Saturday, October 2, 2010

The 3D 'Revolution'

You go to the movies. You pay upwards of 10 or 11 bucks and that’s if you don’t buy popcorn or a drink. Then you sit down and for the next two to three hours you watch a movie with plastic glasses on your face that will give most people a headache before the movie is over.

I don’t understand the 3D movie craze. To me, it’s an excuse to make bad movies because let’s face it, you don’t have to make a good movie if it’s in 3D. The 3D is so distracting in most movies that the audience won’t be able to notice just how bad or unoriginal your movie is. Exhibit A: James Cameron’s Avatar.

In addition, making a movie to simply have it be in 3D means that you are never going to be satisfied with the home video release of that movie. Did you know that James Cameron is discontinuing Avatar on DVD and Blu-Ray just to rerelease it into theaters so it can be viewed the way he intended? That’s because in order for Avatar to be something close to good cinema, it has to be in 3D! And no matter what the companies that make TVs think, no one is going to buy a TV they have to wear special eyewear (sold separately of course) to watch!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not railing against all 3D movies. The movies that are simply released in 3D because it will add something to them (Toy Story 3, the next installment of Harry Potter) I have nothing against, mostly because I know that at the end of the day, I’ll be able to watch those movies in 2D and they will still be good movies! As a matter of fact, I saw Toy Story 3 in a drive in (where it wasn’t in 3D) and thought it was one of the best movies of the summer.

But the 3Ds that are made with gimmicks (things coming at the screen just so they’ll jump out at the audience) or are made in 3D as a distraction for them being a poor movie I have something against. I just wait for the day that 3D movies go the way of HDDVDs and BetaMax. Until then, I’ll be in line to enjoy the first part of the final Harry Potter at midnight in 3D. Because I don’t doubt that 3D won’t make or break that film.

What Are You Reading?

I love to read. When I find a book that fully engrosses me in its plot and characters, I have to share it with others. This week I want to do that with the series I just finished: Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”).

These three novels have already been made into films in Sweden, the first of which is available on DVD in the US. It is a great adaptation of the novel, filled with as much suspence as the book, even if you know how it’s going to end. The next film was released limitedly earlier this year and will be on DVD in October while the third was released limitedly this summer. All three have been met with critical success and they are now being adapted in the US with Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist.

“Dragon Tattoo” is the first in the series and was quite possibly my favorite. It’s not that the other two were bad, but this one, being the first, will always be the best. Investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired by a rich old man to find out what happened to his granddaughter who disappeared 40 years ago. Blomkvist enlists the help of the mysterious Lisbeth Salander and together the two of them stumble on an answer neither of them expected to find. It’s a thrilling ride that I was unwilling to put down.

Next, “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” is yet another thrilling race. This book, set a year after “Dragon Tattoo” is focused on a new journalist at Blomkvist’s magazine working on a story about human trafficking in Sweden. When he and his girlfriend turn up dead, it is Blomkvist’s friend Salandar who is the prime suspect. However, working with her before the police can track her down, Blomkvist and Salandar discover the true culprit in a place they’d never have suspected. The end of the book will leave you wondering and wanting to immediately pick up “Hornet’s Nest.”

In the final novel, Salandar goes to trial and you finally learn of her mysterious background. It was an exhilarating conclusion that I couldn’t wait to find out the end of, while I also wanted to savor the amazing writing of Larsson since this is the last work he published. He unfortunately died after delivering these three manuscripts and didn’t live to see the books’ success.

Fair warning, the books hold nothing back in their description of the gruesome crimes that take place, so if you are sensitive to that sort of thing, these books are not for you. However, if you love dark crime novels and a good, enthralling mystery, these books are a must and the best part? Our library has them, so you don’t even have to leave campus to enjoy them! Check them out today!!!

5 Shows I'm watching this Fall

This week marked the big kick-off of the Fall television season. Here are the 5 shows I’m most excited to see this fall (new or returning):

1) “Glee”: People who know me are not at all surprised that this is my number one. Watching the premiere Tuesday night made me realize that I have missed “Glee” a lot in its almost 4 month hiatus . Luckily I had the episodes on iTunes and the music to sustain me, but it didn’t compare to the excitement that came in seeing a new episode of my favorite show on television. (Tuesdays at 8 pm on FOX)

2) “The Big Bang Theory”: This show is my favorite sitcom on television. Its wit week after week astounds me and the characters are just fabulous. You’ve known these characters, or are one of these characters, and that makes it all the more enjoyableJim Parson’s Emmy was well-deserved this year and I can’t wait to see what laughs the boys (and Penny) serve up this season. (Thursdays at 8 pm on CBS)

3) “Parenthood”: In my opinion, this is the best drama on television because it’s real. “Parenthood” presents us with a real family dealing with real situations that all families deal with and I am so excited that it received a full order for its second season. Last season the Braverman’s dealt with teen dating drama, a son being diagnosed with Asperger’s and several financial crises just to name a few. I don’t know what they’ll face this season, but I know that they will handle it in a real way, not overly dramatized and not too easily solved. (Tuesdays at 10 pm on NBC)

4) “The Event”: When “Lost” ended in May, I wondered if anything would come along in the fall to fill the void. Many, MANY shows have tried and failed at what “Lost” managed to achieve. Though the premiere of “The Event” left some things to be desired, I was filled with as much intrigue at the end of its premiere as I was when the first episode of “Lost” ended 6 years ago. However, I felt the same way about “FlashForward” this time last year, and that show quickly went downhill and was swiftly cancelled. Only time will tell which end of the spectrum “The Event” will end up on. (Mondays at 9 pm on NBC)

5) “The Good Guys”: These days, everybody needs a good laugh and wants to root for the good guys. That's why "The Good Guys" was my choice for watching this summer. It takes all the things you love about buddy cop dramas and wraps them up in one package. And that package is an hour chock-full of laughter. And the best part about the humor is that it isn't cliche or forced dumb jokes. It’s pretty smart humor. (Fridays at 9 pm on FOX)