Traitor

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags , , on August 27, 2008 by coryangennet

Title: Traitor

Starring Actor(s)/Actress(es): Don Cheadle, Saïd Taghmaoui, Guy Pearce, Neal McDonough

Genre: Action / Drama

Status: In Theaters

Release Date: August 27th, 2008

Plot Summary: A special operative (Cheadle) working for a renowned terrorist group inadvertently becomes a target of the CIA.

Review: I could easily see how this one would slip by the mainstream (as it would appear from the not so full theater). It’s not the knock-down-drag-out action movies that have been all the rage lately (i.e. Wanted or Death Race). It really had a very sincere plot that made for an interesting movie. It’s very well put together as well. Judging by what I saw in the trailer, I thought I was going to see a movie that fell in along the lines of the Bourne series, but this one took a strange turn from the get go. As much as I will never understand the whole suicide bomber mentality, seeing something from that point of view was quite intriguing. Don Cheadle was, as usual, quite amazing in this movie. His co-star throughout most of the film, Taghmaoui, also did a very good job portraying the sort of middle-man in the organization. That all being said, there were many parts to this movie that seemed to be a little slow. Granted, they did build up to some pretty intense moments, the slowness got a little strung out. I think one of the reasons these kinds of movies seem so appealing is because of the global settings in which they occur. There had to have been eight to ten different city/countries seen throughout the movie, which made for the question of where they would go next, which I love.

Overall, I would say this one is a solid action/drama, with just a bit more emphasis on the drama. It’s definitely not for everyone (in fact it seems to be for more of a middle-aged crowd), and most of my friends wouldn’t find it as intriguing as I did, but it’s definitely a good movie. One of the finer serious action movies (now I mean serious and action-packed, not seriously action-packed) I’ve seen in quite some time.

Rating: 3.75/5

Warped Tour 2008

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , on August 7, 2008 by coryangennet

Bands: Warped Tour 2008

Date/Time: August 3 @ 11:00

Venue: Canterbury Park, Shakopee, MN

Genre(s): Wide Range

Review:

Considering I was there the whole day and saw a bunch of bands, I’ll just go through the main ones:

We The Kings: This is a great new pop punk band that I recently got into. Their have some really fun, upbeat songs and their stage presence isn’t bad either. There were a lot of people at their stage when they played, which was a little unexpected because they weren’t playing at one of the main stages. However, I think that it just added to the atmosphere. It made it a little more exciting.

Reel Big Fish: Yeah, Reel Big Fish. It was awesome. I’m a huge fan of these guys, and I have been for some time, so seeing them live was a real treat. As great as their music is, their stage show is just as amazing. Their songs aren’t really ever very serious, and neither are the guys. They really just joke around while up there, and they played some interesting songs (they even did a little bit of Enter Sandman before deciding it just wasn’t the right day). They’ve been around a while and I really hope they keep going because I’d really love to see them again.

Story of the Year: This is a band that I didn’t really think I would keep listening to after their initial success back in 2003, but they’ve continued to put out great albums. Their newest album The Black Swan just came out a few months ago, so they had some great new songs to play. It was a really high energy performance, and it was pretty fun to go to. Not to mention it was the only “hard rock” band I saw all day, which is my preference.

3OH!3: White guys from Colorado rapping over electronica beats. If that doesn’t sound like the best show you will ever see I don’t know what does. I started listening to them after I saw that they were on the list of bands playing, and I really got obsessed with their first full-length album Want. The music is fun, fast paced, and quite funny. I’ve never been to any form of hip-hop show, but this was a fun one for me to start with. Definitely worth seeing again.

Over the course of the day I also went to Four Years Strong, The Color Fred, Throw the Fight (local metal band). I then stood back and watched Angels and Airwaves, Motion City Soundtrack and Cobra Starship.

I would say that it was a pretty successful first Warped Tour experience for me. I was by myself the whole day, and I did lose my wallet for about an hour (before I got it from some security chick), so it could have been better, but the music was still good. Thirty minutes is too short for a truly great show, so I’m going to have to catch some of these bands when they’re playing their own shows, and I suggest you do the same.

Pineapple Express

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on August 7, 2008 by coryangennet

Title: Pineapple Express

Starring Actor(s)/Actress(es): Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, Gary Cole, Kevin Corrigan, Craig Robinson

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Status: In Theaters

Release Date: August 6, 2008

Plot Summary: Dale (Rogen) witnessed a major drug dealer commit a murder. Now he, and his dealer, are on the run and trying to not get killed.

