Movie of the Day – Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Well another summer movie season means another event film released to the masses.  If you aren’t familiar with the term”event film” well let us say that it is the most hotly contested, eagerly awaited movie of the summer.  While Transformers 3 may not be “the” event film of the summer, it is surely one of the largest releases of the year next to the final Harry Potter movie.  Transformers has had a storied career, with a stellar first release and then the terrible, almost downright offensive second film “Revenge of the Fallen”, there is a lot of scorn and intrigue that the third installment of the robots in disguise series has for fans.

In some ways we know what to expect with the third movie.  More explosions, more action, more everything, and in some ways that is a good and bad thing.  I will admit, I liked the first movie, a lot even.  It had robots wrecking shit, robots transforming, an interesting relationship between a boy and his car, and Peter Cullen bring my childhood to life with his reprisal of Optimus Prime.  I will ignore the scenery chewing acting, yawn inducing actors Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, and the juvenile mentality of Michael Bay.  I got a solid action movie that was entertaining and brought to life something as children, we have only seen in cartoons.  The second movie, crushed my childhood.  The action scenes were a mess, you couldn’t tell what was happening, LaBeouf and Fox were annoying again, the characters from the previous movie are now stereotypes and caricatures of their previous incarnation and even more adolescent fantasies of how women are portrayed in movies and racists looking robots.  It was like he polled a group of 12-year-old kids, sharing a copy of Maxim magazine and drinking Mountain Dew, about what they want in the next movie.  It was atrocious to say the least.

So now we come to the third installment of the series.  At a staggering two and a half hours, I knew I was in for a long, action packed, 3-D film.  I am interested in whether Bay was able to learn from his mistakes of the second movie and deliver us a better paced, action filled, all thrill no frill movie.  Well with a Lord of the Rings like running time, it damn well better deliver.

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Movie of the Day – Hoosiers

So I don’t cover or talk a lot about sports movies, except for the fictional sport of rollerball, and it is mainly out of this notion that most, if not all sports movies are rather formulaic.  It’s always about the underdog team, scraping and fighting for a chance to make it to the big show and that one final motivational speech to push them into the stratosphere of excellence.  We watch them achieve the impossible and cheer for their victory over the odds, whether that overcoming a tough opponent or some other social injustice that plagues the team.  You can see why I am not much of a fan of a genre of film that follows the same story format that most love stories follow.  Now this doesn’t mean I go out of my way to avoid sports movies, I will sit down and watch one if the right actors and story are present in the movie.  Sometimes I just can’t avoid watching them because my dad really loves inspirational sports movies and I see a lot of movies with him.  There is one in particular that I chose today for the resonance that it had on me and if I had to choose a great sports movie, this is it.

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Movie of the Day – Choke

I love Chuck Palahniuk books, so when they decide to make a movie based on one of his book, I am intrigued.  I love Sam Rockwell and when they cast him a lead role in a movie, I am going to watch.  Combining the two into a film immediately means I am going to see it.  If you haven’t read any Palahniuk books before, they have a certain satiric bite to them.  Very dark comedy interspersed between these satiric looks on current society.  They are fascinating reads and some of my favorite books.  Choke, which movie is based on, is one of my favorite novels next to Invisible Monsters and Fight Club.  The subject matter is dark in terms of what happens to the characters and how they interact with one another.  It is a series of maladies and lies that plagues characters and it makes for interesting dark comedy situations.  More fucked up observational humor and weirdness plague the book.  So to take a book like Choke which is filled with sexual deviance and childhood trauma and make movie out of it might seem a bit difficult, but like all of Palahniuks works, there is this beautiful madness to be found in the work and the translation to film.

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Movie of the Day – Anvil! The Story of Anvil

I am not much of a metal music fan.  I don’t have the long hair, tattoos, and my head hurts sometimes if I try and head bang.  I know it makes me seem fucking old but seriously, not much of a metal fan.  So I was never familiar with the band that the documentary is about and frankly, so are a lot of people as well.  Anvil has been rocking in obscurity for decades to most of the music loving public, but they have influenced some of the most well-known metal bands to date.  Metallica and Slayer are successful in their own rights, each band admires the influence that Anvil has had on them.   If a band has this much influence on our current music, why such obscurity?  Why isn’t this band headlining major music and metal events across the world?  A little thing like lack of fame might be enough to derail dedicated bands, but there is something special about a band that will go through hell and still come out rocking even when things look grim.  That is the story of Anvil.

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Movie of the Day – Food, Inc.

