Kickstarter

Kickstarter says it is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.

If you’re the stereotypical “starving artist” or someone without the money but just wants to get their dream project made it seems like a great way to try to raise money. But as someone who has never visited Kickstarter until two minutes ago so I could get the link for the opening line of this blog post, I don’t see it being used that way.

Going off what I’ve read in the media and on Twitter, Kickstarter is a place for actors to go to get money for their movies. The same actors who have millions of dollars in the bank make quirky videos to get you, the people, to put forward your money so the actor can make a movie they wrote.

Obviously right now I’m talking about the Zach Braff project, which you can read more about on Mashable because I can’t figure out how to insert the video into the post.

Braff says he doesn’t want the studios to make it (although it sounds like they would love to get their hands on Garden State 2, but not Garden State 2), because they will try to change the script and want to cast other people than who Braff wants.

Fair enough.

As someone who may invest (but not really because you’re not getting anything back for your donation), why would you give to something that already seem like it’s going to be shitty? I mean, the studio execs make really good money because they have a pretty good eye for when something will fail or succeed and what needs to change in order to avoid failure.

And yes, I know the execs are not always right. John Carter was supposed to be a huge success and bombed. And Pitch Perfect was a bigger success than the studios originally thought it would be.

The point is, Zach Braff has the money he needs. He’s asking for $2 million dollars and while I haven’t lurked over his shoulder to take a peek at the balance in his chequing account at the ATM recently, I feel like if he really wants this made he could do it himself.

And if Jim Parsons really wants to be a pool boy, he could use his Big Bang Theory money to help out.

I don’t doubt Zach Braff will succeed. People will pay money for this movie just like they funded the Veronica Mars movie.

But I don’t get it.

I tried to imagine what could it take to get me to donate to a Kickstarter. I never watched Veronica Mars but I love, love love Friday Night Lights. Would I throw in some money for Coach, Mrs Taylor and Riggins to come back for a 2 hour movie? Nope. If they needed money to fund the new Pitch Perfect 2, would I do it? Nadda.

I just feel like if I’m giving my money to some creative project I would rather give it to someone who actually needs the money to get their dreams made. When you’re a star and you can’t get a studio to back your creative vision as is, then why should the people?

Why doesn’t Zach Braff believe in his own movie?

What do you think? Have you ever given to a Kickstarter and are you a fan of actors who have the money asking people for more? I’m genuinely curious.

Drive

So Drive…. where do I begin?

I guess first thing, because we all know this is why 95% of women went to see this, is Ryan Gosling is awesome. And my friend Kim and I may have questioned whether or not he was a strong frontrunner for this year’s Sexiest Man Alive title (Pros: many movies this year and come on,  look at him. Cons: last year’s winner was a Ryan and a Canadian as well)

He’s been going around lately in interviews talking about being overexposed, he has Crazy, Stupid Love, Drive and The Ides of March all released this Summer/Fall.  I’m not complaining, but he apparently thinks it’s a little much.

My biggest complaint is that unlike in Crazy, Stupid, Love he doesn’t feel it necessary to take his shirt off in Drive. I’m sure they could of found someplace to add this scene and if you’ve seen C,S,L you’ll understand why it should’ve been necessary.

Another minor complaint is the violence. Oh my, the violence. But it was also kinda cool. I honestly have no idea how it left me feeling. I think I’m probably swayed by the whole Gosling of it all.

Am I giving away the fact that I’m kinda in love with Gosling?

Since I can’t even compose my thoughts into sentences and/or paragraphs that make sense, here’s a few things that ran through my head as watching the movie (minor spoiler alerts… I think):

  • I had no clue that was possible to do to a human head. If I think about it, I guess it is. But even if it is physically possible, psychologically I like to think someone would stop after the dude was dead.
  • Was that whole head scene supposed to be romantic, like he did it for her? Is it weird that once I gave it some thought I may have swooned a little? (It being done by Gosling may have helped)
  • Even though I covered my eyes during the bullet to the head/hammer scene, is it weird that I wish they committed to it? Like I would have loved to see that happen, they were doing everything else so why not this.
  • Albert Brooks is such a nice assailant

Overall, it was a good movie. Left you wondering what the hell just happened and whether they were setting it up for more.

I love the soundtrack as well. I’ve been repeating A Real Hero by College (feat. Electric Youth) on my iPod the last couple days.

 

Also, because why not… a little gratuitous Gosling

Apparently I’m a review site now

It seems like all I do here anymore is reviews. My excuse is the normal one, school is in session so I don’t have so much time to be writing or thinking of creative things to rant about or write.

Illustrating this point is that I signed up for Netflix almost two weeks ago and only finally watched my first movie last night.
If you’ve never heard of Netfix, let me inform you. It’s an internet based service that you sign up for and you can stream unlimited movies to your computer, television (via wii or playstation) or phone.

I’ve heard good things about it from people who have had it in the US for a few years now, but it just arrived in Canada recently. One of my coworkers signed up right away and raved about it so I decided to give it a shot. It’s not that big of a risk, they are offering the first month free and after that it’s only $8/month.

