Thursday, April 25, 2013

Summer 2013 Movie Preview

Back for one of my yearly articles (although I think I skipped last year) is the summer movie preview!  Summer is one of the best times for going to the movies assuming you aren't looking for deep, Academy type films.  This is popcorn movie season and if you simply want to be entertained with low attention span films, summer is the time for you.  Like always, I'll highlight what I think will be popular over the next few months as well as tell you MY top 5 anticipated films!  Here.  We.  GO!

May 3rd
Iron Man 3 - We start off the movie season with a bang!  It's only been a year since Avengers came out and we are already starting up with Phase 2 of the Marvel movie juggernaut.  I couldn't be more excited.  Iron Man, which is a couple years old now, was a tiny bit lacking compared to the first one, but hot on the heels of the amazing Avengers film and the freshness of a new director, I am expecting exciting things from Iron Man 3!

May 10th
The Great Gatsby - There was a time last year when this was predicted to be up for some nominations at the Academy Awards.  Then the film was delayed past movie awards season and is now finally coming out.  I love the book even though it has now been a decade since I have read it last.  With a great cast, this could be good, but it seems like it is being released at the wrong time of the year.  We shall see. 

May 17th
Star Trek Into Darkness - JJ Abrams did an amazing job with the reboot of Star Trek a few years back and I am hoping that this new films is just as good.  Hell, you didn't even have to be a Star Trek film to enjoy the last one because of how good it was.  If the trailers are any indications, this could be just as awesome.

May 24th
Epic - I hadn't even heard of this film a few weeks ago and now I am starting to see promotional items such as commercials all the time for it.  A new animated movie from the people who made Ice Age, I think this could be a pretty big films with kids based on what I see on the trailer.  They are also heavily promoting the voices in the film to get people even more excited.

Fast Six - The series that has no business being on the sixth film and somehow, keeps getting better and better.  Ever since the original cast returned in part 4, the series has been given a big lift.  Part 1 was fun, parts 2 and 3 were decent, and then 4 came along and blew me away.  Then the 5th came along and EASILY became my favorite in the series.  I am hoping that good fortune continues with this 6th film.

The Hangover Part III - Meh.  Ok, I thought the first one WAS funny.  I laughed out loud a couple of times.  Was it as good as everyone said it was.  Well, not for me.  Then two came long and I found it pretty silly.  It wasn't terrible, but I didn't laugh too much.  Needless to say, I am not excited for part III and I can wait until video.

May 31st
After Earth - M. Night Shyamalan's latest film is a sci-fi movie starring Will Smith.  I remember being so excited when M. Night had a new movie coming out.  That thrill is gone even if I do like his latest films more than most people.  And this one isn't fully written by him so it could be a change.  I just feel like this could end up bombing though. 

Now You See Me - I hadn't even heard of this film until a week ago when I saw a trailer when I went and saw Oblivion.  I don't know how this film flew under my radar because it looks REALLY good.  Magicians who are robbers may be an old story, but the amazing cast involved and the mystery of it all has me really intrigued.  Pretty excited for this.

June 7th
The Internship  - Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn lose their jobs and try to get jobs at Google by doing outrageous things.  Looks kind of silly, truthfully, but it could end up being pretty funny AND making a lot of money.  We shall see.  Very on the fence on this one and only giving it the benefit of the doubt because of these two guys.

The Purge - Pretty cool looking suspense film where there is zero crime in the USA due to the fact that one night a year, you are allowed to commit any crime you want.  Looks nice and creepy and something that will have you on the edge of your seat.  

June 12th
This is the End - This movie looks friggin' hilarious with people like James Franco and Seth Rogan playing themselves in an end of the world type movie.  I am sure this is going to have a TON of cameos.  The first couple of trailers had me busting up laughing so this will be one of those rare times when I see a comedy in the theaters.

June 14th
Man of Steel - Superman is a douche.

June 21st
Monsters University - I love Monsters Inc and even though I am excited they have made a prequel to it, not much in the trailer makes me SUPER excited to see it.  If it doesn't get good reviews, I may even wait until video.  If I hear good things, I am so there.  We shall see.

World War Z - World War Z was a great book that I really enjoyed, but I don't see anything in the trailer even resembling the book.  I mean, it looks really good and I am going to see it, but it just looks like a typical zombie movie, but with the summer blockbuster budget.  I sure hope it isn't a letdown.

June 28th
The Heat - A comedy buddy cop film with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.  People crack up at the trailer when I see it in the theaters.  I roll my eyes.

White House Down - The second White House invasion film in a few months, but this time with Channing Tatum.  I'll rent it.

July 3rd
Despicable Me 2 - I thought the first one was enjoyable, but I can wait for video.  When it is a movie simply about the yellow minions, maybe then I will go see it.

