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Monthly Archives: March 2008

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New Amsterdam Pilot review

The idea of an immortal detective or even police detective is not exactly a new idea by now. Every show from Highlander to Forever Knight to Angel to Moonlight has supped at that table. But New Amsterdam manages to be one of the worst entries in the genre yet, blending generic TV detective plots with an obnoxious main character with the entire thing overlaid with an unbearably phony pathos.

The fundamental difference between New Amsterdam and Forever Knight or Angel is the complete lack of anything edgy, aside from the Bones style closeups of corpses that seem to have become di rigeur on Fox now. Nikolaj Coster Waldau’s John Amsterdam manages to be boring and annoying. Not only does he not hide his immortality, he repeatedly thrusts in the face of everyone he meets.

Where other immortals hide from the rest of the world, John Amsterdam can’t shut up about being immortal, instead he goes around boring everyone with anecdotes from past centuries, from his new sassy female partner to a suspect on the subway to just about anyone who wanders into his life. You can’t wait for someone to reply, “Yes you’re immortal, we get it. Now just shut up about it already.”

In line with Forever Knight or Highlander, New Amsterdam is geared around flashbacks from the past, itself an annoying storytelling device that Lost has pretty much beaten into the ground, but on New Amsterdam the flashbacks themselves don’t really matter. They’re just another way for the series to kill 5 minutes in between showing the main character working on a table or taking photos of Times Square with an antique camera or doing some completely implausible police work.

Wright Defender Remembers to Remind Everyone Wright is a Former Marine

Back when SA was actually funny. Oh never mind, but back before Obama when Something Awful was trying to be funny instead of running 5 page diatribes on Hillary being the devil and Obama being the hope of the whole world, it still wasn’t funny. But reading through the aforementioned diatribe that starts off mildly criticizing Wright, underplaying his comments, then going on the offensive, blah blah blah Fox News, Racism in America, Cheney’s dog once said something worse, you get the drift.

And of course we’ve got the one defense that no self-respecting or self-disrespecting defender of Obama and by extension, for some reason, Jeremiah Wright, can do without, pointing out that Jeremiah Wright was in the Marines. Ever since Obama led with two points of defense, 1. America is racist and 2. Wright was in the Marines, that’s been the meme Obama supporters have been repeating like brain damaged ants with too much sugar in them.

But the Marine part is as pointless as can be. When you’ve been caught after 9/11 screaming God Damn America to your whole congregation, you can’t seem to stop saying racist things and for some reason you blame Italians for killing Jesus, bringing up the Marine service is right up there with Mel Gibson’s best friends being Jewish.

Being a former Marine is great. It means you did your duty to your country. It’s not a blank check for being a douchebag. There have been marines who went on to rape and kill people. There have been marines who went on to be giant racists too. There were marines who defected and went over to the enemy. I don’t think any of Obama’s defenders would be hugely impressed if David Duke had been in the marines.

The Creative Daniel K Drivers Backlash

Put simply I have to ask why anyone is buying products from Creative Labs in the first place. Yes once upon a time Creative Labs’ sound blaster was the default standard in sound cards but these days not that many people even bother buying separate sound cards anymore compared to the 80286-80386 days when getting decent sound above the built in pc speaker meant shelling out a 100 bucks for a Sound Blaster or an Ad Lib if you were feeling risky or if you were really loaded, a card whose name I dare not even speak.

Creative Labs tried to branch out beyond sound cards into a bunch of other products, from joysticks to speakers to MP3 players and all invariably had one thing in common, they sucked. Buying anything from Creative Labs is pretty much the equivalent of throwing your money in the trash. Every time I bought a non-sound card product from Creative Labs, I had to throw out in a matter of months. Shamefully it took at least two buys before I learned my lesson.

Sound Blaster has become a standard but Creative Labs itself has been in free fall for a while. It’s used its brand name and distinctive packaging to try and move a number of other products, which most shoppers have learned by now are junk. Its sound card market is now linked to people who want performance audio and Vista and the Daniel K incident has pissed off exactly those people. Yes companies have a right to be touchy about independent programmers who create additions or drivers while soliciting donations. But where those additions or drivers are needed, common sense should tell the company to shut up about it and welcome the free outside labor.

