Cheeseburger Gothic

The Spoiler Convention

Posted April 23, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

I did a little of recce of some of the other finalists in the Best Blog Comp, not because I give a fuck, because I totally don't – see, this is me not giving a fuck – but because I'm always on the lookout for new ways to waste time.

I particularly enjoyed wasting my time at Thomas Caldwell's film crit blog, Cinema Autopsy. Unfortunately it's not a blog purely about films about autopsies. But it's still pretty cool. He had a write up of Warm Bodies, which I read, even though I have an iron law; never read the review first. More of why, later.

But his Warm Bodies review I read because having just finished Walking Dead S3, I find myself hungering for a discussion of zombie tropes like Zombie Principal Skinner hungers for the delicious honor student brains of Martin Prince. Caldwell's writing is clear and informed but unburdened by wank. He knows his mass culture.

The problem with zombies is there is only so much that can be done with them before audiences develop zombie-fatigue, no longer content to simply see how many creative ways zombies can be dismembered; Peter Jackson pretty much pushed that as far as possible in Braindead (1992). Instead, filmmakers in recent times have had to find other novel ideas to present zombie narratives. In [Rec] (2007) Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza experimented with film form to present a ‘found footage’ zombie film. Romero did the same, although less successfully, in the same year with Diary of the Dead. In 28 Days Later… (Danny Boyle, 2003) and the television series The Walking Dead (originally developed by Frank Darabont, 2010-ongoing) the zombie presence is secondary to the human drama, their threat serving almost as a McGuffin to allow for an exploration of how humans behave under intense duress.

I dunno that I'd drop the walkers and biters of TWD into the McGuffin box. They're a lot more than that, but the wider point is otherwise reasonable. I didn't so much suffer zombie fatigue by the end of Seaon 3; I still love a good zombie kill, especially as practised by Michone. But the visceral horror the undead first elicited was gone, and now it's all about the tension. Will Andrea get out of the dentists chair in time? Will Hershel be to slow to escape the feed lot in front of the prison?

Caldwell made me want to see Warm Bodies, mostly by referencing Buffy when introducing the film's female lead. But the thing I really, really appreciated about this write up?

It didn't lay out the fucking plot.

I said earlier that I have a rule about reading reviews. I don't. Read 'em that is. Not until I've seen the film for myself. And then more often than not to disagree with the reviewer. Mostly the dumb arse films I love to watch get such poor reviews that I dont want my enjoyment ruined by having to filter the experience through the puckered sphincter of some uptight cinema wankiste.

But mostly I refuse to read reviews because so many of these clowns can't write a review without recounting all the major plot points. Hands up anyone who remembers failing a high school film review assignment for simply recounting the plot?

Havoc, you can keep your hands down. We take your failure as a given.

I have no idea what actually happens in Warm Bodies, beyond the broadest brush strokes of outline, but I do feel like I understand what sort of film I'm likely to see, and that is how it should be.

This all comes from having Unforgiven ruined for me by the rightfully defunct Times on Sunday's film reviewer. I read her review in the days when I still reviews because, you know... Clint! And cowboys!

She gave away the ending of the film in about the third or four paragraph. I dont even want to talk about it on the off chance there's somebody here who has foolishly never seen this movie. If you haven't, leave now. Go away and place this fine piece of cinema into your possession. You are in for a treat.

But my treat was ruined by that review. As great as the story of Unforgiven was, I couldn't enjoy it because I went in knowing what came of the showdown between Eastwood's character and Gene Hackman's hard, brutal lawman. You knew that showdown was coming from moment Hackman walked onto the screen, but Eastwood confirmed it when, in the character of Will Munny he finds out that sheriff Little Bill, like most men, knows him by reputation.

"But that didn't scare Little Bill at all, did it," he says to one of his henchmen. (Or words to that effect.

A perfect set up. Ruined by a hamfisted reviewer.

I have never recovered.

Which is why I appreciated Caldwell's so much.

22 Responses to ‘The Spoiler Convention’

Therbs puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2013

Aside from hating the entitled spoilerism so well flaunted by reviewers, a lot of the time I either don't rate their intellect or want to wait to compare notes with them post popcorn munching. Also sometimes I just can't be arsed with bothering to check them out. Laziness can be a virtue.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2013

In this case, laziness is totes a virtue

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

I am so sorry that Unforgiven was ruined for you for it was certainly a magnificent film, not a movie as I have heard some make the distinction, not me becuase I think its a wanky thing to say, ... what was I saying - yeah Unforgiven fraking fabulous film and the showdown a highlight.

"deserve got nothing to do with it"

Oh and I would suggest you should include in the variation on the zombie films, Shaun of Dead, as the first RomComZom. I am looking forward to Warm Bodies, surprising I know. Especially how he wake up at the end and realises that the kid was only talking to him because he was actually dead, oh and that the aliens can be killed by water.

