Bluray Movie Review- Event Horizon

Let me begin by saying I was not one of those who saw this in the theatre.  So I did not bring all that baggage with me when I first saw it.  I first saw this either on video (VHS or DVD), or on one of the movie channels.  Thus I had the ability to watch this in the comfort of a home, even if it wasn’t my own.  A lot of people were disappointed with Event Horizon when it came out.  Personally I blame the Paramount marketing folks for this.  They couldn’t make up thier minds if they wanted to push Event Horizon as a SciFi flick or as a horror flick.  In the end, many people ended up going into the movie thinking it was one thing and getting another.

But I like the movie.  It was not a traditional SciFi movie, nor was it a traditional horror movie, though it has elements of both.  The story is fairly striaght forward.  Sam Neill is a scientist who had designed an experimental space engine to travel vast distances instantaneously.  The initial flight went wrong, and the ship disappeared for 7 years.  But it reappears, and a rescue ship, captained by Laurence Fishburne is sent, with Sam Neill in tow to investigate what happened to the titular Event Horizon.  Naturally, nothing goes as expected.

The most stunning part of this movie is the visuals, and is one of those movies that just demanded a Bluray treatment.  The secenes with ships, the fly by, the near orbit space station, and even the singularity drive were impressive at the time.  In Bluray, on an HDTV they are still so.  Yes, there are a few instances where the CGI shows through, mainly in the opening sequence with objects “floating in zero-g.”  Some of the object look decidedly like CGI constructs, and the lighting is off in a few scenes.  Even so, there’s more to praise than detract visually.  The ships alone are worth the price of admission.

The audio didn’t seem to me to have been remastered in anyway.  Then again, it was done originally in a high end Dolby at the time.  So the actual sound quality is fine, if not spectacular.  Even so, it could have been remastered into Dolby Digital for this release.

The etcras are fairly typical.  The usual making of short, commentary tracks, and deleted scenes.  They obviously did some new interviews for one of the segements, which was interesting to watch.  Interviews with Paul Anderson (director), Jason Isaacs (DJ), as well as production team members were actaully fairly interesting to watch for once.  Not a whole lot of insights to be had, but the anecdotes were of value.

On the whole, this is a more than worth while pick up for fans of the movie, or of similar genres.

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Damnatus- The Movie

Fans of the Warhammer 40K Universe, be it through the table top miniatures games (WH40K, Epic), the Dark Heresy RPG, the Dawn of War PC game series, Final Liberation, or what ever, will by now, have heard of this fan movie.  It gets commented on the various messgaee boards at least once a month, sometimes more.  Those same people will also know of the legal challenges raised by Games Workshop, which effectively scuttled the release of the picture.  It can be found on the internet, just don’t ask me where or how to do so.  Though it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out.  The trailer can be seen however (www.Damnatus.com):

There is a better quality trailer available on YouTube, but it doesn’t have the English subtitles.

GW’s stupid legal issues aside, this is an excellent fan movie IMO.  Yes the acting and fights scenes range from average to cheezey (like a LARP group really into their roles), but it’s a solid 40K story.  Even the “low budget” special effects and “wide shots” are worth while, better than many video games with a “real budget,” and 95% of what the SciFi channel puts out as Saturday night fare.  It is obvious that Damnatus was never quite finished in post-production.  This is really noticable in the CGI shots, which at times have an unifinished look to them.  But the legal challenge issued by GW’s nimrod marketing and legal departments probably scuttled that.

If you’ve seen it, then read on.  If you haven’t, well, this won’t make all that much sense to you.

As I was watching Event Horizon, I got to thinking about Damnatus.  Event Horizon is a good movie for a “40K feel,” and the perils of warp travel.  Which made me think about Damnatus, which I recently watched.  I got to thinking that if someone wanted to, they could turn Damnatus into a real Hollywood motion picture.  The elements are all there, and with a bit of Hollywood polish and shine, could be really awesome on the big screen.

My mian thoughts focused on casting the Damnatus as a major Hollywood production.  The rest of it really doesn’t matter.  It would all get the high end treatments by ILM or whoever for the effects.  Maybe a John Williams score as well.

