Posted by stupidfuture on June 9, 2013
ALL SPOILERS ALL SPOILERS ALL SPOILERS
———————-You’ve been warned————————-
So I saw Star Trek Into Darkness (STID) last night. Greg and I also saw The Darkness in Lancaster, PA, a few weeks back. They were awesome. Justin Hawkins is the sole remaining living embodiment of Rock and Roll. He literally climbed the walls and rode around on some guy’s back. I personally would like to see the new cast of Start-Wreck (cause a lot of things were wrecked in this movie) join The Darkness–or more precisely, vice versa. Frankie Poulain would make a mean-looking first officer.
Anyway, I kinda think I saw this movie before, but backwards. Kirk dies in the warp chamber, and Spock screams “KHAN!!!”. Okay, so it was decent. I do like the new cast, particularly Karl Urban as Bones and Chirs Pine as Kirk. I think Kirk makes a few “unKirklike” choices in the movie, including one part where he whines that he doesn’t know what to do, yet mostly, he does fulfill that poster: he can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome he believes he is. He also signs on to assassinate Khan early in the movie, but that’s just not Kirk-style. There was a robot dude on the bridge, I suppose a tribute to Data in Next Gen, but at first I thought he was a Deltan. You don’t really know until you see some big Matsumoto dial sticking into the back of his head. Well, maybe he’s a cymol–human with a robot brain, I think Jack Chalker came up with the term back in the 80s.
The best character by far has to be the diminutive, speechless alien that Scotty refers to as a walking oyster. I was thinking cabbage, really, or Nien Numb from Jedi. I would say that he’s Scotty’s mini-me, except that Scotty doesn’t look like an oyster. He was fairly pickled in once scene, though. It really does sound like the ghost of Jimmy Doohan. The all-time best though was Peter Weller–that’s right, Buckaroo Freakin’ Bazai! Man, he looks old. Sorry, Buckaroo, we love you like nobody’s business. Blue Blaze irregular here in the Garden State. But why’d you have to try to blow up James Kirk? And your own daughter? Sheesh.
So you know that this movie is basically Wrath of Khan all over again, except that Khan doesn’t die, he just gets turned back into a popsicle after they use his blood to bring Kirk BACK FROM THE DEAD. That’s right, folks. And he wasn’t even wearing a red shirt (Checkov was though). Kirk is now a zombie, who, along with an army of reanimated tribbles, will attempt to eat yer brainz in the middle of the night! Or the next movie. Well, he might try to eat Carol Marcus first. Yummy, though you would rather see a little meat on her bones. (Ahnold: Vhat have you been feeding dis theeeng? Kirk: Blondes….)
I liked the Klingon face-spine ear piercings. Uhura claimed to speak Klingon, but hey, we’ll never really know, since she just could have had a bad cold with a lot of mucus. What do Klingons call their face-spines anyway? If a kid gets food on it, what do the Klingon parents say? Oh, yeah, that’s right…nobody can tell because it seems like they are just having a tasty cold.
In short: much better than the first Star Trek reboot, which I liked. It’s neat to watch the good ol’ NCC-1701 go atmospheric, but you know they stole that off the BSG reboot. One lingering question: if most of Starfleet’s Senior Staff was machine-gunned (err, layered) by Khan in the Khan-ference room, who is left actually in charge of Kirk? And why exactly are they sending him on a five-year mission when war with the Klingon empire is so apparent? Well, maybe they ARE building ten more ships of the Andromeda class to take on the White Comet, that would do it. Oh, wait….that was StarBlazers….I would like to see ten Andromeda class ships go up against the Klingon D4s, though, they seemed much more wimpy than the D7s of yore.
Posted in Star Trek (2013) | Tagged: Bones, Buckaroo Banzai, Captain Kirk, Into Darkness, Justin Hawkins, Karl Urban, Khan, Klingons, Lancaster PA, Mr. Spock, Peter Weller, Star Trek, Starblazers, The Darkness, Tribble, Zombie | 2 Comments »
Posted by gregchiaramonti on February 10, 2012
Now, everyone knows I love me some good ol’fashioned space exploration, be it manned or robotic. However, there’s just something strange about the whole “moonbase” plan being touted by Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich lately. Just seems a little too much like the plotting of a James Bond villain/Dr. Evil-type. He probably would want to hire all of those poor inner-city kids to help construct it – you know, save the taxpayers some money – once he ends those pesky child labor laws.
