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Captain Planet

That’s right, children. It’s time to talk about our favorite planet-saving mulleted early 90’s superhero:

CAPTAIN PLANET

and his ring-bearing friends, one from each continent (left to right):

MATI (South America) with the power of HEART (which equals Doctor-Doolittle-eque powers)

GI (Asia) with the power of WATER (ie. control over wet things)

KWAME (Africa) with the power of EARTH (ie. control over seismic activity and ground related things)

WHEELER (North America) with the power of FIRE (ie. his ring is like a flamethrower)

LINKA (Europe) with the power of WIND (ie. can move more air than a normal person)

and JED (Oceania) with the power of INVISIBILITY (ie. his continent wasn’t important enough to warrant a Planeteer)

And when they combine their powers, they create:

CAPTAIN PLANET Captain Planet has all of their powers, plus he’s blue!

I guess individually the Planeteers were so dumb that if they tried to combine their strengths by working together they’d end up blowing in an army of dirty, flaming gerbils:

…to spit the bad guys into submission.

Anyway, say what you want about its cheesiness, but you have to admit it was way ahead of its time! The government is only now starting to push people toward being environmentally friendly.

But we, the planeteer generation say: way ahead of you! We knew the power was ours long ago. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go trim our green mulletts.

Buy Captain Planet Stuff

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The Butchering of Star Trek: Enterprise

This past week I’ve been going over everything I’ve ever written trying to figure out what to send to the film school people. In the process, I dug up some stuff I wrote a few days after watching the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise and thought I’d share it.


Here’s a picture of the cast to break up what would otherwise be a big block of text

The show was cancelled unexpectedly close to the end of the fourth season, forcing the show’s crew into a mad scramble to end the series coherently. The last episode was written by the series creators, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.

The episode was called “These Are the Voyages” and fans seem to be split into two camps regarding it: those who outright loathe it and those who love it. There’s very little in between.

As you can see from the title of the post, I fell into the first group. I was so disappointed in it that I actually posted on the message boards from the show – the first time I ever did that for any show. Until then I had avoided it because real fans can get kind of scary.

Anyway, if you liked the show at all, here’s what I thought was so bad about the final episode:

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The Return of Michael Vaughn

Hah! I knew it! I knew he wasn’t really dead!

How did I know this, you ask? Because no one’s ever REALLY dead on Alias. Sydney’s dad shot Sydney’s mom in the face and she’s still alive because he apparently shot her “double”.

That’s the beauty of a show like this. It’s Star Trek-esque in the fact that no technology is impossible, so there’s nothing you can do for sympathy ratings that you can’t un-do later to advance the plot.

So you just knew that when Vaughn got shot in “Prophet Five”…


(well, machine-gunned would be more accurate)

…that there was going to be some crazy medical miracle cure for forty-bullets-in-the-chest (despite the fact that if you shoot the average bad guy once in the stomach he dies immediately.

And lo and behold! Michael Vaughn wakes up post forty-bullet-in-the-chest surgery (ABC missed a golden opportunity for a crossover with Grey’s Anatomy on that one) only to die mysteriously a few minutes later. They didn’t even TRY to make us believe it by having him die while Syd was there. Instead, they wait till she’s in the hall and (presumably) perform the ol’ switcheroo.

They dragged the charade out for thirteen episodes until finally revealing in “I See Dead People” that Vaughn is now a mountain man in Tibet. I can’t wait to hear the excuse he gives Sydney for letting her think he was dead for months and leaving her-oh-so-pregnant self sans protection when the evil Prophet 5 wanted her for…whatever it was they wanted her for.

Buy the Final Season of Alias

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How to be Killed

From watching a multitude of horror films, I have learned that there are certain steps one needs to take if one wants to be killed in the goriest possible fashion. I will share these with you, so that one day you too can go out in style.

1. Trust everyone.
You never know who’s a killer and who’s not, so the best way to find out is to let each person get you alone and see whether or not they kill you.

2. Whenever possible, be alone with strangers.
They’re more likely to be killers than your friends, whom you have probably already been alone with without anything untoward happening.

3. Do all your traveling alone at night in bad weather.
This decreases the chance that there will be anyone around to help you should you be targeted by a killer.

3. If you must travel by vehicle, take the most unreliable one you can find.
Thus making sure that when it breaks down, whoever stops to “help” you will have other plans in mind.

4. Make sure to tell everyone you’re going out of town.
This way, when you are kidnapped and held in a dank basement for days, no one will be looking for you.

5. Make sure not to tell anyone if you go out in the dark by yourself.
Then it will take them longer to realize you are missing.

6. If receiving threatening messages or dead animal parts in the mail, or if your friends are disappearing, do not talk to the police.
This may deter the killer.

7. When you are first attacked, concentrate solely on staring into the killer’s masked face and screaming.
This is more likely to get you killed than trying to escape, fighting back, or calling for help.

8. Panic.
This ensures that you will make foolish decisions.

9. When running away indoors, head for a basement or bell tower.
Because there are no exits.

10. When running away outdoors, head for the woods.
Do not run toward populated areas. People there may try to help you.

11. While you are running, make sure to look back as often as possible.
So you will trip over something in front of you.

12. Scream as much as possible and knock things over.
This will make it easier for the killer to track you while you try to escape.

13. Take a very circuitous escape route.
So as to allow the killer to follow you at a walking pace.

14. In your final moments, do not scratch the killer.
This may result in samples of his/her DNA getting under your fingernails. If your body is found it may lead them to the killer.

This concludes the “How to be Killed” manual. Now get out there and put your new knowledge to good use. With any luck, your liver could end up as a trophy in the freezer of a killer near you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Meyers has written numerous completely fictional novels detailing the inner machinations of the mind of a serial killer. He has been married and widowed 357 times. He and his current wife Audrey currently live out of telephone contact with the 911 system. Michael enjoys hunting, paint-by-numbers and playing dress-up. His favorite food is liver.


Photo Credit: Jack McKillable (deceased)

Buy Some Horror DVDs

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Battlestar Galactica – In Five Minutes or Less

If you want to start watching Battlestar Galactica (it sounds cool, so why wouldn’t you?) here’s what you need to do:

1) Realize that there are two Battlestar Galacticas – a 70s version and a 2000s version. The 70s version is probably not the one you’re looking for unless you have a soft spot for cheesy old garbage like the Original Star Trek.
How to Tell Them Apart: Watch it for three and a half seconds.

2) Don’t just turn on the TV when it’s on. There’s a lot going on in a big continuous arc and you might get hopelessly confused – especially if the episode is from the middle of the second season. You might cry and then never watch it again. This would be bad.

3) And especially don’t listen to your TV-watching companion who says they only have one name like “Starbuck” or “Apollo” and the bad robots (Cylons) are big chromey roboty things. Because then you’ll really be f***ed – those things were only true in the cheesy 80s version.

4) Read this guide.

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2010: The Year We All Die

Last night I was watching 2010: The Year We Make Contact


Don’t ask me about the baby, it’s all very complicated

…until about 3am because my neighbours were having a rocker and I couldn’t sleep with the walls shaking like that. Despite the lateness of the hour, the movie left me with an important point to ponder.

WARNING
If you haven’t watched the movie yet, not only will my comments not make any sense but will give away the “something wonderful” that they allude to the whole movie.

So if you’re still with me, this is how it went. Some fantastically advanced alien race used a bloody great lot of black slab-things (called “Monoliths”) to turn Jupiter into a sun and put life on its moon, Europa.


A monolith hard at work

Here’s the rub. The earth’s ecosystem, as we have found out in our attempts to wreck it, is very very fragile. Even if the monolith-makers were careful to keep Jupiter-sun’s mass the same as Jupiter-planet to avoid changing its gravity and fucking up the orbit of everything in the system, the addition of, oh, say ANOTHER SUN would play merry merry havoc with our climate, probably resulting in a lot of very toasty humans.


which, according to Luke’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, sucks

OR: The added hotness of the new sun spawns a complex icecap-melting disasterday of The Day After Tomorrow variety, and we all end up as popsicles.


and YOU thought it’d never happen!

But either way, it’s bad for us.

And neither would it exactly be a picnic for the life they put on Europa. Europa is only 670,900 km from Jupiter.

Mercury, the toastiest planet in the solar system is at the closest point in its orbit 46,000,000 km from the sun – which, as stars go, is not even very hot – and nothing can live there because it’s so meltifying.

So, monolith-guys, THANKS FOR NOTHING!!! Love, the Sol System inhabitants.

Buy 2010: The Year We Make Contact on DVD

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Why Movies Are Better Than TV

I think I might be a bad browncoat, but before I tell you why, let’s get one thing straight: I love the ‘verse. So don’t freak out, but I think I hate TV.


devil box o’ torture

And I’m therefore kinda sorta glad that Firefly was canceled and turned into a movie instead. (But I wouldn’t be glad if it was cancelled and there was no movie)

Why am I glad? Because I love movies. I like movie stories about a thousand times better than dragged out one-hour-a-week-supposing-its-not-a-repeat storytelling by multiple writers (each with different takes on what bits are important) where the characters lives are divided into little chunks that half the time aren’t even related to each other and they have to keep coming up with stupid reasons why it’s taken two seasons to get two characters together only to have one die or something so that the other can remain miserable. I hate it.

Know how I figured this out? I looked at the shows I regularly watch on TV, and the ones I refuse to by gut instinct. I watch: CSI, CSI: NY, NCIS, Without A Trace, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs, Survivor, the Daily Show, SNL and whenever I can catch a new one, the Fairly Odd Parents. Nothing else. I follow my gut and refuse such things as Lost, Desperate Housewives, etc.


