Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Terminator

Stardate 12-19-2007

I've got lots of exciting Terminator news. On Sunday, January 13, Fox will air the first half of the two hour pilot for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The second half will be shown the next night. For those who have not heard, the TV Series takes place between the the events of T2 and T3 and is about Sarah Connor and her son John Connor. From watching T3, we know that Sarah will eventually die of cancer, but before she dies, she prepares John to become a brilliant soldier and leader. It will be interesting to see how she does this. I'm also hoping that we learn more about the company Cyberdine Systems and its creation--Skynet. If you will recall, it was Cyberdine Systems who found parts of the smashed up Terminator from the first film. After much study, Cyberdine used this new technology to create Skynet, which is the super computer that eventually becomes self aware and sentient. In T2, Sarah Connor successfully destroys the Cyberdine Systems building and research. It is unclear what happened to Cyberdine after this happened. I'm also not sure how Cyberdine eventually dissapears. Somehow the US Air Force takes over and creates Skynet as a global defence network. They eventually give Skynet control over all military computerized hardware and systems, including the nuclear defence network. This is how Skynet is able to nuke everyone. Why it does so is a blog post for another day.

I am hopeful that some of these subjects will be examined in the new TV Series. I am also hopeful that they will have a good balance of action and science fiction. I'm doubtful that they will do so and am worried that it will be a bunch of fighting and explosions. The sci fi aspect is what makes the story so interesting and mind bodeling. I've attached a YouTube clip of a trailer for the series and some of the promo posters. Some of you may notice that the Terminator sent to protect young John Connor is played by the girl who was in Firefly and Serenity.








There is also an update in the upcoming Terminator Movie. Its called Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. It takes place in the future and is about John Connor. Its the story of the human resistance against the machines. John Connor will be the center and main character. I'm excited about this movie, but again, there are some things that I am worried about. First the good. The story sounds cool and Batman himself, Christian Bale is in final negotiations with the studios to play the lead role. I think that Bale would be perfect for this role. Now the bad. This film is written by a duo who also wrote T3: Rise of the Machines. I liked T3, but it wasn't amazing. These guys were also the geniuses behind Catwoman. This worries me. On top of this, McG will be the director. McG directed both Charlie's Angels movies. Even worse he calls himself, McG. This is scary news for me. The only shred of hope that I'm holding onto is the fact that McG has been involved in the production of Chuck. He even directed the pilot. I've really enjoyed Chuck and I think its a great show. They are planning a new franchise behind this new story line. It should be interesting to see the future aspect of the Terminator story.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Decision 2008- Rudy

Stardate 12-08-2007

Its time for Darth Spencer to weight in on the 2008 Presidential race. I know my literally thousands of readers have been waiting for this type of post for a long time. As you know, my influence will be great. Look what people have been saying about me.

"Darth Spencer has a world wide audience. He has been a major influence in Germany, Singapore, Hungary, England, Canada, and other major nations. He has readers in key red and blue states. Obama should have thought twice before asking Oprah to join him on the campaign trail. Darth Spencer would have reached a much broader audience. Plus, Oprah may be powerful, but she is not a Dark Lord of the Sith."
-- Spencer Davis, Statistics courtesy of Google Analytics, et. all

I'm also a major influence with the Christian Right. As you can see below, I've made the list of Most Influential Christian Ministry Blogs.


The first candidate to be examined will be Rudy Guliliani. He claims to be tough on national security and also claims that he will solve the alien problem. I'm not sure sure. Take a look at how he handles, or should I say fumbles, this question about aliens.



Rudy seemed completely caught off guard while trying to answer this question. Its almost as if he'd never even thought what he really would do if aliens attacked. I've got news for you Gules, if you were President and aliens attacked, we'd all be dead. Your response to this child's question lacked creativity and I'm pretty sure your alien defense plan would also lack creativity and brains. I like living so you simply won't due. You've officially been taken off of Darth Spencer's list of possible Presidents.

I hope you are excited a I am to study and learn about all of the candidates over the next year or so leading up to the Race in '08.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Heroes Volume 2 Finale

Stardate 12-04-2007

I'll just jump straight to the point. Last nights finale was crappy. I'm a huge Heroes fan. It used to be one of my favorite shows on TV. It really still is, but I'm just sort of disappointed with this whole Volume. I know that a lot of people are going to try to blame the finale on the writers strike, and I'll agree with that to a very small degree, but the truth is that this season has just been full of garbage writing, characters and story lines.

Here is my first of many complaints. What was the deal with all of the new characters this season? None of them were interesting. None of them played a crucial role in any of the main story lines, except for maybe Midas and Veronica Mars. This season was called "Heroes: Generations." I thought we were going to learn about the company and its founders; the early Generation of Heroes. The company was of course involved in the main story line, but we hardly learned anything new about them. We still don't even know what Mr. Nakamura and Angela Patreli's powers are. The most interesting and exciting episodes from Volume 1 were the ones that flashed back to Mr. Bennet and his early days at the company. I'm bothered that they brought in so many new character when they already had a whole bunch of interesting side characters built in. The exploration of the company and its founders could have been amazing.

Back to the finale. The whole safe thing was really disappointing. First, it was way too easy for Adam and Peter to get to it. If the company is as powerful as we think it is, and this safe holds their most precious relics, then why was it not guarded by their own people? I was also let down by how easy it was for Peter to break into the safe. Angela Patreli told her son and Parkman that only a Hero with powers like Peters could get in. So Adam and Peter get there and all Peter has to do is use Telekinesis? All he has to do is bend bars with his mind? The most creative thing that the Company can use to protect their most precious and dangerous assets is an expensive safe? This alone shows how one dimensional these writers are.

So then we get into the safe and there is all this cool and mysterious stuff all around like floating brains, a deck of cards and a deadly super virus. And the Patreli boys and Parkman start talking about how creepy and messed up the company is and how they need to bring them down. At this point, I started to get excited. I started to think that they were going to steel a bunch of this stuff and through these items, we were going to start to piece together and learn who the company is, how they got started, and what the company has found out about past Heroes and how this all started. Things were looking up, but instead, all they can do is come up with the same idea that annoying Clair came up with. They decide to go public with their powers.

I was disappointed with this decision, but was willing to see where it was going to take the show. As we all know, Nathan is assassinated right as he is about to say that he can fly. Though the assassination was cool, I couldn't help but wonder why Peter or Parkman didn't get shot? I guess if they had shot Peter, everyone would have seen him heal and then the jig would have been up. This makes me wonder why Peter didn't fly, or use his new electric powers, or one of his many other powers to not only show everyone what Nathan was trying to tell them, but also go after the guy who just killed is brother.

Though the finale was pretty crumby, there were some things that I did enjoy. The fight sequence between Peter and Hiro was pretty good. Hiro used his ability disappear and appear and to attack from different angles. Peter also used multiple abilities to defend himself and eventually overpower Hiro.

I also enjoyed where Hiro left Adam, though it would have been cooler to see him laying next to a Hiro's decaying father.

The finale ends with Sylar getting his powers back. Hopefully Molly is his first victim. In the preview for the next Volume, we see that we are going to focus on the villains. Who knows, maybe we will get to see more about the history of the company and how bad they are. I'm a little worried though. Volume 1 ended with the writers giving us the idea that we were going to be introduced to a new villain who was even worse than Sylar. They dropped the ball big time with this. Hopefully the do a better job this time around.

What did you think of the finale?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thank the Gods of Kobol

Stardate 11-22-2007

Today, being Thanksgiving and all, has given me a chance to sit back and think about what I'm most grateful for.  Many things came to mind, but the one thing that I am most grateful for is the fact that robots have not yet become self-aware.

After watching T3: Rise of the Machines, it was TJ who most intuitively pointed out that robots and machines becoming self-aware is the most obvious reason that we will have to walk to Adam-ondi-Ahmen one day.

That day may not be so far off.  Sarcos, a Utah based company, received a military contract from the US Government to continue production of robot exoskeleton that when worn by a soldier will enhance the soldier's strength, agility, jumping distance and running speed.  The Military should start testing the exoskeleton as early as 2008.  Sounds like Cyberdine to me. Take a look at the T100 below.


