Episode 120: “I’m standing on the corner”

Funny animation about a cop and a robber:

[Watch the video on MissGeeky.com]

I’m a bit late with posting my review on Tranformers 2, but seeing how opinions on this sequel are so diverse, I thought I’d add my thoughts to the big melting pot that is the blogosphere. As a small side note first though: I booked my tickets a month in advance on the BFI IMAX site; the film was only being released in IMAX a full week after normal cinemas received it, but I thought it would be worth it to wait for the IMAX. Imagine my surprise when I later found out that somehow they had managed to get the movie earlier anyway, on the same date as normal cinemas. I’m just a bit pissed off that they failed to inform people about it. It would have been great to hear about it, and maybe re-allocate my tickets or something like that.

tranformers2_poster

Transformers 2 reunites us with Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox), who are preparing themselves for a long distance relationship as Sam is moving away to college. But of course they get caught up again into the war between the Decepticons and the Autobots, as Sam gets affected by the final sliver of the AllSpark.

Transformers is a big stupid summer action movie franchise, and you shouldn’t be expecting anything more than that. Transformers 2 continues on with more gigantic robots, bigger explosions and  more battles between gigantic robots. It’s far from being a “great” movie, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad movie. It’s a typical Michael Bay movie, and sometimes that’s exactly the type of mindless entertainment we need.

The CGI is gorgeous, and unlike the prequel we get to see a bit more zoomed-out shots of the robot battles. We also get to see some new types of robots, including a robot jaguar, a set of female motorcycles, a mini radio-controlled monster truck and a duo of “gangsta” Chevrolets (there has been a lot of debate about this characters online. My thoughts: it’s a Michael Bay movie, do we really have to overanalyze everything?). The sequences are superb, although with so many different robots on screen it sometimes difficult to follow who is who (also I was never that much of a Transformers fan growing up, so I don’t recognize many of the minor characters or which side they’re on).

transformers2_optimus_prime

Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen is a fun summer action movie, full of robot battles and explosions. If you liked any previous Michael Bay movies, go ahead and see this one; there’s no doubt you’ll like it. If you hated the previous Transformers, there’s no chance in hell you’ll like this one.

Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen is out now in cinemas.

Virtuality aired last Friday in the US, but I still haven’t had the chance to see it. The reviews of critics are pretty positive, but the ratings that day show that it didn’t attract that many viewers (well, what did you expect Fox? It’s on a Friday evening death slot). A part of me is still a teensy bit optimistic that it might be picked up for a full season, but chances are it will die a miserable summer death.

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Last week I missed out on a conference call with Sienna Guillory and Clea Duvall, but I did manage to get a transcript of everything that was covered. Here are a couple of the questions/answers I found interesting:

Q: I was just wondering if you guys could just talk, go into a bit of detail about your characters, specifically who they are and what they do and what it is about them which you both liked.

Clea Duvall: I play Sue Parsons, who is the ship’s pilot. She definitely has sort of like a cocky, hotshot attitude, which was pretty fun to play.

Sienna Guillory: My character is Rika. She’s an exo-biologist. She’s introvert, oversexed, and I just think quite real. I mean, the fact that we’re geeks doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re particularly brilliant at handling our emotions. So I think we’re all prone to exploding emotionally, and I thought that our advanced kind of cerebral ability didn’t necessarily lend itself to us emotionally, and I think that that’s what’s nice about the story. There are huge big ideas, but we’re all very accessible people that are easily bruised.

Q: What else attracted you both to the project overall, in general, Ron Moore’s idea?

Sienna Guillory: The fact that it was an ensemble. I was seduced by the idea of working in an ensemble, and the complete lack of limitation plot-wise, because anything can happen. Every single character has their own movie. And in virtual reality, your wildest dreams and fantasies can come true, so we all—it’s the fact that it’s limitless and entirely inspirational.

Clea Duvall: I had the opportunity to work with Ron Moore several years ago on a television show called Carnivale, and just fell in love with him and absolutely was excited at the thought of working with him again.

Q: Clea, I had a quick question for you, because we’ve seen you in so many different genre projects and doing so many different types of characters. What kind of preparation do you do to get into what you’re doing, and how do you approach each one of these different types of characters you always seem to play and always seem to be able to put together and somehow knock it out of the park?

