Oh Mummy

Apr. 23rd, 2008 02:43 pm
zustifer: (Arthur Frayn)
Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars
This four-parter had some fun stuff, including a couple of badass costumes for the villains, and a disco sarcophagus. Robot mummies (bearing slight resemblance to Amazo) stumped around in broad daylight, trying not to look embarrassed. It was good.

PS: This video is totally great.
zustifer: (Beetlejuice: Miss Argentina)
We just hit Majel Barrett's first (physical) appearance on DS9. Lwaxana Troi is like the personification of Victoria's Secret. It's alarming, but I enjoy her anyway.


Apr. 15th, 2008 11:30 am
zustifer: (comics: Karma)

(you guys know that I do the drawings for these with like a marker in front of the television, right? (And then color in photoshop.) And that's why they're so silly?)
zustifer: (Grace Jones yesssss)
We've been watching some DS9 lately, which hasn't yet gotten tiresome. It's fun, and as chmmr observed, it's consistently better than the new Dr. Who.

(This was pretty endlessly amusing to us. There's just something about the plaintive edge in his voice. Also the word 'bread' is funny.)

(Is it not true? I believe it is.)

We just finished watching The Nagus episode, and I am thoroughly sick of looking at Ferengi. Even though this episode had the guy who played Vizzini in the Princess Bride.


Mar. 12th, 2008 09:57 pm
zustifer: (Ubik)


zustifer: (Beetlejuice: Barbara)
Beetle Juice (1988), Tim Burton. March 2, 6pm. View count: Oh, who knows. Probably between 15 and 20.

Well, I love this movie a lot. You know this. It's another one that my family taped off of television that I watched over and over. It's one of the first DVDs I bought, too, of course, but somehow I never realized (the menu doesn't show up until you're done with the movie, pleasingly) that it had a mode wherein you could watch the movie with only the score as soundtrack. This is pretty cool, really, especially for me, since I know a lot of the music cues for specific lines and actions. I am so, so obnoxious. Chmmr was nice about it, but this is (strangely) also the first time he's sat through it with me, so maybe the horror has yet to sink in.

In my opinion, this is about as good as Tim Burton gets. It contains all his best elements, is deep and well-thought-out and -crafted, and yet remains self-aware enough to make sure you know that it's all pretty hilarious (unlike, say, Edward Scissorhands, which maintains a surface glibness and a terrible, uncomfortable seriousness underneath that makes me unable to watch it). It's cleverly enclosed in a very few locations, with a good level of fleshed-outness for the number of characters. It's very goofy in a few places, but it's okay.

Really, though, it merely is for me at this point; it's very hard to distance myself from the movie enough to talk about it in any serious way. So, uh, here's a drawing.

zustifer: (comics: Karma)

I made this this weekend, instead of doing normal things. Original can be seen on the same page as the other one, only scroll down a little.

For Nick

Feb. 27th, 2008 04:48 pm
zustifer: (comics: Karma)

(The original looks like this.)
zustifer: (comics: Mysterio laughs at nothing)
zustifer: (comics: Gambit: Viviano)
Do you know what the world needs? The world needs more upside-down Gambit.

I mean, I hope it does. I'd hate to contribute to an upside-down Gambit surplus.
zustifer: (bowie xray)
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Nicolas Roeg. February 23, 9-ish pm. View count: One.

Agh, christ, this movie had almost no redeeming value. I liked it when the female lead threw a wig at the back of Bowie's head, I cheered when she yelled 'Tommy, can you hear me?' and I cheered when Bowie looked like he was going to shoot her in the face, but otherwise I mostly writhed in unhappiness. And yet, somehow people fawn all over this thing. I'm without words.

We watched this in part because it supposedly referenced Solyaris; there was a Brueghel painting shown and a random horse print on a wall.

The good thing that this brought me though, was the knowledge that PKD's 'Mother Goose' in VALIS was David Bowie! I had NO IDEA. I guess this is what happens when you read things without the proper cultural setting. I had thought that all PKD's favorite music was horrid, due to the Linda Ronstadt thing. Thank you, internet! No citation, apparently, but I loved this line:
It has been reported that Dick genuinely believed that Bowie was attempting to communicate certain esoteric information via The Man Who Fell To Earth (and also via Bowie's album Station To Station). However, upon meeting Bowie, Dick apparently ceased to believe that Bowie was attempting such subliminal esoteric communication.

zustifer: (Krell door)
Solyaris (1972), Andrei Tarkovsky. February 22, 8pm. View count: One.

