On The Subject: Of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Video Game references, absurd humor and a full cast of characters make up the film known as Scott Pilgrim vs The world.

This episode we are continue to dive into Edgar Wrights career as he adapts a beloved comic and make it work! Does every panel translate to the big screen or is there some glitches along the way? Lets find out.

REVIEWS

MOVIE POSTER QUOTE

  • "A Game Changer"

  • "Get the girl. Defeat her evil exes. Hit love where it hurts."

  • "An Epic of epic epicness"

BOX OFFICE  Released August 13th 2010

Budget: $60,000,000

Domestic: $31,524,275

Foreign: $16,140,284

Worldwide: $47,664,559

Opening Weekend: $10,609,795

Opened #5 run 8 weeks

Cumulative: $132,000,000

  • Inception (July 16th)

    • #4

  • Step Up 3 (Aug 6th)

  • The Other Guys (Aug 6th)

    • #3

  • Eat Pray Love (Aug 13th

    • Opened #2

  • The Expendables (Aug 13th)

    • Opened #1

  • Animal Kingdom (Aug 13th)

Director: Edgar Wright

Writers: Michael Bacall (screenplay), Edgar Wright (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

Stars: Michael CeraMary Elizabeth WinsteadKieran Culkin | See full cast & crew »

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MALCOLM RUSSEL-NELSON

Bandrew's Top 5 Films of 2015

This was another great year for film. Lucky for me, and you, there was a tremendous amount of great Science Fiction. Before we get into it I want to include the disclaimer that this is based on the films that I have seen. I know that there are some amazing films out there that I simply did not have time to catch. With that being said, let's go ahead and look at my Top 5 films of 2015.

5. Chappie

This is the latest film from Neill Blomkamp, and it was amazing. It seems that a lot of critics were not fans of it, but I found almost all aspects of this film to be excellent. There is some very strong social commentary about being forced to adopt traits to survive depending on your socioeconomic surroundings. On top of this important message, I found the acting to be superb. Die Antwoord did a great job in this film (although I wasn't surprised because their roles in Umshimi Wam were flawless) and the VFX department did amazing work with Chappie. The only thing that left me wanting more was Hugh Jackman's character. I felt like his story line was a bit rushed, but over all, this film has a really great story with an important message, and it is an all around a fun movie to watch.

4. Jurassic World

Come on. Of course this film is going to make it on my list. This is another film that I have heard people say some bad things about. I think that those negative nellys just missed the point. If you watch this film and realize that the entire film is a self satire, and that it is just making fun of itself and the executives that green lit this project, then you will walk away with a newfound appreciation and love for this film. On top of the fact that the writers were able to get away with this premise, Chris Pratt nails it. That dude is way too charming. But seriously, if you did not enjoy this movie the first time, re-watch it now and realize that they're just talking shit about the film that they're making. It's so meta that it's like a Dan Harmon script. 

3. The Martian

What an ambitious film. If you read the book, you know that it was a tremendous undertaking to try and adapt this source material. Somehow they did it...oh yeah...they did it by getting Ridley FREAKING Scott (although some people would say his stock has lost value following prometheus, I would tell them to shut their stupid cake holes and enjoy the hell out of this movie). I'm going to go ahead and say it, Matt Damon is not the star of this film. The star of this film is Mars, and it is awesome. The shots of Mars (yes I know it's not really mars) are some of the most gorgeous pieces of film that I have ever seen. I legitimately thought that I was there for a second while I was watching this in the theater. All around this film is great, but I would recommend reading the book first. 

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I finally am able to understand what it was like to be alive and attending the premiers of the original trilogy. I experienced the feeling of walking out of the theater with your jaw on the floor, and wanting to turn right around and see it again, and again and again. But I digress. Yes. I know that a lot of the tropes are borrowed from previous Star Wars episodes, but that's not what's important in this film. What's important is first off, the characters, and secondly, restoring our faith that Star Wars films can be good. And guess what, they nailed both of those important factors. The new characters in this film are just amazing and I cannot wait to see how they grow over the next few films. There is also some really interesting points that we can speculate about which is great because we can talk about it for the next two years while we wait. Regarding the second factor, I don't think many people can walk out of that film and say "yeah...Star Wars is still dead to me", and if they do, then we know that they are secretly a heartless Robot. If you have not seen this film yet. GET ON IT AND GO WATCH IT!

