Melina Gunnett

November 24, 2012

Rise of the Guardians

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 9:40 PM

Rise of the Guardians.

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But you already have a blog…

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , — Melina Gunnett @ 7:10 PM

But you already have a blog….

The link above will take you to my new blog where I will be posting my movie reviews from now on.  I’ll post reminder links for the next few weeks, then I am going to let it spin off on its own.

Hopefully this also means that you can look forward to seeing some more substantial posts from me here.

November 14, 2012

Review – Red Dawn (2012)

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 10:52 PM

I can’t wait for the new Red Dawn to come out on video. Okay maybe I’ll wait for it to hit Netflix. Either way it is going to make a great drinking game. One rule – Every time you see or hear an overused cliché or war trope, drink. You’ll be soused 15 minutes into the film. On the up side, the rest of the movie will probably be better that way. One of my friends that saw the movie with me summed it up nicely. OMG, it really is a remake. Up until we actually started watching the movie she had been holding out hope that they had re-done the movie and fixed the oh so many problems the first Red Dawn had.

The original Red Dawn had its place. I remember seeing it back when it came out. It had all the hot young actors of the day. It’s problem wasn’t the cast, all of them were good actors, most when on to long successful careers. I suspect many of the actors from this movie will do the same. (I’d tell you who was in it, but I suspect they are already hoping that people forget that they were involved.)

The problem wasn’t even the concept. Everyone loves an underdog story and there is nothing more underdoggy than a bunch of high school kids trying to fight back against overwhelming odds. They could have handled the concept, lets be generous and only say, A LOT better. To their credit the writers did try to fill in some of the plot holes for the remake.

They setting was moved from some agricultural town in Colorado to Spokane, which at least has an airbase and decommissioned missile silos that might make it a strategic site if someone was to invade the United States. They also made the point that the kids weren’t trying to beat the invaders, but act as insurgents, making trouble where they could.

The new movie does offer a nice training montage and lots of high quality explosions. Sadly the dialogue is just as painful to listen to as it was in the first movie. Too bad they didn’t spend a bit less on the pyrotechnics and a little more on the script, but hey, it does have a lot of things that blow up.

BANG! POW! BLAST!

And don’t forget to drink up, because someone is probably saying something cheesy. 😉

November 13, 2012

Review – Silver Linings Playbook

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 9:38 PM

Silver Linings Playbook is an excellent glimpse into insanity.  This isn’t so much a romantic comedy as a crazy romance.  Pat (Bradley Cooper) lost it when he caught his wife having an affair with another teacher.  Now he is trying to get it together so he can get back with his wife.  She has a restraining order against him, but he believes that, if he can just become the man she wants him to be, she will take him back.

Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) never really had it together to begin with.  Her husband died and she is also trying to put her life together, trying to become the person she always wanted to be.  Neither one is having much luck on their own, but together they just might be able to help each other out.  Tiffany agrees to get a letter to Pat’s estranged wife if he helps her with her dream – to take part in a couples dance competition.

Sliver Linings does a good job of showing what it is like to live with and be around someone who is not mentally stable without it seeming like a cliché.  Parts of this movie can be uncomfortable, they are meant to be.  Neither of the main characters has much of a filter and tend to say what they think as they are thinking it.

Pat comes by his insanity honestly.  His dad is OCD and fanatical about the Philadelphia Eagles (The movie is set in Philadelphia.)  There is no miracle cure for anyone in this movie.  What the characters do find is support.  They have to learn to live with and accept each other eccentricities.  In this regard Silver Linings tends to reflect real life, because in the end, that is the basis that all good relationships.

November 10, 2012

Review – Skyfall

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 1:09 AM

Why yes the new Bond movie does feature James Bond as well as most of the trappings we associate with him – casinos, shootouts, chases, beautiful women and of course, a villain. This is the third Bond film feature Daniel Craig as James Bond (Casino Royale 2006, Quantum of Solace 2008) and once again features Judi Dench as M and introduces Naomi Harris as the lovely Eve Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw as the new Q.

What this film doesn’t have is the misogynistic attitudes so prevalent in the early bond films, nor the suggestively named female sidekick/opponent. To make up for it they added plot. In fact this movie had more plot that I have ever seen in a Bond film, but it still starts out with an amazing car/motorcycle/train chase.

Bond has been sent to retrieve a hard drive with a list of agents planted in terrorist cells around the world. Arriving too late, he and Eve give chase. The chase ends when Eve is given the order to shoot the thief. She doesn’t have a clear shot had ends up shooting Bond instead.

With Bond falling to his death 15 minutes into the film and the villain getting away, it makes you wonder where the story is going to go. The names of the agents are being released (5 per week), M is called in to answer to parliament, the MI6 building is bombed, everything is falling apart and there is no Bond is sight to save the day.