Review: This is, by far, one of the best comedies of the year. It’s got everything you could possibly want in a stupid comedy movie. It’s not only got great comedy, but there is a lot of action in this one. There are very few parts in this movie where I wasn’t either completely enthralled in the action sequences or laughing my face off at the ridiculous comedic bits. Everyone knows Seth Rogen from Knocked Up and Superbad, but James Franco really stole this one. I, along with (probably) the majority of you reading this, only know Franco from his role as Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies, but he’s actually a really funny actor. While the majority of his comedy was in the dialog, he’s what really made it funny. His delivery and performance were amazing. As much as I love his movies, Seth Rogen’s voice can get a little on the annoying side, so having other people in this one making the jokes was really nice. While watching this I noticed that there were a few pretty huge plot holes, along with some other stuff that just didn’t seem to make sense, but I could get past it.

Overall, I would say this one is another great addition to the recent successes that this group has had. It isn’t their best effort, but it’s a fun, exciting, and enjoyable ride from beginning to end. Anyone who was a fan of their previous outings, or anyone who just wants a ridiculous blend of comedy and action, will have a fun time at this one. It’s a great ‘stoner comedy’ that, along with the huge box office money it’s going to make, will make a killing on DVD.

Rating: 4.5/5

Global Currency?

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , on July 28, 2008 by coryangennet

The world, whether we like it or not, revolves around money. Take a look at the underdeveloped countries and the developed ones. The major difference is usually living conditions, which inevitably circle back to money. So the question arises: “Why not have a single global unit of currency?” I’ve had the thought before but, as humorously as it seems, Stephen Colbert’s show from last Thursday caught my attention. He talked about the US joining the EU, which is quite a bit different than what I’m talking about now. However, it does pose an interesting debate. So that being said, and before I get into my details, I want you all to know that this has been brewing in my mind for only a few hours now. In other words, I’m not an economical or political or any kind of expert. This is just a simple citizen’s perspective and findings on the matter.

So let’s start with the Pros:
First of all, there are roughly 190 different currencies in the world. Simplifying that down to one create far less of a hassle.
There would be no real national currency crisis. Our (the US) economy is in the shitter. There’s no way around that anymore. A Global Currency that is mandated to keep inflation low would boost our economy as well as keep it somewhat stable in the future.

Now the Cons:
If, for some reason, there was an economic slump in one specific country, that country could not use their monetary system to adjust for it.
Also, I’m sure there would be significant protests from some American (any maybe other) citizens that wouldn’t want to trade the dollar, the dollar that they’ve used their entire life, for something new. Another problem would be how it would be governed. How would it work? What would effect these prices?

Obviously there would be some things that would need to be known internationally for this to work, but systems like this have been popping up all over the world in recent years. Most notably is the Euro. But there are other places doing this too. The Caribbean Community (most of the islands in the Caribbean along with some South American countries), the East African Community (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda), West African Monetary Zone (Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, possibly Liberia), and ASEAN +3 (Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, People’s Republic of China, Japan and South Korea) all have a proposed currency. There are even talks of Mexico, the US and Canada to share a similar currency. These would be a great way to get the world started on something that could be an eventual possibility.

So what are your thoughts? I’m sure you’ve thought about it before, and if not, well here you go. If you have any other knowledge on the matter, or just simply want to state your opinion on it, please comment.

____________
Sources:
Are you ready for a global currency? by David R. Francis (a bit outdated, but the basis for most of my info)
‘Currency’ Wikipedia article
‘United States dollar’ Wikipedia article
‘Euro’ Wikipedia article

The Dark Knight

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags on July 18, 2008 by coryangennet

Title: The Dark Knight

Starring Actor(s)/Actress(es): Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman

Genre: Action / Thriller

Status: In Theaters

Release Date: July 18, 2008

Plot Summary: When a new madman starts terrorizing Gotham City Batman, along with James Gordon and the new DA Harvey Dent, must join forces to stop him.

