Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’

6th June
2010
written by Steph
We've got a hodgepodge of films for you this time round, some of them better than others, and some watched at the drive-in! This time we watched:
  • We talk about why senior thesis projects don't always make good movies when we discuss 9
  • Tony tells you how to be an effective stalker while critiquing Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo
  • Everyone who works with him may hate him, but we still love Ricky Gervais in The Invention of Lying
  • If you're looking for the definition of "80s humor" look no further than A Fish Called Wanda...
  • Steph winds up with a lot of strong views about effective video game films, which come out when we discuss Prince of Persia
  • Is Iron Man 2 the Ulysses of summer 2010? No, not really... unless you found Transformers 2 to be a subtle and intelligently-crafted art film

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25th May
2010
written by Steph
Shocking to see a new installment of What We Watched up so soon, but we watched a freakish amount of movies in the past week and, for better or for worse, we just had to blab about them. Featured this time:
  • Tony reveals a crush while we talk about The Girl in the Cafe... and it's not on a girl!
  • Yes, Fantastic Mr. Fox is pretty fantastic!
  • Generally time-lapse photography is meant to speed things up, but we talk about how it seems to slow things down in Chronos
  • Michael Douglas may be the King of California, but he's also pretty creepy... and maybe that's a good thing?
  • Steph insults Asians everywhere (and Tony) while discussing facial hair and Infernal Affairs
  • We rag on Gwyneth Paltrow so bad while talking about Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow that she may have to whine on Goop about us
Added bonus: despite talking about two more films than we usually do, we still manage to do it in the same amount of time as our other podcasts!  Brevity is clearly the soul of wit!

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16th May
2010
written by Steph
On this installment of What We Watched:
  • Much to Steph's chagrin, all the puns in the world aren't enough to make Running Man a good movie
  • I Heart Huckabees? More like I ZZZZ Huckabees...
  • Our discussion of Rosemary's Baby devolves into what makes a movie scary... Also, Tony tells you all the ways in which you are stupid
  • We get passionate about education and inner-city school kids (who knew?!) while discussing the documentary Pressure Cooker

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Warning, this one's a doozy, folks.  Plenty of banter and grousing!
22nd September
2009
written by Steph

You know how sometimes we define ourselves as readers by what we don’t read?  Perhaps you say thing like, “oh, I don’t read poetry,” or “I don’t read anything published before I was”, (?) or “I don’t read sci-fi.”* And then you come across an author like Kurt Vonnegut, who defies all convention and those convenient little genre labels, and you get really quiet and think, “Huh.  Maybe I do like all of those things after all…” And then you feel confused and maybe just a bit ashamed for what you said. *For the record, I am fairly certain I have never said any of those things… Well, at least not two - ok, maybe just one - of those things.  I leave it to you to guess which one. Kurt Vonnegut is an author I’m sure everyone has heard of, but I wonder how many of us have actually read him. I read my first Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five, last year. I liked it well enough, but I wasn’t as blown away by it as I thought I would (should?) be. I remember thinking the book was smart and clever, but I guess because Slaughterhouse Five is about WWII, I expected it to pack more of an emotional punch. That being said, it was an enjoyable read, and I knew I wanted to read more by him in the future. For the longest while (perhaps coincident with his death), our local library had none of his books, but on our last trip, they had a huge selection, which seemed like as good a sign as any to give the man another shot. (more…)
8th September
2009
written by Steph
For people who own a television but who don’t have cable (or even rabbit ears), Tony and I do pretty well when it comes to keeping current with must-see tv.  Just to be clear, we don’t eschew cable because we’re those snotty folk who turn up their noses at television; far from it!  Mostly we don’t have cable (or as we refer to it, “don’t have tv”) for two reasons: 1) the local cable provider here is SUPER expensive (in Toronto, I recall not having to pay more than $60/month for cable AND internet; here a comparable package would set us back some thing like $100… I am not willing to pay that kind of money for tv... or really any monthly service); 2) it is probably for the best we can’t just watch tv whenever we want, because we would literally watch it all the time.  Buh bye reading time.  Say hello to the glazed look that I inevitably take on after having watched 5 hours of HGTV or Animal Planet straight. (Seriously, so little is my self-restraint when it comes to watching the idiot box, I will watch hours worth of “When Animals Attack”, which pretty much no one should watch.)  Essentially, it’s in our best interest to have our tv watching limited to what we can rent through Netflix, or watch online (and with Netflix’s “Watch It Now”, Hulu, and all of the major networks streaming their stuff, we’re not doing too bad!). Anyhoodle, normally Tony and I take the summer to purge bad shows from our repertoire that we no longer enjoy, and to seek out potential replacements.  Often times this involves us cottoning on to shows that are long since done, but that’s what DVD is for, right?  This summer found us watching: (more…)
6th August
2009
written by Steph
He'll be back... but will we?