Clea Duvall :That’s very sweet of you to say, thank you. I approach each thing differently. On Virtuality, for me it was so much about getting to know the people that I was working with and getting comfortable with improv, which is something that I’ve never done before, but Peter Berg likes to work that way, just sort of letting scenes run and seeing what happens. So it was a lot of kind of on-the-job training on this one. Any preparation I did had to be sort of thrown out the window and just putting the trust into my fellow actors and my director.

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Q: Sienna, just one quick follow-up with you: I know that a lot of the work that you guys did, especially when you were in your virtual environments, was a lot of green-screen-type work, backdrops and everything. Were you just kind of in a room filled with green screens? I mean, what were some of the challenges in trying to still make all of that work together to where it all kind of blended together, and was that a little bit more difficult not having objects around you?

Sienna Guillory: I think in a way, when you’re working with green screens, it’s hugely enabling. It’s the same thing – the whole thing that Ron Moore came up with. In Virtuality, he gives us a life with no limitations, so you have to use that green screen as a plus. The fact that there’s nothing there to limit your imagination or to limit where you see yourself or how you see the scene unfolding can be a helpful thing, so you just imagine it exactly the way you want it to be, rather than kind of being held back by the physical limitations of a set.

Q: I wanted to ask both of you, there seems to be a different acting style. You mentioned the improvs, but beyond that, particularly when you’re talking directly to the camera, you guys seem to be very much so of improvising, plus there’s this kind of real intimacy to it. Tell us what those – does it feel different to do those kinds of scenes? Do they provide something different?

Sienna Guillory: I would say – to me, it was part of my character. I decided that she hated having her privacy invaded, but at the same time she was desperate for adventure. She’s kind of complex, an introvert and oversexed. But for me, those moments of intimacy were vital because there are so many big ideas at play within the script and the story. It’s absolutely vital that we’re all regular people, telling human stories.

Q: And the same thing with you, Clea: When you talk in there, you just – it’s a different way than the kind of acting somewhere else, when you’re acting and semi-improvising to a camera like that, as if you’re a character talking to a camera. How does it feel different when you do those?

Clea Duvall: I didn’t really do much of it, but what I did do was – it sort of felt to me almost like you’re writing in a journal, just that stream of consciousness, just really tapping into your character. I really wanted to do more of it, and hopefully if the show is a success, I will get to do more.

Q: I understand that each of the crew on the ship has his or her own virtual reality. So my first question is what was each of yours?

Clea Duvall: My character was very much into outdoor sports – bike-riding and surfing.

Sienna Guillory: My character is actually an exo-biologist, which is kind of extreme gardening on a molecular level. But I’m trapped in this passionless marriage to the ship’s psychologist, so I use my virt module to fantasize about sex and intimacy.

sienna-guillory-rika

Q: My follow-up is that, given that our world seems to be increasingly moving towards one that’s dominated by virtual reality, how do you think that will impact our emotional and psychological well-being as it’s reflected in your characters in the show?

Sienna Guillory: In terms of how it worked in the show, we’re geeks, but we’re still people, we’re still humans. So anything that happens to us in our own personal movies happens to all of us, because we’re stuck together. And the whole point of it is Ron Moore is providing us with a life with no limitations, so I think it’s tremendously healthy to be able to explore your inner cravings and all the things that you dream of and be able to realize your fantasies without necessarily hurting other people. But also, I think you need to realize that when you do experience something emotionally it does affect who you are, and I think that’s the backbone of what we’re doing, and what happens in our virt modules affects everybody else, even though we think it’s private.

Q: You touched upon the virtual realities that your characters would spend time in. If you were required to kill time with virtual reality, what environment or scenario would each of you be most curious to play with? If the world was your oyster, the virtual world.

Clea Duvall: I think that I would probably want to go into space. It’s the thing that is so far from my reality, and it’s something that I’ve always been so intrigued by but will probably never in my lifetime have the ability to experience it, so probably that.

Sienna Guillory: I think the places that you want to be and the things that you want to be doing change from day to day, minute to minute. I think if I refer back to where we were when we were filming – I mean, working with Pete Berg, he’s phenomenal. He’s the only director who’s never held me back. He just lets us go and raise the bar, and he’s kind of just this absolute alpha male.

Q: I guess, given that the story was meant as an ongoing story, were there any details that you guys were given or that you asked for going forward about the characters?

Sienna Guillory: Actually, we made it as a movie, so we just filmed as much as – I mean, it was all about having no limitations in every single way. When we’re on set there are no limitations. When we were improvising there were no limitations. There were no restraints.

