Tonight, I’d like to welcome back this blog’s resident reporters on the Arts, Cookie Monster and Baron Destructo, as they join us for another round of movie reviews –
THERE WILL BE BLOODReviewed by Cookie Monster.
Dere Will Be Blood. Eventually. But it take a while. A loooong while. Almost two and half hours! Even still, dis very good movie dat keep Cookie Monster interested true-out. Is very sloooow moving but hypnotik story of turn-of-century prospektor played by Daniel-Day Lewis (Ganges of New York, Last of Mojito’s, My Two Left Feet). He go from dirt poor to dirt rich when score big oil strike – and also get bonus baby after piece of equipment clang off partner/baby-daddy noggin. Movie show how he get more powerful, buy up land, try to build pipeline, slap around preacher, get slap around by preacher, almost get conned, and score big deal. But at heart of story is relationship between progatonist and boy he raise as own dat go from beeootiful partnership to not-so-beeootiful so-long-see-you-later long distance relationship when kid go deff and try to crispy fry bedroom. Daniel-Day Lewis give incredible performance likes of which not seen since Fozzie Bear play part of Willie Lowman in off off off-Broadway kabuki performance of Death of Salesman. Veeery gruesome death of salesman. Not sure if same in original play but sure hope so because ritual seppuku very hard to top for entertainment value. Anyway, Lewis give very believable and restrain performance up until last scene when, during milkshake solililquee, he go off like Grover dat time he get short-changed by hooker wit wooden leg.
Overall, very good movie if you willing to immerse self in story. Progatonist self-destruct life and relationship wit adopted son very sad – but end of movie even sadder because just stop all of sudden as if producer say “Ah, dats enough. Let’s go home.”. Leave Cookie Monster sitting dere wondering What de Fudgee-O?
Reviewed by Baron Destructo
Should you find yourself in the mood for a period version of The Sting minus The Sting’s clever end-twist and its charming characters, then this is the movie for you. At times, The Illusionist – which tells the tale of a young magician who is reunited with a former love now betrothed to an unpleasant Viennese prince (which, given Baron Destructo’s experience, is about par for the course) and his plot to win her back – feels almost like a satire of whatever type of movie it is striving to be. And even now, I’m not quite sure what that is.
In a key moment in the film, the magician, reunited with his long lost love, suggests they run away – but she informs him fleeing is not an option. So long as she is alive, that evil Crown Prince will not stop looking for her. At this point in the movie, it doesn’t take a Professor Cerebellum to realize that the magician will proceed to pull off his greatest trick yet: the seeming death of the soon-to-be-Princess. The only question is how will he pull it off? What clever sleight of hand will he make use of? What tantalizing tricks and clever conjurations will win the day? Would you believe…none? Some sort of potion that presumably allows the imbiber to mimic a death-like state, although this is never really explained and only offered as a rapidfire piece-of-the-puzzle explanation in flashback. That and an incredible amount of dumb luck as secondary characters conveniently discover hidden clues when they need to be discovered, follow fleeing prospective princesses into barns where they are conveniently overcome by whatever drug they were administered back at the castle, conveniently witness what could be a murder but do nothing to stop or help the seeming victim as she rides off into the night (Oh, were The Fates only so kind to the Baron whose machinations have been undone by everything from superheroic interference to a resentful and unusually loquacious cyber-baboon.). The bride-to-be is found dead. The detective is on the case. The Crown Prince is a suspect. Despite the lack of any real evidence linking him to the murder, the Crown Prince stands accused. And kills himself. Finally, when all is said and seemingly done, the detective realizes he has been played and puts it all together (in a wholly unsatisfying montage intended to offer the presumably clever reveal of how the trick was done), a good hour or so after the audience has already gotten there, impatiently waiting around for the rest of the movie to play catch up.
But after all is explained away and the end credits roll, a couple of questions arise. Why? Why go through all the trouble of setting up the Crown Prince when the magician could have simply left town, been secretly reunited with his presumed dead love, and lived happily ever after? Why go through all the trouble of framing him for murder and manipulate him into killing himself? Because he was boorish? Is that a good enough reason. Of course it’s a good enough reason for Baron Destructo, but for the average magician? And what was the secret behind the magician’s act? His tricks are never explained (and, I would argue, could never be satisfactorily explained), so are we to assume that his magic is real? And, if so, couldn’t that real magic have come in handy in pulling off his rather amateurish fly-by-seat-of-one’s-pants hoax?
This was one of those rare movies that filled the Baron with a quiet rage that could only be quelled by a series of very particular stress-relieving exercises (one of which included loosening a horde of giant intoxicated boll weevils on Uzbekistan).
Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Still, if you thought this film’s twist was either brilliant or unexpected, then the Baron has an M. Night Shyamalan movie to sell you.
Okay, hanks to both Baron Destructo and Cookie Monster for dropping by.
Finally, with regard to the fan night at Fuel – Some of you prefer April 1st. Others April 3rd. Finally, ShippyChick wondered whether it would be that much of a hardship for me to make it both nights. Upon further consideration – no, no it wouldn’t. So I’ve booked myself a table for both the Tuesday and the Thursday. Marty G. will definitely be joining us the Tuesday, but I’m not sure about the second night. This is probably for the best because, as PG15 pointed out, it’s not a huge place. I plan to be there for 7:00 p.m. both nights.
