Monthly Archives: November 2007

Galactica: Earth

By Irma Arkus

Rumours from the mill are plentiful. The scariest of the bunch imply that the last season of BSG will be and stay incomplete due to the unexpected (huh, unexpected, really?) writers’ strike.

So, what do SFU students do? We roam around the corridors of our university, remembering fondly when West Mall complex was Caprica (oh, and how i wish it still was).

There is a handy map, in case you’re not quite sure what to do after your exams, or if you’re coming to visit and there’s noone here.
Map is HERE.

There is also a 13th colony meetup group you can join – HERE.

And when you run out of places to visit, don’t forget you can join Browncoats.

Hitman


by Irma Arkus

Rating: 1 Banana, 2 Crabs

I enjoyed playing Hitman, the game. Both of them. Hitman is a marvelous creature, facing impossible tasks, killing… It is a game full of beauty, cruelty, and it puts James Bond to shame when comparing skill sets. Oh, sure. Hitman is a clumsy eunich with the ladies, but he is ready for a kill. Always ready, like Batman. Or Ready Man. Or Hitman. I can write an entire Ode to Hitman.

So, when news of Hitman, the movie, came out, I was thrilled. With a lead like Timothy Olyphant, how can it go wrong?

Directed by Xavier Gens, who is an inexperienced, young and still disoriented French import, Hitman fails to live up to expectations. Gens’ direction is clumsy, fragmented, and inconsistent, and his cinematography is heavy, and constantly changing. Fight scenes go from being beautiful routines to that flickering fragmented camera trick borrowed from Gladiator (and I hate that stuff, because it makes me feel like I’m going blind). Gens just doesn’t seem to have a clear vision of what he is meant to accomplish. Gens is lame.

The plot though, is the real weak point. In fact, I swore tonight that any script by a guy called Skip, or Chad, should probably be overlooked and filed in the “special recycling bin.” This one though, is Skip’s fault. Skip Woods is the man solely responsible for such terrible scripts as Swordfish (2001), and is currently working on G.I. Joe (2009) – make note that whatever that ends up being, you should probably resist the urge to see it. In fact, one could almost say that because of Skip, a franchise of beautiful, bloody Hitman movies, is never going to see the light of day. Skip too is lame. No, wait. Skip is superlame!

What did Skip do? Well, in Skip’s hands, this is what the plot looks like: Hitman accepts a job to publicly execute a Russian politico, Belicoff, but the job must be done in public. This cramps Hitman’s style, as he likes to do things subtly rather than make a mess in a public arena. Plus, he is not really keen on being stalked by the paparazzi, so he likes to do the job and disappear. Even though he is successful, turns out, Belicoff has an evil double who is has been planning a takeover for years. Part of his plan is to eliminate all evidence of this, which includes killing an old girlfriend / slave girl/ hot Olga Kurylenko, and 47 himself. This of course goes against the initial premise of public execution – this could have been done quietly and in private – Presto! Changeo! I am Belicoff! He is hunted by the agency itself – which clashes with any hint of logic and / or is poorly explained.

Hitman spares the girlfriend because of her cute “tatoo” (read: T&A), and decides to kill Belicoff’s double…*yawn* Lots of illogical running around, gaining access, *yawn* *yawn again*, lame scenes with girl, *yawn*, more shooting randomly…and then impending end with death of whoever that guy who calls himself Belicoff was. Nil character development. Nil plot. Skip is lame.

The actors are wonderful though. Timothy Olyphant did a marvelous job as the lead, while Dougray Scott was equally impressive as the agent trying to find him. Olga Kurylenko was a pleasant eye-candy, but an entirely unnecessary one. It would have been nice to see her in an actual role that involved something more than pretending to be an average house cat: sleeping and walking around in underwear. Robert Knepper did a lovely job playing a villanous Russian security agent, and his Ruskii accent, although imperfect, is still quite impressive.

So, what is the ruling? – Skip the theatre, watch it on DVD. Also find Skip and encourage him to stop writing.

DRM Dropped by UK Retailers

UK Retailers finally decided to drop DRM. They state that current limitations placed has made use of cultural content overly complicated, making users unsure whether they can actually use it with the devices they own.

That, and filesharing is cheaper, more compatible and easier to use.

Those greedy little bastards. They charge us a ridiculous $12 to watch a movie, $30 to buy a DVD, and $15 for something that resembles a album on a CD…and they are still wondering why we don’t just shut up and pay up…hmmmmmmm.

