Tag Archives: sci-fi

Elementary, my dear Watson…

OK, I know it happened last week, but, my mind is still reeling from watching a freaking supercomputer named Watson beat the pants of the two biggest winners in “Jeopardy” history. I mean, think about it, a gigantic computer with no internet access faced off with two really smart humans on a game show and won. Wow, my brain is still scrambling to make sense of it all…

I know it sounds lame, but, I just kept thinking: this is the future, we are literally watching the future unfold on our TV sets. It wasn’t always perfect (wasn’t it weird how jokey wording or kinda non-specific, broader answers tripped Watson up? Fascinating!) but, for three amazing nights last week, we lived in the future and it was thrilling!

I for one, say, long live, Watson! And as  the soundly-defeated Ken Jennings joked in his final answer, I too wholehearted embrace our new “computer overlords”. Bring on the war with the machines, baby!

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Christopher Nolan wins WGA award for “Inception”

On Saturday night, Oscar nominee Christopher Nolan came one step closer to winning an Academy Award when he took home the WGA’s prestigious Best Original Screenplay award for “Inception”. Whoo-hoo! Finally someone that I actually voted for wins the top prize. So cool!

Of course, Nolan will have a tougher fight at the Oscars, where he’ll square off in the Best Original Screenplay category with Academy-favorite Mike Leigh’s “Another Year” and David Seidler’s amazing script for “The King’s Speech”, which wasn’t eligible for WGA consideration. So, here’s hoping the sci-fi geeks in the Academy follow the WGA’s lead and give Nolan his due.

In fact, maybe I should hire someone cool like this to plant the idea in their heads right now. Hmmm…

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“Star Wars: The Complete Saga” coming to Blu-Ray this fall!

Even if you didn’t have a ticket to CES last week, self-respecting “Star Wars” fans everywhere felt a powerful disturbance in the Force when it was announced on Thursday that the “Star Wars” saga is finally coming to Blu-Ray Disc this September. Whoo-hoo, thank the maker!

No official street date has been announced, but, you can pre-order your “Star Wars” saga three different ways this time out.

Old School: in a set containing only the original three films and all the extras, New School: the Prequel Films only, with all the extras, or, you can go whole hog and get the Complete Collection of all six films in one big old boxed set for somewhere around $139.99. Hmmm…guess which one I have my eye on?

I think the only bad news for hard-core fans is that we’ll have to buy the full set of “Star Wars” movies…again! I mean, shit, if you count Videodisc, VHS widescreen and full-frame, Laserdisc and DVD, I’ve bought these same damn movies like, five times over. But, hey, who’s counting?

If the rad-ass new trailer (above) is any indication, the Blu-Ray editions are gonna rock, so, start saving your Republic Credits now, baby! Yee-haw!

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“TRON: Legacy”

I should have trusted my gut on this one. You know, that little voice that kept telling me not to get too excited because even though it had rad, state-of-the-art (at the time) effects, the first “TRON” kinda sucked too.

Unfortunately, I did not listen to my inner voice and have spent the past few weeks hyping the shit outta “TRON: Legacy” to Christine, who, had absolutely no interest in seeing the movie. Well, what can I say, amigos? Once again, Christine was righter than rain.

“TRON: Legacy” is a bloated, boring, totally derivative peice of crap. I’m not kidding, man, this movie sucks major ass. At least the first flick had the wow factor of the cool “in the grid” effects and all, this movie plays like a soulless, two-hour ad for toys and spinoff sequels and shit. And except for a sparkling, seriously transcendent score by electronica legends, Daft Punk, the movie is a complete and total waste of your time.

I mean, hell, if I — a child of the 80’s who worshipped the effects of the first movie and played the hell outta the “TRON” videogame — hated it, just imagine what non-“TRON” geeks, people like Christine, with no connection to the first film whatsoever, will think of this junk?

Yikes…thanks for ruining another cherished, childhood memory, Disney.

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“Inception”

OK…I know we’ve only seen like three of this year’s big award-season contenders (“Toy Story 3″, “Hereafter” and “The Social Network”, which were all awesome, by the way) and therefore, we probably shouldn’t be making any broad, sweeping predictions yet, but, mark my words, amigos, Christopher Nolan will win an Oscar for “Inception”.

Whether it’s for writing, directing or producing is still to be determined, but, the mad genius behind “Memento”, “The Prestige” and the Christian Bale “Batman” movies has really outdone himself with “Inception”, and for that reason alone, I see many gold statues in Nolan’s future. And boy does he deserve them!

Taut, suspenseful, positively gorgeous to look at, and populated by the coolest indie cast this side of Sundance, “Inception” is the best movie we’ve seen this year. Yep, I said it, the best. Of course, most of you probably already know this since you saw the movie when it came out, you know, last summer.

But, babysitters being increasingly hard to come by, Christine and I didn’t get to see “Inception” on the big screen until last week at Warner Brothers and lemme tell ya, it blew us away. To say that our heads were swimming (in the best way!) for days afterwards is a serious understatement.

This was no mere movie, amigos, it was total immersion in a completely original and boldly realized new world. And we loved every crazy second of it!

I know I geek out over things a lot, and tend to overhype stuff that I really love, but, I kid you not, I haven’t felt this way about a sci-fi movie since we saw the first “Matrix” or “Terminator” flick way back when.

The dazzling technical elements aside, “Inception” is that rare breed of totally game-changing screen stories that will inspire whole generations of nerdy kids to wanna make movies. For me, it was “Star Wars”, for Generation Whatever, it’ll be Christopher Nolan’s “Inception”. Again, mark my words.

Anyway, I don’t wanna give anything away by going too much into the plot or anything, but, trust me, you don’t have to love sci-fi or even Leo DiCaprio to love this mind-bending little jewel of a movie. Simply put, if you like movies, “Inception” will knock you flat on your movie-loving ass. You have never seen anything like it. EVER.

So, you best get busy on that acceptance speech, Mr. Nolan. The clock is ticking…

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Trailer Thursday: “Sharktopus”

Wait…did I just say summer was over? Well, hold up, amigos. Because after watching this hilarious, awesomely-bad trailer for the new Sy-Fy Original movie “Sharktopus” (airing Saturday, September 25th @ 9:00PM) I must say that the end of summer can surely wait another week.

Other than that it was produced by Roger Corman and stars Eric Roberts, I don’t have a clue what the storyline is here, but, I gotta tell ya, I don’t care…they had me at the title. And that theme song?? OMG, don’t get me started, I’m already making space on our shelf for the soundtrack. “Sharktopus” 4eva!

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A night at the Saturn Awards…

I should start off by saying that, sadly, “Not Forgotten” came home from the 36th Annual Saturn Awards empty-handed on Thursday night. Sorry…

But one of the things I learned about attending my first big-time award show (as a nominee!) is that it really is an honor just to be nominated. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. And seeing as the folks who put on the Saturn Awards are some of the coolest, geekiest, sci-fi, fantasy and horror fans imaginable (people like me!) I was even doubly honored.

Seriously, I have never felt more at home in a room full of Hollywood phonies, and that’s because these people were not your everyday Hollywood phonies.

No way, man, these folks were the real deal. That Starlight Ballroom was busting at the seams with talented, creative, film-loving freaks and geeks of every shape and size…and those people know how to party, yo!

This year, the Saturn Awards were held at the Castaway Restaurant in the hills overlooking Burbank…and if there was any doubt as to where you were when you got out of your car, the scads of little alien heads at the bar and the life size astronaut suit on the red carpet totally clued you in.

Still wondering what award show you were at? Well, perhaps you should ask that fellow over there in the Samurai Stormtrooper costume, or the man driving the moon buggy in a grungy space suit. I swear, amigos, I never stopped smiling all night…that place was fanboy heaven.

Rubbing shoulders with people like Sam Raimi, Leonard Nimoy, Billy Dee Williams, Guillermo Del Toro, Malcolm McDowell, the lovely Anna Torv from “Fringe”, cast members from “Heroes”, “Chuck” and “Breaking Bad”, iconic “The Greatest American Hero” star himself, William Katt, and actually being touched by the dude who played touch-happy Jacob on “Lost” (Mark Pellegrino)…I mean, shit, who needs an award with a line-up like that?

Of course, we would have loved to have won our category — we lost to Rod Lurie’s “Nothing But The Truth”, which includes no sci-fi, fantasy or horror to speak of — but, we were having too much fun to dwell on the loss for long. I mean, the food was great, the bar was wide open — Daddy had three mojitos and a chocolate vodka martini, but who’s counting? — and the vibe at the Castaway was awesome, so, what’s to complain about?

