Posts Tagged ‘ Movies ’

I Watched: The Amazing Spider-Man

The Spider-Man franchise was in a desperate need for a reboot, we can all agree to this when it seemed like the sequels were spinning out of control until they ultimately slowed to a halt. Sam Rami took great care in the first Spider-man movies, but things just didn’t feel right. The same can be said for the new movie that was just released on the third of this month.

One word: Motivation.

The movie was great an I enjoyed it as much as the next guy or even more, but the other half of me (the self critical cynical self) must relay all the mistakes that will never be able to ignored. Partially because Peter Parker’s main quest is to figure out what happened to his parents, discovering a briefcase with secret information regarding a formula from his fathers and Curt Connor’s experiments. It leads him to Oscorp where he stumbles upon a room full of radioactive spiders, getting bit…in the neck. (*pulls out old Spider-man comic, reads it, then shakes head*) I understand Marc Webb’s reasoning in shapeshifting events to differ from the comics because it was already replicated in the Sam Rami editions, but I felt like the difference couldn’t shed enough light to show Peter Parker as a powerless young man finding power and having no idea what to do with it, using it for the wrong reasons. The new Peter simply becomes somewhat of a bully, humiliating those who humiliated him.

Then comes The Lizard. Transformed when trying to regrow his lost arm, Curt Connors instantly becomes an enemy bent of turning the rest of the city into his own kind and preventing Spider-man from getting in his way. When he discovers Spider-man’s alter ego, who stampedes into the school to end the threat. The character of Dr. Connors is filled with emotion, but when The Lizard comes into play, he turns dull and motivated only to kill. The same exact thing happened with the Green Goblin, but I would act like that too if I had to wear that costume. *shudder*

Then we get to what made it so great and that can be said with two words: Gwen Stacy.
Staying true to that part of the story was the smartest thing one could do and I give kudos to Marc Webb. In the comics Peter fell in love with Gwen at the start of his web swinging, not Mary Jane which upset me most dearly being a fan of the comics. The character is not the typical damsel in distress; Gwen is smart and knows what needs to be done to not only protect herself, but to protect Spider-man. Her father gets in the picture too and ultimately saves everyone by helping the one person he swore to retain in custody.

Overall the movie was entertaining and had a great story to tell. I anticipate the sequel to be better than the first and to up to par to the true nature of the comics.

50th Post!

50 looks like a small number in the blogging world, especially those who write daily and have the audacity to post whatever it may be that was keyed onto the screen, terrible or not. For me however I post whenever I am inspired or excited (which as you can tell only happens 10% of the time each month). To reflect on the noble history of Better With a Pen, lets take a look into the past in memorium of the forgotten posts.

  1. New Beginnings– The first ever post I dared to post.
  2. Hypocricy at it’s Finest– When I figured I should just write for the hell of it.
  3. The Shoe to Fill– The best post of the entire history of the blog: 2,532 views.
  4. May Cause Belief in Humanity to Melt Away– The woes of a Tech support agent.
  5. Time for Virtual Party Hats– The first party.
  6. A Nerd and His Bike– Me, making the world aware that I do not have a licence.
  7. Just Another Maniacal “Moon” Day– How I hate Mondays and the entity who enjoys making us miserable.
  8. Steamship Billy– My first ever short-story that I successfully completed.
  9. My Tin Receptacle Agenda– Not your average bucket list.
  10. I Watched: The Avengers– I couldn’t mis the chance to write about the biggest movie of 2012.
  11. How to Pick Your Nose in Public– Tips for those who hate to wait.

I remember when I first wrote my first post, holding onto the assumption that it would take the same form as my last blog, but the first like changed my view entirely. Out of all of the posts, which one is your favorite?

Leave your responses in the comment section below. *In Ray William Johnson voice*

When the Pen is at Hand, Expect Stationary Motivation

I stare at a blank page more often than I actually write sometimes, I sit bored waiting for some random thought to form into something great. It happens in rare circumstances however and it only worked successfully three times. Make if four times now.

After serious contemplating I have noticed that most of my views come from people who read stuff that relate to my life or writing, not gaming; so I decided to create a whole new blog specifically dedicated to gaming. In general I might write reviews about new releases and other games, iPhone/iPod/iPod games (Couldn’t you have just said Apple App Store?), and other mobile platformers. I decided to separate content based on the popularity of my posts about gaming and digital media, as the posts I released didn’t fit the audience I established.

Perhaps now everyone can read more about my heteromorphic life and how I traverse this world one flat bike tire at a time. Oh, and movies too. Can’t forget movies.

A Hiatus to Last the Ages

It’s unusual that a hiatus has taken over my blog, usually I’m more active than with a keyboard than with a bike, but plans have changed and now I’m surrounded by familiar people who share the same passion as I do: Filmmaking.
Talks are in of making Halo-based Machinima’s and Live-action shorts with Mr. Brown and his stalker-ish demeanor.

We even have a teaser.
The Gang

I couldn’t tell you when production will close, but since I have moved on and now live by myself, time is on my side and there’s no need to rush.

I Watched: The Avengers

Ticket

As good as any golden one.