Posted in Current/Future Events, Election 2012 | Tagged: Bond villain, Dr. Evil, Election 2012, evil genius, evil plot, moon colony, moonbase, Newt Gingrich, politics, Presidential candidate, space exploration, world domination | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gregchiaramonti on February 17, 2011
Kind of obvious that Lady Gaga is sort of becoming the Madonna of the current century. Hey, nothing wrong with that – the kids today should have their own eccentric, wild pop star icons. I appreciate her creativity, though just not into her music. I guess that “Paparazzi” song was pretty catchy, but I think I preferred Greyson Chance’s talent show version of it on youtube. So what if her new “Born This Way” song is basically a modern version of Madonna’s “Express Yourself”. Maybe it’s a conscious homage to a song that inspired Gaga. Or maybe it’s a calculated copy by her corporate record executive handlers. Or both. Hey, that Lady Antebellum song is “Eye in the Sky” by Alan Parsons Project, intentional or not. Music is a lot like DNA… it mutates over time, incorporating various styles and influences in its evolution. It can’t be helped, it’s the nature of it. I mean, even our National Anthem’s melody is, ironically, an old British drinking song (maybe that explains why Christina sung it like a drunken sailor at the Superbowl).
This all doesn’t mean that something new and original can’t emerge from homages to our influences or cutting and pasting old styles over a new beat (which is probably an old beat sped up and looped). And it surely doesn’t mean that new artists should stop trying new things even though “back in my day, music was good and you could understand it, not like the junk these kids listen to today…grumble, grumble… HEY – GET OFF MY LAWN!!!” Face it, we’re getting old (referring to people in my age group, mid 30’s to mid 40’s, who seem to have mostly frozen their music tastes during the 80’s or early 90’s). We’re turning into our parents, who most likely couldn’t get into “our music”. The brain gets tired of creating new synaptic connections at some point, plus the perspective of someone born into a world without dual cassette boomboxes and with guitars that are usually plugged into a videogame will naturally be different. It’s okay, that’s the way it works, the whole nostalgia thing. Somehow, I don’t even remember being as fond of Journey or Duran Duran back in the day, as I am now. I was trying to tell my Dad about an episode of VH-1 Classic Albums on Duran Duran’s “Rio”, and he couldn’t get past the idea of it being a “classic album”… well, okay, maybe he’s right but you know what I’m sayin’. What really scares me is the music soundtrack in stores, like my local QuickChek, seem to be set to the 80’s now – even obscure New Wave stuff I’ve never heard. I’ve somehow become the target demographic for convenience stores. That can’t be good.
If you keep an open mind, though, you’ll find there’s plenty great music being produced, by new artists and older artists you may have liked in their “prime”. Some artists actually get better with time, and just because they are older and out of the spotlight, doesn’t negate their achievements or make them less listenable. The music store is pretty much INFINITE at this point (as long as iTunes can plug in another server, oh, every couple seconds I guess), so no reason to fear that the Bieber is somehow taking up precious shelf space at the record store instead of your favorite artist. This is “zero sum” thinking (no, that’s not the latest NIN album): because someone wins, someone else must lose. Let the teen girls have their Bieber, it’s really going to be okay. It’s actually always been this way. Hey, I didn’t even watch the Grammys this year, and haven’t for the past couple years. Glad Arcade Fire won – seems like a band that I’d be into, but for some reason they don’t excite me. No big deal, their fans should be proud of them. For me, it’s just not a competition. It’s music. Find something that you like, and enjoy it. On a purely business level, yeah, the music industry can be intensely competitive in many aspects. But I’m talking more about the cultural level, the listener-side experience. All of these awards and focusing on commercial success can lead us away from the true spirit of music, of bringing people together to share an emotion, or celebrate a moment in time, or experience something intensely personal. Or just rock out and party. Or mellow out and relax. Or get yo’ funk on. Or…uh… whatever country fans do? Whether you’re into music that’s just feel-good pointless pop or something extremely challenging and boundary-pushing – it’s alright. There’s room in the Universe for it all.
