Posted by: Louis | July 20, 2008

Pineapple Express Review

Last night I attended an advanced screening for a movie due to be released on August 6th, Pineapple Express, directed by David Gordon Green, written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg and starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and the beautiful Amber Heard from Alpha Dog. This movie is “from the guys who brought you Superbad” (and Knocked Up) and is offered to us by Columbia Pictures.

Before getting into the movie itself, I will explain how the event was. It was hosted by the Just For Laughs Film Festival in association with Cineplex Entertainment at Cinema Imperial at 1430 Bleury. When I arrived, one hour before the show started, there was already a line stretching about three blocks. Thankfully, I got to skip the line and wait in front thanks to friends working security. I have a feeling that had I been in the line, I would have gotten high from second-hand smoke; there was a lot of consumption of illicit substances to say the least. When the doors finally opened after the stars made their red carpet entrance from three black Cadillac Escalades, we were unceremoniously ushered in and asked to hand over any cameras and cell-phones equipped with cameras, as well as any device capable of capturing still images, video or sound. After handing over said devices and being thoroughly worried about getting them back, we were subjected to bag searches and metal detectors, a really ridiculous measure: I don’t see why they are so afraid of having the movie pirated, seeing as it’s already all over the internet (not that I encourage downloading it nor do I even believe half the files are real). Anyways, after being pushed around by rude staff, we found seats and waited for an hour for the movie to begin.

As an aside, the problem with watching a movie about two guys getting high is that most of the people in the theater are high themselves and extremely noisy when funny things happen, which makes it hard for a guy who’s trying to follow the movie for it’s production aspect to concentrate. I found that the crowd detracted from the movie and from the Q&A with the director after.

The movie itself: Pineapple Express is a rather stereotypical “weed action movie”, as described by the director. It is the story of a rather ordinary guy, Dale Denton, a frequent consumer of marijuana, who witnesses a murder by a drug lord after getting some of the world’s best weed – Pineapple Express – from his dealer, Saul Silver. Dale and Saul go on the run after the drug lord sends two assassins to eliminate them. This chase is made hilarious, obviously, by the fact that both are completely blitzed throughout to movie. I will not go further into details nor do I suggest watching the trailer, as they spoil some of the movie’s funnier moments.

If you liked Superbad, you’ll probably like this movie. It’s basically the same story with weed replacing booze, as the authors described it. Don’t expect any sophisticated humour though; it stays in its genre and has very simple yet effective jokes. Quite frankly put, however, there isn’t much to this movie except the jokes. I found Seth Rogen to be quite deceiving in his role (which is curious, since he is pretty much portraying himself). James Franco, on the other hand, did a fantastic job, a performance almost worthy of an Oscar, if there were one for “Best Stoner”. There was nothing spectacular about camera work or lighting, but this is something to expect from this type of movie. The script was clever and witty but at times came at a standstill. Overall, I found the movie to be exactly what I expected, and got quite a laugh out of it. I laughed, I cried, and I give it a 9/10, * * * * 1/2. Crazy laughs guaranteed.

After the movie, there was a Q&A with a couple of actors and the director, and I found that quite interesting, although they were referring a lot to inside jokes. I found David Gordon Green to be a really interesting person, and discovered that Seth Rogen is exactly who he plays in his roles. Unfortunately, I had to leave before it was all over.

I predict that Pineapple Express will be a great success, perhaps not to the heights of Superbad as it targets a slightly more specific target audience, but perhaps a Harold & Kumar. Set the date in your calendar, because on 06.08.08, the country will be set ablaze.

For those of you who insist on seeing a trailer, here it is, although I strongly recommend not watching it as it spoils some of the awesome jokes, but it shows just how funny the movie is:

Comment and appreciate!

The movie’s official website can be found at www.ridetheexpress.com

EDIT: There are contradictory messages about when the movie is due to be released. Sony Pictures says August 6th on its main page then August 8th on the release page. It has finally been cleared up, however. To avoid conflict with the Olympics, the movie will be released on August 6th 2008.

Posted by: Louis | June 13, 2008

I haven’t written in a while and I hate it. I’m forcing myself to write right now, even though I have nothing to write and this is a post that probably won’t be read. I just have to get back into the habit of writing – even about nothing.

So I’ll start with a few announcements:

The play DVD is done, printed and boxed. It sells at five bucks a pop, plus any tip you feel is warranted.

I have 8 tickets for Yelle and Numéro# in Montreal on July 31st at the Cabaret Juste Pour Rire, tell me if you’re interested. These are the last tickets, all the others sold out within a day. It’s general admission.

And yeah, that’s pretty much it. I’ll find something to write about later, maybe later tonight.

Posted by: Louis | May 13, 2008

Prom Wars Review

I saw Prom Wars today and here’s what I thought.

I personally found it amazing, but my sister who was with me found it quite boring. So it’s probably much better to be a Selwyn, LCC or ECS student to understand the inside jokes. There are many. Some of it is even filmed in school, notably the dance in the Macaulay gym. However, with the right understanding of the setting, one can easily understand.

This is the setting: For quite a while, Selwyn House (Selby in the movie) and LCC (Lancaster College) have been rival schools. Back in the days, LCC was reputed to have more jocks while Selwyn had more nerds. Although this is not the case anymore, the rivalry still exists. The whole story is set in Westmount, a rich part of Montreal where huge houses are common sight, and prepiness is a standard.

Onto the movie itself: it’s a little bit shallow on the plot side but not decieving and I found it to be quite entertaining, although it is no blockbuster. The story is simple, but, then again, so was Mean Girls, and that didn’t stop it from being a hit. The movie is comedy, and you sure do laugh when you see it. The actors do not deliver Oscar-worthy performances but fit very well into the roles of teenagers in Easthill, the fictitious version of Westmount. What I find really made the movie good, however, was the filming, which was clean, sharp and very well done. The costumes and the sets are absolutely fantastic. Whenever you go to see it, pay particular attention to them, especially if you know what to look for. They add so much to the characters.

Overall, a very entertaining movie. I recommend it to all! (Support independents!)

9/10

Similar movies:

Juno (style), Mean Girls (story), Revenge of the Nerds (story)

Posted by: Louis | May 13, 2008

Catchy titles were never my forte.

Irony.

Onto a more sober topic: I’m back, and probably leaving soon. No, I didn’t come back from a trip, it’s the attraction of typing characters on a keyboard in such a fashion as to create a sequence of words which in turn form legible sentences which has drawn me back here. Believe it or not, I’ve improved a lot in my writing style over the past two years and I give a lot of credit to blogging.

Yet it is always, sadly, the most sombre topics that bring me back to the blog. You probably all know what I’m talking about. Scratch that. Most of the people who stumble upon here have no idea of what I’m talking about.

You know what? I just changed my mind. I really don’t want to talk about this. It’s serious enough as it is, and I won’t make any comment, because it’s innocent until proven guilty, unlike the media sometimes like to think. That’s all I had to say.

Well I won’t ruin my grand entrance. Expect to see more of me as I try to find time to write, something I actually love to do but don’t have time to. Next post: 5 minutes.
Until then,

-LG-

Posted by: Louis | February 24, 2008

Adobe CS3

Adobe CS3 is packed full of great ideas and cool features. The only problem: it doesn’t work. This weekend, I made the unfortunate mistake of depending on Adobe CS3 (Premiere, OnLocation, After Effects, Photoshop and Bridge) to produce a 15 minute highlight movie of a live event.

After a series of hardware problems, the Adobe problems started. All of them were in Premiere, but they made using the other programs time and energy-consuming, two resources I didn’t have.

My project required me to capture footage from six different cameras and to combine them into one movie with some animations and titles made in After Effects. Right off the bat, Dynamic Link refused to work, making tweaking my titles extremely time consuming, having to export my composition every time I made changes to see how it looked in Premiere. Then, Premiere refused to import mpeg’s. Fact: CS3 is the only product from Adobe (and pretty much any other program) that doesn’t support mpeg’s. Which is a problem when one of your cameras is a HDD that captures only in mpeg’s. A call to Adobe puts us on the line with a woman who refused to understand it was physically impossible for me to give her my serial key for my Production Premium since I was at a live event and didn’t carry around my box. Fortunately, a patch was found on some website magically making mpeg’s supported for import. But here’s another fact: Adobe doesn’t support CS3. That means if you call them and ask for CS3 help, you will be put on hold indefinetly.

Once my project file started becoming big (around 1TB including footage), Adobe started crashing for no reason. When I restarted it, it would take 15 minutes to load and would use up all of my memory during that time, as well as a good part of my CPU.

When time came to export my finally finished movie, it crashed and I lost my crucial last 4 minutes of work (fortunately I had the idea to set autosave to 5 minutes). Those 4 lost minutes made the difference and our movie was not shown when it was supposed to be. There were more than a thousand people who were there to see that video, and upwards of two months of work had been put into it. Although other problems happened, CS3 was the biggest.

Our colleages who happened to be using Premiere Pro 1.5 had no problems at all. However, their After Effects kept on crashing as they tried to export their animations (which put us back 2 hours).

The lesson of the story is, honestly, not to use Premiere. After Effects CS3 looks pretty solid (it hasn’t crashed once on me) but Premiere was totally unreliable. I prefer to not have the intergration between Premiere and After Effects by using Final Cut then to risk losing work like I did.

Posted by: Louis | February 4, 2008

Album review: 666

I just bought Billy Talent’s CD/DVD 666 and I must say it’s amazing. It’s basically footage from three different live shows and a live album. I saw Billy Talent live, and I know they’re awesome. The DVD is a bunch of good memories from the concert, and all the jokes Ben likes to make (notably about G. Bush and his ex).
The live CD is amazing too. I personally think it sounds better than the studio versions; there’s just so much energy. It has mostly tracks from Billy Talent II and a few from Billy Talent. No songs from Pezz, unfortunatly. They also left out Voices of Violence, my all time favourite from them.

All in all, however, it is an awesome purchase, and really cheap since it’s a two-disc set. I recommend it to all who like Billy Talent! *****

Posted by: Louis | February 2, 2008

Time Capsule

Alright, so I’m a little bit late in talking about Time Capsule, which was announced two weeks ago at Macworld, my bad.

Anyways, it’s basically a Wireless-N router with a 500GB or 1TB hard drive in it to allow backing up over a wireless network with intergrated use in Time Machine.

At 130$ more than the Airport Extreme (which has support for an external hard drive), I think this is an okay deal. Of course, it could be cheaper to go for a wireless router plugged into an intependent external hard drive (especially for bigger sizes), but I think it’s pretty practical to have the drive inside the router and to be sure it works seamlessly with Time Machine. It also acts as a Gigabit switch, which is a definite plus.

I’m actually considering buying this because I’m upgrading all my Macs to Leopard and I could use it to back up and to share my printers, which would be useful. Anyways, my Linksys router doesn’t perform very well.

So, what do you think about this? Worth it?

Posted by: Louis | January 29, 2008

Mika in Montreal

At the Bell Centre tonight. Wish I could have gone.

I’m writing my QAIS right now, hopefully I can start posting again soon :/

LG

Posted by: Louis | January 16, 2008

Macbook Air

So Mac came out with their new laptop, the Macbook Air, and everyone goes oooh and aaah. After watching the introduction to the new computer, however, I am not so impressed. Yes, this computer has 2GB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive, with the option of a 64GB solid state drive. It has an impressive touch pad with new features inspired from the iPhone. It also comes fully equipped with no optical drive, one USB port, one 1/8” headphone jack and another Apple innovation, the Micro-DVI port.

Wait a minute there, did you say there was no optical drive? That’s right, in this age of wireless interactivity who needs to read CDs or DVDs? If you want to rent a movie, you can use the iTunes store. If you want to share files, use .Mac. If you want to listen to an album you just bought or see important documents on a CD, you can use the convenient USB powered external Superdrive (only 99$!). Isn’t the whole point of the Macbook Air the fact that it’s ultrathin, lightweight and portable? Now you have to carry around an external optical drive everywhere you go? Good one. Of course, there’s the alternative of carrying around an installation CD for a program that allows you to “borrow” the optical drive from a Mac or PC on your local network. The only problem with that is that there has to be a computer, and there has to be a local network.

Talking about local networks, where’s the Ethernet port? Of course, there is none, that’s way too low-tech for the brand new hi-tech Macbook Air. As long as you cross your fingers, you’ll never need to connect to a wired network…right?

And now onto the “Micro-DVI” port. This new port invented by Apple as the successor of the Mini-DVI port supports DVI, VGA, Composite and S-Video. All you have to do is buy the adaptors for all of these and you’re fine!

The lesson is that making a computer extremely small and light isn’t always the smartest thing to do, especially if it means not including an optical drive, more than one USB port, a firewire port, an ethernet port and a powerful processor.

However, there are still some very cool features on this new machine, but this machine is really only targeted to people who already have a computer (probably another Macbook) and just use this one to browse the net, take notes or for entertainment. Forget about doing any other kind of work on this machine, it doesn’t have the power or hardware to do it!

Posted by: Louis | January 15, 2008

You guys are lame

You guys are lame. Seriously. Like one post and then you stop blogging again?

Ok I know I haven’t blogged a lot but still…I feel like I’m the only one still checking, writing comments and responding to them…

I’ll post tomorrow.

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.