Saturday, 30 April 2016

Starring 6th Trek

It's the last of the old style series, and while I do intend to rewatch the revamped blu-ray series of TNG, and this would be the point where I do that, but I'm not going to.

Kirk faces his Klingon issues head on as he is called in to escort the ambassador for peace talks. However, as this is a movie, it goes south and he is taken prisoner and the Enterprise must find out who is really responsible. Kirk does manage to jail-break and leads the charge to the final battle to save the day from people like him.

This is great, lots of drama and great performances... outside of the Rua Penthe sequence. Which is complete rubbish. The movie tries for comedy again, and this hasn't never been my favourite moments of these movies. It just awkward and force for the most parts, although, as said before, these will largely be the parts that get quoted.

One other aspect of this I noticed was how... analog the Enterprise control systems are. Switches, and sliders, that's not going to give a lot of fine control. You can see why they went for touch pads in TNG, although they remain sliders (just digital ones). And speaking of small moments, why is Valeris pleased when they find the boot? She's supposedly the cool logical type.

Anyway, good movie, but could be shorter.


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Friday, 29 April 2016

Cul de Sac, The 1

This is a new sci-fi series from New Zealand. There seems to be one around once every five years, so this is the one. If you can get to TVNZ On Demand, you can check it out.

We start with some kids waking up, not being woken up by alarms, and with parents missing. And if I didn't know the premise, I might not have put it together that ALL adults are missing, and no electricity is working, because they don't make that that clear (as opposed to just a dead battery or black out). The kids head to school where older kids are running things, and some of them take shelter as an electrical storm hits and ker-zapp people outside.

Yeah... I didn't completely buy this. As I point out, they don't present the premise very well. Do their watches still work? And none of the kids have iPods or cellphones? They don't seem to, which is incredibly unusual. And just what makes a kid an adult, as the two at the school are rather elderly for kids.

So, basically, I'm saying this isn't that great. It feels like it was very cheaply made, and the special effects look like they were just knocked out by someone in their garage. There have been much better NZ productions than this in the past. The acting isn't terrible, but the script and the set up doesn't help.

I will keep watching, because this is NZ, so expect more episode coverings. There are six episodes in this set... and the coming up segment seems to give away everything that's going on.


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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Apologetics 5

I don’t really have a problem with the problem of evil, as there are some answers even I can come up with. While this is a problem and needs to be thought about, here are some glib possibilities.

Like a parent with a child, sometime you need to let the child experience trouble in order to learn. Thus does God let mankind encounter evil.

Or how about:
God has decreed that mankind should have dominion over this world (Genesis 1:28). Well, get subduing people! You should be able to predict and prevent, if not mitigate. Currently, we can't even deal with the results.

Usually the problem of evil is the problem of omnipotent vs omnibenevolent. Typical excuses are "god can't do anything about it" (so not omnipotent) or "you don’t understand evil" (in which case we can't talk about anything) or "god doesn't care" (not omnibenevolent) or "free will!" (which means god isn’t omnipotent enough to give us free will and not commit evil?).

My answer, while glib, does at least give the "it's good for us" excuse and frames it in a way we can comprehend (parent), and covers both natural and human evil. Why aren't the Apologists using this?


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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Apologetics 4

I have some basic issues with religious set up.

The basic cosmological argument is that the universe is here, whence universe?, thus god. You could asked "who created god?" but there’s a more basic step. This is a problem of "as below, so above". This assumes there is an "outside of the universe", fine, but then assumes that the rules for "cause/effect" or "motion" that are in our universe also exist in outside the universe and thus needs an explanation. I don't see any reason for assuming that other than it makes your argument easier.

And then even if you get to a creator, that's just putting a label on an event, it doesn't imply Christianity.

Which reminds me of what annoys me about Christianity and any religion that relies on passing on knowledge… it relies on passing on knowledge! If we overnight forget about Moses and Jesus and Mohammad and all the others, and the religious texts disappeared… will we be able to work out that these people existed and we should believe in them and their messages? I can't buy that. Which means that we are screwed, according to them, as they are the ones who led us to salvation.

