The other day for whatever reason I started thinking about the opening credits of the G.I. Joe movie, you know the animated one from 1987? I found it with a little difficulty but it was totally worth it. I remember watching the scene above when I was really young, I mean the movie came out when I was 5, so it must have been some time after that. That opening is what I think of when I think of G.I. Joe.
So I was quite curious to see how horrible the new live-action movie was. I visited my nearest video store (read: Google) and watched the whole damn thing. I really can’t understand how you can screw up a movie so badly. They didn’t shoot blue and red lasers, everyone was related in some way, and Snake Eyes had a face built into his costume.
I don’t even need a complex plot line! Just make it a war movie about people shooting at each other and beating one another up, I would have been happy! I think Quentin Tarantino should have done G.I. Joe instead of Inglourious Basterds. His version could have been a mix between Basterds and Kill Bill, with weird, over the top characters and lots of action. Any other directors out there that would have been good for this movie? Maybe Paul Greengrass’ Bourne-style version?
Sticking with this futuristic vibe today I’ve got a really short but amazing little video from the folks at Bonsajo, a Japanese “visual performance unit”. The video features a bunch of random shapes being blown apart and smashed together, morphing in and out of each other and all kinds of crazy things happening. I could honestly watch something like this for hours. Can someone make a screensaver like this for? You’d be my god.
I also really like that they presented it in a square format, something you don’t always see. I think it’s fun when people play with formatting like that, it changes things up a bit.
Trying to predict the future is both difficult and exciting, and I think this wonderful short film by Keiichi Matsuda has quite a few really interesting ideas that I haven’t seen before.
The video takes place strictly in the kitchen of man from the future. When it starts you see that the man is inundated by advertisements everywhere. Suddenly, he reaches out and a menu appears, allowing him to turn off all of the ads. If you look closely, he’s actually making money by viewing these ads all of the time. The reason he turns off the ads is so he can make a cup of tea.
He starts the automatic kettle, which also has a pop up display telling you how long the water will take to boil. He then gestures and a search form pops up, allowing him to search how to make tea. A computerized helper begins to help him to make tea, telling him to put the tea bag into the cup.
While he’s waiting he decides to check his networks, and with a flick of his fingers all of the ads disappear. You can see a cheery looking field with hundreds of connections being constantly updated with photos and status updates. He finishes up with that, grabs the skim milk out of the fridge and pours his tea. Suddenly though he’s alerted that his “Liquid Waste” levels are full and that he needs to relieve himself.
It’s really the details in this video that make it intriguing to me. And the idea that he probably filmed the whole thing in his tiny apartment, making it feel authentic. I hope nothing like this ever comes to light, but it’s certainly raises some interesting questions.
Pumzi is a short film about “a dystopian future 35 years after water wars have torn the world apart. East African survivors of the ecological devastation remain locked away in contained communities, but a young woman in possession of a germinating seed struggles against the governing council to bring the plant to Earth’s ruined surface.” It was written and directed by Wanuri Kahiu, a Kenyan woman who won a grant from Focus Films’ Africa First short film program.
With the money she was able to create this short with complete creative freedom and is now taking it to Sundance in hopes of expanding it into a feature length film. Her story is similar to that of South African Neill Blomkamp who first created Alive in Joburg, which was then expanded into one of my favorites of last year, District 9.
I think the idea of Kenyan science fiction sounds amazing. The vibe of the trailer reminds me a bit of THX 1138, a group of people are trapped in an underground sanctuary and are highly medicated to keep them in check. She also does a great job of using matte paintings and special effects to give it that sort of a retro vibe without it feeling cheesy.
I really hope they release this on DVD or online or something, I’d really love to watch the whole thing. Or better yet, maybe Peter Jackson will lend her $20 million or so?
My favorite right now are people who are already naysaying the device, saying that it’s a failure because it can’t do _______? That it’s just a giant iPhone, who cares? To those who say that I ask, have you tried it yet? Cuz’ my guess will be that most likely none of you have. I can only think of one person I know (through Twitter only, hello Hamish) who’s actually had a chance to touch the damn thing. But no, you already know in your heart of hearts that this device is not special, and that when you get to try it for yourself that you’re going to be disappointed beyond belief.
For those who are disappointed by it, who think it’s a rehash of the iPhone, I honestly feel bad for you. I know it doesn’t cook you toast, and I know you wanted it to have lasers, but you’re completely overlooking the fact that no one else on Earth could make a device anything like this. Please prove me wrong, I would love to see some competition on this device. But like the iPhone, no other competitor has come close to matching the same kind of experience. Sure, Google released the Nexus One, which supposedly is great, but it’s no iPhone. How many “iPhone killers” have come and gone now…?
I personally think it looks amazing, and that a device like this makes sense for me. I currently own an iMac and an iPhone, so I’m set at home and I can manage when I’m away. But I wish I had a laptop so I could write during the day and leave my den every now and then. So my choice is between a device like the iPad or a laptop. After everything I’ve seen today, I honestly think I can do most (read: MOST) of the things I could do on a laptop, but the iPad seems more… well, fun. And what’s wrong with wanting something fun to work (and play) with?
Plus we have yet to see even a fraction of the potential the iPad holds, you see, just like the iPhone this device is capable of anything. Jesus Diaz wrote a really amazing article over on Gizmodo about the iPad interface before it was released and in it he describes the iPhone, and thus the iPad, as being a “morphing machine.” That whatever you need the device to be, it is. It can transform from a camera, to a phone, to email, to a game, to a map, whatever you need is at your fingertips. This is huge, and the potential for future apps for the iPad is immense.
I know I won’t sway a lot of you from doubting the iPad, and that’s fine. But before you go around saying how stupid/fail/ugly/unnecessary the iPad is, how about you reserve your judgement until you actually get to use it for a few minutes, how does that sound?
P.S. They could call it the iDouche for all I care, if it’s amazing who gives a rip?
Update: First I want to say how awesome I think it is that you’re all writing in about this, especially that you’re all being fairly respectful and coherent. I didn’t have to delete anyone’s jackass comments.
Second, for those who don’t understand why the device doesn’t, and will never, have Flash, read this article by John Gruber of Daring Fireball called Apple, Adobe and Flash. If you own an iPhone you know you don’t need Flash, and with the coming of HTML5 things are going to change. He perfectly sums it up for you.
Third, Apple is not here to braid our hair and be our best friends. First and foremost they are a company and they are here to make money, no matter what their PR is trying to say. To think differently would be foolish. Yes, they also design some of the best looking products out there, but they are here to make money. Capitalism, folks.