What’s up with Indiana Jones 5?

Making $2 billion off The Force Awakens just wasn’t enough for Disney.

Of course not. Now they’re in the process of bringing back Hollywood’s most famous archaeologist: Indiana Jones.

No, I don’t have a bad feeling about it. But no, I’m not bouncing off the walls in excitement either. My main interest in the show, I guess, is how they’re going to pull it off.

You see, Disney’s trying to bring back a series that ended off on a less than stellar note. (Crystal Skull had a 6.2/10 rating on IMDb.) It had positive reviews from critics, mixed reviews from the public, and bad reviews from some fans (who blamed George Lucas for making a mess).

But hey, Disney managed to bring Star Wars back, and that had three low ratings instead of one to deal with.

Will it be a good movie? Most probably. Steven Spielberg’s a good director. Will it be a box office success? Almost definitely. Disney’s making it, and it is Indiana Jones.

But will it be something new? Most probably not.Continue reading “What’s up with Indiana Jones 5?”

ERASED: thoughts, opinions, and predictions

I don’t watch television. Movies, yes, but not television. Part of the reason is that I rarely find a show that really piques my interest. The other reason is that I don’t have a television.

And now I’ve found another reason. Because I’ve finally found a great show. But it has a problem. It’s still airing. (Translation: I’m dying to watch the next episode.)

What show is it? ERASED, or Boku Dake ga Inai Machi. It’s an anime adapted from a manga. (And yes, Boku Dake ga Inai Machi does not translate to ERASED. It translates as “The Town Without Me”.)

What’s it about, exactly? In one sentence: Satoru Fujinuma, a manga artist and pizza delivery man, has a peculiar ability that causes him to involuntarily jump back several seconds in time in order to avert disasters.

IF YOU’RE ALREADY INTERESTED AND DON’T WANT ANY SPOILERS, YOU SHOULD STOP HERE. (In the meantime, however, you can watch the show here.)Continue reading “ERASED: thoughts, opinions, and predictions”

10 interesting facts about the Oscars

No matter your opinion on it, the Academy Awards are one of the most coveted prizes in film making. And since the ceremony is almost upon us, I decided to do a little reading on the history of the Oscars.

I found some interesting stuff. In fact, I got a list.

1. A German Shepherd almost won the first Oscar

Yes, you read that right. Rin Tin Tin, a dog rescued from a World War I battlefield, almost won the title of Best Actor in 1928 for his role in four movies released in 1927. (He starred in a total of 27.) He won in the first voting round. However, the Academy decided that giving a dog the first prize would send out the wrong message and held a second round of voting — this time, however, only human contestants were allowed.

2. A Nazi sympathiser won the first Oscar

After Rin Tin Tin was disqualified, the prize was won by Emil Jannings, a German actor in Hollywood who returned home soon after he won. However, his career didn’t end there. He went on to make several propaganda films for the Nazis, right up to the end of the war. He reputedly kept his Oscar with him when he travelled to the frontline, just in case he had to prove his association with America. It didn’t work. Once the Allies won the war, he was subjected to denazification, and his career was over for good.

3. Walt Disney won 26 Oscars

For the record, that was the most Oscars won by any one person. He won 22 competitive Oscars and 4 honorary Oscars, for a total of 26. He also set the record for the most nominations and wins in one ceremony, having been nominated for six Oscars and winning four.Continue reading “10 interesting facts about the Oscars”

Will a robot take your job?

The sectors of AI and robotics are growing like never before.

It’s all around us. Robots are building cars, vacuuming floors and aiding in military operations. On the other side, AI is stopping cancer, killing Pac-Man and running our search queries on Google.

In short, there’s quite a lot of things being run by robots and AI. And they’re doing more and more as time goes on.

Which leads to the problem that many futurists say will plague our world in the near future. That is, if our jobs can be done by robots, in the future, they will be.

If you skimmed that last sentence, read it again. In short, unless you’re a Prime Minister, a CEO, or the Emperor of Japan, your job security goes down whenever another advancement in robotics is made. Multiply that by the number of times it’s happened in the last decade, and you’ll get a pretty bleak picture.

And it’s causing futurists to worry. The question is, should the rest of us worry?Continue reading “Will a robot take your job?”

Climate Change: an environmental problem, or a political one?

We all know about climate change. You know, it’s why the Earth’s surface temperature is going up. Which really isn’t good for all of us living on Earth.

I used to think that the climate change discussion was primarily science-based. That is, I thought scientists and other people in the scientific community were the main people pushing for and against climate change. But recently I’ve been reading the news a lot more, and guess what? Generally, I don’t find scientists arguing with each other about climate change. (At least not on the news, anyway.)

It’s the politicians.

Why politicians are arguing about something that isn’t their forte beats me. (Actually, they argue about lots of things that aren’t their forte.) I mean, the last time politicians were so interested in science was during the Space Race. That was a while ago. But now, especially in the United States, people for and against climate change are waging a battle of epic proportions, a battle that could even affect who their next president is.Continue reading “Climate Change: an environmental problem, or a political one?”

Face it. Social media is a Weapon

A whole lot of stuff is generated on the Web all the time. Well, you knew that, but do you know the numbers?

Well, according to Marc Goodman, author of Future Crimes, every minute of every day, netizens
•    Send 204,166,667 emails
•    Share 684,478 pieces of content on Facebook
•    Tweet 100,000 times
•    Post 36,000 photos on Instagram
•    Send 34 million WhatsApp messages

That’s quite a bit of information every 60 seconds, don’t you think? Put it this way, by the time you’re done reading this article, the cycle should have happened twice.

And guess what? Most of it’s unregulated. Sure, there’s some censorship on whether it’s appropriate or not, but honestly, the Internet is a public space, and like many public spaces, few try to regulate it.

Well, that’s not a crime. If you think it is, then you probably don’t mind the NSA reading your emails too. And anyway, regulating everything on the Internet just isn’t feasible. Unless you want to create jobs for the whole unemployed world and then a couple of billion more people, that is.

But there are some cases where information should be regulated.Continue reading “Face it. Social media is a Weapon”

Should we program self-driving cars with morals?

If you’ve read my previous thoughts on self-driving cars, then you should have gotten the idea that I’m skeptical about the whole thing.

I’ve revised my opinion a little.

I actually don’t mind self-driving cars. While there are risks to them, overall, they’ll probably bring more safety to the road. What’s more, the driver/passenger person might actually be able to get something else done. (I’m not saying they should, I think they should still keep their eyes on the road.)

But I was wondering. How would a self-driving car respond in a worse case scenario? Yes, the car is supposed to be extremely safe, but what would it do if all the possible actions were bad?

Here’s an example. Suppose you’re riding your fancy Faraday Future FFZero1 in a nice suburban area. Suddenly, two children run out from behind a parked car and in front of your vehicle. Your car didn’t detect them. It can’t stop in time. Now it has two options: run straight through the children while slowing down, or swerve and hit the parked car, which has the potential of harming you. Which does it do?Continue reading “Should we program self-driving cars with morals?”

The Martian: Book versus Movie

When I first heard about The Martian, I thought it was about the little grey aliens people imagine live on Mars. But I guess humans on Mars would be called Martians too, wouldn’t they?

Since the film has only been out for four months (compared to the book which has been around for five years), I will issue my general SPOILER ALERT WARNING. Just to be careful.

If you’ve read my past articles, you’ll probably remember my comments about comparing books and movies. Now I have to add that there are some exceptions to what I said there.

The Martian is one of them.Continue reading “The Martian: Book versus Movie”

The Force Awakens is History’s Longest Ad: Here’s Why

Apparently I’m not alone in my opinion that The Force Awakens was a letdown. Over the past week, I’ve listened to opinions from the news and from friends, and I think I found the movie’s root problem.

It’s Disney.

Yes, the entertainment giant that owns Star Wars is what’s killing it.

Part of the problem is that Disney isn’t just a studio. It’s a media conglomerate with shareholders and profits to consider. So when it comes to making movies, they probably don’t decide based on what will make a great story. They’ll probably decide based on what will make the most money.

Don’t believe me? Well, today, I’m going to go through The Force Awakens from a business perspective.

MINOR SPOILER ALERTS. READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK.Continue reading “The Force Awakens is History’s Longest Ad: Here’s Why”

Why The Force Awakens doesn’t deserve 9/10

Or 8/10. Or 10/10. Whatever. My point is that it doesn’t deserve a rating that high.

I think gets a 6/10.

Hold on. SPOILER ALERT. READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I will admit that the movie did Star Wars some justice.

The visual effects were amazing. The universe looked realistic. Characters looked like they were actually in their environment. (As opposed to green screens.) CGI characters looked natural and moved naturally. J. J. Abrams created a film where the environment and characters bond to create a beautiful visual experience.

There’s more I could compliment. The acting was great. The moments of nostalgia were warm. But I’m moving over to talk about the dark side of the film.Continue reading “Why The Force Awakens doesn’t deserve 9/10”