Monday, April 27, 2009

blue vs. white vs. kevin

this past weekend chris and i visited ldb in penn state. rather than post the usual bad writing, i decided to get experimental and will retell the story of our trip through images and videos. unfortunately, while i brought my camera i did not take any pictures so i had to find some on the internet. let me know what you think and if you feel like you got the gist.

Monday, April 20, 2009

do not dispute the fact that jay hernandez is the man

in an effort to try to blog at least once a week, i will temporarily adopt the style of one of ben's 14 blogs and rate something. knowing that anyone reading this blog will probably be immediately dismissive, let me state that i am a big fan of horror movies and generally hold them in higher regard than the average movie watcher.

last week i watched the movie quarantine, starring jennifer carpenter of white chicks fame*, jonathon schaech (lead singer of the oneders), jay hernandez (starting strong safety for the permian high panthers, also in crazy/beautiful, also i love him**) and also this guy:
you know you've seen him in tons of things and are always like "oh yeah, that guy..."

anyways, the basic premise is a news reporter (carpenter) is filming a ride along with the fire department. they get a call and go to an old apartment building where they find an old woman who is clearly having problems that could be described as horrific. scary things continue to happen all while being filmed by the reporter's cameraman. also, the cdc has blocked off the surrounding neighborhood, completely tarped the building and is opening fire on anyone trying to leave the building. i don't want to give too much away, and would rather explain some of the components of why i think this movie worked and why i really enjoyed it.

the cast

as i mentioned previously, i really liked the casting choices made for the movie as i am already a big fan of carpenter and hernandez. they all give very realistic and believable performances and i think that's probably the best compliment you can give actors in a horror movie. they acted and reacted in reasonable ways, similar to how i feel like i would, which is often times a problem in horror movies.

the writing/directing

the plot is pretty basic in premise, but the pacing was really well done. things happened at unexpected moments and some main characters bit it when you least expected it. the camera work was excellent in keeping with the documentary style the movie was going for, without the motion sickness from movies like the blair witch project. having the camera rolling while all sorts of crazy shit going on was always sort of an issue in believability for me in movies like the blair witch and diary of the dead. yeah, i understand that as the documentarian, you want to catch every bit of the insanity that is going down around you, but at some point, you have to be like fuck this and just use your camera as a shield or something. everyone has their breaking point, and in most of those movies, the person behind the camera just keeps rolling no matter what and i find that completely unrealistic. in this movie they worked the angle that the power was shut off so it was completely dark half the time and essentially used the camera's light and later the camera's night vision as a way to see and thus making it somewhat believable.

the scary

the scares and the scary people are well executed and portrayed. there were fewer jump scares and more a growing general sense of dread and claustrophobia. there were many horrific moments with people with fucked up faces and general craziness. the premise that the government would quarantine people like they do in the movie is pretty messed up and not so believable, but i read somewhere on the internet that this sort of thing has happened before.

the verdict

so i acknowledge that this is not a cinematic masterpiece. i did recently see let the right one in, which is much artier and more beautiful and i am assuming much more critically acclaimed. this is just a fun and scary movie with a lot of components i wish more horror movies had. it's not perfect, but for me it was really really good. i would recommend it to anyone who at least sort of likes horror movies. i wish i had burned a copy of it before rushing it back to netflix. i might even consider buying it as i know i would rewatch it.

final grade: b+

*bonus video of jennifer carpenter (w/ kim kelly) engaging in a dance battle

**bonus video of jay hernandez being awesome

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

ultimate fighting kevin

the new ufc game, ufc undisputed is coming out in a little over a month and i am super excited about it. this game has been in the works for probably 2 years now and i have been waiting patiently since i first heard about it. from all accounts, it is gonna be an incredible game with as good of an adaptation of real life mma as you could hope for. i know all of the major ufc fighters and cannot wait to play as a lot of them and beat up the ones i personally dislike. there is also a create-your-own fighter option that will probably be ridiculous.

as excited as i am...(and did i mention i was excited?) i have a slight concern regarding this game. what if i am really good at it? you're probably thinking to yourself "but kevin, you're not good at any videogame..." i know this, but somehow i could see myself excelling at virtual mma due to my decent knowledge of the sport, as well as my affinity for button mashing.

ok, so i could be good at this game...who cares? i do, so shut up. let me explain the problem with a little background information. i am not a violent person. i have never been in a real fight with intent to injure. i have never punched anyone in the face. i have broken a few bones in accidents, but again, those were not in fights. with this in mind, i realize that i am bigger and stronger than the average person and that if it came to it, i think i could fare not horribly in a fight. i am obviously not nam, but i think in your average brawl, i could get in a few cheap shots before i scuttle away. at the same time, i have never been in a fight, and don't really know how to fight.

being really good at this game could potentially warp my brain and stroke my ego into thinking that this somehow meant it could translate into actual fighting. i would start thinking, "i am kind of a strong guy...i know what the term ground and pound means...i am real good at this game. i bet i could kick some ass." this would leave me open to being drunk at some point and acting like a tough guy, only to have to go to the hospital to have a cast made for my face. or, in a better outcome, have nam (aka jerry chu) roll his eyes before coming in to save me ala beverly hills ninja. i know it sounds like quite a stretch, but i have been known to be delusional in the past.

i can see imaging something like this

i guess we'll see. hopefully i will just be decent at the game and continue my streak of not fighting people. either way...i am real excited! anyone else getting this game?

Monday, April 13, 2009