davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)

So. Star Trek Into Darkness. Was a film. In which things happened.

And I really can't say much more about what happened in it and my reaction to it without spoilers. Although I'll note that it has exactly the same problem as the last Trek film had- it really doesn't spend enough time establishing the character of the villain. He's there as an anatagonist, but you never really get to know his motivations, which is a real shame, because Cumberbatch is a great actor, and is clearly having a great time running, jumping, and shooting guns.

So don't click on the cut unless you've seen it, Or Iron Man 3. Because I'll be spoiling that too.

I mean it )

davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
So, Dredd. Was not dreadful. Which, given its much (and by and large justifiably) maligned predecessor was all I was hoping for when I heard about it. If its basically the same film and Karl Urban is humble enough, and familiar enough with the source material not to show his face, then that would have been good enough for me.

However, having read feedback by 2000AD fans I was expecting something very good. It did not disappoint. Is it better than The Avengers? Its a lot less fun, certainly. But then living in MegaCity One is not supposed to be fun. Being Iron Man is clearly supposed to be fun, hell even being the Hulk isn't too bad. However no-one really wants to be Judge Dredd, and anyone who does, probably shouldn't be allowed anything sharper than a spoon. It's a pretty humourless film (there aren't even any District 9-esque death-by-cow moments to lighten the mood), but its not po-faced. It isn't funny, because life in a city of 800 million people in an area about the size of Scotland on the edge of complete anarchy isn't going to be "funny".

Its a much smaller film than its predecessor. We don't see the Cursed Earth other than in brief shots topping and tailing the film. As I haven't seen The Raid don't want to draw too many comparisons, but the plot is largely the same- I'd also compare it to Die Hard for obvious reasons. I definitely missed the sale that the Stallone version went for- but as with so many comic book adaptations that haven't worked it tried to cram too much in. In Judge Dredd, the Angel Gang, ABC warriors, and Dredd's origins, are all picked up, toyed with, and dispensed with after five minutes or so. It gives you the feeling of a large world, but everything's disjointed and spread thinly. Dredd doesn't even try this. We get the feeling of a wider world, but its very self-contained- almost too self contained. I'm sure there are a fair few shout-outs that the 2000AD readers will pick up on, but are lost on me. And I don't honestly mind. It feels like a short, one-shot story, rather than a story arc. And I have no problem with that, whatsoever. Its certainly preferable to watching it done badly. If this is the start of a franchise, or given what HBO has shown you can do with TV series, essentially a pilot with a cinema release, then I'll be more than happy.

The acting is definitely better- when Karl Urban says that he is the law he's asserting control. Stallone was whining like a petulant child. He's also got a much more expressive chin than Sly, which helps, because he doesn't take his helmet off. Those of us who have seen Game of Thrones know that Lena Headley can do scheming very well, and in a contest between Cersei Lannister and Madeline "Ma-Ma" Madrigal, I honestly don't know who would win. Olivia Thirlby as Anderson gets lots to do, at no point does she seem like a damsel in distress, which more than most women in action films get.

I want to describe it as beautiful but I can't. Because its ugly, dirty and noisy. Just like MegaCity One is supposed to be. MegaCity One in the Stallone version wasn't spotless, but it didn't look much worse than many cities today. This MegaCity? It really is a dystopian hell-hole.

The SloMo scenes are very well shot, and work well in 3D, with one or two exceptions, where it really looks like the front of the scene is a 2D shot pasted in front of a backdrop, like those paper model theatres. However this is the first film I've seen in 3D (there's only two places in London that are showing it in Glorious Two Dimensions) so I honestly don't know if that's a criticism of the 3D-ing in this particular film, or a problem with 3D in general.

There's a completely callous disregard for human life, and a civilian bodycount probably in the hundreds- something, again, completely absent in Stallone's version. I hope it does well, because not only does it mean we'll get sequels (and they've hinted they'd like to do the Dark Judges, or Judge Tyrannosaurus, which could be really good), but it shows there's a market for properly dystopian sci-fi, which I've always had a soft spot for, ever since Robocop.

Thinking about how well the team handled this very massive, deep, and rather British dystopian future, I'd like to see what they can do with that other vast and complex crapsack world, we created- Warhammer 40K.

So yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you haven't seen it, do so.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
Steam Trek - The Moving Picture

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davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
Day 23 - A YouTube Video

Egosofts X-Series games are probably my favourite games out there right now. They're the closest anyone's come to Elite with modern graphics. And best of all, while it isn't open source by any means there is a very active mod community- fan-made scripts are regularly incorporated into offical bonus packs, and after one game got a particularly detailed and expansive mod they hired some of the people who produced one mod to work on the next game they made. A little while ago there was a competition to make videos using the game.

Yep. Space trading games that cost £20 can now be used to make films that look better (and are often better plotted, written and acted) than things in Doctor Who, Babylon 5, and plenty of other SciFi. My god this truly is The Future.


Jun. 25th, 2010 04:46 pm
davegodfrey: Hello Cthulhu! (Cthulhu!)
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DC appear to have given up on making films about their big name characters, and just going for things that look fun. And why not, I can't work out what not to like about Helen Mirren with a big gun.
davegodfrey: Hello Cthulhu! (Cthulhu!)
They've remade The A Team?

I'm not sure mid-air tank fights are going to save it however.

