Posts Tagged ‘movies’

K2: Siren of the Himalayas

Thu ,02/11/2017

So I’m on a bit of a mountain climbing movie kick now, for whatever weird reason, following on from the Everest Unmasked movie of mid-Oct. This time, it was the recent K2 documentary from 2009. I’ve also decided that I don’t want to watch either ‘movies’ of mountain climbing unless there’s some other aspect of the plot too (e.g James Bond flick or something) – I’d rather just work through the scary-enough truth of these crazy climbs via actual documentaries. Besides these two movies, I’ve seen Touching The Void several years ago not long after it came out.

So once again in watching this film, there were parts of the movie where I wanted to just shut it off – they are up SO high. Plus on K2, unlike others, they do a up-down style so they can survive acclimatizing to the extreme lack of oxygen and climb itself, so they go up to Camp 2, then back down, then up to Camp 3, then back to 2, and so on.

The personalities here are a bit more interesting than the two guys in Everest Unmasked, but R. Messner from that climb went on to become one of the greatest climbers of all time in the decades since (they briefly mention his summit of K2 years ago on what seems to be the most difficult possible way).

Even the drive to get them into the mountains and then long hike to base camp seem far more extreme than Everest by contrast, even though Everest is of course the highest peak on earth (K2 is #2). But they show stats early on about how much tougher and far fewer summits have been done on K2 vs. Everest.

Finally, a great counterpoint in this documentary is the story of the first summit attempt, way back in 1912, by an Italian duke. They intersperse that story with the modern one throughout the movie, makes it even more impressive for both expeditions in the end, in my opinion.

Check it out!

Other perspectives:
Rotten Tomatoes

candybowl

Insane…

Wed ,18/10/2017

Anyone who knows me knows – I don’t like heights, and never have. Watching this from the comfort of terra firma is STILL wild to consider. This is the story of the first two guys to have climbed Everest without oxygen, way back in 1978. I recently read the Outside article on it, and found the short movie made at the time (Everest Unmasked), linked below.

It’s about 51 minutes, spends about 12 min giving some of the history and the middle portion details the danger, including two major Sherpa accidents that happened. The last half of the movie is the best part, especially in detailing the two climbers’ final success.

here are two more NOVA links on the topic too, including one from a person involved in the first Everest summit by Sir Edmund Hillary back in the 60’s.


Everest Unmasked – Everest without oxygen (1978) by optimari

candybowl

Shin Godzilla!

Sat ,12/08/2017

So, in response to the big success of Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla film (discussed earlier here) – the original Godzilla film company – Toho – decided to do yet another Gz film of their own. The result: Shin Godzilla, which just came out on DVD and Blu-Ray this month.

Funimation, god love ’em, actually did a limited release of this movie in theaters last year(?) – and I went, but like an old loser, fell asleep midway through the movie so missed most of it – doh! So I’ve been waiting for it to come out on DVD so I can actually watch the whole thing through.

My take: mixed feelings. So on the one hand, the special effects are definitely in the top tier of any of the Toho Godzilla films – especially when the earlier mutant version of Gz is waddling through down (there is no other way to describe it) and crushing boats, rivers, trains and buildings – very, very realistic looking, even if Gz doesn’t look very dangerous at that point – yet.

But then on his second run of destruction through town, the battle is a bit too drawn out (timewise) even if a bit too abbreviated (battle-wise). You see, the filmmakers are obviously putting in a lot of human commentary on Japan’s current political situation – the first half hour of the movie if not a bit more is spent spoofing meeting, after meeting, after meeting, at the govt level and how they are ‘paralyzed by process’, even when faced with a giant mutant nuclear-fired monster is about to stomp their country into oblivion.

While this setup is funny at parts, it drags on a bit too much – bring on the monster!

My other minor/major gripes are two – Godzilla himself looks like he’s wearing a weird chest-jutting haltertop underneath his skin when he finally assumes the role he was born to do – his upper body is just weird looking. His skin looks much closer to General Tsao’s Chicken than the usual scaly, rubbery mutant we know and love, and most egregious – his roar is severely muted, if you hear it at all.

This last was largely my big gripe for the Gareth Edwards film, likely because he probably couldn’t license the sound, but Toho OWNS that roar – hel-lo?

Also, as you see in many Gz movies, they play up the ‘sympathy’ angle more than a bit – especially when the military is (literally) dropping buildings on him left and right. In the older movies when this happens, he really gets pissed off – and to some degree that happens here, but we never really see the big ‘rage moment’ that happens at least once or twice in the older movies. Disappointing – I wanted to see more destruction!

The actors are good otherwise, although the ‘americans’ mostly appear off camera with pretty stilted dialogue. And the notion of a Japanese-American woman becoming President by her 40th bday is fine by me, bring it!

So I think in the end the movie is definitely worth watching but a bit too long and not enough Godzilla. I think on balance still my fave movie is Godzilla 2000 – easily the scariest looking Gz in any of the movies, definitely among the most badass, especially at the end.

Other voices:
Rotten Tomatoes
Metacritic

candybowl

The Big Sick – go Kumail!

Sun ,23/07/2017

What a great movie – we’ve been fans of Kumail Nanjiani for some time – his standup is funny, and he’s great in Silicon Valley too, plus where he shows up in other stuff occasionally – but his new movie, The Big Sick, could be huge for him – it’s the story of how he met his wife, Emily.

No spoilers here – just go see it!

other reviews:
Rotten Tomatoes
Metacritic

candybowl

farewell, Commander Koenig…

Mon ,17/07/2017

Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau dies at 89

We too, argued constantly as kids whether Space:1999 was better than Star Trek too – and never came to a consistent conclusion. RIP.

Space 1999 @ IMDB

episodes on YT

hard to believe we were watching that in 1975(!)

candybowl

Wonder Woman.

Sat ,17/06/2017

Saw the new Wonder Woman movie today with kerewin. Definitely one of the better superhero movies out there, albeit the first DC-related one i’ve seen (haven’t seen the Superman reboot, and Superman vs. Batman looked very, very dumb). Hoping to see some of The Flash tv show at some point and the Justice League trailer we saw today looks good – but I digress.

So compared to the 70s tv series with Lynda Carter, naturally this is higher budget and far better special effects. But despite her origin on an island full of kick-ass women in semi-revealing outfits (worn while full-on fighting on foot, horseback and flying through the air at intervals), this movie avoids the usual ‘movie hot woman’ factor in most cases and simply tries to tell a compelling story instead.

The island part could have been a bit shorter, and as per usual, the Germans are the always-convenient bad guys, even though these are WWI Germans, not Nazis. But Diana keeps on kicking ass throughout the movie, both in attitude and action, which just builds until the end (definitely a good thing).

*****SPOILERS******
Now for the other minor complaints – If Diana is a god, why do they need other superheroes at all (given that the story is told in flashback format when it begins with her getting a package from Bruce Wayne while working at the Louvre in Paris)? Much like Thor in the Avengers/Marvel movies – again, if gods are on Earth, why bother with the rest of even mutants or superheroes, period?

I liked the turnaround with ‘Lupin’ (David Thewlis) playing Ares, the god of war, though, and didn’t see it coming, so that was cool.

While we missed any cameos from Lynda Carter (apparently scheduling problems prevented it) it was very cool to see Lucy Davis, whom we knew was familiar but didn’t recognize until we looked her up afterward.

And Chris Pine plays it pretty straight as Steve Trevor, which was a relief – while it’s likely given the time period of the movie being in around 1917 that he’d be definitely trying to keep Diana in check at all times, he doesn’t try to do it in a bad way unlike other male characters might have and he does fairly quickly realize his limitations in comparison with her – he’s not deluded.

All in all, an entertaining movie – I wonder if Gina Carano will show up as a Diana nemesis in a future one?

Other Reviews:
Rotten Tomatoes
The Guardian
IGN

candybowl

A truly cool person…

Wed ,07/06/2017

and very funny!

candybowl

Good BYE, Mr Bond!

Thu ,25/05/2017

RIP – you were a class act, and oh, so very drolllll….! 🙂

Sir Roger Moore dies aged 89

alltime fave Bond car…and villain!

starts slow but good finish…

candybowl

this would have been cool…

Wed ,22/03/2017

even though in my usual way, I found out about it 4 years AFTER(!) it happened…but still cool…

On the scene: ‘School of Rock’ cast reunites for 10th anniversary screening

candybowl

Scarecrow Video still rules….

Sun ,12/03/2017

Articles like this, with props to the late, amazing Alan Rickman, are a big part of why….! Their movie rental selection, and the fact they are now a nonprofit – doesn’t hurt either. 🙂

DIE HARD: Hans Gruber & the Fine Art of Villain Leadership

candybowl