Big R

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Dark Workstation

Monday, December 30, 2013

Too Much Fun

Friday, December 27, 2013

Movie Review: Robocop (1987) directed by Paul Verhoeven

With a remake on the horizon this is the perfect time to look through your
DVDs or dust off your VHS and pop in the old 80s action film “Robocop”. If you have the DVD a remake sounds like a good idea because the stop motion action is on the cheesy side and the models just fall short of real. Then again if you have less than perfect eyesight you may not notice these things.

Peter Weller, who plays the Techno-zombie title character Robocop, gives us a surprisingly true performance. The internal struggle of ghost and machine is vivid and real with Weller. We gain the feel that no armor, not even that of titanium, can protect a police officer from the many levels of crime and corruption that our hero needs to navigate.

In the concrete and rust jungle Robocop must fight cackling villains that delight in their mischief like imps from hell, and in the crisp and shine rich world he faces the techno-terrors of his own creators. Even within his own body there is a battle waged between the machine with it programming and the man with his memories.

Robocop is a film of almost nonstop action that hardly made it to an R rating. It makes statements and asks questions about who we are in our age of computers and technology. The film Robocop may not have aged well but its sentiments and symbolism only become more timely with age.

Who should watch this film: Sci Fi and action junkies, lovers of good story and strong plot, those of us who would like to see a movie that asks us to look deeper and read the subtext.

This film is beautiful, sad, hopeful, and artistic.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

News: Crackdown On Bribery in China

This story appeared in the Sunday, October 6, 2013 Los Angeles Times sighting a major crackdown on bribery in china. It appears that it is Chinese tradition to give expensive gifts to those with an impact on your future like teachers, doctors, your boss, and the like. Officials in the Chinese government have tried to escape blame but claiming that some of these ‘gifts’ were given to family member such as wife, son, or even mistress. This tactic appears to rarely result in acquittal. 

The biggest challenge facing this crackdown is that if they persecuted all government officials who participated in bribes they would imprison a large part of the government. Chinese teachers have reported that keeping up with the common invitations to dinner by the families of their students is difficult, and that it is offensive if they say no. There has been at least one reported case of a doctor being attacked and battered for refusing a bribe from the family for one of his patients. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Movie Review: Leviathan(1989) directed by George P. Cosmatos

If there is one kind of movie I can never get enough of its science fiction and science fiction horror ranks high with that world. The 1989 film ‘Leviathan’ may not be a gem of the genera but it holds its own with a few well done monster moments and a set that feel group of tense happenings in what has to be a very dangerous world of under water mining.
Peter Weller stars as Steven “Becky” Beck a geologist turned mining shack chief on an underwater silver mine. Beck’s lack of experience as a crew chief is apparent as he navigates his burnt out but well experienced crew of minors.  To put it in a way that spoils as little as possible it all goes to pot and people start getting dead.

This movies is something of a rip-off of ‘Alien’ and ‘The Thing’(both great films) and even lacking the tension of those two films it does well to keep the fear alive. Each crew member is their own person and not simply warm bodies to make dead.

The only nudity you’ll find in this film is the centerfolds that a character places above his bunk but two of the three female characters do have sexy moments. In this tight, little, enclosed, world where this is almost no privacy I would have expected more. There is a great opportunity to show the stressed and tense nature of the world these characters live in with some more skin.

To put a point on it, ‘Leviathan’ is that girl that comes to the pool party that looks okay, has on a sensible bather, and fails to make a splash, but you don’t mind seeing her around.

Who should watch this film: fans of science fiction films, horror movie buffs, and those of you who love practical movie magic.

News: California Immigration

This was front page news on the Sunday, October 6, 2013 Los Angeles Times. California Governor Jerry Brown signed a group of bills making it legal for those without legal status to legally get a driver’s license and a license to practice law as well as making it illegal to detain an illegal immigrants who has committed a misdemeanor until they can be taken into custody by Immigration and Nationalization Services (INS).

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Movie review South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

Having watched in a few days several seasons of the popular show “South Park” I went into this movie with high expectations and if I hadn’t I would have liked the film more.  I didn’t dislike this film and there were many parts I did like but the overall experience dragged some in getting started.

Once it got on the move it was everything I expected in an episode of South Park only longer. There was singing, Satan, criticism of our way of life, religion, and media. A number of good points where examined and morals for adults were given out.

Again I liked this film, but I wouldn’t have paid to see it in the theater. Frankly, if South Park hadn’t been on Netflix and I hadn’t had lots of time on my hands I probably wouldn’t have seen that either.

Who should watch this film: fans of the show, fans of violence and crude jokes, people who have access to the copy of the DVD or can stream what they want to see.