Friday, March 27, 2009

Battlestar Music Videos

Because I am having serious BSG withdrawal, here are two fun little videos about the glorious show:


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

I know it's been flying around the interwebs all day, but here it is again, courtesy of Trailer Addict.
That being said, I don't remember ever reading this book when I was young. I just don't. I probably did, but I don't remember. Even so, I think this looks pretty awesome. Like a return to the days of yore when children's movies the likes of The Labyrinth and Dark Crystal, scared the shit out of kids and made them scared of the Oubliette (one of my favorite words) and whatever the hell the things from Dark Crystal were.

One of my favorite things about this trailer is that it would appear that Spike Jonze went with his instinct and no doubt fought the studio tooth-and-nail to make the monsters people in suits or animatronics, over CGI. I like that. It keeps the look and feel of what I know of the book and what a kid would see if he were really experiencing it while keeping away the bad CGI of say, The Day After Tomorrow and I Am Legend. I tried to find clips of those two movies, one of which is atrocious all the way through and the other only is marred by it's bad Motion Capture CGI (I Am Legend), but they all appear to be removed from YouTube at this time.

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood plus catchy little musics and fun facts!

SlagsmÄlsklubben - Sponsored by destiny from Tomas Nilsson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SciFi Book Award Shortlist

The shortlist for the award has been announced and includes the phenomenal Alastair Reynolds and his newest book, House of Suns, which I have yet to read as it isn't out yet in the U.S. and I don't want to pay for the cost conversion/shipping to the U.S.

Check it out at the link below:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hello and Goodbye to Battlestar Galactica

Five years ago I came across a television show on the Sci-Fi Channel that changed so much with me and with perceptions of what it is to be a science-fiction show. I hadn’t been an avid watcher of the Sci-Fi Channel, I only liked it because they played episodes of The X-Files; in fact I was probably watching that very show when a commercial break rolled around and a promo began to play on my screen. It was an amazing promo for a show about humans being annihilated by something they created to help them. Something that was used and abused and that rebelled in anger. A theme that I find myself being drawn to all the time.

That show was called Battlestar Galactica. A “re-imagining” of an old cheesy show that ran on ABC for a season way back in 1978. A cult favorite for what I can only assume is the nostalgia and cheesy-fun that it provides. But, this new Battlestar show looked intense and heavy, I had to watch it. So, for months I waited for December 7, 2004 to roll around. And when that day came I was hooked for the entire duration. It was the kind of show that I would watch no matter what. I would write off all other responsibilities every Friday night (and Sunday night for a tick). I didn’t care, that show is that good. And then I had to wait for season 1 to start with the intense, suspense-filled episode ‘33’.

Why is it that good? Why should you have been watching this show for the past five years? If you say it’s because it’s not a genre you like, or that you don’t like Star Wars so why would you like this? You couldn’t be more wrong with your knee-jerk reaction. This show is more than space battles, space-ships and Cylons. It’s about the characters, the humanity that is embodied in each and every choice a character makes on the show, good or bad. And there are oh so many times a decision was made that was wrong. In the post-9/11 world that saw this show come to be, there is a relevance to what it means to be human, to invade and take over another “culture”, to be taken over by another culture and to feel compassion and sympathy, at times, for those on the opposing side. This is exactly why this show succeeded as it did, had it been any other time it would have failed miserably.

I can assure you that I have run across my share of people who think I am crazy for loving this show. Then I make them watch it and they become enamored with it what they see. It begins to make sense, they realize it isn’t Star Wars 2.0; it isn’t about the “planet/alien-of-the-week”. It isn’t about glossy ships and gallant heroes that save the day just as the clock reaches one hour of air-time. But, I hear you asking, what is it about then? What is the core story behind this show you are telling me is groundbreaking, phenomenal, astounding and great? Well, let me tell you.

It’s an age old story of man creating a robotic helper to do their dirty work. I don’t mean offing people. I mean man created something, at this point not in his image, to help. At first it was a noble idea but soon those Cylons gain sentience and realize they are being used and they don’t like it. So they rebel against their parents. After a long and lengthy battle they decide to leave to find a planet to call their own. They agree to an armistice with humanity. On a remote station a human and a Cylon would meet once a year. Every year a man arrived and every year there was no Cylon. They haven’t seen or heard from a Cylon in 40 years…until today. The doors slide open; two severely updated Cylon Centurions enter and stand to the side. The man hears the distinctive click of high heels and in walks a leggy, beautiful woman. She asks the man if he is alive, kisses him and, from outside, a large pointed ship (Basestar) hovers above the armistice station shortly before blowing it up.

