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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Promotion

Is Hell Other People?

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Steve Conrad have written and directed an extremely smart piece of lightweight entertainment, at least this is the wishful opening assertion he probably hoped to run away with. His latest effort to date, The Promotion delivers a flamboyant, cautiously balanced mixture of comedy and character drama, a blend operated in a thoughtful context which is quite easy and comfy to relate to. After all: who would have NOT thought about the attainable joys and pleasures of a possible Promotion as an everyday average grocery store employee? Conrad's recipe follows the good ol' Black and White/Jedi and Sith method, and here is how: he starts with TWO everyday average grocery store employees, both of them having the same desire of earning an important position at the new minimall which is about to open up in a district nearby. This is how conflict and comedy forms, since, as Sartre have said:

Hell Is Other People.


Let us see if he was right.



Fortunately enough, Rampeinsteinberger Strappenhergenson and Steve Conrad had a precise understanding of the basic character of this buildup, thus the director manages to tell his story without particular moments that would greet the - metaphorical - gear in the - metaphorical - middle position. Relying on trusty, solid actors Sean William Scott - see above - and John C. Reilly - see Below -, The Promotion delivers 85 risk free minutes of blatantly bad or blatantly pleasant surprises, though certain elements Conrad choose to utilize do work so well that even their ritualistic overkill becomes rather good fun to watch.

As hinted, lightweight drama which though speaks in a serious register and comedy chooses to step up against each other herein, while the resultant, symbiotic relationship fuels a final buildup that harvests and lives through keen enjoyment of the fact that it refuses to decide what direction - drama or comedy - should it primarily go for. While this particular refusal of submitting unto any of these focal genres is the primal appeal of the output, also it is the point of necessarily improbable origin that - unfortunately - keeps ("prevents?") Conrad from offering elements on the radical scale, let those be of humor, or of drama.

Now is the time to point out with the Pinny Index Finger of Ruthlessly Pointing Out that the movie has a neat little pack of totally hilarious elements, - I laughed my sitorgan off during the sack-on-the-head scene, for example - but Conrad's agenda evidently is to deliver a trusty, cleverly measured narrative of the primal genre elements, yet he balances sober comedy with sober drama. Is this a problem? Not at all. But imagine if he would have had mix radical comedy with radical drama.



- First interview?
- First TODAY.

Drama develops via the director's keen readiness to offer precise renditions about the crucial personality traits of his protagonists. Sean William Scott is the friendly, peaceful guy living next door to Alice, yet, much to the bewilderment of Scott's figure, John C. Reilly portrays an even MORE friendly, and, quite possibly: even MORE easily likable person. Or - DOES he?

Conrad made a very wise decision when he selected Reilly to render the "nemesis" character of the movie. In my opinion, there is something subtly wild and "subtly crude" in Reilly: while this actor is totally intact and credible at rendering friendly persons, whenever I see his face, I can't help but think of how masterfully he could perform as the Classic, Maniac Killer Clown Character. For a moment, I invite you to shut off the friendly Reilly, and unleash the evil one, unleash Carl Jung's Shadow concept on him, if you please. Remember how Jung put the concept of the Shadow? The Shadow is the part of your personality you would rather wish to hide than to show it or face it. Reilly's Shadow could be baaad bad news in my opinion, yet I am not aware if he has any movies yet in which he exhibits a mean/baddie character. I also would like to draw your attention to what I think is a striking similarity between Hungarian humorist giant G├ęza Hofi and John C. Reilly. Check and compare these dudettes:



Archetype, or is it just me thinking they are of the same?

Notice that even the hair pattern is the same. And now - for something completely different:



Redefine Elegance

Among The Promotion's two leading roles, it is evidently Reilly who renders the more significant performance. It is not to say that Sean William Scott would be bad - not at all, he is totally integral in the movie. Yet Reilly is the Question Mark, the Motive, the Driving Force in the buildup. The character both you and Scott must absolutely relate to. Conrad's narrative is smart enough to let you, even invite you to wonder if Reilly is indeed the superfriendly dude he is masterful-, and seemingly quite honest at giving. Your director even has the awareness to put William Scott into the very same shoes you do wear when approaching the Reilly character. Their relation is portrayed- and developed rather nicely during this 85 minutes, and don't you forget that their interpersonal connections are massively, even maaassively influenced by the fact that both of them are going for the very same goal.



Hopefully all these indications managed to give you the hint intended about the absolutely legit content The Promotion delivers as far as character drama. We also stated though that Conrad's latest work to date is one that tolerates no strict categorizations, therefore, though serious the drama may seem - a comedy element will surely wash it away before it would get way too serious, and vice versa: when comedy is about to get rampant - a drama element will reveal.

This rare, perhaps even unique quality which, no doubt, is possessed firmly by the output may very well represent the first crucial steps taken on a path that seem rather safe and promising to explore. Credit to Conrad for delivering intact, sober length characterized by entirely different genres, each coming with acceptable weight, emphasis and significance to them. While The Promotion already shows promising prospects, next time Conrad may want to unleash Efficiency - Rampant on all the genre elements he will choose to work with. A pleasant surprise, outlining a fresh direction that seems ready to evolve in spite of the feedback it gets. Don't forget: no Promotion is worth missing.



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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Firewall

Average 2.0

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Joe Forte's story Firewall does not succumb to mediocrity, chooses to redefine it instead, having quite the proper tools and appeals in its arsenal to do so. Exquisite - ceiling remained - blend of family drama and well researched - ceiling collapsed nearby - technology thrill, Firewall at least gives you solid performances to resonate rather grateful, yet necessarily stale registers of Shallowness - Rampant with. Yes, the latter disturbance was, and IS deliberate.

Harrison Ford is an integral focal figure at the bank he is working for, mainly responsible for the network's defense capabilities. A possible fusion which he is not particularly happy about is imminent, thus the movie have a chance to start off by mild, though precise suggestions of conflict between him and Gary - personified by Robert "T1000" Patrick.

