(Found on http://robotindisguise.tumblr.com/)
So, a good friend who reads this blog said to me about a month ago, emphatically, that I needed to post. I was touched, and it obviously prompted me to write something. (Been working on this post for over a month now.)
I don't know if it's what you'd call writer's block, apathy, or what, but I just haven't been motivated to slide thoughts together. Maybe it's the bad influence of 4Chan.org, which has become my Twitter, since Twitter itself does not intrigue me. (Standard warning, if you go there, while you'll see some pretty funny stuff, you'll also see - regularly - the worst of what the dark side of the web has to offer. Talkin' nightmare fuel, here. But it can be funny as hell, too.)
Anyway, here goes.
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a movie I can recommend unreservedly as a grand ole time, as long as you're OK with R-rated gore and language. This is a twist on all those "a group of kids go into the woods and suddenly start disappearing," but here the typical villains are the good guys. Even better, they're not cliche cardboard standup Hollywood yokels, they're real characters. I know these guys. Hell, I am one of these guys at times. I spammed my entire contacts list to demand they watch the movie. You, too, dammit. Just watch. This sucker should've been on of last year's hits.
Saw Drive and it reminded me a lot of Tarantino's True Romance: something a teenage boy with no actual experience with women (and who struggles with amorality) would view as wonderfully heroic and romantic. Everyone else with a little experience under their belts, literally and figuratively, would see it for the sad anti-fantasy it is. No one really acts this way, not even criminals.
Now, you may posit that both of these movies are floated as adolescent fantasies and are just that: nothing that's meant to be taken seriously. I dunno. The tone of these movies doesn't contain the "just kidding" bluster of The Fast and the Furious and do have realistic elements like children pining for their daddies, which - at least to me - make me think I'm supposed to take them as straight-up dramas, just the same way that sepia-toned sequences are supposed to invoke "this is the past as remembered fondly by our hero."
I thought it was kinda dull, too. Actually driving a car is more engaging than the flick itself. I'd say skip it.
This clever visual summary of Drive really hits the mark.
Finally saw Thor, too. I had to give it two tries. Didn't even get to Thor waking up on earth the first time. Picked it up a couple weeks later writing off the first time to a bad mood or something (Harry of http://www.aintitcool.com/ always includes his day's activities and mood because he's convinced that an objective review is not possible.) This time I enjoyed it for what it was: a popcorn movie and setup for the franchise The Avengers, and much better than the sad adventure in cliche that was Captain America.
Saw 21 Jump Street and The Hunger Games in the theatre, a nice treat.
I laughed hard at 21 Jump Street. Like the fantastic Hot Fuzz, it's a send-up of the genre while being a legit entry at the same time. It's fun to see an artist hit his stride, and Oscar-nominated Jonah Hill conceptualized, wrote, produced, and starred here, proving he can do it all. This is one of those that will work as well on DVD as the big screen, so see it at your convenience, but see it.
The Hunger Games was exactly what I thought it would be. The ladies of the house all tore through the books, so I got enough of the setup to guess at the plot. Being a sci-fi fan of several decades now, this plot has been done to death, so while I was engaged during the movie, I can't say I enjoyed it. I had deja-vu, reliving the vague revulsion I felt watching the original Rollerball, which explored the same concept of a deathmatch staged by the powers that be. So, I can see why it's powerful for the young'uns.
Another movie that was also exactly what I thought it would be was flick Real Steel. Yup, Rocky meets the rock'em sock'em robot game. I was assured by many that would not be the case. Alas.
A movie I'd love to see that will likely never be released is Star Wars: Episode III.5: The Editor Strikes Back. (Via Kottke.org) Topher Grace, the actor from "That 70's Show" and the recent movie Preditors, apparently came up with his own edit (for practice) of the Star Wars episodes 1 - 3, that clocks in at 85 minutes. All attendees say it was great.
My knee-jerk reaction was George Lucas would be a fool to not allow this to be released. It's free money, most of which he would get, of course. If they released it as a digital projected movie only, distribution would be nothing.
However, the mashup of a movie franchise of several full-length movies isn't really equivalent to a four-minute song mashup. Where I can imagine Bowie or U2 smiling at a mashup of their tunes, I can't imagine George feeling wonderful about a re-edit that may "feel" superior to his films at first blush.
Oh well, maybe after Lucas rakes in another field of cash from the blu-ray releases, maybe he'll not be as concerned about undermining his profits with the release of a fanboy edit. Yeah, it could happen.
A couple decades ago, someone at work gave me a teeny tiny .avi file of this, the inception of what became the "Tripping the Rift" TV series. Since it's all on DVD now, I expected this to be included on the extras, as I've always wanted a clear copy, but it's not. Come to find out it's now on youtube. Still not in an archival quality version, but better than the old .avi I've kept for years. By the way, this is NC-17 material.
Fun trivia, Stephen Root voiced the captain, who most of us know as Milton, he of the red stapler and big chunks of salt.
Oh, and finally, Dooce found this.
I plan to post again soon. Sooner than a month, at least.