Tag Archives: 2012

Continuum Continues

Given the current climate in Washington, the plot of the Canadian Sci-fi series Continuum could not be more topical. In the not too distance future, theContinuum2 government has failed. Private business bailed the government out. The corporations imposed draconian laws essentially removing privacy and limiting personal rights. Seven terrorists are about to be put to death for a bombing that killed 30,000 people. The condemned have hatched an escape plot and, at the last second, travel back in time. They did not count on two things: instead of going back six years as they had planned, a miscalculation sends them back 65 years to 2012, and Protector Keira Cameron is sent back as well. Stuck in the past and unable to get back to her husband and son, Kiera concentrates on bringing down the terrorists before they can wreak havoc in our present.

Protectors are the cops of the future. Keira as a protector is equipped with an electronic body suit. This suit, which is worn under the clothes, enhances her physical strength, speed and endurance. The computer within the suit allows it to become a wearable weapon. When it malfunctions Keira seeks out its inventor, Alex Smith, who is a teenager in this time and asks him to repair it. This would be akin to asking Henry Ford to tune up your 1966 Mustang 20 years before the first Model A. Part of the technology Alex has invented allows him to communicate with Keira and even see through her eyes or replay events she witnessed. Impersonating a detective of the Portland Oregon police department, Keira also forms an uneasy alliance with Vancouver detective Carlos Fonnegra.

The show, produced for the SyFy channel is a Canadian production. It includes a current trend unique to Canadian television. Though in recent years continuum3American television has been willing to blur the lines between hero and villain, our friends up north take this one step further. Though the focus of the program is placed on the protector, it is unfair to call her the protagonist. Though she is on the side of the law, the law of the corporations is unjust. The terrorists have a noble agenda, but their means are less than so.

The effects are fantastic. You won’t find the current expectation of movie level effects in a small screen production being met here. What is achieved is just enough CGI to make you want more. Still, you get enough in eye candy to show that the program has a respectable budget. The character development is somewhat slow and tends to lean more plot driven. My favorite thing about  Continuum  is that is does not bother itself with the traditional rules of time travel. It is evident that what goes on in  the past will effect the future, but it is not overbearing.

All-in-all, Continuum is a great time. It introduces some topical concepts for the current America while maintaining its Canadian sensibilities. Is it enough to make up for Justin Bieber? not really…but it’s a start. justin-bieber-canada

 

 

 

 

 

The first 2 seasons of Continuum are streaming on Netflix. Season 3 is currently airing on SYFY.

 

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Avengers Reassemble…in 2 Years

 

artwork appears courtesy of Rottentoons.devientart.com on Twitter @Langley_Effect

 

The theatrical release for Marvel’s second chapter in the Avengers saga has been set.  The film will open May 1, 2015.  At this moment I am very excited for this movie. Over the course of two plus years my opinion may change, but I doubt it.  I can see myself now flying to the theater in my hover car, because my jet pack is in the shop.  Oh the many changes we will experience before we get to see this block buster sequel.

The world will end…or it won’t:

The Aztecs, the Maya, that dude with the cardboard sign in front of the mall they all say the world will end 12/21/12.  Numerous books and  terrible straight to DVD movies have foretold of great disasters that could end life on this planet before this cinematic masterpiece debuts. Unless of course you factor leap year.

We will have a new president…or we won’t

On November 6th 2012 Mitt Romney and Barack Obama will square off in the least interesting election to date.  When we see the Avengers 2 one of them will be President and the other one will not.

artwork appears courtesy of Rottentoons.devientart.com on Twitter @Langley_Effect

All of the Avengers characters will have solo films…except the Hulk…and Hawkeye.

Thor, Captain America and Iron Man will all appear in solo outings in the years leading up to the Avengers 2.  I would love to see some kind of Nick Fury film in the interim.  The last attempt was a made for TV film starring David Hasselhoff.  If you have not seen it do yourself a favor-Don’t.

Technology from Back to the Future 2 will still remain unavailable

The second installment of the Back to the Future franchise showed us an impossible future filled with exciting and exotic versions of everyday items. The year was 2015!! While some of these are expected to be available by 2015 (auto lacing Nike tennis shoes, 2015 mustang) some are no where near ready. I’m looking at you hover board!

