film

A Film Festival And A Dance Battle

Found this great roundup of the recently concluded Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (ttff).

Great to see the films being appreciated, but even better to hear sound critical advice. Yes, our film-makers need to come from a more critical place, especially when making documentaries. We are presenting positive overviews right now, but I suspect as the industry matures, creators will worry less about offending sensibilities and start doing more to reflect the realities of the Caribbean experience, and start conversations we need to have before we chart our future.

I also came across this amazing dance battle on Twitter yesterday, filmed at the Montreal Swing Riot by Alain Wong. Street dancers faced off against vintage/swing dancers and the results were magical. It’s a bit long, but you won’t regret watching the whole thing.

Keep dancing your cares away, my friends!

You Haven’t Seen Snowpiercer Yet? Say It Ain’t So!

Because that movie rocks. It literally rocks. When did you last see a movie that uses horror to highlight social injustice in an entertaining and thoughtful way?

South Korean and Australian cinema, particularly the thrillers and horrors, have become my new favourite source for good movies. When I saw the trailer for Snowpiercer I knew I was going to see it. I even posted it on here as one of my must-see trailers. But the movie itself turned out to be far better than I expected. It was one of the best I saw last year. I reminded me of some of the other great South Korean movies I’ve seen, like ‘The Host’, and those I plan to see, like ‘Mother’.

I started thinking about the movie again today because I came upon this article which mentions the scientific concept used to such great effect in Snowpiercer. It nicely breaks down the premise and it’s possible effects. Which is damn scary, frankly. Especially since China is doing this already.

Was also explaining 3D printing to my Dad on the way to work this morning. He was fascinated by it, and totally got how much the method would strengthen certain constructs, like spaceship parts.

Some days I’m just struck by how much future-world we’re living in. Mostly, it’s not the one we expected. But I think that’s because growing up alongside technology makes it seem much more mundane than it really is. I love that about life, actually. In my writing, I like trying to capture how tech is just no big deal to the world now, while at the same time being pretty amazing. I mean, think about trying to explain the stuff we use today to someone born 100 years ago. Insane, right? In one hundred years, the advances we’ve made have been incredible in some areas. Sadly, once you step out of the arena of technology, we still have a lot of stuff to work on. Right, Emma Watson?

But yeah, this is a strange and wonderful future we live in. Hope we make the right choices so we can advance together from here. Some days, I’m not sure we will. Other days, I think it will all work itself out somehow.

Either way, I think we’re all in for a wild ride.

And much like the residents of Snowpiercer, we’d better make sure we’re on a train we can all live with.

A Public Service Announcement for Luc Besson

Dear Mr. Besson,

I’ve been a fan since I first saw ‘Fifth Element’. A huge fan. And as such, I think it’s important that I share something with you.

You know that tag line you’ve been endlessly selling your new film ‘Lucy’ with? The one about her being the first human to use more than 10% of her brain?

Well…it’s actually not true at all. She won’t be the first human. Not even close.

In fact, the levels of untrue your advertising campaign has achieved is truly mind-boggling. Particularly when you consider the fact that Google exists.

So, as a long-time fan and someone who definitely plans to see ‘Lucy’–despite it’s flawed premise–can I ask you for one tiny favour?

For the love of all that’s holy, PLEASE stop using that blasted tag line.

Sincerely,

Someone You Don’t Know and Don’t Give a Damn About Who is Nevertheless Entirely Ready to Shove Lucy Out a Window Herself if it Will Get Morgan Freeman to Stop Being a Scientist Who Says Really Inaccurate Shit.

I give up reaction gifs

GoT OMG!!!

I mean, you could have knocked me over with a feather, I so didn’t see THAT one coming.

If you haven’t been watching the new season of Game of Thrones, you really should walk away now.

I mean, this season has been chock full of shocks. From Joffrey, to the realisation that Littlefinger is behind EVERYTHING, to that damn rape. But am I the only one who felt this betrayal more than almost anything else we’ve seen so far? (The Littlefinger thing being number one, of course.)

I won’t get specific, but—DAMN! How could she play Tyrion like that?

Boy, my hats off to Peter Dinklage. That man is an actor with a capital A. I wanted to run up there and simultaneously hug him and run a sword through Cersei. I know she orchestrated this somehow.

But I just kept wondering–what the hell did they threaten her with to get that testimony?

Or is it something worse. Something unthinkable. Like, like…she was faking all along.

Nah. I can’t believe that. I WON’T believe that. Because that would be…

Damn.

Crying sad reaction gifs

On the other hand…

Dragons!!

Credit: Zombie Prophet

That is all.

Stay thirsty, my friends!

Ironman 3

There will be some spoilers.

Seriously. Get out now. While you still can.

The line for this movie was the longest I have ever seen at my local multiplex. I mean, it was outrageous. And the movie was still a half hour away when the line started bending on itself. Usually, there isn’t a line at this cinema because most of the seats are good with lots of leg room. But people were determined to get the BEST seats.

I can totally see why this movie made a ton of money. My country has an unrivaled love of humour, to begin with, and Ironman 3 had more humour than both of the previous movies combined. The climax was the kind of slam-bang, thank you mam stuff that usually gets audiences cheering loudly. Robert Downey continues to be a delight as Tony Stark, and the villian was great.

Oddly, there were many laughs, but no cheers on Saturday. Not even with tons of kids present and such a booming climax. And I think the problem is, like the customary clip after the credits, this movie was a little flat. The problems I had with it (getting specific here, so you’d better leave if you don’t want to spoil it for yourself) were:

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:

–  I like Ironman. In his suit especially. This movie was all about ditching the suit. It’s nice to see Tony as the intelligent, resourceful guy we met in that cave in Afghanistan again. But not at the expense of IRONMAN. Who the hell said Tony needed to stop being Ironman? ‘Cause they’re trying to tell me that was Pepper, and if it was, I’m revoking her licence as Best Match for Tony Stark.

– Speaking of Pepper. I missed the usual rapport between her and Tony. Instead I got more Happy, a cute but random kid, and robots. But not much in the way of Pepper and Tony. Except when they were mad at each other. Or separated. But in any case, my scintillating conversation was gone for the most part. That really, really annoyed me. There are not enough mature, chemistry filled relationships in cinema as it is. Reducing this one down to, ‘I’m going to be the man she wants me to be’ was a cheap shot. What the hell was so wrong with being Tony Stark/Ironman? He just needs to never give out his address is all.

– The science. It’s not usually a bother for me. I’m the least hard science scifi writer you will ever meet. But things have to make better sense than a process that supposedly repairs the human body by jump starting areas of our brain being demonstrated using…A PLANT. Also–fire breathing villians? Really? Okay, I’m a Stephen King fan. I love Firestarter too. But…really?

– The suits. The glorious, awe-inspiring suits that make up the best part of the finale. The suits that appeared like the most meancing, ass-kicking calvary of all time. You. Destroyed. Them. As fireworks. I didn’t miss the symbolism. I just HATE IT. The idea that Tony would just let his suits go, just destroy them all…

Bitch, I’m here for Tony AND those suits. What the hell do you mean smashing them both to bits? Supposedly for Pepper!

– And speaking of Pepper. I probably would have let her keep her powers and just used Tony’s brilliant mind to make her changes permanent and stable. That way he would not have to worry about protecting her all the time and I could still have IRONMAN IN A SUIT! Because as much as I love Pepper, I want Tony! Not some lame, lovey-dovey, smoochy ending where he pretends to be someone he’s not.

Till the next contract re-signing of course.

‘Cause who really buys that this is over, right? Trilogy my ass.

(Although, I will admit, I felt like cheering when he went and got Dunce back.)

– Don Cheadle. He is just not Terrence Howard. I mean, am I the only one who thinks he’s too straight for this role? I bought into Terrence’s portrayal because you saw this gleam in his eye that Tony has too. It’s a rouge, devil-may-care, kind of do-anything-when-I-think-I’m-right gleam. And you sense that he disciplined it when he joined the military. That’s what is so frustrating for Terrence’s War Machine. Tony is an active reminder of what he could be without discipline. And Tony keeps egging him on. But he’s the perfect sidekick BECAUSE he can match Tony’s crazy (by getting into that damn suit, for one) and keep him grounded too. Don’s version is just–nice. He’s a good soldier. He has no personality. No zing. And no real chemistry with Robert. He’s a great actor, but I wouldn’t want him for a sidekick.

– Overall, the writing just wasn’t on par with the first one (what is?) or even the second one. For me anyway. People who hated the second one seemed to like this one better, and I suspect it’s because it tracks closely with the comics. But I don’t remember much of the comics and I loved the excess, in your face quality of Tony off-the-rails the second one had, so I’m not a fan. I wanted–more. More wit, more fire, more narrative exploration and character development, and less action scenes I could barely follow. And the 3D just…wasn’t. James Cameron continues to be correct. If you don’t shoot it in 3D, you end up cheating the audience. Not one notable special effect was in 3D. Not. One. And the climax?

Zip. Nothing. Nada.

HOWEVER!!!

Do not get me wrong. The movie is worth the popcorn. Just not the 3D popcorn.

THINGS I LIKED:

– The villian and the plot intrigue thereoff.

– The kid. Yes, there are far too many cute kids in cinema these days. But he was good. And Robert was sweet around him. Not his fault he’s basically a ridiculous plot device.

– Happy. He was funny. Too bad Jon allowed himself to be left on a bed for most of the movie instead of getting off his ass to DIRECT IT AS HE SHOULD HAVE.

– The suits. All of them. I want them all. Just wrap them up and send it over as a belated birthday present.

– The vulnerability you see when you realise that almost dying in a wormhole trying to save Earth is not something someone just gets over. Not if they’re human. In a way, I totally buy that Tony shucked Ironman because he needed a break. Anxiety is not pretty. But as filmed it felt like an excuse, not a need. And they kept confusing it with the whole Pepper wants a normal guy, and I want Pepper thing.

– The idea that Tony has made more enemies as a cavalier ladies’ man than Ironman will ever make.

– The continuity with what happened in Avengers.

– Jarvis.

– Dunce.

– Any scene with Tony and Pepper.

– Guy Pearce before the hookey climax.

– The super soldiers. Way more convincing when they don’t breathe fire.

In conclusion. I need more Tony/Ironman. This was a lame way to say goodbye to your fans (supposedly). But some Tony is better than none at all. So…go see it.

And if I’m crazy, I’ll take that. At least you formed your own opinion.

Me, I’m hoping I get more than this next time around. In the meatime, I’ll watch the first one over again. And again.

And wonder why Robert isn’t encouraged to take his shirt off more. I mean, Taylor Lautner does it all the time and he’s, like, 12. Get with it already. Spartacus is done after all. Women everywhere need their fix.