Archive for category Movies

What Makes A Good Horror Movie?

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Halloween is just around the corner (it literally is, go look) and that means its time to dust off all the scary movies and hide behind the couch while you try to watch them. But not all horror movies are really scary. A really scary movie is one you can barely watch and then later makes you leave the lights on when you go to bed.

What makes a movie like this?

Many newer mainstream horror movies aren’t like this. They lack that lingering horror that many classic movies have. It is the unknown that makes you scared. When there is an evil murderer on the loose (which seems to be a classic horror plot) it is more scary if the murderer is a tall shadow that hides around corners then if he (or she) is seen in full from the beginning (in a mask, or occasionally you actually know who the murderer is). This is because only your mind knows what makes you scared. If you see the murderer then your mind knows what is happening. If you only see a shadow or get the suggestion that there is something hiding around the corner then your mind creates something which is scarier to you then anything that can be created by something else.

Let this be a lesson to movie writers, only you can truly scare yourself, there is always an initial fright but true horror lasts longer then the movie.

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Movie Remakes: Good or Bad?

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Are remakes of classic movies better then the originals? In a word, no.

Of all the remakes I’ve seen I haven’t found one better then the original. They might be better visually but there aren’t any where the story is better. Mainly because the story is the same. Also because they aren’t true remakes. The new ones might have the same name and might resemble the old movie but they aren’t the same. Wether the person who updates the script changes scenes or modernizes movies, they just can’t compare. Too much changes. All we’re getting is new movies.

Then there are the people who think they know something about the classic movie because they saw the remake and then talk about scenes that weren’t in the old version. Ask anyone who knows anything about movies. They’ll probably agree with me.

Remakes can be good movies. But they aren’t better then the original.

What do you think?

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The Future of Hard Copy Media

HMV, The Core, Lands Lane, Leeds. Taken on the...

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First Blockbuster went broke and closed, and now this.

Struggling British entertainment retailer HMV has sold its 121-store Canadian unit to Hilco UK, raising 2 million pounds ($3.2 million) to cut debt and help the firm stay in business.

The move by the 90-year-old firm to sell the Canadian business comes days after HMV’s shareholders backed the 53-million-pounds disposal of its Waterstone’s book chain to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut.

Earlier this month HMV, which has issued four profit warnings this year, secured its immediate future with a 220 million pounds refinancing deal that will effectively involve the British taxpayer taking a stake in the group.

“The board has fully explored the options available to it for HMV Canada, and believes that a sale to Hilco is the correct decision for the business at this time, whilst reducing the operating leverage in the continuing group,” said Chief Executive Simon Fox.

“The group is focusing on clear and tightly defined plans for transforming HMV into a broad-based entertainment business.”

(Article from Reuters)

I’m hoping this doesn’t mean that HMV is closing too. Although I do watch the occasional movie and tv show online, I still prefer having a hard copy and I usually buy them from HMV. Although things are looking up with the line about “transforming HMV into a broad-based entertainment business”. I’m guessing that means adding new products and services.

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What To Watch (or not) On Valentines Day

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Tomorrow is Valentines Day. Most of you (not me) will be spending either the whole day or part of the day with your significant other (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife etc.). Although many of you (me) don’t actually have a significant other. A very popular thing to do on valentines day is to watch a movie, so I have compiled two lists, one for people who are with someone and one for people on their own. I have also included some tips on how to pick a movie to watch in case you don’t want to watch the ones I suggest.

I’ll start with movies for couples, basically these will all be “chick flicks” because admit it, she’s picking the movie.

There are many classic movies to choose from, all good, but I’m going to suggest some that are more modern. A very obvious one would be Valentines Day it follows the lives of a bunch of couples living through one Valentines Day. It has a similar story to Love Actually because all the couple interact with each other in some way. You could watch Love Actually if you don’t mind a Christmas themed movie.

You could also watch Leap Year. It is about a woman who wants her boyfriend to propose to her but he won’t. When she finds out that he’s going to Ireland she learns about a tradition where a woman can propose to the man on a leap year. She then travels all the way to Ireland to propose getting into all kinds of problems along the way.

There are a few others that I’m sure most of you have seen but are good to re-watch for Valentines Day: P.S. I Love You, the Last Song, A Walk To Remember, Titanic, The Notebook.

You could also watch a movie with more than one of these actors in it: Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker, Julia Roberts, Matthew McConaughey or Leonardo DiCaprio.

Now it’s time for movies for people on their own. The main rule is to try to avoid anything I mentioned in the above section. You’ll just get depressed because you’re on your own. Remember: Whatever you do, DO NOT GO TO A MOVIE THEATRE!!! That is rule number one of being single on Valentines Day. No matter what movie you go and see I guarantee there will be at least four or five couples in the last few rows making the whole thing awkward. Don’t think that because its called something like Face Eaters From Another Planet Eating People For 2 Hours in 3D, There won’t be any couples, because there will be. STAY HOME! Go to your computer and open up uTorrent, or go to your local movie store and rent something.

The next thing you need to know is what kind of movie to rent or download. Anything with the words “Kill”, “Zombie”, “Apocalypse”, “Evil”, “Race”, or any words similar to those, usually is a good choice. Although if it has the word “Love” in it, then all the killing, zombies, and apocalypses can’t make it better.

Any movie with any of these actors, or actors usually associated with them should be good: Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, or Arnold Schwartzenegger

If you have a day to spare you could watch a trilogy, or series of movies such as the Lord of The Rings trilogy, the Resident Evil Trilogy, the Die Hard series, or perhaps Star Wars (the original trilogy, unless you really want to watch the new ones).

Now you know what to look for, whether you are single or together, your valentines day should be full of movie watching bliss.

