Wednesday, August 20, 2014

049: Prometheus (2012) - The Tragedy of Meredith Vickers, Princess of Weyland Corp.

http://www.prometheus2-movie.com/media/vickers_relaxing_on_prometheus_set.jpg

SPOILERS FOR ALIEN (1979), ALIENS (1986), ALIEN3 (1992), ALIEN: RESURRECTION (1997), and PROMETHEUS (2012)

In this episode:
  • Cleolinda Jones joins us once again!
  • And she's going to be at Dragon Con this year! She'll be on or at several panels, including the Hannibal Fannibals pannibal (say that three times fast) at 1PM on Saturday, August 30th and the Dream Logic and Murder Wizardry panel at 10PM on Sunday, August 1st. And she'll be giving away some awesome stuff--listen for more details!
  • Fio and I will also be attending a few upcoming conventions, although in much less professional capacity. Fio will be at Baltimore Comic-Con the weekend of September 6th, and I'll be at Scare-a-Con 2014 on Saturday, September 12th!
  • Discussion of the 2012 Ridley Scott film Prometheus, including the good ideas, the bad ideas, the utterly nonsensical ideas, and the all-around wackadoo nature of the film.
  • The writer of this movie seemed to be more interested in writing David than anything else, but we all would've liked to see more of the Shaw/David relationship explored.
  • For some reason Ridley Scott thinks leaving things out makes more sense.
    • Alright, to be perfectly fair, Blade Runner is a million times better without the narration. Did that change burn Ridley so bad that he just wants to make the rest of his movies incomprehensible?
  • Pacing. It's a thing.
  • Here are links to the deleted scenes Cleo mentioned:
  • This brings us to the end of our 2014 Summer Movie Series! Let us know in the comments here or on Tumblr what you'd like to hear us discuss next.
THERE'S ALWAYS AN ADDENDUM:
  • As of the writing of this post, I am 99% sure I'll be at Scare-a-Con. I waffled a bit on the podcast, but now I'm pretty certain. 
  • Wolven's Tumblr is wolvensnothere.tumblr.com, as in "Wolven's not here," not "Wolven's not there," as we say on the podcast. Knot naut naught knawt.
  • RE: the comments on how Marc Streitenfeld wrote the music for Prometheus backwards and then reversed the recording: It wasn't the main melodic theme he did that with (which, as it happens, seems to have been written by Harry Gregson-Williams)--I think it was just the score in general, and you can definitely hear it in the moodier music on the soundtrack album. Here's the section of the Wikipedia article on it.
Music:
  • Opening: Prometheus Trailer
  • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
  • Outro: "Life" - Harry Gregson-Williams, Prometheus Original Soundtrack | YouTube | iTunes |
(Header image taken from http://www.prometheus2-movie.com/gallery/view/img/790)

http://archive.org/download/AMOT049/AMOT049.mp3

      Wednesday, August 6, 2014

      048: Alien: Resurrection (1997) - The Research Song

       We've all been there...right?

      SPOILERS FOR ALIEN (1979), ALIENS (1986), ALIEN3 (1992), ALIEN: RESURRECTION (1997), SILENT HILL (2006), FIREFLY 1x05, Starcraft, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (2014), and WORLD WAR Z (book and 2013 film).

      In this episode:
      • Fio's friend Joe joins us for our discussion!
      • Discussion of Alien: Resurrection (1997), including Joss Whedon's writing, the interesting (but not altogether well-executed) ideas in the script, weird acting/writing choices, and where this movie rates in our heads against the previous movies.
      • Joe sheds light on some of the Alien comics that may have influenced the screenplay for Alien: Resurrection.
      • What themes are present in the script? Could they really decide which they wanted to focus on?
      • Human vs. construct--was this explored to its fullest extent?
      • How 90s is this movie, really?
      • Interpretations of how the Alien Queen ended up with a womb in this film and why the Humalien Hybrid kills the queen. The fact that we have to spend a decent chunk of this podcast debating our interpretations of this sequence of events is evidence enough that this film is just really not clear.
      • After Joe leaves, Ian gives his non-spoilery thoughts on The Strain, Guillermo del Toro's vampire/epidemic horror TV series currently airing on FX. In short: It's cool! ...But kind of uneven. Also: body horror.
      • At some point, we're going to devote an episode or two of the podcast to the Silent Hill movie(s). I mean, if we have to. *heavy breathing*
      • Next time: Cleolinda joins us once again for the final movie in our Summer Movie series: Prometheus!
      THERE'S ALWAYS AN ADDENDUM:
      • Joe had to leave somewhere around the 1 hour mark, but we don't really give any indication for the listener's benefit that he's left at that point. Apologies.
      • I think at some point (when we're trying to figure out how long after Alien3 this movie was) I accidentally said Alien3 came out in '93 instead of '92. My mistake.
      • Compare Fio's Research song to Data's Scanning for Lifeforms song
      • Highlights from Fio's timestamps:
        • 6:09 - Based on our sample size thus far, 100% of the people who have seen the Alien movies were too young to see the Alien movies.
        • 1:32:22 - “We’ve pretty much exhausted our topics” Oh have we, Fio? Have we? Because there are twENTY FUCKING MINUTES LEFT.
        • Anybody who figured we were going to spend a good portion of this Podcast talking about Firefly, Starcraft, X-Men: Days of Future Past, World War Z, a huge diversion on The Strain, and giving a random shout-out to Apt Pupil, you deserve a cookie.
        • So I’m getting the feeling that we think Call is the most interesting character in this movie. I don’t think I’m wrong in this. IAN: Definitely the most interesting new character, at the very least. Alien!Ripley's pretty interesting, if written a little vaguely.

      Music:
      • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
      • Outro: "Human" - The Killers | YouTube | iTunes |
      (Screencap taken from http://www.metacafe.com/watch/mv-hRMGg/alien_resurrection_mutation/)



      Wednesday, July 23, 2014

      047: Alien3 (1992) - The Ungainly, the Underwhelming, and the Ugly



      SPOILERS FOR ALIEN (1979), ALIENS (1986), ALIEN (1992), ALIEN: RESURRECTION (1997), and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

      In this episode:
      • A Matter of Taste recommends that everyone take a deep breath and find a strong drink before pursuing the ill-advised course of watching this movie.
      • That's right, we're talking Alien3. 
      • Spoiler alert, in case you didn't see this one coming, the special effects do not hold up so well.
      • The set design, however? Pretty solid.
      • We discuss the various follies that resulted in this film.
        • Most of them can be laid at the feet of a script passed around between a cavalcade of screenwriters and one dude who apparently just hated fun.
      • Ripley's characterization: where is it in this movie? Did it escape when the pod crashed? What happened?
      • This is the first time we see an Alien's form altered by the host it impregnated, so that's kind-of cool at least.
        • The concept moreso than the execution.
      • We address the elephant in the room, namely why Newt and Hicks don't survive the first scene.
        • There's really no good reason.
        • None at all.
        • Okay, there are a few reasons we can come up with, but no good ones.
        • I don't know what you want from me, it was a bad choice.
      • Because of the magnitude of this betrayal, it becomes difficult to get invested in any of the other characters in the film because the screenwriters have already broken the audience's trust for no discernible reason, we touch on this a bit in the 'cast.
      • We do get around to talking about stuff other than how upset we are at the murder of Newt and Hicks. I think.

