I watched Night At The Museum. It was pretty fun. Maybe I just don't have the vibe for whimsical kids movies nowadays (I thought Sky Captain was awesome looking, even though the story was kinda nonexistent! Or probably because it was nonexistent), but I personally felt a lot of it was just kinda OMG LOOK AT THESE! LOOK AT THESE OMG LOOK SPECIAL EFFECTS LOOK and it kinda hampered the whimsy, y'know. It gets better towards the climax, but the first hour I was sorta like "yeah, okay, I see there's lots of stuff going on and lots of gimmicky characters, can I actually get to see them for more than two minutes before I'm thrust into another wacky escapade?" Maybe I just expect t-rexes to make gags about the pursuit of happiness in conversation with a raptor and a dromiceiomimus rather than act like dogs. The climax was pretty good, though! I just feel the first hour was kinda anxious to show everything at once and I imagine kids would be all WOW COOOOOOL (I still want to believe one child out there will enthusiastically and un-ironically response with radical!!) but I was a bit ehhh, y'know.
The actor side of things was pretty neat, and it's very fun seeing Dick Van Dyke play a villain for a change, even if he's somehow a very loveable villain simply because he's Dick Van Dyke. This is also the first time I've ever seen Mickey Rooney in live action outside of his cameo in The Simpsons, and I admit it was only afterwards I realised Robin Willaims was playing Teddy Roosevelt; maybe it's just because I'm more familiar with his voice acting roles, and how I admit his incredibly obnoxious performance in Robots kind of tainted him entirely for me, but it's nice seeing him in something where he isn't the loudest character in the film, which admittedly contrasts my entire personal image of Roosevelt. And Ben Stiller wasn't bad. Okay, really, I only had stuff to comment on about the old guys and Robin Williams, that's it. It's not a bad movie, but I wasn't really blown away by it, y'know, I won't be remembering it for years to come.
Calling Office 2007 a "putrid cesspool of inaccessibility" is so much better when you're paid for it.
"Ok.... There was a lady who was walking in the forest with her dog and was killed. If u r reading this, then u will find a dead bloody body hanging in ur closet. U will be haunted and killed by her. to stop it posti this to 6 other videos in 30 GOOD LUCK"
In 30 what? In 30 what?!
I watched Lifeforce. It's a cracking film. And I mean that in the British term for "awesome," not in the term of computer hacking or using the slang term for white person as a verb.
It's based off a book I haven't read called The Space Vampires, which admittedly sounds like some cheesy B-movie, and given how a large amount of the story revolves around a naked chick making out with people, you could say it's kinda accurate. A space shuttle discovers a huge alien craft with tons of giant bat-like corpses and three perfectly preserved nude dudes, who they take back to Earth, though only after everyone on board except one dies horribly. The three naked folk steal the lifeforce of people by totally sucking face, draining them of all life, but those who are drained return to life briefly two hours later in an attempt to sap some life themselves, otherwise they spaz out and explode. The one survivor of the shuttle has a mind-link with one of the naked alien chick and this prompts an attempt to track them down before shit hits the fan. Needless to say, all of London is turned into zombies, even the prime minister. Uplifting stuff!
The film has fantastic atmosphere. It initially starts slow, with only the three space vampires slowly meandering their way through the space research centre; two appear to be blown up and one escapes, which merely results in a dead girl in a park. It's low-key and the whole psychology aspect of luring people into their grasp isn't played-up much, and it really emphasises on the drama regarding the survivor spaceman, who has a strong mental link with one of the vampires and is trying to resist her bondings and whatnot. It's more supernatural horror, and the mindfuck going on with the pilot reaches crazy stages when the home secretary and Patrick Stewart vomit up blood to create a levitating, organ-like replication of the vampire's face, which then splatters all over the floor. And then you hear that just three vampires have turned the whole of London into one hideous, life-stealing frenzy. Everyone's dying, and in the background you see the pitiful plights of hapless individuals trying to take refuge in buildings, only to be torn down by the rampaging masses.
