7 Tips for Surviving Y2K this New Year’s Eve (2014 edition)

31 12 2013

Happy New Year’s Eve! For those of you old enough to remember, Y2K nearly destroyed all civilization back in 1999. Everything from the Internet to medical equipment and traffic lights to our whole framework as a society was going to be fried by the date change. Until it didn’t. Why? Was it the combined effort of the IT people, casting their technological spells? Of course not. What happened was everybody had the wrong year- forget the 1999 to 2000 switch, what REALLY causes all computers to fry their circuits is the 2013 to 2014 transition. The Mayans were off by a mere two years. Don’t believe me? Well, check this out:

“2014 will blow every computer’s mind.”

– Famous Expert Scientist

I even found a credible article.

I even found a credible article.

That’s right kids, SCIENCE. But don’t fret, I’ve researched the researchers, who have provided this handy survival guide.

1. Destroy all electronics– they are no longer your friend once the mega-virus begins. iPhones, PC’s- even microwaves will become the SkyNet of monsters at the stroke of midnight. Have you ever been hunted for days by a murderous Smart TV? Well, be glad you haven’t- yet. Since toys have become so high-tech and networked, they should not escape the purging either. Cast those Furbys into the fire!

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2. Withdraw all your savings in cash, since the bank is just as vulnerable. Bring the cash (or gold, that’s fine too) to me and I’ll make sure it stays safe until the initial chaos is over. Speaking of which, number 3.

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3. Crawl into your bunker. If you’ve irresponsibly spending your money on less practical things, like 401k’s, hopefully you have a more future-minded friend who will let you share their bunker (but bring your own supply of canned green beans).

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4. Don’t forget to pack your pets. They can provide comfort during the long candle-lit hours, and in extreme cases are a great source of protein.

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5. Mourn the fact that you can no longer watch Teen Mom 2 ever again, and then move on with your life.

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6. Start writing the History of Everything. If all recorded knowledge in hard drives gets deleted, and books get burned for warmth, YOU may be the only thing left to tell everyone what went on before Y2K. So go crazy! Remember that time our nation was founded by Sean Connery and Walker, Texas Ranger? Everyone does now!

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7. Rejoice that there’s a load of crappy movies that will never be released, like Vampire Academy (shudder) and I, Frankenstein. Also there’s a good chance that Miley Cyrus will never creep you out again. And Ben Affleck will never play Batman. Shoot, maybe this won’t be so bad after all.

Watching the world burn.

Maybe we can all stop joking about this in 2014.

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“Lethe” – Person of Interest Review (Season 3, Episode 11)

18 12 2013

POI banner

When I first found out that “The Devil’s Share” was not the mid-season finale after all, but instead “Lethe” would be the standalone last episode of the year, I was a little confused. How could they follow the gut-wrenching story arc that the last few episodes had followed? A simple person of the week formula would just be weird. Would this be some sort of Christmas special that would feel all out of place? Would Reese and Co. have to save Christmas by breaking into Macy’s, with Fusco dressing up as Santa Claus and Shaw his unwilling elf? WHAT DOES LETHE EVEN MEAN?! Luckily, once again the writers managed to surprise in an episode that showed us quite a bit about young Finch and dropped a bomb of a revelation, and we still had time to see a new big baddie revealed. Oh, and by the way, here’s the definition.

Carter’s death was still felt in this hour, with Finch and Reese actively not listening to The Machine. Since Reese (Jim Caviezel) was in Colorado, he kind of took a back seat in the weakest section of the episode- moping around a bar with Fusco (Kevin Chapman) trying to get him to snap out of it and shoot some people in the knees, darn it. The two interesting parts of the show came from Finch’s childhood (specifically his relationship with his father, who had struggled with a failing mind) and the person of the week. This POI was a former NSA worker named Arthur who worked with secrets, played by Saul Rubinek, who you may know from Warehouse 13. In that show, he played an NSA worker who was called “Artie,” who worked with secrets. Hmm. Cute, Person of Interest.

Anyway, turns out he is Finch’s old friend from MIT as well. The kicker? He also may have created his own Machine, similar to Finch’s, named “Samaritan” before it was supposedly canned. Talk about a plot twist. I immediately wondered if perhaps The Machine hasn’t been talking to Root at all- what if Samaritan has its own agenda and has been fooling Root? That would explain her suddenly referring to it as “she.” Anyway, just a theory. The second kick in the gut came a few minutes later when Control finally was revealed, with our old friend Hersh in tow. Then the episode ended in perhaps the worst cliffhanger so far, with Harold, Shaw and Artie in immediate danger. Curses! Overall, very strong episode with plenty of good flashbacks and twists.

rubinek POI emerson

Peek a boo.

Points of Interest:

1. Surprised at how Fusco held his own against Reese, even if Reese was slightly inebriated. Good thing the cop showed up, or he would have still eventually lost his kneecaps.

2. Root seems to be giving those sad little faces frequently during the last few episodes. How can you say no to those crazy little eyes?

3. The next episode is January 7th, which really isn’t that long of a break at all. Between that the earlier 10-week streak of  unbroken new episodes, I’m really liking this season’s scheduling.

4. Expect some nice faction warfare between Control and Vigilance in the future.

5. “We always knew you would be the one to change the whole world. So what did you end up doing?” “Insurance.”  Hah.

Final Score:

POI four half bear





The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

17 12 2013
MGM's  profit.

MGM’s profit.

The Hobbit Trilogy may go down as the best two-part movie that could have been.  Instead we get a cautionary tale on what happens when studios (looking at you Warner Bros and MGM) take someone else’s creation and tell them to stretch it into an extra movie so that more profit can be made. That’s the bad news- there are several sequences that feel suspiciously like extra padding to fill in the time allotment. But don’t worry Tolkien-lovers, there’s still a lot of good in this world!

bilbo martin freeman

Like blue CGI butterflies! Ho! Ho!

First of all let’s get this out of the way Tolkien fans- it’s pretty hard to tell if the screenwriters actually read The Hobbit. The Desolation of Smaug almost seems to enjoy all the extra characters/plots/scenes that it’s thrown in, mainly (again) at the will of the movie studio. Some work, and some don’t. Either way, it’s still obvious they took a 300-page book and stretched it into three 2.5 hour movies (for comparison, the first trilogy was made out of three separate 400-page books). Some people may not agree that this was a bad idea, but it’s worth pointing out. What’s also worth pointing out is how much Bard (Luke Evans) looks like Orlando Bloom when he played Will Turner in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. So that makes it weird when Bard appears in the same scene as Legolas (Orlando Bloom). It’s almost like he’s warning him not to appear in Dead Man’s Chest.

legolas smaug lotr

I swear they’re the same person.

So many scenes would fit in an Extended Edition but stick out as filler in a theatrical release. The opening flashback scene in Bree in particular felt like a forced callback to the first trilogy, sort of like Frodo’s random cameo in the first Hobbit movie. However, not all the extra parts were negative- the barrel riding sequence was actually one of my favorite parts thanks to the tight editing and fast pace. Seeing the Nazgul’s burial place and Sauron? Awesome sauce. Even made-up character Tauriel added a good deal to the story, though any excuse to have Evangeline Lilly onscreen is fine with me.

She's LOST in dwarf love.

She’s LOST in dwarf love. (Sorry)

The special effects are much better than An Unexpected Journey and actually look like they belong in a big budget movie. Smaug is everything you’d want in a movie dragon and puts all other attempts to shame, period. And yes,  Cumberbatch was the perfect voice choice. I still couldn’t help but imagine Sherlock and Watson talking during Smaug and Bilbo’s scene (any BBC lovers out there?). That said, who thought stretching the dragon cave into 45 minutes was  good idea, and what were they smoking during that decision? Besides having a Home Alone/A-Team vibe (let’s make our own traps, gang!), it made Smaug look pitifully incapable- I mean, all that running around and he couldn’t even fry one dwarf? Wasn’t he supposed to be dangerous? Speaking of the dwarves, they’re still no Fellowship. Some of them still seem expendable, mainly because I don’t recognize all of them.

thorin bombur lotr

Well could YOU name all 13?!

As a whole, this is a stronger movie than An Unexpected Journey. There was no awful goblin king. Bilbo’s character has gotten more likable since he got off the whole “but Gandalf, I don’t wanna go!” thing. However, once we were building to the climax, it cuts off with a terribly abrupt ending more fitting for a television show. If MGM and Warner Bros. had kept their greedy claws away from this 2-part treasure  cave, these movies could have stood toe-to-toe with the originals. But still, this movie was a pretty good substitute, even if it’s not the real Old Toby.

Gimli LOTR meme

And three extended cuts.