28 March 2008

Ink Blots - Beowulf

From the makers of The Polar Express... comes the bloodiest movie I have ever seen. Too bad Tom Hanks wasnt around to feed the demon. I was blown away by this movie. The cinematography and action were amazing, and at several points, my jaw dropped in amazement at what I was seeing. Some people agreed with me, as this film made $82 million in 2007, which is quite impressive for an animated adult fantasy (see Fire & Ice or Lord of the Rings or Strings or countless others), in spite of its $150 million budget.

Beowulf tells the tale of the hero, Beowulf, who defeats a demon Grendel, becomes king and then must face a dragon born of his own tragic making. Grendel attacks twice, tearing people in half, eating guts, and just being a real SOB. Beowulf takes him down, then goes for his witch mama / Angelina Jolie, but makes a deal instead. Oh, our poor flawed hero. But lucky us, this results in probably the best dragon action sequence I have ever seen, and the way this dragon is defeated must be seen to be believed!

I can see how the motion capture effect could be off putting to some, but frankly I loved it. It looked very realistic, but with a subtle otherworldliness that enhanced the movie's feel. Video game cut scenes, these were not. And the performances seemed genuine. I wouldn't want every movie to use this technique, but her, it worked. I cannot say enough good things about this movie. Maybe its a guilty pleasure, but it sure entertained, and the story was surprisingly well developed (go Gaiman!). This is a love it or hate it film, and though I am not sure if it would hold up to repeat viewings after the shock values subsided, for now, I bow to Beo and give him an A.

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - Collaborators (3x05)

Bye bye Jammer, and almost Gaeta (saved by his leaked info at the "dogbowl"). This episode was painful to watch, not because it was bad, but because it was a day of reckoning for those who collaborated with the Cylons. None of these people liked the enemy, but they found themselves in difficult positions fending for their own lives, and trying to justify their actions by hoping they would have long term benefits. This episode was so well done, that you ache with the characters, and want vengeance and justice for them, but not necessarily in the way they seek it. Its gonna take some time for all the wounds to heal in this even ragger tagger fleet.

Battlestar Galactica is expert at muddying issues, and making the right course of action seem always elusive. All I know is that war sucks. Also in this episode was the introduction of life on a Cylon basestar.

Also, Veep Zarek becomes President sans Baltar and appoints Roslin his Veep. He resigns. She appoints Zarek her Veep, and begins a second term as an unelected President.

Next Avengers Aren't Old Enough to Watch Their Own Movie

Now why did Marvel launch a line of PG-13 movies for "more mature" audiences, and then make this?

26 March 2008

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - Exodus (3x03-4)

Quite simply one of the finest episodes of TV ever produced (probably the best episode of the series). The first half build up for the rescue operation. Ellen Tigh gets put down by her one eyed hub for leaking info to the Cylons (she did it to protect her cyclops). Athena learns her babe is alive. And then, Galactica comes in an astonishing low orbit belly flop drop, launched vipers, and gets the hell outta there. Pegasus decides to help, and gets obliterated, taking out a couple basestars in the process. The fleet is reunitied, and finally serious about finding Earth. Baltar goes with the Cylons, since the humans didnt want him anyways. Also, the Cylons capture their half breed baby. Athena wont like that. 5 out of 5 belly flopping space ships.

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - Precipice (3x02)

Cylons don't like suicide bombers. They decide to retaliate by gunning down resistance fighters including Cally Tyrol, Roslin, and Tom Zarek. Galactica Boomer, AKA Athena, now a lieutenant goes undercover to help prepare the mass exodus. This episode is good, but I just wanted to get to the good stuff already. 4 out of 5 dead ducks.

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - Occupation (3x01)

Life in Battlestar Iraqtica doesnt seem too cheery. This episode shows the insurgency, led by Tigh, Anders, and Tyrol (ironically) in full force. But hope is alive as communication is finally established with Galactica. They, with or without Pegasus, are on their way! Also, Leoben is seriously messing with Starbuck's mind. Poor gal.

Great start to the season. This introduces an interesting and somewhat sympathetic look at insurgents, but it also pretty much condemns the tactic of suicide bombings. A thought provoking episode that sets the show in a new an interesting direction. 4 out of 5 exploding ducks.

A Galactic(a) Endeavor - The Resistance (3x00)

These 10 little snippets filled us in on the first few months of the Cylon occupation of New Caprica. We learned that Jammer was an idiot, seduced into service in the New Caprica police hoping to protect and serve under Cylon leadership. Duck, wanting to avoid the conflict at first, was recruited into the resistance after his wife was slaughtered while at a temple which was also being used to store weapons. While not crucial, these plot lines certainly come into play in the first few episodes of the season 3. For free webisode, they aint bad. 3 out of 5 red headed ducks.