Terra Nova season finale: Occupation and Resistance

What did you think of the Terra Nova finale? Sorry for the delay on this post but with the holidays and all I’ve been pretty busy.

I’m not surprised they left a hook for possible time travel. But it might have been better if they had not.

One of my ongoing complains about the series has been that the creative staff seems to ignore the prehistoric world around the colony. I’ve always said that the peculiarity of “the island” was a big part of my LOST experience. Terra Nova had an opportunity to capitalize on that sense of exploratory adventure that’s been missing from network television ever since well, LOST.

I thought that having the entire conflict with (and occupation by) the Phoenix mercenary army take place while Jim was in a coma was kind of a rip off. That would have made for some good action sequences. Although, considering that this is Terra Nova we’re talking about; maybe it is for the better that these events are left to the imagination.

I’m not expecting Terra Nova to return next season. What a shame that is. Now that the colony has severed the link to the year 2149, the show might actually improve. Maybe the writers would be forced to interact with the world rather than replaying tired old character driven episodes.

Particleshock needs your comments. If you have an opinion about Terra Nova; please take the time to leave a comment.

Fright Night remake available on Blu-Ray

“Jerry… that’s a horrible vampire name.”

I purposely skipped seeing the new “Fright Night” in theaters. I’m generally not a fan of franchise reboot movies. Occasionally it is nice to see a familiar subject re-imagined with current cinematic technology. Unfortunately the new films fail to live up to expectations all too often.

The new Nightmare on Elm Street was an example of a film here the whole was less than the sum of the parts. Despite a strong cast and strong source material the film was a huge let down. If Hollywood producers could not deliver the goods with a beloved anti-hero like Freddy Kreuger, they had next to no chance with the vampire Jerry Dandridge.
Before you think I’m being overly critical, there were a lot of things I actually enjoyed about this new Fright Night. Colin Farrell portrays Jerry as the ultimate weird creep. That’s a compliment. Rather than rely on an obvious “dark and brooding” vampire stereotype, Farrell s performance would be disturbing even without the bloodthirsty monster bit.

Anton Yelchin is a good choice for the lead role of Charlie Brewster.  I don’t have much else to say about that;  He’s good in a role that isn’t. The character has been tweaked to be massively more appealing than his 1985 counterpart. No offence intended towards William Ragsdale who filled the role in the eralier film. It was a different time.

I love Imogen Poots. I was really glad to see her career in North American cinema beginning to advance. Unfortunately, I think they went a bit overboard while amping up her sexuality towards the end of the film.

So, is this new “Fright Night”  worth watching? Absolutely. If, for the sake of nostalgia you enjoy the way movie studios continue to bastardize your childhood. It was better than the latest “Nightmare on Elm Street” but that isn’t very high praise.

If you’re bored on a weekend afternoon because you are (much like myself) socially inept and have no friends then Yeah Sure… Watch the new Fright Night.  I have movie night with the kids. We watched the 1985 film the following night and had a good laugh.

Weekend Rewind: Soldier starring Kurt Russell

Speaking of Kurt Russell (and I did back when I was talking about “The Thing”)  here’s a movie you should check out the next time you’re bored (or up late at night racked with guilt over that Thai hooker).  As I write this,  the holidays are nearly upon us so a few vacation days and Thai hookers are probably both in your future. See?

Soldier is a 1998 action flick about um… a soldier known only as “Todd”. Todd is a good name for a soldier right?  Anyway Todd was selected at birth to be plunged into life-long combat and cold military discipline. Ultimately replaced by a ‘better soldier’ after a lifetime of outstanding service, the obsolete warrior is discarded on a barren waste dump planet.

That’s where Todd tries to fit in with a group of civilian refugees who eek out an existence rummaging through the scrap yards which essentially means the entire effing planet.  For an action movie,  the sub-plot of a soldier suddenly finding himself out of place in a civilian world is actually quite relevant and moving. I didn’t say anything about the  Academy Awards, but still deeper than you might expect all things considered.

There are several scenes where you realize that Todd has never seen a woman’s body. These moments are thought provoking because they don’t lead to some horrible consequence demonstrating Todd’s war-like nature. Rather, they serve as a commentary on the things Todd never had a chance to experience in a lifetime of war. Deep right? I guess you could also just say “Todd like to look at boobs”.

There’s an inevitable conflict with the military that discarded Todd and that part is pretty much what you might expect. Again, these are not the finest action sequences ever filmed but entertaining just the same.

An interesting Bit of trivia from IMDB:

While listing the weapons Todd is trained on, you can see he is capable of using the “Illudium PU36 ES,M” otherwise known as the Illudium PU36 Explosive Space Modulator. This is the same weapon Marvin the Martian is always threatening to use on Earth in his Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Soldier also features Jason Scott Lee, a still relatively sane Gary Busey, and a particularly  fetching Connie Nielsen.

Yes, Soldier has all the trappings of a 90′s testosterone driven action movie. Don’t let that dissuade you. It’s actually better than ‘Escape from L.A.”

Terra Nova finally gets to the point, still not a replacement for LOST.

Terra Nova Season 1, Episode 8: Vs.

As Taylor searches for the “Sixer” mole within Terra Nova, Jim stumbles onto an old murder, for which Taylor is the prime suspect.

IMDB

It took long enough but the FOX series “Terra Nova” finally succeeded in breaking a plot arc. The mystery of “the equations” has been brewing from the very beginning of the series. Almost immediately viewers we teased with mysterious symbols found scrawled on rocks near a waterfall that Commander Taylor had ordered off limits to the Terra Nova Colonists.

[Read more...]

EW publishes revealing new Prometheus photos.

EW magazine has  a revealing look at Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” which may or may not be a prequel to 1979′s “Alien”. I watch stuff and Dark Horizons both have more of the photos posted.

Ridley has said numerous times that the “Alien DNA” will become obvious by the end of the film, thus making a connection to the legendary film which redefined science fiction.

If you kook carefully at the EW stills you can see some very alien-esque set details. The still with the huge idol surrounded by many small totems is eerily similar to and alien brood chamber filled with eggs. And the idol itself is quite ominous. The fact that it appears to be humanoid raises a lot of questions.

Prometheus was already on my 2012 must see list. Ridley had me at “Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron” but  being a huge fan of the alien franchise (except of course Alien resurrection and those god awful AVP films) I would have anticipated this just because its related to Alien and Directed by Ridley Scott.

“Wallflower” Fringe 4.07

Fringe Season 4, Episode 7: Wallflower.

When a man mysteriously dies by an invisible force, his body rapidly begins turning ghostly white. The Fringe team learns that this is not an isolated incident, and there’s evidence that links the predator to someone who passed away with an unknown genetic disorder. Meanwhile, Olivia suffers from migraines.

This episode was billed as being the fall finale. Now fans must wait until January 2012 for the series to return.

What do we know about a world or two without Peter bishop?

  • Olivia was fully aware that she had been a subject of the cortexaphan experiments conducted by  Walter Bishop and William Bell.
  • Olivia and her sister were raised by Nina Sharp after their mother died from cancer.
  • The peter bishop from the alternate universe also died. he drowned in Reiden lake shortly after Walter abducted him.
  • Walter was released from St. Clair’s into Olivia’s custody.
  • It was Walter, not peter who activated “the machine”.
  • Walter has not left the Harvard University lab in over three years.

It would appear The door is still open for some kind of romance between Lincoln and Olivia. The two meet in a diner after Olivia’s late night walk to a pharmacy. Agent Lee has guessed that Peter and Olivia were a couple in the world that Peter comes from. Peter assures agent Lee that the Olivia Dunham he’s talking about; is not Peter’s Olivia. At the conclusion of the case, Olivia and Lincoln tentatively plan to met again at the diner. Unfortunately Olivia is incapacitated by some kind of nerve gas.

This episode has left us with some disturbing questions about Nina Sharp and Massive Dynamic.

Subsidiaries of Massive Dynamic perform experiments on infants?

Why is Nina sharp injecting Olivia with  a mysterious serum which causes her to suffer migraine headaches? I would assume the drug is cortexaphan.

“And Those We Left Behind” Fringe 4.06

Fringe: Season 4, Episode 6: And Those We Left Behind.

The Fringe team must find the pattern between tragic time loop anomalies. As the investigation unfolds, Raymond, an electrical engineer, and his wife Kate, a professor of theoretical physics, enter the picture. Peter’s existence remains unreconciled with the Universe at large.

I was really hoping that this episode would lead to Peter being re-integrated into the fringe team. Unfortunately Peter now seems to feel that this isn’t his universe after all. Although he has no recollection of causing either Walter’s visions or Olivia’s dreams, those occurrences would lead you to believe that peter was once part of their universe.

The unforeseen consequences of the choices we make is once again a central theme in Fringe. An electrical engineer uses his wife’s research in theoretical physics to construct a time compartment. Time is regressed by four years inside a spherical envelope where he is able to recapture lost time with his wife who has since succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease. The engineer did not foresee catastrophic “time displacement” bubbles that are being generated as a side effect of his experiments. Fringe division must shutdown equipment before fatal collisions in time space claim hundreds of civilian lives.

By the end of the episode Olivia has come to the personal conclusion that she (or her counterpart in another universe) must have been very important to Peter. It seems agent Dunham has taken notice of the way Peter looks at at her when he thinks she is unaware. She leaves no illusion for Peter; that a romance might exist between them (in her reality). Peter resigns himself to finding a way back to the Universe he know and the Olivia Dunham he loves. Perhaps the possibility remains for some kind of relationship between Olivia and Agent Lincoln Lee.

“Novation” Fringe 4.05

Well, I guess I should thank Major League Baseball for being over. you may recall that this episode of fringe was actually scheduled to air last week but was preempted by the World Series. I imagine Texas thought they were witnessing a fringe event when St. Louis tied the series and forced game seven.

Novation is probably one of the most interesting episodes of fringe so far in season four. Peter Bishop has returned but none of his fringe division colleagues remember him. In Walter’s recollection the alternate Peter drowned at Raven Lake during Walter’s attempt to retrieve him from the mirror universe. in the timeline that we are accustomed to the observer told Walter and Peter from the icy water; and act which the observer cites as interrupting the balance of the universe.

The plot turns once again to the new breed of shape shifters who are intent on locating a scientist specializing in cell duplication. His research may help to stabilize the rapid deterioration of their organic tissue. William Bell new that such research could be dangerous and had previously terminated this research project.

Though the members of fringe division don’t recall Peter Bishop or believe his claim of being Walter’s son, his suggestions about the data storage device located in the shape shifters bodies proves to be the only lead they have. Peter discovers that the data storage device contains multiple DNA samples, which would allow the new shape shifters to perfectly impersonate anybody, thus making them perfect infiltration agents. fortunately the data storage device also broadcasts a signal which fringe division uses the track the location of the shape shifters.

it’s very interesting that the new shape shifters also use a “quantum entangled” typewriter to file their mission reports and receive new orders. But who are they reporting to? Is it possible that fringe may branch into a third universe? Walternate claims no knowledge of these new organic shape shifters and they certainly do not match any known technology from the alternate universe we have seen so far.

These  ghetto shape shifters don’t even have access to a proper electric typewriter. Instead they rely on a portable. How primitive.

I wonder now that Peter has returned if there will be some kind of alternate universe love triangle? despite Astrid’s suggestions agent Lee seems genuinely disinterested Olivia but their alternate universe counterparts definitely had some chemistry.

“The Thing” Surprise! It’s a prequel.

If you haven’t yet made it to theaters to see “The Thing”  I highly recommend that you do so while the film is still in theatrical release. If, like me, you are a fan of the 1982 version starring Kurt Russell; I promise you will not be disappointed. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is excellent in this film.

There are certain films which lend themselves to re-interpretation. There are also those films which, although dated, simply cannot be improved. John Carpenter’s 1982 “The Thing” definitely falls into the latter category. Yes, that film shows its age at times with displays of outdated technology but as a work of sci-fi horror there is very little room for improvement. This is why I was initially skeptical about a reboot.

The new film gets off to a slow start but then shifts into high gear. Taut and suspenseful with excellent visual effects, this vision of the thing is no-nonsense survival horror at its best.

Throughout the film there are some subtle differences from the 1982 film which I attributed to the re-imagining of the source material. The bloody horror takes place in the Norwegian camp rather than the American camp and of course that bit about Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Dr. Kate Lloyd being the main character rather than Kurt Russell’s RJ Macready.

Then a funny thing happened at the very end of the film. A familiar scene began to unfold as a man fired shots from helicopter while pursuing a dog running from a Norwegian Antarctic research station. As you probably know the vents which follow that chase scene make up the plot of the 1982 film.

A lot of care was taken to ensure that this final sequence would match the introduction to the earlier film all the way down to the markings on the helicopter and the beard of the Norwegian gunner. The only noticeable discrepancy seems to be his rifle.

“The Runaway” Terra Nova 1.04

Terra Nova Season 1, Episode 4: The Runaway. Commander Taylor’s security force discovers a young girl outside the colony who has run away from the rogue encampment. As the Shannon family attempts to reintroduce the child to civilization her true motives come into question.

Were you getting tired of bland episodic plots yet? I don’t know of may television series which held as much promise as Terra Nova and utterly failed to deliver. Thankfully the most recent episode of Terra Nova resumes the story of the renegade colonists who arrived on the sixth pilgrimage. The group splintered from the main colony and now represent a considerable threat.

Terra Nova keeps teasing us with the back story of the sixers. Unfortunately the series has only provided vague hints about the politics of the future thus far. It appears someone back in the year 2149 has a problem with Commander Taylor (Stephen Lang) and wants him gone. Taylor has long suspected the renegades were sent by some faction from the future to infiltrate the colony. Taylor has suggested several times that he’s not sure who back in 2149 he can trust.

Mira (Christine Adams) The leader of the Sixers, confides to Jim Shannon that Commander Taylor has enemies in the future, but that her role in their plans is coerced. She simply wants to see her own child again. That’s about the only new information this episode provides about Terra Nova and temporal politics.