Update to the 2007 Hiphop Awards

25-Apr-08 12:39 PM by
Filed under Films; Comments Off on Update to the 2007 Hiphop Awards

Dear faithful readers: Hiphopguy23 has finally finished watching all the movies he wanted to see that were released in 2007. Therefore, Hiphopguy23 would like to issue some updates to his 2007 Best Movie Awards.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Sadly, nothing has changed. There weren't any stand-out supporting actresses so Hiphopguy23 is going to give the award to Cheryl Hines in Waitress. Waitress is a very well acted movie and the award could just have easily been given to the late Adrienne Shelley, but Cheryl Hines was just a wee bit more memorable.

BEST DOCUMENTARY: The King of Kong. This one isn't even close. This is an absolutely astounding documentary, with heroes and villians for you to root for. Never mind the claims that the documentarians "fudged" with the truth. Watch this movie for the entertainment factor. Also, you do not need to be a fan of video games at all to appreciate this movie.

WORST MOVIE: Across the Universe. Yikes, was this movie a disaster. Hiphopguy23 figured, "The Beatles are enjoyable. How could a movie featuring their songs go wrong?" It turns out that you need to be a tremendous fan of the Beatles to even remotely enjoy this movie. The filmmakers picked the most unpopular B-side "hits" to fill out the soundtrack, and there are constant references to obscure lyrics and callbacks to the horrid Beatles movies, none of which Hiphopguy23 has seen. All of this occurs in the most unstructured free-flowing mess of a "plot". Not even a special appearance by Bono could save this train wreck. Hiphopguy23 is curious to hear if any die-hard Beatlemaniac enjoyed this movie, because that seems to be the only audience.

BEST DIRECTOR: David Yates (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix). Finally, a Harry Potter movie that works! Yates abandoned the "feel-good" vibe of the first two movies and wisely disregarded the "trendy teenager" motif of the third movie. The fourth movie was also too colorful and upbeat for this stage in Harry's life. Yates picks a dark, sinister direction that is very real and very true to life. This movie plays less like a crowd-pleaser and more as a twisted look into the good (and bad) that takes place at Hogwart's. This is the first Harry Potter movie that is better — yes, better — than the corresponding novel.

None of the other awards have changed, so in conclusion, Hiphopguy23 will give his top five recommendations:

  1. 300
  2. Enchanted
  3. Juno
  4. Waitress
  5. The King of Kong

HONORABLE MENTION: Balls of Fury — but only if you prefer your comedy very slapstick.

The 2007 Hiphop Awards

08-Jan-08 4:58 PM by
Filed under Films; Comments Off on The 2007 Hiphop Awards

Golden Globes cancelled? Oscars to be cancelled next? Never fear! It is time for Hiphopguy23 to reveal his personal choices for 2007's best in cinema.

Disclaimer: Hiphopguy23 has not seen every movie released in 2007. In fact, of the 500 or so movies released, Hiphopguy23 has only seen about 20.

Disclaimer 2: Hiphopguy23 plans on seeing more 2007 releases, but the movies he most wants to see are currently in that unavoidable limbo between theaters and DVD. Therefore, these awards are subject to change.

With that, away we go!

BEST MOVIE: 300. This is the type of movie that revolutionizes film making, like The Matrix or The Sixth Sense. Expect a horde of rip-offs in the near future.

BEST ACTOR: Gerard Butler. Hiphopguy23 can't decide if this award is for 300 or P.S. I Love You. He plays drastically different characters in both movies, equally effectively.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: James Marsden (Enchanted). If you remember him as the ultra-cool Cyclops in X-Men or the fiance of Lois Lane in Superman Returns, you will be astonished to see him as a cartoonish doofus in Enchanted.

BEST ACTRESS: Keri Russell (Waitress). For someone used to seeing her as Felicity, it is remarkable how effortlessly she becomes an abused piemaker from the South.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Hiphopguy23 is torn here. He liked Cheryl Hines and Adrienne Shelley in Waitress and Gina Gershon and Kathy Bates in P.S. I Love You. He might even give consideration to Lena Headey in 300. Hiphopguy23 is going to put this award on hold and hopes he sees a stand-out supporting actress in the movies he has yet to see.

BEST DOCUMENTARY: SiCKO. SiCKO narrowly edges Maxed Out just because it was more memorable. Michael Moore sailing to Cuba to get health care? Hysterical! At the other extreme, if there were an award for Worst Documentary, then the Ralph Nader documentary, An Unreasonable Man, would win. What a bunch of meaningless information that could be found on Wikipedia.

BEST SCORE: Music and Lyrics. This movie narrowly edges out Enchanted just because, nearly a year later, Hiphopguy23 is still singing "I've been sleeping with a clown above my bed."

WORST MOVIE: The Last Mimzy and The Water Horse (tie). Both of these movies were billed as the next E.T. but they should have been billed as the next T.P. because Hiphopguy23 could wipe his [Censored! -Ed]

ONE-TIME BONUS AWARD!

MOST OVERRATED MOVIE: Once. Boy, whenever a movie does well at Sundance, the critics rave about it like it's the next Casablanca. If you really want to listen to two hours of sub-par Irish rock, Hiphopguy23 suggests putting your Sinéad O'Connor CD on repeat.

