Scott Pilgrim vs. The World 
2010.08.18 12:58 - Entertainment, Movies
Summary: Technical excellence on a fundamentally shallow and banal story told with cutely imposed video game metaphor.

3.5/5

I confess to being unfamiliar with the comic book except by reputation. After seeing Scott Pilgrim, I don't feel any desire to familiarize myself with the source material. The main character is, basically, a jerk, the story is trite, the grand realization at the climax could come out of a fortune cookie or a generic self-help book, and nothing about the movie bears much scrutiny. For all that, everything about the movie other than the story is excellent: the acting is good, the special effects are great, the dialogue clever, the use of narrative devices smart.

It's just that there's nothing about the story to make it worth all this effort.

In the end, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is almost all flash and almost no substance.

Recommendation: see if you're interested, but don't lose any sleep over missing out.
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Why My Investment In Fictional Universes Is Increasingly Limited 
2009.12.02 09:00 - Entertainment, Books, Movies, Television, Meatspace Stupidity, Whining
I have the RSS feed from theforce.net laying around in my Google Reader subscriptions. This morning, that feed included an announcement of the cancellation of an upcoming Star Wars novel by Karen Traviss.

I really don't follow this stuff very closely, and what's going on here is one reason why. Karen Traviss has been writing novels in the Star Wars universe centered around some characters that are clone soldiers and a handful of Mandalorians, either referencing or creating a lot of stuff concerning the previously established warrior culture of the Mandalorians. I've read a few of these, because they've crossed over nicely into the sub-genre of military sci-fi that I've recently found myself enjoying, and because I do still like the Star Wars universe, despite the fact that it is often so shoddily and inconsistently constructed. So, I've got two or three of the Republic Commando novels on my bookshelf, and I'll probably pick up the couple of novels following those characters at some point.

Traviss has decided not to write this last book because, among other reasons, the Mandalorians are being retconned into pacifists during the movie time period, which presents certain existential difficulties for many of her key characters.

Uff da.

[Addendum: I fired this off without putting a complete title on it, so I corrected the title.]
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I did not know that 
2009.10.25 23:31 - Guns, Browning Hi-Power, Entertainment, Movies, Television, Meatspace Stupidity
According to imfdb, "John 'Hannibal' Smith's sidearm of choice was the Browning Hi-Power."

That's pretty cool, in a pop-cultural sort of way. I wonder if that's going to carry over to the movie they're doing?
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This Will Be Of Interest To Some Of You 
2009.08.20 13:14 - Entertainment, Movies, Television, Internet Stupidity, Meatspace Stupidity
The Rifftrax guys are taking the piss out of "Plan 9 From Outer Space" this evening, and you may be able to watch at a local movie theater.

Admittedly, this seems like a target-rich environment, but, hey, they're working live.
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Sometime this weekend, I will see a terrible movie. 
2009.06.25 19:15 - Entertainment, Movies, Internet Stupidity
So, Transformers 2 is in theatres. Truth is, once you get past the spectacle, I found the previous one alternate boring, vapid, and crude (often two or more at the same time), and the paid critics are generally suggesting that this one will be just like that, only more so. Perhaps the theater will have a bar.

In the meantime, this mostly means that the Transformers fora are busily churning on an argument that can be summarized thusly:

Party A: Michael Bay has directed a bad film, and should feel bad.
Party B: BUT ITS MAKING SO MUCH MONEY THAT YOU MUST BE WRONG.

As generally sympathetic as I am to the idea that markets offer a good approximation of real value, I think it should be obvious that this is nonsense on stilts. It only gets more stupid when both parties get wound up. Party A suggests that Party B is a mouth-breathing moron with no taste to speak of, Party B suggests that Party A doesn't want Party B to have nice things and is also a pretentious jerk, a bore, and, additionally, nobody likes Party A and why doesn't he shut his stupid mouth.

Now, both sides might be right about those things, and I wouldn't be surprised if the film's review score had been a little higher if someone else's name had been credited as director. None of that really addresses the question of the film's quality, though.
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