(As a side note, everyone is descended from Adam and Eve… and yet after the flood, this should mean that everyone is descended from Noah and his family, but no-one goes on about that.)

You want my take on a believable religion? Okay, picture a guy in a lab. He's sitting on a stool thinking. He's thinking about a universe that he's running in his head, mentally, from a Big Bang through to the Big Nothing. When he wants to, he can focus on a particular part in his mental model and change it if he wants. That guy is god.



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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Apologetics 3

The last section is the actual proofs and discussions. I'm not going to go over them because I don't have that much time, but while I was listening to the whole course I kept up a muttering commentary of objections, which says it all.

Among the logical fallacies on display were circular reasoning, strawman, argument from ignorance, false equivalence, nirvana fallacy, much special pleading and a large dollop of hypocrisy. (So often I thought 'now, if you just display the sense to turn that argument around on yourself and answer it… nope, you just avoid it.')

Listening to all this and the arguments presented, I wonder how many people actually tried them out in debate, rather than come up with arguments against the objections they thought were being given. I would also be interested if any of them actually sought out what apologists of other religions said. I'm fairly sure the Jews and Muslims might have some disagreements with what's said here, let alone Buddhists, Deists and Atheists. But I'm also fairly sure that that isn't likely to happen.

So I gave this a go, but it clearly didn’t meet my expectations of an actual challenge. Try again?


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Monday, 25 April 2016

Apologetics 2

The second part of the course covers going over Apologetics from time past. There are two main things of note here for me.

The first is that all these people are in agreement about Christianity, but they disagree with each other over how best to convince others. An argument that works for one is pooh-pooh'd by a later theologian who has his own view. (And by 'his' I mean that women don't even get a look in.) If none of these people can agree among themselves, why should I think they've got it right now and the next person who comes along won't throw that out as rubbish and come up with a new approach? That said, there's no reason for me not to accept that now might be right.

The other point is that it kind of feels like "how's this argument? Do you like it? If not, don't worry, we'll come up with another one shortly." [Insert your own reference to how this is evolution here.] That said, it doesn't feel like they spend much time really testing their arguments against actual skeptics, but that's for the third part.


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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Apologetics 1

Out of interest, you know sort of "give me your best shot", I decided to listen to a Christian Apologetics course through iTunes University and found a course by the Reformed Theological Society present by Dr John Frame. As you might guess, I’m now a Christian, because bad argument is all that was needed to sway me.

As it was broken up into three parts, I’ll discuss each part separately.

The first section is on epistemology, how do we know? Dr Frame sets up the groundwork of what he calls Presuppositional Apologetics. The presupposition part relates to the basic foundation on which everything rest, for him it is the bible, for me it is reason. It is ‘presupposition’ in that the idea trumps all over thoughts, not that that’s where you start. It might just be me, but I don’t think that word means what you think it does.

Dr Frame also outlines why Apologetics.  1 Peter 3:15

3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in you hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear

And he also outlines what an unbeliever is, Romans 1:18-21
1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; that they are without excuse:
1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

See if you can spot any logical fallacies here. The main one is circular reasoning / begging the question, which is the heart of his argument. But he claims we do this too, so that’s all right. (I’m not sure if that is a whole new logical fallacy.)


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Saturday, 23 April 2016

Starring 5th Trek

This is widely considered as rubbish. As one of my friends says "Oh no, God is an American!" and then "That's all right, so is the Devil!"

After staging a takeover on the planet of peace, Sybok finagles his way onto the Enterprise-A, and uses the ship to penetrate the barrier at the centre of the galaxy. There, he finds a being that is god, only it turns out god needs a starship, and what does god need with a starship?

