rynet_ii: A deoxys (alien-like pokemon) with a neutral expression. (Default)
In the city of Seoul, Kim Seung-geun has an enormous financial debt and jumps off of a bridge into the Han River, intending to commit suicide. Instead, he washes up on a deserted island in the middle of the river, a small place used as a support for a nearby bridge, but otherwise separated from the mainland. (This island is an actual place called Bamseom, though its name isn't mentioned in the movie.)

Seung-geun soon discovers he cannot leave the island at all and finds himself living in a bizarre Robinson Crusoe-esque situation despite civilization being clearly visible on all sides of the island. He's at first pretty unhappy about this, but soon discovers that he can survive off of the local flora and fauna and make use of the trash that washes up on the island, and while he's there he at least no longer needs to worry about his debts. Reflecting this, the "HELP" message he wrote on the sand earlier is changed to "HELLO."

Meanwhile, in an apartment building overlooking the Han River, there lives a woman named Kim Jung-yeon. Jung-yeon is agoraphobic and lives with her parents, only ever leaving her room in order to go to the bathroom. She spends her days pretending to be different people online and at night, she uses her high quality camera to take pictures of the moon.

She only ever takes photos of the city during the day twice a year, when the local civil guard ushers the citizens off of the street and the city winds up looking like a ghost town. (Iiii do not know why this happens? I think it's like an evacuation drill or something.) As she's looking around the city with her camera she winds up spotting Seung-geun and grows fascinated by him, watching him with her camera until eventually she musters up the courage to sneak out of her apartment building and to the bridge built over his island, where she tosses off a bottled message for him to find. An odd correspondence starts between the two, with Seung-geun writing messages to her on his beach and Jung-yeon tossing bottles off of the bridge.

Officially this is a romantic comedy... )

I also personally didn't find it as funny as, say, The Martian- I did some mental comparisons because they're both stories involving survival in a hostile environment- but I think this is mostly because my personal concern over the character's mental issues kind of overshadowed some of the humor.

Don't get me wrong though, I did enjoy the film- watching Seung-geun establish a life on the island was interesting and I did enjoy seeing Jung-yeon and Seung-geun slowly forming a connection. It's just that this is a romcom that I wound up watching as if it was a drama.
rynet_ii: A deoxys (alien-like pokemon) with a neutral expression. (I'm totally an alien u guise)
The Martian is a science-fiction movie about Mark Watney, an astronaut/botanist who winds up stranded on Mars after his crew mates mistakenly believe he died during a deadly sandstorm. The movie centers around Watney's attempts to survive on Mars until he can be rescued, something the people on Earth are desperately trying to coordinate.

The film was intense in places- one of the earliest scenes involves Watney having to do surgery on himself. And frequently, just as Watney and the others are making real strides towards his eventual survival, something disastrous will happen to set them back, usually injuring Watney in the process. My adrenaline was pretty high after I left the theater.

It's also funny, which was something I was not aware of after watching the trailer the first time. (Though did later have some expectation of it, based off of book snippets like this.) Watney is one of those smartass dude characters, but unlike a lot of smartass dude characters he isn't really annoying at all, a fact I chalk up to a mixture of "doesn't use misogynistic humor" and "this man is stranded on a planet that is doing his level best to kill him so he's entitled to some swearing and snark."

Actually re: misogyny stuff. This film is pretty good on that point? There are several named female characters who all work at NASA some spoilers clarifying that point ) and they're all competent at their job, and don't exist for sexual gratification and/or damsel-in-distressing. There are also several non-white characters working for NASA related to the previous spoiler ) so yeah, bonus points for diversity, guys.

Also, science! I am not very knowledgeable about scientific anything, but I could follow along with what the characters were doing pretty well, and apparently Neil deGrasse Tyson approves of how things were portrayed. It's very much a Man Vs. Nature story, so there's a lot of the characters using their knowledge of physics/chemistry/robotics/etc. in order to figure out How To Make Mark Watney Not Die And Get Off Of Mars.

So yes, it's a pretty enjoyable movie overall and I thought it was well worth the ticket fees. More spoilers for a tidbit at the end. )
rynet_ii: A deoxys (alien-like pokemon) with a neutral expression. (Bat-science)
The Secret of Anastasia is one of those super low budget animated movies you're most likely to find in a bargain bin full of DVDs. It is veeeery loosely based on the life of Anastasia Romanov and the rumors that she survived the Russian Revolution and was quite likely an attempt to cash in on the better known Don Bluth movie that came out the same year and had a similar premise.

Anyway. The Secret of Anastasia plays out similarly to the Bluth film in that an amnesiac Anastasia runs into a con artist (here, a former general named Vladimir) and they decide to track down Anastasia's grandmother, the con artist so he can get his hands on a bunch o' cash, Anastasia so she can reconnect with her past, and the con artist has to teach Anastasia How To Royalty in the mean time.

