Saturday, February 28, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
The movies I like don't get nominated for Academy Awards. If I look back through the past 20 years of Best Picture winners, I've seen less than half of them. And I didn't really like all of the ones I've seen. Maybe five or six of them.
Look, I think it's great that these movies are made and the cast and crew or whatever are recognized for their achievements. I'm not calling for the end of the Oscars, just don't ask me to watch.
That said, I did, after the fact, see Hugh Jackman's opening song. And, I thought it was pretty funny. Anne Hathaway's contribution was pretty fun as well.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I think it's a valid question though. I mean, it was REMADE, released, then put out on DVD as Quarantine already. Where is the original? Usually the original is better than the remake, and if [REC] is better than Quarantine then I HAVE to see it, because Quarantine was pretty gorram amazing.
Quarantine has a pretty simple premise. A news crew is doing a feature on firefighters, so they're tagging along for the night. They get a call at an apartment building managed by Boris the Blade. A lady upstairs let out a blood-curdling scream, so they called 911.The police and fire crews don't know much about it, but someone outside does. The place gets sealed up like a dolphin's butt and they cut the cable and jam the phones. Guys with big guns threaten them if they look out the window. It's that kind of a lockdown.
So, you've got a sick old lady, a bitten cop, and a vet. Not a war vet. No, that might be handy. No, this is the 'How's your cat today Mrs Johnson?' kind. And he keeps busy. Especially since it all starts to go to hell when the firman goes over the railing and lands four stories down. Presumably, the old lady threw him. Luckily, one of the tennants has a lot of painkillers on hand.
Like I said, everything kind of goes to hell. The building is apparently infected by a weird zombie/rabies/plague that is infecting everyone, mostly through biting. It's all pretty intense.
I have to say, Quarantine really kind of does everything right. It has the kind of tension that you want from a horror movie. It starts slow and light. It's clearly a fluff piece that the reporter is working on, and as the movie goes, she becomes more serious. Everything just keeps building and building. As the 'first-person' style of movie becomes more fashionable and more common, it becomes less interesting. Few movies do it well. They have lousy reasons for having a camera, and even worse reasons for continuing to film, but Quarantine gives them a reason not just to be there, but a reason to keep filming. Once they're locked inside, even the cop in there with them wants them to keep filming. That this is not only newsworthy, but important is not lost on anyone.
Ju-On, if anyone asks, is my default answer for the scariest movie I've seen. That kid still creeps me out, even after 3-4 viewings. Quarantine might be the second or third on that list though. This is one remake that I have to assume that they got absolutely right.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
It started with Bender's Big Score, then came The Beast With a Billion Backs, next was Bender's Game. All three had some weaknesses but those weaknesses were easy to overlook by the awesomeness that permeated them. The fourth, and final, Futurama movie, Into The Wild Green Yonder is no different.
That is to say, it's more of the same. The delicious, delicious same. This time there are no naked scamming aliens, no tentacle monsters and no D&D. This time it's environmentalism, mini golf, tin foil hats and, once again, Fry is the only one who can save the universe. He emits no delta brainwave. His doing of the nasty in the pasty has set him up to be the savior of the galaxy many a time. Futurama actually managed to create their own cliche.
This is the final DVD. The last installment for the series. There aren't any plans right now to do any more movies, episodes...anything. And, if this is it, I'm happy with this as the ending. While the story and characters are still open for more wacky adventures, if it ends here, it ends on the right note.
Monday, February 16, 2009
It's less a story of how everyone learns to adapt and live with their new situation and more a story of how the world crumbles around them and falls apart.
In the beginning, the government decides to quarantine the blind, in the hope of stopping the spread of the mysterious infection. Those who become blind are put into a hospital. The walls are surrounded by guards, but there is no staff inside the hospital. The blind must care for themselves.
How quickly would humanity break down in a situation like this? If, suddenly and inexplicably, we could no longer see the world around us, how long would it take for us all to fall apart? Obviously transportation would be difficult. If you can't see, you can't drive. And, since no one else can see, there's no one to cart you around. And, once out of your home, how would you find your way back? Do you know how many steps it is to get to the store? The corner? The end of your driveway? How do you prepare food for yourself if you can't see what you're making? Sure, you can judge by the smell or the feel of something, but in our pre-packaged, microwaveable world, how do you know what to do with that little tray or that can of...something?
