After finding a whole database full of some of the best AMV’s ever made in the last couple years I have another new AMV to post as the latest “AMV of the Day”. The latest one actually uses a song that is near and dear to my heart.
“Hold On To That Feeling” is the AMV in question and was the collaboration effort of two creators, Ileia and PWolf. I’ve always admired the videos that actually have more than one editor involved in it’s production. When both editors are on the same wavelength as to how the video should look like and play out the ultimate result ends up being quite good to great. This latest AMV is one such example of two creators whose joint collaboration doesn’t even show in the final product and that’s a good thing.
Another reason why I love this video so much is the song the two picked to base the video on. It’s Journey’s classic rock anthem song and one my San Francisco Giants used as their official rally song during their 2010 World Series run. Everytime I watch this video I can’t help but sing along to “Don’t Stop Believin'” and any Giants fan would do the same, but with the extra bonus of great anime scenes from a boatload of great anime.
Ok, enough talking, back to watching and singing along to the AMV.
Anime: 5 Centimeters per Second, Ah! My Goddess, Ah! My Goddess! Always Together, Ai Yori Aoshi, Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~, Birdy the Mighty Decode, Chobits, Cowboy Bebop, Ef – a tale of memories, Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu, Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Hōkago no Pleiades, Kimi ni Todoke, Macross Frontier, Macross Frontier MUSIC CLIP Collection – Nyankuri, NANA Neon Genesis Evangelion 2.22 – You Can [Not] Advance, Neon Genesis Evangelion: 1.11 You Are [Not] Alone, Romeo × Juliet, The Sky Crawlers, Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu, Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann, Towards the Terra
We get what could be the definitive trailer for Ridley Scott’s prequel to his Alien film.
This latest trailer is the international launch trailer and runs just a shade under 3 minutes. We definitely get a sense of what the film is about but not so much that it spoils the film’s entire story. Some have been anticipating this film since it was first announced and with each release of production stills and teasers the hype just continues to build. Then there are those who hate this film without even seeing it because they see it as either a cash grab or an attempt by a filmmaker to break a string of sub-par films.
I stand pretty much between these two camps. While I’ve always enjoyed Ridley Scott’s work even those he whiffs badly on I’m also hesitant to fully embrace this prequel as a can’t-miss without having seen it. So much about the Alienfranchise has been ruined by badly made sequels and mash-ups that it’s going to take something momentous to have me put unquestioned faith back into the franchise.
Maybe Scott returning to something he’s familiar with and having had learned more about filmmaking since the first film means he’ll bring something new to the franchise and help bring it back from the brink of mediocrity. Here’s to hoping that is the case. One thing I’m sure of is that he’s got an all-star cast to work with.
On the last day of each month, we ask you which films you’re most looking forward to seeing in the months ahead. According to our last poll, for most of you, the month of May will be all about seeing The Avengers and Moonrise Kingdom. Thank you to everyone who voted.
So, which films are you most excited about seeing in June? As usual, you can vote for up to four films.
The first four episodes of the second season of Game of Thrones has been consistently good to great despite the addition of a large number of new characters to a cast already considered massive by tv standards. Last week’s “Garden of Bones” was the weakest of the four and worked more like a set-up episode for the rest of the season. With tonight’s fifth episode in “The Ghost of Harrenhal” we get another set-up episode that looks to be the weakest entry in this new season.
The episode’s title comes from the novel and what Arya calls herself during her stay in Harrenhal. She becomes the ghost of the title as she takes the offer made to her by the engimatic Jaqen H’ghar. But before we get to Arya and her adventures within the cursed halls of Harrenhal we start the episode back at the Renly Baratheon camp where the younger Barantheon entertains Catelyn Stark with an offer to take back to her son Robb in the North. Before the armies of Renly and Robb could come together to fight against their common enemy that the shadowy thing from the end of last week’s episode finally make it’s appearance to end the fight between the Baratheon brothers once and for all.
As Arya comments to Tywin in Harrenhal thus Renly’s fate early in the episode prove her words correct. Anyone can be killed and it would seem anywhere.
The rest of the episode from then on is all about setting up what I can only guess would be the two set piece events for the season. There’s the planned amphibious invasion of King’s landing being planned by Stannis Baratheon with his reinforced army now that Renly’s bannermen has flocked to him after their former liege’s assassination. Then there’s the stuff brewing up north of the Wall with the entire Night’s Watch searching for and preparing for the massive wildling army being formed by former Night’s Watch brother and self-proclaimed “King Beyond the Wall”.
