Month In Review [July 2014]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies, Television, Video Games14 Comments

In order of viewing:
1) Boyz n the Hood [1991] - 8/10
Boyz n the Hood [1991]

2) Stand By Me [1986] - 8/10
Stand By Me [1986]

3) 30 for 30: Bad Boys [2014] - 8/10
30 for 30: Bad Boys [2014]

4) The Karate Kid [1984] - 8/10
The Karate Kid [1984]

5) Maniac [2012] - 5/10
Maniac [2012]

6) The Innkeepers [2011] - 6/10
The Innkeepers [2011]

7) Enemy [2013] - 9/10
Enemy [2013]

8) Philomena [2013] - 7/10
Philomena [2013]

9) A Skin, A Night [2008] - 5/10
A Skin, A Night [2008]

10) Mystic River [2003] - 8/10
Mystic River [2003]

11) Snowpiercer [2013] - 9/10
Snowpiercer [2013]

12) Under the Skin [2013] - 8/10
Under the Skin [2013]

13) The Incredibles [2004] - 8/10
The Incredibles [2004]

Video Games Finished:
1) The Wolf Among Us [Xbox 360] - 9/10
The Wolf Among Us

2) MouseCraft [PS Vita] - 8/10
MouseCraft

3) Injustice: Gods Among Us [PS Vita] - 9/10
Injustice: Gods Among Us [PS Vita]

TV Shows Completed:
1) Orange Is the New Black [Season 2] - 8/10
Orange Is the New Black [Season 2]

2) Archer [Season 1] - 8/10
Archer [Season 1]

Best of the Month: Not only is Enemy my favorite movie I watched in July, it’s my early front-runner for this year’s best film. Snowpiercer is a close second right now in my book, with Under the Skin just behind that. Those three films were revitalizing after what I thought had been a fairly disappointing year to that point. I’m even more excited to see what August brings, as I hope to finally catch Boyhood and Life Itself (among others). For video games, I played the last four episodes of The Wolf Among Us back-to-back, and loved every second of it. The final episode, in particular, was riveting and was the perfect way to finish the season. Injustice for the Vita was also a pleasant surprise, and it’s definitely up there as far as my favorite fighting games go.

Worst of the Month: As much as it pains me to say it, A Skin, A Night was a bit of a bore. The National, the subjects of the documentary, are probably my favorite band working today, but this little-seen documentary tried way too hard to be artsy, and it offered little in the way of insight on the band itself. On the other hand, I’m really looking forward to finally seeing Mistaken for Strangers, a more recent documentary about the band that has been getting rave reviews. I suppose Maniac could be considered for the worst of the month as well. Despite having a startlingly effective first-person view, Maniac didn’t work so well for me because I had a hard time buying Elijah Wood as an overpowering serial killer. He was definitely creepy, but there is just no way he could have held a woman of similar size down in the water with just one hand.

Onward to August!

Eric @ The Warning SignMonth In Review [July 2014]

Blogathon: The Ten Most Iconic Female Movie Characters

Eric @ The Warning SignFeatures, Movies18 Comments

Last month, I took part in the Ten Most Iconic Movie Characters blogathon. Now a new spin-off of this relay race is making its way through the blogosphere, this time focusing on female movie characters only. Here are the details:

A list of 10 iconic female movie characters has been made. That list will be assigned to another blogger who can then change it by removing one character (describing why they think she should not be on the list) and replacing it with another one (also with motivation) and hand over the baton to another blogger. Once assigned, that blogger will have to put his/her post up within a week. If this is not the case the blogger who assigned it has to reassign it to another blogger. After you have posted your update leave the link in the comments below and I will make sure it gets added to the overview post.

I was given the baton by Ruth from FlixChatter. Here’s the list of those who have participated so far:

Dell On Movies
My Filmviews
Time Well Spent
FlixChatter
The Warning Sign

And here’s the current list of characters:

Ellen Ripley

Ellen Ripley

Princess Leia

Princess Leia

Dorothy

Dorothy

Marge Gunderson

Marge Gunderson

Foxy Brown

Foxy Brown

Sarah Connor

Sarah Connor

Holly Golighty

Holly Golighty

Scarlett O’Hara

Scarlett O’Hara

Lisbeth Salander

Lisbeth Salander

Mrs. Robinson

Mrs. Robinson

Who I’m removing:

Foxy Brown

Foxy Brown

I really hate to remove Foxy because I love both the character and the film in which she stars, but I’m not sure she is even Pam Grier’s most iconic character (Coffy gets the nod in my book). This is a tough one, but the rules call for a change to be made.

Who I’m adding:

The Bride

The Bride

All it takes is one look at The Bride’s picture to recognize who she is. With Kill Bill 1 & 2, Uma Thurman portrayed one of the most badass characters in modern cinema, playing an assassin who refuses to be stopped on her quest for revenge. Need further proof? Watch this clip. THIS is how you make an entrance:

Now I am passing the baton to Dan from Public Transportation Snob.

