Monday, March 28, 2016

8 Most Impactful Movies

Time to move over more stuff from the old blog before that goes kaputt. 

I always stop myself from making up a Top 10 Movies of all times list whenever someone asks me about it. Think is, it's kinda hard, especially when you are a film buff like I am. I'd also only put in genre movies, scifi and fantasy classics. More Robocop and less Casablanca, you know. And while that list may some day still come, in the meanwhile enjoy my list of the 8 Most Impactful Movies (that even a word? should be), the movies that, while not necessarily my favourites, but had nonetheless the biggest impact on me and how I experience movies. So don't be surprised when most of them turn out to be childhood movies, or movies I watched at a young age. I found out, that those actually rather stay with you than a Citizen Kane. Oh and don't be surprised that no Star Trek Movie is on this list, as I have more memories of watching TNG growing up rather than the movies. So here's the list in alphabetical order:

Back to the Future

I cannot remember anymore when I first saw this movie, but this has to be one of the most entertaining and watchable movies of all time. I've probably seen this one more often than anything else and if it weren't for Robocop this would probably be my favourite movie of all time, but as it stands its only my second most favourite. I just adore this film, I love the pacing, I love the characters, I love the story, the setting, everything about this movie just fits.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Its this and not Raiders because I saw this one first, one of the earliest action movies I can remember. I mean, really, its Indiana Jones what else can I say?. For a long time after this I wanted to become an adventure archaeologist until I found out that there wasn't much adventuring since the 40's anymore, but hey I'm still studying history... so this movie might have actually shaped my academic career as well as my taste in movies? Now that is impressive.

How To Get Into Stargate (Part 3) - The Decline and Mercy Killing

Stargate 101

Okay, last part. Atlantis and Universe... *sigh*. Let's get it over with, okay?

Stargate Atlantis Seasons 4 and 5


I quite honestly don't know what to say anymore. How can a show that started so good become so... mediocre at best, often worse? That's what they call 'squandered potential'. Atlantis' biggest problem was probably, that it often treaded the same water, that SG-1 did for almost a decade at this point. Same enemies (Asurans, The Lost Tribe, the singular guy-that-is-different-from-his-people-and-therefore-the-only-one-that-is-still-a-threat anyone?), same basic plot lines in stand-alones and so on. It had some great ideas, but never developed them properly. Most of the cast were uninteresting at best and got on my nerves at the worst of times. At this point, the show had pretty much become the Shepard and McKay show, because those were the only really interesting characters and even those probably more for the yaoi fangirl-shippers than anyone else. It also didn't help that less and less episodes drove the Myth Arc forward and instead retold old SG-1 episodes but with less interesting characters. But I think I'm starting to repeat myself and with that, let's begin with season 4:

SGA 4x01 Adrift (Part 2) Myth Arc and Asuran Arc
SGA 4x02 Lifeline (Part 3) -Myth Arc and Asuran Arc
SGA 4x05 Travelers -  ties into the mid-season multi parter
SGA 4x10 This Mortal Coil (Part 1) Myth and Asuran Arcs
SGA 4x11 Be All My Sins Remember'd (Part 2) Myth and Asuran Arcs
SGA 4x12 Spoils of War (Part 3) Myth Arc
SGA 4x17 Midway - Ronon. Teal'c. They kick Wraith arse. Nuff said
SGA 4x18 The Kindred (Part 1) Myth and Michael Arcs
SGA 4x19 The Kindred (Part 2) Myth and Michael Arcs
SGA 4x20 The Last Man (Part 1) Myth and Michael Arcs

How To Get Into Stargate (Part 2) - Atlantis and the Ori

Stargate 101

So, here we go again. Part 2 will cover Season 8 through 10 and the follow-up movies of SG-1, as well as Atlantis Seasons 1-3. Part 3 will come out next week with the rest of Atlantis and Universe as well as my conclusion on the franchise, what worked, what didn't and so forth.

Stargate SG-1 Season 8 & Stargate Atlantis Season 1

With the start of the Atlantis Series, it's best to watch these two shows parallel now, as there are some crossovers and parallel events influence the other shows in one way or the other. I'll mark the shows with SG-1 and SGA plus episode number respectively.
   Atlantis Season 1 is different from every other season of the franchise, in that it's a continuously building story the overall tension that comes from the status quo and whats going on with the Atlantis expedition shines through most episodes, so it helps watching the entire season. I will however still only write down the episodes, what contribute to an story arc in one way or the other.