1. Ex Machina

I love robots. I love beautiful scenery. I love amazing acting. I love stories so good that they can be told with only 3 actors. This film meets all those criteria. Not only did I enjoy this film so much that it made my top spot of this year; I enjoyed this film so much that it is easily one of my favorite films of all time. The premise is that a guy is brought to a CEO's secluded home to help conduct the Turing test on an AI. But there is so much more than that, and I do not want to spoil anything for you. Suffice it to say, craziness ensues. If my poor summary of this film didn't get you excited, let me use the cast to sell you on this film...it has Oscar Isaac & Dohnall Gleeson. Two characters from the new Star Wars film! So these two guys made my top list twice! I just want to tell you that if you have not watched this film, then you need to go buy it, or rent it, or borrow it right now. Once you see it, let me know what you thought of it because I'm pretty sure you're going to love it.


What do you think the top 5 movies of 2015 were? Let us know in the comments down below! And here's to another year of AWESOME films!

Tremors 5: Bloodlines

There are very few film franchises that can go for 25 years, spanning 5 movies and a tv series, all while remaining fresh. Tremors is one of the few that has accomplished this. Their secret formula = Burt Gummer.

If you don't know who Burt Gummer is, he is the incarnation of what the rest of the world thinks Americans are. Gun toting, survivalist, right wing, nut jobs. But somehow, it's impossible not to love Burt. Just in case you're new to the franchise, I have included essential viewing from the first Tremors film to illustrate this point.

It seems like more and more movies are losing their sense of humor and are beginning to take themselves too seriously. That is what makes Tremors 5 a breath of fresh air. It is balls to the wall, tongue in cheek fun... just like the original. This film doesn't try to recreate the original film, it just takes the absurd backdrop and tells a slightly different story. There's even something for us a film nerds in the form of allusions to films like Jurassic Park, Die Hard and Alien 3. If we boil it down to one idea, this is what action films in 80's would have been if they had CGI from 2015.

This is a super short Friday Night Action Movie Book Club, but the part that I want to dive deeper into would be a spoiler, and I don't want to do that. So I'll leave it there. You can find this movie on netflix, and I highly recommend it if you've watched and enjoyed any previous tremors films. I should also note that other than the film Scream, this is my favorite Jamie Kennedy role. 

Deep Impact

In the late 90's, there was a very special year. That special year was 1998. During this culmination of doomsday paranoia and visual effects gold rush, the same movie was released twice in the same year. This controversy split the world in to two camps; 1) Armageddon, or 2) Deep Impact.

If you have not seen either of these films, let me explain. An asteroid (armageddon) / comet (deep impact) is hurtling towards Earth. America sends astronauts to blow up the asteroid/comet. People sacrifice themselves for the good of the world. World saved. The end. Seriously. Both these films have that exact same story and they came out within 2 months of each other. 

I had always considered myself an Armageddon guy, but that's because I saw Armageddon in the theatre, and Bruce Willis sort of scares you into appreciating everything he does. But after watching Deep Impact again, I think I may be a Deep Impact guy. This is due to two main things. 1) Morgan Freeman is the president in Deep Impact, and 2) Neil Degrasse Tyson prefers Deep Impact.

In all honesty though, the acting is only decent in this film, the visual effects are dated, and the story is the same as every other apocalypse movie. It's nothing worth seeing. On top of all this, the film seems to have schizophrenia. They jump between 10 different stories, and do not focus on any of them long enough to develop any real empathy with the characters.

As I watched this movie, I was just desperately trying to find some deeper meaning. There is one scene that stuck out. After President Morgan Freeman tells the world that everything has failed, and the world will be destroyed, he walks out of the room. After he leaves the room, everyone is just left standing there. In my eyes this could be a parallel to two things:

  1. People are too focussed on careers. They allow their occupation define who they are and what they are. They do not have a personal identity, so the moment that their job position is deemed irrelevant, they are like a computer with no programming. They don't know what to do, and they don't know who they are.
  2. It could just be a knod to actions of a film crew following the wrap of a shoot. Everyone is in a state of shock because 6-12 months of work has culminated and finally come to an end. And it's bittersweet.

Okay, let's be honest. Those definitely are not what the film maker was trying to say, but it's fine to try and find meaning where there is none.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend buying this film, but if you have 2 hours to kill, and you want to see the end of the world; it's on netflix. And as I said, Morgan Freeman is the president and that can save almost any film. 

Can't Hardly Wait

Can't Hardly Wait is your typical coming of age story a la American Pie, but this movie came out a year prior. However, this film is more than a coming of age story of just one person. It is a multi-main-character coming of age story. You have your artistic writer, feminist, nerd, jock, pretty girl, and someone desperate to fit in. You have the whole cast of the breakfast club modernized for the late 1990's.