The Lone Ranger - Johnny Depp being weird again.  I'll be honest, the trailers for this Disney blockbuster do nothing for me and since I have no attachment to the original Lone Ranger, I'll be skipping this.

July 12th
Grown Ups 2- Just no.  The first one wasn't very good so I will skip this one.  I don't need to see a deer peeing on Adam Sandler.

Pacific Rim - Guillermo del Toro's latest film, this time a summer sci-fi blockbuster about humans controlling giant robots in order to fight off giant monsters.  Sounds silly, but I am guessing this will be one of those have to see and hear in a theater kind of films.  Could be silly or could end up being REALY awesome.

July 17th
Turbo - A new animated movie by Dreamworks about a racing snail.  No interest but big money.

July 19th
Red 2 - I actually didn't see the first Red movie from a few years back, but heard it was fun and entertaining.  I guess I will have to watch it eventually. 

R.I.P.D. - A comic book movie with Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds playing cops brought back from the dead to fight off demons or something to protect the people still alive.  Trailer had a VERY Men In Black feel to it from the humor to the way it looked.  I can certainly wait for video.

July 26th
The Wolverine - Wolverine in Japan, the site of many of his great stories in the comic books.  Looks petty good and Hugh Jackman is AWESOME whenever he plays Wolverine so I am excited.

August 2nd
300: Rise of an Empire - New soldiers fight Xerxes is the same style as the original 300 film.  I am not sure this needed a sequel and fear this will be bad.  I hope I am proven wrong.

August 9th
Elysium - Sci fi movie with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster about class warfare in the future.  Looks pretty good and has gotten some good buzz.  We shall see if it is getting that same buzz once the movie gets closer to coming out.

Planes - Like the Pixar film Cars, but with Planes.  The fact that this was originally going to be a direct to video film and that I didn't really care for either Cars films makes me avoid this film like the plague.

August 16th
Kick Ass 2 - I love the comics and I love the first movie so how could I NOT be excited for this film?!?!  I hope it is just as good as the first one and isn't a letdown.  I think the casting of Jim Carey is genius and hope it pays off.

As you can see, this summer is JAM PACKED.  I even left off a few that I could have added but the list was already getting so long and I am afraid my readers (HA!) might have tuned out by now!  So without any further explanation, these are my top 5 anticipated films of the summer and yes, this was hard to narrow down:

5. World War Z
4.The Wolverine
3. Fast Six
2. Star Trek
1. Iron Man 3

What movies do you want to see this summer?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Need for Improvement

I have been doing this photography thing for a few years now, and while I do feel I have improved over the years, I feel that I am kind of in a rut now as far as my development.  I guess I shouldn't complain considering I am almost 100% self taught, but I feel at this point, I should be even better than I currently am. 

It's not like I haven't had some moments that have really boosted my ego over my abilities.  I had the photo that almost made it on to the cover of a phone book if not for some legal issues.  I had a picture be picked to be in a travel guide and while they told me they have hit some snags and the book might not come out until later this year, they still intend to release the book with my picture included.  And then I had my photography exhibit where I not only received tons of kudos, I actually sold a decent amount of stuff too.  This all feels good, but deep down, I feel like I am not improving enough. 

The daily picture, now in my 4th year, keeps me active in taking photographs.  But you can't imagine how hard it is to take a photograph of something different each and every day for this long.  I do it as a challenge, but I don't think it really makes me any better.  Yes, I still do take the occasional photo that wows me, but are they really THAT much better than any photo I have taken a year or even two years ago?  I was REALLY happy with the photo shoot I did for someone a few weeks back and I feel it was my best one to date, but other than that one, I can't say any of the most recent shoots have been THAT much better than anything in the past. 

So what now?  Well, it's my fault that I haven't taken it to the next level.  I haven't read books with tips.  I have a couple that I have started, but never fully immersed myself in them.  I guess I could take some classes, whether it be online or in person, but those are always going to take money and possibly time I don't have.  I'll start with the books I have, but who knows when I will finish them.  Like anything, if you want to get better at something, you have to make a commitment to it and that has been where I have been lacking, I guess.  As always, this is still and will always remain a hobby for me.  I do this for the fun of it and understand that I will never be as good as people who do this full time or even part time.  I'm not trying to convince others that I am as good as those who do that because I know I haven't made that commitment to take it to that level.  When I see someone post pictures they had done from a professional, I KNOW they are better than mine.  Does it make me a little sad that I am not at that level?  Sure, of course!  But make no mistake about it, I don't have any misconceptions that my photos are at that level.  I am not delusional to that fact.  But that doesn't mean there is no room for improvement, even at the hobby level.  And I need to consider taking those next steps.