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monday, july 23

Fun quotes of note from Friday-PRIME:

"You know that old saying, 'honesty is the best policy'? Well, let's just say that some people don't appreciate the benefits." - Darien Fawkes, "Bad Chi" (The Invisible Man)

"Eat my damn code!" - 790, "Texx Lexx" (Lexx)

Okay, so this was on 4 days ago, but I haven't had a chance to post anything, so here goes.

START SPOILERS FOR FARSCAPE: "SCRATCH N' SNIFF"
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This really reminded me of the X-Files eps "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" and "Bad Blood" - high comedy factor and disjointed storytelling. Kudos to writer Lily Taylor!

It starts off with John, D'Argo, Chi, and Jool on a planet, wasted and partying like there's no tomorrow. Apparently, Pilot kicked John & D'Argo off Moya because he was sick of their constant bickering. Anyway, before you know it, two feathered females are all over the guys, they drug 'em and leave them in a window. John wakes up wearing -- get this -- ladies stockings! ::pisses herself laughing:: D'Argo says calmly, "Why don't you get dresed and give them a good show, sweetheart." AHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!!

More disjointed recounts of the two days spent on planet LoMo, including a little exhibition put on by Jool (she does back flips down a carpet) and Chiana (a spinning fireballs-on-chains show). The evil plot in the background is an alien named Fe'Tor who kidnaps (kinda) the girls to milk their senil glands (ew..) to make freslin. Needless to say, D'Argo ain't happy about that and tries to rescue Chiana. blah, blah, blah, auction, John saves Chi, they return to Moya. There's also a weird little Brit-accented alien, Raxil, and a Ren-like Hangi. Oh, yes and the part where D'Argo is sprayed with "aura morph" that makes him look different.. that was really scary. Honestly, there is just too much to tell about. You need to see this episode. Quotes below.

"You're not smart, are you? Him, he's got a brain, but you're a bit of an idiot aren't you?" - Raxil to Crichton

"Hey, you know what? It's a weird little universe out there and you don't know because you spen all you time indoors." - Crichton to Pilot

"Oh, oh, look at the booty on that girl. Woo!" - Crichton, trying to distract D'Argo

"Shut up and let me tell my story" - Crichton to Pilot

"I've had some weird conversations in my head, but this is a little...." - D'Argo on John's Scorpy clone, Harvey

John: How long have we known each other?
Pilot: Approximately two and a half long cycles.

New arc coming up: PK!John and Alien!Dad try removing the Scorpy clone from his head.
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END SPOILERS FOR FARSCAPE: "SCRATCH N' SNIFF"
posted on 7/23/2001 11:17:41 AM
.. l.i.n.k.i.t

Oops, forgot about this:

[[ Fire in Baltimore Snarls Internet Traffic, Too
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BALTIMORE, July 19 A fire that raged for a second day in a train tunnel under Baltimore cast smoke over downtown offices and burned fiber-optic cables today, slowing Internet traffic across the country.

..snip..

The fire caused major Internet slowdowns in the Middle Atlantic States, and delays rippled across the country as companies diverted Web traffic to other cables. Fiber-optic cable running through the tunnel was damaged by the fire, but the authorities said they had not assessed the extent of the damage.

Keynote Systems (news/quote), which measures the performance of Web sites, said slowdowns in Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles and elsewhere were probably related to the burned cables. The company said the Internet delays were the worst it had seen.

Telecommunications companies including WorldCom (news/quote), PSINet (news/quote) and AboveNet all reported problems.]]more

This reminds me of that time I was working at the Help Desk and some genius two towns over cut a fiber-optics line. Knocked out all the phonelines in the surrounding areas. ::rolleyes::
posted on 7/23/2001 11:31:53 AM
.. l.i.n.k.i.t


thursday, july 19

Okay, who's seen the ads? Fox is airing a new reality TV show on Tuesday night: Murder in Small Town X. This is like Survivor meets "Blair Witch" meets "Silence of the Lambs." A group of people are trapped in a house with a serial killer and the last one alive.. er.. well, I guess they're alive. That's the impression that I got from the ads anyway. Actually, the show is about 10 contestants on a faux murder investigation in a small town in Maine.

