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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:42 am
by normsherman
Honestly, this thread is quickly replacing Rotten Tomatoes for me. I see it branching off into video game reviews, book reviews and movies at some point. I trust fans of the cast over staff reviewers for NYtimes any day.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:49 pm
by tbaker2500
Okay, maybe you movie aficionados can explain something to me. Are writers really that expensive? Yes, I'm talking about you, SyFy. I was flipping channels the other night, and ran across a made for SyFy movie about "a" particle accelerator blowing up.

The special effects weren't bad.
The acting wasn't even that bad.
But the writing SUCKED. I mean HORRIBLE. Basic factual inaccuracies every minute. Horrible plot inconsistencies. Well beyond camp, into just awful writing.

Are passable scripts really that expensive?

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:14 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
No: I'd write them one for cheap.

I don't claim to be a great writer (as my bibliography would obviously attest), but I know I'm better than half of what ends up getting produced as movies and TV shows.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:24 pm
by strawman
Yep. There oughta be an American Idol for Writers and Storytellers.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:49 pm
by dreamrock
All this talk about the dreck being produced by SyFy just about has me convinced that I should try to sell a story from my paranormal mystery universe to them. I'm just a little bit daunted about how to do that. :lol:

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:38 pm
by tbaker2500
As long as it doesn't have a metal detector with a solar panel strapped to the bottom of it. "Over here! I found a srtong Higgs field!"

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:06 pm
by dreamrock
tbaker2500 wrote:As long as it doesn't have a metal detector with a solar panel strapped to the bottom of it. "Over here! I found a srtong Higgs field!"
:lol: No. It's a universe where most haunted houses are just spooky, public opinion in regions are coalesced in and around local "powers" (entities that are similar to local gods, except that they are as equally controlled by their constituents as they control their constituents), and a variety of odd creatures exist (such as minor lycanthropes (very rare excepting that my current favorite protagonist is one ... he changes into a cat :D ), occasional vampires, etc.). Also some humans can practice magic and "ESP" is usually a messed up gift given by magic.

I'm not explaining it very well, but let's just say that it could be produced on a small budget pretty easily most of the time. My current project (written for audio!) is an example where it would be more expensive. Frequent flash backs to Mezoamerican stuff, a panther, a wall of fire, and at least one actress who can actually act.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:59 pm
by Phenopath
strawman wrote:Yep. There oughta be an American Idol for Writers and Storytellers.
Indeed, everybody deserves the opportunity to prostitute themselves in front of Simon Cowell.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 12:53 am
by strawman
Wrong Image. In fact, podcasting already has a kind of Idol process with the hugos and nebulas, etc. But what it needs is the audience, which is what Idol brought to the promotion of teeny bop singers.

One problem was length. Songs are only 2 minutes. But so are drabbles. Interior design and cooking have their own contests, in which each year's winner is given their own show as a prize. SyFy could run a writers' contest and produce the winner's script. This would be much more engaging than watching teenagers sing for Simon. Bet SyFy could give Fox a run for it.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:04 pm
by dreamrock
The A-Team

Holy F, man. This movie was awesome. It's the greatest adaptation since ever.

The cast was absolutely stand up perfect. The only thing that wasn't absolutely perfect on that front was that Liam Neeson as Hannibal wasn't as much of a smart ass as he should have been. The guy they got to play Murdock was absolutely hilarious. The movie won me over early when Murdock grabbed onto the blades of an off-helicopter and spun it around singing "you spin me right round, baby, right round." Rampage did great as BA. Face was badass without completely removing Face from his wussy nature from the original series.

They start the movie off 8-10 years before the principle plot and show how the A-Team gets together, and it's absolutely phenomenal. It's kind of like an Opening Gambit from MacGyver rather than the House, MD opening that the original series did. It's fun as hell and develops the characters without muddying up the main plot.

I kept worrying that they were going to do something shitty with the characters I love, but they didn't. The movie is set near the theoretical withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, which was an interesting choice but I think ultimately a good one. It allowed us to see that, yes, the A-Team are real soldiers and they really do shoot people, but they are heroes because they avoid it when they can and thus are beloved by the Iraqis.

They have got to make more A-Team movies with this cast.

There were a few parts where the special effects weren't absolutely perfect, but it's kind of like in Indiana Jones where you can tell it's a movie, but it's not enough to take you out of the never-slowing awesome.

Final note on this movie: I was amused that they brought up the subject of Gandhi, but somewhat less amused that they took a kind of "Well, I'm over that now, back to shooting people" take on it. Gandhi accepted that sometimes violence is a necessity, and the character that was struggling with that problem ran into a situation where Gandhi wouldn't have disapproved of what the character ended up doing. That's a perfect reason to continue pacifism, not put it on the top shelf.


Dreamrock's Score: 99/100
Guess about other people 85/100

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:42 am
by Phenopath
I have not seen the movie, but I heard the Mr T disapproves of the violence.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:16 pm
by dreamrock
Phenopath wrote:I have not seen the movie, but I heard the Mr T disapproves of the violence.
Yeah. Mr. T disapproved of the violence and the sex ... which was amusing since there wasn't any sex and the A-Team themselves went very light on the violence when you consider they are actual soldiers. I've respect Mr. T, but I think he's overreacting.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:25 pm
by tbaker2500
dreamrock wrote:I've respect Mr. T, but I think he's overreacting.
Mr. T over acting? Never!

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:17 am
by StalinSays
Seen quite a few movies lately, so posting quick hit reviews. All scores out of 5.

-- --

Toy Story 3
4

I could complain of overlap in theme and content between Toy Story 2 and 3, but why nitpick? Another top quality Pixar release. Family fun for me and my imaginary children.

-- --

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
2.5

Bland and yellow and sandy and forgettable and yellow and sandy and bland and forgettable. The strength of the Prince of Persia game series is the game play. They have stories, stories about as complex as those in Super Mario. The movie adaptation keeps with tradition. 'OK' action sequences. 'OK' effects. Bad acting. Why bother?

-- --

A Serious Man
4

Not being Jewish, I felt forever on the outside of this movie, a rumination on the religion and the culture of its practitioners. But as with any of the Coen Brothers' endeavors, it is of an undeniable quality. It follows the Big Lebowski'esque structure of a eccentric main character thrown in to conflict by a world of irrational and occasionally idiotic peers. Intelligent humor, many enjoyable sequences.

-- --

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
2

Muddled and listless. I loved Tom Waits as the devil, appreciated the trippy visuals, thought the feel was right - there are things to like, but none of the dots connect. Listen, I love Terry Gilliam, I understand his approach, my bias is to like his work. But between Tideland, The Brothers Grimm, and now Parnassus Gilliam is 0 for the new millennium.

-- --

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Video Game)
5

If you liked the first Mario Galaxy, you will like the second, it is more of the same (in the good way).

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:04 am
by jannypie
I haven't read all 13 pages of this thread, but I did the first and last two so that totally makes me count as a regular.

Also you should know that I have absolutely terrible taste which is 99% proven to be the opposite of what everybody else likes. I am a sucker for special effects, and admittedly allow them to sway me even if the plot or acting is bad. Known bias.
Penelope

In case you're trying to look this one up, it's the movie with Christina Ricci and James McAvoy. My impression is that no one ever heard of this movie. Ever. I'm clearly behind on pop-culture so I might be wrong.
I just came across this in my Netflix about a week ago, I really enjoyed it too. I'm a sucker for Ricci also. I wasn't sure if I liked the ending or not, but I could see this as a movie that would have been a Top 10 favorite growing up. I gives it a 4.25/5.

Paper Heart
Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi make a faux-documentary about love.

I was fairly confused during the whole movie if it was "real" or fiction, so this description would have been extremely helpful:
The premise is Charlyne Yi goes around interviewing people on what they think love is. She doesn't believe in love, but meets Michael Cera in the process of filming and begins to develop feelings for him. The two are dating in real life, and they don't play characters in the movie, yet its all fictitious, so again its hard to place what type of film this is.
Overall review: Stick with Juno.

I'm developing a love/hate for Michael Cera- he is adorable, but he plays the same role exactly the way in every movie. Paper Heart just makes me feel that he's not acting at all, but just stands around talking and sounds cute doing it.

