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the further I go, more letters from home... never arrive...



Updated: 2018-04-10T08:05:23.947-04:00

 



ATLANTA: "Teddy Perkins": What the faduck?

2018-04-09T14:28:16.729-04:00

I'm gonna outline how I think the mechanics of this amazing slice of gothic horror worked. A (hopefully) straightforward-ish explanation of what people did when and why. If you haven't watched the episode yet, stop reading now, for beyond this paragraph, there be spoilers!~My take is based on two big asks, the true identities and relationship between "Teddy" and "Benny."1. The man who introduces himself as Theodore "Teddy" Perkins is actually Benny Hope. There has never been a "Teddy" apart from this alias of Benny's. Darius is basically correct that Benny created the "Teddy" persona to cover up/deny what he did to himself—and what happened to him—as Benny. Sometimes, Benny himself forgets that he's Benny, turning his cover into a genuine delusion.2. "Benny," the man in the wheelchair who shows up at the end of the episode, is actually Benny's father. I like to think that he's actually Benny, Sr. and "Teddy" is Benny, Jr., which helps explain why "Teddy" without hesitation says, "Benny! You're alive!" when he rolls out of the elevator.Of course, it could simply be the delusion.What happened…1. "Teddy" kills "Benny" a short time before Darius arrives. Benny stabs his father in the gut while he's in his wheelchair in the upstairs piano room. Darius's arrival apparently interrupts his clean-up of the scene. 2. When "Teddy" explains to Darius that he doesn't have a butler, he plays back his reminders. "Wash your hands…immediately," is a reminder to clean his father's blood from them. 3. When "Teddy" goes wandering off after that, Darius can't stand to remain in the room with the crack'd Owl's Casket. So he goes wandering as well. We then see that "Teddy" has the mansion wired for video, and can see and track a visitor's movements throughout his home. 4. Eventually Darius follows the sound of piano music upstairs to the piano room. "Teddy" keeps him from entering, but Darius can see a wheelchair set in front of the upright with colored keys. This clicks for Darius as matching the progression of photos in the hallway, which show Benny as he ages, the last one depicting him in a wheelchair and covered up against the sunlight.Why was "Teddy" playing the piano when he should be focused on covering up his father's murder? Probably cuz he's bonkers. He doesn't record reminders for himself for nothing. =) 5. "Teddy" shoos Darius away from the piano room, explaining that he'll see him downstairs with his glass of water, promising a mix of brands. This gives "Teddy" time to finish cleaning up the Piano room. 5.a. This might be when "Teddy" moves his car. See also 7.a. 6. After meeting up again in the gift shop, "Teddy" leads Darius to what will be his prized exhibit, a room dedicated to "Great Fathers." Featured center stage is a manakin or tailor's dummy dressed in a suit whom he calls his own father. This is when "Teddy" explains how his dad set he and his brother on a regimen at an early age to become not just good at piano, but good at life. 6.a. I think that in "Teddy's" completed version of this exhibit, that manakin would be upholstered with his father's skin, or perhaps completely taxidermically replaced. =)  7. When Darius suggests they finally cut to the chase and close the colored keys deal, They return to the upstairs piano room. The wheelchair we saw earlier is gone. After "Teddy" leaves to turn on the elevator, Darius notices a drop of blood on one of the keys. "Teddy" missed a spot when cleaning up. 7.a. This might be when "Teddy" moves his car. See also 5.a. 8. Darius loads the piano onto the elevator and presses the button for the first floor. However, he ends up in the basement—"Fine, destiny." There he encounters "Benny" who is actually "Teddy," dressed exactly as we last saw him, but with the addition of a black hat, wrap, gloves, and a blue face mask/bandage that covers everything but his eyes and mouth. Darius sees through this charade, but plays along because, bonkers, remember? Without speaking, "Benny" communicates to Darius that Teddy will kill [...]



MR ROBOT: Season 3: Mandela Effect & a Day Off…

2017-12-13T11:46:33.473-05:00

Hello, friend.Collecting some bits and pieces that connect to the so-called Mandela Effect and M-Effect adjacent phenomena in the universe of MR. ROBOT. Note that this is no doubt far from comprehensive. As any watcher knows, this show goes deep. =)Elliot’s employee ID number…072391. As a date, this is July 23, 1991. The date on which Nelson Mandela died as reported in a non-non-fiction essay published in South Africa in 1991. Before the essay was identified as non-non-fiction, this was passed around as a possible artifact/proof of the Mandela Effect. The ME explains that the phenomena of a great many people remembering hearing that he died in the 80s when in fact he passed away in 2013 is the side effect of a manipulation of the past of our timeline (somehow imperfectly allowing for some people to remember the original, or earlier timeline’s history) or the memory/history of an alternate timeline somehow psychically bleeding into ours.This Esmail Egg is not strictly speaking evidence on which to build a logical theory about the MR. ROBOT universe, but a wink and a nod for us, the audience, a hint, but, y’know, possibly a misleading one.Project Berenstain…The FBI runs an illegal surveillance initiative dubbed “Project Berenstain.” Within the world of MR. ROBOT, we’re not given a reason for this code name, but the first reference that comes to mind is the children’s book series, the Berenstain Bears. Why that would be associated with surveillance, I do not know, but maybe that’s the point in choosing a project name for the FBI. Not to be clever about it, but to name it according to some agnostic system or order—children’s book characters in alphabetical order?—and so, give nothing away about the nature of the program in the name, right?However, in *our* universe, “Berenstain” is another collective memory glitch of the Mandela Effect. Many—including myself—remember the bears’ family name being spelled with an “e,” “Berenstein.” Seriously, I pronounced the name like “Einstein.”Darlene’s a Sinbad fan!In an episode this season we got a glimpse of Darlene’s monitor which showed her torrenting SHAZAAM (1996), a movie that I believe was manufactured by the Internet (as Photoshopped posters, cases, fake trailers) in response to another Mandela Effect glitch—a memory of Sinbad playing a genie in a kids movie. The movie that seems to have inspired that mismemory, or overwritten it, is KAZAAM (1996), which starred Shaq.What does this mean?I’m sure there are more Mandela Effect droppings in the world of MR. ROBOT, but this is all I’ve got in my head just now, sorry. Still, in a story with BACK TO THE FUTURE REFERENCES, discussions of alternate timelines, and a cameo by what appears to be a particle accelerator, I don’t (want to =) believe they’re insignificant.Assuming these facts of the reality of MR. ROBOT matter, they tell me that what we’re watching on the show is an earlier iteration of our own reality. So, when we examine the world and history and people in MR. ROBOT, we are seeing the source of the apparent aberrations we are now pointing to as evidence of the Mandela Effect. In the universe of MR. ROBOT, the bear family was named Berenstein, Sinbad starred in Shazaam, and Nelson Mandela passed away in the 20th century (I don’t believe that last event was reported in the show in any way, but please allow me the zany extrapolation). Then *something* altered the history of that universe, maybe once, maybe multiple times, ultimate resulting in *our* universe, one in which the bears are the Berenstains, Shaq played Kazaam, and Nelson Mandela died in 2013.Could that *something* be WhiteRose and the Washington Township project (transferred, recreated, or completed in the Congo)? Has WhiteRose worked out the psychohistorical math to send information back in time to alter history so that the Washington Township leak never happens, Edward Alderson and Emily Moss never get sick and die, their kids grow up with their parents to be very different[...]



MR. ROBOT: Season 3: Some Pre-finale Big Picture Theories…

2017-12-11T23:41:41.018-05:00

Hello, Friend.Gonna ramble on some Big Ideas that might explain what’s going on in the WhiteRosey sectors of MR. ROBOT…WHITEROSE CAN HACK REALITY.The universe is a simulation, or at least effectively functions and exists as one, and WhiteRose is able to hack it. Currently only to a degree. She can copy and paste elements that exist and have existed in the universe. She can edit them, but only in certain ways. She currently has limited write permissions.We've seen her do this when she copied a young Angela from the past and pasted her into the present to interview the adult Angela. We also saw *someone* do this when Trenton's brother (who actually left town with his parents) was copied and pasted onto the beach next to Elliot. Each of these instances was edited, tailored to accomplish a certain task. This is the kind of "undo" that WhiteRose has promised and tantalized Irving and Angela with.However, he cannot yet deliver what Angela wishes for—the return of her mother and Elliot's father, hale and hearty. Editing them to the degree that they would be cured and healthy is currently beyond WhiteRose's power. She needs to proceed with her Congo project in order to gain that ability. WhiteRose's ultimate goal is to be able to edit the universe so that she can make lasting and stable changes, for herself, and to herself. In order to achieve that, anyone and everyone may be expendable, but also revivable.WHITEROSE HAS A TIME MACHINE.WhiteRose already possesses time travel capability, and she's used it countless times, each time tweaking events to get closer to an ultimate desired result. She doesn't believe in coincidence because when it occurs around her, she's had a hand in manufacturing it. In the events and timeline we see unfolding on the show, Elliot Alderson is the right person with the right connections and experiences in the right place at the right time for what WhiteRose needs to be done. I do not think that WhiteRose's time travel allows for a person to get into a DeLorean in 2015 and step out of it in 1985. Instead, what she can do is send herself (and maybe others) information. Maybe it's "psychic," a la PRINCE OF DARKNESS, but I prefer to think it's electronic, a la STEIN'S GATE. An email with an attached document sent from her personal server in 2015 to her AOL address in 1990.How would this help WhiteRose? I'm gonna run thru a couple of *hypothetical* loops to demonstrate…Let's say that in a previous iteration of the universe, WhiteRose identified Edward Alderson, Elliot's dad, as a useful tool in a takedown of ECorp and the global economy. He was poisoned by ECorp and had the coding/hacking chops to damage them. WhiteRose could have used her resources to encourage him to make the attempt. It fails. Edward can only do so much damage to ECorp in the 90s before he dies. However, his son grows up to be an accomplished hacker at a time when ECorp is committed to digital records and vulnerable to a catastrophic attack. But for whatever reason, this Elliot doesn't have the drive to pursue such a course. At the same time WhiteRose, Zhang, and the Dark Army try many paths to sink the economy and gain leverage for acquiring the Congo, but none pan out.When WhiteRose believes she's exhausted her options in that iteration, she assembles an information payload—added to the one she received from her previous older self—for her younger self. ZIPs it, attaches it to her Chronomail, and hits [SEND]. The next iteration begins. This time, WhiteRose tweaks details at the Washington Township plant so that Edward dies earlier (perhaps by stepping up the timeline of her pet project there?). In the wake of his father's death, this Elliot makes toppling ECorp his lifelong goal. He grows up and assemble the fsociety team, but he's too reckless, and he gets himself caught or killed. His aggression needs to be tempered. He needs to be introduced to some already available channels instead of brute forcing his way every step of the way. Again, WhiteRose has many irons in t[...]



