Tag Archives: space

Movie Review: Alien: Covenant (2017)

Zzzz.  Zzzz.  Zzzz.

That’s my impression of myself sleeping through this boring poopfest.

Sigh, let’s get it over with.  BQB here with a review of Alien: Covenant.

Does Ridley Scott even make movies for the audience anymore?  Sometimes I think they might just be for his own philosophical, navel gazing purposes.

In the original Alien (1979) we saw Sigourney Weaver play space traveler Ripley, taking out aliens with a flamethrower.  Flash forward 38 years and we’ve got friggin melancholy androids waxing poetic about their feelings and beside themselves with ennui.

The first few Alien films were great because they were essentially horror films set in space.  In fact, I caught a clip of an interview recently where Scott said something to the effect that the first film was essentially setting up a haunted house in the form of a spaceship, turning a monster lose in the form of an alien and seeing who makes it out alive.

Alas, now we get films that you practically have to be a philosophy major to understand.

Ironically, 2012’s Prometheus was panned by the critics, arguing it was heavy on the thinking and light on the action.  Personally, I liked it and the questions it asked about the universe, creation, the meaning of life, our place and purpose and so on.

However, I had hoped this film would be a return to form (i.e. give us someone else to shoot a flame thrower at those damn aliens) but sadly, no.  More navel gazing.

In this go around, a ship named the Covenant carries a crew full of colonists in search of a new home world.  They land on what they hope will be their new home but…blah blah blah, they become lunch instead.

Sure, the xenomorphs are given free reign to snack on the humans.  However, most of the human vs. alien scenes are predictable if you’ve ever seen any of the previous films.

Bottomline:  if you see a dude coughing, you know an alien’s going to pop out of his chest and start attacking everyone.  If you see a dude look into a dark hole with a dumb look on his face, you know that face is about to get sucked on by a face sucker.

Those aren’t spoilers.  Those are tried and true Alien franchise rules that have been in effect since the Carter administration.

Michael Fassbender brings a certain level of coolness by playing dueling androids David and Walter, a pair of synthetics who have opposing viewpoints about…well, just go watch it.

For the most part, it’s an ensemble cast, mostly filled with newcomers and no-names.  Funnyman Danny McBride puts on his serious face as the crew’s pilot, but I keep expecting him to break out into his Kenny Powers persona and whip out his junk, drink a beer and burp or do something else hysterically outrageous.  Spoiler alert: he doesn’t, so we can only assume that Danny is trying to expand on his range as a thespian.  He does well, though I hope this doesn’t mean an end is coming to his Kenny Powers-ian style characters in the future.

Billy Crudup plays Captain Oram, a by the book dweeb disliked by his crew.  We’re lead to think that angle might go somewhere but it doesn’t and ultimately, it’s such a large cast filled with either unrecognizable (never saw them in anything) or vaguely recognizable (I know I’ve seen that face in another film but I have no idea who they are) that none of the characters really get enough screen time to grow, develop, or even become moderately interesting.

If there is a new age Ripley in the movie, it’s Katherine Waterston’s Daniels, a crew member who, umm, uhh…yeah we don’t get to learn much because again, she’s one of a much too large cast.  But she has some great scenes where she kicks ass and saves a day and so on.

I really think Scott has to go to his room and think about what he has done and what the future of this franchise should be.  Should he return to its “haunted house in space” origins?  Tempting but difficult, seeing as how, as stated above, the rules about how these aliens attack have been well known since 1979 so we can spot them coming from a mile away.

Should the franchise continue to expand upon the philosophical “Why are we here?” type questions?  Possibly, though frankly, I spend most of my time trying to distract myself from the fact that I’m little more than a tiny, insignificant little gnat stuck to the giant, overreaching windshield of the space-time continuum, so I really don’t need a pair of depressed, ennui laden, morose androids reminding me.

Plotwise, it’s all kind of slapped together and relies on you remembering what happened in Prometheus, which is unrealistic because I can’t remember where I left my car keys half the time.  (Wait, let me check the fridge.)

Scott does increase the alien attacks over the last film.  But he also continues the philosophical hullaballoo so it seems like he was confused as to whether he wanted a thriller or a thinker, so he tried for both and in the end, scored neither.

I will give the film this.  The scenes where Michael Fassbender plays two different versions of himself are great and the technology that can allow an actor to do this has really come a long way.

Otherwise, hold your nose because it’s a big stink-a-roo.

STATUS:  I hate to do this.  I don’t want to do this.  Ridley Scott, why are you making me do this?  It’s not shelf-worthy.  There, I said it.  And that’s not fair, because I have given shittier films shelf-worthy status because I’m a nice guy and I don’t want to be rude but you know, I expected less from those films and more from this one.  I really thought this would be good but at best, it was blah.  It’s worth a rental but don’t rush out to the theater for it.

I think this might be a sign of what we can only hope will be the end of Hollywood’s never-ending sequel/prequel/reboot obsession.  There’s only so many ways to spice up and reheat leftovers before they congeal into a big pile of crap.  Sometimes the pizza tastes good the first time and even better cold but then after the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh return to that box buried in the dark corner of the fridge, the pieces begin to taste stale and dry and hey, is that mold growing on my 38 year old pizza?  Whodathunkit?

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Will We Ever Get to Mars?

Will we ever get to Mars, 3.5 readers?

If so, what will we do when we get there?

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Movie Review – Life (2017)

Ryan Reynolds.  Jake Gyllenaal.  A murderous space amoeba.

BQB here with a review of Life.

Our tale begins on a happy note.  The crew of the International Space Station has received a sample of soil taken from Mars and returned via a probe.  It contains what seems to be a great scientific discovery, namely living bacteria – proof that life exists beyond Earth.

The crew seeks to study this life form but alas, said bacteria has other ideas in mind.  It’s essentially a high paced monster movie in space, as the crew try to save themselves while also trying to keep the life form from reaching Earth.

One observation is that this is really an ensemble cast.  Reynolds and Gyllenhaal are the two most recognizable stars, but they don’t drive the focus or action of the film.  Crew members Sho, Miranda, Kat, and Hugh (Hiroyuki Sanada, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya and Ariyon Bakare, respectively) all get their chance to shine.

Reynolds of Deadpool fame is snarky as always.  One day I’d like to hear the story of why a good looking dude (I’m not gay it’s just an observation) still tries so hard.  Handsome/beautiful people tend to coast on their looks – in my opinion.  Yes, I am discriminatory against the beautiful.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Worth a trip to the theater.

 

 

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Video Game Rack Fighter – Mass Effect Andromeda

By: Video Game Rack Fighter, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Video Game Correspondent

Hey 3.5 readers.  VGRF here.

I just wanted to share the trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda.  That’s right, the video game that redefined the whole RPG genre and turned it up on its butt is back in a big way.  Choose your own style, your gender, your team, your gear, your love interests, whether you are good or evil.  There are most likely plenty of blue lesbian space babes.  I know Bookshelf Q. Battler spent most of his 20s staring at the blue lesbian space babes, but he can’t do that anymore because he has a book to write.  Multiple books actually.  He really needs to get to work.

Did you play the original trilogy, 3.5?  I was very impressed with it.  It was groundbreaking for its time, the amount of choices you were allowed to make and how the tiniest deviation could create a whole different game experience.  Even more, the decisions you made in game one carried into two and three.

Impressive stuff.  I’m looking forward to it.  While BQB will be slaving away to entertain his 3.5 readers, I will be exploring the universe and boldly going where no woman has gone before, namely, a nerd’s bedroom.  Zing!

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Daily Discussion with BQB – The Government Doesn’t Have a Space Alien in Captivity

Hey 3.5 readers.

So this post isn’t meant to be a referendum on Trump.  Complain about politics on your own time.

This is a post about aliens, or more specifically, whether or not that US government has one in captivity.

I always figured that if the government does have an alien, they’d probably show it to the president right away.  A new presidents first days are, I can only assume, filled with all sorts of lackies, henchmen, bureaucrats, operatives etc. coming up the the president and being all like, “OK sir, there are few people in the world who know this and we are now going to tell you and it is going to blow your mind.”

So anyway, if we do have an alien, I don’t think Trump would be able to hold back on that one.  He’d totally get on Twitter and be all like, “Just met Meepzorp and boy is that guy’s head yuge!  He’s a really classy extraterrestrial, let me tell you.  All of my intergalactic beings are fantastic.  Hillary didn’t even get to meet Meepzorp.  #sad.”

That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.  As a nerd, I never knew if we had an alien or not, but if we did, it would not surprise me, but now I don’t think we do because Trump would have posted a photo of himself with the alien by now.

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Mighty Potentate Transmission #1

STAND BY FOR A TRANSMISSION FROM THE MIGHTY POTENTATE, SUPREME INTERSTELLAR OVERLORD AND ALSO NOT A SHABBY DANCER

3…2…1…ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY POTENTATE!

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Greetings pitiful humans.

The Mighty Potentate here, once again confirming the existence of alien life, though I’m not worried any of you will catch on as only 3.5 of you read this blog.

Frankly, that’s what I’m hear to talk about.

Still not a big fan of all the reality television that your incompetent ass rock of a planet has been beaming out into the cosmos, 3.5 readers.

Why, just the other day I turned on my space television in the hopes of finding a decent scripted show only to find the following reality based drivel instead:

  • Who Wants to Win a Colonoscopy? – The gist is exactly as it sounds. Competitors fight for the right to have the inner workings of their hiney canals broadcast on television. Is there no level you dim bulbs will stoop to for fame?
  • Cat Hoarders – Like the regular Hoarders show but the guests hoard cats.  Cats under the beds, cats in the closets, cats in the walls, cats everywhere. So many cats.
  • Intervention Intervention – Literally, a show about interventions for people who are addicted to holding interventions. How has your species survived this long?

3.5 readers, I grow concerned that I might actually have to invade your dumb planet just to stop the spread of your insipid reality television.

First, another year is about to end and Bookshelf Q. Battler has yet to publish a novel.  I still maintain that he is the chosen one and that he will one day write a novel so well written that you will all abandon reality television and favor scripted media instead.

Second, has anyone heard from Alien Jones? I heard a rumor that your greatest earth country has elected a reality TV star as its potentate but I haven’t been able to confirm it and Jones has not been returning my calls since last Tuesday.

It’s like that little green weirdo is trying to avoid me for some reason. Strange.

Anyway, 3.5 readers, continue to slap BQB around and urge him to keep writing his novels so that reality television can be abandoned and your pitiful planet can be saved.

Potentate out.

END OF TRANSMISSION.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Are We Alone in the Universe?

Good morning 3.5 readers.

Are we alone in the universe, or does alien life exist?

I think it does. It has to. Space is so ridiculously enormous.

The problem is that space travel is filled with so many problems that it isn’t as easy as just hopping in a space ship and traveling around the universe the way they do it in the movies.

Interstellar was probably the most realistic attempt at portraying deep space travel that we have seen in a movie.

It takes too long. Time occurs differently and so on.

But I think space is so vast and there are so many planets that there has to be intelligent life out there.

It is possible that those aliens are douches that would take us over.

In fact, the Mighty Potentate has declared he will take over Earth if I don’t get my novel written.

And Alien Jones is also real so I suppose he’d be offended by the suggestion that he isn’t.

But I think what’s more likely is that there are aliens like us – beings that do mundane, trivial things.

There are probably aliens that have television shows, movies, they go to work and live boring average lives.  Some of them may even be nerd aliens who write blogs for 3.5 alien readers.

There would be cultural differences. We’d have things they’d never heard of.  They’d have stuff we’ve never heard of. But on the whole, we’d probably have a lot in common.

Battlestar Galactica was an attempt to portray this.  Humans lived on (was it twelve?) planets and they had lives similar to ours…but they also had inventions, ideas and customs that were different.

Are aliens (besides AJ and MP, who are a given)  out there?  If they are, do we want to meet them?

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Will the Presidential Candidates Reinstate the Space Program if Elected?

Hello 3.5 readers.Space-Shuttle.png

If you’re a nerd like me, then you’re aware the U.S. Space Shuttle program has been shut down since 2011.

I suppose there are arguments for that. The economy is in the crapper. We just, well I want to say wrapped up the war in Iraq but it doesn’t look very wrapped up, and there’s an ongoing war in Afghanistan, both wars have been costly.

Schools are on the decline. People are broke as hell and can’t find jobs.

So I get it. People don’t like seeing money being spent on space under these circumstances.

However, I’d counter that if the money isn’t going to the space program then it’s just going to some other politician’s pet project because there’s really no such thing as cost savings in the government.  The politicians just take moolah from one program and put it in another program.

