The First Evil (asta77) wrote,
The First Evil
asta77

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Gates, Tardis's, Surfboards, and Hot Looking Guys - The Usual SciFi Trappings

Even though it’s early, time for the weekend in review. Well, more like the Saturday in review. Thus far today I have eaten breakfast and made plans to watch some very bad TV with k_julia. We’ve decided it’s best to suffer celebrity crushes and the low points in their careers together. Which reminds me to say “Hi!” to my friends in Vegas. ;)

So, yesterday, I spent more money than I should have. I went to an arts fair with a friend and her mother and we both dropped quite a bit of money (by our standards) in one jewelry booth. It was hard to resist since the woman does nice work and her prices are about half that of other jewelry makers who do a similar style of work. Still didn’t manage to find a dark blue pendant which, of course, was what I was looking for. Of the two she had one had flecks of gold in it (I’m not a gold person) and the other was almost black it was so dark.

After shopping it was on to Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer. I have found that one’s enjoyment of a movie is helped a lot if you go in with exceedingly low expectations. This film doesn’t require any in depth analysis. I’m not sure I can even remember the plot or if there was much of one. The world was in jeopardy and the Silver Surfer was part of that. Actually, if there was one part of the film I genuinely liked it was the Silver Surfer. By FF standards he was a relatively well developed character. Not being familiar with the FF comics or the character of the Surfer, I couldn’t be certain at the beginning where they were going with him, but I suspected he wasn’t evil. Lawrence Fishburn did an amazing job of instilling the character with pathos. I still am uncertain why the Surfer, who was so haunted by his actions, needed Sue and Reed’s love for her to realize he could turn against Galactus (sp) and end it’s destruction. He was already sacrificing himself for those he loved; why not just make the suicide run earlier? Of course there would be no movie.

Once again, for such a big budget film, I thought the effects looked cheap and outdated. Especially when Reed gets all stretchy. Yet, the Surfer looked pretty damn cool. I was even impressed with how they maintained his look when he became separated from his board and was no longer CGI. I’m guessing two at least two different effects houses were used here.

Oh, I almost forgot, the dancing. I almost had to cover my eyes I was so embarrassed for Ioan. And I have a deep suspicion that is how he dances.

Other than that all I can say is this film was a bit better than the first (which I know is not saying much), Ioan looked very pretty, Johnny was more sympathetic, and Jessica had the worst wig… which may be why Reed kept looking at Victor the way he did. ;)

Next Friday will be the last episode of Stargate:SG1 EVER. ::cries:: Yes, yes, I have already seen it, but it will seem so much more final when it airs on my TV. My thoughts on the second to the last episode EVER, ‘Dominion’ are here. Nothing to add and looking back it seems to be one of my better write ups.

danceswithwords and I also watched SGA’s ‘Vengeance’ and discussed whether or not to post about it. Since my Buffy days I have had the mantra, if you don’t like it then just quit watching it and stop bitching about it. I also hate people who are hypocritical. So, with those two things in mind, I’m not posting about SGA. People do enjoy the show, I’m happy for them, and I don’t wish to lesson anyone’s squee. Still being a staunch BSG fan I know how negativity can get in the way of one’s enjoyment. And I fully admit for certain reasons I will definitely check out the first couple eps next season, but if I’m not wowed they’ll most likely be no Stargate in my future accept those direct to DVD films I can’t wait for. Yes, I did just type that.

Keeping with the theme of not posting when you don’t like something, some of you may have noticed my silence when it comes to Doctor Who. I haven’t been happy with the show since the first couple of eps of the season/series and was tempted to quit watching at one point. Luckily, I read some minor spoilage and it was enough to keep my going through this season at least. Last night, in part due to beccatoria’s before the cut comments, I decided to catch up on the last two episodes of ‘Who’. Much to my delight they were very good. Especially ‘Blink’ which I felt was a great hour of TV, period.


Blink

When I heard that the writer of this ep, Steven Moffat, had also written, ‘The Empty Child’, ‘The Doctor Dances’, and ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ I had high hopes. Those are some of my favorite episodes of the series. Moffat has a gift for being able to combine terror with comedy, staying true to the characters we know, while also creating new, extremely well developed characters who immediately gain our sympathies.

I think Moffat’s villains are fascinating for several reasons. First, he seems to have a thing for masks or facades (which makes me wonder about childhood trauma ;) that obscures the thing – human, machine, alien – underneath. Second, his villains aren’t exactly evil. In ‘The Empty Child’, Jamie and the others were victims of the war and an alien presence that was trying to make things right, but just didn’t have all the information that they needed. In TGinF, the ship was following its protocol to survive. And, in ‘Blink’, even the Doctor admits that these creatures are rather benign in their means. They do rob you of the life you have, but they still give you the opportunity to live. It’s less about consciously doing something wrong and more about survival. When their visages turn into those of monsters rather than angels it’s only after their existence is threatened by Sally and the Doctor’s plan.

