Author Archives: MattFromRI

Join Our Fantasy Movie League

For those of you who like fantasy sports and movies, like myself, have I got a thing for you! Such a cool thing! It’s called Fantasy Movie League.

fbDefault_1467954491Here’s the long and short of it: You manage a theater with 8 screens. Every week you have $1000 dollars to spend to fill those screens with current movies. Each movie, depending on popularity and previous box office totals, is priced out with a dollar amount. You have your $1000 to spend on any combination of those movies that you want. You can pick as many of the same movie that your budget can handle. For example: in this week’s picks I have Jason Bourne (total value pick this week) three times and five other movies.

Once your lineup is picked (make sure you do it before the weekend) it is locked until Monday when box office totals will be added up. Person with the most money, wins. It’s that simple.

Want to play? I know you do. Join my Paul Walker Memorial FML by clicking the link and putting in the password “paulwalker”. The Paul Walker memorial FML starts in the fall season (Week August 29 with 1st picks locking September 2) and goes for 14 weeks.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

-Matt aka TSG

Trailer Alert – Red Friday

TEASER – Red Friday from 401 Films on Vimeo.

Full disclosure, this is a shameless plug. Having said that, this is the best trailer of the SUMMER! Watch it in daylight, because you won’t be able to sleep if you watch before bedtime.

Red Friday is a short film that two buddies of mine and I started working on early this year. Right now it’s being shopped around at film festivals (how official does that sound) so we can’t show you the full thing, but never fear! 11.25.16 is the day it will be released on the 401 Films (that’s us) vimeo page. Stay tuned for some behind the scenes footage and stories!

Red Friday stars: Jessica Rockwood, Donnie Andrade, George the Elf and introducing Aundrea Scott.

– Matt aka TSG

Trailer Alert – American Honey

Ok, i’m not sure if this is a new movie, or just found footage of Shia LaBeouf’s life since in 2015.

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All kidding aside, Shia LaBeouf looks awesome in this flick. I’ve been a big Shia fan since Even Stevens and noting has changed. Indiana Jones? Loved it (well…loved some of it). Transformers franchise? Own them on blu-ray and hate that they switched to Marky Mark. Disturbia?? Come on, if you don’t think Disturbia is a legitimate good movie then get the fuck off my blog. That shit was chilling and suspenseful as fuck.

This is one of those movies/movie trailers that twists my stomach. Guns, youngsters drinking and driving, cowboys in a convertible Cadillac?? Get the EKG machine, my heart rate is off the charts. All of it feels incredibly authentic, which brings me back to Shia. Dude looks like he’s on another level when it comes to acting. I recently read a story about how him and James Corden were asked to read for the movie War Dogs (Which ended up starring Miles Teller and Jonah “Fluctuating Weight” Hill). The night before they were set to read. Shia got picked up by police and spent the night in jail. Not letting that stop him, he showed up to the audition with his shoelaces in his hands (for those of you not familiar with prison, they take anything you can harm yourself with away from you) and read for the part with his shoelaces strung over his glasses. While the method was unorthodox, James Corden said it was the most incredible interview he’s ever seen. How someone with shoelaces over his eyes was able to stay razor focused. In short, i’m excited for the LaBeouf renaissance.

 

-Matt aka The Space Ghost

Trailer Alert – Arrival

I am 100 million percent on board for this movie. I need more Sci-Fi movies in my life and I need them yesterday. The only thing that bugs me are those space ships. No Alien is gonna land on my turf looking like they are driving a skipping stone and expect not to be blown to bits. Stop your game up, Aliens.

-Matt

A Week with No Man’s Sky

NMS_Blog

4:30 p.m., last Tuesday. Giddy, I sprinted home from work to find my copy of No Man’s Sky (NMS) laying at my back door in a shipping box. I take it inside and tear the Amazon Prime Box to shreds. To my surprise, and terror, the disc seems to be loose inside the case (I HATE when that happens). I rip off the plastic to find my copy of NMS unharmed. I breathe a sigh of relief and pop it into my Ps4 (PC Master Race, leave me be! Can’t I live?!). It’s now 4:45 p.m. and NMS is installing updates on my Playstation. Time ticks by like a slow dribble of sap down a pine tree’s bark (look at me getting mother-fucking poetical on your ass). Then, a flash of light. Eureka! The download is finished and I boot up the game; it’s 4:56 p.m….Then, in the blink of an eye it’s midnight and I have no idea where the time went. That’s what NMS is.

I’ve been playing these “black out” NMS sessions for about a week now and here are my first reactions.

NMS takes the training wheels off the traditional “tutorial”

Was I confused as fuck for like the first 45 mins of playing? You’re damn right I was, but i’d rather be confused than coddled. Games that hold your hand during their tutorial periods are the bane of my existence. There’s nothing worse than being force-fed ways to play the game, especially for a game like this! If you are taught a certain way to play an open-world game, like NMS, then it forever impacts the way you play the game. With literally limitless possibilities, it would suck to be led down one path, whe1n you could have found a more enjoyable way of playing on your own. NMS’s tutorial gives you the basics and you figure out the rest for yourself.

