Media Ingestion Syndrome

6 08 2007

My LJing is kinda minimal lately, I am noticing…

This weekend was TV, anime, and movies. Quickie writeups and reax follow.

Black Lagoon 02: The series is improving, with the addition of some good philosophy kombat type scenes, and Rock growing a spine. It’s CONSIDERABLY better subtitled than dubbed; I ran a simultaneous comparison and there was like 75% less wacky, over the top cussin’. It’s not about being a prude… it’s about it wrecking the mood in an effort to be more “Tarantino.” Things are back on track with the series, but I think I’ll keep rolling it solo. We have MORE than enough group stuff to watch.

Strawberry Marshmallow: Finished off volume 1. It’s still fun but two flaws are rising to the surface, quite glaringly… one, in the dubbing, ONE of the girls is voiced by an actual child and the rest by 30+ year olds pretending to be children. You know what THAT sounds like, it plagues anime. Not quite as bad as the chainsmoking hags who did GTO but it’s very strange juxtaposed against the real deal. Also, most of the cultural idioms and puns are being given ZERO translational effort, resulting in a series of utter nonsequitors. Still… despite these flaws it’s a good, sweet series and fun to watch. It’s just come a bit under the Azumanga Par as a result.

Stranger Than Fiction: tangsm suggested this one and wow, I’m glad she did. It’s a very “meta” movie, about an author writing the doom of a character and that character trying to avoid the doom. It comes to a lot of the same conclusions I’ve come to as a writer… I’d say more, but it’d be spoiler laiden. Curses. Regardless, rent this sucker.

Beck (Mongolian Chop Squad AKA Let’s Not Just Call It Beck Or Beck Hansen Will Sue Us: Only dig one episode deep, to fill some time, but I’m impressed with what I’ve seen. It brings up the side of japanese culture that wacky school anime rarely shows, IE everything ELSE about living in Tokyo. Too often the Salaryman or the Schoolgirl beat gets beaten into our heads with the twentysomethings and the underground ignored. We’ll see how this pans out but I’m enjoying so far.

Harry Potter and Finally The Adults Kicked Some Ass Instead Of Forcing The Kids to Face Certain Death Alone and Completely Unprepared, Those Bastards: A very solid presentation of the book’s concepts and emotions, if not in the same, exact way. This is what a book to movie translation should be — not a literalist page for page presentation but taking the core and giving to us in a way that makes sense. Sure, we didn’t go to Mungos, but in just a few AMAZING moments of acting we feel what Neville feels. And the ending was considerably more solid than the book’s ending. The cinematography lacked the grandeur of movie 4, if I had to find a fault… a lot of the magic and charm is MIA and things felt either flat or overly poetic. Still, I can think of worse problems.

Shit Gets Rusty, All Doors Are Locked The Movie (aka Silent Hill): I’ve been meaning to watch this for awhile, and good ‘ol Tivo managed to snag a high definition copy off cable. In a way, it did everything right — it jettisoned the overly complicated cult plot of the game, but retained all its mood and visual elements. Keep the good, ditch the bad. Problem is, the ‘good’ isn’t enough to sustain a two hour and ten freaking minute movie where, as noted, Shit Gets Rusty, All Doors Are Locked. It felt like playing the games, namely empty and slow and vague. I will give it mad props for a very nice ending, but I can see why it didn’t work at the box office.

By consuming this much media, I am ingesting story, character, and concept. I’m pondering various possibilities for my own writing, since it has been awhile since my own writing. Problem is coming up with something compelling, something with momentum. i am ikon was a great concept but I may have misjudged it when I tried to make a community out of it — and now that it’s all deep in Creative Commons, I basically can’t do anything with it without a legal tangle. The idea I got at Otakon is interesting but I don’t think I can present it in a solid enough way without relying too heavily on a fantasy world that supplants my lack of real world experience. Generally speaking… I’ve not got a leg to stand on creativity. It’ll come, in time. Presumably. Until then I’ll wait and ponder.

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9 responses

6 08 2007
inklesspen

Yeah, Stranger than Fiction is a great movie. I bought it today, because I was at Best Buy to replace my copy of Hero, and I noticed StF was half off, down to $10. Cha-ching. Or something like that.

6 08 2007
omahdon

If you’re still open to suggestions and want to see more of a series that deal with a side of Tokyo not regularly seen in anime, I’d recommend Nana – which has two 20-something female characters named, well, Nana trying to make it in Tokyo as either an “ordinary” salary-person/homemaker or a singer of a major band in the rock and roll world. It manages to be a very sweet series without being saccharine, with warm human characters complete with very human flaws – but all the more loveable because of said flaws.
Unfortunately, it also happens to be 47 episodes long and Viz has only JUST picked up the license to distribute it US-side…. So it’s going to be a fairly slow burn series with an eye towards long term commitment. It doesn’t help that the first seven episodes have some kind of weird flashback thing going on with them – where the two Nanas meet together for the first time in the first episode, then there’s 4 episodes of flashback before they ever met, then the next episodes which is actually the first episode only with some extra scenes tossed into the mix to make one episode spread out into two. It’s…. odd.

6 08 2007
gkathellar

Beck is really strong, and it only gets stronger. The character and story development has a sort of flair alongside the realism which makes it really grab your attention. I ended up watching it all in one 13-hour stretch because I could not stop.
What are these Black Lagoon and Strawberry Marshmallow things? I haven’t really heard of either.

6 08 2007
jengagne

IAYL
You should still be able to write within i am ikon even though it’s in the Creative Commons. It just means people can legally write fanfic. So, unless you were planning to sell your IP to some company out there (as you would have for the bioware project) there shouldn’t be anything interfering legally…
All that said, we should really clean and lock up the iai site if we aren’t going to continue supporting it as a community wiki (and we haven’t, not since the various clearance debaucles months ago…) Let’s talk about it more later or in email if you’re so inclined.
Love your title for the Silent Hill movie. :) Good summary of Harry Potter.

6 08 2007
delfina

I loved Stranger than Fiction. Awesome movie. And for once, Will Ferrell was a decent actor. :D

6 08 2007
Anonymous

State of Play: Why I play games
I came across this article and thought it was a interesting look at games.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6932785.stm

7 08 2007
k_neko

As it happens, I’ve been thinking about IAI recently… kinda unfortunate that it never got fully off the ground, though I’m as much to blame as anyone else. I came up with a few nice, solid stories that I liked, but my motivation to write just hasn’t been there in quite a long time, and they wouldn’t really work anywhere else.
Meh. One of my biggest problems with writing is that I utterly suck at making an original story. I can fanfic just fine when I put my mind to it, but my creativity stalls when asked to come up with something brand new. IAI falls somewhere in the middle, enough to catch my interest, but in the end I couldn’t hack it.
Re: Strawberry Marshmallow – Agreed, the dubbed voices range from tolerable to irritating. And it would’ve been much improved by more music; there seemed to be a lot of silent patches. The manga’s much more enjoyable.

7 08 2007
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Black Lagoon is a Tarantino style crime gang caper anime, but with more nihilism and less wacky. It’s solid, but is missing some X factor to really make it great.
Strawberry Marshmallow is a cute l’il shoujo anime about a bunch of (junior high? elementary?) school girls and their wacky day to day lives. It’s fun, but again, doesn’t reach Azumanga levels of awesome.

8 08 2007
shiva_maxwell

silent hill FINALLY
did the exact same thing got starz a few weeks ago and got it recorded to dvr, the good pyramid head jezz that sucker was big and a 10 mile long sword, also chunking most of the back story, also PM Flaying that dumb girl alive, also the bad PM flaying that girl alive YUCK, also good the time twisting ending just did not see that coming. overall good movie konami & sony stayed as close to game canon as posible.

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