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Movie Review I Am Number Four

November 28, 2012 Leave a comment

 Movie Review I Am Number Four

The movie Push, but more American and less pushy.

I Am Number Four Movie Poster

I Am Number Four and probably the fourth time you seen these ideas.

Quick synopsis: An alien teen and his guardian/father figure move from town to town in order to stay one step ahead of their savage pursuers. What happens when powers fully awaken and running is no longer an option?

It should be a no-brainer: a hunky teen outsider falls for a pretty loner and ultimately jeopardizes his chances of survival while discovering the true potential of his alien gifts. It’s a cliché story with predictable turns and a few too many borrowed ideas. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie; it’s just that everything is too familiar. If you haven’t seen a lot of 80s alien pursuit movies or seen the Star Wars Force Push in action, then you might not be pulled out the movie-watching experience by some of the familiar frames.

Firstly, Alex Pettyfer plays John Smith; the gifted teen who looks nothing like a teenager. Matter of fact, no one looks young enough to be in high school- unless they are all in 13th grade. Smith’s protector, Henri is played by Timothy Oliphant and although they look five years apart, they use a father and son cover story. Secondly, what do you do when you are under constant threat of alien capture and extermination? You attend high school because an alien really needs that US education. We see that as simply a plot device to place the teen in awkward moments centering on the usual suspects: the brutish alpha male captain of the football team, his hot [enough] ex-girlfriend and a bullied nerd.

Secondly, we are fed the back-story that the ‘bad aliens’ –Mogadorians wiped out their entire planet and Smith is one of the last of his race. Hardly believable when you see how slow, clumsy and well… not too bright the baddies are. It’s like they’ve been pulled from every other movie with big dumb henchmen. They wear long black trench coats…carry extremely big guns and have terrible aim.

There are a lot of writing credits for this movie. I’m kinda surprised because it feels as if one person wrote this screenplay {adapted from a Novel, I believe} and never had one of those group discussions where the writers kept asking each other ‘why?’ to make sure the plot and the characters behave in a believable way.

Although it’s easy to guess what’s going to happen next, many of the choices made by our heroes were illogical and foolish- even as a ploy to create new action set pieces.

Third, is the idea that the guardian of our special and endangered hero would choose to not tell him anything of his past or give him any helpful information about his future. It seems that he must be left in the dark so that we can be kept in the dark and surprised by the big ending. Oh, it’s a big ending alright; I’m just not sure if it’s big enough to warrant the sit through. Director D.J. Caruso has given us some cool moments, but overall I Am Number Four feels like it could have been born on television and adapted to the big screen. Solid CGI: we have some cool shots, but the overall effect is brought down a notch because we have seen them in many other movies.

Some of the questions lingering at the end of this adventure may be answered in a sequel. I consider this one of those rare occasions where a follow-up movie might improve my impression. Unfortunately, as it stands now, I Am Number Four is actually number three behind similar flicks like Push and Jumper. Worth a leisure rental at best. I am not a movie critic; I am just critiquing a movie.

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Movie Review Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

November 22, 2012 1 comment

 

Movie Review Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

A movie that is great beyond its promise and premise.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

A movie much better than the promise or premise!

 

 

 

The trailer for this movie left me stuck in the middle. We have an insane premise- that the 16th President of the United States did double duty as a monster killer and some wicked and slickly filmed chop chop action thrown in. Director Timur Bekmambetov, from the Night Watch and Day Watch movies, is no stranger to fangs in film. He channels his passion for all things dark and scary and then adds a pinch of Matrix (no surprise) and Brotherhood of the Wolf. The Brotherhood nod is for seeing early Americana mixed with Martial Arts.

 

It works. The movie succeeds- a huge credit goes to the serious handling of the iconic Abraham Lincoln character [played by Benjamin Walker] and the great lengths taken to capture the mid 1800s spirit. Writer Seth Grahame-Smith has layered a dark tale of vengeance around the most important issues of the time- slavery and the Civil War.