– Nigel Matrix
Posted in Alien, Grammy Awards, Internet Memes, Lady Gaga Egg, Movie Parodies | Tagged: 80's music, Alan Parsons Project, Alien Egg, Born Like This, Duran Duran, Express Yourself, Grammy Awards, Greyson Chance, iTunes, Lady Gaga, Madonna, music, music awards, National Anthem, new music, nostalgia, Paparazzi, pop star | Leave a Comment »
Posted by stupidfuture on December 20, 2010
Electronic Dictator Fooled By Counterfeit Identification
Tron: Legacy was truly badass. Many fine, fine, wonderful movie critics have panned it, but I have to say that I will probably see it several times in the theatres. Full disclosure: I own the DVD of the orginal 1982 movie and watch it at least every few years or so. As I’m sure you already know, it details the cyberseach of Sam Flynn for his lost father Kevin, star of the original movie. Disney really delivered on this one, from the opening Castle in the credits, lit up cyberstyle, to its Blade Runner-esque ending (so sayeth Nigel, since Sam runs away with a fake woman). Critics are pointing out that the acting is wooden and the dialog is horrible. Even if those things are true, that’s missing the point by a mile. Tron is about neon against black, living like leather on the edge of a jukebox. Because the computer world depicted is so beautifully, you could watch it with the sound off, not something you can say about many Disney flicks. You don’t analyze Tron: Legacy you just sort of float in it.
Sure there were moments of irksomeness, like when they have all these dead video games covered in plastic in Flynn’s Arcade come to like, and they crank out the freakin’ Journey music–“Separate Ways” of all things. Yeah, I know, Journey had their own video game, and they were the first people to be pixelized and scanned in to a game, so it’s appropriate and all dat, yada yada. And I actually like some of their music, as long as it’s Steve Perry singing (or maybe Greg Rollie, see I know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. And it ain’t Styx without Dennis DeYoung, either.) But the video game was atrocious. Anyway, all of us GenXers were supposed to cry for our lost youth in arcades, life in mothballs like the nice example of a Spy Hunter cabinet visible under the plastic, goaded on by the incessant groove of the hit single from Frontiers. How apropo, how apropo. The arcade generation had the rug pulled out from under them. Who weeps for Space Port? Aye, aye.
Nigel liked that the programs got to hang out and you could see them in their “native environment” if you will, kinda like the Cylons on Gamoray. The light jets were awesome, and it was nice to see the Solar Sailer in action. You really do get a sense of a living place in the “Grid” a lot more than in the first movie. Programs have nightclubs they go to (and that explains a lot of buggy output, if they have to wake up all bleary eyed). Yeah, it’s all dark, like a two-color version of Blade Runner, but you get this feeling that there’s depth, which you didn’t in the first movie. It was nice to see Bruce Boxleitner, he’s kind of aged to resemble Michael Douglas. All in all, it was everything I’d hoped to see in a Tron sequel, but after 28 years, I’m glad we got something at all. Even if it has a plasty looking un-aged Jeff Bridges at the helm of his own cyberworld. (“Clu’s! “Army!”) A bit of the plot hangs on the notion of Fake Ids, though, so I went home and immediately watched Superbad. I thought Sam should have traded his Identity Disc in for McLovin’s.
Posted in Tron: Legacy | Tagged: Blade Runner, Clu's Army, Dennis DeYoung, GenX, GenXers, Gregg Rollie, Identity Disc, Journey, Kevin Flynn, McLovin, Michael Douglas, Sam Flynn, Solar Sailer, Space Port, Steve Perry, Styx, Superbad, The Grid, Tron, Tron: Legacy | 1 Comment »
Posted by stupidfuture on December 14, 2010
Virtual Cyber Warriors Finally Embrace Modern Storage Media
All kidding aside, I am really stoked for the new Tron movie. Yet it does leave me wondering–why are they still using discs after all this time? Wouldn’t a USB Flash drive be more with the times? Yeah, I know that Kevin Flynn (Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski) build his little cyberworld in the 1980s, got scanned in, and got stuck there. Just like the rest of us with our day-glow polos, Members Only jackets, and Survivor records. Heck, even Microsoft Office still uses a Floppy Disc icon. Most of the people using Office now have probably never seen a Floppy Disc in their entire life. They only know it as “that square thingie that means Save”. Speaking of that, what are you actually supposed to call a USB drive anyway? They have more names than any other computer accessory. Thumb drive, flash drive, stick drive, USB drive, etc. If someone could just clarify this, I could know what to tell the Programs being sent for execution on the Game Grid.
Bet you could fit Kevin Flynn’s entire virual world on one with ease. Four gigabytes was unheard of in 1982, when the original Tron movie came out. The whole dang computer didn’t have that much memory. Programs were given a disc to store themselves on, which couldn’t have been more than a few megabytes. Now, when rogue programs enter the Game Grid, they can store their information in a much larger format, and fill it up with videos of their pets that they are editing to upload to YouTube. USB Drives are not very good for throwing at your enemies, however. If you see Sark, aim for his neck.
Posted in Tron: Legacy | Tagged: floppy discs, Game Grid, Kevin Flynn, Sark, tron legacy, tron parody, tron sequel, USB drive | 1 Comment »
Posted by gregchiaramonti on December 14, 2010
Just riffing on that Atheist billboard that went up near the Lincoln Tunnel recently. Now, I’m mostly Agnostic myself, probably still a bit Catholic by default (raised that way, had to suffer through CCD classes and all dat), and sort of Buddhist-lite (hey, I read all of the Dalai Lama’s books and REALLY like the movie Seven Years in Tibet). However, even a relatively non-religious person such as myself doesn’t think it’s a particularly wise idea to start questioning matters of faith in the moments before entering an aging Tunnel infrastructure under the Hudson River…
Also, I don’t mean to offend any believers in Jediism with this comic. I mean, I guess theoretically, God or “The Force” could be literally speaking through the creative vision of George Lucas and relaying a true story about events from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away – right? (Ha… that’s sure to cause a stir amongst the anti-prequel crowd). And, well, an official Jedi Religion does sound pretty cool, actually. Really. Is there a New Jersey chapter? Hmm…
Posted in Atheist billboard, Current/Future Events | Tagged: Atheism, Atheist billboard, belief, faith, God, Hero's Journey, Jedi Religion, Jediism, Lincoln Tunnel, myth, religion, Star Wars, The Force, You know it's a myth | 1 Comment »
Posted by gregchiaramonti on May 1, 2010
Sorry this is a bit late, Earth Day having been celebrated on April 22nd. Though I think the environment is still largely on our minds with this terrible oil rig disaster in the Gulf. I hope they are able to contain and clean up the spill quickly and can limit the impact on the wildlife, beaches and wetlands, though last I read it may take up to three months to dig a relief well to stop the oil from flowing (at 5000 barrels, or 200,000 gallons, a day). We definitely need these oil companies to follow strict safety and environmental regulations if they are going to operate in sensitive offshore areas. I was just reading that most of the regulations are “voluntary”. Hmmm… yeah, that makes sense. Install expensive, time-consuming safety devices, or make more profits? Let’s just leave that up to the companies to decide, alright. Offshore rigs in countries like Norway must have a special remote valve seal that can be shut to prevent such a major disaster. But I guess if we try to slap more government regulations on these companies, everyone will cry “socialism”. Hopefully we will make the switch to more clean energy solutions and break our oil habit soon. I believe, ultimately, we need to seek energy solutions in space, like orbiting solar arrays that beam energy back to Earth, or mining asteroids. There is no easy way to solve these problems, since much of the infrastructure needed for clean solutions would still require oil to manufacture.
On a side note, you may also want to google “Release the Kraken” – Liam Neeson’s portrayal of Zeus powerfully giving that command, in the recent movie remake of the 80’s Clash of the Titans, seems to have spawned a new internet meme.
– Nigel Matrix
Posted in Clash of the Titans 2010, Current/Future Events, Gulf Oil Spill 2010, Internet Memes, Movie Parodies, Release the Kraken, Uncategorized | Tagged: Clash of the Titans, clean energy, Cloverfield 2, comedy, Earth Day, ecological disaster, environment, environmental regulations, fantasy, Greek gods, Greek mythology, Gulf Oil Spill 2010, internet meme, Liam Neeson, movie remake, offshore drilling, oil rig disaster, oil spill, parody, Release the Kraken, sci-fi, Zeus | Leave a Comment »
Posted by gregchiaramonti on April 5, 2010
April 3, 2010, will long be remembered as the day the book died. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating, just the tiniest bit… (and, I realize that only a total Apple fanboy like myself would assume that a couple generations in the future we’d still be referring to such tablet computers as the iPad, in general, as “iPads” – though I guess that’s what Star Trek predicted with its PADDs – and, hey, how come Trek didn’t get any flak on the feminine hygiene front, huh?). But, I’ve seen and touched the iPad for myself now, after fighting off some vicious crowds at the Freehold Mall Apple Store this past Saturday, and I have to say I was instantly lusting this device. It’s exactly the perfect size – makes the iPhone and iPod Touch seem very small and awkward to use once you’ve held the iPad, but it’s not so big that it just looks like you chopped a notebook computer in half, like some earlier attempts at tablet PCs did. The iBooks feature is just what I’ve been waiting for. I know, there’s the old Kindle with it’s e-ink screen that’s supposed to be better on the eyes. But the iPad is color, and has so much other functionality with web, movies, photos, music, games, etc. Plus, I’d rather have something backlit that I can read upside-down lying on the couch or in bed, than the Kindle which requires an outside light source. I know, backlight is bad for your eyes… we’ll, I already spend most of my day in front of a computer screen, so I don’t think it will make much difference at this point. Whatever the case, the iPad rocks, you’ve just got to check it out, whether you are PC or Mac or Droid or whatever… it’s just about the coolest gadget I’ve ever seen. I think it will really speed up the shift to digital books that Kindle and other e-readers started, just like the iPod mainstreamed digital music, even though mp3 players had been around for a while before it.
