The New BMW M4 is Gorgeous, and I wish it wasn’t…

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Let me start with an overly judgmental statement encompassing all BMW drivers everywhere; BMW drivers are awful. With that statement, let me say that in my mind I’ve held a certain kind of hate for BMWs in the back of my mind because of this and therefore have always been overly judgmental of their looks. However I will admit that in the past few years I’ve slowly been warming to their certain styling as updates and new refreshes (and as the bad drivers moved to Audi). With this M4 though, my thoughts have run straight out of meh and right into cargasm (sorry about the graphic nature of that last sentence). There are plenty of flaws to be found styling-wise, that front fascia is overblown, the headlights are ridiculous, those side vents are silly, the amount of lines in the hood is absurd…. and I love every bit of it. This thing looks bonkers, just look a the color of the brake calipers! Granted there isn’t a lot of history for the 4 series BMW, this being the first year of it’s manufacture, but the specs don’t lie and it’s lining up to be quite the monster. It’s expected to produce 416 bHp from an inline 6 with a strange but respectable 7800 rpm redline, and will weigh 3300 pounds, so it will definitely get you where you want to get faster than the state laws permit you to. Oh, last thing, to all Bimmer drivers out there, I know you’re not all bad and that I’m an ignorant Jackass… sorry about that! More pictures after the jump!

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Credit: Jalopnik, Bimmerboost

Photo credit: BMW

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Spring Breakers: Review

Directed By: Harmony Korine

Let’s just start out by stating that I am really late in watching this film. Now that I have I am enthralled to write about it. In a seemingly ‘Project X’ fashion, Spring Breakers is about four bored college girls (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine) who want to have a memorable spring break. They go down to Florida and party like it’s the 70’s at Dennis Hopper’s house. They fatefully meet Alien (James Franco) a self made gangster-rapper and drug lord. From the first 5 minutes we realize this is nothing any of us were expecting. The film slowly travels into dark territories.

This is an obvious departure to Korine’s previous films ‘Gummo’, ‘Trash Humpers’ and ‘Mister Lonely’. But the departure is kinda-sorta a facade. If you are familiar with Korine then you would know his style and the kinds of films he made. A deconstruction of images. Painted with gorgeously vibrant colors, neon lights, and a ‘Drive’ like score from Cliff Martinez, Spring Breakers operates similarly to a Pop song. With scenes and pieces of dialogue repeating themselves like a chorus, that you would find in a Britney Spears track. The movie is composed of several montages, kind of like a music video, with the dialogue acting as lyrics. Each “montage” is non-linear, expressing certain emotions out of sync. So Korine may have not departed from his avant-garde style, it just seems that way since he is dealing with a mainstream topic. Really an analysis of mainstream youth culture. Kind of like what he did with ‘Kids’ back in the 90’s. But with a whole new team of youngsters.

These “youngsters” are just like your average, every day college party girls with no depth. And each of these actresses play it well. You are supposed to be ashamed and a bit disgusted by their vile actions, even the way the talk is nauseating. But Franco shines out of everyone. As a method actor, he is Alien. He is that greasy slime bag that we are all familiar with. He may be good hearted, but his presence makes the viewers uncomfortable. There is something irk-some about his portrayal. His character has a sense of relativity to everyone he encounters, we feel that closeness as a kind of intimidation. From his cornrows, and grilled teach, I felt like I could smell his breath. The scene where Alien makes Selena Gomez cry is the perfect example of his wretched behavior. He speaks nothing but kind words but it’s the mysterious mental distance and physical closeness that makes him seem like an actual alien. Just a well thought out and brilliantly portrayed character. A representation of the American dream.

Spring Breakers is a film about mainstream, current culture. An MTV and media fueled culture. I feel as if Britney Spears herself could have been one of the girls in the movie. Her boredom of the “good girl” persona and her descent into the wild, “party all night” territory that inspired numbers of teenage girls. These girls are metaphorical descendants of the Pop Princess. I loved how this movie highlighted the current lifestyle of young adults and their craving for easy-earned money, drugs, guns, and sex. This brings me to my question, could Spring Breakers be considered as an Exploitation Film? It has all the basic traits, girls with guns, an analysis and breakdown of a certain culture. A movie about the pursuit of fun, but ends up being far, far from it.

