Geek in the City

Mixing pop culture news, reviews, and socially biting commentary with mildly amusing entertainment.

Geek in the City Radio Issue 53 – More Old School

On this issue of GeekintheCity Radio, Aaron and Scott keep it in the old school with Scott’s review of Shutter Island. Then, learn how you can be a part of Cheezy Flick‘s newest film… Stripperland! Next, Scott activates the Rant Symbol and Captain Flame Arms once makes an appearance. Proving that like Belloq, there is nothing Aaron can say that Captain Flame Arms cannot take away. All that, and the reason behind the hate for “Martin Score-ceez“.

This weeks musical breaks are:

FiveBobby “Fatboy” Roberts

Subject Appears to be OrganicKing

Ring CapacityKirby Krackle

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Trek in the Park Returns!

Tonight (8/30) for one night only, Trek in the Park returns for a special encore presentation. This time, the talented folks with Atomic Arts Studio brings the fun to the historic Bagdad Theater to perform Amok Time live on the stage. Then, stick around for a screening of the new JJ Abrams Star Trek.

You heard right, if you are over 21 and have $6.00, you get a double-dose of awesome with Trek in the Park and the summer’s most exciting film, Star Trek!

It all starts at 20:00 hours, 8pm to you civvies, (though you better be there early, this will sell out) and is a mere $6. You won’t have a chance to see them again until next year!

Live Trek+New Trek+Beer & Tots=Best. Night. Ever.

See you all at the movies!


Smell like there's no tomorrow

The New Battlestar Movie – An Editorial

I recognize and understand that a lot of the bitching being done about the news of a Battlestar Galactica movie being made is hilarious when you go back to around 2002 and read some articles/comments regarding Moore’s remake before anyone had seen a frame of footage. The Aint it Cool archives in particular are pretty funny. The editorials on behalf of quality genre entertainment IN FAVOR of Larson’s original vision. The impassioned defenses of Daggits and Lloyd Bridges as Commander Cain. Spittle, red-faced rage, claw-marks in the keyboard type of stuff. It’s a glorious example of nostalgia unexamined being given voice, a vein of internet comedy rich with irony. I wonder how much irony is running through our veins right now online, as the lovers of Moore/Eick’s version now sound a LOT like the people who thought Larson/Bellisario/Hatch were the only ones with the rights to touch anything Battlestar related.

Granted, it’s easier to take such a hardline position when the show you’re defending is NOT a cheezy piece of pandering bullshit, but is, in fact, one of the most well-recieved pieces of televised Sci-Fi ever, and definitely one of the most influential filmic works of the last 10 years in terms of style. The protestations seem so much more righteous when you’re defending something worth a shit, even if the people who love(d) the show are split on it’s last 10 hours and it’s (un)success, depending. I personally count myself amongst those who would call the film the finest Sci-Fi show ever made, and the finale as a piece of tonal perfection.singerbsg1

So, taking that into account, I’ve done my fair share of tantrum throwing and public ranting, wild-eyed and foamy mouthed. I’m in the calm down period, where the rationality seeps in around the edges as I take deep breaths, and the realization is this: I’m going to watch the fucking thing in 2011. I could posture and bullshit about principle, but the fact of the matter is, regardless of how good the show was, it was just a TV show. Principle is wasted on such things as popular entertainment. What kind of an asshole doesn’t see a movie out of principle? Don’t get me wrong, I understand not seeing a film because you think it looks shitty, the ads are awful, the director is crappy, the actors piss you off. Those are valid reasons based on the quality of a finished product you’ve been exposed to in some form, more than likely marketing. But to say “I won’t see Battlestar Galactica on principle, out of deference to Moore?” I can see not visiting an eatery because it’s owners mistreat their workers. I can see not visiting a nightclub because it’s ownership has been shown to be mildly racist. I can see not purchasing a certain brand of personal cleanser because of animal testing. But such stands of moral fortitude are fucking stupid when it comes to TV and movies. You can’t talk about principle if you don’t couple it with perspective, otherwise you’re just being a grandstanding prick. Just like the people who STILL haven’t watched Moore/Eick’s BSG because they disagreed with their ideas on principle. Their massive loss. If only for the fact they missed out on Bear’s score, one of the finest pieces of film music since John Williams set pen to paper in the late 70’s.

I don’t want to be that kind of asshole. And Bryan Singer is a pretty good director. Combine that with my sense of curiosity, and unless the ads look mindless and the early critical reception is pure poison on a Uwe Boll level, I’m pretty certain I’m going to see this thing. I hear word of Singer taking meetings with Justin Timberlake, and I know there’s a chance he’s going to be Starbuck in this revamping of the core concept, and I grind my teeth. I like Timberlake, and I think he’s got a good film career in him. Maybe as Apollo, I can see it. But not as Starbuck. Even so, even with the knowledge that all we’re getting is an Adama wholly different than Greene or Olmos, and a Starbuck that isn’t Katee Sackhoff OR Dirk Benedict, and a director whose last shot at a beloved property was a self-indulgent, bloated, reverential mess? I’m gonna see it. I know I’m gonna see it. I’m not gonna start cheerleading for the thing, don’t get me wrong. But this movie isn’t going to replace that complete series box set at any time. It won’t even replace the 78 series. It will be its own thing, and it’ll be interesting to look at, even if it’s  only interesting in the same way a lot of BSG fans are discovering that 78 series on Hulu with chortles, guffaws and winces. People still sought it out, and gave it a shot. The show came up short, but they still at least gave it a shot.singerbsg5

I’ll give this a shot. A fair one. If it fails, it fails, and so what, I didn’t fuckin make it, it’s not my baby, it’s just another shitty movie I saw in a theater one day. I’m still VERY skeptical. The speed that this thing is coming together with tells me that Universal doesn’t give a shit about the quality, only about the potential for having their own homegrown “Star Trek” revival. It’s misguided thinking at best, not looking at why Star Trek was dead, why that revival worked, not devoting an ounce of thought beyond “They got one of those at Paramount, do we have one here at Universal?” The whole thing just feels crassly blatant in its cash-grab, fuck-the-quality feel. Almost like when ABC threw money at Larson because they saw Lucas shoving millions by the fistful into his still nascent neck-pouch-goiter-thing. And we ended up with a pretty looking, empty, stupid, pandering shitpile of sci-fi entertainment.

My hope? They rescind the statement that they’re not going to play in Moore’s sandbox, and they tell a story set on the Battlestar Galactica, during the First Cylon War in Moore’s timeline. No Adama commanding, no Apollo, no Starbuck, no journey across the stars, no quest to find earth, no apocalypse. Just a straight up War Movie set in space featuring a bunch of young bucks on the decks of a badass spaceship shooting holy fuck out of robots? I might start getting out pom-pom’s for that. It’s distanced from both shows, and presents enough of a blank slate. It’s reimagination on the level Universal seems to want, without having to explore the now exhausted concept of apocalyptic footrace across the cosmos yet again. Hell, have the Galactica fight another colony’s Battlestar, pre-Cylon War. From when the Cylons did all the Colonials dirty work. There are options here.singerbsg3

Those options won’t be explored, because Larson is almost devoid of skill as a storyteller, and Singer isn’t great at coming up with a story, either (Superman Returns, his initial BSG pitch about 6 years ago) and we’ll end up with Timber-buck getting his pew-pew on as another revamping of Stu Phillips’ classic theme rumbles in the background. And I’ll be in the theater watching it. Either being disappointed and rolling my eyes at this waste of money and time. Or being pleased at how something called Battlestar Galactica ended up being a decent movie in spite of its goofy name. Just like in 2003. Until then, the rage I’m seeing and feeling is too impotent. There’s nothing to it. At least, nothing yet.

Bobby “Fatboy” Roberts
Afternoons, 101.1 KUFO-FM
www.cortandfatboy.com
fatboy@kufo.com

Trek in the Park – Season 1

It is July 12, 2009 and I am sitting under a tree, hoping the thick green branches will keep me dry from this uncommonly cool and grey Portland summer afternoon. The park is beautiful, made even more so by the light rain falling upon the grass and stone steps of the Woodlawn Park Amphitheater. I wasn’t alone. Within minutes, the amphitheater filled with an eager audience. Couples, singles, friends, parents, and their children (both two and four-legged). It was going to take a hell of a lot more than a light afternoon rain to keep us all from experiencing life in the Final Frontier.

5 minutes till “curtain”. I glanced to my right and with no small amount of joy I observed the cast and crew. I knew the emotions flowing through the performers and crew at that very moment. That moment where you can feel the spark and energy from the audience start to build. That twinge you feel in the deepest part of your soul, the twinge that kicks in just the right amount of fear. The fear that tells your heart, “Ok, they came. Now it is your turn”.

Adam Rosko, co-founder of Atomic Arts as well as this performances’ James T. Kirk strode to the center of the stage. The rain already causing his golden Starfleet uniform to stick to his body, he thanked the audience for attending the show. In a few short moments we were going to enjoy a performance of the classic episode, Amok Time. With a simple nod and second thanks, Adam took his place on the set and the show began.

What a show it was!

If you don’t have a genuine good time at Trek in the Park, then there is something seriously wrong with you. That isn’t me speaking as a proud Trekkie that demands you love all things Star Trek. No, I’ve long since moved past that stage in my geek evolution. No, you will enjoy Trek in the Park because you feel the passion and work the actors and crew put into 53 minutes of classic Space Opera. Each actor knew their role in the show, and while none of them play to the character stereotype, they incorporated enough elements that made the crew of the USS Enterprise icons. Are these professional actors? No, but they are getting there and I for one look forward to watching them all grow. The sets are minimal, but a good stage production has no need for elaborate sets. The actors set the stage and the folks behind Trek in the Park do an Yeoman’s job at doing so.

Not even the growing rain could slow the voyage.

“Wet as Vulcan, I’m beginning to understand what that means.” Without skipping a beat or missing a cue, the cast and crew ran with the changing weather. Sure, the line got a chuckle from the die-hard Trek fans in the audience. But, like all good Star Trek moments, we were laughing with, not at. Indeed, I found myself laughing many times throughout the performance. Never once in mocking, just the simple and wholly human expression of joy I felt at watching these actors. Not a single wink or nod to the crowd. The Atomic Arts crew played it straight the entire time and the audience appreciated it.

Is it a little strange to watch an outdoor stage production of a 1960s science fiction television show? Well, yes. It is.

But you know what? I’ll take Go-Go Boots and Pointy-Vulcan ears over, well, Pixie Boots and Pointy-Fairy ears any ‘ol day.

Trek in the Park plays again on July 18-19 and 25-26 at 5pm at the Woodlawn Park Amphitheater. No cost, but please, drop some gold-pressed latinum in the donation box.


ThinkGeek - Cool Stuff for Geeks and Technophiles

Real? Viral? Either Way…Eww!

Lolverfield

Attention Dan Clark, I’m putting you on research detail. Is this nasty video of a Georgia sewer real or the beginning of a new viral marketing campaign? As one that used to work for a Civil Water Bureau, I have my doubts. While most do own remote cameras to check crap out (heh), not many have HD color cameras. Video is Safe For Work, but still bleh!