Tag Archives: Dollhouse

What sells better?

That is the question that was racing through my mind today. We all know (or have heard of) the expression ‘Sex sells’. It is used to market, to advertise and to entice (usually the men). But what if that is merely the setting? What if in actuality fantasy is the part that sells better? I had a small daydream this afternoon. I was in Toronto and I was chosen to be the backup goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs (yes, the dream is not very realistic). I was sitting in some cafe, the staff was nice and suddenly addressed by Sheldon Keefe (their coach) and he said to me “Lawrence, today your most desired dreams becomes a reality”, my dry response was “What? You arranged a weekend of wild and passionate sex with Laura Vandervoort?” The team was howling with laughter and the coach deadpan response was “Well almost most desired then” and I was given the 62 Jersey to be the backup goalie that week, and lets face it, not unlike my blog name, if we want to have a fantasy, lets go for the really satisfying ones. 

So there I was with my jersey there were a few other jokes and giggles after that I woke up from my daydream (without the LV special), such is life. But the dream stuck and when I was watching someones drawing of Alice in wonderland I started to put things together. What if we are not looking at a porn or some sex movie, but what we used to call in the old days a soft porn movie (all innuendo and little or no show, except for the boobies). What if the movie is a new take in Alice in Wonderland? We go through the motions (or Alice does) and the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, the rabbit, they are all men with masks and onesies. A movie that is like not some cheap movie, but high end special effects (not unlike The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) and a storyline that does follow the book, but with a twist at the end. The end being that [CENSORED]

A stage that reminded me of a movie that impacted with me, Jacob’s Ladder. So what happens if Virtual Reality takes over our lives too much? There are settings (Elite Dangerous) where I would love to have the hardware to do just that, but the hardware for now is too expensive and (for now) not immersive enough. So when that changes (most likely in 2-3 years) what are the applications? What happens when we can dig into the fantasies of any person (like The Cell) 

So what can we learn? I am not merely thinking healing, but interrogations, information retrieval and a few other avenue’s. So when we take the stage and turn on the fantasy, what could be achieved? We have seen this in the past but always as the end goal, as far as I can tell it was never used as a mere waypoint. Why was that? It cannot be the limit of Hollywood, it could be the limit of any producer yet I believe that this path could lead to a load of green as the faith of Americans go. I believe that there is a host of options here, and as streaming channels are competing more and more, whatever we can do that is truly original is one that streamers will entice, I merely hope that they wake up before they cancel the series too soon (way too many examples) because it is the slow start and the deep story that entices a crowd and engages them. Not the Marvel versions. This is not me having a go at Marvel movies, because I love them, but there is more and that part is not explored, or perhaps explored too little. I personally would have loved where Dollhouse season 3 would have taken us. Eliza Dushku, Dichen Lachman, Enver Gjokaj, Tahmoh Penikett, Fran Kranz, Olivia Williams, Harry Lennix and Amy Acker were all beyond good, the story was engaging and enticing, yet we were sold short, a cancellation after season 2. So will a new approach to Virtual Reality as a weapon make it? I honestly do not know but as far as I can tell no one took that route and in a stage where games can almost take us there, the lack of such a direction seems like a loss.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, movies, Science

