340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

From bad to worse.

Why the hell didn't anyone warn me about Alone In The Dark? I know that, when appended to a movie's title, the phrase "based on the hit videogame" should evoke--at best--the same kind of ironic smirk that spreads when one is faced with a deep-fried candy bar: you know it's gonna be bad for you, but the potential for sticky-sweet satisfaction is high.

Alone In The Dark may be sticky, but it's sour--so very, very sour. The less said about that laboured romp through the dun-coloured halls of mediocrity the better. If you really want to see characters make an entertaining transition from interactive digital narrative to non-interactive digital narrative, rent Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within or Resident Evil.

* * *

Pacanukeha highlights a recent judgment by the Supreme Court that is completely incomprehensible to me: as reported in the Boston Globe and the Chicago Tribune, the Supremes just ruled that local governments (i.e. municpal) can seize private residences on the grounds that "economic development is a reasonable use of a city's power of eminent domain."

In case you don't know, "eminent domain" refers to a state's right to take your property away from you in order to build something for everyone (it exists in Canada as well as in the U.S.). The easiest example is when a freeway "needs" to be run through your backyard. This right of the state to take your shit is "balanced" by their duty to provide something called 'just compensation;' in other words, they have to pay you a fair price--but you're OBLIGED to sell.

Now, usually this stuff resides in the murky area between the right of the individual to safely own property and the duty of the state to provide services and facilities for a majority of its residents. It hinges on the fact that your house can only be taken from you if the state can prove that it really, really needs it in order to fulfill a pressing public need. What this judgment does is seriously weaken the "public" part--a shopping mall is a private building.

Anyway, read the damn story and mutter creative expletives under your breath.


  • At 8:21 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Marc, I know. But we can't really expect much from our friends to the south. They have already proven that they are willing to adopt on a mass scale policies and behaviours that would normally be considered stupid, corrupt, incestous, litigious, pontificating, invading, torturous, hypocritical, and profoundly petro-paternalistic imperialist to any thinking and humane individual.

    Their well-intentioned work concerning the sovereign states of iraq and afghanistan have more than provided evidence of their willing to "redefine" certain legal concepts so long as some degree of benifit is acheived for a certain group of "stakeholders".

    The public at large is clearly willing to have the widely recognized fucktard bush as their president, and nobody seems terribly concerned or motivated to explore the obvious problematics underlying several recent presidential "election", torture at gitmo, chemical restraints, false flag interogation techniques, domestic prisons for profit, populated by a disproprotionate ethnic minority contingent convicted for non-violent drug use. I certainly could go on, but will stop here. I feel suicidal enough already, tonight.


    Ps: I enjoyed "land of the dead" at the opening on friday night. It is a very good horror film, and I did not have particularily high expectations, in part due to of my love of romero's past work in the genre, and belief that he is almost certainly past his artistic prime. I was wrong. It had problems, certainly, but also many, many wonderful moments. I particularily enjoyed watching distressed girlfriends drag their sheepish boyfriends from the theatres an hour or so in after the belly button piercing forceable removal scene. So strange that the massive degree of gut-munching did not faze.

  • At 8:45 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I use such tools as the imdb. Then, you can't say that you didn't have fair notice.

    If anyone were pondering what Ed Wood would be like today if he were armed with foreign financing and computer effects, look no further than Uwe Boll..., 26 January 2005

    Author: the unemployed critic

    Alone in the Dark

    Good heavens, they let him direct again.

    The "him," of course, is Uwe Boll, who was last seen putting a neutron bomb of awfulness known as "House of the Dead" into theaters back in 2003. A German-born "filmmaker," Boll has demonstrated himself as a man of cloudy judgment, with an eye fiercely focused on some of most hackneyed and outrageously misguided visuals seen in recent years. If anyone were pondering what Ed Wood would be like today if he were armed with foreign financing and computer effects, look no further than Boll. He's the modern day equivalent, without the angora charm.

    "Alone in the Dark" is the second video game-inspired film from Boll (a third, "Bloodrayne," is due this fall), and while it appears to be a genre he likes to work in, he hasn't shown any particular aptitude for it yet. "Dark" is the same inexcusable mess "House" was, only this time Boll has a little more money and an even more banal video game to work with. "Alone" is designed to be a haunted house film, punctuated by elements of the supernatural and copious amounts of gunfire. Yet, Boll can't even manage to deliver that simple recipe for B-level entertainment. What he accomplishes in 90 life-sucking minutes is far more confusing (I couldn't even begin to explain the ridiculously labyrinthine plot that Boll only has a loose grip on), unforgivable, and amateurish.

    Maybe it's because Boll is German, and his desperate and lackluster visual style is simply trying too hard to recreate the American MTV movie experience that nobody likes in the first place. That would explain why Boll is using slo-mo, open-shutter, and bullet-time photography while the rest of cinema is slowly moving on from those camera tricks. It also might shed some light on his frightful selection and direction of actors, which could give the average soap opera the shakes. While Christian Slater plays it safe by completely shutting down any semblance of personality in an attempt to butch up for his action hero role, co-stars Stephen Dorff (as a 'roided up government agent) and Tara Reid (playing, get this, a museum curator) have taken it upon themselves to try to inject some much needed life into the tedious proceedings. However, because this is Dorff and Reid we're talking about after all, the effort is seriously in vain. Boll couldn't care less about his performances anyway (or the absurd costuming and set design for that matter), for that takes away precious time for nonsensical, only-clear-in-Boll's-mind dramatics and the special effects, which are lukewarm at best.

    To see that Boll hasn't learned anything from the pummeling "House of the Dead" took is disappointing to observe. "Alone in the Dark" is simply the same garbage action/horror cinema, reheated to cover the taste, and served under a different name to cash on the recent, artistically crippling horror renaissance. Since Boll has no interest in improving his direction, even in the face of overwhelming proof that he should, there's still no reason to pay attention to his movies. ---- 0/10

  • At 8:47 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wallmart serves the greater good. Job got what he deserved.


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