Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Long Weekend Randomness Post

I usually plan my blog posts way in advance (ok, so a week or so), and I put up random chatter on the weekend. Since this is a long weekend in the United States, this post will probably be on top all weekend. I'm not going anywhere or doing anything interesting this weekend, so I'll probably be pathetically fast in answering comments.

Blogrolling

It was an interesting week for web traffic. Not only did I feel it necessary to throw up a welcome post for my new visitors from SFFWorld, but this morning I find that Fantasy Debut has mentions in VampireWire and editor Andrew Wheeler. Apparently, Andrew found my debut showcases useful for his research purposes, for which I am glad.

There's also a new blog called, The Galaxy Express that focuses in like a telescope onto science fiction romance. I am partial to niche blogs because I . . . er . . . run a niche blog, myself. I need to turn this blogger onto Sandra McDonald.

A Technorati Rant

I wrote a Technorati rant, but once I got it off my chest, I found that I didn't want to post it. (Do you ever do that?) If you want to see what inspired my rant, check out John's rant from last week. It's along the same lines.

Readings and Writings

I didn't do a Wednesday Rumination this week due to a full blog schedule, but Raven helped inspire one in her last post on Clockwork Heart. I'll try to get that post up this Wednesday.

I sent off an interview to a hot new urban fantasy author, and I'm hoping to get that back next week. I don't usually do urban fantasy, but I do want to read this author's debut, hopefully after The Name of the Wind.

I didn't get to read much this weekend. I'm in the middle of two books, The Stars Down Under by Sandra McDonald and my current featured debut, Enchanted Season. I'll probably finish Enchanted Season over the weekend, but I'll put my posts up on it next week because web traffic always dips on holiday weekends. (But then again, with the price of gas being what it is, perhaps it won't dip so much this time. I hope not. People should be out having a good time! And I'm finding it rather odd that I'm hoping for low web traffic.)

And now, a movie moment.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

My husband and I went to see this yesterday. We saw the 9:30 AM matinée. I didn't know they opened theaters this early. This is the second movie we have seen in three weeks (Iron Man), and is probably the last movie we'll see all summer. We sneak off to see movies when my daughter is in school. We are big Indy fans. We had the boxed VHS set, and recently sold that to purchase a boxed DVD set.

The movie was thoroughly entertaining. It started with a group of teenagers attempting to drag-race an army convoy. They cannot get them to go along with the race at first until a commanding officer type nods his head at the driver. Which seems odd, doesn't it? Then they're off, but only for a short distance, because the convoy turns into a military installation. This short scene does a nice job in establishing the time and place due to the cars, clothing styles worn by the boys and girls and the haircuts.

At the entrance to the facility, the guards tell them that a nuclear test is imminent and no one is allowed inside, not even the guy in charge. Then, a machine-gunner wipes out the entire gate guard. The convoy rams the gate, drives up to a certain warehouse and unloads some cargo in the trunks, which consists of Indy and his partner for this expedition, Mac. Their captors--who turn out to be Russians--make their demands to Indy: they want to find a certain box in this huge warehouse. The interior of the warehouse may be familiar to longtime fans.

Indy was much more cooperative with the Russians than he ever was with the Nazis. Perhaps because a lovely Russian psychic named Irina is the one making the demands. He locates the package with the use of some Yankee ingenuity, and with the subtle use of CGI (computer generated imagery).

This movie had the franchise's usual over-the-top escapes, except it was cranked way up, so the escapes are WAY over-the-top. It strained credulity at times, until my sense of suspending disbelief went beyond its limit. (Can a 1950s-era refrigerator really survive a nuclear blast without opening, and end up only slightly battered?) My other gripe was the CGI. I find that today's movies relies far too heavily on CGI. It was wicked-cool in Stargate. It's a yawner here. It just doesn't look all that realistic. Yes, CGI is cheaper, but to be blunt, it looks cheaper, too. Compare the werewolf transformation scene in An American Werewolf in London to the transformations that seem to happen all the time in today's movies. Which looked more real? Time for another movie special effects breakthrough, I think.

However, Harrison Ford's crooked smile was as charming as ever. I tend to have crushes on aging movie stars. In the 90s, it was Clint Eastwood. These days, it's definitely Harrison Ford. He appears to lose years as the movie progresses. In the opening scene, the back of his neck is as lined as old leather, yet by the end of the movie, he hardly looks sixty. I think this was on purpose. It reminds me of a line in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen when the formerly-elderly Baron tells Sally, "I always feel rejuvenated by a touch of adventure." Karen Allen picked up her old role as Marion as if she had never left it. She had the same hairstyle that she had in the first movie, making her more recognizable, along with the same brilliant smile. Cate Blanchett was stunning--if a bit thin-- as Irina, and Shia LaBeouf was entertaining as her son, Mutt.

