Warning # 1: by reading this, you might die of chronic boredom.
Warning # 2: it will be infested with spoilers.
Warning # 3: my stupid opinions are just that – stupid opinions. If at any point they seem patronizing, then… what? They are stupid opinions. Just ignore them and move on.

In this installment, Mental makes me go a teeny tiny bit apeshit yet again, evil machines are cool, dead bullfighters make funny music, creepy dark clouds are grand, and So You Think You can Dance makes another appearance in this blog.

Mental: Fox Telecolombia does it again!

Mental, Fox Telecolombia´s second big baby, premiered last week and despite what any of you might think about the show itself, the implications for South American television are huge, especially for Colombia.

Apparently Fox saved 60% of the initial estimated budget by shooting the show in Bogotá with an all Colombian crew. Yay for Fox! But to me, the biggest benefit of having an American show shot in Colombia, with a Colombian crew, but following American work ethic and workflows, is that maybe our local producers will get a fucking clue about how to properly structure local productions.

Because film and tv production should be approached as an assembly line that requires every individual department to work independently but also intercommunicated with other departments in order to maximize efficiency and quality of the final product. Interdisciplinary work is what guaranties true efficiency. Unfortunately, Colombia doesn’t have that. By the way, I’m writing from Colombia, so I’m not completely pulling all this out of my ass.

A few months ago I attended the presentation of an investigation conducted in Medellin, Colombia, about local television. One of the conclusions from this investigation stated that local producers are very unwilling to implement interdisciplinary work in their productions; they said that what they lacked in interdisciplinary work, they made up for with determination. That statement made me want to pull my hair out.

Because seriously, with a lack an internal structure achieved through interdisciplinary work and the discipline to follow shooting schedules, film and tv productions can very easily become logistical nightmares; I also believe that a proper structure not only guaranties efficiency, but also the proper treatment of all personnel involved.

If local productions keep going the way they are right now, soon enough all advancements made in the last few years, especially in Colombian film, will be for nothing.

I hope that when all those Colombians involved in Mental go back to their comparatively poorly paid local tv jobs, with basically no lunch breaks –or any breaks- and under the command of directors and producers that can’t stick to a shooting schedule even if they’re threatened at gunpoint, they will get together, scream in unison “COMAN MIERDA!!”, and demand better treatment and quality in the workplace.

Creo que tú y yo estamos locos…

About the show itself, I don’t think it can be judged this soon. By the time I publish this blog entry, the third episode with our dearly departed David Carradine as a guess star will have aired. The show is interesting enough in terms of story. A show about mental illness has the potential to be very creative, so although I’m not fully convinced yet, I’m willing to give it a chance… until episode 5. If I don’t get hooked before episode 5, I’m abandoning the damn thing.

In technical terms, Mental has a proper use of HD in terms of framing and lighting. Sadly, what was not achieved at all is the proper film look that would have made the show look a hell of a lot more expensive than it really is. This little fact is very distracting because it looks like it was shot on consumer video format. I mean, it doesn’t even look like it was shot at 24fps. Once again, this opinion is based on a first viewing of the pilot, so there’s hope for improvement.

As for the cast, nothing important to comment yet. Chris Vance does a good job portraying the very eccentric Dr. Gallagher, and the rest of the cast was competent enough. What I find curious is that the main cast doesn’t include Colombian actors. There was a bit of controversy in Colombia about this. It actually doesn’t bother me, but as I said, I find it curious. The only Colombian actor I spotted was this guy:

Juan Pablo Raba, a very well known Colombian
actor. The poor sucker only showed up in
two scenes and didn’t even have a line.

What does this say about Colombian actors? Are Colombian actors not talented enough for an American production? Very doubtful. There’s actual talent here. Are Colombian actors in desperate need of intensive English lessons? Who knows! Hopefully some Colombian actors will at least get some juicy guest roles and show what they can do.

Terminator Salvation: Not quite “Salvation”, but still pretty cool
I must say I kind of loved this movie. I don’t think it’s perfect. It’s far from perfect. But I left the theater very happy.

Let us talk about the bad stuff.

