viktor_haag: (Default)
According to SciFi Wire, Melissa George says that the vampires in 30 Days of Night are "frightening, but also stylish". I'm getting so very, very tired of vampires that are stylish. Or sexy. Or gorgeous. I understand that repressed eroticism is an underlying theme of the vampire mythos, but I hereby propose that this mine has been tapped out. It's time to move on, people. We are not Victorian England. Our society is permissive (and post-modern) enough, surely, to begin to examine the vampire figure in another light. Aren't we? Please, say yes.
viktor_haag: (Default)
According to SciFi Wire, Melissa George says that the vampires in 30 Days of Night are "frightening, but also stylish". I'm getting so very, very tired of vampires that are stylish. Or sexy. Or gorgeous. I understand that repressed eroticism is an underlying theme of the vampire mythos, but I hereby propose that this mine has been tapped out. It's time to move on, people. We are not Victorian England. Our society is permissive (and post-modern) enough, surely, to begin to examine the vampire figure in another light. Aren't we? Please, say yes.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Just saw "Grindhouse". Frankly, I could have done without all the fake trailers, and I could also have done without Robert Rodriguez' contribution. I appreciate what he was attempting to do, but I didn't see much point in his half of the movie.

But Tarantino's half of the movie is very good. Tarantino has, once again, proven that he's idiosyncratic and extremely talented. While I felt that Rodriguez was a bit ham-fisted in his pastiche, Tarantino's half was a loving and very carefully built homage that nevertheless transcended it's inspirations.

I would highly recommend Tarantino's half, and it's a bit of a shame that you have to sit through 90 minutes of stomach churning carnage to get to it.

I might even suggest that you buy your ticket, wait 90 minutes, and then enter the theatre, but "Planet of Terror" isn't that bad (it is, however, stomach churning).

"Death Proof" is perhaps brilliant, though and will no doubt get my dollars when it arrives on DVD. And bravo to Kurt Russell for essaying this role.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Just saw "Grindhouse". Frankly, I could have done without all the fake trailers, and I could also have done without Robert Rodriguez' contribution. I appreciate what he was attempting to do, but I didn't see much point in his half of the movie.

But Tarantino's half of the movie is very good. Tarantino has, once again, proven that he's idiosyncratic and extremely talented. While I felt that Rodriguez was a bit ham-fisted in his pastiche, Tarantino's half was a loving and very carefully built homage that nevertheless transcended it's inspirations.

I would highly recommend Tarantino's half, and it's a bit of a shame that you have to sit through 90 minutes of stomach churning carnage to get to it.

I might even suggest that you buy your ticket, wait 90 minutes, and then enter the theatre, but "Planet of Terror" isn't that bad (it is, however, stomach churning).

"Death Proof" is perhaps brilliant, though and will no doubt get my dollars when it arrives on DVD. And bravo to Kurt Russell for essaying this role.
viktor_haag: (Default)
James Wallis says that Boyle's new Sunshine is "the best science-fiction movie since The Matrix".

Hm.

Using The Matrix as some sort of benchmark point of comparison with regard to SF movies bothers me considerably.

Here are movies that have been released since The Matrix which I consider better movies, and also better exemplars of science-fiction than The Matrix:

Solaris (Soderbergh's remake, admittedly)
Code 46
Minority Report
2046 (admittedly, this is a bit of a stretch as SF, but better movie certainly)
Primer (not necessarily a flashier movie, but certainly a better example of SF)
A Scanner Darkly
The Fountain
The Prestige (the science doesn't have to be up-front to be SF)

And those are just the ones that fairly leapt to mind like keener kids in the front row.

I suppose you could also want to include Vanilla Sky on the list, but it's a pale remake of Abre los ojos, which came out two years before Keanu's resuscitation vehicle. And by including that, let's chalk up three writer credits for Philip K. Dick on that list (five, if you are brave enough to include Impostor and Paycheck, which are neither better films than The Matrix, and arguably not quite as good SF either, but that last point is certainly arguable -- it's really hard to completely obscure and butcher Dick's ideas, but Georgaris' woeful adaptation of "Paycheck" certainly comes close).

Comparing Sunshine to The Matrix, and not, say, Solaris leads me to have serious doubts about whether I want to see Sunshine. And that's not good. Frankly, I want more films like Solaris or Code 46 or Scanner Darkly as exemplars of the SF genre: a genre that, primarily, seeks to invoke wonder and thoughtfulness in the audience.

What I don't want is more films like The Matrix and Serenity which, frankly, are to SF as the entire modern James Bond movie franchise is to the espionage genre.

I really hope that Sunshine isn't just another big-guns, big-explosions, big-nothing movie. I had hopes for so much more.
viktor_haag: (Default)
James Wallis says that Boyle's new Sunshine is "the best science-fiction movie since The Matrix".

Hm.

Using The Matrix as some sort of benchmark point of comparison with regard to SF movies bothers me considerably.

Here are movies that have been released since The Matrix which I consider better movies, and also better exemplars of science-fiction than The Matrix:

Solaris (Soderbergh's remake, admittedly)
Code 46
Minority Report
2046 (admittedly, this is a bit of a stretch as SF, but better movie certainly)
Primer (not necessarily a flashier movie, but certainly a better example of SF)
A Scanner Darkly
The Fountain
The Prestige (the science doesn't have to be up-front to be SF)

And those are just the ones that fairly leapt to mind like keener kids in the front row.

I suppose you could also want to include Vanilla Sky on the list, but it's a pale remake of Abre los ojos, which came out two years before Keanu's resuscitation vehicle. And by including that, let's chalk up three writer credits for Philip K. Dick on that list (five, if you are brave enough to include Impostor and Paycheck, which are neither better films than The Matrix, and arguably not quite as good SF either, but that last point is certainly arguable -- it's really hard to completely obscure and butcher Dick's ideas, but Georgaris' woeful adaptation of "Paycheck" certainly comes close).

Comparing Sunshine to The Matrix, and not, say, Solaris leads me to have serious doubts about whether I want to see Sunshine. And that's not good. Frankly, I want more films like Solaris or Code 46 or Scanner Darkly as exemplars of the SF genre: a genre that, primarily, seeks to invoke wonder and thoughtfulness in the audience.

What I don't want is more films like The Matrix and Serenity which, frankly, are to SF as the entire modern James Bond movie franchise is to the espionage genre.

I really hope that Sunshine isn't just another big-guns, big-explosions, big-nothing movie. I had hopes for so much more.
viktor_haag: (Default)
OK, just about everyone on my friends list has already done this meme, so now I feel compelled. Curse you, memes!

Read more... )
viktor_haag: (Default)
OK, just about everyone on my friends list has already done this meme, so now I feel compelled. Curse you, memes!

Read more... )
viktor_haag: (Default)
After listening to this Saturday's BBC7 Goodness Gracious Me retrospective, I found this clip on YouTube from their TV series. I wouldn't call it very funny, but it is quite amusing in its construction simply as a sketch and is another demonstration that comedy is maybe more about delivery and timing than it is about content (a fact that the Pythons themselves gloried in).
viktor_haag: (Default)
After listening to this Saturday's BBC7 Goodness Gracious Me retrospective, I found this clip on YouTube from their TV series. I wouldn't call it very funny, but it is quite amusing in its construction simply as a sketch and is another demonstration that comedy is maybe more about delivery and timing than it is about content (a fact that the Pythons themselves gloried in).
viktor_haag: (Default)
Ran across this blog post written by a woman named Karen Healey. In it she muses about Whedon's tendency to (a) be a lot more careful with his girl characters than his women characters, and (b) to mete out grim outcomes for 'grown up' females in his series, especially those who are 'sexually independent'. I hope that's a fair summary, but perhaps reading the original article and associated comments is a better way to get a real picture about the detail of her point (and the associated conversation).

I skimmed, I did not read in detail, but I still couldn't help having this thought almost immediately: "Hold on a minute. How, really, is what happens to Whedon's 'women' any different than what happens to Whedon's 'men'?"

I was quite hard pressed, actually, to see any happy futures for any adults in any of Whedon's work. I'm not convinced off the hop that the list of 'happy ended women' in Buffy/Angel/FireFly/Fray/AmazingXMen isn't every bit as small as the list of 'happy ended men'.

In short, I'm not sure Whedon is so much a closet misogynist as he is a closet misanthropist.

However, I'm not really sure I have the energy to propose this idea and carry through with discussion in Karen's own comment space.

So, this post is more of an observation, really, or a musing, and not necessarily a call for debate. But feel happy to comment if you want to.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Ran across this blog post written by a woman named Karen Healey. In it she muses about Whedon's tendency to (a) be a lot more careful with his girl characters than his women characters, and (b) to mete out grim outcomes for 'grown up' females in his series, especially those who are 'sexually independent'. I hope that's a fair summary, but perhaps reading the original article and associated comments is a better way to get a real picture about the detail of her point (and the associated conversation).

I skimmed, I did not read in detail, but I still couldn't help having this thought almost immediately: "Hold on a minute. How, really, is what happens to Whedon's 'women' any different than what happens to Whedon's 'men'?"

I was quite hard pressed, actually, to see any happy futures for any adults in any of Whedon's work. I'm not convinced off the hop that the list of 'happy ended women' in Buffy/Angel/FireFly/Fray/AmazingXMen isn't every bit as small as the list of 'happy ended men'.

In short, I'm not sure Whedon is so much a closet misogynist as he is a closet misanthropist.

However, I'm not really sure I have the energy to propose this idea and carry through with discussion in Karen's own comment space.

So, this post is more of an observation, really, or a musing, and not necessarily a call for debate. But feel happy to comment if you want to.

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