Ford soon will find out that someone plays a dirty game with him, a circumstance revealed via a debt weighing 95.000 bucks. Since this is the kind of money you can arrange a semi-decent party of, there is no wonder that he protagonist suspects his wrongdoers to be highly qualified at the respective fields of quite advanced computer wizardry and massively related blackmailing. He indeed finds his family in a definite hostage situation when arriving home, while the uninvited visitors do demand strict and swift actions from the protagonist, so they could score big time via exploiting leaks and defense holes in the bank's security.

The name of the game from now on is Harrison Ford and Paul Bettany, as these solid performers certainly do manage to save something on-and of the immensely repetitive buildup to follow up. The plot, while elegant at its ultimate core, seems rather clueless about effective methods to interconnect virtually non-existent peak moments of the middle section, thus reoccurring sequences of failed escape attempts and "super-intensive" phone calls are much more integral part of the buildup than what true excitement could keenly wish for and appreciate.



- No, no, no, no, no, no, no!
- Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

While Paul Bettany has the definite Rutger Hauer going on here, a condition which is quite easy to appreciate, his partners in crime are totally transparent and irrelevant figures. Conflicts to form between the evildoers - because conflicts WILL form between the evildoers, did I spoil your enjoyment? - are not thoroughly developed, instead those remain as passive mirrors to reflect the rampancy and radical wickedness of the main baddie, Bettany. The film nevertheless sports some rather promising vibes, but the buildup fails to notice- or simply refuses to exploit those. Peanut butter scene? It is nice to see cautious signs of the Stockholm Syndrome presented in a movie, only to degrade them into yet another demonstration of how truly evil the baddestest man of the movie is.



Surely, Firewall can't help but reach the Good Ol' Consensus Point of All Things Do Unravel, by which the exact agenda of the negative figure becomes evident, yet, the moment of recognition arrives by a time that greets Ford's family in the gravest of danger! Fortunately enough, Indy delivers a rather acceptable performance in this sequence, offering thorough glimpses unto the emotional field which seems to be very close to a breakdown. Yet, the determination and need to save the Loved Ones - !SPOILER! - will give Ford enough fuel to overcome the challenge! Surprised, yeees?



This Is The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship.

By presenting a largely clueless- and overly cautious plot that repeats the same modules via a stale degree of enthusiastic servitude, Firewall correctly recognizes the need to rely on high caliber actors. As result, the output weighs in as a masterful demonstration on how to avoid falling into the B-Flick category, but, hell, seeing Han Solo in a B-Flick would have been too much of a bad thing anyway, right? This is not case, fortunately: Ford and Bettany both deliver in a solid, trusty fashion even when - sadly - there is not much thanks to greet that. Firewall remains a safe bet nevertheless, granted there is raining out there and all other movies decided to withdraw temporarily. Until then: you are kind of safe to kind of: skip this for kind of: eternity.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hellboy II - The Golden Army

Substance, Abuse


Hellboy II director Guillermo del Toro teams up with Mark Mignola, the creator of the Hellboy character and the - logically - related comics. It is near impossible to reject or feel any kind of dislike factor towards the LSD-tale vision del Toro recently sports. His trademark effort, Pan's Labyrinth from 2006 was (and still is) a masterful tale of the sinister caliber, coming to you on a surrealistic visual register that exhibits tremendous detail, usually seducing moods and tones of earthy autumns.

Del Toro and his team are evident Masters of this visual language now, thus it is a completely safe and logical agenda to showcase this cited LSD-tale vision with rampant efficiency. The main aim of this act is but to unleash fun on the viewer, as the best moments of Hellboy II are the ones in which imagination runs wild in circles: it does not want to reach anything except celebrating its very nature. Check the Troll Market in the movie, for example: a feast of ideas is presented, and but a feast of ideas is the intention to present. Star Wars Space Pub Reloaded.

The core narrative buildup by Mignola and del Toro delivers but a rather traditional and semi-scarce story module to make use of the State of the Art Dream Machine the creative team possesses, though. Is it a ride you want to take? This is a ride you absolutely want to take. Just be aware that substance will intimidate content this time around, something that I have but superminor problems with beside such a visual accomplishment - but next time I would like to see del Toro delivering memorable content that could celebrate - and necessarily would be celebrated by - the exquisite substance this director and his team are already masterful at giving.



Mignola states that the Hellboy character is based on his father. Whohow. You don't want to see Mr. Mignola's stalky-ass Uncle with the Syringe of Sleepytime in his hand.

Hellboy II - The Golden Army establishes tale mechanics with hasty, yet efficient elegance: little time is about to flow down on surrounding rivers and you will see the individual sides of the buildup. Hellboy and Co. are still part of a secret organization, dedicated to defend Earthlings from mythic, yet, sometimes very real dangers and threats. Like the Baddest Man of the Hellboy II movie, Nekron. Uh.. oh, no. Nekron is the Baddest Man of the superb animation film Fire and Ice by Ralph Bakshi, from 1983. Prince Nuada, the Boss Monster of Hellboy II is a greatly reminiscent figure nevertheless, masterfully personified by Luke Goss. Do you remember the pop duo called Bros from the '80s? Haha, THIS dudette is THAT dudette - meaning: THIS Luke is THAT Luke.

The story itself is simple, efficient, and will pose about zero chance to catch you surprised: there was a Crown, now it is in three different places via three different pieces to prevent the use of its considerable power. AS: whoever wears the Whole Crown, gets command of the Golden Army. And the Golden Army Punishes Mortal Butt And Beyond, Believe You Me. We join in by the time and era that the rightful hereditary of the Crown shows up, an occurrence to gain the interest of the organization Hellboy is working for. The narrative buildup brings a traditional tale-ratrace to the table, in which some do want to possess the whole Crown, while some other will do pretty much anything it takes to prevent it.



Hellboy II is a well balanced blend of extralight, most of the time properly humorous character leading and integral action, though the moments by which Hellboy has to deal with his budget-saver emotional issues - people don't like me bla - are not as efficient, in my opinion, as dialogs and vibes taking place between characters during other situations are. Hellboy's girlfriend especially seems to be semi-redundant to me, but please never tell this to Hellboy himself.

