American Dad – Spelling Bee My Baby

24 May

American Dad is a show I watch on occasion that is either hit or miss for me.  For a while I liked it a lot, but it seems to be getting more and more like Family Guy.  I still watch it, but it’s not great.  This episode is the first episode after Roger tricks Jeff and he gets taken away by a space ship, which was still just a weird thing, I was waiting for it to be a dream or something.

So for this episode, there are two plot lines.  The main line is with Steve and Francine.  They both show up at Toshi’s house where his mother is being the stereotypical Asian mother tyrant and making Toshi and his sister Akiko practice music.  She tells Francine that Steve will never get into a good college because he’s not good at anything.  Later Francine is talking with the gay couple when their baby comes in speaking French after her fencing lesson.  They say they’re already preparing her for college because they want her to stand out from the other applicants.  This causes Francine to panic and she goes to grab Steve to find what he is good at.  They try chess and gymnastics, but Steve just sucks at everything.  Francine is logging into Amazon and needs to spell diarrhea for her password and Klaus said it is an impossible word to spell, but Steve spells it with no problem.  That’s when they realize that Steve’s special talent is spelling.  So obviously if he wins the National Spelling Bee he will be able to get into any college he wants.

Steve wins his first spelling bee and Akiko comes up to him and starts flirting with him afterwards.  Her mom says that he won’t win the National Spelling Bee because Akiko will be willing it.  Once they get home, Francine takes away his video games and says his life will be just words from now on.  She puts cards with words on them everywhere.  He thinks he’s finally escaped with no words in his room only to pull out a porn magazine to find words over the boobs.  Frustrated, Steve sneaks out and goes for a walk and ends up at this waterfall that overlooks the city where he of course runs into Akiko.  They chat and then end up making out for a few minutes.  Akiko says she needs to get back before her mom finds out and asks Steve if he’s coming.  He says he will after his “comfortability” goes down.

Afterwards they show both Akiko and Steve spelling montage, which you would then expect a montage of them winning spelling bees that lead up to the national one.  However, they pull a Family guy and say they aren’t going to do that and have a bunch of weird, random pictures from the internet.  Lame.  The night before the National Spelling Bee, Steve is talking to Akiko online and they are planning to meet by the waterfall again.  Francine finds out and gets mad and forbids him to see her.  Steve gets upset and starts crying and says he won’t do the spelling bee so she agrees and lets him go.  When Steve gets there, he finds a message from Akiko essentially standing him up.  He runs back home and says he’s going to kick her ass in the spelling bee.  We find out though that Francine actually kidnapped her and has her in the basement.  When they leave the next day to go to the spelling bee, she gives Akiko a Wii so she won’t be bored.  Her mother is trying to find her when a cousin of the family that works at Nintendo found where she had logged into the Wii.  Akiko’s mom goes ninja mode and breaks into the house and gets her out so she can get to the spelling bee on time.

They do make it to the spelling bee and while they kids are spelling; the moms go out to fight.  They each have Asian style swords and Akiko’s mom says there is no way Francine can win in a fight to the death because she isn’t Asian.  Just then Francine’s parents walk by looking for the spelling bee and Akiko’s mom realizes she grew up Chinese.  Epic fight scene ensues.  Out of the whole episode, I think this was probably the most amusing, mostly because of the horrible stereotypes.  After a while, Francine’s dad pops in and tells them to stop playing around because it’s down to just Steve and Akiko.  Steve learns that his mom kidnapped Akiko and neither of them wants to beat the other so they go back and forth spelling words wrong.  Francine realizes that her kid isn’t so bad after all and Akiko’s mom realizes she shouldn’t be so hard on her daughter.  Dawww such a sweet moral lesson.

The minor plot line in the episode is Stan and Roger messing with Haley.  She is obviously still quite upset that Jeff was sucked up by the aliens and thinks they will bring him back any day now. Roger and Stan need her to be the line judge for their badminton tournament (the winner gets the prized “shuttle cock ring”), but she’s still at the starting stage of the grief process.  They decide they are going to push her through the five stages of grief.  Roger starts by giving her a front wedgie to push her into the anger stage and it works after she beats the crap out of him.  The next stage is bargaining, but since Roger doesn’t know what that is, they skip to depression by showing her a slide show of all the good memories with Jeff.  At the end she does come out and tell them she accepts that Jeff is never coming back, but she also accepts that it is all Stan and Roger’s fault and takes their shuttlecock.

Overall, it wasn’t a great episode.  The fight scene was amusing, but the rest just seemed out of place and like they slapped and episode together at the last minute.  I much prefer the episodes where Stan is more involved, even though he is a complete douche.  I’ll give it a 4 out of 10 nerd glasses, if you’re quite bored.



23 May

Ahh I finally did it.  As of last week, I have officially (at least I haven’t been told otherwise) graduated with my Masters of Science.  There have been a lot of bumps along the way, but I’m thrilled to be done.  But I came across this comic and the idea could not be more true for me, so I wanted to share it.

