Thursday, October 30, 2008

I like Star Trek, Firefly is better, but I like Star Trek.

I'm not a 'Trekie'. I'm not a 'Trekker'. Star Trek is not a particular passion for me. I'll never write an article discussing the minutiae of the series like I would about Star Wars. I've liked the various series, but don't want to watch them all of the time.

I was never a big fan of the original series, though I grew up watching reruns in syndication. I've seen most of them, but not all of them. Star Trek: The Next Generation far surpassed the original in storytelling, character, entertainment and longevity. Over the years, I've seen every TNG episode at least 2 or 3 times. Deep Space Nine was okay, but I never got too into it. I like Voyager though it tends to get a little goofy at times. Enterprise...well, what can I say? It sucks out loud.

That's where the Star Trek collector sets come in. Each a thematic collection of episodes across multiple series. I picked up the Borg collection a while back and enjoyed it a lot. Of course, it's mostly TNG and Voyager, the two series that I like. I picked up Alternate Realities set the other day and, well, I've been enjoying it. Though, there is a lot more TOS, DS9 and Enterprise. It's like being able to buy a greatest hits cd instead of a band's entire catalog.

A few thoughts...

Mirror, Mirror was a much better episode than I remembered.

DS9 went to the Mirror universe a few times too many.

The Enemy Within kind of dragged on after a while. Good idea and episode, but started to spread itself thin as the episode went on.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I liked the first two, I know not everyone did though

What can I say? I liked Underworld and I liked Underword 2. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that I want to see Underworld 3 when it comes out. And, to whet my appetite (just mine apparently), there is a trailer for it out now.

You can also see it at their website.

Like I said, I'm looking forward to it. I like Bill Nighy and his character in the movies, and I'm excited to see Rhona Mitra who was excellent in last year's Doomsday. I'm not crazy about the prequel thing, but if it's an interesting story, I'll forgive them.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why? Seriously, why! Why can't you just make a regular game.

What's long been rumored is now confirmed. Yes, Bioware is working on a new Knights of the Old Republic game and, sadly, yes it will be an MMO. Yes, that bums me out.

I loved the two KotOR games for the original XBox. I've played them both probably half a dozen times, beginning to end. Mass Effect is a great game as well, one that I've played through a couple of times now. Bioware has made some really good games. And, what got me hooked with their games was the story telling and the decision making. I liked that your actions had concequences. Sure, you could kill a guy if you wanted, but people would react to that. It would make you more evil. Saving someone's cat might make you more pure, and all of these decisions would add up and have an impact on the end of the game. It's an idea that has become pretty prominent since then, being used to great effect in games like Fable and BioShock.

Now though, I don't know. I just don't have any interest in playing an MMO. I don't really like playing games online, and I really have very little interest in playing games with, or against, people I don't know. I only tolerate Mob Wars on Facebook because I can just have anyone who bothers me killed. Hell, most days that's all I do in the game, add people to the hitlist. Sure, it kills 3 minutes, but it's not exactly fun or interesting.

So, yes, I'm saddend by their decision to make KotOR into an MMO. I'll have to wait for Mass Effect 2. In the meantime, I picked up Fable 2 last night and played it for a few hours. It's off to a pretty good start, and I'm curious to see how it all plays out. And, as always, I'm already pretty evil.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just vote. That's all I ask.

Talking about movies is a lot of fun. It's hard though to deny that some things are just a little more important.

Politics, for example.

I've been here at 7dp for, what, almost 3 years now? And in that time, I've tried to keep politics out of it. I think I've succeeded more than I've failed, though, some of my feelings may have come through in my writing. Regardless, it's a subject I've largely shied away from here, if not elsewhere.

The fact of the matter is though, this is shaping up to be a historic election. The economy is in shambles, we're bleeding jobs, fighting two wars and homes are foreclosing all around us. I'm sure that I don't speak solely for myself when I say that it's all a little scary.

That's why this matters so much. Once every four years, you and I have an opportunity and a responsibility to have a say in the future and direction of this country. As citizens, this is the most important thing we do. This is the biggest and best chance we get to really have a say in what happens.

It's very easy to sit back and think to yourself that "I'm just one person, my vote doesn't really matter." Or, "The polls say my guy is going to win/lose, my vote won't make a difference," or "The Electoral College is a scam and they may as well flip a fucking coin for all the say I have." It's easy to get cynical and jaded when it comes to politics.

Does one single vote matter? Will your vote be the one that changes the course of history? Not on a national level, no. In the local elections that might impact you on more of a day to day basis, it might.

Here's the deal, I'm not interested in telling you who to vote for. Sure, I have a preference. I know who I'd like to see you vote for, but, even if you don't vote for the guy I want, I won't hold it against you. All I want is for you to go to the polls on November 4th and cast your ballot. I want you to take a look around you, read the paper, watch the news and find the candidate that supports the most things that you support. I want you to go to the polls and vote. And that's all I want from you. Just go and vote. It doesn't take that long, trust me, I've voted in every election that I could for the past ten years and you damn well better believe I'm going to vote again this time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I am not a sex addict, but the movie is about one.

Okay, if watching the first couple of minutes doesn't make you want to see this movie, nothing I can say will:

It's a very funny and surprisingly charming movie. It's not a documentary, but it's presented as one...I guess. It's as unique as it is funny. And it's really a very touching and personal exploration of one man's obsession with whores. I mean, prostitutes. "Whores" sounds kind of vulgar...doesn't it?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I totally used one paragraph!

If you wandered aimlessly around the country for two years, and then through your own hubris ended up dead in the middle of nowhere, Alaska, do you think anyone would make a movie about you?

So, what makes the story of Chris McCandles so film worthy?

Ok, I live in Detroit. What if someone came to Detroit and got a bad neighborhood...and knowing that they were going into a bad neighborhood...and they didn't really have a reason to be there aside from not having a reason to be anywhere else either? Isn't that essentially what McCandles (aka Alexander Supertramp) did?

After graduating from Emory, Chris takes off on a cross country trip, ditching his car, burning his money and living as a tramp. Basically taking odd jobs and hitch hiking. He dreams of going to Alaska and severing his ties to society.  Along the way he meets a couple of hippies, a grain elevator operator and an old man.

Sean Penn's adaptation of the book by the same name is woefully inadequate to really tell the story of Alexander Supertramp, aka Chris McCandles. Penn does very little to really show the dangers that McCandles faced and how woefully unprepared he was for the journey he undertook. Penn glances over these things, choosing only to show bits and pieces of the trip taken by this boy. And while the film may leave some with a warm and fuzzy feeling, the truth is that it fails as a narrative. There is no real story here. There is no character development. There are no lessons learned. There is no climax. It's a meandering look at two years in the life of one person.

The thing that stands out about the book isn't that Chris, aka Alex, wanders off to quote Jack London and Thoreau. It's the impact that the young man has on the people he meets. That he met so many people who thought so highly of him is the real story. Don't take that as some backhanded insult either. I mean it. His interactions with people and the stories he left behind of the lives he touched, that's his real legacy. And, the truth is, his story is better suited to more of an oral biography. Let the characters tell the story. Use voice overs to talk about the character and flesh out Chris' life story. One of the best and most touching parts of the movie is the narration of his sister, played by Jena Malone. Use more of that to bring to life this character who didn't keep detailed enough journals to know what he was really thinking about. Let Wayne and Ron and Jan talk about the character and his impact on them. That's the real story, not that some idealistic twit wandered off into the wilderness of Alaska with a bag of rice, a .22 and a book on edible plants hoping to survive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm actually really proud of it too.

I know you usually come here looking for my usual witty/dry/entertaining/boring commentary on movies. Well, today I'm going to have to disappoint you.

You see, I actually wrote an article for the LAMB. Crazy, right? I mean, me? Of all people? Yeah. Me! Personally I'm honered just to have the opportunity. More than that though, I have to admit that I'm really proud of the article I wrote. Ok, yes, I'm a little biased. Of course I am. It doesn't mean you shouldn't check it out though!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Where's dreamrot - And the winner is...

Welcome back everyone to your favorite game show, WHERE'S DREAMROT?

When we last checked in we knew he was at a world famous, southern California landmark. Along the way, we learned that this particular landmark was nearly 100 years old and once tried to sell it's ferris wheel on eBay. And let's not forget that there is an aquarium underneath it.

The final clue was

Come and knock on our door, we've been waiting for you...

Which I'm sure we all know is the opening lines to Three's Company . And as we all know, Three's Company took place in...

Santa Monica, CA

That's right, I was at the Santa Monica Pier.

You betcha. The same place that Forrest Gump finished his cross country run and the current home of a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co (Santa Monica is also the home of Tom Hanks' production company, Playtone).

On to our winner. This is so exciting! Alright, where's the envelope.'s here somewhere. Hold, that's not it, no that's a is...HERE IT IS!

I'm all atwitter! The winner of the first Where's dreamrot? contest is...


No one was able to guess where I was. I guess my clues were really bad. Though, I really thought I'd be giving it away with the Three's Company theme. Oh well. That just means that Attack of the Sabertooth remains mine...until the next one!

Last chance...

Today is your last chance to guess where I was last weekend. Yep, that's right, the first ever "Where's dreamrot?" contests comes to a close later today, probably around 7pm Eastern time. Maybe closer to 8. Since no one has gotten it yet, I guess I should throw another clue out for you...

We've already established that it's in California. It's not Fisherman's Wharf. It's almost 100 years old and they put their Ferris Wheel up on eBay at one point.

Here we go...

There is an aquarium underneath it.

There will be one more clue via Twitter later today if no one gets it.

Don't forget, a copy of Attack of the Sabertooth could be yours if you can guess where I was!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I don't care, Nathan Fillion is hilarious

Have you seen the first episode of James Gunn's PG Porn? It's porn for people who love everything about porn, except the sex.

From the website:

How many times have you been watching a great porn film – you're really enjoying the story, the acting, the cinematography – when, all of the sudden, they ruin everything with PEOPLE HAVING SEX?

A bunch of times, right?

That's why I, along with my brothers Brian and Sean, have created JAMES GUNN'S PG-PORN. It's pornography everyone can enjoy, not just perverts. You and your grandmother, for instance, could sit down together and enjoy some nice clean smut. Or your kids could come home from school, and the whole family could gather around the computer and not-jerk-off to some porn deeply embedded with traditional values (like not fucking.)

Ok, the videos are PG, but his description...less so.

The first episode stars Aria Giovanni and Nathan Fillion and it's absolutely awesome. Not to mention work safe! Probably. I guess it depends on your employer.

Nailing Your Wife

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Add resistant to that and you got yourself a new watch.

Apparently I'm cheating this week and only approving movies as opposed to reviewing or rating them. You know what though? I'm okay with that. Besides, why create the neat rubber stamp logo if I'm not going to use it?
I really liked Hellboy II. Probably for the same reasons I like del Toro's other movies. The fantasy elements, the dramatic use of color, great special effects and fun stories. The only disapointment about Hellboy II is that it felt a little weak after Pan's Labyrinth. I just fely like del Toro could have done so much more with it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My shortest review EVER. Is it even a review at this point?

Honestly, I had more fun making the "7DP Approved!" stamp than I would have had actually writing about the movie. Good movie, I just don't have much to say about it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Where's dreamrot?

It's a world famous landmark. All you have to do it name it.
And, the prize? A copy of Attack of the Sabertooth.

There it is. One copy of Attack of the Sabertooth. No box for it though (sorry, that's just the way I bought it). It can be yours if you can guess the California landmark I was visiting!

Good luck, and I'll post the answer and the winner on Friday!

EDIT: In case you need a refresher of the rules, or an explanation - What is "Where's dreamrot?"

What is "Where's dreamrot?"

As some of you may know, I travel as part of my job. I've flown just under 30,000 miles so far this year, not counting a flight I took out to Vegas for a 'vacation'. I've been on 21 trips so far this year (again, not counting Vegas and a personal trip out to Georgia). So, I will have been someplace other than home about every other week by the end of the year.

This is not me complaining. Trust me. Sure, it's tiring, but I get to see the country and someone else pays for it. What more could you ask for?

A few years ago, when I traveled less frequently, I started taking pictures of my feet. Me standing in different places. Actually, lets back up a little further. My friend Paul used to take a picture of his feet whenever someone he had a camera in his hands. No more than one feet picture per roll of film though. I thought it was a great idea and ran with it. Suddenly, my family expected me to take a picture of my feet at the holidays. It got a little boring at that point. I mean, what's less exciting than doing something just because it's expected of you. I'm not calling it boring, I'm just saying it lost a little of its appeal. This is not the same as saying that I stopped doing it.

You can start to see where this is headed. As I started to travel, I started taking pictures of me standing in wherever I was. It was something fun, a little different and I got a kick out of it. I still do it almost everywhere I go...provided I remember.

Last week, as I was sitting in my hotel room, I thought it might be fun to occasionally post one here and have a contest.

Here are the rules:

1) Frequent commenter Kate is disqualified. Sorry. I explained to her why. It's just that, well, she actually KNOWS where I was. Kind of makes it less fun.

2) There will be a prize. Of my choosing. Typically a DVD. It will be a DVD that has been reviewed here and rated favorably by me. I'm not just looking to give away things I don't like.

3) The winner can decline the prize if he/she chooses. An alternate prize will not be offered.

4) This isn't about the prizes. This is just for fun. Seriously.

5) Contest will start on a Monday and the answer will be posted on Friday.

6) The first person to correctly guess where I was standing will be the winner. I will specify how specific you need to be in the post. No random drawings if two people guess correctly. The winner will just be the first person I see to have the correct answer.

7) Clues/hints will be provided. Some in posts, others on my Twitter feed. Some clues will be much more obscure than others.

8) It will never be someplace I was more than a month ago. I want to keep it current.

9) Rules can change, but will not change DURING a contest. If a Where's dreamrot pic is posted, the rules will not change until the contest ends.

10) There is no tenth rule. It just seemed like a shame to stop at nine.

The first contest will start later today.