– Dracula (1979) – Frank Langella as Count Dracula, Donald Pleasance as Dr. Seward, Lawrence Olivier as Prof. Van Helsing. I actually watched this a couple weeks ago and was favorably impressed. I might add that I had a fever at the time, but as adaptations that senselessly change things go, this was still fairly….dignified. Olivier and Langella both do very well. Jonathan Harker also has a prominent role that would have been even better if he had been framed as, y’know, the hero.
– My Cousin Rachel (1952) – Eh.
– Shadow of the Vampire (?) – I watched a bit of this and then wandered back off, it missed the mark. The vampire actor asking for more makeup was amusing, though.
– I’ll stick this one here because otherwise it might get missed: Tower of Silence – Larry Correia – the 4th book in his Saga of the Forgotten Warrior – has been released in eARC form. This is an un-copyedited, un-modified draft as directly turned by by Correia to his publisher, so there were some noticeable spelling glitches, etc; the official release is in April of this year. Without getting into spoilers: this book is excellent, mostly because it is the beginning of the end. Answers are beginning to show up; the plot is starting to coalesce; Crown, Mask, and Demons are assembling; Voice and Priest are in position, and the General is on his way. Now, if there wasn’t that small problem of Thera’s not quite-ex-enough-husband showing up….
– Avatar: the Way of Water (2022) – I watched about 1.5~2 hours of this and got bored and left. It’s extremely pretty, yes. If you ever wanted to watch a nature documentary set on a hostile world, this is the movie for you. Watch it in theatres. Oh, also, I liked Quarich (the rough, tough, super-macho military bad guy) way, way, wayyyyy better than any other character in the entire movie…first movie, and second. Neytiri actually also wasn’t bad? Surprisingly. Also-also, the military-Na’vi avatars wearing Oakleys cracked me up. Anyhow, I didn’t like the movie because:
It’s extremely dumb. (Y no bulletproof glass in your helicopters? NO, SERIOUSLY, WHY DO YOU NOT HAVE BULLETPROOF GLASS IN ANY OF YOUR VEHICLES? I CANNOT EMPHASIZE ENOUGH THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE BULLETPROOF GLASS IN THEIR MECHAS, HELICOPTERS, MAGLEV TRAINS, OR SUPERGIANT BULLDOZERS. ON AN ALIEN PLANET WITH AN ACTIVE INSURRECTION…..WHY?!?! Why send small guerilla force unfamiliar with local hostile terrain to combat large guerilla force familiar with terrain and extremely hostile? Y not have anti-flying hostile bird guns mounted on important stuff, like trains? Why are your trains transporting weapons that the guerillas can take and use against you, excuse me, WHAT. The brain, it melts trying to comprehend the stupidity of the scriptwriters, who think that this is logical behavior for functional human beings.)
The story, such as it is, is also extremely poorly thought out. The leader–the warleader , without whose tactical knowledge any resistance against the more high-tech opponent will fail–runs away with his tail literally between his legs when his family is threatened. Not: he sends his family away to safety and stays himself. Not: he whups the snot out of his dumbass teenagers who walked themselves and the younger kids directly into a trap. No, he abandons his post, his people who rely on him (and wasn’t he the one who started the all-out war in the first movie, anyway?), and he runs away to go swim with the fishes. Meanwhile, humans–who have functional FTL travel, and cryosleep–have decided that a marginally habitable planet WITH AN UNBREATHABLE ATMOSPHERE AND ALSO INTELLIGENT ALIENS PERFORMING AN ACTIVE, VIOLENT INSURRECTION is going to be the new home of humanity. Guys. Guys. Find another planet and move the fuck on.
It appears that unobtanium is no longer a thing.
It’s anti-human propaganda. I could rant about this for a while, but: it’s anti-human propaganda. There is no greater condemnation. Do not consume.
Unless you really, really, want to watch the pretty. Traitor.