3/28/09

Monsters vs. Aliens

It's always nice to be able to see a GOOD kids show. And by that I mean, the jokes and the action are accessible by both kid and adult alike. Monsters vs. Aliens is one such movie. I enjoyed it, and the kids in the theater around me really seemed to enjoy it as well.

Monsters vs. Aliens also marks the first modern movie I've seen in 3D (aside from amusement park rides). And I have to admit I really enjoyed the effect. And it was clear to me from the very beginning why 3D hadn't really hit the mainstream until now. It's all about the CG. Computer generated animation makes it so much easier to get those awesome shots while still keeping within budget. That in mind, the 3D effect really enhances the feeling of being immersed in the story. Once you get past the fact that the images are popping off the screen, you start feeling like you're really there inside this other, fantastical world.

But now, on to the story. It didn't really need to be believable because the concept in itself is so silly and surreal that it holds its own by just being full of awesomeness. Still, there was just enough human interest to keep you emotionally attached to the monsters (mostly Susan). But, like I said, it didn't need that. All it needed were some awesome jokes, and those it had in abundance.

I found it hysterical that this mad-scientist roach-man running around the screen in front of me was the voice of Dr. House, M.D. That made me laugh just as much as any of the jokes.

So I definitely recommend Monsters vs. Aliens and I definitely recommend it in 3D. It's just good, silly, awesome fun. You'll enjoy your pants off.

3/18/09

Star Trek rumor fodder

In the preview for the Star Trek movie, the romulan villain says "James T Kirk was a great man. But that was another life!" Does this mean he is from the future, sent to the past to destroy Kirk in his early Startleet career?


-- Post From My iPhone

Syfy

By now most who care have already heard about the Sci-Fi Channel changing their name to Syfy. Ugh... Sorry, I get chills when I read it... Anyway... Besides the fact that it's really kind of a stupid name (I mean, yeah, it sounds the same, but we're LOOKING at the name when it's on TV, not hearing it...) their reasoning behind it is even stupider. Bordering on the offensive. If iPhone has copy/paste functionality I would give you the link to the article, but since that functionality isn't coming until summer (after the name is officially changed), you'll have to Google it yourself. Basically, the head of Syfy said that after testing the name out with their demographic they felt like the kind of cool that a jerk with a Bluetooth earpiece feels when they got the results, so they went with it. Problem is: jerks with Bluetooth earpieces generally aren't geeks. And geeks are 95% of Sci-Fi's fan base. As a matter of fact he went as far to say that Sci-Fi has been associated with geeky, antisocial basement-dwellers for far too long and that their aim with this name change is to make the channel more "human-friendly." Yeah, 'cause geeks aren't human.

Ok. I understand if you want a marketable, brandable name since the term "Sci-Fi" is far too common to trademark. But you've crossed the line when you dismiss a growing, thriving subculture and tell them that you want their favorite channel to show stuff they don't like just because other people do like it. C'mon. You're basically picking your best friend last for the kickball team. That's betrayal. That's downright stupidity. Because even when you change the name, people are still going to associate Syfy with Sci-Fi by sheer virtue of the name's similarity. And no matter how non-sci-fi you get, people who don't like sci-fi will not tune to your channel. Geeks are the foundation on which your success rests, and you're taking a huge jack-hammer to that foundation without so much as worrying about the fact that there IS NO REPLACEMENT FOUNDATION.

Syfy: honestly, I can give you the name change. It looks stupid, but so did Wii at first. But please don't be a jerkwad and give us more reality shows and wrestling shows and non-sci-fi movies like Braveheart just because your demographic research (which is bogus since most geeks are watching Hulu and the like anyway) makes you feel superior. Really. It's sad. We'll watch Stargate Universe and Battlestar Galactica possibly Eureka and reruns of Star Trek, Twilight Zone and other oldies, but don't change because you don't like us. That's like not taking your medicine because it tastes bad.

3/6/09

Watchmen

If I hear ANYONE complain about the Watchmen movie because of its differences from the graphic novel, I'm going to kick them in the shins.

If they wanted to put the graphic novel in its entirety on the screen, they would have to have made it into a miniseries. There's no possible way you can fit every single thing in the graphic novel into a 3 hour movie. As such, it is completely necessary to omit certain details about the comic book's ending. Since with these omissions the original ending didn't make a lot of sense, it was necessary to create some simpler details which lead... well, you get the idea, without revealing any spoilers.

Douglas Adams, creator of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, had his creation turned into a book, a radio drama, a video game, a TV series and a movie and he considered each incarnation a completely separate entity from the original. As such, he had no problem with the differences there are between them. Everyone should remember this before they go criticizing any movie because of its differences from the original. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons were quite active on the set of Watchmen and they were excited to see the movie coming out. If the creators don't have a problem with it, then the fans shouldn't.

That being said, the movie is a pretty awesome movie in itself. It lacked some of the potency of the message(s) of the original graphic novel, but, again, I think that boils down to lack of time and resources. In stead, they focused on character and world development without sacrificing a pretty powerful exposition on the real human condition. Also, there were explosions and epic battles. All the makings of a great movie.

Despite having a powerful message, a great story and some awesome cinematic sequences, and despite this being a movie about superheroes, it's definitely not a movie for kids. More than anything, Watchmen brings a realism to crime-fighting that has never been explored in cinema history. That means fighting fire with fire - fighting violence with graphic violence. It means people giving in to carnal desires and taking drastic measures to get what they want. In the pursuit of a potent commentary on humanity, it's sometimes necessary to explore the depths to which the human heart can sink, but one should not visit the briny deep without proper deep-sea equipment. One should not watch this movie without the ability to properly and maturely processes the images given to them. If you can do that, then the movie will be all the better to you.

All in all, I approve of Watchmen without suggesting you take your kids to see it. If you're looking for a powerful movie, this is one of them. And the roller coaster of a ride on which it takes you is all the more argument for watching the Watchmen.