You start the game on a randomized planet in a randomized part of the NMS universe. Your ship is damaged and unable to take off. In order to get off your planet you’ll need to mine for resources and craft parts that will fix your ship and other pieces of tech you carry. A pretty useful and well-fitting tutorial, wouldn’t you say? I would.

Species of flora and animals are noticeably similar

Do I notice, even after a short time of playing, that some animals and plants are just re-skinned with different names? Sure I do. Does it take away from my experience? No it does not. If you really thought you were going to see brand new species on every planet in a 18 quintillion-planet universe, you’re mad. With limitless combinations of terrain, climates, planet sizes, plants, and animals it doesn’t matter.

Open inventory spots are like gold

NMS is one of those games that makes you collect all these items with no space to store them…at first. Over time you can upgrade how much your ship and exosuit can carry, but early on, managing your inventory is a puzzle game all its own. It’s a challenge I welcome rather than resent.

3Name all your planets, because reasons

Do you get extra coin? Nope, Does it change the planet at all? Nope. Will it be seen by someone other than yourself? Maybe, but probably not and you wouldn’t know about it anyway. Is it awesome to name your own planet? HELL YES IT IS. Name the planets, flora, animals and solar systems you discover. Name them after your pets, family members, favorite movies, your goldfish, whatever! Just do it! You’ll go back in your log sometime in the near future and have yourself a little giggle.

Final thoughts

It’s my first week, I still have TONS to learn and discover, but I can tell you this: Play this game and make it your own. The story is lacking, because that’s the way the game was made, so make your own story. Throw on some jams, get in your starship and explore the galaxy! Make a narrative all your own. Me, personally, i’m a a space pirate in search of wealth beyond measure in the form of comic books and vintage toys………..and in No Man’s Sky I’m a weird alien in search of a girl aliens and beer.

-Matt aka The Space Ghost

Sausage Party Puts the Party in Sausage Party

Whenever a movie breaks into a musical number in the first minute, they’ve got me. Hook. Line. Sinker. I’m in. It was a hilarious number that really set the tone for the rest of the movie. Like an overture…a really hilarious and fucked up overture. Ok, enough about the musical number. The rest of the movie wasn’t bad either. Let’s talk about that. I’m not planning on writing anything spoilery, but who knows, I don’t plan these out. Let’s see where my fingers take us…you’ve been warned.

sausage partyFirst off, the animation was really great. Top notch Pixar-type stuff. It looked and played like Toy Story. Which added a whole other dimension to the movie that I did not anticipate. It’s like visiting your grandma’s house. You’ve been there a million times. You know the sights, smells and intricacies. Then all of a sudden you’re in high school, grandma goes away for the weekend and you throw a kegger. It feels weird…in a kind of an awesome-weird kind of way. A simpler analogy would be running in the hallways of your elementary school after hours, but I somehow wanted to work in keg parties, because i’m super cool. Anyway, same feeling here. It’s cute animations that swear and have weird food-sex with each other. It’s refreshing.

Speaking of refreshing (nothing like a smooth transition), It was nice to see a movie that wasn’t a sequel or that was part of a larger cinematic universe. DO NOT mistake me here. I’m a huge fan of sequels and big hollywood films, maybe too much of a fan (I saw the most recent Transformers movie three times… in theaters). All i’m saying is, it was nice to come in, suck down some popcorn and enjoy a contained story that didn’t require me sitting through the credits in fear that I might miss an easter egg scene and want to drive off a bridge on the way home. That was a welcomed change.

So what do you get in Sausage Party? Lavash and a Bagel parodying the tension between Israel and Palestine? Check. Bath salts? Check. A Douche that’s a total Douche? Check. Seth Rogan as a sausage? Check. Honestly, half the fun of the film is hearing familiar voices coming from food and other supermarket items.

Should you go see it? As always, I encourage you to see for yourself instead of reacting to reviews. However, this flick has been getting stellar scores across the board. And if the Rotten Tomatoes that run the movie business can all agree that a movie is good, then you should probably go see it.

Seven blessings to you all.

– Matt aka The Space Ghost

Movie Recommendation – Donald Cried

Scanning through Netflix for the one millionth time with no prospects? Can’t find anything good on TV? Watched your blu-ray of Pacific Rim one too many times and now it doesn’t work? If you’re in any, or all, of these scenarios, put that clicker down and heed my call. The movie I have for you this time is a little diddle titled “Donald Cried“. Here’s a synopsis and teaser; indulge yourself.

Peter Latang left working class Warwick, Rhode Island, to reinvent himself as a slick, Wall Street mover and shaker. Fifteen years later, when he’s forced to return home because of his grandmother’s death, he loses his wallet on the trip. Stranded, the only person he can think of to help him out is his next-door neighbor and former childhood friend Donald Treebeck. Donald hasn’t changed a bit, and what starts off as a simple favor turns into a long van ride into their past.