MR. ROBOT: 03x09: Eps.3.8_Stage3.Torrent: Angela and Phillip…

2017-12-08T16:19:32.255-05:00

Hello, friend.Several moments from this week's ep have gotten some fleeting ROBOT-y thoughts to coalesce into almost-theories…MR. and MS. ROBOT?When Angela discovers Leon waiting for Elliot in his apartment, she freaks, believing them to be in cahootz against WhiteRose's plans, which she believes will bring back her mom and Elliot's dad. We see her packing up her life into a cart and hitting the street, all the while apparently verbally checking in with herself, and possibly Qwerty. Of course this gets me thinking…Angela is experiencing a second persona the way Elliot has been. Maybe we're witnessing a relapse or reversion, and she's had this second self—Ms. Robot?—since she was a kid, around the time Elliot's and her parents died.How would this be possible? Whatever killed their mother and father in the Washington Township power plant also affected them. I'm unclear on the nature of the carcinogenic exposure, as well as when it occurred and over how long a time, but for the sake of this crazy talk theory, let's say that exposure happened/began before Elliot and Angela were born (and before the reported *leak*). So, their parents were already exposed when the kids were conceived. The power plant contaminant affected Edward Alderson's and Emily Moss's physiology in some way and these changes were passed on to the children. After they were born, it manifested in this potential for bifurcation of personality. So, they're mutants, and their mutation allows their single brains to be hosts to more than one mind.Or…Angela is just talking to the fish. =)The fish who spoke to Elliot in his withdrawal visions.GRANDPA PHILLIP?At the first meeting between EvilCorp and Allsafe, Phillip Price seems to recognize Angela. Sure, it could be from the Washington Township class action suit, somehow, but I'm thinking that he might have been reacting to her resemblance to someone that he does know—Angela's mother.Remember Emily Moss's living funeral shindig? Lawyer Antara Nayar mentions an anonymous would-be benefactor (again) to Angela's mom, and she refuses the offer (again).I'm suggesting that Phillip Price is Emily's biological father and Emily is his illegitimate/estranged daughter. This blood tie is a family secret kept from Angela. It's possible that Emily doesn't know, but there was something in the way she reacted and turned down the offer that has me thinking she knows who made it. Angela's father might know—he walked away from the convo when the offer to cover Emily's treatment came up—and is respecting Emily's wish, or perhaps honoring some legally binding contract, by keeping schtum about it.PHILLIP ON THE SIDE?Could Phillip's reaction to Angela and the medical care offer be explained by Phillip being *Angela's* bio-dad and Emily's one or sometime affair? Emily worked for EvilCorp at the Washington Township power plant (doing what?). From what position with what duties was Phillip Price promoted to CEO? Maybe his pre-CEO responsibilities included administration of or visits to the Washington Township facility, where he and Emily became familiar and then began an affair.Perhaps Emily broke it off once she got pregnant, and uncertain of the paternity, or played it that way with Phillip. Or maybe Phillip broke it off when he started angling for CEO and got himself into a position that took him away from Washington Township? Yeah, that might make things a little…smoother. Maybe he ghosted before Emily even knew she was pregnant. Only after the leak and Emily's illness (and Angela's birth) did Phillip re-enter her life, but only as this anonymous benefactor.Hrm…Maybe paternity isn't "necessary" at all here—just an affair…or dalliance. Who knows? Maybe they shared was some simple, singular, Christmas Miracle-ish moment of kindness once? Y’know, like accidentally killing someone together and burying the body. The usual. =)How about Phillip takes a shine to Angela (and so, Allsafe) to kinda-sorta-honor Emily? Could Phillip ever have[...]



BABY DRIVER: Edgar Eggs!

2017-07-02T18:02:46.529-04:00

Edgar Eggs—They're kind of like what people call Easter Eggs in other films, but with a quality that's distinctly Wrightian. What follows is a collection of notes and details from the film—references, motifs, callbacks, and connections—narrative, filmmaking, and personal—inserted and/or found (or imagined by me =) in the perfectly timed rhythmic clockwork beauty that is BABY DRIVER.Please note that my memory for quotes is tres imperfect these days. I may present some dialogue in quotes or screenplay-ish format, but it's best-of-my-recollection, and the result is likely paraphrased.Now entering SPOILER CITY…The Octane ShuffleOn his Octane run after the first heist, Baby musicals his way down the road to "Harlem Shuffle." As he roughly follows the song's instructions, the song is backed up by the city itself, its lyrics presented in graffiti art, spray paint, and signs in Baby's environment. And it's not just static. In at least one instance, the graffiti on his way back from Octane is different, added to, compared to the graffiti on his way to Octane. A piece of wall that echoes "Right" the first time, also tells him "Shake Shake" the second.Also, on the way to Octane, along with Baby’s “Harlem Shuffle” track syncing with graffiti and posted words in the environment, we see Baby match poses with a mural of a guy looking up to the sky and play “air horn” in front of a show window featuring a trumpet.Also also, on the way to Octane we overhear a guy on the phone telling someone that they're late. On the way back from Octane he passes the same guy dressing down the other guy in person about having to be on time.Just before leaving Octane, a girl across the street catches his eye, right in front of a graffiti'd heart. It’s our Muse, Debora, but Baby doesn’t know that yet. By the time he exits the coffee shop, seconds later and heading in the same direction as her, she's mysteriously disappeared. On his way back to the Healey, he dodges a face-to-face with a policeman, two-steps around a sandwich board doomsayer telling him that he must save himself from sin, and when crossing the street, a police car just passes him by before turning on its siren. Signs and portents.I wonder…Could the lyrics to “Harlem Shuffle” be a map to one of the getaway scenes? Or the acts and plot of the entire film…? Certainly can’t put it past Professor Wright =)Baby makes another Octane run after the armored truck heist, considerably less joyful, and for us, abridged. Along with the change in the cover of "Harlem Shuffle" it's a great barometer of a downward, darkward, trend in Baby's crime-adjacent fortunes.What's on the Telly?When Baby flips thru channels at home w/Joe early on, I was hit with some deja view to the channel-hopping in SHAUN OF THE DEAD which connects clips from different shows to create a message about what's actually going on before our heroes quite suss it out. That's not quite what happens here, but the apparently random snippets of content do end up being (1) useful and (2) meaningful.1. Useful?If we pay attention, we learn that Baby doesn't just electronically remix (Kid Koala!) the samples of the people in his neighborhood that he records on his microcassette recorder. He also does it conversationally. When he finds himself at a loss for original words, he verbally samples/replays dialogue—from art and life—that he's stored on his personal hard drive. So, on the TV, we see Alfalfa of THE LITTLE RASCALS squeaking out "You Are So Beautiful." These are the words that seem to uncontrollably fall from his lips soon after meeting Debora. On the TV, we see John Krasinski holding Meryl Streep in some farewell moment in I-don't-know-the-movie, no-doubt-cheekily announcing, "They grow up so fast, don't they?" When casing the post office with Nephew Samm, that's what Baby says to cover up his flub of a guess at the boy's age…TELLER: How old is he?BABY: Four.SAMM: I'm eight.BABY: T[...]



BABY DRIVER: What's in a name?

2017-07-02T02:08:24.724-04:00

What’s in a name? When it comes to Edgar Wright’s movies, a lot! I’m gonna go thru BABY DRIVER’s major and minor players and quick-ish-ly discuss the significance of their names, nick- and -real. Note that I may be using the word “significance” somewhat generously… =)SPOILERS follow!Baby—Miles.Well, I don’t think the significance is all that deep or mysterious on either name front for our wheelman. “Baby” describes his youth, his naiveté, and perhaps a degree of arrested development. “Miles” is a literal reference to his driving skills—miles of road covered—as well as a figurative one—a comparison of his talent behind the wheel to that of a certain jazz great on the horn. Given his mother’s pursuit of a singing career, I feel a pretty satisfying “click” at the thought of his being named after Miles Davis.Jonathan—Debora.I feel like I’m missing something when it comes to connections for both names given to Baby’s girl. We do get a fun discussion and revelation of the significance of “Debora” in the realm of songs with one’s name. I imagine Edgar Wright’s been walking around with some late night discussions of these names and stats in his head since high school. Could it be that cross referencing those numbers with actual lovable songs might have been all the calculus needed to decide on her name?And what about “Jonathan?” I feel like I may have missed a piece of a phrase in the exchange between Baby and Debora about her name tag. I think the punch line, as much as it was one, went something like—So, you’re the new Jonathan? Or maybe it was her telling him—I’m the Jonathan…? Frack. There’s gotta be another layer to this mix-up, right?Joe—Joseph.Baby’s foster dad. Did the movie reveal his full name at some point and I missed it? On paperwork somewhere in their apartment? Well, I didn’t pick up on a last name, so I’m just gonna tackle “Joseph,” and I gotta say, my take is a bit thin and simplistic. You can probably guess what it is—Who’s the most famous Joseph you can think of? And what is BABY DRIVER’s Joseph to Baby?Yeah, it’s kind of a reach identifying Baby with Jesus, but if you do, then his Joseph does line up with the savior’s, right? Basically, Joseph is the man who steps in to raise a boy in place of his absent(ee) father.Buddy—Jason Van Horn.There’s a hilarious exchange between Bats, No-Nose, and J.D. about the disguises J.D. has picked up for the Perimeter armored car heist.EDDIE NO-NOSE: Doc said Michael Myers!JD: This *is* Mike Myers.BATS: This should be the HALLOWEEN mask.JD: This is a Halloween mask!BATS: No—the killer dude from HALLOWEEN!JD: Oh, you mean Jason…BATS/EDDIE: No!This conversation by itself is a nugget of fried gold, but would you believe it’s even moreso for being a set-up for the revelation that Buddy’s real name is Jason? Jason, as in the FRIDAY THE 13TH killer who just won’t die and keeps coming back!Also—Jason VAN HORN! =)I love the simple punniness of it—van horn!—but wonder if there is some specific association with van horns I’m unaware of? Maybe a particularly British take or insight?Darling—Monica Costello.In the car after taking care of the Butcher & company, the crew presses each other about their names and Buddy explains that they only know each other by nicknames, codenames, monickers. With punny timing, Darling then reveals that her real name is Monica.If I dig a little into “Monica” in a musical way, I find that it’s the title of a track on THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY, which of course sets off my HOT FUZZ detector. The singer of the song proclaims his love for Monica, who is—altho the song never explicitly says so—the town prostitute. A rude but perhaps not unfair comparison to Darling’s character (if we take Bats’s “educated guess” to be fairly accurate), and a shameless declar[...]



