29 June 2009

More Joss-Google

Gotta love Google's ups to Dr Horrible

28 June 2009

Twilight Comic

I can't remember if I posted this already, but I love it so who cares. It cracks me up :) I've read the books and seen the first movie - and yes, I plan to see the second movie too. The Twilight movie is on my very short list of movies that are better than the books they are based on.

Blah blah

  • The NZ International Film Fest is a couple of weeks away. I've already started my post-it note system. I've managed to schedule around 20 films... wish I could actually see them all.
  • Season 2 of True Blood has, so far, has had some awesome moments. I'm loving seeing more of Eric, including his gory scene complete with his hair in foils.
  • Timecrimes, 2007 Spanish film, = brilliant. Just watched it and loved it. I wanted to see it at the last film fest - only took a year to finally track down a copy.
  • Trip to Whangarei for work went "ok". Spent more time in the car than in the office (and while in the office there was problems with their network, which didn't help me).
  • Off to Dunedin on Tuesday. Not looking forward to it. Again, will end up spending more time in a plane travelling than in the office training. Plus, will be freezing. *sigh*.
  • Been visiting Evette in hospital. She's doing ok; baby hasn't come yet thankfully. Hopefully he'll stay put for another 4 weeks, then they'll give her a c-section. He'll still be prem, but better off than if he'd come last Thursday!
  • First of my friend's turned 30. Happy birthday Mel :)
  • Spending $9 million on referendum for our 'anti-smacking' bill makes me mad. That money could be spent in sooo many better ways.

*AWESOME POSTER ALERT!

15 June 2009

16 Terminator Rules

The 16 Terminator Rules that McG Broke (with Terminator Salvation)

01.The Terminators absolutely should not stop, ever
This is really key. Blowing holes in your cyborg assassin with a 12 gauge, setting him on righteous fire or smashing him to bits with a big truck will only delay, and not prevent, his continued pursuit of you.
Lesson for McG: That having near-indestructible bad guys is an awesome excuse for action sequences with limitless possibilities and zero consequences.

02. Settings for shootouts must be flamboyantly stylish
Like, ‘teetering on the very edge of preposterous’ stylish. The Tech-Noir scene not only serves as an awesome document of nighclubbing in the Age Of The Synthesiser, but also coined the name for an entire sub-genre of gritty sci-fi noir. And the bit in T2 with the shotgun and the box of flowers? Well that was just cool.
Lesson for McG: That audiences will swallow seriously over the top mise-en-scene so long as the action doesn’t let up.

03. The women should be hard-hitting ass-kickers
Linda Hamilton’s transformation from frizzy-haired waitress to steel-shouldered mother of the resistance is physically impressive, unusually forward-thinking and also pretty hot, in a niche magazine sort of way. Loken’s Terminatrix was less of a step forward but cemented the series’ laudable stance on featuring women who beat people up.
Lesson for McG: That strong women characters bring a depth and intelligence to films that might otherwise be dominated by stiff and conventional male heroes.

04. If Arnold Schwaznegger appears, aging must be ignored
The reappearance of Arnie in all three Terminator films is explained away but the fact that he’s actually playing different versions of the same machine, all modelled on the same man. A machine which, on the evidence of Terminator 3, apparently doesn’t work out quite so much as it used to in the ‘80s.
Lesson for McG: The fans love Arnie, even if he gave up even pretending to act years ago and would need a drastic digital makeover to sustain the illusion that the T-101 isn’t a sagging ex-bodybuilder turned politician.

05. Terminator vision must be red, full of data and slightly funny
One of the many bits from the Terminator series to have been spoofed on The Simpsons, so you know it must be crucial. It’s not just a Terminator touch, either, but an ‘80s action movie mainstay. Also see: Predator, Robocop.
Lesson for McG: That audiences love to look inside the mind of the beast, and feeling for a few seconds like an indestructible robot killer.

06. All traditional authority figures must be smug patriarchal pricks
We’re looking at you, Dr. ‘I’m sure it feels very real to you’ Silberman, and to a lesser extent at John’s foster father Todd. If it’s a real, human man in a position of power, they have to be detestable bastards.
Lesson for McG: That hulking swathes of his potential audience will be adolescent boys who hate being told what to do by their teacher/ dad / psychiatrist / the police.

07. All the shooting and driving must be balanced by some sad bits
It’s all very well that T2 had the best chase sequences since William Freidkin invented cars in The French Connection, but the only reason anyone remembered them is because Arnie’s sadsack tinman made us all cry at the end by lowering himself into a vat of molten metal.
Lesson for McG: That a well-crafted combination of action and sentimentality is the key to making Salvation more than just What Batman Did Next.

