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Archive for June, 2012

A Rapper named Centri

“I’m the Master of the Universe; a Man-At-Arms
Still heavily armed with only one arm like Carl Weathers in the Predator”

-Dynamics Plus in “Motion Lesson”

Lenzmen. We are a bunch of scientific emcees and friends. We’ve been recording together and hanging out (and bickering) for over a decade. There’s four of us. Me, producer and lyricist Dynamics Plus. Doktor Strange the Hybrid who moved back to Long Island recently. There’s Earthadox who’s now down south making his waves and Centri who’s in Brooklyn. We’ve been splintered but still stay in contact and each member is doing his own music-related projects.

Lenzmen Rapper Centri Image

Vetted Veteran

Centri has been doing collabos with other rappers (Skyzoo, Planet Asia, Supastar Straps and Sha Stimuli- to name a few). Great for him. Unknown to most is that Centri has had shoulder problems for years, with a shoulder that’s quick to dislocate and pop out. Of course, as boys, we had to crack on his [Special Ed] fake arm. Well recently he underwent surgery and had a complication, which left his arm useless for a minute. Instead of laying up lame and making excuses or pushing his projects back, he’s decided to go full force and keep pounding on his music. This has led him to come out to my studio and marathon-record tons of tracks.

I sometimes forget about the chemistry and friendship that forges a group that goes way beyond music. It’s also humbling and inspiring to see his bandaged arm stuffed in his pocket to protect it – all the while spitting verses like rapping is the most important thing in life. And you know what, as an Emcee, he’s right; rapping is the most important thing in life. That’s why he raps that way. If you’ve claimed to be a rapper or producer and you have any excuses as to why you haven’t completed your project, shame on you.

Grinding for most artists means worrying about music 24-7. For those better, it means working on music straight for 72 hours. For the best, it means grinding through adversity until you reach your goals. If he can do it with one arm, what’s your excuse?

New Music: Centri ft. Blaq Poet & Supastar Straps – “That’s Why I Rap Like This”

Thats Why I Rap Like This Single Artwork

http://rappersdelite.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/new-music-centri-ft-blaq-poet-supastar-straps-thats-why-i-rap-like-this/

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Movie Review Wrath of the Titans (2012)

More of the same but plays better since there’s no previous vision or version to live up to.

 

Wrath of the Titans Movie Poster

Titans are everywhere this time.

I had a few problems with the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans. I felt director Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk [Edward Norton] and The Transporter 1 & 2) kept the familiar look for the Greek gods, but dumped that classic style when showing us the reluctant son-of-Zeus turned hero. Perseus (the Medusa slayer) looks more like a stunt double for Russell Crowe in Gladiator than the toga-wearing semi-god-posing-contrapposto next to a pillar we expected to see.

I also had a problem with the rapid pacing which was compounded by an apathetic main character that never experienced awe, shock or spent any time considering his situation. Whether it was the loss of life around him, an impossible task, a worthy woman or the fact that he was the… son… of… Zeus, our main character seems to really not be moved….by um, anything. Hard to get excited when he’s not excited. The movie never really felt like an epic adventure. It had some cool scenes and awesome graphics, but no, nothing to make it rise above most Hollywood remakes. You’ll enjoy it, but be glad you saw the original first as your real connection.

I was surprised when I heard part II was in the works. Director Jonathan Liebesman (Battle Los Angeles) takes the reins and Sam Worthington (Avatar and Terminator Salvation) returns to portray the (still reluctant) hero Perseus on a new, but familiar mission to save us and the gods who have reached their twilight. He needs to acquire three magical weapons in order to stop the awakening and defeat the super-baddie Kronos. This movie plays out exactly as the first and even ends with the same shots of Perseus riding Pegasus taking on a mountain-sized monster. It feels as if Jonathan Liebesman was upset that he was passed over for Clash of the Titans (I’m not saying that was the case, I’m just saying…) and wanted to show us what he would have done if was directing the first movie. Two other minor niggles are the weird accents by most characters and a few let downs in the CGI department. If you liked the first Clash and want more of the same, go with Wrath. The big ending is truly big. I’m not a movie critic; I am simply critiquing a movie.

