Monthly Archives: July 2014

Why Lucy is a Good Science Fiction Movie

Yesterday Holly gave a spoiler-free review of the movie Lucy, by Luc Besson and starring Scarlett Johansson. In the tradition of our Comparative Opinions posts, I thought I would give a different perspective: a post with far more spoilers!

Before I get into spoilers, though, my thought is that Lucy was a few things. It was an artistic film, which Holly compared to The Fountain. It was a science fiction film, rather than an action film. And as a philosophical film, it felt very French.

We linked to the SourceFed Nerd review of the film, and I want to include it here now. They spent 16 minutes talking about this movie, way longer than usual. I think on one hand, it shows that they were paying attention – they point out a lot of the contentious elements of the film, a lot of the reason why it has a mixed response from audiences and reviewers. I think on another hand, it shows that the film got people thinking, and talking about it, and that seems deliberate. And finally, I think it shows, like Holly discussed yesterday, that the marketing for this movie completely failed. It did not set the right expectations for what the film would be or be about.

So these are the topics I want to talk about – spoilers to follow!

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Lucy, an Existential Crisis

David and I went and saw Lucy this weekend and we were extremely excited to see it. After seeing some of the reviews and looking on Rotten Tomatoes I became slightly worried, but we were committed to seeing it. Personally I was not disappointed, but it was not quite the movie that was advertised in the previews.

The previews brought us a pseudo-science explanation for some gaining super powers to then begin an action movie. The movie that I felt that I saw was much more a discussion of what it means to be human. Now I have seen some of the big arguments about the pseudo-science around the brain capacity, but I wonder if they did not know how to talk about the ideas that they had? I mean why do some people have photographic memories? Just because our brain is using all of its parts does not mean we have access to them.

I tried to avoid spoilers, so if you are on the fence about seeing this movie then read on, maybe you will see something that you like!

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Update to the 2014 LitFlix

Rather than putting time into writing a post today, I put time into updating our listing of LitFlix here on the site, as we plan for the remainder of the year.

I feel like more titles have snuck up on us this year than last year, so we wanted to work some of those in, and are interested to read them and see the movies. I’ve added quite a few titles, but here’s a few of note…

 

For instance, we’ve added Snowpiercer to the mix, and I just got the comics in for that – so I’ll be reading that and then the film is available for purchase online already, so we can just watch it when we want.

Another exciting looking one is Horns, with Daniel Radcliffe. I had not realized the novel was written by Joe Hill – one of our new favorite writers, thanks to Locke & Key. We’re very excited for that one – trailer after the jump!

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The Marketing of Weird Al Yankovic

The way Weird Al chose to release the music videos for his latest album has been brilliant in my opinion. The 8 days 8 videos model, for him in particular, is a great idea. Now instead of talking about the videos themselves, which most of you have probably seen. I want to discuss how they were released, which I think helped get Weird Al to his first number one album. In some ways I was kind of amazed that he had never had a number one album because his music is witty, funny, and just great parody of artists and current pop culture. At the same time I think part of his success for this was tied heavily in to the Social Media aspect of YouTube. It created a way for people to easily share and then remark on the videos as they came out. The other piece is, as mentioned before, he built up an expectation. We knew that over 8 days we were going to get 8 different videos and the question was what song would be next. Finally, I think the other part of the success is that all the videos were not released on one channel or station, he utilized a variety of very popular website / YouTube channels, including Vevo, to get his music out to as wide a range as possible. Continue reading

What If The Internet Shut Down?

Just yesterday we were watching this video on SourceFed Nerd, where they were asked what they would do if the Internet shut down. It’s a fascinating question for this group, in particular, because even more than Holly and I, they live on the Internet – making videos, taking in and processing news for Sourcefed, monitoring comments on dozens of videos, making sales on For Human Peoples.

However, there was an earthquake here last night (we’re fine), and it’s destabilized the Internet in town. One of the two providers is out, as well as our cellular data. So we’re getting a tiny taste of what it would be like to have no Internet.

Texting worked once we turned off iMessage – which kept failing while trying to send over data. Most of the texts have been about the fact that the Internet isn’t working… though of course a few went out saying that we’re fine in regards to an earthquake!

And there have been emails as well, largely to the same effect.

There’s an office I’m not working at today, and it sounds like their Internet is completely out – and this is their main way of communicating with customers. This must have really slowed down work – and it means that tomorrow, when I do work, may very well be crazy.

We depend so much on the Internet anymore! I hope it’s back up working soon. Not going to lie. But what do you think? What would you do if the Internet failed? How would you be impacted? (I asked on the Internet). Let us know in the comments below! And hopefully, we’ll be able to check and find out that you commented!