Posts Tagged ‘computers’

new Ghost in the Shell…SAC_2045

Sat ,20/06/2020

Didn’t even know about this until a friend mentioned it, so naturally had to bing-watch the first season (only 12 episodes avail. at the moment).

So here’s my take on it so far (some spoilers, so be forewarned):

1) Same characters as Stand Alone Complex – they spend the first couple episodes ‘getting the gang back together’ as it were. As seen near the end of the previous series (because ARISE was a prequel to SAC if memory serves, will have to go watch that again now too I guess 🙂 ) the world has been divvied up into four major ’empires’, and Japan is kind of an also-ran country now as primarily allied within the American Empire.

2) The animation is much more like a videogame this time around, no longer 2D cartoon-drawn-style. I have to say I prefer the earlier style, but this isn’t bad. I think they start to hit their stride a few episodes in – the first few to me looked way too ‘Playstation’ like but it improves over time.

3) The Tachikomas are back, albeit there are a bit fewer of them. Otherwise largely the same, very capable but more comic relief in some ways – there’s also a new character, a PhD math wizard chick (Purin) who in some ways is similar, other ways much smarter. While she has a cyberbrain like the others, she is more akin to Chief Aramaki and Togusa – not a cyborg.

Some additional comments:

a) like the reviewer comment from the IMDB page, the plot takes a bit to really get going, so looking forward to next season given it’s nowhere near resolved by the end.

b) while they are minor characters in the other series too, both Borma and Paz show up only later and I don’t think Paz even has one line of dialog that I can remember – yet.

c) like all GITS shows – barring the lamely-executed American movie with Scarlet J, which was about as effective a ‘translation’ to live action as the Aeon Flux movie was (in other words, fairly major disappointment) – it’s far better to watch these in Japanese with subtitles, IMHO. Same as with Initial D and other anime i’ve watched – you just get a much better sense of the characters and the way that here too – the ‘posturing’ goes on between them, here mostly for Batou but the Major does a bit of it from time to time too.

d) another nit: I’m not sure on timelines here, but I’d have thought that Solid State Society was the last Stand Alone Complex series/movie/etc. (again, ARISE is a prequel so it predates Section 9 being created, kind of a Major Motoko ‘origin story’?) – but acc to IMDB that’s set in 2034, whereas this is supposedly 2045? I realize most of Section 9 are cyborgs so no issue, but Togusa and Aramaki? Hmm…..

So, all in all i’m eager to see more, the premise here (which I didn’t spoil for you) is actually pretty great, lots more to explore here.

candybowl

funny…..

Sat ,25/01/2020

Pretty great impression!

candybowl

RIP, Syd Mead.

Wed ,01/01/2020

one of the great ones…..RIP.

Legendary sci-fi artist Syd Mead dead at 86

Iconic Concept Artist Syd Mead Passes Away

candybowl

B5….a bit more

Sun ,22/12/2019

interesting side issue, following up on yesterday’s DS9 post – I didn’t really watch B5 in its original run, then watched it on my buddy’s DVDs several years ago, then a couple years ago rewatched it all. On DVD it holds up fairly well – it’s obviously lower budget than DS9 was, and while the overall plot holds up, there are definitely lame moments from time to time (DS9 wasn’t completely immune to this problem either, but barring the Vic Fontaine aspect near the end, at least they didn’t resort to the holodeck every time they ran out of ideas – TNG, I’m looking at YOU).

Anyway, interesting read to be sure…and F people who don’t realize the impact of the Amiga computer – Ask Spielberg and Jurassic Park on that one among many, many others 🙂

‘Babylon 5’ is great, so why does it look so bad?

candybowl

What We Leave Behind – DS9 documentary

Sat ,21/12/2019

Watched this recent Deep Space Nine documentary this week, by the showrunner Ira Steven Behr and some others. As a huge fan of DS9 (I personally think it’s the best of all the Trek series, albeit Discovery season 1 is right up there too now) it was long overdue for me to see them re-examine the show. Plus, earlier this past year I rewatched the vast majority of the episodes (along with Babylon 5, but more on that in a minute) so was excited to see DS9 finally getting its due.

So I think this is a great documentary. There are some things I would have done differently, and while I know they were trying NOT to do a linear, ‘history of the show’ approach to the series – mission accomplished on that – I think a bit more of it would still have been cool.

One thing I really liked was the ‘writer reunion’ that ends up crafting a rough outline of a proposed Season 8 kickoff episode. Not only did they come up with some very cool and interesting ideas (which I won’t spoil but if you must know – you can read about them here) it was just neat to see the writing/brainstorming process in action, even if we don’t get to see the bulk of it (I think they spent the day doing it, and then included the key highlights in this movie).

It was really good to see them make an effort to connect with most of the cast, even if many of them don’t end up getting a lot of screen time. And while Avery Brooks isn’t ‘in’ the movie per se – I believe the interviews with him were separate from it but not completely sure – they paid him a lot of respect in this, which he definitely deserves in a number of key ways.

A couple bittersweet points for me – the fact that René Auberjonois (Odo) and Aron Eisenberg (Noq) both passed away only in the past couple months this very year, and the film notes that Barry Jenner (Admiral Ross, recurring character) passed away a couple years ago. RIP to all of them.

