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Monday, September 18, 2006

[NOW PLAYING] Star Trek: 40th Anniversary Specials - Original ST Episodes Remastered with New FX now airing in U.S/Canada [List of TV Affiliates]

In celebration of Star Trek's 40th Anniversary.,

NOW PLAYING: Paramount are now playing brand new re-mastered original Star Treks on television!

Background: somewhat akin to George Lucas' "Special Edition" re-mastering of the original Star Wars trilogy, Paramount have gone back into the original Star Trek television episodes, have cleaned up the prints and the sound, and most obviously & controversially: have updated the FX!

(Least controversially they don't have Greedo firing at Kirk first - Ed)

*cough* *slap forehead* (mine) (this time)

uh yes,. purportedly they aren't engaging in any sacrophiliac story editing.

The changes are reportedly minimal and designed to bring the original Star Trek *somewhat* in line with 21st Century FX yet without substancially altering the original (cheesy - Ed) look and feel of the series that we all love.

Id est. Instead of an orange balloon, a planet is now rendered to look like a planet. I don't know about you, but that I don't mind. Just don't turn those orange sh-skirts into jumpsuits.

(*slap forehead* -Ed) (TAG's -Ed) (this time - Ed)

Whatever the changes in store each week, the brand new digitally remastered TOS episodes are quite apparently the anniversary-gift that keeps on giving! (or the wound that keeps on digging, if you dislike the concept -Ed) as they will be rolling out the remastered episodes every week from now until September of 2007.

See here for weekly Episode broadcast-date schedule: http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/news/article/25835.html?page=0

Click 'ere for the complete list of television channels broadcasting the remastered TOS eps: http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/news/article/25835.html?page=1

(Excel Ra-Zor! - Ed)

*slap forehead* (Ed's) (all times)


The Avante Guardian

Friday, September 15, 2006

[free tv] Watch the Battlestar Galactica Season 3 Special Preview Webisodes "The Resistance" Parts 1 through 10 here

Mood: Fracking Good.
Track Injection: Royksopp - Night Out Live (full EP) <-- Click to Listen.

UPDATE: Space: The Imagination Station has learned its lesson. The Canadian Debut of The New Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica is Saturday October 7th at 9pm ET. A mere one day after the U.S debut. YAY Space!

*tug down on shirt*

The U.S SciFi Channel's Website is currently airing BSG `webisodes' - 10 three minute segments in all, 2 released per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays - that will tell a BSG story with a beginning a middle and a cliffhanger end per episode.

To date, 4 webisodes have aired, 6 remain.

U.S SciFi Channel owners NBC-Universal have tried to make the webisodes collectively titled "The Resistance" an "U.S Internet Viewers ONLY" affair (by refusing to transmit the webisodes if you're not logging on from a U.S Internet Service Provider) but The Resistance has indeed spawned, The Resistance!

(YAY! - Ed)

My sentiments precisely.

(I thought they might be you jolly roger flying malcontent - Ed)


Go Away Ed.

If you have an American ISP you can watch them at Scifi.com's
Battlestar Galactica

If you don't have a U.S ISP no worries, you can join The Resistance and watch pirated versions 'ere:


and if they're ordered pulled from YouTube by the nasty evil lawyer folk from NBC Universal..then *gaze left* *gaze right* *flap trenchcoat* you can watch em here:


and/or run a search on Bit Torrent for the webisodes. They'll appear on all of the above sites the minute they're released on the SciFi channel's website.

The Sci-Fi channel's website is currently releasing two webisodes per week until the U.S launch of season three of BSG on October 6th.

Special Thanx to Captain Xerox and Tama for the leads.

The Avante Guardian.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Re-Animated Zombie Dog - All Your Base Are Belong To Us

It would appear that round 2 3 4 uh X of the apparently unstoppable "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" PhenoMemeOn is upon us.

(oy - bad pun alert! - you may groan now - Ed)

Lord knows I do whenever possible.

(*groan* - Ed)

In honour of the resurgence perpetrated by the latest (and best uh est) AYBABTU YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qItugh-fFgg

SciFiFanZine presents: The location of the infamous source - Yes, the (European only) "Engrish" (Japanese to English badly-translated rush-to-release job of the) Sega Mega Drive video-game Zero Wing:

download Zero Wing for your Sega Genesis (the US/Canada version of the Euro Sega Mega Drive) 'ere: http://romhustler.net/rom/genesis/1025

(winRar req to unarchive game rom)

If you don't have a Sega Genesis emulator, links located on the left hand side of the above page will take you to several you can download.


Not for Children. Not for the squeemish. Not for those that just ate.

(and not for those with crystal mnemonic recall during REM - Ed)

Watch (in horror - Ed) "Experiments in the Revival of Organisms" - a 1940 filmed Russian experiment involving the re-animation of a dog's head., here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiq3K_26MWc or click play button below to view video.

real experiment relating to the heart-lung machine or Russian propaganda? here's a good site containing an interesting discussion on the debate concerning its scientific veracity: http://www.archive.org/details/Experime1940

Interesting to note the video itself isn't called into question, it apparently is legitimately from Russia and involves real scientists, and has appeared in various media (BBC television notably) the question raised (by some -Ed) is whether or not the scientists faked the experiment as part of a Russian propaganda campaign.

The Avante Guardian.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Star Trek Knights of the Round Table

Mood: Exclesior!
Track Injection: Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Dani California" <-- Click to listen.

It is said of the North that we only 'ave two seasons.

Boil You Alive, and Freeze Your Testicles Off.

We are presently in Boil You Alive, synapses aren't firing, neurons aren't transmitting, essentially I believe I now know what it feels like to be Regis Philbin and/or David Hasselhoff.

Ergo, point being the time spent online looking for porno interesting links for this 'ere blog is presently directly proportional to 'ow well my air conditioning is working, and since it just went bollocks up and I won't be getting a new one for approx a week yet, it is therefore quite fortuitous that I 'appened to find >>this<<

For reasons which will become clear in a moment.

(at least clearer than they are at the moment - Ed)


The Avante Guardian

Saturday, July 08, 2006

special 7 minute limited-edition preview of the new Doctor Who - Season 2

The New Doctor Who Season 2 (starring David Tennant as The New Doctor)doesn't air in North America until the fall of 2006 (Oct 9th on CBC in Canada as verified >>Here<<) so for those that are waiting patiently and 'aven't cheated (by downloading season 2 episodes from the U.K via bit torrent, you naughty naughty peoples -Ed) and for that matter, even for those that 'ave, 'ere's a 7 minute "limited edition" segment that was specially made for a charity event in England by the creators of Doctor Who.

It takes place directly after the re-generation scene at the end of season 1 but before the Christmas Special.

Click 'ere to watch 7 minute Doctor Who special starring the New Doctor Who

Doctor Who Season 1 is presently re-airing on CBC-6 in Canada, Tuesdays at Midnight.

The Avante Guardian.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fall TV Preview 2006/2007 Part I: Canadian Stations

Fall TV Preview 2006/2007 Part I:

(uh, not to be insolant or anything TAG but how can you have a Fall 2006/2007 TV Preview? wouldn't that be a FALL 2006/Winter 2007 Preview. - Ed)

Technically Yes, but it looks cooler and more futuristic this way.

(well that explains it then., you're insane - Ed)

Now that we've cleared that up:

Space: The Imagination Station (Canada's SciFi channel)

Space Fall 2006 New Programmes:


For years, the government has been relocating the world’s geniuses and their families to the rural pacific northwest town of Eureka , where daily life straddles the line between unprecedented innovation and total chaos. U.S. Marshall Jack Carter (Canadian actor Colin Ferguson) finds this out firsthand when he wrecks his car and becomes stranded in Eureka . After the town’s eccentric inhabitants unleash a scientific creation still unknown to the outside world, Carter steps in to restore order and consequently is let in on one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Also stars Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Joe Morton, Debrah Farentino, Matt Frewer, Erica Cerra and Jordan Hinson.

(you had me at Matt Max-Headroom Frewer - TAG)

(at least for episode 1 - Ed)

Ice Planet

Based on an original concept by Hendrik Hey. Ice Planet follows Commander Jonas
Trager (Michael Ironside) and his crew from the spacecraft Magellan who, after embarking on a secretive mission, crash on a mysterious planet of ice. The crash is followed by a devastating apocalyptic attack on Earth by the Skorps, a highly advanced alien species. The marooned crew must learn to survive in the frozen landscape, which is home to strange inhabitants and ancient alien conflicts.

