Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’

Ultraman is BACK.

Sun ,29/11/2020

So I never got around to watching the original 60s cheesy live-action Ultraman – always more a Gojira guy, but maybe someday. In the meantime, Netflix has been doing a bunch of new, original anime, and they put out a season of Ultraman last year – i have to say, despite the usual anime sometimes-main-character-silliness, it’s actually pretty good, especially the buildup to the last few episodes of season 1 – here’s to season 2 – maybe they can do these faster than live-action given CV19 production and content development limitations?

here’s the trailer for season 1 – great stuff!

candybowl

Dare I dream?

Mon ,10/08/2020

Jared Leto’s Tron 3 may actually happen

from IMDB – cryptic too….

need to rewatch Tron:Uprising in the meantime…

candybowl

Devs….Hm…..

Sun ,26/07/2020

So, I recently watched Devs – not sure what I think about this mini-series, quite honestly (partial spoilers coming, be forewarned):

On the one hand, it’s **very** well made, both the tech angle as well as simply production values and cinematography. They didn’t skimp on the budget, even though there’s really only two well known actors in it, Nick Offerman and Alison Pill, the latter of whom I wouldn’t even have known about but for her similarly-excellent work in Star Trek: Picard of late.

All the actors are very good too, especially the main overt villain, security guy Kenton (most of the characters in this movie have at least some aspect of villainy in their actions and dialogue, though). You really want Kenton to meet a bad end by the end of the series, to be sure.

It’s a really dark show, like much of TV sci-fi of late (Dark, Westworld, etc.) – not sure if that’s a reflection of our times, or just of recent screenwriting/market trends, but there it is.

Another comment i’ll make is the blatantly obvious (to the viewer only at first, but later you can tell other characters know too) endgame of Forest (Nick Offerman’s central character). While by the end he kind of ends up getting a “version” of what he wants, the end (to me) leaves too many plotlines untied. They all but ignore the rationale for all the money, time and effort spent in building the system in the first place to simply rationalize it (to the Senator visiting) about why it has to ‘survive’ – for Forest’s original reason…?  And ok, they have a small dev team but there’s no way they could spend the kind of money they claim (directly or indirectly) they did to build the facility and computer and still keep it all under wraps like that?  Come on.

Second, Stewart’s role in the end two episodes is simply inconsistent with the previous plot and un-believable. If he really felt that way, he could have told the police instead of acting on his own (and strictly speaking, making himself a bad actor in the end too). Not consistent.

Third, the way Katie (to me it was pretty clear, no matter what the plot wants you to believe) tricks Lyndon in the end was pretty much BS. And that he bought into it – despite being a brilliant late-teen computer geek and young, he still should have seen through it – If Lily could have seen through everything (and ultimately does by the end), he should have too.

Finally, the overlying ‘determinism is the nature of the world’ commentary going on as of the 2-3rd episode onward by Forest, Katie and others is also BS. No matter how great their computer, software or otherwise might become, there’s simply NO WAY to model the entire universe to do what they claim it can do. And yes, the counterargument to that is ‘well, it’s never been done – yet’ – yeah right, and “this plot has never been used – yet” by many other previous stories and thinkers – give me a break. The show even doesn’t take itself completely seriously given a character’s passing comment about techies ‘thinking they are messiahs’ – and then proceeds to ignore it’s own self-awareness? Nope, doesn’t work.

In short – this *is* entertaining, well-made fare but not for everyone and you may find it doesn’t work for you for the above (or even different) reasons, of course.

Candybowl

promising?

Sat ,18/07/2020

Discovery Season 1 was GREAT. Season 2 was so-so. There were flashes of brilliance but the long-term plot was way over-convoluted and seemed to meander way, way too much – a lot like one of the last seasons of BSG until they got it together at the end. this Season 3 trailer looks good though….in the meantime there’s Doom Patrol and The Umbrella Academy about to resume end of this month….

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

Data shows us how it’s done.

Sun ,19/04/2020

Especially in that second episode – awesome!

candybowl

it’s PEOPLE!!!!

Sun ,29/03/2020

Make Room! Make Room! versus Soylent Green: can film trump book?

Thankfully given the age (and the genius of Phil Hartman, RIP), it’s pretty hard to spoil 1973’s Soylent Green at this point. Saw this article in The Guardian this am and have to completely agree, movie is far better and more focused than the book, way better zap ending, too. I also knew (later) about this being EGR‘s final performance but not about the cancer diagnosis he never told others about – truly poignant. And of course Charlton Heston in his usual over-the-top craziness, gotta love that, perfect casting choice.

This riot/scoops scene completely freaked me out as a kid watching this, I had no idea what happened to the people once they were thrown in the truck, so scary.

here’s another take on the movie from 2013:

Soylent Green Is (More Than) People

The article does in fact leave out one other very cool piece of trivia – that movie was arguably the debut of one of the very first video games, Computer Space – the game is briefly shown when the Soylent executive and his GF are playing it in their condo, before he gets wacked, very early in the movie. Another piece of Nolan Bushnell marketing sharpshooting, although that game itself ultimately was a flop. But boy are they worth something these days….

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