Following: Nolan Begins

Ladies and gentlemen, won’t you FOLLOW me in this review?…he-he, get it?…*ahem* anyway, on to the review shall we?

REPPED: From a technical standpoint, Following is perfectly fine. It has a lot of the Nolan flair albeit less refined, which is understandable considering this is one of his first major films. Too many film bros seem to think that black and white makes their film feel more arty farty, but with Following it’s actually appropriate considering the fact that this was made to look and feel like a noir film.

NEGGED: You know you’re watching a Nolan film when the narrative jumps back-and-forth, up-and-down like a rollercoaster. Nonlinear storytelling can work and it has worked in other Nolan films, but it doesn’t feel appropriate for a film like Following. In Roger Ebert’s review for Following, he states: http://Already in “Following” you see Nolan’s affinity for convoluted chronological structure and the final twist, in which all the jigsaw plot pieces snap into place and you finally see the whole picture (along with the main character). You may wonder just how necessary/integral they are, but they help make the film fun to watch, even if they don’t necessarily add up to a whole lot. This is the problem: it doesn’t amount to anything at the end. Following could have played out in a traditional three-act structure and nothing would have been lost or gained. It doesn’t affect the final product, but it feels as if Nolan tries to make a simple story more complex than it needed to be.

FINAL VERDICT: You ever watch a movie that’s competently made, but just doesn’t connect with you for some reason or another? Following is that film for me. If we look at Following as its own piece, it’s nothing particularly memorable, but when you look at it in the context of Nolan’s filmography, this is a blueprint into the kind of filmmaker he’d eventually become. For one, you have Alex Haw’s Cobb who feels like an “early draft” for the Cobb we’d eventually get in Inception: the swagged out infiltrator who’s confident and good at his job. Add a little nonlinear storytelling and a femme fatale and you’ve got yourself a Nolan sandwich! Following may be bottom-tier Nolan, but it’s a confidenty made directorial debut from one of the greatest auteurs of modern cinema.

Dragon Ball Z Packs a Punch!

My lovely girlfriend gave me the complete Dragon Ball Z series for my birthday so I’ve been working my way through it for the past few months. As someone who’s never been particularly interested in anime, I gotta say, Dragon Ball Z is a lot of fun!

Isn’t it beautiful?

One of the strongest elements of the show is how it handles its villains. In the first season, we’re introduced to the Saiyans Raditz, Nappa, and Vegeta and with each passing episode the stakes get higher and higher as we’re left wondering whether Goku can beat them. If you thought the Saiyans were tough, just wait until the Frieza Saga!

Frieza looking diesel as FUARK!!!

The Frieza Saga is as far as I’ve gotten with the series and so far Frieza stands as my favorite villain! What a cold-hearted bastard he is, but at the same time, I loved seeing him do his thing. The battles are epic and it only ends because of Frieza’s own pride. Frieza makes for a great villain, but the protagonists are just as compelling, especially Gohan.

When I was still working through the first season, I couldn’t help but find Gohan’s incessant crying to be a bit annoying, but the strength of the series is how it really puts these characters through real character arcs. Gohan goes from being a crybaby to a real badass! I’m looking forward to seeing where else they take Gohan.

I know I skipped on characters like Vegeta, Goku, and all the big-names, but I just felt like rambling about my favorite elements of the show. I still have a long way to go, but I’m so stoked to keep working my way through the show. Gotta go, Garlic Jr. just showed up!

#dragonballz #bluray #blogging #tvseries #movies

The ‘Burbs

REPPED: The world within the film feels fully realized. You have a cast of quirky characters that have their own personalities which makes everything in The ‘Burbs feel authentic. It’s a hyper realized depiction of suburban life but there’s enough to make it feel relatable without getting too outlandish. Despite Tom Hanks being the lead, he’s not the standout of the film. Hanks is the straight man and he does it well, but most of the other actors have a lot more personality than he does

•••

NEGGED: Much like the characters and their motivations, the message of the film seems to be inconsistent. For most of the film, Tom Hanks seems to be uninterested in what’s going on in his neighbor’s house, but at other points, his character seems to change without any sort of reason. I won’t spoil the ending for those who haven’t seen it, but the film does a good job with the handling of its message until the final twist at the end which sort of undoes everything that came before it. Is the twist effective? Yes. However, in the grand scheme of the rest of the film, it just doesn’t fit.

•••

FINAL VERDICT: The ‘Burbs is a darkly comedic tale that’s a bit muddled in its overall message. Its biggest strength is the world built around the film and the amazing talent in front of the screen. It doesn’t handle all of its ideas perfectly, but its whole vibe of suburban life keeps it from being a total dud.

My Story

What’s going on guys? Welcome to my first official blog post for The Cinebuff!

This blog is an offshoot of my Instagram account which is also titled “the_cinebuff.”

Danny Mendes (@the_cinebuff) • Instagram photos and videos

I’ve always had an interest in film, but it never manifested into much until the summer of 2014 which was when my love of cinema started to bloom. As I began my journey into film, I started to understand who I was and what my interests were. It was the summer of 2014 that brought me to the path I’m on now and it further solidified where my true passions lay.

I have quite a few aspirations with this blog. For one, I wish to refine my writing skills and further develop my own voice in film criticism. I also want to challenge myself and expand my tastes to films that are beyond my comfort zone; the only way to grow is to keep pushing beyond your limits. Finally, my wish is to possibly make this into a full-time career whether it be to write for a media company or to even create my own business from the ground up.

Here are a few things you can expect with The Cinebuff:

  • There will be film reviews posted on a weekly basis
  • I will discuss current events in the film world from time-to-time
  • A few posts will be opinion pieces related to the current state of films and film culture

I encourage reader interaction as it makes blogging more enjoyable. If you have a viewpoint that you agree or disagree with me on, feel free to make it known; this is an open space where all opinions are welcome.

I want this blog to not only inform readers on interesting films they need to watch, but I also want this blog to help me grow as a film critic. I still have so much to learn but as I continue to review films, my intent is to learn something new from each film that I watch.

I thank you all for taking this journey with me and I hope that we can all grow together!

#movies #cinema #film #zerotohero

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.