(not sure if this sounds like Titan A.E or Starship Troopers? - TAG)

(it'll probably look like Wing Commander - Ed)

(--- *shiver* TAG & Ed)

The Dresden Files

Based on the best-selling novels by Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden is a private detective with a wry sense of humour and a terrific success rate with missing objects and people. He is also the only wizard who advertises in the Chicago Yellow Pages. His detective business covers some of the bills, but most of his meager income comes from helping out the Chicago Police Department on those cases that they just aren't equipped to deal with – demons, vampires, werewolves, the usual.

(so essentially, Harry Potter Philip Marlowe: The Night Stalker - TAG)

(..without Harry Potter, Philip Marlowe, Humphrey Bogart or The Night Stalker - Ed)

(still sounds good to me - TAG)

(me too -Ed)


A rich, ensemble drama filled with action, mystery and humour about rebuilding a society after a massive nuclear attack. The people of Jericho , Kansas find themselves alone and cut off from the global community they had been a part of only yesterday. As resources dwindle, they must draw on inner reserves they may never had known they had. Some will rise to the challenge, some will not. The series follows the lives of the people of Jericho as their world gradually evolves from familiar small town life to a new world with new rules. Stars Skeet Ulrich, Gerald McRaney, Pamela Reed, Lennie James, Michael Gaston, Kenneth Mitchell, Sprague Grayden, Erik Knudsen and Ashley Scott.

(I LOVE post-Armageddon stories - Survivors is one of my all-time Fave U.K Series - My unsolicited Advice: spend the bulk of the series -travelling- from pocket to pocket, a la Logan's Run. The moment you settle down into the daily mechanics of re-establishing society, unless you've got some serious writing talent you will lose the audience - TAG)

(..to something like Celebrity Monkey-Hurling - Ed)

Motel Man

Homicide detective Joe Miller’s life is forever changed when he stumbles upon a motel room key. The key unlocks a world of unimaginable power and with that power comes the greed of those who wish to possess it. The motel room is full of mundane everyday objects, but each of these items possesses its own unique power. Joe soon discovers that the key is the most valued and sought after of all the mysterious items.

The Triangle (Miniseries)

With his crews and cargo ships disappearing at an alarming rate around the Bermuda Triangle, a billionaire hires a crew of specialists to understand why. Handpicked by the man himself, the crew consists of a skeptical journalist, an ocean engineer, a scientist and a psychic. With an attractive financial offer made to each of them, the crew will investigate the legendary and very mysterious Bermuda Triangle to find answers. Created and executive produced by Bryan Singer, Dean Devlin and Rockne S. O’Bannon and stars Eric Stoltz, Sam Neill, Lou Diamond Phillips, Catherine Bell, Bruce Davison, and Michael Rodgers. offer made to each of them, the crew will investigate the legendary and very mysterious Bermuda Triangle to find answers. Created and executive produced by Bryan Singer, Dean Devlin and Rockne S. O’Bannon and stars Eric Stoltz, Sam Neill, Lou Diamond Phillips, Catherine Bell, Bruce Davison, and Michael Rodgers.

New To Space :


Travelling around the world incognito, fighting the bad guys and wrestling with inner demons – for young spy Sydney Bristow, this is a typical day at her not-so-typical job as a secret agent. Further complicating the situation is her CIA superior Jack, who also happens to be her estranged father. Utilizing a variety of disguises and secret weapons, Sydney infiltrates the dangerous underworld, discovering family secrets, hidden agendas and ultimately love.

The Hilarious House of Frightenstein

A Canadian comedy series originally produced by Hamilton ’s CHCH in the 1970s, the mock-horror variety show starred Billy Van, Fishka Rais, Joe Torbay, Guy Big, and special guest star Vincent Price. This amusing and witty sketch comedy featured memorable characters such as Count Frightenstein, Igor, Grizelda the Ghastly Gourmet, and an African explorer called Bwana Clyde Batty, most of which were played by Billy Van himself.

Night Stalker

Crime reporter Carl Kolchak is partnered with Perri Reed at The Beacon, a Los Angeles newspaper. Together they investigate a string of strange murders, all of which may be related to the death of Kolchak's wife 18 months earlier in a similarly bizarre manner. A murder that the FBI consider Kolchak the primary suspect. SPACE will debut four episodes of the series that have never aired.

Returning series include :

* BattleStar Galactica (Season 3)
* The 4400 (Season 3)
* Supernatural (Seaosn 2)
* Smallville (Season 6)
* Stargate: Atlantis (Season 2)
* Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
* Beyond (Season 2)


Not sure which is funnier, House of Frightenstein's Billy Van or Buck Rogers' Hawk.

(IIRC the actor [Thom Christopher -Ed] really took his role seriously, forget empathy, he projectile-hurls Hawk's last-of-his-kind isolation at the screen; took his role perhaps a bit too seriously; it does work, though I'm not sure if I'm saying that because I feel sorry for Hawk or for Thom Christopher, either way I suspect quite a lot of therapy follows)

(^Raise-Finger-to-Comment - Ed)

..for Thom Christopher Ed.

(v-Lower-Finger - Ed)

One thing I can say with relative assurity, is that this is my idea of a perfect woman, the type of nurturing lovely girl that would draw you a bath

...und then step in it with you.

The Avante Guardian.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Bloody Good Question of Mars Skull Scale

Mood: Cephalopod'ish.
Todays Fact:The seven Endless siblings in Gaiman's stories are:
Destiny, Death, Dream, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium.
Track Injection: "Angel’s Punishment" – Lacuna Coil <-- click to Download MP3

This Question and Observation is raised by a friend of mine nomened Denstat


She is very smart, she is very witty, she can turn a phrase (or sword - Ed) faster than Pazuzu can turn Linda Blair's head 360 degrees, and unfortunately dear readers presently injected with an overdose of spring pheromones (you-know-who-you-are - Ed) ..she is taken.

Her Raised Q,

are these massive rock structures, or is this macro photography of tiny strucures?

id est. What is the SCALE of this photo?

Took a bit of digging to get that answer.

First I 'ad to find out what took the photo, luckily NASA puts quite a bit of information about their photos into the URL they store them at.

see http://marsrover.nasa.gov/gallery/edr_filename_key.html

for the key to decyphering the skull-image url:


according to the key the 2P (following the 513) tells us its was taken with Spirit's Pancam.

So, off to find out what the Spirit's Pancam specs were, I (far-too-merrily-and-unsuspectingly -Ed) went.

Unfortunately the NASA website sucked larks vomit on this particular subject of the Pancam tech specs.

I'm sure they 'ave a wonderfully detailed page on it, until you ask them where it is, then I suspect they do a lot of coughing and mumbling and excusing themselves to go to the washroom.

Technically they did provide an overview that succinctly described the pancam as "human perspective" but I couldn't find anything much more comprehensive than that at NASA.

Next on my journey I decided to go looking for the Rover (Spirit's) specs. Which revealed this bit of info:

Spirit is 4.9 feet high (with pancam at top on mast) x 7.5 feet wide by 5.2 feet long and weighs 384 pounds with her pancam lenses a foot apart.

(so basically when they say "human perspective" it makes one wonder precisely which 5 foot 384 pound human with eyes 12 inches apart they were referring to - Ed)

und finally after some alarmingly technical geological sidetracking (that I only narrowly escaped some 14 hours later by asking talking door #2 whether talking door #1 was telling the truth)

..upon said narrow escape, I finally discovered a site with a detailed description of the Spirit's Pancam technical specifications (YAY!) containing a Spirit 360 degree Pancam user-controllable perspective viewer. (hyperYAY!)

Pancam Specs and Mars user-controlled Pancam simulator located 'ere: http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/pancam_techwed_040114.html

so, essentially, the short answer would appear to be that the Pancam is designed to take pictures from the perspective of a 5 foot human with 20-20 vision.

(which let us recall is pretty well much what NASA said before you went off on this epic journey of self immolation - Ed)


Point being, WITH actual Specs in hand, I found no reference to controllable zoom capabilities on the Pancam (hardware) side. Ergo, unedited raw images are at human-height+perspective. (give or take the linearization)


When we toy with the Pancam simulator (to get an idea of perspective in relation to the Rover, the 5 foot camera height and the size of nearby rocks)


ve combine this with analyzing the full-screen image of the rockskull, the (5 foot high human -Ed) perspective appears to indicate that

Conclusion 1: the rockskull is approximately 4-6 feet away, the object to the right about the size of a large tree trunk, ergo the rock-skull pretty close to humanoid sized.

Conclusion 2: as Denstat's observation displays, it's a bloody nuisance that NASA doesn't encode a SCALE into their photo stats.

(I've emailed NASA to inquire what the Panoramic camera's precise PIXEL SCALE RATIO is, with that in hand we ought be able to calculate the precise dimensions of the Mars rockskull to within a few millimeters - Ed)

While the rockskull appears human sized in the pancam photo, If the pic had been taken with the Spirit Rover's micro(scope)cam instead the answer would be entirely different. and that skull would be absurdly small and far less ominous.

(though no less absurd than a humanoid skull on mars - Ed)

Bugger off non-believer.

(btw, you forgot conclusion number 3 - Ed)

which is..

(never argue with a Sicilian when Death is on the line! - Ed)

Alright then.

(um, why are you so calm? - Ed)

2 reasons Ed.

1. You're not Sicilian.

2. You can be bought off with signed Photos of Ronald Reagan and a bag of jelly beans.

(you said 2 reasons, so what's the 3rd? - Ed)

3. ..I know something you don't know.

(doubtful, but I'll play., hunh-hunh-hem: "..which is?" - Ed)

I am not left handed.


(uh, Yes you are actually - Ed)

While true, for purposes of being strange, and honoring The Princess Bride, I am not at this moment, left handed.

Finally, props to SciFiFanZine poster Tyler-Durden's-Smoking-Revenge for posting one of my fave reactions to the rockskull image 'ere on SciFiFanZine:

"F*ck me, they finally found where I burried Hoffa"


Next up (for his next trick - Ed) *cough* please stop helping me Ed

We shall attempt to discover the answer to Anthony Knox question of whether or not NASA 'as to acquire U.S Government approval before posting Martian pictures online.

Note that, this is a bloody interesting Q because it doesn't matter whether the rockskull is an alien skull/scultpure artifact or a rock or not, what matters is that it looks like an alien skull, ergo if NASA does require approval from the U.S Government before releasing such (national-security related -Ed) photos, a paper-trail will exist for this particular photo, that can be accessed by The U.S Freedom of Information act.


The Avante Guardian.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Nasa Mars Photo: Humanoid Skull Found On Mars (?)

Above photo blown up to 400%, see original Nasa photos below.

Click here to view official Nasa Mars Photos



I find it interesting to note that for the first while spent analyzing the photo, one (this one - Ed) attempts to overlook alarms its sending off.

Specifically, the glaring inconsistency of that right eye socket (left to it, right to the viewer - Ed).

It's not at all an aesthetic match, and yet, the human brain does attempt to fill-in-the-blanks to make it a match.

Myself I do believe to paraphrase Carl Sagan's Contact, that if there is no life out there, what a waste of all that infinite space, that would be.

But unfortunately, I cannot make this Mars photo fit that cosmic philosophy.

I would require an explanation that doesn't shift entirely over to "an alien artist with an inconsistent aesthetic carved it" to account for that right (to viewer) socket construct.

The problem with that argument, should one wish to employ it, is that "alien artist" in that sentence can more readily be replaced and explained by "Mother Nature".

id est. natural rock formation dynamics.

Yet that overall skull shape, that most certainly is intriguing.

I think.

The Avante Guardian.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

[free videos] Star Wars Deleted Scene - C for Cookie - Darth Vader Calls The Emperor

Mood: Pheromone Ground Zero.
Track Injection: Dresden Dolls - Yes Virginia (full CD) <--- Click to Listen (WMA)

If you're in a city with femmes out'n'about it, you might want to put on some PP-F 2000.

(Pheromone Protection Factor 2000 - Ed)

GOOD LORD. This is one of the cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof'iest springs we've had in aeons.

The pheromone emitters must be on full throttle.

(how do you know it's not just your own sordid lasciviousness? - Ed)

I've seen other blokes with that steam-pouring-from-their-ears hazy look about them..

(so? - Ed)

..staring lustfully and lovingly at trees.

('nuff said - Ed)

..entering confessionals shortly there-afterwards

(we get it already - Ed)

..and some of them are not even Catholic.

Ergo, to get your minds off of the fairer sex for a few minutes, here are three highly snarfy videos.

V for Vendetta has spawned the funny and uber-impressive... - C for Cookie - ... MU-AHA.

Star Wars Episode 3 and 4 The Inbetween Years along with The George W. Bush "we're not wiretapping your conversations! (we're videotaping them -Ed)" association brings you the hilarious..

Adult Swim's Robot Chicken
"Darth Vader Calls The Emperor" Video
<-- Click to Laugh.


For The Hardcore Star Wars fan, this piece of the Holy grail, a recovered unfinished deleted scene from the original Star Wars.

Click Here to watch Star Wars Ep IV Luke & Biggs deleted scene.

Danke to Jackie! (my favorite self-professed Asian Lesbian possibly interested in finding a Bull-Dyke to get her tickets to Radiohead in California) and Captain X (who is not to my knowledge a bull-dyke -Ed) for the recos.

If you have cool free SF related links to proffer, feel free to email to: TheAvanteGuardian@gmail.com

The Avante Guardian.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Decidedly Un-SciFi - Part II - The End.

Technically this (below) was actually a post made on The Goddess Steph's blog, but it's a followup to the issue in the last blog entry here.

Sometimes issues, bleed over (probably because she kindly permits him to -Ed); Steph's got to be Evolution's proudest accomplishment. The Apex. Hyper-Intelligent _and_ Uber-Artistic, Kind _and_ Strong. Beautiful on the Inside _and_ Out.

(and God love her for putting up with his rambings - Ed)

I'd love to see the bloke she marries (if she marries - Ed) for 2 reasons.

1. Just to see what her evolutionary counterpart, looks like.

(and 2? - Ed)

2. To go to Las Vegas with him, because the bloke that scores Steph, will be the luckiest guy on the planet.



(Followup to last blog entry)


Right, that's enough of that melancholy.

(aw oh - Ed)

particularly since madness is so much warmer.

This song conversely is to those that we would 'ave dedicated Psychophile's "Intense" to, on account of it's incredibly psychosexual (which I highly suspect this summer is going to be btw, the pheromones are already blasting directly into my jugular and it's only May)., but unfortunately Psychophile took 'Intense' off their website [run-on-sentence-breath-break]

..and so we're dedicating Psychophile's "Cracked" to all those who find that the single best way to deal with things, is to go stark raving mad.

*Tilt head at obtuse angle*
*Wipe mirror that isn't there*

So without further ado,

Dear Occupants,

Psychophile's "Cracked":






(D)ownload Psychophile's "Cracked" MP3 'ere:


Oh look, penguins.



Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sentient Meat, C Space, Filthywhore and Aliens

Mood: Like a Lego Mindstorm Kit.
Todays Random Fact: The Adult Human Breathes Over 3000 Gallons of Air Per Day.
Track Injection: "I Don't Exist" - Sisters of Mercy <-- Click to Listen (REALPLAYER)

SF fans may find this intellectually stimulating in an classic-SF sort of way.

Thanks to Lazarus for putting me onto this 7 1/2 minute SciFi film short.

Click *HERE* to watch "They Are Made Out of Meat" Film Short

based on Terry Bisson's Short Story "They Are Made Out of Meat"

read original (very) short story 'ere: http://www.terrybisson.com/meat.html

Myself, I would sugg reading the short story _after_ watching the film short, as the film is more enjoyable when it's slightly more nebulous. imo.

I found it curious, how all (of the original) explanation was removed from the film short, the only answer I can come up with is that it was designed primarily by the Director to 'ave the viewer contemplate various possible life forms, and possibly as impetus to read the original short story for the answer.

Following 'aving done so, I must say, I would have thought the short story's,

"we marked the entire sector unoccupied."

would have made for a rather humourous/poignant ending to the film short. :)

Anyway, if you're into classic slightly surreal (at least in presentation) slightly comic, mostly intellectually biting SF, you might find TAMOoM enjoyable.

At the very least, it will go a ways towards justifying all the time you spend with YouTube user "Filthywhore"'s videos.


She, who isn't to my knowledge actually a filthywhore, but rather nomenclature-dichotomously is so exceedingly cute in her videos that you can't stop watching her, ergo you really need to counter falling in love with a total stranger with some intellectually stimulating SF film shorts like TAMOoM.


Not that I'd know personally.

Oh No, Not I.

The Avante Guardian.

Monday, May 08, 2006

[SF Opine] Stanislaw Lem Reviews Philip K. Dick - Brilliant if fashionably Anti-American

Mood: I suspect, not unlike Schroedinger’s Wildcat might feel.
Todays Random Thought: Flood the EPS Manifolds!
Track Injection:Lacuna Coil - Karmacode (full CD) <--- Click to Listen (WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER or New REALPLAYER v10.x+ Required)


Click Here to Read Stanislaw Lem's (author Solaris) Brilliant review of Philip K. Dick (author Ubiq)

Opine (mine)

(you don't say - Ed)

Go Away Ed.

*tug down on shirt*


Stanislaw Lem on PKDs America circa 1975 vs America 2006: The Rise of Thinking-Man SF - A Systems View

That was an by turns fascinating and maddening essay on one of my favorite SF authors by another of my favorites.

I feel I 'ave to say, (as British Mum taught me to be weary of) that I inhale the distinct aroma of that omnipresent terribly fashionable - at the time, and perhaps always so in certain European circles - `anti-Amercanism' in Lem's diatribe.

But, the analysis of Dick himself and his work, is utterly brilliant.

It would be interesting to see what Lem thought in particular of Neuromancer, The Matrix, and the New Battlestar Galactica.

or more properly of the subsequent rise of PKD's influence and work in _America_ ; ostensibly the rise of thinking-man SF.

..particularly given that the very items he castigates the Americans for NOT embracing (in 1975, though he speaks with an alarming sense of permanence through much of his essay) have become the very items that today hold an increasingly powerful influence on American SF.

Bottom line of my diatribe: The harcore SF sophisticate contrary to Lem's view, is becoming increasingly influential, in America.

Both in terms of his/her influence on public opine, and on the SFers ability to impact the creation (and success) of new American SF.

Take the new Battlestar Galactica, it is a success largely in my analysis because the SFer sang its praises, the media critics then followed suit, apparently buoyed at least in part by the security of the core sf'ers backing opine. ..from whence finally BSG's accolades spread to the larger public.

And this is solely in terms of traditional oldschool media methodology.

Perhaps more Interestingly, a great part of the rise of the thinking-man dynamic in American SF might be said to be due to The Internet and the (new found) ability for the hard-core SF'er to disseminate her/his opine to the masses, where it appears, it is finding substancial resonance.

What's fascinating here is that, "The Lowest Common Denominator will result wherever the masses gather" (in America) ., intellectual-postulate (and the subtext in Lem's essay) is steadfast proving to have been only half the story. If not less than half so.

While it may be true (it will certainly be self-fulfilling if Producers use it as a rational for creating LCD garbage), it appears that the masses are also well capable of gravitating towards quality work..too.

Ironically, the Internet, that medium of the unwashed masses has perhaps given the masses access to -better- criticism and analysis (and stunningly, more influential), than the establishment ever did.

And more tellingly, the public apparently recognizes quality opine as such, when they see it.

I admit I'm not sure how long it will last, we appear to be in a time-period in which the Producers (particularly of television) are willing to listen to Joe-Netizen but I hold to no delusion, the minute the suits decide it isn't profitable to produce quality work that meets the netizen's stated quality-criteria, we will no doubt return to rubbish materia faster than you can say LCD.

The next job is perhaps to figure out a way to see to it that that doesn't happen.

The Avante Guardian.

Friday, April 07, 2006

[free tv] Asian Spider-man, Sesame Street Aliens and MST3K

Danke to Captain Xerox and Darklord for the heads up on these free videos:

This series from 1978 is so retro-cool it's now post-modern.

Watch Asian Spider-man episodes --> Here <--

Sesame Street Aliens
YepYepYepYep BookBookBookBook BokBokBok BrrRrrrrring.

This is one of those sesame street segments that was subcutaneously responsible for warping many a young persons mind.

Watch Sesame Street Aliens --> 'ere <---

Mystery Science Theatre 3000
The official source of some of the greatest taglines ever developed.

Watch full MST3K episodes and/or Joel and Mike skit outtakes --> Here <--

if you'd like to burn these to CD/DVD or otherwise store them on your HD, you can pick up a flash to mpeg converter --> here <--


Friday, March 24, 2006

[free books] Read 3 of the 2006-Hugo-Nominated Works

and The 2006 Hugo Award Nominees are:

Best Novel

Learning the World by Ken MacLeod (Orbit; Tor)
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (Voyager; Bantam Spectra)
Old Man's War by John Scalzi (Tor)
Accelerando by Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit)
Spin by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)

Best Novella

Burn by James Patrick Kelly (Tachyon)
"Magic for Beginners" by Kelly Link (Small Beer Press; Fantasy & Science Fiction September 2005)
"The Little Goddess" by Ian McDonald (Asimov's June 2005)
"Identity Theft" by Robert J. Sawyer (Down These Dark Spaceways, SFBC)
"Inside Job" by Connie Willis (Asimov's January 2005)

Best Novelette

"The Calorie Man" by Paolo Bacigalupi (Fantasy & Science Fiction October/November 2005)
"Two Hearts" by Peter S. Beagle (Fantasy & Science Fiction October/November 2005)
"TelePresence" by Michael A. Burstein (Analog July/August 2005)
"I, Robot" by Doctorow (The Infinite Matrix February 15, 2005)
"The King of Where-I-Go" by Howard Waldrop (SCI FICTION Dec 7, 2005)

Best Short Story

"Seventy-Five Years" by Michael A. Burstein (Analog Jan/Feb 2005)
"The Clockwork Atom Bomb" by Dominic Green (Interzone May/June 2005)
"Singing My Sister Down" by Margo Lanagan (Black Juice, Allen & Unwin; Eos)
"Tk'tk'tk" by David D. Levine (Asimov's March 2005)
"Down Memory Lane" by Mike Resnick (Asimov's April/May 2005)

Best Related Book

Transformations: The Story of the Science Fiction Magazines from 1950 to 1970 by Mike Ashley (Liverpool)
The SEX Column and Other Misprints by David Langford (Cosmos)
Science Fiction Quotations edited by Gary Westfahl (Yale)
Soundings: Reviews 1992-1996 by Gary K. Wolfe (Beccon)
Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers' Workshop by Kate Wilhelm (Small Beer Press)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

Batman Begins
Story, David S. Goyer. Screenplay, Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Based on the character created, Bob Kane. Directed, Christopher Nolan. (Warner Bros.)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Screenplay, Ann Peacock and Andrew Adamson and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Based on the novel, C.S. Lewis. Directed, Andrew Adamson. (Walt Disney Pictures/Walden Media)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Screenplay, Steven Kloves. Based on the novel, J.K. Rowling. Directed, Mike Newell. (Warner Bros.)

Written & Directed, Joss Whedon. (Universal Pictures/Mutant Enemy, Inc.)

Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Screenplay, Steve Box & Nick Park and Bob Baker and Mark Burton. Directed, Nick Park & Steve Box. (Dreamworks Animation/Aardman Animation).

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
(There are seven nominees due to a tie for fifth place.)

Battlestar Galactica "Pegasus"
Written, Anne Cofell Saunders. Directed, Michael Rymer. (NBC Universal/British Sky Broadcasting)

Doctor Who "Dalek"
Written, Robert Shearman. Directed, Joe Ahearne. (BBC Wales/BBC1)

Doctor Who "The Empty Child" & "The Doctor Dances"
Written, Steven Moffat. Directed, James Hawes. (BBC Wales/BBC1)

Doctor Who "Father's Day"
Written, Paul Cornell. Directed, Joe Ahearne. (BBC Wales/BBC1)

Jack-Jack Attack
Written & Directed, Brad Bird. (Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation)

Lucas Back in Anger
Written, Phil Raines and Ian Sorensen. Directed, Phil Raines. (Reductio Ad Absurdum Productions)

Prix Victor Hugo Awards Ceremony (Opening Speech and Framing Sequences)
Written and performed, Paul McAuley and Kim Newman. Directed, Mike & Debby Moir. (Interaction Events)

Best Professional Editor

Ellen Datlow (SCI FICTION and anthologies)
David G. Hartwell (Tor Books; Year's Best SF)
Stanley Schmidt (Analog)
Gordon Van Gelder (Fantasy & Science Fiction)
Sheila Williams (Asimov's)

Best Professional Artist
(There are six nominees due to a tie for fifth place.)

Jim Burns
Bob Eggleton
Donato Giancola
Stephan Martiniere
John Picacio
Michael Whelan

Best Semiprozine

Ansible edited by Dave Langford
Emerald City edited by Cheryl Morgan
Interzone edited by Andy Cox
Locus edited by Charles N. Brown, Kirsten Gong-Wong, & Liza Groen Trombi
The New York Review of Science Fiction
edited by Kathryn Cramer, David G. Hartwell & Kevin J. Maroney

Best Fanzine

Banana Wings edited, Claire Brialey & Mark Plummer
Challenger edited, Guy H. Lillian III
Chunga edited, Andy Hooper, Randy Byers & carl juarez
File 770 edited by Mike Glyer
Plokta edited, Alison Scott, Steve Davies & Mike Scott

Best Fan Writer

Claire Brialey
John Hertz
Dave Langford
Cheryl Morgan
Steven H Silver

Best Fan Artist

Brad Foster
Teddy Harvia
Sue Mason
Steve Stiles
Frank Wu


und now for the cool free stuff. I was able to locate 3 of this year's Hugo Nominees available [!in their entirety!] free thanks to their authors and/or publishers:

[Free] Read Charles Stross Novel "Accelerando" Here

[Free] Read Cory Doctorow's Novelette "I, Robot" Here
[Free] Listen to "I, Robot" being read on your iPod/MP3 player Here


[Free] Read Howard Waldrop's Novelette "The King of Where-I-Go" Here

Michael Xavier Maelstrom.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

[free tv] FANTASY BEDTIME HOUR - 2 Girls in Bed Reading and Discussing Stephen R. Donaldson's Lord Foul's Bane

Yes, you read that right: 2 Girls in Bed reading (mostly summarizing - Ed) and discussing pages from Stephen R. Donaldson's Fantasy Novel: Lord Foul's Bane.

(what's not to like - Ed)

My sentiments exactly.

If that were not enough, they bring "experts" into their bed to discuss the pages they've read. And Stephen R. Donaldson himself 'aving heard of the show opts to do the gentlemanly thing and

a) not only doesn't sue the pants (or covers) off of them.


b) agrees to appear on the show (eventually)

Much hilarity ensues.

Thanks to Captain X for putting me onto this cable TV show.

Captured Episodes can be viewed with Quicktime at the following url:

Click here to watch Episode 1 of Fantasy Bedtime Hour

SciFiFanZine is not responsible for anyone (particularly Michael - Ed) spontaneously shouting "take it off" at the screen during Heatherly and/or Julie's respective analysis and/or dissertation.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

[free Wired article] Philip K. Dick's - A Scanner Darkly - Makes New March Wired Mag Front Cover

Purloined from The ASD IMDB web-board:

A Scanner Darkly makes the cover and main story in Wired Magazine, March issue (it's already out). The article is called "Beyond Real: How Digital Animation Conquered Hollywood" and isn't online yet (www.wired.com/wired), but Keanuweb (a Keanu Reeves fansite) has the transcript of the article.

It's a very in depht and detailed story on the making of the movie, the whole Sabiston walking out of the set story, the delays, why Linklater left the project to do other movie, how they developed the animation and could get the movie made (like the bit about the animators working 18 hours day for two weeks to put the teaser out in time) and what they hope with the release. It's an amazing article, well worth to have the magazine. Link below.

Full Wired Article Here ===> http://keanuweb.com/en/reports/display_kr100620.html

Official Movie Web Site 'ere ===> http://wip.warnerbros.com/index.html?site=ascannerdarkly


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Frank Miller's Upcoming "Holy Terror, Batman" The Caped Crusader vs Bin Laden

Captain Xerox pointed me to an interesting adicle about the upcoming Frank Miller graphic novel "Holy Terror, Batman" <--- Click to read

Excerpt from Article:

In "Holy Terror, Batman!" the Caped Crusader goes after the terror leader and his organization after Gotham City is attacked by terrorists. Though the graphic novel's title is a take on Robin the Boy Wonder's catchphrase, Miller said there was nothing campy about the story.

my opine:

Now that's an odd title ..For a serious subject.

At fist I suspected that perhaps someone needed to put Miller in touch with his ID, that title smacks of self-destructive passive-aggressive guilt and anger-suppression.

At first titular exposure.

..where it intimates that he took a cheque from the government to write the thing and his psyche is subcutaneously attempting to deep six the project with a ludicrous title.

(however inspired the titular double-entendre - Ed)

Reading the full article 'owever, we get a vastly different perspective than the title conveys.

So it's to be -Bin Laden- (c)officially elevated to the level of the new millennium's American state prime arch-nemesis ?

..filling the void the Russians left as the antagonists which ultimately drove Americans to excel through rivalry.


I was rather 'oping the Americans would reduce and dismiss Tin-Laddie for the impotent cave dwelling twonk he is.

But there is method here.

Americans (as do most people - Ed) strive when faced with adversity, without it if not careful stagnation can set in. The arch nemesis forces us to stay sharp, to attempt to remain one step ahead at all times. To evolve at a higher rate.

Ergo, it is essential that AN arch-nemesis exist for America and western culture to continue to remain dominant in the world.

imo, for years since 9/11 there 'as been an observable substratus war, the pitting of those in America that do not believe Bin Laden is worthy of the elevation to America's Arch-Nemesidal status vs those that believe he'll do nicely.

imo, this move from Miller is an indicator that the latter 'ave won.

I s'pose we can take solace in this: it's an interesting irony, that Bin Laden should be selected to fulfill the role of the bloke that will propel Americans and indeed the West, further onward and upward in the 3rd Millennium A.D.

The Avante Guardian.

Friday, February 17, 2006

[free comics&manga] Fave WebComics und Online Manga

Mood: Giddy Up.
Track Injection: Mediengruppe Telekommander -"Untergrund" (hypno-toad remix)
<--- Click to Listen (REALPLAYER Req)

Updated List of favorite Free Comics and Online Manga - All-new All-improved (and categorized - Ed) Webcomic suggs und finds; some are daily, some are tri/bi or weekly, I believe all are currently running with new eps appearing regularly.

Favorite Newspaper Comics:

Non Sequitur


Bloom County (The Classic)

Calvin & Hobbes

Get Fuzzy

The Boondocks


Stan Lee's Spider-man daily

Archie Andrews

Evil Inc (Mad Magazine style daily - not in papers but feels like it ought be)

Mein Favorite WebComics:

Megatokyo (A++ OEL Manga)

Inverloch (A+ Elf Fantasy)

Earthsong Saga

Schism (Cyberpunk Manga)

Star Cross'd Destiny (A+ Epic Illustrated Novel)

Konsekai: Swordwaltzer (Epic Warrior Manga)

Tanatos (A+ Dark Graphic Novel)

The House of Other Worlds (Artistic & Atmospheric)

Hybrid Genesis (Angel Manga)

ASPS: Eat Kitties (Gothic Angel Manga)

Hans Tseng's Directions of Destiny (Artistic Academy AniManga)

Cafe Tengu (Artistic Manga)

Myralice (Psychological Manga)

Favorite SF Themed Web-Comics:

Saturnalia (SF Manga)

Starslip Crisis (Whipsmart TNG'esque comedy SF)

Sluggy Freelance (Demon Fantasy SF)

Melonpool (Dennis The Menace meet Calvin in Space)

Fave D&D/RPG'ing and VideoGame Related Web-Comics

VG Cats (VideoGame characters/mascots lives - Thanx Jackie!)

8 Bit Theatre (NES Final Fantasy Sprite based comic)

The Noob (Western Roleplayer & VideoGamer Themed)

Sokora Refugees (D&D transport Manga)

Favorite Misc Cat:

Twisted Kaiju Theater (aka Neo Monster Island / A+ Godzilla "vs" Parody Comic - Thanx Jox!

B-Movie Comic (Parodies B-Movie Scenes)


Dan Kim's Mangas ("Nana's Everyday Life" = A++ disturbing/touching/funny/sad/gut-wrenching - Thanx Steph!)

If you 'ave any favorite webcomics, please recommend away!

Emailto: TheAvanteGuardian@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

It's a Manga Manga World

Mood:: Mellow-River-Wind'ish.
Track Injection: Orbital - 'Belfast' <--- Click to Listen (REALPLAYER)

Admission Time: I dig femme centric Manga.

Particularly those that delve into the thought processes of.

So as I discover em, I'll post them and if you know of any/find any, please let me know.

I love everything about femmes. You're the new frontier. Steadfast Becoming a form of human that has heretountofor not existed. Self-Discovering, Self-programming, Re-Programming, Expanding. You're so bloody infinitely cool.

'ere's a good freebie from Tokyopop. (You'll be prompted to register after a few pages but don't worry, it's free -Ed) Several chapters are online and displayed Manga proper, right to left.

Click to read Princess Ai Manga

More Manga to come.

The Avante Guardian.

Monday, January 02, 2006

The 2006 FREE SCIENCE FICTION CALENDER is Out - Happy New Year!

Mood: Hung. (why did we just know that was coming after the last entry - Ed)
Track Injection:The Cure - Deluxe Editions <-- Click to Listen (REALPLAYER)

Yes, Captain Xerox famous yearly (professional, free, and printable - Ed) 2006 SciFi Calender is now out!

(and a nice one it is this year too, particularly if you're into classic SF and classic SciFi femmes)

You can get your free copy, by going to The Website at the End of the Universe at http://www.theendoftheuniverse.ca/calendar2006/calendar2006.pdf


by hitting your page-up key and/or using your mouse to scroll up to our SciFi Web-box (Above -Ed) and clicking on Channel 7.

Happy New Year!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Interview with SF Grand-Master Arthur C. Clarke (Audio Link Enclosed)

..Thus Spake Zarathustra C. Clarke.

or at least thus spake Arthur C. Clarke, SF Grand-Master and Scientific Visionary, to BBC Radio 4 recently, in an interesting bio'ish Interview.

