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Exploring Dark Matter

Ok, so “Dark Matter” is the first thing I’ve read from Blake Crouch—or the first exposure I’ve had to his work given the tv adaptations of his work too—so I’m not sure if he’s super pretentious and that comes through naturally in his writing, or if his characters are all so astoundingly in love with themselves and their own brilliance, and he’s just that good at capturing it.This is an interesting story, but it feels hampered by how little I care about the actual characters. At this point I’m barely a third of the way through it, and it feels like I already have an idea of what’s going to play out—so either I’m astoundingly brilliant or there are some twists coming.

It’s reminding me so far of “Predestination”, the movie based on Robert Heinlein’s short story ‘All You Zombies’, although that was focused on time travel and the interweaving manipulations of timelines rather than exploring multiverse theory.

While I really enjoyed “Predestination” I’ve never read its source material, and after hating reading Heinlein’s “Stranger In a Strange Land” I’m a little hesitant to check it out. So I wonder if this might be a similar situation; that I might enjoy adaptations of Crouch’s work—‘Wayward Pines‘, ‘Good Behavior’ for tv and eventually “Dark Matter” itself as a film—more than I like his writing itself.

Or maybe I’ll enjoy this more as it gets going—like I said, there are probably some twists coming….

Apparently I’ll Never Be a SuperFan of GetGlue

GetGlue, what is your friggin problem?

OK, here’s another social networking app.  Like Foursquare or Untappd, it let’s you check-in to certain things.  Instead of places or beers though, this one is geared toward what movies or TV shows you’re watching, what you’re reading or the music you’re listening to.  There’s even a ‘topics’ tab when you opt to check-in, so I guess you can even check-in to whatever it is you’re talking about right now.

GetGlue Topics

Please pay attention to me, I’m talking about kittens doing cute things.

Just keep in mind, no one cares.

I don’t use Foursquare so people know where I am or think I’m cool because I’m at Gordon’s again.  I’m probably going to start checking-in privately simply because people know where I am and that’s creepy.  I do it for my own amusement.  And the badges.  That goes mostly for Untappd as well, and in GetGlue you earn stickers.  If you earn enough, you can actually request physical stickers and they’ll send them to you.  I’m still deciding which ones to put on my drinking helmet, but that decision should be made shortly.

I don’t know why, but I enjoy seeing where I’ve been, what I’ve been drinking or watching or reading.  Maybe it’s the stats your check-ins offer; I like stats, I like the break down of what nights I’m more likely to go out, or how many places in one night out I’m likely to go to, how many new places as opposed to the same old same old comfort spots.  Its mostly the same olds, but once in a while, you know?

Now I’m getting off topic here by going on about Foursquare, but I think everyone’s more familiar with that than Untappd and GetGlue.  Most will also say they’re all stupid, and you’re right, they are. 

Meh.  That’s what I say to that.  GetGlue reminds me I’m not reading enough and I’m watching too much TV and that I need to branch out a little more in what music I listen to.  I have over 60gb of music right now and after reordering the list of tracks based on plays, I realize I’ve only listened to about a third of it, less if you disregard things I’ve only listened to once.

In addition to being a complete waste of time and arguably, an exercise in vanity above all else, I like to think these apps help put things in perspective.  Reminds me I need to branch out a little bit.  Good for you.

But let’s get back to the point: GetGlue, what is your friggin problem?

When you first check into a TV show, let’s say I started watching ‘Midsomer Murders,’ which I would because its awesome.  I check-in, I like it, and then you tell me to keep checking-in to become a fan.  After five check-ins you should get a fan sticker for that show.  After that when you check-in, it’ll tell you how many check-ins you are from becoming a superfan.  Thing is, I watch that shit count down when I mainline a TV show, like I did with ‘Lost’ when I watched the entire series in less than two weeks.  That superfan doesn’t show up.  5, 4, 3, 2, 1, nothing.  And then nothing.  And more nothing.

Instead of a countdown it changes to ‘keep checking-in to earn the ‘SuperFan.’  And still nothing.  Either don’t give me a countdown or give me my damn sticker.  I don’t understand.  You know how many check-ins I need, I know how many check-ins I need.  I’m watching the shows, I’m checking-in, why won’t this work?

Hogwash.  That’s what this is.  I did find this message board post, but I’d already written all this before I did, so I’m going to just disregard all ten minutes I’ve worked on it, just because this explains it.  I suppose it makes sense .  I tend to check-in towards the end of the episode, so they’re evenly spaced at about the episode length; the fifteen minutes doesn’t matter.  That three check-ins a day though? 

F that noise.  If I want to watch an entire season of ‘Warehouse 13’ in one day, I damn well better get credit for it.  I want my ‘Warehouse’ superfan sticker, GetGlue.  This is horseshit.

Captain Planet, he’s our hero, gonna take shitty reboots down to zero!

The things I would do to Linka…

We all knew this was going to happen.

In an age where everyone is obsessed with being green and pretending to give a shit about recycling and saving the environment, a Captain Planet movie was inevitable.

This day was coming and yet, on some level deep down where I wasn’t drunk, I was still shocked.

