Tag Archives: Movies

Politically Guilty Pleasures

10371395_10203158152608078_9202795256193388648_nHad an interesting conversation with Mark Walters that made me think.  He was cranking some music from Cracker and piloting his CamAARo down the freeway.  We talked briefly about music and he saw that I had some Rage Against The Machine in my play list.   Mark went off.  He will not have RATM playing in his ride… just like he wont listen to a lot of other Leftist musicians, (Bruce Springsteen) or watch movies staring well known Super Liberals like Sean Penn, among others.   Yet he did make the exception for  John Cougar Mellencamp, a known Liberal supporter.  We all make our lines in the sand and make our exceptions for whatever our reasons… and that’s all fine.

While I disagree with RATM politically, I have to say the group has some talent and can really jam.  The music gets me pumped.  Gah… Man… Hold on… I gotta knock out 20 pushups…

Okay, what about film… The actor that played Hawkeye in the series, “MASH”.  Alan Alda.  You know him.  I disagree with Alan a lot, but I still like him.  He’s a humanist and has very well reasoned excuses for his wrong opinions… but he’s thought about them and believes them on a (flawed) intellectual level.  I can respect that.  And I respectfully disagree… So while he’s a big time Liberal – I still enjoy his performances.

Sean Penn though – I almost walked out of the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” when I realized that Sean Penn was in it.   But then I stayed because he at least didn’t speak.  (Maybe he did, but I didn’t hear him) Doesnt matter.  He wasn’t really in it.  Just a couple seconds worth of Cameo here and there.  Anyways… I dislike Sean Penn and can’t watch really anything he’s in.   Because pretty much I don’t care for anything he’s in.   It’s not like he’s in Expendables 4 or Terminator 5… so he’s easy to pass on.

But what music or movies are your politically excused guilty pleasures?

Hollywood Should…

The title of this post was going to be What Hollywood should make instead of doing Remakes, but that was long and awkward.   Moving on:   Here’s my list of Movies that need to be made.  If Hollywood isn’t making a Remake, it’s pulling books from the Teen Age Girl section at the book store.  And that’s fine… for Teenage Girls.   What about us Blokes?  Us guys that want something made fresh.  What do we get?  214 different reboots of Comic Books, Giant Monsters, and Giant Robots… I want something NEW on the screen… Because there are a lot of fun books out there that would make awesome movies.
Also – this is a list of freaking awesome books that if you have NOT read – You need to because you are missing out.  Read the books or get the Audio Book.  But take this stuff in and glory in the majesty.

1.  Monster Hunter International, by Larry Freaking International Lord of Hate Correia.   And all the follow on MHI books.  One good solid movie for each book.  The director should be Guillermo del Toro.  Casting choices can be argued in the comments.

2.  The Iron Druid Chronicles, by Kevin Hearne.  One of my favorite series of books, written by someone I don’t know.  They are wonderfully clever, funny, daring, and truly very interesting books that hold my attention cover to cover.  The Director for this… Maybe Wes Anderson, because of the quirkiness factor.

3.  Grimnoir Chronicals, by LFILOHC.  The three books in the GC series are epic.   They have tenderness in parts, and loads of action, iconic characters, and they have a solid universe… world building is important here.   I think the Coen Brothers for this… they could really add the gritty texture these movies would need, and give it that edgy feel.  Again, each book it’s own movie to be released 2 months apart.  None of that year long wait.

4.  Dead Six, by Mike Kupari and LFILOHC.  Both books.  The action and pacing of these books needs a Director that can keep up.  Now, I know who you guys would probably go to on this… But I’m thinking it needs some more flair than that to do these Characters justice.  I want the physical action to really blow you away.  I’m thinking Ridley Scott is the man for that.

