Archives for posts with tag: aliens

“John Carter”, direct by Andrew Stanton, screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews and Mark Chabon, based on the story “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

So, you ever read any of Burroughs’ “Mars Stories”?

Compared to modern sci-fi, they are a bit clunky, quaint and don’t really take into consideration much science. But, Burroughs is one of the grandfathers of sci-fi and if you haven’t read any, I suggest that you give them a whirl, you will be charmed and probably amused…

The film has this same sort of charm – it has a cool retro feel that is charming and doesn’t worry about science, but asks that you make the leap that, yes, Mars has an atmosphere, yes, Mars does have life and if you play along, everything will be just fine…

After reading the reviews for this one, I almost suggested to my companion for the movie that we either give it a pass or see something else, but we decided that maybe critics don’t always know what a geek and a nerd like in movies, point in case “Tron: Legacy”, I am right here people?

Yes, I am.

So, we saw it and what fun! Strange looking aliens, mysterious messengers from Martian gods, a beautiful princess, some interesting baddies and a displaced Civil War vet (cavalry) who, on Mars, can jump really, really far and has incredible strength.

One of the things that I like most about Burroughs’ work is how much of it is written in first person, everything happens to the main character or it is told to the writer by the person it happen to…the film neatly expresses that by making Burroughs himself one of the characters and integral to the conclusion of the film.

I think the critics got another one wrong – the film is enjoyable and fun. There are cool special effects, fun character design and a neat-o overall feel. The film far surpassed expectations, especially in light of the more sophisticated sci-fi flicks and the reviews that just hated this film.

The lead actor is rather cardboard, but whatever, he does a good job of jumping and in this film, that is pretty much all that matters.

I don’t think critics get what geeks and nerd want in films, this film brought it and was an enjoyable way to spend time. You will get a few laughs, see some things explode and see a Martian wedding, what more can a geek ask for!

 

 

Latest offering from Jon Favreau, who is quickly becoming one of my fav directors in the “geek genre”.

Ok, so the premise of the movie is the title itself, it is like some guys were sitting around one night, kicking back with some beers and thinking about all that is awesome in movies. And what is awesome in movies? Westerns. Cowboys! Those movies are awesome, like “A Fist Full of Dollars”, “A Few Dollars More”, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, “Unforgiven” – come on those are awesome movies.

And what makes everything more awesome?

Yep, aliens.

So, a profoundly ridiculous premise – aliens attack! cowboys fight back to save the world! – made into a very enjoyable and pretty awesome film.

Surprise!

As usual in Favreau movies in this genre, the cast is stellar – Daniel Craig as the hero, Harrison Ford as the meanie cattle baron and Olivia Wilde as…eye candy – everyone plays their roles straight and without a sense of irony, but not without a sense of humour. Subtle and unexpected laugh lines are found sprinkled throughout and shine like gems.

Oh! And the action sequences – with a cavern of difference in technology (guns vs. lasers? arrows vs lasers? anyone? anyone? horses vs. alien flying machines?) these should have no chance of working – but they do! Some of the freshest action/fight sequences I’ve seen in a while, somehow the normal “car chase scene” takes on a whole new approach when done with horses. Whoa.

The cast was very evenly balanced, with no obvious weak links, although I have to tell you that there was one or two moments that I thought that Harrison Ford is more interesting when talking to a Wookie, that is probably just bias on my part…

This film had it all – scary aliens, characters we aren’t sure are good or bad, a town saloon, a spoiled brat, a wife in danger, a mysterious beauty, a man with no name, Daniel Craig’s abs…yep, if you like aliens, if you like cowboys and if you like Daniel Craig’s abs, this is a great movie for you to see.

Not sure if they did a 3D version of it, but the 2D version was so much fun that I suggest seeing it like this – didn’t seem to be anything that required the 3D.

What are waiting for? Go see this movie – enjoy!

What is up with this? WordPress thinks “Wookie” is a spelling error! Oh, silly WordPress…

Coincidence: Commenter noted that as I have camera now, I have “no excuses” not to take pics while I’m away. (Hi Nicole!) I also received, at  exactly the same time, an email Re: No excuses

Is the universe trying to tell me something? If so, why is it sending me emails? And how did it get my email addy?