Link to article

I’m Just Lookin’ around: Vancouver Film

by Irma Arkus

Almighty dollar of US and A appears to have been murdered by Canadian Loonie. The Bird has started to gnaw at the US and A dollar, biting its head off and devouring its still beating heart. From now on, US and A dollar shall be known as the dollar with a hole in the middle, The American Yen. Now 50% lighter! Still, Canadians feel screwed out of their hard-earned pennies, as the pricing of goods is still merciless in comparison to our poor little southern neighbours. Loonie has never looked so golden. mmmm.

Economists are screaming murder. Something about ‘adjustment of dollars’ and “recession.” That last one seems to be a whisper.

Even though the initial travelogues of Hollywood film crews coming to BC were justifying their Northern migratory patterns by saying things like: “you can film rain here because rain drops in BC are the size of a human head,” or “you can’t find more depressing background for X-files,” and my favorite: “our mighty dollar stomps your bird dollar and eats it for breakfast…served with Canadian Bacon,” but now that the accounting reason is gone, they are still not leaving. The reason for staying? For the Sushi of course. So, let’s look at the state of affairs in Vancouver, BC.

The Bionic Woman has wrapped up its tent-acles because of the writer’s strike. Good riddance I say. The show is crap. Maybe the writers can take this strike as a mental vacation and come up with some better show ideas. Although, I suspect that a lot of shows will have plot lines plucked directly out of these ‘experiences’ – we’ll see a lot of following elements in the months to come: waiting lines, protesters, fat-cats, strikers, unions…oh, yes. Every show will have a plot about sympathetic strikers. Finally, the socialist edge American TV needs.

On the other hand, Higher Form of Learning, a gem from Steven Segal factory has just wrapped up its shoot. I bet it will be “highly educational.” You can just imagine Segal reading a history book, a kind of Patch Adams in school, bringing smiles to grandmas and kiddies, until all hell breaks loose.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is starting its production. I am crossing my fingers on sitting in Keanu Reeves’ lap during rush-hour SkyTrain ride. I can’t wait. I bet all superstars take SkyTrain to their humble Burnaby /Surrey abodes. Just like they do in New York. Keanu is doing the role of Klaatu, by the way.

Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” is also being filmed here. You may remember him as the guy who brought us 300 to the big screen. Set in alternate universe, where it is perfectly normal for all to wear latex and lycra pants, but only when you work for USA government. Yes, a world chock-full of superheroes, in a cold-war period, where American superheroes dream of kicking ass of Russian superheroes, a plot of killing all superheroes is uncovered. Pheew, that was just a tad long. Anyways, read the lines – 1985, men in tights, conspiracy, Ruskies, and a whole bunch of capes flying around. Cool.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 announced two days ago that they might prematurely wrap their shoot, as they “be ‘runnin out of words on paper.” This bodes badly for my favorite show, but I still can’t be pissed off at the writers striking. And let’s not forget the Razor…mmmm, delicious.

The other shows expected to suffer a little due to the strike are Reaper and Supernatural, which are small budget production with a certain amount of dedicated humour. Both highly enjoyable…. Oh and Kyle XY, but who watches that show anyways? It has Parental Figures in it *yawn*.

Now back to Sushi…

Sarah Connor Chronicles: The Show That Could Be

By Irma Arkus

I guess even Fox, one of the laziest, most erratic, irrational networks, run by what from outside can only be perceived as a bunch of mindless Murdock’s whipping boys-cum-accountants, every once in a while does something smart. Not intentionally, but merely by accident. Due to their frugal operations they had ordered x-amount of episodes for shows meant to fill in all the absentee schedule slots during second half of season – you know, the ones that appear after the shows we really love but cannot compete with “flavour of the month reality show” get cancelled. Soooooo…Their tight-fisted knee-jerk reaction means that suddenly they have stuff to air, despite the writers strike. Say hello to Sarah Connor Chronicles.

First peak at the ads for the show make it look like a River Tam Naked Android Adventures (Oh, Young Indiana Jones, eat your little whiny heart out for you can never be that sexy). Topless River Tam, little fighting machine / sliver of a ballerina, all “naked,” showing off her android skeleton. But hold on, cause we can give you the rest – the pilot!

What about the pilot for the show?

One has to keep in mind that pilot may or may not serve as a first episode of a show. Sometimes it can, but more than often it is a rough cut of a show, meant to give the critics and “executives” glimpse into the concept, showcasing their ideas / characters / storyline.
That being said, the pilot for Sara Connor Chronicles was a genuine letdown.

