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Viewing blog entries in category: movies

  • Iain Aschendale
    Got around to watching Netflix's "Bird Box" last night.

    It felt like the sort of thing Stephen King pops out on a Saturday afternoon when Tabitha is on his ass about cleaning the gutters. "Honey, they say it's supposed to rain this week, could you-"

    "Tabby, I told you, I've got a great idea going, don't want to lose my train of thought. Call that neighbor kid, what's his name, Dusty? Cody?"

    "It's Dakota, hon, but his mom says-"

    His hip was aching again. What the fuck am I doing sitting on half a billion dollars, give or take, and she still wants me to handle the yardwork. Whatever, birds, little bit of "Cell," unexplained monster from "The Mist", it'll practically write itself, mentally scarred mother, yeah. "I told you, I've got a book due next month, my agent's been up my ass since New Years," hmm, maybe some crazies, don't forget a dash of diversity, "I've gotta get cracking on this thing, if Donny can't do it, just call that guy Garcia from the lawn care company."

    "His name's Gonzales, and I don't think they handle-"

    Of course, this wasn't written by Stephen King. Guess he helped with the gutters after all.
  • Iain Aschendale
    Io, on Netflix.

    Painful painful painful awful fucking shitty horrible piece of crap, the writer(s) should have their everything revoked.

    I'm not going to spoiler-wrap this because I want to save you from the movie, dammit.

    First ten seconds or whatever, "Some people say it was the pollution, I call it human nature." "sending ships to other planets to harvest their geothermal energy."

    You what?!?

    No, I don't care about the terminology, but Earth isn't short on geothermal energy last I checked, and just how the fuck do you "harvest" geothermal energy? What's the transmission or storage medium you're planning on using?

    Wait, they've just "harvested" half of Io's geothermal energy. Anybody in the back know where that energy comes from? Anyone?

    And they're gonna use it to colonize Proxima Centauri b. You think Beijing smog is bad, try living in a triple system practically inside of a red dwarf star with aurora borealis that you could microwave popcorn to.

    Oh, wait, she's gonna make bees evolve to deal with the shitty air pollution. Let's take a sterile worker bee that has evolved to and grown up in decent air and put it in a fish tank filled with an atmosphere so polluted and oxygen-starved it won't sustain open flame. Shit, the bee didn't evolve in time because that's not how fucking evolution works!!!!!! If the writer grew up near the beach, but never learned to swim, do you think they'd evolve some fucking gills if I held their head underwater long enough?

    I'm turning this piece of shit off. I spend hours poring over aerial photos of LA, consult with my person on the ground @Shenanigator to see what the real feel of neighborhoods are, research care packages for the homeless, dig through Dante, ask my dad about the physics of micro black holes, create memberships on hobbyist forums to ask questions about my characters' potential hobbies all in the name of getting it as right as I can, and find that someone has chucked several million dollars (yes, I looked, and no, there are no budget figures available. Moon, starring Sam Rockwell, cost $5 million though, so that's a decent rule of thumb comparison, IMO) at this piece of shit?
  • Iain Aschendale
    I saw First Man today, and I'm kind of overwhelmed with thoughts.

    First, kudos to Ryan Phillipe Reynolds Gosling for successfully playing a block of wood.

    And that's not a criticism. I've read a bit about Neil Armstrong, and part of NASA's selection process was to find the most boring person they could to take the most important first step in human history.

    Fuck Columbus, it was already occupied.

    I love Buzz Aldrin, but NASA didn't want that. Armstrong (would he have had a shot if his family name had been Herpolsheimer or McAnally?) spent the rest of his life unhappy with the fact that people only saw him as the First Man on the Moon. Neil Armstrong was modeled on Keir Dullea, not the other way around.

    Second, I'm too terrified to click the "Historical Accuracy" button, whenever I get around to finding it. Some things I know are right, some things I know are wrong, but there's an ugly middle zone... Good thing Armstrong is dead.

    Finally, kudos to the director producer screenwriters for A) having humanized the first human being to set foot on an extraterrestrial body and B) made it fucking boring.

    Bedtime for Chop Chop Chang.
    Malisky, Lifeline and Kinzvlle like this.
  • Iain Aschendale
    I just got back from Hereditary. No spoilers, but I found this movie very enjoyable in the classic horror sense of things. There are a couple scenes involving a cell phone, but they don't need to be there, and the rest of the movie could have been done anytime in the last forty or fifty years. That's a compliment, if you enjoy films like The Exorcist and The Omen, you may enjoy this film. There are no wisecracking evil menaces, no terrified teenagers in swimsuits or underwear, and no gratuitous jump scares, just a pure supernatural evil and a family's attempt to deal with it.

    On the critical side, there was one scene that I think may have had a set-dressing mistake, and I wasn't a fan of casting 68-year old Gabriel Byrne as the father of a thirteen-year-old and an eighteen-year-old (when my father was my age [forty-seven] I had already been honorably discharged from the Marines and would have graduated college if I'd taken that path). It's not a complaint about how he plays the role, it's just Hollywood's typical pattern of letting leading men play roles well into their, ahem, late middle age that should really be going to younger men. Toni Collette, on the other hand, is 46, which fits the character better and is fucking outstanding in this role. Kudos to the rest of the casting decisions as well, the younger actors and actresses look like, well, average teenage kids. The "beautiful girl" love interest is pretty attractive, but doesn't come across as having fallen off a Maybelline package or anything.

    So anyway, if you like the old style of horror, I'd recommend this film. If boobs and splatter and jump-scares that were only the cat are more your thing, I won't judge, but you'll probably be bored to death.
  • Iain Aschendale
    C-3PO and R2D2 didn't manage to stop the trash compacter in time. Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca were all crushed, and the next time the Death Star went into hyperspace their corpses were ejected from the station before the jump, in keeping with Imperial fleet protocol. C-3PO, in a mixture of terror and despair, grabbed a power main with both hands and incinerated his circuits to avoid capture. Station security spent months combing every inch of the mammoth ship for the terrorists who had brazenly snuck aboard, broken an important prisoner out of the detention wing, and then simply vanished. In the years that followed, when something broke down or malfunctioned the engineers joked (quietly) "Must be those damn rebels again!"

    And little R2D2? He'd never really cared about the disputes of the living; the definition of joy for him was helping other mechanical systems. No one noticed one more R unit on the maintenance gang in the station's southern hemisphere, and he spent the rest of his days keeping the HVAC systems running smoothly as the rebellion was crushed, murdered planet by murdered planet.