Sunday, December 30, 2007

Battlestar Galactica 1x01 33 / 1x02 Water review

The first episode takes us from the miniseries straight to a crisis. The Cylons are finding the fleet every 33 minutes, and the fleet have to make a jump each time they are found. It has been going on for 5 days, so the characters have a serious sleep deprivation. The acting is superb - it really feels like they are not sleeping, and I know the feeling (raising babies, although not with this 33 minutes...).

The cause for this is that a civilian ship, the Olympic Carrier has some sort of tracking device, or Cylon agents. It disappeared after one of the jumps, and the Cylons did not arrive. When it returned, the Cylons returned 33 minutes later. Apollo is forced to blow up the ship, which also had Nukes on it. After he does this, it keeps bugging him at least in the next episode as well. Frankly, I don't understand why. It was the ship or the fleet. It was also not clear if the ship contained any humans on it when it returned.

We also get to see Helo on Caprica, reunited with "Sharon", as Sharon is actually a Cylon (the BSG Sharon - "Boomer", is a sleeper agent. She doesn't know she is a Cylon).


The next episode deals with Boomer. Boomer doesn't know she is a Cylon. She probably suspects it, as her sleeper side is awaken from time to time. In this episode she plants bombs and blows up part of Galactica's water supply. Boomer isn't aware she did it, but finds one explosive in her bag. Tyrol helps her, as he too doesn't think she did it (oh, and he loves her).

As the fleet looses a lot of water, the Raptors are sent to find water. Boomer finds water, but her Cylon side doesn't let her say that she found the water. After her human sides fights with the Cylon one (metaphorically speaking), the human side wins and she declares that she found water.

Grace Park plays the wonderful part of 3 characters: Caprica Sharon, Galactica Boomer (human) and Boomer (Cylon). The latter is only hinted a bit at the end. She does a great job at playing someone who knows something is wrong with her, but can't be sure of what it is.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Battlestar Galactica - the miniseries

After completing Lost S1-3, and since all the good stuff on TV is currently blocked, I need another project, and that is re-watching BSG. I've completed the miniseries today, and looking forward to the rest.

So, what do I like about BSG? It's not just another sci-fi series. This one is about the people, and it has a real feel to it. I'll start with the latter: Although it is set in the future, and in space, the technology looks familiar and non futuristic. They don't have fancy flat screens, no fancy phones, and no fancy computer graphics. Heck, CSI looks more futuristic than they do, which is another way of saying the technology in CSI looks unreal.

Second, the people - they have a real feel to them, and the actors are good, and non-plastic. The relationship between father and son, military commander and civilian commander, and so on.

And the surprise in the end, that Sharon it a sleeper Cylon is very nice. Of course, once you've seen it already, you're no longer surprised, but I'm seeing it with someone who hasn't seen it yet, so it was nice to see him surprised.

Looking forward to 33. I'm already tired :-)

Paul McCartney - Live at the Olympia

So, finally I got a chance to see it over two days. It's 90 minutes long, and it was definitely worth it. As I wrote in another post, this time Paul gives us the show from beginning to end, without any interruptions between songs, or in the middle of them, and with hearing Paul and the band, and not only the audience.

The show starts with Paul alone on the stage, the curtains are closed behind him, and he starts with Blackbird - a very intimate start. He quickly switches to the mandolin, I'm sure you can guess for what song, and the curtain opens to reveal his usual gang in the last years (Rusty, Brian, Wix, and Abe), which I got a chance to see personally in April 2003 in Earls Court.

Then come two energetic songs - Only Mama Knows, which I've waited to see in a live concert ever since I've heard it on MOF, followed by Flaming Pie. It's the first time I've heard this song in a live show, and it's a great piece for a concert. Oh, and Rusty know how to play his guitar!

The second Beatles song is next - Got to Get You Into My Life, followed by C-Moon, in a wonderful version. Oh, and I finally got an explanation on L7 (which forms a square) vs. C Moon (which forms a circle, or something like that...).

Another two Beatles ones - The Long and Winding Road, followed by I'll Follow the Sun. The latter is a bit short, so after he finishes the song, he waits, and does the ending again. And so on for three or four times :-)

Another one from MOF - That Was Me. Again, a great show for a concert, very energetic.

Next is a song that will always bring me back to 1982. A very sad and touching song - Here Today, which he wrote for John after his death.

Next comes Calico Sky, again, a song I've never heard live, and it's a very nice one.

Going back to the Beatles, we get some classic concert material -  Eleanor Rigby, and Michelle. The latter is what the French audience were waiting for!

And now it's time to rock the audience, so we get Band On The Run, which gets everyone dancing, and Back in the USSR, which drives everyone insane!

Next Paul moves to the piano with another favorite of mine from MOF - House of Wax. Rusty rocks with the guitar. Paul's voice strains quite a bit on this one.

Then, a wonderful version of I've Got a Feeling. I think the last live version of it was on the roof. That is a GREAT song for concerts. And if you're wondering who is replacing John on his part, it's Rusty and Abe. Paul also added a short electric guitar segment at the end.

Paul on the piano again, this time for Live and Let Die, with the usual flashing lights and explosions. They all go crazy, and Abe looks a bit tired at the end :-)

Next comes Hey Jude, with all the na na na stuff. The audience loves it, and I a little less. Paul and the band go off the stage. Will they come back? Yes! For some more na na na na.

But then, how can he not, we move to Let it Be, which I'll never be tired of. Then comes the sweet and short Lady Madonna, but it's not over yet. Paul says the next one goes way way back, and I'm thinking, I Saw Her Standing There? Yes! A great way to end the show, but the audience know their job, and so, Paul returns with another one straight from the roof - Get Back. At last, Brian gets a chance to shine with the guitar solos.

The concert ends, and what a concert it was, and as I said at the beginning, a great production. They should take it as it is, without all of the "extras" of his last DVDs, add a DD 5.1/DTS soundtrack, and I'll be visiting Amazon!

That's it for my longest post yet.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Catch up on Lost in 8 minutes

There's a great clip where you can catch up on Lost seasons 1-3 in 8:14 minutes! There are some pretty funny comments, and some obvious missing pieces (Michael killing Libby and Ana Lucia, and the part about Lock's dad), but other than that, it is pretty hilarious.

Check it out here:

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Paul McCartney - More DVDs!

So, apart from Live at Olympia, I now have two other, which are a bit rare: Lightspeed - DVD 1 and DVD 2. Now, these are a bit old and contain the following:

  1. James Paul McCartney - a TV show from 1973 (starring, guess who + Wings).
  2. One Hand Clapping - From 1974. Paul + Wings in the studio, recording a live studio album.
  3. Wings Fly South - a Wings concert from Australia. This is from 1975, and basically is an earlier version of the famous Rockshow.

Up to now I've only had a brief chance to look at them. One Hand Clapping is pretty cool. I've never had a chance to see Wings in action (apart from Rockshow), and seeing them recording in a studio, is much different from seeing them in a concert.

I'm planning on seeing some of them this Friday. I think I'll start with Live at Olympia. Be sure I'll report back!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Heroes have lost their way - 2x11

I don't know how, but somehow Heroes have lost their way. It says something, that I've watched the final episode only now.

Well, the episode was OK. We get some sorts of closure when the virus is destroyed, and Adam is put 6 feet under. However, this was not very exciting to me. The only part which really moved me, was when Nathan was shot. That was a very strong moment. I assume the shooter is Mr. Bennet. And now, we have to wait for Volume 3 - Villains.

And speaking of volume 3, here is a video camera shot of the trailer, which was shown at a Film Festival:


I can't say I'm overly excited, but I hope it will be OK.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Lost Season 4 extended trailer

Thanks to Nikki's blog, and thanks to her loyal readers I've found this exciting new Season 4 extended trailer. We get to see a lot more, with at least two new characters that I can spot in the trailer. I guess the events shown in the trailer will happen in the first couple of episodes, but the idea that only some will make it off the island will probably be the main theme behind the rest of the seasons. I guess the flash forwards will show us who will make it off.

Anyway, here is the trailer. Enjoy!


Oh, and pay attention to the cool reflection of a city instead of the Island at the end.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Survivor 15 Finale - Todd takes it all!

What a finale! I think it's the first survivor in a long time, that the person who won it was a serious contender from day one. Todd was not a physical player, but he was very strategic, and it worked for him very well (as opposed to Rob, not the Boston one). The thing that puzzled me the most though, was how Courtney got two votes. Though it is clear, as Frosti has a crash on her, and Denise couldn't vote to Amanda, after Amanda broke (and she certainly did that!) her word to her.

As for the jury questions, I think the best was when Todd answered J.R. question in a way that stopped him flat. You saw that he wanted to say something, but couldn't really. James had a big laugh!

Congratulations to Todd. He deserves it!

Daily photos for 8 years

This man photographed himself each day for eight years. The result is an amazing video. Check it out in the link below

The Adaption to my Generation - A Daily Photo Project ++ c 7 11 23 ++ JK Keller

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Survivor 1x01 (Israel)

Tonight, the first episode of the first season of the local version of Survivor was aired. It is taking place on an island in the Dominican Republic. Overall, it is very similar to the American version, including a host who is doing his best to look and sound like Jeff Probst (right down to the necklace). There are a few differences though:

  • 52 days, instead of the 30 something in the original
  • 20 survivors
  • Two episodes per week (only the second episode has the vote)
  • The loosing tribe have an individual challenge, and the winner gets a double vote at the tribal council
  • It looks like the person voted off is not yet leaving the show, but rather going to a different island. The purpose is not yet clear

Looking forward to seeing the next episode! And it comes at a good time, when the 15th season of the original is coming to its end tomorrow.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Survivor 15x13

So, we now have the final four. But what did we get before that? The reward challenge was great, having Courtney win the game for Denise. The immunity challenge ended with Amanda winning, with Peih-Gee at a close second. So now comes the weekly "so called dilemma". You can usually tell if it's a fake dilemma, trying to add some tension to the show, or a real dilemma. I think the dilemma here was real, but the reasoning that people sometimes have shows that some people are not aware of the Survivor rules. Let's say you have someone who pissed off a lot of people in the Jury, and he gets to the final two. Let's say the second of the two is someone who piggy backed on someone to get to the final two. The Jury will rip that first person up in the Q&A session, but he will ultimately get their votes at the end. We have seen several such cases in recent years. If someone didn't do anything to deserve the $1 million, they won't get a vote.

So we have Todd, Courtney, Denise, Amanda. I believe that Todd can win against Courtney and Denise. I'm not sure he can win against Amanda.

I don't believe that Courtney can win in any case (god, I hope not!).

Denise can win against Courtney, but I don't think she could win against Amanda.

Amanda can beat everyone, except maybe Todd.

To conclude, the most interesting final two could be Todd vs. Amanda, but somehow I've got a feeling that it won't happen, and that it can go either way.

So, we're waiting for Sunday, but meantime, the first season of Survivor Israel starts on Saturday. They say it's almost a copy of the US show. The big difference is that there are a lot more episodes -there are going to be two episodes a week, with a tribal council once a week. It sounds very promising, and I hope they are up to par with the US show. You'll hear more of it tomorrow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I got a chance to check it out today, and it's pretty cool! It is a sub-notebook. On one hand, it's small and very light. On the other hand, it's big enough to work on. It runs on a Linux distribution, although you can install Windows XP on it as well. The UI is very simple, with large icons which are divided to different areas (Internet, Work, Play, etc.). It has quite a few applications pre-installed, and it also has WiFi.

Who is it good for? Good question! Kids, novice users who don't want a desktop, and so on. What about power users? Well, you're a bit limited with it. It's not very fast, so if you want to install a full-blown OS, with lots of utilities, it probably won't work so well. I tried to use the advanced mode, which gives you the KDE environment, but some dialogs were too large to display on the 7'' screen. There may be a way to change the screen resolution, but when it comes to Linux, I'm a novice.

But it's a great alternative if you travel a lot, and need only the basic applications. At 0.92kg, it beats any Notebook!



Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Heroes 2x10

What an episode (especially due to the last minute)! So now we know what's Adam's story. And Peter is helping him. My guess is that Peter will figure it in time. I hope that the next episode (which I'm too tired to see now) will resolve this.

On the other hand, the story of Maya, Alejandro, and now Sylar is a bit boring. The New Orleans story is also a bit boring. I hope things pick up for the next episode.

Lost season 3 - final episode

Today I've completed a long way. Together with a relative, we've finished watching the 3 seasons. For him it was the first time, mine was the second. We were in a race against time to complete this before season 4 in Feb 2008. We've finished it early, and the new season won't start on time...

But what an episode! First of all, the flash-forward. When I first watched this episode, I assumed it was a flash-forward, but the reference to Jack's father confused me. Seeing it again, when I know it's a flash-forward, was a pleasant experience.

Second, the acting was great, and the story was right on the spot. So we end the season knowing that they are going to be saved, but for some it's not going to be what they wished for (Jack). Charlie is sacrificed (a lead character needed to be killed). Tom is brutally killed by Sawyer (he was a nice guy.Why Sawyer? Why?). Michael Emerson is just great playing Ben. He should get the next Emmy for the best supporting actor (Hey Alex, meet your mom!). Oh, and how many lives does Mikhail actually have?

So now what? I'll re-live season 3 with this new book that I got, and hope that the writers get what they deserve quickly enough, so that we won't have to wait too long for season 4.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Survivor 15x11-12

Finally I got to see the last two episodes!

Episode 11 - the top man on the block is leaving town. James looks like a nice and honest guy. With these assets, two immunity idols, and strength, we were looking at an almost sure winner, and at 7 people to go, it's not fun to know who is the winner. So it was a very good move on Amanda's part to try and get rid of him. I also liked his last words, showing that he wasn't blaming anyone but himself. The remaining tribe members, as well as the jury seemed very very happy with themselves...