All in all, a fun movie.

Anyone else staying home this long weekend?

18 comments:

Heather said...

Tia, you are such a dear for mentioning The Galaxy Express. Thank you!

I'm giving away a free book this weekend. Anyone who wants his/her name in the hat should zip over and make any kind of comment about SFR (why you read it, that you want to start reading it, etc.).

Glad you liked Indiana Jones. I didn't read that part of your post because I haven't seen it yet, but I'm looking forward to Shia LaBoeuf (sp?). He is one cool actor.

Tia Nevitt said...

I hope I didn't give anything away. All I talked about was the opening, a rant about CGI and Harrison Ford's hotness.

Kimber An said...

I agree with you about CGI, Tia. Besides the inadequate character development in STAR WARS Episodes II and III, the CGI made it all feel so fakey. One of the great things about the Millineum Falcon was the dirt, grime, and you could practically see the rivets. It was so real, because it WAS real! Even if it was only a model, it was real. CGI is just a moving coloring book. Nevertheless, we will see Indy because of Harrison Ford.

Vivien V. said...

I've got you linked on my blog, Tia. You've helped me find so many authors and books that I would never have found otherwise.

Thank you!

Raven said...

Oooh, I can't wait to see what I inspired. Unfortunately it will be a while before I do, because I'm going out of town right after Memorial Day! I try to spend every holiday weekend here in LA because everybody else leaves and it's very peaceful, and this one is no exception. The price of gas doesn't seem to have kept anybody home.

I actually bought the refrigerator scene in Indy. I had more problems with the plot later on. I thought it was a fun movie, though. Probably better than Temple of Doom, IMO. Anybody want to fight me on that? :)

Tia Nevitt said...

Fight, huh? I'd rather not. Definitely a fun movie, and much better than the Temple of Doom.

Have fun on your trip!

Thanks for your link, Vivian. Expect my comments soon!

Maria Zannini said...

I wanted to write in yesterday, but I was still fighting the plague. Feeling much better today.

Ref: not posting rants
I do that a lot. Hopefully that's a sign of middle age wisdom. :o)

Thanks for posting The Galaxy Express link. Right up my alley for reads and writes!

Hope you have a great holiday--and good weather to enjoy it!

Tia Nevitt said...

Here's to middle age! Would I go back to being 20? Nope!

I hope you feel better!

Laurie said...

Tia, thanks for your comments on the new Indiana Jones movie. I considered seeing it and you've convinced me I should. (Still grumbling over the Crystal Skull bit though, for making one of my fellow writer's ideas a cliche'.)

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: Would I go back to being 20?

Me neither, but I'd kill to have my 20 year old body back.

Tia Nevitt said...

You have a point there, Maria. (Wistful sigh!)

Laurie, Iron Man was good too--even better than Indy, I thought. I never put up a post on it; maybe I will next weekend.

We'll get both when they come out on DVD.

Robert said...

I've read some mixed reviews about the new Indiana Jones, but personally I can't wait to see it! One of my favorite film franchises out there :)

Tia Nevitt said...

If you already like the franchise, you'll enjoy the movie, Robert. It's good solid fun, and no Temple of Doom gross-outs.

Raven said...

Yeah, Iron Man was better than Indy IV, IMO. Robert Downey, Jr., was awesome.

Heather said...

>Iron Man was good too--even better than Indy, I thought. I never put up a post on it; maybe I will next weekend.


ack, you're killing me! My husband saw it and said it was great. I need to go see it asap (but I can't decide between that and Prince Caspian. oh the pain!)

Tia Nevitt said...

Heather, he should have taken you with him!

All other of this summer's releases will have to wait for DVD with me. Unless something comes out that is appropriate for my daughter. Prince Caspian would probably be too loud for her.

superwench83 said...

I had issues with that refrigerator, too. And I thought the plot got a little convoluted later, steering too far away from the flavor of the original movies. Still liked it, though. The snake-rope thing was my favorite part. And I loved, loved, loved, how they brought Marion back. She was such a good character. So was Sean Connery as Indy's dad, but they didn't include him for some reason. Too bad.

Tia Nevitt said...

I heard that he was too happy in retirement to come out to film the movie. I forgot about the snake-rope! It was great.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by over the long weekend! Maybe I ought to throw up a general chat post every holiday weekend.