Friday, November 29, 2013

Big Step for Episode 7

There is one area of Star Wars Episode 7 that is clearly headed in the right direction. They have built a full sized Millennium Falcon.

It is clear that falcon is needed.  It is a truly iconic ship. Lucas screwed up in the prequels by not creating a new ship that stood out.  Now it would be next to impossible to create a ship as cool as the Millennium Falcon, which as just too perfect and filled with personalty.  But ti felt as if Lucas didn't even try.

The Millennium Falcon itself is a strong character, stronger than many characters in the prequels.    The fact that the ship is a character and the usefulness of ships as characters is something I hope is something that Adrams understands.

It is a good sign that this was a priority for Abrams.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Day of the Doctor in 3-D

On Monday evening the family was part of the huge crowd of Whovians who got out to the theaters and saw The Day of the Doctor in 3-D on the big screen.  I have to say it was an awesome experience.

The program itself was truly something special for Doctor Who fans. The story, the cast, all the little extras throughout and so much more came together for a great television experience. To see it in 3-D in a theater with a crowd took it to a new level.

We got treated to a couple special extras before hand.

The pre-show was trivia from Doctor Who over the years, which I actually knew all of.

There was the standard theater announcement about cell phone, noise and recording devices given to us by Strax in his unique style.  It was very memorable and should be used as a regular opening for movies.

Then we had Matt Smith and David Tennant get us started off with our 3-D experience which included a warning about 'The chin' and a test using your 3-D glasses to see if someone next to you is a zygon.  Turns out my wife is a zygon in disguise.

Then we got the the big event. 

The Fall of Arcadia is just too perfect in 3-D.  You get Daleks coming right at you. The chaos and destruction really come alive in 3-D. They knew what they were doing in filming to give the audience the most for their 3-D experience.

Now while the special itself was enjoyable, there was an added level with the crowd of fans who were laughing and cheering together throughout. The crowd element really added to the enjoyment. There is something about being part of such a group that feeds back on itself to multiply the enjoyment of such and event.

I found it interesting that many of those in the theater had behaved themselves and not watched The Day of the Doctor before hand.  They wanted to have their first viewing to be the 3-D one.  Their reactions during the screening made it clear they really were surprised at the right points.

It finished with a short exclusive behind the scenes special.

It all made for a enjoyable evening for all.  If you have not seen it yet, go and watch The Day of the Doctor.  You won't regret it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot

So if you have seen 'The Day of the Doctor', which is something no one should miss, then you know just how awesome it was to see so many connections to the past Doctors. With that final out of story scene with all 12 Doctors standing together even if only three of them actually were the real thing...

I talked about this a few posts back, but Peter Davidson, the fifth Doctor, put together a special little film titled 'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'. It is well worth watching and fits in with the 50th anniversary celebration.

While the story focuses on Peter Davidson, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, there were just so many cameos of people connected with Doctor Who.  In some ways it was a perfect way to wrap up the 50th anniversary.

We get to see John Barrowman hanging with the classic era Doctors and a shocking revelation about him that may change the way you view the man.

Davidson's daughter (Tennant's wife), Georgia Moffett had one of the more memorable cameos.

We got flashes of former companions swirling aorund Steven Moffet's head much like what was once part of the regeneration process back in the classic days. I cannot tell you all of who was in that part, but it looks like they got most of the living former companions for it.

Noticeably absent were Tom Baker and  Christopher Eccleston, the only two living former Doctors to not be in it.  Tom Baker at least got his scene in 'The Day of the Doctor' and there was a line that gave a reason as to why our trio of former Doctors didn't recruit him.

Eccleston is another matter.  He was a brilliant Doctor for his short time in the role.  It bothers me that he has such an issue with distancing himself from Doctor Who. I am not going to speculate on this though.  He has his personal issues and there is no point in trying to figure out his thinking process. It was a letdown to fans for him to not be part of the 50th anniversary celebration in some manner though.

The 'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot' does end with the possibility that our three classic era Doctors may have actually gotten their cameos in 'The Day of the Doctor'. It will be interesting to learn if what is hinted at actually is true or not, even if we don't get to see their faces.

While things will settle down now after the record breaking broadcast (Simultaneous broadcasted in 96 countries) we still have a little bit more of the celebration to go. It is not over yet.

