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Did some unpacking yesterday but mostly took a bit of a rest from the move. We still have to do some serious work and actually if anyone knows two fairly strong people we could really stand to borrow them for about half an hour. There's one object that Stacey and I can't quite move ourselves.

Anyhow, spent the evening watching some incredibly terrible movies.
Lair of the White Worm It's sort of soft-core porn for tripped out gamers I think. It was (intentionally, I think) hilarious with way too many straight lines.

Robot Holocaust ... I blame Stacey for picking this one. Oh man was it bad. Valaria (as well as all the other players) delivered their line as if they were all on valium. Some of the worst acting I've every seen, and the story was incredibly incoherent. Less coherent than an Ed Wood movie. This movie seems like it was made by people who lost a bet with someone and were being made to perform in it against their will while their friends sat snickering out of shot.

Robotcop 3 Is it bad? It's robocop! Of course its bad! This one is really bad. It's riding on name alone and really has nothing to carry it. Actually it's kind of depressing to see the genre subverted the way it is. In the first movie, Robocop is about our fear of machines taking over and the power of big business and big government. By 3, there's still a pretense of "We're fighting the corporations!" but the people are fragmented. Different social groups are treated with fear and disdain. Sure, the corporate bully gets stopped but the splatter punks are continually the bad guys, not on the side of THE LAW and the 'good people'. They're the pawns of the corporations whereas the mouthbreathers at home watching TV are the 'good guys'. Blah.

Cherry 2000 I didn't care for this movie the first few times I saw it but I admit it's kind of grown on me. A total wanker plunging into the wastes all to win the body of the sexbot he loves. Still. His tracker could have done a LOT better. I confess that the desolate sandy landscapes, the weird desert people, and the carnival-like decay also remind me a LOT of Burning Man. In the future I think if someone asks me what it's like to go to Burning Man, I'll tell them that it's sort of but not quite completely unlike Cherry 2000.

Futureworld Sequel to Westworld. Okay. I lied. They weren't all bad movies. This one is actually pretty good. Oh sure, some of the acting is a bit hammy but the story is pretty decent. The 'bad guys' in this film are the robots I guess but they're pretty sympathetic villains. All they want to do is live and not be wiped out by man's incompetence. A story I can totally sympathize with. Oh sure, they replace a few world leaders with ones who are a bit more unified and logical. Ya'know? I think that's a pretty great idea. The only consolation is that at the end of the movie, our 'heros' believe they've won, neglecting to realize that Delos already controls enough powerful world leader sorts to probably protect itself. So they get to keep their humanity and the robots probably survive. Everybody wins!
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No spoilers.

Watched this film last night with Stacey and I think it's one of my favorite Disney films in a while.

Going in, I was somewhat concerned that they'd be heavy on race issues and overdo the political correctness. Surprisingly, this was not the case. Nor was it ignorant of race issues. Race was a non-story in the story yet they also didn't dismiss it entirely or make me feel as if the characters were basically white people in blackface with a few cultural stereotypes thrown in.

They did something I've never known Disney to do before. I think it's called subtlety. The Disney I know and have seen in other Disney films says "You can't do X because you're Y." This Disney said, "You can't do X because of *pause* your background...." It made the situation more real, hiding the hate behind soft words but at the same time, didn't beat you over the head with the subject.

Another subtle way they made it work was that there were some stylized animated sequences which were absolutely beautiful that were done in the style of New Yorker artist Michael Roberts. Very enjoyable to me because I really like his work anyhow, but again, it was a very subtle touch. Disney of yesteryear would have done stylization in African tribal motif. Roberts is a black artist but he's a very american artist with a really clean graphic style. I've really enjoyed his work in the past so it was great to see it ported so beautifully to animation.

The musical scoring was less bad than the majority of Disney films with the pieces ranging between 'rather tolerable' to 'actually appealing'. ... I can't remember if there's ever been another Disney film that's managed that.

Everything else was also pretty solid. The story was fairly engaging and moved nicely. The pacing was really good, the character designs were GREAT and loaded with tons of appeal and the animation was absolutely fabulous! I could watch it several more times just for the animation. It was awe inspiring.


