Wednesday 10 June 2015

I have too much money and my wallet's so heavy my back hurts

Joker goes on the list of things I can't draw.

I watched The Last Starfighter again, and it really is in need of a remake or a sequel, though should you wish to live the dreams of your 8 year-old self and play the Starfighter arcade game from the film for yourself, a near-perfect fan-made recreation (with sound sampled from the film) can be downloaded HERE.
As much as I still love it as an unashamed escapist romp, there's something a bit off about what a snob the main character Alex is to his friends, berating them for wanting no more than to enjoy their youth and making the best of their opportunities before he goes gallivanting off to space to be Jesus or whatever, but then a lot of films from this era are like that: overly-vocalising the internal struggles of a character with their status or station in order to better illustrate their later readiness to accept what Joseph Campbell called the "call to action", though is possibly better thought of as a conscious decision to move from the hated status of reactive victim of to active participant in the story cycle, so  before the protagonist can fully embrace a capacity for agency, they are kind of a dick.  I guess it was a thing in the 1980s.

Monday 8 June 2015

The law was made for man, not man for the law

Sweet shimmering cripes, but my blog posting sure does take a hit when I'm not doing stuff for other people.  Luckily I have that Comicsy store to keep feeding books that no-one will ever buy, so there's no reason not to finish up a few projects laying around which I never put the finishing touches on for silly reasons like not being able to use my hands... hahaha, oh lordy but that was just an awful, awful time.
Been catching up with my Hawaii Five-0 viewing with the tail end of season five, and the sudden introduction of Kono's super-hot mum is hilarious for many reasons, but mainly for the fact that they clearly wanted to cast a younger woman so that she could look good in a bikini in the flashbacks and her grey hair in the present-day sequences is thus fried comedy gold that tanks even the most remote possibility of pathos.  My first reaction to giving Kono a solo episode to herself was understandably "WHY?" but then five seasons in and I still forget she's actually in this show most episodes, so some spotlight time is probably overdue - if only to take screentime away from McGarrit's dull girlfriend and her ongoing commitment issues... with actually starring in Hawaii Five-0.  We lost Lauren German for this?  Fuck you, McGarrit's dull girlfriend - piss off to whatever failed pilots you've been shooting and let my show move on to other characters.
It's hard to articulate my problems with Sense8, as unoriginality isn't really that big a sin when it comes to genre telly, but my overriding impression of it is of watching a movie-within-a-movie, like in that film Bowfinger, when we - the audience in the real world - can tell that the fictional film inside the film is terrible, but the people in the film watching the film in the film think it's great.  I think that Sense8 is aimed at that audience - an entirely fictional one that has never seen another sci-fi show, particularly not the crowded post-Heroes "disparate group thrown together" sub-genre of "not-superheroes" superhero television.  The only people I can see really enjoying Sense8 are professional critics used to turning off their memory of other, better shows so that they can make an objective evaluation that is largely unnecessary in this day and age when everything that isn't cross-referenced by its audience with similarities to other things is probably being sold on being a repackaging of something else by the makers "it's like The Matrix meets Heroes only with all the fun and joy removed" oh wait that would just make it Alphas, wouldn't it?  Well anyway, my general opinion is that Sense8 is not very good on top of having a stupid fucking name.

Thursday 4 June 2015

Why does every uncle I know try to screw me?

Between is basically Under The Dome without the scenery-chewing intensity of Dean Norris counting the seconds until he can go off the rails, or if you prefer, Between is Under The Dome done well, because as much as I love the scenery-chewing intensity of Dean Norris counting the seconds until he can go off the rails, this is literally the only good thing about the utterly awful Under the Dome.  Or if you prefer, Under the Dome is terrible.  Utterly terrible.  I saw a screen grab the other day from it - one with the girl back from the dead holding the pink glowing alien egg McGuffin thing - and laughed out loud because I had genuinely forgotten how side-splittingly hilariously stupid it could get when it wasn't about the scenery-chewing intensity of Dean Norris counting the seconds until he can go off the rails (copy and paste is such a great time saver).  Oh yeah, Between - it's no Under the Dome.
Mr Robot is similar to its fellow season debut Stitchers, only Mr Robot remembers to take itself seriously while Stitchers collapses under the weight of its own stupidity roughly 13 minutes in, and yes, I did actually check the time to see where I would think most people would call it a day.  They both begin with a similar premise of a socially-dysfunctional and unlikeable technological savant being dragged into the world of major crime, but Mr Robot sticks to its initial threads and weaves them into the narrative set in what is supposedly reality, while Stitchers instead plops for mild sci-fi and just keeps stacking tropes on top of each other like a Jenga tower, and I hardly need to tell you what the end result of even a well-played Jenga game ultimately is.  In the case of Stitchers, it crashes down around its own ears when it becomes The Cell - yes, The Cell, the movie where a writer person was paid to sit down and come up with a scene where a man drowns a woman in a Batman-style watery death trap and then hangs himself from meat hooks over her bleached corpse pleasuring himself.  That is what I took away from The Cell, and it is all that any sensible person should ever take away from The Cell, and certainly not any of the technological guff it uses to play out dying people's dreams onscreen or whatever that was going on in the rest of that film - I don't remember, really, and can you blame me what with the meat hooks thing?  The problem with Stitchers is really just that if you won't indulge its stupidity, it's embarrassing to watch.  Mr Robot fares a lot better, and while it's still slightly embarrassing that the show's idea of a social misfit is someone who says the things that can be read in any Twitter feed (the rich are jerks and people are stupid), it does at least have the charming new approach to this kind of material where its protagonist doesn't retreat into writing-crutch support structures and social interaction-enablers like higher education or "an elite strike team" (Stitchers manages to do both) but instead enters the world of employment and grinding drudgery, and the furrow it plows through this environment and the impact it has upon the protagonist and the narrative has turned up some interesting notions I won't mind seeing more of.