Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Importance of Plot

The human race have been passing stories down orally from the being of time. We see the survival of these stories in all the classic mythologies: Biblical, Celtic, Egyptian, Greco-Roman, or Nores. Storytelling is apart of who we are as a people. If you travel back to grade school or even high school you may remember filling out those stupid plot charts: Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. We all know from this model that every story follows a pattern. The key is to find that pattern. Those pattern can be broken down into even more categories. It's hard to determining how may basic plots lines there are. They ranging from 1 to 36. I will be using many different source to back up my points. I want to share these with you so the next time you watch a movie and says it has no plot well it fits one of these:


1 Plot:

Attempts to find the number of basic plots in literature cannot be resolved any more tightly than to describe a single basic plot. Foster-Harris claims that all plots stem from conflict. He describes this in terms of what the main character feels: "I have an inner conflict of emotions, feelings.... What, in any case, can I do to resolve the inner problems?" (p. 30-31) This is in accord with the canonical view that the basic elements of plot revolve around a problem dealt with in sequence: "Exposition - Rising Action - Climax - Falling Action - Denouement". (Such description of plot can be found in many places, including: Holman, C. Hugh and William Harmon. A Handbook to Literature. 6th ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co, 1992.) Foster-Harris’ main argument is for 3 Plots (which are contained within this one), described below.

3 Plots:

Foster-Harris. The Basic Patterns of Plot. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1959. Foster-Harris contends that there are three basic patterns of plot (p. 66):

  1. "’Type A, happy ending’"; Foster-Harris argues that the "Type A" pattern results when the central character (which he calls the "I-nitial" character) makes a sacrifice (a decision that seems logically "wrong") for the sake of another.
  2. "’Type B, unhappy ending’"; this pattern follows when the "I-nitial" character does what seems logically "right" and thus fails to make the needed sacrifice.
  3. "’Type C,’ the literary plot, in which, no matter whether we start from the happy or the unhappy fork, proceeding backwards we arrive inevitably at the question, where we stop to wail." This pattern requires more explanation (Foster-Harris devotes a chapter to the literary plot.) In short, the "literary plot" is one that does not hinge upon decision, but fate; in it, the critical event takes place at the beginning of the story rather than the end. What follows from that event is inevitable, often tragedy. (This in fact coincides with the classical Greek notion of tragedy, which is that such events are fated and inexorable.)

7 Plots

7 basic plots as remembered from second grade by IPL volunteer librarian Jessamyn West:

  1. [wo]man vs. nature
  2. [wo]man vs. man
  3. [wo]man vs. the environment
  4. [wo]man vs. machines/technology
  5. [wo]man vs. the supernatural
  6. [wo]man vs. self
  7. [wo]man vs. god/religion

20 Plots:

Tobias, Ronald B. 20 Master Plots. Cincinnati: Writer’s Digest Books, 1993. (ISBN 0-89879-595-8)This book proposes twenty basic plots:

  1. Quest
  2. Adventure
  3. Pursuit
  4. Rescue
  5. Escape
  6. Revenge
  7. The Riddle
  8. Rivalry
  9. Underdog
  10. Temptation
  11. Metamorphosis
  12. Transformation
  13. Maturation
  14. Love
  15. Forbidden Love
  16. Sacrifice
  17. Discovery
  18. Wretched Excess
  19. Ascension
  20. Descension.

36 Plots

Polti, Georges. The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations. trans. Lucille Ray.

Polti claims to be trying to reconstruct the 36 plots that Goethe alleges someone named [Carlo] Gozzi came up with. (In the following list, the words in parentheses are our annotations to try to explain some of the less helpful titles.):

