…of pseudo-scifi, did you see the latest Indy flick, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls? Man I love Indiana Jones! Where else can you wrap nostalgia up in a slice of American cheese? But I was reading this comment on www.sliceofscifi.com where this guy said the next movie should be “Indiana Jones and the Fountain of Youth”. I agree and they could get a younger actor to play him in the one after that. What about Brendan Frasier? We could call it “Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Mummy” What? He’s already pretending to be Indiana Jones? Oh, well.

Pseudo Scifi TV

May 28, 2008

I hate it when non-scifi gets tagged as scifi. “Sometime in the near future” usually makes me groan and find something else to read/watch. And the Scifi channel has done even one better than that, they’ve tagged wrestling and ghost hunting as scifi. What’s up with that? Does that mean my early adolescence has the making of good Scifi channel programming? If I had only known. The other one that grates on me is that the networks these days think that paranormal and scifi are synonymous (thanks, X-Files, for convincing the networks that scifi programming is cheap and all about the unexplained). Again, groan.

Anyway, there are two shows actually that I can be forgiving of. They aren’t anything like Babylon 5, Firefly, or Battlestar, but I’ll let them keep the “genre” tag just because I do like them. And thank goodness for the growing trend of streaming past seasons of shows on sites like www.abc.com and www.hulu.com because now my boredom between Scifi Fridays, brought on by the choice of either watching wrestling or ghost hunting, can be quenched by past episodes of Lost. I’m almost done with the first season and it has kept me entertained so far. I just may go on. They do a good job of using the cliffhanger to hook you into streaming the next episode. And this is probably one of the reasons why I continue to watch, because I can. Anytime, for as long as I want, and not have to wait between episodes. In some cases, and I won’t name names, but the initials are Battlestar Galactica, it is a whole year between episodes! Of course, I could do the same with BSG if I just waited another two years and watched it all at once…

Now, that isn’t to say I don’t have any problems with the show. The character development is great, the stories are watchable, the mystery is enticing, but what is up with everyone looking so good? OK, sure the men are unshaven, but that’s what I look like at the end of the week after my posh existence with a house, car, job, and 2.5 kids. They should look a hell of a lot worse after months on a deserted island! Just how long do those travel razors last anyway? They do get pretty dirty and sweaty sometimes, but other times they are all nice and clean wearing sparkling white t-shirts! Huh? Okay, I concede they could be washing up in the ocean or in a waterfall, but how do they come out looking so clean, fluffy, and feathered?! I’m sure my family can tell you that’s not what my clothes and hair looked like after I took a dip in the Caribbean and then air-dried. I guess it is all for the good of the show, though, because if they let some of those people get as gross as they would in real life, people would be flipping channels for sure. At least there’s no smell-o-vision yet! Forgiving and still watching.

JMS and the Lensman

May 27, 2008

Usually I post with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  Well today I will take a break.

I just read several recaps of J. Michael Straczynski’s Comicon “spotlight” panel and it started me thinking…….

Why, IMHO, was Babylon 5 the best science fiction television show ever?
Was it the fact that they took science seriously?
Was it the fact that the writers took their audience seriously?

For me it was the first and only time someone outlined an entire epic-length story and then attempted to tell the whole story, piece by piece, over the course of several years

Now I have no frackin’ idea if JMS can pull off adapting the “Lensman” for film, but it seems like if anyone can do it, he can.

I admit that it took me a while to make my way through several of the Lensman books.  They are kinda quirky by today’s standards but are the genesis of the large space opera genre.  If you are a die hard Sci-Fi fan take the time to at least check them out.

OK, tongue back in cheek…  Anyone who can envision an alien race that wears French Imperial uniforms has balls enough to take on the Lensman series that gives us winged reptile sentients, pink pigmented humanoids with trianglular eyes, and soul devouring Overlords.