DrYobbo would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

SPOILER ALERT

Seriously, what kind of abject fucking miserablist wankbadger gives away the ending to Unforgiven in a review of Unforgiven??

On par with the review of The Usual Suspects I once read which said 'Kevin Spacey is brilliant in the role of Keyser Soze'... yeah thanks for that arsebag

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

Can add Enterainment News in the US as waking spoliers when they gave away Cumberbatch's identity in the new Star Trek film on their font cover a few months back.

BigWillieStyle mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2013

Yobbo, I recall driving to work one morning years ago listening to Triple J. This was when The Usual Suspects was in the cinemas, and I hadn't yet seen it. Anyhoo, Mikey Robbins is going on about what a great film it is, and Helen Farking Razer suddenly yelps, "Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze! Kevin Spacey is Keyser Soze!" I've pretty much hated her ever since.

DrYobbo would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

As good a reason as any.

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Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2013

Unforgiven

Have to watch that one again. Shit is it 20+years? Really?

Reviews should embellish/complement the anticipation and experience.

I loved TWD and will watch Season Three when it arrives at the video shop.

Oh and chickybabes with brains is hot, gonna put ma' teeth in and eat some brains, look out 'purple'.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted April 23, 2013

The title may have been a hint, but Fck me Birmo, when you drop spoilers they need a pilot vehicle, a cop escort with flashing lights and orange and fcking red flags.

Denist chair. Arse. What's next, they all turn into vampires in a bar?

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2013

Years ago, during the Brisbane Film Festival, I was at a retrospective showing of Stanley Kubrick's 'Paths of Glory'. I was with some mates who hadn't seen it.

Before the film, for some godawful reason, they got film cineaste John Baxter (I like your alternate description, JB) to introduce the film. As we were sitting in the theatre waiting to view this classic, Baxter (and he was wearing a black skivvy) laid out the plot and gave his interpretation of the film's denouement. Faaaaarrrrkkk!! My mate beside me had his fingers in his ears going 'Mi, mi, mi, mi, mi'. I could hear other theatre goers saying variations of 'Could someone get this fkn clown to shut up!!!' Baxter droned on, oblivious. It was like some ridiculous skit.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2013

I enjoyed Warm Bodies, and recommend it even though all of it is predicatable, spoilers notwithstanding.

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Lulu has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2013

I think the biggest spoiler spoil of the Unforgiven era was The Crying Game. The Unforgiven ending was at least a 50/50 choice between two possible, known outcomes. Crying Game was like being told in advance that an unexpected meteorite will hit you from outer space.

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TC has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2013

So... spoilers. I'm up to about Ep 10 or 11 in TWD, so after avoiding your other blog and not realising I was getting in so deep in this one, I nearly screamed at you for fucking it all up for me. Then I realised that you hadn't. Phew.

I must say, Cinema Autopsy is the only other blog on the honour roll I bothered checking, and I have to agree that it's pretty awesome. I used to enjoy Cinematopia because Jim whatsisface looked at every movie through the lens of who it was created for and judged it with that context in mind. And he didn't spoil any of them them, adding a warning for when he came close, so I knew I could read his reviews prior to seeing the movie (as long as I didn't read the munters adding their inane fucking comments about the final scene underneath). Anyway, that site is dead and buried and I've been looking for a cinema site since. And if anyone says David and Margaret they can go fuck themselves.

Lulu would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

Jim *might* be writing for the Herald Sun now, but I don't read the Evil Empire's papers so I might be wrong on that.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 24, 2013

I was amused at a screen of the Cameron's 'Titanic' when one of the viewers complained that a review had revealed the ship sank at the end of the movie.

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

I was amused at a screen of the Cameron's 'Titanic' when one of the viewers complained that a review had revealed the ship sank at the end of the movie.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted April 25, 2013

When the first (awful) remake of King Kong screened in Hollywood back in the 1970's, at the end of the film the lobby was filled with people with microphones who wanted statements from people who just saw the film. One approached me and asked me how I liked the movie and I said "This movie had a gorilla in it. I hate movies with gorillas in them." I will always treasure the memory of the look on his face.

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TC swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2013

So... I just went back to Cinema Autopsy hoping for the same kind of spoiler-less but nonetheless thought provoking review that was seen for Warm Bodies.

I read the Iron Man 3 review and now don't need to see it. Plus I now know more about the subtle undertones of the movie than the writer, the director and all the cast members. Might remove CineAut bookmark.

Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2013

Yeah TC,

I read a very different interpretation.

The use of cinema as a mirror.

The current batch is big budget high tech and entertaining.

Multi layered narratives with ROI. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

Better than lots of 60 second long, up close frames in B&W with atonal music in the background but each to his own.

TC mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2013

Don't get me wrong, Dino - IM3 sounds fucking awesome, as would be expected after 1 & 2.

***** SPOLIER ALERT *****

And I was exaggerating a bit in my 'subtle undertones' quip, but not about the spoilers. I now know how the whole movie will pan out and I even know that I'll be pissed off at the end because of a big fuck off deus ex machina. That's just goddamn annoying.

