Nate’s Short Movie Review: Frankenweenie

Tags

, , , , , ,

Frankenweenie
MPAA Rating: PG

Nate’s Good Sense Rating: PG (has some mildley intense action sequences)

Synopsis

Boy has dog. Dog get hits by car. Boy is sad, but uses his scientific genius to bring the dog back to life. Other kids find out about the boys success. They decide they want to try the same thing to win the science fair…..Wait for it…..Wait for it….Chaos ensues.

Review

In 1984, a young director released a short live action film through the Disney company. The yet unknown director was consequently fired by Disney, after they claimed that “Frankenweenie” wasted company resources and was too scary for the young audiences it was intended for.

But after the success of movies like “PeeWee’s Big Adventure”, “Edward Scissorhands”, and “Batman”, Disney decided to give the animator/director another chance. In 1993, Burton released the now classic “Nightmare Before Christmas”. Disney has made millions off of that film and easily made thier investment back from Burton’s film 10 years earlier.

When Tim Burton decided to give Frankenweenie another chance, this time as a stop animation film, Disney was more than willing to let him work his magic.

Frankeweenie is filmed completely in black and white. It is an artistic format that is very risky in a world of big scale 3D production. But it works. My guess is, it was Burton’s nod to the classic “Young Frankenstein”. The story is decent and the characters are intriguing. Although this movie is not even close to being in the same league as the aforementioned “Nightmare..”, fans of Tim Burton will eat it up. Those who may not be as big of fans, may not like it as much. But, it is a film that I can recommend if there is nothing else to rent.

2.5 nateys out of 5

 

Advertisements

Nate’s Short Movie Review: Prometheus

Tags

, , , ,

Prometheus
MPAA Rating: R
Nate’s Good Sense Rating: STRONG R
(Intense graphic violence)

Synopsis

In the late 21st century a group of scientists travel to a distant solar system to see if they can contact a group of aliens who just might be the creators of the human race.  To give much more of the plot away would be to ruin the movie for those who haven to seen it.

Review

After word of Ridley Scott’s new science fiction movie leaked, most people were anticipating a prequel movie to his successful and classic movie Alien. And although Prometheus does end up being a prequel to the others, it is not a movie filled with acid-blooded aliens lurking behind every corner.  Don’t get me wrong, this movie still has enough scares and gross factor to make the hardiest movie goer squirm.

The storyline is tight.  The acting is convincing.  The action is swift.  And most of all the film is beautifully filmed. The color scheme is amazing. And Scott is in true form with purposeful panoramic scenes.

If you want a good scare, and then some thought-provoking dialogue afterwards, this movie delivers.

4 out of 5 nateys

Nate’s Music Review:TobyMac–Eye on It

Tags

, , , , ,

TobyMac-Eye on It
ForeFront Records

2.5 out of 5 nateys

In 1989 a little rap group from Liberty University released their debut album on the fledgling record label Forefront. It was short and honestly, kind of cheesy. But it struck a cord with me and thousands of other Christian teenagers wanting to find music that was, at the very least, kindof like the popular music of the day.

Through the course of their five albums, this Little Band who called themselves DC Talk, became one of the most successful Christian bands of all time. They also became one of the most influential; pushing the boundaries of what people considered Christian music to be.

At the beginning of the new millenium, the three members of DC Talk decided to go their seperate ways. Each of them releasing solo records over the past decade.

Toby McKeehan (now known as TobyMac) has easily been the most successful of the three members. Releasing his debut solo album in 2001. With his ability to write great lyrics and mix them with catchy hooks, he has managed to release four very successful solo projects.

On Toby’s fifth solo attempt, he has crafted another eleven songs that are sure to make his fans happy. With catchy hooks, dubstep influenced music, and great lyrics, it is about what we have come to expect from the master of cool….

But that is part of the problem with this most recent effort. It is about what we would expect, nothing more. The songs are enjoyable and catchy, but not as catchy as other songs from other albums. TobyMac has always been on the cutting edge of what is popular in the mainstream and mixing it with Christian themes. He does a good job here, but there is nothing memorable on this album.

I like the album enough to recommend it. There is enough good material to slap down the $10 to $15 it might cost you. But, I caution that one or two listens might be enough for you. After that it just might be put on the shelf and replaced by one of his earlier projects.

But, never forget TobyMac is still TobyMac. And he still cool. And I would still go out of my way to see the man in concert.

Getting Closer

Tags

, ,

It’s only taking me twenty years to get this far.  But 2013 finds me three classes from finishing my degree in Information Technology.  The final two classes before my senior project are beginning programming classes.  Specifically in java. 

I am finding these classes rather difficult.  They are so logical with strange langauge, that they are frying my brain.  Any help that anybody could give me would be appreciated.

The Gun Problem and the Problem With Our Society

Tags

, , , , ,

download

I just read a blog about Quinton Tarantino being interviewed on the NPR program Fresh Air.  He was getting upset and annoyed that the host was trying to draw conclusions that perhaps the violent movies he creates are part of the problem in our society. And, perhaps, some of what’s responsible for the awful story in Connecticut.  Of course Tarantino denied emphatically and proceeded to make the claim that we needed to focus on gun control and mental illness.

Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the hypocrisy in this statement.  On one hand Tarantino is single handily responsible for some of the most violent movies of the past twenty years.  Movies that glorify death, guns, gangs etc.  And on the other hand, he is trying to be an advocate for gun control.  Well, which is it Mr. Tarantino?