Holding the ticket to the biggest movie of 2012 quite exhilarating, with all the excitement that brewed in the theater and the long line that threatened the integrity of my dry pants, it was exactly what awaiting for the screening of The Avengers should feel like. While my wait I contemplated the lack of the special edition 3D glasses that Hollywood Theaters had and what it would’ve been like if I had the opportunity to grab a pair of the for the one-in-a-lifetime event, regardless Ebay has a prolific supply of them.

I’d hate to say anything about what I saw on the 4th other than that it was single-handedly the best movie I have seen.

Better than the Dark Knight you say?

The Avengers

Yes.

Hard to say, but the movie debuted in 2008 and there was no warning of The Avengers at that time. I can still say it’s in second place however, but will more than likely move to third once The Dark Knight Rises sails off.
Joss Whedon directs the amazing presentation of what all superhuman or Marvel movies in general should be like. The story follows Loki as he continues his mischief by making a deal with an alien known as the Other to capture the Tesseract (a bluish, magical cube that is recognizable in Captain America: The First Avenger) in exchange to unleash the horde of Chitauri on the earth all in Loki’s control. Nick Fury who then becomes aware of the plan must unite a team to prevent the ultimate destruction of the Earth, contacting Tony Stark, Thor, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff (I had the most terrible time trying to remember that), and Clint Barton…well, sort of…

The interaction between them was something that brought something fresh to the genre even though the characters have been in existence for decades; Tom Hiddleston’s representation of Loki gave me Hannibal Lector esque chills, Chris Evans reminded us that Captain America has an internal conflict deeper than Bruce Banner–and speaking of the Hulk–Mark Ruffalo surpassed the expectations of a wannabe Edward Norton and instead created a humble, interesting person who has successfully controlled the monster inside, ready to unleash it when duty calls.

The one thing that kept me planted firmy to the cushion was the barrage of humor and cultural references, something that is rarely seen in such an action-packed and dramatized type of movie, but surprisingly fit in with only a few minor mishaps (such as Loki’s comment at the end which-I-cannot-say-due-to-the-mass-of-people-who-have-not-watched-the-amazing-movie-that-I-cannot-begin-to-proclaim-how-much-they-need-to). Among the action you will begin to see some odd maneuvers and then suddenly realize that they are preforming moves from Ultimate Alliance, which surprized me in more than one way. He’s a gamer and knows exactly what he’s doing.

The Avengers has many jaw-dropping moments throughout the 140 minute motion-picture, but the post-credits scene left me in a paralyzed state of shock. I have read many Marvel comics in my 19 year lifespan and from what was beheld unto me, it left the biggest clue to what the sequel’s plot will revolve around. I would guess that it is in the good hands of Mr. Whedon and perhaps knows how to turn our opinion of sequels in general inside out.

The Avengers

I watched The Avengers. Did you?

Delayed Review: The Dark Knight

How can I resist speaking about the best movie that I have ever seen? the problem lies in that very statement, I can’t. Now for those of you who have seen The Godfather and profess that the movie is the best ever produced for our eyes to feast upon, I can’t say the same. Perhaps because I have never seen any of the Godfathers, regardless The dark Knight is a hardy meal of it’s own that leaves my stuffed (in some theoretical manner that is not meant as a pleasantry).

Since I have never seen Batman Begins (funny story how that happened; I was in a drive-in theater and we were to watch that and Sharkboy and lavagirl as a package deal. I disagreed and pleaded with my parents that perhaps it was the wrong time, but they insisted and we were off. If I have to decree what would be the most ridiculous movie ever it would be Sharkboy and lavagirl. My eyes became heavy with bordom and as soon as the credits rolled I was asleep. Later did I know that I slept through Batman Begins and my hatred for Taylor lautner began years before Twilight…)

Back to my review…

The Batman reboot that Christopher Nolan took under his graceful wing was dark and realistic, something that the past movies failed to achieve, except for the first one directed by Tim Burton. Close, but no cigar.
Not like the previous movies were trying to hit that mark, but nothing can do what Christopher Nolan did. Batman, The Joker, Harvey Dent were all more tangible and believable than any superhero movie made, Gotham City could have been hidden on the U.S. map for all we (don’t) know. The Batmobile also received a make-over, setting the famed vehicle’s Kick-but meter to an impressive all-time high.

Most and foremost the one reason I love The Dark Knight has to be the performance given by Heath Ledger, the take on The Joker at that time convinced me that it had to have been arguably the best acting that has ever beheld before me. He felt real, felt like your average joe who was tormented and abused by his drunk father…or the conflict with his wife…(or some other fabricated lie he must recreate each day to deal with his insanity). While the both may be true in a round-about way, the Joker is multidimensional and his mysterious history is what keeps you watching, hoping that some little string of dialogue could reveal his past. When the movie is over you begin to wonder if it was possible that the Joker himself is unaware of his true origins…

Christopher Nolan noted that the movie was the origin of Two-Face (Harvey Dent) as the story curve revolved around him and the rise of the Joker.