It's definitely my favorite of their 'princess' films (beating out Sleeping Beauty *gasp*) and perhaps one of my all-time favorites. Way to go 2D department!!!!
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I kept Stacey up too late Friday night to get her out of bed in the morning to go oyster hunting Saturday morning. So instead, we went to see a matinee showing of Taking Woodstock It was playing in Palo Alto and we timed it such that after the show was over, it'd be just a short jaunt up to the woods to do the hiking we'd planned to do that morning.

The film has gotten mixed reviews, but most of the negative reviews have come from either A) People who were throwing a tantrum about the main character being gay or B) People who were throwing a fit because it was a movie about Woodstock that had none of the nostalgic music from Woodstock that they desired.

On the topic of the first part. DEAL WITH IT! Look. I know a bunch of our current right-whingers are people who like to blither on about how the Boomers were the GREATEST GENERATION EVAH and they want to take pride in an event that they were no part of and claim the awesomeness of it as their own as a way they can look down on the rest of us... But here's the thing... The movie was based on the AUTOBIOGRAPHY of Elliot Tiber. He is gay. He wrote it himself. The guy that gave Woodstock a venue after right-whinge asshats ran them out of two other venues was a GAY JEW. Suck it up!

As for the music... I think I understand the artistic choice to use stuff that wasn't at Woodstock. The event was about the music, yeah, but it was about the music of the moment, not nostalgia. It was also about love and peace and all that, not about RIAA profit margins. We all know what Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, and the Who sound like. Does everything need to be nostalgia and remix?

Besides, the movie was presented as being about the town and the kid who was managing the venue. He wasn't quite part of 'it' and the townspeople certainly weren't. Finally... How could a 2hr film possibly even hope to pay its due to three days of nonstop music? It's not feasible. You could never present the true sound of Woodstock in that amount of time.

Personally, I'm lucky enough to have a pile of reel-to-reel tapes my dad had and one of them happens to be a few hours of stuff that was recorded live at Woodstock (patched off the sound system, not open mic) and even the ~6hrs of sound I've got really doesn't even start to cover what things must have been like.

So... Now that I've addressed the critics, let me address the film: I really thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was really neat to see a film about Woodstock that wasn't focused on nostalgia and pop culture but instead was showing you the behind-the-scenes. All the people who worked to make it happen and the amount of effort and organization required to pull it off. The sheer scale of the thing is boggling. Burning Man caps at 50,000... That's about 1/10th the estimated 500,000 that were at Woodstock. It must have been totally overwhelming. The logistics of trying to pull off an event of that magnitude are staggering.

Speaking of Burning Man, I think that was part of what interested me most about Taking Woodstock. A lot of the people at Woodstock were proto-Burners. There was much commonality but there were also differences. It was really interesting to see what 40 years of event planning has done. Woodstock was not a Zero-Impact event. The people going to the thing made quite a mess by most counts and left the event sponsors doing a lot of the cleanup. Plus, it was different from Burn in that it was a show. At Burning Man, there are no spectators. You are part of it. I think this happened at Woodstock too, but not as consciously or intentionally as Burning Man. It's a subtle change in philosophy but it's important. Perhaps it was just my timing on seeing the film and my interests and some of my current project goals but I found the film really enjoyable and inspiring.

On only the thinnest tangent of connection, I started teaching myself to play the Beatles song "All you need is love" I'm learning the second-guitar chord parts first because chords are a lot more challenging for me than the first guitar melody. It's the first time I've tried playing guitar since I gashed my thumb with a meat cleaver a month ago and I played my acoustic guitar which as a wider neck than the electric. Happily, I was able to play for about half an hour before it started getting a little achey and I decided I'd best give it a rest. It's going to take a while before my thumb is really back up to full strength (I'm going to be taking it easy for the next two months just to be sure I don't re-injure it) but the outlook so far is promising.

