"It wasn't good. It was terrible. All it had was a big blue penis for two and a half hours.” Corey on Watchmen
Needless to say, Zack Snyder's much talked about superhero epic comes to DVD and blu-ray at midnight tonight. The only problem now is, which format to buy it in?
Satan: You all are here to serve your time and then you get to go to heaven. Simple as that. We have TV , internet, wifi if you have the card but we will not provide it for you, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, we have it all. If you don't see it here, just talk to one of the staff, and they should be able to get it for you. Any questions?
Abe Lincoln: Ummm, how is this punishment?
Satan: It's not. Wait till you get to heaven.
Susan B. Anthony: Then what are we doing here?
Abe Lincoln: Waiting for what?
Satan: Hell to freeze over. Haha. You've heard that one haven't you?
Blu-ray sales have increased 91% since 2008. When I sold my PS3 earlier this year, it was under two conditions. The first being the price of Blu-ray discs. To me, it seemed like the studios were trying to milk more money out of consumers. Which they are. Movies that have been out, succeeded in both the theater and on DVD are now being pushed with an extra ten dollar price tag. I'm not sure the cost that goes into converting movies to HD, but those methods that are being used should start becoming cheaper and faster. A lower priced disc should make itself available if the medium itself is to survive. The second reason behind my abandoning of the technology was simply that I was not buying it. I felt no need. I still have a few movies on blu-ray, but that are useless without the player. Not to mention that I have my media center scheme, but I have started to think. Not every movie should be purchased in HD, unless it becomes increasingly cheaper. There are some movies that benefit from a 1080p perspective, though. For example, The Dark Knight's HD presentation is absolutely gorgeous. I can say the same for the BBC produced Planet Earth series. But updating my entire library to HD is simply pointless. I've gotten beyond that total home theater experience I was looking for.
FDR: So what is heaven like?
Satan: I don't know. I've never been. I'm just the warden down here.
Satan: Everyone needs to make a living.
Charlton Heston: A living? You're the prince of darkness. Lucifer. The Devil.
Satan: Oh, come on Heston. You worked in fiction you're entire life. You know the difference between make believe and truth. That whole battle of good vs. evil, that's a bunch of bull shit.
Gandhi: He's right.
Stalin: Have you heard what heaven's like?
Satan: I have. Some come back down here after too long cause they can't stand the gestapo treatment up there.
Stalin: I like the sound of it already. What have you heard? Book burnings? Suppression of information? Strong centralized government? Tell, do tell!
Satan: Stalin my man, you're gonna love it there. But I've heard that the Big Man is a vicious cock block.
Satan: Sorry John. But you're gonna have to keep yourself in check.
Bill Clinton: How can we stay here?
Now Watchmen is upon on us, and I'm struggling with purchasing a blu-ray player again to watch it. On Saturday night, Snyder is giving a live commentary from San Diego using BD-live. Fans will be able to ask questions and listen in as he details his direction of the movie. I think this is a unique opportunity, but only for those who own blu-ray. This film will probably be remember a decade from now as this generation's Blade Runner.
Satan: You can't. Once your time is up you go.
St. Thomas Aquinas: Luckily I've done something terrible. I'm almost at a thousand years.
Satan: You'll be leaving soon enough.
Abe Lincoln: Is that Jesus?
Satan: That's him.
FDR: What's he here for?
Satan: He's got kids here. Hey Jesus. JESUS! Over here, dude.
Jesus: What's up Red Devil.
Satan: Not much White Devil.
Jesus: That never gets old.
Satan: Jesus this is FDR, Abe Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, Bill Clinton, JFK, Gandhi, and Bill Clinton.
Stalin: Don't forget me.
Satan: Sorry Joe. This is Joseph Stalin.
Jesus: The Stalin?
Stalin: In the spirit.
Jesus: Dad is gonna love you.
Stalin: Is he looking for a right hand man?
Jesus: Job is taken, bro.
JFK: It's a pleasure to meet you Mr. Christ.
Jesus: Please call me Jesus.
Bill Clinton: Where did Heston run off to?
Satan: I have no idea.
I started pricing the players last night. I could get a drive for the computer for around two hundred. I could at least watch the movies. A small collection might ensue, but I don't want anything big like the DVD collection. I happen to like the clutter and dust free way in which the living is set up. If we could just do something about these shelves.
Jesus: So what are you guys here for.
FDR: I was under the impression we were great men, who accomplished great things.
Jesus: That's a laugh. Try dying for someone else's sins.
Satan: You always hold that over there heads.
Jesus: I guess the Passion of the Christ wasn't out when you guys dipped out, huh?
Bill Clinton: I saw it. Mel Gibson's masterpiece.
Satan: Was it? I mean a masterpiece? The dude who did Mad Max and Forever Young makes thought provoking masterpieces?
Bill Clinton: Well I liked it.
FDR: You have it down here?
Satan: Oh god no. Propaganda we consider it.
Jesus: Easy, Stalin. Down here your a grunt.
Stalin: I resent that.
FDR: You would.
Ghandi: Is this what afterlife is?
JFK: We've done nothing but stand next to this lake of fire and chat.
Satan: And what would you like to do Mr. Kennedy. How would you like to spend your afterlife? Today is the first day of the rest of your afterlife.
Bill Clinton: (laughs)
Ghandi: I figured there would be more praying.
Satan: Pray then.
Ghandi: Would anyone else like to pray?
Aquinas: Praying is for the living. I'm gonna hit up the bowling alley. Anyone else care to join?
Ghandi: I guess I'll go. I've bowled twice in my life. The second time I got a turkey.
Aquinas: Down here everyone is a turkey, bro. Later guys.
Satan: Shit, what time is it?
Bill Clinton: (looking at watch) Little past ten.
Satan: I have to go. New arrivals.
Jesus: Alright man. Catch you later.
I read Dune this week. The oft-quoted “best-selling science fiction novel” of all time. It was imaginative, and thought-provoking. I could not help but see parallels with today's own global problems concerning oil. I am sure it was written under similar pretenses. The planet Arrakis is a sandy wasteland, void of water. Arrakis holds the key to civilization in the year 10191 in the form of the spice melange. Melange is necessary for inter-planetary travel. The whole of the empire is concerned with it. Much like oil, which is the river through which our contemporary civilization flows. Frank Herbert delivers much philosophy within his pages. Feuding houses that are attempting to achieve political power, and the means by which the go about it call up questions of power, economics and religion. The idea of a messiah is also explored through the lead character Paul Atreides. A good read, which I'll follow up on with Dune Messiah.
FDR: War saved us.
Bill Clinton: What? What about the new deal? All the government spending? I devoted my life to that.
FDR: War. Oh look here comes Satan.
Susan B. Anthony: Who is that with him?
FDR and Clinton: (shrug)
Satan: Everyone, this is Bradley Grimes.
Grimes: Clinton? FDR? Who are you?
Susan B. Anthony: Susan B. Anthony.
Grimes: Do you really need to include your middle initial?
Susan B. Anthony: Typical male response.
Bill Clinton: What brings you here?
Grimes: I don't know. I was just driving to work, and I woke up here.
Satan: Car accident. So sad.
Bill Clinton: No, but why is he here?
Grimes: Yeah, why am I here?
Satan: You're lazy.
Grimes: Did you need to say it like that?
Satan: Everyone lookie here! Lazy flounders about!
Grimes: Enough. How long am I here for?
Satan: A hundred years, but I could be wrong. Trust me when I say, you'll miss it once you're gone.
FDR: It will seem like nothing son. I've been here sixty and it's just like BAM! It goes by fast.
Grimes: I'll take your word for it.
Jesus: Sup, fellas.
Satan: How are the kids?
Jesus: They're dead.
Jesus: No but seriously, they are. We all are.
Bill Clinton: This death stuff isn't so bad.
Grimes: Speak for yourself. Anyone have a cigarette.
FDR: (handing pack) Here you are son.
Grimes: Much obliged.
FDR: Anyone else?
Susan B. Anthony: No thank you. So lazy?
Grimes: (exhaling) Could we keep that quiet? It's not a reputation I want to earn.
Satan: You've already earned it.
Grimes: I just didn't see the need to contribute. I look around here and I see a bunch of people who killed with a few signatures. Bombs, and bills, and idealism. That's there legacy.
Jesus: Hey, these dudes just had ideas.
Grimes: Jesus, you've no room to talk.
Jesus: It's Mr. Christ to you.
Grimes: Mr. Christ. Listen to you. You father would be ashamed of you.
