Movies You’ve Never Heard Of: Dog Soldiers

June 16, 2010

Walking into the garden late one day
Sometime last year around mid May
I saw my next door neighbor walking down the road
And suddenly next to my abode
He did the mash?
Sadly, no. He lent me a movie.

A group of British Soldiers are dropped into the Scottish Highlands for a routine training exercise. They make it well known during the landing that they’re missing an extremely important football game, and are in earnest to finish the exercise as quickly as possible so they can return home. The exercise refuses to be finished easily, however, and decides to make their lives difficult.

Seeing a distress flare in the distance, they go investigate and happen upon a destroyed Special Forces camp. Alongside the gory vegetation, they find many cases of unorthodox equipment, but no bodies. The Sergeant asks the radio man to call in and ask for an airlift. To their surprise, a wounded survivor springs up, repeatedly screaming that “there was only supposed to be ONE!”

There’s quite a bit of interesting trivia regarding this film on IMDB. Most if it is quite bodacious and excellent, but some of it just makes me face-palm at the sheer lameness of the error. For example: Scotland isn’t big enough for the area they’re in to exist.

One of the actors apparently knew this, but for some reason, didn’t say anything.

One thing that I was rather pleased with was the lack of CGI present. Apparently, the people involved in the filming thought it was overused at the time (as if, look at it now) and had most things done with animatronics, costumes, and makeup.

I, for one, like it that way. CGI is a nice thing to have, but when acting itself is forsaken and replaced with it, I can’t help but feel cheated. Good things/tools should be used sparingly, or they quickly lose their value.

OK, so after that shitty trailer you know that the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, meaning even all of you non-horror fans can probably still watch it and have a good time.


Absent Again

May 22, 2010

Sorry, but I’m apparently going away for the week (again). It’s kind of a pain how I always seem to be forced to travel to random locations and abandon whatever it is I’ve worked on, then come back a week later and have to start from scratch. Let’s hope that this time I don’t take a month to actually start posting again.

I’ll have to skip the Movie You’ve Never Heard Of post I was working on, as it still isn’t quite finished. Posting some music to make up for Monday, at least.


Floccinaucinihilipilificatious Fridays

May 21, 2010

I love learning new words for Friday!

Old Spice will always be the way to go. I don’t see what all the rage with Axe is about, maybe modern day men boys are content with the hopes that they’ll be able to treat women like complete tools. Or some of them could actually like the smell, in which case I’d recommend they check into a clinic specializing in nasal dysfunctions, and get tested for anosmia.


World of Flesh

May 20, 2010

Each night, I would go to sleep wishing that this was just a nightmare
I no longer recognize the world
There was no place to run
No place for me to call home
It was impossible to come to terms with this new world
Until I met Saya
The sole thing of beauty
Amidst this rotten, putrid world of flesh

Medical student Sasaki Fuminori is involved in a near-fatal traffic accident. Both of his parents are killed, and he survives only thanks to a fictitious neurosurgical procedure. Unfortunately, it is still in its experimental stages, and later proves to have some extremely unsightly side effects, which include temporary blindness. Upon regaining his sense of sight, Fuminori is able to see that the world he now lives in is not the world he once knew. Surrounded by walls of pulsating flesh, being fed bowls of festering innards and bile, and tended to by walking piles of rotting meat quickly leave Fuminori on wits’ end. As he lies in his grotesque little world, contemplating suicide, he is shocked to see a face looking at him from the side of his bed. The face of a cute, pre-adolescent human girl. Overcome with emotion, Fuminori begs her to stay and converse with him, which she does.

Introducing herself as Saya, the girl continues by saying that she lives in the hospital, and only roams around at night to search for her father. Fuminori practically forgets about his cognitive disorder until the time comes for her to leave. He implores her to come visit him again, and she does not object. Weeks go by, and the date of Fuminori’s discharge draws closer. He sees no joy in it, as he knows he will be living alone in a world that is terrifying to him only. When Saya visits that night, he asks her if she would leave the hospital and live with him, when the time came. Uncertain, Saya leaves. He does not see her again, even on the day of his release. Distraught at the bleak future he sees in his life, Fuminori returns to his house to find Saya already there waiting for him.

Created in 2003 by Nitroplus, Saya no Uta does well to follow their trend of dark and depressing stories. It is labeled as an utsuge: a story that is aimed at depressing the reader as there is no happy end, no help for the characters, and no hope. This is debatable, because I didn’t really feel all that depressed after reading it. I think I was too busy being surprised at how short it was, and at how lame one of the endings turned out to be. There were a couple simple questions that, had they been answered, would have rounded things out a little better, but it was still a very satisfying read.

In case you haven’t gotten the picture yet, Saya no Uta is not a your typical go-fornicate-with-women visual novel (nor will you find any of those reviewed or mentioned on LoL). It’s still 18+, however, so be wary of the lolitastic loliness. Or don’t.

There is practically no use of sprites in Saya no Uta, which is a shame because I really love the rough look they have. It gives them more of a hand drawn feel, as opposed to many of these other digitally rendered ones I see nowadays. The above screen cap kind of obscures them, but it would defy its purpose if I hid the text box. Instead of using sprites, Nitroplus was content with making an obscene amount of event CG, and using them instead. This is nicer in a way, because there are no recycled sprites you’ve already seen 20 times before popping up in every scene. Another nice thing I see as being fairly common in CG laden VNs is how the protagonist usually has a face, whereas in sprite-filled VNs he or she commonly does not.

Some of the backgrounds actually seem to be done in 3D CG, not solely by hand. They were glaringly out of place at first, but when they’re used with people in them, it fits quite well.

Now the voices themselves fit the characters rather well, but more than once I found myself thinking it would have been better without voice acting at all. These thoughts usually surfaced in fight scenes, or when people were supposed to be yelling and screaming. It was far too relaxed and indifferent, didn’t sound right at all.

The music is nothing special. I’m sure ZIZZ STUDIO did their best, but honestly what kind of music can you use to make justice to the situation(s) presented? You’ve got your creepy guitar solos and haunting lullabies, but in my opinion none of the tracks actually capture the spirit of Saya no Uta. The song below got stuck in my head for a couple of days, and since it was the only one I guess it just deserves the spot.

Sorry, they were out of Corn Flakes. I bought a Soul Caliber instead.

I gave Saya no Uta an 8/10. Although the idea and plot line were good, it almost seemed like they would forget they were writing a story every now and then. There were an unnecessary amount of sex scenes for my taste, and some of them were crammed into the most awkward and unpredictable spots. As long as you know how to use the skip key (or you’re into that kind of thing), gung ho.


It Burns

May 19, 2010

So apparently today is the day that I’m one year closer to the day when I can be legally incarcerated everywhere. Looking on the bright side, it also means I’ll be able to legally drink in more places as well. Pros and cons. For some reason I find myself wanting to learn how to knit. My family will be proud to know how manly I’ve turned out to be.

I’m going to let myself slack off today, and will probably post the Saya no Uta review tomorrow (unless I finish it in the next couple hours, which could happen). Seeing as I want this post to be more than just the little I’ve said, I’m going to post some Sekien no Inganock art that caught my eye. I really love whoever draws these, it’s a great break from moe-blobs.

Here’s to hoping that 19 candles still isn’t enough to burn a cake.


Maledicent Mondays

May 17, 2010

So I was cruising some of the older folders crammed into the darker recesses of my computer, and I found an old music folder with a bunch of great tunes I’d completely forgotten about. Needless to say, Mondays will be a pushover for a while.

Let’s use today for some Swedish power metal.

EDIT: I just learned that Ronnie James Dio died yesterday, and am posting an extra song in tribute. RIP, Dio, you’re immortalized in your music.


Movies You’ve Never Heard Of: Insomnia

May 15, 2010

Brought to my attention by an acquaintance who has great taste when it comes to movies, Insomnia is a detective/cop thriller movie made in 2002. It stars Al Pacino, who is one of few actors I can instantly recognize and name, though I guess that can be said for most people.

A local girl is murdered in Nightmute, a small fishing town in Alaska. As the town’s police force is not used to handling murder cases, they call in for help. Will Dormer and Hap Eckhart, two LAPD detectives, arrive by plane soon after.

The protagonist, Dormer, is quick to jump on the case, but is quickly deterred when he learns that, although the sun is high in the sky, it is actually 10 pm. Checking in at a hotel, he confirms that the sun does not set in Nightmute during this time of year at all, and much to his distress, is unable to even get a moment of sleep that night. Or the night after. Or the night after that. Being affected more each day by sleep deprivation, he pushes forward and works to solve the homocide case.

What really sold me on Insomnia was how, much to my delight, the antagonist is none other than Robin Williams. Knowing fully well that the man is usually either in comedies and/or one of the protagonists, it came as quite a surprise when I learned of his role. He plays the part quite well, and although I have nothing to compare it to, I was quite satisfied by his acting. I wouldn’t mind seeing him play more antagonistic roles in the future at all.

Apparently Insomnia is a North American remake of a Norwegian film made in 1997 (with the same name). I’m rather intrigued by the original Insomnia, as the characters seem to have completely different attitudes and priorities, which could change many situations in a good way. I’ll probably look into it sometime, though for now it’ll have to wait.

I’m not really a big fan of the thriller genre, and even so I enjoyed watching Insomnia. Give it a peak, you may enjoy it.