Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Cras 3

Okay, there's one point in here that I'm reacting to the most. Anyway, this is the third in the series, and it's largely good.

Hey, it's a Cars movie, and it's about racing! Lightning McQueen is out there on the track, but then a new car makes the scene and outraces him. Because this car is New Technology and McQueen is Old Technology. Yeah, that's one thing, but that's not the bad part. Frankly, in any sports event as time goes by, people get better at it and the top field these days would completely overwhelm the top field in the past.

Anyway, McQueen needs to train, so Cruz Ramirez (a female trainer) trains him, but he can't get better. However, he does see Cruz doing well, but it's her beating him that puts him down. So he needs to accept this and move on to the next part of his life. A lot of the movie is around that, and you can see it coming and it's completely not subtle.

So then we get roles moving around and Cruz has a chance, and... she's put down by the lead racer because she's female... WHAT? Where did that come from? These are CARS. Different sexes don't even make sense! And yet females = inferior is completely throughout this movie. All the racers are males, but there's no reason for that. Why can't females race? Are they using different fuel? Are they too pink? (Note: none of the female cars are pink.) What? Where the hell did that come from?

The McQueen arc is good, but Cruz's arc is fumbled at the most important point. Get screwed, movie, get screwed.

[END]

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Monday, 17 July 2017

TELOS: Citadel of Dreams

I like Dave Stone so picked this up way back when. But couldn’t remember any of it when it came time to rereading it. So I could go in fresh.

It seems that the way to approach these Novellas is to not feature the Doctor in them. Okay, this is only the second one, but both minimise his presence. This story really focuses on Joey Quine, a resident of the City and his abilities. There are a few other characters, but it is mainly his story and how he deals with the trouble the City is going through.

Dave, as Dave is wont to do, tries to be cute with the writing, with telling latter parts of the story earlier in the tale. I’m still not entirely sure what happened at the end, despite this being a second read, and the obvious hook doesn’t seem to add up, but neither does the second obvious interpretation.

It feels like Dave is trying to be more clever than actually getting down to telling the story, so we have a lot of set up and description, but not much actually clearly happening.

A story with bigger ideas than execution.


[END]

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Saturday, 15 July 2017

Universal 1925

I haven't read the book, but after this I'm thinking I should to find out how much the musicals ripped off from this or both from the book. I'm, of course, speaking of the Phantom.

The Phantom haunts the opera, and makes sure his young pet, Christine Daae, is the main singer. He finally gets up the courage to make his move on her, and is extremely creepy acting towards her reluctance. Eventually he kidnaps her entirely as she is going to go off with Raoul, her boyfriend, and Raoul chases after them. Ultimately, the Phantom tries to escape, but only the final escape is possible.

Lon Chaney gives a good performance. And that's a rather iconic facial prosthesis that works a lot better than either of the musical masks (then again, Lon doesn't have to sing). Mary Philbin as Christine seems really vacant. Christine isn't supposed to be the most mental capacity person, but even so, Mary is putting on a real vagueness. Norman Kerry is a good Raoul, and there are other decent performances too.

Last time the monster was incidental. This time, the monster is core to the story. I feel like we should hopefully aim for a better balance that gives a decent story in which the monster is a good part if not the lead role.

[END]

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Friday, 14 July 2017

Wonder Thirteenth Falls

And that's a wrap on this series.

The bulk of the episode is Jaye and others held hostage at a store. But while she is hostage, she can't say her final goodbye to Eric. It's around that point that a) Eric realises he doesn't want to be with Heidi, and b) Heidi doesn't really want to be with Eric. But that revelation is saved for the final few minutes whereby we get the pat lines of "I had to leave so I could come back" and so on.

This does make me wonder (hah!) if the cliffhanger to the first series was supposed to be Eric and Heidi leaving, and only after the show got cancelled they quickly tacked on that ending to wrap things up. It would explain why the store looks a little different, and only Jaye and Eric are in the scene. It has a certain feel of "let's quickly get this done because we don't have another chance."

That aside, the rest of the episode is as typically upbeat and nutty as the rest of the series. And I'm glad we got at least this much of the series. Hopefully you'll want to check it out now.

I'm not sure what's next, or I might just take a break for a while.

[END]

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Spdermon Hamcombing

Not only did I see this, but I also got patience as well!

While this isn't an origin story, it is an introduction story, so we are basically at the post "I got bit by a spider and now I have powers bit!" scene. Peter is having to deal with having powers, and not knowing what to do with them, but getting in over his head anyway. And having friends find out about it. Oh, and the Vulture is in this, although he's never called that. Because what this movie is really about is who is Spider-Man? Is he Peter, or is he the Suit? Don't worry, they make that point abundantly clear that even I can get it.

Tom Holland is fine as Parker, but anyone could have been the bird man (see what I did there???). And there are a lot of supporting characters that... I have no idea if they are supposed to be anyone, aside from Flash. And I didn't pick the character they slipped in, although I did wonder if they would become relevant.

There are some great scenes where we have Peter jumping around or crawling on different surfaces that were quite believable. Maybe they used a rig in some places? But the CGI was very well put in.

Overall, this is an opening story, so there are many things we need to check off the list, so hopefully next time we'll get something meatier?

[END]

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Monday, 10 July 2017

TELOS: Time and Relative.

[Let's keep this Doctor Who train rolling, with going to the novellas I never got around to reading.]

This is the most explosively original novel ever!!, and it could only have been done by the one and only Kim Newman!!!!

At least, according to the hype at the time this came out.

What we have is a story set before the first episode, and tells a story from the point of view of Susan. And while Ian and Barbara are sort of mentioned, this whole thing is something that is never brought up again during the entire time they travel together (which is true of all the books and audios set during any of the tv episodes…). This story is about the Cold and it taking over the school / city / country / world.

Kim goes a long way towards saying that no-one notices what’s really going on, because everyone always ignores the strange otherwise no-one would be anywhere. This does get to feel a little too on point, and gets in the way of an otherwise decent story.

Because it is still good, and well told, of a time before the series. Nowadays, this isn’t an original gimmick, but at the time it was different.

Also it took me too long to click on the significance of the names of Susan’s friends.

So as a start to the Telos Novella range, this is pretty good, although I would debate the emphasis on the novella length being the most important defining quality.


[END]

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Sunday, 9 July 2017

Universal 1923

Okay, let's dive in the Universal Monster series. First up is the Hunchback.

A young gyspy woman is caught up in a triangle between an aristocrat and an archdeacon. A peasant revolt is riled up and gates are stormed. Also, there happens to be a hunchback who happens to be in the city as well, but he doesn't really do much in the story.

This is start of Lon Chaney's monster career, and it's plain he's in a mask. But he seems to be having fun and that's what counts. This reminds me a bit of the Marx Brothers' film in that there's a focal point to the movie that advertised, namely the monster, but there's a plot going on while every now and then the monster comes on to do his bit.

We'll see how this progresses, and this is only the start, but it's not an auspicious beginning.

[END]

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Friday, 7 July 2017

Wonder Twelfth Falls

Kinda of a filler episode really. There are some character moments, but if this episode never happened, you wouldn't know that you missed it.

Sharon, Jaye and Muhandra go to the local native reservation and get mixed up in the local politics of who will be the next wise woman (note: in a very light hearted, suitable for comedy, way). Jaye talks to the dead woman (before finding out she was dead) and hears there may be a way to stop the voices, so has a vested interest in getting the grandson into the wise man act. However... wise man he is not. Meanwhile, Sharon comes up against an old college law "friend" who is the legal advisor for the tribe, although she ends up as the wise woman.

This is one of those episodes that tries to be different, but I don't know how well it succeeds. I hope there were native Americans involved in the writing, otherwise this is just another example of culture appropriation. Now this is at the less offensive end, but still trades in stereotypes for easy lazy comedic effect.

