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I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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Archive for the 'Media' Category

Music Meme: 5 songs

Posted in Media on August 11th, 2010

What the Hell – Da Roomie did it, I may as well follow along. He told me to use the letter “O”, since I am such an Oingo Boingo fan.

1. If you’d like to play along, reply to this post and I’ll assign you a letter.
2. You then list (and upload or link to the video, if you feel like it) 5 songs that start with that letter.
3. Then, as I’m doing here, you’ll post the list to your journal with the instructions.

On with the meme, then..

  1. One Little Victory – Rush
    …because Neil’s octopus impression is just hard to beat. (No link, as there are no official videos, just crappy bootlegs.)
  2. One Vision – Queen
    Originally found on the Iron Eagle soundtrack, it always makes me think of fast jets.
  3. Only Happy When It Rains – Garbage
    Redhead with a Scottish accent for the win.
  4. Owner of a Lonely Heart – Yes
    Indeed, I am a child of the 80’s, and I can remember staying up late to watch Friday Night Videos when this particular video first came out. (Wow, I found the actual video for this one.)
  5. One Love – Prodigy
    This is a dangerous song for me to be listening to when I drive, but it is a truly essential part of me proving to the rest of the morning commuters just how good I am at doing physics on the fly. (Hmm, gap in traffic ahead – if I increase speed by 12% within the next 10 seconds, I should be able to squeeze through with a foot to spare, which will set me up for passing that damn minivan…)

Somehow I managed not to include any Boingo in there…

Movie Eviscerations

Posted in Media on July 6th, 2009

Two Saturdays ago I wore my Transformers T-shirt when Pookie and I went out-n-about running errands and grabbing lunch. Just about everyone who seriously looked at the shirt recognized it, and had something to say about the new movie, whether they were looking forward to seeing it or had already been and enjoyed it. This worried me, as I had already heard some pretty worrisome things about the new movie.

What really worried me was the realization after lunch that the more effusive the excitement about the movie, the more obviously unintelligent the speaker. For instance, the guy at the video store was saying how one of his co-workers (a big fan of the franchise) was looking forward to the movie. Being an avid movie-man himself, he wasn’t about to talk down any movie that would possibly earn him dividends later on. The checkout girl at the stop-n-rob, however, praised the movie high and low through her missing front teeth. (At least, I think she was praising the movie – she was using words out of context. Badly.)

My friends and other folks who I deem to be high on the thinking chain, however, were all uniformly against the second installment as a “waste of valuable resources, and time you cannot get back.” This guy does a great “review”.

Plot holes you could drive the Titanic through, dis-continuity problems, terrible writing and you get tea-bagged by a robot.

Yeah, I’ll be skipping this one.

The problem with horror

Posted in Life, Media on October 26th, 2008

Tolerant picked up “The Haunting of Hill House” the other day, and seemed surprised that I wasn’t really into watching a horror flick. I’ve watched a lot of them over the years – my first roommate was a huge horror fan, and since it was his TV, I pretty much had to watch them or leave our tiny apartment to get away from them. Anyway, the modern horror flick all has some heritage of the Jason movies, in which you find a handful of teens-to-twentysomethings and unleash a homicidal maniac on them.

You see, the problem with these movies is the suspension of disbelief. You have to turn your brain off to enjoy the movie, otherwise you sit there talking to the screen asking why the victims are being so damned stupid and unprepared. I have trouble turning my brain off.

For example, we will use the episode of “Criminal Minds” that aired this past Wednesday. A couple driving from one place to the next via old country roads finds themselves too tired to drive any further. They happen across a lonely country inn, and opt to get a cabin for the night. Lo and Behold, the guy who runs the joint is our serial killer, and he likes to torture his victims physically and psychologically before killing them.

In the morning, the wife mentions what she wants for breakfast while they are getting dressed, but she can’t find her underwear for some reason. Then room service is delivered a few minutes later. The wife goes to move a chair and discovers it is bolted down. The couple realize neither one of them ordered breakfast, and gather up their stuff to leave, suspecting they may be in trouble – only the door refuses to open. Just as the doorknob comes apart in the husband’s hand, the window shutters all start slamming shut.

