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Posts about movies (old posts, page 3)

The Da Vinci Code is Broken.

I saw The Da Vin­ci Code sat­ur­day night. This has spoil­er­s. So don't read it if that both­ers you, ok?

I can now post and noone can com­plain about how I had not read the book. Al­though of course, I haven't. But this is about the movie.

First, I want to say that I must cor­rect my pre­vi­ous com­ments, caused by read­ing a syn­op­sis of the book in Dan Brown's site.

I must say (as­sum­ing the movie fol­lows the book) that it does­n't paint Opus Dei as a clan­des­tine sect at all (not even as spe­cial­ly in­ter­est­ed in ob­tain­ing any se­cret). On­ly one spe­cif­ic cou­ple of Opus Dei guys are. Which is fine and dandy for me. Se­cret so­ci­etys can chase each oth­er around the globe. Their prob­lem.

Of course it al­so means the fol­low­ing ( again, if the book is like the movie ):

  • The com­­ments de­fend­ing the book's por­­trait of Opus Dei as a se­cret so­­ci­e­ty as ap­propi­ate fic­­tion are non­sense, be­­cause the book does­n't do that. You were de­fend­ing the book of some­thing that's not in the book.

  • The guy that wrote the syn­op­­sis in Dan Brown's of­­fi­­cial site has not read the book.

Hav­ing said that, on­to more se­ri­ous mat­ter­s...

Ron Howard is in­ca­pable of film­ing a com­pre­hen­si­ble ac­tion scene. Don't trust me? Watch the Smart­car chase.

Tom Han­k's hair is scary. It's a weird bi­lat­er­al com­bover. I used to do that. I don't any­more. I am right about stop­ping. Be­sides, it's way too dis­tract­ing.

//ralsina.me/static/calculin.jpg

Pro­fes­sor Lang­don, I pre­sume?

I en­joyed the movie as a pop­corn flick with pre­ten­tion­s, but most of the plot fol­lows no log­ic.

Sauniére trig­gers an alar­m, in the Lou­vre, and is then shot in the stom­ach. Then he traipses around the mu­se­um, finds a mark­er vis­i­ble on­ly on UV light, does things to three paint­ings, hides a key be­hind a large, heavy paint­ing, takes off his clothes, cre­ates an ana­gram, writes it on the floor along with some num­ber­s, draws a pen­ta­cle on his chest, ar­ranges him­self in a po­si­tion rem­i­nis­cent of the Vit­ru­bian man, and then dies.

He not on­ly does all that in­stead of call­ing an am­bu­lance on his cel­l, but he does all that be­fore mu­se­um se­cu­ri­ty gets there. In the gallery that has the Da Vin­cis.

Not on­ly is it un­like­ly, but it al­so is stupid. Had he died ear­lier, he could, for in­stance, have been found with the key in his hand, and no clue left for the "good guys".

It's amaz­ing there is still any paint­ings in that mu­se­um, with such se­cu­ri­ty.

And don't get me start­ed on the bi­i­i­i­ig se­cret. It turns out the Pri­o­ry of Sion pro­tects a se­cret about Je­sus.

If said se­cret was re­vealed, it would dam­age the catholic church.

Of course... the catholic church al­so knows the na­ture (and de­tail­s) of the se­cret, which means the catholic hi­er­ar­chs ded­i­cate their lifes to a faith they know to be false. Which makes no sense, re­al­ly.

And then it turns out that sev­er­al his­to­ri­ans al­so know the na­ture and de­tails of the se­cret, and have pub­lished books about it (ex­cep­t, of course, they have no ev­i­dence).

LAST WARN­ING, HUGE SPOIL­ER HERE

RE­AL­LY

There is, how­ev­er, one de­tail on­ly the Pri­o­ry is sup­posed to know: the lo­ca­tion of a corpse that could be used, via DNA anal­y­sis, to show that some per­son is a de­scen­dant of some spe­cif­ic oth­er "his­tor­i­cal fig­ure".

Which is, of course, ab­so­lute non­sense.

Sup­pose I show you a corpse and tell you "this is the corpse of Joan of Ar­c". You car­bon-14 date it, and do the usu­al foren­sic anal­y­sis, and all agrees. It's a wom­an, that died in a fire, at such age in so-and-­so year.

Then I show you a DNA anal­y­sis that shows she is my great-­great-­granny.