How To Get Into Stargate 101 (Part 1) - The Golden Age

I'm bored. So let's move over some stuff from the old blog, shall we? 
In any case, let's play Stargate 101. I promise you won't go cross-eyed and I clearly didn't just think of this again because the SG1-A-Thon on the main Youtube channel is running out.
So let's talk about Stargate

Stargate SG-1 was one of the earliest SciFi shows that I can remember. A great, fun adventure series with a bunch of smart ass heroes led by McGyver fighting over the top villains. Those of you who've read my book (and of course you did!) might just figure out where I got some of my inspirations from. But all of that aside, it's probably up there in the holy trinity of SciFi TV shows/franchises, that really influence me to this day, along side Star Trek and Babylon 5

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Movie Review (Spoiler-free)

I was gonna be funny and instead of posting a review of BvS I was gonna post extracts from my Age of Ultron review from last year. But I won't because I'm too lazy and someone would probably complain. I digress.

The movie has the same flaws as both Avengers movies, Iron Man 2, Man of Steel, and pretty much every movie from the past five years or so, that has tried to set up future films. It's obvious, it detracts from the actual plot. The action is shot a bit too close up for my liking and it's a bit too dark to see what happens at times. Oh well. Other than that? I quite enjoyed it. The characters were good, there was a halfway decent villain plot worthy of a four color comic book bad guy... oh wait... and all it all a lot of what is missing is probably in the extended cut I kinda wanna see now. I liked the characters and the acting, I think Cavil has made the role his own, Gadot was surprisingly good for someone I had previously only dredded to see from the magnum opus that is Fast and Furious 24 1/2, and Affleck nailed it as Batman and Bruce Wayne alike. 

I see some of the criticism from other reviews, like how the intro goes on for a bit too long, but then again the scenes are all important later on, so I probably would have shuffled them around a bit or shortened the scene with the cops that's also in the trailer. Others I don't get, like I said the film was coherent enough for me, though the extra 30 minutes would be nice to see, all the character scenes worked well, and the action scenes where either better paced than in Man of Steel or didn't go on for as long, I'm not sure, I don't take out my watch during a film and actually stop scenes. Yet. 

In the end, this is a setup movie and as good (or bad) a setup movie as all of them. Both Age of Ultron and Iron Man 2, the two movies I consider closest to this in intent, I rated average or above average and so do I rate this. Though I would rather rewatch BvS before those two. In the end, I don't think it's that different from the other comic book movies out. Not really great, but also not terrible, some great scenes, some cheesy scenes, one laughably stupid scene, way too much setup for other films that hurt the pacing of the actual movie. Been there, done that. Not necessary to get one's panties/boxers/briefs/going commando in a twist over.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Marvel's Civil War 2: Stop Giving Them Money

Civil War 2? Civil War 2.
Civil War 2... 2. Two. Sigh... let's do this then. 

You know, I can feel nothing but numbess anymore for big comic events. Be it Marvel, be it DC, be it Valiant, Dark Horse or insert any number of comic publishers here. When I started out I used to kinda like them for the novelty, but then I'm one of those weirdos that got into comics because of 52 so that might explain it. But really, big comic events have never actually been good. All they ever really do is come up with a stupid, sometimes insultingly stupid, excuse for all the heroes to come together and fight either each other or insert relevant bad guy here. Doesn't help that this comes out when the Civil War movie will be big, so you can add in another strike against this movie because it tries to appeal to a certain zeitgeist that it will never capture. I think the big events annoy me the most because I don't actually read superhero comics for the fighting but for the drama. Fighting, to me, is padding. An event is nothing but padding. Padded so much it could be a Kardashian. See, now there is a useless, soon-to-fade, culture joke. 

