Tag Archives: science fiction

Movies I Saw in 2011

The following are movies I saw in the theater in 2011 (that also came out in 2011, so no Black Swan which I’m sure I saw for the third time in early January) in order of release date.

I really enjoyed this movie, the premise is really interesting and Bradley Cooper on screen with Robert De Niro was pretty great. It is one of those movies that does that annoying movie about a writer thing, but at least he’s only a writer for the first act and the very beginning of the second act, so I don’t think it completely counts. Solid sci-fi thriller. I give this one a “need to buy on blu-ray.”

As you may know from yesterday’s JKIRE Awards, this was my favorite movie of the year. It’s basically everything great about Kill Bill (the action with a strong female lead) and Tron (amazing music) with a fairytale theme (possibly in a Lost sort of way). Saoirse Ronan is amazing. I’ve never been an Eric Bana or Cate Blanchett fan, but they were great too. I give this one a “preordered the blu-ray on amazon.”

Lots of action, cool mythology stuff, great special effects, really funny, and Natalie Portman. What more can you ask for? I never really read the Thor comics, so diehard fans may have had problems with it, but hey, look at all the Avengers movies as their own separate continuity and bask in it’s awesomeness. I give this one a “bought the blu-ray on release day but regretted not getting the 3D edition despite not having a 3D TV.”

Captain America: The First Avenger
Almost as good as Thor. I didn’t see it in 3D so I don’t know how that aspect of it holds up to Thor… but the action was great, it was also very funny, and the final steps are taken that lead us to the Avengers movie. I can’t wait. We also got plenty of Hugo Weaving and Tommy Lee Jones. Can’t complain about that, two great actors. I give this one a “bought the blu-ray on release day.”

The Muppets
Hilarious. I was in tears laughing through most of the movie. Amazing songs by Bret Mackenzie of Flight of the Conchords, this movie basically felt like an extension of the HBO series due to that and the director of both, James Bobin. Jason Segel and the barrage of great comic actors mostly from television made a television addict like me go nuts. This and Hanna are the only movies I saw twice in the theater. I give this one a “will definitely buy the blu-ray on release day, and even bought all three seasons of the muppet show on dvd just to get free tickets to see it again.”

And now I realize I only saw 5 movies in the theater last year… Wow. I’m sure I missed out on some great films (I know I would have loved Planet of the Apes in the theater, for example) so I’ll make an effort to see at least 6 movies in 2012.

Thanks for reading, and keep watching the skies!

Alcatraz – Season 1 Episode 3 ‘Kit Nelson’

It just occurred to me that Dr. Soto is a version of Richard Castle, since he’s turning their cases into stories for his comic books.

Spoilers ahead!

I like how Doc was peeking through the missing kid’s stack of comic books, probably to see if he was a fan of his Alzatraz comics.

“If he had tried my cherry pie, he wouldn’t look so damn unhappy.”

Doc’s attempts to stall Kit and Dylan just made me laugh. “What are you guys up to?”

Again, where are they getting all these resources for committing their crimes?

I went “Hey Walnut Creek!” because I lived there for all days in 2005.

The scene in the solitary cell was intense, if only for the fact that’s freaky as hell for someone to come out of the dark like that. But to be stuck in a cell with an evil kid murderer? That’s even worse.

This episode firmly establishes the pattern of great weekly stories. Aside from what you need to know to understand the premise, I think anyone could watch just this episode and have a great time with little confusion.

Dylan’s escape was impressive, that was some John Reese action there.

“Arrested development…” was a great show! Oh. He’s not talking about that. I had a feeling Doc had something bad happen to him as a kid.

Aw, he got him the issues he was missing. I’m wondering if we’ll ever see the back story for our main characters? We probably won’t for a while, but it will be interesting to see stuff like Madsen with her father, and Doc’s kidnapping.

I was half expecting Hauser to ask the surgeon/mortician to question Nelson’s dead body. I’m not really sure what that scene meant. Oh, and it’s solid justice that the child killer is the first returnee to die instead of just being locked back up. Well deserved.

Alright that’s about it, still loving this show and I can’t wait for next monday! Thanks for reading.

The 1st Annual JKIRE Awards!

Welcome to the 1st Annual JKIRE Awards! They’re just like the Golden Globes except the winners are only chosen by one person. And there isn’t a statuette for the winners. This is for television, movies and other media that came out in 2011.

Best New TV Series – Shameless
I didn’t even see this one coming, and it blew me away.

Best Movie – Hanna
The movie itself is amazing, and the music puts it over the top. Note, I only saw maybe 10 movies in the theater this year, so there’s a good chance if you comment “But what about ____?” I didn’t even see it.

