Die Hard Another Day

October 8th, 2012

Last night it occured to me that, with Skyfall coming out next month, I should revisit Quantum of Solace. This turned out to be easier than I expected after I realized that I'm exactly the kind of person who has all the Bond films on hand.

I've been reflecting lately that I'm not a huge Daniel Craig fan, because he doesn't have enough fun on the screen. He's always glowering, never smirking. Bond needs a touch of smirk. Watching Quantum last night, I was especially struck by how workmanlike Bond is, in deadly situations. He occasionally grimaces during the opening car chase sequence, but never seems particularly worried or engaged.

Which brings us, inevitably, to Bruce Willis.

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Mistakes were made

September 9th, 2012

Due to a clerical error -- specifically, that we accidentally posted an episode on the fifth Friday in a month -- we will now be posting episodes "every other Friday," and not specifically on the first and third Friday, which honestly was too confusing anyway. (Though perhaps not as confusing as our initial idea to post episodes on the fourth and ninth prime-numbered day of the month.)

So our next episode will be Friday, September 14th...in the future. Tell literally everyone you know.

You need to be watching This TV

July 31st, 2012

We stopped getting cable TV in my house over a year ago, in favor of free, over-the-air antenna signals. Unlike your cable company's transmissions, HD channels you receive via antenna are uncompressed (cable has to lossily compress those channels to fit them all in); and you can sleep soundly knowing that you're not paying for a channel that shows nothing but golf, or prayer, or golf-related prayer. If you're out in the boonies and you can only get one or two channels with an antenna, I can see sticking with cable. But anyone in a major metropolitan area should give at least some thought to an antenna.

Here's another big reason: This TV. It's what we in the broadcasting industry refer to as a "dot two", and what Wikipedia describes as a "digital subchannel" -- a secondary, SD-only channel offered by a major network broadcaster. For example, here in Seattle, it's 4.2, broadcast by ABC affiliate KOMO. And if you want to play Bad Movie Roulette, This TV is almost guaranteed to be showing something ridiculous that you've never heard of.

I bring this up now because on Saturday -- my birthday and also the fourth anniversary of This TV's founding, incidentally -- I happened to catch a few minutes of something called Yongary, Monster of the Deep. It's a Korean Godzilla ripoff and it's everything you could ever want it to be.

Lest you think that's the only kind of movie this channel airs, it was also This TV that alerted me to the existence of a romantic comedy starring Adam Ant as a friendly vampire. No, really.

How On Deadly Ground ruined The Dark Knight Rises

July 21st, 2012

I saw The Dark Knight Rises, which closes out Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. It really wasn't bad, but its flaws were so preventable that I felt I needed to talk about them.

The problem is that expensive blockbusters have so much riding on their box office receipts that even small gambles with good payoffs are avoided. Case in point: the test screening. By screening your almost-finished movie to a real audience, and not just financiers or people who worked on the film, you can get an early indication of where you went wrong. The drawback is that "where you went wrong" will now be public knowledge. Take the subject of our current episode, On Deadly Ground: it's infamous more for the 11-minute closing speech heard by test audiences than the shorter one that made the final cut, which really isn't so bad. Screening that film for test audiences improved it -- from abysmal to merely miserable -- but anyone who wanted to convince themselves they'd made a good movie could blame those test audences for poisoning the well. Maybe that's not completely wrong, either; we do pay attention to what test audiences say about movies we anticipate, even though that's ridiculous of us. Think of how different the test screening of Heaven's Gate must have been from the finished product -- yet nobody gave the finished product a chance.

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Atlas Shrugged 2: Shrug Harder

July 17th, 2012

So, the makers of Atlas Shrugged 2 -- having already ignored the free market that rejected the original --  are seeking volunteers. As in, people who are willing to work for free, out of the kindness of their hearts, in order the help other people who apparently don't have the gumption to do it themselves.

If I were the sort of person to use hastags, I'd throw a #youredoingitwrong in here somewhere.