But really, big comic events will never stop, no matter how much people on the internet will complain about them. Exactly for the same reason, by the way, why Michael Bay will never disappear: because it works. They sell. Critical acclaim doesn't matter, as long as Marvel can shift a couple of ten thousand issues more than on the average book you can be sure these events will continue. It is the same useless cycle we continue every single time an event comes out, every single time a stupid blockbuster comes out. People complain, people state that Michael Bay or insert any other creative hack here, has ruined their childhood... and then they will turn around and go see it. You see that all the time. People dislike something so much, that they will spend money opening night to see it, or run out and get it on release day, just so they can get online and say they hate it. Fine, more power to you, everyone needs a hobby. Mine's running a Tripple-Z-list online blog, so we all have our crosses to bear. Just don't complain when they will continue to create more derivative drissel. I know the expression "don't like it, don't read" is a terrible point to make in regard to criticism, but money talks, and in the immortal words of President George W Bush: 

Or something. Please, do yourself, your wallet, and creativity a big service by not falling for marketing ploys and shallow entertainment over and over again. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Stop Putting Bleach In Your Kid's Butt

Content warning: Discussions of child abuse including a very upsetting picture and strong language (because this subject makes me mad as hell)        

There are many things you wouldn’t think we would need a law for. Don’t marry your sister. Don’t molest chickens. Don’t make your kids drink bleach or give them an enema with bleach in it.

         But sadly, apparently, we do need laws for all these things.

         I alluded to this a couple of times in previous essays, and will probably continue to allude to it because … Crap on a cracker, guys, this needs to stop. For those of you who don’t know, MMS, or “Miracle Mineral Solution” is a solution sold by a conman named Jim Humble who thinks he is a god from a planet of gods orbiting Alpha Centauri sent to save humanity or some crap. (Basically, scientology that thankfully hasn’t gained traction with the celebrity set, yet.) MMS is sold to “cure” just about everything, from cancer to autism. It’s sodium chlorite and hydrochloric acid, which “patients” are meant to mix together and then dilute in water and drink or take as an enema. When HCL and sodium chlorite mix, it produces chlorine dioxide, a kind of industrial bleach used to strip textiles, take the brown out of wood pulp to make paper, and for surface disinfection. It is also used in water treatment in some districts, but in much, much smaller concentrations than "patients" are instructed to use. The author of this blog goes through some calculations that show that what’s being used by “patients” is over 3,000X the safe level for water treatment. Other investigators have taken it at these concentrations and taken the color right out of cloth,or dissolved meat at frightening speeds. I always used to say that if idiots wanted to use this on themselves they should go right ahead (I’ll get into why I say “used to” in a bit), but the really infuriating thing is that a terrifying number of people are using this in their children to “cure” their autism. This is led on largely by Kerri Rivera, a disciple of Jim Humble’s who claims to have cured her own son of autism and wrote a book about this protocol (which also includes a strict low antioxidant diet and use of a hyperbaric chamber) and offers personal Skype sessions for an exorbitant fee. She’s also currently in violation of a plea agreement prefaced on her not selling the damn stuff,but that’s neither here nor there, right? Probably just Big Pharma paying to have her smeared. 

The next section is where things get rough. Refer back to this bunny as needed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Even If Bernie Sanders Loses He Will Signal A Change in America's Political System

From an outsider's perspective who is also majoring in history just my two cents: despite the hype around Bernie and him being objectively the best candidate, I don't think and outside of a fleeting hope for my friends abroad I never thought Bernie could win. The country isn't ready. But what it does show is a sign of things changing. Your country seems to have finally woken up from the nightmare that your political system has turned into: center-right and right wing. The fact alone that Bernie had a shot of being on equal footing with Hillary, even if he pulled in two hundred delegates less than Hillary, he still pulled in three hundred or so. A respectable number for a self-proclaimed social democrat. It is a sign that socialism is no longer a word that Americans fear. That burden of the Cold War seems to be dying off. And yet, as harsh as it may sound, because we all love our grandparents... the lack of generational change due to prologened live expectancy and voter disillusionment in the younger generations has created a point in time where third party candidates, which, let's be honest, Bernie is in all but name, can be profoundly electable, just not in Party Primaries yet. But that will change in the next decade. Bernie will probably never reach the White House. He doesn't have to. Societal change has always been glacial. It just appears to have been rapid in retrospect. Give it another election cycle or two and within the next decade you will see more progressive candidates winning Presidential elections. It's a shame, there is frustration, especially because the US and the rest of the world are facing great challenges in the next decade or two. Change will come, eventually. That comma and the word "eventually", trust me, is the worst thing to say when studying anything history related.

(That awkward moment when the title is longer than the 2cents)