The sign up is easy, all done online. At that point you can choose how you’ll be viewing the movies, having a Wii they told me they’d send me a disc so I could watch them on TV instead of on my computer screen. Pretty sweet since I can’t just sit and watch a movie, I have to be doing something else, often blogging or reading random things online. The only downside about this so far is that I haven’t received the disc yet, they sent me an email to let me know the discs were on back order but it has since been send out last Tuesday. Here’s hoping it gets here this week.

The whole idea is pretty genius, $8 for all the movies and television shows streamed right to your computer. My only apprehension is that most of the movies online right now are older or straight to video or things I’ve never heard of before. It could be because it’s only the first month they’ve been in Canada and everyone is still on their free month of service, but I’d like to see more recent releases available if I’m going to be spending $8 a month on the movies or TV shows.

I’ll give it a few months to see if I’m using the service and if the selection improves. To be honest the price is pretty good, because if you’re renting even 2 movies a month from Rogers or Blockbuster you’ve already spent more than that.

As for that movie I watched yesterday, it was a documentary called Maxed Out and it’s about credit card debt in the USA. Pretty good look at debt in the US, also gave me ammo for people who bitch about credit in Canada to me.

I think if anything I’ll enjoy the amount of documentaries I’ve seen on the website. So far most of the movies I’ve considered viewing have been of that genre, but then again I do have a deep love for docs.

The day I faced my fear of Star Wars fans.

I’m rare. I have never seen a Star Wars movie. Not one! I know this because of the reaction I get from people when I admit this tiny fact. People assume that I grew up without a television or that I’m some crazy woman who fears men with breathing problems. On the contrary, I grew up with plenty of television and Darth Vader does not scare me, it’s the man in the tacky gold armor.

After years of avoidance and wondering what I was missing, I decided to give into peer pressure, swallow my pride and give up a part of my identity. From the start it was confusing, the DVD was labeled Star Wars IV- A New Hope… what? I was given the fourth one? Or is this the first one that has now become the forth because George Lucas decided to milk the franchise for more money in the 90’s?  Google told me that this is indeed the first of all the movies, but I’ve already got a bitter taste in my mouth about it. I shouldn’t be confused by a title, let alone need to seek reassurance from multiple websites to make sure that I am watching the right episode to avoid the necessity of having to watch more than one.

Perhaps a further explanation for my avoidance of all things Star Wars is needed. The first reason is that I knew I wouldn’t like it. I hate the suspension of reality, which I’m quite aware is needed for every single movie, but reality suspension in Star Wars requires a little more than say, pretending that Katherine Heigl can be a charming and likeable girl in every single romantic comedy or that Tom Cruise is actually the same height as most of his co-stars. With Star Wars I have to believe that people can live and breathe in space, that a garbage can communicate with humans and that a large and hairy Sasquatch can fly a space ship. It’s just too much for me, if you’re going to have me watch something for two hours, I’d like to at least believe that it is slightly plausible- like Keanu Reeves as a good actor.

The biggest reason I stayed away from the films was because I feared the fans. I get such a negative reaction from people when I say that I haven’t seen it, I was afraid to watch it only to find out that I didn’t like it and have to admit that. Then I dread that people will force me to watch again, but this time with them.  Will that make me like it since they can fill me in on all sorts of secrets? Instead I think it becomes just like when you tell someone you don’t like a certain food and they tell you it’s just because “you haven’t tried my steak tartare.” Nope, I’m fairly certain that no matter how the raw cow is prepared I will not enjoy it. Just like you telling me about how the insides of the Storm Trooper’s costumes were caked with vomit from the actor’s heat stroke or that Mark Hamill felt that playing Luke Skywalker as an insufferable teenager will make him relatable to the audience in a situation that no one could relate to will not make this movie any better.

In the end it took me about three-and-a-half hours to watch the two-hour movie.

My overall reaction was annoyance. I didn’t watch the episode where Luke Skywalker finds out that his mom somehow found a way to procreate with the man in the rubber suit and the breathing problem? Which by the way is a suspension of reality far too large for anyone’s brain to handle. And now I’m left with a bigger problem, because before I only had to put up with confused looks from people who couldn’t understand why I hadn’t seen any of the movies, now I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy the movie. One thing is for certain, and that is that I wont be watching any more of them.

That is unless they fulfill my perverse desire to see Luke Skywalker’s mother have sex with Darth Vader.

Movie review, kinda

I went and saw Sex and the City 2 yesterday and had planned on doing a review. Problem is, I don’t care to do it.

It’s not that I’m not wanting to blog, because I’ve been racking my brain for blog post ideas today so I would take pleasure in the easy blog idea. The reason I can’t write the review is that I cannot put my finger on what it was that I didn’t like. Or maybe it was the whole thing and explaining it would take up too much of my (and your) time to explain it.

At this point the movies have come too far from the show to be good. It’s basically become a two and a half hour commercial for fabulous clothing and shoes.  I like shoes and clothes as much as the next girl, but I like storyline and plot along with it. The “plot” they’re offering in this movie is so horrible, it doesn’t even make sense half the time. It’s also offensive. Offensive to those who wear veils and hijabs, but also to the audience that watched and loved the series, because is this supposed to be what we’re given for our years of loyalty?  It takes what was once so brilliant and ruins the franchise.

