“The Wolverine” Review: A Very Different X-Men Film

Posted by    |    July 26th, 2013 at 4:12 pm

James Mangold’s newest film, The Wolverine, is not your average comic book superhero movie. It’s more of a stand-alone depiction of one man’s journey following a series of chaotic and troubling events. The Wolverine is a divergent type of film and nothing more than a mildly satisfying and entertaining action-adventure to go along with the rest of the summer’s blockbuster films.

Much to my surprise, The Wolverine takes place after 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand (or X3) instead of picking up from the previous similar titled film in 2009, X-Men Origins: The Wolverine. As confusing as it sounds, this is Hugh Jackman’s 6th appearance in an X-Men film as Wolverine, and not his last.

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Still of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine

As previously mentioned, The Wolverine follows the events of X3 and follows the path of the battle worn, possibly suicidal Logan, or Wolverine as he is known. Logan is struggling with the death of Jean Grey and growing tired of his never-ending life of eternity because of his indestructible body makeup when an old, dying friend summons him to Japan. Out of his element and in a world he doesn’t know, Logan is thrown into an actual life-or-death situation for the first time in a while and is forced to push his emotional and physical limits as he struggles against samurai foes and his own immortality. This film may not always feel like a typical comic book, superhero film, but the one thing that’s for sure is that Jackman is still in top shape as Wolverine and still has what it takes to get the job done. (more…)

“Pacific Rim” Review: Does Less With More

Posted by    |    July 17th, 2013 at 11:32 am

Guillermo del Toro’s newest summer blockbuster, Pacific Rim, delivers exactly what it advertises, but not much more. This film is a roller coaster of action as building-sized monsters (a mix between Godzilla and dinosaurs) battle it out with giant, transformers-style robotic machines piloted by humans. Pacific Rim is entertaining with spectacular special effects and techniques but features stock, cliché characters, a mediocre plot, and feels extremely small scale compared to the large size of action and devastation presented.

Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, and company in Pacific Rim

Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, and company in Pacific Rim

When monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, begin to rise from a portal to another dimension deep in the ocean, a war breaks out, consuming millions of lives, humanity’s resources, and causing the destruction of multiple major cities. To stop these monsters, the nations of the world come together to create unique weapons called Jaegers, which are gigantic robots controlled by two pilots whose minds are connected to each other and the robot through a “neural bridge” that allows the robot to mimic the pilots’ movements. Whilst nearing defeat and with no other options, the militaries resort to seeking assistance from a burnt-out ex-pilot, Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam), and a mysterious, inexperienced rookie, Mako (Rinko Kikuchi), to pilot a famed Jaeger. With help from another Jaeger, these heroes do their best to put an end to the Kaiju and seal the connection between the two dimensions. (more…)

“The Way, Way Back” Review: A Great Summer Getaway

Posted by    |    July 5th, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Most of the popular films of 2013 to date involve fast-paced action, science fiction or wild special effects, but The Way, Way Back impresses without any of these elements. This film involves real people, real lives, and real consequences in a feel-good, summer comedy. The Way, Way Back is a bright, emotional, and witty film that anyone who was ever an awkward teenager can relate to.

Zoe Levin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, and Liam James in The Way, Way Back

Zoe Levin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, and Liam James in The Way, Way Back

The Way, Way Back is simplicity at it’s best as it tells the coming-of-age story of a young, self-conscious teenager trying to find his way. When a shy 14-year old boy, Duncan (Liam James), goes on summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette), her boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and her boyfriend’s daughter, he has a tough time fitting in. One day, Duncan unexpectantly stumbles upon Water Wizz (water park), where he meets new friends and finds a summer job. Instantly relating to many a generation, this film becomes a blast from my past as it embodies similar teenage situations and summer vacations. (more…)

“Six Photographs”: René Burri

Posted by    |    July 1st, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Fascinating look into the world of Swiss photographer Rene Burri, who spins a story around six images from his archive:  photographing Che Guevara in 1963, Pablo Picasso, and others.

From Vimeo.  “Burri also recalls his iconic 1960 São Paulo photograph ‘Men on a Rooftop, 1960′, shooting the San Cristobal Stables in Mexico city in 1976 and the reopening of the Suez Canal in 1974, explaining why modern techniques like photoshopping are getting in the way of our pursuit for the truth….

