amredthelector: (Default)
Watching The Shining for the first time, and I have one big question about it...

The setting is supposed to be Colorado, yes? High enough into the mountains that the air is thin, and the skiing is great but the hotel still doesn't stay open in the winter. And also... built on an "Indian Burial Ground," and the builders of the hotel even had to "fight off Indians" during construction in the early 1900s.

So my question is - what fucking Native group lived THAT high up in the Rockies, or at least close enough to use the area as a burial ground? And continued living there into the early 1900s... y'know, long after Indian Removal?

Sorry, Steven King/Stanley Kubrick, your lack of research is showing.
amredthelector: (11th doctor)
You know those times were you go back and watch a show or movie you loved as a kid but haven't seen in years, and you realize it's really not that good but the nostalgia just totally over-powers your critical side and you can't help but love it?

Yeah, I just had one of those over The Princess and the Goblin.

But seriously I love this movie. The male lead defeats the goblins... through song! And then gets a bunch of soldiers to do the same thing! How can you not love that?
amredthelector: (Spoink hat)
I just got back from seeing The Adjustment Bureau and feel like talking about it.

This movie was, in a word, awesome. I liked almost everything about it, and the few problems I have with it are so minuscule as to, for once, not interfere with my enjoyment of it. I liked it that much.

I wanted to see it from the first time I saw the trailer - a shadowy organization is controlling the paths of people's lives? Sounds awesome, totally gonna see it. It gets a bit more complicated then that in the actual movie, though. A young, bright politician with a true rags-to-riches story is on the cusp of becoming one of the youngest and most successful senators in New York, when he meets a woman that is utterly perfect for him. But their passing is brief and she disappears from his life... until, by chance, they meet again. And he accidentally stumbles upon the titular shadowy organization as they're tinkering with his friend's brain to make his plans more successful.

The shadow organization informs him of their purpose, hinting towards the fact that they aren't just an organization... they're practically agents of some form of God. And they tell him to get back on his path, away from his dream girl, or they'll start fucking his shit up. From there, he has to choose if he's going to follow their warning, or make his own destiny.

The trailers for the movie lead me to believe that this would end in an action-y way similar to Inception, so I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be more about talking and trying to run from fate instead of fight. The cinematography wasn't anything spectacular, but I liked the characters and the story kept me guessing as to whether the characters could escape their fate.

I had only three problems with the story, which are tiny, but spoilers, so they continue under the cut. Spoilers! )

Anyways, those problems were so brought up so briefly in the story (except that last one) that it was easy to overlook. As a whole, I really liked the movie. I wish that it could get a big fandom a la Inception's (since I found it a better movie that understood what it wanted to be more then Inception did) but I highly doubt it. I think it would be a great movie to discuss and play with the world and stuff.
amredthelector: (Default)
I'll just leave this here.



Made with Sculpey Clay, about 2 inches tall.
amredthelector: (Caramell pikachu)
I saw the Karate Kid remake today, and I really enjoyed it. I admit, when I first heard it was being remade, I had my doubts. The original was a great movie, and I didn't really think it needed to be remade. But as I saw the trailers come out, I became really excited about it. And it really did not disappoint.

I'm kind of annoyed by the title - it really should be 'The Kung Fu Kid' instead of Karate, and that's actually what the international title is. I'm disappointed that someone in production decided Americans are too dumb to realize that this is a Karate Kid remake without the title.

Still, the film was really enjoyable. It follows the plot of the original really closely, though with some differences (waxing the car turns into hanging up a jacket, Mr. Haung's family is lost a different way from Mr. Miyagi's, etc), but that's okay, I think. The movie is energetic and fun. When the kids hit one another, it really looks like it hurts. The audience (at least where I was watching) really go into the action, and cared about the characters. There were some points were Dre got hit really hard, and you could hear a collective gasp from everyone in the theatre. When he scored a good hit, people clapped and cheered. I don't normally like when people do that in theatres, but even I couldn't resist.