There is not much that I can say about this film, other than the fact that it is very relatable, very honest, and very dated. Just like The Breakfast Club, there are main characters that everyone can relate to. But unfortunately while watching this film it's impossible to not burst into fits of uncontrollable laughter at some of the clothes that people are wearing. Other than the wardrobe, this film definitely holds up 15+ years after it's release. 

I'm not happy with my top level summary thus far, so I'm going to pretentiously find meaning where there is none. Towards the end of the film, the nerd and the jock get drunk, make amends, and then get arrested. In the morning, the jock tells the cops that he beat up the nerd and forced him to drink alcohol in order to save the nerd from repercussions. Later, the nerd attempts to thank the jock in public, and the jock ridicules him. Finally, the film has a text layover saying that the Jock, gets kicked out of school, fired from his job, becomes unhealthy, and becomes an alcoholic. Here's what I propose...

This is not a story about a boy who falls in love, or a group of kids coming to terms with impending adult hood. This is the classic tale of redemption mixed with the classic heroes tale. From the beginning of the film, we are made to think of the jock as a jerk. He consistently confirms this idea throughout the film. Then towards the end of the film, we see him realize the error in his ways, and make a change. He sacrifices himself for the greater good, knowing that the nerd will go on to do great things in this world. He does not acknowledge his good deed in public because real heroes do not do good for the sake of glory. Lastly, he deals with the consequences of his actions, falling into a seemingly sad life, sacrificing himself so the nerd can continue on his current trajectory to improve the world. As I said, this is not a coming of age story, this is a hero's redemption story! 

If the story I propose is in fact the theme, then this film is not a comedy, it is a drama, and it is a huge, huge bummer. I highly recommend it.

Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1XD8wSh

SFCCC: Robert Mukes

When you see Robert Mukes, you automatically think Rufus, from House of 1000 Corpses. He has accomplished a lot more than this one film, but regardless, lets start with the 2003 horror classic.

After House of 1000 Corpses was completed, it sat on the shelf for 3 years. Universal didn't want to release it and MGM didn't want to release it. They simply did not understand the energy. Ultimately, Rob Zombie had to purchase the film back and find Lions Gate who was willing to Release it. 

Robert says that he's Incredibly fortunate to have been a part of House of 1000 Corpses. A film that very few studios believed in initially, but once someone gave it a chance, it became a cult classic.

Through Robert's experiences, he is able to bring a unique perspective to his roles. As a child, he was a little kid who was picked on by bigger kids from the rough crowd. This provided him a lot of fuel for his roles. Now that he is, to say the least, a much larger man, he is able to channel those experiences that most people his size do not have. This leads to more authentic portrayals on the big screen. This ability mixed with his stature makes for a very unique and memorable actor.

When it comes down to it. Robert Mukes is just a guy who loves his work, and is ready and willing to do a lot more of it. He is a lot like House of 1000 Corpses. The film is done, and ready to be seen, full of raw energy, he just needs the right people to place in him the same faith that Lions Gate put in to House of 1000 Corpses, and they will get their very own classic Actor.

Follow Robert Mukes on Twitter @RobertMukes
Check out SFCC: www.santafecomiccon.com

The Martian

Ladies and Gentleman. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh mai gawd! If you have been hiding under a rock and don't know what The Martian is, let me tell you. It is a movie (and a book) about an astronaut that gets left behind on mars, who has to survive until he can find a way to get rescued. Unlucky for Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), this planet is dangerous, and one wrong step can kill him.

Matt Damon really shines in this film. He perfectly embodies the Mark Watney we know and love from the book. He is a funny, sarcastic, and scared Botanist that is put in a horrible situation. However, at no point does the deadpan of Watney take you out of the story; you realize that his constant joking is his way of fighting off the crippling realization that "i'll probably die here". The remainder of the large cast did an amazing job as well, but my personal favorite was Donald Glover's portrayal of Rich Purnell. 

When I wasn't laughing at Watney, I forgot that I was even in a movie theater. That is because the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking. There have been plenty of films set on Mars but none have made you feel like you're there; until now. 

The real story of this film is not on Mars, it's on Earth. We see the entire world forget about it's wars, and hatred for one another. We see Humans all across this planet converge and work together on a single problem (in this case, save Mark Watney's ass). It shows what we could accomplish as a species if we all had a common goal. I think that's what we should take away from this film. 