Clearly, I skipped over the entire interaction with Kirk and co., but that's not necessarily a bad thing... okay, let's cut to the point. This movie is 1 hour and 45 minutes, and 1 hour and 25 minutes are great. There are a few comedy moments with Scotty that we could have done without, but the rest is great drama and character moments. Sybok's ability to embrace the pain is a powerful character motivator, and you can easily believe that people would 'convert' to his side. And where else do we get the moments with Spock and McCoy, and then Kirk whining about wanting to keep pain as that's one of the few things that defines him.

But then we hit the final twenty minutes, and the movie dives into complete crap. Why does the shuttle land so far away? Especially as (rather old!) people manage to pop around the landscape without problems. And then the exciting moment of jabolite exploding through the floor. And this is after the whole night darkening moment that feels straight out of Ghostbusters. It just fails on many levels (okay, I'll give the evil version looks like Sybok, that's a nice touch).

One other touch I will give is Kirk still rails against the Klingons right at the end, continuing that character arc. This continues well into the books, although the whole 'I'll die alone' thing doesn't really pay out at the end (unless that continues into the books too, I never finished the series Shatner wrote).

So, mostly good, but that ending sours everything.


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Friday, 22 April 2016

Ninth Star Cops

The last episode of the season, and it features one of the worst planet sets I've ever seen, with an astronaut shadow cast over the far hills...

It's all about the Martian that is discovered, and on the moon a group has gathered to discuss this. There are two deaths, and they happen to be pilots that aren't registered. Unusual cargo is placed on outgoing boxes, and it isn't clear what's going on. Until the final moment when nearly everything is uncovered and wrapped up, and then everyone is off to Mars!

This is the last script of Chris Boucher, and there are a lot of elements in play. Almost too many. Chris seems to go for the 'if enough stuff is going on, then the audience won't have time to ask questions', and there were more than one moment when I had no idea what was going on. Theroux isn't even in this story, and Anna Shoun is largely sidelined (he didn't like her), as this is more Pat Kenzy's story (with an old figure from her past taking a turn to turn up).

All up, the story is a bit of a mess, and you'd expect better from the series creator. It's overwhelmed by the Big Idea of the Martian, but tries to be a bit too clever. Shame really.

And, as mentioned before, this was intended to lead into a second season, this time on Mars. Let's wait and see if that happens, eh?


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Thursday, 21 April 2016

What Makes You What?

Ha! I beat no-one exacted a One Direction song on this blog!

"Oh look, the cute boys think I'm beautiful!" You know, the video for this should have been around a girl who thinks they are singing to her... because that's what every girl who hears this will think. Okay, I can see that they'll be popular if they are going to do things like that.

And yet, there's one lyric that really gets up my nose.

So c-come on.
You got it wrong.
To prove I'm right
I put it in a song.
What? "You're wrong, I'm right." Fuck you, you negging bastards. You arrogant sanctimonious pricks. Nope, you don't get to do that, fuck off and don't stop.


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Wednesday, 20 April 2016

What Friday Night?

Listening to mashups, I end up hearing a few songs over and over, and possibly hear more about the lyrics than most people who casually hear the songs on the radio. This one...

According to the video, and most of the lyrics, this is an innocent girl caught up in antics of a major booze rager. But there are a few lines...

Think we kissed but I forgot
This is the really innocent trigger part... and yet
We went streaking in the park
Skinny dipping in the dark
Then had a ménage à trois
Okaaay... you went from innocent kiss, to streaking, skinny dipping, and a three way? Er, that's not exactly something someone who has no idea does. And let's skip around a little
Yeah I think we broke the law
Think the city towed my car
Warrant's out for my arrest
She broke the law, and is going to get arrested... she doesn't seem to bothered about that. And ultimately
This Friday night
Do it all again
Nope, no innocent is going to protect that. She intends to go ahead and repeat offend... I'm done. Off to jail with you.


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Tuesday, 19 April 2016


Another movie about food, with some rather bizarre vignettes. It's Tampopo.

