Despite what you may think of the guy (if you even know of the guy), I freely admit that I enjoy listening to Rufus every now and then. His rendition of "Hallelujah," made famous by "Shrek," remains a personal favorite. My sisters and I first discovered this song years ago whilst on a Caribbean cruise. It played again and again on one of the few channels available on our room's TV. I found myself wanting to hear it each time... it was strangely alluring. It soon became one of those "earwig songs" that I've never been able to get rid of (mainly just the way he sings the word "California" itself). It's very memorable. You've been warned. Also, I dig the homage to the old Hollywood cinema made into a karaoke track which is cross-cut to a contemporary Rufus singing along. Dig it.
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NEWS TO ME
A Jerusalem zoo is building a massive glass barrier to protect crowds from rock-throwing-monkeys. Sorry, no video. But here is the article, featuring lines like, "It's kind of embarrassing to be stoned by a chimp."
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Perhaps you are like me in that you've heard of the Venus Fly Trap and are quite aware of its activity, but haven't actually seen it in action... until now. Check out it and another bug-eating-plant.
You like the unbelievable? Check out the lyre bird. Watch it to the end to see/hear the best part. We truly live in an amazing world.
I was pleasantly surprised this week to find a free downloadable demo available on the Xbox Live Marketplace for"Arcania: Gothic 4." I have spent time with the first two in the series. These titles are in the same vein as "The Elder Scrolls" and "Fable" series: single-player action RPGs set in a fantasy realm. If you are anything like me, such things make you downright giddy. The good news is that "Gothic 4" is more of the same (and then some). The bad news is that on the Xbox 360 the menus and hud are small and unclear. This is a HUGE problem and if you're someone who can't get past such annoyances, it makes the game virtually unplayable. I believe the problem lies in some sort of porting from the PC version, which is the medium these games are meant to played upon. PC gamers sit up close and enjoy a richer resolution, gaming on a console is a different experience altogether. The game is said to be coming out next month (October 12th), I am afraid that means it will ship with the problems I just lamented. We'll see...
"Halo: Reach" continues to blow my mind. I'm currently working on one of the greatest CTF maps man will ever play with Forge.
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THE FILM TOME REPORT*
*Arguably the highlight of many of these AllMoPs, The Film Tome Report is also my favorite part. I spend the most time preparing this section and even post it a second time on my Film Tome blog each week. You'll notice I will be splitting this tree into branches of its own. This time just the one, but look forward next week for new additions!
THE TRAILER ROUND-UP*
*Film trailers: I love them. I hate them. (I have an unwritten article long due entitled "The Trouble with Trailers" that will explain everything.) As part of my unhealthy relationship with the darn things, I will continue to view them and pass them along. After all, it is my duty. Imagine me riding through the fields of film, tossing my lasso around the ones that look promising, and bringing them here for you. On occasion I'll see one that looks anything but promising (ridiculous, controversial, maybe downright bizarre) and I'll bring it along too just for that reason.
There is now a new trailer for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (HP7)." It is a crime of the highest kind that they are splitting this into two films. Now Warner Bros. and friends will make twice the amount of money with a single adaptation. They are greedy geniuses. Nonetheless, I (and every other "Harry Pothead") are ecstatic and will be at the nearest theater on November 11, 2010 and then again in 2011. We have no other choice.
"Gnomeo & Juliet." This is one of the worst names I've ever heard. Perhaps with the success of the "Toy Story" franchise another studio thought it'd be grand to try their hand at making the inanimate animated. Only this time featuring the secret lives of lawn gnomes (and an occasional "toy" as the trailer reveals). It doesn't look horrible, in fact, the animation seems pretty solid, check out the humans shown early on to see some amazing renderings. Like what you see? Well, you won't be able to see it all till February folks!
Last year we got "The Christmas Story." At that time 3D was an exciting concept, these days it is refreshing to see a film release without 3D. Crazy how much things can change eh? Now, this holiday season we'll get another Christmas classic in all three dimensions: "The Nutcracker".
Here's yet another animated film that after watching I only thought, "Okay...": "The Lion of Judah."
And now for something completely different (WARNING: This trailer contains violent and sensual content.): "Zenith."Perhaps the most interesting thing we know about the film is that the director is Anonymous...
Ahh... here is "Catfish." This trailer came out a while back, I saw it then, but failed to report. After watching the ultra-intriguing trailer again, I've decided to give it a plug. It's already showing is select theaters... look for it on Redbox later this year.
