Friday, October 31, 2008

No blogging no cry

I find it fascinating, what a commitment a blog is. Not that I actually commit to mine, at any rate, but the amount of work that goes into making a good one. There's something of a chore to go into what is, basically, a forum thread that nobody is going to read. A yell into the cold vacuum of space made purely in good faith, again and again. I consider myself lucky to have but one regular reader, as it is quite conspicuous that certain blogs don't allow comments at all, presumably to give their tenders the illusion that a myriad souls gorge themselves on their proferred wisdom daily* through the sheer absence of evidence.+

I wouldn't consider this a good blog, but at the same time I would consider no blogs that I've seen (aside from YOA's Blog of the Unusually Pointless, naturally - aye, I am a suck-up) to actually be a good one. I mean, honestly, if I want to make myself feel good I just have to look at ANYONE elses blog basically. Three posts a month is amazing output from an average one, and I have to say that most posts that I've seen tend to be three sentences surmising to "Did you see that on telly last night?" or "You won't believe what a bloke in the hardware store said to me yesterday", as if a randomised collection of all the deliberately boring and unfunny exchanges in Seinfeld is what the average net-user hungers for deep in their loins.

So, for these reasons given my inability to post anything but a fairly lengthy essay/review or ill-informed rant, I am able to salve my conscience when the constant, unerring guilt of not updating my blog niggles at my brain... even when I have a ludicrous number of assingments overdue in TAFE. (Pretty much every day inbetween TAFE starting and finishing for the year..) There have been a few topics that I have been meaning to blog on, though, some going back months, so I shall briefly cover them...

Batman: WTF, Mate?

The Dark Knight is some way away from being the greatest film ever made. In fact, if you actually replaced the cast according to the table below, it would be some way away from being a good film..

Bruce Wayne - Mark Wahlberg
The Joker - Chip Jamison
Harvey Dent - Chris Lily
Comm. Gordon - Gary Sweet
Token woman - Chris Lily/Rebel Wilson
Alfred - The reconstituted form of Frankie Howerd
Lucius Fox - Chris Lily in blackface
Scarecrow - Brian Croucher

Now, of course, the fact that making the most retarded casting decisions EVER would make for a bad film isn't exactly mind-blowing but think about it, aside from the fine work by Bale, Ledger, Gyllenhaal, Caine, Oldman, Freeman, everysinglepersoninfrontofthecamera WHAT'S left in the film? The direction is solid, but not particularly good - the action sequences of the film are confusingly shot, washed out, and very brief. While the dialogue is mostly solid, the films plot fails to really hang together at all once you stop and think about it. The film is a collection of supsense drama setpieces, and isn't direction or writing that holds them together - it's just the actors.

Heath Ledger is a good example given that so much has been made of the late actor's take on the Joker - look at the actual lines he's given. They're, really, just bad guy lines. There's a thousand different ways that they could be delivered. An actor not as deep into the character as Ledger, not as interested in showing psychosis oozing out of his pores, and nobody would even comment on who played the part.

You don't have to look far for parts of the script that don't work - plotholes are everywhere. What the fuck is going on in that scene where Gordon fakes his death, apparently in the spur of the moment is a mystery that shall haunt me to my grave. The fact that nobody figures out who Batman is when his trip via Wayne Industries to Japan makes it oh-so obvious is a niggler. The small matter of HOW you can create a sonar map of an entire city through rewiring the citizen's mobile phones from a single computer, WHEN all said citizens are in one isolated area of the city trying to escape is nearly as baffling as the matter of how to hardwire this data into your own eyeballs. The revelation that Two Face is going to be in the next film in spite of a) the fact that he's dead, b) police are on the scene immediately to confirm that he is dead, c) his funeral is in the final scene, scarcely comes as a surprise after pondering this curious details.

The incredibly bizarre result is that we have a Batman film that is best enjoyed on the level of dialogue between good actors. I know, what is the world coming to?