If that scene alone doesn’t get your attention, why you might be dead.

The meat of the show, like I said earlier, is the characters. Humanity is shortly attacked all over the 12 colonies by Cylons, and a rag-tag group of ships ranging from the Galactica to pleasure ships like Cloud 9 cling together for safety in numbers. They are led by, at the time, Commander William Adama and Colonel Saul Tigh, along with the newly appointed president, admittedly shaken and confused, Secretary of Education Laura Roslin. She was appointed because everyone above her was killed in the initial attack. Together they lead the fleet on a quest to find the mythical 13th colony of the 13th tribe of humanity, Earth.

But, the show isn’t just the story. Without the following things the show would be nothing. The special effects rival those of big-budget Hollywood blockbusters. All on a budget just a fraction of the size of those blockbusters. As a comparison think of the crappy effects in say, Spiderman or The Day After Tomorrow. While I know there technically wouldn’t be any explosions in space since it’s a vacuum, some of the battle scenes are breathtakingly gorgeous. Then there is set design, lighting, videography and the usage of some of the best, untapped directors out there. Namely Michael Rymer and Sergio Mimica-Gezzan (who has worked as a 2nd AD for Steven Spielberg). And the little (great big) cherry upon the icing on top, the music. Bear McCreary manages to weave a sonic tapestry of aural delight into every single episode. He uses instruments and styles from all over the world, including an accordion for Number 6’s Theme, though tweaked for a certain feel.

And it all ends Friday. This Friday March 20, 2009 will be the last episode of this show that has not only captured my attention for the past 5 years, but was one of the major reasons I decided to return to school for video production. The chance to make something that people are interested in, that catches their minds and makes them think. Over 5 years I have watched characters that aren’t real live and die, fight and make up, marry and divorce, shoot and be shot, fly and crash-land, discover and flee, order and disobey and realize they might not be who they were or want to be. When Friday rolls around I will be sad, sad to see a beloved show end and a ship no doubt “die”, and I’ll bid adieu to something that I hold near and dear to my heart as one of the best television shows ever produced. And in celebration of the show I will be doing a season-by-season rollout of episodes starting tomorrow. Catch up, whether it be by internet, DVD, or synopsis and say goodbye to the grand ol’ Galactica with me on Friday in style and respect.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Race to Witch Mountain Review

Witch Mountain is an entertaining movie with some good special FX at times, the acting wasn't too bad, and Dwayne Johnson (who I refuse to call The Rock...I just won't do it) was fine. I gave it a solid 80%, a B-, I'll get to why a little later.

The movie basically opens with the ship crashing in the desert outside Las Vegas and the obligatory government agencies rushing to find the crashed ship and it's passengers. They take the ship and we are treated to Dwayne Johnsons' character as a cab driver who gets a range of weird passengers: a couple Star Wars Storm Troopers (I almost wrote Droids, I am not really a Star Wars fan)and, Carla Gugino's astro-physicist/alien-finder-lady going to the UFO convention. Then he's at the taxi lot and two guys show up in a black SUV to tell him Mr.Wolf needs him for another job. He's all no! They leave after he busts them up a tad. He returns to his car and inside are the kids. They shove some money into his face and say to drive that way. Along the way a bunch of cars show up in pursuit. He thinks they are the guys from earlier, while the kids know they are the government people coming after them. A little later an alien bounty hunter shows up and chases them around. They get away and the government people chase them around, then the bounty hunter, then the get the point. 

Basically the kids were sent by their parents to Earth to retrieve some kind of device which was left here during some other time as an experiment to see if plants and life could be remade even after the environment was damaged, or something. They find it in a cabin and must return to their ship and take it back to their planet so they can convince the warring sides that they don't have to invade Earth afterall. See, they've destroyed their planet and one side, which sent the bounty hunter, believes that they need to invade Earth and make it their home. The kids' parents were arrested for believing this wasn't neccesary. 

Eventually they gather up Carla Gugino and she comes along and there is a lot of awkwardness with Dwayne Johnson along the lines of "we like each other" garbage. Then they run from both baddies and the kids are captured and almost get prodded and poked until they are rescued and they run some more and take off in the ship. Of course the doors to the ship won't close all the way and Dwayne goes back and the bounty hunter makes it on and they he's gone! Yay! The End. This whole area kind of devolved into a cookie-cutter setup of run and chase and run and some really bland FX came in like the bullet slow-down by the ship, which looked just like it was painted on with some bad animation or something.