The characters were fantastic, and easy to like. Dre was portrayed as a typical American - there was hardly any mention that he was black, other then a few comments about his hair from some of his Chinese school mates. It was nice to see him be just a character, instead of a 'black character'. He was energetic and a little ignorant, but well-meaning and sweet. Mr. Haung was an amazing role for Jackie Chan. He tends to get type-cast into comedic roles, but here he really got to show off his serious acting chops, and he was amazing. He didn't have very many fight scenes, and when he did, they weren't super-fancy. At the end of them, he'd even look really tired, like he was getting too old for martial arts. His fighting didn't overshadow Jaden's, and that was a good thing. And speaking of Jaden's martial arts... holy crap. I hope the kid keeps up with it, because he was amazing. I'd love to see him getting staring roles in American-made wuxia films when he's an adult. How awesome would that be? A black kung fu star. I'd love to see that.

Anyways, it was a great movie. If you've seen the original, you know how it ends, so you may not be inclined to see it. But I think it brings enough originality to it to make it really fun and interesting.
amredthelector: (Default)
Rocky Horror was awesome. It was just... ahahaha. Amazing.

Details on the night and my devirginizing under the cut )

Very fun night, and I so want to go and see it again next month.
amredthelector: (Default)
Yeeeess I'm going to finally get to see Rocky Horror for the first time on the 28th. I'm so excited, you don't even know. I've seen bits and pieces from it, and know a lot of the songs (mostly because of marching band - half the band had Time Warp committed to memory and would sing it at the drop of a hat... we also all knew Springtime for Hitler) but I've never had the full experience of seeing it at a theatre. It used to play at a small theatre near my house every saturday, and my big sis promised to take me around my 16th birthday (the time she thought I'd be old enough to see it), but the theatre was bought and turned into a concert venue, and hasn't played it since. So I'm finally seeing it, and I'm so excited.

Final grades for public speaking and envi sci are in - A- in public speaking, A in envi sci. Still waiting for art history and envi sci lab grade, and I take my anthropology final tomorrow. Almost done. Almost done.
amredthelector: (nom nom nom)
I've seen this meme all over the place, and have been meaning to do it for a while.

Pick 20 movies/anime/video games/literary works and put their summaries from Better than it Sounds and WITHOUT CHEATING have your friends guess.

Warning, though, I made up quite a few of these myself, either because they weren't on TVtropes, or the ones that were there were too obvious. List contains: 4 films, 3 live action tv shows, 5 books, 2 plays, 2 animes, 2 bands, and 2 cartoons.

list under cut )
amredthelector: (ozzy bucket)
So my sister just gave me a copy of District 9. Which I'm stoked about, because I've only seen the first half of it, and really liked it, and have been meaning to watch the second half. Though it does make me noticed how odd a DVD collection I have. Most of them are DVDs I took from my dad, but they're pretty much the movies I watch the most. And they are:

Ghost Rider
Hellboy 2
Bladerunner: The Final Cut
Starship Troopers
Hot Fuzz
The Fall
Robin Hood: Men in Tights

So, like, two really artsy films (Bladerunner and The Fall) aaaand then a lot of silly things. I don't really know what this says about me. Other then I need to get me some musicals on DVD. Especially Little Shop of Horrors, Mamma Mia!, Hairspray, and Singin' in the Rain.

My sis and mom are in town for the weekend. They came down to be with me for an induction ceremony for the national honors society that happened tonight, and they'll be here through sunday.

Also, I swear to god, the song "Lay All Your Love On Me" is just following me around. The ABBA version was over the PA at the dining hall yesterday morning, the Erasure version came up on Pandora yesterday, and the Steps version just came up on Pandora when I started it up just now. But... I can't say I mind. I actually like ABBA (except for "Dancing Queen" because I swear I heard that damn song five times a week back when I worked at the hardware store and we played an "oldies" station 24/7 over the PA), because they're fun.
amredthelector: (Default)
I had a pretty awesome weekend this week! Which is nice, because last weekend was just homework and laundry tiems. My sister came down to spend the weekend here (sort of), and I had fun. We went to the zoo, I got myself some comics, and we went and saw Clash of the Titans. Fun weekend, and I might post some zoo pictures later in the week.

Though, the real reason I'm making a post is so that I can talk about the Clash of the Titans remake. Which I will do so under the cut, because this might get long winded and spoilery.