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Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted April 24, 2013

TC

Just saw the IM3.

Loved it. As good as IM1 except no akadaca.

Of note everyone looks younger than IM1 etc except the 'therapist'.Of note, brace yourself Burgers, someone in the audience had not seen RC Avengers,I kid you not!

PS: Also the card formulae are interesting. Incorrect but interesting.

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted April 25, 2013

Re: Plot detail in reviews.
The alternative view is below. i.e. we are writing art criticism and plot detail is relevant and it is intended to be read by people who have seen the film.

That is crap, of course, because, if the review is intended to be read by people who have seen the film, then why is there the push to publish the review before most people have seen the movie?

http://www.film.com/movies/oblivion-spoilers

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Star Trek into Awesomeness

Posted April 18, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

Blarkon gave us a shout out, but not a link to this bad boy yesterday. And if the Space Lizard approves. It must be good.

26 Responses to ‘Star Trek into Awesomeness’

Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted April 18, 2013

Yes, and goody.

Anyone know when it's released here in Oz?

Quokka asserts...

Posted April 19, 2013

thanks, Barnesm.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted April 18, 2013

I am off to the IMAX 3d Extravaganza on Sunday 12 May, bought tickets for the weapon and I yesterday. It will include the 2009 Abrams Star Trek followed by Trek into Darkness. So its on at least as soon as May 12 here in Auz maybe earlier (May 12 is before the UK and US are showing it I think).

Of all the speculation of the character being played by Cumberbach...

All I can say about that

They certainly decided to take Harry Mudd in a dark direction for this one.

Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted April 18, 2013

The Tribbles are back - and this time they want your BLOOD.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 18, 2013

Man, can not even J.J. Abrams break away from "The U.S.S. Enterprise Versus Big Dumb Object. Round One, FIGHT!" cliche?

Just wondering.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Shifty Tourst is gonna tell you...

Posted April 18, 2013

Its a step up from the Enterpise vs Big Dumb Alien Societal Complication days of the original series and Next Gen years.

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted April 18, 2013

But if the 'prise won't take on all the big dumb objects, who will?

Well, Murphy? Who will??!!?

Murphy mutters...

Posted April 18, 2013

The Death Star can handle it.

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 18, 2013

I smell an Oscar best use of big dumb object.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 18, 2013

Barnes, if that was the case, any random porno film with a vibrator could win the Oscar.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Barnesm mutters...

Posted April 18, 2013

and are you saying that some p0rno films are less deserving of an Oscar than some film that get them.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 18, 2013

pretty fkn awesome, watched it last week too, ITS HAVOCKNESS in SPACE!, kicking the shit outta fkn space muppets and hopefully some fkn lizardoe's as well!

OH and WHERE THE FK IS BLUNTY?

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yankeedog asserts...

Posted April 18, 2013

Far better Trek action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hnBp7x2QAE

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MarkM puts forth...

Posted April 18, 2013

My wife, in her capacity as an entertainment writer, is interviewing JJ, Chris Pine and Karl Urban next week. Then she is going to a sneak preview of the movie.

In the middle of the day.

While I'm at work.

Bitch!

tqft would have you know...

Posted April 18, 2013

I am available to take your spot

MarkM has opinions thus...

Posted April 22, 2013

TQFT - so sorry I didn't see this sooner. Well, kinda sorry...

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TC would have you know...

Posted April 18, 2013

I know I shouldn't say it here, but I was never a big fan of the Trek until JJ Abrams came along and modernised it all (hmm... even I can see the irony there). I really enjoyed the 2009 movie and am looking forward to seeing this. Big Dumb Object and all.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 18, 2013

also there has been an effort to tone down the lens flare.

The bridge still looks like and apple store though

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted April 18, 2013

Your point being?

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Blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted April 18, 2013

The thing that the Enterprise is fighting there is another Federation Starship, piloted by Sherlock.

And given that the Apple Store Enterprise is bigger than the 1701-D (according to the specs - I'm not sure I buy the official specs as the scale seems off) - Sherlock's ship may be as big as a Star Destroyer.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 18, 2013

Yeah . . . sorta figured that out on my own, thanks.

I'm going to scream, "BULLSHIT," in the movie theatre if it is called, "Reliant."

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 18, 2013

Current thinking on the geekweb suggests it might be a secret federation battleship, constructed in contravention of the federations peaceful exploration mandate and that Cumberbatch is its captain who stole it. Saying it out loud sounds a bit Hunt for Red October doesn't it?

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dzt! puts forth...

Posted April 18, 2013

Oh man, this looks awful!

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 18, 2013

awfully GREAT.

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Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted April 20, 2013

Best awesomeness trailer.

Much better than the first one.

I love that they kept the 'claxson' scream scene.

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Man of Steel trailer

Posted April 17, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

Funny thing is I never really bought into the Superman mythology, but this looks pretty cool.