Wanted is fucking awesome

In comparison, the soon-to-be-obscure movie Wanted, in which Mr Tumnus learns how to bullet-dodge, is the purest form of action movie, brought to cinema screens by the same completely insane Russian dude who made the Night Watch films - I think it says something for the original that I have met two different people who couldn't make it all the way through, asked me how it ends, and after I struggled my way through an explanation of the plot they stared at me in blank confusion and that was the end of the conversation. That said, you have to love a film that closes with the villain imploring the hero to hit him, and the hero screaming his head off and punching him over and over again into the credits. Well, judging by their reaction not necessarily, but, hell, it's cool.

The plot of Wanted is completely irrelevant. That dude who plays Mr Tumnus learns that he is the Chosen One, which in this scenario means The Most Kick-Arse Assassin Ever Born, and is given a gun and told to shoot people. He does this. A lot. He is given the assignment to kill Man Who Killed His Father. He does this.

Some wusses would make that the end of the film. But if that was the case then there would be waaay too many characters who could be killed left alive. So to maximise the sheer level of carnage he discovers Man Who Killed His Father is actually just His Father, and then goes back and kills the ENTIRE secret order of Assassins in glorious bloody revenge, involving a dump truck filling with rats strapped with explosives.

Oh, yeah, spoilers.

It is impossible watching the film not to think that it is either a brilliant comedy satirising modern society's excess, or an experiment to create the ultimate action movie experience through ODD levels of cheesy dialogue, macho attitude, senseless violence and ridiculous spectacle.

Some people may remember back to the days of French Connection, when having a gun-weilding murderer on a train was dramatic enough. Wanted has two. But this isn't enough, so there's a third following the train, who wants to kill them both. To do this, she crashes her car into the train. Which makes a screw come loose in the trains wheel and forces the train to crash. Over a bridge above an impossibly high ravine. Which collapses. So all three have to fight their way through tumbling train carriage after tumbling train carriage. All that's missing is aliens showing up at the end, it is INSANE.

Of the two theories, though, I lean more towards comedy. Angelina Joelie has a massive automatic rifle on a hinge with a camera mounted, linked to a monitor by the trigger so she can see where she's shooting. Morgan Freeman's death is played for laughs. When Mr Tumnus slams a keyboard into his arsehole 'best friend's face, naturally the letters 'F', 'U', 'C', 'K', 'Y', 'O', and 'U' are the ones to come flying off directly at the camera, along with a gracefully spinning tooth.

Watching this film, in the same week as I did The Dark Knight, I could not help but feel that if they were somehow cross-pollenated, then you would have the ultimate movie. As it is, we have a bizarre spandex character piece and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World with grievous bodily harm. Go figure, Western civilization.

The AVs suck

Everyone who talks up the AVs needs to take that shit back. But then it could have just been Nick Briggs doing it, I don't know. But their reputation has been DISGUSTINGLY inflated.

To be fair, there are some good stories. Most need another round of script-editing, though, end too quickly, and they are spoilt by Nick Brigg's Doctor and the companions, all of whom are useless free-loading wankers.

Makes me appreciate

Big Finish

*Sigh*, yes I should really finish off talking about PMG's stuff. How's this for a quick run-through:

Terra Firma - Interesting continuity but borderline masterpiece
Fraidy Cat - Like having your mind suffocated in sleeping pills.
The one in the Cube - Like that but worse.
Time Works - Yeah, pretty good.
Other Lives - Headscratcher
Memory Lane - File it under "I-can't-believe-this-was-actually-good". Seriously, it was ace. Loved it. I'M NOT BEING SARCASTIC, OKAY, IT'S REALLY GOOD!
Absolution - WTF?

The next on my list of "Holy shit, this is good!" is Brave New Town. Just... wow. Auton audio story, I filed it under 'shithouse' immediately. But it's right up there with Paul's best!

So...what about the DWADs?

What about them? I really have no idea if I said anything about listening to them at all. Probably. I do stupid stuff like that often. But, no, not listened to any of them at all.