Source:  Incidental Comics

Star Wars Dance Off 2013

21 May

Since I stumbled across the Dance-off with the Star Wars stars a few years ago, I always look forward to when the newest ones get posted on YouTube.  I can’t really explain why I love it so much, but it’s just epic.  Plus the guy (or girl I suppose) that dances in the Chewy costume deserves some major props!  So here are the videos for you to enjoy:

*eyeroll* I should have figured they would do Gangam style.  Can’t that fad be over yet?  And the Harlem Shake too…

Hopefully the Jedi Mickey is not a sign of animated Star Wars Disney crossovers to come. But it’s still kinda cute regardless.

Iron Man 3

21 May

iron man 3

Movie Poster

Unfortunately, Iron Man 3 is the only Iron Man movie that I have not been able to see at the theater at the midnight release.  Apparently in the States, Disney had a dispute with Regal and AMC Theaters about doing midnight releases.  Something about not wanting to encourage kids to stay out late.  Sure, it’s PG-13, but is that really their target audience?  I don’t think so.  My local Regal was doing showings at 9:30 and later added one at 10, but I had class until 7, which usually runs to 7:30 and I had no desire to rush and tried to eat and then get to the theater and fight for a seat by myself.  So I went and saw it at 1:30pm on Friday.  Plenty of room in the theater, no kids, no creepy guys dressed up like Iron Man (though I did wear my Iron Man t shirt .  Unfortunately there was a whole row of bros, but they actually behaved during the movie.  I feel, given the name of the website, I shouldn’t state this, but just as a reminder, if you have not seen the movie and do not want to know any spoilers, click away NOW, this will be your last chance.

So the movie starts out back in 1999 with Tony Stark before he ever became Iron Man.  He is at a new years eve party with a research botanist Maya Hansen and his bodyguard Happy.  As Maya and Tony are going up to continue the party in their room, Aldrich Killian, who appears disabled with long greasy hair and overall unattractive, squeezes into the elevator to talk to Tony and Maya about his new Think Tank Aim.  Maya accepts a card and Tony pulls him aside and says that he will meet up him on the roof later and for him to wait for him.  At this point, we know that Tony has no intention of going up there.  This is pre-Iron Man when Tony Stark is still a bit of an egotistical, uncaring douchebag.  He goes back to Maya’s room where she is showing him her research on tapping into the genetic or neural coding of living things in order to allow them to heal themselves.  They move into the bedroom and Happy pokes at the plant and rips a few leaves off.  It grows back but then the entire thing explodes.  Maya says that this is a flaw in her research and she is working on fixing it.  In the morning we see Tony leave a note for her, though we can’t see what it says and he leaves expecting to never see Maya again.

Back in the present, Tony is incessantly tinkering because he can’t sleep.  We see him putting in implants that go with his latest suit, Mark 42, that allow him to call his armor to him.  Unfortunately it still has a few kinks to work out with it and the parts are hitting him a little hard.  Eventually the last part knocks him over and it all falls to pieces.  From the very start here we start to see how much the events that took place in The Avengers have affected him and his emotional state.  We really see it when it is having lunch with Colonel Rhodes.  Some kids ask him to sign a drawing and he freaks out and runs to his armor (which he left at the curb like a parked car).  Jarvis tells him that he is having a panic attack and he leaves.  It’s here that Tony learns more about the attacks by The Mandarin, but Rhodes tells him to stay out of it.

iron man 3

Who wouldn’t want to come home to this?

In the last movie, Tony promoted Pepper to the CEO of Stark Industries, which is probably good given his current mental state.   Pepper goes in to work and she is scheduled to meet with a very handsome client.  The client turns out to be Aldrich and Happy calls Tony because he was worried he was going to try to flirt with Pepper, especially since he did not look the same as he did in 1999. Aldrich is there to ask for funding from Stark Industries for his Extremis technology.  He shows it to Pepper as a way to visualize what is going on in the brain in real-time.  Pepper is concerned that it could be weaponized and has to decline.  After Pepper meets with Aldrich, she heads home for date night with Tony.  He had bought her a giant stuffed rabbit (that had boobs, that old Tony isn’t completely gone) and she walks in to find Tony on the couch in the Iron Man suit.  She tried to convince him to take it off, but when he refuses, she goes to find him downstairs working out.  She gets mad but Tony admits that he is a “hot mess” after what happened in The Avengers.  She gets him to come take a shower to take his mind off things and they go to bed.  In the middle of the night Tony is having a nightmare about what happened in New York and Pepper tries to wake him.  He apparently was able to call the suit in his sleep and it grabbed Pepper.  He stopped it before anything else happened, but she got upset and went to sleep downstairs.  I was kind of confused as to why this upset her so much.  Perhaps that he had been tinkering with things so much, but I would have been more included to comfort Tony after the nightmare and try to figure out what was bothering him so much.

