Posts Tagged ‘movies’

Pacific Rim movie

January 6, 2014

Just saw Pacific Rim.  I had a couple of thoughts.  Just stupid little formless things.

First: the equation that might have indicated the exponential increase of kaiju attacks – I’m definitely not mathematical, but it seems like an equation like that could either be much simpler or else it could have been done in a graphical format.  You know, the whole math thing be done two moves earlier like they talk about so much in the movie.

Second: most scientists I know don’t fetishize their work as it is presented by their characters.   Yes, lots of them are weird and over-involved in their product.   It’s their work and hence while really cool to them, it is also humdrum and kind of a pain and an ever-present burden hovering over their shoulder as they worry about their jobs.

Third:  Guillermo del Toro loves the conflict between hardware and soft nature.  He is usually on the side of hardware, but he does love all the flourishes only crazy organics can do.  He also totally loves anime, and is obviously the same age as W because W could pinpoint a lot of the homage.

Fourth:   I have got to stop reading movie meta.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it.  I don’t give a crap about spoilers.  But people love these movies and they start theorizing and I eat that up, so delicious, and then it gets me all excited about the movie.  I imagine the movie is going to be awesome.  Then I see the movie and it’s a bit of a let-down.  I just imagine that the movie would have been so awesome before I was in on somebody else’s squee.  Very little can match somebody else’s squee.  You’ve got to build up your own squee yourself.  At least, I do.

knitting a prawno

March 23, 2013

I just saw the movie Zack and Miri Make a Porno.  It’s a Kevin Smith movie, and I do enjoy a Kevin Smith movie from time to time.  Which means there’s a lot of colorful language, some substance usage, and some toilet humor.  (I’m going to admit it – I’m not above that.)

I was noticing all the hats and scarves Miri (actress Elizabeth Banks) was wearing in the movie – and it’s sort of a weird for a movie to have it so much featured knitting, although since I’ve started to knit more seriously, I’ve been noticing that kind of thing more often.  I was watching a deleted scene and Miri is knitting, sitting in front of a sign for a craft store (I’m guess she works there).  It makes so much sense now!  In every scene, there is a whole different set of knitwear.   (Although I don’t know if Elizabeth Banks can actually knit.  More like she’s just holding the needles and yarn with a thoughtful expression – which is sort of relevant to the plot, but any knitter would be knitting furiously in that sort of emotional state.)

I borrowed the movie from the local library, where it is simply titled Zack and Miri.  The idea that one of the little old ladies (and indeed they are little old ladies at my local library) bought this movie, perhaps without knowledge of what this movie was, is pretty funny to me.  It’s funnier still if they did know what the movie was.  (And good on ’em if they did.)

Edited to note that apparently Elizabeth Banks did learn how to knit for the movie.

currently

March 12, 2013

So I finished the brioche stitch hat as it was and didn’t let it ruin my day.  (We’ll let the whole “ruin my shower” thing go.)

briochehatdone

You can’t hardly tell that it was driving me crazy, could you?  (The encouraging answer here would be “No.”)

It’s too big for J, but that’s okay.  I can keep it safe for her (while wearing it).  I purposely made it a few repetitions longer, and I guess my knitting is always a bit loose.

Now, I’ve got to figure out what else to make.

And in other news: on Presidents’ Day, W and I saw Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer.  (Awww, yeah, ‘Merica!)  The movie was okay, but I think I must have a knee-jerk reaction to action movies these days.  It’s just too slick, and generic, and the analogy of slavers to vampires kind of doesn’t work.

Abraham Lincoln’s real-life mythos is a hard thing to overcome – he’s a towering figure in American history, and he doesn’t need to be a vampire killer to be awesome.  (In fact, it makes him a little bit diminished if that’s all he is.)  He’s my favorite president.  I was a fangirl from waaaaay back – like, second grade.  So, your media presentation better do it right, otherwise, it just won’t work for me.

I know I’ve said that if there were depictions of American historical figures as action figures, I’d be all over it, but this was not the way to do it.   I guess I meant it more cartoony – like anime style.

Besides, if you think about young Abraham Lincoln, dude was already an action figure.  Splitting all those logs?  Wrasslin’?  Circuit-riding?  Action-debating?  Rising from poverty and a harsh childhood to become President of the United States?  Aww, yeah, Abe.  You the man.

clash of the whoozits?

