Monday, July 29, 2013

The Hitchhikers

So, here's the film!

We also won at the film contest!

DVDs will be out shortly for any of you who are interested.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Jake Burga Presents...

A film directed by Jake Burga.

Starring Sean Conner, Jordan Johnson, and Ty Astle, and Featuring Curtis Burga as...that guy on the radio.

So, you might have been one of the people I invited to go see the premiere. If not, and you want to see it, don't fret. Info is right here!

So, yes, after talking about movies for a long time, I'm finally in a movie and did some things that involved some sort of creativity and stuff.

You could see the movie right now, if you'd like, but I would actually like to hold off until the contest for people to get to see it because I'd like to make this a sort of event thing and keep people in suspense, even if it does make me lose a couple of audience members.

But, if you really feel like you need to see the movie right now, you could look for it on youtube

So, the reason why I'm making this post is just to express on how pleasantly surprised I am on how good of a director my brother, Jake Burga, is! He seems to understand how to shoot things and film composition and cinematography. In fact, the movie probably wouldn't have been anywhere as good if Jake wasn't behind the whole creative process. He wrote the script, shot the scenes, edited though scenes.

I just added a Wilhelm scream.

So, well, excellent job Jake!

So, after this, you could probably expect more movies from me and my brother, and maybe I'll have the directors chair on one of these movies. I think I picked up enough from watching my brother point a device at things happening.

But, really, I think my brother has really done something special and it has a good chance at winning at the contest.

So, let's get our champagne bottles and pour glasses for the fact that we actually made a movie.

Our next movie will be coming out with an even bigger budget and more CGI. It's going to be called The Hitchhikers 2: Even More Hitchhikers! The movie will feature 5 hitchhikers this time with even more explosions and CGI!

Well, hope to see you guys at the competition!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pacific Rim

Before seeing the movie:

"I'm not sure how it's different from Transformers"

After seeing the movie:

"That was probably the best of the summer!"

A quote not by me, I was actually excited about this movie. But, I feel like somebody who actually said this should be the only confirmation you need in order to see Pacific Rim!

It is really hard for me to stop myself from just saying "THE MOVIE IS AWESOME! GO SEE!" But, sometimes, that's just the case with some movies. Also, it seems to be equally as hard to get people to go see this movie, but it also seems that word is spreading that this actually isn't just another cash-in Transformers knock off. Pacific Rim seems like it's going to be the sleeper hit of the year that surprises everyone by just how good the movie is. It's an absolute marvel of a movie that puts aside cynicism and moral complications for an extremely well made movie with a lot of heart and care to give us the monster movie of the 21st Century.

The story, for a summer Blockbuster, is actually kept simple for once. Alien Monsters, called the Kaiju, are invading Earth by way of transporting through dimensions through the Pacific Rim. In order to fight back, the Humans build giant robots, called the Jaeger, and beat the living crap out of these monsters. The monsters start getting stronger as time goes on, so the plan is to make one big asserted attack in order to stop the Kaiju once and for all. You have the protagonist who is called back from a traumatic event in order to help fight the Jaeger, Mako is the eager trainee who hopes to fight one day, two off-beat, whacky scientists who are also kind of awesome,  Idris Elba playing the leader of the faction, and Ron Perlman playing as...well, you'll see!

So, why is this movie awesome you ask? Well, good film making for one thing. Even if your not familiar with Guillermo del Toro, he has managed to create a staple among many film fans. But, with this movie, it's his chance to shine with a wide audience. The reason why this film works so well is because of the simplicity of it that allows the film makers in order to capitalize on other things in this movie to make it work. We're presented with world building, as in, what it would be like in a world with the Jaeger and the Kaiju fight each other, there are 3-dimensional and even fun characters with clear motives and character actions, and, most of all, great action scenes of giant robots punching giant monsters IN THE FACE! 

