Free to Play

Free to Play
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Ok, this is a total niche movie on the surface, but it really is not.

The whole plot of the movie could be applied to any number movies that deal with a group of people trying to make it to the top of their chosen sport.

In a nutshell you follow three team of people that play DOTA on a competitive level. They are from Singapore, the Ukraine and a group of European players that also have an American on the team.

What is DOTA you might ask, well it is short for Defense of the Ancients. I personally have never played it, but I know a lot of people that have and like it a lot. I prefer StarCraft II and those types of games more. League of Legends is pretty much a copy of DOTA, just a whole lot more popular than DOTA ever was.

The movie centers around these teams competing in a Tournament in which the winners get a $1,000,000 prize. At the time of this movie, that was the largest ever. One million is a huge Grand Prize and it really did help to make e-sports worth playing.

The movie does a decent job of focusing on the people and their trials and tribulations that they are having, not on the e-sports level, but more so on a personal level. Most of the player’s families do not really understand why they would risk so much for a game. Their families not only do not understand they are quite vocal about what a waste of time they feel playing DOTA is.

The mark of a movie that is so alien to so many is can it connect with non-gamers. My wife watched it with me and she seemed to enjoy the movie a lot, the fact that the movie did not spend any time explaining how to play DOTA and what the game was about was a good decision.

It is a pity that most people will pass over it due to the gaming nature of the movie when in reality it deals with the human nature of these young adults.

Well worth the time to see it!

HDNET and Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles, Beast Master to HDNET

This past Saturday night while flipping around I came across Blazing Saddles on HDNET.

I am not here to review it right now, however let it be said I have always found it funny. However HDNET plays it was to much, so much in fact that I realized this one simple thing.

 

Blazing Saddles is to HDNET Movies what Beast Master was to TBS in the 80's.

Nice Codpiece

You know someday you see things and you really just have no way to really express yourself in a way that would bring anything more to the table.

Today is one of those days, I like Sean Connery a lot, a lot of his movies are great, but there was a certain time in the 70’s when he made some less than desirable choices.

At what point did it seem like a good idea to be in a movie that required him to suit up in a bright red costume with a somewhat dubiously large codpiece?Zardoz

Return of the King

I did not see Return of the King in the theater, I did see Fellowship of the Ring the first day however. I HATED it, I was so disappointed, I loved the actors that portrayed the characters, they looked pretty much how I always imagined them. I adored the Shire and the way it looked, all of the stills looked so good, until I saw the movie.

I loved the books so obviously I would be hard to please if anything was changed, kind of. I understand that it is not really possible to do everything to make everyone happy and I was fine with changing things around a little. Where I draw the line is when things are taken out and things are added that are pointless to the main story.

So it has to be obvious that I will not like Return of the King, guess what, you are correct. The last 2 movies I just watched on DVD, of the three, oddly I liked The Two Towers the best, weird.

Last Sunday night I was flipping around looking for anything to watch and TNT was doing their Tolkien marathon or something like that. I guess they lost the exclusive rights to Beastmaster.

It was very late in the movie, or else I would have kept flipping. Frodo had just lost the ring and Sam was talking him out of taking a magma swim.

As I was trying to like what I was seeing I just kept thinking how incredibly fake it all looked. The whole lava and Mount Doom thing was pathetic looking, I giggled when the eagles came down and got Frodo.

Case and point of adding and subtracting, in the book it was a great moment when Sauron realized he was in trouble and turned all his will to Mount Doom and his armies faltered, then Gandalf announced that everything was hanging by a thread. Great moment in the book, does the movie do that, nooooo, instead you just see silly cut scenes of the fellowship jumping around, lame.

It seemed the last 20 minutes of the movie was just one long lame voice over by Frodo. Who sounded like Linda Hunt as Billy in Year of Living Dangerously and everyone standing around smiling and laughing, well I certainly was not laughing or even slightly smiling.

Also you would think with all the money they spent they could have had better lighting during the coronation it looked like a prom photo booth, absurd!

Same for when Bilbo shows up, his aged makeup looked so outrageous I could see why they lit the scene like that. It hides the Big Lots latex kit someone used on Ian Holmes.