I was first introduced to Donald Cried earlier this year; A friend of mine had seen the short. Apparently they made the short first, and, with a little additional funding, they decided to make the feature. A business model that seemed to work extremely well for them. Anyway, he saw the short and couldn’t say enough good things about it. We tried to find it online, but to his surprise, it had been taken down. Fast forward a few weeks later: I’m going through the films that are set to play at SXSW 2016 (a yearly trip for me) and what do I see? Donald Cried, the feature. I made it a point to see this flick, along with 15 others, at SXSW 2016. It was the best decision I ever made. Easily the best film I saw while in Austin.

donaldcried3-1600x900-c-defaultA fun tid-bit: The writer, director and star (Donald) of the film is Kris Avedisian. He is a native Rhode Islander (my home state) and he shot the short and feature right here in RI. In the dead of winter. If you’re watching this flick somewhere that is sunny and beautiful for the majority of the year, I promise that Rhode Island doesn’t always look like a desolate winter hellscape.

In short, this movie has a ton of heart. The characters, at least for me, are all people i’ve met before. They are people I see around town, guys I went to high school with. I’ve always liked Tony Soprano, and it’s not for the reasons you may think. Sure, his mob antics were awesome, but I liked Tony Soprano because of what a real person he was. If I ever met James Gandolfini (before his passing) I would completely expect to be dealing with Big Tony, and there’s nothing you could tell me to think otherwise. That’s what a great character should do for an audience. Donald does that.

That was a long-winded way of saying “GO SEE THIS FUCKING MOVIE”.

How can you see it? It’s playing at film festivals around the USA right now, but you can also view it FO’ FREE at Festival Scope. Just make a free account and you’re in. Don’t say I never did anything for ya.

– Matt aka The Space Ghost

Suicide Squad: Matt Star Review

582897093_1280x720Against the better (terrible) judgment of its Rotten Tomatoes score, last Friday I headed out to see the newest installment into the DCU, Suicide Squad. Like most, I had been waiting for this flick since they casted the damn thing and nothing was going to stop me from seeing it on opening night. NOTHING. I shipped up to Boston, met up with a few friends who recently moved there, grabbed a subway to the theater (An AMC with ridiculously comfortable seats), filled up an obnoxiously big Icee* and stepped into the darkness of the movie house. (Full disclosure, this review/overview/rant may contain SPOILERS)

When the end credits started rolling I had a few things on my mind. First of which, the 2 hours and 3 minutes went be extremely fast. Not that I didn’t want it to end, because I think the plot ran it course to the correct outcome (more on that later), but because I didn’t feel fatigued after watching. It was a fun ride that didn’t lag or drag at any point. Part of that was the soundtrack.

The Suicide Squad soundtrack is exactly the 2nd best movie soundtrack I have ever heard. It’s currently sandwiched in-between Guardians of the Galaxy at #1 and The Hateful 8 at #3. A multitude of new pop, old rap, and everything in-between, was mixed in to create a soundscape that blended characters and scenes beautifully. It was exactly my kind of soundtrack. Every character’s origin had their own “theme song” which fit them to a T. Speaking of origin stories, lets talk a little more about the plot of Suicide Squad.

When going to see Suicide Squad, and movies like it, most people know they aren’t seeing something penned by Tarantino or Kubrick. The plot has holes, sure it does, let’s start with a man named “Killer Croc” who is a meta human who swims like a crocodile, has scales and eats people…BURN THIS MOVIE AT THE STAKE! Come on everyone, this is a superhero movie. As a massive comic fan, I am just excited to see my favorite characters jump off the pages. For all the Christopher Nolan Batman truthers who are going to come crawling out of the shadows and tell me: “But Space Ghost, The Dark Knight Trilogy was a triumph!”**. Look me in the eyes and tell me that Commissioner Gordon being the LAST person to find out who Batman was wasn’t the most farfetched thing about those movies and I will…….strongly disagree and definitely not slap you across the mouth. Anyway, what i’m trying to get at is you need to manage expectations for every movie you see. Go in with an open mind and full heart and you can’t lose. I think Michael Scott said that.

In short, I liked the movie. The characters were well portrayed and very well acted (I could use a hell of a lot more Will Smith in my comic book movies). Is it worthy of an Oscar? No. But who’s to decide that anyway. See it for yourself and let me know what you thought. (Twitter: @MattFromRI)

I give it 7.89485766352545758 MattStars (out of a perfect 10.5 MattStars)

– Matt aka The Space Ghost

*note to self: I am much too old for that much frozen sugar. A vicious headache followed immediately after consumption.

**It really was

Trailer Alert – The Justice League & Wonder Woman

Justice League

Get the mop, I just wet myself. Maybe I was just as excited for the first Avengers’ trailer, but I sure don’t remember that excitement. This excitement though…this excitement is palpable. I’m super ready for The Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman to join their fellow Justice League members on the big screen.

PS – GIVE ME MORE BAT-FLECK AND GIVE HIM TO ME NOW. People can argue whatever they want, but he is the best Bruce Wayne, ever. EVER. Strike me dead if that isn’t true.

Wonder Woman

Keep the mop out, there’s another puddle forming. Gal Gadot is a smoking-hot badass who makes me cry on command when she sacrifices herself for Han in Fast and Furious. She is the Wonder Woman we deserve and the one the Justice League NEEDS. With news of Brie Larson taking on the role as Captain Marvel, we are in for more badassery all around.

giphy

-Matt

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