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A parable on loss
Discounting one condescending reviewer who enjoyed flaunting his high IQ and disdain for all of us parasites, my intellectual friends are missing the point. This is not a movie about physics and what is or is not possible. It is a parable of accepting loss. Anyone who has experienced loss on the level of the main character will certainly benefit from this film. As one who worked in CG I could rant on mistakes as they were aplenty, however the film left me deeply moved and reconsidering my own life. Loss of such a caliber is shattering. Moving on so very difficult. Thank you for a wonderful experience, physics boondoggles and irate high IQs who have yet discovered emotions aside, this movie has made me think about moving through pain.
Spoiler: Some people felt howling seemed silly. I was stunned when that happened. Some of you may at some point in your life be so overwhelmed by grief and pain that you find yourself sitting in the bottom of the shower howling until you are horse and the water long gone cold. It is a deep, primeval response that will take you by surprise and leave you empty afterward. It is my fervent wish that you never experience it.
Two days later and I'm still mulling it over
All in all an excellent film.
Due to its very nature and the complex ramifications it represents, there's a short segment mid-film that attempts to explain the narrative from the distorted point of view of the fictional film makers. After all, in a way, it's a film within a film within a film...that's all within a film you are watching. If that doesn't make sense, don't worry, that's one of the points of the film... And I'm not saying which one.
Even its own way of fictional complexity shows the sincerity of the filmmakers attempt at something truly unique. Even though it's not. Damn.
It's hard to explain without giving anything away except to say that the singularly most impressive aspect of the film is its acting. Well that, and it all makes sense somehow.
I wasn't sure I would like it at first and now it's all I've thought about since. Maybe I'm one of those who shows up at protest rally's and I don't even know it.
Crap. Now I went and made myself scared.
A fun ride and no easy way out
I have to strongly disagree with those who panned this film. It seems the biggest complaint is that it's not a Hollywood formula film. That's one reason why I liked it so much. That and the fx are amazingly well done. The movie takes place in an intimate setting and I liked the every day regular folks feel to it. The sense of no one knowing what is happening combined with deeply flawed characters let me feel as if I were along for the ride myself. The characters are on their own and left to make mistakes. Skyline definitely has a plot, just not a typical Hollywood plot most people are used to. If you ever watch foreign films, you know that in comparison, American films always tie everything up with a bow. Skyline reminded me of a lot of French films that don't have typical happy endings. Just endings, which let you think about what might have happened afterward. I enjoyed using my imagination and coming up with our own theories after the movie.
SPOILER ALERT Film ending discussed below.
I was really taken by the graphic novel feel during the final credit roll. It certainly left you with more questions than answers. I can't wait for a sequel.
There is only one thing about the film that bugged me. There is no clear reason why the main character ended up as he did at the end of the film (red instead of blue made him easy to spot but why was he different?) nor why there weren't others like him if he wasn't special or a hero. It had a rushed feel to it as if it were tacked on to the end of the film to satisfy critics. I think It would have been much better to end with the kiss.
I know you can't please everyone, nor should you try. That said, I'm surprised by the depth of loathing by some reviews of this episode. I grew up on twilight zone. The Carroll Burnett show was a staple in our weekly fair as well.
Back when this show aired, Carroll was a young, budding comedian. All these shows were competing for the same audiences in a small market compared to today. There were only 3 channels available. Likewise, the actors and writers all knew each other and often worked in the same complex of buildings. In context of the era, this show makes complete sense to me. It was a breath of fresh air to see the Zone not take itself so seriously, and as a result, strengthened my appreciation for the show. Puzzlement aside, this is a brilliant episode from this time period in television history. As said in other reviews, this episode is a tip of the hat to "It's a wonderful life", and is a cleaver tribute to it at that.
I suppose your attitude toward certain episodes depends on how much of a purist you are, how much humor you have towards yourself, and how old you are. I don't know anyone my age who dislikes this episode with the venom I see here.
As far as likes and dislikes. I am under the impression those buttons are a poll as to how helpful a review is to me personally. If I find a critical review that I feel is way off the mark, I tend to mark it unhelpful. For my purposes, a review that misses the point IS unhelpful to me. If a criticism of a show is warranted, then it is helpful to me and i mark it as such. Getting bent out of shape over how your review polls may have a lot to do with why you may find this particular episode so distasteful. (wicked grin)
Aside from some annoying stereotypes, it's worth the price of admission.
It was much better than I expected and I laughed the whole time with few exceptions. It has a much more mature plot than I expected and has touching moments offset with raunchy humor. All in all a good investment of time and money for an evenings entertainment.
Pro: There are some inventive routines and imagery that's just soooo wrong... It's terrific. the animation and rendering of Ted are spot on. I only stopped laughing a few times and felt disappointed in Macfarlane for a few things that left a bad taste in my mouth.