Okay, it’s a Bond movie. No one expects that he is really dead, but he was trying to stay that way. Once he sees a news report he feels obligated to resurrect himself and return to M and Country. With him he brings the crucial clue to tracking down the man who had stolen the list of names. Despite his injuries, Bond returns to active duty to hunt him down and find the person behind the theft and bombing of their headquarters.

We are now about 30 minutes into the movie, like I said, they added plot, a lot of plot. This movie is all about the past, M’s and Bonds. We learn a lot about the character’s background, but none of it is filler. Everything has a point from M’s time at the Hong Kong Branch to Skyfall. And there is no shortage of butt kicking action in any of the scenes. If someone isn’t being chased, hit or shot they are being hacked by a computer genius.

From the beautifully choreographed opening credits to the dramatic end scene, this movie is all Bond all the way. If you are a fan you will enjoy this movie, if you like well done thriller/action movies, you will like this movie, if you are just watching for the naked chicks, you might try something else.

November 2, 2012

Review – Flight

Filed under: Review — Tags: , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 1:18 AM

An airplane crash and alcoholism: Had I known what this movie was about going into it, I probably would have skipped it all together. I’m not really a fan of movies about either one of them. If you are, then this is the movie for you.

The acting was good, the story a bit predictable but well done and other people seemed to like it. One guy compared it to Argo. I don’t see it. The only comparison I would make between the two movies is maybe in the costuming. Despite the fact that the movie was apparently present day (at least if you judge it by the cell phone technology they were using) most of the clothing and settings looked like they came out of the late 70’s. Actually, I think most of the music was from that era too.

They did do a good job of portraying alcoholism. Whip, the main character played by Denzil Washington, has everything going for him. He is a supremely talented pilot who pulls off an amazing landing, saving nearly everyone on board the plane. That is only the background for the film. The real story is about his addictions and the path of destruction they have rent through his life.

I left the theater feeling sad and depressed. This is probably because I have lived with an alcoholic and am far to familiar with the burnt wasteland they leave behind them. I doubt everyone will have this strong of a reaction to the film, like I said, many people seemed to like it. Me – I’m off to find something cheerful to watch so I can sleep tonight.

November 1, 2012

Of Resets and Research

Filed under: Odd Thoughts — Tags: , , , , , — Melina Gunnett @ 3:51 PM

 

Somehow it always seems like everything hits at once. I stopped burning the candle at both ends a couple of weeks ago. It just seemed a lot easier to toss the whole thing in the fireplace at once and go for a complete melt down. By the end of last week I was certainly feeling like a melted pile of wax.

Half the point of start the new job was to have something to focus my schedule around so that I could be more productive. (The other half is that I simply love working with Mad Science – doing birthday parties and teaching the kids after school.) The last several weeks have been centred around getting my science back on – training, starting classes, working out my schedule – and with all the winter movies coming out, there have been a ton of screenings to attended in the evening.

Fortunately, between Halloween and a teacher work day, my schedule caught a break this week and I’ve had a bit of time to catch up on some much needed sleep. This is good. I was in desperate need of a chance to reset my world, figure out a schedule and re-gear my life around it. I’ve even be threatening to do my laundry and sort through my mail.

Aside form catching up on some of the household tasks I’ve also been working on research for a couple of upcoming stories. Normally I enjoy research, and the research I’ve been doing on the Green Man mythos has been a lot of fun, but the research of the other story has had me pulling my hair out.

The second story I’m working on involves a legal trial. That means digging into law books and trying to make enough sense out of the patch work of laws to figure out what legally defines a person as a person. Strangely, there is a law on the books defining what a monster is, but none defining what a human being is.

In many ways the law hasn’t caught up with some of the stuff science can already do (even if it isn’t ethical), I don’t actually expect there to be laws and precedents for what I’m looking for. If there was, it wouldn’t be speculative fiction, it would be non-fiction. I had been counting, especially on there being a bit more to work with though. There have been several cases defining when companies can be considered persons, and with all the legal cases surrounding abortion, I thought there would be something, somewhere about real people.

There was one – but it was overturned as unconstitutional a few years ago. There is probably something out there somewhere. I just need to find it. At least I finally hunted down a decent legal dictionary. I can’t say I’m entirely looking forward to doing more research, mostly because I feel like I’m out of my depth. Maybe I should hunt around for a nice geeky law student willing to explain to me how anyone ever finds the precedents they are looking for among our mess of legal red tape.

Hmmm… red tape doesn’t seem right. It’s more like masking tape – after it has been thrown, piece by piece, into a room full of cats.

At least this weekend is Orycon. I have an excuse to lay low on the research and enjoy myself at the convention. Next week my schedule clock resets and it will be back into a fairly regular schedule. Get up, take care of errands and tasks, teach a class, do some writing. Well, that’s the plan any way…

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