much less credible but who cares?  It's fun to judge them!  (The winner is the one in bold letters

1992:
- Terminator 2: Judgement Day
- Backdraft
- Boyz N The Hood
- Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves
- JFK

They got this one right. "T-2" might have a ton of story problems, but beyond that it's still a very 
well-made, well executed, and really exciting movie to watch, with fun action sequences and solid characters and performances all around. Ron Howard's "Backdraft" is really the only competition for 
it here, seeing as the other choices just suck, especially Oliver Stone's horrendous "JFK".


1993:
- A Few Good Men 
- Aladdin
- Basic Instinct
- The Bodyguard 
- Malcolm X

I might be biased here, but I think this one should've gone to "Aladdin", one of the best movies from the Disney renniasance, and possibly my favorite Disney movie of all time. "A Few Good Men" is a little bit too drawn out, especially considering that the most memorable part is Jack Nicholson's epic performance at the very end. I have nothing against "Basic Instinct" and "Malcolm X" but they're not nearly as favored or as entertaining to me. And "The Bodyguard?" Do people actually remember this movie that spawned it's best selling soundtrack? Didn't think so.


1994:
- Menace II Society
- The Fugitive
- Jurassic Park
- Philadelphia
- Schindler's List

Er, NO. I don't care if it already won the Oscar: "Schindler's List" deserves every award it could possibly get! What the hell IS "Menace II Society" to even compete with it, much less win the award over it?  Haven't seen it or the other two, and Spielburg's other movie here, "Jurassic Park", is much more a "special effects over substance" movie.


1995:
- Pulp Fiction
- The Crow 
- Forrest Gump
- Interview With A Vampire 
- Speed

Here's where I go on the record to say that "Forrest Gump" is easily a better film than "Pulp Fiction".  Sorry Tarantino fanatics, but face it: it's a stupid, stupid movie. That's the whole point of what pulp fiction is. It's a very well done movie and I enjoyed it, but it's meant to be crazy and dumb. "Forrest Gump" is an unforgetabble viewing experience that has much more heart, soul, and meaning behind it, and features what is arguably Tom Hanks' finest performance. But seeing as it did win the Oscar, I guess I can let "Pulp Fiction" have this one. As for the other choices, "The Crow" and "Interview With A Vampire" are even dumber than "Pulp Fiction" and "Speed" was good, but not good enough.


1996:
- Se7en 
- Apollo 13
- Braveheart
- Clueless 
- Dangerous Minds

No, no, NO. They fucked this one up big! I despise "Se7en". It was a grotesque "dark, depressing, and cynical for the sake of being so" movie that could've been forgiven if it didn't have such a bad ending. Plus, Brad Pitt's acting in the film is WAY off for some reason ("What's in the boooox?") 
"Apollo 13" should have gotten this one seeing as it was probably Ron Howard's best work.  


1997:
- Scream 
- Independence Day
- Jerry Maguire 
- The Rock
- Romeo + Juliet

Now this one, they got right. With "Scream", Wes Craven made the greatest slasher film series of 
all time, and one that unfortunately gave new life to the genre because audiences were too stupid to realize that it was picking such movies apart and making fun of them. Gotta love a scary movie that rips on other scary movies. I'm not familiar with two of the others, and while "Independence Day" and "Romeo + Juliet" are fun to watch, I don't consider them particularly good movies.


1998:
- Titanic
- Austin Powers 
- Face/Off 
- Good Will Hunting 
- Men In Black

I know this is the unpopular opinions among alot of online movie snobs, but I freaking love "Titanic".
I thought it was an excellently done movie and it blew me away when I saw it in full for the first time. So yes, I think it deserved to win the Oscar. However, since it did win the Oscar, the alternative for the MTV award winner would have to be "Good Will Hunting". Another well done movie with probably the only good "serious" Robin Williams performance. "Austin Powers" and "Men In Black" are fun but not best picture material, and I don't give a shit about "Face/Off."


1999:
- There's Something About Mary
- Armageddon
- Saving Private Ryan
- Shakespeare In Love
- The Truman Show

Meh. I would've given this one to "Shakespeare In Love", but that's just me.


2000:
- The Matrix 
- American Beauty 
- American Pie
- Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
- The Sixth Sense

"The Matrix" is WAY overrated. It should've been "The Sixth Sense", seeing as it's the second best movie M. Night Shyamalan ever did ("Unbreakable" is better!) and the movie that put Haley Joel Osment on the map. 


 2001:
- Gladiator 
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
- Erin Brockovich
- Hannibal 
- X-Men

"Gladiator" is, again, a WAY overrated movie and one that really isn't even that good at all! This one should've gone to "X-Men" for starting a damn good movie franchise and containing the perfect casting of Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian Mckellan, and Hugh Jackman in their respective roles.


2002:
- The Fellowship Of The Ring 
- Black Hawk Down
- The Fast And The Furious
- Legally Blonde
- Shrek

Hell Yes! Any "The Lord Of The Rings" film deserves its' victory. 


2003:
- The Two Towers
- Barbershop
- 8 Mile
- The Ring
- Spider-Man

See above. While I freaking love "Spider-Man" and liked that other "Ring" movie, they can't compare. 

2004:
- The Return Of The King
- Finding Nemo
- 50 First Dates 
- Pirates Of The Caribbean
- X2: X-Men United

God, this was a damn good year and these were all damn good movies. However, we've gone with "The Lord of The Rings" for the past two years and we certainly can't deny it's spectacular conclusion its' award, can we? Sadly, after this one, the MTV Movie Awards would take a huge decline.

2005:
- Napoleon Dynamite 
- The Incredibles
- Kill Bill Vol. 2 
- Ray
- Spider-Man 2

Ugh, no. "Napoleon Dynamite" is another movie that I enjoy but is really, really stupid. Either "The Incredibles" or "Spider-Man 2" should have won this one, seeing as they're easily two of the best superhero movies ever made.


2006:
- Wedding Crashers
- Batman Begins
- The 40 Year Old Virgin 
- King Kong 
- Sin City

NO. "Wedding Crashers" sucks. This was rightfully "Batman Begins"' win. What do these award commitees have against superhero movies, anyway?


2007:
- Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Mans's Chest 
- 300
- Blades Of Glory
- Borat
- Little Miss Sunshine

Eh, "Dead Man's Chest" is okay but if the much better original "Pirates" movie wasn't an award winner, neither should this be. I would've given my vote to "Borat" simply because it's just such 

a bizarrely ambitous and hilariously "wrong" movie.


2008:
- Transformers 
- I Am Legend
- Juno
- National Treasure: Book Of Secrets
- Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End
- Superbad

"Juno" was a strong contender but overall, I'm going to agree with this one. The first Michael Bay "Transformers" film was a very fun and engaging movie, really the only good movie in the franchise. The rest of the choices...are just bad.


2009:
- Twilight
- The Dark Knight
- High School Musical 3 
- Iron Man
- Slumdog Millionaire


UGH, this one is just shameful. I would've given my vote to any of the competition here because all of them are better than the shit that is "Twilight". The best film here was clearly "The Dark Knight". 
That it lost out to fucking "Twilight" due to millions of votes cast by braindead, narrow minded fangirls shows a loss of credibility for the MTV awards.


2010:
- The Twilight Saga: New Moon
- Alice In Wonderland
- Avatar
- The Hangover
- Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince


Now this one's a toughie. A "Twilight" movie winning a second year in a row is bullshit, but this time the competition really isn't that strong either, especially not that abominable "Avatar". I suppose
I would've cast my vote for "Half-Blood Prince" because for some perplexing reason it's the first time "Harry Potter" was a nomination here.


2011:
- The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
- Black Swan
- Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1
- Inception
- The Social Network


Aaand we're right back to shameful BS with this last year, folks. Again, every other fucking move nominated was better than "Eclipse", and yet it still won because of all the screaming rabid fangirls 
in the audience who hastily voted for it. I defenitely would've chosen "The Social Network" here; 
it may be a dramatization but it's a brilliant one.

And now I shall wait for "Breaking Dawn Part 1" to inevitably sweep victories in the 2012 MTV Movie Awards.  (FANGIRL SQUEE)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Who I Am & Why I Write

My name is Eric. I am an amateur writer in the making, and this is my blog. The subjects of my blog are to be anything and everything I consider interesting and relevent to my life, mainly works of fiction that I enjoy that capture my imagination and inspire me in my creative writing career. I'm not writing this blog for anyone but me and I doubt anyone will care to read it unless they're really into this stuff.

Here I shall explain my intent behind wanting to be a writer. I was born on the 19th of May in the 
year of 1989 and it was early in my childhood that my brother and I were diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. It may be due to the Asperger's Syndrome that I have...ideas. My mind works in a way that's considered unsual by others and I have thoughts and ideas that I doubt many others my age have. I've also been told that I have a great imagination. I want to be modest here but...yeah, I do.
I have lots of creativity inside me just waiting to be unleashed on something. Same for my brother. We've spent the entirety of our young lives making up and playing ellaborate games using characters from other fictional canons but story ideas all our own. My family, friends, and family's friends have told us constantly that we're very creative and that God gave us that gift so we can use it and share it with the world when we grow up.  

And I think they're right: I want to tell stories with my own characters, worlds, plot ideas, etc and share them with the world. I want to put my creative vision out there on the market so that others 
may know it and hopefully enjoy it. I want to be the author and illustrator of my own works. I want to express myself and for it to be heard. Basically, I want all the stuff that every aspiring writer wants in life. I intend to go into the book writing buisiness because books require the most imagination when reading. If my books were to be adapted to film, then I'd be flattered so long as they don't fuck it all up.  But mostly I just want to tell stories and want those stories to have an audience so that they can really "exist." And yes, I'll be doing it for me first and foremost but with the intention of others getting to share in it too. I don't even want to be super successful; I just want to succeed in getting my works published and making a good profit from them. Really  getting them published is the best profit of all. 

But I only just got started on the creative process of my first real story, and it's going to take a whole lot of time before I can implement all the other ideas I have in my head into proper stories. So as I go along, I'll write in this blog in my spare time and show my love and hate for the real life and fiction that I indulge myself in everyday. I hope you enjoy what I write, my invisible audience!