Con: The raunchy humor in this film is hysterical and I am by no means a prude. I draw a line though, when it comes to deeply offensive stereotypes used to bully people, particularly at a time when bullying is epidemic. How do you tell kids to stop bullying and not to use certain phrases when they are constantly used in Macfarlans shows? Macfarlane can't resist the old worn out gay jokes or racist characters. If he could just avoid rehashing tired old routines, his shows would be much better. For example, I have a hard time with animated shows that continue to use "That's so gay", giving teens the impression that it's acceptable to use this phrase. That one really grates my nerves and I only hear it repeated continually in South Park and Macfarlanes shows. These kinds of gay jokes went the way of black faced Minstral shows a long time ago. Additionally there are a few obnoxious racial stereotypes in this film that really bugged me.
I saw this movie with my brothers adopted Korean daughters. An obnoxious and deeply offensive Asian stereotyped character made them very uncomfortable and tarnished an otherwise wonderful evening.
Bottom Line: Aside from these few ridiculously over done routines, the show is fresh and very funny. I had a great time watching it and left the theater wondering when I can see it again.
Quick Review & a puzzler.
There's nothing I can add that hasn't already been said ten times in a hundred different ways. This is for those who want a quick opinion. Here's all you need to know
-Good film -Watch it -All attempts to remake aren't nearly as good or exciting so don't bother.
I suggest a darkened room and few distractions. Watch this film on a rainy day with a loved one in your arms (i.e.. the distraction).
My partner is what I call an anti-sci-fi fan. He hates the genre (Im certain it's just to annoy me). He loved this film. He wanted to see it again. It a 1956 production so it has 1956 sensibilities. Adjust expectations accordingly.
----SPOILER ALERT -----
If this film has a flaw, this is it. It's not a deal breaker by any means but it's one of those things that bugs me. The scene where Becky is in the cave, unable to stay awake, and Miles kisses her. She seems to instantly become a pod person which is vastly different than the rest of the film. I have always wanted to know what the director or writers intended. Was there a pod in the cave and pod-Becky is pretending until she is exposed? I'm surprised that this is never mentioned in the goofs section so there must be a justification I've missed that everyone else knows. Must be a pod thing that only pod people know.
Christmas with a Capital C (2011)
Fundamentalist self indulgence at it's best
This film is so disgusting and disturbing on so many levels I refused to let my niece watch it. I want her to know that our faith is about love and that means having utmost humility and respect for the beliefs of others. What strikes me as most sad is the "us against them" viewpoint that has become all to prevalent in today's churches along with The idea that being a Christian puts you automatically at war with anyone who doesn't believe as we do. this film has a confrontational, angry tone that is based an a fantasy that America belongs to us and us alone, and our faith has no room for anyone who is not a fundamentalist Christian, I am disturbed that it paints us as angry, hard hearted people. Christmas with a capital C is nothing more than paranoid masturbation and has no place in my home.
Noein: Mô hitori no kimi he (2005)
I'm oddly fascinated
I'm not an anime fanatic so my list of anime series Iike is short. As an animator I tend to like the higher budget shows like Akira. Most are so crudely animated it's painful to watch. I almost didn't bother with this series for that reason. However, the story captivated me. I knew it was going to be difficult to follow until more of the future plot line had been exposed and so far, I'm not disappointed.
Animation The only reason I'm going to this much depth in my review of the animation is because other reviewers didn't feel qualified to make comments. As an animator I don't feel much more qualified but like most animators I'm stubborn and opinionated when it comes to my trade. Take with a grain of salt. Obviously my taste in animation is a bit different than the style represented here, so I'll do my best. To poke at those Sins committed in this film that are basic to any animated show. Animation is, after all, a form of acting and a story telling tool. The way it's drawn and timed can impact a story just as much as a actors reading for a voice or editing does. I want to get this out of the way first. The line work is intentionally rough and I really like the sketchy look of the show. It has an unfinished, raw quality that influences your reaction to the characters and gives the show a more honest impression, if that makes any sense. The lack of polish let's you feel that the characters are more personal and believable. The one thing, and it's a big thing, is they extended this rawness to the frame count as well. Here it has the opposite impact on the story, making it feel cheap and rushed. There are entire fight sequences that are around 12 frames per second or much less. Often to the point it looks more like an animatic (placeholder) than a finished product. I had a difficult time watching those sequences. Over all the show stays around the 12 fps range, which is really a shame. This story deserves better. It's obvious this is where the shows budget hit hardest. I especially dislike the exaggerated reactions (screaming, crying, anger) that are often the hallmark of anime. I expect them in anime but the bad frame rate makes it seem as if they were cheating or trying to avoid working on something difficult to animate, and in the end made me feel the people with the money were stingy or didn't get the story well enough to invest in it properly. I've seen work come out of high school art departments that were far better. I hate when things are handled so carelessly. It's an insult to the audience.