Verdict: 8/10

Cannes 2013: Outcome

The Cannes Film Festival this year took a sharp left turn from what majority of the people predicted. ‘As I Lay Dying’ the directorial debut of James Franco was booed and harshly criticized. ‘Only God Forgives’ directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling received very polarizing reviews. Due to it’s incoherent story and graphic ultra violence.

On the positive side, President of the Jury Steven Spielberg awarded the top prize, the prestigious Palme D’or to French film ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’. A 3 hour drama about a 15 year old girl falling in love with a blue haired young woman. I predict this movie will have lots of Oscar attention this year.

The Coen Brothers film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis won the Grand Prix, solidifying my excitement towards this film about a folk singer in the 60’s venturing a harsh winter in New York. Best directing goes to Amat Escalante for ‘Heli’. And best screenplay, Jia Zhangke for ‘Touch of Sin’.

Also, American actor Bruce Dern won the Best Actor award for Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’. Along with the Best Actress award going to Berenice Bejo for ‘The Past’. Other notable films that garnered critical praise are, ‘The Immigrant’ by American auteur James Gray. ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ by Jim Jarmusch and also the Japanese film, ‘Like Father, Like Son’.

Tons of great talent this year folks, from all walks of the film industry premiering at Cannes. Now we only have to wait for a broader premiere for these movies. Reviews and reactions can be seen all over the web if you want professional insight, helped me get a tad more pumped for some of the films. Well, congratulations to ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ for winning the top prize!

Star Trek Into Darkness: Review

Directed By: J.J. Abrams

I know it’s been a little while since this film has come out but I finally got to watch it. Anyway, after a terrorist bombing organized by rogue Starfleet Agent John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) go after him. Venturing into the lonely crevices of deep Klingon space.

Without giving away much of the story, this sequel manages to fill the space boots of the previous installment. What we don’t get is action oriented set pieces, or campy dialogue scenes, or even scenes just to please those obnoxious die hard Trekkies. We get well paced story telling. Each scene has two purposes, to emotionally engage and excite the audience. And 2, to smoothly bring the film to an end, seamlessly without gimmicks. The action sequences are clean and gut wrenching, with some of the best CGI I have seen to date. It’s not just the quality of these scenes, it’s the sheer epicness created to bring out a sense of wonder and excitment, the true objective of the Star Trek franchise.

Whether it’s diving through space trying to avoid debris while trying to fit into a 2 feet hole, or interrogating a formidable villain behind a glass prison. Into Darkness tasers you with it’s scale. What it accomplishes is something almost impossible for sequel, it’s that it can be a standalone film. With it’s own themes of morality, revenge, family, and sacrifice. We see Kirk, Spock and the rest of the Enterprise crew deal with even greater obstacles than presented previously.

As an aspiring film maker, I know what kinds of projects I want to tackle. My schtick is small, personal art house movies, something like ‘Chungking Express’ or ‘Black Swan’. But watching J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek films inspire me to want to tackle something expansive. It brings out the awe of movie making, a childhood dream of directing my own ‘Star Wars’ film…or something along those lines. Into Darkness didn’t have that complete wonder of exploring an origin story, because it obviously isn’t one. But this sequel is definitely darker, and it can stand as it’s own film. The story moves along like…a story, a very engaging and cool looking one.

Verdict: 8.2/10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAEkuVgt6Aw

Nintendo to do E3 differentlly.

It surprised a lot of people to hear that Nintendo wasn’t holding an E3 press conference this year.  It didn’t surprise me a whole lot, because the Wii-U is tanking pretty hard right now.  It’s not selling well and has almost no third party support, with EA not even developing for the console.

This has prompted Nintendo to do E3 an entirely different way, by just putting their games out there for people to play at Best Buy stores in the U.S. and Canada.  I like this idea a lot.  Considering how awful some E3 press conferences have been recently. Looking at you Microsoft.

Watch Google I/O ’13 Live Stream

As I’m sure you already know, today marks the beginning of Google’s yearly developer conference. Before this conference goes into full swing they hold a keynote at which they usually announce the cool stuff they’ve been working on for the past year. Luckily for those of us that couldn’t be there for the goodness they’ve kindly put up a live stream on YouTube. Enjoy!