You could almost say it's a typical British horror, wherein something no one knows about is unleashed, and it isn't stopped until everyone is totally murdered and comfortable life as we know it is thrown in the shitheap, and you can't trust no one, not even the people assuring you that everything is fine. Unlike zombies, those who are infected don't necessarily go straight into the flesh-eating-inhuman-monster part, but are still their relatively usual selves, except for their attempt to lure you in for some life stealing; it's only a couple of hours afterwards without a lifeforce that they go into the decaying and moaning stage. The prime minister and merry ol' Frank Finlay still appear reasonably healthy while discussing matters with the main characters, and then they go out of their way to get someone to feast on, which spoils an otherwise fine ruse. It's like vampires, but better, because they eventually become monsters! I've never been too enamoured with 'real' vampires simply because there ain't enough explicit I-don't-know-you-anymore horror as there is with zombies and werewolves. So their basic behavioural patterns change (nocturnal, need blood, yadda yadda), but otherwise they're still relatively the same. The scenes of London under martial law obviously don't feature that part and just leap straight into the munching en masse part, but it's great potential to explore.
Another reason it works is because it's alien! Aliens are obviously a vast spectrum, and unlike zombies or vampires there's no real set of guidelines about how you get infected, what it does or how it can be stopped. Zombies: Get bitten by one and it makes you want to eat flesh, is sorted out by blowing the head off. Vampires: Same deal, except replace flesh with blood and sorted out with a stake through the heart. The aliens...? Well, it's vague! There's obviously the part involving sucking face, and they can be killed by piercing an area two inches below the heart, but it's rather uncertain and mysterious. As said earlier, some of the infected remain themselves, while the whole London scene focuses entirely on people being berserker. Obviously, since it's alien, you're never sure exactly of what to expect or what they can do, especially with the mindlink nonsense and Patrick Stewart vomiting blood until he's a skeleton.
Being made in 1985, it was made before CGI was the easy solution to everything, so there's lots of great prop and puppet action which I love, and really adds to the inhuman atmosphere. The models of the people as their life drains away are, if you're cynical, pretty wonky looking, but I personally think it adds a lot; to see a living, breathing human being slowly waste away into what is basically a deformed shell before finally decaying into a craggy husk (but still with moist eyeballs!), it just looks wonderfully frightening. Likewise, although they only take up a very small portion of the film, the space sequences look fantastic, and it makes an interesting contrast from seeing an advanced, high-tech space craft and an outlandish alien shuttle, and then going back to quaint 1980s Britain. The anti-gravity is rendered wonderfully; probably all kinds of incorrect (I was personally kinda puzzled how they could effectively drape a net over the bat-thing corpse and keep it secure without any bonding, but whatever), but it has a dream-like quality to the slow yet soaring movements, almost as if underwater. Beautiful stuff.
I hear the full recording of the film was 140 minutes long, but the credits started rolling at 110 minutes, which seems to be the longest released cut there is to my knowledge. I'd be very curious to see the full version, but as it is, it's a mesmerising film.
The Good, The Bad, The Weird is a totally boss film and if it were a person I would hug it and give it a foot massage. I could make a crack about it being my type of film, if you know what I mean, nyuk nyuk double entendre, but that's a pretty terrible joke.
The reason it's so boss is that it's an oriental western! It's not just a western, or an oriental flick, but both! And rather than degrading into kung-fu antics with swords and martial arts like you'd almost expect, it's guns all the way! With bikes and trains and horses and completely ridiculous anime-style fashion design! Seriously, the titular trio look like a Korean spaghetti western star, a badass cosplayer, and a middle-aged hairy Digimon cosplayer, and everyone else looks like Conan the Barbarian, Fist of the North Star and a Clint Eastwood film all got into a horrible car crash that somehow culminated in really enviable clothing and hair styles. That's the kind of car crash I'd like to be a part of.
The plot...? Well, uh, it's a shaggy dog story, really. It's basically about a treasure map that everyone wants their hands on, though The Bad just wants it to get back at The Weird, and The Good is along to get back at The Bad, and a whole bunch of other parties are involved. Really, it's the most basic of macguffin plots that mostly serves as an excuse for really friggin' awesome action scenes. All kinds of shoot-outs in crazily-designed villages, epic horse-riding battles and knives being shoved up people's asses.
Look, seriously, it's all about the action. It's very good action. Really good action. It's fast-paced and action-packed, and it's got enough kookiness to almost make it comparable to an Indiana Jones shootout. I'd almost say it's the kind of movie that even people who don't like subtitles could watch just by skipping through it, but that probably defeats the purpose.
Yeah, I enjoyed it lots.
I watched Vampire Bats, one of several cheap DVDs dad and I got from GameStop back in August. It wasn't bad!
It's a TV movie, so naturally you're not going to be treated to high budget shots of people getting faces chewed off, so most of the time you just got bat POV shots of them zooming in on people to prepare for face chewing. Quite understandably, as the few shots you see of people getting their faces chewed off are usually accompanied with rather silly looking bat puppets, and quite shockingly, despite my universal love of physical props over CGI, the CGI bats are actually pretty good, and for a TV movie they certainly look good. Of course, I guess it doesn't require much to make black blobs skitter around the screen or sit on ceilings.
