Tuesday, February 24, 2009

mvoie: futurama - into the wild green yonder

The last of the four contracted futurama moviesodes, and that makes me sadface. But a fun one, back to the way futurama always was, and that makes me happy face. I liked Bender's Big Score ("Scarab Forearm Bird Bird Bird!"), which felt like Futurama and had all the scifi weirdness that we all know and love about it. The Beast With A Billion backs? Not so much. Icky, mostly, though I do like the idea that Leela has elbow spikes that she hides... Bender's Game was fun, but the advertized parts took forever to happen, and the rest is a totally different story. But this one was back to the truth of the show-- scifi spoofing itself with characters we like and storylines we care about. 

In typical Futurama fashion, it gets around to the main point about half-way through, but the randomness is less random than it could be-- it all comes together perfectly in the end, and it's a good send off if it should happen that no one wants to pay for more of them (though I hope they do). It's like this: Green waves make new life around a little violet star. Amy's parents are blowing stuff up in order to build more stuff where it was-- namely, a bigger better Vagas to replace the already improved one they just blew up-- and one of those things is the universe's biggest minature golf. Which means the violet star has to be turned into the ball return at the end. Feminist environmentalists try to stop them and wind up killing Agnew, and Leela winds up as their leader, on the run. Meanwhile, Fry has been brain-stabbed and now can read minds and is recruited by a whole secret society of mind readers who are working for the green wave and against the Dark One that will try to stop it-- they want him to infiltrate Wong's business and stop him from blowing up the star. Along the way, there's Zap Brannigan and Kiff, there's Bender robbing and plundering and having an affair with Don Bot's wife Fanny. There's Hermes and Zoidberg and Amy and the Professor not getting enough screen time, but being funny when they do. There's Morvo and Lurr. There's a cameo by Mom. There's even Scruffy. It's everyone all at once.

I like.

Friday, February 20, 2009

lost: s05 e06 - 316

I seem to have missed one or, like, two... or three... I watched them, but they aren't posted here. Go fig.

Anyway, FINALLY an interesting mainland ep. After all that It has to be all of you crap, Daniel's mom makes do with Jack, Sun, Desmond and Ben. Des is all 'fuck this jazz' and leaves, and the rest set about getting on a plane that will recreate the crash so they can go back. Can you only reach the island through disasters?

Ben goes to fulfill and old promise and gets really roughed up. Jack goes to take care of his grandpa and gets something of his dad to give to Locke so he can stand in for Christian Shepherd's dead body, and when he comes home for some more binge drinking before The Land Without Alcohol, he finds Kate crying her new mascara all over his bed, and they have sad sex that was totally unhot. I hope they were attempting to show disfunction and mysery, and not two people who love each other, because I totally got squicked by the afore mentioned dysfunction and misery. Anyway, Aaron's gone and we're never to mention it again. I think she ate him.

Next morning, we get to the plane, and they reenact getting onto the original plane; Jack's having trouble with the coffin-baggage, Sun's lurking in the background, Kate shows up anyway, even after three episodes of her screaming that they're all crazy and she wants no part of it. Hurley's there, semi-inexplicably, and he's bought up all the free seats on the plane so no one else has to die, which is very sweet. And Sayid's there, all handcuffed and with a marshall, being Kate for this reenactment. There's one other dude, who had, like, one line. New Losties! Just what we need!

So plane plane plane. Turbulence, and Jack looks relieved and Hurley doesnt' even take is eyemask off. More turbulence, and the stewardess gets tossed across the cabin (I'd so never be a stewardess on TV-- you always die), there's a flash of light, and then Jack's waking up in the bamboo, Kate's unconscious on the rocks and Hurley's in the water, drowning. Jack goes all hero and saves them, but where's everyone else? And how did they not crash? Is the plane still there, going merrily on it's way without anyone on it?

A Dharma VW pulls up and we all go 'Oh no! They're in the 70s!' and then Jin climbs out and both sites are confused. So yay, it's a friend! But they might still be in the 70s, and if they all die when stupid young!Ben kills Dharma, I'll be pissed. If they join the Others instead, and then we learn that they were there all along and young gets to meet old, that could be really neat. Maybe Christian Shepherd the Ghost is actually Old!Jack stuck in the past and torturing himself now that he's had 30-odd years to figure it out.

Other things:
- Dharma has at least one mainland hatch, too, and that means there are probably more. And tehy never really updated their computers at all. I'm wondering if they're going to work that into the plot, or if it's just supposed to show that other people are always moving into the old Dharma places after they're gone? Or is Dharma still active on the mainland? She said there were other weird places like the Island and that they're all connected, so has Dharma set up secret hatches all over the world?
- There was a note from Locke to Jack that we really wanted to be important, but it was lame and told-you-so-ish.
- The capitain was Frank Lepidus, all cleaned up and looking weird-- I like him better rough-- and he was sharp enough to know what they were doing, and steady enough to pilot them through it anyway. Reminding us that he was supposed to be the capitain of the original flight anyway.
- They're back on the Island already?? What's the rest of the season going to be about??
- What's up with the rest of the people? Why didn't they all land in the same place? Are they scattered across time now? That'd be weird.