The movie is a feast for the eyes and a totally risk free run for a mind starving for- and admiring fiction excellence, as Hellboy II is everything but that. Though Mignola and del Toro probably wrote this buildup with a Random Story Generator's Trial version, the mere way this effort comes to you by still makes up for one very nice experience for the cognitive senses. Sequences of narrative redundancy are scarcely delivered, though the whole affair with the Can't Smile Without You song and chanting supercharacters probably will make the average Hellboy geek: a furious man. I don't care to be honest, and I think, neither does del Toro, and, most importantly, neither does Hellboy. I would choose to smile instead, but can not. You know why? Because I can't smile without you.



I guess this will be The Consensus Hellboy II Screenshot.

This output marks a significant milestone on its own merits, as Hellboy II is evidently a movie made for pure fun. Del Toro wanted to show you creatures born to a running imagination, while the story is only but a supportive element to account the nature in which del Toro's team makes dreams and visions a reality. It is worth mentioning though that Hellboy II has a couple of brilliant ideas, like the gas-form of one Special Agent, something which will be thoroughly, and creatively used up on multiple occasions. On the other hand, the overall scale/pacing of the story weights in as flat at the end of the day, yet this won't likely trouble you that much, given the stimulating language the movie fluently speaks in. As hinted, now is the time to let us hope that del Toro will deliver well developed fiction in his next effort to support his detailed imagination work. Well, what would be even better: you want your detailed fiction to be supported by detailed visuals. Del Toro's next movie will be The Hobbit from J. R. R. Tolkien. Wow. I guess Gandalf babe got excited. And the little dudette playing Frodo, too.

Hellboy II is a foam of exquisite, risk free visual stimuli maintained for a well chosen length, thus weighs in as a much more enjoyable and flamboyant effort than the amazingly hideous Wanted movie, coming to you roughly by the same time. Once it comes to stunningly detailed visuals and related presentational values, del Toro is not just a director you must count with - as of today, he IS the one you must count with.



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Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Dark Knight

Why So Tedious?


A Batman movie, let alone a new Batman movie: always had and always will have a whole lot, even a whullut to live up to. Things are strangely diverse and constrained at the same time when you are about to witness a fresh motion picture output with The Dark Knight, and here is why: one should anticipate but mild surprises as the core elements the mixture will likely be built around. After all, would you dare to put your purse on that you will see The Dark Knight punishing vigilante butt for 90 or so - hick! - minutes? Your BAT is safe this time, and you even hit the JOKER numbers correctly. I realize I may sound like - or, granted, even be - an accomplished idiot, seemingly blaming an integral Batman movie for delivering the most aggressive black rubber suit of popular fiction. This is not the case, I swear. I have some other kind of problem with the contemporary Batman direction, and, of that, I will inform you later on.
To wrap this introduction up, let us cheerfully state that the new appearance of Batman gives us a pretty solid, well developed crime story, one though which runs way way, even waaahay too longer than I personally think it should have had. But, above most of all: Why?? So?? Serious??

The city of Gotham hardly tolerated any tints of colors beside the shades of gray and good old utter blackness. White revealed only briefly, and only in case you are a criminal and Batman connects your chin with his masterful jab of irony impact. Christopher Nolan's movie shows evident, rigorous dedication, devotion and a tremendous respect for this unique quasi-goth mood, one which is much more different and weighty than the masturbative, but at least deliberate- and somewhat hilarious cartoonpaint overkill of some previous Batman efforts.

The steep dedication towards the Batman which resonates in the darker mood, which, many claim, is the original language of the Batman myth: serves The Dark Knight well. And, ironically, it damages it pretty efficiently, too. The name of the game here is the mere length of the movie, which runs for a staggering 143, let us repeat with horrified faces: 143 minutes, never failing, not for one second of delivering integral Batman experience on the particular darker mood we already touched upon before. Let me tell you something though that I hardly do, because I generally dislike the impression "too much of a good thing", as there is NO such thing. Not in case you reject to be a pessimist. Being a pessimist is so pessimistic, after all.



- I WON'T ever wear you AGAIN!
And this is NOT the man, but the SUIT who is speaking.

The Dark Knight begs to differ nevertheless, and claims legitimacy for the expression we just accounted on. 143 minutes of nothing else but a darker tone of Batman is too much of a good thing this time around, mainly because the movie reveals all its subtle mechanics and ways of storytelling by the middle point. There is not much else to show around by THAT particular point, that is. I would have been totally satisfied with an integral 20 minutes final showdown after the 90th minute, thank you very much, my Batman craving is thoroughly administered, can't ponder but offer the Five Onions with tremendous grace and honest appreciation.

Not with The Dark Knight though, no way neither in Hell, neither in Gotham. This output exhibits considerable ambition to deliver more than it already had, more precisely: it chooses to deliver MORE of what it already had. Though the movie has tremendous charm and solid style, it still failing crucially to recognize its appeals and statements as being thoroughly stated and thoroughly revealed already. Like it could have been never sure: it constantly repeats itself to the point where you - or at least I - are not just ashamed to admit that you just hid a yawn in the 136th minute, it even has niiiiice, steeeeady, coooozy time to reveal scenes of utter redundancy and inherent anti-relevancy. Cute scene with Gordon and his child while Batman and Joker have their showdown? WHAT?? Who exactly cares about what Gordon has to say to his little child, since every soul on this Earth - including the little boy - knows that. Yeah, you guessed it. "Everything's gonna be all right, son!" OK dad, please ST** and inform me when they WON'T, and now let me check back on the Batman VS Joker showdown, okeydoo?



Hmmm. Brunette. Hmmm. 19. Hmmm. Male.

The Dark Knight never gives you a moment of relief that would fall out of place compared to the general, superstrict, nevertheless muscular and cunning direction it aims for and ruthlessly maintains. The Dark Knight is a movie of clever, solid dialogs with absolutely intact performances from almost each and every actor, though I wasn't blown away by the female sidekick, - she is transparent when compared to Kim Basinger, and why not compare them when they are present in a Batman movie? - and, to be perfectly honest, I found the Batman-voice acting rendered by solid Batman personifier Christian Bale to be totally, utterly shallow. Bale pretends to sport excessively damaged vocal cords, thus, the register THIS Batman speaks in reminds you more of a WW2 Allied Veteran bidding farewell with 27 shrapnels in his sitorgan, but it definitely comes short of the badass charm you absolutely should, even MUST exhibit when Batman opens his mythic mouth to state a Verdict of Justice - Well Served.