He'll be back... but will we?

When I was younger, I remember being obsessed with Terminator 2.  My parents gave me this little TV that had a built in video recorder, and one of the few things I remember recording was Terminator 2 off of one of the local tv stations (that and a clip off of Entertainment Tonight or some such entertainment new program about Jonathan Taylor Thomas when he was filming Tom and Huck… what?!?  I would have been 12 years old at the time!  Clearly that’s a forgivable offense!).  Flash forward to 2009 at the ripe old age of 26, and while I still remember thinking T2 was awesome, I pretty much only know that it starred Edward Furlong as John Connor, had a shapeshifting T1000, and ends with Arnie giving us a big old thumbs up as he is lowered into a pit of molten metal... And maybe there is something with a playground?  Clearly I had some gaps to fill in. (more…)
4th August
2009
written by Steph
My August read for BookPage

My August read for BookPage

Since it's a new month, it also means I have a new review up in the current issue of BookPage.  For the August issue I read Victor LaValle's second novel, Big Machine.  What can I say?  I loved this book, and I hope you will too.  If you enjoy mysteries, fantasy, sci-fi, or just a rolicking adventure story with a pretty biting sense of humor, there's a good chance you will!  When this one hits the shelves, I'll probably buy a hard-cover copy because I liked it that much.  In my own personal reading loI gave this book a 4.5 out of 5 rating, which says a lot.  Also, I made Tony read it after I finished it and now both of us are interested in reading LaValle's back catalog.  He's likely an author you haven't heard of before, but now all of that's changed so you have no excuse not to give Big Machine a shot! I'm pretty proud of this review, and was extra excited to see that it got "Feature" billing (and also kicks off the Fiction reviews in the print edition of the magazine).  Please check it out and let me know what you think!
28th May
2009
written by Steph
It likely will live long and prosper

It likely will live long and prosper

Last weekend, Tony and I took advantage of the fact that there is a drive-in movie theater not too far outside of Nashville where you can watch two recent movies for just $7 per person, and all from the comfort of your own car!  Ok, so it’s no Imax experience, BUT it’s kitschy and fun, they have a great snackbar (funnel cake!  philly cheese steaks!), and it’s actually a great way of watching movies you’re kind of interested in seeing but don’t want to pay full price to see.  We tend to go when there’s at least one movie playing that we want to watch, but have never left after just watching one of the movies… which is how we’ve wound up watching such cinematic gems as The Mummy 3 and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan (sadly, I am serious). But ok, sometimes there is a perfect storm where we wind up getting to see TWO movies we actually want to see.  Like last Sunday when after weeks of wanting to go to the drive-in but unwilling to sit through the Hannah Montana movie or Hotel for Dogs in order to do so, we saw they were airing a double header of the new Star Trek movie followed by I Love You, Man (which we had already seen, but enjoyed so much we were happy to see it again). (more…)
9th March
2009
written by Steph
Welcome to the Dollhouse...

