Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stranger things have happened

I'm not a big TV watcher. I am just going to put that out there. I'm not saying I do not watch television at all but, as you can tell from earlier posts, I prefer movies. However, I've found a fantastic show that has become my new addiction.

Before discovering said show, I mostly only watched The Office, Malcolm in the Middle, MythBusters, Deadliest Catch, True Blood, and 24. Cash Cab is a sometimes. I consider six and a half shows to be relatively okay in terms of time spent in front of the boob tube, especially since two are from the Discovery Channel. Maybe my view is skewed but I know people who follow 10+ programs religiously, majority being "reality tv". Notice the meticulously placed quotations.

But now, I have my number seven. Fringe is on Thursdays at 9PM on FOX and it is amazing to say the least.

John Noble plays Walter, a crazy yet wonderfully brilliant scientist. Extra points for you if you noticed the sixth finger on that hand print in the background.

Fringe is a science fiction/mystery based show. The cases that come to Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), and Dr. Walter Bishop (pictured above) are mostly sci-fi/super natural related. Olivia starts out as an FBI agent, while Peter will not hold a job despite his IQ of 190 and Walter, his father, is fresh out of a mental institution for accusations of human testing in his lab. They are an unlikely yet oh-so-lovable trio.

It is no surprise to read that J.J. Abrams, director of 2009's Star Trek, is one of the creators behind this fantastic program. I'm providing a short trailer from season one.

So if you get the chance and you're into freaky science, try to catch an episode. The actors and plot do not disappoint. And let me know if you do decide to watch it. It's a great show to discuss. Oh! And how could I forget? Leonard Nimoy is on it too.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Surprise! Wait... what?

I'm baaaaack... after a ridiculous absence. Apologies, time has not been my ally of late. But I bring word from the land of cinema. I was originally going to post about Alice in Wonderland but I feel the need to watch that again so it is fresh in my mind. Instead, I will be talking about fantastic twists in movies and my most recent film adventure, Repo Men.

I am giving fair warning now that I will not be revealing super important spoilers but if you do not want to know basic plot information, or if a film actually has a surprise ending, then do not read any further.

The two topics above, of course, tie in together. But I will get to that in a bit.

For years, certain movies have had twists so significant you feel as if you belong to a secret society once you have watched them. Jaw-droppers, I have come to call them, are probably my favorite genre. This is mainly because they make you think. The movie takes a turn and your brain says, "WHAT?! But no.... that can't... hold on!" And you go back and work the puzzle through the right way. Sometimes, and this has only happened to me a few times, you hate the ending at first. Then, a few hours later you think it over again and go, "You know... that was really clever."

I give writers credit; in a world of remakes, people still manage to give some films a brilliant, unique edge. Go to most theaters now, and you will see posters for nothing but re-adaptions and sequels. Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some revamping. However, one would think originality would be a little more abundant. I suppose not.

The two best movies with plot twists, in my opinion, have to be Fight Club and The Sixth Sense. Closely followed by Memento. Eastern Promises also had a great surprise moment.

The first stars Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter. Much more than fighting, this is a story of a man who is falling apart. Not for the squeamish or faint-hearted. Directed by David Fincher.

The second: Bruce Willis, Toni Collette, and Haley Joel Osment perform beautifully in the tale of a boy whose seemingly simple childhood trauma is much more than his psychiatrist planned for. Supernatural awesomeness. Good chilling scenes too. M. Night Shyamalan filmed this.

Numéro trois est le film where Guy Pearce plays a man who, after his wife's murder, seeks vengeance on the killer. What's makes this so different is that his character, Leonard Shelby, sustained a head injury on the night of the homicide. He remembers life before but is unable to create new memories, having lapses at least three times a day. He covers himself in tattoo reminders, all hints on how to find the killer. Best part? The whole movie goes backwards by scene. This one is INTENSE. Done by Chris Nolan.

And last but not least at all: The Russian mob in London has to cover up their crimes when the diary of a deceased young mother falls into a midwife's hands. Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, and Vincent Cassel perform admirably in this drama that's plot thickens with each turn it takes. Courtesy of David Cronenberg. Bit of gore, lots of violence. Just a heads up.

In case you have not seen these fantastic motion pictures, I will not mention more. But rent them as soon as you are able. I can almost guarantee you will not regret it.

Another recent film with a very intriguing twist was The Book of Eli.

Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, and Gary Oldman lead in an apocalyptic thriller with a deeper inner meaning. Denzel, keeper of a sacred book, must elude Oldman, and sets off for the rightful wielders with Kunis. Not for those with weak stomachs.

And speaking of such, on to Repo Men.

If you know anything about this movie, you are aware that this is a film for people who A: have very strong stomachs, B: can differentiate movie makeup from real gore, or C: have that sixth sense (oh how fitting) of knowing when to look away.

I, fortunately, possess both trait B and C.

Here's the plot for those not in the know. Repo Men takes place in the future. The world of medical science has evolved wondrously and now, instead of getting organ transplants from a donor, one can simply purchase a top of the line synthetic organ made by a company called The Union. Do you see where this is going? Sure, these organs are great. But they're expensive. And if you can't make the payments someone like Jude Law's character Remy or Forest Whitaker's Jake will come to your house and repossess what belongs to The Union. And they are not there to make you comfortable, just to take back what is no longer yours. The point of all this? A faulty defib unit causes Remy to be hospitalized and he is given a replacement heart. Guess who can't make the payments.

That is not the twist though. Not even close. If you want a good "Whoa" moment, see this movie soon. It's not perfect, but nothing is, really.

So, now you know, if you want to psyche out your mind, these are a few of the movies to see. All of them are very enjoyable.

Have any movie suggestions for me? Twists I left out? Tell me. :] I always love a new cinematic adventure.