I just think that if the universe had something to say to me, it would call me up and explain, you know, give me an opportunity to ask some questions, get more detail, that sort of thing.

Except my number is unlisted, so perhaps that explains that.

Ok, so, “no excuses”.

Excuse me.

Climbing, climbing, climbing. 5 routes = 2 x 5.8, 2 x 5.9 and 1 x 5.10-

5.10- took me forever and three days. Wrong-footed all the way up. Ugly. But I got up and back down.

Decided enough was enough and it was time to perform some miracles – no more good-byes. I turn the “good-byes” into “drinks when I’m backs” which is far, far better. I like drinks. I like friends. So, friends with drinks – is there anything better?

Plans when I get back also helps me feel less…disorganized about the whole thing. I mean, how disorganized can I be if I have plans for when I’m back?

Things that make my future bright.

Perhaps I should have a “Welcome, I’m home” party.

Happy that I’m not losing touch.

News: more snow. I don’t have an outside window where I work, so imagine my surprise when I had to clear the car! Also, I don’t work where I live, so the weather is different (some say “lake effect”, I say “aliens”.) More snow where I live compared to where I work.

No time to shovel – there are walls to climb!

Between climbing, shoveling and yoga my arms are killing me.

What I need is someone to hire, put on retainer like, to come along and shovel the snow for me.

Ok, what I really need is someone with superpower-heat-beams to come along and melt the snow for me.

Alright, alright, what I absolutely, totally need is someone who has the superpower of controlling the weather to come along and make it spring for me.

I am willing to pay a small fee.

What happened: After climbing, had to scurry home to shovel (hurry up and shovel, what are things coming to?). My train = delayed. 25 minutes. Ok, ok, remain calm – it will be here eventually, there is somewhere not as cold to wait, there is light, I have water with me. My crossword puzzle is done, but that is a-ok, I can re-read one of the articles, keep my mind alert so hypothermia doesn’t set into my little brain cells.

Train arrives, we go one stop and – you guessed it – express to a train station far, far beyond my destination.

I’m starving. End up buying a giant pretzel and sandwich for dinner. Nope, no greens happening here, sorry. Do you know how hard it is to find broccoli stems for sale at a train station?

Perhaps this is a good business idea for someone. I’d call it “Greens on the Go

I get a 15% profit share for the idea and name. Thanks.

Home an hour late. There is still the drive to shovel.

So I begin. Say hello to a neighbour and he makes a remark about me shoveling. I ignore, I’m doing some serious shoveling here, no time for chit-chat!

He comes back and helps me shovel the rest of my drive.

I have the best neighbours. If not for this kind soul, I would still be out there, in the cold, snowy land, shoveling my little heart out.

Thanks neighbour, you rock my socks. And your little toddler is super cute.

Upside: It is supposed to get warmer on Tuesday!

Downside: It will still be winter.

Upside: Today someone on the radio said “snow eater” – this is one of my favourite phrases in the Canadian language.

Hey, someone on the radio just said “high brilliancy”. I have no idea what that means, but I’m going to try to work it into a Tuesday conversation.

 

 

 

Clean the house.

The place is neat and ordered, sense of calm and, dare I say?: sanity.

Weather was a bit grim – slush fell over night – is this sleet? – and made things…messy and a bit chaotic. I don’t mind a bit of chaos, but not on the highways, there are some questionable drivers out there and they all seemed to be going my way today…

Ok, I don’t mind a lot of chaos.

Ok. I like chaos.

Some people are just wired like that.

I am wired like that.

Days are getting harder as things at work draw to close for me. “Good-byes”, “We’ll miss yous” and “Good lucks” make my little heart ache. My tear ducts fill and something spill. I feel loved and connected.

This is probably not a normal thing to feel about colleagues and a “job” – but the fact is that I’m in love with the people I’ve found doing the thing that I do to pay my bills. It hurts to know that I am loved in return and I’m leaving. Little heart breaks. Developing scar tissue.

And who needs this “normal” anyway.

The breath after – knowing that I love and am loved in return gives me this crazy confidence that yes, I can go out there and have an adventure. It can get into me, change me, knock me down, pull me up and I will still have these connections. I’m leaving, but I’m not going anywhere.

Invisible threads from my heart and from my belly button to people in my life. I am part of this invisible spider web. Haha – “network”.