Wired on Battlestar

May 26, 2008

The new edition of Wired is here.  I dearly love my monthly copy of Wired magazine.  It is easily the best 10 minutes of bathroom reading each month.

Imagine my giddiness as I started to make the trek to the “Library” and discovered this month’s installment had a special treat, an interview with Ron Moore.  As I closed the door I remember thinking, “15 minutes minimum”.

Imagine my disappointment (the “oatmeal again” kinda disappointment, not the “What!?!?!? there is no Santa Clause”  kinda disappointment) upon turning to the “Chat”.  It comprised 2 pages with half of each page taken up by some photo/graphic.  This left 1 whole page of pure drivel to read.

One of the mainstays of Wired has been its tired/wired categories.  So what will happen when Wired has to put itself in the “tired” category?  A mobious effect where we are forced to relive the same tired edition over and over?  If so, we are getting dangerously close.

This interview with Ron Moore should be placed in “tired”.  Anyone could have crafted such an interview from press releases, freely available bios, and old blog postings.  I doubt anyone even attempted to call Mr. Moore or his “people”

Shame on you Wired for wasting 2 minutes of my reading time.  I expected 15 minutes and ended up with less than my usual 10.

I will keep reading (since the subscription only cost me $10) but my expectations are now so low that even a well crafted advertisement for the latest military video saga can only raise them.

BBC America has been running several seasons of the Dr. Who spin-off called Torchwood.

I have religiously watched parts of several episodes this season and find the show rather entertaining in a sadomasochistic kinda way. The series would be better for me if each episode were 15 minutes long and done at 4x speed. Since this is usually the way I watch each episode it would save me some DVR storage space.

The best part of Torchwood is the premise that all this flotsam and jetsam from a time/space rift gets washed into Wales. I find this quite refreshing in contrast to the old standby SciFi/Fantasy notion that advanced alien races gave us the Pyramids, Stonehenge, an advanced Mayan culture, fine French food, or influenced the world religions. Instead we have random influences happening that may, or may not, always advance the human race.

Having the bulk of my genetics come from Wales, it also explains many of my family traits. The Uncle with six toes, the homocidal degenerates that pop up every few generations, the sharp incisors, the small almond sized eyes placed far apart, the massive craniums that despite their size produce low IQs, and of course that one family member whose left eye isn’t always looking at you when they are talking to you.

Well done BBC!! You have captured the essence of something I can relate to and find plausible.

I am still trying to watch.

Apparantly I’ve been living in a hole for several years, because somehow I’ve missed the debut of one of the most exciting visionaries of our time: Tron Guy!

I’m not even sure I need to comment. I think he already said it all for me both directly and indirectly. Talk about a collision! Too bad he can’t be our mascot here at Cordrazine.  You can already find him on Jimmy Kimmel Live on YouTube or visit http://www.tronguy.net. I have to admit, though, some of the videos made me real queasy and I didn’t make it through them all. I better just end it at that before the MCP sends Sark after me in one of those flying Arc de Triomphes.

As far as Fantasy is concerned I can take it or leave it.  Take it as literature, leave it as film/video. 

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy at least one of the “Bored of the Rings” mega installments.  I forget which one because they all seem the same to me.  I just remember thinking, “Boy I’m glad I brought my Crackberry so I can catch up on emails and web surfing while being in a darkened room full of hundred year-old popcorn smells”

Anyway, with the latest installment of “The Chronicles of Narnia” I decided that there MUST be some good Fantasy on film/video out there so I launched an extensive search (including the usual sources: Tobin’s Spirit Guide, Google, IMDB, YouTube, etc…). What I came away with is that, with the exception of the 1963 classic “Jason and the Argonauts”, there is scarce little out there to call watchable.

However, by all accounts I have uncovered perhaps the best Fantasy sequence ever filmed.  This stunning piece of work hails from December of 1982 and is an unforgetable adaptation of the classic “The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe”.