Most of the dynamic writing for tonight’s episode occur down at King’s Landing and Harrenhal where we see both Tyrion and Arya adjusting to the ever-shifting status in both places. With Tyrion he must now contend with an older sister in Cersei who seem to be waking up to the fact that she cannot bully the current Hand of the King and realizes that she too can play the manipulative game as her deformed younger sibling. The fact that a weapon of mass destruction has been in production for quite sometime without his knowing and put into motion by his sister has put the usually cocky and confident Tyrion on his heels. But as we’ve seen since this show began airing the dwarf Lannister is very quick to adjust his footing. It’s going to be interesting how the writers will keep the personal battles between Tyrion and Cersei for control of King’s Landing to not feel like wheel’s spinning in place. Sooner or later one of them will find the chink in the other’s personal armor and make the “killing” stroke.
Further up north we see Arya do her own dance around the shifting circumstance she finds herself in as the personal cupbearer for the man who heads the house she despises and blames for the death of her father. The back and forth between her and Tywin was one of the highlight’s of tonight’s episode even though it didn’t move the story forward, but did add another layer of character growth on the youngest Stark daughter. Maisie Williams as Arya continues to impress in the role. She looked like she belonged in the scene with the older veteran actor in Charles Dance. It’s a small wonder that she’s become one of the show’s favorite characters.
With tonight’s episode we hit the halfway mark of the season and even though there’s still another half to go so much stuff occurred with tonight’s episode that it’ll be a surprise if the season finale gives all of them a satisfying resolution. I haven’t even mentioned the scenes with Theon trying to find his footing with his crew before setting off to raid the coastline near Winterfell as his father has ordered him to do.
If there was ever a weak point in this season it’s that we seem to get a new subplot introduced with each new episode and tonight’s episode was a perfect example. Not saying that tonight was poorly written and acted. Everyone seemed to be in top form, but instead of streamlining what is already turning out to be a season with an ever-growing number of storylines we get more. It’s going to be a wonder how the show’s writers will be able to juggle everything as the season enters it’s second half. Maybe they won’t find a resolution for every thread introduced this season and I’m betting that is how it’s going to pan out, but that could also mean delaying some of these threads for next season.
If there’s one thing people should know about George R.R. Martin’s novels it’s that plots, subplots and side stories only continue to pile on each other even when some past ones get a resolution. Sooner or later the showrunners will have to make a tough decision to abandon certain storylines from the novel even if it means angering and alienating the fans of the books who are already grumbling about some of the changes the show has already made in adapting the series to television.
I’m all for fidelity to the source material, but as Arya said in tonight’s episode, “Anyone can be killed”, and I say the same thing should go in how the show moves on into the second half and beyond. Any storyline can be cut and I’m all for it if it keeps the series from becoming a narrative bloated mess.
Looks like Renly Baratheon will not be able to play at war again.
Brienne is not a woman that any man should anger if what she did in Renly’s tent was any indication.
Littlefinger and Margaery Tyrell would make for quite a formidable couple if these two manipulative kids ever decide to get together.
We don’t see it happen often but Tyrion definitely looks like he’s not in control of the situation during his conversation with Cersei and then later on with Lancel and his talk of wildfire.
For all his work to try and protect the people from Joffrey’s madness Tyrion still ends up on the short end of the stick.
Stannis is turning out to be quite a conundrum. One second he’s willing to use underhanded tactics to win over his younger brother’s bannermen to his army, then turns around and becomes his rigid self once again. It’s a wonder that he still has Ser Davos’ loyalty.
Tywin at Harrenhal with his war council is a major change from the novel, but it makes sense now that we get a sort of confrontation between the Lannister patriarch and Arya Stark.
Highlight of the episode has to be Jaqen and Arya making an arrangement where the former shall repay his life-debt to the latter with the deaths of three names Arya will give the enigmatic soldier.
Tyrion finally gets his footing on solid ground again as he takes control of the wildfire production from his sister. I’m thinking King’s Landing would be better served to have the volatile wildfire in the hands of Tyrion than his more equally volatile sister and her insane son.
Daenerys gets another lesson in the cutthroat world of diplomacy as she gets a tempting offer from Xaro Xhoan Daxos.
