Take THAT, Louis Le Prince

Movies, if they’re of any quality (I’m calling you out The Asylum), usually take a bit of time to create. I’m not talking two weeks to a month, I’m talking multiple months to a year for just the basic films (if it’s Quentin Tarantino, it could be up to the week before the picture comes out).

So, can you imagine just how long it took cavemen to potentially create the world’s first movies? That’s a lot of dark mud and giant sloth blood.

Marc Azéma has discovered that movies were actually first created by Stone Age artists using torches for the “film effect,” essentially animating the pictures made on cave walls. It hasn’t been revealed yet if the movies (which are actually more like GIF files) consist of anything other than animals. That said, I think it’s safe to assume that no, they’re not porn. Okay McBournie?

Take it from Snee: Movie pet peeves

Between the podcast I do and the reviews I write on my own site, I watch a lot of movies. Like any fan of cinema, there are films I love, films I hate and the vast majority fall somewhere between those extremes.

But, no matter how good or bad a movie may be, there are certain elements that I dread popping up. Imagine you’re invested in the story on screen, sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering how the plot is going to turn next, when suddenly — BAM! — you’re ripped out of, say, Middle Earth by some cliché you’ve seen in a million other movies. Frodo turns back into that kid from North touring New Zealand with Rudy.

This article is a plea to the sound editors, stunt coordinators and screenwriters of the world. These might be cool inside jokes to your friends in the industry, but they’re sucking the life out of your films. Continue reading Take it from Snee: Movie pet peeves

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’

This is it, the big summer blockbuster for 2011: Transformers: Dark of the Moon. We’ve seen how I felt about Transformers and how I felt about Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (here’s a hint for the latter: my opinion has not changed for the better since first seeing it). So, is this one any good? Did it out-Bay Michael Bay himself? DOES SHIA LEBOUF GROW FACIAL HAIR?

Well, I’d tell you, but you’ll have click the jump to find out. What can I say, I like a good cliffhanger. Oh, there might be some spoilers here and there, but I’ll try to keep them minimal. Just a warning if I slip up. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Mystery Team’

Movies from sketch comedy groups can be dicey propositions. The formats aren’t really conducive to each other. Sketch comedy can be hilarious one moment, then the next moment it’s crickets chirping. If the group is good, they can move on quickly and forget about things. But movies are a whole other monster to tame. what could sustain three to five minutes can be awkward in this new format. Some groups can pull it off, and you get great films like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Brain Candy and Super Troopers. Mess it up, and you’re stuck with Miss March.

And there’s not a lot on this earth that’s worse, cinematically speaking, than Miss March.

Now we have Derrick Comedy, an internet sensation full of gentlemen whose names all begin with a “D,” though curiously, none named Derrick. Whether you find this clever or stupid will help determine whether or not you will enjoy Mystery Team. Going by this scale, however, it pleases me to no end that Mystery Team is a rather clever and hysterically funny movie with its heart in the right place that potentially puts the Derrick boys at least on track with the Broken Lizard fellas. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Mystery Team’

Take it from Snee: What isn’t art

In the weeks following Roger Ebert’s tweet (ugh) about video games never being art, I decided to try something new. Instead of instantly reacting and writing, I thought. And read. And observed. And then I thought some more. I may have also masturbated to a Michaelangelo. But, then I thought about that.

Point is: you can call this a slow reaction to a story that everyone has already had his or her say on. I call it deliberate.

You see, Ebert brought up an excellent idea, perhaps without realizing it (though I wouldn’t put it past the cheeky booger-monger). What do we consider art, and more importantly, why isn’t it? Video games can’t be the only field that millions of people–including the artists that work on them–mistake for art.

So, after a lot of revoked library cards and expulsion from every major art gallery with a listing on Craigslist, I have come back from the wilderness, not to tell you what art is, but what isn’t art. Continue reading Take it from Snee: What isn’t art

The McBournie Minute: A new dimension of crappy

Technology is advancing faster and faster these days. In my relatively short lifetime, we’ve gone from UHF/VHF to cable/satellite to digital cable to high-def to Internet TV. The next big step is nearly here. No, I’m not talking about smell-o-vision, as Looney Tunes predicted would happen in the “future” in the 1990s. I’m talking about 3-D television.

We’re already seeing it in movie theaters, and a handful of people actually care about it. It’s like TV companies are following the cues of the movie industry. They do widescreen, we do widescreen (decades later), they do digital projection resulting in a sharper image, we do high-def.

When we heard a bit over a year ago that 3-D movies were coming to theaters near us, we all laughed, picturing the blue and red glasses. We were wrong, instead its glasses that look just as bad but are the same color. And it’s ready to make its way into our homes. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: A new dimension of crappy

MasterChugs Theater: ‘When Harry Met Sally…’

Upon initial view, When Harry Met Sally… seems like a shameless Hollywood rip-off of Woody Allen’s masterpieces Annie Hall and Manhattan, which is slightly ironic, given that we just took a look at Annie Hall last week. There were so many similarities — the Jew-shiksa romance, the lush autumn New York City foliage, the ivory-tinkling Gershwin standards, even the white credits set on a black background. But now, the movie plays as a loving homage to a director who had already lost his romantic-comedy way. And as it turns out, Rob Reiner’s film about two friends trying to have a platonic relationship was ahead of its time. But, well …. there’s only one roadblock: looooooooove. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘When Harry Met Sally…’

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Stuck on You’

The Farrelly brothers have made a career out of mocking the afflicted. They had fun at the expense of the mentally challenged in Dumb And Dumber. Last time out they mocked obesity in Shallow Hal. Stuck On You garners its laughs from the exploits of conjoined twins. It’s not a strategy that has won the approval of the politically correct, but their bad taste humor has found a large audience.

That they portray their handicapped with affection goes some way to dispel the charges of ridicule. That they do it so brazenly also warrants some recognition. Most humor comes at the expense of somebody’s misfortune. The Farrellys just happen to focus on those whose misfortunes are more obvious. And, let’s face it, there are few richer subjects than conjoined twins. Stuck On You may effectively be a one gag movie, but it’s one they make full use of, including absurd scenes of the youthful brothers pitching baseball, playing football and boxing. But does the joke ever wear out? Hit the jump to find out. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Stuck on You’

Take it from Snee: Retrospect this

While I’m certainly glad to see more people writing thanks to the advent of blogging, twittering and other terms that were previously symptoms of pleurisy; whereas I am also elated to say goodbye to the biggest waste of a decade since the 1460s (was there any good music that decade?); and because I look forward to the Twenty-Ten future, I am officially sick of all retrospectives about this and any other decade from here on out.

To make sure one is never written again, I’ve done you all a favor and written and all-encompassing one that should work for the next hundred years.* Don’t think I’ve left out names to be vaguely correct: in 10 years’ time, you’ll have forgotten most of the “important” people of this past decade, too.

*If this template still applies after 100 years, you’re on your own because I should be dead. Hopefully of something awesome like breastclimbing or mesotheligladiator fights.

Well, it’s been another 10 years, and what a 10 years it’s been! Let’s recap the good, bad and weird from this decade. Continue reading Take it from Snee: Retrospect this

The McBournie Minute: DirecTV practices the black arts

It’s Halloween time, that means everyone will have costume pictures on the Facebook profiles in a week we are half way through the Christmas shopping season it’s nearly time to party. Yours truly may not survive Halloween because I will be going to a murder party. Having never been to one before, I’m not sure what level of make-believe is. So if it comes down to them or me, my hunting knife ought to win out. I bought a fedora for my costume the other day, not because I am going to be Don Draper for Halloween, but the party is supposed to be a 1920s speakeasy. I plan to draw on my college experience to play the part of drinking in secret.

But still, because it’s that time of year, things are getting lame brands of spooky, mostly television and theme parks. We have to accept that they are getting faux-creepy, but sometimes they go a little over the top. I can put up with horror movie marathons and the New York Yankees in the World Series to give me the heeby-jeebies, but commercials are where I draw the line.

DirecTV has recently launched a few new famous movie scene re-dub commercials where they pay semi famous people like Naomi Watts. This time around they’re smacking us around with some action from David Spade–not that we asked for it or anything. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: DirecTV practices the black arts