This is where the couple freaks out. If it was me, this would be where I stop being freaked out and get pissed. A quick inventory of available weapons would be made: none on me, and the furniture is bolted down. I do however always carry a Gerber multi-tool, which would then be used to unbolt a chair to break into suitable club-sized pieces. The tool would then be used to open the door, either by manually releasing the catch through the broken doorknob or by removing the hinge pins so I could pull the door down – but I would leave it in place until I could plan a trap to catch our serial killer.

You see where I’m going with this? I would always be the guy that survived, but chances are I would also defeat the bad guy before any of my companions died unless he kills someone to start the whole ball rolling. After a while, watching these gets a bit tedious.

Another thing about these movies is that somehow the Sci-Fi channel has decided that these are the root of the Sci-Fi genre and keep making them, or flicks about mutated monsters that eat half the town. This is not sci-fi, it is horror and I wish they would knock it off.

On a side note, “Hill House” does not follow the serial killer pattern, it is a good supernatural thriller, and the house is just too cool. The movie is worth watching just to see the house.

Movie Review:the Mummy 3

Posted in Media on August 4th, 2008

*ring ring*

*ring ring*

“Hello, director Rob Cohen here.”

“Hi Rob, it’s Brendan Frasier. I’m ready to do my scenes.”

“Brendan? We’re here on the set – where the hell are you?”

“I’m at home.”

“Well what the hell are you doing there? We’re ready to shoot, you get your ass down here now!”

“Well, I dunno. You couldn’t get Rachel Weisz to come back as Evie, you got this kid Luke ford doing a bad American accent when he really should have an English one – and he can’t really act anyway. Honestly, the only original cast member that’s even putting any effort into this is John Hannah – and he’s the comic relief. I’m just not feeling it.”

“But! … the fuck?”

“Yeah, that’s pretty much what i thought, Rob. Here, ready to record? Action! ‘Eviiiie! … Alex!! … I hate mummies!!!!!’ …did you get that? Good! I’m going to the beach.”

*click*

“…”

“Well crap. Looks like Isabella Leong and Michelle Yeoh are going to have to carry the movie. It’s not like Jet Li is doing any acting, he’s a CGI effect for three-quarters of the flick. To hell with this directing bullshit, I’m going back to producing. Someone get me a latte.”

Kill the labels please.

Posted in Media, Politics on October 7th, 2007

This shit has gone too far. In the UK, the Performing Rights Society (which collects royalties for songwriters and performers) is suing a chain of auto shops for allowing their employees to play their radios loud enough that everyone around them can hear. They say this amounts to “public performance”, and is therefore a violation of copyright. The PRS is seeking 200,000 in damages.

O_o

Okay, now if we combine that with the RIAA’s claim that “making downloads available” (I.E., having music in a shared folder accessible by a P2P client) is just as bad as actively uploading / downloading music, then there is only one possible next step: the music labels will be banding together to sue anyone who owns a radio capable of outputting a signal to anything larger than a pair of earbud headphones.

Because, obviously, having speakers larger than earbud ‘phones means they could conceivably be turned up load enough for the neighbors or passers-by to hear, which is the equivalent of “making available”, so those people have “made available” their music for public performance. The same would go double for car-stereo owners equipped with amplifiers powerful enough to make the music heard beyond the confines of the car.

I hereby urge all musicians to use whatever means necessary to extricate yourself from any recording contracts you may have and use the technology available in the marketplace today to self-publish, because obviously the major labels are bent on completely alienating your entire fanbase. In years past, having a contract with a label was the only way to be heard; in this day and age, there’s no reason you couldn’t self-publish or deal directly with iTunes and other distribution points.

Ye. Fucking. Gods.

