Trailer: Jurassic Park 4


Lots of StarLord but no mix tape (and very little sense of humour), Jurassic World looks about as lazy as they come in terms of sequels. Colin Trevorrow’s (Safety Not Guaranteed) direction here, looks to be exactly what a studio wants: Extruded plastic product. Judging by this digitally-bright and quite colourful trailer, Jurassic World is Jurassic Park minus any sense of wonder. Only the franchise remains, trapped in amber and poked for cloning every few years.

Transmediation: From Batman to Scott Pilgrim (A Video Essay)


An academic but thoroughly enjoyable trip through the obvious with PhD Drew Morton and critic Matthew Zoller Seitz on how one medium can infect or be transposed into another, and the near-infinite hall of mirrors that Scott Pilgrim is for doing what it did. Well worth a look.

These are slippery subjects to analyze, but Morton never loses his grip here, and the final section—a detailed analysis of the style of Wright’s film—is dazzling. He talks about how Wright folds representations of comics, videogames and music into a movie based on a comic book that was itself strongly inspired by videogames, and in so doing, creates a “re-remediation.” If you tried to represent that on a page, it might look like a bunch of parentheses inside one big parenthetical, or maybe a line drawing of a Russian nesting doll, animated, with each layer’s shell cracking to reveal the layer beneath, each pop commemorated by a point value materializing in space and hanging there. Fifty points! A hundred! Next level!

Useful Android App for Movie Goers: “Screen Filter”

You know what I hate? Probably the same thing you do: scabies. Oh, and also people who turn on their bright cell phone a few seats in front of you during a movie. Outside of audible talking it’s the single most distracting thing that happens to me in theaters. Now, while I haven’t discovered an app that will simply make these people disappear (yet), I found something that I do find useful so that at least I can still be considerate to those around me during a film screening.

First off, I DO NOT condone texting, emailing, Twittering or really any use of a cell phone during a public film screening. Except one. I like to check the time. Since I have a phone, I rarely wear a watch anymore these days. But in the theater, it’s a little annoying when that screen lights up (even for just a second) to check the time. I’ve always been very discreet about it in the past (though not everyone is) and have never had any complaints. Checking under the armpit or in my coat; which to be honest is still pretty annoying. Well that’s fixed!

I found a free app called “Screen Filter” (in the Android Market) that has solved that problem. It will set your screen brightness down to any percentage you wish – all the way down to pretty much black if you want it to. These settings are far dimmer/darker than your phone’s stock brightness adjuster. You can make several presets and have them show up right on your home screen if you wish. So with the tap of a finger your phone will go to super bright to super dark and stay there until you tap it back to your normal setting.

I’ve found it not only useful for super dark settings like the movie theater, but also I like to read downloaded material at night. Setting the screen to 15% brightness is easy on the eyes. And lastly, it really saves on your battery. Which if you’re an Android user and have one of the newer high end phones, you know saving every last drop of energy from your phone can be a struggle.

Don’t fear friends of Apple (cult members), I found an app similar in the iTunes app store as well. It’s called simply, Dimmer and appears to do the exact same thing. But since I don’t use such a device, I can’t test it to be sure – though it has good ratings. Either way, this has been a really smooth and useful item for me to keep going to public film screenings and take my tech with me. But again, please see the first sentence in paragraph two above!

I ♥ LEDs


Apropos of nothing, I am posting the above slick and gorgeous of the techno maestros behind the upcoming Tron soundtrack. I am hoping the sequel/reboot/whatever is as good as thus far it looks graphically, but I suspect that the soundtrack will be the best part of the film experience. Plus, I do like the massive arrays of LEDs in those helmets.

TIFF Review: Appaloosa


Ed Harris’ directorial sophomore project Appaloosa is an excellent example of what a popcorn movie should be. It is fairly light when it comes to meaning and importance but it sure is a lot of fun with some good action and its fair share of well timed humour. In the long run it will not be the most memorable movie but it was fun and you could definitely do a lot worse.

Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen are Virgil and Everett, two law men who provide their services to towns for a cost. They arrive in the small town of Appaloosa to take up the mantle of sheriff and deputy after Bragg played by Jeremy Irons guns down the previous sheriff and deputies. Every thing seems to be going as planned, Virgil and Everett gun down a few of Bragg’s men and get ready for the confrontation with Bragg himself. Then Rene Zellweger at Allison arrives on the train and catches the attention of both Virgil and Everett. What we are left with is the eventual arrest and confrontation between Bragg, his hired henchmen, Virgil and Everett and the possible disagreement between Virgil and Everett.

The whole romance triangle could have played out in the staid standard way but Harris and the script manage to throw in enough twists that you won’t see coming to Appaloosa and charming and fun western. The action is well done and are combined with a good sense of humour. It was a nice joy to catch something a bit lighter and fun in my dark genre filled schedule here at TIFF.

As one final comment on Appaloosa, it was great to see Lance Henriksen and Timothy Spall show up in smaller supporting roles.