Thursday, June 25, 2009

More than meets the ears

I "met" someone on Facebook who said he had six tickets left for the midnight showing of Transformers 2: Assault on Your Ears... and in IMAX at Navy Pier's six-story tall screen!
In a moment of weakness, I decided to go.

Now, the IMAX at Navy Pier is definitely Chicago's hottest showplace. The tickets all come with your seat number already assigned (hmm, not sure if I like that or not) and you sit in fron tof what has to be the tallest screen (so much bigger than the local theater's IMAX - sure, it's a big screen, but it really isn't IMAX, you know?).

Navy Pier was, surprise! closed.
All of it.
Dark, closed. All the restaurants, all the stores, the stages. Closed.
Weird. I mean, I was there at 10:30, and kind of expected some restaurants or something to be open. It is summer, after all.

So I waited around for about an hour, (from the popcorn girl I learned the last Batman movie played for 72 hours straight, every three hours -who needs popcorn at three in the morning?!)
and then...

The movie began.

Now, I've read some reviews that suggest it was kind of like watching a bag of rocks in a dryer. I will admit, it was LOUD. NOISY loud!
Robots slugging each other, robots blasting each other, things exploding all over!
And that's just in the first five minutes.

They seemed to crank up the noise factor on this film every time a robot appeared - LOUD!

And, well, the robots did appear a lot.

Nominally, the story features Shai laBeef heading off to college (after robots destroy his home, natch). whose name I did not catch because of all the NOISE! Whatever school it was, it was very nice looking, and filled with pouty supermodels (at least, those are no school girls I ever saw in real life) who dress provocatively and snigger at Shia's mom, who ingested some marijuana and is now acting goofy. As opposed to po'd, which she was just minutes ago.

One such pouty aggressive supermodel type is actually a robot in disguise (that's some robot!) who attacks Le Beef and starts the whole two hour chase scene of kids versus robots going.

Actually, Megan Fox, who's introduced in the most blatantly sexy (?) way of having her short-shorted butt up in the air (yeah, it takes work to do that, I know), spends all her time in this picture running from the robots, too.

So LeBeef and LesBoobs run around the country trying to stop the evil robots from extinguishing the sun. Uh, by saving Optimus Prime, the only robot who can possibly stand a skinny rat's ass chance of stopping the Fallen (boo!) (seems to me the US Military and a few dozen Transformers could blow him up just fine, but hey...) by taking a semi-mystic doohickey that's since turned to sand (hey, magic fairy dust!) and sticking in Optimus' chest cavity.

Oh, what's wrong with Optimus? He got the crap kicked out of him by the Fallen (I think, in battle all these robots look alike, you know?) while saving LeBoef (ibid!) from being attacked by a whole bunch of robots because they wanted (snicker) his brains!

Oh, there's a whole bunch more crap in this movie. There's LeBeefcake's college roommate, who runs an Internet site claiming there are aliens among us (ree-diculous!). There's a leering astronomy professor (can't tell this movie's made for teen boys, can you?). There's a US Military Strike Team named the NEST (E-i-Oooo!) that's coopted the good guy Transformers, put upon by an Obama-admininstration pain-in-the-ass guy who's out to get the robots to leave! Yeah, that'll show 'em!

There's that NEST team that instinctively trusts the kid LeBiftecetdesfrites and flies the dead Megatron around (you have any idea how much fuel it would take to carry a giant robot halfway around the world!!?) to the Middle East, because they TRUST him!

There's the sun-eating device that's hidden in one of the pyramids (like no one would notice THAT huge thing there before!). There's flashbacks to the first time the Transformers came to earth, looking for Energon (makes Exxon-Mobil look green and sane!)

And you know what?

Maybe it was because I was seeing in in IMAX, at midnight, in a theater packed with geeks (come on - who else is going to be watching Transformers at midnight?) --

I rather enjoyed it.

Yes, it was too LOUD. Yes, I could hardly tell who was fighting whom. Yes, parts of the movie were totally stupid(the public doesn't believe the alien threat is real - haven't they seen all those robots walking all over in the last movie?). Some of the characters, such as they are, are mind-blowingly stupid and/or insulting (an old robot that acts like a grumpy old man, complete with cane; little Suzuki-cars that transform into two gangsta-talking robots).

But it was also highly entertaining in parts. Mainly in those parts where robots were either chasing someone or blowing stuff up. In other words, about two hours of the two-and-a-half-hour movie.

Heaven help me, I actually enjoyed this picture. Despite the goofy plot, despite LesBoobs and LeBeef, despite marijauna Mom and a too-trusting US Military - I actually enjoyed seeing big ol' robots smack other big ol' robots around.

