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June 14, 2008

Donnelly Rhodes in The Wild Wild West

As Battlestar Galactica is taking a break for a while, I thought I'd take the opportunity to post a few pictures of Doc Cottle actor Donnelly Rhodes appearing in a 1969 episode of The Wild Wild West titled "The Night of the Cossacks":

Donnelly Rhodes with Robert Conrad as James West

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Posted at 12:31 PM | Comments (1)

May 10, 2008

Friday Night Movie: Iron Man

[Iron Man in flight]
Iron Man! The best Marvel comics movie in, ooo, a while at least. It's fun, has great characters, a plot relatively uncluttered by clichés, and should be relatively kid-safe. Spoilers follow.

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Posted at 3:40 PM | Comments (2)

March 2, 2008

Google Image Search fun!

If you do an image search on Google for Doctor Who title sequence, you'll see that I've managed to sneak a screenshot of the USS Voyager into fourth position. Screenshot with the image enhanced so you can see it better:

Google Image Search screenshot

Yes, I'm proud of my sneaking Trek into a Doctor Who search query.

Man, I really slacked off last month - 5 posts total, making it my slowest month since June 2006. Anyway, I'm having an unusually productive Sunday - I've caught up on most of my backload of DVDs, so I'm listening to The Blessing Tree and messing with things. Next task: work out why I can no longer edit templates in Movable Type.

Posted at 1:47 PM | Comments (1)

February 20, 2008

Seven months is not enough

I got an itch today to check out what was available in the way of TV sets. There's nothing wrong with my current one, except for the fact it's analogue, and New Zealand's going to shut down analogue transmissions in 2012 in favour of digital. The digital Freeview service was launched early last year and terrestrial Freeview broadcast is supposed to start in April[1].

I ambled into the LV Martins across the road from work to have a look at the TV sets they had there, and in a brief conversation with a salesperson, discovered that none of the TV sets had a digital decoder built in. I can buy a plain ol' LCD TV set, but I'd have to buy a set top box, and frankly I can't see how you'd balance one on one of those thin LCD sets. Tsk.

Posted at 8:10 PM | Comments (8)

February 2, 2008

Friday Movie: Dark Star

This would have been AVP2, but the cinemas are failing to play it at a convenient time for me.

Dark Star is a 1974 John Carpenter movie about four men 20 years into a mission to clear the galaxy of unstable planets. The special effects are roughly on a par with 60s television.

[The intrepid crew of the Dark Star]

Although Dark Star's supposed to be a comedy (a quote on the back of the case describes it as "riotously funny") most of the comedy sequences are pretty lame - at one point one of the characters begins producing comedy props and annoying his mates with them - and there's more amusement spawned from the low budget special effects. Possibly the highlight is the sentient bomb #20, which keeps receiving false signals telling it that it's time to launch. The best thing about the movie is that it inspired co-writer and actor Dan O'Bannon to write another movie about chasing an alien around a spaceship.

Speaking of, may I introduce Dodgy Alien #7...

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Posted at 4:52 PM | Comments (1)

January 21, 2008

Friday Movie: Cloverfield

Yes, this is late. :P

On Friday I went to see Cloverfield, a film from Lost creator J.J. Abrams about the experiences of a group of people during a monster attack on New York. It's filmed Blair Witch style, leading me to dub it the Blairzilla Project.

This is a smashing film and, unlike last week's didn't feel the need to have things jump out suddenly every five minutes just to make the audience jump. That said, there are plenty of scary moments. The movie's framed as video taped by one of the main characters using a handicam, and despite there being no incidental music at all, the mood in any particular scene is quite obvious. I thought the monster itself didn't quite look real enough, but it's hard to say if that's just because visualising something of that size is difficult or if it was something else.

My rating: 9/10

Posted at 7:44 PM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2008

Friday Night Movie: I Am Legend

As something I'm thinking of making a bit of a regular thing, I went to see I Am Legend, starring Will Smith as Robert Neville, the last man alive after a virus wipes out 90% of Earth's population and turns the rest into zombie-vampires.

Will Smith at a desk

This movie is fantastic, and you should go and see it for Will Smith's incredible acting alone. Be warned though that the film makers take every opportunity to try and make you jump out of your seat, which is a pity because a) the film really didn't need that sort of thing, and b) I'm too young to have a heart attack. Robert Neville's slow descent into madness is beautifully done, as he attempts to cure as the virus, despite the fact it's been three years since the initial outbreak.

IMDB's trivia section for this movie mentions that at one point Michael Bay was going to direct. The mind boggles.

Edit: Now with spoilery rant (under the cut)

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Posted at 9:06 PM | Comments (1)

December 17, 2007 team "restructured"

Via gdwessel:
Goodbye from the STARTREK.COM Team

Sadly, we must report that CBS Interactive organization is being restructured, and the production team that brings you the STARTREK.COM site has been eliminated. Effective immediately.