A staircase not finished

I feel like I am in a two story apartment, but I cannot get to the other floor because the staircase was never finished, I can get up, but not all the way, I see the other floor, but I cannot get there. Perhaps you have had that feeling. I got that when I saw Defying Gravity season 1, a season 2 was never made and it saddens me. The story had a great start, plenty of mystery and we saw (through CGI) walks that reality is not ready for (Venus). The story seems Wonky, but I feel that there will be more, or there should be more. Especially in light of what I am setting up (Keno Diastima), I feel that it is important to know what more there is. I feel that there are two reasons. The first is that I want to remain original, which as far as I know, I am. The stage of the story is now in (rough lines) in season 3. Three seasons all eight episodes all seasons 2 double episodes of (hopefully) nearly an hour. In ones mind time works differently, the min seemingly wants to use the big brush when you revisit thoughts again and again (highly annoying). Even as the series is making a wink at Rendezvous with Rama (Arthur C. Clarke, 1973) it is not a copy, it has its own storyline, but the idea of getting confronted with a place with alien symbology mesmerises me. For me season 1 was the hardest, I wanted to keep one surprise to the end of season 1 and to make sure that the setting was not too boring (it has the speed of a Stephen King story), so it is not about high action and most other series rely on Reagan, ehh, I meant ray-guns to settle the score is enticing, but I want the psychological element to be much more important. It is what enticed me to Defying Gravity. It is also something I had hoped to continue, perhaps it drove me to set the stage to Keno Diastima, but it is a stretch, you will see that in episode three (at the end). Yet no matter where we are, the stage of loneliness, abandonment and isolation, being pushed in one direction and connection to another person, in a place where only 8 are (and 8 added later on) gives us more to consider, gives me more to probe and that is in setting where we need to consider that scientists and business driven people tend to not ever connect. The business person requires the push of profit and gain, the scientist yearns for discovery and verification. You might think that I am exaggerating. Yet consider the dominant outgoing task oriented person (sales) versus the reserved steadiness people oriented person (support), that is not a conversation that connects, often it never ever connects.

I have seen it too often, one is all about profit and sales, the other about making sure the person got the right tool to get the job done. Now put these two in a place where they do not know where the are, what they are doing and how they got there and watch the sparks fly. Now give them a basic sign.

It is like the Dutch reading board that we used in the first grade in 1968. Now give that same reading board to a person 25 years older, change the images and make the text Sanskrit, all whilst the images are optionally text as well. You might find the parts of the text you need, but what do they mean? And everyone around you is in your shoes, they are all at a loss, so how to get momentum and the insight that you are doing something right? 

That is the stage we optionally see and to get to the better spot to make progress we need the staircase, but how to voice the symbology to get a staircase? And that is merely the beginning of a larger stage that goes in a direction you never foresaw. So how will the journey continue? I feel that it continues by making every choice and adventure and one of verification. Perhaps it will never continue, perhaps it becomes another Defying Gravity, another Dollhouse, which was on route to optionally become great, if only season 3 had become a reality. And perhaps it will be the winning ticket and Keno Diastima becomes a complete story with 5 (or 6) seasons. I have no idea, but it is something to work towards. For me it is a way to fix/jumpstart my creativity and I need that as I have two more 5G devices to consider, getting the total sum to 5 devices (1 now public domain).

Leave a comment

Filed under movies, Science

The insanity of Trolls

I have had my issues with many things, in some cases I was on one side where I lashed out at Yves Guillemot to some extent, not because he did something ‘wrong’ but as CEO, he is the main in charge, the buck stops at HIS desk! The fact remained (as I saw it) that an amazing concept like Assassins Creed got squandered in several ways. My criticism was always with a level of decency and it was always supported with evidence, evidence as I saw it. There were never any death threats, or threats against the person, because in the end, it is just a video game and I reckon Ubisoft broke its own glasses of profit, which is the jest of it.

Today I viewed the article ‘Joss Whedon Quits Twitter; James Gunn Responds‘ (at http://geeknation.com/joss-whedon-quits-twitter-james-gunn-responds/). I am slightly beyond outrage at this point. To illustrate this, we need to look at some of the achievements of Joss Whedon.

Buffy, seven seasons of amazing excellence, vampire movies were taken to a new level and Sarah Michelle ‘the Slayer’ Gellar would become the idol of many men and even more women. The series is still rerunning on many channels on a global scale and every now and then forums bump back alive the desire for a high resolution remastered Blu-ray edition.

Angel would become a first spinoff, not as successful, but still respected in the fantasy world. Whedon puts together a cast that rocks solid and it would herald the continuation of a lifelong career of David Boreanaz beyond Angel who is still going strong after almost 20 years.

Firefly is the result of creativity from creator Joss Whedon and the cast that would reunite in his projects again and again. Scrapped before its time, studios are still learning today what a stupid mistake they made, like Buffy re-runs of this series are ongoing and the fans remain loyal beyond measure. Nathan Filion and the Firefly caste are still the highly sought events in every Comic-Con, even now 12 years later.

Serenity is the movie that tied a lot together and should be regarded as an amazing gesture towards the Firefly fans (it was no box office hit)

Dollhouse is perhaps the least understood diamond in the crown of Joss Whedon. It was dropped by executives who seemed to have a limited brain capacity and no comprehension beyond mind controlled ‘sex-dolls’. Whedon shows here how technology unleashed could be the end of us and end many ways of life. What was likely to have been a 4 season gemstone showed a second season trying to fit it all so the fans had a decently complete picture. Amy Acker, Eliza Dushku, Dichen Lachman and Olivia Williams are the female titans each with a role to play, the male side with Harry Lennix, Tahmoh Penikett, Fran Kranz and later Alan Tudyk show us a story that is almost unparalleled in depth. It is a story with a ‘neuromancer ‘ difference, one that sounds almost plausible enough to be scary.

Joss Whedon was able to add ethical undertones to the story that makes this gem an absolute must.

Now we get to the first Avengers movie. It is the second true superhero comic (with multiple hero’s) that comes to life in many ways (after the X-men). The story was amazingly good (for a comic book) and the interaction was like seeing comic books actually coming to life, I saw it in the cinema and after that a dozen times on Blu-ray. Like in the comic books we see ego and strife taking part in the story on the big screen too. Like the comic books, we see events that are just too good to ever forget. Many people will forever see Loki who is playing Tom Hiddleston with virtual Mark Ruffalo, played by the Hulk who picks up Hiddleston and makes him ‘one’ with the concrete floor, the ‘puny human’ quote gave way to loud laughs in the cinema. It will remain a priceless gem forever! The Avengers showed to me and too many others that comic books can come to life (through special effects). We all agree that the cast (all of them) did an amazing job, but we all know that without the visionary view of Joss Whedon, this movie would never have been the success it became. It ended up being the third most successful movie ever (source: Box office Mojo), with only Titanic and Avatar surpassing the financial Avengers results.

Now we have Age of Ultron. Here we see the team growing through the same actors, the same visionary director, whilst adding the three Avengers we missed the first time around. The Maximoff’s (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch), both excellently played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elisabeth Olsen. It is hard to compare to the comic books, because the Avengers have been around so long. Missing is Ant-man (but he is coming in his own movie first), Wasp, Black Panther (another upcoming person in his own movie first) and Black Knight. There are so many more members as the team evolved from the 60’s onwards. The movie is an excellent piece of work, there are many sides and even though these movies survive by special effects, we are never visibly drowned in those special effects forsaking acting quality.

It is hard to judge whether two is better than one, important is that there is an evolving storyline as we see in the comics. Joss Whedon delivered!

So when I saw that Joss Whedon got hate mail and death threats, I could not believe my ears (or my eyes for that matter). You have to read the story for yourself, but overall, I massively disagree with James Gunn, not because of what he did, but because of the premise that he had to (which in itself is a good thing).

Joss Whedon is a visionary. He brought to life something millions of fans dreamed of seeing in their life time and my generation as such would be alive long enough to see it truly happen on the big screen. He did it with Avengers and does it again with Age of Ultron. I am 100% convinced that he would be able to surpass his previous work if he would be making the two Infinity Gauntlet movies, but that is not to be, it seems (according to IMDB) that this falls to Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, the people behind Captain America, the winter soldier. Or as we can voice it, that movie where Captain America gets slapped around by his former best friend. The movie is an excellent achievement and the subterfuge of Hydra is well portrayed by former Mr Brubaker (a Robert Redford reference). In all these movies, as well as her introduction when Iron Man is a little over his head dealing with Mickey Rourke is Scarlett Johansson who sets down a mean Black Widow. As I see it, she was, is and remains a very strong character. I do not get the hatred over any of this and as such, I very much opposed the words of James Gunn when he writes: “Anger makes us feel “right”. And powerful. But it also usually exacerbates whatever the underlying, more uncomfortable feeling is”.

