Andrew Magrath (biggrumpy) wrote,
Andrew Magrath
biggrumpy

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Media update

Movies:
There are 4 movies coming up that I would really like to see. I hope they are released in Japan:
First on the list is Batman Begins. Hopefully DC has seen Marvel’s movies and has been taken a few notes on how to bring a comic to the big screen. The first and second Batman films were very well done (with Tim Burton directing) but the series took a serious and sharp dive after that. Begins gives me hope.

Next up is March of the Penguin. which looks a bit “Disney Docu-story” cheesy, but it has penguins in it, so I am willing to bet the penguin goodness can defeat a lot of cheese. Though it is a documentary, and thus pretty unlikely to come to Japan, I still hold out hope because the Japanese LOVE penguins, I believe in Japanese, penguin is “penginsu” (ペンギンス) but I am not completely sure of that. Anyways fingers crossed that the love of penguins will bring this film here.

Next the Chroniclesof Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. This was one of the weaker books, in my opinion, but also the least obviously religious (which is saying A LOT). Like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter it is worth going to the movie simply to see if they can capture the essence of “the world” on film. By the trailer it looks as if they have done it. I will be very interested in this movie. I have mixed feelings about the book and I am also very interested in how the movies will handle the really strong Christian religious elements, racist, and sexist themes present in the novels. I am also a bit surprised they started with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. When, chronologically, there is a book prior. My only explanations are that it is probably the most recognizable book, or they are actually making the movies in the same order that Lewis wrote the series. If this is the case, it will prove interesting to me due to the fact that I read The Chronicles chronologically with respect to the story, rather than chronologically with respect to when they were written.

The last movie mentioned is also the one I want to see above all others: Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit. That’s right dear friends, Wallace and Gromit are BACK and now on the big screen. Simply put the only reason you even watch the trailer to this movie is because the movie is not out yet and you want a W&G fix. Because if the movie was out, you would run (not walk) to the theater and watch it. I am a HUGE Wallace and Gromit fan. I loved Chicken Run as well, but it was missing that W&G greatness that made something like “The Wrong Trousers” one of the most brilliant things to ever be put on celluloid. When this movie is in near you go see it. Just do it. You will not be disappointed, you will walk out a better human being.

TV:
I am currently really hooked on Babylon 5. The first season was on DVD in Tsutaia, my local video rental. All as I can say as to WHY Babylon 5 is at Tsutaia is Tsutaia has a lot of really weird stuff that I don’t know translate well (all of “Colombo” on DVD for example). So I rented it and did not think much of the series at first. I left it on as background. It seemed poorly acted, but things started to pick up, and then pick up, and then really pick up. At this point I have downloaded seasons 2-3 and would download more if not for the lack of hard disk space. The show is very interestingly written and does some things very well. I am particularly impressed with space battles as the fighters move in space the way one would assume they would have to. The fighters are shapped like X’s. With each point on the X being a thruster (a far smarter design than Lucas’s X-wing). The neat thing is that the ships only burn thrusters to accelerate (as is the case in space). The ships turn by firing only the left or right side of the X’s thrusters. To stabilize the thrusters than fire the opposite direction. So the fighters can rotate around the x, y, and z axises. I have watched the fighter scenes many times and smile each time. It is nice to see a science fiction series really strive to have accurate space maneuvers and not rely on exotic technology like Star Trek and Star Wars. I don’t like Babylon 5 better than Star Wars but it is pretty darn good, even if my favorite character got replaced in the second season (he better come back!) Expect more Babylon 5 Rants as seasons are absorbed.

Books
Mike Nelson’s (head writer for mst3k) book of essays “Matters over Mind” was brilliant. His simple prose and very acute sense of the silly, improbable, and Mid Western values created essay after essay that had me giggling in my seat. The highlight is the essay about pessimism, about how pessimism will NEVER work. I have to run out and buy Nelson’s other book of essays “Mike Nelson’s Movie Megacheese.” Reading Nelson’s work also reminded me how amazingly good Mystery Science Theater 3000 was and what a gaping whole it left in my soul when it was canceled. I have been searching and found a website that sells around 158 episodes (all known fan copies of episodes NOT commercially available). At this point I am very tempted to buy it. But I am going to buy a few episodes individually first to check out the quality.

I think I will have to stop typing now. I have to call Katie, she recently graduated. I know how upset my regular readers (who live vicariously through my every word and deed) are that I am not talking more about Babylon 5 physics or MST3K as it relates to Midwestern value systems, or weird stuff to rent at Tsutaia, but come on people give me a break. I can’t stick around and talk to you all day. Katie just graduated! So stop groaning, just reread some of my old stuff. Sheesh don’t be so selfish!
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