TL;DR - I prefer the Harryhausen version )
amredthelector: (Default)
Day 2: My favorite movie
The Fall (2006) Directed by Tarsem

The Fall is a really recent film, and I admit I’ve only seen it twice, but there’s no denying that it’s my favorite movie. The first time I saw it, I fell it love with it, becoming as hopelessly devoted as Vincent Van Gogh to his prostitute lover that he sent his ear to. Except The Fall isn’t a prostitute, it’s a beautiful, shy lady who often gets overlooked because she’s modest and doesn’t but herself out there very much. And even though I love the film, I won’t cut my ear off for it, and I really don’t know where I’m going with this metaphor, so I’ll get back to the point.

The first thing I noticed when I saw The Fall was it’s stunning visuals. It had amazing sweeping landscapes filmed in multiple countries, and very, very little of it is CGI. The film is so beautiful, so lush and colorful, in a world were filmmakers are trying more and more to make everything grey and brown unless they’re Terry Gilliam. (And even his latest film was pretty gray.) Each shot is careful and gorgeous, and just watching the trailer makes me feel this little flutter in the artsy part of my heart.

Of course, I said recently that I won’t watch a film just because it’s pretty, and The Fall is no exception. The story is wonderful – a bit simple, but I love it anyways. It’s like Baron Von Munchausen or Princess Bride, but darker and edgier. And by that I don’t mean lots of guns and gore (there are a few fight scenes, but they’re actually pretty tame), I mean that the story is dark. Like BvM or PB, The Fall is a framed-narrative of a man telling a story to a child. But he isn’t trying to teach her the power of story, like the Grandfather or the Baron… instead, he’s manipulating her. The framed story is pretty interesting, too – he describes what he knows, and she imagines what she knows, and it makes for this awesome mish-mash of cultures.

I’ve gone on long enough, so I’ll go ahead and wrap this up. The Fall is a great film, balancing gorgeous visuals and a well-written story. It needs more love, seriously, so go check it out. It’s got Lee Pace being a badass. And Charles Darwin. With a monkey.
amredthelector: (Spoink hat)
I just got back from seeing the Sherlock Holmes movie. The theatre was totally packed, which was surprising. I know that it's the opening day, but I didn't realize how popular the movie was already. That, and I'm used to theatres being empty on Dec 25.

Anyways, the movie was fun. Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr have great chemistry as Watson and Holmes - they threw banter back and forth all throughout the film, and it seemed very natural. The film picks up after the characters have been working together for quite some time, and the acting really makes it feel like the two are very close. I'm very glad that the film didn't fall into the stereotypes that many adaptations of the story gets into - Watson wasn't the bumbling comic relief (as is seen in the later stories, but never in the originals), Holmes never dons a deerstalker. Now, it's been ages since I've read the books, so I can't vouch too much for accuracy to the stories, but it was still a fun watch. It drags a bit in the third act, though. And Mark Strong makes such a good villain.

I was pretty much suckered in to seeing this because of the costumes, by the way. I love me some Victorian clothing.

Also, seems that Robert Downey Jr believes that Watson and Holmes are gay. I'm sure with that, he made a loooot of slash writers very, very happy.
amredthelector: (Default)
I am not going to see James Cameron's Avatar. I am not interested in white guilt recycled in space. Yes, I know that many sci-fi stories are some sort of race issue in space (or almost-space, ala Bladerunner), but at least Star Trek, Bladerunner, etc, try to be original. Avatar is clearly just white hero going "native", with the "natives" being a blatant show of othering and exoticism. People have been calling this "Dances with Smurfs", and really, that's what it looks like (though, I like to think of it as Ferngully + alien tits - Tim Curry's sexy voice). Now, this may be a bit disjointed, since I'm just posting this in case anyone asks me why I won't see this. So, I think I'm just going to do bullet points on why I won't see it.

1. The cultural appropriate to make the Navi "exotic". In an interview, Cameron said this about the design for the aliens' clothing: I designed her costumes based on a taparrabo, a loincloth thing worn by Mayan Indians. We go to another planet in this movie, so it would be stupid if she ran around in a Brazilian thong or a fur bikini like Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C. So, a fur bikini is stupid, but Mayan clothing on a non-earth world isn't? That just confuses me. But my main problem with this is that the Mayan culture is being othered because Cameron thinks it looks exotic/"native". Every promo image I've seen of the Navi has the aliens wearing feathers and beads and using bow and arrows... and it's clear what they're going for with this. It's the stereotypical image that a lot of people have in mind when they think of Native Americans before they learn what kind of clothes Native Peoples really wore. By dressing the Navi up like this, Cameron is making people think of Native Americans, and enforcing the stereotypes of Natives as "earth people" or whatever.