 

Vampire movies have always preyed and played with the idea of man verse monster. It’s always been the choice between gaining enormous power and holding on to our fragile humanity. We parallel the struggle between the monstrous idea of slavery verse the inalienable rights of every man to be equal. Who would have guessed we’d tap such weighty subjects in a film about honest Abe obliterating bloodsuckers with an axe.

 

The fight scenes are a sight to behold and every element of film is used to enhance the action. We have great use of sound (albeit loud and obvious sometimes), slow motion and fast motion and even color takes an active role. We can see the obvious cooling and warming of shots, the isolation of colors, but the symbolism of color draining (like blood) is a marvelous touch. The visual respect for film matches the respect for the subject matter.

 

Throughout the movie, I kept thinking ‘They didn’t have to go that far’, but really- that pursuit of quality is what saves Vampire Killer from being a quickly forgotten b-movie. I believe they purposely walked the line of historical fiction and period piece drama as events in the movie closely follow history and Lincoln’s personal story.

 

I liked it, I liked it, I liked it. This is one for the shelves even though every time I reach for it, I’ll have to tell my company “It’s good, trust me, it’s good.” Well done. I’m not a movie critic; I’m just critiquing a movie.

FREE MUSIC Somojo Radio gives you some Domino Grey goodness!

November 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Domino Grey FREE music sampler from the Butterfly Affect series!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Avxp and Dynamica Music says thank you to everyone that inspires us to make music! We have FOUR FREE SONGS from the Domino Grey Butterfly Affect series. Enjoy!

Click to Download 4 FREE SONGS

Click to Download 4 FREE SONGS

 

SomojoRadio.net

SomojoRadio.net and Somojo Magazine link to the Domino Grey Butterfly Affect Free Sampler. FOUR huge tracks from Domino Grey land in this awesome package.

Butterfly Affect Part I Facial Recognition Technology

“We Can Go Dancing”

“Mirrored Responses”

Butterfly Affect Part II Pretty Imposter

“Call It Off”

“Much Ado About Nothing”

Direct Link:

http://www.DominoGrey.com/Somojofree.zip

See the scene: http://www.somojomagazine.com/index.php/music/free-downloads

http://www.somojo.net/

Somojo Banner

Just Hear It! Somojo Radio and Magazine

Somojo radio, coming live and direct from the south coast of England, playing some of the best independent and unsigned music from around the world, every day.
With all tracks individually selected and added to our shows and a regularly updated play list which features new artists, new releases and album tracks for your listening pleasure.

Music fans, download free music, create your own play lists.

Join here today.

See additional Read Me files for important information and http://www.DominoGrey.com for music videos, show dates and exclusive connections!

Music Review DOMINO GREY “We Can Go Dancing” by THE MUSIC FEED

November 21, 2012 Leave a comment

The Music Feed

Domino Grey Butterfly Affect Part I EP: Facial Recognition Technology

“We Can Go Dancing”

Butterfly Affect Part I cover

The Music Feed- feeds off Butterfly Affect Part I

“Domino Grey Promises Music That’s Rhythmic

Fun, and Great to Dance To”

“Domino Grey is a child of rhythm. A quick perusal of his music makes a strong case for the validity of this statement. Grey’s style is characterized by driving percussion, deep grooves, and a lighthearted, dance-y sense of fun. It calls to mind the funky ambiance of Royksopp,  Lindstrom, or Junior Boys. Grey has previously released two EPs in 2011, with styles ranging from instrumental hip-hop to nu jazz, and is looking to continue advancing his eclectic, dynamic sensibilities.”
Check for more Domino Grey @ http://www.DominoGrey.com
TheMusicFeed.com features independent artists, bands, DJs, music producers, musicians, singers, and songwriters from all over the world. Our primary fan base and targeted audience is within the United States of America, however, we also serve fans and indie artists from Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. We are a unique indie music website utilizing the latest 21st century blogging and social media marketing tools, including integration with Spread.us and being a featured online exposure opportunity on MusicXray.com. Discover New Indie Artists, Bands, DJs, Music Producers, Musicians, Singers & Songwriters each day without having to search for them. You choose the genres you like and we feed you the music!

Movie Review The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

November 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Movie Review The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

 

The Amazing Spider-Man movie Poster 2012

Actually, it’s a new telling of a classic story.

It’s hard to review a movie based on such an iconic character like Spider-Man. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Spider-Man back in the early 1960s and I’m sure they had no idea that they would be creating a hero with such a wide and long-lasting appeal. And so, how you judge this movie may ultimately depend on where you stand and when you were born. Characters like Superman, Batman and The Hulk are so universal in concept, that we are only given translations and versions. That’s the beauty and tragic hurdle for any franchise-player-based movie to deal with.

My first (and definitive) Spider-Man is from the 1960s [ahem to the age nod] and I’m sure for many it is 1981 Saturday cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. We were just given the triple-play from Sam Raimi starring Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. This film will most likely serve as the main comparison point for any kind of modern following- especially since comic books are no longer the staple story-carrier for so many super-heroes.

The previous series (Spider-Man 2002) slowly turned away from the Spider-Man character and focused more on the relationship between the alter-ego Peter Parker and the girl-next-door, Mary Jane [Watson]. Amazing follows the original comic book story a bit more closely by introducing classmate Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) as Parker’s love interest -and returning to the budding scientist aspect by making the web devices an invention as opposed to an evolved part of his mutated arachnid-abilities. The casting is well done as The Lizard (Rhys Ifans), the Police Captain (Denis Leary), Uncle Ben and Aunt May (Martin Sheen and Sally Field) all add star power and credibility to the new reboot without too much time developing their back stories. We have to take this move seriously. And that’s part of the new tone. It’s a much darker world for Peter Parker [not that the last trilogy wasn’t bleak enough] where the kind of events that took tragic turns in previous movies (like the death of Ben) seem much more weighted in overall heaviness. Toby Macguire’s Spider-Man struggled with the trappings of everyday life, this Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is dealing with EVERYTHING. His parents, his guardians, his school and mostly his own identity- and that’s before even being bit by the spider!

The question of Who am I? has always been a central theme for super-hero stories. It’s what gives purpose and drives the characters forward and gives meaning to the actions (and the sometimes violent encounters) we see unfolding before us. We need to empathize with the hero, hate and fear the villain- with a small amount left for understanding why he does evil. We need to want the girl or at least want to see them together by the end. We need to feel his triumph and overcome the low points with him. If you accomplish some of these, the move becomes a journey and The Amazing Spider-Man achieves this with only a few bumps along the way.

I won’t swing off on the choice to reboot the franchise. I certainly don’t think spidey needed one or even this one so soon. As I understand, there were some crossed ideas over the direction of the series and Marvel just can’t let its flagship character stay stuck. The writers James Vanderbilt, Steve Kloves [lots of Harry Potter film work] and Alvin Sargent [Spider-man 2 and 3] write a fast moving script that leans a little too much on coincidences. You can’t help but think ‘plot-device much?’ when you see the intertwining of important characters. We also have some bad slapstick moments, but at least the Spider-Man one-line-zingers are relatively funny and in the true spirit of the wise-cracking web slinger.
Speaking of web slinging, we have some great choreography for both the fight scenes and the skyscraper Tarzan-like vinework. We even have a more spider-y Spider-Man (and Peter Parker) as arachnid movements and tendencies are molded into the characters. We have the classic touch of a newly bit Parker catching a fly and a scene where Spider-man actually waits in the center of his web for his prey to trip and trigger his web-net. Well done.

We also have the ubiquitous New York head nod as the common folk of the city rally together to help spidey. I thought we saw enough of that in the recent trilogy, but I guess Spider-Man is such a New York staple, it bears revisiting again.