I don’t often choose a lot of movies that have this closed, social agenda to watch.  Don’t get me wrong though, I think documentaries have an incredible opportunity to move a point across to the public.  Think back to An Inconvenient Truth where Al Gore gave a stirring power point presentation about how we are killing our planet.  It created a movement where people took action to reduce their impact on the Earth.  Heck I talked about two documentaries that dealt with the Green Movement and also electric cars.  They were both interesting looks into a social movement or topic and presented a well thought out argument.  Where I sometimes feel lost in documentaries is when they lose focus on telling me about issue and focus on pushing a message across to the viewer forcefully.  It can be polarizing to be one minute informed about a subject and the next have this agenda beaten into your skull.  This is why Food, Inc. is somewhat of an enigma to me in my enjoyment of the documentary.  On one hand you have an informative documentary and the other you have a strong social message that turns into an agenda by the end of the film.  How are you supposed to feel and what questions does it leave to be answered?

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Movie of the Day – Duck Season

We have all seen movies that deal with that awkward phase in a teens life.  I am not talking about growing hair in weird places or the act of watching your voice drop an octave, but the act of coming into your true self and the shape in which your personality will become.  It is the classic coming of age story that usually finds our intrepid young actors figuring out life and their place in it.  These themes usually revolve around parental strife, a girl/boy that the character likes or some form of hardship that a family goes through.  For better or worse we get a happy ending of the sorts when the main character figures out their place in life and all goes well in the world.  So while the genre might seem stale, all it takes is one movie to shift that established notion of the coming of age story, which director Fernando Eimbcke did with his minimal film Duck Season.

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Movie of the Day – Man on Wire

I guess today is the sort of day that needs a little inspiration.  Whether work has you down, life is at odds with you, or even your future outlook is uncertain, we all need to take a chance or find something to strive for.  We all have some sort of goal, whether written down on a post it note or scribbled in a notebook, we all have this drive to see something we want to achieve and just do it.  Man on Wire might not get you inspired enough to tight rope walk across two buildings, but you have to feel a bit of admonishment from this mans actions to do what he did because it was there to do.  I don’t normally look at two buildings and think “I got walk between the two buildings, thousands of feet up in the air” but rather I look and think maybe I can take a cue and just do something because it is there to do.

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Movie of the Day – Taking Woodstock

It was the summer of love and a ton of other cliche saying when referring to the 1969 Woodstock Festival.  Most of the movies that cover the time when free love, cultural movements and the best music in any genre are just based around the festival.  Think of them like concert dvd’s more than a theatrical movie.  Sure the music is what it was all about, this convergence of the era’s finest musicians is something to cherish and admire.  So few movies even make an attempt to capture the early beginnings of the festival, showing how it was done and built up into the iconic moment in American history.  So Taking Woodstock isn’t necessarily a documentary, more so a comedy drama about the making of Woodstock.  I am sure there are people who were wishing that it was about the reverberation of guitar strings or the soulful wailing of a songstress, belting out her ballad to the crowd and allowing us, the viewing audience, a chance to place ourselves in the time of the summer of love.  Well if you were expecting something of that nature I suggest you go watch “Woodstock” which is hailed as one of the finest concert movies about Woodstock.  Otherwise, sit back and enjoy an Ang Lee directed comedy about the quirkiness of an interior designer and how he seized the opportunity to bring Woodstock to life.

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Movie of the Day – Bullitt

If you are a fan of Steve McQueen, (if you are male and aren’t familiar with Steve McQueen, grow some balls and a beard then come talk to me) then you know why I choose this movie today.  Seriously, every guy, car enthusiast, and gear heads will know exactly the scene I will inevitably refer to in this post.  Bullitt harkens back to the time when muscle cars and car chases go hand in hand.  Hell it is the sole reason muscle cars exists is to see them go really fast and preferably chasing another muscle car through the twists and turns of a crowded city.  Bullitt has one of the best car chase scenes in movie history.  Other people will contend that other movies have better chase scenes, which is fine opinion to have.  If you think to bring up anything of that Fast and Furious franchise into the car chase ring, prepared to be laughed out of the ring in your supped up 97 Honda Civic.  I realize I am focusing on cash scene a lot but to be honest, this is what the movie will be forever remembered for.  So buckle up suckers and get ready for Bullitt.

Haters Gonna Hate

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Movie of the Day – Superbad

Alright, so I have gone through the spectrum of kids movie in the span of two days.  The Sandlot touched up a time when kids just wanted to have fun and play baseball, enjoying the long stretches of summer and taking in a favorite game.  Now we jump to a more current time, where kids I imagine are more interested in videogames and looking for ass.  To be fair, not all kids are like this, but if you read the newspaper or hell read any news online, kids are fucking out of control now.  So while Superbad is not a representation of a teen movie, cause I mean what is a solid teen movie, I decided on a raunchy, funny and entertaining film that really brings out the vulgarity in all of us.

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