The Oscar for Best Picture Goes to…


indexThe Oscar’s have nominated the movie Hidden Figures for Best Picture this year and a lot of people are ecstatic. The 2017 Annual Academy Awards will hit our televisions on February 26th at 5:30pm in Hollywood at the Dolby Theatre. Hidden Figures is based on a true story that reveals the history behind America’s first successful entry into outer space and shows how three African American women were erased from our textbooks. The film is monumental and inspirational due to its thought provoking story and an extraordinary cast who will awaken your deepest emotions.

Tahari P. Henson plays Katherine Johnson, a mathematical genius who developed the calculations to launch NASA in space, Octavia Spencer plays Dorothy Vaughn the “human” computer” of NASA, and finally singer and now renowned actress Janelle Monáe who became the first African American aerospace engineer after challenging the courts for her entry into a segregated school for training.

The film was set in the 1960s in a racially divided environment filled with tension and hostility. Ironically 57 years later when the film released, it seems America is still in a similar scenario. Antagonistic power dynamics showed the racist attitudes of this time; the hilarious and talented Jim Parsons stepped outside of his realm to play the rigid character of Paul Stafford, one of NASA’s engineers who had racial bias and a grudge against Katherine Johnson for having extraordinary mathematical talents. The gifted Henson will bring tears to your eyes as she struggles daily to use the restroom because the “colored” bathroom was placed several blocks away. The actor’s performances will have you speechless and sobbing into your popcorn.

Although there is no debate on the film’s deservingness for its nomination, there is some friendly competition among the other nominees for Best Picture that include “Fences,” “Lions,” and “Moonlight,” all of which are phenomenal films.

Director Theodore Melfi and producer Pharrell Williams also deserve some praise for helping retell such an incredible story that brings people together, but also for its huge success. Hidden Figures brought in more than $200 million domestically, more than tripling the cost of its production. The movie received an overall rating of A+ and has remained relevant in daily conversation.

Due to the current state of American society and politics, this film reminds us how far we have come in achieving equality. With the power of love, gratitude, and acceptance, we can transcend the impossible to create a world filled with peace, love, and understanding.

Afflicted- Scary Movie Review


afflictedRecently, I have been reminded of one of my old favorite movies, “Interview with the Vampire” with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. This movie came out in 1994 and I saw it a few years later as a young kid. In comparison, a recent vampire film that I watched was title, “Afflicted” which came out in 2013 and starred no famous actors. However, a brief synopsis of this film is based upon two people named Cliff and Derek who are interested in backpacking through 17 counties all over the world. The roll of Cliff was to document every city and traveling experience they encountered while Derek’s main motive was to get out and see the world, because he had an inoperable brain aneurysm. During this backpack adventure, Derek sleeps with a stranger who ends up biting and bludgeoning him. As a result, he has some adverse side effects, such as seizures, and throwing up with the inability to be exposed to the sun. In addition, they slowly discover Derek has super human abilities, which include: running at a fast rate, climbing tall buildings, jumping long distance, and his body is able to repair any damages he experiences. In this process, he continually has to seek human blood to stay alive and learns that he has become the victim of a vampire attack. Once he realizes the conditions he has to live with, he has to choose to utilize his vampire strengths for good or evil. I will not tell you which direction he chooses to go, but instead I will let you watch the film.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the scare factor of this movie a 4. Despite the fact that this film did not have a lot of scenes that would make you jump out of your seat, the genre was still considered horror. This film was appealing to me, because I have been personally interested in backpacking through Europe after I graduate. Furthermore, I really enjoyed the way this movie was shot. The film was shot in first person, handycam style, but it was less disorienting than the original Blair Witch Project. In regards to recommending this film to others, I thought it was appealing, but I would not recommend it to those who are looking to be shocked or frightened.

Overall, if I were reviewing this movie I would give it 3 out of 5 stars. It was not a bad movie, but it was not the best horror film I have watched. Personally, I am more interested in movies directed by Rob Zombie, such as House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, and his remake of Halloween. Rob Zombie makes twisted movies that I find to be much scarier than Afflicted. Rob Zombie recently came out with a movie titled 31 that is in theatres now. I recently viewed the trailer for 31 and I think that it looks like a much scarier film that I would like to watch and potentially recommend for more serious horror buffs.