Clash of the Titans

While they've dumped Ray Harryhausen's stop motion maquettes (could they not at least have got him to design and build the monsters and then CGI'd them?) they have at least preserved the original's penchant for getting big name actors in for the deities. If nothing else its got lots of monsters, which is nice.

Iron Man 2

I'd see this purely for the soundtrack frankly, even if I wasn't expecting it to be fantastic. Moar AC/DC whoo!

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That film.

May. 27th, 2008 11:23 pm
davegodfrey: Marvin: ...and me with a terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side... (Marvin)
Basically Indy is a 1930s serial in the vein of the real Flash Gordon, et al. So why Mr Lucas did you decide to turn it into a 50s B-movie?

A better story would have been Commies capture Indy and get him to lead them to Eldorado to give them money to finance their US spying operations. If you wanted you could have a hidden enclave of Nazi's. You wouldn't even need to change the action sequences. Nice try Lucas, but you could have done better.
davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
If you haven't seen it yet do so. Its awesome. There's so much to love.

ETA: Holy Crap. All kinds of awesome coming in 2010! (obligatory spoiler warning)
davegodfrey: Marvin: ...and me with a terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side... (Marvin)
So I went to the cinema last night with [personal profile] innerbrat, and watched Helena Bonham Carter's breasts being interrupted by singing.

davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
I mentioned I'd discuss this in my last post, so here goes. [livejournal.com profile] tyrell and [Unknown site tag] kicked the whole shebang off by posting a video of men in giant robots fighting over a woman simpering in the corner. (The video has been removed before I could see it which is a shame, 'cos steampunk giant robots just sounds cool). The objectification of women in this clip however is not cool.

Given when they're trying to set this then I suppose I'd expect her to sit quietly in the corner and let them get on with it, but because its not Victorian melodrama there's no reason why she shouldn't tell them both where to get off. Without seeing the clip I don't know if the giant robots would distract me enough to not mind the sexism.

Similarly in Transformers there are two women with useful skills, one of whom barely uses them- instead of which she gets someone else to work for her. And the other one, as [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat notes is sexualised in virtually every shot. Now I can understand that when the young hero gets her to look at his engine- he's 17 and actually talking to the girl he's fancied for god knows how long. After that one scene we get the picture. He likes her, he's in awe of her, and yes, she is very attractive, but is this really neccessary? Then again Michael Bay isn't a subtle director. Maybe he didn't think the audience would notice, so he had to keep hammering the messsage home. Whizz! Boom! Bang! Pretty Girl! Crash! Thud! Smash!

Objectification of women is a problem. Maybe not for the middle-class university-educated people I surround myself with, but outside of this world? Yes it is. The Sun still publishes Page 3. Benny Hill is ridiculously popular in Europe- and if they brought it back on British TV it'd probably get massive ratings.

Boiling it down to biology, men (subconsiously at least) want to breed with as many partners as possible, producing as many children as they can. With this kind of inbuilt preference there's going to be objectification of women and women's bodies. As soon as these attitudes colour your interactions with people then there's a potential problem. I'd like to think that in an enlightened western society that men were able to override these feelings and ignore them, except between consenting adults.

However in most areas of the world this is very much not the case. I can't count how many adverts I saw on the tube today with attractive young women trying to persuade me to buy something. And the sad thing is advertisers won't stop using this technique, because it works. Beacuse my fellow men continue to objectify women, and will buy things because it might attract a pretty girl to them. (Like women are really turned on by your mortgage). It just pisses me off something chronic. Nearly as much as using couples in these adverts (but that's just 'cos I'm single and bitter about it.)

Christ that's a lot of unfocussed waffle.
davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
So Spiderman went emo, and it was nearly as bad as you said. Too long, and too many bad guys. As Mary-Jane said "its always about you", and I'm getting sick of it very quickly.

There were some things I liked. Gwen Stacey was pretty. Robert Englund the bloke from I Robot/LA Confidential is it. The Bugle ran a "Doc Ock Still at Large" headline at one point. Oh and the trailer for Transformers. All Kinds of Awesome. So good I can forgive Bumblebee not being a Beetle.
davegodfrey: Marvin: ...and me with a terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side... (Marvin)

...and went to see Serenity. Wot is very good. Good jokes, 'specially the riske ones. As the critics have been saying 'tis better than Star Wars ROTS was.

However I have two quibbles.

1. They started off with the whole space being silent thing. Then as soon as a battle starts there's booms all over the shop. One of the things I liked most about Firefly was that it deliberately didn't have noises in space. Why change it for the film?

2 If you don't want to know look away now... )

However the bits with River were deeply cool... Reavers? Hah I laugh in what should be your face!

In other things I'm trying to look for a flat, but all I seem to find is ones where I'll be living with people nearly as old as my parents. This isn't a good idea. I don't want to live with a bunch of 18 year-olds students too stoned to answer the phone, but there's no point whatsoever in paying rent to someone who may as well be my parents. Sigh. Topical news George Bush's family lawyer has decided not to become a Supreme Court Judge. Something to do with her never having been a judge. You'd think that would make her unqualified for the job wouldn't you? If it means keeping abortion legal and readily obtainable then its all to the good. Bluewater's just as crap as I remember it, with the added disincentive of most of the people I remember working there having moved on. Pity. This seasons' fashions mostly seem to be black and purple velvet. Which is nice.


davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
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