Posts Tagged ‘military’

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)

Flying Wing? interesante….

Sun ,14/04/2019

while this sounds interesting, may be tough to do this for such a small plane…..?

Horten HX-2 ‘flying wing’ makes its global debut

Other similar planes include the ill-fated Northrop YB-49, much of this same footage from the YT video also appears in part in the 1953 War of the Worlds movie when they use it to drop an A-bomb on the Martians (to no effect). Apparently even the Japanese had tried building one in WWII after hearing about the German plane.

Big list of Flying Wing Aircraft and drones to date, incl the recent B2 Bomber, also by Northrop, effectively a flying wing.:

candybowl

Pearl Harbor Memorial, Oahu – Part 1

Wed ,20/03/2019

No first trip to Honolulu (or Oahu, for that matter) would be complete (for an American, anyway, maybe not someone from another country excepting possibly Japan) without a trip to the WWII Pearl Harbor Memorial in Honolulu harbor.

I had a series of WWII books when I was a kid, one was specifically about the story of the USS Arizona, sunk in the attack (and now with a memorial of its own in the overall park). However, when we were in Hawaii last week, we found out they have closed the Arizona Memorial because of cracks, and apparently there is no real timeline (despite some false starts) to reopen it anytime soon.

So that, to me, was a notable disappointment in visiting the park. I found out later that the boat that normally ferries you over to the memorial (it sits out in the water, atop where the ship was sunk during the PH attack) was still running, just doesn’t take onto the memorial itself. Had I paid closer attention when there, I would have done that, but I figured it was all closed up, so didn’t – doh!

Meanwhile, I went to the USS Bowfin sub moored nearby, then took the bus to the Aviation Museum. I had already seen a battleship (the New Jersey, many years ago) so didn’t want to bother with the Missouri – they’re fairly similar).

First up, the Bowfin. They give you the option of a self-guided tour using an audio device, which I used, a good addition. While the ship itself is pretty big, I couldn’t help thinking about being underwater for weeks at a time in a smelly, hot metal tub full of barely-showered men, at sometimes up to 120 degrees in there (because of the engines and the inability to surface in some tricky situations to vent heat, etc.). Hard. Core. Then you have to survive water battles, sinking enemy ships while trying to sneak away from Destroyers and Torpedo Bombers trying to sink you with depth charges and torpedoes!? A truly tough tour of duty, at the very least – and many didn’t come back, as we know.

Compared to seeing at least one German sub of the era a few years ago in a museum (can’t remember where/when now), the Bowfin is definitely bigger but I’m sure otherwise likely just as challenging to live and work in from day to day.

The other thing that really struck me was the slow speed at which it traveled – in the Pacific theater, that thing must have been trucking along for over a week(?) to get to the Asian Pacific area in fighting the Japanese – a modern day CAR could drive there faster (if you had a road and unlimited gas, of course). Wild stuff.

here’s some pics:

 

The Bowfin’s home page gives you a LOT more historical detail and history of this amazing sub. To those who served on her, whether through complete tours or died in action – RIP and thank you for your service.







candybowl

ST: Discovery E3 – “Point of Light”

Sun ,03/02/2019

I think this episode was an improvement over the last one – some good unexpected stuff happening, they broaden the story to not just be about ‘the search for Spock’ – although there’s more than a bit about that, too – and some good action too….they are pushing the envelope a bit (not completely in a good way) with the Section 31 stuff, but i’ll remain in check on that one for now…

candybowl

AWE.SOME.

Sat ,15/12/2018

The King is back, all hail the King.

candybowl

great show!

Sat ,10/11/2018

saw this tonight, gotta love The Man In Black….

Tricky Dick and The Man in Black

ReMastered: Tricky Dick & The Man in Black: 2018 TV-MA 58m

This documentary chronicles Johnny Cash’s 1970 visit to the White House, where Cash’s emerging ideals clashed with Richard Nixon’s policies. (trailer at link above)

candybowl

Wonder Woman.

Sat ,17/06/2017

Saw the new Wonder Woman movie today with kerewin. Definitely one of the better superhero movies out there, albeit the first DC-related one i’ve seen (haven’t seen the Superman reboot, and Superman vs. Batman looked very, very dumb). Hoping to see some of The Flash tv show at some point and the Justice League trailer we saw today looks good – but I digress.

So compared to the 70s tv series with Lynda Carter, naturally this is higher budget and far better special effects. But despite her origin on an island full of kick-ass women in semi-revealing outfits (worn while full-on fighting on foot, horseback and flying through the air at intervals), this movie avoids the usual ‘movie hot woman’ factor in most cases and simply tries to tell a compelling story instead.

The island part could have been a bit shorter, and as per usual, the Germans are the always-convenient bad guys, even though these are WWI Germans, not Nazis. But Diana keeps on kicking ass throughout the movie, both in attitude and action, which just builds until the end (definitely a good thing).

*****SPOILERS******
Now for the other minor complaints – If Diana is a god, why do they need other superheroes at all (given that the story is told in flashback format when it begins with her getting a package from Bruce Wayne while working at the Louvre in Paris)? Much like Thor in the Avengers/Marvel movies – again, if gods are on Earth, why bother with the rest of even mutants or superheroes, period?

I liked the turnaround with ‘Lupin’ (David Thewlis) playing Ares, the god of war, though, and didn’t see it coming, so that was cool.

While we missed any cameos from Lynda Carter (apparently scheduling problems prevented it) it was very cool to see Lucy Davis, whom we knew was familiar but didn’t recognize until we looked her up afterward.

And Chris Pine plays it pretty straight as Steve Trevor, which was a relief – while it’s likely given the time period of the movie being in around 1917 that he’d be definitely trying to keep Diana in check at all times, he doesn’t try to do it in a bad way unlike other male characters might have and he does fairly quickly realize his limitations in comparison with her – he’s not deluded.

All in all, an entertaining movie – I wonder if Gina Carano will show up as a Diana nemesis in a future one?

Other Reviews:
Rotten Tomatoes
The Guardian
IGN

candybowl

Museum of Flight, part deux….

Sat ,01/04/2017

So following on from the previous post regarding touring the Shuttle Trainer at Boeing’s Museum of Flight, here’s the rest of all the ‘plane nerd’ photos from most of the rest of the museum – enjoy!

I have to say, despite no flash, that ridiculous new phone of mine actually takes decent pics…..click on one from the gallery, then click it again to get the high-res version….

candybowl