Clea Duvall: There were little bits and pieces that we were given because I think we all had the hopes that it would continue. But they, Michael and Ron, didn’t really give away much. I think that we were all under such pressure to just do what we were doing, that thinking into the future was overwhelming at times. ut there’s definitely a lot more to the story that, fingers crossed, we may be able to tell.

Sienna Guillory: We had great times when everybody would get round Erik Jensen and Ritchie Coster and all of us would have these kinds of mad ideas about, maybe we’re not actually on a ship. Maybe we’re like all in these little pods being fed these ideas, and we’re going to wake up and we’re not actually – or maybe we’re like asleep and the whole thing is a virtual simulation. So there’s a lot of speculation –

Clea Duvall: Or it’s a time-travel.

Sienna Guillory: but – yes, none of us really knows anything.

Episode 19: *Wonder World*

Weird “video” for a video installition in the elevators of the Standard Hotel in New York. The video is “comprised of over 400 video clips and it takes elevator passengers on a trip from hell to heaven as they go up or from heaven to hell as they go down”. Pictures of the installation and a Q&A with Brambilla and Crush is at GlossyInc.

[Watch the video on MissGeeky.com]

I stumbled on this game trailer via Wonderland this morning:

[Watch the trailer on MissGeeky.com]

It looks like a cool little game; I always enjoy the 2d versions of these type of puzzles, but they’re never really that difficult. Introducing a 3D aspect to it, is just what it needs to give that extra layer of difficulty.

The only problem is that it’s only available for Windows for $10. I wouldn’t mind having this game on my Mac, but seeing how the game is played I’d think the iPhone would be a better platform for it.

Check out CogsGame.com to download the game (or a trial version to try it out first).

I love a good vampire movie, and I love a good sci-fi movie. Add those two together, and you’ve got a movie that’s got me very much intrigued. Even though Twilight was better than I expected (review will follow soon), it’s still not the type of vampire movie I’m looking for. Daybreakers though is something completely different and I’m curious to see more of it.

Here’s the description:

In the year 2019, a plague has transformed most every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher (Ethan Hawke) works with a covert band of vamps (Willem DafoeClaudia Karvan) on a way to save humankind.

I always like it when the vampire’s are not necessarily the bad guys, but most of the time it’s still “we must remain a secret, the humans must not find out about us, blablabla”. Finally a movie that dares to shaken that up a bit. The whole vampires main stream society thing is something I’ve been dying to see for ages, and with this sci-fi-ish angle it’s really got me excited for it.

[Watch on MissGeeky.com]

Daybreakers – Release Date: January 2010 (US)

Interesting links for June 25th through June 26th:

Episode 118: *heart shaped rocks”

Amazing little video about a girl and her favourite things:

[Watch on MissGeeky.com]

Yesterday I was shopping around in Central London and much to my surprised I found a painted kangaroo statue. I didn’t think much of it, just thought it was some new artwork they planted there. But then I came across a second one. And a third one.

Turns out it’s for a contest to promote South Australia, sponsored by Flight Centre UK and Qantas. The idea is that there are twenty adventurous kangaroos that have escaped from Kangaroo Island and you’ve got to round them up so that they can be reunited with their friends. You only need to find 4 of them to enter the competition to win a group holiday for 4 to South Australia. Here are pictures of all 20 kangaroos and easy tips to find them:

They’ve also got a cute Twitter account Roo Catcher, that gives tips and extra photo clues to find the roos. I’ve already found four of them (and entered the competition), but I’d love to try to track all 20 of them down before they’re gone. I didn’t have my camera with me last time, so I’m thinking of maybe organising a photo walk to find all 20 kangaroos. Thing is: they’re only still around for a week or so (according to the Twitter account), so you’ve got to hurry in finding them.

Check out Kangaroo Island Hunt and Roo Catcher for more details.

I noticed that so many trailers come out, I can’t keep up with blogging about them in single posts. I’ll still go on with Trailerrific for the posts that really look amazing and that I want to blog about straight away, but I’ll also do every Thursday a post containing all the trailers that came out this week.