Her next lesson on how to be a capable ruler comes from her trusted knight and advisor Ser Jorah who thinks Daxos’ offer will contain strings that she may not be able to cut once accepted.
Bran’s dreams seem to portent the coming Ironborns and the former ward and friend in Theon leading them.
Rickon Stark looks like he’s becoming wilder and wilder with each appearance.
A surprise for the lack of any sort of sexposition or even nudity. Might be a first for this show.
One of my favorite photographers is Gregory Crewdson. Working with a large crew and with elaborate lighting and staging, Crewdson captures images that are heavily influenced by the painter Edward Hopper and photographer Diane Arbus and which present a surreal and disturbing vision of life in small town America.
Hi! I apologize for being a day late with this week’s edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film trailers. In the future, I may just start regularly posting these on Sunday morning as opposed to Saturday. But that’s something that can be decided in the future. For the present, the trailers are the only thing that matters…
1) Witchboard (1986)
This trailer is short but effective. The guy with the beard scares me every time.
2) Jennifer (1978)
Guess which earlier movie inspired this one?
3) Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965)
When you’ve got a named like Dr. Terror, you might as well get a house of horrors.
4) The Hand (1981)
Continuing on a theme that was introduced in the previous trailer, this film is apparently about a disembodied hand creating mayhem. It was directed by Oliver Stone who later gave the world Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.
5) Death Smiles At Murder (1973)
This film is from the infamous Joe D’Amato and apparently, it features a cameo from Klaus Kinski. That’s how you know it’s good. Plus, I love the title.
6) Evil Toons (1990)
Wow, this looks terrible, doesn’t it? Still, I have to include it because it’s just such a purely grindhouse trailer, featuring everything from a gimmick to a somewhat reputable actor who obviously was having trouble paying his rent back in 1990.
For the latest pick for “AMV of the Day” I went into moe-overload. The latest amv chosen is “Disco Heaven”.
I am not what you would call a fan of Lady Gaga. The fact that I actually picked this particular has less to do with Lady Gaga’s song “Disco Heaven” being used but more on the anime the creator used to make his video out of. JudgeHolden does a great job in picking the right scenes from so many different anime titles. Even the choreography from each chosen scene matched almost in-synch with the song’s tempo and beat.
Interesting how a song I would never catch myself listening to actually ends up being catchy when married with so many moe-related anime scenes.
Anime: Amazing Nuts! (OAV), Angel Beats (TV), Baccano! (TV), Birdy the Mighty Decode (TV), Excel Saga, K-ON! (TV), Lucky Star (OVA), Lucky Star (TV), Macross Frontier (TV), The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV), Mnemosyne – Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi (OAV), My HiME, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (TV), Princess Resurrection (TV), Rosario + Vampire Capu2 (TV), Sekirei (TV), Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Parallel Works (MVs), xxxholic
When I first heard that Robert Kirkman’s horror comic book series, The Walking Dead, was being turned into a video game I was a bit leery. I’m a huge fan of the comics and, despite some unevenness in it’s storytelling, also a fan of the tv adaptation on AMC. I’ve even bought and read the novel based on the comic book that details the early backstory of one of the series’ iconic characters. So, when it was announced that Telltale Games was going to make a game out of the series I was intrigued, but also worried.
Was the property being milked for everything it was worth to the point that it was reaching oversaturation?
As the months ticked by I read up on updates and news on Telltale Games and its plan for the series. It was going to be based on the comic book and not the tv show. While it won’t follow the characters from the comic book the game will still use some of those characters in cameos that the game’s new lead characters will intersect with. I was all for this but I was still hesitant to fully buy into the game until I actually played the first episode in what was going to be an episodic game totaling 5 distinct episodes.
Episode 1, titled “A New Day”, has been released and over the course of a couple hours in one night I’ve played through the episode and my first impression of Telltale Games’ The Walking Deadis a very positive one.
The game actually begins with the lead character of Lee Everett in the back of a police car being driven to a prison outside of Atlanta. We find out early on that Lee has been convicted of murder, but through conversations with the police officer in the car we get hints that he may not be the bad man his conviction labels him as. The game uses these early minutes of the game to give players a simple instructional on how the controls work and the manner in which players can choose how Lee should answer the person he’s speaking to.
Before one could get comfortable with the game’s control mechanics the story crashes headlong into the horror aspect of the game.
