Shitty Movie Sundays: Doom

Sundays are usually pretty slow for me. The day and evening tend to drift by, lost in the newspaper, a book, televised sports, leisurely cooking, and the occasional shitty movie. It was late one Sunday that I came across an awful latter-day Godzilla film dubbed into Spanish (that I subsequently reviewed, along with its sequel). I usually get all heavy thinking out of the way before the sun goes down, and a mindless movie is a great complement to the relaxed nature of a Sunday evening. Paradoxically, this past Sunday’s fare, while mindless, was also frenetic and violent. But it was enough to satisfy the craving for bad cinema that I think all of us have a weak spot for. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Doom”

Oval Office Thunderdome: Scorched Earth

The numbers were clear. She was cooked, done, finished. Prolonging things any longer, unnecessarily, had dark tinges to it. Were she and all her people suffering from mass delusions, common throughout history among generals and emperors who continue the fight to the last man after the wars are lost? In short, was this bunker mentality? Pray and wait for a miracle? Who knows? It could happen. Problem is, it never does. Defeat doesn’t magically change to victory because one wants it bad enough. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: Scorched Earth”

October Horrorshow, Retroactive: Aliens

Alien is an artful film. It is frightening and suspenseful, but it also has operatic grace and gritty realism, despite being set mostly aboard a spaceship. It’s hard to imagine Alien spawning a sequel so tonally different yet still so successful, but Aliens does just that. The two films are poles apart, sharing with each other only the alien creatures and Sigourney Weaver, who reprises her role from the first film as Ripley. Continue reading “October Horrorshow, Retroactive: Aliens”

Oval Office Thunderdome: It Works

The Democratic nominating process is near an end. Supposedly. Last night, Hillary Clinton crushed Barack Obama in Kentucky, but lost to him in Oregon. Due to the party’s rules for apportioning delegates, the math has been against Clinton for months now. In order to grab the nomination, the lopsided victories she has garnered in Kentucky and in West Virginia last week would have had to have been the norm since at least the beginning of March in order for her to have any hope of erasing Obama’s delegate lead. But, she has not been able to string together such large victories. Clinton will not be the nominee. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: It Works”

Oval Office Thunderdome: In on the Big Secret

Former senator and presidential hopeful John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama for president yesterday evening. The endorsement came during an Obama rally in Michigan and was timed to coincide with the television networks’ nightly news coverage. In addition, coming one day after Obama suffered a huge defeat in the Democratic primary in West Virginia, the endorsement was designed to steal the spotlight from Hillary Clinton. At least, that is what I learned from watching the news. Therein lies something I’ve always found odd about political coverage, and election coverage in particular. Anyone who pays attention to the news has to have noticed the phenomenon, as well. That is, reporting on politics contains a large amount of analysis of tactics and strategy. Seemingly, more analysis than actual reporting. This has the effect of turning viewers and readers into vicarious participants in the campaigns. Continue reading “Oval Office Thunderdome: In on the Big Secret”

October Horrorshow, Retroactive: Alien

Always beware when a series of films has been labeled a franchise. Often it can mean that any effort to bring quality to the screen has been abandoned to embrace the industry’s insulting perceptions of mass taste. Such has been the fate of the Alien series of movies. The last entry that remained within the original continuity, Alien: Resurrection, was so awful it effectively killed the series. Since then, it has truly embraced the franchise label, making reality longstanding plans to team up with the Predator franchise, following a trail the comic book wings of the two brands began blazing in the 1980’s. Continue reading “October Horrorshow, Retroactive: Alien”

Iraq

At this very moment, American troops are engaged in a running gun battle with the Mahdi Army in Sadr City, Baghdad. In order to push Moqtada al-Sadr’s control of the area back to a point where his militia’s rockets lack the range to reach the Green Zone, where the American embassy and Iraqi government offices lie, a decision was made to take on Sadr’s forces in a sort of follow up to ongoing actions in Basra. In a disturbing instance that is becoming an alarming trend, Iraqi troops, allied with the Americans, abandoned their positions in the middle of the fight, leaving U.S. forces to face the brunt of Mahdi resistance. Continue reading “Iraq”

The Empty Balcony: The Matrix

Science fiction is not only the province where the wonder of our imaginations resides, it is also where nagging fear for the safety of mankind finds a home. The best science fiction stretches human timelines to the unbelievable. Also, it reminds us of what is possible. Because we can imagine it, it follows that eventually, it will be done. Some time in the future we will gaze upward at foreign skies with unfamiliar constellations, Sol but one of the infinite dots twinkling in a new sky. We will wander so far from our home for so long it will become legend, rumored to have once been an unthinkable place where thousands of generations could only dream of seizing the stars, when light years were vast and distance still had meaning. It’s possible. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: The Matrix”