August 19, 2007
Movie Reviews: The Bourne Ultimatum and Becoming Jane
...Where Jason Bourne is a bad-ass mo-fo, and Jane Austin sticks it to traditional patrimonial English society.
The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
I finally got around to seeing seen The Bourne Ultimatum, I was waiting to see it with my dad, we're both action/spy-flick junkies, and after seeing it, I can happily say...We both loved it! And that's even with pretty steep expectations going in. It would be an understatement to say I've been looking forward to the release of this film for a long time; ever since shortly after having seen The Bourne Identity with no expectations going in and being blown away by the fact that someone had created an action film that contained the perfect balance of well-articulated action sequences with suspense and an intelligent and intriguing story, and shortly thereafter looking up the original novel and discovering it was the first of a trilogy. So, obviously, in the time since the Identity I had developed a particularly refined set of expectations for this third and final installment. And I can honestly say, the Ultimatum easily far exceeded them.
There were several references to both earlier Bourne films. The action scenes lived up to their predecessors. But what I think I enjoyed most about this film, was the resolution and closure to the story occurs. With films like these, there is always the possibility of leaving significant unanswered questions, which isn't always a bad thing; but this time around, all the relevant questions are answered.
I began to wonder what it was about spy movies that makes people like my dad and I like them so much, and this one so much in particular. It occurred to me that perhaps the character of Bourne, in a way, is the quintessential man verses the world story. Bourne's struggle for self-awareness epitomizes our collective struggle just to make it through our days, paying bills, raising families, etc.--trying to keep pace with the societies in which we live, and often wondering what is the point of it all. In the end, The Bourne Ultimatum is without doubt the most kick-ass, well-constructed, action flick to grace the silver screen since Goldeneye.
Becoming Jane (2007)
This movie is about the life of the author Jane Austin, most famous for her novel Pride and Prejudice (which I have not, and do not, make plans to read). Someone I know sprung this movie on me, and I agreed to go without knowing anything about it, or Jane, in advance. And it was honestly, a good movie.
When we got there, I was a little nervous. The two young women I went to the theater with and I were by far the youngest in the relatively modest crowd. We sat in the back row, and I was struck by the effect the reflection of the big screen had on the silvery hair of the majority of the attendees sitting in front of us...it appeared as if I were sitting in a field overrun with large dandelions illuminated by moonlight. This was a disconcerting observation. But as it turned out, I gradually started to enjoy the film; I began to see through the confusion involved with dialog where much of the actual meaning is implied; which apparently is the only way Victorian-era people were inclined to speak. And the movie helped me to appreciate how fortunate I am to be living in modern times. Most of all, as someone accustomed to a modern perspective, and thus with a moderately more progressive view of society, I recognized that I am automatically biased to find her accomplishments less impressive than they truly were, and so I came away thinking that this woman, Jane Austin, must have been even far more audacious then this movie portrayed.
Recent happeningsAs mentioned in a previous entry, I have a fascination with maps. So I decided have one of my most favorite maps framed. It's a detailed axonometric projection of Midtown Manhattan.
Click here to see a closer image
from the center of the map
August 7, 2007
Happy Blog-a-Versary!!!Celebrating one year in Huffmania blogging!
August 6, 2007
The 1-18-08 movie: Third UpdateThis is my third (and probably last for a while) update about the 1-18-08 movie; click here to read the first post, or here for the second. Sorry about the neglect of my blog in general. I've been enjoying summer, just relaxing, partying, and such. (Apparently, I am pretty good at 4-square after one or two beers.)
For better or worse, my interest in the 1-18-08 phenomenon has not waned in the time since it first caught my eye as a preview before Transformers, and recently there have been some interesting developments on the net...
So, I'll break this post down into four sections: 1) The new poster, 2) the best sources for info on the movie, 3) Other people's speculation about what the creature is, and 4) my own speculation/analysis of the trailer.
Part One - The Teaser Poster, Hmmm...
There is now an official teaser poster that corresponds well with what you see in the teaser trailer. It also seems pretty obvious from this image that this is indeed a 'monster movie' (but read part 3 for more about that).
First, this poor quality image (right) from someone's cell phone surfaced. Note: The movie title is not actually “Monstrous” as explained in a YouTube clip (see Part 3 of this post, below, courtesy NightOwl3090) which you can watch in part 3 of this post...