Whether you are excited or terrified of the robot vs. human war, you should tune in this Saturday night for the Sci-Fi Channel movie, Battlestar Galactica: Razor.  This two hour movie flashes back in time.  We get a look at the first Human/Cylon war.  We get to see a young William Adama in action.  We also get to see more details of the second Human/Cylon war.  We will get to see how the Pegasus, the only other Battlestar that survived that second attack, survived.  This would be a good opportunity for those who have never watched Battlestar Galactica to tune in and watch what Mr. Rumble and I agree is one of the best shows on TV.  

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wednesday Night Jericho

Stardate 11-11-2007

Ever since Allison and I watched and absolutely loved the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie The Magic of Ordinary Days, I have been craving more magic from Skeet Ulrich. I most definitely satisfied that craving as I have just finished watching the first season of Jericho. Jericho started its run in the fall 2006 line-up for CBS. I never gave it a chance because I was put off by the name. I knew that it was a post-apocalyptic drama and that combined with the name Jericho made me think that it was full of weird religious undertones. I was very wrong.


While reviewing the updates from Comic Con I came across an article about Jericho. I found out that Jericho was actually canceled by CBS after it finished its full season back in the spring of 2007. The article went on to say that a large group of fans banned together and created a campaign to save the show. The campaign worked and CBS officially announced in June of 2007 that they were going to give the green light for 7 more episodes. These episodes are set to start some time in January of 2008. Depending on the ratings, the show will get either more episodes to finish out the second season, it will get canceled, or they may give it a green light for a full 3rd season. I was impressed that so many people would fight for a shows survival, so I decided to check it out. I'm really glad that I did. The show is awesome. I would never put it in the same category as Lost, Freaks and Geeks, Heroes, or Battlestar Galactica, but I would for sure put it next to Prison Break or The OC.

Jericho is about a small town in Kansas and how it deals with the aftermath of an attack on the United States. In the show, 23 major US cities get nuked. The show works well because there is sufficient mystery to keep the viewer coming back from week to week. Some of the characters have shady and messed up pasts. Was one of them involved in the bombings? What has happened to the United States now that almost all of its major cities have been destroyed? And most importantly, who was behind the bombings? Was it foreign or internal? Is the United States being invaded? Who can you trust?

Some of these answers are revealed and some are not. Some are hinted upon and could be future story lines. For example. In one of the episodes, a few of the residents of Jericho go a trading post called Black Jack. While there they find out that six different surviving Senators have all claimed the Presidency and that the United States has essentially been divided into six separate nations.

Its not too late to save Jericho. It is a show that deserves to be saved. Rent the series and watch it. The first episode is great and then it gets slow for a few of the episodes. By the 6th or 7th you'll be hooked. The rest of the season is amazing and action packed. Watch season one so that you can tune in and watch Season 2.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Heroes Gets Good Again, Or Does It?

Stardate 11-08-2007

Darth Spencer must start out this post by declaring that Darth Spencer is brilliant. Back in May of 2006 I made a prediction on my blog that a future storyline for Heroes would involve the disease that Molly was suffering from and that Mohinder's little sister died from. In this weeks episode, we found out that in the future, this disease kills 94% of the population and though it is not as effective as Captain Trips, 94% is pretty deadly. I also predicted that we would find out that Claire also suffered from this disease but was able to fight it off because of her ability to heal. It turns out that the company has told Mohinder to bring Claire in to poke her with needles and do experiments on her in order to use her body to cure the mutating disease. That said...

This volume didn't exactly start out with a bang. We've had to deal with new story lines and uninteresting new characters, minus Takezo Kensei. Finally things appear to be moving again. Claire's dad, HRG, is evil and scary again. There is some new and exciting mystery surrounding Peter, Takezo Kensei, and Hiro, and we know what evils the Heroes are facing and what will happen if it isn't stopped.

I am really excited about these things, but there are a few things that I am not happy about. Heroes has been too inconsistent in their story line. Here is what I'm bugged about-- Molly. At the end of last season we go to know the most annoying little girl in the world a little better. It was stated that she was the only one who could defeat Sylar. Did the writers forget that both the Haitian and Eve, the chick with the power of persuasion, were able to capture Sylar without any problem? At that point, the company could have killed Sylar, but for some reason, decided not to. That aside, we are supposed to believe that Molly can somehow bring Sylar down just because she can point to where is he is on a map? I don't buy it.

Then, while she is searching for Sylar, they ask her if she can find anyone. She replies that she can find anyone, except for "him." "Who is he Molly?" "The Boogieman." So the writers make us believe that there is someone out there who is much scarier and more dangerous than Sylar. This season we found out that the boogieman was Parkman's dad and that his ability was the same as Parkman's, but more refined and dangerous. Then we found out this week that the boogieman was not the scariest bad guy after all, but just the hit man for the scariest bad guy.

So who is this scary bad guy? There was very little said about him. We know that it was he who formed the Company and that Linderman was his protege. It sounds like he is the Magneto of the Heroes. He wants to wipe out the world and its inhabitants, but spare those with special abilities? Come on writers. Lets stop stealing ideas from the X-Men.

I still love Heroes and believe that it is one of the best shows on TV. I'm excited to see where this season goes. Hopefully the writers can keep it original.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Stand

Stardate 10-27-2007

I've wanted to read The Stand for years. I remember that they filmed some of the mini series off of Evergreen Ave and then watching some of it on TV. I was amazed. I couldn't wait to read it some day.

Well, I just finished Stephen King's epic post apocalyptic novel, The Stand, and I must say that I was not dissapointed. The Stand is about a military produced super flu virus that gets out into the public and kills 99.5% of the population. Those that survive begin to have mysterious and similar dreams. The dreams for the most part are about a cloaked man who is always chasing those that dream about him. This man's face is indistinguishable except for his bright red weasel like eyes. Other dreams are about a kind old black woman. Both the old woman and the dark man draw people to them; the good to the old woman, the bad to the dark man. Two sides eventually form and the stage is set for an epic battle of good vs. evil.

My favorite part of this book was the story of how the disease got out and spread across the United States. It was very detailed and pretty freaky. I had dreams that I was trying to outrun the super flu every night after I read this book for the first hundred pages or so. The book really is not that action packed but it does somehow keep you very entertained and interested through the whole thing.

King's interpretation of good vs. evil, heaven vs. hell is interesting and thought provoking. One of the coolest things is that the bad guy is Legion, the group of 1000 evil spirits from the Bible that Jesus casts out of a man. Because he is Legion, he is able to enter the bodies of crows, wolves and other wild animals. This is how he spies on people. It also how he is able to transport from place to place with ease.

This book is a nice blend of reality and science fiction. This is mostly because it takes place in the United States. Its a real world, not a fantastical one, with refrences to real places and real things. Some of the major events at the end of the book take place in Southern and Central Utah.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fall TV Shows

Stardate 10-02-2007

I'm so excited about TV. Please share in the excitement with me. Here is a rundown on the new fall line ups. Don't worry, I won't waste your time reviewing the crap shows like CSI or SVU or Law and Order or other crap crime solving crap.

Monday:
Fox 7:00 MST- Prison Break. How do you make this hot show hotter? I'll tell you. Make Michael Schofield break out of an unairconditioned prison that is in the heart of hot Panama. Caliente! Here is the run down. Michael got thrown into the worst prison in Panama. I knew the company would get him somehow. Now he needs to break out some dude who is also in there so that they don't kill the oh so hot Sara Tancredy and LJ. I'm still going to watch, but they should have ended this after season 2. Where does the show go from here?

NBC 7:00 MST- Chuck . Another lovable loser show. So hot right now. This is the second new show out this season from Jason Schwartz, the creator of the OC. He has again teamed up with McG (the moron who produced/directed Charlie's Angels. Girl Power!!!). Here's the LD on the DL. Chuck is emailed the files from an NSA/CIA supercomputer. The images and their codes are now stored in his brain. Seeing people and hearing sounds will trigger memories and bring these super secrets to the front of his mind. I was able to look past the fact that I hate McG and enjoy the first two episodes of this show. Chuck's character is sort of like Seth Cohen, but not as funny. Chuck's friend, whose supposed to be the comic relief, isn't funny. I'll keep watching to see where it goes.

NBC 8:00 MST- Heroes. I'm so happy that Heroes is back. I'm excited about the outlook of Volume 2. The mind of Darth Spencer was correct last spring when he successfully predicted that the illness suffered by little Molly would become a plague and a future story line. I'm looking forward to understanding how the company was formed and how its brought down to its knees. Lots of mysteries to be solved. Good thing they brought Veronica Mars in to investigate.

