Tagged: geek

The New Mutants: Whew lawd

You ever watch a movie that was so bad that it made you mad??? I remember hearing about this movie when it was in development. Peeps were a little excited because, let’s be honest, we all yearn for a good X-men movie. This was initially marketed that way. I’m convinced that rumor got started before anyone saw the actual storyboards for this. In fact, I choose to believe that the studio greenlit this movie without talking to any of the comic creators. Yes, it was that bad, and I’m trying to be fair.

How do you take a cast studded with extremely talented young actors and just waste them? How do you make a movie seem like it was given a huge budget and not enough money all at the same time? Who was the audience for this movie? I just can’t.

Plot synopsis: Five powered young people whose powers have caused death and mayhem find themselves in an institution to learn to control their powers. It is somewhat suggested that they are being trained to be X-men, though this is less clear in the movie. In reality, they are being assessed by the Essex Corporation to determine whether their powers are useful or dangerous. The main character’s powers (Dani) were left unexplained for most of the movie, but she is eventually deemed too dangerous to live. They live in a creepy, abandoned hospital that they slowly realize they can’t leave of their own volition. They go through emotional breakdowns, they kiss, they fight, and, then, they team up to try to overthrow the evil doctor to escape. Smiling men, puppets, and demon bears, oh my! The End.

New Mutants is supposed to be a horror trilogy, but it is more teenage angst-y. It’s like someone got lit and said, “What if we make Twilight meets Legion?” Alas, Anya Taylor-Joy’s portrayal of Magik is passable, but it was like she was in an entirely different movie. Thankfully, the sequels were cancelled, so there won’t be any followups.

It’s a pandemic and I didn’t have anything better to do, so I finished it. But, yo, they put this out in theaters in 2020; could you imagine catching the ‘Rona for this?

And, since this is BlackTrekkie, let’s talk about representation. First, there are no black actors in this movie. The main character is Native American, a group that often suffers from the same lack of depth and reliance on stereotypes in their portrayals in the media. In this movie, her cultural background is simply used as a plot device and is barely shown. This is an inexcusable shame, given the opportunity to offer viewers a glimpse into a culture we rarely see. Second, Sunspot is supposed to be Afro-Brazilian and dark-skinned and Dr. Reyes is a Black woman in the comics. One of the creators, Bob McLeod, has gone on record criticizing their inaccurate portrayals. The movie was shelved for three years, but it had been in development since 2009. Someone at some point should have spoken up and said that this would be unwise with fans. Even in 2009, we knew better right?

1 out of 4 stars. I kinda want you to watch it so that we can compare notes. Actually, nah, don’t.

(but, I know you’re going to watch it anyway because it has Mutants in the name. I see you.)

Were Suicide Squad and X-Men: Apocalypse the same damn movie?

I think so.  You know from my previous review that I thought Suicide Squad was ridiculous, but I haven’t really written about X-Men:  Apocalypse.  I was disappointed with both and I’ve been searching myself to figure out why.  I finally figured it out:  they are the same damn movie.  Hear me out:

In both movies, there is an ancient, body-jumping consciousness that has overwhelming, magical powers that had been locked up by the normal humans.  Some overly curious scientist/investigator let them loose and they decided to wreck havoc on civilization.  They each assemble their respective teams and go to war with each other.  The war is messy; bombs are launched, people die, and there’s travel by helicopter.  Inexplicably, both Big Bads plan to build some sort of destructive machine/monument to assume total control of the world, but we never quite find out how they will work.  But, in the end, everything just falls flat.

Not the sort of thing that inspires movie ticket sales, eh?

Magneto and Mystic are the bad guys with questionable allegiances on the X-men team and Storm, Psylocke, and Angel are on En Sabah Nur’s team.  But, they are all just kinda bad and most for understandable reasons of survival.  You know that they are going to turn on their leader in favor of saving humanity.  Amanda Waller assembles a team of rogues, called the Suicide Squad, that are chosen for their ruthlessness ad willingness to be and do evil things to combat evil.  But, they never really seem that bad.  Enchantress, the Big Bad in Suicide Squad, calls up her brother as her main henchman.  She also turns men into faceless goons who have caviar for heads by kissing them.