I’m not sure why I feel love from my belly button as well as my heart. I hope it isn’t an ulcer.

This whole thing about the trip has really made me think about, feel, fear. How scary it is to go out into the world, into the unknown alone. I’m ready to learn some things. I feel like I’m about to begin my first day of school. Again.

I don’t feel alone.

A part of me feels like when I’m climbing on the wall. There is someone holding the rope, so when I fall, I don’t fall far. But getting to the top – it is all me. Strength in my little fingers. Strength in my little toes. Strength with every beat of my heart. Thoughts fly away and there is only straining to go up and not look down.

I want to sooth away the sadness of the people I’m leaving – not emotionally leaving, but leaving the day-to-day of them. People are looking sad around me.

The ‘fraidy-cat in me just wants to disappear in a puff of smoke so I can avoid these good-byes. I’d skip right to the…”Hello Agains”, “I’m homes” and “Here I got this for yous”.

I think of the process.

Of stepping in running streams and babbling brooks.

Sea changes and tides.

These good-byes and farewells, they are part of my heart now, change me moment by moment, word by word. I am becoming a different person even as I’m preparing to become a different person. I am a different person.

There is this place of confidence, of happiness that grants me the strength to risk it – to walk away from people I love, from a place I love, from a job that I love – to just try to do something different. There are many ways to live life and I’m just trying another way.

I am pebble dropped into a still lake – rings out around me, intersecting with other rings.

Years ago I remarked to a close friend that I was done, I had met all the people in my life who would matter and made all the friends that I would make in my life, my heart was filled up with as people as I could care about and there was no more room for new people. No new friends.

How lovely to be wrong!

I can get used to being wrong like this.

I met more people – and my heart, my heart grew. Still growing. Gets bigger with every person that I meet. Someday my heart will be the size of the entire universe. It will be as big as the multiverse.

I keep meeting people who know people who want me to visit them on my Great Adventure. It is like, other people love me so much they are lending me their love to keep me on my journey.

So, yeah, I don’t worry so much about aliens and whether there is life “out there”. I’m far too preoccupied with life right here.

 

 

Clothes pressed? Check.

Water mug washed and packed? Check and check.

Gym bag packed? Check.

Work keys and ID badges ready? Check.

(Haha – it almost looks like I said “id badges” – a Freudian concept could have a badge.) (Although that might be really helpful – people could have a badge to wear when they were in a certain mindset. So, like if you were having an “id moment”, you could avoid people wearing “super-ego” badges. That might solve a few things around this place…)

“Work Lipstick” and “Work lip gloss” in purse? Check.

(Yes, I have lipstick and lip gloss that I reserve mostly for work. The colours are “professional.”) (Yeah, I know women are odd creatures. Get over it.)

Membership cards, corporate credit card and frequent user cards back in wallet? Check for all!

Random American currency back in the “may be useful” drawer? Ch-ch-ch-eck!

Hair deep conditioned? Check! (dumb female thingy)

Skin on face re-textured? Check! (another dumb female thingy)

Cosmetic pencils sharpened? Check check and check. (See why women are so hard to get? Look at all these stupid things we have to take care of before even considering going out into the world! Silly!)

Yep. Vacation is over and it is back to work in the morning.

I think I got a sunburn on my back. I’ve never had a sunburn before, so I’ve run to the mirror every hour to how everything is going back there. It is really odd – it looks like my skin is peeling off in places.

I mean either it is a sunburn peeling or I’m an alien who is shedding my human disguise and am bent on world domination. Either way, I feel it will be an amazing week.

And if I do end up as your evil alien overlord, please do me a favour and don’t rebel. Seriously, it would just cramp my style.

 

An octopus predicted today’s Word Cup game winners.

So what?

So, this is another piece of evidence that octopuses are aliens.

Everyone knows that aliens have strange powers ( Superman – faster than a speeding bullet and able to leap tall building in a single bound!) and usually have above average intelligence (ET – ‘cuz that little alien was like a child alien and he phoned his parents with a Speak-n-Spell and record player, I’d like to see a human child do that!), but get confused about what humans think important.

If you were an alien and looked around at recent human behaviour, you’d think that the most important thing in the world is soccer.

(Of course, that right now the most important thing in the world is soccer, but that is beside the point.)

Sadly, I suspect that this octopus’ prediction of the Spanish win will mean a quick exit from his home in Germany – I wonder how many countries will consider his application for asylum?

