Episode 10 – Predator


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Predator
Special ops, probably Delta Force, lead by Arnold (Dutch), go into the Guatemalan jungle on a rescue mission only to find themselves being hunted by an advanced unknown threat. It’s revealed there was no rescue mission, but that doesn’t stop the predator from picking off everyone one by one until only Dutch is left. In an epic balls out Macguyver showdown he forces the predator to self destruct.

Predator 2
LA cop played by Danny Glover goes on a Predator rampage. He thinks it’s rival drug gangs, but soon finds both sides are dying. FBI agent keeps blocking his investigation, but things finally come to a head when Glover finds their secret base and trap. It fails and he fights and finally kills the predator.

Predators
Mercenaries, military, criminals, and a doctor, all the biggest monsters of our world find themselves thrown onto a jungle planet/ game reserve. They have to outsmart three predators and avoid traps and alien hound pigs. In the end they find out the doctor is the most despicable of them and the sociopath that leads them is the most humane, although a bit utilitarian.

Alien v predator
Wayland industries senses a heat signature in Antarctica and sends a team of experts to track down an ancient pyramid. They interrupt a hunting session of predators, taking their weapons and setting the xenomorph free. Of course they were lured there since you can have a bunch of aliens without hosts to incubate them.

AVP Requiem
An alien/predator hybrid, a predalien, perhaps makes it to earth after the last movie after killing the rest of the predators, but not before one sets off a distress call causing Wolf to leave what is presumably their home world to eliminate all traces of alien presence on earth. They then find themselves in a angsty teen drama in a small Colorado town that is quickly overrun by aliens and the predator hunts the aliens and anyone who sees him.

The theme music in this episode is URBAN JUNGLE 2061 by Eric Matyas www.soundimage.org


Episode 9 – The Day the Earth Stood Still



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Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

B&W film about an alien visitor, Klaatu and his killer robot, Gort.

A flying saucer lands in the Washington Mall. Klaatu emerges and gets shot by a trigger happy soldier. In the hospital he tells the president’s secretary he traveled 250 million miles in five months travel to tell all the people of Earth of impending doom.
Klaatu escapes the hospital to live among people and befriends a boy, Bobby. They go to meet Prof. Barnhardt in order to meet the greatest scientists in the world. Arranges a demo of power, all electricity off for a half an hour. Mrs Benson learns klaatu identity but so does her boyfriend. He tells her that if anything happens to tell GORT, klaatu barada nikto.They are caught by the military and klaatu gets shot. She goes to Gort, says the words and he goes and get klaatus body. The spaceship revives him and when they exit the ship, the scientists, the military and media were all there and he tells them the message.

Based on “Farewell to the Master”, by Harry Bates. Spaceship designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Gort’s suit was made of two neoprene suits worn by 7’7” tall Lock Martin to give an impression of seamlessness.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Frozen wasteland. Keanu Reeves. Glowy orb.
Cut to a woman who specializes in extremophiles. She gets rushed by the gov to the site of a ship landing in Manhatten. It’s recorded at traveling 3×10^7 meters/sec up until it landed. Intro glowey sphere thing!!!! And the military. Who shoot the alien and GORT arrives, but is shut down by the injured alien. This part alien part human is “reborn” in surgery as KEANU/KLAATU. The military of course takes over and he owns them with psychic powers. He escapes with Helen and develops some respect for them after meeting Prof Barnhardt. GORT turns into a plague of human eating insects after the spheres collect animal specimens, like an ark. Klaatu saves everyone by sacrificing himself and the ship leaves. SO BIBLEY.

The theme music in this episode is URBAN JUNGLE 2061 by Eric Matyas www.soundimage.org


Episode 8 – Cowboys and Aliens



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It’s 1873 in New Mexico Territory and a man wakes up lying on the ground with complete amnesia. The only thing he knows is that he speaks English and that he can’t get that weird thing off of his wrist. He soon finds out that he is a most wanted outlaw named Jake Lonergan. Then things get weird. Aliens are attacking the town, Absolution, capturing people, and that thing on Jake’s wrist is a weapon.

