Remember that awesome news about the original, unmolested Star Wars trilogy DVD release? It’s not that awesome.
See, they’re not doing anything with the print. They’re taking the raw laserdisc footage from 1993 and slapping it on a DVD. That means no digital clean-up which, if you’ve seen the special features on any of the Special Edition releases, made quite a difference.
Why are they doing this?
“…since these movies do not represent George’s artistic vision, we could not put the extraordinary time and resources into this project as we did with the Special Editions.”
I enjoyed the movie. I enjoyed X2, too, but not for the same reasons.
Wolverine’s best scene is in X-Men 1, in the truck with Rogue – two very good actors saying some very good dialogue. His second best scene is in X2, the entire sequence with Stryker invading the mansion – specifically, I think of the scene in the kitchen, his brief encounter with the soldier. He handles it wonderfully, a tamer Wolverine struggling mentally with why the hell an armed soldier is in the kitchen while struggling physically with the soldier, and then rising to the moment when the soldier’s gun goes off and nearly blows Bobby’s head off.
It’s that kind of subtlety and confidence that is primarily lacking in X3, but it’s not a subtle story.
The action scenes are the best of the series, as far as spectacle and set pieces go.
Magneto and Jean are the King and Queen of superpower spectacle – Mags demolishes a handful of cars (and a handful of people), and then later moves the Golden Gate Bridge across the bay, ripping it from its foundations and probably killing tens of innocent commuters in the process. Jean’s powers are subtle one moment (holding all of the furniture in a room a foot above the floor) and apocalyptically destructive the next (turning the Alcatraz facility into dust, along with many people).
Actually, there are so many innocent deaths in this movie (many implied, but a few also shown) that I expected Rogue to show up at the end, take Jean’s powers and then magically reverse the preceding carnage.
I have a few complaints, of course.
Colossus, so temptingly teased in the second movie, basically just throws Wolverine around. I wanted a drop-down, drag-out fight between him and Juggernaut, but it never happens. He has very little dialogue and has almost as much to do here as he did in the second.
Juggernaut is executed well, even though the helmet looks ridiculous. His denouement is funny and affective, and holds just the right tone – Kitty tricks him into knocking himself out, which is a very Kitty-like way of dealing with things in general.
Kitty is adorable here, and has some excellent scenes with Leech and Bobby.
People also complain about Angel’s treatment, but I found nothing wrong with it. He’s a boring character – all he can do is fly around (hardly a unique power) and make a big target. I don’t blame the filmmakers for it. He’s a symbol for the Good Mutants – somebody who’s conflicted about his mutation, tries to fix it, finally comes to personal terms with his uniqueness and specialness, and then saves the day (for at least one person). It’s a perfect little arc, and matches the arc of the trilogy.
Halle Barry is a constant drain on the entire trilogy, and no less so here – her best scenes are in X2, and all she really gets to do here is be second in command. She shoots lightning from her fingers, spins around a lot, and even occasionally controls the weather. She is constantly given bad dialogue, as her role is primarily that of plot-mover-forward.
Pyro is a bad guy, pure and simple, willing to do whatever Magneto tells him to do. I initially had a problem with the manifestation of his power – he seems to be able to create the fire rather than just control/enhance it. It wasn’t until his last fight that I saw a little nozzle on his wrist. It was nice to see that they continued the concept through to the third movie.
Beast occasionally looks silly, but I disagree with some of the negative assessments – Kelsey is a good actor, and he sells the character. He walks with a perceptible, barely-suppressed muscularity and athleticism, and his voice and general countenance are spot-on.
Cyclops has never really been a great character in the movies, and the same holds true for this one. He exists to be toasted by his former lover, and lets Wolverine take center stage as the Lovelorn.
Mystique is great in this movie – just as capricious, playful and menacing as the previous two, and her eventual betrayal made me giggle.
The various new characters are cool, but kind of wasted. The costuming for them is a little unfortunate, as they get a leather/grungy look that doesn’t really hold with the relative realism of the previous two.
Character deaths are handled well, but possibly suffer from the running time.
Many fanboy complaints of the movie can be solved simply by imagining the movie series as a separate trilogy from the continuity of the comics. You have to kill the mentor if the team is to go forward on its own and find its own success, untethered by the aid of a superpowerful leader.
In fact, I would say that the movie series is in good part about the taming of Wolverine, as he moves from a hard-drinking bar brawler in the first to a reliable team member in the second, to his actions in third. In this movie, he rather comes to terms with his own worse nature, successfully resisting the sexual advances of Jean and then truly overcoming his past emotionalism by Doing the Right Thing and killing the woman he loves. He never goes berserk in this movie, though he does seemingly kill a handful of Evil Mutants (in a scene that was far too short).
The Wolverine of the movie trilogy is not the Wolverine of the comics – here, he’s a mature leader while in the comics he’s never moved much beyond being the anger-prone loose cannon.
