zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (300-Stroll)


So [livejournal.com profile] coyoteseven and I went to see "Clash Of The Titans" in 2D today.
(The 3D was a last-minute retrofit, we figured it would look like ass, so we saw it in plain 2D)
It was okay, I guess. Not nearly shouty enough, not "300" enough, and surprisingly not at all "God Of War"-esque.
Also, Perseus gets a lightsaber.
("Your father wanted you to have this - when you were old enough." "Gosh! Wowee! Jeepers! Golly willickers!")
And aside from Zeus and Perseus, the other gods pretty much just stood around and looked good.
So, it was the Zeus And Hades Show, with special guest Perseus! :D

In related news, [livejournal.com profile] cleolinda has just released her "Clash Of The Titans In 15 Minutes" parody recap.
Share and enjoy!

I watched the new Doctor Who when I got home, "The Beast Below".
Not a bad episode, but something feels... . . ...Off...
Next week looks interesting: Spitfires in space! For real!
And the ol' British Bulldog himself! And everybody's favorite shouty pepperpots. :D


zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Vroom)


Since there's not much going on, I figured I'd use some of my movie coupons and go to the theater.
So here's a little bit of...

Theaterflixing

Wall-E - The most touching robot romance since "Heartbeeps" (look it up, I dare you!)
It's a love story! Everything else is just window dressing, which probably explains why some of the
plot details don't make a whole lot of sense. If you bother to stop and think about them, that is.
Wall-E is adorable and full of personality. EVE is a work of art and incredibly high-tech.
There's some seriously gorgeous scenery in there and the sound design is really nice, probably because
it's by Ben Burtt, the man who made the Star Wars Universe a very noisy place indeed, in a good way.
Better than "Cars", not as good as "Ratatouille" or "The Incredibles".
Another must-have DVD.

Unfortunately, while waiting for "Wall-E" to start, I was exposed to the horror that is the trailer for
"Beverly Hills Chihuahuas". Imagine ONE THOUSAND CGI chihuahuas dancing and singing like a
nightmare Taco Bell commercial. The horror, the horror...

EDIT: The horror made me forget that "Wall-E" was preceded by the new Pixar short "Presto".
If like me you're a fan of Tex Avery cartoons and other mayhem-driven animation, you're going to
absolutely love it! It's got to be the funniest Pixar short ever made, and the fastest-paced one too!
And you don't even have to go see "Wall-E" to see it, thanks to this Brazilian website
currently hosting the entire short. (Link courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] doodlesthegreat, notorious bunny fan)
The short has been getting a lot of buzz, and it's well deserved. The Kzin says, "Check it out!".

Wanted - "Do you make sweaters or do you kill people?"
If you don't like guns, this is not the film for you. If you're a card-carrying member of PETA,
this is not the film for you. If you like rats, this is DEFINITELY NOT the film for you.
So the basic idea is that there are people out there who can enter a state of hyperspeed and
hyperawareness which allows them to do seemingly impossible things, like shooting someone sitting in
a crowded conference room while speeding by on top of an elevated subway car. And I just realized
that I'm basically talking about Bullet Time. But this ain't "The Matrix", the real world is real.
So, this kid is locked in a stupid boring dead-end life, and we can hear his internal monologue.
I was getting those "Fight Club" vibes. Then allsasudden, he meets Angelina Jolie and gets shot at!
She tells him his recently-killed dad was part of the Secret Society Of Bullet Time Ass-Kicking
and since it's genetic, he's also got the Skillz! Trust your feelings, young Jedi!
It's actually a fun movie with lots of imaginative gunplay and assassination highjinks.
Not quite as funny as "Shoot'Em'Up" or "Crank", but with some nice gun-fu and gun-kata.
And a brand new song by Danny Elfman for the end credits!
Worth a matinée ticket if you're in the mood for a shoot'em'up with a difference.

