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The Green Hornet – Review

The Green Hornet Review

I am a fan of Michel Gondry, but only really liked one of his movies. After watching The Green Hornet, you can chalk that up to two! The Green Hornet is a character that i am very unfamiliar with. My only real knowledge of the character is what i learned from Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. We all know that Bruce Lee was the original Kato in the television show, but i don’t think i have ever seen any footage of the series. I also knew that The Green Hornet was once a radio show, but was not sure if it was a comedy, or if it was just camp that would be considered comedy by today’s standards. I am not sure if Seth Rogan would be anybody’s first choice for Britt Reid, but i was willing to go along with it. I like Seth Rogen and was interested in seeing what a Michel Gondry action movie would look like.

I have to be honest, the last thing i expected when going into this movie was to laugh as much as i did. I know that Seth Rogen is a funny guy, but i though the movie would be done with more tongue and cheek camp, but the jokes were all really funny. For the most part i really enjoyed the story, with the exception of the forced love triangle, but i think if the film ran longer it would have suffered greatly.

There were a few montages in the film that were done in a way that only the mind of Michel Gondry could come up with. My favorite was the montage where Christoph Waltz’s “Chudnofsky” sends out a hit on The Green Hornet. The camera follows one hitman, then split screens when that hit man meets up with another hit man,  then those two split off into two more split screens and so on. It is this insane cell division effect that keeps going until the screen was divided up into like 30 sections. It reminded me of the Chino Matto “SUGAR WATER” video. It was definitely a highlight of the film.

Another highlight of the film was Jay Chou’s portrayal of Kato. He was badass at Brit Reid’s sidekick and all of his jokes were hilarious. I don’t think this movie would have worked as well if Jay Chou fell short of the mark. Kato was always cooler than The Green Hornet and i am glad that the movie addressed that dynamic and I thought he was a perfect counterpoint to Seth Rogen’s style of humor. It was a great team up!

I am not sure if this movie honors the spirit of the original characters or not, but i had a lot of fun watching it. I did not see it in 3d because i heard it was converted in post, but i hear that it was a pretty good conversion. If you are looking for a really good time, but not expecting to be blown away, check out The Green Hornet!

★ ★ ★ ½

Highlights of 2010

ASTOUNDING WOLF-MAN

In a year in which Robert Kirkman brought his Walking Dead series to television, i found myself becoming more and more excited about his comic book Astounding Wolf-Man, drawn by Jason Howard. I like Robert’s work on the Walking Dead comic, but of his 3 books this and Invincible is where it was at in 2010!

FLYNN LIVES A.R.G.

I have never participated in an Alternate Reality Game before Flynn Lives, but i was excited about TRON Legacy and figured it could be fun. These guys sent me posters, pins and all kinds of junk, just for playing some online games. It was a blast and got me fired up for TRON!

TOY STORY 3

I really like Pixar movies. A lot. But a lot of them always seem to have some action packed third act that i just loses any emotional impact. Up and Wall*E are the main culprits of this, which is why i tend to gravitate towards Ratatouille as my favorite of their films. Toy Story 3 ends with a big action set piece as it’s climax, but that is sort of the formula for Toy Story films and this one is the most emotional. Just click the link above, and watch the “hand holding scene” with Michael Giacchino’s “Life and Death” from LOST.

THE GREEN LANTERN TRAILER

It’s no secret that i love The Green Lantern and nothing got me as excited this year than catching my first glimpse at the live action film that comes out next year.

TRON: LEGACY SCORE

This works great as an album and even better as a film score. The french electronic duo Daft Punk throw their helmets in the ring and go toe to toe with some of the greatest composers of the past 10 years and deliver a one-two punch! Their score to TRON Legacy  is incredible!

LOST: The Final Season

The End of my favorite show, LOST, happened this year and it went out with a bang! The entire sixth season played out like a reunion episode and i loved seeing all my favorite characters return for a celebration of friendship.

KICK-ASS

For hating these books with such a passion, i really found myself surprised with how much i loved this movie. I have only purchased 3 blurays this year and Kick-Ass was one of them. In case you were wondering, LOST season 6 and Fantasia were the other two.

FACT OR FAKED: PARANORMAL FILES

Fact or Faked is essentially the Mythbusters of insane paranormal videos. They look at all that weird shit you see on youtube and debunk it. Sometimes they don’t debunk it and that is where things get interesting. I really enjoy this show and look forward to season two coming at the beginning of next year!