Is there really a need for more shows like this? Like reality isn't painful enough, we have to watch it on tv now. Real World was one of the originals and they're even adopting some Survivor-like qualities: jobless housemates get evicted. The same with Road Rules -- if you lose two missions, you have to ditch a team member. Speaking of Survivor, how utterly ridiculous is it that they destroyed a part of the rainforest to set up shop for the next season? It's not enough that they had to go carving up the Aussie outback (which I'm told wasn't really the "outback"), now they have to go destroy the lushest place on the planet. Have they no shame?!
posted on 7/19/2001 02:24:29 PM
.. l.i.n.k.i.t


sunday, july 15

Tucson Recon

SPOILERS FOR FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN.. AND SOME REVIEW BASHING
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Two words: Frelling. Awesome.

"Final Fantasy" has been taking a lot of crap from critics who say that this movie -- being advertised as "realistic" animation -- doesn't live up to the commotion. These are, of course, the same people who thought "Shrek" was the greatest movie ever. I'm not bashing "Shrek", which was good in its own right as a CG movie with fanciful character designs, but "Final Fantasy" is on a whole 'nother level that some just aren't willing to appreciate. Obviously the characters wouldn't be 100% life-like, that's just not possible right now. But -- hello! -- this is as close as we can get and it's pretty damn good. Can we give these animators some major props, please?

In addition, top-notch voice actors were employed for this project. Ming-Na voices Dr. Aki Ross (and it's kinda wierd hearing an Asian voice coming from a non-Asian character), Alec Baldwin is Capt. Gray Edwards, and Donald Sutherland is Dr. Sid. Other VAs include Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, James Woods, and Keith David. Very, very cool that they could get these people (especially Donald Sutherland and James Woods) to work on this.

The story, written by Hironobu Sakaguchi, is typical Japanese anime epic. Meaning you kinda don't understand everything upon first viewing and if you have the attention span of a three-year-old, you probably won't get it at all (see below). The fact that you actually have to use your brain might turn some people off. And that's apparently what many people thought. (again, see below)

The idea of Gaia (the Earth spirit) and the 8 spirits required to save the planet is a pretty cool (and I think previously used) plotline. It's kinda ironic that the "invading" creatures were named phantoms as that's what they were -- ghosts from a dead planet. 'Course, can't have the crusading scientist without the crazy General. What kinda scifi flick would that be? And, yeah, General Hein is among the craziest. First he refuses to back down from his little Zeus cannon project, then he lowers the defense shields to let the Phantoms in (so he can prove a point...) which ends with the total destruction of the New York complex and the death of the people living there. He regrets it for about a minute. Mr. Military Genius finally uses the Zeus cannon and smokes the Gaia Spirit... great....

I think I know what the problem is. Why some people had a problem with it, I mean. The story moves a little too slow in places because time is spent by explaining what's going on. You actually had to bring your brain with you to the theater. There are also no nekkid scenes (Oh, come on, that pic of Aki in Maxim magazine probably had guys hoping there was a nekkid scene). A lot of the people who've praised it on IMDB.com are people who watch anime and are generally used to this type of storytelling. It's intricate and involved. Speaking of reviews, here are some negative ones I found at the previously mentioned site. I've made comments where I've felt them necessary. *eg* There's chopped and kinda mixed together, plus I've removed people's names.. let's spare them that embarassment at least.

"Some people will think the animation in this movie is "realistic." Nothing could be further from the truth. What people are reacting to is the rendering and modeling, the textures and lighting given to the characters and sets. This is the most amazing thing about the movie and the only aspect of the film to achieve its vaunted (if somewhat cold and sterile)photorealism. The actual animation is stiff and unnatural, filled with stock gestures. ..."

