I suppose most people, these days, know of Frank Zappa, though probably not too many have heard his music. My first introduction to Frank Zappa’s music came many years ago with his 1977 double-album, Zappa In New York. The opening number was his take on the theme of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat, exploring the same … More Waiting for ‘Zappa’
Apparently the way to land when falling from a great height is to come down on one knee and a fist in a ‘three-point’ landing, then pause dramatically for everybody to admire your sudden entrance to save the day. Superheroes do it, so it must be the way, right? I guess if you’re invulnerable, maybe. … More Don’t try the three-point superhero landing, OK?
I have never yet successfully watched Avatar, and this despite the fact that it was filmed in the city where I live, and its 3,862 sequels are being developed here right now. I tried watching it. Twice. And fell asleep both times. You can guess that I didn’t think too much of the movie. It … More Why I won’t be watching the Avatar sequels
We’re in the middle of yet another revival of 3d movies at the moment – and I can’t help thinking they look a bit rubbish as 3d. Just like they did the first time round, over 60 years ago. Back in the 1950s, TV was going to kill the movies stone dead. Yup, movies were … More So this is why 3D movies never take off
The other day I stumbled across a fan-site description of the warships portrayed in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica (2004-09). And something struck me. Sci-fi ships usually derive from an ocean-going ‘conceptual model’ – ‘space dreadnoughts’, ‘space battlecruisers’, ‘destroyers’ and the rest. The ‘conceptual model’ for Galactica was apparently the hybrid carrier-battleship of the kind contemplated … More The cool steampunkish bit about ‘Battlestar Galactica’
I discovered a cool ‘face off’ contest the other day between sci-fi spaceships. If you had to take on a Death Star, what ship from another TV show or movie would you use? The answers spanned the usual gamut from multiple Galactica-verse Battlestars to the Enterprise (various editions), and so forth. One of the most … More In a Death Star showdown, my money’s on The Lexx
I like Trek ‘the original series’ way better than Star Wars ‘Part IV’ because Trek gave us Spock. That’s it, really. But let me explain some more. When Lucas developed Star Wars (by which I mean the original 1977 movie) he deliberately wrote a story that spoke to our deepest senses of mythic self –for … More I like Trek ‘the original series’ way better than Star Wars ‘Part IV’ because…
These holidays I thought I’d share a list of my five favourite sci-fi movies. In no particular order they are: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – quintessential, thoughtful mid-twentieth century sci-fi with (mostly) proper physics. And a vision of a twenty-first century future that should have been… Forbidden Planet (1956) – one of the smartest … More OK so what are your favourite SF movies?
I’m going to have to go see The Martian. Apparently they get up to one of my favourite activities – ‘sciencing the shit’ out of things. The problems involved in actually getting to Mars are so huge that we’ll have to science the shit out of them, just to reach the place. If we ever try. … More Humanity won’t ‘science the’ anything out of Mars while NASA’s plans are wrapped in corporate-speak
I posted the other week on my visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set – and promised a second part. I took, of course, far too many photos. But then, how often can you visit Hobbiton? For real. OK, it’s the movie set, not the real thing. But heeeeey. The set is laid out in a valley … More A visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set – Part 2