08. Time travel plotlines should tie themselves into unresolvable paradoxes
Snapping the timeline in two and then setting it on fire is practically mandatory. After all, this is a series built around the premise of an artificial intelligence technology only invented because it travelled back in time in the first place.
Lesson for McG: That trifling things such as logic, continuity and the laws of relativity should pose no barrier to a ripping yarn.

09. There must be a new kind of Terminator that technically trumps the old ones
Watching the Terminator trilogy is a bit like rooting through a draw of old iPods. There’s your first big chunky one that looked really cool at the time, the smaller, sleeker Nano with video, and then there's your iPhone, all technical bells and whistles like Kristanna Loken’s nanobot and plasma gun Terminatrix.
Lesson for McG: That like Apple geeks and cheap frequent flyers, movie audiences love an upgrade, and he’s got to come up with a new terminator with even sexier abilities.

10. A portentous voiceover and/or cryptic warning about the future in Spanish should appear at some point
Two points here really: there’s nothing quite like kicking off your film with a story about the simultaneous death of 3 billion people to raise the narrative stakes, and intimations of the coming apocalypse are best made in Mexico during heavy winds. Viene una tormenta!
Lesson for McG: That along with incredible action sequences and pithy one-liners, the general tone of the film should be one of overwhelmingly grim fatalism.

11. At least one chase sequence must feature an articulated lorry
Oddly specific, yes, but also true. The best might be the action movie generation-defining ‘Oh Jesus God he’s still coming!’ storm drain chase from T2, but each of the three films has it’s own big rig runabout.
Lesson for McG: That big metal stuff crashing and going on fire is cool, and audiences want more of it.

12. Our time travelling heroes should have a knack for memorable one-liners
"Come with me if you want to live!" What do you say to that? Yes? Almost certainly yes. All the time travelling heroes and villains from the previous films have insanely quotable lines - Arnie’s anthemic "Hasta la vista", Robert Patrick’s intense "Have you seen this boy?", and that thing that metal chick says in number three.
Lesson for McG: That the best films in the series have smart, cool scripts, and if this is all going to come good Bale best make with the iconic dialogue.

13. All future warzones must be situated at the top of a mountain of skulls
The existing Terminator series is a drawn-out tease of those incredible flashback sequences from Cameron’s original, with ragged human soldiers desperately fighting invincible war machines over the ruined corpses of their fallen comrades in a pitch black apocalypse. Yay!
Lesson for McG: That it’s finally time to make good on those promises. Not the bit before the war, not the bit where they stop the war happening, just man and machine gloving up and going at it.

14. The Terminator must impersonate someone, creepily
"Wolfie’s just fine, dear." Is he, Janelle? Is he? The Terminators have always done great impressions - just voice ones down the phone at first, and then melty whole-bodied ones with expensive computer effects.
Lesson for McG: That moments of shock imposter revelation might be B-movie cheap, but are also brilliant for sustaining tension.

15. The original Terminator music must be used
It’s no word of exaggeration to say that, with the possible exception of the opening strains of Beethoven’s Fifth and their evocation of Fate beating at the door of humanity, Brad Fiedel’s hammering score is the most powerful music of all time. ALL TIME.
Lesson for McG: To change nothing. The loud bangy bits should be used when something exciting is about to happen, and the aching synth bits when something sad and momentous is about to happen.

16. There must be a wince-inducing scene of a Terminator pulling itself to bits
Whether it’s slicing open your own eyball and flopping the ruined pulp into a cold sink, or pulling the flesh off your forearm like a wet novelty glove to prove to your future inventor that you really are a machine, being a Terminator involves high levels of self-mutilation.
Lesson for McG: That the best way to reinforce the inhuman nature of the Terminators is to have them hammer on the audience’s gag reflex.

See the article, complete with photos, at Total Film

13 June 2009

12 June 2009

True Blood vs. Twilight?

Never. Different concepts aimed at different age groups (I just happen to like them both. I like True Blood/Charlaine Harris's books better though).

Anyway, that's pretty much what Anna Paquin said in an interview with e! Instead of bagging Twilight, she gave a mature and real response! Yay Anna.

"They're completely different age groups that they're trying to appeal to," says Oscar winner Anna Paquin, who stars in HBO's True Blood as mind-reading Sookie Stackhouse. "It wouldn't be appropriate for teenagers to be watching our show. I wouldn't have been allowed to."

