Archive for November, 2012

Here is my review of “men in black 3” which I saw on BT Vision recently (Released on DVD on 5th November 2012).  Please don’t read if you have not seen the film, spoiler alert.

Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), last surviving member of the predatory Boglodite race, escapes from the inescapable LunarMax prison on Earth’s moon intent on going back in time to kill Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), who, on July 16, 1969, caused the loss of one of Boris’ arms and arrested him. On Earth, K learns of the escape after investigating a spaceship crash in the New York City streets and a Chinese restaurant teeming with alien life. While K won’t reveal any details to Agent J (Will Smith), he confesses his regret at not having killed Boris in 1969. Late that night when the two agents are in their respective apartments, K calls J seemingly to tell all but remains silent and J hangs up on him. K then makes preparation for an ambush and sets to wait when all traces of him and his apartment disappear. The next morning J goes to talk with K and discovers the world is different. At MIB headquarters, J learns that all other MIB personnel remember K as having been killed in action in the year 1969.

Agent O (Emma Thompson), the new Chief after Zed’s passing, deduces from J’s insistence on his reality and knowledge of details about Agent K that a fracture has occurred in the space-time continuum. She deduces Boris time-jumped to 1969 – knowledge of time-travel having been restricted to prevent such an occurrence – and killed K, resulting in a different future reality and an imminent Boglodite invasion of Earth, now vulnerable due to the absence of the protective ArcNet which, in J’s version of reality, K had installed in 1969. Through electronics-shop owner Jeffrey Price (Michael Chernus), J acquires the same time-jump mechanism as Boris, but his query about how he can remember K when nobody else can merely results in Jeffrey informing him that he must have ‘been there’. As the doomed Earth is being invaded, J jumps off the Chrysler Building to reach time-travel velocity and arrives in 1969 the day before Boris is supposed to kill K.

With some inevitable challenges upon his arrival – including his lack of resources and his skin color – J goes to Coney Island to intercept Boris while he is there to commit a historically recorded murder but a 29-year-old Agent K (Josh Brolin) interrupts and arrests J. After fruitless questioning at MIB headquarters because J had been advised not to interact with the young Agent, K has J placed inside a large Neuralyzer. At the last second, after J confesses the truth of his mission, K aborts the procedure. As a wary team, they follow clues of Boris’ trail to a bowling alley then to Andy Warhol’s Factory, where they meet the prescient alien Griffin (Michael Stuhlbarg), who occupies 5-dimensions and possesses the ArcNet. Griffin tells them the Boglodites destroyed his planet, and that he does not wish the Earth to suffer the same fate. Griffin then warns the two agents of Boris’ impending arrival with the intent to kill him and leaves just before Boris arrives. Agent K narrowly escapes his own demise at the hands of Boris.

The Agents later locate Griffin at Shea Stadium, where he gives them the ArcNet and instructs K that it must be placed onto the Apollo 11 lunar rocket, launching in less than six hours in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Boris arrives and snatches Griffin and the Agents pursue to rescue him from a certain fate.

The elder Boris arrives, meeting up with his younger self and both agree to get the ArcNet and kill K so that the invasion will be imminent.

Upon arriving at Cape Canaveral, the agents and Griffin are arrested by military police. A colonel, however, allows them to continue their mission after Griffin uses his precognitive power to show the colonel how important the agents are.

At the launch pad, J and K confront both the 1969 and modern incarnations of Boris and the battle ensues on the rocket scaffolding as the launch counts down. The elder Boris impales J with his spikes before they both fall off the pad; however, J uses the time-jump to travel back to the beginning of the fight and avoid the spikes before pushing the elder Boris off the scaffolding, falling to the pad below. Meanwhile, as K battles the younger Boris, he disconnects a hose causing it to spray liquid hydrogen on Boris’ left arm, freezing it and causing it to shatter. K then plants the ArcNet on the top of the rocket in the last seconds before blastoff. The elder Boris is incinerated to death in the blast off and the protective shield deploys as the rocket leaves Earth’s atmosphere.

The colonel congratulates K as he returns from the launch pad. As J watches from the distance, the younger Boris surprises them and kills the colonel. The younger Boris tries to goad K into arresting him, but the junior agent instead shoots the young Boris this time, killing him. A young boy named James exits a military vehicle looking for his father, the colonel. He pulls out a pocket watch revealed earlier to have been passed down to Agent J by his father, and J realizes that the young boy is actually his younger self (explaining Jeffrey’s revelation that he was there; he was present when Boris altered history by killing K). Unwilling to reveal his father’s death, K neuralyzes James, telling him his father is a hero. J then realizes why K wouldn’t tell him about why he regretted arresting Boris in the first place.