Now what about Batman? I mean the movie is about him correct? Well, sort-of, but he cannot be unspoken. The only thing I have to disagree on Christian Bale’s role as Batman is that voice he disguises his self with, however it works, but most people might have a hard time understanding him. Bruce Wayne is very multidimensional as well, with a sense of criminal justice planted deep into his heart after the death of his parents, but will not kill unless absolutely necessary believing all men deserve a trial and to kill makes him no better than his enemies.
This was reflected greater than I had seen before in The Dark Knight when he was presented with the chance to end the Joker’s reign forever, but saved him, showing his true compassion and moral personality.

The interpersonal relationship between The Joker and Batman is unlike any and Christopher Nolan went above and beyond with his take on the rich mythology of the DC Comics superhero. With The Dark Knight Rises coming to the theaters July 20th of this year I am among those will be sitting in front of that Imax screen with complete faith that Christopher Nolan’s last installment was taken with great care (as he always has) and will most likely enjoy that as much as The Dark Knight…

Gathering The Magic

A whole Multiverse of trouble.

If someone were to ask what the best card game that ever existed would be I would respond with a grin and say boldly “Magic the Gathering”. For those of you who have never heard of it (or have and simply paid no attention to it), Magic the Gathering is a card game consisting of 2 to 10+ players (depending on how intense of a game you want); each player represents a “Planeswalker” or a being who possesses extraordinary magical powers allotting them to deploy spells, artifacts, and (sometimes) dangerous creatures depicted on their own individual cards. Like many other strategic card games each player has a deck with a minimal amount of 60 cards, while it’s possible to create a larger deck with no maximum size it is frowned upon (and from my experiences it’s not exactly the greatest idea in the book). There are a variety of different deck types with different strategies for each one: Beatdown, Burn, Aggro, Goblin, Combo, and Control are some of the many available to create and customize to your heart’s content. The cards follow 5 basic colors or “Mana Types” (White, Blue, Black, Red, and Green).
Every deck of mine has had some kind of Graveyard play, either from sacrificing creatures and zombies to pump my other weaker creatures then bring them back or overwhelm my opponent with a horde of zombie tokens. (I love me some Zombies). Mana is the primary resource for playing spells typically drawn from lands, but it can also be generated by non-land permanents and spells as well. I have a feeling that if I continue to explain the rules of the game and it’s gameplay mechanics this would probably be the longest blog post in modern history, so I decided to provide a handy little link to quench your curiosity (http://wiki.mtgsalvation.com).

The massive amount of cards makes every game different and I predict that I will be at an old age and still be playing at the nearest Magic distribution center. As big as it may be there are many who believe that the game is stupid and appeals only to immature teenagers and 50 year-old virgins who fail to escape from their grandmother’s basement, I must assure you that not only is it fun and a great social tool, but also exercises your brain and increases your mental health. 😀
May sound like I’m releasing hot air (…or foreign characters–for you more technical beings), but it’s true. The game can be played by all ages…except maybe those who are younger than 16 or so only because of the artwork that some display, which could cause some uneasy feelings in parents.

My love for the game is more than just playing it, each and every card and character released has a story to it that connects it to the main plot line Magic the Gathering centralizes on.

*Pop quiz: which came first, the story or the cards?

You would be surprised what the answer is if you knew nothing about it. I was amazed too and it doesn’t seem plausible that all these cards originated from one massive story. Of course many cards were created to fit into it and therefore expanding the story even farther and deeper into it’s mythology, there’s no other game like it (BUT still not better than Halo, sorry folks.) and that’s why I am loyal to the game regardless of others opinions. More hours and dollar bills have gone into Magic than I can count, honestly I’ve seen pay checks quite literally transmogrify into these cardboard objects in order to satisfy my cravings and obsessive desires to become the very best (“…that no one ever was–to catch them is my request…”).
For now my Magic antics has subsided at the moment, I miss attending  tournaments every other Friday, but casual play here and there keeps me from collecting dust. Working does a terrible number on your priorities and the welcome into adulthood was anything from warm. (I think I can hear one of my fathers proverbs echoing in my skull.)
The Magic community I feel might one day gain the attention of the movie business which could mean Hollywood could someday redeem itself from their past spin-off failures if they did a good enough job, the problem with that is the exact plot of the film. It sounds completely ludicrous to make a movie based on a card game, but it wouldn’t be any different than making one based on a board game. (*cough* Battlefield *cough* Monopoly *cough*) The other problem would be to which storyline the plot would follow. Let’s say I were to do the movie I would graciously base it on Innistrad and the story surrounding the Planeswalker Sorin Markov and the rise of Avacyn the angel.
To avoid spoilers I will stop there.
I wouldn’t mind however if the possible plot would be all the Planeswalkers in the Multiverse joining forces to destroy the dragon Nicol Bolas who threatens to destroy their planes..or something more epic if they prefer. (In a diabolical scheme I would make J.J. Abrams learn everything about Magic the Gathering, train him in the art of the game, and convince him to begin production on the film.) Haters gonna’ hate.

I suggest to any curious fellow who has the chance to pick up a cheap deck or observe a tournament needs to do so, I’ve had loads of fun playing the game and it’s quite easy to learn, but years to master. Who knows…you might even make a living out of it. (<this guy tried to)