  1. Supplication (in which the Supplicant must beg something from Power in authority)
  2. Deliverance
  3. Crime Pursued by Vengeance
  4. Vengeance taken for kindred upon kindred
  5. Pursuit
  6. Disaster
  7. Falling Prey to Cruelty of Misfortune
  8. Revolt
  9. Daring Enterprise
  10. Abduction
  11. The Enigma (temptation or a riddle)
  12. Obtaining
  13. Enmity of Kinsmen
  14. Rivalry of Kinsmen
  15. Murderous Adultery
  16. Madness
  17. Fatal Imprudence
  18. Involuntary Crimes of Love (example: discovery that one has married one’s mother, sister, etc.)
  19. Slaying of a Kinsman Unrecognized
  20. Self-Sacrificing for an Ideal
  21. Self-Sacrifice for Kindred
  22. All Sacrificed for Passion
  23. Necessity of Sacrificing Loved Ones
  24. Rivalry of Superior and Inferior
  25. Adultery
  26. Crimes of Love
  27. Discovery of the Dishonor of a Loved One
  28. Obstacles to Love
  29. An Enemy Loved
  30. Ambition
  31. Conflict with a God
  32. Mistaken Jealousy
  33. Erroneous Judgement
  34. Remorse
  35. Recovery of a Lost One
  36. Loss of Loved Ones
Other Sources:

Genre: Sword and Sandall Flims / Greco-Roman Mythology

Genre: "Sword and sandal films, or pepla (singular peplum) are a class of Italian-made adventure or fantasy films that have subjects set in Biblical or classical antiquity, often with contrived plots based very loosely on mythology or Greco-Roman history, or the surrounding cultures of the same era (Egyptians, Assyrians, Etruscans, Minoans), etc...." (Wikipedia)

Like: I love the epic scope of the film. For me period films bring a real scene of pretend and fantasy. also most of the films in this genre are based of some sort of mythology. Mythological stories ask those deep question of what it means to be human, which is very thought provking

Dislike: Sometime films in this genre can get way to action pack and lose story. Also if the VFX are bad or cheesy then it ruins the film quality...which happen more then what you think.

My Top Films In This Genre (alphabetical order):

Clash of the Titans (1981)
Jason and the Argonauts
King Arthur
Odyssey, The

The Future of Comic Book Movies:

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Clash of the Titans (2010)


Ridley Scott
Oliver Stone
Wolfgang Petersen
Desmond Davis
Donald Chaffey

Andrei Konchalovsky

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Review: AVATAR

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Title: Avatar
Distributor: Twentieth Century-Fox
Director: James Cameron
Writer(s): James Cameron (written by)
Staring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel Moore
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking.
Running Time: 162 min (2 hr and 42 min)
Synopsis: A paraplegic marine dispatched to the planet Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Other Reviews


Roger Ebert:
4 Stars
Michael Phillips: 3 Stars
EW: Owen Gleiberman: B

Other Sites:

At The Movies: A.O. Scott: See Itt, Michael Phillips: See It
Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 84% (Fresh), Top Critics: 94% (
Fresh), RT Community: 91% (Fresh)
Metacritic: Critics: 83 out of 100, Users: 8.6 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 75: (37.0% A, 36.1% B, 22.9% C, 3.5% D, and 0.0% F)
Yahoo Movies: Critics: A- Users: A

My Review

Source Material: Written and Directed by James Cameron

Acting and Dialogue: A-: Sam Worthington has prove himself to be a good action star and a thespian at the same time. In this film he showcase a good blend of kick ass and raw acting talent. The others actor bring good performance also. The only negative thing in the film is some of the dialogue, like every great sic-fi it has moments of cheesiness.

Art Direction: A+: I see an Oscar nomination if not a win, one most beautiful film in my life.

Cinematography: A+: Again I see this film being a top contender at the Oscars in this category. There was a great number of camera shot that were magnificent and beautiful.

Direction: A: James Cameron is one of few director that knows how to shoot action sequence properly. As far as flow goes it was good even with the film being almost three hours.

Screenplay: B+: I heard that Avatar resembles "Dancing with the Wolves" when come to the story, but I wouldn't know since I haven't seen that movie. I thought the the story was fine it flowed with the film.

Sound and Music: A: I love how they incorporated African music into the score. The score matched the epic feel of the film and did a good job captivating the wide verity of emotions through out the film.

VFX: A++: Sorry about my French here, but it was Fucking Amazing. Absolutely Amazing. It is for sure going to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. Side Note: The 3-D IMAX experience adds a great deal to the film...It add layers upon layers to an already spectacular world. In my book Pandora and the creatures that live there are as real as can be.