So there's these killer bats, right? Despite the movie being called Vampire Bats they're actually mutated bats, because some sewage got into the water and the deer drank it and the bats fed on the deer's blood, mutating them to give them secondary fangs which kill things, and shit happens. Mostly because of stupid teens making noise. But in the end, the bats are all killed by using some speakers and turning the temperature up really high.
I was kinda surprised at how not-terrible it was. It wasn't fantastic, but it wasn't unbearably dreadful; it wasn't bad. I haven't seen many American made-for-TV movies, and I think my perception on straight-to-DVD stuff has been permanently tainted by Transmorphers (which I hope to actually watch all the way through someday), but it told a concise story, had decent editing, and it had Lucy Lawless as the star! Plus it had some really great sets. The abandoned houses the bats would inevitably reside in had some great lighting and atmosphere, and it's a pity not much actually happened in them. When asked afterwards, I said I'd rate it 6 out of 10, while dad said he'd rate it 4 out of 10. He did suggest I'm probably biased because Lucy Lawless is a total fox, and he's probably right. Bonus points for Lucy Lawless wielding a broom, which can easily make for a re-quote of Army of Darkness if I wanted to. Apparently the movie is a sequel to Locusts, which I've never heard of, but it might be worth checking out, if just because screaming LOCUUUUSTS!! is something I'd like to try out sometime. I'm easily amused at being socially incompetent.
The trailers were mostly blegh, but some good looking stuff in there. I've never heard of Freedomland before, and the trailer was awesome, setting up a great atmosphere for a rather mundane premise; the movie could be terrible, but it's one hell of a trailer. Plus, Samuel L. Jackson! Also, I'm sure I know someone who loved Ultraviolet to bits (maybe it was my brother. I'm very forgetful!), but the trailer totally sold it. It's on my list of movies to watch.
I finally built a computer!
And it didn't work. (well, the fan worked, but it couldn't recognise the monitor)
I could blame someone else, but I'm probably responsible for it. I most likely sweated on top of everything or got beard hairs in places they shouldn't be or something trivial.
In more pop culture relevant news, I've been watching the second season of Sledge Hammer lately, and despite hearing that it's not very good, I've been enjoying it! It does have a second series vibe about it, since, again, slightly akin to The Transporter where the first time around almost had some pretension of reality, the second series plots feature some outlandish set-ups like there's a vampire on the loose (actually some guy with a bat and a flimsy motive), toy submarine kills a woman, and there's a cyborg on the loose. Still, it remains fun, as it's not like Red Dwarf where it sometimes pretends to be serious and sometimes scoffs at the very idea. Plus friggin' vampires! The good kind with the European accents, of course, not the kind that are like angsty reflectors.
Though maybe I'm just a total horn hound who notices trivial crap like that, but it seems pretty forced how almost every episode throws in some young attractive floozy who's there for the sole purpose of commenting on Sledge's looks, or receiving a comment from Sledge on her looks. It's made abundantly clear that the only love in Sledge's life is his .44 Magnum, and that's hilarious, and given his attitude, perfectly justified. I mean, he can't point a wife at someone and make them die, so what would he benefit from a 'real' relationship? But the series just seems to hit the viewer over the head with women to try and suggest "look, he's still straight - we can still lust over him, ladies!" despite his sexist nature. The episode where Sledge actually falls in love was especially awkward, since for the entire episode he's frighteningly obsessive over the woman, and even when it turns out she's not a UZI-toting crazy person he's still enamoured with her... until she falls in love with the gangster again. A man who loves his gun should only love his gun. Anything else and it just gets freaky.
Despite my claims, I have not put together a single computer since my mention of that occupation, and judging from the pace at which things are going, I can't imagine that'll be happening any time soon. Am I alone in thinking all working hours should be used to their full extent? It seems only two out of the eight hours are used for any work. Bitch, bitch, bitch!
So a new Sonic game is announced, and surprise surprise, it has vague promises that sound semi-decent, but we'll see what happens. It's hard to be excited over a new 2D game when the last good attempt at 2D they had was eight years ago in Sonic Advance, wherein they ditched the opportunity to polish it into a fabulous sequel and chose to replace it with bullshit. And considering sheer emphasis on speed and ditching all intelligent design and control in favour of it is precisely why the newer 2D games have been shit, proclaiming "SPEED RETURNS" is not a good way to get my hopes up. Bitch, bitch, bitch!