BABY DRIVER: Screening #2 brain dump…

2017-06-29T16:21:15.515-04:00

This post is gonna be a spoiler-tastic collection of notes, thoughts, Edgar/Easter eggs, and crazy talk on elements of Edgar Wright's BABY DRIVER after a second screening tonight.(You can review my post-screening-1 ramble here.)About names and casting…Buddy—Jason Van Horn.I couldn't hold onto his last name after my first screening, just vaguely recalled it being Van Winklevossy, y'know? Something that fit Bats's educated guess from an uneducated man. But this time, I remembered, and hours later, I get it! I think? Jason VAN HORN! =)Darling—Monica Costello.In the car after taking care of the Butcher & friends, the crew press each other about their names and Buddy explains that they only know each other by nicknames, aka "monickers." With punny timing, Darling then reveals that her real name is Monica. We find out her last name is Costello from a breaking news bulletin later. My mind always jumps to Abbott-and- but I don't think that applies here. =)Griff—short for Griffin.We never get his real name, but that doesn't matter so much here. We do get Griffin, as in the legendary eagle-lion mashup beast, depending on the culture and time in which you ask, supposedly supernaturally wise and partial to gold treasure and testing humans with riddles.Frack, am I confusing them w/sphinxes? Hrm…I'm gonna go with it, just to get my thoughts down.After the first heist, Griff takes it on himself to find out what makes Baby tick, believing his quiet and aloofness to be signs that he considers himself better than the rest of the crew. He explains to Baby—You can't do crime without being a little criminal…One day, you're gonna get blood on your hands.I wish I could remember more/all of what he says to Baby, but I'd bet all of it is and/or comes true.Even if the name isn't a perfect connect, he still plays a Cassandra-like Wrightian soothsayer in the shape of a bank robber.Doc.I don't think we get any clue as to his altar ego, if he has one. All we know is he's a heist mastermind with impressive resources and a line on people with nasal troubles. We do see him sharing drinks w/Big Boi and Killer Mike at Bacchanalia, tho. ENT to hip-hop stars who was once in love, too? =)Bats—Leon.The batty lion. That works. I think we must've gotten his last name in that breaking news report, too, but I missed it. Nuts.Eddie No-Nose—formerly Eddie the Nose.Heh. That's a No-Nose no-no, page 1.J.D.I didn't catch any hint as to his real name. Maybe it's a filmmaking reference, like R2-D2? But specific to something or someone disposable? Or maybe a clue as to his fate, when or if he's ever discovered, post-sunset, he'd surely be tagged as a John Doe, right?The Butcher—never get his name, but the actor? OMG! STILL ALIVE! =)Crazy amazing casting and a damn impressive delivery of a pig-themed bad cop sales pitch! Perhaps PHANTOM holds a special place in Wright's heart? I know it does in mine. Or perhaps it's the man's extensive and inspiring oeuvre as a whole. In any case, a joyous experience seeing him in the BABY DRIVER world.And the rest…Now, whatever I can recall that I want to recall, roughly in the order of appearance in the film…The graffiti behind Baby is definitely updated between his trip to Octane and back to the Healey building. Maybe in more than one place, but I'm only sure about the "RIGHT" + "Shake Shake" art. On the way to Octane, along with Baby's "Harlem Shuffle" track syncing with graffiti and posted words in the environment, we see Baby match poses with wall art of a guy looking up to the sky and play "air horn" in front of show window featuring a trumpet. On his way back, a sandwich board doomsayer tells him that he must save himself from sin, and when crossing the street, a police car just passes him by before turning on its siren.I wonder…Could the lyrics to "Harlem Shuffle" be a map to one of the getaway scenes? Or the acts and plot of the entire fi[...]



BABY DRIVER: Take a Ride w/Edgar Wright's Rockin' Wheelman

2017-06-27T15:51:41.133-04:00

Thanks to the Brattle Theatre and the Independent Film Festival of Boston, I got to watch BABY DRIVER at an advanced screening last week!It is a gorgeous musical roller coaster ride of a film. Writer and director Edgar Wright supercharges another beloved cinematic icon-slash-genre—the Wheelman or Driver—with his remarkable style, vision, wit, and rhythm. While not *a* musical, per se, BABY DRIVER is very musical, delivering snappy dialogue, sharp looks, slick moves, death-defying driving, and brutal gunplay, all choreographed to a soundtrack beautifully interwoven with the film…There's not a lot more to say, really, beyond additional superlatives upon superlatives, and I don't want to go into scenes or characters too deeply and give up any of the fun. I think I'll just let one of the trailers do the talking… allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/z2z857RSfhk/0.jpg" frameborder="0" height="266" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/z2z857RSfhk?feature=player_embedded" width="320">Bottom line—GO SEE THIS MOVIE! And see it IN THE THEATER![rant]And for Space Pope's sake, do NOT take your phone out for any reason while the movie is running. You just paid $10 to $20 for this amazing experience! We live in an age of wonder that allows you to ignore a movie for free at home. Save the spacebooking, twitting, and txting for later. Or if you're gonna do that, or even look at a message on your annoyingly-bright-in-a-darkened-theater phone, get out of your seat, walk to an exit, behind a barrier, or *maybe* the back wall, out of anyone's view, and then have a look, respond if you must, and get back to the show. If you're waiting on your wife to finish delivering, or the funeral parlor's supposed to call about Pop's arrangements, or you're expecting a call from the doctor with those test results—WTF are you doing at the movies? If your phone lights up and you can see it, believe me, everyone next to and behind you can see it. Keep it in your pocket. If you see someone next to or near you futzing w/a screen, do everyone a favor, be your own (and my) hero, and ask them to put it away or take it outside.[/rant]Beware, beyond this point, I'm gonna start lobbing spoilers into my rambling. So, exit pursued by a bear now if you haven't seen BABY DRIVER already!CRITS (oh-so-minor, probably more like backhanded compliments).I don't feel the heart in this that I do in the Cornetto films. Those films—SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ, THE WORLD'S END—had relationships at their centers. But I have to say that my not feeling that with BABY DRIVER is very fair and true to the driver genre. You don't get the warm fuzzies thinking about BULLITT, THE BLUES BROTHERS, or THE FRENCH CONNECTION, right? Well, okay, maybe THE BLUES BROTHERS. =)The characters tend to be flat and archetypal, taking a back seat *sorry-not-sorry* to the action and style. Wright does get me rooting for some of the baddies along the way, because of their professionalism, circumstance, charisma, and, well, moral relativism. And while they may be flat, they own their two dimensions and are memorable, essential, love- and hate-able in their own ways.Of course, we know who we're rooting for—our Baby on board.Maybe this isn't fair to BABY DRIVER, but I'd *just* seen Walter Hill's THE DRIVER, right before it, and was so frickin' impressed with its style and tension and story-slash-chase-telling cinematography. I found myself wanting more from the final car-v-car showdown in BABY. I feel like both Wright's BABY DRIVER and Refn's DRIVE put their tightest and tautest chase set piece at the start of their films. They are a-ma-zing intros to each film experience, but greedy me, I want even higher peaks in the middle and the end.Oh, don't get me wrong—there ARE more peaks, gorgeously choreographed, executed, shot, and edited peaks, throughou[...]



12 MONKEYS: 3x02: Guardians: Catching up w/Jennifer Goines…

2017-05-23T14:18:59.137-04:00

A transcript—so, y’know, *SPOILERS*—of the opening to season 3 episode 2 of 12 MONKEYS. Our hero, Jennifer Goines, finds herself in 1920s Paris, having survived being dropped into the trenches of WWI four or five years earlier…Where am I right now? Somewhere warm? Safe? With people who care about me? Nope. Not me! Some of us got left behind. So, what do you do when you're stranded in the wrong place…? The wrong time…?JENNIFER: Just take these and mail them to America in 95 years.PRIEST: We'll all be dead in 95 years.JENNIFER: Then get God to do it.PRIEST: You're insane.What do you do when not even God will help? You accept that the only one you can rely on is yourself.How do you send a message to the future? How does ET phone home?You need a venue. You gotta make a splash big enough to hit ‘em a hundered years from now.Make ‘em laugh![ CHAPLIN ]Make ‘em cry! [ E.T. ]Give ‘em what they want![ ALIEN (a masterful production =) ]Just when you've got ‘em right in the palm of your hand…[ JAWS ]…you hit ‘em w/the goods!Your message—your piece de resistance! The story you were born to tell! GODDESS: People of Earth…I am the Goddess of Time. I have traveled many centuries to vanquish my enemy…the Witness.WITNESS: Never! Despite your mesmerizing beauty and your luxurious hair, my army will destroy all of time!GODDESS: No, you won't! [Thrusts sword.]WITNESS: [Gags.] Blood! Blood! Blood! [Croaks.]GODDESS: The Army of the 12 Monkeys is no more! Now, I must travel back to my own time!Je Splinter! (I splinter!) The end.[ Francois tears up the poster for L’ARMEE DE 12 SINGES. ] JENNIFER: But Francois, give it a chance! If you don’t advertise, how will I build an audience?FRANCOIS: No one understands “time travel”!JENNIFER: Uh, the smart ones do.FRANCOIS: Do the space one! Or something with magic. People love magic.JENNIFER: But I need this to be a hit! For the history books! So I can be discovered!I do believe that Sean and/or Terry have just revealed their true purpose behind 12 MONKEYS (and perhaps a version of the show’s behind-the-scenes struggles?). They've created the show—and its audience—as a message in a bottle, tossed into the timestream, to be recovered by *their* Lasky, Adler, and Jones. I do hope that their Team Splinter finds this post and comes back for them!But, y’know, maybe not til they fix the mess that we call reality—*cough*2016election!And/or finish up season 4. =)Unmake history!Keep on keepin’ on~[...]



12 MONKEYS: Season 3 pre-binge thoughts…

2017-05-17T22:19:39.401-04:00

Some last-minute SEASON 3 thoughts and wishful thinking…TUNING FORK/TEMPORAL FENCE?I still like my previous thoughts on this device as something that helps James focus his abilities, or as a piece of appropriated Witness/Black Hat tech that he psychometrically reads.However, over the weekend I caught an ad on Syfy that shows James apparently planting the/a fork in the ground, like a flag. Maybe he just needed to support his weight on a trek or climb, but it really had the feel of a claim or border staking, y'know? Makes me think that it may be used to set up a spacetime perimeter, perhaps to protect a region of time and space around 2044 and the Splinter Facility. Or maybe a temporal roadblock, to protect the past from further interference from the future. The idea would be that wherever and whenever these forks are planted some kind of temporal interference wave would be generated, causing time traveling and time scanning tech originating from the future to read only noise. Maybe only one needs to be placed, maybe a set of them, to define a fence, wall, or ring.Hrm…Maybe it's a temporal perimeter alarm, a tripwire for an early warning system for Cole and Team Splinter?THE BLACK HATS.Are the hats functional? A component that's paired with the vests? And matching shoes and gloves? Is there a lot of rain (or too much sun?) in the far future? Or in the red tea zone? The rain always HAS washed away most of the blood, right?What about the style/design? We look at the Witness in Titan, and his followers all wear uniforms based on his garb. So, just for the heck of it, let's assume the Black Hats are doing the same, dressing to honor and identify with their leader. Who do we know that kind of owns that silhouette?Tall Man! Possibly and/or Tall Dad, now that we've seen him.So, I'm predict-o-hoping that we'll see Tall Man stage a coup in Titan, having recruited a chunk of the Witness's followers to his own brand of Time-entology, and scarper off to some hidden Time fortress or zone of his own. Could there be a second Titan? Why build one when you can have two for twice the price, right? From there he did/can/will launch his attacks on our Team Splinter and the Witness in order to ensure some cosmic outcome or order—or chaos, he seems to like that—of his own.I really do like that option. He gets to throw off the rigid fate-itude of the Witness's machinations. He gets to kick the Witness in the pants for deceiving his Messenger mother (Mantis/Vivian/Mother). And with a Time force of his own, he will get the chance to "set things right." Remember what she told Tall Boy on her death bed in 1971…MOTHER: Have faith that the Witness has spoken, and that one day you, my son, will set things right…And he can launch his coup while the Witness is weak, a child or adolescent, still learning the Witness trade. Remember, he's *safe* in Titan. No one's saying he's *powerful* in Titan. Maybe Tall Man's schism is history to the Witness's personal timeline, but (intentionally?) hidden from him since he was a child or youth at the time and required/requires TM's apparently faithful service in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.In any case, if Tall Man does break away with his own Time-tech-savvy army, he becomes a perfect greater enemy to both Team Splinter and the Witness.JENNIFER + DEACON!DEACON: See something you like, Granny?JENN: Not yet.Jennifer 2044 recognizes Deacon and we think the "not yet" refers only to the scar on his face. I think and hope now that it means Deacon himself, whom Jennifer 2016 will eventually fall for. They have the clever/snarky pop culture common ground and "self preservation was never my thing" could probably apply to both of them at the right time. Also, crazy as it seems, Deacon killing her was kind of the ultimate ice breaker. A testament to the talent[...]



GOTG 2: First screening spoiler-ful brain dump…

2017-05-05T00:23:02.205-04:00

Saw GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 tonight for the first time—woo-hoo!I'm not gonna go into much in the way of criticism of the film here except to say that it's a rockin' good time that goes deeper on character and a little shorter on plotting than the Volume 1. What I *am* gonna do is some half-baked comic book fanboy rambling and appreciation.Gotta say, I was kind of WTF? when I realized that Sylvester Stallone's character, Grand Poobah of the Ravagers, was going by Stakar, who in the Marvel Universe is also known as Starhawk, aka "The One Who Knows." It seemed like a weird direction to take that namesake. Of course, it's still pretty much in line with Yondu's translation from page to screen, right?I didn't think that while watching the movie, tho. What "fixed" Stakar for me was one of the end credits scenes, where we see Stakar saying how pleased he is to be able to reassemble old friends-slash-teammates, including Martinex (Stakar's crystalline right hand, Plutonian in the comics), Charlie-27 (superstrong Jovian in the comics, played by Ving Rhames), and Aleta (comics Starhawk's wife, played by Michelle Yeoh). This is Starhawk assembling a roster of the OGs, from the 30th century team of Marvel comics!But—it's not to do any guardian-ing, but instead so they can go rob the heck out of the galaxy. Hrm…Some pretty heavy hitters—Sly, Ving, Michelle. How do they fit into upcoming MCU shenanigans? GOTG allies? GOTG imposters? Maybe their story-slash-heist unfolds in end credits scenes over a few movies? Right now they don't click in place for me.Still, very fun to see the MCU's version of the 30th century OGs.Tazerface! The reaction to that name in the film is so perfect! I wonder which Marvel writer created him and what s/he thinks about what's become of him? From what I remember of the comics, he was some kind of enhanced Badoon who had a personal beef w/the 30th century Guardians.Nice to see Yondu upgrade his arrow fin tech to more closely match Marvel comics' Yondu's natural fin. Legitimately sad to see him go already, even if he did get a proper Ravager funereal sendoff. He got a pretty decent arc, and even though you could see the biodad vs. real dad conflict-slash-realization from 40 clicks away, the actual unfolding of it was pretty rewarding and okay, even a bit emotional. Nicely done, Rooker and Gunn!Kurt Russell as Peter's dad. Kinda perfect. Ego as Peter's dad? Weird, but a good and creative answer to the question of MCU Peter Quill's paternity. I don't think comics Ego ever walked as a man, but I also don't think he was ever just a floating space brain, either. *Immediately* flashed to FUTURAMA. =)I think I first met Ego in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR. Or maybe it was ROM? In any case, I thought he was part of the FF's universe, so was surprised to find him playing a part in the MCU. But then I remembered that when he met the FF, he'd already encountered Thor, so he's fair game as an Avengers connection. We did get one shot of Ego the Living Planet as he looks in the comics, a giant face defined by the landscape and funky organelles of the planet. I was hoping for more, tho, and maybe some of the funky macro-microbiological stuff from the comics, too, like humanoid antibodies and freaky scaled-up cells and organs, y'know? Instead, we get some gooey energy tendrils and Ego's Kurt Russell—and David Hasselhoff!—looking host body in various states of disrepair. Not bad, but y'know, a comic fanboy's heart wants what it wants—giant antibodies! =)It's nice to see Mantis on the GOTG roster, but her introduction seemed a bit crowbarred in. Ego keeps her as a pet and sleep aide. Her unique empathic powers enable her to help Ego sleep, because apparently he has trouble sleeping? Would've been nice to get a better explanation for her pres[...]



12 MONKEYS: Season 3 Teaser: Updated thoughts…

2017-04-29T11:30:46.226-04:00

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CzDWJKuwU5g" width="480"> ********************My third installment of trailer breakdown crazy talk. If you’ve got the time, please check out the first ramble (covering the trailer bits from start to finish).This post is going to include some more thoughts on the first clips of Cole in the post-apoc, the meaning of one of Cole's line that seems to be about passing on some undesirable traits to his son, a description of how to Kat and James can back at/to the future, a connection between the Witness's ensemble and the Black Hats' Time Vests, and—surprise surprise—probably a few tangents.********************James and the Giant ForkEarly in the trailer, we see James standing outside the Splinter facility, time tuning fork in hand, the camera moving around him just a bit. The trailer then cuts to him standing in what looks to be a post-apoc Times Square. The camera is behind him in this shot, but still moving around him just a bit.I rambled a bit about the possible functionality of the Time Fork—that it enhances his “James Cole doesn’t need a time machine” abilities, allowing him to induce and better navigate red-leaf-tea zone visits at will—but didn’t realize that we were being shown proof of it in those clips.What if those clips are part of the same camera move around Cole, and what’s happening is that he is scrolling through time and space, similar to how 2044 Jennifer guided Katarina through spacetime during their mad red tea party. So, the full scene would start w/the camera in front of Cole, with the lab behind him. Then the camera moves in a circle with Cole its focus in the center while time and space change around him, showing us what he sees as he messes w/the 4-way rocker switch on his Time Fork controller, attempting to dial in a specific moment and location.I suspect that this ability may only be a form of mental/astral projection, allowing him to see and hear what happens at a certain time and place, but not actually physically visit. MAYbe with some practice he can possess someone other than himself, tho, and affect things via a host body, the way the Witness can and has.Time Fork? Time Trident? Time Bident? Timedent? Time Tongs? Chrono-prong?COLE: If there's something wrong with him, he got it from me…Cole apparently wants to take responsibility for his son’s darkness or wrongness…As Hank Hill would say—That boy ain’t right.However, I want to believe that line of Cole’s about his son getting something wrong from his side of the family isn’t be about guilt or self-hate or a darkness within him, but an actual physiological issue. Cole’s pretty literally a freak of nature right now. The oldest Splinter-based time traveler around, known to Primaries of several generations, only known survivor of a personal physical paradox, and mental time traveler.What if he’s concerned about passing on some dangerous condition to his boy? Hrm…When we’ve seen the Witness in his tricked out Plague Doctor get-up, there’s been…machinery, right? Possibly something along the lines of a respirator or life support. Maybe that’s exactly what it is. Maybe the child of two time skippers is fated to be formidable in the mental and temporal planes, but frail in the physical one?Or better/worse yet, what if he’s worried about passing on special abilities?What if what’s important about little Hot Pocket is not that he *is* the Witness, or grows up to be the Witness, but that he’s the ideal *vessel* for the Witness. As the offspring of two Splinternauts, one of them uniquely favored by Time (as Lillian put it—James Cole don’t need no stinkin’ time machine!), it would come as no surprise if Jimmy, Jr. exhibit[...]



12 MONKEYS: Season 3 Teaser (now w/visual aids)

2017-04-23T16:41:57.585-04:00

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CzDWJKuwU5g" width="480"> ********************I posted a version without screenshots here. Along with the stills, this v.2 is slightly wordier (can you believe it?), including some edits and additions to the first post’s text/crazy talk.********************So…Syfy’s posted a new trailer for season 3 of 12 MONKEYS. Usually, I would do my best to dodge promos before a show or movie is actually released. I like to get hit w/the text with minimal hints and no spoilers, as little pre-text as possible. But, given the paradigm-shifting “linear-binge” release of this season—leave it to 12 MONKEYS to Splinter an entire season (encompassing centuries =) into a single weekend, with all 10 episodes beamed in order over May 19, 20, and 21—I’m thinking I’ll need to get my wheels-spinning crazy talk wherever I can. And thusly, I ramble…The first new shot of Cole, from the front (against Raritan National Labs?) and then from behind (against Times Square from I, LEGEND?), has him holding a tech-festooned staff. The design calls to mind a computerized tuning fork, *just* the thing for time/dimension/reality-hopping, or tuning/dialing. Perhaps one of its components is a tank of red tea, reloadable via Keurig-like cartridges? With a regulated IV feed or retractable needles in the handle? Maybe this device enhances or adapts Cole’s mental time travel abilities, allowing him to view specific points in time or even what-if?s. Could it be a way to enable him to physically travel? A staff version of the vests? =)Titan appears as a complex/city in the distance with a sea with rocks or wreckage or maybe ice floes in the foreground. Does Titan only move in Time and not space (relative to the Earth)? Is it always in Colorado? Climate change is real, people! It's not magic…It's science!We see someone with great posture ascend the steps within Titan to meet w/Tall Man, or perhaps his father, both surrounded by robed figures. RE: that posture…It reminds me of Ethan Seki, but knowing that he’s in this season, I’m thinking Gaius Baltar.Someone sits at the center of a spiral of glyphs drawn in white on a dark floor. My funnest thought about these is that they might be a new form of math, notation, and/or language, developed specifically to describe and understand Time. Unfamiliar to most humans, but somehow native and natural to Time. These characters represent values, constants, operators, functions, ripples, and paradoxes and describe relationships between them that we wouldn’t understand, but someone whose mind is steeped in Time would. The Witness…maybe Primaries…maybe maybe some human geniuses or those with an intuitive knack and understanding of Time…That first shot of the four hat-and-coated figures, silhouetted in the fog or smoke in the dark…The three lights on each of their vests powering on…Gorgeous! Evokes DARK CITY for me (a good thing =), and some kind of clockwork men. I want the tech to be embedded in these people, but a later shot shows us that this is likely tech mounted on a vest. Portable Splinter/Titan units, a la Doctor Who’s Vortex Manipulators? In a future world (like, the future of the future, post-2044) of 12 MONKEYS, that’s where my head immediately goes. Although, honestly, that seems very unfair, no?Still, if that IS what they are, I'd associate them with some very interesting story/logic that necessitates their not being usable before some year. After all, if the Witness's forces *ever* had this tech, they could have used it in the times Team Splinter has visited, right? Maybe the use of these vests shreds spacetime, and jumping back beyond a certain point would undo thei[...]



12 MONKEYS: Season 3 Teaser

2017-04-23T16:33:21.721-04:00

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CzDWJKuwU5g" width="480">So…Syfy’s posted a new trailer for season 3 of 12 MONKEYS. Usually, I would do my best to dodge promos before a show or movie is actually released. I like to get hit w/the text with as few hints as possible. Go in with as little pre-text as possible. But, given the paradigm-shifting “linear-binge” release of this season—leave it to 12 MONKEYS to Splinter an entire season (encompassing centuries =) into a single weekend, with all 10 episodes beamed in order over May 19, 20, and 21—I’m thinking I’ll need to get my wheels-spinning crazy talk wherever I can. And thusly, I ramble…*UPDATE*I tapped out an updated version of this breakdown—with screenshot visual aids!Read it Blogged or Tumbl'd.The first new shot of Cole, from the front and then from behind, has him holding a tech-festooned staff. The design calls to mind a computerized tuning fork, *just* the thing for time/dimension/reality-hopping, or tuning/dialing. Perhaps one of its components is a tank of red tea, reloadable via Keurig-like cartridges? With a regulated IV feed or retractable needles in the handle? Maybe this device enhances or adapts Cole’s mental time travel abilities, allowing him to view specific points in time or even what-if?s. Could it be a way to enable him to physically travel? A staff version of the vests? =)Titan appears as a complex/city in the distance with a sea with rocks or wreckage or maybe ice floes in the foreground. Does Titan only move in Time and not space (relative to the Earth)? Is it always in Colorado? Climate change is real, people!We see someone with great posture ascend the steps within Titan to meet w/Tall Man, or perhaps his father, both surrounded by robed figures. RE: that posture…It reminds me of Ethan Seki, but knowing that he’s in this season, I’m thinking Gaius Baltar.That first shot of the four hat-and-coated figures, silhouetted in the fog or smoke in the dark…The three lights on each of their vests powering on…Gorgeous! Evokes DARK CITY for me (a good thing =), and some kind of clockwork men. I want the tech to be embedded in these people, but a later shot shows us that this is likely tech mounted on a vest. Portable Splinter/Titan units, a la Doctor Who’s Vortex Manipulators? In a future world (like, the future of the future, post-2044) of 12 MONKEYS, that’s where my head immediately goes. Although, honestly, that seems very unfair, no?Still, if that IS what they are, I'd associate them with some very interesting story/logic that necessitates their not being usable before some year. After all, if the Witness's forces *ever* had this tech, they could have used it in the times Team Splinter has visited, right? Maybe the use of these vests shreds spacetime, and jumping back beyond a certain point would undo their invention in the first place? Or, y'know, something like that. =)I’m *really* hoping that these figures are Something Else, tho. At the bottom of the season 3 poster, we see them standing in front of a console with the Witness’s/Titan symbol, and so, we want to associate them, right? But what if that’s just a couple of these…Time Shadows entering the Titan city limits? What if these guys are representatives of another player in the war across/for time? Perhaps descendants of the Witness and the Titanians, who know more than W does…Or are using W as their agent in their relative past?Or maybe they serve a Time Variance Authority. Some organization—who knows under what authority/morality?—that watches over and polices Time and History, countering and punishing anyone who seeks to change too much. Maybe to pre[...]



PASSENGERS: Space meh

2017-01-11T10:03:45.589-05:00

Website | Trailer Not a lot that I really enjoyed in this, except maybe super-beardy Chris Pratt. That was definitely fun. There's one sorta-twist in the film, but it's barely even that, and it happens quite early on. It is important to the romantic relationship, but—well, I won't spoil it now.I'll spoil it later, after a warning. =)If you've seen a trailer or ad, except for the sorta-twist, you pretty much know what you're getting. A couple of fine specimens are stranded on a spaceship, faced with the possibility of living out their lives within its hull, never reaching their destination. We get a sort of Robinson Crusoe couple—Jim the mechanic and Aurora the journo—castaways on a spaceship with AIs and robots as supporting characters. Not the most dazzling premise, but given the power of a big budget, it could be taken to some very interesting and visually stunning places, especially when Arthur, the android bartender, suggests making the best of the situation. Y'know, basically, the starship is your oyster.Yeah, I don't like oysters, but forget that. We see them indulge in some harmless vices and future fun, but man, they could've gone further and funner. Missed opportunities to amp up the space courtship and give us something truly big-screen-worthy.Why don't you show us what movies or TV shows they choose to watch?Then we get to see Jim apparently exhaust his amusement options and enter despair. This could also have been mined for more, in repetition and chaos and waste.And of course, there's an existential threat to deal with. It was difficult for me to care all that much, given its vague explanation/portrayal.Despite how impressive Pratt's Grizzly Adams beard is, alas, I cannot recommend this. I can give you more of the why, but I feel I have to give up the sorta-twist to do it, so, after this paragraph, I'll ramble further—WITH SPOILERS…When I first saw the trailer for the film, I was mildly psyched. As soon as the movie came out, right before Christmas, I lost that. Tonight, I was looking for some candy and felt like this might hit the spot. I was kind of hoping for this to be something I could mentally insert into THE EXPANSE as an alt tale of the 100-some year journey of the Mormon Ark named the Nauvoo.Mmm…Not so much. Underwhelming on the sci-fi front. Annoying on the plot front.I appreciate the basic EVA suit design (still annoyed every time I see a helmet that's brightly lit on the inside, but I think designers are trying to be careful about pairing that with bright/brighter exterior lights these days), the mag boots, and the tethers, but why no propulsion options?The thing that really bugged me—you've got three arms of the ship spinning for centrifugal force as gravity, but every time the characters are looking out at the stars, they are not moving or spinning. I get that the movie is probably looking for a romantic view as backdrop to the courtship, but imagine and create a space for that in the hub of the ship! Might as well just do artificial gravity, bleah.When Jim has to protect himself from some superhot plasma, he turns a door in the interior of the ship into a makeshift heat shield. Maybe I missed detail that explains the door's worthiness for this use, but it sure played a lot more like a sarcastic remark, maybe a joke, than a legit thoughtful precaution. Needless to say, it worked.And the plot front…So, it's basically YOU'VE GOT SPACE MAIL. You remember YOU'VE GOT MAIL? Substitute Pratt for Hanks and Lawrence for Ryan, change the bookstore war to a 120-year-long space voyage, Jim's engineering knowledge for Hanks's character's book mogul wealth, and that's pretty much it. The sorta-twist of the [...]