I can't stress enough on how well made these action scenes are. It's not just how the movie actually shows the audience on what's going on(in other words, there isn't any of that shaky cam bullcrap), but it's just the overall design of the Jaeger and the Kaiju. These things actually feel like giant monoliths just going at it on each other. Every movement, step, or contact they make with other things just feels right when your watching these giants in action. Also, the design and look of these enormous mechanical monsters and the actual monsters are just spot on. Each of the Jaeger robots you see are uniquely designed and easily recognizable from each other and the same can be said about the Kaiju as well. This isn't some sort of mess thrown together in order to make incomprehensible giant things doing stuff in a thing that resembles a story like Michael Bays Transformers, Pacific Rim is the real deal!


Okay, all gushing of praise aside, there are actually problems I have with this movie, albeit small ones as they don't really matter that much in the long run when the whole damn movie just works. The only problem that involves the story is how there's an action scene towards the middle that felt like it should have been at the end because it had a lot of build up and an incredible pay off. The final action scene of the movie is still pretty awesome, but it didn't seem to have the proper build up like the first one had which kind of hit a rough spot for me.

There's another thing about this movie that's pretty great but also something I found lacking. What's great is that the movie doesn't frame itself on how the US is the one and be all country in order to save everyone. They've pretty much got the entire world involved in this movie in order to stop the Kaiju, and even one of the main characters is Japanese. There are also side characters like the Australians, who play into a big role into the movie, and the Chinese and the Russians with their own Jaeger suits. My problem is that the Chinese and the Russians barely get to do anything at all in the movie and I was a bit disappointed on how it all panned out for them.

Still, when it comes to this kind of thing, we are making steps in the right direction.

Really, in the end, I honestly just love this movie. I've seen it twice by now and I still want to see it even more times. So, if you guys really need to see Grown Ups 2, at least give this movie a chance as well. I know a lot of you guys are probably unsure about it because it isn't tied to any sort of well known IP. This isn't a Superman movie, this isn't something from the Avengers, this isn't a J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie, so, it's sort of understandable to be unsure about this movie. This is something new and different, even if it's a sort of familiar setting for many people, it sure isn't for a lot more others. But, let me testify that this movie is very much well worth seeing. This is the action movie of the year, a new movie with a director who deserves this chance to blow people's minds in exactly this way. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Olympus has Fallen VS. White House Down

So, for whatever reason, people decided to make two Die Hard rip-offs within the same year and only a couple of months from each other. And, not only that, they both involve the White House. Maybe there was something going on that gave people the idea of making a Die Hard movie involving the White House would be a good idea at the exact same time. But which one was good? Were they both good? Were they a bad idea in the first place?

Well, let's prepare for a death battle and find out.

I'll be comparing the two movies in no particular way or style, just what ever I feel like talking about.

So, here we go!


Olympus has Fallen

So, there this guy, who is the protagonist(Gerard Butler) and the president and the president's wife on some sort of convoy trip. There's a big accident where the protagonist saves the president but is unable to save the president's wife. This sets up some sort of dark history for the protagonist in order to create some tension between him and the president.

Some time passes and the Protagonist has PTSD about not saving the President's wife. AND THEN! The White House gets invaded by Koreans. There's no build up to it; Koreans come in with a bunch aircrafts, shoot some parts of the building, and then just invade it. It's up to Gerard Butler to over come his trauma in order to save everybody.

Things happen and there's nothing that gets resolved for the president and the main character by the end of it all.

White House Down

Mr. Obama(But with a more american name for some reason) is having a good run after his election. He's working on settling peace with the countries in the Middle East. He's a great president that people love even if he's a little over idealistic.

Channing Tatum takes the lead this time as NOT JOHN MCCLANE, a veteran who is looking for a job for the Secret Service while he is taking his daughter on a tour of the White House. The daughter Emily, played by Joey King, turns out to be well adept on knowledge of the White House and knows her politics. She also keeps a video blog on this thing called the internet. I'm not sure what this internet does, but I'm pretty sure it will come into play later.