I haven't seen much of Charlyne Yi's work, but this movie left me unimpressed. She isn't believable as an interviewer, asking canned questions and relying on people's responses and footage clipping to make any interesting remarks. The premise that she claims she doesn't believe in love and sets out to discover it could be interesting if predictable, but as an interviewer she sticks to only the mostly shallow questions about relationships, such as "Do you believe in love?" and "Have you ever been in love?" I can't recall her looking into the "in love" feeling versus real, long-term love, at all, and I would think that's a requirement for a movie trying to see what love is about. The people she interviews generally all think love is great and have nothing more interesting to say about it. She peppers in a few characters whose inclusion felt more like checklist than participants: the scientist? check. the gay couple? check. the divorced guy? check. And each one had only entirely predictable things to say for their niche.

Pet peeve: didn't even touch on online relationships. Jerk.

Yi also mixes in these paper puppet shows to illustrate various points during the movie. It was cute at the beginning, and by the end I was simply cringing.

One review on Netflix mentions that you have to be a fan of the two characters to enjoy the movie, and ultimately he enjoyed it because of that. I think that must be true, although I went into it liking Cera much more. He wasn't bad, he just was like every other movie I've seen him in. There are some cute, sweet, funny parts, I will admit. Ultimately it's a "cute" film, okay for a light watch, fans of either person, or a date night.

2 stars

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:13 pm
by strawman
Love has got to be the most interesting subject possible. I am amazed and disappointed how shallow Hollywood treats the subject.

Yesterday I spent some time trying to settle a dispute about who said " There is no love; only proofs of love."
I had been told Sartre, but a web search found a claim for Jean Cocteau and two others for Pierre Reverdy. (If anyone knows a citation, I'd appreciate if they'd pass it on to me.) In any case, it's a very interesting thought.

It's corollary is, "What does it mean when someone says they love you?" Answer: "It means that they can speak."

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:18 pm
by jannypie
An extensive web search by yours truly this morning has concluded that the quote is by Reverdy, translated from French “il n'ya pas d'amour, il ya que des preuves d'amour.” The quote was used by Cocteau in a script for Robert Bresson's "Les Dames Du Bois De Boulogne." At first it was very unclear which came first, but I found a page clip from an anthology of Cocteau's writing that directly gives Reverdy credit, saying, "A remark by Pierre Reverdy: 'There is no love. There are proofs of love.' I add: 'There is no poetry, there are only proofs of poetry.'"

http://books.google.com/books?ei=DcsgTN ... AAAYAAJ&q=" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;"there+is+no+love"#search_anchor
http://www.amazon.com/Cocteaus-World-An ... 681&sr=1-1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://movie.douban.com/review/2880275/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037630/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I was unable to find exactly which publication of Reverdy's contained the quote, though.
"What does it mean when someone says they love you?" Answer: "It means that they can speak."
Gives me a sad panda face. Quotes like this speak to me of social alienation, which ties into Marxist theory and existentialism, and from there to Sartre, which could be the source of the citation error.

(Just FYI, I didn't know all of that already, only the social alienation part. Wikipedia hooked me up with the rest.)

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:15 pm
by strawman
Thank you, Jannypie!

I don't agree about the social alienation part. "...it means that they can speak" is the ultimate destination for those who believe that love is a sentiment or an emotion: "Love is a chemical imbalance involving dopamine receptors." Young love and innocence is the only viable setting for it. It can only last in the same way that bipolar disorder lasts, and it often also seems to manifest as an addiction.

Seems to me that this is also the level at which our popular culture engages the subject. It's rare to see something like Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree". But that, IMO, is what "true love" is. It's not a feeling; it's a decision. Which is what the Reverdy quote is saying.

Seems to me that self-sacrificial love is ultimately more romantic too.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:31 am
by jannypie
You're very welcome. And I respectfully disagree with everything you said after, "Thank you, Jannypie!" :)

I would postulate that "There CAN BE love, and there are ALSO proofs of love."
Because claiming for fact that anything is absolute truth (in this case, 'there is nothing such as love') is the Number One thing you cannot do as a scientist, psychologist, philosopher, or theorist of any kind. That's the ultimate fallacy. And it's kind of like saying, "There is no such thing as a cow, there is only hamburger." Because to have the product of something simply has to require the existence of that something to produce it.

