The one you feed

by Deep Thinker on 20 May, 2017, no comments

I just caught up with the movie Tomorrowland on Netflix, after I missed it last year two years ago in the cinema. I had not been too bothered about it, as I skimmed some generally meh reviews. This had surprised me, because the trailer had been interesting, it had George Clooney in it, and it was directed by Brad Bird from The Incredibles fame. But the general nerd consensus on the Internet was that it has been disappointing, and so I forgot about it until I needed something to watch this afternoon.

Disney’s TOMORROWLAND
Athena (Raffey Cassidy)
Ph: Kimberley French
©Disney 2015

Suffice to say, that it was a really good movie, great fun with endearing characters, beautiful design and an important story.

The underlying theme of the movie – and I am spoiling from here on, so just stop and watch it first –  is essentially foreshadowed in an early scene where Casey, our perky protagonist, tells her father the Tale of the Two Wolves in order to cheer him up.  I have heard that story ages ago, and had been really impressed by its simple and true message, and was surprised when it came up in the movie. I was even more surprised when the entire premise of the movie revolved around the endless negativity and FUD which is pervading our every day and is being fed to us by the media and by ourselves, and which in the movie literally leads to the end of the world. I found the ending of the movie so positive and hopeful, something that seems so urgently required, especially in these increasingly dire times of Trump and Brexit.

And I thought, it’s strange how the movie seems to have flopped in the theatres, how its message of hope and positivity unfortunately was itself drowned out by the general ennui and destructivity and negativity of the real world, and how things have continued to get worse since then.

They are wrong. It is a great movie, and it is a great message. It is our choice which wolf we feed.

So get your jet pack and let’s fix things!

The Greatest

by Deep Thinker on 4 June, 2016, no comments

image

I was nine years old, when I first learnt about Muhammad Ali – in possibly my favourite comic of all time, Superman vs Muhammad Ali. He was my father’s hero, and when he told me about him, he became my hero, too. Later, when I grew up, and many of my idols faded away, this man remained amongst very few. His strength, his wit, his confidence and his courage will always be inspiring.

I am so sad to hear about his passing. Undisputedly – he was the Greatest.

Name

by Deep Thinker on 21 February, 2016, no comments

I just learned that Umberto Eco has passed away yesterday.

His most famous book was The Name of The Rose, but I have also read Foucault’s Pendulum, Baudelino, and even some of his irreverent prose about Naples and the Italian way of life. I also was fascinated by his study of Semiotics – even today, I could not say off the top of my head what it is, only that it has something to do with words and meanings, and that it is so amazing there exists an actual science like that! I have read his novels and his articles and he came across as a charming, educated and insightful man.

I could write so much what The Name of The Rose meant to me – both the book as well as the completely different, but also wonderful movie – when I read it in my teenage years, and how thrilled and moved and inspired I have been by his writings. Maybe one day I will, and I should. But for now, I am just sad at the passing of a great writer, and I celebrate and remember his work.

“Stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.”

“I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”

by Deep Thinker on 6 November, 2015, no comments

the-martian-5120x2700-best-movies-of-2015-movie-matt-damon-5852

I just came back from watching The Martian (all the screens are now showing the newest James Bond movie, so I am happy I managed to catch this movie still in cinema).

What a great movie! Now I need to search the interwebs to fact-check all the science because thinking about how much of all of this is actually possible is probably half the fun of this movie.

Back to the present

by Deep Thinker on 21 October, 2015, no comments

  
Hard to believe I made it all the way to the future the old-fashioned way!

Now where did I put my self-tying inflatable Nike sneakers?

Brief Episode

by Deep Thinker on 27 September, 2015, no comments

I haven’t been blogging much, been too busy with real life stuff, and just could not make the effort. I have watched a few movies that I have talked about before, and some I haven’t, and maybe I will try and do a quick review summary at some point. But this is not the day.

No, my bloggingsoftware just got updated (well, one of them), so I thought I just give it a quick spin and see what’s changed.

As always, very pleasant to write – if I only had something to write about…

Okay. And hit publish!

(crickets)

Oh well. How nice. Update, and it’s forgotten my blog settings. Thanks. Now need to set this whole crap up again, before I can publish this. Ugh!

Avengers… oh, you know!

by Deep Thinker on 26 April, 2015, no comments

Assembled.

Just came back to see Avengers – Age of Ultron (that came out in the UK this week – one week before the US, and therefore one week before the Internet will suddenly fill up with Avengers reviews as if things only happen, when they happen in the US), Joss Whedon’s second outing at directing what can rightly be called the flagship of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Suffice to say, I loved it!

There was one particular scene closer to the end – and everyone who has seen the movie, will know which one I mean – where all of the Avengers make their final stand, and the camera slowly moves through the action, highlighting, almost caressing every single member for a brief moment. And I was watching with gaping mouth, and I felt almost like bursting with joy.

I realised that I was sitting here, watching the heroes of my youth, the heroes of the comics I grew up with, watching these iconic and so personal characters on the big screen, brought to life with respect and with care. While their stories were different (many backgrounds and origins are changed or simplified), it still felt that the characterisation of everyone felt true and consistent, and that was the most important part.

Their voices were right, and I think that is almost entirely due to Joss Whedon.