STARS
* Daniel Craig from James Bond
* Harrison Ford from Indiana Jones and Star Wars
* Olivia Wilde from House

Rotten Tomatoes 43%
https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/cowboys_and_aliens/

IMDB 6/10
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409847/

Based on graphic novel, “Cowboys & Aliens” published in 2006

THE SCIENCE
* Gold
* Aliens
* Ella Swenson
* Shapshifter
* Regenerated her human form in a fire
* Invaders
* Scarfaced alien

THE PRODUCTION
* Budget
* $163 Million budgeted
* $175 Million gross within three months
* Production
* Universal & Dreamwork
* Pitched in 1997 with writer Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, who wrote the graphic novel
* GP released in 2006
* Robert Downey Jr took interest in 2008, but stepped down and Daniel Craig stepped in.
* Harrison Ford added in 2010 and Spielberg helped develop into a big blockbuster feel.

THE THEMES
* Corruption
* Greed
* Conflict with natives
* Man vs other
* Man vs Man

THE GOOD
* Concept and story
* Cheesy tropes

THE BAD
* Harrison Ford
* Every trope ever…

The theme music in this episode is URBAN JUNGLE 2061 by Eric Matyas www.soundimage.org


Episode 7 – Space Truckers

In this month’s episode we talk about Space Truckers. It’s a sci-fi about the last independent trucker in space resisting the power of the company that is trying to take over everything. In the end, he saves the world, but it’s pretty bad. This is one of the lowest rated science fiction movies, but at the same time, we liked it. Enjoy.

The theme music in this episode is URBAN JUNGLE 2061 by Eric Matyas www.soundimage.org


Episode 6 – Alien


The Plot
A crew is brought out of hyper-sleep early to investigate a distress call, one that results in the crew getting massacred and a new kind of alien, xenomorphs, to begin terrorizing the colonies and coveted by the Company for use as a bioweapon.

The Franchise

  1. Movies (1-4)
    1. Alien (1979) xenomorph infests a cargo ship and kills everyone except Ripley.
    2. Aliens (1986) Ripley wakes up having been rescued, but finds out a colony has developed on the Alien planet, which she has to save. Intro of the Queen.
    3. Alien 3 (1992) Ripley crashes on a prison planet and tries to save the population, but finds out she has a queen embryo inside her.
    4. Alien Resurrection (1997) directed by Jeunet and written by Joss Whedon. Ripley is resurrected 200 years later but an error in the process leaves her part alien. The military hopes to weaponize aliens and it’s up to her and a crew of smugglers to stop them.
  2. Comics and graphic novels
  3. Games

The Science

  1. Space travel
    1. Cryo
    2. Tow vehicles with cargo
    3. Mining operations
  2. Aliens
    1. Genetic adaption through endoparasitic breeding
    2. Egg-larva-adult/ queen-drone setup
    3. Uses host’s genes to strengthen own survivability
      1. human/alien
      2. cow/alien
  3. Androids
    1. Ash betrays the crew by order of the Company.
    2. Bishop sacrifices himself for the crew
  4. Computers (Mother)

The Production

  1. Creature design and implementation
    1. H. R. Giger design aliens
    2. First alien had over 900 moving parts
    3. 6’10” actor Bolaji Badejo
    4. Used cow and sheep innards for eggs and facehugger
    5. Both the bloody chest burster scene in Alien and the knife scene in Aliens were done without the actor’s knowledge, making for more realistic reactions
    6. Ron Cobb designed Nostromo
    7. 6 people to puppet the alien, 14 for the queen

The Themes

  1. Man vs self
  2. Man vs other
  3. Motherhood
  4. Sexuality
    1. Phallic and vaginal imagery (HR Giger)
    2. Rape

The Good

  1. Strong female role model of the millennium
  2. Most realistic model on how we’ll travel deep space.
  3. Suspense, Lighting, Sound
  4. The black guy isn’t the first to die

The Bad

  1. They did too many movies
  2. Time line gets screwed up

The theme music in this episode is URBAN JUNGLE 2061 by Eric Matyas www.soundimage.org



Episode 4 – Blade Runner

Blade Runner is a 1982 Ridley Scott film based on the 1968 Philip K. Dick novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”. Kinda. Not really at all actually. There are bioengineered beings with short life spans and their nemesies the Blade Runners, who are government agents that “retire”/kill illegal these replicants. Beyond that there’s not much similarity. It won the prestigious Hugo award and is still considered a cornerstone in neo-noir film.

