AMV of the Day: Party Rock (One Piece)


We’re now in the second AMV of my One Piece-themed anime music video min-marathon. The previous video was by PixelCreekAMVs and this second one is also by this AMV creator.

The AMV I picked from his collection of One Piece videos is titled “Party Rock” and like the previous AMV chosen it’s also one which highlights the fun, bizarre and wacky nature of Oda Eiichiro’s long-running and very popular manga and anime series. For those who might not recognize this song from LMFAO, they will probably better remember it as the song played with the dancing hip-hop hamsters and dancing robots in those Kia Soul car commercials.

I rather found this particular amv quite catchy to watch and listen to. The song is one of those party anthem songs which tend to come and go every year but combining it with One Piece just makes the song much more memorable. PixelCreekAMVs work on this video is much cleaner with a minimum amount of pre-existing credits and/or subtitles. Even if it had those I would still consider this AMV one of my current favorites.

Anime: One Piece

Song: “Party Rock” by LMFAO feat. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock

Creator: PixelCreekAMVs

Trailer: The Dark Knight Rises


There’s nothing much else to say other than 2012 looks to be the year of The Dark Knight Rises.

2005 saw the reboot of the Batman film franchise. This first film in the new trilogy put Christopher Nolan on the map as an action filmmaker. 2008’s The Dark Knight with it being such a huge critical and, more importantly, a mega-blockbuster made Christopher Nolan a filmmaker who could do anything he wants and with whatever budget he asks for. Nolan was able to cash in some of that cred to make 2010’s Inception which was also a runaway success.

2012 is just around the corner and we have the third and final leg to Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. With the success and popularity of the two previous films to say that the hype and anticipation for this third film has reached stratospheric levels would be an understatement. This is not to say the film can’t flop, but with Nolan’s track record I am in the camp of highly doubt it.

The Dark Knight Rises is set for a July 20, 2012 release in both regular and IMAX (though not in 3D).

Trailer: Wrath of the Titans


2010’s Clash of the Titans remake wasn’t what fantasy fans were expecting. Yes, it had spectacle and taking advantage of 3D (rage of the time due to the success of Avatar), but how the film ended up quality-wise left much to be desired. For an epic summer blockbuster film (as hyped by it’s ads and marketing push) the film felt very underwhelming. It showed in the box-office as it failed to generate Olympian-level cash though it still generated a little under $500million worldwide. I’m guessing it’s this number which greenlit a sequel to a remake of a film that never had one.

Wrath of the Titans forgoes having just two titans battle it out with Perseus (Sam Worthington) stuck in the middle. This time around the sequel will deal with the weakening of the Olympian Gods as human worship wanes while at the same time the powers of the imprisoned Titans rise. So, from the trailer alone this looks to have action that’s even more amped up than it’s predecessor. Previous director Louis Leterrier has stepped aside as director and in his place for the sequel is Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles…which I thought was actually quite good despite what my partner-in-writing Lisa Marie says about the film).

Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes return to their roles from the previous film. Replacing Alexa Davalos in the role of Princess Andromeda from the first film is Rosamund Pike who now takes the role as Queen Andromeda. Bill Nighy and Danny Huston join the cast as Hephaestus and Poseidon respectively.

Wrath of the Titans is set for a March 30, 2012 release which just reinforces my point that the summer blockbuster season seem to be encroaching into Spring with each passing year.

Film Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (dir. by Guy Ritchie)


One of my favorite films of 2009 was Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes.  I saw the first (of probably many) sequels to that film this weekend.  Now, I have to admit that I was kinda worried about Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  As much as I loved the first film, it definitely had the feeling of being a happy accident.  There were so many obvious ways to screw the film up that I found myself suspecting that that’s exactly what would happen with the sequel and I worried that a bad sequel would make it impossible for me ever to really enjoy the first film.  Well, having seen Game of Shadows, I can see that no, it’s not as good as the first film.  However, it’s still  pretty good.

Game of Shadows picks up the story a bit after the end of the first film.  Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) is still doing cocaine and solving mysteries in London.  Dr. Watson (Jude Law) is still his best friend and is still planning on getting married and, not surprisingly, Holmes is still not happy about the idea of losing him.  Holmes is also still investigating the mysterious criminal mastermind, Dr. James Moriarty (Jared Harris).  Holmes discovers that Moriarty is behind a series of world-wide anarchist bombings and, with the world on the verge of war, Holmes and Watson attempt to both figure out why and to thwart Moriarty’s scheme.  While I haven’t read enough Sherlock Holmes to say for sure (I read the Hound of the Baskervilles in high school and that’s about it), I get the feeling that, plotwise, this film was probably more James Bond than traditional Sherlock Holmes.  But no matter, it’s an intriguing enough plot and director Ritchie wisely doesn’t spend too much time trying to hammer home that similarities between Moriarty’s scheme and certain modern-day conspiracy theories.

If the first Sherlock Holmes was a comedy with some action scenes, this sequel is definitely an action film with a lot of comedic relief.  Whether or not this increases or diminishes your enjoyment of the sequel really depends on how you feel about the action genre in general.  To be honest, most big budget action films bore me several shades of silly and Game of Shadows pulls out all the usual tricks — slow motion explosions, fist fights full of jump cuts so quick that it becomes impossible to really keep track of who is actually fighting who, and the whole zooming into the barrel of a gun just as the trigger is pulled routine.  And yet these action sequences didn’t inspire my usual eye rolling, if just because it was obvious that the film itself understood just how over-the-top and silly all of it was.  The film has the decency not to demand that I take it seriously and for that, I’m more willing to accept the predictable parts than I would be with a film like Battle L.A.

Besides, even with the increased emphasis on action, the filmmakers still understand that what made the first Sherlock Holmes work was the chemistry between Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.  Seriously, Downey and Law have some of the strongest chemistry in the movies today.  Certainly, there a more believable couple than Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.  (It’s probably not a coincidence that the film, very early on, establishes that Watson is getting married and that Holmes is still mourning Rachel McAdams from the previous film.)  You buy their friendship and it’s just fun to watch these two actors bouncing lines off of each other.  Downey still comes across more like Robert Downey. Jr. than Sherlock Holmes (and that’s just fine with me) but Jude Law actually gets a chance to act in this film and he brings a lot of life to a character who, on paper, would just seem to be the prototypical sidekick. 

Joining the cast in this installment as Jarded Harris as the evil Dr. Moriarty and Noomi Rapace as the gypsy fortune teller who gets caught up in Moriarty’s latest scheme.  Now, you may be surprised to hear this with the current efforts to brainwash us all into being Rooney Mara-compliant but Rapace was the original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and, regardless of the film establishment’s attempts to revise history, she is the one who made Lisbeth Salander into an icon.  Unfortunately, Rapace doesn’t get to do much here but I was happy to see her if just to know that the Hollywood establishment hadn’t succeeded in erasing her from history.  As Moriarty, Jared Harris doesn’t have a lot of scenes but he still totally dominates the entire film.  Harris’s Moriarty is truly serpent-like, outwardly smooth and calm but, on the inside, always ready to strike.  He makes Moriarty into such a memorable, genuinely threatening villain that he ends up giving the film an extra dimension that otherwise wouldn’t be there.  It’s a great performance and hopefully, when the inevitable third Sherlock Holmes film is made, Moriarty will be back and Harris will be playing him.