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Hawaii, United States
I'm Kieran. I live in Hawaii. I like to watch movies a lot and I make them too. I also play around with flash animation, so you'll see a lot of that in my blog.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Reviews are now at Rotten Tomatoes

I finally got a profile at Rotten Tomatoes, and I'll be posting all my reviews there from now on, as it's a better place to get more exposure, and there's quite a large community of film fans there to talk with. However, I will gather all the reviews I post there each month as a mega-post for this blog.
Read my reviews here

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Update

Hello again nonexistent readers. I haven't posted much lately because I haven't felt like posting, and I haven't done much with this blog. I just updated it with a new template and a simplified layout, so maybe I'll start writing on this thing and promoting it actively again.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My First Script

I tried to write a TV pilot, it's probably a bit too short of a script, and I haven't read it over yet, so be warned, I wrote this entirely as a personal project so it may be a bit muddled.
read it here
I'd appreciate comments/criticism.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What's wrong with this picture?

This Summer really sucks for movies. Not that all these movies are bad (I loved Toy Story 3) but it says something a bit disturbing that of the top 10 movies of the Summer, only 1 is not a sequel/reboot/adaptation. Come on guys, original ideas please?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fatherly Advice

A new cartoon I made last week but never got around to publishing. Enjoy or something

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I wish there was someone I could kick....

http://www.collider.com/2010/01/11/spider-man-reboot-already-written-film-to-be-gritty-contemporary/

But it's just how Hollywood works. Trend followers. Obviously, since The Dark Knight made the most money ever, people want all of their super hero movies to be "gritty". And apparently, because JJ Abrams and Michael Bay successfully took old franchises and made tons of money from them, it's suddenly OK to re-make any movies that are more than 5 years old. I've been fairly mellow about the reboot thing so far, but come on, seriously, rebooting a critically and commercially successful franchise just because Hollywood thinks people now want to watch new versions of the same thing over and over and over again only darker and grittier, that's just appalling.

Of course, leave it to Hollywood to put all the success of a film on its tone. The Dark Knight didn't become the world's #1 blockbuster because it was dark and gritty. It's because it was well made, exciting, action packed, had Heath Ledger, TONS of hype and was based on a popular comic. Plus, it was dark and gritty for a good reason. It wasn't dark just for the sake of being dark, it was dark because that's what the Batman comics are like, which appealed to the legions of Batman fans. The original Spider Man wasn't exactly gritty, but it was still emotionally powerful and incredibly well made. In my opinion, Sam Raimi's first two Spider Man films were better than The Dark Knight. And they were successful even though they weren't gritty. But Hollywood doesn't care about that, so don't be surprised if you see Clark Kent contemplating suicide or Mr. Fantastic having to choose whether Dr. Doom blows up The Thing or The Invisible Woman.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Domain

The blog can now be accessed from kieranpertnav.tk. It will also still be accessible from the original blogspot address.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

3 New Reviews

Avatar-

Have you ever been ashamed to be human? Ashamed to be in a species that steals and murders, that destroys the planet it lives on? Then perhaps you have something in common with James Cameron, whose masterpiece Avatar shows humans given a chance to experience the magic of life from a newer, purer perspective, while delivering a fantastically beautiful and powerful hero story as well.

It's pretty much impossible to review Avatar without first giving a nod to its fantastic special effects. Even though this is not an effects movie, the scale and detail with which the world is rendered is nothing short of breathtaking. The groundbreaking new technology with which the film is made allows for the creation of one of the richest fantasy worlds ever created.

The story and characters have been criticized as being simplistic, however, while they are definitely familiar, with James Cameron at the helm you'll be happy to see them return. Avatar is a classic fantasy fused with elements of sci-fi, making for a fresher presentation, and the film is expertly paced. Even though its running time is close to 3 hours, it never drags and is a joy to watch. The characters come off as very sympathetic, and the villain of the piece is the kind that you love to hate. It's important to have these familiar and likable characters to guide you into a completely new universe and a new era in film, and they're strong enough to keep the story grounded; they're never once upstaged by the special effects.