How long before calamari is the National Dish of Germany?

Here is a fun game I like to play.

When ever someone tells me something or when I read about something or am asked to review a piece of writing, I always ask myself “So what?”

If I can come up with a good answer to this question, I keep going, when the answer is “So nothing” I find something to do. It is really useful.

There should be a reason for things, a reason that we write, a reason that we tell each other about things, a reason that we tell the world things.

“So what?”

I want you to understand how I feel.

“So what?”

Tell me I’m not crazy.

“So what?”

Tell me I’m right!

“So what?”

Agree with me. Disagree with me. Pay attention to me. Learn about this fascinating bit of information! Be my friend! See how cool I am!! Be informed! Solve my problem! Solve your problem!!

“So what?”

So nothing.

What I learned today: I have good timing with a witty, pithy statement.

My witty, pithy statement: Sometimes knowledge gets in the way of the right answer.

What kills me is that it is true.

I hung out a bit after saying that ‘cuz I couldn’t leave on that happy note.

So what?

So, now you know.

Wow.

This movie is a punch to the gut.

Exemplifies the very best about sci-fi – social justice issues head up, surprising information and actions, amazing action, honesty, amazing story-telling.

It is interesting that people are so dismissive of a genre that tackles important issues in a straightforward way – does the message get lost and hidden because of the use of science and aliens?  Isn’t that some bias?

I loved how this movie confronted racism head-on, without coating it for consumption.  It is almost that we need this metaphor to show us the true issues that we are confronting, without worry about offending real people as we are trying to solve the problems and the issues.

What I liked most about this movie: There were multiple layers of racism depicted, showing how this is not easy or straightforward kind of issue – it is everywhere and takes all kinds of forms.

Most interesting facet of racism this movie showed was reduction, stripping away the many layers of the group of people we are keeping down. I loved how the issues slowly became clear – we learn about the hearts, desires, hurts, emotions and intelligence of the aliens slowly, we learn about their “humanity”, their love for their children – they are not “like us”, there are us.

This was a great way to spend time thinking about a very important issue and an issue that it is far to easy to forget about in our daily lives.

This is big day for my family – Elvis Presley’s birthday.

My dad is a huge fan, so he reminded me of this great day last night, before I packed myself off to bed.

My dad would sing Elvis songs while he was doing the dishes and waiting for me to eat my brussels sprouts.  I stayed at the table for ages listening to my dad sing and not eating those sprouts.

I never did learn to love brussels sprouts, but I sure loved hearing my dad sing Elvis, especially Teddy Bear, which remains one of my favourite songs.

Now, my niece loves the same song, which just goes to show you that good taste can run in families.

So, here is to Elvis! Oh, King of Rock and Roll, where ever you are in the universe – Happy, happy birthday.

I envy those aliens.

In other news, I think Friday is a good time for an affirmation.

Here is mine:

“I am not the centre of the universe.

The universe does not revolve around me.

I am not the most important part of the universe.

Things that happen to me are not connected, but coincidental.

I am not the centre of the universe.”

Whew!  I feel so much better

After thinking about it for most of the week, I have realized that I don’t really understand when people say “I’m having a bad day.”

When I hear people say “I’m having a bad day.”  I want to say to them “I’m having a chocolate!”  Remove “bad days” from the menus of the world!  Take something crappy that happened to you and share it with a friend.

Real life examples:

I was coming out of an appointment and thinking very hard about something and not looking where I was going.  Bash!  I walked right into the door jamb.  I quickly looked around for someone to share it with – but no one saw me do it!  Can you imagine a perfect comedic moment and no one saw!  How awful.  The first person who talked to me after this happened I told right away “I walked right into it!  I’m going have a bruise on my face!  It was hilarious!  But no one saw!”

She didn’t think it was as funny as I did – maybe it is because it was my face?

Alternate affirmation:

“It is a computer.

It is a machine that has no power over me.”

And think how lucky we are we don’t give computers bombs – see it can always be worse!

Climbing in the morning.

Extreme cold warning, so stay warm.

Interesting news – there is a new TV medical drama based on “Blood Letting & Miraculous Cures” by Vincent Lam.  Haha, he just said on the radio that “kissing over dead bodies was poor form”.  Great line.