5.  The Uprising Saga, by George H Hill.  Uprising Italia by Zach Hill as well as the other books coming by other authors.   I’d like to say Michael Mann or some other ultra realistic director to get that jaw dropping gritty reality, but no.  That’s not right.  Because Uprising is literary junk food that should not be taken too seriously…  Quentin Tarantino.  If Dead Six is a perfectly grilled Porterhouse, then Uprising is a Microwaved Hot Pocket and a Mountain Dew Kickstarter to wash it down.  It’s what Walking Dead SHOULD HAVE BEEN.  And by the way, I think someone at AMC read Uprising… A Governor that takes over things with an eyepatch?  Really?    (Just kidding, I know the comic book predates Uprising…. but still)

6.  Armor by John Steakley.  Since we are talking about new films and not remakes… there’s no hope of a reboot of Starship Troopers.  This is like the same thing but from a different perspective.   James Cameron can do the alien world and military might better than anyone in sci-fi.

7.  Old Man’s War by John Scalzi.  This book is probably more special to me than it should be…. but it really resonated with me.  From a movie making standpoint – this movie would be impossible without the right director.  J.J. Abrams made me like Star Trek.  If he can do that, he can do this.

8.  At the Mountains of Madness, by HP Lovecraft.  Directed by Guillermo del Toro.  The movie Guillermo has been wanting to make… Let him do it!  If anyone does this movie… it should be Guillermo.  No one else can do it justice.  For God’s sake not Tim Burton…

Other books I want to see on the screen…  The Stars my Destination, American Gods, Redshirts, and The Horus Heresy series.

What do you want to see made and who should direct it or be in it?  Also, what do you think of my picks and who should be cast?

 

Morally Justifiable

Couple weeks ago I went through my DVD collection and pulled out all my Rated R movies.  These movies were put into a box, leaving only the lesser rated movies.   The purpose was to clean out any movies which did not uplift or teach a valuable and morally justifiable lesson.
After reviewing the films remaining and those removed, I quickly found that the R rating was no watermark for judging a movie’s content.  Some movies I put back on the shelf.  Some for the lessons or historical perspective or moral object lessons provided… Rob Roy, Saving Private Ryan…. among others.
And then I looked at the rest that remained… Films rated PG-13 and such “Safe” movies.  Many were light minded, vapid, or every bit as deserving of an R rating due to content and language.   Many had no historical lessons or held any moral justification. Many I felt were more spiritually damaging than some which had been culled.
I didn’t have time to finish the filtering… but will do so later.  But my goal is to leave movies which have a purpose.  Talking about this with my Bride, we determined that the deciding factor would be “What lessons do we want to our sons learning?”  Movies, like literature often carry lessons for life.  These can shape one’s views and opinions which can effect future moral decisions. Don’t try to tell me that Film is a weak medium and has no effect on Character.  Film is visual literature and literature helps mold Character one way or another.
Take a look at the films in your homes.  What lessons are you getting from them?  How is that R Rating matching the lessons you want to share with your prodigy?
My Grandfather served in World War II. Saving Private Ryan, while a work of fiction, gives a very realistic interpretation of some of the things my Grandfather experienced or witnessed.  The story it’s self walks through a series of some things that had actually happened in that war.  And while no documentary feature, I feel it is a good example of that era in history.  It also tells of of the moral of service and sacrifice and duty to causes higher than one’s self.  That’s just an example of a rated R movie that is probably worth keeping.  I’m keeping it.
Mormons as a whole try to avoid R rated movies in general.  But I tell you what… I’d rather my kids watch The Patriot or The Last Samurai than Dumb and Dumber or Twilight.

Ogre’s Movie Alphabet.

A: Is for Aliens. Who mostly come out at night. Mostly.

B: Is for Blade Runner. Tell him I’m eating.

C: Is for The Cell. Jlo’s only good movie.

D: Is for Die Hard. Yippie Ki Yay, major flubber.

E: Is for Event Horizon. Where you don’t need eyes to see.

F. Is for Full Metal Jacket. Seven point six two millimeter.

G: Is for Gladiator. Are you not entertained?

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The Hobbit

Last night I took a couple of my boys to go see the Midnight Showing of THE HOBBIT.

