atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#1387: I want this.

This link is Not Safe For Work, but it's a basic review of computer software which generates an interactive doll.

I want a copy of this.

* * *

"Black Pete"? He owes me money! In Europe, Santa Claus has a sinister sidekick, but in Holland the sidekick is (used to be) a black slave. "'In the old days, parents would warn their children: 'If you don't behave, Black Pete will come and take you with him back to Spain.'"

I...Spain? What's he going to do, flamenco them to death? WTF.

Also, LOL at Holland.

* * *

This just in: we don't know how climate changes. Oh, wait: < /sarcasm >

* * *

Yesteday I caught Batman Begins on FX, and I was impressed with it.

I was also impressed with the 7/7 format they were using: seven minutes of movie, seven minutes of commercial break, repeat.

It was their idiotic "DVD on TV" thing, where they show snips from the DVD bonus features and two douchebags being morons intro the clips and the resumption of the movie, so it wasn't exactly 7 minutes of commercials, but it was 7 minutes of interruption which extended the movie to 3.5 hours in length.

As for the movie, I had kind of drifted away from Batman movies after the disastrous Joel Schumacher period (eg Batman and Robin, where the bat suit had nipples), so I was pleasantly surprised that the movie was extra-good. Despite a major plot hole.

Eh? "Hole"? Well--spoilers--the bad guy is going to flood Gotham City with a "weaponized hallucinogen" which, when inhaled, causes panic and violent behavior. His plot is to dump the liquid hallucinogen into the water supply, and then switch on this massive microwave beam which will vaporize the water and disperse the hallucinogen on the four winds, thus driving everyone in the city insane with fear. Gotham will then be destroyed, etc, etc.

I thought that was pretty neat: a magic microwave gun that vaporizes water in iron pipes that are dozens of yards away (and underground to boot) yet doesn't vaporize the water in the body of the man standing right next to the freaking thing.

To say nothing, I might add, of the power source required to run something like that.

But WTF, this is a movie based on a comic book--some magical pseudo-science is to be expected. And at least it delivers in the "action" and "entertainment" categories; I liked it.

I was already looking forward to The Dark Knight; now I'm looking forward to it a little more.

* * *

While we're at it, WTF is up with The Day The Earth Stood Still Five bucks says it's now an eco-nazi (rather than anti-nuclear war) movie: "Stop screwing up your planet or else!" Or else what? In the original, Klaatu's message was, "Stop with the nukes or we'll destroy Earth!" Now it's going to be "stop destroying Earth or we'll destroy you!" I bet.

What I saw was as frenetic and nonsensical as a 15-second Japanese TV ad. Do I understand this? Keanu Reeves is Klaatu? No fucking way. It's not: "Whoa, Gort: klaatu verada nikto, dude!"

Hollywood being utterly bereft of new ideas, though, it hardly surprises me at all that the movie was remade. Even the good '50s SF movies are regarded as "quaint" by much of the population these days; but a derivative is never as good as the original work that spawned it. (There are a very few examples of a remake being better than the original. A very few. They are the exception, rather than the rule.)

The original Forbidden Planet, for example, needs nothing. Yes, the sountrack "music" is done on theremin; yes, the special effects are primitive; and yes, the writing is straight out of the 1950s. But it remains a classic SF movie because it does what all really good SF stories do:

1) establishes a set of rules
2) explores the consequences of the rules
3) tells a good story in the process

The first three (by this I mean the first ones released) Star Wars movies worked on some level because they followed these guidelines. The latter three failed because they broke these rules. (Midiclorians. Just to name one failure.)

Star Trek also lives and dies by this formula; when you get into a repetition of "gadget fix of the week" (as Voyager did) it stops being interesting.

So The Day The Earth Stood Still has been remade, and all kinds of Hollywood morons will have piddled in it so they'll like the flavor, and the result will be a CGI-heavy special-effects extravaganza--substituting fireworks for writing--with wooden acting and poorly-updated plot which didn't need updating in the first place.

I expect this to suck.

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