More than meets the eye

Posted in Media, Reviews on July 10th, 2007

Back when I was 17 and in high school, I met this gal AH at an SCA event about a 2-hour drive from home – turned out she lived about 10 miles from me in the next township, and we ended up hanging out on weekends. (Yes, we dated too, but it went nowhere – we just were better friends.)

Anyway, up until this point I had been introduced to the idea of the Transformers only peripherally – I had seen commercials, but not the cartoons due to lack of cable. One or two of my friends may have had them, but it just never really came up, you know? Come to think of it, aside from Saturday morning cartoons on the Big 3 Networks, I hadn’t been exposed to decent animation either.

AH, on the other hand, was a huge fan of Anime in general and a BIG Transformers freak. she sat me down at her place one weekend and we went through her entire collection of video tapes – nothing huge by today’s standards, but remember I was just a hick kid who had never seen this stuff before. She didn’t have more than about 6 episodes of Transformers, but the ones she did have led directly up to the movie, which she also had. I was stunned, enthralled and completely taken with the genre, but the Big T got me the most. (I’ll admit it, I cried a little when Optimus died and again when Hot Rod became Rodimus Prime.)

That Sunday, we took several cans of Krylon black and grey primer and re-painted her classic 1970 Dodge Challenger. (Did I mention AH was a serious tomboy who had a rockin’ musclecar?). We painted the main body grey, but the hood and trunk lid were done in black. Then we put on the coup de grace – a two-foot wide Decepticon emblem in silver on the hood, with smaller matching emblazons in black on the doors.

That Challenger had been christened “Zioticon” for a couple of years, but now he had the badges to prove it, as well as a really good artist rendition of what he would have looked like transformed.

If you haven’t guessed it, AH was a huge Transformers geek too. :) She even had an original die-cast Japanese import Megatron that looked real enough to shoot in pistol form.

So, with that kind of history behind me, you can bet your britches I went and saw the new movie on the 4th.

I fucking loved it!

This is the only comic book / anime-turned-live-acting movie I have seen in … in … in FOREVER that not only didn’t suck out loud, I actually LIKED it!

Yes, there are a couple of scenes lifted directly out of other movies (the girl in the bedroom for one), but with a bajillion movies out there, it’s hard not too. The acting was good, the writing and dialog were good, and the effects were damn convincing.

Okay – there are those of us out there who still wonder how the hell a three-ton car can turn into a 50-foot tall robot heavy enough to leave footprints in pavement, but we can shut the brain up during the movie.

And yes, I cried a little during some of the combat scenes. Bite me. You go watch it and come out completely dry-eyed, then we’ll talk. Whatever you do, see this movie. It’s worth the money. (But sneak in your own drink – $4.00 for a soda is frickin’ robbery.)

And now for something completely different

Posted in Media on April 22nd, 2007

Here’s an interesting bit of news: apparently Billie Piper (‘Rose Tyler’ of the most recent incarnation of Dr. Who) is set to play Bell de Jour in a new television series hosted on Brit station (network?) ITV2. Find details here.

This looks like a pretty good move. Billie gets to completely ditch her “girl next door” image, and the show’s producers just guaranteed that a rather large portion of the Dr. Who fanbase will tune in, at least for the first episode. All that for a show that is sure to include lots of sexual situations should get them some pretty good viewer numbers.

I hope there’s a torrent for it…

Ask my doctor about what?

Posted in Media on October 11th, 2005

Is anyone else getting sick of all these bullshit commercials about drugs lately? Not illegal drugs, I’m talking about prescription medications here.

The pharmecuetical companies have apparently decided that it isn’t enough to send out announcements to all the physicians in the phone book – they now find it necessary to advertise directly to the end-user with print and tv ads. This strikes me as wrong in a number of ways.

It seems to me these companies should be spending those millions of advertising dollars on something more important – like more research to iron out all those pesky little side-effects such as liver problems, internal bleeding and death.

That’s right, I have distinctly heard “death” referred to as a possible side-effect of a drug on a commercial. If possibilities such as these are important enough to mention in the ad, how the frell did it get past the FDA?