Bale definitely seems to lack some stuff in this regard, anyway: while he has intact canvas presence and solid charisma, you will often hear him speaking in other register than his very own, trying to sell the badass register to you - which he does not possess by God Given Ability. Check the voice of Michale Kaine as Albert or Heath Ledger as the Joker: those are some cinematic voices, I am telling you that. Bale's voice is a man's voice. Bale's Batman voice: is a joke, and a bad one at that it is.



Speaking of Heath Ledger, this actor of tragic Earthy existence delivers a solid rendition of the trademark Batman villain, I particularly appreciate the dangerously instable mental features he coats his personification in. Thanks for a descent crime story presented throughout well developed characters, sharp dialog work and acceptable, though not particularly memorable brawls and action sequences, The Dark Knight reaches and represent popular fiction elegance via subtle narrative mechanics and style. The only aspect one could blame this robust effort by is its mere robustness, indeed: sporting its considerable, yet cornered charms and well placed, though similarly cornered appeals for a marathon length, The Dark Knight remains an absolutely integral output in case you are free to appreciate it in two sittings.



Live In Peace At That Other Place, Heath

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

UFC 87 Seek and Destroy review


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Introduction

Mixed martial arts clearly became a significant form of both mass entertainment and - as Bruce Lee put it - an expression of the human body, the latter being, no doubt, the original field of operation of these ancient traditions, now living and breathing through competitive events around the world. Though many may consider men who enter the proving grounds little more than hired human pitbulls to rip each other apart for hard cash and radical amusement, I tend to utterly reject this rudimentary view, concluding that professional level mma is the combat of highly disciplined human spirits, opposing each other for the duration of the bout, probably ending up as unified in the process as we could conceive, simply through their magnificent shared experience of being in a cage where the damage one suffers is the wit one failed to exhibit. That is how, in my opinion, the mma fighter fights against herself/himself.

Japanese people compete to gain an insight of their own current abilities through the collision process of their skills with that of other's. To me, the ultimately glorious moments of mixed martial arts are not of those of KOs and submissions. They are of those of hugging the formal rival at the end of the bout, circulating the most honest, uncompromised, pure respect each fighter deserves simply by stating themselves on the proving grounds, regardless of the results. The ensuing peace between fighters after a good collision is such a palpable, legit sensation that it never got old so far - and won't ever will.


This here is a review of the UFC event UFC 87 Seek and Destroy, time to punch that Read more button, baby!

Introductory thoughts about the more significant lineups

UFC Welterweight Champion George "Rush" St. Pierre is yet to render a successful title defense by the night, as - according to reliable sources like himself - the most fruity thing ever happened to him as a fighter was the tremendous upset he was subjected to by Matt "The Terror" Serra at UFC 69 Shootout. Though Serra caught and relentlessly destroyed the reigning title holder indeed, there was no one along the climb-back lane that could pose a robust threat to your former Champion. St. Pierre defeated Josh Koscheck, outclassed Matt Hughes's Hall of Famer sitorgan for a second time, then, having no one left to prove his readiness against, the organization gave him the opportunity to reclaim the belt at UFC 83 Serra vs St. Pierre 2.

And, OH!, that he did. Matt Serra, a fighter I truly like, looked absolutely transparent - therefore hardly looked at all - with GSP in the Octagon, this tremendous athlete - GSP - clearly proved why he is considered as the most complete fighter by former UFC Referee, now totally integral Affliction Commentator Big John McCarthy. After reclaiming the belt, St. Pierre necessarily started to reign in a position very similar to UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson "The Spider" Silva's. Here comes the question, yet, hopefully not in pair with your 19th nervous breakdown: who the hell you want to put THEM against? Or, more precisely: who the hell you want to put against THEM?

The UFC has very hard of a time to find integral answers for these questions, trust me. Take Anderson Silva, for example. By the night Affliction Banned aired, Dana White decided to counter program the debut event with an instant UFC Thrill, in which Silva could demonstrate his skills against formidable opponent James Irvin. Regardless how Silva had to prove himself in a higher weight class - that was the focal trait of the event - he destroyed Irvin in a blink of an eye. Well, long enough of a blink, but one that hardly surpassed the first minute of the bout, anyway.

What I find somewhat hilarious though, are the upcoming UFC lineups, as results of the immense potential of the organization's uppermost elite fighters. To tell you the truth, I considered GSP vs Fitch as an excuse match, - absolutely no offense here for Fitch: I hardly knew the guy, that was the main reason, I confess in a stale and loathsome manner - yet, whether my assertion is a defendable- or a false one - we will see shortly.

"You don't know him 'cause his butt is not marketed, so he can't be good, huh???"

Maybe, sometimes marketing makes all the difference between Known and the Unknown, indeed. After all, the match you will get a short video on with fighters informing you how they will kick the other's kidney off via their increased versatility and superior stamina - is likely to build anticipation factor in you. And here is the main idea: it doesn't matter if the fighter gets knocked the hell out, if he looked in an OK way and even delivered OK lines in the prefight interview, you will remember him. Just joking, of course. Mind tends to remember the winner, a conceptual pair of habits worth perfecting by remembering the loser, as well.

Well, I was pretty convinced that no matter how persistent and impressive of a winning streak Fitch is riding on to face GSP, his butt will be handed to him by the now-very mature and disciplined Champion. But we should never forget that giving opportunities for talented up-and-comers like Fitch is a very cool method to provoke upsets. In fact, this is pretty much the only one for that.