March 9, 2013

Recently saw the remake of Clash of the Titans.

Ugh.  Just terrible.  Not even so bad it’s good.  Just terrible.  Shitty writing, shitty direction, poor use of what is obviously too many resources.  An all-around rotten movie.

But probably better than the movie it started being.

From Wikipedia, “The Main villain was the Sumerian Sea Goddess of Death and Destruction, Tiamat. Perseus was originally kidnapped by an avatar of an unidentified Chthonian Earth Goddess, who planned to have him married to Andromeda so as to develop better relations with humanity. The Earth Goddess and Perseus proceed to fall in love. Zeus prepared to engage in war with Tiamat; taking the aids of other gods (such as Thoth, Marduk, Yahweh and Osiris). A High Priest named Fantasos starts a Cult of Tiamat that quickly conquers the city. Andromeda was originally a promiscuous spoiled Princess who possessed various male sex slaves.”

Like they were just cutting and pasting random words and images from an 1980’s D&D manual.  Ridiculous.  But in light of this information, the resulting movie is probably genius.

(In thinking about it, the wikipedia snippet sounds like fanfic on steroids – the stuff that other people spork.)

tinkering and tailoring

November 2, 2012

I’ve watched Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy recently.

My wants are simple.  My needs few.   I want cross-over fic between Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)  and Naruto.    Maybe where there’s a suspected leak, Sandaime or Tsunade as Control, Kakashi as Smiley, Iruka as Guillam…  I don’t give a shit really, who else is who.  I guess Mizuki could be Haydon, Danzo as Alleline.  Naruto as Ricki Tarr?  Hinata as Irina?  Obito as Karla?

Honestly, I just want Cold War-like spying anecdotes and serious men in well-fitted suits crying about their pasts and the lives and loves they’ve sacrificed.

I’ve always like spy movies.  I tried reading The Little Drummer Girl when I was in high school, but I just don’t think I had enough patience to figure it all out.   I probably should have read it a couple of times more than I did.  It was more cerebral than I was expecting.  (Please give me a break – I was a teenager, for one, and I had a lot of pretensions, for another.)

But now, after Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, (which I watched a bunch of times in the past couple of weeks), it all seems so intriguing and layered and I could spend some time in this mental place.  First of all, I found the movie rewarding on multiple watches.  (Partly because it seemed like it was starting slowly, but it was actually full-on Things Happening and I wasn’t noticing and my weakness is catching names with what might be a large cast.   But once I got it, holy cow!)

W loved the whole thing about the Santa/Lenin and the singing in Russian.   He wonders if it could be a real life anecdote.  And the way they tried to make attractive actors into less attractive everyday men in non-glamorous jobs.  Also,  beautifully shot.   Some of the angles were really beautifully done.  (The scene where Smiley is talking about Karla and the shot that takes in the empty chair across from him really caught my attention.)  The usage of light was also great.  The period clothes, slow-moving archival paper pushing, the sudden, startling violence amidst the slowness, the endless smoking.  Did I mention the suits?   I love all of it.

So, yeah.  Next up might be the 80’s mini series, just to see the comparison.  (Although I’m not certain I want to enter the fandom for it.  Not ready for slash between any of the characters, even though W had ascertained something between Prideaux and Haydon in a way I didn’t.  And he doesn’t even own slash goggles!)

Things Meme made me do

July 21, 2012

I watched The Fifth Element.  You know, that cheeze-tastic movie with Bruce Willis and the lady without eyebrows, and directed by Luc Besson.

So, thanks to the internet, I figured out there’s a lot more going on in this movie than I first thought when my brother made me watch it when it first came out on DVD.  (It’s his favorite movie, by the way.  Honestly.  He loves it.  I think he has a bit of a crush on Bruce Willis.  Although to be fair, so did almost everybody in the world at one time or another.  I just didn’t think the bleach blond look did a lot for him – or the orange.  What is up with Gaultier and the orange in this movie?)   So now, I do respect it more.  Still not in the top ten, though.  Sorry, bro.

However, I did watch John Carter recently.  (Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars books.)  I could give two nothings about the actual Princess or John Carter or their romance.  I was totally captivated by the Tharks (not the Martians).  Their horde, their rituals, their religion – even the overdone arena/gladiator scene is somehow new and fresh in this movie.  There’s something so awesome about them – I can’t quite explain it.  I also quite liked the bits of steampunk-ishness.

I’m afraid that John Carter might be my Fifth Element.  I can’t tell if it’s bad, because I am overwhelmed with the four-armed awesome that is the Tharks.  And Tars Tarkis.  And Solas.  All my tears for them.  It appears I am a sucker for weepy family tropes tucked into stupid sci-fi/fantasy novels.   And alien physiology.   Sigh.  (Maybe it’s just alien weepy family tropes that I like.  I do have trouble with John Carter wearing his wife’s wedding ring with his ring on the same finger.  Yes, I know, angst.  Still, his wife either had a really fat ring finger or John Carter has unusually skinny fingers.  My mother, who is zaftig and a bit taller than my father, still wears a smaller ring than he does, because he’s got big knuckles, like most guys I know. )

Now I want to go out and read the books, but I’m afraid I won’t like them.  Because they’re full of the problematic stuff of a 100 years ago.  And not just any 100 years ago, but the 100 years of the most id-ficcy Ur-tropey dude-bro thing ever.   Maybe when I have time, and find the books my brother’s got.  I just don’t want to shell out the money for this yet.

More Thor-ness

July 7, 2012

I was going to write some more fic, but found myself staring at the screen and checking email.  Go me.

So now, I will post my thoughts (scintillating) about having actually seen Thor, the movie.  (I am so edgy, you’d best keep your distance, else you might get cut.  Ha.)

ALIENS?!

ALIENS?!  What the ever-loving thing was the writer thinking?  They should know better!  Technology so advanced = magic bleh trope.  THOR’S A DIETY, NOT E.T.

I’m so irritated, it ended up in capslock.

At least he didn’t end up with the girl.  (I do think it would be nicer for her to end up a lesbian with Darcy, but there you go.)

I kept running this through my head, trying to figure out the best way this piece of fanart might actually turn into decent fanfic – but all the true horrors and pleasures of fanfic escape this movie.  There is no gratuitous sex, gay or otherwise, there is no real clothing/furniture/technology pron.  There is a little bit of woobie.  Okay, movie, I’ll give you that.  But nobody is getting their id stroked from what bits were available.  It’s not really long enough for the scenes that are most interesting, and the scenes that draw out forever (getting to the hammer) are kind of unnecessary.  Also, what – the sword in the stone analogue?  *rolls eyes*

I was a little irritated with the whole Marvel Universe thing coming over and over, but it is a franchise so you have to allow for them to sell it.  Never mind the Grape Nuts they were also trying to sell.  (Did anybody else notice that?)

I also have a hard time buying most actors as scientists/nerds.  I just do.  I have spent my life around them and being one and it’s just different.   What Hollywood thinks is nerdy and scientific is not what I have seen.  Fake glasses don’t cut it.  Nor do whimsical t-shirts.  Will think more and come back to this.

Kick-Ass vs. Scott Pilgrim

February 12, 2012

I just saw the movie “Kick-Ass.”

I sort of agree with Robert Ebert that there are scenes where it is morally reprehensible.  Yet the fannish part of my brain wants it to do well, to be better than it is – and the way it would have gotten past that, I think, is by being really cartoony or by being a cartoon altogether.  (I’m not averse to cartoons for adults in any form, which is perhaps obvious, but probably not very market-savvy.)

I think they used Nicholas Cage well, in that they used him sparingly.  Although if they unleashed him, perhaps it might have moved the movie toward the over-the-topness that a movie based upon a comic book needs.  Anyway, I think he had something to do with the soundtrack (whether or not this is true, I shall believe this because Elvis? is playing in the background of a ‘moment of triumph’ sort of scene).

This is what makes “Scott Pilgrim Saves the World” a better executed movie, I think.  (I saw that ~3 months ago.)  You buy into the premise a little bit better.  Maybe it helps (for an American audience) that it happens in Canada.  It’s self-aware and culturally cognizant, but not as annoying as those American hipsters.  It also helps that the backstories aren’t as grim – maybe the lack of movie-type “real” adults in this movie is good in this regard.

