intertribal: (leather)
Oh, and while I'm at it: Godzilla --

-- was not as good as Cloverfield or Pacific Rim.  By a long-shot, in my opinion.  The trailer is a lot better than the movie - there's an apocalyptic solemnity in the trailer that's quite convincing, but lacking in the movie, which feels like a throwback to the 1990s' style of fluffy blockbuster without any of the humor or star power.  I really didn't understand what was going on with the plot, even though I suspect it was very simple - the movie rushed through its clumsily-delivered explanations.

The audience didn't take it too seriously either - everyone could not help laughing when Ken Watanabe ominously intoned, "Gojira," and everyone clapped for Godzilla's power move kill shot at the end.  It was the kind of movie that had L. suggesting that Godzilla should have just gone ahead and done a little salute at the end.  It was corny.

What I love about Pacific Rim is that it's scary, and it builds its world extremely well.  I bought the world of Pacific Rim as a world in which these gigantic monsters keep popping up and destroying cities, for years and years on end, and humanity has more or less altered to live with it.  The indie movie Monsters is the best example of this sort of creativity, but Pacific Rim has a bold, neon, all-in shamelessness in its world-building that I loved.  (Also, Raleigh and Mako ugh I can't)  I mean, for God's sake, the entire Ron Perlman character. Godzilla has none of that. Godzilla is bland - camo-toned and humorless and flat.

And what I love about Cloverfield is its sincere, hysterical emotion.  You hate those stupid yuppies but damn if they don't seem like real people.  Damn if this doesn't seem like what would actually fucking happen if you were living in New York City and a monster attacked.  What struck me about Godzilla was how utterly calm everyone seemed to be.  The military, the civilians - it was almost like people had to be reminded to run, to scream, to act scared.  Bryan Cranston was the only person who seemed to be articulating his emotions, and as a result actually looked a little out-of-place.

In other words, Godzilla didn't seem to believe in itself.  Which is too bad.

I will say, though, I would love to watch a giant monster movie compilation set to Iggy Azalea's "Change Your Life" ("pop out your past life and I'll renovate your future/ yeah I love your hustle baby, just let me add a little bit of muscle, baby").  Seriously, something like this set to "Change Your Life"?  Would be amazing.

iggy muscle

ah, shit.

Aug. 12th, 2012 01:19 am
intertribal: (get back (you don't know me like that))
Reading Junji Ito's "The Will" while listening to "Come to Daddy (Pappy Mix)" by Aphex Twin at 1 a.m.?

May rank in my list of dumbest decisions of all time.

Blergh.
intertribal: (she dyes it black)
THE GHOST WRITER.  I held off on seeing or reading about this one because of the whole Roman Polanski thing.  And while Polanski is still definitely a douche, he can sure make a good movie.  This one doesn't even have any underaged girls (the only female characters are like 40+, so maybe he's trying to be extra careful?).  It's about a nameless ghost writer (Ewan McGregor, who at long last has become attractive) who goes to work writing the memoirs of a former British prime minister on vacation in some horrible rainy island off the coast of Massachusetts.  Unfortunately, he's come at a bad time - charges of war crimes have been filed against the former P.M.  Oh, and the former ghost writer "committed suicide" on the ferry and was washed up on the island.  Oh, and something's rotten in Cambridge.  Oh, and he has to finish the book in FOUR WEEKS [did you hear that people?  FOUR WEEKS].  The Ghost Writer is one of those traditional movie maker's movies.  It's apolitical (a good thing), has no moral, doesn't rely on special effects or action sequences or T&A or emotional manipulation: it's just a well-executed story about contemporary court intrigue.  A couple scenes made me go, "Oh my GOD," because it's such a subtle movie, and when the punches fall, they fall hard.

NOROI: THE CURSE.  This strange little J-horror is available on YouTube, and is quite the indie darling.  It is indeed a refreshing change from the standard J-horror, much like Marebito.  It's a mockumentary purporting to be the last video tell-all of an investigative journalist who's trying to get to the bottom of mysterious deaths and other phenomena, like crying babies that aren't there and dead pigeons.  He discovers that the root of all the problems is a demon that went haywire after the rural village that always performed its pacifying ritual was scheduled to be submerged for a dam project.  I didn't find it very scary, but other people have.  I thought that as a scary movie it was not as effective as The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, or even Quarantine (all mockumentaries), because it kept breaking the oppressive tension that horror mockumentaries are famous for by pushing the audience away, diverting from the action to look at news articles or variety shows.  A curious choice if you're going the mockumentary route.  The anthropology-infused story itself, however, is very solid, disturbing, and interesting, and I suspect if it had been shot straight through as a dramatic script, I would have been a lot more freaked out.

SOME SONGS.
  • "Don't Fight It" by The Panics.  The song is actually longer than that video, but I love Battlestar Galactica and Sharon is my favorite character.  Plus the band's music video is pretty pathetic.  The end.
  • "Rhinoceros" by The Smashing Pumpkins.  An unusually subtle song, for them, which is probably why it took me a while to sit down and listen to.  Great crescendo.
  • "If I Had A Heart" by Fever Ray (aka the girl from The Knife).  Yeah... FUCKING WHOA.  Maybe I'm just late to the party, but holy shit.  That's my reaction to this one.
intertribal: (blue nails)
Anybody know of the manga Uzumaki by Junji Ito*?  I'd been wanting to read it for years, and when I mentioned this on [livejournal.com profile] ontdcreepy, I was told it could be read online - so of course I sit down and read half the whole thing (me: "egad!  manga can be read online for free?  what a brave new world we live in!").  It is fucking psycho.  It's about this little town that's cursed by... spirals.  Spirals, the most "mystical" shape, the most "perfect" shape.  Mesmerizing, undying, self-perpetuating... and found everywhere.  I'm hard-pressed to classify it beyond "horror," because the real antagonist here is the spiral.  It's incredibly graphic and horrifying but also, you know... captivating, as much as I hate to say it.  Some chapters (like Jack in the Box) are just damn creepy/horrific/awful/High Octane Nightmare Fuel, but others (like Medusa, or even The Snail) have a real aesthetic grace to them.  


Which makes sense, because the spiral itself isn't some kind of evil entity - it's more of an unknowable entity, with very real ties to the phenomenon of love (Twisted Souls, The Snail, The Scar, Jack in the Box... um... all of them, really).  Hence the obsessive behavior of those afflicted (that continues after death), the irresistible draw of the spiral, the self-destruction, the way the spiral twines and intertwines.

Ah, it's great stuff, and I really recommend the series - but be warned there is serious Disturbing Imagery therein, and some of it may hit one of your squick points.  I decided to take a break after Chapter 11 (The Umbilical Cord), because that was just viscerally awful, and I had to read like three volumes of Dragonball to get back to my happy place.

D:

* He came up with Tomie, you may have heard of her.  He also did Gyo, which I really want to read too, though I suspect it's like incredibly grotesque.

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