Naturally, Sonic Retro has pages upon pages of people being hilariously optimistic, while everywhere else everyone is being hilarious pessimistic. If anything, the new figures by JazWares look pretty great, and I must commend Wes for pointing them out to me! It's a sad state when I still consider myself a fan but I also consider over half the series to be a big mound of bleh, but it's nice to be happy about something, at least.
Also I started some work wherein I attempt to put computers together without accidentally electrocuting myself so I likely won't have as much time or energy to be all writey writey lately.
I really took my time pushing that whiny whine whine about wikis down, didn't I? I meant to have more blog entries earlier, but, well, as you can see with the humongous Bomberman expedition I've started, and now I'm reviewing episodes of Red Dwarf, not to mention the many other things I keep myself busy with. I'm a busy bee! If bees were fat and hairy and thought being depressingly in-depth about old sitcoms and video games was considered productive. And didn't like wearing yellow.
I watched Gremlins a couple of nights ago. I had never seen the movie, ever! I'd seen bits of the sequel since ITV usually show it at Christmas, but the original was a fresh experience to me. I quite enjoyed it, though the fact it was so morbid was kinda weird; not necessarily morbid, y'know, but like some reviews of the time said, it looks like a kids' movie at first and then you see Santa being clawed to pieces by little critters, a guy getting a snowplough to the face, and all kinds of violent deaths for the titular creatures, notably the microwave death and Stripe melting to pieces. It was pretty badass. What's Corey Feldman doing nowadays? I've always known the name but don't think I've ever actually seen the guy's work.
I also watched the first episode of Ninja Cadets, some old anime OVA I downloaded on a whim. It's almost painfully average. It's the kind of average where it's just so, so generic and average that it becomes colossally terrible. I, as a resident of Western culture, recognise ninjas not for their mystique, their prowess or their code of conduct, but for flipping out and killing people. And occasionally being turtles. There was a distinct lack of flipping out and killing people, and instead I was treating to a dull plot with dull characters with dull motivation and dull designs, and dull jokes. In a way, it was almost amusing in how paint-by-numbers it was; the main characters are the cliché anime female odd couple, one's rowdy and skimpily dressed and the other is subdued and supposedly cute, there's a mandatory completely pointless hot springs scene, and despite trying to convey that the two main characters can handle themselves, even in half an hour they needed almost frequent saving from their male cohorts. Male cohorts who quite literally had little to no personality. While sometimes I can forgive something for looking good (Realm of the Dead was stretched anus, but some of the character designs were semi-decent!), the designs just appeared either too bland or too desperate in trying to appear cool, which just made them look pathetic. Also, it's animated by the studio that did the Fatal Fury movie, so the women and 'cute' characters are ludicrously wide-eyed (even the babies!), while the males are skinny-eyed fellows with consistently shaggy, spiky hair. Just trying to remember any more of it is painful.
I've been pretty busy today and I think it's drained me of any potential conversation pieces. Yeah.
This is an exciting entry!
I watched Star Wars: A New Hope. I've been playing Super Star Wars lately and it put dad and I in the notion of watching it again. I forgot how awesome it was, and even ignoring the changes in the 2004 DVD we were watching, it still held up remarkably well today.
... yeah! I'd go more in detail but that happened last night and all the things I could've discussed I've forgotten about! In summary, it was pretty rocking, and to start the series in the middle worked so much better. Much more mystique, and much less knowing-that-Darth-Vader-was-once-a-whiny-teenager-who-fails-at-romance.
I'd be hard-pressed to say I like Halo. If anything, it's got cars and a fairly simple online multi-player system, and as you're probably aware through the Memorable Halo Moments, it's amusing to rile people up. But the single-player mode is drawn-out and monotonous, and even in co-op it's a bit of a slog. Plus the world just never really interested me, neither the characters, environments or technology. It was all kind of eh.
But I think my opinion has totally changed.
HALO MEGABLOKS FIGURES OHHH MYYYY GODDDDD
I think I'm of the belief that if you make something tiny and squished, it becomes so much more endearing. It explains why people dote over babies (which are essentially blobs with limbs) and puppies, and why LEGO is just so inherently popular. It's not a thought without flaw, mind you, but it seems to explain why I find this line of figures so incredible. Forbidden Planet is always stocked with the large 6 inch figures, but... meh, y'know? The characters didn't interest me and they're needlessly expensive, so why bother?
