I’ve managed to steal away a little bit of time from classes and work. Don’t let them know though, otherwise they’ll come running and give me something to do.

I’ve reached an odd point here in my last semester where everyone has begun to plan and look forward to what they will be doing in their classes next semester. Most of my classes don’t really translate to anything moving forward, but my Intermediate Film class has another level above it. This has been particularly interesting to watch, because where there was only a race to get codes for my current class, there is a much more competitive nature to getting into Advanced Film. Here’s how the class selection works: first the prospective directors are told to pick a script (either one they’ve found from a friend/fellow student, or one they’ve written themselves), submit a reel with all there, and submit and apply for the position. Most everyone that wants to be in the class applies for director, because that’s where all the power is, and where all the decisions are going to come from.
Well, the directors were announced last week, just 8 of them. A class of 45 people, probably 90% of which want to be in the class…all of their fate now lies predominantly in the hands of these 8 people. What began happening today is the directors got together, and began selecting from my class who they wanted as their DPs, editors, producers, and whatever other roles they get to pick and self assign to their own productions.
All the power in the class has now shifted around to these 8 students who will essentially be deciding the makeup of Advanced Film next semester, and it’s been really interesting to watch from an outsiders perspective, who is unconcerned about what classes I will be in next semester.
It’s just been interesting to see everyone all the sudden gravitate to these 8 people, and try to stake out a claim of next semesters real estate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually kind of jealous of what it sounds like everyone is going to be doing in Advanced Film. It sounds like there are some really cool projects coming together, and there is some great fun that will be had.
So…Amanda, Ashton, Brian, Daniel, Dylan, Heather, Ian, and Mercy…congratulations on being chosen to direct for next semester. Good luck on your upcoming projects, and choose your crews well…there is some great talent in this class, some of which that are relatively upset that they got passed over for you. They can be great assets, so make sure they are well utilized. But again, congratulations. Know that I’ll make a return at the end of next semester to see how things have turned out, if I don’t return periodically to lend a hand as a UNT Film School Graduate.

It’s going to continue to be interesting to see how all the puzzle pieces fall into place, but that’s for another time. For now, I’ve been out and seen some flicks, and I have some opinions.

Carrie
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The Steven King classic, turned film, now redone. I never saw the the first 1976 film adaptation, but from what I’ve been told about it, it’s remained pretty faithful to it, just has been updated to match the current state of technology and political climate. With that said…I really enjoyed it. You know how much I dig on Chloë Grace Moretz, and I tend to dig on the crazies too (they just know how to have fun), so it was great to see her in another starring role again so soon. Julianne Moore played the role of Carrie’s mother, Margaret, and I thought her acting was probably the best in the movie. She really came off as cagily unhinged, full of reserved religious fury.
I got a real Sam Raimi feel to the effects used in the movie, just a bit over the top, but I enjoyed that…just a little bit over the edge. There is no denying that the story is solid, it wouldn’t have been adapted this many times otherwise. The sound design also had kind of a Sam Raimi film aesthetic to it, I’m really surprised he didn’t play any part in making the film. The music fit, but felt slightly eerie and non-diegetic in places. That’s the thing with Sam Raimi flicks, it’s just over-the-top enough to pull you out and remind you that it isn’t actually reality that you are watching. And that’s how this film felt, not really immersive, but all the same a very well done flick.
Carrie – 7 out of 10

Ender’s Game
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I have been looking forward to this adaptation for far too long. I’ve been hyping it up for what feels like forever. I’d known about it being in the pipeline for several years now, and after having read the book, and from what I heard was supposed to be the companion book, I’ve been beyond excited to see this. I’ve had the bar set really high, and we all know what happens when we do that.
I might have built up the movie a little too much in my own head. I really liked the casting, but the acting felt a bit forced at times. I also felt like the budget might have run a little bit shallow in places. I feel like the bulk of it probably went towards special effects and Harrison Ford. I say that because the battle scenes were really impressive, but the rest of the interior scenes felt like the were almost hastily thrown together.
I completely understand that a lot of book material has to be left out when being adapted to film, for the sake of time, but there was some material that was just blatantly ignored, and that they got dead wrong. I know that there’s a certain creative freedom that is allotted to filmmakers doing adaptation…a lot really, but having been a fan immediately after reading the source material, I have a hard time forgiving the oversight/ignorance. And some of the stuff too that was changed or overlooked kind of leaves it hard to make a sequel based on the books, if they wanted too.I recognize though that I’m a little bit biased in my opinion, but I’ve heard others say that the movie felt like a montage of montages, so I know I’m not alone in feeling like the story could have been better adapted.
One positive thing I can say about the movie though is that the sound design and the score was excellent. I feel like the rest of what I’ve said has been pretty negative, but I still left the movie feeling very entertained…which at its core is the aim of all movies. I liked it…I really did like it, but I just felt like it had a lot of flaws.
Ender’s Game – 7 out of 10

