June 12th, 2011

Porsupah smile by Djinni

Cinematica and bunfaces

First off, I'm happy to note that The Parkway will reopen! It was a fantastic place to see a flick in Oakland, based in a converted 1950s church, giving the upper screen fabulous tall concrete arches along the sides of the auditorium. Seating was composed of an assortment of loveseats and sofas at the front (though you'd want to get there early to snag those!), and the usual style of stadium seating further back, except every third seat was replaced by a small table. This meant that the pizza, or other food, you'd ordered would have somewhere to sit as well - and good pizza, too! The beer selection was worthwhile, as well, in pints or pitchers.

It may well have to move from its wonderful original location, as negotiations are proving to be desperately drawn out, though it's highly likely to be somewhere in the same neck of the woods, be it downtown, Lake Merritt, Rockridge, or somewhere else nearby. In any event, if you love film and a cinema with an emphasis on genuinely have a good time rather than a hope of passable projection, I'd encourage you to have a look in on what's going on!

A few words on recent flicks, even if a bit late. ^_^;

* Rango

I'd seen the trailer, but thought I'd missed out on its theatrical run; not so! I hadn't realised quite how well it wound up doing at the box office. In any event, I found it a refreshing break from the usual standard of CG animation, where every character has to be more or less cute, and almost always of rubbery smoothness. (Not that that's a bad thing per se, of course =:) Highly recommended.

* Hop

I was, of course, obliged to see this, and knew I had to as soon as I saw the first teaser. Indeed, it lived up to my hopes, and more. First off, I'll happily point out that the script is not an award winner by any stretch of the imagination - cut the human-based scenes down to a third of the size, and it'd be much better balanced, with less of the dreadfully heavy-handed "our son is a loser" schtick, which doesn't exactly advance the film, nor make us feel much better about.. well, him or his family. The good side? Obvious. ^_^ E.B. was absolutely gorgeously animated, and the Easter Island sets realised with such lush style Willy Wonka would have shed a tear. And seldom has impending doom been more adorable than with the arrival of the royal guard, the Pink Berets. It may be a guilty pleasure, but it's unquestionably a production to revel in nonetheless. (And, true, I suppose it didn't hurt that I was in very, very good company at the time =;)

* The Illusionist

This is Sylvain Chomet's latest animated work, after The Triplets of Belleville. I admit, I found it more difficult to truly get into the film than Bellevillle. Initially, we're not quite sure whether the title character is genuinely good at what he does, or merely a hack, outpaced by the arrival of the 1960s. However, as the movie progresses, that falls away to leave us with the humanity - the people presenting all these variety acts.

I probably shouldn't say too much more, but yes, this is one to go out of your way for, if you don't mind a genuinely "slice of life" film - one without any particular start or ending, and barely any heroes. It's quite wonderful.

* Source Code

The latest release from the director of Moon, an intelligent, low-budget (probably due to nobody charging full rates, given it certainly looks as slick as any major Hollywood production) sci-fi flick you ought to see if you haven't already. As you've likely seen from the trailer, it centers on a project capable of letting one person re-experience the final few minutes of a situation - in this case, the minutes leading up to an explosion on a commuter train heading into Chicago.

There are two endings in this film. =:) First, we see the mystery introduced at the start of the film be solved - but then, we're lead down a more inquisitive path. Perhaps there's a fair degree of suspension of disbelief required, but it was mostly a thoroughly satisfying production, other than relatively minor plot points, and some carpet-chewing by the project's director.

* The Adjustment Bureau

Briefly, as you probably know, it's based on a PKD short story. Hollywood's had no shame in turning out some schlock based on his works, but some notable works as well, including Blade Runner, whose title they bought from another author. It's essentially a sci-fi romance, and frankly, it works beautifully well. The film brings a religious element to it - but in a similar way as did Time Bandits.

* 2012

Yes, I admit it, I saw it (on Blu-Ray). ^_^; It is every bit as hokey as you'd expect from latterday Emmerich, so there's substantial conscious supression of reality involved. If you can manage that, it's a good old fashioned Hollywood disaster epic, with the best SFX available. Highly entertaining, as long as you go along with it. =:)

Welcome izumi_judan to LJ. ^_^ He's not a fur, but is entirely fine with it all, and a thoroughly good egg. (If he were a fur, though, I'd probably say cougar)

Finally, for now, I should just like to note:

Astoundingly (to me, at least), today's seen my Flickr view count nudge four digits, just for today. ^_^; I have to say, I was very sorely missing being able to post such views into wild rabbit life. I've so greatly enjoyed being able to share such glimpses back in 2010, so to be able to resume - as these buns are relatively local - such does mean quite a bit to me, as well as aiding my progression (well, I'd like to hope) as a photographer. And it is, undeniably, simply calming - look out upon a meadow with bunnies, and I defy you not to feel, quite fundamentally, happy.

This presages my eventual opening, this week, if all goes well, of my site - I'll be offering some rather good quality prints, and perhaps some more refined finishings such as acrylic bonding and stretched canvas, of a few of my favorites. There's nothing to see just yet (unless you have the password =:) - it's just a matter of finalising what to offer, for each photograph. Drop by, please. ^_^ The site will be Lapinity. The more sales, the closer I come to better shots, by way of - at first - a Nikkor 1.7 teleconverter, and ultimately, a Nikkor 600mm f/4. Lofty dreams, perhaps, but faint heart never won fair bunny. =:)

I'll be writing about hints on entering the DSLR arena sometime, but in the meantime, B&H have written a helpful guide to point-and-shoot cameras, which also covers some basic photographic concepts like aperture. Good little posting.

Oh, and I absolutely cannot end without noting a nine-page tribute to The Brigadier. If you've followed Doctor Who for any length of time, this really is something you oughtn't miss - as beautiful a coda as he could've wished for.