The DC and Marvel Comic Universes will be rebooted 368 more times.

artwork appears courtesy of Rottentoons.devientart.com on Twitter @Langley_Effect

In an effort to encourage new readers the two biggest comic book publishers will make drastic changes to tried and true characters(as apposed to creating new ones…seriously when was the last new hero introduced? 1974??).  Expect more heroes coming out of the closet and more time traveling paternity confusion than a whole season of The Maury Povich Show.

A lot may happen in our world in the next 2 years.  Will there even still be movie theaters? Will all content be delivered to some type of box attached to our heads? Will we all finally rise up against $8 buckets of popcorn and $20 3d movie tickets? Who knows.  What I do know is this- As long as there is a new Avengers movie on the first of May 2015, it’s gonna be a great day!

 

 

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Hope, Change, And Growing Pains

Yes We Can?

My grandmother sent me an email last week with a hip, new video about electing Barack Obama. If you can’t tell, I use “hip” ironically. It’s not a huge surprise that my grandmother, an elderly African American swept away by Obama fever four years ago, would still want to help engage the youth. I’m sure this email, with “Fw: Fwd: Fw: Fwd: FW:” proceeding the subject title, is an attempt to cut through the cynicism that seems to enshroud my generation’s political efficacy.

Maybe that cynicism is the reason this video feels forced and embarrassingly generic. Also, is it just me or does that guy accidentally sniff that girl’s butt at 0:54?

Watching “Take Us Forward” makes me feel the same way watching Austin Powers 2 made me feel–uncomfortable. I’m simultaneously struck by mild humiliation and a profound sadness with roots in a more genuine video that came out in the 2008 Democratic primary.

I would be lying if I said this video didn’t win me over. These four minutes turned me from a Hillary supporter to an Obama voter during my junior year of college. I told folks that I changed because of the policy differences, but looking back, I really flipped because Barack Obama was bold enough to hope to tackle our problems, eloquent enough to express the boundlessness of American potential without sounding jingoistic, and fortunate enough to have Will.I.Am put his thoughts to lyrical verse.

I was transformed by those three simple words.

Watching the video now, Mr. Obama and Kate Walsh cut through my political doubt in seconds. But below that is a painful dissonance. A voice in the back of my mind whispers, you are not the man we thought you were.

How did this youthful candidate become synonymous with raining death from above with UAV drone strikes? Are there clues in this video that Obama administration transparency would be Bush-like in its execution?

Is this what happens when the idealist comes to power?

Was it a constant chorus of “no” from the political opposition that ended “yes we can?”

Was the job so complicated, so full of secrets the public doesn’t know, that he couldn’t dare maintain his hopeful agenda?

Was it the dream of a second term that tempered the fire he stirred?

Even my questions sound like apologies on his behalf. Maybe Barack Obama underestimated how much ugly there is between the spaces of misunderstanding that define our political reality.

Don’t mistake my meaning. I love Barack Obama in spite of his flaws and missteps. He has, arguably, the most difficult and demanding job in the entire world, made more complicated by hyper-partisan gridlock and the racist overtures of a country coming to terms with its first black president. I weep for what the man could have accomplished if the economy hadn’t tanked right before he took office.

But that dissonance I feel comes from the loss of hope. For a few months Barack Obama made us believers. His audacity and, dare I say naivete, made us all innocent again.

And “Yes We Can” reminds us, with heavy hearts, that the last four years have been the loss of that innocence.

I believe, somewhere under the mountain of cash and talking points, most candidates run for office because they want to do good. Each of them, at some time, feels what Barack Obama made many of us feel during his first run for the presidency.

But I suspect, somewhere along the road to the presidency, too many secrets are created to keep that hope alive. As more and more of a candidate’s time is given to raising money and fighting the PR war it seems like there’s little opportunity to fulfill the dreams of those early days.

It’s oddly poetic that Will.I.Am’s inspiring refrain is replaced with the painfully forced “Take Us Forward”

Guess the dream was deferred after all.

The uncomfortable truth about growing up is that we often compromise our values to get shit done. Barack Obama has become the avatar for a generation of kids who grew up between 2009 and now. And maybe my cynicism is showing, but I’ll be voting for the president less because I dare to hope we can be the kind of country we deserve, and more because it’s the pragmatic choice.

Grumble grumble. Adulthood sucks.

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