• Thoughts on TV show “The Event”

    So there was quite a bit of critique of the Pilot episode of The Event. People found it confusing and some had lost faith in this type of mystery show because of the debatable fail of the Lost finale. However, after watching 3 episodes, I think this has very little in common with Lost, and it could be very cool as the plot unfolds. The first episode set up the premise and the characters, and it did so at a fast pace with many flashforwards/flashbackwards type scenes. But as of the third episode, they severely toned down this style of storytelling, and the episode was more focused on specific events rather than trying to introduce everyone and everything. It is a somewhat complex plot, as there are many people involved and many different time periods. Sometimes it’s 2 weeks ago, 60 years ago, and the present.

    It feels more like the hidden conspiracies of 24 than Lost. While The Event has supernatural science-fiction elements, they are not as far fetched as in Lost. It is more based on alien technology, while Lost was more about the truly supernatural and fantasy-like. So far I am hooked. I will follow it into future episodes for sure.

  • The joys of Batman Beyond: A preliminary review

    So after being completely oblivious to this show and wanting a Shadowrun show for years, the joy and excitement I felt when I saw Batman Beyond today for the first time cannot be explained properly in words. I was expecting a completely different atmosphere when I downloaded it, but to my surprise it was extremely close to everything I imagined a Shadowrun cartoon would have. There’s hover cars, charismatic memorable villains, dystopian-yet-polished like cityscapes, megacorporations and a dark vibe.

    There’s a very cool red/orange hue a lot of places, which adds a warmth not normally associated with Batman. The stylized lines and coloring reminds me extremely of Shadowrun as seen below.

  • Independence Day’s Idealism Is Admirable

    I’ve seen this movie many times, and there’s something about the way it’s characters act and how they follow principle no matter how stupid or counter-intuitive it seems. Of course, this kind of thing can be seen in many American movies, but I will focus on ID because it’s the one I know the best.

    There are a few concepts that run through in these types of movies. First is love, and then there’s courage, honor and integrity and lastly foresight/insight that nobody else has. First up we have the MIT educated smart environmentalist who never quite made it, played by Jeff Goldblum, who is still in love with his ex-wife after 3 years, and wears their wedding ring. Typically, these types of characters are faced with negativity, this time from his father, who tells Jeff he should move on already. But in due American style, he doesn’t drop his hope that maybe one day he will have her back, and of course he never had another relationship because this proves his love is for her only. We later find out his ex-wife is using his last name in the phone book, and of course they end up together in the end.

    There are also several characters that show unusual courage in the movie. The president himself stays behind in the White House, even though there’s a big alien spaceship hovering over them and they could end up with a non-working government. A fighter pilot who has been a disappointment to his kids for a long time ends up saving the world, and of course several people put their own lives at risk to save someone else fearlessly because it’s the “right thing to do.”
    Courage and integrity is a big thing in America, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it is also a bit naive because we are always expecting the hero to sacrifice himself for us. His integrity is more important than his life.

    Also, there’s the smart guy who ends up solving what nobody else could solve, and we root for him because we trust him and respect him.
    Usually these characters never make mistakes, ever. They usually end up in an argument over how outrageous it is or how it’s not going to work, but then it does work and the silent hero can smile.

    These characters are too perfect. Too inhuman. They always put their own lives secondary to everything else. They fearlessly go into deep enemy territory because it’s “the right thing to do” and us, the audience, are left with a distant hope that we ourselves can one day live up to this ideal.
    I dunno about you but I want to see a movie with some more flawed characters. I think Children Of Men did it quite good. The main character didn’t have hero qualities of epic proportions because it’s unrealistic. But I still admire this attitude.

  • Review: Orbital – Middle Of Nowhere

    I remember back in 99 when I first bought this album. Before then I had only listened to trance and the common club hits, even Spice Girls. I hadn’t learned about all the great music out there. In comes Orbital, and blows my mind away. For a year straight. On my way to school. I had it on literally 24/7 and it really opened up my music taste. So naturally, this review isn’t technical or analytic, because the CD is pure emotion to me.

    In retrospect of course I enjoy the high attention to detail, the way every track oozes of effort and talent, but at the time, I had no clue about such analytical things. The CD shoots off with “Way Out”, where trumpets and synth lines morph away in complicated matters, and a beautiful repetitive melody comes into play. Orbital always loved those long evolving tracks, and this CD is no exception. All the tracks feel like a journey on each own, where usually there is a first section, second section and then back to first section. With all the sounds and small things they put in I can’t imagine the amount of work needed to sequence it all, but even so it never gets overpopulated or too messy, all the sounds are placed well and work well.

    Now naturally in a review, the reviewer is supposed to compare it to earlier albums. And while I agree that this can be fruitful, in this case Middle Of Nowhere is just different. It’s different in the way that they no longer have as much a theme or a concept with the album as they did on Snivilisation or In Sides. It’s music for music’s sake so to speak. It’s all about the sounds, the arrangements, the climaxes. The title ‘Middle Of Nowhere’ with a pure white cover sort of gives this away before listening to it.

    It’s even so extremely enjoyable to listen to, and an album that will forever be a part of my soul. I reckon it’s one of their best…
    10/10

  • The Outer Limits: The New Series, A Tribute / Memorial

    Oh the joys of 90s television.. Before CGI became ultra-realistic and took precedence over story and content (see: Avatar), there were made several TV series with low budget, that still remained fantastic. One of those shows was called ‘The Outer Limits’, with 90s charm and clever twists.

    TheOuterLimits_(1995)
    The show focused on 1 hour science-fiction gems, where every episode ended in an unexpected twist. There are different characters and leads in every episode, similar to The Twilight Zone. In retrospect I appreciate this show even more because nothing like it has been or is being made. The visual effects, while basic and primitive in many ways, also provided a completely unique atmosphere to the show. Who can forget the last frame of one episode where aliens had taken over the world and an alien had sat itself on the president’s head in the Oval Office while the shot faded out with a view of Washington DC in ruins?

    The show just plain worked. And even though it was a sci-fi show, it was also completely rooted in human social relations and societal critique. Many ideas and concepts could be applied to real life occurrences, and while the show could be called ‘crazy’, it never strayed away from its inner human core. This is a show I highly recommend to any sci-fi fan, and luckily for us, all 7 seasons of it is on hulu.com for free!

  • Google Goggles for mobile; wow!

    http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles/#landmark

    They really did it this time in image recognition!
    Now you can use your Android mobile to take photos of landmarks, logos, books, contact info and other things and use Google to search for it.
    Take a photo of the Coca-Cola logo, and it’ll Google it.

    Very nice!

  • New form of magazine reading?

    I think this is a pretty cool concept. I really like the idea of dropping the endless sea of the internet and get a full editorial package with a definite ending. I would imagine we could save issues on the device and browse them as we wish, and maybe have an internet connection or USB connection so we can purchase new issues immediately. I think this is the perfect closer of the gap between the internet and physical media, so I hope we see some devices soon.

  • My top albums of the 2000’s so far

    In no particular order:

    Lustmord – [ B E Y O N D ] (Extremely accurate and the perfect incarnation of soft moody dark ambient)
    Alva Noto – Xerrox vol 1 and 2 (Beautiful ambient with excellent associations)
    Boards Of Canada – Geogaddi (Their weirdest but also most nice album imo)
    Autechre – Draft 7.30 (Their most isolating and immersive album)
    Air – 10,000 hz Legend (Perfect melodies and nice beats)
    Goldmund – Corduroy Road (Amazing quiet piano)
    Hybrid – Morning Sci-Fi (Excellent cinematic and scifi breakbeats)
    Murcof – Martes (Nice strings and moody glitches)
    Plaid – Double Figure (Awesome melodies)
    Radiohead – Amnesiac (Better than Kid A)
    Sufjan Stevens – Illinois (Beautiful songwriting and instrument use)
    Burial – Untrue (Nice atmospherics for late nights)
    Elegi – Sisteris (Perfect rendition of haunted shipyards and boats made of wood)
    Mira Calix – One On One (Innocence and beauty)

  • My top movies of all time (in random order)

    Cube
    The Butterfly Effect
    Alien
    Children Of Men
    Donnie Darko
    ExistenZ
    The Matrix
    Rules Of Attraction
    Star Trek (2009)
    The Crow
    Scream
    Hackers 2: Takedown
    In The Mouth Of Madness
    The Game
    Jacob’s Ladder
    Mulholland Drive
    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
    Solaris (2002)
    Starship Troopers
    Traffic (2000)
    The Bourne Identity
    Blade Runner
    Hitman
    The Shawshank Redemption
    American History X
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Die Hard 2
    Independence Day
    Minority Report
    Groundhog Day
    Pitch Black
    Frailty
    Office Space
    The Next Three Days
    The Company Men
    The Breakfast Club
    Basic Instinct
    Taxi Driver
    Kids
    The Machinist
    Heat

  • FlashForward tv series thoughts

    Wow! FlashForward had a kickass start!
    It looks to be a dense mystery series where nothing is predetermined.
    They even tied it in a bit with Lost. Look at the screenshot:
    FlashForwardOceanicBillboard
    Yes, that’s an Oceanic Air poster, right out of Lost.
    Right now nobody has any idea what’s going on, and next year in February Lost’s secrets will be revealed. I’m glad we now have a new show to take over where Lost ends