Outside of Tony’s relationship trouble, Happy follows the Aldrich’s suspicious bodyguard, Savin, to the Chinese Theater.  He sees him give a case to a anxious looking military guy.  Happy bumps into him to try and determine what is going on, but Savin catches him and attacks him.  The military guy inhales something from the case and he essentially starts to boil from the inside out and explodes like a bomb.  Both Happy and Savin are badly injured, but Savin gets up and walks away as his body heals itself.  The effects of him healing himself as he walks away like nothing happened makes him seem all the more creepy.  The Mandarin claims this as one of his attacks and at this point we think he is still planning the attacks, but using people as the bomb.  Happy is of course taken to the hospital but is in a coma. Tony visits him, but when he is leaving the press swarm him to ask what Iron Man is going to do about The Mandarin and this is where he gets very serious.  Tony offers a personal threat to The Mandarin saying that he is already dead and gives out his home address and says to come and get him.

Back at home, he uses Jarvis to walk through the scene of the explosion.  He realizes that Happy is pointing and looking at something and he finds the dog tags of the guy that blew up.  Tony is able to put the pieces together to realize that the bomb was a person and uses the heat signature of the explosion to find other explosions.  One of the signatures he finds was not claimed by The Mandarin and he tells Javis to plan a flight route to Tennessee so they can go check it out.  Just then the door bell rings and Tony yells at Jarvis for not having the high security protocol in place.  He goes up to answer it in his Iron Man suit and finds a very nervous Maya at the door.  Maya comes in, but Pepper is packing up some bags and says that they are leaving because Tony gave out their address.  You would expect that Pepper would be upset that an ex-fling of Tony’s is in the house, but they actually have some playful banter over the matter, which was funny. But that leads to Tony and Pepper arguing over the fact that they are not leaving when Maya points out that there is a missile headed for the house.  During the slow motion explosion scene, Tony uses his new tech to put the suite on Pepper in order to protect her.  She takes advantage of the suit and uses it to protect Tony and to get Maya out of the house.  Tony cannot find a way out of the house as it is starting to go crashing into the ocean and calls the suit back to him before going down with the house.  He gets trapped as parts of the house are sinking, but frees himself just in time.  This scene for me was both heartbreaking and amusing.  First, we see the cases with the original Iron Man suits explode due to the missiles, but we also see items from the house, like his expensive cars as well as the charred boob bunny, sinking into the ocean.

iron man 3

Tony and Harley

During his escape, Tony passes out and wakes up from the low power warning as he is zooming across Tennessee and ends up crashing.  He drags his suit behind him until he comes across a shed near a house that he decides to set up in to get warm and repair the suit.  It’s here we meet the coolest side character in the movie, Harley.  Harley is a kid around 10 years old that uses the shed as his place to tinker and play with this, probably much how Tony got his start.  He is not freaked out by Tony, who tells him he’s a mechanic, and the suit and Tony convinces him to help him out by giving him something he can use on the kid that bullies him at school.

They go into town to get some things to work on the suite with and they come across the bombing site that Jeeves had found.  There is a small crater and five shadows from the victims that were killed.  If the guy who was said to have used a bomb had actually used a bomb, he would have had a shadow too.  He goes to find the supposed bombers mother and she gives him a file on her son.  For me, this part was a little confusing because it was clear Tony had not talked to her, but he was playing along like he had and expected the file.  It all makes more sense when the woman that the mother was supposed to meet comes in and tries to arrest Tony.  Being a small town, the local cops int he bar intervene and all hell breaks lose.  The woman starts using her power to burn the cops with her hands as well as shooting them.  Tony nabs the file and the dog tags from the mother and runs out.  He gets the woman into another empty restraunt and tosses the dog tags in the microwave and rips a gas line, causing the building to explode.  Thinking that he has escaped, he runs into Savin who has nabbed Harley.  Harley uses the item that Tony gave him and Tony uses a small pulse he had rigged up to kill Savin (but at this point we know better than to think that he’s dead).

Tony takes Savin’s car and sends Harley back home to keep an eye on the suit and work on fixing it.  He takes off, while looking a the file from the bombers mother. He is on the phone with Jarvis and Harley who determine that the broadcasts from The Mandarin are coming from Miami.  He asks if the suit is ready yet, but when Harley says that it’s not he has to pull over because he is having another panic attack.  What is Tony Stark without the Iron Man suit?  The kid is able to calm him down with one simple question, “Well you’re a mechanic right? Why don’t you build something?” Off to the hardware store he goes where he buys a ton of seemingly random stuff and assembles it into various gagets and bombs in a hotel room.  I really loved this part because it really gets to the core of who Tony is and that the suit is just a part of him.  Once in Miami, Tony uses his new toys to get past all the security and quickly finds The Mandarin.  For a turn that I did not expect, The Mandarin is not really a terrorist, he is a silly British actor named Trevor.  He finds out that Aldrich is really the bad guy, but Savin comes in and knocks Tony out and captures in.  The funniest scene in the movie for me is when Savin asks Trevor why he didn’t push the panic button and he says “Well, I panicked  then I handled it.”  I can totally see myself using that line at some point.

Oh yeah, this movie isn’t just about Tony Stark, we have some side characters that need to be involved too!  After watching her house be destroyed and sink into the ocean as well as crews go over the house, it still isn’t clear if Pepper thinks that Tony is dead or not.  She takes Maya to get a safe place so they can talk.  Maya tells Pepper about her research and how she thinks that Aldrich is working with The Mandarin.  Her guise was working, but Aldrich became in patient and bursts in so they can take Pepper in attempts to get Tony to help with the Extremis technology.  Back in the secret lair Aldrich tells Tony he has Pepper and has started her on the Extremis procedure.  It’s here we learn that the Extremis technology is what’s been causing people to blow up and it’s not on purpose, it’s an inate flaw in the science.  Maya tries to get him to help because she couldn’t figure out the note he left all those years ago, but that it must be the answer.  Trying to play to her true nature, Tony reminds her that she isn’t like Aldrich.  She has a change of heart and threatens to kill herself because she feels Aldrich cannot continue without her help.  His ego is too big, perhaps a side of Extremis, and shoots her and leaves Tony with two guards as he goes off on the last piece of his evil plot.

We also learned at Rhodes had gotten captured while inside the Iron Patriot suit and they eventually force him out, but he comes out fighting.  Unfortunately he is outnumbered and Savin takes the Iron Patriot suit.  While Rhodes is escaping from where he is being held, Tony is trying to as well.  The alarm on his Dora watch goes off and the guards are not able to make it stop.  He says they’ll be sorry very soon and keeps making the motions for his armor while the guards taunt him.  Finally a hand and foot show up and Tony is able to blast away a small onslaught of bad guys.  The last guy that shows up, Tony simply points his palm blaster and a gun at him and he drops his gun and says he doesn’t like his job anyways and that these guys are doing weird shit and runs away.  He’s wondering where the rest of his suit is when it cuts back to Tennessee where the rest of the parts are trapped in  Harley’s shed, which he promptly frees.

Once outside, Tony sees the Iron Patriot suit going after Aldrich’s plan and he calls to see if it was really Rhodes.  They meet up, still at the Miami machine to go and harass Trevor for information.  The Iron Man suit is still not completely functional, so they take Trevor’s speedboat to go after Aldrich.  While Tony is trying to charge the suit, Rhodes calls the Vice President to warn him about the attack on the president.  The Vice President seems considered but when a guard asks if he is okay, he says everything is fine and goes back to celbrating what appears to be a birthday for his handicap daugther, showing that he is also in with Aldrich.  We cut to seeing the president gettign on Air Force One just as the Iron Patriot suit lands and gets on the plane as well.    Iron Man shows up just after Savin stuffed the president in the Iron Patriot armor and sent him to Aldrich (apparently Savin can reprogram the suit to do whatever he wants).  Iron Man blasts Savin through the heart and kills him for good, bu tonly after Savin blew a hole in the plane which sucked out all the passengers.  He goes after them to save them all which I found to be a cool scene.  He has to get the panicked people who are falling to work together and grab on to teach other because he cannot carry them all.  He drops them in the ocean and flies off over a highway where he gets hit by a truck, which makes the suit fall apart to reveal Tony was not actually in it (Thank god, I remember thinking “Oh come on!”, thinking Tony had been killed in a stupid way).

iron man 3

Badass Pepper Potts

Back on the boat, Tony and Rhodes arrive at the oil rig where Aldrich is with his gang of Extremis goons.  Rhodes mentions how he would apprciate some backup, since the Iron Man suit is gone, and Tony itiations the house party protocol with Jarvis.  Back at the ruins of the house, the basement opens up (much to the surprise of the poor construction guys trying to clean the place up) and out come all of his suits.  I was thrilled because (even though I knew better from the trailer) it was still nice to see that all of the suits had not been destroyed.  When the suits finally show up, Rhodes asked for one, but Tony says they are only coded to him and takes a suit to go off and find Pepper.  He attempts to save her, but Aldrich, as this ridiculous molten man, interrupts.  The fighting causes the carrier to shift, and Pepper falls to her (presumed) death.  I did not believe she was dead (they were injecting her with Extremis), but I kind of expected Tony to give up and let Aldrich smack him around a little, but Tony decides to fight.  Aldrich is clearly more powerful and skilled, but the prodigal son (the newest suit) returns and he puts the suit on Aldrich and tells Jarvis to blow it.  Yey Tony wins! Well… except for Pepper being dead and such.  Right? Nah, we know better than that by now.  Aldrich slowly approaches Tony, determined to kill him, when out of no where Pepper, in all of her badass-ness, shows up and hits him out of the park with some debris.  One of the remaining suits sees Pepper, and since she has the Extremis heat signature, goes after her, but she quickly takes it down.  She uses the arm of the suit to blast away Aldrich for good.  When she stops, she turns to Tony and says “Wow, that was really violent…”.  She is terrified of hurting or burning Tony and especially worried that she will never be the same, but Tony promises to fix her.

