Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pretty Ugly

So, this happened yesterday:

And of course this. And this is what happens when making sarcastic (and often very funny) trailer spoofs goes to your head. Plus, WTF The Independent?

 And so on.

Hair and Make Up is a technical category, so right off the bat a win in this category does not and should not have any relation to whether it's a good movie, or even a good movie gone bad. And, clearly, it's not a contest between this category and Best Actor, Best Picture or whatever. Jesus.

I remember watching the Lord of the Rings DVDs for the first time with commentary by Ngila Dickson's commentary, and being blown away by her insight as costume designer - the effect of lighting, weight, fabric dynamics, weathering, environment, wind, water, movement, the cut of cloth... so many elements that just weren't apparent to me watching the movies for however many times I'd seen them. 

There's a great and really informative article by the ever-reliable Andrew Dyce on ScreenRant which goes into the history of this still young Oscar category, what it actually means, and how a generally derided movie like Suicide Squad can earn not just a nomination but win the category. If the result frustrates, puzzles  or even interests you, you should check it out; there's defnitely more to this win than meets the eye, or merits the entitled whining.

As for me I'm happy for this pretty ugly little film and its band of well-designed misfits. Especially Killer Croc. Damn that's cool work. And congratulations to Squad's other Oscar winnerViola Davis too!

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Force With Us.

Last weekend some of my childhood arrived in the post, in particular, 90 per cent of my Star Wars action figures, and my cardboard Death Star playset. Here it is:

Obviously, there’s a bit of restoration work to be done on the Death Star, and there’s the question of my missing Stormtrooper (I wonder if I have it here in the house?) AND everyone’s missing firearms (will just have to make some new ones I guess), but hey – Star Wars figures back! And I hadn’t even missed them, really. Surprisingly though, their unearthing by my brother and their arrival did trigger a small frisson of excitement and nostalgia for me; and as Mrs Simian (and Jet Jr) insisted that we open the two large parcels as a family, I can attest that, yes, there was considerable interest and explanation of who was who, and a roll call taken.

The Junior Simian is intrigued, as he hasn’t really been exposed to Star Wars until now. Oh, sure, he has some Kinder Surprise bobble things from last year, and he’s seen the Lego game of the prequel series; but hard plastic blobs and pixel shapes do not a space saga make. I was seven when I saw Star Wars – I couldn’t possibly have been any younger and I still think it’s the perfect age to watch those movies, but times change and kids change. And so after careful parental deliberation, the verdict was read: Jet Jr could watch Star Wars with Dad while Mum had a lie down. But Dad was in control of the remote. Better he discover these stories at home than (shudder) from the playground…Do I care just a little too much? I hope not. We watched the Special Edition of the movie now insistently called A New Hope. As my copy of the ‘original’ print is the miserly letterbox version released with the Special Edition DVD a few years back, it was sadly no contest. Our TV screen is a good size, but it’s not THAT big to make a difference to the picture quality . It nearly killed me to do this, as outside of the SE of Empire I’m not a fan of those editions at all (the Jabba scene got sped through – goodbye, bad CGI and unnecessary dialogue repetition!), and Junior wandered out during the Greedo-shooting-first debacle, so no expended explanation was necessary for why Dad’s teeth were making a grinding sound for a few seconds there. Maybe I do care too much? 

Anyway, what did the Junior of the Simian house make of George Lucas’ debutante Star Wars movie? It was hard to say, really. There were bits he clearly enjoyed (Luke and Leia swinging over the Death Star chasm probably the highlight; got bored during the final X-Wing assault), and he wandered out of the room for a couple of key moments (no Obi Wan death scene for him – it traumatised me as a child, so no issues there), and some misunderstandings of the plot got quickly papered over (did you know that the film’s opening scene features a lot of guys sleeping in a space ship corridor? Well, now you do), but on the whole I think he enjoyed it, and certainly it’s been the topic of conversation for some of the week past. Hey, it’s made a nice change from requesting Bruno Mars videos on YouTube and announcing updates on which of the Beatles are still alive. And favourite character: R2-D2. Good choice. Pick the guy with the best lines. Doubtless in time the lad may want to see it again, or some other Star Wars stuff, and the movies will be doled out carefully. I’m not a crazy purist – we’ll likely do all of the prequels, whatever he wants to see, really, but all in his own time.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Bloody Hell

Hello Readers.

Sorry, I've been somewhat distracted from my blog of late, and am currently working away to remedy this; so for a while things might go a bit wee-woo on the chronological front as time flows backwards over these pages. There'll be a return to normality, ollowing a short series of dainty wee posts here and there to tide things over.  Just go with it - there's bound to be a good story somewhere in there.