My Top 10 Favorite Movies

10. The other guys

Let’s start with the only comedy that will be making an appearance on this list. This buddy cop movie starring the hilarious duo of will Farrell and mark wahlberg definitely isn’t for everyone, but it churns out one clever and original joke after another until your side hurts from laughter. It’s also the most quotable movie on this list, excluding the number one pick.

9. Kingsman: the secret service

The genius of kingsman lies in it’s ability to straddle the line between spy movie parody and stylish action adventure. It goes out of its way to distinguish itself from movies like James Bond, but still borrows (and makes of fun of) the best aspects of those films. This pen was the victim of poor advertising, and went unnoticed for the most part. However, that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a look.

8. Minority report

This is one that you’ll understand the brilliance of much better if you just watch it. The plot is original and inventive, and keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. It presents some really interesting moral dilemmas that will keep you thinking for days after you watch it. I’m a huge fan of Tom cruise movies, and this one is definitely my favorite.

7. Predator

This is what I consider the be the best Schwarzenegger movie. It’s over the top 80’s sci-fi action still holds up today, even if the predator itself doesn’t quite stand the test of time. The movie isn’t a marvel of cinema, but it is very fun to watch.

6. Die hard

This movie is just so great. The premise, the action, the setting. But oddly enough, what really shines in this one is the characters. Argyle, john McLain, and of course Alan Rickman’s incredible portrayal of Hans Gruber, who has to be one of the best action movie villains ever. If you somehow haven’t seen this classic, stop reading this right now and get watching.

5. Deadpool

The first big screen depiction of one of the most beloved marvel characters ever was a comic fans dream. Ryan Reynolds’ depiction of the fowl mouthed, sword wielding anti hero was absolutely perfect. The movie was the most rated-R superhero film ever, and fans expected no less. It captures so perfectly the feeling of the comics, but someone who has never heard of the merc with a mouth can still fully appreciate the genius writing and awesome action.

4. The usual suspects

Speaking of genius, the intricate and engrossing plot of the usual suspects will keep you thinking for the whole run time. Shifting alliances and a mysterious villain always keep you in the dark. And just when you think you have everything figured out, the movie flips your whole theory on its head. You need to pay attention with this one, but the payoff is so worth it.

3. Mad max: fury road

Despite what the title will have you believe, max himself is merely a side character in this movie. And that’s definitely not a bad thing, because Charlize Theron’s portrayal of furiousa is simply awesome. But where this movie really shines is world building. You really buy into the dark, post apocalyptic vision of the near future presented by the movie. It’s dirty, depressing and dangerous. Not to mention the crazy action scenes that barely utilize computer generated images, instead opting for practical effects. This movie is so freaking cool, and definitely a must see.

2. The shawshank redemption

Man, what is there to say about this classic? This story of a prison inmate takes you on an emotional roller coaster. The highs are so high, but only because they come after a crushing low. But the magic of this one is really found in the bond between the inmates. This really is a special movie, and should be experienced by all.

1. The dark knight

if you’ve ever actually talked to me, this shouldn’t be a surprise. I love this movie. In my opinion, it’s perfect. The mood. The action. The plot. The fan service. And most of all, Heath Ledger’s extraordinary and chilling portrayal of the joker. He does everything perfectly. When this movie came out in 2008, Heath had the world saying joker quotes for years. And let’s not forget about the captivating and metaphorical arc of district attorney Harvey Dent, played here by Aaron Eckhart. I really do love this movie, and it’s easily my favorite of all time.