Now I gave it an 80% because it wasn't all that bad. There were some good chase scenes and explosions and it was a generally enjoyable story. What I did not like was the ridiculous "let's-make-these-two-characters-appear-attracted-to-one-another" portion as it made no sense and really had no part in the story, and also the whole government going after the kids. It was a little too much. Why couldn't there just be the bounty hunter, and maybe the government took the ship and they have to evade the bounty hunter and get the ship back? Ciaran Hinds' character was evil from the start and he was almost too evil and it made no sense to me. I didn't understand why he was after the kids other than he wanted to dissect them, but wouldn't the ship just be enough? 

So 80% it was. I would recommend it for people looking for an enjoyable, fluffy yet interesting movie to watch. I wouldn't take small kids because it would probably bore them and it's a little much for their little heads to take in. But I could see some 7 year olds and up enjoying it and their parents wouldn't be bored during the viewing.

Orphan Trailer

It's like The Good Son minus a Culkin and Wood and with a girl. Both have an orphan. Only in this movie the orphan is the evil one. This is why people never adopt older children, the fear that they will be crazy, say, "I love you Daddy" in a creepy way and throw random children from wooden jungle gyms (wooden jungle gyms are stupid, I know)...I am, of course, joking; people should adopt older children. 

If the little girl that was already in the home gets hurt while ice skating and there is a cliff where the other kid dangles precariously, I'll be upset and cry copy-cat.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Star Wars Mini-figs build this thing from Star Wars

I'm not that big of a fan of Star Wars, I just think it's a little to *snooze snooze* and not enough *PEW PEW*, but this is cool. A little long, but cool. I like when the little Star Trek mini-fig appears and they cut his head off.

DUDE! He was just stopping by to say "What up?" and you hack his noggin off? Not cool man, NOT cool!

Anyway, now they spend all this time building a death star, or something and it's big and made of a bunch of pieces and giggets (all those little pieces, that's what my sister and I always called them).

Building the LEGO Millennium Falcon from Gizmodo on Vimeo.

3rd Star Trek trailer

Everything J.J. Abrams touches turns to awesome! This is amazing, it looks amazing, it sounds amazing, that music is amazing...and I can't wait. I'm not a Star Trek fan really, and I bet there are some die-hard fans out there that are freaking out, but come on, this looks great!


The new trailer for UP!

Actually tells what the movie is about and that little dog is so cute. The trailer itself, colors and animation, looks great!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Internet Exclusive Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Looks dark, dreary and sure to scare the 4 year olds people insist on bringing to see this "kids" movie.

I didn't see the last one and I never read all the way through this book, it was kind of boring me, maybe I'll have to pick it back up?


Creepy. Weird. Creepy. All Alone.
Reminds me of Event Horizon with the whole waking up alone, losing your mind vibe. And what the hell is that thing that shrieks at 1:24? Are they alone on this ship, or what?

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

After the debacle that was the last X-Men movie, which for the record, I hated except for the Dark Phoenix storyline, I was really on the fence about this; I still am. Parts look good, plus you have Hugh Jackman sans shirt and Ryan Reynolds with a sleevless shirt on, so that's a plus. Parts look bad, like the end, "Ooh, shiny", and the fact there is a plethora of characters that just may overburden the film and take the cake for the most characters slapped on screen at one time for no reason. I could be wrong...I hope I am. But for the most part, it looks kind of good.

Public Enemies

Not too huge a fan of Michael Mann, but this looks awesome! It has Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, old-timey talkin' Billy Crudup, guns, etc. I like.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Terminator: Salvation trailer B

It appears that dear Marcus is not human afterall, but some kind of cyborg. Is he the start of the human/machine hybrids we first see in Terminator, with Arnold? Is he the "something's changed" Connor talks of? Is he something different?

This series being rife with paradoxes, shouldn't he know of the hybrids already? Since he's spent his life changing the future (which appears impossible), he would have already encountered the various models that are part flesh, since his future self sent one back to protect his past self. But if he doesn't recognize them for what they are, what's going on? He can't be the John that never encountered the machines in the past, because that John never existed since he sent Reese back to protect Sarah which caused him to be created in the first place. Heavy. So what's going on? 

I can't wait to see: