Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Opinion: Warnings make smokers behave


              Trying to defend smoking cigarettes is the equivalent of challenging Mike Tyson to a fight. The negative health effects of smoking are well documented and accepted as absolute truths.
            The question facing Midland College is do we make the campus smoke-free or enforce the current smoking policy? I'd advocate the latter of the two options. The current policy, if enforced, addresses the issues with second-hand smoke and allows smokers to be on campus.
            I have been smoking for 13 years and tried quitting several times. Stressors from life, deaths of loved ones, divorce or financial problems have brought the habit back. Recently, the pressure of returning to college after a long absence has caused me to pick the habit back up. Taking a smoke break allows me to have an excuse to take a "breather" from homework and studying. I am worried about the health risk and have contemplated quitting.
            Smoking and second-hand smoke has been linked to most types of cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke and COPD. Smoking causes about 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and women. About 80 percent of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are caused by smoking. The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in men and women in the United States. The problem is that people still smoke and MC needs to decide how to handle the smoking policy.
            The current MC smoking policy only permits smoking in more than 15 designated areas around campus. These designated areas are identified on the campus map in the catalog. MC policy prohibits the use of all types of smoking products, including electronic cigarettes, outside of the designated smoking areas.
            The confusion comes from having ashtrays outside the smoke zones, and not distributing the maps. Smokers do not know where they can or cannot smoke; most students neglect to read the catalog. Many smokers have switched over to the electronic cigarettes or vapor pens because they are "supposedly" healthier. It's a common misconception that they can be used anywhere.
            Most smokers do not enjoy being addicted to cigarettes, and they do not like smelling like an ashtray. They feel guilty for having a disgusting habit, and they are aware that most people think they are crazy for smoking. Making MC a smoke-free campus not only alienates student and faculty smokers but it create unnecessary tension and stress in them as well. Enforcing the current policy is a better option.
            Handing out warnings and a map of designated smoke zones, to students and faculty in violation will go a long way to enhance the current policy. After the first warning, a ticket could be issued. Knowing about a fine would motivate smokers to learn where they can smoke and would protect non-smokers.
            I feel comfortable with this type of policy. I do not smoke in my house or my car, and not around children. I believe smokers should be respectful to those around them. I understand why some students and faculty members want a smoke-free campus, and it comes from smokers being disrespectful.
            The best option to keep MC open to everyone would be to enforce and spread awareness about the current policy.

Opinion: Men unite to Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

            Pepper-spray, rape whistles, personal alarms, stun-guns, anti-rape condoms, and most recently a nail polish that detects date rape drugs help deter sexual assaults. Women, often, see every unknown male as a potential threat. 
            A full-time student, who also works full-time as a waitress, shared a horrifying story during class. Normally she does not have the time to do her hair or makeup. One day, she found the time, and went to work made up. She felt confident, made a few more tips, and had a good night. After closing, she walked to her car and saw a note on the windshield.
            The note said: “I just wanted to let you know, I got my eye on you and your p----." She no longer felt safe; confidence and happiness were replaced with fear and violation. Another woman in the class, obviously upset, said “Just because you wore makeup.” This woman wasn’t blaming the victim and was simply frustrated because the one day she dressed up she was violated. The way it was said struck me at my core.
            This had nothing to do with her wearing makeup. It had everything to do with the person who left the note. That person either had no idea what is acceptable behavior, or actually believed that it was a flattering comment, or even worse, knew that it was wrong but did it anyway. It was easy to hate this person, but then our culture helps create this person's attitude and it is part of a larger problem.
            According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, there is an average of 237,868 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year. That is one every two minutes. Sixty percent of sexual assaults are not reported to police and 97 percent of rapists will never spend a day in jail. Approximately two-thirds of the assaults are committed by someone known to the victim; 38 percent of rapists are a friend or an acquaintance.
            According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (2008-2012), sexual assault has fallen by more than 50 percent in recent years. Does that mean we went from one rape every minute to every two minutes?
            Why do women fear men? The answer is sadly, because we, as men, have allowed our society to become perverse and corrupted. Some might argue that rape has always existed, but should we sit idly by and just shrug?
            Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
              Awareness has spread in recent years. Frank Baird created Walk a Mile in Her Shoes in 2001. According to the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes website, "What started out as a small group of men daring to totter around a park has grown to become a world-wide movement with tens of thousands of men raising millions of dollars for local rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters and other sexual violence education, prevention and remediation programs."
            Men, the next time another guy says something lewd or vulgar, call them on it, regardless of whom it is. Would you allow them to say that about your mother or sister? I'm not advocating confrontation or violence, but silence is the same as outright toleration. If you want to make the world safer for your mothers, sisters and daughters, you have to be willing to speak out.

            For information or help, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or the Midland Rape Crisis and Children's Advocacy Center at 432-682-RAPE (7273). For more information go to www.RAINN.org or www.mrccac.org.

Net Neutrality protects freedom of speech

         
            Imagine a world where corporations control your access to information on the Internet. Net neutrality affects everyone yet the majority have no clue what is or why they should care. There are plenty of corporations that want to keep it that way.
            Net neutrality is the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally. Basically a YouTube video should receive the same treatment by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) as a movie from Netflix or a commercial from Verizon.
Net neutrality guarantees access to content will not be manipulate whether it comes from a non-profit or a major corporation.
            In January the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of ISPs, basically revoking net neutrality. Back in 2010, the FCC had classified broadband as an information service, leaving it up to legal interpretation, and established "Open Internet Rules," which were: 1) ISPs need to be transparent about how they manage network congestion, 2) they can't block traffic on wired networks, no matter what the source; and 3) they can't put competing services into an "Internet slow lane" to benefit their own offerings. The court's ruling removed the last two rules, and the first rule is vague enough that ISPs can avoid it altogether.
            Freed from any legal restraints, ISPs can monitor everything one does and says online, and then sell the information to the highest bidder. ISPs have direct control over your connection to the Internet and the devices one uses to connect to it. Internet users already face a minefield when it comes to online privacy. Social networks constantly change their confusing privacy controls and "free" websites and email providers routinely harvest and sell our personal information to advertisers. The old rules were created to protect Internet users. The January 2014 decision has unraveled these protections.
            Net neutrality has allowed minorities to tell their own stories and to organize for racial and social justice in the digital age. The open Internet gave marginalized voices an opportunity to be heard. But without net neutrality, ISPs can block unpopular speech and prevent dissident voices from speaking freely online. Without net neutrality, minorities will lose a vital platform to shape debates on issues that impact their communities' well-being.
             ISPs have proven that they will censor, block and manipulate information on the Internet if allowed to do so. In 2005, Telus was involved in a bitter labor dispute; the telecom blocked its Internet subscribers from accessing a website run by the union that was on strike against the organization.
In late 2007, Verizon Wireless cut off access to a text-messaging program by the pro-choice rights group NARAL that the group used to send messages to its supporters. Also in 2007, Comcast, the second largest ISP, intentionally slowed down its’ customers' Internet connections. The FCC took legal action against Comcast for abusing its’ customers rights.
During a performance by the rock group Pearl Jam in Chicago, AT&T censored words from lead singer Eddie Vedder's performance. The ISP, which was responsible for streaming the concert, shut off the sound when Vedder voiced his opinion on the current president.
            Altered online information has serious implications for education and educators.
Dennis Sever, vice president of information technology and facilities at Midland College, maintains our network and computer systems. Sever said MC is a part of The Lonestar Education and Research Network and would not be affected by net neutrality. LEARN is a large computer network covering more than 3200 miles of Texas. Mike Phillips, executive director of LEARN, said it was a "digital ecosystem" designed to support research, education and innovation. LEARN is partnered with Google, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, and others. The infrastructure and the partners is what allows LEARN to maintain net neutrality on their network.
            Both Sever and Phillips agreed that the private consumer would be affected by the reversal of net neutrality. Plenty of organizations and groups are petitioning the FCC to re-define broadband. For more information or to get involved visit www.aclu.org or http://www.savetheinternet.com/net-neutrality.

Commentary: Cinema evolves


“Cinema is dead,” director Quentin Tarantino declared at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Tarantino went on to express a general sense of hopelessness for future generations. Tarantino’s focus was digital projection and DCPs as the root cause for cinema’s demise. Tarantino is not the first filmmaker to make this claim.
Cinema is more than 120 years old and has been declared dead numerous times throughout its lifetime. The common thread throughout all of these declarations: the film industry was in a state of change, and the established filmmakers and critics seemed jaded or perhaps jealous of the new innovations that were changing their beloved cinema.
Entertainment as a whole is in a state of change; no one is sure where it is headed but the experts agree that traditional models are no longer going to be the standard. Websites like YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix are changing how audiences watch films and even to some extent why they watch.
A group of kids in Challis, Idaho, can become internationally successful because of a video they uploaded to YouTube. Almost everyone has a phone capable of shooting video and then uploading the video to the Internet.
Perhaps directors like Tarantino, who struggled to become successful and have refined their craft over the last several decades are stunned by how easy the process has become. The challenges that filmmakers faced 20 years ago no longer exist, and the only real challenge is creating something that rises above the noise of all the other junk on the Internet.
We live in a time where anything is truly possible, thanks to crowd-funding websites like indiegogo.com and kickstarter.com. If you want to start a business where you make hats for cats, you can get funding or more specifically to film-making, a lot of indie directors are going to crowd-fund to get the money they need to make their films.
The entertainment is shifting into a new and uncertain future. I can understand why this scares the establishment, but I am excited to see what is around the corner. Perhaps traditional cinema is dead, and while it’s sad, the new form of cinema might just be as artful and profound as its predecessor.

Midland College Students test some fake blood

Netflix on a Nickel 3

Life sometimes gets heavy and thankfully we can take a break by watching movies. Here are some silly and fun movies to check out.


Dabangg 2
             Bollywood is the Hollywood of India, the primary difference is most of their films are musicals. Every genre has a musical counterpart, everything from romantic-comedies to action-flicks are made into musicals.
             Imagine Dabangg 2, as a musical mash-up of Jackie Chan’s Supercop and Rush Hour, it has the over-the-top action sequences and the great comedy cop moments. It doesn't stop there though, it also gives you amazing dance sequences with a catchy musical score.
             Dabangg 2 is the story of Chulbul Pandey, an honorable cop that fights against corruption. Salman Khan, often referred to as the Sylvester Stallone of India, stars as Chulbul Pandey and his performance is thoroughly enjoyable.
             If you want to watch a film that literally has something for everyone, check out Dabangg 2. This is especially true if you think modern action films take themselves too serious and miss the campy cheese of yesteryear.



Troll Hunter
             For the last few years, amazing films have come out of Norway and Sweden (the area in general) consistently. Films like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Let the Right One In did so well internationally that Hollywood did big budget remakes. Troll Hunter is a Norwegian horror/adventure film that I thoroughly enjoyed.
             Troll Hunter is about three students, who enter the Norwegian woods to film a documentary on a bear poacher who claims that he really tracks trolls for the Norwegian government.
             I strongly dislike the self-shot movie, but there are a few exceptions. Troll Hunter is one film to make it work well. All of the trolls are computer-generated, and it is obvious from the beginning. However, the way the filmmakers incorporate practical effects makes up for sub-par CGI. When the trolls slam the ground, dirt explodes or if a giant pushes up against the trees, the actual trees move and bend.
             If you are a fan of creature movies or just love fantasy check out Troll Hunter.


Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
             Combining dark comedies and slasher flicks from the 70s describes Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, starring Alan Tudyk (Frozen, Serenity) and Tyler Labine (Monsters University) as the titled characters. Together the two are hilariously brilliant and make the film fun from beginning to end.
             Expecting to relax at their “vacation” cabin, Tucker and Dale’s trip turns into a nightmare when they are attacked by a group of preppy college kids. The film quickly starts referencing redneck/hillbilly slasher flicks and never loses its edge as it embraces the comedic moments.
             A great introduction to the slasher sub-genre, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is for both people who do not enjoy slasher flicks and cannot get enough.








For the next issue I will be reviewing different TV series that are on Netflix. If you have any suggestions leave a comment. In the meantime, watch more movies!

Netflix on a Nickel 2

Halloween is coming and I've got some spine-chilling, hair-raising and bloodcurdling movies for you to watch. Clear out your queue and prepare to scream, its Horror movie mayhem!

All Cheerleaders Die
            Lucky McKee is a popular name with horror fans; he is credited with creating amazing and shocking new horror films.  All Cheerleaders Die is the definition of modern horror. McKee hits all the appropriate beats while maintaining quality. The beginning of the film starts out as a self-shot teen flick; thankfully that ends quickly.
             A rebel girl signs up a group of cheerleaders to help her take down the captain of their high school football team, but a supernatural turn of events thrusts the girls into a different battle. All Cheerleaders Die is fun and fast-paced while maintaining the gore and scares. While full of superficial jokes and plot devices the film also covers gay rights, bullying, rape and domestic abuse.
             All Cheerleaders Die is a horror film that most people can enjoy but because the target audience is 18-to-21-year-olds it might fall flat for older audiences. 


Contracted
            Some films ask the audience to be patient, with the promise that the film's experience will be rewarding as a whole, Contracted is exactly this kind of film. The pace is slow and the plot slowly unfolds which might bore modern audiences. Eric England, the indie director from Arkansas, wrote and directed Contracted.
            A young girl, Samantha, contracts what she thinks is a sexually-transmitted disease but it is actually something much worse. Najarra Townsend's performance as Samantha is captivating and her emotional journey is a roller-coaster of extreme ups and downs.
            The scares come in the form of the grotesque infection and Samantha's physical transformation. Personally I loved this film and enjoyed it from beginning to end. However, because of the slow pace, it is not for everyone. Fans of infection films should check it out.

Argento’s Dracula
         Dario Argento is famous for combining the grotesque and the beautiful, as he showed in Suspiria. Combining Argento with Stoker seems like a match made in horror heaven, but the reality is quite disappointing.
            Argento’s Dracula has copious amounts of nudity and gore but no plot and phoned-in acting. Thomas Kretschmann plays the infamous Count Dracula like he’s constipated with laryngitis. Van Helsing was played by the legendary Rutger Hauer. While Hauer has the best moments in the film, he seemed to need an oxygen machine or a nap based on his overall performance.
            For an enjoyable horror experience watch the original 1931 Dracula or even the 1992 remake but avoid Argento’s Dracula.

Big Trouble in Little China
            John Carpenter is the horror master, known for Halloween, The Thing, Christine, The Fog, They Live, In the Mouth of Madness, Vampires and The Ward. Few directors have the scope and the longevity that Carpenter has. Not all of his films are horror, and some, like Big Trouble in Little China, combine horror, action and fantasy with generous amounts of humor.
            Big Trouble in Little China is the story of Jack Burton, a trucker who thinks he is a living legend and a self proclaimed ladies' man, as he gets dragged into centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown. The effects are dated and the film is definitely a product of the 80s, but it holds up.
            The film is loaded up with cheese, memorable quotes, and ridiculous over-the-top action sequences. While not a horror film, it will provide an entertaining and fun palate cleanser between horror films this Halloween.


            Have a terrifying and creeptastic Halloween. If you have any movie suggestions leave them in the comments and in the mean time, watch more movies!

(Originally written for Midland College Press a week before Halloween.)

Too busy!

Been super busy the last several months and I haven't been uploading my reviews. So the next few posts are from my Midland College Press Column.

Netflix on a Nickel

I've watched over 2'000 movies and rated over 1,800 on Netflix. I'm going to save you the hassle of bad movies.

Harlock: Space Pirate
            Space pirates and 70s style mixed with CG anime sums up Harlock: Space Pirate. Directed by Shinji Aramaki and produced by Toei Animation, the film is based on the original 1970s manga and anime TV series.
            The plot of this film is hard to understand. The filmmakers set up this futuristic universe where mankind has overpopulated the galaxy and is slowly dying. Billions of dying people decide to return to Earth, a tiny planet that cannot sustain their numbers.
            An intergalactic war breaks out over who has the right to return to Earth. The winners of the conflict declare Earth a sanctuary that cannot be violated.
            Then enters the mysterious Harlock, an immortal space pirate, whose mission is to return to Earth, and his "mission" is at best a weak plot device. The themes range from conservation to redemption but are never fully explored or carried out. 
            The film is sporadically exciting and full of one-sided space battles, with a convoluted story that fails to deliver. The style is heavily influenced by the 70s, and Harlock: Space Pirate is a beautiful anime, but that is its only redeemable quality. 