We don't know the ultimate fate of this site, which has served millions of Star Trek fans for the last thirteen years.

Thank you for your loyal fandom over the years. It has been a pleasure to serve you.

Wow. That really sucks. As Geoff points out, it's not like Star Trek is doing badly, being that they have a movie in the works and all. Why are they getting rid of the website team now?

Posted at 7:23 PM | Comments (0)

December 3, 2007

Heroes/Doctor Who Connection

As I was watching Heroes tonight (specifically the episode "Out of Time", which just screened here in New Zealand) I had a sudden sense of deja vu... Because this post refers to a series which is still being shown, I'm going to put the rest of this post behind a link to try to avoid spoiling anyone.

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Posted at 10:45 PM | Comments (3)

May 30, 2007

Dodgy Alien #6

So, back when I watched Lost in Space on NZ TV, they would only ever seem to play season 2. This meant that I missed out on one of the more famous moments - the season 3 episode "The Great Vegetable Rebellion", which features the infamous carrot man. Legend has it Guy Williams and June Lockhart were unable to keep a straight face while filming this episode.

After watching the first two seasons on DVD, I was fair anticipating this event and...

[Carrot man]


They did what they could with what they had, I guess. :)

[Previously: WOTW Potato, General Vishishnou, Turdy, Thing, and, of course, another great Lost in Space moment...]

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Posted at 11:40 PM | Comments (4)

May 15, 2007

Maggie Sawyer Has No Pants

I was watching Superman: The Animated Series again recently and remembered something that always bothered me about one of the characters: Captain Maggie Sawyer of the Metropolis PD appears to be going pants-less. Witness:
Maggie Sawyer: Pantless Policewoman

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Posted at 8:43 PM | Comments (3)

April 10, 2007

Don't defile my decade!

BAYWATCHRight is a screen grab from the latest Amazon UK email to land in my inbox, suggesting I check out some of the "'70s & '80s classics" they have on offer. They, for some reason, have chosen to illustrate this with an image of BAYWATCH. Leaving aside the description here of Baywatch as "classic", Baywatch started in 1989 and ran eleven seasons, thus primarily making it a '90s series.

Can't they see how wrong this is?! Why couldn't they have picked something more representative of the '70s or '80s?

Although, I suppose, featuring as it does The Hoff, perhaps they think it deserves honorary '80s status. :P

Speaking of, when the heck are they going to release Automan on DVD?

Posted at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 2, 2007

Review: Ghost Rider

Warning! Review may contain traces of spoilers.

On the weekend, I went to see Ghost Rider, the latest conversion of a Marvel comics hero to the big screen. I'm not really familiar with the comic version, so I don't know how comic-accurate the movie version was, but it was a pretty good film.

[Ghost Rider image]
Itchy, burning scalp? Your head might be on fire.

Johnny Blaze is a young stunt rider who's father has just been diagnosed with cancer. Enter Mephistopheles, who offers the fellow a deal - his father's health in return for Johnny's soul. Johnny signs the contract, the devil erases dad's cancer and tells Johnny not to make any long-term plans.

Fast foward twenty years or so, and son of Satan is roaming Earth looking for a lost contract which will bestow him with many souls. The Devil is not happy at this and wants the contract for himself, so he activates Johnny as the Ghost Rider in order to fight Satan Jr and his elemental-based henchmen.

I quite enjoyed this movie...

Continue reading "Review: Ghost Rider"

Posted at 9:03 PM | Comments (1)

March 17, 2007

Is there anything sexier than a woman in uniform?

I say not. I mean, seriously, look at this image of Amanda Tapping from today's Stargate SG-1:
[Amanda Tapping IN UNIFORM]

Need I say more?

Posted at 9:12 PM | Comments (6)

January 28, 2007

KITT was programmed in BASIC

I was watching a Knight Rider episode ("Knight of the Drones", to be precise), and as the following screen grabs will demonstrate, it provides proof that KITT is programmed in BASIC:
[KITT, give me a readout!]
"KITT, give me a readout"
[Sure, Michael *basic code*]

It prints out the sin, cos and tan of 30 random number between 0 and 9, then what looks like entries from Paramount picture's phone book (Mimi Soudan and C Gibson who were listed I found mentioned on this page. Other distinctive names from the list: John Sitcom (inventer of the sitcom??), Deke Miller, David Cazarus, Bill Busak, Chris Alsip, Dave Devlin.

Then after that there's what looks like the start of a news story: "What the heck? The jury decision to deny Mayor Smith his choice of-". The Mayor of LA (where the episode was filmed) in the 80s was Thomas Bradley, so what this was in reference to is a mystery...

Posted at 5:38 PM | Comments (5)

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