A+: One of best film I have ever seen in my life. I recommend to all and if you have a IMAX theater near you go see there because it's worth the extra money...You may think it has a weak story but at least go see it to admire it for its VFX beauty.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Great Fall Movies By Genre

Dick Flick (Guy Films): Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day

ANIMATION: 9, The Mr Fantastic Fox

COMEDY: Zombieland
Black / Dark Comedy: The Men Who Stare At Goats, Up In The Air

The Blind Side, Brothers

FANTASY: Where The Wild Things Are

INDIES: Whip It, Up In The Air

SCIENCE FICTION (Sci-Fi): Pandorum, Avatar

2010 Movies By Studio


Alice in Wonderland
Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time
Toy Story 3
Tron Legacy


Percy Jackson & the Olympians: the Lightning Thief
The Chronicles of Narnia: the Voyage of the Dawn Treader



Paramount / Dramworks

Iron Man 2
The Last Airbender
The Lovely Bones

Sony (
Columbia) / Screen Gems

The Social Network
The Green Hornet

Summit Entertainment

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse


The Wolfman
Robin Hood

Warner Bros / Legendary Pictures / New Line Cinema

Book of Eli
Clash of the Titans
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1


Youth in Revolt

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Calling all Avengers

This would be my cast if I was casting the Avengers movie. This is my own response to my post called The Avengers

Founding Members

Ant-Man (Dr. Henry "Hank" Jonathan Pym): Michael C. Hall

Hulk (Dr. Robert Bruce Banner) : Edward Norton

Iron Man (Anthony "Tony" Stark) : Robert Downey Jr.

Thor (Dr. Donald Blake) : Chris Hemsworth

Wasp (Janet van "Dyne" Pym ) : Natalie Portman


Black Panther ( T'Challa) : Djimon Hounsou

Black Widow (Natalia Alianovna Romanova) :Milla Jovovich

Captain America (Steven Rogers) : Sam Worthington

Hawkeye (Clinton Francis Barton) : Jeremy Renner

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers): Ali Larter

Nick Fury: Samuel L. Jackson

Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) : Eva Green

Vision (Victor Shade): CGI / Voiced: Doug Jones

War Machine (James Rupert "Rhodey" Rhodes) : Don Cheadle

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Avengers

Let's Talk about the Avenger Movie coming in 2012. There is a lot of news and speculations too who is playing who. I want to boil it down and get your thoughts on the subject. I complied a list of founding members and popular recruits who are known for being on The Avengers Team.

Founding Members

Ant-Man (Dr. Henry "Hank" Jonathan Pym) : Wishes:
Patrick Wilson
, Michael C. Hall
Hulk (Dr. Robert Bruce Banner) : Edward Norton / Lou Ferrigno (Voice)
Iron Man (Anthony "Tony" Stark) : Robert Downey Jr.
Thor (Dr. Donald Blake) :
Chris Hemsworth
Wasp (Janet van "Dyne" Pym ) : Contenders:
Eva Longoria Parker Wishes: Natalie Portman, Alyssa Milano, Mila Kunis


Black Panther ( T'Challa) : Contenders:
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Wishes: Djimon Hounsou
Black Widow (Natalia Alianovna Romanova) :
Scarlett Johansson Wishes: Milla Jovovich
Captain America (Steven Rogers) : Contenders:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey
Hawkeye (Clinton Francis Barton) : Contenders:
Jeremy Renner Wishes: Jensen Ackles
Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers): Wishes:
Ali Larter
Namor the Sub-Mariner (Namor McKenzie) : Contenders:
David Boreanaz
Nick Fury:
Samuel L. Jackson
Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) : Contenders:
Helena Mattsson Wishes:
Eva Green, Scarlett Johansson
Vision (Victor Shade): CGI Voiced Wishes:
Billy Crudup, Doug Jones
War Machine (James Rupert "Rhodey" Rhodes) :
Don Cheadle

Monday, November 9, 2009

Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats

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Title: The Men Who Stare at Goats
Distributor: BBC Films
Director: Grant Heslov
Writer(s): Peter Straughan (screenplay)Jon Ronson (book)
Staring: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity.
Running Time: 93 min (1 hr and 33 min)
Synopsis: A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's First Earth Battalion, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.

Other Reviews


Roger Ebert:
2 ½ Stars
Michael Phillips: NA Stars
EW: Owen Gleiberman: F

Other Sites:

At The Movies: A.O. Scott: Skip It, Michael Phillips: Skip It
Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 58% (Rotten), Top Critics: 41% (
Rotten), RT Community: 65% (Fresh)
Metacritic: Critics: 54 out of 100, Users: 4.0 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 61: (10.% A, 42.6% B, 35.0% C, 9.3% D, and 0.0% F)
Yahoo Movies: Critics: B- Users: C

My Review

Source Material: Based on the book of the same title by author Jon Ronson, an account of Ronson's investigation of attempts by US military forces to use psychic powers.

Acting and Dialogue: A-: For me the acting was good but then agian some bias comes into play because both Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey are by far in my top ten favorite actors.

Art Direction: C: Comedy Bland meaning this film was made for laughs and not necessarily for art.

Cinematography: C: I do like some of the different shoots used, but It too also follows the Comedy Bland style of filmmaking.

Direction: B-: It has a fun atmosphere and I think that comes from an actor turn filmmaker director, seen here.

Screenplay: B+: The story is a good one, I think some of the execution failed but most of the pop culture reference worked, well if your a Star Wars Fan. Personally the funnier lines were the clueless nature of Ewan McGregor character toward the Jedi terminology., why? Well, he play a character from the Star Wars universe for three movies know as Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is a Jedi. So LOL.

Sound and Music: B: Very Representative of the time period and content of the film.

VFX: B-: Very minor VFX were used to creat the different "powers" but nothing to extravagant.

Overall: B-: For me it works for a Comedy because I am a Star wars fan, but for the general public it won't. I think that's the case because it not a Judd Apatow style of humor.

Disney's A Christmas Carol

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Title: Disney's A Christmas Carol
Distributor: ImageMovers (Walt Disney Pictures)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer(s): Charles Dickens (novel) Robert Zemeckis (screenplay)
Staring: Jim Carrey
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for scary sequences and images.
Running Time: 96 min (1 hr and 36 min)
Synopsis: An animated retelling of Charles Dickens classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.

Other Reviews


Roger Ebert:
4 Stars
Michael Phillips: 2 ½ Stars
EW: Owen Gleiberman: A

Other Sites:

At The Movies: A.O. Scott: See It, Michael Phillips: Rent It
Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 54% (Rotten), Top Critics: 44% (
Rotten), RT Community: 83% (Fresh)
Metacritic: Critics: 55 out of 100, Users: 7.9 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 66: (21.2% A, 34.4% B, 39.2% C, 4.8% D, and 0.0% F)
Yahoo Movies: Critics: B- Users: B+

My Review

Source Material: Based on 2009 film adaptation of Charles Dickens' 1843 story of the same name.

Acting and Dialogue: B+: Jim Carrey didn't pull off a Tom Hanks in The Polar Express, for those of you who don't know Robert Zemeckis also directed that film also. When I first watched The Polar Express the only person I knew was Tom Hanks was the conductor but with this film I knew every person was Jim Carry so it became to much Carrey in parts.

Art Direction: A: The colors in the animation made it very believable world even thought it was made in a computer.

Cinematography: A+: I think watching the film in 3-D helped the cinematography. It add that "I am living it now" experiences, especially the flying scenes. It might as well been snowing in the theater because again the 3-D gave it that look. Now If I take the 3-d out of the picture it still holds its own in the world of cinematography. Meaning it more of a ghost story set around Christmas time, and the the film maintains that creepy atmosphere throughout.

Direction: A: The direction was good It was directed by a well know guy and this is his third film using this technology. So it seem to run smoothly from beginning to end.

Screenplay: C+: It's not that the story is crappy or even the source material. Form what I can gather it is a spot on adaption. But for me what brings down the quality is the fact that it was a story that has been adapted way tom many times.

