Sunday, June 30, 2013

Matt’s Week in Dork! (6/23/13-6/29/13)

    Let’s get right into it.  Hard week.  But some good dork fun.  I’ve been reading a bunch, but other than Hellraiser: The Road Below, I didn’t finish anything of note.

Thale:  “I have lung cancer.”  Another weird Scandinavian modern fantasy film, this one feels like it’s got something, but never quite runs with it.  It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the movie.  I did.  The three leads are all good, and though the effects aren’t great, they’re used well, which makes up for a lot.  But the movie needed more.  It was missing something, and I can’t say just what that is.  Maybe a bit more horror?  Maybe a bit more sex?  I don’t think either would have hurt.  I guess what I’d really  have liked was a bit more meat on Thale’s story.  You hear a bit on the scientist's (?) tapes, and see some flashbacks.  But there isn't much info about what she was, beyond what I could infer from previous knowledge of European folklore.  Trollhunter and Rare Exports did it better.  This is the seed of a more interesting story...that I don't think anyone is going to tell.

Doctor Who: Greatest Show in the Galaxy:  Man, this late era Who just doesn’t do it for me.  I remember liking these stories as a boy, but overall, watching threw them now is a bit of a chore.  Like Ace, I too hate circuses and clowns.  But in this story it isn’t their inherent disingenuous and sinister nature, but boredom that bothers me most.  It’s just not good.  And the resolution is fairly silly.

This is the End:  “I don’t wanna die at James Franco’s house.”  What’s funnier than the Apocalypse?  I don’t know.  This movie is funny, but it feels bloated, especially in the middle, where I could have used about 15 or 20 minutes trimmed, at least.  There are lots of good gags and gross out bits.  The actors all have lots of fun playing f-dup versions of themselves.  But after Pineapple Express and Your Highness, I guess I just felt a bit let down by this one.  It didn’t tickle my fancy as much as the other two.

    I got in a few more episodes of The Mod Squad.  I’m impressed by that show’s stunt work.  Not only is it generally enjoyable, but there really are some thrilling fights and stunts.  Not the Charlie’s Angels charm I was expecting.  It’s a more serious show than I had figured, though still quite fun.  More Hawaii 5-O than Magnum P.I. if you know what I mean.

    Thursday night, Brad and I headed over to The Alamo Drafthouse for a special screening of Silence of the Lambs.  I sure hope they do this kind of thing more often.  There’s rumor of a Lord of the Rings thing, which could be cool.

The Silence of the Lambs:  "It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again."  The first time I saw this film, I was blown away.  I was probably 13 or 14, and it was such an intense experience.  Over the years, possibly because of the various sequels/prequels, the film lost much of its luster.  But seeing it again, on the big screen, with a themed four course meal, at the Alamo Drafthouse helped me see it with fresh eyes.  It is a darned fine film, well acted and crafted.  It still has some of that 80s tone, but feels very much on the cusp of the 90s (which it was).  You’ll notice almost all the violence in the film happens off-screen.  You see the results of violence, but not the act itself (if you reverse that, you get most PG-13 films, where you can show as many people as you want getting killed, so long as you never show the consequences…how sick is that, MPAA?).  The serial killer subgenre of horror/mystery was pretty much born out of this film, for better or worse.

Was she a great big fat person?

White House Down:  The cardinal sin with big budget blockbusters is simply being boring.  And this film sins with the best of ‘em.  Somewhere around the point when the ‘action’ began, I started tuning out.  The ‘humor’ is so unfunny one of my fellow viewers didn’t realize they were attempting it.  The CG is awful, including some of the worst blue (or green) screen work I’ve seen in a long time (was that the rose garden from the end of Commando?).  And Jamie Foxx is playing a character that feels like it’s an out of touch, middle aged white guy’s version of what a hip young black man might sound like.  And that’s probably not quite the right tone you want to set for…well, anything, but certainly not for a president.  But again, more importantly, it’s really, really dull.

War Gods of Babylon:  Zoroaster, a smug prophet, wanders into civilization to tell everybody they’re stupid and he’s not.  A young lady he journeys with catches the eye of a prince.  And Hammurabi is kickin’ it old school.  Not a totally boring example of the Italian sword and sandal sub-genre.  Nice sets, but typically bad editing and sound work.  The dubbing is bad, but not so bad it’s funny.

War Goddess:  With 100% more topless wrestling than I had anticipated, I did find the film somewhat watchable.  But it’s pretty bad.  And pretty darned misogynistic.  As in all things, naked female wrestling holds the key to understanding.  A bad film with a horrible message.

    Other than that, not much has gone on.  The danged weather has remained largely awful, so I still haven’t been riding to work or anywhere else much at all.  I miss it.


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