Review: This movie was awesome! It definitely lived up to all the hype that it’s been getting over the last few weeks/months/whatever. The movie has everything that a great action movie can. There’s less emphasis on Bruce Wayne’s social life than in Batman Begins, but they’ve replaced it with a shitload of more action. Every review I’ve read so far has acclaimed Heath Ledger’s performance as something Oscar-worthy and I must agree. He’s got the comedic part down, but in an insanely creepy way. I, like most fans I’ve noticed, was very happy with the replacement of Katie Holmes with Maggie Gyllenhaal. She may not be as attractive, but her acting was quite a bit better. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman add some great comic relief to this movie that isn’t entirely needed, but it makes it more enjoyable. There are only a few negative points to this the movie. The first thing is that in the Batman Begins Gotham City looked a lot dirtier and darker and there was no real way to tell what city they actually filmed in. In this one the city was a much brighter and clearer, which makes sense with the storyline, but it was also incredibly easy to tell that they filmed it in Chicago. The other aspect that I didn’t find so great was Bale’s performance. For some reason his voice seemed to be too forced in this one than Batman Begins. Even in that movie it was a little noticeable, but in this one it seemed even worse. I loved the movie, all 2 hours and 45 minutes of it. It doesn’t feel nearly that long because the entire movie is action-packed and awesome.

By far this is going to be one of the biggest movies of the summer, if not the year. It’s a more than worthy sequel to an already amazing movie. It’s everything a fan could ask for. It’s got the action, it’s dark and comedy. I saw today that, as long as Christopher Nolan stays on, Christian Bale would agree to another sequel and I would be pumped for that.

Rating: 4.75/5

Wanted

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags , , , on July 10, 2008 by coryangennet

Title: Wanted

Starring Actor(s)/Actress(es): James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman, Thomas Kretschmann

Genre: Action / Adv

Status: In Theaters

Release Date: June 27, 2008

Plot Summary: Wesley (McAvoy) is a normal guy who leads a boring and repetitive life. That is until he’s recruited into a league of assassins.

Review: I think it’s safe to describe this movie in two words: BAD ASS! By far one of the more enjoyable movies out at the moment. I know it’s not for everyone because almost all of the action sequences are just so over the top and unrealistic, but that’s what makes this so awesome. While I love a simple action movie or even a good kung-fu flick, these movies are making their way up there in my book. There’s no way to can see this movie and be bored. Now, let’s mention the cast. James McAvoy does both parts of his life very well. He makes a great nobody whose annoyed with his job/life/everything, but he also turns into a real bad ass. Angelina Jolie is, well she’s Angelina Jolie… And Morgan Freeman is a mysterious assassin leader. How awesome is that? Now a movie isn’t a good movie without a story, but this one has that too. There are some genius twists throughout the movie and it’s not at all what I was expecting to happen.

All around, this is definitely in my top three movies of the summer (so far) and I’m definitely glad I got around to seeing it. If you’re a fan of action movies by any aspect, go see this movie. You will leave with that feeling like “Wow, I really want to be an assassin right now.” and you just want to start kicking peoples’ asses. It’s great.

Rating: 4.75/5

Hancock

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags , , , on July 5, 2008 by coryangennet

Title: Hancock

Starring Actor(s)/Actress(es): Will Smith, Jason Bateman, Charlize Theron

Genre: Action / Comedy

Status: In Theaters

Release Date: July 2, 2008

Plot Summary: A not so glamorous superhero, who is hated by the public, tries to redo his image and make the people of LA see how much they need him.

Review: Much unlike the last entry, this movie is one of the more creative ones as-of-late. It’s nice to see a “superhero” who isn’t a noble person. It gives it a little more of a reality. Plus Will Smith is hilarious. The whole movie has great comedy and it’s a really fun one to watch. The action scenes really aren’t anything too breathtaking. There are only a few full-on action sequences anyway, while the others are usually just quick little ones. The story is fairly well done. The backstory was quite interesting and I had an idea of who the “bad guy” would be going into it, but I was taken for a little bit of a loop in that department.

All in all, I think this was a very entertaining movie. It’s one that I’d been waiting for for a while and it didn’t do much to disappoint. The trailers seem to do a good job of skewing the look of the movie, though. From the trailers it seems like an action movie with comedy on the side. However, it’s kind of the opposite. Still enjoyable and, like I said, I’m a pretty big Will Smith fan so I enjoyed it. It’s not going to be a contender for the bigger summer blockbusters, but it’s a fun little movie for the summer.

Rating: 4/5