And on top of all that coolness, I managed to score two gift bags at the end of the night. Sure, I felt a little greedy lugging them around the after-party in the courtyard, but what can I say, I loves me some free shit. And when that free shit involves “King Kong” and “Avatar” DVD’s, well, all the better!

Thanks again for the nomination, guys…long live the Saturn Awards! To see a full list of this year’s Saturn Award winners, please click here.

And to see more of my super-nerdy pics please click here.

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“Not Forgotten” nominated for 2010 Saturn Award

Speaking of Sci-Fi…a few weeks back I got the super cool news that “Not Forgotten” had been nominated by the Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy & Horror for a 2010 Saturn Award for Best DVD Release. Yay! I didn’t blog about it then, because I wanted to make sure I got invited to the show first…and guess what? I did! So, whoo-hoo…let the celebrating commence!

If, like most non-hard-core sci-fi geeks, you have no idea what the Saturn Awards are, please allow me to fill you in. The Saturn Awards have been given out to the best of the best sci-fi, fantasy and horror films, TV shows, plays and home video for the past 36 years, and unlike the Oscars who traditionally shun such genres, these guys are true fans of the first order.

This is the organization that in the past has given Best Film Awards to “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Aliens”, “Poltergeist”, “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” and “Children of Men”…smart, bold genre movies that more staid institutions completely shut out. I used to read about these rocking, underground award gatherings in Starlog and Fangoria magazines when I was a geeky kid…so, to have something I co-wrote and associate produced be nominated at all, in any category is kind of mind-blowing.

And the fact that I will actually be attending the show tonight, rubbing elbows with the creators and cast of “Lost”, “Avatar”, “Star Trek”, “Harry Potter” and the like…well, shit…I might just explode!

However, in the highly-unlikely event that I actually do make it through the show tonight intact, I promise to post some pics soon, so, stay tuned. To see a list of all this year’s Saturn Award nominees, click here.

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Debbie Gibson vs. Tiffany!

OMG, someone has hacked into my dreams and stolen one of my passion projects! How else could you explain the fact that my favorite 1980’s-era teen-pop princesses, Tiffany and Deborah “you’ll always be Debbie to me, chica” Gibson will be facing off in an upcoming movie on The SyFy Network?

That’s right, amigos, the two hottest “singers” of the 80’s are gonna face off in a SyFy Saturday Night Movie entitled “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid”. Yes, that is the actual title…but wait, it gets even more awesome. This is the outline of the film’s plot as revealed in yesterday’s Hollywood Reporter:

‘Gibson will play a fanatical animal-rights activist who frees illegally-imported exotic snakes from pet stores, sending them into the Everglades, where they grow to mega sizes. Tiffany will play an overzealous park ranger who uses dangerous methods to save endangered alligators. In the script, the pair brawl at a party, then take matters outside into the swamp.’

Wow…in my version they faced off in a mall, but a swamp totally works for me too. Seriously, I’m so excited about this thing, I’m setting my Tivo as I type. Awesome! And to the creators of what just might be the coolest TV movie ever, you’re welcome…and please stop hacking into my dreams.

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“The X-Files: I Want To Believe” countdown begins…

Yes, the first movie sucked hard, but despite that cinematic misfire, and the fact that it’s been six long years since Mulder and Scully last graced our airwaves, I am still dying to see the new “X-Files” movie when it comes out on July 25th.

I should note here that Christine is also mildly excited about the movie, but, seeing as she’s not usually as insanely fanboy-ish about stuff as I am…well, she’s not dying to see it as badly as I am. But, hey, that’s OK, I still love her.

And speaking of love, even non-fans of the original series have got to admit that “The X-Files” is totally responsible for many of the super cool TV shows that we all love so much today, I mean, seriously, do you think there would have ever been “Buffy” or “Angel” or hell, even “Lost” without “The X-Files”? Hell, no!

Series creator Chris Carter and company broke major ground with “The X-Files” and even though it lost focus a bit when David Duchovny left the show, Gillian Anderson held down the fort quite admirably for those last couple of seasons, so, rock on Agent Scully!

Story-wise, there is not much to report about the new movie yet, as, true to form, the producers are keeping the plot details of “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” a closely-guarded secret. But the online trailers do give you some rather juicy clips to look forward too. And when that classic “X-Files” theme kicks in, forget about it…goosebump city, baby!

Anyway, having watched/dissected the different trailers way too many times for my own good, I can tell you exactly three spoiler-free things about the upcoming “X-Files” sequel…

One, it takes place somewhere really cold and creepy looking. Two, Mulder and Scully act like they have not seen each other in a while, which is a bit odd considering how the series ended. And finally, three, the supporting cast — Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, etc. — looks really cool and yes, that is rapper Alvin “Xzibit” Jones playing an FBI agent. Wow…who knew?

Oh yeah, and the movie’s official website is finally up and running, so check out the trailers for yourself, read up on the cast and crew, add an “X-Files countdown widget” to your blog — I tried and it just looked weird — or if you’re like me, just keep checking the site every few hours to see when those sweet-ass desktop wallpapers are ready to download.

Whoa…did I just write that? Lord in heaven, I really am a geek…

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Mr. Sulu takes a husband!

Both Christine and I have been stoked to see gay marriage mania sweeping the state the past couple of days, but nothing hit home more than the news that “Star Trek” and “Heroes” star George Takai — who, John Cho aside, will always be the one true Mr. Sulu to me! — and his longtime partner, Brad Altman registered for a marriage license yesterday in West Hollywood.

Go, Sulu! Wow…I mean, I’m happy for those old ladies in San Francisco and watching Robin Tyler and Diane Olson exchange vows “live” on yesterday’s news was very sweet, but the wedding I’m really dying to see is Mr. Sulu’s!

Takai has said he and Altman won’t marry until September, so that gives me plenty of time to nerd out over the Trekie wedding to be…hmmm…

I think things should start off with Mr. Sulu kindly encouraging everyone in the church to set their phasers to stun, I mean, hey, you don’t want any interstellar violence interrupting the big day, right?

And while Kirk flirts with all the blue-skinned hotties at the no-host bar, Uhura should be strumming that big old “Star Trek” harp (above) and of course the highlight of the ceremony will be when Mr. Spock — who should totally officiate if you ask me! — wishes the happy couple well and urges them to “live long and prosper”! Awesome!

But hey, even if Takai and Altman elect to have a more traditional ceremony, the fact that Mr. Sulu is marrying his main dude is still pretty cool in my book. So, rock on Trekie love birds!

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Halloween on Dagobah!

Saturday night, Christine and I attended a massive LAPL (Los Angeles Public Library) Halloween party at the Central Library in downtown L.A..

Although technically not city employees, Christine and her staff (who work for the Library Foundation) usually crash these shindigs since her store is located inside the Central Branch.

Christine as Master Yoda!

And what a party it was! Not nearly as crowded as the LAPL’s annual Christmas bash, the turnout of costumed Library staffers (from every branch in L.A. county!) was still pretty damn spectacular. But most impressive of all was Christine’s hand-made Master Yoda costume!

Working without a pattern (s0mething she hates!) Christine crafted her headpiece and ears from one of my old Yoda-colored sweatshirts.

Christine in full-on Yoda mode!

Using pipe cleaners and batting to fill the ears, she then knit them onto a simple white headband ($3.99 @ Target!) tucked under the headpiece and pulled the ears through two small slits in the fabric.

Aside from the make-up (two shades of green for $4.99 a piece @ the rocking Cinema Secrets nearby) and the dark cloak underneath (which is a monk costume we bought at Party America for $14.99) everything else Christine wore was handmade, including her awesome, full-length Jedi cloak!

Yoda waits for no man!

It took kind of a YEAR to make, but as you can see, the results are, in the words of Lord Vadar himself: “Most impressive.”

In keeping with the “Star Wars” theme, I wore the super styling Anakin Skywalker costume Christine made me (once again, from scratch!) for Halloween 2005.

Yoda & Anakin!

Sadly, we didn’t win any awards in the costume contest — a Simpsons family in cheesy store-bought masks won first place! Huh? — we were pretty stoked with the way our handmade duds turned out and had a Jedi-tastic time at the party.

And though our filmic counterparts never actually battled one another onscreen, our Yoda and Anakin did manage to squeeze in a kick-ass “Duel of the Fates” on the steps outside the Getty Gallery.

Yoda & Anakin duel to the death!

But the best part of all was when Christine started quoting Yoda (accurately and in Yoda-speak!) on the car ride home, wow, what can I say…I never loved that little green-faced woman more!

The Force will be with her…always.

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