The dialog and sets are stunning and highly imaginative.  For me this is the best dialog in the whole sequence:

Witch: Come sit next to me child…  Have some Turkish delight (boy opens mouth)

Witch: UGHH!!  Who farted?!?

Boy: Its not me

Little Elf: Revolting, Thats revolting. People like you should be put in little boxes, tied up with string and left in small dark rooms without any electricity

Now color me wrong, but you just can’t beat that for pure Fanatsy movie making.

Thankfully the good people at YouTube have put this on the web for all of us to enjoy:

Please jump to time index 6:13 and hold your breath…  Can’t get better than this!!

 

Remember back in the 80s there were those Reese’s peanut buttercup commercials?

What the felgercarb does that have to do with Scifi other than the cool retro atari-esque video game? Well, imagine two geeks at a scifi convention. One is browsing memorabilia from Disney’s smash improbable 80s flick, Tron (he’s there only because he recently figured out B5’s very own Captain Sheridan was in the movie). Coming around the corner at full-speed, in poorly fitted, overstretched Batman tights (60s super campy style) is another geek rushing to get into line to get Adam West’s autograph before he dies. Can you imagine what happens next? SPLAT! “Hey! You got improbable Tron on my campy Batman!” followed by “Hey! You got campy Batman on my improbable Tron!” But our two geeks realize what the mishap has created and both remark, “Two great tastes that taste great together!” And now you’re really wondering what the felgercarb I’m talking about? Well, those two geeks…holy Han Solo, it’s Wachowski Brothers! But we don’t own the rights to either of those shows they lament. Hey what the hell, let’s just remake Speedracer. And in case you don’t believe me, grab some 3D glasses and watch these two clips at the same time:

It should come out looking something like this:

And they say there are no more original ideas in hollywood anymore.

I have finally found true religion.  It came to me via a web posting:

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-odd-britain-vader-raider,0,4215502.story

Turns out there is a church of the Jedi where they use the “insight and knowledge” from the films as “a guide to living a better and more worthwhile life.”

I however, don’t subscribe to all the tenants of this new found religion so I am joining the reformed church of the Jedi.  We of course use the “insights and knowledge” gleaned from the renowned Robot Chicken and Family Guy spoofs as a “guide to living a mediocre and worthless existance”.

Hopefully all the money I will spend on T-shirts and such will be seen as a religious donation and be tax deductible.

And just the thought of a drunken guy in a garbage bag weilding a fake light-saber and whacking Jedis wannabes makes it all worth it

 

BSG: Faith

May 20, 2008

I love all the theories swirling around this season of BSG.  After watching the episode called “Faith” it all became clear to me.

If you watched closely, Madam President’s mother is actually Barbara Bush which raises some interesting theories….
 
I always thought George W. was a Cylon, or at the very least a Hybrid…..  That means Madam President could be the last Cylon and George and Jeb have a sister we didn’t know about (ha! George Lucas already did this movie!!!)
 
And I noticed they stopped by Deep Space Nne and picked up that chick who then abruptly loses her bumps and dies of cancer.  Perhaps the one GOD are really those shape shifting Dominion Dudes from the Gamma quadrant (or wherever it was) and Odo will show up and claim to be the last Cylon.
 
Also, they are pretty ballsy about shooting randomly in space!!!!  You would think the bullets would bounce around inside one of those ships and accidentally kill several people, take out a couple of critical gages or at the very least graze someone and cause a nasty welt.  Maybe they are are packin’ rock salt in those guns.
 
Fianlly,  I kinda like hearing Baltar drone on in the background.  I think for the rest of the series they should scrap the music score and just have him drone on and on….  He could recite Beatles lyrics, read from Shakespear (which I think he did in this episode….  or perhaps it was a quote from Star Trek 37 “The Undiscovered Country”…  need to watch it again), or plug products (I can just hear him in the background talking about having a Coke and a smile and hearing monk like chanting of “I’ld like to teach the world to sing….”)
 
Anyway,  I am still watching