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Archive for November, 2007

Something Fun…

30

Nov

Posted by Steve

Being a child of the eighties, I have a certain fondness for Mr. T.   Being a geek, I have a certain fondness for World of Warcraft (WoW), the Online Multiplayer Role Playing Game thing.  While I’ve never played WoW myself, I have friends who play it, and I wish I did play it. 

Well, just like your peanut butter getting on my chocolalte, or my chocolate falling in your peanut butter, (who knows that reference?), the forces of Mr. T and WoW have come together to make something that reeks of awesomeness.  “Maybe Mr. T is pretty handy with computers.”

What I’m Thankful For…

27

Nov

Posted by Steve

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, I’ve not posted anything in over a week, I’m trying to get back into a regular routine, and I really want to podcast.   For now, though, this will have to do.  (Hopefully, there will be a whole lot of casting going on later this evening.)

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I would let everyone know what I’m thankful for as a geek.  So, here is my list of geek stuff that I’m thankful for:

1.  Hi-Def televisions – While I don’t have a hi-def of my own, I do enjoy mooching off of friends who get to enjoy the crystal clear goodness on a regular basis.  I’m not an old geezer or anything, but I still remember what it means to “not touch that dial.”  Our family used UHF channels.   We had an antenna sticking off or our roof for several years.  I actually do remember the launch of MTV, when Nickelodeon stopped programming at 6 in the evening, and banging on a TV because it was so fuzzy.  Now, thanks to digital cable and satellite and those flat screened little marvels of modern technology, football is clearer than it would be if you were standing on the field, movies look better in the living room than they do in the theatre, and the television can actually be a part of interior decorating.  Hopefully, by the end of 2008 I will have my own slice of Hi-Def Heaven in my living room.   But for now, I’m thankful that it exists and I have friends who let me come to their house.

2.  Transformers – I know that this is one of the more controversial (as far as geeks go) films of the 2007, but I absolutely loved it.  I sat in the theatre and nearly wept when Optimus Prime arrived on Earth to the stirring score by Steve Jablonsky.   When he told Iron Hide that freedom is right of all sentient beings, I got chills, and when he declared, “Megatron, today one shall stand; one shall fall.”  I lept off my seat and cheered.   I haven’t had that much fun at a movie since Yoda caught the Force lightning and sent it hurling back at Count Dooku after striking a kung fu pose.  Yes, I know the problems with movie (and the biggest issue is NOT flames on Optimus Prime).  I too wish that they would have reserved the name Devestator for…well…Devestator.  However, for all of the divergence from the original Generation 1 goodness, I still loved the film and I am truly thankful that we got to see it this year.

3.  Super Hero movies – All of them…except Catwoman…and maybe Steel.   Yes, including Ghost Rider and Elektra.   (Can’t believe I just said that.) I love the fact that the super hero movie has become it’s own genre of films now.  After BATMAN AND ROBIN (ugh) I thought the super hero movie was dead and gone.  I cringed as I read reports of Nicolas Cage playing Superman, I laughed to keep from crying when I watched Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four movie, and I waited and watched as Bryan Singer’s X-Men shocked the world.  Now, we can easily expect two or three super hero films in theatres every year.  And while some of them have fallen short of collective expectations or desires, it cannot be denied that it is fun to live in a time when we get to see the Hulk sling a tank across the desert, Iron Man outrun fighter jets, Superman save an airplane, Batman leap off of Gotham’s highest towers, and Spider-Man web sling his way across New York.  With projects like The Dark Knight, The Justice League, and even the sequel to Superman Returns on the horizon, not to mention all that Marvel has to offer in upcoming years, we geeks will have a lot to cheer for, complain about, and debate over, so be thankful.

4.  Next Gen Consoles -  While I think Sony took a misstep with the Playstation 3, I covet my friend’s X Box 360, and I recently (read “FINALLY”) got to play the Nintendo Wii.  While I will always hold a soft spot in my heart for Pac Man (not Pong), one can’t deny that video games have really upped the ante and aren’t just games anymore, they are indeed events and experiences.   That’s just fun, and it’s something to be thankful for.