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What could be in the book? AKA I didn’t know he could write

After reading this it will become abundantly clear how I feel about Justin Bieber.

In case you can’t get enough of Justin Bieber you will be happy to hear that he is writing a book. This came as a shock to many people including me who didn’t know that he could read let alone write full sentences. I was surprised that he could sing songs with words longer than two syllables. Also if you are happy that there is going to be a book because you are genuinely interested in the contents because you want to know all about his tough struggle to the top then stop reading right now.

I am genuinely interested in the contents of this book. Not because I want to know about his story. I don’t. Really I don’t. There is no story. The whole thing could be told in a thirty second news clip. He posted a video of him singing a song on YouTube and girls thought he was cute so he became famous and got a record deal. That’s it. I just wrote his book in one sentence. Whats the worst part about that. Did he have to upload the video using dial-up. So what? I had dial-up until last year. Feel sorry for me not him.

The reason I’m interested in the contents of this book is because I don’t think there are going to be any contents. It’s going to be one page of writing written by someone else followed by some colour pictures of him taken by someone else for all the girls (and guys who think he’s a girl) to drool over. The book is called “First step 2 forever” by the way. No that isn’t a typo, there actually is a “2” in the title. There is also no “s” on the end of “step”. The book should be called “The only step to 15 minutes of fame” by other people.

There are other things that this book could turn out to be. Toilet paper. Something to put under a wobbly table leg. A coaster. The list goes on.

Of course there are other possible things that might be inside that might make me and all the other 900, 000 people in the Facebook group, laugh. Perhaps there will be something actually written by him that will make no sense whatsoever and leave his fans thinking he’s an idiot. Right now quite a few people do. If you haven’t seen the video of him getting hit in the head with a water bottle i suggest you go and see it now. Right after he gets hit he says “ow. I don’t know why you would do that”. I think he actually is an idiot. Either that or he is a really good actor. Why doesn’t he know why someone would throw stuff at him? They don’t like him. Doesn’t he get it? Obviously not.

Maybe there will be a misprint in the first editions that just sends out a cover and a hundred blank pages. That would be good. I don’t think anyone would notice. Or a first draft with all the editors notes. I think that is highly unlikely. The printers would run out of red ink very fast. Although if he actually wrote it, it would be on a napkin or a pair of womans underwear (size: small or a thong. There would still be lots of empty space) or something like that.

Theres also going to be a movie. I hope he doesn’t play himself. If he did he would be the first person to play themselves in a movie about their life. It would take selfishness and selfcenteredness (I don’t think that’s not a real word but I think you get the idea) to a whole new level.

So to conclude, I’m not looking forward to this book or movie. Every time I hear one of his songs I feel like shoving a pen in my ears so I don’t have to hear the rest of it. On the other hand, I can’t wait for him to hit puberty so his voice changes and he tries to sing “Baby” two and three fifths of an octave lower. Its going to be hilarious.

I look forward to your letters.

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Stories from Downtown

Here are a couple of incidents I observed today while I was downtown that I think are quite amusing. Most of them happened in HMV.

1. While in HMV there was a little boy with his dad. A Justin Bieber song started playing and I heard the kid say “Daddy, why is this song making my ears hurt?”. That kid is awesome. I felt like going up to the dad and saying how awesome his son is. (In a non creeper way)

2. There were three girls dressed like Taylor Swift (Nerdy glasses (same style and colour), blonde hair, that style of clothes) walking side by side through the Eaton Centre who walked up to a guy standing a few feet from me in HMV and said stuff (not sure, wasn’t really listening, I’m not that much of a creeper) words were exchanged and he ended up saying “I don’t like Taylor Swift” loudly enough for me to hear, to them and one (seemed to be his girlfriend) actually slapped him. It was hilarious. It was like a scene out of a movie. I tried so hard not to laugh out loud.

3. You know how when you were young your parents would come up with ways of not letting you have that toy you wanted without actually saying “No, you can’t have it”‘. There was a kid throwing a tantrum because his mom wouldn’t get him a game he “Really wanted”. She went through the usual things like “put it on your christmas list” which always worked on me. Then when he wouldn’t listen she used on I’ve never heard used and I think she was bluffing but it worked, she said “Fine, you can have it but we’re not going to the game if you get it and I know how much you want to go”. This made the kid go crazy because you could tell he wanted the video game but at the same time he wanted to go to the game equally as much. It was really funny seeing him trying to figure out if his mom was bluffing or if she really was going to not take him. She topped it off by saying “I’ll just phone dad and tell him to give away the tickets”. Sadly (in my opinion) he still considered getting the video game but it was funny to watch him thinking of the pros and cons. It was like his head was going to explode. You had to be there.

4. There was actually a huge line outside of the apple store today, of people waiting for the iPhone 4. No, they didn’t get a new shipment. These people were waiting in the hope that the truck would arrive so they might get one. I heard one of the store employees saying to one of the people asking about the iPhone 4 that if the truck didn’t arrive today that these people would be back tomorrow hoping the truck would show up. Nutters or what?

More of these will be posted when I see them. Try finding some yourself. Just listen to the people wherever you are. Don’t eavesdrop just don’t ignore whats going on around you. You might be surprised.

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Foursquare for People Who Don’t Go Anywhere

There was a review of an App for the iphone during an episode of App Judgement called GetGlue. Some of you might know that I use this and some might not.  GetGlue is a lot like Foursquare but instead of checking in to places that you are at, you check in to things you are doing. This is mostly movie, music, games, and TV shows but there are also books and almost any other topics you can think of.

Here is the episode of App Judgement explaining GetGlue,

You should at least try it. If you do, add me, I’m WillPenman

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