The movie ends on a somber, yet promising note for the future. It’s a perfect ending because that’s my exact opinion of the movie. It was a good movie and goes beyond ‘worth watching’ because we are seeing another version of one of our most beloved superheroes. The new Spider-Man is treading on familiar cobwebs and hoping to create a new strand to swing from. I will admit I’m not as thrilled with the reboot as I could be, but this movie has created a solid framework to build from. I’m not a movie critic; I’m just critiquing a movie.

What did you think?

See other movie reviews.

Domino Grey Night Zone MOTG Original Concept- Video Release

November 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Night Zone Extended NOTES

 The plan for Mark of the Griffin episode 3 was centered on “Night Zone Qualibra Straitor” from the Domino Grey release Get It Up, Lay It Down. I was going to- basically make a video for a song. I had reservations about breaking the MOTG flow- up so early in. I felt like I had just established a pattern and knew that I would be changing direction in the very near future [in two more episodes- to be exact].

I tried slipping Night Zone into the soundtrack, but it didn’t fit and the track “My First Chemistry Set” by Dynamics Plus was already so powerful in the dream sequence. What to do, what to do, what to do.

I also had a few pick up shots that were filmed after the original launch based on the general reaction(s) to the episode. It was supposed to be ambiguous and leave you wondering what was real and what was only imagined by Marcus Griffin. Was the doll really in the woods? Did it really get chilly? Was there really a smell? Was it the same doll? When creating something that’s supposed to be so open to interpretation, you have everyone filling in their own blanks and drawing their own conclusions. I failed somewhat as a storyteller as I was hoping to give hints about answers, but not leave so many questions.

Domino Grey Night Zone

Domino Grey Night Zone. MOTG Original Concept

I knew I could add extra scenes and lessen some of the mystery in the season one full length movie due in early 2013, but I didn’t want to leave this episode hanging for so long. Now I get to include those extra shots and tighten the narrative and create another stand-alone experience. There is an alternate ending that I worked on, but I might be leaving that for the full-length feature.

I present a slight re-editing of the Night Zone story over the original music I had in mind when I was writing episode 3. Thank you again to all involved and for you the viewers. Keep sharing and spreading the word. #MOTG    -Drew Spence

The original episode 3 video is here.

Fallout Shelter Elevator Music Volume II GRIND FLOOR Instrumental Album

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Dynamica Music and AVXP Present

Elevator Music Volume II Ground Grind Floor

buy Grind Floor Elevator Music Volume II for $9.95

Elevator Music Volume II Grind Floor

This is instrumental music from Fallout Shelter. It’s in your face and up close and personal. It’s a tough Grind on the Ground floor. Beats, bits and beautiful bumpers from Drew Spence, Domino Grey, Dynamics Plus and Xodus Phoenix.

Purchase Fallout Shelter Volume II Grind Floor from Dynamica Music

$9.95 Available now!

 

Like always, this will be available on iTunes, Beatport and digital stores where fine music is sold. And also, directly from Dynamica Music.

Track Listing

1. Give Her Back 95 bpms [originally titled Blast Off Captain] :46

Produced by Dynamics Plus

2. Quite Superficial 97 bpms 3:42

Produced by Drew Spence

3. Neva Listen 95 bpms 3:37

Produced by Drew Spence

4. My Girl Is… 3:45

Produced by Drew Spence

5. Chain Envy Everybody Needs A Gold Chain 3:38

Produced by Dynamics Plus

6. Isis Grill 105 bpms 3:24

Produced by Domino Grey

7. Blot the Sun 96 bpms 4:34

Produced by Drew Spence

8. Water Test 97 bpms 4:17

Produced by Drew Spence

9. Afternoon Departures 100 bpms 3:04

Produced by Xodus Phoenix and Domino Grey

10. Room and Bored 94 bpms 2:44

Produced by Xodus Phoenix

11. Bad Passenger 97 bpms 3:08

Produced by Drew Spence

12. Isolated Girl 102 bpms 4:08

Produced by Drew Spence

13. Split Down The Middle 92 bpms 2:17

Produced by Dynamics Plus

14. Get Up, Get On 93 Bpms 1:43

Produced by Dynamics Plus

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