Author Archives: Friends of P

Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

As a caveat, I had many a drinks before watching this film so I may be a bit biased in giving it so many positives. While J.J. Abrams manages yet again to focus the elements that make Star Trek a wonder to behold, the title doesn’t make too much sense. There really isn’t a darkness that anyone goes into that they weren’t already in. Though there is a really dark tinted ship, so maybe that’s what they mean? At any rate, the casting is on the money and the twists and turns keep things engaging. The story does its job in pulling your emotions this way and that way, on top of the sheer action-packed thrill ride and gorgeous CGI. Cumberbatch does a mean Khan impersonation and the Spock/Kirk love-story doesn’t feel stale or played-out. Last but not least, Peter “Robocop” Weller is in Star Trek: Into Darkness, playing a prominent role. That said, Peter Weller alone is worth the ticket cost. Image

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Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

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I didn’t really know what to expect going into this movie. It was well executed, directed, portrayed, etc. If anyone tried to describe the movie or just show me the trailer my hesitation bells would go off. Films in a similar romantic-troubled-soul vein can sometimes fall flat or feel recycled. Luckily SLP hits the nail on the head.

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Three Outlaw Samurai (1964)

Three Outlaw Samurai Criterion Blu-ray looked gorgeous and the transfer is done very well.  Hideo Gosha’s first film stands the test of time and has to rank as a must watch Samurai flick. The Samurai in his film are complex characters, ranging from the purely altruistic to the make an easy dollar swashbuckler. The message/plot revolve around a concept that consistently plays out in human civilization: the haves vs the have nots. Choreography and fight scenes still lack the modern touch but it doesn’t take away from the film at all. Hideo Gosha movies are on my list.

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Django Unchained (2012)

God damn…I said God damn.

What songs can I offer that properly praise the brilliance of Django Unchained? Tarantino has managed to capture and set a historical-revenge film based upon one of America’s most painful practices in a completely novel way. Unlike Inglorious Basterds, Django features slap-sticky humor and down-right cringe-worthy despicable acts. The emotions that course throughout are finely crafted and keep audiences on a roller-coaster ride that ends in cathartic cheers.

Time will tell if this Tarantino’s best but it is definitely in the top 3.

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Gotta admit that I enjoyed The Hobbit even more the 2nd time around; even though I really dug the high 48 FPS during my first viewing. The second time was IMAX regular ol’ 3D.

Strictly my fault, when watching some films I analyze too much and over-think director’s and actors’ mindsets/goals. This  becomes even worse when I am familiar with the source material. I let all that go the 2nd time and The Hobbit is definitely a fantasy-film achievement. It manages to capture the look, feel, and movement of a fantasy novel. The adaptation is perfect as is the added story-lines from The Silmarillion. Others may moan about the light-hearted scenes and the Three Stooginess. For some reason viewers expect a dark and macabre tone made popular by the LOTR movies and Batman films. The chance of pace is welcomed and the adventure truly unexpected.

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Stars Wars: Scoundrels (2013)

I haven’t read too many Star Wars titles, maybe 2 or 3. They were enjoyable but missed some of the no-good pirate feel, opting to focus on Luke and his drama. So when Timothy Zahn released Scoundrels I had to jump. I mean look at that cover. Any Star Wars fiend will admit to its more than enticing imagery. Hilarious in parts, exciting to no end, and full of new  characters: Scoundrels is pure Star Wars heist antics.

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Official “2012, Best Of” Friends of P Edition

Film: Django Unchained

Film Runner-up: Moonrise Kingdom & The Avengers

Let down film: The Amazing Spider-Man

TV Show: Walking Dead (finally)

Album: Mean Jeans On Mars

Book read this year: Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality

Comic: Marvel’s FF (Future Foundation)

Restaurant: Café Flora, Seattle, WA

Hardware: iPad

Software: RDIO

Video Game: Halo 4

Coffee: Voxx, Seattle, WA

Bar: Cannon, Seattle, WA & Commonwealth, Las Vegas, NV

[2008 and 2009 Best of Lists2010 List, & 2011 List]

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