Let’s Breakdown the Official “RoboCop” Trailer

robocop trailer

When Hollywood metaphorically called us up and imparted the big news that RoboCop was coming back to the big screen after being a 1980’s cult classic (hard to do), a lot of us said things like “No thanks” and “Why would you do something so ridiculous?” Continue reading

About these ads

Is “The World’s End” Worth Watching?

Is the World's End Worth Watching

The World’s End is the unofficial third entry in a trilogy of (seemingly) unrelated genre-parody movies done by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. 

Shaun of the Dead gave us a movie that pokes fun at zombie movies, Hot Fuzz obliterated buddy cop movie clichés and we now have The World’s End, which attempts to give current sci-fi a reason to feel embarrassed.

In 1990, Gary King (Simon Pegg) was the leader of a group of rebellious teens who make the cast of Skins look like respectable youths. Fast forward 20 years and King is now an alcoholic who can’t let go of the past.

Meanwhile, King’s group of once-adoring sidekicks have become estranged, settling into adulthood with careers and families. In an effort to reunite them and relive the old days, King manipulates the gang into having one final night out in their hometown of Newton Haven.

The night in question is the completion of “The Golden Mile,” a 12-pub crawl that the group wasn’t able to complete 20 years ago that King now obsesses over finishing. The final pub in that mile is aptly named “The World’s End,” a symbol of the chaotic finale Gary King seems fixated on.

By itself, the first act of the movie would be enough to solidify a great story about a grown man who makes the audience cringe with his increasingly absurd antics. Simon Pegg’s performance as King is his best yet, in my opinion, and is simply fun to watch, especially since this is a bit of a deviation for Pegg as an actor.

Of course, this is Edgar Wright, so the movie takes a turn for the apocalypse by the second act, as the group discovers that their hometown has been invaded by what they hilariously describe as “blue-filled robots.”

In order to keep the “robots” from knowing their discovery, the group decides to finish the Golden Mile anyway. Because of this, the gang gets even more drunk and begins making crazy decisions that would normally make the audience cry plot hole.

Instead, we are treated to a visually fun and frantic comedy that had me laughing wildly throughout.

Though Pegg and Nick Frost steal the screen as the main cast, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the secondary characters who completed what King calls “The Five Musketeers.” Each character in the group was very interesting and had their own complicated personalities, giving me an actual reason to root for them in their plight.

That makes me sad to say that the love interest, Sam (played by Rosamund Pike) was a bit too one-dimensional compared to her counterparts and didn’t contribute enough to the plot in my opinion.

Still, the movie is well-done in terms of dialogue, acting and story. It was refreshing to watch something that took risks and aimed for unpredictability.

If there’s one thing I loved most about this movie, it would be how well they treated the character arc for Gary King, a fictional person with a surprising amount of depth for a comedy. Also, the conclusion of the film is easily my favorite movie ending this year. Seriously, they nailed it.

Is it worth watching?

This is a must-watch for fans of Shaun of the DeadHot Fuzz and even classic sci-fi movies in general. The jokes and mayhem are a bit raunchy, but the R-rating doesn’t include nudity. The humor is deadpan at times, so if you’re not a fan of British entertainment, you may want to go for the rental for this one. 

Otherwise, I have little doubt you will have a good time with this movie.

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you say something really witty. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.
Don’t forget to check out New Professional News, a list of headlines essential for any new professional, updated daily at 8am.

5 Activities that Make You a Better Writer

5 Activities That Make You A Better Writer

Instead of telling you how to improve your writing, let’s talk about what you can be doing right now to get better…

Being a writer is tricky, especially if you’re actively seeking out ways to improve your skill. I know that every time I go online to find advice on writing, hundreds of experts are going to tell me hundreds of different things.

I don’t feel like doing that today. Instead of telling you how to improve your writing, I want to give some tangible advice on what you can be doing right now to get better at writing.

See, I learn better through experience, and a lot of you may be the same way. Here are the activities that I find myself doing all of the time (and things I’ve been doing for a long time) that have been a tremendous influence on my growth as a writer.

5. JOURNALING

I bring this up because I bought a new journal today. It’s a leather-bound journal that was made in Italy, which means it’s the most attractive item on my desk. Obviously, I get pretty excited about journaling, and not for the reasons you probably think.

When people think of keeping a diary, they typically dwell on the idea of jotting down the mundane things you do every day. Don’t get me wrong, I like to write about events in my life, but I would never keep a journal if that was all there was to it.

Journaling is best done without structure. I jot down thoughts, struggles and emotional turmoil. I write down the things I want to say but don’t feel like sharing with other people.

I confess things in my journal. I identify things I don’t like about myself, or guilt I have for something I’ve done. I write about chance encounters with beautiful women and odd situations I find myself awkwardly implanted into.

Journaling is a best-practice for writing because of all these things. When you start writing for the sake of catharsis (or in other words, for you), you begin to actually enjoy writing across other avenues.

I know when I write, my thoughts tend to clutter what I’m trying to say. When I release my emotions in a focused way through my journal, however, I find myself being far better at writing apart from my emotions.