TRON LEGACY

I knew that i was going to enjoy this film, but i was not prepared for how much i would love it. Tron Legacy is a sci fi film that does not cater to the dumb. It sticks pretty close to it’s roots and never lets go. I enjoyed this movie a lot an cannot wait to see it on bluray in 2011 along with its predecessor!

LAST YEARS LIST

TRON Legacy – Review

Tron Legacy Movie Review

Disney has spent the last three years dumping tons of cash into a sequel to a film with an incredibly small fan base. They handed the picture over to people who made a film specifically for those few fans of the original film and hoped that it would please the masses. I don’t know if the majority of the people will enjoy Tron Legacy, but as a fan of the original, i loved it!

Ever since they talked about making a sequel to Tron, i always thought that it would be a good idea. I feel that, even though the computer generated effects were primitive, Tron was ahead of its time. I know that is a pretty easy statement to throw around these days, but i truly believe it. As a kid i watched Tron for Lightcycles, Recognizers and Disc Battles. It wasn’t until i was older did i understand the concepts behind the movie. I still watch the original Tron on a regular basis and learn something new each time. I understand that the movie is considered cheesy by today’s standards and fully understand why Disney did not release the Bluray of it prior to the release of Tron Legacy, but i have a feeling that when it comes out it may get an all new respect that wasn’t there when it came out in 1982. You have to realize, Tron flopped big time when it was originally released and it is amazing that they would attempt a big budget sequel 28 years later. I don’t know if it is the video game or 3D movie craze, but i am glad they made it, because i enjoyed this film from start to finish.

The opening of the film is brilliant! I really enjoyed that the movie begins with the forming of “The Grid” and then slowly transforms into a city skyline. The reason i dug this so much was because in the original Tron, the last shot of the movie was of the city skyline from the POV of the Encom building as it slowly transformed into “The Grid”. It was it was like telling the fans, that we are right where we left off. The first 15 minutes or so takes place in “The Real World”, it was here where there are a lot of nods to the original movie. From Ed Dillinger Jr. to Dumont’s Shipping and the “Now that is a big door” quote from the original, this movie really felt like it was made just for the fans. I was actually really nervous for my wife. She is not a fan of the original Tron at all, but as it turns out she was entertained thoroughly as well. The story was a bit complex, a bit preachy and a whole lot of fun. It was exactly what a Tron sequel should have been.

A lot of people may complain that it is not as action packed as they had hoped, but as i watched the movie i couldn’t helped but be sucked into the Sci Fi of the film. There is a lot of shitty science fiction films out there and seeing this movie in IMAX 3d with a crowd full of people and surrounded by friends and family, it made me feel like a big kid, watching other big kids playing with toys. This is my favorite kind of science fiction. I love space ships, technobabble, fantasy and other worlds. As i watched the film, i was engrossed by the technology. I loved seeing how everything worked. I liked watching the wheels spinning on the freight container loading machines. I loved watching the Recognizers collapse so that people could board the crafts. I loved watching everything move around. It was really a treat for me to be immersed in this world and IMAX 3d was the best way to appreciate this.

Not only the technology that was used in the world created, but i was pretty impressed with the technology used to create this world. The visual effects in Tron Legacy are in your face. It is the first thing you notice as soon as you see any commercial or trailer. This movie looks unlike anything else i have seen before, but what is great is that, with all the flash, the characters are not lost in the backgrounds. I liked all the characters in the film. Garret Hedlund’s “Sam Flynn”, Michael Sheen’s Ziggy Stardust inspired “Castor” and Bruce Boxleitner’s Alan Bradley are stand out in the film. I liked all of their performances, but the stand outs in the film were Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde.

Olivia Wilde’s “Quorra” was great! I have never seen anything she has been in, but i thought she did a great job at playing innocent. She was funny, strong, but voulnerable all at the same time. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of girls out there dressed as Quorra at Comic Conventions and Halloween for years to come.

And then there’s Jeff Bridges. Jeff Bridges returns the computer genius and mad scientist Kevin Flynn. He created this world that he wanted to be perfect, and in the process he created a monster that will stop at nothing to rectify any impurity IN that world. “Clu”. As you have seen from the trailer, Clu is a program created by Kevin Flynn in his own likeness. Clu will stop at nothing to make The Grid a perfect place to live. He will stop at nothing to to clean up The Grid. When Sam opens the portal to The Grid, Clu launches an all out attack that is on a collision course with the real world. It is up to Kevin, Sam and Quorra to stop him from entering into our world.

