Friday, May 28, 2004

Van Hel-suck

Wow, I'm pretty sure that this is the first time in a really long time that I've actually managed to post each day of the work week. It seems that at least one day of the week I end up too busy doing something else that I don't have time to post, but not this one. Either that or I've just simply been a little more motivated to write. I'm hoping that as I start to write more, I'll gain a few new readers, especially since my journal has been getting a little more exposure through blog hot or not and blogshares. What would be really nice is if my blog was recognized by some other bloggers and was linked to off of their sites. I've noticed that most of the blogs I've stumbled across I've found through links on other blogger's sites. It's really about getting noticed by others in the blogosphere (as it's so wonderfully called by so many bloggers).

I'd love to get as much readership as some of the blogs listed to the right, and when I started this site almost two years ago, I kind of figured I would have a nice big fan base by now, but it really hasn't taken off like I thought it would. Maybe I need to add a trackback function to my posts so people can respond to my posts... but then again when I had my message board up on this site there was rarely any activity on it, so I'm torn. I don't know if I want to go through the trouble of coding a trackback function or of moving my site over to yet another new format if no one would use it. I've got enough web programming to do in the future since Kingland wants to potentially move the corporate website over to running on an Apache server, specifically Tomcat, instead of IIS, which it currently runs on.

To do this I'd have to change all of the asp pages to jsp's and implement all of the asp code in java. It'll be a nice learning experience for me, but before I start on it, I'd like to get a new company computer because my 500 mhz celeron just isn't cutting it and trying to run the Eclipse IDE along with photoshop (for reslicing the web content) will cause some serious choking whenever I do anything. I'm surprised that photoshop even runs period on my current computer, but it somehow does.

Well, since I'm somewhat bored and out of important stuff to talk about for the week, let's talk movies! So recently I went to see Van Helsing. Interesting fact that I later found out about the writer and director is that he is a St. John's graduate, which matters to me because I am also an SJU grad. I think I remember reading something about him back when Scorpion King came out as well, but I magically forgot since then. Anyhow, being that he's done The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and The Scorpion King, I wasn't expecting a whole lot from the movie. I was slightly hopeful that it might be good since it had Wolverine... err, Hugh Jackman in it, but sadly this turned out to be one of the worst movies I've seen in a real long time.

The first thing that got to me was the sheer inconsistency of so many concepts in the movie. The biggest was the deaths of the harpies. The first two were killed by Van Helsing and upon death faded away to ash. The last was killed by Kate Beckinsale's character, but instead of melting to ash like the other two, it exploded into a big bunch of green goo. Huh? Why the difference? I might not have minded if it was explained, but there was none given. The audience was just expected to take it in without any justification.

Another thing that pissed me off was the inconsistency of how much punishment a person could take before being hurt. Beckinsale's character, up to the climax, took a TON of beating, even falling from the top of a tree hitting just about every branch in it on her way to the ground, yet she was ok. Later on, towards the end, she takes some moderately hurtful hits and she's almost down for the count.

Yet one more thing that was disconcerting was the actual character of Van Helsing. Why was he doing what he was doing? Well, I suppose because the church told him to, but why the strong dedication? Oh, he was found by the church. Ok, that's nice, but that doesn't explain why he turned into their personal terminator. Either there had to be some other motivation or else the church is pretty damn good at brainwashing people into becoming killers.

Beyond these caveats with the movie, there are even more problems, such as the sheer amount of scenes that caused me to roll my eyes because they were completely unlikely to happen. Take the end of the movie where Beckinsale's character must get Van Helsing some magic formula to save him. She swings from one tower across a gigantic gapping chasm to another, her rope being the perfect length and being placed in the perfect position so that she would enter the other tower at just the right height to break through a window where Van Helsing just happened to be.

This happened with only a few scant seconds to spare before Van Helsing would have turned into a werewolf. Oh wait, I forgot how she actually got the magic serum. As she was swinging from tower to tower, Van Helsing's partner just happened to be on a bridge between the towers with the serum and he just happened to toss it oh so perfectly to Beckinsale as she was swinging between towers. Ugghhh.... come on! Everything about this scene, and most of the movie just screamed implausibility.

Sure, it's a big budget monster movie. Monsters are implausible so why can't the scenes in the movie? Well, I guess that's a valid argument, but if that's the case, why didn't the writers go all out and have Van Helsing create a gigantic recreation of the board game Mousetrap to catch Dracula? It would be just as plausible and then it would be so over the top that I might have actually enjoyed the movie. When will we get a big budget Hollywood movie, other than Lord of the Rings, that doesn't suck?

No comments: