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Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

Django Unchained

December 30th, 2012 No comments

Definitely a lot of stuff for lily liveried bleeding hearts to get bent out of shape about. The faint of heart or delicate of sensibilities should not click the more link.

First, I enjoyed it. It’s deeply flawed in a lot of the ways Inglourious Basterds was, though. Plus a new one. Maybe two new ones.

Tarantino is spending way too much time with Eli Roth. After a while the blood splatters just get ridiculous.

His new editor needs to learn the truth to power trick. The pacing was way off, but slow throughout.

One great thing, the trailer does NOT give the movie away. I stopped watching them after the second trailer but even then the movie was not given away. Pretty awesome.

(Fair warning here, I am not PC and I understand context, click at your own risk). Read more…

James Cameron, perp or vic?

January 7th, 2010 No comments

Spoilers in the last paragraph.

After leaving Avatar last night a thought occurred to me. I’m no movie geek so this question might cause great pains to some out there, but it seemed reasonable to me.

Why is James Cameron so well regarded when Michael Bay isn’t? They both tell pretty bad stories buoyed by visual effects, so why is Bay in the dirt and Cameron in the clouds? Is it the technical innovations that Cameron’s movies seem to drive? Because, really Avatar’s blue cat people really don’t look THAT much better than JarJar Binks. Especially when sharing the frame with real people. They have convincing facial expressions, but so do the living sock puppets of 9 and the Wild Things. The bioluminescent flora of Pandora could have been high quality blacklight paint. Does this give Cameron respectabilty over Bay’s towering fireballs? The answer my girlfriend and I came up with is Cameron’s characters feel more human than Bay’s. We weren’t satisfied with it, but it worked.

I admit that I haven’t seen all of Cameron’s movies. In particular I haven’t seen The Abyss which seems to be held in high esteem by most people I know that have. I, of course avoided Titanic like a second circumcision. I’m seemingly alone on the planet in my hatred for T2. Really, Jimmy? A Terminator swearing it won’t kill anyone. To a kid? What the…?

Anyway.

Avatar is NOT a good movie. Specifically it’s not a good story. I’m not talking about the premise or plot, but the story the movie tells. Star Wars proves you can tell a simple story well. But Avatar isn’t simple, it’s simplistic and heavy handed (like the Prequels). This is what I’d expect a kid to make, not a supposed grand master of movie making. The hero wins over his angry boss, saves the pretty jungle and scores the hot chick. Awesome! Where’s the guitar solo? Even the specific item he uses as inspiration is a 14yo’s wet dream.

Then I read about an early treatment of Avatar on chud.com (worth a read if you have strong feelings about the movie one way or another. Even with CHUD’s terrible white text/black background. The treatment itself can be found here I can’t find where I d/l’d it from. I have the PDF if you want it.). The closing line of the article is telling, that in a big budget (although I’d call the cost of this movie monstrous rather than big, but for categorization…) the story goes out before the CGI.

I must admit the viewing public is swayed by what computers can do, even when they fail to be truly engaged emotionally by the spectacle (witness 2012, or ID4 for the earliest case I can recall). However, bringing up the budget, CGI is expensive while the story comes with a good script. So why not buy some blacklight paint?

But to the point. Judging from the early treatment Cameron can conceive a good story, even though it doesn’t appear in Avatar. But is he the perpetrator of this schlocky expensive nonsense, or the victim of his price tag? I honestly don’t know. Either way, Avatar: not good. I’m hoping there’s a lot of integrated deleted scenes on the DVD.

Spoilers below.
There were only three moments I can recall being impressed. The biggest was Grace dying. I fully expected the soul transfer to work. The second is not showing Jake catching the dragon. We’d seen him catching the bird, one avian rodeo was enough, WTG, JC. Third, and this is WAY HELLA GEEKY, showing Pandora not to be a single climate. I’m sick to death of desert planets and ice planets and jungle planets and city planets. Bleagh.

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It beeps!

January 6th, 2008 No comments


Five Minutes of Free Pornography

I gave up on trying to keep up with the various genres of electronica and came up with my own. This falls under “scratchy/samply”, verging on “beeps hard”. I dig it.

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The Two

January 2nd, 2008 No comments

My brand new cycling pants are not even marginally water resistant. That blows. I’m pretty sure I’m going to try my Target polyester work pants tomorrow. No joke. I’m also heavily leaning toward the theory that cycling gear is one big screw.

New Year’s Eve was, good I’d have to say. Unlike last year there was no smooching but I met some cool people. The folks I was hoping would call me didn’t. Which was disappointing but not surprising. Fortunately, near strangers came to the rescue. On the balance, a good night. And I didn’t spend nearly as much money as I’d been ready to. W007!

Oh, the bike. Rode to AND fro work today. That’s probably 18 miles round trip. I didn’t make it to the gym, tho, because once I had my base layers and rain gear (except the pants, they’re not waterproof) on the thought of taking it off at the gym then putting it on AGAIN was just too much to take. So I put a reminder on my phone to walk to the gym (good warm up!) in my uniform, then return to the building to put on cycling shite and ride home. Maybe ride home, depends on how much energy I have after the gym.

Speaking of the gym, it looks pretty set that I have a workout partner again. Le yay!!! He just has to not be appalled by the condition of the place. It is a dump. If I weren’t paying only $14/mo I’d totally switch. But they’ve suckered me in with the super cheap membership. Bastards!!!!!

Check this out, yo.

Rob Sonic – Rock The Convoy
Rob Sonic – Brand New Vandals

Super kick ass stuff with an old school flavor (IndieFeed referred to it as a “boom bap” sound). I dig it. Seriously. In fact, I’m going to listen to RTC yet again right *click* now.

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Dreaming Metal by Melissa Scott

August 25th, 2007 1 comment

Powell’s Link

Science Fiction

One thing I love in a story is a setting you can tell the storyteller really put some thought into making unique and real. Which is the reason I stopped watching the new Battlestar Galactica. Melissa Scott has done that and the results are incredible. There’s established ethnic and political and artistic histories and conflicts that are not only detailed and completely natural but actually impact that characters and story.

Speaking of which, fortunately, the story is good, too. I think it’s a stand alone sequel and I missed the first one, which sucks, but the world Scott has created is so compelling I think I’m going to read it even though I know how it ends.

Roughly the story is about the conflicts surrounding the possibility of a true sentient artificial intelligence (think Cybernetic Samurai vs. “computer” from Star Trek) arising. It’s rich, it’s detailed and very, very compelling. And it’s a multi-POV story a la GRR Martin, with some changes in person (first to third) between POVs, which is interesting once you realize it.

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Monstrocity by Jeffrey Thomas

August 25th, 2007 No comments

Powell’s link

Science-Fiction/pseudo-Horror

Think middle-far future cyberpunkish SF meets Lovecraft, and it works. The early part of the story is told in retrospect after a cold open, not my favorite structure, but as the story develops it works in some pretty interesting internal monologues that are balanced, okay, almost balanced, by pretty good scenes of tension and action. There’s a love story but it blends well with the main tale.

Good read, I need to seek out more by this author

Doom says check it out.

p.s. about the “psuedo-horror”, Lovecraft’s entire milieu is pretty much describing things that are terrifying to his characters without actually being scary to readers. Don’t think that I don’t enjoy them. And horror sucks, anyway.

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