Nova Prime

Nova Corpsman eating bread

I’m not a racist, but objectively speaking, Xandarians look weird when they’re eating.

Old is new again

Somehow I’ve managed to get through life without ever seeing Groundhog Day. I never felt this lack until recently watching Edge of Tomorrow, the plot of which is similarly based on the protagonist reliving the same day over and over again.

I don’t believe Edge of Tomorrow is based at all on Groundhog Day, and in fact in reading the original book adapted for the film called All You Need is Kill (great title by the way), it’s clear that the repetitive nature of the story is based on the experience of dying over and over in a video game and not on any movie starring Bill Murray.

Still, comparisons were made, so out of curiosity I watched a movie that I’d avoided watching every time it was shown on TV – and I remember it was shown quite a lot.

Groundhog Day was okay. It’s pretty funny and enjoyable enough. Had I seen it when I was younger I might have enshrined it with nostalgia beside Home Alone, Ghostbusters, and Big. But that’s pretty much it. I think part of the reason for the regards it’s held in today is the fact that most people will have seen it multiple times over their lives. Nostalgia is built and rebuilt with each viewing.

But there are worse things to be nostalgic for. At least this thing is decent, unlike, say, Thundercats or He-Man or the like. Anyway, I can cross off another movie from my list.

Breaking news

There is a karaoke music video of the song Take My Breath Away from the movie Top Gun.

Next on Youtube’s recommendation is the song Danger Zone, also from the same movie. Then Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins. If anyone wants me, I’ll be time travelling to the 80s for the next few hours.

Back to cat videos

More thoughts on His Girl Friday. The dialogue zipped and zinged, fast and furious. It was obviously adapted from a play. I forgot how paranoid the middle and upper classes were about a Bolshevik/working class uprising in the early part of the 20th century. I do recall Hitler was trying to get the Brits to join him for a crusade against the reds before things fell out the way they did. Also, who were those speakers in the park mentioned as driving Williams insane? It sounds like they were union organizers or some kind of socialist agitators but would like to know more.

And the guy on death row killed a coloured policeman but no one seems to feel bad about it. It’s all about poor pathetic Williams who wouldn’t hurt a fly (but apparently he would kill a black guy).

Anyway, I just had my Internet finally hooked up last night. During my hiatus, when not checking email on my phone like some starving Eritrean I’d been watching highfalutin’ movies and TV shows I’d been planning to get to like His Girl Friday, Another Earth,and The Borgias. I have weeks of brain rotting to catch up on so I may need to take a sick day to watch all those Youtube videos I missed.

His Man Friday

Currently watching His Girl Friday as I type. Isn’t Hildy a man in the original play? How is the story different? I’d like to think that it’s not and in the play Hildy is also divorced from his former boss.

Tetsuo and Kaneda’s Excellent Adventure

Last weekend, I saw Akira for the first time in probably twenty years. It held up very well.

The film is essentially about Japan in the 1960s, complete with violent gangs, mass protests, and regular terrorist bombings. Despite that temporal specificity, it still feels timeless. This is impressive for a sci-fi film made in 1988, especially since a lot of cyberpunk from that era feels very dated. I think an American cyberpunk story from that time would probably be full of coded racial paranoia about the rise of Japan, or it would have embarrassing Orientalist stereotypes about honour or some shit. This movie, of course, avoids that.

Anyway, I’d forgotten that there are no heroes in Akira. Everyone is either an asshole, a fuckup, or both. The protagonists are violent bikers who gleefully engage in street duels that injure bystanders, while the climax involves a guy wanting revenge on his best friend. That best friend massacred hundreds of people and is about to kill an entire city, but as far as the participants are concerned their fight is about nothing more than their petty and personal grievances.

Plus the animation still looks incredible. A festering shithole has never looked this beautiful in cartoon form.

Overall, the movie was a worthwhile thing to revisit. I’m glad I saw it again.

The immortal Liam Neeson

Currently I’m trying to construct a theory that all of Liam Neeson’s characters are the same person. It works like this: Rob Roy was from the Scottish highlands, just like Christopher Lambert. This makes him a literal highlander. 

Thus, like the Wandering Jew, Liam Neeson walks this cursed earth, sometimes fighting and winning, sometimes loving and being loved, but always living life to all of its extremes. Obviously his Rob Roy identity wasn’t his first one, since he fathered Orlando Bloom during the Crusades, but perhaps it’s one that accidentally reveals his true nature. And taking the name Ra’s al Ghul is a sly commentary on his adventures a millennium before. Sometimes he’s in the wrong place at the wrong time, like Germany in the 1940s. A life like his can be pretty stressful, so other times he takes a few decades to chill out, like when he was raising an actual red-headed stepchild who he somehow wasn’t beating nightly.

The only problem with this theory, besides its stupidity, is that I couldn’t quite reconcile Qui-Gon Jinn. How did this Neeson Earthman join a society of mystic space knights from a completely different galaxy which existed untold millennia before Camelot was built? Then I realized that this immortal was merely longer-lived than I’d initially thought. Qui-Gon was simply the earliest known identity of our immortal.

Well, glad that I figured that out. Anyway, what did you do at work today?

Hip, hip, hurray

Okay, so I’m in the movie theatre right now waiting to see Grand Budapest Hotel and the place is packed.

What the hell, peeps? I thought watching an indie movie on a Thursday night would mean copious empty seating, like when I saw Coriolanus, but we are full up. I guess every other hipster in the city had the same thought.

The Hudsucker Negro

I saw The Hudsucker Proxy over the weekend. It’s a pretty fun film and I rather liked how it was an homage to old time movies. What was jarring was the literal Magic Negro, which felt peculiarly of its time (that time being 1994). Portraying a sympathetic black character would have probably gotten the director arrested as a Bolshevik agitator in the era the film is paying an homage to, whereas crypto-racism is at least more subtle in the 21st century. Therefore this character could only have existed at a time when white people know they shouldn’t be racist but are ignorant enough that their attempts at equal representation still come across as condescending.

The 90’s: Politically Correct enough to be ashamed of racism yet ignorant enough to perpetuate it anyway.

Other than a man

It seems that a handful of Swedish movie theatres have introduced a ratings system based on the Bechdel test. It’s just four movie theatres and they’re known for being purveyors of independent cinema, so it’s not like this is a massive revision of the current age-based ratings system. In fact, this is just a voluntary addition to the existing ratings mandated by the Swedish government. And let us not forget that the Bechdel test was originally created in service of a joke in a comic strip.

The test by itself tells you rather little in exactly how well a movie addresses gender. For example, I think Sucker Punch passes the test, and that movie was so very problematic in how it treated its mostly female cast of characters. But hey, it’s something.