Credits:

Directed by Anthony Austin
Interview by Matt Willey
Produced by Helena Reis
Lighting by Genki McClure
Camera Assistance by Patrick Larder
Sound by Daniel Brosnan
Make up by Ezana Ove

Music:

‘Tu’ by Bebo Valdés
‘Trem Das Onze’ by Adoniran Barbosa
‘Recuerdos de la Alhambra’ by Narciso Yepes
‘El Gato Montés’ by Banda Corrida
‘Suki Sa Suki Sa Suki Sa’ by Nana Kimono
‘La Ouaynaki’ by Farid El Atrache
‘Granada’ by Mariachi De México

A Bosh film”

 

“White House Down” Review: Unimpressively Entertaining

Posted by    |    June 28th, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I recently attended a screening of Roland Emmerich’s (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) newest project, White House Down, and I was expectantly unimpressed. In short, it’s an under-performing, over-the-top, dramatic action-flick, but with a refreshing balance of humor and action. The only things White House Down delivers on is weak, unrealistic action and cheap thrills, but at the end of the day, it is a simple crowd pleaser.

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House Down

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House Down

While visiting the White House for a secret service interview, Capitol Policemen, John Cale (Channing Tatum) and his daughter, Emily (Joey King), end up on a White House tour at the same time the White House falls under attack. When a heavily armed military group overtakes the complex, Cale must save the president, his daughter, and ultimately the country. White House Down begins already feeling mediocre, but quickly escalates to unrealistic action sequences, weak special effects, and a gap-filled storyline. (more…)

“World War Z” Review: The Zombie Trend Continues

Posted by    |    June 21st, 2013 at 11:16 am

In recent years, audiences have seen a trend in entertainment involving zombies, which has spawned zombie-filled films and TV shows. Most of these creative presentations involve the spread of a disease, epidemic, or infection of the human race, causing those infected to turn into dead, mindless creatures wondering around and attacking those left alive.  In Brad Pitt’s newest film, World War Z, this trend has been taken to the next level as a zombie pandemic has broken out on a global scale, toppling armies and governments, and threatening human existence.

Picture of Brad Pitt in World War Z. Courtesy of Google Images

Picture of Brad Pitt in World War Z. Courtesy of Google Images

When a disease breaks out in the world and begins to create hordes of “zombies”, former United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt) is recruited to try and find a solution. As a former crisis management specialist, Lane quickly battles through the unknown to try and save the world and most of all, his wife and kids. World War Z is an entertaining, decent film with a structured story, character driven plot, and contains large-scale, intense action and special effects. This film clearly delivers with a multitude of thrilling scares, is intelligently executed, and is the kind of terrifying, riveting, real-world depiction that really makes you think, what if this happened to me? (more…)

“Man of Steel” Movie Review: Welcome to the Club!

Posted by    |    June 14th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Man of Steel, the latest reboot in a series of large, blockbuster reinventions, completely knocks it out of the park, telling the origins of Superman and recreating a popular comic book hero. From Zach Snyder, David Goyer, and Christopher Nolan, Man of Steel has absolutely everything Superman fans could ask for and so much more. The quality of this film is so good that there is no doubt this franchise will go in the same direction as Nolan’s “Batman” series or the vast collection of recent Marvel films (Iron Man, The Avengers, Thor, Captain America, etc.).

Courtesy of WB Pictures

Courtesy of WB Pictures

Man of Steel starts fresh and offers a unique, darker interpretation of the Superman story. When a far away planet known as Krypton is facing extinction and destruction, one of the planet’s scientists, Jor-El, sends his baby son Kal-El to Earth along with a piece of Krypton in hopes of someday creating a new planet. When a small town couple finds the crashed alien ship in Kansas, they take in the baby and raise him as their own. Given the Earth name, Clark Kent, Clark struggles to fit in and adapt to superhuman special abilities. After some time on Earth, Clark finds an abandoned alien ship buried in the ice and activates the ship’s systems, alerting a group of military prisoners from Krypton who have managed to escape their planet’s destruction. Once the prisoners locate Clark on Earth, the audience sees the aftermath of an alien invasion and discovers whether or not the human race will accept Clark as one of their own. Meanwhile, Clark must make his own decision whether to save Earth or help the prisoners destroy the planet to recreate Krypton. (more…)