NBC 9:00 MST- Journeyman . Don't waste your time on this time travel drama. I had to fight just to get through the Pilot. Here is the deal. Some guy mysteriously travels back in time to help people. Sound familiar? They've totally ripped off Quantum Leap and then butchered the idea. QL was much funnier and much more creative.

Tuesday:
ABC 7:00 MST- Cavemen. I'm excited for the premier which is tonight. I love the commercials. I hope that ABC doesn't screw it up.

NBC 7:30 MST- The Biggest Loser. Another season of the Biggest Loser is upon us. I'll admit that I really used to enjoy this show and used to watch it all the time. It really did motivate me to get fit. Now I've become too lazy to even watch it. Sammy from Days is the new host. I hope that Stefano kidnaps her. Lucas would be so pissed. Jillian is back and bad as ever this season. Anyone else think she looks like a man version of Amanda Peet?










Wednesday:
NBC 8:00 MST- The Bionic Woman. Bill Haverchuck would be very pleased. His favorite show is back. David Eich is the remake creator and producer. David is also behind the most excellent remake of Battlestar Galactica and will also be behind the Battlestar spin off, Caprica. Starbuck and Cheif Tyroll both showed up in the Pilot. I wonder how long it will take the Bionic Woman to figure out that they are Cylons. Though there were some cheesy one liners, I really enjoyed the show and think that it has some serious staying power. Highly suggested by Darth Spencer.

Spike 8:00 MSt- The Ultimate Fighter. Do you like violence and the martial arts? Then the new season of TUF is for you. This is the realty series behind the UFC. Think of the Contender. Its pretty much the same, but much better.

Thursday:
NBC 7:00 MST- My Name Is Earl. I'm impressed with the writing on this show. The very nature of the story requires that the same thing happens each episode. Earl has to right one of his wrongs in order to please Karma. Not only have the writers been able to do this every episode and keep it interesting, they also been able to weave in a continuing story line which flows along nicely. There are great supporting characters. If you gave it up or never gave it a chance, repent.

NBC 7:30 MST- 30 Rock. I'm still pissed that Ugly Bettie beat out Tina Fey for the Emmy. At least 30 Rock took best comedy (though I do believe that The Office is even funnier). Every character on this show is hilarious. I never thought that I would say that about Alec Baldwin, but he really is so funny on it. If your not watching, then you should start. You will be very pleased.

NBC 8:00 MST- The Office. The best comedy on TV and if anyone dare deny it, I will strike them down like Obi Wan was struck down by Darth Vader.

ABC 8:00 MST- Grey's Anatomy. Way too much drama but it still sucks me in. I tend to skip an episode or two here and there, but I still enjoy the show. I can't figure out why the main character is so unlikable.

Friday:
Sci Fi Channel 7:00 MST- Flash Gordon I've heard many celebs talk about Flash Gordon and how it was such an influence on them as children. I was really excited for this show but in all honesty its not too great. Its sort of cheesy and I guess its supposed to be like that. Flash is called Flash because he can run fast. He's also charming and intuitive. Those are pretty much all his skills. No wonder he's the protector of the universe.

Saturday:
CW 7:00 MST- Saturday Night Live. Same cast as last year. Though I miss Tina Fey, I really like this cast. The majority of the skits are pretty funny. La Bron James was excellent last week in the High School Musical sketch.

What are your favorite shows for the fall season?

Anything you think I missed?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Unethical Treatment of Magical Beasts & Creatures

Stardate 09-23-2007

I was finally able to see Stardust a week or so ago and I must admit that I enjoyed the movie very much. This isn't a review, but more of a comment on one aspect the movie. To see an excellent review of the movie, visit this link to send you to TJ's blog.

Though I loved the movie, I along with PeTA, was very upset at seeing the unethical treatment of the magical creatures that were featured in this movie. My heart sank to the deepest pits of the deepest abyss when I saw that Unicorn go up in flames. At least this Unicorn died, doing what Unicorns do, using magic to save others. I'm just happy that it wasn't sent to the Kentucky Fried Unicorn slaughter house. They probably would have ripped off its magical horn and made it suffer while it was still alive before sending it through the meat grinder.


This blatant disregard for the life of Unicorns makes it easy for me to understand why Unicorns are almost extinct.

What do you think of the unethical treatment of magical beasts?

Should PeTA get involved in protecting the rights of magical creatures?

Any suggestions on how to take a stand against such treatment?

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Bet Spielberg and Lucas Are Pissed

Stardate 09-10-2007

I guess you take the good with the bad.

The Good:
He's handsome. He's funny. He's been called the young Tom Hanks. And Shia LaBeouf is so hot right now.

The Bad:
He is an uncontrollable rebel.

Last night at the MTV VMAs, Shia presented some award, but before he did so, he broke all agreements of secrecy, and revealed the name of the 4th Indiana Jones installment. Check it out in his own words,

"I've been sworn to secrecy by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas to not tell you the title of the next Indiana Jones movie, but I'm 21 now and this is Vegas baby. It’s a big deal. Nobody’s ever heard it before. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

I bet Lucas and Speilberg were so pissed that Shia let this slip during a huge event with a huge 12-49 year old advertising demographic.

Nonetheless, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull sounds awesome.

What do you think of the title?
Have you heard any leaked secrets about the 4th installment?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The History of Hiro's Sword

Stardate 09-04-2007

Us here at the Ministry of Truth are getting pretty pumped up for the upcoming Heroes: Season 2. As many of you may or may not know, the second season of Heroes will focus quite a bit on the origins of the Heroes. In anticipation of the new season the team behind Heroes have taken a page out of JJ Abrams' Lost book and have created a mock website dedicated to giving its viewers some additional back story. Here is the gist of the website and a link to the website.

Kaito Nakamura, Hiro's father, founded a fellowship to honor various heroes throughout history. One of the heroes that is honored is Takezo Kensei. Throughout the first season, Hiro and Ando made many references to Kensei and Kensei's sword. It was Kensei's sword that Hiro had to find in order to bring back his power and eventually kill Syler. The Yamagato Fellowship provides historical information about Kensei and his sword and also has videos that one can watch to find out more detailed information. The videos are set up like a documentary that you would watch on the History Channel and are pretty cool. The stories told here are supposed to be the same stories about Kensei that Hiro's father told to him when he was a little boy.

I would recommend going to the link above to watch the videos. They are going to release a new one each week. The videos are only about 4 min. long. There is already one that you can watch and there is supposed to be another one that comes available today. I've found a small 1 min. clip of the first video on YouTube. You can watch it to get a taste, but the real thing is better.



Another note of interest is that in Heroes: Season 2, Takezo Kensei will be played by David Anders. Most of us will recognize him as Sark from Alias. Strange but interesting.

Friday, August 31, 2007

If You Frequent SciFiNerdBlog and Are Single, Do Not Skip Over This Post

Stardate 08-31-2007

My female and I have enjoyed some incredible Realty Shows over the years. It seems like the ones that we like the most have been about nerdy guys interacting with beautiful but somewhat stupid women, i.e. Average Joe, Beauty and the Geek. If you're not already aware, there is a new gem that fits this mold on VH1 called The Pick Up Artist. The Pick Up Artist follows the journey of 8 socially inept males who not only want to know how to talk to a woman, but also want to know how to pick up on a woman. They've done a really good job of casting the show and each of the 8 guys have different problems when trying to pick up on women. Here are some of their problems: stuttering, too energetic, freezes up, condescending, women always think of one as a "brother" or "best friend," and my favorite, there is one guy who gets involved with women and a couple of weeks later when he tries to put the moves on him, they always seem to say, "Oh, I thought you were gay."

This show is great because its easy to relate to these guys and to see them trying to pick up on women. Their awkwardness and lack of social skills make the show hard to watch at times, but at the same time incredibly entertaining. The other reason that this show is great is that they are learning how to pick up on women from the the ultimate Pick Up Artist, Mystery and his two wingmen, Matador and J Dog. Mystery created what is called, "The Mystery Method" of picking up on women.

Here is a short clip advertising the show:


Mystery is what makes the show. Part of the episode is dedicated to a boot camp where Mystery teaches the guys how to attract and pick up on women. Mystery has even developed his own language and lingo to describe all of his strategies.

Here are some of my favorites:
Peacocking- You want to wear clothes or items that make you stand out or flash like a peacock. So far, I've seen Mystery wear a furry top hat, binoculars, goggles, or large head phones.
2 Set- Two women standing together at a bar.
Gauntlet- A random story or observation that enables a PUA(Pick Up Artist) to open or engage a set.
IOI- Indicator of Interest, which is verbal or nonverbal communication between two people which conveys sexual interest.
Neg- Negs are intended to be false disqualifiers and are intended to lower the target's comparative value to the seducer. Specifically, they are not insults; instead, they resemble the comments of a person who does not view the target as being sexually interesting. Here is a common example given my Mystery, "Nice nails, are they real? No? Oh, well they're nice anyway."

Just a further comment on Peacocking. Last week Mr. Rumble made us T-Shirts to wear to the Celine Dion concert. These T-Shirts were bright white and had some funny sayings on them about Celine. There were two different times when a 3 Set and a 2 Set of girls were throwing all kinds of IOIs at TJ and Mr. Rumble. Why is that? Because they were peacocking.

The Pick Up Artist airs Mondays on VH1. You can also watch past episodes on VH1's website.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Join Me as I Pour Out a Little Fire Water to Our Ancestors Departed

Stardate 08-22-2007

I saw a gem of a movie the other week and I just know that ya'll would love it as much as I did. Though it was difficult to watch the slaughter of our people, Pathfinder tells the true story of the persecution of our ancestors. You see, 600 years before the "discovery" of America, the Vikings would come to our land and kill our people for sport. The movie tells the story of a small Viking boy who was left behind by his family. He was taken in and raised by our people as one of their own. Years later, the Vikings would return for more blood, but they would receive an unexpected suprise.

Though I must applaude the production of this movie for keeping the story's historical integrity in place, I think that they could have made a much better movie had they embelished a bit. For example, the Indians faught with sticks. Of course they're going to get slaughtered by the Vikings who have armor and swords. The action sequences would have been much more entertaining if the Indians at least had some tomahawks. At least the Viking boy who has become and Indian warrior can fight. Check out this great YouTube clip to see how one can slaughter many. Enjoy the blood bath.



The only reason that I am able to look past this and still recommend this movie is because towards the end of the story, the Viking boy who has become and Indian warrior is able to defeat the Vikings not by using his Viking skills, but by using his knowlege of nature and the land. How does a young Viking/Indian Warrior kill hundreds of ravenous, blood-lusted Viking men with his knowlege of nature you might ask? You'll have to see it to find out.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

2007 Washington County Fair: Is Out Of This World

Stardate 08-12-2007

My female and I decided to go to the Fair last Saturday night. You can imagine my excitement when on the way there, my female started reading a review from the paper and we found out that the fair had a Sci-Fi theme. Here are some highlights from this years fair:

1. Lasertainment Laser Light Show. Spectacular high-impact laser and lighting displays.
2. NASA Exhibits
3. Portable Planetarium. Visitors were given the chance to sit in a portable laser dome show and learned the exciting news of the new SouthWest Science Center. A new planetarium that will be built right here in St. George.
4. Space and Science Fiction Themed Art.
5. Science and Physics demonstrations from a University of Utah professor. Owen learned all about inertia.
6. The crown jewel of them all: A tribute to the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars. An open air movie presentation of Return of the Jedi and a chance to meet the characters.

Can you believe how awesome this was? I was so excited to go and learn about space. Here are some of our family's favorite moments.

1. Met Darth Vader, Owen did. Like him, he did not.
2. Owen loved the animals. He pet a bunny, a baby chic, goats, horses, a donkey and a baby cow.
3. My female and I ate our first funnel cake. It was delish, but we both thought it would have been better if it had been a cooler day. Hot funnel cake and a hot day does not a perfect treat make.
4. We saw Chewbacca from a distance and I kept screaming for him to come over and see us. I them screamed, "Chewbacca, bless my baby." I got a good laugh and a nod from a white trash guy who was walking by.
5. Owen went on the Merry-Go-Round and loved it.
6. Allison and I bought Italian styled sunglasses from Carnies.


Help me Obi-Wan Kanobi. You're my only hope.


The Stormtrooper was not as scary.


I thought Owen was going to go "Lenny" on this baby chic, but he was actually very gentle.


You can see my female sporting the hot European Sunglasses that we bought from some nice Asian Carnies.


Darth Spencer and Owen on the Merry-Go-Round. Owen loved it and you can see my smooth sunglasses that were bought from the Asian Carnies.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cblakes Just Turned 29. Will He Run?

Stardate 07-31-2007

Sometime in the 23rd century...
the survivors of war, overpopulation and pollution
are living in a great domed city, sealed away from the
forgotten world outside. Here, in an ecologically balanced world,
mankind lives only for pleasure,
free by the servo-mechanisms which provide everything.
There's just one catch:
Life must end at thirty unless reborn in the fiery ritual of Carousel.



I just finished watching a Sci-Fi gem; Logan's Run. I'd seen and heard references to it for a while now and I saw that Bryan Singer of X-Men and Superman Returns is planning a remake so I thought I had better check it out. I must say that I loved it. Here is a synopsis:

Its the 23rd Century and the world is in a state of decay and ruin. In order to avoid its perils, a civilization has created a huge dome that keeps them safe from the outside world. They live in this Utopia with only one purpose; pleasure. In order to maintain this Utopia and prevent overpopulation, the inhabitants must obey one rule. When they turn 30, they must take their chances and enter Arcade. It is in Arcade that they will either die or renew. Those who choose to Run, rather than take their chances in Arcade, are pursued by the Sandmen. A Sandman's job is to chase the runners and kill.

Logan 5 is a Sandman. He is 25 and has five years of pleasure left in his life. He is confident that when he turns 30, he will go to Arcade and will not die, but will renew. However, when he receives a special mission from the computer, things change. Logan 5 is told of an under ground railroad type group that helps runners escape to a place called Sanctuary. The computer assigns Logan 5 the task of infiltrating Sanctuary and killing all those who ran. In order to do this, he must run himself. The computer makes changes to the internal system that monitors age and these changes show that Logan 5 is of age. After Logan accepts the assignment, he asks if he will get his five years back after completing the mission. When the computer does not answer, Logan has a change of heart and decides that he needs to find Sanctuary, not to kill them, but to hide with them.

Not only is this movie great because of its story, but you will enjoy the amazing special effects. They will actually make you laugh pretty hard. The view of the city scape under the dome is the best. It couldn't be more obvious that it is a model and at times it looks like they made the city out of old shoe boxes and toilet paper roles. If you enjoy old Sci Fi stuff, you'll really enjoy Logan's Run.



Be warned. The same guy who gave Sixteen Candles a PG rating probably was assigned Logan's Run as well. There is even more nudity and has the same rating.

So, Cblakes, will you run or will you try for renewal?
What would you do?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Project: Cloverfield

Stardate 07-12-2007

Captain's Log:
Those who have been blessed enough to have seen Transformers caught a glimpse of a mysterious untitled monster movie. All you could really tell from the trailer was that it looked pretty cool and that it was produced by JJ Abrams.

Take a look if you haven't already seen it. The best is seeing the Statue of Liberty's head go flying by at the end.



I've looked into things a little bit and found that the project name and story line is top secret. Not even the studios behind it will give out any information. I've decided that not only is JJ Abrams a sci fi genious, he is also a marketing genious. Two offical web sites have already hit the interweb. One is called Ethan Haas Was Right and the other is Ethan Haas Was Wrong People are already going crazy about this stuff and its creating quite a buzz on the interweb. The movie is supposed to be out 1/18/08 which is about a half year away. It will be interesting to see if this type of marketing strategy will work better than the traditional approach. Both sites include puzzles that people are already working on and trying to figure out what they say or mean. Looks like most people think that they crazy writing is Sanscrit. Some of the more interesting things that I am guessing about from what has been said on these web sites is that Ethan Haas is some type of prophet who prophisied that a war between the Gods would take place for a brief time on earth.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ever Feel Like You Were an Alien in High School?

Stardate 07-05-2007

Captain's Log:
Its taken me a few years, but thanks to my sister-in-law and blockbuster online, I've finally been able to finish all three seasons of Roswell. For those who don't know about the TV series Roswell, just think about this formula: Coming of age teen drama + Roswell aliens = an amazing viewing experience. Here is a brief run down and my thoughts on each of the seasons.




Season 1
This season starts off at the Crash Down, which is basically the sci-fi themed version of the Peach Pit. Beautiful Liz Parker works as a waitress in her families cafe. She witnesses an argument between two bozos and is caught in the middle of a gun fight. With guns a'blazin', Liz gets shot and goes down for the count. Max Evans, a seemingly ordinary teen, rushes over to her and places his hand on the wound and magically heals her. After coming back to life, Liz has questions and turns to biology, her forte, to get the answers. She secretly takes a saliva sample from Max during science class and finds that his cells look nothing like Human Cells. She confronts him about this and Max comes clean. He tells her that he, his sister and best friend are all aliens who survived in the Roswell incident of 1957. The rest of the season deals not only with the blossoming romance of Max and Liz but with the aliens struggle to fit in with humans, gain control of their powers, and learn who they are and where they come from. By the end of the season we have learned that the aliens are Royalty and have been sent from planet Antar, which has been overthrown by bad aliens. After being killed, the good aliens melded the DNA of the deceased aliens with the DNA of earth humans and sent them here to protect them so that one day they could rise up and return home and free them from the evil aliens. However, this plan was never able to come to fruition because of the unexpected crash of their ship.

Season 1 is excellent. Its a pretty good balance, about 60/40, of romance vs. sci-fi. Its fun to meet the characters and be along side of them as they discover who they are and what their purpose is. There is also plenty of evading local and federal law enforcement as they strive to keep their alien identities a secret.


Season 2
In the second season we find out about The Skins. The Skins are the group of bad aliens who overthrew the aliens when they were still on their home planet. They have since found out about the hybrids and the plan to have them return to Antar and take the planet back. Because they didn't have the time, these aliens have a lesser technology that allows them to walk among humans and blend in. They are basically required to shed their human skin and then regenerate in a pod. This season also focuses on Max and his new love Tess. Tess is the fourth alien sent down from Antar. She was once Max's wife and still in love with him. Eventually Max's alien desire becomes too strong and he makes sweet alien love with Tess and impregnates her. By the end of Season 2, Tess has betrayed Max and takes his baby with her as she returns to Antar where she will give his son to Max's alien enemy.

The first 8 or 10 episodes of the second season are by far the most creative as far as science fiction goes and were by far my favorite. This is largely due to the new executive producer that they brought on board, Ronald D. Moore. Moore is well known as a writer and executive producer of Star Trek: TNG, Deep Space Nine, and is the creator and Exec. Producer of the new Battlestar Galactica.


Season 3
The main story line of the third season deals with Max trying to figure out a way to get back to Antar and save his planet and child. He is also trying to rekindle his relationship with his true love, Liz Parker, which is a very hard task because of the fact that he got another alien pregnant. This season also deals with how the lives of the aliens are changed after their parents and the rest of the public find out that they are aliens.

The other two seasons are much better. This season jumps back to the romance aspect of the story and it drags a bit. Even though I didn't like how things ended up, watching this third and final season was worth it. Its still good and entertaining.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Fond Farewell to the Canadian Crippler

Stardate 06-26-2007

Captains Log:

If there was a sport that captured the essence of Science Fiction, I would have to say that that sport was Pro Wrestling. My earliest memory of wrestling is sitting on a blue couch with Ian and my Dad, watching Andre the Giant fight Hulk Hogan. I'm glad that my dad let me watch wrestling and I plan to pass on this torch to my children.

Pro Wrestling lost a legend this week and though I haven't followed wrestling in a while, I was sad to see him gone. Chris Benoit aka The Canadian Crippler hung himself after he murdered his wife and seven year old son. Steroids were found on the scene and though autopsy results won't be available for weeks, many are pointing their fingers to "Roid Rage."

Though these events are extremely tragic, I would like to focus on the Chris that I remember. In my opinion, the high light of The Crippler's career was being asked by Ric Flair and Arn Andersen to join the 4 Horsemen.

Just before the computer melt down of Y2K, me, Juddy, Nate, Clay, and Christopher went to WCW at the ECenter. We were privileged to see such athletes as Bret "The Hitman" Hart, Mr. Perfect, Ric Flair, Mean Gean Okerlund, Chris Jerico, Ray Mysterio Jr., Rick Stiener, Bam Bam Bigalo, and Goldberg. We were also graced with the presence of The Crippler. He was featured in a tag-team cage match against the NWO. The Rumbler captured the magic with his camera. Enjoy.


The Crippler getting ready for some serious cage action.

The Crippler laid a serious suplex on his opponent, leaving him immobilized. This opened the door for Chris to climb to the top of the cage.

I remember seeing him at least 20' up in the air and wondering what he was going to do next.

The next thing I knew, he was flying. The Crippler sprawled out completely and as he landed flat on his belly, his head landed right in the mid-section of his opponent. The final crushing blow was enough...

For Victory.

Follow this LINK to see pictures of Pro Wrestlers who have died. Its crazy to see how many have died from heart attacks (steroids) or cocaine or other drug OD.

After looking at the link, Mr. Rumble and I would like you to do the following:
1) Share any memory or story that you have of the greats who have fallen
2) Create your own list of 5-10 Pro Wrestlers that you believe will die from steroids or other drug OD

Friday, June 15, 2007

KVP: First Mission

Stardate 06-15-2007

I've checked things out over at Fanlib.com and its actually pretty cool. The idea of the site is that fans of all types of sci fi and fantasy can write their own short stories and have others read them and comment on them. It appears that they often do writing contests and have prizes for the winnners.

The first mission for KVP got kicked off this last Wed. The directors have given 4 story lines for fans to contemplate, discuss and vote for. (If you want to participate in this then you must sign up by the 16th. I have already done so and will include a link below so that you can go and sign up if you want.) The favorite will be used as the premise for the story. HERE is the link to watch the four videos. I've also copied and pasted the stories below so that fans of The Ministry of Truth can read and discuss them here if the so desire.

From Fanlib.com-
I'm your Mission Director, Andre Bormanis, and to kick things off, I've outlined four potential directions for exploring the "Kirk versus Picard" argument.

Please discuss and debate each one here in the forum, and then vote for your favorite. Whichever direction you choose, I'll guide you with weekly "Missions" and helpful suggestions. Working together, we'll create the ultimate "Kirk vs. Picard" adventure.

1) THE RETURN OF KHAN
Enterprise-D returns from a three-month, long-range recon mission beyond our galaxy and makes a shocking discovery: the Federation has been all but obliterated.

Picard learns that a renegade human colony, established nearly a century ago by James T. Kirk on Ceti-Alpha V, waged a surprise attack against Earth, and won. Picard quickly realizes the time-line has somehow been altered. The notorious Khan was not killed in an epic battle with Kirk fifteen years after he was exiled on that remote planet...

Picard orders Enterprise-D to go back in time to confront both Kirk and Khan in a desperate gambit to restore the time-line -- and the future of the Federation.

2) HISTORY LESSON
James T. Kirk is on a top-secret historical mission to present-day Earth. Someone from the future is trying to alter Earth's past, and Kirk has been ordered to find and stop him. But Kirk isn't the only agent visiting our era from the future: Jean-Luc Picard is also here, and his mission is to track down Kirk!

A game of cat-and-mouse ensues as Picard befriends Kirk and gains his confidence, all the while concealing his identity as a fellow starship Captain from the future. Picard has been told by Starfleet Command that Kirk is going to tamper with history by preventing one of the defining events of the 21st century. Picard has orders to stop Kirk, even if it means killing him.

3) PRISONER OF TIME
Enterprise-D discovers an escape pod floating in the void. Sensors show one human lifesign, in cryonic suspension. They beam the pod aboard and discover the occupant is James T. Kirk.

Picard orders Crusher to revive him. Kirk is amazed to find himself alive, so many years into the future -- he didn't expect there to be a future! That means there's still time... Kirk warns of an impending threat to the galaxy. But his behavior is paranoid, almost delusional. Crusher warns Picard that brain damage is often a consequence of long-term hibernation, but Kirk insists that he's completely sane, and unless Picard takes him deep into the heart of Romulan territory on what may well be a suicide mission, the entire galaxy - and every living being in it -- will be destroyed.

When Picard refuses to cross the neutral zone, Kirk steals into the Battle Bridge, separates from the saucer section, and heads into Romulan territory. Picard has no choice but to pursue...