Later this much better resolution image (below) surfaced (Click on the pic to see the larger size):
Any doubt of this images's legitimacy is eliminated by the fact that this image is now the background for the official trailer page on Apple Trailers.
Part Two – Good sources of information about 1-18-08 - I wanted to point out some of the great sources of information available about the 1-18-08 movie.
1-18-08News.com – a very simple Journal/Blog style page with fairly in-depth analysis of all things related to this movie phenomenon. There is a lot of great information on this page about the film, including behind the scenes footage people have caught with cell-phones of the filming in process. It also includes a forum where people can discuss ideas.
Nightowl3090 (who I've referenced earlier) has some very impressive video analysis. He's going extremely in depth, to the point of charting the trajectory of the flight path of the statue's head as it goes from liberty island through downtown Manhattan.
I've also enjoyed watching this goofy Norwegian kid's ("Thrusthamster" on YouTube) analysis of the 1-18-08 phenomenon.
1-18-08 now has a page at Wikipedia. Kinda limited at the moment.
The only two official websites related specifically to this film discovered thus far, are: 1-18-08.com, and Slusho.jp. 1-18-08.com is a flash site that had floating pictures from the night at the party and of people dealing with the aftermath of the 'attack'. Periodically more pictures are added, and recently they added they ability to flip the pictures to see notes written on the back if you click and move your mouse in a circular motion quickly over an image. I haven't spent a lot of time examining the Slusho.jp site, but apparently its a fictitious site advertising a fictitious beverage for which it's logo is featured prominently on a shirt a character is wearing during the trailer. It's very bizarre for anyone taking it in for the first time; seemingly meant to take advantage of the typical language gap between English and Japanese which leads to misconceptions on the surface. But obviously there is plenty of hidden meaning and clues on this site, and not much if anything is without some soft of relevance. Of course, Slusho could merely be a brilliant attempt to through people off the scent of what this 1-18-08 movie is really about.
You can also check out the production company's website, badrobot.com, but as of yet, there is nothing there except the Bad Robot logo. (Hmmm, is this 'Bad Robot' logo a caricature of the monster in this film??)
It also might be worth noting these following news clips.
Part Three – What IT is. It seems now safe to say, this movie is about a 'monster attack.' This was probably already pretty obvious, but it's confirmed by this YouTube clip (below, courtesy NightOwl3090) where you see Abrams speaking at the ComicCon (an annual international comics convention in San Diego), and he states that this movie is something new "We need our own monster." (So it's certain this is not a remake of a previous film, and probably not something someone else has already thought of). He also said that it is inspired by a trip to Japan and their obsession with Godzilla, but it's NOT Godzilla, and that it's definitely also not King Kong (besides, I think Peter Jackson more than did justice to Kong), although, Abrams admitted he thought Kong was “adorable”, which is another way of saying that the creature in his movie will be bad-ass! He also mentions that the film is close to being finished, and will not be called 'monstrous' althoguh some of the teaser posters have that as a header.
So, it's not Kong, it's not Godzilla, it's not this Cthulu creature everyone on the forums are talking about, and it's not anything anyone else has already thought of, and since Abrams has described the likes of Kong as “cute” by comparison, I think it's fair bet he's talking about a new, big, bad-add, m***er-fu**ing monster! That will make all the rest seem like 'little gurls'.
I'm still holding onto the idea that it might be an enormous lion-like monster based on the poem by Irish poet WB Yeats (thanks to my friend Joe who knows his literature). However, there seems to be a lot of speculation that the monster in question comes from the ocean. The most convincing and interesting reasons for this theory I've heard so far was from that Norwegian kid who reported that the sound of the monster's growl you hear in the trailer is very similar to this mysterious “bloop” marine biologists heard a while back deep underwater. I went to Wikipedia to check it out. You can listen to the actual Bloop there and compare with the sound the 1-18-08 monster's roar. Pretty Close. The Bloop itself is almost as creepy as the mystery surrounding the 1-18-08 movie. It came from something with enormous vocal capacity, from a yet unknown massive underwater beast.
Part Four – My Speculation/trailer analysis I made a short little video of my own still-image analysis of the trailer. There are three things I question in this short video. 1) I point out who, it appears to me, are at the party in the beginning and make it to the ground by the end to witness the crash of the statue of liberty's head, 2) I'm curious as to what is in that box behind the second girl speaking in the trailer, and 3) is that one mysterious guy in the trailer actually Abrams? Looks kinda like him, and he's the last guy you see before the lights go out and you hear the monster's roar.