Monday, April 19, 2010

Kick-Ass Review

Just got back from seeing Kick-Ass. I thought it was pretty good but there are some minor problems I had with it. One article I read claimed that the movie was a "ebullient blend of the best bits from Spider-Man, Watchmen and Superbad." It does definitely feel like an amalgamation of those with a whole lot of other stuff that Quinton Terrintino would love to see on the big screen (if you had no problem stomaching Kill Bill Volume I, then you will have no qualms with this film). I would say, however, that it is not as fun as Spider-Man, which was a whole lot of fun from beginning to end and had plenty of action along the way. Kick-Ass started out presenting violence and masked heroism as something that is realistically painful with real life consequences. There are bruises and broken bones and trips to the hospital. This makes the action scenes, specifically involving the inexperienced Kick-Ass (yes, that is his superhero name) to be a little more stressful. Peter Parker was, in the audiences eyes, never in any real danger. Watchmen had some strong themes and very human characters. Despite being a little lengthy, it carried a lot of the same literary ideals that made the original comic so popular (and the only graphic novel to make it on Time Magazine's list of 100 greatest novels of all time. Quite an achievement). One of the bigger problems in a lot of the reviews that I have been reading of the film, especially Roger Ebert's, is how the film is not morally grounded and could leave the viewer with a warped perception of violence. I do agree with this although it is, at it's core, just a "cool", "badass" movie. It isn't trying to be anything that it's not. Also, it is not as funny as Superbad. There are a few exchanges that are pretty funny but there are a lot of points where it does miss the mark. Overall I would say if you like Kill Bill, Watchmen, Sin City, or other films of that ilk, I would say this is worth a watch. If you are easily offended or could never dream of sitting through difficult to watch films like as Hostel or Saw, then don't see this. You will probably hate it.

The only reason I did a more in-depth review for Kick-Ass, as opposed to some of the other films I've seen recently, is because after seeing it I was sort of torn on whether I liked it or not. It wasn't a straight up dud like Dear John and it wasn't an undeniable delight like How To Train Your Dragon.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Films and Iceland

Iceland is proving to be as stubborn as ever and will not let up with the smoke and ash. I am pushing back my travels to mainland Europe until Saturday (hopefully). For the last few days I have been going to movies and visiting local coffee shops to get some writing done (reached 14,000 words this evening on the project I am currently working on. I'm really liking it too).

Some of the films I've gone to and what I thought of them...

Remember Me: Not that great. I was expecting more from something from the guy who directed The Sopranos. Kind of a crappy script. Sad ending that didn't really make the story or message any better, just really sad. Rob Pattinson wasn't too bad though. Just wish he would pick some better films to do.

Dear John: Never have I seen a more bland protagonist. It made me wish I was watching the Notebook. I didn't really like the messages here either. They were basically 1) if you are a bad boy, joining the army will fix you and make you a decent human being and 2) if you are head over heals in love with someone you should do as much for them as you can for them even if they don't treat you very well. How about living your own life and not meddling too much in other people's private affairs? I felt kind of bad for Nicholas Sparks after watching this one.

How To Train Your Dragon: So good. I would recommend this to anyone, old or young. Same writer director as Lilo & Stitch, one of my all time favorite animated films. Good, relatable characters. Some awesome visuals too. Lot's of great comedic actors in here too. I usually hate Dreamworks animated films but with a 98% rating at Rotten Tomatoes you can't go wrong. As good, I'd say, as anything Pixar is making these days, which is saying a lot.

Speak easy,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

another victory for hysteria

These are some doodles I did the other day that I think I might want to use for t-shirt designs or something. The top one is a hedgehog (obviously) inside a Matroyshka and the bottom one is a compsognathus playing a game boy. In reality the compsognathus (although one of the smallest dinosaurs) would tower over a game boy.

Less than two days left of my solitary confinement. The closest thing I have to a friend right now is this guy that works at the local coffee shop who I have forced awkward small talk with. I hate it when you talk to someone for five minutes when both of you only have thirty second worth of stuff to say. I can get a ton of work done at coffee shops though, assuming I drink my coffee slow and I am not sitting with anyone. Somehow the people moving in and out and the fact that I can't just leave when I still have coffee in the mug gives me a sense of urgency, throwing procrastination out the window. With that being said I am starting to write a lot about some of my experiences here. I'm not sure if I want anyone to read it unless it is absolutely necessary. It's fairly personal and completely unfiltered. Embarrassing I'm sure.

Since I'm exhausted I'll just put up a slew of pictures instead of writing any more.

Speak easy,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Euro for Euro, Pound for Pound

Had a lot of fun in London and Dublin. London proved to be incredibly expensive but we didn't pay for accommodation in Dublin because my friend Mike has family there so we were able to stay in homes for free. I leave for Prague on Saturday. Wrote about 6,000 words in the past two days and hope that this week is going to be a good one for writing. No one is around because everyone is on holiday. My friend Ariel is coming back on Friday and from there we are going to travel some more.

By the way, the brunette is my friend Kristina who lives in my building. The other girl is her sister Alyssa who visited the UK last week. Both good travel companions.

It looks like it's going to cost me up to $350 to change my flight in June so it may be worth it for me just to spend another nine days here and then start camp almost immediately when I get back. The downside to that is little to no time to catch up with my friends. I suppose that's what weekends are for.

Speak easy,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Clink

Spent the last few days in London. It's a beautiful city (if not a little cold this time of year) with some fabulous architecture. I took a ton of pictures and spent more money than I would have liked but right I am trying to keep that out of my mind. Went to the Film Museum of London today all by myself. Totally worth the £10 to see some Spongebob animation cells and a scale model of the Aliens alien. Got the hang of the London Underground. Heading to Dublin in a few days. Super tired and exhausted at the moment. Writing this from a hostel actually. Judging from the Americans I've met here (my traveling party and flatmates excluded) I can see why Europeans have a negative image of them/us. The hostel is called Clink and is (from what I can tell) a repurposed courthouse/prison. The computer room is a court room and I am in the Probation Box in front of the judges seat.

Speak easy,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Note to self: Reinvent Wheel

My Finnish flatmate Fillip* filled this one out for me after dinner this evening. I think it is accidentally insightful and also kind of awesome.

*Awesome unintentional alliteration.

Squirrel citing! They are not to keen on getting their pictures taken.

Slightly obscene/on point advertisement for a clothing store in the city centre. I will give them some credit for incorporating the most conservative of sex positions for their window display. They could have done a lot worse.

There was a bar that was doing face painting one night. They were slightly amused/confused about my choice of design.

My room!

Speak easy,

p.s Congrats to Liz for being on the Martha Stewart Show! So exciting. Wish I could have watched it on the telly.