Lights Out movie review


lightsoutA good scary movie is hard to come by. Let me tell you about a movie that not only was a scary $9.95 to see, but turned out to be a pretty good horror and slightly comical movie. Worth. Every. Penny.

It’s called “Lights Out.”

The movie came out in theaters on July 22, 2016. It centers around a broken family who is haunted by Diana, this evil woman like creature.

But only when the lights are out.

The movie is directed by James Wan, who is responsible for childhood nightmares across America for directing “The Conjuring”, “Saw” and “Annabelle.”

The distant “I left the house as soon as I could” daughter, Rebecca is the movie’s protagonist. She swoops in to save her little brother from being traumatized by their unstable mom and Diana, only to be haunted herself.

It turns out Diana was the mom’s childhood friend and now she’s back to visit. And the mom’s cool with it just as long as Diana plays nice with everyone. Like that happens. The story line is very simple but I think that’s what makes this movie a good one. Although there is a twist at the end that you can see coming a mile away.

One would think this movie would have a relatively easy solution- just keep all the lights on.

They tried that. And some mystic force shut off all the lights.

I will say that these characters get really creative in their sources of light. And one character in this film really surprised me. Yay for character development. Cue “light” applause. But you will find yourself yelling at various characters who make stupid decisions throughout the film. What else is new?

Either I’ve seen way too many scary movies that I’ve become immune to horror or I’m just losing it.

I really hope I’m not the only one who found this movie funny.

I won’t describe the specific details of the hilarity- I don’t want to spoil it for you! But get ready to from your heart racing with fear to laughing all in a matter of 10 seconds.

Did I go home and turn on all the lights right when I walked through the door? No. That’s wasteful. But did I think about it for a spilt second? Yes. And you will too.

So moral of the story is don’t shut off the lights.

Or else.

Just kidding.

But, really.

 

Deadpool Movie Spoilers


Deadpool

I was lucky enough to catch the press release of Deadpool. Being a long time Deadpool fan I’ve been waiting for this movie for a very very long time, and didn’t expect it to live up to my expectation, but it did. Oh how it did.

If you’re unfamiliar with Deadpool, he’s a mercenary that’s basically walking around with the healing factor of Wolverine. He had cancer when his healing factor kicked in so the cancer is supposedly being healed by the healing factor and bubbles to the surface. Leaving his skin in a less desirable form. This is why he’s always walking around in his superhero get up.

The movie is sporting Ryan Reynolds as the Merc with the mouth, and we even have guest appearances from Colossus and teenage warhead. Deadpool is constantly breaking the fourth wall, such as mentioning how their budget was too small to have more xmen in the movie. Sadly Domino and Cable don’t join us in this film either. We do get Blind Al and a short cameo of Bob, from hydra.

A lot of details from the comics are in the film, such as Wade Wilsons love of Bea Arthur, you can see him sporting some Bea Arthur Gear earlier in the movie. They also make constant references to the wolverine movie, as well as the Green Lantern movie.

There were a few facts that were a little off though, TJ Miller(Silicon Valley) although doing a great job playing Weasel Deadpools sidekick and confidant. Actually plays the bartender in this movie, instead of playing Deadpools Gadget making lackey. Also the dynamics of Deadpool’s and Blind Al’s friendship seems to be a bit more sane in the movie. I can’t help but feel this was intentionally done in order to make the character a little more likable on the screen. Watching Deadpool switch Blind Al’s medication on screen might have given people the wrong idea about our superhero. Although he is more or less a bad guy, he’s also more or less a good guy and that’s what the fans expect of him. Also I miss the yellow boxes, I get that it may have been difficult to insert into the movie, but I miss them. Even with some small alterations to the characters it didn’t distract to the overall feel of the movie. There’s a lot of fourth wall breaking, and dark humor that makes deadpool so gosh darn lovable as a superhero. Also his taste in pizza is impeccable I may just be getting a Pineapple and Black Olive pizza tonight.

I believe this movie will be the romantic feel good movie of the year. Just a heads up if it’s your pick for a romantic Valentines day, it is a bit violent. Think a comedic rendition of Resident Evil violent. Or the movie Judge Dredd kind of violent, this probably isn’t something you want to be taking your kids to on a family outing.