Audio I hope someone can clear this up for me. why is it that anime has such horrible over acted voices? At first I thought that it was intentional from the start. A trademark if you will. Then I got Akira on laser disk and watched the program in it's original language. The acting was subtle and very well done. The English translation, however, was loud and horribly exaggerated. It was like someone trying to talk to a hearing impaired individual. I felt as if they think American audiences are dumb so they scream at you instead of acting naturally. For example, a bar scene at the beginning of Akira, a patron leans back in his chair and yawns. In Japanese, it's a normal, somewhat subdued yawn. The English track the guy leans back and in a very loud exaggerated voice goes ERRRR YAAAAWWWWWNNN! AHHHHH It bugs me. Badly. Am I just missing the joke here? Story professional complaints aside, I found myself unable to turn off the player and go to bed. The characters are charming and easily identified with. I wasn't happy with the explanation of quantum theory but it was one of the better attempts at a very difficult to grasp concept. I felt they brushed over important concept and focused on less important ones. The explanation of "entanglement" confused me and I understand the theory! They Have an animation depicting Schrödinger's cat. Rather than explain that theory they used a more convoluted example of sand on a beach, all the while using boxes holding the cat rather than sand. I found the description confusing and far less effective than if they had just stayed with Schrodinger's Cat.
The concepts around quantum mechanics is what make the story hard to follow at first. Eventually you get it just because the events around the characters.
I was enamored with all of the characters. The lady with the southern accent cracked me up. I grew up in Texas so the accent was a bit hard but it coming out of an anime character was jarring to say the least. Ioved it.
This review sounds far more negative than I intended. I have very positive feelings toward the show and highly recommend it. It's entertaining and has a unique take on a common sci if element in today's shows. It is creative and refreshing. I agree with all the other reviews. Don't give up after only a couple of episodes. You won't be disappointed. That being the common theme in other reviews. I really don't see many people doing that though. After all, none of us did, and Im not even that much of a fan. Not to mention animation problems that made my eyes bleed. If I can enjoy it that much then you should love it.
2012: Supernova (2009)
Eeek! The 70's didn't die!
Take "I Dream of Genie", keep the shots of NASA footage pasted over old monitors. Hope people don't recognize shots of Space Shuttle Chlenger blowing up...mate it with 70's Saturday morning series "Far Out Space Nuts"... dumb down the dialog...Splice in high end CGI of planets blowing up...Hire your kid brother at the last minute to create mattes of LA holocaust on his home computer...toss in a heaping bucket full of stereotypes...check for anything scientifically plausible and remove it....Whala! Yove got this movie. I had intended to do a list of continuity errors but quickly felt overwhelmed. I had no idea Tucson could substitute for anywhere USA. It's almost worth watching for the one thing that really puzzles me. Who green-lighted this? That alone brings so many disturbing questions to mind that....that....I need a Valium and a nap now. I feel so dirty. My brain has been assaulted. Mommy!
Pocketful of Miracles (1961)
Davis is wonderful. Confused about ending
Often people say these older movies are too smarmy and sweet, but thats the reflection of a generation raised on violent hard hitting films. Films of this era were about escapism from the harsh reality of the world outside the theater. They were a kind of childish hope for a world that could never be for the audience of that time. That said, Bette Davis gives a fantastic performance in this film. I watched it over and over again just to see the master at her craft. She plays the last half of the film as if she's stunned in a dream state, unable to quite grasp the kindness shown her. An element of fear of being found out, trying to pull off the elegance of a lady of stature, yet never loosing the the character of the first half of the film. She manages to pull off being a lady more from being shell shocked than from any real attempt by her character to try to be something she is not. I half hoped she would tell the truth to the count toward the end. Its a lovely film and is right up there with I remember Momma as one of my favorite films of this time. One thing I didn't quite understand that I hope someone here might can help me with. I have a 30 year old TV so I have a authentic experience watching these old movies. I suppose. The problem being the sound quality is horrible. That may have more to do with my aging ears but I'd rather blame it on the set.As a result I missed a lot of dialog toward the end and I couldn't figure out what the payoff for attending the party was for the Mayor and Governor. I felt as if an entire scene were missing between Dude and the officials. Did he turn in the mob boss he had been hauling around in the semi? Did he give himself up? Or was this just a Capra miracle that is never quite explained and we're to think that they were touched by Apple Annies story and wanted to do the right thing by her? I'm interested in what others with better viewing equipment took away from the end of this film.