RaaD Movies, News and Technology

Dany's RaaD Roundup

DVD Buying Binge

I don’t buy DVDs very often, but when I do, I usually end up getting a whole lot at one time, because of this, I have amassed around 200 DVDs.

I just finished sifting through a big columbiahouse sale and ended up ordering the most movies at one time ever up to this point… I ended up ordering 20 DVDs!

A few of the movies I ended up ordering were: Total Recall, Annie Hall, Black Snake Moan (a movie I have not seen it yet, but heard good things about), The Goonies, Closer, Transformers (2007), Pan’s Labyrinth (if you haven’t seen this film, just stop reading this and go see it right NOW), Flash Gordon (one of, if not THE best camp movie of all time), Singin’ in the Rain and Serenity.

Thanks to Cinema Blend for the sweet DVD cover.

Dany

October 31, 2007 11:18 pm Posted by | dvd, movies | Leave a comment

30 Days of Night and Saw IV

Not being someone who read the trade paperback that 30 Days of Night originated from, I only really knew the most basic of story premise for this film, the idea that the vampires swarmed into a small town in Alaska during a period of nightfall lasting 30 consecutive nights. What I got was a movie I was not expecting, a vampire film that was fairly original, but mixed in with some of the best parts of classic vampire stories.

There was no explanation as to the origins of vampires, not a virus, not an act of God, not descendants of Dracula, nothing. The idea that the vampires were just… there, was refreshing, since most movie explanations usually ring hollow and take me out of the current story. The group of vampires had a plan and a pretty good one too, isolate the townspeople by preventing them from contacting the outside world… well, I should say that the vampire leader had a good plan, since he was pretty much the only vampire with any dialogue (most others just screeched to gather other vampires to their location). I also enjoyed the way the vampire leader talked about history (in an original vampire language as well, which was a nice touch). They even used a Renfield style character to accomplish some of these goals, which is a small role, but played extremely well by Ben Foster (a second good performance this year from Foster).

My worry going into this film was about the performance Josh Hartnett, I haven’t really seen him in any films thus far where I thought he was very good. I don’t think he knocked this performance out of the park or anything, but I thought he played very well in this film and in the last ten minutes of the film, he was great.

If you like vampire movies, this is definitely a film to watch, but this is not a movie to take people who don’t like this genre, especially since there are some annoying things about this movie. I don’t know if this detail came from the original writings or not, but I really hated the screeching sounds that most of the vampires made.

I don’t actively try and figure out movies while I’m watching them in theaters, but I can usually follow them pretty well, but what I’ve learned about the Saw movies is that each movie gets more and more intricate and complex and Saw IV is no exception… actually it isn’t even meant to be figured out while watching it the first time through, it is a complex origins story about what made Jigsaw do what he’s best at for the past 3 movies and you are supposed to marvel at it. This movie (which is a great example of torture porn) has so many plot twists and turns mixed together, it is pure entertainment to watch, but there just aren’t any clues to try and figure it out (not that you need to, since everything eventually gets explained). Visually, the film is engrossing (sometimes what’s on screen is quite gross as well), but beyond the gore, the scene transitions are also markedly creative, sometimes scenes literally break into the succeeding shot. A lot of care was taken in creating this world and even though the series has gone on since 2004, in Jigsawland, only about half a year has passed.

This isn’t the first origins story in the middle of a long series of successful movie sequels this year. Since 2004, every Halloween season has brought us a new installment in the Saw series and the way this film’s plot unfolds, there is every reason to believe that the series will continue until it stops making tons of money.

If you enjoy a good 100 minutes or so of torture porn, get to the theaters, if not, do I really need to tell you to stay clear of this movie?

Thanks to imdb for the first picture and bagelsncheesey for the second pic.

Dany

October 30, 2007 2:19 am Posted by | movie reviews, movies | Leave a comment

Just Touch the Water

For all you with at least slight OCD, as well as the legions of mysophobes and
anyone else who has been freaking out with the over the top news coverage of staff infection, you should probably start pining for this bit of chic Euro tech.

Most of us are already pretty familiar with seeing touch-less faucets in public restrooms, but all they allow, is for you to turn on the water. This touch-less sink allows you to turn on the water, control its temperature (it even has a temp indicator), you can also dispense soap and disinfectant as well without laying a hand on a lever.

All that’s missing now is a way to open the bathroom door without having to touch anything and the whole experience leaving the bathroom will be completely touch-free.

Thanks to geekologie for their post as well as the product’s homepage Miscea for the pics and brochure.

Dany

October 28, 2007 2:17 pm Posted by | technology | Leave a comment

Transformers in IMAX

DreamWorks Pictures

I had been hearing all summer from a lot of different people about how good the Michael Bay Transformers movie was, but I decided to wait… I KNEW they would release this film as an IMAX experience. The film was touted as having absolutely AMAZING special fx, so waiting for it on IMAX was an easy decision.

After getting to see it this afternoon, it was well worth the wait. Up to this point, I thought Michael Bay‘s best film was The Rock, but Transformers, with its seamless special fx, entertainingly fast talking Shia LaBeouf and smokin’ hot Megan Fox was a great way to revive a franchise I loved as a child. Even though the story outside of the Transformers themselves and anything involving LaBeouf/Fox wasn’t terribly compelling (mainly because those elements made up at least 85% of scenes), I loved the experience that was this movie.

Thanks to MSNBC and Golden Screen Cinemas for the top and bottom pics.

Dany

October 28, 2007 4:40 am Posted by | movie reviews, movies, tv | Leave a comment

Walk While You Compute The Google

I’ve heard of people eliminating chairs from their office at work, in an attempt to speed up meetings, but the idea of combining the computer table with the treadmill is something I never thought of… maybe because most people think of multitasking on the computer by running a spreadsheet and listening to music, not simulating running up a mountain while sending that email to all the minions you control under you at work.

Most people spend at least 40 hours a week at work and for a good number of people, spending hours in front of their computer during that time isn’t unheard of. How tired are people going to be at the end of the day from this? Wouldn’t most people just use this for the first week or so, get bored/tired and in the end, pulling up a chair to this and never use it again?

Thanks to Geekologie for the article and the new Time blog for the pic.

Dany

October 25, 2007 10:48 pm Posted by | music, technology | Leave a comment

Lions for Lambs

Lions for Lambs looks like a much more interesting take on US national security policy and the war on terrorism than Rendition was.

The film stars Tom Cruise (a tough as nails senator who is pushing a new policy for the war on terror), Meryl Streep (a reporter seemingly assigned to interview the senator) and Robert Redford (who looks to be a college professor who looks to be a mentor for the two soon to be soldiers for up the B-story). Redford has also directed the movie.

You can watch the HD trailer from Apple, or just watch the regular version here.

Dany

October 25, 2007 12:13 am Posted by | clips, commercials, HD, movies | Leave a comment

Rendition

That look on Arkin's face is how I feel about this movie.

This movie has a wonderful cast, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin. It is really too bad though that none of these actors really plays a big role in the film, essentially, each is given only one major scene to shine in. Also, I didn’t even think Streep gave a strong performance either (sorry Tara, please don’t kill me for saying that), which was disappointing.

The movie deals with time in an interesting way, but it’s too bad that the story itself, especially the B-story with the two arabic speaking teens isn’t terribly interesting.

I really don’t recommend that anyone see this film, just avoid it and forget it existed in the first place. I just hope Streep‘s next film, Lions for Lambs turns out better… oh, I just looked up the director of this film, Gavin Hood and at this point it looks like he’s set to direct the upcoming X-Men Wolverine movie set for 2009, hopefully he does better with that, especially since Wolverine has always been my favorite superhero characters.

Thanks to Boston News for the picture.

