Friday, May 30, 2003
( 1:23 PM ) by David Barker
Christopher Tolkien Is P!ssed!
He's a Big Baby. And pretentious, too.
To be fair, I'd be p!ssed about the musical too. Musical? Read the link.
Sunday, May 25, 2003
( 2:52 PM ) by David Barker
Why Everybody Is Wrong About The Matrix Reloaded Except Me. Yes, You Are, So Just Settle Down.
It isn't a martial arts movie with some preaching and jabbering. It isn't sophomoric philosophizing, and it isn't cyberpunk. It is a finely told story.
Yeah, it's got martial arts, and preaching, and jabbering, and philosophizing, and cyberpunk. And CG. And continuity errors - see IMDb. And it remains a finely told story.
It's a story about real people, with received belief systems about human and machine histories. And an apocalyptic threat at the door since forever. And they do not have a long forever. As a human culture they're very young. They do not remember who started the war and they do not remember for sure what chicken tastes like. It is likely that no single human line of culture survived the machines' conversion of humanity to - ahem - 'Coppertops.'
They've had their messiah legends and disappointments and sorrows for only a few generations. There is a current generation that was not born in the machine's human farms and don't have the jacks and hook-ups that all the older generation and most of the active rebels do.
There are factions and factions within factions, like in any conflict that is Us versus Them. Even the enemy is shown to have factions. And some of those factions are sympathetic to the humans, and some are only opportunistically sympathetic.
The machines are not the monolithic maleficent totality we were led - led - to believe from the first movie. They are not united, nor, as we may surmise, are they all sane, not in their own frame of reference, and certainly not from our point of view.
Morpheus is a man who believes in humanity, and in the Oracle's prophecy. He Truly Believes that Neo is the One.
Neo does not appear to doubt that he is the One. But is he Morpheus' One? After his discussion - perhaps trial - with the Architect, I don't think he shares Morpheus' belief. Especially after the incident with the machines when they have fled the destruction of the Neb.
It is a story. Told better than in most cinematic science-fiction, especially American. It is most wonderfully not The Phantom Menace, nor does it bear anything more than a passing resemblance. It is a epic story told in epic terms, and shares only the scale, which along with the CG serves to enhance the story, not usurp it, to bring home both the otherness of the humans in the Matrix and their commonalty with their fellows in Zion, whatever the truth. Morpheus is a much more charismatic leader - individual - than Obi-wan or Anakin, and his passion makes him more alive and vital, dangerous to his enemies and stalwart to his friends, than the pale Obi-wan or plastic Anakin.
It is a story, well-structured, with hints and guidance, puzzles to solve and dark paths to discern, motivations to trust and distrust, surprises and disappointments. And most importantly, it was Fun.
So shut up.
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
( 10:29 AM ) by David Barker
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Has Come To An End. Thank God For DVDs!
It was a nice ending. I was sure that she was going to end up back in Heaven one way or another. She didn't.
I'm sad it's over but I'm quite pleased with how it ended. I hope I can say the same thing when I go.
Thursday, May 15, 2003
( 12:20 PM ) by David Barker
Litigation Proof Linking. So Sue Me.
One of my favourite comic strips is Patrick McDonnell's wonderful Mutts. It's about a cat named Mooch and a dog named Earl who are best friends. They have their families and their friends, and Patrick (using his first name just cuz it feels right) has created in them some excellent comic strip characters.
Now some comic strip syndicates have weird linking rules and permissions, (and I just don't have the time or the conscience to worry about every single one) so here's the google search string. Click on the obvious one to find out more about Mooch and Earl.
And while I'm at it, here's the google search string for Mark Tonra's James, which makes me smile and laugh too, but in a completely different way to Mutts.
And Darby Conley's gut-busting Get Fuzzy google search string.
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
( 12:19 PM ) by David Barker
There Is A God. Well, A Godling Really, I Guess. Quasi-Omnipotent. Because Some Things Still Suck. Like Enterprise. (See Previous Posting.)
Kenneth Branagh and Eddie Izzard are going to star in a film version of E. Nesbitt's "Five Children And It". It ain't "The Story of the Amulet" one of my favourite stories, but it's darn near good enough.
Here's the Ananova news story.
Here's Blackmask's online version of the actual story.
( 10:34 AM ) by David Barker
Enterprise Sux!!!! Yeah, It Does!
Let me be unambiguous. Enterprise gets worse and worse. Carbon Creek was a high point, with a good idea and an interesting storyline nicely developed - for American television science fiction, that is to say - and I really liked it, especially Blalock's performance, which usually doesn't do much for me. She is just there for T&A, but does a fine job of that.
Even if they're really doing something intelligent like leading up to the founding of the United Federation of Planets and the original synthesis of the Prime Directive, well, shit, I just don't care anymore. And I really, really wanted to.
It's like Braga and Berman just don't understand storytelling, nor the craft of episodic TV, nor the concept of characterization. And screw internal consistency and science!
They have a guaranteed fanbase/constituency with a high geek percentage that will watch it and defend it just because it's Star Trek. Cripes.
"Hi, look, it's me! I'm Brannon Braga or Rick Berman! I run Star Trek now! Look at me! Look at me!" I guess they finally got laid.
The Muppet dog in the see-through bathtub getting a alien lizard pituitary gland episode just rankled. Rankled, I say!
The Cogenitor episode was horrendous - a good concept horribly presented - and the Borg episode - well, it yanked.
It's like Lily Tomlin said; "We took banality out of America and into the cosmos."
Someone should do something. Something evil. Something terminal. Something Romulan.
I don't even want to watch it anymore. I yearn - yearn, I say - for the good old days of Deep Space Nine! Voyager! Even Next Generation!
British television science fiction! Pure frikkin' gold. Space: Island One, Star Cops, oh man. Even the comedy. Red frikkin' Dwarf.
EcretSay EssageMay OTay EidRay ERay AmuladZay EarchSay
Monday, May 12, 2003
( 10:39 AM ) by David Barker
Did I Mention I Met Chris Hadfield Yesterday? Well, I Did!
Got his autograph. Asked him what it was like up there. He waxed rhapsodic about the spacewalk.
I am keeping this in perspective, though. It's not like it was John Glenn or Keir Dullea.
But, man, Chris Hadfield!
Yeah, I know, but give me another day or so. I'll get over it. Maybe I'll meet Lucy Liu today. I am so on a roll.
Sunday, May 11, 2003
( 1:50 PM ) by David Barker
I Met Chris Hadfield This Morning! Chris FREAKIN' Hadfield!
At about 11:30am Sunday, May 11, 2003, I was in the Atrium on Bay, on the lower level near the Macdonald's by the walk-through to the bus station. I see this guy. Yeah, it's him. No, it isn't. So I ask him. Yup, it's him. I thought I was excited to have met and talked to Karl Schroeder, Canadian author of Ventus and Permanence at Ad Astra a few months back, but nope. Didn't hold a candle to this. I was tripping for like an hour. And I didn't run into anyone I know so's I could brag. Goddam.
But I got his autograph, made out to me - this sucker's mine, not for eBay. And he signed it Ad Astra. Plus his name, too.
Cool. I met and shook hands with a human (and Canadian!) who's been in space! Two shuttle missions, MIR and a space-walk! Here's his NASA bio.
(This is not like the autograph I got from Eugene Levy many years ago at a screening of 'This is Spinal Tap' that only my friend Anneli actually believes is his because she was there. You can't read it - it's just a scrawl.)
Friday, May 09, 2003
( 1:29 PM ) by David Barker
Matrix Reloaded Spoilers Don't Get Pissy, You've Been Warned
This is a Time magazine review With Spoilers.
This is from Ain't It Cool, a totally hilarious, with full impact foul language, critique - nay, paean - of the movie With Spoilers. I love it.
This is also from Ain't It Cool, but she didn't like it...
Now, this, from the Christian Science Monitor, presented without comment, except to say that if Northrop Frye were alive today, he'd probably say something along the same lines, after, of course, saying "Holy shit, I'm still alive!"
You decide for yourself. Sometimes there is a spoon.
And yes, I still want to see the movie.
Thursday, May 08, 2003
( 12:05 PM ) by David Barker
Makes me sick. Racist graffiti in public washrooms. The latest, "Moslems can eat my ass" in the local public library. I added, in big red letters, "How, with your head up your ass?"
One for the good guys.
But sometimes it feels like the bad guys are still way ahead on points.
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
( 11:53 AM ) by David Barker
Salam Pax Has Updated!
Check it out.
I was getting seriously worried and I don't even know the bugger.
Sometimes there's a happy ending.