MST3K forced to watch Hamlet!

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My wife was at bunko last night, and that means I got to watch a little MST3K.  I decided that I would watch one with a little culture and watch Hamlet.  It is a 1961 made for German TV version that has been dubbed, and it is as bad as it sounds.

If you don’t know the plot to Hamlet, shame on you, but here it is.  The dead King visits his son, and says “Dude! Like your uncle killed me with ear poison, and then married his sister! You should kill him back!”  Hamlet is like “that is probably true but I should check by staging a play first.”  His uncle hates the play proving that he killed the king, so Hamlet kills his girlfriend’s dad, which makes sense.  This causes his girlfriend go crazy and drown.  Then her brother is like “Hamlet you a such a jerk!”  Hamlet’s uncle is like “you should kill him with the poisoned sword because I like to kill people with poison”, so he does, but not before Hamlet kills him with the same sword, and his mom dinks some poison his uncle made for him, and then he kills his uncle with the sword too, so poisonings all around!

The takeaway here is that if you are going to take revenge do not kill your girlfriend’s dad, and if you find my plot inaccurate, good.

This version of The Bard’s Hamlet was awful.  There are two sets, and it is extremely slow moving, and it makes you feel bad for German TV viewers.  The Bots and Mike are uneven in this movie, and I think that is because they don’t want to make fun of Shakespeare’s dialog, and so that just left them with the sets and the bad acting, and there was a lot to go on there, but I had hoped for funnier.

It was still pretty funny, but they went for long periods of time without making a joke, but when they did make their joke it usually landed, but there are better MST3K episodes to watch.

Back to the Begining of Star Trek!

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Star Trek is the 2009 reboot for the Star Trek series by J.J. Abrams.  This movie was the response to the bomb that was Star Trek: Nemesis.  It worked.  The movie made more than $385 million worldwide, making it the biggest film in the franchise, and Paramount responded by locking down the director and the actors for two more movies after it.

They cleverly made this movie in an alternate universe that Spock creates when trying to stop a super nova from destroying the galaxy, but not before it destroys the Romulan home world.  A Romulan Nero comes through the black hole that Spock makes and ends up coming to the past and kills Kirks father, and it forever alters time.  Kirk grows up a troubled child, but still ends up in Star Fleet Academy.  He is forced on to the Enterprise when Nero destroys the Volcan home world as retribution.  Kirk and the rest of the crew must stop him before he destroys Earth as well.

A lot of Star Trek Fans don’t like this movie because they made it too commercial and actiony, but I think they just focused on making a great film, and they did.  This movie is easily one of the better Star Trek movies ever made, and it is in my top three: First ContactWrath of Kahn, and Star Trek.

I loved how they focused on what makes Spock tick in this movie.  You get to see him from two points of view in this movie.  When he is young and brash, and when he is old and wise.  It was a very smart way to bridge the two universes, and it is just good to see Leonard Nimoy in anything.  They do also show how Kirk’s life was different, but not quite as drastically.

The new cast they got was great.  I think everybody did their jobs well, and they filled their storied rolls as best as could be hoped for, and I have to admit that lately I have kind of a man crush on Karl Urban.  He is in everything I like these days, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Dredd for starters, so I hope he continues to do work that I approve of.

J.J. Abrams does a good job as director, and he shows us what a Star Trek movie should have been all the time, by showing us stuff they never could have done on a TV set.  Sure his lens flare does get a little annoying, but if it means good movies I can deal with it.

I hope they keep up the good work with Star Trek Into Darkness because it is good to have Star Trek around even if it has changed a little, but things have to change to survive.

Star Trek / Daft Punk Contest!

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*Update*

The contest entry period has ended.  This will be updated again on Tuesday when the official numbers come out

*End Update*

I have two things I love coming out this weekend, a new Star Trek movie, and a new Daft Punk album, so I thought I would combine the two in a contest.  It is very easy, all you have to do is guess the three day weekend North American total for Star Trek Into Darkness this weekend by Friday at 10AM Pacific Standard Time US.  The one that is closest wins.

They bumped up the launch of Star Trek to tomorrow, but I am going to use the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday totals for the contest.  I will not be using the studio estimates, but the official results that come out Tuesday which also happens to be the day that Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories comes out.

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If you would like to enter, all you have to do is share this post using one of the buttons below, so I can see you did it, and then leave a comment on this post with how much you think Star Trek is going to make this weekend.  If you win I will use the email address from your comment to get your shipping info, but don’t worry your email address will not be viewable to the public, and if you are a first time commenter or are just using a different email address from the last time you commented it will go to moderation for me to approve, so it may not show up right away.

I will count all entries in the moderation queue and approved as long as they are posted by Friday 10AM Pacific.  Due to shipping and me not knowing when Daft Punk’s album is coming out all over the world, this is for the USA only.  You cannot guess the same number as another person.  If two people guess the same number but cannot see each other because they are in the moderation queue then I will count the person that got that number in first, and then email the second person and ask for a new number.

Thanks for playing and good luck!

I try a Cheep Universal Remote: The URC A6

Univeral Remote Control A6

My wife has been on me to get rid of all the remotes I have for our home theater, but I want to get a Logitech Harmony remote of some sort, but I didn’t want to spend the money right now, so I got the URC A6 Universal Remote for cheep on Amazon.  I thought this remote was going to be awful, but instead I was surprised to find that it is a sturdy well built remote with a lot of features.

It allows for six components to be controlled by the device, and it has several ways to program it.  You can punch in the three digit remote code if you know it or can find it.  You can manually search for the code by going up and down the list, or you can point the old remote a the A6 and program it button by button which does not take as long as you would think.

For my setup I had to use all three methods.  I knew the code for my TV, I searched for my Blu-Ray player, and manually programmed my sound bar, but I got them all working, and it works great.  It also allows for macros, so I can turn on my sound bar and TV at the same time.  It has three grooves on the back that really make it comfortable to hold, and it doesn’t feel cheep.

It may not be as fancy as a Harmony remote but for the money it works and is easy to use, and it has the added bonus of making my wife happy because she doesn’t have to deal with all the remotes.

Hide from Jurassic Park III!

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Jurassic Park III is the aptly named third Jurassic Park movie, but the first not directed by Stephen Spielberg, but instead by Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer).  This movie is in the same vein as The Lost World, where it doesn’t live up to the fist movie, but it is still fun to watch.

The plot is short.  Pretty much a boy (Trevor Morgan) gets lost on Isla Sorna while parasailing with his mom’s boyfriend, and his mom (Téa Leoni) and dad (William H. Macy) kidnap Dr. Grant (Sam Neill) to help them find him, but then they get attacked by dinosaurs and have to try and survive.

I actually like the simplicity of the plot.  They didn’t try and over think things, and because of that it is believable, and really there aren’t any major holes.  The only thing that is questionable is how the boy lived alone on the island for eight weeks, regardless of the fact that there are man eating animals on it.

The acting is believable, and Sam Neil as Dr. Alan Grant is great.  You believe that he is a world renown paleontologist, and he makes more sense in this movie than Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) in the last movie.  Everyone else just needs to scream and get eaten well, and they do.

The special effects are worse and better then the last movie, but still not up to Jurassic Park’s standards.  The computer generated effects were better, but the animatronics looked worse, so it was kind of a mixed bag, but they were still good enough to not be distracting.

I liked this movie better than The Lost World.  It was more focused, and streamlined, and Alan Grant is better than Ian Malcolm.  It is not a great movie, but it is an enjoyable one.