Archive | January, 2013

“Q” is for Next Generation Questions

31 Jan
Disclaimer: If you aren’t familiar with Star Trek The Next Generation, or the new J.J. Abrams franchise then this will be full of new things you can use on your geeky friends.
First let me fill in everyone who hadn’t happened to catch the IMAX 3D High Frame Rate showing of The Hobbit. The ones who saw the deluxe Hobbit were treated to a little bonus. Instead of a normal trailer we were shown a ten minute 3D teaser of the new Star Trek Into Darkness. Okay so that is pretty cool and kind of different and I respect that. However, before going on to the real issue I need to get something off my chest. Lens flare is a camera flaw! J.J. Abrams artificially inserts it into everything he does and what was annoying in 2D is downright destruction in 3D. Having lines and circles of light occupying physical positions in space is so completely unnatural that the brain automatically disconnects out of the 3D illusion. That’s why 3D film makers go out of their way to eliminate them. The exception being the 10 minutes I saw of Into Darkness, so my advice is to save your money and see it in 2D.
Anyway what the clip really got me thinking is…
Fans of STNG would have loved to see a Q movie and now that the Trek franchise is through with its Captain Picard phase I feel cheated. Let’s look at some reasons why Q deserved his movie and why it would have been amazing.
Anyone who watched STNG knows that the pilot began with a strange Super being named Q putting civilization on trial, if judged guilty the sentence would be extinction. That episode ended with the jury still out, but Q would visit the Enterprise crew throughout the series taunting, testing, and threatening to judge them out of existence. John De Lancie portrayed the omnipotent character Q with a mixture of playful flare and indifference to the cruelty he’d inflict on “inferior species”. He made the Q episodes funnier and more mysterious, the show where Q is punished by the Continuum and sentenced to live as a human is a personal favorite. Q also made appearances on Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Possessing a fascination and disgust of humanity Q was always experimenting on the crew in absurd and extreme ways, often rearranging the laws of physics to his amusement. In the finale of STNG Q returns for another session in the trial of mankind concluding that (drum roll)… the jury is still out.
I remember watching that final show thinking that cliffhanger was done to leave room for an upcoming movie involving Q where the viewers would finally get a verdict. Now nineteen years later, it’ll never happen. The reboot has blown a huge hole in Trek cosmology angering many Trekkies. Q’s been forgotten but John De Lancie has been seen on Breaking Bad, and unless you’re a Brony you probably missed this little musical number.
Still let’s imagine how a Q movie could play out.
Catching up with Data we see he is pursuing certain experiments in Quantum Physics, 11 dimensional string theory, whatever extreme science, and the results are very odd and unexpected. Again and again he is perturbed by his findings and develops a hypothesis. Q has constructed a very complex and convincing simulated universe and put Data, and who else knows in it. This simulation, although expansive and convincing must have tiny flaws and that is what has been skewing his results. The gang is rounded up to investigate the mystery. What are the boundaries of this simulation? How many people are in it? Adding suspense is when the crew members start suspecting one another of being Q’s simulations. They have to find Q and they have to know…WHY?! They follow the trail of clues and end up being led to some sector of the Gamma quadrant. Containing the same spacetime disturbance that was in the last rebooted Star Trek movie. Q finally pops up and we all find out what has actually happened. Q opened up a bridge between 2 parallel universes that’s what the spacetime disturbance is. So he could study and compare the 2 courses of civilization. The one where all the old Star Trek stories took place as well as the J.J. Abrams rebooted universe. Explaining that both universes always existed and are each equally valid. This preserves all previous storylines, so hardcore trekkies are now satisfied. While allowing the reboot to remain separate and pursue original stories into the future not being bound to adhere to the old trek history. Data finds that the bridge is having subtle ripple effects, that’s what tweaked his experiments. If left unchecked this force will amplify and eventually will (insert catastrophe here).
In the mean time, the young Kirk’s Enterprise is on a survey mission. Q has decided to taunt this crew without their knowledge and has remained hidden also concealing the spacetime rip. The pestering starts slow; nightmares, mechanical failures, lens flare overloads that blind the bridge. Q increases the hazard each time, and watches.
Picard’s ship detects the original Enterprise and needs to notify them instructions on how to help close the spacetime rip from the other side. If not said catastrophe will destroy both ships.  But Q throws the Prime Directive in their face and sites when “Even when the less advanced civilization is humanity itself it is forbidden to interfere.” Q could also pose an ultimatum where instead of the Next Gen civilization being on trial he would only judge the young Kirk version without their knowledge, if that’s what Picard chose. Picard wrestles with who’d have a better chance of proving humanity’s worthiness in the cosmic scheme “Enterprise A or E”. Obviously the movie needs a big action scene in the end…Q of course isn’t bound by The Prime Directive and further toys with Picard by putting Kirk’s Enterprise in a situation far more unwinnable than any Kobiyashi Maru test. Maybe hurtling them toward a quasar or pissing off hostile aliens. Here’s where the action is, warping fights, phasers, plummeting into gravity wells, etc. All that Picard has to do is enter the rift with their advanced technology and easily rescue the old Enterprise but it is too risky. Will the rift be stable enough to enter and will they be able to get back? Will violating their own Prime Directive be the ultimate judgement of “guilty” in the trail of civilization? Or will watching so many die and doing nothing doom humanity, all because of a stupid star fleet regulation? Can Q be trusted with anything he’s said or is this just part of the simulation after all?You know you’d watch this movie, it’s called,
Star Trek
      Fates Entwine
Producers of Hollywood…MAKE IT SO!

Carl Wells


Silverscreen vs. Hardwood: Mike D’Antoni as Peter Bogdanovich

29 Jan

I don’t know if you’ve heard this or not, but the land of Easy Riders and Raging Bulls, isn’t just for films. People in the quaint port metropolis have hobbies outside of the movie industry and movie theaters, and one of the humblest of their hobbies is sport. While the city that is responsible for the biggest and the most mainstream movies, hasn’t embraced the most mainstream sport, and instead turn their loving gaze toward an unassertive sport much more fitting of the city’s collective psyche, a little sport developed by a poor Canadian inspired by his new home south of the border in Springfield, Mass. Yes, I am, of course, speaking of the sport of Kings and Airnesses, basketsballs.

The town of Los Angeles is known for producing many classic films set on lakes, On Golden Pond and The Lake House, to name a few, so it is no surprise that their professional basketball team is called the Lakers. And while this team has history as rich as their Oscar gold and royal mauve uniforms would suggest, it seems tinseltown’s favorite fly boys have hit some shaky skies. Their team full of superstar athletes/aspiring actors, directors and producers are stumbling, and to put it in cinematic terms are dangerously close to relying on foreign subsidiaries to recoup their extravagant on-location shooting budget. The excuses and finger-pointing are mounting faster than backstage of a theater production employing Jeremy Previn. One of the most common culprits is the new coach, Mike D’Antoni, who, as far as I have found, isn’t related to Michelangelo Antonioni. Related or not, he caught my eye, and looking over is coachography I’ve realized that he bears a striking resemblance to the always cravat-ed Peter Bogdanovich’s filmography. What better way to indulge myself than to compare the peaks and lows of these two current LA residents.

Both men began cutting their teeth on lesser known projects; P-Bog began with Targets in 1968, while D’Antoni started with lockout-shortened 1998-99 Nuggets featuring an up-and-coming duo sure to have countless aloysius-oops-a-daisies for years to come, Nick Van Exel and Antonio McDyess. Well, D’Antoni was fired after the season with 14-36 record and Targets, about an assassin, was released after the shootings of MLK and Bobby Kennedy. But, like so many of the noble heroes that currently live in the LA city limits, these boys didn’t let a little thing like failure get in their way. P-Bog went on to have an amazing run of must-see films, The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc? and Paper Moon. Each one a classic in its own right. D’Antoni was also hitting his stride with the Phoenix Suns. A team that many credit as the one that forever changed the pace and positions of the professional game (citation: me).  The team went to back-to-back Western Conference finals and if it wasn’t for hip-check-turn-flop on the two-time MVP, Stephen Nash, the Suns might have been NBA Champions. Both men, then went on a little slide; D’Antoni got a little fed up with coaching Phoenix, as one is wont to do after coaching former Fu-Schnicken, Shaquille O’Neal, and moved his clipboard to the Big Apple to keep the seat warm while they waited for their lord and savior, LeBron James. Bogdanovich got a little full of himself, donned the cravat and decided it was best to direct all of his anachronistic films on horse back.