The last few scenes leave a bit to be desired and are, in a way, confusing.  Tony is able to fix Pepper, though they say how or what became of the Extremis technology.  He also decides to have his arc reactor removed.  I was quite concerned about him removing the reactor because it is such a part of him and an iconic part of the Iron Man that I know and love (remember, haven’t read the comics or anything else, so I don’t know if he ever does this in those).  I also had the impression that it was impossible to remove the shrapnel in his heart.  After it’s removed, he chucks it in the ocean with the rest of his house and makes a point to say that you can take away his suits and his toys, but you cannot take away the fact that he is Iron Man.  So many questions still remained for me, would Iron Man be back without his arc reactor? Will he make more suits?  At the very end, after the extra scene in which Tony is talking to Dr. Banner about his emotional issues after New York (not the best after credit scene in my opinion) there is text that says “Iron Man WILL return”.

Thinking back over the movie, I really felt that I should have made the connection to Maya and Aldrich much sooner than we did. We were shown her work for a purpose at the beginning, but it didn’t really click until Aldrich came in to capture Pepper.  I suppose the rest of the movie was so engaging that it kept my mind off it and prevented me from making that leap.  I did really like that Rhodes and Pepper were included in the movie much more than others.  Rhodes is just a cool guy and while Tony likes him, it’s clear he does not want a sidekick.  Tony said that all of his suits are coded to him, but we know he can put the Mark 42 on other people, so that may just be an excuse.  Also, while I do not care for Gwyneth Paltrow, I do love Pepper Potts and she totally kicked ass in this morning.  I loved seeing her in the Iron Man suite at the beginning, especially when she couldn’t get it to work right.  However, the effects of the Extremis plus the Iron Man suit at the end was a killer combination.  I would have loved to see her as a full on superman, but I think that being in situations like Tony was in The Avengers would be even harder on her.  I am not sure she would be able to handle it.  I could see her trying and end up becoming a supervillain that Tony would have to fight, that would be a very interesting story.

My favorite thing about the movie overall though is how they tied in The Avengers.  I have seen other people say that this was the perfect movie to come after it and I agree.  I really didn’t expect there to be much tie in, but it was great to see the vulnerability that Tony was dealing with.  Really though, how does a normal person deal with something like that?  Tony doesn’t really have super powers per se, not like the Hulk or Thor.  It’s definitely a side of superheroes that we don’t really get to see.

Overall, I loved it.  The bad guys were not my favorite and seemed a little strained at times, but how Tony deals with everything, even when he doesn’t have his fully functional awesome suit is great.  I loved Pepper and Rhodes.  And Harley? That kid is just awesome.  Plus I love how Tony decked out his tinkering shed.  I loved how they bantered and how, even though Tony acted like he doesn’t like kids, he connects with Harley.  I think he probably seems some of himself in him.  The ending did leave a little left to be desired and I was really worried when he was getting the arc reactor removed, but Iron Man WILL return and I cannot wait. I give it 8 Iron Man helmets out of 10.


Browncoats: Independence War – A “Firefly” Fan Film

6 May

 I’m generally not much for fanfiction and the link, but when I came across the KickStarter for Browncoats:  Independence War – A “Firefly” Fan Film, I was intrigued.  I watched the video and new this would be something I would want to see.  The video has different people working on the project talking about why they love Firefly, which are most of the same reasons why I love it.  It also got me thinking, I do really want to know what happened during the war.  Like all Kickstarter projects, they have various levels with tons of perks.  For just $25 you will get a digital download of the film once it’s finished.  I plan on probably doing that one.  So head on over to check it out.

Supervillain Speed Dating

4 May

Yesterday I posted the Superhero Speed Dating, so today I thought I should follow up with the Supervillain Speed Dating.  This one is not as funny for me, but the best line is when Vader says “I used to work for the evil empire, but now I work for Disney…”

Superhero Speed Dating

3 May

Ran across this on Geeks are Sexy and it made me lols.  I’ve done speed dating before, but it wasn’t quite this bad.  Though it was the graduate student version so… we’re probably a little more lame than superheros.  The only guy I really remember was a physics guy (I’m an engineer), so I tried to start off with a Big Bang Theory joke, because we all know how Sheldon harps on Howard because he’s an engineer.  The guy just kind of looked at me and said “That’s just a TV show”.  The rest of the conversation was very strained after that…

The deleted scenes are funnier than the first video I think. And poor Aquaman, he gets such a hard wrap.

The Internet: A Warning from History

29 Apr

I thought this was an amusing little video, especially since YouTube has been driving me NUTS lately because it keeps pausing where the video won’t load.  How much time do you waste looking at pictures of cats?