So, the cast:

Inquisitor Lessus: Sam Neill.  This character only appears at the begininning and the end of the film, and needs a certain screen presence.  Sam has the right look, and conveys the right appearance on screen.

The Inquisitorial Operative Leschias: The “younger version” should be Shia LaBouef. The “cultist” version should be Robbie Coltrane.  Not sure Shia can pull of the last third of the movie, but he at least looks right for the part.  I’m open to any more suggestions here.  The more I think about it, I really want someone other tha Shia LaBouef for this role.  Someone give me a name here!

Osmar Adeodatus: Sean Pertwee.  The son of the late Jon Pertwee (aka Dr.Who), has the right talents for this role.  He’s played military roles before, and can pull off the right fanatical attitude for the PDF commander.

Nira Gippus: Need a “babe” to play the role of the novice psyker.  She also need to be “young looking,” figuring the character to be no more than 24 years old.  Rose McGowan was my first choice, but I’m waffling a bit on her.  No actress is striking me as “ideal” at the moment.  So, suggestions are more than welcome.

Hiernoymous VI von Remus: Our ostensible hero must be a serious star, but one with action flick chops.  Given the nature of the character, and how he progresses in the story, my choice is Clive Owen.  His dry wit and presentation fits perfectly with the character’s almost resigned fatalism.

Sgt. Corris: James Marsters.  His role as Spike (Angel and Buffy), as well as his turn as Captain John in Torchwood, make him well suited for this role.  Corris is a bit of an odd ball, a semi-superstitious gun slinger with a rapier wit and just a touch of mental instability.  It’s a role made for Marsters IMO.

Wodan Dubrovnik: Adam Baldwin.  No, he’s not one of “those Baldwins.”  This is the guy who played Jayne on Firefly and in the movie Serenity.  Dubrovnik is not that much different from Jayne in terms of characters, so Adam was a natural fit for me.

Oktavian Stimme: The actual physical portrayer for the Techpriest just needs to have the right size.  The voice will be over dubbed, preferably by Laurence Fishburne.  I had thought of James Earl Jones, but that would have lead to some uncomfortable comparisons to Darth Vader, which is not what we’d be going for.  But Laurence Fishburne would do a stellar job of it.

Inquisitor Zyriakus Makkabeus: Rutger Hauer.  Few people can pull off the whole is he a good or bad guy type role.  It’s tough to switch between trying to be imposing and villainous, and then to being a somewhat sympathetic character.  Hauer has done this several times before in films (and TV), and would be ideal for this role.

Imperial Naval Officer: This unnamed character has several lines, and only appears with Inquisitor Lessus.  So, this is essentially a cameo role.  So who better than Christian Slater?  It’s right up there with his appearance in Star Trek VI, where he informs Captain Sulu about the USS Enterprise.

Everyone else in the movie is an extra, a target, cannon fodder.  They just need to die well on screen.

So that’s my casting call for this “what if” scenario.

The director was easy: Ridley Scott.  Between Alien and Blade Runner, and even Black Hawk Down and Kingdom of Heaven, Scott has the right approach, the right “feel,” and the right sort of directorial vision a project of this sort would need.

So, if I ever get a few hundred extra million to throw at this project…

OK, So I’ve been lazy of late

And I haven’t done much of anything with this blog in quite some time.  Sue me.  I’m not one of those whose entire existence, whose sole self worth is determined by the number of hits I get here.  This is a place where I get to sound off when  I so feel like it.  I am not compelled to post daily, nor do I have any sort of need to do so.  I post when I like, about what I want.

That said, I have had thinsg to post of late, from PS3 game reviews, to Bluray movie comments, even to some political ramblings.  I just never quite got around to it.  I think I’ll get to it this week, or maybe weekend.  But as a teaser, for those that care (all 5 of you I’d guess), these will include:

PS3 games: Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe; Call of Duty: World at War

Bluray Movies: The Dark Knight; Resident Evil-Degeneration; Hellboy II; Event Horizon

On the political front: Kirsten Gillibrand’s appointment to the US Senate; Who will replace her in the 20th Congressional district; the “bail out”; the farce that the Minnesota Senate race has become; Joe Bruno’s “indictment”.

