Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Trekkies

First off, I’d like to blame this film for my recent dissention into madness.  I started watching Next Generation from episode one as I have never seen the series in proper succession.  The movie comes off almost as a cautionary tale as to how being a fan of something can get a little excessive and take over your life in strange ways but apparently what I took away was “Yeah, Star Trek is good.  I should watch Next Gen all over again.”.  I am fully aware of the exceptional levels of fandom many series have produced and Star Trek is one of the most diehard.  However, seeing a man with a Star Trek themed dentistry practice is a whole new level of wow.  I do not mean to demean of look down on any of these people.  Most of them appear to be perfectly normal contributing citizens that just happen to really really like Star Trek.  And that’s fine.  They aren’t hurting anyone and they can spend their time and money as they please.  If anything I may just be jealous as I don’t think I have anything in my life that I have spent half the energy and devotion that they exhibit towards this show.  I lack the ability to commit so wholeheartedly to anything and I think that is what is most fascinating and perhaps tragic.  Some of these people seem so talented and capable of focusing their energy on one specific thing.  Imagine what we could accomplish if people like this spent their time and energy on something that would benefit society as a whole.  We’d have politians living based on the prime directive and scientists looking towards eradicating disease.  We could accomplish the feats of the Earth Federation if we could just stop dreaming it and be it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fan Boys

I have seen Fan Boys several times and it is always a delight.  It isn’t often a movie can tackle anything in the “geek” world without totally screwing it up and missing the point.  How often do you see TV and movie characters playing video games by just mashing their hands on the controller.  It seems that so often when Hollywood tries to reach out to a certain fanbase or nerds in general they have they alienate their target demographic?  Fan Boys does not have this problem.  The Star Wars references aren’t forced or gimmicky.  This group of friends comes off naturally if only a little hyperbolic.  Meta is hard to do right.  This isn’t a movie about Star Wars, it is about the people that love Star Wars but could have easily been omitted entirely.  They could have still gone on their epic adventure with their dying friend to fulfill any number of final requests but it would have lost so much of its charm.  It may just be a cute movie without much substance but it such a good example of successfully portraying fandom.  They live and breathe Star Wars.  Every successful franchise is built on fans like that and portraying that level of enthusiasm in a positive light is rare.  Despite geeks becoming the mainstream fans are often still the butt of many jokes.  While Big Bang Theory may be one of the most popular sitcoms it lives on the same tired joke of nerds being unable to deal with normal people.  Big Bag Theory is the opposite of this movie.  The laugh track and forced jokes kill any semblance of intellect or humor.  The whole premise of that show is pointing at a thing and saying “Get it?!”.  I could go on because I hate that show but I think it would get a little off topic.  Fan Boys is good.  Big Bang Theory is bad.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Starship Troopers

I love this movie so much.  I have watched it so many times.  It is so brilliant and I have always felt that none of my contemporaries have acknowledged its brilliance.  I now have the proper platform to sing its praises.  This movie is amazing.  It is action packed, punchy dialogue, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris, giant bugs.  This movie is so meta.  I mean, Paul Verhoeven read part of the book, hated it and decided to turn it into a mockery of itself.  It is brilliant without getting all cerebral.  It is still a kick ass movie about killing bugs and winning and awesome.  He directed the shower scene nude.  I can’t believe that people never got it.  So many people I know regard this movie as such a bad B movie.  But the Nazi imagery of the Federation just hits you straight in the face and I don’t know how it slipped through the cracks.  This movie is amazing.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Blade Runner

I am still not entirely sure how I feel about this film.  The universe it sets is not overly imaginative, a bleak dystopian metrolopolis, robots becoming self aware are rebelling, and a cast of unemotive stoic characters.  The film noir detective vibe is apparent and that appeal is understandable.  The movie just never really escapes itself.  It feels confined, stuck on rails to a predetermined destination.  The big reveal at the end seems less surprising knowing the movie was trying so hard to build to something.  But what are the consequences?  So Decker is a replicant?  Does that really change anything?  It doesn’t register beyond the initial shock value.  It doesn’t change the morality of his character nor does it seem to affect how he views himself.  Just shrug it off.  Perhaps additional viewings and I could really delve into why it matters that he is a replicant but I don’t see it as much of a dilemma.  Stylistically the movie is interesting.  Maybe it just isn’t my genre but I feel that the film noir aspect actually stifles the ambience that had been created.  The environment feels rather sterile despite taking place in what appears to be a gritty underworld type city setting.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Total Recall

I had watched this film for the first time about a year ago.  I never much cared for Schwartzeneger films but I was so wrong to initially resist this film.  I had to watch it for a film adaptation class, meaning I also read the short story that inspired the film.  The premise is what is so good about sci-fi.  It brings you big philosophical questioned packaged in a easy to digest format of blowing stuff up and women with three breasts.  How do we know our memories are our own?  The film does such an excellent job of making you question what is the truth?  The interpretation of the fade to white at the very end being them being forced to lobotomize him just adds another layer of intrigue.  How far off are we from being able to implant memories and if that technology were available what would that mean for personal experience?  Anything you think you remember could be implanted and falsified.  Any sense of self is shattered in a world where you can’t rely on your own mind.  It is movies like this that make sci-fi so enjoyable.  Asking big questions in an enjoyable way.  They make you question life and technology and where we are going and what the hell is going on.