Monday, January 28, 2008

The value of pre-medication

We saw Cloverfield this weekend; judging by the huge drop in box office, my guess is that if you are the type that was going to see this movie, you have by now, and if you are not that type, you will likely wait for DVD.

Which I strongly recommend. Without giving anything away, the entire movie is (ostensibly) a recovered video tape(supposedly) shot on a hand-held camera, which means that seeing this in your home could actually add to the creepy factor, ala Blair Witch Project.

But the main reason I would recommend waiting for DVD is that seeing this movie on a big screen just about gave me a seizure. 85 minutes of shaky footage, a lot of it shot while the cameraman is running? I had a gigantic headache by the end of this thing, and The Wife was truly nauseous, to the point that I think she missed large parts of the movie while she was looking at the floor, trying to give her inner ear a chance to catch up.

Overall, I really liked this movie; clearly it is an extended allegory for the fear and confusion on September 11, and some of the shots in this movie could have been stock footage from that day. Definitely worth seeing, but either wait for DVD, or, if you are over the age of 30, take a couple Tylenol twenty minutes prior to viewing.

You have been warned.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Downward slope

The English language takes another step backwards:

Et tu, Flea Market?


These are the opening sentences from On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan:

They were young, educated, and both virgins on this, their wedding night, and they lived in a time when a conversation about sexual difficulties was plainly impossible. But it is never easy.

Ouch, indeed. This novella, a quick and painful (!) read, takes place in the early 1960s, but, as that second sentence notes, could just as easily be set in the 1860s or now. It is difficult to say that I enjoyed reading this book, but given that the core of the story is about two people failing to talk to each other, I am keeping it from the library until The Wife has a chance to read it, and we can talk about it. It will not be easy, but it is never easy. If you are half of a couple, I recommend the same.

(if this post is too Dr. Phil for you, my apologies...I'll try to get back to my snarky self in the near future)

Friday, January 11, 2008

I knew it!

I just knew that flying cars were on their way. See (and buy!) for yourself.

Jen, it looks like at least one of my predictions is upon us.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I Am Perplexed

We got out of the house yesterday and went to see I Am Legend, a romantic comedy about a killer virus that wipes out 90% of the Earth's population, leaving 1% immune and 9% as pseudo-vampires, hiding in the dark and seeking blood. Somehow, Ashely Judd is not in this movie.

I need to start by saying I liked this movie; I thought it had an interesting premise, was entertaining, and I think Will Smith really showed he can act, not just fight CGI beasties (although that happens a lot here). However, I have to admit that the more I think about the movie, the more I have questions about what happened (or didn't happen, but maybe should have), and how much might have been lost in the translation from the book (I am not sure how this happened, given my geekboy upbringing, but I have never read it).

The rest of this may contain spoilers, so if you have not seen the movie, read on at your own risk.

Some questions:

1) If the lead monster was smart enough to devise a snare to catch Robert, why wasn't he smarter at other times? For example, instead of just sending the demon dogs, shouldn't he have swarmed Robert right then?

2) If the lead monster was smart enough to use tools to devise said snare, why wasn't he smart enough to use other tools, like say a gun or a big hunk of rock, hurled from the darkness to kill our hero?

3) If the government/military sealed off the island of Manhattan, how did the Brazilian get there from Maryland? For that matter, how did she get out at the end?

3A) If less than 1% of the world's population survived the virus, and even less than that are still walking and not zombie chow, what are the odds that one survivor, from Brazil, would speak perfect English?

4) How did so many zombies survive for three years? Does this go back to the "smart" zombie idea above, that even though the zombies were losing their humanity and reverting, they were just smart enough to survive? (I thought this was one of the strongest points in the movie 28 Days Later; there, the infected simply ran out of food and started dying off after a while since they were unable, in their "rage" state, to organize and feed themselves, and their bodies simply gave out).

I get that a lot of the answers to this fall into the "it's a movie" category, but I think they could have been dealt with better.

And yeah, I will admit it...I got a little teary when the dog died, but not when the 6 billion people did. Not sure what that says about me.