After I finished the book yesterday, I popped in The SciFi channel's 2000 Dune miniseries. I can't help but notice how shotty the special effects look. Considering that Battlestar Galactica would be produced less than three years later and how stunning they look in comparison, I can't help but think that Dune hasn't been given a proper film adaptation. There was David Lynch's 1984 version which was panned by critics and audiences alike. The trouble with the 2000 version, is that it's presented like a freak show. The House Harkonnen looks like something out a old episode of Batman. The same can be said of the emperor's palace. House Atreides is given a look of nobility compared to the other houses. It's probably meant to show the differences among the ruling houses, but the effect made me take the series less seriously. Also, characters introduce concepts and ideas very formally. It's to bring the audience of to speed on what everything is in the story. But they will say something and they immediately provide a definition for it. Frank Herbert would introduce something and explain it later. It provided a more natural flow to a science fiction story. It really removed me from the miniseries. Another adaptation is in the works right now. Hopefully they can give this story the right atmosphere, so that Dune can finally find a theatrical audience.
Ghandi: That Aquinas is a cheater.
Satan: You should see Jesus bowl.
Jesus: I've never cheated before!
Satan: Is that why the ball came out of the gutter four times in a row?
Jesus: Hey what can I say, the power of Christ compels me.
Grimes: What else have you got down here?
Satan: Plenty of seating for your humble laziness.
Grimes: Couches? Futons? I've slept on them all. Just give me a TV Or a good book and I'll be happy.
Jesus: Actually, big man's orders. No fiction for you. That's your punishment.
Grimes: You guys are dicks.
Satan: (whispering into Brad's ear) Don't worry lazy ass. As soon as he goes I'll get some movies for you.
Grimes: (whispering back) You're a saint. And don't call me lazy ass.
Satan: (whispering) Lazy ass.
Ghandi: Anything to eat around here?
Grimes: Plenty of ego it would seem.
How irreverent of me.
Jesus: Alright, I'm getting out of here. I left in the middle of a game of Hide and Seek with the old man. Hopefully he doesn't realize I'm gone.
Satan: He always finds the best spots.
Jesus: And if they don't exist he just creates them.
Susan B. Anthony: Actually Jesus, before you go I was wondering if I could talk to you about voting.
Jesus: Just call my secretary and set up an appointment. We'll get it all worked out sooner or later. (Jesus vanishes)
Susan B. Anthony: Jesus has a secretary?
Satan: You just got punk'd.
Susan B. Anthony: (leaves with fresh tears, swelling her eyes)
Grimes: Women, huh Stalin?
Stalin: Do I look like someone who ever even slept with a lady?
Grimes: Oh come on, that mustache? The ladies must have been dying to get in your suspenders.
JFK: (rolls eyes)
Stalin: The flesh of a women. My socialist practices couldn't control it all though.
Grimes: Maybe thats for the best.
JFK: You got to have a New England accent my man. And a compound. I was quite the philanderer in my hey day.
JFK: You wouldn't believe.
Stalin: Maybe capitalism is the way to go?
Bill Clinton: Oh no. Don't worry. We inherited the whole socialist thing before too long.
Grimes: This is pointless.
Satan: Agreed. Each of you made a small marginal impact on the universe. Yet you are remembered as monumental saviors in your day. History hasn't enough time to reflect on your true effects.
Bill Clinton: But we got some ass in the mean time.
Satan: Isn't that all that truly matters anyway.
JFK: We changed the face of the planet. Ruled people. Allocated resources. I think we did something right.
FDR: I agree.
JFK: Lincoln. Look at Lincoln there. He ended slavery.
Satan: Via war.
FDR: Perhaps war is the only way to change.
Grimes: Idealism. It's a terrible, terrible thing.
Satan: Humans were on the right track there for a while. Then you guys started growing things. Staying in one place. You're animals. You know that right?
Darwin: He's right.
FDR: Then why the emotion? Why the reasoning powers?
Darwin: You needed it to survive somewhere along the line.
Satan: Darwin you always pop up at the right moment.
Darwin: Thank you.
Grimes: What are you here for?
Darwin: You're kidding right? I don't think God is ever going to let me in.
Grimes: Alright, I've had enough of this. We are just going to begin an endless debate here. And sadly, we have all eternity to ponder it. I'm going poolside for a bit. You have Pinot Noir here, right?
Satan: Sorry. We can't get it to grow.
Grimes: Cabernet? Sauvignon Blanc?
Satan: (lowers head)
Grimes: Well, I'll be god damned.