A woman, Tampopo, is now running a noodle shop, but it's not doing great. One trucker stops by, and is taken by her business, and implores her to do more. She takes him as master, and slowly begins to learn the true arts, with the aid of several others. Eventually... she becomes a true master of the noodle!

This is a rather bizarre movie, as aside from the main plot, there are a number of other moments scattered around the place, all centered around food. There is a Yakuza type food gourmet, there're people learning how to eat noodles, there is a moment when someone extorts the dying mother to make one last meal... and aside from the food connection, I didn't feel like I followed what was going on at all.

Fun but strange.


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Monday, 18 April 2016

Him is the one whom they still call Trinity

It's the sequel, although there were other movies starring Terrance Hill and Bud Spencer, even one renamed with a Trinity title, although not an actual Trinity movie.

Bambino is forced to take Trinity under his wing and show him how to become a horse thief. They are really bad at it, helping a family with a broken wagon, and head into a town. There they pretend to be federal agents and get caught up with a local situation with arms dealers. Trinity basically tricks Bambino into helping, and there's a big fight.

This, in a way, feels like a movie made to capitalise on the success of the previous one. 'Hey, they are a great buddy couple, and they made money, let's pump out another one,' There are some fun moments, but less of them being criminals like the previous movie. And then at the end they ride off to help the family with the wagon again...

...which is when I realised what this movie was. It was a perfect example of an episode of Alias Smith and Jones! I wonder if that series ripped off this for an episode? It wouldn't surprise me.

Hmm... good movie, although the other one is better, and now I want to watch Alias Smith and Jones.


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Sunday, 17 April 2016

Him is the one named Trinity

Since I have been listening to some Deadlands, I decided to actually watch some films that inspired the characters, the two Trinity movies, starting with this one.

A lazy man turns up in town, but is amazing with a gun. His brother happens to be sheriff, but largely because he accidentally shot the actual sheriff, and is waiting for his compatriots to pull off the planned crime. They team up to wait out time while there is a major with a ranch that wants the field occupied by some religious folk who have their own cattle. They are on the side of good more because the bad is in their way, and because of two pretty women.

This is rather enjoyable although not terribly deep. More specifically, it's a spaghetti western, and looks to be a classic of the genre. (This being one of the first I've seen.) Terence Hill is the main chap, and looks good. Bud Spencer is the brother, and is large and can apparently slap people down with one fist. There are a range of other characters, but this isn't the great novel, so superficial characterisation is fine, and I'm fine with that because this isn't trying to be deep.

Nice fun movie, worth checking out.


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Saturday, 16 April 2016

Starring 4th Trek

The story started in the last two movies continues here, and everyone is having a whale of a time... I REGRET NOTHING!!!

A probe turns up on earth and starts evaporating the seas with special effects. The crew of the Enterprise, now on the Klingon ship which conveniently has a cloak for when they are back in time, go back in time to get some whales. Fortunately, there are two whales that need to be saved, and a marine biologist to go along with it, to grab and be brought back to the present day future. And comedy shenanigans ensue!

To be honest, the best parts of this movie are when they are engaging in actual drama. The worst parts are when they are doing comedy shtick, "nuclear wessels" and "double damn ass on you" etc. This movie is considered decent, and there are parts I'll agree with, but others drag it down. The comedy does, I will admit, give a wry smile, but nothing sticks with you like some of the more interesting moments involving the Federation, or Gillian and the whales.

Admittedly I can remember the comedy moments, but that was more cringe moments than other things. This rewatch of the movies is certainly giving me a different take here.


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Friday, 15 April 2016

Eighth Star Cops

This feels more like a bottle episode than the rest of the episodes. There's no interesting sets off the main moon base, and while there never has been a lot of other cast members, this feels smaller than ever.

It's on the moon base, and things are going wrong mechanically. The main engineer is rather annoyed with everyone, and is he the cause? A psychiatrist is brought in, although the Cops aren't that all interested in taking part. Then the real perpetrator fumbles and causes a full on disaster, leading various people to be trapped and forced to relate backstory before everything is cleared up nicely.