5 out of 6 New Hampshire Voters Say Ron Paul Reminds Them of Uncle Who Molested Them

While web polls continue to show that not only is Ron Paul in the lead but that he has 135 percent of the vote, counting the Ukranian botnets, Ron Paul continues to struggle in real life polls. Unlike web polls, real life polls are harder to fake. Ron Paul’s Stormfront following did briefly unveil Operation Ron Paul, a a plan to seize the entire state of Rhode Island, confiscate all the phones and create a monopoly on polls for the state, this plan failed to come to fruition after a batch of tainted bear caused widespread diahrea among the entire Aryan Ron Paul Meetup Group.

Meanwhile polls of New Hampshire voters reveal that 5 out of 6 New Hampshire voters say Ron Paul reminds them of that creepy uncle who molested them when they were kids.

“Yeah sorta,” said Marylin Edmond, 32, “he really reminds me of Uncle Floyd. Uncle Floyd used to have this creepy smile too and he talked like he had just been huffing helium. Also he was against the government and he kept trying to get us down into his underground shack where he was going to wait out Armageddon.”

“The first time I saw him on TV, I said damn, that’s my dad’s bastard brother who molested us when we were kids,” said Earl Jenkins, 24, “then I heard his crazy accent and found out it was actually some nut from Texas named Ron Paul who wants to be President.”

Ron Paul’s campaign has had a mixed reaction to these results, insisting that the mainstream media had worked for years to create a negative reaction to Ron Paul’s eventual candidacy by portraying molesters as short men with creepy smiles and squeaky effeminate voices.

Meanwhile Ron Paul supporters spammed Digg in outrage over this turns of events blaming someone named “Ghouliani” and his priest for the whole thing.

“Look at the Constitution it doesn’t say anything there about Molesting,” wrote NaziGlueHuffersForPaul88, “the Founders intended this country to get away from all the Big Government stuffiness about molesting people. That’s the only laws that should exist. We can have all the guns we want, shoot all the minorities we want and molest all the kids we can kidnap at gunpoint. That’s why I’m voting for Ron Paul. Also he reminds me of my uncle. Man I had some great camping trips with my uncle!”

Vote Ron Paul.

Drafted 06 Left Behind review

Drafted 06 continues the series’ fairly lethargic pace, this time doing a fairly literal left behind storyline covering the collapsing infrastructure and technological civilization across the world as the men and women between 12 and 50 have been beamed up or raptured away to fight in the war. No one seems particularly upset at the aliens, though that may come in the next book which is titled Insurrection, and all the usual fun stuff that happens when society collapses is going on.

In Rotterdam one of the last men around is faced with two thugs and a girl named Annika they’re trying to rape. In Woodside, a boy wants to go fight along with his brother Gabriel and everyone else. At the White House, order is being kept precariously while a flood of homeless lines the hallways. Up on the ship the gang we’ve met in the previous books is doing the Big Brother slash Real World bonding thing. None of it is particularly interesting.

Meanwhile the Sons of Abraham, a Priest, a Rabbi and an Imam are doing their propaganda bit for the aliens, touring around and delivering their sermons. While one of the aliens disguised as a Buddhist monk controls things from behind the scenes. By the end even the survivors have been beamed up to work in factories around Jupiter for the coming war.

New Frontier #1 Turnaround Part 1 IDW comic book review

I’ve always said over the years that with New Frontier Peter David went back to his roots and created a comic book, so it makes perfect sense to turn New Frontier into a comic book, since after all it was one in the first place. With its abundant violence, borderline sociopathic characters and complete disregard for any of the morals or rules of the Star Trek universe, it was always a comic book but it was usually a better comic book than New Frontier #1 Turnaround Part 1 is. Oh it’s not bad, by the admittedly low standards of Star Trek comic books, New Frontier issue 1 is practically Shakespeare since it actually keeps you turning the pages to the end, something you have to force yourself to do with most Star Trek comics.