      THERE'S ALWAYS AN ADDENDUM:
      • Double-Y chromosomes are a thing, but not the thing that the movie wanted them to be.
      • UPDATE: Tumblr user eriksmaugcanton informs us about the comic book series Fio recalled but couldn't remember the name of.
      • Highlights from Ian's Timestamps:
        • 9:52 - I honestly did not register the mugs looking weird. I think this is another Dolarhyde’s chairs situation. XP
        • 11:52 - See, my brain immediately went to Doctor Hugh and started making House jokes.
        • 13:30 - Did I just call it a “spacehugger”? ahahahahahahaha. Futuristic environmentalists ftw. “HUG THE VACUUM! PROTECT THE EMPTINESS OF SPACE!”
        • 16:11 - “I don’t know how to judge that part [killing off Newt and Hicks] of the movie…” Oh, don’t worry, former Ian. You’ll know by the end of the podcast.
        • 53:35 - And boom goes the dynamite. :P “BULLSHIT,” FIO. YOU MADE ME USE A SWEAR OTHER THAN “FUCK.”
      Music:
      • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
      • Outro: "The Great Disappointment" - AFI | YouTube | iTunes |
      (Screencap taken from http://ladymanson.com/galleries/movies/MoviesAC/displayimage.php?album=46&pid=223475#top_display_media)

      http://archive.org/download/AMOT047/AMOT047.mp3

      Wednesday, July 9, 2014

      046: Aliens (1986) - They Mostly Podcast At Night. Mostly.

      http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_ksmis4V5G41qzhiqwo2_1280.png?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAI6WLSGT7Y3ET7ADQ&Expires=1405049581&Signature=%2Fd2DvPsf2N%2F5nc1RjLQdCfKXSEg%3D#_=_

      SPOILERS FOR ALIEN (1979), ALIENS (1986), ALIEN 3 (1992), ALIEN: RESURRECTION (1997), PROMETHEUS (2012), and ANIMORPHS #53: THE DECISION (are you even surprised?).

      In this episode:
      • Cleolinda Jones joins us once again for one of her (and our) favorite movies!
      • Discussion of Aliens (1986), including our first exposures to the film, the theme of family throughout the film, the differences between the theatrical and Special Edition cuts, and our favorite moments and lines.
      • Why does this movie speak to so many people? We theorize.
      • Ian pulls in references to Captain Underpants and Animorphs, because of course he does.
      • We need a bingo card for frequent podcast occurrences. Any takers?
      • The morality of Carter Burke
      • Cleo shows us why Aliens really is It Gets Worse: The Movie.
      • We discuss the xenomorph lifecycle as a dark reflection of human reproduction, this movie especially emphasizing parenthood.
      • Ian regales all with excerpts from the Aliens novelization.
      • Bishop and androids in the Alien movies.
      • We talk a little bit more about the upcoming Alien: Isolation video game, which just had a pretty awesome announcement.

      THERE'S ALWAYS AN ADDENDUM:
      • I am aware the line is "You've blown a trans-axle," not "busted." For the longest time I remembered it as "busted" (and also as "ease off" instead of "ease down"). It's close enough that I didn't feel like re-recording it once I realized the error. FORGIVE ME, INTERNETS.
      • According to Wikipedia, it was 17,372 Yeerks that Jake ordered Ax to flush. Of course, it also says he did it "Hoping to distract Visser One and Tom long enough to save Rachel's life," which is a complete and utter lie.
      • In a rare moment of clarity while listening back to the podcast, I remembered where Cleo must have gotten "158" for the colony's population.
      • Highlights from Fio's timestamps:
        • 4:00 - 5:10 - And a phone is ringing. That no one can hear but you, Ian. There was no phone. There was no phone, was there Ian? Was there?
        • 16:41 - I said Lurkers when I meant Licker. I’m a bad Resi fan.
        • 26:51 - I know you said “thirty-thousand, or…” here, but it sounds like you said “thirty-thousander” and it made me giggle.
        • The betrayal and disappointment of Alien3. WE’RE NOT EVEN THERE YET. WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THIS ALREADY? DON’T MAKE IT HURT ANYMORE, IAN.
      Music:
      • Opening: "Ripley's Rescue" - James Horner, Aliens: The Deluxe Edition (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) | YouTube | iTunes
      • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
      • Outro: "Killer Queen" - Queen | YouTube | iTunes |
      (Header image taken from http://backgroundartists.tumblr.com/post/233670691)

      http://archive.org/download/AMOT046/AMOT046.mp3

      Wednesday, June 25, 2014

      045: Alien (1979) - I Sing the Nostromo Electric


      SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ALIEN (1979), ALIENS (1986), ALIEN 3 (1992), PROMETHEUS (2012), Starcraft, Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and JASON X (2001) (no, really).

