Wednesday, July 27, 2011

5 Scenes That Will Make You Weep

I’m not really one that is the first to break down and cry during a touching scene...that still doesn’t mean I’m dead inside!!! >.>  It just takes a special moment in film to make me uncontrollably weep like a baby.  We’ve all had it, that moment when you’re sitting there in the theater or the comfort of your own couch when you get that lump in the back of your throat.  It’s when you realize, “Crap, is this movie really going to make me cry?!...really???...it’s just that scene where the bees are attacking his face and he’s all like ‘NO NOT THE BEES!!!’...it’s powerful stuff”...seriously though, grab a box of tissue guys, these are just five scenes (there are plenty of others) that will make you weep, and if they don’t...I’ll go ahead and say that maybe you have no soul.

Field of Dreams
“Ease his pain”

What is it about old school Kevin Cosner films?  They’re awesome that’s what.  Baseball isn’t my favorite sport to watch but this film still resonates with me because I grew up watching it with my Dad, and I will forever equate it with that.  Even if you don’t like baseball, Field of Dreams is still a great film and it’s the ending scene where Ray (Kevin Costner) is talking to the ghost of his father Karin Kinsella (Gaby Hoffmann) that gets me:

Karin: "For me, it's like a dream come true...Is this heaven?"
Ray:  "It's Iowa"
Karin: "Iowa? I could have sworn it was heaven"
Ray: "Is there a heaven?"
Karin: "Oh yeah, it's the place dreams come true"
Ray: "Maybe this is heaven" -----"Hey, Dad? Wanna have a catch?"
Karin: "I'd like that"
Ending with the long shot of the two playing catch together on the ball diamond with the lights turned on, and an overhead shot of a stream of car headlights approaching from the distance.
Yep...makes me cry every time...damn you Kevin (circa 1980’s) Costner!!!!

Moulin Rouge
“Tell our story Christian..”

Alright, this is the only “chick flick” of this list so back off ladies...they’re typically not the type of movie I see...unless it’s directed by Baz Luhrmann then it’s a different story.  Moulin Rouge, the movie that can be argued as the reason musical film came back into our lives.  Again, thank you Mr. Luhrman.  The film is of course brilliant, and it’s again the closing scene that left me with my heart wrenched.
Satine is dying in Christian’s arms as the curtain opens for curtain bows:

Satine: You've got to go on, Christian.
Christian: I can't go on without you.                  
Satine: You've got so much to give.  Tell our story, Christian...Promise me.  Promise me.  That way...   
...I'll always be with you.
It’s not so much the dialogue in this scene, it’s more Ewan McGregor’s beautiful acting.  He lets out such painful, ugly, yet somehow still gorgeous crying over top of Nicole Kidman that it will break any one's heart.

The Lion King
“So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you. And so will I.”

The picture alone makes me want to cry and the scene where Mufasa dies in The Lion King has made me cry since the first time I saw it back in 1994.  The Lion King is my number one all time favorite Disney animated film (it’s got big kitties!!! :3) and in my opinion this scene is one of the best to ever come out of Disney.  There’s not much dialogue, it’s just simply Simba’s begging for his father to wake up, him nuzzling under his lifeless leg and just lying there.  Couple that with the incredible score by Hans Zimmer and you’ve got a scene that will make a grown man cry...and that’s the magic of Disney.  As a side note, they’re re-releasing The Lion King in 3D on September 13th for two weeks only.  I’ve seen it in 3D before and it’s pretty spectacular...so come, join me in September and we can cry together.


“It has been explained to me that I've been away for quite some time.I'm back.”

There’s no denying that Robert De Niro is one of the all time greatest actors, but it was Awakenings that made me sit up and take notice.  Released in 1990 and directed by Penny Marshall, it’s a film about Leonard Lowe (De Niro) a catatonic patient who is given a new drug, L-Dopa, that wakes him from his decades long “sleep”.  Robin Williams, in one of his best roles, plays Malcolm Sayer the neurologist who discovers the effects of the drug.  The film as a whole is overwhelmingly touching and it makes you realize how precious a healthy body can be.  It’s the scenes within the film in which Leonard Lowe is relapsing back into his catatonic state after being awakened though.  The sadness is absolutely crushing watching him slip away.  If you haven’t scene this film I highly recommend it because it’s one of De Niro’s greatest roles.

Grave of the Fireflies
“Why must fireflies die so young?”

Holy crap...if you don’t like crying never watch this movie.  This Studio Ghibli film, released in 1988, is semi-autobiographical anti-war story about Seita and Setsuko (brother and sister) trying to survive WWII.  The novel Grave of the Fireflies is based off of, by Akiyuki Nosaka, is intended as a personal apology to his own sister.  After I learned that, it makes this film that much more powerful.  It’s an incredible story that’s profound, ruthless, unyielding and the fact that it’s an animated film shouldn’t sway you in the least.  I would compare this film to Schindler’s List, The Pianist, and Saving Private Ryan...it’s just as strong.  I sniffled through most of the film but it wasn’t until  the end (and this really isn’t a spoiler b/c they tell you in the beginning) when Setsuko dies from starvation.  All Seita can do is hold a hopeless lonely vigil over his sister’s small and extremely malnourished body.  The rest I viewed through blurred eyes so I can’t really recall the full ending.  Trust me, it’s a film that I will never forget and it’s one that shouldn’t go unwatched.

So there you have it, five films that have touched me emotionally.  Some people like to only watch movies that are shallow and fluff filled.  Which I suppose is fine, there are those who look at going to the movies as a complete escape and they don’t want to see pain or feel intense emotions during them.  I’m quite the opposite, I search for films that will make me think about subjects that may not normally come up in my life and possibly pull at the heart strings.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Top Ten Film Directors

This list is quite an undertaking in my eyes.  As I’ve grown up, my love of film has grown with me.  I’m no longer driven go see films just because it has a certain actor or actress in it.  I now research the writers, composers, cinematographers, and most importantly...the director.  A film can have amazing cast of endlessly talented actors, but if I see, “Directed by M. Night Shyamalan”....I’m like, “Well....shit.  This is gonna blow.” >( Seriously dudes...what the eff happened to that guy!!??  On the flip side, there are those directors that I can put my full faith in...the one’s that never cease to amaze me.  Here are those directors.

10.) Henry Selick
"You know, you could stay forever if you want.  There's one tiny thing we have to do first..."

Henry Selick is one of those wonderful directors that graces us with his genius once every few years, but every time a film of his pops up I’m always excited.  Selick has directed such works as The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Coraline.  I’m, of course, a giant fan of Nightmare and I feel that his vision meshed incredibly with Tim Burton’s writing.  But it was really the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel Coraline that sealed the deal for me.  I had read the book quite awhile before the release of the film and it is by far one of my favorites of Gaiman’s work.  Selick’s adaptation floored me...never before had a director successfully brought such characters to life...beautiful eye popping LIFE.  All I can say is that I hope and pray everyday that he makes the adaptation of Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book...seriously...it needs to happen.

Forever...I shall adore thee!!!

9.) Guillermo del Toro
 "I am the mountain, the forest and the earth. I am... I am a faun."

The first film I saw directed by Guillermo del Toro was Hell Boy.  I didn’t know much about the comic it was based on but I was immediately drawn in by the film and it’s creatures that painted the picture.  The more del Toro films I see the more I realize how much of a genius he is with fantasy.  As I go through my list you’ll notice that there’s always that one film that drives it home for me...the one that makes me decide, “Yep...this director is at the top of my list.”  Pan’s Labrynth was the defining movie from del Toro’s mind that did it for me.  A great deal of people were disappointed that this film was so “real world” heavy, but I see that as a high point in the film.  Yes, the characters like Pan and that pasty naked baby eater are amazing, but it’s the real world that Ofelia lives in that I find the most compelling.  It’s dark, disturbing, fantastical, and an incredible story that only del Toro could pull off.  If you enjoyed Pan’s then I highly suggest you check out The Devil’s Backbone.  It’s another Guillermo del Toro flick that really sticks with you.

Beware Matt...there’s creepy children in this one.  >_<

 8.) Luc Besson
"Is life always this hard, or is it just when you're a kid?"

If you’re looking for films with lots of action, great plots, phenominal actors, and the occasional subtitles then look no further than Luc Besson.  He’s worked on over 50 films as director, producer, and writer.  Known best for, Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element (my personal fav.), and of course the surprisingly enjoyable Taken.  His films may not be the deepest but they’re always compelling and well thought out.  His action scenes are always fast paced, believable and the relationships between characters always ring true. They’re the type of films that literally I can watch over and over again.  Besson is the kind of director that when I’m setting off to go watch one of his films, I know I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it.

Neeson...you are a true bad-ass, sir.

7.) Edgar Wright

 "It's about two-feet tall, long slender neck, kinda orange and black bill..."

