Good bad scifi movies

When I was growing up, I watched a lot of “B” science fiction movies, including Battle Beyond the Stars, Ice Pirates, Krull, and Spacehunter. These movies were pretty bad but fun to watch.

Krull was being shown on Encore this morning; it really is a dreadful movie, but that didn’t stop me from watching it again. 🙂

The SciFi Channel (or now the SyFy Channel *shudder*) should really take a note: it is possible to have bad “B” science fiction movies that are actually watchable. Most of the SyFy movies are pretty bad; I can’t even make it through them. Maybe that’s because they have more horror (or more precisely, gore) than scifi; that seems to be the trend these days. I really don’t like walking into Blockbuster and having to search through all of the horror movies to find a decent scifi movie; wish they’d break them into two different sections.

Having said all that, I’d really like to see Ice Pirates again. 🙂

TDTESS: Remake madness

It’s commonly said that Hollywood has lost all originality, but in the case of the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, that doesn’t seem to be the problem.

The original 1951 version of TDTESS is one of my all-time favorite movies, and I had hopes that the remake would remain faithful to the original movie while bringing the story into the modern era. However, after seeing the trailers for the remake those hopes are gone. The remake appears to be a “re-imaging” of the original, so expect to see a lot of CGI battles/scenes of random destruction.

Maybe the trailers aren’t doing the new movie justice; maybe it will be better than it appears in the trailers. Maybe I’ll just watch my original DVD. 🙂

I can look on the bright side though; the money that I would have spent at the movies can be put to better use. *laughs!*

SWCW: Worst episode ever!

I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised with the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episodes now playing on Cartoon Network. At least, until this week…

Why on earth would they devote an entire episode to Jar Jar? The character was a nasty stereotype in Phantom Menace and instead of being amusing he’s often quite annoying (my wife says “worst character ever, even worse than Towlie”). This week’s Clone Wars episode was a continuation of his Phantom Menace “antics” and not at all enjoyable — I found myself wanting to turn it off half-way through the episode but I’m stubborn. Then when I finished it, I wondered why I bothered. 🙂

And yes, I am well aware of the irony of running to the computer to express my dislike for the episode on the Internet (at least I’m a lot thinner than Comic Book Guy!) *grin!*

BTW, in the interest of full disclosure, I actually like Towlie!
“I have no idea what’s going on…” *laughs!*

Metallica’s new album

I was all prepared to hate the new album Death Magnetic; St Anger was such a disappointment that I couldn’t imagine them recovering from it.

I was hopeful (but skeptical) of the reports that the new album would be a “getting back to their roots” album, a cross between Master of Puppets and …And Justice for All. I really would love to hear that album, but it still doesn’t exist…

The real miracle (to me) is that I don’t hate DM. I still think some of the riffs are weak — nothing really makes me want to pick up my guitar — but the album as a whole is growing on me. I’m really getting to like That was just your life and Unforgiven III is pretty decent. I’ll just have to wait and see how much the album grows on me.

But man, I really miss songs like Damage Inc and Harvester of Sorrow.

Update 09/26/08: I’m really getting to like some of the songs on this album. I’ve been listening to it for a few days and it’s beginning to grow on me. Ironically, I really disliked Broken, Beat & Scarred initially — there wasn’t much of an opening riff and the lyrics were overly repetitive. But after listening to it several times, this may be my favorite song on the album. “Rise, fall down, rise again!”indeed!

Bass players unite!

I’ve pretty much always been a fan of bass. One of my earliest memories is of hearing Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album playing at my Uncle Jim’s house. DSotM has a well-defined bass line, and I remember feeling like it was vibrating inside of me.

When I had just become a teenager, my family went to the Walmart in Jasper and I bought a cassette of Rush’s Fly By Night; Paul told me, “You just wasted your money on that!” — I think that might have been one of the only times I’ve known him to be wrong about something! happy smiley

I became a huge fan of Rush because of that cassette (and the subsequent purchase of Grace Under Pressure. I fondly remember putting on my headphones and getting lost in the music, usually keying on the bass lines. I grew to love Geddy’s style, which I once heard described as “aggressively melodic”.

So it stands to reason I’d eventually start playing bass myself; I’m actually a bit surprised that it took as long as it did for me to start.

I didn’t start playing bass until around 1995 or so. I actually started playing guitar first, in the summer of 1990; I was told that it would be easier to play the bass after learning the guitar first, instead of picking up guitar after bass. That probably is true; I really enjoyed playing guitar, but when I picked up the bass and started learning Rush’s bass lines, I knew I had found “what I’m looking for” (with apologies to U2). winking smiley

Joining the Tivo revolution!

A Digital Video Recorder is an electronic device that acts as an updated VCR; it records television shows on a hard drive instead of using blank video tapes. DVRs are usually much easier to set up future recordings; all you have to do is to find the program you want to record in the program guide and press the record button.

Before you get a DVR, you have to set your schedule to your favorite shows. If you love to watch Bones (and we do!), you’ll have to be ready to watch the show when it is aired. However, with a DVR, you can simply set up a series recording and the DVR will automatically record all episodes for you. You’ll then be able to watch your favorite shows on your own schedule.

The ironic thing is that you may end up watching less television when you have a DVR; I don’t think I watch as much tv as I used to, but I watch more of what I want to see when I choose to do so.

You can also pause a live television show; this is really helpful when watching something and your pizza is delivered (not that I do that much! happy smiley) You can also rewind and re-watch parts of the show, which allows you to pick up missed dialog, re-watch that awesome play or review those questionable fouls called by the referees.

One of the most remarked features of the DRV (and the most hated feature by studios and advertisers) is that you can skip commercials in your recorded shows. As I feel that advertising has become so intrusive (it’s everywhere), I love this feature. I will sometimes go back and watch the good commercials (Peyton Manning, anyone?), but I’m not forced to set through the really annoying ads (no more Head-On!)

We first got a 40-hour Series 2 Tivo in September 2003. We quickly learned that 40 hours may seem like a lot of storage space, but you end up using it pretty quickly. The 40hr capacity is available when you use the basic quality level; it looks ok on smaller televisions, but it looks pretty grainy on larger televisions. When we bought our 50″ LCD during the summer of 2005, we really noticed the limitations of the 40hr Tivo, so we went out and bought a 140hr Series 2 Tivo in September 2005. Using this new larger Tivo, we were able to use a higher quality recording and still have plenty of room for our shows.

The main drawback with Series 2 Tivos is that they do not support HighDef television. So when Insight started offering DVR-capable set top boxes, we got one (a dual-tuner, that allows you to watch one show while recording another or record two shows at once). We got a second DRV from Insight for the bedroom, since it really didn’t add much money to our monthly payment.