They could have done so much more with the ending, as a rule I hate movies that end with everyone standing around smiling at each other. Then, just to kick you when you are already down, Cate Blanchett says some line (forget what it was) when they are leaving on the ship that is so wooden, so silly, so self-important that I was astounded. Ever see Wilt Chamberlan in the Conan movie when he says "Thieves should be hanged", well this was even more woodenly said than that. I gave Wilt a freepass, he was a basketball player, not an actor. Cate, what is your excuse?

Anyway, I really hated this movie, seeing the last bit just made me remember how much.

Note to Peter Jackson and Benicio Del Torro in regard to the Hobbit, please don’t screw it up. It is a great story, no need to add any romance, fake tension or anything else like that. There is a reason no one has made an Oreo Cookie "New & Improved" they are pretty much perfect they way they are. Do you remember a thing called "New Coke", try pretty please not to make "The Hobbit" with new and improved characters.

The Omega Man

The Omega Man, Charlon HestonPeople like to make fun of Charlton Heston, not just because of his personal views, but also because of his acting. Honestly he was not the greatest actor in the world, but you know what, I still liked his movies a lot.

I watched The Omega Man the other night and it made me realize something, Charlton Heston in a period of just a few years made some pretty edgy movies. Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green and The Omega Man. All three are actually decent movies, if you do not mind the campy nature of them.

So, did I like The Omega Man?

I thought it was a pretty good movie, it reminded me a lot of when I read Stephen King’s The Stand. In the 60’s and 70’s biological warfare was something that was on a lot of peoples minds, not that it isn’t now, but more so then. I thought The Omega Man and The Stand really captured the feelings of paranoia well.

For a quick synopsis of The Omega Man, there was a war and a virus wiped out pretty much all of the human race, those that did survive are so light sensitive that they only come out at night. The survivors in LA are lead by a man named Mathias that wants to burn all of the old technology that brought the plague on the world. Charlton Heston’s character was an Army doctor who caught the plague and injected himself with a vaccine in a last ditch effort to survive. So, by day he hunts the Family, and by night the Family tried to kill him in his bunker like apartment.

It turns out there are other survivors that have not been infected with the virus, yet. They know eventually they will also become infected. So Charloton Heston works and creates a vaccine to stop the disease and reverse it in some cases. Once he gets the vaccine made he and the other survivors plan to head for the hills and escape from the Family. This is a 70’s movie, that is all I will say about the ending.

Oddly enough this movie game me the heebee-jeebees, not sure why but it did. I enjoyed it and it made me think about things. If you see it somewhere by all means rent it as it is worth the rental. There is a new version of this coming out this Christmas Season*, I Am Legend staring Will Smith. Hopefully it will be a good movie, but who knows. Maybe it will be truer to the book by the same title. I have not read the book, but it is supposed to be very good.

*I wrote this before I Am Legend came out, yeah, I liked it also.
 

The A-Team Movie

Director John Singleton said “I don’t know who is in the cast yet…but I do know that the only person I want right now is, that I really, really want is Woody Harrelson to play Murdock – the guy who is crazy but he’s kind of real smart, a jack of all trades. That’s the only person I really, really want.”

In a related story someone fell asleep on the couch.

WHY? Please no! The Day The Earth Stood Still remake

WHY WHY WHY would ANYONE try and do a remake of the classic 1951 film
The Day The Earth Stood Still?

Serious why, what next, a remake of The Godfather?

You know there are two types of remakes that should never ever be
done. The first are movies that are so good to begin with it is
pointless to remake it, you will not be able to improve it, at best
the new version will just be passable.

The other type of movie is the one that was a loser to begin with,
Rollerball for instance, the original was nothing great, and gee, the
newer version, not even that.

Anyway, what is the point, when they announced this “project” the
writers were not on strike yet, so why recycle old material?

Jennifer Connelly will play the role of Helen Benson (played by
Patricia Neal in the original. Kathy Bates will also be in the movie,
no word yet on how long or graphic her obligatory nude scene will be.

To top it off, Mister Keanu Reeves will play Klatuu, I had him pegged
for the role as Robot #1. Guess he is being miscast.

The great thing is that you just know they will give the film a modern
spin, after all, not like he original film did not bring up a lot of
questions, but by golly, we can do better. And by better I really mean
make the questions be irrelevant and pointless, much like the film
will be. It is rumored that instead of Klatuu saying “klaatu barata
nikto” he will merely say “whoa”.

Well mark your calendars for this 2008 Crapfest coming to a theater
near you my dear reader!