Archive for Dark

7:00 Movie Hour – The Thirteenth Floor

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2013 by urbannight

In 2000, this 1999 film was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film, losing to The Matrix.   I’m guessing it is, in part, because The Matrix is more obvious and a bigger thrill ride.

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The Thirteenth Floor is a murder mystery, pure and simple.  It is also a reality trip as you eventually realize that there are multiple realities going on and the reality you thought was ‘real’ may not be after all.

The movie feels slow.  In fact, it is not.  There is a lot going on and you switch scenes often and the plot starts fast and keeps going.  The reason the film feels slow is that so much of it has very little physical action and movement.  People are talking, People driving from point a to point be, people are standing at bars.  While the scenes change quickly, the physical activity of the actual people are minimal for most of the movie.  The result is the feel of a slow movie despite the rapid progression of the plot.

The movie starts with the murder of Fuller, an elderly gentleman who owns a massive computer company and had just created a new VR environment on a floor of his building.  His friend and protegé, Hall, wakes up to find a bloody shirt in his hamper and no memory of anything after he got back into town and when he woke in his bed.  He later meets a daughter of his friend that he never knew existed.  The film follows Hall as he goes in and out of the VR program of 1937 LA, tracking Fuller’s last movements, trying to find a letter Fuller left him.  Hall learns that reality isn’t what he thought it was.

The acting is well done and the movie is visually interesting as is partly a period piece.  The scenes set in the 1930’s are really nice.  But, overall, there is a muted, washed out quality to film.  It is more like the movie is done in sepia tones than anything vibrant.

While the story was interesting, the plot twist somewhat obvious but still engaging, and acting was good, the movie does not come off well.  The sensation of slowness, the lack of action, the lack of movement, and the dull colors and overall darkness (lighting issue, not mood issue) of the film brings it down.

If they were going to film it that way, the mental puzzles needed to be stronger.  I would say that if it is on sometime, go ahead and watch it, but it might not be the type of film you go out of your way to find.

H is for Horror and Halloween – Tell Me Something

Posted in Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by urbannight

Tell Me Something is a 1999/2000 Korean Thriller.  (The double year is because every site says 1999 except IMDB which says 2000.  This is not the first time I have come across the duality of dates with Korean films.)


The basic plot is that bodies are being found with parts belonging to more than one person.  They have been dismembered and organs removed with great precision and skill and anatomical knowledge.  The third body is the first that enables the police to start ID’ing the bodies.  His ‘next of kin’ is an artist who is a bit shocked to discover that she knew ALL the men.  They were all former lovers of hers.

The movie itself is very dark. Many scenes are night scenes.  Day scenes are often shot in dark buildings or on cloudy days or with lighting to make the day look like it might have been cloudy.

While in color, the movie has a black and white feel as the men are almost always in black suits and the women in black slacks with white tops.  So during the night shots, this gives the impression that the men are just disembodied heads and hands.

This makes sense, stylistically, because the major theme in this movie is objectification.  Though the course of the movie, we find out that the woman,Chae Su-Yeon,  was the daughter of a famous artist.  As she was growing up, her father was obsessed with her in very inappropriate way and used her as a model for much of his art. One boyfriend had cameras installed to get images of her.  Even the police spend a lot of time viewing her through surveillance cameras.

Suspicion has been cast on her fourth boyfriend, of whom she is already tired, and she is attacked after they release.  A search of his place finds cameras hidden behind artwork and body parts in the refrigerator.  Su-yeon flees to the small family home her father keeps.  Although he has been missing for 5 years.

There is a lot of action in this movie even thought it is very quiet and the violence all occurs off-screen.  No one is frantically racing around the screen.  Dialogue is limited and to the point.  Many shots are of people sitting at desks.  But this is by no means a slow movie.  It is just very different from Hollywood fare.

We find out that Su-yeon’s friend is a doctor, a woman.  She has had several suicide attempts in the past and another one now.  But the police never get to see or speak to her because the friend keeps them away.  The fourth boyfriend is found dead and suspicion falls on the missing father.  They think he is stalking Su-yeon. She has had several suicide attempts in the past.  Detective Cho, who is trying to keeps her safe, is believed to be targeted because of his growing closeness to her as she is sent to stay with him so he can better protect her.  The relationship remains chaste.

He himself is on thin ground with the department.  He has just returned from work after a suspense for an investigation.  His mother had died after a long illness and it was thought he had been accepting bribes in order to pay for her medical care.

The relationship between Su-yeon and her doctor friend is important.  The fact that her father has been missing for 5 years is as well.  The movie is grisly, but I was able to get through it as once you really look at it, it looks somewhat fake.  But that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a good movie and worth viewing.

So I won’t give anything else away.  Some people thought there was a twist at the end.  I don’t view it that way.  Though it may get a little confusing. There are many theories out there on what really happened.  The straight forward one I guessed at the beginning still fit with the ending.  So it will be more fun for you to watch it yourself and make up your mind.

Like most Korean films I’ve seen, not everything is clearly explained and you remain wondering a bit about what had really happened.  This one was actually clearer than most.  And perhaps that is why my initial reaction to it proved to be the correct one.  Or maybe I’m finally getting the hang of Korean movies.  But I think it is the former because it was filmed with the idea of marketing it in the West.

It is in subtitles.  Which turns some people off.   I would say, give it a try anyway.

My only complaint is that I never got the title.  I don’t know why it is called Tell Me Something.  I suppose, because I was watching parts of it through the pass-through window between the kitchen and living room as I was making dinner, I might have missed a line.  Maybe the title is just a line from the movie.  I don’t know.  Maybe the Korean words that mean Tell Me Something have more interpretations or nuances that the selected English translation.

 

The Scary Nature of Twilight Anesthesia and Dental Surgery

Posted in Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2012 by urbannight

When I was 21 I had to have my wisdom teeth pulled.  The entire process was a nightmare when it really should not have been. 

Since I was going under anesthesia and would not be able to drive after, my mother took the day off and took me to the oral surgeon.  It was a house renovated into a dental surgery.  It was a cute house.  It was a cute office.  The receptionist/assistant was not so cute.  It was her personality and not her appearance.   She was a nice enough looking, 30-something, mother-like person. 

I went up to the counter to check in.  She didn’t talk to me, she spoke to my mother.  “She can’t be coming in to get her wisdom teeth removed, she is too young.”

“I am 21.”  Note that I replied.  Not my mother.  It was a long time ago, I may have been 20.  Either way, that exact number doesn’t matter too much in the face of what she said next.

“Oh, I’m sorry.  You look about 13 to me.”  She spoke to me this time.  It might have ended there is she didn’t continue to talk to me and treat me like I was a 13 year old.

I sit down in the dental chair and they explain the Twilight Anesthesia to me.  They need to use it because it won’t put me completely under.  I’ll be able to listen and follow instructions.  But it blocks the memory and the brain doesn’t record properly so I won’t remember what happens.  The last memory I had was the Dental Surgeon coming in, pulling up a stool and introducing himself.

The next thing I remember is waking up on a small cot in a tiny, dark room with a sink.  I think it was a bathroom converted into a recovery room.  But it was CREEPY!  Tiny. Dark. I was on a cot.  I had no memory.  Tell me this isn’t a creepy thing to happen. 

Apparently, I freaked out a bit.  Next thing I know my mom is in there with me but I have no memory of what happened between asking where I was, why I was on a cot and what happened to me and my mom being suddenly in the room.  I had sporadic memory gaps for about another half hour. 

I have a memory of either the doctor or the assistant telling my mom I was a model patient until after the operation.  They apparently didn’t appreciate my being upset about how I found myself during my first actual memory afterwards.

Tell me, if you were a young woman who just had surgery w/ a male doctor and you woke up in the dark what looked like a closet with a bed and no memory of what happened and how you got there, wouldn’t you be upset and freak out as well?

I then am given a prescription for pain killers.  They have to be taken on a full stomach.  But I had to go there on an empty stomach for the anesthesia.  And they give a one dose of the pain killer on the empty stomach.  I also can’t eat anything solid for a day or two.  So I’m left with shakes and broths and liquids.  The end result is I start off with the pain killers making me throw up all the time.  Because of the empty stomach. 

I lost something like 10 pounds in one week.  Unfortunately, when you lose weight that way, it piles back on the first time you eat a proper meal.

Random Lunch-Time Update

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Food, Life, Politics, Tea, Uncategorized, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by urbannight

I shall have to clock back in from lunch soon so I shall type a few sentences to share.

Due to a technical difficulty, I can’t post pictures for an update on the TARDIS project, the pumpkin project, the yarn projects, and various other projects. (I left the cord in another bag)

I did use most of lunch to try to catch up with all the blogs I follow.  I’ve gotten a bit behind.

News articles left me feeling more misanthropic and politically annoyed than usual and I may rant about it at another time.  If I remember.

Half a dose of Pain Killer PM is enough to make you drowsy enough to sleep through alarms but is not enough pain killer to make a pulled muscle and headache go away quickly.  I’m pretty sure it was the cat’s fault.

Coffee taste never lives up to smell and it takes 14 creamers and 10 sugars to make it at least drinkable.

Why do people think their claims can be handled within three hours of being turned in?  In an age when 3 minutes in a microwave is too long to wait everything must get done instantly.  Right?

I’m rereading too many of my Terry Pratchett books.  I found myself writing about ‘punnes’, you know, plays on words.

I have a large stack of fantasy, mystery, sci-fi novels to read and I keep buying more, but they just seem to dark and I’m not in the mood for dark.  So I keep rereading the lighter, amusing stuff I already own.

Time may be up now.

 

Weather I Love

Posted in Life with tags , , , , on September 21, 2010 by urbannight

It was cool and dark all weekend.  I turned off the air and opened the window and aired out the apartment.  It was wonderful. 

 Yesterday started out cool and foggy.  The kind of fog in which you can see a long string of tail lights ahead but still feel isolated from the reality of the world.  It ended up reaching nearly 90.  The ‘feels like temp’ was over 90.  Strange for what started out so surreal and pleasant.

 Today is dark.  Very dark.  The rain started to pour down like mad just a few minutes ago.  I love this weather.  The clouds turn noon to night.  (okay, technically it is 10:08 am)  The horrible humidity and heat of summer is washed away in the torrential rain.  Flickers of light offer amazing visual effects in the clouds.  There is very little thunder right now.  So the lightning must be fairly far away.

 I love this weather.  I’ve been known to go standing in it and fling out my arms and twirl in the rain like a little girl.  I love it until the hail starts.  I can live without that. 

 I keep telling people I would do well in Seattle.  Just as long as I don’t have to drive.  Driving in that city is nightmare.  Worse.  I actually enjoy some of my nightmares.  The ones that don’t involve people I know.  It’s like watching a scary movie in my mind. 

 Our company is a national company but all the offices are in one place.  I really wish we had offices in other cities.  It would be great if I could go to Seattle but still work for this company.  I keep peeking at the jobs.  I don’t really have any intention of trying to find a new job and movie.  It’s the time of economy where you hold on to your job with both hands because at least it is a known quantity and stable.

 Still, I’m enjoying the view of the storm out the front door.  Not that I see much of the sky.  There is a short building across the road and across the alley from that a taller apartment building of red bricks, then a stretch of dark grey sky.  In the middle of this is a bright glowing orb.  It is the light for the stairwell.  With it so dark outside that we had to turn it back on. 

 Since I started jotting this, it has gotten even darker out.  It looks like 4:30 pm in the middle of winter.  I like the dark.  It seems peaceful and calming after a brutal summer.  By February I’ll be begging for the sun again.  But for now, I will enjoy the dark storms.