Best Podcast – How Did This Get Made?
I didn’t start listening to Improv4Humans until after the new year, so I have to give this one to Paul Scheer and friends. I pretty much listened to every episode back to back on my trip to Chicago, and it’s the primary reason I saw the Crank movies, which are so awesome.

Best TV Show Based Around Something I’m Not at All Interested In – The League
I don’t care about football outside of its widespread popularity means the existence of nice stadiums all over the country for drum corps to rehearse and perform on. I care even less about fantasy football. And yet, I love The League. Maybe I have the earwolf network to blame, as my addiction to that ‘family’ of comedians has conditioned me perfectly to enjoy The League.

Best Sci-Fi TV Show – Fringe
Of course.

Best non-Sci-Fi TV Show – Breaking Bad
Hands down. Faces off.

Best non-Sci-Fi TV Show that isn’t on AMC – Justified
This only loses to Breaking Bad because last year was only the second season, so I don’t have as big of an attachment to the characters yet… Then again I’ve been watching since premiere night, and came late to Breaking Bad. Hmm…

Best Animated Film – …
I didn’t see any animated films this year. I really want to see Tintin though.

Best Sci-Fi Film – Thor
I love ancient alien stuff, and Thor is all about that. Captain American was about another favorite topic, Nazi Pseudoscience Research, so that was pretty great too.

Best Documentary TV Show – Ancient Aliens
See Best Sci-Fi Film. I love this stuff!

Best Reality Competition Show – Top Shot
Shooting challenges, and throwing rocks. Doesn’t get better than that, show that actually tests people’s real skills! Not just balancing on things while holding other things, and stuff like that. It helps that they use exploding targets a large percentage of the time.

Best Actor – Bryan Cranston
Crazy good. Crazy, crazy good.

Best Actress – Kaitlyn Dever
Awesome on Justified, very funny in Last Man Standing, and she was probably the best thing about Bad Teacher. I would give this to Saoirse Ronan, but she was only in one movie. They’re both amazing for how young they are, I am really looking forward to seeing more of their work over the years, and I am 100% sure that neither of them will end up being out of control divas.

Best New TV Comedy – Wilfred
I heard about this show from my friend Ben when we were chatting at the Stanford DCI show this summer. He made it sound great (from what he knew about it from commercials) so I got a hold of a copy for us to watch as soon as possible. We were hooked. Perfect companion for…

Best TV Comedy – Louie
So. Damn. Hilarious. I can’t get enough. It’s easy to forget since it was on during the summer, and there were only a handful of episode (I was about to give this award to Community, which really is equally as deserving). This show and Community are the only sitcoms I plan on owning every season on DVD/Bluray. And so far, so good.

Best Animated TV Show – Archer
FX is solid all around, basically. The bonus three pirate episodes at the end of the summer were fantastic. I’m really glad it’s back as of last Thursday, and is as strong as ever. Regular Show and Adventure Time are tied for a somewhat close second place.

Best Comedy Actors – Jon Benjamin and Patrick Warburton
Archer, Bob’s Burgers, Jon Benjamin Has A Van. Archer, Family Guy, Rules of Engagement, Skylanders. The sheer amount of awesome these two guys put out is astounding and I can’t get enough. Now that I think of it… Throw in Nick Kroll and Paul Scheer. Four way tie!

And that concludes the 1st Annual JKIRE Awards! If you have any suggestions for other categories, please leave a comment and I’ll add it to the list!


Time Travel

Time travel is an awesome plot device, and I am pretty much on board with anything that has anything to do with it as far as movies, tv, books etc. go.

But I have a problem with most of the methods of time travel. The Earth travels around the Sun very quickly. The Sun travels around the Galaxy very quickly on top of that, and of course the Galaxy (we assume) travels quickly on top of that.

That means all time travel also requires space travel, because how are you staying put on Earth if you’re skipping across time? And I don’t mean you need a Delorean, 88mph isn’t nearly fast enough to get to where the Earth was in 1955.

The most realistic time travel that I can think of is in Planet of the Apes (spoiler alert) when the ship travels through space for thousands of years, while the astronauts on board only age about 18 months, allowing them to experience the future Earth that has been overrun by the titular Apes. I like that phrase. Titular Apes.

This isn’t the frills and whistles time travel that we’d prefer because it’s a one way trip, but as far as I know it’s the only kind possible for humans with our current technology (though not to that extreme).

All other kinds of time travel require some kind of system that syncs its location to Earth (or wherever), which could very well mean that time machines are also teleporters, and teleporters have to be time machines. Once we have one, we will have the other.

(disclaimer: I’m no expert by any means, I just watch a ton of TV and love science and science fiction)