Archive for May, 2009
Lots of information is floating around about Season 8 (I’m not out to summarize it). So far I’m not pleased at all. This is what they should do to make it cool and faithful to the so-far series logic (=if something’s bad, it’s their fault, this is the logical conclusion):
Jack has to be the president. Just imagine the storyline. The president has gone dark!!! Or if he’s temporarily captured: We got the Bauer!
Just because he’s the leader now, doesn’t mean at all he will leave the killing to lame underlings. Please… Goes without saying.
This would surely bring most previous viewers back, who had enough of 24 at one point or another. The audience definitely wants to see THAT.
Examining the story elements used so far, this is the next logical step: Being president, Jack’s plan came to fruition. He was behind all previous attacks/days “just” to make it to the White House (maybe he only initiated day 1 to get rid of his wife, but as soon as this was done and over with, he decided to go all the way). Only he can keep the country safe, right? Nina isn’t dead either (CTU operation “deep earth”). Jack and Nina were in cahoots together all along. That’s why we never learned who hired her. Because it was Jack himself! Now it all makes sense! You gotta admit.
Also, what better method to really go “undercover”, if everyone thinks you are dead… Even more so, everything else would almost be a breach of etiquette…
Jack gets his CTU back in Season 8. The analogue to giving Jonas Hodges back his Starkwood. Nothing else measures up to all the constant threats…
All of this could also “free” the writers from conjuring up ridiculous threats! It could all be about Jack killing people, who come close to uncovering the truth (removing Jack from office is identical to endangering the country, after all)!
My idea for Season 9, when KS stops playing JB: Jack undergoes plastic surgery and looks completely different! But it’s still Jack (of course), just a completely different actor!!! Chris Pine maybe. He played Kirk!
It’s easily explained anyway. Maybe all terrorists worldwide are shown pictures of Jack Bauer during their training. So the face-change is necessary simply to stay in business. Or do a reboot altogether! Those work so well… AND are IN.
They could also go full-comedy. Half-hour eps. Call the show “12”. And he tortures people in his daydreams, like JD from Scrubs has them.
Of course I could plot out the entire season here, but I don’t have time right now! And I’ve gotta do everything it takes (to still get this out before it’s June). I guess.
Most noticeable changes:
* Support for more graphics modes and cards.
* Improved Vista support.
* New OPL emulation cores.
* Sound fixes and improvements for Mac OS X.
* Lots of compatibility fixes.
* Lots of cdrom detection improvements.
* Lots of memory (EMS/XMS) improvements.
* Various fixes and enhancements for the recompiling core.
* Support for evdev.
* Lots of DOS fixes.
* Slightly faster!
* More stable.
Ha, I’m not gonna tell what I’ll play with this right now!
(+) denoted changes can only be seen when you are playing the Plus Version of this patch.
- +Restored Dragon’s Breath available from Mercurio, thanks to Lenuska.
- +Swapped Pyro Crossbow at Fu Syndicate with squashed Odious Chalice.
- +Exchanged the Pyro Crossbows of temple guards with normal crossbows.
- +Removed prop grenade and made Gary ask for squashed Odious Chalice.
- +Raised minimum humanity for killing innocents to three like in hubs.
- +Placed Glock near killed sewerworker as mentioned in his clipboard.
- Restored boss flags for Chastity and Mercurio and fixed Fu terminal.
- Removed additional items in basic patch to improve mod compability.
- Corrected Phil dropping freezer passcode note and minor text issues.
- Fixed grenade icon, Empire note and possible Leopold Society crash.
- Removed some SM clinic ambient sounds and made Dima go wait outside.
- Restored Arthur and Knox bounty hunter lines and fixed Isaac issue.
- Removed some unusable Ming temple door knobs and corrected fax date.
- Improved Protean claws inventory model and icon, thanks to Lenuska.
The NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO dying scene, with camera-up-zoom.
I never really understood in the first place, why anyone, who looses a loved person, would look up into the sky (or up at the ceiling of the kitchen or whatever) and yell NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
The ridiculousness of this aside, in movies that tend to use this, it’s also quite common, to know WHO will be the one to die (at least it will appear to the hero as if the person is dead, because too many people nowadays, have drugs lying around that can slow down the heartbeat – we won’t have such little inconveniences in the way of the NOOOOOO dying scene…), from the first scene in which the character appears on screen.