Write your representative – link is to the right. Don’t bother writing to the FCC – the current chairman was appointed by Bush. I’d say that puts the chances of him telling big business “no” at pretty slim.

Review: Constantine

Posted in Media on September 22nd, 2005

Anyone who knows anything about my movie tastes and pet peeves knows I simply cannot stand Keanu Reeves. I have always maintained that he is not an actor, he just has a knack for getting roles written for him.

I’ve read other reviews lambasting the special effects, but I thought they went rather well. Their depiction of hell was a nice break from the traditional mountains of tormented souls burning in Hellfire.

In several places during the movie, I had the distinct impression that the director has watched alot of Sam Raimi’s films, most notably Evil Dead – the scene where Constantine is in hell and leaps up to grab the medical wrist tag of Isabela’s and just barely escapes the grabbing hands of the demons seemed almost familiar.

Hmm…would this have been better had it starred Bruce Campbel? I could almost see him doing it :)

Keanu Reeves once again has the amazing luck of landing a role written for him, so he doesn’t completely fail as an actor. It does, however, add another “I am…” line to his repertoire. (I’m Ted (Theodore) Logan…I am an FBI agent!…I’m John Constantine, asshole…etc.) Still, I don’t hate him more after this one, which is the big surprise.

Rachel Weisz is an infinitely better actor, and did very well with the lousy lines she had. I particularly liked her “baptismal” scene, where she’s there under water, waiting for something to happen, and gives that little flick of the wrist that says “Well? What the fuck am I waiting for?”

A small surprise was the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Archangel Gabriel; but looking back I suppose it wasn’t. The only other movie I have seen her in was Orlando, a movie in which she plays a mostly androgenous lesbian who dressed as a man. Here she is again, playing what many think of as a male role, but in an androgenous manner. Fitting, since angels are androgenous. In any case, she pulls it off very well. I particularly liked how she summed up Constantine’s life: “You’re fucked.”

Final thought: worth the rental.

Will it never end?

Posted in Media on September 14th, 2005

One fine summer day, a young man was visiting a friend’s house and spotted an interesting book on the friend’s shelf. For a paperback, it was frelling huge – over 800 pages. Being the voracious reader the young man was, he figured this would keep him busy for a few days and borrowed the book.

Three days later, he borrowed the second book. Hooked! Equally huge, the books kept him happily reading for almost a solid week. He eagerly awaited the third book in what he assumed was a trilogy.

The third came and went, with the plot still unresolved. “Excellent! A five-book cycle!” he thought. The years rolled by, and at unequal intervals, books kept coming. After book 5, the series almost ground to a complete halt. New characters were added that did nothing for the story except strain the reader’s memory trying to keep them all straight. Each new book would drag on endlessly until the last 50 pages, which would suddenly rock into action – “could he finally be ending it?”

But no, the book would cliffhanger every time. Book 6. Book 7. Book 8. Book 9. All in excess of 600 pages, and the author can’t get anywhere with the plot. The young man’s shelves groaned from the weight of the hardcover editions. Book 10. Surely, this is the last one! He can’t drag it out any more!…

Yes, he can.

Then the bastard goes and spends over a year writing a ‘prequel’ book instead of the next installment. Plans are hatched to hunt the author down and go ‘Misery’ on his ass.

15 fine summers later, I got an email today from Amazon: “Pre-order the 11th book in Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series – “Knife of Dreams” On sale today!”

From Publishers Weekly

…While more recent entries have maintained that beauty and scope, the pace has slowed to a crawl as the central characters dispersed in six directions. In contrast, the latest explodes with motion, as multiple plot lines either conclude or advance, and the march to Tarmon Gai’donthe climactic last battle between the Dragon Reborn and the Dark Onebegins in earnest…

And thus we are faced with the question: Go we once more into the breach? Do we read it now, or wait until he finishes the blasted thing so we can get it all over in one marathon session?

One thing is certain: I’m going to beat Pax the next time I see him for loaning me those first two books.