Welcome to the Dollhouse...

In a real time conversation with me, it only takes about 40 minutes or so before I am likely to reveal my unabashed love for the tv show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (well, 40 minutes if you’re lucky).  It may not be on the air anymore, but it still ranks up there on my list of all-time favorite shows.  Seriously, one of my best friends and I bonded in highschool orchestra over our mutual love of the show, and our appreciation for it was even known by our Physics teacher (who ruined the ending to the season 5 finale for us, which we had not seen because of our attendance at the aforementioned orchestra practice which our unfeeling conductor ran opposite Buffy.  Mr Bell, you are still not forgiven for not yelling out “Spoiler Alert!” in class that day.) and we would routinely play “the quote game” which is far too geeky and involved for me to get into the rules here.  Suffice it to say we were those hardcore Buffyphiles you’ve heard rumors of on the internet.  We had board games, people! Anyway, given my fervent love of Buffy, I tend to track most Joss Whedon projects with interest (though truth be told, I didn’t really care for Angel, especially not once BtVS went off the air, and I still to this day have not seen a single episode of Firefly… but Tony & I did watch the first 2 out of 3 webisodes of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along when that was kicking about the net!).  I have this theory (it could be bunnies… bonus points if you get the reference) that no matter how über creative a writer and television creator is, none of them can sustain more than one show at a given time.  This is why BtVS began to suffer when Angel began airing, and Angel began suffering when Firefly (briefly) was on the air (For other examples, see: Abrams, J.J. and the travesty that was Felicity upon the inception of Alias, and the downward spiral of the latter when Lost showed up, and… well, to be honest, I just don’t know what his excuse is for Lost.  Good first season, ).  In order to pick up the reins on a new show, you have to let some slack arise in those of your current show, and I am pretty confident that without fail, the veteran show always suffers.  But Dollhouse is the first tv show Joss has had on the air in years, and he’s not really working on anything else, so it was looking promising that this show would be good. (more…)
7th March
2009
written by Steph
If I could travel back in time, would I read this book again?

If I could travel back in time, would I read this book again?

Guys, I think I’m becoming cynical (cue loud rounds of: “BECOMING?!?!”).  This is the most recent book in a string of books in which I have utterly failed to empathize and connect with the characters and have just wanted to wring their necks and point out how stupid/selfish/in need of therapy/terrible they are… and this is supposed to be a Romance.  Not good. To be fair, I didn’t loathe The Time Traveler’s Wife.  There were moments I thought were quite interesting, or that I admit touched my rock-hard heart, and I thought the central conceit of the time traveling and the narrative possibilities it opened up was very cool and well done, but in the end things didn’t completely add up for me, and there were more things that I disliked about it than liked.  Which means that this is going to be a really fun review to write!  😉  Seriously though, my trajectory for reading this novel was mild intrigue but general indifference for the first 200 pages, then acute and fierce hatred for the next 250 pages, and then slight horror at myself for the remainder when I found myself somewhat moved and touched by the events that tie up the novel even though it had been obvious that this was the natural course the novel would take for quite some while (mostly because Niffenegger states outright that this is where things are heading). But before I get too far ahead of myself in dissecting the novel, I’ll let the 12 of you who haven’t read it know what it’s loosely about.  The Time Traveler’s Wife essentially traces the life of Clare Abshire & Henry DeTamble, as they meet, fall in love, get married, and live their lives together.  The only thing is, Henry has a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel during moments of extreme stress, so Clare and Henry actually first meet when Clare is 6 and Henry is 38.  While Clare’s life moves forward linearly, suffice it to say that Henry’s kind of doesn’t.  So it’s a love story with a twist.  And really, that’s all I can say without giving away specific plot details that it would probably be best you discovered on your own if you intend to read this book.  And if you do intend to read this book, you should probably stop reading here because after the jump, I am going to get into the specifics of what did and didn’t work for me in this book. (more…)