Star Trek Voyager Voyages: Season 1

January 27, 2012

Since Ro Karen of the Starbase 66 podcast has been micro-blogging her foray into one of our favourite fandoms (the Buffyverse) on G+, we thought we’d do the same for one of her’s, Star Trek: Voyager. We update these mini reviews on our G+ about once a week—whenever we finish off a disc.

Episode 1-2: Caretaker
On a mission to the Badlands, the USS Voyager, along with a Maquis ship, is stranded in the Delta Quadrant, more than 70,000 light-years from home by an incredibly powerful being known as “Caretaker.”

I’d never seen this episode so I’d never really understood what the Maquis were doing on board. Things make a little more sense now and the Chakotay/Janeway dynamic is kind of interesting at this point. Though you can tell he’s too much of a “nice guy” to ever really plot a mutiny—so what’s the point of his character then? If this had been made post-BSG, there’d have been more a Machiavellian power struggle between the two.

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Episode 137 – Underworld: Awakening

January 25, 2012

Underworld Awakening podcast - click to listen

 


Underworld: Awakening  / Resident Evil: Afterlife comparison

The fourth installment in the franchise—and the proper sequel to the second film Underworld: Evolution—finds our heroine, Selene, awakening from twelve years in stasis to a world where humans have purged Vampires and Werewolves to the point of extinction. This is really the only place the franchise could be taken. This place being the Resident Evil films.

Co-directors Måns Mårlind and Björn Stein borrow more than a few pages from the Paul W.S. Anderson schlock-fests:

Page 1—We see a back-story of where a True Blood-style “Great Revelation” results in lycanthropy and vampirism being treated as like T-virus infections with paramilitary units going on search and destroy missions.

Page 2—Selene breaks out of a glass stasis tube, naked, in an Umbrella Corporation lab (here trading under the name AntiGen) and has to kill her way past endlessly respawning guards who luckily have a bad case of the Stormtroopers as far as their marksmanship goes.

Underworld Awakening / Resident Evil comparison

Page 3—Selene has to make sense of the world she’s awoken to while trying to complete a quest against insurmountable odds.

Page 4—Selene fights with rotten looking dogs in a dark, cramped space.

Page 5—Selene teams up with a preternaturally strong and intelligent child sidekick.

Page 6—A genetically enhanced werewolf bears a striking similarities to Nemesis, at least in concept.

Page 7—Selene shoots two guns at the same time. A lot.

Underworld Awakening  / Resident Evil comparison

But to be fair, Mårlind and Stein borrow pages from other sources as well. Twilight and True Blood get their due in the form of a love triangle between being set up for the unavoidable next film. An Edward-esque vampire named David seems poised to come between Selene and her missing werewold/vampire hybrid boyfriend Michael. Really, this film has everything.

Except zombies. I’m holding out hope for those later in the series. In fact, if the next film doesn’t see a vaccine for vampirism and lycanthropy going horribly awry and turning humans into the walking dead, I’ll be demanding my money back. And I’ll be swearing a lot while I do it.

What the film doesn’t have, besides zombies, are engaging performances by any of the actors—including a sleep-walking Stephen Rea. For a film that is trying so hard to be Resident Evil, they seem to have forgotten Milla Jovovich is interesting to watch even if she’s just eating dry toast. Kate Beckinsale is about as interesting as watching dry toast. The first Underworld film became a cult favourite due mostly to the Adam West-meets-William Shatner camp of Shane Brolly and Bill Nighy‘s terrible (awesome) performances. No one here seems willing to make a fool of themselves and that’s the film’s great loss.

What the film does do well is bulk up on the gore. Finally the violence in Underworld is as dark and visceral as as war between vampires and werewolves should be. Unfortunately you have to endure some terrible 3D at the same time.

Apparently this was one of the first features filmed with the Red Epic cameras being used in The Hobbit. Since Awakening features some of the worst cardboard cut-out 3D I’ve seen since the rebirth of 3D, things don’t bode well for Middle Earth. In several scenes it’s exactly like you’re looking at a diorama with layered planes of paper dolls instead of experiencing an immersive world.

In a lot of ways Awakening is a better film than the previous Underworld films. But that actually makes it a less enjoyable film. And if you’re just going to see Beckinsale’s ass wrapped in vinyl, find a picture on the Internet—it’ll last longer.

Bitches Please. Matrix was first.

Fotoshop by Adobé


Episode 136 – FOODIE HURDLES

January 13, 2012

Foodie episode - click to listen

trung vit lon - embryo in a shell

Fetal duck – click to embiggenate

In a triumphant return to drunkcasting, we talk about foodies and the unique nerdiness that food inspires in douchebags people. How is it that, unlike sci-fi nerds, food nerds seem to command so much respect at social gatherings?

Or do they? In our heart of hearts most of us curse them as douchebags while they make a show of sniffing their wine or waxing poetic about the complexities of a cake of mould exotic cheese.

If this is so, then what exactly is it that leaves a bad taste in our mouths about food snobbery? It could be that fine food has historically been a class indicator. Something we all hate is having our betters flaunt their wealth in our faces. Worse, we can’t abide one of our equals making a ham-fisted attempt at class-jumping by developing an interest in wine.

In both cases there’s always the suspicion gourmands who claim to enjoy balut or sheep’s brains are either pretentious to the point of delusion or are flat-out lying.

But then most cultures outside of the North American suburbs eat pretty much anything that isn’t outright poisonous. As a child I remember being delighted and horrified by the frogs legs plot line in The Muppet Movie. Which brings us to…

kermit book guy

Which will make more sense after you listen to the episode.


Episode 135 – Vacation Viewing 2

January 7, 2012

Episode 135 - Click to listen

Another gap between episodes since we went on vacation for the holidays. The same as the last time we went away, we watched some movies and TV shows we’d never normally watch.

For instance, Mandi was deadset against Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Jakob wasn’t keen on seeing the 2011 American remake of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. He also outright refused to watch Glee on the plane as Mandi likewise chose to avoid Cowboys & Aliens. Unfortunately, we both tried to watch the aptly titled, Suckerpunch.

Those are just a few of the good and bad experiences we share with you in this episode.


Butter Turd: 2011 Top Terms

January 3, 2012

2011. It’s over. But before I reveal what the top search terms of the year are—because you all give such a rat’s ass about that—let’s see what December had to offer

Chad Kroeger and Voldemort

Chad Kroeger and Voldemort

azkaban chad kroeger: At first I thought, this is silly. If being a douche-hole was a wizarding crime, then Azkaban would have been overfilled with Ravenclaws long ago. Stuck-up biotches. But then I realized that putting a Deatheater in a cell with Chad Kroeger is probably the only thing that would scare them enough to betray Voledemort. Well played, Aurors, well played.

butter turd: One of the things I find most fascinating about the human body is that even if you eat a diet consisting entirely of milk, you still can’t use your poo for butter.

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