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Everything posted by Scrivener

  1. Scrivener

    Movies - Slither

    Oh yeah - SC, don't bother. This'll leave you catatonic for sure.
  2. Scrivener

    Movies - The Libertine

    I went in expecting a movie every bit as delightfully nasty as Quills. While I certainly got what I was expecting in the regard, the protagonist of The Libertine, one John Wilmont, Earl of Rochester, is nowhere near as entrancing as Geoffrey Rush's opulent Marquis de Sade. There is obviously some inspiration on the part of the filmakers - but I have some very serious problems with the technical aspects of the film (it should be noted this is director Laurence Dunmore's directorial debut). For starters, the editing feels like this was a first draft assembly cut. Scenes are inserted randomly throughout without any perspective or explanation - almost every transition from scene to scene is a junk cut - this does not look or feel like a finished film - or one that was given any thought while in the editing room. I can't wait to hear a commentary with the directors explanation because I know it was done on purpose - but it's amateur, stupid, distracting, and annoying. Second is the cinematography. Still shots are framed wonderfully - but when the camera moves everything falls apart. I'm no professional by a longshot, but when I move the camera I keep my #[email protected](%ing subjects IN FOCUS. I swear to god I thought I was watching a really bad shaky cam download of the movie I thought I was going to see. There's one scene towards the end that is particularly frustrating. John (Johnny Depp) shows up at the house of lords to defend the king and gives a magnificent speach. Depp walks around the center of the room addressing the people standing around the walls. Every few steps, he stops talking so the person holding the camera can run backwards, letting everything get out of focus, then fumbling to refocus once he has finished running - so that Depp can continue with his speach. What was written as a powerful speach becomes a disjointed and impossible to follow with the constant distractions (this happens 7 or 8 times during the speach). The proper way to get this shot would have been to anchor a dolly in the center of the room with a rope, allowing the dolly can rotate around that center point. Depp could then continue to give his speach while the camera moved smoothly with him around the room. The scene would have been more powerful and the camera wouldn't have drawn attention to itself. It really is a shame. Depp and Malkovich are fantastic in this. The costumes are fantastic - the sets amazing - the acting brilliant - the script genious (based on the critically acclaimed play by Stephen Jeffreys). Everything is there for a truely magnificent movie except for the actual filmaking. For now, Quills remains the undisputed champion of victorian era debauchery and wonton carnal excess. Laurence Dunmore deserves a hard, steel-toed kick in the ass for being the rotten apple in the barrel and ruining an otherwise masterpiece of dramatic achievement. 6.8/10
  3. Scrivener

    Movies - The Hills Have Eyes

    Don't have to go into much of a decronstruction here as it's fairly straightforward. I quite enjoyed The Hills Have Eyes... more than the original, I think. It was gruesome and bloody but not too serious. For the most part, the filmakers do an excellent job of shifting the tone of the movie along with the emotions of one particular character. In this way, it goes from being a jump scare movie, to a squeamish horror movie, to a revenge flick hauntingly similar (but certainly not unwelcome) to the original Evil Dead. Much better than Hostel, and more over-the-top than The Devils Rejects - I can heartily recommend The Hills Have Eyes to anyone with a stomach for hardcore, old school horror that dosn't take itself too seriously (but just seriously enough). 9/10
  4. lol. Did you actually see the South Park last night? We all knew it was coming - but... it was more brutal than I could have ever imagined.
  5. Scrivener

    Movies - V for Vendetta

    Today is a cold day in hell, I agree with SC 100%. V was posively awesome. I thought the ending was one line of dialogue too long (no need to beat us over the head, we got the idea already) - but not even major enough to deduct points. 10/10
  6. Scrivener

    TV Night - Lost

    What an excellent analysis! It's also similar enough to my own theories (though this one is far more advanced) that I'm inclined to believe it.
  7. Scrivener

    Computer Gaming World: De-starred

    I do believe I'll have to subscribe to CGW now. I've always ignored the scoring systems and read into the reviews. I'm so adept at it now that I can filter out the biases and read between the lines enough to deduce whether it's something I, personally, might enjoy.
  8. I actually saw this quite a long time ago but just never got around to giving you guys a review. With the Oscars right around the corner, I felt it was my sovereign duty to get myself and everyone else up to speed. In short, and as much as I hate to admit it, Brokeback Mountain is a fantastic movie. I know what you're thinking "how could you say that about a GAY MOVIE"... well, the thing is - this isn't really a "gay movie" - at least not in the sense you mean. That is, it is not an agenda movie - but a convincing, detailed, and believable character study. At the beginning we find that both characters: Ennis and Jack, are pretty screwed up guys with pretty horrible childhoods. They both show up for a summer sheep-herding job and end up working together. Isolated on the mountain, Jack slowly works on Ennis until he makes his move one cold night after calling Ennis into the tent. After the Brokeback job they go their seperate ways. Ennis gets married (he was engaged before the Brokeback job) and has a couple kids, Jack on the other hand, makes plenty of failed passes on other guys. Eventually, Jack meets a rich cowgirl and takes advantage of her and marries her almost exclusively for wealth. Then, being a made man, he hunts down Ennis and seduces him into going back to Brokeback on a "fishing trip." Unbeknownst to them, Ennis' wife sees them kissing outside and bottles it up until she breaks. In contrast to Jack's situation, Ennis and his family were pretty poor, but they held together by the sheer will of his strong, loving wife. What she goes through is the biggest tragedy of the film. Jacks wife, while less vocal, quickly deteriorates in her loveless marriage. But wait, Jack can't live on one or two gay camping trips a year and starts heading to mexico to get some boy prostitutes. Eventually, Jack gets himself killed (and his wife lies about it) and Ennis follows up with Jack's parents - who are wierdo country folk themselves. SO - what it boils down to is Jack being a lustfull, manipulative, predator who destroys both his and Ennis marriages and lives. In the end, Ennis manages to reconnect to his family through his daughter, who wants him in her wedding (and dosn't know about her father and Jack) even though he was never there for her growing up. The movie is beautifully filmed, scored, and excellently acted. Don't be decieved when people call this a love story because they're just trying to a push an agenda this movie dosn't even touch on. It's a window into a very messed up situation and it's tragic effects on all involved. Really, this is definately one of the best, most haunting, and most memorable movies I've seen all year. There, I said it. Coming later this weekend... my review of Capote. 10/10
  9. Scrivener

    Oscars Night

    So we really only had two big suprises tonight - but boy howdy were they doozies. The first big upset happened in the best original song category, where by some sick, incomprehensible twist when the song "Its Hard Out Here for a Pimp" walked away with the win instead of Crash's superb "In the Deep." Jon Stewart ripped on that for the rest of the evening. The second big upset came for Best Picture, where Crash beat out Brokeback Mountain. Honestly, I don't think anyone saw that coming. You can root for a movie, but noone I know actually thought it stood a chance. Jon Stewart made an awesome host, and I hope he comes back next year. All in all, an excellent Oscars.
  10. Scrivener

    Movies - Capote

    Capote is an intentionally "numb" film - the kind devoid of almost any emotion until the ending - and ending that leaves you feeling just a little depressed. Many critics and cinephiles forgive numb stories explicitly on the grounds that it was made to be so. I, on the other hand, beg to differ. I enjoy a movie that is intellectually stimulating - and Capote has that - but while it manages to hold your interest it doesnt go very far beyond that. Perhaps it's because Truman Capote was manipulative and insensitive - self-tortured - and we don't care much for him despite his being on screen the entire film. The two murderers are given the most sympathetic treatment in the film. One is very well spoken and intelligent, with a troubled childhood that seems to have resulted in him just falling in with the wrong crowd (his partner in crime). Capote bonds with the man since they had similar childhoods. Unfortunately we rarely get a peek at what goes on in Capotes head. Hes a tortured soul, obviously, because hes always drinking and moping when hes not schmoozing and entertaining the crowds but once that is established we get scene after scene of the same thing  over and over with different people filling the background. Its tedious and really contributes nothing to moving the film along (except to maintain the storys intentionally slow pacing). While Capote, as a film, is definitely decent - I feel it is far overrated. Likewise is Philip Seymour Hoffman's portrayal of Truman Capote himself. He does a smashing job of portraying the man - but one has to consider the difficulty of the role. Truman Capote was a character in real life, easily portrayed. I, myself, can do a smash-up impersonation complete with speech and mannerisms. Hell, Jack Black could have done the part. Within the confines of the movie as a movie, this argument is moot. Hoffman does an excellent job portraying Capote. However, as of this writing, one has to consider that he is up for an Academy Award and has already won BAFTA, BFCA, and Golden Globe awards (as well as other less prestigious awards). For the content, the movie also seems a bit overlong and ultimately feels rather unimportant. One of the reasons it took so long to write this review is because I utterly forgot about the movie immediately after seeing it. It's the material. The script is decent, the direction is good, if derivative, and the acting is passable. This was not a difficult movie to make - Capote follows all the formulas, emulating other thematically similar (and superior) films such as The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, and Chinatown. My conclusion - Capote, while decent, is really a forgettable film - and by far the most overrated of the year. 6.5/10
  11. Scrivener

    Sony Playstation 3

    We'll know in about 30 days if the PS3 will be able to make it this year. The only holdup right now has to do with the finalization of the BluRay specs. If BluRay can't be finalized in the next 30 days, the PS3 will likely miss it's production window.
  12. Scrivener

    Movies - UltraViolet

    See, there's a reason when a studio refuses to screen a movie for the critics.
  13. Scrivener

    Movies - 16 Blocks

    This looks fun in a Die Hard sort of way. Plan on seeing it (along with The Libertine) next weekend once school's finally over.
  14. Scrivener

