I Aim To Misbehave

The best sci-fi universe out there can be found in the pages of The Erratic Sun. Don’t believe me? Purchase a copy and see for yourself. For those of you who say I’m biased, that I should pick something not of my own creation, I suppose I could pick one that’s a close second.

And that close second would be a galaxy far, far away.

Though not everything in the Star Wars universe has been great, some the movies, novels, and video games set within it have been among the best things I’ve ever watched/read/played. It is a vast landscape full of possibilities. Even the worst of it is better than a lot of things that are out there.

However, while reading something set in a different sci-fi universe, I realized that while Star Wars may be my favorite universe as a whole, it doesn’t contain my favorite sci-fi movie. It was a weird experience because up until then, I didn’t even realize that it was my favorite sci-fi movie. I knew I liked it, but until I actually thought about it, I didn’t realize how much I liked it.

That movie is Serenity.

Joss Whedon has done a lot of good things in his career, but as far as I’m concerned, Serenity is the best, by far. I know, I know. Avengers. I’m right there with you. I love The Avengers. I still think Serenity is his crowning achievement, however.

Serenity took everything that was good about Firefly (which is a great show) and made it even better. The story is better. The interaction between the characters is better. The “villain” is better. Now, I’m not going to say that it’s perfect, but I can’t think of a single flaw in it.

Now I’m going to have to go watch it again.

What about you? What’s your favorite sci-fi movie? Is it set in your favorite sci-fi universe?

The Directive

If you have Hulu, you have access to the movie The Directive. A few months ago, I saw an ad on Facebook about the movie. The premise seemed interesting so I added it to my list to watch at a later date. Last night was that later date and it was definitely not worth the wait.

Here is the description, as posted on Hulu: “In the aftermath of an incurable virus spread, a robot seeking to eradicate humanity deceptively guides a Red Cross survivor to sanctuary with the false hope of his family awaiting in Safe Zone 57.”

Did you read that one sentence? Good. I’ve just saved you two hours of time because that literally describes everything that happens in the movie. That’s it. Almost the whole movie is nothing but the survivor going nuts because of being by himself for so long and then walking towards the safe zone after finding the robot. Other than that, very little happens in this movie.

The sad thing? If they didn’t tell you that the robot was trying to kill the survivor in the description, this movie probably wouldn’t have seemed so bad. If they would’ve kept that one thing a surprise, and hit you with the betrayal at the end? That would’ve made a huge difference. It still wouldn’t have made it a great movie, because it did drag on pretty badly in some places, but it would’ve made it a lot better.

I might’ve even recommended that you watch it if they had worded the description better. I can’t do that now. Just by reading that one sentence, you miss absolutely nothing by not watching the movie.

Paintballer

As you may have seen, I did a “Captain Procrastination” story a few days ago. When I first wrote a story about him (many, many years ago), I had no plans on making a series out of it. To me, it was just a humorous concept. It was a person who had good superhuman powers, but was still a lame hero. Eventually, the novelty wore off and I tired of writing them.

So, I thought I’d flip the concept with my follow up character, DICO. He was a good (or at least decent) hero who had lame powers. That novelty wore off pretty quickly too. But, the recent CP story (which honestly only came about because of a joke between Matticus and myself) made me think back to a character I had come up with probably close to 15 years ago named Paintballer, who was both a lame hero and had lame powers.

Well, I guess technically he had no powers, but that’s beside the point.

A coworker of mine had heard about a contest at a comic book convention (it wasn’t the local one in Cincinnati. I think it was the one in Indianapolis or something). The contest involved making your own comic book/superhero movie, lasting between 5 to 10 minutes long. I don’t remember what the prize was for winning, but the two of us made plans to enter. We were going to do two movies, one for each of us.

There were two main problems we had to overcome. The first was budget…. we had none.

Neither of us had any money, so anything we did would have to involve things we either already had or that could be obtained for little or no money.

The second main problem was safety. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a lot of superhero movies have a lot of fighting in them and are pretty special effects heavy. As neither of us had any experience in either of these areas, the story couldn’t include things that could cause any permanent damage.

Paintballer solved both of those problems. The basic premise of the story was that a guy was being harrassed/abused by a couple of drug dealers in his neighborhood and decides to take action with the only weapon he has: his cheap, single shot paintball gun.

It solved the first problem because I already had one of those paintball guns. I never tried to use it to actually play paintball. It was only used to goof around/target practice before then. It solved the second problem because, barring getting shot in the eye, getting hit by a paintball wouldn’t cause any serious injuries. Plus, I was going to write it to where nobody got shot in the face. But, just to be safe, I was going to have my “drug dealers” wear sunglasses to cover their eyes in case something went really wrong.

