Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bait and switch

Let me start by saying, I liked Crank. The first one. And I like Jason Statham. The only one.

So I expected the second Crank with Statham to be, you know, a sequel. In the way sequels usually are—similar, maybe not as good, but the cut from the same cloth, made from the same mold, more of the same. Not an unreasonable expectation.

I did not expect to walk into Die Hard meets Saw IV—and I use that analogy not randomly, as one of the first (in subtitles) lines in the movie is, I kid you not, "What can I tell you? He died hard with a vengeance."

If I need to explain the difference between a John Woo movie and an Eli Roth movie to moviemakers, we're in trouble. If these guys wanted to make a horror movie, who am I to say no? But it would've been nice if they'd said something to us ahead of time. I showed up expecting a brain-candy action movie, not a movie that was going to sear my brain with revolting images that are going to be months in the fading.

One reviewer said "the movie feels like a form of aversion therapy designed to take the fun out of dumb." And another one put it this way, "So gross, brutal and just plain bad that I may never want to see another Jason Statham movie."

So bad, I walked out after five minutes. Yep, you heard me. I walked out of a movie. It was that unwatchable. I went to see Fast & Furious instead. Which was, I assure you, a welcome relief.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Alien vs Predator? Ha!

This is a match up:

Yes. It's a video. V-I-D-E-O. Click here. Watch it. You know who you are.

Best movie so far... and it's not a movie

I could be accused of a little bias. I do, after all, know the producer/director.

But trust me when I say, Every Little Step is the best movie I've seen so far this year.

Which, you could argue, isn't saying very much.

So, let me say this. It's an amazing movie. Entertaining, and moving, and interesting, and so well-done. Whether you've seen the original (which I seem to remember seeing as a little girl) or not, seen the revival or not—you know the story. You know the music. But you haven't seen the chorus line behind The Chorus Line.

Look, I'm really not a documentary fan. Same way I'm not a non-fiction fan. But I told you not to skip Michael Lewis' Moneyball, and I'm telling you, this movie is not to be missed. Seriously. I enjoyed it. So go, have a good time!

Oh, and did you hear? They're making Moneyball into a movie. Go figure.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My dad is a math teacher

Did you know there's a difference between understanding and calculating? Think about it. Or rather, don't.


Turns out we understand proportions—fractions—intuitively. Without having to calculate them. It has something to do with "the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and the prefrontal cortex — [the] brain regions important for processing whole numbers," or so says this week's issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Regardless whether the fraction is presented in words or numbers (you know, "1/3" or "one-third"), the subjects in the study responded the same way—appearing to understand the fraction implicitly, rather than needing to calculate it.

Wouldn't it be handy if when your boyfriend started speaking, you understood him implicitly, instead of having to think about what he really meant? I mean, way more useful than fractions. Seriously.

Every time...

You know somebody's doing something right when you hang up the phone smiling.

Yeah, yeah, I know you're tired of hearing about this already, but I'm just not tired of talking about it. GoDaddy's customer service rocks. I had another question—not a problem, just a question about how to do something—and once again, they came through. I wasn't on hold. I spoke to a nice guy named Jason. And he figured out what the issue was in about 15 minutes. Smart kid.

Smart company.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

I was planning to come back with a bang, but...

First, my apologies for my absence.

Second, the latest rumor—and I sincerely, verily, to the depths of my love of movies pray (and I almost never pray) that it really is a rumor—to be pinging around the web is that a remake of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is in the offing.

As if in and of itself that's not bad enough—and seriously, that is bad enough—the players? Tom Cruise and John Travolta. You know, there are some things even I can't make up.

You've got to hand it to Cruise, who, through his newly jointly owned resurrected United Artists studio is evidently planning to also play the Scott Rudin role of producer in this debacle—the reports claim that months before his death, Newman himself gave Cruise his blessing for this, this, this... I have no words.

Do I have to post the commandments again?

11. No third sequels. (If you're thinking about Bourne, Indy, Star Wars... those are trilogies, not sequels, so the commandment still holds. And Indy 4? Let's not even talk about it.)

7. Do not remake the classics, especially the classics with the inimitables (including but not limited to Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, and so on). These would include but are not limited to: Psycho, Sabrina, Charade. There are no exceptions to this rule. Classics that have so far stayed untouched (and should remain that way): Casablanca, All About Eve, Chinatown, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, To Kill A Mockingbird, ET, Juno (who said classics have to be old?)

2. Do not remake bad movies - make good original movies. (With some few exceptions... Ocean's 11 the original was pretty lousy, Ocean's 11 the second was pretty nifty. Still.)

I reserve the right to complete this list of commandments.