Doctor Who – The Bells of Saint John

28 Apr

How can I be writing about geeky things and not have written about Doctor Who yet?  Well… I’ve been busy.  I am up to date, minus the most recent episode (since Xfinity decided not to POST IT YET /rage).  But I’m going to go back and write about the episodes that I have watched since starting this blog.  The first of which was The Bells of Saint John.  I have to say I was a little underwhelmed by this episode.  I had hyped myself up a lot because of the Snowmen episode and I really wanted to know what is going on with Clara.  The premise of this episode is that The Great Inteligence has hired a group to farm human minds.  Basically, humans are getting sucked up through the wi-fi.

So the episode starts with The Doctor living with monks when the phone in the Tardis rings (apparently it does that).  It’s actually Clara on the phone asking about the internet and how to make it work on her computer.    The catcher here, that I didn’t think much of until later, is how did Clara get the number to the Tardis?  She says that the lady in the shop gave it to her and said it was best help line in the universe.  A lot of people have had a lot of suspinions.  My theory is that it is possibly Rose or River.  Those are the most likely to have the number to the Tardis, but then the question is how do they know who Clara is?  She could be the daughter of Rose and meta-crisis Doctor or even River and The Doctor.  But we’ll have to wait and see.

It was amusing to get to watch The Doctor play tech support.  He walks her through setting up her wi-fi and realizes it’s her when she uses “run you clever boy and remember” to remember the password.  Somehow he is able to track her and shows up at her door.   There was an amusing scene where he says he’s The Doctor and she says “Doctor who?”  She is a little weirded out and talks to him through the door camera.   When she refuses to talk anymore, he goes to change out of his monk clothes (don’t be a monk, monks aren’t cool).  While he is in the Tardis, one of the waystations shows up and starts to download Clara.  He comes back just in time and is able to get her computer and reverse the download.

They chat for a while after she wakes up, but are shortly in danger again as a plane is about to crash into them.  They flee into the Tardis, which is this Clara’s first time which didn’t give much time for a “it’s bigger on the inside” scene.  They land on the plane and fix the wi-fi and stop the plane from crashing.  This scene was a little weird.  I think I would have prefered if they had skipped this and had something else instead.  It just seemed a little odd and flighty.  It’s hard to explain.  Perhaps the point was just to freak out Clara more.  Once they fix the plane it’s back in the Tardis and they land somewhere the next morning and The Doctor gets a motorcycle out of the garage (yep, there’s a garage in the Tardis) and they go to have coffee.

The Doctor is using the computer to try and find where the people who are running the wi-fi operation are to get to them and stop them.  Clara had computer knowledge added to her when she was downloaded, so she takes over hacking while The Doctor goes in to get coffee.  This is probably the creepiest part of the episode.  The woman running the operation talks to The Doctor through various customers and employees at the shop to proove how powerful she is.  Wi-fi is almost everywhere now, so it’s scary to imagine that this is possible.  Unfortunatly she is only distracting The Doctor so they can download Clara.   Clara had found where they were, so he hops on his bike and speeds off to rescue her again.  We find out when he gets there, that he really hacked the wi-fi waystation and sent it there.  He downloads the lead woman there, which forces the group to un-download all of the people they have.

After they do that, Unit shows up at the building and is trying to get information out of wi-fi group.  The woman in charge is talking to The Great Inteligence and is told to restore them to their original personalities.  When Unit comes in to get her, she is talking like a little girl and asks for her mommy and daddy.  This is something that no one else has really mentioned, but this group must have been started a long time ago, if she was a small child and is now in her 50s or so.  The Great Intelligence was the same that was in the snow in the Snowmen episode, but it is still out there.  I feel like it is something we should be concerned about, but I don’t think The Doctor ever found out who had hired this group.

The episode ends with The Doctor coming back to Clara’s house.  He asks her to come with him and she says to come back tomorrow and ask her again.  He thinks this is silly, since he can just fastfoward to the next morning, but does it anyways.  Some people have pointed out that since Clara is a governess type personality and this Doctor is very childlike, this was for her to set down her ground rules.  I did like that she wasn’t completely eager to go of with him that second.

Now don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy parts of this episode.  But th emain part that underwhelmed me was the amount of dramatic coding and such.  I loved the twist at the end, that it wasn’t really The Doctor himself, but the overall action and suspense was limited for me.  Especially after the Snowmen episode.  This episode did bring up a lot of new questions and still didn’t answer any. Who was the lady at the shop and how does she know about Clara?  What is really the deal with Clara?  Though I am glad that she did not die in this episode.  It would get very emotionally draining if we had to watch her die every week and the Doctor had to find her again.  Overall, I have to go with 6.5 Tardis (Tardi? What’s the purple of Tardis?!) out of 10.  It just didn’t live up to my expectations.


