The Island Review

If my girlfriend wasn’t obsessed with Scarlet Johansson (she has her entire filmography in her Netflix queue) I would never have watched The Island. The previews for it never enticed me and so I passed it off as a poorly done, cliché knock-off of every science-fiction movie from the past ten years. Now that I’ve seen it I have to say it’s a pretty well done, cliché knock-off of every science-fiction movie from the past ten years. The story is basically Brave New World meets The Matrix, but instead of machines using humans as a power source, humans are harvesting clones for their organs and offspring. Stylistically it reminded me of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel: over-the-top action, humor from the absurdity of the situation, and all-together it has a very summer blockbuster feel. If you take either of the films too seriously you won’t get very much enjoyment out of them.

For example: a random person on IMDB panned the film for its blatant product placement, claiming it “ruined the film” for them. I have to laugh at the movie snobs who ever think this. If anything, a movie which uses generic replacements for obviously popular brands breaks the realism of the film for me more than an Xbox or Cadillac logo does (both of which are seen in The Island).

So I’m recommending this movie, just don’t go in expecting much and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It helps if you’re watching it with someone who can appreciate the simultaneous ridiculousness and awesomeness and you can yell things at each other and do high-fives while the movie is rolling.

More Movie Critic

I swore left and right, multiple times, often out loud, that I would never watch another (new) Adam Sandler movie after I shelled out my probably not hard-earned, but nonetheless my money to see Mr. Deeds. I might as well have lit my money on fire and swallowed it. Then, going against everything that is right in the universe, I actually paid to see Anger Management, which was really more of a marketing idea than a movie (“Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson! Together! Your life will be forfeit if you do not pay money to watch this!”).

I have since stopped making promises to myself. Whatever happens, happens. At least when it comes to paying for entertainment that sometimes pays back but more often than not just kicks you in the mean bean bag machine. What I am trying to say is: I just watched Punk Drunk Love, starring Adam Sandler.

The verdict: Best Adam Sandler movie. Ever. Happy Gilmore is a close second, but only because it is simply a pure comedy and nothing more. Whereas Punk Drunk Love is a wonderful, fully rounded movie. It has comedy, drama, symbolism, moments that make you feel actual emotion (I’d forgotten movies could do this), and after the credits roll, you actually get the inclination to ponder the meaning of what you just watched.

So what I am saying is, don’t let Sandlers past crimes keep you from renting this movie. It is really good. Read these comments, as they basically say what makes it so great.

I like movies.

Stanely Kubrick is a genius. For those of you who have already come to this conclusion: I’m sorry it took me so long. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention. For those of you not in the know: Stanely Kubrick is the main man behind such cinema classics as A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, Dr. Strangelove, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I watched today, for the first time. All hail Netflix.

My opinion: Greatest. Movie. Ever. First I was bewildered by the opening 5 minutes of a black screen accompanied by a booming, ominous symphony. Then the credits rolled. For the next 2/3 of the movie, I enjoyed finally seeing first hand all the scenes that have become part of the sci-fi lexicon. Then the final part of the movie literally blew my mind. I was criminally insane for a few moments, then my lunacy lessened and I was able to continue functioning at a low level of normalcy. I stumbled to my computer chair and searched for some kind of explanation on the Internet. Fortunately, as you would expect, there is a plethora of devotion to 2001 and I quickly found a good essay on the topic.

Now I think I will watch it again. Then I’m going to rent more Kubrick goodness. You are advised to do the same. Oh and if someone would buy me this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Mandatory Update

Things I liked today.

  • The Animatrix, which featured 9 storylines far better than the one found in Reloaded.
  • Day of Defeat, which has replaced TFC as my Half-Life mod of choice.
  • Receiving the Big Lebowski shirt I ordered off eBay.

Things I didn’t like.

  • Raking leaves (this is a never-ending job) in the summer heat.
  • Having nothing to eat. I recall eating a banana at some point.

Picks of the Month

Artist of the Month: Benefit is without a doubt, the artist discovery of the month, probably the year, for me. I only heard a couple of his songs once and the next day had to buy his CD. It comes on a CD-R. He makes it with a mic and a soundcard. And it kicks ten times more ass than any other rap CD in existence. But if you’re an anti-rap type person, please don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Imagine beats like Jurassic 5 with lyrics like MC Frontalot. This isn’t irrelevant, un-relatable gangster rap, this is nerdcore hip hop. He has a song about freeing the music to the people via Napster, beating Super Mario Brothers, and what he’d do with a midget. Go check it out on your favorite peer to peer program, he probably wouldn’t mind. If you really like it, you can buy it on Indelibility.com.

Thanks to Chuck for introducing me to Benefit. He might kill me if I don’t say that.

DVD of the Month: Best in Show. I didn’t bother to see this when it came out in the theaters, because I thought it would be all about Dog Shows and it wouldn’t be funny. Turns out it’s all about Dog Show people and it’s hilarious! Everyone who hasn’t seen this, go rent it now. Everyone who has already seen it: well, you already know.

Picks of the Month

Just like everyone else, I am a total media whore. Seeing as how I don’t have a regular job right now (web design pays good enough to live at home with your parents for the summer), I have plenty of time to entertain myself with books, movies, music, tv, and the Internet. So without further ado, here are my picks of the month:

Song of the month: definitely Times Like These by the Foo Fighters. I have always liked the Foo Fighters, but their new cd has brought a greater appreciation for their music. Times Like These is a satisfying, melodious rock song with some good rises and falls in the tempo and intensity. Check it out if you haven’t already.

TV show of the month: Without a doubt Family Guy. Stupidly, I never really watched the show when it was on Fox, but thanks to the geniuses at Cartoon Network who have picked it up (among other animated gems), I am discovering its true greatness.

DVD of the month: I rent scores of DVDs, since I have a subscription to Netflix (might as well get your moneys worth, right?). My most recent rental was The Frighteners. I had seen it before and remembered liking it, but after watching it again it has completely renewed my love of Peter Jackson, who wrote and directed it. This movie is hilarious, beautiful, frightening, fresh, and just all around magnificent. It features the best looking death character, ever. When he comes flying down and slams the ground with that massive scythe, it sends shivers down my back. Probably one of my favorite movies of all time (The Big Lebowski, Blues Brothers, and Fight Club are also up there).

Website of the month: Daydream Graphics (the PHP Tutorials), since I borrowed their code to build most of this site. Perhaps not the greatest set of tutorials to start learning PHP with, but certainly helped me leap to the next step in the learning process. I feel quite a bit more capable after reading them and constructing this site, which features three MySQL tables, an admin page that lets me update the blog, hassle free, and obviously, a lot of PHP code.