Feb 1 2013

greeblie

n., “According to ILM founding member Lorne Peterson’s book on the Star Wars model shop, Sculpting a Galaxy, a greeblie is defined as ‘Miscellaneous mechanical details that add realism to a prop, model, or set.'”

from Norman Chan’s article at Tested.com

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Aug 7 2009

Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Fifteen minutes into the midnight showing of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra the film burned and broke.

That was my favorite part of the movie.

No, I’m not kidding.

If I hadn’t been there with my children and students I would have walked out shortly after they got it back up and running.

I can say without exaggeration that I hated every minute of this movie.

To call it a steaming pile of poo would be to besmirch the good name of steaming piles of poo.

I know I’ve given some movies some bad reviews on this site. Some angry, scathing reviews. All of those movies were better than this. Even The Happening. Even Jumper. Even Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

My friend Clavis was there, and he said that he has been bored enough to rent several of  the cheezy movies at Redbox, and this was worse than all of them.

I went into this movie with low expectations. After all, it’s directed by Stephen Sommers, the guy who gave us Van Helsing back in 2004. I don’t think it’s humanly possible to set expectations low enough.

There are words to describe exactly how I feel about this movie. Those words are called profanity. Speaking of profanity, G.I. Joe has lots of it, so you might not wanna take your kids. I haven’t yet gotten an up-close look at the Hasbro toys based on the movie, but hopefully for the sake of accuracy they have one with a voice chip that takes God’s name in vain.

There are also several graphic scenes that aren’t suitable for children, including one guy who gets giant needles stabbed in his neck, has a seizure, and gets his face eaten off by nanobots, which resemble a flesh-eating green mist.

That’s it for the spoiler-free portion of the review. Now that I have given you how I felt, the following details why:

Duke and Ripcord are a couple of Army guys. They get thrown into G.I. Joe, a secret classified elite fighting force, a group so big on secrecy they bring these two noobs to their secret base.

It’s a good thing, too. Apparently this ultra-elite fighting force consists of people who, unlike Wolverine, aren’t the best they are at what they do. Duke and Ripcord are pretty much better than this entire team, with the exception of Snake Eyes.

That’s OK though–shortly after joining the team the two noobs get special effects accelerator suits that make them almost as good as Snake Eyes. They don’t need special suits to be smarter than alleged smart-girl heroine Scarlett.

For you needless flashback fans out there, this is your Holy Grail.

If you aren’t tired of CGI special effects yet, then maybe this movie will cure that for you. This movie has so many explosions and fireballs it makes the complete Michael Bay anthology tepid and quaint.

Destro and his team use holographs to communicate to each other. Of course the point of a hologram is to be able to communicate with another human, and vice versa. In quite possibly the stupidest point in the movie, three holograms ride on a submarine together with no other humans in the craft. And no, I am not making this up or even exaggerating one quanta.

Also, ice sinks in water. Make a note of it.

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Jul 24 2009

Hardwood, books & movies

I love books, and have for a long time. I think a lot of it stems from when I was a kid, when we would go to the mall. Mom and my brother would go somewhere, and dad and I would go to the bookstore.

I don’t know what dad was looking at, but I spent a lot of time sitting on the hardwood floor of Walden Books reading. The only book I remember reading was a book of behind-the-scenes stuff from Star Wars: how they did the effects, actors’ names, etc.

This book is what started me on a path of memorizing useless trivia (actors, directors, special effects guys). But it also got me to watch any movie that had actors from Star Wars in it. I first watched Dr. Strangelove because it had James Earl Jones in it, and Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia because they had Sir Alec Guinness in them.

Guinness later said that he hated Star Wars and that George Lucas’s dialog was awful, and he barely mentioned any of the Star Wars movies in his autobiography. It’s really too bad, because I wouldn’t have watched any of his “good” films if it weren’t for his work in a space opera that he detested.

But besides the movies and trivia, I developed a love of hardwood floors. My house has hardwood throughout most of the main floor, including my office. Soon, I plan to line the walls with shelves for my books, including my books about movies.

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