Monday, December 28, 2009

Battlestar Rhapsody

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sherlock Holmes - Movie Review

Watching Sherlock Holmes makes me want to run a Steam Punk campaign. While overall Avatar was more entertaining and full of omgawesomesauce, I didn't get the urge to create a campaign set on Pandora. Holmes on the other hand got my brain churning on ideas of a Victorianesque D&D world.

But I digress. Sherlock Holmes turned out to be a solid and fun movie, in a way a break from the explosions and CGI wonders of the movie season.* As long as you aren't attached to the old movie image of Sherlock Holmes, you'll like this movie, and if you have a fondness for for Steampunk, there is just enough of a dash in this movie to notch it up for you (and if you have no idea what the heck Steampunk is, you won't notice).

The chemistry between Downey and Law as Holmes and Watson is great. Yes, Robert Downey Jr. is a bit over the top, but it keeps the movie fun. One of the things that was neat was how Holmes would use his analytical mind in fights, done just enough to be cool, not so often as to be annoying or make Holmes unbeatable.

Some of the central scheme is a bit... out there, but it's hard to say more without spoiling. I guess an over-the-top scheme to go with an over-the-top Holmes. And yes, the movie sets up for a sequel, which I hope gets made. Judging by the audience at my showing Holmes will do well. There were especially a lot of older people at my theater to see Holmes, more so than any movie I can remember.

My rating? Elementary, Dr. Watson. Four out of five clue-finding steam-punk flying monkeys.

* Yes, there are explosions and yes CGI was used for the Victorian background, but neither are the heart of the movie.


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Clip From Klingon Christmas Carol

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Muppets Ringing Of The Bells

Lucas Loses Copyright On Stormtroopers In Britain

It was as if a million lawyers cried out at once and then was silenced... British courts ruled that George Lucas' copyright of the familiar stormtrooper design was not artistic and thus only subject to a 15 year copyright.

This could have significant ramifications, but it hasn't been tested here in the US.

Check out articles here and here.

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Karmic Darwinism?

A killer was in turn killed by his own drooping baggy pants. He chased the daughter of one of his victims onto a fire escape, tripped on his saggy pants, and fell to his death.

You can read the article here.


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Santa Claus Buried In Ireland?

I stumbled across an interesting article this morning. There is a tomb near Kilkenny Ireland that is supposedly the resting place of the remains of Saint Nicholas of Myra, the inspiration for Santa Claus. You can check out the article here.


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Friday, December 18, 2009

Avatar - Movie Review

I decided to go see James Cameron's Avatar before reading the reviews. Mostly it is because I didn't want my opinion to be swayed by others, and I figured there would be a lot of opinions just as there was a bunch of buzz.

My review isn't really going to be original, in that the story of the movie isn't very original and is pretty much as predicted. Take equal portions of Dances With Wolves and Pocahontas with a dash of Braveheart and you have the story. All of the elements are familiar and there are no surprises.

What Cameron does is take those familiar story elements and tells them very damn well. The action was good, the acting was good, and the visuals were awesome. I forgot that I was watching a 3D movie because it was such a part of the experience as opposed to being an in-your-face gimmick.

If you are a fan of Cameron's previous movies, you will probably watch Avatar a couple of times. Overall, I think using the familiar plot elements instead of going for an M. Night twist let's sit back and just enjoy the movie instead of looking for the set up to some surprise.

If I didn't already own a Blu-Ray player, this would make me get one when it comes out. It looks that good.

Sure there are a couple of nits I could pick. The CGI Pandora looks so fantastic that when a bunch of human extras are shot in a conventional looking rain forest it looks drab. And why are the Na'vi conveniently mouth-breathing two-eyed quadropods (four-limbed) when everything else seems to be hexapods with four eyes and seperate breathing orifices?

But those are nits. Overall I give Avatar 5 of 5 alien-blue-CGI flying monkeys.


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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Iron Man 2 Trailer

It looks cool, but I can't help thinking that Mickey Rourke's Whiplash-techno-bondage get up leaves him a bit exposed. Popped off a frag grenade just out of the reach of his whips and he's BDShamburger.

But Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow is made of win.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

What If Gore Had Won 2000?

I'm a sucker for what-if stories and alternative histories. When I stumbled across this essay, I expected a liberal love letter. It's not quite that.

Remember it is a a piece of speculative fiction, not an attempt to accurately predict the outcome, but it claims the Left would have saved us from 9/11 and Katrina with Gore being spineless and Lieberman being a douchebag, all while bringing us public-optionized health care reform. I found it humorous if not somewhat implausible that the alt-2008 tickets were Clinton-Clinton vs. Bush-Bush.

Anyways, I found it an interesting read.


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Friday, December 11, 2009

Another Chuck Preview

Yes, I'm looking forward to Season 3, and I'm pleased that not only did Chuck get bumped from 13 to 19 episodes, I've also read that they aren't just going to shoehorn in the extras, they will comprise their own story arc.

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Star Trek Online - Starbase 24 Trailer

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Deathly Hallows Teaser

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Star Trek Online - Fleet Actions

I really hope this game plays as good as it looks.

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