My belief is, "There IS love, and there ARE ALSO proofs of love."

As a scientist I understand all of the biochemical reactions (adrenaline, dopamine, etc).
As a psychology student, I know that the only things we "know", ultimately, are signals that our brains perceive and interpret. If the perceptions are incorrect, then our beliefs are incorrect (e.g. The Matrix).
As a philosophy student, I understand all of the theories that mandate you can't really know what is real and what isn't, how the cause of an action is separate from the action itself.

However, those are only parts of a description that make up an abstract concept.

For example, the extremest viewpoint in cognitive perception is that perception is the only way of knowing the world, and perceptions can be false, so how do we know the world is not false? Ultimately, the only way we know we are sitting at a computer is because our brains are telling us, "There is a hard feeling of a seat under you. There is the smooth feeling of the keys under your fingers. There is light being interpreted as images." But you and I both know that there is a world (despite our penchant for sci-fi). That there are abstracta which extend beyond the easily defined concretium. Philosophers may debate what puts an object in one column or the other, but they are both valid realities. Because, truly, how can you ask "What if there wasn't a world" without the mental assumption that there IS a world to start with.

And that is what I mean by that statement being indicative of social alienation. "Alienation refers to an individual's estrangement from traditional community and others in general.... (and) means that individuals have shallower relations with other people than they would normally. " It focuses solely on the concrete aspects of an abstract concept, and stops a person from fully understanding and connecting with something that connects the other people around them. The definition of "love" is not, : 1. a biochemical process, the end. That is one concretium among many in defining the abstract. Love is also caring and attachment. A person can claim love is only a physical response all they want, but I've yet to read of a physical cause for caring. Love, if healthy, begets trust, communication, union. Social togetherness. Unhealthy love could be an entire topic on it's own, so I'm just using healthy love in my discussion.

Your choice of BiPolar Disorder as an example is an interesting one, and to me actually strengthens my point rather than yours. And saddens me a bit about a perpetuating myth of mental illness. BiPolar, and any other Emotional Disorder, has a physical, chemical aspect, but also is developed in tandem with emotional and environmental stimuli as well. Any therapist can tell you that by and large, all mental illness is clinically proven to be best treated with a combination of drugs and therapy. Because drugs alone can't fix it, it's an abstract manifestation, and the emotional component is just as critical to the disorder as the physical is.

That isn't to say that love must be permanent. It is an emotion, and like other emotions, can last an indefinite amount of time. But that doesn't disqualify it from being an actual emotion. I know people who are going to spend their entire lives bitter. Could they not be bitter? Sure. Love can be like that, too.

I can kind of see where you might feel that popular culture focuses only on the physical, "in love" aspect of the emotion. However, I've spent the last five years of my life immersed in communities of married couples. And no, not all of them were perfect. But the examples of actual, true, patient, forgiving, selfless love that I have seen are real-life proofs of real-life feelings of love. Those people would not show the proof of love if there were not love to begin. (Also, I am drawing a distinction between selfless love and self-sacrificial love, the latter of which can be very unhealthy. Love being selfless means you simply love the person, and it doesn't matter if they love you back, or do things for you, or if they fit a set number of criteria. You don't do it because it makes you a better person or is the right thing to do. It just is. You just do. There is no physical or instinctual reward for that kind of love. There is no mental reward. I have felt that love for many people, and still do, even when they have left my life in a negative way. Not having that feeling would make me feel alienated.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:36 am
by ROU Killing Time
jannypie wrote: Your choice of BiPolar Disorder as an example is an interesting one, and to me actually strengthens my point rather than yours. And saddens me a bit about a perpetuating myth of mental illness. BiPolar, and any other Emotional Disorder, has a physical, chemical aspect, but also is developed in tandem with emotional and environmental stimuli as well. Any therapist can tell you that by and large, all mental illness is clinically proven to be best treated with a combination of drugs and therapy. Because drugs alone can't fix it, it's an abstract manifestation, and the emotional component is just as critical to the disorder as the physical is.
I have to say I think your comments on bipolar have a ring of truth to me on a personal level.

As far as the topic of love goes, I think I'm going to avoid jumping into this discussion for now.

It's too soon.