5.  Star Wars (All SIX episodes, the original AND special editions of the Original Trilogy) – Most likely, a lot of you are like me in that you got your start in being a geek from George Lucas’ incredible vision.  I was 5 months old exactly when the Star Wars made it’s debut in theatres everywhere.  So, my earliest memory of Star Wars is lost as I only know that I grew up with it and was intimately familiar with the movie by the time I was 5.  Of course, by that time, we knew that Darth Vader was Luke’s father and we were rushing toward the climax of the saga.  I got to go see Return of the Jedi in it’s opening weekend. I don’t know how he did it, but my dad scored tickets for the whole family and my best friend at the time.   I remember walking out of the movie amazed and a little freaked out by what I saw.  I also remember a line stretching from the cinema inside the mall out the main entrance, along the side of the mall and up to the road.  Fast forward to 1997.   I was a sophomore in college and was devouring everything I could about the return of Star Wars to the big screen.   The day came, and I got money from everyone who wanted to go and bought tickets for 28 people, made sure they all had rides to the theatre, and there we were.  I loved it then, love it now.

Then in 1999, we got the first of the prequel trilogy…one day I will do a defense of the prequels, but this is not the place.  Suffice to say that I loved the Phantom Menace…I enjoyed Attack of Clones….and I was blown away by The Revenge of the Sith. 

I liked the Clone Wars cartoons and I’m anxious to see Lucasfilm’s next television offerings.  So yeah.  I’m thankful for Star Wars.  

While that’s not all that I’m thankful for as a geek, those are the big things that come to mind.    So, what are you thankful for?  What really makes your inner geek burst with happiness and gratitude?  Leave a comment or two and let me know.

And God Bless us, every one.

BLUE – Quite Possibly the Best Episode of Season 7 Reviewed

18

Nov

Posted by Steve

It’s the weekend, so that means it’s time for my review of the most recent episode of Smallville.   Thursday night gave us Blue.  Thank you Thursday night.  Thank you so much. 

I don’t want to bore you with a recap, but here are the highlights.

 Clark uses Kara’s blue crystal to bring his mother out of the crystal.  Jor-El,  of course, warns him not to do this, but in typical Clark fashion, Jor-El’s warnings go ignored.

So, Clark brings Lara out of the crystal, but, unbeknownst to him, he also unleashes Zor-El.  Zor-El goes to Lionel, the emissary of Jor-El , to seek out Kal-El, but Lionel refuses help him.  Before Zor-El can unleash on Lionel, Clark shows up and stops him.

In an effort to keep Lara safe, Clark takes her to Ollie’s old penthouse, which apparently Ollie left at Clark’s disposal.  It’s been used enough.  While there, Lara gives Clark a ring that belonged to Jor-El.  It’s the passing of an heirloom kind of thing. 

The ring, while pretty and chock full of personal meaning, actually causes Clark to lose his powers.  There is now no one to stand in the way of Zor-El taking Lara as his wife and setting up rule on Earth.  Clark is even left to believe that Kara betrayed him, even though she’s pretty much being held at bay against her will by Zor-El.

Basically, the entirity of what’s left of The House of El has fallen apart and the final conflict will take place at the Fortress.

Meanwhile, among the mere mortals, Chloe catches Lois and Grant making out a bit in Grant’s office and confronts Lois about it.  She tells Lois that she needs to break off her relationship with Grant because it will taint any success she has a journalist.  Grant, on the other hand, is getting the same advice, or demand (?) from Lex.   We are made aware at this point that I was right when talking to Derek on Starkville’s House of El when I said that Grant was talking to Lex at the end of Wrath. 

Why would Lex want Grant to break it off with Lois?  What could Lois possible find out that would be damaging to Lex?  We’ll get there.

Clark can’t get the ring off of his finger.  Even with a grinder.

Chloe brings Clark the key.(obviously to be used in the cave to teleport him to the fortress.)

At the fortress, Clark uses kryptonite to hold Zor-El at bay while he tries to fix the eclipse that Zor-El has caused.  Did I mention that Zor-El is a Heroes fan?

Lara informs Clark that the only way to get rid of Zor-El is destroy the Crystal.  That is what allows them to be there.  Clark of course refuses, but Zor-El has made his way out from under the kryptonite and is attacking Kara and getting ready to kill her.  Clark smashes the crystal against the console which makes all three (Lara, Zor-El, and Kara disappear.)