Sound and Music: D: Christmas Music gets old fast. The only time of the year it is good for is the week of Christmas. But the score was decent.

VFX: A+: I am a big fan of motion capture and Robert Zemeckis work with it.

Overall: B-: I did enjoy the film overall, even with the faults. One thing I have to say why was this movie released in early November why not late November or early December if not Christmas week. The only thing I see as a explanation is Avatar and the IMAX screenings in December. Either way it is a Christmas type of movies so why not a release date closer to Christmas.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Genre: Comic Book Movies/ Video Game Movies

Genre: films that are adaptations of comic books or video games, and those films whose characters originated in those comics or video games. (Wikipedia)

Like: These movies give me a good fix for my Fantasy and Sci-Fi "addiction" that and most comic book/ video game characters are kick-ass.

Dislike: A lot time these movie stick too close to the comic book/video game and make a cheey and child-ish version.

Websites Top's:

Comic Book Movie
Rotten Tomatoes
Wikipedia: Films Considered the Greatest Ever

My Top Films In This Genre (alphabetical order):

Graphic Novel

A History of Violence
From Hell
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Road to Perdition, The
Sin City
V for Vendetta


Batman (1989)
Batman Begins
Dark Knight, The
Incredible Hulk, The
Iron Man
Spider-Man 2
Superman Returns
X2: X-Men United

Video Game

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Mortal Kombat
Resident Evil
Silent Hill
Stay Alive
Super Mario Bros.

The Future of Comic Book Movies:


Iron Man 2
Spider-Man 4
The Avengers
The First Avenger: Captain America
Wolverine 2


Green Lantern, The
Jonah Hex
Untitled next Batman film

Dark Horse

Hellboy 3
Sin City 2
Sin City 3
Umbrella Academy, The

Video Game

Gears of War
God of War
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Resident Evil: Afterlife


Sam Rami
Bryan Singer
Christopher Nolan
Zack Snyder
Tim Burton

Review: Where The Wild Things Are

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Title: Where The Wild Things Are
Distributor: Legendary Pictures(Warner Bros. Pictures)
Director: Spike Jonze
Writer(s): Spike Jonze (screenplay), Dave Eggers (screenplay), Maurice Sendak (book)
Staring: Max Records, WILD THINGS VOICES: James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, Catherine O'Hara, Forest Whitaker, Michael Berry Jr., Chris Cooper, Lauren Ambrose
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for mild thematic elements, some adventure action and brief language.
Running Time: 94 min (1 hr and 34 min)
Synopsis: An adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world--a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown Max as their ruler.

Other Reviews


Roger Ebert:
3 Stars
Michael Phillips: 4 Stars
EW: Lisa Schwarzbaum: A

Other Sites:

At The Movies: A.O. Scott: See It, Michael Phillips: See It
Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 68% (Fresh), Top Critics: 68% (
Fresh), RT Community: 77% (Fresh)
Metacritic: Critics: 71 out of 100, Users: 7.7 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 72: (30.0% A, 40.0% B, 26.0% C, 3.9% D, and 0.0% F)
Yahoo Movies: Critics: B+ Users: B

My Review

Source Material: Based on Maurice Sendak's children book with the same title.

Acting and Dialogue: A: The performance were good and puppetry was even better. The voice actors were good but I doubt that they are the people in the suits creating those believable emotions and expressions.

Art Direction: A: The fantasy world Max creates is beautiful on it's own. So, I am glad that beauty was carried over form book to the film. It also helps that this film had the craftsmanship of the The Jim Henson Company working for them.

Cinematography: A+: The shot choice was down right awesome and beautiful.

Direction: A: The pace of the film was good and I like Spike Jonze style, if he keeps up the good work he could shimmy his way to my top ten list of filmmakers. This film seem like it going to be a good achievement in Spike Jonze career because he not not known for much but skater movies and commercials

Screenplay: B+: This is a very simple story. If my memory severs me correctly the book has less then fifteen pages and the word count is less that an average paragraph. But the plot is thicken with a wide range of human emotion. These emotion are played through the eye of child (MAX) via metaphorical representation (WILD THINGS). This film also did a great job at mixing homage to the book and creative freedom/ modernization.