1. The marketing of the film: Marcus’ “mechanical truth” was probably the biggest twist of the story. By including it in the trailers, the surprise factor was completely lost. Bad marketing monkeys! BAD!

2. The love story between Marcus and Williams didn’t work for me at all. Both characters are very cool individually, but their relationship was weird and badly paced. I don’t know who to blame for this. Maybe the essence of this relationship was lost in the final cut. Maybe a director’s cut will shed some light into this failed bit of the story.

3. It is a known fact that John Connor originally wasn’t the focus of this film and Mr. Christian Bale demanded the role to be expanded. And despite Connor getting just about as much screen time as Marcus, he still wasn’t the focus of the film. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Marcus, but a Terminator film without John Connor as the main focus is just wrong.

4. Sarah Connor’s “appearance” wasn’t as awesome as it could have been. It just wasn’t.

And now, let us talk about the good. In no particular order…

1. The Robots: Oh, how pretty and evil they were! I’m particularly fond of the harvester. Wicked evil. And say what you will, but that cameo by The Governator (which was very obviously pure cgi) made me say a pretty euphoric “Hell yeah!”, fist pump included.

2. Marcus Wright: What a great character. Very complex, very human. Once again, the trailers killed the character’s big surprise, but whatever. Sam Worthington did a very good job with the character.

And now, please allow me a moment to drool over Sam Worthington:

Sorry. Where was I…

3. John Connor: Regardless of silly meltdowns and whatnot, Christian Bale is a great actor, one of my favorites, and he did a great job portraying Connor. I truly think he did the very best he could with what was given to him.

4. Kyle Reese: That Anton Yelchin is so talented! He’s great. Good portrayal of a young Kyle Reese. I miss Michael Biehn, but Yelchin did not disappoint.

5. The world post judgement day. Not much to say about it. Very 80s, Mad Max like. Completely believable.

The bottom line is, I was thoroughly entertained by this movie. Getting a bit metaphysical, it lacked the depth T2, but it’s only the first post judgement day film. There’s plenty of opportunity for improvement.

And now, some 80’s music:
There’s this song from the 80’s that has become a staple of my birthday celebrations for many years. My father happens to love it and he requested a copy of this song a few days ago. That’s why I’m writing about it.

If you’re a latin child of the 80’s, you’ll probably understand its relevance: Mi Aguita Amarilla by Los Toreros Muertos. In short, the song is about piss, and it is hilarious!

I found the official video on Youtube. It isn’t as funny as the song itself, but it’s funny anyway. But most importantly, I found the English version of the song, and it sounds so bad, it is awesome. Here they are:

The fantastic original Spanish song.

And the terrible English translation. At least all the non English speakers will get the meaning.

Some things should not be translated… by the way: Toreros Muertos = Dead bullfighters, in case you wanted to know.

The Black Dawn: Creepy dark clouds are grand
“A dark cloud has fallen over Los Angeles… unleashing a deadly virus… only 14 survived. No one knows how/why it happened”. This is the premise of the ongoing web series The Black Dawn, produced by WebSerials.com.

I’ve seen a few chapters of this series and I find it very interesting so far. It is entertaining, and with the exception of a few sound recording problems, it is well made. There’s also an ongoing prequel called The Black Dawn: Catalyst, that I consider technically and acting-wise far superior.

So in case you’re looking for some web entertainment, here you go:

The Black Dawn
The Black Dawn: Catalyst

And now, the Youtube video of the week:
This is part 6 of a video journal shot for Movmnt Magazine by Ivan Koumaev, a season 2 contestant of So You Think You Can Dance. This is a behind the scenes look at SYTYCD season 4 finale with the alumni from previous seasons.

Who knew bored dancers could be this funny:

If you’d like to see the rest of the episodes, click here.

In the next installment of Audiovisual Summer of DOOM: I’ll actually try to get around writing about how Hong Kong hides the gifted and how vengeful Irish men can be, True Blood returns, and so does Michael Vartan!

Until next time…Don’t let The Men get you down!

Audiovisual Summer of DOOM, Part 1