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Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Off to the Movies
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:02 pm

I am taking the afternoon off to see Batman Begins.

A full report will, no doubt, follow at some point.

Filed under: Pop Culture, Movies | Comments (5) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Monday, July 11, 2005
Ebert on the FF
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:27 pm

Writes Roger Ebert:

the really good superhero movies, like “Superman,” “SpiderMan 2″ and “Batman Begins,” leave “Fantastic Four” so far behind that the movie should almost be ashamed to show itself in the same theaters.

Ouch.

The review round-up at Rotten Tomatoes seems to back this conclusion.

When one of the positive reviews states the following, it ain’t a good sign:

“Fantastic Four is a movie that could have been a lot better – but it could also have been a lot worse.”

What little cautious enthusiasm I had about he flick just vanished. This one sounds like a “I might watch it if a friend buys the DVD and lends its to me (maybe)” flick.

Filed under: Pop Culture, Movies, SciFi | Comments (7) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Wednesday, June 8, 2005
More Star Wars Politics
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:38 pm

Professor Bainbridge joins in the fun over the interstellar politics of the SW universe.

(non-scifi geeks can move along, this isn’t the post you are looking for)

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Tuesday, June 7, 2005
Amusing Headline of the Day
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 11:43 am

Cartoon animals beat up Crowe at U.S. box office

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Friday, June 3, 2005
The Political Ethics of Star Wars
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:03 pm

Robert Hayes takes on the political ethics of the Star Wars universe in an essay over at the Blogger News Network. It is quite interesting, and worth a read. It is a good illustration of the shallowness of Lucas’ writing and reminds me yet agian of how good a story this could have been had better writing (and more thought) been utilized.

He raises some legitimate points about both the Republic and the Empire. The politics of the Republic make no sense. As I mentioned in my own review of Attack of the Clones how can there be a 1000 (indeed 1000s)-world political system, but no standing army? Exactly how does the Senate work? As Hayes notes, is it really “democracy” when Senators seem to be appointed, and at least in the case of Naboo (ugh, what a name) and Alderaan, are representative of monarchies?

And in regards to the Empire, most of what we see in terms of evil-ness comes in the form of fighting the rebellion (that and wearing black and speaking with menacing voices).

Imagine if the politics of the Republic and the Empire had actually been thought out and well developed-how much better would the story have been? What if the behavior of the Jedi in episode I-III made sense?

Robert comes to the following conclusions, for which he does give some interesting supporting evidence:

Conclusions

The Jedi are (were), basically, selfish and evil.

The Empire is (was), basically a normal human political entity, flawed but not unredeemable.

George Lucas has a moral compass that’s about 90 degrees skewed from what most of us would consider right.

I really don’t think that Lucas’ moral compass is the problem, per se, as much as is his infantile writing: the movies, despite the fact that they do have a strong compelling element, are constructed so as to say: the good guys are good because they wear white and we say that they are good, and the bad guys are bad for the opposite reasons. To be fair, the movies were supposed to be homages to the serials of the 1930s, which were hardly complex literary presentations. However, that works for one movie, it may even work for three, but one one has the chance to add nine hours to a saga that are supposed to explain the other nine, then one’s get-out-of-simplicity free card has been revoked.

Filed under: Pop Culture, Movies, Political Philosophy/ Theory, SciFi | Comments (13) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

The Window Manager linked with Does This Make Me a Nerd?
PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » More Star Wars Politics linked with [...] ics By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 6:38 pm Professor Bainbridge joins in the fun over the interstellar politics of the SW universe. (non-scifi geeks can move along, this isn’t the post you [...]
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
Card Hits the Nail on the Head
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 2:31 pm

From Orson Scott Card’s review of Sith:

Even though the characterization is nonexistent, the relationships like a seven-year-old’s impression of how grownups act, the politics clearly the product of a mind that has never grasped history, and the science at the “How can rivers flow north?” level, the underlying saga still manages to touch a chord.

