The case for mall love, Star Wars, UBER and Happy 2014!


Yesterday I've been to Cinemark watch Mockingjay 2.

 

Today I've been to the same place, again, to go to the cinema, again, only this time I watched Star Wars VII: the Force Awakens.

 

I confess: despite growing up with Han Solo and Luke Skywalker (I always love Han Solo the most,meven when I was like… 4yo), I got frustrated with Lucas' prequels of cute animals and child stories. I hated what's his name who played Anakin. God, they could at least have chosen a real actor for someone as iconic as The future Darth Vader. But not content with the poor choice for Anakin's role, they decide to throw the shit in the fan altogether by pairing Anakin with bland boring equally terrible if not worse in thespian skill matters Natalie Portman. That was way beyong the bearable to watch. Hence my caution in getting excited about Ep VII. All I could think of was “oh no, 3 interminable hours of cute droids and Jar Jar Binks-Like creatures. If I am going to see this, may the force be with me, really”.

 

But to my surprise it was an awesome movie and I needed not to stand up in the middle of the theatre to split the screen in half with my light saber. Picking up the old actors was such a great decision. There was continuity to it and it made me feel like I was watching the original film again for the first time, revamped.

They really built up the characters well, including the troopers, who weren't only mere extras with guns in a white plastic costume anymore. The whole scene where the troopers are summoned to destroy the resistance – a great reference to WWII and Hitler. Big red banner with black symbol in the background, troopers in formation as if SS and Gestapo had been consultants for the movie themselves. And hail to the chief just like a “Heil Hitler”. I loved their choice of actor for “baby Vader”.

Spoiler ahead…

I saw it comming all along but it broke my heart to see Han Solo go like that.

Jedi are sort of like priests, don't marry, etc, it's all force force force. But the ending was literally and figuratively a cliffhanger. The girl could be Leia's daughter (with someone other than Han Solo) OR she could be the daughter of Skywalker himself. After all, he was MIA for years with nothing but his hoodie. nOt even his light saber. Go figure what he's been up to all these years??

But I guess we'll find that one out in Ep. VIII.

I should add I watched the movie in a theatre equipped with all that crazy technology which I cannot remember now. 3D + that crazy rocking chair + something else called D something. Detox, whatever. iT wasn't IMAX though, but it was certainly better or comparable.

It was really …shaky. And completely awesome. I highly recommend to watch it in a well equipped theatre.

 

After the movie I spend the whole day at the mall, shopped for a lot for things I needed and things I didn't, but other people do, with my poor husband having to cope with his really vain pretty empty and bored vacationing wife's love for shoping malls and the only distraction and going out she could afford for the moment.

 

After 1 pound of burgers and bacon, cheese and guava ice crean and an espresso, I returned home using UBER, witch is my current public transportation of choice. And here we are again.

Hope I get a good night of sleep, because tomorrow will be a long day.

Since this year was shit and next year ia going to be worse, I wish you beforehand a happy 2014!!

 



Interstellar


You can NEVER go wrong with Christopher Nolan! This is the best movie of 2014! And definitely one of my favorites of all time!

I can certainly say that if “2001: A Space Odissey” didn’t exist, “Interstellar” would never be. Yes, it drinks that much of Stanley Kubrick’s, and during certain sequences it looks almost like he’s plagiarizing Kubrick, or maybe it’s a homage, I don’t know. The main sequence towards the end kept reminding me of an iteration in Kurt Vonnegut‘s Slaughterhouse 5. Then very near the end, another scene straight from Kubrick. But don’t think that “Interstellar” is an artsy enigma like Kubrick’s “2001…”. Similarities with Kubrick notwithstanding, “Interstellar” is your typical Christopher Nolan trippy movie, à la “Inception”, with a twist in the end and all that jazz, and you are going to love it!



Mas a Copa estava comprada… só que não!


Mas não é que eu estava errada… e o Brasil acabou eliminado da Copa por inacreditáveis, humilhantes 7×1!!? E caso ainda restasse dúvida de que nada foi comprado, perderam também o jogo de hoje contra a Holanda por 3×0!
Eu confesso que depois daquela derrota homérica passei a torcer para a Holanda. Hoje sequer assisti ao jogo, já dediquei tempo demais assistindo esta Seleção canarinho amadora. A Holanda merecia estar na final junto com a Alemanha. Jogam muito futebol, já chegaram à final várias vezes mas nunca venceram, tem uma história incrível, eles mereciam vencer!! Mas, tristemente o mundo é injusto, e amanhã assistiremos à Argentina x Alemanha. Isso significa que amanhã tudo aqui é vermelho, amarelo e preto! Que os “hermanos” trogloditas voltem sem taça para casa!