This first week is a bit longer cause I’m catching up on a lot of other trailers I missed out on:

The Box: Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden), a suburban couple with a young child, receive a wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human somewhere in the world. From the director of Donnie Darko and Southland Tales. Release Date: October 2009 (US), December 2009 (UK)

The Time Traveler’s Wife: This is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap. Release Date: August (US, UK)

The Stepfather: Michael Harding returns home to find his mother happily in love and living with her new boyfriend, David. As the two get to know each other, Michael becomes more and more suspicious of the man who’s always there lend a helpful hand. Is he really the man of her dreams or could David be hiding a dark side? Release Date: October 2009 (US), November 2009 (UK)

Love Happens: A romantic drama about a widower (Aaron Eckhart) whose book about coping with loss turns him into a best-selling self-help guru. On a business trip to Seattle, he falls for a woman (Jennifer Aniston) who attends one of his seminars, only to learn that he hasn’t yet truly confronted his wife’s passing. Release Date: September 2009 (US), November 2009 (UK)

Mr Nobody: Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto) leads an ordinary existence at his wife’s side, Elise, and their three children until the day when reality skids and he wakes up as an old man in the year 2092. At 120, Mr. Nobody is both the oldest man in the world and the last mortal of a new mankind where nobody dies anymore. Release Date: unknown

Zombieland: Columbus (Eisenberg) has made a habit of running from what scares him. Tallahassee (Harrelson) doesn’t have fears. If he did, he’d kick their ever-living ass. In a world overrun by zombies, these two are perfectly evolved survivors. But now, they’re about to stare down the most terrifying prospect of all: each other. Release Date: October 2009 (US, UK)

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra: directed by big action filmmaker Stephen Sommers, of The Jungle Book, Deep Rising, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and Van Helsing previously. Release Date: October 2009 (US, UK)

Whiteout: Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is a lone U.S. Marshal assigned to Antarctica whose investigation of the continent’s first murder draws her into a shocking mystery. Now, with only three days until winter, Carrie must solve the crime before Antarctica is plunged into darkness and she is stranded with the killer. Release Date: September 2009 (US)

Creation: English naturalist Charles Darwin struggles to find a balance between his revolutionary theories on evolution and the relationship with religious wife, whose faith contradicts his work. Release Date: September 2009 (UK)

The Last Airbender: The story follows the adventures of Aang, a ten year old successor to a long line of Avatars, who must put his childhood ways aside and stop the Fire Nation from enslaving the Water, Earth and Air nations. Release Date: July 2010 (US)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon: After Bella recovers from the vampire attack that almost claimed her life, she looks to celebrate her birthday with Edward and his family. However, a minor accident during the festivities results in Bella’s blood being shed, a sight that proves too intense for the Cullens, who decide to leave the town of Forks, Washington for Bella and Edward’s sake. Initially heartbroken, Bella finds a form of comfort in reckless living, as well as an even-closer friendship with Jacob Black. Release Date: November 2009 (US, UK)

Fame: An updated version of the 1980 musical, which centered on the students of the New York Academy of Performing Arts. Release Date: September 2009

Cold Souls: Paralyzed with anxiety over an upcoming role, Paul Giamatti stumbles upon a high-tech company promising to alleviate suffering by deep-freezing souls. Giamatti enlists their services, intending to reinstate his soul once he survives the performance. But complications ensue when a soul-trafficking mule borrows Giamatti’s stored soul for an ambitious, but unfortunately talentless, soap-opera actress. Release Date: August 2009 (US)

Pandorum: Two crewmen awaken from hyper-sleep aboard a spacecraft. None of their equipment is working, and their memories are incomplete. What was their mission? How much time has passed? Where are they? As they try to piece things together, they discover they are not alone, and the ship’s new inhabitants – tribal warriors carrying crudely made weapons – are moving among them, intent on killing all aboard. Release Date: September 2009 (US, UK)

Miss Nobody: A mild-mannered secretary discovers that she has a talent for murder as she ascends the corporate ladder. Release Date: unknown

Thirst: Beloved and devoted priest (Song Kang-ho) from a small town volunteers for a medical experiment which fails and turns him into a vampire. Physical and psychological changes lead to his affair with a wife of his childhood friend who is repressed and tired of her mundane life. The one-time priest falls deeper in despair and depravity. As things turns for worse, he struggles to maintain whats left of his humanity. From the director of Oldboy and the Vengeance trilogy. Release Date: July 2009 (US)

World’s Greatest Dad: A very dark comedy about a man (Robin Williams) who learns that the things you want most may not be the things that make you happy, and that being lonely is not necessarily the same as being alone. Release Date: unknown

Veronika Decided To Die: The story centers on Veronika, a woman in her mid twenties who appears to have everything: good looks, good job and a great life ahead of her. Yet she decides to end her own life. She is unsuccessful and awakens in a mental hospital where she learns that she has five days to live. The film follows her recovery as she finds true love and a newfound will to survive. Release Date: November 2009 (US)

[Watch the trailers on MissGeeky.com]

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