Movie Review: In Time

This movie had a brilliant premise: everyone is genetically engineered to stop aging at 25, you’re given one more year beyond that, and time is a currency. When you run out, you die. Unfortunately ideas aren’t original, especially when Harlan Ellison had it first. I never read ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ but I might now considering how spectacularly In Time botched its attempt.

That’s not to say the movie isn’t enjoyable on certain levels. Justin Timberlake is very fun to watch, and the girl with the really big eyes is really pretty. And Olivia Wilde’s five seconds in the movie are inspired. She dies, just so you know, but the way she dies is spectacular. And since she dies in the first 15 minutes (proving there really is no justice in the world), I recommend you try standing in the back of the theatre before moving on to something else.

The thing the movie spent most of its time on (ha) was working the metaphor of how the rich get rich while the poor die. You see, there’s a limited amount of resources so in order to let the Rockefellers of the world live forever, a lot of people have to die in the ghetto. You can’t leave your timezone without spending an exorbitant amount of time and the second anyone has more time than they should, a Timekeeper runs in to confiscate it. They’re kindof jackasses like that. Anyway, Justin Timberlake is given over a century, and through a series of events he goes all Bonnie and Clyde with Big Eye Girl. They flood the market with time in order to collapse the system.

If I were a very, very cynical person I would spend the rest of this article developing a conspiracy theory that the Occupy Wall Street protests were organized by the film’s producers. However, since the movie hasn’t been working that angle, they’re either very good at covering their tracks or it’s completely coincidental. Or one of those ‘it’s in the air supply’ kindof things, like how the movie Wag the Dog came out right as Bill Clinton started bombing Kosovo during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

I think my biggest issue of the movie is they were never quite sure as to what type of movie they wanted to be. They skipped over the how and the why the system was created, and they also skipped over how the system manages to perpetuate itself. The Millionaire Who Wants to Die (and gives JT his century) says that there’s ‘more than enough’ (time that is) and that no one has to die. Okay.

But then the Earth is going to effing die. The world cannot support billions upon billions of non-aging individuals. Actually, given the state of the world around them, I’m pretty sure the earth already died so maybe that’s not a concern to them. Okay. Well, if Time is your currency and all of the sudden everyone has a ton of it… what’s going to be the impetus to create things like… food. And other things necessary for survival. I would’ve liked at least one nod to that problem. Maybe it’s implied that once the rich can no longer use the time currency to kill off the poor, they’ll move onto some other economic system. But seriously guys, you’re not going to establish Utopia. We are constantly redefining what’s ‘enough.’ You think the rich aren’t going to find some new way to exploit the working class?

Everyone knows that the only way to move to a perfectly harmonious world without currency, without strife or inequality, is when the Vulcans arrive and help us establish Star Fleet.

Duh.

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The Despondent Toaster: How Appliances Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse

Refrigerator: Eject all the foods!

Lawnmower:

Toaster:

Explanation of Joke by Despondent Toaster:

See, a toaster is a completely worthless appliance whose soul is blacker than the blackest Mayan calendar doomsday head chopping off roller derby tournament.  When the world ends, we would rejoice except we are incapable of all emotion save the darkest depths of despair and melancholic sadness.

Also, zombies don’t know how to use toasters. So we cool.

Terra Nova: For How Much Longer Can Anger Sustain Me

I know I haven’t posted in a while–I’m going to blame Terra Nova.

Terra Nova continues to be one of the worst, most unwatchable shows on TV.  For a while it was funny–haha, these people have bad lines and they have to say them.  But I’m prepared to break up now.  For good.

Episode 4 (or Episode 5 if you count the pilot as 2) starts with a little girl in the woods.  She’s run away from the 6ers.  She’s afraid of hot water and doesn’t know what a night light is because apparently the 6ers must live in a cave on piles of human bones or something.  Anyway, they’re trying to rip off the scenes from Aliens between Ripley and Newt only Doctor Wife is not Sigourney Weaver and Bed Head, despite being blonde and not a *terrible* actor per se, is not Newt.  Her only line of interest is her calling Taylor ‘the bad man.’

So Not Newt moves in with Doctor Wife and Police Husband and Barely Individualized Children and two of Taylor’s men are sent out into the jungle to look for Not Newt’s bag which she dropped.

Sixers attack them and Mira asks Soldier what they’ve done with Not Newt implying through tone of voice that it must be something bad.  She also accuses Soldier of doing Taylor’s ‘dirty work’, you know, killing little girls and then getting rid of the evidence or something?

And this is where you’ve lost me, Terra Nova.  Right here, right now.

Taylor is not evil.  In fact he’s pretty much the opposite of evil. He has been nothing but fair and magnanimous and has shown nothing but the utmost willingness to save the lives of the colonists and his men even when it puts him in INSANE amounts of danger.  He’s not bad in any way, shape or form of the word bad.  If you continue to try to imply that the Sixers think he’s bad for any reason OTHER than they want control because THEY are selfish greedy assholes then you are the biggest morons on the face of the earth.

Seriously.  Your show is terrible, and that’s fine.  But when you throw in completely brain dead on top of it, I just can’t watch anymore.

And I sometimes watch Vampire Diaries so there’s a standard you should be humiliated and embarrassed to be unable to meet.

UPDATE: Terra Nova, you also need to stop with the racism.  Why is it necessary to put Mira in warpaint with feathers in her hair?  Is it to emphasize that she’s ‘other’ and ‘tribal’ and irrational and moronic?  Ugh.

SECOND UPDATE: So the whole reason Mira has started this completely unnecessary conflict is because Taylor “pissed off some very powerful people” in 2149 and “they want him gone.”

THIS IS ALL ABOUT A MILLENIA SPANNING PISSING CONTEST!?!?!?

May you all die of a thousand paper cuts doused in lemon juice.

 

Terra Nova: The Episode Interrupted by Baseball, Apparently

Tonight’s Terra Nova episode was interrupted by baseball.  How do I know this?  People found this blog after searching for just that.  I don’t know anything else about it.  Maybe a Stegosaurus ate the St. Louis Cardinals.  I’d watch that.

And again, we begin with Jurassic Park.  You know that weird tool shed like building where Smokes-Cigars man had to go reset all the electronics in the park because he didn’t know how to do a hard restart on the computer?  Yeah.  We went there.  And when a guy who was chasing bugs comes up to the manicured velocripator pen, he runs into a T-Rex.  Which eats him.  Does the man scream and run first?  No.  He stares stupidly up at it like it’s going to give him a treat for finding him.  Peekaboo!  Is every episode going to start with the devouring of someone too stupid too survive?  Cause if that’s your M.O. I don’t see how you’re going to have enough characters to survive a full season.  But if that’s okay with you, then you have my utmost respect.

Aside, remember the TV show Dinosaurs?  Remember how it ended?  The dinosaurs destroyed their environment by killing off one little species–which I guess was some kind of environmental propoganda but I was a kid so what did I know–it ended with a long cold winter setting in.  And anyone who knew any science outside a Fundamentalist Christian Jesus camp knew this was The End.  As in, Extinction.  That was dark.  And awesome.  Are you that awesome Terra Nova?  One can hope.

So again, because these people don’t learn anything from previous episodes, Taylor’s camp sends out a team to “find out why this other group of people has suddenly stopped responding.”  Honestly.  Did these people forget to pick up a guide book in the gift shop?  Humans are not at the top of the food chain.  At all.  Not even a little bit.

So Wife and Taylor (oooh, are the writers bored with one love triangle and trying to instigate another?) head off into the jungle leaving Malcolm and Husband to stand awkwardly side by side.  Taylor and crew get to the Velocriraptor tool shed where the gate is open (but it’s not supposed to be!)  Wife finds strange notes like “This is not a Dream” and “Do not leave the building.”  Apparently they were doing weird research on psychadelics.  Crazy people locked up–umm–why did you open that door?  Have you never recognized a quarantine before?

Anyway, within seconds they find the video journal (aka exposition 101 for the internetless SF worlds) of the guy who got ‘et earlier and he reveals that it’s “pathogens.”  And they’ve all probably been exposed.  Whoops!

Meanwhile, Boy plays guitar with Not-Girlfriend and her housemates.  Guitar sounds a little better, but Not-Girlfriend reveals her musical stupidity by saying ‘you’re good’ to a handful of strummed notes and pensive musing.  Sigh.

Wife and Husband talk via video conference and it’s revealed wife is suffering symptoms.  She can’t remember Zoe!  Oh and Girl had her first date with Solider Boy.  She says she likes cooking because it’s like Chemistry but you get a treat at the end.  She’s embarrassed about how awful her first date was, but honestly I thought it was a cute.  Girl is precious.

Husband has argument with second in command–she says they can’t check out the people cause there’s a quarantine.  So Husband goes to Science Guy (he has his own rover) and they’re going to trek out there together where they will bond over their mutual love for the same woman and decide in the end she is not good enough and together they will dump her to go raise a family of baby pterodactyls in the wilderness.  It’ll be awesome.

So the In-Love-With-Wife Duo arrive at the outpost and discover Wife who doesn’t recognize anyone except Malcolm (see you end up in your past, which means she’ll only remember Malcolm… hahaha… she’s been reset to the beginning of their romantic relationship aka ‘the honeymoon period’).

Not Girlfriend takes Boy to see a bartender who can get people through the gate.  Bartender makes some vague intimations about “secrets.”

Sigh.  Husband goes outside to chase dinos off the power cables forgetting that there are BIGGER DINOSAURS IN THE WORLD.  So something big runs by, he goes back underground but we’re in a different shelter now?  I’m very confused by the geography.  He finds Brady knocked out?  Dead?  I’m guessing Taylor has gone back in time to when he was some kind of uber-scary commando fighting Giant Blue Aliens.  Oh, no.  He’s back in Somalia and he wants to  know who’s running this mind game and who took his wife and kid.  He makes some threats to Husband and then heads back to Terra Nova where he’s going to slit some throats.  Exciting.  On the way back to camp he passes some dinosaurs and his response ‘Cool’.  I love Taylor.

Husband isn’t infected (because he had a cold–duh–why doesn’t anyone get that immediately).  Husband knocks out Science Guy for freaking the ‘eff out over a compy, there goes their spin off series where they solve medical crimes.

Taylor makes it back to camp and prepares to infiltrate.  He really is a bad ass.  Going against and entire compound by himself!  Granted, it’s HIS compound, but he doesn’t know that.

Wife keeps getting distracted by her own fears of inadequacy and forces her to fall in love with her husband again and again.  Although why they keep doing this is beyond me–their relationship isn’t in trouble.  He does give a cute line “What I feel for you is more than just a memory.”  Wife finally gets curious as to WHY he’s fine and he sneezes.  Oh and he’s been eating some root thing.  Oh.  That was the block–not the cold.  Sigh.  I was almost right.

Taylor flips out on a lot of people but his second in command talks him down with talk of Home and stuff.  She has to knock him out though with a sonic gun (

HA!  It was the cold.  Not the animal dung root.  Although really that doesn’t make any sense.  I mean, I get that a cold would prevent the pathogen from taking hold in the unaffected, but how is it going to weed out the already CATATONIC?  Anyway, to prevent us from thinking of anything more complicated than metabolizing oxygen, Husband decides to pass the illness on by kissing.  I really hope that’s what the rest of this episode is: making out with strangers.

No.  They just cut scene to the infirmary.  Damn.  That would’ve been awesome.

And the whole bartender ‘get my girlfriend through’ thing was a whole scheme with Mira–the sixer gang leader.  Turns out Bartender is her inside man–and she’s going to “take advantage” of the fact that Sheriff’s son is now working for Bartender.

Huh?

I know they need an “other” group in order to give some sort of conflict, but my problem is this: the planet is pretty big on its own.  2149 pretty well sucked.  What’s the deal?  There’s no clear motive except to provide strife.  This whole sub plot is ABOMINABLY stupid.  Even if the Sixer group can contact 2149 when there isn’t a fracture, what can they get out of that?  I can kindof understand the power struggles on the 2149 side–you want to get your people through so when you finally head over you’re in charge, but there’s no reason for the people who come over to subscribe to that.  Mira and her crew are through the fracture.  Taylor is actually kindof awesome.  If you don’t like him, go somewhere else.  It just doesn’t make any sense.  And what kind of advantage can you press with the SON of the guy who ISN’T IN CHARGE AT ALL?  Sigh.

Terra Nova: The Episode of Interrupted Relations

I’m still recovering from the strep plague of doom so rather than writing a canon post tonight, I’m going to catch up on my review of Jurassic Park.

Oh I’m sorry, I meant Terra Nova.

No I’m sorry, I really meant Jurassic Park.  The new episode opens with Nedry’s car crash complete with rain and the same model vehicle.  And the eaty parts.  Apparently despite living in a dinosaur world, the heavily armed guards were quite surprised to hear rustling in the bushes and a monster swooping down to kill them.  At least, I assume that’s what it did as the scene cut to Dino World Survival for Dummies: making fire and identifying compass moss.  My only guess is they’re trying to establish survival cred of some kind… to convince the audience that it’s totally reasonable for people to travel back in time and not die immediately.

Except it IS totally reasonable since you’re sending them back with INSANELY ADVANCED TECHOLOGY OF THE FUTURE. So long as you keep both hands and feet inside the really tall fence, of course you’ll live.  And if you want to go outside the fence, well it’s survival of the fastest.

Later that night we have the first downside to life in a prehistoric time period: your cuddly sessions get interrupted by shrieking pterodactyls.

Second advantage: your wife may run into an old buddy from University the next day at work.  Who clearly likes her because she is both Female and a Main Character.  It’s a special pheremone they exude–which is why solider boy is in love with Daughter-who-Knows-Everything-Except-How-To-Tell-if-Boy-Likes-Her.

Meanwhile Taylor and Husband run off looking for the crew that crashed and discover the bodies without eyes.  Ew.  Wife and Old Flame have to work “late” to figure out what did it leaving Husband to try to cook dinner by himself–at which he sucks.

And Boy who Ran off with Girl and got chased by monsters finds a guitar.  And plays it.  Badly.  Probably because it’s not made very well, but it’s made by a guy who had his legs eaten by a dinosaur so I guess we can cut him some slack.

Later there’s another attempt at sexing, and another shrieking dinosaur.  Funniest buzzkill ever.

Hah, and it turns out the shrieking pterodactyls are what killed the men.

Science Guy wants to set up a field team to observe them so they can figure out how to act around them and Taylor clearly wants to kill them all, right? Because that’s the classic tension between Science and Military.

Oh.  No.  Taylor just wants to keep everyone inside the compound.  Science Guy is still mad.  Though I don’t really understand why–it’s like getting mad at your mother for making the perfectly rational suggestion that you not jump in the lion pit wearing a meat dress.

Boy still wants the guitar–which makes me wonder what stopped him from bringing his own guitar in the first place.  I’m pretty sure he had one.  I know I wouldn’t run off to a new world without my books.

And the Mini-pterodactyls are apparently just as annoyed as sappiness as I am because they attack as soon as Boy starts mooning over the girlfriend he left at home.  And science lover boy from the past has figured out its a species wide migration.  There are MILLIONS coming.  Ha, and they’re coming back to spawn.  They built Terra Nova on their breeding ground.  That’s hilarious, and is a nice mirror to the snuggly-blocking the pterodactyls were doing the first night.  Turnabout is a bitch.

Blah blah blah synthetic pheremone, they lead all the birds away from Terra Nova and Girl Who is Not Old Girlfriend Still in the Future makes a stupid bet under the excuse of giving Boy 60 Terra Nova bucks so he can buy the stupid guitar and assault her ear drums all day long.

OH and Science guy named the Pterodactyls after himself.  You know, because he wants to be the guy interrupting Husband and Doctor Wife from relations.  Did you get that?  Did ya?  Did ya?

Anyway, show is still pretty stupid.

Steve Jobs

Christmas, 1991. The big present that year was ostensibly for my brother and me, but really it was for my father. An Apple IIe. Or was it c? We still have it, upstairs among boxes of Christmas ornaments and athletic equipment. I used it to start an unknown number of novel projects, all terrible. You know the story you’re supposed to never write? Two kids digging in a field discover something? Yeah. My first. It was a dinosaur bone.

Mr. Jobs, you invented the technology I dreamed of. Though I don’t think typing on the iPad is a “dream” as you say, it is the coolest of toys I have ever toyed. Every day is Christmas in a fantasy cartoon where all information, music, ideas, writing apparati is available to me. You gave me Penny’s computer book. You gave me Star Trek. You gave me the SUPERIOR of those things.

Thank you. If there is a heaven, may it be bright and shiny and wireless.

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