Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Review: Young Adult

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Hoo boy, where to start.

Young Adult, written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman, is a romantic comedy which lacks romance and is void of laughs. It follows Mavis (Charlize Theron) as she pursues her ex from high school, Buddy (Patrick Wilson) — who happens to be married with a newborn daughter. Patton Oswalt stars as a disabled former classmate of Mavis’s, and Young Adult is one of the most painful affairs I’ve seen in a long time.

There aren’t many things technically wrong with Young Adult — the writing, directing, and acting is good — but the story simply isn’t one worth telling. This is a perfect picture of an adult making bad decisions. Scene after scene after scene, that’s all it is, making the 94 minute runtime very enduring; Young Adult is conceptually bad. There isn’t much more I can say without spoiling anything — this movie doesn’t deserve more words anyway — but for what it’s worth, I don’t recommend you spend valuable time watching this.

It’s unfortunate. Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman are the writing/directing team behind Juno, which is a fantastic film. I’m having a hard time believing that they’re responsible for Young Adult, but it’s true.

What a shame.

Picture This! Has Moved!

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Well, it’s been fun. There’s been ups, there’s been downs, and there’s been a lot of stuff in-between. But things have changed so much since I first started Picture This!, back when it was Picture This! Reviews. It’s time to move on, away from Blogger and to WordPress. Different name, different URL, different platform.

I hope you like (slightly) unkommon, my new sophomore blog. It’s better in almost every way, and while the template I use is pre-designed, I put a ton of thought into everything about the site, and I think of it as my own. I could describe every change made, but I think I’d rather you stumble upon things yourself by touring the new site.

As for what will happen to PTRevs.net. I understand the importance of archives, and with that in mind, this blog will stick around. I will pay for the URL as long as I am able to, and if there comes a year where I can’t, this blog will continue to live on as www.picturethisreviews.blogspot.com. The entries aren’t going anywhere.

Again, it’s been fun, and this blog has been a good learning experience. But it’s time to move to WordPress.

Thanks for everything and I hope you continue to read my material on (slightly) unkommon! 😀

Again, here’s the link.

Cheers,
-Montana

By the way, things came up and I couldn’t write that HP7p2 review. In short, it was pretty good, but not great. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, I highly recommend it, however.

Moving on Monday

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

I know I promised a film entry for today, but this is important. Beginning Monday, PTRevs.net will be an archive. Be sure to check back Monday morning for all details.

Review for HP7p1 tomorrow.

Eliminating e-mail: Can I Do It?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Edit: Is this tech week or what? Film entry on Friday. Promise.

e-mail is headache inducing, and I think a whole lot of people can attest to that. Waking up every morning, snatching my iPhone or iPad to check every e-mail I received overnight, is a miserable start to every day. Recently, however, MG Siegler wrote a piece at TechCrunch that shares my sentiments.

Email is the absolute devil. And the only way to not be corrupted is to… run away. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Those words kicked me off. I’m going to work to quit using e-mail outright, and I hope to accomplish this goal as soon as possible, and hopefully sooner. It will be hard, but I think it can be done, and this is how I’m going to do it. So, let’s get social.

e-mail is obviously, at its core, a way to communicate with others. To replace it, you need to utilise services that allow you to communicate with others. And not one service encompasses as many areas as e-mail does, so to get rid of e-mail, I need to use a combination of services. For that, I’m putting my faith in Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Facebook

Facebook is an amazing way to communicate with friends and family, and since I started using it regularly two years ago, my e-mail usage with those people have been cut drastically. While there are some things about Facebook to hate – The chat feature which needs to die in a fire – This is an easy fallback away from e-mail. And with Facebook’s foray into mobile, it’s the best way to keep in contact with people close to you wherever you are. That said, with hundreds of millions of users, I don’t believe Facebook really needed an introduction. 😉

Twitter

Twitter is a neat network that a lot of people pretend to hate. Nevertheless, since I started using Twitter last year, my contact portfolio has grown tremendously. I’ve met some amazing people from across the world, who I wouldn’t have met if not for Twitter. And the great thing? I have no interest in e-mailing any of them. Twitter is great for general discussion, it’s extremely focused, and I cite Twitter as the best way to contact me. As with Facebook, Twitter has done a lot in the mobile space, which makes things easy if you have a smartphone. Give it a shot if you haven’t already.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the leap of faith in this scheme. Many business professionals communicate with each other via e-mail, which is a kink in my plan. Fortunately I’ve noticed a lot of business professionals create a profile on LinkedIn, and if this trend doesn’t stop, LinkedIn will be a great place for business associates to communicate. I’m just beginning to learn the ropes on this one, and I hope that at least most of the people I associate with going forward have, or will have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is also in the mobile space, but its iPhone app stinks.

So…

If I can properly utilise Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and I streamline it into my mobile life, I think I can abandon e-mail altogether the day I finish college. My success depends on if other people continue to use these services, which is kind of a downer. But if people really want to get in contact with me, they know how.

Living Without Flash, pt. II

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Be the change you want to see in the world.

