22 November 2009

Reminiscing: My Blog: The Developmental Years

Sadly, my swan dive into the world of blogging has turned into more of a belly flop, given my tragic lack of internet for the last several days. So, as I sit in the coffee shop, trying to imagine some profound topic to blog about, I realize that I need a little inspiration from the past. What did I do in those long-ago Myspace days that made blogging so much fun?

I decided to check. I even remembered my Myspace password on the third try! I started reading old blogs and reminiscing....

Most of my blogging was conducted in 2007 and 2008. Most of my blogs consisted of movie reviews and travel updates. Who knew I went to so many movies during that time? I don't know where all that movie money was coming from, but it appears to have been wasted, since 95% of the movie reviews I wrote on Myspace were scathing. Here's a couple of fun oldie-but-goodies:

03 Apr 08 Thursday

Sweeney Todd...I’m not sure...This may be a little harsh...
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities

Perhaps it was because of all the hype, or the fact that several of my friends told me I would absolutely love this film. Perhaps it was because of the Oscar buzz, or the fact that Tim Burton directed it, and Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman starred...

I’m not sure if any or all of these factors influenced the way I approached watching "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," but apparently I was much too excited to see this movie....

...and was disappointed. The movie exhibited some of Tim Burton’s characteristic dark beauty in the backdrops and costumes, but it was far from his most amazing visual achievement. I, quite honestly, thought Batman, and certainly Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, etc, were much more visually profound.

...as far as the performances went, I was also disappointed. Johnny Depp gave an admirable performance, but far from Oscar calibur. In fact, I think the only reason he was nominated was his attempt at singing, which was bordering on comical. Helena Bonham Carter proved, once again, that she is desperately in need of some conditioner and hair pomade and that if she twitches and shreeks a lot people will think that she is acting and not just crazy. Alan Rickman was his usual stuffy, yet somehow sexy, self...until he started singing, that is. The supporting roles were flimsy and disjointed. Sasha Baron Cohen made an interesting cameo as a greasy swindler, and he was decent...and he had the best death scene. Weaselly Tim Spall (most famous in the States for playing Peter Petigrew in the Harry Potter films) basically played upon his natural creepiness and the role wasn’t much of a stretch for him. Besides these celebrity friends of Burton’s, the remainder of the cast seemed to be experienced singers and musical performers, making the attempts at singing on the parts of the famous stars seem even more mediocre.

...as for the costumes and makeup (one of my favorite scrutinies)...the makeup was cheesy and fake. I’m not certain if they intentionally made the actors look like they were on stage, or if the stylists just got slap-happy with cheap white-face, but the effect was truly more comical than creepy. The costumes were probably "okay" in my book (especially when compared to the other Oscar contenders), but they got lost in the shadowy cinematography and didn’t really serve any sort of aesthetic purpose as far as I could tell.

...Now for the gore. I didn’t expect much, I had been told the gore was over the top and cheesy, so I was therefore pleasantly surprised in a few scenes. Pirelli’s murder in particular was actually almost gruesome...though Burton was cheap to resort to bludgeoning, one of the easiest ways to get at a squeamish audience. After that, there are only so many times you can watch people’s throats being slit before getting bored.

...The music...what can I say about the music. Not much. Besides a few (unintentionally) comical lyrics, such as "all the horrors of the world are as wondrous as Peru," the musical numbers were terribly formulaic.

I would recommend this film to fans of musicals if they don’t mind a little gore (I do realize that not all of your stomachs are teflon coated, as mine is). Tim Burton fans beware, this one ranks up there with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and (cringe) "Planet of the Apes".

My apologies to all of you who adored this film. Nothing personal, I was just highly disappointed at this mediocre attempt at mixed-genre film-making. If you want a modern musical, Moulin Rouge was far superior, and if you want horror, suck it up and go rent one of the many decent gore-fests available on DVD.

30 Jul 08 Wednesday

X - Files: I Want To Believe (that they could have made a better movie than this)...
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities

I'm going to warn you that this review blog is going to have some spoilers in it...but since the things I'm spoiling are more predictable than geeks at a sci-fi convention, I don't feel too bad about it...

I guess you could say that in the late 90's I was a fan of the X-Files. I wasn't religious about it, but there were some pretty fantastic episodes, like The Peacock Family and the 2-part killer bees episode. There were fabulous pseudo-celebrity cameos like Jesse Ventura, John O'Hurley, Kathy Griffin (pre-nose job and gay entourage), and countless others. There was the endless sexual tension between Mulder and Scully, the at-times-very-clever banter and some of my favorite all-time quotes, including:

"I didn't play Dungeons and Dragons all those years and not learn at thing or two about courage!"

All that being said, I knew that the new X-Files movie was not going to be a stellar return to the tv show I once loved...however, I did expect it to be far better than it was!

The Premise:
It's been 9 years: The FBI is hunting down Mulder, Scully is a surgeon at a Catholic hospital, and, oh, first spoiler!!!!!:

They are living together.

Note: You may think that you want to see them in love (the studio clearly thought so) but you don't. Not really. The power of tv duos who want to be together but are conflicted about it IS THAT THEY ARE CONFLICTED ABOUT IT! This movie jumped the shark by putting them together, first big mistake.

Next the FBI shows up, in the form of two way-too-young, way-too-pretty, and way-too-annoying agents (one of whom is Amanda Peet, who I really cannot stand) who want Mulder's help finding a missing agent. Their only lead is the testimony of a Catholic priest/psychic with a dubious past.

Then there is a whole bunch of predictable and boring parts where Mulder and Scully fight about whether or not to believe in psychics and whether or not they've ruined their careers by making this movie....oh wait, that was just my ESP kicking in to show me what was going on in their dressing room...

Where was I? Oh yes. More boring parts....some predictable parts....some really cheesy dialogue....oh, and they solve the case, which (SPOILER 2) is not really science-fiction-y at all. Oh, and they cry and kiss alot.

The performances: Negligible...I didn't like the way they changed Scully's character into a frigid and controlling girlfriend, and David Duchovney looked mildly drunk throughout the film.

The script: Abysmal. There was so little actual science-fiction in this movie! I expected something grander, with inside jokes, celebrity cameos, or at least aliens or monsters...and instead I got a worn-out story with washed-up characters and miserable dialogue.

Overall conclusions:
I felt that "X-Files: I want to Believe" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls" should have traded scripts and both might have been much better films.

I recommend this movie to: anyone who needs a nap, people who like wasting money on mediocre movies...if you are a true fan of the X-Files and feel you need to see this, I highly recommend waiting for DVD, there is nothing in this movie that necessitates big-screen viewing.

Hopefully there will be a good movie coming out soon, until then,


  1. Very interesting reading, you set the bar high. Apparently, I have a blog space, I just can't get back to it. Remember, if I can read this, so can every future employer you can ever have. Be true to yourself, and consider what you post.