Archive for the ‘Books, Movies, Music’ Category
Was in a rush to download an audiobook to listen to and basically chose this one at random. I haven’t reached the end yet, but I can already give it a Murdoc recommendation. It’s not really “heavy” or “deep” or “hard” SF, but it’s got a lot of good stuff and most of the military/gun stuff seems right on the money.
Baen now launches an exciting new science fiction adventure series by the New York Times best-selling author: When a 60-kiloton explosion destroyed the University of Central Florida, and much of the surrounding countryside, the authorities first thought that terrorists had somehow obtained a nuclear weapon. But there was no radiation detected, and, when physicist Dr. William Weaver and Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller were sent to investigate, they found that in the center of the destruction, where the University’s physics department used to be, was an interdimensional gateway to . . . somewhere. An experiment in subatomic physics had produced a very unexpected effect. Furthermore, other gateways were appearing all over the world–and one of them immediately began disgorging demonic visitors intent on annihilating all life on Earth and replacing it with their own. Other, apparently less hostile, aliens emerged from other gateways, and informed Weaver and Miller that the demonic invaders–the name for them that humans could most easily pronounce was the Dreen–were a deadly blight across the galaxy, occupying planet after planet after wiping out all native life; and now it would be Earth’s turn, unless Weaver and Miller could find a way to close the gateways…
I went in expecting a light ride through man-vs-alien warfare fantasyland and have been thoroughly enjoying it. It’s apparently part of a series though I didn’t know that until looking at the Amazon page.
I don’t read much military SF, so I can’t say how it compares to other stuff out there. But Murdoc is really digging this so far. Definitely a good summer read for the beach or a trip.
Just caught an episode of this on HBO at the hotel we’re staying at. Nice, because we don’t get HBO at home.
The Marines on Guadalcanal.
Excellent. Very much excellent.
Captain America #602 shows a political rally with a sign reading “Tea Bag The Libs Before They Tea Bag You.”
This whole tea bag thing is pretty funny. It’s almost like they are intentionally misunderstanding.
Since it opened last week, James Cameron’s much-anticipated film “Avatar” has won praise from movie critics and been a juggernaut at the box office. But some who have seen the film say that it contains hidden messages that are anti-war, pro- environment, and perhaps even racist.
“Hidden” would mean that the messages are, well, hidden. There is nothing hidden about them at all.
I saw that headline and thought there was going to be vague Masonic symbolism or Satanic verses if you listened to the dialogue backwards or something. The pro-environment, anti-war (specifically the invasion of Iraq), and American Indian references are so in-your-face overt and obvious that I think they lose any real meaning. I guess I see the Indian thing a heck of a lot more than the African thing. But people tend to see what they want to see, so I’m sure some gays think the movie bashes gays and some handicapped people think it bashes them. Or women. Or Dodgers fans. Whoever.
The “hidden” anti-war messages wouldn’t have been any more obvious if one of the scientists wore a “No War for Unobtanium” T-shirt and the military leader gave a speech under a big “Mission Accomplished” banner. It also wouldn’t have been any less lame than the so-called “hidden” messages. Come on. They said they were going to use a “shock and awe” bombing campaign.
As stated earlier, I do think the good in the movie outweighs the bad. I saw it once and will see it again. I guess I’m not quite getting all the hysteria over it. It’s a Hollywood movie. Made by people with weirdly skewed perceptions about America, what it is, and what it should be. Duh. I mean, it wasn’t exactly coincidence that so many people saw Communists when they looked at Hollywood in the 50s.
Personally, though I enjoyed Avatar, I do think that the political commentary takes what I had once thought had the potential to be a great film and turns it into a cool cartoon.
UPDATE: Speaking of movies, someone has a list of the Best Movies of the Decade, but apparently it’s been hacked. If that’s the guy’s real list, it’s hilarious.
Speaking of movies that have a few issues:
Just watched Scrooged last night with the wife. I had liked it when it first came out, thought it was terribly dated and less-than-funny when I bought the DVD and watched it again, and now think it’s pretty entertaining.
The promo for The Night the Reindeer Died was hilarious all three times, though. Mrs. Claus breaking open the weapons locker. Love it.
Did that legal stuff that’s kept Six Million Dollar Man off DVD ever get settled?
Saw it yesterday (regular theater 3D version, not IMAX) and thought it was excellent. Think Dances with Wolves with aliens instead of Indians.
The animation was excellent (astounding, really) except for a couple of scenes where characters are climbing something. I don’t know what it is about CGI effects and climbing. They almost always look totally fake. Usually it seems like the climbing characters suddenly weigh one-tenth of what they normally do. Despite that, it’s worth checking out for the animation alone, IMHO.
The military tech, and there’s a lot of it, is pretty interesting. It’s all got a very ‘real’ feel to it. The tactics the troops use is straight out of Braveheart, but it makes for a good show.
The 3D was pretty good, even for Murdoc and his dodgy left eye which limits his perception of such things. Someday, and it won’t be long, I think people are going to look at movies as they exist today and wonder why we bothered watching such flat-looking stuff.
Story/plot-wise, it’s 100% predictable. Unless you’ve seen Dances with Wolves, in which case it’s 125% predictable. Not bad, though, and there are some really good moments. Just don’t go in expecting a deep, original storyline. This is an animated sci-fi movie about aliens and space soldiers on a different planet. Go in expecting a solid 2:40 of entertainment, and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
Unfortunately, Cameron apparently couldn’t resist taking a number of potshots at the invasion of Iraq. While I choose to ignore some of the elements of the basic premise as overt political statements and accept them as storytelling, a few lines of dialogue are there to make sure everyone realizes how wrong “preemptive” and “shock and awe” and a few other things are.
Fortunately, like most times when someone works hard to get those things in, it sounds like someone worked hard to get those things in. It ends up coming off like dialogue written and directed by George Lucas. ([hint] That ain’t exactly a compliment [/hint])
Anyway, go check it out. Ignore the hamfisted attempts at profound political commentary and enjoy it. We don’t go see many movies in the theater, maybe three or four per year, but I’ll be going to check this out at least one more time.
Haven’t read this book by Harold Hutchison, but thought I’d give you all the heads up: Strike Group Reagan
In Strike Group Reagan, Harold C. Hutchison takes us inside the world of war and sacrifice, loyalty and heroism, in a story that mirrors events taking place around the globe.
Lieutenant Renee Patterson is a Navy fighter pilot with one of the squadrons assigned to the carrier USS Ronald Reagan. The Reagan and its battle group, under the command of Rear Admiral Kevin Bradshaw are deployed to the Mediterranean. Renee s sister younger sister Angela is in Tunisia to study archeology, when a civil war breaks out, and American citizens need to be evacuated. As heavily armed Islamic insurgents, secretly backed by the Chinese military make initial gains, the Reagan strike group gets the call.
What is supposed to be a routine evacuation quickly becomes anything but. Things go wrong from the start, and the battle group becomes engaged in fighting a major conflict against forces Bradshaw never expected to engage. The Reagan strike group is pushed to the limits of its formidable capability, and both Patterson sisters fight for their lives using all the survival skills in their arsenals.