Lebron James didn’t come to the New York Loose-Fitting Pants, and audiences didn’t really care to see P-Bog’s run of old timey homage films. Once again, don’t count these guys out. The Knicks signed Amar’e Stoudemire and an overweight point guard and put together a nice little run at the beginning of the 2010-11 season, which is similar to Bogdanovich’s comeback film the Eric Stolz-Cher vehicle Mask. Neither the Knicks or the Mask were great, but compared to the recent stains on their resumés, they both looked closer to the magic gold these gold magic makers used to mine. Right as D’Antoni was in the middle of his revival act, the most selfish man in hightops decided it was time to do something for his damn self, and forced the defenseless mid-market Nuggets to trade him to the Tribeca Bobby DeNiros or whatever basketsball team was closest to that media hub. D’Antoni’s team was now heaped in trade speculation, and fun-pass-first plays don’t work when players have to prove night in and night out they shouldn’t be sent to live in Denver. The team faltered and even when the selfish candy bar arrived in NYC, he and Amar’e couldn’t turn the show around. In the same way, all the Oscar baiting of Mask did nothing more and garner a best make-up award and get Eric Stolz fired from Back to the Future (citation: me).

Both of these men were successful, and then they weren’t, but coaching basketball and directing pictures are not one man shows. Both need a team or a crew to make the old saying “A director/coach is only as good as his cast & crew/players,” and on first glance it looks like both of these men had their talented collaborators. P-Bog had Ryan O’Neal and D’Antoni had Steph Nash. Nash won two MVP awards and changed the whole way teams look at point guards, and Ryan O’Neal . . . well, he was on The Larry Sanders Show and his daughter won an Oscar, guess that’s about it. So, I guess Ryan O’Neal wasn’t really what you would call a traditionally talented collaborator. It’s more likely that Peter Bogdanovich’s real collaborator was his wife Polly Platt who was his Production Designer until he decided he’d rather sleep with CoverGirl nymph Cybill Shepherd than continuing to make quality films. But maybe that means that Nash wasn’t D’Antoni’s wingman either. They sure are struggling now they’ve been reunited. Let’s go to the ______-ographies: Platt was Production designer for all three of Bogdanovich’s best films The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc? and Paper Moon, and Ryan O’Neal was only in two of those films, and neither of them had anything to do with Mask. So, Platt checks out. Nash was with D’Antoni for his whole run in Phoenix and is now bombing in with him in LA. Hmmm, maybe it was never Nash that was D’Antoni’s opus, but instead the other guy in Phoenix, Amar’e Stoudemire. If that’s the case, D’Antoni is Bogdanovich, Nash is Ryan O’Neal and Amar’e is Polly Platt.

I’ll mark it as fact, in my book

-C. Charles

Time Suck Links: 1-25-13

25 Jan

A good list of links is more of an art than I actually thought. So, here are some poorly assembled links that have little or nothing to do with each other and really exemplify our self-proclaimed amateur status.

– This Amy X Neuburg song and After Effects 101 video combination rocked my world . . . in 2011.

-An example of why Seoul is a shit-crazy town

-It’s not a Viral video, it’s Vimeo. The new tag for finding web series gems like this

-Oh, look another example of bat-shit-crazy Seoul

-And this video is really just a metaphor for spending time on the internet looking for links to populate a bare bones weekly links list

The Bachelor top picks

23 Jan

As promised on last week’s “next week on The Bachelor,”  the drama really did get amped up this episode, the third of the 17th season of ABC’s The Bachelor.  This landmark series, which has brought superficial people together for years, has made former The Bachelorette contestant Sean Lowe the focus of this season.  It’s insane how much I could write about this episode of The Bachelor, most of which is better reserved for girl gab, but as I’m exclusively friends with rappers, hipsters and seven year-olds, I’ll have to turn to my true best friend, the internet, to share my opinions.  As promised, this week we got even more elaborate dates, more yelling, more tattle-tale-ing, and more ambulances, all the things people(girls) tune in to see.  First, we got to see Sean take Lesley M. on a romantic trip to the Museum of World Records, where they attempted(and succeeded) to break the record for longest on-screen kiss, you know, just regular early relationship-hang type stuff.  As I watched them press their faces together, I hoped that someday they will look back and know that they hold a world record with a person they barely know who probably humiliated them on national television. The second date of the program was taking one of the women and two terminally ill teenage girls to Magic Mountain for the day, to show just how near and dear charity work is to his heart.  His special surprise for the teens was a performance by the one and only Eli Young band, the hottest teen favorite currently on the market!  Who would want Bieber or One Direction with ELI YOUNG’s sweet strumming to bring this perfect day home?!?!?!  As I watched these normal people interact on their totally normal human dates, I started to really see the character of these women shining through.  I present to you, a few of my favorites:


Lesley M aka THE SMART ONE: the aforementioned on-screen kiss world record holder is a political consultant in Washington D.C.  This episode, she admitted to Sean that she was a total “nerd” in high school because she took some AP classes.  The real shocker was when her blond Prince Charming admitted that he took AP classes in high school too! Can you believe that deep soulmate connection!

But seriously, AP classes?!!?! ew. Talk about nerds.


Tierra aka THE BITCH: this brunette Britney Spears lookalike, who unfortunately also represents my hometown of Denver, CO, was the main reason for the drama this episode.  There’s always one girl who incessantly repeats the mantra “I’m not here to make friends,” as if people ever actually liked them anyway, and this season it’s Tierra.  When she’s not feeding the tiny dog she keeps in her purse, she’s doing things to make the other girls angry, like falsely telling them they have a date with Sean, or faking an injury to spend time with him, CRAZY, DRAMATIC STUFF LIKE THAT.  Can you believe this bitch?



Sarah/ Robyn/Leslie H aka THE TOKENS: every season has to have a token ethnic girl, and this season they’ve expanded even beyond race to include a woman with a disability.  Sarah was born with one arm and Sean and all the other girls go super out of their way to never notice it or say anything about it.  And while Robyn and Leslie H both happen to be African American, Sean made sure to promise Robyn that he doesn’t see color.  In fact, when she asked him about it, he told her that he made NO physical specifications to the producers of the show.  Kind of strange then, that they all happen to be super hot and tiny! What a coincidence.


Kacie B aka THE TATTLE-TALE: every season, one girls thinks it will be a good idea to tell The Bachelor about another girl who is weird or conniving behind his back.  This episode Kacie gave it a shot, and surprisingly, it backfired in her face.  Are you telling me guys don’t like it when women complain about other women?  Are you trying to say that men do not find it attractive when women desperately put other women down to seem better than them?  Back to the drawing board, Kacie B., at least you get a limo ride home.

All of these women, except for Kacie B. are still in the running for Sean’s heart, so I wish them the best of luck(despite my disapproval of their taste in guys, as we all know that grown men should never be blonde.  Imagine the beard he would grow.  Wait, no, don’t, I’m sorry I did that to you.)

Next week: private jets, ball gowns, “chocolate” tasting, and bitches knocking each other down. I can hardly wait!

-Caitie Hannan

Indie Pop Bubble Pops

20 Jan


From my little to almost no knowledge of how the economy works, I’ve gathered over the years that bubbles are bad. They’re bad, but everyone’s too blind by the good times to see them coming. At a wedding in 2007 I sat next to a real estate tycoon from Las Vegas, and when I tried to make small talk about how much it has grown, he told me that the next ten years were going to be exactly like the boom they were experiencing now, except on steroids. Ha! I bet that man is living under a bridge right now, and his call-girl-turned-trophy-wife has turned back into a call girl (that is a bulletproof job choice in a recession).

I bring this up is because I’m guessing the bubble in indie rock is going to, if it hasn’t already, pop. I have no evidence for this other than the current run of status-update-pleas for new music that have become so common they’re on pace to out number gun violence comments and inspirational quotes in the very near future. And the discomforting thing is that all of these responses are valiantly met, not with new bands, but bands that’ve been around for a while. That, along with remembering a the new two-thousands-eights to the two-thousand-nines bands so nostalgically, makes me think that the bubble burst and none of us were the wiser.