24 Responses to ‘Man of Steel trailer’

xenodyssey puts forth...

Posted April 17, 2013

Well at least it doesn't look campy. Surprisingly dark in design, I've always thought of Krypton as being a planet of light rather than darkness. Maybe Snyder has placed it in a parallel universe.

It does have the usual quota of Hollywood explosions.

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insomniac asserts...

Posted April 17, 2013

as i can't see it at work i'll assume it's a reference to little johnny howard

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TC would have you know...

Posted April 17, 2013

I just watched that while eating lunch and it looks pretty cool. As a (relatively) new dad with two young boys, the scenes with Clarke's two dads pulled at the heart strings a bit.

The story reminds me a little too much of Thor though, which I didn't enjoy much. And I find it odd that I need to erase my memory of Krypton being destroyed a few decades ago...

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 17, 2013

This has incorporated some of the cooler ideas that have been raised is some of the incredibly convoluted backstory that comes with 75years of comic history, seriously hates off to Mr Snyder for trying to work some of these more interesting threads into a contemporary movie. And I will unreservedly apologies to anyone who has spent anytime following in the comix, Tv series, etc as I have only peripherally followed the incredibly labyrinthine coils of DC’s superman cannon.

The theme of Superman leading by example, inspiring us to be better is the motivator that drives why Lex Luthor hates superman in some of the more interesting stories. Rather than Lex being simply a villain who hates superman because he thwarts his schemes moo- haaa Lex opposes Superman because he offers an example that simply teaches people that they have to be super or if they simply were super then these challenge can be n]met. Lex point is that we should be the drivers following our own paths, not some creature birthed under an alien son.

The Kyrpton scenes suggest they have adopted the Civil war story line that sees the Kyrtonians being galaxy sized arrogant jerks fighting power and destroying their plant. This story line arose and may have influence Moffats reboot of Doctor Who to make the time lords mighty and terrible and the Doctor the exception rather than the typical time lord. The Kyptonian civil war allows them to introduce General Zod, who I think we can all agree Terrance Stamps Zod was the best thing in Superman II

But I will happy as long as there is some variation of this

“Zod!

Kneel before me”

and that they treat the only other character that has been around in Superman comics as long as superman, and was there before Zod, Perry White and Jimmy Olsen, with some respect. I am of course talking about Ms Lois Lane.

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Quokka reckons...

Posted April 17, 2013

Russell Crowe WTF?

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Timmo is gonna tell you...

Posted April 17, 2013

Yes, Q, my thoughts exactly...

Looks OK apart from Rusty and his Voice Over.

Do they not have the rights to the "Superman" name, or is it just about drawing a distinction from the previous films? Or both?

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted April 17, 2013

WTF! Russell Crowe. Great!

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JG asserts...

Posted April 17, 2013

I like Superman's eyes.

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted April 17, 2013

WTF..what about Rusty, he fkn rocks, hes got the presence and looks and do not tell me for ONE FKN MINUTE he aint got the fkn voice for the voice overs. This looks like a complete fkn cracker, worthy of a FKN GOD!!!!!! like me to watch!

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Quokka reckons...

Posted April 17, 2013

The best thing I've seen Russell Crowe in so far was South Park.

HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted April 17, 2013

OH you soooo need to wash your mouth out!...THATS BAD!!!!!! Aunty

Quokka mutters...

Posted April 17, 2013

Please tell me he doesn't sing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygcRrfQt-0Q

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tqft mutters...

Posted April 17, 2013

Have watched the trailer twice.

I can overlook Rusty if he isn't too in my face. But my wife hates him (something about being an arrogant jerk). She loves telling the story about booing Rusty & his band off the stage at the Calamvale Hotel or Mansfield Tavern.

Quokka mumbles...

Posted April 17, 2013

I must buy Mrs. TQFT a carrot juice sometime and clap her on the back.

TC has opinions thus...

Posted April 18, 2013

Hmm... TQFT is startlingly similar to TOFOG. Conincidence...?

tqft has opinions thus...

Posted April 18, 2013

No not ever. While I do abuse my guitars from time to time I can't sing or dance and not really the person to get on stage

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Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted April 17, 2013

Today's Star Trek trailer looks pretty great as well. More Star Wars than Star Trek, but damn Sherlock's ship looks like it kicks arse.

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w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 17, 2013

Russell Crowe. Great actor! He now struggles for material. The intelligent drama. They don't make them much anymore.

As Jon Favreau (actor, Director of Iron Man 1 & 2) said, Hollywood only makes 2 kinds of movies, movies for teenagers and movies for pre-teens.

And as someone else remarked; we used to get our scripts from history books, now we get them from comic books.

pi asserts...

Posted April 19, 2013

History is so over-rated. The good guy doesn't always win. Not nearly enough sex. Or, not enough of the good sort. People, for the most part, are prettn effn boring.