Thor: The Dark World
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I feel like, that of all the Marvel films that led up to the 2012 Avengers film, Thor was by far the weakest film. I feel like it even fell behind the 2008 Edward Norton version of The Hulk. Thor: The Dark World had a lot of ground to make up, and the filmmakers knew it. It may have helped that most people had their bars set pretty low for the film, but this one really delivered.
All the actors felt like they’d had their performances polished up for this flick. Everyone returned for their respective roles. Kat Dennings too, though I wish they’d have picked a location where they didn’t have here wearing so much clothing. Yep, you’ve found another of my celebrity crushes.

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She’s dreamy.
But yea, the acting was on point. High point of the film…Tom Hiddleston as Loki. He’s just like RDJ as Tony Stark/Iron Man…he just knows how to own that role. His facial expressions, his sense of timing…it’s just perfect.

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The story was well told and well thought out, the sound design and score was very diegetic, and the effects were great. There’s a growing trend with all the Marvel movies to employ more graphical effects artists than literally all the rest of the the films workers combined. Go back and look at the list of VFX artists for Iron Man 3 and get ready for your jaw to drop if you don’t believe me.
The bar is being raised though for the next Avengers film, because the next Captain America film is looking pretty good too, from what I’ve seen. I kinda wonder though if they have a plan for another Hulk film before bringing the gang back together, God knows we could use an independent Mark Ruffalo/Hulk flick. I digress though…
Thor: The Dark World – 8 out of 10

While we’re on the subject of movies, I might make a couple of recommendations to independent horror/slasher film fans. I’ve watched a couple of flicks at the urging of my friend and fellow blogger Miko. One of the films is American Mary. It was one of my bonus films on my summer list. I thought it visually captivating and wonderfully repulsive. I won’t give you a review here, instead I’ll let Miko do the honors.
The other film we watched was The Loved Ones, actually a film from 2009. It was über creepy, and gave me the shivers at times, but it was great. Basically a kind of loner girl takes clingyness to new levels. That’s all I’ll say.

Sigh…I don’t think I’m coping well with the time change. I know there’s always a wave of people that love to complain that Daylight Savings Time has them going nuts springing forward or falling back, but it goes deeper for me. I think that time itself, as an imaginary construct is just utter bull crap. The tracking of time is something that we as a species made up in an effort to unite each other, but in this day and age, it shows more our efforts to separate ourselves. Daylight Savings Time (and I could be wrong about this, I accept) was formed for farmers to let them more easily tend to their harvest as the seasons change. Why does the rest of the world have to conform to them? Why do they have to conform to the rest of the world?
I understand the function of all the different time zones in the world, but once we extend our reach to other planets, what will we do then? We can’t just try and coordinate them with a time zone back here on Earth, as their day lengths won’t even line up correctly. How do we do it now, with the space station?
Why do we care? There is already a natural rhythm to life that our bodies respond to without having to be told what time it is. We know when it’s day, we know when it’s night, what else do we really need. My point can be made by a quote I found a while back, by author Mitch Albom
“Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie.
Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check it’s watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.
Man alone measures time.
Man alone chimes the hour.
And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures.
A fear of time running out.”
So yea, time is bull crap, and I’m tired of adjusting to when everyone else thinks I should be up and active. I’ll figure it out on my own, thank you very much.
If only I could do that…sigh.

Oh dang, they’ve found me. I guess it’s time to get back to work. I’ll get back to you whenever I can. Light is at the end of the tunnel…I see it now. See you on the other side.
One more thing…I’ve run out of hipster food pictures. I’m still doing a good bit of cooking, and fantastic eating out, but you’ve seen most everything I make, or the places I hit. So…I’ll just try and find stuff to make your mouth water from here on out, unless I get creative in the kitchen. So…

Keep your heads up, your minds sharp, and your hearts open.

– CVSleen

5 Cheese Bacon Mac and Cheese

5 Cheese Bacon Mac and Cheese

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Comments
  1. Woop! Advanced Film sounds tense…and Hunger Games-ish. lol I’ll have to catch Carrie on DVD and do something with it, of course. Can’t resist those silly comparison posts. There’s a review for The Loved Ones hanging out on the blog too [for everyone else lol *shameless self promo*]. Imo, I thought Captain America was the weakest and Thor was too far from it, but the sequel looks pretty good. Lucky you (or unlucky who knows), I have another crazy movie for you. :3

    • CVSleen says:

      I looked for a “The Loved Ones” review, but a search couldn’t find anything, or I would have linked to that too :/
      Oh, you’ve got another messed up movie for me, you’ve got me anxious now!

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