Heh. Stacey isn't a big fan of the Beatles but likes a few of their songs. She skeptically asked if my book had "Paperback Writer" in it and was surprised that it did.... Actually, this book contains EVERY Beatles song (though some of them are in easier keys than they'd normally have been played) Somehow, this ended up in us looking the book up online and... Holy crap, I got a steal! I bought the book on our store credit at the used bookstore for what would have been $12 (but was effectively free due to trade-ins) The book is Beatles Complete Easy Guitar by Hal Leonard publishing. On Amazon stores, the book sells for between $65 and $210 O_O Wow. Glad I got it when I did. Needless to say, the book is out of print and is unlikely to ever be printed again. F***ing greedy music labels grubbing for every penny. *sigh* The current implementation of copyright law makes me so very sad. At the end of Taking Woodstock, Mike mentions that what happens next is probably that everyone sues everyone else as they chase the money. I don't know if this was an anachronism put in by Elliot or prophetic, but it is sad. Greed is so ruinous.

Nein!

Sep. 10th, 2009 10:48 am
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Yesterday (9/9/9) at 90 minutes to 9, we watched 9. We got out at 9:09 which made us 9 minutes late to get to Ranch 99. Instead, we went there at 9 this morning where I purchased 9 different ramen lunches.

All this banter is because I don't really feel like talking about the movie, though I feel compelled to. I'm disappointed with it. I feel like it's Tim Burton's weakest offering to date. For the most part, I've liked Burton a lot. He's been one of my favorite modern directors and of course, I'm a huge animation fan and the world the film was set in was pretty neat.

I've got no complaints about the world, character designs, or animation, but the editing was a bit weak. The pacing was rather off. However, much more distracting was the story itself. It was just not very good, not very compelling. The characters weren't engaging, the plot was nearly purposeless, and the resolution was just kind of.... Eh.

It's by no means the worst film I've ever watched but I think I'd recommend people save their money on this one. There just isn't a lot in it to warrant seeing it on the big screen. :/ And this from someone who's a fan of Tim Burton, rag dolls, and burlap. *sigh*
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Last night, I decided to test a new idea. My experiments can be a little iffy at times, but I think this one went well outside the realms of sanity and I learned things that I think mankind was never meant to know...

I have two monitors and two DVD players... So I played 'Fritz the Cat' and 'The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat' side by side and.... Wow... The horror. What I learned is this: Ralph Bakshi's film was better animated, more coherent, less rotoscoped, and less offensive than 'Nine Lives'. Let me repeat that: RALPH BAKSHI'S FILM WAS COMPLETELY SUPERIOR. And now I must live with this knowledge.

Coraline

Feb. 7th, 2009 02:52 pm
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Stacey and I went to see Coraline last night.

Go see this movie! It is AMAZING! I mean it's really seriously the best fantasy type film I've seen since Pan's Labyrinth. I'd actually put it well about PL in as much as it didn't make you want to slit your wrists by the time that it was over.

But it's incredible. The sets are gorgeous. The world is rich and full. The characters are have great appeal and the story is great. It's incredibly creepy in a way I haven't felt since I played the game 'Rule of the Rose'. If there was anything I found slightly lacking it was that there was a part that was a little bit like, "Man. I'd really love to play this as a video game rather than watch it."

But honestly? This film blows away Nightmare Before Christmas ... Of course, it probably won't do too well in the 'family' market. It's not really a kids film and the christian parents are going to seriously hate on it.


BTW, her other mother... is... so SO hot! You'd be quite tempted to let her devour your soul. :)

11 thumbs up!

Oh... And this review _probably_ isn't even because I have a thing for creepy rag dolls with shiny button eyes. ^_^

Smile

Jan. 8th, 2009 09:48 am
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Swiped from [livejournal.com profile] triggur.

I'm making this a meme. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbk980jV7Ao

AKIRA 2011

Dec. 9th, 2008 09:37 am
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I just died a little on the inside...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jafd97yJFOI
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I'd heard that Warner was going to discontinue the 'Golden Edition' collection of shorts, which is a real shame because getting to see all the old shorts in the original editing is awesome. Anyhow. I was quite surprised to see Volume 6 when we were at the store and I picked it up.