Comic books on the other hand. Tight scripts. Scenes already developed. Good. Evil. Sex. Good guy wins. Except when it's awesome for them not to.

History doesn't stand a chance.

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damian mumbles...

Posted April 17, 2013

Goodness, that doesn't look hald bad. I like the sonic boom effect. If he'd been working *with* those A10s, it'd kind of have a feel of the old "superman goes to war". But anyway...

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Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted April 17, 2013

Why are ''Australian actors"in these movies?

Bit Parts?

I never was a Superman Afficianado cause themovies portrayed him as too good.

I am on a foreign computer cause mine has win8 and apparently CBG works on Lotus notes '98.

I willcommenton previous threads when I next escape.

Love yous

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Quokka reckons...

Posted April 18, 2013

Dino, I was an avid comic enthusiast when I were a lass so I will watch any reboot of a superhero just to see what they've done with it. I watched the Smallville series and was really impressed by the writing (much better from season 3 when they added Lois, her put-downs & gaffes are just wicked) & the addition of some new characters, like Chloe Sullivan as Clark's BFF/tech nerd/rebelllious hacker.

The idea that they ran with in the series was that kryptonite could infect humans & it rarely improved their characters.

Michael Rosenbaum was awesome as the young Lex, and casting John Glover as his father was a stroke of genius. Lex was conflicted and Lionel Luthor was a nasty piece of work. My favourite episode is when Lionel managed to switch bodies with Clark & he wandered round being a total arse to everyone. Lex's character made the point in one episode that the journey into darkness doesn't happen in a single step, it's a slow progression, and I for one loved watching that.

Terrence Stamp played the voice of Jor-El and he totally owned the role of arrogant alien twat. Which is why I'm so pissy about Russ being cast in that role. Jor-El is meant to be the foremost mind in an advanced and stoic scientific culture. He's not some yit that yells 'GO RABBITOHS!' over a schooner of VB & chucks a phone at the help when things don't go his way.

Not. Appropriate. Casting.

Boo, and Hiss.

Rob is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2013

What they needed to do was have a digital Marlon Brando as Jor-el. This way we could have a Jar Jar Binks for the comic book set. Bound to better than Rus Le Roq.

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Rob asserts...

Posted April 19, 2013

'no capes robert'

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It's the end of the world. Again

Posted April 13, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

When I saw the trailer for It's a Disaster, about a brunch at the end of the world, I couldn't help but think the producers were ripping off, er, I mean riffing on Nevil Shute's On The Beach, which was a late '50s movie (Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner no less) and an early naughties TV series. The movie was famous for Ava Gardner remarking that Melbourne was a perfect place to shoot a movie about the end of the world.

But no, It's a Disaster seems to be mining a much fresher seam of apocalypse comedy, which maybe came to note with Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. And by 'came to note' I mean 'passed by unwatched and unrecognised and not really noted at all.'

Or if you want to get pedantic, maybe it was Shaun of the Dead which kicked of the end times comedy tour. But I'd argue Shaun and Zombieland were more specifically about refashioning the undead subgenre than any overarching apocalypse theme.

The more interesting contrast is probably with the unabashedly bigger, dumber and louder This is the End, which looks a lot more Hollywood, despite its indie stylings.

This looks a lot more, I dunno, 'self aware'? No... self conscious, I think, than the Julia Stiles vehicle, but both of them look worthy of a night in front of the flat screen.

There's probably a metacultural point to be made about the existential exhaustion which leads up past fear of the end and into laughing at it. The rise of the disaster movie, in the 1970s, had a lot to do with Irwin Allen, but even more to do with Irwin's finding a way to cash in on a generalised fear of decay and collapse that gripped the western imagination after the 1960s finally shrivelled up and died in 1973.

The thing about those first disaster movies?

They had no sense of humour at all.

13 Responses to ‘It's the end of the world. Again’

Abe Frellman would have you know...

Posted April 13, 2013

My uncle was an extra in the original On the Beach. He didn't have much of a sense of humor either.

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Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted April 13, 2013

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

A great flick.

I thoroughly recommend it.

And the shortmovie 'Thermal Expansion'

Also with Steve.

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tqft mumbles...

Posted April 13, 2013

For more immediate consumption tonight on SBS

French cop/zombie flick - The Horde. is it any good?

http://www.sbs.com.au/guide/day/2013-04-13/location/NSW#/program/4716815

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted April 13, 2013

Hell yes

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 13, 2013

and in case anyone was confused with my recommendation

hell yes, see The horde, before it gets made over in to an American movie.

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Dino not to be confused with puts forth...

Posted April 13, 2013

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/joyce-to-challenge-windsor-20130413-2hs1g.html

I feel there is some connection...

It actually sways me to Partisanship in an oblique non-judgemental way...

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Darth Greybeard would have you know...

Posted April 13, 2013

I thought the Cabin in the Woods did the whole "Screw it, let's get it over with" feeling pretty well.