That should keep enough posts coming for a few days…

Awaiting the announcement from the Hall (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice Elected to BB HoF.  Congratulations to Jim Rice!  It’s finally here.

At 1:30 pm Eastern today, the 2009 Base Ball Hall of Fame inductees will be announced.  There will be at least one new inductee this year, with a couple more “on the bubble.”  So, as is my want, here I will give my ballot, if I had one…

The rules of the Base Ball Writers Association (BBWA), state that each voting member may list up to 10 names per ballot.  As the list of elligibles often exceeds this number, choices must always be made.  Of course, there is no minimum number to list either, so a voter may vote for no one in a given year.  So with those restriction in mind, here are my choices:

1. Rickey Henderson (OF).  This should be a no brainer, but guaranteed, at least 10% of the voters will not list him.  Base Ball’s all time leader in steals, second in walks, and he played 26 seasons.  He was dynamic on the base paths, and not just as a base stealer.  He played an outstanding outfield for many years, with more than a few high light plays.  Sure he could be a complete moron and prat off the field, or when he opened his mouth, but that’s not what’s at issue here (or shall we bring up Ty Cobb?).  His stats, and his ability on the field put him in the Hall.

2. Jim Rice (OF).  This is Jim’s last year of eligibility for the voters.  He deserves to be in.  Few hitters were more feared in his 16 seasons.  He was consistently in the top 10 in HR, RBI, and even batting average over those years.  The big knock against Rice is his last year in Boston, which was terrible (and brought his career average down to .298), and that he didn’t reach 400 HR (finished with 382).  Even so, the former AL MVP was a big reason why Boston was as good as they were from 1975-1986.  His average season was 30 HR, 113 RBI, and a .300 average.

3. Bert Blyleven (SP).  Here’s another guy who gets worked over for one bad year.  Yes, he gave up 50 HRs one year.  So what.  The rest of his career, and where he stood all time when he retired, should be what matters.  Then again, Base Ball writer’s don’t always exhibit good sense.  When Bert left the playing field, he was 3rd all time in strike outs (with only Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton ahead of him), but only had 287 wins.  Not reaching the 300 plateau is also probably holding him back in some wirter’s minds.  But if guys like Drysdale and Koufax and Sutton are in, Bert should be as well.

4. Andre Dawson (OF).  He won an MVP for the last place Cubs.  He toiled for years in Montreal.  He was a consistent all around hitter.  He could steal bases, he could play defense.  Even at the tail end of his career, when he became something of a journeyman, he still had the hitting ability, though the wheels had slowed down.  He hit 438 HR in his 21 seasons.  He has 1591 RBI to go with them.  An 8 time All Star, 1977 ROY, and 8 time Gold Glove winner, and had over 300 SB for his career.  What’s not to like?

5. Dale Murphy (OF).  This two time NL MVP winner keeps getting over looked IMO.  Here’s a guy who didn’t have a position with the Braves when he first came up, bouncing between catcher and 1B.  He finally settled in the outfield.  He won back to back MVP awards in 1982-1983, a 7 time all star, 5 gold gloves, 4 silver sluggers, finished with 398 career home runs, and over 1200 RBI.  I will admit that his career .265 average is not all that sexy, but the other numbers, and his reputation on, and off the field should carry him through.

6. Allan Trammell (SS). The 1978 AL ROY played all 20 seasons with the Detroit Tigers.  A six time all star, and 1984 World Series MVP, Trammell heralded a new era of short stops.  He was Derek Jeter before Jeter.  Trammell turned Short Stops from light hitting good glove players into all around players.  He was a three time silver slugger, and 4 time gold glove winner.  While his numbers certainly can’t compare with the big gun positions, among hius fellow short stops, he is outstanding.

7. Jack Morris (SP).  No one was more dominant in the 1980’s on the mound than Jack Morris.  He was the Tiger’s number one starter for most of his career.  The big turn off on Jack is his 3.90 career ERA, and that he too never reached 300 wins.  But the 5 time All Star consistently pitched 240+ innings per season, won 20 games 3 times, and 3 200+ strike out seasons.

