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Messages - Alexander

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Saw Avatar in 3D.  I'm not sure it can be debated how lovely this film is visually.  Some people have described this movie as a modern Star Wars (as it's such a leap from what we've seen so far in film technology) but the parallels really only meet up there.  While both films have something of a very unoriginal plot, Star Wars' source was not an active part of pop culture so it didn't feel unoriginal.  Avatar draws from modern day "green" films (Pocahontas, Dances With Wolves, etc.) with the all too common "white man/American Iraqi occupation is ignorant, natives are just misunderstood and victimized because of the resources they sit above" message that has just been done to death today.  I'm simply quite tired of this story.

Yet that is not Avatar's main flaw.  I remember in the first few seconds watching the spinning sleeper ship and being in awe of its visceral brilliance, yet Sam Worthington's monologue came creeping in and I felt a pinch of what was come.  This movie's dialogue needs some serious work.  It feels almost naively written, as the lines come out flat and uninspired.  While there are a few moments of character interaction that seem lock into place perfectly, the majority of it could have really used another draft of the script. Sadly, it seems to undercut the movie's gorgeous visuals because a lot of the actual storytelling was sacrificed to further it's technical prowess.

However, I do recommend this movie.  Even though it's kind of soulless, you guys simply owe it to yourselves to go see this on the big screen with those dorky 3D glasses.  And tell me what you all think.  I want to like this movie, perhaps I missed something really fresh or interesting in it.

Just saw the oddball "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" starring George Lazenby for his one (and only) Bond film.  I liked it mainly because it's so different from the other 007 films.  Bond is especially brutal (but then again so was the Connery era) in his fighting, he's a failure in one of his personae, and actually gets married in the end of the film (much to Moneypenny's sadness).

Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: November 04, 2009, 11:07:05 PM »
I reread 'Memnoch The Devil' again last night. Book 5 of Anne Rice's 'The Vampire Chronicles".  Still as good as ever but a bit preachy. I'm pretty sure she wrote this as she was becoming "born again".

Looked up on her website, it says she returned to the Catholic Church in 1998 and consecrated her work to be for Christ in 2002.  Memnoch was published in '95.  She wasn't officially a Christian at this point, but it's very possible at this point her heart was headed in that direction.

For myself, I just finished Homer's Odyssey and I'm moving on to Virgil's Aeneid.  Go, go action homework.

So I've been on a foreign horror film binge lately.  Here's the rundown:

1. Ringu - This passed the American remake entirely.  It makes sense that Sadako has psychic powers and not just "happened to be able to kill victims as she walks out the TV screen."  Seeing it makes me interested in tracking down a translated version of the original novel.  The movie wasn't even that scary just kinda creepy and bleak throughout.

2. The Eye - So I've never seen a Chinese horror flick, but hot dang... the main actress had some serious skill.  Every word delivered, every posture of her face, every whimper, scream and fearful cry I totally bought that she was a real, living person and this was her documentary.  And that scene in the elevator simply irks me.

3. Funny Games - Once again, a horror film from a country I've never seen: Germany! I really like watching films like Funny Games because of the directions the plot takes are simply too taboo for the average American popcorn muncher.  I'll leave it at that.  Also, this film gets major points for breaking the fourth wall.

4. The Host - Another new country: South Korea.  This was actually pretty light on the horror and heavier on social criticism and comedy.  I felt a bit let down by the ending, but it probably fit with the rest of the film in terms of theme.  Really good laughs in this one.

Next up, High Tension (France).

Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued
« on: August 11, 2008, 09:34:16 PM »
Started "Watchmen" as well.  Character development is superb.  It's interesting the way the way Moore guides the audience to simultaneously sympathize with the Comedian but retain memory of his mistake with the first Silk Spectre.  Just hit chapter 6 and excited to keep on going.

Also, this week's Batman looks psychotic and intriguing, which is very characteristic of Morrison.  I'm really stoked to see where RIP is heading!

The preview's up on Newsarama if any of you are interested.

Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued
« on: November 08, 2007, 10:24:37 PM »
Dude Tooker, Gutenberg is flippin awesome. Thanks for that!

For me, it's been Martin's A Feast For Crows.  I'm really looking to get through this one so I can finally scour the internet for this series' community without worry of the threat of spoilers.  Also, I'll be diving headlong into New Jedi Order in all its hugeness after this.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal
« on: May 03, 2007, 11:14:57 PM »
So I never really started watching Code Geass, but I did watch all of BECK. Which was awesome! I love the setting, because live rock music in Japan is just something that is not weighs so heavily in anime's plot structure  typically. And the fact that it has a coming of age story around mixed in with it, well it felt like "Almost Famous", which is one of my favorite movies. And that's a huge plus.

It did bug me that they insulted Christ in one episode, and even worse that they referenced it in the last episode. It wasn't entirely tasteless and I understand Christianity is far from being the center piece of every Japanese person's affection, but I do have a right to be bugged by that kind of thing. Moving on.

The animation was pretty nice. Sometimes things would feel just disjointed and sloppy as a character would be performing very basic actions such as walking down a road, but those moments weren't very often. Also, some points they would zoom in on a character's fingers strumming a guitar or plucking a bass string and I thought it was awesome. I had to re-watch some of those scenes a couple of times because they were very, very intricate and the sound matched up beautifully.

And speaking of the sound, awesome soundtrack! Sometimes things got far too Engrish and I would sit back and laugh at what these people were saying. And it really makes me wonder what they do in the English dub (I haven't watched it yet) because they are constantly bouncing back and forth between the two languages. If your characters speak in English for the majority of the dialogue, and then one of your characters gets a phone call (and he and the caller speak English relatively fluently to request it of the other), just what language do they talk in to give the original effect? Klingon? Pig Latin? ..Japanese maybe? Really, I'm curious to see what they did.

And the ending was very quaint. Most (if not all) loose ends were tied up or gave you enough clues to figure out what was going on after those last credits ended, and it left me wanting more. I'm usually a sucker for a cute love story, a slave to good music (which I'm extremely picky about), just flabbergasted by Shonen therapy for the shy stories (a la Eva) and BECK wrapped these all together into a convenient travel size package. Good job.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal
« on: April 24, 2007, 12:13:08 AM »
Trying out some new series:

Claymore: All I can say is meh. It's kinda like Berserk but with a female protagonist and an even more predictable storyline. I'd really like to see this series go somewhere, but I can't bring myself to enjoy the characters one bit. The ending theme was pretty awesome. Sort of a symphonic light power metal track with a female vocalist. Rockin'!

Darker than Black: Matrix-esque sort of feel with a Kanno soundtrack. Hei, the main character, is really quite kewl. He reminds me of Julia from "Lost", as they both have that sort of dreamy stare when they think about how they're going to royally screw over those they got to trust them.  I'm thinking I'm gonna stick with this series because the the writers have the guts to kill developed characters off and do it well. Always a plus in my book.

Romeo x Juliet: Beautiful animation and music! Just like the other classic Gonzo modern adaptation, Gankutsuou, this has my hopes very high (perhaps too high). One of the characters I was confused to what gender they belonged (and that's normal in anime), but it got settled in the first episode.

I'm also about to finish off Samurai Champloo, which I'm enjoying very much. Since all this talk of Code Geass won't die down, I'm thinking it's next.

Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued
« on: February 15, 2007, 03:45:52 AM »
The Call of the Wild by none other than Jack London. I saw this bound with another of his classics, White Fang, for 6 freakin' bucks at Barnes and Noble and I could not resist its siren-like call. Good story I read when I was a little kid and now I'm happily going through it again. Yay.

Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued
« on: January 13, 2007, 02:52:28 AM »
Blazing through Harry Potter VI and I am wondering what I should go for next once I finish. Maybe I'll finish off Dracula since I have started it already.

Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued
« on: January 10, 2007, 08:35:59 AM »
I finished Harry Potter V about an hour ago. I'm trying to finish off the series before school starts up again and I won't have access to them while I'm away. Goodness, I think I finally caught the bug.

Brush and Quill / Book Thread Continued
« on: December 31, 2006, 03:11:57 AM »
I am not perfectly sure if this is the place for comic books or not, and I apologize if this is not appropriate for this thread.

Batman - The Killing Joke
Batman - Knightfall
      Yes, the whole arc, crammed into three graphic novels.
I am pondering what I should be reading after The Long Halloween. I got either Hellsing, or finish off Harry Potter V.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal
« on: October 11, 2006, 12:13:11 PM »
You'll likely get conflicting answers, and you'll definitely get some tearing it up.

Whoa, can't believe I missed this question. Evangelion is good, yes. Is it as good as some people want to make it out to be? Perhaps not.

I love every inch of it, strange ending(s) and all.

Evangelion is, as a story, crap. It has nearly no character development worth mentioning, and the story in general carries far too much hyperbole which attempts to deliver profound concept, without ever getting there.

Just thought I'd point that out; as we have North, South and the Equator.

Also, I went through Love Hina. Bit too much of the fan service and predictable stumbling on to a girl's bosom only to be made into a human comet by Narusegawa, but it was a fun ride nonetheless.

Up next is Elfen Lied.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Anime/Manga Journal
« on: October 11, 2006, 10:41:15 AM »
Quote from: "ZE GRAND MASTER"
Here's a stupid question: is Evangelion really all that good? Never seen the show, so is this worth getting when it comes out? Just thought i should watch more anime tv shows than Digimon, Cardcaptors and GITS: SAC, and preferably good ones (don't know whether the first two really count as that).

I've been a fan of the show for quite some time now, but I can't say if its good for you or not. I love every inch of it, strange ending(s) and all.  If you're the kind of person who likes to watch your movies over and over (think movies like Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey) and can do some research to find the background of which certain themes in the show (Eva explores themes from all kinds of religions/philosophies) then I can safely say you just might like it.
Also, if you do go ahead and snag that big shiny boxset when it comes out, be prepared to buy the movies as well, as they are licensed by a different company (meaning they can't be packaged within that set) and very vital to your understanding of the show. Oh're British? I'll get back to you once I figure out how things work over on your side of the big pond.

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