All posts by sleeplessdave

I love to write, and I love all things geek: movies, TV, comics, and more. Stories provide an escape from this increasingly loathsome world. In my site and my writing I try to celebrate the worlds that allow us to escape: from the shores of Middle-Earth, to atop The Wall and Castle Black, to the bridge of the USS Enterprise, and to a galaxy far, far away.

My Favorite Scene: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) “Quaalude Acrobatics”

The Wolf of Wall Street is a fascinating film, but I don’t know that I would exactly recommend it to anyone because it’s also kind of reprehensible.  THIS IS A RED BAND CLIP, in other words.  Not only is Scorcese in his full “F-bomb-as-a-substitute-for-writing-dialogue” mode, but pretty much everyone in the film is on drugs for most of the film.  Drugs are BAD!  However…..this is too hilarious to not recognize, so that’s my moral equivocation opening.  Physical comedy is something that’s not chic right now, but masters of it (ex. Dick Van Dyke) have proven that it can be just as funny and witty as the cleverest retort.  When you think “physical comedy”, Leonardo DiCaprio is not a name that springs to the fore.  However, DiCaprio’s acrobatics trying to reach and operate his car when a metric ton of quaaludes hit his system is, by far, the film’s best scene.  His inchworm contortions are amazing, and this is really only half the performance, because he only degrades when he reaches home and gets in a fight with an equally quaaluded Jonah Hill.  Whatever you may think of the film as a whole, this part is brilliant.  DRUGS ARE BAD!  Ok, think I covered myself there.

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Top 9: Amazing Performances From Actors Who Stopped Caring

What Culture put together a great list that I never would have thought of on my own, but is so true: the best performances by actors who just gave up.  Sometimes you can tell, clearly, that an actor is not at all pleased to be in a film and the performance comes across (Marlon Brando in Superman; Brando appears TWICE in a nine person list).  Sometimes, the actor knows the movie is truly awful and decides to steal it with a legendarily good performance in a legendarily bad film (Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves).  Sometimes a great performance comes across despite an actor being miserable on-set (Chevy Chase in Community or Robert Shaw in Jaws), but whatever the reason, it’s always interesting to get a behind-the-scenes peak into what made a memorable performance so memorable.Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now

Matthew McConaughey’s 10 Best Movies

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey has had two phases to his career.  Bursting on the scene with 1996’s A Time to Kill, he seemed like the next superstar, but battles with substance abuse and a chronic lack of focus (probably not unconnected) left him nearly written off.  However in the last decade McConaughey has climbed back into the top rungs of leading men, culminating in his Oscar for The Dallas Buyers Club and his astonishing performance in HBO’s True Detective’s first season (which would have won him an Emmy any other year than Bryan Cranston’s last on Breaking Bad).  Since, he has kept up a steady stream of successes, and is always someone to pay attention to now in whatever projects he chooses to pursue. Continue reading Matthew McConaughey’s 10 Best Movies

NBA 2K18 Complete Achievement List (Xbox – 2017)

2017 has been not only a disappointing year in movies, but an abysmal year for gamers, which little to nothing to get excited about so far this year.  But, as gamers and sports fans know, it’s mid-August, so HERE COME THE SPORTS GAAAAAAMES!  The 19th 2K NBA installment, NBA 2K18 is getting sterling advance reviews for especially overhauling the ‘My Team’ feature.  Basketball fans can pick it up when it hits Xbox, Playstation and PC on September 19, 2017.

Continue reading NBA 2K18 Complete Achievement List (Xbox – 2017)

Inside Inception’s Rotating Hallway Fight Scene

Last week, we took an in-depth look at Inception (click here to read), one of my favorite films of all-time, and timely since Inception’s director, Christopher Nolan, just turned in the best movie I’ve seen this year thus far in Dunkirk.  In my article, I mentioned Nolan’s preference for doing any kind of F/X practically rather than with CGI if it can be humanly done (even when it’s flipping a tractor trailer in The Dark Knight).  CineFix, who should be paying me to hype them at this point, doesn’t just make great movie lists, it also has a feature called “The Art of the Scene” where they dissect an amazing scene, show you how it was done and why it works in the film.  I almost included this behind-the-scenes piece in my article, but it’s a fascinating look at the rotating hallway fight from Inception.  Whereas most directors would have inserted the actors into a CGI environment, Nolan went a very different route.  It’s a fascinating look at an amazing scene.

This fight uses no CGI other than to remove the wires Joseph Gordon Levitt and the other actors are wearing.  A full-scale hallway was built and then put on a giant gimbal which rotated the room.  The fight takes place in a critical moment in the final job, when the van that’s carrying the team around has gone off a bridge, creating a zero-G effect that ripples down the various levels of the dreamworld you see in the map.  For Arthur (Levitt), who is in the shallowest level, he loses gravity entirely and the result is an amazing fight scene, made all the more amazing when you know how Nolan and Pfister shot it.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception