Fahrenheit 451 (2018): An Underrated Gem

A lot of critics really didn’t care for this updated version of Ray Bradberry’s masterpiece. They felt it didn’t stick close enough to the original material. On the other hand,  I thought this updated take on the suppression of knowledge by an advance technological fascist state to be very timely. Michael Shannon’s character, the lead book burner, knows a bunch of Shakespeare. So why does he want to burn all the copies? I find this very intriguing.  It has to do with controlling the masses, and keeping the population dumbed down. It has to do with not questioning anything…

Of course, the idea of street bums dying to protect great pieces of literature is somewhat laughable, since the homeless have seemed to care more about rioting against liquor stores in recent years. But lets get past that.

On the internet it has become harder and harder to get information, especially for free. Try and get sheet music for any song to print up and you cannot find it anymore. Just a few years ago you could. Technological information is becoming scarce. Meanwhile libraries have not always that great an inventory anymore, from my experience, unless you count rich Asian areas like Cupertino. People are becoming less well rounded. As a result , all the inventions we get are along the same lines. For instance just a cell phone with a bigger screen, or just a faster wireless connection. Meanwhile, stuff like blockchain and Bitcoin has gone nowhere lately, since the banking and investment community got involved. Society basically is stagnating , much in the same way that this film illustrates. Thus, this film is very timely.

Some of the updates which have been made to the story include a super virus the rebel book savers have created in order to insert the encyclopedia of all books into nature, via a bird virus. Michael B. Jordan, from Black Panther and Creed, plays the conflicted book-burner worker. Shannon plays his boss and father figure. There is genuine feeling of them as comrades torn apart by time and circumstance.

So basically the filmmakers decided that since Francois Truffaut already made a faithful movie of the book in 1969, this new adaptation should focus on how the novel came true.   The movie shows how we have become an angry mob happy to destroy art in the name of political correctness.  We pat ourselves on the back for not reading while the world burns. The movie manages to follow the basic plot of the book while portraying this message.  It also manages to be action-packed with great special effects.  The decision not to follow every part of the book slavishly allows for greater suspense and the ending is a surprise of sorts.

So no, this is not your father’s (or grandfather’s) “Fahrenheit 451” but it is a very entertaining and relevant film that deserves to be seen and discussed.  Catch it on HBO, Blu-ray, and DVD.

 

Salvaged Part 2

 

Journal Entry:
December 2045:

I have been stuck in this camp for far too long. Many of my comrades succumbed to death by being Jazzercized to severe exhaustion and dehydration in scorching 106 degree and very humid weather (for weeks on end straight). Rumor has it that armies of our mindless, brainwashed seed have conquered the majority of the globe. Most of those who have been interned have gone mad, and as a result, have been lobotomized. Meanwhile, the bums and people on the outside parade around in Armani suits, eating lobster and caviar, while listening to cheesy South American tango. Simultaneously, the entire prison population has fully mutated.

The guards made the mistake of having an idealist in their midst. Irwin Nikolai Jones decided to dress as Santa Claus and descend down the mega incubator one night. He possessed an algo-rhythm key code, designed by another defector, a top NASA scientist. It not only jammed the incubator, it also electromagnetically released the locks on every cell in every prison.

The mutants immediately began to slaughter the neo-fascists, while in a state of mindless synchronized dance.

I knew this was my chance to escape the God forsaken planet.

 

The Predator Is a Guilty Pleasure


I went to see Predators the other day. It happens to be directed by one of the actors from the first Predator film (the guy with the glasses in the platoon) and the trailer was awesome, as in totally full of action plus funny. So I went into this film having very high expectations. This film does have a lot of action, and it is also pretty funny. There also happens to be a very high body count involved. However, it is somewhat fleeting and unmemorable, with the exception of the set-up at the end, which I will elaborate on further.

The plot is basically: the Predator is being held at a government facility and they think they have it subdued. Meanwhile, an autistic boy has unwittingly found a Predator suit and accidentally summons a bunch of Predators to Earth. Unfortunately, it wakes up and kills everyone except for a few stragglers led by Olivia Nunn, who escapes by getting naked. Basically, The Predators are poised to conquer humanity. and only the Loonies (led by Nunn, Boyd Holbrook and Thomas Jane) can stop them.

Here is where the film falls short: too much humor. It’s hard to get too worked up about the threat of the Predator when there’s a one=liner every minute. Some of the humor is a little too on-the nose, such as when a character describes the Predators as “alien Whoopi Goldbergs.” Also, the films lacks a setting as interesting as a those of the first three.