As of today, the UFC seems to be forced to rely on this method though. Check what UFC 90 will have in store for us: Patrick Cote VS Anderson Silva. Hmmmm, you think that lineup will deliver one pretty short main event? You can have my agreement, please keep it nice and clean. And how about the upcoming Liddell vs Evans match? The organization's agenda is totally evident: Liddell will destroy the "Younger"" the "Swifter!" the "More Agile!" "Contender!", because Liddell easily has ten times the octagon presence and the Heroic Ability Rashad Evans sports and could rely on, thus neither the UFC, neither a sober fan, neither I can see Liddell losing this match. Then we can have Forrest vs Chuck, which is, finally, a match we can look forward to indeed. All in all, the UFC seems to struggle coming up with matches you can't miss out on, while Affliction already conducts negotiations to deliver Fedor vs Couture. My point is: competition between organizations supposed to be a good thing, but, so far I can't see what exactly the UFC delivers to counter the tremendous attraction Fedor vs Couture will bring, just to name the one lineup that seems unavoidable to deal with.

Oh, a little side note here of the whining character yet: don't know if you noticed, but now there are Olympic days in this here world, and, tell you what: I could bet my purse on it that UFC Commentator Joe Rogan will NOT miss the opportunity to offer his personal views and corresponding comments on how inferior he thinks the Olympic games are compared to the UFC. Surely, he did not cause disappointment. Nice job, Joe! You showed them all right! You told them all right! You forced me to account your comment! And maybe, JUST maybe there is one more person out there who made the same mistake of wasting effort, accounting it.

Hey, sorry for this BONUS series of ranting which though felt kinna' OK for me. To cut a long story shorter: it seems to me that the UFC has difficulties delivering anticipation, a circumstance that I hope will be but temporary. Except for Joe Rogan of course, steadily, eternally, peacefully telling Mike Goldberg that:

"I'll tell you what, Mike! X and Y maybe the PERFECT match for GSP's tremendous submission defense!"

but, let's face it, Joe, the world is yet to deliver something against GSP's truly tremendous submission defense, please, try and do come to terms with it at once.

Hey, let's get down to the more significant lineups! The night delivers a Championship collision, as GSP emerges to render a title defense against John Fitch who has never been defeated in the Octagon, even better: his guard never been passed before. Talented elbow utilizer Kenny Florian steps up against handsome devil Roger Huerta, a warrior with not too integral late childhood, giving him a tremendous emotional source to invoke anger from when competing in the Octagon.

The third attraction of the night is the one I am truly interested in, having decided that GSP will destroy Fitch, Kenny and Roger do whatever they please to each other, I truly couldn't care less as my personal basic stance - can be altered by quality Octagon action - but hell, Brock Lesnar is back! Za! Beast! Iz! Back!, taking on one of my personal favorites, the Texas Crazy Horse Heath Herring. I truly like both of these fighters. How could you dislike these charismatic, intelligent warriors? Herring, a super-hardened veteran of the sport despite his young age, comes off a tremendous victory over robust musclemonster Cheick Kongo, that took place and - logically - unfolded in UFC 82 Pride of a Champion. Brock Lesnar, former WWE Superstar faced off against Frank Mir in UFC 81 Breaking Point, offering a foot though for Frank which he - Frank Mir - indeed bent for the non-guaranteed direction with ruthless efficiency, claiming the tapout of Lesnar. As I noted in that particular review, Lesnar looked quite The Bad Man by the night nevertheless, the aggression and corresponding willingness to engage seemed to pair with tremendous power that could catch Frank off-balance in the early segment of the bout. Hah, as the match would have had anything else to it than an early segment.

Cheick Kongo vs Dan Evensen

Rhetorics are focal attractions and tools of staggering subtlety here. Kongo states that he is the Wolf in the Jungle, and it is very difficult to stay alive in the Jungle, where the Wolf is king. Hm. The Lion is on vacation. Hmmm. Or something like this. Dan "The Viking" Evensen states that he has little concern: he is a mean, big, ugly Viking after all, and he eats Wolf for breakfast. The acceptable verbal exchange unfolds as a rather sober collision in the Octagon: Kongo has little if any problem to keep Evensen's opposition at supermild efficiency, connecting with a strict right of evident convince power to put an end to this contest. Kongo acts quite funny in the postfight interview with Joe "ALL RIGHT I'M HERE WITH" Rogan. The huge dude does not have many intention to talk or to offer comments about the action: he states that it does not matter to him, not THIS, and not THAT: give someone to him he can rip apart, and that's about it. Kongo emerges victorious in a superbly convincing manner, though you must wonder how come The Viking ended up in the Octagon today?

Demian Maia vs Jason MacDonald

Jason "The Athlete" MacDonald is the dude who will always inform you and his consecutive opponent that he is nobody's stepping stone - especially not X and Y's stepping stone, for that matter - substitute X and Y with the name of the warrior Jason is next to step up against. MacDonald is a fighter of rock solid composure and an impressive willingness to engage, also he is a warrior who seems to lack Lady Luck's support when facing elite opposition. Take the Rich Franklin fight as an example: he was supposed to stop The Ace after Franklin had to climb back the rankings, having lost his belt to Anderson "The Spider" Silva. Though Jason informed us and Rich Franklin that he won't be anyone's stepping stone - especially not Rich Franklin's stepping stone, for that matter - he went home with the quite decently battered face AND the experience foam to think stuff over nevertheless, being Rich Franklin's stepping stone along the way, too.

Yet, there is a fruity end to this story, as well: all this caused a rather beneficiary inner transformation in MacDonald, now telling you and Demian Maia that: no matter what and how, he will not be anybody's stepping stone - especially not Demian Maia's stepping stone, for that matter. Maia, an accomplished Jiu-Jitsu practitioner puts up one decent of a fight with The Athlete whose submission resistance proves to be absolutely exceptional. Demian gets quite tight holds over MacDonald, yet the Athlete manages to escape, even proves to be able to counter these maneuvers with submission attempts on his own - though Maia is aware and dexterous enough to escape. A match characterized by brief and not too integral periods of standup, the bout comes to its conclusion via the persistent warfare taking place on the ground: one particular choke gets deep enough to claim a tapout of MacDonald, who now goes home as Demian's stepping stone. Maybe Jason should start concentrating on making HIS opponent a stepping stone, as opposed avoiding being one himself.

