Going into World War Z I felt very conflicted. On one hand I love the Max Brooks novel that tells several stories about people’s tales of survival during a zombie apocalypse. On the other hand this movie, which focused on Brad Pitt’s character, looked nothing like Max Brooks original work, but it did look like it had the potential to be a good zombie film. Instead of slow shambling zombies, with a slow infection rate, the movie went with incredibly fast agile zombies that turned you into one of them within 12 seconds of being bitten. Both approaches have their merit, and both worked really well in their respective stories. If you’re looking for a good action horror flick, World War Z is going to be right up your alley.
Written by: Christopher Lee
As a friend of mine would say, “I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.”
All kidding aside, this video shows some amazing leaps in mobile robotic technology. Once a practical portable energy source is created (if it has not yet been, where’s our Arc Reactor Mr. Stark?), the world is going to change. Interestingly, and arguably, sadly, it looks as if that change will first come on the fields of battle.
The “Cheetah”, as it has been dubbed by DARPA, is the latest, fastest, robotic instrument in a long line of alternative, multi-terrain technology. Says DARPA:
“The use of ground robots in military explosive-ordinance-disposal missions already saves many lives and prevents thousands of other casualties. If the current limitations on mobility and manipulation capabilities of robots can be overcome, robots could much more effectively assist warfighters across a greater range of missions. DARPA’sMaximum Mobility and Manipulation (M3) program seeks to create and demonstrate significant scientific and engineering advances in robot mobility and manipulation capabilities. “
Okay, so they say this is for defense and bomb disposal, but in my mind (and I can’t lie, in my mind, this scenario looks AWESOME), I see hundreds of atomic powered Robo-cats streaming across the battlefield taking out the opposing forces in one of the most fear-inducing scenes of chrome and blood since the T-1000 pulled it’s eye out in the first “Terminator” movie. I also see a pretty interesting segue into the creation of real-life “rat things” (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go read “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson and you can thank me later).
But, as said previously, all this, whether it is to be utilized for “good” or “evil”, is still far off until…wait, didn’t I read some theory about the progression of technology creating the fabled AI Singularity very soon? Oh man……we’re screwed…I think we need to stop worrying about the zombie apololypse and start working on civilian level EMP cannons…
Written by: Christopher Lee
The next few months are going to be crazy times in the theaters for geeks, nerds, dweebs and spaz’s, but let’s not let all the blockbusters take our focus away from some of the “smaller” films that might otherwise slip under the radar, like “ParaNorman” which comes out on August 17th, 2012 from Laika Entertainment, the studio that brought us “Coraline” and “The Corpse Bride”.
“ParaNorman” tells the tale of young Norman Babcock who is your stereotypical “Weird Kid” who gets put down by his family and picked on at school. The difference here lies in the odd ability young Norman has for communicating with the dead.
This of course leads him to all sorts of issues that a kid his age shouldn’t have to deal with, but nothing like the sort of problem that’s coming when an evil witch spirit casts a spell to raise the dead and rule the world. Her plan might come to fruition if not for the heroic efforts of the reluctant little hero.
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit. The plot is/seems a bit “done”, cliche’d, and contrived. It really seems like the studio just wanted to make another “creepy kid’s movie” and having run out of ideas and not wanting to deliberately rip off Edward Gorey, instead ripped off Peter Jackson. Really, this movie looks like the “Frighteners” for kids (and Hot Topic patrons). Not to mention all the obvious stereotypes. C’mon, haven’t we had enough of the “friend of the misfit hero is a dopey fat kid”? I’m sure that if it wasn’t that, it’d probably be a ginger. I mean, everyone knows the only hero dork in pop-culture who has a best friend that’s not an idiot, socially inept, or of obvious physical difference than the norm, is Spider-Man (I refer to Harry Osbourne if you didn’t get that), though, granted, as much as I love the new series, “Ultimate Spider-Man”s Miles Morales’ best friend is a chubby asian nerd…stereotype much? Okay, okay, that’s a different article all together.
All that being said, none of it means that I don’t want to see “ParaNorman”, mind you. It still looks fun, and I honestly think going into it with lower expectations will let me enjoy it a bit more than if I expected something great and new. Your thoughts?
The Walking Dead recently had a big spoiler hit from a leak of the Season 2 blu-ray cover. To fans of the comic, it won’t be big news, although if previous story leaks, that have thus far proven to be accurate are to be believed, the actual “incident” will be a bit different from how it panned out originally. If it DOES happen as said, I personally will be a little upset about it since it is a defining moment of the growth of two of the main characters in the series.
SPOILERS AHEAD!! SPOILERS AHEAD!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
So, the first part of what I’ll tell you here is what was on the blu-ray cover. The part that many saw coming and the Walking Dead comic fans have been waiting for, the death of Shane.
“This special limited edition Blu-Ray includes all 13 episodes on 4 discs, including bonus features such as: the making of the barn, an extended zombie gut scene, Shane’s last episode, full Comic Con coverage with panel, comic book vs episode comparison, and more!”
Now, for the story leaks, why I believe them and what upsets me about the evident change.
An unnamed source spoke out before the premier of the second half opener of Season 2. He/She detailed a few scenes that have occurred just as described, the scene with Hershel in the bar, the encounter with the other group and Rick taking them out, the big fight between Rick and Shane in the school yard, and Shane’s ultimate demise.
Evidently, in the series, Shane draws Rick away from the group either planning to kill him, or deciding to during an altercation, that much is grey. Either way, the report states that Rick ultimately kills Shane, who then turns and rises, zombified and comes at Rick. A struggle ensues and suddenly Zombie Shane is shot in the head….by Carl.
In the comics Shane is killed before they leave the encampent and head to Hershel’s farm. Shane asks Rick to go out into the woods on a hunting excursion and when far enough out, essentially loses it and points his gun at Rick with full killing intent. What he didn’t know is that Carl had followed them out, having already been trained with and given his own gun, because he felt that he was big enough to hunt with his father. Carl shoots and kills Shane in defense of his father.
This is important for Carl because it shows that he has it in himself to “do what is necessary”, but as he’s just a child, it also, obviously, affects him in a way that changes his character. He matures. He shows that he understands that he can’t be afraid to do what needs to be done even when the actions could be construed in a morally grey area. This also affects him further in the story and helps him and the group in other instances, which I won’t further spoil.
Just so you don’t think it immediately turns him into “Baby Hard-Ass”, immediately after shooting Shane, Carl is shocked at how much his actions hurt and how hard it is to deal with. We’re then given a very honest father and son moment, defining the relationship of the Grimes men.
This is important for Rick because it hits him with a very large smack of reality in his situation. He, more strongly than ever, understands the role that he needs to undertake, both as a leader and more importantly, as a father. There is a scene later in the series where Rick goes out on his own and digs up Shane’s grave to get a better sense of what they’re up against. Whether a person needs to be bitten or scratched or just dead before they rise again. As Shane begins to crawl out of the grave, he gets the answer he needs and finishes the job, thus also coming to terms with his past and letting go of his uncertainty and grief over what happened with his once friend and partner as well as setting the stage for his growth and becoming a questionably better leader for the group as his conscience now hold less sway over doing not necessarily what’s “right”, but what needs to be done. Which, in the world they now survive in, seems a bit of a more important quality.
So, what do you think? If a fan of the comics, how do you feel if the changes to the story come to pass as reported?
Two bits of AWESOME Walking Dead News. First, it’s official, the Governor will be in Season 3. Second, he’s already been cast!
David Morrissey, best known to geek-culture as Jackson Lake, the pseudo-Doctor from the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas Special, “The Next Doctor”, will be playing the role of one of the most sinister villains in comic-book, and soon to be TV, history!
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