Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Beast Was A Time Lord

Monday, December 3, 2012

Breaking News: Matt Smith Continues to be Freaking Awesome - by Matt Lane

In my recent post, it appears that I spoke too soon...
You see, I had declared Matt Smith to be 'freaking awesome' and as evidence of said awesomeness, I displayed the cover of Entertainment Weekly featuring Smith.

Well.... Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence of the exceeding awesomality of Mr. Smith continues to grow, as the beloved eleventh Doctor will soon be seen on the cover of TV Guide Magazine, and it appears that WHO has won a Fan Favorites contest.  Exciting times indeed!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bieber, so hot right now. Bieber.

I guess the look I'm best known for is Blue Steel...

This is Le tigre.  It's a lot softer; more of a catalog look.  I use it for footwear sometimes.

Friday, November 30, 2012

BBC you are killing me! - By Matt Lane

I'm an American and I need someone to explain the BBC to me.  Was this network invented purely for the purpose of instilling in mankind the virtue of patience?  I thought dial-up internet already accomplished that back in the '90's.

What's the deal?  It's publicly funded and has less money than a typical TV network?  What about BBC America?

Here's my issue:  Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, et al., are putting out some incredible writing.  I am speaking of Doctor Who and Sherlock here.  Not only are they producing some of the cleverest TV writing, but they have also fostered the talents of superb actors in Matt Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Martin Freeman.  Quite an impressive list of young actors, all of which after being cast by The Moff, have been catapulted into huge stardom.  Of course none of these men were totally unknown in Britain prior to their Moffatization, but in the US they certainly weren't well known and now we've got Freeman playing the lead in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit, Cumberbatch playing the villain in the new Star Trek movie and Matt Smith, well, being freaking awesome.

Freeman as John Watson in Sherlock
Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit
Cumberbatch as Sherlock
Cumberbatch receiving the Vulcan death grip
Matt Smith being freaking awesome
I may be speaking out of turn, but isn't this kind of commercial success relatively atypical for the BBC?  So here's my question:  Why must we wait so long between series/seasons?!  Additionally, would it kill them to do say 20ish episodes in a series?

For example, Sherlock:  Series 1 aired in 2010, total number of episodes 3.  No, that is not a typo... I said three, as in 3.0 episodes.  Series 2 also had a total of 3 episodes and it didn't air until 2012.  In what world is it acceptable to put out 3 episodes every two years?!  Are you people in England ok with this?  If so, then add that to my list of reasons why I am glad we had a revolution!

The episodes are 90 minutes long and very well produced, so it's really more of a miniseries - I get that...But still, three episodes every two years is ridiculous.  Downton Abbey at least manages to do 7 episodes a season!

This annoyance gives way to downright injustice when you account for the sheer quality of the show.  It just seems wrong to relegate this much all-around talent to 3 episodes every two years.  I am telling you, if you haven't seen Sherlock check it out, it is available on Netflix instant streaming.  The writing and acting are absolutely outstanding, and it is not "Hollywood" which gives it a very authentic feel.. 

That brings me to Sherlock series 3...  I just finished series 2 and without spoiling anything, may I just say that it ended on what is perhaps the biggest cliff hanger I have ever seen?  So there I am happily viewing on Netflix and I think, holy crap!  I can't wait to see what happens next!  I wonder when the next series is coming out?  Well, I think, series two aired months ago, so I might not have that long of a wait.  Let me ask my friend Google if he knows when Sherlock series 3 will broadcast.  

Me:  Hey Google?  

Google: 'sup?  

Me:  Google, do you know when Sherlock is coming back? -Yeah, BBC Sherlock.  Not Robert Downey Jr and not Lucy Liu.  

Google:  Well it says here that due to the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are big Hollywood stars now, filming has been delayed.  Looks like it won't air till 2014...sorry brah...

Me:  (click here to see my reaction)

Before I conclude this post, let me discuss Doctor Who for a moment.  In comparison to Sherlock, Who keeps the fans waiting much less.  However, the seasons from 2005 to present started with just 10 episodes per season and have just recently ticked up to 12 or 14 episodes.  That's not very much, especially when you have to wait 12 months in between seasons.