Kenny Florian vs Roger Huerta

Huerta is known for being an emotional fighter, meaning the more hits he eats in, the more passionate he grows. Some claim Huerta has a bigger reputation/notoriety built up around him artificially than he would soberly deserve - a statement that seems to have merits to it, considering Huerta's performance against Clay Guida: Huerta was getting steadily owned by the long haired competitor, though eventually he found, exploited and capitalized on an opening Guida offered via unleashing aggression - rampant.

Though Huerta thinks that the same kind of warfare might earn him both the victory and an almost-immaculate record from now on, Kenny Florian proves to be quite capable to cause some unpleasant surprises for El Matador: maintaining persistent initiative and the role of sober aggressor, Florian essentially grinds Huerta down without making any of them looking particularly good or bad, though Kenny delivers some rather effective shots during the late portions of the collision, even causing Huerta to get "offended" and to spit on the ground. What a laugh! The spit did not cause a knockout, either. Unanimous decision goes for Kenny, there could be absolutely no doubt about that one, once the match reached the time limit. In my opinion, Kenny Florian looked the more serious and more dedicated fighter herein - on the other hand, I think Huerta needs to get his BEEP! together, as the inputs he offered in the prefight interview are definitely not of THIS Earth. He stated that: "No offense Kenny - but this is a cakewalk." Oh my God, calling Florian a cakewalk is an evident mis-conceptualization regarding basic proportions. Let us hope that Roger Huerta realizes this now.

Brock Lesnar vs Heath Herring

The story of this particular match is a Beast made of Granite: remaining faithful to the nice traditions he introduced to the Octagon so far, Lesnar comes forward relentlessly, and The Texas Crazy Horse has a similarly hard time stopping him as Frank Mir had: Brock connects with a huge right hand, sending Herring to the ground - the territory on which The Beast looks utterly dominant and pretty much - unstoppable. As much as I like Heath Herring - which I surely do, believe you me - we must admit that he could not demonstrate the tools to put against Lesnar - not this time. Dana White stated that Brock Lesnar is a psychotic competitor, and, no matter how he advised Brock to go and learn to fight first, he rejected the proposal and wanted the deep waters immediately. Never forget that he was a National Wrestling Champion, and now it seems safe to say that he had a superfluent transition to mma. What it's ultimately boiling down to is Lesnar's body buildup of "Hulkian" proportions, which he handles with surprising speed, dexterity and a staggering degree of confidence in his abilities. This dudette comes to play a game of testing his- and his opponent's abilities, and, let us notice that his physical and mental aptitudes are of exceptional qualities: if Lesnar continues along this path, then it is safe to say that Lesnar is The Heavyweight Thing. Some still say that he would have no chance against Minotauro Nogueira. I totally and completely disagree. Remember that Heath Herring sent Minotauro to the ground with a kick - putting up a decent fight against him all night long. He looked way more convincing against Minotauro than against Lesnar - and no, I don't think Heath would have ended up a worse fighter with time. In fact, quite the contrary: I have the impressions that Herring will be a better fighter even with this here loss handed to him by Brock. Absolutely superb, rigorous performance by Lesnar, I particularly liked the postfight interview, The Beast takes the mic away from Joe, asking:

"DO! YOU! SEE! ME! NOW!?"

Hell yeah, me see you , Brock!

George St. Pierre vs John Fitch

GSP's marketing line for this particular match goes like this: "Yes, John Fitch is a definite problem, but I am the solution for this problem." What you got to admire in St. Pierre is his ability to solidify his out-of-octagon statements on the proving grounds: what you got to admire in Fitch though, is his ability to stand against GSP for the entire length of the match, regardless the steady, decent beating he gets administered by the reigning Welterweight Champion. Truly not much else to add to this: credit goes for Fitch for remaining integral as a fighter during the bout, yet he would be the first to admit that, as of today, GSP plays the mma game on a totally higher frequency than he does. By the night of UFC 87, GSP's skill set is likely matched only by elites like BJ Penn or Anderson Silva - the dudes you want to see colliding against Georges St. Pierre. Chances are integral that we will see these events indeed, especially as far as the BJ Penn vs GSP match goes: none other than the Little Buddha approaches the Octagon after the bout, insisting to pretty much everyone he finds to let's do the match. GSP vs BJ Penn: YES! That is what you want to see. Then let The Spider have anyone who either emerges victorious or walks away as defeated. Truly, I can not decide which one I would prefer: GSP vs Silva, or BJ vs Silva. I prefer ALL. And the UFC will find ways to deliver, I think.

Of the remaining bouts I had not bear much interest, therefore I wrap this up, having the definite focal points of the night accounted on. Hope you had a fine evening and found the review useful - thank you for reading it, and see you next time.

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hatchet

No New Kind of Pain

Order a Rubber Mask! from Amazon

When it comes to bad, or even: baaaad horror movies, I do not tolerate yest and laughter, as I fell in love with them a couple of years ago instead. As an effort miraculously weighing in without any weight whatsoever, Hatchet manages to deliver solid anti-content on a superconstant register, steadily revealing True Horror via the unspeakable length of 75 minutes this here swampterror does run for.

Surely, 75 minutes can be quite helluva' time if to spend it rigorously at the dentist's waiting room, yet you would be a whole lot safer there compared to the vicinity of a canvas/screen that happens to harass unsuspecting consensus with this puzzling delivery of robust shallowness. HAH!, nice disturbance there, yeees? Yeah, this here disturbance was, and, in fact, still is more effective than the whole of what this movie will deliver. It's not to say though that this flick is not worth checking out. You need a little trick, that is all. And, of this particular trick: I will tell you all - let someone else bear this magnificent weight, too.

Hatchet is a wonderful piece of mass entertainment at its own right, and here is why: It. Does. Not. Get. Deeper. Than. This. Because, if it does: then THAT particular project will be canceled, trust me. Surely, Hatchet would have been better as such, as well: yet its mere and factual existence goes for the first Onion with ruthless efficiency. Oh, and I have no plans of making a "Siro Onion" rating for a movie THIS banal and stale, either. Come with me into the Swamps, OH!, Dearest Visitor, as I will show you something there that I am sure we all have seen a million times before.

