Friday, May 22, 2009

Top 5 Terminators

So Terminator Salvation comes out this week and I took the opportunity to sneak away from work and see a Thursday afternoon showing. I had read the reviews and my own mirrors what a lot of people are saying. It's fun and flashy without a lot of substance. But the keyword is that it was fun. So on that note since this movie actually takes place in the story of Terminator AFTER Judgment Day there are a lot of Terminator machines that Skynet uses. And that got me thinking what are my Top 5 Terminators? So my list is based on Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation, and Terminator The Sarah Conner Chronicles.

#5 T-800: Played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original 1984 classic movie. He reprised his role in the sequel but that time playing a good guy, made a third appearance in ROTM, and even makes a computer generated appearance and debut in Salvation.

#4 T-X: Played by Kristanna Loken in ROTM this was the first appearance anywhere of a Terminator as a female. And she was hot. Some featured upgrades included an arm cannon, she can analyze dna by tasting and can even jump really far. The T-X was bad ass.

#3 Cameron: Played by Summer Glau on the TV show The Sarah Conner Chronicles. I really like my female bad asses and Summer is awesome. She is approximately an upgrade to T-800 but not as advanced as a T-1000.

#2 Harvester: Played by a computer near you! This giant CGI bad ass is seen in Terminator: Salvation collecting humans for Skynet to do research from. First of all it is HUGE. Like Transformers huge. Secondly it has some kick ass weapons. It features a particle cannon that is shoulder mounted, a lot like the Predator franchise. And it also has motorcycle Terminator drones that it can launch from it's legs to chase down runners. How cool is that?!

#1 T-1000: Played by Robert Patrick. This bad ass made his debut in T2. An upgrade to the T-800 he is sent back in time to kill John Connor. He is made up of liquid metal, is strong and fast, can create swords from his arms, regenerate from almost all damage, and even morph into different idenities.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Top 5 Cover Songs

Someone recently reminded me that opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. With that in mind I put forth my Top 5 Cover Songs knowing that I am leaving a lot of great songs off my list and even personal favorites. This list is not based on album sales, popularity or even coolness. This is simply my favorite cover songs. But what makes a song a cover? If it was originally song and released by another artist and someone knew sings it, it's a cover. What makes a good cover song? Anything that not only captures the essence of the original but also adds to it and makes it something that can stand on it's own. Left off my list are some of my notable favorites such as The Beatles - Twist and Shout, The Beachboys - Sloop John B, Guns and Roses - Knockin on Heavens Door, UB40 - Red Red Wine, Greg Laswell - Girls Just Want To Have Fun, and Social Distortions - Ring of Fire.

#5 The Fugees - Killing Me Softly. What a great song. You have Lauren Hill singing vocals better then Roberta Flack's original and Wyclef and Pras backing up with the Hip Hop flair. The video is a classic as well. One time...

#4 Van Halen - You Really Got Me. Eddie Van Halen bringing screaming rifts on his guitar with David Lee Roth on vocals do justice to this Kinks song and really bring it to a new and younger audience.

#3 Ray Charles - America the Beautiful. You only have to watch the 4th of July scene in the movie the Sandlot to fall in love with this cover and the imagery it invokes. My favorite part is when Ray brings his own flair and claims "Now waitaminute"

#2 Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah. Such a haunting and spiritual cover of Leonard Cohen's classic song. The sadness comes in the story of Jeff Buckley and his tragically cut short career and life. Oddly both the #2 and #1 songs were covered by Jason Castro on American Idol last year.

#1 Iz - Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I guess #1 and #2 have something else in common as well. They both feature singers whose lives were cut short. Iz, a hawaiian singer known for his folksy island sound gives this song a modern sound while keeping the charm and innoncence of the original.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Top 5 Reasons the New Star Trek kicks ass

I don't know that I am what you would classify as a "Trekkie", but I have to admit that up until the last Star Trek movie I have seen every Star Trek movie in theaters since around 1994 or so. I personally just love Sci-Fi, especially Sci-Fi that has a built in history that I can dive into. That being said, I have been eagerly awaiting this new Star Trek movie and franchise reboot for the last 6 months. I was able to catch the first showing on Saturday morning, and even that was sold out. The movie uses Time Travel and a really nasty villain to completely reboot this storied franchise. Fans of the The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and even the original show might be up in arms about completely changing history but I have a theory for that. Ultimately people want to be entertained, and if you keep making good quality movies like this one they will buy it. Also the movie acknowledges that this is now an alternate reality and that things will only change from here. I like that. Respect what came before, but don't be tied down by it. So with that here is my Top 5 reasons why this movie kicked ass.

#5 Zoe Saldana playing as Uhuru - She was great in this movie and it was nice seeing this fine actress in something more then a Drumline type movie.

#4 John Cho as Sulu - I'm a big Cho fan, so he could have just been a face in this movie and I would have been excited, but then Cho had to make Sulu a bad ass with a sword. Bravo.

#3 The Sci-Fi and the Special Effects - From the Mining Ship and the use of a planetary drill, to the costumes, the design of the Enterprise Bridge, the space fights, the bowels of the ship and all the pipes, to the red matter bubble. This movie did a great job of using special effects in great ways and capturing the Science Fiction of it being a space movie.

#2 Chris Pine as Jim Kirk - That's right Jim Kirk as he likes to be called, not James T. Kirk. I'll tell you what, the best part of this movie is that it captures the arrogance of Kirk really well and Pine shows it in his eyes and his in smirks that no matter what you throw at him he will come back for more. You only beat him if you kill him, and he refuses to die. But Kirk gets beat up A LOT.

#1 Bad Robot - From Director J.J. Abrams to the writers and production team they did a great job of capturing the essence and fun of the Star Trek series while making it younger, revamping it, and not being a slave to it's ginormous history.