But holy crap! I had to sit through a dozen TV commercials for all sorts of stupid crap.
Then at least 10 movie trailers, which seems a bit high.
And this is at the Pacific Culver City Stadium 12, which is my usual theater.
It didn't used to be that bad! We used to get maybe 4 commercials then 4 or 5 trailers.
Not anymore! Now, it's hammer time! Sledge'o'marketing! Whack-whack-whack-whack-whack!
Ye gads! I hesitate to think of what broadcast TV must be like these days...

On the way back to my truck, I saw this beauty parked nearby:



Yup, the new Dodge Challenger SRT8 is out and about and being purchased.
My cellphone has a bit of problem with color correction, so imagine the car is more orange.
There are more pictures under the cut.

More pictures under the cut... )

A nifty little hot rod, that's for sure.


zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Autobot)


Theaterflixing

It's Summer, so that means lots of movies!
In the space of seven days, I saw five movies.
And they were a bit like the members of "Kagaku Sentai Dynaman".
Well, more like the parody version of "Dynaman", really. :D
(Go to YouTube and search under "Dynaman". You won't be sorry! Or maybe you will...)


Ratatouille - The Chef Chief Leader
Oh gawd, another brilliant Pixar movie directed by Brad Bird. It's getting really boring, guys!!
I mean, you keep making some of the other studios look like mostly incompetent fools! Knock it off!! :D
Seriously though, "Ratatouille" is every bit as good as you've heard it is. The whole thing is utterly brilliant.
Also, it is the first film about cooking that really gets it. The ambience and state of mind of a restaurant kitchen,
the quirks of the personnel, the procedures, and all the nitty-gritty little details. The Sibling, who has actually worked
in a great restaurant's kitchen, fully agrees. He especially liked the Horst character, with "The Thumb". :)
The Brother and I saw this at an ASIFA screening at the Writer's Guild that [livejournal.com profile] doodlesthegreat invited us to.
It was weird to be sitting in a 'flat' theater, with the screen seemingly so far away, after our regular stadium theater.
We had a great time and we thank Doodles for taking us.
There are some people who don't like this film. I have a hard time wrapping my head around this concept.
I mean, it's SO GOOD and SO WELL DONE. I can understand being freaked by the rats, but not liking the film at all?
Inconceivable! The vast majority of people will like it though. And every chef will buy the DVD.
This is definitely Pixar's best film EVAR, so far.
DO NOT MISS IT!!
Or the Kzin will come to your house and fill the doorway. >:D

Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer - The Able-To-Leap-Tall-Trees Guy
One critic was quoted as saying it was a "fun family-friendly ride" or something like that, and I tend to agree.
The Fours are the old bickering disfunctional family of the Marvel Universe and that comes across pretty well here.
It's not the intense angst of X-Men, it's more family friendly. And Ben "The Thing" Grimm is friend to all children! :D
The movie overall is not bad, certainly a lot better than the first one. The Fantasticar is pretty nice. Doctor Doom is
simply not quite menacing enough, though he is ruthless. The Silver Surfer was well-done. The big disappointment for me:
Galactus. I wanted the giant man with the cool Kirby Hat. What I got was totally not that. Blargh.
So, worth a matinée if you have kids who like this stuff. Otherwise, rental.

Transformers - The Slow-Thinking Weapons Expert
Okay, so, the Transformers, what are they? They're very sophisticated sentient alien robots who shapeshift to blend in.
In the cartoon, they were simple, blocky designs based on the toys. It's now 2007 and you're making a live-action film.
What do you do? Do you make crude, blocky robots that look like the old toys? No, because that would look stupid.
You make intricate highly-detailed robots that look like they can shapeshift into anything.
And that's we have here. The living machines are simply astounding. Think of exacting modern clockwork on a grand scale.
The film itself is a lot of fun. There's plenty of stuff blowing up and enough robot mayhem to satisfy any Godzilla fan.
The military hardware fan in me was delighted to see not only F-22 Raptors in action, but also A-10 Warthogs,
and one aircraft you just don't see on film very often: the heavy-pounding death-from-above Spectre Gunship.
There's some amusingly embarassing teenage moments with the young turk du moment, the hilariously-mispelled Shia LaBeouf.
(It should be "LeBoeuf" and it means "The Beef")
Some of these moments are orchestrated by Bumblebee, who exhibits a somewhat playful nature. The film is actually pretty
funny in places and a tad ridiculous in other places, but that's totally appropriate considering the subject matter.
And there's lots of fun little touches here and there. One of my favorites is the writing on the side of the Decepticon
police Mustang. Instead of the usual "to protect and serve", it reads "to punish and enslave". :D
There's a certain amount of shaky-cam, yes, but it's used to pull you into the action, so it's not so bad.
I liked it, a lot. I'd like to see it again, actually.
So, big summer rock'em-sock'em robot action! W00T!!!