Next week, we get to see the other half of the ep, how Ben got roughed up, how Hurley got out, what happened to Kate and Aaron, and how Sayid got caught and for what and why the hell were they flying him to Guam?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

movie: steamboy

This should have been right up my alley. I mean, really. Anime? Check. Steampunk? Check. Science saves us all? Check. And yet... I'm used to anime being back loaded and havign to watch through alot of character development before we get to the point of the plot in the last twenty minutes or so-- that's just standard procedure-- but this just seemed to take forever to get anywhere, even though there was action all over the place, and then when we got there, it was all full of crazy people all being crazy at eachother and no real moral compass at all. I'm okay with movies that have a different morality than I would follow-- I don't go to movies to be agreed with-- but this was all over the place. Science is good. Science is bad. Science id good but your dad is bad. No, it's HIS dad who's bad, and you need to listen to me. No, wait, it's Robert Louis Sevenson who's a jerk, so be sure you stay away from him, but we're all totally trustworthy... Yeah. No. Just no.

I mean, the movie was entertaining, but I wasn't able to figure out what point it was making. And there were other annoyances: The father is half steampunk cyborg, and that's hardly touched on at all. No implications what so ever. Millions of inhabitants of London are frozen / burned up / crushed by falling debris / exploded, etc, and none of that matters. What the hell is the little selfish and unrepentent little American girl about? Editing was weird, too-- things happened without us seeing them, even though they act as if we did.

I'll stay with my Miazaki, thanks.

Monday, February 2, 2009

nu who revisted: 42, human nature, family of blood

What a good stretch! The first half of this season is still iffy, though I resist it less knowing that these episodes come after, but these really are some of the best. 

42 has a feel similar to Impossible Planet and Satan pit, which are some of my favorites, and it's got a literal ticking clock that makes everything so imperative. And the neat creature being a living sun, how cool is that? Super-cool, that's how cool!

The Human Nature / Family of Blood double feature is just great-- MyFutureHusbandDavidTennant gets to act differently, and gets to comment on the type of person the Doctor is, and since I'm a huge fan of metafiction, these eps are just great fun. He's so very ordinary as John Smith, so distressingly normal and boring and so very well integrated that he does and says things that are not in the Doctor: he lets the one kid beat the other, he teaches children to kill, he tells Martha to keep her place... and he's so useless in an emergency situation.

And there's so much screaming in these episodes. So much screaming. It made it hard to watch the first time around, being so in love with the joyful!Doctor we've seen through the first two seasons, but this time around, the sobbing emotional breakdown of John Smith was almost worse to watch. It's so unlike the Doctor, so raw and human and hopeless... And then there's that miraculaous and perfectly smooth transition from the helpless John Smith to the wonderful restored Doctor, that has just a little bit of mixed feeling-- we're glad to see the Doctor back, but at the same time, we're sad to see John go and so proud that he gave himself up so the Doctor could save everyone.

The Doctor was so dark in season three. Always walking into sure death, always burning things up and yelling and screaming and critisizing. Always being hurt. Always being half suicidal. But in these three episodes, we can see him being the best that he can be, even with all that brokenness.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

fringe: s01e12 - the no-brainer

What an unfortunate name for a show about people's brains leaking out their ears. Which is this week's grossness: melty brain goo.

Turns out it's a computer virus that everloads your brain to the point of blenderizing it. We'll just ignore the fact that it's targeted, and it can be traced before it's actually active on a computer that isn't turned on yet. One guy is sending this massive multi-media brain-melting file to the family members of people who screw him over, including... Olivia's neice? I'm not sure how he knew she was tracking him before he saw her on the webcam after she stormed in and saved Ella. Also, the sister always seems to be making pasta. Like, every episode.

Once again, though, it's the side stories that make more sense and are more interesting: Peter's being overprotective of Walter, and is keeping the mother of the woman he was accused of killing from meeting with him because he thinks it'll push him back over the edge. Adding to that is the fact that there seems to be one of those annoying offshoot-romances forming between Peter and Olivia's sister (whose name I don't remember, and who is more approachable than Liv, but also more boring and insipid)(not to mention the fact that main characters always fall for the siblings of the people American TV won't let them be with. my only hope is that there will be a sister showdown that makes her back off and makes Olivia fess up. jj keeps promising the show won't go for the typical storylines, but that's kinda heading in that direction.). 

So Walter meets the momlady of his supposed victim, and she turns out to be nice. She just wants to talk to the last person to see her daughter alive. They start to share, and Walter hugs her, and won't that be a weirdness? I'd love to see crazy old Walter trying to be in a relationship-- especially if he's doing better at it than Peter is. 

I didn't see the Observer, but the brainslody virus looked alot like the ARG videos that were getting leaked to the interwebs before the show launched, and I'm sure there's all sorts of interesting things in there-- I'm just not one of those people who will spend hours going through it frame by frame.

Other bits of note:
Internal Affairs is still dogging Liv, and because of that, she's paying less attention to protocol than ever before, and he's trying to make it personal. Broyles sees what he's doing, however, and stands up to him on her behalf, which makes me happy. It's nice to know that he's on her side, even if he is witholding information from her.

Drunk!Peter thinks it's a good idea to show up all sweet and muzzy at Olivia's door, and after the confession of caring last week, this makes me happy.

They didn't really properly tie in the car salesman in the plot.

Astrid is cooler every time we see her, as if the fact that she gets so little screen time means they have to cut to the chase for the coolness.

A solid ep, and I think it was due to the lense flares. Whenever there's artistic shooting, the show is better.