Am I the scion of the Or­leans Maid­en?

Hell no! Be­cause to ac­cept that, you would have to ac­cept that the corpse is her­s!

You can on­ly rea­son­ably do that if there is a clear his­tor­i­cal record of the where­abouts of the corpse un­til now, or else it's a rather sim­ple forgery.

For ex­am­ple, nowa­days we used DNA of known de­scen­dents of Colum­bus to de­cide which of his two al­leged bod­ies is the re­al one. About a known his­tor­i­cal fig­ure, world-­fa­mous in his life. We are just not sure of where his corpse is. We have two of those.

Since the "wit­ness­es" of the au­then­tic­i­ty of this corpse are the ones that are bound to gain from the claim­s, it's sus­pect at best.

If you go back a cer­tain num­ber of gen­er­a­tions, al­most ev­ery corpse will be your granny.

I am pret­ty sure that a large per­cent­age of mod­ern eu­ro­peans are re­lat­ed to al­most any ran­dom 2000 year-old corpse.

And, in the spe­cif­ic case of the movie (or the book), even if you as­sume it is the corpse of who they say, so what? That shows she is the de­scen­dant of a cer­tain wom­an, not of a spe­cif­ic man. Get it? You don't prove the big premise. On­ly the lit­tle, mean­ing­less premise, that M.M. (not Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe) had a child. Who gives a damn?

The se­cret the Church is try­ing to keep se­cret, the se­cret the Pri­o­ry is not try­ing to make pub­lic any­way... does­n't mat­ter. It does­n't cause what the church fears, it does­n't cause what the Pri­o­ry hopes, it does noth­ing.

So, re­al­ly... much ado about very lit­tle. If I were the church, I would let them say what­ev­er they wan­t, and noth­ing would hap­pen. Ab­so­lute­ly noth­ing.

Not to men­tion that the apoc­ryphal Leonar­dian de­vice, the cryp­tex... it's ... I have no word­s. If you missed it, the idea is that there is a pa­pyrus in­side it, and a vial of vine­gar. If you try to open it with­out the key, the vine­gar "dis­solves the pa­pyrus".

Do you know what pa­pyrus is? It's made of the stems of a plan­t, and it looks a lot like pa­per.

It's cel­lu­lose. It does­n't dis­solve in vine­gar. It's like say­ing let­tuce dis­solves on vine­gar.

You can make a pa­per that dis­solves on vine­gar, but pa­pyrus is not pa­per.

It may make some sense if you said the ink used dis­solves on vine­gar, but it's not what they said. What they said is stupid.

So, it de­fies rea­son how so many peo­ple can en­joy a book based on a premise in­no­cent of log­ic, about a con­spir­a­cy to pro­tect noth­ing.

Skeletons of stories that won't ever be written.

In­spired by "From Dusk Till Dawn".

Sto­ry Nr. 1: Night of the preda­tor

Gen­re: Su­per­nat­u­ral Hor­ror.

Notes: This sto­ry should be writ­ten in Love­craftian pros­e, and try to pro­vide a sense of fore­bod­ing, and im­mi­nent doom, while seem­ing com­plete­ly ob­vi­ous.

Fran­cis was the sev­enth son of a sev­enth son of a sev­enth son. As such, his fate was pre­or­dained. On ev­ery ful­l-­mooned fri­day, he would ex­per­i­ment a hor­rid trans­for­ma­tion.

He runs through the woods while re­mem­ber­ing the strange ad­mo­ni­tions from his fa­ther, who ex­plained to him the blood­thirst of the were­wolf, the hor­ror of his ac­tion­s, the curse up­on his vic­tim­s.

He feels a nag­ging sense of things be­ing all wrong. A hunger for strange, un­named things. An ea­ger­ness for for­ward mo­tion. A preda­to­ri­al wish.

Then, while in the wood­s, look­ing at the moon, he ex­pe­ri­ences a painful elon­ga­tion of his body, a con­stric­tion of his limb­s.

His skin changes quick­ly, his teeth grow too long and sharp for his mouth.

He flops around for a minute or two and dies.

The sev­enth son of a were­wolf is a were­shark.

The rest of the sto­ry is a CSI-style po­lice pro­ce­dur­al about the ori­gin of a shark corpse 500km away from the sea, the pro­tag­o­nists are park ranger­s.