Thinking back to a time when the possibility of almost free and instant distribution was an enticing incentive to start a band. So, everyone did. People who weighed the options of going to grad school or getting back together with that one ex who’s dad offered them a job, chose the third option: Start a band, put some songs on iTunes and quit that shitty service industry job. Everyone knew that it was going to be hard work, but finally the dream of becoming a rock star didn’t depend on pure luck. Now, anyone could do it as long as they hit the pavement hard enough and long enough, they’d get their break, and if they didn’t they’d at least get a 1000 die hard fans which would provide more than enough revenue to live a modest life of casual sex and heavy petting in public.

And it was gold, people could make a living as artist, or supplement their new service industry job with some sweet iTunes money, or they could at least play a show to a packed bar full of people dying for some new music, well, at least they could get their name out there with some smart tweets. No, no, I guess tweeting to a legion of follow-back spam-bots doesn’t really generate any sort of supplemental income. But what was a sure thing was that the band could put a name and a face to every one of the downloads for their EP that cost the same amount as six months worth of student loan payments. So, it turns out getting a 1000 die-hard fans is really really hard. So, now, people realized it’s still just as much about luck and maybe they can learn a trade such as typing or bricklaying.

What’s going to happen next? There will be a million and one defunct bands “discovered” years after they released their one poorly selling full length. Which could lead to a great number of artist only making one album, and then that’s it for them. They’ll get their 15 minutes, just long time after they wanted it. These are all just slightly mad ravings of a bitter and sleep deprived writer who will know intimate details about everyone who reads this, even though there is world-wide distribution. Enjoy the future!



-C. Gilmore

Time Suck

18 Jan

These are the things the burned our corneas while we averted our eyes from the soul sucking fluorescent lights flickering above our respective heads.

-Waiting a year for a podcast is a 100% more rewarding than waiting nine months for a baby.

-A Perverts guide to a pervert’s interview

Mystikal must’ve got an Earth, Wind and Fire Greatest Hits Album for his birffday

-As a stand for artistic integrity everywhere, I’m going to live the rest of my life imagining the story ends here.

Funny people live in Denver, they said funny things at least 5 times in ’12

Literary criticism on the internet? Everyone’s gay, and call it a wrap.


Estimated time burning: 3hr 04min 48sec

Time spent getting gathering this links: 72hr 16min 12sec

Still GIRLS, A review of music from the first season

16 Jan


Before I even downloaded Music from Girls:Volume 1, something about the track list irked me. I like the television show Girls, maybe even love it, but when I tried to remember the music played over the course of the first season, all I could remember was that I probably found it vaguely annoying. Looking at the list of songs, I couldn’t tell exactly what it was that already bothered me about this collection of music before I even listened to it. In fact, I previously owned three of the songs, even legit paid money for one of them. There are many artists I recognize and have a relationship with.  I don’t mind the band fun. I feel as if I’m far too old for their neat, sweeping pop songs to charm me, but I can’t deny a well-crafted piece of pop that sounds nice when punctuating emotional moments in television or movies, which I feel most of fun.’s tunes are tailor-made for(let’s forget about their heinously annoying use of punctuation for the time being). I’ve put in my time with Belle and Sebastian, lord knows. “I Don’t Love Anyone” itself has made numerous appearances on self-crafted breakup playlists. I admired the Fleet Foxes for a time, I’ve always found them easy listening, and “White Winter Hymnal” holds the distinction of being marked a truly great song in my estimation.  Grouplove is another guilty pleasure.  They, like fun., make songs that are fun to drive around to on a summer night.  I like that. I’m not opposed to superficial music that makes you feel good in the moment. These groups have tracks next to other artists that I’m more peripherally aware of, Sleigh Bells(whom I’ve always thought I hated, but never actually listened to) Santigold, and Tegan and Sara, surrounded by quite a few artists that I’ve never heard of.  Knowing that I enjoy some of these artists and these bands, I was having a hard time discovering why I couldn’t fully get behind this soundtrack.  Then I gave it a listen.

