Friday, 24 December 2010

Rare Exports - bad Santa and his naked little helpers

I went to see Rare Exports this week with my lovely friends from the Haus of Roeni, so I thought it only fitting that I post something about it the night before christmas.

It's safe to say that not many people will get to see this film. It's in Finnish with subtitles, which will put a lot of people off, and it's also on a limited release in the UK. But the intrepid few who hunt it out at their local artsy fartsy cinema will be glad they did. And they probably won't feel the same warm glow about Santa any more.

I'm not going to post a full review, as I think this review at i09 pretty much says it all. But I will say that this film is a treat. A kind of freakish treat, but a treat nevertheless. And just when you think you know what the movie is about (bad santa on loose, find bad santa, blow up bad santa) it completely changes in the last few minutes into something far more fantastical than any story about a man who circumnagivates the globe in a flying sleigh to deliver presents to children. This unexpected twist made me love this film more than had it ended with the bad santa blown to chunks.

It's by no means perfect. Once Pietari tells his dad and Piiparinen that the naked and feral old man they found in the wolf pit is Santa, the mystery and suspense is forgotten in favour of some loud and pacey action. I would have liked some more suspense and less shouting. The switch to action also comes a bit undone with some badly executed CG moments that needed way more money to come up to scratch, which is a shame when the surroundings of the frozen north are so beautiful.

But it delivers interesting characters, plenty of tense moments, a bit of mystery, some classic stoytelling, and enough naked santas running through the Finnish mountains to give you nightmares.

You'll probably never want to eat gingerbread again.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Tron: Legacy shmegacy

Chuck wasn't sure about Tron: Legacy either...
 I went to see a preview of Tron: Legacy courtesy of Show Film First (thank you!) the day before it premiered and wasn't allowed to say anything until it was officially released into the world. But rather than post something the next day like a lot of people probably did, I wanted to let the dust settle. And I wanted to see if anyone else thought that it was...wait for it.... a bit pants. I feared a cyber-lynching, so I kept my thoughts to myself for a few weeks.

But since reading snippets of online reviews and disappointed tweets, @Film4 in particular, I'm sticking my neck out and saying that I thought Tron:Legacy was..... meh.

I assumed I would love it because:
  • I sat in Hall H at Comic Con with thousands of fanboys and girls to watch the early footage.
  • I might be in it! For explanation see this post.
  • I *heart* Chuck, and Chuck *hearts* Tron.
  • It's Tron for frakssake!
However, my excitement at being at a preview, wearing kickass 3D specs and even getting an intro from director Joseph Kosinski didn't outweigh my disappointment and general boredom.

I'm not going to run through the blah blah plot or pick out the particular moments that made me want to throw my specs at the screen. But Clu? Come on, if you're going to spend years on a film please get the CG character who is supposed to look like Flynn to actually look convincingly like Flynn.

For me, Tron: Legacy was a big disappointment. I wanted to give it my heart, but it gave me a headache.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The geek in my week

I didn't really spot any geek last week, but my manager emailed me something yesterday that I wanted to share. Not many people would think to dress up like the scrolling words at the beginning of Star Wars, but this fangirl did. And I applaud her for it.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

The geek in my week

I realised the other day how much I notice the geek moments in my otherwise ordinary real life. These brief moments give me a shiny fangirl glow, so I've decided to start documenting them here every week.

So here's how I've found the geek in this week.
  1. I had to change my computer password at work, so I changed it to remind myself that I'm going to Chevron 7.6 next year and meeting RDA himself. Makes me smile every time I punch the keyboard.
  2. I started reading an SEO book which has been on my desk at work for months. Gratuitous Firefly reference on page 7.
  3. I was in Sheffield last week for work and noticed I was walking along a street call Fargate... remember when Farscapers Ben Browder and Claudia Black joined Stargate and two verses collided into Fargate SG1?

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Rare Exports - the psycho Santa movie

If there's one thing Christmas needs, it's a move about Santa that isn't feelgood. In fact, what would be awesome would be a crazy dark twist on the Santa story in some foreign language like, I don't know, Finnish.

Guess what I'm going to see on Christmas eve eve this year?

Ho Ho holy crap this looks good! Check out the website for more festive fun.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Am I in Tron: Legacy? Quite possibly...

On 22 July this year I sat next to my sister in Hall H at Comic Con yelling "DISC WARS", "RINZLER", stamping my feet, clapping my hands and cheering at the bidding of Joseph Kosinski, director of Tron: Legacy.

He wanted sounds from a real crowd for the movie, so Disney techies rigged the hall with lots of super expensive microphones and we followed instructions on the big screen for yelling, cheering and stomping.

Are our shouts in the movie? No idea.

Will I tell people that they are? Absolutely.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Walter Bishop and Bolivia's vagenda

Spoilers for Entrada ahead!

We've all been waiting for Fringe episode 8 Entrada to see if/how Olivia gets back to our side of the verse. After the episode 7 cliffhanger phonecall to Peter/Pacey, I wasn't sure how long it would take for him to seriously doubt the woman sleeping next to him. And yey for him it was immediate! Loved the Greek test that Bolivia failed - a nice echo back to the start of last season. But how dumb was she to take the wrong laptop? Come on writers, that was lame!

But everything seemed to happened very quickly. I wanted more chase time, more to and fro between the verses as Bolivia tried to get to her exit and Olivia was about to be carved up for research. I was very upset at what happened to the altiverse Broyles (RIP), and Peter/Pacey's sad sad eyes throughout the episode made me feel bad that he'd been having lots of sex with a woman who wasn't his Olivia.

But in middle of all this tension and running and guns, the highlight for me was Walter's rant about how Bolivia tricked his son with her "carnal manipulations" causing him to fall right into her "vagenda." Classic Walter Bishop. Fantastic Fringe. Can't wait to see the fallout from Bolivia's time on our side.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

You're still my Chuck

I’ve been a Chuck fan in moderate despair since season 4 started. The show was lacking its usual oomph and felt, to me anyway, like too much Chuck/Sarah and too little Team Bartowski. I'm a shipper at heart and very happy that the show has brought them together as a couple. But all the discssion about their relationship, Sarah’s baggage, Chuck’s desire to settle down etc. all got a bit too much for me.

And then along came Chuck versus the First Fight and behold my show is back! Timothy Dalton's Keyser Söze moment brought back the mojo of season 2 where emotional development, comedy, action and OMG moments all combined to bring us one helluva episode cliffhanger – in this case Chuck de-intersected by his mum.

Episodes 7-10 have made me love Chuck again, despite some ropey special effects in Chuck versus the Fear of Death (a.k.a. James Bond on a bad budget). Seeing Sarah go insanely badass sans Chuck in Chuck versus Phase Three was ridiculously awesome - kidnap, torture, tearing up Thailand to get to her man, and of course the raw emotional stuff that Yvonne Strahovski eats up when she gets the chance to play it. Sarah saving Chuck was at the heart of the show back in the beginning, and it was good to see it back. It was also good to see some more Die Hard in the Buy More in Chuck versus the Leftovers, and an uncomfortable family meal that reminded me of Sarah's first dinner at the Bartowski's.

My highlight of the last few episodes? Casey calling Chuck's mum "Mama B" - a nice shoutout to the fans who've been calling her that since before Comic Con in July.

Thank you Team Chuck for bringing him back to his best, let's hope it continues.
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