Monday, August 30, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: Metropolis (1927)

Film: Metropolis
Country: Germany
Director: Fritz Lang

Few films have been as influential to science fiction as Lang's brilliant silent masterpiece. Eighty-three years after its initial release, it remains stunning and powerful. It's a classic tale of societal upheaval, as workers rebel against the city elite, whipped to a frenzy by a beautiful robotic siren. Too many films to list have been inspired by, or have outright copied from, this movie. See why! You won't forget the experience.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cavebabble Episode 78: A Taste of Japanese Films

Our movie trip around the globe continues with a feast of four films from the land of the rising sun, Japan. Join us for a look at Onibaba, Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Shall We Dance?, and Departures. Also featured is a quick review of Kick-Ass. This episode is brought to you by Sunshine.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

Film: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Country: Italy
Director: Sergio Leone

Although I love A Fistful of Dollars nearly as much, the third in Leone's Man With No Name trilogy stands as the quintessential spaghetti western. Clint Eastwood shines, but just as brightly burn Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach, as they fight and scheme their way toward a buried golden fortune. Everything about this film screams classic.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: Hero (2002)

Film: Hero
Country: China
Director: Zhang Yimou

Built around the core story of a nameless assassin attempting to get within striking distance of a king, Hero unfolds as a series of flashback narratives told by Nameless at the king's request. Nameless claims to have killed three famous assassins to protect his king, and it is their stories, as well as his battles with them, which are the subject of his tales. The use of color in this film is unmatched, and remains one of the most visually stunning films I've seen. It's also a powerhouse of a martial arts movie, bursting with big names- Jet Li, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang, and Donnie Yen.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: Mad Max 2 (1981)

Film: Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior in the U.S.)
Country: Australia
Director: George Miller

Max drove into the Outback sunset at the end of George Miller's classic Mad Max. In Mad Max 2, Miller takes the action to the next level, as Max battles Lord Humongous and his post-apocalyptic band of freaks for possession of precious gasoline. This film features some of the best vehicular stunts I've seen, and remains one of my favorite movies from the 80s.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: The Killer (1989)

Film: The Killer
Hong Kong (yes, I know)

John Woo

Before being watered down by Hollywood, John Woo was the king of action film directing in Hong Kong, and Chow Yun Fat his greatest star. This is my favorite of their combined efforts. A guilt-ridden hired killer takes one last job in order to afford surgery to restore the sight of a woman he accidentally blinded. A nearly-perfect action film- if only I could get that saxophone song out of my head.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cavebabble Episode 77: Sims Cubed

Brush up on your Simlish, and join us for a look at the world of The Sims 3, including the World Adventures and Ambitions expansion packs. Along the way, we also review the quirky animated Belgian film, A Town Called Panic. This episode is brought to you by Green Diamonds.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: El Mariachi (1992)

Film: El Mariachi
Country: Mexico/USA
Director: Robert Rodriguez

A case of mistaken identity pits a wandering mariachi against the local drug cartel in a small Mexican town. Famous for being created for $7,000, the film that launched Robert Rodriguez is filled with what would become his trademark humor and style. Worth a look if only to enjoy the fast-motion scene of a mariachi brandishing a cheesy electronic keyboard instrument. Fun!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: Russian Ark (2002)

Film: Russian Ark
Country: Russia/Germany
Director: Aleksander Sokurov

A 99-minute filmed tour of the Russian State Hermitage Museum may not sound very exciting. When the tour becomes a trip through history and art, complete with scores of actors, things start looking up. Mention the fact the entire film is one continuous shot, and interest booms. Technical problems stymied the crew on the first three attempts, but in the end, it all went off as planned, and the result is pure magic. It's a technical and artistic triumph which shouldn't be missed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (2003)

Film: Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior
Country: Thailand
Director: Pracha Pinkaew

When the head of a small village's sacred statue is stolen by a nefarious antiquities dealer, the best fighter in the village must get it back in order to return prosperity to the community. Forget the summary. This is a showcase for Muay Thai master Tony Jaa, and as such, it's a great movie. Jaa directed himself in the followup to this film, which moves the action from modern day to hundreds of years in the past, in an attempt to create a martial arts epic. I prefer this film.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: Tattooed Life (1965)

Film: Tattooed Life
Country: Japan
Director: Seijun Suzuki

After being double crossed by his yakuza boss, Tetsu flees with his younger brother, Kenji, attempting to reach Manchuria. Unable to book boat passage, they find work at a local mine, hiding both from the authorities and yakuza searching for them. The final twenty minutes of this film are amazingly stylish and brilliantly framed. I want to watch it again right now!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Cavebabble Episode 76: A Taste of German Films

It's time for a film trip around the globe, beginning with a taste of movies from Germany. Tonight, we discuss four stylish titles- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, Run Lola Run, and Tuvalu. Don't forget your passport! This episode is brought to you by Day-Glo.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's Getting Steamy in Here

Some days, I feel like a walking advertisement for Valve's Steam service. Most gamers are at least familiar with this online game delivery platform, but I've slowly become an addict. When Steam has a sale (which happens frequently), the discounts are incredible, and I can't resist them. Packs of AAA games often sell for $2.50 a game. My Steam library is sixty titles strong at this point- more content than I will play in the next three years. Yet, I still keep an eye out for the next big sale. Darn you, Valve! Darn you to heck! (P.S. I love you).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Play This Game: World of Goo

Game: World of Goo
Developer: 2D Boy
Year: 2008
Platform: PC- Windows, Mac, Linux

Combine a wonderfully quirky atmosphere with a physics-based construction puzzle mechanic, add a dash of infectious soundtrack, and you have World of Goo, and also one of my favorite gaming experiences in the past two years. For those with PCs, you can't get much better than this inexpensive indie hit.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: Kikujiro (1999)

Film: Kikujiro
Country: Japan
Director: Takeshi Kitano

Takeshi "Beat" Kitano is best known for gritty, violent films, both behind and in front of the camera. My favorite Kitano role, however, displays the other side of his nature, as the title character of this film. His trademark rough character is incongruously paired with a young boy, Masao, and becomes determined to help him find his mother, whom the boy has never met before. Their adventures together are both odd and incredibly touching, a tone complemented by Joe Hisaishi's brilliant music. This isn't everyone's favorite movie, but it certainly is one of mine.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Cavebabble Episode 75: Point and Click- Facebook Games

Casual games are storming the Internet and the Cavebabble household. Tonight, we take a look at the world of Zynga, Playfish, and Playdom, as we babble about Facebook Games. Take a break from the point 'n click, and join us! This episode is brought to you by Clicky the Mouse.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Favorite Foreign Films: Run Lola Run (1998)

Film: Run Lola Run
Country: Germany
Director: Tom Tykwer

Manni has managed to lose 100,000 Deutschmarks' worth of crime money on a subway, and is twenty minutes away from a meeting with his boss, which most likely will end in his death if the funds aren't produced. Lola, his girlfriend on the other side of town, must somehow raise the money and deliver it to Manni in time to save his life. Lola's journey is shown three times during the film, each reset representing a different possible journey and outcome. Along the way, chance encounters with other people include flashes of their lives from that moment forward, which also change with each reset. Filled with wonderful editing, a variety of film stocks, quirky animation, and thumping music (composed by Tykwer), this film is a classic of modern German cinema. A must-see!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cavebabble is Changing...

The podcast is going through a few changes, and getting a new schedule. Recording on Sundays just isn't working out with our weekend schedule. To keep posting content regularly, we will begin recording on Friday nights. Other changes include what topics we cover, and how- this should be obvious as you listen to new episodes. Thanks again to everyone downloading the show!