The Biggest Problem With Suicide Squad

I’m sure you’ve seen the less than stellar reviews of one of the most hyped movies of the year. The squad’s debut on the big screen is plagued with many small problems that all come to together to create and underwhelming movie going experience. However, I’ve read too many reviews to write one of my own without being biased. I will, however, talk about why I think the movie is getting trashed by critics (it has a rotten tomatoes score of 26% at the time of writing this). The movies biggest flaw also happens to be its biggest strength. The chemistry between the main members of the team is awesome. Witty one liners and fantastic performances fill the squad, and their interactions are priceless. The problem is that there isn’t enough of them. The plot is barebones at best, which would be ok if it did a better job of serving as a stage for the characters to interact on. But these interactions are very scarce, which takes away so much of the personality from the lead characters. When things slow down and the squad has time to chat, the movie and it’s writing shines. The bar scene is easily the strongest 7 or so minutes of the movie. With so many great actors, you think the script would give them more time to act. Of course there are more flaws. The lack of joker screen time, the wasted characters (killer croc, katana, etc.). I can’t recommend seeing this movie. It just fails to do what it sets out to do. However, it is an overfall enjoyable theater going experience, and if you’re not looking for a masterpiece, you may have some fun with this one.

O.J.: Made In America

I’m just going to preface this review of the 5-part miniseries documenting the rise and fall of athlete and celebrity O.J. Simpson with this: watch it. Even if sports aren’t an interest of yours, watch this. Because this documentary is so much more that. It expertly weaves the stories of a nation divided by race and a man who aims to transcend it in a way that makes this show not only factual and interesting, but also so timely. Police racism, no matter how you look at it, is a problem in America. And the way the show handles such a sensitive subject is fantastic. Many of the opinions given are heavily biased, which the show always relates back to how O.J. was able to get away with murder. The trial segment of the show in particular is absolutely captivating. The first two or three episodes give you so much context, and the opinions given make you feel like you know exactly why everything happened in this trial. I just have so many positive things to say about this series. The huge amount of footage from before O.J. was incarcerated, the mixed messages on police racism, and how a huge story was put in to just about 6 hours, but I still felt like I knew exactly what was happening and why. Watch it. It’s easily my favorite documentary of all time, and so relevant right now in our country.

Total: 5 worms

 

 

 

Pokemon Go Is Here, And It’s Taken The World By Storm

The Japanese Pokémon series of video games has been a staple of nerd culture for more than 20 years. As a kid, playing the games on my Nintendo DS, collecting the virtual monsters and using them to battle and trade with my friends was absolutely engrossing. And as a part of Nintendo’s move into the smart phone market, the experience is now available on your iPhone. The game’s concept is  a dream come true for any Pokemon fan. In order to find the monsters, you have to walk around in the real world. And holy crap, this is so fun. Running around with friends looking for items and Pokemon is awesome. depending on where you are, you’ll find different Pokemon. we were in an urban area, and found Pokemon you’d expect to find in a city. But while this experience is really cool, innovative and fun, the game has plenty of problems. The servers are terrible. So bad. constant crashes, glitches, you name it. The game is very unreliable. But the most annoying flaw is the lack of ways to interact with my friends. I can’t battle them or trade with them, and that sucks. For such a social concept, the ways to play the game socially are highly limited. But these problems haven’t stopped the game from reaching #1 in the app store in less than 24 hours. Needless to say, I plan on pouring a ton of time into the game. I really hope it will continue to receive updates to improve the game even further.

A Brief History Of Alternative Rock

What do you think of when you hear Alternative rock in a sentence? Teens, jamming out in torn, leather jackets and smoking cigarettes? Bad decisions waiting to happen? The band Nirvana? Well, I´ve done some pretty extensive research. And I intend to debunk these stereotypes and give you a  new appreciation for the this awesome sub genre of rock and roll.

Many think That Alternative music all started with Nirvana, and that’s not entirely true. Nirvana brought the genre into the mainstream, but it´s origins were actually much more difficult to trace. One of these origins is colleges around the country in the 80´s. This is where R.E.M. had its loyal following. This got the underground, punk filled Alternative rock movement going. It was fuelled by the booming success of British punk bands such as The Stone Roses, Primal Scream, and Happy Mondays. These bands all found their success on MTV, and served as a big inspiration for R.E.M.

