Posts Tagged ‘mythology’

The Legend of Korra.

Sat ,21/01/2017

Finished this animated series a few nights ago. I have to say, this was overall a very good series. There were a few minor flaws, but for the most part it was very good on character development, creating real conflicts in and around the variety of personalities they present, and not being above injecting humor throughout, but not in a completely ‘kids’ way (Superfriends, i’m talking to YOU).

To me, there are essentially 3 kinds of animated shows.

1) Those that are pure, straight kids entertainment – i would throw in nearly all early cartoons in this realm (Mickey Mouse, Tom & Jerry, most of Flintstones, most of Hanna-Barbera’s other output, most of Bugs Bunny and his era, and of course Speed Racer), most the 70s Saturday am stuff I grew up on, SpongeBob, etc.;

2) Animation that masks itself as kids stuff but tries to also play to adults either directly or indirectly, sometimes even as a smirky way to increase viewership – I’d put nearly all Pixar’s output in this realm, even though a few of their movies of late have really lowered the bar (anything with *cars* in them comes to mind); a lot of modern anime is also here; and more ‘serious’ stuff like Samurai Jack, TRON:Uprising, etc.

3) Animation that obviously intends to be for adults directly – either because of certain subject matter (we really, really don’t have to go there, but sadly it exists) or because the show in the end is actually the same as a live-action show would be, but for whatever reason (set in the future, deals with fantasy, horror, unrealistic or science-fiction type stories and/or technology – even production cost) is an animated show.

I’m not going to count animation that is essentially glorified commercials for toys (TMNT, much of Transformers, and the list goes on) – not.

The Legend of Korra is squarely set in (2). While it’s effectively a sequel series to Avatar:The Last Airbender, it goes in its own way to try to entertain and teach at the same time – but despite the fact that there may be slightly *too* many crises throughout the four Books of the series, it never talks down to its audience, and I was pleasantly surprised time and again with the way it handled the characters and dialogue. And unlike many recent comic book movies or similar multiyear series – it really doesn’t have glaring plot holes that take the viewer out of the story due to simple logic failure. It’s definitely a long series (52 episodes) but in the end, it’s definitely worth it. I only wish other equally good or better series (TRON:Uprising and Sym-Bionic Titan) had received an equal level of network support and promotion (both only had one season). And the far quirkier earlier Invader Zim – same deal.

but watch it – you won’t be disappointed.

candybowl

drool…….

Sat ,24/12/2016

The Lancia Stratos Was Born to Rally

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Sleeping Giants – Book Review

Sun ,27/11/2016

Just finished reading this book – Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. This is a sci-fi story told in an somewhat unusual way, via ‘interviews’ – most often with an unnamed lead interviewer we never meet. I won’t spoil the main storyline (plenty of other places online can do that for you) but to say the following:

– The main story ‘device’ of the interviews works very well, IMHO. It makes you think harder about the motivations behind and the mentality of the main characters, especially as the ‘unnamed interviewer’ most often heard from is usually not sympathetic.

– I like the focus being first and foremost on the characters and not the main overarching plotline. While that may get further development in a future book (looks like a sequel is coming out possibly next spring?) and it will be interesting if the ‘interview device’ is maintained there too – this book ticks right along and definitely holds your attention all the way through, with at least two major plot twists I never saw coming.

– Finally – while there may be some story elements here that are inspired by past classic sci-fi (or even anime/kaiju), I still think the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and this is a great read – DEFINITELY recommended!

candybowl

Other perspectives (and spoilers – you are warned!)
NPR – The Sleeping Giant
Goodreads.com – The Sleeping Giant

Sat am….

Sat ,09/07/2016

Obviously an entire strip just created to get to that second to last panel…still, funny. 🙂

XKCD

candybowl

Burned.

Sat ,23/04/2016

(finally) a new Alex Verus book has come out, Burned. And like all the previous ones, I ripped through this once as fast as I could, because these are great books! Continued character development is strong and believable, although I hope Mr. Jacka gives poor Alex a break in the next one (it’s likely another year-long wait, sigh). Anyway, you can read my posts about the previous books, or just get out there and start reading the entire series already!

Other voices linked from here.

candybowl

Sat am funnies….

Sat ,23/01/2016

I love Aunt-Man!

joy of tech

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Chiho Aoshima: Rebirth of the World

Tue ,06/10/2015

So I finally managed to go see this, the last day of Chiho Aoshima‘s exhibit at the Seattle Asian Art Museum this past Sunday. While it wasn’t a big exhibit – it was very, very cool. The highlight is the *huge* screened animation in the back auditorium – TAKAAMANOHARA. It’s so big you can’t see everything going on at the same time – you have to look back and forth, I suspect it would take many viewings to begin to keep it all straight. way cool! While the film below paints her as somewhat bleak in outlook, her art is intricate and amazing. Looking forward to her next exhibit in Seattle!

Other voices:
The Stranger
An earlier animation – “City Glow
A review of an earlier exhibit in Catalonia at the Fundacio Miro.

candybowl

All nefarious….

Sat ,19/09/2015

but the first are still the best – the Daleks!

Dr Who villains through Time

Click to zoom to bigger image

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Jurassic World – Hmm.

Fri ,12/06/2015

Our company had a free screening of Jurassic World yesterday evening – interesting. It was harmless fun but for the money the studio likely spent, they could have worked far harder on the plot. The movie was well made but offers nothing new in light of three previous JP movies as well as the whole ‘dystopian theme park goes very wrong’ theme done first (and arguably best) by Westworld. Ironically, that movie was written and directed by a 31-year old Michael Crichton, the original author of Jurassic Park. Amusing.

Chris Pratt is the main ‘reluctant hero’ star, and while this movie is nothing to write home about, his career will not be hurt by it, either – he’s definitely the most interesting thing in the movie, despite the writers’ efforts to turn velicoraptors into CP’s trained posse. I’ve liked Vincent D’Onofrio since his Private Pyle days, but here he’s just a cheesy fat ham (in more ways than one). Most of the rest of the actors are unknowns or on their way up (Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan and BD Wong) – probably how you keep costs down with so much expensive, extensive CGI in nearly every scene.

I kept also thinking of Futureworld, the even lamer (than this JP sequel) Westworld sequel from the mid-70’s. It’s kinda sad how Hollywood just keeps betting that sequels will do more than trick people into movie theaters expecting the same magic as the first time. That’s only happened a FEW times, guys and you are paying these lazy writers WAY too much in the meantime!

other voices:
Seattle Times
Metacritic
Rotten Tomatoes

candybowl

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Mon ,25/05/2015

So finally saw the new Avengers movie Sat evening. I liked it, despite my causing us to get there late and having to sit way up front (never optimal) – there were a number of funny parts and as always, the effects were well done. Definitely an entertaining movie overall.

But there were a number of things that definitely make this a lesser movie than the first one, much the same way the two Iron Man sequels are definitely lesser movies than the first one – to wit (Spoiler alert):

1) This movie follows on the timeline from Captain America: Winter Soldier, so SHIELD is dead yet Hydra still somehow exists (if memory serves, they still had Loki’s sceptre at the end of that movie) – and this gets to the first problem – how many big, secret conspiracy orgs STILL exist in the world, for pete’s sake? Especially those claiming to have existed since WWII (started by the Nazis – who else)? So that’s a bit farfetched to begin with.

2) Ultron is a good bad guy, even if a bit too sardonic (James Spader, eat your heart out) but he ‘springs into being’ a bit too quickly for the plot – one minute he’s parts on a series of tables, the next he is a fully-formed, morphable android with hundreds of copies? Where are the Koch Brothers who bankroll all this? Too fast.

3) Why is Thor the only ‘god’ seemingly interested in getting Loki’s gem back? Wouldn’t Loki himself have an interest in it? Wouldn’t Odin have a way to ensure Loki helps Thor and takes the gem back to Asgard where it belongs?

4) As pointed out by Kerewin – Scarlet Witch fulfills the role of ‘Storm’ in this movie – seeming a wimp, then at one point seems to be among the most powerful of all? You can’t have it both ways, guys.

5) The whole fight between Iron Man and Hulk was silly and a distraction. Why didn’t Hulk just run away? And it’s getting WAY too convenient for Tony Stark to just whip yet more Iron Man suits, ever more custom and more powerful, just out of nowhere whenever the plot demands it? Lame.

6) I liked the attempts to give these characters more than one dimension, but really the only three that have their heads on are Cap, Hawkeye and Black Widow, and the latter two are just badasses, not even enhanced. And of course the appearance of SLJ helps right the ship (mentally and then later, literally).

I think the main thing about these comic movies is whether or not they make you want to watch them multiple times. The first Iron Man – definitely yes, have seen it several times. The first Avengers – same. This one, like the recent CA movie and the Iron Man sequels – not so much.

Still worth a watch though….

Other voices:
Metacritic
Rotten Tomatoes

candybowl