POLL RESULTS: Who’s Your Favorite Character in Peter Jackson’s Middle-Earth Saga?

As I head out the door to see the final Middle-earth film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, I closed our poll on “Favorite Middle-Earth Character” and was stunned.  Gandalf had the lead the entire way with no one even close, but as the poll closed, Frodo had in the same underdog way that got him up Mount Doom, passed a puzzled Ian McKellan.  Frodo Baggins the gold; Gandalf the Grey the silver and Legolas Greenleaf the bronze.  Thanks to all for voting; we’ll have a review up of the final film by the weekend!

Middle Earth

My Favorite Scene: 12 Angry Men (1957) “Turn Your Back”

Nearly 60 years after its initial theatrical release, 12 Angry Men remains one of the most powerful, wisest and brilliantly composed motion pictures of all-time.  Sydney Lumet’s adaptation of the stage play has 99% of the film in one room.  It’s 12 guys just yapping at each other for  90 minutes, but yet it flies by as fast as any thriller ever made. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: 12 Angry Men (1957) “Turn Your Back”

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt Delayed Again

Those of us looking forward to the final adventure of The Witcher – Geralt – of Rivia, are going to have to wait 12 weeks longer than we were hoping to get our hands on a copy of Witcher III: The Final Hunt.  I’m actually only bummed about this because it leaves the beginning of 2015 kind of a wasteland for gamers and there’s usually at least one huge title to look forward to playing.  The Witcher III will now be coming out in May, and given that the world is 35 times larger than the enormous one in The Witcher II: Assassin of Kings, I’d rather they take the time to get everything working perfectly.  A letter from The Board of CD PROJEKT SA to gamers is below explaining the delay. Continue reading The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt Delayed Again

10 Finalists Announced for Visual Effects Oscar



The ten finalists for the Visual F/X Oscar have been announced.  The list will be winnowed down to five by the time nominations are announced on January 17, 2015.  It’s surreal to start talking about Oscars when there really hasn’t been anything this year to laud.

Here are your ten finalists:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Transformers: Age of Extinction
X-Men: Days of Future Past

To me, there’s no contest here.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes took motion capture to entirely new level.  What Andy Serkis and the other apes did was nothing short of revolutionary.  I’d love to see The Hobbit get some kind of recognition, but the Academy dismissed it after the first film.

Movie Review: Big Hero 6 (2014) *Mild Spoilers*


Disney is back!  While Pixar struggles with finding a creative identity again, Disney has hit four fantastic animated films out of the park in Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen and now Big Hero 6.




In typical Disney fashion, the parents of genius teenager Hiro Hamada are already dead before we get going.  There is no more dangerous position in all of entertainment than that of the parent of a Disney protagonist.  Hiro and his brother live with their Aunt in a smushed together version of Tokyo and San Francisco (literally called SanFransokoyo…….or something close to that).  It’s not explained and it doesn’t need to be.  It’s a design triumph that takes the best of the architecture of the two cities and melds them into this fantastic backdrop for the story.

Hiro finished high school at 13 and a year later is using his genius to scam his way through the underground world of bot fighting (Hiro’s hilariously doofy looking killing machine of a fighter is one of my favorite parts of the film).  His brother is part of a university think tank for geniuses and inspires Hiro to try to reach higher by showing him how cool being smart can be.  That’s one of the main themes of the film and I applaud Disney for celebrating intelligence and creativity in this film, when they’re qualities we seem to almost become ashamed of in our upside down world.

To get into his brother’s group (populated by the eccentric characters that will eventually join our Hiro (see what I did there?), he has to impress the cream of the university’s faculty at a showcase.  Hiro comes up with an invention that is both brilliant, but also feasible in a just out of our reach science fiction way.  But tragedy strikes at the event and even though Disney had already pre-slaughtered his parents, THE KILL HIS OLDER BROTHER!!!  Oh….yeah I did put the spoiler warning up.  They have this wonderful rapport; a realistic brother/brother relationship that’s fantastic and then they take him away.

Hiro is inspired to return to the university and to life really (grief takes you literally off the planet’s spinning surface and sticks you in a box that’s so hard to break out of) by his brother’s project.  His brother was working on a robot that would be the equivalent of an instant, walking, talking ER.  Meet Baymax.


Inflating from his case/battery, Baymax can instantly diagnose and treat injuries.  Hiro is a little less interested in that and more interested in tracking down the person who  has stolen his invention and intends to use it for nefarious purposes.  So he convinces Baymax it would be an aid to his mental health to essentially become a super hero team tracking down this mysterious man in a kabuki mask that is mass reproducing his invention.

From there, the other members of the think tank are sucked into the quest which is a non-stop, roller coaster ride of imagination and pretty hysterical adventure.  Baymax is one of the best new characters Disney has produced in a long time.  I’m sure most people have seen it by now, but the scene in the police station with Baymax slowly fixing leaks in his skin using scotch tape is the kind of inspired comedy I’m used to seeing from Pixar.  To say that this film takes Disney past them is a large understatement.  If you compare this triumph to Monsters University; it’s like comparing Toy Story and Ice Age.


This film’s already been out a month and I’m sorry I took so long getting to see it.  There’s a reason though that it is still at your theater.  GO SEE THIS!  This is, without a doubt, one of the best films of 2014 (not a huge compliment given the year, but true nonetheless).  Moreover, I WANT sequels to this movie.  If they can maintain the quality of the writing, there seems like many adventures ahead for Big Hero 6 (much as I felt there were for The Incredibles when I first saw that film).  I underrated Frozen last year, and I’m not going to make that mistake again.  Aside from a few nitpicks not even worth mentioning, this is a film for anyone of any age to lose themselves in.  I can’t wait to see what Disney has in store for us next.


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