A Letter To Youtube Channel “CinemaSins”

There’s a Youtube channel called “CinemaSins”.  They do a series of videos called “Everything Wrong with _______ in ___ minutes”.

I think they’re meant to be funny. They’re not funny. I hate these videos. I don’t find them funny. I find them aggravating.

Here’s why I find them aggravating.

The first video I saw of theirs was this one: Everything Wrong With The Avengers In 3 Minutes Or Less. During this video they completely pick apart every tiny little aspect of the movie and fault everything a “sin point” or something, and then at the end give the movie a total sin score of whatever.

I love The Avengers movie. I saw it in theatres 3 times. Watching the above Youtube video infuriated me. I did not like having someone criticize and nitpick every little inaccuracy in something that I loved. In addition, there were a LOT of things that these Cinema Sins guys gave sin points to that weren’t faults or inaccuracies or anything, they were just the CinemaSins guys opinions on something that was happening. Furthermore, there were points that didn’t even make any sense, and they gave points to things that they were completely wrong about. These weren’t just things like continuity errors or prop malfunctions, things that are legitimate errors in films. No, the majority of sins they point out in the movie are just opinions or sarcastic comments. This infuriated me even more.

I wish I had the time, patience and know-how to make a rebuttal video to their video. I wish I could do a “Everything Wrong With CinemaSins ‘The Avengers’ Video” video because MY sin point end count for their video would be pretty high. I’m going to give some examples of how wrong these guys are in their videos. I’m going to try to limit the number of examples, because I could list A LOT. There were too many to choose from, but I think I picked the ones that best illustrated my point.

Am I saying that The Avengers is a perfect movie? No. No movie is perfect. What I am saying is that the Cinema Sins guys were wrong about almost everything in their video. For example, at one point Captain America and Iron Man are arguing and kinda getting all up in each others faces. The CinemaSins guy said:

“Cap and Iron Man almost kiss,”

and added a point to the sin total.

My reaction was “What? No they didn’t! That’s stupid and wrong… and kinda homophobic. Minus one point.”

During the scene when they first show the S.H.I.E.L.D. helecarrier emerging from out of the ocean they said:

“The helecarrier is hella-stupid.”

No, it isn’t. That’s just your opinion. Minus one point.

Another one was when they said:

“Cap gets AIDS from handling bloody baseball card.”

What the fuck??!?!

Where did CinemaSins get that horrible idea?? Why the fuck did they think that was funny? Why did they give it a point?

Later, during the Chitauri invasion, CinemaSins said:

“And suddenly, there was Bruce Banner on a motorcycle,”

and gave the movie another point. This made no sense. What’s wrong with Bruce Banner arriving on a motorcycle? He fell off the Helicarier, so he couldn’t get to New York with Black Widow, Hawkeye and Captain America. He can’t fly like Iron Man or Thor. It would’ve taken him waaay too long to walk. I know Bruce is a doctor and a genius, but would he know how to steal a car? Why was him arriving on a bike wrong? Were Bruce’s parents killed in a motorcycle accident, giving him a severe phobia of bikes? If so, then this point would been legitimate. Otherwise, there is no reason to nitpick this. It makes no sense to give this a sin point.

Aha! Someone gave me the theory that they were alluding to the idea that Bruce seemed to acquire the motorcycle “out of thin air”. I counter that theory with my own theory that the CinemaSins guys weren’t smart enough to figure out that he got the motorcycle from the same guy he got the clothes from. I figured that out during my first viewing, and I thought it was pretty obvious. That old guy was obviously a security guard hired to watch the unused building that Bruce fell into. How would that man have gotten to work? He must have used that motorcycle, and then lent it to Bruce. The clothes he lent to Bruce were fairly old and worn, and so was the bike. It made logical sense to me. I found out later that there was a deleted scene which shows the security guard lending the bike to Bruce.