Sound and Music: A: The sound track was complied of many "folk" type of musicians which brought the emotive language of the film out, making it a more powerful film.

VFX: A+: Fanatic, I love how it combined the old school technology from Labyrinth with today's CGI. The two technology created a very realistic environment. There were very few "fake"moments, if any at all.I hope to see some Oscar nomination in this category

Overall: A: This film not only fulfill my fantasy/ sic-fi "addiction" but it also hold it's own as a great drama. Notice I say drama, yes it is PG but it deals with some issues that children may not fully understand yet...Even though it is based on a children book doesn't mean the movie is also made for children. As far as my recommendation goes this film is technically a family film but I suggest that nobody under ten should see this film bases on the fact that they won't enjoy it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Review: Whip It

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Title: Whip It
Distributor: United Artists (MGM)
Director: Drew Barrymore
Writer(s): Shauna Cross (screenplay), Shauna Cross (novel)
Staring: Ellen Page, Alia Shawkat, Kristen Wiig, Zoe Bell, Eve, Drew Barrymore, Andrew Wilson
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content including crude dialogue, language and drug material.
Running Time: 111 min (1 hr and 51 min)
Synopsis: In Bodeen, Texas, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.

Other Reviews


Roger Ebert:
3 ½ Stars
Michael Phillips: 3 Stars
EW: Lisa Schwarzbaum: C+

Other Sites:

At The Movies: A.O. Scott: See It, Michael Phillips: See It
Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 81% (Fresh), Top Critics: 83% (
Fresh), RT Community: 91% (Fresh)
Metacritic: Critics: 67 out of 100, Users: 7.1 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 70: (15.1% A, 53.4% B, 31.4% C, 0.0% D, and 0.0% F)
Yahoo Movies: Critics: B Users: B+

My Review

Source Material: Based on Shauna Cross' novel Derby Girl

Acting and Dialogue: A-: There is a great ensemble cast and on top of that Ellen Page brings a new and great character to screen, that I enjoyed.

Art Direction: B+: It had good art direction. It pulled off the "rocker-chick" image which encompass the entire the film.

Cinematography: B+: I thought the the shoot choice had a good mixture of up close and personal action shots versus wide let the action unfold shots.

Direction: B-: Because Drew Barrymore is an actor herself she was able to capture that bonding quality that actors, directors tend to have. It seem that everyone involved with the film was having a good time.

Screenplay: B: The story was a bit cliché but at the same time it hit home with the teenage mind set, therefore giving some substance to the story.

Sound and Music: B: Rock and Roller Derby go hand and hand so it fits the content of the film, so that's good.

VFX: C: None to commit on

Overall: B+: I enjoyed this film and I think most of you would too, especially if you enjoy indie film as much as me.

Review: Fame

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Title: Fame
Distributor: United Artists (MGM)
Director: Kevin Tancharoen
Writer(s): Allison Burnett (screenplay), Christopher Gore (1980 film)
Staring: Kay Panabaker, Naturi Naughton, Kherington Payne, Asher Book, Cody Longo, Walter Perez, Collins Pennie, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, Paul McGill, Paul Iacono
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for thematic material including teen drinking, a sexual situation and language.
Running Time: 107 min (1 hr and 47 min)
Synopsis: An updated version of the 1980 musical, which centered on the students of the New York Academy of Performing Arts.

Other Reviews


Roger Ebert: 2 Stars
Michael Phillips: 2 ½ Stars
EW: Lisa Schwarzbaum: C

Other Sites:

At The Movies: A.O. Scott: NA, Michael Phillips: See It
Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 28% (Rotten), Top Critics: 35% (
Rotten), RT Community: 35% (Rotten)
Metacritic: Critics: 39 out of 100, Users: 5.5 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 47: (0.0% A, 23.3% B, 46.6% C, 27.6% D, and 0.0% F)
Yahoo Movies: Critics: C Users: B-

My Review

Source Material: American musical film which is a loose remake of the 1980 film of the same title.

Acting and Dialogue: C: A little better than the popular High Musical Series.

