Franchise that I have no real interest in? Check. Hollywood reboot? Check. This is exactly the sort of summer blockbuster that you couldn’t pay me to watch. I relented in this case only because the trailers actually looked sort of good, seeming to make a case for this being an environmentalism film instead of just a monster romp, plus word of mouth on Broken Forum was reasonably positive. Unfortunately sometimes first impressions are correct and I should have stayed away from this pile of crap.
Continue reading Godzilla (2014)
This one is only the second Federico Fellini film I’ve written about in this blog and like La Strada dates from the earliest part of the career of the great director. I was curious about what the Italian title actually meant and so tried to search for a translation. As it turned out, the title is incomprehensible even to Italians as it is either a little known street slang term that Fellini heard when he was young or a portmanteau of other words. Today it is generally agreed to refer to a certain class of parasitic and aimless youths who spend their days in idleness.
Continue reading I Vitelloni (1953)
I’ve been ramping down my participation in the Coursera MOOCs of late, mainly because I’ve taken just about all of the introductory courses that I can take and because what’s left that I have any interest in is a bit too in-depth for a casual learner like me. But it’s also because as I get older I’m more set in my ways and getting lazier about truly exercising my mind and getting very involved in tricky subjects. This course, the follow-up to the Introduction of Philosophy course from the University of Edinburgh that I took earlier this year, is an unfortunate example.
Continue reading Philosophy and the Sciences
When ranking the best films of Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window invariably makes the list alongside other greats like Vertigo and Psycho. It’s arguably the ur-film for an entire sub-genre of Peeping Tom movies with the traditional Hitchcockian ice blonde here being none other than the fabulous Grace Kelly while perennial favorite James Stewart is the protagonist.
Continue reading Rear Window (1954)
Despite a long and prolific directing career, Hou Hsiao-Hsien had never made a wuxia film before this one, which explains why its release was so highly anticipated in the Chinese-speaking world. Its English title makes it sound boringly generic but its more informative Chinese title indicates that it was adapted from an ancient story that is a classic of the genre.
Continue reading The Assassin (2015)
Foxcatcher is one those films that I added to our to-watch list out of a sense of duty since it earned multiple Academy Award nominations and showed up on several critics’ lists of the best films of 2014. I’d heard that it was based on a true story and had some vague idea that it was about wrestling but since I don’t much care for sports I didn’t really think much about it and simply thought that it was just another sports biopic. Boy, was I wrong.
Continue reading Foxcatcher (2014)
Even my wife, non-gamer that she is, knows enough to remark, “Hey, this looks a lot like Portal!” It’s a puzzle game that takes obvious design cues from Portal and even overtly references it in a number of ways. There’s no portal gun in here and Elohim is no GLaDOS but this turned out to very worthy successor to what is one of the most famous puzzle games ever made, a state of affair that I still have some trouble wrapping my head around given that this was made by the same studio responsible for the thoroughly silly Serious Sam series.
Continue reading The Talos Principle