Eric @ The Warning SignBlogathon: The Ten Most Iconic Female Movie Characters

Movie Project #24: Mystic River [2003]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies19 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

Mystic River [2003]

Mystic River [2003] 
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Brian Helgeland (screenplay), Dennis Lehane (novel)
Country: USA
Genre: Crime/Drama/Mystery
Starring: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne
Running Time: 138 minutes

In Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated drama, Mystic River, the gut-wrenching feeling of guilt hangs over the head of every major character, all because of one fateful day in Boston in the summer of 1975.

Three boys, no more than ten years old each, are playing street hockey when one of them notices a fresh batch of cement on the sidewalk. Naturally, they grab a stick and take turns writing their names in it. A man driving by notices this, stops his car and scolds the three boys. He flashes a badge and demands to give one of them a ride home to tell his mother what he was doing. Unfortunately, this man is no cop, and he abducts the poor boy as his friends watch him ride away. It isn’t until days later that the boy escapes his captors, his life forever scarred.

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Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #24: Mystic River [2003]

Movie Project #23: The Karate Kid [1984]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies16 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

The Karate Kid [1984]

The Karate Kid [1984] Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Country: USA
Genre: Action/Drama/Family
Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue
Running Time: 126 minutes

The Karate Kid falls under the same category as previous project entry, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in that I’m sure I saw at least a good chunk of the movie as a kid. Once again, I remembered a scene here or there (who can forget “wax on, wax off”?) but it was fascinating to sit down and watch it in its entirety as an adult.

While the fashion and spirit of the 1980s are running wild in the film, I’m happy to report that it still holds up quite well as a fun, inspirational movie.

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Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #23: The Karate Kid [1984]

Movie Project #22: Stand By Me [1986]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies12 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

Stand By Me [1986]

Stand By Me [1986] Director: Rob Reiner
Writers: Stephen King (novel), Raynold Gideon (screenplay), Bruce A. Evans (screenplay)
Country: USA
Genre: Adventure/Drama
Starring: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell
Running Time: 89 minutes

Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me, an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella The Body, is a favorite of many, but it took some time for me to warm up to to this coming-of-age tale.

Set in the 1950s, the film early on feels like it’s trying a bit too hard to provide that bubbly feeling of nostalgia. Songs such as “Rockin’ Robin” play in the background as our protagonists, a group of 12-13 year old boys, play cards, smoke cigarettes and mess around with guns. They represent a time since past, and Reiner does everything in his power to make us feel sentimental about this era. It’s all a bit much at first.

It was the kids that wound up winning me over on the film.

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Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #22: Stand By Me [1986]

Movie Project #21: Boyz n the Hood [1991]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies14 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

Boyz n the Hood [1991]

Boyz n the Hood [1991] Director: John Singleton
Writer: John Singleton
Country: USA
Genre: Crime/Drama
Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube
Running Time: 112 minutes

Boyz n the Hood opens with a tragic statistic:

“One out of every twenty-one Black American males will be murdered in their lifetime. Most will die at the hands of another Black male.”

This statement proves to be ominous in John Singleton’s 1991 Oscar-nominated film, his very first as a director.

Set in the South Central LA neighborhood of Crenshaw, the film paints a vivid and very blunt portrait of inner city life. Drug abuse and violence are rampant, father figures are nowhere to be seen, and most disputes are solved with guns, not fists. This is the kind of place where you could walk to the corner store and not make it back alive.

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Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #21: Boyz n the Hood [1991]

PS Vita Game Review: MouseCraft

Eric @ The Warning SignVideo Games2 Comments

MouseCraft

MouseCraft
System: PS Vita [reviewed], PS3, PS4, PC, Mac, Linux
Genre: Puzzle adventure
Developer: Crunching Koalas & Curve Studios
Publisher: Curve Digital
Price: $14.99 (cross-buy on PSN)
Release Date: July 8, 2014

Don’t let its uninspired name fool you — MouseCraft is not related to Minecraft (or Warcraft, Starcraft or any other “crafts”). The latest release from popular indie publisher Curve Studios is actually a puzzler that plays out like a hybrid of Tetris and Lemmings.

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Eric @ The Warning SignPS Vita Game Review: MouseCraft

Movie Project #20: Face/Off [1997]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies14 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

Face/Off [1997]

Face/Off [1997] Director: John Woo
Writers: Mike Werb, Michael Colleary
Country: USA
Genre: Action/Crime/Sci-Fi
Starring: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen
Running Time: 138 minutes

Going into Face/Off, I was hoping for a ridiculous, over-the-top action flick, and that’s exactly what I got. John Woo’s third American film is genius in that it sets up two of Hollywood’s craziest actors and lets both of them go off the rails.

Nicolas Cage is at his most deliriously best right from the get-go, playing a terrorist supervillain named Castor Troy. His archenemy is John Travolta’s Sean Archer, an FBI agent who is seeking revenge for the murder of his young son (killed by Troy, of course). Their first confrontation in the film depicts the age old battle of airplane vs. helicopter. Later, they fight on top of a speeding powerboat. The action scenes are signature Woo — stylish as all hell, and full of spectacular explosions.

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Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #20: Face/Off [1997]