Art Direction: C: The end had the best art direction.

Cinematography: C: A little too fragmented for my taste.

Direction: C: the movie passing was on the fast side, it was one of those movies that gave you mostly the facts and little detail.

Screenplay: C: Again it seem fragmented, I think there could have been a lot more development on the characters, even with the main characters, I feel a bit disconnected.

Sound and Music: C+: Some catch songs but not as catch as most musicals.

VFX: C: None to commit on

Overall: C: Exception can be the biggest bummer. I expected a lot more from a musical movie but it never happened, so I saying not to see this one, sorry.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Genre: is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humor. (Wikipedia)

Good for a laugh and entertainment.

In a movie I believe you need to achieve three key things: great storytelling, aesthetically pleasing art, and entertaining. With most Comedies only the entertiament category is fulfilled.

Websites Top's:

Wikipedia: Films Considered the Greatest Ever

My Top Films In This Genre (alphabetical order):

(as a whole)

Big Lebowski, The
Clerks II
Dumb & Dumber
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Man Who Knew Too Little, The
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Office Space
Tommy Boy
Wayne's World

Black / Dark Comedy

Burn After Reading
Fight Club
Little Miss Sunshine
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The

Drunk/ Stoner / Frat Comedy

Animal House
Dude, Where's My Car?
Hangover, The
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Knocked Up
Old School
Pineapple Express
Revenge of the Nerds


Blazing Saddles
History of the World, Part I
Robin Hood: Men in Tights
Scary Movie
The Life of Brian
This is Spinal Tap
Tropic Thunder
Young Frankenstein

Romantic Comedy (Romcom)

(500) Days of Summer
Dan in Real Life
Definitely, Maybe
It Happened One Night
Pride and Prejudice
Sleepless in Seattle
The Truth About Cats & Dogs
When Harry Met Sally
You've Got Mail

Teen / Sex Comedy

40-Year-Old Virgin, The
American Pie
Chasing Amy
Knocked Up
National Lampoons Van Wilder
Risky Business
Zack and Miri Make a Porno


Across the Universe
Moulin Rouge!
Phantom of the Opera
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
West Side Story
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Wizard of Oz, The

The Future of Comedy:

Youth In Revolt
A Serious Man
I Love You Phillip Morris


Kevin Smith
Terry Gilliam
Rob Reiner
The Coen Brother’s
Wes Anderson

UPDATE: Movies I Want to See

I have two list circulating my indie list of movies I want to see and my Top 20 list. These two list still apply to this list, heck there may very well be some overlap of moves on the list. I want to break it down for you. Any movie on the list with a (*) in front of is an Independent Movie or (Indie). So here we go.

October 16

Where the Wild Things Are

November 6

*Men Who Stares at Goats

November 13

*Up in the Air (limited)


*The Fantastic Mr. Fox
*Me and Orson Welles
Ninjia Assassin
*The Road
*Up in the Air (expanding)

December 11

The Lovely Bones (limited)

DECEMBER 25 Christmas Day

*The Imaginarium of doctor Parnassus
The Lovely Bones (expanding)
Sherlock Holmes

January 8


January 15

The Lovely Bones (wide)

March 5

Alice In Wonderland

March 25

Clash of the Titans

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Exclusive Review: Sunshine Cleaning

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Title: Sunshine Cleaning
Distributor: Back Lot Pictures (Overture Films)
Director: Christine Jeffs
Writer(s): Megan Holley (written by)
Staring: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Jason Spevack
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, disturbing images, some sexuality and drug use.
Running Time: 91 min (1 hr and 31 min)
Synopsis: In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, a mom starts an unusual business -- a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service -- with her unreliable sister.

Other Sites:

At The Movies: Ben Mankiewicz: See It, Ben Lyons: Rent It
Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 72% (Fresh), Top Critics: 76% (
Fresh), RT Community: 86% (Fresh)
Metacritic: Critics: 61 out of 100, Users: 6.9 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 66: (13.5% A, 53.7% B, 55.9% C, 5.3% D, and 0.0% F)
Yahoo Movies: Critics: B- Users: B+

My Review

Source Material: An Original written by Megan Holley.