Sto­ry Nr. 2: The man with the gold­en brain

Gen­re: bon­di­an su­per­spy.

Notes: This should in­clude a lot of tech­no­jar­gon which makes no sense, and the prose should be quite bad. Think Ian Flem­ing.

Our su­per­spypro­tag­o­nist is tasked with de­stroy­ing the world-de­stroy­ing weapon of a thirld world dic­ta­tor with a sur­pris­ing­ly large mous­tache and a beret.

This dic­ta­tor's head­quar­ters are be­neath a vol­cano, and his weapon would de­stroy the world by pro­vok­ing catas­tro­phes of a very com­pli­cat­ed na­ture (to be de­ter­mined. ideas: drive all farm an­i­mals in­to a killing fren­zy, make all 7up bot­tles ex­plode at ran­dom times, turn cock­er spaniels in­to evil sci­en­tist­s).

Our hero en­ters the lair through some com­pli­cat­ed path in­volv­ing sew­ers and airduct­s.

He is cap­tured by the evil tyran­t, and tied to a ta­ble with a gi­ant laser aimed at his groin.

While the tyrant pre­pares to kill him in this over-­com­pli­cat­ed man­ner, the hero says "be­fore I die, can I ask you one thing?".

The tyrant replies by blow­ing hero's head with a colt 45 then says "Hel­l, no!" [1].

Unim­ped­ed in his plans be­cause all in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tions re­lied on a sin­gle guy work­ing alone, he black­mails all the world in­to sur­ren­der.

The rest of the movie is a geopo­lit­i­cal thriller about:

  • The dif­­fi­cul­­ty of rul­ing the world from an un­der­de­vel­oped coun­try, with em­pha­­sis on tele­com­­mu­ni­­ca­­tion is­­sues.

  • The eco­log­i­­cal sit­u­a­­tion stem­ming from the forced un­de­vel­op­­ment of West­­ern Eu­­rope and North Amer­i­­ca in or­der to re­­duce the stress on the en­vi­ron­­men­t.

  • The psi­­cho­log­i­­cal stress­es on the world pop­u­la­­tion when they re­al­ize their lifes de­pend on the whim of the guy with the big­ger gun.

  • The com­­pas­­sion­ate rule of the afore­­men­­tioned tyrant and benev­o­­lent di­­ca­­tor for life, who pro­ceeds to dis­­arm all armies (in­­clud­ing his own), and nev­er ac­­tu­al­­ly us­es his weapon.

Epi­logue:

200 years lat­er, the im­pos­si­bil­i­ty of re­mote­ly con­trolled ex­plo­sive 7up bot­tles is ter­mi­nant­ly proven.


[1] This is tak­en from the "Guie for the Per­fect Tyran­t".

Narnia

Saw Nar­nia the oth­er day.

Liked it.

Of course, the whole sto­ry makes no sense, but hey, that's how it's sup­posed to be.

If you have not seen it, and have not read the book, and in­tend to ig­nore the plot, please stop here. Ok?

There is this large li­on, Aslan.

He gives his own life to save that of a snivel­ing treach­er­ous, sil­ly kid who sells oth­ers for turk­ish de­light (a can­dy Rosario tried in Is­tan­bul, and tells me is pret­ty good, so there is some sense in him).

Ok, so the kid is ac­tu­al­ly just scared, and pet­ty, and a kid, and he's not that bad.

On the oth­er hand, the li­on...

For the whole movie, the White Witch is built up as evil, and mon­strous and a killer. But it turns out that the worse she does is freeze her vic­tim­s. Un­harmed.

She even­tu­al­ly kills some­one in a bat­tle (but so does Pe­ter, our 14-year old "hero").

The frozen guys can be re­vived at will by Aslan. Who for some rea­son had not done so.

On the oth­er hand, Aslan's big sac­ri­fice? He knew all along that he would be un­harmed. Even his mane re­grows af­ter a few hours.

At least he could have told the two poor girls who thought had seen him die. And skipped the whole heavy-­heart­ed "o­h, I am so sac­ri­fic­ing my­self" walk through the wood­s.

Oh, you may say, but the war is fought so that the true rulers of Nar­nia will as­cend to their thrones!

Well, how in hell are those four eng­lish kids the true ruler­s? They had nev­er been there, they have no con­nec­tion to any­one there!

