Spock is dead

From the time I was LITTLE, the Vulcan salute was a challenge.  I practically memorized the original series.  Loved the first Star Trek movie the most.  Even quoted Spock during a political debate in college.  Paraphrasing, if you elect me, you WILL live long and prosper.  Losing Leonard Nimoy IS losing a big chunk of my life.  There can no longer be a Star Trek with the originals.  It was tenuous at best, impossible now.  You simply can not have a Star Trek without Spock.  Period.

This is an awful day.


Jupiter Ascending

Great trailer. Greater visuals. Stunning to watch. But man, oh man, what a hot mess Jupiter Ascending turns into.  Things just happen that really take away from the movie constantly.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie go from great to awful in the span of two hours.  Bottom line, turn the sound off and it’s a good one thumb up.  The dialogue really is that bad.  The plot is good, but the sub-plots negate it.  To me, to have all this going, and still fall flat, is purely the director’s fault.

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/entertainment/did-you-enjoy-jupiter-ascending/question-4719088/" title="Did you enjoy Jupiter Ascending?">Did you enjoy Jupiter Ascending?</a>

Bottom Line to me, it’s time for the Wachowskis to retire.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

This movie should have been a lot more enjoyable than it was. Samuel L. Jackson was just a little TOO crazy for the role. The accents were hard to understand, just a little too thick. And it relied on way too many cliches.

I got it that it was a parody, but a couple of scenes pushed the ultra-violence too far ( long ).

It just went on and on and on. We got the point real quick. The bonus gore wasn’t fun to watch. It sells itself as a parody, but comes across more as mockery. It just has a mean spirited feel to it.

After giving it a few days to sink in, no thumbs.

Sponge out of Water

Me and the boy went to see The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.  There’s no point in even trying to review this movie.  It is 100% standard Spongebob fare. Even though he is twelve now,  as we have since he was born, we enjoyed it just fine.  I’m still partial to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, but this one will probably grow on me with time as well.

Just a clue here, Hollywood:

Other than Guardians of the Galaxy, the last several months have been HORRID viewing for family-friendly fun movies. Movie ticket sales have sucked as well. A good, fun, family-friendly movie comes out and BOOM! It’s #1 with a bullet. I’m not saying EVERY movie has to be kid-friendly. But, as much content as Hollywood cranks out these days, it’s not too much to ask to have a steady stream of good movies a man can enjoy with his kids.


Spent the morning watching Her with my wife.

It’s a lot better than I expected.  Sure, it’s a romantic drama, which is Hollywood-speak for chick-flick.  But, it’s very sci-fi in a subtle way.  It borrows a lot from the king of all sci-fi, 2001: A Space Odyssey, in that a computer suddenly develops human-like emotions.  And, in both, is not a terribly good outcome for the human.  There’s a constant lesson in that coming from Hollywood, don’t let digital media be your primary stimulation.  And of course, they pipe that message to you digitally, for a price.  I give Her all thumbs up.  I can’t even really say why.  It’s not exciting, it’s not loud, it’s not pretty, and at times it’s very uncomfortable.  But, it’s one of those movies where I just kept watching like a train-wreck.  It probably hits a lot of people a lot closer to home than it was given credit for.

Charlie Sexton

OK, got a quick synopsis of all things Charlie Sexton in my life. Won’t take much, but still fun. When Beat’s So Lonely came out, I was in college, and partying like a fool. This was my #2 go-to song.

When we partied at Smith-Ballard, that song got played probably twenty times a night. I got complaints, but that was just tough. If I was drinking bourbon, you heard Beat’s So Lonely.

Which led to

In 1986 the rumor came out David Bowie was going to be touring with Stevie Ray Vaughan. That didn’t happen. So, the rumor then became that Charlie Sexton was going to be the lead guitarist for the Glass Spider tour. Now, in those days, you didn’t have the internet, you didn’t have much of anything for news outside of magazines and MTV was still relevant. So, having no real David Bowie pipeline in Appalachian Kentucky in 1986, I had to go with my gut. Being in college and being broke, I was forced to decide between Pink Floyd or David Bowie fronted by my favorite guitar player of the year. I went with Bowie/Sexton. Sexton decided not to tour. So, I wound up with:

David fronting Peter Frampton. Although probably a far superior guitarist, he wasn’t my favorite guitarist of 1986. That kinda put a damper on the show for me. When my date asked when they were going to play “Rebel Yell”, we had to part ways. That was pretty much it for Charlie and me for about 30 years.

So, this weekend my wife decides we need to watch a movie that screams not-me. It goes on and on and on and never really seems to be going anywhere. Eventually stumbling on this scene:

The roomie doesn’t say much. And basically gives the impression of being a burned-out rocker. But, he looks incredibly familiar. I hate that feeling usually. Finally my wife fills me in on the secret. It’s Charlie Sexton. He’s apparently alive and well.

That aspect of my life apparently found satisfactory closure.

Keep Moving Forward

Disney always has some Easter eggs in their movies.  Some are very, very, subtle.  Some, not so much.  This is probably one of the most overt, but probably overlooked ones they ever did:

How many people here can name the original author of that quote?  Don’t feel bad, I had to look it up.  But, on this 19th day of January, 2015, you should know.

Martin Luther King, Jr. – Keep Moving forward

Nowhere could I find a direct connection of King’s influence on this movie.  But, I seriously believe that’s where it came from.   If you think I’m full of it, perhaps your time could be better spent watching Disney’s blockbuster hit in theaters right now.