Acting and Dialogue: A: I Like the cast not only are the two leads babes but they also put in a decent effort of acting. I also like the Alan Arkin and Jason Spevack combo and how it becomes the comic relief.

Art Direction: B: The actual art direction in the film didn't move me or inspire me, but for the indie quality it was great.

Cinematography: B+: I believe where the art direction lacks the cinematography gains because I think it has interesting camera shots

Direction: B:Christine Jeffs is very new to America filmmaking from what it seems she is more of New Zealand and British filmmaker, making Sunshine Cleaning her first American film. As far as pace it was very well paced, I didn't have boring time.

Screenplay: A: I like the story very much. It did a good job at captivating family rivalry between sister. There is this underline tone that blood is ticker than water, meaning family is important.

Sound and Music: B+: Mainly indie rock artist and score that blended well with the film.

VFX: B: Mainly the make-up and practical effect teams were used on the film and as far as that goes well, it was good.

Overall: A-: For a indie film this film works on many different levels, I do recommend it

Friday, September 11, 2009

Review: 9

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Title: 9
Distributor: Focus Features
Director: Shane Acker
Writer(s): Pamela Pettler (screenplay), Shane Acker (story)
Staring: Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Jennifer Connelly, Fred Tatasciore, Elijah Wood
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for violence and scary images.
Running Time: 79 min (1 hr and 18 min)
Synopsis: When 9 first comes to life, he finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world where all humans are gone, and it is only by chance that he discovers a small community of others like him taking refuge from fearsome machines that roam the earth intent on their extinction. Despite being the neophyte of the group, 9 convinces the others that hiding will do them no good. They must take the offensive if they are to survive, and they must discover why the machines want to destroy them in the first place. As they'll soon come to learn, the very future of civilization may depend on them.

Other Reviews


Roger Ebert: 3 Stars
Michael Phillips: 2 ½ Stars
EW: Lisa Schwarzbaum: B+

Other Sites:

At The Movies: A.O. Scott: See It, Michael Phillips: Rent It
Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 56% (Rotten), Top Critics: 65% (
Fresh), RT Community: 79% (Fresh)
Metacritic: Critics: 60 out of 100, Users: 6.8 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 60: (5.0% A, 44.5% B, 39.5% C, 11.0% D, and 0.0% F)
Yahoo Movies: Critics: B- Users: B+

My Review

Source Material: Based on Shane Acker's original short with the same name.

Acting and Dialogue: B+: Look at the voice talent one can see there is wide range of people: Christopher Plummer (Charles Muntz in Up), John C. Reilly (In almost every Will Ferrell film), Crispin Glover (George McFly in Back to the Future), Jennifer Connelly (Sarah in Labyrinth), and Elijah Wood (Frodo in Lord of the Rings)

Art Direction: A+: The animation was beautiful therefore the art direction and cinematography gained bonus points.

Cinematography: A: As you can see from above, the animation was so good that it gave art direction and cinematography bonus points.

Direction: B+: Shane Acker is a very new filmmaker. If you look at his filmography you will see he only has three film on there, two of which are in the 9 universe. I would say both 9's had good direction.

Screenplay: B: I like how this was still the classic man vs. machine story form but with a spiritual/ sci-fi twist.

Sound and Music: B: I know a lot people are going to see this because the trailers used Coheed and Cambria's music; but if my memory severs me correctly the only music in the film is scored.

A+: I believe that Shane Acker really knows his stuff when comes to VFX if anything was awesome from this film it would be the CGI. He may have pick up this from working as an animator at Weta Digital during the making of the little film Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Overall: B+: The films I see at the Oscars this year for best animation: Up, Fantastic Mr. Fox , Ponyo, Coraline , and 9. I place 9 on this list because of it's stylized VFX and animation. I do recommend it to watch from a aspect that movies can be animated and not for kids.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Genre: ANIMATION: Traditional Animation

My Top Films In Traditional Animation (alphabetical order):

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Fox and the Hound
Jungle Book, The
Lion King, The
Little Mermaid, The
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Peter Pan
Robin Hood
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Sword in the Stone, The