And Ashes to Ashes?

God, do you know hard it is to sit through an episode of that? No? Oh, it's really, really hard.

But... Arrested Development

Amazed to discover that the press about a show is accurate. Well, there's a big chunk that's inaccurate, because apparently the makers of this show are under the delusion that it's a Games/Office style mockumentary masterpiece, often making weird comments like "It's a documentary... it IS a documentary!". Presumably a documentary about actors given scripts filled with catty insults and double entendres but, hey, anyway...

Yes, this show is... well, the best American comedy since Frasier. Or, if you hated that, the best one since Seinfeld. Or if you hated THAT, the best one since M*A*S*H. If you hated that... erm... well, the first ever good American comedy. But then you'll probably hate it anyway and declare a fatwah on them all.

I can't really go into what's great about it, because American's only really know how to do one type of comedy right and that's farce. It doesn't matter if it's Malcolm in the Middle, Just Shoot Me!, The Office: An American Workplace, Scrubs or any of the ones that I mentioned above, the reason that they work is because it's all farcical larger than life characters in identical situations. AD is brilliant at this because it has the most functionally abnormal people in television struggling to deal with plot twists too bizarre to appear in most soap operas.

I fucking LOVE it and am quite sad that there's no more episodes to watch.

Finally... Doktor Cube

Ewen mentioned it the other day and reminded me of it's existence. What the hell?