So on one hand you have a superhero that materializes when five friends join powers to fight pollution and junk.  There’s environmentalism and teamwork, look at that.  That’s a great concept.

deviant behavior?

or environmental crusader?

On the other hand you have a guy in knee high boots and what is essentially a bikini, with a green mullet.

Is this movie really necessary?  We already have An Inconvenient Truth, it won a couple Oscars so obviously some people watched it. 

I think we got the message—we need to save the environment.  There are at least four electric cars out now, clearly we learned our lesson about the whole saving MotherEarth thing. 

Do we need another movie kicking it down our throats?

It’s tough taking a TV show and turning it into a theatrical film.  For one, most animated shows from the eighties and nineties that film producers are mining like they’re at freakin Sutter’s Mill don’t always translate so well.  You’re taking dozens of episodes and condensing it down to two hours of coherent thought, something most cartoons are entirely incapable of.

Making a Batman movie at least has the advantage that he has his core villains, the real heavy hitters; Joker, Penguin, Two-Face, maybe the Riddler.  He had decades of comic book material to work off of before an animated show popped up.  When it comes to your average cartoon series, you don’t have that to fall back on.  You just have balls-ass-crazy plots and villains that have been slapped together using a Mad-Libs formula and a six-foot bong.

Where are the big-screen adaptations of Jin Jin and the Panda PatrolDog City?  That’s one I want to see, but with that dark, gritty Batman Begins kind of feel.  How about Double Dragon?  That game was awesome they could totally make a badass movie out of—oh… right, never mind that one.

Who remembers Denver the Last Dinosaur?  Where’s the billion dollar theatrical reboot of that one?  Kids love dinosaurs! 

Listen to this, he “was released from his egg by a group of interracial California teens… The kids taught Denver the finer points of skateboarding and other pastimes while protecting him from concert promoter Morton Fizzback who wanted to use the dinosaur to make money.”

What is not to love about that?  That description has everything; skateboarding, dinosaurs, evil concert promoters!  And in the sequel, Denver can fight Godzilla!  Boom!  Franchise crossover!  This shit practically writes itself.

I guess when you consider how much absolute crap was kicking around in the form of animated kids’ shows twenty years ago, there could be worse things to pick than Captain Planet.  The powers-that-be for this film have already said they’re very excited and “expect to make a spectacular series of films.”

This is both terrifying and a relief.  Terrifying for the obvious reason that series implies we’re going to have hippies in man-kinis flying around telling me what an asshole I am for not composting that orange peel for a handful of films.  And it’s a relief for the exact same reason.

Like I was saying before, cartoon series don’t always translate well to the time or plot constraints of a film format.  So the idea that they’re planning on making multiple films is definitely good news. 

This means they can use multiple bad guys and most likely, bring them all together with Dr. Blight stealing the Planteers’ rings and creating Captain Pollution with the help of the other major villains of the show.

OK, that might sound a little like the Superman/Nuclear Man thing from Superman IV, but for a movie I think you

have to do Captain Pollution.

The problem with this movie isn’t going to be the ridiculous plot or mulletted-mankini’d hero.  They keep pumping out Transformers movies, so there’s a market for big-budget cartoon reboots.  One of the producers of the new Transformers: Dark of the Moon is actually the driving force behind Captain Planet, so that’s another plus since Transformers is going to make gajillions no matter how terrible it is.

And who doesn’t love mullets?  If anything, the presence of a mullet is only going to expand the film’s demographic.

The problem is that this is a movie about the power teamwork in saving the planet by recycling and using renewable energy sources, about not decimating thousands of acres of forest to build a mall and how it’s not cool to dump millions of gallons of industrial waste product into the ocean.  Blahblahblah, the environment is super sweet and stuff, we got it.  But do you know what all really that means?

This production has to be the greenest fucking movie in history.  You can’t have it any other way.

Let’s go back to Superman IV: the Quest for Peace, ok? When you cut through it all, Superman represents the United States and Nuclear Man is the Soviet Union.  Look at him, he could be Drago’s long lost twin. 

And the whole fight between them—yes, a horribly scripted metaphor for the political climate of the late 1980s.  They fight on the moon!  Around an uprooted American flag! 

When you think about it, that can boil down to environmental metaphor as well.  Superman draws his strength from the sun, Nuclear Man is atomic powered.   And who wins?  Renewable Energy Superman, that’s who.

Captain Planet isn’t a metaphor; this is literally a movie about a guy who saves the world one freaking recycled soda bottle at a time.  This production has to be completely sustainable.

This film set should stand as a beacon for hippies and Al Gore, a shining example, a city on a hill for all to model themselves after.  This shall not be a mere superhero movie, no, this shall not be a simple re-imagining of a precious early nineties cartoon resource!  No—this film shall stand for all as a functional example of how society should operate!  We should be inconveniencing ourselves in every facet of our lives insisting on recycled, recyclable, organic, hormone-free, oil-independent, hippie-endorsed products for the sake of future generations!

Oh god, what am I even saying?  Have you ever seen a movie made out of tofu?

This is going to be awful.

Man-kini.

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