Sacrament
            The Sacrament was written, directed and edited by Ti West, who directed The Innkeepers and V/H/S. The film was produced by Eli Roth (Hostel) and is one of the best documentary-style horror films of recent years.
            Three journalists trail a man traveling to an undisclosed location to find his missing sister. Upon entering “Eden Parish” and meeting the community’s leader, it becomes apparent to the newcomers that this paradise may not be as it seems.
            The film draws upon cult events like Jonestown and Waco to ground the story in reality. While not a fan of the self-shot style, I admit this one was beautifully executed. The cinematography is believable because the characters are professional journalists. The whole cast is excellent, but Gene Jones’s performance as the community leader was especially captivating. Some horror films tend to be slow or uneven in their delivery; The Sacrament is balanced and well paced.
            The Sacrament is a thought-provoking and disturbing film, and I’d recommend fans of the horror and thriller genres to check it out. However, the religious themes might be offensive to some viewers.


Beyond the Black Rainbow
            I've seen some weird, esoteric art films in my life, but Beyond the Black Rainbow is on a whole different level. This film is a twisted journey through madness. Those of you brave enough to watch it will be rewarded by stunning visuals, mind-bending storytelling and an amazing score. The film was written and directed by Panos Cosmatos. Beyond the Black Rainbow was his directorial debut.
            Viewers are reminded of the greats: Kubrick, Stone and Argento. The colors and set design invoke the sci-fi of the late 70s and early 80s. The optical narratives are bold and take leaps most "modern" directors would never fathom to attempt.
            On the surface, it is a story of a trapped girl and her struggle to escape her life. Buried beneath this is a deep, thought-provoking film tackling issues ranging from death to self-hatred to patricide. Also, the director was trying to make a statement on our culture's need to self-improve beyond reason, a desire to make ourselves perfect to extreme levels, and how that corrupts the powerful and victimizes the weak.
            From the beginning to the end, Beyond the Black Rainbow is visually satisfying. It is a piece of cinematic art that I haven't experienced in many years. While not suitable for everyone, abstract science fiction fans will enjoy this film.

There are a lot of great movies on Netflix. If you have any suggestions leave them in the comments. In the meantime, watch more movies.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Dominion: Renew this show

This week I was incredibly busy and I did not have time for a recap, I apologize. I did get to see this past episode and it was amazing! It had everything that I've come to love about this show in one episode! If I was going to pick an episode to recap and analyze it would be this one. So I still felt the need to post something, and what I came up with was why I think this show deserves a second season.
First of all this show has epic angel fights, who doesn't love epic battles between winged men and women. And the execution of the effects are blindingly brillant. I'd love to give a huge shoutout to the stunt coordinator and stunt team for their amazing work. To the visual effects team and their incredible eye for detail. This show has action and it is beautiful to watch. But wait there is more.
Action is great and sometimes that's all you need but Dominion also has an incredible cast that is so talented that it is mind blowing. From veterans like Anthony S Head to newcomers like Betsy Wilke, the entire cast is incredible and enjoyable to watch. You actually care about their characters and what happens to them. Like Noma....WTF!  LIKE REALLY WTF. Which brings me to my next point.
These incredible actors and actresses have equally talented writers and directors. The story telling over all keeps you invested and on the edge of your seat. You actually can't wait til next week to find out what the hell is Michael going to do with all this death and what's Alex going to do with Noma.. like seriously what is going on there. I am very invested, sorry, back on track. Okay so yeah,  fans of this show understand and I'm willing to bet if you give it a chance you'll get just as into as we are.
Over all this show has everything for everyone. From romance to violence to epic storytelling,  Dominion is great and they deserve a second season. First all the amazing people working on the show need to keep their jobs and we the fans really want to see where this story goes and how the characters will change through the course of their journey.

SO PLEASE SUPPORT THIS AMAZING SHOW AND...

RENEW DOMINION!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dominion: Black Eyes Blue


Another week and it's time for another Dominion recap.  Just want to say thank you for all the support and comments. You guys rock! So Dominion fans let's dive in and discuss another fantastic episode.


That's right, this episode was heavy in the feels department. I had such feels and that's no understatement. But I'm getting ahead of myself. This week's episode is titled Black Eyes Blue and it starts off with Alex showing Michael a captured Clementine, he'd imprisoned her in an abandoned casino vault. Michael is not happy but Alex thinks he can save Claire's mother by performing an angel exorcism. Michael is hesitant and says it's too dangerous. 


David Whele, despite Claire's warning, moves forward with his vote of no confidence in General Riesen. He also decides to confront William about his extracurricular activities. William's hesitation and fear is all David needs to confirm his suspicions.  David threatens to kill all traitors, implying he'll kill his own son. So intense! 



So Alex wants to save Claire's mom, Michael tells him the only way that'll happen is with the....dramatic music and gasp....the Aprocrypha....the what?!? I don't know what it is but it's got an Latin sounding name so it must be some kind of ancient angel killing weapon of epic epicness. Of course Michael doesn't have it but he knows who does.  It's Uriel of course, I'm starting to think Uriel is some kind of archangel hoarder. Michael attempts to barter with Uriel for the epic sounding weapon-thingy. At first she is all in love with the painting he brought but then says she wants something else. 



Yeah suspicions confirmed she wants to ogle Alex's tattoos. After several awkward minutes Alex says it's time to pay up.  She tosses him the Aprocrypha and we get to see the epic weapon and it's a book....wait a book?!? Lame sauce and great it's blank! WTF!? Wait why are Alex's tattoos move and rippling across his back and ONTO THE BOOK!? This book isn't that lame after all. The book belonged to the only prophet to exorcise an angel. Apparently all demonic possession throughout history has really been angelic possession. Mind blown. So apparently in this universe demons don't exist or at least not in the way we traditionally believe.



William disband his cult for the time being. However one of his followers is an idiot and gathers all of the other followers in the secret meeting place and of course David sent his guards in to kill them all. Dumbass. Meanwhile General Reisen and Claire summon Ambassador Arika. They discuss the fact that Helena's grand and great airforce is just two helicopters and one B-52 bomber. Arika doesn't deny this and admits to lying to David, General Reisen works out a deal similar to the one she made with David. I'm seriously thinking Arika has alot hidden up her sleeves and will say anything to survive.



Alex sneaks Claire away and shows her the 8-ball with her mother's face. She gets very angry and wants "it" killed. Alex convinces Claire that her mother is still in there and he can save her.


The exorcism begins and it seems like every other exorcism. Michael holds onto the chain, keeping Clementine under control for the most part. After several agonizing minutes the angel spirit is purged and Claire us reunited with her mother. Yes Alex is the chosen one and he can save everyone! 



Then everything goes from Disney to Game of Thrones real quick. Clementine has a seizure and lays on the floor limp all but for her gasping and slight twitches. Claire blames Alex and Michael isn't surprised at all. WELL FUCK! Thanks for making me fall for this secondary character and then killing her off! I wasn't ready for Game of Thrones level feels! Well shit, back to the recap.



So from the beginning of this episode it's been about General Reisen's counterattack to David Whele's political coup. Reisen summoned the Senate early and laid out Arika's plan and thusly knocks the wind out of David's sails, also the vote of no confidence fails. So pretty good day for General Reisen, until Claire gets home and tells him he done fucked up. She tells him that he's going to step down and she'll resume duties as Lady of the city. While all this drama is happening William finds his dead or dying cult followers.  They managed to kill their attackers,  William recognizes them as his father's guards. DING DING IT'S TIME FOR ANOTHER SHOW DOWN! 



