Archive for May, 2008

Zack and Miri Make a Porno Teaser!

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags on May 30, 2008 by coryangennet

For any of you who are unaware, the new movie from cult master director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma, etc.) entitled Zack and Miri Make a Porno staring Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks is set to drop sometime this fall.  Being a huge Kevin Smith fan, I’m super excited.  So much so that I stayed up until 2:00 AM just to catch a quick glimpse of what to expect from one of my top five most anticipated films of the year. 

The information of the teaser trailer, which was rumored to surface well over a week ago, was posted on Kevin’s MySpace earlier tonight and said to check back at midnight.  Of course, midnight was going on west coast time, which means I got to wait an extra two hours for it to show up here in rainy ol’ Minnesota.  But you know what?  I found stuff to entertain myself for the two and a half hours between the time I found out until then, and I must say I’m glad.  The teaser is only a minute and fifty seconds long, and includes no footage from the full theatrical release, but it made me even more excited about the full trailer (that’s rumored to be released with Seth Rogen’s other summer flick Pineapple Express).  Here’s the piece of footage I lost hours of sleep waiting for.  Enjoy.

Panic at the Disco / Motion City Soundtrack / The Hush Sound / Phantom Planet

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags on May 29, 2008 by coryangennet

Bands: Panic at the Disco / Motion City Soundtrack / The Hush Sound / Phantom Planet

Date/Time: May 27 @ 7:00

Venue: The Myth, Maplewood, MN

Genre(s): Pop Punk / Rock

Review:

Phantom Planet: I’d never really heard anything from this band before, other than their amazingly popular song ‘California’ (yeah, the O.C. theme song). I must say though, they have an amazing stage presence. Alex Greenwald, the lead singer, is a very hyperactive person on stage (or off, as he showed a few times) and they seem to have a great time being on stage. Their music isn’t bad either. Unlike all their major hit ‘California’, the majority of their music is really upbeat and fun to listen to. I wasn’t a fan prior to this show, but I think I’ll check these guys out now.

The Hush Sound: The Hush sound is a pretty interesting band. I’m very picky when it comes to vocals, especially when they’re female vocals, but these guys have a nice mix of male and female vocals. Their stage presence wasn’t as animated as Phantom Planet, but they were still a pretty fun band to watch. Like the female vocals, pianos in this kind of music is a bit iffy too, but she pulled that one off pretty nicely too. I heard that they sounded much better live, so I’m glad that it was my first experience with it. Their definitely a good band, but not one that I would really listen to on a regular occasion.

Motion City Soundtrack: I don’t really know how to even start this one out. MCS is a great, yet pretty unique sounding band. The show they put on was awesome, and I’m sure it helped that they are from Minneapolis. I remember listening to this band a few years ago and loving them then, and I still do. Sadly, however, they kind of dropped on my list for a while and I’m a little disappointed now. The vocal style is definitely an odd one. Justin Pierre has a pretty distinctive voice, but I can easily see how someone could not like it. Almost every one of their songs is so upbeat that you can’t help but have a good time listening, and they were great with the crowd too. I’m a little disappointed that they won’t be playing the Warped Tour this year, but at least I got to see them now.

Panic at the Disco: This band is one that I know is quite subjective nowadays, but I still like them a lot. They just released a new album that sounds completely different from their previous one, and I, for one, don’t think it’s as good. It’s still a nicely put together album, but they’ve kind of shied away from the goofy stuff from the first that I loved when it first came out. That being said, they put on quite a show. They played a lot of their first album songs, which made me happy because I know almost all of the songs from that album. They’re all a bunch of pretty odd (pun intended) guys, and they definitely show it on stage, but it makes for an interesting show. I was a little miffed because their last 2 encore songs were ones from the new album that I didn’t know, but the entire show was a great experience.

This is the first show in a while that I’ve actually enjoyed every band that’s played to a certain extent. It was a great lineup and I’m glad that I actually got in (I got one of the last tickets available because I’m broke and a procrastinator). Though the amount of 14-year-old girls there was annoying, the show was great and it makes me really excited about the Warped Tour coming up this summer.

