Chronicles of Ryebone

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Wow, that title is a mouth full. And so is everything about this mid-eighties movie. Let's take a look at a description of the film:

Adventurer/surgeon/rock musician Buckaroo Banzai and his band of men, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, take on evil alien invaders from the 8th dimension.

You know you're in for a ride, and I was certainly aware of the film for a while because of its cult following, but nothing could prepare me for what I was about to see. To say that Buckaroo is a movie ahead of its time may be a bit misleading, as everything about this film seems to be a product of its era. The eighties are screaming through on this one, although I will admit - perhaps with all the throwbacks to the last half century of sci-fi and action - that there is a certain timeless quality to it. Apparently famed film critic Gene Siskel noted upon release that this would become a cult classic, and he was completely right. The story of Buckaroo Banzai is an interesting one.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

"Chris Evans is a wall of a man."

If you're going to take anything away from this movie, I guess that would be suitable. The guy is massive, most likely impossibly so, but it plays well to the new found depiction of the Captain's displayed feats of strength throughout the film. That's not to say he didn't display some pretty impressive feats beforehand, but I feel as though it keeps intensifying every time he's on screen. In the sequel, The Winter Soldier, we get treated to the Captain blasting through walls and tearing down obstacles with ease, as well as taking care of regular villains with ease. We feel the weight, and the power, of The Winter Soldier himself, which makes his match up with Captain more significant. Yes, the action is incredible - as it should be - but there is much more to this movie.

A Night of Catan: Seafarers

We've been playing Catan for quite a few months now, nearly every weekend. With the addition of another roomate in the house, we have the ability to play Catan nearly at will (we've never tried two player). So a few Friday's ago, the three of us found ourselves playing the vanilla game of Catan. Red was cleaning up in a serious way, taking all three games. The second game was a farce, perhaps my worst. Myself (Green) and Brown left the board open to Red: we both seemed to bet on six, which just wasn't coming up. It was a slow burn, but Red finally took the win and we moved onto another game where Red cleaned up again.

300: Rise of an Empire

It's hard to believe that 300 was released upon us in March of 2007, a whopping seven years ago. The movie was met with a healthy box office turnout as well as decent accolades - in my circle, at the least. It was difficult NOT to enjoy the film, as we were blasted from start to finish with visual splendor in the form of gratuitous blood, violence, slow motion, over the top dialogue and of course, impossibly muscular men. Zack Snyder seems to revel in his ability to bring comic book pages to life, allowing us to enjoy Frank Miller's splash pages on the big screen.

Galaxy of Terror

It was a cold night in early January, when we forewent the regular cheap Tuesday theater trip to focus instead on the selection of movies at home, awaiting some proper care. We weren't in the mood for anything smart or attention heavy, but when Galaxy of Terror got started, we couldn't divert our attention.

Monsters, Inc.

The third dimension seems to have failed at home, but it's still prominent in the theaters where it can truly be experienced. One of the nice bonuses of 3D being in theatres is the re-release of certain older, animated films such as Monsters, Inc. These animated movies benefit by being restructured for 3D without being mutilated in the regular film-based 2D to 3D conversion: since these movies exist digitally, they can be rendered again, with added cameras to form a "real" 3D experience. I can remember A Bug's Life being released on home video ages ago, and hearing about how they were able to render frames with elements being moved around to accommodate the dominant television aspect ratio of the time, 4:3. No cropping, or pan and scan required, and we end up with a better film experience depending on where we watch it. It was interesting to me then, and still is: these animated movies can evolve as time goes on in a way regular film can't.

Earlier last year, I was able to go see The Lion King in 3D, and it was generally a good experience. I had seen the film when I was a child, and hadn't seen it since. I was excited to see Monsters, Inc. in the theatre as I hold it as one of the better Pixar films. It also blew me away that it had originally come out in 2001. In any event, I had the perfect excuse to go see it now: my niece.

3:10 to Yuma

"I hate posses"

It's a simple line from a seemingly simple movie, yet it sticks with you. Or, at least with some people. I shoot the quote in a text to my pal Cale and within moments he's regurgitating quotes from the film back to me, text after text. It's uncanny. Every so often, I make an attempt to stump the guy as I casually catch an "older" film but I fail over and over with what I perceive as a fairly obscure quote. It's just not in me to remember them: I've never been one to memorize song lyrics either, but I'll certainly recognize a great quote when I hear it. What strikes me is how quickly he can respond, and I know that we were replaying the same scene in our minds at the same time, hundreds of clicks away. It was a decent film in 2007, and an even greater film now.

Eden Lake

Never did I think that this film - of all films - would evoke an emotional response in such a sharp way. Even thirty minutes into the movie. Thirty minutes into the movie, and I turned it off. It was a crawling Sunday evening and I was looking for something to get into. It happens that Eden Lake has been sitting in the collection for some time, pre-judged as being a bit of a light, typical horror film. The poster gives it away: our distressed female protagonist is being chased through the woods by a group of menacing shadows. Nothing particularly supernatural, but you never know.

Singles 2013

As I mentioned in my previous Heavy Rotation post, I started a new job that wasn't really music friendly. That is, I can't really use headphones and playing music through speakers isn't going to happen when some people are in the room (my office is a large, window-less room with three people in it, including my immediate supervisor). So Rdio takes an even bigger hit, and listening to music at home typically involves putting on MP3s (or whatever format they are in - I like to collect FLAC). As this downturn in office listening occurs, an upturn in mobile listening comes out. I've put together a "Singles 2013" playlist on Rdio which is composed of any singles that I've taken an interest in. I think it's a pretty awesome mix, if I do say so myself. It comes on in the car all the time, in the house while I'm doing chores, and whenever I want to listen to some seriously solid songs.

More Articles ...