“There’s a stipulation in every Looper’s contract that he may someday be required to hunt down his future self, thus closing the contract, getting a huge pay-off and erasing any trace of the very illegal arrangement with his or her future employer. This is called Closing Your Loop. Cash out, get paid. Live those 30 years like only a Looper can.” Continue reading
Category Archives: Learnings
Rejoice! San Diego Comic Con 2012 is less than a month away and we’re getting ready with our Countdown to Comic Con. We’re starting with a list of quick tips for all the SDCC virgins out there. Last year was my very first Comic Con experience and I was nowhere near prepared for how insane the Con can get. So for those of you heading to SDCC for the first time, here’s a list of tips I wish I’d known last year:
1. Dress comfortably:
We know you want to dress to impress with your favorite geek chic accessories, but just remember that you’re going to be at the convention center all day either standing in lines, walking around the exhibit floor, or making a mad dash to the next panel. Comfortable and practical footwear shouldn’t be taken lightly. Flip flops might seem like a safe option, until you think about the hordes of people ready to trample all over your feet to get to that free SWAG before you, so stick to sneakers and tennis shoes. San Diego temperatures can very from mild to hot during July, and the convention halls can be anywhere from chilly to stuffy, so dress light, but bring along a jacket or sweater just in case.
2. Pack light:
Sure a backpack with your laptop, a few of your favorite trades, and that Game of Thrones book you’re hoping to get signed, won’t be too much trouble right? Think again. Backpacks are bulky hassle, a better option would be small messenger bag or sling bag to carry the essentials. With all the freebies being given out, you will definitely end the day with more than you started. The smaller your personal bag, the easier it will be to carry your gigantic filled-to-the brim SDCC swag bag.
3. Bring a poster tube:
Of all the items I didn’t think to bring to last year’s SDCC this was the one I wish I had the most. It’s practically raining posters inside the show room (so many paper cuts!!). While you’re likely to toss most of them, there’s going to be a few that you’ll want to keep. If you’re a print collector, you’ll definitely need a poster tube to keep that new Mondo piece in mint condition. Last year’s swag bag had a poster compartment, but they did very little to protect from all the people pushing past you to get their hands on a free collectible. A sturdy poster tube will protect your new posters from being crushed by the crazed hordes.
4. Power up . . . and bring an extra battery:
Live bloggers, tweeters, and social media butterflies, this applies especially to you. Whether it’s your phone, tablet, or laptop, at the worst possible time during a day at the Con, your battery will die and you will be without your precious interwebs!. Wifi and 3G service are notoriously unreliable inside the convention center and trying to get a decent connection is going to drain your battery before you even make it inside Hall H. Sure, there are charging stations, but they aren’t always going to be conveniently located. Make sure before you head out each day that all your tech gear is fully charged. If you plan on being on your mobile devices a lot, consider getting an external battery pack.
5. Know your way around:
Before you hit the exhibit floor, get an idea of where your favorite and must see booths are (the website and SDCC info book will have a list of the booth numbers and locations), especially if you plan on getting exclusives from Mattel, Hasbro, Mondo, etc. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time searching, which could cost you that last collectible. The exhibit floor is going to be guaranteed chaos so it’s good to know ahead of time what direction you should headed. Additionally, on your first day of the con, make a mental note of where all the hotspots both inside and outside the convention center are, including, bathrooms, charging centers, the line entry for Hall H and Ballroom 20, etc.
6. Have a back up panel . . .or 3:
No matter how carefully you’ve planned your SDCC line up, there will be more than one panel that you’re just not going to make it to, especially if you plan on going to some of the larger, more popular panels. Remember those crazy Twilight fans last year who camped out overnight last year? This year may not be as extreme, but just in case you have to miss out on your first choice, have a few backs ups. Smaller panels, while they may not have as much hype, can be just as much, if not more fun, and the smaller setting can actually be a more exciting, intimate experience.
7. Bring snacks/water:
With all the chaos of the Con, food and water tend to be lower on the list or priorities when you’re planning your day. However, when hunger and thirst do kick in, your options inside the convention center will be limited, expensive, and there will definitely be a line. Save yourself some time and money by bringing along a refillable water bottle and some light snacks to tide you over until you can get some real food in the nearby Gaslamp Quarter.
