Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Oh dear.

I honestly don't know where the time's gone...

* "Poor Unfortunate Souls" by the Jonas Brothers is just the cutest Disney remake I've ever heard. Teen rock meets Ursula. I love it!

* Yoko Shimomura has outdone herself with the box set soundtrack of "Kingdom Hearts" (available only in Japan - thanks, Jonathan!). The added tracks for KH2 are wonderful, but what really impressed me was "Lord of the Castle", the new final boss track for "Chain of Memories"; when the orchestra kicks in around 1:40, it easily matches "Darkness of the Unknown" for energy and rhythm.

* I'm in the middle of "Final Fantasy II" (the Dawn of Souls remake) and ye Gods, I hate this gameplay system so very, very much. But the story's quite good.

* Just a few words about the series finale of Rome: on some level, it was perhaps the episode most strongly bound by historical context - we know what happens at Actium, we know what it means for the losing side of the war. That might account for the largely anticlimactic feeling I got by the time it was over; for all that Purefoy and Marshall delivered Emmy-level performances, there's no real surprise. Also, I'm not sure why Vorenus' fate was conveyed so ambiguously (we don't see him die, but Pullo later says he did, but Pullo's lying to Octavian anyway, etc.). And I'm also displeased with the fact that, looking back, Timon's subplot ended two weeks ago. It's not that I really wanted to see him again, but I think I'd been waiting for a more thorough degree of closure (because "Let's go to Jerusalem!" is never a sentence that leads to "Happily ever after"). And finally, much love to Polly Walker for batting it out of the goddamned ballpark, acting-wise: forget Simon Woods, that penultimate scene at the triumph was all her.

* Starcrossed was a 15-minute film by James Burkhammer that raised quite a few eyebrows, though I'm not too clear on why. Yes, it tackles the incest taboo head-on, but it's hardly the first film to do so... and unlike "Harry and Max", which at least admits that seducing your brother has perks but will screw your head up something horrid, "Starcrossed" plays it as the standard Romeo-and-Juliet plot: Connor falls in love with his older brother Darren, "teh sexxx" is had, they're discovered, and they decide to cash in their chips and kill themselves. See, it's missing something. Whenever I think of the quintessential suicide pact storyline, it's not "Romeo and Juliet" that comes to mind but "Thelma and Louise", because the latter added something to the formula: when the situation becomes untenable, you can at least try to run. Because, IMO, if you feel so strongly about someone or something that you're willing to defy social conventions, you're not going to give up easily. It's when you can run no further that you drive off a cliff. "Starcrossed", by contrast, has Darren and Connor giving up without much of a fight, and what the film suggests is that the story couldn't have ended any other way - even though Burkhammer never puts a negative slant on the relationship to begin with. So it's a bit garbled, and the acting's only so-so, and the plot is utterly, thoroughly standard, so I don't see what the big deal is.

* Heroes retrospective catch-up to follow soon (hopefully).