I still get to see 'The Day of the Doctor' again, but in a theater in 3-D on Monday.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Now That Was Just an Awesome Ride

I am not going to spoil it for those few poor souls who have not had the opportunity to enjoy 'The Day of The Doctor'.

It is full of a lot of surprises.

It starts off by telling the story from three different points of views, which I thought was great.  Then the three storylines merge and it just gets better from there.

A lot of play on various plot lines from past episodes.  We get so many classic references, making it clear that all that has come before is still relevant.

We get Moffet's timey-wimey  play on a story big time here, but it works better than ever this time around.

We also get a great, simple explanation as to why the Doctor does not remember the meetings with his other selves and why the actions of the episode would not rewrite the Doctor's timeline.  It was a highly needed throw away line that was well past time to add.

I'll wait a day or so before I write a more solid review of the special.  Might wait until after I get to see it in the theater in 3-D on Monday.

If you've not seen it, they are rebroadcasting it this evening and it is well worth watching.  A very well done 50th anniversary special.

Just Three Hours to Go

The day is finally here and we are down to the last few hours of waiting.

This is about as big of a Sci-Fi event as ti gets.  The special will be simultaneously broadcast around the world to what I remember being over 60 countries originally, but I saw an article that said over 80 now.

Google is all about Dr. Who.  Go to their site and check it out. I've yet to play the interactive game, but the graphics are fun.

My boys are wide awake and getting in costume, even though it is just going to be us watching the special here at home.

Doctor Who is bigger than ever all around the world.  It is a good time to be a Whovian.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Non-Doctor Who Post

Yes, I am about to write a post that is not at all about Doctor Who.

Just finished watching the end of Book 2 of The Legend of Korra.  Great series.  They did a remarkable job of with the last few episodes of showing connections and even some parallels to events that Aang was involved in his adventures.  It made for a conclusion that changed that world in many ways.

I have enjoyed seeing the progress of the world between the two series and then to have these new changes that really switch things up even more. It is a powerful thing to have a world that can evolve with the story.

There are still two more 'books' to go with Korra.  I am looking forwards to seeing where they take this world. It has just been a highly enjoyable ride so for.

With tomorrow being the big 50th special and right now The Adventure in Space and Time on BBCAmerica, there will be more posts on Doctor Who coming.

Less Than 24 Hours to go

One thought that helped me feel good with work today was that we are down to the last day before the big wait is over. There is a lot to live up to for this one special.

Tons of stuff out there right now.

Here is Peter Jackson talking about his favorite episode:

There are a greta deal of such clips out there now of various celebrities wishing Doctor Who happy birthday.

Let's hope 'The Day of the Doctor' lives up to the hype.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day of the Fish Doctor

There really is no end at all to the news about all the Doctor Who 50th anniversary surprises.

So here is yet another piece of Doctor Who news.

So it looks like all the classic Doctor will be involved in the celebrations.  My big problems that the special is to air in the UK, with no mention of a US air time. I may have to wait a little while until it ends up on to see it.

Just more to look forwards to.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More and More At Every Turn

There is no doubt this is the week of Doctor Who. There are preview clips being released all over the place.  Most of them are real short, so we only have a few minute of actual footage and little clue as to the bigger story. These clips are from various UK talk shows that have been promoting the special.

Here is one.

Then there is the new mini episode 'The Last Day'.  My prediction of it forma  few days ago was wrong.

It is however a very interesting little piece that might give away some of what 'The Day of the Doctor' might revolve around.  We get to see the Time Lord city Arcadia, which we know the Doctor was there when it fell. Should be interesting to see how that plays into the bigger storyline.

Just 3 days to go.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Now That is a Big Announcement

Possible spoilers for the Dr, Who 50th anniversary special ahead.

Proceed with caution.

So if you are still reading, then be ready for a huge announcement that appears to not be authorized by the BBC.

In a recent interview Tom Baker straight out said he was going to be in 'The Day of the Doctor'.

That really leaves the it open for the possibility of any of the other past Doctors to be in it. I am sure there are sill many surprises yet to come.

Just four more days to go.

