Sunday, July 18, 2010

On All Levels

Third time's a charm. Mrs. Kyality and I didn't think we'd have the opportunity to see Christopher Nolan's epic mind-bender opening weekend. But when the chance presented itself, it took last-minute phone calls to three sitters before we were jumping in the Clubman on the way to the theater.

Sure there's been some fantastic looking trailers and lots of Twitter hype around this one—but you have to wonder, in a summer of suck (other than TS3)—is this flick as great as they say? The answer is: Yes… on all levels.

Inception is Nolan at the top of his game. When you look at his filmography thus far, everything he's done up to this point has prepared him in some way to make this movie. He set the stage for himself with indie thrillers like Memento and ensemble-cast blockbusters like the Batman reboot. He's stayed true to his brand by growing it ever so slightly—one film at a time—unlike M.Knight who's obviously staggering as he strives to slip free from sleeper-hit stardom.

But Nolan nails it and the proof is in the details. Even though the cast is chock full of stars, he uses them like honed tools. Drawing on each of the actors' inherent baggage to round out his characters' backstories completely worked for him. For instance, when Ellen Page enters the screen, our minds automatically sprinkle a little bit of Juno's nobleness onto her character.

He goes as far as to use Edith Piaf's classic anthem "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" as a thread throughout the film. That's of course a song that was masterfully delivered by Marion Cotillard when she took home an Oscar for her portrayal of none other than Edith Piaf in the magnificent biopic La vie en rose. Again, choices such as this add degrees of depth and detail.

Finally, you can't talk about Inception without mentioning the effects. Sure, you've heard how awesome they are, but what you perhaps haven't heard is how essential they are to the story. Nolan takes no cheap shots with his use of visual effect, minimal CG and intricate action sequences. They are mandated by the story. Even his gratuitous use of beautiful slo-mo shots are technically being shown in real-time from the perspective of the characters. So get your movie fix filled with this smart, satisfying epic that nails it on all levels.

PS: I also loved the Hans Zimmer score and the awesome alpine siege sequence.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gibersonian Wallpaper

So I just cropped this sweet photo by Leah Giberson of some of her latest work. It's set up as a 1400 x 900 wallpaper. Click here to enjoy!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Top 10 Favorite TV Cars

While developing my Top 10 Favorite Movie Cars list, I noticed that tons of movie cars started as TV cars, which inspired the list below. Enjoy!

10. "The Monkeemobile" 1966 GTO convertible - The Monkees
My dad, Normality, always talks about seeing this one in person as a kid. That kinda thing sticks with you.

9. "Crockett's Ferrari" 1986 Ferrari Tesstarossa - Miami Vice
Growing up, I wasn't allowed to watch Miami Vice so this car always had some mystique surrounding it. Not to mention, it has a way cool rear view mirror.

8. "B.A. Baracus' Van" 1983 GMC G-Series - The A-Team
A kidnapper van never looked so cool.

7. The Jon Voight Car 1989 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible - Seinfeld
"Everybody's talkin' at me, Can't hear a word they're sayin' [George improvises] Just drivin' around in Jon Voight's car…"

6. "KITT" 1982 Pontiac Trans Am - Knight Rider
Now if this car woulda just shut up, it might have made my top 5.

5. "Mr. Bean's Mini" 1977 MK IV Mini 1000 - Mr. Bean
Yes, I want a padlock on my Clubman.

4. "The General Lee" 1969 Dodge Charger - The Dukes of Hazzard
Way cooler than Starsky's Tornio—I'm mean who needs doors that actually open?

3. "The Mach 5" - Speed Racer
Best Speed Racer quote: "If we crash The Mach 5, I can't win!"

2. 1983 Ferrari 308 GTS - Magnum, P.I.
You're only allowed to drive these things if you have a mustache.

1. "The Batmobile" 1955 Lincoln Futura concept - Batman
Holy mother of all TV cars Batman!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Lord Vader, Your MINI Awaits

MINI just announced a facelift and engine upgrade to the current Cooper line-up. Improvements include added horse-power, new vents, LED rear lights, new color schemes and more.

This JCW version is particularly Sith-like in nature, no?