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Author Topic: AWC's Ultimate Multimedia Review Smörgåsbord!  (Read 7314 times)
alexwcovington
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« on: June 23, 2010, 12:14:11 PM »

I'm going to add MHO to the mix with reviews of the stuff that makes me rant and rave.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 12:29:32 PM by alexwcovington » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2010, 12:28:40 PM »

Pioneer One
(VODO.net original tipjar series)

Poorly written and forcelessly acted, Pioneer One's pilot needs to be completely redone if it is to anchor a science fiction television series.

To start off with, we are treated to a 720p commercial - I nearly closed the video at this point.  I torrent shows so I don't have to deal with ego-bloated marketers trying to sell me shit I don't want with the shows I do want.  I don't care who VODO.net is.

As it turns out, the only moment that's any fun at all occurs just minutes in, and it was fairly squeam-inducing for a computer nerd to sit through.  The rest of it is just caging the plot in forced mystery.

Credibility is strained at nearly every stage of the show.  

The idea that some Homeland Security regional commander in Montana would be given operational control of a Canadian investigation is totally preposterous.  After September 11, the RCMP was willing to let US authorities run roughshod across Canada -- that is, until innocent Canadian citizen Maher Arar was flown to Syria with a bag over his head, then brutally tortured.

Despite the surreal demands of the investigator's bosses in Washington, it's only 35 minutes in before we get any inkling at all that the DHS in the show is the same onerous and paranoid authority we've all seen freaking out about shampoo at the airport.  A university professor called in on the case gives a half-hearted tirade against them... shortly before signing a non-disclosure agreement.  This was after he apparently agreed to be flown to Calgary for the meeting.

And probably the biggest concept to swallow is the idea that DHS would have some woman in Montana who speaks over forty languages.  It strains the very limits of reality.  Someone like her, if she was willing to work for DHS, would get oodles more cash working for CIA or State in DC or abroad.  There's nothing to explain why someone so talented would be playing sixth banana in the middle of nowhere.

We're also treated to a grab-bag of disturbing basic factual errors, to the point where you wonder if the writing staff even had access to Wikipedia.  The observatory is "Astrological" instead of "Astronomical".  They co-located Baikonur Cosmodrome and Star City (Baikonur is in Kazakhstan! Star City is in Moscow!).  They said CFB Calgary was an old air base (it was an army base with some helicopters at best), and set up shop there instead of much-closer CFB Edmonton, which IS an air base. The show wonders where Stanislav Petrov ended up (He's collecting his pension quite nicely).

And as a final note, it is obvious that the production team are hardcore Macfags, which would be fine if they were trying to sell this show to people who can't tell an iMac from a popsicle.  Not a single Windows PC at a government agency?  Really?

I give Pioneer One 2 out of 10 asterisks (**/**********), for depicting a fuck-all awesome space mission in the most ignorant, hackneyed manner possible, and for pretending Homeland Security is cool.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2010, 10:22:58 PM by alexwcovington » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2010, 02:26:11 AM »

The A-Team (2010)
(Wide release film)

The A-Team tells the suspiciously familiar tale of a crack team of paramilitary specialists with a reputation for usefulness.  The new film takes this concept and goes way over the top, but still shines rather often for a remake.

The film opens with the A-Team miraculously forming spontaneously during a black-op in Mexico.  It glosses over a few years, and then sets its next set of key events during the futuristic "withdrawal from Iraq."  The team finds itself entangled in a power play, all too often learning the truth too late to be useful.  Caught between underhanded CIA agents, bloodthirsty mercenaries, and incredulous DoD operatives, the A-Team must find ridiculous ways of surviving the movie.  The end of the film is depressingly believable.

Fans of District 9 should be pleased that Sharlto Copley has a leading role.  Hardcore Star Trek fans have a serious wank right before Murdoch is liberated, and a little bit more in an after-credits scene.

Even though many of the film's greatest moments were spoiled by the movie trailer and the love interest isn't terribly believable, A-Team still delivers plenty of comedy and a reasonable amount of action, so it earns a 7 out of 10 (*******/**********)
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2010, 01:20:18 PM »

Stargate: Universe, Season 1
(SyFy Original Series)

Stargate: Universe shows promise as a series, but as with Battlestar Galactica, it is already teetering on the edge of losing its purpose.  Too often distracted from its core plotline, there's still time to pull back from the brink of totally degenerating into pointless drama.

SG:U has a stellar cast, and it shines the most when it's thoughtfully using its plethora of ensemble characters to solve the issues of the day. 

Unfortunately, the writers have preferred to delve deep into human drama.  Adding body-swapping communications stones to the mix, we quickly see the creepy eventuality of using someone else's body to fuck.  Disturbingly, it happens early on, and without anyone giving it a second thought.

Even when they aren't tele-raping Air Force volunteers, it's just miserable to see Chloe hang out with her vapid "friends" or watch Young fight with his estranged wife.  This is not to say that all the return trips are unwatchable - when Eli, Scott, or Wray go home, it usually means something.

But when it's back to the ship, there's more often a power struggle going on than there is an actual situational problem.  And in whichever case, the events usually end up centring around Dr. Rush. 

Whether he's totally Machiavellian or just a Sadist is unclear, but somehow the ship is always getting into dangerous situations that ONLY HE can get everyone out of.  SG:U begins and ends its first season on the direct results of his reckless acts.  Rush forces the unprepared crew of Icarus Base to evacuate to the Ancient starship Destiny, rather than back to Earth to fight again another day.  At the end of the season, his overconfidence prevails again, as he aids and abets an armed invasion of Destiny by ruthless mercenaries.

The show is basically a giant fan wank in many respects.  The show is filled with a garden of eye-candy actresses who wouldn't last a day in the real Air Force.  The character of Eli Wallace is essentially a stand-in for all of us loser nerds who have nothing better to do all day than critique Sci-Fi shows.

Overall, I think a bend toward exploring the unknown worlds that lie ahead of Destiny, instead of the known world of human intrigue, would do a universe of good for SG:U.  Season score: 6/10 (******/**********) -- We'll see about the rest.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 11:30:22 AM by alexwcovington » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 02:43:55 AM »

Red Dead Redemption
(X360/PS3)

It's 1911 and times are changing.  But one thing that never seems to change is the men with money and power keeping it that way.

Our protagonist is a feller by the name of John Marsten.  Shanghaied into contract killing,  Marsten is dumped into the the middle of the southwestern state of New Austin.  He quickly finds that a penchant for asking questions first and shooting later is ill-suited to life in this nigh-lawless land.  If fight he must, then fight he shall.  

In true Western form, you can ride into the sunset and straight on through till dawn.  You can choose to live as a true hero of the West -- saving the helpless, roping horses, skinning coyotes -- or you can choose the path of the dark side.  

As fantastic as the environment and the immersive plotline is, the game does has some technical challenges.  The most glaring issue is that the GTA-style mini-map isn't adapted at all to the huge variations in topography that you have to navigate through, and the waypoint pathfinder simply gives up if you're too far from a trail.  This can make it very difficult to get around.  Compared to GTA4, the auto-aim system has been crippled, though there is a separate time-slowing aim system that nearly balances it out.  Lastly, you can tell that the dusty Western realism taxes the console hardware to the limit -- something that will hopefully clear up when the option to run the game on a blazing PC arrives in the near future.  

Rough at times, but then, that's life in the West.  This new game truly does redeem after the less-than-stellar Red Dead Revolver; I'll hand over 8 out of 10 stars.  (********/**********)

But if the ending sucks, I'm taking one back.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 04:31:54 AM by alexwcovington » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2010, 11:56:52 AM »

Inception
(wide-release film)

Quote
"We have to go deeper."

Inception is a plodding mindfuck that might be worth your time on DVD.

The movie takes place in a world where psychological bandits regularly steal secrets from people's dreams.  But this time, the group must take on a more difficult challenge: planting an idea deep in the brain of an unsuspecting mark.

The special effects are unique and S.... L.... O.... W....  As for the acting, only Tom Hardy's performance as Eames really stands out, though Michael Caine adds some credibility, as he always does.  DiCaprio's lead is inscrutable as always, and Page's character lacked depth.  Of course, when I see Ellen Page in a film, I am not staring at her depth of character...

The ending is deliberately ambiguous, which is more or less par for Christopher Nolan, but definitely takes away from the satisfaction of the film.  Has anything actually happened? is not a question I should be asking myself after paying $13 to see a 150 minute movie.  At least they didn't make it in 3D.

Inception gets 4/10 stars (****/**********) for inspiring a generation to explore the effects of powerful sedatives, like the movie Inception.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 12:06:01 PM by alexwcovington » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2010, 06:22:23 AM »

Hey, maybe after this Tom Hardy's acting career can finally recover from Nemesis.  grin

Speaking of Hardy, you should totally check out Linda Hardy, who is actually completely unrelated to Tom Hardy.  whistle
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« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2011, 12:54:53 AM »

Black Swan
(Minor release film)

The premise of this film is that Natalie Portman is a ballerina at a New York City ballet house.  Her dream is to star in the house production of Swan Lake -- but to do so she must embrace a dark side she never had as the insulated only child of a washed-up ballerina.  Mila Kunis plays a competing ballerina who is nothing but dark side -- while Winona Ryder plays the former prima ballerina, tossed aside by the producer like a used condom.

Though it might sound on the surface like a dull bit of source material, the film really is a spellbinding thriller.  Though it doesn't make things blatantly obvious, you gradually understand what's up with it.  Plus, unlike Inception, it actually has an ending.

For those of you hoping for a lot of sexual content, well, there's nary a sequence without a bit of ballerina leg, or getting to first, second, or even third base, though by the time you see it you may have other things on your mind.  

Black Swan was a welcome surprise for me.  I was actually shaking at the edge of my seat, and it's been a long time since a movie actually did that.  I would have to be very, very jaded to find an excuse to take away a star.  10/10!  **********/**********

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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 12:21:37 AM »

Sucker Punch
(wide release film)
Where do I even begin?  Right off, I'll admit it, nobody trolls harder than Zach Snyder. troll face He conned a major studio out of $82 million for this turd, and it will probably break even for them -- so the real perpetrators of this crime on art and society are comic nerds: sad, lonely people who will respond to selectively cut trailers featuring high-cut schoolgirl skirts.

Our heroine is a 23-year-old Australian with limited acting skills portraying a 20-year-old bleach-blonde New England heiress who dresses like a 15-year-old.  The movie begins with a standard superhero origin story:  After her mother dies, she wills the family fortune to her two daughters.  Stepdaddy is enraged and plans on taking a million or two out of their asses, but only in the form of a beating, because this is a PG-13 film.  Ms. Pigtails grabs a gun and shoots at stepdaddy, but the shot goes wild and kills her little sister.

Our lady is then dumped into the local insane asylum, where stepdaddy pays off a crooked doctor to ensure she gets lobotomized ASAP.  Our heroine is now living on a 5-day deadline.  So guess what happens now:  Will she be exposed to experimental pharmaceuticals that give her psychic abilities?  Will she find an unlikely ally and expose her stepfather as an abuser?  Will she have a psychotic break and relayer her reality with tacky Mafioso tropes and play out her long-held fantasy of being a sex slave?

...yeah.

So we're off in fantasyland again, where we can't really say for sure what's actually going on, but unlike Black Swan, it is not dripped in slowly until you finally understand that shit is seriously fucked up.  In Sucker Punch we just kind of jump-cut in and out of one fantasy or another for the rest of the movie.  If they only did it once, it might be excusable, but this is also the vehicle that allows them to take this flavourless character and turn her into the slutty murdering machine you saw in the trailers.

It's only here that our girl finally receives an identity and a semblance of a personality, as the virgin orphan "Baby Doll", whose cherry is going to be sold to the highest bidder in 5 days.  The other sex slaves at the place tell her to accept it, and she's thrown into the burlesque dance class, where almost instantly, we find that our girl has the ability to mesmerize men by subtly swaying back-and-forth with a dead expression on her face.  Ostensibly, she's the best lap dance in the place, but we don't get to see that because this is the part where they flash-cut to the ridiculous battle scene, where the women are dressed even sluttier and carry non-period weaponry into anachronistic situations.  Only at this point is there any attempt of an escape plot, but it's all much ado about nothing; in the end she takes her lobotomy like a champ.

Now any one or two of these ideas might have been a decent concept for a movie.  You could have a psychological thriller, you could have a mindless fanservice action romp, you could have a superheroic vengeance tale, you could have had an excuse for Jena Malone to narrowly avert lesbian makeout sessions -- but in this case, the whole is less than the sum of the parts.  In trying to be everything, Sucker Punch became nothing.  0/10 stars (    /**********).
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2011, 08:21:17 AM »

SeaQuest DSV
(TV Pilot)

Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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Shirvani in a nutshell.