Monday, November 18, 2013

This is Doctor Who Week

Everyday this week BBC America is running a Dr Who marathon as we get ready for the big 50th anniversary events. That means that I should be able to find something worth watching all week long.

There just seems so much going on for the celebration. Every time we turn around there is another announcement being made.

Little by little we should be getting sneak peeks from as people use the #savetheday to build the TARDIS. Check out the website for that to make any sense.

There is another mini-episode that is known to exist titled 'Last Day'. It will be on the DVD release of 'The Day of the Doctor', if we don't get it released before hand.  Nothing is known as to what it will be about.  My personal guess is that it will be the end of the Time War and we'll get to see our missing regeneration, giving Eccleston his 50th anniversary guest appearance that he has denied doing. It would so fit with everything else we have seen.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Geeky Collection of Boardgames

In this house we do not really have much in the way of 'common' boardgames. We have literally hundreds of boardgames though. Wish I had the time to play them more often, but we get them out when we can. It would take way too long to list them all, but we have a wide verity of them that cover all manner of themes and styles. They range from real simple pure luck games that got picked up more for other reasons than game design all the way to heavy strategy games that can take up a full afternoon.

As for the more common boardgames, even there they are not common version. Monopoly, Risk, Life, Stratego, we have, but they are Star Wars editions of the games. Instead of Clue we have Mystery at Hogwarts, a Harry Potter version of the game. Our Uno game is also Harry Potter themed.

A few weeks ago we picked up an Indiana Jones themed Life game at a thrift store for $4. Finally got a chance to play it tonight. It was not much at all like any other versions of Life I have played. It was simpler and quicker. There was a lot more freedom of movement as you go through areas based on the first three movies. You either pick up the artifacts or try to steal them from the other players if they got to them first. At the end whoever has the most wealth wins, with the artifacts being very valuable.

Still had the basic Life spinner that is always annoying and needs to be held oddly in order to be used. Not sure why that is what seems to be the main aspect that connects all version of Life.

The family enjoyed playing, so it was wroth picking up.

The Hero of Canton, the Man They Call Jayne

The Science channel is doing their regular Firefly marathon that they seem to do fairly often. Undeniably one of the top ten greatest sci-fi programs ever. You do not get tired of seeing the episodes over and over again.  They are just that perfectly done.

I won't go into a rant here about the show's unjustified cancellation.  Although I will give you this, at Myths and Legends Con someone sang 'What does the fox say' and local author Quincy J. Allen replied 'We're canceling Firefly'.

So the episode we started on today was Jaynestown, so now I have the song in my head. Most likely it'll be in my head for the day.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Geeks Who Drink, Don't Blink: A Doctor Who Quiz

Yes I am still on a Doctor Who ride and most likely will be for the next week or so as we get to the 50th anniversary.

So today there was a big events all over the USA called Geeks Who Drink, Don't Blink: A Doctor Who Quiz. Well, a big event for Doctor Who fans.  I was recruited into a team here in the Denver area.  My youngest son joined the team as well and I can proudly say he did help us a couple of times.

There were 49 teams total at our location.  For the first two scoring breaks when they announced the ranking, we finished in the top half of the teams. They didn't give specific placing at that time outside of the top three. The just read the teams off in order from last to first, so it was a little hard to hear just where we were at.

In the final scoring we ranked 9th place. While we won no prizes, it still felt good to rank that high.  To get in the top ten out of so many teams was a cool achievement.

So I am feeling good tonight.

Friday, November 15, 2013

David Tennant in a fez....

In the build up to the big 50th anniversary special, we get a second day of Doctor Who teasing. Today the BBC put out there a clip from 'The Day of the Doctor' that is going to be shown as part of the Children in Need event for this year.

In ends with David Tennant's Doctor in a fez.

Should be something to see what else the BBC puts out there over this next week as we get ready for the big day.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Night of The Doctor

I have now watched 'The Night of The Doctor' several times today. Might have watched it more if I hadn't had to waste my time with a job. There is just a lot to it that really gets one thinking.

First off it looks like Steven Moffat may be setting us up for some future stories with reintroducing the Sisterhood of Karn, who would have knowledge as to how to extend a Time Lord's regenerations, which fits with some of what Moffat has hinted at. Moffat has shown he likes to set things up well ahead of time, so this all fits his normal patterns.

