The Hunger Games

Mar 292012

Paul and I saw The Hunger Games on Tuesday. We really enjoyed the movie, and I thought it a particularly stellar adaptation of the book. (Paul hasn’t read the books yet, but he plans to do so soon.) The plot was compressed well, the violence was not glamorized or overdone, I loved much of the casting and costuming, and Jennifer Lawrence was superb as Katniss.

The movie was a really good proxy for the books, I think. So if you liked the movie, I definitely recommend reading the books. If you didn’t like the movie, don’t bother reading the books. Also, the movie was such a good adaptation that I don’t think that you need to read the book before seeing the movie. (That’s usually a hard and fast rule with me!)

On a humorous note, here’s two negative reviews that I ran across while searching for movie times:

Clueless #1

I went to go see this movie this weekend and it made me sick. Literally I got sick and had to leave the movie because I felt like throwing up. After seeing the children killing each other, it left me with a sick feeling. This is not what I expected this movie to be about and it was a waste of money. It’s sad when hit movie is about people enjoying a sport about children killing each other. Where is the American peoples morale’s? No wonder our world is in so much trouble when we are saying this is going to be the Movie of the year. We have enough killing in this world why do we need to encourage it. I strongly recommend parents not to let their children see the movie. All it is doing is encouraging violence.

Hollywood I pray you become convicted and start fearing God and change what you’er making. You may not have to answer to someone in this life, but you will in the next.

Clueless #2

This movies is full of hidden meaning. The rich politicians controlling every aspect of the working class. Then getting their entertainment from the children of the working class between a certain age killing each other. Plus they bet on which kid will win so they make more money. It sounds a lot like what is going on right now with the politicians and the wars in the middle east. They have control of our working class kids and they can fight them to death, then sit back and collect of every last bit of it. All the talk before they actual get to the arena is completely unnecessary. The set up of the training events reminds me a little of Harry Potter. The actual arena is boring and the action sucks. Don’t waste your time or money.

Sadly, these people probably vote.

On a more serious note, some people are upset that Rue was correctly cast as a black girl… which is revolting. I’m not sure whether the criticisms of Jennifer Lawrence as too “big” for Katniss are worse or not… but they’re still revolting.

Alas, these people likely vote too.

But hey, we live in a world in which awesome books like The Hunger Games are written and published, then made into awesome movies. So phooey on my gripes! To hell with the morons!

Feb 162012

Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is one of my personal favorites in literature, and I’d rank it somewhere in the top ten of all literature.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I gave myself the gift of watching my favorite of all the movie/miniseries versions of Jane Eyre, namely this version by Masterpiece Theater. The omissions from and changes to the plot are minor, and the characters of Jane and Mr. Rochester are perfectly written and acted by Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens. It was such a delight to watch again, and I highly recommend it, whether you’ve read the book or not.

(I did like the recent movie adaptation, but I didn’t think the characters were nearly as well-portrayed.)

Hsieh TOS Post: "The Grey: A Great Reminder of Crucial Truths"

 Art, Film
Feb 012012

The 1/30/2012 blog for The Objective Standard has published my short post, “The Grey: A Great Reminder of Crucial Truths“.

Here is the opening:

Could you survive deep in the Alaskan wilderness and make your way out with only the resources from a crashed airplane?

That’s the stark challenge faced by the seven protagonists of the movie The Grey, starring Liam Neeson. An airplane carrying Alaskan oil field workers crashes during a storm, and they must battle harsh winter conditions and a pack of aggressive wolves while attempting to find their way back to civilization. In addition to spectacular cinematography and spellbinding action scenes, the movie demonstrates surprising philosophical depth in delivering its theme: “What does it really mean to fight for one’s life?”

The movie also dramatizes three related principles that are easy to forget during everyday life but that are made vividly clear in the context of the movie…

(Read the full text of “The Grey: A Great Reminder of Crucial Truths“.)

Many thanks to Craig Biddle and Ari Armstrong for their help editing the piece. And don’t forget to check out the other fine commentary at the TOS blog!

Nov 142011

Since the movie Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 is now available on DVD (and on Blu-Ray), I thought that I should repost my video review of the movie:

For detailed analyses of Ayn Rand’s epic novel, Atlas Shrugged, see my Explore Atlas Shrugged podcast series.

Free Minds Film Festival

Sep 232011

The Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged on Saturday. I saw it a few weeks ago, and while I don’t think it’s perfect, it’s really quite good. Here’s the trailer:

I’ll be speaking after the film on Objectivism for about 45 minutes. Also, Ari Armstrong will be part of a panel on education later that day.

If you’d like to attend, the film festival is free, but you need to the full schedule and also the Facebook page.

NetFlix Shoots Its Own Foot

Sep 192011

NetFlix announces a major change to its business model:

…we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently. It’s hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”.

… Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to to access their DVD queues and choose movies. … A negative of the renaming and separation is that the and websites will not be integrated. So if you subscribe to both services, and if you need to change your credit card or email address, you would need to do it in two places. Similarly, if you rate or review a movie on Qwikster, it doesn’t show up on Netflix, and vice-versa.

My reaction? I immediately cancelled my streaming account — something that I didn’t even consider after the price increase a few months ago. I don’t use that nearly as much as the DVDs, and I’m just not interested in the hassle of managing two separate queues. Instead, I’ll likely check out Amazon’s streaming service.

Based on the 11,000-plus comments, I’m not alone.

Firefly from the 80′s

Jun 202011

Priceless! A new introduction for Firefly as a 80′s show:

And here, Simon has his own 80′s show:

It’s all in the music and the graphics!

Oh, and here’s an awesome video of Summer Glau training for the fight sequences in Serenty:

True Action Heroes

 Film, Funny
Oct 262010

I can’t possibly describe this… you simply must see it.

Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer

 Film, Funny
Apr 122010

I can hardly wait for The Movie Title!

Karate Kid 2010 Trailer

Jan 082010

Here’s the trailer for the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid:

I always liked the original version, so it will be interesting to see how the new Jackie Chan/Jaden Smith version compares.

“Wax on!”

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