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Movie Maundering #4 – Antitrust

August 30, 2010 Entertainment 1 Comment

Image: Antitrust cover art. Copyright Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

In an attempt to bum rush my To-Do List for some last-minute points, I got myself to watch another member of the Computing Science 101 pack, Antitrust. Here’s what I thought of it.

Plot

Milo is a computer programmer who is headhunted by a giant global corporation called NURV (Never Underestimate Radical Vision) and offered a lucrative job opportunity at the firm. Although sad to leave his friends in the small-time project they started together, he takes the position and moves to the company’s headquarters in Oregon.

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Writer’s Block Ended: Constantine Revisited

August 22, 2010 Entertainment 1 Comment

Image: Constantine cover art. Copyright Warner Bros.

I must apologize, both to our readers and the rest of the staff at here shufflingdead.com. I’ve been really slacking these days. My Movie Maundering article is now two weeks late. I’ve even got two started right now, but I just can’t seal the deal. I have been trying to figure out why I just couldn’t get into reviewing another movie, but now I understand: I didn’t fully and completely proclaim my hatred of Constantine, my last review. It’s been tearing me up inside without me even knowing. But luckily, a half bottle of wine and some quiet have allowed me to discover this prolific problem, and I am about to settle in to rectify the situation. Strap in, boys and girls.
This movie left me with a feeling of senseless rage. Absolutely nothing about it was good.

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Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

August 16, 2010 Entertainment No Comments

Image: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World poster. Copyright Universal Pictures.

Dear nerdlingers, have I got a movie for you. Ever dreamed of a film directed by the genius behind Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead based on an indie comic about 20-something slackerdom and filled with video game references both obvious and subtle? It may sound too goddamn awesome to exist in the same universe as Twilight: Eclipse, but such a thing is real, and it’s called Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. It is sad indeed that I needed to tell you that, but not many of you seemed to notice. The film only grossed $10.6 million in its opening weekend. Let me try to convince you why it deserves so, so much more.

I’ll try to avoid spoiling too many of the specific video game winks and nods which exist within Scott Pilgrim, but hear this: the film opens with music ripped straight from Link to the Past. If your Nintendo nerd boners haven’t reached full mast yet, then consider this: Scott plays the bassline from Final Fantasy II.

Video game influence doesn’t just show up in the thrill provided by easy references. The story of Scott Pilgrim is told with the frantic, illogical logic of games. The movie’s pacing rapidly accelerates when Scott finds out he must battle his way through the seven evil exes of his new love interest, Ramona Flowers. No real explanation is given as to why this is the case. Even less of one is given for the remarkable powers most of the characters in the movie possess (like wielding flaming pixelated swords and traveling via sub-space). All of this is in glorious homage to the games which inspire the film, where fun holds significantly more value than adherence to reality.

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Don’t Worry Folks… Harry Potter Still Rocks

Part I: According to Fanfiction.net,
Harry Potter Still Rocks

Guilty secret: I read fan fiction.

Perhaps you’ve never heard of it. Fan fictions, affectionately known as fan fics, are basically self-explanatory. It’s “new” works of fiction written by fans of certain literature. Hence, fan fiction. The stories are based on the characters and environments in the original work. I liken it to music, where musicians regularly cover each others’ work to create something new and different, but made from the same base. For example, a Harry Potter fan fiction may contain a plot where Lily leaves a letter for Harry to read in the future, confessing that Severus Snape is actually his father, not James Potter. Or a Lord of the Rings fan fiction may revolve around a complicated romance between Legolas and Aragorn. Anything can happen. In fact, some fan fics can get pretty smutty, spelling out the romantic and lusty scenes we all envision between our favourite pairings that never actually get published. Or even acknowledged by the author, depending.

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Movie Maundering #3 – Constantine

Image: Constantine cover art. Copyright Warner Bros.

Plot

John Constantine has been able to see demons since he was a child. Nobody really knows why. Unfortunately for him, it has led everyone he knew to think that he was crazy, so he tried to kill himself. He was legally dead for two minutes, but then resuscitated. This leaves him damned in the eyes of God, having committed the deadly sin of suicide. In a quest for redemption of the highest order, Constantine spends his time banishing demons back to the plane of Hell to make the world a better place and find himself in Heaven as a reward.

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