“This Is The End” Movie Review: One of the Best Comedies of All Time

Posted by    |    June 12th, 2013 at 10:46 am

I recently got a chance to see This Is The End, and writing a review on this unique film was actually somewhat difficult. It is a stupid and vulgar waste of an hour and a half for non-moviegoers, but pure entertainment with inappropriate and hilarious comedy for fans of these actors and those who enjoy crude humor and mindless gags. This Is The End was directed and created by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and features actors and real life friends, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and more, in one of the wildest and inventive comedies of all time.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The first thing to note is that all of the aforementioned actors, as well as the supporting cast, play exaggerated versions of their real life selves in the film. This Is The End begins with Jay (Baruchel) arriving in Los Angeles to visit his long time friend, Seth (Rogen). They quickly plan out their night and decide to go to a party at James Franco’s house, where we see a lot of familiar faces, including most of the main cast as well as popular celebrities like Rihanna, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, and so on. After a series of unusual and catastrophic events leave L.A. devastated, six friends, mentioned above, find themselves trapped in Franco’s house. From this point on, it’s very apparent that this group of friends and the filmmakers are going to push the limits of this film and the generous R rating this movie was given. (more…)

The Internship: Have Fun at Work

Posted by    |    June 10th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Shawn Levy’s The Internship is a fun, entertaining, and pleasantly different kind of film. At its core, The Internship is basically an elaborate commercial for Google, as the movie places Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as Google interns, living and working at the Google campus in California. Unlike other product placements, the film is completely consumed with Google advertisements, products, places, and more. The Internship is unique in that it combines older generations with newer “tech” generations and places them together in a comedic, Google-filled environment.

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

After losing their jobs as salesmen, Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) find themselves desperately searching for a job, quickly realizing that they are “dinosaurs” who are inexperienced and under qualified for the new digital age. They soon stumble upon an opportunity as Google interns, where they must compete with a group of young, tech-savvy geniuses for a chance at real employment. Once at Google, Billy and Nick struggle to fit in and understand their surroundings, where they are matched with a group of fellow interns in a contest to see whom the smartest team is. The Internship creates an amusing and humorous situation as Billy and Nick’s old school ways clash with the smarts of the younger, knowledgeable interns. (more…)

DMA’s Studio Creations presents: Armor and Accessories

Posted by    |    June 3rd, 2013 at 2:06 pm

dma_logo

This past weekend the anime/japanese pop culture loving fanatics of North Texas converged onto the Hilton Anatole from May 31st to June 4th for A-Kon 24. A-kon is similar to other conventions such as Comic Con or Texas Frightmare Weekend, in which people get together to bond in their fandom while enjoying vendors, panel discussions, screenings, photo ops  and dance parties. Everyone knows one of the best things about these conventions is when people’s love for a character inspires them to become that character with the help of awesome costumes and makeup. While dressing up is a common practice at conventions you haven’t seen anything until you see what attendees of A-kon have got in the way of costume skills.

More commonly known as Cosplay, people often spend all year perfecting their costumes for A-kon making sure every detail is painstakingly attended to, transforming themselves into perfect replicas of their favorite characters.

akon1

A-kon 2012

akon2

A-kon 2012

 

 

If you’ve ever been to A-kon costume-less and gazed longingly at the wonderfully crafted wings and robot armor and wondered “omg, how can I do that?” then the DMA has got something you’ll want to check out this Saturday, June 8th called Armor and Accessories. Drawing inspiration from, you’ll learn how to make your own pieces of armor or jewelry using craft foam and other simple materials while learning the story behind this incredible sculpture piece.

Takenouchi no Sukune Meets the Dragon King of the Sea

Takenouchi no Sukune Meets the Dragon King of the Sea

Even though A-kon has already come and gone for 2013 this is the perfect time to start planning that dream costume for 2014 and the DMA is the perfect place to start learning how you’re going to bring it into reality. With great inspiration from Takenouchi no Sukune Meets the Dragon King of the Sea and all it’s amazing textures and details all you cosplay newbs can get started on your own set of robot armor or demon sword with a whole year to make it perfect.

When: Saturday, June 8th @ 1pm, 2pm or 3pm 

Where: C3 Art Studio

Cost: Free; Limited to the first thirty-six participants. Pick up tickets outside the Art Studio in C3 thirty minutes before each workshop begins