Boy this is a long review, but you get the idea. I liked it. It pleased me.
I want the Ghost Rider movie to be good, and the trailer sort of looks kind of cool at first. But as soon as you show the Ghost Rider himself, it just looks silly. He’s wearing leather and his body is a flaming skeleton. That’s an awesome idea for a comic character, when he’s just illustrated and the illustrators can do cool things with him, but put him in a real world context and he looks dumb.
Also, the X-Men movie might not be so bad after all. Read a review, but not if you’re afraid of spoilers.
I am very excited about this recent development in what some would laughably call a “career.”
You might have heard of Metroblogging – it’s kind of a big deal to webnerds. It wasn’t a big deal to me, mostly because I find the vast majority of blogs to be – ummm – boring.
But then they started a Metroblogging: Azeroth, a blog about World of Warcraft. I play World of Warcraft. Some of you might have noticed that I write about it, too. Metroblogging recently put out a call for contributors, and I sent them my CV (albeit in a very abbreviated form). They accepted me as one of their own!
So, I’ve posted my first entry:http://azeroth.metblogs.com
In related news, my Night Elf Hunter looks like Lemmy Kilmeister.
I’m sick of the old game consoles.
They haven’t changed since Pong. A box. A TV. A controller. You sit, static, in front of the television set and hit buttons while the objects on the screen react to the button combinations you’ve pressed. There are different control schemes for every game you play. You usually have to learn the new combination for every game before you can play effectively.
The new console designed by Nintendo has changed that, likely for the better.
See, the new system, called the Wii (a name widely derided by gamers and fans, though I confess to liking it a great deal), has a new control scheme.
The main controller looks like a TV remote. See, it has buttons on it.
This means, essentially, that you can hold the Wii controller in your hands, like any other game console created in the last thirty years – you hit buttons on it, and the characters react accordingly.
But that’s not all. The game also knows where the controller is located in 3-dimensional space, at all times.
You can swing the remote and the character on the game swings his sword. You can flick the remote forward and the character casts a fishing line. You can hold it at flat and move it rapidly back and forth and your character sautés asparagus.
Nintendo is revolutionizing home video games. It’s gonna be fun
The lead singer of the band Liars looks like Nick Cave.
I don’t think it’s unintentional.
I had a fantastic weekend, but I’m tired. It’s time for beddy-bye.
Jor-El is basically giving a Christian speech here. I prefer to ignore that aspect of it, mainly because Jesus didn’t have super strength, couldn’t fly, and he couldn’t shoot beams of pure energy out of his eyes.
They can be a great people Kal-El – they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you, my only son.
I get a shiver when I read those lines.
Fanboy. There’s no other religion like it.
The bus was full today. It’s full every day, actually – the inbound fills up to SRO by the time it hits downtown and the inbound is usually pretty crowded by the time I get on – it rarely prevents me from finding a seat. Today was one of the rare days that a shit-ton (much larger than your crap-tons, but smaller than the fabled fuck-ton) of people decided to take the bus home from work.
I’m a goddamn regular on the Ohio Valley Flyer. Almost every day (especially before my roommate began working downtown and occasionally bringing her car), I am on that monstrosity, feeding the meter, writing in my notebook, reading Terry Pratchett or making lusty eyes at the married women sitting across from me. Today, I had to stand in the aisle and surf the majestic roads of western Pittsburgh while cock-faced pricks who don’t ever ride the OV read their newspapers and their Dan Brown paperbacks and listened to their 80′s butt rock on their crappy iPod knockoffs.
To entertain myself, I imagined beams of energy shooting out of my eyes and cooking the brains of the interlopers until the pressure became too great for their thin skulls to contain and thus exploded, covering the windows in gore and grey matter. My eyes swept over the regulars, sparing them as if they were painted with streaks of lamb’s blood.
It was a good time.
I got a message in my inbox today with the subject “Re: the AMBtEfN,” which immediately told me that it was spam. But Gmail gives you a little peek into the body text, so I didn’t delete it immediately. Why? Well, I clicked into the email and it had, obviously, a link to some website. But it also had this block of text:
remember still the king that was of old. Most of my people are abroad,
for there are great tidings in the South some are tidings of joy to
you, and some you will not think so good. Behold! the birds are
gathering back again to the Mountain and to Dale from South and East and
West, for word has gone out that Smaug is dead! Dead! Dead? shouted
the dwarves. Dead! Then we have been in needless fear-and the treasure
They all sprang up and began to caper about for joy.
Yes, dead, said Rac. The thrush, may his feathers never fall, saw
him die, and we may trust his words. He saw him fall in battle with the
men of Esgaroth the third night back from now at the rising of the
moon. It was some time before Thorin could bring the dwarves to be
silent and listen to the ravens news. At length when he had told all
Yeah, that’s right, folks. That’s an excerpt from The Hobbit.
I didn’t care about Ambien – I just wanted to read more Tolkien.