PS: New note for concerts: I’m not going to put ratings on them anymore.  It’s too hard to rate an entire show when 4 different bands play.  You should really be able to figure out if I liked it or not.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Posted in Movie Reviews on May 25, 2008 by coryangennet

Title: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Starring Actor(s)/Actress(es): Harrison Ford, Shia LaBeouf, Karen Allen, Cate Blanchett, John Hurt

Genre: Action / Adventure

Status: In Theaters

Plot Summary: Renowned archaeologist Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones (Ford) is, once again, thrown into adventure when he gets caught up in a Soviet plan to discover the origin of the mythical kingdom of the Crystal Skulls.

Review: Now to start this off, I’m not that much of an Indiana Jones fan. I’ve seen the old movies, but only recently, so this one wasn’t really high on my list to see. However, it was a good movie. Harrison Ford, while definitely aging, can still pull off a great performance. He’s still got his badass, witty comments throughout the adventure, and the stunts looked really well done. There was a nice combination of old and new characters to the gang this time. It was nice to see Karen Allen come back for another go-around, reprising her role from The Raiders of the Lost Ark. And I know people were skeptical about Shia LaBeouf joining the cast, as he’s been in some questionable roles, but I think he added nicely to the cast. He was pretty much like the other side-kicks Indy has: generally useless, but randomly have something helpful to contribute with. The rest of the cast did just as well, making it a great cast overall. I also liked the fact that they were able to keep a pretty tight lid on this one. One of my downfalls is that I get so into a movie that I know too much about it before it comes out, and I ruin the experience for myself. Now, like I said, I wasn’t super excited for this one, but I do know that they kept everything very secretive, which also helped. There were some aspects of it, however, that I didn’t quite enjoy. I know that all of the Indiana Jones movies have had some kind of mystical presence involved, but this one was just a little different. I guess, for me, it just didn’t quite fit. I suppose it does if you go back and look at it again, but watching it for the first time, it doesn’t seem to work. I would like to see them finish off the five-movie plan they had back in the 80s and get that last one made to wrap it all up. My final thoughts? I would say it’s a great addition to the series. Definitely not the best of the series, but definitely on par with or close to the others.

Rating: 4.5/5

Progressive Nation ’08: Dream Theater / Opeth / Between the Buried and Me / Three

Posted in Concert Reviews on May 13, 2008 by coryangennet

Bands: Dream Theater / Opeth / Between the Buried and Me / Three

Date/Time: May 12 @ 6:30

Venue: The Myth, Maplewood, MN

Genre(s): Progressive Rock / Metal

Review:

Three: Yeah, they have a number for a name. Sounds kind of lame, but they’re actually a really good band. Their vocalist plays a mean acoustic guitar, that sounded incredibly bad ass along with the rest of the band. His vocals, I would say, were a bit odd, but they fit their style nicely. Their stage space was pretty cramped because Dream Theater has such a huge set up, so I would have liked to see if they what they would have been like with more room. They’re definitely a band that I’m going to look into after this.

Between the Buried and Me: Of course, a show wouldn’t be complete without me not really liking one of the bands (unfortunately). I tried to go into it with an open mind, but these guys just made it really hard. If they played more than two songs, I honestly couldn’t tell you. They played for about 15 minutes, stopped, then played for another 15 minutes, and throughout that whole time I couldn’t tell the difference between songs. I think, maybe, if they had been on a different bill it would have been easier to get into, but they were just the odd band out last night.

Opeth: Another one of my norms at shows; not knowing enough of the band prior to the show. I really wish I knew more of their material, but they’re catalogue is so massive that it’s hard to know where to start. I’m definitely going to look into them after this. Mikael, the vocalist, is an amazing musician. Their music is great and he’s a great entertainer between songs. We even met him back by the busses later that night and he’s a pretty cool guy. Plus, he’s Swedish and, in my experiences, Swedish people are pretty goofy. They’re undoubtably one of the greatest Prog bands out there.

Dream Theater: Second time seeing DT in two years. Nice. The last time I saw them was at a Theater where I had an assigned seat, so it wasn’t nearly as fun as this time. Their stage presence is simply amazing. All of them are great at what they do, and it’s just simply a great experience. I recently got more familiar with their entire discography, so I knew almost all of the songs that they played from the get go. It makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

As if seeing Dream Theater in a good venue isn’t enough, they had to bring a (pretty) awesome group of other bands to accompany them. The night was thoroughly enjoyable, and it was definitely a great time. I know music is a lot more suggestive than movies, so it’s hard to recommend it to anyone, but it’d be cool if anyone else got into Prog Metal. It’s an awesome experience.

Rating: 4.5/5

Memento

Posted in Aged Movie Reviews on May 11, 2008 by coryangennet

Title: Memento

Starring Actor(s)/Actress(es): Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Genre: Crime / Drama

DVD Release: Sept 4, 2001

Plot Summary: A man with no short term memory looks for the man who raped and murdered his wife through a series of Polariods and notes.

Review: I remember this one getting serious acclaim when it came out, but I was only 11 so serious and odd drama didn’t really catch my attention at the time. Now, however, I recognize the awesomeness of this movie. For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s shot in reverse. Not the entire movie, but the story is in chunks that are told, in line, backwards. It’s a really innovative way to tell a story. Plus, the story is really really good. I’ve never really seen anything with Guy Pearce in it, but he’s a pretty good actor. Moss and Pantoliano just remind me of The Matrix, but they still put on a great performance for this one. While watching it I decided that it’s definitely one of the most confusing movies I’ve ever seen, but once you see the end (or the beginning really) it all kind of makes sense. There really isn’t a whole lot of criticism for this one. It made a big deal back in it’s day, and it’s easily understandable why. I would definitely suggest everyone who loves ‘thinker’ movies to see it at some point.

Rating: 4.75/5

Shoot ‘Em Up

Posted in Movie Reviews on May 10, 2008 by coryangennet

Title: Shoot Em Up

Starring Actor(s)/Actress(es): Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, Paul Giamatti, Stephen McHattie

Genre: Action

Status: Out on DVD

Plot Summary: A man known only as Mr. Smith (Owen) is forced into a crazy situation when he witnesses a pregnant woman being gunned down. He decides to to take the baby to safety.

Review: I’m not really sure whether or not to put this in the Aged section or not, because it’s been out on DVD for about 5 months now, but it’s still from the same year so I figure it’s alright. Now, this is by far the most unrealistic, insane, out of control action movie I’ve seen in a really long time. And I loved it. You can’t really criticize it for being unrealistic because it’s just so out there. The action sequences are awesome, the ways that he rigs up his kills is crazy. I realize that most people wouldn’t like this movie because of that, but if you go into this movie expecting an amazing action flick, you will not be disappointed. There were some aspects that I didn’t like. There are a lot of stunts that involve the baby that just seem a little much. Although Clive Owen kind of annoys the piss out of me, Paul Giamatti as a villain and Monica Bellucci looking the way she does makes up for it. Overall, it’s a pretty badass flick, but only if you go into it knowing what to expect.

Rating: 4/5

Everything is Illuminated

Posted in Aged Movie Reviews on May 8, 2008 by coryangennet

Title: Everything is Illuminted

Starring Actor(s)/Actress(es): Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz, Boris Leskin

Genre: Drama / Comedy

DVD Release: March 21, 2006

Plot Summary: When his grandmother dies, Jonathan (Wood) travels to Ukraine to find the woman who helped his grandfather escape from the Nazis.

Review: This was another one that I’m not really sure where I heard it. It’s not a typical movie for me, because it’s a bit on the serious side, but it’s definitely a great movie. It’s based on the book by the same title, and now I’m really interested in seeing what the book has to offer to the story. It’s a bit confusing as to what is going on because they’re traveling throughout the Ukraine, and to be honest, it all kind of looks the same. There are also so really odd flashback type scenes that get a little messed up, but they’re not too confusing to understand after a while. Another aspect of this movie that interested me is the fact that it’s the first time I’d heard of Eugene Hutz as an actor. He’s the frontman of the “gypsy punk” band Gogol Bordello, of whom I am a huge fan of. His odd broken English is comical throughout the whole film, but he really can pull off the serious parts as well. I’m not entirely sure who I would recommend this one too. It’s a bit of an indie flick and it’s, again, more serious than I usually like, but it’s still great.

Rating: 4/5