And that’s when alternative rock as we know it was born. In case you didn’t know, I´m talking about punk-inspired rock bands on independent record labels that don’t fit into the mainstream genres of music. This kind of music boomed from Seattle. Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and, of course, downloadNirvana. this trio of insanely talented men, including the infamous Kurt Cobain rocked their way all the way into the mainstream spotlight. And this is where the controversy starts. Because while some say this was the start of a golden era for the genre and it’s fans, others argue that this is when alternative music died.

As alternative spent it´s time in the spotlight, it lost the edge that fans adored. They signed with massive record companies. They played jingles for car commercials, and had concerts packed with fans. And this just wasn’t what devoted fans wanted. The genre was done walking the thin line between rock and pop, and had taken the drive straight into the pop genre and didn´t look back. But others thought the opposite. They thought this burst of popularity breathed new life into what they considered to be a images (1)dying type of music. There is no way to decide who was right, but we definitely know that genre is still going strong today.

Alternative music is still hugely popular. I´m a big fan myself, so I decided to take a look at the billboard list of top 100 alternative songs and compare and contrast those to my personal favorites that were released recently. These are the top 5 for the week of December 26, 2015:

 

  1. Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots
  2. First by Cold War Kids
  3. The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive by Death Cab For Cudie
  4. Mess Around by Cage The Elephant
  5. S.O.B. by Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats

 

I´ve actually listened to all of these and enjoy them to a reasonable degree, but the first two really stick out to me. Twenty One Pilots may be my all time favorite band, and I´ve been listening to the duo since 2009 when their original, independent album came out. Their newest album is some of the best music I´ve ever listened to, And I highly recommend you give it a listen. I also recently saw them live at the Crystal Ballroom. First was a big hit right when it came out, and it’s incredible to listen to with a nice pair of headphones.

I also love the bands that were popular in the early 2000´s. My Chemical Romance is an emo/punk band that is pretty depressing, but also images (2)ridiculously easy to headbang to. Foo Fighters, a somewhat obvious pick, is the band that Dave Grohl, the drummer of Nirvana, moved onto after the infamous death of Cobain. Fallout Boy, which is a little more on the pop side, isn’t my biggest recommendation, but I can definitely see why it has such a big following.

All these bands, both old and new, are a huge part of my life. I can’t imagine a day without the infectious tune of Stressed Out repeating endlessly in my head. If you haven’t at least tried this awesome genre, then a change must be made to your Itunes library.

 

The Captain America: Civil War Trailer Is Out

Finally! The trailer for the highly anticipated threequel to Captain America has it’s trailer, and it fills me with excitement, but also fear for the first avenger’s biggest film yet. The first thing I noticed was how much the trailer focused on Bucky Barnes, also known as the Winter Soldier. This was a very wise move on the part of Marvel, as Bucky is a fan favorite and has the potential for some really awesome character development. The next thing is the first big screen appearance of Black Panther! Holy crap, this is so cool. Not only will this mark the first time an African American hero will be featured in a superhero movie, but Black Panther kicks ass! This is definitely the most exciting part of the movie for me. What worries me is the heroes we didn´t see. Marvel promised us not only Ant Man, but Spider-Man would be included on either of the two sides. I didn’t see either of them in this trailer, which could mean they will only be featured in cameos. This would be a huge disappointment, because I think the more combatants in this insane super-conflict the better. Nevertheless, this new trailer has me so pumped to see Cap and Iron man duke it out on the big screen in 2016.

What I´m Reading Update for 11/19/15

I recently checked out The andromeda strain by Michael Crichton from the library. It starts of fast, much faster than I thought it would from Michael Crichton. But once I was sucked in, Michael slowed down to a crawl, providing a ton of scientific background that seemed really unimportant and was very difficult to care about. The central story is exciting and creepy, but the huge amounts of pointless information is an annoyance. I am hoping this takes the same directions as jurassic park, and gets all the explanations out of the way as the action starts to pour in later in the story. I guess I will see as I read on!

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