My name is Chris Diel, and I’m a dj with KSSU when i’m not patiently waiting for Deadpool, i’m watching it.

He never died 2015 Review (Spoilers)


HeneverDied

Much like Danny Trejo, Henry Rollins has been sitting on the sidelines in the cinematic universe far too long! Henry isn’t just a punk singing Icon known for his role in Black Flag he is also a writer, a radio host, a spoken word artist, and is in a myriad of movies both exceptional films as well as those that fall on the low budget B-side of things. Although with the enormous amount of movies Henry Rollins has been in over the years he generally finds himself in a supporting role. The lowly promotional speaker(feast) or a disc Jockey(Suck) are merely a few roles that this exceptional performer has been cast over the years.

He never died written and directed by Jason Krawczyk premiered at South by Southwest in 2015 and centers around a character known has Jack, played by Henry Rollins. We start the movie watching Jack lay in bed in a dimly lit room, staring at the ceiling, he seems to be lost in thought or merely waiting for something. The soundtrack starts off full of dark and almost violent sounds, possibly to represent the memories of a dark past. Jack goes through the movie with a monotone voice and close to no expression at all, he exhibits the attitude of a man who just doesn’t seem to care anymore, and it isn’t until about the half way point that we start seeing him change.

If you’re worried about spoilers you may want to consider this your stop.

A good half an hour into the movie we start seeing Jack for being more then a lonely man who seems to have given up on any joy in this world. It was hard to place, somewhere between a werewolf or a vampire, but this movie took a decided turn into the supernatural. It isn’t until the very end that Jack makes it clear that he is something akin to a vampire, but so much more. See what isn’t immediately obvious from the beginning of the movie is that this is a movie based on a biblical character. Jack is a pseudonym, merely 1 of many names that the character Cain has been known by over the years. According to Jack he is something akin to a vampire but he prefers not to use the word, it’s also not clear that they are following the traditional strengths/weaknesses that many movies use for their vampires. The movie switches gears from a slow paced film to a fast paced horror action flick. It’s towards the end when Jack has transformed in the viewers eyes from Man to beast that his human side starts to come out again and we start seeing real emotions.

Personally I really enjoyed it, but I can see it not being for everyone. It was good to see Henry Rollins in a leading role, and they are looking into making He never died into a TV show so there is the possibility that he could continue as the character Jack in the same way that Bruce Campbell is playing Ash in the new show Ash vs. the Evil Dead.

My name is Chris Diel and I’m a dj at KSSU

Krampus 2015 Spoilers


KrampusKrampus is a 2015 movie about the true spirit of Christmas. We begin the movie following a small boy as he is constantly told that Santa Clause isn’t real, he carries around a half written letter to the man, but it’s after his relatives visit and tease him mercilessly that he eventually discards it. Without realizing this singular event acted as a call to another power, an ancient being who ascends from the underworld to seek his vengeance on anyone who would turn their back on the true spirit of Christmas. A being known none other as Krampus.

So traditionally Krampus is Santa Clause’s evil counterpart during the Christmas celebrations. His appearance varies, but he generally has goat horns, hooves and a forked tongue. Krampus has chains covered in bells and has a sack that he abducts bad children with to later transport to hell. While Santa is handing out gifts to the good children, Krampus is responsible for the Cole bad children receive. Krampus appears in a lot of modern media most notably American Dad, and an episode of Grimm.

In the movie they draw some pretty strong parallel’s between the physical appearance of Santa Clause and Krampus. In fact they don’t really reinforce the idea that Santa Clause actually exists in their world, we only see Krampus who in their depiction looks like Santa Clause with hooves, goat horns, and chains covered in bells and hooks. He is accompanied by an army of evil elves making vicious Hellraiser inspired creatures/gifts to go in and cause havoc. There are even some evil gingerbread men cookies that were kind of hilarious.

At times I really want to call this movie a horror film, but there is a small comic element that pops up at times(mainly the gingerbread men) which sort of kills the tension of what should be a scary movie. Towards the end of the movie we come to an ending that I would have to consider possibly the best horror film ending you could hope for in something like this. Then for some reason the film kept going, and we end up with a “It was all a dream” ending with a hint that maybe it wasn’t just a dream.

To be honest I couldn’t tell you whether I would actually recommend this movie, and If I did I’m not sure who I should recommend it to. It definitely has elements of a horror movie, but it just doesn’t end up feeling like a horror movie when everything is said and done. The ending was more akin to the Jumanji ending, except where Jumanji is generally a family friendly movie all the way through and can get away with that kind of thing Krampus is a horror movie right up until the end. Then horror film fans are robbed of a suiting ending, I really just don’t know what to make of it.

I’m hearing a lot of mixed reviews from other people as well. Where i’m on the fence a lot of people either love it or hate it so I’d suggest for the curious to just give it a shot and see for yourselves.

 

I am DJ Good Deal a DJ at KSSU

Tapeheads 1988


TapeheadsI’ve been binge watching Netflix lately and I came across a flick with John Cusack and Tim Robbins(Shawshank Redemption) released in 1988 it’s a bit earlier in their career. In the movie they are a couple of security guards who have grown fed up with their jobs and end up cutting loose on a birthday. After trashing the place and making a small music video of the process they’re canned.

Josh Tager played by Tim Robbins takes this seriously as any one would on a day they just lost their jobs, but the less level headed dreamer Ivan Alexeev played by John Cusack finds this to be an opportunity to run off and do what they really want to. So the duo travel through the land of Los Angeles to start their career of fame and fortune. Of course things never go as planned as they the duo attempts to make it big making music videos, but in turn end up stuck doing commercials for free fried chicken(seems like a good deal though.)

The story overall feels a bit whimsical in a lot of ways, as they’re traveling around they come across the daughter of a very rich man who lets them stay in her warehouse for free. It’s there that they develop their new enterprise. Throughout the film the people don’t seem overly serious either, this is a movie where even professional hit men cut loose and end up making their own music video.

Every once in awhile it’s nice to go back and watch something from the beginning of one of your favorite actors careers, and I found this movie to be a comical and enjoyable flick. Not something you want to take too seriously, but something you could throw on in the background while you’re focusing on something else.

My name is Chris Diel, and I watch movies. I also DJ at KSSU

Kung Fury


Kung Fury came out on the 28th of May, and i’m writing this after watching the free stream on steam. It’s fairly late at night, but once I started the movie I couldn’t help but finish this 30 minute adrenaline filled thrill ride of pure awesomeness. I’m literally taken aback and despite the movie’s short play time it is likely the best movie that i’ve seen all year.

The hardest part of reviewing this movie is how does one start to talk about the best 30 minutes of their entire lives? I’ll start with despite most movies habits of taking the best 3 minutes of an entire moving and condensing it into a trailer Kung Fury does not need to do this. There is simply too much awesome in this movie to possibly fit it all into a trailer.

Ok so i’ve been pumping up the movie a bit to this point, from a more unbiased perspective it is a fairly quick moving movie which can also be a bad thing for some people. The movie is made to look like an old 80’s cop drama complete with VHS streak marks and lots of satire thrown in. This movie does to the old 80’s cop movies what Scary Movie did to scream, but with a different type of humor.

Spoilers:

The story follows our main character “Kung Fury” after a tragic accident where he’s struck by lightning and immediately afterwards bitten by a snake; he blacks out and develops super hero like martial arts abilities. Using his new talent he decides to clean up the streets from the likes of evil villains and a robotic arcade machine that goes on a rampage. There are also many ridiculous things like a triceratops as his partner and a hacker that can send him back in time. Realistically this isn’t the kind of movie you want to take too seriously, but it does have a kind of humor to it that I believe will turn this film into a cult classic. However the movie is fairly violent, and there is cursing through the film so it isn’t something you would likely sit down to watch with your grandmother for instance. Unless she’s into those kinds of movies, then more power to grandma.

Personally I really enjoyed it, but I can see how it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re interested in checking it out the 30 minutes movie seems to be offered free around the internet. I guess the kickstarter must have covered their costs, but I can’t presume as to their business model.

Final Verdict: If you were into Scary Movie and really dig the style of 80’s cop movies then this may be the movie for you, but on the other hand if that isn’t the kind of thing that suits your tastes then this movie may not have what you’re looking for.kung fury

My name is Chris Diel and when i’m not watching Kung Fury i’m a dj for KSSU

Looking forward to The Avengers? I am.


AgeofUltron

I am not one to typically jump on board with “mainstream” events or films, but I must say I am looking forward to the Avengers, coming out in just a short month from now. Why this film? That is actually a good question because as a whole, I am not all that interested in action films, not major Hollywood pictures. However, I am excited for this film.

I will admit, I am a fan of Joss Whedon, who is directing this film. He also directed the previous carnation of this franchise, as well as creating favorites like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In addition, based on the preview, the film does look rather good, and who among us can say no to a film literally full of superheroes!

Another reason I am looking forward to this film is a more selfish/personal reason. I happen to work for a movie theater company, and big films like this mean lots of shifts and hours, plus the movie theater industry is more fun when people actually come to see films! This one is estimated to do pretty well, so I am excited to work when it comes out this May.

Finally, I think that films like this can actually have a message that is deeper than simply an action adventure. Especially lately with superhero films, and in general, it seems like directors are taking a more human approach when it comes to creating films about superheroes. This is especially apparent in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, but can be seen throughout the superhero films of recent times. This, for me, is a really good thing because. Like I said, I am not as much a fan of the action adventure seen in a lot of modern Hollywood films, but rather the more human element seen in a lot of independent and lower budget films. To see these themes and elements slowly begin to seep into the movies that big studios back is, in my opinion, a really good thing. It helps to get more people interested in that subject matter and interested in a wider genre of film in general.

David is a DJ with KSSU

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE: Ultron is coming!!!


AgeofUltron

I am so excited for the Avengers 2: Age of Ultron movie coming out in May! I am a big fan of marvel and the marvel universe (#teammarvel) and superheroes have always appealed to me and of course the super-powers (like who doesn’t wish they can control an infinity gem or be able to morph in a jolly green giant and smash stuff). I’m such a geek/nerd when it comes to seeing comic books, video games or just anything fantasy on the big screen because I’m anxious to see the visuals and interactions of certain things. I like seeing struggles play out and love it when the director fills the holes in certain stories and connects things intricately. I do however; have some comments and a few words about the film. For one, I’m eager to see Wanda & Pietro and how that may possibly connect to X-Men or even the decimation/house of M storyline if they decide to do that. I am also eager to see Vision and his possible relationship with Wanda (The Scarlet Witch) and his creation by Ultron. One thing I don’t like that marvel is having iron man be the creator of Ultron and then later doing a movie with Ant-Man/Hank Pymm the original creator of Ultron; hopefully they do some alternate timeline explanation or something. Lastly, there are rumors going on about the lead-up to the Civil War story arc and I’m wondering though how they are going to introduce all these superheroes into that upcoming film. But I can’t wait to see heroes like Ant-Man, Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, etc. come into the franchise.

I think though its fantasy and we all wish we had superpowers; I see so much correlation between the Marvel comics and today’s modern society. Ultron had a line during one of the previews and it says (I’m, assuming talking to one of the avengers), “You want to protect the world but don’t want it to change.” I think that says a lot because this is something I’ve noticed about superheroes or just the fictional marvel/dc universe in general, is that a lot of these superheroes are doing the right thing in protecting people and saving lives and achieving in doing the impossible but I don’t think they have enough faith in society. Despite having superpowers and quite possibly looking different, these heroes are still human (except of Thor, he’s a god). I really think Ultron being an enemy in this film is going to hopefully show us as viewers and hopefully those characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that you need to have limits. Humans are capable of any and everything we put our minds to but the moment we do something out of fear (like building a robot with AI) things will go south really fast.

Overall this is shaping up to be a pretty great film. I have almost all of the marvel movies and can’t wait to see the final build-up to the Infinity Gauntlet/War story. In seeing thanos at the end of the first Avengers had me excited because I knew immediately where they were going with it and like the story unfolding with the infinity gems, the slow build with introducing superheroes and finally seeing it all come together. I know it’s going to be number one and will definitely be seeing it opening weekend!

Alonzo is a dj with KSSU catch his show on Tune In just look for sparky the friendly robotic overlord