TMNT — 15:22



Superman Returns

Filed under: a group of folks,movies @ 15:28

I saw Superman Returns last night with Greg.

Superman’s character makes for a difficult movie. He fights for truth, justice, and (more controversially) the American way, he never lies, he’s essentially invincible, and he’s well loved by society. Other than his alter ego’s bumbling awkwardness, he has no character flaw and has only one weakness: kryptonite.

So how do you go about making a meaningful movie with such a two dimensional character? The only inner conflict at our disposal is Superman’s departure and return (implied by the movie title) and the possibility that he gets fed up saving the world every time Hollywood calls upon him to do so.

Below there be spoilers. Read more…


In the Land of Women

Filed under: a group of folks,movies @ 14:44

What would you do if you saw a screening of a movie whose plot eerily paralleled your own life? Would you congratulate yourself on being the screen writer’s muse or would you sue the production company for everything it’s got? I face these very questions now after Holly and I screened In the Land of Women Thursday night.

The story chronicles the life of the witty, dreamy and affable (see the similarities already?) character of Carter as played by _Adam_ Brody and opens with the final death throws of Carter’s vapid and one sided relationship with his model/aspiring actress girlfriend. Looking for solace in his now bleak and miserable world, Carter picks himself up from his LA career as a soft core porn writer and moves to Michigan to take care of his increasingly senile grandmother. There he becomes bosom buddies with the family across the street, having sex with the mother, making out with the fifteen year old daughter, duping the himself-unfaithful father and accepting plot narration from the younger, precocious daughter. I mean, that’s… me. One hundred percent.

The unfortunate thing about the movie is that although they get the details of my life straight, they tell my story in such an uncompelling way. The relationships are totally devoid of emotion, the writing and editing aren’t tight enough to tell any story, let alone one as complicated as mine, and the direction and artistic style are inconsistent enough to be some film school sophomore’s attempt at being ‘indie’ but having watched too many movies with the likes of Meg Ryan or Freddie Prinze Jr. to make that possible. Plus, they ruined the ending.

All in all, ‘In the Land of Women’ has nothing to recommend it other than a few good one liners. At least they won’t be making much money off of me.


Bottle Rocket — 18:35

If anyone wants to watch Bottle Rocket, I have it until Monday noon.


The Fly

Filed under: movies @ 18:28

Greg and I watched The Fly the other day thanks to Mike, our kick ass new roommate (don’t come back, Paul ;)) who has an awesome DVD collection.

That movie rocks. If you’ve not seen it, do so at your earliest convenience. Perhaps the best thing about it from a geek perspective is that the entire situation was not cause by bad science (though one could pick nits there), but rather by bad programming!

Take that CompSci!


Born into Brothels

Filed under: a group of folks,movies,thoughts @ 13:29

Holly and I went to see Born into Brothels on Wednesday. The documentary follows a photographer, Zana Briski, who originally went to Calcutta’s red light district to shoot the lives of the prostitutes but eventually became attached to the women’s children. She began giving them photography lessons. As Holly notes, the kids become really empowered by their new means of creation and communication. And some of their pictures are really freakin’ good. One of the kids, Avijit, was invited to Amsterdam with eight other children from around the world to exhibit their works internationally.

It’s really an amazing story. Here are these kids that live in a brothel; about twenty people all living in one apartment, each family with its own little room. When their mothers work, they pull a curtain across the bed, so the children don’t see anything that goes on. The sounds, I imagine, are harder to filter out. To escape, the kids go play on the roof or in the streets, but they themselves work most of the day too: washing dishes, going to the market, cooking. These kids are like ten years old and they work long days, see there mothers abused, beaten or burned to death, (more or less) go to school, and still manage to have fun. They play games, fly kites, laugh with each other. That’s what amazed me most watching the movie; there were times these kids were genuinely happy. I probably would have withered away a long time ago if I’d grown up in similar circumstances. Maybe the ones like me already have, and we’re only left with the strongest. It really shows how resilient little kids can be in terrible conditions, but makes you wonder just how psychologically damaged they’ll end up.

Photography, for some of these kids, is their way out of their abusive, drug riddled environment – a way out of prostitution. Through photography and the monumental efforts of their teacher, many of them were able to attend boarding schools (that is, were able to leave the red light district) and pursue a real education in a healthy environment. What’s sad is that this woman spent years of her life with about eight kids (at least that’s the story of the documentary). Eight. There really needs to be massive organizational change in order to help more than handfuls of children at a time.

Holly speaks more on these issues. I’d suggest going to her site for discussion.


Blade Runner had it all wrong

Filed under: a group of folks,movies,thoughts @ 01:56

So Blade Runner is a pretty awesome movie. A question everyone should ask themselves at some point in their lives: Do androids dream of electric sheep?

The only problem I have is Philip K. Dick/Ridley Scott’s vision of the future; There’s way too much petroleum being burned and filth being tossed about. Holly and I were talking the other day, and I told her about my biggest paranoid fear: a world without oil. (Trite, I know. Get over it.) As with any paranoia, some of what follows is a little half-baked, and some stuff may be inaccurate (what paranoid is going to do real research?). Feel free to correct me where appropriate.

Read more…


Ong Bak – The Thai Warrior

Filed under: a group of folks,movies,neat! @ 21:01

On Haskell’s recommendation, Aaron, Greg and I saw Ong Bak last night. As Haskell puts it,

It’s a martial arts flick with a hint of a plot, absolutely no love interest, and the most freakin awesome unbelievable ass kicking ever put on film.

Tony Jaa was absurdly good: no wires, no CG, just sheer, unadulterated badasstitude.

Everything from the one hundred percent nongratuitous triple takes on every action shot in the entire movie, all the way through to the at-least-three-out-of-four-limbs-in-the-air-in-every-frame sequences, from the complete lack of deleterious effects other than sliding backward a few feet after being kicked in the chest with enough force to collapse an elephant lung, to the new definition of “throw some elbows”, this movie had me – utterly had me.

Apparently, Mr. Jaa is filming a movie currently, and Aaron speaks of a project with Jackie Chan. I’m in – all the way.


You ask a glass of water

Filed under: a group of folks,movies,neat! @ 23:07

We arrived at the Paseo at six thirty: precisely the time we were told by our invitation would be the appropriate one. We found ahead of us some several hundred people. People who had cheated. They had read the invitation as well, surely; yet there they were. All queued up and looking behind them (at us) with smug little grins and knowledge that they, certainly, would get in, but we… well it would be best not to harp on it.

But that was all right. We tried to tell ourselves we were having a fine time chatting amongst ourselves (Paul.za, Mom.za, Greg, Heidi, BJ and Adam), and that we might even get free passes to see something else if we were refused entrance. Plus, many more people lined up behind us, so we got to assume smug little grins of our own.

I am, of course, referring to our chance to see a screening of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And we were, of course, wrong; we did not get free passes to see something else when we were refused entrance.

Read more…


Chris Rankin — 13:57

Percy Weasley or Dr Who? You decide.

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