Back to Lex and Grant….not yet.

Kara wakes up on a street in the rain.  She makes her way to a little cafe and we learn that not only does she not know where she is, she doesnt’ know WHO she is. 

Lois tells Chloe that things are over between her and Grant, even though they snog whenever they get together.

Grant is talking to Lex and gets frustrated that Lex won’t let him tell people who he is….JULIAN LUTHOR.  WHAT?!?!  That’s right, killed by his mom only to return one day as the editor of the Daily Planet.  Suddenly, I give a flip about Grant.

Finally, Clark is back at the Fortress to inquire Jor-El as to the whereabouts of Kara.  Jor-El, displeased with Clark.  He informs Clark that his defiance can’t go without consequence.  The fortress begins to glow bright white.  The light becomes brighter and brighter until….Executive Producers Al Gough and Miles Millar.

Why was this episode so good?  Why do I consider it one of the best if not THE best episode of the season? 

1.  Fortress action.  After not seeing the fortress at all after the premiere of Season 6, it was awesome to see so much of the show taking place in the Fortress of Solitude.

2.  Helen Slater – I think Slater does a wonderful job as Lara.   Her scene with Lana, while brief, was powerful.  She looks into the very soul of Lana and, in a moment of sheer goodness, tries to use the time she has with Lana to pull her back from the mistakes she’s made.  I love Helen Slater, she is a great actress and she brought an elegance, gentility, strength and a quiet passion to the role of Lara.  What a wonderful choice for the role that goes far beyond standard stunt casting.  She sings too…check her out.

3.  Twists and turns Smallville style – While I knew the Kara with no memory thing was coming because of the Sprint videos that were released, it is still a pretty major turn that Clark’s concern is to find his cousin and he has no idea that she’s in Motor City without a clue as to who she is or what she can do.  The big twist though is the existence of Julian Luthor.  Is it really?  Could Grant just be pulling a fast one on Lex?  I doubt it, but Julian can’t survive…there’s only room for one Luthor.  And did I mention that Derek was wrong and I was right about who he was talking to at the end of Wrath?

4.  The Cliffhanger.  I love the midseason, pre-break cliffhangers that the creators throw in and this one is one of the most thought provoking yet.   The whole show ended with the Fortress building to a blinding light as Jor-El was getting ready to reprimand Clark for his disobedience yet again.  What will he do? (Who knows?) Can it be wrapped up within the opening moments of the next episode? (Probably not.) Will Clark finally stand up to Jor-El and try to come to an understanding?(Not likely)

This episode was a perfect example of why Smallville has continued to be fairly successful even into it’s seventh season.  While it has definitely moved out of the realm of teen drama and into full on science fiction, it’s still a fun show, a dramatic show, and a show that you can talk about for days without ever coming to any real conclusions about questions and cliffhangers.  It’s sad that this season is apparently going to be cut short due to the ongoing strike, but it’s encouraging that we haven’t had a real dud this season.  All stops have been pulled out and it’s full steam ahead into the last half of this crazy ride.

I give the episode a full on 5 out of 5 whatever I award 5 of because my jaw is still slightly ajar at the living breathingness of Julian, Zor-El’s confrontation with Lionel, Lara’s talk with Lana, Fortress fighting goodness, and Smallville greatness.   Two weeks until the next new episode.  (Remember when they were “fresh?”)  Until then, head over to Starkville’s House of El Website, check out what the guys at SHoE thought, chat with us on the forums, and let us hear your thoughts.

No Geek Out Loud This Weekend

15

Nov

Posted by Steve

I’m currently out of town at a conference with/for my job.  So, I won’t be able to get an episode of the podcast out this weekend.  However, if something comes up, I will try to blog it, I’m going to try to get my Review for the latest Smallville episode, Blue, up before Saturday, and the podcast will be back next week.  

As an aside dealing with the podcast, we are havin problems with only two episodes showing up on iTunes.  I’m not too good with the technical/web/iTunes stuff, if anyone has any idea what’s up with the situation, please let me know so we can get it corrected soon.

Check Out Smallville at Amazon

13

Nov

Posted by Steve

There’s another sale on Smallville DVD’s going on at Amazon.com. Click here to check out the deals and support the site. Thanks.