Drabble Reviews Blog

For any and all info or discussion of podcasts and podcasting. Also community related miscellanea.
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ROU Killing Time
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by ROU Killing Time » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:44 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:The problem with their commentary is that no character in the story was actually faithful to Objectivist ideals. If you're going to criticize a philosophy, you've got to have your characters be faithful to it, but no one in Bioshock is. All the characters who started out being Objectivists are corrupt by the time you meet them, and half the characters were corrupt to being with. The Objectivist utopia seems to fall because of simple badness on the part of its residents, not because of any flaw in Objectivism. That's why I think the commentary ended up being very week. :(
Sounds like the commentary was not only week, it may have been a fortnight, or even a month...

I'll leave the discussion of the relative merits, and/or flaws of objectivism to the Philosophy and Politics forums. My subjective impression of discussions on the subject is that it sometimes seems to start arguments and hurty feelings... ;-)

I agree completely that if you are going to use a philosophy as a basis for a compelling background for a game, it would be nice if it were done well.

I used to love FPS's myself, but became disenchanted with them when they ended up being a war between the LPB's and HPB's, although the pervasiveness of high-bandwidth internet access has probably mitigated that problem somewhat.

I'm a MMORPG kinda guy myself these days.

edited to add glossary:
LPB: Low Ping Bastard
HPB: High Ping Bastard
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Kevin Anderson » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:20 pm

Paranormal Activity = Crap

Sorry, its not much of a review but its not much of a movie.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by tbaker2500 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:41 pm

:-)
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by StalinSays » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:19 am

All scores out of 5.

-- --

Daybreakers
3

I wanted to love Daybreakers, I really did. A dystopian future where vampires account for more than 90% of the population? A commentary on class struggle using supernatural creatures, which unlike Underworld exhibits some semblance of maturity and intelligence!? That properly re-defines vampires as monsters, not sex objects!? And it has Willem Dafoe in it!? How was this so mediocre!

Great underpinnings but no payoff. It would have been a fun read for all the neat concepts, but it's clunky and slow as a visual experience. Plus Ethan Hawke's protagonist is a tremendous pussy, kicks you right out of the movie every time you're about to get back in. Taste my FRUSTRATION!

-- --

Green Lantern: First Flight
5

If you've ever watched and enjoyed DC animation, be it Batman, Superman, or the Justice League, do yourself a favor and see GL:FF immediately. It's their best feature length, production quality and quality quality, beyond a doubt. In addittion competitive with ALL super hero movies, live action or otherwise. Clean, old school story telling with a great sci-fi edge, ad strong voice-acting. Tying together one of the best comic story lines of the last decade. An origin story that never feels forced! You can't ask for more.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by dreamrock » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:02 pm

StalinSays wrote:Daybreakers
3

I wanted to love Daybreakers, I really did. A dystopian future where vampires account for more than 90% of the population? A commentary on class struggle using supernatural creatures, which unlike Underworld exhibits some semblance of maturity and intelligence!? That properly re-defines vampires as monsters, not sex objects!? And it has Willem Dafoe in it!? How was this so mediocre!

Great underpinnings but no payoff. It would have been a fun read for all the neat concepts, but it's clunky and slow as a visual experience. Plus Ethan Hawke's protagonist is a tremendous pussy, kicks you right out of the movie every time you're about to get back in. Taste my FRUSTRATION!
Oh, god. I forgot to review this here. I agree completely with rating it 3 out of 5, but for somewhat different reasons. Cinematically, it was beautiful. The concept was great. Where they could have gone with this was great. But instead they kind of wussed out and turned it into a movie which has, in a sense, the same ending as Independence Day. I'm an Ethan Hawke fanboy and I kind of got where they were going with his character.

I think they had wanted to go with an unlovable protagonist like in District 9, but, again, wussed out.

I was also disappointed that the movie didn't hold to its promising noir visuals very well. Some of the daylight scenes were very good (the scene with the tree for instance), but the countryside romp just lost me.

It annoys me that the only reason the story happened at all was that no vamp decided to
Spoiler:
chow down on Willem DeFoe before the movie started.
That feels really cheap to me.

Kind of like in X-men 3 where 90% of the movie wouldn't have happened if Nightcrawler hadn't inexplicably been on vacation.
Spoiler:
Basically, with Nightcrawler around there would be no need to sacrifice Jean Grey at the end, and several other major plot points would have been nullified. It all feels really cheap to me.
Anyway, back to Daybreakers, you're probably wondering why I gave it 3 instead of 2 (or 1) after a review like this. Holy crap, Sam Neill was phenomenal in this. He stole every scene he was in and totally added a star all by himself.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by StalinSays » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:31 pm

I could go for hours on what was wrong with X3. Though two broken sentences get it done better than any diatribe would. Bad screenplay. Brett Ratner. They substituted the good blue X man for the dumb one. Kelsey Grammer in a muscle suit - there is never an excuse for that.

I can see the noir thing, but they didn't really commit. Often it just devolved in to techno generico future. Yeh, the whole 'cure' thing was a strain, but I was rolling with it. I tried. It started to feel silly.

Well he was an unlikable protagonist but not for the right reasons. You are being very kind with D9 comparison, you fanboy you. Sam Neill did tow his weight.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by dreamrock » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:47 pm

StalinSays wrote:Well he was an unlikable protagonist but not for the right reasons. You are being very kind with D9 comparison, you fanboy you. Sam Neill did tow his weight.
:lol: You're definitely right about it not being the right reasons. In D9, the protagonist was unlikable because we needed a vessel to redeem unlikeable humanity. In Daybreakers, it felt like they did the unlikeable protagonist because it was trendy and they didn't want Ethan to be too kickass.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:36 pm

The Book of Eli

As some of you may have picked up, I'm one those backward ignoramuses who actually believes in Jesus and the Bible and all that oldtimey Cracker Barrel type stuff. My view of "Eli" is heavily colored by this. I have been almost universally disappointed with "Christian" movies over the years. Most are terrible sap. A few ("Facing the Giants", for instance) are at least decent movies, even if they don't exactly excite me. I didn't really even get into "Passion of the Christ" (serious pacing issues). "Eli" is, I think, the first explicitly Christian movie I have seen that I really, really like.

The best and (I think) only good way to describe Eli is to say it's "Old Testament." Bad bad guys, conflicted, flawed good guys, lots of bloody killing against a grim, dark backdrop and GOD subtly working behind everything, bringing justice and hope to that darkness in ways no one could have anticipated. If somebody made a movie about the life of the Prophet Elija, it would have a very similar tone. And that is, to me, how "Eli" plays out: A story of an oldschool prophet transposed into a post-apocalyptic setting.

If your reaction to that last paragraph is "awesome" or "could be interesting," then you'll like this movie. If your reaction is to roll your eyes, you won't.

It's hard to say too much more without risking spoilers, but I'll offer my opinion that Eli, in addition to having a great story, is great cinema. The acting is great (especially Gary Oldman as the villain), the cinematography has style and flair, and the desolate future world is portrayed in vivid and horrible detail. I dig.

Tweedy Score: 90/100
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by dreamrock » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:39 pm

Eli looks interesting and nothing in your review made me think "Oh shit, I'm not going to see it." Alas, I stopped watching Denzel after Man On Fire and Manchurian Candidate. He's a fine actor (unlike several other residents of my Nicole Kidman List*), but he plays in too many movies that I hate and so I kind of gave up on him.

On the subject of movies based on the old testament, I saw A Serious Man recently. It's a modern retelling of the story of Job. Job is one of my favorite books in the Bible, but I have a hard time listening to people talk about it (particularly pastors) because everyone likes to take a reading of Job which is entirely inconsistent with the text.

Serious plays with the timeline severely, and there are bits added in that have nothing to do with the original story. Including the first scene of the movie, which takes place like a hundred years prior to the rest of the movie.

But on the whole, I don't feel it's an unfaithful rendition of Job. I'm also fairly sure that our somewhat-more-agnostic-than-me DC forumites will probably get on with it just fine from a religious perspective. It's a Jewish movie, not a Christian movie, and it's not proselytizing at all.

Whether or not anyone other than me will enjoy it, I can't say. If you enjoyed No Country For Old Men, you'll probably like it (similar pace, same directors (Cohen Brothers), but very little violence).

Dreamrock Score: 85/100


*The Nicole Kidman list is a list of actors whose movies I won't watch without a really good reason. Nicole herself is a good actress so the fact that the list is named after her has a lot more to do with the movies she plays in. Stepford Wives, and Cold Mountain being the worst among many many horrible movies. Someone in the X-men movies is on the list for bad acting and X-men 1 was almost ruined by that person's terrible acting. Being an X-men movie was a good enough reason to see it despite that person's presence.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by strawman » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:19 pm

Something called The Drabblecast is at #24 on Podcast Alley comedy podcast ranking. Imagine someone else calling themselves The Drabblecast! Call your lawyer, Norm!
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by strawman » Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:43 am

So, wanting to check out the competition, I just had a listen to the #1 rated comedy podcast, Red Bar. Now I understand. If Norm wants to get numbers, the podcast has to just be a radio broadcast offered in a podcast format. Total waste of time.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by StalinSays » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:32 pm

All scores out of 5.

-- --

Shutter Island
4

I enjoyed Shutter Island. Not the best by Scorsese, but if he was forced to work to that standard he'd stop releasing movies. I think saying much more of the movie's merits opens me up to the licking flames of controversy. When recommending this to friends, of those who took me up, 50% liked it, 50% found that it "totally blew." Personal taste had me enjoying the real vs. unreal theme, the over the top atmosphere, and the return of Leo's faux Boston accent. Yet I could empathize with someone who found it overly long and morose. So yeh, follow your heart, just don't talk too much with someone who has seen it (plot particulairs make it an especially easy soup to piss via casual summation).

-- --

The Crazies
4

A pleasant surprise to be sure, The Crazies is a strong remake with no fat, just genre thrills. Comparable to, perhaps better than, 2005's Dawn of the Dead. A clear-minded repackaging of concepts as relevant now as they were in 73 (back when my father's eye needed another 8 years of moistening for me to even be a twinkle).

-- --

Ong Bak 2
2.5

Referring to Ong Bak 2 as the sequel to Ong Bak is like calling True Lies the sequel to the Terminator. The same guy stars, there is action, the end. Different character, different setting, different time period, different film style, even a different fighting style. So yeh, temper your expectations. About 30 minutes of appealing weapon combat packaged inside a full length 'Thai folk history epic' that stands zero chance of being understood or enjoyed.

-- --

Dead Snow
3.5

Nazi zombies, bloody hijinks, bad impressions of English film dialouge perpetrated by foreigners. I'd compare it to an early Peter Jackson movie, or Evil Dead 2 if I felt especially giving.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by dreamrock » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:31 am

The Wolfman

Benicio Del Toro pretty much didn't act in this movie. Sure, he was in a lot of the scenes and did stuff, but he had the same blank look on his face for most of it.

Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving did act, and they were quite good.

The movie feels like they made an old monster movie with special effects from today ... with some sexy implications they probably wouldn't have done sixty years ago. It's not bad. I think I enjoyed it more than Daybreakers, but not quite enough to recommend going to see it outside matinee.

There were a few snide references to how "polite" society used to treat mentally ill folks. If anyone who was unaware of those travesties went to see The Wolfman, I feel the quick and dirty treatment it gave would serve well as a basic introduction.

My last complaint is with the way the monster scenes worked out during the attack on the "gypsy" camp. If the monster had to attack at a feasible speed, most of the camp would have escaped unscathed, sure. However, I don't see any cause to have a werewolf move at the speed of light. There was no tension or drama in these scenes. Just a bit of comedic gore. Bleh.

70/100
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The Steep Approach to Garbadale

Post by ROU Killing Time » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:01 am

"The Steep Approach to Garbadale"
by Iain Banks (No middle initial, hence mainstream.)

On it's surface, the story of a member of a wealthy family involved in a generations-held game company, this is the story of a man coming to terms with himself, his past, and finding his future. Obssessive infatuation vs healthy loves and unhealthy relationships. It tackles with brutal frankness some subject matter that a reader who is faint of heart may find very unconfortable, but does so in a very realistic manner. Situations like those presented do occurr in the real world, and while the ending does fall on the reader like a ton of neutronium, the theme of redemption and the hope that the sins of the fathers may not always be visited on their children left me feeling hopeful, after getting over the OMG, Ick, Jesus-Friggen-... how the hell did you come up with something so twisted sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Vintage Banks mainstream. Which is to say, not for everybody by any means, but in my opinion, Iain still rocks the house.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by dreamrock » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:07 am

Tideland

Initial notes: Jeff Bridges plays a brilliant corpse. He acts well in normal situations too, but woooow, what a corpse.

Tideland is, for the purposes of this review, a movie adapted from a novel of the same name. Terry Gilliam is the director. Terry is one of my favorite directors.

The movie has a lot going for it. Jeff, again, did very well in it. Jodelle Ferland, who played the protagonist, did an absolutely phenomenal job. She played a young girl whose parents are abject idiots and huge drug abusers. Their behavior has isolated their family from everyone, making her lonely. She has a chorus of doll heads that she voices for and she does a brilliant job of giving the dolls different accents from her own. There's never a point where it feels like she's acting. Her descent into insanity is completely believable.

It's also a very pretty movie.

Unfortunately, it's not a very enjoyable movie. Creepy, I can deal with. However, this goes way beyond creepy in a lot of scenes. It's not billed as a horror movie, but in a sense, it very much is so. There's an extreme set of situations involving sexuality that made me particularly uncomfortable. Even without those parts, I don't think I would have enjoyed Tideland.

50/100
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:16 pm

Any body seen The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus?
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by dreamrock » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:49 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:Any body seen The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus?
No. It hasn't come to our theaters yet. Or if it has, it was gone the next week and I happened to have forgotten to look at the showtimes on that particular. Anything remotely interesting that isn't mainstream or Bollywood has a tendency to pass up my area completely or be shown for a week only at some obscure theater no one ever heard of.

The only reason I got to see Tokyo! and A Scanner Darkly in the theater is that I was waiting for A Scanner Darkly and I got lucky on Tokyo!.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Goldenrat » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:08 am

dreamrock wrote:
But on the whole, I don't feel it's an unfaithful rendition of Job. I'm also fairly sure that our somewhat-more-agnostic-than-me DC forumites will probably get on with it just fine from a religious perspective. It's a Jewish movie, not a Christian movie, and it's not proselytizing at all.

Whether or not anyone other than me will enjoy it, I can't say. If you enjoyed No Country For Old Men, you'll probably like it (similar pace, same directors (Cohen Brothers), but very little violence).

Dreamrock Score: 85/100
Speaking as an agnostic forumite I must say that I also enjoyed "A Serious Man". It would have probably have been funnier if I was Jewish as some of it went over my head, but it was still typical Cohen Brothers goodness. It was full of odd characters and was funny and uncomfortable at the same time. Good stuff.
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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Poppydragon » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:09 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:Any body seen The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnasus?
I saw it a couple of months ago, and while (like most Gilliam stuff) it isn't perfect it has some moments of genius, casting Tom Waites being one of them. It looks gorgeous and the reworking with Depp, Law and Farrell picking up after Ledgers death worked so well you can't imagine it could have been otherwise. I'd give it a solid 7/10 for escapist entertainment.

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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Post by Goldenrat » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:33 pm

StalinSays wrote:All scores out of 5.

-- --

Shutter Island
4

I enjoyed Shutter Island. Not the best by Scorsese, but if he was forced to work to that standard he'd stop releasing movies. I think saying much more of the movie's merits opens me up to the licking flames of controversy. When recommending this to friends, of those who took me up, 50% liked it, 50% found that it "totally blew." Personal taste had me enjoying the real vs. unreal theme, the over the top atmosphere, and the return of Leo's faux Boston accent. Yet I could empathize with someone who found it overly long and morose. So yeh, follow your heart, just don't talk too much with someone who has seen it (plot particulairs make it an especially easy soup to piss via casual summation).

-- --
I agree with your review. A few of my friends saw it and also liked it. At the end I was debating in my head if Mary cheated or not, but thinking back I think there were some clues thrown in there which made the resolution work. Crazy delicious.
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