Reviews:

May. 24th, 2011 06:42 pm
skywaterblue: (amy and rory wedding)
Reviewing media things is the only thing I'm doing with this journal lately. Still. Let's go.

1. Pirates Four )

2. Doctor Who was good this week, but you should never review them until the second part. Sure, it's mostly a hash of a bunch of different science fiction stories, but if you must rip, rip shamelessly and from the best. There's some subtle character choices and at least one really nice scare. Looking forward to the next part. Gulp. Almost at that season divide already?

3. This week's Game of Thrones was the best one yet! Script by Jane Esperson. Of course. Golden Crown )

4. A little fandom wank: Joshua Malina, of Sports Night and Will Bailey fame, apparently made a fake Bradley Whitford twitter account tonight and has spent the day trolling gullible fans. Which is a terrible thing to do, no less to spoof a divorced father of three by following NAMBLA and joking about his ex-wife. Yo dude, there's a line, and it was WAY THE FUCK BACK THERE. Also, dude, you're not a good enough actor for me to find that funny and if I were involved in hiring you, you wouldn't be.

5. Speaking of, Bradley Whitford has some serious alimony issues or something because he's been on three guest spots in less than a week. I always look forward to seeing him on TV and the first two roles were awesome, but he could do a lot better than Slimy Defense Lawyer of the Week on a Law and Order Spinoff.
skywaterblue: (Jed/Leo)
Handlebars by [personal profile] chaila.

I debated whether I wanted to make a West Wing vid to this song for a while and ultimately dismissed it because I decided it was a. overplayed in fandom and b. pretty dark.

Now I wish I had. [personal profile] chaila has focused it strictly on Bartlet and it's an absolutely chilling look at the character. Go watch.

Which reminds, me, I saw "The Social Network" Thursday on screener passes. I tweeted about it but I never got around to writing an entry on it. Let's do that now, shall we?

Non-spoilery: While maybe not the 'greatest movie of the year', the glowing reviews have been fairly on the money. Easily the best thing Sorkin's written since 'The West Wing' and in many ways the apogee of a lot of things he's been working through. Thus I recommend highly that you see it, especially if you are a fan of his and on the fence - it's always good to see an artist finally LAND the theme they were circling around for ages.

Spoilery )

Also, any film where part of the plot involves drunken emo break up Livejournaling? You guys should all be lining up for it.
skywaterblue: (pornjosh)
I bah-leeted a long thing about Inception that basically summed up some stuff. Non-spoilery: it's still a great film, but I probably won't see it a third time and I won't recommend anyone go who has suicide 'issues' as it's really quite triggery. I thought I was good, but both times I saw it I spent the next day feeling rather awful, so yeah.

I'm convinced... )

ANYWAY.

Mad Men 4.2: Spoilers )

Rubicon 1.2: Um, it was on before 'Mad Men' and 'Sherlock' wasn't done downloading? Actually, the second episode is vastly better than the first one. The spycraft is still dumb as shit - I hate it when I've read the same reference material as the show's writing staff? But the main character's team consists of a mixed sort of pathological wastes, all of whom seem borderline Aspergers and they get a lot more fleshed out this week. They must be asking them to make this acting choice, because even the wizened old salt who the main character is going to for help with the arc plot seems messed in the head.

I approve. They're way more entertaining than the arc plot, though that too is getting fun now that Miranda Richardson actually has scenes?

West Wing Season 7: It occurs to me that all my first reaction posts to that are now buried in Friends lock. I'm sure they're embarrassing to reread so I won't unlock them. I've been going through this season again on DVD, and as far as I recall my reactions to the episodes NOW are basically the same as they were then. Though I think I remember liking the Debate at the time but now I'm firmly in the 'no, that breaks the rules of the show AND it sucked' camp.

If you want to read me bitch and moan about it, I've been spamming Twitter.
skywaterblue: (pornjosh)
First, Mad Men 4.1: Some thoughts. )

Interesting start to the season. Not entirely clear what the season's themes are, but I only watched it once.

Rubicon

This is the new show that AMC is pushing hard to air after Mad Men. It's your basic LeCarre-esque espionage saga with a heavy dose of 'this has a series mystery'.

The problem is that the pilot episode deals so heavily in tropes - there's a message hidden in the crossword which starts a chain of assassinations, the head boss is clearly a double spy, and the main character is supposed to be a genius analyst. Yet when his boss gets killed despite leaving him a not at all cryptic message about what train he was going to be on and a motorcycle encouraging him to leave, and then creepy boss offers him old boss's job at the funeral, main character suspects nothing.