As New Frontier Second Stage, the characters are still in their usual schizophrenic relationships and you’ve either been following them in the New Frontier novels or you haven’t. Let’s safely assume that you haven’t. Si Cwan is dead but apparently around as a ghost. Lefler is running things in his place by way of threatening to use Starfleet to kill everyone who doesn’t agree. Literally. This won’t be too shocking to anyone familiar with Peter David’s ultra-violent take on Star Trek, especially in the Star Wars novels, but to actual Star Trek fans this will play a bit like Luke getting bored one day and using random people for target practice with his lightsaber.

McHenry, son of an immortal semi-omnipotent being, is a disembodied giant head flying around the place and laughing insanely while showing possible visions of the future. Jellico has stolen The Paradox, a starship with Shunt drive that allows it to travel through space by traveling in time. It’s not clear why Jellico did it. Instead of stopping them, Starfleet has sent the Excalibur off to track the Paradox and find out who and why. Like a lot of the New Frontier, Peter David manages to keep you reading the comic, even if once you’re done reading, you’re not sure why you bothered.

End of March Box Office Roundup

21 comes out surprisingly strong with a 23 million dollar opening. Horton falls to 2nd on its 3rd weekend with a still fairly strong 17 million dollars for a 117 million dollar total. Superhero movie opens a decent 3rd with 9.5 million. Not a hit and behind Meet the Spartans, but not a dramatic failure either.

Meet the Browns falls to 4th with 7.5 million dollars for a 32 million total, having yet to exhaust that vital Urban Man in a Dress movie demographic. Drillbit Taylor falls to 5th from 4th with 6 million dollars for a 21 million total. Which is probably better than anyone expected.

Shutter tumbles to 6th place with with 5 million for a 19 million total. 10,000 BC is down to 5 million for an 85 million total. Stop Loss, the 3rd other movie debut bombed in 7th place with a 4.5 million total.

New X-Files 2 Trailer is Here

I don’t even know why I bother reporting since as you can see for yourself up above the new X-Files 2 trailer doesn’t really offer much else, unlike David Mamet’s somewhat cool but less cool Redbelt second trailer. But again Billy Connolly is staggering around and digging in the snow, accompanied by a lot of FBI agents and helicopters. A scene that is repeatedly shown because it probably cost a hell of a lot of movie to film. We’ve got the keyword “Believe” repeated several times just in case people forgot what the show was about. And a bunch of recycled scenes that feel like the trailer for the first X-Files movie. People are cheering in the Paley Center but they seem to be cheering more for the idea of an X-Files movie than for this trailer which really tells you nothing about the movie, except that it incorporates all the X-Files cliches. They might have at least thrown the Cigarette Smoking Man up on screen.

Are Luxury Movie Theaters the Way to Go?

I won’t be paying thirty five bucks for a movie ticket any time soon, but I’m glad that the paradigm for the movie theater is being shaken up. NATO (National Organization of Theater Owners) members can’t help but have noticed how much people are spending on home theaters and how they’re furnishing them and as the wheels slowly turned for a decade or two, may have actually begun to think that maybe there’s an idea here. And considering that people already go on dates to the theater, the idea of food delivery at seats, more generous and comfortable seating and other amenities make perfect sense. 35 Dollars is hefty but we’re just doing our part to prove the predictions of Back to the Future 2 correct, though a Coke still isn’t 50 bucks but we’ve got seven years to go till 2015 and with enough biofuels, I’m sure we can raise the price of everything high enough.

Three Abrams Star Trek Prequels Coming?

Simon Pegg seems to have confirmed that J.J. Abrams Star Trek prequel slash reboot will consist of multiple films, three may be the plan. Since trilogies are popular these days and Paramount didn’t invest all that money in the project just to get a one shot movie and make J.J. Abrams feel good, it’s pretty much inevitable. I’m not too sure how I feel about a prequel involving the same characters with a new cast. It doesn’t really work for me since again I don’t think Shatner, Nimoy and Doohan can be replaced with these particular roles and developing a new starship crew might have been a better way to go. Too many franchises are milking their own backstory until there’s nothing else left, something both Star Wars and Star Trek are guilty of. But considering ST XI’s huge budget, forget the odd numbered curse, this movie will have an uphill battle even breaking even.

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