I would to some degree accept these words, but I saw some of the tweets Joss Whedon received. (a few at https://storify.com/Astojap/wehdon-twitter-hate). The message “@josswhedon ALSO WHY THE FUCK DID YOU JUST PUSH ASIDE NATASHA? YOU COULD HAVE USED HER IN SO MANY GOOD WAYS AND INSTEAD YOU USED STARK“. As well as “@josswhedon I bet you like homestuck you fucking garbage asshole” and these are not even the worst tweets!

They seem to be written by people who are clueless in many ways, some perhaps frustrated and angry for other reasons. I do not care as to the why, I just think that no one needs to accept the abuse Joss Whedon was subjected to.

When I see the accusation of ‘Misogynistic’ and we see Buffy with Buffy and Faith, Dollhouse with Echo, Sierra and November, Firefly with Zoe, Inara and Kaylee. In serenity, we see River getting ‘enthusiastic’ which leads to the quote “Start with the part where Jayne gets knocked out by a 90-pound girl ’cause… I don’t think that’s ever getting old“. I am clueless how Joss is voiced as Misogynistic.

The hatred for Joss Whedon is not just unfounded, it is wrong in many ways. Joss has always given us strong women (not all evenly sane, like Faith in season 3 of Buffy, but that is not the issue). In Age of Ultron we see ‘Black Widow’ Johansson having a soft spot for Bruce Banner and why not (apart from the fact that I am a better dancer then Mark Ruffalo)? And as for soft love interest, when the action starts, she states ‘I love you, but I need the other guy’ and shoves her love interest over the edge of a cliff, and out comes the Hulk, an excellent moment to giggle over!

We should not ignore Elisabeth Olsen either, especially as all but one member of the Avengers get introduced to her ability to boggle their minds, which gets crushed when at the end, when we see the ‘real life’ (the non-Comic book version) view of what Scarlet Witch is able to do.

So, I do not see any valid opposition to the visionary work of Joss Whedon, I also oppose James Gunn, not because what he said and how well he said it (one of the more eloquent writings this year), but the fact that he had to do it. These trolls and hate mail senders are not using their right to free speech. These people are guilty of Psychic Assault (in Common law Australia, New Zealand, UK and Canada). In the US we see a similar situation, where California has California Penal Code 422 PC, where we see how it defines the crime of “criminal threats” (formerly known as terrorist threats).

A “criminal threat” is when you threaten to kill or physically harm someone and
that person is thereby placed in a state of reasonably sustained fear for his/her safety or for the safety of his/her immediate family, the threat is specific and unequivocal and
you communicate the threat verbally, in writing, or via an electronically transmitted device.

Criminal threats can be charged whether or not you have the ability to carry out the threat…and even if you don’t actually intend to execute the threat.

I think it is only fair that the FBI, arrests no less than 50-100 of these people and convict them accordingly. You see, what those ‘voicers’ seem to forget is that these movies are a massive slice of the tax collected, when people like Joss Whedon have had enough and they go somewhere else, then these people thinking in their own small minded self that they executed their ‘right” to free speech is costing the government millions. It seems only fair that they are taking to the district courts and are allowed to experience the consequences of their criminal behaviour.

In my view trolling has been going on for way too long, Anita Sarkeesian, Sara Payne, Claire Cohen, Nicki Minaj, Helen Skelton and now Joss Whedon joins the ranks of trolled people (mostly women mind you). In this list I must take time emphasize two names. The first one is Sara Payne, the mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne. Can you imagine this? A mother dealing with the murder and the funeral of her own daughter getting trolled! How sick can people get? In the second there is Helen Skelton she used to present the BBC children show Blue Peter. Yes, it seems that those relying on ‘free speech’ have done this for an unacceptable amount of time and it is now becoming more and more essential that trolls get introduced to the criminal courts in a very non-virtual way.

I reckon that true fans, now losing out on their idol speaking on Twitter will be an additional source of inspiration in finding out who those trolls really are.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, Law, Media