Monday, January 26, 2009


so, really, this post is all about avoiding doing thesis reading. oh, and this article from the guardian about how the british library is going to save everything digital in the uk ever. for ever. i'm not sure how they're going to do this or how they're going to pay for it, but maybe they'll hire me.

there's also this other article from the guardian (seeing a trend yet? yeah -- i don't get along with u.s. newspapers so well for some reason -- the guardian is so all about standing in the middle and making fun of everybody and i find that to be attractive somehow!) about a recent pronouncement by a high school english teacher that, with obama's inauguration, high school students are now living in a post-racist age and should no longer be required to read huck finn or to kill a mockingbird. 'cause, you know, minor subtexts like compassion, forgiveness, understanding of human suffering are of no real importance to high school kids. well, they probably aren't in their raw form but it might be good to wave 'em in front of their faces until they get the idea anyway.

having now seen underworld: rise of the lycans, i think i can officially declare that whoever's doing the reviewing for is entirely dedicated to the cause of not having a good time at the movies. i'm not sure what they thought they were going to get, but their expectations must have been really high. the scifiwire review said the battle scenes were poorly shot, badly choreographed, and, basically, impossible to watch. they looked okay to me. yeah, there were a couple bits that got bullet-time happy but that's happened in every scifi/fantasy/horror movie since the matrix came out. including in the matrix sequels. so i don't think that's quite a fair reason to condemn the whole thing out of hand. rhona mitra was never going to be better than kate beckinsale; if you didn't know that going in, you were living in a dream world. but she was okay -- definitely didn't suck out loud and there was very little sobbing which was nice. i had horrible images of her just turning into this weeping vampire princess all over the place. michael sheen and bill nighy between the two of them made the movie as far as i could see, but they were both great and i always liked viktor and lucian from the first movie, so where's the problem? and there was a rather neat subplot introducing one of lucian's henchmen from the first movie which i thought did a good job of adding a little depth to both characters and to the first movie -- retrospectively speaking.

the script got a little repetitive, i have to admit; there was a lot of emphasis on werewolves being "beasts" and "little better than beasts" and "beasts who needed control" and so on and so forth -- someone really wanted to make sure nighy got to show off his enunciatory abilities. len wiseman didn't direct this one which definitely showed in the pacing and the action sequences; wiseman's got a definite knack for how to pace and time an action scene so you get just enough to be breathless without losing it or getting overwhelmed. the new director is the creatures effects guy -- and he was fine, but you could definitely tell he wanted to show off the beasties rather than necessarily what the beasties could do.

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