This movie does set itself up in the most obvious ways in fact. There are a lot of scenes that scream "I WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER!" There was this one scene where they make sure to point out that President Jamie Fox has a gold watch and I knew exactly what the payoff was going to be on that one, though, it's hard to imagine anyone not calling that part of the movie.

Either way, the White House gets invaded, but there's actual build up this time around. Instead of a bunch of guys just charging in and shooting people, these guys sneak in using disguises, careful planning, and timing in order to take over the White House. It's not just something that happens in order to set up the plot as we actually get to feel things building up and turning for the worse instead of it just suddenly happening. And instead of it being Koreans, or some guys from other countries that The US is afraid of, they are angry republicans, white supremacists, and The Military Industrial Complex. That isn't going to make people angry at all!

It's up to not John McClane and Jamie Obama to save the White House.

Also, unlike Olympus has Fallen, everything set up in the movie comes in full circle. Maybe a lot of it can be contrived, but at least it's there in order to make somewhat effective story telling like how the Protagonist may not have voted for the person whom he is protecting and how he has some relationship issues with his daughter. Yeah, like I said, pretty contrived but at least it's there while also not giving us a bunch of go nowhere plot threads.

Bad Dudes

People have still yet to top the story of this!


Olympus has Fallen

There's the protagonist, there's the president, and there's a bunch of other people. We're supposed to care about them because they're American. One of the characters even recites the pledge of allegiance before she thinks she's about to die. Isn't that touching?

White House Down

The president is an idealistic, I.V League Graduate who is trying to settle peace with the Middle East and also trying to give up smoking. Channing Tatum's character is having relationship problems with his daughter and hopes to fix that by spending time with the White House. He also hopes to be a part of the Secret Service. The bad guys all have their clear motives and reasons to want to attack the White House and do what they want to do, but to explain, that would be spoiling. But, I will say that it all pays off in a silly but makes sense in its context kind of way.

But, what I'm trying to say in this part is that I can actually remember the characters in this movie other than their role in the movie. There was actually stuff to them.


Olympus has Fallen

The thing about action is that there's a lot more to it then just what's going on between the characters in conflict. There's a special note you have to give to the sense of geography, what we can see during these scenes, if we care who wins.

Well, Olympus has Fallen gives us one note characters in badly staged action scenes in one dark hallway after another. You can never tell where the characters are in relation to everything else in the White House, it just deals with a bunch of guys in boring hand to hand combat with obvious digital blood. The movie carries an R-rating, but since they don't even bother using actual physical material to make it look even the slightest bit real, they might as well have not have even tried.

White House Down

There are actual characters in this movie, and we're made sure to know where everything is, making the set actually feel real. The movie works under a PG-13 rating, but the action turns out to be even harder than Olympus has Fallen, even if it doesn't bother with blood effects at all. Even if it gets over the top and silly, we're still more invested into what's going on, making it feel more real than other movies that might even bother with realism. And yes, in the context of White House Down, realism might as well be a dirty word, but it's also awesome and competently directed.


Olympus has Fallen

To make money.

White House Down

To piss of republicans with its unsubtle message. Sure, it's cathartic and silly, but at least the movie actually means something.


Olympus has Fallen

Olympus has Fallen might be one of the worst movies I've seen this year. It was a dumb, pointless action flick that tries to be a Die Hard movie that doesn't really get what makes Die Hard such a great movie. But, it doesn't matter, because this movie made a lot of money anyway. So, well done guys!

White House Down

White House Down is a really dumb and silly action movie. But it's also a really well made dumb and silly action movie that actually does have a point to it. Yeah, it's unsubtle, indulgent, and bound to make people(for people who both like and dislike Obama), but at least it's there in order to make this movie unique. It indulges in big, loud set pieces that happen to be really dumb, but also quite awesome. Whether you're laughing at or with the movie, you'll still be laughing and having a good time.