Clu looks amazing as a program. I really thought he looked cool. When you see it in IMAX and 3d at the same time, you notice all of the flaws in the animation, but i was able to forgive this because Clu is an artificial program, he isn’t supposed to be photo real, but the problem comes when they flashback to Kevin Flynn being young and he looks just like Clu. It is hard to forgive the CGI when young Kevin Flynn should be photo realistic. I am sure when i watch it on my television at home, i wont notice the animation as much as i did when Kevin Flynn’s CG head was 5 stories tall. It is a minor gripe, but it was a bit distracting. Whenever Clu or young Kevin Flynn was onscreen, you couldn’t help but want to scrutinize the CGI.

As much as i loved the movie there were two minor things that left me scratching my head. The first was Sam Flynn’s spare Lightcycle baton. They made it a point to show that he acquired it and in any video game scenario, you want to keep running tabs on your inventory for later use. Not once did Sam use his backup Lightcycle baton and it’s not something that would be brought up in any kind of sequel. Not only did he not use this baton, but he later used Kevin’s Mark 2 Lightcycle which was eventually traced back to Kevin Flynn’s secret hideout. I understand that Sam wasn’t able to use that style of Lightcycle off grid, as stated by Quorra, but why have him pick it up in the first place unless you are going to use it later?

The second minor thing that bugged me was the reveal of Rinzler as Tron. Us Tron fans figured out about who Rinzler was a while ago, but for a badass villain that you have cloaked with a black faceplate the whole time, you would think that the reveal of this character would be to reveal his true identity, especially when he says his famous line from the first film, “I fight for the users!” It made zero sense to me. Based on flashbacks, we have already seen that the producers of the film had created a de-aged CGI version of Bruce Boxleitner. Why on Earth would you not pull back that mask as he said that line? It would have been perfect!!

Other than those few things, i loved the movie. I thought that Daft Punk’s score was amazing and am anxiously waiting for them to release an album of the complete score. There was a lot of music in there that wasn’t in the movie and i want it all! Tron Legacy may not be for everyone, in fact it may not be for the majority of people, but for a Tron fan like me, it is an incredibly sequel that I’m glad was made. Sure, the goal is for Disney to have all the money on the planet, but i am glad that they did not sacrifice the legacy of Tron just to make some quick cash. This was a movie made by Tron fans, for Tron fans.

End of Line.

★ ★ ★ ★¾

5 Things Learned on the Set of Green Lantern!

High Res Green Lantern Production Photos

FROM MOVIEFONE By Sharon Knolle

A few months ago, Warner Bros. invited Moviefone to the New Orleans set of the highly anticipated adaptation of ‘Green Lantern,’ where we sat down with star Ryan Reynolds and Mark Strong.

On Wednesday, Warners released its first authorized artwork, showing the gathering of the nearly 4,000 Green Lanterns (Earthling Reynolds is just one of the worthy few who wield the magic Green Lantern ring).

We can’t reveal everything we learned on the set, but we can give you a tease of what to expect when the movie hits theaters in 2011.

1. Reynolds’ character, Hal, has to go to boot camp to learn how to become a Green Lantern.
Oscar-winning production designer Grant Major (‘The Lord of the Rings’) told us, “Hal has a steep learning curve as a new Green Lantern. He has to learn to use the power and at first he’s not very good, like someone picking up a guitar for the first time.” Also, the ring has a limited operational life. The various Lanterns have to visit a “pocket dimension,” for recharging every 24 hours.

2. The ring’s “construct” can be anything Hal imagines.
The ring’s power manifests itself as a physical projection, e.g, a “contstruct,” based on Hal’s imagination. “We didn’t want the design to be very mechanical, like ‘Transformers’ or ‘Iron Man,’ where he only has one or two tools,” Major said. “The constructs have a ‘business end,’ but are not as solid throughout. They stay green, although they look somewhat like an X-ray.” Because Hal’s a newbie with this ring thing, his initial constructs when fighting mostly take the form of ordinary weapons, like guns and knives.

3. “This movie couldn’t have been done a few years ago.”
Reynolds told us that the visual effects are so advanced, “it couldn’t have been done even two years ago.” Costume designer Ngila Dickson (another ‘Lord of the Rings’ Oscar winner) told us about the decision to go virtual with the Green Lantern costume. “It’s a VFX costume design, partly because it’s generated by the ring’s power. Also because [each suit] is individual rather than a uniform,” depending on who’s wearing it. (The other Lanterns come in a mind-blowing range of shapes, sizes and colors.)

