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The Fassbender And The Furious

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The Lil’ Wil Wheaton Plushie Pre-Sale IS NOW HERE in the HE Store. The ONLY way to make sure you get one by the holidays is to order during the pre-sale. They’re $19.95 + shipping. Buy one for you, one for a friend and one to customize with a little fez or horrible spacesuit sweater!

Wil Wheaton Plushie from HijiNKS ENSUE, Wil Wheaton Plush toy doll

Did you know the Fancy Bastards are keeping each other company over on the new Fancy Bastard Facebook Group? Why are you missing out on the fun? Why would you do that to yourself?

!!!PROMETHEUS SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

This comic was inspired by a conversation with my friend Stepto in which he attempted to convince me that I was too dumb to realize that I was too smart to be OK with all of the structural weaknesses in Prometheus. I was determined to hold on to my geek joy and not sacrifice it to his dead, pedantic spite-gods. Then I actually started to think about some of the… all of the stuff in the movie and the black goo of doubt began to race through my system and infect my very DNA. At one point a little techno-organic worm poked out of my eyeball just long enough to shout, “WHY WERE ALL THOSE SCIENTISTS SO DUMB AND BAD AT SCIENCE!?!” Just before I begged Charlize Theron to bathe me in cleansing flames, I realized he had a point.

Still I enjoyed the movie. And what is the most important question you can ask of art designed to entertain other than “was I entertained?” The weird thing about Prometheus is that it distracts you with pretty, and robots, and pretty robots, and murder aliens for 2 hours and then it’s over. So you don’t really notice all of the problems until you’re totally removed from the situation.

Regarding all the talk of “mystery,” I don’t think the plot actually leaves all that much unanswered. You don’t have to know why the Engineers want to delete humanity in order to understand the story or their role in it. David spelled it out perfectly when he made the “Why did you create us?” analogy. We would deactivate and destroy hundreds of thousands of androids if we decided they were faulty or posed a threat. They’re our creation and thus below us and we can do with them as we please. Same goes for the engineers. Whatever humanity did to piss them off 2000 years ago, was enough to say, “Well that’s enough of that bullshit. Time to wipe them out and mark a check in the FAILED EXPERIMENT column.” The “mystery” isn’t the issue.

The issue is one of characterization and motivation. The list of character problems I could make would be too long and boring to actually get anything out of, but all of the problems stem from the same root cause. Every single character in the movie (excluding perhaps David and the Engineers) establish type then play against it at every possible turn. And not in a clever way. More in a “one guy wrote the first half of the movie, then another wrote the second half without reading the first half” type of way. All of the hired scientists are incredibly terrible at their jobs despite displaying and professing their proficiency early on. We shouldn’t even have to question their merit considering the richest man in the galaxy decided to include them on the most important expedition in human history. Their ineptitude immediately throws their own character and that of Weyland (and subsequently nearly the entire plot of the film) into question. You get the impression early on that none of these people are professionals or even intelligent. Why don’t they follow any protocol on the planet? Why do they take their helmets off? Why do they KEEP TAKING THEM OFF even after shit starts to go real bad? Why does their cowardice overpower their scientific curiosity and why is that tolerated by their superiors? “I’ve decided NOT to contribute my expertise to this trillion dollar mission for which I was hired. Cool?” Why doesn’t main science lady ever tell ANYONE that she just c-sectioned an alien squid monster from her belly? No one even asks why she’s covered in blood, not in stasis and COVERED IN FUCKING BLOOD. There are just too many cases where people don’t act or react like actual people.

 Still, I enjoyed it. Considering it was written by a LOST show-runner, I’m not entirely surprised that an excellent premise was confusified into something that posed more questions than it answered. I’m not sure when it happened, probably when LOST got so popular, but why did Hollywood decide that confusing = deep? You don’t get to say “it makes you think” when you really mean “we couldn’t come up with anything so we just left that part out.” Still, I enjoyed it. I just wish it had gone through one more rewrite by someone that wasn’t mistaking ambition for sloppiness or convoluted for thought provoking. Still… I enjoyed it.

COMMENTERS: OK, GO NUTS! Spoilers and all. Get your Prometheus thoughts off your chest. 

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The Harsh Light Of Day

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The Lil’ Wil Wheaton Plushie Pre-Sale IS NOW HERE in the HE Store. The ONLY way to make sure you get one by the holidays is to order during the pre-sale. They’re $19.95 + shipping. Buy one for you, one for a friend and one to customize with a little fez or horrible spacesuit sweater!

Wil Wheaton Plushie from HijiNKS ENSUE, Wil Wheaton Plush toy doll

Check out the Serenity/Star Wars themed art I did for the Edmonton, Alberta “Can’t Stop The Serenity” charity Auction. If you’re going to the event, it could be yours.

I don’t even know what to believe any more. No one seems the like Prometheus. The warmest review I’ve heard from a trusted geek source is “I enjoyed it well enough, but there were some MAJOR problems.” I’ve so been looking forward to this movie for months, and now I don’t even know if I want to see it in theaters or wait for home video. It seemed like it had everything the perfect ME movie should have. Spaceships, robots, space, creepy robots, a lady, aliens, space murder, convulsing, space suits, cryo-sleep, a thing trying to kill everyone, space accents… quite literally EVERYTHING I look for in a movie. Now I’m hearing about character problems and a story that doesn’t quite come together. I really hope this is another Avatar situation, where I LOVE it and all the haters can go suck on a plasma exhaust port.

COMMENTERS: Feel free to give you TOTALLY SPOILER FREE thoughts on Prometheus in the comments. Rest assured that, despite my warning, I will probably read none of them until after I see the movie. I’m still holding out hope.

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Paralleloquels

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HijiNKS ENSUE British Knights Shirt at TopatocoThere is a new HE Podcast. Download episode 77!

You can still order Ultimate Fancy Editions of HE Book 2 AND get your name in the book until I tell you otherwise. Could be a few more days, or longer. Not Sure Yet.

Feel free to use the new term I’ve invented, “paralleloquels,” to describe any movie that takes place in the same shared universe as it’s predecessor but isn’t a traditional sequel or prequel or threequel or fauxquel. I made that last one up too.

So Ridley Scott gets Damon Lindelof to rewrite the new Alien film only to have him come back with an original sci-fi screenplay that isn’t an “Alien” story but potentially takes place in the same continuity. Does anyone else get the feeling that Damon Lindelof just tries to solve every tough writing situation with a flash-sideways?  At the end of the film, is the heroine going to stumble, bloodied and beaten, into a space chapel only to find Ripley, Dallas, Bishop, Newt, Bill Paxton and the aliens hugging (or face-hugging) it out just before they embrace the abyss? Speaking of The Abyss, that water monster is probably there too. So are the ocean aliens from Deep Star Six, Kyle Reese and Wilfred Oatmeal McDiabeteStache from Cocoon.

COMMENTERS: Now that they aren’t doing the prequel, let’s speculate on what it should have been about? Also, let’s figure out what  movies would have been better franchise mashup partners with Alien than Predator. How about Look Who’s Talking? The aliens could have cutesy comments finding their own tails while still gestating in their human hosts. Of course Jon Travolta and Kirstie Alley would return. They’re both Scientologists so playing host to alien organisms is already part of their day to day lives.