David v. William, Father against Son and who will win. My money is on David cause the man is ruthless. So William pulls a gun on his father, whom replies with "...you were destined to be a curse, weak, useless..." David laughs at his son and believes he won't shoot. Then William beats David with the gun until he passes out. So David wakes up in the cult hide out, they initiate him by breaking his ribs. So......is he a convert or what? I'm happy he's still alive but William done messed up.



Michael tells Uriel to keep the tattoos in her head. The tells her the "Vermeer" is hers...what ever that is. So after confronting her father Claire returns to her mother's body not speaking to Alex as she passes him. She hums a song from her childhood as she smothers her mother.



So much feels! How are you holding up after this intense episode? What do you think is next? Could this event be what leads Alex to Gabriel? Please let me know.

Following blogs are where I got my pictures also follow them for more Dominion news and pics 


Dominion
"Black Eyes Blue"


Thursdays @ 9/8c on Syfy

The cast is absolutely amazing and I hope this show gets renewed.  


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Why It's So Dangerous


I have never played The Legend of Zelda; this is something that most gamers give me a hard time about. I will state that I started gaming on the NES back in the mid to late 80s, and transitioned to the Sega Genesis by the 90s never going back to Nintendo.  So franchises like Zelda, Mega Man, and Metroid are not staples in my gaming history, mine are Sonic, Ecco, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, so on and so forth. So this past week I decided to go off alone and find out why it's so dangerous.


I played The Legend of Zelda with an emulator on my phone, quickly switching to an emulator on a PC. If you're wanting to know if I beat it or not, the answer is no I did not beat the game.  I did play it long enough to realize that even after 28 years the game play is crisp and challenging,  one of the hardest games I've ever played and at the same time enjoyed every minute of it. I now know why this game is still talked about and how it's invaded all aspects of pop culture. Like all things I like, I got obsessive and did some research.

Here is what I learned:

The Legend of Zelda was first released on February 21, 1986 on the Family Computer Disk System. The game is inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto's childhood memories of exploring the countryside; particularly the discovery of a cave entrance in the middle of the woods. Miyamoto has referred to each Zelda game as a miniature garden for players to play in.


(Photo: Rustenico)

I was also curious about the unique title and where the name came from. Hearing of F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife Zelda,  Miyamoto thought the name sounded pleasant and significant. Paying tribute, he chose to name the princess after her, and title his creation The Legend of Zelda. 

The impact on pop culture ranges from celebrities like Robin Williams naming his daughter Zelda Rae to Jimmy Fallon saying the game is his favorite. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World makes multiple references to Zelda games. Back in 2008 IGN.com released a film trailer for The Legend of Zelda as an April Fool's prank. The game has been referenced on shows like The Big Bang Theory, Psych, The Goldbergs, and even Jeopardy. Video game creators like Hideki Kamiya (Okami) to Peter Molyneux (Fable creator) have stated Zelda games as major influences on their own work. 



It's always been apparent to me that Zelda was influential to all aspects of pop culture. I just never realized how much and why. I also now understand why some gamers miss being challenged and thus games like Dark Souls are so popular. I loved my time with The Legend of Zelda and I can't wait to start playing it again. Please tell me what you think of this game or others in the series.

The Legend of Zelda (1986)
Developers
Nintendo R&D4

Publisher
Nintendo

Directors
Shigeru Miyamoto
Takashi Tezuka

Programmers
Toshihikon Nakago
Yasunari Mishima
Kazuaki Morita

Writer
Takashi Tezuka

Composer
Koji Kondo


All of my information came from:
and

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dominion: Something Borrowed


It's that time again Dominion fans, this week's episode was orgasmically mind blowing and proves two points: 1)that the writers and producers are extremely talented and 2) there are a lot of kick ass surprises around the corner! So let's dive into the recap.



The episode starts off with what I've been wanting to see since the show launched, badass angel combat training. But unfortunately no 80s training montage and no epic Chosen One powers displayed. Alex is distracted by Bixby's death and the pressure of having the world on his shoulders. Michael is easily able to dispatch Alex. 



They segue into a flashblack where a younger David Whele and family are attacked by 8-balls (lowest class of angels, similar to demonic possession). David looses his wife, two eldest children and almost kills William. Apparently discussing the wedding toast is what caused this flashback. Speaking of the event of the year, the residents of Vega won't shut up about the wedding. Everywhere the wedding this, the wedding that. It's kind of a big deal.