Well, yeah. Of course we're reacting to rendering and modeling. It's a CG film. And you should know that everytime you watch a "live action" movie, you're also reacting to "textures and lighting given to the characters and sets." It's called film. The animation is a lot smoother than other cell animated films I've seen, believe me. And "stock gestures"? ::rolls eyes:: Puh-leez. If you've been working on this for 4 years, you'd be pulling out the "stock gestures" too.

"...The characters never seem to change their facial expressions (especially the lead Aki, whose eyebrows never move even when she is crying), and the lip sync is all wrong. Aside from the technical problems, this is simply bad acting. In trying to attain the subtlety of live actors the animators have made their creations lifeless and dull. ..."

Actually, no. Aki does move her eyebrows -- they all do -- and the lip sync is great. You wanna see bad lip sync, go watch one of your American film dubs. The French do better dub jobs (no, not really). I thought that Aki and Dr. Sid were the most realistic of the characters (Capt. Edwards being the least). Much attention to clothing details (light, shadows, folds, flowing of the fabric) and body language was paid to all the characters.

"...Of course, in animation realism isn't that important, believability is. The characters don't have to look real, but simply move in a plausible way. This can be achieved by heightening reality through the use of exaggeration. Perhaps if the movements of the characters where stylized a bit more, made a little more expressive, they might have seemed more engaging and a little less awkward and creepy. ..."

You're missing the point, dumbass. If the movements were exaggerated, they'd be more comical. This isn't a comedy. These characters weren't supposed to bounce around the room like a bunch of toys. They're in the middle of a friggin war. They're gonna be somber and "creepy" and more restrained.

"...After all, the caricatured humans in Toy Story 2 are much more credible than the characters here. (The Pixar films also know how to tell a story)"

Yeah, if you're prepubescent. (Ditto to that.)

This guy's review was actually pretty nice, but that comment about the betrayal plot...

"The film may be cliched at times (didn't I see something sort of similar with this in Antz or in Atlantis or something, I mean the betrayal plot)."

Why only mention Antz and Atlantis? Almost every film has a betrayal plot. It's industry standard, dude.

And now a fun one from Chicago:

"What I found was that the movie had a very tortuous plot, bland dialogue, lots of fairly slow moments, and a pretty stupid and uninspired plot. ..."

Have you been tested for ADHD? What's your IQ? You might have hurt yourself attempting to use a muscle you normally don't... you should probably go get a CAT scan.

"...The characters, without exception, spend all their time covered in either body armor or neck to toe gowns. Only the heads and hands are visible. In many scenes, the hands had all the convincing realism of your standard department store mannequin. ..."

Perv. You saw that Maxim picture of Aki, didn't you? I don't know about mannequins; I don't really hang around with too many, though you obviously must.

"...And by the way, the younger kids in the theatre during my viewing were all obviously bored by the halfway point. Leave them at home."

I do believe this reinforces my ADHD/maturity level comment...

From Ohio:

"If the creators had shied away from making their movie a tribute to the Alien Trilogy, and lent what they had written down to an experienced screenwriter who knew how to give a story flow and structure, then perhaps "Final Fantasy" could have succeeded....It certainly had the daring, just not the competency."

::rolls eyes:: This was not a tribute to the Alien Trilogy. Similarities are merely coincidental. If anything, this reminded me of Miyazaki's "Mononoke Hime," what with the angry spirits and the deadly touch of said spirits. Sakaguchi, I'm sure, is a more than experienced screenwriter. I'm thinking this film had a little too much structure. "...just not the competency"? I really do think that is the pot calling the kettle black.