Ok, I concede that not everybody who watches the movie once will be able to figure that out where Bruce got the bike, but the CinemaSins guys must have watched the movie several times to make their video, and if after multiple viewings they couldn’t make the connection, then they are showing their lack intelligence.

And then, the comment CinemaSins makes about the scene towards the end of the movie when Bruce gets into Iron Man’s car is:

“Are Banner and Stark dating now?”

Again with the veiled homophobic comments, CinemaSins? Seriously, what is wrong with Tony giving Bruce a lift?  I mean, Bruce is a nice guy and probably would have given the security guard his bike back after the battle, assuming it was still intact, and I will point out again that Bruce does not have a car. CinemaSins seems to think that Bruce is only allowed to walk to wherever he needs to go.

So, then I thought to myself “If watching them nitpick to death a movie that I love made me angry, what if I watched them nitpick to death a movie that I didn’t really like? Would I find it funny?” So, I watched their video Everything Wrong With Twilight In 6 Minutes.

They made a couple of good comments, but there were some points that were just so stupid and wrong that it frustrated me. For example, about 0:27 seconds into the video the guy says something like

“This giant two-story house only has one bathroom,”

and proceeded to give the movie a sin point.

Seriously. That is stupid and wrong.

First, the house isn’t “giant”. Second, it’s fairly common for older houses to only have one bathroom. The house I grew up in was a two story house with only one bathroom. Most of my friend’s houses were the same. There’s nothing wrong with that. To me, that just means the CinemaSins crew were fortunate enough to grow up in houses with more than one bathroom.

Lucky them. Must have been nice. (sarcasm)

Therefore, they should subtract one point from their total for Twilight (not that it would make much of a difference).

Ultimately, the point I think I’m trying to make here is that it seems as though the CinemaSins guys are trying to rack up the highest point total that they can possibly get for each movie they skewer, even if it means that they have to make shit up (which they do, a lot). This cheapens their videos, and it detracts from any humor they were trying to achieve.

CinemaSins,

zoidberg feel bad 2

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3D Or Not 3D, That Is The Question.

Yay, the newest movie fad. Woopty-shit.

I hate watching 3D movies. I hate wearing those stupid glasses overtop of my regular glasses. They’re awkward, freaking uncomfortable and actually becomes fairly painful after an hour and a half.  It wouldn’t be so bad if there were ones that were made to clip onto glasses that people are already wearing, but no. Wearing those stupid glasses actually detracts from my enjoyment of the movie. I go out of my way to avoid seeing a movie in 3D because I dislike the experience so much.

I’ve seen over a dozen 3D movies in theatres in the past few years and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been impressed by the 3D. By far the best 3D movie I’ve ever seen was The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Gahoole. Holy shit that movie was stunning. There were more than a few times during that movie where I thought my jaw was going to hit the floor. I was watching it with a friend and we would frequently turn to each other with a look of astonishment and amazement on our faces. That was good 3D. Second best 3D was A Christmas Carol, the CGI one starring Jim Carrey. Third best was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and the 3D was only used in the first 30 minutes of the movie, the rest of the movie was normal. Fourth was Avatar and fifth was The Nightmare Before Christmas. That’s it. That’s my entire list of good 3D. Are you sensing a little bit of a theme here? Three of those movies are completely animated and one of them is almost completely animated. All of the other 3D movies I’ve seen have not impressed me much.

I recently saw the new Godzilla movie in 3D. I remember the opening shot of a helicopter flying over a jungle, and I remember that being in 3D. The entire rest of the movie I kept thinking “So, where’s the 3D? Why am I paying extra money to see a 3D movie when the movie doesn’t even look 3D?” I honestly don’t think any of the rest of the movie was 3D. It was very lackluster and underwhelming. I ended up feeling disappointed and kind of cheated.