The statuary was only slightly less terrifying than a little boy walking around in a gas mask asking, “Are you my mummy?” (And in a strange twist of fate, both episodes I ended up watching late at night, alone, in the dark.) We are all defenseless when we close are eyes for a moment or turn our back. Yet, when we open are eyes or turn around we expect things to be just as they were when we last looked. The terror comes from how things can change in a blink of an eye. The show’s director and designers made fabulous use of those split second transitions and placing us in the character’s POV.

Now here is where you can feel free to throw things at me because the other thing I really liked about this episode was the lack of the Doctor and Martha. I’m going to blame Tennant getting on my nerves in so many episodes on the writing and directing. The guy obviously needs structure, here he had it and I liked his performance . There was an excellent balance of humor, fear, and menace in his Easter egg messages. He didn’t need to be flip or shout to get his message across. Even in his final scene in which he and Sally meet face to face, there was the usual Doctor craziness, apparently involving lizards in London, but no wackiness. It ended on just the right note.

I do think there are some plot holes in the time travel storyline with past and future events influencing current ones. But because it was apparent to me that a lot of care and thought went into writing this, I am willing to hand wave some points that on closer inspection would probably not make sense – such as the possibility of Young Cathy and Old Cathy coexisting for a period of time.

There were also many small moments that I loved. A nod to the DVD/internet/blogging generation with Easter eggs a huge part of the plot. The guy in the DVD store talking to the TV and getting upset (rightfully so!) because the women never go to the police…thus sending Sally running to the police. And I loved Martha intruding on the Easter egg to mention that she’s been forced to get a job in a shop and support him. Hee!


Utopia

Captain Jack! As I remembered him before Torchwood gutted his character! Derek Jacobi! Awesome!

Again, we get more of a toned down Doctor here. Perhaps it’s due to Jack’s presence since he was always the one who was a little over the top during the Ninth Doctor’s reign. I loved that Jack is (understandably) pissed off and hurt that the Doctor left him behind and he lets him know that. I was concerned they were just going to fall into old patterns and not address this. I also very much appreciated how when the Doctor reveals that Rose is very much alive he and Jack embrace. Any hard feelings are pushed aside for a moment because they are the only two people in the universe who can share the memories and affection they have for Rose.

I’m actually surprised (pleasantly) that they have kept Rose’s memory alive all season. I really thought they’d address her absence and what it means to the Doctor in the beginning and move on. But they bring her up every chance they get and Jack’s reappearance gave the Doctor a real opportunity to talk about her and everything that’s happened. There were no quips or avoidances. The two men really did talk and both I think were much the better for it.

I don’t know if I was meant to feel sorry for Martha here, having to listen about Rose, being the third wheel in some ways, but I really didn’t. I’m still very disappointed that she went from being a strong, independent woman looking for a little adventure, to love sick puppy. At what point does she realize that the Doctor is not over Rose? And, frankly, I have to wonder if she’s using Rose as an excuse - he’s not interested in her because he’s not over Rose yet. Accept, I honestly feel if Rose had never been part of his life he still wouldn’t look at Martha in that way.

Jack was written so well here, he’s the character we remember – charming, funny, flirty, wanting to get in everyone’s pants – but there is also a new dimension to him. There is anger, for becoming immortal and having no idea how or why, for having to be stuck on earth for 140 years, waiting for his next encounter with the Doctor to get some answers, and for believing that it was a choice by the Doctor to abandon him. I always thought Jack got left behind by accident. How could the Doctor or Rose know what had happened to him? Yet now we find out that the Doctor did know and saw him as some sort of abomination. Huh? I’m still unclear on why Jack should be feared. That part of the talk seemed odd and a bit lame.

Another thing I’m confused about is if Jack has been part of Torchwood yet? Torchwood ended with Jack inside the facility, hearing the Tardis, seeing the light, and then disappearing. But ‘Utopia’ begins with him chasing down the Tardis with the Doctor’s hand strapped to his back. It made me wonder if when they return to earth the Doctor deposits Jack back in time a bit. Although, that would mean there would be two Jack’s in existence at the same time and there was a mention of that being a bad thing. Maybe they were just sloppy with continuity, but they tied so many things together from past eps here that I find that hard to believe.

Derek Jacobi was AWESOME. Did I mention that? ;) He’s just such an incredible actor and he was perfect here. It’s a damn shame that they felt they had to have the Master regenerate. I suppose it’s possible they could only get Derek for one ep and had no choice, but I doubt it.

I admit I have little knowledge of the Master other than he was a bad time lord and enemy of the Doctor who was supposedly dead. Nifty use of the watch which I assumed was just an object the Doctor chose to hold his consciousness. I guess every time lord was issued one. I also did not pick up on YANA – “You are not alone.” Considering the havoc the Master seems to intend to created, gee, Boa, could you have maybe been a little less vague?

Since there are two episodes left in this season/series and they’ll be shooting another, I’m guessing the Doctor gets the Tardis back and they get out of there. Putting the not really a cliffhanger ending aside, my one big gripe with the ep would be the other (?) human race. Besides having bad teeth how are they different than us? Sure, they are pissed off, but they are being left to fend for themselves and are on the verge of being abandoned to die so I can see how they are all about the killing and destroying in revenge.

Happy (belated) Birthday to abbylee! Hope you had a great one. :)
Tags: doctor who s3, movies, sga, stargate s10
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