Em vez de assistir o jogo de hoje, fui ver “O Teorema Zero” do Terry Gilliam no cinema com a família. Valeu a pena. É um filme típico do Terry Gilliam, lembra muito “Brazil” (o filme), no que apresenta protagonistas não-convencionais, se passa no futuro mas as tecnologias são meio anacrônicas (computadores e afins são grandes máquinas barulhentas, cheias de tubos, engrenagens, luzes piscando, os telefones antigos como os do século 19). Tanto o protagonista de “Brazil” quanto o de “O Teorema Zero” estão em um romance peculiar e complicado, e o final é bastante aberto à interpretações nos dois casos. Mas “Brazil” tem um tom mais épico, grandioso e quixotesco, enquanto “O Teorema Zero” é mais introspectivo.
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World War Z – TheMovie


First it is important to say I haven’t read the book yet.

I enjoyed the movie however I expected it to be better scripted, with more significant dialogue and less zombie running/shooting. You will say ‘OK, but it’s a zombie movie’, and I say yeah, but still they could have given the actors a few more minutes to earn their enormous wage than simply showing off a bunch of CGI action zombie shooting.



Why Alien Invasion Movies Are Dumb (and yet I still love them)


These movies, regardless of schlockiness, are entertaining to enough of us. We love our heroes and for humanity to come out on top despite our flaws. As the saying goes, they are a guilty pleasure – and count me among the guilty! I’m going to rant, but this post was definitely not written with the idea that these films and stories aren’t at least fun and worthwhile at some level. My tongue is in my cheek at times and I have a hope that it might encourage some writers and film makers to explore the genre in new ways. Wouldn’t that be cool?

So, anyhow, just what is my quasi-beef with them? Why have I claimed they suck in some way?

Read on!



007 Skyfall – plus ordinary life updates


…is one of the best 007 films ever, if not the best (I’m still thrilled by having just watched it 2 hours ago, and my previous favorite was Casino Royale). The opening sequence graphics are stunning, the theme is a classic Bond style masterpiece in Adele’s great voice. Javier Bardem’s character is really outstanding and almost outshines Daniel Craig, as good as Craig is himself! Loved the references and jokes about old Bond movies, the final sequence at the Skyfall mansion is memorable, the finale was a surprise, dark but very, very good!
I cannot wait to see this film again!

 

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In todays trip to the mall we happened to notice they’re selling Windows 8 Pro for just 269 Brazilian Reais (1 Real = 50 US$ cents), so it is, as we say about very cheap things here in Brazil, “Banana Price” close to what former Windows versions were priced (600+ Brazilian Reais at least)! I’m waiting however. Don’t wanna be the first to find out the first bugs! 😉

 

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We’re also following the new season of The Walking Dead and it all looks good so far. Good to see most characters growing some balls and doing some killing instead of just whining around! Lori however is still a growing pain in the ass!

 

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A few weeks ago a tragedy happened in my life. My smartphone suffered sudden death by drowning in the toilet. I was smartphoneless for about 10 days. That was good for me to confess and accept the sad truth: I am a smartphone addict. Using a stupidphone almost drove me nuts. I have an iPad but it’s Wi-Fi only so it wouldn’t always do the tricks. So there I was having an espresso with my husband but I couldn’t check-in on Foursquare or tweet about how awesome the coffee was, of post a tweaked picture of my espresso to Instagram. I could not update my Facebook status and see people liking my espresso and commenting about my irrelevant and mondane drink!! I also couldn’t keep in contact with my friends by instantly sending them endless messages about some personal, stressing but not less mondane issue,  that in the “old times” (or 12 years ago) would have to wait until we met in person or made an expensive cell phone call (mind that talking on cell phones was not and is still not cheap).
So, here it is the saddest part of the addiction: I was so afraid of being smartphoneless again that I actually acquired myself not only one, but two new phones… you know, a spare one in case some bad accident happens again (one can never be too careful!!). It was 10 endless days until the two phones finally arrived, together, in my mailbox. One cannot imagine the joy and relief I felt when I held my 2 new babies (Sony XPERIA S LT26i running on Droid Ice Cream Sandwich and Sony Ericsson XPERIA Mini Pro SK17i on Gingerbread)! As embarrassed as I feel for being so ridiculously addicted to my gadgets, I really hope I won’t lose them again any time soon!
As gadget addicted as I am, I’m still “old style” with typing (not to say clumsy) and prefer qwerty keyboards to touchscreen keyboards, hence my latest acquisition is a Bamboo stylus. I’m having a much better relationship with my touchscreens now that I have a stylus!



Review of “Battleship” (2012)


So, right, I watched this. (For free – I’m not crazy.) Utterly ridiculous – as most alien invasion movies are. For those that are not aware, it’s based on the 2-player board game of the same name. It’s important to note that this is one of the simplest board games ever. It consists of blindly “shooting” at your opponent’s navy by calling out positions on a grid. Keep this fact in mind for later.