-Mahatma Gandhi

A while back I wrote an entry on how to live without Flash installed on your Mac, and it remains relatively popular. The method I put forth includes keeping Google Chrome around to visit websites which absolutely require Flash, since Chrome has a self-contained version of the plugin. As of today, I’m taking back what I said. Don’t keep Chrome around, stick with Safari, and quit viewing Flash content altogether. Allow me to explain.

I don’t use my Mac very often because of my iOS devices. But every day I do, I notice myself reverting to Google Chrome once or twice. Every time I do, my Mac becomes a foldable grill, and the fans spin at full speed. Enough is enough. I’m quitting Flash for good, and I recommend you do the same, even if your problem isn’t as heated as mine.

If you want to see the web in HTML5, you have to start by showing content creators that you can’t see their content. Only then will content creators move away from Flash development, since they want you to see their content. Every lost viewer is an unaffordable loss, and your voice absolutely matters. If you continue reverting to Google Chrome to view Flash content, you’re letting them win. If you want to see the world change, you have to change first. It will be hard, it will be painful, but you have to do it.

And if an associate wants to show you something, but it’s in Flash, you can’t give in. If they really want you to see that content, they will deliver it to you in a standards-friendly format. They will kick and scream to no end, but this is what you say.

If you don’t like it, then tough titties you ass turd monkey fucker!

-Steve Coogan

Don’t stay behind because others don’t want to move forward, and you will win in the end.

Review: "Horrible Bosses"

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Summer Comedies tend to stink. That is not an opinion, it is a sad fact of life. Summertime is, unfortunately, when bodily fluids trend upwards in cinema, and not even the most sheltered individual is safe. While Horroble Bosses does invoke urinating on people and a toothbrush up the ass, it does it with finesse and the film as a whole is one of the funniest Comedies to hit theatres in a long time, and here are my thoughts.

As the story goes, Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis), and Dale (Charlie Day) each have a boss that ruins their life (played by Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and Jennifer Aniston respectively). So of course, in the spirit of Throw Momma from the Train, the only option is to kill each others’ bosses, under the advisement of Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx). Things don’t follow exactly as planned and, per the usual, chaos ensues in 100 minutes of murder, sex, extortion, and drugs with an excellent cast at the helm. Horrible Bosses is very rated R, and you should see it immediately.

Beyond this, I’ve trashed and re-wrote so many things in the past six hours, I just have to say see it. There are only so many ways to express that sentiment better than by just saying it. If you’re in the mood for some laughs, see Horrible Bosses whenever you get the chance. And I’m sorry that this entry is up late, this is the second time in a week! Ahh!

What The Friday: Pokemon on iOS?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

…the Pokemon team plans to release an official iOS app in Japan. The app will be called Pokemon Say Tap? BW, and rather than a full Pokemon game, the app will be a rhythm title, where Pokemon cards appear on the screen and you have to tap them to a certain beat.

Reports TUAW. It should be noted that Pokemon Say Tap? BW will make its way to Android too, although due to fragmentation it is slated to only work on four Android devices as of this writing, according to the original source.

As another aside, Pokemon Say Tap? BW will be released only in Japanese markets, at least initially.

This is odd because, for the greater part of its lifetime, Nintendo has avoided playing in its competitors’ sandboxes. With that in mind, I wager that Pokemon Say Tap? BW will be a promotional campaign in disguise, and will serve its purpose well. Even then, however, promotional campaigns in a competitors’ domain is foreign to Nintendo, but it knows its strategies more than I do.

What should happen, is for Nintendo to partner with Apple and get its library of console games onto the Mac App Store, because both Apple and Nintendo could make a fortune off of that. But only if those two can play nicely together.

Hat tip to TUAW & Pokemon.co.jp

SEGA

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

An update for the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing app [iTunes link] recently showed up in the iOS App Store, which deserves some mention. The iPhone 3G is more than three years old, and it’s a forgotten device at Apple HQ. And developers, the good people that create apps for iOS devices, tend to ignore old hardware to take advantage of everything newer devices have to offer.

But I give enormous credit to SEGA. Look at this image. Not only is SEGA making apps that still work with old hardware, but they are optimising their apps for use on older hardware. This is a rarity, and a really good one. By optimising apps for use on low-powered devices, they run silky smooth on the latest and greatest. Additionally, it is beneficial to every person that uses older hardware.

20110706-112614.jpg

Credit where credit is due.

Short Review: "Brain Dead (2007)" (Available on DVD + Netflix)

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

I don’t even know where to begin. Films are often so bad that they’re amusing, but rarely so bad as to be good. For much of Brain Dead, I strongly considered switching films for its entire duration, because it is that terrible. But this film is so terrible that it shoots the moon, and I was in awe at how entertaining it is. Brain Dead is the textbook example of “so bad it’s good”, and here are my thoughts.

This is no accident. No sir. There is every type of human deprevity and degredation in this room tonight. Atheists, fornicators, murderers–

–Lesbians.

As the story goes, two convicts (Joshua Benton & David Crane) take refuge in an abandoned cabin after escaping police custody. Out of pure coincidence, two hikers (Sarah Grant Brendecke & Michelle Tomlinson) join them… Followed by a reverand (Andy Forrest) & the girl God sent to relieve him of his throbbing (Cristina Tiberia). But that’s not all. As luck would have it, a sludge-like parasite from outer space that zombifies its victims, also manages to find its way to the (now not so) abandoned cabin. And into a girl’s vagina. Hoo boy.

Brain Dead is written terribly, is directed terribly, is acted terribly, and the special effects are done terribly. But with class, almost every woman in this film drops their top at some point, and at the most random of times. This is honestly so terrible that it’s worth a go. And as of this writing, it is available for streaming on Netflix, so if you have an account, give Brain Dead a shot.

Hat tip to writer Dale Gelineau & director Kevin Tenney for creating this glorious trainwreck.

[Sorry this is late, I took the 4th of July off. Regular entries resume tomorrow.]

Review: "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

First there was Transformers, which was bearable. Next came Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which sucked. And now Michael Bay and his team gives us Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which is more of the same, but without Megan Fox. However, with a slightly better cast than the first two films in the Transformers franchise, and with Michael Bay slightly less incompetent, this film might be worth your time.

As the story goes… Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeuf) is a jobless loser, living off of his Megan Fox replacement girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), until Jerry “Wang” (Ken Jeong) approaches him in a bathroom stall, at which point havoc begins to ensue. Transformers: Dark of the Moon features a lot of badass Autobots (Good robots) and Decepticons (Bad robots) fighting, conspiracies, explosions, and Patrick Dempsey as a bad guy. Frances McDormand and John Malkovich are additionally notable new cast members.

I noted above that Michael Bay, this film’s director, displayed a little less incompetence than he had previously in the Transformers franchise. Credit where credit is due, there is a decent amount of good in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, starting first with the cast.

The addition of Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, and Ken Jeong, alongside the return highlights (John Turturro, Alan Tudyk, Kevin Dunn, Tyrese Gibson) goes a long way. There even is a great Bill O’Reilly cameo, which is highly amusing as O’Reilly mocks himself. Sans Megan Fox (Who I actually like in certain roles), every other mediocre actor from the previous films persist, Shia LaBeuf at that helm. But again, credit where credit is due, the new cast additions are very good.

On top of that, the special effects are phenomenal. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is the film which makes it evident that video is no longer enough proof for any phenomenon. From this point onward, I can witness a supernatural event, catch it on film, but be laughed at as good with special effects. The Transformers, both Autobots and Decepticons, are pretty kickass. However, Tyrese Gibson says a line which I agree with wholeheartedly.

How come the Decepticons always get the good shit?

Seriously. Although Optimus Prime defines awesome, I’d feel much safer with Decepticons on my side.

Finally, the story isn’t all that half baked. Hat tip to Ehren Kruger to for writing the darkest film of the Transformers franchise. Transformers: Dark of the Moon is significantly darker than either of the previous two, and there is a lot of death. Parents need be forewarned before taking their kids to see this film. Chaos and death aside, there are a host of jokes throughout. Most fall flat, but the genuinely funny ones are spread thinly enough in the 2.5 hour runtime to keep my attention. Again, credit where credit is due. That said, I also believe in discredit where discredit is due. Enter the bad half of this film.

While the robots look amazing, most of their dialogue is exceptionally poor. It is all very adolescent. The robots used slang terms more than any of the humans. Words cannot express how terrible the robots’ dialogue is, it’s absurd. Thankfully, the same can’t be said for any of the human characters.

In the name of freedom…

Says Optimus Prime, who, instead of immature, is extremely patriotic with his words. Which is almost as bad as the adolescent dialogue from the other ‘bots. Transformers: Dark of the Moon would be a much better film if the robots had no dialogue, which is an unfortunate thing to say.

Another massive problem: The Angst!!! The drama between Shia LaBeuf’s character and Megan Fox’s replacement is borderline unbearable. That shizzle needs to be banned from cinema, but unfortunately, filmmakers believe that angst and/or drama is a requirement in every single film. It isn’t, but even then, it reaches a new low in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. On Megan Fox’s replacement, she has abnormally poofy lips, which I think might be the most distracting thing in this film. The bad kind of distracting.

And lastly, the soundtrack is a disaster. Almost no song matches its corresponding scene. Whoever is behind this soundtrack should hang their head in shame, and Michael Bay should hide under a rock for letting it slip by under his direction. It really is that bad… If not for the quality of the special effects, I’d guess that Transformers: Dark of the Moon was put together by interns.

So my advice? This film is slightly passable. When I say slightly, I mean a single hair above the line which separates avoid and see. It’s difficult to recommend Transformers: Dark of the Moon as a standard popcorn flick, due to its oft-dark nature. So see it, but be prepared to dislike this one if you intend to be judgmental. Otherwise, there are better films in the wild worth more of your time.