Paintballer wasn’t going to win the day through skill. It was going to be pure luck. Five to ten minutes isn’t a lot of time to tell a story, or plan a fight, so I was going to have it be a slapstick, people getting shot in the nuts (wearing a cup, or other type of protection of course) kind of thing.

Sadly, Paintballer was not meant to be. We got started on it too late, and my coworker and I were never able to get enough time off together to ever put anything down on film, for either his project or mine. I thought about making the video anyway, even if it didn’t get submitted for the contest, but it didn’t seem worth it. Besides, not too many people would probably volunteer to let me shoot paintballs at them without getting some sort of compensation for it.

Over the past few days, I’ve thought about reviving Paintballer and making him more modern. Such as, giving him special paintballs kind of like how Hawkeye and Green Arrow have special arrows. Maybe he has a paintball that releases knockout gas when it ruptures, or one that packs a small amount of explosives so he can blow the lock off a door.

Or, maybe he’ll stay on the trash pile. I don’t know.

Coming Back

Have you ever noticed that when you’re watching a movie or TV show about someone who either goes missing for a long time or comes back from the dead, their significant other always hooks up with the missing person’s best friend or family member? And it’s always the same story too. It’s always, “We didn’t plan for this to happen. We just got close while we helped each other cope with the grief of losing you.”

Maybe it’s happened before, and I just haven’t seen it, but I would like to see one of those scenes where the friend or family member doesn’t say, “I don’t know how to tell you this but… I hooked up with your significant other.” Instead, they tell the person who just came back, “I don’t know how to tell you this but… I haven’t seen them since the memorial service we had for you. We hated each other. We just faked it for your sake.”

It would just be a nice change of pace.

Catching Up on my Movies

I’m way behind in my movie watching. Between work, fixing up my house, spending time with my girls, and writing, I don’t get a whole lot of movie watching time. I’m also way behind on my TV watching too. I haven’t finished the second season of any of the non-Daredevil Marvel Netflix shows. But, since movies are a lot quicker to watch than seasons full of shows, I figured I’d get some of them out of the way first. Here’s my overall opinions on them.

Needless to say, there will be spoilers here (although, I doubt there are too many people as behind in their movie watching as I am)

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RTotD: 073117

There are a lot of movies out there that don’t get the credit they deserve for being badass. The one that’s been bouncing around my head today is Lucky Number Slevin. This movie is amazing. 

Not only is it a well written script, but the cast is awesome too: Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu, Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci. Hell, it’s even got Bubba from Forrest Gump in there (Yes, I realize he has a real name, but if I put Mykelti Williamson, how many of you would really know who I was talking about?).

Anyways,  if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s on Netflix. You should really check it out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 

Looking Back: Revenge of the Nerds

Revenge of the Nerds, an 80s comedy set on a college campus. It was filled with everything you’d expect from an 80s movie: horrible clothes, horrible hair, and horrible synthesizer music. It’s a movie that I haven’t watched in probably 15-20 years. Every once in a while, I’ll be reminded of it and it’ll get me thinking.

Back then: Raunchy college comedy about the little guys sticking it to the man.

Now: A bunch of college kids, that should’ve been thrown in jail, get away with multiple crimes.

To be honest, while there were some funny parts in this movie, I was a teenager when I used to watch this movie. That means that I didn’t really care much about the plot, or what happened in it. Why, you ask? Because I was a teenager and there were many boobies shown in this movie.

As an adult….well… I still like looking at boobies,  but they aren’t the sole reason I have for watching something anymore . I actually care about  plots, characters, and stories now. And, looking back on it, the nerds were horrible, horrible people.

While I agree that the jocks and their girlfriends  were complete jackasses for making fun of the nerds, what the nerds did was not only worse, it was illegal. Let’s look at the list: they broke into a sorority house, they stole the girls’ personal property  (their panties), and they set up video cameras in the sorority house’s  showers and bedrooms so they could record the girls naked without their knowledge or consent. Then, they sell these illegally obtained nude images to every horny man on campus.

And these are the heroes of the story?

Let’s also not forget the complete ridiculousness of the head nerd getting the girl. He steals her boyfriend’s mask at a costume event and wears it just long enough to trick her into sex (I’m not sure if that technically qualifies as rape but it’s close enough, if you ask me). What does this girl do when she finds out? Does she beat the crap out of him like she should? Nope. She compliments him. Apparently, in this  girl’s mind, it’s ok to sell her naked image all over campus and trick her into bed, but only if you go down on her.

Ridiculous!

I would wonder why I never noticed this when I watched this back then, but the answer is quite obvious. I was blinded by the boobies… and I still am.