In these couple of regards though it is a pretty decent and entertaining action & sci-fi extravaganza: the humor, when it lands, is effective. For example, there is a great gag involving a misunderstanding involving “eating pussy.” Also, it is revealed that the Predators want to use the best of humanity to mate with the Predators, which means that the autistic boy is in danger of having to mate with the Predators. There is a TON of action and unlike the previous films, there is a huge budget ($90 million). The set-up for a sequel at the end is surprising and effective.

Would I recommend this movie? Yes, but don’t expect a seriously memorable or mind-blowing experience. Personally, I like the first film, and then I like Predator 2, as well as Predators (with Adrian Brody). Let’s face it, it takes great actors to make a great movie. One more thing I would like to mention is that Alien v Predator 2 (yes, the one where there are teeny characters and the Alien ends up fighting in the HS swimming pool) is an abomination, and each and every last copy should be tracked down and summarily burned into minces. This one is not as good as the first three “Predator” films but is much better than the “AvP” films as well as the latest “Jurassic World” disappointment. If you’re a fan of the Predator films, don’t miss “The Predator.” It’s the year’s best monster film!

Water Witch

What the hell is Water Witch? You might be thinking something like that. It is a 1970s sci fi pocket novel, written by two female authors:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_Witch_(novel)

You may remember that last year we covered a similar book by another female sci-fi author Andre Norton from the same period. Ooops I meant (time) period. This book revolves around a female main character, who is a con -artist who pretends to be able to locate water using her psychic abilities. Her deceased father comes along for the adventure, and takes on a funky new life form. He serves as her advisor, as she plots to overthrow Red City. Red City is in the grips of some Asshole Lizard Lord tycoon type. This plot is a big mess, but it is fun at the same time. It is neat that the plot is dystopian science fiction , like a Lions Gate film, but with much more fantasy. It was way ahead of its time.

It turns out the Tycoon asshole has been secretly hoarding all the water from the residents of Red City. The Water Witch lady stumbles into deep state complicity in Tycoon’s monopoly over everything. Eventually, Red City goes from being a desert wasteland, to being totally flooded with the hoarded water. Water Witches reincarnated dad somehow drowns in the flooding which occurs. This book is basically an inside look at how the elites and the deep state conspire to hoard all the land and resources from the people, by exploiting crony capitalism. Small businesses and the common man never stand a chance against the FANG conspiracy , which movies like Waterworld and Dune had foreshadowed (decades in advance). Besides the born elite and the indoctrinated deep state, the psychic con artist mystic water witch lady represents the politician. The politician is the false hope of the people, who stumbles upon a great con, but accidentally leads her people into great fortune, partly due to her tenacity and ambition.

Decoding Shadows in Flight

I just finished reading a more recent Ender’s Game book, from around 2011. This book is about Ender’s father Bean, who is sort of an omnipresent giant. He has three kid geniuses, one of which is Ender. Bean has to live in a cargo bay on the space-ship, and can hardly move due to being too huge and weak, yet he controls the ship through a hub. Bean’s kids have been travelling the speed of light, aging slower than the society they left (which has now forgotten them) in order to find a cure for their issue, which is basically being giants. A lot of snobby whiney six year old genius type arguments fill the early parts of the book, as the characters begin to have good development, through the scope of personal traits. Ender punches and breaks his brother Cincinatus’ (referred to simply as Sargent) nose, to end his dominance over himself and his siblings.

One interesting thing is how the sip has its own sustainable life food supply and garden, using the crew’s waste as fertilizer. The author also does a good job scientifically describing hydro-jet propulsion and a handful of other neat sci-fi concepts. If you saw that film the Martian, you will realize that the part where Matt Damon is growing a garden from his waste was heisted from earlier stories such as this one. Much of the book is written in Illuminati coding, otherwise known as metaphors. The Hive Queen which Ender and his siblings take on represents government and corporate control and programming. Ender alone maintains the belief that the worker class of aliens can survive and have meaning in their lives without the Hive Queen.

The major theme of this book is the enslavement of the individual to the state and whether or not the working class can survive without being directed by a strong dictator of sorts. The author, and the main character Ender, have faith in humanity, so he superimposes that on the alien species in regards to the Hive and its workers. I also assume that when card refers to the clones , he is thinking of them as part of the state’s enforcement apparatus, to be viewed as the strong arm necessary to keep the ranks in file.

Lets take a look at a passage from the book. On page 189 of the hardback, it reads, “Thinking of the workers made him realize that the workers who obeyed the Hive Queen as perfectly as they could, they were slaves. They were her daughters, but she refused to let them have minds of their own.”
Later, a few lines down it says, “they had their own wills, just like humans, but she had the power to force obedience.” I read this as meaning Card thinks we are mostly all debt consumerist debt slaves to the Federal Reserve and Federal Government (the clones), ultimately owned by a handful of wealthy families, including the Queen of England, whose portrait is on roughly half the world’s currency.

On page 231, a society where people are damned if they do and damned if they don’t is described. Work hard, and die from the strain of it. Don’t work, and die of deprivation. An economy so bad that there are no good choices, and everything becomes a Hamlet-like paradox. Card phrases it like this,” Creating the ultimate serfs,” said Cincinnatus. “And the perfect soldiers. They fight and die when she tells them to. If they balk, she’ll cut them off and they die anyway. It is a desperate kind of life for them.” Card hints to us that the only way we can win is to not play the game. To succeed from within the Matrix, one has to find a way to live by one’s own rules, and assert their own will to power, even if you have to bloody someone’s nose, or destroy a whole species to do it once in a while. Because that is the smart thing to do.

Sherlocka Holme$ – Club Drown

2. Club Drown

They pulled their sub up next to the other Harley-subs and parked. The club had neon skulls hoisting beers to the right of the door. They swam in.

Looking around the bar, Sherlocka and Throatcrusher only saw two or three unthreatening older Droog types sitting around drinking Aquameg. Most of the drinks were roboticized and served via drones. You could have drugs or vitamins or whatever mixed in too. But they still hired a few bartenders, due to nostalgia.

The owner, Omar Narkoman, was sitting a the end of the bar, drinking. Throatsmasher knew him already, since he had booked his black metal band (Fogkill Deception) there in the past.

“What the fuck happened here Omar?” Thoatsmasher inquired.

“Oh man I have no clue. I showed up here for the active shooter drill yesterday. And I really can’t say any more than that,” replied Omar, reeking of raw albacore. He had chicks hanging off of both shoulders, and a big gold chain.

“Yo, I heard they shot the lead singer of Occult Nepotism, plus everyone in the crowd almost, with a neutron blaster. That was my dog. Was he a truther? Tell me what you know G,” insisted Sherlockda.

“I don’t know shit,” he insisted, putting out his oxygen inhaler-torch, while getting up and trying to leave.

“Not so fast buddy.” Throatcrusher grabbed his collars and threw him against the wall, with an elbow to the face for good measure, followed by an aikido wrist lock control. Some blue gilled-mutant janitors (sub-humans)were trying to mop up the blood streaks. “How come all the bodies appear to have been dragged around, and there are bloodtstain smears everywhere?” pointing to the dark-red smears.

Pointing her own Decap-9000 at Omar’s filthy, sweaty face she said: “Love my bitches but where’s my niggas'”

“What?”

“You heard what I said. Who was in on this Omar? I know you type of scumbags. You were out to collect the insurance money.”

She squeezed the trigger, and millions of protons shot his ear off, with blood spurting out.

“Ok! OK!” the bar-owner screamed. “There was an active shooter drill that day and some teenage psychic kid was somehow involved. That’s all I know. I swear!”

“What was the kids name?”

“Lanza. He is related to the infamous one. He was part of the experiment. They put them in the gifted children program to isolate them and then give them prescriptions and use them as patsies. Look him up.”

“Well, I am gonna need a drink, or ten” insisted Throatsmasher. So they drank mushroom juice cocktails.

After many drinks, a random drunk patron tried to grab on of Sherlocka amazing 34-C breasts. She allowed him to, but then shot him in the kneecap afterwards as a reminder of the MeToo# movement laws, which legally mandated that women make the first move.

“Now if you will excuse me, I must go to the ladies room.” And she placed her weapon back in the holster. This was simply a ruse to go and look for the security room, since there were cameras everywhere, and she wanted to see what had really happened at the crime scene.

Sneaking up behind the operator, who was playing Tetrus 3000 in vintage GoogleGlasses, she placed him in a sleeper hold, and squeezed his consciousness away. Into the datadrive floppy on the Nokia 3400XL she dwelved, and the screen began to show the crime scene. Only, it wasn’t even the band that had been reported playing live by the social media, it was a totally different act performing that night: the awesome legit underground act Dataslaughter didn’t play at all, the social media phenom. Falcons of Rap Metal went on instead and played a bunch of limp-wristed shit. Most people didn’t realize that this band and all of social media, and the deep state were all so closely tied in together.

Singer yells: “Are you all ready to fucking die?” and a bunch of lame shit like that. And hyphey zombie lady was like doing the topless projectile vomit routine to distract everyone. Then all the sudden three mercs dressed in all black walk out and blast everyone with a vacuum photon, cutting them all down like slices of bread.

Suddenly, an alarm went off, and the steel doors slammed shut sideways, sealing.

“This is the deep state. Stay where you are. Do not resist.”

Sherlockda Holme$ and Throatsmasher, blasted their way out through the doors, and fled the bar in their Harley-sub, hooker in tow. Thoatsmasher had found a maiden.

Word about certain weapons getting banned by the deep state was already spreading, causing a big run on them at the rugged barter space. People were so triggered over the issue of the weapons ban controversy, that no one would ever suspect that the deep state was setting everything up like this.

“Where are we going?” asked Throatcrusher.

“To find the real killer, and get that muthafuckin’ bounty dog. You feel me?” replied Sherlockda. “I’m going to Atlantis dog.”

“Are you sure we aren’t playing into the Deep State’s hands Sherlockda?”

“I plan to sleep my way in with the government, and find us some answers G. Then, we’ll make our move dog.”

She allowed Throatcrusher to pick the music this time. He played some Deicide. It went well with he scenery.

 

Geostorm So Bad Its Good

Sometimes I am in the mood for another ridiculous disaster film. “Geostorm” certainly qualifies. This is a disaster of a disaster film. It managed to get shelved by the studio for three years after production, probably because they correctly assumed it would bomb. And yes, it has bombed domestically. Having received the rare zero star review from Rex Reed, only time will tell if the film’s international cast and left wing ideological perspective will generate a better reception abroad.

Directed by the writer-producer of “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” it is about a future where weather satellites have become necessary due to man-made bad weather. Unfortunately, the satellites begin to malfunction, resulting in parts of the Middle East freeing, tsunamis in Brazil, China burning, etc.. Only Gerard Butler and his less charismatic brother Jim Sturgess can prevent a “geostorm,” the mother of all storms. This film is basically like Independence Day but without the aliens, crossed with the classic disaster film like Airport or Earthquake. The directing has a great style because it is so obviously hokey and tongue in cheek that it plays like a 1950’s sci-fi B movie.

The timing of this film’s release is interesting when you consider all of the natural disasters which hit the US this year. The (idea in the movie) that global warming is causing this is hokey and irritating, but once you get past that you realize the film implicates the deep state in harmful weather modification.

The movie begins as left-wing propaganda about global warming, complete with little girl leftist voiceover. A bunch of BS about how the global community has to get together to save the world occurs. Then it  turns into hidden propaganda about the deep state trying to destroy the world through weather modification in order for financial gain. Andy Garcia (who saves the world of course) is the President, and Ed Harris (deep state) is Secretary of state. Both act well. In the 90s there were films with great casts like this, but we don’t get to see an ensemble like this as often anymore.

By the end of the film, we have seen every kind of disaster one could think of, and it all makes about as much sense as “Highland er 2: The Quickening.” There are annoying parts such as the obligatory promise the daughter you will return from outer space BS. Yet the film redeems itself with its stellar cast, awesome special effects, hokey national security “we need to warn the president” type fun, and funny sense of humor. There is also the stereotypical multinational and multiethnic space crew thing, including a female character named Fassbender, who we can only imagine is a Hollywood inside joke.

 

Though this movie actually may have been better had aliens saved the earth, I still enjoyed the film as a guilty pleasure and absurd escapism. It’s not good, but I’ve seen a lot worse. If you want to see a silly but fun disaster movie, I recommend “Geostorm.”

Bladerunner 2049 Review

As a sequel to perhaps the greatest science-fiction film of all time, “Blade Runner 2049” has a lot to live up to. And, surprisingly, it does, in one of the year’s best films. Ryan Gosling plays Agent K, a replicant blade runner who is assigned to track down and kill Deckard (Harrison Ford, returning from the original). He soon discovers that, through Deckard, he may hold the key to a secret that could change history forever.

This film cost $150 million and looks it. Society on Earth is barely surviving an environmental onslaught, but it is still recognizably a “Blade Runner” world. There is a big Sony presence in the future, and a gigantic hologram of a naked woman (which must look great in 3D). The line between human and androids has further blurred.

Harrison Ford is much better in this film than he was in the first one, exuding warmth, humanity, and purpose. I also really liked Jared Leto as the sinister, blind android manufacturer, and Robin Wright as K’s understanding superior. Besides being excellent science fiction, the film is also a mystery and a film noir. As with the first one, the ending is surprisingly moving and provides a real emotional catharsis. Hans Zimmer’s score (with an assist from Vangelis) is his best in years.

If I have a complaint, it is that the film, photographed by Roger Deakins, is not as aesthetically pleasing as the original. That’s a small gripe, though, for a film that accomplishes so much. “Blade Runner 2049” is a must-see.

Heinlein’s Technological Messiah

Robert A. Heinlein’s masterpiece the Sixth Column, written in the 1950’s regards a future eerily similar to the reality of events in the world today. In the future the US and the rest of the free world has fallen to Pan-Asian Red Dawn style invasion. A corrupt regime based on graft and bribery takes over, and the population is enslaved to work camps. A few ex-military dudes are holed up in a mountainside. They develop new technologies – body armor force-fields and cutting edge laser weapons. They also develop an electronic halo, which they use for religious significance. They start calling the rebel leader Lord Mota. He has an Obi-Wan type quality to him.

Basically these guys use their technologies to convince many of the enslaved people to follow them. The Pan-Asian guards are bribed with gold. Also the guards do not report the strange technology because they don’t want to get in trouble with their bosses. So they always report every thing as status quo, so as not to draw attention to themselves. Meanwhile, the halo ex military dudes build up this giant following. It gets to where they are too big for the enemy government to really handle. The religious group is finally rounded up in a public park for execution. However, the rebel dudes depose the Prince using the technology. Finally, they impose their own military dictatorship based on reason and science. This is done under the premise of preserving the union , though in reality it is opposed to restoring the democratic republic.

“It seems obvious. We have here a unique opportunity to break with the stupidities of the past and substitute a truly scientific rule, headed by a man chosen for his intelligence and scientific training rather than for his skill in catering to the preferences of the mob.” (page 222)

Some of the strange things in this book I should mention are the author’s use of Mormons to effect the religious rebellion. The mention of a church massacre in Charleston, SC is a weird coincidence. Also the church strongholds in the story occur in Salt Lake City and Denver, often considered by conspiracy theorists to be centers of FBI and Illuminati, respectively. The use of a gigantic religious hologram by the rebels to cause rebellion also mirrors some newer technologies which we have discussed on the site before.

The Girl Factory: Futuristic Vestige

Another far out book from the 70’s that I found at a used book store recently is called The Girl Factory. “Any shape! Any size! The sexiest and deadliest agents in the world are made in…” yadda yadda yadda. What trips me out about it is that its basically about sexbot assassins. This book was way ahead of its time and was somewhat visionary, albeit very low brow and short attention spanned. Its 45 years since this book got published. Alas! Sexbot assassins are in the news, as experts think they could get hacked to do harm. http://nypost.com/2017/09/11/hackers-could-program-sex-robots-to-kill/

However, how about the scenario in the book, where one was created so close to human (from actual human DNA cloning) for that one could not tell the difference? And then (what if) the intelligence agencies were to use them for clandestine activities?

Here is the plot: A really hot Asian chick, named Sun-Lin, who was trained her whole life in the erotic arts (and stuff like that) gets her DNA cloned by an intelligence agency. The agent is some funny Hawaiian dude. Her clone gets targeted assassination assignments. What makes the book so unique is that Sun-Lin gets aroused while fighting her opponents, and often makes love to them in the middle of the fight, and then kills them inevitably at the climax. It gets really sleazy. She judges their manhood and so forth. Think Kill Bill crossed with Blood Rayne and Cherry 2000! One crazy part is where she applies a poison onto her vagina and then gets eaten out, which kills the target she is seducing.

The plot doesn’t progress a whole lot. Its mostly killing and lovemaking, with a few lesbo sexbot romps to fill any voids. There is also a women in prison component towards the end of the book, which is a nice touch. Some of the racial stuff is outdated by now. Who cares though. This remains a very intriguing and fast paced pocket sized novel that you can take on your lunch break, I highly recommend this futuristically retro and obscure book.