It’s even common in prequels, when people would never guess, that people might die, who weren’t present in the sequel movies…
It’s variations are also very slight. Usually it’s as seen in the above picture. Dead person in the hero’s arms […] sometimes though, the protagonist will also do the scream when just being informed of a death (think Darth Vader, SW III).
If the remaining time is around 2 hours and you are moving between hard drives at a normal speed, the amount of data must be at a high, for which your ISP will hate your very guts. You are welcome.
EW.com’s Ausiello quotes Joss: “If anybody thinks [bringing Summer onto Dollhouse] hasn’t occurred to me already then they have not met me.”
Never was a series so close to perfection as Dollhouse is right now.
But I never met Whedon, so I don’t really know what to make of it. :P Could be a very cruel play of words. It’s just too good to be true…
*voice continues* Please don’t hang up once the call is done and over with, because you will be given the chance to rate your customer experience.
Please wait, a real person will be ready to talk to you at any moment. *voice ends*
Hello, my name is Carroll Schiano, how can I help you?
Hi, I’m calling to switch my tariff.
Okay… Can you give me your customer ID please?
Sure, it’s 81726362167236478382346263282389589457328233737438539457348734729238943985478465, did you get it?
No, can you repeat it please?
No problem at all. It’s 81726362167236478382346263282389589457328233737438539457348734729238943985478465.
Got it. I’m talking to Mr. Beckum? Mr. Sylvester Beckum?
Yes, that’s right. I’m Mr. Beckum.
Did you already decide which tariff you’d like, or…
Yes I did, I’d like to switch my contract to the current “Basic” variant.
Really??? The BASIC variant?!?
Yes, why, is there a problem?
Uhm… It’s… It’s just this tariff is barely in use anymore. Only few people ask for it…
(Well then maybe your company should offer less shitty tariffs, if people don’t want them anymore.) I see.
All our customers want the COMFORT package (which costs 10 bucks a month more). It offers flatrates for Internet AND telephone.
(Yeah, you’d love that, earning 10 bucks more off of me, wouldn’t you?) Thanks a bunch, but Basic’ll do.
But it doesn’t offer flatrates for Internet AND telephone.
(Oh boy this approach is so bad. Are there really people this gullible, to fall for this?) Yes, I know.
Are you perhaps still using other providers?
(?) I have my telephone connection with you guys. (She’s probably referring to call by call, because of my defiance of their phone flat, but since she’s not using the correct term, I’m reacting to her exact words.)
(I believe she noticed her mistake, but isn’t gonna go into it any further…) Yes… (Her routine doesn’t fit at all to the previous conversation.) I’m just using my computer right now… Say, Mr. Beckum, do you have a cell phone?
No. (I’m lying. Why should I tell you?)
Because we have this incredible offer to make. You have no idea what great things are happening right now in this market segment!!!
(I wish.) Aha.
If you choose this option, then…
(First the Comfort package stuff and now this? Geez.) No thanks, I’m really not interested.
Dunno. Just not interested. (She acts like I opted not to save a child in need or something.) When will the switch be complete?
In approximately 2 weeks.
2 Weeks? Isn’t there a faster way?
No. I already selected the earliest date. It always takes a LITTLE time.
Will I receive a letter, confirming the new tariff? (Talking to you, I realize I better have this shit in writing!)
It will be confirmed in 6 weeks, along the switch.
6 weeks?!? Didn’t you just say 2?
Oh. Yes, 2. I was just on the page of the customer who called before you. My bad.
(Argh!) Uhm… I’d also like to ask, if my RAM (Rate Adaptive Mode) profile will stay active with the new… tariff.
Ram? Profile? […] Do you have… information – that it wouldn’t?
(She has no fucking clue what that “pilot project” is, her company is running for 1,5 years…) Because it’s really important to me, I’d really like to know it’s not gonna change. (Hopelessness overwhelms me, as I realize that I won’t be getting this information from her and therefore won’t learn the outcome until it’s “too late”.)
Okay I’m done. Is there still something I can do for you? (Like throwing offers around I don’t want and need.)
No, thanks. (Since you can’t or won’t give me the information I’m looking for, what good would it do, to continue asking?) Bye.
Shit, I forgot my chance to rate this call before hanging up.
A whole while back I used to play a game called “KF” (I won’t spell it out), it was a web based “RPG”. The game was divided by free accounts (with ads) and bonus accs, which charged a few bucks (for each month). While it was true, that the bonus accs weren’t necessary to play per se, it was the sheer reality, that no one could compete with a bonus player.
Even a “better” player would, in the end, succumb the power of moolah. What happens? People become bonus players, to avoid this frustration. Just to keep up, to have a chance. The same, at least.
The next (even worse) step is, that players have to react to the game. Not the other way around. After paying, it doesn’t make sense to ignore it, right? No, that would be wasted money… But also, without playing “all the time”, other players will get the upper hand again (which was the motivation to go commercial in the first place). It’s not like they need sleep. Or have other hobbies.
I noticed how I started to check the game every few hours, I could miss an incident, or it could be necessary to react fast to something.
So I did the only thing I could do. I deleted my bookmarks, all passwords, every piece of information I had on this site. And I never went there again. I buried (at least) 60 bucks in this game. Lesson learned.
Sometimes I still receive an email. They promise me a few days of free bonus playing (although my premium account was payed in advance for ~1 year), to lure me back into the game. I delete it, immediately.
I understand, when people say it doesn’t has to be like this. But it’s set up for this, at its very core principle.
And that’s why I’ll probably never like online RPGs, offline RPGs have all the fun without the drama.
And this is why Trek rules. Got it?
Maybe the earth (and mankind along with it) will be destroyed in mere hours by a yet unknown and lethal alien cloud, but that means in no way, you can’t put 2 dudes (especially with them being Kirk ‘n’ Scotty) in a shuttle needlessly flying around the ENTERPRISE again and again for ages while the STAR TREK music pumps out of your loudspeakers at an insane volume and the ENTERPRISE can be seen from all sides multiple times. In numerous CLOSE-UPS. None of this matters, as long as Kirk is in command and the Enterprise is ready to go to warp (or ENTERPRISE-whatever). Kirk knows what’s best in times like this as no other. Saving humanity, from being wiped out, has to take a backseat, when it comes to looking at the ship and listening to the original soundtrack of the original motion picture (talk about being badass, witnessing Kirk NOT yelling now all the time, no matter how pressing the issue might be!). You wouldn’t ask God stupid questions either, because, as we all know, Kirk asks God! That’s the way it is man, I’m telling you! Ask nobody!
And just to prove how legit this is, completely thought out and written in my mom’s cellar™! Which is located in my mom’s house, in case someone was still wondering!
But (more) seriously now, this is one of the best scenes ever done in a Trek movie, hands down, I love it so much and these 10 moments are altogether very well chosen, respect. This is also why I don’t understand AT ALL when people are saying the uneven number movies were bad etc… Frankly, I don’t even accept this as a theory, let alone fact. The original Enterprise being blown up to stick it to the enemy and doing the mission no matter what (III), dissing “God” (V), rather dying moving things than existing forever in paradise (VII; which also is THE definitive definition of heroism to me)? Come on!
Mainstream sucks! That being said, I’m ready to talk about Star Trek. The movie using this name. Not the franchise. The story, Jar Jar Abrams’ (I imagine this is what his initials stand for) team came up with, is completely retarded (everyone can come up with something like that in a few minutes, sorry). It’s hopeless (the same writers did Transformers, so I feel urged to say: maybe no one should be surprised).
Let’s start spoiling: A future Romulus will be destroyed. Bad luck. Nero (the bad guy) ends up in the past. He blames Spock for what happened to his homeworld (although he actually tried to save it). So his response to this is? Almost right: He plans to destroy Vulcan and then Earth. The planets. Because Spock’s parents are from those worlds. Does anyone get why this is incredibly stupid? Exactly. If he doesn’t like Romulus being destroyed (so far a comprehensible motive), why the fuck isn’t he simply warning the planet of the coming catastrophe? The result probably being: Nobody would die. I don’t remember any time travel story in the history of Star Trek being that bad. And Trek really suffered through enough bad time travel arcs.
It’s truly beyond me, how the writers didn’t notice these problems, or what they were thinking. But it goes on from there.
The whole creation is a soulless, (more or less) stripped of any character, barren and meaningless pseudo-pop culture something (Kirk has a Nokia device in his car at the beginning of the movie… at least product placement is new to Trek) Abrams does so well.
Pike (played by the awesome “Nowhere Man”) is “injected” with an alien parasite (the one from Star Trek II, that only existed on this exact planet, which Nero obviously crossed by complete circumstance – happens) and is later saved by Kirk. And yet the movie ends, without ever explaining if Pike was “cured”, or if he is still suffering from this unfortunate encounter.
No one bothers with such minor things like story, sense, logic or… Star Trek. There was just this little effort made to tie all of it together. To give it some perspective. The whole “it’s a reboot”-thing comes over more and more like an excuse. If something is just poorly done, it must be because it’s NEW. Don’t you get it?