So, stash away any current books you have in a safe place – maybe they will be worth something someday as relics of a simpler age…
– Nigel Matrix
Posted in Apple iPad release, Apple Tablet Hype, Harry Potter | Tagged: Apple fanboy, Apple iPad, Apple Store, Apple Tablet, books, digital books, e-ink, e-reader, future, futurism, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Humor, internet, iPad release date, iPhone, iPod, Kindle, media device, new technology, PADD, parody, reading, sci-fi, Star Trek, the end of books | 2 Comments »
Posted by stupidfuture on February 26, 2010
Garlic Gluttony Proves Adequate Defense Against Undead
Gluttony as spectacle. It’s often painful to watch the Travel Channel’s Adam Richman eat some new combination of hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, cheese, bacon, chili, hot peppers, mozz sticks or whatever, by the pound. After all, there are only so many possible combinations of the unhealthiest foods that can possibly be put together. He travels around the country looking for some minor variation of the above that he hasn’t yet encountered. It’s slightly more interesting when he eats the spiciest hot wings, and turns scarlet. But mostly, it’s just ordinary junk food, combined in some way that’s slightly different from the last time, and guzzled to the beat of a timer.
In order to make things slightly more interesting, we suggest that a new variation be included: the undead. Specifically, vampires. Man fights food, food fights vampires. Taking a cue from modern literary reworkings such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, if Richman cannot consume six pounds of garlic cloves in the allotted half an hour, the Nosferatu get to eat him instead. Perhaps it might help to clear all that meat residue out of his system. Garlic is good for you. But bad for vampires. Remember, as The Phantom Menace taught us, there’s always something with more teeth than you. Maybe it’s time someone was looking over Richman’s shoulder, waiting for the timer, hoping to earn the I Finished All Of Adam Richman tee shirt.
Posted in Man v. Food, Television Parodies | Tagged: Adam Richman, chili dog, gluttony, junk food, Man v. Food, Nosferatu, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Phantom Menace, vampires | 1 Comment »
Posted by stupidfuture on February 18, 2010
Jewelery Discovery Results in Middle-Earth Dweller Being Crushed By Fluffy Mallet
One banana, two banana, three banana, four…and one banana to bring them all–and in the darkness, bind them. Was it me, or would Fleegle the Beagle from the Sid and Marty Krofft Show The Banana Splits have fit right in with Deagol, Smeagol (who later becomes known as Gollum, and apparently slips up and creeps away with Robert Plant’s girlfriend on Led Zeppelin II) and the other “river folk”?
Fleegle, the erstwhile leader of the ‘Splits, in their quest to one-up the nefarious Sour Grapes Bunch, at times weilded not a rock or sword, but a pastel fluffy mallet. Poor Deagol. What a way to go, pastel-fluffy-malleted to death. Over a ring. Sheesh. In his defense, Fleegle was much more prone to weild a guitar, so maybe he didn’t do it after all. As for Snorky, Bingo, and Drooper…who can say?
Anyway, the Fleegle character–less nightmarish than Sigmund the Sea Monster, or anyone from H.R. Puff ‘N Stuff–was voiced by the ever-exuberant Paul Winchell, voice of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, Gargamel, and many, many other characters–many of whom were prone to say “Woo-hoo-hoo”. If Fleegle did do it, that would have been the last thing poor Deagol heard in Middle Earth. Then, in 500 years, Fleegle would lose the One Ring to Bilbo Baggins, but he would creep up and slip away with Robert Plant’s girlfriend. However much fake fur he lost in the meantime, he was still probably an easier sell than scrawny, tattered Smeagol. And when he fed poor Sam and Frodo to Shelob, even Sauron would smile at the resounding “Woo-hoo-hoo”.
Posted in Lord Of The Rings, Movie Parodies | Tagged: Bilbo Baggins, Bingo, Deagol, Drooper, Fleegle, Frodo, Gollum, Led Zeppelin II, Lord of the Rings, Paul Winchell, Ramble On, Robert Plant, Samwise Gamgee, Sauron, Shelob, Sid and Marty Krofft, Smeagol, Snork, Snorky, Sour Grapes Bunch, The Banana Splits, The One Ring, Tigger, Winnie the Pooh, Woo-hoo-hoo | 2 Comments »