viktor_haag: (Default)
Very quietly, while practically no-one is watching, Melissa Leo is becoming one of the bravest, strongest, most talented actresses of our generation. If someone asked me "who is the US's answer to Hellen Mirren?" I suspect that after some thought I might say "Melissa Leo."
viktor_haag: (Default)
Very quietly, while practically no-one is watching, Melissa Leo is becoming one of the bravest, strongest, most talented actresses of our generation. If someone asked me "who is the US's answer to Hellen Mirren?" I suspect that after some thought I might say "Melissa Leo."
viktor_haag: (Default)
There's not much to say really. I'm glad I did not go see the film in the theatres.

Was it pretty to look at it? Yes, in spots, but overall the production values were a little too sugary, the colour palette a bit too doctored -- I felt a bit as if I was looking at one long Roger Dean painting, which, fair enough, is beautiful. And yet hollow at the same time.

The acting, such as it was, was competent, but none of the characters really came with much depth. Sully himself seemed the most complex and textured character, primarily because the presentation didn't seem to really hit any notes at all, and so a certain lack of strong commitment in response could, I suppose, be taken for depth (or at least suggestive of depth). But I still can't shake the suspicion that it's simply indicative of a character with a pasted on motivation and no real depth at all. The rest of the characters chewed the scenery when they were required to, and faded into obscurity when they had to.

Sigourney Weaver did her best attempt to show as "crusty but good-hearted scientist" (you know she's crusty because she's impatient and she smokes a lot).

Giovanni Ribisi did his best Paul Reiser imitation, which, in the end, was not all that effective.

Stephen Lang couldn't not twirl his mustachios enough to make you buy him as anything but Ze Evil Kommandant, and, frankly, I suspect got his forearms a bit too dirty for someone of his rank.

The plot, such as it was, was facile but functional. As with most weakly drawn science fiction it suffered from issues of scale (if I have the numbers correctly assessed, Sully's mobilization of "all the tribes there is" resulted in a mass of two thousand fighting persons? that seems dubious). It suffered from consistency issues: what exactly is the chain of command out here? Who's underwriting the mining operation? Given the alien's predilections and connection to the ostensibly astounding ecosystem, why hasn't this situation already precipitated to a crisis point? (I suspect that the answer lies in the sub-text...)

Which brings one, once again, to a narrative where the noble savages have to be rescued from their own naive circumstances by a flawed American warrior looking for (a facilely defined) redemption, and only hideous amounts of violent death can possibly bring about any sort of understanding or revelation.

I'm somewhat dismayed and shocked to see Avatar held up as some sort of paen to environmentalism, when it seems to me to be little more than a tremendously thin Gaeian fantasy without much to really recommend it.

If what you want is Gaeian fantasy with compelling stories and characters, then I say don't bother with Avatar, and go rent yourself just about anything done by Miyazaki instead (especially "Princess Mononoke", "Nausicaa", and "Spirited Away").
viktor_haag: (Default)
There's not much to say really. I'm glad I did not go see the film in the theatres.

Was it pretty to look at it? Yes, in spots, but overall the production values were a little too sugary, the colour palette a bit too doctored -- I felt a bit as if I was looking at one long Roger Dean painting, which, fair enough, is beautiful. And yet hollow at the same time.

The acting, such as it was, was competent, but none of the characters really came with much depth. Sully himself seemed the most complex and textured character, primarily because the presentation didn't seem to really hit any notes at all, and so a certain lack of strong commitment in response could, I suppose, be taken for depth (or at least suggestive of depth). But I still can't shake the suspicion that it's simply indicative of a character with a pasted on motivation and no real depth at all. The rest of the characters chewed the scenery when they were required to, and faded into obscurity when they had to.

Sigourney Weaver did her best attempt to show as "crusty but good-hearted scientist" (you know she's crusty because she's impatient and she smokes a lot).

Giovanni Ribisi did his best Paul Reiser imitation, which, in the end, was not all that effective.

Stephen Lang couldn't not twirl his mustachios enough to make you buy him as anything but Ze Evil Kommandant, and, frankly, I suspect got his forearms a bit too dirty for someone of his rank.