So while I won’t offer spoilers here as noted before, there are a couple key actual *gripes* I do have with this film:

1) They don’t address the whole Babylon 5 situation. It’s well established by now that the creator of Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski, pitched his ‘space station series’ to Paramount well ahead of DS9’s appearance, and while Ira, Berman and Piller may not have ultimately been in on it at the studio mgmt level, it still looks pretty fishy to this day. While Straczynski has ultimately let it go by now, read and judge for yourself.

2) It’s obvious there were several motivations for telling this story – ‘Give DS9 its due’ (for which it was long overdue if you liked DS9 :)); Showcase all the VERY hard work that went into making it – the quip where Colm Meany talks about time in the makeup chair is a great example, but even if it was just about many of the actors having to get into work around 5am for 3 hours of makeup, EVERY DAY – gives me new respect for their dedication! The pioneering nature of several things DS9 did and did very well (watch the show itself and this documentary for more on that)…..the list goes on. But what I felt was lacking here was getting into the writers’ head (excepting the great ‘proposed Season 8 opener’ mentioned above – they don’t really address it. Moreover, there were a number of turning points in the show (several of them involving Louise Fletcher as Kai Wynn, one of the great all-time bad guys if there ever was one, otherwise known as Nurse Ratchet 🙂 – what was the thinking behind these, where did you think you were going with the story, etc. etc.? Not really discussed. For a series way more detailed-story-heavy than the previous TNG, TOS and the animated series (yes, remember that? great stuff) this is somewhat inexcusable? When they make probably a reference to this (“…the documentary would have been 8 hours or more…?” – BFD. Every fan hates that because it’s an excuse, they ALWAYS say that, and we ALWAYS want more??! Cry me a river. At minimum, there were likely a lot more fan interview extras out there they could have thrown in? Just throw in a DVD of that stuff too? Cost, schmost.

In the end, I’m really glad they did this, it was worth it just for the ‘writer’s room Season 8 opener’ thing alone but I definitely enjoyed it, even with its ‘flaws’. Just like DS9 itself 🙂

candybowl

Other links:
Interview: DS9’s Ira Steven Behr Sees Something Familiar About ‘Star Trek Discovery’
Interview: Ira Steven Behr Talks What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Deep Space Nine (Exclusive)

RIP, Roy Batty…

Thu ,25/07/2019

Rutger Hauer, ‘Blade Runner’ co-star and memorable bad guy, dies at 75

Rutger Hauer obituary – The Guardian

Need to watch The Hitcher again at some point – RIP.

candybowl

Make. It. So.

Sun ,21/07/2019

looks pretty good!

candybowl

It’s almost that time of year again…

Fri ,24/05/2019

Will you be there? The Black Knight will apparently be returning……?!

NW Pinball & Arcade Show – May 31-June 2, Tacoma Convention Center, Tacoma, WA

candybowl

The Conscience of the King – Star Trek:TOS

Fri ,05/04/2019

So i’ve watched a few original Star Trek episodes here and there over the past few years, despite having seen them all a bazillion times by now. However they may have dated – and definitely many have – there are still some cool aspects of them to watch.

But, since CBS took over several years ago, they reissued all 79 original episodes on DVD. You’d think that was a good thing, and for the most part, it’s fine, BUT, they also took the ‘liberty’ of updating CGI into them. Again, you’d think well, in some cases, the special effects are pretty bad (i’m thinking of The Constellation flying into the Doomsday Machine scene in particular, where it is ridiculously obvious it’s a model on a stand in front of a tv screen showing the effects, right at the very end of this clip:

.

However, I find in watching these ‘redo’ episodes that I mostly dislike the redo of the “CGI”. Maybe it’s just an old man ranting, but I just think in many cases, the original approach with the huge original model lit from within just simply looks better than their attempt at ‘muted’ CGI – naturally they can’t “really” do CGI because that didn’t actually show up until TRON and The Last Starfighter, over 16 years later.

The first YT video below shows the difference side by side (original vs update), from this episode, and you can see what I mean.

As to the episode itself, mixed reviews. Too much Kirk (no Sulu, Scotty at all), the plot is somewhat contradictory of itself (why does Kirk keep the attempt on his life such a big secret and, why does he yell at Spock, twice, for trying to keep him from getting killed, especially when that’s Spock’s JOB?). Also, his attempts at getting laid are simply lame and way too obvious, and like so many ST attempts at including Shakespeare – this probably being among the first given it’s from the first season of TOS – just detracts from the melodrama already in play (literally). And Uhura’s otherwise fine song in the rec room is obviously dubbed, much like the clip I watched of good ol’ Clint Howard in The Corbomite Maneuver as a (literal) kid, playing a scary alien. But i’m probably just jaded….

candybowl

Star Trek: TNG – Honest Trailers

Sun ,17/03/2019

hilarious – highlights include ‘The Riker Maneuver’, ‘Worf getting his ass kicked’ and ‘acting’ 🙂

candybowl

PS – if you see a T-Mob-lame ad on this clip, F T-Mob-LAME!