      In this episode:
      • Well, we're talking about Alien, so clearly there's only one way to begin:
        • A loooooong-ass digression on 2001: A Space Odyssey, that's how!
      • We discuss the movie Alien, its impact on the horror genre, specifically talking about Sci-Fi horror and the evolution of Monster-based horror away from the campier radioactive terror flicks of the previous decades.
      • Retro-futurism, more specifically whether or not we would consider Alien to be intentionally retro-futuristic, or if that's a layer added by the temporal distance between the film's creation and our discussion of it.
        • It's actually pretty wonky when you think about it, we get into it a little deeper on the 'cast.
      • The Chestburster scene, how it's a masterpiece, and our initial experiences with the Alien franchise as children.
        • Yes, children. People with glass parenting skills shouldn't throw stones.
      • Where exactly does the term Xenomorph come from, how is it applied in the films, and what is it with toy companies in the 80s making (admittedly awesome) action figures (that were marketed to children) for films waaaaaaaaay outside their target demo?
      • The way Alien has a habit of drawing you into the perspective of the characters so that you experience the film alongside them.
        • We get a little bit into writing strategies and how they could have achieved that, but really not much more than that. This is something we've both agreed we'd like to mine out some more before approaching the subject in a later podcast.
      • Always Reblog Ripley
        • Always.
          • Seriously, though, we get into Sigourney Weaver's immense performance and her equally immense impact on the sci-fi genre, how she navigates the "final girl" trope in the film, and the legacy she's left in her wake.
      • The possibility of perfection and the horror of actually attaining it.
      • We dance around different definitions of Body Horror and what it means to us.
      • Finally, if you were having trouble finding the podcast on Archive.org, we've navigate that treacherous crossing ourselves.
      THERE'S ALWAYS AN ADDENDUM:
      • If it wasn't blisteringly obvious, the title of this podcast is Ian's and the header image is Fio's
      • Highlights from Ian's Timestamps:
        • 1:15 - 1:30 - *sung a la Dave Matthews* The space betweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen, the podcast paaaaaaaaarts…
        • 26:58 - Have you heard my new band, Jungian Osmosis?
        • 52:41 - “The cat is an ill omen in this movie!” File this under: Sentences I’m glad exist.
        • 1:00:31 - “When Ripley goes into that...I dunno, control panel room, if that’s what you want to call it…” Oh, I don’t know, Ian--maybe you could call it a CONTROL ROOM? *facepalm*
        • 1:01:07 - p, and “It was so much computer.” Another sentence I’m glad exists.
        • 1:12:10 - P and what the fuck do we talk about for the next 40 minutes, damn
        • 1:15:47 - If only I had had the presence of mind to say, “Yeah… yeah, that’s right.”
        • 1:40:20 - It was all I could do here to keep from bringing up the uncanny valley again--at this point it’s almost a given when discussing horror monster design.
        Music:
        • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
        • Outro: "I Sing the Body Electric" - Me First and the Gimme Gimmes | YouTube | iTunes |

        http://archive.org/download/AMOT045/AMOT045.mp3

        Wednesday, June 11, 2014

        044: The Video Game Episode or I Knew it was Going to Happen, You #@$%ing Criminals




        Minor spoilers for Bioshock; Dead Space 1 & 2; Half-Life 2; Portal 1 & 2; Oddworld 1 & 2; Silent Hill 1, 2, & Shattered Memories; The Evil Within; Amnesia: The Dark Descent; Batman: Arkham Asylum; Folklore. MAJOR SPOILERS FOR MASS EFFECT 2 “OVERLORD: ATLAS STATION,” THE LAST OF US, ODDWORLD, and HANNIBAL SEASONS 1 & 2.