4) THE GUARDIAN OF FOREVER
The Guardian of Forever is malfunctioning -- or possibly going insane. Time-quakes are erupting from it, throwing an entire sector of space into chaos. Kirk is ordered to investigate, but the Enterprise becomes trapped in a temporal eddy.

A tractor beam from another Federation ship pulls Enterprise to safety. Kirk is shocked to discover that the other ship is Enterprise-D! From the perspective of Kirk and his crew, only a few hours have passed since they entered the Guardian's system, but the temporal eddy has thrown them nearly a century into the future.

The time-quakes are becoming more violent, and could eventually spread throughout the galaxy. Kirk wants to destroy the Guardian immediately, but Picard argues that would be immoral - the Guardian is a unique, sentient being.

As the two Captains clash, the surprising source of the Guardian's malfunction is discovered... but is it too late to save this mysterious gateway to the past?

OK--Which one do you like the most? My favorite is the Khan story line. I sort of had a similar idea so I have voted for this one out of sheer pride. I love the idea of Khan getting tangled up with Kirk and Picard. This would make for quite the triangle.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Star Trek: Kirk vs. Picard

Stardate 06-08-2007

From Sci Fi Wire- A News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Fans Invited To Write Trek Story. Click HERE to see an introductory video with Wesley Crusher and Sulu.

Star Trek actors George Takei and Wil Wheaton and writer Andre Bormanis have teamed up with FanLib.com and CBS Interactive for Kirk vs. Picard, an event in which fans will be invited to write pieces of a new online Trek narrative.

The event, which kicks off June 13, marks the first time that CBS has ever allowed the use of Star Trek characters for an official online fan-writing event, organizers said.

The storyline will require that Capt. James T. Kirk be pitted somehow against Capt. Jean-Luc Picard.

Takei (Sulu) and Wheaton (Wesley Crusher) will act as online "hosts" for the endeavor. Bormanis will moderate and help fans navigate the site.

Writers of winning scenes and several other winners will be featured prominently online during the event and will win prizes, including a trip to Las Vegas with a VIP tour of Star Trek: The Experience, Apple MacBook computers, an Apple iPhone and Star Trek merchandise and memorabilia.

Readers of the Ministry of Truth--How awesome is this? This sounds like so much fun to me. We have some talented writers and some creative minds in the family. We should get together and come up with a story to submit. Basically how it works is that they will have an online forum where people can discuss ideas and issues. Then the moderators will give direction and a basic story outline to those who want to participate. Each week a new scene gets written for the virtual experience and fans get to vote on which one they think is the best.

Lets get started with some basics. Kirk or Picard? Who would win in a fist fight? a mind battle? a space battle? who has the better crew? who gets more ladies? which one do you like more and why?

Why would they fight against each other? how and where would they meet up in time?

Any and all ideas are welcome. I'll even allow females to post, even though their ideas probably wont be worth much.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Heroes Finale

Stardate 06-03-2007

For me, the first 22 episodes of Heroes was like this kid getting his Nintendo 64, and then the finale was like getting the remote control car. The video says it all. A special thanks to Kyle for first posting the video on his blog. I've watched it about 5 times already.

Here is a list of things that would have made the finale better.

1. Mr. Bennet should have killed that annoying little girl, Molly. I realize that's brutal to kill a little kid, but she is so dang annoying, and we wouldn't have had to put up with crap like this, "You're my hero officer Parkman." "Please don't die officer Parkman. You're my hero." Killing a little girl would have given that darkness back to Mr. Bennet that made him such a great and creepy character for the first half of the season. Also, they keep saying that she is the only one who can stop Sylar. This makes no sense. The Haitian and Eden were both able to put Sylar down earlier in the season. Molly is expendable and would have made for good collateral damage in the finale.

2. The finale wasted some serious time with the story line of Ando and Parkman going after Sylar on their own. Why would either of them think that they could kill Sylar on their own when both of them have seen what he can do. These events were not even important to the lack luster ending.

3. Instead of the time they wasted with Ando and Parkman, they should have focused on Hiro and his back story. In one of the online comics, we find out that Hiro is short for Hiroshima. He was named Hiroshima because his grandfather died in the nuclear blast. They should have tied this idea to the bomb going off in NYC and Hiro's desire to stop it.

4. The showdown at Kirby Plaza between Peter and the rest of the Heroes against Sylar was totally boring. We have a whole group of people with super powers and all they did was punch each other? I've given it some thought and this is how things should have gone down. The first thing we see is Peter, staring at Sylar in the plaza from afar. Peter goes invisible and starts running towards Sylar. Though Sylar can't see him, he can hear him and with the quickest of reactions he uses his telekinesis to cut down a light post and sends it hurdling at Peter. But Peter is one step ahead of Sylar. He knows what his thoughts are because he can hear them, so right before the pole hits him, he becomes uninvisible and flies straight up into the air and then straight down and plows him into the cement. After they both get up, Peter and Sylar commence to sling different items from around the plaza at each other. It is clear that Sylar is more powerful or at least has more control over the telekinesis and Peter is wearing down. Its at this moment that Sylar lifts up the water from the fountain at the middle of the plaza and sends it flying at Peter. At the last second, Sylar freezes the water and huge icicles impale Peter's body, the largest of which goes right through his head. Sylar belts out a scream of excitement and rage. Excitement because he has killed Peter and rage because he has damaged Peter's brain. He knows that he will be unable to collect Peter's brain and steal his powers.

Right away, Sylar knows that this emotional breakdown is a mistake. He has left himself temporarily vulnerable right at the wrong moment. He looks up and sees Hiro appear out of thin air. Hiro runs at Sylar and starts slashing his samurai sword at him. Right before the blade is about to slice of his head he stops it with his telekinesis. He pushes Hiro back and faces him and realizes that he can stop the force of the sword with his mind. With one hand behind his back, Sylar signals with his other hand for Hiro to attack him once again. Again, Hiro runs at Sylar and a battle begins; Hiro using his sword, Sylar using his hand and mind (think Luke and Vader in a light saber duel mixed with the moment in the Matrix when Neo discovers that he is the One and he fights Agent Smith with one hand behind his back). After a while, Hiro steps things up a notch and begins to teleport. One second he's in front of Syler, the next he's behind him. Everytime he reappears, he slashes at Sylar. If not for his ability to hear everything, Sylar would surly die. Eventually Hiro wears him down and appears directly behind Sylar in a crouching position and Sylar isn't quick enough to stop Hiro from slashing both of his Achilles heels. Hiro slashes, and we see blood splatter everywhere and hear the flesh cut. Sylar drops to his knees. Hiro teleports so that he is standing right in front of Sylar, looking him directly in the eye, and plunges the sword right into his gut. Hiro withdraws his sword and Sylar topples over.

Hiro sees Peter lying on the ground dead and runs over to help him. By now however, the icicles that impaled Peter's body have melted and his brain and other parts of his body have regenerated. He sits up right in time to see Sylar grab Hiro with his mind and send him flying at the wall. Peter sees Hiro teleport at the last moment. Syler struggles but gets to his knees. Peter sees his hands light up like a torch and realizes that Sylar is going to set off the bomb. At the last possible moment, Peter decides to sacrifice himself and flys away with Sylar in hand. The rest of the Heroes look up into the sky and see the nuclear explosion go off.

These things would have made for a very interesting and exciting finale. I think the biggest problem was that people who watched the show, including myself, really like Sylar as the bad guy, and I think that they felt that they should try to keep him around for a little longer. I don't think it was worth it to have the finale end like it did, with Sylar getting away.

There were one thing that I really liked about the finale and it will be interesting to see if it really means anything. The last thing we see as we pan out of Kirby Plaza is a trail of blood leading to an open sewer hole. If you look closely, you can see a cockroach climbing down into the hole. This is only cool when you think back to the first time we meet Mohinder while he is teaching a class back in India. Speaking of evolution, he says this, "We are not the pinnacle of so called evolution. That honor belongs to the lowly cockroach. Capable of living for months without food, remaining alive headless for weeks at a time. Resistant to radiation. If God has indeed created himself in his own image, then I submit to you that God is a cockroach."

