Recent Movies

Starfish: I absolutely loved this. I watched it three times in short order. It starts with a funeral, and our lead goes to spend the night in her dead friend's house. But things start "unravelling" before that. She wakes up and she's missed the apocalypse: some kind of Lovecraftian Singularity Rapture leaving her all alone. Mostly it's about her dealing with her grief over her friend's death and her own bad life choices, but also, her friend left some breadcrumbs: a series of mixtapes that can save the world, because they have some kind of anti-Cthonic Videodrome signal embedded in them.

There are so many amazing details in this movie: it's a movie you have to watch and listen to. If your phone is in your hand, you're going to miss it all. It is nearly without dialog, and the score is almost a character. There are little things like, when the cassettes are playing the signal, the spindles are moving in opposite directions.

At one point the movie turns into an anime which is basically Miyazaki's Cloverfield. And it's so weirdly anachronistic and whyyy? I can't tell when it's set. There's no tech visible in the movie that post-dates 1985 or so: rotary phones, cassettes, walkie-talkies. No cell phones in evidence, though someone does once say "I didn't recognize this number", so caller ID was what, 1996? A calendar shows that it is Friday, Dec 31, which means 2010, 2004, 1999 or 1993, but old ticket stubs show the year 2014! I may have thought too hard about this part, but this is not a movie where details like that were left to chance.

Fast Color: This was really good. It feels like Logan meets Midnight Special (which I still think of as "that M83 movie"). The world's gone to hell and three generations of black women are being hunted for having cosmic mutant-powers.

Near future movies seem to be settling in on a particular look for our impending climate apocalypse, that Logan really exemplified, and this does as well -- in the 80s it was underground bunkers, sandstorms, New Rocks with fishnets. Now it's just hoodies and a shitty, picked over New Mexico convenience store that has run out of its $50 jugs of water. This apocalypse sucks.

Booksmart: Two overachieving high school seniors (who are inexplicably and unbelievably not outcasts) lose their damn minds when they realize that all of their slacker classmates also got into good schools, so they decide to "party". Slapstick ensues. It's funny and dumb. There's an animated sequence in the middle that has to be a nod to Better Off Dead.

Darkness Visible: British-born Indian guy goes to India for the first time to figure out why his mom up and left the country in the middle of the night just to go jump in front of a car. Stranger in a Strange Land And Nobody Believes Him Except For One Good Cop, yadda yadda. It's a bit formulaic but it holds up. It reminds me a bit of Deep Red, I think (or possibly I'm mixing that up with some other Argento or Bava movie).

No Alternative: A period piece set in the distant past of 1994 where a bunch of teenagers get their grunge on while trying to find reasons not to kill themselves, with limited success. The shadow of Cobain hangs heavy over this one. It is dark, but good.

Harmony: This movie is set in the Chicago part of Australia that played New York in The Matrix. The soundtrack is good. It's about a sad goth girl who's some kind of sin-eater who can absorb and take away other people's misery and sadness, but it hurts her and makes her run with black goo, none of which is great for socializing. It's overwrought and melodramatic and kind of like the opposite of The Crow: she's some sort of elemental of forgiveness instead of vengeance. And of course some creeps want to weaponize her. Anyway, it's fun. There was some definite sequel-bait at the end.

Captive State: The aliens show up to strip-mine the planet, and humanity just surrenders and lets them do it. A tiny insurgency are hunted by their fellow humans and make basically no difference at all. I feel like this is a metaphor for something. Anyway, it's not bad, though not terribly memorable.

High Life: Literally the only sound in the first 20 minutes of this movie was a baby shrieking. I couldn't take it. I fast forwarded a bit and never quite got what the plot was, except that they are prisoners on a generation ship, it gets rapey and most of them are murdered. And the physics was wonky. Normally I don't even bother writing reviews of movies I despised, but this terrible film did raise one question for me that I was not immediately able to find an answer to by googling, so maybe you can help: at 1G acceleration, what would the stars look like, and when? How many years until you see gravity's rainbow?

Tags: , , , ,

DNA Lounge: Wherein we've got bartending robots and friendly neighbors

We've got quite a few entrants for the Sixth Annual Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge this Sunday! It's looking good!

Do you like ROBOTS? And DRINKING? Experience incredible robot bartenders serving you drinks, lovingly crafted with MAD SCIENCE by the finest competitors in the art of robotic mixology, Sunday, July 21 at DNA Lounge!

Some of this year's entrants not only squirt, but can also fly, scuttle, and drive on the freeway.

You probably won't get wet. Probably. Or disassembled. Probably.

Seriously, this is one of the coolest, silliest things we do all year, and if you don't show up, we can't be friends any more.

And now I'm going to turn the mic over to MC Kingfish! Here's a story he told at the beginning of Monday Night Hubba this week. I transcribed this from the webcast at around 10:10:00:

Did anyone here go to the Big Show on Friday night?

So if you didn't go, if you don't know, it was our big "State Fair" show, and it's all kinds of State Fair themed acts. We had clowns, and we had a clown marching band with tubas and trombones and drums and all of that. And we started the marching band at 11th and Folsom, and marched our way all the way down the street to DNA Lounge and into the room.

But when we started, down there at 11th and Folsom, there was a lady standing on the sidewalk, on her cell phone. And as we started up -- Pa-rum pum. Pa-rum pum. Pa da-da-da-da-da-da, da -- and we start marching down the street, she comes right up to me and says,

"This is a. Residential. Building."

At 11th and Folsom. On Friday night. At 10:15pm.

And I looked at her and I said, "And now we're past it."

Because we're a marching band!

Like, literally we were in front of her "residential building" for about eight seconds, ok? She grabbed one of the clown girls out of the band, and said to her,

"This is unacceptable."


And then, the denoument, Ladies and Gentlemen, and then she called DNA Pizza to complain, and said... "I would like to speak to a manager."


If you need any further proof that showing up, participating, coming to DNA Lounge, going out and supporting your local live entertainment, is something you need to do... well...

Marching Band Megan on her cell phone is there to let you know.

You may remember the occupants of that "residential building" from their previous greatest hits, such as: forcing the original Oasis out of business back in 1998.


Jessica Jones Opsec

Previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , ,

  • Previously