Monthly Archives: March, 2006

Aeon Flux

We saw Aeon Flux on Friday, just because. 

I don’t know anything about the background of it, but it seems like it must be based on a book or a series, because the world was just too well realised for it not to be.  There were too many things that were just too out there for them to have been thought up just to put into a two-hour or so flick.  These things generally added to the film, rather than detracted… they’ve also made me want to go and chase it up.

Charlize Theron was pretty good, I thought.  Aeon was a moderately complex character, and she did it well.  I didn’t recognise the name Martin Csorza, but I certainly recognised him – having looked him up on IMDB, I’m not surprised:  Celeborn in LOTR, among others.  He too was great.

The world of the film was glorious.  The costumes were a bit weird, in some cases – J reckons that that’s part of what makes cinematic scifi scifi – but the buildings and the design were brilliant. 

The plot twists were magnificent, completely unexpected, and completely believable in the context.  It was a good movie, over all. 

 *edit* Turns out it’s based on an MTV series from the mid-90s.  Too bad there’s no book to find.

Fishies

I lost another fish, while we were away.  It was very dead.  I think it was a glowlight tetra, but it was hard to be sure.  It wasn’t the drospy one, so that’s a bit annoying in some ways.  Ah well.

The weed is taking over the tank, again.

Walk the Line

I finally saw Walk the Line on Monday.  As expected, there was fantastic music.  When I was in Adelaide, Mum was listening to the soundtrack, so I already knew that Joaquin Phoenix was a quite remarkable singer – even Reese Witherspoon was pretty good. 

 Johnny Cash really did have a crap life early on.  It’s interesting to think about whether Jack Cash really was as ‘good’ as Johnny obviously remembered him, but in the end it doesn’t really matter – if he remembered him like that, then that’s how it affected him.  Historical accuracy, in this instance, doesn’t really matter (did I really say that?).

The bro said, when he saw it, he expected Johnny to refuse the drugs when first offered, and he was quite disappointed when he did actually take them.  I guess you can rationalise it a bit by saying that in the 50s they didn’t really know so much about the effects of illicit drugs… but they were still illicit.  Anyway.  He took them.  They ruined his life for a while.  The whole story could be seen as a bit trite and even contrived, except that it’s true.

One of the really interesting sidelines, I thought, was the different people that he toured with:  Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis (who really came across as wild), Carl Perkins, Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison… the line between ‘country’ and ‘rock’ at that stage really was infintesimal.  They were all coming out of the same milieu, the same influences, and much of their stuff really does sound alike.  This is my justification for liking Johnny Cash.  Not that I need one; he’s (his music is) just so cool.

The Invention of Money

I just went to a free lecture at Melbourne Uni, on the invention of money by the Greeks in the sixth century.  It was pretty interesting:  the lecturer was fairly engaging to listen to, which is always a bonus.  I wasn’t entirely convinced by what he said about the invention of money itself – it seemed a bit vague, although admittedly the guy did say that the details were all in his book (plug, plug – he did it in quite a self-effacing way, though).  The more interesting side of it was the connection between the development of philosophy and money at the same time, in the same place (and he would have talked about drama, in particular tragedy, too, if he hadn’t had all of his time taken up by philosophy).  He defined philosophy as the view that the universe is an understandable system governed by uniform, impersonal forces.  The early philosophers all seemed to think that the entire universe is made up of one substance, in different forms.  The lecturer said that this was a result of Miletus (where the philospohers lived) being a monetised society.  Money was the most powerful thing in a non-monarchical society; it was capable of being exchanged for anything, and everything could be exchanged for money; and it was impersonal.  Viola.  Philosophy as we understand it.  Pretty interesting idea.

Stargate SG-1

We just got the first series of Stargate from some friends (who also gave us back Firefly, hurrah).  I’ve only ever seen odd episodes here and there, and never these first few that really set it up, so I’m enjoying it.  J thinks it’s all a bit B-grade, but I’m willing to overlook that.  At least there are some vaguely interesting story-lines, and there are some differences between each episode… unlike Alias….  And the characters are interesting too:  I remember some weird stuff happening to Daniel Jackson, but I have no idea what series that was in, so I might have a long time to wait until I found out exactly what that was all about.  I’m willing to wait – and at least I won’t have to find it for myself:  the friends I mentioned have all 9 seasons of it.

I got HACKED!

I got hacked!!  I got hacked!  Those… those… unmentionables!  I cannot believe it.  Some Portugese, Argentinian prats.  I tried to BabelFish it, but it didn’t manage to translate all of it, to any extent that I could understand.  I refuse to say what was on it, because that just gives them more publicity. 

Argh!  I cannot believe I got hacked! 

 And like they would have got any publicity from my site anyway.

 And I would like to say a great big THANKS to Dave The Man, who got me un-hacked and cleared all the spam comments from the site too.  Yay!

Sunstorm

I finally got around to buying and reading this book, a collaboration by Arthur C Clarke and Stephen Baxter, and a continuation of the Time Odyssey series (started with The Light of Other Days, or something like that).

It was excellent. I think I’ve said bother that I don’t usually like it when books go backwards and forwards between different characters, but these two manage it well and the story still managed to flow well. The characters were interesting and well-realised. There wasn’t too much physics and stuff, which is always good by me (the first stuff of Baxter’s that I read was a bit too science-heavy for me) – although there were some interesting descriptions of what goes on in the sun, and why/how the ‘sunstorm’ of the title happened. I really like that they have a little appendix at the end, too, explaining where someone can go read further about some of the science and technology mentioned in the book (like space elevators – they have always fascinated me, I think since Kim Stanley Robinson and the Mars series).

Anyway, a fun book.

The Life Aquatic

I never thought I would say this, but I finally found a mainstream-ish film that is even a little bit too weird for me. I wanted to see this film at the cinema, but never got a chance, so I finally got it out and watched it today. Weird, truly weird. In the end I guess it went somewhere, but I wasn’t sure it would, for a very long time.

It is a very clever movie – and although I don’t know Cousteau stuff enough, I’m sure there are plenty of little jabs and puns in there that I don’t get. The cast was pretty entertaining; I love Anjelica Huston, but I was a bit bemused by Cate Blanchett’s ultra-English accent – what was the point of it? There weren’t any Pommy jokes or anything. I’ve never been a huge Owen Wilson fan, but I guess he acquitted himself well enough; Willem Defoe was pretty good – he seems to be a very good character actor. And it was nice to see Noah Taylor in there, too!

Overall, I think I liked it, although I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it again. I also wouldn’t bother to buy it, as some friends of mine have. But certainly an amusing movie for a holiday afternoon.

Commonwealth Games

I wouldn’t mind having the Games on the TV in the background, really. There are, however, three obstacles that I simply cannot overcome:
1. Lawn bowls
2. Mark Nicholls
3. Shooting.

And I’m not a huge fan of rugby, either.

Johnny Mnemonic

Gotta admit, I was disappointed. I finally got around to getting this out – have been meaning to watch it since it came out, was feeling like a traitor to both my generation and my scifi nerdy compadres – but it just wasn’t that good.

It was too short, I think. There was pretty much no character development, and that was a serious defect for my mind. There was little to no explanation of motivation for various actions… really, it was just a bit painful.

I also spent a large slab of the movie (at 90 min, that’s not such a long time) trying to figure out why I knew the name Henry Rollins, who has a part. And then I realised that he was in music, and tried to remember what band he was in… and then J pointed out it was the Henry Rollins Band… oops.