June 21st, 2013

OmgPonies!

Friday Fun Stuff

After the apparent total lack of interest in the literary stuff i posted last week i tried to keep an eye out for more "fun" stuff to post this week. I think i may have gone overboard.

First, an optical illusion dance routine:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP16ZvkOkXo

I thought everyone knew about "How It Should Have Ended" already, but apparently Avalyn and her sister didn't. So for anyone else who hasn't, or just hadn't gotten around to the Iron Man 3 one yet, here it is. (The best part is the superhero cafe bit at the end =) (And just in case, it has spoilers for Iron Man 3, duh).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUYW0JyzydA

Don't watch this one if you're prone to nightmares about snakes :)

http://vimeo.com/9841493

If you like xkcd's What Ifs, here's someone doing something similar about "What if Superman punched you in the face?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-fL8zopddI

Okay, couldn't resist throwing a little literature stuff in, here's a discussion about "What classing space opera novel do you want to see on TV?" In reality i'm sure most of the ones suggested would go horribly wrong if adapted, especially the harder SF ones, but it's interesting to see a big long list of what space opera books other people like.

http://io9.com/what-classic-space-opera-novel-do-you-want-to-see-on-th-513465812

And here's a list of some pretty awesome looking real-life flags:

http://io9.com/the-coolest-flags-in-human-history-513457320

I haven't seen Season 3 of Game of Thrones yet, but since i've read the books i still found these infographics amusing:

http://www.vulture.com/2013/06/game-of-thrones-season-3-as-infographics.html

And the final video reward, a cute little animated short. It's by some art students and is about ten minutes long.

http://vimeo.com/68180971
movies

Review time: Man of Steel

Went to see Man of Steel last friday.

First: As usual Rob Bricken has a snarky, spoiler-laden bit of MST3K-ish prose pointing out all the flaws he saw in the film. If you loved the movie and don't have a sense of humor about people criticizing things you like, don't read it ;)

http://io9.com/the-most-important-scenes-from-man-of-steel-as-i-remem-516405346

Second: My short non-spoilery review

As someone who sees a very moderate amount of movies in the theatre (more than the average american, but not as much as real film buffs) it seems to me that Hollywood has been getting better at developing summer action movies that are fun while you're watching them and keep up the pace well enough to bounce over the plot holes, but leave you with a number of questions when you get out of the theatre and think about it later.

It's hard to say if the older movies really did have better plots, or if that's just nostalgia filters kicking in. But in any case this new (or not) style does produce very watchable movies as long as you remember the MST3K mantra. ("It's just a show; I should really just relax.")

The new Star Trek movies fall into this category, and so does Man of Steel.

My biggest non-spoilery complaints are:

1: Way too much shakey cam. They used shakey cam in scenes where people were sitting around talking to each other. I guess it was supposed to be DRAMATIC talking!

2: The early fight scenes are very "jumpy". The kind with lots of fast short cuts that made it really hard to tell what's going on.

Good non-spoilery things:

1: If you've heard the same rumor i did about a particular MAJOR change to Superman's backstory, it turns out not to be true. I suspect the rumor was based on fragmentary or garbled leaks about the actual plot. Certainly when i saw the first detailed trailer i thought it actually _confirmed_ the rumor, and i'm glad to find that i was wrong about that and it was just a misinterpretation.

2: There is a decent amount of character development for a Superman film. My biggest problem with Superman is always that he's just too much of a cardboard cutout. He's almost infinitely powerful and almost infinitely goody two shoes. Pretty much the only ways to show any kind of conflict is A: give Superman difficult choices about who to save and B: Kryptonite. Given those limitations they did a reasonable job of giving his character some growth.

Third: My spoilery thoughts

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