Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Personal triumph and a tragedy
August 13, 2009

After watching the most drawn-out and brutalized TV series in American History, I feel like more of a survivor than the people I was watching. I’m talking about the series Lost. Call me a bit slow but I only just finished watching Season 4 recently.

And you may now ask, why watch a series that you’re already calling terrible? Well, to be entirely honest, I went along with the crowd and saw through the first two seasons. After that Season 3 came along, which seemed bit-sized in length so I decided to whip through it and watch it. I kind of forced Season 4 upon myself now because I needed a break after writing exams, and since I’d eaten my way through 90% of my movie collection…Season 4 was literally staring me in the face and calling my name.

So I’ve now ploughed through a record of four whole seasons! This feels like my biggest film achievement ever for some reason. Even after watching the entire series of Battle Star Galactica (2004) I didn’t feel so tired, weather-beaten…and damn hungry. I’ve made a mental note in the process, which is to steer clear of commenting on any films that has any kind of survivors and/or island-based theme.

Now that I’ve got all that off my chest, I feel better 😀

 

PhilosopherPoet

Darkly Dexter
June 29, 2009

Most of us want to be serial killers. We may not like to kill someone, see someone beg for their life, or even see blood everywhere. Everyone likes that image that serial killers have. It’s that ability to blend into the background, and still look good. Even Ted Bundy looked like a respectable guy, because that seems to be part of the criteria to taking lives…looking good.

We live in a very aesthetic culture that tells us we have to look good (despite what we may be going through). I came to realize this when watching the devious and intriguing TV series Dexter. For those who haven’t heard of it…I’ll give a little to whet your appetite.

The Nutshell Version

Dexter had an urge to kill from the time he was young. He seemed to feel different from everyone else. Luckily his foster father came to see this and helped his hone this ability. According to Dexter (and his Father) it is only appropriate to kill someone if they have done harm than good. So if (the victim in question) has destroyed countless lives and isn’t prepared to change, then Dexter deals with the rest. Like any serial killer he goes to great lengths to cover up his deeds, because in reality he is a cop.

Yup you heard right. To pass the time he works in Forensics as an expert in blood spatter, after all this is what he does best. This creates an interesting twist to the series. He has to constantly wear a ‘social mask’ to hide what he really is. The question now arises…how withdrawn should you keep yourself?

I’m only into the first season…and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. IMO this series deserves an 8/10. The photography is very well done, and the storyline is most definitely gripping. I only hope that the essence I’m drawn to isn’t lost in seasons 2 and 3. Sometimes I think it’s advisable to only watch the first season of some series, because after that you (and the Director) really lost the plot (i.e. Prison a prime candidate).

 

PhilosopherPoet

What The Frack Would Starbuck Do?
June 1, 2009

Most of us, most of the time want to be warriors. Okay, I must confess that not everyone does want to be a fighter. Everyone IMO (in my opinion) wants that feeling of having made a difference. I think that ‘doing good’ gives us an emotional sense of triumph. We feel captured and cornered (i.e. limited for want of a better word) by our emotions, so every time that we end up doing something good and honorable and being recognized… we get a kick out of it. So we’re then: are we not just redeeming ourselves from our emotions?

Hmmm…not quite. The reason I’m asking these thoughtful questions is because I’ve been addicted to the series Battle Star Galactica, which only recently ended off in May this year (2009). I wasn’t lucky enough to follow the series since it started (in 2004) on the Sci-Fi Channel, so I got it off the net (i.e. through a friend off a torrent site) and now I’m positively hooked. After this I’m not sure I’ll see Sci-Fi the same way. The reason is that this series managed to have superb special effects, storylines, characters, and pretty much everything else.

IMO some Science Fiction (on screen) will fall foul in either two areas.

  1. The Storyline(s)    or…
  2. The Cast

Firstly if you’ve watched a great deal of Science Fiction you’ll know that there are common themes in it. I won’t go into all the intricacies, but after a while the storyline/plot does become very predictable. Especially in some of the series which easily run up to ten or so seasons…watching the last few can become particularly painful. I found with BSG, this is not the case at all. To appeal to more people the Directors decided to make the storyline more about the characters, than actual technology and events. This makes the series far more complex, but yet it’s still compelling and riveting…because it’s such a different approach to the genre.

My second point pretty much ties in with my former mention of BSG having an unusual plot. To have a good plot (based on the characters), means that the actors themselves have to really be skilled and on top of their game. This point was proven by having Edward James Olmos, and Mary McDonnell who are seasoned in their game. They play the roles of Commander of the Battle Star and President of Twelve Colonies, respectively. Moving on there are still good actors (of a lower military rank) such as:

  1. Jamie Bamber
  2. James Callis
  3. Tricia Helfer
  4. Katee Sackhoff
  5. Grace Park

What I also really liked is that all these actors were pretty new to the screen. The character who I think stands out in everyone’s mind is Lt. Kara Thrace (call sign: Starbuck) played by Katee Sackhoff. She’s a fighter pilot who is headstrong, and at times a little out-of-line. Despite this she’s is never totally detained because she is the best pilot on the team, and has a knack for helping out her superiors (in terms of military tactics) in times of desperate need.

I found that although Starbuck seems to be the worst-disciplined fighter pilot on the crew, she is loved and respected because of the caring and ‘human-ness’ she brings to the fleet. She seems to be both a symbol and a powerful character in this series. The series is (thankfully) only four seasons long…and now my hands are itching to hit the play button since I’ve reached the end of season three where …SPOILER ALERT… Lt. S******* disappears and now everyone can’t stop wondering where the frack is (the person in question???).

Anyways, this now brings me back to the title, which is on everyone’s minds by now. It’s a question I think we should be asking ourselves, when we’re feeling a little extra geeky, and down-in-the-dumps. W.T.F.W.S.D?

Farewell fellow Space Cadets 😉

 

PhilosopherPoet

Keep your lid on
April 16, 2009

At the moment I seem to be catching up on my movie collection, more than my bookshelf. That’s okay with me…I just have to remind myself to blog about the movies, and in a sense to keep on thinking. This is probably why I don’t smoke weed, or do any drug other than alcohol…this is because I’m too addicted to a clear mind. So the movie I saw the other day (which I thought to be blog-able) was Be Cool. This is quiet an old movie, but it had Uma Thurman in it.

She an acting legend IMO. Of course after Quentin Tarantino got a hold of her, I’m used to seeing her swinging swords and covered in blood. It was actually quite refreshing to see her in a more feminine role for a change. In this movie she plays an owner of a record company. Her and co-star John Travolta, are trying to get a talented young girl in the music industry.

There are a few problems. She already had a contract with someone else…although that one wasn’t going anywhere. So she has to try brush off these wanna-be gangsters, plus the Russians who are always involved somehow. This is a very quirky movie. It has numerous twists and turns, not to mention it has Travolta actually playing the good guy (which is rare with his current films). I would give it 4/5 simply because I don’t think it’s everyone’s kinda movie. On the up-side it has some good twists in the plot, and plenty of laughs.

I find the trick to a good comedy is does the person understand the underlying humor of the whole story. The scriptwriter wants the viewers to see a certain thread of comedy, and in this case it’s not always seen. This could be seen as a positive or negative. You should know by now that the movies I review are one’s I hate, this is because I find that a waste of breath. There are too many good movies to promote!

 

PhilosopherPoet

Hotel For Dogs
March 4, 2009

It’s very rare that I get out to see a current movie. In fact, I can’t actually recall the last ‘new’ film I went to see. Last week, however, I found myself reeling with shock at the ticket prices and the shockingly small but highly expensive bags of popcorn and other associated cinematic treats that naturally go hand in hand with a day out at the flicks. The reason for this excursion was a long promised trip to the cinema for my 6 year old little girl. As such, she got to choose which film she wanted to see which resulted in my settling down to watch ‘Hotel for Dogs’.

Basically it’s a story of a brother & sister who have moved from foster home to foster home and are currently on their last chance to stay together. They frequently steal and use fraudulent means to feed their dog which they have been keeping in secret (yes – let’s get priorities right here…) During one such excursion they are running from the police and take refuge in a large disused old hotel – surprisingly and completely unbelievably still furnished. There they come across two other stray dogs who have taken up residence there. The brother (who just so happens to be able to rig up all sorts of machines (quite where they get all the parts is never really fully explained…) Eventually they acquire several hundred dogs and it all goes horribly wrong etc etc (ok – maybe not several hundred!)but everything works out spiffingly in the end…

The movie was obviously aimed at children who don’t mind several enormous and gaping plot holes and on the whole was fairly enjoyable if not totally predictable. There were some nice and funny moments in it – including the Golden Fire Hydrant, however, not being a dog person, it didn’t really strike a chord with me. If it had been up to me, I’d have left them all in the pound and thrown the kids in jail!

Magz

He’ll be back again…and again
February 2, 2009

Last night I couldn’t sleep so I ended up crawling over to my computer, and watching a movie. This time it was Terminator 3. I’m probably the worse person to end up watching a serious action/sci-fi. The reason is whenever I end up watching a serious movie I always endup laughing more than I would in a comedy. Maybe it’s cos I was watching someone whose an embarrassment to the English language.

terminator3-09

Just like Chuck Norris though…This guy doesn’t seem to die! It’s easy though since he’s a robot that a) is on a assembly line and b) is upgraded everytime there’s a new movie coming out. Although we have to hand it to arnie…he’s definitely a legend. Long Live Arnie lol…

PhilosopherPoet

The Future War is about to begin…
February 2, 2009

A lot of people seem to be bracing themselves for the end of the world nowadays. To be honest – it’s most probably been like that through all of history when you start adding up all the atrocities that follow us. Moving on though, I’ve often asked myself the question…if there is going to be a war (assuming we actually are on the brink of Armageddon) what will the war be?

There are many possibilities if you start to think about what really gets under our skin. So most people will start a list running in their heads: water, oil, races, technology, knowledge, land, etc. (Keep in mind that a war is never fought over a single issue.) For the sake of the debate, I’ll pick one.

crash-9

Races…Wars have been fought over this one, and still will be in the future. This also reminds me of the film, Crash. I saw it over the weekend, and I realized what an amazing portrayal of racial clashes this was. It also had a noteworthy cast consisting of Sandra Bullock, Don Cheadle and Brendan Fraser.

*A quick sum up of the plot*

I have to hand it to the director of this one. This storyline surely kept us guessing. There are about 4-6 different groups of characters, namely a white couple, two black friends, a Persian family, a Mexican family, and one or two others. The black guys are gangsters angry with life, the white couple is struggling to keep up a middle class marriage, the Persians are having trouble with their family business, and so on. It’s a tough movie to watch because everything depicted is extremely relevant to what is going on today.

For the first time I can’t unroll the story into a summary. I came across it when I was going through the technological debris on my computer. I started watching it and became more and more engrossed. I actually enjoyed it so much that I might go and buy myself a copy to lend out to friends. I’m different in that way. Most people will buy a film they haven’t yet watched. I, on the other hand, will buy one that I’ve seen just so that I can lend it out to friends of mine.

crash

*IMO*

So who will enjoy this movie…I would say people that like ‘gritty’ movies. By this I mean movies that you can understand because they are almost a documentary. All fiction is based on elements of reality. I’m also a fan of Sandra Bullock. Her early work was not so impressive. Although, when I start to look at her acting in this film…I can see she is maturing into a great actress.

Another great actor is Don Cheadle (who you may recognize from the film, Reign Over Me). He is (to my knowledge) fairly new on the acting scene, but he has a depth in the way he carries himself on the screen.

PhilosopherPoet