WWW
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2011, 05:09:09 PM »

SeaQuest DSV
(TV Pilot)

You want to know what's worse than watching the TV Pilot? Watching the rest of the series because your junior-year physics teacher is kind of a hack....
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2011, 08:59:55 PM »

Duke Nukem Forever
(PC)

LOADING
tumbleweed

Tip: Duke has exactly four one liners for every one-liner trigger.

Press space to continue...

***

The preposterously late Duke Nukem Forever is pleasing enough for fans, but perhaps not worth it for the uninitiated.  

Gamewise, Duke 4 is your typical mid-2000s shooter, with its hide-and-breathe health system, your option to carry two (or now four) of a dozen assorted weapons, and the ability to bash enemies upside the head with any of them.  Technically it's nothing special, but really, it was that attitude that Duke had to be *the best* that kept this game from being seriously worked on for the better part of a decade.

The loosely-linked "plot" is more of an excursion through the various level designs that were fairly well finalized five years ago.  Since 3DRealms had inexplicable cash flow issues since then, someone else had to buff out the wrinkles and port it to consoles - that's where Triptych and Gearbox came in.

The Flanderization of our hero continues.  Originally he was just some pissed-off couch potato fighting a mad scientist.  When aliens came into the picture, Duke saved the day yet again.  But it was Duke's stripper-tipping, shit-talking antics from Duke 3 that have been amped up into the totally self-absorbed hedonist we see today.

Today's Duke lives atop the Lady Killer Casino in Las Vegas and needs a security detail to keep out the hundreds of women desperate to throw themselves at him 24 hours a day.  He is a one-man army with a fortified bunker linked with the upper levels of Earth's America's Defence Command.  He has a turbo-laser on his roof for the occasional anti-spacecraft application.  And of course, it all gets blown to shit when the aliens invade again.

The adventure is always ribald, often gory, and sometimes just absurd.  There's a few boss fights where it's easy enough to throw up your hands and forget about it for a month.  And the jumping puzzles aren't fun because it'd be too much to ask Duke to hoist himself onto something.  The initial release had some more technical faults, like an eternal loading screen and the two-weapon limit, but those have been buffed out now.  

The best thing that can be said about Duke 4 is that it actually got released.  Now that it's finally out the door, I feel confident in saying that Duke 5 is going to be (Aaaaaaaah...) much better.

I give Duke Nukem Forever 4/10 stars (****/**********) for not sucking enough that I put it away forever.
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2011, 06:14:15 PM »

Phobos-Grunt
(Russian Space Probe)

Well, you've gotta hand it to the Russians.  In the US, we only care about space every 20 years or so, but over there they know what's up:  It's Space.  And it's not going away.

So I'm very happy to report to you all that the Soviet Eurasian Union just hefted a very audacious project to the skies:  A Martian moon probe.  One that will scoop up some Phobos and return it to Earth.


I'm sure it'll grow back.

If it works, it will be the first time humans have held something that wasn't already in our gravity well.  That's some heavy shit.

I give Phobos-Grunt 9 Red Stars out of 10!
★★★★★★★★★☆

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« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2011, 02:58:17 PM »

And now, Bil Keane, is ... dead.  So! Family Circus parody quick-hits!


You are the one
Crowdsource that shit
Needs moar Adonis DNA
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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2011, 06:46:13 PM »

A part of me is happy.  Oh so happy.
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« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2015, 07:35:56 PM »

The Hateful Eight 70mm Roadshow

So being the otaku that he is, Quentin Tarantino blew most of his movie budget on renovating lenses that haven't seen use in film since the days of Ben-Hur to produce, essentially, a bottle show version of the traditional Tarantino ultraviolence.  Having mercilessly suppressed the Gawker script leaks, QT felt fine bringing this vision to the screen.

Is it good?  It's fascinating in that way that all Tarantino movies are, and here the character interactions, between strangers more or less opposed to each other, are deep explorations of the Zeitgeist of post-war frontier America.  It feels real, even if you know it's wholly synthetic (Wyoming Territory didn't exist at the indicated date of the film)

Is it worth a rewatch?  Absolutely.  There's an element of suspense and mystery that makes it worth revisiting.  Does it stand up with the pantheon of Tarantino?  

The spaghetti-western soundtrack with an Overture is a great touch, and in full Panavision glory, the details of the cold Colorado-as-Wyoming backdrop really stand out.  But an intermission is a farce at a cinema that charges $6 for a pop -- on top of the premium ticket price paying for that 50-year-old projector hauled up there for this one showing.

Hateful Eight reminds us of grander times in cinema more by its practical execution, the commemorative leaflet, the lovingly-physical distribution of the entire means to show off the finished product.  But the film itself doesn't stand on its own like Inglorious Basterds, or pop out of the background like Death Proof.  It's more like Reservoir Dogs meets Django Unchained.  Tarantino hasn't made a monument, but a mirror.
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« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2015, 07:41:12 PM »

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens 2D, regular auditorium

I think NPR said:  Q: Is it good?  A:  It's better than it has to be. 
I would say:  It's ... better than it has to be. 

Yeah.  It was about on par with Jedi maybe, and yes, better than the prequels.  But it's not like it's truly great like Empire, and honestly it plays like a TV miniseries interquel, taking too much time setting up new characters that I'd rather see just colliding with the action.

Poe gets to be the mysterious, heroic Dash Rendar type, with a full share of the glory at the end.  Rey gets a heavy helping of backstory angst behind her action-hero role as streetwise fighter, mechanic, and pilot, not quite as hostile as her adopted home planet.  Finn's role as the rebellious Stormtrooper is a good concept, though his character makes no sense with the background (propaganda?) we get on trooper training and discipline.

Han steals the show, making his arc all the more impactful.  Leia is an anchor, clearly weighed down with the weight of the galaxy and her bittersweet family life, but in clear command of her Resistance.  Chewy isn't grey?  I guess Wookiees age differently.

We get these interesting players on the scene, but the story they bounce through in Episode Seven is sadly derivative, more than an echo of A New Hope.  That's infuriating given that JJ at least had the gumption to try something new with Star Trek.  He brought that reboot to a full stop to say "Your precious canon is still alive in another universe".  No such luck for the Yuuzhan Vong invaders, for Luke Skywalker's daughter, and all the other EU leads.

I guess the worst part of it all is that, between R2D2 and Luke sitting around doing fucking nothing the whole time, we have the galaxy going to shit.  With heroes like these, who needs villians?  What Han does and how he goes about it doesn't make any sense, but at least he's trying!

With JJ, who by all accounts really *really* wanted this job, the only explanation is, this is the one he couldn't afford to take chances on.  I'm entertained enough to see Episode VIII at the theatre still, I hope it goes somewhere decent.
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2016, 08:41:30 PM »

Blunt Talk (Starz Original Series)

Right Here, Right Now, it's Patrick Stewart in the news biz!  Some fan wanks are interspersed here and there for those that come in from Star Trek (This whole thing was put on by ascended fanboy Seth MacFarlane).  Also of note, the cast includes North Dakota's own Timm Sharp!

After a strong two-part open, the series meanders between hilarity, ribaldry, and somber notes on aging and lost friends. The 10 half-hour episodes feel longer than they actually are, I was constantly pausing them, due to the heavy use of awkward moments.  If that's your kinda comedy, head for this show at Warp Factor Nine.
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2016, 03:46:03 PM »

The X-Files Revival

I was never a huge X-Phile back in the day.  I caught an episode or two between 1998 and 2002, and missed out on the feature films.  It was always my brother who was a little more into it, and even then it was mainly from The Lone Gunmen angle.  But my imagination ran wild when someone told me the X-Files are coming back!  Sweet!  Mulder can finally topple the cancer in Uncle Sam!


Unanticipated forms of cancer.

Anyway, they're calling this run Season 10, rather than treating this round as something separate.  They won't be singing legends about "the miniseries" like with Battlestar Galactica.


THE SETUP



Mulder has been moping in his cabin for forever.  Scully has been working as a reconstructive surgeon, and trying and failing to coax Mulder back into civilization from time to time.

A crank with a YouTube channel gets closer to THE TRUTH than Mulder ever has, but needs help.  Finally piqued, Mulder turns up at his old office at the FBI, with hardly a pat-down, and is surprised to find that the X-Files are gone, but the pencils in the ceiling tiles aren't.

An old fashioned yell-off with Skinner ensues, and just like that, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are back on the case! (Really, just like that?  Not so much as Scully pausing to say "I'll have to cancel my surgeries for this week" ?  No godawful 9/11-era background check Mulder has to con his way through?)

THE SIZZLE


Closest we get to a major shift in the X-F fanfiction paradigm.

If we all remember anything about the X-Files, it might be the teasing.  Episode 1 gives us more than a little taste of the [squints and curls fingers of both hands] *aliens*, and there's plenty of CGI greys in nightmares, daydreams, and the occasional flashback.  And of course, the elephant in the room for this show was always its massive shipping department.  There's some bits of Episode 3 where Scully figures in a fairly steamy fantasy with a were-lizard (Eat your heart out, Twilight).  For you Mulder//Scully types, there's plenty of bones thrown your way, but no solid canon to stand on.  The Smoking Man continues his love affair with cigarettes.


THE PLOT


"The operative part of the phrase is 'crash'"

Long story short: There isn't one. 

As any relaunch episode should, Episode 1 succeeds in grabbing your attention.  It's everything the X-Files is, but it doesn't set a tone for the season.  This supposedly urgent and immediate need for new X-Files folds its laundry, packs up, and goes away, entirely forgotten until Episode 6.  Now that all the truth is out there, you're better off watching both parts together as a grand finale.

If you wanted to see the X-Files for a new century, Episode 5 will probably the closest you'll get.  The episode explores terrorism, faith, and the medical advances that have made the idea of a vegetative state nearly obsolete.  It also bolts on a hilariously backward 90s New Age subplot, and continues the running trend of self-parody; Our heroes meet their clones, plus a cameo for The Lone Gunmen (once of spin-off fame).



The remainder are romps that hardly strain the basic 90s reset-button adventure formula.  Episode 4 gives Scully some depth, at least.  Episode 3 is funny, but it feels like an Outer Limits retread, with about half an hour of plot not padded out quite right.  Episode 2 is a thriller that feels like a thin pastiche of a recent Marvel Mutants/Miracles film. 


CONCLUSION


Gillian Anderson's Scully is older, wiser, and trying to grab hold of what's important in life, holding deep regrets about losses along the way.  David Duchovny, as we all know, will later become the AI core of acting-bot Calculon.  He's fairly spot-on portraying a Mulder trying to get over a decade on the sidelines, a little rusty and over-the-hill.

As disappointing as the miniseries was, this just might be the inspiration I need to take a look back at the rest of the show, and see the X-Files for real, back when it was good.

Can I sue over this?  I might need a good lawyer.
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2016, 06:04:02 PM »

Independence Day: Resurgence

This was probably worth the ticket to the theatre.  Much like the original, this is a popcorn flick.  It showed a couple moments of greatness, but for the most part, it doesn't stray too far from the original formula.  Aliens invade, Earth is saved.  

The overall path there is more of a bromance than the buddy cop routine.  There's some super-cereal 'Nam shit going on at one point, which doesn't get to sink in quite long enough before the punchlines come back.  Since this film can never be as epic as the original, it does its best to sell itself with a wink and a grin. rimshot

There's a lot of torch-passing going on in this film.  In a lot of ways, ID8 has the same issues Star Wars VII had, having to sell us on a new set of character sheets.  For the most part, the film is actually pretty lazy about this, just kinda handwaving in the kids from the first film for the two main supporting roles.  I think the real heroes of the show are the gold diggers, though.

Anyway... I guess my main takeaway for this one is ★)       FUCK YEAH CHINA! .  Can't wait to follow Gantz into space next time.
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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2017, 01:21:40 AM »

GHOST IN Δ THE SHELL
(2017 film)

I liked it.

Is it a faithful adaptation of GITS?  Certain scenes, sure.  I mean, I was hoping for the anime to be the biggest part, but they seem to have gone all the way back to the manga for main inspiration, so I can't comment on that as well.

Characterwise, the new take on the Tachikomas is pretty cool.  Everyone in Section ⑨ we see is given a moment to shine.  As for ScarJo's role, she is spot-on, subtly emoting just as the closed-off Major would.

I can't give the antagonist high marks, but GITS has always been about the philosophy, and that comes through sufficiently without slowing down the action.  Each part of the show is infused with consequence, though - the subtle enhancements and vulnerabilities that come from cybernetics are on centre stage throughout the film.  What it lacks in plot strength, it makes up for in actually being the most futuristic thing out of Hollywood since Minority Report.
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2017, 05:34:28 PM »

There was nothing in there from the manga.
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« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2017, 08:47:18 PM »

I was really hoping that they were aping some part of the material I hadn't seen.  Good thing I didn't score GITS:View Alone Complex yet.

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