With the timeline restored, J returns to the present day, where he meets his partner at a diner. There, he shows K his father’s pocket watch and thanks him, mentioning that he might now know more secrets than K does. As they leave the diner, Griffin, a few seats away, tells the viewers all is well with the world, except for an imminent asteroid impact on Earth if this is the timeline where K forgot to leave a tip. K returns to leave his tip, however, and the asteroid is shown colliding with an orbiting satellite instead.

I must say I really enjoyed this film. I was wondering how they could come up with something good but not the same as the previous 2 films. And as the crew of the USS Enterprise demonstrated in “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” back in ancient 1986, it’s always fun when fancy folks from the sci-fi future are forced to fumble with the less elegant technology of the past. The action sequences and effect are brilliant. The acting especially from Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones is good. But I thought Josh Brolin portrayal of the younger Agent K was superb. He just nails the feat, triumphantly creating a riff on/homage to the Tommy Lee Jones-ness of K that goes much deeper (and funnier) than a simple imitation of drawl and speech patterns.

So well worth a watch in my opinion.

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Today I did a short talk at the crewe 4Networking breakfast business meeting and I thought I would share with you what I talked about.  I know  I have already blogged about “time travel” before so some of it you may have read before but some of it is new. Enjoy :).

Here goes……

Before I start I wont to pose a question.

What’s one thing that once you lose it you can never get it back? No amount of money, resources or effort can ever get it back….

Time, once you lose that time, the moment is gone.

Which leads me to the question, What would you do if you could travel in time??

I bet every one reading this would love to travel back to some moment in time and give themselves a bit of advice or latest lottery numbers.

As you may know I am passionate about science and stuff to do with time travel. One of my favourite TV science fiction series is Dr Who and one of my favourite films is back to the future.

I don’t know if you have seen them but I think they are brilliant.

So is time travel travel possible, well first we need to understand what time is?

Time is dimension in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future,

What is Time travel?

Time travel is the concept of moving backwards and/or forwards to different points in time, in a manner which  different from the normal “flow” of time to an earthbound observer.

We’re all constantly engaged in the act of time travel. At its most basic level, time is the rate of change in the universe — and like it or not, we are constantly undergoing change. We age, the planets move around the sun, and things fall apart.

I wont bore you with the physics but according to quantum theory and Einstein’s theory of relativity it is theoretically possible to travel in time. And in fact the nearer the speed of light you can achieve the slower the passage of time.

We measure the passage of time in seconds, minutes, hours and years, but this doesn’t mean time always flows at a constant rate. Just as the water in a river rushes or slows depending on the size of the channel, time flows at different rates in different places. In other words, time is relative.

Ok great, its possible but if time travel is theoretically possible then it should have already happened and at some time in the future a clever scientist has already invented a time machine that can travel through time in any direction, just like the fictional time machine created by H. G. Wells.

So where is our intrepid time traveller?

To my knowledge, correct me if I am wrong, I believe history shows no record of a time traveller ever visiting us from the future, and maybe some will conclude it’spossible to travel in time.

There maybe explanations to this. and The fact that we have no record of having been visited by time travellers does not exclude its possibility.

Ok, if we say it is possible then can we do it.

Well yes but there are problems. The main problem with time travel is creating a paradox.

What do I mean by a Paradox? Let me try to explain.

The most commonly posed paradox is known as the ‘grand parent’ paradox. This states that if you could travel back in time you could murder your grand parents and thus prevent your existence, thus rendering it impossible for you to have gone back in time and killed them…

Even more to the point perhaps, suppose you could travel back in time and kill the person responsible for time travel before they discover it! Then you wouldn’t have been able to travel back in time to kill him….. Catch 22. Or a paradox.

In addition, The same arguments can be applied to travel into the future. Suppose I travel 24 hours into the future and happen to meet myself crossing the street. (can you meet and interact with yourself?) . I push him in front of a car and he is killed instantly and then I return.

On my return, when tomorrow comes, I receive a visit from ‘me’ from my past. I of course knew he is gong to push me in front of a car and so I move out the way and push him into the path of the car and kill him instead. Can I do that? That isn’t what happened in my future, it was the ‘me’ in the future that died. Again we have created a paradox.

Confused yet? Welcome to the world of time travel.

But if we can avoid a paradox there are still other problems time travel can cause. Let’s examine a theoretical time travel situation in more detail in order to highlight some of the problems involved.

Ok lets imagine that today you travel back in time to say August 2001 and warn the authorities that the World Trade Centre in New York is going to be attacked on September 11th. Firstly will they believe you and lock you up for being a nutter.

