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Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:15 pm
by StalinSays
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independe ... reatgoats/

Trailer for a new movie about George Clooney using his psychic powers to kill goats. Not kidding - I say we adopt this as an official drabblecast feature film.

Great cast - I have high hopes.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:57 am
by Mr. Tweedy
Just finished watching "Eagle Eye". It is a mostly fun movie, provided you are willing to flip your brain all the way to "off" and leave it there.
Spoiler:

Basically, there's this all-powerful AI that wants to kill the President. Why? Because he sucks, that's why. This AI can control absolutely anything that's computerized, including (as demonstrated several times over the course of the movie) military aircraft. So, if you're an AI who can control military aircraft and you want to kill the President, how would you go about doing that? Bomb him, maybe? Make his plane crash? No! Of course not. You would concoct an elaborate, multi-pronged conspiracy involving an armored car robbery, several kidnappings, a garbage scow, a magic rock, and a child's trumpet. But, while you were going about concocting this vast conspiracy, it would never occur to your logical, calculating mind that someone might try to stop you by whacking you with a crowbar, and so you would take no precautions against that. Evil AIs are, evidently, programmed to find the most complicated solution to any given problem; something like crowbar whacking is just too crude for them to process.
But, like I said, if you switch off each and ever one of your little gray cells, it's a decent way to kill two hours.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 10:23 am
by ROU Killing Time
So evil AI's are programmed with the same set of parameters as your archetypical villain, your saying?

Makes as much sense as typical villain behaviour.

"Look, I've got a gun up in my room, I'll go get it, we'll shoot him in the head "Bang", it'll be fun"

"Scott, I've got a big bag of Shhh here with your name on it..."

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:22 pm
by strawman
They could be saving the crowbar awareness AI for the upgrade (sequel). Kinda like Vista.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:46 pm
by normsherman
Inglorious Basterds

3 out of 5 Clown Eggs

Some excellent performances, some really awesome scenes (Mike Meyers cameo- ha! and of course the scene where the Basterds are introduced one by one, including the "Bear Jew"-- one of my fav scenes in cinema history now). But for God's sake Tarantino is soooo addicted to hearing his characters talk. The movie is made up of consistently long scenes that often times don't go anywhere.
This isn't the elite task force of badass Jew warriors going into Axis country to slaughter Nazis like you thought it was. It's got a little bit of that, but like an Applebees Margarita, it's mostly just sour mix.
Worth a watch, but don't expect the "Kill Bill" Tarantino here.

However, there is one truly brilliant thing about this film that I hope doesn't get overlooked by too many people. You remember the shots of the disgusting "Nation's Pride" viewing? Nothing but slaughter slaughter slaughter of Allied forces in black and white, while the putrid Nazi's watched, laughed and cheered in delight at the screen, at all the carnage, popcorn filling their gross mouths and greasy bloated faces?

Was anyone else watching in awe at the awesome over-the-top fire scene that followed (the theater full of trapped, helpless Nazi's being burned alive/mowed down with machine guns/stabbed in the face)- watching not the film, but the expressions and reactions of our own 'Murican movie crowd? Dunno about the audience sitting around you, but the only difference between my theater and the Nazi Naton's Pride theater was that our cheers, woots, applause and laughter happen to be in English. Tarantino holds a mirror up to his audience, knowing that most people will be too busy reveling in the gore to even notice. Those that do see the reflection might then remember the squirrel/rat analogy of the evil Col. Hans Landa at the very beginning of the film...

"Squirrels, you don't mind. But aside from the big bushy tail they appear almost the same as a rat, no?... Rats. You don't like them. You don't really know why you don't like them. All you know is you find them repulsive...
I'm aware of what tremendous feats human beings are capable of once they abandon dignity."

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:42 pm
by StalinSays
normsherman wrote:Inglorious Basterds: 3 out of 5 Clown Eggs
I'd kiss that clown egg count up to 4 out of 5, but with you on most points. I differ in regards to your sentiment that dialogue heavy sequences lack direction - I felt each built to a logical end point. Well constructed, so much so that the end point wasn't as conspicuous as your average fair and in opposition to expectations.

While I love the bear jew, could they have gotten anyone worse than Eli Roth? A bad ass with a squeaky 13 year old delivery? A non actor, and in my opinion, non director! Blech.

A must see for Kaiju and general weirdness enthusiasts:

Big Man Japan

4 out of 5 scorched nipples

To paraphrase / plagiarize the netflix description: A second rate, third generation giant protector of Japan struggles with his own inadequacy. Quite the trippy little gem. New too, 2007, nice CG effects. Forgive the narrative structure, or lack thereof, and the slow beginning (trust me, it isn't just that dude talking), and enjoy heartily.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:53 am
by Mr. Tweedy
Just got back from "District 9." I must say, I was quite disappointed.

Most disappointing was the almost complete lack of plot development. I had assumed that actually seeing the movie would answer the questions raised by the teasers: What do the aliens want? Why do they live as they do? Why is the protagonist turning into one? What is the significance of "the fluid?" Where should our sympathies lie? But none of these is answered. In fact, I already knew everything interesting or unique about the movie from the trailers and reviews I'd read: The movie was just the trailer with a lot of rather cliché and uncreative action scenes thrown in to space it out.

Plot holes abound:

<Spoilers>

If fixing the "mothership" is just a matter of collecting enough alien battery acid (a substance which originates on the mothership itself), then why didn't the aliens just do it openly and directly. If one alien can collect enough "fluid" in 20 years, then all of them working together could surely have collected it in a week and been on their merry way.

How did all the alien weapons get on the ground? It was explicitly stated that all of the aliens were brought down from the mothership on helicopters. So how did they manage to sneak a battle mech down?

Why is our protagonist not sedated when the bad guys are preparing to dissect him? Why is he not securely tied? Are we honestly to believe that a man strapped to an operating table can simply leap off and fight his way, unarmed, out of a military fortress? Could even James Bond do that?

Why have all of the aliens except "Christopher" reverted to ignorant savagery? Did I miss the part where they explained why this technologically superior spacefaring species is completely unable to so much as organize a farmer's market?

Why do all the MNU thugs continue to shoot at the battle mech even though it's completely obvious that their attacks are ineffective and they are all being slaughtered for no reason? Why don't they, like, you know, call for an air strike? Maybe retreat and come back with some grenade launchers?

Why does alien battery acid turn humans into aliens? "The fluid" is fuel, right? Is it normal for a vehicle's fuel to transform any organism onto which it is sprayed into a member of the species that drives said vehicle? Like, if you spray diesel on a pig, the pig turns into a human?

Why don't the governments/corporations who are so desperate to use the alien weapons just hire alien mercenaries? They'll do anything for cat food, right? So why doesn't MNU just hire alien soldiers and pay them in cat food, instead of scratching their collective head for 20 years over how to make the weapons human-usable?

More: If you take all the plot holes together, there really isn't any reason for anything in the movie to happen. It's as silly as Eagle Eye.

</spoilers>

The movie's essential problem is that it never decides what it wants to be. Is this a gritty war movie? Is it a light Pirates of the Caribean-style action flick? Is it a sober drama? Is it an avant-garde experiment in metafiction? It tries to be all of them, and ends up a mess. You start with a deadly serious premise and setting, use it to launch a very silly, cartoony story, fill that story with gruesome violence and gross-out moments, and present the whole thing like it's a documentary. It just rings hollow. Wasted potential by the barrelful.

I give it 2 Stars: Worth seeing once if you're a sci-fi buff. I say take the $15 that you were going to spend seeing this and buy Braid instead.

District 9 is, however, much better than Star Trek.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:15 am
by F5iver
Well, okay then. I can do this.

Watching: (On Netflix, to catch up) 30 Rock. I have found my TV version of me in Liz Lemon. It's like she's channeling me.

Waiting to Watch: The Office, House, (and in January...) 24 and LOST

Movies over the Summer: District 9 (see, worship, proselytize) 9 (leave before the last 5 minutes, go home, write your own ending - it'll be better than theirs)

Reading: Eon by Greg Bear. Meh. Books I wish I could read again and get that old feeling back: House of Leaves and The Sparrow.

Listening to: The Moth, This American Life, all the spec pods I can think of.

IMHO: Dawkins is a pompous, self-righteous ass. Sagan was talented with an inflated ego. I like Brian Green so much more. And Hugh Ross (reasons.org).

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:02 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
F5iver wrote: Movies over the Summer: District 9 (see, worship, proselytize) 9 (leave before the last 5 minutes, go home, write your own ending - it'll be better than theirs)
Really? I thought the very end (as in the last 90 seconds) was the best part of the movie. The shot of alien Wikus making a flower for his wife was really touching, I thought.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:19 pm
by F5iver
I read the post about the plot holes and yes, I agree with them all. However, in the same way I love Jurassic Park I loved this film. It was told and filmed so well. I can poke holes all through JP but I'll watch it and love it whenever I can.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:11 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
JP has plot holes? I guess I haven't seen it in a while...

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:19 pm
by F5iver
Mr. Tweedy wrote:JP has plot holes? I guess I haven't seen it in a while...
Well, science holes, really. Dozens and dozens of examples of Wrong Science. It is rather entertaining just on that level.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:23 pm
by strawman
F5iver wrote:
Mr. Tweedy wrote:JP has plot holes? I guess I haven't seen it in a while...
Well, science holes, really. Dozens and dozens of examples of Wrong Science. It is rather entertaining just on that level.
Okay, just puleeze don't tell me that you can't really clone Jesus from amber-encased Jesus poo.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:47 pm
by F5iver
strawman wrote: Okay, just puleeze don't tell me that you can't really clone Jesus from amber-encased Jesus poo.

Okay, let's just say you didn't hear it from me. The biology teacher.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:12 am
by strawman
But it works so well in Norm's song!
Probably means the world isn't going to end, either, hunh?

That biology teacher is debunking more than she can chew.
Next she'll be telling us that zombies are people too.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:55 am
by Goldenrat
Mr. Tweedy wrote:
F5iver wrote: Movies over the Summer: District 9 (see, worship, proselytize) 9 (leave before the last 5 minutes, go home, write your own ending - it'll be better than theirs)
Really? I thought the very end (as in the last 90 seconds) was the best part of the movie. The shot of alien Wikus making a flower for his wife was really touching, I thought.
I think F5iver meant to leave the movie "9" (not District 9) before the last 5 minutes. I thought 9 was OK. It was short and you didn't know what the hell the back story was until the end. Typical Tim Burton freakishness. Pretty cool but I won't see it again.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:19 am
by Mr. Tweedy
Oh, yes. My bad. "9" is next on my list of movies to see.

I don't mind science errors so much (how is the mothership able to levitate for 20 years if it has no power?), just internal contradictions (why does Wikus have to buy alien weapons from the gangstas when we already saw that many aliens have retained their weapons?). Like Cloverfield or Batman Begins: Horrible non-science, but no internal logic problems. The former you can brush off with "It's fiction!; the latter, not so much.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:46 pm
by Kevin Anderson
How I spent my summer – Netflix DVDs

One Eyed Monster 3 out of 5 - (NOTE: sorry if its not clear but this is not an adult film, its a tongue and cheek horror film)
Ron Jeremy’s detached wang has been commandeered by an alien and goes on a killing spree, terrorizing the actors and crew of an adult film. I’m ashamed to admit this but I enjoyed it. Ron has a good sense of humor about himself and the industry he works in, and it was fun watching him and Veronica Hart back in action. So to speak. (and by this I mean playing caricatures of their adult film personas) I especially enjoyed the DVD extras with Ron and Veronica talking about the history and evolution of adult film from the mid seventies to today. Well, it was interesting to me. I worked in the industry in the late eighties.

Mutant Chronicles 3 out of 5
A mutant / rage zombie plague is sweeping through the galaxy and humans are on the run. Only a rag tag group of misfits, lead by blah, blah, blah. Can’t say it was great but it was interesting. It had a great look, costumes, effects. There was a very cool Steam Punk flying ship battle that I thought made the film worth watching. It kind of jumped around but all in all it was a good popcorn flick.

Battlestar Galactica 4.5 4 out of 5
Finally got to see the end of this thing, and I heard I’m in the minority here, but I liked how it ended.

Deadwood Season One 2 out of 5
I’m only 4 episodes in and I think I’ve heard more foul language in those 4 hours than I have my entire life. Not sure if I’ll watch anymore.

Torchwood: Children of the Earth 1 out of 5
I was with them until the last thirty minutes, then Captain Jack did the unforgivable, and I’m done with Torchwood.

The IT Crowd series 1 and 2 3 out of 5
Its Benny Hill meets The Big Bang Theory. Very light entertainment.

The Guild Season One 4 out 5 - available online
Well written, acted, and very funny. I know zero about online gaming but these folks reminded me of my Dungeon and Dragon group way back when.

Re: Drabble Reviews Blog

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:53 am
by ROU Killing Time
Mr. Tweedy wrote:The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins: Just started reading this today. First impression: No one has a higher opinion of Richard Dawkins than Richard Dawkins.
This was one of Douglas Adams favorite books. (fwiw, i haven't read it myself...)

Haldeman: The Craft of Science Fiction

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:49 am
by ROU Killing Time
http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/415

Haven't made it all the way through this yet, but it seems like an interesting discussion about writing SF so far.