4. The voices of the purely CGI characters haven’t yet been cast.
At the time of our set visit, no voice casting had been done for the CGI-only characters, like fish-chicken-esque alien Tomar Re and enormous, troll-like Kilowag, who acts as Hal’s drill instructor during his training. We were treated to a previz (animated storyboards) with a test reel of Tomar Re using a line of dialog by Anthony Hopkins from ‘The Mask of Zorro,’ about the training circle. “We’d love to get Hopkins,” Major said, but he’s already playing Odin in another upcoming super-hero flick ‘Thor.’

5. Shooting in New Orleans was steamy.
Reynolds, who was on his last day of filming the day we visited, said he was looking forward to taking a break from the intense heat. “It’s like we’re filming inside Dick Cheney,” he joked. That didn’t stop co-star Peter Sarsgaard from indulging his new obsession: jogging. Producer Donald De Line told us, “Peter is very physical as an actor. He gets completely immersed in the role. He got very thin for this. He likes to go jogging, in those barefoot shoes, even in the New Orleans heat. They had to persuade him not to jog as much as he was getting too thin.”

That’s just a tease of what we got … Stay tuned to the Moviefone Blog for the full set visit report.

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Only 13 more days until we get to see the first trailer for the film. It sounds like everything that they have told us so far coincides with the story Secret Origin by Geoff Johns. For those of you that know nothing about Green Lantern, you will be surprised at where this character comes from and what he can do. I think this movie will be as eye opening as Iron Man, in the sense that people will have a completely new view on what they thought the character was. As long as the movie is fairly faithful to the books, i think that everyone will enjoy this Space Saga!

222 Days Until Release

Tron Night

Tron Night Footage

Last night Disney hosted a special 23 minute preview of Tron Legacy for the biggest fans of the original TRON. For the past year Tron fans have been online participating in an online game, and have been treated to free gifts and tickets to special events for their efforts. I have been following this game, along with a couple of friends, and had the opportunity to attend this event known simply as TRON Night. Here is what went down.

First off, Tron Legacy screenwriters Eddy Kitsis and Adam Horowitz came out to greet us for the event. It was pretty great. They threw out a bunch of light up Tron hats to the crowd, but because it was IMAX, we were sitting in the back and those dudes did not have the arm strength to reach our row. We yelled at them to grow muscles, but they didn’t, so no hat for me. No biggie, they kind of looked obnoxious.

Up next they decided to do some trivia from the original TRON. If you yelled out the correct answer first, you would received a signed Tron Legacy poster signed by Eddy and Adam. I knew pretty much every answer to each question but was slow on the draw with the exception of one question which was, “What food item does Alan Bradley share to a coworker in his cubicle?”. By the time he said “share” i shouted out,”POPCORN!”. Someone who was sitting closer to the guys shouted popcorn after me, but they gave him the poster. Oh well, i didn’t want to fight it. I already felt like a nerd yelling out answers to TRON trivia, i didn’t need to cause a scene. So anyway, they showed us six scenes from the movie.

Tron Night FootageThe first thing they showed us was a scene in which Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) talks to Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) about getting a message on his pager from Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges). The message came from a number that hasn’t been in service for twenty years at Flynn’s Arcade. Alan gives Sam keys and says that it is about time he goes to the arcade to possibly reunite with this father, who he hasn’t seen since he was a kid. Sam is hesitant.

Tron Night FootageThe next scene follows Sam as he goes to Flynn’s Arcade. He opens the door and turns on the lights. The place lights up like a christmas tree as every single game in the place boots up. In addition to hearing every video game machine from the 80’s at  the same time, you also get treated to some Journey, courtesy of the juke box. As you have seen in the Trailer, Sam goes to the TRON machine and finds a hidden door behind it. He enters as the jukebox continues to play in the background. The song that is playing is The Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams”. He turns on his father’s computer and starts to input some lines of code and activates the laser behind him. The laser starts up and……Cuts to black!! Okay, just so you know, all of this stuff that takes place in the real world is not in 3d. The producers have decided to do a Wizard of Oz, black and white to color effect, and have it so the 3d kicks in as soon as you enter into the fantasy world. In the original TRON, you are treated to a POV shot of what it looks like to enter this fantasy world and i am sure this movie will have an amazing transition from 2d to 3d and it was not shown last night. I have a feeling it will look amazing!!

Tron Night FootageThe fourth scene that was shown, is footage that i have already seen twice. The footage showed Sam Flynn as soon as he enters the world of Tron. He is taken prisoner and is transported to the pit cell via a Recognizer. Once he is suited up he is then escorted into the game grid. This is the same footage they showed at Comic Con as well as Disney’s Califonia Adventure park. Even though i have seen it already, seeing it in IMAX 3d was INSANE! I have never seen 3d like this. It was at this point that i couldn’t wait to see this movie.

