Saturday, November 29, 2014

Top 15 Must-Watch Sci-Fi Films

Robert Picardo as "Johnny Cab" robot cab driver in the iconic 1990 film, Total Recall.

  There's been a "hulla-balloo" of new recruits in the Space Command community, most of which are woefully unprepared.  Honestly, I don't see how these guys even function.  Today's Gen Zero'ers can only watch 90 seconds of any film before resorting to their YouTube videos on their portable devices (to which point they'll only watch 30 to 90 seconds of each vid before getting "bored").  Indeed, these kids were brought-up on "good for you" veggies, pre-seasoned heavily with pesticides, chicken impregnated with extreme estrogen from leftover "Yaz" pills, and fish from the Gulf of Mexico riddled with Xylene from the BP Oil spill a few years ago that sunk to the bottom.  Your kids are screwed, people, and you're feeding your kids poison (and have been) and it shows in their developmental failures with oh-so-innocent inoculation batches with "XX" markings on various pallets that will seem similar to operation MK Ultra from the 1960's or how a particular and familiar military branch in 1996 told every female coming in she had ovarian cancer and had to have one ovary removed (yep, happened).

  Because of all these things, young 20-somethings are now twitchy.  I see various off-signs of Tourette's Syndrome and twitchiness in a lot of 'em.  Can't focus.  Can't sit still.  Can't listen to an inner-peace.  Gotta fill that void!  Gotta fill it!  Most of them don't even remember their childhood.  Ah, America!  Yay, we won!

  Well, there's probably 15 or so must-watch science-fiction films that are both iconic and important to even understand Space Command in my opinion.  I meet these kids who barely have seen any sci-fi except they might remember "Jar-Jar" when they were a kid.  God help us.

Feeding new space kid with nutritious sci-fi goodness.  Eat, monkey, eat.

  This list will get you a leg-up and a start.  A lot of sci-fi films (like Interstellar (2014) is simply a rehash of Disney's 1979 classic, The Black Hole mixed-in with a little Silent Running (1972)).  The Matrix was just a remake of several re-hashed films, including the comic The Invisibles, and Ghost in the Shell.  Everything Tarantino does is a direct, frame-for-frame ripoff (such as Kill Bill with Lady Snowblood and Kill Bill II with Bruce Lee vs. the Ninja, Reservoir Dogs with City on Fire, Inglorious Basterds with Inglorious Bastards, The Last Metro, and Dirty Dozen, Natural Born Killers from Badlands and Kalifornia, and Foxy Brown from Rum I could go on all day).  I get annoyed with a remake comes out and people don't know the original, though I myself am to blame on rare occasion, and get mad at myself too!  I immediately watch the original, Repo Men the only one I avoid, because I know it will ruin the newer one utterly, and I kinda liked it.

  So, watch these 15 movies at all costs (some are trilogies) in the order presented.  Do so.  Now.  Then get back to me.  Until then, you are not human enough to talk to me and must lower-case your name.  When you watch these films, there are to be no distractions.  No phones.  No going to pee.  No pausing.  You watch them and you memorize them until it becomes part of your soul.  There is no excuse otherwise.  Quote lines from it like you're being hazed in a college fraternity and have to recite off-the-wall factoids and minutia.  Do it.
1.  Star Wars / Empire Strikes Back / Return of the Jedi (original 1977 -1983 Trilogy)

     Iconic.  Immortal.  Perfect.  Mobs of people fought to get into the first one, not just politely "wait in line".  This first movie was sold-out for a full year, then for 4 years it was still in the theaters making sales.  There's a reason for that.  No other movie did that except Gone with the Wind (almost).  ET lasted 3 years.  I still remember seeing the entire trilogy at the "dollar" theaters in 1986 for the price of one.  It's a big deal.  Watch each one twice, then move on to the next.  Memorize these 3.
2.  Blade Runner (1982)

    Some say this is the best movie ever made.  It's a slow detective film akin to Humphrey Bogart's best work, but it's also an excellent drama based on the best science-fiction writer of all time, Phillip K. Dick's story, Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep.  This is the grandfather of all dystopian-future films and has an all-star cast.  The acting is all brilliant.  The details are amazing.  Way ahead of its time.  It's interesting Ridley Scott equates water with "danger" about a detective hunting down rogue human-like robots in this paranoia-infused man-hunt.  Get the US Theatrical Release with the narration by Harrison Ford if you can find it to keep the pace up and the backstory evolved.  Fabulous, expensive sets and matt-boards.  Detail everywhere!
3.  Escape from New York (1981)

    This film is one of John Carpenter's best "shadow play" works.  Another dystopian future film where Manhattan Island has been converted into a no-rules prison.  Air Force One crashing by hijack near the Twin Towers make it poignant, the actors brought the film up several notches.  Analog keyboards set the mood.  This is the king of all B-movies, but it works.  Consider watching, putting yourself in the main-character's point-of-view. 

Princess Aura and Emperor Ming approve of my choice.. following my public execution.
3.  Flash Gordon (1980)
    Pure, syrupy, delicious camp.  Gaudy Italian director Dino De Laurentiis make the first comic-book-to-film adaptation that actually works with a stunning, electrically-charged, and powerful soundtrack by the rock band Queen takes the film above and beyond.  Max von Sydow (soon to be in Star Wars VII (2015)) plays the perfect villain.  The movie teases on dead-pan one-liner comedy and oozy sexuality Barbarella couldn't pull-off.  It's a jaunty adventure that's bigger than itself, and probably the second best opening intro to any movie next to Star Wars (original, uncut version). 

5.  Logan's Run (1976)

   Dreary 1970's post-apocalyptical dystopian, George Orwellian, hopeless and thick.  There's quite a few films that are similar to this level of misery and tension, such as Westworld, Omega Man, and A Boy and His Dog but this one has a great cast and a moody vibe that combines all of the 1970's into one flick that everyone talks about.

6.  Aliens (1986)

    You shoud watch the prequel, Alien but that's more of a horror-flick-sci-fi than a sci-fi-horror-flick.  Both are quite good in their own wake.  Watching the original will get you up an in the mood for a better understanding, but the sequel is full-on military-versus-aliens that Starship Troopers sort of botched.  This one is the least "campy" of the genre-bunch and has you interested throughout.  You could pass on Alien and go right to Aliens if you like.  I recommend you don't.

7.  Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (1982)

    Star Trek is it's own religion.  There's a reason for that.  You should investigate that fully, starting in-order with the original series (by order of episode, not release-date as Season 1 was mixed-around in the same way Firefly was).  You can go to Wikipedia and find out the correct watching-sequence pretty easily and jump on Netflix and the series had a upgrade/refresh in 7.1 surround HD and special-effects modernization making it great.  This film can be watched with no prior background of the franchise, as well as the 4th one (yeah, the one with the whales).  It comes-off like Run Silent Run Deep as a submarine World War II submarine film with military overtones throughout. 

8.  Forbidden Planet (1956)

    So you have to watch some older sci-fi and this one with a very young Leslie Nielson does the trick.  Special effects for the 1950's was stunning at-the-time; even unheard-of!  Story is tight and the robot is iconic and used and seen everywhere since.  This is your best choice (aside from Metropolis and The Day the Earth Stood Still (original 1951 version)) that will get you a good taste for what sci-fi history was all about, and why it's a big deal now.  Great acting and work here.

9.  Terminator (1984) & Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

    Arnold Schwarzenegger's best-known (arguably) work as a time-travel-paradox adventure.  Skip all the others.  I & II are excellent and still are cool and hold-up today.  Pure action and killer robots sent from the future to destroy key personnel to stop the revolution and suspicious yarns that at the time were traditional and iconic pickup-lines for chicks back in the early '80s, "Come with me if you want to live!  I'm from the future!"  Then.. bumping bunnies.  Uh-huh.  This time, is it for real?


10. Back to the Future Trilogy (1985-1990)

    The Delorean Motor Company would have been completely forgotten if not for this film.  Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd have to fix the timeline in a time-machine-fitted car.  There's a crossover fan-fiction film here.  (only watch this crossover if you've seen all 5 above films of #9 and #10).  Akin to the TV series Voyagers and the basis for the cartoon show Rick and Morty, this series spawned the notion for Hoverboards and Nike "Air McFly" shoes as well as the phrase, "Do you remember the future?"

11. The Thing (1982)

    John Carpenter's other good film with heavy use on shadow-play and a shape-shifting alien in Antarctica on an isolated US research base cause extreme paranoia amongst the inhabitants.  Special effects are bone-chilling and stand-up even to this day.  A prequel came out recently.  Analog keyboards again set the mood and though a bit slow, it's intense, and still scary today.

12. Soylent Green (1973)

    Dystopian future again, this time humanity is treated like pests.  Food sources are questionable, and the government doesn't want you to know the source in this worst-case scenario North Korea is currently going through today!  Like this one?  Watch the original Death Race 2000 too.

13. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

    Reminiscent of the Chernobyl Incident, one Starfleet Captain is used as a chess piece to fail a peace-treaty due to his obvious prejudice in this political action/thriller.

14. Rollerball (1975)

    Gory future that inspired current roller-derby games and the film Whip It (2009) but far more horrific as sport and death go hand-in-hand and is expected by the community with no rules (oh, and fire, and motorcycles.)   Like this one?  Watch Running Man as well.  Not for the squeamish (if you can get the Rated-X version).


15. Total Recall (1990)

    A bit of a fun film with a serious angle from the book, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale about a guy who wants to buy a vacation without going by having memories of it implanted into his brain, then things go wrong... or do they?  This film leaves you guessing.  Campy at times (with Schwarzenegger again) but futuristic and interesting and very quotable parts.  If you can find the unrated version, get that.  It was the last film to be Rated-X in the US!
Ice cream can be sooooo messy.

  So, that's it.  Did I leave your favorite one out?  Post below for more goodness!

It sure can be, eh, Mabel?!


Oh, and one for the ladies!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Blue Box


  So that last blog was a doosie, right?  I'll have you all know I DO NOT really have those opinions, removing all civil rights from folks?  That's just cray-cray!  I just wanted to make a point.  To make you all THINK!  You see, the US Constitution is variable.  It is no holy document, though some would make it out to be that way.  It can be amended and it can have those amendments repealed.  It was created to do so, though an amendment could actually be created to remove that right, or have a President serve a life-term, or decide that the Catholic Pope is the current US President, or slavery to initiate for all redheads.  It's a dangerous tool and sort of a big deal.

  I see a lot of Americans voting for "the guy that looks good" and that's troublesome.  I see them voting for similar race, assuming they're "the same".  Foolish self-racism here!  Some vote and then deny the reality that the guy they voted for didn't live up to their expectations, voting for him (or her) again out of abhorrent shame and denial, perhaps justifying their original, uneducated decision that they just "didn't have enough time" to get things right.  Now, this may have been the case in 1850, or even 1950, but things happen so quickly in comparison, 3 months make a difference!  It used to be considered that the prosperity or demise of a nation is based on that leader's predecessor at least 5 years prior but this is no longer the case with lightning-fast stock-market access to the general public.  I strongly believe that the stock-market crash of 2008 was because of McCain's unrealistic vice-president selection validating the Democratic party 3 months early as a panic-move.  If you think about it, you know I'm right.  Seriously, the song Barracuda for a VP?  Did they know the song was about treachery? 

   Heart named Rolling Stones Magazine's interviewer "Barracuda" because he suggested that the album-art from their first album, Dreamboat Annie was telltale incestuous lesbianism (which they denied).  Not a great choice for a running-mate song.  Though popular in Alaska, did not resound well with the voters, hence, stock-market sell-off in likely fear of a Dem President; then gold prices went through the roof right after in a self-defense end-of-the-world scenario and fallout shelter sales went ballistic (pun intended).

  Our freedoms are fragile based on our vote.  I expect everyone to look at who and what they're voting for, analyze their record.  Did they represent you correctly the last few years?  Do they have a history of your own interests?  What percentage of voters did this?  1%?  Maybe less.  I did but..

  Another concern is that the Military's vote doesn't get counted (for the most part).  You see, they're normally absentee ballots as most are out-of-state.  Military claim their home-state and therefore have to mail-in their vote there.  Few military actually are serving in their home-state where they started-from.  Many are over-seas.  Military mail-in ballots are only counted after an election is over as a tie-breaker (just in-case) and often ignored (as in Florida).  Active-duty is only 0.5% of the population of the US but most vote and are encouraged to do so.  Shame it's ignored.  Did you know active-duty Military also pay taxes except in the rare, few tax-exempt, combat-zones (a few square miles in few various places).  Yep.  They pay taxes with tax money.  Love it, right?  Ugh.

Found out vote didn't count.

  So remember to vote correctly, for what you actually believe in.  Think the Green Party or the Independents are a throw-away vote?  Well think again.  Unless you're trying to strategize it to make sure someone does not get into office, vote right.

"The city of Gamorra, the city of sin," and that "like the mighty fist of God, waters will rise up and separate this sinful, sinful city from our country."
  Thanks for listening, kids.

I got a 1-point speeding ticket today.  "President of what?"  "That's not funny, Plissken!"


Oh, and here's some funny profile pics, since this blog was so serious:

Well hello there!  Should I shave.. me?

First GSE-lead date.

Hubba-hubba, baby!

Brought wrong "kid" to the photo-shoot realization.

Holocaust dance-a-thon-a-palindrome boogie. 

A family that hunts.  Now.. behind the curtain, the ex-boyfriends daddy didn't like.

Proof the Catholic Pope still doesn't recommend birth-control.

I'm going to hide my evil egg somewhere!

About last night...

Honestly, if she let her hair down on both sides..

What do you mean Obama is letting 5 million illegal, undocumented immigrants amnesty?! 

Now, baby, EAT THIS HORSE!  Not my dogs! (mom cries)  Not again!

Young Carmen Diaz.

Mom?  When will the Crazy-Glue wear off?

The blue one is dead if you look closely.

Own the mullet.

Alter-monkey demands justice!  He spies the sinner!  SINNER!


"Did you know Van Buren was the first gay President?"  Mmmmnnnnn.