Now Paul McGann has said repeatedly he was not asked to be in the 50th anniversary special, but was willing to be included. Well he now has been included, in a manner of speaking. So that got me thinking about all the other past Doctors who have said they are not going to be in the 50th anniversary special.  It does not mean they will not be involved in it in a similar manner. Maybe we'll get the missing regeneration of Hurt into Eccleston as a short.

This being our first real look at the Time War is just awesome in and of itself.  We got to see a little of it with 'The End of Time', but that was all just the Time Lords and their POV on it all.  Now we have seen others who got caught up in the madness and see more as to why the Doctor needed to end it.  I have a feeling we'll see more of that in 'The Day of The Doctor'.

One odd thing is that the John Hurt's Doctor we see after the regeneration is a young man.  We know that in 'The Day of the Doctor' he will be an old man.  So it must take him a long time to end the war, even though it is stated that there is a need to end it soon in order to save the universe. So I am curious as to how this will be handled. Does the activities of the Time War end up aging the Doctor unnaturally? Or does it actually take that long for the Doctor to end the Time War? More hints as to  just what we can expect to see on the 23rd.

This one short is a great way to build excitement and give us fans a great little introduction into the bigger story.  It is going to be a long week for Doctor Who fans.

That Was Awesome, That Was Awesome, That Was Awesome, That Was Awesome

I have started the day in about the most awesome manner possible.  I just watched 'The Night of the Doctor'. If you can't tell by the title of this post, I thought it was fairly good.

'The Night of the Doctor' is a Doctor Who short prequels to the 50th anniversary special that is to air on the 23rd.

Well we get to see Paul McGann as The Doctor during the Time War... And that is something we've been waiting for.

We also get to see how the John Hurt Doctor comes to be.

You can see it at the link bellow. A must for any Doctor Who fan.

The site gives a spoiler warning, but I felt that was a little much as the short really does not spoil anything.  It adds to the over all story and creates excitement.  It is a great build up to the 50th anniversary special.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Hunger Games:Catching Fire and the Nonsensical Cross Promotions

I loved The Hunger Games. The books are just incredible on so many levels, so very well written.  The movie was great and I am looking forwards to seeing Catching Fire. Now I understand that the big blockbuster movies often get various promotional campaigns going, but what I have seen so far with the Catching Fire cross promotions is really bad. After how poorly the cross promotion connecting Dr. Seuss' The Lorax to SUVs went over, you would think these Hollywood people might stop to think before they make some of these deals.

The first one is the big Subway Sandwich promotions. I very much see the oddness of a fastfood restaurant promoting a movie that focuses on the harshness of people living on the edge of starvation. I will admit this is not too crazy, just feels inappropriate somehow.  At some point a fastfood franchise was going to pick up the rights to do something with The Hunger Games sooner or later.  That is just the way of things. If that were it, then I would not have been inspired to write this post.

So now to talk about the one promotion that I really felt was way off and as poorly conceived as it gets.

Last night I saw a Cover Girl's cosmetics commercial featuring various styles as seen in the Hunger Games movies.  They featured the over lavishly done styles of the citizens of the Capital.  You know, the really over done makeup that is really unnatural looking and about as unattractive as it gets.  The real ugly makeup styles which boarder on being clown makeup.  I felt it was a great style to see in the movie as it reminded me of the over done makeups I associate with out of touch royalty, which fit so well with the idea of a spoiled society that is out of touch with the rest of the world.  I thought that was just a brilliant use of makeup there.

So why in the world would Cover Girl actually think it would be appealing to promote their products with such undesirable looks? This is just about as poor of a cross promotion as it gets. Do they really believe that using such truly ugly styles of makeup in their commercials is going to increase sells? Do they just not understand how ugly what they are displaying really is? Do they not get what the point of the makeup in the movies is? Also, the basic fans of the Hunger Games are most likely not the best target market for cosmetics unless Cover Girl is going to start trying to market a line of cosplaying products. Although that might not be a bad idea, but they would need to change up the commercial I saw a little. For me it seemed like they were trying to glamorize the undesirable looks that no one in their right mind would go for.

Of course there is the fact that since it seems Cover Girl doesn't get what the makeup is all about, in some ways that gives the geek culture an in joke. It shows that those who run such companies are as out of touch with reality as the citizens of The Capital who they are trying to glamorize are.