However, I don't think that the film is just an effects-heavy hero story; while it retells a classic fable about nature love and loyalty with enough gusto to make these age-old messages inspiring again, its sci-fi element brings something new to the table.
Many of the main characters are humans who are able to inhabit the world of the indigenous Na'vi by using technology to inhabit Avatars- Na'vi bodies that they can control. However, as the main character, Jake Sully, comments at the beginning of the film, they are always forced to leave the gorgeous fantasy world of Pandora and wake up in the hash reality of the human world, filled with despicable corporate attitudes and led by evil men with no respect for life. As Jake struggles to live in both worlds, he is increasingly frustrated by the fact that he has to wake up. But I don't think James Cameron wants to wake up. By creating the technology needed to create the planet of Pandora, Cameron allows the audience to experience that world- the film becomes an Avatar for them. By doing so, Cameron implies that we can all start again. If we are inspired by the beauty of this film, this Avatar, then it allows us to believe again in peace, it allows us to reconnect with nature. Ironically, even though the film's origins are entirely technological, it is used to allow us to reconnect with the fantasies that can still be fulfilled. This adds greatly to the power of the film, giving the final push that moves Avatar from a great film to a masterpiece. If this is what James Cameron's dreams are like, I'll walk in them any time.

The short version-
||||||||||| 10/10|

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan-
(Warning: contains mild spoilers regarding seasons 1 and 2 of Battlestar Galactica)

I am a huge fan of Ronald D. Moore's re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series. I firmly believe that it is one of the best shows ever to air on television, and that is why The Plan is such a colossal disappointment. It not only lacks all the powerful emotions, great characters and compelling storytelling of the series, but the nature of the film allows it to do so while simultaneously ruining some of the best moments of the series.

The idea of The Plan is to re-visit the first two seasons of the series from the perspective of the villains- the Cylons, while resolving some of the continuity issues and tying up the loose ends made during the series. It's a good idea on paper, however, it's filled with disappointment and missed opportunities. Ironically, although The Plan is supposed to resolve continuity gaffs, the first minutes create a very serious continuity gaff that can't be explained away. As it goes through the series, it continues to dispute known facts about the show in order to create poorly executed drama, muddling some of the best moments of the show. Instead of showing the reasoning behind the Cylon actions in the series, it changes them from the unified, powerful, frightening force that they were into the series to a bumbling collection of cranky incompetent bufoons who barely seem to count as villains at all.

Continuity issues would be forgivable if the story was any good- the Battlestar series had plenty of odd plot twists that overcomplicated the show, but it was so relentlessly entertaining that it didn't really matter. However, The Plan's "story" if you can call it that, is incoherent, meaningless, and mind-numbingly dull. A large amount of the footage is recycled from series episodes, and while it sometimes works, watching an entire scene that you've already seen just so you can see one "revelation" that doesn't mean much of anything, or watching a Cylon attack again just to show how it was a complete disaster for the Cylons and they really just had no idea what they were doing at all. The movie seems like a collection of deleted scenes from the show, and if they were, they would have been deleted for no good reason. A lot of the character development goes to Simon- a character who barely appeared in the show. While it would be interesting to give more backstory to the lesser known Cylons, Simon's story is flat and uncompelling. It lacks the long-term development of the series, and instead seems to be rushed and half-baked- then again, that's a pretty good description of the entire film.

The short version-
|||| 3/10|

Family Guy: Something Something Something Dark Side-

Star Wars jokes have been a staple of pop-culture humor for a while now, and Family Guy is no exception. However, the show's nonsensical tangential form of humor works better as episodic television than as a double-length parody. To call SSSDS a Star Wars parody is a bit generous- it's pretty much just Family Guy characters in Star Wars costumes making regular Family Guy jokes. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing, as the show's humor is still very funny, and even though creating an entire Star Wars spoof series just to showcase the show's signature humor seems a bit gratuitous, it doesn't make it any less funny. When the show does take shots at Star Wars, however, it's really spot on. There a lot of great jokes at the expense of the classic trilogy, but not enough to justify the hour run time.
Overall, Something Something Something Dark Side is a fairly funny episode that relies a little too much on novelty value and the type of humor that could appear in any episode of the show, but it's still fairly entertaining and funny.