8. Tim Raines (OF): Rickey’s contemporary in the National League.  While Raines never quite put up the same staggering numbers as Henderson, when one talked about the best in the game from 1980-1990, Raines was among those mentioned.  Tim is 5th all time in stolen bases with 808.  He was a 7 time All Star, and won the 1987 ASG MVP.  He finished with a .294 career average (winning the 1986 batting title).

9. Dave Parker (OF).  The NL MVP in 1978.  Parker was a 7 time All Star, 3 time Gold Glove winner, 3 time Silver Slugger, and won two batting titles.  Oh, and he had some wheels too, stealing at least 10 bases in a season 7 times, to go with 339 career HRs.

10. Mark McGwire (1B).  This was a tough one, and for obvious reasons.  While I am one of those that will discount his power numbers, and will hold it against him, I still find that he has the stats to be in the Hall.  His 1987 ROY campaign was nothing short of amazing, and all natural at the time.  He was derailed by injuried several times, but still had some fine seasons.  And McGwire is probably one of the very few players in MLB history who could hit 29 HR, with 64 RBI, and only hit .188.

Guys I just couldn’t pull the trigger on:

Harold Baines (OF/DH).  Just can’t do it.  He doesn’t have the numbers, and wasn’t one of those guys you just dreaded facing, or wanted up for your team in the do or die situations.  Edgar Martinez will be the first “true DH” in the Hall.

David Cone (SP).  Cone had a couple of good seasons, but never reached 200 wins, and had a lot more mediocre years than good.  He’ll get votes because he played for the Yankees and Mets.

Tommy John (SP).  I might vote for John in other years, but not this one.  He deserves some credit for all his years of service, though his numbers are far from impressive for that length of service.  In a weker ballot year, he might get in.

Lee Smith (RP).  Much like Tommy John, in any other year.  Lee was the “first” of the lights out 1 inning closers.  Even so, he still racked up quite a few 2 inning saves, and more often than not faced the heart of an opponents line up, unlike many closers today. He is among Base Ball’s all time saves leaders.

Matt Williams (3B).  Another tough cut.  If Matt had put up some slightly better numbers in Arizona, he would have made the list.  But if Graig Nettles isn’t in, Matt shouldn’t be either.

Jesse Orrosco (RP).  Jesse had a long career.  He had some good years.  But not a Hall of Fame type career.  He’s this generations Kent Tekulve.

Jay Bell (SS).  Jay was good, but not great.  Sure he had some ridiculous years in Arizona, but those were the excpetions rather than the rule.  Only 2 All Star appearances and 1 Gold Glove over 18 seasons.

Mark Grace (1B). A slick fielding first baseman is not going to cut it.  Yes he was a consistent .300 hitter, but he never moved beyond that.  Which is great for a career, but not for the Hall of Fame.  Plus he’s gotten annoying on FOX Sports pregame show.

Ron Gant (OF).  I started looking at Gant’s numbers, and other than the batting average (.256) they weren’t bad.  Better than I had thought.  But nothing near Hall of Fame.  Add to this the fact that he was awful defensively (at any position), and his lack of All Star, and other post season awards, and he just doesn’t make the cut.

Dan Plesac (RP).  Dan put up some good saves numbers.  That’s about it.  His ERA for a closer is mediocre at best, and though he rarely walked anyone, he never blew anyone away either.  He was also never dominant as a closer.  Solid and consistent yes, but never dominant.

Mo Vaughn (1B).  I never knew Mo stole 11 bases one year.  I never Mo was capable of stelaing 11 bases in a year.  Still, Mo could have been a contender, if he had played longer.  If injuried hadn’t derailed him, he could have finished with 400+ HR, and a career .300 average.  He didn’t though, and that’s what’s at stake here.  Sorry Mo, but you don;t make the cut.

Greg Vaughn (OF).  I had to look at Greg’s numbers to see why he was even up for consideration.  He had three high profile power years, but that’s about it.  But the rest of his numbers just aren’t there.  The average (.242) is sub-par at best, he barley has over 1000 RBI (1072), never was noted for his glove, and wasn’t consistently among the league leaders in any category.  I guess all you need for consideration is one 50 HR season, which would explain Brady Anderson.