Take heed and bear witness to the actors you see in this flick, as you can not be exactly sure if you'll ever have the pleasantry of watching them delivering talent in a future project. Hatchet starts off decently, nevertheless: some semi-OK gore scene you'll be soaked into, characterized by the presence and imminent death of a homophobic redneck dudette and his son. Their balls will abruptly be consumed by some highly illegal swamp whatnot, and, all of a sudden: The Camera Changes To Another Environment, Leaving You To Wonder If It Was Just Your Mind Playing Tricks On You!!

But, no, each time I watched it, the homophobic redneck dudette and his idiotic son always got consumed by the highly illegal swamp whatnot. Justification of "idiot": sorry, Ladies, please put some hands on your ears momentarily. So, if you are on a fishing trip, I surely aware that pissing into the water is not among the Top 5 Most Glorious Things you can commit, but I am pretty sure that it is not among the Top 5 Things nature isn't prepared to deal with, either. Especially not since nature seems prepared enough to deal with most anything: for convince power, check the opening sequence of Hatchet, an amazing period of revelation that fortunately chose to approach the hinted dilemma on the exquisitely delicate horror register. You sense irony here? Me hopes ye do.



A long stor- pardon me, excuse cut short: Hatchet will give you a mysterious swamp trip on a boat with the casual B-flick idiots on board. Two stock-idiots of early 30s pretending to be 20s: granted - offered. Two chicks with acceptable boobs whom are not afraid to show them off: granted - offered. An old couple with grouch Lady and her husband who is constantly interested in the boobs the gals do sport: granted - offered. Mysterious beauty in Columbo Balloon to conceal her Gun: granted - offered. Notice how everything is arranged for a horrendous swamp trip!

My focal problem with Hatchet and similar movies is the fact and an inherent anti-appeal of miming well researched production values as an effort to draw your attention away from evident budget difficulties. The entire goddamn movie is DARK, dark, daaaaaaaark. It is not like it's: dark. It is like the consciousness of Darth Vader when put into immense sedation and left for thinking for five eternities. So: it is dark, believe you me. It is important if you have "something" in the dark, surely. But when you have - well thought word of the BEEP! character here - in the dark, your audience will catch either the stench or the utter presence of it. As I notice, this period regularly comes by the 10th minute, this is the threshold by which immensely redundant dialog work might secretly suggest you that the director might not have anything much to say, after all. So, by the moments Hatchet will emerge to punish ignorant asses: you will be DAMN grateful for him, trust me.

I assume it will come to you as a development of zero surprise power that the participants of the trip will be forced to leave the boat, AND to figure out a way of escape on relative solid ground. These are the proper times, no doubt, to entertain your fresh acquaintances with casual horror stories of suggested reality factor to them, and, as spoken by the mysterious girl in Columbo Ballon, such is the tale of Hatchet, indeed.

Ooooonce upon a tiiiiiime, there was this poor, disfigured little child, so horrific that his father decided to nurture him from safe distance using slings. To top all of that: he hid the child, locked him up and refused to show him to anybody. Later, some children came to the locked house, wanting to see Hatchet to make fun of him. They accidentally set the house on fire, and the father, who happened to arrive home at the period, wanted to set his son free. The door was stuck though, so the father had to rely on a hatchet to make his way in: his son, standing on the other side, tragically got into the way of the tool, and, as such: got knocked out shortly and rather thoroughly. Locals tell that if you are close to the house, you can still hear Hatchet crying for his father.



The "Welcome to B-Flick Eternal, No Return!" look.

This is a legit background story, no doubt, yet the movie makes but scarce use of it: to be specific, makes only much use of it that the buildup may freely deliver the everyday average Friday the 13th Jason-clone to you. Hatchet is quite hilarious at that: a rubber outfit to suggest muscular proportions, a rather intense temper, and, can't help but assume that bad breath are all parts of the focal traits of this particular baddie, the mere protagonist you will see performing body modifications on the unfortunate swamp invaders. Here is a photo I made, check him out, girls and boys:



- WHUT??
- Nothing, just drifted away for a while.

Hatchet is a blatantly long movie when considered in the projection of focal attractions it brings to the table. Totally flat jokes of the lower body part-character are thoroughly offered and spammed in your face, chicks are included only so they can whine and whiiiine and whhh-whi-whiiine all over the place, which is surely expected and even accepted for the first time, but once you expect the average B-flick chick to get her 222th nervous breakdown

AND SHE DOES GET IT INDEED -

then you will feel the definite urge to rely on your player's fast forward capabilities. I confess I did the exact same thing, as Hatchet speaks such a limited "horror language" that I could be absolutely sure that I can not miss out on anything. Yet, funnily enough, this method emphasized a very precious peak moment, nevertheless. I am going to share this with you.

Picture that the trip participants finally decide to wage a war against Hatchet. The camera shows two of them, a chick and one of the dudes. Listen to this cited dialog, which is not even the bestest of the whole thing.

"- You see anything??"
"- No!"

Okay, this is normal so far, right? Now comes the superb moment: the director decides to show secretive black tones of the swamp for half a minute or so. Then you are taken back to the girl and boy. And Hatchet, all of a sudden, delivers dialog par excellence once again, giving you this:

"-You see anything??"
"- No!"

Surely, in an ideal world, no film could have been released with such evident indications of total lack of narrative readiness, but, hey, that's why we love and keenly greet these celluloid atrocities, timeless containers of vibes that should not be parts of any approachable existence, OR of an existence worth reaching for. Even gore isn't particular in the movie: tone is OK, but there is little of it, yet what IS of it is often haunted by unacceptable sloppiness and/or an overwhelming degree of anatomical misconception. Check the sketch in which Hatchet rips the grouchy Lady's mouth towards the opposite directions. Surely, the attraction itself is rather OK, yet results and what is revealed is but a total killing of the illusion: no bones or teeth are revealed, just a destructed rubber mask. Bah, bah and a triple bah! Bah, bah, bah! All in all, Hatchet is easily the worst, I even dare say: worstest horror I SAW saw far, - phun totally intended - nevertheless I would urge you to watch it - just make sure to skip the first 45 minutes of it OR watch the trailer instead. That would be the most effective solution, unfortunately.