 

— The Dynamic Universe Blog

Movie Review Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

June 19, 2012 2 comments

Movie Review Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

 

Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows Movie Poster

Don’t be a ponce, crack on!

The original dynamic duo are back to solve the case of what makes a great movie. It’s elementary, my dear watchers.

 

It is difficult to review a movie that has become one on your favorites without dropping spoilers or turning the review into a fan-like discussion. Sherlock Holmes, the detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, gets a sequel featuring all the usual suspects. Guy Ritchie (snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) is back to direct Robert Downey Jr. (Holmes) and Jude Law (Watson). The 2009 original gave us a great interpretation of the iconic detective and a solid script left us amused, thrilled and hungry for more. Ritchie deserves a ton of credit for tackling such a familiar hero and breathing new life into the title by adding modern and slick touches while still nailing the feel of a period piece.

 

A Game of Shadows brings the arch-nemesis; Professor Moriarty, out of the shadows and into the forefront. Jared Harris plays the puppet master who is finally forced to reveal his strings. I expected Moriarty to appear fearsome or sinister, but for a man of his stature (a…professor and novelist among other pursuits) it wouldn’t make sense and so he is delivered as an evil-intellectual and this makes for a worthy opponent and opposite for Sherlock Holmes.

 

The script, written by Michele and Kieran Mulroney, brings us more delightful banter between the characters and some great twists and tying up of loose ends while also tying new knots. Past loves reappear and two new characters are added to round out the crew. Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the recent Prometheus) plays a gypsy sidekick and Stephen Fry (V for Vendetta) arrives as Sherlock’s brother.

 

The Plotting Plot

Sherlock Holmes matches wits with the only opponent on his level. He will need to reason sharper and act faster if he hopes to unravel a sinister plot that threatens to undue nations and plunge an entire world into war. This second romp is as good as the first and I might even say it was better, but the original will always remain the groundbreaker.  I can tell you that everything you want in a sequel is here and the story and action are taken to the next level. This should be in everyone’s collection. If you have not seen the first movie, I suggest you watch these in order to fully appreciate the in-jokes and subtle cues. One of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I am not a film critic; I am simply critiquing a movie.

Movie Review Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

Light and dark themes are applied to one of our most familiar fairy tales.

Snow-White-And-The-Huntsman-Poster

Dark and light, Snow and Iron

This has got to be the most misunderstood and badly reviewed movie in some time. I say this as a response to all the bad and negative movie reviews I’m reading. I wasn’t even planning on reviewing this move (since I consider it my own guilty pleasure) even though I was sorta amped to see it. I was drawn in by the battle scenes and promise of a goth-like re-imaging of the iconic Snow White and the Seven Dwarves story. The plot is dead simple so you don’t have to fret over a bad script (mostly) or poorly written narrative. The graphics looked imaginative and impressive so really, what’s the problem?

Well, the movie plays with the obvious contrast between light and dark and throws a good amount of grey on every character. We are shown lots of awesome sights, but nothing is fully fleshed out or explained. I believe this causes viewers and reviewers to grasp at hints as helpers and devices as definitive. One plot summary has the Huntsman tasked with taking Snow White into the woods. What? He was dispatched to bring her back from the dark forest. Another reviewer tells us that Snow White is torn between two loves. No. That wasn’t even shown in the movie at all. A third bases the movie on the love story between the huntsman (Thor’s Chris Hemsworth) and White (Kristen Stewart). Again, that’s not a major component, but yeah they team up, but there is no implied romance. I think people are writing the reviews after watching the trailer. Shame on you.

What we do have is the evil queen Ravenna, who is played by a delightfully demented Charlize Theron. Her sinister brother is also nicely realized by Sam Spruell. They are hell-bent on capturing the heart of Snow White, um not in a loving way to be sure. After escaping their evil clutches, Snow White must travel across dangerous and enchanting lands in order to raise an army capable of standing up to the evil queen. Wow, sounds like my Chaos Legion series. She is guided by the huntsman, a former warrior who is unsure of why he’s along for the ride.

Giants and Dwarves, Big and Small ideas

Along the way we are shown many wondrous things; knights in black armor exploding into shards of onyx, enchanted forests…pixies…sprites…  The problem lies in the fact that these huge attractions are given very little explanation. I call these giants with small roles. They serve to bewilder and awe, but are never given enough screen time or importance to satisfy our curiosity. I kept thinking oh that was cool; I bet we’ll be seeing that again, later in the movie. Nope.  That leaves many avenues of our imagination without resolution.

People have said this movie is overlong. I disagree. I think it needed a Lord of the Rings treatment and should have been split into two movies, both filmed in one pass. That would allow us to learn more about the mirror, mirror on the wall, the creation of her phantom army and how the dark forest came to be. I’d even like to know more about the enchanted forest and how the queen developed her powers…the two sprites…more about the seven dwarves. Certainly adding a huntsman to the  title is enough to differentiate the versions, but the dwarves needed way more journeying time to develop.

The last line Snow White delivers to the fallen queen is “You can’t have my heart.” I expected a following line like “…because it is already taken.” or “because yours is already dead” or anything. And that’s the perfect summary of this movie. It leads us in some really cool directions, but stops short of delivering its full potential. Snow White and the Huntsman is worthy of seeing, renting and owning. It’s the movie you keep on your shelf when you’ve got that kind of company.

Snow White and the Huntsman movie poster

A queen you’d give your heart to…literally….

It did well over the opening weekend and exceeded studio expectations. Congratulations to first time director Rupert Sanders. Hopefully he tackles something like the movie Time Bandits next. I am not a movie critic; I am simply critiquing a movie.

Movie Review Safe House (2012)

The world’s most-wanted double, no, triple agent just turned himself in. An ambitious CIA safe house watcher is tasked with keeping him safe until relief arrives. That’s no easy mission when he can’t trust anyone- not even himself.

Safe House: No one is Safe

A shepherd needs to bring in a sheep that may be a wolf instead.

Denzel Washington plays counter-intelligence-super-spy Tobin Frost who has been selling secrets to every side for years. Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern) stars opposite as the promotion-hungry CIA agent stuck in the dead-end job of watching over safe houses. In most movies, safe houses are places police and the FBI use to hide key witnesses that are unsafe anywhere else. In this arena, the safe house is an extraction point where individuals of interest are stored, interrogated and/or tortured if need be.

This is a familiar role for Washington who taps in to his Alonzo from Training Day style to create a character that appears wholly evil, but possible a misunderstood shepherd in sheep’s clothing. It’s a solid film that creates an paranoid atmosphere of who’s out to get me and friend or foe at every turn. I give the movie extra credit for a nice turn that’s not a twist. You know what to expect: worthy interactions between characters, a few tightly done and suspenseful action sequences and a small moral question of how intelligently the intelligence branch of our government operates. Worth renting, but I wouldn’t add I to my collection at full price. I’m no movie critic; I’m just critiquing a movie.

Prometheus Movie Review (2012)

June 9, 2012 2 comments

Mission To Mars meets…um…Alien….

Prometheus Movie Poster

 I’m not sure where to start with this review. Ridley Scott, the visionary engine of Gladiator and top movie Blade Runner, is one of my favorite directors. He returns to the sci-fi genre after a 30 year absence to create a prequel to the first Alien movie. That’s good and bad for a lot of reasons. Let’s start where we left off, after where we started…

The plot of Aliens deals with the fate of a mining crew awakened early from cryo-sleep to respond to an unknown signal. They land on a remote planet and things go really bad. Among all of the great moments is an iconic shot of the exploratory group discovering “the space jockey” which is the fossilized remains of a GIANT alien, possibly a navigator or last survivor, sitting in a chair with his chest burst outward. It’s a foreshadowing point in Alien and creates the premise or unanswered question that the prequel, Prometheus hopes to answer.

Alien Space Jockey

In Alien, he was bigger.

Well, the question is: Who was that giant alien and what was he doing before the monster (Alien) got him? That scene also spoke volumes about the universe Alien was happening in. Apparently, a first contact with an alien civilization is no big deal. They boldly go to find the source of the beacon without any meeting-extraterrestrial-neighbor concerns. They see a dead alien and have no pause. In any other movie, a GIANT ALIEN SITTING IN A CHAIR might be a big deal. Nope, not in this universe. In Prometheus, the possibility of meeting the architects of humanity is the big deal. And so the company we all know and hate Weyland (before the Yutani corporate merger) sends out a group of scientists to pursue the riddle of our origin on a far off planet (yes, that one).

Everything begins with a trailer because that’s where the promises start. Noomi Rapace plays scientist or cultural archaeologist Dr Elizabeth Shaw, Michael Fassbender plays the ship’s cyborg David. Charlize Theron plays the corporate heavy Meredith Vickers and Idris Elba steals some shine as captain Janek. Everyone else is pretty much extra characters and Red Shirts. So far, so good. We have some really good actors, a legendary director and a monstrous (sorry) franchise. We have the visuals to match. Plus, an awesome ship as cool and Sci-fi functional as the Nostromo, a panicked crew running for their lives, a (finally seen) horseshoe-shaped alien ship being smashed out of the sky and [gasp!] the space jockey guy alive and kicking- even menacing our heroes! Whoa!

Sounds like a classic in the making until we remember that a director doesn’t make a movie, he films a script. The writers are Jon Spaihts (the TV-movie turned movie; The Darkest Hour) and Damon Lindelof ( the mighta worked better as a TV special Cowboys & Aliens) who together, have managed to saddle one of the greatest film directors of our time with a script full of dead ends, plot holes and maybe some of the worst characterizations I’ve seen in a long time. We have scientists that don’t act like scientists…specialists that don’t do anything special and crew members that no one would pick for this mission or any other. And, I’m not even referring to the silly BIOLOGIST who wants to play Steve Irwin in a scary and dark tomb, on a scary alien planet, with similar results. No offense meant.

Into the egg chamber!

Who could relax in there? Those aint Grecian Urns….

Oh the trailer got me. I watched it a dozen times and even watched the one where a fanboy slows it down so much- you can study every sequence and analyze every frame. Certainly a trailer is supposed to tease us about what’s to come. Clocking in at just over 2 minutes, the Prometheus trailers shows us damn near everything. It’s not that all the best scenes are shown; it’s that EVERY scene is shown. That trailer has exposed the meat AND the potatoes of every twists and turn- or at least the ones that matter. You can tell the movie was written to include all those moments as shocks- moments when you are supposed to be surprised or awed and basically taken someplace you didn’t see coming. But wow, the alien ship trying to fly away and Prometheus crashing into it???? How much better would it have been if we didn’t know that was coming? Going on more would bring out the spoilers so I’ll stop here.

In Greek Mythology Prometheus is the god who brought man the secret of fire and was punished for it. The movie Prometheus promised to bring us the secret of the alien before Alien and a tease that humanity might be punished for accepting that knowledge. After the 2 hours running time, I didn’t feel like I knew any more than I did after watching Alien. I heard there’s already a Prometheus II in the works. I hope the gods come down and give us the secret of good script writing before we try and answer any more questions surrounding the Alien franchise. I’m not a movie critic; I’m just critiquing a movie.