It’s getting to the point where I don’t even think movie studios put any effort into making good-looking 3D. I think all they do is stick “3D” on the end of the title and jack up the price, hoping nobody will notice. It’s just a gimmick and I don’t think it’s worth it most of the time. Not every movie needs to be in 3D. Christopher Nolan was asked to make Inception in 3D and he chose not to. He said that he thought the 3D would take away from the story, and I think he’s right. I think studios should just give up on the 3D fad and use the money that would have been spent on 3D on better writing or directing or something that puts more quality storytelling into the movie. It’s the whole “style over substance” crap that pisses me off.

*BWAAAAAM* INCEPTION!

This post is rated “S” for spoileriffic!

I love the movie Inception. I love the plot, the cast, the direction, the special effects (and the non-reliance on CGI), the score, and everything! Not only that, I love the trivia surrounding the making of the movie. There are so many strange coincidences going on behind the making of this movie. I find it fascinating. First of all, there’s the unusual circumstances behind the cast. Now, in the script of the movie there is a specific song used as a plot device. That song is Édith Piaf’s “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien“. Later, when the studio heads were casting the characters for the movie, they decided to cast actress Marion Cotillard as the character of Mal. They subsequently  came to the realization that Marion had previously played Édith Piaf herself in the biopic La Vie En Rose. So, then they had a little bit of a dilemma. Would they have to change the  song? Would using an Édith Piaf song in a movie which also has Marion Cotillard in it be too weird? Would audiences think this was done on purpose, and would it ruin their enjoyment of the movie? The director, Christopher Nolan, was going to change the song, but the composer, Danny Elfman, persuaded him to keep it, and I am glad they did. 

Another strange coincidence in the movie is the casting of Ellen Page. She is most well-known for her role as the titular character in the movie Juno.  She was nominated for an Oscar for best actress in 2008 for that role, but lost to none other than Marion Cotillard. Well, I find that interesting.

Back to the music, I want to restate a comment I made in an earlier post when I say that composer Hans Zimmer is brilliant. This is why I think he is brilliant: Inception Music Comparison. He didn’t just slow down Non, je ne regrette rien and play that during the dream scenes, he wrote an entire orchestral score to sound as though it was the original song slowed down. And then he made it better. I love all the songs on this score. Hans Zimmer even did a concert before the premiere of Inception in Vienna in 2010. Here’s the video: Inception Concert in Vienna. It’s about 21 minutes long, so it’s not a very long concert, and Hans himself is playing the piano at the end. Love. That. Shit. It gives me goosebumps. The choice to keep Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien as the key song was the right one, as it fits the movie perfectly. Inception is all about regret, and the lyrics are perfect with that theme. You can find an english translation here.

I was reading some of the trivia about the movie on IMDB and here’s one of the pieces that I thought was awesome. It says:

In an interview with ‘Entertainment Weekly’, Christopher Nolan explained that he based roles of the Inception team similar to roles that are used in filmmaking – Cobb is the director, Arthur is the producer, Ariadne is the production designer, Eames is the actor, Saito is the studio, and Fischer is the audience. “In trying to write a team-based creative process, I wrote the one I know,” said Nolan.

Here’s a link to IMDB’s Inception trivia page if you want to read more. I recommend it.

Now, down to the meat of the matter: the plot. I personally love movies that play with your brain, and, man, this one was a big one.  The very last 5 seconds of the movie I was like “Oh… Ohh….Ohhhhhh… GAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! I can’t believe he ended the movie like that!! Leaving the audience hanging like that, that takes Balls of Brass!!” You can’t NOT talk about it afterwards. It affects you. I personally believe that the totem would eventually fall over and show that Cobb is back in the real world. I know that there are strong arguments against that possibility, but I want to believe in the super ultra-happy ending!

I loved the whole use of the totems as plot devices. I love the fact that Cobb doesn’t use his own totem, he uses Mal’s. That tells you a lot about him. I also love the choice of totem made by the characters Arthur and Ariadne. If you remember, Arthur used a loaded die. I find that this speaks a lot to his character. He is a man who does not like to take chances. He will not go into a job if there is any uncertainty about the outcome. He is reliable, rational, and will always have your back. Most people don’t remember right off the bat what Ariadne used as her totem, but it was a chess piece. Specifically, it was the bishop. Now, in chess the bishop is seen as the advisor to the king, and in the movie the king would be Cobb. Think about it. Ariadne is the voice of reason that Cobb desperately needs at that point in his life. I wish we had gotten to see what the other character’s totems were.

