Posted by: eseeders | January 10, 2011

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies to Check Out in 2011

The nerdtastic website io9 recently compiled a list of 55 (yes! 55!) sci fi/fantasy movies slated to come out this year. Here’s the full list if you’d like to check it out yourself – io9 link

I’ve combed the list myself picking out really cool or fun looking movies I hadn’t already heard of or know much about that I thought others might be interested in, they’re linked to below.

Your Highness – OMG Natalie Portman looks sooooooooo fucking hott in this movie! Maybe its just cause she’s a kick ass girl with a bad attitude (have i mentioned how much I love strong female leads in movies?) but I think I like her better in this than in Black Swan already haha. The movie also looks pretty unbelievably hilarious, just thought i should throw that in so I’m not a complete misogynistic prick about it 🙂
Your Highness trailer

Drive Angry – Looks like Nic Cage doing what he does best, being a bad actor in a bad movie. It still looks like fun though! haha
Drive Angry trailer

Battle Los Angles – Earth gets invaded by aliens blah de blah de blah. Lots of EXPLOSIONS!!! guns and lasers, what more could a nerd want right? 😀
Battle Los Angles trailer

The Adjustment Bureau – Ooo first really interesting movie on the list! Guy & girl meet, fall for each other but then a secretive organization which controls everything happening in the world conspires to keep them apart or destroy their lives. Ostensibly it’s an allegory about free will and freedom of choice or so it appears
The Adjustment Bureau trailer

Limitless – Another thinker of a movie, the premise here being a guy is given a super drug which allows him to use all of his brain power simultaneously. But then the guy controlling his supply of the drug wants something from him and thus begins the movie or something like that.
Limitless trailer

Super – DIY super heroes! Woo! Staring Dwight (Rainn Wilson) from the office as well as Ellen Page (she’s sooo fucking cute haha). Not an official trailer but a clip from the movie here
Super clip

Priest – Ok ladies, here’s one for you, Paul Bettany is in this and I know at least a few of you out there love this guy haha. So the movie is a post apocalyptic vampire slasher/kicking ass flick thingy apparently. It’ll probably have a terrible story but it could damn well be fun or at least laugh out loud silly like Legion was lol
Priest trailer

Now – I couldn’t find a trailer for this (ok i didn’t try that hard but hey I’m lazy :-p) but it sounds really interesting. In short, humanity has turned off the gene for aging and the new currency is time… how long you’re allowed to live. Read the synopsis at imdb
Now synopsis

One last thing, if you haven’t already, you absolutely MUST watch Sherlock, it is fucking brilliant tv, waaaaayyyyy better than the 2009 movie. In fact it’s what the movie probably should’ve been, smart witty and basically awesome. Here’s a link to the first episode, if it doesn’t draw you in in the first 15 or 20 min you can kick me but i can almost guarantee it will!
Sherlock Ep1

Posted by: eseeders | January 9, 2011

Rhetoric in Our Discourse and the Effect it Has

Jared Lee Loughner does not appear to be directly associated with any political organization tea party or otherwise, he was and is a severely mentally disturbed individual. That said we should still not disregard the vile rhetoric in our political discourse (especially on the right) which through implication encourages actions such as this and more than likely influenced this man to a great degree. People have to realize that we’re not in kindergarten anymore, the sticks and stones rhyme no longer applies. Words mean something, they effect people as well as their actions, politicians need to get their heads out of their asses, stand up against this rhetoric and bring an end to it.

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has more on the subject here and here.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana (Reason in Common Sense, The Life of Reason, Vol.1)

Earlier today while reading through some blogs I came across this fascinating piece from McClatchy’s blog Inside Iraq. The author of the post discusses in brief how current Iraqi history education at the intermediate and secondary levels now omits the last 30 years of Iraq’s history. Not only is that quite a sizable chunk of history but its a part of that country’s history which is also very significant.

Before I continue, it should be noted that Iraq is far from the only country to omit periods of its own history in the texts books. Indeed countries as notable as Japan, Germany and even the United States have to some extent in their past left out important knowledge surrounding controversial periods in their respective histories. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that part of the educational process in any country is instilling a patriotic sense in the children, that’s perfectly fine. However that should not come at the expense of learning from the mistakes of the past.

The children that occupy today’s classrooms whether in Japan, Iraq or the United States are the potential leaders of tomorrow’s world. Surely if they are not made aware of the mistakes of yesteryear, as the quote notes, they’ll be bound to repeat them. We as a people cannot rely on pop culture to educate the young, what they really need is a guiding hand through both the good AND the bad of our history. Only then will they be able to truly appreciate the difficulties that have been overcome to reach where we are now and perhaps with that education they will be able to avoid future such obstacles. If done properly such an education can still create equally patriotic citizens but citizens better equipped to handle the future.