        In this episode:
        • Our dear friend Vic joins us for a few hours of revelry
        • As you may or may not have gleaned from the spoiler warnings, this episode we're discussing horror in the realm of video games. The Ole' Interactive Electronic Hickory Spookshow, as no one has ever called it in history ever.
        • So of course we're going to talk about our personal experiences with horror games, because none of us did the reading.
          • Consummate professionals.
        • We discuss how the player's agency in the narrative changes the different tactics the producers of the game need to utilize in order to maintain the horror atmosphere.
          • By that token, we also get into the influence that horror movies have (some might argue obviously had on the horror game genre).
        • We address the concept of Aggressive vs Defensive gaming in regards to Action Horror vs Survival Horror.
          • Going off of that concept, we also look into what purists might argue are "true" horror games vs games that are not by their nature horror, but employ a horror-themed aesthetic.
        • There's, like, a whole lot about lighting in here. Ian's got a serious jones for lighting, if you guise weren't aware.
        • We get into how far logic can be bent in the medium of the game vs a non-interactive medium (Say, Hannibal, perhaps?)
        THERE'S ALWAYS AN ADDENDUM:
          Music:
          • Opening: Clip from Resident Evil (Linked is your best bet of getting a new, physical copy of the first game at this point)
          • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
          • Outro: "Want You Gone" - Jonathan Coulton | YouTube | iTunes |
          (Header image taken from this post: http://sonyablade.tumblr.com/post/85939704931)

          http://archive.org/download/AMOT044/AMOT044.mp3

          Wednesday, May 28, 2014

          043: Hannibal 2x13 "Mizumono" - It Was Weirdly Upsetting



          SPOILERS FOR THE HANNIBAL SEASON 2 FINALE

          In this episode:
          • Cleolinda Jones returns!
          • ...so we can all sob together.
          • Discussion of Hannibal 2x13 "Mizumono," including why, God, why.
          • From Fio: "So much of this episode is just us commiserating via emotional vomit cleansing."
          • Blood. So much blood.
          • srsly why.
          • what's even the point of description bullets.
          • Life advice: If you hear the theremin, just stay downstairs.
          • The AV Club Interview with Bryan Fuller for "Mizumono" 
          • This is My Design eyeshadow collection from Aromaleigh
          • As we said on the episode: Between now and the fall, we'll be covering general horror topics (and possibly more movies!). Let us know here or through one of the ways listed in our sidebar if there's anything in particular you want us to discuss.  
          • You can expect the next episode of A Matter of Taste in two weeks' time on Thursday, June 12. Prospective topic: Horror video games.
          THERE'S ALWAYS AN ADDENDUM:
          • The song from Inception is "Non, je ne regrette rien" by Édith Piaf
          • "Dear Sister," the SNL (Lonely Island) sketch I reference which features "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap
          • Despite us backtracking through the episode several times, we managed to completely gloss over the scene between Bella and Hannibal this episode where they talk about forgiveness. Will you forgive us?
          • Highlights from Fio's timestamps:
            • 19:46 - “At the Breakfast Dinner Table” is like a lighthearted palate cleanser version of our podcast
            • 46:26 - Price and Zeller’s Bed and Breakfast spin off is my dearest dream and I refuse to let it die.
            • 48:03 - Hah hah. Yes, fifteen other serial killers living in Baltimore who are not me, not at all even a little bit in any way shape or form. Hah hah. Cleo, you kidder, you slay me, which is entirely different from the way that I, a normal human creature, interact with other people. Hah.
            Music:
            • Opening: "Sirens - Air Raid Siren - CU - Rise, Steady, Fall"- SoundDogs.com
            • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
            • Outro: "Mosquito Song" - Queens of the Stone Age | YouTube | iTunes |
            (Header image taken from this post: http://watson-sighs-and-tuts.tumblr.com/post/86707139009/watching-hannibal-finale-in-a-nutshell)

            http://archive.org/download/AMOT043/AMOT043.mp3