However, while Anastasia has an antagonist in the form of Necromancer Grigoriy Rasputin and his Humorous Talking Bat Henchman, The Secret of Anastasia has the Cheka chasing after our heroes, a romantic rival for our con artist character in the form of Prince Paul (Who I think isn't based on any actual person, but I dunno for sure), and the supernatural element takes the form of a quartet of walking, talking musical instruments that serve as the amnesiac Anastasia's surrogate family. (This is a really weird movie.)

Then there's the plot twist. )

The Secret of Anastasia seems to be primarily known for its villain song, "Prince Charmless," but otherwise I don't see much of it anywhere, possibly because it's terribly animated and written and is generally sort of dumb. I enjoyed it immensely, which may have to do with the fact I was sleep-deprived when I watched it, but I like to think it's because it's one of those bad movies that are more amusingly bad than irritatingly bad.
rynet_ii: A deoxys (alien-like pokemon) with a neutral expression. (Srs Haruhi with a bun in her arms)
Kingsman: The Secret Service is something of a James Bond parody- I say "something of" since it does have an underlying plot and plays some bits seriously- it's more like it's taking the various spy movie tropes and dialing things up until the knob falls off. (To paraphrase a description I read once of Djelibeybi, an ancient Egypt pastiche from the Discworld book, Pyramids.) 

The plot centers around a young British man named Gary "Eggsy" Unwin, whose father was a member of a super-secret service known as Kingsmen. Eggsy's father died in the line of duty while Eggsy was small, and his mother eventually married a shitty dude called Dean and Eggsy wound up growing up to be a bit of a thug with a heart of gold. After getting arrested Eggsy is able to call in a favor from a former comrade of his father's, a Kingsman named Harry Hart. 

Harry sees potential in Eggsy and, since one of the Kingsmen died recently, brings him in as a potential for the open position. Eggsy, however, has to compete with several other candidates- and as it happens the Kingsman who died had just stumbled upon the threads of an evil scheme being organized by a billionaire philanthropist named Valentine, which may bring death to billions of people and the downfall of society as we know it. Naturally Eggsy and the gang are going to get involved.

It's entertaining, though it's also very goony- there's a lot of over the top violence, which is the sort of thing that makes me uncomfortable when it a) results in actual bodycounts and b) is treated in a very cavalier manner by the characters.

Another thing that made me uncomfortable was the ending spoilers )

Asides from the uncomfortable bits (there's also a decent amount of gore, especially in the really big fight scenes), the movie's reasonably entertaining. Eggsy's a generally likeable character, and there are some good scenes? How much you will enjoy this film probably depends on your tolerance for things like "a man gets literally sliced in half by a woman with razor sharp swords stashed in her prosthetic legs."

rynet_ii: The Batman, silhouetted against the moon, leaps off a building. (Leap of faith)
Strange Magic is an animated jukebox musical about two lands living side by side- the bright and warm world of the fairies and elves, and the dark forest, home to goblins and bog creatures. Primrose flowers grow at the border of the two lands, the petals of which the Sugarplum Fairy can use to make love potions. However, the Bog King, ruler of the dark forest, has put a ban on love and regularly sends his minions out to destroy the primrose flowers, as well as imprisoning the Sugarplum Fairy in his dungeon.

Meanwhile, in the Fairy Kingdom, there are two hopeful suitors in desperate want of a love potion. Roland, a handsome warrior who broke the heart of the Princess Marianne on their wedding day and still hopes to reconcile with her and become King, and Sunny, an elf with an unrequited love for Marianne's boy-crazy sister, Dawn. Roland convinces Sunny to enter the dark forest and bring back a love potion, something that does not please the Bog King. Before too long there's a missing love potion, a princess that needs to be rescued, and an army being assembled.

Spoilers/thoughts )
rynet_ii: The Batman, silhouetted against the moon, leaps off a building. (Leap of faith)
 So last night [personal profile] thethrillof showed me this movie! I have never seen an episode of Batman Beyond in my life but through the magic of fandom (plus snippets of info I knew from a How to Draw Batman Beyond book) I was able to follow along with the plot well enough.

Basically it's set in futuristic Gotham, as indicated by all the electric guitar solos and the giant lava lamp at the town disco, where a teenager named Terry serves as the new Batman under the employ and tutelage of an elderly Bruce Wayne.

Bruce, I gather, had been something of a bitter recluse in the show proper but by the time of the movie has gone through character development which made him less of a jerk than I feared he would be, and he's also now planning on taking control of Wayne Enterprises again. YAY- until Joker shows up at the big Bruce-Wayne's-the-CEO-again party, blows a bunch of shit up, steals some equipment, and it's revealed that oh btw, he totally knows Bruce's secret now. That is not so yay.

So it's up to Terry to deal with Bruce and company's emotional constipation, unraveling a deeply upsetting backstory in the process, figure out how and why the Joker came back, and stop Joker for once and for all.

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rynet_ii: A deoxys (alien-like pokemon) with a neutral expression. (Default)
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