Now, I’ll tell you straight away that the first 20 minutes can simply be skipped. This span of the movie is one of the more tedious attempts at character development ever. And hello, no one is watching an alien invasion movie based on one of the simplest board games ever for the characters. If they needed to pad for time, I would have liked some insight into the aliens’ motives. (I can hardly believe I am asking such a thing of this movie, but there it is.) Anyhow, skip the beginning, as you’ll easily figure out the two-dimensional characters’ simplistic motivations and relationships by watching the action parts of the movie.

After the blah-blah, the aliens land. One ship breaks up and smashes up a bit of China. The rest land near Hawaii and toss up a giant shield that not even Liam Neeson can get through, leaving only 3 human naval vessels (none of which are battleships) inside. Apparently the alien ship that crashed had all their communication equipment on it, so now they need to invade Hawaii to use some radio telescopes there to contact a (human) satellite to contact their home planet to tell them to send more ships to help invade earth. Yes, that’s right, humans have a modest-sized satellite that can contact other star systems, but aliens who can cross interstellar space don’t have the same technology on all their ships, only the one.

Moving on… oh, yeah, speaking of moving. The alien space ships – SPACE SHIPS – move by hopping in/on the water. I am not making this up. They look like Megatron trying to do the breast stroke. They never fly again, nor do they submerge again once they’ve surfaced near the beginning of the movie. They conveniently stay on the 2-dimensional surface of the ocean and fight the human naval ships pretty much like other, albeit spastic, human naval ships. Handy, eh?

Remember the point from the first paragraph I told you to keep in mind? Good. This is carried over into the film – aside from eyesight neither the human nor alien ships can detect one another. Now, clearly, we can expect that star-hopping aliens would be able to jam human radar and what not. However no explanation whatsoever is given as to why the aliens can’t track the human ships. Worse still, the humans cheat! The tricksy bastards use TSUNAMI DETECTION BUOYS to track the hopping alien ships. And with enough accuracy to shoot missiles at them and eventually hit them. I shit you not. (To be fair, it was a Japanese sailor who figured this out, so that’s probably why it worked. The only semi-intelligent characters in the movie are Caucasian females or Japanese males. Lucky for the aliens there wasn’t a female Japanese character or they would have been screwed right off the bat.)

So, now that the makers of this movie have crippled the aliens in ways only justifiable in the context of slavish devotion to a 70 year old game a 6 year old can play and that the humans are cheating, you have to start to wonder if perhaps the kids from “Super 8” should get subbed in for the US Navy, since clearly there’s hardly a challenge in it for the military. But wait! The aliens have spiffy, flying, spinning, fiery, metal-chewing ball thingies that eat ships, helicopters and highways for lunch. Probably adolescent filmmakers too. So, with all the puny human ships now turned into scrap metal, what’s a bunch of socially dysfunctional heroes to do? You guessed it: grab a bunch of naval veterans, un-museum-ify the USS Missouri, and use this 70 year old battleship to fight the last alien STARship. And here you were worried there wasn’t going to be a battleship in this.

So, anyhow, now we have some serious action. The nine 20-inch guns of the Missouri pound the crap out of an alien vessel made out of trans-uranic elements no earthling (Japanese or otherwise) can identify. Also, the loser captain of the museum ship and the Japanese guy shoot out the windows of the alien ship using large rifles. They do this because the aliens, as it turns out, are invading a planet that is so bright they’re functionally blind on it without sun glasses. Seriously, my 90 year old grandmother could beat these guys at this point. Still, the heavily damaged last alien ship manages to spit out 3 of the spiffy, flying, spinning, fiery, metal-chewing ball thingies just as the Missouri shoots its last round off at the radio telescopes on Hawaii (to prevent the ETs from phoning home). Fortunately, the last alien ship was damaged enough that the giant shield is down and Liam Neeson is able to save the Missouri and our heroes with some of his aircraft carrier’s fighter jets. It’s worth pointing out that Liam knows his jets are so bad-ass that rather than launching all of them to help fend off an ALIEN INVASION, he only sends a few. It’s like he knew the movie was almost over or something and was trying to save jet fuel.

So, anyhow, what’s good about this movie? Nice action sequences. Good effects. Thus, I would say you should only see this movie under the following circumstances: 1) you don’t have to pay for it, 2) you can easily skip the first 20 minutes or so, and 3) you can ignore the idiocies enough to enjoy big metal human sea ships and big metal hopping alien sea ships knocking the crap out of each other.



Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows


Just watched it. Robert Downey Jr. is awesome as he was in the prequel. Film one was much better, just because I find that Holmes fits better “smaller” plots than big conspiracy scenarios… and along with that there’s always some excessively implausible action scenes, of which we got plenty this time. Holmes belongs in stories that add to his personality and show off his character, and that can be achieved through more low-profile (but not less intricate) plots, instead of international conspiracy ones. Holmes is a detective, not a super-hero.  I liked the Madam Simza character, but I missed Irene Adler. She’s got a rare form of TBC and that’s all? No further info, no tear sheded, nothing? Then they replace her by Simza like some ‘good vs bad’ Bondgirls? Overall it was a very good film, but it lacked the charisma of the first one.



Random updates…


-No, I didn’t make it to the Bob Dylan concert 🙁 – but he’s played here before and I’m sure I’ll get the chance again.

-A few days back we watched “The Thaw”, a sci-fi B movie starring Val Kilmer. A climate scientist tries to warn the world about the perils of global warming by reintroducing dormant, deadly parasite back in the world. I have seen many bad movies in my life, but I have never ever seen a former great cinema star decline so vertiginously like Kilmer did. He seems to star exclusively in very bad B films (worse than average). How does one go from playing Jim Morrison and Batman in the movies to TV only, 90 minute bottom-of-the-gutter badly scripted films? Decadence sans elegance!

-Here’s the first 30 minutes of “Rabid” (1977) by David Cronenberg: a young woman suffers a terrible moto accident.  A person watching with binoculars from the roof of a plastic surgery clinic nearby witnesses the accident, and, instead of calling 911, she shouts out loud to the plastic surgeons inside, who promptly get in the clinic’s green ambulance and rush to the accident site in order to help the woman. Arriving there, they determine that the woman has massive internal bleeding, but her blood pressure is “stable”, and they are able to perform a series of plastic procedures that ultimately heal the woman, even though “her body remains in shock” after the procedure, as we are told by Dr. Keloid, the clinic’s owner (yes, he is a plastic surgeon and he’s called “Keloid”). In order to better access the woman’s health, Dr Keloid has the patient “removed to town in order to get an ECG.” And so it goes… Honestly, how did someone approve that to be ever written at all? Stay away from this one, unless it’s for the giggles, and don’t let yourself get fooled by it’s 6.2 rating on IMDB. This movie is a steady 3.0.

“The Midnight Meat Train” (2008) with Bradley Cooper was a very good surprise. The right measure of extreme gore and spookiness, good actors that don’t take themselves too seriously and know they’re doing a terror film.



Melancholia by Lars von Trier


After seeing “Antichrist” I became scared of ever seeing Lars von Trier‘s films again, because it was so disturbing that it actually affected me emotionally for a few days. Thinking twice, however, I guess it’s impossible that anything be made in a near future that is as depressive and disruptive to the viewer as “Antichrist”. Also, Von Trier’s filmography isn’t exactly known from it’s cheerfulness and comedic scripts, and “Antichrist” was like the pinnacle of emotional overcharge that a movie can have. “Melancholia” couldn’t be any worse in that aspect. So I went to see it. It is very artsy, like all von Trier films. “Melancholia” has such stunning cinematography that even in case it was a silent movie it would have been great – but the music and sound are as awesome as the cinematography. The preamble in slow motion passes a feeling of gravitational force, of heaviness, of something that is both stronger than you and out of your control – so out of your control that you may collapse phenomenally, just like a giant celestial body crashing into another. It’s a relief to see Kiefer Sutherland in a non-action role, and unlike Jack Bauer, this time there’s nothing he can do to save the world – and even if there was I don’t think he would bother, because his character is rather coward. Kirsten Dunst did a very good job and has good onscreen chemistry with Charlotte Gainsbourg. This is the second time von Trier and Gainsbourg work together, and I think it worked out very well. Charlotte’s character in “Melancholia” is very different from her’s in “Antichrist”, but not that much: I still wonder what it would be like to see her laughing out loud, for instance.

I rated “Melancholia”  8.0 on IMDB. Currently it’s rated at 7.9, with almost 6.000 votes.

I’ve seen this film at Guion Center theatres in Porto Alegre, which tends to exhibit alternative/indie/non-mainstrem films.

Other films seen recently:  Super 8,  one of the best films I’ve seen lately, it’s like “The Goonies” meets “E.T”  and it brings back so many good childhood memories; The Tortured, which was surprisingly better than its IMDB rating suggested;  Hanna, which was a waste of good actors on a story that could have been better developed; Green Lantern, which was barely OK;  The Town, which I’d call Snatch by Ben Affleck;  Sucker Punch,  Mongolian Death Worm, (not notheworthy unless you’re into B-films just for the giggles) The Uninvited, which is worth watching  and much better than expected, The Tunnel, another  great ‘Blair Witch’ sytle film, ‘based on true facts’  that is worth watching, Monsters, an average action film that resembles “Cloverfield” from a far.



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