- I Will Punish You For This Review Yet, Worthless Critic!!
- You already did that, Hatchet, me pal.

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Hancock

HIM?? MORTAL??


Director Peter Berg delivers a superintact summertime popcornmolester that even has considerable invention factor when it comes to the selected and - logically - presented scheme of the Superhero genre. Will Smith portrays an Immortal being with not much recollection about his origins, so you do see and greet him in an existential crisis. This is a quite deep one at that as well, since this particular issue is immense enough to find and imprison a Superhero, forcing him to helplessly resonate with the unfriendly mood this stale kind of existence keeps him in.

Smith is a pretty solid Immortal, nevertheless: there are not many you see looking this, even ZIS relaxed and intact in his very late 30s/early 40s, compare him to decent supportive actor James Bateman in this movie, for example. Smith is one year older, and MAN, he looks ten years younger. I do not think he had any redundancies like a face lift, or two- or three, either. The dude simply is in proper peace with himself, something that serves soul and body well. Does it serve Hancock well, too? You BET it does!



Wisely enough, Berg utilizes top notch, weighty, stinky Blues tunes to offer thorough glimpses of the consistent emotional desperation Hancock is in: luckily though, the protagonist has a Saviour by the name of Jim Beam, and, as far as my experiences do go, Mr.Beam can be a reliable substitute for proper peace as long as your next wake up period, indeed - you see the Immortal Hancock in the Trade Mark state that evidently has a firm understanding of the latter notion, too. But I guess it's easier to come over a hangover - HAH! - when YOUR ass is Immortal.

The movie is so easily approachable and risk free to digest that it is safe to outline the synopsis while accounting the character of the peak moments. Credit goes for Hancock writers, Vincent Ngo - no typo here - and Vince Gilligan: first and foremost, they selected very wise, playful pace and rhythmization for the output, in turn all this means that Hancock won't molest your attention span with the robust over-two-hours length senselessly ambitious and mis-directed titles like the hideous Iron Man movie sports. Hey, got nothing against Iron Man - got more against Robert Downey Affector, though I will NEVER review THAT movie. I imagine Junior is devastated now. Even: ...



Following the written original, Berg' buildup delivers three major portions: as stated, Hancock is in crisis, the people of Los Angeles are not exactly sure if they need him at all, considering the damage this Superhero tends to cause every time he emerges to punish criminal butts. Little time is about to flow down on- or with the river prior Hancock's encounter with a PR professional - oxymoron?? - whom the protagonist saves from the very throat of a very effective death. The PR professional decides to build Hancock's heavily corrupted image up from scratch in order to make his - Hancock's - Immortality a relative (?) joy to take part in, doing all this as an act of gratitude for saving his - the PR professional's - life. You feel me?



- You FEEL me?
- Yeah, ME feels you!

Giving away consecutive elements of the story would spoil your enjoyment, and here is why: pretty much all of those do contain very nice, intact surprises presented with healthy, fresh pace
and, first and foremost: originality. I tend to think that this particular aspect of Hancock is greatly overlooked, I do refer to the unfolding connection between Will Smith and Charlize Theron, firm sidekick actress of the output. Suffice it to say that you will witness a story of Epic proportions, yet, interestingly enough: a major chunk of the Epic is "but" remembered, though I find this as a beneficial decision, and have zero unsatisfaction about not being able to see the tale, as, since I hear it, nevertheless - I do SEE that, as well.

Yet I tend to think that not everyone will approach the movie in this dimension, and will dismiss essential elements of the output as sentimental time-fillers of the budget saving character. I would urge you though to devote steep attention to the elegant story module the creators invented, as the narrative buildup is truly one of most pleasant lightweight surprises 2008 have delivered. I also do admire the implemented emotion, which is offered very properly and sanely in Hancock: Dinosaur figure? That scene is simply: proper. And it is even more proper than proper, because it recognizes its properness and wisely chooses NOT to overkill it. You see Will Smith reaching out for the figure, but Berg does not show him, holding the Dinosaur with some salivated orchestra in the background. Sometimes fewer is so much more, indeed.



Seems to me that time is on Will Smith's side: now that he is out of the teen pop-idol character, he fortunately choose to rely on the firm skillset he picked up along the way as opposed to commit multiple suicide attempts of the attention seeking character, notifying casual consensus that the World Performed an Illegal Operation and Needs to be Shut Down, or at least Restarted, because - because, it's not like he is 30 now, he turns God Damn 40 soon!

In my opinion, this is how an actress/actor necessarily accounts those very inner and quite important humane qualities, as there are but few things atop the face of this Earth which I find more hilarious than an actress/actor being - uhm - publicly, "spiritually" consumed by age. You see: it's OK to being consumed by time. It's normal, because it's very abnormal. Let me tell you a secret though- everyone does that. But do the audience a favor, and, in case you feel the irresistible urge to get your astral butt consumed, then let it be consumed in silent, calm privacy OR with a psychiatrist, yes? Or BY the psychiatrist, you see how options are always available?

As for the peak moments to attack senses on physically intensive registers: Hancock is an action packed city-rant with crazy-ass fly-arounds and quite thoughtful demonstrations of inconceivable power, even better: the majority of these stunts will resonate within a quite proper humor register, offering you an evident emotional level to approach these amazing accomplishments on. The Whale scene? The Truck scene? Let's face it here, hastily: those are waaaay better on their own as the complete Iron Man or The Incredible Hulk 2008 stunts were, as those absolutely lack any charm beyond Good Old Destruction. Hell, Good Old Destruction is great fun for the whole family, no doubt: but once you can smuggle humor into the mix, it becomes ART, all of a sudden, and THAT, I do believe. Hancock succeeds in this regard masterfully on a zillion occasions, a circumstance we must offer the Fifth Onion for. A very relaxed, fresh, and thoughtful delivery, you and the bucket with the senseless amount of popcorn in it can't possibly go wrong with this here integral, muscular summer effort.



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