Category Archives: Entertainment

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland – A Visual Treat

So, I’ve been super excited for the last year or so, ever since I heard that Tim Burton was making a new, non-animated Alice in Wonderland movie. I’ve loved almost everything Burton has ever done, and Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors, so I was sure this would be the best movie ever…

And it was fantastic! I’ll admit, it was a little slow getting started, but about 20 minutes into the movie, I was absolutely hooked. We decided not to see the 3D version, as I feel the visual experience of a movie is much more enjoyable in 2D, at least for the time being. 3D tends to leave too much of the scene out-of-focus, which I detest.

Johnny Depp played the Mad Hatter wonderfully…really quite mad 🙂 Tim’s pick for Alice, played by Mia Wasikowska, was brilliant. I wasn’t so sure at first, but as the movie progressed she fit the part more and more. Helena Bonham Carter did a fabulous job as the Red Queen, but Anne Hathaway’s performance of the White Queen was a bit prissy for my taste. Overall though, the acting in this movie was superb.

However, as good as the acting was, the visuals and scenery were the real star of the show. The Wonderland that Tim has created in this movie is phenomenal. Everywhere you look there is something stunning to see, from the Blue Caterpillar and Mushroom Valley, to the March Hare and the Tea Party. The Jabberwocky was incredible, as were the red and white palaces. I would have appreciated a bit more polish on some of the CG characters (the movement was off on the horses, for instance), but overall it was superb.

I particularly appreciate the dark tone of the movie. There were numerous instances, both in the visuals and the music, where I got a hint of The Looking Glass Wars, or American McGee’s Alice. While this movie was nowhere near as twisted as the Alice video game, it was nevertheless a brilliant theatrical experience. It was also nice to get some story from both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Through the Looking Glass is a largely neglected piece of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, and the more interesting of the two stories in my opinion.

All in all, I would say this movie was superb, and I would highly recommend Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland to any movie aficionado 🙂

You can watch the trailer here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjMkNrX60mA]

The Olympics Suck – A Waste of Resources and Lives

Our culture seems to be attached to a great many worthless things, and the Olympics are no exception. Why do I think they are worthless? Hmm, let’s see…I can think of 5 good reasons:

#1 – For starters, they are a ridiculous waste of resources. The Olympics cost billions of dollars to organize and host, an incredible waste of money that could be much better spent elsewhere. Where does that money come from? Partly ticket sales, but mostly tax payers. Even worse, some countries that host the Olympics really can’t afford to do so, and the after effects on that country can be negative.

#2 – The Olympics are completely irrelevant for our day and age. Aside from the fact that they are a holdover from the Pagan beliefs of ancient Greece, they were also originally intended for an entirely different purpose. In ancient days, the Olympics served two main purposes: one, to bring city-states together to worship, and two, to show off the best warriors (and thereby discourage other city-states from making trouble).

#3 – The Olympics are overly commercialized. With Olympians and their equipment adorned with so many endorsements that they look like bulletin boards, and with the airwaves crammed full of advertisements, the Olympics have become just another outlet for commercialism.

#4 – The Olympics are not about camaraderie, and most certainly don’t build positive foreign relationships. Ultra-competitive sports engender anger, animosity and rivalry between countries, teams and individuals. Sure, they may behave themselves at the games (sometimes), but they spend the rest of the intervening time bashing every team but theirs 🙂 It also puts immense pressure on the athletes, sometimes resulting in drug use, depression, and other unpleasant things. Not a good thing.

#5 – Last, but certainly not least, I think the life of an Olympian is a wasted life. What on earth is the purpose of spending a lifetime, countless hours, and who knows how much money in training costs, to become the best in the world at something that really doesn’t matter? I mean, seriously, if you are the best in the world at the luge, what good are you? In my opinion, an Olympian is good for only 3 things: mediocre entertainment, being a human billboard, and writing books that nobody will ever read. Seems like a wasted life to me.

I don’t know about you, but if the world ends and all the food disappears, and we turn to cannibalism, I vote we eat the Olympians first, since they really aren’t good for anything else 🙂

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Movie Sucked! Hiss Boo!!!

If you or your children loved the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, then for goodness’ sake, don’t see this movie! I have seen a lot of great books made into crappy movies over the years, from The Sum of All Fears to Eragon, but this movie, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, was absolutely the word book to movie I’ve ever seen.

Man, where to begin. Rick Riordan did a wonderful job writing the Percy Jackson books. They were well written, enjoyable, with an equal mix of humor and seriousness, lovable characters, and a wonderful twist on classic Greek mythology. I’ve read all 5 books, and I absolutely loved them! Coming from that point of view, having read and loved the books, I’m not sure I can adequately express how angry I am at Chris Columbus for utterly ruining this movie.

Everything was wrong, and I mean everything! Percy wasn’t 12…he looked more like 18 or 20. Instead of a sweet but somewhat awkward kid, they got Logan Lerman, who can’t seem to help but come off as a smart ass punk with a chip on his shoulder. Grover wasn’t anything like Grover in the book. Annabeth was completely wrong…instead of a cute little blonde kid, they got some chunky brunette. She had no invisibility hat, no interest in architecture, and no past or story or connection to a great prophecy or anything.

There was no great prophecy, no Dionysus, no Ares, no Clarisse, no camp cabins, no Hermes, no official quest. Ares didn’t hide the lightning bolt in the backpack he gives to Percy. Poseidon didn’t claim Percy at camp, Charon wasn’t a cool dude in a suit who needed a raise…I can go on and on and on. The movie hardly followed the book at all, other than the barest of the plot lines.

But it was much more than just technical or story issues…the look and feel of the movie was just wrong. Heck, I kept feeling like Lucy Lawless and Kevin Sorbo were about to pop up and re-enact some of the crappier episodes of Xena or Hercules. It was just so…cheesy, almost sitcom-ish.

Also, I understand a studio wanting to make their movies racially diverse, but please, the Greek gods were all white. Nobody has the right to go screwing with history like that just to be politically correct. Super lame.

For the first time in a very long time, I found myself in a movie, and I couldn’t wait for it to end. It really was that bad. My wife, who has also read and loved the books, thought it was horrible as well. The first thing we did when it ended was to get on Twitter and announce how terrible it was.

Seriously folks, if you or your children loved the Percy Jackson book, PLEASE DON”T SEE THIS MOVIE!

Chris Columbus, I used to have respect for you, but not anymore. You screwed up this movie hardcore 🙁 You know you’ve failed when the trailer for the movie was 10 times better than the movie…

This movie, as of now, has a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes, an absolute splat, and it SO deserves worse than that!