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Monday, October 09, 2006

It Came From Hollywood

I didn't get quite as much coding as I would have liked this weeked - although I did get a fine logging feature working which will help out quite a bit. It's hard to visualize music data as a bunch of invisible numbers.

I did, however, see some pretty bad movies.

Silent Hill
The saddest thing about Silent Hill is that it's actually very visually stunning. The director clearly knows how to frame a scene and the cinematographer drags all the color and darkness into the film. It was also the only movie this weekend with a half-way decent premise. The problem is that the execution of the premise is off so horribly. The main character, Rose, continues to defy logic in increasingly annoying ways. I mean, the movie starts with her running of with her child to a ghost town to cure sleepwalking. It's like she missed Mommy Camp and went to Horror Victim Vocational School instead. This and some confusing plot points about the daughter completely underminds what should be the strongest tug in the story - a mother's conviction to save her child. Toss in some nonsensical story turns and the weight really gives out early on this one.

I want to say it's worthy of a rental simply because the visuals here go past simply great CG work - but it's hard to say. If you really like horror movies in general, it might be worthwhile. Otherwise, go rent MirrorMask. Better visuals, better story.

I'm so glad The Girl wasn't around to witness this one. I would have been raked across the coals. Ultraviolet desperately wants to be Matrix 2.0 with host of speculative sci fi concepts (dimension folding! portable gravity wells!) ... but sadly it leaves open plot holes and concept questions so vast that it's only solution is to keep moving so quickly that perhaps the viewer won't notice. It doesn't work. The writing never comes close to rising to the level of say, Equilibrium - which had it's own problems suspending disbelief. There's nothing wrong with watching Milla performing action scenes in tight clothes and lots of special effects - but Ultraviolet comes close to becoming the exception to that rule.

Stay Alive
One time a fairly well known writer asked me to proof something to see if it was "geek savvy". It was odd stuff - kinda future jargon talk - so I wasn't entirely sure how well rooted it needed to be in fact. It was hard to "tech check" something that wasn't really based on ... well ... tech.

So I get that making really technical stuff in movies is harder than it probably sounds. Stay Alive, however, got a lot of free press by being a "video game horror flick" ... and from what I can see it barely even tries. The movies fails on two fronts - non-gamers will likely get turned off by all the well, gamer references. Gamers will get ticked off because the gamer references are so ridiculously off based. Allow me to try and summarize in a quick paragraph:

A group of gamers find a beta disc of a game developed apparently by a single person which runs on both PlayStation and PC and is sometimes first person and sometimes a third person but is apparently a persistant online world one can only enter by speaking aloud the password.

I mean, we've all been there - right? The movie gets so wrapped up into its game mechanic (there's a bit where you hear something vibrating when danger is near ... clever? Not really) that it doesn't understand that it's tripping over itself by the end. By the time one character spawns a crowbar in the real world - you'll wish the movie was already over.

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