Read the full article here

PS: True Blood season two starts June 12th, US time. I can't wait!!

Ra Ra Riot + Vampire Weekend

A friend forwarded me this exciting link from the AV Club. First I did The Dance of Joy, which turned into a Groove once I had downloaded and listened to the FREE track.

Discovery is the name of a new side project featuring Vampire Weekend multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Rostam Batmanglij and Ra Ra Riot singer Wes Miles.

Those of you lucky enough to have received a mix tape from me will be familiar with Ra Ra Riot (in the form of the beautiful track 'Dying is fine'). I seriously like these guys!

And my like of Vampire Weekend is no secret either... I can't even remember how I stumbled across then, but I am pretty sure it was by accident... Then I made sure I spread the joy!

Anyway, download the free track and enjoy. It's certainly catchy.

Text Speak... NO!

Every now and then something really makes me rant (it's been suggested to me that I do a 'and that really grinds my gears' segement like Peter from Family Guy!).

I don't watch TV at all at the moment. All the shows I like I get from the net (without ads and without waiting for NZ to catch-up). However, I walked past the TV when it was on and I saw an announcment screen for what was coming up next on TV2. I was horrified to see they were using 'text speak' e.g. NXT - Shortland Street, or the worst one, TON (for tonight). Text-language is bad enough, but TVNZs weren't even logicial (who uses "TMW" for tomorrow?!)

I had a mini-rant to Rich about how crap that was, and that the youth-of-today text speak was rampant enough as it was; we don't need to encourage it further on prime TV. I am sure I sounded like a complete grumpy-nana, but I said my 3 minute piece, then moved on.

I saw this on the stuff.co.nz the other day. Apparently due to huge public outcry since the text-speak promos started, they are being pulled! I laughed out loud. My favourite line (man, it's so smart-ass) comes from the TVNZ people: "We have learned in that period that vowels are extremely important to New Zealanders."

Anyway, good job!

03 June 2009

TV Goss

From Entertainment Weekly

On the possibility of a Veronica Mars movie:
At last weekend's Saturn Awards, Kristen Bell told us, "I don't think it will ever happen, and here's why: [Series creator] Rob Thomas and I had a powwow, and we were both 100 percent on board. We took our proposal to Warner Bros. and Joel Silver told us that there is no enthusiasm [there] to make a Veronica Mars movie, and that is unfortunately a roadblock we cannot compete with." But -- like the rest of us, I suspect -- she isn't giving up hope. "Maybe if we bombard them with letters?" she suggests. "Maybe [then] they will change their tune." What are you waiting for, a written invitation from Veronica Mars herself? Start bombarding Warner Bros. with letters!

On Mekhi Phifer and/or Jennifer Beals appearing again on Lie to Me next season:
Mekhi has been promoted to a series regular, while Jennifer will continue to recur as Lightman's ex. As far as new casting goes, we'll meet Lightman's longtime rival, an on-camera expert in the same field.

01 June 2009

Lost Boys *gulp* THREE!!

I CAN'T believe it! A third Lost Boys movie. The second one was... dreadful. The only good thing was Corey Feldman, and the homages to the original. The rest - the acting, the casting, and PLOT - was ASS!!
So, number 3...

Quoted here: Jamison Newlander has also been cast! We've learned exclusively that veteran TV writer Evan Charnov (Fearless) has been tapped to pen the screenplay for The Lost Boys 3, Warner Premiere's next direct-to-disc sequel to the classic teen-vamp film from 1987. In addition, Corey Feldman has come on to executive produce and will also return once again as Edgar Frog. We're told this film will actually focus on Feldman's popular character (thank God). Corey Haim's return as Sam Emerson is highly, highly unlikely at this point in time.

If it concentrates on the Frogs and Sam Emerson there may be a chance that this will the sequel we actually wanted to see (as opposed to 'The Lost Boys: The Tribe').

I won't hold my breath...

Yeasayer

Yeasayer is an experimental band based in Brooklyn, New York. Live performances include trippy, psychedelic visuals projected in the background.

The band members are Anand Wilder, Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton, and Luke Fasano. They describe their music as "Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel".

The band first came to national attention after appearing at the SXSW festival in early 2007.

I may be a latecomer to this band, but I am really enjoying the 2007 album 'All Hour Cymbals'. I can safely say this is my first foray into Middle-Eastern-psych-snap-gospel-music.

It's totally late and time for bed; I think I'll enjoy the music just as much in, say, 8 hours...