The plot, such as it was, was facile but functional. As with most weakly drawn science fiction it suffered from issues of scale (if I have the numbers correctly assessed, Sully's mobilization of "all the tribes there is" resulted in a mass of two thousand fighting persons? that seems dubious). It suffered from consistency issues: what exactly is the chain of command out here? Who's underwriting the mining operation? Given the alien's predilections and connection to the ostensibly astounding ecosystem, why hasn't this situation already precipitated to a crisis point? (I suspect that the answer lies in the sub-text...)

Which brings one, once again, to a narrative where the noble savages have to be rescued from their own naive circumstances by a flawed American warrior looking for (a facilely defined) redemption, and only hideous amounts of violent death can possibly bring about any sort of understanding or revelation.

I'm somewhat dismayed and shocked to see Avatar held up as some sort of paen to environmentalism, when it seems to me to be little more than a tremendously thin Gaeian fantasy without much to really recommend it.

If what you want is Gaeian fantasy with compelling stories and characters, then I say don't bother with Avatar, and go rent yourself just about anything done by Miyazaki instead (especially "Princess Mononoke", "Nausicaa", and "Spirited Away").
viktor_haag: (Default)
Hmmm.

Upside: it features Queen Latifah and Pam Grier.

Downside: trailer makes it look like yet another stock-story-romcom packed with the stunt casting you'd expect from a movie about da lig... not to mention Latifah's track record with film (why oh why can't we see more work like Living Out Loud, lady?)...

Maybe I'll just drag out my copy of Jackie Brown for yet another screening, instead.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Hmmm.

Upside: it features Queen Latifah and Pam Grier.

Downside: trailer makes it look like yet another stock-story-romcom packed with the stunt casting you'd expect from a movie about da lig... not to mention Latifah's track record with film (why oh why can't we see more work like Living Out Loud, lady?)...

Maybe I'll just drag out my copy of Jackie Brown for yet another screening, instead.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] toddalcott, we notice Mamet on Drama (more specifically, the writing staff's job of writing the television drama, The Unit). I am not [livejournal.com profile] robin_d_laws, so if you want well reasoned theoretical examination of the application of scripted narratives (as for TV, film, theatre) for gaming, you should read his blog.

Click through if you want some noodling on using what Mamet says at your game table )
viktor_haag: (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] toddalcott, we notice Mamet on Drama (more specifically, the writing staff's job of writing the television drama, The Unit). I am not [livejournal.com profile] robin_d_laws, so if you want well reasoned theoretical examination of the application of scripted narratives (as for TV, film, theatre) for gaming, you should read his blog.

Click through if you want some noodling on using what Mamet says at your game table )
viktor_haag: (Default)
... somewhere, deep down inside of Kathryn Bigelow, there's a little part of herself that's doing a tremendous happy dance all over the imagined forehead of her ex-husband.

Edit: comments made on Facebook (which gets a copy of my posts here) indicate that Cameron and Bigelow are actually quite civilized with one another, and that happiness is had on both sides with one another's work. That's good. Curmudgeonry tag removed!
viktor_haag: (Default)
... somewhere, deep down inside of Kathryn Bigelow, there's a little part of herself that's doing a tremendous happy dance all over the imagined forehead of her ex-husband.

Edit: comments made on Facebook (which gets a copy of my posts here) indicate that Cameron and Bigelow are actually quite civilized with one another, and that happiness is had on both sides with one another's work. That's good. Curmudgeonry tag removed!
viktor_haag: (Default)
The mouse has turned its attention to film-i-fying a venerable gaming franchise and giving it (apparently) the Pirate treatment. Is it wrong for me to feel queasy that I have to read pretty far down in the cast list before running across someone that seems like they have any kind of connection to the ethnicities that ostensibly have to do with this background? I think Jake Gyllenhaal is a reasonably gifted actor and may do for himself what Depp did with his turn as the irrepressible and swishy Sparrow, but as a Persian prince?
viktor_haag: (Default)
The mouse has turned its attention to film-i-fying a venerable gaming franchise and giving it (apparently) the Pirate treatment. Is it wrong for me to feel queasy that I have to read pretty far down in the cast list before running across someone that seems like they have any kind of connection to the ethnicities that ostensibly have to do with this background? I think Jake Gyllenhaal is a reasonably gifted actor and may do for himself what Depp did with his turn as the irrepressible and swishy Sparrow, but as a Persian prince?
viktor_haag: (Default)
I must confess: I have a somewhat shameful taste for modern, French science-fiction cinéma. The latest bow to this habit was a recently released film Eden Log.