SS’s Deadshot and X-men’s Quicksilver both get their time-slowing save the day moments.  More helicopters and explosions.  There are a few minutes of backstory to make the audience feel some emotion for them.  Joker and Wolverine are shoehorned in for fan service, can’t have movies without them.  And, both movies came to the same unsatisfying conclusion that left the viewer wonder what was the point of all this meshsugaas.

Thankfully, nobody dances like Enchantress.

Thinking about that made me lose my train of thought, so I’ll stop here.  But, seriously, did anyone else notice this?

Rise In Power, Captain K’Vagh (RIP, James Avery)

Boy, the hits just keep coming, don’t they?  We’ve lots a lot of good ones over the last year, but this loss feels more personal.  I haven’t posted in a while, but this passing deserved a post.  James Avery was one of the GOATs in the acting game, of all races.  Most of us knew and loved him as Uncle Phil on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but us Trekkies knew he was also Captain K’Vagh on Star Trek Enterprise.  Even fewer people know that he auditioned against Michael Dorn for the role of Worf in TNG (Stop for a sec: Can you imagine?)

Captain K'Vagh

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures via Memory Alpha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve lost one of the greats, everyone.  Nearly everyone’s favorite TV dad and an actor that gave 100% to every role he took.    He passed on today after suffering complications from heart surgery earlier this month; he was 68.

Beware, a Klingon Warrior is about to arrive!

Photo credit:  Paramount Pictures via Memory Alpha

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures via Memory Alpha

Star Trek and Wu Tang…and Drake

Truth, y’all are going to have to follow me on this one.  Star Trek and Wu Tang go back like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.  I would bet you $20 that any black trekkie you meet is also a Wu Tang fan.  And, if you asked them to explain why, they couldn’t.  Why?  Because Wu Tang is for the children (RIP ODB)!  There’s an other-ness, slightly esoteric, to enjoying both and, as such, you earn a certain geek cred when you bring them up.  Truth, I’ve been waiting to find the guy who likes both on his own and, when I do, we’ll probably hit Vegas.  I hear they do Klingon weddings at a little chapel out there.

Anyways, this brings me to Drake.  It started with Macklemore mentioning Wu in a song, all good, white boy can rap.  But, then, Drake comes out with “Wu Tang Forever” and my brow instantly furrowed.  I like Drake, but he’s not exactly known for spitting hot fire, right?  Exactly.  It’s a song out of my nightmares.  How did he even get the “It’s Yours” sample cleared?  Rza, WTF???  The song is about creeping with a girl who already has a man and Drake is SINGING!  Don’t use the Wu to prove you’re cool.  I fully expect there will be some Star Trek name drops soon enough.

I guess there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?  Am I wrong?

The Biggest Deal Nobody’s Talking About

Aye maaaan!

Hold up, so Voyager 1 has left the damn solar system and it’s not on the front page anywhere?  Y’all do realize what an achievement this is, right?  Voyager has now traveled farther than any man-made object to date.

Just so we are clear, this is a photo of Earth from Voyager 1 in 1990.  See that little blue dot in the brown band?  Yep, that’s us and everyone who has ever lived on Earth.  It’s been 23 years since that was taken.

Photo credit: NASA via Wikipedia.

There’s been controversy about whether Voyager 1 actually left for a year or so now, but it appears researchers are certain that Voyager 1 is now traipsing through the Milky Way.  It has actually gone where no man has gone before!

Remember V’ger, anyone else a little nervous?  Could you imagine Voyager 1 being intercepted and upfitted by a race of aliens and returning to us?  I’ll be long dead by the time that happens, but it is kinda cool to consider.  On the other end of the spectrum, a probe entering a black hole and becoming self-aware was a very similar story to the movie Event Horizon– the scariest movie ever made.  Let’s hope that sh*t doesn’t happen.

The V’ger entity and resultant merger with Ilia and Lt. Decker is supposed to be the beginning of the Borg, so, yeah, let’s hope all of that doesn’t happen.  In fact, let’s hope that the galaxy is filled with gentle, kind My Little Ponies or something.

In fact, maybe there is good reason for this not to be front page news after all…

Happy Friday everyone!

In other Science-y News: The Sun’s Magnetic Field Is About to Flip

No, the sun is not about to go DMX on you and lose its mind (up in here, up in here).  However, the sun’s magnetic field is about to flip, likely in the next few months.  The polarity flip takes place about ever 11 years, so, don’t worry, we aren’t going to die a fiery death.  There may be some more sunspot activity and potentially some telecommunications disruptions due to increased solar storms.  But, have no doubt, this is a big deal that will affect our entire solar system!

Check out more about the flip here

And, while we’re at it, here’s the clearest picture of a sunspot ever taken.  Pretty nifty, huh:

Credit: Big Bear Solar Laboratory/New Jersey Institute of Technology

In other Science-y News: Soylent, Stem Cell Burgers, and Nootropics. Oh My!


You may have seen or heard coverage this week about Google-supported research to develop meat grown from stem cells.  One of two people who was able to eat a burger cooked from the stem cell meat said that it was good, but lacked fat.  Now, any talk of artificially-grown meat makes our collective alarm bells go off because we all remember Charlton Heston yelling “Soylent Green is People!” in the eponymous 1973 film.  I am pretty confident that every third person who read or heard the story probably thought, “Hmm, how long before someone grows people burgers?”  I don’t think that fear is warranted, but I was definitely the third person in that case.  Slippery slope.  Would you eat a stem cell burger?  Tell the truth.   Truth-I might because I recognize that the demand for meat has all sorts of undesirable environmental consequences.  Probably no time soon, gotta wait and see if it turns anyone into the minion monster.

Which leads me to my next topic.  Why on earth would someone create a potentially revolutionary food (not meal) replacement drink and name it “Soylent”?

Beats me, but it’s working.  There is a growing movement of people who are trying to figure out how they can stay alive without eating actual food.  I’ve been trying to keep up on its development.  Apparently, Soylent is a blandly sweet concoction of everything the body needs to survive.  It can be prepared in advance and taken with you.  Right now the cost is still high and the ingredients can be hard to find, so it won’t be coming to a store near you soon.  That said, it could totally revolutionize the weight loss industry.  Liquid diets work, but they are typically missing nutrients and people end up losing hair, dying, etc.  The question for me is whether people will end up with gall bladder problems long term because fat is needed to cause the organ to contract.  That used to be a big problem with liquid diets in the ’80s.  Right now, the creator isn’t trying to lose weight, so he eats at his caloric maintenance and tweaks the formula when he starts to feel weak.  He also doesn’t advocate only drinking Soylent, he has a few regular meals with food when he feels like it.  Definitely keep an eye out for it.

Nootropics, I still don’t fully understand this topic.  Basically, people are trying to figure out how to lifehack their brains to squeeze out every ounce of cognitive computing power through nutritional or pharmaceutical supplementation.  Essentially, they want to be like the lead character in the movie Limitless.  Some of the ingredients have to be procured through grey markets, meaning overseas pharmacies and others are simply nutritional supplements like melatonin.  Many of you have taken 5-hour Energy to give yourself extra pep and sharpness, we may see something similar on the market soon for mental clarity and memory.  I haven’t tried any of them though the topic is definitely interesting.

I worry less about Soylent being people;  I don’t want us to end up like Morlocks.

What about you; are you up to try these?

This is old, but it is so perfect that I had to share.

Gotye

All Trekkies who watched the Borg Queen’s torment/seduction of Data in First Contact will appreciate this.

To jog your memory (from IMDB):

[a Borg scratches Data’s flesh arm]
Lieutenant Commander Data: Ah!
Borg Queen: Is it becoming clear to you yet? Look at yourself, standing there, cradling the new flesh I’ve given you. If it means nothing to you, why protect it?
Lieutenant Commander Data: I… I am simply imitating the behavior of humans.
Borg Queen: You’re becoming more human all the time, Data; now you’re learning how to lie.
Lieutenant Commander Data: My programming was not designed to process these sensations.
Borg Queen: Then tear the skin from your limb as you would a defective circuit.
[Data hesitates]
Borg Queen: Go ahead, Data! We won’t stop you!
[Data forces himself to try to tear off the skin]
Borg Queen: Do it! Don’t be tempted by flesh!
[Data relents and leaves the skin alone]
Borg Queen: Are you familiar with physical forms of pleasure?
Lieutenant Commander Data: If you are referring to sexuality, I am… fully functional, programmed in… multiple techniques.
Borg Queen: How long since you’ve used them?
Lieutenant Commander Data: Eight years, seven months, sixteen days, four minutes, twenty-two…
Borg Queen: Far too long.
[they kiss passionately]

P.S. I still have no understanding of the Gotye video concept.  Why was he painted like that?

A Dirge for the Star Trek: Las Vegas Experience

The first time I went to Las Vegas, there was one place I knew I had to go.  That place where everyone’s at least a passing Trekkie.  Well, alas, it is no more.  The Las Vegas Hilton got rid of it years ago, but I still miss it.  I guess that it wasn’t bringing in the big bucks like its Elvis impersonator.  Yes, these grapes are sour.

If you’ve never been, I’ll paint the scene from memory:  You walk in and get in line and see a few prop exhibits and a Trek timeline.  But, the real fun starts when you get into the interactive Borg invasion.  The Borg Queen tops my list of villians because of her detached ruthlessness.  She was a bad mamajamma!  The simulation was dated, but I didn’t care because it was the closest I’d ever get to being on a starship.  Then, after you won, you could go into the Enterprise simulation and sit on,the Bridge and play an officer.  Again, it felt more like a science museum exhibit, but it was great for any trekkie.  Afterward, you could hang out in Ten Forward, drink some Romulan ale and chop it up with the Klingons wandering around.  The highlight for me was being choked by a Klingon female.  Then, of course, there was a neat gift shop with pretty good memorabilia.

Vegas felt a little emptier without any sort of Star Trek attraction there.  So, here’s to sadness.

FYI:  I hear there is a nice convention coming in August.  Check it out if you get a chance.

 

 

Captain’s Log: The Meaning of the Phrase “Kirk Out”

This might truly be the first truly esoteric black trekkie post ever.  I think you had to be Black and born some time between 1975 and 1980 to appreciate the phrase “kirk out”.  So, let’s get into it.

Does anyone know how this became a black cultural idiom?  I have no idea.  The funny thing is when you say it, almost every black person knows exactly what it implies–you went temporarily (read: batsh*t) insane.  In most situations, you’ve tried your best to keep your cool, but someone or a situation kept trying your patience and…finally, IT, whatever IT might be, was on!  You were done negotiating, trying to be heard, waiting patiently, listening to reason, trying to be empathetic, whatever.  You, Bruce Banner, turned into this raging Hulk of a person that not even your momma could calm down:

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Example convo:

John:  Yo, I was driving today and this mickey flickey cut me off.  I couldn’t believe it when he flipped me the bird after I honked at him.  Yo, seriously, I almost got out of the car and KIRKED the ****(optional) OUT on that cat!  He better be glad I had a meeting because, otherwise, y’all would have been seeing me on the news at 6, yo. 

Homie:  I’m glad you didn’t, man.  Not over something so silly. 

Now, we all remember that Captain Kirk said “Kirk, out” whenever he signed off communications.  We also know that Captain Kirk was forever going off-script and just flying into rages, but how did this enter the black vernacular?  Not sure, but I’m glad it did.  It is such a effective, concise way of conveying about 50 curse words at once.

Anyone else have ideas?

Edit:  We are still looking for answers in 2021.