Michael Moore thinks Chris Kyle was a coward

Confession time, I hate Michael Moore.  Seriously, I detest the guy.  In the last ten years all he’s done is whore for publicity regardless of who he offends doing it.  So, given the success of American Sniper, it should have surprised no one when he tossed this tweet out there:

My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes. And invaders r worse

First of all, he doesn’t name his uncle in World War II.  I doubt he had one that was killed by a sniper.  Really, I do.  The guy is truly that classless.  The only guy we do know for sure who got killed and can’t defend himself is the guy Moore is slamming here, Chris Kyle.

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/michael-moore-thinks-chris-kyle-was-a-coward/question-4672162/" title="Michael Moore thinks Chris Kyle was a coward">Michael Moore thinks Chris Kyle was a coward</a>


January 20, 2015 update: Dean Cain, who knew Chris Kyle, responds to Michael Moore, who obviously didn’t. Seth Rogen decided to jump into the fray as well, calling the movie “Nazi propaganda”. So, Dean responded to him as well.

@Sethrogen Seth...I like your films, but right now, I wanna kick your ass. Chris is an American Hero. Period. Go to war. Then we'll talk.

@MMFlint Disparage #ChrisKyle to my face. We'll see who is a coward. #Disrespect #Coward

I was on the fence whether I was going to watch The Interview or not. Seth made my decision for me. I’ll skip it.

Arthur Clarke and plasma life?

( Previously posted on Spacedream. )

Better turn down the lights and pour yourself a strong one, this post is DEEP.

OK, ready?

I have been a huge fan of Arthur C. Clarke, particularly of 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Most people are familiar with the movie.  I consider it the greatest sci-fi movie ever made.  However, it is somewhat vague in what is going on.  The book does explain what’s going on.  Not in profound detail, but in little snippets that told us of our future.  Debit cards, video conferencing, using gravity to slingshot around planets, all kinds of little bits telling us what was to become.  And, in some cases, trying to explain where we came from.  He doesn’t say evolution is the rule, he just laid out how evolution occurred.  And, sometimes, when that evolution wasn’t progressing appropriately, how it got a little help from a god-like being.  The help was in the form of a simple shape.  It wasn’t a cross, but even simpler, an obolisk.  However, the “being” had more religious overtones.  Digressing a little, all of the main religions of the world today expect a belief in “God”.  This “God” can neither be seen, touched, or heard.  In other words, it is a being purely of energy and no matter.  When one communicates with “God”, it is purely by an energy force.  There is no audible sound.  This omnipotent “God” created our universe as we know it.  Clarke morphed this faith in a non-matter God into 2001 and gave it some definition:

And now, out among the stars, evolution was driving toward new goals. The first explorers of Earth had long since come to the limits of flesh and blood; as soon as their machines were better than their bodies, it was time to move. First their brains, and then their thoughts alone, they transferred into shining new homes of metal and of plastic.

In these, they roamed among the stars. They no longer built spaceships. They were spaceships.

But the age of the Machine-entities swiftly passed. In their ceaseless experimenting, they had learned to store knowledge in the structure of space itself, and to preserve their thoughts for eternity in frozen lattices of light. They could become creatures of radiation, free at last from the tyranny of matter.

Into pure energy, therefore, they presently transformed themselves; and on a thousand worlds, the empty shells they had discarded twitched for a while in a mindless dance of death, then crumbled into rusty

Now they were lords of the galaxy, and beyond the reach of time. They could rove at will among the stars, and sink like a subtle mist through the very interstices of space. But despite their godlike powers, they had not wholly forgotten their origin, in the warm slime of a vanished sea.

And they still watched over the experiments their ancestors had started, so long ago.

What Clarke states here is that “life” doesn’t have to have matter.  It can be pure energy.  Without the confines of matter, physics as we know it completely changes.  Being of matter, I don’t see how Man can travel at the speed of light.  Therefore, visiting far away galaxies is impossible.  However, without the confines of matter, traveling at the speed of light is simple.  Traveling throughout the universe is simple.  Manipulating matter is simple.  The power this entity would have is mind-boggling.  Convincing a very simple animal that you are God would be simple.

All of this ties into today’s events in two forms.

First, we have the creationist vs evolution fight going wild right now.  Neither side is in any mood to compromise or even try to understand the other’s reasons for believing what they do.  What they are both doing is struggling to understand how all this came to be.  Arthur C. Clarke I think struggled with those two concepts long ago.  He came up with a unique answer.  “Our” universe is limited by what we can see and understand.  For some people, “our” universe is limited to matter.  For other people, “our” universe is not limited to matter.  There are things beyond matter that they don’t want to try to understand.  They just know something is more powerful than matter.  That something to them is “God”.  That “God” to Arthur Clarke was a being no more wise than the average man.  He did however, have the power to change entire worlds simply to amuse himself.  He was however, a product of the universe.  He was both a product of evolution and subsequently creationism.  Since I read the book, I have been more a believer in Clarke’s understanding of “God” than probably any other.  Both the creationists and evolutionists expect me to believe they know the answer to a question that is extremely profound based on nothing but limited evidence and a faith in what they are saying is correct.  I don’t work that way.  I don’t think the two theories are totally exclusionary.  Neither did Clarke.  I’m in good company.

Secondly, all of this sounds pretty damn crazy I imagine.  I’m OK with that.  Start by reading the actual 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Then, read this:

Electrically charged specks of interstellar dust organize into DNA-like double helixes and display properties normally attributed to living systems, such as evolving and reproducing, new computer simulations show.

But scientists are hesitant to call the dancing dust particles “alive,” and instead say they are just another example of how difficult it is to define life.

Put me on Arthur Clarke’s team on this one.

The heavy religious overtones continue throughout 2001.  Clarke definitely had “the Dawn of Man” on his mind when he wrote this.  So, I see no coincedence here at all.  However, what he did not have in 1967 was access to plasma. Maybe, if Clarke is correct, we’re getting our first glimpses at something we’ve never understood before.  And, it could get rather profound.