For the second to last episode, this isn't trying anything powerful.

[END]

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Thursday, 6 July 2017

Despackle Him 3

Yeah, so I saw this. I was going too inevitably, so may as well get it out of the way.

Gru has a brother! That's about the main conceit of the film, and they pad it out for a long time. The most amazing thing is that he isn't the villain, even when there is the inevitable split. Instead that goes to Balthazar Bratt (was he in earlier movies? I can't remember, but wouldn't be surprised). And there's a small subplot involving the girls and Lucy, sort of, but since the actresses playing the kids are older, they are given more to do while trying to remain the same they always were.

But the best part... there are hardly any Minions in it! They get some small scenes, but somehow does become annoying (although they try hard).

Overall this movie is rather simplistic, but it works well enough. Because of the focus on Gru and not the Minions? Certainly that helps. It feels like they didn't really have an idea for a plot, but some character moments, so built a movie around that. Which is nice but does make the movie feel rather lacking in point.

Decent performances, with provisos for the kids. But...

This doesn't really expand on anything, even with the introduction of the brother, that it's just a lightweight movie.

[END]

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Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Erasurehead

Didn't go to the Film Society, so in honour of peaking twins, I decided to check out classic Lynch.

So the story is... um... something about a guy getting trapped into marriage because of his mutant baby, and has dreams of a more exciting life... I think. It's not entirely clear what's going on (he said understatedly). His marriage breaks down and he decides what to do about his kid.

So yeah... it's weird. But the main issue is that it just so quickly becomes incomprehensible that I just gave up and let it wash over me rather than try to get indepth analysis. That said, I'm sure there is indepth analysis already, and... in fact, here's one.


Just obviously weird so I didn't get drawn in. But I will Mulholland Drive some time...

[END]

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Monday, 3 July 2017

Doctor Who 10.12

They should have called this episode "Make Work", because that's most of the plot with the Cybermen in it.

Okay, can someone tell me please, what was the point of the Cybermen? In particular, what was the point of them being Cybermen? They could have been any "fill in the generic baddy" and the episode would have been the same. Sure, we might not have had different "classic" Cybermen designs, but did any of that matter? Of course not!

It's supposed to be all about the Master, and, well, Missy. But the problem here is that John Simms just shows no interest in playing the Master. He seems to have had more fun last week as Fu Manchu. Here he barely seems to be on screen, and conveys no presence at all. And Michelle Gomez seems to be hamming it up and just doing whatever random thing enters her head. Still, at least the Master is "dead" now, and can never return.

And then there's Bill... I will give that Moffat did put in a feature that does indeed call back to the first episode. However, that's an amazingly crap out that is just as rubbish as when Clara went off with Me.

Which leaves the Doctor. Who doesn't want to regenerate, so is whining more than when he was Tennant? Does the man never have any dignity?

Ultimately, this is Moffat wallowing in nostalgia, and it doesn't produce a good episode for us.


NEXT TIME: Did I say this was Moffat playing with nostalgia? Then what does that leave for Christmas?

[END]

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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Twelfth Marx

This is the last Marx movie I have, and it's been a different way of comedy. We finish off with A Night in Casablanca.

A rather different start with a hotel manager being killed. In comes Kornblow who takes on the job, although not without some minimal problems. However, there are Germans about, and they are the ones who want the hotel, and so want to put Kornblow out. There is also treasure being stored, which is found out. The Germans make a run for it, and we get an extended packing scene and then a plane chase. Of course the good guys win!

This does have more story running through it, so that's good. However... it is less comedy than other movies, so that's not as good. On the other hand, we do have a (younger) Dan Seymour.

So this is the lot I've got. The very first movies were a little uncertain, there were some decent movies in the middle, but then they kind of just devolved into similar styles with no real decent meat to them. It's a definite set of movies to get through, but I do have something even more strange in mind for coming up (not sure if it's next or not).

[END]

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