Hi, we have no real lives for you to get frustrated with

So let’s break it down:
Survivor – reality show, no real direction of story
CSI et all – crime shows with weekly self-contained stories
FOP – cartoon with no episode arcs
and funny daily/weekly sketch comedy
In other words, I’ve completely rebelled against the kind of TV show that Firefly was.

Now, when the X-Files, Buffy and Angel were on, I watched them, got completely sucked in, and was kind of glad when they were over because it felt like it’d been dragged out too long. Also, the story had gone places I really didn’t like. (Though I admit Dogget and Reyes did grow on me)


Yeah, yeah, you guys were ok

However, with movies, it’s one sweeping story, written by one person with one vision with character and story development that proceed in linear fashion instead of in fits and starts. If you don’t like where the story goes, you reject the whole movie and you don’t end up with those ambivalent feelings towards it. AND you get the whole story at once rather than being feed tantalizing snippets on a weekly basis.

To illustrate, I’ll take the example I’ve been thinking of:

Simon and Kaylee in Firefly and Serenity


Simon and Kaylee enjoying a laugh before one of them screws up the relationship for the thousandth time

In Firefly, Kaylee (Jewel Staite) and Simon (Sean Maher) had obvious chemistry, but despite repeated attempts to get together never managed it before the end of the series. Either Simon would say something that Kaylee could interpret in the worst possible way, or one of them would get distracted and/or lack the guts to say/do something. This was cute for a few episodes, but after a while it started to get repetitive and a little irritating. No doubt if the show had kept on they would have dragged it out for the whole season (at least).
Total filibustering time: about 15 hours, and still no result

In Serenity, they had obvious chemistry, it stewed, they were oblivious, and they GOT OVER IT and got together by the end of the movie.
Total filibustering time: about 2 hours, with positive result

The funny thing is, despite all my bitching, I really do love Firefly. The stand-alone parts of the episodes were brilliant and funny and touching and I love all the characters. Though, I suspect I might have come to love it (the STORY not the characters) slightly less had it dragged on. And I know I’d go insane between episodes.

Therefore, in my opinion, although we would have gotten MORE story from a long-running TV show, I think we got a BETTER story from the movie.

To sum up:



Great


Greatest Thing Ever in the World

There are a number of potential explanations for why I think this way:

1) I have no patience, therefore cannot sit through slow story development on TV

Attention Span =

2) I watched the movie before the TV show, so I look at the TV show as kind of an extra prequel story.

3) I loved Enterprise and then came “These are the Voyages” and it destroyed all of my faith in TV. It was so bad I re-wrote it to ease the pain. And I’m still bitter.


I loved you, then your awesome world was butchered by your own creaters’ delusions of being able to write

Buy Firefly: The Complete Series on DVD

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Serenity

If you want a synopsis or a review or whatever of Serenity, go have a look at:
Serenity: The Official Movie Website

But if you want to know the real reasons why you should go see it, keep reading:

I have never loved a movie like I love Serenity since I saw Return of the Jedi when I was nine. Just to give you an idea of how much I loved Return of the Jedi, my parents had to return it to the video store while I was outside playing Jedi with my little brother, otherwise the store would still be looking for it. Every time I went to a store I looked for copies of the Star Wars movies to buy but there were none. Not until they re-released them in the late ’90s. I can’t TELL you how excited I was for that. And for the prequels too, even though they weren’t as good as the originals….I’m getting side tracked. Sorry. I have the attention span of a chimp.

Anyway, that’s the kind of love I’m talkin’ about. Now this movie Serenity, it sticks in the exact same place in your heart. The story is so captivating that you need more NOW. The dialogue is so clever that even after the movie you’ll find yourself laughing out of nowhere because your brain has randomly delivered up one of the lines. The acting and the special effects are flawless – at no point will you point to the screen and say “I don’t believe that”…mostly because you’ll spend the whole movie with your jaw on the ground, rendering you incapable of saying anything other than “gaaa”.

You’ll have a hard time choosing a favorite character because you love them all and when bad things happen to them you will discover that it’s NOT COOL AT ALL…but that’s good, because it means you care, and that’s the whole idea. You’ll be on the edge of your seat the whole time, and when it’s over, you’ll not only be pumped to see more (why do movies take so LONG to make!?) (luckily there was a series) (unluckily there are only 15 episodes) but you’ll also be pumped to go have your own adventures…even if it’s only rescuing helpless boxes of macaroni from your own evil basement lair.

So if you haven’t already seen it, now you know you want to. So what are you waiting for? Oh, right, we’re in the grey zone: that weird limbo between a movie being on the big screen and on DVD. (is it just me or are grey zones getting shorter and shorter?? [I’m not complaining]) I guess you can download it off PTP but ONLY if you PROMISE to buy it when it comes out on December 20th. (Hah, I don’t even need to make you promise cause you’ll want to anyway!)

Remember buying the DVD = more return on studio’s investment = increased likelihood of said investment being followed my another investment = more Serenity! So now you know what you have to do, now take your money and get out there so I can be watching Serenity II in 2007.

Buy Serenity on DVD

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