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ShaneAlpha asserts...

Posted April 13, 2013

I love the line in This is the End "Hermoine just stole all our shit!" and yes a very self aware filum given the actors are playing themselves and the movie is set in James Franco's house.

and don't forget the next Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright movie "The Worlds End"

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted April 13, 2013

I was going to mention the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost/Edgar Wright movie, i wonder if they wil outline the plot like they did at the start of Shaun of the Dead.

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ShaneAlpha is gonna tell you...

Posted April 13, 2013

and have you noticed the uptick in disaster preppers in recent years? 1970's all over again.

Had a conversation recently with one of them "young people" was a bit taken aback that he was so suprised that a lot of people of my generation had a extensive understanding of nuclear weapons and their effects. I had to explain that we had to learn it because we fully expected to experience the effects first hand and in the 3 milliseconds before we were consumed in the fireball it would be nice to appreciate the technical aspects of what was about to kill us.

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 13, 2013

and did you tell them to "get off your damn lawn" as well?

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mordwa mumbles...

Posted April 13, 2013

@ShaneAlf

"Ho yes, H-Bomb, 15 megaton, jolly good show, carry on pip-pip"

Not ...exactly... my preferred last words, but hey - it's not like we'd argue afterward-!

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ShaneAlpha swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 14, 2013

Nothing says "Get off my damn lawn you crazy kids!" like land mines.

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Elysium trailer looks like the first Sci Fi take on The 1%

Posted April 10, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

I've always been a fan of the Stephen King theory that sci-fi and genre work through the issues and fears of the day a lot earlier than literature does. I know there's been plenty of dystopian world building in SF movies over the years, but this is the first I've seen since the emergence of the Occupy movement that seems to be a conscious response to the Dickensian Future meme.

Oh and it looks fkn AWSM. Props to the Space Lizard for the heads up.

A Little Updater.

Apparently I'm not the first person to bring up the 1% thing. Buzzfeed has an interesting feature on the flick, quoting the writer-director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) waving off any deep reference to the Occupy movement:

Blomkamp did not mean for Elysium to directly mirror the Occupy Wall Street arguments. "If you think you're actually making a difference, you're on pretty dangerous thin ice. But you can put ideas in there that are real issues that happening in the world," he said. "If I wanted to make something and actually have it make a difference, I would make a documentary. The film does speak about topics that really have a big impact on me. But I don't know how much the audience takes away from it."

Another tasty nugget from Buzzfeed, the villain of the piece is based on the South African spec ops guys of the 1970s Border Wars.

30 Responses to ‘Elysium trailer looks like the first Sci Fi take on The 1%’

TC has opinions thus...

Posted April 10, 2013

That looks awesome. But your blog name does not (there's at least one word missing somewhere, I'm sure of it).

I'm also sure that there are other sci fi movies where the oppressed take on the 1% though. I'll think on it awhile....

TC mutters...

Posted April 10, 2013

Tank Girl

In Time

And in hidsight... maybe your blog name does read ok. Maybe I was just reading it with the wrong inference...

TC mutters...

Posted April 10, 2013

You know what? I take it all back.

Can I just leave it as "That looks awesome" and delete the rest of my jibberish?

I look forward to bowing to my Dickensian Scrooge-like masters in the near future.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted April 10, 2013

Ah TC, bringin the Lulz. By accident.

Nocturnalist asserts...

Posted April 10, 2013

+++I'm also sure that there are other sci fi movies where the oppressed take on the 1% though. +++

It's not a new theme - it goes all the way back to Metropolis. It will be interesting to see how the continuing fallout of the GFC and the Occupy meme will filter through into our stories.

Although there's a solid argument that big-screen treatment of just that movement has already come from The Dark Knight Rises, all that dialogue about how "you'll wonder how you ever managed to ride so high for so long, and leave so little for the rest of us".

Admittedly that film comes at it from the opposite side, with a message that comes across more as "look at how that horrible mob wrecks everything once there's no Authority to beat them into line, much better to leave it up to the politicians and billionaires".

Anyway, this looks like one to catch in the cinema, if only to enjoy that futuristic scenery in full giant size. (My only gripe with things like this and Halo is that if they ever do film Ringworld people will think it's a rip-off.)

Bunyip reckons...

Posted April 10, 2013

"My only gripe with things like this and Halo is that if they ever do film Ringworld people will think it's a rip-off"

Now. Why hasn't that been made into a movie yet? Darn it. Will have to go back and reread it to see suitablity for the genre minded minion.

Matthew K puts forth...

Posted April 11, 2013

Totally agree on the Ringworld thing.

But Hollywood has been mining books and comics for years, Robocop stripped ideas off Frank Miller's Dark Knight reimagining of Batman before waaaay the films came out.

Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted April 11, 2013

Hollywood will drink your milkshake. Drink it right up.

BrianC asserts...

Posted April 11, 2013

Bun, if they ruin that for me. Ima cut a bitch

Bunyip puts forth...

Posted April 11, 2013

I suspect that there will be a queue.

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 10, 2013

It reminds me of the start of computer game.

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Lulu puts forth...

Posted April 10, 2013

Neill Blomkamp & a villain based on South African spec ops guys of the 1970s Border Wars? I'm there, totally there.

Oh, wait. Does it have the same seasick hand-held camerawork as District 9? If so. I might have to wait until t comes out on DVD.

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Sebben Phil ducks in to say...

Posted April 10, 2013

Can't wait till they take on the torrenters.

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Blarkon would have you know...

Posted April 10, 2013

Perhaps the rich people in the sky are the ones that own Google, who make add money off all the "information that wants to be free" information that the people left on Earth generate but can't sell because the only way you can ethically profit off creative output is to do live gigs and sell tshirts.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted April 10, 2013

If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled; for you are in Elysium, and you're already dead!

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 10, 2013

and that computer game it reminds me of is Halo.

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HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted April 10, 2013

if it wasnt for me fillin the fkn hole, he'd be the next fkn Bruce willis baby!..YEAH..come get some, fkn god already left fkn Africa etc etc.

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted April 10, 2013

Writer/director Neill Blomkamp.
As if District 9 wasn't enough of a calling card.
I saw an interview with Matt Damon, he said, Blomkamp sent him the script in the form of a graphic novel. There was no way he wasn't in.

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BobGrrl has opinions thus...

Posted April 10, 2013

I was already going to see it because Jodie Foster and you had to go and ruin a perfectly shallow enjoyment by getting all thinky about it? Bastard.

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted April 10, 2013

S'okay, Bobgrrl. Jodie Foster looks hawt.

HAVOCK21 asserts...

Posted April 10, 2013

Cool. thought I was the only one who thougt she was FKN SPANKEEEEEEEEE!

Guru Bob ducks in to say...

Posted April 12, 2013

Havsy you would be wasting your time there....

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted April 11, 2013

Nocturnalist:

+++I'm also sure that there are other sci fi movies where the oppressed take on the 1% though. +++

It's not a new theme - it goes all the way back to Metropolis.

For sure. Old idea, goes back years. I think I first noticed it in Soylent Green/Make Room Make Room.

But the observation that we aren't all equal and life on Earth is not fair is hardly original anyway. Now proposing a workable world where all are equal - That's fantasy!

Nocturnalist has opinions thus...

Posted April 11, 2013

+++Now proposing a workable world where all are equal - That's fantasy!+++

Hold that thought for the Player of Games book club session on Friday. I suspect that will be one of the nodes of discussion.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted April 11, 2013

Haves versus Have Nots. Old as the Cave Men. Never would have drawn a connection between the trailer and the Occupy movement (mainly because I'm fairly certain that they will never accomplish anything of significance).

This film, on the other hand, looks like it is worth seeing. Been awhile since anyone invested some time in the 1970s style O'Neill Colonies.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Mordwa mumbles...

Posted April 12, 2013

Matt K

Metropolis? Damn - here I was about to say Gattica - or the Island, or- or- the Morlocks in the Time Machine - Caliban in the Tempest -

err, there *has* been rather a lot, after all...

the

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The first reporter into Hiroshima

Posted April 10, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

As much fun as Hanoi was, I didn't just go there for the wine and cheese. I've been working on a screenplay about Wilfred Burchett, an Australian war correspondent who was the first journo into Hiroshima after the bomb. Burchett was later famous, or perhaps infamous, for reporting some of the hottest conflicts of the Cold War from the 'wrong' side. Because he reported from behind North Korean and North Vietnamese lines, he was traduced in the Western press, and especially in his homeland by News Limited publications. I know. I know. Who'd a thunk it? I was as surprised as anybody.


Interestingly, outside of his own country, his access to Eastern Bloc leaders was recognized as a valuable and important conduit. Henry Kissinger sought him out in the early 1970s to ask his advice about Nixon's trip to China and the course of the Vietnam War. Or the American War as it's known in the host country.
He was a remarkable man, Burchett, and the story of his trip into and out of the atomic ruins is a great one. I've been working on it for a while and the trip to Hanoi gave me a chance to meet with his son, George, to try and get more of an insight into the man than is possible from just reading his extensive published works.
I was very lucky to be able to catch up with George, not just for the purposes of researching the film, but because he proved an excellent host and guide to the Vietnamese capital. He's a significant artist in his own right – the mural in the Park Hyatt at Sydney, if I remember correctly, is his – and he very generously gave me a tour of Hanoi's museum of fine arts. A small but beautiful collection held in an old colonial building, a former boarding school, the museum compresses a couple of thousand years of history down into a couple of hundred paintings and artifacts. There aren't many ways you can gain a quick appreciation for the history of the country in just an hour or so of walking around.
I did a lot of walking around, of course. The old quarter of Hanoi is a walking city. A dangerous one, because of the hell traffic, but negotiable if you keep your wits about you and go with the flow, as counterintuitive as it might be sometimes.
If anyone is looking for a decent holiday spot in Southeast Asia, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend somewhere above Vietnam. I didn't visit the old Southern capital, but my understanding from talking to locals and other tourists is that Saigon is not nearly as pleasant as Hanoi. There are also any number of Western-style resorts dotted up and down the coastline which, again, I did not visit, but which were very popular with those who did.