Some people are born blind, others go blind after time, and they survive. They don't become savages. But, like I said, Blindness isn't about people learning to adapt. This is a vision of anarchy. This isn't someone going blind with the world to support them. There are no buses to take you to the doctor if you get sick. Hell, there aren't any doctors at this point, not really. I mean, what good is a blind doctor? This is just a...ahem...vision of society's collapse. This is what anarchy looks like. This is what happens when people stop being polite and start being real.
About 80-90% of the movie is pretty bleak. There is little humor to be found, little hope. Just misery. Bad things just keep happening. They're quarantined. They fight. There's little food. No one cares. They live in filth. They're robbed. They're raped. It's a pretty awful existence. The hospital that they're quarantined in becomes more like a concentration camp than a medical facility.
There is some levity to be found, some moments of tenderness and ultimately hope. Those things do exist, even if this world makes them hard to find.
Unfortunately, as a movie, it's a bit of a mess. While the unexplained blindness is a part of the story and is meant to be that way, too many things go unexplained. There are too many coincidences. Too many times where you're shown something and think 'wait. what?' It becomes a bit off-putting. The performances, however, are solid. You do buy into these people all being blind. And I have to commend them on the efforts they all went to to accomplish that.
It's an intersting story, and certainly worth exploring, but I have to say...read the book instead.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Well after a 'Very Long Wait' on Netflix, I finally got it the other day. At least, the first disc of Season 1. And...it's really funny.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
A while back, I had a blog. Actually, once upon a time, I used to have many blogs. Right now, I'm talking about a specific one though. It was called dreamrot on the go. It was just a mobile photo blog. Basically, I'd send pictures to in from my phone. That was about it. Occasionally, there might be some text to go with it, but mostly it was just pictures.Well, I had to take it down. I guess I didn't have to, I mean, no one forced me to. The fact is though that I took it down. Truly it was a sad day.
Over time, I missed it. Quite a lot. I mean, I still travel. I still take a lot of pictures. I wanted it back.
I found it a new home (nothing against it's former host. I still use it for my main blog) and started it back up. Let's see how it works and go from there!
Mostly, I know this will be fairly low quality camera phone pictures. Though, I have to admit, the LG Voyager takes a pretty good picture. And, I'm expanding the focus just a bit. I'm not planning on sticking to pictures I take while I'm travelling. My whole life is fair game.
Check out On The Go.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Fine.Ghost Rig came out before BSG. And, BSG was just a miniseries at the time, there were no guarantees. It was possible that it would never become a highly acclaimed TV series. How could you know? You aren't a fortune teller. So, there was Ghost Rig. Real, honest to god acting work. No reason not to take it, right?
I mean...just read the synopsis and then tell me how anyone could pass on it?
When a group of environmental activists board an oil rig to broadcast their protest to the outside world, they find the entire rig abandoned. A hidden video camera is discovered revealing that the entire rig’s workforce has been gradually wiped out by an evil entity, which uses the bodies of the living and moves from person to person, leaving the host dead. Locked in a battle of survival, they begin their search for the spirit. What they don’t know is that this spirit is now one of them…
It's like The Thing meets Event Horizon...but on an oil rig! See! It's brilliant! I mean, if there were ever two movies to rip off...those are the ones.
Apollo is a spy of some sort. Infiltrating the group like it was a vegan potluck. The group has taken over the rig to protest...um...something. Sorry, I wasn't paying much attention at the beginning. The...spirit thing-a-ma-jig is taking them over, one by one. Apparently, the previous crew had been doing some wacky voodoo bullshit. There's a circle in the...hmm...do oil rigs have basements? It was a basement-y area, lets go with that.
See that...the entire fraking plot in like 7 seconds. Again, BRILLIANT.
It would be hard to deny that Ghost Rig borrows heavily from both The Thing and Event Horizon. And...let's be honest, heavily might be an understatement. But, what's more surprising is that it does it pretty well, taking the best of both and churning out something altogether...well, if not unique, at least interesting. Ghost Rig starts kind of slow (ok. REALLY slowly), but it builds like a good haunting should. The tension and the suspense keep increasing. To say it was surprisingly good would be a huge understatement. While a little cheesy, it's an incredibly well executed movie. With an ending that...well, I just wouldn't have predicted.
As low budget horror goes, Ghost Ship is among the cream. Maybe Pulse 2 was an aberration in Apollo's career. Let's hope so anyways.
*For proper effect, please understand that in my mind, I said W-T-F, the actual letters. Not 'what the fuck'.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Then, I played Resident Evil 4. Suddenly I was in love.