What was meant to be a premise of “real babe kicks ass and she’s paranoid of the androids” turns into – hey, it’s the chick from 300, and she looks tired, and she sounds kind of whiny and crazy, and that gun seems to be too heavy for her delicate little arms. Casting of Lena Headey seems to be disappointing all around. I expected the new Sarah Connor to be someone worthy of Linda Hamilton. I wanted a new Xena. I wanted someone with authority, a great sense of self, maybe even throw in some curves. Sarah Connor is supposed to be buff, tough, perceptive, smart survivalist, whose priority is to teach her kid everything about how to stay alive, and how to kill. Amongst regular people, she is a fierce predator and one pissed-off mommy. Instead, what we received is a little delicate Lena who looks like an exhausted drowning victim.

To top it off, there is the ridiculous premise of “schooling John Connor” in, of all places, the average American public school?! Not that I oppose public education in any way, but isn’t the whole point of John’s education to excel as much as he can under Sarah’s tutelage so he actually be prepared for the future? I guess not. After all, this show is probably meant to give us “Terminator in Smallville.” Oh no, what with Summer Glau, The Cutest Terminator Ever, little Connor will be all about broody teenage pains, sighing: “oh, let’s eat candy, and defeat the evil Teddy Bears.” Oh, wait, I’m confusing this with Kawaii Jenny. Still, the two shows don’t seem to be *that* far off.

OK. It’s cool that Summer Glau is back in a kicking-ass role. I personally like her fragile, waif-like physique turned into a deadly weapon. I loved it in Firefly, and I am surely going to enjoy it here. But the premise of another high-school adventure does not appeal to me.

Then there are the evil Terminators. Worst Terminators invented. There is a certain clumsiness, evil glares, Machiavellian plotting behind their eyes. These are not your regular faceless, focused, dreadful machines, whose job is extermination of one human boy. These are supposed to be assassins, not assinine teacher-impersonators.

What happens in the pilot?

Sarah Connor disappears from one mediocre life, one in which she is happy and engaged, only to end up in another small town, getting John enrolled in another mediocre school, where we meet Cameron (Summer Glau). John gets attacked in the open – I mean, a first generation Terminator (as in, a Swarzenegger model) just shows up out of the bloom, walks into a classroom pretending to be a substitute teacher and starts shooting everybody (did you hear that! “pretending”! When did the original Terminator “pretend” to be anything?), but Cameron saves him. Sarah, Cameron and John end up running away from Terminator, and eventually time-travel to 2007, where they are sighted as the “naked people in the middle of the street,” with footage of their naked bits plastered all over the evening news.

So, let’s summarize. The Terminators = lame. Sarah Connor = lame. John = lame. Summer Glau = coolest thing on this show. Plot = Kawaii Jenny.
Overall, you get really lucky Fox executives that have a show on their hands. But be afraid, very afraid, that if this show actually turns into something worthwhile, it just may be canceled and replaced by The Hills.

For previews of posters, click HERE

Writers’ Strike

One of the Daily Show Writers who is now not working and is now striking has done a brief daily show style spoof/rant for youtube airing his views on being on strike. Comedy and reality gold.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzRHlpEmr0w

Dragonball The Movie

Yes it is actually happening and we now are getting a release date of August 15, 2008. Oh boy this summer. Anyways, before you moan and complain about the obvious limitations of the anime and the manga source material and the fact that Fox is going to be behind this, some of the people that are going to be featured are actually kind of cool. James Marster, known to many as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, will be playing Piccolo and Stephen Chow, yes that Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer Stephen Chow, is going to be participating as a producer. Goku will be played by some guy named James Chatwin who according to his imdb list has appeared in Superbabies 2, which means he pretty much is a loser if he had anything to do with that tripe. He was also Tom Cruise’s son in War of the Worlds, which makes it even worse. Nevertheless, with Marsters and Chow involved this might not be complete garbage, although with this being a live action adaption of a cartoon, I don’t see this being anything more than bad Power Rangers. Besides there is also the awesome Hong Kong live action Dragonball: Quest for the Dragon Pearls that is available in most fine video stores that is well worth watching just for its wretchedness.

Marvel Goes Online

By Irma Arkus

Marvel announced today that its archives will be available in digital form – services that “start at $4.99” a month allow you to access the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, including the classic archives of X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man and others…there are even over 250 issues given out as a free bonus.

Check it out HERE

Nov 11-07 -Hi-Sci-Fi by Irma Arkus & Jevon Ryan

Nov 11-07 -Hi-Sci-Fi by Irma Arkus & Jevon Ryan

17:00-Hi-Sci-Fi by Jevon Ryan and Irma Arkus

17:00-Hi-Sci-Fi by Jevon Ryan and Irma Arkus