Orin asked me on twitter while I was over there whether I found myself imagining what the country might look like if the South had won, backed by American power. In fact, that thought never really occurred to me. But what I did find myself thinking, again and again, was what a terrible mistake it was to have come to this country as soldiers and laid waste to so much of it. If the policymakers of the 1960s could see what they were fighting against, how Vietnam would have turned into a stable, comparatively prosperous and happy place, well… I don't suppose it would have changed what they did. But it should have.
All of the blood and treasure that was spilled here? Utterly fucking wasted.

13 Responses to ‘The first reporter into Hiroshima’

Dave W mutters...

Posted April 10, 2013

Mrs W and I went to Vietnam (HCM city and Hoi An, but not Hanoi) after spending a week or so in Cambodia and our experience was of a hyper-capitalist country. This may have just been the contrast from Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, but was enough to influence our decision to go back to Cambodia in a couple of months, rather than see more of Vietnam.

Definitely, however, our trip to the region made me think that US and Australian military efforts were more than just a waste, they were counter-productive. We visited a land-mine museum out near Angkor Wat and it was a horror show of ordnance from every conceivable military-industrial exporter. So much otherwise usable land is unsafe in the region until it has been thoroughly cleaned.

Look forward to seeing the fruits of your South East Asian labours, John.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted April 10, 2013

"Because he reported from behind North Korean" holy crap thats not something to be critised for but something to be admired for his courage.

The American War was a mistake, an incredibly costly egregious and depressing mistake surely everyone can agree to that now?

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted April 10, 2013

Barnes, I would agree that the war was a mistake at this point. I think most American students of military history probably have arrived at that conclusion as well.

That said, one would be wise to tread carefully on that topic in certain parts of the US.

A year or so ago I finished reading Dereliction of Duty, which was a policy analysis/history of the behavior of the political and military leadership up to 1965. Pretty much lays everything on the doorstep of McNamara, JFK and LBJ. The JCS damned as well for their failure to put aside their interservice bickering and do their duty.

A tragedy of the first order which could have at numerous points in history been avoided stretching all the way back to Woodrow Wilson.

On another note, it was strange to read about this visit to Hanoi while one of my lifeguard peers was visiting family in South Korea as part of her vacation away from her teaching duties in China.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 10, 2013

You are right Mrurph, apologies if I in any way ment to to lessen the moral cost to the US or seem to inply any disregard for the US citizens who wer involved.

I admit my impressions of how the US getting involved in a war in Vietnam was a mistake was when JB put me onto Barbara W. Tuchman's 'The March of Folly'. As a layman I an concious that it may not stack up well as a historical analysis, and I recognise you have a lot more experince and knowledge about this stuff as a historian than I.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 11, 2013

Barnes, I did not take it that way. Wars are tragedies because they always pit people against each other as a result of the calculations and miscalculations of politicians, not as the result of any general animosity.

As for experience and knowledge, well, my war was very short (also against a group of people I do not bear any real grievances with) and my knowledge generally comes from dealing with my father plus a degree in Greco-Roman/British History.

Anyway, there was nothing wrong with your analysis at all. It was quite accurate in fact.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted April 10, 2013

I've read hundreds of screenplays. Writing them must be a pain in the ass.

Less is more.

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted April 11, 2013

Screenwriting classes pretty well convinced me that I don't want to write screenplays. Consult and advise on them? Sure. Actually write them?

Pass.

Good luck with it, Birmo.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted April 10, 2013

I remember the corner in that long exposure night photo. Quite an amazing spot. I walked around that lake in dawn light, with locals taking their exercise. The water is a really vivid green...

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Matthew K mumbles...

Posted April 11, 2013

Orin asked me... what the country might look like if the South had won, backed by American power.

Somewhere on the spectrum between the Phillipines and South Korea?

Much depends on land reform in my opinion which as South Vietnamese administraion was famously corrupt and grasping probably wouldn't have happened.

So. Closer to the Phillipines is my guess.

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Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted April 12, 2013

Jacobs Ladder is a good movie about that War.

An interesting correlation is the increase of backyard swimming pools in the USA during the sixties and the use of organo Chlorines in Warfare.

Are they weapons? Are they Chemicals?

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 13, 2013

they are chemical weapons

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Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted April 14, 2013

SInce we're talkin' 'bout "Ground Zero"-

How is Kurt Sonnenfeld doing these days?

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Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted April 14, 2013

The Road by Cormac McCarthy describes an all to real narrative.

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