Monday, May 30, 2016

Movie Monday – Short film “Prospect” (2014)

(This isn’t the trailer, it’s the whole movie.)


The movie follows this teenage girl and her father who are on this inhospitable planet.  They are there hunting for this substance I believe is called orlack, which is this alien goo that is apparently some sort of energy source.  They’ve collected a bunch of it, but need just a bit more before going home.

The dad is constantly grilling her on how to get back to their ship, how to fly it, what ships they can trust and which ones to avoid, all kinds of things in case something happens to him.  Then one day while she is out getting water, he is attacked by a bandit who steals the orlack.  Over the radio, he tells her to run to the ship and take off because his leg is broken and he won’t be able to follow her.  Instead, the girl runs back to their tent and sees the bandit shoot her father.  He isn’t killed, his faceplate is just broken and he’ll die from breathing the air. 

The girl drags her dad into the tent and gets him patched up a bit.  He tells her to go to the ship because other bandits have probably found it already.  Instead she grabs a gun and goes out to find the first bandit.  She shoots him a few times, and then takes off his faceplate and shoots him in the face.  The girl then drags her dad through the forest towards the ship, but then she sees it taking off in the distance.


I only did a quick search for this movie, but it seemed all the reviews I saw only talked about how great the location and cinematography were.  A few also mentioned that it was made for X thousand dollars, some of which apparently came from Kickstarter.  None really talked about the plot. 

My thoughts are that while the location and cinematography were great, the movie fell a little short.  It feels like the flashback bits of another movie of this girl trying to save her father and herself.  It’s rather ironic for me to say that.  I write short stories and I don’t know how many times people have commented that they wanted more, they felt my story was just the beginning of a longer story.  My feelings have always been that my stories deal with a specific thing, and are long enough to just get that one point across.  Doing more would dilute the point, or change it into something else.  So on one hand I can see how the filmmakers could be annoyed by people telling them their movie should have been longer, but on the other hand I’m not really seeing the point of their movie.  In my opinion, a movie showing the girl trying to save her father and herself with the scenes from “Prospect” as flashbacks would have been more interesting.

If for nothing else, you should still watch it to see a good example of using locations.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Thoughts on the new Ghostbusters

To begin, for what it’s worth, I don’t hate the new Ghostbusters movie.  I just suspect that I will get more enjoyment out of watching the few movie reviewers I follow rip it apart than I’ll get in a few years when I eventually watch the movie on TV.  And there are three basic reasons for this.

Number one.  It is a remake/reboot/reimagining whatever of a good movie.  I’m not saying that can’t be done well, but the track record isn’t good.  Remember Total Recall?  Not the 1990 version that everyone remembers, the 2012 version that I know I saw (I’m pretty sure on TV) but all I really remember is a sense of bland disappointment. 

Number two.  It’s all a gimmick.  If you’re in a pinch and you need a story idea, an easy way out is to take a classic and add a gimmick.  For example, you can have “A futuristic version of,” The Lord of the Flies, or The Great Gatsby, “but with lesbians.” Sometimes these gimmicks can hit a mark, such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  (I haven’t seen the movie version, but I did enjoy the book.)  But this new movie is just Ghostbusters, but with women.  Which, if you think about it, is a pretty weak gimmick.  Maybe if Tatiana Maslany played all the roles, that would be more interesting.  (I’m now somewhat curious for the Ghostbusters/Orphan Black crossover fanfic.  Sarah, Cosima, and Helena could hunt the ghosts and bury them in Alison’s garage.)  It just seems as if they didn’t do any work beyond that gimmick.  If instead they had done a movie where Ghostbuster was actually a movie that inspired a young girl to study ghosts and twenty some years later she started a “real-life” Ghostbusters with some of her friends, then that would be an idea I’d at least be curious about.

The third reason I’m not all that interested in this new Ghostbusters are the trailers.  I did a reaction video to me watching the first one – after hearing bad reviews of it – and I think the disgusted sigh in the final two seconds pretty much summed it all up.  Well, a second trailer came out not too long ago.  One of the reviews I saw of it basically said, “This one has jokes,” which is a great way to promote a comedy.  I eventually got around to watching the second trailer – I didn’t bother making a reaction video to it – but could somebody point out the jokes to me?  There were things I’m sure were meant to be funny, but they reminded me more of bad SNL skits that are forgotten by the next day than things I’d want to pay money to see.

Basically, everything I’ve seen or heard about this new Ghostbusters movie gives me the impression it’s of the class of, “We just have to put the name of a popular movie in the title – Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Terminator, etc. – and people will go see it, even if we don’t bother trying to make it a good movie.” That is behavior I don’t want to reward.  Now, I could be wrong.  This new Ghostbusters could be one of the funniest movies of the year.  But as of today, I don’t know how that could be possible.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Orphan Black Season 4 recap – “The Scandal of Altruism”

“The Scandal of Altruism”


Blonde Beth went to some party at BrightBorn.  She knocks into a waiter who spills a drink on Susan.  Beth follows her to the restroom where she pulls a gun on her.  She thinks Susan is the head of it all and if she’s dead then all the monitoring and everything will end.  But Susan talks to her, revealing that she knows about Beth, even knowing that Beth’s dad was abusive, in some fashion.  Susan says that if Beth kills her, someone else will just take over who won’t protect the clones.  Beth eventually leaves.

In the present, Cosima tells Sarah that she and Scott haven’t found a way to cure her yet.  her only real hope is to give Susan Kendall’s DNA so she can restart the cloning business in return for curing Cosima and getting Sarah’s maggotbot out.  They don’t want Susan to be able to restart the Castor disease, but Cosima says there’s a way around that.

Sarah goes to BrightBorn to make the deal.  But first, Sarah wants to know about the maggotbot.  Leekie’s was to stop him from getting Alzheimer’s.  Sarah’s is to randomly test different genes to find out which ones will make her sick, since she is naturally immune.  Kendall’s leukemia is in her Leda DNA half, so they will give Susan some cancer cells.  She will get Leda DNA, but not Castor.  Ira isn’t too happy with that, but Susan agrees.  She gives Sarah a hard drive so that Cosima can copy all of her research. 

At the police station, Art hears Krystal trying to get protection because beauty companies are going after whistleblowers like herself over the illegal human testing they’re doing in their products.  Art distracts Duko so he doesn’t see her, and he takes Krystal to talk.  He realizes that she doesn’t know anything about the clones.

Art takes Krystal to his apartment where Felix comes in posing as a detective from Scotland Yard.  Krystal remembers him as the guy who stole her wallet, so she maces him.  But Felix explains that she’s right about everything, but she needs to be quiet to be safe.  He gives her a phone for emergencies.  Krystal mentions the “French doctor,” and Felix asks about Delphine.  Krystal says she saw Delphine get shot.

Scott, Mrs. S., and Kendall go to Felix’s where Susan is brought in.  She observes as they take Kendall’s blood and start screening out the cancer cells.  Kendall leaves, but someone attacks her and her driver.

Sarah and Cosima show up at BrightBorn.  Cosima assists Evie who takes the maggotbot out of Sarah.  During the process, it starts to leak toxin, but Cosima blots it away.  Sarah leaves to go to Felix’s while Cosima stays at BrightBorn. 

Sarah finds the blood stains from the attack, and rushes up to Felix’s.  She dumps bleach on the samples, and they take Susan hostage to their safe house.  They figure that Ira must have taken Kendall.  Susan gives Sarah and Benjamin her hotel card and they go there.  But Ira didn’t take Kendall, he – thinking that Susan was abandoning him for Leda – tried to OD.  They get him to the hospital in time.

At BrightBorn, Cosima hands over her data and then they find out that Susan has been taken.  In the shuffle, Cosima manages to grab the bottle with Sarah’s maggotbot.

Kendall is in a van in the middle of nowhere with Duko.  He says he’s in over his head.  He later says that there are people he needs to protect.

Scott calls Sarah saying some Trojan program has erased all their data.  They figure that this is a coup against Susan orchestrated by The Engineer, Evie.  Evie doesn’t care about clones, she sees them as old technology.  She’s more interested in newer biotech like the maggotbots. 

Possibly, part of why Evie doesn’t care for clones is that she had set Beth up to kill Susan so she could take over a year ago.  But when Beth didn’t shoot Susan, she went and found Evie’s car.  Evie tells her that she knows too much, and if she runs, all of her family and friends will suffer.  Her best hope to save them would be to shoot herself.  Beth punches Evie repeatedly – getting the blood on her hands and giving Evie a scar on her cheek – before Duko stops her.  He doesn’t want to shoot a cop, and neither does Beth.  So Beth goes home, meets with MK, then goes to the train station.

Evie takes Cosima out to see Kendall and say goodbye.  Duko shoots Kendall, then burns the van so there won’t be any DNA.  Evie then tells Cosima that Delphine was shot and killed, and gives her her phone back to call Sarah and tell her it is all over.


My predictions.  Duko is dead.  Mrs. S. won’t torture him or give him a chance to beg, she’ll just go, “You killed my mom,” bang.  Art will probably try to get him to go to jail for murder, but killing a cop – even a dirty cop – will push him, possibly out of the group.

I’m betting that Sarah, along with Susan, Rachel, and Ferdinand will all band together to take down Evie.  Which will cover the rest of the season.  I’m betting that maybe at the very end, some of Kira’s … magic, or whatever will come into play, but I’d say they’d probably save that for next season.