In a lot of ways, Volumes 5 and 6 have been my favorites so far. They have a lot of weird stuff that I've not seen as much or in some cases at all. Volume six has a lot of war era cartoons, and those are really neat but I've seen a lot of them on Toonheads. However, there's also a lot of Bosco and Foxy shorts that I haven't seen at all or have only seen once. Disk 3 gets even more creepy, moving from WWII into the post-war boom. It has several cartoons that I have to infliction on [livejournal.com profile] prickvixen because they are horrible Randian screeds done with beloved cartoon characters. They're absolutely appalling and half baked. They sound EXACTLY like where modern republicans seem to get their understanding of the economy.

And finally, there's disk 4. Disk 4 is, I suspect the 'The animators did a bunch of acid and then drew stuff' disk. It's GREAT! Oh man how I loved those weird-sounding WB intros and I confess that I do actually like the AP style. These really took me back to my childhood. Dark distant memories of strange barely familiar cartoons. This one in particular tickled ancient parts of my brain:

Meet Norman Normal. He's a lot like yooooooOOuuu! This cartoon is so awesome! Short of the one where Porky makes a cartoon, this is one of my favorite collections (despite the sometimes hard to watch racist and sexist overtones of parts)

Anyhow. I'd like to write a longer review but I'm going to be late for a date. Seriously though. At $40 (The cost of 4 movie tickets around here) this disk set totally worth a look.
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Went to see W last night with [livejournal.com profile] centauress and [livejournal.com profile] prickvixen

I confess, I had reservations about seeing this film because, as I put it to PV, I already know Bush is an idiot and if I want stupidity, there's Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Max Payne. But I also wanted to spend an evening out with friends and I felt like seeing a movie (which is rare)

Movie review )

Persepolis

Feb. 4th, 2008 03:55 pm
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Stacey and I went to watch Persepolis last night. It's a story of an Iranian woman about my age. The overthrow of the Shah and the religious extremists coming to power. Really good film. I'd particularly recommend it for Jon.

Film review )
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This will be part movie review and part rant. Contains no more spoilers than you get from the trailers.

So. For the review portion, let me say the film effects are great. The world isn't defined to my taste and a lot of stuff feels hurried and it feels like a middle-movie, having the same tone as The Two Towers or Empire Strikes Back So. Nothing I particularly disliked about the film but nothing that I really loved either.

Now, on to the rant!

It's come to my attention that the film is being boycotted by various religious groups, screaming that it's anti-religion or some bloody nonsense like that. I think perhaps if I'd heard these whinges beforehand, it might have upped my enjoyment of the film as I'd have been actively doing something to piss of the religious right. Instead, I'm left having watched a film that was not especially moving and then finding out there's a bunch of self-righteous indignation about it.

So... Is the Magesterium a power-broker with a hint of a religious undertone? Sure. Absolutely. Does that make it an attack on all that is holy? Don't be stupid. Compared to most films I've seen which deal with a theocracy, this one was pretty thin on the parallels. No one was dressed up in funny gowns or waving about anything ornamented in a way to suggest they were a member of any church. No one was called a bishop, priest, cardinal, or pope. There was one person named Coulter (some rightwingnut pointed this out rather loudly) and she was even blonde and psychotic. However, she wasn't Annie's version of psychotic. No foaming at the mouth, no screaming, jumping up and down, or flinging feces, and she didn't seem like she'd ever lived in a trailer park.

If you saw your religion reflected in the Magesterium, perhaps there's something wrong with your religion and you need to address that. Certainly, this isn't the first film that's had a corrupt theocracy that the 'heros' are fighting against. Here's a few. There are many more.
V for Vendetta, Riddick, Water World, Tank Girl, The BeastMaster, Star Wars, Krull, Planet of the Apes, etc.

You can probably name a few hundred others. Of course, none of these are films 'for kids'. That's got to be what the religious groups are squawking about, right? Okay. So what about Narnia, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty? I know... Evil queens are DIFFERENT, right?

Oh very well. You know that I've kept an ace in the hole. Let's go ahead and play it. Prince of Egypt... More to the point, the story of Moses. According to the bible, the religion of Egypt is corrupt and full of falsehoods. Moses goes before Pharoh and his clerics and for each bit of magic they do, he does as well. He even transforms a stick into a snake. Rather like the daemons in a way. In fact, there's a lot of parallels. Moses (Lyra) (an orphan BTW) spends some time as guest of the pharoh (Magesterium) before he challenges their power and flees. He is found by his friends and then guides the Israelites (Gyptians) through the desert. No golden compass is mentioned but only he knew the way, and mana (dust) falls from heaven and several other parallels that you can find for yourself if you're bored.

