Movie Review: The Invasion

Warning spoilers.

This is a remake of the body snachers.  Everyone gets infected with an alien virus that highjacks the brain.  Strangely, it infect only humans and leaves the hosts functional, except they are now emotionless drones with a radical and homogenous political outlook.  Is the rhinovirus a Republican or a Communist?

Since I don’t watch horror movies often, I ended up pacing all over the place while the movie was playing.  On the brighter side, I got to see lots of shots of DC and a supernaturally good looking Nicole Kidman in a very expensive Georgetown house.  She transfers to high definition very well.  Me on the otherhand, in high definition, I’d look intensely stubblely.

I also saw in this movie version of DC an incongruous newsstand scene.  I have never seen a New York style newsstand in Washington DC.  It seems like this is a common movie goof.  I wish I could find the wikipeida entry about the other movie that made the same mistake.  Is there a single New York style magazine stand in DC that movie makers track down, just for these sort of scenes?

Scandinavian Movies on Netflicks

Icelandic Bio.  As noted elsewhere, Netflicks lacks an Icelandic category, making it rather difficult to find the half dozen or so movies they do have.

Danish film.  There are a lot of Danish movies, many are miscategorized as being Swedish!

Swedish bio.  Some Swedish movies are actually 70′s era softcore porn, either in English or dubbed in English.  Most of the other Swedish movies are Ingmar Bergman’s.

Norwegian film. There are indeed some Norwegian movies.

Faeroese Kykmynd.  Do any such exist?

Movie Review: Mr & Mrs Smith

It’s a kick-ass movie.  It is also a good movie for watching with a significant other or LTR (long term relationship) candidate.

The one line summary I heard in the media about the movie, unfortunately gives away a plot twist.

I saw the movie in Blu-ray and the movie was better for the HD resolution.

Now should I track down the novel version and the sound track? Hmm.  Wikipedia says the movie has already made one half a billion dollars.  That is a lot of money.

Ignore the critical reviews, they’re written by people who don’t know how to have fun, the same people that decide never to subtitle and export a European comedy for the US market.

Movie Review: No Such Thing

I got this movie, “No Such Thing,” because it has some Icelandic names and part of it was filmed in Iceland.  Unfortunately, the script writer failed to follow the dictum that actors follow– don’t over act, an instead stuffed the script full of over the top rubbish that it made it hard to watch.  And 25 minutes in, it was to hard to keep watching so I stopped.  I think the actors could have done a better job if they had a better script to work with.  The movie also gets an F for tobacco use.

Movie Review: Beowulf

It was a cool movie, mostly because it was about life in old Scandinavia.  They did speak a little bit of Old English–it sounds a lot like Icelandic or anyone of the other modern Scandinavian languages.  Oddly, Old English didn’t sound much like English.

The actor assisted computer generate animation was on the whole in the “uncanny valley,” not fake enough to enjoy as a cartoon and not real enough to be thoroughly tricked.  Lot of moments where the actors seemed creepy.

Ancient myths completely ignore all the rules about how a story is supposed to unfold–things like the hero is not allowed to die, at least not until very late in the movie.    The movie patches up a lot of the typical gaps in a poorly recorded, re-told too many times myth.  Still, the rules of magic in the movie were inexplicable.  Magic gold horns may have passed muster in ancient England, but I think nowadays, we deserve some initial motivation for using magic.

Movie Review: Transformers

The equation is simple

Steven Spielberg +  hot chick + US Military + rather good movie music + reasonable script

divided by

An poorly contrived origin story to go with toys cars that fold like origami into anthropomorphic robots

= a better movie that I was expecting.

Military movies are at their best when fighting hostile aliens.  The all time classic is still Star Ship Troopers, movie and book version.  Transformers the movie can now join as near equals in the sub-genre.  If only Heinlein was a writer for Hasbro when they needed a story for sentient alien robots.

The movie did have a small political message–the president in the movie was not portrait favorably, while the top guy in the military was a hero that participated in combat.  In the days when men were men and women were women, real leaders like King Harold II personally lead their troops into battle and were at no less risk than anyone else on the field.

