bunsen_h: (Popperi)
The upcoming movie Noah seems to have more magic in it than one might have expected.  Someone plunges a wooden rod into the ground, unleashing a spreading ring of fire; stuff like that.  Some miraculous stuff is part of the story, of course; we see snakes and birds and animals streaming toward the ark.  And falling fireballs and gigantic geysers, which I think were not in the original story, but my knowledge of it is spotty.

Modern effects technology could do something towards explaining some of the long-standing mysteries.  All of the animals going into the ark could be seen to shrink as they enter, so there would be space for all of them.  They wouldn't even have to explain it, just show it.  Emma Watson's role in the movie might lend credence to the effect.

Really, there should be a Doctor Who episode which shows him going back to help Noah.  He could either apply some transdimensional technology, or just... well, there's lots of room inside the TARDIS.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
I just watched Peter Bloody Jackson's The Hobbit, splitting my attention with a bit of code work, which was probably for the best.

Good grief.  My mood kept swinging between "Ack!  That makes no sense!  Not even in context!" and outbursts of hilarious laughter at the total absurdity of what I was seeing.  I think that the Necromancer must have resurrected the spirit of Chuck Jones and enslaved him to resume his work at Warner.

ETA: On further reflection, I think it would work very nicely to remix that movie, replacing the current score with "Looney Tunes"-style music and sound effects.  Bilbo falls down, down, down that chasm... with the fading slide-whistle, bonk bonk bonk off the sides, and a distant "paf!" when he hits the bottom, just like the Coyote got in similar circumstances.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Re: the new Lone Ranger movie... If they had to have Depp as Tonto, would it have been less problematic if they'd also had a native-American as the Lone Ranger?  In, well, paleface... so to speak?

(I haven't seen the movie, and the reviews I've seen don't inspire me to do so.)
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
Little T is fascinated by the Disney fairies, so I thought it might be fun for her to watch Peter Pan, which started the whole Disney fairy thing with Tinker Bell.  I put my name in the library queue to borrow the DVD.

I finally got to the front of the queue a few days ago.  Due to Circumstances Beyond My Control, little T hasn't been spending much time here, but I figured that I might as well watch the movie myself.  I remember having enjoyed it when I was young, and I'm much in need of light entertainment lately.

Wow. That movie is astonishingly racist about native Americans: "Injuns", "Red men".  It doesn't merely have stereotypes; a major song-and-dance number is all about the stereotypes: why does he ask you "how"?; when did he first say "ugh"?  It's a movie that young people should not see without a discussion of the stereotypes, and of the cultural background that lead to them.  When my grade 9 English class did The Merchant of Venice, the teacher introduced the play by explaining the way that Jewish people fit into Elizabethan society... or didn't fit.  How they were treated, and the laws that restricted them, and so on.

Children as young as little T probably wouldn't sit still long enough to have a discussion like that.  I don't see how to solve this.  A complicating factor is that one of [livejournal.com profile] mentisiterinvit's sibs is First Nations... he was adopted, but their parents did as much as they could to teach him about his cultural heritage.  We don't want little T to think that he's anything like the characters in that movie.

bunsen_h: (Popperi)
My brain's "variables" — internal representations — for "heroic" and "awesome" and so forth are signed values.  Peter Jackson's are unsigned, so he gets to enjoy twice the level of awesomeness and heroicity that I do.  But when he cranks his movies up to the max, for me, the values wrap around to being negative.
bunsen_h: (Popperi)
I am not a fan of Peter Jackson's work in Tolkien's mythos.

He changes things that don't need to be changed.  He adds action scenes that aren't internally consistent, nor consistent with the rest of the story; he removes thematic elements and chunks of plot that distinguish Tolkien's work from the generic extruded fantasy product of other writers.

Look, I don't object to his removing Tom Bombadil from The Fellowship of the Ring, as such, though it did lead to a series of plot deviations based on the knives that the Hobbits (originally) took from the Barrow-Downs.  (Those changes could have been corrected early in the story, if Jackson had wanted to.)  Bombadil was somewhat incongruous in the original book.  And there's only so much time and complexity that can go into a popular movie (though Jackson could have refrained from adding some dramatic but incongruous action sequences).

I won't complain at all if the Elves of Rivendell aren't doing the "tra-la-la-lally" thing from Tolkien's The Hobbit.  It's cute in a children's book, but it's seriously weird when contrasted with the Elvish people of The Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit is notionally written by Bilbo, and he's an unreliable narrator — explicitly unreliable, with regard to his taking the Ring from Gollum.  And there's no way that Bilbo's claustrophobic wandering through the tunnels and caves under the Misty Mountains, in total darkness except for a dim glow from his sword and for the greenish glow of Gollum's eyes, could be portrayed in the movie medium.  I accept this; these changes are necessary.

But why do we have to have Gandalf telling Bilbo, in advance, that his sword Sting is of Elvish make and will glow blue when orcs and goblins are near?  Rather than letting Bilbo discover this for himself... and giving him just that little bit more to talk about to himself in the caves in the dark?

"You have to give an editor something to change, or he gets frustrated.  After he pees in it himself, he likes the flavor much better, so he buys it." — Jubal Harshaw, in Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.  That's what I keep thinking about.

I haven't seen the movie, though I probably will after the initial rush has finished.  I've seen some promotional clips, and it seems to keep coming back to Jackson's need to change things that were perfectly fine in the first place, and probably better before the changes than after.
bunsen_h: (Default)
I went for a short drive with [livejournal.com profile] mentisiterinvit to where some of our local friends were making a low-budget alien-invasion movie.  As we waited for the production to get underway, it became more and more clear that the film was about the performers in a long-running gay musical revue, with all of their interpersonal conflicts and neuroses, fighting the invaders.  The movie trailer had scraps of musical numbers and long camera pans across ludicrous hi-heeled shoes and high-powered hand weapons and leather corsets and more weapons.

Well, as a movie concept, this dream had more potential for an interesting story than most of the alien-invasion things I've heard about lately.  And it is indeed something that I can imagine my local friends working on.
bunsen_h: (Default)
Having seen a few minutes of the recent Conan flick, I am now pondering the merits of the original version by Ron Howard.

"Hello.  My name is Conan the Barbarian.  You killed my village.  Prepare to die."

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