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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Media I have Watched Recently-

Although I am perhaps unusually sensitive to Freemasonic iconography and thinly veiled plotlines, I am nevertheless a great fan of the Stargate Atlantis series that ran 5 seasons.
--I was fortunate enough to receive Season 5 on DVD for Hanukkah/Christmas, and caught a few epis I had missed watching them on TV.
---Yes, the final epi was, um, not good, I still feel it was an excellently produced series filled with good writing, appealing characters (notably many strong female characters, most of all typified by Torri Higginson's Dr. Elizabeth Weir), and a wonderful ensemble. Many of the epis were real tear-jerkers, esp. 'The Shrine'.

Having caught a few of seasons 1 and 2 of(ST:)Enterprise, I thought little good of it. However, although another thinly-veiled spin (this time on the September 11th, 2001 events), season 3's Xindi / Expanse episodes began to catch my interest. I am working my way through seasons 3 and 4 as we speak.
--I find Archer to be one of the least appealing of all ST captains, but the rest of the cast of characters at least don't make me sigh.

SyFy's condensed version of the first season of The Legend of the Seeker was enough to make me interested in watching the second (ongoing) season.
--Let me be perfectly clear: This is not much more than brain candy for me, and NO, I have not, nor do I intend on reading Goodkind's tortuously-long(winded) book series. The spin in this series is just beyond my ability to rationally discuss without a huge treatise on what is so wrong with media-fed brainwashing regarding religion (in general), but, it does have pretty women and landscapes to look at, and at 10 pm that's about all I care to invest in.
---I'll continue my frankness: I really dig the Mord'Sith, and thought that the episode in which Cara's backsory was revealed (while predictable and sappy) was a higher standard than most TV pabulum.

The new old Star Trek.
--A resounding, No.

James (I generally loathe his message) Cameron's AVATAR.
:: Having suffered through The Dragonsfoot's typically [nothing nice to say here] thread on this film, after having seen it yesterday, I am not certain whether my liking the film in almost every possible way will lose me Subscribers, but, there you have it: I was delighted by the film. I will go further, saying that I think it is the single most beautiful moving media I have ever seen. Period.
--Please keep in mind my work in High Risk Armed Security, and my general loathing of Cameron's worldview: I encourage anyone who likes Sword and Planet fiction even a smidgen to set aside their Left/Right, Panentheist/Monotheist/Atheist (etc.) biases and go see this film.
---Is the plot small, yes. Is it predictable: 90%. Is it revisionist wish-fulfilment: yes. Is it the most gorgeously executed CGI work yet: yes. Do I love freakin' large cat-like critters: Roger that big time.

So, judge me harshly if you will, that's my take on the stuff I have been watching recently.


  1. I totally agree with you on Avatar. In addition to an excellent assortment of creatures, I like it for the *mostly* good science. See for details. Too bad the story and human dialogue were substandard. Just imagine if they had been on par. What a combination that would have made.

  2. Visually I thought the movie was amazing. The story was *so-so*. But I would definately see it again.

  3. People need to lighten up. It's an action-adventure film, not a philosophical manifesto. If cat worship had been the "in" thing, Avatar would be about big cats. That's Hollywood.

    Action-adventure films are always predictable. Fans of the genre expect and appreciate this. It is about stunts and one liners and visual effects. The film is spectacular visually, although somewhat lacking in the one-liner dept. Calling what is said in any of these movies "dialogue" is to give them too much credit. The question is, "how much of this script will I be repeating as asides in some rpg session?". For Avatar, not so much.

  4. I saw Avatar last week and loved it. I'm dragging my wife, friends, and any passerbys along for another viewing. It's pure fun and there's nothing like it out there so why not?

  5. Looks like I might have to see this next weekend with the g/f and kid.

    If nothing else it will have more story then the special effects laden travesty known as 2012.

  6. There's some story, although it is pretty obvious. The concept is cool amnd the effects are stunning. I'm told it is worth hunting down a huge screen and the 3d. But I just saw it on a fairly ordinary cinema screen and was very impressed. At least, by the visuals.

  7. My SO and I saw it on a normal cinema screen, but were up in front and had much the same effect of watching a giganto-big screen, as there wasn't much else in our field of vision to interfere or distract.

    I'd love to go into specifics, but I'd hate to be a Spoiler.
    --Cameron must have done a fine job if, with its simple and predictable plot, I gave a good gosh darn about the Na'vi, and felt my heart sink a few times, and winced and squirmed uncomfortably when a certain critter was injured.

    I may be growing more sentimental as I orbit the sun, but I found the movie rather touching. ...and it didn't hurt that the tech and the action sequences rawked, too. ;)

  8. @TS: Thanks for the review of Avatar.

    "Although I am perhaps unusually sensitive to Freemasonic iconography"--just curious about this.

  9. How can you like Avatar with Robert Downey Jr. playing Sherlock Holmes in a Guy Ritchie film?!

    I hope by now you know my sarcastic sense of humor.

    Luckily, TCM had 24 hours of old Sherlock Holmes movies and I have the Jeremy Brett series to come back down to. Sure, Robert Downey Jr. can play a good psychotic drug addict, but Sherlock Holmes? No.

  10. So, judge me harshly if you will, that's my take on the stuff I have been watching recently.

    At first I thought, 'Why would anyone judge someone else on the basis of what they find enjoyable?!"

    Then I remembered I'm dealing with the people of Fandom and we're on the Internet. :)

  11. TRBA: Short answer: I see a lot of Angle and Compass icons and symbolism in that show; the dialogue is slanted to FM political doctrine; and my general rule is to 'flip the script', as it were, and so I see what the writers are saying as a subtext. 'Woolsey's standing in front of the Pegasus icon, so that he had Hermean/Mercurial wings on either side of his head while he was delivering a particularly slanted message is just one example.

  12. * bat: Oooh! Jeremy Brett! > swoon < I'm right there with you on that! :D

    * Ryan: Right on, sadly. :(

  13. Stargate Atlantis just never got the direction that it deserved, I think. The early seasons were very good, but as the series wound down, the writers just started swinging wildly, and Cooper as show runner sure didn't help.
    When they killed Carson with the Ancient Exploding Tumor bit, I was really disgusted.
    It was a ham-handed and comic booky way to do in a good character that was completely unconnected to any established plot line.

    I'm with you on Jeremy Brett's Holmes, though I'm not gonna swoon over him. He really had the character down. I've been a Holmes fan for a long time and he's my favorite actor to portray Sherlock, with Basil Rathbone next.

    Downey Jr makes a perfect Tony Stark. He dosent' even have to act, he is that guy. But he's no Sherlock Holmes, I have no desire to see that movie.

  14. Swooning over his portrayal, not in any sort of sexual sense.
    --Poor Brett's health was so poor toward the end that he was plastered with makeup to cover his horribly jaundiced skin tone. :(
    ---So sad.

  15. Ken St. Andre's review, **WITH SPOILERS**:

  16. Timeshadows, if you get the opportunity to see Avatar again, see it in 3D--it's a whole different experience. Seriously, it's as close to being on another planet as any of us are going to get!

    Have a great New Year!

  17. I'll have to make the effort to do so. The nearest is in Ft. Lauderdale, I think. Well within reason to trek to for it.

    Thanks! You too, and stay safe. :D