ROGUE ONE: Rambling, continued…

2016-12-18T02:42:29.554-05:00

Again with the spoilery whatever-comes-to-mind-ness on ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY…------- SPOILERS FOLLOW -------See my earlier ROGUE ONE rambles for a more complete picture of my madness…Ramble 1 | Ramble 2Chirrut confirms that Baze is also an ex Guardian of the Whills when they're imprisoned in Saw's cells. I didn't catch it the first time, but when Baze mocks Chirrut for praying to the Force to open the cell door, Chirrut fires back with a remark about how Baze used to be the most faithful guardian. Makes his "return" to the faith on Chirrut's passing a little more poignant.I think the formal name is Guardian of the Whills, and their job was protecting the Kyber Temple. Cassian uses the phrase "Kyber Temple," but that seems off, right? I mean, the temple isn't made of or about Kyber crystals. I *think* it must have been a Jedi temple, taken over and exploited by the Empire, post-Order-66.Tarkin does look better every time I see him, but still, uncanny. For me it's his eyes. They move oddly, and don't seem to focus where they should. Seeing them move reminds me of Roddy McDowell in PLANET OF THE APES—eyes looking out from behind a mask of flesh attached to a face. His lips also seem a bit…I dunno…gummy? Or too thin?I wonder if Lucasfilm can continue to make digital improvements and just replace the digital video files in theaters via overnight downloads/replacements. Could they have done just that between Thursday night and Saturday? =)Okay. I'm not so sure that Red Leader, Gold Leader, and Biggs were shot with new actors at all. I think that all of their footage in ROGUE ONE could have been constructed, pulled, and/or edited from shots—perhaps some previously unused?—from A NEW HOPE, and composited into new cockpits and background action. And their ship-to-ship comms audio could definitely be clipped and autotuned if needed from their A NEW HOPE lines.I think the only sex scene in the film is when the two Star Destroyers destroy the gateway. I'm pretty sure the "Love Theme from ROGUE ONE" was playing during that.Planets/moons/locations we visit…The Erso black sand farm planet…The Ring of F—something, an asteroid trading out post…The Imperial prison work planet (from which Jyn is forcibly rescued—"Congratulations!" =)…Yavin-4…Why did they re-create the exteriors so differently? If ROGUE ONE events occur days before those of A NEW HOPE, the jungle and temples should be practically identical…Jedha, a "war zone." Jedha city/Kyber temple and Saw's hideout…Eadu, a planet of storms and the Imperial Kyber processing facility, headed by Galen Erso…Scarif, home to an Imperial Citadel Tower which holds structural engineering plans and data, cuz why not?Some dialogue I'm trying to remember properly…CASSIAN: Rebellions are built on hope.Nice when Jyn recycles that before the Alliance council.CHIRRUT: Are you serious? I'm blind!Heh. *LOVE* Donnie Yen in this. I so wish he had more opps to strut his martial arts stuff. His take down of those troopers in Jadeh was wonderful—I wanted to applaud! But Baze's moment prevented me (thankfully =). Would have loved to have seen a fight sequence that was choreographed to better/best demo how Chirrut and Baze's skills could compliment one another.I don't think I've ever seen that sand kicking bit before. Nice. =)ADMIRAL RADDUS: Rogue One, may the Force be with you.I think that's the first time I've heard/read that as "Rest in peace."CHIRRUT: The strongest stars have hearts of Kyber.This may be a SWU scientific truth? I don't know. I want/wanted this to mean something profound, and I can kind of see it as a description of Jyn herself, and maybe her fath[...]



ROGUE ONE: Second screening download…

2016-12-17T15:20:12.748-05:00

Another ramble of movie thoughts after a second screening of ROGUE ONE. Beware—SPOILERS!Oh, I don't think I actually said this in my earlier post, but I LOVE IT! Probably my best time at a STAR WARS film since ROTJ.Okay, rambling on…On second viewing, Tarkin is definitely CG, but looks really good. I think I might've believed it was a human actor w/some good makeup if only the eyes were done right. There's something off in how they focus (or don't, properly) and dart in a couple of moments.Leia *is* flesh and blood (or if she isn't, well, frickin done, ILM =). Just slightly off in a look-alike way. My first screening was a late show and maybe my eyes were going and I think that seeing CG Tarkin prejudiced me when spotting other characters from ANH. Red and Gold Leaders, along with Biggs (the second Blue pilot to sound off after Blue Leader), all look like actors, probably ADR'd/overdubbed with autotuned dialogue from ANH. In any case, I love seeing these "old friends" on screen again.After her first interaction w/Chirrut and spotting Baze in Jadeh City, Jyn asks Cassian who they are and he calls them the Guardians of the Whills. They protected the temple when there was still something to protect. He also makes a remark about how they're still around, just causing trouble. That seems odd/unfair, no? Or is he answering a different question?I never quite got who/what the "Whills" are in Lucas lore. The entire epic is supposed to be from the Journal of the Whills. I always pictured these tall creatures with gangly limbs and wizened faces. Can't remember where that comes from, but probably a McQuarrie painting. =)The music hit me better in some spots, but I guess I just don't love the main theme for of this film, the fanfarey one that plays with the title card.I know there's no crawl, and that makes sense to me, comparing the nature of this story vs. the nine episodes, but I wish there was some way to work in the original theme. It *does* belong with the crawl, tho. O well.Random thought that struck me about this film vs. the Skywalker bloodline story—this, and maybe other such films in the SWU, are like side missions in a game. I really do hope that Lucasfilm allows itself to explore the SWU at different scales and in different genres and tones once it gets a fix on the interest and success of this and the Han Solo film. I'd love to see a film about the acquisition of the Death Star 2/Endor intelligence before/during events of ROTJ, but have it be more cloak-and-light-dagger spycraft than military espionage and assaults. Of course, sadly, in the end, that information was meant to get into the hands of the Rebels, right? But the movie that tells that story will end with mission: accomplished.Definitely felt the deaths more this time around. K2, we hardly knew you. Or did we know you better than most, actually? Except for Jyn, the character building is done in quick and pretty broad strokes, strong strokes, and successful for the most part, but whatev—friendships/brother/sisterhoods forged under fire, right?K2's passing probably hit me hardest, softening me up for Chirrut, Bhodi, and Baze. Although, with Chirrut and Bhodi, their deaths were sort of transmogrified into Baze's last stand/march, when he wades into the remaining troopers blasting, taking hits, and then accepting his end in the detonation of a trooper's fallen grenade. I wish that march had been longer. It really felt like it was building to a Toshiru Mifune samurai-esque last stand, body riddled with arrows—well, tagged with blaster marks, I guess, but cutting down and then thrashing at anyone who attacks/approaches, until he[...]



ROGUE ONE: Post-screening download…

2016-12-16T12:24:25.989-05:00

I'm gonna just ramble out my thoughts on ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY here. Whatever comes to mind, spoilerful notes and thoughts included.- - - - *BEWARE* SPOILERS FOLLOW AFTER 2nd PHOTO - - - -Looks like a full space station out tonight—fitting for a first screening of ROGUE ONE =)I've done my best to ignore, avoid, and miss all buzz, hype, leaks, and BTS whatnot about this film and I'm very glad I did. Its story managed to surprise me in a couple of pretty basic and important ways.It dovetails with the beginning of EPISODE 4, pretty much because it must. Rogue One succeeds in extracting the technical readouts of that battle station. Only one Rebel ship that received the plans survives the arrival of Vader's Star Destroyer and one copy of those plans makes it onto a Blockade Runner that barely escapes, and it's this Runner we see at the beginning of EP 4.At first blush, this feels wrong. It seems like there should be more time, and maybe space—a couple of stops, rendezvouses, or maybe ship transfers?—between this ending and the beginning of A NEW HOPE, right? But remember, at the start of STAR WARS, there is only one copy of the plans, it is precious, unique. This means there was no time or opportunity to make and transmit and/or launch copies to other Rebel contacts. And that means that the blockade runner we see captured by Vader's Star Destroyer is the one that escaped him over Scarif. It's also the blockade runner that Bail Organa dispatched to contact Obi-Wan Kenobi, a trusted friend and Jedi. All of the math works out.Of course, if you want to ignore Occam's Razor, you might imagine that the Blockade Runner makes it to some rendezvous point, the data is copied and passed on to let's say five other ships, and all six ships then make a run for Yavin-4 thru various circuitous courses. Vader and the Empire manage to destroy them all until only Leia's ship remains, the one which originally received the Rebel transmission.But, y'know, the momentum of those last minutes really does want to connect directly to the first minutes of A NEW HOPE.The events, the time involved, just *feels* so compressed, counterintuitive, surprising. Maybe that's good, tho, at least for me, because it made me THINK about how it should have happened, which I somehow never actually have. =)And I gotta say, I went into this expecting a feel-good big-win story. I mean, we know they get the plans, right? But I hadn't really thought it through… After all, "Many Bothans died," right? Only while I was watching ROGUE ONE, in the scene in Rebels central on Yavin 4 when Jyn Erso passes along her father's message and tries to rally the Alliance forces to assault the Imperial whatzit on Scarif, did it click for me that this was going to be a SEVEN SAMURAI scenario. A victory, but at a high cost.-----------------------------------Errata/apologies:"Many Bothans died" was Mon Mothma speaking of the Death Star/Endor plans in RETURN OF THE JEDI. There was no reference to the dangers involved in acquiring the Stardust plans in A NEW HOPE. My badd.-----------------------------------The Force is with me and I am one with the Force. I *love* me some Donnie Yen in the SWU. =)Donnie's Chirrut Imwe is a Jedi Temple guardian. In the aftermath of the Clone Wars and the ascendence of the Empire, he is out of a legit job, but still keeps close to his station, the temple on Jedha, where the Empire is mining Kyber Crystals.Hrm… Are there a mess of tiny Kyber asteroids in orbit around Endor? In a belt in the Yavin system?I'm liking to think that guardians might be Force-strong individuals who were found or r[...]



