Monday, September 26, 2016

Mr. Robot season 1 (2015)

I watched Mr. Robot in three sessions. First was four episodes other two three episodes. After first session series felt one of the best series at the moment. After second session it felt they tried too hard and things happened too fast. After last session I wanted to see where this is going from here.

Mr. Robot is one of those things you don't want to spoil but you have little to tell if you don't spoil. It is not as good as first four episodes. Whole first season could have been like first four episodes. Second season could have been what next three episodes and third season what last three episode were. I felt last episode's events needed more build up. It is hard to see where this is going on second season. I surely will check it when it comes available for streaming here.

Mr. Robot tells about security engineer by day hacker by night Elliot and people around him. He meets mysterious Mr. Robot and his hacker group Fsociety. Series have good characters and character arcs. They should have been given more time. Most things happen too fast and we get too big twists too soon. I would have liked to spend more time with these characters and give story more time.

I liked soundtrack and cinematography. Name and phasing could have been better. I wouldn't have watched it if I didn't see so many praises everywhere. Mr. Robot does many things right. Its only bad thing is it gives to much of a good thing too soon.

Monday, September 19, 2016

ARQ (2016)

ARQ is new Netflix original movie. I am not sure how much I can tell about it without spoiling it too much. It is build upon one interesting idea. If you tell the idea you spoil few of the twists. If you don't tell it you have very little to tell. I try to write this post without telling the idea.

ARQ is Groundhog Day in future dystopia. Most science fiction series have this kind of episodes if time travel can fit into their world. ARQ how ever have a little twist in this story. I think it relies too much into this twist. To be honest the idea is better than the movie. I thought to myself wouldn't it be cool if they did this and then they did it.

There are moment when movie feels dull and moments when it is interesting. My biggest issue is they didn't introduce main characters at all before they started the story. Story starts from the first scene and characters are introduced during several twists and time loops. By doing it this way nobody becomes interesting. Ten minutes of introduction for main couple before starting the story would have helped make us care about them. Story could have had every twist it had. Probably movie feels better second time when we know the main couple.

ARQ is clever science fiction movie with good soundtrack. I wanted to like it more. It had so good idea but it doesn't tell enough about the characters or the world they live in. But still it is short clever science fiction movie worth watching.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Roboshark (2015)

You might have heard of Sharknado. It got sequel and another sequel and third sequel. It told about tornado full of sharks. Every sequel got crazier. Roboshark tries to take its part of the hype. It tells about shark who ate alien ship and became roboshark. There really is nothing more in the origin story. Alien ship crashes into sea and shark eats it.

This is even more stupid and has lower budget than Sharknado. First half hour is painfully stupid. Almost everything from acting to camera movement tells this is really bad movie. Shark becomes roboshark. It destroys submarine and goes to Seattle. Reporter mother tries to become respectable reporter. She happens to be there when roboshark attacks. Her channel gives the story to other reporter.

Movie is really painful at this point. Characters are boosted stereotypes. Cgi is really bad. Shark swims inside ground. But then something happens. Daughter joins the mother. Movie doesn't get any less stupid. It just goes from painfully stupid to funny stupid. There are still few painfully stupid moments but most of the stupidity is fun. Main change is characters stop being serious.

We get to see Bill Gates like millionaire who does what ever he likes and nobody even tries to stop him. Roboshark following the daughter on Twitter. References from THX 1138 to Wrath of Khan. Internet trolls being internet trolls. Crazy military guy wanting to kill roboshark any way he can because it destroyed his old submarine.

If first half hour wasn't so bad in unfunny way Roboshark would be better than Sharknado movies. Even the first one. As it is it only better than sequels. It is must see for Sharknado and bad movie fans. They knew they were making bad movie but it still works. First half hour don't work because of seriousness. When they let seriousness go almost everything starts to work.

Monday, September 5, 2016

I Dream of Wires (2014)

I don't usually review documentaries. If I remember correctly this is fifth documentary I review. If you don't count Pantani documentary all have been somewhat related to movies or cinematography. Before anyone says anything Pumping Iron was about Arnold and he is big movie star. This one is related to music you hear on movies. If you watch videos of composers talking about movie scores in their studios you will see modular synths quite often. Those walls of knobs, dials, plugs and wires may look like parts of science fiction sets but they are modular synths.

I heard about this documentary during Indiegogo crowd funding campaign. I was about to give my money but didn't give. Bigger backers got extended version with more interviews and so on. I was into synths back then but not so much into modular synths. Now when I am considering starting building modular synth I watched the documentary.

Documentary is made for general audience who doesn't know anything about the topic. It starts from the beginning of electronic music. Getting into Moog and Buchla. It explains differences of east coast and west coast philosophies and why Moog's east coast philosophy was victorious. When synths got more accessible, big and expensive modular synths got out of fashion to be revived when people got bored with digital synths and with introduction of Eurorack format.

Documentary interviews many key persons and famous modular users. Trent Reznor has been my gateway to electronic music. For some reason he sound grumpy old man whose cookies were stolen by Japanese synth companies with their workstations and preset machines. I have seen him being more positive in other videos where he talks about synths. Vince Clarke stood out of all the interviews. I could have listened much more of him. Someone should make documentary where Trent, Vince, Hans Zimmer and few others just talk about their gear and how they use it.

I Dream of Wires didn't leave me wanting more or wanting to watch it again. It was good introduction into the topic but nothing more. I don't know if extra material went deeper into modular world. I wish there was sequel or something which talked about modular systems, how people build them and why they pick the modules they have.