Hey, gang! New blog! It's been a while. Starting the year 2015 off with something new, exciting, unexpected and fun! This past Christmas, Heather Wilson (of Dragonfly Therapy ) and I go on a special journey in downtown Kansas City, Missouri with Heather giving out free hugs for anyone willing to accept! This is an experiment in human trust and a way to send out positivity in a seemingly mad world. This is also a way for Heather to find out if she can break out of her shell. Can she do it? If you wanna know, you gotta see the show. Don't be alienated by the 20-minute runtime, the last half is an in-depth discussion and conclusion Heather has come to with this experience! Follow her on her journey and be inspired!
If you haven't donated to the Philippines relief for the typhoon devastation, please give anything you can. This is reported to be worse than the Japanese tsunami, with over 10,000 reported deaths and growing. Please, give anything you can.
How you can help Typhoon Haiyan survivors
In the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan slamming into the Philippines, relief organizations are calling on Americans to donate funds to their efforts.
Yesterday saw the release of the next full on "X-Men" movie. This year saw the release of "The Wolverine" which was pretty good, but the end teased with a set up for this movie and gave me goosebumps.
What's great about "Days of Future Past" is that not only is it one of the more famous "X-Men" stories, but after the prequel "X-Men: First Class," the follow up is a double sequel because it features a time travel aspect, so this movie combines the cast of the prequels as well as the original movies. I got so pumped after the trailer, I made a quick poster, which you can see below.
And the trailer:
The most brilliant character actor, Phil Hartman, was recently honored and paid tribute to in this touching video below. Today would've been his 65th birthday.
Today, I re-watch older SNL episodes and see that he's pretty much in all of the skits and nearly steals every one. His character of Bill McNeal on "Newsradio" was one of a kind and I still quote him to this day. He's one of the most brilliant voice actors in history. Every time he voices a character, I can't help but smile. He's forever been an influence on my life and I hope to be as funny and prolific as he was.
With the news breaking of a 'Rocky' spin-off movie with Apollo Creed's grandson being announced. I had to make a poster for it.
Sylvester Stallone has signed on for it. The acting-directing team of the new acclaimed film,"Fruitvale Station" is behind it, so I'm pretty optimistic. Although, my poster is not gritty at all.
It's been 40 years since the Dragon has left this Earth, and yet, his influence lives on in more ways than you may realize.
I fear that Bruce's legacy may only be the 'stereotype' that spawned from imitators trying to copy his success, but the real man was a philosopher and genuinely tried to change the world for the better.
He was proud of his Chinese heritage and though he emphasized teaching people about it, his message was universal and can be applied to just about anyone and anything. Below, is a great tribute video to the man, the myth, the legend.
This post is more for the movie geeks of technical aspects, or for those who are genuinely curious about the history of movies.
We don't think about aspect ratio as in depth as people used to because everything is adapting to widescreen. The most people ever notice are either having black bars on their television screen or not because of how wide the directors of certain movies wanted their screen. However, there is a whole history behind this simple concept, because going to the movies used to be a sense of wonder and excitement. It was almost like virtual reality at the time and filmmakers tried to think of different ways to enhance the audience's enjoyment at the theater. They try to immerse the people as best they can so it's almost like going to an amusement park.
When movies dominated the media, then threatened by the invention of the television, filmmakers and theater houses tried different tactics and gimmicks to keep audiences interested in going to the movies. After all, why go to the movies when you can watch shows at home? The different aspect ratios and IMAX-type technology was brought in to shake things up and give excitement to audiences again. But enough from me, check out the video below!
This is dedicated to the sequels who are too good to have linear numeric value. This list isn't simply a "worst sequel title" list where an entry would be "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo." We aren't looking for the worst sequel subtitle like "Jaws: The Revenge" or "Friday the 13th: Jason Takes Manhattan." And something like the James Bond series doesn't apply because they are not direct sequels.
There are established movie franchises that use their base name (i.e. Twilight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones) and simply add on a 'chapter' title for the movie.
Here, I'm talking about a series of sequel titles in a franchise that keep changing the rules of the titles within the series.
Let's say it's several years in the future and generations of new are curious to watch a franchise. They wanna watch 'Back to the Future.' No problem. Part I, Part II, Part III. The 'Rocky' movies? Sure thing! I, II, III, IV, V, Balboa. Things start to get a little complicated with that one, but it's not hard to decipher.
Then, we get into the franchises that are mind-bogglingly random and twisted, future generations who haven't heard too much of these franchises might not know what order to watch them in without doing a little research first!
Well, I present my top 5 strangest franchise sequel titles!
5. Final Destination franchise
This isn't the worst, which is why it's only number 5. But they had to mess it all up with the fourth movie entitled "THE Final Destination" as opposed to "Final Destination 4." It was understandable at the time, because they wanted it to be the last and FINAL one, so it is "THE FINAL Destination" which isn't that good to begin with because some people may already refer to the first one as that. And do you think general movie-going audiences will know the difference? But then, they came out with another one AFTER that! So it's no longer THE FINAL one! Now the franchise goes like this:
Final Destination 2
Final Destination 3(D)
The Final Destination
Final Destination 5
4. alien franchise
This series started as a horror franchise. Then the sequel turned it into an all-out action movie. So, the subtle change was weird, but understandable. There are more than one Alien in the second movie, so it's not just Alien 2. But the third movie brought it back to one Alien. What to call it now? The only solution is to give it a numerical value. It's the third movie, so "Alien 3." Now this is the only one with a number, because the fourth one, for whatever reason, went with the moniker,"Alien Resurrection." It may have multiple meanings, but this time there are more than one alien again. So, now the franchise goes:
3. Die Hard Franchise
I've addressed these titles before in my 'Die Hard Retrospective' but here they are again. This is a special case where the series started out clear cut, but the director of the first movie wanted to make the third movie a true sequel to the first one and so he didn't want to acknowledge it being the actual third movie in the franchise, so they gave it a phrased title. And the sequels just followed suit in weird ways. Now they're puns on sayings. So, now the franchise goes:
Die Hard 2
Die Hard with a Vengeance
Live Free or Die Hard
A Good Day to Die Hard
2. Fast and Furious Franchise
This series is just a mess. They didn't know what they were doing when naming the first sequel, so the next installments had no rules to follow and just called themselves whatever they wanted. The worst offender is the fourth movie. It is practically the title of the first movie without the word "The" and using an ampersand for the word "And." It's the fourth movie and it bares a title way too close to the original. I've actually overheard people at a video store get confused on which movie they were talking about; the first or the fourth one. Then came "Fast Five." I liked it because I'm not a fan of the series and the movie broke out of the mold, so it's almost like a reboot title while acknowledging it's place. Then, the sixth movie came out and all the promotional material say "Fast & Furious 6", which is all well and good until the movie itself showcases the title as simply "Furious 6." I like it. It is a nice companion title to 'Fast Five.' But now, we have a franchise that goes like this:
The Fast and the Furious
2 Fast 2 Furious
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Fast & Furious
1. Rambo Franchise
It's pretty bad when you refer to the series as the "Rambo" series when the only one with the title "Rambo" is the fourth movie. This series just went through a complete title transition, but remains confusing. The original movie is just "First Blood." It features the character, John Rambo. The sequel demotes "First Blood" to a subtitle. The third movie just doesn't give a shit. They know what movie series this is. It's Rambo's series. But it's the third movie, so just call it "Rambo III." But in a shocking move, the fourth movie comes out and is just named "Rambo." Just "Rambo." So, now, when you talk about the movie "Rambo", you can be referring to any of these movies. The other day, I mentioned the fourth movie "Rambo" to my friend to which he responded,"The first one?"
So, now we have a franchise that goes like this:
Rambo: First Blood Part II
For an '80s kid, seeing the two names in the above banner would've made his head explode!
Stallone brought Schwarzenegger along for a few scenes in the Expendables movies, but here, they are full fledged partners working together and even having a fight! This is something that's been in the making for about 30 years!
The trailer itself left a little to be desired. It wasn't as balls-to-the-wall as I was hoping and the "pay off" action part of the trailer was a little tame. Maybe they're saving the good stuff for the movie. Maybe it's actually more of a thriller than an action movie. That would make more sense since these guys aren't in peak physical condition anymore. But this looks to be interesting that Stallone nor Schwarzenegger aren't playing the usual hero archetypes that they're famous for. Here's hoping the banter doesn't try too hard to be funny. But for now, the trailer can be viewed below. Hopefully, a second one will be released that will rightfully pump me up for this movie.
Behold my new job at the Burger Studio! Which I was promptly fired.
Here is an ad I did a few years ago for the Burger Studio located in the Missouri Western State University student union.
The singing was 100% my own voice. Ironically, the talking was 100% not my voice.
E.J. is just a simple man who loves movies. Don't judge.