8. RSVP to after parties:
In recent years, SDCC has become much more than just the convention itself and has expanded into the surrounding Gaslamp Quarter. During the day, many exhibitors will have their own lounges, fan experiences, and displays at restaurants, hotels, and parks just across the street from the convention center. At night, those same locations become venues for SDCC after parties, both elite and casual. While you may not be able to get into the more exclusive parties, such as IGN, MTV, or Nerd HQ, there will be plenty of events catered to the fans. Many will require an advance RSVP so keep an eye out on Eventbrite, Twitter, and FB in the next few weeks for information on how. When the Con, gets closer, we’ll have a more definitive list of SDCC after parties.
9. Use social media:
Social media presence gets bigger each year at the con, and this year is no exception. Last year, I used Twitter to network and arrange a tweet-up, which is how I came to meet the guys of BabbleOn 5. Exhibits like the South Park Fan Experience partnered with Foursquare and gave a free shirt with every check in while Cowboys and Aliens tweeted the whereabouts of some mysterious golden bricks (which contained pretty sweet shirts and toys, as well as a chance to win tickets to the movie premiere). Whether it’s checking in on FourSquare for a freebie, using the SDCC app to find a back up panel, or following your favorite SDCC nerds on Twitter for some inside scoop, social media is going to your lifeline for knowing what’s what at SDCC.
10. Take your time:
Even for the comic con veterans, SDCC can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to get sucked into the pressure of rushing to experiencing everything. There’s always another panel to go wait in line for, another celebrity signing you just have to be at, or elite party you have to get into. Unfortunately, no matter how awesome whatever panel or party or random happenstance you’re at, you’re going to be missing out on something else going on, and that’s ok. What’s important is that whatever you’re doing at the moment is epic to you. Slow down and enjoy yourself. You’re finally at San Diego Comic Con!
***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS***
By now, hopefully you had a chance to read my scathing review of PROMETHEUS that I posted yesterday. While I thought it was a beautiful film, I think I was pretty clear in my extreme disappointment of the overall experience. Well after doing some research, I decided this is actually one of the best movies EVER made! Okay, not really- but I did find some very fascinating research that could have made this quite a story- perhaps even a great story.
If you have seen the movie, you know one of the major criticisms is why did the Engineers turn on mankind? If they created us, why are they planning on our destruction? A fan called Cavalorn, posted an amazing theory on his site (http://cavalorn.livejournal.com/584135.html) that helps bridge the gap on the original DNA of the Prometheus story. This is an excerpt:
From the Engineers’ perspective, so long as humans retained that notion of self-sacrifice as central, we weren’t entirely beyond redemption. But we went and screwed it all up, and the film hints at when, if not why: the Engineers at the base died two thousand years ago. That suggests that the event that turned them against us and led to the huge piles of dead Engineers lying about was one and the same event. We did something very, very bad, and somehow the consequences of that dreadful act accompanied the Engineers back to LV-223 and massacred them.
If you have uneasy suspicions about what ‘a bad thing approximately 2,000 years ago’ might be, then let me reassure you that you are right. An astonishing excerpt from the Movies.com interview with Ridley Scott:
Movies.com: We had heard it was scripted that the Engineers were targeting our planet for destruction because we had crucified one of their representatives, and that Jesus Christ might have been an alien. Was that ever considered?
Ridley Scott: We definitely did, and then we thought it was a little too on the nose. But if you look at it as an “our children are misbehaving down there” scenario, there are moments where it looks like we’ve gone out of control, running around with armor and skirts, which of course would be the Roman Empire. And they were given a long run. A thousand years before their disintegration actually started to happen. And you can say, “Let’s send down one more of our emissaries to see if he can stop it.” Guess what? They crucified him.
Yeah. The reason the Engineers don’t like us any more is that they made us a Space Jesus, and we broke him. Reader, that’s not me pulling wild ideas out of my arse. That’s RIDLEY SCOTT.
