Tag Archives: sunshine movie

Jefflion.net Must-Reads

There’s a handy blog meme I’d like to use here. Tagged bloggers (or, self-tagged in my case) should identify and present posts on their blogs that fit certain types. I think the idea behind it is to promote your blogging and present some of the posts most of your visitors are unfamiliar with (be it because you wrote them a long time ago, or because they didn’t get the attention you feel they deserved).

It’s also a great way to think about your blogging in general, and see where you stand.

So, here’s where I stand: my early blogging (read: most of the things written in 2007, 2008 and, to a lesser extend, 2009) sucks. There’s no other way to put it. I had no idea what blogging was, or how to write a decent blog post – and it’s not because I’m untalented for writing. I guess I thought blogs were online diaries, and I was never good at writing a diary. Luckily, I realized blogging was different, and it made my posts better.

That’s why most of the posts presented in the meme are the newer ones, from 2010 and 2011.

Also, I’d like to use this opportunity to introduce some changes on the site. I added a new popular posts script, so you can find the most accurate and up to date list of most popular posts at the sidebar. Plus, I added the similar posts script that appears at the bottom of the each post, recommending you similar posts. Because it depends on the words I write, its choices might not be accurate, but so far I like the way it works, and I think it makes my posts more connected, which is a good thing. It can also make some of the older posts visible again. The only bad thing is that it also makes my early, random posts visible.

And now, the meme:

Most Beautiful Post

I think most of my reviews are beautiful, and I am quite proud of them. But I’d like to include another post here, because it is more personal than my usual posts.

Why I like(d) Disney movies

This post turned out to be more beautiful and more personal than I intended it to be. Who knew animated movies can have so much meaning, or to make you remember your childhood (and teenage years?)

I also thought the post might become controversial (because Disney movies deserve a lot of criticism), but that didn’t happen (not that I complain).

Most popular post

It’s definitely something about sex. Cliché or not, it does seem that sex and dating make very hot topics.

Women and casual sex

This is the most popular post on the site, and one of the few that get regular outside hits (which means search engines bring people here). The funny this is that it’s not a particularly good post: there are way too many things I mentioned here, but it’s not well structured and the thoughts are all over the place. I guess the main idea was that women often enjoy casual sex less than men not because their morality and sexuality are different, but because men don’t try to satisfy a woman they have a casual sex with.

Honourable mentions: A Long Penis Rant (once again, I wasn’t sure what was the main idea behind this post), Sunshine (my most commented post, though I’m not sure if it counts because half of it are pictures of Cillian Murphy and some heavy off topic discussion).

Most Helpful Post

Bad Writing Advice

I like this post because I’ve finally managed to formulate what I always found questionable about writing advice. I also discovered I love writing about writing (and my experience with it), so maybe I should consider doing more of those posts.

Honourable mentions: The best sites for bored people (check them out, especially tvtropes.org, which is probably one of my favourite sites on the whole net), Recover a (WordPress) site infected by a nasty iframe (this is an old entry. It worked back then; I am not sure if this advice is still applicable).

Post Whose Success Surprised Me

Things I don’t write about

I wrote this one to explain (mostly to myself) why I don’t like to write about certain sensitive/serious topics that I sometimes feel people expect me to write about. (Both in a blog and in novels). Some of these subjects include: Balkan wars and former Yugoslavia (or anything related to Easter Europe), my father’s death (and the problems I’ve had growing up without a father), etc. I don’t write about former because I am too sick of the subject, and I don’t feel any need to include it in my writing. I am aware that many people (both here and in the rest of the world) expect for someone in Serbia to deal with these issues in her writing (particularly when it comes to novels), but I just don’t find that topic inspiring. Same goes for my family. Some of the things I do find interesting and want to include, but the others aren’t something I want to write about.

I consider this to be a personal post, that wouldn’t make people interested. I was wrong. It turned out to be one of my most popular posts. I guess it’s because it’s more personal than the others. Some people said it made them learn more about me. I am glad, but I am still surprised this post gained such a popularity. (Plus, I had no idea my average reader didn’t have much chance to “meet” me or to learn anything about me and the type of a person I am).

Honourable mentions: Writing chapter titles (I wrote this for myself, to test what chapters of my novel “sound” in English. Who knew people were into that stuff), I’m a flexitarian (it was one of my first posts; it wasn’t much of a success, but it was my first post that got any sort of attention).

Most Controversial Post

The most controversial post I’ve ever written (American privilege) isn’t even on this site. I don’t think there are any controversial topics on Jefflion.net, but it’s not because I want to play it safe. I guess the blog isn’t popular enough to get many hits or commenters, because in order for something to be controversial, there have to be people who disagree with it or view things differently.

The only possibly controversial post is Kosovo independence, but it didn’t generate much buzz.

Post That Didn’t Get The Attention I Felt It Deserved

The Best Movies of the Decade I and The Best Movies of the Decade II

I really think it’s one of my best posts (and I find all of my review posts good). I’ve also taken some extra effort into making pictures to go with this post (and it was very time consuming to Google all the images, find the best ones, and then arrange everything in Photoshop). It’s not that I regret doing it, but I really wanted to discuss the best movies of the decade with my visitors, learn about their favourites and maybe get some good movie recommendations). (The offer is still good, btw).

Honourable mention: Writing Sex Scenes (I think this one is a very good post that deals with a legitimate problem in writing: how to make good, believable, non-cheesy/embarrassing/narmy/facepalm/wtf-was-the-writer-thinking sex scenes. I think it’s a well-written post, and people are usually interested in both sex and writing, so I was surprised it didn’t get much attention).

Post I’m Most Proud Of

A friend claims she’s proud of all of her posts (and I am happy for her), but I am sorry to say it doesn’t work the same for me. I am not proud of my blogging pre-2010 in general.

But there are some posts I am quite proud of. This goes, first and foremost, for my reviews (especially movie reviews). I link most of them at a separate page (Articles), along with some other stuff I’ve written (that I think deserve special attention).

Some other good posts:

Stereotypes About Americans

Women: How not to be seen as fully human

5 songs I like against all odds and 5 songs I dislike against all odds

Rules of a chick lit (and what can we learn from it)

PS- I’m supposed to tag five people to do this meme, but I think it’s too pushy. It’s better if people decide for themselves they want to do it. (And if you choose to do it, I’d love to see your list!)

My site is getting more visitors

My website is getting more and more visitors! It’s still relatively unknown, but it’s not like nobody ever heard of it. It currently has a Google page rank of 3, and, for the first time, people are searching of it: one of the top searches this week was “jefflion.net”. It means some people remember it and want to find it, as the opposite of arriving here after a random search on lions, Jeff Ament or Stephenie Meyer.

Also, I’d like to use this opportunity welcome (again) all of my new readers (both lurkers and commenters)! :)

Most popular pages these days

(See Sidebar).

Women and casual sex still rules… I don’t think anything here could get more popular than that. People are also interested in my post on Danny Boyle’s movie “Sunshine” and/or Cillian Murphy (one of the most popular searches this week was “sexy Cillian Murphy” <- no kidding). Spittings also seem to be really popular, particularly “Twilight” spittings. (I wasn’t aware this crap is still popular). Certain articles, such as “Bad personal content”, or “Bad visitor content” also seem to be popular, as well as my pretty uninteresting Goodies section (not that “Adopt-a-butt” game isn’t cool on itself).

One of the most surprising thing, though, was popularity of my introspective post “Things I don’t write about”. I guess it shows, contrary what I believed, that visitors are interested in reading more about the blog owner, even if it’s personal. Will have to think about this.

“Sunshine”: (Almost) incredible

I fell in love with astronomy when I was 13. It was a great passion of mine. It’s still painful for me to talk about the fact I didn’t became an astrophysicist. In any case, one’s obsession with space and astronomy makes an excellent SF fan. And when I say SF, I don’t mean on “soft” stuff such as “Star Wars”. I was more into books and movies that deal with science/realistic space, as well as philosophy (for example, “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Contact”).

Danny Boyle’s “Sunshine” is none of that. And yet, it is. Not sure how to explain this. The science behind it is sketchy (though much better than appears at the first glance). The plot has a great premise but a highly questionable third act (in which a psychological drama becomes a slasher flick). A great deal of important info, be it about science, plot or philosophy is missing from the movie and can be found only in director’s commentary. These things make “Sunshine” average at best.

And yet, there’s something about this movie that is truly epic. The designs are perfect in every sense (be it technically accurate or not). But design is not what makes a movie great. Acting was solid and surprisingly realistic. The premise and the themes were quite promising (isolation, religion and science, questions about future of human kind and human nature). These things can be felt in every second of it, even at action packed sequences that have nothing to do with higher issues.

There’s something incredibly captivating about “Sunshine”. About 20 seconds into the movie, we see the space ship with this amazing sun shield and hear character Robert Capa, the physicist, say “Our purpose is to create a star within a star. Eight astronauts strapped to the back of a bomb. My bomb. Welcome to the Icarus Two.” And you’re instantly hooked.

Then fantastic first and second act follow. After that – a complete mess, almost to the point of a genre shift (and not in a good way). This is what most of the people found disappointing. This is what prevents “Sunshine” from being truly epic.

The problem is not the fact they opted for action packed finale that flirts with slasher genre. The problem is that it’s clearly not the point of the film, but they still didn’t show/explored the more important stuff. These things are there, always, but get heavily pushed to the background.

Also, what I find problematic is the fact important information about the science as well as characters is missing. The important issue of religion vs science (which somehow IS the point of the movie) is rather sketched.

Make no mistakes here: this is still a movie about human mind, about ways in which faith and science overlap and contradict each other, about forces of nature that we all depend on. No slasher/action packed third act can’t change that. But it certainly switches the focus in a bad way and doesn’t leave much room for the more important issues.

That’s being said, “Sunshine” is still a good film. I am just sorry it’s not GREAT – and it’s not like it didn’t have an opportunity for it. It could have been one of the best SF movies in history. And one of my favourite movies. I honestly don’t know what went wrong. Still, there’s something incredible, something captivating about it, and it almost makes up for the all bad things.

A note on Cillian Murphy

This guy is a fantastic actor. This might not be his best role, but I must say he was great as Robert Capa: as realistic as you can be. But “Sunshine” aside, he demonstrated his talent and versatility on many occasions, so I do believe he deserves more serious roles.

I am glad he decided against being type-cast as a creep (not that he can’t make a good one… Did you see his eyes?) but there’s more talent in him. There’s something captivating about him too, and not just his strange physical appearance (let’s face it, dude looks like a lady… but without appearing effeminate or gay. And on top of these confusing characteristics, he has a beautiful, deep, masculine voice). The guy can act. I just hope Hollywood doesn’t swallow him up.

Cute boys with PhD

On a sidenote: one thing I found amusing about “Sunshine” is the fact many people complained about actors, especially Cillian Murphy, being “too sexy to be scientists”. Are these people aware how offensive this is? Not to mention inaccurate: no matter what movies taught you, physicists and other scientists are not universally nerdy/unattractive. In fact, Capa looks, dresses and acts a lot like young physicists I know. These guys are into rock music, dress in t-shirts and jeans, and while they might be a bit on a geeky side, it’s usually in a nice way.


Sunshine character backstories