Episode 12 - that was a close call for Todd. Although the "sort of" tension, I didn't believe that Denis would vote against Todd. Denise is too nice to vote against anyone on her alliance, although her alliance didn't have any problem voting against James the previous episode. So Todd is still in, and Erik is gone. But looking at "next time on Survivor", it looks like Todd will be on the hotspot again. I can't wait to see that one.

Once Upon a Time - Il était une fois

Once Upon a Time, or Il était une fois, is an old TV series which I used to watch as a kid. It's an animated history series, starting from the creation of planet earth, and ending in the future. It was educational, but presented in a way that kids liked, with a little bit of humor, and reoccurring characters throughout the history. There were villains, and there were heroes.

My 5.5 years old kid just got the first season DVD as a present. I was happy about it, after all, it will teach him some history. Well, I didn't remember it, but it contains some gruesome details! In the first and second episodes you see man hunting animals, carrying the limbs of a dead elephant, or the head of a rhinoceros! You see them cutting meat off of dead animals in a very graphic way, and you see people dying.

My kid was a bit troubled by those sights, but slept well at night.

It's strange how we remember an old TV show as one thing, but when we see it many years later, we look at it in a different way. Anyway, I still think it's a nice show, but my kid will watch it with adult supervision...

Friday, December 7, 2007

My new A/V setup

My Sharp LC32-BV8E LCD TV unfortunately has only one HDMI input. At the time when I bought this TV, I didn't know the importance of HDMI. Up until now I had the computer connected to the TV, so that I could watch HD content. I recently got a new DVD - Pioneer DV-400, which has an HDMI output. It's a standard DVD with upscale capabilities.

Since I have only one HDMI input, I purchased a simple HDMI switch, and two HDMI cables. I got them a few days ago, so now both the computer and DVD are connected to the TV. I cannot say that I see a big difference when I upscale to 720P, but I guess it really depends on the content. Battlestar Galactica looked only slightly better, but Ratatouille looked great (not a big wonder though).

Having the audio coming through the HDMI connection is also a small bonus, for Stereo content, or if you cannot use the receiver for fear of waking the kids.

The computer is not very happy about this. I have to cancel the secondary screen each time I switch to the DVD. Otherwise, when I switch back I might end up with the main screen on my TV instead of my computer!

In the future I will purchase a new receiver with HDMI inputs, so I shouldn't have this problem (I hope).

Big delay on TV shows. More time for Music

This blog is supposed to be mainly on TV shows. My last post was a week ago. This is what I haven't seen yet:

2 X Desperate Housewives

2 X Heroes

2 X Survivor

My better half is falling asleep early so we hardly see anything. I hope for a better TV week next week...

So for now, I'm hearing some new and old stuff. I got a hold of some Beatles bootlegs from the recordings of Let it Be. Some interesting stuff there.

I also got the new Neil Young CD - Chrome Dreams II. I like it quite a bit. I already have songs which are playing in my head. Some of the songs do not sound new, and have bits and pieces from his older songs.

For some reason, "The Way" sounds to me a bit like the "Weeds" theme song.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Finding Lost: The Unofficial Guide: Books: Nikki Stafford

I wanted to recommend this book to Lost fans. I bought this book along with the official companion book. The official book, well, I didn't finish reading it. It wasn't that good.

Nikki Staffords' book on the other hand... a completely different story (pun intended :-). First of all, it's for the first two seasons together. Nikki summarizes each episode in a few words, and then analyses the episode in a very interesting way, and tying it up to different episodes. Each episode ends with interesting facts, translations, open questions, numbers, and more. Along the book she has profiles of the actors, and different references (books mentioned in the episodes, philosophers, whisper transcripts, and much much more). The book ends with several appendices, such as how everyone relates to everyone, information about the filming locations, and more.

Overall, a very interesting read. I'm currently waiting for her book of season 3 to arrive at my doorstep. Finding Lost: The Unofficial Guide: Books: Nikki Stafford

Prison Break 3x08 recap

Why am I returning to this one? I just browsed through a recap of the episode in TV.COM, and it was pretty funny. I didn't read everything, but here is the closing statement. You can read the rest in the link above.

Some old guy, obviously of a higher rank than the Colonel, so I'll dub him General, or Genny for short, enters the Yard. He marches straight to Michael and says that there have been two escape attempts since Michael arrived. Perhaps SONA isn't the best place for Michael so he's led through the front gates. Bellick, T-Bag, MBBM and Whistler are all, "Wuh? Does this mean I'm no longer part of the supporting cast? I gotta call my agent!"