    MS Flight Simulator X

    WOW. Those screenshots are positively unreal.
  15. Scrivener

    Boiling Point 2 announced

    Awesome. I really liked Boiling Point but it seemed like they shipped it the instant it hit beta.
  16. Scrivener

    Galactic Civilizations II

    I preordered the game months ago at my local Gamestop to get the preorder-only CE, when it showed up (on my birthday no less) they only had the regular edition. I had to cancel my preorder and spend the extra $10 to get the CE delivered from Stardock directly. So far the game is awesome - and they seem to have incorporated something that most grand tbs games overlook - the information war. That is, knowing what your enemies are doing is a huge advantage since weapons technology is like a game of rock-paper-scissors. Hence, espionage becomes an integral part of the game that can't be ignored. I also love love LOVE the diplomacy in the game. Everyone has a personality and the dialogue and interactions feel like they actually have an effect on the game and your relationships with other factions (because they do). The ship builder will also suck up a gargantuan amount of your time.
  17. Scrivener

    Boy Sticks Gum On $1.5 Million Painting At Museum

    I was never a fan of gum. It looses its flavor fast and then it just becomes a nuisance. 12 or no, he should have had enough common sense to know better. Lord knows I did when I was 12. I think in this case the reprecussions are totally fair.
  18. Scrivener

    Movies - The Pink Panther

    I have the Peter Sellers collection (plus Return of the Pink Panther which wasn't included in the set for legal reasons) and really don't see why The Pink Panther would have to be remade at all.
  19. Scrivener

    Stargate SG-1: The Alliance

    I feel like slitting throats. Really I do. And now they announce a Stargate MMO? This makes me want to stop playing games.
  20. Scrivener

    Stargate MMOG announced

    I am simply stunned at the cancellation of SGA. The developers were going to press onward funding or no - and were apparently recieving publishing offers by the email-load. This is completely political, I think. I wonder if Perception could take on MGM legally over keeping their license. Sign the petition for MGM to renew the SGA license. http://www.petitiononline.com/SGTA/petition.html I also cannot figure out HOW you could possibly make Stargate into an MMO. This sounds like complete beancounter capitalist bullshit (ie- an executive saying "Hey, a Stargate MMO would be a great moneymaker"). I hate the industry so much I can hardly stand it. SC, how did you make it this long without going on a killing spree?
  21. Scrivener

    DVD Review: Dune: Extended Edition

    I got my version of Dune Extended Edition this morning and just finished watching it for the first time. I'll just cover the EE movie for now and the DVD specifically later. I don't know if I could call the extended version a superior movie, but it's definately MUCH more complete. The pacing is better, the characters are more fleshed out, the story is comprehensible, and the image and sound quality is fantastic. This isn't a straight repacking of the TV movie, either. Whoever recut the film definately took a queue from the Smithee version and basically just reproduced that one. The new voiceovers are in there from the Smithee version (replacing the ones by Irulian) and the extended Prologue as well. This version is in it's original theatrical aspect ratio as well - unlike the Smithee version, which was widescreen only. Unfortunately, it's a little on the sloppy side. There is some obvious scene recycling (which is a terrible and unforgiveable editing sin), such as a brief shot of an Atreides soldier getting shot and falling down stairs (used 3 times in 10 minutes). Also, despite the new voiceovers, Irulians voice can be heard faintly as well, meaning the voiceover was just dubbed on top of the theatrical footage instead of recut from the original negatives. It's just some sloppy editing is all. Still, that rubs me the wrong way much more than it would rub most. This is by far the most complete version of this story available (and far far far better than that horrible SciFi channel version). The DVD menus leave something to be desired as well and seem hastily slapped together and amateur. It's a shame, especially since the Duna import edition has such sleek, sexy, tasteful menus. There's plenty of good bonus materials, but I'm sure there could have been much more - especially given the amount of time this has been in the works. There's also no new Directors commentary as Lynch apparently wanted nothing to do with this (and he was asked). The metal case (which we are starting to see more often in special releases) is VERY nice, although the disc it contains is double sided - which is a very sore point for me, despite double sided discs not having quite as many problems as they used to. All in all, this is almost certainly the best Dune we are going to see for a very long time. DVD: 7/10 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>(-2 for menus, -2 for double sided disc, +1 for metal case) Movie: 8/10 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>(10 for content and quality, -2 for a few terrible editing snafus) Special features: 7/10 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>(what's there is good, but wish there was more)
  22. Scrivener

    Firefly Season Two online petition

  23. Scrivener

    Movies - Tristan & Isolde

    Wow this one almost snuck right by me - it's not getting any press at all. I'll have to see it this weekend.
  24. Scrivener

    Trailer - Ultraviolet

    UGO has the exclusive trailer. Not sure what to make of it. We'll see.
  25. Scrivener

    Movies - Casanova

    Definately - and you'd think audiences would rather watch Heath Ledger getting into Sienna Millers pants than Jake Gyllenhaals. There's no accounting for the publics tastes, I guess.