Speaking of the senator most sinister, David makes his play against General Riesen by letting Claire know he is going to ask for a vote of no confidence in the Senate to depose of her father. Her reaction to being informed that soon she may rule Vega isn't exactly a pleasant one. Only if David knew about General Reisen's 8-ball lover that lives just outside the city, Clementine. Yup General Riesen has been seeing a possessed human for years and keeping her like some kind of mistress on the dl. Clementine decides to visit Vega and accidentally kills a shop keeper. 


I'll admit that I didn't expect much from Clementine as a supporting character but she steals the show. Like all mistresses she longs for more, she has stayed out of the war and now her own kind rejects her and humans would kill her on sight. She worries about what will happen when Edward (General Riesen) dies. He reassures her that she will be taken care of.


Clear your mind and use the forc....I mean listen to your tattoos Alex,  the tattoos.....the tattoos. Michael let's Alex know that the reason why he had a vision in jail was because he was cut off from the world. So up in the tower of solitude Alex has another vision, a bloody Bixby begs him to not let anyone else suffer. Meanwhile, David Whele continues to manipulate the pieces on the board by going after Consul Becca Thorn and telling her to vote with him against Riesen or else all of Vega will know about the sick, perverse angel orgies.....that sounds awesome.



Also sweet innocent Claire attempts to manipulate William and fails miserably, however William is in love and promises to attempt to stop his father's political coup. While waiting for his father William attempts to destory some cult paraphernalia but he is interrupted by his father and stashes it instead. The scene plays out like their other father-son moments, William attempts to reasons with his father and his father responds with condemnation. This time however William responds with force,  he clutches his father violently and forces his father to bend so he can kiss his forehead....that's not weird at all.



Becca goes to Michael's tower of orgies...I mean solitude and we get to see some archangel combat excerises, it's really cool and...



Sorry I got distracted. Where was I? Oh yeah, Becca breaks up with Michael. I think Becca wanted Michael to be more argumentative but he is very supportive and understanding. Back at the Reisen house the General finds Clementine in Claire's room. He also found out about the man she killed, he reacts with anger and chases her off. The general pays a visit to Michael, confessing his love of the 8-ball and then asks Michael to kill her quickly and quietly. Poor Clem. 


The hunt for the 8-ball gets called off (because the general order it, so Michael can discreetly take care of it) but that doesn't stop Alex. He's determined to find that monster and kill it. No more victims. Here's where things get crazy, William asked Claire to get his notes (or something) which he left in his father's office. But is he playing his dad? Or did he actually forget? Either way Claire finds the cult paraphernalia and thinks it belongs to David Whele. She uses it as leverage against David, saying she'll expose him as a traitor if he votes against her father. This however tips David off that the actual traitor is his son.



In the dark and dirty alleyways Alex and his friend (another soldier) Noma track Clementine and engage. They injure her but she manages to make to the sewers. Alex goes in alone and confronts Clementine. She pleads and begs for her life. Alex, surprisingly, spares her. Back at the engagement party Claire makes a toast, saying that she wishes her mother was here and that her mother was a great woman. Then they do a close up of the Riesen family portrait. ...CLEMENTINE IS HER MOTHER!!!!!!



I didn't see it coming and like I said I had completely written off Clementine as a weak plot device and not a major part of the whole story. It explains why Edward Riesen had a relationship with an 8-ball. It also paints the general not as a dirty old man but a sad man unable to kill what once was his wife. How did this happen? How will Claire react? How will David Whele use this? What's on your mind? What do you think? Please let me know.

I wanted to give some shoutouts to the blogs/accounts where I find most of my images. Thank you for posting these awesome pictures and gifs. Also thank you for supporting this amazing show. 


Dominion
"Something Borrowed"

Thursdays @ 9/8c on Syfy


Amy Bailey's portrayal of Clementine is spectacular. Her performance creates sympathy for a creature we, as an audience, should hate. I'm glad I was wrong about this amazing character.