Thursday, January 24, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Maybe I should watch it again or something? No, thank you. I generally do not find myself yearning for the end of a movie. Especially, with the looming thought, "Maybe this one has a better ending than their last." While the ending stunk just as much as The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty had a much more refined boring-as-shit consistency than Hurt Locker.

Kathryn Bigelow seems like she's anxious a lot and, much like the torture controversy, misdirected. I found the end of The Hurt Locker disappointing, and as a father quite insulting. Zero Dark Thirty, was not so much a disappointment but rather a piece of military-propaganda garbage basking in the pretense of intentional award grabbing. And this red haired Jessica Blubbinstain, or whoever she is, nominated for an Academy Award? She can't even cuss.

I read somewhere there's 272 occasions of the word fuck in Resevoir Dogs. Any one of the Dogs' use of the word graces the audience's ears in a free flowing harmony. Now compared that to the few sprinkled in Zero Dark Thirty by this Jessica chick, and it seems apparent that she would speak more naturally were it merely a matter of strep throat.

The supposedly noteworthy string of bland, drawn out, and uninspired chucks of plot end on some contrived release of energy from Jessica. She hones in whatever childhood trauma she must, and sheds a tear after "expertly" identifying bin Laden's body

Facial recognition be damned. Jessica is the gal to go to during these important matters. "Clear a path soldiers," Jessica has arrived to confirm the conclusion to, as the film taglines, "The greatest manhunt in history."

I call bullshit.

Why has nobody been bringing up this Jason Clarke guy? He is the male lead, and one of the brothers in a good movie of 2012, Lawless. Clarke was phenomenal in Zero Dark Thirty (as well as Lawless.) Either way, I bet I would have been more moved by a sequel to Point Break.

Slop it up America, because Up Till Dawn Films will not.

2.6 Stars

Lawless ~ 4.2 Stars

Please note: We are perfectly aware that Jessica is also in Lawless. So what?

10 Best Motion Picture Soundtracks (Part One)

Everybody seems to like lists right? Well, we decided to come up with a couple special lists of some of the finest films and film achievements. Our first list did not come as easily as we thought it would, so we are going to give you our selections in two parts. This is part one of Up Till Dawn Films' 10 Best Motion Picture Soundtracks. We wanted to choose soundtracks that were not only solid accompaniments to their films but also were our favorites as stand alone albums. Other than a couple minor deviations, the only (no matter how loose) requisite for a selection was that the film should be at least five years old. This means that the albums stand a particular test of time and do not wear thin easily. I guess what was most important to us was to provide a solid list of soundtracks that as many people as possible would find entertaining. Oh yeah, and the movies can't suck. Really we're just tired of being the only nerds that talk about which new soundtrack they're listening to (*Cough* Django *Cough*) Alright, here we go! In no particular order.

Ten Best Motion Picture Soundtracks (Part One):

127 Hours

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Danny Boyle does not get enough recognition for his use and placement of music in film. The 127 Hours soundtrack includes a couple pop-bubble-gum favorites, a bunch of beautiful compositions by A.R. Rahman, and the film's opener "Never Here Surf Music" by Free Blood. Whether attempting to not break a bone while hiking, or simply attempting to expand one's own musical horizons, the 127 Hours soundtrack has what you are looking for. (Exception to the rule number one.)


How High 

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 How High may be one of the most underrated stoner movies of all time, and its soundtrack is no exception to the sentiment. Many people often forget the album is half selections by other artists or previously released Method Man and Redman tracks, and the other half is a sort of ep of original songs made for the movie in between their two Blackout albums. Toni fucking Braxton appears on one of the songs.  Additionally, this album provided the soundtrack to many of my favorite memories as a late-teen.


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If we were ranking these soundtracks, the Deseperado soundtrack would be a top contender for number one in my book. This album has some of the greatest originally produced songs of the 90's and 2000's. The tracks that use selections from the score do not compromise the album's integrity. Instead, the listener merely feels as though they are they are the Antonio Banderas of their own adventure to the grocery store.

Repo Man 

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"This brilliant commentary on the state of the world, American youth, growing up in America, drug use, nuclear science, war, UFOs, and the collective unconscious, set upon the black-comedy-science-fiction backdrop of automotive repossession and punk rock music, not only results in an amazing piece of entertainment but also a reflection of culture that remains relevant in the cultural climate of today." Oh, the soundtrack? Breathtaking.

All righty, so what do you think? Part two coming soon...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Watch (2012)

What do you mean you did not like The Watch? To be perfectly honest, I initially thought I would be disappointed by The Watch. However, I not only found The Watch to be enjoyable but also thought that it was one of the best Saturday-night-popcorn comedies of 2012.
Click Here to Stream or Buy!

The script was hilarious, and as usual Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Jonah Hill are the people who I continue to want to see in comedy films. Even the weird black guy was freaking phenomenal. I certainly do not expect it to appear on some fanboy-of-highly-dignified-taste's list of, "Best Films Ever," but he's most likely an asshole anyway.

The story was original, and it even properly utilizes a little red herring to earn more of my respect in the plot development department. The Watch had me calling my wife in from the other room to watch scenes that I could not stop laughing at. Although, she generally replied, "I do not see what's so funny" her taste level is quite questionable in the first place.

Furthermore, it turns out that the director Akiva Schaffer is also the director of Hot Rod, another ridiculous and underrated comedy that overly self-righteous critics generally scoff at. I highly recommend The Watch to all the Up Till Dawners out there. I assure you it deserves a much higher acclaim than Bullshit Tomatoes 17%.

3.5 Stars

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

When I first decided to start writing reviews, blurbs, or whatever you want to call them for the UTDF blog, I wanted to make a concerted effort to keep inflammatory comments to a minimum. Without getting too personal, some may say that the task would be quite a challenge for me. While I have certainly poked fun at and talked trash upon occasion, I feel that, generally speaking, I have done a pretty good job at keeping many of my urges at bay.

However, there comes a time that we all must regress in order to grow. I found The Hobbit  to be simply baffling. I am not even going to grace the flick with a star ranking. In all honesty, The Hobbit, in the manifestation Peter Jackson has decided upon, should not even exist. It may also be important to note that I'm a big fan of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

I purchased all of the extended editions as soon as they came out years ago, but I am perfectly content in saying The Hobbit will not make its way to my collection. Prior to seeing the film, I felt as though the, "How fast did a you fall asleep?" jokes were getting old. Yet, what else is there really to say? "The special effects were cool." Sure, but how could they not be? It seems as though it would be an even bigger insult to skimp on the effects considering the guy had ten hours+ of previously released cinema to ensure that any other million dollar checks that were issued to any Tolkien project would be, at very least, visually superb. Meanwhile, as far as visually superb goes, I would have rather paid ten dollars to go to the aquarium.

Hey Mr. Jackson!
* ...your lack of originality is showing.
* many times are you going to use the same Frodo and Bilbo scene.
* matter what you do all of these stories already have an author.
* ...The Frighteners was better.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Django Gifts

Check out some of the bad ass animated gifs from the official Django Unchained website Check the official site for more!

Speaking of Django gifts, my copy of Django Unchained #1 by Vertigo comics just arrived in the mail. While I am extreemely tempted to read it, I have pinned it to the wall and will most likely have to leave the pages alone. I know, I'm a nerd, I get it, can't wait for the other issues.

The Impossible (2012)

I am a huge fan of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. While the historical horror slasher has nothing to do with The Impossible, I feel that it is very important to point out the level of intensity I can normally stomach. About fifteen to twenty minutes into The Impossible, I found myself think that I no longer wanted to watch the film. 

The thought did not cross my mind because I thought the film was going to be bad, but rather it was almost too much for me to handle. It was simply too much, too real, too much of a setup for sadness. Additionally, upon initially learning about The Impossible I thought that it may simply be a film studio attempt at a cheap buck. However, as it tuns out, I ultimately found The Impossible to be an awe-inspiring and gut-wrenching tale based on actual events and people. I do not know if I have ever cried as much during any other film, ever. (Maybe I was just in a mood though.)

Naomi Watts made a brilliant performance. Although, I have yet to see all of the nominees performances if Watts does not win an Oscar I'm going to slap someone. Even the children stars were not overly annoying, and demonstrated true talent and tenacity. I am more than happy that I was able to man-up and get through till the end. The movie was certainly better than I expected, and is a must-see for any parents out there.

3.9 Stars.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Freaky Deaky Trailer

I cannot believe that it took someone this long to adapt Freaky Deaky, and I am extremely excited. I am not only a huge fan of Elmore Leonard but Freaky Deaky is also one of my favorite books. From the look of the trailer, everything seems to be perfectly inline with an, at very least, acceptable adaptation. Unfortunately, it seems as though I have missed the theatrical release, but this also means that I only have to wait until mid-February until the DVD release.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

My, what a pleasant surprise Seeking a Friend for the End of the World turned out to be. I was looking forward to the release of the film, but it seemed as though it quickly came and faded into the night with a gentle whisper. It would appear that this turnstile type theater visit would be the fault of shabby marketing, or maybe I am simply alone in my applauding sentiment. However, I found the picture to be one of the most adorable and sweet love stories that I have seen in awhile. And I generally do not have a taste, or the patience and tolerance, for adorable and sweet.

While its proper category rests in the romantic-comedy slot,  much like 40-Year-Old Virgin, the cringe the genre generally arouses should not stifle the perception of the movie's level of quality. I originally thought that I would find the concept of Seeking a Friend more interesting that the film itself, yet I am shocked at how much I appreciate this type of storyline in action.

Furthermore, all of the performances were not over the top nor too dry, but rather just right and on point. Even Keira Knightley managed to pull off a believable and entertaining modern-day-British Winona Ryder quite nicely. The concept of the movie alone seemed as though my expectations would automatically be set too high. Whether or not they were, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World exceeded my expectations. Although, I would not call it a non-stop-laugh riot, it did not need to be, and I am pretty sure that was not the ultimate goal of the film's makers. Meanwhile, there were plenty of hilarious moments, and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World provides an uplifting tale of the human spirit even as the world ends.

3.3 Stars.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Django Discontinuation Nonsense

Really Weinstein Co.? How quickly we tend to react to sensationalism and unfounded offense. I personally find the Happy Meal one of the greatest abominations of American culture, but where has that gone? Absolutely nowhere. So, why discontinue an awesome idea because some people are offended? Has going against the grain and not giving a shit about random opinions not been the Weinsteins' business model for decades?

It would appear that people often merely need something to point a finger at and gripe about, because they are so miserable in their own lives that bitching about a toy offers them an easy distraction.

My original problem with the figures was that I personally have never been much of a fan of old school Neca Toys. I appreciate their nostalgia, but I would rather have a figure styled like the ones made for Kill Bill. (Hence why The Bride remains sealed in her original packing a mere five feet away from where I type this entry.) However, were I to have known that the figures, once $29.99 or less, would be sold on eBay for hundreds of dollars (thousands on Amazon) in a snap of a press release I would have bought twenty of each (keeping five of each for myself.) Additionally, I intended on purchasing a set eventually, but because they were the old school style I was in no rush.

See what procrastination gets you? I guess it goes to show us that we never truly know what the value of something is and/or can be, despite what economics 101 may tell you. Well, I am certainly disappointed, but I do know that a first printing of the comic book Django Unchained #1 should arrive at my home any day now.

All that said, maybe the Weinsteins and Quentin just decided to buy all of them and horde them like some sort of De Beers diamonds. Either way, while disappointed, UTDF's love of Tarantino and the Weinsteins carries on. (Click any of the pictures to see (or even buy) some of the ridiculous prices people are now selling these collectibles. Dr. King Shultz for only $4999.00!)

Don't forget to comment and share!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The 85th Academy Awards Nominees

While it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of stinkers, here are the nominees for the 85th Academy Awards.

(Click to enlarge).

Mark us down for any Django nominations, regardless of the category.

What do you think of these nominations? What movies do you think are missing?

We're torn between Denzel or Bradley Cooper for Best Actor. And how amazing would it be if Christoph Waltz won another Oscar?

Anyone else feel that Kathryn Bigelow films (outside of Point Break) are overrated propaganda preying upon the media sensationalism programmed into the masses?

Tarantino: Basterds Pipe Scene

Yeah, more on Tarantino:

Okay, last one. (A Rose interview from the Pulp Fiction days.)