It's now obvious that the potential of creating dioramas of people being run down with a Warthog is what I really wanted.
Does the internet really need so many wikis?
I'd almost say it strips the internet of personality. Yes, Wikipedia is a fine place. Definitely not perfect and ripe with people who have no idea how to add information in an encyclopaedic manner, but on the whole it ain't bad. Wikis for the likes of Star Wars, Star Trek and Transformers are high quality, both because the franchises have existed for so long, but also accumulated a frighteningly comprehensive fanbase who remember every little thing ever. The franchises all have tons upon tons of content which extensive and constantly expanding universes, so wikis for them are perfect. I personally find the presentation of the Star Wars and Star Trek wikis kinda awkward from a casual point of view; for someone who's only paid attention to the movies and games, you have to wade through tons upon tons of extensive summaries regarding the novels, comic books and other media, and due to being categorised by chronological era rather than what media those events actually took place in, it's kinda easy to get lost. Of course, I suppose the same can be said to a casual Transformers fan who only paid attention to bits of the cartoon, and the emphasis on multiverse continuities is sure to boggle a few brains, but the fact it's all talked about with a joking manner that plays up how ridiculous the whole thing is, which I personally find rather soothing.
But yes, those are big, big, big franchises, so wikis are practically required. The problem is, it seems that everything needs a wiki these days, regardless of how organised it is. My personal beef at the minute is the Bomberman wiki. As you can tell by the fact I just friggin' started a huge Bomberman site that - in an ideal world - I'd want to be the most comprehensive source of information available, I'm pretty passionate about the franchise! It's been around for a quarter of a century (if not more), it's got tons upon tons of games, quite a range of spin-off material, and despite continuity being nonexistent, it takes place in an extensive universe. Of course, like the Sonic games, good luck seeing a game that actually references the old characters explicitly.
My problem with the Bomberman wiki is that it's very aimless. There's no dedicated userbase trying their hardest to make it comprehensive, there's no one really seeking out information to include and make it deliciously informative. The Transformers wiki is golden because there's always been an online fanbase since the dawn of the internet, really. They've basically had this information for a long time and had their archived threads and personal sites to catalogue all their stuff, and now there's a place for it all to come to life. There... hasn't really ever been much of a Bomberman community. Okay, back in the day there were plenty of fansites, but for the past seven or so years it all weeded out, and the Bomberman Board is practically all that's left. Of course, given the fact the series is all about multi-player, it's no surprise there's no real desire for information; no ordinary man would be interested, and only fanatics and autistics would want to know the varying statements of what precisely a Bomberman is: is it animal, vegetable or mineral? So, given the fact what little fanbase there was never really cared for information, it's hard to really take a wiki seriously. Also, isn't a wiki meant to be all about citing sources and gathering information, and not exactly being the source? Given the extensive Japan-only content of the series, that's going to be difficult for them to cover.
Also, seriously, 40 articles in and already people are just making shit up. Not a good way to capture my enthusiasm. (also the fact they explicitly make empty articles just to make the place look bigger)
On a more quality note, there's also a Red Dwarf wiki. This ain't bad, as the series is quite extensive with the eight series, the novels, the comics and probably other crap, but... would it not be best to have that on a fansite rather than a wiki? The way I see it, if it's an active franchise that's hardly going to die any time soon, go for a wiki, but if it's not quite active, go for a fansite. See, in theory, a Bomberman wiki would be great, but given the fact there haven't been any good fansites in years, they've just stepped up to the plate at a wrong time and, if I may be an asshole, made a fool of themselves. The Red Dwarf wiki at least has some decent content available that's organised and presented in a cleanly manner, but most of it is just extracted from the original Wikipedia pages (a trait I see in a lot of uninspired wikis - I was hoping the Grand Theft Auto wiki would've been high quality, but surprise surprise, it was nothing original! Of course, that was months and months ago, it looks like it's gotten very good since then!). I'm a big fan of the series, no doubt, but despite Doug Naylor's hopes of making a movie, I just can't see it happening - at least not for a good long while. So, really, if there's practically going to be nothing big to add besides slight modifications to old articles and the most minor of minor things missing a page, what's the point?
So, yeah, in summary, I'm a humongous asshole and just want to see people making fansites again rather than wikis. And I'm really, really not impressed with the Bomberman wiki. I might have just shat on somebody's life ambition that just needed a bit of time to warm up, but... yeah, sorry, I just can't see a series with no decent sources of information online for the past eight years suddenly getting a comprehensive and well-maintained wiki.
(I am an enormous prick.)