Overall, this film was a great achievement that I would recommend to anyone. It's also a very refreshing take on sci-fi where there aren't anti-matter Rays, dark matter drives, or alpha centaurians invading. There is still the subtextual social commentary for those pretentious viewers like me. 

Now go watch The Martian, and/or Buy the Book: Buy it on Amazon

The Net

Today is Friday, and that means Friday Night Action Movie Book Club. I want to talk about 1995 classic THE NET. I know that the majority of you are probably thinking that this film will suck, but you're wrong. This movie is great.

Before we discuss it at the pretentious level, allow me to sell you based solely on one persons involvement. The producer/director of The Net is Irwin Winkler. This guy also produced Rocky, Raging Bull, The Right Stuff, Good Fellas, The Mechanic, Wolf of Wallstreet...Basically, this guy knows what he's doing. Now that I've sold you on the film, let's do this.

The Net tells the story of "a computer programmer who stumbles upon a conspiracy, putting her life and the lives of those around her in great danger" (imdb.com). Surprisingly, I think that this movie holds up rather well 20 years after it's release. That's because this isn't a story about what the internet was capable of in 1995, it focusses on much larger ideas. So let's go ahead and break it down into three overarching Ideas that I believe the film really focusses on. 

First. The Net plays off the fear that we will slowly lose our privacy as our information is transferred to a digital space. Sure, this film downplays the complexities of hacking and accessing peoples encrypted files. But the technical aspect of hacking is not what the film is trying to bring to light. It's showing that people don't think that there is any problem with the digitization of sensitive information. Society is lured into a false sense of security by a companies promise, when all it takes to gain access to your information is a single person or group exploiting a single flaw in security. 

Second. Around this time in the 90's, Americans trust of the government was at the lowest point since 1958 (people-press.org). This led to an increased interest in conspiracy theories. The overarching story of this film is that of a conspiracy theory regarding infiltration and manipulation of the government by a large corporation. Over the last 5 years, the trust of the US government has reached points very similar to those during 1995. This could be another reason that I think this film holds up...we still don't trust our government and we feel like there are corporate puppets pulling their strings.

Lastly, I think that the majority of this film is an analogy for Alzheimers. This may seem like a stretch, but let me explain. At the beginning of the film we are introduced to Sandra Bullock's mother who has Alzheimers. When we see Sandra's first visit, her mother does not recognize who Sandy B is. Later in the film, Sandra Bullock is put in a very similar situation where she is completely disconnected from the world around her. She is unable to tell if what is happening is real, or if she has had a mental break. The comparison between what Sandra Bullock is going through and what her mother is going through with Alzheimers is uncanny, and it illustrates the frustration that someone with Alzheimers might feel...trapped in a situation that is out of your control, constantly being told you're someone else, unable to understand what is happening...it must be truly horrifying.

I know what you're thinking; you've over analyzed the movie. Well maybe you're right, and to remove that judgement from your mind, here's a gem for you: when you're watching this film, wait for the ADR scream around 1:48:00. You're welcome. I do recommend watching this movie if you haven't seen it yet. Just remember to have fun while watching it and also remember that it was made 20 years ago.

Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PzWsg8

Area 51

Welcome to another edition of Friday Night Action Movie Book Club. Today I am sharing my thoughts about the film Area 51 with you. To give you a boring one liner describing the film...This film follows three conspiracy theorists who attempt to break into Area 51 and uncover the secrets of alien life that is hidden within the secret government facility.

However, before I go any further I think I should let you in on a secret. This was written and directed by Oren Peli, and if you don't know who that is, he wrote Paranormal Activity (only the first one) and Chernobyl Diaries. I feel like that's important to know because it really gives you an idea of what the film is going to be like. A found footage, low budget horror flick. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

I will admit up front, the characters are not dynamic and the story is not the best, but I freaking loved this movie from start to finish. I think what I loved about this film is that it plays off all the desires that a conspiracy theorist like me has; to learn what's truly held in Area 51. We get to see how someone overcomes the security measures set in place to protect one of the best kept secrets in the United States, and then we get to see what's inside.

Yes, a lot of stuff is unbelievable, a lot of it can be ridiculous, the found footage aspect doesn't make sense to me, and the trailer shows way too much, but that's okay! If you have ever wondered what is in Area 51, or wondered if anyone could break in, then you will enjoy this movie (yes I know that no one in this film actually broke in to area 51). If you suspend your disbelief for an hour and a half, then your conspiracy theorist brain will get tickled in an extremely pleasurable way. 

You'll Like, if You Like: found footage films, horror films, alien films, conspiracy theories, or Paranormal Activity.

Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FmgFQP