Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Why the 2013 crop of summer blockbusters has sucked

A sign of the times: the new Man of Steel
A sign of the times: the new Man of Steel (Photo credit: Ed Yourdon)
Once again, I am called upon by my fellow SF Signal podcast irregulars to snark my way through a topic better left to professionals: What's up with the not-so-hot lineup of 2013 summer movie blockbusters?

Fortunately, Jeff Patterson, Patrick Hester and actual honest-to-Grodd film critic Derek Johnson are on hand to wrangle my even-more-nerdy-than-usual snivelings about film and genre. (How these guys got nominated for a Hugo with me on the line is beyond explanation.)

In the course of the podcast, we go deep on the flagship blockbuster of the season -- Man of Steel -- and sort of back into a treatise on why the "midlist movie" is so desperately necessary to save Hollywood from itself. There are worse ways to spend an hour of your time, especially if you fast forward through all my speaking parts. Those of you that tuned into my appearance on Shooting the WISB wherein I savaged Star Trek Into Darkness have heard most it already, anyway.

You can listen to the complete SF Signal podcast here.

As always, the chronicle of my previous SF Signal podcast atrocities is available here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Augmented reality advertising: Why Google should buy Cafepress

Google Glass
Google Glass (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs)
Because I am strange and my brain does not work the way most leading neuroscientists contend it should, I was of late pondering the long-term fallout of a failed 2002 lawsuit against Sony Pictures on the eventual revenue model for augmented reality applications. This led me to conclude that Google will eventually have to buy Cafepress, or something like it.

Deep breaths; I can explain.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why no one should direct the next Star Trek movie

Cover of "Star Trek (Three-Disc Edition) ...
Cover via Amazon
For the last week, the internet has lost its mind over District 9 and Elysium director Neill Blomkamp stating he doesn't want to helm the next Star Trek movie. I, for one, am glad. Not because I don't like Blomkamp's work, but because no one should direct the next Star Trek movie. There shouldn't be a next Star Trek movie, period.

Star Trek belongs on television. Including the new JJ Abrams Star Trek.

TV Guide just anointed Star Trek as the greatest sci-fi show of all time. George Lucas has gone on record saying that without Star Trek, Star Wars never happens.

At the end of the nostalgia-obsessed Star Trek Into Darkness -- about which I have very strong feelings -- The Chris Pine/Zach Quinto versions of Kirk and Spock are about to embark on the infamous Five-Year Mission to seek out new life and new civilizations, boldly going where no one has gone before.

That mission should happen -- with the cinematic Abrams cast -- on television. The why is obvious -- blockbusters are typically callow, shallow spectacles of anti-intellectual cotton candy. Star Trek is the opposite of that. As to how we get Trek back home to the small screen, read on.