mmoa_writes: (Default)
2011-11-15 02:03 pm

Thoughts on Firefly (i)

In that great and noble tradition of science students everywhere, due to the fact I am currently running an experiment (a really cool little simulation of linguistic evolution), I will use my time explaining in mind numbing, petty detail just what I thought about the last thing I watched instead of doing data analysis or catching up on sleep.

...Firefly! )
Anyway. I think I've spent too long talking about things that, of all the things that bothered me, didn't really bother me that much. I'm going to toddle off, run more simulations and try and catch up on the past few lectures on Superconductors and whatnot. 

And yes, I didn't go much into Mal's character because he was such a pain in the derriere, just thinking about it sends me into such a tizzy I couldn't write any critique in an even moderately coherent fashion.

mmoa_writes: (Default)
2011-06-26 09:19 pm
Entry tags:

X-MEN: First Class review

Spoilers ahead!

So, now having seen this film twice, I think it's safe to say I'm pretty secure in my impression of it. For the time being at least. I must be honest that after the first viewing, I was a bit confused, not quite knowing how I felt. This was - oddly enough - actually my initial reaction to 'District 9' and though the comparison between the two films only goes that far, it's interesting they're for similar reasons: a confusion between how I actually feel and how I think I should feel.

To begin with, the film is pretty decent. The direction is excellent, the acting is superb and the score is more than adequate (so all three of my major boxes ticked). The effects don't always work well (eg. Emma Frost and Beast) but the film has enough energy that you don't really dwell on them when they get really bad. In fact, there were times I got rather caught up in the whole thing as it were. It is a film worth seeing.

As has probably been said elsewhere, Michael Fassbender came very close to stealing the movie for me. For starters, he has similar looks to a young Ian McKellen which makes him physically ideal for the role but he is also capable of generating a remarkable presence. He stands, stops short and moves like a man who knows every inch of his body, the measure of a mercenary. Apparently he was one of the actors along with Daniel Craig who was considered to be the new Bond and I can completely see why. Both he and Craig have this ability to physically inhabit the role of men who can kill up close and personal.

James McAvoy is also brilliant, though occasionally made me feel like laughing as he has a certain John Cleese manner in delivering some of his lines that reminded me of the 'How Not To Be Seen' sketch for some reason:

The chemistry between the two lead actors is terrific and the script was at its strongest when it came to their scenes. Or maybe it was just their acting. Probably the latter actually...

They were easily the best thing about the film - in fact, I could have watched a much longer character drama with a humbler plot and more subtle effects with just those two. The backstory that Magneto spends his youth hunting down Nazis would make an interesting film, though perhaps just too inappropriate. I must confess I can completely understand why people who feel the appropriation of the Shoah for what is little more than a B+ superhero flick to be outrageous. Now I tend to think about these things more deeply, it is more than a little bit uncomfortable for me as well.

Speaking of, Kevin Bacon is also good. I'd love to know if his German is at all convincing but I think he had the right tone and body language as Sebastien Schmidt though the transition between Schmidt and Shaw was a little sudden but meh. He carried it off well, I think. I also think Nicholas Hoult has to be acknowledged as the fascinating actor he is turning out to be. He was by far the best thing in Skins series 1, surprisingly awesome in a 'Single Man' and now this. He should have been Harry Potter. Anyway, I think he nails Beast - in fact, I think there should be more of his characteristics in Charles Xavier actually. For example, when they discover Shaw's plan to cause nuclear war in order to destroy humankind and leave mutants surviving, I really wanted Charles to go into pedant mode and inform everyone that that's not really how it would go down because, well, you know, genes don't actually work that way...

However, obviously the rest of the film I thought was pretty bad which led to the overall feeling of Read more... )

Still like I said, the score is amazing and the acting is all around fine, though January Jones is way outclassed by her colleagues, I'll admit. I might even see it again, just to get even more annoyed!

Addendums (spoilers) )
mmoa_writes: (Default)
2011-02-24 09:29 pm

Reviews and Impressions: On 'Outcasts'

 Oh BBC! That word, sci-fi? I don't think it means what you think it means.

And you'd save a hell of a lot more money if you just got rid of whoever composes those scores for you. 

Think about it.
mmoa_writes: (Default)
2011-01-28 02:33 am

Reviews and Impressions I

As usual over the holidays, I found myself watching more television than I normally do. Due to the weird sleeping patterns of the eternally cramming student, I found myself watching a lot more television than I normally do and now I am free fromt he shackles of revision and examination stress, I am going to write about them in the usual manner of the opinionated, self important blogger.

One of the nice things was that I got to watch full series' on BBC iplayer (a gift from the gods if ever there was one). It was a bit of a pity, therefore, that it was the brand new and updated 'Upstairs Downstairs'.
Upstairs, Downstairs 2: Bigger and Badder than ever! )

Oh well. At least they tried.

What else was there? Dr Who was the usual disappointment; Edwardian Farm was the usual awesomeness (it basically involves historians and archaeologists living out the life of Edwardian farmers along the Taymor valley which might seem ridiculous but they put so much effort and work into understanding, working with local volunteers and explaining every little niche detail that it's not at all patronising but genuinely fascinating to watch). There were also some pretty good documentaries on the BBC3&4: Moseley doing his thing on Medical History (History of the Mind or Brain I think it was. The sort of thing that reminds us scienc-y types that we are as beholden to the judgement of future generations as those in the past are of us) and the up and coming Nel Hadayat presenting Music Money and  Hip Hop Honeys.

The latter was certainly food for thought...
mmoa_writes: (Default)
2010-12-10 06:17 pm

(no subject)

Between Uni and Physics and my awful discipline, it seems I haven't been updating my journals (or reading any of my f-lists/reading lists shame be upon me) of late but have no fear! Soon I will be stuck in my bedroom revising the hell out of Electrodynamics and Chaos theories (non-integer dimensions wf? The worst thing is that it actually makes some sense...) and so I'll probably make up for it.

Of late I have actually been reading books - non-physics related books as well! First there was 'Love and Other Demons' which was absolutely gorgeous, written in the sparse style I love so much where the beauty lies in the mere observation of human behaviour rather than in the florid prose (which can be nice - you're talking to a Mervyn Peake fangirl here - but often distracting) describing it.

I then devoured 'Empress' by Karen Miller and am currently finding myself epically  (yes already! Not even 50 pages in as well) disappointed by 'The Riven Kingdom' which happens to be the sequel. I am determined to finish the entire trilogy but I have been warned not to get my hopes up, which is a shame as I got a real buzz reading 'Empress'. Like reading Abercrombie for the first (and second and third and...) I will definitely try out the 'Kingmaker, Kingbreaker' duology though, as that sounds entirely fantastic.
But more on that later when I don't have a lab report to finish.