What a mind blowing idea. Jesus was an alien, attempting to ‘save’ the creation but is crucified instead. There is no denying all the creation/sacrifice/God/Christian symbolism in the movie. For instance, in the temple room, there is this distinct alien relief prominently displayed. This was confusing since the ‘alien’ that we know and love had yet to manifest to the viewer yet. But perhaps this was a symbol from the engineers, that their ultimate weapon was going to take revenge on mankind for their fallen brethren. Jesus’s crucifixion will bring the crucifixion of our existence at the hands (or claws) of the aliens.
Cavalorn goes on to explain what was up with the ‘black goo’- another confusing plot point for most. It seemed to infect some, transform others, cause birth, and death. Was it bad story telling or was there more. He writes:
The black slime reacts to the nature and intent of the being that wields it, and the humans in the film didn’t even know that they WERE wielding it. That’s why it remained completely inert in David’s presence, and why he needed a human proxy in order to use the stuff to create anything. The black goo could read no emotion or intent from him, because he was an android.
Shaw’s comment when the urn chamber is entered – ‘we’ve changed the atmosphere in the room’ – is deceptively informative. The psychic atmosphere has changed, because humans – tainted, Space Jesus-killing humans – are present. The slime begins to engender new life, drawing not from a self-sacrificing Engineer but from human hunger for knowledge, for more life, for more everything. Little wonder, then, that it takes serpent-like form. The symbolism of a corrupting serpent, turning men into beasts, is pretty unmistakeable.
A goo that reflects the sin nature of man? It’s like a magnifying glass for what was inside. Sounds preposterous but is a fascinating theory.
With all this said, it makes more sense why the newly awoken space jockey at the end started ripping off heads and killing the human crew immediately. Humans had caused the destruction of the Engineer’s race when they lost control of the doomsday weapon meant for Earth- the alien.
Slap a beard on this guy above and you got your self ‘Space Jesus’- at least an albino one. I know this is about the most absurd thing thing you have ever read. Believe me, this is about the most absurd thing I have ever written. If Ridley Scott attempted this screenplay, it probably would have bombed at a galactic level- or it could have been the greatest story ever told. Even as a person of faith, I wouldn’t have found offense with this ‘revisionist’ historical take on the person of Jesus. It just comes down to how much science do you want in your fiction? I prefer bold original stories, not the predictable and safe one we got in Prometheus. Cavalorn’s theory might not have ultimately made a better movie but it certainly would have been the most talked about movie in decades and probably in the decades to come. Personally, I think Ridley Scott could have used a controversial movie like this potential could have been. At 74, he is too old to play it safe.
While I didn’t appreciate Prometheus, I could recognize the elements of real genius at a DNA level. A bigger story was there but will have to stay buried in the tomb- perhaps to be resurrected by another some day… Your thoughts???
It’s what we have finally been waiting for. Overall I am pleased with this trailer. My hope is that it doesn’t play it too tongue-in-cheek and isn’t overly stylized. However, being 8 months out, I am optimistic so far! If you are interested in exploring more, check out IGN’s Rewind Theater where they break down every aspect of the trailer and speculate on what they see (warning this could result in spoilers). Enjoy!
While I am not a huge video game player, I can’t help but admire this short movie by Dan Trachtenberg. As a director of primarily TV commercials, Trachtenberg decided to return to his original dream of film-making by creating this short about the popular Portal video game. After 10 years of making commercials, he realized that breaking into the action film market would be almost impossible if he didn’t do something big. Exhausting his life savings, his hope was that this ambitious project would gain the attention needed to help him achieve his goal. He shares in interviews that every that could go wrong, went wrong while filming- and he feared that this project would turn out to be an enormous mistake. What happened? This video posted on YouTube 3 weeks ago and now has over 6 million hits! Within weeks, it has already become the third most popular YouTube video in the Animation/Film category. Now he is VERY busy entertaining the attention of many people in the movie industry. It will be interesting to see what happens to his career from this point on. Check out this video and be inspired to take some big risks in life.
Last night I had a chance to go to a small screening of Morgan Spurlock’s- get ready for this, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (that’s a super sized title!). Known as the documentarian that brought the juggernaut McDonalds to it’s knees, Spurlock is taking on an even a bigger behemoth, the world of advertising. And this David has more than a few stones to knock down Goliath.
The concept is innovative so let me attempt to explain it. This documentary meta-adventure is about the grueling process of making a movie WHILE being the movie at the same time. It’s an attempt to be completely transparent on how movies get made and how sponsorships influence the end product. Spurlock starts with a concept then meets with advertisers, brand developers, consumer specialists, the brands themselves, movie industry leaders, and a lot of every day common consumers. On the Jummy Kimmel show, it is refereed as the ‘Inception’ of documentaries with its world within a world reality. One moment, we are following Spurlock in to pitch a commercial for one of his brands, the next we are seamlessly in the commercial for that product. If you remember Wayne’s World (1992), there was a scene when Wayne and Garth rip on those that ‘sell out’ for product placement while they are simultaneously promoting products. GMES has plenty of similar moments which lead to many laugh-out-loud moments. However, while this movie is filled with creative product placements with POM Wonderful bottles, Hilton Hotels, JetBlue planes, and Mini Coopers, it also has some genuinely thought provoking moments.
GMES raises the continually growing tension of art vs commerce. The delicate balance of when the consumer and brand relationship shifts from symbiotic to parasitic. As a filmmaker and storyteller, Spurlock is really faced with the dilemma of defending artistic integrity. We are forced to ask, is there room for that in this commercialized booming world we live in. My favorite part of GMES is when he visits the Brazilian city of San Paulo. Years ago, city officials banned all public advertisements thus affecting crime and commerce in a positive way. Seeing the images of an ‘ad-free’ city was a little disorienting but inspired me believe that we don’t have to be driven by marketing. San Paulo gave me hope that we might someday live in a world with no commercials on TV, pop up ads on websites, or billboards on the streets. It asks the question of who is in control of who? More importantly, Spurock casts a vision for a human centered existence free of visual clutter and pollution.
As with Super Size Me and Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden, Spurlock presents the material in a witty and compelling style. Without diluting the seriousness of the issue, he is able to poke fun at his own expense. His all immersive approach of storytelling gives him the credibility to speak into the subject instead of throwing rocks at it from afar. Unlike pessimistic filmmakers like Michael Moore, Spurlock comes off as a genuinely likable guy. He is an everyday guy with a world challenging vision.
I had no real issues with the movie except that it might not appeal to certain demographics. Having a design/advertising degree and having worked as an Art Director in the past, GMES was extremely relevant to me. Living in a fast food dependent culture is what made Super Size Me enormously successful. However, while GMES might not have that same level of appeal, it is executed at a level that surpasses all of his previous works.
So the question remains, after all the product placement during the movie, did it really affect me as a viewer? Well, by the end of it, I was dying to have a POM Wonderful (for the first time), which I thoroughly enjoyed as shown in the picture below with the man himself.
I give Greatest Movie Ever Sold a 4 Babbles out of 5:
We really learned a lot from the list the Girls Are Geeks sent over about what us guys need to know about geeky girls. So in response, we sent over our own list of Top Five things that geek girls should know about geek guys. There was a bit of heated debated over the finer points of our list, check out the comments on their post. Here is our list, geeks let us know what you think! Continue reading
As we say goodbye to 2010 and forge ahead to the undiscovered country of 2011, we wanted to say a special thanks to the fans and followers of BabbleOn 5. Without your faithfulness, visits, and comments, B5 would have would have gone kaput faster than the Klingon moon Praxis. Starting officially in May 2009, we are just now eclipsing a year and half mark. So to all of our ‘stock holders’, here are our stats for 2010:
- We had over 170,000 visitors in 2010
- Almost 300 posts
- Almost 700 pics averaging posting 2 pics a day
- Our busiest day was July 20th, the day before Comic Con with 2,244 visitors
- On Dec 20th, our post for TRON Legacy was featured on the front page of WordPress.com and ended with over 60 comments!
- Our top 5 posts were related to Splice, Avatar, Ponyo, Toy Story 3, and TRON
- We added two new Babblers, Bear and Billy
- Our Twitter account @BabbleOn5 picked up about 500 more followers
- We just partnered up with Girls Are Geeks for some future projects.
- In August, we were invited to attend the First Annual Geek Awards in LA.
- Our Babblers attended the San Diego Comic Con as official press for the first time.