Jurassic Park 3D

26 Apr

t-rex objects in mirror are closer than they appear


Yeah, yeah, I know.  I’m a sucker for novelty things like when movies are re-done in 3D.  Hell, I even went by myself to see The Lion King in 3D in theaters.   Though to my defense, I am picky about the movies I see in 3D and have only seen a handful.  But when one of my favorite movies is put back out on the big screen AND it’s in 3D?  I just have to check it out.  Jurassic Park was originally released in 1993, so about the time I was 5 or 6.  I am sure I did not get to see this in theaters when it first came out, and even if I did I probably wouldn’t remember it.  However, I do have fond memories of watching it on TV when I was a little bit older.  Every kid goes through a “OMG DINOSAUUURSSS” phase and Jurassic Park fell right in the middle of mine (which is probably why I like it so much).  Before watching the 3D version, it had been quite a while since I have seen it last and I was very curious to see how the 3D effects would play out.

Since most of you have scene Jurassic Park, at least the 2D version, I will try to stick to talking only about the 3D in the movie.  However, it was amusing seeing how many details I didn’t recall and some of the things that were just over my head as a kid.  Some of the little things that stood out to me where the horrible Australian stereotype used for Muldoon (the game warden guy).  He wasn’t a main enough character that I even thought about it.  I also never really noticed how much Ian flirts with Ellie throughout the movie.  I also didn’t know he was a chaos theory guy, but perhaps that is one of the things that was over my head.  Since I actually know a little about chaos theory now, it made him a little more appealing to me.

The opening scene was also something I didn’t quite remember.  Muldoon and a group of workers are around a large, secure paddock bringing in a big container.  They get the container into place and of course the creature inside tries to escape.  What did surprise me is before they get the animal (a velociraptor) contained or stunned, it does kill one of the workers.  I was kinda shocked that someone died within the first few minute because I didn’t really remember this, especially since in my mind it was a movie geared toward kids.  However, I think it really set the stage for the danger that will be throughout the movie.  As far as the 3D goes for the start of the movie, it was okay.  It gave a sense of depth, like the creature inside the crate was really alive and dangerous, but it didn’t add a lot to it.  The next scene, however, had a really cool 3D effect.  I didn’t quite recall this scene either, it is where the lawyer is going to check out a mine where they are collecting amber with mosquitoes in it.  This scene seemed overall unnecessary, but there was a part where a worker holds up a piece of amber and the camera zooms in on it.  The 3D here on the amber was very pretty and just plain neat.  It’s hard to describe, but it made it look real and gave a depth to it so you could really tell the insect was inside.  It definitely made me go “Woah”.

For the next little bit, the 3D is not impressive, and there are a few scenes that appeared to be in 2D.  We are at the dig site with Dr. Grant and Ellie Strader (who is also a Dr., but I thought it was interesting that she is always referred to as Ellie, same with Ian).  We see people working to uncover some fossils  but by far my favorite part is where Dr. Grant scares the crap out of this punk ass little kid that’s hanging around for whatever reason.  He pulled out a raptor claw and tells the kid in detail how one would hunt, kill, and eat him.  The look on the kids face is priceless.  Anyways, helicopter lands, John Hammond comes to talk to Dr. Grant and Ellie to convince them to come with him.  He says he’ll fund their dig for three more years and they jump on it.  Having been in grad school for sometime, I very much understand why they pounced on the funding.

Off they go into the helicopter were we finally meet Dr. Ian Malcolm.  Understanding that he was into chaos theory made some of his actions in the movie make a bit more sense.  The 3D in the helicopter was pretty good and everything stands out and pops just a little bit more.  THey land and get into the Jurassic Park jeeps and come across the dinosaurs for the first time.  While I do enjoy this part, I was underwhelmed by the 3D.  The dinosaurs didn’t really stand out or appear to have all that much extra depth to them.  Perhaps because it was mostly distance shots, but I was definitely not impressed for the first scene with 3D dinosaurs.  Thankfully the next 3D dino encounter was much better.  During the tour of the facility and explanation of how they lab was able to re-create dinosaurs, Dr. Grant, Ellie, and Ian stop the ride and burst into the lap to get a closer look (does the absurd violation of lab protocols and possible contamination here not bother anyone else?).  We get to watch one of the eggs hatch and see Dr. Grant holding a baby velociraptor.  I did like the 3D here because it helped the little creature look real and actually alive.

Now the movie really picks up.  We meet John Hammond’s grandchildren, Lex and Tim, and they all go off on a test run of a tour.  Few dinos are seen until suddenly Ellie hops out of the moving jeep to go look at something.  They all follow and discover a sick triceratops.  I don’t really recall a lot about the 3D here, so I suppose it wasn’t anything special.  Ellie goes back with the vet while the rest go back to the jeeps where they end up stuck in front of the T-Rex paddock when the power goes out from a tropical storm.  Bump bump.  The water on the dashboard starts to ripple.  Bump bump.  Tim notices the ripples and they are looking out the car windows when a goat leg falls onto the clear roof of the jeep, which causes the lawyer to flee from the jeep to the small bathroom near by.  They soon find out that the power for the fencing had been disabled (we know it was the deceitful Dennis Nedry) and out pops the giant dino from its paddock.  The 3D here was pretty well done.  The added depth makes the T-Rex look even more real and menacing, especially when it breaks in the top of the car and the kids are trying to stay away from its teeth.  While there could have been a lot more done here, especially if it was originally shot with 3D in mind, it was not disappointing.  It was also pretty well done when the T-Rex breaks down the bathroom building and chomps on the lawyer. I even knew he would get eaten from the start of the movie when I was little.