Yup.

The whole thing is worth a read (if one is interested in this kind of thing).

Filed under: Pop Culture, Movies, SciFi | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here

PoliBlog: Politics is the Master Science » The Political Ethics of Star Wars linked with [...] compass is the problem, per se, as much as is his infantile writing: the movies, despite the fact that they do have a strong compelling element, are constructed so as to say: the good guys are good [...]
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Amusing
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:47 am

For some reason, I found this headline to be amusing:

‘Star Wars’ leads inmate comedies at US box office

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Monday, May 30, 2005
Upgrade Continues
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:09 pm

Well, after ending up going to see Revenge of the Sith (more on that later—the short version: far better than I and II, but the acting and dialogue were rather lame, but the visuals were fantastic and the basic plot was superior to the previous two-overall worth seeing, but not at full price) I didn’t get all the tweaks done, it looks like the upgrade went well and the features on WP 1.5 look superior to 1.2.

The themes aren’t that hard to manage once you figure out how the program structures the content.

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Saturday, May 28, 2005
Lovin’ the 80s
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:45 am

This should make Professor Chaos quite happy.

Although I have a confession: despite completing High School in 1986, I never saw The Breakfast Club. Indeed, never had any interest.

Filed under: Pop Culture, Movies | Comments (4) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Friday, May 27, 2005
Answer: Yes
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:45 pm

The Question.

h/t: Althouse.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005
By Steven L. @ 8:03 pm

Dale Franks points out a handy safety tip:

Lightsabers are not real. The technology to make them does not exist. You cannot create them with common household objects. Above all, do not try to make lightsabers by filling fluorescent tubes with gasoline.

As he states, Bad things will happen.

I find it hard to believe that a twenty-year old would be so foolish with gasoline.

Now propane, that might just work.

DISCLAIMER: Neither the Permanent Guest Blogger(TM) or this site endorses or even encourages setting yourself on fire.

Filed under: General, Pop Culture, Movies | Comments (2) |Send TrackBack | Show Comments here
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Ouch
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 9:40 pm

From the The New Yorker review of Sith:

The general opinion of “Revenge of the Sith” seems to be that it marks a distinct improvement on the last two episodes, “The Phantom Menace” and “Attack of the Clones.” True, but only in the same way that dying from natural causes is preferable to crucifixion.

h/t: Robert Tagorda at OTB.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005
X-News
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 10:13 pm

Via Sci-Fi Wire: Grammer Is Beast In X-Men 3

Marvel entertainment chief Avi Arad told SCI FI Wire that Kelsey Grammer will plays Dr. Henry “Hank” McCoy/Beast in the upcoming third X-Men film and also confirmed earlier reports that Vinnie Jones has signed to play the villainous Juggernaut. Grammer, best known to audiences as TV’s Frasier Crane, will play the blue-furred biochemist, whose strength and agility are matched by his genius intellect. Beast will play a prominent role in the third X-Men film, whose story is being kept under wraps.

Interesting choice. The ages don’t match, but he will be heavily made up, so I guess that won’t matter.

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That was Fast
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 3:01 pm

Via Reuters: Final ‘Star Wars’ film leaked to the Internet

One popular tracker Web site showed more than 16,000 people currently downloading the film via BitTorrent.

Filed under: Pop Culture, Movies, Computer Junk, SciFi | Comments (0) |Send TrackBack
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Over-anxious is as Over-anxious Does
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:19 pm

Via USAT: Could ‘Sith’ spell the decline of the line?

I won’t name names, but several people I know are skipping work tomorrow to stand in those lines. Some will flee the office early today, in hopes of securing a sweet seat at a midnight screening of Revenge of the Sith. Other fans have made a career out of waiting in line, camping on sidewalks for days, even weeks, in anticipation of George Lucas’ latest epic.

Many roll their eyes at these folks, but I think it’s poetic.

Allow me to roll my eyes…

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