This is a movie that I’ve been waiting for since I was a child.  I don’t remember when I first read it… exactly… but I remember that I was very young.  Before my family moved to Tacoma, I had already read it.  I remember living in Tacoma, going to church the first time and meeting the other kids… and I remember going home and opening The Hobbit again and started reading it for the second time.  I was… what 10?  Maybe?  I’ve read The Hobbit many times since. And The Lord of the Rings.
I’ve always enjoyed the cheesy, upbeat cartoon version too.  But The Hobbit has always been one of my very favorite stories.
So I went to the theater with much expectation.
I was delighted.
Peter Jackson took a great deal of care in making this movie… Bringing in bits of Tolkien Lore that might not have been in The Hobbit, but are mentioned in passing in other books.  Including The Necromancer.  Which was done in a fantastic way that I really liked, showing Radagast The Brown, and giving him a bit of a bigger role in the story.    On a side note, for the next movie, I really hope Peter Jackson throws in Beorn.  A little known character that wasn’t in the Cartoon and largely forgotten… a man that can change into a Bear.  Werewolf style.  Beorn fights in the Battle of Five Armies after the defeat of Smaug.
While I hate dragons… Smaug has always been the model Dragon.  He is intelligent, can communicate, but in the end he is a huge freaking monster that causes massive amounts of destruction on an industrial scale.  A monster, treated as a monster.  So far, the glimpses of Smaug, show that this is a Dragon done right.  And not completely freaking wrong… like some other movies.  Smaug is to Dragon what Bram Stoker’s Dracula is to Vampires.  They way they should be.  The set pattern.

The Hobbit has a lot of Levity.  Lighthearted moments throughout.  This is keeping with the Lord of the Rings precedent of showing Dwarves to be hard core Badasses, and funny at the same time.  In the story, all the Dwarves get caught up in snares all the time… you can’t have a pack of badass Axe wielding warriors getting clobbered all the time without some humor.  Tolkien didn’t write them out to be clowns though, and Peter Jackson found a balance.  The Dwarves were very well done.
Also done well were the Trolls.  Better than I had imagined them.

Peter Jackson… Thank you.  After waiting for this movie for so long… You are doing it right.

There are a couple things that I can pick on.  First, is the characterization of Radagast.  Bird nest in his hair, poop running down the side of his face… that was nasty and unnecessary.   Making him slightly touched though, explains why he was not used more in LOTR by Peter Jackson or Tolkien.  The dog sled chase with the rabbits and wargs was kinda stupid, and I didn’t care for that.
The other thing I didn’t like was the use the Giants.  While it was mentioned in The Hobbits that Stone-Giants were throwing rocks at each other for sport – across the valley – it’s not intended by Tolkien that they were made of Stone.  Or that they were the size of mountains.  Or that they were killing each other.  That’s not how I nor the Author imagined them.  Gandalf suggested to the Dwarves that they find a friendly giant to help them… but this isn’t possible considering Peter Jackson’s vision of them.  Small matter though, Giants.

 

Skyfall

Skyfall.  Best. Bond. Ever.  We have important character introductions, breathtaking action, and Bond getting down on an Enduro.  I really enjoyed this movie more than any other James Bond I have ever watched.  It was well paced, directed, and it just worked.
Also, Daniel Craig is the best Bond ever to have played the role.  All other Bonds were cartoons.  Daniel Craig makes Bond feel real.  Human.  He bleeds, he gets scars, he hurts… he gets his ass kicked… and then he Wins because he’s James Bond.   The UK’s version of Captain America, but for the UK.  Their Hero has Cuff Links and under-powered inaccurate pistols.  Which is fine… and I envy England because in the US… we don’t have such a character.  Jack Ryan?  (Tom Clancy) or XXX?  Captain America?  No… I want an American Bond.  Maybe that’s why I like Daniel Craig… that Bigger Hammer approach gives American’s something in common with Bond.

Either way, Skyfall is the pinnacle of the James Bond Universe.

 

Ogre’s Ultimate Movie List is Revised. Again.

Due to popular demand, Ronin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Zulu, and The Thing has been included, bumping a few movies.

Some guys have been asking why no Star Wars. Because primarily there is very little Baddassery going on. Han shot after Greedo misses, Storm Troopers miss too much, and Luke is a little biotch.

Update: Wild Bunch instead of Inception.

I think this is about as solid as it gets for the Top Fifty. Really, this list is now a Master’s Degree in being Badass. Each movie teaches lessons in about being a fucking Man, and not a sensitive metrosexual guy with a spare vaginia in his man-purse.

The revised list is here.

What do you think now?