I haven’t read either of the comics the movies are based on, but I can see their origins.  (Maybe it’s like seeing somebody’s underwear.  Depending on the person wearing it, it can be alluring and make one want to see more, or just sort of embarrassing and make one want to have a word with the person about covering up better.)

Naruto Shippuden 4 Movie Review

December 12, 2011

Hey!

I just finished watching the Naruto Shippuden 4 movie.  It was okay.  Standard good guys vs disposable bad guys to save a princess.  With time travel and mysterious source of Never-Ending Chakra.  And puppets!  The trailers were full of their terrible teasing about the meeting of Minato and Naruto (father and son who canonically never really meet).  And yes, they did meet, but the movie danced around the issue terrible.

There was a little bit of waste about the side characters – but given the time constraints of the movie, the writers obviously decided to go with one group of characters over another, and that makes sense.  (When one is in the Naruto fandom, one gets used to having one set or another shafted, so it really doesn’t matter.  I didn’t have any real favorites in this, so I feel sort of even-keeled about it.)  I liked the distinct lack of ship material here – which is sort of nice.

Then there’s the ending – which had me all full of sadness and melancholy for what might have been had Naruto and Minato been able to remember their meeting.  It came out of nowhere, which might have been part of its power.  (Where Minato might have mouthed something?  What is it?!  Trying to lip read an animated movie in a language you don’t know is stupid, but I still tried.)  No lie, my eyes went sort of damp.  But I’m a huge sap like that.

Also, I am a complete and total sucker for the melancholy of “what might have been” sorts of stories.  You know the one where the love of your life takes the stairs instead of the elevator – that same elevator where you’re supposed to meet in some other universe.  I suppose that’s why I write the fanfic.  Especially for the series I do, because it is full of the “what might have been” scenarios.

A while ago, I remember reading a review for “The Lion King” and it said something about the hunger for father figures, so even though Mufasa was in there a short period of time, he was such a strong, ideal figure of a father that it made a huge impact.  I think that is what the bits of Minato in this movie did for me, really.  Because honestly, the Naruto manga is sort of crap for mother figures, but it does father figures okay, and then they all *spoiler* die or disappear somehow.  And Minato is totally Mufasa – a wise, strong leader who dies for his people/son.

There is a huge hunger in the Naruto fandom for a father figure who will stay around.  I believe so, anyway.  Partly because of the amount of fanfic for Minato, and partly because of the gasps of horror and shock when yet another important parental figure disappears.  (*Shakes fist over Jiraiya’s passing and Iruka’s virtual drop down the elevator shaft.*)  Partly because of the slow acceptance of future teacher/father figures – the readers have been sort of scarred by now.  It’s hard to love again.

Which is sort of how I’m taking the movie.  I didn’t love it, but I liked it okay.  It’s worth the time, if you’re sick and don’t have a lot to do and your expectations were suitably low.  I did like it – don’t get me wrong.  I just don’t think it was worth a lot of hype.  And yes, I’d see more like it.  But I’m a fan, and fans do stupid things all the time.

Why, Cap, why? Oh, the scientific humanity!

December 5, 2011

Just finished watching Captain America.  Which was fine, although I was a little “eh” about it.  Lots of nice things to recommend it – but honestly, more stuff about fighting Hitler and the Red Skeleton would have been nice.  The romance didn’t do very much for me.  (I’m not that sentimental about my action heroes, sorry to say.)  Also, the ensemble fighting force should have kicked more ass, harder.

My final processing thought on the movie is this:  Why the hell do they always kill the perceptive scientist that first spotted the possibilities in the 90-lb weakling and then created the super soldier serum?  Damn it.  They’re killing off my people!  That’s how much you know that character in particular is really frickin’ important.  Because of how early they’re killed off.  They are the thing by which the plot revolves.  Yes?  *Nods emphatically.*  Yes.

If they didn’t kill off the scientist, Captain America would be merely one of many super soldiers and we’d be doing a science-fiction alt-reality of World War II.

And with that delusion safely tucked in behind my ear, I’m off.

(I suddenly remembered a story Julia Sweeney, comedienne, told on the radio.  Something about how her mother makes movies all about people who are most like herself.  Am I doing that?  Nah.  I’m, uh, just imposing alternative hypothesis.  That’s right.  *walks off, whistling innocently*)