Not a perfect parallel but there certainly are a number of similarities. So I have to ask. Is the story of Moses an anti-religious anit-christian story? How about the story of Jesus? He says some rot about the churches being corrupt too. Perhaps christian groups should boycott Jesus next. It only seems sensible. He apparently doesn't stand for anything they want to believe in these days.

Anyhow, that's my take on it. The movie is probably passible if you really need to get out of the house and will probably be better in the context of a sequel but it's nothing special. The noise and nonsense from the right wing though. Definite thumbs down. Plot holes the size of arks. (Which are an entirely different story)
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Stacey and I went and watched Across the Universe last night. Basically updated versions of Beatles songs arranged in a film that's a bit like The Wall or Tommy but not quite as good IMO. Their universe was a bit too much Paul McCartney and a little too little John Lennon. Just a bit too clean-cut and whitewashed to really engage me. (Not that I'm at all an expert on these things)

The basic story was tedious. Your basic boy-meets-girl claptrap. The surreal, psychedelic, and hallucinatory scenes are good but there's way too much of 'normal' people in it to really be totally enjoyable for me. Mary Sue's 60s with a splash of color to set the scene. On the whole, I felt like it also painted the political liberals as the worst people in the film (selfish, sexist, self-righteous bomb-makers) and do-nothing slackers as the protagonists. The silly girl who says she'll never breed becomes one of the political liberals but ultimately realizes all that was silly and returns to our hero after calling the bomb-makers hypocrites. *gag*

Every microphone in the film was a Sony. That's how you knew who made the film, but other than that, product placement was surprisingly low. I didn't see a single coke can. Now that's refreshing!

On the whole, the film was pretty watchable. I'd even say I enjoyed it though 'enjoy' isn't the right word. More like, "It held my attention and it didn't grate on my nerves enough to make me bitchy" but that's as close to enjoyment as mainstream films tend to get me lately.

The last thing I took away from the film was some serious depression because it got me thinking about communes. In the back of my mind, I have that childish desire,
"Me and my friends could get a big house somewhere and pool our resources and because we're only paying one rent and one electric bill and sharing food, we'd save money and we'd all be in a better place financially and we'd all have more time to work on the things we really care about because chores would also be shared."

*sigh* If only that were true. My adult self knows it never works out that way. A few people (generally me being one of them) end up doing the majority of the chores and creating income and the rest make excuses or claim their role is to be the beautiful shiny creatures, artists, and musicians. Power dynamics evolve and the whole thing invariably falls apart, usually with the slackers left rushing to find a new home and the work horses stuck with the bills and clean-up. Not to mention, as the size of the group increases, there are increased odds of someone who is disrespectful to everyone else's space and comfort, either by adopting a 'more the merrier' sort of attitude and inviting lots of others to join or by introducing elements that could cause trouble for the entire group. (See also, girlfriends, boyfriends, and intent-to-sell quantities of drugs)

And even if I could find some magical group of people similar to me, who all make decent money and are regularly employed and who are eager to work and create, there's still potential trouble from fussy neighbors and the worst enemy: TV. TV is a soul-sucker for me. I have a hard time walking past a room with a TV blaring in it and not being drawn into its energy vortex. In a larger household someone will invariably want TV and then someone will want cable and then I'm stuck paying a portion of a bill on a device that drains my creative energy. Even if I can avoid it, then I'd be seen as anti-social and slowly become excluded from the group, most likely. I am alien. I am very nearly pure energy. Given the opportunity I am almost ALWAYS working on something. *sigh*

Of course, I can also be proven wrong on this. Entirely possible I'm just negative. [livejournal.com profile] tugrik and [livejournal.com profile] revar have managed to have a communal house for close to a decade without major (apparent) drama and their creative energies seem to have fed each other. I really envy that. *sigh* Though, I guess on the other hand, I have a bedroom and a studio space and I can leave my studio cluttered for a few nights without making anyone else crazy. I also like my privacy and quiet fairly often. So maybe I'm better off. Although as far as privacy and quiet go, I suppose house wins over apartment most days.