So yeah – great movie! Proud to be a card-carrying member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society!

Make Mine Marvel!

 

He’s back

by Deep Thinker on 4 December, 2014, no comments

This is the week of the great trailers.

I admit, after I read the synopsis of the new Terminator movie, I thought it would be total rubbish. And the title „Genesys“ (wot?) just reeks of stupidity and a desperate attempt to be kewl.

But after watching the trailer – with no expectations whatsoever – I was pleasantly surprised.

Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor is fantastic, and it is just great to see Arnie again in the role he was born to play. And while the actor playing Reece is not Michael Biehn-y enough for me, I am intrigued by the presence of a T-1000 (and hope we get a Robert Patrick cameo at least).

And the little twists and quirks and nods to the original movies they put in there – like the famous, indispensable „I’ll be back“ quote and her hilarious reply – just made me really excited about this.

I absolutely loved T1 and T2 – who didn’t? -, but I was gravely disappointed with T3. John Connor was just completely miscast, the attempts at call-backs to the original movies were pathetic („Talk to the hand“ – barf!) and the twist ending, while maybe necessary to breathe new life into the franchise, was an insult to the message of hope and self-determination of the first two movies. Kristianna Locken as the T-X was great, but they did not do enough with the concept, and it was too much a rehash of the T-1000. T3 really spoilt the whole series for me, and I got disinterested.

I therefore did not mind T-Salvation – it was fun entertainment, but bland and forgettable. Literally – I cannot remember much of the plot.

So – very low expectations for this one, but this trailer looked really interesting.

Next year will be an amazing year for movies!

Conceal don’t feel

by Deep Thinker on 3 December, 2014, no comments

As a prelude, I love io9 which is a fantastic and intelligent website on science & fiction that is unashamedly nerdy – and in equal measure, I utterly hate their content management and commenting system called Kinja, which is just so bad on so many levels.

One of the many, many reasons it’s so frustratingly bad is, that I cannot even link to any single comment or comment thread on the site – and the comments on the articles on io9 are very often as interesting, thought-provoking, funny or simply worth saving.

io9 often invites opinions and discussion on a particular topic – for example, this article asked What’s The Most Unfair Backlash Against Something That Got Too Popular?, offering Avatar as an example, and as usual the comments came up with a number of other good, and not so good examples. Among them, someone mentioned The Blair Witch Project, and then the commenters reminisced about their individual experiences of watching that movie for the first time – and that brought back my own memories, so many years ago, on the other side of the world, watching it on my own in an empty movie theatre, and dying of fright…

Someone else mentioned Frozen, and then two commenters shared their very personal experience with the movie, giving a perspective I never considered:

Snowman Builder:

It really is a very good movie and the music is amazing. But after hearing Let it Go over and over and over and over and over, and now seeing more merchandise than the last few Star Wars movies combined, even I’m getting tired of it.

Then PleaseNotToday answered:

I loved this movie when it came out. I am an introverted older sister with lots of health problems and super over-protective parents and my younger sister is extroverted and very little sister-ish who takes care of me and defends me. We could relate. But Jesus it’s been over talked about, people are ruining it.

Then SnowmanBuilder answered:

Sounds like you connected with the movie for the exact same reasons I did. Been in a wheelchair since I was in preschool, growing up I got to watch my little sis run around outside while I could only sit indoors with my books. Glad to know there’s someone else out there who gets it.

And she replied:

Yup, been in a wheelchair for about a year and a half now, because of an auto-immune disorder I’ve had for the past 12 years, which has given me a variety of other issues. I don’t usually cry at movies, but this cartoon movie made me cry.

And SnowmanBuilder answered:

Birth defects for me. Nerves not connecting properly at the spine and lower abdomen caused a fun mix of mobility and continence problems. I’m still convinced you can’t possibly understand the true meaning of “conceal, don’t feel, put on a show, make one wrong move and everyone will know” unless you had to wear diapers until you were 12.

And I just read this and was astounded, how these two amazing people, who so matter-of-factly talk about the unimaginable challenges they face daily in their lives, describe their own unique – and shared – perspective of this movie.

I was really, really touched and impressed.  Guys – you are strangers on the internet, but your courage is inspiring. I salute you.

And then SnowmanBuilder (and in context, what a great username this is!), just to really top it off, adds:

If you ever feel the need to cry some more, just watch this fan-made song. It’s Elsa’s accompaniment to Anna’s Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Now, Do You Want to Build  a Snowman is my favourite song in the movie, and it is guaranteed to rip my heart out and reduce me to a blubbering cry-baby every time I watch it (simply because what it conveys is beautiful, and it is beautiful because it is true) – and I also love some of the heart-felt fan-made reprises of the song (something which I felt should have been a part of the movie itself).

Like this one.

Yup. That worked.

Thanks, guys.

P.S. I have tried to link to these comments anyway, and it seems like it has worked – but I expect it to break again within the next half an hour, when Kinja completely revamps their system again…

P.P.S.
Oh, and as to my own opinion – I think Frozen is a really, really great Disney movie, and its phenomenal success does not take away from this at all – in fact, I am pleased that so many children all over the world can be so enchanted and inspired by a movie, just like Disney movies have enchanted my own childhood, and still do to this day.