The Plot

By 2019, replicants are rebelling from their off world slave labor and banned on earth. Harrison Ford stars as Deckard, an agent brought back from retirement in to track down 4 Nexus-6 model replicants. Their life spans are only 4 years long, but these rogue replicants have returned to Earth to try to to extend their lifetimes via the inventor at Tyrell Corporation. Deckard goes to Tyrell and meets his “niece”, an experimental replicant with memories of Tyrell’s real niece implanted. This gives her a better ability to defeat the Empathy test, a test meant to measure emotional response. Love at first cyborg.

The Franchise

Blade Runner 2049 is set to come out in later in 2017 and, somehow, Harrison Ford will be in the movie reprising his role as Rick Deckard.
Novel based on script
Comic book

The Science

1. Bioengineering
2. Cyborg rights

The Spirit Animals

Anyone else notice how every replicant had an animal associated with them? Roy / doves… Pris / racoons… Rachael / Owls… Leon / turtles… Zhora / snakes… Deckard / unicorns… We recognize those critters as nonhuman, and guilt by association, the replicants.

The Production

Lots of product placement – Cuisinart, Coca Cola, Koss, Panam, etc
Use of darkness with lights to give a space feel to the dystopian future, neo noir
Lead actor was meant to be Dustin Hoffman but Harrison Ford was just coming off Indiana Jones and came highly recommended when Hoffman fell through.
Roy Batty was made for actor Rutger Hauer, which Philip K Dick praised.
There are seven official versions of this movie

The Good

Philip K Dick’s blessing
Imagery and character development

The Bad

Almost universally panned by critics at the time… Flop at the box office, too. It took ten years for this movie to pick up steam and start to become a cult classic

Oh, those computers were bad. The photo scanner hooked up to the 6inch color tv? Saying ENHANCE, ENHANCE, ENHANCE… and somehow the image quality of a crap photo could see a freckle on a butt cheek a quarter mile away. And changed perspective, like 3-D magic!

Blade Runner Umbrella

The theme music in this episode is URBAN JUNGLE 2061 by Eric Matyas www.soundimage.org


Episode 3 – Terminator

THE PLOT(S)

Terminator (1984) Once Skynet, the US missile defense system, becomes self aware, it takes over all computers, and launches the nukes, killing most of the world’s population. A Terminator (Series 800, Mark 101) was sent back in time to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, the future mother of John Connor, the leading resistance fighter.

In Terminator 2 Judgement Day (1991) – Failing to kill the mother, Skynet tries again and sends back a T-1000 (liquid metal) Terminator to kill John Connor in 1995. Best villain ever. Future John Connor sends back a reprogrammed T-800 to protect his younger self.

In Rise of the Machines (2003), the T-850 returns (yay Arnold), programmed to protect John and follows Kate’s (future wife of John) orders. We are introduced to the first female terminator, a TX. Nukes are fired and we leave John answering emergency radio transmissions.

Good ending? NOT YET. Next is Christian Bale’s terrible epic, Terminator Salvation (2009). This focuses on the aftermath of the Judgement Day. This movie is very forgettable.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! Terminator Genisys (2015) is a movie that focuses on Sarah Connor, in 1984, who’s been raised by a reprogrammed T-800 (ARNOLD) since she was 9. They to travel to the future (they made a time machine?!) to stop Skynet from happening. Travel to 2017, a year before Judgement Day. Explosions occur, upgrades are handed out, sacrifices are made.
THE FRANCHISE

Movies (1-5)

Tv series – The Sarah Connor Chronicles
In 2008-2009, we follow the adventures of John coming of age in a time when he’s being chased by Terminators, dating girls, and dealing with his fate of being a human resistance fighter. It was cancelled about its second season, and we didn’t even make it that far.

Comics and graphic novels
Games (DOS, Atari, Arcade, NES, Genesis, SNES, Gameboy, PS2/3, Xbox, etc)

THE SCIENCE

  1. AI – The singularity.
    1. Instant or gradual?
    2. Is AI destined to turn on us?
  2. The apocalypse
    1. Fusion bombs – EMPs
    2. Power grid would be destroyed – no power, no machines
    3. Heat would make it difficult to have Skynet in a sufficiently hardened location.
    4. Explained in Rise of the Machines where Skynet is the internet
  3. Time travel
    1. Quantum field generator.
    2. Able to travel back and forward.
    3. Time paradoxes and timelines

THE PRODUCTION

Inspired by a fevered nightmare of metal torso crawling towards Cameron
OJ Simpson was passed up, “Such a nice guy couldn’t play a ruthless killer”
Animatronics – T-800 model from first movie, made from steel and required 4 people to puppet

Inspired partially by Twilight Zone and Outer Limits
Christian Bale was a major contributor to the writing of Salvation and focused on character development versus special effects.
Cameron’s vision was entirely on special effects and visual directing making his movies very artistically well done.