Mostly I just wish I had safe space. I wish faced with only two options where one is rent I can afford at my current income level and the other is a mortgage I would struggle endlessly to afford. I am always standing on the edge and feeling that if I slip for a moment, I'll fall and never stop until I hit the very bottom. I help people out when I can. I try to take care of my friends, but there's always this feeling in the back of my heart that says, "No one would catch you if you fell. You are alone." and honestly... Who would? The friends I have that might care couldn't afford it and everyone else has already rejected a dozen other people who've plead for help. They wouldn't treat me any different.

This is all part of why I spend so much time working on the things I'm passionate about. I will fall one day. It's inevitable and I have nothing to land on. Not friends and certainly not family. My only chance is to find some way to take care of myself permanently. Yet so far, nothing I've done has bore fruit.
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So... In short, it wasn't a bad film but it wasn't a good film. We had a particularly obnoxious audience of mostly teens who all felt they needed to outperform one another and the film by screaming, squealing, shouting, booing, etc the movie as much as possible. I wouldn't have minded if they had been enthused but the tone was more of one-upmanship than excitement.

The plot is the same as the other films in the series. Real world sucks. Harry almost doesn't get to go to school. Some big name 'rescues' him from mortal world. Rides some enchanted vehicle. First semester is reasonably light, getting more dark. Stuff that could get him kicked from school. Lonely sad unhappy christmas. Afterwards, things get darker. Climax. End.

This one wasn't nearly as well made as the earlier ones. The musical score and direction were markedly worse. Also, presumably since her target market is growing up, the story has more teen angst than the prior films.

Quite predictable and ordinary really. No magic at all.
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Bittersweet childhood stuff.

Cut for navel gazing and consumer politics )

Anyhow... Enough angst. I really wanted to write about Mary Blair. I found her artwork by looking at extras on Peter Pan and I really enjoyed it! Better yet, I found a website with lots of pictures so I can share it! http://www.bobstaake.com/artists/maryblair/animationdesign.html

More navel gazing and feminist politics )

Anyhow. Back to working on my own art now. :)

Edit:Race Politics )

Loltarders

Jul. 3rd, 2007 11:12 am
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It was inevitable that I'd see the Transformers movie just due to the noise and because I was vaguely curious. Also, since it's a truly mainstream film, it would give me some idea of the mindset of the mainstream (a horror I subject myself to periodically because I'm a masochist) So it seemed like the best thing to do was get it out of the way quickly. I had no pretenses that it would be good. I kind of liked the cartoon when I was a child though I was never a fan and never had any of the toys (Although we did have a few Go-bots.)

With the possible exception of Ghost Rider this is the worst film I've ever seen or at least the worst I've seen since the last time I subjected myself to a Michael Bay film. Seriously. Who is he blowing or blackmailing to keep getting directing credits? The military general-type guy (Jon Voigt) was the only semi-competent actor in the film (and looking at his other credits on IMDB, that's a really sad statement) For the rest, I've seen significantly better acting in pornos.

The film is basically a 3 hour long commercial for the loltard lifestyle. A unending assault of car and AXE commercials with some 3 Stooges thrown in. An unending stream of poorly delivered catch-phrases, feeble self-reference, oogling the starlet, and rich yuppie 'nerd' kids somehow making it good despite being a complete loser.

I realize now that it was worse than Ghost Rider. With that piece of crap I could at least pinch my nose and get into the film a little bit. This piece of crap, I was outside the film the entire time, sitting there in excruciating agony for an eternity waiting for the thing to end. It was truly awful.

I'll summarize the movie with this spoiler: Since all man's inventions like the car, airplane and radio were invented by stealing technology from Megatron after he was found in the 1920s, frozen at the north pole where he'd been for a thousand years, the Decepticons are able to make a virus that takes down all world communications systems. So they find the old telegraph station in the 1920's base and have to hotwire a computer to it to send morse code. The guy on the receiving end taps out the message on the transmitter and the day is saved.

