Tags: movies

2011 July

Quantum of Solace

We saw this movie yesterday and I’d have to say I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve read that some people didn’t like it, that it was too much like the Bourne Identity, but I really didn’t see a similarity. There were car chases, hand-to-hand fighting and some running around, but you can also say the same of “The Transporter”.

I’ve also heard that people didn’t like this movie because it wasn’t really all that Bond-like. He never says “Bond, James Bond,” nor does he say that he’d like a vodka shaken, not stirred. And he also doesn’t sleep with every woman that he’s met. All those things don’t bother me. In this storyline there’s no reason why he’d say his name. Everyone knows who he is already. And he does drink vodka. They actually explain what exactly what’s in the vodka he’s drinking. And there’s no good way to write in sleeping with the main female character although he does sleep with another woman. Is sleeping with every woman he sees really that important to the Bond universe? I think not.

And I’m rather glad that there weren’t all those ridiculous gadgets and stupid lines. I mean, when you’ve already seen the invisible car in Die Another Day, and the line “I thought Christmas only came once a year” from The World is Not Enough, do you really need more of that? Did you not groan with dispair when you saw or heard that? I like that it’s a little bit more realistic.

I like this movie a lot. And there’s a real storyline coming through this series of Bond films. He’s experienced loss, then revenge. He’ll have redemption, I’m sure. There’s real continuity and I like it a lot. He may actually have some character growth. It’s not just a series of standalone ass-kicking.

And I’m glad to see Olga Kurlyenko playing something other than a slutty woman like she did in Hitman and Max Payne. I’m hoping she outgrows that because I like her. I think she’s pretty. I’d like to see her in more movies, but one that doesn’t sleep with anybody she sees.

Anyway, I’d suggest seeing the movie.

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July

Reign of Dumb Monsters

A couple of nights ago, AMC was playing Reign of Fire. I’d never watched it in the theatre because I thought the premise was ridiculous. And after I watched it, I still thought the premise was ridiculous. I mean, I understand the need to suspend disbelief. I’ll allow that dragons can exist in present day. But there’s something wrong with the premise when the dragons were dug up not only fully grown but fully awake!

Like seriously, they can’t have survived for thousands of years much less millions without eating. Do you know how much they have to eat before they can sleep that long? You know how fat they’d have to be? And not only that, they eat ash? ASH?! Ash that has no nutritional value whatsoever? Has no fat content so they can’t even gain any weight? How are they supposed to hibernate on a diet of burnt up junk?

And they were hiding in a dark little cavern underground? Really. How is that evolutionarily viable? And even if it was, why would they have millions of babies after they’d gotten out? Wipe out the whole world while they’re at it. So they can only live like 10 years above ground before they start eating each other and going into hibernation back in that dank little hole they came out of? They have to hide for a thousand more years because they ate everything in sight. Doesn’t seem like an adequate existence.

Ok, so beyond that, how do these dragons survive getting hit by missiles that can track their targets?! Because you know, every country in the world used as much of their millitary might as possible and they still couldn’t defeat these things. Can these dragons fly faster than our fighter jets? And yet. AND YET! Matthew McConaughey’s crazy ass took down a dragon with a harpoon? I bet he got powerups for being shirtless.

No wonder people hate fantasy movies! They don’t make sense!!

Originally published at Samantha Ling. You can comment here or there.

2011 July

Run Nokia Run

So I ordered the Nokia N810 because it was basically a mini computer that I could use with wifi, something that I can't do with the Treo because Verizon sucks. I'd have to pay for an additional web connection and use their really slow connection.

I did some research to see if it will do all the things that I need, namely play scrabulous (check! I had a friend test that on his)and allow me to edit text (a lot of people had installed Abiword, so I didn't think that was a problem). What I hadn't realized is that there currently isn't a working port for my particular operating system. Mine is the 2008 OS nicknamed Chinook. So I am stuck without a word compatible text editor.

I have been saving most of my docs in .txt anyway. It's the only format that Zoundry Raven will import properly so I can upload them to the blogs. So at least I can read some of those. I always have the option of running Garnet VM. It will run all the Palm software that I have, but then what's the point of getting this cute little thing?