Surf's Up - The Human Outboard Motor
OH NOEZ! PENGUINS! Yeah, yeah, I know, but it's really more of a surfing film, and it's a lot of fun. I'm a sucker for
the whole surfer/island/tiki thing, and the trailers made this look interesting, so I was looking forward to it.
And I wasn't disappointed. The film is shot like a documentary, so you have the fictitious film crew chasing Cody Maverick,
our penguin protagonist, around with some really nifty effects. It also changes the tone of the film, with characters
interacting with the crew. Hilarity ensues!! For example, at the start of the film, the crew is setting up in Cody's home
in Antarctica to interview him with his mom and older brother. Said older brother glances at the camera and says
"Hey, you guys doing a movie about Cody? Can you tell me when it's coming out so I can go NOT see it? Har har..."
Ah yeah, older brothers, they're all the same. :\
This is a film NOT built around its celebrity voices. It's all about the characters themselves. The voice actors and
actresses do a good job of disappearing into their respective parts.
"Happy Feet" was interesting but weird and preachy. "Surf's Up" is just plain fun.
Take the kids, especially if they like the beach.
I like this one almost as much as I like "Over The Hedge", and I like "Over The Hedge" A LOT.
Worth matinée price for sure (I always get matinée prices anyway).

Ocean's Thirteen - Their Main Squeeze
We wanted to see "Live Free Or Die Hard" but the theater was full, so we saw this.
I like "Eleven" a lot. "Twelve" was okay, but not all that hot. "Thirteen" is pretty good, but really complicated.
Music is by David Holmes again, and it's definitely one of the things I really enjoy about these films.
Holmes has a knack for making funky hip lounge Rat Pack tunes that make me snap my fingers.
One of the other reasons I like these films is because I always enjoy a good caper flick.
The gang is reunited after a particularly unscrupulous Vegas entrepreneur (Al Pacino) swindles our friend Reuben out
of his share of the new hotel-casino they built together. This is such a shock to him that he is left bed-ridden and
comatose, and the gang begins to plan a suitable revenge. New to the cast is Ellen Barkin (whom I can only see as
Penny Priddy from "Buckaroo Banzai"), Eddie izzard (always fun to have onboard) and, of course, Al Pacino. Returning
from "Eleven" and "Twelve" is Andy Garcia. Also back is French action dude Vincent Cassel, who was in "Twelve" only.
This is about the craziest caper that the gang has pulled so far, and so complicated and involving so many factors
that my brother declared "Transformers" more realistic that "Ocean's Thirteen". Make of that what you will. :)
For fans of the franchise, obviously. Otherwise, rental.


zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (The Bishop)
Theaterflixing:

Pathfinder - aka "Spamfinder", because it's full of bloody Vikings! :D
Okay, so there's these Vikings, and they land in Northern America somewhere and pillage and murder a village of Indians
American Indians Native Americans, and one of the Vikings' kid is left behind because he's a wimp and he wouldn't
decapitate one of the natives. Or is he left behind because the Drakkar he was on had a horrible traffic accident on its way
out? It's not clear in my mind anymore. Anyway, a kindly Ind... Amer... Native American woman takes the Vikingling in.
The village council is all, like, "do not bring your evil here", and the Chief is, like, "STFU, the kid has a DESTINY!".
So the Vikingling stays and grows up to be a fine Native American Viking and finds a hottie Pocahontas who's already taken.
And then, a large force of bloody Vikings return and hilarity ensues! And by hilarity, I mean wholesale slaughter and death.
Can our Vikindian defend his village from the Spamlovers? Well, no. He was out hunting. Whoopsie. Okay, can he save the
other village from the Spamlovers? The village which harbors his Pocahontas Of Luuuuv? Maaaaaaaaaaaaybeeeee!
The film seems to be shot in black and white and grey with a touch of blue.
It's filmed in Canadaland during the winter, so it's all mountainous and snowy and cold and misty-foggy.
The film is kinda like "The New World" (remember that snoozefest?) but colder and with Vikings and an actual plot.
It's still a b-movie though. Worth a rental if you like Vikings and/or Indians American Indians Native Americans.

Hot Fuzz - Disclaimer: I have not seen "Shaun Of The Dead", and I probably won't for quite some time.
This Simon Pegg film is a better remake of "The Wicker Man" than the actual remake with Nicholas Cage!! :D
London supercop gets promoted to small sleepy village with slightly eccentric denizens.
He got promoted because he's a goddamned overachiever and he makes the rest of the force look bad.
Anyway, people in sleepy village start dying but they're all accidents! Really! They're not muuuur-deeeers! That's crazy!
The film is seriously funny and parodies Hollywood buddy-cop movies in amusing and very English ways.
Aside from Simon Pegg, the movie stars Edward Woodward (the Original Wicker Man!), Timothy Dalton (that suave bastard!),
Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, and these are just the ones I'm familiar with. I bet Anglophiles will recognize more.
The film is hilarious, with some action and some gruesome moments quickly defused with more humor. Rated R.
So, yeah, I liked it. The sibling didn't see it though, he opted to go see "300" again.
"Bring the noise!"


Netflixing:

Curse Of The Golden Flower - In China, there are a lot of people. This is handy for massive battle scenes.
The newest film from Yimou Zhang ("Hero" and "House Of The Flying Daggers"), an adaptation of a classic
1920's Chinese dramatic play set during the Tang Dynasty, a time of opulence and wealth (check these costumes and sets!).
Gong Li plays the Empress, who must drink medicine prescribed by the Emperor every two hours. The Emperor, played by Chow
Yun-Fat (and looking a leeeeetle bit like my late father, yikes) says the Empress is anemic and must therefore medicate.
And yet the Empress' health does not improve. And what is this new ingredient added to the brew?
If you like palace intrigues, gorgeous costumes and sets, intense performances, and swordfighting, go rent this now!
You will be blown away by this incredible, meticulous, action-packed, emotional rollecoaster of a film.

Harsh Times - "My worst nightmare is you with a badge and a gun."
Christian Bale plays an asshole. I have never seen him like this. He plays Jim Luther Davis, ex-Army Rangers, Iraq vet,
looking to get into the LAPD and bust some heads. He drives around Downtown and South Central L.A. in his almost-cop Ford
Crown Victoria with his latino buddy Mike, ostensibly helping Mike look for a job, but really just fucking around.
Jim-boy fails his psych test at LAPD so they kick him to the curb. Homeland Security wants to talk to him though, sweet!!
LAPD probably pegged him for a nutbag, a little too eager to enFORCE the law. He's definitely a bad influence on Mike.
Jim's got a girl in Mexico he wants to marry and definitely needs a local job to bring her in. That's not what he's gonna
get though, and things are about to get bad for our friends. Real bad.
The blurb on the DVD says "from the creator of Training Day", so that gives you an idea of the kind of vibe this has.
It was written and directed by David Ayer, and this is his first directing gig. For a first time, not bad.
The dialogue rings true for a couple of homies (white and latino) who grew up together in South Central.
L.A. is a crazy town...


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