Category Archives: reviews

The Hunger Games review: Strong performances win out over shaky camera

28 Mar , 2012,
Chip Street
7 comments

hunger games poster** Related post: Shaky camera technique inspires Lenbrook’s new ShudderStik tripod head

The Hunger Games movie review: Shaky cameras and low budget blues are saved by a strong premise and stronger performances.

The Shaky Camera

Yes, it’s true, the Hunger Games Shaky Camera Effect does suck. But it kind of doesn’t entirely ruin the film.

It’s not just “hand held”. It’s like some palsied old man with tremors (like me) was holding the camera and then hired a guy to grab him by the elbows and shake him mercilessly.

And come on, if you’re one of those people saying it was just in the action sequences, shut up and be honest. The shaky camera isn’t exclusive to the action scenes. It’s used right in the opening sequences, in the most quiet and intimate of scenes, as Katniss soothes her little sister after a nightmare and helps her fall back to sleep… camera jittering and shaking like security cam footage of an earthquake.

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TrollHunter – The Review

3 Oct , 2011,
Chip Street
4 comments

I’d been looking forward to TrollHunter since seeing the trailer in August of last year… any successful film that features a classic but underutilized creature bodes well for our horror script Faeries.

trollhunter movieSo I was excited to see it available on NetFlix streaming this weekend. In some ways, it didn’t disappoint. And in other ways, it did.

There’s some originality in TrollHunter, in the form of said underutilized creature. Some good CGI, and some good pacing and structure.

But there’s also sadly a lot that’s not terribly original. And in the end, not a lot of “there” there.

First, check out the trailer:

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My son laughs all the way through Commercial Kings

29 Aug , 2011,
Chip Street
,
No Comments

My son laughs all the way thru Commercial Kings with frequent pauses to gasp “I love this show!”

Rhett Link Commercial KingsWhat? You don’t know this show? You should. It’s like Dirty Jobs meets Project Greenlight with funny. And, maybe a touch of Hoarders (but with love). What’s wonderful about the show is that it’s not really about making commercials, it’s about these great little vignettes of American small business owners … unique characters, original souls, and treated with such great respect by Rett and Link.

Must watch. I expect this to be on the air for a long time.

Recipe for Skyline: 3 easy ingredients

22 Jul , 2011,
Chip Street
No Comments

Recipe for a science fiction movie

skyline movie posterTake 11 lines of dialogue and 3 core concepts from Independence Day.

Add the squids from The Matrix.

Fold in some War Of The Worlds remake, stir.

Accidently knock over the Mars Attacks and spill some in.

Bake at 17 degrees for 94 minutes.

Let cool.

Enjoy your Skyline.

Yeah, that’s kind of all I have to say. Some cool effects, but this really runs like a 94 minute version of a YouTube video designed to show off somebody’s After Effects chops.

And a few minutes of The Raven or Panic Attack is plenty, thanks.

Platinum Hit Finds A New Twist On Music Reality Shows

31 May , 2011,
Chip Street
No Comments

It’s true, I like me some reality TV.

Platinum Hit Bravo SeriesIf you’ve known me long enough, you know how unlikely that statement is. I was one of the (many? few?) decrying reality TV as the launch of the apocalypse 10 years ago, the first of the 4 horsemen. But its siren song called to even me, and as a consequence I’ve just finished watching my 10th season of American Idol (the show that, yes, brought my lovely wife and I together) and am hunkering down for my annual fix of So You Think You Can Dance.

I do have my standards, though. My preference is for reality TV that rewards some kind of creativity and talent, extra points for illuminating a little known process or industry, double points for maybe inspiring others. And I don’t have much patience for behind-the-scenes cat-fighting (not too much, anyway … I’ll still DVR my Project Runway … I think mostly it’s because of Tim Gunn, who I think is hilarious and awesome and classy and I would love to have a beer with).

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