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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2008
     
    I ended up seeing a few films recently and now I tell you about them because I know you want to hear:

    Wall-E is good. It's cute and it's interesting when you consider how much the main characters convey with only a small sprinkling of dialogue. The animation is incredible.

    I finally got around to seeing Eastern Promises and There Will Be Blood, both of which I thought were really good. Eastern Promises features the best fight scene in a sauna with full frontal nudity I've seen (also the only).

    It's tentative to say at this point but I think I am totally in love with There Will Be Blood. I'm totally willing to admit the film is basically just Daniel Day-Lewis alternately glaring and talking bitterly at everyone and everything but it's fucking sweet and it's shot great and the music is crazy awesome (Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead wrote the score) and Daniel Day-Lewis is totally 10 pounds of hate in a 5 pound bag, it's awesome!

    Hancock was lame. It was OK until he cleaned up his image, then it seems like the writers had no idea where to go so they went somewhere random and boring and lame.

    Other than that, I don't have much to report. How's everyone doing?
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2008
     
    Good. Saw Incredible Hulk and Hellboy II recently- both of them get thumbs up from me. Incredible Hulk was everything I'd expect from a Hulk movie- it's really what the first one should have been. It gets at Banner's frustration/desire to be rid of his curse perfectly without needing to be too angsty about it, and it lets the Hulk really cut loose and smash things. The fight scene between Hulk and Tim Roth's Blonsky was *perfect*, and actually has me excited for a Captain America flick. That's how a Super Soldier fights, and seeing Cap kicking Nazi ass like that? That'd be sweet.

    Hellboy II was also a great watch. There were a few moments where it slowed down, but overall, I'd give it a B+/A-. Del Toro is perfect for it- his fantasy creatures are so perfectly realized.

    And, of corse, Dark Knight opens, and I'm going to have to see that soon, or else risk being spoiled on it.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeJul 17th 2008
     
    Hey guys!

    Wall-E was fantastic except for the human subplot, which was the only thing that held it back from true greatness. Still, it was pretty impressive (and it's notable that the thing that worked best for me were two characters who couldn't talk falling in love - hell, I think they should have gone whole hog and made it the first modern era silent film. It was close enough as it was...)

    Eastern Promises and There Will be Blood are both notable because of powerhouse performances in the lead. Viggo Mortenson is brilliant in Eastern Promises, though the rest of the movie is kinda ho-hum for me. His character is great though. There Will Be Blood was great, but by the end I didn't really care much about anything. It was kinda funny to see D Day go crazy a the end there (I drink your Milkshake!), but otherwise, it kinda ended with a whimper.

    Hancock was mildly entertaining. I like some of the ideas... but there were a couple of points where they just lost me. Plus, the villain was just plain lame.

    Incredible Hulk was good clean fun, and I enjoyed it. I got the same feel out of Hellboy II (which, as of right now, is sporting the best villain in a superhero movie of the past couple years - though I get the feeling he's going to have major competition in Dark Knight). Neither movie particularly rose to astronomical heights, but I got pretty much what I wanted out of both of them, and perhaps even a little more.

    I'm looking forward to The Dark Knight, but I'm trying to keep my expectations at a normal level. It's tough...

    Otherwise, things are going ok. Got a couple of days off here. Not sure what I'm going to do, but today I mostly slept. I got this headache a couple of days ago that has been on and off, and this morning it was on. Weird. I took a nap and it's gone. For now. I'm going to a bar tonight, so we'll see what happens there...

    As you might be able to tell from the blog, I've been watching Anime a bit lately. Crest of the Stars is pretty cool (probably should have watched it before Banner of the Stars, but whatever). Up after that is going to be Trigun I think. And after that, I'm not sure. Maybe GitS:SAC II.

    On the reading front, I've been reading this book by Verner Vinge called A Fire Upon the Deep. I've only read one other Vinge novel, and both featured some interesting Alien species. Most of what we see in movies and TV are humanoid creatures. Even ones who are insects are usually humanoid insects. There are occassional exceptions (actual insects, the Alien from the Aliens movies, though I guess that's also human, it's also very different from any other sentient species on screen. Whereas Klingons are just overly aggresive humans with a butt on their forehead. You get the picture.) I don't want to ruin it, but this book features a pretty cool alien species that have reached a sorta middle ages. Some human kids get stranded there and are appalled at the lack of technology, but the way the aliens work is pretty cool. They're sorta familiar, but wholly different. Cool stuff.

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeJul 18th 2008 edited
     
    The human subplot was a drawback for Wall-E. It's what made the film feel like a film to me instead of feeling immersed in it. I'd say the humans being animated the way they were has a fair bit to do with that too. Fred Willard has that cameo earlier in archive footage, and there's the movie Wall-E watches that's a real movie (someone told me but I forgot what it is), before the animated humans show up, which I think adds to making everything seem so much more real. Wall-E and his world look realistic enough but then you end up with these cartoon-y humans being cartoon-y humans. Still, I greatly enjoyed it.

    It's funny that you say There Will Be Blood ended with a whimper because I feel the opposite. I thought it might when it moved forward to him in his mansion and all that but the final scene totally revitalized everything.

    I'm trying to keep my expectations for the Dark Knight normal, so as not to set myself up for any disappointment as well but, really, I'm quite excited for it. Everyone I know who has seen Hellboy II tells me it's good. I'd like to see that too.

    I always thought humanoid aliens were such a cop-out. I appreciated the attempt at explaining that in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, where there was some humanoid mother species that sent genetic material throughout their half of the galaxy before any of the other humanoid races developed, but that didn't explain why most of the species they encountered from the other half of the galaxy were humanoid too! I mean, I can understand the limitation of the medium. Human actors playing these parts is easier when the characters are shaped the same way but it always seems too, especially in non-visual storytelling mediums, that having humanoid aliens is just the easy way to do it so there's always going to be some really basic level of shared experience, even if it's just that both species walk and hold things and can't survive without heads or whatever. I can totally picture similar lifeforms developing on similar planets to our own but it's such a common setup.

    Oh, speaking of sci-fi stuff, I saw Sunshine not too long ago too, which I thought was beautifully shot but had a story that didn't hold up well. The whole veering off the mission thing was extremely unrealistic for people in such a situation and that what started as story that seemed like its goal was to get you to think about the philosophical questions that were facing the crew turned into a evil-guy-tries-to-ruin-everything stock plot was really disappointing. I was willing to suspend my disbelief about the ease of mission change for everything else the film had going for it but the whole psycho killer thing kinda invalidated the whole thing. Still, I thought simply the way the film looked was absolutely gorgeous, as I think anything with that kind of setting should be.
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeJul 19th 2008
     
    We just watched Hellboy last night, in anticipation of seeing Hellboy II this weekend. I'm hoping that Hellboy II will be the rare sequel that outshines the first- bigger budget for effects and a wider range of creatures and such being the key. If it weren't for how much I loved Pan's Labryinth, I would probably have no interest. But, the commercials for Hellboy II are enough to make it seem like it is best enjoyed on a big screen.

    I'm slightly resentful that all of the good movies this summer are comic book movies and movies for children. I know, I'm probably in the minority on that.