2. The sexism in designing Zoe Saldana's character. To be specific, Cameron's "she's gotta have tits" statement. This. Bugs. The. CRAP out of me. Cameron has had plenty of strong female characters before, like Ripley and Sarah Connor. I love Sarah Connor. I love her to death. She's one of my fictional role models. And one of the reasons why I loved her was because she wasn't there just for the male gaze. She wasn't supposed to be hot, she was supposed to be strong. Now, that's not to say that hotness and strength can't go together - they totally can, look at that bombshell Princess Leia. The problem I have with Cameron's statement is that by saying 'Right from the beginning I said, "She's got to have tits," ', that's saying that her sex appeal comes before her strength, before any other characterization at all. In the interview Cameron said this in, he also stated that "real women are complicated", and that men need to realize that real women "don't look and act like Vampirella". Yet here he is, saying that the most important feature on this female character is her TITS.

3. The CGI hype. Okay, this is my weakest argument against it, but still, needs to be said. It feels like everyone I know has said that they don't like the story for Avatar, but they'll see it "for the good CGI". Well, I'm sorry, but pretty graphics aren't enough to make me see a film any more. I saw 300 because I thought the effects looked cool, and that was a huge waste of eight bucks. Besides, I don't even think the effects look all that better then other films I've seen.

4. The White Savior becoming one of, and then saving, the Noble Savages. Just... that. I've said it. It's the same plot as Dances with Wolves and other white guilt movies. I hate the fact that the natives have to be 'saved' by the White Hero. I'm sick of that cliche, and the way that it implies that native peoples can't save themselves.

So, there you go. Why I'm not seeing Avatar and would rather not hear any more hype about it.
amredthelector: (11th doctor)
I finally finished my term paper in my film and literature class. I've been doing research for it since the third week of school. I've compiled three annotated bibliographies on it. I've written four drafts of it. And it's finished, printed, and turned in to the prof. And because I'm feeling especially nerdy, I'm going to share with all you my (sort of) abstract.

This essay is an exploration of the film noir genre and its evolution, using Howard Hawks’s The Big Sleep and Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner as focus points of a forty-year span of film. It argues that film noir as a genre did not end in the 1950s, as is the popular belief, but has lasted through the 1980s and into the present. Part of this argument lies with the emergence of the neo-noir genre, introduced in the 1970s, which, despite aesthetic differences, is still true to the classic genre. It also discusses the way in which noir has lived on through the use of noir elements and themes in seemingly unrelated genres, especially science fiction. Through out the essay, I will elaborate on how the two focus films both fit into and influence noir.

If anyone's interested in reading an essay on the film noir genre and it's last effects on film, let me know and I can email you a copy of the paper. God, why am I saying this? I'm such a geek :B

Now I need to get back to writing a paper on the influence of Rome on the modern day. And then rewrite an essay on why the film adaptation of Ethan Frome fails at framed narrative.
amredthelector: (Spoink hat)
I want to watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Day of the Locust back-to-back and then write a paper on the use of the grotesque, the surreal, and the deconstruction of the American Dream presented in the two films.

However, I think that watching them back-to-back would be so much of a mind-screw that by the end of DotL, I'd be reduced to a whimpering ball cowering in a corner.





...I also want to write a paper on framed narrative and the use of children as a symbol of innocence and imagination in The Princess Bride, The Adventures of the Baron Von Munchhausen, and The Fall. Because I'm just that lame.
amredthelector: (Default)
So I saw the latest Harry Potter movie yesterday, and... honestly, it was better then I expected. In short: it had more humor then I was expecting, cut out a lot of more dull parts of the book, and was decent. There were still a lot of problems, such as the over-use of de-saturization filters, a lot of wooden acting, and a few too many Lord of the Rings similarities. A longer and rather spoiler-filled review is under the cut.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince review )

Agh, way too long there. But fuck it, I had to say it.
amredthelector: (Oh noes mudkip!)
Y'know what, Pixar? Fuck you. Fuck you and your emotionally stirring movies that give me a serious case of mood whiplash. Fuck you.