To put things in perspective, consider this:  David Tennant had quite a long run as the Doctor, spanning from 2005 to 2010.  5 years...impressive, right?  Except his run was actually only 37 episodes... That's the equivalent of 1.6 American TV seasons.  Furthermore, from July 2008 to January 2010 the only new Who to air were 5 one-hour specials.  Christopher Eccleston was the Doctor for one season....a mere 10 episodes, alas poor Chris, we hardly knew ye....

OK - I got that off my chest.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Where we're going, we don't need roads! -By Jeff Lane

This post was originally featured on the blog of science fiction & fantasy author John Mierau.  John was gracious enough to let us republish it on The Brain.  Please stop by John's site http://johnmierau.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/jeff-lane-we-dont-need-roads/ and check him out.

“Where we're going, we don't need roads!”Dr. Emmitt Brown, Inventor of the Flux Capacitor, Owner of a DeLorean… and a train.

How many of you can remember the exact date you heard that phrase?  I can.  It was July 16, 1985.  I was sitting on the left-hand side of the largest theater (meaning it was bigger than the other one) of The Strand Twin Cinemas in Rockland, Maine.  It was the night before my 10th birthday.  I had just sat between my Grandmother and my Great-Grandmother for over an hour and a half watching what I would come to revere as the best movie created in the 20th century… perhaps ever.

OK – that may be over the top.  I will say, however, that Back To The Future remains my favorite movie to this day (in fact, one of my Twitter accounts is @EightyEight_MPH).  Oh, there were times in my 20’s when I lived in denial of that fact, but now, here in the 2012 where Geek is Sheik (and we have seen a recent fan resurgence with the 25th anniversary release of the film) I feel I can openly come out of the Lyon Estates closet and proudly proclaim my love for the 80’s time travel flick.

So why is this movie so revered by me (and many others out there)?  Why is this quote so instantly recognized around the world?  And why, as we approach that milestone date of 2015 (the “nice round number” Doc picked to travel forward to at the end of Back to the Future, and where he takes Marty and Jennifer to in BTTF 2), do we still need roads?!?

Let’s talk about the film first.  What is not to love?  Great music: Huey!, the 1950’s tunes and the pulse raising Alan Silvestri score.  Go ahead hum the score to yourself in your head right now – don’t you just want to jump out of your chair and find the nearest crazy-haired scientist to send you on a crazy adventure?  The great performances: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson etc.  All those quotable lines: “What are you looking at, Butthead?”, “1.21 giggawats? Great Scott!”, “Goodnight, Future Boy!”, “You are my density.”, and of course the afore mentioned quote that held so much promise for the future that even American President Ronald Reagan quoted it in his 1986 State of the Union Address.

This quote (actually used in both Back To The Future and the re-shot version of that scene at the opening of the sequel) captured the imagination of a generation of us who have grown up with this movie franchise.  I admit, I can’t help but smile every time I hear it.  Being a speculative fiction writer, it either defined or summed up my mindset perfectly (my most recent novel, ONE WAY is a time travel tale, as well as many of my short story ideas).  To me it spoke of a future that is so limitless that even gravity couldn’t hold our feet to the ground if we didn’t let it.

OK, so we are two-and-a-half years from the future we see in Back to the Future 2 and we have a lot of ground to make up if that future is ever going to come to fruition including inventing flying cars, hoverboards and the release of 15 more Jaws sequels.  Is it going to happen?  Of course not.  The future envisioned in 1985 is not the reality that unfolded in the intervening 27 years. 

But does that saying still hold true; do we need roads where we are going?  Do we still have a bright adventure-filled future on the horizon?  Or are our best days as a planet and a society behind us and all we have to look forward to is an ever sickening global economy, destruction of our environment, and a population reaching levels that will plunge the earth into chaos and famine?

I’d like to think not.  As much doom and gloom as the media, politicians and other hand-wringers among us would like to push, I prefer to see a brighter future that has no limits and anything is possible.

That’s why you can re-elect me, Mayor Goldie Wilson… oh, wait, got all political there for a second.  Let me reign it back in.  To sum up and (sort of) quote Timbuk 3: the future IS bright, and we DO have to wear shades. 

By the way, if you happen to be looking for me on July 16, 2015, I won’t be at The Strand Twin Cinema as it doesn’t exist anymore (at least not in the way I would recognize it from my childhood), but you can bet I will be plunked down in front of some screen (or perhaps just a floating 3-D projection of one) watching Back To The Future… with my daughters – introducing another generation to a bright future where we don’t need roads.   