Oh, and for those of you assiduously ticking off the clues in the teaser poem as they line up with the episodes aired – Trio = “In an underground chamber the trio is stuck.” Darn, these are just too easy. The Last Man clue is a doozy though. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
Today’s blog is dedicated to Karen and all of the other hardworking tech-support people out there, Anais33 on her blog’s first year celebration, and birthday gal Jelly.
Today’s mailbag –
Awesome sauce writes: “By the way, who’s idea was the Colbert reference?”
Answer: Marty G. scripted the Colbert reference.
Cat4444 writes: “Have you ever read “Into the Out Of”?”
Answer: No, but given everything I’ve heard so far in this comments section, it looks like a title I should pick up.
Wams352 writes: “ Although, nitpick – if she is so socially awkward, never had any friends (which is what I understood her to imply in Quarantine) how’d she learn any nifty bar/beer drinking games?”
Answer: There is a difference between having trouble fitting in and being completely friendless.
Shawna writes: “So, let me get this straight…there isn’t going to be any conclusion to wrap up that random and tantalizing teaser/cliffhanger scene because Torri decided not to do it?”
Answer: That is incorrect. The script will be revised, adjustments made, and that particular story will be told in season 5. We won’t leave you hanging.
Anne M. writes: “Hmm… did I miss it? I thought that you had mentioned the possibility of a contest in conjunction with the discussion of Sean Williams’ “The Crooked Letter”. Me bad if I missed when you mentioned in your blog.”
Answer: No. You’re right. I have to go back through the discussion and pick a couple of winners.
Mamasue9 writes: “Joe…if the dinner is on April 3rd, could MGM/Bridge stop you from attending any events while Creation is in town?”
Answer: What are they going to do? Stop us from eating? “You! Stop chewing! Put that fork down! You! Spit it out! Spit it out NOW!”
Dayse writes: “I was just looking back at the spoiler poem you posted in December and was wondering if this line:
The status quo shifts, a power play made.
The arrival of this one leave some feeling dismayed.refers to Woolsey taking coming to Atlantis?”
Answer: My, my, my. That does look like a good guess.
Henry writes: “Joe, have you experienced dinners at Chivana yet?”
Answer: I haven’t.
Paloosa writes: “A shake room would be a great way to teach people what it’s like and why they need to prepare. Any info on how it was built?”
Answer: Lots – but you’ll have to wait until the season 4 dvd set comes out to check out the very cool “Making of” feature that Ivon Bartok did for this particular episode. By the way – great links. I’m off to stock up on bottled water.
Prior of the Ori writes: “Don’t suppose we might see an episode that shows a Hive-ship being created?”
Answer: In the words of Cookie Monster – Mebbe.
Setmaat writes: “The first picture about books there is one “Brasyl” Ian McDonald, I am not sure if this book is the same story like the movie “Brazil”, it is a retro-scifi-movie
Have you seen this movie? What do you think about the book? and What do you think about the movie?”
Answer: The movie and this recent book are completely different entities. I haven’t read the book yet, but I look forward to doing so. I did see the movie – and hated it.
Mike Moore writes: “I’ve always wondered what the actors, and the production staff, think when they watch the finished episodes of their own product?”
Answer: We always think “Oh, that could’ve been better.” and “I wish I’d done that differently.”
Paula writes: “Y’know, Marty G is going to need to be careful, should he ever get near a con. I think there would be a long line of women waiting to give him a big ol’ smooch for yet another great episode.”
Answer: Ah, Marty G. collects smooches like some people collect coins. Line up early to avoid disappointment!
Inpa writes: “Will the Rodney/Keller thing be revisited or is it official now?”
Answer: Official? All they did was go out for a drink together. Seriously. Applying that logic, given the number of times Carl and I have been out to dinner together, we should be happily married by now.
Caty writes: “When you said that this season is going to be very tight schedule-wise, did you say that because you guys are pushing for a possible July premiere?”
Answer: The decision on the season 5 premiere date rests with SciFi. However, I’m hopeful that fans won’t have to wait until the Fall to see the resolution of our season four cliffhanger.
Thunder writes: “I hope that means Mr. Binder will be flying back up to Vancouver soon.”
Answer: So do we all. Well, most of us. Certainly not those who turned his office into a rec room. Now where’re we going to put the ping pong table?
Mick writes: “. I know that you guys were totally concerned because five or ten online fans were screaming bloody murder about Carter joining the team and how she was going to take over everyone’s positions. She was going to trump Sheppard on military stuff, Mckay on science stuff, etc. Clearly this was the big worry and the thing you guys took to heart all throughout season four.”
Answer: Actually, like numerous fan concerns, the early criticisms of Carter’s involvement in season four were duly noted but in no way influenced the writing of the show. There was never any attempt to pull back on any initially conceived notions of how involved she should have been. As the base commander, we had always envisioned Carter playing a support role, perhaps drawing on her scientific or military expertise when needed but, ultimately, deferring to Sheppard and McKay given their many years of experience in the Pegasus galaxy.
ElisaD writes: “ who thought of the bar trick, because seriously that was brillent and who thought of Rodney’s hand motions when he wanted Sam to flash the boys (just hilarious).”
Answer: Again, Marty G. came up with the bar trick. And I believe the hand motion was a little bit of Hewlett magic.
Elisa D. writes: “So I was wondering if you ever considered writing some short stories for FFN. “
Answer: What is FFN?