7 Big Lies ‘American Sniper’ is Telling America About Iraq and Chris Kyle

From Raw Story. :

The film American Sniper, based on the story of the late Navy Seal Chris Kyle, is a box office hit, setting records for an R-rated film released in January. Yet the film, the autobiography of the same name, and the reputation of Chris Kyle are all built on a set of half-truths, myths and outright lies that Hollywood didn’t see fit to clear up.

Here are seven lies about Chris Kyle and the story that director Clint Eastwood is telling

The Hobbit: The Tolkien Edit

Some kind soul out there took a knife to Peter Jackson’s 8 hour film adaption of a 250 page children’s book and slashed half of the running time.

Let me start by saying that I enjoy many aspects of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. Overall, however, I felt that the story was spoiled by an interminable running time, unengaging plot tangents and constant narrative filibustering. What especially saddened me was how Bilbo (the supposed protagonist of the story) was rendered absent for large portions of the final two films. Back in 2012, I had high hopes of adding The Hobbit to my annual Lord of the Rings marathon, but in its current bloated format, I simply cannot see that happening.

So, over the weekend, I decided to condense all three installments (An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies) into a single 4-hour feature that more closely resembled Tolkien’s original novel. Well, okay, it’s closer to 4.5 hours, but those are some long-ass credits! This new version was achieved through a series of major and minor cuts, detailed below:

I watched the first two films but threw in the towel after that barrel scene. This might be worth taking a look at though.

(via Kottke)

Star Wars Voted Most Anticipated Movie Of 2015

Meh. Thanks to Lucas’s mangling of the back story I guess it would be difficult to think that JJ Abrams could do worse. I’m actually anticipating Red Letter Media’s review of it over the actual movie so perhaps I’m not the best judge of this.

But given the remaining movies on the list, being the most anticipated movie of 2015 doesn’t really seem all that special. The rest are all sequels except for 50 Shades which is fan fiction of a bad movie that had way too many sequels.

Roger Ebert Reviews Atlas Shrugged

And gives it one star (out of four):

I feel like my arm is all warmed up and I don’t have a game to pitch. I was primed to review “Atlas Shrugged.” I figured it might provide a parable of Ayn Rand’s philosophy that I could discuss. For me, that philosophy reduces itself to: “I’m on board; pull up the lifeline.” There are however people who take Ayn Rand even more seriously than comic-book fans take “Watchmen.” I expect to receive learned and sarcastic lectures on the pathetic failings of my review.

And now I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault. I suspect only someone very familiar with Rand’s 1957 novel could understand the film at all, and I doubt they will be happy with it. For the rest of us, it involves a series of business meetings in luxurious retro leather-and-brass board rooms and offices, and restaurants and bedrooms that look borrowed from a hotel no doubt known as the Robber Baron Arms.

During these meetings, everybody drinks. More wine is poured and sipped in this film than at a convention of oenophiliacs. There are conversations in English after which I sometimes found myself asking, “What did they just say?” The dialogue seems to have been ripped throbbing with passion from the pages of Investors’ Business Daily. Much of the excitement centers on the tensile strength of steel.

28 Days Later: Say Goodbye to the Netflix New Release Rental

WTF Netflix?

Today is sad day for Netflix customers. The online video rental supplier has just announced an agreement with Warner Bros. that will forever alter your online rental experience. Now should you wish to rent a Warner Bros. flick you’ll have to wait out a 28-day holding period after the film’s initial DVD release date.

Of course the partnership rooted in money-making greed — Warner Bros. wants you to buy the DVD instead of rent it —was to be expected. But the new deal is a first of its kind, and we could soon see several other studios follow in Warner Bros. footsteps.

Both companies would like you to know that the deal also guarantees that Warner Bros. will add more direct-to-video and streaming titles to the Netflix collection.

Movie Fans Might Have to Wait to Rent New DVD Releases

It’s like all the Hollywood Execs gathered together in a room and said “Hmmm, how can we get more people to pirate movies?”

For those who like renting movies, Hollywood may soon have a message: Prepare to wait.

In an effort to push consumers toward buying more movies, some major film studios are considering a new policy that would block DVDs from being offered for rental until several weeks after going on sale.

Under the plan, new DVD releases would be available on a purchase-only basis for a few weeks, after which time companies such as Blockbuster Inc. and Netflix Inc. would be allowed to rent the DVDs to their customers. The move comes as the studios are grappling with sharply declining DVD revenue, which has long propped up the movie business.