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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2006
     
    That's right, I'm going on vacation next week. A full week, too. Most of my trips this summer have been long weekend type stuff, so this should be a nice rest. I'm going to a beach in Maryland, which should be nice. I've never been much of a beach person, but they're still fun from time to time...

    Anyway, if anyone wants to make a guest blog post, let me know. If no one's available, that's fine too:) I might be able to set up movable type to publish an entry while I'm gone...

    I'm taking my car into the shop tomorrow. Nothing major, but I need to get a ton of stuff done to it. My turn signal light is messed up, my moonroof has a minor leak (just needs a screw I think, though I have no idea how I'm missing that screw), I need new windshield wipers, an oil change, and I need to get it inspected. I'll probably going to have to wait a while for them to get through all of that:P I better make sure I bring a good book. I just finished Ghost Brigades (military sci-fi in the Heinlein tradition, pretty good, but not as good as the first book in the series, Old Man's War - good stuff, if anyone is interested in such things), so I'm not sure what I'll be reading next. I could read Charlie Stross' Accelerando or perhaps I'll start Everything That's Bad is Good For You... or perhaps the new Long Tail book.

    I hope everyone else is doing well. Let me know how you're doing:)

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2006
     
    It does sound like you're going to have a little bit of a wait on your car, there. That's one of the reasons I haven't taken my own car into the shop yet. I need a new muffler, and I need to get the brake pads replaced, but I just haven't had the time to go sit there while they do it. I should make the time before it becomes a serious problem, I suppose.

    I don't know about anyone else, but things are okay for me. Not terrible, but not great, either.

    On the plus side:
    Moved into my new place over the weekend. Well, starting on Thursday, actually. I'm most of the way through the move, now. I have a few more loads of things to bring over, and then I need to clean the old place, but at least I have enough stuff at my new place that I can consider it live-able. I want to paint some walls, and I need more furniture, but other than that, it's good.

    On the bad side:
    A and I had a big fight and broke up for good. I think that we're probably better off apart, but it's still no fun. Lately, it had gotten to the point where the only times we enjoyed each other's company was when we were just doing platonic things- hanging out watching tv, or a movie, hanging out with our other friends.
    One of my friends was dumped very unexpectedly by her girlfriend recently, too. They were all set to move in together, but then K sent H a text-message saying "I think we should just be friends." Seriously, who dumps someone by text message? H was a lot cooler about it than I could have been. She said, essentially, that she wasn't happy, but she cared about K and if K needed some space and needed to just be friends, then she'd do her best. They decided that, since they had already put down their deposit and everything, that they'd see how living together worked out. Then, yesterday, K sends H another message, telling her that she doesn't think that they should live together. They're supposed to pick up their keys today. So, this gives my friend nine days to find another place to live.
    So, yeah, this is not a good situation for my friend.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2006
     
    Yeah, my dad ended up lending me his car for the day so that I could go to work while they worked on my car. They still needed to order a part for one of the problems (the moonroof thing), but I'm otherwise good to go. I've never had to replace a muffler. How do you know? Car get real loud or something?

    I'm about the same. My boss is on vacation this week, so I'm absurdly busy. He'll be back on Thursday (I hope), so that will let me have two days to wrap things up before I go on my vacation.

    I will once again refrain from badmouthing A and just ask how you're doing:P

    Also, texting is a bad way to break up, but such things always seem to happen when big changes are looming (like moving in together, etc...) Still, you'd hope for a little more notice...

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2006
     
    Me? I'm fine. I mean, I wasn't happy, so I'm taking the breakup relatively well. It's still upsetting, and I'm a little more down than I usually am, which is to be expected. A? Not so good. She's a lot more hurt and angry than I expected. Which just makes me feel worse, but I think this is for the best.

    Oh, yeah, a car sans muffler is *very* loud. Well, it depends on the car, but, yeah, there was definitely a noticable increase in car-noise. The worst is when it's a gradual thing, so you don't really notice the loudness of your own car until you ride in someone else's car, and realize, "Wow. My car is really fucking loud."

    Did I mention that I'd watched The Descent, by the way?

    I believe that was one of the movies you reviewed from the festivel. I just reread your review, so, it was.

    I tend to agree with you- I liked it a lot, and it was nice to see a horror movie played straight. I'm tired of self-referential "wink wink nudge nudge" horror movies. I think that's twice today I've said that.
    Anyway.

    My take: spoilers abound, probably.

    Oh, and there were six women, not five. =)



    Anyway:
    I found the whole thing extremely entertaining and well done, but I couldn't help but think that it could have been a little better executed. First of all, it should have probably been a little longer. I really wanted to know more about the women and their relationships to one another. I mean, some of the women were totally forgetable. The fact that I had to constantly ask myself "Wait.... which one is that?" was not a good sign. I mean, you thought that there were only five women, for example. I think it needed a little more interaction between the women so that we could establish not just a connection with who they each were, but who they were to each other. We got more about Juno and Sarah than anyone else, which was fine, since the movie is clearly about the two of them, but it would have been nice to have a little more. As it was, Sarah wasn't very likable, and I really think that's a shame. The change she goes through in the cave would have been more dramatic if we had more reason to like her and feel sorry for her. Plus, there it's implied that her and Juno have had a very competitive relationship in the past, and I think it would have added to the movie to see that a little more. As another example, I never quite figured out how the young chick fit in with them. Was she supposed to be one of their nieces or something? She was clearly younger than the rest of them, and seemed like a new addition to their group.

    I'm hoping that there's an extended director's cut, and that maybe there's some extra footage of the women interacting so we get more of who they are. Despite that, I thought it was quite good. The fact that I could feel sympathy for Juno even before Sarah turns on her was neat. I saw that as one of the strengths and weaknesses of the movie: Juno *should* have been the least likable character. She has an affair with Sarah's husband. She gets them lost in an uncharted cave. She accidentally kills (well, *thinks* she's killed) one of the group, and leaves her bleeding to death, and lies about it. She should have been the one I was rooting for the creatures to get, but I wasn't. I felt really sorry for her, because they did a pretty good job with her. I couldnt help but feel bad for her, because she (aside from the cheating part), clearly felt bad about the things that were happening. Yeah, she's the selfish, kind of jerky friend, but she wasn't *mean*. She just made mistakes. Bad mistakes. On the other hand, she's the one who tries to save Holly when the creatures are grabbing her. She's the one who says "We have to go back for Sarah. She's the one who acts the most heroic throughout the movie. So, yeah.

    Great movie, though. A nice change of pace for horror. Great claustrophobic feeling to it, and a refreshing change of pace: a monster movie where the monsters are secondary to the characters. I like it.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2006
     
    Yeah, a friend of mine recently saw the movie and hated it because he didn't like any of the characters, and in hindsight, I guess I can see that. You're right about Juno - she's clearly the badass of the group, and that tends to make her more likeable. Also, while I did kinda lose track of who was who, the cinematography was brilliantly set to use different colors for different characters. You had the one person with the green glowsitcks, someone else had a blue flashlight (or something), Sarah was in the dark most of the time, but she had a sort of red tint. I don't remember all of them, but this sort of contextualizing of characters through cinematography was pretty neat.

    The other thing that became clear to me in talking with some friends who saw it recently was that our movie theater experiences were extremely different. I saw it in a film festival, movie-lovers atmosphere that probably heightened my enjoyment of the movie. My friends had the typical bad moviegoing experience, with kids behind them loudly cracking wise throughout the movie and kicking their seats, etc... and that couldn't have contributed much to their enjoyment (especially in this type of horror movie where claustrophobic silence heightens the experience)

    Anwyay, how cool was that first reveal of the monsters? Awesome. It's a shame they used that in the ads for the movie, but I wonder if anyone picks up on it in the commercial and actually has it ruined for them in the theater...

    ~tallman
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2006
     
    I was lucky in that I didn't see any commercials for it. I've noticed that it's much easier for me to watch movies now that I don't watch television. The only time I see trailers for movies now is when I'm actually at a movie. I also saw a DVD copy of Descent with the original ending. I'll be honest, I think I like the original ending more.

    Hm. I really thought that Sarah was the most unlikable character. It's like, the fact that she lost her family is supposed to be enough to make us feel bad for her. Which, it does, but I need more than that. The characters that we knew very little about all seemed at least a little likable, and, like I said, I thought that Juno was likable, *despite* her short-comings.

    I definitely think that the atmosphere in the theater would change how you view it. This is the kind of movie you need to see with a very quiet group, to take full advantage of the tightness and the claustrophobic feelings.

    Yeah, the big reveal on the monsters was very cool. Definitely a jump moment, too, but cool. Like I said, I'll definitely be waiting for a director's cut on this one. =)