WESTWORLD: pre-finale crazy talk…

2016-12-05T09:59:01.016-05:00

Some rambling thoughts on WestWorld-ness before the first season finale plays…BERNARD = ARNOLD 2.0…This revelation was not a surprise, but I *am* annoyed that I didn't untangle the name/wordplay before last episode. I just hadn't thought about it and had forgotten Bernard's full name until I saw it in print again: BERNARD LOWE. Which probably every fan by now knows or has seen anagrams out to ARNOLD WEBER.That find is kind of at odds with Ford's own words, when we see him bring Bernard online for the first time and apparently pulls the name "Bernard" from out of thin air.Perhaps Ford's own programming doesn't catch that consciously? Heh, yeah. I have a zany out there theory that Arnold created Ford and Ford created Bernard. Ford's mechanical family fits Arnold's philosophy of trauma = character, right?Anyhow… So! Ford created Bernard in the image of his murdered-by-Delores partner, Arnold. Do Hosts age? Does Bernard look the way Arnold did when he died? If so, then…I haven't found the time to do a re-watch, but when I do, maybe over the holidays…I'm gonna want to look for scenes with just Bernard and a Host. Or Bernard with random Rosenrantzy types, if there are any such scenes. Cuz, the first time thru, we assume we're watching Bernard interact with someone or some Host. However, if Bernard was designed to look just like Arnold, then we may have actually been watching ARNOLD interact with someone or some Host, and thusly many of his words might have more and/or different significance, and also place the conversation 34 years in the past.BERNARD'S CONTINGENCY PLAN?I think that Ashley Stubbs (security chief) getting lured out to the park and than captured by the (G)Host Nation as part of Bernard's (contingency) plan. Well, I *hope* that's the case. I like Bernard! And Ashley is the only one who sussed out and acknowledged Bernard's relationship with Theresa. He has an eye and head for uncovering truths and secrets, so Bernard setting him on a trail that leads to Ford's levels of manipulation and deceit might avenge or even save him.But—the lure was Elsie's transponder signal or phone or whatever. Did Bernard remember what happened to Elsie before confronting Ford with infernal device Clementine?But actually—he knew that Elsie was conspicuously absent (supposedly away), and knew that she'd gone snooping in the park before that. So, Bernard could have programmed the park's system to register Elsie's signal without an actual source present.THE REAL WORLD?I'm really hoping for a revelation that shows us that the real world, outside the park, is a serious mess. Dystopian in some way or ways? Post-WW3? Environmental catastrophe? Plague? Corporate fascist state/s? Maybe an extreme 1%/99% schism? It *is* implied that it takes a decent fortune to afford a ticket to WestWorld, right? A playground for the rich.What if WestWorld is in a bubble, or a Matrix-like sim, or in orbit…? =)CORPORATE ESPIONAGE?So the board itself is behind the transmission of proprietary data out of the park, presumably to some umbrella corp's military R&D division, right?But maybe it's something else? And maybe Ford knows about it. Why would he allow it to go on? Perhaps because it's information he doesn't give a damn about.Maybe it's not technical info at all, but compromising data/recordings of the behavior of certain patrons?Maybe he's allowed certain data to leave his kingdom because he knows it's useless or unimportant? Or because he's intentionally poisoned it so that it's useless.When Bernard goes searching for the Woodcutter data, it’s registered[...]



12 MONKEYS: Theory-palooza 2

2016-07-18T01:44:36.660-04:00

Got a couple more partially baked notions to share…- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - TASK FORCE OSo far, the conflict over the undoing of the plague-pocalypse and then the destruction of Time has been between two parties—the Witness and his Army of the 12 Monkeys versus Project Splinter and Jennifer Goines and her Daughters.But in the wake of their conflict, they have created a third, de facto party—the allies of Team Splinter and the discarded pawns of the Witness. People whose lives amount to collateral damage in the conflict between these two temporal superpowers.I believe that someone could organize these individuals into a strategic and effective force that can make a difference in the outcome of this time war—Olivia.She’s familiar with the Word of the Witness and the worldly workings of the Army over decades of time. She has visited the Red Forest and can navigate others to it via red leaf tea. She is gifted with supernatural strength and healing, and may very well be Splinter-compatible (like the Messengers, whose DNA and abilities contribute to her own, thanks to Vivian Rutledge).She’d be like Professor X, rescuing and recruiting his X-Men, or Nick Fury collecting Secret Warriors, locating literal and figurative “orphans” of the conflict—the likes of Samuel Ramse, Agent Robert Gale, Gale’s granddaughter, Victoria Mason and her son, Elliot Jones, maybe even her brother, Tall Man—and recruiting them to join her in defying the will, plans, and Word of the Witness.To assemble the most effective force possible, she’d need one thing that she’s apparently missing—time travel. As far as we know, she’s never engaged in actual time travel herself. She travels thru time the usual way—from past to future, one day at a time. Father created her in Germany in the 50s; Vivian brought her to America in 1961 to raise her; she grew up to become one of the leaders of the Army of the 12 Monkeys; and she rejects the Witness and his Word in 2016.It shouldn’t be THAT difficult for her to get access to Elliot Jones’s Project Splinter, right? We know that she quits the Witness in 2016, but we don’t see her turn in her Monkey gun and badge. She may still retain her position in the Army and its authority, and with that authority, she should be able to finagle access to Elliot’s to-the-future Splinter device, right? And that gets her access to the future. And once in the future, she should potentially have access to all of Time (via Katarina’s Project Splinter, or perhaps the Witness’s Titan?).Or maybe she contacts a Splinter agent in 2016 at the Emerson. Could she approach young Katarina? She wouldn’t need Elliot’s device if she can enlist the aid of a Splinternaut.Let’s assume she gets access to time travel tech. She could turn 2044 Titan into the action-packed final showdown of TIME BANDITS! She could Splinter in allies from any point in time, including…Samuel Ramse (post-Core-feedback blast, older? or perhaps still youthy, as proof for Ramse and company of her benevolent, anti-Witness intentions)Agent Robert GaleGale’s granddaughterElliot Jones (2016 or later)Jennifer & Daughters (2044, they stayed behind at the Bleeders’ camp)Victoria Mason & son (rescued from the Immortal by Cole and Ramse 1975)Tall Man (a future version?)Could she save those who have died, or appeared to have died?Elena?David Eckland? (dis-Splinter-ated)Eyepatch Ramse?Charlie Messenger?And, since Olivia and none of these allies were actually present for the events we wit[...]



12 MONKEYS: Theory-palooza!

2016-07-17T18:51:01.724-04:00

Gonna throw everything, theory-wise, that I’ve got cooking in my so-called brain out here and see what sticks. =)Well, y'know, not quite *everything*, but whatever I can think of that has a bit more than just hey-what-if? behind it… Stuff that’s at least, umm, let’s say… half-baked.Mostly. =)I’m gonna try and keep the crazy-talk-splanations short. If you’ve read my rambling before, you know it tends to get away from me. Some of what follows has been covered in longer posts already.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ELLIOT JONES IS THE WITNESSElliot Jones invents time travel into the future. In inventing that, he’s also responsible for the creation of red leaves. He’s also the first person, umm, causatively(?), not chronologically, to get a chance to experiment with them in a mind-expanding way. Given his hippie demeanor, I can easily imagine him rolling the leaf before crushing it. =)So, he’s the first human being to visit the red tea zone, the limbo outside of Time and reality, the eventual home of the Red Forest. Without the guidance of a Primary or someone with a mental map, like Olivia, who knows what Elliot’s experience would be like? Maybe raw, unguided exposure to the red tea zone is what makes Elliot the Witness, what causes/allows him to “see everything,” like the ant stepping out of the (Time) line.And maybe he becomes the Witness that Cassie, Olivia, and Tall Man meet in the House of Cedar and Pine when he’s on one of his mind-expanding trips and his body is destroyed and consumed by a paradox event, the one that creates the Red Forest, perhaps the 1957 Melinda paradox, or maybe as part of the chaotic Splinter event at Raritan Valley in 1957, or perhaps a physical meeting with himself, once he himself becomes a chrononaut.The big question mark/issue I’ve got with EJ as the Witness? Is the restoration of his consciousness into a body on the physical plane, in reality, worth all of the manipulation the Witness is responsible for?What else is there for EJ? Saving the world/reality? Doesn’t really seem his style, except that that’s the place where he keeps all his stuff. Saving someone who matters to him? Katarina? Hannah? That seems kind of thin, too, although I do like the idea that his treatment of Katarina tugs at what there is of his humanity, as described above in DAVE-ECKLAND-IS-ELLIOT-JONES. Maybe it’s all a means to a still greater science-y powerful end? Or in service to another, greater intelligence or cause?I’d just really like for it to be Elliot, cuz he’s there at the beginning of time travel in its technological and psychic forms, and he’d be a fitting opposite to Katarina, who declares that she’s not the physicist that reality needs, she’s the one it got by default. When I heard her say that, I immediately felt that she was talking about Elliot.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - JAMES COLE IS THE WITNESSDuh, right? I had my doubts as to his ability to become this shadowy mastermind. James Cole’s natural bent is to take action in the moment. Get from point A to point B via a bullet, right? But what we’ve seen of Cole this season, and what Old Jennifer points out, is a transformation in Cole, growth towards becoming not just a leader, but a clever strategist, with still untapped potential.Y'know, when he hasn’t given up on saving the world to give his lady love a pre-apocalyptic life.Another huge asset for Cole-as-Witness is his apparent “photographic memory.”[...]



12 MONKEYS: 02x12: Blood Washed Away: 1957 to 1959…

2016-07-15T22:58:49.950-04:00

Okay. There’s just too much going on in my head to cover in one post. I’ve had a dozen or so false starts on posts since 02x11 “Resurrection.” I have a problem pulling back to talk about big picture stuff and keep getting sucked into probably-incredibly-unlikely what-if detaily bits.Bleah.So, what this is gonna be—what this is—is me walking thru the events we witness occurring from 1957 to 1959 in “Blood Washed Away.” I’m not touching the events that we saw unfold at 2044 Titan at all. Then I’ll explain what I think they might mean. I’ll admit, I’m going out on an ethereal limb here, but I find some stuff out there that I like, and even though it may not be suitable for prime time, I’m gonna take a look at it.Do feel free to skip the two years of play-by-play and zip on down to “THE THING IS…” to get down to the nitty-gritty crazy. =)1957 to 1959, APPARENTLY.C+C spend 11 months in 1957 trying to identify the Primary as an employee at the Maxwell-Rigfield Manufacturing factory to no avail. Of course, it turns out that the Primary, Melinda, is the wife of Charlie, an employee and friend of Cole's. Charlie, whose life began in 2015, sent back in time from 2043 with a Messenger partner to kill Melinda.Come November 7, 1957, Charlie is married to Melinda, who is suffering from cancer (and its chemotherapy, according to Charlie). His Messenger partner? Dead, circumstances unknown (I suspect that he's the nimrod who "fell" from the factory rooftop some time ago, tho). That mishap is part of some excellent choreography on the part of Charlie Messenger, as it removes the threat of his partner and sets the stage for the introduction of Reginald “Red Herring” Dupuy.Melinda's paradoxidation is a bit perplexing to me. Emotionally, I get it. But Charlie-philosophically, it seems a bit muddy (after two viewings, maybe number three will clear it up).She walks into the factory with the instrument of her own paradox—the bone dagger from the future. As a Primary, she has seen what happens to her, where, when, and how she is paradoxed. It happens at the factory and Charlie is the one who does it. In his words, Charlie is resistant…CASS: You're one of the twelve. You're a Messenger.CHARLIE: I was, but I won't be. Not to her. I can't hurt her.CASS: She's Primary. If you paradox her, you'll destroy everyone—everything. Where's the other Messenger?CHARLIE: He's dead. I'm not like them. Not everything the Witness said was true. Because when I saw you. I just…I couldn't do it.This is interesting to me, because he's obviously been living in this era for some time (long enough to fall in love and marry and pick up the culture well enough to disappear into it, tasks well out of scope of his Messenger training), but was under orders to paradox the Primary as soon as he could. History shows that the factory fire occurs in November 1957, so why send him back months or even years before that? Why? Except to have things play out exactly as they do.In his deeds, however… Well, he accepts the box from Melinda, opens it, and takes the dagger in his hand. He is ready to use it. Melinda has a gun. Cassandra brought a gun. Cole brings a gun. If it's about ending Melinda's suffering, a bullet would do the trick, possibly near-instantly. However, Charlie chooses the dagger.MELINDA: Do this…and we can live forever in the Red Forest like you said…COLE: Charlie!CHARLIE: I'm sorry, Cole. But you of all people should understand this.Damn, that could mean [...]



