Archive for the ‘films’ Category
All right you guys.
Ninja Assassin is the BEST FILM EVER.
We were laughing so hard throughout. It's wonderful, really, all cheesy plot and plentiful OTT violence and gore.
And of course it reminded me strongly of Weft's upbringing, except more girl ninjas* and less knitting.
*a definite improvement.
First people were in the news mentioning how they had suicidal urges because Bluecahontas — sorry, Avatar — isn't real.
*writes up a prescription for some red pills* All right, carry on.
But now, via an otherkin-with-senses-of-humour thing I read, I give you the Na'vi Anti-Defamation League.
This is a travesty.
How dare the dandelion-herding, psychic-pony-riding Violet Beauregarde brigade rob us of our pretend racism?!?
Time to take to the streets and take back our right to disrespect people who don't exist! When will this end? Next they'll be saying people who don't believe in invisible magic things aren't fully human!
Oh dear. Did some of you just stop laughing?
I think combining the shininess of Avatar with the dark, cynical thoughtfulness of District 9 (and some doggies) would have produced about the best film I can imagine. District 9 was fantastic in its own right, but there's no denying the visual loveliness of Avatar. Films don't actually have to come with a brown-grey filter to make an impactful point. Honest. There's nothing wrong with a bit of beauty for its own sake.
Incidentally, Avatar was lacking in one important regard. Nobody said "They're attacking Home Tree! Quick, I need root access!" (Indeed, one loses count of the tree/computer puns they fail to make after being informed that the entire biosphere is essentially a distributed natural intelligence.)
My job has improved my knowledge of pop culture SO much, seriously.
[Mel] Gibson… is he the Scientologist or the anti-Semite? Directed Lord of the Rings or Lord of the Flies or something too, didn't he?
I wouldn't have known that much before.
- Life kicked my arse before I got out of bed. The sort of mood even sexually harassing pigeons couldn't lift…but geek banter has worked. <3 #
- "If I compare Ricky Gervais's humour to science…" Weirdest snatch of conversation ever from Radio 4 earlier today. #
- Young family plays on hillside, to be put to death in December: http://bit.ly/12Ntus #
- "Total Wipeout is now following you on Twitter!" *screams* … *screams* #
- Fruitbat, http://bit.ly/XICeo axolotl http://bit.ly/NTH4I threatened. Beautiful flesh bug http://bit.ly/VBwZk WTF http://bit.ly/12P4qN #news #
- Why #dogs bite their owners. http://bit.ly/Pzh8I #poodle #dogfashion #wtf #
- "I would like to live in Manchester. The transition between Manchester and heaven would be unnoticeable" -Mark Twain #manchesterfacts via QI #
- For the record, lastfm soundslike:Rhapsody of Fire helps is balm for bad moods. Avantasia, "Another angel doooown" \m/ http://bit.ly/3HWuhp #
- Delphi! #Delphi! There's a blast from the past… or not. Look at all the things that are still written in it! http://bit.ly/qcv3x #
- Gently reproved @binhbui earlier for asking fellow geeks "you want to play table tennis?" Told him the correct way to phrase this is "Ping?" #
- http://twitpic.com/fdbxj – Ohhhh yeah. Back from watching G-Force in 3D with @binhbui, @paulmsmith and @spielbergio. #
- http://twitpic.com/fdc9e – I am not the werewolf. #
Twitter film reviews!
- #gforce is lots of silly fun – great special effects, Dobermans, fast-paced, genuinely LOL moments, a little unbearable sap and flag-waving. #
- I liked how the black guinea pig was black and could breakdance. That wasn't racist. #gforce #
- I liked how the girl guinea pig was sexy, crazy, evil and manipulated the men. That wasn't sexist. #gforce #
- #vss Weft put his head round the door. "Did you miss me?" "You've only been gone nine minutes," said Suitov. "You noticed!" Weft chirped. #
- #vss #mfic My beautiful unborn young. Their flexible, round eggs, pentagonal-patched, in your garages, gardens, offices, lockers… waiting. #
- The pair who show up in some of my #vss / #mfic tweets: Suitov http://bit.ly/suitov & Weft http://bit.ly/wefty (stylised art by yours truly) #
- #vss #mfic Filming Hirst's Mother and Child Divided at the Tate for his art series, the little mule suddenly wished he wasn't called Muffin. #
- #vss #mfic She came round. Head shaved. Orange jumpsuit. Wrists sore from cuffs. "Welcome, inmate!" It was Ch. 4's replacement for Big Bro. #
Goosebumps: The Barking Ghost by RL Stine
I've read this one already: it's a children's book, and not particularly noteworthy, but has an amusingly silly twist and a bonus shapeshifting angle. Not scary for me. (Goosebumps is a churned-out series of scary books aimed at young readers. I sorta admire Stine's ability to put out so many words.)
Ghost Dog by Eleanor Allen (Young Hippo Spooky)
Dogs (1976) horror film
The Ghost Dog by Pete Johnson
Ghost Dog by Dick Cate
My library, let me show you it.
Reviews shall come. At present I've almost finished reading Hellhound Magic, which deserves an entry to itself.
WTF! WTF! WTF! WTF! WTF! WTF! WTF! WTF!
Nooo, Watson, I'll protect you from the nasty Madonna-toyboy.
Neat Star Trek gallery on Wired, featuring Kirk cuddling some Tribbles. Much as I enjoyed the new film, I approve of their commentary's acidic tone as they point out some of its silly Hollywoodisms. (The "fresh-faced rookies" thing was irritating. Only characters over… eh, 35ish, bare minimum, are entitled to be awesome.)
Little Shop of Horrors 2009 UK tour verdict: Well worth seeing.
All the singers were fairly good, Audrey One particularly sweet, but throughout most of the first act, the stand-out star was Seymour. Right, that is, up until Audrey II opened her trap to sing, when most else ceased to matter. My favourite part, the duet between Seymour and the plant1, was particularly nicely done.
Oh yes, that plant. They characterised her as what looks like some kind of Sarracenia pitcher plant, which makes perfect sense (more than a Venus flytrap, to be honest). Cute and simple animatronics. Everyone thought they knew what to expect when Seymour carried the second-stage plant into view, one of his hands myseteriously out of sight, but in fact most of her movement happened during times when he'd put her down in various different places on the stage. Very slick.
The bigger Audrey II, for a big green thing without eyes and limited movement in her stems, emoted pretty well – from leaning a little to the side and talking out of the corner of her mouth to sneakily extending a leaf to barricade the door closed. Convincing enough that I had to wince whenever the cast stepped on her tendrils.
My minions kept up a stream of babble about which actor had also been in what (they think the dentist was some former villain from EastEnders, I already know who Sylvester McCoy is, and so on), the most interesting part of which was that the plant's voice actor was in Jerry Springer – The Opera (in which he played doubled-up roles, first as a perverted talk show guest and later as Jesus. ROFL).
Criticisms? Being the only one who's heard (all right, listened extensively to) the Broadway cast recording, only I knew that a few of the cast (Scrivello and particularly Mushnik) chickened out of some of the difficult parts. There was a sound imbalance for us in the first row of the circle, too, in that the orchestra was too loud compared to the cast. But never fear! I was, ahem, more than able to fill the others in on the words they'd missed afterwards.
<geek>An interesting thing about the musical is that two of the songs that never made it into the original production (get hold of the Broadway OST to hear them) still survive in the stage show to this day, as little musical references/reprises in the other songs. During the finale, for example, Seymour and Audrey share a line from "We'll Have Tomorrow", and a slip of the tune from "My Hobby" can be heard in "Now (It's Just the Gas)". I find that sort of thing fascinating.</geek>
In other news (or wild speculation), this comment regarding my OTHER favourite film of all time, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
1 "I don't know! I don't know! I have so… so many strong… reservations!"
An autistic lad is rescued by Spider-Man.
And now more idiots trying to make the world fit into their little boxes, to the detriment of all…
Despite the stupid stories you may have heard about windmills slicing birds up, the RSPB is in no doubt: we need more wind farms, and we need them soon.
Actually we need them twenty years ago, but hi, media outlets, welcome to the 08 Is Too Late bandwagon anyway.
Now that was miserable. So here's some happy power metal: Iron Fire – Bridges Will Burn
Bolt was good. It is about a puppy! In fact, it's, which is pretty much a winner.
I was a bit uneasy about how the animals emoted, though. They didn't use their ears at all; it was rather confusing. For example, when the cat had her back to the dog, telling him to get lost, her ears should have been tightly back and her tail doing some conflicted lashing, and his ears at least somewhat flattened and tail down. No doubt it was the same all the way through the film, but that was the scene that actually broke the WSD for me. Kind of disturbing, like someone smiling and grinning while telling you they're horribly depressed, you know? I need cartoon expressions to be right, because they're a stepping stone to real ones.
I'll not get onto the lazy bit of characterisation that always makes cat = female and dog = male. ;) We dogs may be simpler and dumber, but girls have the right to be simple and dumb too, if they want.
Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell is a very silly film with a very good doggie in it. It's quite schlock made-for-TV horrorish with atrocious special effects and mostly low-key acting and production, apart from some scenes ostensibly in Ecuador (complete with bowler-hatted people).
There isn't much surprise to the plot, and the acting (of the dogs) is pretty bad.
I enjoyed it.
It gets minus points for the old "woman possessed by the devil becomes sex-mad because sex is evil" trope. And minus a squillion points for equating my Barghest with Christian mystical junk, but that was a given; said so right in the title.
The DVD has won a place in my hellmutts library, along with Zoltan, Hound of Dracula. (Which was even worse.)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) was… strange. I'm going to get the original and watch it, because this was not at all as I remember the original.
The ending wasn't resolved very well (what happened? Why does clockwork suddenly not work? Whut?), there was insufficient justification for a change of mind, and the line, my favourite line, "Gort, Klaatu barada nikto" was conspicuously and tragically absent. (I thought I caught Klaatu saying it once or twice, actually, but you'd only have noticed it if you were expecting the line.) It also took away the main character's big moment, replacing it with a muddied and unclear moment of self-sacrifice or perhaps survival against odds (no way to tell!) for Reeves's character. I also expected the biological altruism angle (John Cleese's character) to be remarked upon specifically. The main character had an adopted child. They missed an obvious theme there.
Good things were largely the effects: Gort and the subsequent effects of its apocalyptic tantrum. I have a real weakness for metallic insects dissolving things and burrowing into people's veins. I liked that a lot. Klaatu's escape was quite stupid, but you couldn't help enjoying it with the technokinesis and the badass suit.
The science throughout, however, was atrocious. Animals need plants. Something hitting the planet at a tenth the speed of light would destroy a large area, never mind any helicopters flying towards the landing site (WHAT WHY ARE YOU IN THE SKY AT THE PREDICTED IMPACT TIME WHY?), and let alone what it'd probably do to the atmosphere before it got to Manhattan (WHY ALWAYS FREAKING NEW YORK WE LAUGHED SO HARD AT THIS). Also, aliens with DNA? Puhleaze. DNA isn't 'genes': it's Earth's implementation of the concept of genes, which are a pretty good idea in themselves. It's possible that aliens would have genes. But their genes would, I imagine, be overwhelmingly likely not to be DNA. To take another example: aliens having computers, definitely possible. Aliens arriving with computers that run MacOS, impossible. Oh, hang on a moment, WILL SMITH, I AM LOOKING AT YOU, XENU BOY.
More reviews (with spoilers) from IMDb here. I agree with pretty much all the criticisms—except that Keanu Reeves playing a blank-faced alien is, IMO, the role he was born for.
Ah well, so I can still say Klaatu barada nikto and leave people none the wiser.
After the film, the three of us (dad, Slen and I) went to eat, and I told my father about my change of name. I think he took it well. (Well, he thinks it's an extremely eccentric choice, which it most definitely is.) His lack of knowledge of Shakespeare is very much mitigated by the fact that he knew who Diogenes was.
Ah, Diogenes, my hero. Is it pathetically sad that I've been really tempted to register tubphilosopher dot com for some time?
We also chatted about other stuff, like my intention to go for publication with Mews, the possibility of Slen getting a job, and, yeah. Stuff. A good, normal catch-up type chat after the main news. I don't think I could've hoped for that to go any better.
I was most nervous telling him about the surname, of course, because I still had his name. My mother changed her surname by usage some time after they divorced, many years ago; I chose not to at that time. I still think that was the right decision for me at that point. I wasn't ready. I didn't particularly want to make such a change then. In addition, there wasn't anything I wanted to change to—any other name I chose wouldn't have been mine either.
Baskerville is mine. It's unquestionably English with a decent pedigree (which is important to offset the unusual abbreviation "Herm"), it's a reference to giant Sherlockian monster dog and it has overtones of John Baskerville's attractive, old-fashioned-looking typeface. And it has an enjoyable rhythm and sound. First syllable stress and a skuh in the middle.
The fact that it's a B name is pure coincidence, really, but there are a few of those in the family. On my mother's side, anyway. Dad's side has a few Ps. I don't think I'd ever have plumped for another P; it's too plosive. Anything I can't say to a gerbil without causing it to flinch is just mean.
A coworker has just drawn my attention to Cherub of the Mist, which would seem to be a 50-minute film about red pandas and therefore made of win.
Speaking of films, I'm going to see The Day the Earth Stood Still tonight with Slen and my father. I have something particular about which to talk to my father…
In addition, I don't have his birthday present ready yet. It's coming along nicely, though! I hope it'll at least be ready to email him for Saturday. Yes, it'd have been nicer to be able to print it off and give it to him, but eh. I can do that at a later date.
Weird, disturbing and still unaccountably domestic dreams last night. For example, someone had stuffed chip wrappers and hot water bottle covers down the toilet. (Well, it was upsetting in dream-context! Plus, I hate things being put in wrong places.)