Finally, if you are going to watch one trailer this week, watch this one! (My apologies if you've been clicking the links along the way, not that there's anything wrong with that, but this one is by far the cream of the crop.) "The King's Speech" chronicles a chapter from the life of King George VI during which he suffered with a stutter. It has a star-studded cast with the likes of Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon, and Geoffrey Rush. This looks impeccable! Tom Hooper directs.
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Al-righty! If you have any comments, questions, requests, complaints or threats please let your voice be heard firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to be removed from the AllMoPs send-list, let me know. If you wish to add someone, let me know. Enjoy the rest of the September and thanks for plugging in!
This video left a HUGE impression on me when I first saw it back in junior high. It still holds up remarkably well today. The climactic rendition of the chorus in the third act is one of the most powerful moments I've seen in music videos.
2. Here is further proof that you never know what is going viral or will prove to be an internet phenomenon. A rather silly picture of Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of "Inception" (still #4!) was released. Believe it or not, this provided dozens (if not hundreds, if not thousands) of people with endless amounts of creative fun! Take a gander at these 64 photoshopped hybrids (#6 and #21 are personal favorites). It has coined a new term, "Leo Strut," which if typed into Google will lead you to even more altered images.
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The only thing I care to mention this week is the wonder that is "Halo: Reach." I was outside the GameStop in Springville on Tuesday at 12:00 am (along with hundreds of other Xbox 360 owners in the area) to get my own copy of the game. It was well worth it. I am far from having adequate experience to give a full review at this point (I'm only on the 4th mission in the Campaign), but I can and do declare the online multiplayer to be one of the funnest activities under the sun (furthermore, I doubt there is much if anything above the sun that is more fun). Capture the Flag, Invasion, and classic Slayer are downright satisfying. The new Forge World mode is a revolution, allowing one (and one's friends) to switch from "editor" to "player" on the fly. Basically, you can make your own levels and then play them instantly. Xbox Live used to run a slogan, "It's good to play together." That's exactly what a game like "Reach" can accomplish. I've played it with my friends (both in my apartment and over Xbox Live) and we all finish our time together satisfied. Xbox 360 owners around the world are also enjoying Bungie's latest (last) and possibly greatest game. My friend reported seeing over 1.2 million people playing the game online at one time (the highest I've seen being around 750,000 gamers). And remember, that's just those who have or chose to use Xbox Live. I just came across this photo essay on CNN.com fromTime, "A Brief History of 'Halo'." As the photo essay will tell, the sales figures for "Reach" haven't been release quite yet, but "Microsoft expects [it] will surpass the $600 million generated by 'Halo 3' in 2007." However, it was announced that "Reach" garnered $200 million dollars on day one. The game has been receiving extremely high reviews with a current average of 92% on metacritic. You can read and/or see Gamespot's review here. I will conclude with this: "Halo: Reach" makes me think and say "Wow."
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THE FILM TOME REPORT
A score of new trailers came out this week and most of them I don't even deem worth sharing (admittedly, some I didn't even bother viewing myself). The trailer for "Today's Special" was one I almost skipped, but I didn't and I'm glad. This looks to be the most promising food flick since "Julie and Julia" and capable of the humor and heart that one served up last year. It's due in theaters in two month's time, but whether that's a theater near you is something I wouldn't promise. Nearly every film with a preview comes with a "In Theaters" date, but for most theaters in most areas only the most mainstream get screen time. Unless you live in a big city that has a joint willing to lend the spotlight on the indies, docs, and "smaller" movies, chances are most films you'll have to wait and see when their on DVD. Granted, most films most people never hear about. My Film Tome is working on fixing that one step at a time.
There's a few I have to mention, otherwise I will lose credibility as a valuable "film report:"
Ron Howard's got a new movie, "The Dilemma," starring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. It's a crude comedy and I'm not providing a link because it looks beyond bad. If you want to see it for yourself you'll have to find it for yourself.
"The Fighter" stars two guys who are always interesting, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, playing brothers. (Warning: this is one of those many trailers that seems to give the whole plot away.) Also, it looks like Amy Adams gets to add Marky Mark to her ever-growing list of onscreen flings.
Then there's "The Tourist" with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp (hot couple eh?). It's actually a British film. Who knew?
Okay, now two I want to mention:
"Red Hill" looks like my kind of movie! (Disclaimer: This film is labeled as a "thriller" and the trailer contains action and violence). Just a sample of Steve Bisley's performance within this trailer awes me. This one was news to me.
Perhaps my biggest surprise on the Apple Movie Trailers website this week was "Carnies" (also a violent trailer). It looks low-budget and pretty poor (but hey, who am I to talk?) - that's why I was surprised. I would bet big money this is NOT coming to a theater near you.
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And... cut! If you have any comments, questions, requests, complaints or threats please let your voice be heard by email@example.com. If you wish to be removed from the AllMoPs send-list, let me know. If you wish to add someone, let me know. Until next time, enjoy "Reach" or don't and thanks for plugging in!
Absolutely beautiful. This one-shot MV (another from the mind of Michel Gondry) is a ballet of school children and cinematography. This is a cover of the song by Tears for Fears. This redo was composed by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules for the film "Donnie Darko" in 2003.
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NEWS TO ME
*In this all-new segment of AllMoPs I will fish up a recent news story you may have missed, usually of the bizarre brand.
Due to my natural obsession with monkeys I will strive to frequently highlight them in this segment: Oshine, an obese orangutan in South Africa, has officially been sent to the fat farm (Monkey World Ape Rescue Center). The chunky monkey (ooo! I so wanted to say that!) currently weighs 220 pounds, they hope to get her to lose 100 of those. Poor Oshine. It's no wonder she's so large, she was fed all the marshmallows her now-in-danger heart desired! Seriously, who are her owners? Isn't that some kind of animal abuse? Anyways, you got to see this chump to believe it.
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Bungie's final installment in one of video game's most beloved and successful franchises of all-time hits shelves in about 30 hours. I speak of "Halo: Reach." I will be at a local GameStop at midnight to collect my own copy. I vividly recall back in 2004 when I did the same thing for "Halo 2." Expect more ravings and an eventual review of the game from yours truly.
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THE FILM TOME REPORT
The curtains are closing on Summer. Autumn is ready to take the stage. That means another directorial effort from Clint Eastwood is due. Of course, he is ready to deliver as always. Eastwood is sticking with Matt Damon (who starred in his latest film, "Invictus") but taking on some very different subject matter: the supernatural (namely, what happens after death). I think it looks promising. Look for yourself. Coming soon (October 22) to a theater near you.
So what's up with all the vampire flicks? Last decade zombies were all the rage, now it seems the blood-sucking, sun-loathing, lightning-speed monsters have the spotlight. No doubt the success and mania laying in the wake of the "Twilight" series has gathered attention the world over, but who would've known it would start an entire onslaught of vampiric features? Here's a quick look at four currently in theaters or on the horizon:
1, "Vampires Suck" came out last month. It's part of the same group that capitalizes on making fun of whatever is popular ("Epic Movie," "Scary Movie," and "Date Movie").
2. "Suck" just came out. A rock band encounter vampires. I know very little else.
3. "Let Me In" from director Matt Reeves (who made "Cloverfield," which gives him a seat at my table) is the American remake of the critically acclaimed Swedish vampire hit, "Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In)," which is currently #201 in the IMDb's Top 250.
4. "Priest" is about, well, a priest, who tries to track down the vampires who took his niece. Paul Bettany plays the Priest and you can see his quest next May!
That was fast. Just weeks ago I was lamenting the end of "At The Movies," the half-hour film critic show that aired its final episode just last month. Now Roger Ebert, the man who started it all (alongside Siskel), couldn't stand to see it go either and so he (alongside wife, Chaz) is producing a renewed series that will begin airing in January, " Roger Ebert Presents At The Movies." It follows much the same format as the previous installments: reviews of new movies (mainstream and indie), looks at classics, and will use the infamous "Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down" rating system coined by Siskel and Ebert (which I still feel they should be spanked for using). The show will be co-hosted by Christy Lemire and Elvis Mitchell (don't be the least bit concerned if you've never heard of them). Here is the post on Ebert's blog announcing the exciting news and if you scroll down you'll find they've actually released a sample of what the show and format will be like. I'm not sure what to think of it quite yet. I suppose I will have to wait for the first full episode due next year. If anything, at least Mr. Ebert seems happy... That's right! The man himself makes an appearance. Throat cancer left the legendary film critic speechless, but his voice lives on in his written reviews and through the speech capability of his nifty computer (again, see clip via the afore posted link).
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And... cut! If you have any comments, questions, requests, complaints or threats please let your voice be heard by firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to be removed from the AllMoPs send-list, let me know. If you wish to add someone, let me know. Until next time, enjoy the remainder of summer and thanks for plugging in!
I realize that the AllMoPs release dates haven't been consistent. In fact, each time I've waited later in the week to get the issue sent out. But at least it has been weekly eh? That's what counts in "a weekly recommendations email." Don't try to argue Sunday being the start of a new week with me. It is the last day of the week and this time around I am using it. Perhaps in the not-so-distant future AllMoPs will claim a day of the week to always come forth.
Well, I've got a brief issue for y'all today, which could be due to my starting school again this week. Shorter issue hitting the stands in the final hours of the week... I know, sketchy and risky, but an issue nonetheless. They say third time's a charm folks. So, prepared to be charmed!
Like the old TV show "Happy Days"? Yeah? Well, apparently Weezer does too. It's pretty impressive how they pulled this off... some parts still leave me scratching my now closer scalp (that's just my way of saying I got a haircut on Wednesday). Anyways, this MV was directed by the infamous Spike Jonze. He now directs fantastic feature films ("Being John Malckovich," "Adaptation," and "Where The Wild Things Are").
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Zombies and video games go together like Sunchips and a Subway sandwich, very well. One of the most refreshing zombie video games to ever hit the shelves was Capcom's "Dead Rising." It pits the player against hundreds of the walking corpses in the most ideal of locations, a shopping mall (a la "Dawn of the Dead"). Besides simply trying to survive, you help others to do likewise all while trying to get to the bottom of the mysterious epidemic (you play as a photojournalist named Frank West). Besides being a somewhat free-roam survival horror experience, most of the game's allure came from a fun and unique element: nearly every object you encountered (and a shopping mall is chock full of stuff!) could be used against the zombies. Potted plants, skateboards, traffic cones, and a toy gun that shoots tennis balls are just a few of the available arsenal. While "Dead Rising" isn't quite the one to rule and end them all (come talk to me if you really want to know what that game should be like), it comes closer than anything else out there. So, why am I praising a game that's been out for four years? "Dead Rising 2" will infect the world on September 28th. This time around you play as Chuck Greene, a former motocross champion, who tries to protect himself and his daughter in Fortune City (based on Vegas, viva la zombie). Technical advancements have been made for this new game (as they well should have). In the original a maximum of 800 zombies could be seen onscreen at one time, now it is possible for over 7,000 living dead to be seen around you. That's scary. That's cool. If you just can't wait to get a taste of this new zombie action I have good news for you (I'd bet big bucks they can't wait to get a taste of you too!). Earlier this week Capcom released a small game on Xbox Live Marketplace entitled "Dead Rising: Case Zero." It serves up a slice of the story leading up to the next game, you'll even play as Greene in a small desert town. At a great price of just five dollars, it is enough to satisfy until much more arrives later this month.
Speaking of zombies... the addicting and charming "Plants vs. Zombies" (currently available on PC, Mac, iPhone, and iPad) comes out on Wednesday on Xbox Live Arcade. If you've never played the amazing game before, now is the time to try! If you have played the game before, the new features and gameplay modes are worth checking out. If you want a less graphic and less violent method of dealing with zombies (than say the likes of "Dead Rising"), this is a great game for you.
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THE FILM TOME REPORT
Seen the trailer for "Devil" yet? It has Shyamalan's name attached so many people are likely hesitant to get onboard or don't really know what to think of it. In all honesty, I'm still a diehard Shyamalan fanboy. "Devil" is based a story by M. Night and produced by him. What's more, it is the first in what is being called "The Night Chronicles" (yes, a trilogy). What really has me excited is the following statement from Shyamalan: "The third 'Night Chronicles' is what would have been the sequel [to 'Unbreakable']." For whatever reason he wasn't able to make "Unbreakable 2," but the story and characters he had in mind for the project will be the third installment of the what starts the week after next.
I wish to shed some light on a new doc coming out soon, "Freakonomics." Based on the book of the same and made by the directors of some of the most prolific documentaries of the past few years ("King of Kong," "Super Size Me," and "Jesus Camp"), it's got a lot to say about a lot of things. Check this out to see if it's something for you!
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That's a wrap! If you have any comments, questions, requests, complaints or threats please let your voice be heard by email@example.com. If you wish to be removed from the AllMoPs send-list, let me know. If you wish to add someone, let me know. Until next week, enjoy the start of September sweetness and thanks for plugging in!