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Katsucon and Friends Review

So my problem with this blog thing, I think, is simply that all the stuff that I normally would talk about I actually talk about with friends.  Thus eliminating the urge to talk about it in the blogsphere.  Feels like I’m repeating myself at times, but for the sake of posting I’m going to be reviewing some random stuff I’ve encountered as of late.

First off, Katsucon!  Katsucon this year, like every year, was a lot of fun.  I always get to see good friends, shmooze with fans and pros alike, and in general Katsu has treated me better than any other con I can think of.  It’s nice when you’re treated like a real guest instead of a lowly webcomic guest.  I was saddened that I didn’t get to do more panels than I did, and it was disheartening in the least to find myself in the back corner of the alley facing a wall… so if you find yourself thinking “wait… you were there?” now you know why you didn’t find me.  But despite the issues that were had, it was a fun weekend all around.

I recently watched Eagle Eye, and really it was a very solid film for what it was.  The only problem was that it was a predictable technophobic sci-fi thriller.  And you know… the idea of “man builds smart machine to protect him/make his life better and the machine decides that because man doesn’t listen to the superior machine the machine must kill man, it’s just bollocks.  To think that it’s a logical conclusion is just inane.  No machine, no matter how smart or how capable, would give two shits if we listened to it.  Even assuming that it’s a true AI and not super clever programming, why would it care?  And even if it did care that we didn’t follow its sage advice, how is overthrowing man, killing us all, or any of the other usual bullshit technophobic drama a logical answer?  It’s an extremist response even for a human being, let alone something bound by logic the way a computer is.

For a brief moment in the film I thought, “hey, maybe the computer (I had figured out it was an AI running the show maybe 15 minutes in) is actually doing all this gross manipulation of random people for some kind of greater good that we just can’t see.”  And then I was disappointed immediately to realize, nope.  It’s just an evil machine doing evil stuff.  Way to go.  And not even like GlaDOS evil, in the name of perpetuating research, just evil temper tantrum ‘you didn’t listen to me! so I’m going to kill you and replace you with someone who will!  See if I don’t!”

Despite having to work hard (and repeatedly) to suspend my disbelief at the inanity of this computer, I rather enjoyed the film.  Also that hand-launched spy-glider drone thing at the very beginning of the film?  That actually amazed me more than any of the “what do you mean you can turn my cellphone on from remote at follow my every movement?”  Sign of the times, I guess.

Speaking of the times, there’s an iPad2 now.  Hooray another sequel!  I dunno what to say really.  It’s more awesome than the original for sure, and people seem to really dig the original iPad despite the stupid name.  And it is a stupid name, so no I will not get over that.  I have to say I like the concept behind the whole tablet phenomenon.  I may well end up with an iPad of my own at some point, unless I can find me a better tablet alternative.  However, I feel this is unlikely.  I still feel like tablets should come with a stylus though.  They’re supposed to be like digital notepads right?

One last thing:  there’s a bunch of awesome movies out right now, one of which I had heard not word one about:  The Adjustment Bureau.  While it’s yet another movie based on a book, this one is based on a book by Philip K. Dick, and I loves me some … wait… lemme rephrase that.  Philip K. Dick is a cornerstone of everything dark and not-to-distant-future.  Blade Runner, Johnny Mnemonic, Minority Report, Total Recall, Screamers, A Scanner Darkly, Paycheck all are movies based on his works, and all of them (even the ones that weren’t that great) are just the kind of stories I love.  The Adjustment Bureau is hitting theaters this weekend and I only just today STUMBLED across its existence.  How is this possible?  How have I heard NOTHING about this film until it’s hitting theaters?  Whomever is in marketing for this film is DOING IT WRONG!  Regardless, I’m excited about it, and it’ll be interesting to see if Matt Damon can do a Philip K. Dick story better than Ben Afleck did.

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