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For the past couple months I’ve been weighing the last year’s worth of films against one another in an effort to come up with some sort of obligatory year-end “Top Five” list, and I’ve arrived at one conclusion. Considering the intense war that Hollywood seems to be waging on its own product and the identical feculent pods that issue forth every weekend from the bloated reproductive sac at the very core of that foul hive, 2012 was an unusually entertainment-rich year. I lurched my shambling form into the theaters more often than usual to be sure, and I can’t lie: I saw a whole lot of really great movies. There’s a lot that I thought might be horrible but wasn’t, and a handful of really big things that didn’t get covered on A Nerd Occurrence due to some poor coordination on our part. So in an effort to talk about everything I want to talk about, I’ve expanded the list to a more inclusive count of ten, and even then I had to make some cuts. So without further ado, in a suspenseful and roughly ascending format, here are my favorite films and strongest recommendations of 2012.
Let me start by saying that I am a Best Buy Reward Zone Premier Silver member. I guess that means that I’m a boss like Rick Ross in the Best Buy world or something like that. I’ve achieved this status by pretty much only buying movies and TV shows. Rewind to two weeks ago. I walked into my local Best Buy to browse the movie sales like I always do and what I saw caused me to become overwhelmed – so much so that I walked out of the store to go to another Best Buy. When I went to the other Best Buy, I was equally overwhelmed. What could be so overwhelming, you ask? Best Buy has combined their DVDs and blu-rays into one section! You may not think this is a problem but until you’ve seen it but trust me when I say that it is not a pretty sight. Read the rest of this entry
Let’s talk about food for a few minutes. I’ve found that the best way for me to kick any sort of crummy feeling is to get some good food and for this particular feeling, hot, spicy Korean food was the best medicine.
This summer has been packed with great action heroes, but as is increasingly the case, they were all in masks and plucked from the pages of comic books. That’s all well and good, but as all the adaptations pile up I find myself growing nostalgic for those bygone days when the movie stars themselves were the superheroes. Growing up, most of the cast of The Expendables 2 were just as iconic to me as any member of The Avengers. As a kid, I wouldn’t have wanted to see Sylvester Stallone playing a character in a Batman movie, I wanted to see a movie where Batman enlists the aid of Stallone himself to take out some bad guys. For the last fifteen years or so, the cinematic landscape has been missing so many crucial elements. Air strikes set to classic rock songs. Characters pausing momentarily to stitch themselves up or cauterize a stab wound with gunpowder. Arm wrestling. Slow motion jumping roundhouse kicks. Helicopters getting destroyed via improbable means. When the 80′s action film gave way to the independent wave of the 90′s, an unmistakable void was left in American cinema, and the modern action genre often feels weak and sterile. Sometimes, if you want something done right, a bunch of 60-year-old dudes just have to get back in the gym and do it themselves. Read the rest of this entry
What follows is a brief analysis of the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, written for my American Cinema class. As with my previous installments, the cited quotes are taken from the textbook American Cinema, American Culture, by John Belton. For a textbook it’s not a bad read, I’d recommend it for anyone interested in a history of Hollywood and the different genres of American film. This paper was hindered by a maximum page count for the assignment, so it is by no means a complete analysis. And as always with these assignments, if you haven’t seen the movie (really??), here there be spoilers.
I’m not sure if you know this, but I love to design, and from time to time I get the itch to design a new wallpaper. If you check out my deviantART profile you’ll notice that I don’t release new designs often and that most of my designs are very minimal in nature. Don’t get me wrong, I love the use of a subtle gradient or drop shadow as much as the next bloke; but, more often than not I really love simplicity. A few days ago, I was playing around with a two shades of gray (inspired by OS X Lion) and thought to myself, “I wonder what it would look like if I made a really minimal wallpaper featuring superhero logos?” Read the rest of this entry
Today the world lost a literary icon, as treasured fantasy author Ray Bradbury has passed away at the age of 91. Born in 1920, Bradbury was an avid reader and writer his entire life, publishing his first short stories at the age of 18. Often categorized as a science fiction author, Bradbury’s work does share some traits with the genre but he preferred the title of “fantasy author”, citing the fact that most of his stories were too fantastical to ever actually come true. In addition to authoring hundreds of short stories and nearly fifty books, Bradbury also made an impact on several decades’ worth of television. His stories were adapted for episodes of The Twilight Zone, Tales of Tomorrow, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, as well as the syndicated series The Ray Bradbury Theater, which ran for seven years and was hosted by Bradbury himself. He remained an active presence at science fiction conventions up until 2009, when health and age finally forced him into retirement.
Back in July, 2010 Columbia Pictures announced they would be rebooting the Spider-Man movie series, now known to us as The Amazing Spider-Man. With the release of the film just a month and some change away I thought I’d take a moment to discuss why I think Columbia Pictures made the right call. Those of you that have experience with the internet know that when studios announced reboots (especially with superhero reboots), millions of people follow suit with endless droning about how it’s a horrible idea and that the studio is greedy. Read the rest of this entry
My musical tastes have managed to remain anything but static over the years, I’ve gladly (and happily at times) listened to new stuff and tried to give just about everything a fair try. A few particulars I’ve heard over my long love of music have managed to stick with me from the minute I heard them until time comes I can’t hear it anymore. Today saw the passing of one of these people I really never thought I’d have to imagine a world without; MCA of the Beastie Boys died today after a long battle with cancer. I just want to take a minute to put down some words for not only him but the group about how much I’ve enjoyed their music since the first time I saw the video for “You Have to Fight For Your Right” years ago. I remember distinctly the first time I saw it; this was when rap was something I hadn’t really much paid any interest in, but here I was suddenly captivated by the images I was seeing. The video was just this long entertaining exposition about how sometimes you have to make sure you don’t let the world fence you in; you have to fight to make sure you retain your own identity. The world got a little darker today, MCA will be missed immensely. Thanks for all the hours of good tunes, good times, and good memories with friends listening to the Beastie Boys. Kick it!