'ere's the BBC interview's blurb: "In this programme, Heather Couper hears Sir Arthur's own story and meets with family, fans and fiction writers he has influenced. His younger brother Fred remembers their childhood on a Somerset farm: Arthur was building telescopes and launching home-made rockets. Did the other children join in their brother's activities? "No!", recalls Fred with a shudder. "We kept away from the dangerous blighter".

here's the link to the BBC programme's webpage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/arthurcclarke.shtml

and for the impatient (like Tag - Ed) *cough* 'ere's the direct link to the BBC audio interview: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/rams/acclarke.ram
(RealPlayer Req)

Finally, for those who are slightly worried about me (or at least those willing to humour him and pretend they are - Ed) go away Ed, Yes, at long last, my mysteriously nocturnally spontaneously imploded ankle is finally slightly better.

(he's going to milk this for all the pity-massaging its worth - Ed)


I resent that; I'll accept pity-groping too Ed! I'm not picky.

(Go Away Tag - Ed)

Alright then.

*Skuttle* *Limp* *Skuttle*

G'night & Enjoy,

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Free (& Excellent -Ed) Neil Gaiman & J. Michael Straczynski Internet (Audio -Ed) Short-Stories

Mood: Feel Like Salvador Dali's Hat
Track Injection: Slepcy - Absent Opera <--- Click to Listen (REALPLAYER REQ)

Well, with a twisted ankle (that I managed to destroy while sleeping; I have no idea 'ow it happened, went to bed, woke up with a busted ankle; ..I'm presently entertaining the notion of some mischievous house ghost)

(or a mischievous Dr. House Ghost., Limpy - Ed)

Har Har Ed.

Please Go Away Ed.

(that's not very likely is it, I'm having faaaar too much fun - Ed)

In any case, consequently I've been house-bound, subsequently I've been looking for things to do to get my mind off of the seering pain - oh woe is me, pity me, love me, and for the plaid-clad nubiles out there, massage me.

(it was worth a shot - Ed)

Anyway, just finished listening to Neil Gaiman's Murder Mysteries audio-play over at http://www.scifi.com/set/playhouse/murder/ and thought I'd share the wealth. (or at least the link - Ed)

It's a tale about The Name, Lucifer, Vengeance, Love and Death set in The City of Angels.

(and as Gaiman enthusiasts might suspect, that doesn't necessarily mean Los Angeles - Ed)

And it's bloody brilliant!

(and that's not just the 6 pounds of tylenol talking - Ed)

Also took in Neil Gaiman's Snow-Glass Apples http://www.scifi.com/set/playhouse/snowglassapples/ a disturbing look at the origins of Snow White's ghost-white complexion. ;)

Finally, I'm quite fond of J. Michael Straczynski's (Babylon 5 - Ed) audio anthology series City of Dreams http://www.scifi.com/set particularly the episode titled, "Samuel Beckett, Your Ride is Here"

If you haven't as yet, and you enjoy Gaiman and Straczynski, highly recommend checking them out. Can't get a better price (free - Ed), and it's worth the time. imo.


All audio-tales listed above have suggestive and to a certain degree disturbing content.

But that's the point I suspect, to be jolted from comfortable normality (if you're lucky enough to live there - Ed) and complacency ..into a world of surreal and metaphysical thought.

(boy, does that sound incredibly pretentious - Ed)

OK, "Makes Your Brain Go Boom", that suit you Ed?

(better - Ed)

Anyway, hope you enjoy.

Off to find a Nurse to change my catheter.

(uh, you don't have a catheter - Ed)

I don't have a Nurse either Ed, but that never stopped me before.

(no more medication for you - Ed)



Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Top 50 Science Fiction Movies Of All Time

Mood: Geodesic.
Track Injection:Logan's Run <-- Click to Listen (REALPLAYER)

John Scalzi's Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies is Officially Out!

ere's his list (alphabetically) of The Top SF Films of All Time
(brief comments are mine)

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!
(love it - cult SF nirvana)



(heavily enjoy it)

(enjoy it)

Back to the Future
(enjoy it)

Blade Runner

(love it - borderline masterpiece)

Bride of Frankenstein
(love it - surprised me that he picked this over original, I thought I was the only one :) what's next, RETURN OF DR. X!)

Brother From Another Planet
(haven't seen it - but suspect AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON - which I have seen, more deserves this spot)

A Clockwork Orange

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
(heavily enjoy it - borderline masterpiece but decreasingly as a function of time - feels dated)

(love it, save for the last 10 minutes)

The Damned

Destination Moon
(love it)

The Day The Earth Stood Still

(love it - Jeunet's CITY OF LOST CHILDREN should also be here)

Escape From New York
(heavily enjoy it - but entry reminds me of what ISN'T on the list that ought be: THE THING - Carpenter's)

ET: The Extraterrestrial
(love it)

Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (serial)
(heavily enjoy them whenever I catch an ep)

The Fly (1985 version)
(1st surprising bloke-has-testicles proof, this film is almost entirely dismissed today - heavily enjoyed it)

Forbidden Planet
(the monster from the id says this is a masterpiece)

Ghost in the Shell

(love them)

The Incredibles
(enjoy it)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 version)
(heavily enjoy it)

Jurassic Park
(love it)

Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior
(heavily enjoy it)

The Matrix
(second proof of critics testicles - masterpiece)


On the Beach
(haven't seen it)

Planet of the Apes (1968 version)
(love it)

(enjoy it)

(love it)

Solaris (1972 version)
(love it)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
(love it)

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
(love it)

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
(love it)

The Stepford Wives
(love it - borderline masterpiece)

(love it)

Terminator 2: Judgement Day
(enjoy it)

The Thing From Another World
(heavily enjoy it - second reminder that Carptenters THING [remake] is missing from this list)

Things to Come

(love it)

12 Monkeys
(heavily enjoy it)

28 Days Later
(love it - but its entry on the SF list raises an issue to me, namely if it belongs on the list based on the science used in the central premise, so then does Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD, and the latter is the superior film - imo)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
(heavily enjoy it)

2001: A Space Odyssey

La Voyage Dans la Lune

War of the Worlds (1953 version)


Notable TOP-CONTENTER ommisions (imo): EQUILIBRIUM (criminally ignored by many), LOGAN'S RUN (criminally under-rated by many), THE OMEGA MAN (classic armageddon SF), SOYLENT GREEN (classic paranoid SF), THE THING (a remake many would contend is equal to if not superior to the original) UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD (criminally ignored borderline masterpiece).


Monday, August 22, 2005

Has There Been a Good Video Game Based Movie (?)

Mood: Nekked.
Track Injection:Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love <-- Click to Listen (REALPLAYER)

Und we're back from vacation. YAY!

(largely owing to the number of restraining orders placed against him by the nudist colony - Ed)

*scribble* *scribble* *erase* carry the two.


Right, let's get right into it, todays topic was raised by an online friend of mine (Captain Xerox -Ed)

Has there ever been a movie based upon a video game that was worth watching?

my view:


Depends on how you define "movie".

and whether the/a/any definition need apply :-)

id est. Despite my better judgement (that would be me - Ed) Go Away Ed., I 'ave to admit I enjoyed both Resident Evil & Resident Evil: Apocalypse _as_ FMV extensions to the videogame franchise.

Neither quite as putrid as say Wing Commander though admittedly neither RE's entirely work structurally as "movies" either.

While they may fail overall as films, they work sporatically in parts, where certain scenes have cinematic & mnemonic impact on the viewer and the over-all viewer impression is that one was indeed within the RE'verse.

Imo, of all the modern video-game based fare, I would say that the Resident Evils hit the most number of fan "sweet spots", though over-all that isn't saying very much. Considering it's about 3 to 5 per RE, and you have to sit through quite a bit of excrement to get to those moments.

Bottom line for me, as I say, as extensions to the games (demands & expectations now suitably lowered -Ed) I find both Resident Evil's enjoyable.

And of course, to answer the posed (rhetorical - Ed) Question, there was 1 overall "good" video-game based "movie", that I can think of, und that would be TRON.

The Avante Guardian.

Post Script: Composed this reply while listening to Commodore 64 video-game-soundtrack-mix based radio station "Slay Radio".

That was surreal.


Agree, Disagree, What do You think, has there been a good video-game based movie?



Friday, June 10, 2005

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Mood: 2 Gargleblasters into an very very froopy hour.
Track Injection: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - The Complete Soundtrack <-- Click to Listen (REALPLAYER)

TAG in on a - Time is an illusion, review-time doubly-so - Tangent

As a long-sitting Adams fan I spent 5 days in self-analysis attempting to discern how this film effected me before commiting to a review of it.

Largely because the first 3 days were spent attempting to come to terms with my own apparently oxymoronic reaction, where I distinctly recall laughing out loud and otherwise enjoying the film, and yet was also, curiously, pissed-off at the film for offenses I felt it committed against Douglas Adams.

(If this all seems terribly epic, particularly for a review, please keep in mind I am one who grew up with Douglas Adams HHG)

(oh brother - Ed)

Go Away Ed.

When I realized (on day 3) this oxymoronic-distaste was un-fair to the movie as it was an emotional reaction based not on what was on screen, but rather on what wasn't, I then spent the last 2 days constantly internally re-contextualizing the movie that was on the screen.

und I come down 'ere:

my review, for what it's worth:


I laughed my heads off.


At Zaphod.

Who I found excessively simultaneously gut-busting; megalomaniacal and froopy.

(TAG loving MEGALOMANIA, wot a surprise - Ed)

Yes, That however may be more of an personal taste than for example one (or at least this one - Ed) could comfortably claim as an universal absolute reaction to Zaphod.

I find that our Western audiences are (astoundingly - Ed) not as keen on megalomania.

For some odd reason.

(must have something to do with how badly the prole masses behave when faced with superior beings right TAG? Ed)


(MU-AHA - Ed)

Go Away Ed.

All this to say, it is *possible* that Zaphod may aggravate more audience members than he gut-busts, which, I suspect, would seriously dampen the brightest extra-solar star of this variation on HHG, but imo, if you "get" (he means "like" -Ed) Zaphod (as poltician rock star schizo hipster lounge lizard gameshow-host multiple-penis-sporting tight-shorts-wearing-so-you-can-check intellectually-suspect Megalomaniac) and more importantly aren't the sort to be turned-off by rampaging displays of megalomania (heathens - Ed) then I feel comfortable in saying you will lose your $5 bucket of Mountain Dew out your proboscis ..every..bloody..single..time, Zaphod opens his mouths.

I know I did, and often both during and more tellingly, once again, after ee'd made his latest appearance.

Comes back at you, (like a slightly odd-tasting lunch -Ed) ee does.

If there are to be followups, Zaphod (Sam Rockwell - Ed) is imo integral to the cohesion of a film series!

If 'owever over-the-top is not one's cup of brownian motion, then one ought love Alan Rickman as Marvin the manically-depressed paranoid robot. Who comes off far more wry and witty than manically-depressed, than we're used to having Marvin come off as, and yet it works extremely well.

Ford (Mos Def -Ed) is as non-commital and difficult to phase as we've come to expect, or would be if what we'd come to expect was about 4 times as unflappable as we'd previously encountered.

It's an interesting more laid-back comedic interpretation (of the alien that named himself after a car in order to blend in to human society -Ed) ergo he werks, but in a different way. I prefer the original (Dixon's -Ed) BBC portrayal, which I consider the quintessential Ford, but I don't 'ave any complaints over Mos Def's interpretation, he does feel like Ford, or a GPP version of Ford.

and when he finally does show some sort of sane emotion (beyond that of a shrug) in the form of a ... well, that would telling.. ee's not even on screen, you just hear him., and I lost it (again - Ed) for a solid 5 minutes of laughing, on Def's delivery.

Zooey Deschanel's Trillian and Martin Freeman's Arthur are also interesting, they don't seem to me, to work as well as Simon Jones and Sandra Dickinson do on their respective own, but _together_, they 'ave incredible symbiotic chemistry, and as this variation just so 'appens to center on a romance between Arthur and Trillian, it werks, and works well. Or rather isn't given the opportunity not to.

Lucky save that one, if you ask me.

Why? myself, I prefer Arthur depicted as both beseiged and with less confidence (and more average brains than he's ever credited for) and Trillian with more uber-brains (than her peroxided head, skimpy outfits, and ditzy voce' generate the impression of) but as I say, the new Arthur and Trillian have better sympatico chemistry _together_ and are far more believable _as a couple_ than ever the original BBC actors were.

(though they are not better, as individual character interpretations of Arthur and Trillian, if you see my meaning)

Stephen Fry I thought delivered the lines as well as someone copping Peter Jones original voce-del-book enunciation could reasonably be expected to do.

if I had a criticism here it'd be that maybe he's a bit too hurried or perhaps a bit too rehearsed. I'd slow down the pace and stick to the original verbiage, the content is more important than the enunciation pattern.

It felt a bit like he was (ordered to -Ed) Speed through the dialogue in order to maintain an artificial rythmic vocal pattern that matched the zany pace of the movie. Which in turn de-emphasizes the value of the words. It's a bit like speedreading Shakespeare, you _can_ do it, but it oughtn't be your first choice.

Bottom line, there's no one that can replace Peter Jones, but if there were Stephen Fry would be it. Just wish they'd take more time with it.

The Vogons were spectacular, I found them very Monty Python and specifically very very Terry Gilliam in design and demeanor. One of the few places in the film where you would absolutely not require knowledge of the original materia to get wot they're all about or what's going on.

Overall Criticisms?

You *might* otherwise require an IQ of 2000 to figure out what's going on if you haven't heard and seen the original BBC Radio and TV HHG series. There's very little exposition in the film, we jump from scene to scene, and you might require a Babel Fish upgraded to incorporate not simply language translation but laser-fast comprehension, as well, in order to 'ave much of an idea wot's going on.

I say, *might*.

I couldn't say for sure. I've seen the orignal HHGs, ergo, it's an postulate, for all I know what's going on is as obvious to those of us who have read and seen HHG as it is to those who 'aven't.

That is for others to decide.

If there was one point in space-time that really cements this film as a worthy Adams variant, it is the scene on Magrathea where Arthur and Slartibartfast are visiting you-know-wot Mark II. And not because the FX were spectacular, though they were.

But rather because, that scene struck me as a perfect visual representation of _precisely_ what it is that Douglas Adams (words) do to the readers mind.

Much like Adams' command of linguistics and its neurological effect on the mind of the reader, that scene blows your perspective wide open, you are no longer the ant being looked down upon, you are now the (ant - Ed) looking down upon your previous (ant -Ed) self.

It's pure expanded awareness, put to screen.

That moment is, imo, a picture perfect, visual metaphor for, and tribute to, Douglas Adams genius.

Anyway, imo, overall an enjoyable version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, not without its flaws most of which very likely attributable to a first time Director's lack of experience in fine-tuning, but it seemed to me his heart was in the right place and he pulled it off, because while this film could easily have utterly failed to work on so many levels, it for lack of a better term "lucks out" at just the right moments, to make it a pleasing HHG entry.

A bit lighter than we're used to, I might classify it as a readers-digest version, but fun all the same and a great introduction to the HHG for a new generation.

und Zaphod, I don't much care if the majority did mistakenly think they were voting for you as worst dressed alien sentient being (not so sure about the sentient part - Ed), *I'd* vote for you for Galactic President anyday.

Because, we all know we're gonna get screwed by whoever we vote for, so it may as well be by a bloke who really knows how to hit your G spot.

(with his 2 penises - Ed)


HHG The Movie: Recommended for slightly insane people with a good sense of humour.

TAG aka michaelmaelstrom

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Science Fiction Case Mod Contest

Mood: Like Han Solo after a night in a cargo hold with Princess Leia.
Track Injection:Nine Inch Nail's The Hand That Feeds <-- Click to Listen (REALPLAYER)


Just discovered that ExtremeTech is in the post-start state (just after the beginning of - Ed) Yes thank you Ed, I think we all knew wot I meant., of its annual (2nd annual - Ed) Case-Mod Contest.

This time the PC Case-Mod'ing has a theme und as we can see from the photo of the first entry above, that theme is one we 'appen to lurve, yes, it's: Science Fiction!



*Tug Down on Shirt*

(Sorry, Relapse)

Think you can create something as cool as David Barry's scale model of a Star Wars TIE Fighter, with a computer built right into the cockpit, wot doubles as a desk?

If so, The Contest is on right now, und you 'ave until June 30th to submit your entry.

I wonder,.would it be wrong to make my PC Case-Mod entry a modified blow up doll of Princess Leia?

(that depends - Ed)


(on where the input ports are located - Ed)

Well, I know where the twin cooling fans would go!

(oh dear, Guards, seize that man! - Ed)

Get your mind out of the gutter Ed, I meant her ear buns.

(Guards, Seize that man, anyway, sooner or later he'll deserve it - Ed)

Go Away Ed.


Friday, June 03, 2005

Star Wars Episode III - World's Shortest Movie Review

Mood: a Butterscotch Pudding sort of calm.
Track Injection: DURAN DURAN DURAN's "Relentless Decapitation" <--- click to listen (REALPLAYER)

Well, I actually penned an 8 paragraph review of the film way back

but then I thought, wot's the point? oo's going to want to read 8

paragraphs o mine, when everyone 'as already read a bleedin gogolplex

of Star Wars reviews?

So instead I shall pen the world's shortest review with the intent of

encapsulating everything wot this Star Wars movie does, in my view.


This Star Wars has above all else, done this: it 'as made Star Wars, cool, again.

That is all. RickenRack.


michael xavier maelstrom

Friday, May 20, 2005

Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Mood: Dark, Evil, Brooding & Pumped.
Track Injection: Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith <--- Click to listen (Realplayer)

and then there was one.

It's a long journey from 1977 to today but tomorrow, at long last, we see the origin of Darth Vader and the rise of the Empire.

This is the one that we that grew up with the original trilogy are waiting for, the darker, more malevolent (older audience targeted - Ed) Star Wars.

Will it be any good, by oldschooler classic Star Wars standards?

That we won't know for ourselves until tomorrow, but there are promising signs.

Director Kevin Smith used profanity to describe it, but in a positive manner ("F'ing Awesome" -Ed) Spielberg purportedly wept like a baby, and the mainstream media apparently were none too happy they couldn't tear into Ep3 with as much vitriol as they have become accustomed of late.

For my part, none of that means anything, it's peripheral, but having just heard the Ep3 soundtrack I can say that I am amazed at the orchestral and compositional quality of John Williams Star Wars scoring.

Williams is at the Top of his game, with a Star Wars score with such epic Wagnerian emotional throttle and resonance that it runs the risk of being dismissed for being "too" good.

(read: "this is outstanding, therefore as we can't take Williams seriously as a `classical composer' we'll ignore it" - Ed)

Not that I can speak for all classical music critics, but, in my oberservation, compose for opera and theatre entertainment, and you're heralded as a talent and genius compose for movie entertainment, and you're reviewed as a second class citizen.

We've heard a few of these Star Wars refrains before, but this is no medley.

we haven't heard Star Wars like this, since Empire, with new Operatic segments that ebb and flow and take the listener on a new impacting richly textured dense and often darkly fulfilling emotional journey.

So this at least, bodes well, stars may be aligning on this final entree as in my view: John Williams Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith is an epic sweeping majestic powerful score.

Williams caps his good-by-any-standards Star Wars classic composing career off with a score that is, in my opinion, no hyperbole intended, deserving of an Oscar.

But will the movie live up to its score?

The odds are not terribly good, we shall see soon enough.

You can hear the Star Wars Episode 3 Score to judge it for yourself here.

on The Ministry's Virtual iPod: http://www.geocities.com/michael_xavier_maelstrom/tagradio.html

Looking forward to seeing it tomorrow, provided of course, we manage to get in.


michael maelstrom

Star Trek - The End (?)

Mood: Bleah.
Track Injection: Miles Davis - "So What" <--- Click to Listen (Realplayer)

T.A.G in on a -- Set Phasers on Berman and Braga -- Tangent.

(that'd be the phaser setting above "stun" - Ed)

Holy Saurian Sledgehammer Sub-text, could B&B be any more obvious.


or am I the only one that felt that Berman & Braga seemed to have spent the last few episodes of Enterprise both zinging fans (changing the ENT theme for 1 episode then back again -Ed) while simultaneously attempting to remind people (particularly Paramount people - Ed) that they know (knew - Ed) how to make Star Trek?

(ie. turning ENT finale into reminder of TNG glory days -Ed)

It seems to me B&B used ST:ENT to deliver one big bloody Raspberry.

It would also appear T'Pol was correct, when she was quoted as stating the last episode of Enterprise was "appalling" though IIRC at the time of the interview she would not qualify what she meant.

Now we know.

It's certainly appalling, if you believe ST:ENT ought stand on its own.

That said, it behooves me to mention that I am _not_ one of those who would be found dissing Enterprise (the series), I rather enjoyed the series.

Conversely, I _am_ one of those that would be found dissing the Trek-destructive arrogance the latterday 2 headed hydra: Berman & Braga displayed.

A distinction that, sadly, hardcore Trekkies und Trekkers either didn't see or were not willing to make.

Not even for the sake of our beloved Star Trek's survival.

As I have said before, in my observation, the real insurmountable problem with Enterprise was that the animosity wasn't about Enterprise, so much as it was that problems were exacerbated by a widespread venomous loathing for B&B amonst hardcore Trekkies.

Paramount apparently never got that or if they did, the close-knit (or close nit-wit - Ed) corporate culture didn't allow them to see their way to doing the only thing that would have satiated TREK fans, which was: to axe B&B, in a big bold way.

In effect, TBTB tried everything but what the fans asked for, and in so doing, they failed to return the show to the fans.

As I see it, the Trekkies had come to loggerheads with the B&B (a pair of out-of control freaks -Ed) the same pair who somehow unfathomably not only refused to listen to the fans input and advice ("please change the theme song to a STAR TREK theme song", "pay more attention to continuity!" -- Trekkies) but who chose instead to antagonize the fanbase ("I like the theme song, so no, tough luck", "I never cared for continuity, I never saw the original series" -- B&B)

Imo, it is that animosity between B&B and the Fanbase, that in my observation, more than any other single contributing factor, has led directly to where we are today.

and so Star Trek is gone.


from television.


for now.


For this one, the ENT finale served up a double phaser-rifle-butt to the solar-plexus. Not only am I losing first run Star Trek from my life (isn't that supposed to be an oxymoron? - Ed) but while that's happening, we are hit again with a painful reminder of ST:TNG, presented in ST: Enterprise, no less, as if we'd never left The Next Generation's NCC-1701D.

It is said (no it isn't, you're making it up - Ed) (ok, it is said by me, happy Ed?)(marginally. I'm watching you - Ed)

It is said that each TREK fan's Katra lives upon that Trek series that their inner ID most associates with.

That even though we may well enjoy a given TREK series more than another from a critical or otherwise perspective, yet nevertheless our Katra is inextricably drawn back to its home base, to inhabit and rest in that Trek place it feels most comfortable.

I love TOS most.

I miss DS9 beyond all sense of propriety (as Space: The Imagination Station no longer carries DS9 episodes, so withdrawal symptoms are high)

but in retrospect and introspect, my Katra and ID perennially inhabit the decks of the U.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701D.

Ergo, to see her again, and to have to say goodbye, both to ENT and to TNG (again) all in one sitting. That was painful, and quite possibly cruel.

because what hope is there for a revival of TNG? and if none, then why put us through it?

Anyway, in my view this final episode was largely an abomination, a major character is killed pointlessly and needlessly, there are no character interplay resolutions (Trip & T'Pol's relationship actually moves oxymoronically forwards then _backwards_), no Enterprise story-arc resolutions (facing off against Shran's smalltime-crook enemies, is hardly a fitting end for the Flagship of the fleet) and worst of all, no resonating ENTERPRISE-centric mission wrappings. We don't even get to 'ear the speech Archer dressed up for.

Mostly, we (and by we, he means I - Ed) am left with a sense of loss, yet it's as much over TNG as it is over ENT., which is quite a feat of incredible idiocy given that TNG hasn't been on the air for 10 years.

und one has to wonder about the compus mentus of putting ENT up to direct comparison with TNG <-- a series with blockbuster critical accolades und ratings, not only by Trek standards, but by _any_ television standards. (You can hear the foreheads slapping in unison somewhere - Ed) Imo, a complete bollocksing up of what *ought* have been a far more resolute or at least resonant _ENTERPRISE_ episode.

The best bit, arguably the only good bit, of this final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, was clearly the closing scene: all 3 Enterprise displayed, all 3 Captains voicing the famous Trek soliloquy.

"These are the Voyages.."

That, if little else in this episode, was an epic and quintessential Trek moment.

Leaving Enterprise to conclude in a manner (somewhat fittingly -Ed) not unlike the majority of its run, with competent moments and even shining moments of Trek brilliance overshadowed by lackluster effort and complaints.

and so we say Goodbye to Enterprise and to first run Star Trek on television.

Only one thing left to say, Resurrect and Prosper _soon_ Star Trek.

Your job is not yet done.

We still have some learnin to do.

As a species.



Post Script: Suggs for a new Star Trek series!

1. Move if off UPN and onto NBC or back to 1st run syndication, so that, 'ere's a novel idea, the public may see it.

2. Sh!tcan Berman & Braga, bring in

A. Nicholas Meyer and Leonard Nimoy


B. Harve Bennett and Eugene Roddenberry

..to helm new series.

3. Hire SF writers to pen New Trek episodes _and_ story-arcs.

And That's My View.


------ The Avante Guardian's Revolver - StrangeFaves on Rotation:
Michael Xavier Maelstrom, The Avante Guardian, TAG
M o n t r e a l, Q u e b e c, C a n a d a, E a r t h, S o m e t i m e s.