What did you think about the finale? What do you want to see in Volume 2? Are you at all worried that Heroes will go down hill from here? How would you have made the fight between the Heroes and Sylar better?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Spiderman: The Prideful Nephite

Stardate 05-23-2007

Its happened to the best of them: The Backstreet Boys, Corey Feldman, Brittany Spears, Marie Osmond, Enron. Their start is humble, eagre and full of ambition. They are willing to work hard, put forth the effort and do whatever it takes to reach their goals. Soon their hard work pays off; they are rewarded for all of their time and effort that they have put forth. For these people, their rewards could have been self satisfaction, recognition, promotions, gigs, record contracts, acting roles, money and fame. They continue to live right and work hard, but soon, living right and working hard are forgotten and replaced with what is making them happy in that moment, which are of course, the fruits of their hard work. They soon forget what got them to the top and they start to care more about the fruits than the labors. Before they know it, Litte Nicky of BSB aint so little anymore; he's a fat drunk and his best friend AJ is checking into rehab. Corey can't act anymore because he's got too much coke up his nose. Brittany's shaving her head and becoming the laughing stock of the media. Marie decides not to love her kids anymore, and Enron's top exectutives are stealing the pensions of their hard working employees. Their pride and wickedness have lead to destruction and suffering. Not only for themselves, but for those around them. They have fallen and they are no more.

The scriptures teach us that this can happen to all of us. It can in fact, happen to an entire civilization. Those who have read the Book of Mormon know that the Nephites constantly fell into this vicious pride cycle. Their humility would lead to righteousness and prosperity, which would lead to pride and wickedness, which would lead to destruction and suffering, which comes full circle with humility and repentance. Over and over again. The following is a scripture from the Book of Mormon that illustrates this point-

"Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind of art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yeah, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yeah, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One--yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity." -- Helaman 12:2

We can now add one more to the luandry list of those who have fallen into the Pride Cycle. I recently went to see Spiderman 3 and was suprised to see how closely this movie followed this cycle. The first thing that we see in Spiderman 3 is that Spidy has risen to the top. Everyone loves him and crime is at an all time low. Peter Parker is also on top. It appears that he has finally figured out how to balance his personal life, MJ and school, with his life of fighting crime. Pretty soon Peter starts to love how famous he has become. He even has advice on what its like to be famous for his broadway star girlfriend, MJ.

The time comes for Spidey to take on the Sandman. Spiderman basically gets worked and can do little or nothing against this new villain. Luckily for Spidey, a strange alien has fallen from the sky. It looks like stringy strands of gooey black tar that can attach and mold itself to whatever it wants. We eventually find out that it can also take over whoever it molds itself to. Well, this black goo molds itself to Spiderman's suit and when Peter tries it on, he finds that he is faster, stronger, more powerful. Powerful enough to take out the Sandman. This new power doesn't come without its consequences. It makes Peter mean and hutful. He cares about no one but himself. For me, this black goo is an obvious metaphor for pride and both Peter and Spidey have fallen victim to it.

It takes while, but Peter is able to see how terrible he has been treating those whom he loves. He realizes the evil of the suit and tears it off of his body. At the end of the fim, Spiderman has to humble himself, swallow his pride and ask the help of one who used to be his enemy in order to save MJ from both Sandman and Venom.

Hopefully my literally thousands of readers can learn from Spiderman, the Nephites, and others who have come before them and not fall victim to the pride cycle. Unless of course you want to become a Dark Lord of the Sith. In that case you should use pride to make you more powerful.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Heroes

Stardate 05-14-2007

I keep going back and forth, trying to decide which is my favorite drama on TV: Heroes, Battlestar Galactica or Lost. All three are amazing and in my opinion, there isn't another drama out there that even comes close. I don't know why people waste their time watching garbage like CSI, CSI New York, CSI Las Vegas, CSI Miami, or SVU (I can sort of understand why people watch SVU--who doesn't love Ice-T?) etc.

Anyway, I've been really excited and getting into Heroes as of late. They are leading up to the end of Volume (season) 1 and things are lookin hot!!! The following are a list of observations and things that I've read about the show. First my observations and questions.

1. If Peter has absorbed Claire's power to heal, why does he have a scar on his face in the episode that jumps five years into the future? I believe that there is sometihng significant about the scar. I believe this because 10 or so episodes before the future episode, when future Hiro stops time in the subway to tell him to save the cheerleader, the first thing that he says to Peter is, "You look different without your scar." Any ideas as to the significance of the scar?

2. The little girl Molly will be very important in the next episodes. We actually met Molly the second episode of the season. She is the little girl that Parkman finds when he first discovers that he can hear other's thoughts. Linderman's company now has Molly in their care, but she is suffering from some sort of disease. They have enlisted the help of Mohinder in order to cure her. It appears that there is a disease that affects young girls who are developing their special powers. I believe that this disease that she has may be a future story line. Mohinder's little sister had special abilities and suffered and died from this disease. Molly, a special young girl also is suffering from the disease, but hopefully from the help of Mohinder, will not die. There was also an episode where Claire's mother told her that they had tried once before to find Claire's real parents. They did this because she was suffering from an unknown disease and wanted to find out about her family history. My guess is that because of her powers, Claire was able to heal on her own. What do you think?

3. When Nathan Patrelli meets Linderman, Linderman reveals to Nathan that he also has special powers. He tells Nathan that when he first found out about what he could do, himself and others with powers got together to form a group that would help those who needed it. He then says that the others in this group ruined things because of their desire to use their powers for personal gain and they broke up, though to me, it seems as if this is exactly what Linderman has done. In the future I hope to learn the back stories of these people and to find out where they are now. Are they the future evil ones that the Heroes will fight against? Or will they join them in their attempts to bring down Linderman?

The following comes from what I have read:

1. From an interview with Sulu- In the season finale, Hiro will travel back in time to learn how to use his sword. (On a few occasions, Hiro has told Ando about the history of the sword and who wielded it. It is Darth Spencer's belief that we may see that this is an ancestor of Hiro or possibly even his father. Perhaps Sulu has a similar ability to travel through time and space and it is he, who is the Bushido sword master)

2. From an interview with Tim Kring, creator of the show- Season 1 will end with a clear idea of what is in store for season 2. Season 2 will deal with the history of what is happening. The older characters, Sulu, Mother Patrelli, Linderman, will play a larger role in helping us to understand how these special powers are passed from person to person.

3. From an article in Newsweek- Season two will include a spin-off series. There will be 8 filler episodes that have nothing to do with the main Heroes storyline. These episodes will introduce new heroes and give a back story on them and their abilities. At the end of the season, the audience will be able to vote for one of these people to become a regular cast member. These episodes will appear during weeks when the show would usually be on a break. This way we get a maximum amount of Heroes. Pretty creative. Though it won't progress the story, I'd rather see this than another episode of Deal or No Deal.

4. Each week, a couple of small comics come out on NBC.com that give back story and filler between the TV episodes. I've finished them all and recommend them for those who really like Heroes. Some are great, some are pointless. The coolest thing that I found out is that Linderman served on a special ops mission during the Vietnam war with Nathan and Peter Patrelli's father. The father does not have special powers, but was actually healed by Linderman after being shot in the gut. Upon return to the States, Patrelli tries desperately to tell others in the army about Linderman's powers. Linderman denies everything and tells them that Patrelli is mad. This puts a serious scar on Patrelli for the rest of his life. Years later, Patrelli is married and has a little boy. He is contacted by Linderman and Linderman begs his forgiveness for not telling the truth. The comic ends with what looks to be the start of Linderman starting his company.

What do you think is the best drama on TV?
What ideas do you have about Heroes?
What do you think or hope is in store for season 2?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

And the World Moved On...

Stardate 05-10-2007



"The greatest mystery that the universe offers is not life, but size...The child that is most at home with wonder says, 'Daddy, what is above the sky?' and the father says, 'The darkness of space.' The child, 'What is beyond space?' The father, 'The galaxy.' The child, 'Beyond the galaxy?' The father, 'Another galaxy.' The child, 'Beyond the other galaxies?' The father, 'No one knows.'"

"You see, size defeats us. For the fish, the lake in which he lives is the universe. What does the fish think when he is jerked up by the mouth through the silver limits of existence and into a new universe where the air drowns him and the light is blue madness? Where huge bipeds with no gills stuff it into a suffocating box and cover it with wet weeds to die?"

"If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading, 'Dead End?' No. You may find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through that shell or find a door-- what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover that our entire universe is part of one atom on a blade of grass?