The back-splash on this DVD claims that it's an example of "cyberpunk". I rather beg to differ -- there's no real correspondence to much of the concerns of that sub-genre and this film (the ubiquity of monitoring, transhumanism, artficial intelligence, and so on). What it does share with the sub-genre is, perhaps, a willingness to wallow in a production design featured by grime and the broken-down.

The IMDB gives the film a 5.2 rating; the tomatoes give it a 43% rating. This seems a bit harsh. I'd probably give it a C- or C, depending upon your tastes. It's pretty look at (at times), the sound and score are interesting in points, and the acting is decent (mind you, the protagonists are not required to have much in the way of range); the cinemetography is compelling (to start with), but goes off the rails near the end. As does what little we have here for plotting.

As with so many of the films of this stripe, it seems to me it's all about production design and premise, with little ability to maintain a solid narrative line through to the finish. The story is meant to be buried and hard to follow, but really, in the end, it leaves more open questions than it answers. And the answers that it offers in the end are a bit lacking.

So, if you really liked Immortel, or other recent examples of French filmed science-fiction, then you might very well connect to Eden Log. It's not a bad way to spend an evening if you can get it on a relatively inexpensive rental. It has memorable visual moments (the first five minutes; the scene in the botanist's redoubt; the scene in technician's station where the protagonist replays the first found log). And for fans of science fiction, it's almost certainly more compelling than what Hollywood has come to think defines the genre.

But most of the criticisms levelled at it are fair enough: it's a bit shallow, it fails to make a sympathetic connection to the viewer, it's a bit disjointed and feels a lot like a film made by people whose primary exposure to pop culture is through video games and music videos. If you liked "Silent Hill" and "Immortel" and "The Fountain", then you might give more love to "Eden Log" than others.
viktor_haag: (Default)
I must confess: I have a somewhat shameful taste for modern, French science-fiction cinéma. The latest bow to this habit was a recently released film Eden Log.

The back-splash on this DVD claims that it's an example of "cyberpunk". I rather beg to differ -- there's no real correspondence to much of the concerns of that sub-genre and this film (the ubiquity of monitoring, transhumanism, artficial intelligence, and so on). What it does share with the sub-genre is, perhaps, a willingness to wallow in a production design featured by grime and the broken-down.

The IMDB gives the film a 5.2 rating; the tomatoes give it a 43% rating. This seems a bit harsh. I'd probably give it a C- or C, depending upon your tastes. It's pretty look at (at times), the sound and score are interesting in points, and the acting is decent (mind you, the protagonists are not required to have much in the way of range); the cinemetography is compelling (to start with), but goes off the rails near the end. As does what little we have here for plotting.

As with so many of the films of this stripe, it seems to me it's all about production design and premise, with little ability to maintain a solid narrative line through to the finish. The story is meant to be buried and hard to follow, but really, in the end, it leaves more open questions than it answers. And the answers that it offers in the end are a bit lacking.

So, if you really liked Immortel, or other recent examples of French filmed science-fiction, then you might very well connect to Eden Log. It's not a bad way to spend an evening if you can get it on a relatively inexpensive rental. It has memorable visual moments (the first five minutes; the scene in the botanist's redoubt; the scene in technician's station where the protagonist replays the first found log). And for fans of science fiction, it's almost certainly more compelling than what Hollywood has come to think defines the genre.

But most of the criticisms levelled at it are fair enough: it's a bit shallow, it fails to make a sympathetic connection to the viewer, it's a bit disjointed and feels a lot like a film made by people whose primary exposure to pop culture is through video games and music videos. If you liked "Silent Hill" and "Immortel" and "The Fountain", then you might give more love to "Eden Log" than others.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Just saw the trailer for "Whiteout" (story adapted from an above-average graphic novel by Greg Rucka.). Theoretically, I'm somewhat keen on this project. On the one hand, it's a major studio adaptation of an indie comic book that doesn't contain over-pumped men (or women) in tights: this might open the door for film adaptations of (for example) "The Marquis" or "Courtney Crumrin", or (hope against hope) "Queen & Country" with Sophia Myles cast as Tara Chace (to pull more titles out of the Oni stable).

I had known that Kate Beckinsale had been cast as Carrie Stetko, but it hadn't hit me visually until seeing the trailer. And now I'm a bit mortified.

When the hell did Carrie Stetko become a seven-stone-dripping-wet waif?

Katie Sackhoff could have played Stetko. Sackhoff has the right presence, the right attitude, the right look, and the right body. So could Sonja Sohn, for pretty much the same reasons. So could Franke Potente (although dealing with her German accent would have been troublesome).

To my mind, Stetko is solid and has an attractiveness that comes from strength, from farmland-toned shoulders. She's a worker, not a runway model, nor someone who leaps around playing vampire in a black latex body suit. She doesn't lead with her cheekbones.

Oh well. (The choice of Dominic Sena directing also doesn't fill me with confidence: while "Whiteout" is a crime thriller with lots of action, I'm not sure I wanted it to have the "Gone In Sixty Seconds" treatment. I think I would have preferred Phillip Noyce, or similar.)
viktor_haag: (Default)
Just saw the trailer for "Whiteout" (story adapted from an above-average graphic novel by Greg Rucka.). Theoretically, I'm somewhat keen on this project. On the one hand, it's a major studio adaptation of an indie comic book that doesn't contain over-pumped men (or women) in tights: this might open the door for film adaptations of (for example) "The Marquis" or "Courtney Crumrin", or (hope against hope) "Queen & Country" with Sophia Myles cast as Tara Chace (to pull more titles out of the Oni stable).

I had known that Kate Beckinsale had been cast as Carrie Stetko, but it hadn't hit me visually until seeing the trailer. And now I'm a bit mortified.

When the hell did Carrie Stetko become a seven-stone-dripping-wet waif?

Katie Sackhoff could have played Stetko. Sackhoff has the right presence, the right attitude, the right look, and the right body. So could Sonja Sohn, for pretty much the same reasons. So could Franke Potente (although dealing with her German accent would have been troublesome).

To my mind, Stetko is solid and has an attractiveness that comes from strength, from farmland-toned shoulders. She's a worker, not a runway model, nor someone who leaps around playing vampire in a black latex body suit. She doesn't lead with her cheekbones.

Oh well. (The choice of Dominic Sena directing also doesn't fill me with confidence: while "Whiteout" is a crime thriller with lots of action, I'm not sure I wanted it to have the "Gone In Sixty Seconds" treatment. I think I would have preferred Phillip Noyce, or similar.)
viktor_haag: (Default)
... I must say that I find the trailer1 strangely compelling.

----
1 They can call it whatever they like; it's a trailer.
viktor_haag: (Default)
... I must say that I find the trailer1 strangely compelling.

----
1 They can call it whatever they like; it's a trailer.
viktor_haag: (Default)
Apparently, Warner, Blizzard, and Legendary Pictures will be mounting a live-action film based on Blizzard's World of Warcraft computer game property.

the good news: Sam Raimi has been signed to direct the picture, which leads one to believe that result could be quirky with interesting action and a reasonable hope at passable acting talent on display.

the bad news: They're turning a computer game into a movie. I'm pretty darned sure this has never ended well, and most times has ended very, very, very badly.

I suppose it can likely be saved by a giant mechanical spider robot...
viktor_haag: (Default)
Apparently, Warner, Blizzard, and Legendary Pictures will be mounting a live-action film based on Blizzard's World of Warcraft computer game property.

the good news: Sam Raimi has been signed to direct the picture, which leads one to believe that result could be quirky with interesting action and a reasonable hope at passable acting talent on display.

the bad news: They're turning a computer game into a movie. I'm pretty darned sure this has never ended well, and most times has ended very, very, very badly.

I suppose it can likely be saved by a giant mechanical spider robot...

Profile

viktor_haag: (Default)
viktor_haag

October 2012

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
2829 3031   

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 27th, 2017 08:45
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios