Posts tagged ‘SF’

04/24/2013

Still is the story told, / How well Horatius kept the bridge / In the brave days of old.

by wfgodbold

Macaulay may be no Kipling, but Horatius at the Bridge is still amazing.

Oblivion makes great use of a stanza from Horatius (not, obviously, the lines quoted in this post’s title). Much like The Dude’s rug, it really ties the film together.

Yes, it does star Tom Cruise. Yes, it is in a bleak, blue-filtered post-apocalyptic future.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not a great story.

04/03/2013

Now reading: Terms of Enlistment

by wfgodbold

By the internet-famous Marko Kloos!

I’ve only just started it. First I had to finish A Throne of Bones and Summa Elvetica (both by Vox Day).

Terms of Enlistment–a milSF work–should nicely cleanse the palate after two long fantasy works (elves, orcs, goblins, Roman legions, a Catholic Church analogue, Vikings–what more could you want?).

I’ll probably finish it by the weekend, if I can work in some reading time in between work and class.

09/29/2012

When time travel is outlawed …

by wfgodbold

Only outlaws will have time travel!

That’s the premise of Looper, at least – a dystopian near future, where crime syndicates from the less near future send people they want killed. It’s all fun and games until you screw up and let a guy escape.*

The movie is pretty entertaining: it’s got good action scenes and an interesting use of time travel. I suppose I should have seen the ending coming, but I didn’t.

I will say that Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Bruce Willis impression was better than Bruce Willis’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt impression. It’s like he wasn’t even trying!

Seriously, though, it’s not a bad movie.

*Why the geniuses in the future don’t just mortally wound the guys and send them back through time bleeding out is never explained. Maybe they have to be able to truthfully say they didn’t kill anyone?

04/15/2012

And in the role of Kurt Russell…

by wfgodbold

Will be Guy Pearce!

Lockout is every bit as bad as the trailers make it look.

And yet is still an entertaining, awesome movie.

Sure, it might just be Escape from New York IN SPACE, with Kurt Russell Guy Pearce playing Snake Plissken ex-CIA agent Snow, but Pearce is so good at hamming it up and cracking wise that you don’t care about stupid plot devices or bad science (QUICK! TURN ON THE GRAVITY GENERATOR!). And instead of rescuing the president from a prison island, he’s rescuing the president’s daughter from a prison space station, where all the prisoners are kept on ice.

The movie is billed as “Based on an original idea by Luc Besson.” Which can only mean that he was drinking with his buddies and said “We should totally remake Escape from New York, only instead of Manhattan as a prison, it should be a space station! That would be awesome!” And everyone agreed, and since he’s credited as a producer, I bet he helped bankroll it.

Fortunately, Luc Besson is the master of so bad it’s awesome filmmaking, and the movie will probably end up doing okay.

It had several other actors I recognized but couldn’t place at the time, including the military dictator from Sahara, the captain from 300, and Lucifer from Constantine. I suppose that makes me more of a cinematic gourmand than gourmet, but I’m okay with that.

Anyway, it’s a great popcorn movie, and Guy Pearce’s character is hilarious.

04/14/2012

I really should stop doing these tab clearing posts

by wfgodbold

But they’re great for when I don’t really want to devote a whole post to any one thing (and for when I can’t come up with a substantial post on a real topic!).

Thinkgeek is selling an Aperture Science 1970s era coffee mug. Right down to the retro form factor!

Bill Amend has put together a few Foxtrot collections formatted for the iPad.

The Japanese have gone and made an anime series about a moe anthropomorphization of Nyarlathotep. Because nothing says eldritch horror like taking the Crawling Chaos and turning it into this.

Nihon Falcom has added more details to the Nayuta no Kiseki official site. They’re marketing it as an action story RPG (whatever that is), and have posted character profiles and some battle screenshots.

Sega, Capcom, and Namco are collaborating on a Super Robot Wars style crossover mashup SRPG, Project X Zone. It’ll have Ryu and Ken (Street Fighter), Shinguji Sakura and Ohgami Ichiro (Sakura Wars), Kurt and Riela (Valkyria Chronicles 3), Jin and Xiaoyu (Tekken), KOS-MOS and T-elos (Xenosaga), and Yuri and Estelle (Tales of Vesperia). And that’s not even an exhaustive list!

And finally, Looper comes out this fall, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in an action-packed SF time travel flick. The trailer looks pretty good:

04/08/2012

The Clearing of the Tabs

by wfgodbold

The Upotte anime has begun (Weerd mentioned it; it’s got a bunch of anthropomorphized guns for characters). Crunchyroll is legit; they’ve signed licensing deals with the Japanese companies for the right to stream the series they have listed. Don’t worry about the copyright police kicking in your door.

I reread The Witches of Karres the other day. It was still entertaining; not bad for a book written in 1966. I do kind of wish Baen had used the cover art for the Japanese translation (at right). But then, I’ve always liked Hayao Miyazaki’s work.

Auto-firing pirate-killing drones? Can Skynet be far behind?

Wrath of the Titans was ok. Certainly not good enough to warrant a whole review, but it was ok. I wouldn’t pay more than $5 for a ticket, and even then only if you liked the first. They’re playing even faster and looser with the myths than in the first one; at this point, they might as well just shave Sam Worthington’s head, give him some tattoos and a kusarigama and call him Kratos. Also, Rosamund Pike is hot.

Germany is going to jack up taxes on the young so that the old can live in the standard to which they have become accustomed.

Remember, kids, Facebook isn’t free. If you don’t have to pay, you’re what’s being sold.

I saw a billboard today advertising AR-15s for $599 at a local gun store. Usually the only gun-related billboards I see are advertising upcoming gun show. We’re winning. I’ll try to get a picture of it at some point.

03/10/2012

John Carter of Earth?

by wfgodbold

No. John Carter of Mars!

For an adaptation of a pulp adventure novel first published in 1912, Disney’s John Carter (adapted from A Princess of Mars) holds up very well. The reviewers don’t know WTF they’re talking about (though I suppose it is kind of a hit or miss movie, so maybe 50% is about right. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys movies like this, this is a movie you’ll enjoy).

The actors all do a good job, and get into their roles without going Large Ham on us (even Willem Dafoe manages to rein it in!). I did like that while they used a bunch of recognizable actors, there weren’t any huge stars to ruin it by doing their shtick (e.g., Tom Cruise running, Nic Cage with a weird haircut and a flashlight losing his mind).

The action is great, the setting is great (though it could have been a bit redder), and the effects are great. The 3D was understated (surprising in a Disney flick).

And the movie does its job; for two hours, John Carter isn’t the only one transported to the savage world of Barsoom.

The audience is as well.

02/16/2012

If This Goes On–

by wfgodbold

Nehemiah Scudder*, is that you**?

At this point, I think i may just wash my hands of the whole shebang and pull the lever for Gary Johnson.

*The first Prophet, elected President in 2012 in Robert A. Heinlein’s Future History***. Even for RAH, that’s pretty damn eerie.

**I can’t decide if a “by their powers combined” Captain Planet reference or a Voltron/Constructicons reference is more appropriate here.

***Which seems doubly (trebly?) appropriate, given that Newt Gingrich (wannabe psychohistorian) is doing his damnedest to be The Man Who Sold the Moon. Ladies and Gents, welcome to the science fictioniest election of all time!

02/12/2012

I’m with Richard Pryor.

by wfgodbold

Romney is a technocratic flip-flopper.

Gingrich missed his chance by 16 years (he should’ve run in ’96), and is a bit too fond of Hari Seldon (much like the Krugman).

Santorum doesn’t like libertarians.

And Ron Paul is Ron Paul.

Brewster was ahead of his time!

Vote for none of the above!

11/15/2011

Occupy? Or Destruct?

by wfgodbold

The more I think about it, the more the Occupy Wall Street crowd and their clarion call for the people to “Occupy!” reminds me of a book in one of my favorite SF series: The Childe Cycle* by Gordon R. Dickson (sadly unfinished; cancer is a bitch).

In the first (in the series timeline, not published first) book, Necromancer, the cry of the Chantry Guild, a group attempting to overthrow the stagnating earth government, was “Destruct!”

Only through destruction could man destroy the computer-oriented society on earth, and only by using the Guild’s Alternate Laws.

It’s a mashup of ESP and SF, and gets a bit weird at times (not that weird, though; it was written in 1962).

But the various Occupy movements, the rioting, the calls for less automation because of the jobs stolen, reminds me more of the Chantry’s Guild’s motto than anything else.

Destruct!

*Dorsai!, the first book in the series, was Dickson’s take on military SF and published the year after Heinlein’s Starship Troopers. They’re very different takes on the subject, and I recommend both. That said, my favorite book in the cycle is Tactics of Mistake.

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