{ thinking out loud about the things i care about }

Archive for May, 2009

Sony CEO Says Nothing Good Ever Came From the Internet

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

That Sony CEO who was quoted not that long ago as saying that nothing good ever came from the internet? He’s attempting to defend himself and his statement.

I am not surprised, nor convinced, that his industry is in dire straights because more people are consuming his product. Leaving aside whether or not Hollywood is in dire straights at all (which I doubt), I have a hard time feeling any sympathy for an industry that profits enourmously off the backs of the creative minds it professes to be trying to protect. They are protecting their own profit margin, not the economic stability of the creative souls they control. Mike Masnick from TechDirt gives a line-by-line rebuttal here, with which I couldn’t agree more.

I doubt that creativity will die even if your company goes under, Mr. Lynton, and if your company and others like it do fall, it reflects on you and your co-CEOs’ poor abilty to adapt to a world that is changing with or without your whining. Culture and the arts are not dependant on your patronage, and the last ten years have show that creative people are far, far more adaptable than you. They will find a way to survive, and I will always support them. You, not so much.

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Neil Gaiman on Fan Entitlement

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Neil Gaiman calls a fan out on his entitlement issues.

He’s very, very right about everything he says. As fans, we can get so wrapped up in something that we forget there are real people behind these stories with real lives and, you know, autonomy and their own ideas and stuff. I admit I was a little disappointed in some parts of the final Harry Potter book, but I hope I never came across in my criticisms of it with this kind of entitlement. If I did, I am sorry for it. This is an excellent reminder from someone on the other side of the fence.

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Star Trek: Rebooted!

Monday, May 11th, 2009

As reboots go, I think this one had all the necessary bits in line. Good casting (I thought Sylar as Spock would be weird, but it turns out Zachary Quinto is the King of the Awesome of this movie), and a light-hearted tone that clearly adores the original series and lovingly pokes fun at it. The costume homage to the era and genre was all kinds of win.

The villain was forgettable and sort of meh, but it was clear he wasn’t really supposed to be anything more than the Villain of the Week™, so it’s really forgivable I think. The focus of this movie was clearly the friendship between Kirk and Spock, and that they executed extremely well. I’m certain a large percentage of the Kirk/Spock slashers are completely in love with this movie. And I totally see it, too.

I adore Quinto’s snarky, sassy Spock. The Vulcan school-yard bully scene was basically fantastic, and no one but this young Spock could so perfectly turn the Vulcan parting phrase into a verbal finger. Win!

There could have been more between Spock and Spock Prime at the end. I wanted it to be a little meatier, a little thicker, a little more deep, but I’m more or less happy with what I got.

The rest of the casting really worked for me, too. Chris Pine’s Kirk was charming and in places reminiscent of the original, and I’m happy he chose not to try and impersonate William Shatner in the role. He made the character his own and still honoured the original, I think. I loved Karl Urban as McCoy, and though some people probably think he pushed a little too far into imitation, I actually think it was just far enough aside from one or two spots. I really liked Zoe Saldana as Ulhura, and thought the Ulhura/Spock angle was one of many great ways they split this universe’s characters off from the original, although the kiss on the transporter pad seemed unusually awkward and I can’t figure out if it was on purpose or not. Simon Pegg was typically Simon Pegg but still called back to the original Scotty, and I enjoyed John Cho’s Sulu and his extendable sword. Anton Yelchin’s Chekov was a little too Wesley Crusher for my taste, but not so much so that he was distracting, so he can have a gold star, too.

I’m generally leery about timeline stories in Star Trek, mostly because I prefer time travel stories akin to HP’s PoA with completed paradoxes rather than alternate universes and realities. Having said that, I think reboot the series by using an alternate reality is a really nifty idea. It’s a great way to pay respects and springboard off canon content while not being restricted or tethered to it. Fanfic writers have been doing it for years, and some of the best things I’ve ever read in fandom are AU. 

So, yes. Star Trek was awesome and not at all disappointing, which you all probably already knew.

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Wizard of Oz and Good Theatre Tech

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

I went to see The Wizard of Oz at the Citadel last night, and it was pretty good. The casting was well done, most of the singing was top-notch, the munchkin children were adorable, the dog was perfectly trained, and the design was visually very interesting. My only complaint is the same complain I have of every Bob Baker show that involves a lot of tech, which is that he doesn’t seem to know how to fill those tech-heavy moments with interest to deflect from the fact that you’re waiting for the tech to finish. Glinda flies in, but it takes too long for her to get to the ground, and they hold the dialogue until she does. Flying is cool, yes, but not really on its own unless there’s acrobatics involved. If you’re just bringing in Glinda and having her pose stiffly while you do it, why wait for the dialogue?

I like tech. I love tech. That’s why I went to technical theatre school. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of good tech in this show. But sometimes it was just tech for the sake of tech, which makes it feel tacked-on. Bob Baker is having this love affair with video projection right now, which can be really cool, but it can also just as easily slow everything down. At what could have been a point of high action during the tornado, everything slowed down to accommodate a too-long video interlude while Dorothy was flipped around half-heartedly on a bed, so the whole scene fell flat and over-extended for what it was. Good tech should be fully integrated, cohesive, and above all never displace or slow the drama; if it does, it should probably be re-examined or cut.

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X-Men: Wolverine a Disapointment

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Like so many others this weekend, I took in the latest of the X-Men franchise, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

I’ll level with you: I went into this movie with really only one requirement, which was that I’d get to see some more of Jackman’s fine, fine behind, which the film delivered. Aside from pure objectification, I went in without too many expectations.

That was probably a good thing. Friends of mine who went in hoping for the moon exited the theatre frothing at the mouth.

As summer blockbusters go, this one was sort of meh. Not extraordinarily good, but not Daredevil-esque bad. It lies firmly in that category of movies where one doesn’t regret paying the twelve dollars per se, but neither would someone who waits for the DVD regret not paying the twelve dollars.

Spoilers Within

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