Dany

October 24, 2007 10:29 pm Posted by | Boston, movie reviews, movies | 2 Comments

We Own the Night

I don’t know what made me go out to see this film, I didn’t think the trailer was all that enticing, but since I usually like Robert Duvall and Joaquin Phoenix.

I’m glad I did, though. This film does something that The Darjeeling Limited tried to do, but failed, the first half of the movie was almost an entirely different movie from the second half. I won’t reveal what happened, you’re going to have to find that out for yourself, but with We Own the Night, the turning point and the second half of the film were completely engaging.

The film takes place in 1988 Brooklyn, NY and has an interesting (and surprising) cameo from former NYC mayor Ed Koch (who WAS mayor of NYC in 1988)! It was interesting seeing this film after Eastern Promises, since that film revealed to me the importance of tatoos for the Russian mafia.

After the first 10 minutes though, I realized that this film has many deep rooted connections to The Godfather (my co-favorite film, with the other co-favorite being Casablanca). Robert Duvall is in both films, but this time, instead of consigliere to the boss, he IS the boss… well, police chief, instead of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), you get Bobby Green (no, not Moe Greene, Joaquin Phoenix) and Sonny Corleone (James Caan) is replaced with Joseph Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg). The twist is that instead of the prodigal son growing up in a mob family and going off and joining the military, Bobby has the opposite experience, he changes his last name, hides who his family is from everyone he knows and becomes a successful night club manager. Also, both in both films, the families of their wayward main character (Pacino/Phoenix) are suspicious of and don’t like their love interest (Diane Keaton/Eva Mendes), to the point where the families rejected them for not being the same religion/race (Keaton not being Catholic and Mendes being Puerto Rican). There are actually many more similarities between these two movies, but I don’t want to give anything else away, the film is so entertaining to watch that I don’t want to spoil the experience. I am glad that I decided to see it.

This film is worth checking out, it’s no Godfather, but it was surprisingly solid, although there were a couple of scenarios that were a bit unbelievable.

Thanks to /Film for the pic.

Dany

October 21, 2007 5:54 am Posted by | movie reviews, movies, New York, NYC | Leave a comment

Bee Movie May Just Turn Honey Funny

I remember watching the live action promotions for this film at the beginning of the year, but after seeing the Bee Movie ad campaign plastered all over NYC telling me that Honey Just Got Funny (thanks slashfilm) over the past few weeks, it made me not want to see this film, also, the film was created by Dreamworks Animation and I’ve had mixed results with their animated movies. I loved ANTZ (How could I not enjoy a Woody Allen movie… just with the entire cast playing ants?), thought Madagascar (which also starred Chris Rock) was pretty funny and heard good things about Over the Headge (but never got around to seeing it), yet I HATED Shrek and never wanted to watch the rest of the Shrek trilogy. In the end, I decided to watch the trailer on Yahoo! trailers. I was reluctant, but with Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock in the film, I HAD to give Bee Movie a look.

I loved that they used the song Brazil as the opening theme to the trailer (a very good sign) and I must say, the trailer had me laughing , maybe honey DID just get funny! Hearing Jerry reminded me just how much I missed Seinfeld.

If you want to see the HD trailer, you can get it here, otherwise, just give the SD trailer a look below. You can also see the other clips I was talking about here too.

Dany

October 20, 2007 5:42 pm Posted by | clips, comedians, commercials, HD, movies, New York, NYC | Leave a comment

Never Not Funny

About a week ago I found a hilarious podcast with a group of comedians, hosted by Jimmy Pardo. Pardo named the show Never Not Funny and the name fits quite well. The show isn’t about anything in particular, but I’ve listened to 9 episodes thus far and at times it had me on the floor laughing or even walking down the street cracking up with people staring at me. The show comes out weekly and runs about 70 minutes.

If you use iTunes to manage your subscriptions, you can subscribe here.

Dany

October 19, 2007 1:13 am Posted by | comedians, podcasts | Leave a comment