The short version-
|||||||| 7/10|

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mantracker

Mantracker was awesome. I'm not allowed to talk about most of it, but suffice to say it was an amazing experience and I learned tons, it was an incredible adventure.

Um, I don't have TV, but I'm pretty sure Mantracker airs at 10 on Discover Science. But I'd check that.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm a Production Assistant! [and other updates]

Wow, so the first post in over a month. I guess I haven't been that motivated to blog, even though I really should. But anyways, the reason I'm finally posting again is I have big news.

I get to be a production assistant on the show Mantracker for 1 day. It's nothing glamorous, but I get to be on the set among the crew, which is really super awesome.

The blog may be getting a new domain soon, so keep watch for that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hagen Dazs

The debate tournament went great, I went undefeated. But this post is to talk about something else I did on Oahu. I went to Hagen Dazs Iced Cream. We had 20 minutes of free time at Ala Moana, of which I spent 15 searching for a bathroom. When I finally arrived at our meeting place, the food court, I was exhausted (I'd also been up at that point for about 14 or so hours with only 2 hours of sleep the night before) but relieved. I glanced around the food court, and asked myself if I could only go to one place there, where would I go. The answer was obvious, the most amazing iced cream store I've ever been to. Seriously, the packaged Hagen Dazs iced cream we get in the stores here is awesome, but putting a scoop of that world class iced cream in a chocolate sprinkle cone and covering it in sprinkles is something else.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Debate

AKLASDKLJFSDKLFGJKSDKGJKJSDFJKDSJKLF Yeah, I know its been like, almost 2 months since my last post. Sorry. Haven't seen a lot of new movies, not a lot's been going on in my art world and school's been going strong.
I have been doing debate though. I had my first tournament on Friday and won in my category, novice Lincoln-Douglas. Tomorrow I'm heading out at 4 am to go to another one on Oahu, but its amazingly fun.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tale of Kaua'i Part 2.

Day 3: We headed up north towards Hanalei and stopped at the Kilauea lighthouse. It was an awesome place, and it was incredible to see how many birds there were. I had heard it was a good place to look at birds, but I didn't realize they were the main attraction, but there were hundreds of them all around. There wasn't much you could do in the lighthouse proper, but the sights outside it were fascination, and the rugged peninsula felt more like the pacific northwest than Hawaii. Then we proceeded down through Hanalei and down to the edge of the Na Pali Coast. On the way we stopped at the massive wet and dry caves, both of which were fascinating. My grandfather was adamant about hiking some of the famous Kalalau trail, but we weren't exactly prepared for the hike and didn't have time or equipment, but we were able to see some nice views. Then we took a dip at the nearby beach and headed back to Hanalei for shave ice. We had already sampled some of the massive selection of flavors at Waimea's Jo Jos clubhouse the day before, but found that although it had a smaller array of flavors, Shave Ice Paradise had finer, smoother ice. On the way back to our condo we had the best meal of our trip at Scotty's Beachside BBQ. The ribs were incredibly tender and the sauce was delicious.

Day 4: Even though we were pressed for time as we had a flight to catch, the final day of our trip featured perhaps the most rewarding adventure of the trip. After a disappointing stop at the Spouting Horn blowhole (which wasn't spouting much that day, but made an interesting sound) we went to our condo's nearby beach before checking out and then proceeded to the tall, grand Wailua falls. Our guidebook had stated that we could swim in the pool beneath the falls, but I was dismayed to find that there was no apparent trail down from the lookout. However, our every handy guidebook showed us where to look, and we had a blast on the incredibly steep trail down to the falls. The trail was so steep that there was a ropes system set up so that you could lower yourself down and pull yourself up the trail, which was a lot of fun. Once at the falls, we had the incredible experience of swimming across the pool and standing on the ledge below them. Standing behind the thundering wall of water as it plummeted almost 200 feet was incredible. The chilly spray from the falls was exhilarating, and the sheer power of them as they plunged into the water was inspiring. We made sure not to get hit by the gargantuan payload of water, and then made our way back up the ropes and up to the lookout.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A tale of Kaua'i, Part 1

Day 1: even most inter-island flights have a layover in Honolulu, so we stopped there and I got to ride the escalators (yeah, I obviously haven't spent much time in the city). Then we hopped on over to Lihue, where we had lunch, saw some of the island's ubiquitous wild chickens, and headed down to our far too nice condo in Po'ipu. From there we got our towels and backtracked to Kipu falls, an awesome place. A 20 foot high waterfall empties into a deep pool thats safe for jumping into, and a rope swing on a nearby banyan makes the plunge even more fun.
Day 2: We headed up to the Waimea Canyon/Koke'e area, where we marveled at the canyon but were much more stunned by the awesome lookout over Kalalau valley. The lookout at the very end of the road offers an amazing view, where you can walk right up to the edge of the 2,000 foot valley walls. We also went to the condo pool (nobody under 16 in the hot tub, *grumblegrumble*) which had a small but fun waterslide.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Someone needs to send David Yates a copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creating A Suspenseful Action Sequence. After all, the director who, unfortunately, will helm the Harry Potter series to its very end, is a master of the anti climax. Last time, he ruined one of the most exciting, imaginative, and unique sequences by reducing the department of mysteries sequence to a disappointing shell of its former grandeur in his disappointing adaptation of one of the best books in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Now Yates has been given a smaller-scale book to deal with, and has slowed down the frantic, rushing pace he set on Order of the Pheonix to the brisk but uneventful filler that is Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. The film moves by quickly enough, filling the first two hours with the entertaining and humorous teen drama that Rowling used to form the backdrop for her epic series finale. However, unlike Rowling, Yates doesn't reward his audiences for their trek through the melodrama with an intense and powerful finale, but with another weak, rushed effort at emotion that falls flat. Its exceedingly frustrating to watch Yates's adaptations as he is handed increasingly interesting material and continues to make it uninteresting. He managed to get the pacing right for most of the movie, making it entertaining, but when it comes to a scene of real weight and tension he disappoints due to his utter failure to create suspense. His action scenes are so briskly paced that they are over before audiences can feel any of the atmosphere he creates. His visual prowess is apparent in his construction of the final action scene, but unfortunately this impressive yet fairly detached light show is over all too fast, only rewarding us with a few seconds of special effects. The emotional climax of the film is likewise rushed, and while the reactions of the students of Hogwarts to this latest blow they are dealt is touching, he doesn't give us time to feel it. Overall, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a fairly entertaining comedy that fails to convey the urgency and emotion that gave the book a scope that was far grander than its melodramatic setup.
The short version:
|Score: |||||- 5.4/10|
Coming up, a Harry Potter recap? And my long awaited (or not) account of my vacation to Kaua'i.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I was on Kauai yesterday.

For a Summer trip I spent 4 days on Kaui, one of my neighbor islands. It was a really amazing experience and I'll say more about it soon, and hopefully post some pictures.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I just died a little inside.

http://nerdarmada.blogspot.com/2009/07/welcome-to-new-cn.html
Words cannot describe how much I hate CN Real.  Not only does it betray everything the channel is for, but it betrays all the animation fans who still care about quality 2D animation. I'd heard about this and raged about it before, but Greenblatt's few words and the video are so sad that it really shows the whole thing. 
BOYCOTT CN REAL. The shows are not worth your time, and I hope to make it so they're not worth the network's while.