Posted by: eseeders | December 22, 2010

IP’s That Would Make An Awesome Big Budget Hollywood Movie

With the forthcoming onslaught of superhero comic book based Hollywood blockbusters on the horizon, I got to thinking, what other IP’s (intellectual properties i.e. fictional characters or universes trademarked/copyrighted in a different medium) currently out there would make really cool big budget films. As I have a love of video games and sci-fi my list is understandably biased in that direction. That said I’m certain there are a number of others with brilliant ideas for the next amazing movie based on some obscure novella series from the 1920’s… what are your ideas? 🙂

My List:

Freespace (Game) – Viewed by many as the best space flight sim video game (there was a really good sequel as well) ever made, this space opera had the player character on the front lines of a truly massive war when a mysterious third race appears and proceeds to dominate everyone nearly destroying the human race and their former foes. As the game was focused on flying around blowing up bad guys in your badass star fighter there wasnt exactly a lot of characters to develop. In fact, outside of a couple command people giving you orders virtually no one else in the game has a name, not even the dude you’re playing (common in a number of games of course).  However the neat thing about that is it would allow the writers and director a lot of room to maneuver within the universe to create a truly compelling story. Even without any other real characters to develop within the game most players still felt it when they saw their home ship get annihilated by the unstoppable bad guys mid way through the game. With proper character development that could be a pivotal moment in any well made movie and make for an entertaining watch. 

Fallout (Game) – A storied video game franchise (4 separate games, 5 if you include the crappy tactical one, each with is own story, this is starting with the first game) popular among many in the RPG community. The setting for this is a post apocalyptic United States where the survivors live in government sanctioned underground vaults equipped with everything necessary to repopulate the homeland. In one of these vaults is the protagonist but something goes wrong in the vault where he lives in so he volunteers to travel the wastes to another vault to obtain parts allowing the people of his vault to survive until the earth has finished healing and is ready for re-population. Along the way he discovers human survivors that didnt make it to the vaults, mutants and a plethora of other strange creatures. Could sort of be made as a rehash of mad max (only in the US) but if done properly could see its own niche created.

Arcanum (Game) – A fairly obscure game which in my opinion was the only one to ever really do a proper steampunk universe. Perhaps the coolest thing about this was the competition between technology and magic in a world where they were equals. Though the story in the game itself was a bit of a letdown just the idea of a steampunk vs magic universe is a pretty cool one and could be set in a different/better story fairly easily I think.

System Shock/Bioshock (Game) – I put these two series together because 1) they were created by what was ostensibly the same company/design team and 2) though the settings are significantly disparate, the baseline premise of the two stories is essentially the same. The protagonist awakens in the case of system shock on board what appears to be a derelict spaceship. Having been in stasis, he is unaware of what has occurred on the ship bringing it to is current state of being. As he is part of a small military contingent on board he begins to explore the ship discovering it has been overrun by mutants and zombies under the control of a maniacal computer AI (maybe one of the best villains ever in computer gaming history, the voice acting was brilliant) bent on destroying everything in its path. One of the many things that differentiated this game and its successor bioshock from many others was its ability to create a dark and foreboding atmosphere simply through proper pacing. The protagonist never felt completely safe as it was virtually impossible to build up much of an arsenal so you were always left scraping and scrambling for whatever protection you could find. Also this was never about a cast of heroes, merely one individual desperately seeking survival and escape… it’d certainly make for a great thriller movie.

Monkey Island (Game) – A bumbling idiot of a man wants to become a pirate and we get to follow him on his journey… thats the premise of this incredibly well written and funny series of video games. From insult duels to using inane and weird combination’s of objects this game has the potential to form the basis for a good slapstick comedy. Kinda what Johnny Depp’s character was supposed to be in Pirates of the Caribbean only so much better.

The Foundation Series (Book) – I have absolutely no idea how to make this series into a movie all I know is it might be kinda cool (and I heard rumors that someone might actually be doing it!). Anyways, this series covers the fall of a mighty human empire millennia in the future and the resulting rebuilding in the centuries following

The Dune Series (Book) – I know I know this series already has a few movies to its credit however, I REALLY don’t think any of those movies came close to covering the scope of the overarching story line in the series. The whole premise of the series is an examination of what occurs when the message of a messianic figure gets twisted and warped into the basis for a holy war that decimates countless worlds. Neither of the current films did that story proper justice

Mechwarrior/Battletech (Book/Game) – I think this universe would be incredibly fun to explore in film form… though it’s probably prohibitively expensive. There are countless stories from the games and the great number of books that could be covered too many to go into any detail here really. That said the general setting is that of humanity a millennia hence where Earth is but a distant myth. The galaxy has been carved up by various factions of humanity and while there is space combat, the primary mode of fighting are giant building sized walking war machines… now how cool is that? You get armies of these things dueling with each other vying for control of various planets as conflicts rage between the different factions. Later in the Books you see the arrival of a lost clan of humans from the outer reaches of the galaxy which changes the balance of power. I’d certainly say this fictional universe had potential on the big screen and with any number of stories to choose from all you’d need is a little spare change for all the giant Mech battle scenes!

Posted by: eseeders | September 30, 2010

Help is Here, Don’t Give Up

Even in a day and age where the internet connects us all we can still be made to feel so very alone and helpless. Just such a feeling has overcome many people including myself at times and there are few things worse than fighting through that alone… not all of us make it. Those ostracized by society carry the worst of this burden, our homosexual brothers and sisters are just one such group to be severely affected by this, especially in recent years. Lately, there has been a rash of teen and young adult suicides in the gay community due in no small part to incessant bullying and the undoubted feeling of loneliness many closeted individuals face.

We as a people cannot stand idly by, we must help as best we can and let us start by telling all those who feel alone out there that they are not alone. Tell them we are here and we are ready to help, be there for these children, they need you, they need all of us. Spread the word, it gets better.

Posted by: hillad | September 27, 2010

Top Gear Moment #3

Series: 7
Episode: 3

Jeremy, Richard, and James take 3 super cars to the Millau Bridge in France. On their way to the bridge they have to take a nerve wracking drive through the center of Paris at night. This included going around the chaos that is the round about around the Arc de Triomphe. There were many gasps, near misses, and plenty of horn honking. Richard in particular seemed to have the roughest time of them all. The next scene is of the three presenters driving side by side down the Champs Elysees followed by them recovering from the ordeal at a cafe with beer and discussing their cars. A beer sounds about right after what they just went through.

Going around the Arc de Triomphe in Supercars

Jeremy (Narrating): The worst car in the world to try to drive through Paris is a supercar.
Jeremy: It’s like driving a post box. See I’ve got a truck here now and I only know that cause I can hear it.
Richard: Don’t scratch it!
Richard: Yeah shove in…
Richard: (Gasp)
Jeremy: I hope we don’t have to go around the Arc de Triomphe.
–Going around the Arc de Triomphe–
Jeremy: Oh! God that was close.
Richard: (Gasp)
Jeremy: It’s the sound of horns
Richard: Oh God! Excuse me.
Richard: Sorry
Richard: I know it’s a super car! It doesn’t have vertical take-off!

Posted by: hillad | September 19, 2010

Top Gear Moment #2

Series: 14
Episode: 1

The GT car tour of Romania in search of the Transfăgărăşan Highway. James May has just gotten back from driving his new Dacia Sandero that Jeremy had bought him as a present. James had been talking about and bringing up the Sandero in the “News” segment of the show for at least a year. Anyway, James got back from his first drive of his new gift and was talking with Jeremy and Richard as a huge semi truck backs into the Sandero. James is quite upset and runs over yelling at the truck driver. The truck driver blames James for parking the car behind him.

James is upset

James (Running towards the truck driver): NO! Stop! Stop! My car’s parked there
Romanian truck driver: (Something undecipherable in Romanian)
James (Yelling at the truck driver): You’re supposed to look. Look! Mirrors!
Romanian truck driver: (Some more undecipherable Romanian)
James: Motsa mers my arse, you backed straight into it, man!
Jeremy: Well why did you leave it parked behind a lorry?
James: Well, I didn’t know there was anybody in it. I was leaving it out of shot… I’ve only had it about half an hour. I think what he was saying in Hungarian or whatever it is, it’s my fault for parking the car.
Jeremy: Well it sort of is.
–Truck moves away to examine the damage–
James: Geez…
Richard: Oh ho!
Jeremy: Oh well

Posted by: hillad | September 16, 2010

Top Gear Moment #1

A New Feature to this little used blog will be Top Gear Moments. Top Gear for those who don’t know is a fantastic Car show put out by the BBC in England. If you have any interest in cars whatsoever I would highly recommend it. Anyway, a friend and I were talking about certain moments in Top Gears past and it dawned on me that it would be a pretty good entry to have here. Anyway, there is no particular order or anything, just one that comes to mind while I’m writing this up. So without further ado…

Top Gear Moment #1

Series: 8
Episode: 3

The Amphibious Cars challenge. Jeremy is almost about to win the challenge when he turns his pickup truck with an outboard motor on the end (The aptly named Toybota) too quickly in his attempt to get to the finish line. The truck takes on too much water and flips over dunking both Jeremy and Richard, whose vehicle had already sunk, mere feet from the finish. James was nowhere to be seen in his incredibly slow sailboat-car. Jeremy is crawling onto the underside of his truck while Richard holds on to a rear wheel laughing his head off.