Hell they are the on­ly four bloody hu­mans in the world!

It looks amaz­ing­ly racist to me. Species-ist?

So, hun­dreds of Nar­nia in­hab­i­tants die (and I mean re­al­ly die, not fake-die like that Aslan kit­ten) so some car­pet­bag­gers get to lord as kings over the ple­beian mass­es, in­stead of an­oth­er high­-born chick.

My sug­ges­tion to the hordes of gryphon­s, sphinx­es, po­lar bears, faun­s, cen­taurs and dwarves:

Kill them al­l, and start liv­ing a de­cent life, with­out sup­port­ing use­less par­a­sites.

Free Phillip!

PS: Yeah, I did like it ;-)

Kong at dawn

Last sat­ur­day I went to see King Kong with Rosar­i­o, and some­thing hap­pened I nev­er saw be­fore.

For what­ev­er rea­son, we went at the 1:25AM ses­sion. I don't think I had ev­er been to one so late.

And then it last­ed 3 hours. And it was al­most the long­est day of the year.

So when we left, at 4:30 AM, walk­ing through a ghost­ly mal­l, it was dawn.

It's a small thing, but it was quite shock­ing :-)

The movie... she did­n't like it and in­sists Nao­mi Watts is wear­ing, in one of the sce­nes, a Lurex dress, which could­n't pos­si­bly be the case in the 30s.

Me, I liked it quite a bit, per­haps my sus­pen­sion of dis­be­lief is not so eas­i­ly taxed by tex­tile is­sues, ex­cept for some se­ri­ous moral trou­ble I got a day or so lat­er.

You see, killing Kong on the Em­pire State build­ing was right.

That damn beast had just stomped, thrown, smashed, chewn and swat­ted about 2500 peo­ple.

He was go­ing all 9/11 on Man­hat­tan, and just be­cause he did­n't feel like crush­ing one spe­cif­ic blonde (although he sure killed all her pre­de­ces­sors on the sac­ri­fi­cial girl job), we are sup­posed to feel sor­ry for him?

Cry me a riv­er of gi­ant al­li­ga­tor tears, I am not. I say we should bazooka the evil man-eat­ing mon­key, and put Den­ham in jail for reck­less en­dan­ger­men­t, along with all his ac­com­plices.

AND he should lose his shirt (a­long with his the­ater bankroller­s) in a civ­il suit to the fam­i­ly of the maori guy whose head got chewed by Kong, or Lumpy, the cook eat­en by gi­gan­tic man-eat­ing mag­got­s.

At least in the orig­i­nal movie, the girl has the good sense to be scared sense­less by the sight of a gi­ant go­ril­la with ro­man­tic lean­ings.

Here? She laughs while they ice skate, I as­sume ig­nor­ing the blood stains all over the mon­key's fur.

I don't have a feminine side. And neither do you, girlie man!

Yes­ter­day I was talk­ing with Rosar­i­o, and we had a strange ar­gu­men­t. She said I was not in touch with my fem­i­nine side, and that she did­n't like that.

To which I replied I don't have a fem­i­nine side.

Of course that caused a re­ply of "y­ou do, but you are not in touch with it" and what­ev­er. I asked her what my fem­i­nine side is sup­posed to be, and she men­tioned that it was the part of me where I could find my feel­ings and some oth­er things.

To that, I say, nyah nyah!

The idea that just be­cause I have a cer­tain kind of chro­mo­somes, in or­der to find my feel­ings I must have a side that's "fem­i­nine", I say that's just pro­pa­gan­da.

I am a guy. I am mas­cu­line. I cry when­ev­er I watch the end of For­rest Gump, The part of me that's cry­ing is not some fem­i­nine side. It's my mas­cu­line side. I cry mas­cu­line tears, be­cause a movie trig­gers some re­sponse in my very mas­cu­line feel­ings.

If I were to tell a wom­an that she has to get in touch with her mas­cu­line side so she can, say, drive a car bet­ter, I would be called a chau­vin­ist pig. And cor­rect­ly.

The idea, I sup­pose, is that her fem­i­nine side can drive just fine. Well, my mas­cu­line side can cry on movies, and fall in love, and miss my mom, and pet my cat just fine, thank you very much.

So, I don't have a fem­i­nine side Rosar­i­o, it's just my oth­er mas­cu­line side, and he loves you too.


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