Before Kirk joins with Starfleet, he drives around with his motorbike and witnesses a spaceship being built. What? In the old Trek, they built all spaceships, which cannot operate in an atmosphere (that’s what they have shuttles for), in a shipyard in space, for exactly that reason? Dude, you don’t get it, it’s NEW. Who cares how they get it into space after construction, as long as you reboot the franchise?
But let’s return to the story arc yet another time: Nero does succeed to destroy Vulcan (!) and how do they react to this horrible catastrophe? They actually celebrate! ~7 billion people are dead and they celebrate! They are happy! Lots of clapping and such. Directly after such a devastating defeat, they give Kirk a medal although Starfleet failed big time, I would have understood it if the movie ended with a moment of silence…
The cinematography is tied to this also, there are lens flares everywhere, an idea Abrams probably got from Firefly and remember the Lost intro? The sign floating towards the camera, being blurred all the time, except for one single moment, but loosing its sharpness again after 1 sec… That’s exactly how extended periods of Star Trek are done. They could have used some original sets from the eighties or even the sixties – no one would have noticed that, because nothing is sharp! The 24 camera technique is fixated and motionless in comparison.
If they haven’t done so already, they should claim a patent for this. It probably saves millions of dollars for digital effects, because it doesn’t matter anymore what would have been in the picture, because you just blur it out into unrecognizability.
The feeling is as bad with the sounds. A major strength of ST was always, that every sound was known and it sounded good. Bridge sounds are no longer cool. Most sounds (consoles, weapons…) are really too high-pitched and sometimes create a slight discomfort.
The soundtrack itself has no familiarity to earlier Trek tunes and is neither good or bad, it doesn’t have an edge to it. In that regard, it might be perfect for the movie.
What’s further totally dense and disappointing, the Enterprise has NO engine room! Everything inside the ship, except the bridge and the sickbay, consists of a series of tubes, uselessly intertwined! Not kidding. There is nothing else! That’s probably how they imagine technology works. It’s not rocket science, pun intended. It bothers me.
What’s funny now, is that people laughed about the original series, when Scotty stands in front of some apparatus and it looks all fake. At least he HAD a device and there was SOMETHING in it. Now IT’S ALL TUBES. The stuff strongly reminds of a late 19th, early 20th century industrial revolution flair with its steam engines. I almost expected a train to arrive… Maybe in the sequel!
The romulan mining ship (which obviously come heavily armed, much more as warships) is very similar (and looks like Leviathan from Wing Commander: Prophecy). The complete interior consists of small platforms, that are connected by narrow gangplanks (without any handrail), but there are hundreds of meters of free space below them, before eventually hitting bottom.
One false step and your are dead. Or if the ship shakes a little, another crewman is gone. I don’t know why that is. Maybe Romulans totally go for cave-diving and the like (and need to have it during longer trips in space)…
All in all I’m really surprised they didn’t change the serial number of the Enterprise. Still the same. Maybe they couldn’t think of a “cooler” number?
There are only 3 reasons why it doesn’t completely suck, good actors like Bones, Scotty and Chekov make up for a lot of weaknesses. I didn’t even have problems with Kirk. He caused several laughs.
Bottom line: All of this makes the flick into a film with several good actors, a horrible, poorly written and unimaginative plot (there’s also no noticeable dialog; e.g. Nero, as the main antagonist, barely plays a role), that can call itself lucky it’s legally allowed to use the Star Trek franchise’s name and results into nothing that’s worth watching a second time. I certainly won’t. That’s a certainty I hadn’t with any other Trek (movie). There is no cool atmosphere or emotional response to the material that might redeem the bad plot and/or overall soulless product.
I would rate it with a 6 to 6.5 max.
Also watch the Star Wars / Star Trek video!
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What does it feel like, being canceled  ?
Cold… That’s bad right?
Time to listen to Shirley Manson one more time:
In case you don’t want to give up on it so easily, it’s possible to coordinate your efforts with other fans.
“[Sarah Connor] has completed its run,” Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly confirmed at a press conference this morning. “I think it had a nice little run. It was a good show. It was not an either or [with Dollhouse]. We did see it tailing off a bit [in the ratings]. It had a nice creative core, but, ultimately, we made the bet on Dollhouse, so that’s it for [Sarah Connor]… We make no apologies. We gave it a lot of support and some consistent scheduling. We tried and thought it was time to move on.”