I am still trying to figure out why, though.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Heaven Can Wait

This is a series of real life church signs. There is a Catholic and a Presbyterian one. I get the feeling that the Catholics have a sense of humor.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Up yers!

Actually, UP mine, too!
I went to see UP last night, a delightful movie that, despite what some might perceive as flaws, really shines as a HINLAMW movie (that's "hey, I never looked at my watch!" - a sure sign of a movie's ability to engross me!)
I apologize if there are some SPOILERS in here, but it's rather hard to discuss the movie without spoiling SOMEthing.
There's a pretty long sequence where we see Mr. F and Elly living their lives together. I know some critics maintain that it slows the movie a bit or is too realiztic for kids or some such, but it does a nice job of showing two people deeply in love - and explaining just why Mr. F. would go to such lengths as flying his house to South America.
There are some bits involving talking dogs that are a little much, and having Mr. F and a Wilderness Scout haul his house around, even attached to balloons, beggars belief. But by and large it's one enjoyable road trip.
I own't spoil it by telling you about it more - just go see it. You'll enjoy it, AT WORST, and love it at best. It's a very neat summer movie.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

l'm not bad..

I'm just badly drawn.
I was thinking the other day, about how much appearance can affect one's likeability,
especially if you're a cartoon character.
I mean, certain styles of art I just can't get by. I'm sure Flapjack, Chowder, and the X-men are all fine cartoons, but I just don't like the way they look, you know? They don't appeal to me.

Even Spider-Man, until the recent "Spectacular" version, was drawn far too realisticly and with far too muted a color pallette for my tastes. Spectacular, while still a little stiff, and with some unnatural movements to the characters, is by far my favorite version of Spidey yet.

I guess I am drawn to "Classic" interpretations of the characters. Batman TAS, Superman's most recent foray, Ben 10. Not that I actually watch Ben 10, mind you, but I do like the style in which the characters are drawn.

There are some series out there that just jump out at me, I love the character designs so much. Note I haven't actually seen more than one or two of the shows in question (excepting TDI) but I do love their character design and would gladly watch them sitting around playing pinochle.

First up is: Bionic Six.

Look at those guys! So clean, so boldly designed!

Believe it or don't, they're supposed to be a family (guess adoption's taken place) who've been given bionic superpowers! Woo - the eighties were just bursting with good ideas, weren't they?
That's Rock-One, Bionic-One, IQ the smart one, Karate-One, Mother-One, and Sport-One.

Okay, so the names are pretty lame. And as for powers... umm, I guess they're all bionic, strong and fast. Mother-One is sort-of telepathic and Bionic One has super-senses... Sport-One carries a baseball bat...

Okay, so they're not exactly well-designed as heroes, but man, they are good looking!

Next up we have one of my favorite cartoons, Total Drama Island (think Survivor).

TDI is so crazy, mixed-up and occasionally rude-but-funny that they're coming out with a sequel next week, Total Drama Action.

I just like the way the characters look. Simply designed, you get an idea of what each is like just by looking at them, and the show is consistently funny besides.

Last in my list of cartoons I just like to look at if not neccesarily to watch, is 6teen.

Just a fun bunch to look at. You can tell what the characters are like (sort of) by glancing at the picture, the lines are clean, bright colors - just overall a nice drawing. I actually look forward to watching an episode all the way through one of these days.
Heck, I keep trying to come up with a reason I'm so drawn to these cartoons, why they strike me so right - but I really can't. They're just the sort of cartoons I'd be watching, along with Batman, Superman, Spider-Man and Ben-10. Just really well designed cartoons.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

May's over.

Wow. Here we are in June, already. It's raining and 48 out (yeah, I know, all you in California).

and the Cubs are in fourth place after a disastrous May.

What's wrong? How about no one could hit the furshlugginer ball?! I mean, three hits a game?! What the heck's up with that? It's darn hard to win a game on three hits, come on!

The Cubbies are massively underperforming right now (well, for the past 101 years they've been underperforming).

Good joke the priest at Mary Seat of Wisdom said Sunday. What did Jesus tell the Cubs right before the Ascention into heaven? "Don't do anything until I get back."

Well, he had a better delivery.

The priest, not the Lord. Though I'm sure Jesus could be funny, too.

You don't think God has a sense of humor? Why start all the major religions of the world within a hundred miles of each other? Couldn't Jesus have appeared in, say, Philadelphia?

Okay, I'm really losing it. Bye.