Monthly Archives: May 2008

HiSciFi – Lauren Weinstein & Deep Packet Internet Wiretapping

This week we had Lauren Weinstein join us for a discussion on issues of Net Neutrality and Deep Packet Inspection – the latter being a subject of much debate as, if utilized by Internet access providers, is not only illegal (the law just hasn’t caught up with those guys yet) but deeply disturbing as it is akin to a kind of “data wiretapping.”

Weinstein is a columnist for Wired Magazine, co-founder of PFIR – People For Internet Responsibility, co-founder and moderator of the new NNSquad (Network Neutrality Squad) and the founder of the PRIVACY Forum, which he created in 1992. Weinstein has been involved with Internet and other technology issues for over 30 years, starting in the early 1970s at the first site on the ARPANET (proto-Internet) at UCLA.

I do encourage you to join as many Net Neutrality petitions as possible and get your neighbours and family to do it too. Do it. Keep on doing it. And you can translate that however you’d like.

Love,
Irma
HiSciFi – Lauren Weinstein & Deep Packet Internet Wiretapping

Uwe Boll’s on Postal


by Irma Arkus

Despite the flood of criticisms, Uwe Boll’s Postal has more than exceeded my expectations making it one of my favorite films of the year.

Postal is, like so many of Boll’s films, based on a same name video-game. Unlike most video-game based movies, however, Postal stays true to its origins.

We’ve all groaned watching Resident Evil, Doom, and even Final Fantasy. And yes, we’ve also screamed in agony watching Boll’s own gems like BloodRayne, BloodRayne II and Alone in The Dark. Postal, however, has subject matter that for the most part is brash, culturally insensitive, and even insulting, providing a much needed humour relief.

Postal has it all. It pokes fun at Islamic terrorism, corporate culture, organized religion, cops, celebrities and media. Even children and elderly get shot (yes, the children!). And, perhaps a bit less outrageous due to delay in the film’s release, even G.W. Bush gets his just deserts.

Zach Ward’s acceptable performance as Postal Dude is overshadowed by that of the amazing Dave Foley who plays Postal Dude’s uncle and a religious leader.

In fact, casting for Postal would be an envy of most films, as familiar faces of Erick Avari, Ralf Moeller, J.K. Simmons, and even Verne Troyer grace the screen. Not to mention the incredible appearance of Seymour Cassel and David Huddleston as curmudgeonly commentators. And it is worth mentioning that all these face would represent very little if not for the steady eye of the cinematographer, Mathias Neuman.

The film is outright funny. And bloody. And funny. Postal is, in essence, an instant cult-classic film.

It would not be Boll’s film without controversy though. Last few weeks were spent rehearsing a well-prepared speech, as Boll points out that Postal is not bad, and yet no one will get to see it, as its release is confined to a minimal screen presence in North America.

“This movie,” explains Boll delicately,”should kick you in the balls. It is not a ‘nice satire’ but a dirty, insulting movie.” As for its political message, Boll explains: “I tried to make a political satire, that would insult everybody, including myself. I tried to show that we are all wrong and if we continue with our actions, we will destroy everything, and I was extremely pissed about the Bush government…a criminal ruling the world?!”

He adds: “I have nothing against Hollywood movies, but every week we see same movies: Iron Man, Hellboy II, Batman II… And I am shocked at the reviewers. I am not sure what the job of a reviewer is but how can a reviewer write ‘it would be better if this movie not get any screens’ – is this really what reviewer does? Week after week we get same Hollywood blockbusters…reviewers protect these films that cost $100m to advertise and $200m to produce. And then every once in a while they endorse an art house film.”

Postal is a bit like Boll himself. Between the scenes of brash and loud nature, one can also find some truth.

The Amazing Italian Spiderman!


by Irma Arkus

While Spiderman has been reincarnated in multiple cultures, none has turned out so delicious as the Italian Spiderman!

Made by Alrugo production house, a humble team of students who shot the short film in a single day, the Italian Spiderman melds Spaghetti Western, classic Bond movies and exploitation films, all mixed to produce a low-budget cacophony of ultra-hilarity and cool.

Who is Spiderman? Who is the Italian hero behind the mask? A plumper, older version of Peter Parker, donning a hefty moustache and a home-made spider t-shirt. He hesitates not from handling guns, spiders, and other arsenal when defeating his many enemies. His machismo oozes across the screen, as he fights the terror of snake-eyed luchadore, terrifying goblin, and the ladies…yes, the ladies.

Find Italian Spiderman premier here, and get some more of my new favorite hero here.

HiSciFi – May.9.08- Akiba Blog, Spectacular Spiderman, Anime, and the Platypus Genome

Today Irma and Jevon are joined by Jesse Betteridge, the blogger and newsman behind Zannen Canada and we discus anime, the new and fantastic Saturday Morning animated Spectacular Spiderman as well as a host of news, and we finally air a wonderful interview with the good folks at the Akiba Blog, who are now offering their goodness in English!
HiSciFi – May.9.08- Akiba Blog, Spectacular Spiderman, Anime, and the Platypus Genome

Robot Dancing Competition

From 1983, so it is one year off being an Arctic Monkeys reference, but nevertheless, so cool. ROBOT DANCERS!!!

Gundam…The Saga Continues

by Irma Arkus

There are some things that can never end, and Gundam is apparently just one of those things.

Bandai Entertainment has announced its acquisition of Gundam 00. Directed by Seiji Mizushima, better known for his previous work on Full Metal Alchemist, Gundam 00 animated series will focus on the political and human drama revolving around three major nations in conflict. Set in year 2307, the weapons of choice are, of course, the Gundam.

HiSciFi – May 2-08 – Skrulls Attack! Iron Man and Tokyopop

Today’s show is a bit of a comics spectacular as Free Comic Day was this weekend, so to celebrate we interviewed some comic people. First, was an interview with Lillian Diaz-Przybyl from the North American manga and comic company Tokyopop, and then we have Adam, our comic guy who runs Grey Haven Hobbies in White Rock, BC, Canada. We talk manga, gender and comics, the Iron Man movie, The Skrulls, Yaoi, and bunch of other stuff, so enjoy!
HiSciFi – May 2-08 – Skrulls Attack! Iron Man and Tokyopop