Well, that's it. Let Hiphopguy23 know which 2007 movies should have won, and maybe he'll actually go out and see them. Ta-ta for now.

See also: Update to the 2007 Hiphop Awards

2007: The Year in Review

04-Jan-08 12:19 PM by
Filed under Films; 3 comments.

It's time for a brief look back at 2007 — brief, because my theatergoing is not what it once was. The number of movies I saw in theaters has fluctuated wildly since a decade ago, though it seems relatively constant over the course of this millennium:

1995: 22 1996: 43 1997: 70 1998: 53
1999: 37 2000: 30 2001: 12 2002: 16
2003: 15 2004: 11 2005:  9 2006: 14

This past year was very similar to its predecessor, with me taking in 15 theatrical films. It is not the prohibitive cost that keeps me from seeing more movies: a genetic condition permits me free tickets to any movie, anytime. It's more a matter of the time investment and working around the theater's schedule, whereas I can watch as much of a DVD as I want, whenever I want. Theatergoing also has a more social element than sitting at home in my pajamas, so I'm further limited by other people's geography and availability. Add in the fact that I don't have TV service and thus am not exposed unwillingly to commercials and trailers, and it takes some other rare factor, such as brand recognition, to make me aware and interested enough to warrant seeing a film.

Of the 15 films I saw in 2007, the best were Live Free or Die Hard, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and National Treasure: Book of Secrets. (I'd include Star Trek: The Menagerie as a theatergoing experience, but it technically was not a movie.) All three were rock'em, sock'em good action flicks that may've relied on tried-and-true formulae, but executed with finesse and humor.

This year's most disappointing movies were Spider-Man 3, 300, The Simpsons Movie, and The Golden Compass. And downright loathsome was The Transformers, which I recently saw the RiffTrax version of. Sadly, even Mike Nelson and crew could not improve on The Transformers, as I found it even more tedious on a second runthrough. Again, each of these films was based on an existing property, which perhaps led to high and ultimately unfulfilled expectations.

Which of 2007's films did you enjoy the most or least? Did I miss any you recommend?

A Gentleman's War

15-Apr-07 12:21 PM by
Filed under Reviews; 2 comments.

The second film I saw this year was 300 — and I could've done without it.

We all know by now that 300 is a film of the Spartans' stand against the Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae in the year 480 BC. But it's unfortunate that many people believe this film to be a direct retelling of that historical event, when it is in fact adapted from Frank Miller's 1998 graphic novel of the same name, which itself is based on the 1962 film The 300 Spartans, which is based on Herodotus' recording of the events. Being so removed from a faithful and accurate recording, and not knowing enough to separate truth from tale, I applied the same skepticism when watching this film that I did when reading The Da Vinci Code (another snorer) and safely accepted nothing as canon.

Fortunately, there wasn't much of substance I needed to filter out. The film's plot is contained wholly within its title; there is nothing surprising or original beyond the fifteen score of soldiers. Sure, there is some diplomatic bureacracy, and the requisite betrayal, but 300 is almost entirely an action flick — and not a very good one. How many different slow-motion thrusts, impalements, and beheadings can we experience in just two hours? That is the only question 300 seeks to resolve. I am not a prude, and I do not fault this film for being too bloody; it wasn't even that. It was simply a two-hour heated battle that left me cold.

But it did give me one thought worth mulling.

(more…)

300: Truth or Tale?

25-Mar-07 9:54 AM by
Filed under Films; 3 comments.

Hiphopguy23 recently saw the movie 300 on the big screen, and he means BIG screen: the fancy IMAX theater. Hiphopguy23 was pleasantly surprised by the style and visuals of the movie, but he left the theater wondering how much was fact and how much was fiction. Hiphopguy23 could probably look on the Internet to find the answers, but that involves work. So instead, Hiphopguy23 will make educated guesses based on his own understanding of the era and will be corrected in the forums.

1) The Spartans sent only 300 soldiers into combat.

TRUTH — The rest of the army was banned from combat due to a religious celebration.

2) The Persian army consisted of millions of soldiers.

TALE — Hiphopguy23 believes the numbers were closer to 450,000.

3) The 300 Spartan warriors killed the Persians at a rate of 10-1.

TRUTH — The Spartans' superior position and superior battle knowledge allowed them to devastate the Persian army.

4) The 300 Spartan warriors trained from the age of 7 to be soldiers.

TRUTH — Those Spartans were a tough breed. Men were raised to be soldiers, and women were raised to birth soldiers.

5) The Spartan warriors fought without armor to show off their abs.

TALE

6) King Xerxes attempted to negotiate with the Spartans in person.

TALE — King Xerxes would have appeared nowhere near the front of the battle lines. Also, King Xerxes was not 10 feet tall.

7) King Xerxes brought rhinos and elephants into battle.

TALE — Elephants were generally not used in combat except in Northern Africa. (Only a handful of Hannibal's famous elephants survived after crossing the Alps.)

8) When King Leonidas was ordered to lay down his arms, he snarled, "Come and get them."

TRUTH — This historical battle is the first recorded utterance of this phrase, which is now a staple in every action movie.

9) Dilios lost his eye and was sent away from battle by the king in order to narrate the brave events.

TRUTH

10) Dilios later led an army to defeat the Persians.

TALE — Though Dilios did not lead the army, the Grecian states did unify a year later and to push the Persians back.

See also: A Gentleman's War