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dumbo Revisited, By Matt Lane

So, I recently watched the 1941 animated Disney movie, Dumbo with my daughter.  I'm pretty sure I had seen this film as a child, but I didn't remember much about it, and let me just say, wow...  I was very surprised at how messed up this movie was in a few places.

Right off the bat we get a nice dose of 1941 racism.  Here, don't take my word for it, just watch the following clip and then we can discuss....

OK, it was 1941, so you do kind of need to go into it with the expectation that if you are presented with a black character, there may be some racism -not necessarily malicious racism on the part of the writers, but just cultural realities of the time that bleed through into the film- fair enough.  I could go with that line of reasoning if it were just the fact that all of these laborers were black.  I'd even cut Walt some slack on the song if it were just the "hike ho", but if you read those subtitles, it goes way too far, even by 1941's standards.  If it were just black dudes singing "hike ho" you cringe a little and think "oh, that's unfortunate, but it was 1941..."  But add in the rest of the lyrics and I've gotta call old uncle Walt out on it.

And then there's this moment:  Dumbo and Timothy the mouse literally get drunk.  This wasn't some side gag thrown in for the parents, it was a shockingly explicit part of the main narrative -just watch the clip.  A couple notes:  Just prior to where the clip starts a clown had inadvertently knocked a bottle of champagne into Dumbo's water bucket.  Also, this clip is not in English -I apologize, but the dialogue is not important for our discussion.

It gets worse...  What ensues from this intoxication seems to be some type of acid trip.  Seriously, I am not embellishing when I say "acid trip"; watch the next clip and see for yourself.  And yes, this follows directly after the drinking.

What in the name of all that is holy just happened??!!  

Why don't you just go ahead and take a moment, curl up in the fetal position and cry.  Go ahead, it's alright -I did.  When you're ready, you can resume reading.  

There.  Better?  But seriously....  I can see that perhaps in it's day this scene was like a spectacular IMAX 3-D James Cameron type deal -something that really blew the adults away -especially if they were seeing it in COLOR on the big screen.  The more I think about it, that must have been pretty amazing for them, so on those grounds it's fine.  But the fact that this trip is so explicitly linked as being caused by the alcohol is crazy to me.  Is this really a good message to send to kids?  What's more is that after this hallucination, Dumbo and Timothy wake up in a tree.  It's the next morning, they don't remember a thing from the night before and have no clue of how they wound up in a tree ......That makes many a frat boys night seem tame.  By the way, what the heck was in their booze back in 1941 to make them trip out like that???

Well, thanks once again for stopping by.  I hope I've given you some food for thought.  Sometimes you're surprised by what you find when you go back and look at classics like this...I know I was! 



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Signs of The Zombie Apocalypse, By Gregg Hanson

We've all heard of people who are obsessed with preparing for one type of apocalypse or anther, "preppers" as they have come to be known; well, I am a zombie prepper. While we here at LaneBrain.net are big fans of zombie movies and TV shows, we are not fans of zombies themselves (zombies eat brains after all!). As the Brain's resident zombie expert, I am tasked with managing zombie preparedness at the Lane Brain compound and we feel that it is important to share our zombie prepping techniques with you, our beloved readers, to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for any zombie threat.

Today we will be discussing warning signs of the inevitable zombie apocalypse, also known as World War Z. It could be a virus, mutations, necromancy, nano bots or any other of hundreds of ways a human corpse can be reanimated. Know this though, it will happen and it will be unexpected. That is why you must be prepared before you become a brain sandwich.

Why didn't I listen to Gregg!  He warned me that I could be a brain sandwich!
The first thing to look for as a sign of an infestation is odd news. Most likely some type of "natural disaster", political uprising, or even an act or war. Essentially anything that causes an area to be "unstable" and authorities prevent you from traveling to. Rumor has it that an infestation happened in Cuba and the embargo is only still in place to maintain the cover up. Look for these indications as a sign that it is time to prepare.

That's all for now. I need to conduct my annual quality control testing of our crossbow inventory. In future articles we will be going over zombie classifications, defense tactics and survival strategies. Stay vigilant friends.... ~Gregg Hanson
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