Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Last Omega Legend

This blog entry title is just a major mashup of three movies and a novel which started it. I watched a movie which is technically the third version of a film adaptation of a novel. The novel in question is "I Am Legend" by Richard Matheson. The earlier movie incarnations of this movie before the latest Will Smith starrer is "The Last Man on Earth" starring Vincent Price in 1964 made by the Italians and "The Omega Man" starring Charlton Heston in 1971. I watched the Charlton Heston movie on TV twice, one in its near entirety and other somewhere halfway or so. It was sheer chance that I came across this film on TV during my childhood years along with the channel surfing that goes with it.
The 3 films all have different discrepancies if one were lay all three films side by side as well with the novel to compare. The technical details of these discrepancies would be best left for the reader to look up the links I embedded in this post for your reference.
The 2007 film version, I Am Legend, which stars Will Smith of ID4 and MIB/MIB2 fame plays the same role that Charlton Heston played with a few slight tweaks. The shots of New York overrun by weeds and being abandoned lends a surreal sense of wonder, beauty and tranquility in spite the grim downfall of mankind wrought, in this case, by man's genetic tampering in their quest to cure cancer. The menace in the film are mostly represented by CGI as opposed to real actors with prosthetics/make-up done in the earlier 2 movie incarnations. Reason for CGI menace is because the adversaries are quasi-vampiric which is more attributed to having overdriven adrenal glands which floods their systems with adrenaline which makes them hyper as in skittish, aggressive, stronger and granting a higher pain threshold. The usual vampiric weaknesses and schticks are pretty much minimized to non-existence. Sunlight hurts them, check. Garlic, wooden stakes and crosses, forget that. The adversaries are referred to as dark seekers and are more like packs of wild feral predators which were former humans debased by the disease that infected them.
I would also say that the import of Robert Neville's isolation is presented very strongly for the viewers to identity the kind of life he lead after the outbreak spread beyond New York and the death of his family as depicted by flashbacks which gives some background into the personal life and history of Robert Neville, though in scant supply. I would also say that the 1st half or so of the movie is also very much a major draw for dog lovers in the audience and pulls the sentimentality into it as well. The movie got me more thinking about being with my sister's dog for the duration of the day.
The movie is pretty much good without delving too much into all the details in one sense. It is still a thought-provoking and heart-touching film given some modicum of lessons it presents to the audience about empathy and listening.
The enough from this dog for this post. Next time and keep on listening.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

25 Years and still Blade Running

Blade Runner Cover/Poster Art

Got me around to reading the very novel which was behind this 1982 film. The movie is Blade Runner but it goes by its original name as a novel called "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick. Philip K. Dick has a number of stories made into movies like Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly and Next to mention. Managed to obtain the book after seeing the cover (See above image) which caught my attention and spurring my curiosity finally of getting it.

There are a notable number of differences between novel and movie, which is par for the course when source material gets processed through the machine of movie production and studio politics/marketing. Some detail changes like Rosen Corporation to Tyrell Corporation and appropriate last name changes to those affiliated with it. Rachael and Pris Stratton (Shortened to Pris in the movie) are identical in appearance in the novel though possibly problematic to handle in the movie. Opera singer Luba Luft in the novel, renamed as Exotic Dancer Zhora. J.F. Sebastian in the movie replaced John R. Isidore in the novel. The novel also elaborated about the high value of other lifeforms besides man and the price for its ownership in a manner of commodity fetishism. A philosophy called Mercerism is perpetuated in the novel which is absent in the film. The interesting note on this novel with the movie is the matter of Deckard being a replicant. In the movie, it was vaguely implied, depending on which version was viewed. The novel heavily deals with the emotional lines between humans and androids where sometimes the distinctions blur given mental illness in human minds would also mimic the androids empathy-devoid psyches. I could rattle on a lot on these differences for more mileage but I don't want to burden the reader about all the nitty gritty nitpicking details in one-to-one minutiae.

All in all, in spite its datedness from 1982 and its now restored and enhanced version for its 25th anniversary, it still sets the bar as an influential film for the cyberpunk genre and its debt to film noir. This movie is where offworld mil-grade replicants are found and retired. It still brings plenty of influence and electric sheep to the fertile fields of imagination in this current time of postcyberpunk and the current wave of transhumanism. *Watches a flock of cybersheep from the top of his doghouse.*

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Another Orbit around the Sun completed

Just ushering in a brand New Year to all! This is usually heralded by the using late night parties to countdown, the food, drink and festive eye candy of fireworks in the sky. Though it brings memories of the usual cleanup aftermath done the late morning after with spent firework wrappers, casings plus the remnants of burnt firework residue which would have been thick the night before.
Anyways, onto the usual annual ritual for this start of the new year, the resolutions. I have a short list of resolutions to go with outside the shortlist of goals that also encompasses my item purchase list. I intend to:

  • Lower my weight down some more lower than 190 lb limit I've been hitting from time to time for the past six months of last year.
  • Lower down the impulse buying as well since I'll get enough from the stuff I have missed or not yet tried like food items.
  • In lieu with previous item, manage my money more and contribute to my sis' house expenses.
  • Get more back into the creative mediums while balancing time, work and money to keep myself sane.
  • Get a social life of sorts by meeting more people besides the ones I deal with at work.
  • Cut down on the visits to the internet highway outside of checking email and looking for job prospects plus the occasional netsearch for research or occasional curiosities.

That is basically it. I'll get back to the usual groove of things after my dayoff ends this Tuesday. More stuff to fill these pages later. :) Happy New Year!