This, to me, is the weakest episode of the set. It just feels like nothing is happening (largely because nothing does happen a lot) and just time is passing to make up an episode length. There are some character moments, but since nothing comes of it, it's not worth paying attention to it.

Admittedly, this does have Maggie Ollerenshaw and Geoffrey Bayldon, with the latter giving a good performance.

One episode left.


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Thursday, 14 April 2016

The Birth of Sake

It's a documentary about sake... that I Kickstartered!

Sake takes six months to make, from the preparing the rice, to keeping track of the fermentation, to squeezing out the sake. Due to the time pressures, the workers stay together for that time, away from family and home. We follow them over the months, with occasional shots into some of their home lives. We see the hardship they have to go through... and the sake they get to drink.

There are a few main people we end up following as well as the process. The Toji is the brewmaster, and is not the president. But the president's son is lined up to be the president, the brewmaster, and also goes around during the other six months and promote the sake business.

I quite like this, and am very glad I backed it.

Check it out on their website.


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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

No, We Found Hell

Want a basic set up for a movie where you can use whatever sets you have with no need for plot? Can do!

A group of college students work out how to get teleportation to work... because of course, but that's not the point. The thing is thing are teleported through hell, it seems, and the end point drags people in and dumps them in hell. They say that the hell is based on their fears and such, but what it comes down to is whatever sets were nearby they could film in, and whatever effects they could cobble together. The students stumble through until we hit the run time, and then they escape.

If this sounds terrible, it is. I have no idea how this managed to get over 5 on IMDB. There's no sign any one really cared about what was going on on screen and no reason for anything that happens.

This was a made for TV movie, and I think that is putting too much status into it.


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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Fish Tank

A slice of life movie that could have been called "Chav Life", but is instead called Fish Tank.

Mia is a 15 year old on an estate in London, her mother has a new boyfriend and a younger sister and gets on with neither. She is an aspiring dancer, and the boyfriend seems like a nice guy and encourages her. And then you can probably guess what happens, because I did, and it is as predictable as you'd think.

The chav aspect is only really colour, and this could easily have been about a girl from an upper class. I'm not entirely sure why this film was picked as there wasn't anything different I haven't come across elsewhere. The only reason I watched it was because it was listed.

Not really my movie, your views may differ.


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Monday, 11 April 2016


James May is the more sensible one of the trio, so I'm more likely to watch the occasional thing he puts out. Like The Reassembler. In this, James May reassembles things.

Which is more complicated than you'd think. We are talking a lawnmower, telephone and an electric guitar. And these has a lot of pieces, which James must slowly put together. And by slowly we are talking several hours. Considering these episodes are just 30 minutes, there's a fair bit of cut down, but we do get the basics of May putting items together.

All of this gives a good appreciation of the details of these items. The simplicity of construction mixed with the fiddly details of some of the components shows off the levels of engineering people came up with over the years.

Nice program.


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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Carrot juice, carrot juice

So we are supposed to be healthy, but have you ever tried full on vegetable juice? I have for various companies, and couldn't stand any of it.

But now there is V8 Fusion!!!!! This is a mixture of fruit and vegetables... and is very palatable.

I drank soft drink, then switched to diet, then switched to water (with zero soft drink with dinner still), and now... I have something close to actual vegetable drink to have.

Looking around on the net, there is still a lot of people saying "this is the most unhealthy substance ever" (well, no, not really, but there is a lot of people saying it isn't as healthy as it looks). But isn't that always the way? Surely it's better than nothing, isn't it? It's a good supplement to my normal fruit and vegetables to load up during the day.

I like it, so I'll recommend it, for what that's worth.


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Saturday, 9 April 2016

Starring 3rd Trek

As we all know odd numbered STs are crap, so with that let's dive in.

After a long recap of the end of the previous movie, we get a quick retcon of who presents the Genesis project, and a recast of Saavik no-one talks about (she helps Spock get through Pon-Farr, so did she basically...?). But what this is is Christopher Lloyd versus William Shatner, and there's a great buildup of tension until they meet, right after Kirk has sacrificed everything. And this build up of tension underlies the entire movie, will they get out to the Genesis planet, will Kruge kill off the young Spock (or the redundant Kirk, which has long term repercussions, but more in books than the movies), will Kirk give up the Enterprise, will Kirk or Kruge win? (Was I the only one who wanted someone to shout "If we fight like animals, we die like animals!"?)

So, what I'm saying is, this is a better movie that the past two, which throws out the odd numbered movie theory for me. Well... up until the Vulcan sequence. What is it with these movies and having long drawn out endings that don't really go anywhere? And fortunately, Spock aged to exactly the right moment in his life and he survives off the planet. Phew.

This is a different experience to "received wisdom". Let's see how it keeps up.


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Friday, 8 April 2016

Seventh Star Cops

It's the turn of the Arabs. The lead woman has bodyguards in taub and keffiyeh, and believes in cutting off the hand in retribution of thieving.

Despite the stereotyping, this is a decent enough basic story, with sci-fi twists. Embryos are stolen and the person who did it was playing a concert at the time. It turns out... he has a clone! The cops are slowly on the way but aren't taking the obvious for granted, and have to run against time to save some embryos as well as the Arabs taking revenge on the pianist... And Anna gets more characterisation, so take that haters!

So this is a good story that isn't by Chris Boucher. The stereotype aspect is there, but frankly it doesn't overwhelm the story like some of the previous stories. The idea of embryos isn't explored a lot, but it is taken as a basic element of the culture. Nowadays, I can already hear people screaming about pro-whichever. The clone is a more fitting version of the otherwise typical twin twist, and Brian Gwaspari does a good job with the different versions.

People are ready to swear off any non-Chris Boucher story, but this is a good one.


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Thursday, 7 April 2016


Ugh. This is a found footage movie that makes no sense at all. Yay!

Emma moves into New York to go to college, however her electronic items are immediately hacked. This is the "motivation" for everything being filmed as we see what the hacker is seeing/recording. She gets on with her life, however the stalker slowly makes things creepy, turning away the boyfriend and isolates her. And then she is going to move out, but the stalker can't have that.

This is a movie with no build up and stupid resolution. I'm going to give away the ending, but as it's rubbish, don't worry. Emma doesn't know she's being stalked for over an hour. And as this is an 80 minute movie, that means that the stalker doesn't confront her until there are ten minutes to go. At which point the stalker kills Emma and that's the end of the movie.

What? What the hell is up with that? I get why he did that, but there's no sense of resolution of the bad guy being caught. And we never found out why he fixated on her, or how he immediately managed to hack in everything she has and her boyfriend's account too. Magic?

Just a terrible movie to watch and even slightly think about.


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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Ah Taika, I knew this would be a worthy shot... although I did wait for cheap night.

Ricky Baker has been passed around the child welfare system many times, but finally seems to hit it with Bella and her husband Hector. However, circumstances lead Ricky into running into the bush, and Hector goes after him. But then Hector nearly breaks his leg, and so they need to hold up in the bush... and that's where people get the wrong idea, and soon they are the object of a manhunt. But they don't want to be found, and so it's bush all the way.

Ah, brilliant. This is a light movie, with some very touching moments (and a great performance from Sam Neill). While I don't recognise the locations, there are a few familiar faces (including a wee cameo from Scotty). I was grinning and the audience was laughing.

Enjoyable, check it out!

Oh, and a classic moment worth remembering:


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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Fire Walk With Me

The movie that explained the tv series that was on so much drugs I can't even... it's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me!

Laura Palmer goes to school and flirts with lots of guys. Then she goes out and has sex with lots of guys. However, she's also freaked out by a weird guy that comes into her room at night and then comes into her. She does manage to realise who it is, and it freaks her out. However, since she's blissed out on drugs, she doesn't really do anything about it until events overtake her and she spawns a pilot.

The problem with this movie is that it really relies on knowing the tv series well, otherwise most of the cameo characters won't mean anything. And I'm not sure how much of the tv series is referenced in this and how consistent it is. I'm guessing a lot, but... this is making me want to watch the series again, but I shouldn't because it is 90% rubbish and 10% incomprehensible.

The movie is too surreal to work on its own, but even context doesn't help.


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Monday, 4 April 2016

Shoe Eating

A wee documentary Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.

The director Werner Herzog made a bet with Errol Morris that if Errol makes a film, Werner will eat his own shoe. Guess what happens? And so we have this which is about Werner cooking his shoe, and then eating it in front of an audience. He talks about the role of films in society, and the need for the occasional silly bet to help spur things along.

It's a nice wee film, with director Les Blank taking advantage of the moment to capture it on film. I don't think I've seen films by any of the people involved, but they seem decent people, if taking on somewhat bizarre film matter.

Or it could have been a publicity stunt, but still cute.

You can watch it for yourself!

Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe by bakiniz


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Sunday, 3 April 2016


Remember the late 90s, when we had Batman and Robin and Batgirl and Freeze? Yep, that's right, I saw the animated movie.

Due to a stupid sub in the Arctic, Nora Fries's statis pod is damaged, making Freeze take out the crew and go to Gotham... for no reason other than that's where these stories take place. Barbara Gordon happens to be compatible with Nora, so Freeze kidnaps her, then it is up to Batman and Robin to get her back. By which, we mean turn up to help her finish dealing with Freeze, because she's Batgirl and isn't taking being kidnapped lying down.

At an hour, this is the tighter story than other movies I could mention, but it does feel a lot like any typical episode of the Batman animated series (which I need to get around to watching). Freeze turns up, causes problems, and is dealt with and wrapped up nicely without actually ending the possibility of him coming back. The status quo is thankfully preserved. Which means this doesn't really feel like it goes anywhere substantial and thus worthy of taking note.

That said, this Freeze is clearly superior to one quipping one-liners. But on the whole this feels rather lite-weight.


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Saturday, 2 April 2016

Starring 2nd Trek

This is sort of where the movies really kick out into their own. With one small problem...

Khan's character is really pointless. He was in one episode of the series, and he's the one they decided to bring back? To do what? Get a star ship and get into a battle? Really, anyone could have done that. All they've really got going for them is Ricardo Montalban quoting Shakespeare. But that means the best lines are ones written centuries ago. When we quote along with him, we're all just quoting the Bard. So what's new with him then?

Again the best parts of this are the character beats. Kirk and McCoy get some great one liners off each other. And, of course, we have the moment of Kirk and Spock that many series referenced, parodied, and some that completely fail to get the point of it. And does anyone notice that the movie is basically over around the 3/4 mark, with the last section being the death and firing of Spock.

While more of a worthy movie than the previous one, let's not get carried away exaggerating it.


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Friday, 1 April 2016

Sixth Star Cops

This is it! The worst thing ever to happen to this series!

A ship is drifting close to the moon, so the cops investigate, and it is full of dead bodies. The ship is owned by Hanimed, and the doctor they sent is ready to report to the president of her company first before the cops. But, of course, it turns out that Hanimed is behind everything going bad, and Nathan strong arms a confession out of the president. And after that, the fired doctor joins the cops.

The point is that Hanimed is a Japanese company. And Dr Anna Shoun is seen as the most stereotypical Japanese female worker ever. Subservient to her president, she covers for him and is loyal to her family/company. And she is excessively hated as this stereotype.

But I like her.I think her character works well, and although the character arc isn't that innovative, it is an arc of her standing up for herself, questioning the company line, and suffering because of it. In episodes to come, she'll get some great moments. And, unusually for the BBC, she's actually Japanese, not someone made up. (Ooh, stretching!)

I'll grant that the series isn't exactly the epitome of anti-racism, but that doesn't mean we can't get good characters.


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