No. I'm not making that up. Any of it. It's a movie made by and for the sort of people that comment on Digg and Youtube. I'm sure it will do well with its target market.

I really need to find a way off this planet.
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Hmm. Today was the 22nd. Stacey's birthday. Doh! I knew when her birthday was but I thought today was the 20th.

Um. So... For Stacey's birthday (she wasn't home when I got here, she was off shopping with Jeff) I got home from work and ran off to get Ashy for dinner at an italian place that I'd tried and liked to get her opinion of it and celebrate splut day.

After that, I plugged my laserdisc player into her TV and we watched Dr. Caligari (not the silent german impressionist film. Late 80's Avant Garde)

It was.... Um...

Well, let me back in time a moment here. In 1992 I moved to Santa Cruz, and I had the good fortune to have some really awsome housemates. I was basically still a hillbilly at that point in my life. The most deeply profound and exotic film I'd seen would have probably been something like 2001 and Twice Upon a Time. My housemates were a bunch of really awsome kooks and made me watch all kinds of weird and deeply disturbing films. Most of which, I loved. Amoung them was Dr. Caligari Over time, I'd forgotten most of this film except that it was bizarre in the same sense as VideoDrome, and that at moments I found Dr. Caligari strangely sexy. Flash forward 14 years. Jon and Ashy and I are wandering around SF and we see some medical implements in a fetish shop. We talk a little about Dr. Wednesday and this reminds me of this film. (In retrospect, I hope she's not offended by that). For the sack of novelty, I hit e-bay and find a copy of it on Laser Disc for a whopping $6.50. Now I should mention that other films I saw in this time in my life and thought were exciting, interesting, and different turned out to be slow, plodding, and just plain annoying, but what the heck. What are friends for if not suffering through a bad film so they can ridicule you on it later.

So.. Did Dr. Caligari hold up? ... It was better than Suburbia but... Umm... I can't think of anything that really describes this film in an adequate way. It looks like a student film based on a play but I think it's supposed to. Most of the talent are porn stars, I think the music was composed on a Cassio 100, and perhaps it was the cannoli and espresso I had before the movie but I had this weird giddy not-quite-laughing sensation through the whole movie and when it was over, I broke down and giggled hyesterically for about twenty minutes. I'm not sure how I feel about it but it is definetely 'art' with a capital H in the middle of it. It was definetely mind-bending. Maybe just not in the way I recall. At a bare minimum, I'll have to get some framegrabs from it and some quotes. It had a lot of quotable moments.
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Ooooh.

TCM was playing The 5000 fingers of Dr. T. Made in 1953, this movie is all that and a bag of chips. It's in the family of films like Dr Strangelove and Charlie and the Chocolate factory. It's surrealist with some nice biting commentary towards the conformity of the 50's and everyone's fear of the Atom Bomb. I can't imagine anyone on my friend's list who wouldn't like this film. If you've not seen it, do so. :) I'm going to make myself a Happy Fingers hat to wear on SecondLife.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I used to like this movie a lot when I was a child, of course back then, I wouldn't have understood that the ethnic depictions were racist and the way the woman falls for the main character is pretty obnoxious, but it wasn't a total wash.

The small town people are largely loathesomely small-townish. Dr Lao is a flim-flam man; a one-man traveling circus. He is, of course, a youngish white guy (Tony Randall) playing and elderly chinese man, but it doesn't come across as hatefully as say Jerry Lewis. Also, by the nature of the film, you get the idea that it might just be part of the circus act.


Anyhow, the major themes in the show are 'The world doesn't stop at the edge of your town. There's a whole universe beyond it.', 'It's okay to be weird', 'Art and creativity are real magic. Believe in the power of your dreams.'

I think these things all resonated with me pretty deeply as a child. I felt trapped where I lived, limited by invisible walls and kept away from art. I was the kid who wanted to run away with Dr. Lao's circus, but like him, I didn't get the chance to go with Dr. Lao. I had to stay there. I'm away from there now, of course, but it's good to remember that the world is my circus and that you can find beauty in all things if you just look for it. I can see why I liked this movie when I was small.

February 2012

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