badger: (badgerman)
Big goofy space opera fun.
The Wachowskis tell you in the first ten minutes that this is a Cinderella story so you’re watching a fairy tale with different trappings. If you're looking for hard SF go back to complaining about Gravity and Interstellar because you're in the wrong room.

some spoilers in this post )
badger: (badgerman)
I read the entire November Man espionage novel sequence while they were coming out and was pleased to see a film adaptation of There Are No Spies, the seventh, was happening. I am less pleased at the resulting film.

It's both mediocre and almost unrecognizable as the characters from the novels. For example, I don't remember Hanley as being a tough military type who served with Devereaux in some unspecified combat. I remember the character as being a quintessential government bureaucrat. Perhaps my memory is wrong. Bill Smitrovich plays Hanley the way Ernest Borgnine would have if Borgnine had been handed this script in the 1980s.

I simply do not buy the big reveal plot twist of the movie as being in character, even remotely, for the characters from the novels.

No mention of R Section (in the novels, the characters work for a "who will watch the watchers?"-motivated spy agency intended to monitor and factcheck CIA and the rest of the US intelligence community, much tension from inter-service rivalry), in the movie everyone is simply CIA.

Tradecraft as regards suspension of disbelief is terrible for me - the HELL is the CIA going to get away with flying drones in modern Moscow tracking a car to a meet. By drone I mean large Parrot AR drone 4' feet across flying through downtown Moscow tailing cars at only a few stories height.

Also, the backstory for the November Man name has no resemblance to the reason from the books - in the movie Hanley tells Devereaux "you know what we called you in the office? The November Man, because after you passed through, nothing lived. "

With the update to modern day (not in and of itself a problem), the unrecognizable characters, the missing significant characters, and so on, they might as well have made the identical mediocre movie without connecting it to the novel. It's not recognizable to me as being related.
badger: (badgerman)
Much fun. Silly, but a serious grimdark tone would have been a bad idea. We saw it Thursday night at Mission Valley then Friday elsewhere with friends, we both enjoyed it both times. Definitely recommended.

Note: Stay post-closing credits.

some spoilers )
badger: (badgerman)
We saw Snowpiercer Friday night at the Rialto - medieval great chain of being laid out on a train holding all of humanity left after a global warming cure goes disastrously wrong. An unrecognizable Chris Evans with John Hurt leads a peoples' revolt against Tilda Swinton and Ed Harris. French graphic novel adapted by the director of The Host (one of the best Godzilla-esque movies of recent years) and the unsettlingly disturbing Mother. Some great performances, several very cool fight scenes, lots of class inequality and dystopia reminiscent of The Hunger Games and Bioshock Infinite but more much reminiscent of Rollerball in pacing, sequencing, and tone. Recommended.

Come to think of it, I haven't seen Rollerball in years, and I just got the recent and fantastic Blu-Ray transfer recently. Should watch it.
badger: (badgerman)
Tonight's film: Keoma (1976), starring Franco Nero. Made after the heyday of the Italian spaghetti western and filmed outside of Rome in this volcanic rocky post-apocalyptic terrain, the movie comes with its own self-packaged nostalgia like a British architectural folly and feels like M. John Harrison's Viriconium stories. Very cool. Thanks to CINEMA OVERDRIVE and Rialto Colony for running this on the big screen.

badger: (badgerman)
A remake of District B-13 moved from near-future Paris to near-future Detroit, keeping the basic plot of corrupt politicians plan urban renewal by way of neutron bomb, crimelord in blighted area decides to play, parkour-proficient local and good cop have to do something.

Lots of parkour. RZA as the crimelord is more sympathetic than I remember the original being. Fun. Thin, but plot isn't why one goes to this kind of movie.
badger: (badgerman)
Saw The Raid 2 (aka The Raid: Berandal.) The first is one of my favorite martial arts films of all time. The sequel has some brilliant fights, but is forty minutes longer and is more of a John Woo gangster film than a stripped-down fight film. There's no lack of fighting in The Raid 2, but there's more of everything else too. M likes the first one better for the less complicated and clearer story as much as for all the fighting all the time.

Read more... )
badger: (badgerman)
Walking up to a music venue’s entrance, woman talking with the doorman:
“Any of the bands tonight reggae music? Cause I don’t like that.”
“No, ma’am.”
“How much to get in?”
“Fifteen dollars, ma’am.”
“FIFTEEN DOLLARS! I’m never paying fifteen dollars for a show!”
*walks away*
*comes back*
“Can you tell me other music venues in this city? Ones that don’t play reggae.”
badger: (badgerman)

Saw John Frankenheimer's SECONDS (1966) last night at the Colony as part of the Cinema Overdrive series (next month is Dario Argento's Four Flies on Grey Velvet). A middle-aged man signs over much of his savings to a mysterious corporation that fakes his death, gives him plastic surgery and months of physical training and orientation (provided by a guidance counselor played by the brainwashing specialist from Frankenheimer's earlier film The Manchurian Candidate) and now the dead middle-aged married man with college kids is a single Rock Hudson painting in Malibu.

Will Geer as the old man and head of the organization providing Witness Relocation Program For Midlife Crisis Sufferers is positively mephistophelean in his gentle convincing of the main character to sign up for the program. Dionysian bacchanal in the middle probably felt different to a pre-Wicker Man audience. Great unnerving soundtrack, amazing cinematography. Recommended.
badger: (badgerman)
Repeated errors and failures on the part of Time Warner Cable are annoying me sufficiently I'm starting to ask myself if my life would be improved by moving somewhere I don't have to depend on TWC. Probably not, but I'm aggravated enough that the question is occurring to me as worth asking.

Productive morning greenway walk: a new ghillie suit design concept and also a new dreamachine design. Notes made because my memory is less eidetic than I'd like it to be.

Walked past group of young children on greenway. 20 yards past them, one yelled at my back “HEY MOUSTACHE!” Correct, but weirdly specific.

Apparently no one makes tyvek cleanroom suits in camouflage. In any pattern. On the other hand, it seems that acrylic inks work well on tyvek. Perhaps I should make a trip to Jerry's Artarama in the near future.

badger: (badgerman)

What I found interesting was his operator-grade camouflage backpack: I suppose when you're unicycling in the forest the important thing is to be inconspicuous.
badger: (badgerman)
After seeing the news the last few weeks from Kiev and Caracas, it was a little odd seeing Les Miserables at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium last night. Standout performances for us were Chuck Wagner as Javert and English Bernhardt as Eponine. I've seen Wagner as the lead in Wildhorn's Jekyll & Hyde and hope to see more performances by Bernhardt, who is a senior at a local high school.
badger: (badgerman)
Went to the Phyllis Galembo Theater of Belief photography exhibit opening reception tonight at NCSU, a companion to a second exhibit by the same artist that also opened tonight at Meredith College. The NCSU exhibit focuses on costume and masks as transformative and invocational, the Meredith exhibit emphasizes costumes and maskwork as projection and definition of self. Just under twenty pieces, all 3'x3' or a bit larger film prints. Impressive in person. Runs through March 30.

[film] Her

Jan. 20th, 2014 08:56 pm
badger: (badgerman)
We saw Her on Saturday night at Mission Valley - still one of my favorite movie theatres in the Triangle area. (Colony/Raleigh, Rialto/Raleigh, Carolina/Durham, Grande/Raleigh, Varsity/Chapel Hill are the others.) It's a very good movie. It's about alienation, and a romance, and the Singularity. Great performances, an intelligent script that doesn't hand a lot of neatly-packaged answers, and a lovely film score. I look forward to whatever replaces this as my favorite movie of 2014 because it's going to have to be really impressive.

Edge of Tomorrow - Tom Cruise, SF, June 6
Heaven Is For Real - Small child has near-death experience, becomes spiritualist.
That Awkward Moment - HBO's Guys.
Winter's Tale - Feb 14
badger: (badgerman)
A few photos at

Thursday: VIP Party.

Merzbow, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, John Moloney, King's
Black Zinfandel, King's
Alexander Turnquist, Kennedy Center
Charlemagne Palestine, Long View Center

Polyorchard with Merzbow, Neptune's
Solar Halos, Lincoln Theatre
Inter Arma, Lincoln Theatre
Evoken with Merzbow, Lincoln Theatre
Sleep, Lincoln Theatre
badger: (badgerman)
To the nice person at the Hopscotch Music Festival VIP Party Thursday who told me "I'm so excited to see your show tonight!": I'm not playing at all so I can't possibly be who you think I am. As it turns out, I was and am not the celebrated Belgian minimalist composer Charlemagne Palestine that I was mistaken for. Also, his show isn't Thursday but *is* Friday, so while I wasn't him I was happy to help you see him.
badger: (badgerman)
(as written yesterday) Just saw Les Miserables. Too many ninjas, and Hugh Jackman didn’t sing at all. Very confusing.

Saw The Wolverine Friday night. Obvious even with holes plot. Generally fun.

comments, spoilers )
badger: (badgerman)
The Warrens, a real pair of ghost hunters, and their worst case back in 1971. The family being attacked by weirdness was more interesting to me than the storyline involving the Warrens and their family. The house is nice, the giant twisted tree is nice, wandering out the pier to the lake a couple of times gets a payoff. Decent for what it is. Nice soundtrack and score, including contributions by Diamanda Galas. Almost no onscreen gore, generally creepy throughout.

spoilers, and trailers, within )
badger: (badgerman)
Saw Now You See Me last night at Six Forks Station Cinema. Now You See Me is a caper movie about grifter stage magicians: basically Ocean's Eleven, Leverage, and The Prestige all mixed together. Not quite as good as that makes it sound: it's a bit thin in spots. But the actor's performances are fun (notably Eisenberg, Ruffalo, Harrelson, and Fisher), the magic is cool in a David Copperfield way (he's listed in the closing credits as inspiring or some similar phrasing).

The closing credits music is dubstep with the London Philharmonic, and once I realized about fifteen seconds in I was hearing dubstep with a full symphony I admit disappointment they didn't use the timpani to drop the bass.

Overall: fun, recommended.


Man of Steel - first trailer.

Star Trek: Into Darkness - New to me, think this may have been released after the film's release.

December 2016

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