Previously on Doktor Cube: "Here I come."
With a flash of trans-dimensional energy, a great white streak of
trans-dimensional energy seared through the sky, cutting away at the
70% industrial grade purple clouded sky. And with a roar from 8-BALL's
uranium titanium einsteinium coated mercury, the Doktor materialised,
AK pointing towards his destination above the pyramid, and began to
fall towards his destination. As the great purple mass opened up
beneath him he gained sight of his target and saw that a great army of
rain drops were losing the race to the roof of the plutonium titanium
marble laced temple roof.
As he descended at 140kph, the Doktor couldn't help but reflect on the
events which had led up to the present moment, 400ft above the temple.
What had happened after his mental blankout, sending him to Bon Ist
Tas Taion station was ever a mystery to him. The last thing he
remembered was the swedish "Protector" communicating to him to old
liquid smooth Polish. And then suddenly, things began to make sense…
as to just what the hell had happened.
The Doktor hit the previously analysed temple rooftop and created a
shockwave which rocked the outer three layers of marble lace. As he
hit, he spread the kickback throughout his body to focus in his AK, in
which the warp core sent it back to holding tanks back in 8-BALL's
super secret clandestine facility. The Dr walked over to the side of
the temple and extended his vision 32.5x with his CUBE vision. Looking
down into the wilderness, he could see the red points created by high
tensity focused laser pointers, no doubt created by undetectable TWO
clone snipers, perched in their trees, waiting for Dr Cube to appear…
by brilliant tactical planning, the Dr had not taken the ground route.
Firing his AK three times, 17 bodies fell limp 2.5 metres to the
ground, high powered magnum rifles in tow. Immediately afterward in
response, 498 TWO clone foot soldiers flowed from various points in
the temple wall, to begin mowing down anything in site, moving or non
moving, which stood over 6 mm from the ground. Very precise, thought
the Dr, but ultimately worthless. Apparently it was in fact remotely
possible that TWO had been stupid enough to leave his airways
"Apparently I was correct in assuming that you would come here, Dr Cube!"
The Doktor reversed his angle by 180 degrees and launched an RPG from
his AK at a 129 k velocity, just fast enough to put his weapons
supplier off balance when he dodged the carefully timed shot. "Damn
you Cube, you will pay for this insolence! I provided your hardware
for longer than I can remember… now what could that mean? Am I even
human? HAHAHAHAHA! Good bye, Cubey." The Doktor responded, in harsh
various Polish dialects. "You betrayed me. The trigger mechanism was
faulty… and now its up to me to show you how they're built correctly!"
Firing off explosive tip rounds off of his AK the Doktor cart wheeled
on his right thumb and forefinger to the right, using his other
fingers on the same hand to wedge an RPG in the roof tiles of the
temple. The weapons engineer produced an M-249 SAW heavy machine gun,
and slapped a belt of ammunition into place on the side. By this time,
the Dr had already expended his first clip of ammunition into the
plasma shields protecting the engineer and reloaded, all on schedule.
As the engineer let loose a barrage of destruction following the
ground where the Doktor had previously been standing 2.536 seconds
before, the Doktor whirled around and propelled the empty AK cartridge
at the RPG which then detonated. The resulting explosion caused a
build up of energy in the grooves between tiles of the temple roof,
which caused a massive uranium based reaction, and the tiles
superheated then moved in every direction against each other. Shards
were propelled in every direction, as the shockwave blew in every
direction creating a massive crater digging through multiple layers of
the pyramid. The Doktor launched an RPG down into the expanding blast,
which detonated, and then used the warp core to begin absorbing the
smaller energy at a manageable level, then as the threshold expanded
took on the greater power of the uranium/marble lace reaction,
allowing him to descend with ease down into the crater, where the limp
form of the weapons engineer now lay dying.
He spoke. "It doesn't matter Cube… it's not like you have your revenge
on me yet… or your revenge at all for that matter… I am not even the
real weapons engineer…" "What the hell are you talking about." "I am
simply a creation by your mind, manifested by TWO's technology, to try
and detur you from doing anything to his temple, he wants to kill you,
he wants so badly…" "Then you don't know where the real you is?" "No,
but YOU know that he isn't responsible…" "What?" "Some part of you
knows…some part…it's your mind putting the pieces together… find the
protecter… that's where you will get your answers…" And then the
manifestation faded away. Looking around, the Dr saw that he had
violently laid wast to the upper 16 levels of the Mayan temple
pyramid. He had now descended into what looked like the primary
communications chamber. Whilst outside of the pyramid, 8-BALL's
technology was highly accurate, mapping out a great deal of the area
which excellent detail. Inside the pyramid however, according to
8-BALL, it was left to his scenario probability programs, which
created very vague schematics, in the form of the Aboriginal flag,
which a purple sky, green each, and a triangle instead of a circle to
represent the pyramid. 8-BALL had drawn his own schematic onto the
napkin however, and provided it to Cube before leaving. Opening the
"map", Cube gained an approximation of the dimensions of the temple.
It was taller than the ground, did not touch the sky, and had 147
levels, 102 of which extended underground. There were seemingly
computers everywhere which were hardwired into the main system.
Putting a silencer onto his AK to maintain a stealthy entrance, the Dr
walked through the still smoking hole in the wall and took note of all
the TWO clones focused at the communication panels, attempting to
co-ordinate the gathering army of two clones outside the building. The
Dr shot one and the rest remained oblivious, unable to hear due to the
headsets preventing sound penetration. The Dr lifted the headset off
of the dead body and put it on. He yelled into the headset "PAY
HAZARD!" After they all turned around in mortal fear, the Doktor added
"Where is the – " looked at napkin notes "BAD MAINFRAME n SHIT." They
all pointed towards the lift. Having had bad experiences with lifts
recently the Doktor exiled them to the smoking crater. He walked over
to the lift and pressed the button. Almost immediately the lift
arrived. The door slid open, and the lift was empty. Reloading his AK,
the Dr stepped into the lift and examined the buttons. Pressing the
one labled "TWO's SHIT, DO NOT NICK" the lift doors closed. As the
lift started to move, the Dr looked to his right and saw ONE standing
next to him. "I don't suppose there is any point in killing you, just
another manifestation, yes?" "Say it again Doktor, this time in Norse.
No, there is no point. But then is there ever?" "You tell me, One."
"You know that destroying TWO will help me Doktor. The numerical power
in his reputation as a master controller of the internet earns him
much. Is helping me what you want to do?" "Your time will come TWO."
"Sooner than you think… and believe the me in you, you figured that
out from the moment we last departed." The lift doors opened. "See you
soon Doktor."
Stepping out of the lift, the Doktor saw a white room, with a single
computer with a desk and a seat in the middle of the room. The walls
which seemed to stretch off into the distance in every direction…
using his CUBE vision, the Doktor saw that there was but one path to
the desk, which curved the room twice on this side of the desk before
reaching jumping distance of the chair. On either side of the walkway
were great pits of oblivion, shining shades of dark purples and
greens, and the computer appeared to be make of a bone-like calcium
based substance… the other side of the desk appeared to be static...
Disabling his cube vision the Doktor made his way along the path from
memory and was making his way around to the computer desk the Dr was
able to jump to the near side of the desk using a series of carefully
timed manipulations of TWO's world physics engine. After landing on
the near side of the platform on which the desk was located, the Dr
carefully walked around the desk towards the other side. As he came
closer to the computer's screen it almost seemed to be bending away
from him, as though it was trying not to let him see it… As Cube
finally crossed to the other side of the desk he came into complete
view of the screen. There was a white piece of paper taped onto the
screen, it had wrote on it: "WRONG COMPUTER- OUT OF ORDER- NICE TRY
The Doktor looked up, but the elevator doors had disappeared… and the
room began to stutter with static, as if it was loosing reception.
Looking once again at the computer the writing on the note had changed…
"Yes, I have. It is only manifestations from my own mind, nothing I care for…"
He looked away and back, and the note had changed again.
"The train station… lost memories… what of it?"
"Then tell me."
"Very well. If it will help me defeat TWO… then show me."
And with that the static faded out everything and the room then turned
to black. All the Doktor could hear was the sound of his own
breathing. And CUBE vision only showed black inverted.
He reloaded his AK with explosive tip, RPG and charged his warp core,
straightened his coat, adjusted his armour, and waited…
The first memory was re-awoken.