"Imagine the sand of the desert. And imagine a trillion universes, not worlds, but universes, encapsulated in each grain of that desert, and within each universe, an infinity of others. We tower over these universes from our pitiful grass vantage point. With one swing of your boot, you may knock a billion, billion worlds flying off into darkness; in a chain, never to be completed. Size. Size."

"Yet suppose further. Suppose that all worlds, all universes, meet in a single nexus. A single pylon. A tower."--Thoughts by The Man In Black

These were a few excerpts from book one of Stephen King's seven book series-- The Dark Tower. Book one of The Dark Tower series is The Gunslinger. Many have said that The Dark Tower series is King's greatest achievement. Book one was written in 1982 and the series wasn't complete until books six and seven were released in 2004. King has said that during this time period, the number one question that his fans asked him was, "When are you going to finish book seven?" Though there is violence and some gore, this series is not horror, like most of King's other works, but a fantasy. I listened to The Gunslinger on CD and really enjoyed the story and the narration. The narrator sounds like an old cowboy with a raspy voice and a bit of a drawl. The voice of the narrator reminded me of the voice of the old guy from Young Guns II who claimed he was Billy the Kid.

In book one we meet Roland of Gilead, the last of the Gunslingers. He is on a quest to find the mysterious Man In Black, who will start him on the path to find The Dark Tower.

The book is set in a world that feels like the old west, where light and dark magic exist, and its people are strewn out over a vast desert plain. From the start the reader knows that there is something strange about time in this land and that things don't fully make sense. For example, there is a part where Roland walks into town and coming from the local saloon, he can hear Hey Jude being played ragtime style on the piano. Stranger things occur when Roland finds Jake, a young boy from New York who explains that he died in a car crash and then woke up in this strange land. There is also talk of In-World, Mid-World, and End-World, though it is unclear which they are in and how they get back and forth from one world to another.

A lot of people have said that book one can be slow at parts, but that the rest of the series is just amazing. I personally didn't find it slow at all. I really enjoyed the whole thing and I'm very excited to read or listen to the rest of the series and find out what awaits Roland in The Dark Tower.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ender's Shadow

Stardate 05-01-2007

Whenever I was assigned to write a book report on the book of my choice from grades 5-12 I did that report on Ender's Game. The funny thing is is that it wasn't until my 6th or 7th go at the book that I actually finished it. In fact, it may be possible that I have attempted to start Ender's Game, but never finished it, more times than I have done so with The Book of Mormon. Now, the last thing I want to do is turn my literally thousands of readers off of Ender's Game. Since high school I have both read it and listened to it on CD from start to finish and it is by far one of my favorite sci-fi novels.

Years later, Orson Scott Card decided to look at possibly expanding upon the "Enderverse," and looked at the option of letting other authors write the stories of Ender's friends from Battle School. After lots of thought and contemplation, Card decided that he didn't want to let others write about the characters, but that he wanted to do so himself. He decided to try out an interesting experiment and write the same novel, but from a second characters perspective. Those who have read Ender's Game know that Bean becomes Ender's right hand man and only confidant. Card decided that Bean would be the logical person to write about and so he wrote Ender's Shadow.

Though I did like Ender's Game more, Ender's Shadow was also excellent. Card does an excellent job of expanding upon the original story and even the parts that overlap are not dull and seem entertaining and original. Just like in Ender's Game, this story progresses and is mostly told through the inner dialogue of the main character. There are of course some differences with the largest being that Ender is always thinking about the buggers and Bean is more focused on politics. This of course translates into the rest of the books in the "Shadow" series where we find Bean back on Earth where he is now in Ender's older brother Peter's shadow. I have not read these books but look forward to doing so.

Another item of interest to note is that at the end of the Ender's Shadow, there is an original afterward from Orson Scott Card where he talks about Ender's Game the movie. Here are the highlights from what he said.

He has run into numerous problems trying to get this movie made. At first, the most common problem was that they wanted to make Ender 16 years old, rather then 6 years old. This means that they would most likely cast a 24 year old who looks young to play a 16 year old. They also wanted to give Ender a love interest. This infuriated Card so much that he stalled production. The production company then lost the rights to the movie and Card took control of them. For the next few years he ran into the same problem, but has finally found a production company that will work with young children.

This creates another problem. Children are only allowed to work half days which translates into a longer shooting time and more money. Another problem is that for the most part, children are bad actors and he is very worried about finding someone to play Ender, let alone the rest of his friends from Battle School. Card mentions that after seeing Finding Neverland he feels more confident that he will be able to find children who can actually act.

The largest problem has been the fact that the story of Ender's Game is driven by Ender's inner voice. It has been extremely difficult for Card to come up with a screen play that progresses the story at a good pace, but that does not use Ender's inner voice let the audience know what is going on. After years or toying with different solutions, Card's production team came up with the idea of molding both Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow into one story. The interaction between Ender and Bean will drive the story rather than relying on inner dialuge.

At the time that this afterward was written, Card mentioned that he had chosen Wolfgang Peterson as his director. He did not give any reasons why except for that he has enjoyed his work. I checked IMDB and Wolfgang is still slated to direct. Some of his past movies have been Outbreak, In the Line of Fire, Das Boot, Air Force One, Troy and Poseidon. I enjoyed Outbreak and In the Line of Fire, but some of his other movies seem like cheesy action films. I hope he does a good job with Ender.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tears of Sadness-Tears of Joy

Stardate 04-17-2007

Its not often, but every once in a while a movie gets made that trandsends greatness and in my opinion, reaches a level of immortality--living in our hearts forever, never to be forgotten. This week I would like to focus my thoughts on two movies which have no doubt reached this level of immortality. Somewhere In Time and The Lake House.

How can two movies be so beautiful? I'll tell you how. All you do is combine two of my most favorite genres: Time Travel and Romance. LOL, I guess I shouldn't say, "All you do," as if its that simple to make such a great movie. Here is a brief synopsis of both movies.

Somewhere In Time- A mysterious old woman walks up to dreamy, young, and fully mobile Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) and gives him a watch and tells him to remeber her, but here is the catch, he's never met her before in his life. How mysterious, neh? So Richard visits an old college professor to ask him what he knows about bending time and space. The wise old professor tells Richard that it is all in the power of the mind, and that if your will is strong enough, your brian will send you back or forward in time. However, there is one pitfall. If the mind has any remeberance of the time that it is truely from, it will be too much to handle and the mind will revert back to its true time. So Richard actually does it, he returns back in time and finds the beautiful actress Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), who turns out to be the very same mysterious old woman who gave him the watch at the begining of the movie. Through test and trial, Richard is able to win the heart of Elise and they fall in love. What takes place next is truely tragic. After Richard and Elise pleasure in the delights of the flesh, they sit down to enjoy a warm bucket of fried chicken. Its at this moment that they are the happiest. Elise looks beautiful and Richard is in true form. He's joking and making Elise laugh, and then tragedy rears its ugly head. Richard pulls a modern day penny out of his vingage 1940s suit and his mind is reminded of its true place in time, and Richard is hurdled back into his true time. Though I loved this movie, it brought me Tears of Sadness.

The Lake House- The year is 2006 and the lovely doctor Kate Forester (Sandra Bullock) is moving out of her rented lake house. She drops a letter in the mailbox asking the future resident to please forward all her mail to her future address. The year is 2004 and frustrated architect Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves) is just moving into his famalies lake house, and right away notices that there is a letter waiting for him. He opens it up to find that someone is asking him to forward all future mail to her new address. How strange? Young Alex knows that no one has lived in his famalies home since he was a child. This cannot be, so he decides to investigate and the impossilbe happens. He finds that somehow the mailbox sends letters from the past to the future and from the future to the past. How can this be? Is the mailbox equiped with a flux copaciter? Is Hiro Nokimora saving the world by somehow bringing Alex and Kate together for some strange future reason? Well we never find out the magic or science behind the mailbox, but we do find out about the staying power of love and the written word. For two years Alex and Kate write back and forth until one day Kate finds out that Alex is to die. In a mad dash she races to the lake house to send him a letter begging him not to try to meet her on that fateful day. At the end we find that Alex got the letter and did not try to meet her and by doing so, was not hit by that car, in turn also avoiding laying in his own pool of carnige and dismemberment. In the end, future Alex and future Kate embrace and stay together forever. I loved this movie and it brougt me Tears of Joy.

I'm pretty sure that casting is what made these movies what they are today; amazing. So this post is dedicated to Keanu and Christopher. Champions of acting.