Rated "I" for Idiots

I'm not going to say that downloading movies is right or that it should be tolerated. I'm just going to say that some people do it. Others of us have moved beyond that and appreciate our DVD collections. I'm pretty sure that all of you have seen one of the many commercials that the Motion Picture Asssociation of America has put out, ranging from "look who you are hurting" to "we know where you sleep at night." I'm fine with this. That's their right to produce these things, I'll even put up with seeing them before the previews to the movie I'm about to watch at the theater. But I'll be damned if I'm going to have to put up with this crap in my own home! I recently purchased a copy of Spaceballs on DVD. Read that line again. I purchased a copy of the DVD. When I got home, I popped the DVD into the player and sat down, prepared to laugh myself silly. What I got before I could get to the menu screen, was some insipid commercial from the M.P.A.A. trying to use Fisher Price psychology to explain that "downloading movies = stealing movies." I think that this is entirely the wrong place to have these commercials. I bought the DVD. I shouldn't have to even put up with this.

I decided to do a little looking around on the MPAA website when I started writing this article. As it turns out, the MPAA is not the great guardian of cinema everywhere that they purport themselves to be. They aren't looking out for the little guy. It says right in the about section of their website that they describe themselves as:

"...leader and advocate for major producers and distributors of entertainment programming for television, cable, home video and future delivery systems not yet imagined."
Who is on their board of directors?
the Chairmen and Presidents of the seven major producers and distributors of motion picture and television programs in the United States. These members include:

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution;(The Walt Disney Company)
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.;
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.;
Paramount Pictures Corporation;
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation;
Universal City Studios LLLP; and
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
These aren't your avaerge independent filmmakers. Even the initial goal of the organization was to "...stem the waves of criticism of American movies..." The MPA is the international arm of the MPAA. According to the same section of the website, their goal is to basically protect American movie interests abroad.
The MPA was formed in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II to reestablish Americanfilms in the world market, and to respond to the rising tide of protectionism resulting in barriers aimed at restricting the importation of American films.
This doesn't really sound like an organization that is interested helping to foster film making in general. Whatever their motivations are, I want them to stop putting the commercials in my DVD's. I bought the movie, now leave me alone!

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:51 PM 0 comments  

Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith

*Spoilers Warning*

Tonight I saw a sneak preview for Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. I'm going to give away the biggest spoiler right here at the beginning and get it out of the way. *Anakin Skywaler turns into Darth Vader* Now that that is out of the way, let's move on.

The movie was ok. It had everything that you could want in a Star Wars movie: lightsaber duels, space battles, love, hate, and little kids getting mowed down by a badass with a lightsaber. I guess this is nitpicking, but some of the things didn't seem as realistic as they did in the other movies, and some things seemed like they went to the Star Wars section of MovieBloopers.com and tried to fix any continuity errors that they could find. Overall, the movie felt like George Lucas was tying a big ol' bow on the entire franchise so that he could hand it over to the fans and tell them to freaking leave him alone.

There are not a few fans of the franchise who frowned upon the whole love-story angle of Episode 2. Well, guess what? It's back and bigger than ever. And you know what else? It should be there. Some people whined and complained about Padme and Anakin being in love. What other motivation would he have for hating the rest of the galaxy unless he killed the woman that he loved? Oops, there's another spoiler for you.

My best recommendation to you is to go out and read the book. Matthew Stover wrote the novelization of Episode 3 and did an excellent job of it. Plus, it gives the reader a lot more insight into the motivations of the characters and why they did particular things.

I give this movie 3 1/2 *'s out of 5.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:52 PM 0 comments  

Self Defense Class for Men

I decided to write up a quick little self defense guide for the guys. I hope that this helps you in future conflicts. Enjoy.

In the event that you are in a fight...
Step 1: Apply your knuckes to opponents face vigorously.
Step 2: If needed, repeat Step 1.

Congratulations, you are now ready to defend yourself.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:53 PM 0 comments  

Do you know where your towel is?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie definitely follows the spirit of the book, even if it doesn't follow the letter of the book. The scenes depicting entries from the Guide, were particularly hilarious. They were animated and had this 50's feel to them. The only part of the movie that truly left something to be desired was the opening. There was a big musical number entitled "So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish" that, while it did reference the 4th book in the series, left something to be desired.

If you have not read the book first, then don't go see this movie. That is probably said about every book-to-movie production, but this one actually requires the viewer to have some knowledge of the subject. Otherwise, they are completely lost.

To read more of my thoughts on the subject, check out this earlier post.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:30 AM 0 comments