News: A Cold, Cooking, Movie Watching

I’ve had a cold most of the weekend. I saw the movie Reddick, which I think everyone should see. It is a better story and better graphics than most Star Wars films. Wikipedia recaps the whole story in elaborate detail. Never read a Wikipedia entry on a movie before watching the move–Wikipedia entries tend to be all spoliers, but good for filling in any details that might not have make sense the first time around.

As for the cold, I’ve been using Pseudoephedrine. It works. Interestingly not everyone takes pseudoephedrine and feels like they drank a cup of coffee. I must be special.

Buying Pseudoephedrine is a bit harder than it used to be. It requires showing my drivers license, seeing a real pharmacist, not just a clerk and signing my name to it. It would be hard to casually shoplift it and it would be really hard to buy industrial quantities without the pharmacist calling the cops on you. The manufacture of meth, will move out of Mom and Pop shops to Mexican drug manufacturers, which is fine with me. Each constraint you put on the production of a product makes it more expensive and the quantity that the market consumes. You can’t tell me that drugs is a special case where making it operate outside the formal economy increases the quantity produced. By the same logic, forcing car companies, software companies, and pickle makers to work outside of the formal economy would lead to everyone having twice as many cars, operating systems with fewer bugs and extra jars of pickles on every shelf. Making illegal drugs illegal, that is forcing them into the informal economy reduced the quantity and quality of labor and capital avaiable to that industry and must create shortages of the illegal good. Shortages mean high prices, lower demand and lower total consumption.

The prohibition failed because it was a large established industry with near universal consumption. The prohibition failed to create the institutional changes to make people think that alcohol was really all that illegal. It would be like trying to make bread illegal, in the sense that no one would take the law very seriously.

On the otherhand, as of today, most people believe that the long list of euphorics, stimulants and depresants that are illegal, should be illegal and would not tollerate drug dealing or usage in the employee break room or in an apartement they rented, just because they thought the law on drugs was a farce. Hence, the war on drugs is effective in a way that the prohibition is not. Now the details of law enforment operations is another issue. I would not be surprised if there is petty corruption, waste and inefficiency in the prosecution and detection of drug crimes.

Anyhow, time to take a break from my pseudoephedrine powered blogging and go try to get some sleep, if these little red pills will let me.

Matrix: Movie Review

Just finished watching the last Matrix film. Here are some random thoughts:

It doesn’t make sense that humans are being used a source of electricity. It does make sense if humans are a source of computational power as rebellious robots might be technologically advanced to do what they were envisioned to do, but not advanced enough think all the thoughts they want to be able to think.

It doesn’t make sense that Neo has superpowers outside of the Matrix. It does make sense if the machines have augmented him with more than just jacks in his spine, something like a wireless connection to the Matrix.

It doesn’t make sense for humans to fight machines by trying to darken the sky. The loss of the ability to farm would mean the end of life for humanity as well. As for that matter, how does Zion feed itself? While a science fiction story without good characters and a story is worthless, a science fiction with lacunae in the setting is distracting. It would have helped if there were some other elements in the story to make it clear that is is a parallel universe, something that clearly could never be. Somehow magical wands are easier to deal with because as soon as a story has a magical wand, you know for sure you are not in Kansas anymore, but as soon as you are in a semi-plausible science fiction story, it isn’t as clear–and it creates a distraction.
The movie has way to much to explain. The story should have been a miniseries, or maybe even a TV series.

The directors ripped off a lot of very good science fiction novelists. If you are going to be unimaginative and steal ideas, at least they stole very good ideas from very good authors–in particular, the ideas stolen from Frank Herbert’s Dune.

Aeon Flux

I just saw Aeon Flux.  I recommend it.  The visuals were, really, really, really great.

(Anyone read Bloom County? The one where Opus is reviewing movies and says “the movie was very, very, very,” etc.)

The action story was engaging, immersive and enjoyable.  The science unfortunately was a bit hard to believe.

Gee, now I wish I had an XBox so I could play Aeon Flux the game.  Aeon Flux should go down in history as the most Vidio game-like movie todate.