Make any sense? Let’s hope so, because next…

4. ISOLATION

Sorry fellow extroverts, but isolation is an activity that vastly improves your writing. When I say isolation, I’m referring to your environment. Going into nature just to write is a way for you to bombard your mind with new senses.

There’s nothing wrong with writing in crowded places or at home, especially if that’s your preference. But take time every once in a while to seclude yourself and empty your mind. Because life can be so distracting, you can find a type of solace in the rhythm of nature, allowing you to focus more effectively on what you’re trying to write.

Creativity is far better fostered this way, and you’ll improve your ability to incorporate sensory into your writing, a skill that is quite difficult to learn.

3. TRAVELING

It doesn’t take a lot to convince people that they should travel, but this is still a helpful reminder. Traveling brings about new experiences, and new experiences expand your mind.

The more expansive your mind is, the more things you actually have to write about. It’s simple logic, and it absolutely works. Every time I find myself feeling the onset of writer’s block, I actively pursue new experiences. They allow me to absorb new ideas, people and stories that spur my creativity.

Obviously, the farther you travel, the more likely you are to learn a lot. If you really want the most out of a trip, consider journaling throughout and keep track of what you experience.

2. READING

You can’t be much of a writer if you don’t read as much as you write. For one thing, reading is an ongoing method of cementing your grammar knowledge and improving your vocabulary. It’s also helpful for keeping the flow of your sentences fresh and evolving.

Of course, you should read all kinds of books and anything that interests you, but if you’re not much for reading things on paper, try turning on the subtitles/closed captioning.

I love television as much as I love to read (I basically just love stories), and ever since I was a kid, I’ve always put subtitles on when available. The results are pretty hard to argue with. I thrived in grammar, reading comprehension and spelling all throughout my education due in no small part to the simple act of all always finding an excuse to read.

1. WRITING

You may be thinking this is unnecessary to point out, but I know for a fact that people reading this article don’t realize how much writing it takes to improve at it.

Have you ever read something you wrote a few years ago? It probably makes you cringe (I know it does for me). That’s because time is on your side when it comes to writing. Practice makes perfect and all that (although perfect practice is what actually makes perfect, but whatever).

So, how can you get this done?

Let’s take blogging for instance, if that’s how you want to exercise your writing itch. Do you have multiple blogs, but only update them every once in a while? Well, you may need to cut that out, because for a lot of us, it’s much more fruitful to focus on just one blog and update it frequently.

Posting once a week is the bare minimum in my view, but three times a week is what you should really strive for. That said, I don’t usually recommend that you post five times a week. Most of the time, we write a lot for our blogs at first and then lose interest.

This happens because after the honeymoon phase, we realize that updating a blog five times a week is pretty exhausting. Instead, try scheduling ahead when you feel the itch to write a lot. Spreading your posts out gives you more time to breathe and feel like you have control over when and what you want to write.

Eventually, you may find yourself ready to do more and able to write much more consistently.

Are there any activities that you recommend for better writing? Tweet to me about it or comment below.

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you say something really witty. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.

Don’t forget to check out New Professional News, a list of headlines essential for any new professional, updated daily at 8am.

5 Theories For JJ Abrams’ Mysterious “Stranger” Trailer

Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 2.58.05 PMJJ Abrams, director of the recent Star Trek movies and upcoming Star Wars sequel (AKA the busiest person ever), recently released a mysterious trailer simply called “Stranger.”

The trailer is black-and-white, confusing and shows a man with a stitched mouth staring at us with horror-movie eyes. Speculation has erupted (at least in my mind), which is all part of Abrams’ classic marketing ploy, which he calls ”the mystery box.”

That said, I have 5 barely concrete theories on what this movie is actually about. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out below:

5. The Twilight Zone

Back in June, Abrams’ production company announced they were making a mini-series based on one of the last scripts of The Twilight Zone, which could be called “Stranger.” They have not yet announced the story or details for this production, making this a top contender.

4. S

In October, Abrams is coming out with his first book (co-writing at least) and it’s called S. We know little about it, but here’s a clue courtesy of the publisher:

”In his first-ever idea for a novel, Abrams conceived of and developed a multi-layered literary puzzle of love and adventure. At its core, we have a book of mysterious provenance. In the margins, another tale unfolds: hand-scribbled notes, questions, and confrontations between two readers. Between the pages, online, and in the real world, you’ll find evidence of their interaction, ephemera that brings this tale vividly to life.”

That last line mentions evidence found “online,” which could explain this YouTube video.

3. Believe

It’s possible that this is a tease for Abrams’ upcoming sci-fi series on NBC about a supernatural girl and her bodyguard (who just escaped prison) dodging “evil forces” out to get them.

2. Frankenstein

The black-and-white motif, the stitched face and the “men are erased and reborn” line all point to a possible remake of Frankenstein, though there’s nothing official about this project yet. We know that this can’t be The Crow, since that movie is already coming out next year apart from Bad Robot.

1. Cast Away 2: Wilson’s Revenge

The end of the trailer says “Soon he will know.” Will+Soon=Willsoon. Willsoooooooon!!!!! Science.

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you seem like a real person. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.
Don’t forget to check out New Professional News, a list of headlines essential for any new professional, updated daily at 8am.