Good Lord, I just had a sudden flash of insight regarding the third Transformers movie!
Nonono, not that it's a silly piece of poo - that one is granted whenever Mr.Bay gets involved. I won't even start to go into any of the details regarding plot and characters and whatthefuckery in the movie - other people have done this much better than I ever could - just check out the reviews on thatguywiththeglasses, especially the one of Spoony and Brad...
No, I just want to talk about the title "dark side of the moon". I know the phrase has been around for a while - just think about the classic Pink Floyd album - but I never really thought about if from an astronomical point of view.
Transformers 3, though, plays in space and perhaps that triggered me thinking about that sentence a little more.
Quite often "the dark side of the moon" is used as a kind of poetic way to describe "the side of the moon we never see". You know - the moon rotates around the earth and also around itself at the same speed which causes one side of it constantly pointing towards us.
Thing is - the other side of the moon isn't dark. When we have a half moon then the other side has a half moon too. When we have a new moon the other side is fully illuminated and so on - it's just that usually no one is there to see it. :)
But wait, there is more - actually the other side of the moon is the brighter one. No, really. Is it because of different minerals on the moon's surface on the other side? Or maybe, because (if you think about it) the other side of the moon gets closer to the sun while the moon orbits earth? Well, while the second one actually might make a difference I doubt it is too big, no - I mean something different:
See, there's something that happens on our side of the moon - quite often too, astronomically speaking - that never ever happens on the other side. Lunar eclipses. A lunar eclipse happens each time when the earth comes between the moon and the sun - roughly once a month - and blocks out the sunlight hitting the moon.
This never ever happens on the other side - so actually, on average, it IS the "Bright Side of the Moon".
Is that a really important, revolutionary piece of insight? No, I guess not, but I still do feel a little smug now. :)
"The Langoliers" in one of the stories by Stephen King that came out *after* I stopped enjoying Stephen King and that - to this day - I haven't read. I haven't even seen the movie. Seeing Doug's review of it I now feel blessed that I never did, talk about one pile of steaming poop! XD
After seeing Legacy myself now I'm a little bit torn apart - I guess I have to give it at least a second view to fully make up my mind. But still - here's some first thoughts on what has been one of the most awaited movies this year for me:
It's not bad.
So far so good.
On the other side it seems to me that it doesn't live up to it's full potential by far.
I'm not even talking about the story - which seems to have disappointed many people who already posted their reviews on the net, although they have some good points here and there. But to be frank: Even though I really *love* the original Tron I have no problem in admitting that it's story wasn't really Shakespeare either. ;) Actually it's truly silly when you think too much about it, but the way in which it is told makes you buy into it any way, if you let yourself go.
What after my first viewing of Legacy is mostly responsible for my opinion is the altogether atmosphere of the movie, most important the parts that take place inside the computer.
Tron had a very unique look that, to this day, is pretty much unique. I'm not talking about the computer graphics used in it which back then were a revolution. Actually many people today would be surprised how few of the scenes actually were done with the help of computers.
What is responsible for most of the look and feel of Tron's computerworld is a combination of techniques including painted backgrounds and perhaps most important the hand-coloured black and white footage shot of the actors.
This gave everything a grainy, unreal feeling which added a lot to making you belief that the story took place in a different kind of world.
Legacy - compared to that, looks *way* to clean and real for me in comparison.
Before you argue now that Legacy is taking place twenty years after Tron and that technology has advanced a lot since then - giving the grid better graphic-cards, perhaps... Remember that the Grid in Legacy is running on a computer that hasn't been touched since 1989 - pretty much a machine on the same level of development as the one in Tron.
They didn't even attempt to reproduce the original look, they simply changed it. Granted, there's still the glowing bits on the clothes, but that's pretty much it.
My advice is: If you're planning to see Tron Legacy you should have a look at the original movie first if you don't know it yet.
Take this as a little Christmas gift: Tron, the complete original movie - someone nice uploaded the complete movie in high quality to youtube and as long as it's there - enjoy! :)