12 MONKEYS: Who is the Witness?

2016-07-11T18:16:16.741-04:00

I've come up with bits and pieces of a story-slash-theory to explain how several different characters might become the Witness when they grow up. I’ve dropped some of them in previous posts, but haven't been able to compose a decent "complete" story for any of them so far that fits all the data. The magically aggravating thing about the Witness's identity—given the events we've witnessed so far on the show (thru 02x11 "Resurrection"—turn back now if you haven't watched yet!), and the characters we've met: it really could be ANYone if you follow thru on the proper motivations and opportunities.I *want* for it to be Elliot Jones, but I can't find legit motivation in what we've seen of him so far. If he knew he had a daughter, if we saw that he truly loved Katarina (I certainly believe he has affection for her), if he was more than an apparently techno-hippie egomaniacal genius, well…Hrm…Maybe that's enough? =)I *can* come up with opportunities, but the reasons are kind of thin, or require just a bit too much imaginative heavy lifting on my part. For instance, one of my Elliot "Witness" Jones riffs posits that David Eckland is a temporal anomalitical opportunity seized by the Witness to romance Katarina again in reality—"a wild, romantic gesture to a beautiful woman all in the name of love." Cuz, if you subtract their scientific specialties—and allowing for a data set of two—I think you'll find that Katarina has a type. The science hippie, in attitude (both Jones and Eckalnd), at least, if not philosophy (only Eckland ever declares such belief, while Jones is quite focused on making a mark more than anything else).I'd be okay with it being a grown up Samuel Ramse. But there's a lot of unaccounted for time in that. Easy enough to fill in with "indoctrination" of some kind, but I don't love that. A zany deus-ex (but then, what else would you call time travel, right?) that could go a long way to filling in the blanks—Samuel isn't blasted backward in time, but forward. To an era in which everything that he's experienced and learned about so far is history, and prelude to Something Good and/or Something Important. We've seen how Sam thinks the scales should tip with billions on one side and himself on the other. He demonstrates a particular moral and ethical clarity at a young age that could be the foundation for a Witness driven by the Greater Good.The forward Splinter blast might work for Elliot-is-the-Witness, too, but I’m not certain that he’s got the moral balance to take on a post dedicated to the Greater Good.I'd also be okay with it being a reluctant, for-the-greater-good(-and-also-Cassie), Cole. But would rather it wasn't, unless this is an iteration in which a decision by our Cole can change that. I think and hope he's still in the process of becoming, and isn't ready to be a final version of himself just yet.I'd still love for the Tall Man to pull a Doctor Doom-y, Thanos-ian fast one on the Witness (only to discover it's always been him!). Some vulnerability, failsafe, or override, that he's had built into Titan. It's Tall Man's initiative to have the Army embrace technology in the first place. That sounds like just the kind of foundation on which to build a Witness. For him to take the place of the Witness, though, well, I don't know that I see a great motivation for it. What does he want? Power? Has he truly drunk the Word of the Witness Kool-Aid? Perhaps simply self-preservation. He does tell Olivia that[...]



12 MONKEYS: How does Titan get built?

2016-07-10T15:26:07.751-04:00

This is a follow-up to some earlier Titan talk, offering a different path to the creation of Titan town. I don’t think I’ll be drawing from anything after 02x09 “Hyena” but FYI, I’m writing this after seeing 02x11 “Resurrection.”ELLIOT JONES BUILDING TITAN TOWN…At the end of episode 9, "Hyena," Elliot Jones meets with the Tall Man at stately Witness Manor. The Tall Man wants Elliot to helm Project Titan, an endeavor that Elliot characterizes as "massive." Tall Man implies that the purpose of the project is "resurrection" and explains that he needs it as "insurance" against "the future."Ominous, no?This is Elliot Jones, the Godfather of Time Travel, and he finds Project Titan daunting, requiring technology that would take decades to develop. But Even as he considers the impossibility of the task, he seems to be on the verge of a Eureka! solution. Remember, Titan itself isn't about Time Travel, but "resurrection." However, I think that Jones's problem-solving would naturally lead down a time-traveling path, and perhaps Tall Man (and the Witness) already know it. Elliot's work at Raritan Valley turns out to be a twofer! Laying the groundwork for Katarina to build on in the 2040s and also being the key to enabling the timely construction of Titan.Elliot knows that his device (Project Splinter 2015) is capable of sending matter to the future, and before he was shut down, he was very keen on testing with primates and then humans. I had the feeling he was itching to travel to the future himself.So, how would you use a device that can send you (and/or matter or information) into the future to build a machine, a complex, that would require decades of development, in the present? If you were a maverick of a scientific genius, you might start by doing a bit of research… Look for reports of any kind—news, science, criminal, intelligence, rumor, tabloid, folklore, anything—that might be connected to visitors from the future and/or their activities.Perhaps your benefactor, Tall Man, Inc., would offer up its resources to help? Note: It seems that while Ethan Seki was playing front man for the Army's investments, the policy was to give no indication that they have any familiarity with successful time travel or knowledge of future events.Maybe you even search for the project itself "Titan."Sort of like "Remember a garbage can…Remember a garbage can…Remember a garbage can…," but in reverse. Kinda?With the proper access/clearance, maybe in 2016 you uncover the same C.I.A. report that the Keeper prints out for Cass and Ramse in 2044. Perhaps you discover Agent Robert Gale's F.B.I. S-Files ("S" for Splinter =). In any case you collect enough intel to convince yourself that the past and present have been visited by chrononauts from the future, meaning that your device—or something like it—will be completed and perfected. So, if you can get a decent idea of when these time travelers came from (I'm fairly certain Cassie's statements to police must include that, right? And if not, then Gale's files certainly do), if you launch yourself to the proper era in the future—or BEYOND—you will be able to secure a ride back, and return with the knowledge of technology needed to realize Titan in the present, and if that's not enough, the ability to "make" all the time needed, between trips forward and back, to do so.This time-hopping process of developing and building Titan does not requi[...]



12 MONKEYS: 02x09: Hyena: Watching the hands…

2016-06-17T22:49:59.278-04:00

Rambling on revelations in and observations on events that transpire in "Hyena."THE RED FOREST…TALL MAN: 1957. Upstate New York. A paradox so powerful, it destroys the fabric of time…At least locally. Enough to maintain erosion forever. The birth of the Red Forest. Try to stop it, but you can't, because it's already happened. It's like a memory of tomorrow.This sounds very similar to how I've imagined the creation of the Red Forest. A massive paradox that blows away a chunk of reality out of history and into the red leaf limbo-slash-plane. I suspect that this paradox is also the origin of the Witness as we know him. Someone we know will lose their physical form in reality, while their consciousness, their self, will survive in the Red Forest. How long will it take him to master the abilities he's demonstrated this season? Immersion-possession, mental suggestion and shape shifting, receiving/directing his followers in the house…?I suspect this will happen, or be thwarted, and somehow collapse/reboot everything, in the season finale. Damn. That's gonna be nuts. =)It *does* seem very traptastic, tho, doesn't it? It's not like Cole didn't legitimately torture the heck out of TM to motivate him, but I get the sense that TM chose his moment to reveal this info. He paced it all just right, ready for every beat… He gives up the Red Forest origin story, then asks about Oliver Peters's press conference, counts the seconds til his bomb goes off, then his henchman showing up, and wriggling himself free in time to escape.Maybe "trap" isn't the correct word. Tableau? TM gives up the info in a very Witness-y way, to manipulate players into the positions he needs them in. I'm fairly certain that Team Splinter will understand that getting that info was "all too easy." I'm hopeful that they'll have a plan B and time-traveling plan C ready in anticipation. =)TALL MAN v. OLIVIA.Before Cole played "Those Endearing Young Charms" on Tall Man's bones, we got to listen in on the two leaders of the Army in a quiet moment at stately Witness Manor…OLIVIA: Do you remember when Mother would speak of the Red Forest? Promise that we were important, that the cycle would lead us to a world without time…without death?TALL MAN: Your father gave his life for it.I definitely hear a capital M at the beginning of "Mother" as spoken by Olivia, referring to a title rather than a biological description. Perhaps Mother is an Army higher-up, someone who used to have Olivia's role as guide and speaker for the Witness?I wonder if the Messengers called Olivia "Mother."And Tall Man mentions Olivia's father again. The first/other time I recall was at the Paradox Ceremony for Traveler/Ramse/Ethan way back when. Tall Man seems to hold her father in high esteem, apparently saying that he sacrificed his life for the Red Forest. Could he mean specifically its creation, or is he speaking more generally of the cause? I want it to be for the literal forest, which, according to Tall Man, is spawned in the wake of a paradox in 1957 in upstate New York. That would make for a problematic timeline, tho, Olivia's father dying/disappearing in 1957 and Olivia likely born in the 70s, *maybe* late 60s, right?Hrm…Does it sound to anyone else like Tall Man knew Olivia's father? At the Paradox Ceremony he said something like, "Your father would be so pleased to see this." Was he a Monkey peer and colleague? A Primary on the side of t[...]