In the entire movie though, the best 3D is probably when they are in the trees, especially trying to escape from the jeep.  When the jeep was pushed over the edge of the paddock, Dr. Grant has to climb up to save Tim.  As they are going down, the jeep slips and they have to scramble down through the branches.  Because there was so much going on with the branches, the jeep, and the people, the 3D depth really added to the franticness of trying to get out.  The 3D was also amusing when they are back up in the tree for the night and a brachiosaurus is nearby.  Lex is trying to pet it when it sneezes all over her.  Thankfully this is not a “4D’ movie and we didn’t actually get sprayed with dino snot.  Later we get another 3D dino experience when the herd of running dinosaurs comes through and they have to hide.  While it’s a cool scene, it wasn’t my favorite of th emovie.

Another good part of the movie, that I think is another classic moment, is when the T-Rex chases the jeep when Ellie and Muldoon go out to find the grandchildren   They find an injured Ian and put him on the jeep and they go off to look more when the T-Rex decides to come back.  They all scramble back into the jeep and take off with the T-Rex in tow.  The best part is the show in the side mirror with the T-Rex running with the “objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear” text.  It really made the T-Rex look like it’s about to jump through the mirror at you or catch you.  This is possibly my favorite scene in the movie, though it’s hard to beat out the raptors.

Ahhh the velociraptors.  Watching this movie again, I had forgotten that they really aren’t in much of the movie.  They are what stands out the most to me, but I could also be mixing movies together.  The first encounter with a free running raptor is when Ellie and Muldoon go to turn the power back on.  Muldoon runs into some in the trees while Ellie runs in to flip the breakers.  Ellie also has one try to attack her in the breaker room.  In the breaker room, the 3D was underwhelming because it was such close quarters.  However, we do get raptors again coming after the children in the kitchen.  This is another iconic scene of the movie and I did like the 3D here.

The only other big scene with 3D in the movie was were Dennis Nedry (NEWMAN!) is trying to escape during the storm.  He’s flying through mud and muck and crashes.  Here he comes across one of the little dinos that spits acid.  While it was a cool scene, I felt the 3D could have been better.  This was a great scene to make you jump, but I feel if it had been shot in 3D originally, it would have been more effective.  I think the downpour of rain also hinders the 3D conversion because you have so much going on.  The one thing that caught my eye is the canister of embryos he was stealing gets dropped and covered up by mud.  It made a point of showing this, but in the other two movies, this has never been brought back up.  I am hoping it has some purpose, perhaps in the new movie.  I stayed after the credits, but no sneak preview of it, since it is set to come out in June of 2014.

Other than the 3D, the movie brought up some interesting thoughts for me that I had not considered.  Even today, I am still amazed by the technology and innovation used to create the dinosaurs in this morning.  For most scenes, they are not just CGI that is put in, but mechanised creations or suited actors.  I highly suggest looking at how the raptor suits that were used were created.  That is something that I feel is just not done as often in movies today.

Also in the movie there was lots of talk about even though they can re-create dinosaurs and essential bring them back from extinction, of the idea of if they really should.  This theme was definitely well over my head when I was first watching this morning, but being in science and seeing a lot of research, there is an ethical and moral dilemma with a lot of topics.  Just because we can doesn’t necessarily mean we should and this movie really hits at the danger of playing with science and technology that we do not fully understand and cannot control.  However, given the level of security and the circumstances, was it really that the dinosaurs were uncontrolled and dangerous, or was it a series of unfortunate events that lead to it?  Without the sabotage by Dennis (NEWMAN!), the fences would have not failed and a system reset would have not been required, though it is hard to say what other situations could arise.  Another idea is that nature will always find a way, which Ian says several times.  We see at one point that the dinosaurs did find a way and have been mating and breeding.

Overall, I think they did a pretty good job with the 3D version.  Not every scene was in 3D and there were some scenes where the 3D did add a lot.  Yeah it is also ploy to make more money off an old movie, but it also brings a new life to what I consider a classic from my childhood.  For those like me that loved this movie on TV, but never got to see it in theaters, it gives us that chance to have that experience, which I appreciate.  Even if it had just been released in 2D I probably would have gone to see it just to see it in a theater.  It’s kind of the same reason why people want to go see new movies at midnight the night it opens.  It’s all about the experience.  Overall, I give it 6 dino bones plus two and a half DNA strands out of 10.  It’s a great movie and you should totally check it out in 3D, but a few of the 3D scenes left me underwhelmed.