As I was putting this list together I had originally completely forgot about Edgar Wright...but when I remembered, and after I was done scolding myself, I promptly kicked a director out of the line up (I’ll leave it to you to guess who) and I found the number 7 spot (tehheh! 7 evil exes...get it!?) for Wright.  His work is the most light-hearted work on my list and his films just bring me so much joy.  Films such as Shawn of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the TV show Spaced there’s not much to go wrong.  Especially when he’s paired up with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  Wright’s most recent film adaptation of the manga Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was pure eye candy....beautiful, action packed, massively engaging, perfect eye candy.  He not only understands what makes a good action flick but he understands how to make it gut busting hilarious.  Let’s just all hope that soon...very soon we get the third installment to “The Blood and Ice Cream” trillogy from Wright, Pegg, and Frost...keep an eye out for The World’s End kiddies!

Eye popping right!!??

6.) Ridley Scott

"That was my profession. Ex-cop. Ex-blade runner. Ex-killer."

Ridley Scott’s work has spanned several decades now with incredible unforgettable films like Blade Runner, Aliens, Legend, Thelma and Louise, Gladiator...GLADIAAAATORRR!!!, Black Hawk Down....do I need to go on any more!?  Shit, the guy knows how to make a film.  Not only does he know how to entertain the movie goer but he does it with such a wide variety of films.  Thelma and Louise is an extensively different genre of film than say one of his more recent, Body of Lies.  Couple this array of films with his keen eye for what makes people want to keep coming back to the theater and you’ve got a director with staying power.  I will have to say that some of his most recent films are not my favorite of his (here’s to hoping for Prometheus), but it’s still great solid film making.  He also knows how to find incredible actors (Russell Crowe) and he sticks with them.

And he seems to have taken a liking to this guy...and I can really appreciate that.

5.) The Coen Brothers

"Prison life is more structured than most men care for..."

Witty, dark, compelling, inventive, smart and hilarious are all words I use to describe the work of the Coen brothers.  For those who don’t know they’ve graced us with movies like; Raising Arazona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Lady Killers, No Country for Old Men, and the latest remake of True Grit.  Not only do they direct but they also write their own films and unlike some directors who try to write at the same time (Zach Snyder) the Coens are phenomenal at it.  I just...LOVE the way they think...I’ve watched their films over and over again and I’m still surprised by the elements and how everything falls into place by the end.  Personally I feel the bowling alley dream sequence in The Big Lebowski is a work of art.  And I’m proud to say that my home state hosts the annual Lebowskifest...which I tragically miss every flippin year...and I just realized that it was last weekend...DAMN IT. >:(

I know guys...it bums me out too.

4.) Quinten Tarintino
"Get ready to fly, bitch!"

Yes, his films may not be for everyone but for me they’re everything I could ask for in cinema.  Some are put off by the great deal of talking that he likes to make his actors do, but when it’s fantastic writing I just eat that type of stuff up.  I grew up watching a lot of older films and I’m not afraid to sit still and listen to a story unfold.  On the flip side when Tarintino does action you better hold to your hat because he does it right...and bloody. XD  This=Tressa likey.  He has a knack for the over-the-top gore, but more importantly he knows how to make a female lead bad-ass....really bad-ass.  I had always loved Tarintino’s work growing up and I think over the years I’ve appreciated his unique style, but it wasn’t until Inglourious Basterds when I realized that I had found a new love.  A love that says, “Tarintino, never work without Christoph Waltz, and dear God please finish Django Unchained as soon as possible!!!”

I mean...there are worst things to look at right before you die or get your head carved into.


3.) Matthew Vaughn
"In the world I lived in, heroes only existed in comic books. And I guess that'd be okay, if bad guys were make-believe too, but they're not."

You must be thinking, “Holy crap Tressa, Matthew Vaughn has barely been on the map long enough for most (non-geeks) to even know what he’s done!!!  I can’t believe he’s so high on your list!” :^O  Settle down...it’s because EVERY thing he’s directed I effing love love LOVE.  It’s no mystery that Stardust is one of my favorite movies but after seeing Kick-Ass....hold on guys cause I have to pause from the overbearing amount of awesome..... >_< …...ok...ok...I’m good.  Kick-Ass is one of the best, not only comic book movies, but action movies too.  It’s not opinion it’s fact.  If you challenge me I will swiftly do a roundhouse kick to your face.  So you can imagine my joy when I learned that Vaughn was to direct the newest X-Men film, and people fought me on it and they doubted me when I said it was gonna be good...look who was right suckers!!!! *ahem*...sorry.  Like Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class was not only an incredible comic book film, it’s a great piece of cinema all together.  Vaughn just has the magic touch.  I’m ecstatic to see what he works on in the near future and I of course can’t wait for Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall.


2.) Steven Spielberg

"You can come and play now."