Tron Night Footage

Following this scene we see a scene titled Disc Wars. And it is exactly what you think. Sam Flynn get thrust into a video game that he does not know how to play. He must figure out the game and survive within a matter of seconds. The game is fast paced, dizzying and exciting. This is where i was really afraid of watching Tron Legacy in IMAX 3d. I thought it was going to make me throw up, but the shots are so smooth and the editing is so well done, that even though the action is fast paced, it did not bother me in the slightest. The Disc War game is awesome. I wish it was longer, but i didn’t care, it looked so damn cool.

Tron Night FootageThe next scene was called something like The Escape Route. Apparently after the Disc War game there is a lightcycle chase and Sam gets in trouble and makes his escape via a dune buggy being driven by Quorra. Quorra is played by Olivia Wilde. I am not sure who Olivia Wilde is, but i really liked her performance. She plays a program, that is presumably created by Kevin Flynn. Her character is childlike, spunky and quirky. She reminds me of Midna from The Legend of Zelda. She was really cool and i was surprised how much personality she had.

CLICK HERE TO SEE A PORTION OF THIS SCENE!

Tron Night Footage

The final scene was the reunion between Sam and his father Kevin Flynn. Considering we only watched these 6 scenes, it was actually a pretty emotional reunion. In this scene we get to see that Kevin appears to be trapped in his safe house and Quorra is his apprentice. This scene was pretty powerful and i look forward to seeing how this father son relationship develops in the film. The last shot of this footage showed Kevin Flynn looking out to the Grid City. I am not sure i can tell what he is thinking, but he definitely has a sad look on his face and he looks like he has regret for the world he has created.

Tron Night Footage

The footage was amazing, to say the least. Even though i am not sure if the score is complete or not, the music was incredibly orchestral, which for Daft Punk fans, may be a turn off for this change of direction. I loved the score and i cannot wait to pick it up. It was incredibly well done and was able to pull emotion from the few clips i saw. Believe me when i say that i am more fired up for this film.

After they showed all the clips they showed what can only be described as a new trailer. They showed a bunch of new footage from the film, including a super awesome air battle that looked straight out of Star Wars as well as, what i can only assume, is a newly designed Clu, which is the younger version of Jeff Bridges that you have seen in the most recent trailer. I swear that it looked better now than it did in THIS trailer.

Anyway, this has gone on long enough and i just wanted to say that i really can’t wait for this movie and i have to recommend seeing it in IMAX 3d. It was pretty impressive stuff!

New TRON Legacy Poster

New Tron Legacy Theatrical PosterFROM GEEKTYRANT

Wow, what an awesome poster!! So last Sunday i went to ElecTRONica at Disney’s California Adventure with some good friends, and we saw the Exclusive Footage in 3d. It was the same footage as from Comic Con and even my wife, who is not a fan of TRON, thought that it was really cool. I definitely cannot wait for this movie to  come out. I love this poster so much! If i end up liking the movie, i will most likely purchase this one-sheet.

New Tron Legacy PosterAs you can see, the new poster is an homage to the original Tron poster, which can currently be seen in Chuck Bartowski’s room.

Elfman Burton Box Set: What’s Included

Tim Burton Danny Elfman Music Box

One month ago i posted a blog about The Tim Burton & Danny Elfman Music Box. I figured it would just be a box with the original soundtracks in them. I had figured it would have some extras and would come in around $200. But then i heard that it was going to be limited to 1000 pieces and it was going to cost $500 and that there would be 7 hours of additional music. There was no way i was going to spend that kind of cash on 7 hours of additional music, that i probably have heard already… Then i saw what else was included in the box.

The Book, the DVD, The Thumb Drive and a Music Box/ Zoetrope that plays “The Breakfast Machine”. Now i kind of want this really bad!! The only way i think i will be able to get this is if i win my weight loss challenge by starving myself for the next six weeks, or befriend an old crazy rich man who buys useless shit for me…Well, any old men out there who want to be my friend? Didn’t think so. Anyway, as you listeners of Cue the Music know, Danny Elfman is easily my favorite composer of all time, and i hope that any of you readers out there who happen to pick up this box set, send me a copy of the music and a ripped dvd, cause i don’t think i am willing to swing the $500….or am i?

Here is a segment of the DVD that Aint It Cool posted about Beetlejuice, which happens to be the first score i ever owned by Danny Elfman.