The game doesn’t skimp on the horror and tension the player will experience and this episode does a fine way of making the simplistic controls become part of making encounters with the living dead be very tense and terrifying. Most video games tend to make their controls very precise and accurate, but here the controls are just imprecise enough and timed to make zombie encounters not so simple. Even the action tend to serve the narrative instead of breaking away from it. This is not a game that caters to the action junkies, but more to those who value story, characters and emotion first and foremost.
“A New Day” also introduces the second lead that would become part of Lee’s main story: 8-year-old Clementine.
If there’s been a big criticism of the show based on the comic books it’s that the kids on the show have either been clueless, useless, or dangerous. Clementine from my first impressions based on this first episode seem to be the opposite of tv show Sophia and Carl. She’s resourceful, tougher than she looks but still retains enough of her innocence even after seeing the early days of the zombie apocalypse hit her close to home. The interactions between Lee and Clementine is turning out to be this game’s core and how players treat Clementine looks to affect how future episodes turn out.
That’s where the game truly stands out for me even with just this first episode being the only one released, so far. The story and how Lee interacts with his young charge and other survivors he meets up determines how the episode plays out. Play like a compassionate Lee and people will trust Lee and help him out. Play like a silent, enigmatic tough guy and some characters will accept him while others will be suspicious. A great aspect of this game’s narrative is that throughout this first episode (I’m guessing in the other future episodes as well) the player is put in a situation where he has to make Lee decide which two people he has to save from the zombies. The fact that every character doesn’t come off as one-dimensional that making these life or death decisions truly becomes tough.
Telltale Games has done a great job with this episode to lay down the oft-used theme of human drama and conflict in the face of the apocalypse. While it’s nothing new in zombie literature when it comes to the theme of human survivors being as much a dangers to other humans as the zombies with this episode we’re not hit over the head with it. We get some tense interactions between Lee and particular survivors, but nothing that boils over into outright violence. There’s enough distrust introduced with this first episode that we get a sense of danger from within not just from the outside.
I played the game on my Xbox 360 and the graphics is not super-high quality. What the developers do end up doing is giving the game a nice comic book art-like aesthetic which further puts it in line with the comic book series and not the tv show. For a price of $4.99 (400 MS Points) The Walking Dead: Episode 1is worth the price even if a player can easily breeze through it in just a couple hours. It’s how choices (both dialogue and action) made in the game changes the storyline that gives this first episode long-term re-playability. I’ve already done two playthroughs and with each one I’ve made different choices which clearly changed how certain characters acted towards me and how certain scenes unfolded.
So far, Telltale Games has done a great job with The Walking Deadand if this first episode was any indication then players will definitely be waiting for the future episodes with anticipation.
The Raven, a largely disappointing thriller that just opened this weekend, takes place in 1849 in Baltimore, Maryland. A mysterious killer is terrorizing the city and, as Inspector Fields (Luke Evans) quickly deduces, he’s patterning his murders after the works of an alcoholic and disreputable writer named Edgar Allan Poe (played here, in the style of Robert Downey, Jr., by John Cusack). Fields recruits Poe to help catch the killer but the killer has other plans. He kidnaps Edgar’s fiancée Emily(Alice Eve*) and then challenges Edgar to a game. The killer will continue to commit random murders and, with each murder, he’ll include a clue to finding Emily. However, Edgar also has to write a story inspired by the killer’s crimes. Desperate to save Emily, Edgar agrees…
I wouldn’t necessarily say that I had high hopes for The Raven but, on the basis of the trailer, I was hoping that it would at least be an entertaining and self-aware genre piece. Unfortunately, The Raven isn’t even that. Instead, it’s a slowly paced, predictable film that’s not even awful enough to be fun. John Cusack has a few enjoyably over-the-top moments as Edgar Allan Poe and Brendan Gleeson is always fun when he’s being all blustery but the rest of the cast barely seems to be awake. (In particular, poor Luke Evans struggles to look like he’s interested in anything that’s happening on-screen.) Director James McTeigue comes up with a lot of striking images but the film is so oddly edited that the scenes never seem to flow together and the end result is a film that feels oddly static and listless.
*Alice Eve has heterochromia, just like me! Yay for both of us!
Recently, I spent the night watching a bunch of commercials for Everest College that had been recorded onto my DVR. Occasionally, the Everest commercials were interrupted by 1994’s made-for-tv movie Saved By The Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas.
Why Was I Watching It?