Then they take you, the American taxpayer and turn you over and shake you up and down until all your spare change falls out.

But I digress.  Let’s not go negative. Let’s go positive.

Here are some reasons WHY the space shuttle is important:

  • We can learn all kinds of scientific shit about space and in the process of building all this technical space shit, we’ll see greater advances in engineering, robotics, etc.
  • The country is so divided right now that a successful space launch might make us drop all of our anger and hatred and give each other hugs right in the middle of the street.
  • Maybe there are friendly aliens we could meet who could give us the cures to cancer, herpes, syphilis, toe nail fungus and teach us how to make pizza in zero gravity.
  • You know that asshat Putin is probably going to launch his own space shuttle mission and while he’s up there in space he’ll take a picture of his butt with the words “America Sucks” written on his cheeks in magic marker. Then he’ll tweet that shit out to the world and make America a laughingstock. Even worse, many people will be lead to believe that America, does in fact, suck.

We need to get the space shuttle back up there, people.

So, as a world renowned poindexter, I’m taking it upon myself to tweet the three remaining presidential candidates, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders and ask them if elected, will they reinstate the Space Shuttle program?

My tweets:

I don’t want to brag, but as the caretaker of a magic bookshelf, I have a certain amount of pull when it comes to world affairs (that amount being absolutely zero), so surely one of these fine, upstanding political types will respond and give me the thumbs up or down as to whether or not the Space Shuttle will be pulled out of moth balls under their watch.

I’ll keep you posted, 3.5 readers, and if anyone gets back to me, I’ll let you know.

P.S. – 3.5 readers, feel free to follow me on Twitter – @bookshelfbattle

Meanwhile, feel free to gab away in the comments about whether or not you think the space shuttle program should be reinstated but if you could do me a favor and not use this post as an excuse to verbally bash the candidate you don’t like because on the million to one chance one of their assistant’s assistant’s assistant’s assistants takes a peak at this post I’d like them to see an invite to participate in a legit conversation about the space shuttle program and not a complaint session about the candidates.

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Happy Star Wars Day

By the way, since this is a nerd blog it is imperative that I wish you all a Happy Star Wars Day.

Maythe4thBeWithYou nerds

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Alien Jones Checks In

Greetings Earth Losers.

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The Esteemed Brainy One plays Candy Crush on his Space Phone

The Esteemed Brainy One here, blogging from Kemphos 91, where an uprising has occurred due to a lack of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Yes, that’s right. You’d be surprised in the vastness of space, that such seemingly trivial things are capable of generating interplanetary conflicts but here we are.

Keep in mind that the Kemphans require a constant supply of peanuts or else they break out into spontaneous song and dance numbers, which sounds like fun, but then they do it for days until finally their heads explode.

I’ve seen it happen. It isn’t pretty. It’s like being front row at a Gallagher performance.

Kemphos 1-90 really needs to fork over some of their peanut reserves to 91 but until then, I have to do my best to keep the peace.

Apologies for not writing more this year, Earth losers, but I just haven’t had the time. Disorder has been breaking out all over the cosmos this year. It’s very unsavory.

In the meantime, please assist me with my mission to launch BQB’s writing career. The sooner BQB is an established writer, the sooner the Mighty Potentate will get off my back.

Did I say get off my back? I meant to say until the Mighty Potenate can be pleased by another one of his genius plans coming to fruition.

All hail the Mighty Potentate.

Here’s where you can find Bookshelf Q. Battler on the inter webs.

LIKE BQB ON FACEBOOK

FOLLOW BQB ON TWITTER 

PUT BQB IN YOUR GOOGLE PLUS CIRCLES, BECAUSE YES, GOOGLE PLUS IS STILL A THING. I KNOW, RIGHT? WHO KNEW?

AND READ BQB’S STORIES ON WATTPAD – HE IS @bookshelfbattle

Humans, I don’t want to put any pressure on you, but your likes and follows will help keep the Mighty Potentate’s plans to conquer the Earth at bay.

Technically, I’m not allowed to criticize the Mighty Potentate, but let’s just say that he literally solves all political problems by vaporizing his opponents.

Not exactly a boon for democracy, but it does make for fun prime time debate viewing.

Thank you 3.5 Earth losers.  I’ll be back sometime this summer to answer your questions, so keep them coming.

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