Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend Multi-Media Madness

Quantum of Solace (DVD)
Would be better called "Quantum of Tedium" or "Quantum of Vengeance". A lame "villain" - or lack of any coherent villain whatsoever. Not a single interesting Q issued gadget. An awesome car chase scene to open the movie, but then, quickly down hill from there. M's body guard of 6 years turns on her, in an interrogation? Fuel cells that all violently explode? (a hollow volcano is more believable, seriously). No witty dialogue, just a bunch of barely audible growls. Daniel Craig is one of my (and Dr Desert Flower's) least favorite Bonds. Albert R Broccoli is sorely missed.

Star Trek (2009)
Awesome movie. Disbelief was immediately suspended, with a mournful sigh for a vintage vette. The Iowa Federation Base was green screened onto the Calpine's Pastoria S.CA site with a bank of three GE 7FA+E Gas Turbines. Hilarious lines, well delivered. A story line that made some sense with more singularities than "A Brief History of Time". I still don't understand the physics of instantaneous warp speed acceleration and deceleration... but it doesn't matter, it was a fun ride. My buddy Ron has a nice posting on it here, with beaucoup de comments.

Terminator Salvation
I loved Terminator I. I even had all of Arnuld's lines on a 3 x 5 card back in college. Terminator II was OK. Terminator III, shear stupidity. Salvation (IV) was laughable, ridiculous, a big let down to this engineer. It was more of a poor hybrid combination of Footloose & Tremors. How could I suspend disbelief for Star Trek, but be so sorely disappointed about Terminator IV? Terminator IV is supposed to start in 2003, and end in 2018, so, therefore, (stop reading here, if you don't want me to spoil it for you)
- how does a man killed by lethal injection have any usable vital organs left to be recycled by Skynet?
- how do Vietnam era Hueys, that are not electro magnetically shielded, survive after a nuclear holocaust that Skynet launches? Or after the large blast in the first 20 minutes of the movie?
- why is it worth wasting a precious Huey to chase one escapee from the "resistance's" CA head quarters? There's a limited supply of post apocalyptic army surplus hardware.
- why do "The Machines" hone in so quickly to "music", but they can't detect the whine of an A10's high bypass jet engine that they don't control, or a Huey, that they don't fly, or any of a dozen other audible signals? Mighty convenient for a shaky, poorly conceived plot.
- why, at the Terminator Factory, are there not more terminator guards walking around? Really, they have One Naked Arnuld prototype? And that's the only one who can try and thwart humans who try and infiltrate the massive complex? One? Really? Not 1/2 a dozen, or hundreds, but one? And why would any access door use a keypad? Really.. a keypad... for robots? Robots who can do instant and precise facial recognition, and who can see through individuals to their internal organs, have to use keypads to get through doors? And there's no motion sensors, or automated surveillance watching Skynet's vast campus? LOL!
- Are 440V 0-ga wires really effective to jump starting a human heart, especially one surrounded by a great deal of metal? Are those same 0-ga wires so easily "ripped out" of a 6 axis robot's power supply? "The Machines" sure must've had some terrible electrical contractors do their wiring.
- a software / AI research center, immediately adjacent to the Terminator assembly line... ok.. I could by that... but a casting facility co-located? Ferris, Brancato and McG have obviously never been to an actual foundry... or stayed for more than 5 minutes. Laughable. Casting facilities are filthy, or they are not running. It is the nature of the process. And having a molten pour of 3000 degree metal, within about 10 feet of a prone John Connor, it's Connor's skin and flesh that would have spontaneously combusted, not just annoyed Arnuld.
- why does "the Resistance" have Soviet RPG7s? yeah, they look more formidable than a compact LAW Rocket's profile... but seriously... wtf?
- Kirk's pregnant wife on a start ship in the 24th century is believable, but Connor's pregnant wife, flying into Skynet to rescue him, and THEN performing a heart transplant at a field hospital, without regards for transplant rejection? LMFAO! Yeah, right.
The last 20 minutes of the movie, with story boarding stolen directly from 1983, pathetic blow for telegraphed blow, had me laughing hysterically. It was no "homage" or "nod" to earlier, better Terminator movies, it was a joke. What a waste of $14. Awesome special effects, sometimes. I give it a C- as an over-all effort.

Body of Lies (DVD)
Leonardo gets the crap beaten out of him several times, so I liked it right away. Yes, Leo is a good actor, but I do like it when heart throbs get severely injured, maimed even. He did a very good job in Arabic as well, from my non-fluent perspective. It was very believable, in most places. Very good movie, in my opinion, but that's just me.

Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, authors
Very interesting book about a true American Patriot who fights terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan by building schools, mostly for girls, and women's centers, and health centers, in some of the most remote and inhospitable parts of the world. The phrase "many Americans came here and promised us things, but you are the only one who has come back and fulfilled his promise" runs throughout the book. Amazing personal insights, maps, colloquialisms, cultural customs, perspectives are presented. I liked it so much, I bought Taliban and Descent Into Chaos - which Mortenson references often - before I finished the book Sunday morning. Highly recommended, if you are at all curious to read about the region that Umerika's been at war with for the last 6 years, and how our heavy handed methods are completely missing the point, and wasting obscene sums of US tax payer's money.


  1. "Three Cups of Tea" has also been released in a "Young Readers Edition." We can't keep it on the shelves. This gives me hope for the future.

  2. I like Daniel Craig a lot. I thought Casino Royale was the best bond film in a long time. That said, I haven't watched Quantum of Stupid Title yet and I've heard complaints similar to yours from lots of people. Oh well. The franchise looked promising for a while.


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