The First Post: Epsiode 7

I figured I would start my new geek based blog off with my advice to J.J.Abrams and everyone else involved in creating the new Star Wars trilogy.

Now if they really want to do it right, one of the most important things will be to repair the damage done by the prequels.  Lucas really screwed the Star Wars universe over with a lot of junk that took away from all the was great about the original trilogy.

Episode 7 should start off giving the fans what they really want more than anything else. Open the movie on the ambassadorial ship from Naboo being attacked and destroyed. It needs to be made clear that the ambassador on the hip is none other than Jar-Jar Binks and we get to clearly see him caught in the explosion as the ship goes down. Make sure there is no doubt at all that the great mistake that was Jar-Jar has been corrected and there is no possibility of that character making any appearances in any future Star Wars storylines. Regretfully we cannot erase Jar-Jar, but at least we can get closure and put a true end to the character.  If they do this scene right and make it good, they could just replay it over and over again for an hour and half and it would tell a for more rewarding story than what we got out of the prequels. And the fans would line up to watch it.

A big easy to do fix would be to make it very, very clear that prophecies are dangerous and that the Jedi should never put much faith into them.  The whole 'Bring balance to the Force' prophecy was a piss poor plot line.  In general I find prophecies to be a sign of weak writing.  They are ALWAYS self-fulfilling and rarely if every do they add anything of value to the story.  Give Luke a simple throw away line as part of a conversation with one of his students about how his research has led him to believe that the faith the Jedi put into that prophecy played a huge roll in their downfall, so he refuses to allow the new Jedi Order to make the same mistakes.  I could go into detail on how it seems the Jedi knew better, since Qui-Gon even warns about how you need to be focused on the present in Episode 1, before he goes and throws his own wisdom out the window in dealing with Anakin. And in Empire we get Yoda telling Luke that a Jedi should not dwell on visions, since 'always in motion is the future', which I guess we can say is Yoda having learned from his great mistake in the prequels.

One thing that was missing from the prequels and is going to be needed for the new trilogy is a new Han Solo character.  They need to create a cool, interesting non-Jedi hero.  I really do hope that Ford returns to play and possibly finish the role of Han Solo, but they should not rely on Solo's return to give a powerful non-Jedi character for the full trilogy. So many of the various story lines have overly focused on the Jedi, yet time and time again the more interesting characters have been the non-Jedis.  Sure Mara Jade was one of the best expanded universe character and she ended up as a Jedi, but she was so much more than a Jedi and had a great storyline outside of being involved with the Jedi.  We also got the Rouge Squadron stories, which were very much Jedi light and were really exciting stories with so many great non-Jedi characters. What to avoid is the mistake that was a weak attempt to replace Han, Dash Rendar from Shadows of the Empire. The less said about that poorly conceived media-crossover event the better.  Rendar was a poor man's Solo. Rendar was a simplified, boring basic smuggler with the generic traits of Solo, lacking any real depth. Abrams needs to find the right actor and let that actor do what Ford did and create the character.  Don't force it or push the script as being the end all of it.  So much of what made Han Solo so great was Ford being allowed to alter the dialogue to fit the character he knew was Hand Solo.

So now we get to my last piece of advice I have for J.J. and his team, for now at least. One thing Lucas has never been good with is dialogue. The big scenes in the prequels were greatly ruined by really, really bad dialogue.  The light-saber fight between Obi-Wan and Anakin would have been so much more intense if it had not ended with some of the WORST dialogue I have ever seen in any movie. "From my point of view, the Jedi are evil" is just about as bad as it gets. The problem was with the prequels is that no one really challenged Lucas.  As I mentioned already, Ford created Solo through his own unscripted dialogue and it worked. Lucas obviously was not as much a control freak with the original trilogy as he was with the prequels and it shows. They need to let the actors be relaxed and have some real control over their characters.  Abrams needs to give the actors the flexibility that Ford had.  It has been proven to work. There were just so many times when good dialogue would have made the scene noticeably better in the prequels.

So there is my advice for J.J.Abrams and the team that is going to bring us the new Star Wars Trilogy. I may add to this in future posts, as I still have more to say on the topic.