Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wasn't John Carter Like, You Know, A President?

Wet and saw John Carter this Monday. Thought it was rather good, but apparently most of the country doesn't feel that way: John Carter is on schedule to be a massive Ishtar class flop.

So what happened? I liked the movie, but I saw some standard Hollywood mishaps which are becoming more common these days.

  • It should have been a B movie. A very well done B movie, but a B movie nevertheless. You have to remember the pulp roots of the story and adjust accordingly.
  • And you do that by slashing the budget. One bad thing I've noticed about computer FX is the urge to cram every inch of the frame with something, usually people. The sea of green faces didn't match up with the idea of a barbarian species living in ruined cities on the edge of a wasteland. More is not better for battles; it just becomes detail-less dots rushing together devoid of excitement or emotion.
  • Give us Ah-nold. Say what you will about the 80's musclemen, but no one forgot their names or faces. These days, they all look alike. Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia, that Mimosa fellow in Conan or this guy: they are all interchangeable. Bad news for the star of a franchise.
  • Someone explain "John Carter". Why not call it A Princess of Mars so everyone knows what's going on form the start?
  • Might want to ask where all the marketing dollars went. I had no idea it was out until I stumbled upon reviews. Contrast that to The Hunger Games, which I didn't know existed until I saw it on three or four magazine covers in the weeks before release.
  • By the way, I don't think the plot is stale. Look how many times the 'future gladiators' story has been used. Hasn't hurt The Hunger Games any.
  • The only problem I have with the actual story are the villains. They are just too vague in their motivations. Make them evil!
  • Dump 3D. There is still no reason to make movies in 3D.
  • Lastly, Edgar Rice Burroughs isn't as widely read as he used to be. Tarzan is about all he is widely known for these days, and Tarzan is so much in the cultural psyche he doesn't need an introduction. John Carter is a little different. If you don't know the books, the movie may be a bit harder to get into.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Pats Day

Just a little something to clear the mind and soul after a long day of green beer, funny hats, lame accents, and lines of dancing people on TV.

Blasting away at kinfolk. What the Irish do best.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

It's Not Like The State Isn't Covered In Examples

For some reason, it's hard to get the Texas flag hanging right. I don't think of flags as sacred objects or anything like that, but I do think if you are going to put in the effort to fly one, you should think about it a little harder.

Day Three

I've also seen the Chilean flag flying proudly on a flagpole or two over the years.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Race To The Bottom

The Bruce Wayne of our universe, Richard Branson, is in a race with filmmaker James Cameron to see who can revisit Challenger Deep, the deepest known point of the ocean. Cameron is going with the more or less standard spherical vehicle, while the Branson team is using a sleeker streamlined vessel from designer Graham Hawkes. Good luck to both teams, as well as dark horse Triton Submarines (no rich guy yet).

That's about it for now. All I can say is good luck, and it's about time. Two people have gone to the absolute depth of the ocean, and that was back in 1960. Once.

Also, ever noticed that no one ever claimed the dive of the Trieste was a conspiracy?