But really, I just saw Up and it was a really good movie. The plot was a lot more adult then most Pixar movies, which I was not expecting. They showed a lot depressing (and, having gone through 3 grandparent's deaths, true) and mundane parts of being old. But it also had a lot of very funny and uplifting moments. The characters felt genuine - Carl came across perfectly as a cranky old man, and Russel was such a perfect whiny little kid. There was a lot of emotional depth, and you really do feel that the characters grow. When it's funny, it's REALLY funny, and when it's sad, it's REALLY sad.

It really seemed to be trying to send a message, but my parents and I disagree on what that message is. (We're getting a bit into spoiler territory here, so I'll try to be brief.) My parents think that the message is to get out and have your adventures while your still young so that you don't feel like you've wasted your life. But what I got out of it was that life, even if it's dull, is an adventure. And sometimes you can be so caught up in trying to be someone else, someplace else, that you forget how wonderful life is. As Russel said, "I think I remember the boring parts best".

Not too spoilery, but it's over now.

It also had the best talking dogs ever. If a lab could talk, it would sound like Dug.

As for trailers, Thank you, Sony Pictures Animation, for taking one of my beloved childhood books and raping it up the ass. You could at least TRY to emulate the original art style like Horton Hears a Who did. But seriously, stop with this trend. As soon as I saw this trailer, I threw up my arts in frustration and almost walked out.

On the other hand, The Princess and the Frog looks like it could be very good. A black princess? A French prince (with a personality)? Traditional animation? A frikkin' VOODOO WITCH DOCTOR?!? Hells yeah. This looks promising.
amredthelector: (Default)
Hey, LJ buddies.

If you could make a movie, with any budget and any actors you wanted, what would you make? Like, what would the basic plot be, who would be in it, etc?

Me, I'd make a modernized version of Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona, set in present-day Las Vegas. Valentine and Proteus would be Elvis Impersonators, and the reason Valentine goes to Vegas is because he won a spot in an Elvis competition. Julia would be an erotic dancer, her maid Lucetta would be the manager of the club she worked at. Silvia would be a Vegas show girl, and her father, The Duke, would be a mob boss. Thurio would be one of the Duke's hitmen. It would star Nathan Fillion as Valentine, Zach Braff as Proteus, John Leguizamo as Julia, Michelle Pfeiffer as Silvia, and Robert De Niro as The Duke. Lucetta and Thurio, I'm not too sure.
amredthelector: (Default)
So, y'know on monday, how I said I was going to post photos from DC? Yeeeah, not gonna happen. Our digital camera memory card reader died a horrible, horrible death on us. >:( Which sucks, 'cause there were some nice pictures from the trip. Like of really awesome jellyfish and stuff. Darn.

In other news, I saw Watchmen and Milk with my sister this week. My thoughts on both (a bit spoilery, so behind a cut):
Watchmen and Milk )

I've got a lot of scholarship stuff I need to work on, but for the most part I'm pretty relaxed. I've been excepted to my choice colleges - the stressful part is over. One way or another, I'll get the money I need for school. I'm content now. I'll probably turn back into a ball of nerves close to June or July, though.

Also, I decided to pick up another character in T9. Holly Short, from Artemis Fowl, one of my personal feminist role models. She's so different from Terry; she's an adult, level-headed, with no hang-ups about guns. She's a tough and pointy lady cop, and I know her and her canon backward and forward. Seriously. I can name every item she carries on her belt. FFFFF I'M A NERD.
amredthelector: (MomoTendou)
I saw Coraline a few days ago, and I must say, it was good. The story was solid, and the voice acting was spot-on. Everyone sounded natural, especially Dakota Fanning, who pulled off 'bored kid' beautifully. The animation was a bit choppy in parts, but over looked great. I'd go so far as to say the animation was even better then Nightmare, in that it was more detailed, and the characters interacted better with the backgrounds. They felt like they were in a full world, not just a stage, like Nightmare did.

The story was very dark, though I won't say kid's shouldn't see it. It was a bit like old school Brother's Grimm - dark and spooky, with a clear moral about strength and independance, without the Disney treatment. While the lead character did get some help in some spots, she was clever and brave, and would make a great role model for little girls. I highly recommend it.

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