Saturday, October 01, 2011

Moneyball (2011) - Movie Review

The Red Sox are one of the teams in baseball that uses a strategy called moneyball as a large part of their team building philosophy. While they use a good portion of this tactic, they didn't invent it or make it popular. Bill James is mainly responsible for this philosophy of baseball and Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane help put it on the map. The movie "Moneyball" is about Beane and how he implemented this approach to his own team. 

After being eliminated by the New York Yankees in the 2001 playoffs, a trio of star players become free agents and leave the Oakland A's for greener pastures. Johnny Damon signed with the Red Sox, Jason Giambi went to the Yankees, and Jason Isringhausen joined the St. Louis Cardinals. Realizing that these moves could severely hurt his team, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) asks the team's front office for more money and is rejected. After meeting Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), Beane decides to resort to an unorthodox way of building a team by utilizing what is called moneyball or sabermetrics.

Tom Hanks' Journey and Film Schools

Oakland, California has been the birthplace of many well-known people, among them is two time Oscar winner and four time Golden Globe winner, actor/director/producer, Tom Hanks. Born in 1956, Hanks toiled in any capacity he could as a youthful acting professional just in order to stay alive to be able to perform another day. He started out with tiny roles on TV simply because of his 'boy next door' identity, he worked in numerous family friendly comedies before finding fame and achievement in key dramatic roles such as Saving Private Ryan, Apollo 13, Forest Gump, Philadelphia and Cast Away.

Through his mother, Nancy Hanks, Lincoln was a distant cousin. He was asked to dedicate a refurbished theater named with regard to his retired drama instructor, Rawley T. Farnsworth whom he thanked during his Oscar address for his portrayal of a character with AIDS in the movie Philadelphia. At the end of his dedication, he led the audience of over 1000 individuals in singing, "There's No Business Like Show Business."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

DSLR Video Vs Camcorder Video

The Battle of "DSLR Video vs Camcorder"
For about 3 years now, video amateurs and professionals all over the world have heard about the rising star in the video arena, "DSLR Video." This lightweight contender is a photography based camera that packs a punch in the ring against the older, heavier, and less popular "Camcorder." The Battle of "DSLR Video vs Camcorder," is officially underway. For almost 30 years, since Sony's BetaCam in 1982, tape-based camcorders have ruled the video industry with their compact build, light weight, and most of all, their ease of use. All you had to do was push a red button and point the lens at what you wanted to record. There was no longer a need for film canisters or projectors. Literally anyone could film anything they wanted and watch it instantly.

High Definition?
Over the past several years, many camcorder companies have tried to make it even easier by using digital devices to record video, such as memory cards and hard drives, which you just stick in any computer to watch instantly. With the shift to digital video came the shift to high definition (HD) video. More and more camera companies were coming out with so called HD recording, but most of them did not record full HD at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (1080p). Also, many camcorders recorded on a format that can't be edited as a raw file, such as AVCHD, which means that there is massive quality loss, diminishing the fact that the video was recorded in HD in the first place. In the Battle of "DSLR Video vs Camcorder," this would mean that "Camcorder" should just throw in the towel.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Killer Elite (2011) - Movie Review

More intricate than a typical Jason Statham actioner, Killer Elite successfully maintains a surprising degree of intrigue and intensity, not through an overly clever storyline, but with an air of unpredictability within its characters. It's obvious that nothing will turn out the way it seems, but with a cast comprised of so many vicious killers, keeping track of which ones are the real heroes becomes an entertaining quest. While the plot bogs itself down from time to time with an abundance of twists and a location change every five minutes, the seasoned actors will hold your interest - at least until the next adrenaline-filled action sequence can take over.

The past has a way of catching up with you. No one knows this better than Danny Bryce (Jason Statham), a former mercenary who's forced out of retirement to save his old mentor Hunter (Robert De Niro). When an exiled oil sheik kidnaps Hunter, Danny must carry out the tyrant's request - track down and kill the three British S.A.S. officers responsible for the murders of his sons. Gathering his old partners Davies (Dominic Purcell) and Meier (Aden Young), Bryce begins his lethal task while Spike (Clive Owen), the equally exacting enforcer of the secret watchdog society "The Feather Men", attempts to stop him (this movie is based on Ranulph Fiennes' novel The Feather Men, and not the 1975 Sam Peckinpah movie, The Killer Elite).

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Limitless (2011) - Movie Review

Limitless is limited, but it proposes something interesting. Granted, its proposal is one we've heard dozens of times, a couple of which were to chilling effect (echoes of the 1968 film Charly, based on Daniel Keyes' short story, "Flowers for Algernon," are plenty), but that doesn't mean it isn't a fun story. The man with nothing suddenly becomes the man with everything. Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is given a wonder drug that allows him to use all of his brain, rather than just twenty percent.Side effects may include nausea, blackouts, migraines, and Robert De Niro's performance.

The drug is referred to as NZT. When Eddie runs into his ex-brother-in-law, Vernon Gant (Johnny Whitworth), who just happens to be a drug dealer, he's convinced that the drug is street legal and FDA approved. This is because Eddie is a moron, and a former drug addict with a concurrent drinking problem. Also, his girlfriend, Lindy (Abby Cornish), has just left him, and he's a novelist with a pending deadline who can't seem to get past the first word on the computer. After he takes the drug, he's able to open up his mind and pull out everything he's ever seen, read, or heard. He finishes his book in record time, wins at everything he plays, and manages to become a ladies' man just by showering. His narration (which, in terms of past/present/future tense, makes absolutely no sense) asks of us "What would you do?" Well, certainly not that.