But like I said, I don’t know how to get into it nor do I want to.

Thoughts? What did people think of the movie? Have you seen it? Avoiding it?

2009’s Biggest Disappointment

Back on May 19th I made this post.  I was so excited for Nine to come out in November (at the time they were releasing it November 25th, it was then pushed back to Christmas day).  I assumed that any movie starring Sophia Loren, Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard would be amazing. The trailer was flashy, filled with dance numbers galore and a catchy song. As the seasons changed through summer, fall and then winter more trailers came out and publicity tours began, it was all I could do not to show up at the theatre on Christmas day, completely ignoring any family function I would be attending.

In other words, I turned into a Twi-hard who was downright nixing for the latest Twilight sequel. Except instead of sparkly vampires my fix was to be cured by sparkly outfits.

I finally got to see Nine after my family festivities were over on December 28th, I went to Tinseltown in Vancouver for the midday showing with a friend.  The theatre was packed and I settled in to be bowled over, I mean it was Rob Marshall, he won every award for Chicago, and Nine was already nominated for 5 Golden Globes, surely it would not disappoint.

But it did. Oh did it ever.

Theoretically, the movie wasn’t horrible. Horrible was the screen adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, I turned that off 20 minutes into it (that may also have to do with my extreme dislike for Emmy Rossum and Gerald Butler). Nine just wasn’t good.

The movie was adapted from a Broadway play that ran for less than 800 performances in 1982. It’s based on Frederico Fellini’s autobiographical film 8 1/2. The story features Maestro Contini, a director who is trying to film his next big movie, Italia, after a series of flops. Back in his heyday he was the master of Italian cinema but now finds himself lacking the muse for his next big film. Italia is set to begin filming in a few weeks and he has no script, Nine tells the story of how he lacks the creativity he once had and what I suppose is his mid-life crisis.  The title comes from the nine women who shape his life and each woman gets a musical number to tell the story, or so that’s what they’d like you to think. Each number takes place on the set in which his new movie should be shot, in doing this Rob Marshall is reusing the way he incorporated the musical numbers so brilliantly into Chicago in this film but misses the mark.

The musical numbers actually seem to be forced into the plot, they’re supposed to take place in Contini’s head as he plots his script but they just don’t flow that well. Maybe it’s because we’ve seen Marshall do it so well before that we expect it again. I think he fell into the trap of one of the biggest critiques of musicals (by non-musical lovers), in which people do not enjoy when the characters just break into song to express how they fell rather than speak it, a la Grease, Mama Mia or Hairspray, so he tried to make the musical numbers take place in a dream like land, again, like Chicago. For one thing, I have no problem with musical characters breaking into song for no reason, it’s a musical, and I think fans of the genre wouldn’t care either, those that do have the problem aren’t the audience you want to play for anyways. Secondly there could have been a better method used to incorporate the musical numbers as part of the story, like in Dreamgirls or as evident every single week in Glee (which, by the way, I need to scream my love about on this blog).

And other than the musical numbers being forced it has to be said, they kind of suck. The choreography was good, especially the Fergie number, but the lyrics were horrible. I know this is not completely the fault of the film makers, the songs were around before the movie, but I really have a hard time deciding which was worse, Marion Cottiard’s My Husband Makes Movies or Judi Dench’s Folies Bergère, which is apparently is a type of costume? I still don’t know. Needless to say, even the best numbers (Fergie’s Be Italian, Kate Hudson’s Cinema Italiano and Penelope Cruz’s A Call from the Vatican) weren’t that amazing, certainly nothing that made me giddy and think about them constantly like I did with Chicago’s Cell Block Tango or All That Jazz.

Finally, while the actors in their own rights are amazing, they don’t shine here. I don’t think any of the actors were necessarily bad but they weren’t given the chance to shine, I mean you have six Academy Award winners plus Kate Hudson (nominee and Golden Globe winner) and Fergie, but none of them give award calibre performances. Maybe with the exception of Penelope Cruz. She takes the character of Carla, Contini’s mistress, and plays her so well. In the little screen time she has she shines, her musical number may be one of the only that was successfully integrated into the plot and she can sing. And dance. Needless to say, if any of these actors are winning awards, it’s her (although I should also say Marion Cottiard, aside from her confusing accent and bad musical numbers, played Contini’s wife very well).

I think the biggest downfalls with Nine are that it became a product of it’s own publicity department and it had some huge shoes to fill. The movie was advertised as this great ensemble movie with brilliant actors and an even more brilliant director, but it failed to deliver. The movie also fails to come even close to Rob Marshall’s last great musical, Chicago. The trailers gave off the same aura, the publicity always touted that Marshall was responsible for the greatest musical of the decade (completely my opinion, but honestly, you know it’s true), and they tried to be like Chicago, but it just missed the mark.

I don’t necessarily you should skip the movie entirely, but I give fair warning that it’s a disappointment to those that love musicals. It’s probably best left to the cheap nights at the theatre (do those exist anymore?) or rental.