Spielberg is like a warm fuzzy blanket to me...wait...his films gives me warm fuzzies?... >-<  I grew up watching his films.  There are those like E.T. and Close Encounters that I was able to watch as a child and enjoy and understand.  But as I grew older I of course wanted more adult films and of course there was always a Spielberg film to entertain me.  I remember very vividly getting my Mom to by me and my friend tickets to go see Saving Private Ryan.  I was becoming more of a war film lover but I wasn’t old enough to buy tickets to a rated R movie...I definitely didn’t look old enough.  I was determined, I used my mother for my bidding and I commanded her to sneak me into a rated R WWII film...I was not disappointed and it doesn’t hurt that Spielberg always uses one of my favorite actors, Tom Hanks.

So what if he dies in almost all of Speilberg's movies!!! >.<

1.) Christopher Nolan

"We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I'm no different."

Right, I know...derp.  In all seriousness though, Christopher Nolan is hands down my favorite director of all time.  He can do no wrong in my eyes.  It all started when I saw Memento when it was first released and I was enthralled with the story telling and it’s characters.  As the years passed Nolan came out with one glorious film after another then in 2005 he did the unimaginable....he resurrected the Batman movie franchise.  Not only did he breath life back into the character that had been pummeled my Schumacher, but he did it with the idea that Batman could live in a real world with real threats.  He made it easy for the audience to identify with Bruce Wayne and his fears...basically he made a comic book film that people respected.  With The Dark Knight he did it once again and better.  Last summer was the release of Inception and the first words out of my mouth when I walked out of the theater were, “Christopher Nolan is my favorite director.” and then I think I said something along the lines of “I want to have his babies”....anywho!  His films are invoking, awe inspiring, inventive beyond belief, and I put my full faith in everything he touches...everything.  To me, Christopher Nolan’s work is the very definition of perfection in film and if you don’t agree in the slightest...then you need to have your head checked.


So there you have it, my top ten favorite film directors.  There were some that made it very close to making the list, but they’re also those who don’t instill confidence that their work is going to amaze me every time...work harder Tim Burton.  I’m glad that my tastes in film have adapted to the point where I will see a film based solely on who directed it.  My list is ever changing but there are those who will never leave it.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Seckman's Selections 07/12/11

UPDATE: So I missed a pretty big Geek Release this week. I don't really keep up on book releases, but I just found out that A Dance with Dragons, the 5th book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, was released on 07/12/11 in Hardback. For some, you may recognize the series by the titles of its first book, A Game of Thrones!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Madeon - Pop Culture (live mashup)

Anyone who knows me knows I love mashups and this kid kills it! Dig it!

: Justin

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dead Island: Cover and Pics

So I don't know if this is new news or old news, but I saw where the Dead Island cover was out and found some cools pics! This game looks so FREAKIN awesome. I hope it meets our expectations.

Now that is one Fuckin' awesome cover!

Peace Out!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Seckman's Selections - New Releases (07/06/11)

So this week's releases were pretty minimal. Only one thing on here really worth picking up in my opinion and that's the new album by September! It's GREAT!! Also, 13 Assassins look pretty fuckin awesome.

Here's what's coming out:


Based on true events, the premise of the film is wonderfully simple: In Feudal Japan, an esteemed clan suffers under the reign of the cruel young Lord Naritsugu (Goro Inagaki), who commits whatever unspeakable act -- rape, torture, murder -- that pops into his sociopathic mind at any given moment. Unable to break their sworn oaths, the young lord’s army of samurai are forced to watch dark times fall upon the clan as Naritsugu ascends, unopposed, towards the height of Shogun. Some of the most revered samurai masters in the clan even go so far as to commit Seppuku (ritual suicide) in protest of this calamity.

Unable to stomach the horror any longer, an aging warlord reaches out to another seasoned master named Shinzaemon Shimada (Koji Yakusho) with a special mission: gather a small team of the most deadly samurai left in the clan and find a way to kill Lord Naritsugu while he is traveling between clan territories. After baring witness to the atrocities that have been committed by Naritsugu, Shimada agrees to the suicide mission and gathers a team of noble samurai (including his disenchanted young nephew, Shinrouko), to hatch an unthinkable plan: send twelve men to kill more than a hundred. [taken from 13 Assassins Review on ScreenRant.com]



Hobo with a Shotgun (Collector's Edition + Digital Copy)





This is the world as I see it! ~Matt

EXCLUSIVE: 'Batman: Year One' Trailer Is Here!

EXCLUSIVE: 'Batman: Year One' Trailer Is Here!

Batman says...

Courtesy of Mr. Bruce Timm.

: Justin

Hello Poppers!