A non-believer in Louisville:

"To get to the one thing that no one seems to want to discuss about "Final Fantasy" outside of its effects, I mention the story. It's dismal. (Spoilers) The story involves a horde of alien invaders who have some bad mojo on their backs. Seems they destroyed their planet, a chunk of which has impacted on Earth, and their negative essence is threatening all of humanity and the Gaia of Earth itself. There's that word, Gaia. It's the most repeated word throughout the film and the entire film revolves around it. These aliens are in fact ghost, but we can apparently shot them with guns, who steal a humans life away by touch. Our lead heroine, Aki, is in search of the 8 spirits of Earth's Gaia in an attempt to create a repelent against the alien ghost. Yes, this film is THAT silly. ..."

Let's clear something up. The "bad mojo" and "negative essences" are the Phantoms -- ghosts. But they're not just negative and it's not just the aliens who were part of the war: it's every living being that was on that chunk of rock and they're created the same way/reason poltergeists are created here, through a very, very traumatic experience that has kept their energy from passing on. Gaia is the Earth. It's the most repeated because it's the most important. I don't know why you can shoot the ghosts, maybe it's special ammo. I dunno. These spirits are energy and energy can be disrupted. Aki is not trying to create a "repelent," she is trying to create an energy wave of the exact opposite amplitude to negate the Phantom energy. (That makes perfect sense.) This film is no sillier than any other scifi film.

"As it is, it will probably go down as the "Tron" for the next century. A forgettable and heartless piece of computer experimentation."

And what the frell was wrong with "Tron"? That movie was the kick!

A possible blonde from Cali:

"But I was confused throughout the whole film. Just when I thought I knew what was going on, some technical/pseudo-religious explanation was given that sent me back to scratching my head and trying to keep up with the techno-babble dialogue. ..."

... ::falls out of her chair laughing:: *ahem* Yeah, I think that right there is the problem a lot of people were having.

"...Strange that traditional cell animation is better at that (the lip movements in the various animated BATMAN series were great)"

This is where people need to learn about the tech aspect of animation. Lip movments for cell animation doesn't need to be precise. It basically consists of opening and closing and a couple shape changes thrown in (no disrepect to cell animators... this in itself is pretty damn difficult). But with CG, you have to do more movements than that to get it to look realistic. Do you have an idea how many muscles are in the human mouth? I don't even want to think how many thousands of hours it would take to get CG lips to sync flawlessly with human lips.

The reviews just get harsher, so I'm gonna spare myself the pain. They're there if you want to go read 'em.

Visit the Official Site for trailers, wallpaper, and more fun stuff.

Go see "Final Fantasy."

Aki Ross Gray Marshall

posted on 7/15/2001 01:33:04 AM
.. l.i.n.k.i.t


wednesday, july 11

I'm thinking of relocating.. perhaps to Australia or Canada. I have friends there who may be kind enough to take me in. After all, I'm fleeing the country whose current leader is a complete moron.

Seriously, it's just getting worse. Didn't this guy go to school for gods sakes? I have never seen a president who was so completely incompetent. I'm gonna start taping the Daily Show's Headlines segments from now until George W. gets outta office because it's a non-stop laugh riot. Like Jon Stewart said: "We have three and a half more years of this shit?"

Yesterday's headline (for the Daily Show) featured George W. & George Senior at a golf course in Maine. Goddess that was hilarious. His father wore a cap with "41" printed on it because he was the 41st President and he got George W. a cap with "43" on it. Jon Stewart: "... to remind him that he's the 43rd President." The sad part is I could believe that so easily. There were obviously media people there, so George W. was discussing some political situation...I don't remember what and it really doesn't matter. The important thing was that Bush was saying he was very serious about the matter. Jon Stewart: "Oh yeah, nothing says serious like a well-rested man lounging in a golf cart picking duck droppings off his shoe."

