"A keyboard...how quaint." Star Trek Tech News

"Hello Computer?"
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is my favorite original series movie. One of the most quoted scenes just became a reality. In a scientific breakthrough that would make Scotty proud, the scientists of Earth just revealed they invented...drumroll...


It's probably not stable enough to build a whale tank on a Klingon Bird of Prey yet, but a girl can dream.

Here's the news from today's SyFy.com newsletter:

"Oxford scientists say they've created transparent aluminum, but is it similar to what we saw in Star Trek IV? Well, not really. Using a powerful FLASH laser that produces brief pulses of 'soft x-ray light,' they knocked out an electron from every aluminum atom in a lab sample. Because this process didn't disrupt the metallic lattice structure of the metal, it magically turned the aluminum into a substance transparent to ultraviolet light.

Compounds containing aluminum have already been created (such as the aluminum oxynitride pictured above), but this is the first time pure aluminum has been rendered transparent. But you won't really be able to see through it — it's only invisible to extreme ultraviolet radiation. The amazing part? ''What we have created is a completely new state of matter nobody has seen before," said Professor Justin Wark.

There's a catch, though: The aluminum sample turned transparent was tiny — less than a 20th of the width of a human hair in diameter. And the amount of power required to create this minuscule window was equal to that of a power plant providing electricity to an entire city. Oh, and the see-through aluminum reverts quickly back to its natural state. But hey, it's a start. Scientists are saying the technology used to create this entirely new state of matter might also help in the quest for generating power using nuclear fusion."

Neat, huh? So when do you think we get phasers?!


Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" Will Tour

Apparently, we'll all be able to follow Alice down the rabbit hole. But where? How? So many questions remain. My friend Jen sent me this link today, and it sent me searching to no avail for more details.

It's something Disney constructed for Comic-Con. It looks absolutely amazing. But no details are given about where we can expect it to tour. I very much enjoy prop and costume tours. "Lord of the Rings" did it. Disney's new, "A Christmas Carol" is touring the country via train, charging no admission I might add. It's a new trend that's a winner if you ask me.

Experiences like this bring us one step closer to immersive experiences from films we love.
Just imagine what it would be like if we could spend a day actually living the events of a film. Think of a grand murder mystery party recreated in the mansion where they filmed, "Clue". (I'm sure it was a set, but just let me have that one.) Just imagine spending a day solving a mystery inside Disney's, "Haunted Mansion".
Universal is soon to debut the new Harry Potter section of their Florida theme park next year, so we're getting closer at any rate. There's always the Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios. But these are all experiences you have from a nice safe distance. I want the freedom to do something much more hands on and first-person. It's the next logical step for fans.

Well, a geek can dream, right? Until then, I guess we'll all just have to stick to frequently googling the Alice In Wonderland tour. Sigh...


Comic-Book Movies

There have been oh-so-many over the years, but as far as I'm concerned, they can just keep 'em coming. Here's a list of 25 Comic Book Movies that Bolstered the Genre. Click Here To Read It.

What's your favorite comic book movie? Here are a couple of images that will give you a clue as to mine...most obvious clues ever, but hey...

Now, there's some argument about this one so I left it off the list, Tomb Raider. Technically this was a game to film to comic adaptation. So the comic part came last, and I'm not gonna lie...the comic iteration of the subject matter was my least favorite. But still, technically speaking it counts. You can read my defense of Tomb Raider by following this link.


Stop Fox from re-casting Futurama!

Sign the petition at the bottom of this blog. Scroll down, and you'll find the widget after the blog posts and before anything else.

What cruel twist of fate is Fox trying to pull? Dangling Futurama in front of the fans, two new seasons to boot, and then re-casting!

People always say that actors on television or in film are greedy when they demand large paychecks. But here's the thing about being an actor, you're self-employed and you never know when you'll ever get a job again?

And shouldn't Billy West, Jon Dimaggio, Katey Segal, and the rest of the gang be entitled to a slice of the pie that they created? Think of the millions and millions of dollars that FOX could make if they do in fact start up Futurama again. Shouldn't the voices of the show be entitled to a large sum of that since they were integral in its making?

We all know that studios make far more money over time than actors EVER will with merchanidising and re-releases.

Yes, it's a cartoon and yes, they can easily replace the voices and keep going. But they shouldn't because the show won't be the same. The voices ARE the characters. And fans can tell a cheap imitation from a mile away, especially long-time fans like myself. Actually, it's the little voice performance nuances that make the show so funny.

Would they ever replace the Simpsons voices? They tried, but they didn't succeed. People say the actors are greedy, but I say it's the executives who are greedy, wanting to keep more money for themselves and the company.

Don't let it happen, sign the petition! They're just over 1000 at the moment and they need 500,000.


You've Just Entered...The Twilight Zone

Childhood Trauma:
According to Variety, there's a decent chance we'll get to see not only one more Twilight Zone movie, but possibly two. Read the original story HERE.

The 1983 film was a regular at our house. We had it on an old beat up VHS tape we watched repeatedly. It was recorded over, "Singin' In The Rain", meaning the end of the most terrifying segment suddenly spliced into Gene Kelly jovially dancing (and singing) in the rain. which is precisely why I didn't watch the full musical until I was a teenager. Gremlin trauma.

The "gremlin on the wing" scene scared the bejeebus out of me. Quite frankly, it still creeps me out today, though the Simpsons take on that particular TZ episode did a lot to neutralize the fear.

"Aw, he's trying to claw my eyes out." 

Let's just say that on my past 18 hour flights to and from Europe, I was less than pleased to get a window seat. As for the rest of the film, I think it stands up today.

Mega-Sidebar: On some of the Indiana Jones bonus materials, Spielberg (who directed the gut-wrenchingly beautiful nursing home sequence) mentions that Lucas wanted to do a Haunted Castle story. Can you even imagine how amazing that would've been? A Haunted Mansion/Indiana Jones movie? What's left of that idea is the Nazi-occupied castle-scene. Still a classic.

"Son, the floor's on fire."

ANYWAY, the aforementioned nursing home segment from the 1983 movie still gets me crying a river. But then, I have a soft spot for old people movies. Cocoon 4ever.

Then there's the Disney World thrill ride, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, which still raises goosebumps all over my body whenever I get to ride it. I tell you what...I'm inclined to get really and truly excited about this idea of new Twilight Zone material. 

What say you geeks? Yay or nay to new spooky stuff?

Futurama always spoofed what it loved, hence all the Trek jokes. Here's their fabulous, "The Twilight Zone" opening.

And then, of course, there's the oh-so-famous quote which still gets constantly tossed around in my family. This STILL makes me jump, even though I know what's coming.


Comic-Con Fever

I've been babbling a lot lately about Comic-Con, so I thought I'd provide y withou some of the links to said babbling:

Why Comic-Con Matters

10 Things You May Not Know About Comic-Con

Comic-Con: Your Friendly Neighborhood Film Festival

Zombie Girl: The Movie To Screen At Comic-Con

As far as convention satire goes, this is by far and away one of the greatest (and most under-rated) movies to address the subject.

Then there's this, which I also enjoyed very much...

I think I'd make an excellent nerdy correspondent for someone at Comic-Con. Somebody send me next year...I'm shameless...but until then, I'll be glued to the internet as soon as the festival starts and crossing my fingers that Conan will give us a Triumph segment at the Con.

Who would you dress as if you could go in costume? So many choices...so little disposable income.


Acapella Simpsons

Just saw this on the end credits of a Simpsons rerun...priceless. I don't know why acapella versions of things amuse me so, but they do.


Bridget Jones Returns! (and I've got British fever)

Bridget Jones rides again in a third installment set to begin filming at the end of this year, according to People.com today. This is fabulous news.


Harold Ramis Speaks

My friend Josh sent me this link by way of slashfilm.com, and it puts a lot of fears to rest. This combined with the Ghostbusters game definitely puts me at ease. BUT, I also remember hearing Spielberg say he wasn't going to use any CGI, so...take all this with a grain of salt. It never hurts to hear Ramis talk about "the biz" and the franchise. If you can't see the video below, follow THIS LINK to the source page. It's seven minutes in geek heaven.


"Trick 'r Treat" - Finally to be Released

Many moons ago, a movie was made. Word on the street was that it was really really really good. A near perfect Halloween movie, or so the legend went. But the years started to go by...and the movie never debuted. Nobody really knew why, fans who saw advanced screenings raved about it. The buzz was HUGE. But the studio, Warner Bros. simply never released it. The first release date was October 2007. Then there was a rumor that Halloween 2008 was the final release date, but it came and went and NOBODY heard of it again. Just as the film started to fall into shadow, as we Lord of the Rings geeks like to say, THIS HAPPENED. I saw this thanks to Todd Sokolove on Facebook.

I haven't been this excited for Halloween-themed material since ye olde Halloween Buffy episodes!


Ghostbusters: The Video Game

The Ghostbusters game is everything you ever hoped it would be. It's an absolute blast, it's actually really difficult, it looks amazing, it's funny, and it's essentially the perfect film to game adaptation.

The game is tops in the atmosphere department. Just like the movie, the game actually creeped me out a little bit. Okay, a lot. It's more fun for me to play than Resident Evil though, because most Resident Evil games actually scare the living daylights out of me enough that I don't want to play them all the way through.

But the Ghostbusters game basically gives you the power to climb inside the movie and walk around, which is really what I want over and above great game play in this case. You actually get to visit many of the film's key locations, including the firehouse, the hotel, the museum, and more as well as battling famous foes such as the Staypuft Marshmallow Man.

And because Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd actually wrote the game, it's filled with hysterical extras.

For example, at one point you encounter the ghost of a sea captain, Pappy Sargassi. As if the name weren't giggle-worthy enough, the backstory on this guy is that he is either cursed or, "the unluckiest fisherman who ever lived" because he died while choking on a fish stick and being eaten by a Great White Shark. That's pure Ramis right there.

Of course, having all of the original Ghostbusters back for the voice-work makes it even more fun. You get to play as a Rookie in training, which initially I thought would be lame. But again, it puts you in an immersive experience allowing you to feel like you jumped into the movie instead of playing pretend by picking which Ghostbuster you want to be, a la the way we all did when we were kids. (I liked Peter and Egon the best...in fact, Egon was one of my earliest movie crushes.)

The game is also very interactive. You know how in some games, there are only a handful of interactive voice cues and they just use them over and over again? This is not the case here. Whichever Ghostbuster is with you, they say things to you based on what is happening, where you are, and what the characters would actually say. For example, Venkmen is always sarcastic and doesn't hold back with the sass, especially when you do something stupid. Who doesn't want to be mocked by Bill Murray?

The game is amazing, fun to play, and even more fun to watch someone else play. It takes a while to catch on when it comes to using the PKE Meter, but it takes a while to get acclimated to any new game controls really.

One of my favorite things about video games is the fact that they're really great for getting a roomful of people together. Block out a weekend, get a couple of friends, watch the first movie, then just play all weekend. Because once you get started playing, you won't want to stop.

I highly recommend you visit the game website for more information. It's pretty expensive, so if you're an adult, consider splitting the cost with a friend and sharing custody.