Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Linear RPG

The Linear RPG

This is the greatest Japanese RPG I've ever played.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

John Woo and his Dastardly Hard Boiled.

Does anyone else think John Woo ripped off Die Hard when he made Hard Boiled? I was watching it tonight and the whole hospital under siege really felt like Nakatomi Plaza. Die Hard was made in 88 and Hard Boiled came out in 92, so it seems likely. Of course, John McClane only killed a dozen terrorists whereas Tequila and that undercover dude waste about 260 guys, but the whole premise seemed very similar. Police gathering outside getting blown up... SWAT being generally incompetent and ineffective against the terrorists... the villain with a plan to somehow blow up the entire building... the main hero leaping out of a window to safety by hanging onto some sort of rope... am I the only one who sees this?

And one last thing... that actor who plays the undercover dude is really really typecast, cause he goes on and plays the exact same character in Infernal Affairs. Right down to getting shot at the end.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Stephen King's It

Anyone remember Stephen King's It miniseries? Apparently they're gonna try and make it a theatrical film over at Warner Bros.

Ya know, maybe it's cause I was just a kid when I watched it but the 1990 TV miniseries was pretty amazing. It's this strong sort of nostalgia and dread warped together in the form of a clown. Just one of those childhood memories you can never shake, sometimes remembering bits and pieces at random moments through life. And I always had a crush on Emily Perkins who played Beverly Marsh. It feels weird to admit that now that I'm all grown up, but hey... just the truth. Thank god they didn't follow the book that literally and have all the boys plow her train-style down in the sewer. See, that probably would've scarred me for life, even if it wasn't set to "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen.

I'll definitely go see this if they make it, but the most important question is who's going to play Pennywise. Unfortunately Heath Ledger's dead so that's one obvious choice gone. But ya know, anyone stepping into Pennywise's big clown shoes is gonna have just as hard a time as the next Joker, because Tim Curry was fucking brilliant. The butler from Clue, Pennywise, Rocky Horror Picture Show... this man is an institution I tells ya. True, Ledger claimed the Joker from Nicholson but I find it hard to imagine that lightning will strike twice and Curry's Pennywise will probably not be topped.

Retarded Trekkie is Retarded.

Of course, any real Trekkie would know that the Original Series took place in the 23rd century, not the 24th century.

And ya know, it's wholly possible that all provincial-minded activists were killed in the unfortunate happenings of the Third World War.

God, I need a girlfriend.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Review: Watchmen

Thought it was... ok. Definitely not a huge crowd pleaser like The Dark Knight. No real thrills or shocking payoffs. But this is coming from a guy who's read the book about 15 or 20 times, so maybe a newcomer to the story would beg to differ. But uh... just flat in a lot of areas where the book didn't translate well to the screen. What worked on the page was brought to the screen by Zach Snyder as best as anyone could've mustered, but it wasn't really brought to life in a meaningful, emotional way. The violence was fine for the few fight scenes where it was actually present, but that just made them stand out as peculiar, when 90% of the movie is about... talking. Sometimes talking with bad aged makeup.

That rape scene hit me hard. Geez. I knew it was coming, I'd read it plenty of times on the page, but the way it was filmed was just... awful, and you could feel the audience dying inside. Though that was one thing I was surprised about, the audience. I dunno if it was because I went to an 11:50 pm showing or what, but nobody at my screening laughed aloud at Dr. Manhattan's blue dong like so many other reviews have been describing. They were just... pretty much silent throughout. The biggest reaction was when Rorschach spilled the oil on the convict and yelled "I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me." Of course they would, it was a great line.

Yea, that Dr. Manhattan... I gotta say, he ended up falling short of my expectations. Not Crudup's voice, that was fine. But the entire CGI entity just... did not look right to me. Maybe it IS the uncanny valley, but I just thought he looked unreal, inhuman, and somewhat of a failure as a visual effect. Perhaps part of that was because he had no pupils. I just checked and he doesn't have any in the graphic novel either, but... perhaps in this case it would've been better to diverge from the source material.

Like I said before... Snyder did as good a job as anyone could've in bringing this book to the movie screen. And yet... I did miss all the material that was cut out. The stuff with the two Bernies, the Psychiatrist's marital problems, Hollis getting pumpkin'd... there was a feeling of loss throughout watching the film. So I dunno how any person who hasn't read the book will react to the movie.

The ending change? Yea, fine. It works logically. About as well as the original ending I suppose. Though the visceral impact of seeing six full pages of dead corpses in New York was completely missing here. Sorry dude, but showing us a giant blue CGI explosion just doesn't carry the same impact. We needed to feel those millions of dead. I did like the Rorschach pattern in the snow though, that was something new and worked pretty well.

Oh yea, one last thing... good god Zach, what were you thinking with that Hallelujah sex scene? Dude, I like porn and I like superheroes, but that scene... I could not have rolled my eyes any further. It was cringeworthy. And no, it was not as bad as the sex scene in 300, because I was perfectly fine with that sex scene. It was short, perfunctory, and did not have an incredibly odd soundtrack. In this case, less would've been more. The scene in the book was only 2 panels, that was about right. Mostly it was the song though... that Hallelujah song will never be the same to me again.

But I did really like the intro credits with Bob Dylan.

Again, thought it was ok. But no, not the greatest comic book movie ever. It's a mostly faithful retelling of the book in 2 and a half hours that, in my opinion, will completely fly over the heads of the mainstream audience. Let's say 7.8 out of 10, and I'm being generous.