But today.. holy frell. Today's was hilarious, if only for the pure stupidity of it. To being with, this is the first time that Bush has visited New York since he became President. It's been six months, you twit. You might wanna put an appearance in with the people who already think you're an idiot and prove them wrong. Um.. too bad you can't. Anyway, the Prez was delivering a speech to immigrants gaining citizenship that was to end with the Pledge of Allegiance. Know what Bozo the Clown says? "Please raise your right hand." Um.. are you trying to heil Hitler or swear on the Bible? 'Cause it coulda been either. Of course, the dumbass then realizes, "I mean, right hand over your heart." Those poor, poor immigrants. To them I say: Flee! Flee while you can!

Oh yeah. It's gonna be an amusing, embarrassing 3 1/2 years. I'm just hoping Dubbya doesn't accidentally press the big red button that launches the nukes. Does that scare anyone else?
posted on 7/11/2001 01:03:28 AM
.. l.i.n.k.i.t


monday, july 2

Hollywood Man-Whore

That's what J.J. and Terry (100.9FM Morning Team) called Russell Crowe this morning, along with Heather Graham being the "town bicycle" (Heath Ledger just dumped her). Apparently the two celebs are now an item - Heather is "totally in love." Hah. Yeah, good luck, Heather. Mr. Man-Whore broke up Meg Ryan & Dennis Quaid's marriage and then broke it off, and she thinks she's got a chance? Roight.

Ya know, I used to like Crowe. Decent actor, Australian, in his own rock band - what could be wrong with that? Hell, my friend Claddagh has a huge webshrine to the guy, so he couldn't be that bad. Except.. the stuff you hear about the guy makes you wonder... how much of the bad-ass facade is just a facade?

I suppose what still irks me the most is that he broke up Meg's marriage to Dennis. Those two have been together for, gods, at least 10 years and Mr. Cool-and-Aussie breaks it up. Russell over Dennis? Puh-leaze. From what I hear, Meg & Russ called it quits 'cause Ms. Ryan didn't want to spend time on Russell's ranch in Oz.
posted on 7/2/2001 08:23:21 AM
.. l.i.n.k.i.t


sunday, july 1

Saw "Swordfish" yesterday. Wow. Very, very.. wow.

This is one of those movies you'd have to see a few times to really "get". Not that I would mind. *g* 'Cause Hugh in this movie is just to die for. Don't believe me? Well, take a look a this promo shot:

Please excuse my half-baked rambling and drooling over Hugh.


SPOILERS FOR SWORDFISH
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Confusing opening sequence. Over half the movie is a flashback, including one scene I really wasn't a fan of... The club scene and Stan's little test. Was that cheap ho really necessary? Er.. I suppose...

Halle was good in this; Travolta was... interesting. Glad to see Don Cheadle hasn't dropped off the face of the Earth after Picket Fences ended.

Lots of stuff got blown-up. Hugh Jackman is a hottie. The cinematography was cool. Did I mention that Hugh is a hottie? That earring.. and the tatt... *thud*

There was a very cute scene of Stan writting the code for the worm. 'Kay, so it wasn't supposed to be cute, but come on. You can't be female, watch that scene and tell me he wasn't incredibly adorable. 'Cause he was. Ooooooh, and when he went to see his daughter, Holly, and brought her a stuffed animal. That was sooo sweet!

Glad that frickin' dunk-ass skank of a wife got killed at the end. She deserved it. I mean, gods, Stanley only got thrown into jail for being a hacker! 'Sides, he was sabotaging the government's Carnivore program. That's a good thing. ::rolls eyes:: Trailer trash ho.

The ending was crafty. I'm gonna leave it at that.

"Not everything ends the way you think it should." - Gabriel Shear
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END SPOILERS FOR SWORDFISH

On a side note, I saw the trailer for Jet Li's new movie, "Kiss of the Dragon." It was very cool to see two "Nikita" alumn in the film: Tcheky Karyo from the original French film and Bridget Fonda from the US remake, "Point of No Return." It looks like Bridg plays a Nikita-esque character in this film. Might have to check it out.
posted on 7/1/2001 10:19:41 AM
.. l.i.n.k.i.t


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