THE GOOD

The one liners (“Come with me,” “I’ll be back”, “Hasta la vista, Baby”)
Crawling torso scene, fight with T-1000 (basically the first two movies)

THE BAD

John Connor portrayal in movies and series
3 latter movies and tv series later seasons

The theme music in this episode is URBAN JUNGLE 2061 by Eric Matyas www.soundimage.org


Episode 2 – 50 Years of Star Trek: The Pilots

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the airing of the first episode of Star Trek on September 8, 1966 we discuss the original pilot, the second pilot, and the first episode that was aired. We also go a bit into where Star Trek has gone during it’s 50 year continuing mission.

The Franchise

Star Trek TOS (‘66-’69)
Star Trek the Animated Series (‘73-’75)
Star Trek the Motion Picture (‘79)
Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan (‘82)
Star Trek 3: Search for Spock (‘84)
Star Trek 4: Voyage Home (‘86)
Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier (‘89)
Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country (‘91)

Star Trek the Next Generation (‘87-’94)
Star Trek Generations (‘94)
Star Trek First Contact (‘96)
Star Trek Insurrection (‘98)
Star Trek Nemesis (‘02)*

Star Trek Deep Space Nine
Star Trek Voyager
Star Trek Enterprise

Star Trek (reboot) (‘09)
Star Trek Into Darkness (‘13)
*Star Trek Beyond (‘16)*
*Star Trek 4 (‘18?)*
*Star Trek the TV Series (?)*

Comics, novels, games, art, conventions (New York, 1972)

The Cage Plot
After finding an anomaly in space, an 18 year old distress signal is found. With the possibility of survivors, the Enterprise heads to a planet in the Talos system. The away team is separated from Captain Pike, who is lead away by the beautiful girl Vina. Captured and kept as a specimen deep underground, the rest of the Enterprise crew try fruitlessly to free him. Using their telepathic abilities to create elaborate illusions, the Talosians try to convince Pike to form a relationship with Vina and remain in captivity. Pike finds that primitive emotions such as hatred cannot be read by his captors. Thinking he just needs more convincing, the Talosians kidnap his Number 1 and Yeoman as additional women to choose from. Unmoved, Pike grabs a captor while they were trying to acquire weapons and break free. However the Talosians hold the Enterprise hostage. After threatening to kill them all with an overloaded phaser, and accruing all the data from the ship’s computer, the Talosians come to the conclusion that humanity is too dangerous to keep in captivity and breed slaves from. They reveal to Captain Pike that Vina is actually horribly disfigured, but decide to give her the illusion of beauty and happiness.

The Man Trap Plot (first aired)
Shapes shifting alien steals salt from crew using the shape of McCoys ex-girl friend.

Where No Man Has Gone Before Plot (successful pilot)
After finding distress signal of USS Valiant, the ship finds a force field outside of the galaxy. Mitchell is afflicted with ESP powers that corrupt him. His power grows until he is a danger to the ship and stranded on a planet with Dr Deyner, who also began turning. Kirk confronts them in this good vs evil showdown.

The Science

  1. Space travel
    1. Time Warp
    2. Deep Space travel ( vs close space)
  2. Aliens
    1. Talosians – Telepathic race driven underground by their own
    2. The shapshifter
  3. Telepathy and ESP

The Themes

  1. Women as peers (Yay Majel and Nichelle)
  2. Military influence (esp Naval)
  3. Gene Roddenberry’s vision of future (gender equality, secular, post-capitalistic)

The Production

  1. Twilight Zone, Outer Limits effects and creatures
  2. Talosians were women with male voices, to emphasize that their mental focus was detrimental to their bodies development
  3. Original pilot was too cerebral, intelligent, etc. for NBC. Second pilot had more action, though Hunter would not reappear as Captain Pike
  4. Treatment of women take a turn from peers and commander to a more flirtatious demeanor in the second pilot
  5. Introduction of voiceover journal

The Good

  • Gender Ethnic diversity
  • Campiness

The Bad

  • Quick to violence
  • Campiness

The theme music in this episode is URBAN JUNGLE 2061 by Eric Matyas www.soundimage.org