I definitely enjoyed this first version better than the Soderbergh/Carpenter one, despite its more cluttered structure and more Joe Don Bakerish leading man (though I say that as someone without interest in Clooneys). My respect for Solaris-the-remake is even somewhat diminished, because that is what it is: a remake of the original movie, not a re-imagining of the story. And in its tighter, modern redo spirit, it loses the pacing of the original, not to mention the good solid russian space station style, the weird, sweaty (I swear, it's a hallmark of russian cinema) character actors, and the beautiful analog chemical-swirl surface-of-Solaris effect. Almost everything I thought was clever in Solaris, though, was actually brought over wholesale from Solyaris.

Solyaris did have its issues, most notably the totally inexplicable (okay, it is actually quite explicable) driving-on-japanese-highways sequence (the internet tells me that this was left in to justify a trip to Japan, which had originally been to shoot footage at the World Fair, but which presumably bureaucracy had forced the team to miss. So they shot like twenty minutes of Tokyo highway, and hoped everyone would find it futuristic, which early 70s Russia probably damn well did). The semi-integrated Brueghel paintings were probably the other obvious culprit; I never felt like they really did much for the production. Apparently this was due to a sense of disadvantage on Tarkovsky's part:
The reason for this was that for Tarkovsky cinema was a very young art. He tried to create in the viewer's subconscious a historic perspective into the depth of the centuries, such that the viewers would think of cinema as an old art.

I didn't really find the relatively slow pacing to be a problem; it wasn't as deliberate as, say, 2001, but it never managed to find its groove as well as 2001, either. I am looking forward to watching some films that Tarkovsky thought were more successful.

zustifer: (Goggalor)
Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers), 1974. (Wikipedia link)

We've been watching the original series for a little while, and only about halfway through it do I really feel like I have seen enough of the characters to draw any of them. I swear, the first five episodes or so consisted entirely of either lovingly animated explosions or the same four cycles reused for pretty much everything. (I have lots of vague memories from childhood, when I watched the hell out of the american dub (Star Blazers), and I'm amused to find that I still remember people's american names sometimes, but it's not the same as having seen it recently.) Because of this childhood exposure, I was worried that the series wouldn't hold up, but I think I underestimated my ability to enjoy things. Well, maybe not that, but it is actually an interesting series. Our heroes and their ship are at a constant technological disadvantage (er, usually), often getting the crap beaten out of them in skirmishes with the Gamila(n)s. It seems, although I haven't seen it mentioned (I also haven't looked that hard), that the crew is composed entirely of punk kids and marginally qualified adults. Presumably this is due to harsh wartime conditions, but it's really not made much of, for whatever reason.

The series displays a hoary old anime trope, the slow build-up, both in macro and micro ways. The ship makes its way past each planet in the solar system, marking out the time the human race has to survive (as arbitrarily as possible). There's lots of attention paid to process, and journeys within the larger one, as well.

Well, anyhow, here's a couple of characters.

(Side note: I just found out that those Daft Punk videos were actually done by Matsumoto himself; I'd thought they were a pastiche! What a freakout.)
zustifer: (skeleton: omg!)
Cracked Actor (1975), Michael Murphy? February 6, 8pm, Feb 7, 1:30pm (some). View count: 1.5

This was a pretty fun little documentary, even though it has its share of 70s wankery. Bowie is actually coherent and says a decent amount of things that aren't the usual rock star meaningless babble, even though he's apparently in the midst of his cocaine-and-milk phase (and his fans are amazing stereotypical nutjobs). Probably the best part is his singing along or pretending to sing (there's no sync sound) backup to that 'You make me feel like a natural woman' song, which is playing on the car radio. Oh, Jub Jub.

Most of the concert footage is either at a terrible distance or right at Bowie's feet, which doesn't really make for terrific results, but still it's pretty cool to see some Diamond Dogs live (I love Diamond Dogs). Oh, and apparently he employed some cut-up technique in songwriting (including 'Sweet Thing'), which rules, of course.

We are all WE LOVE BOWIE HURRR, so we thought this was great, but probably no one without a serious interest in 70s hair and eyebrowlessness will want to sit through it in real life. This is okay.

Oh, I must note the wacky commenter on the imdb page:
9 Bowie follows his dreams like a wise owl. 10 Bowie confronts nothing musically, except music itself.

zustifer: (Beetlejuice: Lydia wedding stoic)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), Shekhar Kapur. February 5, 9:30pm. View count: One.

This was, sadly, pretty pedestrian. Cate Blanchett wasn't bad, although her role was obnoxiously 'sassy' and Modern Woman-ish. Sir Raleigh, whom Elizabeth fell in love with for sort of a reason, looked a fair bit like Rone, but he wasn't very interesting otherwise. The locations were beautiful, as was the shooting, and of course the costumery blah blah. It CERTAINLY wasn't as horrid as Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, but real depth was still sadly lacking. The movie winds up with a Very Dramatic Shot of Cate Blanchett holding a baby and smiling beatifically, and there's a voiceover saying something like 'I'm a virgin queen and so I don't have any children, but I am mother to England!' and first of all it's a VOICEOVER, explaining the motives of the PROTAGONIST, at the VERY END (hint: this is bad), but also the movie had never touched on the concept of 'mothering' the country or indeed anything along those lines. If this is so defining, why hadn't it been mentioned before? She'd been shown as being conflicted about not being able to marry (which she didn't actually seem to care about) or, you know, have sex with colony-founders, but the baby thing was just completely out of the blue.

There was a lot of that sort of thing: incomplete concepts. Factions running around doing things, and only the largest of them with any clarity. The lady-in-waiting who was also named Elizabeth was set up as the queen's sort of surrogate self, who could theoretically do the things the queen couldn't, but weirdly this went almost completely undeveloped (except in a really boring love-triangle way. Yawn). Elizabeth's ideals, apart from being anachronistically modern, are not elucidated terribly well. Oh, we're going to war because of freedom? How nice. All (ONLY) the bad guys are strongly religious, too, which is awfully simplistic, especially given Elizabeth's introduction as Protestant (she never displays any sign of this).

Probably the best thing this movie did was to realize the compositional value of gigantic dresses in the cavernous castle rooms. Thumbs up to that, and to Cate Blanchett herself, who really has her own face, especially placed up against bland starlets, who do not. The rest of it, bah.


Feb. 1st, 2008 03:04 pm
zustifer: (Boring)

(I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills, Showdown at Cremation Creek 1&2)
They dropped the ball on Bowie's nose.
zustifer: (lemon chiffon directions)
At Home Dad, Episodes 1 and 2.

This is a show I found when I was downloading Lunch Queen, thanks to the fansub group SARS (no really) doing both. It's pretty cute so far, with stereotypes galore and wacky coincidences. It is about a very traditional-gender-roles family whose breadwinner loses his job, and the wife is simultaneously offered a graphic design job by a friend who used to work with her. This forces the husband to fuck up a lot while he attempts to keep house.
This is exactly the kind of show that would be unimaginably terrible if it were american, but the added layer of cultural assumptions and language barrier make for actual amusement.
Here are the major players:

I think my crummy felt-brush pen is crapping out.
zustifer: (comics: Mysterio laughs at nothing)
So I was watching the Let's Dance video, which is not really one of my favorite songs or anything, but I remembered seeing it in college (and I think I have a similar drawing I did then too (except I had arms on that one)) and was looking for excuses to draw things (and I have decided, in case you didn't notice, to post anything half-decent I do), so, here.

(Bowie is a particular challenge for me because he has a short nose. It's a FACT.)
Oh, and also, this video might have been after he has his teeth fixed, but I don't even care.
zustifer: (Krell door)
Doctor Who, season 13, episodes 5-9: Planet of Evil. (BBC).

The Doctor and Sarah Jane land on some planet, where there's a scientific investigation of some sort of energy source (which turns out to be ANTIMATTER!). People die mysteriously. The planet is pretty nice-looking, for once.

Sarah Jane is surprised. She is wearing an outfit that I can imagine my mother making me wear at about age seven.

A professor is 'possessed' by 'antimatter' and kills a lot of guys by draining their precious moisture.

I am increasingly convinced that this is in part a homage to Forbidden Planet.

(the monster is done in a blue-screen find-edges version of the invisible-but-outlined Monster from the Id, and the sound effects are awfully reminiscent of the thereminny score. There is no Dr. Morbius, Krell, or Altaira though.)

Aquabats - Anti-Matter


zustifer: (Default)
Karla Z

February 2012

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