I don’t understand Carson Daly. He’s a douche. And untalented. Watching him is slightly worse than watching this guy. I feel embarrassed for him.
I’m up late enough to watch his show. I took a long nap today, and that effed up my sleep schedule. I don’t know how late I’ll be up tonight. If you were sitting here with me, you would hear me sigh.
I may be the only person I know who has a video uploaded to MySpace. I don’t own a video camera, so it’s not that kind of movie. It’s the first in a series of postmodern horror films that I’m creating on The Movies, a game I’ve referenced before.
It’s called Teenage Slumber Party Monster Attack!, and you can see it here.
There’s no sound, and some of the scenes go on a bit long. But aside from that, it speaks for itself.
A half hour after I uploaded it, the movie had 32 views. That’s one viewer a minute! I think the only reason people have seen it is because I included “teenage” as one of the tags. Horny perverts are obviously my chief audience.
Oh, and the movie also features a large-breasted woman in a towel giving another large-breasted woman a massage – in a bathtub.
Kettle, black, etc.
My blog should be titled: Tits! And Boring Stuff.
Actually, that’s a pretty accurate description of my conscious thought stream, too.
I checked the number of views again – it’s up to 43. Wait, now it’s 57.
I don’t get music. My good friend Aaron, who plays bass in a kickass band, once showed me how to play – sort of. I think I managed to make the guitar squeeze out a note that didn’t sound shitty, but that’s all I could do.
I understand that there are notes and things, but the rules of the music don’t make sense to me, possibly in large part to my not knowing anything about them. For instance, in writing, the words you put to paper have to combine into a meaningful sentence. I imagine that notes must also follow similar rules of their own, right?
And melodies, and bridges, and tones and octaves and those adorable little clefts – it’s all very confusing to me.
All I really know is that I like some of it.
Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, which is another National Holiday that allows a particular ethnic group to declare its individuality through alcohol. Tequila, right? Corona?
I don’t do hard liquor. I’ll drink practically anything if it’s mixed with something with flavor, but I don’t do shots. I catch peer pressure at nearly every birthday of mine for not indulging in a shot of liquor.
Sorry, friends – I don’t do them. I did do them, in college. They got me very drunk very quickly, and in uncontrollable bursts – I prefer the predictability of beer.
Oh, and I prefer the taste of beer, too, which is something that cannot be matched by any brand of vodka.
Getting drunk just doesn’t interest me anymore. Once in a while is nice.
71 views. And a 3 star aggregate rating! Not bad, for the first hour.
Still watching Carson Daly, and wondering whether I’m going to be a Ben Harper fan.
I’m glad I know nothing about him, save that the three or four songs he’s played so far tonight are pretty enjoyable.
I’m also glad that I discovered Phish before I met anybody else who liked them, and was unaware of variety of dirty/scummy/druggie neohippies who are most closely associated with Phish’s music. Apparently there’s some overlap between their audience and the Grateful Dead? I don’t get it.
More Music I Don’t Particularly Like:
Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, 80s Butt Rock, rap/metal fusion.
Some Music I Appreciate But Don’t Particularly Enjoy:
Pearl Jam (though Nate’s hand-crafted mix is starting to sway me a bit), Nirvana (never really got it).
Those are some short lists, folks.
I with the Vice President would shoot another guy in the face – talk show hosts are running out of material.
A Star Trek Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game is in the works!
I can’t communicate how excited that makes me.
Yeah, get your nerdalert comments out of the way.
What would be really cool about a game like that would be the ability to rise through the hierarchy of Starfleet, attain the rank fo Captain and acquire a ship of one’s own.
Also, I want a massive, persistent galaxy with thousands of visitable planets. I want an in-game event to call specific ships to a specific planet – say, some kind of emergency. You drive your ship over there, and you get some quests to complete there, but at the same time, the players on the other side (though there isn’t so much an “other side” – Klingons, maybe?) are also doing some quests, too – and you have to claim the planet for your faction.
I wanna be the captain of a kick-ass starship, and show it off to my friends.
You might have noticed, I’m a bit of a nerd.
Speaking of MMORPGs, my friend Matte is currently at work on one of the bigger games of the coming years, a game based on a popular TV show. I want to talk to him about it, endlessly – not for insider information, but because his point of view is goddamn fascinating – he’s getting to watch how developers make games like these, and the sorts of Big Decisions he is watching them make. For example, should a good MMORPG have a persistent global world, with a few instances to render specifically for a handful of players at a time, like WoW? Or should there be a larger instance component and a much less persistence?
Personally, I like large-scale persistent worlds – where you can go do some quests in a part of the world and grab some help in the middle of it, or make new friends on the battlefields. There’s a huge social component to games like these, and I think it’s importnat to make the players mingle as much as possible.
I’m so tired that my eyes are starting to unfocus. Time for bed.
And, as always: “It’s late. I’m tired. Good night!