The poor college student who's trying to port this over is a little busy, so he will be available to work on it after May. i was half tempted to learn how to write these types of programs. Not only do I not know where to start, I don't have time to learn it either. So I'll learn some patience and write this on the built in notes program. I'ts worked so far.

In other news we saw Run Fatboy Run. I found it slow and predictable. I didn't find it funny nor refreshing. Though I appreciated that the ending wasn't the sappy happy ending I was expecting to see. But I wouldn't spend any money on it. We sure didn't.
2011 July

Hitman, Failed Man, Could have Been Great Man

The thing about video games is that it's got its own continuity that doesn't translate into film or even a novelb. I believe video game players are more likely to forgive the fact that your secret group of assassins have a telltale look. That any agency paying any sort of attention will notice that there were quite a few people that have barcode tattoos slapped onto the back of their bald-ass heads and they wear the same Men-In-Black type suits. In video games, people really want a game plays well, isn't repetitive and is challenging. Story is secondary. I mean, look at Gears of War. It had very little storytelling ability and it was considered one of the best games when it came out. (It was a little short, imho. And I like a game with story a la Halo.)

So when I think a video game is translated into film, I don't necessarily think that it should follow the game storyline completely. I think the makers have to take a look at the video game storyline and see if it'll translate well enough. And when it doesn't, they can take the basic idea of the story and adapt it to make it a better story. Let's face it, how can you be part of a secret assassin organization when you've got such a distinct look. I think you can pay homage to the game by giving Agent 47 his red tie outfit at the beginning of the film, but then have him change into regular clothes like everyone else. So he can, like, hide out He could grow some hair or get a wig. There's no wonder he was so easy to track looking the way he did.

And don't let me start on his laptop talking to him. Anyone with his ear pressed to the hotel door could hear his assassination transactions. There's no such thing as encrypted air!

This movie could have had a lot of potential. He could have had a great story arc about who he was, who he wanted to be, how he could become something else. A hitman trained from birth can question a lot of things, especially having been double-crossed by his society. But as it was, there was no reason to keep the hooker/girlfriend/slave girl alive, much less treat her well. The fact that she tattooed her face and it reminded him of the tattoo at the back of his head made no sense. Like what about that made him feel connected to the girl. I mean, he was trained not to have any feelings, so why not just pull the trigger when he was done interrogating her? His motivations weren't clear and his story arc was totally absent. He went from uncaring assassin to someone who wanted out in a blink of an eye. I went in not expecting a lot. I never do in video game adaptations. But I came out wishing it was more. It's like watching Good Will Hunting, but Will continues to clean floors the whole movie.

I wouldn't suggest going to the theatre watching this movie. It's a "do your chores while the tv is on" worthy.

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2011 July

Beowulf 3d

Last night we went to see Beowulf in 3D. I enjoyed it well enough. I know it's gotten some bad reviews, but I think it was worth a look see should you find yourself in need of going to the movies. I would say that it's not worth the extra $3 to watch the 3D version though. I find that movies that aren't made exclusively for 3D aren't worth it. The way the scenes are shot aren't conducive to making things pop. Although I will say that the three times that things flew towards the screen though, I did flinch. But on the whole, I found 90% of the movie wasn't truly in 3D.

In the 3D movie though, you get these stylish glasses. They were so stylish I asked Joanne in a nasily voice if she'd like to come over to my house and play D&D, to which JJ took exception. We all had a little bit of fun bringing out our innermost geeks.

And when no one was looking, Chris modified his glasses.

I will say though that I felt a little bit of sympathy for Grendel. Here might be some spoilers. I don't know if you guys remember way back in Xena. Gabriel had a daughter named Eve. And Eve had a child that was a spiky monster. The spikey monster was strangely sympathetic in that all it wanted to do was save his mother. The monster was innocent in a way. And when he eventually died, I felt sad for it. It's not his fault that he was born such a monster.

It felt much the same way with Grendel. It didn't seem as though he wanted to go kill people. It wasn't as though he woke up and decided he was going to go into the hall and smash things up. It was that he had super sensitive hearing and the people in the hall were just making so much noise that it drove him crazy. He was never taught how to deal with it properly. It's not his fault he was born a disfigured monster. So I was a little sad when he died too. And maybe that was the point. Who was the real monster here?

But then I've always had a soft spot for the misunderstood monsters.

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