I am not a person that will espouse that our problem in this culture is our movies video games and entertainment industry.  But, I can’t see how you can say that it is not part of the problem. Prove to me that we do not become desensitized to the things we see on a tv screen or the the racking up of the body count on the video games we play.

I am also not one to say that we should have any type of gun control.  I am all for our right to bare arms.  I believe in the idea of an unarmed citizenry is nothing but a slave to tyrannical government.  Buy a gun, protect yourself.  But there has got to be something that can be done to keep these kind of horrific events from happening again.  AND I am not convinced giving all of our teachers a gun is the best decision.

The problem here runs deeper than taking away guns.  It runs deeper than movies or video games.  It is the byproduct of the torn fabric of family in this country.  I don’t have any answers.  Lord, knows there are no easy ones.  I just know that we all need to take a good look at ourselves and see the plank that is sticking out of our own eyes before blaming anything that’s happened on anybody else.

Day 3: It Would Seem That I Have Already Failed

On New Years, I had made a pledge to try an blog every day for the next year.  But yesterday, nothing happened.  I do have a good excuse, and I’m gonna share it with ya.

My computer has been having problems.  It will not start half the time.  Sometimes it takes hours for me to be able to boot it up.  Every time it gets turned off its a scary proposition as to whether it will ever turn on again.  I think the problem is my CPU.  The little pins that attach the CPU to the mother board are not connected tightly any more.  The glue that is used has come undone.  I have learned through the course of the past couple of months, that if my computer gets hot enough it will eventually get the jump it needs to do its thing.

Well yesterday, my computer started up for without any problem.  But, unbeknownst to me, I had unplugged my computer and it entered sleep mode.  Sleep mode is just as bad as shutting it all the way off.  It will enter sleep mode and just hang there in this perpetual coma. 

So, needless to say, i could not get my computer back up yesterday.  And hence my excuse for not writing anything.  hopefully the next 363 days goes a little smoother.

Nate’s New Music Review:Bryan Duncan-Conversations

Tags

, , ,

Bryan Duncan-“Conversations”
Release Date:Spring 2013
Purchase album and help Bryan with getting the word out here

When I first trusted Christ at the age 16, one of the first Christian music artists I was introduced to was Bryan Duncan through his album Strong Medicine. I didn’t have any knowledge of the fact that he was one of the pioneers of “Jesus Music”, I just knew that I loved his voice and his songs spoke to me.

Bryan was one of the most successful artists on a Christian label throughout the 80’s and 90’s garnishing dove awards and Grammy nominations.  But, as it always does, things change and it wasn’t any different for the Christian music industry.  Throughout the beginning of the new millennium, the Christian music industry exploded and was filled with younger more “hip” acts.  This had the unfortunate impact of pushing the more veteran musicians off the roster.  Stalwart bands such as Petra, WhiteHeart, and yes Bryan Duncan, found themselves without a label.

Fortunately we have entered a new era in the music industry.  One, where you don’t have to have a major record label pushing your album.  This new era gives musicians the opportunity to market themselves how they want and as hard as they want.

All this to say that Bryan Duncan has a new album out and it is wonderful. Conversations marks Bryan’s first solo album in over 10 years.  It is safe to say that he has not lost any of his “blue-eyed soul” that he is most well-known for.  His ability to pen a great lyric has not faltered either.

One of the positives of being an “indy” artist, is that you don’t have to fit a certain mold.  If you want to write a love song, then you have the freedom to do so. If you want to write a song that may express doubts or questions about faith and God, you can do that too. There isn’t that constant pressure to answer to record execs telling you what you can and cannot have on your album.

Mr. Duncan takes full advantage of this freedom and pens some wonderful love songs such as “You Make Me Love You”, and “Know It”.  There are also some great tracks discussing the tender way that the Lord leads us on even when we have nothing left to give (“One Missing Piece”).

Fathers of boys will be able to relate to the song, “Every Father is a Son”. A touching song about looking at your own son as a son yourself.  Seeing your son grow up and make mistakes, just like his father.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I am not one of the best writers in the world. However, please do not let my lack of skills keep you from checking out this new album. In fact, for a limited time, you can listen to the entire album for free. Just follow this link.

Overall this is album ranks as one of the best of Bryan’s career. The world is blessed when he has the ability to make music and share it with us. I for one hope that this is not the last time we hear from a truly talented artist.

As we discussed earlier, there are advantages in this new age of social media to being an indy artist. However one thing has not changed. The phrase “It takes money..” still holds true. And to have a successful marketing of an album you have made yourself, takes lots and lots of money. If you would like to find out how you can help Bryan Duncan get the word out about this album, he has lots of great ideas on his website. Please visit this pageto find out more.

Nate’s Short Movie Review: Vertigo

Tags

, , , , ,

MPAA Rating:Technically none.  However, remastered version contains PG

Nate’s good sense rating:PG (some disturbing images..remember this movie was made in 1958)

Synopsis

Retired detective who has a bad case of acrophobia is talked into following an old College buddy’s wife who is acting strangely.  He falls in love and becomes almost obsessed with her.  There is much more to the story than this, but to say anymore would give plot points away.

Review

To say that Alfred Hitchcock was a genius is to understate his talents as a director.  This movie is first rate with twists and turns at every moment in the film.  The film is full of motifs and images that add to the plot.  It is obvious to see why this film is used in many film courses.  I must say, Jimmy Stewart can play a man who is on the fringe of becoming completely insane quite well.

4 out of 5 nateys