Resident Evil 4 was everything I had wanted it's predecessors to be. Not just interesting, but playable, too. Other than having to drag that stupid brat around and keep her out of trouble at all times, there was nothing that I didn't like.
That's the back story. Lets skip ahead to...um...now.
Over the weekend, I downloaded the demo for Resident Evil 5. It's essentially a 2 player co-op game, that can be played in single player mode with the Sheva character controlled by the game. The demo is just gameplay, no story. There's nothing to be learned about the world here, but you do get to kill some 'zombies', and that's always fun, right?
The demo contains 2 levels to play. You're pretty much thrust into the middle of the action. As always, there are lots of things to kill, and you're low on ammo. I have to admit, I've yet to finish either level. I keep getting killed. Not be your run of the mill zombes, no. I keep getting killed by jerks like this:
That's right. Homeboy has a bag on his head and a chainsaw in his hands. I'm assuming it's not the same jerk from RE4, since, you know, he's dead. I distinctly remember killing him. There's also an equally formidable bastard with a large ax/sledgehammer thing. He reminded me a lot of Astaroth from the Soul Caliber games.
Overall, it looks to be an interesting game. I do have to admit though that the controls were a bit wonky and movement a bit plodding. I know that I can play around with the control settings a little bit, so I'll have to see how that works out. Overall, I'm geeked about the game. I'm anxious to learn more about the story (I've been avoiding as much info as I can). I'm really kind of excited about it's upcoming release.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Friday, February 06, 2009
Let's just get this over with...
At the end of Pulse 2, Justine was on the magic bus to the refugee camp. 7 years later, we meet back up with her. She's been living at the camp the whole time learning about how computers and cell phones and wifi are the devil's tools. They're evil! So, you know, stay away from it. Well, one night, after a fight with her foster parents, Justine finds a plot device under the seat of a truck. Wait, I mean a laptop. Via the plot device, she begins talking to some guy named Adam, and he's super dreamy! Adam convinces her, via IM, to come to the city...to hang out, have some cookies...maybe meet Chris Hansen. Justine seems to think it's a great idea since she's 17 and her life is the most tragic EVAR.
Once there, and along the way, Justine finds out she's in over her head, because she's 17 and that's what happens when you're 17. You're dumb and you make dumb choices.
Now, regardless of age, imagine YOU were told that YOU had to make a choice. Would you prefer a shit sandwich, a steaming bowl of shit, or shit on a stick. It's all shit. That's how it was with the 3 movies in the Pulse 'franchise'. I'm in a position now where I need to tell you that one of them was better than the others. That one kind of shit is preferable to the others. Fine. Pulse 3 is the best of the 3. It's the most interesting and the most coherent. It suffers from the same green screen tradgedy that Pulse 2 toiled through. And the story is just as awkward, but...it's...it's the best of the bunch. It's the shit sandwich. At least there's a little bread there to give you the hope it will mask the shit a little.
If you've wasted your time watching the first two, Pulse 3 is a nice payoff. It's almost interesting and it's almost fun. If you haven't watched the first two movies, there's no real reason to start here.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
So it was that I undertook the task of watching the sequels to Pulse. *sigh*
I grabbed them both from Netflix. They came in the mail and I decided I needed to get down to business.
I must not like myself very much. Pulse 2 is a poorly paced, incoherent mess. So...I guess it takes after it's predecessor. It's a mess of a movie. It really is. I'm not just saying that for effect.
I have NO IDEA what was going on in this movie. This lady is looking for her daughter, but I guess the lady is dead. And her husband (Battlestar Gallactica's Apollo) is looking for her and takes her to his cabin where his bitch of a girlfriend is. And then the laptop attacks them or something and he leaves and gets carjacked by a guy in a red bodysuit who then gives him a single roll of red tape which is enough to coat the inside of Apollo's SUV. At least, I think that's what happened.
The whole thing has a strange, stylized look that makes it look like it was shot poorly on a green screen. In reality, this is exactly the case. The background are all photographs with the actors inserted into them. Which, is a neat idea, but it looks awful in practice. It screams low budget. No, not low budget, no budget!
It's 20 minutes into the movie before Apollo speaks more than one word lines. It's 23 minutes in before you know if Apollo speaks with his normal voice or an American accent! It's an American accent, for the record. Which is fine, he does a great American accent. Him and Hugh Laurie. And Gary Oldman. 3 brits who do great American accents. And he's better than this! He is a better actor than this. He doesn't deserve to be stuck in a movie like this.
I'm suddenly dreading Pulse 3 even more now.