Well, to start with I am very excited that the fourth one has actually had a date set for release – mid this year. It’s been a long time coming!! With Cate Blanchett, hopefully it will be good – I really hope it’s realistic about Ford being ancient. One of the things I really enjoyed about Lethal Weapon 4 was Glover and Gibson going on about being too old for this shit. Anyway, I’m excited.
What has sparked this post, though, was a viewing of Last Crusade. Great movie. Great movie. I adore the opening, with young Indy: it is so very nicely set up – I realised that you don’t know whether Indy is a scout or in the cave for quite a long time; the main looter in the cave even looks a bit like Ford, and of course the hat is Indy’s. It made me sad to see River Phoenix – such a pity for him to die so damn young.
And the whole movie is great. Good chases – although the tank/horse scene gets a bit long; good baddies – especially Elsa, of course, and adding in Hitler is brilliant; I love the zeppelin scene; and heck – it’s Connery! “The schlime of humanity” – what a line.
We re-watched Underworld and Underworld Evolution the other day; I really do like those movies. It was quite funny in that for a few minutes there I had to make the effort to remember that we were watching this, and not Blade. Kate Beckinsdale is quite good; Scott Speedman is quite adorable. Quite adorable.
The thing that struck me this time was the atemporal and aspatial nature of the duo. Yes, there is the date at the start of Evolution, where you find out about Williams and Marcus; there is the whole, rather confused thing about how long the war has been going on, how long Selene has been a vampire, and exactly when Alexander Corvinus lived… but it doesn’t give a date for the movie, and it’s both sufficiently old-fashioned – the mansion, for example, and the very noir feel – as well as sufficiently futuristic – the clothes, guns, lights – that atemporal is the only way to describe it.
The cityscape of the first movie is unrecognisable: it could be European or American. Add in the rural landscape of the second, which is essentially mythical Transylvania (or your basic Eastern European setting), and it quite confuses the setting utterly – certainly more European than American, which is entertaining in contrast to the predominance of Yank accents. I liked this aspect; I think it worked better than trying to ground it somewhere more concretely. It sets the story loose, lets it play fast and loose with geography and makes it more dramatic.
I was also reminded of quite how attractive the movies are to watch. Lovely shadows, stark corners, gloomy backgrounds… delightful.
So, it’s exciting to be finished 2007 – the year and the reading – and I have already started on 2008, because I know there are going to be some hiatus…es? Hiati? Anyway, some breaks in reading. We are going to do a complete wrap-up of 2007 in the short fiction scene, hopefully soonish, but it will take some fiddling so bear with us. (If that doesn’t make sense, check out Last Short Story to see what kept me busy this year, amongst other things). To keep you going, below is my recommended list for the Aussie scene:
Alex’s Moderately Subjective Year’s Best – 2007 (in random order)
Martin Livings, “There was Darkness,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Ben Payne, “Inside,” Ticonderoga Online 11
Tansy Rayner Roberts, “The Bluebell Vengeance,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 28
Kieran Morgan, “Finding Each Other Again,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 30
Sue Isle, “The Sun People,” Shiny 1
Grace Dugan, “Knowledge,” Interzone 211
Alex’s Equally Subjective Honours List – 2007
Trent Jamieson, “Cracks,” Shiny 2
Richard Harland, “Corpus,” Dark Animus 10/11
Dirk Flinthart, “Networking for Dummies,” The Worker’s Paradise
Nathan Burrage, “Black and Bitter,” The Worker’s Paradise
Rowena Cory Daniells, “Magda’s Career Choice,” The Worker’s Paradise
Cat Sparks, “Right to Work,” The Worker’s Paradise
Trent Jamieson, “Small Change,” Shiny 1
Terry Dowling, “Swordplay,” Rynemonn
Dirk Flinthart, “The Garden of the Djinn,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 31
Ben Peek, “Excerpts from Books Fifty Years From Now,” Overland
Darren Goossens, “Thyme Machine,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 30
Bren MacDibble, “Collecting Whispers,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
Dirk Flinthart, “Truckers,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
RJ Astruc, “The Perfume Eaters,” Strange Horizons July
Paul Haines, “Where is Brisbane and How Many Times Do I Get There?” Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane
Tansy Rayner Roberts, “The Pastime of Aunties,” Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane
Greg Egan, “Glory,” New Space Opera
Bren MacDibble, “A Complete Refabrication,” Orb 7
Shane Jiraiya Cummings, “Beneath Southern Waves,” Daikaiju 2
Rjurik Davidson, “Domine,” Aurealis 37
Garth Nix, “Holly and Iron,” Dark Alchemy
Stephen Dedman, “Sufficiently Advanced,” New Ceres 2
Cat Sparks, “The Bride Prince,” New Ceres 2
Robert J Santa, “A Jury of Peers,” Shadow Plays
Andrew J McKiernan, “Calliope,” Shadow Plays
DH Duperouzel, “Of Wind and City,” Shadow Plays
Stephen Dedman, “Centenary,” Cosmos 14
Rick Kennett, “The Dark and what it said,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 28
Jack Dann, “Cafe Culture,” Asimov’s January
Penelope Love, “Tell Him I too have known,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Shane Cummings, “Yamabushi Kaidan and the Smoke Dragon,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Simon Brown, “Lonely as Life,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Rowena Cory Danieels, “Soulshaper,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Kylie Seluka, “Burning Bright,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Bill McKinley, “The Return of the Queen,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 27
Jennifer Fallon, “The Demons of Fear,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 27
Steve Duffy, “Truth in Sentencing,” Antipodean SF 103