Of course, Ariadne herself is a key plot point. The name Ariadne is taken from Greek mythology. She was the daughter of King Minos, who had a giant labyrinth. Theseus was put into the Labyrinth by King Minos as a sacrifice to the minotaur inside the labyrinth, but Ariadne helped him escape by giving him both a sword to kill the minotaur and a ball of red thread with which he could find his way out. In Inception, Ariadne gives Cobb the will to battle his personal demons. I think she also is sort of a personification of the thread. It is with her help that Cobb is able to save Fisher and Saito and get back to reality.

I love that the majority of the special effects were done without the use of CGI. I’ve got a separate rant about the overuse of CGI in movies, and I’ll go into all that later. I love the the hotel hallway fight scene. It was AWESOME! I love that there was hardly any CGI used in that whole scene. I still have no idea how they did it!!  I love that Joseph Gordon-Levitt did almost all of his own stunts during that scene. I love the scene at the beginning of the movie when Saito’s dream is collapsing and Cobb is standing there watching all the water burst in through the upper windows. I know that was done with these huge water cannons. Practical effects. I love the scene with Ariadne and Cobb when they’re talking at the little cafe and Ariadne learns she’s in a dream and it starts collapsing and shit starts exploding everywhere. I keep flinching during that scene because I almost expect a piece of something to come flying at me. Also, I love the scene where Cobb is telling Ariadne about how Mal died, that kills me every time.

The last thing I wanted to mention about this movie is something that came months after I saw it. When it came out on DVD I had to own it right away, so I immediately bought myself a copy. I wish i could have bought a blu-ray copy but I did not have a blu-ray player at the time. Fortunately, my very best friend in the whole wild world bought herself a super awesome blu-ray copy in a fancy package, took the blu-ray out and gave me the package! I love that woman! So, this package is one of the coolest movie packages I have ever seen. First of all, it comes in a mini silver briefcase just like they use for the machine in the movie except it says Inception on the front. It’s a nice, well-made case. I use it a lot. Inside the case was a bunch of crazy merchandise. I love movie memorabilia, and this case had a lot! It had a replica spinning top totem just like the one Cobb uses, except it also says Inception on it. I got 7 of these gorgeous little postcard-sized sized posters of each of the characters with their “role”. They are as follows:
Cobb = The Extractor
Arthur = The Point Man
Ariadne = The Architect
Eames = The Forger
Mal = The Shade
Saito = The Tourist
Fisher = The Mark

The briefcase also contained a mini comic book detailing the events that occurred just before the start of the movie. All of these items are amazing and wonderful and I love the hell out of each of them, but there’s one more item I want to talk about. It’s the weirdest item of all and one that is easily overlooked. It’s an instruction manual on how to work the machine from the movie. When I first saw this I was in near hysterics. I mean, what a bizarre and brilliant thing to include. When you look back on the movie you’ll realize that they never once explain how that machine works. You’re just so wrapped up in following the plot that you don’t even have time to wonder how the heck that thing works, you just suspend your disbelief and accept that it works. Well, I’ve got the bloody manual for the thing! I know some people could say the fact that Christopher Nolan didn’t put anything in the movie about how the machine works is a sign of lazy writing, but I disagree. This instruction manual is my proof that he did think about how the machine worked. If he had included such a scene in tbe movie the run time might have been too long or it may have ruined the pacing. It took Christopher Nolan 8 years to write this script. Think about it. EIGHT YEARS! This just proves that there was no lazy writing anywhere.

So, there you have it. My rant about Inception and the weirdness surrounding it. Hope you found it as interesting as I did.