We are so grateful for you all and we are committed to bringing you more nerdy, creative, and compelling content for 2011! So our latest is…
Our 2010 Year in Review podcast (in 3-D!) is now up. Come join us for this 35 minute discussion about the highs, lows, favorites, and failings of this past year. We also add favorite movie contributions from our Twitter followers. The cast concludes with what nerdy films we are looking forward to in 2011. To listen to the cast, follow this link.
We are pleased to announce a new epic partnership in nerdom. Not since the formation of the Justice League of America has there been a more potent combination of the good, the bad, and the geeky. The boys of BabbleOn 5 are excited to partner with the Girls Are Geeks to babble about all things nerdy. Here they are to introduce our first topic…
5 Things Geeky Guys Should Know About Geeky Girls
We are Rosalind, Dawn, and Gardella, and we are the girls over at Girls Are Geeks! We’re very excited to be hanging out with the guys here at BabbleOn 5 for a while to do some geek exchanges with a gender-interest slant. To get started, we thought it would be a good idea to help define Geek Girls and Geek Guys for each other. This is our Top Five things that Geek Guys should know about Geek Girls.
1. Geeky girls are still girls. Sure, we often like playing video games in sweats and a Penny Arcade t-shirt, that doesn’t mean we might not want to get dressed up and go out sometimes. Many of us also like girly things, with geeky twists. For example, feel free to buy a geek girl jewelry, but consider that a geek girl might not be too impressed with a heart necklace, unless it’s a Tetris heart.
2. But Geeky girls are still geeks. We are not just hanging out with geeks or doing things because our geek husband or boyfriend asked us too. We have our own geeky interests, and we are serious about them. We also tend to obsess over things that might not be classically geeky, such as cooking and Disney, but don’t doubt that geek girls are just as into gaming, scifi, and technology too!
3. Geeky girls are smart, especially about our geekdoms. We know our stuff as well as geek guys do, and we have no problem correcting your inaccurate quoting of Firefly or Doctor Who. You can’t bull#$%* a geek girl, so the best way to keep one on your side is to be honest and don’t act like you know more than you do!
4. Geeky girls are competitive, and we will kick your @**. We don’t mind correcting geek guys and we don’t mind destroying geek guys over Xbox Live, or in Munchkin, Tetris, or any other game that we play. However, letting a geek girl win is a sure way to piss her off, so play good and play fair, just be prepared to get the same thing in return!
5. Geeky girls are not stereotypes, nor can we really be generalized. The best thing to remember about any geek girl is to learn about her as a person. We can be scifi geeks, gaming geeks, science geeks, tech geeks, or any number of other geeks. Don’t make assumptions about geek girls and our interests: just because she loves Babylon 5, doesn’t mean that she has also memorized every episode of Battlestar Galactica.
Hopefully that helps you get to know what to expect from us geeky girls! We are excited to be working with the geek guys of BabbleOn 5. See you around!
Special thanks to the Girls Are Geeks and be sure to check out their website. We are looking forward to some nerdy interaction with ya’ll. B5 will be posting our own ‘what geeky girls need to know about geeky guys’ soon. Please comment and add anything that might help us geeky guys. Babble on!
To kick off the new year and the future, the Babblers discussed one of the highest anticipated films of the past few years. As super nerds, we have some critical thoughts on TRON Legacy. In this 24 minute podcast we discuss the problems, pains, praises and the legacy of this sequel to the 1982 TRON. Let us know if you agree! Click here to listen to the podcast.
You can also read our review of TRON Legacy that was featured on the WordPress frontpage!
As approach the release of TRON Legacy, I have heard many complaints about the lack of availability of the original TRON on DVD. An interesting phenomenon has occurred that I have never seen before. A few years ago, Disney released the TRON 20th Anniversary Edition on a 2-disc set and this appears to be the last copy circulating around. I did some research to discover why. Disney, fearing the aged graphics will turn off younger viewers, has pulled all known copies of TRON from the shelves and online stores. You may even noticed that there have been no releases of images, books, or toys referring to the original TRON. Disney is trying to keep the public from seeing the outdated CGI and out-of-style design from this early 80′s cult classic. Currently copies of TRON on DVD are going for $100-150 on Ebay, it’s that rare! It’s like Disney is the MCP trying to wipe out the TRON program from existence! Whoa, so meta. Continue reading