I suppose if I had to categorize the music from this compilation I’d divide it into three groups: quirky acoustic, quirky electronic, and songs I like.  The quirky acoustic side kicks off with Harper Simon and a song called “Wishes and Stars.”  Knowing nothing about the artist previously, I found his cloying knockoff of a Simon and Garfunkel tune benign, almost borderline pleasant.  After a cursory googling, I discovered him to be the son of Paul Simon himself, which explains a lot.  Simon gives off an outsider-looking-in vibe, as he sings about how all the other people have their lives together and he can’t seem to make anything happen. “They all seem so sure they’re going far, they got more friends than they can use, except me ’cause I’m a fool,” he sings before musing, “there are more wishes than stars.” These lyrics are a good summation of the general mood of many songs on this compilation.  They don’t just desire, they pine.  The way in which they want is more passive than desire. Fun.’s song, comprised of sweet, romantic lines, sung by Nate Ruess, who has a voice that I can’t get out of my head, is upbeat and enjoyable. He pleads for a love to stay with him, singing “So if you gonna leave, if you gonna go, I can’t bare to sleep without you in my arms.”  The Fleet Foxes reminisce on the lives their parents built, with a refrain that implies a loss of self direction:  “Oh man, oh me, what I used to be.”  “On your Way,” the closing song by Michael Penn, starts simply with a singsong piano and vocals.  By the chorus, the dragged out vocals tell the assumed beloved that the memory of their time together and the hope of reunion will keep the singer optimistic.  These all speak to a general theme of these songs underlined by the quirky production values.  There’s something precocious and juvenile about them.

This feeling is reflected in the second category as well: the quirky electronic songs.  Many of these songs are ridiculously simple.  “Infinity Guitars” by Sleigh Bells is a girl repeat-yelling nonsense words. “Street wars, straight men, cowboys, indians, Red souls, Red friends, Infinity guitars, Your heart,” she screams. Any sophistication is entirely lacking. I really enjoyed the song “Same Mistakes” by a band I’d never heard before, The Echo-Friendly.  They nonchalantly sing lines like, “My friends are all adults, I’m still a teenage girl…They think I’m such a flake, they want to go to bed, I want to stay up late,” over a The xx-like track.  I think the reason this song resonated with me is that I find it so relatable at this point in my life.  But the fact is, that so many of these songs are great depictions of things I’ve felt and thought.  I’ve been lovesick, I’ve wanted things it seemed impossible to achieve.  So why don’t I like these songs more?

As Michael Penn’s non-confrontational dulcet tones closed out the album, I decided to give myself a break from his precious, jangly piano and switch over to one of my recent favorite songs, “The Full Retard,” by El-P.  As soon as El-P told me to “pump this shit, like they do in the future,”  I immediately walked a little taller and straighter.  “I’m a Rocky, run a hundred mile before my coffee,”  was so much more appealing to me than the “guess I’m missing out/I don’t know how to grow up” sentiment of the songs from the first two categories on this compilation.  Yes, they are songs I can totally relate to.   That’s the appeal of Girls, every girl has stories about not handling seeing their ex-boyfriend well, or showing up at a guys house in the middle of the night.  But those are things that girls do, not women.  Which brings me to the two songs from the Girls soundtrack that I actually love, tracks about being independent and strong adults. “Dancing on my Own,”  while also being a pop-dance gem, is an anthem for getting over someone.  Slightly creepily(which I love), Robyn watches her ex-boyfriend in the club with someone new, but never stops dancing.   The pain is still there, but the beat is triumphant.  “I Love It,” by Iconapop takes it even a step further.  This is not just an independent lady, but a lady not to be fucked with.  After describing the various ways she would destroy someone’s property(I know that’s not very grown up, but it’s the take-no-shit-attitude that counts) the chorus chimes in “You’re on a different road, I’m in the Milky Way, you want me down on Earth, but I am up in space, You’re so damn hard to please, we’ve got to kill this switch, You’re from the 70s, but I’m a 90s bitch.” These are confident, assertive women.

And I hope the characters of Girls can grow to be more like the women represented in these last two songs.  From the standpoint of a girl around their age, the reason the show is great is because the characters are so realistic.  I may not have been in exactly the same situations in Manhattan(Lord knows I’d love to, Donald Glover), but so many silly scenes from my life and the lives of my friends mirror things I’ve seen on that show.  Even on the second season premiere, the girls were stuck in a lot of powerless, lost situations; trying to sleep with gay guys, or married to someone they barely know.  But just like I hope I’m over some of the phases in my life that those songs represent, I hope the characters will be someday too.  I think that these girls growing up honestly is something that will make this show truly great.  Hopefully, when it’s time, the girls will become women.

-Caitie Hannan


And for good measure, the terrific El-P video: