Monthly Archives: August 2008

Irma, So Sick

So, you may have noticed a certain gap – as in, a no show last Friday – to those of you sending concerned emails, do not fret! Irma got a little flu. The kind of annoying flu that makes her cough and sound like she’s been an avid smoker for last 80 years. Will keep you updated on how she’s doing. Meanwhile, we will take care of her, with our invisible super-powers.

Invisible Care-Taking Superheroes

TIFF ’08: *Control Alt Delete*, Mamoru Oshii’s *The Sky Crawlers*

by Irma Arkus

Let’s explore TIFF /08 for some additional sparkly cinema gems that you may or may not want to check out when your home town turns into a crazy Hollywood celebrity stomping ground.

“Control Alt Delete” brings us back to the .com bubble days of 1999, when Lewis Henderson, an average geek and hardware junkie moves from loving his PC to “loving” his PC.

I recall a strange statistic regarding 15% of geeks who take that one step further when glancing at the sexy hardware, and start to “looove” their little machines.

Lewis Henderson of course begins with all that freely available pornography, however, after the breakup, he moves into a dark territory of hardware loving. What stars with the home hardware, quickly turns into a set of affairs with computers at work, and other people’s laptops. Ewwwww.

Also, Mamoru Oshii’s newest animated film, “The Sky Crawlers,” is premiering at TIFF. Hopefully, the rest of us will also get to see its release in the following few months.

Doctor Who and The Silver Screen

by Irma Arkus

Steven Moffat, the next “it” guy of the Doctor Who universe, is not only replacing the great Russell T. Davies, but promises to bring Doctor Who onto the large screen.

Moffat currently plans two film-length features, one of which is eyed for a theatre release. The films would star David Tennant as Doctor Who, of course.

Review: Eden Log

by Irma Arkus

On the heels of an entire summer of blockbusters, there are few films worthy of attention, for their elegance as well as their small budgets.

One of these is Eden Log, a French science fiction film, shot, strangely enough, in English, which I am guessing, is an attempt to garner a greater audience for this modest production.

Directed by Franck Vestiel, Eden Log is a unique mix of mystery, adventure, and science-fiction. Curiously, it reads as a cinematic interpretation of your favorite game-play session such as System Shock II, or Quake.

The opening sequence is perhaps the most discouraging and flawed introduction of any film I have ever seen, as flickering lights, heavy breaths and heartbeats introduce a muddied survivor of an attack, Tolbiac. The flickering introduction is frustratingly lengthy, and possibly even dangerous to any epileptic in the audience. I urge you to resist walking away from it, as Tolbiac’s adventure quickly turns into a stylish and immersing adventure.

Tolbiac, played by Clovis Cornillac, has no memory of his identity or prior events. As he finds his way through levels of a mining operation , infested by mutations and security forces, the story of his surroundings is slowly pieced together revealing a curious plant, a society hungry for energy as well as the function and origin of mine labourers.

Eden Log is featured at TIFF 2008, and represents a welcome change of perspective from the current luke-warm US stabs at science fiction films, or for that matter, of those standardized UK low-budget dramas with a promise of a supernatural twist. Eden Log brings something new, a sense of aesthetic, or change in how we interpret games on to the large screen perhaps. Either way, it is a fascinating experience, worthy of your attention.

HiSciFi – Octocat, Colin Stewart “A Question of Extremes”

Between news on Octocat, water on Mars, Captain Planet and more, we have Colin Stewart with his new fantasy novel, A Question of Extremes.

HiSciFi – Octocat, Colin Stewart “A Question of Extremes”

UK Gone Wild: We Will Keep Records of Everything

by Irma Arkus

The latest and greatest news of surveillance totalitarianism that is UK, comes in a form of unabashed request of UK Government to maintain a database “recording every text, email and browsing session.” The reasoning? To curb crime, of course.

Further information of this outrageous new proposal, see Matthew Sparkes at PCProarticle.

The information is to become available to public officials and variety of investigative bodies. Question begs – will these monitor private companies as well? Will the information of private corporations suddenly belong in public domain? All correspondence available for review? This also brings us to yet another question – will they clamp on white collar crime now?!!!

Prince of Persia, The Movie

by Irma Arkus

They’re coming right at me!!! Ugh. And it’s hard to keep up. The latest in video games-turned -celuloid is Prince of Persia. That’s right, the classic “I must save princess within hour, otherwise I am going to have to do this whole thing again” game that provided numerous hours of entertainment is becoming a cinematic production.

Attached to the project is Jake Gyllenhaal in title role, joined by Gemma Arterton,
Ben Kingsley, and Alfred Molina. Scheduled for a 2010 release, shooting has already begun in Morocco.

Even though the story is based on one of oldest video-game franchises, the company currently holding the title, Ubisoft, is not involved with production of the silver screen version.

The Prince of Persia follows a story of a Prince (surprise, surprise) who together with Tamina is trying to get back the gift of gods in hands of a villanous Vizier: sand who can turn light into dark, people into demons, and whoever possesses it will rule the world.

This Bruckheimer production of Prince of Persia is written by Carlo Bernard, a man who until now only wrote one screenplay to see the light of day, that of The Great Raid (2005). Many fans are disgruntled by casting choices, which are, lets face it, more than predictable. On top of which, Ubisoft’s reaction and lack of involvement with the film is a concern.

I humbly believe that this film, as well as the Mummy 3 sequel, currently failing to impress audiences everywhere, is a direct outcome of the outrageous costs of generating the unnecessary, yet highly valued Sandman featured in Spiderman 3. Raimi’s efforts to visually perfect an engine that would create undeniable visual sensation of sand in all its grainy forms will undoubtedly result in numerous production with monsters (yes, you guessed it!) made of sand!

So, I advise you – be on the lookout for buffer versions of your favorite actors, as well as a whole army of sand people!

HiSciFi – OpenMoko Special with Brian Code of Koolu

This week we feature Brian Code from Koolu, people behind Open Moko release for developers in Canada and beyond!

We are all cranky consumers who pay through their nose to have devices that do very little. Even iPhone, the touted new messianic technology, falls short of expectations.

Open Moko, on the other hand, offers some more interesting solutions for problems that plague us. For one, as an open source software wi-fi phone, it is a far more customisable device that can be tailored to individual’s needs.

Brian tells all, so tune in. Send us questions because we want to probe his mind, like…every week.

If you are a developer, check out the Open Moko, and Koolu.
HiSciFi – OpenMoko Special with Brian Code of Koolu

Star Trek MMORPG Announced

by Irma Arkus

With revival of Star Trek come news of gaming spinoffs, including the long awaited MMORPG by Cryptic Studios.

The game production company behind City of Heroes and City of Villains, will work on generating the first MMORPG based on Gene Rodenberry’s Star Trek universe. Moreover, the first glances reveal Captain Pickard’s ship, Enterprise NCC 1701-E, which begs the following question: how are we going to be dealing with timelines between different generations of StarTrek franchise, or are we going to see some but not all?

Your Rights Online: MySpace Mom Gone Wild Saga Continues

by Irma Arkus

The latest news on the case of the Missouri mother who impersonated a teen on myspace in order to harass her daughter’s friend is the response of EFF, urging the prosecution to drop charges currently based on misrepresentation of her myspace registration.

The idea that Lori Drew registered as “Josh Evans,” a teen boy, according to prosecutors, constitutes fraud and violation of myspace terms of usage.

EFF however, points out that establishing criminal charges for online impersonation would quite likely establish a new set of criminal charges for millions of users, eliminating any shred of anonymity available to users.

Currently, defense is requesting complete dismissal of charges.