I'm spoiled by Garak. If anyone had killed one of Garak's associates in a 'train accident' after they left him keys to a shuttlecraft and a cryptic message, he would have been on to it like scales on Cardassians.

What I'm saying is this: Spy Dramas? The ONE PLACE it's okay for your character to have 'genre savvyness' as a trait. Because that's THEIR FUCKING JOB.

Also, the writers maxed out the main character's manpain attribute: his wife and kids DIED IN 9/11.

Skip skip skip.

Inception: Too complex to really review after only seeing it once. At a certain point in the movie there are at least five layers of story you have to be keeping track of, and while I'm pretty sure I know what happened, jeez.

I actually don't think it was as meaningful a meditation on the act of filmmaking as the Prestige is, but I'd have to see it a second time.

The special effects are really astonishing, though, and I didn't even hate Leo DiCaprio that much... even though I never am able to watch a film with him in it without thinking 'that's Leo DiCaprio'. I understand why people think this indicates he's Old Hollywood Like That, I just find it fucking annoying in 2010.

OH: The real astonishing bit is how good Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in this film. I bought him completely as an action hero. I would love to see some more movies with him as the lead. The end.

Sherlock 1.1: WHOA THERE. It's awesome and hella slashy. I love the way they use mobile phones in this - probably the most natural use of phones I've seen in anything in some time.

Mainly I want to say this:

BENEDICT CUMBERPATCH IS THE PERFECT CASTING FOR DREAM OF THE ENDLESS

MOFF, GAIMAN: STICK SOME BLACK CONTACTS ON IT AND GETTER DONE BEFORE HE'S TOO OLD.
skywaterblue: (so divine!)


Very cute film! The end song by Sigur Ros got stuck in my head - apparently Abby is a big fan. (She says that she doesn't like their new stuff because 'they discovered happiness' but that I would like the new CD.) Noelle, Shane and the baby were also with us.

And unexpected David Tennant was unexpected. (It's a blink and you miss it VO, like his appearances in the Big Finish audios.)

The one thing I really disliked, though, is that none of the other dragons in the film have remotely the charm of the lead dragon, Toothless. His design is full of appealing Chris Sanders-style. It feels like they probably brought him on to the project to redesign Toothless to be appealing, and they left the other dragons as they were. Which is a success because I want a plush Toothless like ten minutes after I left the theater, but sucks for plot reasons.

Which is to say... )

It had the charm of making me remember what it was like to be eight, in that I left the theater imagining childish fanfiction where they meet a girl Night Fury dragon and she's like TEH AWESOMEST!!

Also, where's my fuckin' Pern movie? Sigh.
skywaterblue: (the universe was waiting)


Girl Comics!

The Beat had the exclusive this morning.

I think this is a really cool project. In an industry that has frequently had sexism issues, it's nice that Marvel decided to celebrate the women who are currently making comics with these one shots. I'm looking forward to buying this. Shame about the title, though.

The ONTD_P comment thread on this made me want to tear my hair out, however.

Merlin: Meh. I guess the recent events were supposed to feel epic and groundchanging, but they don't for me, partially because I suspect this season will end with some sort of reboot. Show is far, far too attracted to its monster-of-the-week format. Also, I increasingly dislike the choices Merlin is making. Major Kira would call him a collaborator.

Princess and the Frog: Enjoyed this a lot! Lovely animation, especially in Tiana's dream sequences and surrounding the baddie. I did feel it was a tad long for the material - the frog adventures in the bayou seemed to stretch on FOREEEVER. I desperately wanted them to get back to New Orleans and to be human because it seemed as though those earlier sequences were far more interesting to me. And the songs are very slight.

Hai spoilers! )

In conclusion: there was no real race or genderfail in this that I saw, and I enjoyed it, but it is a slighter work than their previous offerings. I hope that Disney continues its newfound commitment to 2D animation, though, as this is a promising start.
skywaterblue: (Support Your Local Cylons!)
First: my dreamwidth paid time is almost up, and I'm not yet sure if I'm going to re-up. Going back and forth about it.

That aside, here are some reviews:

Where the Wild Things Are, I think, is a movie not for everyone and a certain number of reviews have said it's basically for hipsters. I don't THINK I'm a hipster myself, but I loved it. It was basically, exactly what I expected it to be. Not sure I have much more to say about it, except that the sheer level of CRAFT in it was amazing. Max Records is a phenomenal little actor, the monsters are all very real. The cinematography is gorgeous. I expect it'll be a classic, just like the book.

For the record, we took Sabastian who is two, and there were other toddler/pre-schoolers in the audience. Not a single one seemed to be scared. Scary factor is very over-rated. (But only in Las Vegas is the 8:30 for a two hour movie full of parents and kids.)

The Plan

I guess this is not officially out yet, and it was a leaked DVD copy. Oops, I posted all over my twitter about it. Sorry if I spoiled anyone!

The non-spoilery review is that I think it's worth your time to see this if you enjoyed BSG. You have to have liked the Cylons though - I can't imagine anyone who was watching it for the true true love of Adama/Roslin or Lee/Kara getting anything out of this.

Here are some spoilers )
skywaterblue: (shakespeare)
I didn't like this movie, but that's no surprise. I'd be hard-pressed to think of a Tarantino that I DID like, due to his glorification of ultraviolence.

There was, however, one brilliant moment in the end scene. )
skywaterblue: (Watchmen)
[livejournal.com profile] dianora2 said she was waiting to hear it, which uh, very flattering.

I REALLY LOVED IT. I saw it with [livejournal.com profile] powerof3 and a bunch of her people, all of whom are really nice. I was worried that the people in the group who hadn't read the book would get lost, but it's actually so faithful to the story that I think everyone followed it well enough. It's an interesting movie, on the very bleeding edge of discussion about adapting books to film.

A Bit of the Ol' Ultraviolence. )

I for one, cannot wait for the Nite Owl/Rorschach slash.
skywaterblue: (Revolution Will Not Be Televised)
I started watching 'Merlin' the other night with Cooper. We watched about seven straight episodes. Unfortunately I failed at DVD making and we watched some of them out of order, including the second episode as the first episode. Doubly unfortunate as that second episode is literally one of the worst hours of television I've ever seen.

Anyway, it's okay, I'll probably watch the rest of the season tonight. Cooper and I almost invented a drinking game which was 'every time Anthony Stewart Head gets to have range, take a drink', because most of the show involves his character being a complete douche to create third act drama. Strangely, they just gave interesting backstory to Gaius, which makes it two Gaiuses in a row who are interesting characters.

Mainly the whole thing makes me wonder why the BBC never made a good version of "The Once and Future King". And also why I can't find my copy for a reread.



Here's a video of a historian who made a working reconstruction of the Antikythera mechanism.

There's a movie coming out called Nothing But The Truth which is a thinly veiled version of the Valarie Plame scandal. It's written by Rob Lurie, who did 'Commander-in-Chief', that shit West Wing knockoff, and the much better film "The Contender". Interestingly, it not only has Alan Alda, but some guy named President Lyman who gets shot.
skywaterblue: (Romana)
I polished off the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman today, in one fell swoop. I thought it quite good, and the end a bit surprising. (At least, if you knew that it was inspired by the Jungle Book.) I can't say I have more advanced thoughts on it than that.

Not too spoilery for Frost/Nixon and The Duchess. )

What else? I've also watched a metric fuckton of old Doctor Who. "The Invisible Enemy" was pretty much insane, but I liked K9's introduction. Stupid robot dog is growing on me, dammit. Also funny was seeing Cooper's reaction when I told him the plot of this one, since it involves a virus that turns into a crawdad and Leela and the Doctor going on an adventure in the Doctor's brain.

Cooper and I watched "The Invasion of Time" together, and I really liked that one. Quelle surprise, he said, for it is a known truth that I will get my panties in a bunch about politicking getting in my science fiction. Leela totally does get shipped off at the end, though, and the TARDIS interior is basically the behind corridors of a casino. Also weird is that it has the Doctor being uber manipulative and generally excellent, but it ends with a personal reset button. Also he shoots a Sontaran. Much lulz happened with this.

Then I got "The Ribos Operation" and "The Pirate Planet". Ribos was kinda boring but it did have the Doctor making friends with criminals on the planet of Soviet Russia. Romana seriously does just get dumped in his lap, yeah? And she's a bit frosty, but she warms up a lot by "The Pirate Planet" which is a much better episode where they have wacky Douglas Adams hijinks and K9 faces off a robot bird and there's an evil queen and wee shrunken planets.

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