Back when I was like 10, I used to always watch Saved By The Bell: The New Class every Saturday morning. Even at that age, I knew that show was kinda stupid and that Dustin Diamond’s Screech Powers was one of the most annoying television characters of all time. But I still watched it and occasionally, I would catch a rerun of the Old Class as well. (Quite honestly, up until a few years ago, there was never a time that reruns of Saved By The Bell weren’t being broadcast somewhere.) By the time I was in high school, I appreciated Saved By The Bell as being almost a type of performance art.
As of late, it’s been difficult to find Saved By The Bell reruns on television and that made me a little bit sad because I felt like my childhood was disappearing and that I might be turning into an adult. So, imagine how happy I was when I discovered that MTV2 now shows a two hour-block of Saved By The Bell every afternoon and, thanks to the wonderful thing that is the DVR, I can watch them without having to quit my job to do so. Yay!
Two weeks ago, MTV2 showed the final Saved By The Bell movie, 1994’s Wedding in Las Vegas. Though I knew, of course, that Zack (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and Kelly (Tiffani Amber Thiessen) had gotten married at the end of the original series, I had never actually seen the wedding. And I have to admit that I really didn’t have much desire to see the wedding until it suddenly showed up on my DVR…
What Was It About?
This is one of those rare cases where the film’s title truly tells you everything you need to know. Zack and Kelly get married in Las Vegas while their friends Screech, Slater (Mario Lopez), and Lisa (Lark Voorhees) have wacky adventures of their own. Zack has $1,200 dollars to try to put on his dream wedding but, as often happens in the world of Saved By The Bell, there are countless complications that are largely the result of Zack being a sociopathic pathological liar. Zack loses all of his money but, instead of telling Kelly the truth, he attempts to win the money by becoming a male escort. Meanwhile, Slater falls in love with a girl who is being pursued by the Mafia and Lisa (Hey, I just noticed that we have the same name! Yay!) ends up flirting with a hot guy who has a pony tail and who, fortunately, happens to be as rich as everyone else that she went to high school with.
What Worked And What Did Not Work?
Normally, I separate this into two separate questions but that’s kind of pointless when you’re dealing with something like Saved By The Bell: Wedding Las Vegas. The main thing that works about a show like Saved By The Bell is that absolutely nothing really works. It’s all very silly, shallow, predictable, dated, occasionally cringe-worthy, and, in its way, very calming. Despite the film’s many flaws, it’s difficult to really justify criticizing it too harshly because you know what you’re getting into when you decide to watch something called Saved By The Bell: Wedding In Las Vegas in the first place.
Almost everyone in the cast is really cute in a 90s kinda way and even the usually horrible Dustin Diamond (who I hated even when I was ten years old and watching him on the New Class) is tolerable in Las Vegas. Though the film — much like the series — is focused on Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack, I’ve always felt that Zack was overrated. Mario Lopez, with his confident smile and perfectly chiseled body, was (and still is) the hot one. Whereas Zack always seemed to have an off-putting air of entitlement, Slater knew what he wanted and he took it. That trend continues in Wedding In Las Vegas where Slater won’t even let the Mafia stand in the way of getting a date.
This film is technically a comedy though you don’t so much laugh with it as you laugh at it. However, there was one moment that made me genuinely laugh out loud and that was the scene where “the gang” visits a 24-hour wedding chapel and director Jeff Melman gives us a quick tracking shot of the long line of couples waiting to get married. Along with the expected Elvis impersonators, there’s also a very pregnant girl standing next to a scared-looking boy who has an old man pointing a shotgun at him. That made me laugh.
This is yet another one of the shows where every single problem could have been avoided by the characters just not acting like idiots. Seriously, I don’t know what’s worse — that Zack felt that it would be better to become a male escort as opposed to just telling Kelly the truth or that Kelly so quickly forgave him. (Me, I would have been so mad at him but it doesn’t seem to bother Kelly that her future husband lied to her on the night before their wedding.)
As I stated before, there’s a lot that technically doesn’t work about Wedding in Las Vegas but it is Saved By The Bell, after all.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
If ever get married in Las Vegas, I imagine it’ll be quite a bit like Saved By The Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas, in that I fully expect that 1) I’ll stay at a nice hotel, 2) I’ll get a mani/pedi with my best girlfriend, and 3) the Mafia will somehow be involved.
That said, Dustin Diamond will not be invited to my wedding.
Nothing can stand in the way of true love. Especially when you’re rich and white.