But suppose they do believe you and take the necessary action and as time unfolds the disaster is eventually averted. But you are still in 2001 at this point and the disaster has been prevented, and you now wish to return to the time you came from. Here comes the Big Question – can you return to where you came from? Where you came from the attack had taken place, therefore where you came from no longer exists! If you do return to your original time, the World Trade Centre will still be standing (because you prevented the attack), so it cannot be where you came from. You will have changed the course of history, not just for yourself, but for the entire world. The question is, will the World Trade Centre still be standing when you return to your starting time? This is a major point of contention. According to one theory it both will and it won’t! This is because your actions will have created an alternative possibility and in the process an ‘alternative’ universe, where we now have one universe with the World Trade Centre intact, and one with it destroyed, and we will all exist in both.

The theory is firmly rooted in quantum theory that states that ALL alternative outcomes are possible.

However another theory suggests that alternative universes will not be created because events will conspire against you that prevent you (as in this scenario) from warning the authorities and changing history. Its called the Time Line protection hypotheses and is basically The natural law would prevent the traveler from altering the past. This ‘theory’ it isn’t really a theory as such, more an expression of a desire, because it is believed to be impossible (and very bad manners from the point of view of historians) to change history. The theory has no explanation as to how this ‘prevention’ could actually come about and has no solid theoretical basis.

There are many many theories about time travel.I could be here for hours talking about it.

So I will just say that if time is just another dimension as discussed at the start, then time travel would be possible and these paradoxes multiverses would be unavoidable. If however, we take the view that only the dimension of time itself exists, and not the events within it, then this would suggest that time travel is impossible. Why? Because the past would be fixed and future events do not exist, so it would be impossible to travel into the future to witness them, as there would be no ‘future’ to visit. Ie the future is what we make it!

So what does that mean?

Well going back to my original question, What’s one thing that once you lose it you can never get it back? TIME.

Time is precious. Once that moment is gone we can’t get it back. We are in charge of our own destiny and out actions and decisions today affect whats going tomorrow.

We only have one life to live and so don’t waste it

Follow your dreams. Follow your passions.

Tell your partner, husband wife, children you love them. Dont put off till tomorrow what you can today.

At the moment I’m following my dream, I am self-employed and building up my business.

And that’s the message I want to leave with you…. Follow your dreams and don’t live life with regret.

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Here is my review of “Dark Shadows” which I saw on BT Vision recently (Released on 15th October 2012).  Please don’t read if you have not seen the film, spoiler alert.

Based on a gothic series that ran on American TV during the far-off 1960s, Dark Shadows stars Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins.  In the year 1752, Joshuaand Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet-or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy. That is until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better.

I was looking forward to this film as I had seen the trailers and it had looked very good…… The trailers made the film out to be a laugh a minute horror, which was what I was expecting. But, unfortunately in my opinion the best bits are in the trailers and I felt the film was a real let down. Dont get me wrong some of the action sequences and effects are brilliant. Individual sequences are absolutely tremendous. The sets, costumes and makeup are brilliant. And the acting is good too, particularly from Johnny Depp. But I was disappointed and expected a lot more from Tim Burton. To start with I felt the prologue was too rushed and the main story was too slow.  The pace felt wrong. It was pretty dark and gruesome at times which didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the film. And so at times I wasnt sure if I was watching a comedy or a serious gothic horror, and so I felt the balance was wrong too.  At the end I was unsatisfied and felt a little let down.

Is it worth a watch. Well, if you are bored and have a couple of hours to waste then maybe, yes. But you are not missing anything if you don’t see it. That’s just my opinion.

But what did you think? Do you agree?

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.

Good morning every body. I hope you are all well and have been enjoying the last remnants of the sunny weather. I just thought I would let you know of another upcoming science fiction and horror comic and card trade event that I will be trading at later this month.

I will be attending the Golden Orbit Science fiction, comic & card fair at the THISTLE HOTEL, PORTLAND STREET, PICCADILLY GARDENS, MANCHESTER M1 6DP on Saturday 10th November 2012 (12.00 till 3.30 pm).  The hotel is located in Manchester city centre near both Piccadilly Gardens and Piccadilly Railway Station. Also just a short walk from Sachas Hotel and Tib St Public car parks nearby. Bar and refreshments available all day.

I will be selling various surplus stock from my Ebay shop, including……..

Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert books.

Star Trek, Star Wars, Dr Who collectables and annuals.

DC, Marvel, Wildstorm, 2000AD, Image and other independent comics from Modern and bronze age.

So if you are looking for comics, books or collectables and are in Manchester on the 30th June then why not pop in and say hello. And if you spend over £10 on comics you will get 2 Comics free.

If you are looking for something in particular let me know before hand and I will make sure I will bring it with me.

Will keep you posted as I get other events booked in!

Are you looking for science fiction and horror comics, books and collectables? Then please look at the science fiction and horror online shop.  For the free monthly science fiction and horror newsletter, please subscribe here free.