Jeremy rues his mistake and Richard holds on for dear life

Jeremy: I’m going to make it…
Jeremy(Narrating): I just had to turn around the pontoon and park. But I turned too hard and too fast.
Richard: Oh… haha…
Jeremy: THAT was a a mistake
Richard: You may have just overcooked it…
Jeremy: Richard…..Richard….
Richard: It’s going over… I’m just….Oh Sh*t…
Jeremy: That’s pretty cold… Ah that’s pretty bloody cold. I can’t believe it! Two Miles and it goes now! NO! NO! NOoo!

Posted by: hillad | March 24, 2010

Champions League Quarterfinal

So it’s been a little while since either of us has posted a single word. So I’m going to just throw down a quick knowledge session about the remaining teams in the Champions League.

Let us go match by match and see what we have to work with.

Bordeaux vs. Lyon

At first seems like a pretty kick ass fixture. But when you think of it a little more it really seems lacking. One of the reasons the Champions League is enjoyable is because we all get to see how teams do against other teams they never play. This obviously doesn’t happen in this matchup in what really turns out to be a Ligue 1 match with a little more on the table. Everyone can easily look up the last time they played to get a feel of how it might go. On the plus side, it could foster a rivalry which French football has been in dire need of  one. I say advantage Lyon by the simple fact that they’ve played in the Champions League more times recently.

Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich

Ok so pundits keep banging on about how this will be great because it was the finale match up from 1999. Why? Are any players left on either team from 1999? But I guess there is some draw here. The best teams in recent history from both the Premier League and Bundesliga. Man United have played pretty darned well this season and I expect them to take the EPL title once again. So I see them as pretty good favorites versus the Germans. At least the stupefying David Beckham story is over with. The only way I see Bayern taking this tie, is if Wayne Rooney somehow can’t play either leg. Without him the Red Devils become a much less imposing team.

Inter vs. CSKA Moscow

So a nice little Russian team decided to join the party with the big boys. Good for them. Ok enough patronizing. Who will win? Bets are on Inter but the Russians are fresh just in the beginning of their season and Inter can throw in a clunker of a game sometimes. The Italians have the better players but I’ll give the Muscovites a punchers chance at taking it. Not really the tie I was hoping for anyway.

Barcelona vs. Arsenal

So the team who plays the most beautiful football in the world plays the team who plays the most beautiful football in Britain. You’d think that once the teams are on the pitch, flowers would spring up out of the grass, a rainbow will descend on the stadium, and everyone will join hands and sing Kumbaya. This, in my mind, is the best of the ties. Barcelona and Arsenal met up in the 2006 CL finale, which is more relevant than the 1999 final. The short story of that was Arsenal outplayed Barcelona for the majority of the match with 10 men only to lose it thanks to Barca’s Supersub Swede Henrik Larsson. Even so that seems forever ago and both teams are barely recognizable from that match with only a couple players remaining on each team. So there’s that. Another interesting thing to watch is how each team deals with the style of the opponent. Neither is all that familiar playing against teams who play as similarly as these two do. Both teams love to keep possession and pass their opponents to death while also playing a pressure defense. Whoever does the better job at that will probably win. Teams really shouldn’t drastically change their strategy at this point of the season, no matter the opponent. I can imagine either team taking it, but I think Barcelona will take it in the end.

One other thing to watch as the final gets closer and closer is that an English team has been the loser in the final the past 4 years. Can that keep going?

I’ll leave it there, any other opinions are very welcome.

Posted by: eseeders | December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas USA: Healthcare Reform Passes Senate

Thanks to a handful of Senators and the majority leader Senator Reid, the United States Senate has finally passed healthcare reform, the first such legislation in decades. While not everything I wanted or indeed hoped it would be, it remains as ever, a starting point for the future to build on. The legislation itself still has a few hurdles left to overcome but I think most pundits would agree that the Senate was by far the greatest of those hurdles.

The bill now goes to conference committee where more additions and subtractions will probably be hashed out. There of course remains issues such as this that need looking into as well. However, in the end, the legislation can’t be much less than it already is which means some 20 million more people will be able to have healthcare coverage… and that my friends is something to be very thankful for indeed. Happy holidays to everyone celebrating and not, here and around the world.

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