Sunday, July 25, 2010

Game Review: Mass Effect

Check out my review for Mass Effect and find out whether it's the best game ever or the greatest game ever! Yep... I'm that nerdy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Film Review: Inception

Last night I went to the midnight showings of Inception. I got to the theater at 10:30 so that I could get good seats and that just what I did. The seats were perfect. I was proud. There were a bunch of annoying people behind me that threw at least 25 beach balls around the theater, but even they shut up when the movie started. Also a trailer for a movie came on about people being stuck in an elevator and people seemed interested in it until it said "from the mind of M Night Shyamalan" Everyone in the theater groans and let out sounds of disappointment. Which makes me wonder.... could "The Last Airbender" be the end of his career? Anywayz so lets get into it...


The plot of this movie is very clever and original. If you are unfamiliar with what this movie is, it is about invading peoples dreams. This involves a matrix like system of "hacking" into a dream world that isn't real. There are differences such as if you die in the dream you just wake up. Thats all. Also physics can be bent but they never do it because that causes disturbances. Which is sad because they show some really cool scenes in the movie of manipulating the world of the dream on the spot but never use it in the actual mission. In the movie we learn that Cobb (DiCarprio) is a man who is skilled at breaking into peoples subconscious in their dreams and stealing information that is left vulnerable by sleeping. He is trying to get home to his kids because he is a wanted man in the US. So he spends his life jumping from country to country to try to get enough jobs to get back home. He then gets a job that involves the opposite of what he does. Instead of stealing an idea from the subconscious, he is asked to plant an idea in the subconscious so that upon the target's waking he will develop an idea that was placed there with out his knowledge and will do something he might have otherwise not done.

Pretty deep stuff.

It gets complicated when in order to do this they must create a dream within a dream within a dream. They have to get really deep so that he doesn't seem like the idea was told to him. He has to think that he had the idea and it wasn't given to him. In the dream time is slower and with three layers of dreaming it gets kinda confusing. Five minutes in the real world while you are asleep is an hour in a dream, and if you go three layers deep then lets do the math...

5 minutes in the real world is 60 minutes in the dream world. Inside that dream 5 minutes is an hour so the second layer of dreaming you would have 12 hours and then on the third layer you would have 6 days. So you could spend 6 days in that third layer of dreaming and only 5 minutes would have passed in the real world. That all comes into play because they have to leave someone in each layer of the dream to wake them up and take care of them. So it gets pretty crazy with seconds for one person being 30 minutes for another. Because there is so much dream in dreaming the characters all have what is called "totems," an object that only they are intimately familiar with that lets you know if you are dreaming or not. For example, Cobb has a top that he spins and if it never falls then he knows he is dreaming.

Narratively speaking, Inception isn’t a terribly complex tale. If at times it feels like it, that’s because it’s so heavy on exposition and rules that you’ll barely be able to keep track of all the information being thrown at you. Just when you think you have a solid grasp on what the possibilities and limitations of the world are, you don’t, because there are still more rules to learn, and these rules change those last rules in ways that are vital to understanding other rules that haven’t even been introduced yet.

Don't worry though. Everything is explained in great detail. The movie does a great job and not getting too "jargon-y" and hard to understand. They do a pretty good job of explaining how everything is done and the meaning behind it. Even though the movie is very technical I believe the average viewer will be able to follow and comprehend it fairly easily. This is done through because of the new comer, Ellen Page. She is new to this world so everything is explained to her and thus to the audience. The plot is very creative has plenty of twists and turns. It is a very suspenseful and creepy movie at times and will have you on the edge of your seat at the end.

The Characters

The actors in this movie are top notch. They all execute their roles very well and pull you into the movie. Unfortunatly the film focuses a lot on the the plot and dream world so you don't get to know the characters on an intimate level.

DiCaprio does a fantastic job in this film. His emotions and unwavering character are flawless. His character Cobb is the master mind. He is the one who knows the in's and out's of the human mind. He knows how to find the information that he needs.

Ellen Page is the Architect and resident cute girl. When I say architect, i mean that literally. Dreams are not all hazy and magical. They are almost exactly like the real world and have buildings and streets and everything. So the architect constructs the dream because In order to set up a persons dream the way they want it, they need a skilled imaginative person that can create the world of the dream to put the target into. Ellen has come along way from Juno. She is interesting and powerful at times. She is a new comer to this world of dreaming and is very eager to learn and fascinated by the ability of dream creation.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Arthur to me feels a little out of place because I think he looks to kid like still but not enough to distract from the movie. He is quick tempered and all business ...mostly. Arthur plays Cobbs right hand man his job is to research the target and look really friggin cool in zero-gravity.

Tom Hardy plays Eames who is a jokester and has a powerful imagination. He is brought on to the team because he is able to imagine himself as different people and disguise himself in the dream. A very cool ability that I never would have thought of. Plus a British accent!

Dileep Rao plays Yusuf a chemist. His job is to create a chemical sedative that will knock the team out enough that they can get 3 dreams deep and to provide ethnic diversity. Normal dreaming isn't deep enough for the job. He is a jovial character and actually fairly minor as the team goes.

Cillian Murphy plays Robert Fischer, the son of Maurice Fischer, the CEO of a giant company and the target for the inception. Murphy does a terrific job in this film; he was probably my favorite character.

There is also Ken Watanabe who plays Saito, the financial backer for the operation.


This movie really breaks the mold, I think, on film making. It does a spectacular job with the visual effect with out resorting to that dreadful 3D. There is even a Penrose stairs in the movie! Blew my mind. The film doesn't rely on the visuals but really they work together to make a masterful work of art. The cinematography and special effects are appropriately epic; the editing flawlessly maintains the impetuous pace of the film’s latter half; and the score joins The Dark Knight and Sherlock Holmes as another masterpiece of excellence from Hans Zimmer.

I really don't have much to say about the movie right now because I am still kind of processing it all. It is something that one has to see to understand. It is very ingenious and amazing. I would recommend it to anyone. It has very little language if i remember correctly and no sex or nudity. It is violent but not hardly any blood. My advice... Go See It Now!

And incase you're wondering there is nothing after the credits.

Plot 10/10
Characters 8.5/10
Cinematography 10/10
Over All Score 10/10


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Film Review: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Last night I saw Jon Turteltaub's latest film The Sorcerer's Apprentice. This is the same guy that brought you National Treasure, Cool Runnings, and 3 Ninja's! I went into the movie excited. Maybe it is just the child in me but all the magic and wizardry gets me excited. Not like harry potter wizardry, but like Merlin wizardry! I was pretty pumped. So lets get started...

This is the first thing i chose to talk about because it is the strongest part of the movie. The actors and characters in this movie are ...well... magical! I am not normally a fan of Nicholas Cage. He kinda is annoying to me...except in a very few select roles... like the dad in "Kick Ass." This is another one of those roles. The part of Balthazar is perfect for Nick. He is a bit crazy and very sarcastic who wouldn't be if they had been around for over 1000 years betrayed by his best friend and having the love of his life trapped in a Russian nesting doll. He really gives a fun performance that will even make someone like me have doubts about my previous thoughts about Ol' Nick.
Jay Baruchel has been very minor roles is some past films like Tropic Thunder, Night at the Museum 2, and such. He finally landed a part as the lead actor in She's out of my League which he did great in. So...sophomore slump? Nope. He is fantastic in the Sorcerer's Apprentice as Dave. His nerdy awkward brand of humor mixed with silly comments here and there is vaguely reminiscent of Michael Cera as George Michael in Arrested Development. His timing and quips are only made stronger by his odd nerd voice. Even sharing the lead role spotlight with Nicholas Cage he stands strong and shows that he can hold his own.
The villain Horvath played by Alfred Molina (whom I always love) is of course exceptional. He stuck up classy villainy plays great off of the nerd and the unkempt crazy protagonists. Horvath's straight man routine is only made better when he teams up with another villain named Drake.
Drake is a minor subcharacter that really added a lot to the movie for me. An "evil" sorcerer that has earned fame as a stage magician. He dresses like a goth and has pictures of himself covering his place. He is overly confident in his magic and doesn't realize he is the weakest sorcerer in the movie. He really made a difference in the movie for me. Wait for the scene where he is "fighting" Dave in the bathroom and giving him advice on how he should fight. Great.
The girl in the film... hot of course....but not much beyond there. She really takes a back seat to all the other great characters in the film.

The plot of the movie is not unoriginal but not completely a loss. It is a semi fresh look at sorcerery relating it to physics and science. The plot is fairly predictable for the most part but that doesn't hinder it from being super fun. The pacing of the movie was great as well as the over all tone of the film. The special effects really kinda took precedent over the plot though. The magic that happens in the movie is all very creative and interesting how the battles take place. The only disappointing thing about the magic battles is that the final show down comes to a plasma bolt fight. It was very sad at all the creative and ingenuity that went into the battle scenes in the rest of the movie were much more fun and elaborate than the magic equivalent of a western shoot out at the end. Of course this movie isn't aimed at people my age, I am aware of that, so it is forgivable because the rest of the movie really is fun. There is even a recreation of the fantasia's Sorcerer's apprentice scene with the mops.

The movie was filled with special effects that made for a very pretty picture, is the first thing that comes to mind. The look and feel of all the magic is well done. The actual cinematography is fairly standard. We don't want to get too fancy on a children's movie, but it accomplishes the task of telling the story in a easy to follow way.

Over all I would recommend this movie to people who enjoy magic, nerds, and a fun movie. While the ending was kind of abrupt and stale don't let the last 4 minutes of the movie stop you from seeing it. It even leaves it semi open ended for a sequel. Of course. Oh Disney.

Characters 9.3/10
Plot 5.2/10
Cinematography 5/10
Over All Score: 7.5/10