*'Wisdom' there can be replaced with 'irrelevant anecdotes about Power Rangers'.
+Not universally, though. I mean, it's fairly safe to assume that Larry Miles doesn't activate comments out of fear of 12 million posts of "TWAT!!!"


Youth of Australia said...

Heh. Well, that's the last time I give you a last of things to blog over.

I assume it must be some kind of rule we find everyone else's blogs more fascinating than our own. I tried to review B7: Liberated just today and just gave up. And not because it was completely awful. If anything it seems that the prolonged exposure to Aaronovitch-patented gamma radation is somehow turning it vaguely listenable despite all their best efforts.

And then I was going to try and finish my Voyage of the Damned parody. But it was too damn hot.

So yeah, Friday, my day to be productive has got me diddly squat.

Anyway: Batman - I despised Batman Begins, and I only needed to see one scene. Bad guy is left in mortal danger and shouts at the caped crusader "You can't kill me!" and our hero says, "I don't have to kill you, I just don't have to save you."

Me: FUCK! I mean, the one cardinal rule of Batman and they forget it. He saves EVERYONE. No matter who. Because his parents died in a stupid, pointless mugging gone wrong (oh, wait, new version: it was actually a JFK style conspiracy) he refuses to let that happen to anyone. Even the Joker. Lets face it, if Monsier Wayne got up one day and thought "Hmm, I think I will impersonate Kaston Iago", Gotham City would be stripped off life in five minutes. So the fucktards compromised Batman as much as if they'd renamed him Angus the Gerbil and had him played by Terry Gilliam.

No fucking fist.

The AVs: mmm. Really must be some kind of forbidden fruit repeated meme. "Unlikely to ever hear them + JNT didn't open a can of whupass = unadulterated business". I think the best said is they weren't as crap as other fan audios and liked the series before than the script editor at the time.

Big Finish: Heh. I thought about saying you got them in the wrong order, but the main problem is that they are so utterly interchangeable. Sigh.

DWADs: they seem to be dismantling their website and the whole forum has vanished. Oh well.

Ashes to Ashes: it really does get better in the last half. I actually got scared of the clown when Shazza could see it. But the more I watched, the more I saw it as a cutting parody of LOM rather than a sequel. It is the Curse of Fatal Death of the Genieverse.

Arrested Development: I like it. I'd say I love it but I don't care enough, per se, to actually get the DVDs and look for it on TV. But if it's on, I'll watch it and I've not once failed to be entertained. I particularly loved it when the idiot brother joined the Blue Man group and stayed blue for a dozen episodes, or taking up a job as a combined analysist/therapist... because his business card of "ANALRAPIST" got him arrested. Twice. Ah. Good times.

I saw a bit of Jay/Silent Bob strike back the previous night. I seem to watch that film backwards, as every time I catch it, I've missed LESS of the beginning. Mind you, the bit where they meet the entire cast of BTVS pretending to be the Scooby Gang was enough to make ME doubt my own mental faculties.

The movie has also made me decide that from now on the Doctor should always introduce his companion as "hetero life partner". For the hell of it.

Oh yeah and how do I say I am a follower of YOUR mighty blogspot? I never get asked about that option.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Heh. Well, that's the last time I give you a last of things to blog over.

Well, SORRY! ;)

I assume it must be some kind of rule we find everyone else's blogs more fascinating than our own.

Yeah, probably. Well... I dunno about Nyder's...

I tried to review B7: Liberated just today and just gave up.

Yeah, I noticed that. Maybe I should take over?

Anyway: Batman - I despised Batman Begins, and I only needed to see one scene. Bad guy is left in mortal danger and shouts at the caped crusader "You can't kill me!" and our hero says, "I don't have to kill you, I just don't have to save you."

I didn't even see Batman Begins and I've only ever read one comic books. Dark Knight is good, man. And he doesn't kill the Joker.

Big Finish: Heh. I thought about saying you got them in the wrong order, but the main problem is that they are so utterly interchangeable. Sigh.

It's a shame that there are so many bad BFs out there, because I really, really would like to be able to say that Fraidy Cat is one of the worst, because it really deserves it.

DWADs: they seem to be dismantling their website and the whole forum has vanished. Oh well.


it really does get better in the last half.

Probably. I watched 30 minutes of the last one I had fairly easily, all told. But then I took a break and now I can't even remember what was happening in the story. Not feeling much compunction to go back to it..

Arrested Development: I like it. I'd say I love it but I don't care enough, per se, to actually get the DVDs and look for it on TV. But if it's on, I'll watch it and I've not once failed to be entertained.

Oh, yeah. It's one of those shows where even the bad episodes are good.

I've got the entire series, if you want it, at the next meet.

I saw a bit of Jay/Silent Bob strike back the previous night. I seem to watch that film backwards, as every time I catch it, I've missed LESS of the beginning.

Hmm, interesting.

The film opens with a flashback to Jay and Silent Bob both being abandoned by their parents outside the Quick Stop, before a flash forward to the modern day. Jay is performing a song by some band called 'The Time' while Bob bobs his head along in silence. Some kid shows up and says that the song is gay, causing Jay to nearly inflict GBH upon the punk, but he is stopped by Dante. Angered by this, Jay tells the kid a load of crap about Dante and Randall being a gay couple, which gets back to the clerks who get the police to forcibly eject them from the Quick Stop and basically ban their asses.

Looking for somewhere to hang, Jay and Bob track down Brodie Bruce from Mallrats, who has clearly quit hosting The Tonight Show and bought a comic book store. He's the one who tells Jay and Bob about the upcoming Bluntman and Chronic film that he read about online, prompting my favourite line in the entire film:

"What the fuck is the internet?"

Hopefully that should fill in any blanks.

Oh yeah and how do I say I am a follower of YOUR mighty blogspot? I never get asked about that option.

I am uncertain of to what you are referring to here.

Youth of Australia said...

Fuck, blogger, why do you eat my replies so?

I love the origin of J&SB. I really must scope out the Clerks Canon one day.